07 Sep Can I Really Change My Body In 30 Days?
The truth is that yes, you can change your body in 30 days.
Naturally, you are unlikely to wake up on day 31 with the bulging biceps of a body builder, nor morph from couch surfer to swimsuit model either.
But after decades working with bodies of all shapes and sizes, what Flex instructors definitely can advise is that with 30 days of rigorous, dedicated exercise, you will see and feel huge change – physically and mentally – that is highly likely to create a new, lifetime habit.
And if you want to live better for longer, then this is vital. Plus, we’ve seen it time and time again: once you start the challenge, you’ll wonder what you were worried about in the first place.
Here, two of Hong Kong’s most experienced trainers explain how to stick with a 30-day exercise plan so you can feel the change once and for all. Let’s hear from Xtend Barre® and Classical Pilates instructors Anna Serafinas Luk and Riel Bulos.
Instead of thinking this journey as a difficult task or chore, think of it as a chance to dedicate yourself to a full immersion. For example, being 100 per cent fully present in every class you take is key. When you can commit your mind to this journey fully, your body will stop thinking it’s hard.
You don’t have to be vegan or vegetarian to take part. Do up the vegetables and fruits portion in your diet and cut down the meat products. You want to eat as unprocessed as you can. There’s a saying that if you grandmother does not recognise anything on the ingredients list, it’s probably not good for you.
On the days you’re not in the studio. do something fun. Continue with an uplifting hobby or pick up a new one: reading, painting, hiking, singing or dancing. When you learn something new, you challenge your mental and physical capacities, and this is how you stay young and healthy. This is perhaps also a good opportunity to quit bad habits such as smoking or excessive drinking.
Remember, a 30-day journey is merely a start of a lifelong practice. What we learn from the mat or on the apparatus – breathing, body awareness, acceptance, mindfulness, a positive mindset – can totally be applied to daily life. But the true practice begins outside of the studio. The poses and workouts are simply a tool to facilitate that learning process.
As motivation, set an intention at the start of your 30-Day journey. Ask yourself why you want to do this. Is it to improve flexibility? To become healthier in general? To de-stress? Get stronger? So, whenever you feel let down, disappointed, deflated or are in doubt during the practice (or any moment in life in general), check in with the intention again.
It is okay to steer off course, but it’s important to recognize this and slowly get back on course. Little by little, your practice will come and your perspective and body will change. I am in no doubt that this will lead to a happier life!
Consistency is the key, because exercise is addictive. The more you do, the more you boost your energy and your moods. If you are exercising most days of the week over a period of a few weeks, this will become habitual and you will feel the need to move your body. It will start to dictate to you what you need and have to do. If you are not used to exercise, the first few days may be slightly challenging. But once you start to feel and notice the effects of regular exercise, you will be spurred on.
Then there is food. Forget the word ‘diet’. Rather than thinking of cutting things out to aid weight loss, add healthier options such as brown rice, replace sweet snacks with nuts or vegetable sticks and eat loads of fresh vegetables, salad and protein.
Avoid alcohol. Eat good fats such as avocado, olive and coconut oils. Remember to eat regularly, have a good breakfast, don’t skip lunch and a lighter evening meal. If you are doing a lot of exercise, you will need to feed the body with nutritious food. Most of all, drink loads of water.
On days you’re not in the studio, make a conscious effort to use the stairs rather take the escalator or lift. Take a brisk walk to blow out the cobwebs and boost energy and mood. Go for an early morning swim or jog. Walk everywhere!
Ultimately, listen to your body, take ownership of your exercise routine. Be there or be square!
Flex makes it easy to get started and stay focused. Our 30-Day Pilates Challenge runs from 1 – 30 September 2021. Complete 12/18 sessions in the month of September and receive a HK$400/$800 rebate at month-end! Visit Promotions on our website for more details.