Top Fitness Mantras

10 Apr 2012

We've got the fit and fab people of Fitness First sharing their tips and thoughts to shape up

How do we get fit and stay fit? It's a question on
most of our minds, whether we're pushing ourselves to spend 10 more minutes on
the treadmill or hitting the snooze button on our alarm clocks to avoid an
early morning run. Whatever group you're on, you could do with fitness mantras.
The Fitness First Middle East team - Nathan Brown, Group General Manager;  Nick Hymas, Regional Fitness Manager; Mark
Botha, Sales and Marketing Director; EllyRivett, Area GX Manager; and Pilar
Sanchez, Yoga Manager share theirs here. Read, absorb, practise and get fit!  

More is not always better
Exercising too much can actually weaken the immune
system and compromise its power to fight illness. If you want to get
those six-pack abs, then you'll have to train your big muscles first. Selecting
compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses and military presses
can help you achieve a six-pack much faster than isolation exercises such as crunches
and leg raises.

When eating out...
When eating out, opt for things on the menu described as
steamed, grilled or poached. Avoid anything fried or battered. Don’t under eat.
If you are training regularly, you need to consume enough calories to fuel your

Water's the key
How much water are you drinking a day? You should be
drinking a minimum of eight glasses or the equivalent of it, and even more if
you are training. If you drink fruit juice, choose freshly squeezed ones as
prepared juices can contain a lot of sugar. Read the labels carefully, or even
better, make your own concoction.

Listen to your body
If your body is fatigued or in pain, do an alternative
exercise or take a rest day. Avoid injuries. To reduce soreness after workouts,
try going on the Power Plate as vibration training immediately after can help
relax the muscles. Also, do stretch thoroughly.

Become a label watcher
If you eat cereal for breakfast, read the food labels carefully. Select those with
minimal sugar and check for words such as glucose and other hidden sugars and
salts. Instead of adding salt to prepare your food, use herbs and spices to add
flavor. Limit your salt intake.

Having a strong core is essential
Make sure you incorporate core strength training into your workouts. Barbell
squats are a great exercise to work your thighs, buttocks and abs.

Stretch before and after every workout
It helps avoid injury and reduce muscle soreness. Have
you tried skipping? If not, try it today. It’s a great warm-up and great for
burning calories and coordination.”

Measure smart
If your goal is weight loss, note down the measurements
of your waist, hips, thighs and chest every month to track your progress. Don’t
limit your workouts to only cardio, it’s essential to include resistance
training to achieve maximum results.

Explore different activities
Regular physical activity has been linked to lowering the chances of getting
Alzheimers. If you’re not in the club this weekend, why not stay active by
playing beach games with your family or friends or in the park?

Try and make lifestyle changes

Try to quit smoking and alcohol, get more sleep, have less takeout or try more
outdoor activities. If you have a busy lifestyle, set a weekly workout plan
that is achievable around your routine. 
Mornings, evenings, weekends or even a lunchtime walk – whatever works
best for you.

Time to change
Have you stuck to the same workout for a few months? Alter it, add more reps,
increase resistance/weight or run for an extra kilometer – keep pushing
yourself and set new goals. Be patient, changes won’t happen overnight but
gradually you will see results.  

What women need
It is a myth
that women who train with weights become bulky and start to look like men. In
reality, women who train with weights in moderation look more lean, curvy and

Power food
Quinoa is a great source of
high quality protein and a great accompaniment to your lunch or main meal.  It is also gluten free and high in fibre.
Additionally, Omega-3 fats found in oily fish are essential for good nutrition.

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