“Research shows a clear correlation between the amount of physical activity and health. Already by light muscular activity we see positive effects in the body; it increases blood flow, and blood sugars are regulated better than when you rest. The rewards are simply formidable. Regular physical activity prevents a total of 30 diseases, and can even cure mild depression, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.”
– Jakob Linhave, Deputy Director in The Norwegian Directorate of Health –
Good health is no “quick-fix”. If you want a good health, you have to exercise regularly throughout your life. The question is: how do you motivate yourself for such a big change in your life? Personal trainer, Victoria Schram, have given us some advice.
“The important thing is to really figure out why you want to live a healthier life,” Schram says.
“You have to dig deep within yourself, and figure out why you should change anything,” she continues.
The personal trainer tells us she often sees people decide to go through a lifestyle change, without really knowing why they do it.
“If, for example, you want to lose weight, you should know exactly why weight loss is your motivation to start training. There should be some good arguments as to why you should bother getting up from the couch. For me, it’s not a good enough argument that: I’m going to look better if I lose a few kilos.”
Schram also advice us to set goals, and as she has pointed out, they have to be specific.
“You should decide where you want to be within an exact date. The goals should be attainable, yet they should not be “easy” to achieve. You should have something to strive for and work towards.”
“We have to remember, had it been easy you would probably have reached it already,” she points out.
The coach also specifies that it is important to set smaller ambitions along the way, and decide what to do when one actually reaches the final goal.
However, even if you have established a goal for the training, it’s not given that you’re able to keep your newly found motivation.
How can you make the training routines last?
“My best tip is to adapt the training to your everyday life. Don’t bite over more than you can chew, and be realistic when setting up your training week,” Schram says.
She specify, however, that it’s equally important to prioritize training:
“Everyone knows there will come days you feel you don’t have time to work out. You should decide to hit the gym anyway, and do as much as you can of the other stuff afterwards. You have to be stern with yourself.”
“A lot of people also benefit from a training partner, a personal trainer or joining group sessions at their gym.”
According to Schram it’s also easier to find motivation if you find an activity you look forward to.
“For those wishing to get in shape, I recommend finding an exercise you actually enjoy. If you hate to run, don’t run. There are many forms of exercise that can give the same result. Be a little creative and don’t be afraid to ask a specialist for help,” she explains.
“Another tip when it comes to training, is to choose quality over quantity. If your goal is to reduce the fat percentage, you don’t have to scuff around the fitness centre and do innumerable strength exercises with long pauses.”
How do you reduce your fat percentage?
“Get your heart rate up, and use the pauses effectively. An example is to do another exercise between sets to keep your heart rate up. You could, for instance, do agility jumps between your bench press sets. Far too many use the pauses to keep themselves updated on on-line newspapers, Facebook and everything else.”
“When you’re training, TRAIN,” she says.
Finally, the personal trainer recommends an effective exercise:
“I recommend that you run intervals. It’s the most effective way to work on your endurance! And always make sure to challenge your body to work harder by increasing the speed of the mill. You should actually sweat when exercising, you know.”