For those new to exercise, as well as seasoned gym-goers, it’s easy to get caught up in the latest fad diets and quick-fix fitness crazes promising significant changes in no time at all.
Chelsea Health Club personal trainer, Terry Angell, offers his back-to-basics fitness tips for improving and maintaining overall health and fitness.
Education is key
It is often easy to take on a new workout plan or routine without questioning the method behind why you’re performing certain exercises, and what muscle groups you’re working. It’s best to understand the purpose of specific exercises and movements so you can ensure you’re performing them correctly. If you have any doubts, don’t be afraid to ask your trainer.
Set yourself realistic goals
Embarking on a weight-loss or fitness journey is often just that, a journey, and so it’s unrealistic to expect big changes after just a couple of weeks. It takes time to reduce body fat and gain lean muscle, so consistent effort is important to achieve your goals. Start small and with something you can achieve. As you progress, it should become easier to set yourself harder goals.
There is a lot of conflicting advice and opinion when it comes to counting calories. In a very basic sense, calories are a unit of energy and so it’s important to be aware of the number you consume, but perhaps more important is the quality of these calories. Not all calories are made equal, so it’s important to focus on whole foods with high nutritional value and avoid processed sugars and saturated fat.
Drink more water
Keeping hydrated has many benefits, which include maintaining the body’s fluid balance, helping to reduce fatigue and avoiding overeating. Try to aim for at least 2 litres a day, not including water consumed during a workout.
After a workout it’s tempting to skip the stretching and head straight for the showers, but incorporating a post-workout cool down should be a key part of your session. Stretching helps to increase workout intensity levels, aid recovery, reduce soreness and increase your range of movement.
Check Your Form
You should NEVER sacrifice work load for form. You’ll get better results from performing exercises correctly, compared to pushing out additional reps with poor form. This will also reduce the risk of injury.