For the past 12 weeks, we’ve followed body blogger Caroline Williams as she’s undertaken a complete body overhaul. She worked with nutritionist Alli Godbold and trainer John Orum to lose an amazing 29.5 cm. Healthista asked John for his ten top tips for achieving your own fitness reboot
First, the results – then read on for how she did it:
1. Try HIIT (and make it work for you). HIIT (or high intensity interval training) is a great way to stimulate metabolism which greatly aids weight loss. A practical way to work it into your day is by doing your HIIT workout at home, spending between 15 and 20 minutes walking the stairs and doing things like lunges, squats and abdominal crunches. Another great tip is to do you HIIT workout mid-afternoon when you feel most sluggish, which will give your metabolism a real boost and ensure you keep your day active.
2. Hit the stairs. Your body doesn’t know the different between a treadmill at Equinox and the stairs into work, so avoiding the elevator and taking the stairs to lunch is a great way of metabolically cooking up and extra 100 – 200 calories a day (which equates to about 1,500 extra calories a week!). John says a great tip is to try climbing flat-footed, as this improves posture and gives your butt and hamstring muscles a workout they wouldn’t normally get climbing on your toes.
3. Avoid temptation food-wise. Exercise is a vital part of keeping fit, but a bad diet will only hinder weight loss which is why it is important to work on the two together. By keeping your house treat-free and buying snacks for the kids when they’re out rather than storing them at home, you avoid temptation and the risk of gaining all the weight you’ve trained so hard to lose.
4. Listen to your body and only do what works best for it. While some people lose more weight running, others actually burn more fat at low intensity (so when they walk). Understanding that exercise is not all about ‘one rule fits all’ is a great way of getting in shape, as finding out what works for you means you are far less likely to suffer injury doing something which doesn’t suit your body, or a lack of motivation if your current training plan isn’t working for you.
5. Mix it up. Because our bodies can become economical at doing movements quite quickly, keeping the same exercise routine can mean you reach a fitness ‘plateau’ where your body stops losing weight. Including variety means your body has to call on resources from all over the place, leaving you with more muscle tone and far better fitness levels. A great way to include variety is to do single steps on the stairs one day, then doubles the next. Doing things like lunges at half speed one day and then full speed the next is also a great way of keeping your body guessing.
6. Don’t forget the upper body. As your body gets used to exercise so quickly, doing upper body as well as lower body work is a great way to surprise your metabolism and kick-start it into burning calories. By working the whole body and not just the bottom half, you build up a much greater level of muscular endurance as opposed to strength alone. Try including upper body work when your body least expects it in order to get the best possible results.
7. Focus on posture. Poor posture when exercising tends to build bad habits which over time can cause issues with areas like the knees, shoulders and back. This means a lot of time spent with the Physio and less time spend burning off that belly. A great way to ensure your posture is correct when sitting for long periods at work or a desk at home is by ensuring everything is set up for you specifically. By adjusting the chair height, back support and tilt of the computer screen you stand much less chance of injury, allowing you a pain and problem-free REBOOT regime.
8. Monitor your intensity level. Monitoring your intensity is an important part of getting fit and losing weight, as it means you are constantly aware of how hard you are working and what you may need to change in order to achieve your goals. John says a great way of doing this is by rating yourself on a scale between one and ten, with one being minimal work and ten being the absolute maximum. For the REBOOT, he recommends aiming to get yourself working between a seven and eight (occasionally peaking at a nine), without pushing yourself too far.
9. Build your core strength up over time. It is important to build your core strength up over time, starting at the right level for you rather than going for a ‘one size fits all’ exercise plan. The best way to do this is to think about what you need to achieve – are you a keep cyclist in training for a triathlon or a woman who’s just had a baby? This will help you choose the right core moves for you. You can also check out the video we shot with John to see some examples of core training at different levels of ability. [LINK TO VIDEO]
10. Set yourself a realistic goal. The Healthista REBOOT is all about results, but it’s also about being realistic. If you set yourself an unattainable goal you are far more likely to lose motivation and fall off the wagon, so aim for a target you think you can reach – you’ll feel far better knowing you are chipping away at something attainable than feeling like you’ve failed because you’ve been overambitious with your end goal.
Read about Caroline’s results in her Reboot diary
John Orum is a sports scientist with 20 years experience training ordinary people and celebrities, and was head trainer at In:Spa retreats for four years. John’s focus is on the whole person and he incorporates fitness, psychological motivation and other body work technique to bring out their best and make the changes last. Contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit John’s website.
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