Julie’s fitness tips

My top tips for feeling your best

Here are some of my top tips to help you achieve a fitter and healthier lifestyle – enjoy!!

Build better bones

There are lots of benefits of working out with weights, even lighter ones (although if you get used to working out with a particular size, then as you know from class, I do nag you to then try and go up a size).

Besides assisting with fat burning, working out with weights will help to streamline your physique, build better muscle and increase your bone density, which in turn will reduce the risk of osteoporosis.

If you maintain a moderate strength training programme, as you add muscle, your resting metabolism will increase. As we get older our muscle mass reduces and our metabolism gradually falls, but when working out with weights your body continues to burn fat and tone muscle even when resting – yay!

For my older adults, research shows that people who start weight training later in life could find they actually reverse the ageing process. Gentle weight bearing exercises can dramatically improve the condition of aging muscles.

Research has found that weight training can increase bone mineral density, so strength training is a powerful tool against osteoporosis.

Moderate weight training increases a woman’s strength by 30 t0 50 percent. Extra strength will then make it easier to accomplish some daily activities (e.g. lifting children or shopping!).

So, if you want to feel healthier and slimmer, increase your metabolism, tone up, get energised, reverse the ageing process, strengthen muscles and build better bones – grab those weights!!

Breaking the Weight Loss ‘Plateau’!

To help break through a fat loss ‘plateau’, you will need to either consume even less calories, or increase your daily physical activities.

1. Start to increase the duration or intensity of your exercise : as your fitness increases you can gradually start to increase the pace of your training, or the number of sessions you do a week. Either add another class a week, or supplement your classes with some brisk walking sessions/swimming, etc.

2. Eat smaller portions – try Elizabeth Hurley’s technique! (i.e. eating your dinner on a smaller plate) – you can continue to eat what you like, but by cutting down on your portion size you can achieve weight loss.

3. Drink less alcohol – sorry to sound a misery! – but alcohol contains so many ‘wasted’ calories, and it may be necessary to cut back when you hit a plateau.

4. Eat less sugar – you may be reducing your fat intake, but still eating too much sugar? Try reducing your sugar intake by swapping to fruit, but beware fruit juices, which may seem healthy, but can add calories.

5. Mums don’t ‘tidy up’ children’s left-overs! – whilst very tempting, lots of calories can build up here.

6. Keep a food diary – just keeping a food diary for only a few days, but honestly recording all your intake!, is a good way to identify opportunities for calorie savings.

7. Invest in a pedometer! – although you may be attending exercise classes, perhaps you may not be moving enough during the rest of your day. A pedometer is a useful tool to assess your daily activity (the healthy daily average is 10,000 steps!).