Personal Training Tips

Build exercise into your commute to and/or from work. Run, Cycle, Walk all or some of the journey. Get off the bus a stop early, park further from work, keep change of fresh clothes at work etc. Great for body and mind and saves money too.

You are more likely to fit in exercise and to stick to your workouts if you have a training partner e.g. friend, neighbour, work colleague, family member. Having a training partner will keep you motivated, you're less likely to want to let them down by missing a session, you can have fun and compete with and challenge each other to progress.  

Make your exercise plan fit your life and choose activities that are convenient to your commitments e.g. work, family etc. Pick activities you enjoy doing and that do not feel like 'going to the gym'.  Try to work out at the time of the day you have the most energy - if you're a morning or evening person then plan your exercise times accordingly.

Achieving your goals will give you a great feeling of satisfaction, pride and sense of achievement. It will make all the hard work worthwhile. Write down your goals, make your goals specific, measurable and with a time deadline. Make the commitment to achieve them and constantly review them throughout 2013. Relentlessly go after them. Knowing what you want to achieve is the first step you need to take in order to achieve your health and fitness goals. Remember, regular, small steps lead to giant, progress strides.

It is important to be patient with your progress. Consistency is key to seeing results. Do not get discouraged if progress seems to take longer than you had hoped. If you stay committed, determined, focused and persistent, you will see results. You may want to write your goals down to hold yourself accountable or talk to friends/family. Whatever you decide to do, keep moving and be patient: small steps lead to giant strides.

The hardest part of any workout can be the first few minutes. If you are tired, upset, have had a stressful day or just have things on your mind, you may not feel like working out. Set your emotions aside for ten minutes and do a warm-up by going for a walk or a few lunges or couple of minutes of boxing. As you warm up and clear your mind of any issues, this will make you focus only on the workout you are about to do and the benefits to be gained.

If your car does not have petrol, it will not be able to run. The same principle applies to your body. If you have not eaten or drunk enough of the right foods/drinks, you will not be able to push your body during your workouts. Eating/drinking regularly ensures a steady supply of energy into your body so that you avoid energy slumps and also eating too much in one sitting. Eat whole grains, plenty of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and drink lots of water.

When you first start exercising, it is a good idea to seek the advice of professionals to insure you are making the right choices. Getting the consent of your doctor is a must before beginning any exercise program and will save you countless problems. Meeting with a personal trainer or exercise instructor will allow you to get up to speed fast. The more you learn about working out, different exercises, proper technique, stretching, nutrition etc, the easier it is to maximize your progress.

When beginning an exercise program, set a realistic amount of time you will workout each week. Spend a few minutes each week mapping out your schedule and decide where exercise fits in the best - what days and times. It is also a good idea to decide on a back-up plan for those days when you get off track. The more realistic you are up front, the easier it will be to stay motivated.

With your health and fitness plan, focus on the basics and excel at them. Don't overcomplicate matters. Ensure you:

  • Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time focused) goals,
  • Get more active more often each day (keep your exercise varied, challenging, fun and progressive),
  • Eat nutritionally well every 2-3 hours,
  • Drink 2-3 litres of water a day,
  • Stay motivated, committed, determined and relentless

 

Invest in a pedometer to count the number of steps you take per day. Challenge yourself to achieve 7,500 steps per day. Walk more during the day, walk at lunch time, walk on an evening, walk to work etc. The number of daily steps you do is a great indicator of your daily activity levels and whether your lifestyle is too sedentary. Sit less, stand more, move more.

Spend less time sitting and more time standing/moving. This has many benefits including raising our heart rate and forcing our muscles to contract. Ways to stand/move more and sit less include:

  • standing whilst commuting to work on the train/bus,
  • doing an active task whilst watching tv like ironing,
  • embracing frequent screen breaks by getting out of your office chair,
  • parking a few minutes walk away from work etc.

You don't need an expensive gym membership to achieve your health and fitness goals. Think 'outside of the gym'. Use your home, your garden, the local park, woodland, fields etc. Use objects like park benches for step ups, railings for pull ups, steps for running etc. So many imaginative ways to get active and fit and to enjoy your exercise in fresh air and with great scenery.

Encourage your neighbours, family, friends and work colleagues to exercise and get active with you. For instance, set up a walking club, a running team, a dance class, a weekly sports game e.g. five a side football or dodgeball etc. This will make your fitness training more enjoyable and rewarding. Also, it will help to keep you motivated and you will get a great workout.

For optimum progress aim to continually change elements of your training routine every 4-6 weeks to prevent boredom, to stop your body adapting to the exercise and to challenge yourself. For instance, regulalry change the repititions (11 rather than 10), the sets (3 rather than 2), the speed (5mph run rather than 4.5mph) and the type of exercise (cycling and swimming rather than just gym work) etc.

As part of your long-term health and fitness plan, to help maximise your progress, to keep your body guessing and to avoid boredom, add variety to your training by using different forms of exercise. For instance, Gym on a Monday, Football on a Wednesday, Zumba on a Friday and Cycling on a Saturday.

Breakfast - Porridge with blueberries

Mid-morning snack - Small handful of almonds

Lunch - Jacket potato with Tuna and salad

Mid-afternoon snack - Pear or Apple

Dinner - Salmon steak with vegetables

 

Surround yourself with positive people, for instance your training partner, and tell yourself that you will achieve your goals.

Think of why you are putting the effort in and keep evidence of your progress to keep you focused on your goals and motivated e.g. progress photographs.

Write down and constantly think about what you want to achieve in the short term e.g. 2 months, in the medium term e.g. 6 months and in the long term e.g. 12 months plus.

Look at ways you can reduce your calorie intake by swapping your favourite treats for 'healthier' treats:

Swap two scoops of ice cream (210 calories) and have two scoops of frozen yogurt (150 calories)

Swap one pint of lager (150 calories) and have one glass of red wine (80 calories)

Swap one large latte (310 calories) and have one small skinny latte (130 calories)

Make small changes to your lifestyle that increase your actvity and exercise levels, for instance walking/cycling to work, standing whilst talking on the phone and going for a family swim every Sunday morning. Small, regular changes (as opposed to sudden changes) will soon become habits of a lifetime.

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"I am now much fitter and stronger and my body shape has changed signifiacntly for the better. I am far more toned and even the bingo wings have disappeared and have been replaced with nicely toned arms. "