For me, one of the most effective ways to keep fit and stay consistently active is to make exercise a normal part of my lifestyle. So it’s as much of my daily routine now as brushing my teeth. This way, I view it as a lifestyle and time out to de-stress rather than an awful hour of torture! But believe me, there are days when fitness is the last thing I want to do and an hour longer is bed is a million times more appealing than dragging myself to the gym, a Pilates class or onto a cardio machine. But as most of us know, the benefits of an active lifestyle go far beyond aesthetics. I love the physical strength, the mental clarity, boosted energy levels, focus on healthy eating, improved sleep and stronger immune system that regular exercise gives me.
Although I’m also a firm believer in always listening to your body and never pushing it when you feel run-down or overstretched. Always prioritise sleep over exercise if your gut instinct tells you to… but it can’t be an excuse every time either!
Whether you’re a total beginner, an experienced gym bunny or have simply got stuck in a fitness rut, these are ten of my favourite fitness tips for life:
1. Everybody has to start somewhere:
For the majority of people, the most daunting and intimidating part of getting fit is where to begin. It can feel like you’re constantly bombarded with conflicting information about health, fat loss and fitness, making it almost impossible to even know what to start with and whether you’re even doing it right. Just like food and nutrition, fitness works best when it’s kept as simple as possible and don’t be afraid to ask fitness experts as many questions as you need to, that’s what they’re there for.
2. Make regular exercise a part of your lifestyle:
It should be be fun, challenging and changed up regularly to make sure it never gets boring.
3. View it as time out for yourself rather than a punishment:
No matter how disciplined and determined you may be, it’s very difficult to motivate yourself to get active when it’s something you don’t enjoy.
4. Bring your gym gear everywhere:
I bring mine on business trips abroad and have been known to sprint up hotel staircases for exercise!
5. Eat to support your body and mind:
Good nutrition is crucial to fitness, mental health and life, and experts consider fitness to be as much as 70% nutrition. I know I couldn’t lead a busy life and stay fit and healthy without eating a nourishing diet.
6. Take responsibility for your actions:
It can be too easy to make excuses to skip exercise, but I believe that hard work, intelligent effort and avoiding the temptation to blame somebody else for when things don’t always go right, is a key combination to success in fitness and in life.
7. Discover which activity works best for you and always listen to your body:
A combination of resistance training with weights, Pilates and cardiovascular exercise suits me best and I used to love running but now prefer exercise that is more gentle on joints.
8. Jogging, gardening, cycling, dancing, yoga, swimming, power walking all count! Aim to get your heart rate up during exercise, challenge your body and get a little out of breath. Sweating regularly is considered healthy as it helps to boost lymphatic drainage.
9. Weight training effective at sculpting your body, changing the muscle to fat ratio and is especially important for bone health in women.
I aim to incorporate resistance trying into my workouts 2-4 times a week, depending on my schedule.
10. Invest in New Workout Clothes:
I find that having colourful, fun clothes to wear for my workouts, really helps to make me feel excited and motivated. There’s a great range of brightly coloured sportswear available in shops now, that don’t cost a fortune, and a decent pair of runners will make all the difference to your training experience. I adore the new 2017 range from River Island as it’s snazzy, stylish, supportive and comfy! Here are the details for my outfit below: