Fitness, Mind & Body

Michelle Bridges’ 5 no-fail rules for getting back into your fitness routine

Getting your fitness back on track can feel like impossible when you’ve had a few weeks *cough, months* off. 12WBT founder Michelle Bridges shares her rules for reigniting your routine.

No matter how well-prepared you were for this year, COVID threw a spanner in the works. When it comes to making positive and ongoing changes to your health, fitness and weight loss, sometimes things just don’t seem to go to plan.

Whether the global pandemic, family troubles, work stress or general life is taking you by the reins, it’s important to remember that you’re playing the long game.

If it takes a month, six months or longer to get to where you saw yourself at the beginning, that’s totally fine. We call that consistency, and consistency is the secret to all healthy routines – not quick wins.

So keeping in mind that a healthy lifestyle is an ongoing process, here are my simple tips for getting back on track.

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1. Reality check

Don’t go spinning out saying “I’ve failed this” or “I’ll never be able to do that”. Just STOP for a second. You’re not the first person to have their plans derailed, or to have self-sabotaged. It’s fine, and it happens to every single one of us. So settle down, make a plan, benefit from the hindsight you now have and get on with it.

2. Start small

Plan to re-incorporate exercise into your lifestyle one or two days a week. Plan to set aside two hours on a Sunday to shop and prep some healthy meals. Next weekend, plan to have an active day out, or make that sit down coffee catch up with a friend, a takeaway coffee walk instead. You don’t have to climb Mount Everest on day one.

3. Eat well

It’s the 80/20 rule. 80 per cent good nutrition to 20 per cent fitness. If you’re trying to get healthy, that’s a good equation to start with. This often makes it easier for people to commit. Because cooking, let’s face it, is often a lot easier (and less sweatier) than working out.

You know yourself. If you feel like it’ll be too much to tackle working out, eating healthy and retraining your mindset all at once, I suggest starting in the kitchen. Test things out, try new foods, get educated around calories and nutrients, and fall in love with the whole process. This brings me to my next point…

4. You have to love it

You have to love it. Don’t be afraid to find something that actually makes you motivated to strap on your sneakers. Don’t settle for a workout or a class you don’t like. There’s so much out there! If you look forward to your workout it will do WONDERS for your mindset going in, and your determination to keep it up.

5. Ditch the added sugar

After a crazy year, where I know we all reached for that comfort food a little bit more often than we previously would, I challenge you to ditch the added sugar. Most often, this is in the form of pre-packaged snacks. So go for homemade or get familiar with the nutrition label on the back. You’re aiming for less than 15g of sugar per 100g. Next up is soft drinks, flavoured milks and flavoured lattes.

In quitting these drinks, your glucose levels will even out, your skin will look amazing, you’ll do better in your workout, you’ll sleep better, and your waistline will 100 per cent reflect those changes, as liquid calories certainly add up across the day.

Michelle Bridges12 Week Body Transformationhealth and fitness program has recently celebrated its 10 year anniversary.