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7 marathon mistakes you don’t want to make

Running a marathon can be one of the most satisfying things you’ll ever do. Yes it’s hard work and yes it can be gruelling, but you feel so good on passing that finish line it’s no wonder people get hooked. Some run marathons every year, others even more frequently. But however experienced you may be it is still important to do it right. To help you avoid common pitfalls here are seven important tips, from protecting your skin (and not worrying about any petroleum jelly side effects when you do) to how to prepare in the week before.

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5 Tips to Exercise in Winter

Exercising outdoors in winter may seem like a no-no but there’s every reason to keep moving when the cold hits. Just because the weather’s not great doesn’t mean you should give up on your healthy routine. With that in mind let’s look at 5 top tips for exercising in winter.

1. Use your imagination indoors

Getting outdoors to exercise in winter can be tricky, but there’s always a fall back if you can’t get out there. With a little creativity and imagination you can set up your own indoor plan.

Bodyweight exercises like push-ups and planks are good for strength, full body stretching or yoga will keep you flexible, and cardio activities like shadow boxing, skipping and stair climbing will all burn calories. Burning calories is key, especially if you want to know how to lower cholesterol with exercise, as being overweight is one of the biggest causes of high levels.

2. Embrace the outdoors

Exercising outdoors in bad weather is all about mind-set, and with the right attitude you can embrace the winter. Rather than seeing a winter run or walk as a battle in the cold, see it as a challenge amongst nature. Take in the changing scenery, the rustic colours and crisp air, and it won’t seem as much of a struggle. Also, imagine how easy it’s going to be training in the outdoors when the temperature climbs up again. If you can work out outside in the winter, doing it in the spring and summer will be a breeze.

3. Dress accordingly

Now that you’ve shifted your mind-set and are ready to embrace the challenge of exercising outdoors you need the right kit. The temptation is to throw on chunky jumpers etc. but this is a bad move. The best way to go is with layers. Start with thin specialised base layers and build up. The base layers will help you retain heat and are much lighter so you’ll be more comfortable adding layers on top.

If you’re going to run in the rain invest in a lightweight waterproof jacket. Make sure you’ve got high visibility strips on your clothes and shoes if you’re going to be exercising in the dark and always carry a pair of gloves – your fingers will really feel the cold whether you’re moving or not.

4. Why it’s important to exercise in winter

The truth is it’s always important to exercise, and winter is no different. It’s all too tempting not to go out when the weather turns cold, but if you keep the health benefits in mind that should be motivation enough. Here are just a few reasons why exercise is so beneficial:

  • Helps protect against chronic health problems

  • Increases strength and endurance

  • Promotes healthy weight levels

  • Improves mood

They’re just a few of the reasons why should keep up with exercise in winter, and there are plenty more. For example, if you want to know how to lower cholesterol, exercise and a healthy diet are major components.

5. Exercising during party season

Exercise can also pay a big part in countering over indulgence. As long as you make a plan and make sure you complete your workouts, you can enjoy the party season without feeling too guilty about it.

From being creative and changing your mind-set to simply knowing how to lower cholesterol levels through exercise, there’s every reason for you to exercise in winter. Now you know why and how to keep going during the colder months, there’s nothing stopping you.

 

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What are the benefits of having a personal trainer?

Those of us in the fitness industry know the joys both of being fit and of getting fit. Doing so with a personal trainer can be even better. Indeed, it is why many of us enjoy doing the job and many others are looking to train.

But outside the world of exercise some people do not understand personal training and the real benefits it can give to everyone, whether you’re an established athlete or an out of shape middle-ager. Sometimes you find yourself defending your craft or needing to discuss its positive impact on potential clients or friends and family.

To help you do so we have put together a pretty exhaustive list on the real benefits of having a personal trainer. These range from knowing how to lower cholesterol levels to getting that longed-for toned up body, but there are so many more. Read on and if you have further suggestions about why this profession is so great, and feel free to leave a comment below.

Understanding exercise

One of the most important things a personal trainer does for her or his client is to help them put their physical workout into a broader context. Yes, anyone can skip for ten minutes and go for a jog round the park, but a personal trainer is the real expert. They understand these activities and their impact on the body. They know when to do one activity rather than another and a good personal trainer will explain all this as they go along. Exercise isn’t just about the movements you make, it’s about the complex bodily systems that determine their impact on your physique. A lay person is not going to understand these issues, but with a personal trainer they will get the insight to understand why those star jumps really matter. And what’s more motivating than that?

Advice on healthy eating

As those of us in the industry or who are looking to join the industry know, personal training is not, however, just about the work out. A good personal trainer assesses, supports and monitors her or his client holistically. So many different things affect health and fitness, that it is important to understand each aspect and give advice accordingly. One really important part of this is advice around healthy eating. A lot of clients come to personal training to improve their overall health, and that is of course highly influenced by what they eat. You might be working with someone who wants to know how to lower cholesterol or control their diabetes. That person will be looking to you for advice on what to eat during their new exercise regime in order to get fitter and healthier.

Getting a personalised routine

Anyone with a clear goal in mind is also going to be keen on getting something personalised. This is where a personal trainer can really come in handy. We have all been to generic gym induction sessions where they show you how to use the equipment and give some basic tips on different moves. But really, if you want to get specific results and know you are going about it the right way, a personal trainer is the only option. PT styles differ, but many start with an assessment session where they will find out about the client’s goals and why they signed up. The trainer then works their magic tailoring a course or series of activities that are going to help that person achieve their goal. This is crucial; it’s only when people start seeing the results they want whether its getting good cholesterol levels or tighter abs - that they really see the value and want to keep going.

Mixing things up

Sometimes though, it’s not the new fitness enthusiasts that come to personal training, but the oldies; people who have been working out on their own for years and got good results. The thing is, everyone gets in a rut now and then, and sometimes you need someone else to help you climb out. A personal trainer is a fresh pair of eyes, they can see what you’ve been doing and how you can mix things up to get better results or just reignite a passion for exercise that’s been draining away. There’s nothing like blaring out tunes in a park at 7 in the morning with someone shouting encouragement at you to spark that fitness flame once more.

Meeting other fitness bunnies

One of the reasons people sometimes get bored with their exercise regime is in fact because they are lonely. If you are not big into team sports or group exercise classes, you might find yourself feeling a little isolated in your work out regime. Hiring a personal trainer for some people is like getting themselves a morale-boosting fitness buddy. And as anyone who’s trained with a good friend before will know, they can make all the difference in giving you the confidence and enthusiasm to go at it hard. Not only does working out with a personal trainer give you another person who’s there the whole time, supporting you in your goals, they can also be a way into the exercise world. As personal trainers, we know a lot of other personal trainers, athletes, runners and general sport enthusiasts. It is a bit of a community and helping clients to get into that community, to meet other people, share tips and hobbies is a great advantage of hiring someone to get trained.

Quantify your health

Some people love exercising for the sake of exercising. They run 17 miles of an evening and enjoy the sunset while dripping in endorphins. And good on them for doing so. But for others, part of the joy and fascination in toning up is seeing the very real, physical and biological results this has. Personal trainers often have the best gear and know how to help clients truly quantify their health. This is a new trend, but it is growing fast and more and more people want to know exactly how far they ran, the number of steps they climbed or the calories sweated out during that spinning session. As a personal trainer, you can help them do so accurately and with expertise. You are their partner in reviewing the huge amounts of data gathered, selecting what’s relevant and helping hone their workout to maximise its benefit on the basis of this information. What’s more, many personal trainers understand health metrics which may also influence how a workout is designed. For example, you might know about blood glucose monitoring or maybe you understand the best way on how to lower cholesterol. All this will come in handy when helping your client.

Toning up for a big event

As any established personal trainer knows, one of the biggest groups of clients that comes to them for new work out sessions are the people shaping up in time for a big event. Be it a wedding, school reunion or important work social sometimes people want to feel their best and that involves getting rid of those chicken wings and muffing tops. For those trying to do this on their own they might have a bit of success, but it’s very easy for good intentions to go bad. Maybe they have a few productive weeks where they are eating right and running every other day. But then something happens: they have a night out with friends, a stressful week in the office and suddenly training hard and eating your greens does not feel quite as appealing. This is where the personal trainer comes in. Helping

your client reach their mile stone is what it’s all about and really where the personal trainer specialises. We understand what the client wants, when they want it and how much they can put it. Personal training is about triangulating these points to ensure that the person is able to reach their goal. That means when the going gets tough clients have someone standing on the sidelines, helping them through it, giving encouragement and seeing where the problems might occur. As personal trainers, we know that a stressful week at work might make people want to sit still and eat a tub of ice-cream, but we have the techniques and insight to change those habits and help them get back on the fitness wagon.

Essentially, the real benefit of hiring a personal training is outsourcing your commitment. Whatever goals people want to reach personal trainers are the ones who can help them to get them. We do the sorting, the organising, the thinking so that all clients need worry about is turning up in appropriate footwear and getting moving. There’s nothing like outsourcing commitment to achieve important goals, it’s a massive boost in potential for success and really does change outcomes. As personal trainers, we have seen clients come in unfit and unready for action, but by putting in the effort with our help the sky really is the limit.

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Choose Sport Specific Training for Better Results

Exercising & adhering to a regular training plan is not for those who just want to lose weight. The need to be fitter, more able with better performance is often though participation is sport or a regular sporting activity. While generic training has it's benefits and to some degree might benefit anyone, training specific for the activity or sport you regularly undertake or compete in will bring about better performance and reduce the risk of injury.

Personal Trainers are trained in creating training plans with the wealth of exercise knowledge to build effective and specific training programmes that reflect sport specific movements, from the warm up to training muscles to fire in a certain order with maximum performance, to get the most out of your training you need to get specific.

Specific Training = Better Results

 

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3 Barriers to exercise

By far, the title of this blog post "I'm not fit enough to exercise" is mind boggling as it makes little sense yet it's often the reason for not participating in regular exercise. Here are a couple of examples you probably wouldn't say but essentially are the same as our first saying.

  • I'm not dehydrated enough to drink
  • I'm not clever enough to learn

In the saying we are comparing our level or ability to do something against the solution to increasing that level or ability, therefore it's a very odd statement. There are however various reasons why people who believe they are not fit enough to exercise (this could be you) feel they are not able to, they include;

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Do you have time to exercise?

Finding the time to do things that you want to and need to do, can be one of the hardest things we have to plan around. A busy job and long hours don't really help us either, if you want to exercise, if you want to get fit and if you want to start leading a healthy lifestyle then "I don't have time to exercise" is just not good enough. It's essentially a decision already made up, the statement implies you have little intention to try or plan to exercise. The truth is the things in life we do, we do because we want to do them and therefore have MADE time to do them. If you want to do something, you need to make the time to do it.

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Why you shouldn't weigh yourself everyday

How often do you weigh yourself? Is it a benchmark for your activity & lifestyle decisions? If you are trying to lose weight, no doubt very regularly, you weigh yourself. Looking down at that all important number, if it's high, your heart sinks and if it's low, you feel over the moon. 

But, are we looking at the right number?

Many factors influence your weight, it's important to understand what else is going on and how this might affect your weight before we evaluate our performance on one lonely piece of data.

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Fitness Tips from our Expert Personal Trainers

#FitTipTuesday is where we share a little bit of insight that you probbaly don;t already know about health and fitness, we share these tips on our Instagram and Tumblr Social Media accounts. We welcome you to share these awesome tips with your friends and family and don't forget to follow us on Instagram for daily motivation, tips and fitness hacks.

Every Monday we share a little dose motivation in the form of qoutes and words of wisdom to get you set towards your health and fitness goals.

Follow our social media accounts on Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr to see our visual motivational ques on your feed.

Follow the hastags #MondayMotivation

 

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