Guest Post: The Secret to Reaching Your Fitness Goals

The secret to keeping that New Years resolution to living an active life 

It’s that time of the year again…a fresh start, a new beginning. It’s a time when we make promises to ourselves to do more, be more and achieve some of the things that we either dream of or lie in the back of our minds.

It may be a cliché but many of us still have one key aim at the beginning of the year – ‘to be the healthiest and fittest me I can possibly be’.

“I plan to eat better, be more active, exercise more… I want to be happier and healthier.” Sound familiar? While there is no better time than right now, if the New Year has given you the motivation and drive to set some big resolutions around your health, you are probably looking for the key to keep you motivated.

Stop! Before you go off making big goals to work out every day for the next 12 months, let’s take it easy…make small steps to achieve big things. You don’t want to feel completely defeated by the end of the second or third week, sprawled out on the couch demanding someone get you a chocolate bar ASAP to fuel your energy.

Yes, I hear you, not everyone loves slumming it out on a treadmill or spending hours at the gym lifting weights. Yes, running can be a nightmare sometimes and I know you might not be a sports person. So how can you possibly become fit?

Well, there’s a secret and I am about to tell you after a short and meaningful anecdote (you’re going to love it).

So I’m an outdoorsy Australian who has recently travelled to and lived in Canada (yep, I went from crystal blue coastal living to waking up to -40 degree weather and elk creating unmovable live barriers on the snowy walk to work). Over there it’s a completely different ball game! I had to find new ways to stay active in a country that has a serious time limit for how long you can spend outside without freezing to death…you don’t want to get that wrong.

While I had the opportunity to do a bit of snowboarding (which is an intense workout by the way), I ended up joining a gym and trained daily to stay fit. I have had personal trainers before so I had an idea of what to do.

While this was a great way to keep the delicious Canadian treats at bay (well, kind of), after making the transition back from slippery, white slopes to the rather hot but beautiful Australian scenery, I was over it. I didn’t want to lift another dumbbell and I certainly didn’t want the word elliptical to be part of my morning routine.

You’ve been there too, am I right?

Well, I’m here to share what I believe is the secret to finding an exercise regime that will help you achieve your New Years resolution – to be healthier, fitter, stronger, more active…what ever it may be.

Here it is…

The secret…Are you sure your ready for this?

Try everything until you find that magic fit!

Get out there and give a lot of different sports, exercises and activities a go. Try new things like crossfit, unicycling, adult gymnastics, squash, martial arts, rock climbing or an alternate style of dance. Just give it a go. Con your friends to come along (they have to have something you can bribe them with – a trip to the frozen yoghurt shop after?) if your feeling a bit scared.

Don’t worry about how you look to others. Everyone has been there. The athletes and the experts have all been there. They’ve been in your shoes (hopefully not literally – that’s creepy).

Ever since I’ve come home I’ve put myself out there and tried a few things. As a result, I’ve found a few magic sports that are the perfect match for me. Hip hop, burlesque, I’ve dabbled in ballet, gymnastics and I’ve found a love for pole fitness.

If you find something that you enjoy doing, that you feel confident and proud to be a part of, the motivation for your New Years resolution is right there.

If you find something you love, keep at it!

You never know, keeping fit naturally might just come easy.

 

By Alyssa Gill

Alyssa is a persuasive freelance writer and strategic social media expert. She is the Founder and Chief Wordsmith of Squib Communications, a company that is helping lifestyle, creative and home businesses to create more meaningful partnerships with their customers.

She also has a passion for all things active – she’s a pole fitness teacher, hip hopper, burlesquer and basketball-enthuasiast.

Plus she recently started the Instagram page @myactivewear, a site that brings together and showcases real people being active and healthy in their favourite activewear. Follow @myactivewear.

Website: http://www.squib.com.au
Connect with Alyssa on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/squibcommunications/

So You Want To Look Good Naked

We all want to look and feel good naked, right? For most of us that is the very thing that first got us started on a health and fitness journey. You know, achieving that dream body, feeling confident in your skin, looking good full monty. I mean there is also the whole ‘getting fit’ and ‘being healthy’ aspect to it too, but mostly we want to achieve HOT status! Well here’s a *NEWSFLASH* for you – working out and eating well isn’t just about getting a bangn’ beach bod. There is an abundance of other benefits that comes with it too; all of which make the whole ‘healthy living’ thing that much more worthwhile.

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If I am to be completely honest, looking good when my clothes are off (and on for that matter), is probably 99% of my motivation when it comes to exercising and eating well. Like almost everyone else, that is why I started and why I still remain committed to the cause. That being said, although it was initially motivated by physical aesthetic, regular exercise is now part of my daily routine because quite frankly, it makes me feel amazing! It is something I do consistently to keep me sane and to make me happy. It’s almost like meditation for me. It is my designated ‘me time’. Ironically, completely exhausting myself is the most relaxing part of my day. I honestly don’t feel like myself without my daily dose of endorphins. Exercise for me, has become about achieving an overall feeling of positive wellbeing, not just looking the part.

Below are some of the many other reasons why exercise is great for so much more than just looking good naked.

1. Exercise Reduces Stress: At the end of a long and stressful day, believe it or not, exercise is your friend. It might be the last thing you feel like doing (especially when bed and Netflix is calling your name), but working up a sweat is a massive stress reliever that’ll have you feeling amazing in no time. Working out helps to manage physical and mental stress because it increases the amount of norepinephrine in your brain.

2. Eases Anxiety: By exercising, you can also reduce symptoms of anxiety. The chemicals your brain releases before or after exercise can help you calm down. It’s no wonder I start to feel like I am loosing my sanity if I don’t exercise for a couple of days.

3. Boosts Your Mood: Exercise makes you happy. Well, it certainly does for me and there is actually proof to this claim as well. You have probably heard about the feel-good hormones known as endorphins. Well these little guys are released in the brain during exercise, which leads to feelings of happiness. And happiness is just the best! In fact, studies have shown that exercise can help elevate symptoms of depression in clinically depressed individuals. Pretty cool.

4. Increases Your Energy Levels: It sounds crazy but exerting energy with a killer workout actually increases your energy levels. The days when I wake up an hour earlier to exercise before work, I actually have way more energy throughout the day than when I don’t. Not to mention that endorphin hit puts you in the best mood for the rest of the day.

5. Improves Self-confidence: The more you workout, the better you eat and the better you feel. Then you start to notices changes and you start to feel more confident. When you do things that make your body feel good, you start feeling good about yourself as well. Just knowing you are taking positive steps to live a healthier lifestyle and increase your fitness is enough to boost your self-image.

6. Exercise Helps With Creativity and Increases Productivity: Did you know that working out can increase your brain activity for up to two hours post-workout? Well you do now. I for one feel most productive after exercising. It’s like all my creative energy explodes, all my inspiration and momentum to ‘get s**t done’ comes to life. So the next time you need some inspiration or can’t seem to escape the procrastinating zone, try lacing up your sneakers and hitting the gym.

7. Boosts Brain Function: As we get older, our brain starts to slow down but with daily exercise you can decrease the likelihood of Alzheimer’s and other types of cognitive decline. Cardiovascular exercise also creates new brain cells, which improves our overall brain function and performance.

8. Helps Control Addictions: When you exercise, your brain releases a reward chemical, which is similar to the reward chemical that you feel in response to sex, drug and even food. This is where addictions can come into play, as people can become addicted to dopamine. Luckily, exercise also releases dopamine – and working out is something worth getting addicted to.

So in a nutshell, working out and eating healthy is equally important for our mental health, wellbeing and overall happiness, as it is for our physical health. It’s not all about looking good naked… that is just a bonus.

Love Eloise x

Get Moving on Active Nation Day

Did you know that 63% of Australian adults are overweight or obese? Thats almost 2 in 3 people! Just to let that sink in a little more… that is nearly 2 thirds of our adult population! FAR OUT!

In fact, obesity is now the leading cause of premature illness and death in Australia – overtaking smoking.

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According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), worldwide obesity has doubled since 1980. In 2014 more than 1.9 billion (39%) adults were overweight, with 600 million (13%) of these being obese. These are some pretty scary and seriously concerning numbers. With statistics like that, I personally cannot help but wonder… when will the government step in? Obesity is more than just a problem. It’s a worldwide epidemic and something needs to be done.

This is where Active Nation Day comes in…

So what is Active Nation Day?

“Active Nation Day is a movement created in 2012 by Lorna Jane to inspire women, their families, communities, cities and the world to live a more Active Life!”.  It is basically a day in which everyone is encouraged to get moving – to do something to nourish their bodies, look after their health and prioritise their fitness. It is a day to be dedicated to Active Living.

Can you believe that over 50% of the adult population in Australia do no formal exercise? Say what?! For someone who lives and breathes health and fitness and cannot imagine a day without some kind of exercise, this is a concept that is both foreign and hugely concerning. I am truly passionate about healthy living and I want everyone to know just how good their bodies are designed to feel. Thats why I am so on board with Lorna Jane’s Active Nation Day.

Now in its fourth year, Active Nation Day falls on the last Sunday of September. This year being September 27th (this Sunday). On this day there will be events hosted throughout Australia and the world, to encourage women to mark their commitment to Active Living by getting out and moving their bodies. Registered Active Nation Day events in Perth include Jacobs Ladder, Running the Bridges and bootcamps. You can find out what events are in your area by entering your postcode here. You don’t even need to attend an event! Just get out and get moving. Snap and photo of you being active and share it on social media.

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And Don’t Forget To Sign The Petition

This year Lorna will be personally presenting a petition (signed by YOU) to the Australian Prime Minister to get a national day of Active Living on the Australian calendar and then the world. What an amazing idea! With 2 out of 3 Australian adults being overweight or obese, having Active Nation Day as an official event on the calendar is a great way to raise awareness of the importance of active living and could become a fundamental stepping stone towards beating the obesity epidemic.

With the aim of reaching a minimum of 50,000 signatures, you can do your bit by signing the petition online at activenationday.com or visiting your local Lorna Jane store. Be the change you want to see in this world. Start by signing the petition and getting moving this Sunday 27th!

Happy Active Nation Day!

Love Eloise x