January Fitness Tips
January is often the time of year where we aim to get back on track with our fitness goals, or even start on new fitness journeys. That’s why we’ve teamed up with Jordan Webster MSc ASCC to provide you with some simple hints and tips to help you on your way.
Here are 5 top tips for starting your fitness journey:
1 - Start with a realistic goal in mind. Whatever your reason for wanting to start exercising, it’s nice to have a goal in mind. Whether that is running a certain distance without stopping or doing a certain number of sessions per week. This allows you to put a number to your progress.
2 - Plan your week. Planning your week allows you to eliminate that feeling of uncertainty. If you plan that you are going to go to the gym 3 times after work, you are much more likely to pack your gym kit with your work bag.
3 - Don't get over ambitious too soon. Don’t expect too much of yourself at the start. Of course, be motivated, but don’t worry too much about going from 0 to 6 sessions a week as that won’t be sustainable! Nice, gradual increases in sessions will allow your body (and mind) to adjust to a new routine.
4 - Seek advice from a professional. At first, your fitness journey can be pretty daunting. So, enlisting the help of somebody is a good idea to teach you the correct technique and get you into the swing of things! This could even be online.
5 - Write down your sessions. By writing down your sessions, it allows you to track and monitor progress. This can be a good motivational tool too!
The importance of warming up:
Why warm-up? Warming up prepares your body for exercise by increasing heart rate, blood flow, and body temperature. Warming up can help reduce the chance of injury and increase your performance in the session. Take a look at these quick guidelines for more info, as well as some example warm-ups.
- 5-10 minutes, moderate intensity
- Focus on warming up the areas of the body that you’re going to use, aim to take the muscles and joints through a wide range of movements.
Example warm up (how to videos for these are easy to find online):
- 10 X Squats
- 10 X Side lunges
- 10 X Spiderman rotations (each side)
- 10 X Downward dog to press up position
Hydration: What & Why?
Did you know that one simple way to help keep you healthy is to drink more water?
60% of the human body is made up of water. This means that when we are dehydrated it has an effect on our bodily processes such as brain function, digestive system, heart and lung function, and strength levels.
Tips to keep yourself hydrated:
- Make sure to always have a water bottle on you
- Drink regularly and make it a habit
- Use sugar free flavourings if you prefer the taste
Sleep: benefits for health & performance
Better sleep quality has been linked to an increase in mood, happiness, digestive ability, strength, power, cardiovascular ability and reaction time.
Here are 5 tips to make sure you set yourself up for a great nights sleep:
1 – Avoid caffeine late in the day. Try not to drink caffeinated drinks later in the day so that the stimulative effects don’t disrupt your ability to fall asleep.
2 – Avoid screens for 1 hour before bed. The lights from TV’s and phones trick the body into thinking it’s daytime, so the brain does not release melatonin (the sleep hormone).
3 – Have a chill-out routine. Create a routine that you follow before bed-time so that you can gradually switch off. The brain will then associate these tasks with getting ready to sleep.
4 – Make your bedroom sleep-friendly. Make sure your bedroom is dark, a comfortable temperature with limited disrupted noise.
5 – De-clutter your brain. It’s always harder to sleep when you’re thinking about something stressful or important. Try to get rid of these thoughts before bed. Techniques such as mindfulness or journaling can be a very positive way of ‘de-cluttering’.