If I’m feeling unmotivated or if I’ve had a few weeks of being inactive I always remind myself that I’m only one great workout away from getting back on track. A solid workout always leaves me feeling positive and seems to reset that motivational switch. I try and do this at the beginning of the day because I find it leaves me feeling focused and in turn then results in a more productive day. I also find that exercise is the catalyst for me making better food choices. I don’t have the mindset of ‘I’ve done a workout so now I’m allowed to eat cake.’ I want to compliment that workout by eating healthy food.
I’ve only ever had one New Year’s Resolution and that was to quit smoking, and I’m glad to say I managed it. The way I achieved quitting this was through exercise. On the 1st of January I proudly announced to my family that I was quitting smoking! However it got to 4pm and I was already really struggling. I was desperate for a cigarette. I saw my trainers at the front door and I had a choice, smoke or run? Thankfully I chose the latter and went out for a run. The cold winter’s air hit my smoker’s lungs, which highlighted the damage I’d been doing. At the end of the run the endorphins were working their magic and I felt so positive about my decision. So from then on when I was struggling with a craving, I would go for a run. I ended up doing the London Marathon in April for the Teenage Cancer Trust, which was one of the most amazing/hard things I’ve ever done! This experience proved again that exercise wasn’t just about losing weight and looking good, it was also a great way to battle addictions and a way to keep you focused.
I make sure that I have a good balance in my life and enjoy certain foods, I’m not too strict with myself! I set realistic goals and it’s important to remember that everyones’ goals are different. One person going for a 10 jog could be working just as hard as another person doing 10 minutes of high intensity exercise. So don’t rate yourself against others, just be the best that you can be. It can be daunting to make lifestyle changes and they can seem hard at first and like you’re not achieving much, but it’s important to remember you’re still lapping everyone that’s sat on the sofa doing nothing! It’s about sustainable exercise and allowing yourself a day when you have a pizza or an evening when you have a drink. Some people work better with all or nothing, but it’s about finding out what works for you. If you approach it in the right way with a positive frame of mind then exercise can shift from something you dread or may dread, to something you look forward to!
And remember, gyms aren’t for everyone so get creative and try other things, whether that’s starting to play a sport you used to enjoy or joining a dance class, it could be anything - but just get moving!
Harry’s new book ‘Get Fit, Get Happy’ is out now and available at all high street and online retailers.
Read Harry's article in the New Year issue of Health Magazine