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The Secret to getting fit, and STAYING Fit!

Now that I have your attention, I’ll start by saying that there is no magic fix, no trickety trick or fairy with a magic wand to give you the perfect body. Like anything in this life that’s worth having, it doesn’t come easy. The perfect body comes with years of hard work, discipline and dedication of which you may come out at the end looking like Hercules, but you may not necessarily gain the satisfaction you expected because your goal was to look good.

This isn’t an article about how much time you should spend in the gym or how many grams of macros you should be eating either, in the grand scheme of things, decimal points and superfoods won’t bring you fulfilment, unless of course you’re really into nutrition and learning and body building, if you are? That’s awesome, go you!

If, however, you’re like me, naturally a bit lazy, a lover of a pork pie and can’t seem to say no to a cold beer on a hot day? Then you’re definitely in the right place. If you are someone who has got it all figured out gram for gram with a set and healthy routine, this may be a great place to gain new ideas.

I watched a talk given by a guy called Tim Urban on procrastination, If you haven’t seen I urge you to stop reading and watch it now!! It is both insightful and funny!

The main message he presents is that it is very easy to put things off and keep putting things off so that they never actually end up getting done. At University, I was very much like him. I would have an assignment set with a deadline 1 month later and think, ‘ Ah it’s ok, I’ve still got time.’ This was the ‘instant gratification monkey’ inside my head telling me that it was ok to chill out. It wasn’t usually until about 3 days before the deadline that my ‘Panic Monster’ would appear. Only that would kick start me into action and pull off incredible human feats like writing my dissertation in 20 hours, (yes the 20 hours before the deadline) and receive a 2:1 on the project.

The moral here is that Deadlines, however scary, are incredibly important! It’s all well and good saying, ‘I want to have a six pack by June,’ But what’s actually going to happen if you don’t? Nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, Goal setting is important and it helps a lot of people get to where they need to be, but if you’re like me who is a master procrastinator, you’ll need a bit of help. People are either Lions or Gazelles. The Lion has a ‘why’, she chases the gazelle because she’s hungry, she needs to eat, she has a drive. The Gazelle only runs if it’s being chased.

The Secret: SET CHALLENGES

I was always amazed at My friend Vicky. In several months, she had committed to; A boxing match having never boxed, a tough mudder, a couple of 10Ks, and a London to Paris Bike Ride. I had never seen such dedication to train for all of these events.

I would argue that this was all way too much to fit in for a few months and I wouldn’t recommend it, however, a wonderfully amazing lesson can be learned from her. Setting challenges throughout the year i.e. something big that you’ve never done before, every 6 months can have a huge range of motivational and fitness benefits, the first of which being:

  1. You have a deadline; Now it’s on, you’ve signed up for a 10k, you’re raising money for charity, there’s no backing out now, you HAVE to get fit enough for it.
  2. You push yourself to try new things and gain new experiences.
  3. You begin to live outside of your comfort zone creating much more fulfilment rather than just: eat, gym, sleep, repeat
  4. Your fitness will improve, and will stay that way so long as you set yourself up for these challenges, and that you give yourself enough time to train AND RECOVER!

One other huge benefit is that it touches on something that a great adventurer called Alistair Humphrey said about Micro Adventures.  I urge you to read his articles here! 

For me, overcoming procrastination can be a particularly tough barrier to change. So I will be making a commitment to practise what I preach over the next year and will be signing up for one big challenge every 6 months.

Lets see how many people take up this challenge with me.

#akasachallenge

P.S. here’s a couple of things from beginner to absolutely insane to kick start your creativity, inspiration or madness!

Check out the link here for a great company that can help you fulfil the challenge!

  • Local fun run – Beginner
  • Half Marathon – Beginner
  • Sponsored walk/ hike – Beginner
  • Three Peaks Challenge – Intermediate
  • Tour Du Mont Blanc – Intermediate
  • Full marathon – Intermediate
  • Amateur boxing match – Intermediate
  • London to Brighton – Intermediate
  • London To Paris Bike Ride – Advanced
  • South Downs Way – Walk/ Run/ Bike – Advanced
  • 10 Tors, Dartmoor – Advanced
  • Marathon de Sables – INSANE
  • Talisker Whisky Atlantic challenge – INSANE

Akasa fitness can help you to get fit for specific challenges – See our Adventure Fitness page