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Wednesday 08 October 2008

Getting into shape: How to stay motivated

Posted in: Features, Living Well
By Julz Darroch - 7th April 2008

No more excuses!'s personal trainer has four tips to help you trick yourself into a great workout.

This week I've been pondering motivation to exercise, or in my case a distinct lack thereof.

So off I go, not discussing great abs but exercise motivation…

Try as I might to justify that yelling at someone else as they exercise is a great workout, it's just not the same as exercising myself.

So what does a girl (or boy) do? Anything you can, to trick yourself into that workout.

Trick One:

This one is for the walkers and runners amongst us. When you head out for that jog try to avoid a route that goes to a set point and then returns, it's too easy to decide it's just not worth it and head back halfway. Run to a destination like work or an appointment. The other option is a round trip where, by the time you decide you want to turn back it's quicker to just keep going.

Trick Two:

Cool gear! Is it just me or is exercise so much more fun in a new outfit? (just me huh?). Seriously though, wearing gear that you feel good in and look good too (let's face it that helps) will make you stop feeling like you did in your first PE class in the third form (ah, those were the days, when commando M didn't mean you'd forgotten your undies)

If you want to test this theory get on the treadmill in a pair of shorty shorts that ride up your butt when you move. Not so cutey cutey huh? You'll be off to the changing room to remove that wedge of lycra from your butt in 5 minutes flat.

Hey, speaking of cutey cutey, stick those same shorts on the hottie on the treadmill in front of you and you'll be running like the wind- just make sure you know where the emergency stop button is, for when your heart rate goes up.

Trick Three:

Work out with a friend. This is a favourite from every 'fitness tips' article since Jane Fonda.

With this trick keep in mind that they are generalizing, what they mean to say is "work out with a friend unless they don't exercise and have no intention to" or "workout with a friend as long as they don't think that walking 100km doing the Oxfam Trailwalker is a great idea, leaving your girlfriend at home alone on your 5th year anniversary" (no I'm not bitter).

Trick Four:

 Ignore the first 10 minutes of any workout.

Our wee bodies, bless them, undergo several chemical reactions called ATP- CP, creatine phosphate, aerobic energy (You don't have to know what they mean but gosh darn it, I paid a fortune to go to school to learn those words and I'm going to use them!!)

These words mean that when we start any form of exercise, first our body thinks something bad is going to happen (like being chased back to the cave by a bear) then it chills out a bit and gets ready to workout for a longer period (realizing that bear ain't so bad after all….)

In short it'll take 5-10 minutes to settle into a nice steady pace that you are comfortable maintaining.

So what are you waiting for, get out there!

Julz Darroch, 35, is a Wellington-based Personal Trainer and Fitness Educator, with 15 years experience in the fitness industry - beginning in shiny lycra as an aerobics instructor back in the early 90's and continuing on from there.

She currently works as a gym-based and mobile personal trainer, and regularly tortures Steve Grey and the Good Morning team on TVOne each Tuesday.

Julz is almost famous for her sparkling personality, crowd pleasing training style and sharp wit. In the straight world they call her 'quirky', but she says really she's just a dyke with tattoos and a funny haircut.

Send your fitness-related questions and personal training enquiries to .

Julz Darroch - 7th April 2008