Yoga workout

How about working on flexibility. It’s so important, but something (myself included) probably don’t do enough of. So here is a 10 minute session to add into your day, give it a go this week.

September double challenge

It’s the start of autumn, new school term and the lead up to Christmas (can’t believe I wrote that word already!). So lets have a double challenge to get us ready for the winter months.

Work your glutes and your arms with these two challenges!

Cardio challenge

For this month I thought we would add in some cardio. Go at your own pace and build it up if you’re just starting out, for the more frequent exercisers go for the harder version of each exercise. Enjoy.

Working hard but can’t shift the pounds?

I am sure most people trying to lose a few pounds have wondered why they can’t shift it. Could you change up the workout? If you always do the same thing then your muscles adapt and the body is more efficient – using less energy, and therefore burning less calories. Or maybe it’s your diet? A few tweaks could make all the difference. Work smart, eat well and be consistent.

Have a look at these tips! 

Ab blast

At the gym I work out we run hourly ab sessions, if your gym doesn’t (or you want to try something different, try out this blast.

Toned up

Toning up is a phrase every Personal Trainer will hear…. It means something different to each person, usually women want to look lean but are nervous of weights.. don’t be! read more here.

In the meantime start your ‘toning’ challenge by following this workout as part of your weekly routine.

18-minute workout

A band, some dumbbells and 18 minutes, twice a week, that’s all you need. Not much to ask… Give this workout a try, it might become part of your regular plan when you don’t have time for anything more.

Kettlebell workout

If you have access to kettlebells at your gym, you could try this out. Make sure you learn the technique. The work comes from the glutes, hamstrings core – not your back! If your back hurts then stop! Maybe get a gym instructor to show you before you start using them…

Ab workout

These ab exercises are ideal for those who may find getting down onto the floor tricky, making them suitable for almost everyone. The workout shows weights but a resistance band could do the same (just tied to a rail/door handle. Why not add it into your weekly routine!

Box away the blues

This box/kickboxing session will not only give you a cardio blast but boxing can really help you blow away the blues or stress (and who doesn’t get stressed – work, family, Christmas shopping, queues, traffic jams – I could go on).

Enjoy!

Healthy habits

Sticking to a detox/diet/clean eating plan of any sort takes lots of willpower. And at this time of year it’s even harder…

These tips show how a few simple tweaks to your everyday life can make all the difference. A bit more exercise (easy – walking around Christmas shopping!), cutting down on treats (but not cutting them out so you can still have the odd mince pie), and swapping your daily fix of coffee to a healthier option (you can still have coffee  just reduce the size or extra syrup/toppings).

And don’t forget to get your health checks done – knowing what’s going on inside will help you make the right choices for you.

2-in-1 fitness

This routine is great for when you are short on time – a total of 4 rounds will be only 30 minutes. PLUS it offers cardio and weights in one workout. Some of the moves may be a bit advanced if this is your first time, make sure you can do all the moves first (without weight) and then add in a weight that’s challenging but not too heavy.

Enjoy

Circuit training newbie

If you have never been to a circuit style class before, these pointers might highlight why you should give it a go. Note – they might not be called circuits anymore but HIIT, Bootcamp or Tabata all have the same thing in common – they are effectively a circuit.

It’s a great way to train – you can get through lots of exercises – strength and cardio – in a set amount of time, just set a timer for each station (and rest) and you’re good to go. To do a lot of strength work you may need to add in weights, but to get started just use your own body, keep it simple and you’ll get a good workout.

DIY circuit session

If you haven’t tried a circuit class before – you could give this a go! There are several options to keep your body guessing and working hard. Change it up every session and you will get a good all round workout.

3-minute blast

Perfect way to end a session A 3-minute blast – simple exercises that will make you work hard but for only three minutes. 

It’s also a perfect blast for when fitting in any kind of exercise seems impossible!

Read through the feature to make sure you understand any variations, watch the video and then give it a go! Once you’ve got the hang of this one, tweak it with other exercises (burpees, walking lunges, mountain climbers & bicycle crunches are a few examples), but keep to the format. Focus on your technique and push yourself hard – it’s just 3 minutes!

Core challenge

We all need to keep our core strong, as it sounds – it’s the core of our body, like a trunk for a tree, and if it becomes weak it causes all sort of problems with our posture and ability to carry out everyday tasks.

Here’s a great addition to your workout to keep the core strong. As with any exercise, start at your own level and progress – so you might not achieve all of it first time round but after a few times you can add in more.

80/20

The rule you hear is 80% diet and 20% exercise to lose weight, but is that right?

Well yes cutting out unhealthy options will ensure you are able to lose some of those pounds – but it’s a battle. By adding in exercise you can rev up your metabolism and help your body burn the stored fat. It also means you don’t have deprive yourself of everything you like. So the truth is you need both!

Have a read and see how you can incorporate small changes into your daily life to get you to your goal.

30 days of Tabata

Four weeks of Tabata training….. If you like your workouts short, but aren’t sure how to change it or progress it, then this 30 day challenge is for you! Enjoy!

Just remember to pace yourself if you haven’t trained like this before.

Circuits

Here’s a great circuit for anyone, it’s based on the idea of getting hiking ready….for those who are only used to gym or flat terrain. Why not give it a try, just to vary your own workout – or set yourself a goal to train towards a real hike.

Reach your goal

Reaching your goal, whatever it may be, can seem impossible at times. This article has some great tips and inspiration from people who set their goals and met them. Everyone has a different method, finding one (or a few) that work for you will help you stay on track until you get there…and you will.

Remember it will take time and effort, but if you don’t make any changes, then nothing will change. Take inspiration and beat that goal!

12 week taster

Here’s a taster of something from my 12-week programme, why not try it this week as part of your usual routine and if you’d like to see more. you can sign up here.

Upper body:

Beginner: 8-12 repetition. Intermediate: 12-16 reps. Advanced: 16-20 reps. Rest 30-45 secs and repeat another once or twice.

Make sure you choose a weight you can complete the repetitions with using good form – but that are hard enough for your last two repetitions to feel tough!

Bicep curls

Tricep dips

Shoulder press

Side raises

Push up (can be done on knees)

Bent over row or single arm row

five minute workout

Who doesn’t have 5 minutes? Watch this workout video and see if you can fit it in whenever you have 5 minutes! An ad break is 3 minutes so you could get it done in two breaks! That’s got to be better than just sitting watching ads…..

Tips for a healthy balanced life

There are hundreds of tips for weight loss, some better than others, but some of these tips are just good common sense, or helpful hints for a general healthier lifestyle, whatever your goals are.

This article does that too, some of the points such as getting more sleep, changing your workout routine and eating from smaller plates, are useful and well-known tips. However, being reminded to focus on our daily non-exercise based activities are a simple way to keep us healthier. For people who don’t like gyms, this is a godsend – if you like walking, gardening or spend a lot of time doing chores – it all counts! Just keep active!

Hard work makes you hangry

Working out first thing in the morning is not only a great way to start the day, but it makes sure you get your exercise in before the day really gets under way (and therefore less likely to skip it). But, you could undo your hard work if you get too hungry post workout.

These tips highlight the pitfalls and suggest easy solutions to fix them.  You know that pre and post workout eating is important, but what should you eat? Have you  had enough sleep and drank enough water… All these little things can help ensure you don’t eat more than you work off! Which means results will come quicker.

Making exercise your priority

We all know that good exercise and eating habits make you healthier and can improve your life in all sorts of ways – from self esteem to living longer, so I was pleased to read this interesting piece, which is well worth reading if you are struggling with your work/life balance (who isn’t), and could be worth forwarding to your manager! 

It also reminded me that I have to focus on the balance of my life too. I might train other people to make my living but fitting in my own training can be really tough and I am not alone! That’s why trainers often hire other trainers – because the commitment means you won’t forego it.  I am making that time – even if it means I have to adapt my training plan – so far so good!

Fat-busting Tabata

Tabata workouts are quick, simple but very effective. Here’s a few ideas that may surprise you! The bike, treadmill or swimming can work if you are at the gym, but so can high knees, mountain climbers or box jumping (or step) and they can be done at home. Mix it up to keep it fresh. All you need is 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds of rest – repeat 14-20 times and you’ll have completed a touch workout in 10 minutes  Who doesn’t have 10 minutes?

 

Boost your metabolism

As we get older we notice many outward changes, but just as many happen on the inside. A particularly annoying one is that our metabolism slows – which can help cause weight gain. Unfortunately the usual reaction to weight gain, is to try to lose it, but a slower metabolic rate makes it much harder.

While reading, I saw this article and how to help yourself, not all of the points are groundbreaking, but there are some very interesting points which could help. Such as, lifting weights (nothing new – we are constantly being reminded we need to increase bone density, better posture etc), but what about doing it in the morning – setting your metabolism up for the day. Small changes could make a difference. Definitely worth a try!

Take your abs to the next level

 

How about taking your abs to the next level.?  We all get stuck in a rut – repeating the exercises we  know, but you need to change it up if you want to see results. Easier said than done – well here’s a helping hand – some truly tough abdominal exercises to keep your ab workout fresh for a while.

Some of these may be too extreme for right now, but take a look and build up to them.

Lean tips

Who doesn’t love a list? Here’s one that has some very useful tips to keep you lean. Obvious some may be, but are you actually following them? Some more tricky than others (no. 10 for example), but most of them can be added in to your everyday life and it’s the small changes that make the difference. So have a read and see what changes you can include in your life if you want to get a bit leaner.

Perky glutes

As a trainer I have been asked to lift bums (not literally), but if you don’t have a trainer, why not try this workout instead…. Enjoy!

Try this 30-day challenge, adding in some weights (and cans from the cupboard will do) can make even a short workout valuable. Give it a try. Remember to work at your pace and progress as you feel ready, don’t over do it!

Enjoy!

Sabotage!

If you don’t feel like you’re achieving those fitness goals, it could be that something away from the gym that is hurting your progress.

If you are following your plan, your form is good, and you are mixing it up enough to keep your body guessing, then maybe you need to check your eating, sleeping and stress levels. Anyone of these could be sabotaging your goals.

Have a look at this article to help you avoid common pitfalls. 

Summer holiday workout

If you’re planning a spring/summer break soon – try this video for some inspiration. 

As with all workouts, warm up and cool down, and only work at your own level – change exercises if the ones suggested are too hard you right now, or hurt you. Feeling sore the day after is one thing, feeling pain is not ok!

Fitness motivation

Working out can be hard – even for the most committed! There will always be a day when you want to skip the gym – sometimes that’s not such a bad thing, rest and recovering is important, but so is staying on track with your goals.

To keep motivated you could try these tips, simple but effective. 

Workout nutrition

For people into serious training the nutrition element is really important, this article talks you through, pre, during and post workout nutrition, including supplements. 

While supplements might not be something you’re interested in, the article gives a good explanation of what your body needs and the reason why.

At the very least, consider the pre and post workout nutrition of protein and carbohydrate to help your work out and recovery.

What is a portion?

Counting calories was always seen as the key for managing a healthy balanced diet, but like all health and fitness news, something else always comes along to change our thinking. Portion control now being used as the way to keep your meals and snacks under control.

Ultimately it’s what works for you – counting calories or managing portion sizes. But are your portions right? This article is a simple guide.

If you want to look into further help with portions the British Heart Foundation guides are interesting.

Non-diet diet tips

Sounds good…. Sometimes concentrating too much on what you’re not having makes it even harder, so how about living a healthier lifestyle, improving fitness, losing weight or just improving your general mood as a by product of a few tips that make you feel good?

Try these tips and see what a difference it makes.

Break your work day up with a walk. Yep even a few minutes every few hours, walking around the office will improve your overall health and can help reduce the risk of later life chronic conditions. To take it further, take the stairs, walk or cycle your commute (or part of it).

Water as you know is vital, but drinking it plain for some people is just too dull. Add in pieces of fruit – berries, lime, lemon, mint, cucumber – whatever you life, if it tastes good you’re more likely to keep hydrated.

Watch an hour less TV a day…. What if you used that time to do gardening or house chores (burning calories while you’re at it), spent time with friends or family, went for a walk? It would give you a bit more time to hit the gym too…..

Most importantly, spend less time being critical of yourself. Too much time telling yourself you aren’t able to do something or you can only do it/wear it/be it if you lose weight isn’t going to help you achieve your goal – it will only help stop you. Be your own cheerleader.

 

Eat right & Workout – not just for weight loss!

If every you need motivation to keep up the healthy lifestyle, this article can help.  It highlights so many benefits to eating well and exercising regularly. There are the obvious ones you’ve heard a million times, but what about improving your self esteem, boosting your sex life, having better sleep, clearer skin and reducing mental health issues.

There are so many more reasons, not just to beat the scales (or beat yourself up about them). It’s not all about weight loss – there are so many positive health benefits for your everyday life (and for your family too).

What’s the difference?

If you’re unsure of what counts as circuits and intervals or you’ve never heard about pyramid training methods, this simple guide can help you create your own short exercise routine – which can be done anywhere.

If you’re stuck for exercise ideas – try theses:

Cardio:

skipping (with or without a rope)

high knees

jumping jacks/star jumps

running on the spot (or between to points)

Strength:

Squats (add a jump to make it cardio too)

lunges

press ups

tricep dips (off a sofa/bench or on the floor)

Core:

bicycle

leg raises

curl up

plank (if you do only one core exercise do this one!)

GOAL!

So when you’ve hit your fitness/weight goal – what happens? It’s hard to know how to maintain – you’ve spent so long trying to achieve the goal, to finally make it (or at least this goal), you need to learn what to do next – this article keeps it simple and achievable.

But don’t forget to set yourself another goal – it keeps you motivated, ideally something that keeps you fit and healthy without excess. Maybe take part in a charity event or become a workout buddy to a friend that needs a little extra motivation……

Eating post workout

So you hit the gym for an hour, worked hard, and you’re really hungry, but haven’t planned ahead……

You’ve probably made at least one of these mistakes, as highlighted by Women’s Health. .

Eating a pre-planned snack or meal (depending on the time of your session) is key, you need to replenish your body with healthy food, but sometimes (and we’ve all done it), what we actually do isn’t always the best option.