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Here’s how to restart your fitness journey this new year

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Illustration photo by Getty Images
Illustration photo by Getty Images

Do you want to get back to exercising after the holidays? Whether you are new to exercise or took a break for a few weeks, don’t worry about being out of shape.

Nelson Mandela Bay fitness professional and podcaster, Kayleen Lottering, shares a few tips on getting back into the swing of fitness goals, detoxing from the over indulgences of Christmas lunch and maintaining fitness goals throughout the year.

According to Lottering, returning to exercise may be harder at the beginning because after a lovely holiday of overindulgence, your motivation levels may seem low.

“However, following these basic steps will help you get back into the swing of things, which may be easier and less daunting than you thought it would be,” she said.

Lottering proposes the following steps to get back on the right track

  • Start slowly: Your body will recover soon and you will be able to increase the level of difficulty as you go along.

Start with 15-20 minutes a day and make sure that your exercise plan includes the three important aspects, which are mobility, cardiovascular training and resistance training.

Always remember to do your exercises at your pace with no rush.

  • Set small manageable goals: Make a list of several small goals rather than one big one, as it is easier to maintain and achieve one goal at a time that will lead up to the big goal.

Most important, be proud of the progress you make in your fitness lifestyle habit that you started with.

  • Choose an activity that you like: The best exercise is not the one that burns the most calories or leads to quicker results, but the one that you enjoy doing and will be able to keep up long term.

This includes anything from dance fitness class, Zumba, boot camp, high intensity interval training or whichever activity resonates with you.

These activities are not only limited to a gym, but there are many at-home or online exercises that you can do, if you opt for this route.

  • Find a workout buddy: Having a friend to workout with increases motivation and reduces the risk of giving up quite easily. As strange as it may seem, we find it easier to give up on ourselves than with a friend.

A workout buddy is someone we can share struggles and progress with.

  • Ditch the scales: Weighing yourself every day or as often as you can, can be demotivating as you might find that one week you lose weight but not as much another week.

Weight varies and is dependent on several factors, which include daily and adequate hydration, dietary choices and physical activity.

It is therefore best to focus on your well-being and adopt healthy lifestyle habits. Weight loss will follow eventually.

You can take care of your diet and well-being with these basic steps
  • Boost your hydration daily. This helps your body to cleanse itself and eliminate waste and toxins.
  • Minimise high caffeine intake.
  • Seek a suitable herbal tea.
  • Include fruit in your snacking and greens in your meals.
  • Eat small meal portions every three hours – Do not go hungry.
  • Commit to eight hours of sleep.
  • Care for your emotional well-being.

“Life is a balancing act between the time when we are extremely health-conscious and take impeccable care of our bodies and times when we indulge on food and tasty desserts. The damage done by these indulgences should be minimal, and it not for us to start judging but to enjoy the journey and reap the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle, in order to be the best version of ourselves.”

Nelson Mandela Bay fitness professional, Kayleen Lottering.

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