GIRL GET FIT

Archive of ‘Thought & Reflections’ category

So Why is Consistency Key?

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The word consistency may provoke a yawn and the thought of boredom. Yet consistency really holds it’s worth. Read any book on exercise, or any article on getting fit and one of the key points is always consistency.

Many of us start out keen, full of enthusiasm and focus yet in a short while we lose that passion and motivation, even forgetting what it was that we were aiming for and why. Before you know it, you arrive back to square one (or in many cases, 1 step back from square 1!) As the winter draws in, motivation can fly out. Heading for the kitchen for a hot drink feels more inviting than heading out of the door to the gym. Relax on the sofa or follow your exercise DVD???

I want to get you back on track before you fall too far behind and feel helpless to re-start.

Improvement and change occur when you do things often. Frequently stopping and starting kills any momentum, and with it success. You must find ways to stay in the game. Understanding why consistency is important and how to be consistent, will help you keep on track and committed to your goals.

• Creating a workout plan, and staying committed to it will help you achieve higher fitness goals. When creating your plan make sure you include things that you know you will enjoy doing on a regular basis. Ideally you should be looking to exercise 3-4 times a week, so make sure your plan is both fun and achievable. There needs to be a mixture of intensities and activities in your weekly plan. If every session is Pilates, no matter how difficult it may seem, it is not going to have the same effect as a weight training session. Likewise, if every session is a high intensity CrossFit class, then you may get to the end of the week feeling exhausted and feel unable to do two back-to-back weeks the same. This leads to inconsistency!

• To be consistent you also need to be realistic about the amount of time you can devote to your workout plan. Start with less sessions per week, and as you prove consistency, over time, you can add in more sessions.

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• Know your plan. Write your schedule down on paper and put it somewhere where you will see it. Set reminders on your Smartphone, or create some way of scheduling it into your day. This will help you remember to actually do it!

• Working with consistency is important for your physical health. Doing one session every two weeks will only leave you feeling sore and exhausted. These sporadic outbursts of intense exercise are extremely stressful for your body. To achieve optimal results, you need to build on your fitness and strength levels week-in, week-out to see any marked improvements. This way your muscles, tendons and ligaments adjust to this gradual increase in intensity, leaving you less likely to get injured or rundown.

• Consistent workouts are good for your energy levels and mood. When you workout, your body releases endorphins that leave you feeling positive. Leaving numerous days between exercise sessions can leave your body depleted of these feel good chemicals, allowing stress and low energy levels to kick in. Staying consistent will improve your mood and increase your day-to-day levels of energy.

• Skipping too many days of exercise effects your motivation and confidence. The longer the gap you leave, the less likely you are to feel like exercising. When you’re in a routine with a good rhythm, it seems easier to stay en route. Research has shown that exercisers can bathe in the feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction after an exercise session for a day or two afterwards. However, as time passes, so do these feelings, leading to waning enthusiasm.

• To see marked improvement and progress, you need consistency. Exercising sporadically lowers the chance of progress, leaving you feeling like a non-achiever. Hence many people desperate to lose weight or get fit go from year to year without ever achieving their goal. They make some progress, but then lose consistency. When they re-start, they are back to where they were before.

• Have a least one of your sessions during the week where you exercise with someone else. Have a friend come round to the house and do an exercise DVD together. Create a mini circuit in the house or garden that you can do together. Meet a friend for a power walk in the park with your pushchairs, doing bursts of intervals where you walk hard for 1 min and walk at a normal pace for 1 minute. If you make a meeting time and point you can’t opt out at the last minute!

Happy consistent training!

Miri xx

My reflections on the Lance Armstrong saga.

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He used banned substances, he lied again and again denying it, and he bullied to keep the truth hidden. He was right at the top, he was the best, he had profile, he was a living dream, an inspiration to cancer suffers and their families. Wow, how he has fallen a long way! Gutted! Lance Armstrong has let a lot of people down. 80 million people have bought the yellow Livestrong bands; even more have been impacted by the work of Livestrong. Millions more have been inspired in their own lives because of him. Yet, he lived a lie for so long. He allowed us to keep believing the dream of not only survival but thriving after cancer. It was a dream he was desperate to keep alive. He represented life to the full! Undoubtedly Armstrong was looking after number one, but he lived with the pressure of knowing the impact the truth would have on others. You and I will probably never understand just how stressful that was.

Evidently, many other professional high profile cyclists where also found taking the same performance enhancing drugs (quite probably in more extreme measures) and received just a 6 month ban. Yes, Lance Armstrong has let a lot of people down, yet I don’t understand why that means he has to live with a life sentence (lifetime ban from sports). It seems because he had status he has to pay a bigger price! Lets remember he has still devoted much of his time and energy to Livestrong. Doubtlessly the foundation would not have been able to do what it has without the face of Armstrong. Is it right that because he was the best, had profile and was the face a massive cancer foundation that he should be treated more severely? I’m not sure.

He still is a cancer survivor; he fought and worked incredibly hard to regain phenomenal fitness. EPO, Testosterone and Growth Hormone don’t just magically make you climb a mountain like he did. It simply allows you to work harder in training. He still trained hours upon hours, endured the pain again and again, day after day. He was determined and focused. He reached a level of fitness that went beyond the other drug using cyclists. Many will disagree and think that I am crazy, but I still think that he is inspiring. If all the competing cyclists during that era, including Armstrong, were clean, he would have still won. Obviously, he should have done everything within him but also within the rules. He made a mistake (a huge one) but who doesn’t?

I believe there is a time to acknowledge the hurt and disappointment he has caused, a time for apologies and consequences. Following all this, I think there is a time for forgiveness too. I hope people can forgive him for what he has done. He is sorry. Understandably, some need more time than others to get to that place, but ultimately we have to get there. Staying angry and hurt will simply eat away at us. Bitterness and hate destroy, but forgiveness wins every time. Lets remember we have all made mistakes, and fortunately most of us make these away from public eye. Without doubt, Armstrong is going to live with the consequences of his decisions and actions for the rest of his life and thus I am glad that he is an optimist and looks to the future. This is exactly what is needed.

I really hope that as an individual he can deal with these things, re-find himself and become a great man again. Perhaps he can rise again and inspire again as a new man, restored, humble, and whole. Lets hope the people around him can help him rebuild his life. I think we too should be optimistic and move on, remaining hopeful for the future of cycling. It is cleaner now than ever before! Lets look forward, and enjoy the thrilling race of strength and endurance! I love it!

Welcome to Girl Get Fit!

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Welcome to my website, Girl Get Fit! This site is all about fitness, women’s health and post pregnancy weight loss – all for you! I am really excited to inspire and challenge you – get in touch with me on Twitter, Facebook or by commenting on the articles I write.

See you soon online!

- Miri