Friday, 17 July 2015

How to overcome fear of the gym

How to overcome fear of the gym

The gym can be a daunting place for anyone, especially those who are new to fitness.  My gym in particular is quite intimidating.  Full of super toned health freaks and muscly body builders, I can at times feel completely out of place, however I do not let this deter me from going as it is home to such fantastic facilities I would be foolish now to utilise them.  Therefore I have decided to compile a helpful list of ways in which fear of the gym can be combatted and you can focus on getting fit, healthy and finding a form of exercise you truly enjoy.

1)       Familiarise yourself with your gym, even with the greatest fitness plan, if you are unsure of where the specific equipment is you will spend more time looking for various machines then working out, so know what it is you plan on using and identify where it is before you start to work out.


2)      If you are worried about looking a fool on the weights machines then devise a plan using just free weights as these can be just as effective, if not more.  I like to find a nice quiet corner, get all the weights I plan to use during my workout and not have to mither about walking round finding machines and figuring out how to use them. 



3)      Perhaps the most important thing is to have a routine. If you go to the gym with no idea what you plan to do you can end up wasting time and energy.  Set aside days to train different muscle groups: legs, abs, back and biceps etc. and focus solely on that group.   Look online for different exercises and make sure you continue to up the difficulty every couple of weeks and be sure to warm up and cool down.


4)      Hate weights? Can’t stand the idea of running mindlessly on a treadmill?  Then get a programme of the different classes your gym has to offer and give them a chance.  Yes you may find a class you utterly hate but persist and I am fairly confident you will find a class to suit you.  Mine is spinning, I adore it and don’t even regard it as exercise, I go solely because I thoroughly enjoy it and the calorie burning is a bonus.  Aim to have that feeling and you will find yourself looking forward to your workouts.



5)      It is so easy to worry about what people think, looking around any gym and you will see people oozing with confidence, strutting their stuff with not a care in the world.  However the key thing to remember is that everyone starts somewhere.  Everyone at the gym was once a novice and for all you know these people could feel exactly the same as you so stand tall put on your music and ignore others.  Even if you feel terrified inside, just by acting confident will help you on your way to conquering your fears.


6)      Get in the zone.  Find yourself an area of the gym you feel relaxed and happy in and have this as your spot each time you go, this might be a particular corner or a specific rowing machine. 



7)      Start by going at quiet times.  Most gyms are at the busiest when people finish work, so from about 5-8, so get there early in the morning or midday of a weekend.  If you find yourself with some time off work use this opportunity to hit the gym and get your workout done and dusted while everyone is still in the office. 


8)      If you are still worried, or not sure what it is you should be doing then you might wish to consider getting yourself a trainer.  Most gyms have resident PT’s who do sessions from just half an hour upwards.  You only need one or two sessions to familiarise yourself how to use equipment properly or devise a routine tailored to suit you.  If you opt for this then make it clear what you want to achieve and don’t let yourself be drawn into signing up for an expensive package if this was not your plan.


Follow these tips and make the gym somewhere that you enjoy going.  Everyone is into different things so find something you enjoy.

Remember that there are actually more likely to be far less gym snobs then people just like you.  Most people don’t even notice others around the gym and are more concerned about their own workouts and whatever you chose to do in terms of fitness you are lapping up those sat on the couch. 

Best of luck J

Please let me know if these tips have helped you.  Do you have any of your own tips or experiences? 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Banana, rasberry and blueberry simple summer juice

Simple summer juice

While trying to get my body in the healthiest state as I possibly can in the short time window I have before my holiday I found myself missing that something sweet of an evening.  The other night I was rather thirsty and craving the good stuff when I decided to make a juice.  Not expecting much from it I shoved what I had in my fridge in my blender and devoured the finished article, and the result? Surprisingly good!  In fact so good I can see this becoming a firm favourite go to.  It reminds me of a cocktail (alcohol free of course) which, at this time of year is just what I need of a warm summer evening.  So here it is:


©       One medium banana

©       Large handful of blueberries

©       Handful of raspberry’s

©       One glass of coconut milk



©       Chop banana

©       Add ingredients to blender and wiz until smooth

Add more / less liquid to change consistency.

Sit back and enjoy, all you need now is a nice beach ;)

Feel free to send me emails / comments of your finished articles and any other delicious juice recipes you may have, I am always open to try something new.


two week beach body challenge

Two week body transformation challenge

With no waiting for the months to pass by, last minute holidays are great.  However once the initial excitement dies down, the thoughts of bearing all on the beach kick in.  With no time to prepare even the most confident of people can feel a little overwhelmed.

Earlier this year I lost a substantial amount of weight, which I had built up as a result of moving house/birthday/Chiristmas, and about any other excuse for being greedy and inactive as I could find.  I decided enough was enough and  with my nutritional knowledge and a little help from a personal trainer I lost 9% body fat in 8 weeks.  Thinking I was all summer ready I let my unhealthy habits creep back in and I have now come to find that my clothes are starting to get a little tight once again, and unlike in the winter cannot cover up the results with a baggy jumper and black leggings.  On top of that I have booked myself a spur of the moment holiday. 

Now, the internet is swarming with unrealistic and downright dangerous quick fix diets.  I cannot tell you how much I despise the weight loss industry; I feel as though it preys on the vulnerable and by no means adheres to its promises to make you thin.  If it was that easy there would be no weight loss industry would there? Think about it…

While looking for summer inspiration I found some pretty shocking stuff, one website claimed to help you lose 20lb in a week, the key, to survive on a mere 400 calories a day and cut out exercise.  The mind boggles.  Yes, by doing this the weight on the scales will drop of and yes you may hit your ‘goal weight’ in no time at all but as soon as you drag your weak self onto that plane and binge on as many Cadbury fingers and Pringles as you can, you will find yourself getting to your destination heavier then when you started and at the very least extremely bloated which is never a good look, you see, your body is not designed to lose that amount of weight so quickly.

This got me thinking.  Now, I don’t advocate fad diets or quick fixes.  My philosophy is; maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly, avoid processed food as much as possible and drink water. However I know for many of you, myself included at this time of year do not find this information helpful.  So I have decided to see exactly how realistic it can be to transform your body in just two weeks.  I say transform because I hate using the term lose weight.  Losing weight as many of you know is not necessarily a good thing, in fact in the past two months I have lost 3lb yet my clothes are tighter and my stomach and thighs much more wobbly.  This is due to a loss in muscle mass and an increase in fat.  So over the next two weeks I will be adhering to a strict plan while maintaining a balanced diet and exercise as I want to show that it can be done without resorting to drastic measures and is more likely to be sustainable in the long term.  I have no intention of counting calories and for the purpose of this will not be counting my macros as I know that for others this is not possible so I will be undertaking a realistic lifestyle.  I want to make it as simple as possible.  I cannot predict the results but I know that regardless of any weight loss of muscle tone that I will at the very least go away feeling better in myself and with a healthy gut, however I am fairly confident that I will see a difference.

I will keep this blog updated with pictures, meals and exercises that I undertake.  Now it is pretty strict and, due to the narrow time window there is no room for any cheat meals unfortunately.  However if this was to be done more long term then, along with regular exercise this could be incorporated.  The important things to remember are the following:

Always have breakfast

Drink plenty of water and steer clear of fruit juices

Avoid processed foods (a good way to think of this is if it has a barcode be vary wary of its content)

Stay clear of refined sugar and dairy

Eat white meat or fish with both lunch and dinner (or a vegetarian/vegan alternative).

Eat at least two types of veg with both lunch and dinner (this provides plenty of fibre, vitamins, and minerals and keeps you nice and full).

Try to avoid snacking, if you feel like you need to then have some berries/ nuts / seeds or a protein shake. 

Most importantly: Don’t get hungry! If you’re feeling hungry you are not eating enough at meal times!

And last of all, here I am on day one.  

How do you plan to get fit for holiday? I would love to hear about your progress and about your healthy tips for feeling fabulous when away :)

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