“My motivation and workouts have slipped. How do I get back in gear?”
Find a ‘Training Mate’. As humans, we always tend to let ourselves down before we let others down, so pull someone along with you. Schedule regular, consistent workouts and hold each other accountable. It may be a family member, work mate or neighbour. Otherwise, there are many group fitness studios or teams that will provide you with the motivation you need. Also, don't beat yourself up; this is a lifestyle not a temporary fix. There’s no rule that says you can't laugh, joke and find some fun in your workouts – or at least with who you're working out with. You can change your relationship with exercise by changing your mindset about it.
“I want to lose a few kilos. What type of workouts should I turn to?”
The best style of workout to lose weight, especially body fat, is HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with the emphasis on intensity. It’s the one factor that can really change your body and accelerate your results. Try a little sequence of squats, push-ups and sit-ups when you wake up in the morning: do 3 sets with 45 seconds active and 15 seconds rest. You’ll kickstart your metabolism before the kettle has boiled.
“I’m a cardio girl but want to do more strength training. Where do I start?”
It's really important to incorporate some type of weight training into your routine. Lean muscle stimulates our metabolism and helps our body to burn fat as a form of energy. I use weights and resistance work with all of my female clients. Start with light weights, and you can always step it up. Keep it simple: if that means 1 kg weights, that's what it is. Don't feel pressured to be like anyone else – health and fitness is all about you.
“I’m not sure what to do after exercise to get the most from it…”
Recovery is a very important part of being physically fit and healthy. Our body craves nourishment directly after working out, so eat a clean and balanced meal that’s protein rich to help repair the muscles, add some green leafy vegies or fresh fruit to get in added micronutrients, and you’re well on your way. Stretching is also another really important ritual: try doing a series of yoga-type moves like Down Dog, Up Dog and Child’s Pose after every workout and your flexibility will improve.
“I’m feeling a bit rundown and unwell. Should I still sweat it out?”
It's really important to listen to your body. If you’re feeling really sick then absolutely skip the workout and consult your GP. On the other hand, if you’re just feeling a little tired or under the weather, exercise can be just what you need. Lower the intensity and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Swap a HIIT-style workout for a walk or light jog, and make sure to get some recovery in after.
“I’ve only got 30 minutes. What can I do to get max value?”
HIIT, HIIT, HIIT and more HIIT! 30 mins is more than enough time to get a great workout in and also stay in amazing shape. It's all about consistency.
“My friend told me to stretch before a workout as well as after it. Necessary?”
Stretching before a workout isn’t recommended, as our muscles are tight and not ready to be stretched. Try an active warm-up instead, like skipping or light jogging for approximately 5 mins. Leg swings are another favourite of mine: do 10 on each leg back and forth, then 10 on each leg from side to side. You should develop a light sweat – that's when you know you're ready to work out.