New Year, New You (Again)
January is the month when many people are super-motivated and make their resolutions for the year ahead.
But do you set the same goals each year? And do you ever reach your goals?
If what you tried last time didn’t work, what makes you think that doing the same thing all over again is going to give you a different outcome? Because if it didn’t work last time you tried it, you need to change your plan of action!
Losing weight and getting fit is one of the most common resolutions, especially after spending the festive season eating and drinking so much. This is the reason why the gyms are packed this month, but after a couple of months of the initial ‘I’m going to lose weight and get fit’ motivation, many give up.
But you don’t need to be one of the quitters! There are strategies for success in keeping that Health and Fitness motivation going all year.
Make it a Social thing……
Social interaction has been shown to make people more likely to Workout so join a fitness class, a local running or sports group, get yourself a gym buddy or hire a personal trainer. Paying out in advance for things may be a financial commitment, however, combine it with a commitment to another person and you’re much more likely to stick with your program. If you can’t make it to a group, having an online social fitness community (e.g., Facebook group) can also inspire you to keep working towards your goals.
Set and Commit to a specific Goal…….
Although the long-term goal may be to lose 2 stone or run a 10k, it’s a good idea to set short term goals too. Sign up to the race and put it in your diary, but also set yourself weekly/monthly challenges that will lead you to your main goal. Make sure your goals are S.M.A.R.T (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time framed) and write them down!
Find the Best Exercise and Diet Plan for you……..
The best Exercise and Diet plan for you is the one that you enjoy doing!. You are far more likely to stay consistent if you actually enjoy what you’re doing and therefore this commitment will bring the greater long-term results. If you find it boring, you won’t stick to it so try something else!
Those low moments when you feel like stuffing your face or cancelling your gym session are bound to happen so plan a strategy for dealing with it. If you blow it on a night out, get back on it the next day, it doesn’t mean you’ve failed – you only fail when you give up!
You don’t have to exercise or eat like an athlete, it doesn’t matter if you’re first or last and so what if you didn’t get a slimmer of the week award!. The most important thing to making your New Year’s resolutions work in 2020 is to keep at it!
Happy 2020 – Here’s to your Health, Fitness and SUCCESS!
Get Active at the Office
A recent study shows that the average British office worker spends more than 2 months of the year slumped at their office chair! With just under a third of workers taking a lunch break and 95% saying they don’t see any sunlight in the winter months, it’s not surprising that working long hours leads to a sedentary lifestyle!
Inactivity and leading a sedentary lifestyle can not only double your risk of many Chronic illnesses such as Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes, but it can also impact your Mental Health and Well-being and can create many Postural problems.
Being more active during the day can massively improve your Health, Happiness AND make you more alert and productive at work.
So, if you are one of those who sit at a desk all day, here’s some tips to try.
Are you sitting Comfortably?
Making sure your desk, chair, monitor and telephone are all set up correctly. Your back should be supported, your feet should rest on the floor and your arms horizontal whilst typing. Sit upright and try not to slump.
Keep Active during the day
At least every hour, try to get up and move away from your desk – even if its just to go to the loo or make a drink.
Take a lunch break
Even a 20-minute break outside in the fresh air will give you a mental boost and you’ll come back to your desk feeling refreshed re-energised and more productive.
Make the Most of your Commute to work
If you know you are going to be completely inactive during office hours, make your journey to and from work as active as possible. Walk or cycle to work, park further away or get off the bus a couple of stops earlier so you at least get some of your daily steps in.
Get your colleagues on board
Set up a team challenge, get a lunchtime walking group together or arrange to go to the gym before or after work. Being part of a like-minded group of co-workers can really motivate you all to keep active.
It’s not just employees that can benefit, a Healthy workforce makes Happier workers, which will not only be more alert, productive and increase staff morale, but will be less likely to have time off due to illness. So, get the bosses on board too!
Do you appreciate your Journey?
‘What are your goals?’ is one of the first questions I ask new clients when I see them. It’s important to establish a goal so I can make sure that the training plan is going to lead them to achieve what they want from personal training.
Losing weight, getting fit, having a flat tummy or shapely arms are the most common answers.
It’s not just about the final destination
It’s great to have a goal in mind and be working towards it, however appreciating the journey to achieve it is also important. While your working towards your main goal, try not to put too much emphasis on how great your going to feel when achieve your final goal, that you don’t notice or appreciate the changes along the way. All progress (e.g. losing a pound or running for 5 minutes more etc.) is progress. Yes, you may not have lost a stone yet or ran the full 5K but you should be really proud of yourself for each and every achievement along the way.
Self-appreciation is so important to our well-being – so make sure you learn to love who you are and where you are at every moment of your journey!
Progress is progress
As a PT and Class instructor I see a lot of people on a mission to get Fit and Healthy (obviously, it’s my job!). For those who I see week in and week out, it’s amazing to see their progress! I see fitness confidence improving, increased healthy choices being made and (as my clients will tell you) there’s nothing better than seeing some muscles emerging – it’s the best part of my job! I always make sure I tell them how well they’re doing. But what sometimes disappoints me is that they don’t always see it themselves just how fantastic they are doing, because they’re too focused on the end goal and that they’re not there yet.
Remember losing a pound is amazing, completing a workout is amazing, eating a healthy meal is amazing – any progress is amazing! Wherever you are at this very time of your life, remember you are amazing right now, so appreciate how well you’re doing.
If you’re on a Health, Fitness or Weight-loss journey, PLEASE make sure you’re loving and appreciating yourself along the way! X
A Day in my Life
As a Personal Trainer, Class Instructor, Writer, Business owner and a single Mum, I have no choice but to lead a super organised lifestyle. In fact if I haven’t got each day planned out in advance I get too stressed out to manage it all, so being organised is my No.1 priority. I’m very lucky to be able to say that although my weekdays are hectic, I really love my lifestyle and all the challenges that go with it!
The Morning routine……
My alarm goes off at 5.45am each morning. I’ll be completely honest here – I don’t jump up full of motivation. I hate getting out of bed BUT once I’m up, dressed and I’ve talked myself round, I feel ready to tackle the day ahead.
After my breakfast (usually porridge) I generally train with clients from 7am to 12.30pm. Now that my children are older I’d rather be out of the way of the usual ‘are you up and dressed and ready for school yet?’ chaos!. If I don’t have to leave until later, I use the time to go for a run before work (again I don’t always feel like it but the feeling of going out for a run before I start my day is great so I have to talk myself into it!).
I always make the time every day for my own training (I schedule it in my diary at the beginning of each week). I usually go to the gym or go for a run as soon as I’ve finished training with clients. My clients sessions inspire me, especially if someone’s done a kick ass session – I go to the gym and do the same!
Going back to the diary……I’m a creature of habit. I like to do the same thing at the same time everyday which may sound really boring to some, but it helps me feel more organised and in turn I get more done.
After my gym session or run, I go home and have lunch which is generally some kind of salad, chicken or eggs and rice combination. I’m not the greatest of cooks but I try to be as creative as possible and if I’m taking a photo of my lunch to post on social media, I find I try a little bit harder with the presentation and in turn it actually tastes nicer. I then walk my dog and I use this time to re-charge my brain.
If you’ve got a hectic lifestyle it’s so important to look after yourself. As the saying goes ‘You can’t pour from an empty vessel’. It’s not being selfish, its self-care. I switch my phone off for just 20-30 minutes and try to clear my mind of any stress that’s going on. It’s not always easy to turn off from the outside world, but it’s very beneficial to your personal well-being and mental health to take just a bit of time each day to get some head space. Just breath and live in the moment without any distractions – even if it is while walking the dog in the rain!
So, after my half an hour of calm, the madness begins for round 2!
As the kids are returning from school I have my crazy 2 hours of the day. You know the scenario……I’m sat at my laptop trying to write, do my admin, pay bills, sort client folders etc. and the kids are asking ‘When’s tea ready?’ ‘Where’s my rugby shorts?’ ‘Can my friend come for tea?’ the dogs running around like a lunatic, the window cleaners knocking at the door and while you’ve successfully managed to sit and have a wee in private you get interrupted by a PPI call!
I constantly feel like I should do more with my kids – they always see me working, on my phone or going out to work. However, I was a stay at home mum whilst they were both pre-school so I suppose its good for them to see me now running a business and I’m hopefully inspiring them to do something they love and to work hard at it.
After our evening meal (which I always try to sit down as a family to eat) I’m back out to work to train my evening clients or class members. If it wasn’t for the fact that I love my job, there is no way I’d leave the house on a night. I’m a real home bird and could quite easily stay at home all day, but when I get to my class and see my class members giving it their all, I just love it! I’ve got a great team at my classes and along with my PT clients, as much as it’s MY job to motivate them all to work hard – they really motivate ME to do my best too.
I usually have a couple of hours on an evening before I go to bed and if I’ve got everything on my list done for that day I get chance to put my feet up and watch TV or read. Actually, this very rarely happens if I’m honest! In reality, I tend to walk the dog (again), pick up my phone, text clients, google workouts and post on social media (I’m working on not doing this as much BUT it’s a vital part of my job!). Then just as I’m about to get into bed I’m usually reminded that I haven’t washed a P.E. kit that needs to be ready for the next day!
Now I’d like to say I switch my bedside light off at 10pm and fall fast asleep but I currently have a bit of a problem with my sleep pattern. Sleep is so important for good health and I know I should go straight to sleep but my brain doesn’t seem to agree – this again, is an area I need to work on, but it’s so hard when you have a zillion ideas buzzing though your mind when your head hits the pillow.
So, this is my daily routine Monday to Friday and by the time the weekend arrives I generally switch mode. I’m an all or nothing type of person and although I love going for a long run on a Saturday morning, I also love slobbing on the settee in the afternoon. It’s the same with food, I eat healthily 90% of time but, I can eat A LOT, so I really look forward to my Saturday night Meal out or takeaway – it’s all about the overall balance. I haven’t drunk alcohol for over 2 years now and it makes a massive difference to my weekends, in fact it makes a difference to my working week too. Since giving up the booze I’m more productive, I perform my job a lot better and I seem to have more time as I don’t have to nurse a hangover which is a good job really as when my alarm goes off at 545am on Monday morning, I’m ready to do it all over again!.
The Festive Season unfortunately isn’t all about sitting around a log fire, eating Mince pies and listening to Christmas Carols … For many of us, it’s a super stressful time where we run around like lunatics, trying to do everything and please everybody. Shopping, Wrapping, School Plays, Cooking, Travelling and Xmas drinks with friends take up so much time and planning that the festive season becomes a full-time job and the stress of it all can play havoc with your health.
The symptoms of Stress can affect your body, your thoughts and feelings, and your behaviour so being able to limit your stress symptoms at this busy time of year is really important for your health as it can contribute to many health problems, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and weight gain (blame the stress not the mince pies!) To avoid getting caught up in the frenzy of it all, try to make sure you’re still sleeping, eating well and keeping up with your usual exercise, if at all possible.
Learn to say No
Saying no to Christmas party Invitations can be a challenge especially if you want to please others by constantly saying yes, when really you want to say no – this can have an impact on your wellbeing and stress levels. Just tell your friends or family the truth; that you love them and want to do it for them but you are just so busy and you have other things to take care of. Most people will understand as they’re probably juggling their own diary.
So many get super stressed out at this time of year feeling the pressure to buy everyone and their dog presents. Although it’s nice to, you shouldn’t need to buy a gift to show your love and appreciation for someone, especially if it’s going to put you in debt. Good friends and family will understand.
In the run up to Christmas, make some time for yourself. Whether it’s an hour at the gym, a massage, reading a book or sitting and having an uninterrupted coffee, It’s important to give yourself the same care and consideration that you would others, so take a break from thinking about the shopping, cooking and organising and have a few minutes of me time.
And don’t forget, you can always delegate. A problem shared is a problem halved, so get someone else to do the gift wrapping (even if it doesn’t look as neat as when you do it yourself) You can’t do everything singlehandedly!
Wishing you a Merry (Stress-free) Christmas!