It’s that time of year when Christmas parties are coming thick and fast. You have already lost count of how many mince pies you have eaten and there will be many more to come. The festive season has filled the office with decadent treats that are way too tempting to pass by. On top of that, perhaps a few late nights after work with plenty of mulled wine!
In a week or so you will wake up on New Year’s Day (potentially feeling a little worse for wear!) with perhaps a slight dread of how to undo all the last few weeks’ indulgence.
There may even be a little voice on your head saying, “I am so going on a detox!”
We have all been there but instead of thinking there is a mountain in the way of getting into shape or increasing your fitness, think of the New Year as a great opportunity to get motivated and devise a solid plan to achieve your fitness goals.
It really isn’t as hard as you think. Not everybody needs to join a gym and go 7 days a week to improve their fitness. The key Is to identify your individual goal and then set steps and smaller goals to achieve this.
Run a marathon, complete a muddy race, get back into that dress, get your beach body for summer, the options are endless.
The key to achieving your goal is to carry out the right type of exercise with enough frequency and take on the right diet.
The simple rule to losing weight is you must burn more calories more than you consume. This can be done by watching what you eat or by taking exercise but ideally a combination of both. Fuelling your body with the right food will reduce the calories consumed and allow you to train more effectively, helping you to achieve your fitness goals.
When it comes to exercise, people often take up running as it’s convenient, cost-effective and a great way to burn calories. However, not everybody has a Mo Farrah within themselves (including me)!
Running is one of the most physically demanding forms of exercise due to the forces that are put on our joints, muscles and tendons. This does not mean it is bad, it just means you must build up to it.
Did you know that when running, the force going through one leg at a time can be up to three times your own bodyweight? Without being prepared it is easy to pick up injuries.
Therefore, identifying your long-term goal will determine the type of exercise you will be required to do.
If losing weight is your goal, then it’s important to know how hard you should push yourself during exercises and for how long. An easy equation to work this is out is:
220 minus your age is your maximal heart rate. Ideally your HR zone when exercising should be 60-70% of you max HR. Research reports you must exercise at least three times a week for 20-30 minutes to achieve effective weight loss.
Some ideas for beginners are:
- Walk the dog rather than throw a ball
- Get of the bus or tube a stop early on the way to and from work
- Take the stairs not the lift
- Walk a bit faster than you usually would
More intensive types of exercise can include:
- Circuit class
- Interval training
- Combination workouts
- Body weight exercises
All of these are designed to work multiple muscle groups which will keep your heart rate up for longer and burn more calories.
What’s great is with minimal equipment – such as a step or bench – you can achieve great results at home.
Why not try a home circuit of push ups, lunges, high step ups, chair dips, burpees, squat thrusts, plank and bridges for one minute each. Have two minutes rest after one full circuit and repeat three times.
For the runners out there, why not add some jumping or explosive exercises to your training. This will improve running technique leading to a more efficient use of energy and potentially improve performance times.
- Jumping lunges
- Box jumps
- Lateral jumps
- Kettle bell swings
Whatever your level or goal, for best results, exercising at least three times a week with rest days in between will be most effective to achieve your target.
If you have an event coming up or just want to kick start your current exercise regime, why not check out our offer here at Central Health Physio. We are offering 10 sessions of our lower limb circuit class for £90 – follow the link to see what happens in the class!