You know it’s getting closer to summer when you have to fight for a bike in your 6am spin class. Most of us have the same motivation at this time of year and it usually stems from an inner-panic when we realise it’s one month until summer and we’re SO not ready to swan around in a bikini.
We can work ourselves into a frenzy over a few weeks or months, crash dieting and pounding our bodies at the gym, trying to hit that goal weight or fit into that new dress, but as the saying goes, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
This type of behaviour can cause injuries, illness and fatigue. Crash dieting can also cause weight gain as your body is shocked into starvation mode, holding on to every calorie; unsure of when it’s going to be fed again.
Setting small, achievable goals and being consistent are the key ingredients to weight loss and/or toning. We compiled some top tips from industry experts for a healthy approach to re-shaping.
Sean Aalders-Leiss, Personal Trainer at Anytime Fitness reminds us that the secret formula for a healthy body is no secret. Healthy food choices and regular exercise are the key ingredients. It doesn’t have to cost you a fortune and it’s important to keep it simple:
“You don’t need to spend $150 on a watch to know what exercise intensity to work at. If you’re sweating and so out of breath that you can’t say more than 2 or 3 words at a time, then that’s the intensity for you. Get in that zone for 45 mins three times a week and you’ve got exercise sorted”.
Whilst the formula is simple, there are a few ways you can keep yourself on track and make it more enjoyable.
Focus On Fun. If you look forward to your workout you’re more likely to maintain your regime long term. Variation is essential. Mix cardio with weights and try something new: yoga, F45, trampolining, rock climbing. You don’t have to be in a gym to get a great workout. Not only does mixing it up prevent boredom, but it also keeps your body guessing; using different muscles every time you train.
Be Accountable. Find a workout buddy. It sounds simple, but this can make all the difference to your motivation. Teaming up with another person ensures you keep one another accountable. It’s easy to snooze through the alarm, but if you know your buddy is waiting for you at the gym you might feel a little guiltier doing so. Make your workout a social event rather than a chore. Grab a coffee together afterwards, relax and reflect.
Don’t Spot Target. We all have areas we want to work on: our stomachs, arms, thighs. Unfortunately spot targeting doesn’t really work and can be dangerous. Overuse of any one muscle group can cause strain, leading to injury. You can definitely work on toning different parts of your body through targeted exercises and weights, but weight loss should be addressed holistically through a consistent exercise routine and a balanced diet.
It Doesn’t Have to Hurt to Help. HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) has been in-style for a while now, but it’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Recent research at Ohio State University has uncovered that LIIT (yes, that stands for Low-Intensity Interval Training) can burn just as many calories as a HIIT session, but will take slightly longer to complete. The research measured the benefits of varying walking speeds and found that 8% of calories burnt when walking is due to the energy our bodies require to stop and start. Varying speed, walking in a curve or changing direction can burn up to 20% more calories than walking in a straight line.
Aimee Fischer-Gray, Personal Trainer at Fitness First & Founder of Aime Fit and Rockin Rigs BootyCamp says there is no point procrastinating:
“Stop coming up with excuses and get your Body moving right now, even if it’s just a walk you have to start TODAY!”
Your body is amazing, strong and unique. Focus on the parts you like and don’t compare yourself to others. If you’ve got legs eleven, show them off. Great guns? Get them out. Be proud of your achievements. Confidence is the sexiest virtue of all.