The fitness and health industry is always full of trends and fads that gather momentum and then often disappear as quickly as they came.
Many of these fitness gimmicks and diets promise the world, appealing to the everyday person searching for a quick fix, but often they are unable to deliver on their promises and leave the individual disheartened by the lack of results.
It is important to realise that getting the results you want won't occur overnight and often those who are able to achieve quick losses find they are only short term.
So many times I've seen both men and women join gyms and studio's hoping that exercise alone will help them lose weight and change their body shape.
Making long-lasting change is about creating new life long nutritional, health and fitness habits - all three go hand in hand and help to provide the best permanent results.
This is why I always encourage and have created my New Program, to help my clients to focus on reliable and proven methods for improving fitness and health. It is my goal to get my clients focused on the consistency, and the quality of their nutrition and to develop a commitment plan for their exercise.
Maintaining a consistent approach to exercise and nutrition over a long period of time will yield greater results and help develop permanent habits.
Look at your time schedule and see realistically where you can exercise, and make a commitment to follow it through.
I encourage people to try to aim for a least three days a week to keep variety in their exercise program to stay interested.
When it comes to nutrition, try to think about the quality of the food you eat.
Eat fresh fruit, vegetables and meat, and try to steer away from processed foods.
Portion control is also extremely important.
If you've had a bad day, don't let that be the excuse to continue poor eating habits.
If you are able to achieve this over a consistent period of time, this will help you to make life long changes.
We all want to enjoy our lives and make the most of every opportunity.
This could be as simple as coping with a job, going for a walk with a friend, wanting to play sport or keeping up with the children and grandchildren.
For me, I know that with loosing my husband Paul and daughter Imogen, it has made me value life more than ever, and I know that in order to appreciate my life, I need to be super fit and healthy.
The only way that we can all do this is to make looking after ourselves a priority, as we are the only one that has the control to change ourselves.
If you are feeling motivated and are interested in my New Program, than contact me via this web page. I would love the opportunity to help you with you with making the change!!!
Spring is here and now is the time to get motivated!
It's time to make those lifestyle changes that will allow us to be more active and enjoy life to it's fullest.
For many people, at this time of year losing those unwanted kilos that were gained over winter can be a primary focus.
As a trainer I see many people who come into the studio wanting a quick fix and quick results.
Making permanent changes requires hard work, commitment and dedication.
It can take time, but the end result will be worth it.
Not only can you improve the quality and length of your life, but your self esteem can also grow immensely from the accomplishment and reward of achieving your goal.
Tips to creating permanent weight loss:
> If you want to make permanent changes it is important to pay attention to both nutrition and exercise in your daily routine.
> It is primarily 80 percent nutrition and 20 percent exercise. Making your nutritional choices the primary focus will give you the best opportunity for success.
> Spring is the perfect time to work on healthier options as there is so much fresh produce available - salads and fresh fruit come into season and are readily available.
> Limit sugar and processed foods which contain hidden sugars to assist in weight loss.
> Make sure that you control portion size - eating from a smaller plate or bowl will help to control the amount of food you
> Exercise also can reduce your body by one dress size and it can tone and reshape your body, helping to put all the curves in the right places.
> Exercise builds lean muscle and the more lean muscle we have, the faster our metabolism works.
> Keep moving throughout he day by increasing your incidental exercise - get up from your office chair and move around, take the stairs, etc.
> Make sure that your energy output through the day is greater than your energy input, this is a significant factor in weight loss.
> We all want to lose those few extra kilos and sometimes resort to extreme unhealthy measures which can often lead t weight gain.
This time, think healthy lifestyle change instead and create permanent changes that will lead to a healthier you for summer.
Implementing these new changes in your routine will not only help to revitalise you, but will ultimately make you happier.
When motivation wanes, follow these tips to get back on track
Motivation is always at a high at the start of the year. We see it as a fresh start to achieving new goals and leap into new diets and heightened activity – but sometimes this burst can start to dwindle as we head into February.
Our holidays are over, we are back at work and all the activity that makes up our daily life. We can suddenly find ourselves feeling time poor and finding old excuses to go back to old habits. I know for me it I s the days when I am the least motivated that I push myself to workout and then I feel so satisfied once I’m finished.
For this week, let’s take a look at simple steps you can take to stay on track with your motivation and new year goals.
Be realistic – Reassess your goals and make sure they are attainable. For example, if you are trying to lose weight or get healthier then resolving to never eat your favourite food again is setting you up to fail. You can still enjoy occasional treats and make sure you eat smaller portions.
Outline your plan – You should have already planned your goals and how you are going to achieve them but maybe it is time to outline a plan on how you are going to achieve them but maybe it is time to outline a plan on how you will stay on track when the temptation to skip a class or eat a piece of cake arises. You could phone a friend, practise positive thinking and self-talk and always remind yourself how it will affect your gaols and that feeling of accomplishment.
Talk about it: Don’t keep your resolutions a secret – tell sportive friends and family about your goal. They will only be too happy to support you, especially if you want to improve your health and fitness.
Track your progress: keep track of each small success by setting short-term gaols to achieve along the way. Celebrate accomplishments and stay motivated.
Reward yourself: Rewarding yourself to celebrate each little success along the way is always a positive way to stay on target. Try treating yourself with things you enjoy but don’t contradict your resolution.
Stick to it: Remember to stick to your guns and don’t give up. Remind yourself that it only takes 21 days to create a new habit, so you are well on your way to success.
If you are already finding yourself off track and those old patterns are creeping back into your lifestyle, don’t despair, just start again. This time think about not only the things you need to do to achieve your health and fitness goals but take the necessary steps to keep on track. We have 11 months to achieve this and all things are possible.
It is now your goal to help to stay on track whilst also enjoying our traditional Aussie Christmas that we all love.
With Christmas just around the corner – I thought I would the “12 days to health and fitness guide” to keep you active over our holiday season!
As you all have worked so hard over the past twelve months of the year to set up new and healthy lifestyle changes – it is now your goal to help to stay on track whilst also enjoying our traditional Aussie Christmas that we all love.
Day 1 –Active presents - Buy active Christmas presents that everyone can play with and keep the entire family active –Think of presents like scooters, bikes, skates or fitness games like Wii fit.
Day 2 – Short burst of exercise – With all the social activity over the next few weeks, it may be difficult to find the time to fit in those big workout sessions at the gym. Think about breaking exercise in to smaller 10 minute workouts – try 10 minutes when you get up, 10 minutes at lunch and 10 minutes when you get home in the evening.
Day 3 – Enter a sporting event to keep you focused over Christmas –that way you will be mindful to continue to train and stay healthy over the holidays.
Day 4 – Standard measures – Alcohol is one of the easiest ways to over-indulge at Christmas, so to avoid step backs in your health commitments use standard measures and plan the times that you will drink.
Day 5 – High intensity – Once again swap your longer sessions of training for high intensity sessions – Try circuit or interval training, add in skipping and body weight exercises and even put on the Christmas music to make the workout festive and fun!
Day 6 – Hit the Streets – Head to the shops to do your pre and post-Christmas shopping, walking around the shops, carrying bags and pushing heavy trolleys will get your heart rate up and keep you moving.
Day 7 – Relax – Remember to pencil in some down time over the next few weeks – we all live busy and stressful lives throughout the year, make sure to unwind and relax as it is important for our mental health
Day 8 - Putting up and pulling down your tree – One of our favourite Christmas traditions is to put up and pull down the Christmas decorations and tree each year – it takes time, energy, and a whole lot of activity – just like a workout!
Day 9 – Exercise after food – Try a long walk after breakfast or dinner – this can help to walk off those larger meals and settle the tummy but it also a nice way to take time out from the business of Christmas.
Day 10 – Plan your Christmas splurges – try to maintain your healthy patterns and plan the times you are going to indulge, make sure the very next day you get up with focus and step back into the healthy patterns you have worked all year to create.
Day 11 – Plan a festive picnic – Over the last few weeks I have suggested to revolve social activities around the outdoors like parks, beaches and to also incorporate healthy eating in the shape of picnics with fresh fruit, meats and salads
Day 12 – Do you really want it – We all want our treats over Christmas, but often overeating just makes us feel uncomfortable and will also mean you have to work all that bit harder after Christmas. When you find yourself reaching across the table for an extra handful of peanuts or another fruit mince pie, ask yourself if you really do want this.
I hope you find some of these ideas helpful over Christmas and the New Year, but most of all I wish you all a wonderful Holiday season fill with good health, lots of activity and building memories that will last life time.
Living and loving life to the fullest with the people who matter the most is a precious gift so let’s make this Christmas a magical one.
This year let’s not completely fall off the wagon
Here we are in December and our summer has finally arrived, this is the time of year we all look forward too, catch-ups, Christmas, New Year celebrations, and holidays to just relax and indulge a little more in life. Most of us have our weekends already mapped out for December and into the start of January.
This year let’s not completely fall off the wagon, for many of you, you have worked far too hard all year to make positive changes with your health and fitness and are finally feeling the benefits!–You can still enjoy your summer season and get togethers -but can also maintain and incorporate healthy food choices, exercise and lots of activity into your month to help keep you motivated and ready for a whole new round of New Year Resolutions in January.
Here are a few tips to keep you on track throughout our social month of December!
Let go of guilt – Making yourself stressed over food and exercise during the next few months is not healthy, try not to feel guilty when you have a moment of indulgence, get straight back on track and focus on maintaining a positive attitude to food and exercise – that way you are more likely to stick with staying healthy and fit over the next few months, and not feel overwhelmed and think it is all too much and throw in the towel.
Stay hydrated – Always drink plenty of water during the day to assist your body to stay hydrated, the health benefits of drinking water are endless, but it assist with the digestion of food.
Slow down – If you are at a social event, make sure you try little bits of all types of food and avoid loading up your plate. Chew your food slowly and enjoy the taste and flavour of all foods.
Remember, it takes 20 minutes for the stomach to tell your brain that it is full, so enjoy your meal and listen to it when you are no longer hungry.
Also another good tip is to not linger at the food table chatting, as this can help to stop you from nibbling on unnecessary food like dips and chips.
Be prepared - If you are going to a gathering where you take a plate make sure it is a healthy plate that you can eat and stay on track with.
Get active – Through December stay active with games of sport in the backyard and park, bush and beach walks runs, swimming etc. and do this with friends and family as it will keep everyone fit and happy. You can even plan and organise your Christmas and social catch ups around these activities with a healthy picnic or a BBQ.
Keep your regular routine of exercise up at the studio or at home, as maintaining consistency is the key to enjoy the benefits of exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Even when you are away on holidays there is no excuse as hotels often gyms and pools and you can always go for a walk wherever you are.
Try to keep up your incidental exercise as well, take stair instead of the elevators when doing the shopping, park your car a little further away from your destination, all those simple choices we make in our everyday life can really add up.
Here is a little body weight workout to help keep you in shape you can do at the studio, at home, a park, or even on holidays. All you need is a skipping rope, mat and you, no fancy equipment a no excuses.
3 -5 rounds – depending on how much time you have and your conditioning
10 body weight squats
If you need changes with the workout – go for a walk or run around the block instead of skipping and you can always change your body weight exercises to lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, planks. Variety is always the spice of life and it will help you stay motivated!
Fine-tune weight loss with resistance training
This year has been your year to make changes-at the start of the year you decided you were ready to follow through with those new year resolutions to create a new and fabulous you.
It's been a long, hard road at times and temptations have presented themselves, with surprise parties, birthdays, work functions and life events.
But throughout you have remained strong and focussed and even when you had a slip and let your hair down you jumped right back on the wagon the next day as you know that permanent health and body changes do not come easily-if you want the results you have to be prepared to put in the hard yards.
This means no quick fix fad diets but healthy whole foods with sensible portion sizes and regular, sustainable exercise and, most of all, consistency.
You've noticed recently all your hard work is starting to pay off and you are seeing the results on the scales and in your clothes and others are starting to notice as well.
This has had a positive impact on your self-esteem but the real reward is you are also feeling more energetic and ready to tackle life and all it has to offer.
This is all very exciting and you are now determined to keep going, , to achieve your final results and new year goals - to develop shape and definition and be ready for the summer season and holidays.
As a trainer, this is where I always encourage the use of increased resistance and weight training, to start to fine-tune a clients results.
Have you ever heard the expression "train like a man to look like a woman"?
Well, this expression does work: I have seen many woman make major changes in their bodies by training with weights.
Sometimes in the studio I hear woman say they don't want to get over sized muscles and therefore they only stick to cardio fitness and high energy aerobic types of fitness training.
This is a fallacy - woman are not capable of producing enough testosterone to develop masculine muscles.
I've been training for a number of years with weights and believe me, I look feminine and toned.
Resistance training can incorporate a combination of different weights and training techniques ranging from body weight, resistance bands and free weights such as kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells or pin weights.
Training styles can incorporate functional movement patterns such as squats and lunges to isolation exercises such as bicep curls and tricep dips, depending on your goals and commitments.
This assistance of a trainer can be helpful to a novice who wants to take the next step in their fitness journey and is feeling overwhelmed about using weights.
From a health perspective, weights training for women can also assist with maintaining and improving bone density.
This is especially important for women who may be susceptible to osteoporosis.
There are also many other benefits to using weights as it improves your metabolism, circulation, and heart health, posture, and helps to reduce the risk of diabetes.
There is nothing more rewarding in life than achieving your goals and seeing the end results and in the health and fitness industry I always love it when I see the end results of my clients blood, sweat and tears.
Persistence plus hard work equals results.
Any change is a positive step forward
One think I have found over the years working with people who want to make a health and lifestyle change is that everyone is so individual and what works for one person may not work for someone else.
I work in the fitness industry and I love to exercise and I love to motivate others through my passion for exercise and there are times when I encounter people who just do not enjoy exercise at all and who find it emotionally challenging to work out.
Usually when this happens we have to find other avenues to make health and fitness changes, because if you are not enjoying it, you are not going to make a commitment to stick to your exercise routine, and in reality making a regular routine is how we make the difference and achieve goals.
If you are someone who feels this way about exercise then maybe I have the solution for you and you can incorporate your exercise into your every day activity and life and still achieve your health and fitness goals.
What I'm talking about is increasing and incorporating incidental exercise into your everyday life.
Incidental exercise is any exercise or physical activity that is part of your daily routine.
this can include walking around the supermarket, doing household chores such as vacuuming or even just getting up to change the channel on the television.
Exercise is all about movement, so any form of movement throughout your day will help to yield the results you are looking for.
if you make the effort to think about your movement throughout the day, then anything is possible.
There are many examples of incidental exercise other that what I have mentioned.
. Park far away from a store in the parking lost instead of driving around waiting for the closet spot. After shopping, push your cart all the way back to the front of the store, rather than leaving it in the lot.
. Take the time to head outdoors for a walk in your lunch break - you might even find it will give you the time to clear your head ready for a productive afternoon at work.
. Practice the three-floor rule - if your destination is three floors or less, take the stairs instead of the elevator or escalator. If it's more that three floors, get off at least one floor away and take the stairs the rest of the way.
. Use a cordless phone and walk while you talk.
. If walking the dog is part of your daily routine, add an extra block or a steep hill to your normal route.
. When on an outing at the park, shopping mall, soccer game etc, make sure you park an extra block from your destination and walk to your location instead of taking the direct route.
. Put extra effort into sweeping, gardening and other chores by adding energetic music - you could even set a time frame to complete your chores. This is almost like doing a workout in the studio except in your backyard and home.
Over the years I have also found that encouraging my clients to buy a pedometer, or download an app on your phone for 10 000 steps program an really get you motivated to keep moving through out your day.
Set a length of time you wish to challenge yourself for, four weeks, six weeks or eight weeks.
The longer you do it for the better your results will be.
Aim to do 10 000 steps throughout the day. If you don't achieve it first up, don't beat yourself up - just aim to increase each day's activity until you are at your gaol.
As I always say - if you combine a healthy nutritional plan you will soon be achieving health and fitness without having to put yourself through workouts.
Any change is a positive step forward, so start the change today and see the results for Summer and the holiday season. Which is only eight weeks away.
If you are reading this article then I know that you have been thinking about making a change and you are interested in health and fitness.
Fitness and living a healthy lifestyle is my passion, over the years it has been very helpful and has given to me the strength to tackle much in my life. It has also provided me with many laughs and fun times with the people I have met and trained with on both a personal and professional level.
Each month I am lucky enough to get to write this article and it is always my mission to inspire and motivate you the readers to start getting active and taking control of your health and fitness. If I’m lucky enough someone may discover their inner passion for this lifestyle as well. If you are reading this article then I know that you have been thinking about making a change and you are interested in health and fitness.
There was a time in my life when I was extremely unwell and I was diagnosed with Graves Disease a thyroid condition which impacted on my health and fitness for a number of years. I had a young family at the time and to be experiencing ill health at a time when they needed a healthy strong mother was extremely difficult for me and my family. During this time in my life I decided that once I had my condition under control I would start to do everything possible to regain my fitness and health so that I could enjoy life and my family to the fullest. I had gained some weight during this period and my confidence was at an all-time low, I knew if I was to make these changes permanent and realistic - they had to be done with small manageable baby steps which would eventually get bigger and bigger and motivate me to become a part of the Fitness Industry.
For me, the baby steps that I took were:
To review my nutrition and make positive changes with my diet. I eliminated processed foods, started to eat fresh, controlled portion sizes, cut back on caffeine and increase my water intake.
Walking – I started walking 3 times a week for 30 minutes, as the weeks progressed and I started to gain some fitness back I increased that to a daily walk and eventually that lead to a walk/run, which then lead into a daily run.
I bought a bike and started riding to school with my children.
I consciously increased my incidental exercise whenever I saw the opportunity – for example I would walk to the corner shop and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
As my fitness and health increased I started feeling a little bored with my exercise routine and was ready to try something new so I joined my local gym.
I found that being a member of a gym gave me the opportunity to try many different types of exercise and that encouragement from the trainers was extremely motivating and kept me focused on my goals.
Through this process over the years I have discovered so many strengths within myself. I’ve tackled things that I never thought I could possibly do, especially after having many years of ill health and being so physically weak. Now I am physically stronger than I ever could have imagined, every day I think about my nutrition and what I want to put into my body, my training, but most of all I get to pass this on to the people I meet each day including you!!!
Never feel defeated by your health, your life - change is always possible and it can start by taking baby steps just like me.
Foam rollers are an inexpensive, versatile piece of equipment that can help with releasing muscle tension and loosing those tight trouble spots
Last week we took a look at the benefits of daily stretching for the body, and how it can improve your movement, flexibility, increase blood flow, assist with exercise recovery and help prevent injury. All important reasons to start to incorporate stretching into your routine.
This week I thought we could take a look at the use of foam rollers as a way to assist and enhance the benefits of stretching. As the foam roller also as similar and added benefits.
Foam rollers are an inexpensive, versatile piece of equipment that can help with releasing muscle tension and loosing those tight trouble spots in the body.
The beauty of using a foam roller is that it is an affordable way to give yourself a deep tissue massage. By rolling slowly of different parts of your body, you can help to break up the adhesions and scar tissue in your muscles, this can assist in the healing and recovery process, especially if you are regularly exercising.
Form rollers work by using the body’s response to pressure, so as you roll over tight spots, the muscles begin to relax. For those especially tight spots, apply extra pressure.
When to us a foam roller
Position yourself on top of the roller and use the weight of your body to slowly roll back and forth over it (pretend you are a rolling pin and you are rolling out dough). Try not to use your arms for support, but focus on your body weight and relax as much as possible to move over the muscle you are targeting.
You can pick almost any muscle in the body and apply this method to relieve the muscle successfully, some of the more trouble spots in the body are usually the outer thigh or iliotibial band, calves, quadriceps, hamstrings and the upper back and neck.
Here are two roller exercise to help with tightness in your neck and upper back.
Believe me your body will than your afterwards. So keep on rolling on!
Have a backup plan for the mornings that you’ll wake up and it’s colder than usual
This week I thought it might be good to look at the impact of the winter months and address some strategies to combat the colder weather and maintain your mojo!
For many of us winter can completely change our lifestyle and we create habits to suit the colder weather, health and fitness can for many of us can be placed on the back burner and replaced with lazy days in front of the television curled up under a doona trying to stay warm. We can also crave the warm comfort food of hot pots and partake in those little extra treats – anything to keep us toasty inside and out. But unfortunately they can have a negative impact on our health, weight, metabolism and overall general wellbeing.
If we aim to stay active and fit over the colder months it will put you in good stead for the summer months ahead when you are ready for more activity and embrace the outdoors-including putting on the summer swim suit or bikini!
Here are six helpful tips to staying in shape over winter:
1. Create a seasonal timetable that suits your lifestyle changes over winter – if you are finding it a struggle to get up in the mornings and exercise then try finding another time of the day that suits you better, like lunchtime or straight after work.
2. Setting a winter training goal can often help to stay motivated – pick an event to train for and even get some friends on board to do it with you and you can all work together to achieve your goal. Register for an event or buy the tickets and that way you have already made the commitment. It’s a great opportunity to try something new and have some fun.
3. Diarise your workouts – it is completely okay to set the bar a little lower during the winter months especially if you are looking to maintain the gains you have made during the warmer months. Get yourself a diary and commit to a minimum number of workouts and mark them off once you have done them. If you treat them as if they are an important meeting that you cannot get out of then you are more likely to do them. Remember no excuses!
4. Go shopping and get yourself some new gear for the gym to keep you motivated – if you look good and feel comfortable you are more inclined to show up and stay on track.
5. Utilize your workout time better so that you can maximize your training and have more down time under the covers at home. Try some high intensity training where you work harder in a shorter space of time – these workouts have been proven to get amazing results.
6. Have a backup plan for the mornings that you’ll wake up and it’s colder than usual. Get some Personal training and make the trainer ring you to get you out of bed and to show up – if that doesn’t work then get a trainer to come to your house. Arrange to meet a friend to workout with and you can even car pool it so that you have to get out of bed.
Most of all exercise is a great way to combat those winter blues that we can suffer from over the colder months when the skies are a little greyer and gloomier and our energy levels become lower.
So stay focussed and on track and before you know it our warm summer days will be back again and we will be ready.
Shelley Myatt is the owner and operator of Shelley Myatt Fitness and Well-Being, Columnist, Life Coach & Motivational Speaker based in Toowoomba, Qld.