There are a bunch of exercises that are great for your overall health and fitness that can be done at home or at the gym. Getting into a routine of exercising daily - even if it's just 15 minutes can really improve your energy levels and help keep you motivated.
This is a fantastic exercise that is easy to do at home, outdoor or at the gym. It's an exercise that replicates everyday life and uses your glutes, hamstrings and core muscles. If you start feeling knee or back pain please consult your trainer.
Depending on your level of fitness, we recommend push ups at the beginning of your training session. This warms up your upper body and prepares you for the training session ahead.
If you can't manage a full body push up, start with your knees.
Make sure you keep your back straight.
- BEGINNERS - you should aim for 10 push ups from the knees
- REGULARS - you should aim for 20 push ups from the knees or full body if you can manage it
It may come as a surprise but there are some very popular exercises that may in fact do you more harm than good. These are a few to watch out for and avoid wherever possible.
Chair/bench dips with bent legs
This is a very popular exercise — especially at benches in the park because it is an accessible exercise for people training outdoors. What you may not be aware of though is the pressure this exercise puts on your shoulder muscles or for a more scientific term the acromion process. When you preform an upper body exercise you must be able to see your hands at all times. If not you are at risk of putting a lot of undue pressure on the joint of the shoulder girdle. Always remember to ask yourself — 'does it replicate everyday life?' Dips do not.
MACHINE CHEST FLY
Even though this exercise may be a popular choice at the gym, the reason why this is not recommended is that again we have to see how does this benefit the exercises. Firstly we can see that she is sitting down which automatically switches her core off. The exercise also forces your arm back as you come to the end of the range of motion, which in turn can do damage to your shoulder joint. This is especially harmful to people who are sitting at a computer all day and have poor posture. Again always remember to ask yourself - 'does it replicate everyday life?' Machine chest flys do not.
MACHINE SEATED LEG EXTENSION
I have saved this exercise till last. Even though this exercise may be a popular choice at the gym, the reason why this is not recommended is because of it's lack of functional movement.
First of all you are in a seated position, which switches the core off. The resistance while preforming the leg extension is located at the shins just above the ankles. With weight this causes shearing forces on the knee, because the load is coming down horizontally onto the ankles. The body does not like this at all. Again always remember to ask yourself - 'does it replicate everyday life?' leg extensions do not.
FOOD = FUEL
80% food, 20% exercise
Weight loss and being healthy is mostly about what you put in your body - everyday. Exercise is important, but it is only 20% of what you need every single day. If you have weight to lose, and you have only just begun your journey, then the first thing to tackle is your mindset. It may feel like a mountain too high to climb - the number of kilos you need to lose is too much and it all feels like too much hard work. The thing to remember is to set yourself some achievable mini goals. This may be something as simple as saying "I will switch to grain bread rather than white bread for 1 week". 1 week challenges are much easier than trying to set yourself a 6 month, or 12 month challenge. Just take it week by week and monitor everything you do, so you can compare and evaluate what works and what doesn't work for you.
When you have a bad week—as every one does at some point—it's about getting back up again instead of letting everything go.
Having a personal trainer can help you keep on track and encourage you to keep going when you're not feeling it. If you don't have a personal trainer, then try and find someone who can support you and who makes you feel good about the changes you are trying to make. Start today, not tomorrow.