Dr Tracey King: How to stick to your new exercise regime

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Last week, I suggested we take a different approach to our health and fitness in 2013 by asking ourselves some important, personal questions: What would make me happiest this year? What kind of body/mind condition do I need to be able to realize that dream?

Hopefully you were able to find some time to think about your own unique personality, desires and goals and have made some decisions about the type of mind/body practices you are going to treat yourself to this year. Let me use myself as an example: for me, these questions led to the conclusion that this year is going to be about building up my mental and physical strength, via a simple programme that mixes up resistance and interval training. Why? Well, as much as I like the look of other people holding beautiful yoga poses, the reality is that contemplative classes don’t really do it for me. I’m not a ‘joiner’ either, so I won’t be signing up for any touch, softball or netball teams. Funnily enough (for a former competitive tennis player) I also don’t really like anything, well, competitive! So crossfit or boot camp style sessions also are out. But that’s OK! I love the solitary workout of doing weights, and I like the cardio challenge /fat-burning power of interval training – so that’s what will probably work best for me. (Plus the fact that both take relatively little time – interval training can be as short as 4 minutes! – perfect for a busy working mum).

So, applying this line of thought, you’ve figured out what you’re going to do. You may even be a few sessions into it! The next challenge is going to be sticking with it – especially once the winter months arrive and we are no longer so concerned about how we look in our beach gear. Again, what you want to do is harness the awesome power of your mind to keep yourself from losing momentum – here are a few tips that might help:

First up, don’t expect perfection. There are few things so de-motivating as comparing yourself to the airbrushed and stretched images of magazine models who are invariably extra tall, lithe and tan. Instead of referring to the perfectly styled photoshoot images of celebs, actors and professional models, notice the snaps of celebs when caught off guard – that will help you to recognise that your ‘imperfections’ are 100 per cent normal and everyday. Another strategy that will help you to stay on track is to get support. If you can afford it, consider a personal trainer or attend group fitness classes – you will find the energy and focus helps you no end. But getting support can be as simple as finding a friend who shares your goals and is willing to be your exercise buddy. This works particularly well with activities such as walking, golf or tennis where you can catch up and invest in your relationship as much as in your health. If you can find the fun in your workouts, you are much more likely to stick with them – so download cool new tunes, or interesting or funny podcasts to listen to if you are going for more solitary pursuits. Finally, don’t forget to keep track of your progress (measured against a broad spectrum of relevant criteria – not just weight or inches! For example, are you sleeping better? Do you feel happier? More energetic? Have you found yourself more resilient at work and in your personal life?)

Finally, remember that simply by hanging in there, you are going to win. New habits only take about 28 days to form, so enlist these strategies to help you persist and you can look forward to your new lifestyle becoming a way of life in the very near future. Good luck and be sure to write in to tell us how you go, and whether you find these tips useful!

Dr. Tracey ☺




Do you have a burning health question you’d like to ask Dr Tracey King? Well write your question in the comments area below and Dr Tracey will answer it for you. The best question each week wins a 12-pack of Ti Tonics to enjoy. Ti Tonics are the brainchild of Dr Tracey. They’re not only delicious but they’re good for you too. Find out more about them here. Our first winner is Mary and this is her question:

Dear Tracey, I enjoyed reading about you and your philosophy on life. Taking time out seems to be a tonic for a lot of woes we have. My question is what advice can you give to reverse aging (wrinkles, uneven skin colour, thinning hair etc) using non surgical or invasive techniques (which scare me). I love to walk and swim but I can see the freckles joining hands and it gives me a blotchy older look. Do you think supplement such as imedeen and other marine extracts would help? thank you.  Mary.


Dr Tracey King responds:

Hi Mary and thank you for your question. In a word, absolutely! The primary causes of skin damage and ageing are exposure to sunlight and environmental pollution, which cause oxidation and inflammation of the skin. You are not alone in wanting to find preventive or restorative natural products that can help to ameliorate this damage. Although there tends to be less scientific evidence for the efficacy of natural products, those high in antioxidant and/or anti-inflammatory ingredients such as Vitamin C (helps in the formation of collagen as well as being antioxidant), Vitamin E, DMAE, co-enzyme Q-10, and any supplements, food or beverages high in polyphenolic compounds such as green or white tea, grape seed extract, or olive leaf can all help bolster your body’s ability to heal itself. There are several excellent oral supplements on the market, including Imedeem but you can also sneak many of these ingredients into your daily diet, for example by using grape seed or olive oil in your salad dressing. Antipodes Skincare also has an excellent topical moisturizer containing grape seed extract which has been shown to be efficacious in clinical trials. Good luck and remember to use a good quality sunscreen daily on your hands as well as face/decolletage! 🙂

Thanks for your great question Mary and please email me your address deets to win@thestyleinsider.co.nz so we can get your Ti Tonics on their way to you.


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