Are you exercising alone?

When is comes to your workouts, are you exercising alone or in a group?

42-16978465

This morning I woke up with a headache and not feeling my usual perky self. However despite my mood, I had agreed to go workout before my boyfriend Robin went to work so that’s exactly what we did. So 45 minutes later with my workout finished, I was feeling like my old self, full of energy and in a great mood to start the day.

Whatever your activity, going to the gym, for a walk, run or a bike ride research shows that exercising with a friend or in a group is far more motivating and leads to greater success than when exercising alone.

Why? Here are my top tips and benefits of why I love exercising with others

  • Accountability … the number one reason if you have made plans to meet someone else you are much more likely to stick to them
  • Motivation … you always work harder with others and there is often some healthy competition or encouragement that helps you along
  • Companionship… you get the chance to, interact with others either as a catch up with old friends or meeting new ones.
  • Fun … a vital ingredient of activity or exercise is that it must be fun and working out with others helps provides that enjoyment.
  • Variety … we are all creatures of habit and most people will be quite content repeating the same routine when exercising alone.

Exercising with others be it a friend, a personal trainer or in a group or class will encourage you try new things, keeping you challenged and on the road to success!

Let me know how you avoid exercising alone by leaving a comment below!

P.S. If you want to stop exercising alone why not visit our personal training studio to try a class for free or to book in for your first one to one session. Alternatively find a friend and try some simple exercises like the ones demonstrated by video at www.exercisesolutions.co.uk. Good luck !

Advertisements

September 30, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

The Skinny Fat to Skinny Fit Challenge: Week One Review

 

Day 9: Week One done, Week Two Begins!

So updating the last dear diary post I write to review how I felt after completing week one of the Skinny Fat to Skinny Fit Challenge.

Week at a Glance: Exercise

42-15530101

Workout
(35 minutes total – pushups, squats, lunges, rows, presses and treadmill interval sprints to finish – 6 rounds of 20 seconds with 30 seconds rest)

Week at a Glance: Food

CB047006

I never diet but I do eat conciously and watch what I eat in terms of cooking my own food and trying to good choices whenever I can. This week I was aware that I had to avoid eating when I am bored as however healthy this snacking may be, it adds to extra calories that I don’t need.

My hardest thing was sticking to meal times and not grazing mindlessly, but it actually made me enjoy my meals more when I stuck to eating at these times …

Breakfast              7.30 – 8.30am
Mid Morning       10.30 – 11.30am
Lunch                    1.00 – 2.00pm
Afternoon            4.00 – 5.00pm
Evening                 8.00 – 8.30pm (i usually eat later as I work 5 – 8pm)

So there you have it, some inspiration, some workout ideas, some food guidelines. And in addition to emphasis yesterday’s blog post take a minute to watch the video below. End procrastination!

P.S. Food highlights of Week One along with loads of recipe ideas and more in depth dear diary moments can be found at www.skinnyfat.co.uk.

September 29, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Carpe Diem: Sieze the Day

Want to know what is the number one reason people fail to reach their goals, whether it be losing weight or travelling the world?

Procrastination … they simpy put it off.

Get Up

So if it’s that simple let’s get up and get going!

Here’s your tip, plan your day around something you REALLY want to do.
Don’t think just do it. Whether it’s work, exercise, errands get on and do it then reward yourself with a a massage, trip to the cinema, meal with a friend.

End procrastination forever and just seize the day … TODAY!
Ok so maybe tomorrow as it is actually 10pm at night here in the UK!

P.S. Watch me seize the day every day for the next 90 days in my Skinny Fat to Skinny Fit Challenge and get some inspiration for workouts and recipes at www.skinnyfat.co.uk

P.P.S. Alternatively seize the day with your exercise and try before you buy with our great studio classes every Monday to Thursday night.
Email megan@exercisesolutions.co.uk to book your first class.

September 28, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Saturday Night Takeaway

Ok so it may only be Saturday lunchtime but it’s never to early to prepare for situations where you might not be able to make the healthy choices you want to when it comes to your food.

This lunchtime I came back from hockey practice STARVING! Resisting the temptation to just raid the fridge I quickly heated up the wok and decided that in the time it would have taken me to order in a takeaway I could easily cook a stir fry.

And so can you. Using a wok is cheap, quick and easy.
All you need is a bit of oil, some chicken, prawns or other lean meat, a few vegetables, some noodles, chinese 5 spice and a dash of soy sauce …

 

Saturday Night Takeaway

In the UK, the average person spends more a week on takeaway food than they do on fresh food and vegetables. But why not combine the two?

When eating out at a restaurant there is often a variety of both better cooking methods and fresh ingredients providing more healthy options available on the menu. When it comes to take away food however we are in far more dangerous territory.

If you are going to order in a takeaway make sure you stick with some simple rules and avoid fried or battered dishes, fatty meats like pork or pepperoni opting for dishes that are grilled or steamed and include as many vegetables as possible.

For more ideas check out the NHS website with its many great resources http://www.nhs.uk/Livewell/men1839/Pages/Dodgytakeaways.aspx

P.S. To make today’s takeaway along with other quick and easy recipes visit www.skinnyfat.co.uk for tips and ideas with content being added all the time.

September 26, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Nutrition: A Recipe for Confusion

When it comes to food, healthy eating can be a tricky concept.

MPj04388670000[1]

Some people may focus on calories, others will become obsessed with the fat content of foods, while many still believe that the type of food they consume is unimportant as long as they are doing enough exercise to balance it out.

Whatever you want to acheive; whether it is to lose weight, tone up, reduce cholesterol, improve energy or strength or just feel better in your own body it is vitally important to eat well.

But don’t get stressed about it … it doesn’t have to be that complicated!

I believe strongly in two principles when it comes to nutrition;

Food should FRESH and NATURAL. I say if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!

Don’t get caught up with the latest ‘watercress soup diet’ or ‘only eat foods that are orange diet’ just remember that in a balanced and healthy diet there are some foods that should be eaten everyday and others that should be eaten in moderation. Eating well is for life (not just for christmas!)

My Top 5 Foods         

1.     Whole grains         also called starchy or complex carbohydrates

In English please?            Bread, Potatoes, Pasta, Rice, Other Grains

2.     Vegetables              all types and colours
3.     Fruits                         especially berries and soft fruits
4.     Dairy                          choose lower fat versions to reduce saturated fat
5.     Proteins                   choose leaner cuts of meat

In English please?
           Lean Meat, Fish, Chicken, Turkey, Eggs,  
                                                (v) Nuts, Beans and Pulses

 

P.S. If you want to learn more and educate yourself about the type and amount of food that you should eat to compliment yoour exercise and lifestyle visit www.exercisesolutions.co.uk and grab a copy of my free Go Fresh Go Natural Diet, a food plan that is as simple it sounds.

September 24, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Soundtrack to Life

Over the last few days I have been hearing the same tune. It’s very spooky that every time I need a little pick me up this same song has been played.

 MPj04388840000[1]

I heard it yesterday when I was feeling overwhelmed by new tasks.

I heard it today in the gym when I was at the hardest part of my workout.

I heard it two minutes ago when I needed to get my butt ready for work.

Don’t underestimate the power of music in relation to mood and exercise.

Many studies show that listening to your favourite music pushes you to work harder and may help distract from the negative effects such as fatigue. All I know is that music improves my mood, provides me with motivation when times are tough and can make exercise more fun. 

So if you are looking for some inspiration to exercise turn on the radio, put on your favourite cd, make a playlist for you ipod and let music keep you motivated and in a positive mood to keep calm and carry on.

P.S. If you were wondering what the song was I kept hearing it was the new one from Chase and Status. Go on – have a mini-rave wherever you are!

Sorry to disappoint you if you were hoping for the Rocky theme!

September 23, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Start Line

So in true dear diary style I write my first entry to the Skinny Fat to Skinny Fit Challenge.

Day 1 began yesterday (Monday 21st September) and I took my measurements and statistics, completed my first workout early and ate a dinner that left me polishing my halo (it was grilled salmon, brown rice and vegetables).

My starting statistics as I said before are healthy, but there is aways room for improvement. I have also taken a before photo which I will compare to my after photo to demonstrate the visual proof after 90 days.

42-15530490

Age: 25
Height: 5 ft 7 inches (172cm)
Weight: 9 stone 10 (62kg or 136 pounds)
Body Mass Index: 21
Body Fat Percentage: 23%
Waist Circumference: 72cm (28.5 inches)
Hip Circumference: 88cm (34.5 inches)
Waist to Hip Ratio: 0.83

In summary, the figures above show that I fall within the healthy range for both body mass index and body fat but that my waist to hip ratio poses a moderate risk and could be better if lowered to below 0.81

I have a healthy body fat percentage of 23% and though this sounds scary (almost a quarter of my body is pure fat!) it is vital for women to have a certain amount of fat in their body, especially when compared with men.

A certain amount of fat is needed to regulate body heat and hormones and the very minimum needed is 10 – 12%.

25% – 31% is a healthy range with 21-24% more appropriate for fitness. As you reduce your body fat percentage you will improve your muscle tone and definition, particularly around your stomach.

In my eyes while I know I am healthy and I don’t need to lose weight I do want to feel less bloated, reduce the fat around my midsection and replace this with toned and lean muscle for both my health and confidence.

September 22, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Skinny Fat to Skinny Fit Challenge

Yesterday I introduced the term Skinny Fat … a teaser for my latest personal challenge.

If you are not familiar with the term it describes a person who may look slim or lean but carry their excess weight around their midsection. They look great in clothes, but are often fat underneath.

Skinny Fat

Think of different body shapes like fruits or vegetables. Most females are an apple, pear or runner bean.

The general opinion is that runner bean’s are lucky. Their tall, slim, they have good genetics.

However while proportionally they may be healthy, in terms of body mass index (the ratio of a person’s height to weight), they often hide dangerously high levels of body fat.

Having a high body fat percentage (ranging from 26 – 40%) increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer. It also means that for most of us who fall into this category, we may look and feel ok in our clothes but we certainly don’t fancy going out in a bikini any time soon.

Some people are aware of this, and may feel self conscious but unsure of how to combat the problem. For others they believe that they can eat what they want and don’t need to do much or even any exercise.

As a personal trainer I practice what I preach; an active lifestyle, a healthy diet and a variety of exercise, yet over the last 3 months I have let things slide. Why? The excuses … not important, the solution … is!

So for the next 90 days I am going to set an example to encourage others to be healthy and happy and reveal the secrets to becoming lean and fit instead of skinny and fat.

Yes, I am already is good shape … but why settle for good when you can look and feel GREAT!

Throughout the 12 weeks I will update my blog as a diary, with my workouts, my food, my thoughts, my feelings, my good days and my bad and give you the real and unedited version of how I get on.

At the end of the challenge, I will give you access to everything I accomplish and give you all the tools you need to get the amazing results I hope to achieve, a lean body and sky high confidence.

If you would like to follow my journey visit www.exercisesolutions.co.uk and sign up to my newsletter to receive regular updates. The workouts, the food, the moods – the good, the bad and the ugly.

September 22, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Emotional Rollercoaster

Emotional Rollercoaster: an overused phrase of mine to describe one of those days, one of those weeks, one of those months!!

Have you been on one recently?

CB003752

Yesterday my younger sister and I went for a swim and a much need chill out after an ’emotional rollercoaster’ of a week.

Now i’m sure you can sympathise when I say we had one of those weeks. We have all been there, feeling on top of the world one day and then a bit lethargic and low the next. And there seems no logic. It’s certainly not just hormones, mood swings or whatever convenient excuse people come up with to sweep those type of feelings under the carpet.

When I have plan, a goal and a direction I feel GREAT.

And when my days are full of uncertainty, lots of changes are happening in my life and i am indecisive and lack a routine then I feel less great.
Now not everyone is the same but for me mood is linked to my passion, a sense of purpose and the motivation to get up in the morning. 
When I am put to work or have a challenge I am energetic and confident.
On the flipside I can feel tired, lethargic, unenthusiastic, lacking personality and self esteem and questioning my own appearance and confidence.

So it got me thinking … what is going to be my next challenge? 
How can I help both myself and others avoid this emotional rollercoaster to create a freedom from the day to day grind and frustration of looking for that elusive solution to looking and feeling great – banishing self doubt forever.

My brainchild ? The Skinny Fat to Skinny Fit Challenge … revealed tomorrow

P.S. If you can’t wait until tomorrow here’s a sneaky clue check out the Urban Dictionary definition of Skinny Fat to see what I’m plotting.

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=skinny-fat

When this idea first came to me I loved the fact there was already a defination of the term ‘Skinny Fat’ 1 and 2 are my favourites.

September 21, 2009. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

On your marks, get set, GO!

This month I am conducting an experiment …

The aim to see how quickly I can complete my workouts in a gym.

My findings so far are that the receptionist thinks I’m mad, most of the trainers are shocked by my non-conformity to run on the treadmill or stay chained to the cross-trainer like most other girls and the guys in the free weights area seem pretty amused as I move quickly from exercise to exercise smiling but not resting or watching the tv.
This week I have done it all in 30 minutes.
An example of my routine being warm up (3 mins) main workout of 8 exercises (15 minutes), intervals (8 mins) and stretches (4 mins).

And the most amusing part of all … I went to the supermarket on the way home to pick up a few things (literally milk, fruit and bread) and after queueing in the lunchtime rush was longer in Sainsbury’s than I was in the gym! Ridiculous hey … but we’ve all been there, time lost forever queuing.

Summary
Gym Workout = 30 minutes
Supermarket = 35 minutes (20 minutes shopping, 15 minutes queuing!)

CBR003576

P.S. If you liked that post then keep reading the blog as I am always trying to find new and varied ways to get more results in less time.
Exercise smarter not longer!

September 18, 2009. Uncategorized. 2 comments.

Next Page »