‘Sometimes, the last thing we need at the beginning of a new year is the addition of a grueling new workout regime,’ Karen tells Metro.co.uk.
‘Starting out gentler and slower gives us time to recover from the busy festive season, it gives us a chance to breathe and relax and ease our way into a new year, and it also gives us the chance to check in with our bodies and give them what they need whether that be rest, stretching, a gentle jog, or some heavy deadlifts.’
Here are some tips for starting a new habit with exercise that doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing:
- Try not to do too much too soon. Aim for two workouts each week until that becomes a regular habit. Trying to do too much too soon can lead to injury and can also limit the enjoyability factor as exercising too often can make it feel like a chore.
- Take some time to try out different things until you find a form of exercise that you actually enjoy and look forward to. And don’t forget online classes – these can often be a more affordable and accessible option.
- You don’t have to do an hour of exercise for it to ‘count’. Even ten minutes of exercise will be of benefit. Be realistic about the amount of time you can reasonably put aside for a workout. It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
- Begin to notice how different types of exercise make you feel depending on your mood or emotional state. How do you feel after a session of HIIT? Refreshed, more vigorous, or does it leave you feeling more fatigued? How about when you lift weights? How do you feel after?
Being curious about how our bodies react to different types of movement depending on how we’re feeling means that we get better at selecting a workout that will support our health and help us to manage our mental and emotional well-being as well as our physical health.