There’s an old Chinese proverb that states: “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”. This certainly rings true when it comes to setting yourself health and fitness goals.
Tackle your running fears
Whether you want to begin running for the first time in your life or are considering taking it up again after being out of practice, there’s no doubt that taking that first step towards action is far and away the hardest part of the journey. If you’ve never run before, it’s all too easy to allow concerns about your capability to hold your confidence back, and if you’ve experienced a hiatus due to an injury or navigating a major life event such as having a baby, getting back on track can feel like an insurmountable task. Jonathan Bell, specialist consultant at Wimbledon Clinics, offers his advice on the subject…
Break down your goal into manageable chunks
The key to hitting your fitness goals is to focus on creating smaller, achievable targets for yourself instead of an ‘all or nothing’ approach that sets you up for failure. In fact, we believe your first goal should simply be the commitment to learning to run or improving your health to give you the ability to do so. The second is forming the plan of how to get there.
Take advice from Team Sky
Consider Team Sky, the Olympic wining cycling team. Professor Steve Peters, a psychiatrist who was closely associated with this group, stated in his book ‘The Chimp Paradox’ that they didn’t set themselves the goal of winning a gold medal when they began their training. Instead, they focused on a smaller goal of completing a circuit in a specific period of time. Once they met their target, they moved the goalposts, gradually moving closer to their Olympic-winning times.
It’s the same thing with running or improving your overall fitness. If you set yourself a goal of working out for an hour, three times a week, right from the get-go and then find you can’t keep it up, you’ll feel like you’ve failed and could lose motivation. Set yourself smaller, manageable targets of 20 minutes of exercise or an initial weekly jog, and as you settle into the routine, you’ll build momentum and gently work towards your ultimate goal.
When it comes to exercise, remember that something is better than nothing – even if you suffer from time constraints so can only squeeze in the odd ten minutes into your schedule, this still counts as a positive step towards improving your fitness.
Motivate and incentivise yourself
One way to motivate yourself and become more active is to invest in wearable technology such as a FitBit. This will allow you to measure just how active you are on a day-to-day basis and can nudge you in the right direction as you can see just how many more steps you need to take to hit your target. Even just little things like taking the stairs more often or hopping off the bus a few stops earlier on your daily commute can make the difference.
Start your Return to Run programme
Here at Wimbledon Clinics we offer a couple of programmes, specially designed to help people begin running or get back into it safely. Our Return to Run programme is particularly suitable for those who have injured themselves in the past and need a tailored programme to help build up their fitness and help them achieve their former strength. If your injury is giving you any little niggles or if you stopped running due to physical issues that seemed minor but caused problems after being active, contact us to address the problem – don’t let it get in the way of staying active or prevent you from participating in the sports you love.
The programme can also be specifically tailored to those who are new to the activity, instructing you in running techniques and ensuring you are wearing the appropriate footwear for your specific needs. Our running and strengthening programme is created with small, achievable goals each week that will gradually bring you closer to running that 10k you’ve been dreaming of.
Contact Wimbledon Clinics today and take that first step on the road to your new fitness regime.