Get Fit Tips
Spring is the perfect time to dust ourselves off from Winter and get our minds and bodies back on track. For an effective Spring Clean, here are my tips for improved fitness to establish new habits so you’re feeling fabulous by the time Summer comes around.
Time Planning. Remember – failing to plan is planning to fail!
Use a diary to plan out your week. This includes work, family time, food shopping, housework (yawn) and time for yourself and your fitness.
Allocating time for exercise is essential. Ensure that those around you are aware of the time you have set aside for fitness. I use the calendar on my phone to stay on track and dedicate an hour each day to exercise.
Consistency is the key. Once you’ve set aside time, stick to it. Setting the alarm a little earlier may seem crazy but lighter mornings will help ease the pain. Mornings are a great time to add some extra movement to your day, be it a beach walk or gym session. Exercise improves your mood by releasing endorphins – the happy hormone. Incorporating activity into your morning will help propel you through the day, whatever it may throw at you.
Freshen Things Up
Spring Cleaning your home helps clear the mind and healthy eating starts with a well-organised kitchen. Should you find yourself in an eating rut, remove temptation by getting rid of unhealthy food stocked in your fridge or pantry. Having healthy and nutritious meals readily available makes everything easier.
Get Strong with Weights
Lifting weights is one of the best ways to lose fat and firm up the body. Muscle requires more calories than fat which means you burn significantly more calories, even when resting. Weighted exercise is also proven to increase bone density to help ward off diseases like osteoporosis in later life.
Start with working the larger muscle groups like your chest, back and legs with exercises like Squats (with barbell and dumbbells), Leg Press, Chest Press and Seated Row.
Make your body expensive in terms of its calorie expenditure and stronger to take on all day-to-day challenges. Talk to a personal trainer about a resistance program or look for a group class that incorporates weighted exercises.
Increase your NEAT (Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis)
Many of us commonly believe that losing those extra kilos and feeling fitter only comes from added gym time but the best way to lose weight and keep it off is to make simple everyday changes.
Here are some examples: walk instead of drive, take the stairs and not the lift (a bit trickier on the coast where high rises are few and far between), go for a walk during your lunch break, up the pace when you’re doing housework, clean the car by hand, move around regularly through the work day rather than being sedentary all day.
After the cool wintery weather, we often get used to eating more than we need. Start Spring by being mindful of portion sizes and set yourself a meal plan for the week. Make sure there are healthy snacks readily available when you get home from work or the gym – you’ll be less likely to make mistakes with your diet. I use takeaway tubs to portion out food. A handy hint: use portion sizes on package and recipes as a guideline. I also pin my meal planner to the fridge.
Start by making small changes and hopefully they will become habitual in no time at all. It’s the activity that you add to your daily routine that will be particularly beneficial in the long-term.
Jen is a personal trainer at Coffs Coast Health Club. She moved to Australia from the UK earlier this year. Originally a teacher, Jen retrained as a personal trainer to combine her passion for education and fitness and to diversify her career. Jen’s love of fitness stems from her background as a long-distance runner. Her training style involves high intensity, functional and strength training.