Sun 04 Jan 2015
Parties, eating good food, having those extra few drinks and spending time with loved ones. So you didn't really need that second helping or the extra round of drinks but hey, it was Christmas . And anyway, starting January 1st the new you will be here. Starting then, you will get fit and healthy. This will be your New Year's Resolution.
It probably does if you're one of the many people who find themselves feeling physically sluggish and carrying excess unwanted weight at the turn of the year. Research has shown that the most popular New Year's Resolution is to lose weight, whilst 1 in 5 of us resolve to exercise and improve our fitness.
For many, the road to health isn't an easy one and we encounter lots of roadblocks. Lack of time, family obligations, work commitments, procrastination and lack of energy and motivation are just a few of the culprits that jump in our way.
A recent report from Public Health England found over one in four women and one in five men do less than 30 minutes of physical activity a week, so are classified as ‘inactive’ and that physical inactivity is the fourth largest cause of disease and disability in the UK.
But exercise doesn't have to be the all-consuming, gruelling endeavour that people often think it is. To stick with it, it has to be fun and enjoyable and we need to like where we're exercising. Enfield has some fantastic open spaces with beautiful natural features that can
provide a great workout. And you get the added benefits of fresh air and a year round changing landscape to look at. Exercise is great for the mind too - you'll have more energy and an increased sense of wellbeing which especially helps during the winter months. Just taking the family out for a walk at the weekend is a great way for the whole family to get involved.
Here are some top tips to help you achieve your fitness goals for 2015.
Don't go it alone
Getting fit can be lonely when you're just starting but joining a group can bring numerous benefits. Classes are typically more fun and make the time go quicker. Making that 'appointment' means there's less chance of bailing out. Working out with others has a whole social aspect and makes you part of a community who will support and cheer you on even if you're not feeling up to it. If group exercise isn't for you working with fitness professional will provide the planning and motivation to keep you on track.
Moderation not deprivation!
Many who resolve to lose weight decide to cut out entire food groups, telling themselves they cannot have certain foods. This can set you up for failure as it feels like a punishment before you've even begun and by mid-January it's probably already on next year's resolution list.
A much wiser approach to attaining your goal is working on the 80/20 rule - 80% of the time you stick to healthy, nutritious food and 20% you're allowed a treat. Taking just 15 minutes at the weekend to plan your food for the week will make all the difference in making the right choices.
Make time for you
Many adults juggling work and family life find it difficult to justify taking time for exercise, as that’s time that could be spent with family, running errands or getting ahead at work. If you fall into this mindset, it’s time to give yourself permission to exercise. This “me” time will not only boost your health on both physical and emotional levels, but it will provide an excellent example for your children on how to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you’re not feeling fit and healthy, you won’t be able to take care of the rest of your obligations, or your family, so let go of any feelings of guilt you have about taking time to workout.
Little and often
Technology is more and more dominant both at home and at work encouraging us to sit still for long periods of time yet government guidelines for physical activity recommend 150 minutes or 2½ hours a week of moderate intensity activity per week. An easy way to achieve this is to do 30 minutes, 5 days a week in bouts of 10 minutes or more. Incorporate activity daily by making simple changes; walk up the escalators instead of standing still, get away from the desk and take a brisk walk at lunchtime, get off the train or bus a stop early and walk the rest of the way and start using the stairs instead of the lifts. Even doing the housework with a little bit more gusto will all add up!
As featured in our January Palmers Green & Southgate LIFE magazine
Gail is the owner of North London Fitness. Gail is a qualified Personal Trainer & Nutrition Advisor and has been running outdoor fitness classes in Broomfield Park for 5 years as well as training local clients on a one-to one basis.
Outdoor Fitness Sessions are held at Broomfield Park, Palmers Green N13 Tuesdays & Thursdays 7-8pm and Saturdays 9-10am & 10.15-11.15am all year round. For a FREE TRIAL SESSION register online at www.northlondonfitness.co.uk
"As a 40 year resident of Southgate I thank you for the amazing publication Palmers Green and Southgate Life which you are publishing and distributing in the area. I look forward each month to receiving my copy and reading the interesting facts about the local area in which I have lived in for so many years but know so little about. Please keep up the good work. "