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Fitness truths: 'Exercise might be uncomfortable, overwhelming. It's supposed to be'

Change your attitude – and even the goals themselves – to achieve real results. Here’s some advice from fitness expert Carl Cautley.

Carl Cautley Personal trainer

THE TURKEY HAS been reduced to bones and there are only wrappers left in the Roses tin, so it’s time now to turn our attention to that old chestnut — the New Year’s resolution.

It will come as a surprise to absolutely no one that “lose weight and get fitter” is the number one promise we make to ourselves every time January rolls around, but very few of us actually make it stick. You have to wonder, why not?

I think most people would acknowledge at some level that staying in shape is a good idea, and something we should all be doing. But few truly understand the many amazing benefits of fitness. We all know the basics, that working out strengthens your body and helps you burn fat.

The other benefits to being fit

But did you know that exercise also strengthens your bones, which can help prevent osteoporosis and relieve the symptoms of arthritis? Did you know that it significantly reduces levels of stress hormones while increasing endorphins, making you happier and more resilient?

The effects of keeping fit even spill over into other areas of your life. You’ll find you feel more confident and capable at work, in social situations, and just about everywhere else.

We can all enjoy these benefits, because no matter what your age, gender, current weight, fitness level, physical impairments, personal issues or family situation, there is always something you can do to increase your physical activity. You don’t have to look like a cover model or perform like a sports star. Fitness is for everyone.

I’ve seen this over and over again with my own clients. They come to us in all shapes and sizes — young, old, male, female — and it’s always amazing to be able to help them with their goals and see the incredible transformations they go through. And I’m not just talking about losing a few pounds or shifting a few inches off their waists.

It’s worth keeping your keep-fit resolve

shutterstock_272645438 Source: Shutterstock/Undrey

Many of our clients undergo a demonstrable change in attitude as they become fitter. They report feeling better about themselves in general, having a new perspective on life, and even take on challenges they never thought possible.

Case in point: our client Michelle who, despite being an avid swimmer, was slightly out of shape and suffering from back pain. Michelle realised she needed support, and once she reached out to us her fitness immediately began to improve. So much so, in fact, that Michelle ended up competing in the World Masters Swimming Championships in Italy, where she swam personal best times.

Another client, Colette, ran her first 7K after completing her fitness programme — something she would’ve considered impossible the day she joined. Imagine what you could achieve.

New year, new world, no fear

I understand that committing to a lifestyle of healthy eating and exercise might be uncomfortable, overwhelming or even a little scary. But it’s supposed to be — fitness is all about pushing out of your comfort zone and becoming the very best version of yourself that you can be. That’s no small feat, but it’s worth every ounce of the blood, sweat and tears. So here’s my appeal to you:

Many of us resolve to shift the extra few Christmas pounds and keep on top of our fitness in the New Year. The reality is very few make it past the first or second week. This time, be different.

Break the mould. Commit to making fitness a part of your life rather than a means to an end. Stack the deck in your favour by reaching out for the support and accountability you need to make your goals a reality.

You already know what giving up feels like — now see what happens when you don’t.

Carl Cautley is a Certified Personal Trainer, Zest4Life Nutritional Coach and founder of Health & Fitness Together — an industry-leading Private Personal Training Studio in Ranelagh, Dublin. Get in touch with Carl at healthandfitnesstogether.ie or at 01 496 5829.

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About the author:

Carl Cautley  / Personal trainer

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