Getting fit shouldn’t be a chore.

In fact, there are many easy ways to incorporate exercise into your everyday activities or focus on things you already love to do.

If you’re busy, don’t let it stop you.

1.Try and fit more activity into the things you already do every day – whether at home or at work:

Choose the stairs. You’ll get a workout and avoid the awkward elevator rides. For a more strenuous workout, go up and down the stairs for 15 minutes.

Park farther away. Running errands, at work or dropping off kids, park as far away as you can to add a few more steps into your day.

Take walking breaks. Leave your desk occasionally to take a break to walk outside when the weather’s nice or stay inside and explore different areas of the building. This will give you a little stress break and let your eyes rest after staring at a computer screen. Also, it will add in a few more steps and you’ll feel more rejuvenated when you get back to your desk.

2. Do what you love

Maybe you enjoy rollerblading, perfecting your garden or snow skiing with your kids. When you enjoy exercise, you’re more likely to keep it up. You might want to try:Do What You Love

Walking with friends
Trying a new yoga class
Picking up snowshoeing or cross-country skiing
Joining a local recreation basketball or racquetball league
Going swimming at a nearby pool
Shooting hoops
Participating in a dance class
Biking around a local park with your kids

3. Set small, realistic and specific goals

If you decide to pick up jogging, start with running for 30 seconds and walking for two and a half minutes. The next week, run for 45 seconds and walk for one minute. Before you know it, you will be running for two-three minutes before you need to take a short walking break.

And if you have some setbacks, that’s OK. In the end, you’ll see success if you stay consistent.

4. Plan for the long haul

Doctors recommend exercising for 30 minutes at least five times a week at a moderate level of activity (like gardening or walking). If that sounds overwhelming, build on small goals month-by-month.

What else is going to help you reach your goals? Stay patient and positive until you get there – and you will get there.

5. Recruit help from friends

Life changes are much easier to manage with a group of close friends and family supporting you. If you know someone who’s already active, ask them for tips or be brave and join them! In the end, it doesn’t really matter how you exercise, what‘s most important is finding a way to exercise doing what you love and making it a part of your daily routine.

With the recent heatwave we’re passing on some top tips on how to train in hot weather:

top tips on how to train in hot weatherHere are the Cheltenham Personal Trainer’s top tips to follow for working out safely and effectively in the hot weather:

1.  Avoid the 10 am-3 pm peak heat

We’re all familiar with that advice on holiday of staying out of the midday sun between approximately 10 am – 3 pm.

In hot weather at home, it’s best to try to avoid working out then too-  especially if you’re going to be training outside in direct sun.

Our top advice would be to try and get in those early morning workouts that can be such a struggle in the winter months. Now that it is light from as early as 5 am and still cool, it’s a great time to exercise.

Plus, it’s a great feeling to get your workout done first thing. It means you can enjoy the rest of the day and not have to worry about feeling motivated in the evening after a long hot day.

Although the thought of getting up early to exercise– whether that be going for a run, working out on your exercise bike or grabbing the dumbbells – may sound tough, exercise releases endorphins so it’s great for helping boost your mood and kick starting your day.

2. Too hot outdoors? Exercise indoors

As those summer temperatures really are going to soar, so we strongly suggest taking to the great indoors.

Not only will you be away from the potentially harmful heat, but you’ll probably enjoy a more effective workout and can then go and enjoy the sun afterwards. (After a nice cold shower, of course!)

Point a fan towards you- your cardio machines, such as treadmills, elliptical cross trainers and exercise bikes are just brilliant in hot weather.

You can also get some great inexpensive fitness accessories for a top indoor workout, such as resistance bands, medicine balls, kettlebells and dumbbells..

3. Water- a life saver

The great weather offers a great opportunity to take your workout outdoors, but it’s absolutely paramount that you stay well hydrated.

When you sweat, your body doesn’t just lose water – it also loses important electrolytes and salt. Together with water, these are crucial for keeping your body functioning properly. Mess up the balance and you’ll get dehydrated and your performance and health will suffer.

Make sure you’re hydrated before you even start exercising. Have a glass or two of water before you start and keep that water bottle with you throughout your workout. Aim to drink six to eight ounces of water every 15-20 minutes during your workout. And keep drinking after too – it’s critical for maximising your performance and keeping you motivated.

4. Change your exercise routine

To stay motivated, mix up your exercise with activities such as cycling, swimming or jogging. This not only changes up your routine but also allows for greater training volume with less fatigue.

If you can break up your workout into a few shorter sessions in the day, that will help you cope better. Or you could go for a shorter run outside, followed up by some indoor training. This could be on an indoor exercise bike perhaps, or some weights training.

5. Protect yourself from heat and sun

Make sure you wear clothes that are not only lighter in weight and breathable, but also lighter in colour, as this will help to reflect the heat.

And don’t forget to protect exposed skin with sunscreen. Sunscreen is not just for holidays! In the hot weather here, you’re at high risk of sunburn and sunstroke, which can not only be painful, but can also make you very unwell so you won’t be able to train effectively next time.

6. Acclimate yourself to the heat

If you’re exercising outside, it’s important that you let your body get used to it. Exercise for shorter periods outside before taking it indoors and gradually increase the amount of time you can tolerate outdoors. A great tip would be to hunt out those shaded areas away from the direct sunlight.

7. Don’t overdo the exercise

Although some research does indicate that exercising in heat can boost performance, this is really reserved for the elite athlete and much research still needs to be done to get the science backing to support this theory.

Our advice is to listen to your body and know when to stop, or slow down. Working out in average British temperatures is very different to 30 degree plus heat and it’s important to take it seriously. Why not use a heart rate monitor to assess things? If your intensity level rises above your target range, slow down or stop to avoid overworking.

For runners, strength training doesn’t have to mean bulking up.

 

 

When you approach strength work strategically, it can translate into a reduced chance for encountering injuries and faster times when you toe the line. The thinking goes that the more healthy days of training you can log and the stronger you are at executing workouts, the faster you’ll be.
Certainly a runner should approach strength training in a different way than the typical muscled gym rat. Specific strength and resistance exercises combined with endurance training will help you achieve that lean physique most runners are looking for. When you employ a strength routine prior to and during your training season, you’re likely to see your running performances improve by leaps and bounds.

Benefits of strength training

There’s plenty of research to back up the contention that strength work and running should go hand in hand. Resistance training has even been shown to have the potential to significantly improve running economy, meaning that when you’re stronger you’re a more efficient runner.
For instance, one study that had a group of distance runners subscribe to a 10-week strength training program found that they improved their running economy by 4 percent. For a 4:00 hour marathoner, that could potentially mean knocking a whopping 10 minutes off his or her finishing time.
Another study divided a group of students into four different training programs: A running group, a strength circuit training group, a running and strength circuit training group, and a control group who didn’t participate in any special workout program. Before and after the training, they tested things like running performance in a 4km time trial and a track test to determine VO2max.
At the end of 12 weeks they discovered that the group who did circuit strength training immediately after their running workouts significantly improved both their 4km times, as well as their VO2max. Since VO2max is the volume of oxygen you’re able to consume while running at maximum intensity—and therefore one of the most important measures of fitness—this result proves to be important for runners.
Indeed, there is plenty of other evidence that illustrates how strength training can boost running times. One showed how strength work helps to improve both muscle power and 5km running times. Even when a portion of a runner’s endurance training is replaced with strength training, running times have been shown to improve.
The other obvious benefit of strength training for runners is the fact that it helps bulletproof your body from encountering a whole host of common injuries. Strength work has consistently been cited as an important line of defense against everything from Achilles tendinosis.

Sample strength training plan

When it comes to strength training for runners, it is important to implement a mix of upper and lower body exercises, as well as core work. The focus of this type of training should not only be on strengthening the big running muscles, but also the smaller stabilizer muscles that often get neglected via the repetitive nature of running. Those lesser-known muscles are the ones that often pick up the slack when you begin to fatigue.
In a perfect world, a runner should beef up their strength work in the off-season and then reduce the load as they go into the season. For most harriers, 2-3 days a week of strength training is sufficient, but it is important to be strategic about when you schedule them. Generally having at least one day in between your strength days is important to allow your muscles to recover. Additionally, you should avoid any type of strength work prior to your running workouts. Either plan on doing it right after a run or later in the day after you’ve completed your endurance training.
Since many runners like to avoid the big weight machines, check out this sample program of bodyweight exercises that can be performed just about anywhere. Start with fewer sets and reps and increase them as you get stronger.
    Center planks (3-4×30 seconds): Get down into push-up position, but instead of bracing your upper body with your hands, lower your upper body down to support yourself with your forearms. Be sure to keep your backside down, so a straight line could be drawn from the top of your head down to your ankles. Hold that position for 30 seconds, take a break and try it again.
Side Planks (2-3×30 seconds on each side): Similar to the center plank, simply turn to your right side and support your body with your right forearm and the side of your right foot with your left foot stacked on top. Hold for 30 seconds, take a break, and switch sides.
Walking lunges (2-3×10 on each side): Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and take an exaggerated step forward with your right foot. In a fluid motion, carefully lower your body down as you make a 90-degree angle with your right leg to the floor. Raise your body up and do the same with the left side, taking 10 steps on each side.
Push-ups (2-3×20): These can be done as either traditional push-ups or you can start with knee push-ups. Be sure to engage your core as you lower your body down with each push-up.
Donkey Kicks (2-3×10 on each side): Get on all fours on the ground. In a controlled motion, kick your right leg back and upwards before returning it to its starting position. Repeat 10 times and switch legs.
Step Ups (1o on each side): Stand with your feet together in front of an elevated platform or stair. Step onto the platform with your entire right foot and carefully raise your body up. Slowly step back down and return to the original position. Repeat 10 times with each leg.
Calf Raises (2-3×15 on each side): Standing with your feet together, raise yourself onto your tip toes, hold for 2 seconds and lower back down. Repeat 15 times.
Medicine Ball Twists (2-3×20): Sit in sit-up position and hold a medicine ball at the center of your body. Twist right and then left, 20 times on each side.
Standing Tricep Dumbbell Raises (2-3×15): Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your back straight. Holding a dumbbell with both hands, lift it above your head until your arms are straight up in the air and your palms are facing upwards. Lower the weight down behind your head and then bring it back up.
Side Leg Raises (2-3×10 on each side): Lie down on the floor sideways with your right leg stacked on top of your left leg. Stabilizing your body with your palm on the floor, raise your right leg up so the side of your right foot faces the ceiling. Lower your leg back down and repeat 10 times on each side.
Bodyweight Squats (2-3×15): With your feet shoulder width apart, lower your body downwards until your hips are below parallel with your knees. Keep your back straight and your toes behind your knees behind your toes. With your arms straight out in front, raise your body back up and repeat.
Bridge (2-3×10): Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor about shoulder width apart. Raise your backside up off the ground until a straight line could be drawn from your torso to your knees. Hold that position for 2 seconds, lower back down, and repeat.

For runners, strength training doesn’t have to mean bulking up.

For runners, strength training doesn’t have to mean bulking up.

When you approach strength work strategically, it can translate into a reduced chance for encountering injuries and faster times when you toe the line. The thinking goes that the more healthy days of training you can log and the stronger you are at executing workouts, the faster you’ll be.
Certainly a runner should approach strength training in a different way than the typical muscled gym rat. Specific strength and resistance exercises combined with endurance training will help you achieve that lean physique most runners are looking for. When you employ a strength routine prior to and during your training season, you’re likely to see your running performances improve by leaps and bounds.

Benefits of strength training

There’s plenty of research to back up the contention that strength work and running should go hand in hand. Resistance training has even been shown to have the potential to significantly improve running economy, meaning that when you’re stronger you’re a more efficient runner.
For instance, one study that had a group of distance runners subscribe to a 10-week strength training program found that they improved their running economy by 4 percent. For a 4:00 hour marathoner, that could potentially mean knocking a whopping 10 minutes off his or her finishing time.
Another study divided a group of students into four different training programs: A running group, a strength circuit training group, a running and strength circuit training group, and a control group who didn’t participate in any special workout program. Before and after the training, they tested things like running performance in a 4km time trial and a track test to determine VO2max.
At the end of 12 weeks they discovered that the group who did circuit strength training immediately after their running workouts significantly improved both their 4km times, as well as their VO2max. Since VO2max is the volume of oxygen you’re able to consume while running at maximum intensity—and therefore one of the most important measures of fitness—this result proves to be important for runners.
Indeed, there is plenty of other evidence that illustrates how strength training can boost running times. One showed how strength work helps to improve both muscle power and 5km running times. Even when a portion of a runner’s endurance training is replaced with strength training, running times have been shown to improve.
The other obvious benefit of strength training for runners is the fact that it helps bulletproof your body from encountering a whole host of common injuries. Strength work has consistently been cited as an important line of defense against everything from Achilles tendinosis.

Sample strength training plan

When it comes to strength training for runners, it is important to implement a mix of upper and lower body exercises, as well as core work. The focus of this type of training should not only be on strengthening the big running muscles, but also the smaller stabilizer muscles that often get neglected via the repetitive nature of running. Those lesser-known muscles are the ones that often pick up the slack when you begin to fatigue.
In a perfect world, a runner should beef up their strength work in the off-season and then reduce the load as they go into the season. For most harriers, 2-3 days a week of strength training is sufficient, but it is important to be strategic about when you schedule them. Generally having at least one day in between your strength days is important to allow your muscles to recover. Additionally, you should avoid any type of strength work prior to your running workouts. Either plan on doing it right after a run or later in the day after you’ve completed your endurance training.
Since many runners like to avoid the big weight machines, check out this sample program of bodyweight exercises that can be performed just about anywhere. Start with fewer sets and reps and increase them as you get stronger.
    Center planks (3-4×30 seconds): Get down into push-up position, but instead of bracing your upper body with your hands, lower your upper body down to support yourself with your forearms. Be sure to keep your backside down, so a straight line could be drawn from the top of your head down to your ankles. Hold that position for 30 seconds, take a break and try it again.
Side Planks (2-3×30 seconds on each side): Similar to the center plank, simply turn to your right side and support your body with your right forearm and the side of your right foot with your left foot stacked on top. Hold for 30 seconds, take a break, and switch sides.
Walking lunges (2-3×10 on each side): Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and take an exaggerated step forward with your right foot. In a fluid motion, carefully lower your body down as you make a 90-degree angle with your right leg to the floor. Raise your body up and do the same with the left side, taking 10 steps on each side.
Push-ups (2-3×20): These can be done as either traditional push-ups or you can start with knee push-ups. Be sure to engage your core as you lower your body down with each push-up.
Donkey Kicks (2-3×10 on each side): Get on all fours on the ground. In a controlled motion, kick your right leg back and upwards before returning it to its starting position. Repeat 10 times and switch legs.
Step Ups (1o on each side): Stand with your feet together in front of an elevated platform or stair. Step onto the platform with your entire right foot and carefully raise your body up. Slowly step back down and return to the original position. Repeat 10 times with each leg.
Calf Raises (2-3×15 on each side): Standing with your feet together, raise yourself onto your tip toes, hold for 2 seconds and lower back down. Repeat 15 times.
Medicine Ball Twists (2-3×20): Sit in sit-up position and hold a medicine ball at the center of your body. Twist right and then left, 20 times on each side.
Standing Tricep Dumbbell Raises (2-3×15): Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your back straight. Holding a dumbbell with both hands, lift it above your head until your arms are straight up in the air and your palms are facing upwards. Lower the weight down behind your head and then bring it back up.
Side Leg Raises (2-3×10 on each side): Lie down on the floor sideways with your right leg stacked on top of your left leg. Stabilizing your body with your palm on the floor, raise your right leg up so the side of your right foot faces the ceiling. Lower your leg back down and repeat 10 times on each side.
Bodyweight Squats (2-3×15): With your feet shoulder width apart, lower your body downwards until your hips are below parallel with your knees. Keep your back straight and your toes behind your knees behind your toes. With your arms straight out in front, raise your body back up and repeat.
Bridge (2-3×10): Lie on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor about shoulder width apart. Raise your backside up off the ground until a straight line could be drawn from your torso to your knees. Hold that position for 2 seconds, lower back down, and repeat.