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How can you make those good intentions last?

Struggling to get off the sofa? Have trainers, but don't often actually put them on? Or are you -- like so many of us -- someone who starts out with lots of good intentions, but gets distracted?

We've been talking to Dom King, Head of Athlete Development at Everyball, about how to get started with exercise and, more importantly, how to keep going!

Dom brings a level of expertise and professionalism to Halton's gym that you won't find just anywhere -- working, as Head of Athlete Development, with a team of experienced, certified fitness professionals. There's a broad base of knowledge there -- well beyond just tennis -- as well as lots of passion and commitment.

It's not going to be easy...

"Fitness takes willpower. Much as I'd like to sugar-coat it, getting fit takes a huge amount of commitment. Especially if you're starting out in the cold winter months, with those dark mornings and evenings.

It's easier -- of course it is -- to flop in front of the telly when you've been working all day, or running round after the kids. I've got three kids so I know how much energy that takes! It's a huge achievement to head out to the gym once you're home in the warm. But the gym is a convenient place with a specific purpose, and exercise takes even more discipline at home. At the gym, you know why you're there and what you're there to do!

I never take that effort of signing up -- and turning up -- for granted. It can take an amazing amount of courage to step into a gym for the first time, and we, as trainers, make sure to support each individual with what they need. HHFC is an intimate, supportive environment, with people of all ages and fitness levels exercising there."

Know what you want

"Knowing what you want to achieve will always help. Whether your goal is weight loss, improving your fitness, preparing for an event, coming back after illness or injury, it's important to have a clear target for yourself. If you're really committed to your goal, all your decisions will lead towards it -- rather than away from it. Fancy a chocolate bar with your cup of tea? That's fine. Just make that choice in the full knowledge that it's moving you away from your goal. Don't have it, and you're a step closer to your target.

And if one big goal seems too far away, try breaking it down into manageable chunks. Focus on one or two things at first, then move onto the next thing once you're ready."

Go public!

"Your fitness target is going to be something personal to you -- but it's a great idea to talk about with other people. Tell your friends, your family, your trainer, and you'll be less likely to give up when the going gets tough. Exercising with a friend or working with a personal trainer is great because there's someone to hold you accountable, appointments to keep, and a programme to follow.

Charity sponsorship can be a great motivator, too. Sign up for an event or challenge if you think you need that extra push, and you'll be doing something over and above yourself, which is a massive external driver."

Don't get too comfortable!

"The magic happens when things are manageably difficult. What you're doing needs to be challenging as that's when progress happens -- sorry to say it but as soon as it starts to get easy, that's when you need to push yourself further!

Once you start seeing the progress you've made -- and all that effort will mean you're constantly progressing and improving -- you'll have the motivation, the fuel, the fire to keep going.

You don't have to set aside huge chunks of time. It's possible to see real change in regular 20 or 30 minute sessions. Little and often is far better, and if it's truly important to you, you'll make time for it. Yes, it's great to find something you enjoy, but be sure it challenges you in terms of fitness. There's also an enormous amount of enjoyment from seeing progress. There will be some things you don't like, but if you practise them and improve then you're going to enjoy them more -- and feel proud of yourself, too!"

Be patient

"This can be the hardest thing to hear: the final building block of performance is patience. Yes, exercise, nutrition, getting enough sleep, and lowering stress are all important -- but you have to have patience. Fitness takes time. You can't rush progress, and you have to stay the course. So many people want results immediately and you just can't have that.

But with patience, you're setting up a virtuous circle. There are numerous studies showing that doing something good for your body links to improved mental health. The better you feel, the more exercise you want to take -- and the more you feel you can do. And the more you do the better you feel!"

Halton Health and Fitness Centre
Dom King

Affiliates and Sponsors

Get in touch with us

Everyball Tennis,,,
Halton Tennis Centre
Chestnut End, Halton
Aylesbury HP22 5PD, UK

Tel: +44 (0)1296 623453
Email: info@everyball.net

Welfare and Safeguarding

If you have any concerns regarding your or another's welfare or safety at Halton, please contact, in confidence, our Club Welfare Officer – Tom Mayer: 07771 701629 / tommayer@everyball.net or via the club office.

Download our Safeguarding guidance notes here.

The Halton Child Protection, Vulnerable young adults, Bullying and Whistle blowing policies, as well as Diversity and Inclusion policies are published on the Halton website and copies are available from the office.

Data protection and Privacy

Information and policies relating to privacy, cookies, and data protection are listed here.

The Halton Tennis Centre data protection policy is posted here (pdf download).

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