We've got easy, sensible, expert-approved tips to do just that.
Getting started is the hardest part of doing anything worthwhile – so we asked Siobhan O’Hagan, personal trainer and online coach, how to make those vital first moves.
“First off, take small steps,” says Siobhan. It’s simple advice, but January is not, historically, a time for gentle change. “Everyone throws themselves in the deep end – with a new diet, new training plan, five or six days a week!”
In order to go the distance, any lifestyle change needs to be sustainable – meaning that it needs to fit in with how we live our lives, and be adaptable. If you’re someone who goes out every weekend, or travels a lot, going full Paleo with a daily Bikram class isn’t going to last, long-term.
Siobhan’s suggestion? Take one change at a time. “On week one, think, okay, I’m going to change my diet,” she says. “Two or three weeks later, maybe start training. We can get a big shock to the system, juggling a new training plan with cooking and food preparation, so don’t go for too much, all at once.”
I always think the best, and most direct, way to get results is to go to a personal trainer
Unsurprisingly, she recommends enlisting the help of a personal trainer to set you on the right path. It’d be easy to call bias, but it’s what she did, this time last year, when she overhauled her own diet and fitness and moved from finance to personal training. “I always think the best, and most direct, way to get results is to go to a personal trainer,” she advises. “You’ll get an individual programme, suited to your own ability. They’ll look at your nutrition, and make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly. Classes can be good, in terms of dipping a toe in, but for long-term results, you want a programme that’s tailored to you.”
Mind you, not all trainers are created equal – and you need to find the person who suits you. “Sometimes, it might not be a good fit with a personal trainer,” she admits. “You need to find someone who’s as invested in you as you are in them.” Bear in mind, too, that it’s a busy time for those in the fitness industry. “At the start of January, people are very busy and might not give you the time you need, so don’t be afraid to shop around.”
Okay, so we’re ready – we’ve got our gradual changes in mind and we are determined to make 2016 our fittest year yet. Just, er, where do we start? “I specialise in weight loss, and I like getting women weight training,” Siobhan confides. “With all women, I say, focus on fuelling your body. Instead of dieting and trying to break it down through cardio, if you fuel your body and focus on making yourself stronger, everything else looks after itself. Eat a lot of good food and train hard. And remember – everyone’s different! I try to find the type of training where a client will want to come into the gym. They’re not just doing it because they want to see results.”
Psst! This article first appeared in STELLAR’s January 2016 issue. Our January/February issue is on shelves now!
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