WITH a new year upon us, it’s finally time to wave goodbye to that lockdown bod of 2020.
While putting on weight is annoyingly easy, combating your corona belly can feel like scaling Mount Everest. And if your regular jogs or yoga sessions aren’t touching the sides, you’re in need of a 2021 fitness shake-up.
“No matter how much or how little exercise you do, it’s important you keep changing your routine and challenging your body,” explains celebrity PT Lucy Wyndham-Read.
“If you want to see a change, you need to trick the body by doing something different. Small changes bring big gains.”
Here, Lucy – the nation’s most-watched fitness YouTuber – helps you identify your workout personality, and shares her top tips for resetting your goals.
The cardio queen
Personality traits: You love to keep your heart rate up, try new classes and ride high on endorphins – but that doesn’t mean you can’t make improvements.
Step it up a gear: “Find a hill or some steps,” Lucy says.
“Place four markers at intervals. Run to the top, back down to marker three and then to the top again. Then run to marker two and back to the top again.”
High Intensity Interval Training – AKA HIIT – will give your standard cardio workout a real boost.
“You’ll see an improvement in both speed and endurance,” explains Lucy.
“And while most cardio lovers are super-fit, they can benefit from adding some flexibility or strength training. Many runners who practise yoga find they suffer fewer injuries as a result.”
The holistic goddess
Personality traits: Often spotted in the downward dog position, your body is a temple. You are non-competitive, calm – and not one for busy gyms and weights.
Stretch yourself: “Yoga and Pilates are all about improving flexibility and suppleness,” Lucy says.
“To take this further, try to master the splits.”
Stretching exercises like this have been proven to help reduce the number of falls in Parkinson’s sufferers and help protect against cardiovascular disease by boosting muscle strength, motor control and better circulation.*
To start, sit on the ground with your legs straight in front of you and toes pointing up to the ceiling. “Place a tape measure beside you and see how far you can reach,” Lucy says.
It’s about challenging yourself to move a little bit more every time you exercise.
And even the holistic goddess needs to work on her cardiovascular health.
“Getting your heart rate up will boost your fitness no end. It doesn’t have to be hours on a treadmill – a brisk 20-minute walk outdoors will do.”
The bootcamp babe
Personality traits: You enjoy working out with others, thrive on friendly competition and love weight-lifting, lunges and squats.
Build endurance: “Lifting weights is a great way of building muscular strength,” Lucy says.
“But you could supercharge your workout by improving your flexibility. If your local pool is open, try swimming, walking or cycling once or twice a week.
“When you lift weights, you are stressing the muscles for a short period of time to strengthen them,” Lucy explains.
“But you’d also benefit from challenging your muscles in an endurance situation, training them to work for longer. You don’t have to run or cycle fast – slow and steady wins this race.”
Personality traits: You hate the gym, but love to get outdoors and walk. You keep up a good step count, but rarely do other exercises.
Weight a minute: “Walking is one of the best exercises for overall health,” says Lucy.
“It improves fitness, cardiac health, can help alleviate depression, puts less stress on your joints and can help prevent weight gain and chronic disease.”
But you still need some strength training.
“This keeps the muscles strong and helps ward off conditions like osteoporosis as you get older. It helps with posture, flexibility and keeps you in a healthy weight range.
“You don’t need a gym membership, just add in some bodyweight exercises, a few squats or backwards lunges each day. Or stand up and sit back on the sofa 20 times during an ad break.”
Personality traits: You never have time for the gym. You’re active, but don’t exercise for exercise sake.
Keep on track: “Invest in a fitness tracker to monitor your step count,” says Lucy.
“If you are doing 7,000 steps a day, try to get it up to 10,000. If you are doing 10,000, aim for 11,000. And no matter how busy you are, it’s still worth investing in keeping fit.”
As Lucy points out, being active is great for your mood, too.
“It doesn’t have to be burpees and running, it could be a four-minute workout first thing,” she says.
“Or you could march on the spot for one minute. Create a workout that suits you.”
The fit mama
Personality traits: You’ve been juggling school runs with work and chores, leaving precious little time for workouts.
Buddy up: “Try to squeeze in a session after you’ve dropped the kids off,” Lucy says.
“And rope in some other mums to join in. Having an exercise buddy – even if it’s over Zoom – means you are more likely to stick to your regime.
“Get a group of friends together and each take a turn setting the day’s workout.
“Mum A might suggest a 10-minute walk on Monday.
“On Tuesday, it’s Mum B’s turn with one minute of jumping jacks followed by one minute of walking. Short, regular workouts will bring huge benefits.”
From blood clots to heart attacks, discover the dangers of cold weather at Fabulousmag.co.uk.
The gym dodger
Personality traits: You hate the gym and wouldn’t be seen dead in sports gear. Your idea of a workout is to see how much you can eat at lunch.
Get moving: “Fitness isn’t something to be scared of,” says Lucy.
“Some people think: ‘I can never be like that’ and so they don’t bother. Change the narrative so it suits you.”
She recommends doing something you enjoy – and not thinking about it as exercise.
“Put on your favourite song and spend a couple of minutes walking around the house or do housework a little faster,” she says.
“Start small and don’t beat yourself up if you give up – just try again the next day.”
Five steps to a reset
- If you’re an avid runner, enter a race. Then a second one. Not only will you be running in new locations, but you can try to improve your pace.
- Don’t use the same equipment every time you visit the gym – it isn’t going to improve your fitness. Try fewer reps with more weight, or increase the number of sets you do.
- If you usually exercise indoors, try an outdoor workout or vice versa. Likewise, don’t just do the same workout vids all the time.
- Don’t skip stretching – flexibility is essential for keeping your body healthy.
- Enjoy it! It doesn’t matter what you do – Zumba, rock-climbing or a walk – just keep fun at the forefront.
[Credit] Photography: Getty Images, Instagram/Lucy Wyndham-Read Source: *Complementary And Alternative Medicine Follow Lucy on YouTube @LWRFitnessChannel
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