Don't let the sofa rule your life. Stay motivated and you'll soon see the benefits of keeping fit.
Step one: set up some goals
It's great that you want to get in shape, but just how far do you want to go in the name of fitness? Without any kind of objective, you risk growing bored and giving up. Maybe you plan to run a half marathon, lose a few pounds before you head off on holiday, or simply want to be able to walk into town without needing a lie down when you get home. Whatever reward you choose, it'll help you to stay focused and fired up.
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Step two: create a schedule
Establish some order to your new fitness regime; otherwise it'll quickly crumble. There's no need to overdo it. Experts recommend 20 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, three times a week (the kind that works your lungs and gets your heart pumping). So open up your diary, make some dates and stick to it!
Step three: find a fitness buddy
A mate who shares your objectives can help you stay on track. It's all too easy to convince yourself that it's OK to skip a work out, but another matter entirely if it means facing a friend who's standing there in Lycra - all warmed up and ready to go.
Step four: think of the benefits
The body beautiful - A new, toned physique will not only boost your confidence, it will also make the world realise just how gorgeous you are!
Sleep - If you that have trouble sleeping, start doing some exercise - and yes sex does count. You'll have no trouble getting some kip of an evening after a rigorous work out.
Energy - Regular exercise actually boosts your day-to-day energy levels, rather than zapping them even further. It's a great way to give yourself an energy boost after a long day at the office/ library.
Socialising - Running by yourself is unlikely to help you meet new people, but joining a running club will. The same applies to pretty much any sport, be it diving or dance. Check out local leisure centres, college notice boards etc. It doesn't matter what level you are - there are often beginner, intermediate and professional sessions. Plus the friends you make will help boost your morale and keep you motivated.
Mental health - Regular exercise boosts mental health. Find out the lowdown in our mental health section.
Longer life - Staying in shape can reduce your risk of adult-onset diabetes, heart disease, stroke, blood vessel disorders, thrombosis, and angina to name a few. Moderate exercise can also reduce a young woman's chance of developing breast cancer by 60%
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