Amongst the most familiar New Year’s resolutions every year, is the desire to get fit. Unfortunately it’s also one of the most common to run out of steam by mid-January. The body is willing but the mind is weak and vice-versa.

Twenty-first century people are a busy group. With so many distractions in life it’s no surprise that we struggle to keep promises to ourselves. But eventually our bodies do bite back. Things get sore, soft and saggy and one day we realise how much we’ve taken them for granted.

If you suffer from exercise-phobia or are a born procrastinator, but still want to incorporate a basic fitness regime into your life, then here are a few tips from two MMA fighters, arguably the most disciplined athletes in the world.

Dan Severn
Get Out of the Box

It’s important to remember that working out doesn’t need to take a long time. Short and regular workouts are the way to go. Also, you don’t need a warehouse-sized room full of the latest gear in order to get fit. UFC Hall of Famer, Dan “The Beast” Severn knows what he’s talking about when it comes to working up a sweat. “There is no need for expensive equipment,” says Severn, a renowned wrestler and mixed martial artist. “Most people simply lack the imagination and the motivation to get started. Research and find workouts and techniques that work for you and your body type and then choose something that does not frustrate you so that you remain motivated. You might be surprised by all the things you can do in the comfort of your office and home, simply by using your imagination.”

Creativity is important when it comes to maintaining interest. Think outside the box, look around for inspiration and realise that what works for others may not work for you. The gym doesn’t even have to come into it. “Currently,” says Severn, “I am working on two little exercise pamphlets, geared for exactly this kind of thing. One is for the office and one is for the home, and it requires NO equipment. Just falls into the category of motivation.”

Frank Shamrock
Find Your Niche

What do you like doing? If you’re interested in boxing, shadowboxing is an activity you can do anywhere. Find something that you can see yourself doing for the long run. However, if you’re looking for a few basic ideas to start off with, then Frank Shamrock, the former UFC light-heavyweight champion and author of MMA for Dummies has a few tips. “For those with no equipment and little time,” says Shamrock, “I would recommend some simple full-body exercises and a circuit for the body. Start with Squats, push-ups, leg lifts and sit-ups. Count off 20 reps and work your way up to five reps per week. All this can be done in a very short period of time and all from the comfort of your living room.”

Take the First Step…Then the Next…Then the Next…

Lao-Tzu tells us that the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. But nobody else can take that step for you. Remember: you are the best piece of exercise equipment that you will ever own. Your imagination, self-discipline and enthusiasm are all you will ever need to get fit.