It's holiday season and lots of us will be travelling and having fabulous times away from home. This often means leaving our fitness routine behind. But it doesn't have to be that way. Whilst for most of us holidays are not the time to push our fitness to the next level we can all find a spare 10 minutes a couple of times a week to try and maintain what we have achieved over the last months.
High-Intensity Holiday Workout
My lovely Edinburgh boot campers have asked me to come up with a holiday workout that is quick and doesn't require any equipment. Whether you are in the back garden, in a hotel room or at the beach this 10-15 minute high-intensity summer workout ticks all the boxes: It's a full body workout, time saving but effective and works on both cardio and strength.
I recommend that you download an interval timer for your phone, it makes keeping track of workout an rest times much easier. Choose to go through the circuit 2 or 3 times depending on how you feel on the day and how much time you have. Get your partner, friends or kids to join in to help you stay motivated.
Enjoy and happy holidays! I look forward to seeing all my personal training clients as well as boot camp clients in August!
It was just over a year ago that I ran my first boot camp session in the Meadows. And what a great bunch of women showed up on that very first day! Most of these wonderful women still come along to boot camp now and it's been such a pleasure to be part of their fitness journey.
Since that first day fitandhappy boot camp has grown from a few morning sessions to 10 sessions per week in the Meadows as well as two new locations: Victoria Park in Trinity and Ravelston Park in Blackhall. We now have a team of coaches and have big plans for the future. Watch this space!
We celebrated our 1 year anniversary of fitandhappy boot camps in the Meadows with a BBQ. It was such a lovely event with delicious food, great company and lots of fun and laughter. It will definitely need to be repeated next year!
Thank you to everybody who came along, made food, ate, drank, laughed and wheeled BBQs into the Meadows and back!
Julia's take on a frittata: a quick and healthy family favourite
I love this recipe. It's full of colourful vegetables and protein. No processed carbs in sight and better still: It's super easy to make, works for breakfast, lunch or dinner AND feeds the whole family.
Use whatever vegetables you have to hand, substitute feta for cheddar or blue cheese, throw in any left over roasted veggies or whatever else you have lurking at the back of the fridge. You get the picture: This recipe is pretty flexible, as long as you have plenty of eggs, it'll work out. Mine tastes different each time I make it.
Take out of the oven and serve with a side salad. Yum!
Leftovers are great for breakfast, lunch boxes or anytime you fancy really. Enjoy!
Some people love them, most make them but not many of us manage to stick to them: New Year’s Resolutions. As many as 92% of New Year's Resolutions fail. Read on to find out why and what you can do to stick to your resolutions and make 2018 your year.
The most popular New Year's Resolutions in the UK are losing weight, getting fitter and eating more healthily, closely followed by a healthier work-life balance. Sounds familiar? Most of us have tried...
At the beginning of the year we are super motivated, we tell ourselves that this time it’s going to be different. We are excited and determined but somehow by the time February comes most of us have already reverted to our old ways. According to some statistics 80% of New Year's Resolutions fail by February and only 8% of us mange to stick to our resolutions long term. What's the problem with us? Lack of willpower? Not really.
There are lots of reasons why people don’t succeed but generally it comes down to one simple thing: We are too ambitious. We make it too hard for ourselves by:
a) setting too many resolutions (start running, reduce carbs AND do yoga 3 times a week)
b) making the task too difficult (exercise 6 days a week when you haven’t been moving for the last 4 years) or
c) setting all-or-nothing goals (I will eat no sugar whatsoever, if I eat a bar of chocolate I am a failure)
The way most people approach New Years Resolutions is by aiming for the stars, e.g. adapting the new perfect behaviour from day one. It’s great to have big goals and ambitions but all we are doing is setting ourselves up for failure. Research clearly shows us that to build a new habit we need to start small. You need to feel super confident that you can actually achieve your goal. I always ask my clients where they are on a confidence scale of 0-10 (10 being most confident and 0 not confident at all). You need to be about a 9 on that scale to succeed. That’s how easy it needs to be. Start small and increase your task bit by bit.
Here’s a summary of what you need to do to be successful in 2018 and stick to your New Years Resolutions (and the good news is it has little to do with willpower).
Let’s look at an example so show you how this approach can work.
Lisa really wants to lose some weight and get fit in 2018.
Small, incremental lifestyle changes are the way to go
The key to success is to make it easy. Keep making your tasks easier and easier until you can do them without feeling stressed out, deprived or unhappy. Review this regularly, keep adjusting your goals up or down and stick with it. Consistency is hugely important when building new habits. It’s much better to do little bits consistently than big things once a week… your brain learns by repetition.
Go on, give it a go and give me a shout if you get stuck!
More tips and tricks to keep you on track:
As the colder (and wetter) months are lying ahead of us you might be wondering what best to wear for boot camp. Edinburgh in winter can be sunny and dry but also cold and wet. Or warm and wet. Or cold and dry. Anything really, you never quite know how many seasons you are going to get in one day. Below are my recommendations (in order of importance, according to my own humble opinion) for the colder and wetter boot camp days.
Winter Boot Camp Clothing
Having said all of this, last winter was much drier than spring or summer and let's not forget those lovely sunny days we get in Edinburgh, too! With the shorter days we often don't get enough fresh air in the winter months so boot camp is ideal to get you outdoors! Boot camp in winter will leave you feeling exhilarated and full of positive energy. Often more so than in summer. The hot shower you get afterwards is just the best!
When most people think of winter in Edinburgh, they imagine dark days, horizontal rain and cold easterly winds. This is not a picture that entices you outside. Instead it makes you dream of warm homes and cosy blankets.
We could remind you of the stunning winter days that are just a little chilly but have clear blue skies, sunshine and no wind. But whatever the weather there are many great benefits of exercising outside in Scotland.
Boost Your Immune System
There are many articles that state getting outside on a regular basis boosts your immune system. Most researchers say that they cannot scientifically state why but people who go outside into a green space every day, whether for a walk or run do seem to have a healthier immune system. And if my anecdotal evidence counts, I am certainly much much healthier since starting my outdoor boot camps.
Reduce Your Chances of Getting Winter Colds and Viruses
Winter in Scotland is dark and for many people this seems to increase symptoms of depression and in particular SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). You must see your GP if you are affected but both preventative treatments and ongoing treatments will include lifestyle changes such as getting as much natural sunlight as possible and taking regular exercise.
Benefit From Getting Vitamin D
Vitamin D is required in our bodies to keep us healthy and in particular to keep our bones strong. Most people get the majority of their Vitamin D from sunlight and a small amount from foods such as oily fish and red meat.
However the problem in Scotland is that we don’t get very much strong sunlight from October to March. For a while it was thought that if you went outside at midday you would benefit from some Vitamin D but recent research states that there is not enough UVB radiation in a Scottish winter for our skin to make vitamin D.
What better reason to exercise outdoors in the winter than to become happier.
There are hundreds of articles on the internet and in the newspapers that will tell you the latest scientific benefit of being outside in green spaces. If you don’t believe them, do you remember your parents sending you outside to play to get some fresh air or to blow away the cobwebs. Previous generations may not have had scientific proof why being outside was good but it was certainly expressed in their actions and sayings.
At Fit & Happy we believe exercising outside, whether at our boot camps or personal training sessions, will result in many benefits even in the winter. All the benefits above merge to help you become fitter and happier. The endorphins created from exercise make you feel good and help reduce stress. Being surrounded by green spaces and trees, and breathing fresh air makes you breathe better and feel better. All of which improve your immune system and help with your mental health.
Get fitter and happier with Fit & Happy.
Note: If you do have a condition such as asthma you should check with your GP before training outside in cold weather.
I am very happy to announce that you can now book your space for the next block of Fit and Happy Boot Camps in the Meadows in Edinburgh.
Take a 2-minute survey about our upcoming bootcamp for women in Edinburgh and enter a prize draw for 1 free Personal Training session.
My name is Julia and I am a personal trainer and nutrition coach in Edinburgh.