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Tips for getting motivated and improving your fitness

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X-Ray production team X-Ray production team | 14:44 UK time, Monday, 15 February 2010

Dom Pascoe is an ex-army Captain, and now works as an instructor for British Military Fitness in Cardiff.

He has been working with the residents in One Street, One Goal and here he gives some top tips for improving your motivation and getting fit and healthy.


Dom attended the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst and gained a commission into the Royal Regiment of Wales in 1997. During his ten years of infantry service he served in various roles and countries including Northern Ireland, Germany, Kosovo and Iraq.

A keen long-distance marathon runner, road and mountain cyclist, Dom recently completed the gruelling 2009 Everest Marathon.

Here are his top tips for getting motivated and improving your fitness:

  • Set yourself goals: it's important to set shorter-term goals as well as long-term goals. By setting yourself weekly or fortnightly targets you're far more likely to work towards your next goal and your long-term goal as you will build your fitness up gradually.
    So for instance, if you set a goal of walking the length of your street three times a week, you can then set yourself the next target of running the length of the street three times a week, and gradually build this up to running solidly for an hour three times a week.
  • Consistency: if you're just setting out on improving your fitness, it's better to exercise little and often. Regular exercise, for example three sessions of 20 minutes of activity each week, will be better for you rather than one hour-long run just once a week. It's important to increase your fitness, but not at the cost of your health. Exercise in small chunks and when you're feeling a little fitter, you can increase the length of time that you spend on activities.
  • Listen to your body: it sounds simple, but you'll know when you can push yourself when exercising. By understanding your body you'll know when you can push yourself harder, and know that when your body is tired it's best not to overdo it.
  • Stay active: When you're starting out on an exercise plan it's important to stay active. Government guidelines recommend that adults should aim to achieve at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity activity on five or more days of the week. This may sound daunting, but incorporating household manual chores into your routine and for example, walking to the shop instead of driving, will get you moving. It may only be low level exercise, but it will get your body - and mind - into a more active attitude.
  • Confidence: we'll always find an excuse not to exercise and everybody feels a little self-conscious when just starting out. But getting yourself fitter and healthier is not about them, it's about you - be selfish and achieve your goals.
What are your tips for getting - and staying - motivated? Let us know how you're improving your fitness below.


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