Is just one workout a week enough?

By Jo Cordell-Cooper*

NEW Year’s Day and the silly season have been and gone, and if you are one of the many people who made a New Year’s resolution based on improving health and fitness – how’s that going?

For many, your new resolve has either fallen by the wayside or been watered down considerably.

So what happened? My experience as a personal trainer is that most people set an urgent timeline when it comes to their health and fitness goals, often inspired by “The Biggest Loser” results and “before and after” photos posted on social media – with a disclaimer, of course, stating that “individual results may differ”, or “results not typical”.

When did we get so obsessed with starting and finishing a fitness and health journey? Sorry folks, I have nothing to offer except something your grandma would tell you: “Be moderate, eat up your vegetables and get outside and move more!”

Now I have to clarify, if you are heading to Mt Everest (whatever that looks like for you), I can get you there. I’m not scared of taking on big goals or clients with big goals, but for most people the goals are set too high. The change in behaviour is too great to sustain. You need time to settle into your new lifestyle.

This year I set the goal of one workout a week from home. I have to say, I got a little grief from a few of my PT buddies – something like, “Really pushing it, Jo. Aim high, eh!” (You can hear the sarcasm). I had to clarify, “No, one workout from home – quite different.”

For me, it’s been a big change because I like to go somewhere to work out, but I’m also a busy business owner with three kids – I can use that travel time 100 different ways.

Anyway, that’s not the only exercise I do, and it should not be for you either, but if it is, it is sure better than nothing.

Do not be disillusioned with the notion you are not doing enough if you can only do one workout a week. Most of us could – and should – do more. Yes, that’s true, but when you choose to do nothing because you can’t exercise three-to-five times a week then you are setting yourself up for poor health.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed by exercise guidelines that tell us how much exercise we have to do and how intense it needs to be. While these guidelines are accurate, just focus on making a change – just one commitment to exercise every week and you will feel the benefits.

*Jo Cordell-Cooper owns Active Solutions and Health Network, specialising in women’s fitness all ages, all stages. For more information go to www.activesolutionsandhealthnetwork.com.au, 0409 862206, activesolutionstas@gmail.com

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