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Best Ways to Start Getting In Shape


Anne Iarchy – Founder and Owner of The Finchley Weight Loss Centre by AI Fitness, and Public Speaker

If you haven’t done any exercise for a long time and have decided to get in shape, it’s very tempting to go all in; book yourself in for a few exercise classes, or hit the gym hard. However, unless you want to be all achy, and risk injury, that’s probably not the best way to do it.


Personally, I always recommend people who haven’t done any exercise for years, to start with regular walking for a couple of weeks. For some, even walking gets them out of breath. Also, walking longer distances, is a great way of exercising and getting in shape. Once you start walking, you then can envisage building things up.

It’s important for everyone to focus both on cardiovascular exercise, such as walking, as well as strength training. Cardiovascular exercise is, as you can guess, great for the heart, expands your lung capacity, and helps with blood circulation.


Strength training builds lean muscle mass, but also helps with bone density, so can help prevent osteoporosis. If you’ve never done any strength training, I highly recommend you sign up with a personal trainer for a few sessions. It’s not scary, don’t worry, but it’s very important to have the right technique.

When you join a large class, the instructor does not have the time or ability to check everyone for correct posture and form while doing the exercises. So unless you know what you’re doing, you are at risk of injury.

Start with body weight exercises, or lighter weights, and slowly build up. With any exercise, you would want to start struggling on the last 4-5 repetitions of the same exercise at every set. That’s generally a good way to find out if you are using the right weight, or doing the exercise at the right intensity for you.


It’s mega important to have a good warmup routine, as well as a stretching routine. Exercising without stretching at the end will again lead to injury, aches, pains and stiffness.

I’m not mentioning injury to scare you off. Exercise is great, and getting in shape is important. But, I’ve heard of way too many people getting injured because they’ve done too much to soon, or they’ve done things the wrong way. So start slowly, get the technique right, and build up as you get stronger and fitter!


Anne Iarchy is the founder and owner of The Finchley Weight Loss Centre by AI Fitness. She helps busy professionals create a healthy lifestyle for weight loss, exercise, nutrition and mindset change.

Anne’s passion was developed after struggling with weight and health issues herself while working in the corporate world as an IT security director. She found being on the road, traveling and in meetings made staying healthy a challenge.

At the time, she was working with a personal trainer herself, but never received a full-solution to her struggles. So in 2010, Anne left the corporate world, and started helping people just like her.

She continues to develop her knowledge in nutrition, supplementation, as well as mindset. And is a regular speaker within her local community in North London.

Anne’s latest eBook, ‘Ditch the Diet‘ is now available.

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Diana Robinson- Nutritionist

Okay, what I’m about to say may seem like a cop-out, but the best way to start getting in shape is just that, start! Having been there myself, I understand how hard it is to start exercising when you have been sedentary for a while, or perhaps, most of your life. There are no easy ways to get you off that couch and into the gym (or fresh air).


When it comes down to it, you have to think, ‘the workout will not last forever.’ At some point, it will end, and you will feel amazing. ‘Nothing lasts forever.’ This advice was given to me by a friend when I was in my late teens, and it has stuck with me ever since. It was to help get me through a rough day, and I think of it often when I have to do something I am dreading.

As Nike says, ‘Just do it.’ I never really understood, like really appreciated that message until the other day when I didn’t want to do that high-intensity workout I had planned. I thought, ‘Just do it. Just put on your gym gear, turn up to class and the rest will flow.’


Another thing that helps me get to the gym when I’m feeling tired is something my Kung Fu Shifu says to us, although not exactly these words. “You don’t always have to give 100 percent. Some days you are stronger than others. On days where you don’t want to train, just turn up. Start packing your bag, get in the car and stand on the mat. Once you get going, you often feel much better and train as normal. If not, that’s okay. It is better to do it at 50 percent than not at all.

I apply my Kung Fu Shifu’s philosophy to my gym workouts. The thought of a GRIT class can be daunting when you’ve had a long day at work, and all you want to do is fall on the couch. However, I know that it will be over in 30-minutes, and I will feel so good, content, with lots more energy than when I started and, this is the real kicker, with no guilt! I also think to myself, ‘Okay, you don’t have to push yourself in this class, just half ass it a bit, it’s still heaps better than not doing it at all.’ That thought always gets me going, rather than the idea of, ‘Oh no, I’ve got slug it out soon. I’m so tired, gosh that’s going to be so bad’.


One other important thing I have come to realise is, never skip Monday. When you go to that first class (or whatever exercise you do), it sets you up for the week, and you often train more times that week and make better food choices.

When you skip your Monday exercise, and think, ‘That’s okay, I’ll just go tomorrow instead and make up a few more days this week.’ I guarantee you that you won’t make all those other days you’ve planned. You will be unmotivated and fall into a slump. So by the weekend, you will feel guilty and will tell yourself that you’ll start back next week. When this happens, the key is not to beat yourself up about it too much. Recognize that you didn’t make good choices this week, and use those feelings you have now to remind you to make better decisions next week. At the end of the day, you are accountable for yourself, and when you take the easy way out, you’re only hurting yourself.


Remember the ‘easy way out’ is the hardest route to choose. It leads poor health, which, in turn, makes the simple act of living tough. It also leads to costly doctors appointments, medications and often multiple surgeries (multiple, because the problem’s source isn’t addressed, along with your diet and lifestyle).

DianaRobinson_PhotoDiana Robinson is a Melbourne based nutritionist working in clinical practice with a special interest in food intolerance, fitness and mood disorders.

Diana graduated from Melbourne’s Endeavour College of Natural Health with a Bachelor Degree in Health Science – Nutritional Medicine. She is a firm believer in living life to the full and taking care of your body by feeding it healthy, nutritious food but not forgetting to nourish your mental wellbeing also.

Diana encourages patients to seek enjoyment from the food they eat rather than having a negative relationship with food. When you learn to eat right, you will learn that food is your friend and not your enemy. 

You can follow her Instagram for inspiration and recipes @dianar_nutrition.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on each of the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

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