I am Laura from LKB Fitness - an Online Personal Trainer helping busy women/mums get fitter, healthier, stronger & happier from home through my LKB Fit Fab & Focused membership.
People often try to make too many changes when it comes to starting a health & fitness journey. They also often say "I'll start Monday" Or "I'll start in the new year". I'm here to tell you that you can start now, today - and it doesn't even have to include a workout or jumping around doing burpees in your living room ;-) Health and Fitness is so much more than workouts! Here are 8 of my top tips to start taking control of your health. (Maybe choose just one you will start with today) 1) Water How much water are you drinking throughout your day? Do you even know? We always hear those 2 litres a day is recommended. I personally drink 2 litres or more because I enjoy it and I'm used to doing so every day. However as a starting point I would encourage increasing your water intake to the point where you go to the toilet and have a clear pee! That's an easy sign to know you are keeping hydrated.
As well as this, let's remember all the other benefits of drinking more water. It lubricates our joints, boosts skin health, regulates our body temperature and helps to flush body waste!
Tip: Always have a bottle with you in your bag or on your desk at work. Set an alarm on your phone if you need to for every hour to take a few gulps. 2) Sleep Science has proved that good sleepers get good results! We all know how good we feel after a great night's sleep. We feel more productive the next day, it improves our mood, we feel better mentally & physically & it reduces stress - we feel "less aggy"!
So try and get to bed a little earlier. Maybe just 30 minutes earlier or 45 minutes to an hour. You don't have to do this every night to begin with, however try and introduce this maybe 3-4 nights of the week first and see how you feel. 3) Steps Get outside and get some steps in! Lots of people think that we have to be at a gym class, or doing a workout in our living rooms to lose weight or to get fit. Yes of course - that helps, however that is only a short time of your day.
Over the day we spend energy from every little movement we make - even when we are sat down, we are burning energy (Calories) - just with breathing and our body functions. Therefore, I encourage movement and steps across your whole day - as we have a lot more time to play with in comparison to our 30 mins to 1 hour at the gym.
Remember, with every step/movement you make, you are burning energy. Even housework counts! ;-)
If you struggle to achieve the recommended 10k steps a day - How about starting your goal smaller and make it more achievable for YOU! 4) Lift Weights I can't express enough that YOU WILL NOT BULK LIFTING WEIGHTS!
You only need to see a picture of me to see I am not in any way bulky, and I certainly do not represent a bodybuilder and I am someone who lifts weights 4 times a week.
Lifting some dumbbells throughout your week has so many benefits.
If you are on a weight loss journey - I would highly recommend weight training. It helps improve any fat loss goals you may have (we carry on burning calories for well over 24 hours after training with weights), we gain strength both physically & mentally. It lowers our risk of injuries, improves our athletic performance and it makes us feel empowered!
Also as we get older – our bone health decreases significantly over time – lifting weights slows this down. It keeps us on top of our bone health and is a great way of avoiding such things like Osteoporosis. (fragile, weak bones). 5) Mindset I can't put you in the right mindset that you need to achieve any health and fitness goals - and neither can anyone else. However, I can help encourage this. Start by setting one daily goal that will help you work towards a better frame of mind.
One way of achieving this daily is to wake up in the morning and say to yourself - "How can I make today a great day?" - With that will come an answer of something that is likely to make you feel good.
Another thing to recognise and learn from with our mindset is - We should learn to embrace failure. When we have an "off day" or a "bad day" - that is ok! We don't have to look at that day as a reason to give up. We just brush ourselves down and we get back to it and go again the next day.
Quote: “Progress over perfection” always! 6) Knowing your Energy Balance Levels The science behind fat loss is that we must put our bodies into a calorie deficit. We could train and workout lots but if we aren't adjusting our calorie intake to lose body fat - we will not lose it. We need to be burning more energy (with body movement) then what we are taking in (food/drink)! If our goal is to not lose body fat but we want to build muscle –we need to be in a slight calorie surplus and work towards some macronutrient goals. Society has blinded us from this information by creating products and food plans around it for people to follow - when all the product/food plan is doing - is putting people who wish to lose weight/fat - in to a calorie deficit. As humans we have a TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) figure we can work with to help us on our way to these goals. Bear in mind these figures are never gospel - but we work out our own TDEE with the LKB calculator (you can find this at www.lkbfitness.co.uk) and we start to work with and around our TDEE Figure to create a deficit.
We all spend a certain amount of energy based on our height, weight, age and how much we generally move throughout our day. Once you know this figure you can start tracking what you eat and drink to create a daily deficit. This is a key to a weight loss journey, and I'm pleased to see the fitness industry and so many coaches/PT's slowly getting this message out there to people who need it. 7) Know your Menstrual Cycle As women our monthly cycles mean we have a lot of things fluctuating throughout the month. Whether it's hormones, energy or our moods - we know full well that some weeks we feel like we can take on the world - and some - we just want to hide away and snuggle under a blanket away from the world.
When people start a fitness & health journey, they maybe hit a week of their cycle where typically any woman wouldn’t feel great - they lose motivation & they give up. So, I encourage women to know their cycle so they can prepare for how they will feel on certain weeks and adjust their workouts/body movement that week. It’s also the knowledge we need in order to be kinder to ourselves when we are less motivated.
Here are the 4 cycles we go through each month and suggestion on how you manage your workouts on those weeks…. Menstrual Cycle – On your period, low energy levels, feel tired. Workouts - Reduce Intensity – stick to simple strength exercises. Follicular Phase – Feeling better – Boost in energy, feeling strong! Workouts - Increase intensity, increase your weights! Go girl!! Ovulation Phase – Full of life, Confident, Sociable, you want to see your friends – Sex drive at its highest! Have fun!! Workouts – Maintain the intensity from the follicular stage. Luteal Phase – Feeling “urgh” – Food cravings kick in, Anxious, Tummy cramps. Workouts – Reduce intensity, maintain low impact, maybe stick to walking/swimming. Keep moving now and again to help PMS symptoms. 8) Accountability & Support Going alone can sometimes be so daunting and lonely. Having accountability and support from others in the same boat can be exactly what people need to achieve. We all have days where we really are not feeling it – however if we have someone watching us or someone joining us who makes it more fun – we are more pushed towards achieving our goals.
Why not ask a friend to join you with your plans and check in with each other each day/week. Or join a local class where others are on the same journey. Or – if you really need that push, maybe it’s time to invest in yourself and get a trainer who you can stay accountable to.
Check out The Ultimate Health & Fitness Reset with LKB - A 12 week course at www.lkbfitness.co.uk Covering all aspects of your journey & accountability with me (Laura) at LKB Fitness.
Laura Bannister - Online Personal Trainer helping busy women/mums get fitter, healthier, stronger & happier from home through my LKB Fit Fab & Focused membership.
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