Health Tips - Part 1 - Fitness
I've had a lot of people asking me lately what I do with my exercise routines, diet and beauty regimes etc, so I thought it was time to (hopefully) help you out with my some of my personal favourites. Because there is so much information, I've decided to break it up into three steps. 1. Fitness, 2. Diet and Nutrition, and 3. Grooming.
First of all, I’m not a fitness model. I’ve had fitness campaigns, and been booked for advertising products, but I’ve never had a six pack and I don’t build muscle easily. I’m 5’11” (180cm) and have long, lean muscles, so I tend to look slimmer, which works in my line of work, but I rarely pay too much attention to the number on the scale. Things like hormones, water retention and amount of muscle vs fat in the body can alter your weight. I think a better guide to your best body is how your clothes fit. If your favourite jeans are getting a little too snug – it’s time to get moving.
Also, I’m not a personal trainer. This is a motivational guide of what works for me because although I like exercise when I’m actually doing it (and the endorphins afterwards), I never really wake up in the morning and WANT to go to the gym. Go figure.
So here are some tips and tricks for those of you who find it difficult to work out:
~ Pre-Workout Prep ~
- Take a little time beforehand and prepare your playlists on your iPod. Music can be a great guide to cardio pace or weight repetitions and can help you to push harder when you know and like what’s playing while you workout. Also, planning your playlist will save you from sitting there skipping through the songs you don’t like and wasting your workout time. I like to work out to music that makes me want to dance or has a strong beat to keep a rhythm.
- Pack your gym bag before you go to bed, and leave it by the door. If you’re going to work, put it in the car so that you don’t have any excuses to head home on your way to the gym and you don’t risk having a last minute rush and only one shoe if you’ve overslept your alarm in the morning.
- Book yourself in. You know your schedule better than anyone. Make an appointment with yourself, just as you would any other meeting, coffee catch up or dinner, so that you block out some time in your day for your exercise. This can be worked out the night before, or days in advance, whatever suits your schedule.
~ Buddies with Benefits ~
- Get your mind out of the gutter – not THAT kind of buddy!
- Guilt is an excellent motivator – you’re more likely to go workout, and keep going regularly if you have a workout buddy that you don’t want to let down. Sports teams are great too, but if your schedule doesn’t allow it, try a friend or co worker – they can double up as your weights spotter, make sure you’re not cheating, and you can alternate circuits together.
- Train with people who are fitter than you. You’ll push yourself harder, just adjust to your own level. For instance, I work out a lot with my husband, who is super, super fit. I run on the treadmill for the same amount of time, but at a slower pace, or on a different incline, and we do the same amount of reps and sets in weight circuits, but I use a much lighter weight.
- Train with people with different expertise. I have a girlfriend Sheridyn who has done a lock of kickboxing training, and she had some great strength building exercises (I’ve added a few into the workout below). Another girlfriend, Erin, is a dancer and knows some great core workouts and stretching exercises. Becky is a firefighter and knows all about pushing your limits and working through the pain barrier. Training with people with different specialties will teach you new exercises, and keep it interesting. Then you can tailor certain things into your workout to keep it exciting and challenging. Here's a picture of a few of us looking retarded as we do V Ups in a group training session during my Hen's Week in Hawaii:
~ Maximise Your Time ~
- Most people don’t have time for 2 hour sessions at the gym - mums, people busy with work (which is pretty much everybody) and frequent travellers often find it difficult to block out long periods in the day for exercising. Don’t worry! I’ve got you covered!
- Plan your list of exercises. Think about what you want to work on today, upper body? Cardio? Maybe just a little bit of everything? Write down the amount of repetitions and weights or distances.
- Maximum sweat. Even if you only have 30 minutes, you can still work up a great sweat using no rest circuits – the idea is to work a different body part throughout each exercise so that you don’t overtire one body part, and you keep your heart rate up the whole way through. By breaking it down into little steps, it makes it more interesting and you’re more likely to concentrate and put everything into it. Here’s a great 30 minute workout that you can do anytime, anywhere. You can add running/jogging/swimming/cross training/any other cardio before or after to extend it, or just do it on its own. Using your out breath to exert force, stabilizing your core and keeping your body position in check, this can help tone your whole body. I tested it out myself too – see sweaty picture :)
~It’s All In Your Head~
- Do exercises you dislike the most first. Get them out of the way first and move onto the ones you like later so that you’re less likely to skip out on it. I have a love/hate relationship with a certain hamstring-working machine which I always try to knock over immediately after my warm up.
- Mind over matter. We’ve all had those moments when we start a run or something, and cut short because we feel too tired. Slow it down, and give yourself a mini goal (5 minutes more, to the end of the street, 5 more reps) and push a little further. You’re better off jogging for 40 minutes, than running for 10 and getting too tired.
- Goals are important. Think ahead what you want to achieve. Most people are visual, so putting up pictures, setting your phone’s lock screen and visualizing what your want while you work out all help immensely. Often my best photo shoot ideas come to me while I’m running. It must be something about all the oxygen getting your mind flowing
- Once you know what your goals are, you can start your plan of attack, by setting yourself the mini goals that represent the steps you take along the way.
- Make it fun, shake it up. Take a Zumba or Pilates class, do a fun run with friends, go out dancing (without the alcohol) or play some beach volleyball. Just keep moving and have a good time.
- Rewards – the best part. Lifting weights that are twice as heavy as when you first started? Beating your personal best on that 5km run? Feeling more confident now that you’re getting your bikini body back? Great, it’s time to reward yourself. Book a little mini getaway, buy yourself some new workout gear, splash out on that bikini, or treat yourself to a mini-spa day at home (ideas for that coming out in Part 3).
I hope some (or all) of these tips work for you as they do for me! If you have any other great ideas, questions, or any feedback, please feel free to let me know!You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org, or tag me on Twitter or Instagram to let me know your progress - @LaurenKVickers
Here’s some more links to inspiring people to follow too, so you keep getting new ideas and don’t fall off the wagon ;)