August Fitness Blog
Our Health and Fitness Manager answers some of your fitness questions:
I’m heading off for some winter sun with a pool-and-beach holiday. How can I incorporate regular exercise without spending half my stay in the hotel gym?
It makes sense to keep up with your exercise plan while you are on holiday, but you don’t have to do it the gym.The beach is a ready-made gym – but with a much better view.Walking on sand is great for your core strength and for your thighs, calves and glutes. Head out for an early morning beach walk before the sun gets too strong.
Swimming is great for cardio and for strengthening your arms, shoulders and legs, and it is no hardship to spend time in the sea when you are on holiday.Why not pack a resistance band? This neat tool is very light weight and takes up little space, but it will enable you to do a decent resistance workout whenever you have a bit of downtime.
Remember to stick to a healthy diet too. This tends to be easier in a hot country, where fresh vegetables and seafood are such key staples. But watch your alcohol intake and keep up your water consumption. Have a great trip.
My 11-year-old daughter and I have made real efforts to get healthier during the school holidays – swimming, power walking and careful meal planning. How do we stay on the wagon when she goes back to school?
Well done for making those positive changes in your lifestyle. The longer you can keep up the good work the more ingrained those good habits will become and the easier they will become too.
Be organised. Write a diary of all of the healthy things you have done so far and find a way to fit them into your daily routine now. Ask your daughter to write a plan of simple healthy breakfasts for the week and healthy packed lunches.
Similarly, write a plan together of fun exercises you can do three times a week and stick to it. Can you fit in a swim one evening a power walk another evening and a cycle as a family at the weekend? Organisation is the key to achieving any goal but you are half way there because you have the desire to maintain your fitness.
I do a 40 minute cardio workout in the gym three times a week to keep my weight under control. I know I need to incorporate some weights work, but I have little muscle power. How can I get started?
Incorporating weights into your routine, particularly if you want to boost weight loss, is vital. Adding muscle to your body will help you burn more energy, even when you are resting. It will enhance your shape and it will boost your strength. Start slowly, using resistance machines set to the lowest weight session. Do three lots of twelve repetitins,resting for 10 seconds in between.
If you are a runner you will probably find the machines which work the thigh and calves don’t give you too much trouble. You might struggle with the shoulder, core and arm muscles, but, with perseverance you will improve.
What kind of food, and how much of it, should I at before a workout?
It is important to eat something before you head off to the gym for a workout.
You don’t need to opt for a full meal – otherwise your body will be focussed on digesting a stomach full of food rather than being focussed on keeping your muscles moving. Instead, eat a healthy carb-based snack, with some sugar for easy fuel and eat it about 20 minutes before you start your routine.Try a banana, avocado or apple with some nut butter. This is a healthy choice, packed with nutrients, protein and good carbs and it will give you the perfect fuel for your workout.
If you workout lasts for less than an hour you shouldn’t need to eat during the routine, but remember to drink plain water often to keep hydrated. If you used weights then our body will continue to burn calories for around 20 to 60 minutes after your workout, so you might want to use this time to eat a healthy, high protein meal, to aid muscle growth.