Thursday 13, September 2012
End of summer fitness tips
Personal trainer James Johnson writes exclusively for Quaysnews.net, offering tips and advice for a healthier lifestyle.
it’s the end of the summer. September is well and truly here and the routine
you oh-so happily traded in this past July has gone right out the window and
the daily grind has returned. Kids are back at school, your boss is back from
holiday and the run up to Christmas is about as palatable as the yard of ale
you took on holiday. Sucks,
Chances are your summer body has followed suit. The two months of hard work and almost-perfect diet you maintained from the day you booked your holiday, right up to the point you reached the airport terminal, are a thing of the past, and the body it produced has probably got a softer look about it than it used to. All inclusive holidays, festivals and 99p drinks don’t score that high on the nutritional barometer though, so it was to be expected.
You’re now faced with two choices – either let the ‘winter body’ set in, get podgier, blame it on your ‘slow metabolism’ and have even more work to do next May. Alternatively you can make the changes now and have your toned, sexy summer body all year round, it’s easier than you think.
If you’ve decided that the latter would be the better option, below I’ve got five quick tips to do some post-summer damage control (or pre-summer sexification, if you want to be an early bird) and make you an all-round healthier person at the same time. You can thank me later.
Tip #1 – If it ain’t green, you ain’t lean
Okay, maybe a bit of a sweeping statement. But seriously, how much green veg do you eat? Green veggies should always be your go-to, whether you want to be healthier, fitter, stronger or sexier.
Pound for pound they’re one of the most
nutritionally dense foods available, rich in Calcium, Magnesium, Iron and about
an Alphabet’s worth of Vitamins. They’re virtually carbohydrate free (you can
also interpret this as ‘guilt free’) and If you can get fat from eating it I
will give you £10,000 right here, right now...I seem to have misplaced my
wallet though. Now go eat some veg!
Tip #2 – Do bigger exercises
Bicep curls are fun, as are Tricep extensions and all the other single joint movements that are going to ‘tone your arms’ – but, are they really getting you anywhere? If they’re the main focus of your resistance training then the answer is probably no. To change your shape you’ve got be working as many muscles as possible, whether that’s for weight loss or weight gain.
On the weight loss side of things
they’re going to make your calorie deficit easier to attain and on the weight
gain side of things they’re going to allow your to produce more testosterone
and stimulate more growth in your muscle, pretty key. Swap your Hamstring Curls
for Deadlifts and your Bicep Curls for Pull Ups and you’ll be on the right
tracks in no time. Tom Hardy and Cheryl Cole don’t look that way by doing
Tip #3 – Keep a food diary
Food diaries are one of the most effective tools I use with my clients, and people who record what they’ve been doing are more likely to achieve their results quicker.
It's nice and simple and instantly actionable. For the next seven
days, write down everything you eat and drink and then assess it at the end of
the week. If you find that ‘Twix’ and ‘Salt and Vinegar Crisps’ pop up
frequently, it’s easy to see where you need to make the changes. This works in
two quite helpful ways – it allows you to backtrack and see what you’ve eaten
and where to adjust (or give it to someone in the know to assess) and it makes
you think about what you’re about to eat. If you know you’ve got to write down
and show somebody what you’re eating, you become a little bit more cautious
with your choices.
Find accountability with someone and you’re on to a winner.
Tip #4 – Sleep More
No matter how good your exercise plan is, no matter how clean your diet is, if you’re not allowing your body time to recover and don't do anything about it, a large portion of your effort is being wasted. The majority of you reading this are probably not even scraping your eight hours a night – Get in from work at six, go to the gym, get home for eight, eat your dinner, watch that important block of television, bed for 23:30, sleep by 12:30, up at 6am. Even for some of my clients, that would have been considered a ‘long night's sleep’.
Sleep is where
your body repairs itself, starts to burn fat and rights as many wrongs as is
possible from the previous day. Aim for your eight hours a night and anything on
top of it is a bonus! Nobody ever complains at a lie-in either.
Tip #5 – Take up a sport/activity (keep it fun!)
If you find exercise or the gym a chore, find a way to keep it fun. I’m not a huge fan of monotonous steady pace cardio exercise, but I love the cardio effect you get from sports.
A 45 minute non-stop game of badminton or
five-a-side football goes miles quicker than a 10k run and your learning new
skills, building your balance and co-ordination and you can push yourself as
hard as you feel like.
It doesn’t just have to be sports -group exercise
classes, go-ape, paintballing, rock climbing or even just meeting up with your
friends and doing a circuit class in the park. Anything that immerses you,
allows you to have fun and gets you working up a sweat is perfect to add to or
kick start your training regime.
Train big. Eat green. Write it down. Sleep as much as you can. Have fun whilst you’re doing it. Simple, easy to implement and you can start it as soon as you finish this article!
* To learn more about James, or to enquire about training with him, visit his website at www.intouchpersonaltraining.com follow James on Twitter at @JJPT_59 or @InTouchPT_UK or contact him at James@intouchpersonaltraining.com
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