Fitness / 11.01.2016

12 expert tips to boost your fitness for life

By Francesca Specter
Simple, everyday fitness tricks to help build a more active lifestyle

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When it comes to looking after our bodies, it’s often the little things that count. A 20 minute walk might not seem like it’s doing much, but it’s the kind of habit that sets the foundations for a more active lifestyle.

That’s why we’re supporting JanUary, a campaign by the National Obesity Forum which focuses on making small, everyday changes to our lives which can improve our physical health in the long-term.

We’ve teamed up with 12 different fitness experts to find out their simple tips for staying fit and healthy:

1 ‘Muscle recovery is as important as actually exercising, and one of the most popular and effective ways of repairing muscle damage is through having a hot bath or lying in a jacuzzi. In turn, this will assist in keeping you more active as your muscles won’t be as fatigued.’ – Amy Williams, former gold medallist Winter Olympic champion

2 ‘Set an alarm on your phone or on your computer to remind you to stand up and have a stretch every hour.’ –
Dawne Likhodedova, owner of Be Pilates studio

3 ‘Prep like a boss – go food shopping, plan your meals and prep all your meals for the week ahead’ – Joe Wicks, aka The Body Coach, online nutrition coach and creator of the 90 Day SSS Plan

4 ‘If you’re watching television, when an advert comes on do body or weighted squats until the break is over. Alternatively, if you want to work your upper body, do press-ups. Count how many you can do each day during the advertisements to see how you progress.’ – Nick Mitchell, celebrity trainer and founder of Ultimate Performance Fitness

5 ‘Find yourself a local group fitness class and sign up. Working out with lik- minded people can help keep you motivated and having a trainer on hand will push you.’ – Ashton Turner, personal trainer at Enhance Nutrition

6 ‘The legs and bum have the largest muscles of the body, and putting these muscles to work requires a lot of energy – which means working the lower body is great for fat burning as well as building strength. One easy way to fire up the legs multiple times per day is to not use your hands and arms to help you whenever you stand up from a chair or sofa. This makes sure those big fat-burning muscles are doing all the effort and also helps improve your technique for squatting exercises.’ – Julia Buckley, online fitness trainer at Julia Buckley Fitness

7 ‘I always commit to seven minutes a day on my yoga mat, so try doing that. It seems like a very manageable number in my head and even if you’re ill or tired, anyone can do seven minutes. Nine times out of 10 I immediately feel better the minute I step on my mat and carry on for an hour and a half if time allows. If time doesn’t allow, just commit to seven minutes – it’s something all people can do.’ – Cheryl MacDonald, founder of fitness franchise YogaBellies

8 ‘When it’s cold, get a hot drink inside you. I don’t go anywhere until I’ve had a cup of coffee. It gives you an extra kick and gives you that little bit of added warmth before you start.’ – Mark Buller, co-founder of Judgement Day

9 ‘Make sure you take a lunch break and go out for a walk. Aim for 15 minutes in total; even if it’s just a quick stroll round the block, it’s better than being glued to your desk or smart phone!’ – Jaime Kember, tutor and course lead for Running Technique and Pre and Post-Natal Exercise at Premier Training International

10 ‘Perfect your plank – the safest and most effective way to a strong core. Simply start with short increments, 20 or 30 seconds at a time, and build up to the maximum amount of time you can hold for. Integrate planks into your routine a few times a day – perhaps every time you wait for the kettle to boil, while you run the bath or during the ad breaks of a TV programme. Do this regularly to improve core strength, flatten your stomach and feel great!’ -Vicki Anstey,  founder of ballet fitness fusion classes Barreworks

11 ‘Always avoid using the lift. If you can take the stairs up and down every day it will make a difference to your general fitness.’ – Tamsin Greenway, netball star, ex-England international, Surrey Storm head coach and player

12 ‘The body uses its reactive muscles to keep your balance, so adding in simple balance exercises into your day is a really great way to improve your fitness levels and use your muscles even whilst in the office. Simply stand on one foot for 45 seconds whilst pointing the other foot, then switch feet and repeat 10 times. Do this daily and it will improve your balance, increase muscles activity and help in your overall fitness.’ – Jake Ocean, professional MMA athlete, personal trainer and dancer

Did these tips work for you? Got any more of your own? Let us know by tweeting us @healthymag

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