Press 'Reset' after your holiday to get back on track

Sun, sea, sand, adventure, good food and drink, thats what holidays are made of! Time spent outside in the fresh air relaxing with our friends and families (as much as you can with children!) can be so good for the body and soul offering a break from the norm and a chance to explore pastures new. 

However we all know how carried away we can get with overindulging in the local food and alcohol and before we know it the pounds have crept on.

Worry not, the damage can be minimised and you can set yourself back on track within days. Follow the steps below to feel more energetic, lighter and for your clothes to not fit so snuggly!

  1. Don't panic - Its tempting to think "oh well I am never going to lose the weight”. I always tell my clients to press the ‘reset button’. Now you are back home, fill your basket with wholesome healthy foods on your first food shop. Limit processed foods, especially those containing sugar, refined vegetable oil and processed highly refined carbs such as pasta and crackers.

  2. Exercise everyday for at least 20 minutes - A combination of both cardio and resistance exercise is crucial to burn body fat and tone up at the same time.

  3. Up your water - Ensure you are drinking enough pure water daily as flying and drinking alcohol all dehydrate the body. Every cell in your body requires water and it also helps with weight loss and increasing energy.

  4. Get in those zzz's - Flying through timezones or enjoying long summer evenings can mean less sleep. Sleep is a time for the body to repair and again can make a big difference to energy and when trying to lose weight.

  5. Try this meal plan below for the next 5 days:

  • Key principles are:

    • 3 x meals a day

    • No snacks between meals

    • Meals made up of steamed and or raw vegetables and salad, a source of protein and a source of healthy fat. (No potatoes, rice, pasta etc.)

  • Breakfast example:

    • Pea, onion and spinach omelette cooked in butter or coconut oil

  • Lunch example:

    • Avocado, lettuce, cucumber, radishes, celery with turkey slices (fresh from the deli is possible)

  • Dinner example:

    • Homemade chicken and vegetable curry (made with spices and coconut milk) served with cauliflower rice

For more information and if you would like the help of a personal trainer please contact Red Hot Personal Training for an initial consultation. Don't forget to subscribe to receive our free blogs. 

Three fitness tests to try right now

Want to test your strength, flexibility, muscular endurance, vascular health and longevity to name a few? Try these simple at home tests and see how you score. Ways to improve are also detailed below.

Test 1

30 second sit-to-stand test (Tests lower body muscular strength and endurance)

Start by sitting in a chair (approx 17” high from seat to floor and without arm rests ideally) with your arms crossed over your chest in front of you and simply stand up then sit straight back down again as many times as you can in 30 seconds. Make sure you touch the seat chair with your glutes (bottom) and stand completely straight at the top of the move. Count how many times you complete one stand up and sit down. It may be easier to ask a friend to time you for the 30 seconds.
How did you do? (The following results are taken from 60 year old test subjects so if you are a lot younger than this then you should be able to perform the above average scores!)

Females:

Level 3 (Less than 12 ) = Below average

Level 2 (12-17) =Average

Level 1 (Greater than 17) = Above average

Males:

Level 3 (Less than 14) = Below average

Level 2 (14-19) = Average

Level 1 (Greater than 19) = Above average

Test 2 - 30 second standing on one leg test (Tests postural instability, vascular health and even dementia risk!)

Stand on your right leg and raise your left leg up off the floor several inches. (Your left foot must not touch your right leg/foot for support).

How long can you hold this stance for without too much wobbling? Dont forget to try the other leg too. If this was easy try it again but with your eyes closed this time!

Level 1 = 30 seconds + with eyes closed. Fantastic!

Level 2 = 20-30 seconds + eyes open. Not bad at all. This is what everyone should be aiming for at the minimum.

Level 3 - Less than 20 seconds = There may be balance issues/vascular damage that needs investigating. Is one side significantly easier than the other? Look into possible issues with the spine.

Want to improve your time? Try standing on your right leg whilst cleaning your top teeth and then standing on your left leg whilst cleaning the bottom teeth. In this way you will be incorporating balance training into our daily life.

Test 3

Standing straight touch toes test (Tests flexibility especially in legs and lower back)

There is some evidence that being able to touch your toes is a good marker of how flexible you arteries are and an inability to reach the floor with your fingertips can be a predictor of a future heart attack. Issues of mobility or stability must be looked into if you cannot yet touch your toes in this move.

To perform this test stand up straight with your feet close together but not touching. Reach up from the hips and then bend forwards towards your toes. Not touching the floor? Try this. Stand tall again and simply rotate your pelvis forwards into a slight posterior pelvic tilt (tuck your bum in and forwards). Keeping this position reach up and forwards again and see what happens? Did you get further down this time?

Everyone should be striving towards being able to touch their toes from this standing position and with regular practice this will be achieved. If you simply are not getting any closer, investigate mobility and stability issues with a personal trainer or physical therapist.


Red Hot Personal Training

One-to-one PT sessions, Group training, One-to-one Pilates sessions, One-to-one pre and post-natal sessions, Nutrition for weight loss

Cold shower challenge

For the past 6 months or so I have been subjecting myself to daily cold showers in the name of personal interest. I first became aware of the benefits of cold water immersion, or ‘cryotherapy’ a few years ago but couldn’t quite get myself to stand under a freezing cold shower or sit in an ice bath more than a handful of times. This time I made a plan to have daily cold showers (and maybe a few ice baths along the way too) for 6 months! Well I am 4 months in and wanted to tell you what I discovered and what the known benefits are of this madness!

The most talked about benefits of regular cold showers are:

  • Speeding up recovery after exercise

  • Increased alertness (Oh yes you will feel truly awake after a cold morning shower!!)

  • Eases stress

  • Increases energy

  • May help with weight loss as the cold helps increase brown fat that is more metabolically active i.e. it burns more calories than white fat. (To help enhance this action ensure you hit those brown fat receptors in the back and front of the neck)

  • Better deeper sleep

  • It actually feels so good after you step out of the shower and get a warm glow as you heat back up again.

Day 1: No, I can’t do it, its too cold to just jump right into a freezing cold shower. After procrastinating for what seemed like 10 minutes I negotiated with myself to get into a warm shower then turn down the temperature for just 10 seconds. Wow that’s cold, I only managed about 5 seconds and screamed so loud!

Day 2: This time no delaying just get in to a warm shower then try to beat yesterday’s time. I managed a few seconds more today but it still felt horrible!

Day 3: Why am I doing this? I held firm to my challenge and wanted to see if it got any easier as the week went on. Nope not today just as cold but I am starting to feel that nice warm glow after the shower and I also think my skin feels a lot softer too. (Softer skin and shinier hair is also a known benefit).

Days 4-8: It has become part of my routine now and I am starting to feel the benefits. After a tough workout I actually looked forward to the cold on my muscles.

1 month in: Well I wouldn’t say I am totally hooked but I am definitely noticing that I sleep better after a cold shower a few hours before bed.

Now: Does this shower dial turn any colder? I couldn’t get the dial to turn any colder this morning as I felt it was too warm. WAIT, I wanted to turn it colder?? I did laugh to myself as this was definitely not something I would have tried to do a few months ago. I think I have got used to the cold! No Ice baths to date but maybe it is time to give them another go.

Always listen to your body when trying something like this and ask your doctor before trying it if you have a medical condition. Work up the time spent in the cold water from a few seconds at first so you acclimatise slowly.

Red Hot Personal Training

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Steps to a dream body in 2019

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Many people use this time of year to make New Years resolutions and dream about changing their bodies for the better.  Is this one of your resolutions this new year?

Picturing in your mind what you would like to acheive is fantastic but here are a few ways that can help you actually get there.

How committed are you to change? 

Your dream body will not be made overnight so understanding that you will need to commit to make exercise a part of your daily life and improving your diet so you consistently eat well are key to success. This is ultimately what we must strive for.

What do you need to focus on to get there?

Choosing an exercise programme designed for your individual body and personal goals in conjunction with a healthy diet will definitely improve your fitness, body shape and confidence not to mention enhance your mood and stamina. This is where a personal trainer can be invaluable and help you take away the guess work of what to do and when and motivate you to achieve your best.   

If you’re truly serious about your fitness goals make a commitment to yourself to do what it takes to make that happen. Keeping a diary of your exercise, increasing your daily vegetable intake and water consumption can have a big impact.

Remind yourself why you want to make the change

Do you want to be able to keep up with your small children in the park without getting out of breath, wear that size 10 bikini, be confident to stand up and present your work to a room full of people, sleep better? 

These are all achievable with the help of regular exercise and a healthy diet. Get excited about your goals and the final results, but make no mistake, if you don’t consistently exercise and support your training with a healthy diet, those results will never exist outside of your imagination and you’ll never find out how amazing it feels to have achieved them.

Always remind yourself of your goals and just go for it!

www.Red Hot Personal Training.com

(One-to-one and group Personal Training sessions, Pilates teacher and Pre and Post-natal fitness trainer)

Red Hot Personal Training's Christmas Gift Guide

Busy getting ready for the christmas celebrations? With Christmas just around the corner we thought it would be a good idea to share our favourite ideas for healthy Christmas presents.

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  1. You know how we have said how important a good nights sleep is (see blog dated Oct 27) so with that in mind how about a new supportive fluffy pillow that you can just sink into. To really go all out, why not get a silk pillowcase too. Silk not only feels luxurious but has wonderful properties that can help keep your hair shiny and tangle free and your skin smooth, bonus!

  2. A wonderful piece of kit to have at home is a foam roller. Benefits of using it before exercise include increasing blood flow to muscles and range of motion and using it after exercise helps aid recovery and relaxation.

  3. Lavender, Frankincense and Rosemary essential oils are a wonderful gift to give, as they help to enhance blood circulation, calm nervous tension and are also anti-inflammatory, so they are excellent after a tough workout. Use them in your bath, in an infuser, mixed with a carrier oil and use on your body or just add a few drops of lavender oil onto your pillow for restful sleep. Be sure to use the best oils as you can find to really benefit from them.

  4. Have you tried Bamboo workout clothing? Clothing made from bamboo is wonderful at keeping you dry as bamboo is sweat wicking and comfortable during tough workouts, is a great option for allergy prone skin, is antibacterial and feels so soft against your skin. Bamboo is also a great choice for the environment too as it is biodegradable and only needs rain water to grow. We especially love Bamboo trainer socks.

  5. Resistance bands are so simple and easy to use, take up little space and can be used to target multiple muscle groups. We love to incorporate these bands into our clients exercise plans and show them many ways to use them in a daily workout routine for strength, muscle and flexibility gains. The favourite type of band among our clients at present is the ‘Band of doom”(named by Red Hot Personal Training clients as you can really feel it working!!). It’s a strong, thick loop band that can be used as a precursor to many exercising as it activates the hips when placed around the thighs and used for squats, side steps etc. It can also very effectively target the glute muscles, thus strengthening and helping to turn back on those all important posterior chain muscles. As an added bonus its amazing for achieving a peachy derrière!

P.S How about a gift of Personal Training vouchers? Red Hot Personal Training has received a great deal of requests for gift vouchers to give as a present this Christmas. A 'one off session' voucher can be purchased for £45 or a package of 10 sessions for £400 making a saving of £50 per session! Please see the 'Prices' tab of our website for more details.

(Red Hot Personal Training, Pilates and Pre and Post-Natal)

Why I love working out with my Kettlebell

Are you looking for a way to tone your entire body, activate those essential posterior chain muscles, improve your posture and lose weight as an added bonus? Look no further than the kettlebell.

Why I love to work out using a Kettlebell

  1. A sweat producing whole body toning workout can be achieved in a very short amount of time.

  2. Only one piece of equipment is required and it can be done anywhere! (Please make sure children and pets are well out of the way!!)

  3. All the major muscle groups can be worked out, including the very important posterior chain muscles. (Those muscles that are made weak by excessive sitting and underuse leading to back pain issues, non-firing glute muscles etc)

  4. Its fun and gets that heart pumping for a great cardiovascular workout too!

My three favourite kettlebell moves:

  1. The mighty Kettlebell Swing is such a simple but powerful move. You will see great changes to your bottom, and tone in your legs and tummy too! (I personally aim to do a minimum of 100 swings at each session. Try reps of 20, 30, 20, 30 with a 20 second rest break in between each set.

  2. The Kettlebell snatch is such a fast and fun move that once you have masted it you will really enjoy the fluidity of it. (Good form is key here. Research the correct technique or ask a trainer to show you how). Try 12-15 reps each side x 2 reps.

  3. The Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift is not only great for the legs and stabilising muscles but a good core and balance exercise too). Try 12-15 reps x 2 sets each leg.

If you are a beginner I would advise starting off with a light weight such as a 4kg/6kg (women) or 9kg/12kg (men) and then once you have perfected the moves then consider upping the weight as you get stronger.

Please see the video attached for a sneak peak at these three moves. x

Do you fall into this category?

Are you one of the 40% of women who don’t get enough exercise?

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A shocking study undertaken by the World Health organisation (WHO) * found that four in 10 females are not getting enough exercise to benefit their health. With a greater chance of developing type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, dementia, mental health problems and even some cancers what is holding you back?

Fitness does not need to be made in a gym so excusing yourself from exercise because you “hate the gym” is not a reasonable excuse! The recommended guidelines are 75 minutes of intense activity such as running or 150 minutes of moderate activity such as walking per week, yes per week!! That means that there are still 9,930 minutes of the week to do other things! Surely we can all strive for this target.

As a personal traininer who trains women exclusively, I completely understand the struggles and barriers that many women face when trying to incorporate more exercise into their daily lives.

Having worked with hundreds of women I have had the opportunity to really gain an insight in to our busy lives. We have so many balls to juggle and personal fitness is usually the first thing to go when life gets busy.

As a working mother of two children, a wife, daughter, pet parent etc etc I know first hand how a plan to go for a run can quickly disappear when something more pressing comes up. Before you know it a whole week has past and none of the exercise sessions that you had planned for the week ahead had got done. You feel sluggish, tired and maybe a little irritated too! The weeks go by and then you realise you have simply got out of a fitness routine and your body starts giving you subtle signs that its not liking this more sedentary life! Aches and pains, loss of flexibility and strength or even going upstairs makes you feel out of breath!

Here are my top tips for getting back into fitness and upping that level of daily activity:

  1. My number 1 top tip is to keep a training journal. If like me you love lists and enjoy the satisfaction of recording and ticking off activities then this may be a real help for you. Note down all the activity you managed to do each day. Both planned exercise sessions (PT session, gym, bike ride etc) and also unplanned too such as gardening, walking etc. It can be very satisfying to look back at the end of the week and see how much you have accomplished and over the months to see how you have progressed to!

  2. Try exercising outdoors. It can be exhilarating to feel that fresh air and sunshine on your skin out in nature.

  3. If you can’t get outside try putting on some music really loud and just dance (no one can see so go for it). Have a good stretch session afterwards too. Note how it makes you feel. It will make you want to do it again!

  4. The best bit about exercising is the way it makes you feel. Let those feel good endorphins flood the body. Its a wonderful way too increase not only your energy, stamina etc but also increase your self confidence, reduce your stress , anxiety level and install a sense of calm too!

Source: *

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/british-women-exercise-inactivity-who-study-health-a8523321.html

Red Hot Personal Training, face-to-face, online, Pilates and Pre and Post Natal

Have you ever heard of 'Blue Space' and its effects on you?

We have often talked about the benefits of being outside for a healthy mind and body and achieving the balance between high intensity and lower impact exercise.  On those essential recovery days that your body requires to rest and repair from more intense activities, why not benefit from so called 'blue space'.

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Much like the benefits of being amongst 'green space', 'blue space' (including seas, rivers, lakes and larger ponds) is said to have a great impact on our health and wellbeing.  A great deal of this comes from something called "Negatively charged ions" (don't be fooled by the term negative as they are quite the opposite in this case). These atoms or molecules are charged particles in the air that are tasteless, odourless and invisible and are thought to help relieve tension and stress.

Anyone who has taken a long walk (or even sat and read a book) along the seafront or around a beautiful lake or waterfall knows the calming and de-stressing effect it can have on you and a more relaxed body and mind will be better prepared to endure those more strenuous exercise sessions that really push you to your limits!

Try it and make a mental note of how you feel and even sleep afterwards!

If you feel someone you know could benefit from this advice don't forget to hit the 'share' button. 

Some of the best foods to buy 'organic'

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Switching to a diet that is mainly organic can be pricey but many would argue worth every penny.    The benefits of organic food go well beyond just taste. 

Many studies have illustrated the greater antioxidant levels and drastically lower levels of pesticides and heavy metals contained in organic food.  The very chemicals that may lead to ill health and a toxic build up within our bodies. Organic food is also far better for the environment and animal welfare.

However switching to a fully organic lifestyle is well beyond most peoples reach.  Many clients of Red Hot Personal Training ask which foods would be the most beneficial to change to organic?  So we thought we would detail our 'Top 5 foods to buy organic'

  1. Milk - Organic milk contains higher quantities of healthy Omega-3, Vitamin E and Beta-carotene than regular milk and does not contain fertility hormones, pesticides or unnecessary antibiotics.
  2. Soft Fruit - Such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries are a wonderful addition to your daily diet containing many health boosting properties. However, non organic fruits with soft skins can absorb the pesticides that they are sprayed with and prove difficult to wash off.  
  3. Eggs - Organic eggs are a fantastic source of protein and vitamins.  The wonderful yellowy-orange egg yolk produced by free range and organically reared chickens is packed full of goodness. However, non organic eggs may contain pesticide residue through their feed which ultimately ends up on your plate.
  4. Bread - As a nation we love our bread so it makes sense that something we eat so regularly is switched to a healthier loaf.  Again, organic bread contains far less pesticide residues.    
  5. Meat - Yes its a bit pricey but shop around and you can find some great deals (make use of your freezer if you buy in bulk!).  If you want to reduce your exposure to antibiotics it makes sense to buy organic here even if you end up using less meat and substitute with more vegetables, lentils, beans etc in the recipe.

The list could go on but a few little changes could make a big difference to your chemical exposure and the environment. :) x

Could you skip this one?

Do you remember effortlessly skipping as a child? How about giving it a go again? What a great way to raise that heart rate up, help with fat loss and help tone that mid section while you are there! Skipping is great as part of a warm up or used as a whole body workout in itself. An inexpensive tool to purchase that is easily portable too!

Try this quick skipping workout below that you could even squeeze in before breakfast!

1. Set the timer on your phone for 5 minutes. Keeping your elbows by your sides and using your wrists to propel the rope (try not to use your shoulders) do 30 simple skips.

2. Take a 30 second (active) break by gently marching on the spot.

3. Repeat the skipping and rest periods until the 5 minutes are up and there you have a great mini workout!

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A great exercise for a toned upper back

Want a nice shapely toned back to show off in those Summer dresses and tops?  Summer bodies really are made in the months leading up to it (not 2 weeks before!!) Start toning up now and you will be pleased you did come Summer time.  Nicely toned muscles not only look aesthetically pleasing, they burn more calories (even at rest) and can help in the fight to retain the muscles loss that inevitable occurs as we age. (1% a year after the age 40!!!!) 

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Why not give this exercise below a go? The bonus part of this exercise is that it also works the core at the same time.

Heres how to do the 'Plank with a Row'

1.  Assume the plank position but with both arms straight (see photo) holding a 2-5kg free weight in your right hand.

2. Bring your right hand up towards your chest at the right side, pause briefly and then return to the start position.  Repeat on the left side. 

Enjoy, Happy Easter. x

Lyndsey Slaughter - Red Hot Personal training

Yummy NO BAKE protein bar recipe

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These homemade protein bars are a healthier choice than many shop bought bars that sometimes contain mysterious ingredients that can't even be pronounced! Ideal for a quick snack, whilst traveling, for hungry children after school, a quick pick me up during the day or perfect if endurance training.

These bars require about 15 minutes of prep time, then an hour-long rest in the refrigerator to set. Recipe makes about 16 bars.

  • 140g chopped almonds
  • 160g porridge oats
  • 100g unsweetened coconut flakes (shredded coconut should work, too)
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon (Ceylon cinnamon is best)
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 200g almond butter (or peanut butter)
  • 120ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
  • 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

1.     Line a 9-inch square baking tray with parchment paper. Lay the paper over and up the sides of the edges as this will make it easy for you to remove and slice the bars later.

2.    Toast the chopped almonds for maximum flavor (you can skip this step, but your bars won't be quite as awesome): In a medium pan over medium heat, toast the almonds, stirring frequently, until they are fragrant and starting to turn lightly golden on the edges, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a medium mixing bowl. 

3.    Add all the remaining ingredients to the mixing bowl and stir until blended. The drier the mixture, the firmer the bars will be, so stir in extra oats if the mixture seems too wet. If its seems too dry you might need to drizzle in another tablespoon of maple syrup to help it all stick together.

4.    Transfer the mixture to the baking tray. Use a spoon to pack the mixture down as firmly and evenly as possible.

5.    Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour, or overnight. This gives the oats time to set.

6.    When you are ready to slice, lift the bars out of the baking tray by grabbing both pieces of parchment paper on opposite corners. Use a sharp knife to slice the mixture into squares.

7.    For portability, you can wrap individual bars in plastic wrap or parchment paper. Bars keep well for a couple of days at room temperature, but I recommend storing individually wrapped bars in a freezer-safe bag in the freezer for best flavor. They will keep for several months in the freezer.

Enjoy:) x 

 

Stand up for fitness!

Did you know that sitting down for too many hours every day can seriously impact your health? I wonder how many of you have just stood up!

Sitting facts:

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  • Research estimates that if you cut back on the time spent sitting down to under 3 hours a day in total, it could add two years to your life expectancy.
  • An analysis of 18 studies found that people who sat for the longest periods of time were twice as likely to have or develop Type 2 Diabetes or heart disease, compared to those that sat the least.

Although a daily workout is absolutely essential for your health offering many physical and mental benefits, its equally important what you do in-between and if that is mainly sitting down in an office, at home or travelling try these suggestions below.

Here are some tips to get you moving:

  1. Aim to not sit down for more than 15 minutes at a time without standing up or taking a quick walking break.
  2.  Try standing up when you talk on the phone or use your computer/ipad etc.
  3. Try and cut down on your TV time each day and incorporate regular standing breaks into your viewing time. (Go and make a cup of tea for example).
  4. Simple body stretches performed after sitting down will help your circulation.
  5. Do small bouts of exercise throughout the day. Every hour or two, take the opportunity to do some squats, standing lunges, high knees, toe touches, or push-ups against the wall. It doesn’t have to be anything crazy, complicated, or long. Just a few minutes will do!

Can Red Hot Personal Training help you? We offer the following:

  • Online Personal Training
  • One-to-one Personal Training
  • Pilates Instructor
  • Pre and Post-Natal Exercise

Make 2018 the year to get fit and toned, here's how!

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A new client came to Red Hot Personal Training in search of ways to improve upon her body shape and in particular muscular definition and asked why she had not seen her body change at all despite going to the gym 3 times a week and running on the treadmill for 30 minutes?  Now there are many answers to this question that would effect her results including diet, stress levels, hormones, sleep pattern etc however, our next question was very important. Do you incorporate the free weights, suspension equipment, medicine balls etc available or ever do bodyweight exercises? No she replied I just want to burn calories as quick as I can and go home as I really don't like running!

After explaining the benefits of incorporating all these other options into her exercise routine we set clear goals for her to reach that would utilise a variety of exercises equipment and also the addition of body weight exercises that would challenge her and force her body to adapt and change for the better.  

The take home message we really want to get across is please don't stick to the same exercises routine for every session.  Give the treadmill a break for a bit and explore other options. Mix it up and your body will always be kept guessing. Add in those bodyweight exercises including planks, pull-up, press-ups, squats, lunges etc and see your body increase in strength and muscle tone. 

No excuses bedroom workout!

Follow my effective bedroom/hotel workout below and sculpt that body with just 8 easy to do exercises. All you need is a resistance band and a bed! Are you visiting family or going on holiday over Christmas and not going to be able to do your usual workout? No gym membership and want to get fit in the comfort and privacy of your own home? Give this fun workout a try. Don't forget to follow Red Hot Personal Training on Instagram and Facebook for more tips, ideas and exercises. 

Enhance Your Workout with Resistance Bands

Resistance bands could be the one piece of workout equipment that can take your body to the next level of fitness, strength and overall muscle tone.  As a Personal Trainer, Pilates instructor and pre and post-natal teacher (www.redhotpersonaltraining.com) I find resistance bands a wonderful, versatile and full body strengthening little 'gym in my pocket' tools that really do work wonders.

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Bands come in a variety of lengths and strengths so suitable from beginner to advanced athlete and some are made in a loop construction that adds to the versatility and variety of exercise combinations that can be used. They are budget friendly and can easily be used while away from home travelling as they are so portable and require little space to use. (Many of my clients travel with work a great deal so when they are away from home they can continue with their exercises whilst away).

Resistance bands allow you to get a full body strengthening workout without the use of any free weights or gym machines.  The key here is that working out with resistance bands produce a different type of tension on your muscles than that of free weights or resistance machines. They produce progressive tension so they actually create more resistance through the range of your repetitions. This is a good thing as the bands will be targeting your muscles fibres in a different way than you would achieve by just using free weights and machines alone. Resistance bands strengthen the neuromuscular system where it is weakest which is at the end of the range of motion but do not place as much strain on the joints than using heavy weights thus their is less chance of injury. 

Have you reached a fitness plateau?  Resistance bands can be an excellent way to add an element of fun and variety into your workout and can be just what the muscles are looking for to overcome that stagnation.

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You can do just about any strength training exercise using bands. In fact an entire full body workout can be achieved (including a band warm up and cool down) using a set of small loop bands (in different strengths) and one 1.5 meter single length band. My diary is usually very full and that sometimes leaves very little room for me to work out myself. A short 20 minute band session can be amazing at achieving an excellent resistance workout in a short amount of time. 

Some body weight exercises can be taken to the next level by simply adding the use of a resistance band. For example, a plank with an alternating rear leg lift could be done with a loop band attached around the ankles for added resistance. 

If you have not tried integrating bands into your workouts you simply must give it a go as they are such a wonderful addition to any workout.

If you would like the help of a personal trainer or to purchase gift vouchers for a loved one please contact www.redhotpersonaltraining.com

Hone and tone your bottom with this exercise!

Who wants to try one of the best exercises for great glutes (bottom) and build athletic speed and power whilst you are there! Red Hot Personal Training just loves this move for the great results it gets with clients. We featured this exercise in a previous blog last year and positive feedback was received from readers who gave it a try!

A step up from the 'Glute Bridge' exercise. This move adds an additional core challenge and increased range of motion. 

1. Sit on a stability/swiss ball. Slowly walk feet out until head and shoulders are resting on the ball, positioning feet hip-width apart under knees and place hands onto your hips.

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2. Lower hips toward the floor, (try not to let your knees travel forwards) stopping a few inches above the ground. Pause, then engage abs and press up through the glutes and down into the heels to lift hips up in line with knees. Try no to hyperextend (don't lift up to high) Pause for 2 seconds squeezing your glute muscles (bottom).

3. Lower hips to start position. Try 3 sets of 10 reps.

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(Remember to perform the exercise carefully and listen to your body, really focus on using your glute muscles to do the work). 

If you would like the help of a personal trainer please contact Red Hot Personal Training.

Over indulged on your holiday?

Sun, sea, sand, adventure, good food and drink, thats what holidays are made of! Time spent outside in the fresh air relaxing with our friends and families (as much as you can with children!) can be so good for the body and soul offering a break from the norm and a chance to explore pastures new. 

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However we all know how carried away we can get with overindulging in the local food and alcohol and before we know it the pounds have crept on.

Worry not, the damage can be minimised and you can set yourself back on track within days. Follow the steps below to feel more energetic, lighter and for your clothes to not fit so snuggly!

  1. Don't panic - Its tempting to think "oh well I am never going to lose the weight". Now you are back home, fill your basket with wholesome healthy foods on your first food shop. Limit processed foods, especially those containing sugar, refined vegetable oil and processed highly refined carbs such as pasta and crackers.

  2. Exercise everyday for at least 20 minutes - A combination of both cardio and resistance exercise is crucial to burn body fat and tone up at the same time.

  3. Up your water - Ensure you are drinking enough pure water daily as flying and drinking alcohol all dehydrate the body. Every cell in your body requires water and it also helps with weight loss and increasing energy.

  4. Get in those zzz's - Flying through timezones or enjoying long summer evenings can mean less sleep. Sleep is a time for the body to repair and again can make a big difference to energy and when trying to lose weight.

  5. Try this meal plan below for the next 5 days:

  • Key principles are:

    • 3 x meals a day

    • No snacks between meals

    • Meals made up of steamed and or raw vegetables and salad, a source of protein and a source of healthy fat. (No potatoes, rice, pasta etc.)

  • Breakfast example:

    • Pea, onion and spinach omelette cooked in butter or coconut oil

  • Lunch example:

    • Avocado, lettuce, cucumber, radishes, celery with turkey slices (fresh from the deli is possible)

  • Dinner example:

    • Homemade chicken and vegetable curry (made with spices and coconut milk) served with cauliflower rice

For more information and if you would like the help of a personal trainer please contact Red Hot Personal Training for an initial consultation. Don't forget to subscribe to receive our free blogs.