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10 tips to kickstart your fitness

Lost your exercise mojo during lockdown? We asked three local experts their tips on how get to back in the swing of gym and weekly classes.

“Slow and steady wins the race”, Leanne Smith, Lean with Leanne

1/ Set realistic goals: remember slow and steady wins the race. You don’t need to try and lose a stone in a week. The true path to sustainable change is to set goals that are achievable and create habits that you can maintain forever.

Don’t restrict yourself: You don’t need to give up everything enjoyable in life to get great results. It’s all about balance, especially with your nutrition.

2/ Don’t just focus on your bodyweight, it can be really rewarding to set new challenges based on performance such as running your first 5K.

3/ To lose weight, you must be consistently in a calorie deficit (eating less calories than you burn) but that doesn’t mean you have to live on salads and water. Be flexible and enjoy the finer things in moderation and still lose weight by tracking your calories with the Lean with Leanne Calorie Calculator which helps you measure your daily calorie intake to ensure you’re in a deficit while still getting results.

4/If you want, I can handle the numbers for you. Simply follow the link above, fill out the form and it will tell you exactly how many calories you should be consuming for your goals. You can also get a free trial at Winners 2000 Fitness including a free Gym program when you sign up! And check out my Lean with Leanne instagram to see the amazing results you can achieve.

Leanne is a brilliant transformation coach and personal trainer, based at Winners 2000 in Paignton, who runs her 8 Week Challenge programme with proven success in helping women get fit, and lose weight.

“Have a mindset of consistency”, Sarah Danning, Physically Fabulous

5/Imagine you’ve had a six month holiday and have to start over. Take baby steps. Mark up a calendar with a twenty-minute exercise of say, a brisk walk, gentle yoga or a gentle stretch, to do five days a week or every other day.

6/If you’re going to walk, walk with purpose: stride out, whatever you do, do it well but keep it short. Half fill a water bottle to take on a walk with slices of lemon diffusing as you go and sip don’t gulp. After week 1, you’ll want to increase the time and intensity and before you know it, you’ll be creating a habit.

Have a mindset of consistency. This will win the day before you even start and stick at it for two weeks before you even thinking of quitting, if indeed you do!

7/With food: gently start to make reductions on all the things you’ve gone nuts on and cut back or drop alcohol for at least 2 weeks. The body breaks down alcohol before fat which is why, if you stop drinking for two weeks, your body can get to work on excess fat as alcohol is no longer in the way. 

8/Increase your veg intake and cut back on all the usual baddies, like crisps, biscuits, cake, general junk in the diet. We all know what they are! And then   da’ nah – bye-bye lockdown body and hello, healthier, stronger you.

Sarah is an inspiring level 3 fitness trainer who runs fitness, dance and cardio classes in the Plymouth and South Hams, and a Tuesday morning beach workout at Wembury beach.

“Listen to your body”, Zoë Harris 

9/If you haven’t exercised for a while, or you’re new to a class, it’s tempting to really go for it, get carried away with the moment and not pay attention to what you’re doing.  Instead move mindfully – don’t push yourself so hard you force your body beyond its limitations.

10/Practice patience, listen to your body as you move smoothly into a pose and find your edge to get that delicious stretch.  

Don’t compare or compete – we’re all unique and have poses we can naturally do well and others that will always be difficult. Judging yourself because your pose looks different from the person on the mat next to you doesn’t help.

11/Be kind to yourself and focus on achieving the best you can on the day.  Most importantly enjoy the moment.

Zoë Harris is a yoga therapist and teacher at the Yoga Barn, a tranquil dedicated space in a converted farm building with a heated floor – and very nice café across the way – at Jordans Courtyard, near Ilminster.

Find more ideas here

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