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Ease back for a rest, but don’t stop

Reaching fitness goals is just the beginning of living an active life.

It’s easy to press pause on our fitness routine once we have reached a goal. You feel as though you’ve worked so hard to achieve your desired result and, quite simply, you need to take a rest. I get it!

I also get that it’s super-important not to put on the exercise brakes totally following the Kick-start programme, or any other fitness-related challenge you embark on. You owe it to yourself to keep going.

I don’t mean keeping going in top gear, though. Drop it down a few levels to give yourself a chance to physically and, importantly, mentally recover. However, I suggest you plan for when you will need to ramp things up and start pushing again.

When I trained as an Olympic heptathlete from season to season, it took its toll on me. I needed time off intensive training, but very rarely did I have long periods of rest to undo all my hard work. I would use the time off to try different types of training and just have fun. I chose to go hiking with friends, take a leisurely bike ride or the occasional more-intensive spin class to help me refresh before I got back to the grind.

I suggest you put a time limit on rest. Check in with how you’re feeling physically and mentally and recognise where you’re at. Also, recognise you want to continue building on all the cumulative work you have done for your health.

Use a short exercise break as an opportunity to reset your goals and fitness targets. If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll never get there! Goals help you focus and provide motivation. I find it best when I write them down, as that keeps me more accountable.

When it comes down to it, always go back to your ‘why’. Whether it’s being able to keep up with your grandchildren, complete your first triathlon or lower your cholesterol levels, figure out what will truly keep your motor running rather than letting it switch off following Kick-start or other challenges.

Backward lunge

1. Stand tall and switch on your core muscles by slightly drawing your belly button to your spine.

2. Step your left leg backwards to go into the lunge position. Keep your trunk upright and lower towards the ground. Return to the starting position and change legs over.
Leg changes

1. Start with your right leg forward by your right hand and your left leg extended backwards.

2. Do a little pulse to gather momentum to switch legs. If your legs do not reach up to your hands, work within your own range. Step the change if jumping is too hard.
First published: Nov 2018



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