Fitness goals made easy!

It’s that time of year again and also (as most other years) THIS is the year you’re going to stick at your New Years resolution and get fit.

Well us too! Our New Years resolution is to help more people achieve their goals! Whether that’s to lose weight, to go faster, finish a 5 or 10k+ race, or even just to feel confident when putting a dress on…lads too! 😉 .

It’s a fact that most New Years Resolutions fizzle out before the end of January, it’s definitely not down to good intentions, so what is it?

Often we set ourselves an unrealistic target that a seasoned athlete or an “A” class celeb, with personal trainer who lives under the stairs, would be proud of achieving. Anything is achievable, however I’m sure Michelangelo didn’t manage to colour in the Sistine Chapel before his first tea break, and you’re no different…quality cannot be rushed!

A few things that are proven, and these will assist you to reach that seemingly impossible goal of looking in the mirror and thinking, yep i’ve made it!

  • Team up! Not to join the Power Rangers but to get your friends and family on board. (Although, what’s not to like about matching Lycra?!)
    If you don’t have anyone, then Outdoor Group Fitness Classes are a great way to meet people in the same boat!
  • Get support, find somewhere or someone who is qualified to help you in your goal.
  • Break your goals down into smaller ones and also give them a date to be completed by. Aiming a week or two ahead is a lot easier than “just keep running until I’m Mo Farah or Usain Bolt”.
    Simple way of breaking your fitness goals down to achieve more.

To make things easier we’ve included a free fitness goals sheet.

Stick it on your fridge, wardrobe door, somewhere you have to look at it EVERY DAY!

Your end goal can be whatever you like but try to make it as specific as you can.

For example, I’d like to lose 3 inches from my belly, is better than “lose weight”.

So what is realistic?

There are countless claims that you can lose 2 stones of your bodyweight in a week on the Whatever diet plan, or bulk you up from Clerk Kent to Superman with 80 StedFast tablets per day. They are ALL nonsense and many are often dangerous.

It’s better to underestimate your goal and achieve it rather than over cook your self and fail miserably! You can always adapt it as you should with any exercise plan….after all it is just a guide and even athletes don’t follow plans to the letter, as how the body feels and life sometimes dictates otherwise?!

As you know, weight goes up and down naturally and no one actually cares how much you weigh. The eyes don’t lie, if you look good & feel healthy who cares what the scales say? Stick to body measurements. 2cm is roughly a dress size, one cm per fortnight is achievable but something you will have to chip away at. Some times you’ll hit your target and sometimes you’ll fall short, as long as the long term result is positive then you have met your goal!

Choose a fitness program that is progressive! Begin with 2 exercise sessions per week for the beginner, building to 3 and then even a 4th as your body adapts. If you’re getting into fitness after a long break or as a beginner it is sensible to do body weight resistance training to strengthen your body for the task ahead and building shapely muscles as you go.

More conditioned exercisers should adopt the same steady approach, building intensity and duration in phases which include sufficient rest periods! 2 full days off per week and a regular 4-7 day break every 6 – 8 weeks will allow important recovery, this is when your body becomes stronger.

If running, you should steadily add distance and speed but never the 2 at the same time. To ensure steady progression, try adding NO MORE than 400metres to each run, as lungs and heart might be able to cope but your feet, knees, and hips take a little longer to adapt. If you feel you could have gone further try going a little quicker the day after at the same distance.

Each goal can be broken down further. For example I would like to run 2.4km 20 secs faster in 2 weeks. I need to:-

  1. Go to Military Style Fitness or Bootcamp 2-3 per week and push a little harder on 1 of those sessions.
  2. Eat a good breakfast every day. (Very Important and where many fail)
  3. Make sure to drink approximately 2litres of water per day.
  4. One interval running session on my own per week.
  5. One dedicated flexibility session per week on my own. The stretches in the Ozonefit sessions are great or for something to stick to. click here to see some exercises.

Remember lots of little goals are better and reward yourself with an activity that you enjoy doing, that is inline with your plan. Don’t be too hard on yourself….the Roman’s built their roads to last and this took time, we all require a couple of days rest per week, without this you will become bored, tired, ill or injured and back at square one…a common ending for many.

As always your instructors are coiled and ready to help, answer questions and set your compass on the right bearing! If you feel your friends or family will benefit then don’t forget to share and give them the best Christmas present of all….an introduction to Ozonefit! 🙂
Chris Walker – Ozonefit Military style Fitness

Group Training Instructor and Personal Trainer

Outdoors over the gym in Winter!

So, bootcamp is on tonight and as you look out the window the rain seems to be going side ways…

It takes a lot of willpower to make the first step out of your nice warm house but, it doesn’t have to be as bad as it looks and is definitely worth it!

Summer bodies are made in the Winter!

Doing a few squats and press ups 2 weeks before your holiday, (I think you know this already!) isn’t going to make much of a difference. You then end up going on a calorie cutting diet that makes you feel terrible!

To allow your body to keep up with the changes, and to avoid any negatives such as extra fat storage (See the last blog ‘What is the best exercise for losing belly fat’), you should lose no more than 1-2lbs per week. So start early to tone up, lose weight, and look great steadily and safely.

Burn more calories for doing the same exercises!

Our bodies are very fussy and like to be kept at a the same temperature, no matter what climate we’re in or what activity we’re doing; we sweat to keep cool, and shiver to keep warm. Shivering itself burns around 400 calories an hour, *for the record*, this could also could lead to hyperthermia, so don’t use it as exercise!

When we are outside we have to warm the air up before it gets to our lungs, our muscles need to work harder, and we are forced to keep moving when normally we might have a cheeky rest.

Need more science?! A type of fat cell called brown adipose tissue (good fat) has a primary role of keeping the body warm and releasing energy slowly and steadily. These cells get woken up when the body gets cold, if this is done regularly then the body will store more brown fat and less white fat. White fat isn’t so good, and usually stored around the belly.

Don’t start doing press ups with the freezer open though, get to an outdoor workout class!

Yes it’s a bit minging out there, but it doesn’t have to be that bad!

I don’t know about you but I love being dry while the rain is hammering down, the air seems to be better, the sound is great, and I feel a little bit smug because I’m out when others wimped out!

There is a saying in the military, “there is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing”. Modern sports clothes wick moisture from the skin while keeping heat in, and it doesn’t have to be expensive if you shop around. Bright or luminescent colours are best to stay visible.

Feet – The ground is a bit muddier and grass can get slippy. Trail shoes offer more grip, support and are waterproofed to keep you dry.

Legs – Leggings will hold warmth in while keeping the wet away from your skin. Stay away from tracksuits and joggers, these often hold onto water making them heavy and stick to your skin. Lads, wear some over-shorts, no one wants to see your sock drawer!

Upper body – Still staying away from cotton, it feels horrible when wet and hard to get off!

-Base layer with long sleeves is worth its weight in gold.

-T-shirt, creates an air gap further insulating and keeps heat in.

-Waterproof rain jacket, stay dry for as long as possible!

Head, neck and hands – A sports beanie hat and gloves made from polyester or micro fibre is ideal. Sports neck pull overs reduce the heat that escapes from your top. They are also great for wiping your eyes and glasses!

Post session – Have a bin bag or seat cover on ready, a bag for your wet clothes. Take your wet tops off, towel dry and replace with a nice, dry Ozonefit hoody.

A warm shower or bath after a wet and muddy bootcamp feels so much better!

There’s a chance you could get wet if you train, but I guarantee you will feel feel rubbish if you don’t!

Chris Walker

Ozonefit Instructor and Personal Trainer

The best exercise for losing belly fat?

As a Personal Trainer, the question I get asked most is what exercise do I need to do to get rid of a certain area of fat.

Unfortunately it is a myth that we can target body fat by exercising that area. If it was possible then body builders would have a much easier job! Does that mean you are stuck with ‘bingo wings’ or ‘beer gut’ for life? No! Lets start off with the basics, what is body fat and why do we have it? There are two main types of body fat, essential, and stored. Essential, as the name suggests is very important and is stored in the bones, muscles, and nerves; it helps our bodies work efficiently.

What is fat?

Stored fat can be broken down into two further types. Subcutaneous (fancy name for under the skin), it keeps the heat in, stores energy, and provides padding. It is however expendable, and should be used! Visceral (another fancy term for the area that contains your organs, chest and gut) is what we can’t see. When we have too much, it is dangerous and linked to health conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and strokes.

Our body stores fat for several reasons, a few of the biggies…Irregular food intake – a meal here and there, missing breakfast, certain diet plans, etc. Poor nutrition – food is fuel! If the fuel is poor, or the wrong type is put in, like a car, it will break down!

Food sensitivities or intolerances – a minor reaction to certain foods such as dairy or wheat. Hormones – these are the message carriers of the body. If they tell the body to store fat, it is normally because of the reasons listed above, it is rare that there are underlying disorders, check with your GP. Wait, my own body might be doing this to me?! In a way yes, but only because of what you are telling it via what you put in your mouth.

What we want to happen in an ideal situation is for us to eat something, which the body then uses to function. The rest is used to make our muscles work so we that can move resulting in no left over calories. Just to make things complicated, certain foods can cause a bigger reaction than others and also provide more or less energy to the body over varying times (See glycemic index). Things can never be simple right?!

The-best-exercise-to-lose-weight-Ozonefit

The-best-exercise-to-lose-weight-Ozonefit

Control Sugar intake

Sound familiar…You feel peckish or ‘it was looking at you the wrong way’, so you grab a biscuit, coke or cake. It was nice going down and initially you feel better and perkier! Half hour later you’re down in the dumps again feeling hungry, maybe a little guilt too!

This is because sugary snacks are easy to digest and get to the blood quick, thus causing the hormone insulin to release. As snacks have a lot of sugar (7 teaspoons in a can of coke!) there is a big insulin rush that makes blood sugar drop too low (Basically too much sugar is eaten up by the insulin), which the body doesn’t like! When blood sugar is low another hormone called Cortizol is released, this makes us hungry; it also increases stress levels, and tells the body to store fat! Then usually you grab another easy to reach snack like a biscuit that has lots of sugar (to start the process again!), the fat contained in it goes straight into to storage for a rainy day!

Distraction technique…fool the enemy!

In the time it takes to do a burpee…Are you really hungry, or just bored, or thirsty? Solution – a glass of water aids to ward off hunger and keeps your body functioning at optimum levels (55% and 70% of our body mass should be Water) A 5 min leg stretch will not only wake you up and help reset posture, but also take your mind off eating if excess calories are an issue! If you’re bored at the end of an evening, make a fruit tea (caffeine free of course) and take yourself to bed with a book or favourite TV show….move away from the fridge!

Pro-active not reactive

Plan your meals in advance and have a healthy snack ready just incase! Be realistic…you can’t eat like Jamie Oliver all the time, simple is sometimes best! Figure out which parts of your life cause you stress and change it! Rule out food intolerances, cut out dairy/gluten/wheat for a few weeks and see if it makes a difference. Visit Allergyuk.org for information and guidelines on how to do this safely. In summary, you can do 200 sit ups a day, sometimes even a great full body workout yet you will still have that annoying fat that just won’t go away if you don’t restrict your mouth with your mind!

We think controlling and educating your own mind and ignoring impulse is the best exercise, however a close second and one that goes hand in hand….is to keep active! Team up with a friend or by yourself and find an exercise class to give your health and wellness a boost, obviously Group Fitness Classes by Ozonefit would fit that bill nicely!

Chris Walker – Instructor and personal trainer at Ozonefit Military Fitness