Top 5 Fitness Tips from a Top (ex) Couch Potato

Getting Fit – it’s everywhere in January isn’t it?
You hear it from everyone, everywhere;
“It’s a New Year, it’ll be a New Me.”
“This is the year I’m REALLY going to do it.”
“2015 is definitely the year I finally lose weight/get fit/actually GO to the gym I joined 3 years ago/swim every single week…”

And of course, we all mean it. We really really do.

But doing it? That’s not quite so easy.
All the best will and good intentions in the world don’t make you get up off your chair and go for a run, do they?
As regular readers know, I have been, and lived with, a serious couch potato for way too many years. But last year Mr LittleStuff was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes, and it was exactly the kick up the bum we both needed, at exactly the right time.
Over the next 9mths he proceeded to lose over 6 stone in weight, and find the joy in exercise (and I lost 3 stone almost by accident, just keeping him company).

major mens weight loss

September 2013 to September 2014.

The benefits of the weight loss go so much further than he ever expected. Not only is he now no longer a diabetic, but he also no longer suffers from IBS, reflux, back pain, sleep apnea… and of course he bounces around the house with a spring in his step, not really sure to what to do with the masses of energy he has.

So when George at ASDA got in touch to ask if we’d like to share our top 5 exercise tips, we jumped at the chance – it’s something we’re a bit keen to talk about. And we probably started from a far worse position than you’re in. Trust me.
You do not need a body beautiful to get started. We both had a mountain to climb – Mr LittleStuff still isn’t done, even after vanishing 6-stones-worth before my eyes. And I may have dropped 3 dress sizes, but I’d like to drop at least two more yet.
So here’s our top 5 tips:

1. Choose the fun.
Don’t for goodness sake start a running programme if you hate running. Or join a gym if the thought fills you with dread. That’s never going to work long term, is it?
Exercise is only fun if you make it so. If you love to swim, then choose swimming. If you like walking the dog – that’s a great start. Cycling after dark so no one can see you? Perfect. Join a boxing class, start Zumba or learn to Lindyhop…  It doesn’t matter what it is, as long as you’re moving, and smiling.

2. Keep It Simple
If it’s complicated, you won’t do it. If you’re just intent on getting fit, then you don’t need an enormous amount of technical gear to get on your bike. Just… get on it.
Pump up the tyres, check your brakes work, and start moving your feet.
Exercise is the cheapest thing there is – all you have to do is move.
Wearing appropriate gear certainly helps (don’t try cross-country running in jeans. It’s not good. *cough*), but you genuinely do not have to spend a fortune – check out George at ASDA’s fitness range, for example. I love it, and it’s totally bargainous.

3. Start Small
The very thought of a cycle ride would have caused the husband palpitations a year ago – it was quite frankly far too much for his already over-strained body to handle. But that doesn’t mean he couldn’t start moving.
So he began with very simple baby steps. He walked the dog everyday – and made it a power walk, keeping himself just slightly breathless. He found reasons every day to go into town – and instead of jumping into the car, he walked, with a backpack to carry his shopping or post. The difference in his fitness level was visible in a very short period of time – small changes can make such huge differences, and are so much easier to just keep on doing.

4. MAKE time.
You’ll never ‘find‘ the time, there’s always something else more important to do. So diary it, schedule it, and keep it.
Tell everyone that Friday morning you’ll be in your Yoga class. Thursday night is Boxing night. Monday afternoon you’ll be walking for an hour.
But if you don’t think you can fit exercise in every single day for the rest of your life, that’s no reason not to go for a walk today. Even 20 minutes walk a day makes a huge difference. And any activity is good activity—don’t cheat your body out of it because you don’t think you’ll be able to do it again tomorrow, or the next day.

5. Be Patient, and keep going.
Just because you’ve just hoovered up a whole pack of biscuits, or haven’t made time to exercise for a week, does that mean you stop bothering? Of course not.
One bad choice does not ruin a day.  One day off doesn’t ruin a week.  One week off doesn’t ruin a month.
Every choice you make takes you closer to or further away from your ultimate goal. Stop worrying about the fact you haven’t made it to the pool for a week, and focus on the next opportunity instead.

Here’s fitness icon Carly Rowena’s Top 5 Tips

What changes have you made this year? Are you on the Get Fit wagon too? How’re you managing?

Share me!

Author: Laura

A 70's child, I’ve been married for a Very Long Time, and appear to have made four children, and collected one large and useless dog along the way. I work, I have four children, I have a dog… ergo, I do not do dusting or ironing. I began LittleStuff back in (gulp) 2004. I like huge mugs of tea. And Coffee. And Cake. And a steaming cone of crispy fresh fluffy chips, smothered in salt and vinegar. #healthyeater When I grow up I am going to be quietly graceful, organised and wear lipstick every day. In the meantime I *may* have a slight butterfly-brain issue.

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