Summer is just around the corner and before you know it you will be packing for your holiday thinking why on earth did I eat sooooo much this winter? We’ve all been there, myself included. Last winter I let go a bit too much and had such a hard slog ahead to work it all off again in time for the first of my many trips away. I vowed not to do it this year and to keep things under control. I knew I needed a plan but having never set foot in a gym in my entire life it was a daunting prospect! Luckily Boohoo are on hand to take the stress out of what to wear and how to look half decent when you’re red in the face and sweating buckets (because no matter what you’re doing we still want to look and feel good don’t we girls). It’s one less thing to worry about which is always a bonus in my books! They have an amazing new Fit range and have covered all bases on all things active wear. Click read more to see my top tips on how to keep fit and be beach body ready.
What to wear? – What to wear when working out is so relevant even if you think it isn’t. It can be a bit scary knowing what to buy for certain activities but it is very important to have the right clothing. For example a tight jumper for yoga is going to restrict you rather than help you and never underestimate a sports bra, even if you are not so gifted in that department they really make a difference. This is where Boohoo have done us all a favour and created a great range of activewear at even better prices. They have a wide variety of pieces available and all in really on point designs. They have slogan tops with cute sayings like ‘squat goals’ which I love! As well as hoodies, vests, printed leggings (long & short) and even trainers.
Set realistic goals – Don’t set out thinking I want to lose 4 stone by the end of the month or I want to drop 3 dress sizes in two weeks. It isn’t realistic and you will just end up sorely disappointed when your targets aren’t achieved which in turn will probably make you go the other way and give up! Set yourself time limits and if like me you haven’t been a gym goer all your life start small and build it up. Maybe aim to lose a couple of pounds in a fortnight or aim to be running a certain distance within 8 weeks gradually building up to bigger goals as you reach each smaller goal. Achieving your target will spur you on and make you see you’re capable and the results will push you to try even harder. Goals can be in any form such as weight lost, inches lost, distance ran, weight lifted, activities performed for example set a goal of doing 10 press ups, 10 sit ups & 20 sqauts a day and gradually add more on.
Diet – This is such an important part of your journey to a healthier happier you. Putting all the hard work in but eating all the wrong things can mean you aren’t getting anywhere at all. It seems so simple but it’s so easy to have a biccy with your 11 am cuppa or a sweet treat when that 3.30pm lull kicks in. This is where people have their downfall. Cutting out these sugary treats will make the biggest difference. Sometimes you don’t realise you are even eating as many calories or sugar as you are and 9 timesout of 10 it’s boredom, not actual hunger. Still have treats and don’t totally cut it all out cold turkey, this will just make you crave it more and more likely to binge. Instead fo cheat days just have cheat meals or cheat treats. Have a set amount of treats a week for instance 3 cheat meals and maybe 2 treats a week rather than a whole day of eating bad.
Hydration – I cannot stress enough the importance of hydration. I have bad skin so I try to drink as much water as possible rather than tea or fizzy drinks full of sugar. They say aim for 2 litres a day but really if you can get between 2-4 litres a day then it really helps when doing your workouts, it keeps you fresh. Hydration is so so important to the body! Sometimes thirst is disguised as what you think is hunger so when you get that pang in your stomach telling you to eat something, drink some water first and majority of the time it goes away. Water does a whole host of good to your body from regulating body temperature, to keeping our skin healthy, to keeping your joints lubricated. When it comes to fat loss, hydration aids metabolism, so keeping our bodies well hydrated is vital in boosting its ability to burn fat.
Sleep – Sleep is also very important to your body. Not getting enough sleep can lead to cravings such as sweet food. Studies show that sleep loss can increase hunger and slow down your metabolism (particularly carbs which can lead to high levels of blood sugar), meaning you could be putting in all the hours at the gym but not reaping the benefits if you are lacking sleep. Another thing to remember is that excess blod sugar promotes the overproduction of insulin, which can lead to the storage of body fat and insulin resistance, a critical step into the development of diabetes.
Company – Going to the gym or for a run or just working out alone in general can mean it is hard to get motivated or push yourself to work as hard as you can. Having friends to work out with means you can spur each other on when you feel like you are starting to flag and also it adds a slight competitive element to things which I know personally is what works for me. Sometimes it’s just nice to have the company and someone else who is going through the same as you and understands how you’re feeling.
Planning & preparation – This is a big part of keeping fit & healthy for me. Food prep is very important to keep you on track and not swayed to have ‘just one’ (which it never is just one) of thos biccies. Planning meals and batch cooking means you are sorted for your week ahead and less likely to just dash to the shops for a sandwich which are always pretty high in calories and sugar etc, probably a lot higher than you may initially think. I also keep a diray of my daily food on a tracker call My Fitness Pal which I use every single day without fail. You put in your details and your goals and it works out a daily intake for you and the macronutrients. Before using this I didn’t realise ho many empty calories I was consuming in those biscuits, tea and fizzy drinks, it would probably really surprise you!
Bootcamp -At the start of this year I attended my first bootcamp session on recommendation from a friend. I loved it, and now go all the time. It’s hard work but it’s also a nice group of people who are really encouraging and keep you going, it’s enjoyable and you feel so good at the end of the session. The trainer is a really nice guy but at the same time pushes you and doesn’t let you slack off. It’s kind of like PT sessions but just in a group of people instead of 1 to 1. He helps with technique and makes sure you’re doing it all correctly so you don’t injure yourself. I don’t have the courage to go to a gym and also I feel I wouldn’t push myself anywhere near as hard, not to mention that I wouldn’t really know what to do. This gets me out the house, in the fresh air and exercising and using every muscle. Each session is different so it doesn’t ever become repetitive which is a real bonus. On days I can’t attend bootcamp I do the Bodycoach HIIT workout by watching his YouTube videos and doing it along with the video. It’s 20 mins and you work so hard and really get your fat burning.
Make it fun, not a chore – You have to keep it fun! The second it becomes a chore is the second you lose will power and motivation. You need to make it enjoyable which is why variety is key. In the summer I go for a long bike ride with my Dad everyday after work. We are getting out and exercising but it’s pleasant at the same time cycling down the canal and in the lovely weather (when we have it!). When it’s a bit warmer I also do my HIIT sessions in the garden which is lovely and I can’t wait for the bootcamp sessions in the sun or just the lighter evenings rather than the dark in the rain, wind and snow!