Darren Placid, a personal trainer, group fitness instructor, and online fitness coach, is no newcomer to the field. He has years of experience both in the UK and abroad and shares his recommendations for getting into fitness.
Inspired by those surrounding him who reached their personal fitness goals, Darren decided to pursue his own fitness aspirations. His interest only grew as he watched fitness challenges and competitions on the television. It is his belief that fitness is never-ending and that it is always possible to set new goals and to achieve them to become better every time. Fitness should be a way of life and it is essential to incorporate it into your lifestyle.
He is not unaccustomed to success and his advice is especially valuable as it is based on experience. As a firefighter who has served the London Fire Brigade for over 15 years, he also placed 6th in the world’s fittest firefighter games in 2007, played in the English FA cup for Heybridge Swifts in 2003, and has run the London Marathon three times.
It is his own experiences that form the basis of his recommendations for getting fit and making a true lifestyle change.
How do you start your fitness journey?
1. Don’t expect too much too quickly.
According to Darren, the first and most crucial step is to set realistic expectations of your goals and targets; ones that you are able to get to and achieve in a good time. He believes in the philosophy that “Rome wasn’t built in a day and a baby could walk when it was first born” with the understanding that fitness is a process and it’s not realistic to expect results in a few short weeks. It’s important to “take a nice long journey and make it a way of life, and that will be the biggest achievement.”
2. Motivation is key.
As evidenced by his own foray into fitness, it is important to continuously find a reason to do what you are doing. It’s essential to be internally motivated to succeed – meaning that you do it for you and not for other people. However, a little help goes a long way. Aston University in Birmingham, UK posits that it is exceedingly beneficial to find someone to work out with as exchanges with others whilst exercising actually distracts the brain from the physical activity, and this helps you to exercise for longer.
3. Just Do It!
It’s tempting to procrastinate in the hope of finding “the perfect time” to start your fitness journey. However, this frame of mind tends to mean that you’ll never get started. In order to truly succeed, you have to find a unique way of making it enjoyable for yourself. This enjoyment is what will make it a permanent part of your lifestyle. This path is different for everyone, so remember to find what works for you and then stick to it.
4. Don’t let things get stale.
There is nothing worse than boredom. It is almost guaranteed to stop your fitness journey right in its tracks. To prevent this from happening, it’s a good idea to do different types of workouts, just to keep things interesting. This is also important to exercise different muscle groups. For the best results, it’s best to combine cardio and weight training in order to stay healthy. Cardio is the most effective way of burning fat in the midst of doing activities whereas efficient weight training has a sort of after-burn effect with the result that the body burns calories even when you’ve ended your exercise session.
5. Be kind to yourself.
Many people who begin a new exercise program, abandon it within the first year. This is often because they are too hard on themselves from the beginning. You have to be able to keep up with the pace you set yourself. If you work within your own limits and steadily grow stronger, you have a better chance of making it a permanent way of life.
Want to learn more?