Taking up sport: 3 pieces of advice to get you goingThat’s it, it’s decided! I am going to take up sport! Congratulations, once you’ve uttered those magic words the hard part is over…well almost! To give you the best chance of following through with your plan, you are going to have to follow some advice to help you achieve your aim and make a habit of it. Soon your body will be begging you to do sport.
How do you get back into shape? How quickly? What is a sensible age to start? Follow the coach’s advice. Gone are the excuses: not enough time, not enough motivation, fear of tough physical exertion. You are aware of them which means the majority of these barriers are in your head, the rest you can work on. In order to not get left behind after the first session and risk losing all your motivation in the changing room, it is important to prepare well.
Fitness: choosing your playing field
The key to success can be found in the enjoyment you get from attending a sports session. So, it is essential that you choose a discipline which suits you.
For those who fear strenuous exercise, it is definitely possible to get started from the comfort of your own home and regain a bit of confidence in yourself before making the big jump. You can practice muscle-building exercises at home for example. For this, you won’t need to invest anything other than your motivation. A mat if you’re in an apartment for greater comfort, a bottle of water and a sport’s outfit to get you feeling comfortable when exercising.
A good deal:
If the prospect of internet tutorials (because yes, you do have to find inspiration from somewhere) scares you, know that some personal trainers have the advantage of “home service”. 50% of the price is therefore tax deductible.
Indoors, you will find all the necessary equipment used for targeting the different parts of your body that you want to tone. However, you might feel a bit lost in the middle of all these machines and in the company of very confident, regular gym-goers. Don’t be afraid to approach a coach who can put together a made-to-measure program for you and who will show you how to exercise correctly and avoid getting any injuries.
To get familiar with the place and what exercises to do, don’t hesitate to attend group classes, as this will help reassure you. You will soon feel comfortable enough to stand on your own two feet.
Your sport heart-throb
Tennis, football, yoga, dance…? There is that sport you tried when you were younger or that sport that you always wanted to have a go at but you never made it through the changing room door. It’s never too late and there are beginner’s classes for all sports! It’s time to make some inquiries, you are nearly there and remember that you won’t be the only beginner in the room.
How quickly should I pick it up? Slowly but surely
Frequency of training sessions
Consistency is the key to gaining optimal benefits. However, this is unhelpful when forcing yourself to do a certain discipline every day. This will sometimes even make you feel discouraged and give up along the way. Go slowly but surely to be certain of sticking to your program and to allow your body to keep up. Based on how easy you find it and what you want, you will be able to increase the number of sessions. Ideally, aim for 1 to 3 sessions per week.
This is again a question of determination. Go progressively because it can be discouraging if you set yourself difficult goals to achieve. Also, if you abuse your body you could risk getting injuries. Go step by step, allow yourself to gain confidence and to progress quickly and safely.
Up until what age can I start sport? You adapt exercise to your own ability
Ah hah! We saw that coming… and no! No one is exempt from exercising because there is no age limit for getting back into shape. You can start classical ballet when you’re over 60! Of course, it is essential to adapt exercise to your own ability depending on age and previous medical history.
The later you leave it to take up sport, the more it is recommended to get a coach on board who will be able to provide you with professional advice and get you the most benefits and enjoyment out of your session, and of course, only after the doctor has given you the go-ahead.
Editor's advice: Never give up!
Never give up. The aim is to be good to yourself and not to prepare for the Olympics. It’s easy to picture a steady return to physical activity when choosing to undertake a life sport, such as power walking, cycling or swimming for example.
Power walking has the advantage of being accessible to many people. It doesn’t require any specific equipment apart from a good pair of trainers. This can be quite an intense sport. Also, depending on your capability, you might want to alternate between walking and jogging.
Cycling is an enjoyable sport and isn’t too hard on your body. Don’t be afraid to change the way you get around or to organise group trips for greater enjoyment. Finally, why not get a group pass for the local swimming baths. Swimming helps protect your joints, tones your body and improves your ability to breathe. And if you have children, don’t be afraid to take them with you. This will give you a family sport that you share in common and means there is always someone in the group to motivate the troops!
Go at your own pace and enjoy! You will soon feel like a fish in water! 😊
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