It's all very well looking at yourself in the mirror and deciding that you want to change your body shape for the better, or decide that your lifestyle has become increasingly unhealthy and want to do something about it, but thinking it and doing it are two totally different things. I always find that when I want to change something the thinking part of the exercise is really exciting and I can come up with a lot of reasons why I want to change as well as ways I am going to tackle it too. When the time comes to put my plan in action then it becomes a little harder, as the doing is actually getting up and getting out there, it's jumping out of that nice warm comfort zone into something that is and feels strange to you.
I feel it's really important to step out of your comfort zone once in a while, its a little like switching up your exercise sessions every couple of months. It's good for you and helps you achieve your goals instead of staying in the same place with no progression being made. All the hard work becomes fruitless and your motivation wanes and you stop. You find you are still stuck in that rut and living in an exercise groundhog day! When you stay within your comfort zone its nice, warm and fluffy inside there but there could be things that frustrate you or depress you whilst your in that nice safe place but as you don’t want to venture out of it they keep getting to you, its much like a vicious circle of self-loathing and worst case could become detrimental to your mental health.
For the past year my life has been all about stepping out of my comfort zones, the past 10 years I have been caught up in nappies, preschool and now school-age children. I realised when my third child was off to Reception that I could start dipping my foot out of my comfort zone and trying to make a mark on the fitness world. It's really scary but if you want something you HAVE to go out there and get it, it won’t get into that comfort zone that you have built a tall ring fence around as nothing can break into that safe place BUT you can break out!
So when you look in that mirror and see things you want to change it ultimately means that you will have to take that fence down and start venturing out a little further. You may not have exercised for years, maybe since you were at school, this doesn’t matter at all and yes it will be one of the reasons for that little negative voice to pipe up and tell you “it's been so long what’s the point” but quieten that voice down, think of little changes you can make - even before you start going to the gym or visiting a PT. Start walking to walk (if you can), take the stairs not the lift, do some crunches or a plank when your watching TV in the evening, all these little things will help you in your goal to get that habit formed so that when you start visiting the gym or you book those sessions with a PT you are already there in that place where you will succeed.
I get some people visiting me and I can tell in an instant they aren’t ready to step out just yet, there are far too many excuses being used in the conversation. Now my clients will tell you I am not judgemental at all, but these people seem to have to justify the excuses to me, this tells me that yes they are ‘thinking’ about exercise but they aren’t fully at the ‘lets get my leggings on and go for it” stage yet. The most used excuse I have heard is the time constraints one, I understand that EVERYONE is busy but a healthy lifestyle where exercise is part of your daily routine is - I think- one of the fundamental components of a healthy, positive person. Exercise will help you sleep, focus and destress you. You only have to partake in some sort of moderate general exercise for 30-40 minutes a day to feel the benefits and to think that what your doing in the present will help you boost your quality of life in your later years is to me more of an incentive to push on and keep the habit going.
Getting your head around the time issue is the first big step and I sincerely believe that everyone of us can make time to move, whether its walking, dancing, bodyweight exercises in the lounge or playing in the garden with the kids all of these things will help you make that first step out of your comfort zone.