Exercise for long-term wellbeing - here’s how you get started

10 januari 2021 | Av Tanja Djelevic

When life is fraught with anxiety, it can be difficult to fit in exercise, even though that’s when we need it the most. Begin with shorter training sequences and it will be easier to get started. That way you will create a habit for long-term health. Read more about how to get started here!

Three tips to get started with training when it feels daunting

Now in pandemic times, it is even more important to get moving! It’s also harder I have to add because when stress takes over and the only thing you can do to ease the nervous system is to bake a carrot cake (as my husband and I did when we were sick, haha). But after baking several, eating them and realizing that a cake a day is a terrible consolation for a still body, we encouraged each other to give ourselves 30 minutes of exercise a day to begin with, until we were back on the roll.

Three things to remember, if it feels really IMPOSSIBLE to get going:

  1. You are not alone, if you need a hand, reach out to me on Instagram messages.
  2. You do not need 90 minutes at the gym. You just have to BEGIN with a short session each day.
  3. YOU have all the wisdom within you, but we can not do everything ourselves! Sometimes you need a little help and then myself, Yogobe, other professionals, nice sneakers, good music, etc, etc are there to help. Make a decision, ask for help, and let’s do this!!

Make exercise and movement a part of everyday life

It is often overwhelming to embark on a huge training program in the beginning. After over 20 years in the profession and really hundreds of different types of clients, what I know for sure is that if you create a habit that you can do every day, it does more for health than if you try to quick-fix your way through with a 30 day transformation program and then expect that everything will work out for the best. EVERYONE is different, and is motivated by different things, but my thesis is that IF you can make exercise and movement a habit, a part of everyday life, it will definitely be better in the long run.

I strongly believe in creating triggers. Like listening to the right song or music or having a little routine that gets you started. Another trick is to plan the training and NOT cancel it. Even if it will be 3x10 minutes a week at first, you have to start somewhere. The third is to have a training date! Maybe instead of having a coffee with a friend, suggest a brisk walk in the park or share a PT session.

Let the motivation come from within

I often get questions about tips to get started exercising regularly. My advice is actually that we must change the attitude that motivation comes from outside, and instead work on creating the motivation that comes from within. Of course, it is not just about changing it by the blink of an eye, but even if this takes time, it is valuable for lifelong well-being, instead of living in a way where you are constantly looking for the pull from the outside. And another tip is to create opportunities where you move. Skip taking the car sometimes and cycling or walking several times a week for example. Everything counts when the other opinion is to do nothing.

So what exercises should you invest in when time is short? It all depends on what the goal is, of course. If you just want to feel good and feel fit and healthy, then it is great to plan a little bit of each modality. Mobility, so that you are well prepared for other training and do not injure yourself, stretching because our lives are often sitting or stillness, strength because we all really need to activate and build muscle to get stronger. A little bit of everything. 30 minutes a day is definitely better than having anxiety about not having 90 minutes to pump iron.

Photos: Kitty Lingmerth-Lingmerth Photography/James Lee Wall Photo

Further reading

Videos online - short and effective training with Tanja Djelevic

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Sweat party: Quick and effective workout for your entire body.

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Sweat Party: Get your puls up with this interval training.

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Sweat Party: Heart-pounding intervals and focus on balance.

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Dynamic stretching on the foam roller - focus on ankles, hips and t-spine with Tanja Djelevic.

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Tanja Djelevic

Tanja has lived in Los Angeles for many years, where she is one of the most sought after personal trainers. Her training focus is to find a balance between body, soul and movement.

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