fitness March 15, 2017
It's March, 3 months into the year and for probably the first time ever, I've managed to stay well on top of my New Year fitness and health resolutions. The passed year in it's entirety has been a huge part of my fitness journey – I've gone from a girl that hated all forms of exercise to a full on gym-bunny who hates to miss her spin sessions. Much of this is thanks to an amazing personal trainer I had whilst living in London for the best part of 2016 (Steve is literally the best – you guys can check out his website here) who gave me everything from knowledge to quick home work-outs to give me the motivation I needed to begin and maintain my fitness journey.
Of course, when I moved to Bristol in September our sessions sadly came to an end and I kind of fell off the wagon thanks to lots of travelling, boredom with repetitive home work outs and lack of bikini-induced motivation. Fast forward to the start of 2017 I was feeling royally distraught with myself (as does everyone) after the sheer indulgence of the festive period and decided to bite the bullet and sign up to a top-tier health club gym, and it's been the best decision I made for my fitness. I feel stronger, fitter and more top of my game than ever before and though there's still plenty of room for improvement and I'm by no means an expert, with summer soon on it's way I thought I'd share with you my 5 top tips I've learned over the passed year for keeping on top of your fitness goals!
1. SET MONTHLY GOALS & REWARD YOUR PROGRESS
Goal-setting is so important for keeping on top of your fitness progress, but you need to be realistic. When I first started working out I thought after a few weeks of training sessions I'd have the dream bikini body I'd always wanted – wrong. Real progress takes commitment and time and setting yourself a goal that's not realistic can leave you feeling depressed and demotivated if you don't reach it. But making small, achievable, monthly goals are a great way to monitor progress smashing a minor achievement is 100% more rewarding – and don't forget to treat yourself when you do.
2. INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH & FITNESS
Now I don't just mean you have to spend loads monthly on a luxury fitness club, but sticking to your fitness goals means investing also in time and commitment. Joining my local Nuffield Health has been amazing for me – I have an amazing range of classes on tap daily and the pool, steam room and sauna make going to the gym much more of a experience I look forward to. I find classes are motivating me most at the moment so something like this is the perfect choice for me but if you don't fancy going all out, how about treating yourself to one or two classes a month. London especially has some great options without membership fees – from bikram yoga to crazy energetic spin classes (that'll only be the cost of a couple Starbucks or your Friday night uber home) you'll find something that suits you. Rewarding yourself with some new gym clothing is also something I've found to be really motivating – I've worn these new kicks to every work out since I got them and adore how they make me feel, check out JD for a great range of women's trainers.
And then of course, if you're realistic about achieving your goals you have to be prepared to invest time and effort. Whether it means getting up a couple of hours earlier or popping to class on your lunch break, it'll be worth it.
3. MIX IT UP
As I mentioned, with the absence of my personal training sessions and lack of new work out inspiration, I became so bored with my home work outs come autumn time (having done them all year) and thus gave up training entirely for a couple of months. Now, I mix up my routine with one or two different classes from spin, body pump, HIIT and yog everyday and it keeps it so much more interesting with little effort or planning from my end and I look forward to every single one. If you find a routine you love and want to stick to, try not to go past the 5 week mark without switching it up a little and you shouldn't get bored. If classes aren't for you, there's enough great at-home work out tutorials on Youtube for you to do a different routine everyday. The Body Coach is my personal favourite and I also follow @j.crvz on Instagram for some insane gym routine inspo.
4. DON'T FORGET YOUR DIET
As hard as you work in the gym, you won't see as much progress if you aren't reflecting the same amount of commitment in your diet. Of course, when you're working out you no need to make sure you're consuming enough macro nutrients to give you energy and give your body the fuel it needs to work and heal. But if you're following exercise with an unhealthy diet, it's pretty counter-productive. I'm not talking about the odd sweet treat, dinner out or weekend cocktails – balance is also key, but if you feel your diet doesn't provide you with the right nutrients or too much fat/ sugar, making a few changes day-to-day combined with working out you'll find more frequent progress (and you'll feel amazing too).
I've personally cut out meat and gluten since the start of January and I'm feeling so much cleaner and healthier for it – I'm no dietician and you'll certainly know what works for you best so I suggest doing your own research on healthy foods to suit you and your lifestyle. One recipe book I've been loving is Eat Smart by lifestyle Youtuber Niomi Smart – so many delicious vegan recipes! So long as you're consuming more colourful fruits and veggies than you are french-fries – you're on the right track.
5. REMEMBER WHY YOU'RE DOING THIS
It's easy to forget your motivations after routinely training, but remember to (mentally or physically) make note of what the positives of going to the gym, exercising or eating healthy are for you. For me, it's for both my physical and mental health – yes, I want to be strong and look and feel my best but exercising and keeping up a good level of fitness also helps hugely with reducing my levels of anxiety (win-win). For you, it might be to feel your best on your travels this summer or just to improve your overall health – whatever the reason, be aware of why you're doing it and what it's doing for you.
Really hope you enjoyed this post folks! The first really of my fitness features but the first of many I hope – would love to hear if you'd like to see more of this kind of thing.
Shop the look: Ellesse leggings, hoodie & sports bra, Adidas trainers all via JD Sports. Missoma necklace