Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Is it time to change?

SWITCH IT OFF...Watching TV in bed isn’t a good idea, try reading a book instead.

SWITCH IT OFF…Watching TV in bed isn’t a good idea, try reading a book instead.

You may have noticed that I have changed my by-line picture on the column. It wasn’t until one of my friends sent me a close-up of it that I realised it needed to go, along with the laughing faces they added to the picture.

Physically I have changed, my face is a bit learner and I seem to have more facial hair. This got me thinking maybe it’s time for you to change a few things as well.

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Having to change can be some people’s worst nightmare. It means getting out of a routine that you are used to and stepping into the unknown. But once you take that leap of faith you may find it is the best thing you ever do.

Since I started writing this column a lot has changed for me in my life, especially in terms of health and fitness.

Back in January 2011 I wrote my first article and only had my business set up a few months. I thought I was fit and strong and knew a lot about health and fitness. But the more I educated myself and shared experiences with other fitness professionals I realised there was so much more to learn and do, and even to this day I have only scratched the surface.

The first lifestyle change I made focused on my nutrition. I use to get a takeaway every Saturday night but that soon stopped. I only enjoy them on special occasions or if my son was really looking a pizza. For me this choice was a simple one because I played football on a Sunday and I was fuelling my body with the wrong foods the day before a game. If you are used to eating a takeaway once or twice a week, try cutting it down to once/twice a month and work from there.

The next change was my training. I had never done a weights programme and stuck to it until I was in my 20’s. I used to love running the roads as extra training, but I seemed to suffer a lot of injuries when playing football. Now when I’m not training with the club I hit the gym and work on my movement, mobility, power and strength. I have been less prone to injuries and have felt fitter and stronger on the pitch.

My sleeping pattern was another area that I needed to change. I used to go to bed around 11/12 with the TV on until about 1am.

Most times I ended up watching some old movie that I had seen about 20 times, and when I woke up in the morning I would ask myself ‘why did you watch that?’ even forgetting what happened at the end.

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The first thing I did was remove my TV from the bedroom, this helped but I still had my phone to keep me awake so I made another change. I charge my phone away from my bed and if I’m not ready to sleep I read a book. At the minute it’s ‘Born to Run’, and it’s a great read so far.

Sitting too long can be very bad for you and it was something I did a lot. That change was made easy when I started running more classes, but I still found myself sitting a lot when travelling . The change I made here was not in the hours of driving but trying to rectify my sitting position with foam rolling and stretching.

Again I have brought in another change to my daily routine and classes by adding in primal movements. Come to one of my boot camp classes and you’ll get an idea of what it is all about.
Other changes I made was the amount of water I took on board each day. I also now don’t leave the house without some healthy food, either a packed lunch, fruit, nuts or hummus. I also try and educate myself through books, articles and courses.

In a way I was lucky enough that none of my health and fitness changes were too big and I think that’s the key to changing your fitness regime. If you make too many big changes they may not stick. Make small changes and re-evaluate them after a few weeks. Finally don’t be afraid to get it wrong, if you do then find another change that will work for you.

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