It’s very easy to talk yourself out of going to the gym – that little voice in your head will tell you not to bother today, stay in bed an extra 30 minutes instead. Ignore it. There are countless ways to exercise so it’s worth keeping your options open until you find something you like. Some people love classes, others love weights, others yoga or boxing. It doesn’t matter, as long as you enjoy it and can continue to do it.
I’m really inflexible, is this a problem and what can I do about it? When people say ‘I want to improve my flexibility’ I always ask what flexibility means to them. Some people say touching their toes, others want to improve their posture, others want to alleviate stiffness. Once you’ve settled on your definition, you can start to work towards it, measuring your progress as you go. Increased flexibility can help improve performance, decrease aches and pains, prevent injury and make you feel better. The fitness industry spends a lot of time focusing on muscles but this is only a small component of a healthy training regime – we could all benefit from spending a bit more time working and moving our joints. It’s also worth bearing in mind that the more efficiently your joints are functioning, the less hard your muscles have to work. The body is connected with layers of connective tissue called fascia that run like a huge web from head to toe. All the time new tissue is being laid down, and if you sit in the same position every day, your body will lay down this connective tissue in a familiar way, growing thicker over time, limiting your mobility. Yoga, pilates and stretching are great ways to improve your flexibility, as is the kind of three dimensional training we promote at my gym No.1 Fitness. This is an area that’s becoming more popular in the wider industry, involving resistance and weight training that promotes movements in more than one direction. During your workouts, set yourself at least 10-15 minutes where you can introduce some mobility or stretching drills. If you don’t have time at the gym, you can always do this when you get home – do it while watching TV or in bed. • To book a session at No.1 Fitness go to no1fitness.co.uk