With the new year here, The Hills Fitness team has put together their 10 top tips to lose weight and get active… and some are really simple, so why not give them a shot mummas?!
- Avoid grocery shopping on an empty stomach
One of the common mistakes you can easily make while trying to lose weight is to grocery shop on an empty stomach. Instead of buying with your head, many people end up over buying or are tempted to buy unhealthy ‘fast-food’ to quickly satisfy their craving. It’s best to shop after you eat and stick to your pre-prepared list. This way no biscuits or chips will accidentally ‘slip’ into your trolley!
- Ensure you get enough sleep
Running a household and trying to fit everything in is tough and sleep can easily become a third or fourth priority for mums. Unfortunately this can negatively impact your mission to lose weight and prolong the time it takes to see results. By reducing your sleep, you’re limiting your body’s recovery time. This can lead to fatigue, lack of impulse control and even injury. It’s best to stick to a routine and get a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep – we know that’s not always possible with kids though, but if you can do it the vast majority of the time your body will thank you in more ways than one.
- Keep it consistent
The reality is results take time and dedication. While many people look for a quick fix, hard work and commitment are the key to weight loss success. The best way to tackle this process is to stick to an exercise routine and diet, ideally planning for the week ahead. We understand life gets in the way so when you can’t make a fitness class, adjust your schedule and make up for it. It’s been suggested that it takes 21 days to break a habit. So set yourself a realistic 3 week minimum commitment to healthy eating and physical activity to test this theory out for yourself!
- Do what suits you
Over the last few years there’s been increased discussion on how women should train. Some will argue that weight training is more important than cardio, while others have suggested a light walk will be just as effective. We believe the key is to find what works for you. If going for a run at 6am or attending a fitness class at 7pm works for you, that’s great! The aim is to increase your heart rate and get you active to burn those excess calories.
- Find a training partner or group
One of the best ways to keep you accountable to your fitness routine is to train with someone else. Whether you train with a friend, family member or a social group, choose a partner or group that will keep you accountable and motivated. Consequently, you’ll be more likely to attend your classes after work or go for a run during the day. Social media is a great way to find a new fitness partner or group. We’ve found that many of our members have joined The Hills Fitness for the social aspect and love exercising among friends. This way it feels less like a chore and more like a hobby!
- Create a plan of attack and set goals
Failing to plan, is planning to fail. Before making any changes, it’s always a good idea to establish a plan and set both short and long term goals. This will keep you motivated along the way and also make sure you’re sticking to the plan. Your plan may include reducing your sugar intake, drinking 2L of water a day or attending three fitness classes. Write these goals down and create a plan on how you’re going to achieve these fitness goals. If it helps, show your partner or husband your plan so they know what you’ve committed to and are hoping to achieve – this will help them support you to do it!
- Have fun!
The most common complaints associated with exercise are to do with ‘boredom’ or ‘repetition.’ If running on a treadmill doesn’t do it for you, try a rower or bike. If you’re like so many of us at The Hills Fitness and need something new and exciting, try fitness classes such as boot camps, yoga or spin classes. These will keep you engaged and motivated to attend class after class. The aim is to find out what you enjoy so you will keep going back and to not feel afraid to voice what it is you don’t like.
- Work out what motivates you
When putting your plan together, it’s a good idea to start off with the question ‘what is motivating me to make these changes?’ This will help you stick to your fitness plan and be the light at the end of the tunnel. For example, one of our members of The Hills Fitness wanted to set a good example for his newborn daughter and another wanted to lose weight before her holiday. Write it down, share it with a trusted confidante or two and remember why you’re exercising – it will push you during those days when you don’t want to exercise!
- Full body exercises
The optimal way to burn calories and lose weight is to exercise with full-body movements. Studies have shown that you can achieve more weight loss through functional movements, activating a number of large muscle groups all at once. What does this mean? Try exercises that involve the whole body such as circuit-based classes, swimming or weight training.
- Enjoy the outdoors!
This is a great time of year to take advantage of the fresh air and warm weather while exercising. Whether it’s a simple walk after dinner or a morning outdoor fitness class, now’s the time to enjoy the outdoors and get some vitamin D which is essential for healthy bones and calcium homeostasis. With daylight savings, you can now also exercise at a later time which is great for mums, so no more excuses!