Tips for a fit & health New Year!

Tip 1 for a Healthy New Year... Measure yourself in some way so that you have a benchmark to work from. Either weighing yourself, or taking measurements from around your waist & hips, or have a body fat test carried out. Make sure that whatever method you choose is done in a controlled environment, e.g. if you weigh yourself do it at the same time of day in the same clothes (or without). You also need to factor in food consumption, and your cycle if you're female and so on... We recommend using a item of clothing which is currently too tight fitting - as you lose weight and tone up your shape will change and the chosen item of clothing will start to fit better. It's a tried and tested practice which is reliable and also a great motivator!

Tip 2 for Healthy New Year... Be disciplined with yourself 5 days a week. You may be partial to a drink or two, or a cheeky take away, or possibly - and quite commonly - you have a sweet tooth. Well the good news is that you don't have to give these things up completely but have them instead as a treat, rather than as an every day occurrence. The best way to do this is to be disciplined 5 days of the week - be active - eat healthily - and avoid alcohol and sugary/fatty foods. The you can relax for a couple of days (BUT DON'T OVERDO IT) with the treats - think moderation. There is a double positive to doing this, the first is that you don't feel deprived and still get to enjoy your little indulgences. The second (and more important) is that you'll find you don't want to have them as much, as your body is no longer craving them. Try it, it works!

Tip 3 for a Healthy New Year... Technology is your friend! My Fitness Pal is a free App/website that was designed by the NHS. Easy to use, you can simply bar code or enter manually all of your food and drink intake daily and it will track how many calories you've consumed and what percentage of carbs/protein/fats you've clocked up. You can also log any exercise/movement in it and it will calculate how many calories you've burned. Even better - you can set goals and it will tell you how many calories you require daily to reach them. This app really makes you be more disciplined with your food and drink choices - but please use it sensibly. Everything in moderation!

Tip 4 for a Health New Year... Exercise regularly - but be realistic. Frequency is far more beneficial than lengthy, spaced out sessions. Joining a gym or working with a personal trainer can help to motivate you more, or take part in a group class. Find something that you enjoy doing but that also challenges you, keep your programme fresh and change it around so that you don't get bored easily. Day-to-day, get off the bus a few stops earlier and walk the rest of the way, or park further away than your destination and again walk the rest of the way. Use the stairs instead of the escalator or lifts. Small efforts can make big changes!

Tip 5 for a Healthy New Year... Our final tip is to be training efficient. Get the most from exercise by using techniques that work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Also work on stabilising and strengthening your core and engaging your core muscles as much as possible when exercising. This will help to increase your metabolic rate which helps to burn more calories.

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