The Apprentice star Katie Bulmer-Cooke on why Sunderland should get fit

Katie Bulmer-Cooke.
Katie Bulmer-Cooke.

Fitness has never been more accessible.

Back when I first started out in the industry as a super-enthusiastic 16-year-old, there was a very limited range of choice when it came to getting fit.

You either opted for a group fitness class in your local church hall, joined the leisure centre or took the plunge and treated yourself to an exclusive health club membership if you were lucky enough to have one nearby.

Fast forward to 2018 and we are spoilt for choice, with everything from budget gyms and online fitness platforms to five-star luxury boutique gyms and incredible personal trainers in every town and city, including Sunderland.

Despite this, we continue as a city and a region, to have elevated obesity rates and levels of inactivity… but why?

Read more: Health and fitness is no longer a luxury - it is part of daily life

I know the scenario, when you have so much on your to-do list that you don’t know where to start. So much so that you often end up procrastinating, and at the very time you should be doing something, you end up doing nothing.

So how do we break the cycle and ensure we find the right form of exercise that suits us, gets results and filter out the fitness distractions?

First up, take a step back from all the fitness choice, grab a pen and paper and make a list of the things that you personally look for in a fitness regime to keep you engaged. Ask yourself questions such as ‘do I prefer to exercise alone or with others’, ‘does it work better for me to workout at the gym, outdoors or at home’ and ‘which time of day works best for me to exercise.’

Keep questioning yourself and make a bullet point list of your wish list. This will give you clear criteria and make it much easier to decide which form or fitness is going to engage you best and therefore make you more adherent.

Next, once you’ve got your criteria and you’ve made a decision, don’t be swayed by your friends and the things you see on social media. Make a commitment to your chosen fitness path and give it a chance. Too many people chop and change from one thing to the next, and with a lack of consistency never see the results they crave.

Set a fixed timescale of at least a month as a trial period before you allow your head to be turned.

Finally, just get on with it. So many people make excuses about why they should skip their fitness commitment/workout.

There is no way to sugar coat this … you just have to do it.

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You can either have an excuse or a result … never both, so pull on your gym kit and trainers and give it your best shot. Much like other areas of our lives such as work or relationships, you get out what you put in.

Wouldn’t it be great if we could start to make positive changes to our city’s obesity and inactivity levels?

The good news is we can … we just have to get up, get moving and make it happen.