Nearly 4 years on from creating this blog it has got me thinking... where will it be in 4 more years? What direction will I choose to take that I feel will best help the most people.
Well, I would like your opinion...
Would you like more regular posts? Discussing some of the following subject areas:
For long term, sustainable change it's about looking at overall lifestyle and how different choices can be made.
Recipe ideas and approaches to nutrition. From inspiration, tips on overall healthy options, a look at anti-inflammatory foods, and the value of multivitamins are a few areas that could be discussed.
And of course, exercise. What you can do and how you can try something new. Finding the things that work for you with your means, time and environment.
Naturally this blog will evolve over time but sharing your opinions, needs and requirements will guide me towards optimally helping you with your health and fitness journey. I get excited by people's progress and accomplishments. I want to help you get excited by the idea of change too. After all if you do as you've always done, you will get what you've always had. Challenges change, your age and commitments in life change, it's about focusing on the things you want to prioritise such as to be strong, happy, healthy and confident. It's about so much more than just a number, it's about feeling great and enjoying the journey. Let me know if you are ready for change and need guidance in the right direction!
Thanks for reading,
I was chatting with a client last week and it highlighted one of the most significant qualities that a personal trainer needs to be by nature of the role. Personal, we offer a personal service to help you achieve your goals.
I have discovered over the years that many people have had unsuccessful personal training experiences. One of the common themes of not enjoying it came down to the fact they felt like they were not listened to. They would be in an environment they were not particularly comfortable in and they were made to do things that they were not happy to do. Don't get me wrong, a big part of a pt's job is encouraging people out of their comfort zone but it's really important to listen.
This is probably one of the most important parts of my job. I have my preferred methods and approaches based on my knowledge and experience but I apply this based on an individual client that is in front of me. What works for one person does not necessarily work for another.
I can't always carry out the session I may plan for someone, they may turn up with an injury, plans for the next day that would be negatively effected if we were to train that body part or they may still be recovering. I have to adapt. Adaptation is key, being able to work around challenges faced. I would not be doing a good job if I just pushed on with the planned session just because it was planned.
Sometimes you have to go away and think of a new approach, every session provides feedback throughout whether explicitly stated or not. Every day my experience grows which means I can provide a more in depth service.
We offer a personal service and that is why we put value in showing you what we are like so that you can make the right choice for you.
Thanks for reading!
Training or lifting straps are one of the few pieces of equipment that I recommend people getting.
Should you get some?
In balance, yes, most people would benefit from them. Just be sure not to neglect your grip strength as you still want to get your forearms stronger, so you don't need to rely on the straps.
Feel free to watch this tutorial youtube video on how to use straps, give them ago and let me know what you think!
A few things I talk about often... exercise, nutrition, recovery. As well as water consumption and positive mindset.
Which is more important?
Do you need to address all of them?
How can I fit all of these things in?
How much do I need to do?
What's the best way...?
The list goes on...
I think it depends what you want. If you want to make some positive changes that means you are fitter and healthier than before then the balance is not as significant.
If you are looking to see significant change then it is vital to realise that it is your current habits that got you where you are now and therefore to not look at how you need to change will hinder your progress. It may mean a complete shift in lifestyle but the results can be dramatic. And the truth is if you are prepared to change, you will see change in your body, shape, fitness, strength, habits if you stick to it consistently for long enough.
Try not to figure out how to keep all the things you "like" in your diet but start afresh and think about the most effective way to fuel your body. Food is fuel. Rest and recovery is vital and exercise is key for positive change in body and mind.
You need to think about all of the above areas if you want to change your body. And if health is a key priority for you then you most certainly do want to take them all into consideration. After all, what is more important than our health...
Today I wanted to share my thoughts on the importance of keeping track.
I think everyone can get a little lost sometimes and lose track of what they are working towards and if you don't record what you are doing it is difficult to keep perspective.
Keeping a record of both nutrition and in particular workouts is extremely valuable.
Keep a record via a notebook, diary or for my clients via the LiveFitNow Online app. This is one of the best ways of measuring progress in both the short and long term. The best way of ensuring you are making progress each week is knowing exactly what you did the week before. It will also show you when you reach a training plateau and it's time to change things up.
It's a common question, are fitbits or any activity tracker any good? You may have a fitbit, samsung gear, apple watch or one of the numerous other makes out there. More and more I hear negative headlines about how we shouldn't bother with them. I have to say I don't disagree with the points that are made by the critics, most of the observations are correct but this does not mean that they are a waste of time.
I think it is a matter of how you use them. I know for a fact, because numerous clients have proven so, that these watches get people moving more than they did. Many people have such sedentary lives, these watches make people aware of how little they are moving and thus the incentive to increase the number of steps that they carry out is great.
One of the biggest criticisms of these watches is the accuracy of them, or rather lack of accuracy. If you wore three watches at the same time it is highly unlikely that by the end of the day you would have the same step count on all of them. Why bother then? Well does it really matter the exact number that you carry out? Or is it more important that you move more in general, we are probably talking a few hundred steps different, not the difference between someone who naturally does 3-4000 a day trying to ensure they reach 10000. In this case the watches do a good job.
One tip that I think is important to remember is to not use the additional calories that it calculates for you, this will particularly be relevant if you link your fitbit to myfitnesspal, the inaccuracy of its calculations coupled with most people rough estimations when they track food can mean it is easy to throw yourself over by a few hundred calories each day.
Heart rate and sleep tracking is another significant element to the functions of these watches. Again, I do think that the accuracy is not perfect but it does make people more aware and accountable to there habits and patterns.
I absolutely believe that fitness trackers have there place. They can be a great encouragement and support tool. Having one does not mean you are going to use it, after all you still need to take action to reach the goals but for most I find it gives you that helping hand and encouragement to get going.
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts and if you have any questions please get in touch and I will get back to you.
Hello everyone, I hope you are all having a great week! Today I want to bring up the topic of support. I sent out a mailshot last week asking for support of LiveFitNow by subscribing to our YouTube channel. And it got me thinking about the importance of support. It is extremely powerful, especially when you are striving towards personal goals.
As a personal trainer and online coach I consider support as one of the most important skills to practice day after day. It is the foundation of the service that I offer.
Support may come from a professional, a partner, family member, colleague or friend. Not forgetting your own “self” support. Don’t underestimate the importance of this. It can increase the confidence that you have in taking each small step towards your goals rather than feeling alone.
Setting yourself up with a good support network is an important thing to consider. You should consider both professional and personal support.
Do you have the help of your family and/or close friends? When you have goals to work towards it is extremely helpful if you feel supported, let people know what you are trying to achieve so they can help rather than hinder. The last thing you want as you get started is the offer of office biscuits or a night out down the pub, as much as there is nothing wrong with having those things in your life, temptation when you are trying to change habits is often counter-productive. You are trying to break old habits and great new ones. Most people thrive off routine and it all about taking small steps to change your routine to a healthier, fitter and happier one.
Professional help can come in the form of showing you how to put a structure and routine into place that will allow you to work towards your goals. They can then keep you accountable and help you with your bumps in the road along the way. Remember you need to remind yourself this is a long-term plan for long term results, it may not all be plain sailing and that is when support is so important for achieving the long term goals.
Professionals have often dealt with many of these issues before with clients and through their own experience so know how to guide you and people within your personal network have probably shared some of these experiences at some point too. Prioritise time for yourself and those who can aide you, it pays dividends.
I hope this gets you thinking about your own support network and how you can use it to your advantage and also be a support to those around you who need some help.
As always, if you have any questions please get in touch! :)
If you are looking to improve your health and fitness a good way to fit this into a busy lifestyle is HIIT. HIIT or high intensity interval training is a popular method used in the fitness industry that you may have heard of especially in the last few months as popularity seems to keep increasing. It generally involves bursts of intense exercise, with rest periods and takes place over a relatively short period of time, generally 15-30 minutes but can be as little as 4. It is a very effective way of training but it isn’t suitable for everyone and you should check with your doctor before you start such an exercise programme. It is also important when you are performing new exercises to warm up appropriately and make sure you can execute the moves safely and correctly before doing it at the intensity required for HIIT. You may need to start with an easy routine then increase the difficulty, working up to the more challenging workouts.
Why do HIIT?
There are many benefits to HIIT.
HIIT workouts you can try
Running (you can apply this to walking, bike or hills depending on fitness levels and goals)
Beginner: 20 seconds sprint, 1 minute rest (either walk or stop). Repeat 10 times.
Intermediate: 60 seconds run, 2 minutes rest. Repeat 5 times.
Advanced: 2 minutes run, 30 seconds rest. Repeat 10 times.
HIIT targeting the Core
30 seconds on, 10 seconds rest
Mountain climbers (up)
Laying ankle tap
Laying ab cycle
Mountain climbers (diagonally)
Full Body HIIT
30 seconds on, 10 seconds rest
Sprint on the spot
Record your workout, exercises and times. That way you know what you can do for your next session and push yourself harder. You want to be giving maximum effort to get your heartrate up during your work period, during your rest period your heart rate will come back down ready for the next interval. You may find it useful to get yourself a heartrate monitor. This way you can track how hard you are working, how quickly you are recovering and see improvement in your fitness over time.
Hopefully you will give HIIT a go and try something new, for more workouts or HIIT to target your specific needs get in touch, we are always happy to help.
Now of course, this is not me, I don't hate exercise. But it is something that I hear time and time again from various sources. People don't exercise because they don't like it. And a conversation with an old friend, client and health professional got me thinking a few days ago.
You know, I wasn't the sporty kid at school, I wasn't the one my peer group would have expected to end up as a personal trainer. You would have found me in the library not the sports hall at lunchtime. I did always like swimming and have to say always enjoyed sports at primary school but as the school teams passed me by at secondary school the very usual route taken by many girls of less and less sport ensued.
My new found love of exercise came a few years down the line, when I realised the importance of exercise for my overall health and well being (I was far too sedentary for my liking and this needed to change) and I took the leap of joining a small, friendly, independent gym. Little did I know this action would change the entire path of my life. I had never been in a gym before, I didn't know if I would like it but I made the decision to give it a go and I never looked back. That first step got me trying all sorts of different activities over the years, I've lifted weights, joined in with various fitness classes from Step to Spin, Pilates, got myself a mountain bike and participated in races and running too. I have to say I have enjoyed these things for many different reasons but what's most important is the fact that if I hadn't tried it once, I wouldn't have known that it is something that I enjoy and now choose to carry on with.
So I guess it's time to come back to my original point: don't say "I hate exercise". If you have given every sport, or activity in the world a try, fair enough, I guess you can. But you know what, I truly believe that everyone has at least one thing that they enjoy, find fun, want to keep doing. You just may have never tried it to find out. If you are someone who doesn't currently look forward to exercising this is my advice to you: try something new. You may not even realise that you are working out, for many I guess this would be the best part of all. You may find it useful to have a think about why you haven't enjoyed exercise in the past. Is it the feeling, you prefer to work individually or work better as part of a team, lack of knowledge...the reasons are endless, but have a think about what it is that you haven't enjoyed in the past and it may guide you in the right direction as to the sort of thing to try or avoid.
Good luck on your quest and please let me know what you find!
For most, I honestly believe setting New Year resolutions are a waste of time...
Taking the time to think about what you would like to achieve in the coming months and year ahead is a fantastic idea. And that is what this time of year allows. A time for reflection on what you may or may not have achieved in the last 12 months and what you would like to focus on going forward.
It’s really quite an exciting time. New things to keep you moving forward and driven for the year ahead.
My advice to you is to set yourself realistic long, medium and short term goals. Don’t just ban or cut things out (there are of course the odd exceptions i.e giving up smoking etc) look at what you want to achieve and set yourself sensible and achievable goals. Keep focused, make regular progress and try and find some fun in what you do. Enjoying something makes it seem so much less of a chore and improves the chances of you sticking with it throughout the year.
So I wish you good luck with all of your goals for 2018, set your mind to what you want to achieve, figure out what you need to do it and work hard every day to reach them.
Happy New Year... wishing you a healthy, happy and prosperous 2018!
As a Personal Trainer and Swimming teacher my aim is to help others achieve their health and fitness goals.