The last year may seem to many of us like one long stretch of sofa sitting. Most of our steps over the past year will have been clocked up between the three key rooms – the bedroom, kitchen and bathroom, which has inevitably left many of us feeling a little less like ourselves in more ways than one.
As Spring approaches and the potential promise of a relaxation of restrictions, some of us may be experiencing a glimpse of motivation to exercise again, and a hope to get out of our pyjamas and into last year’s jeans.
Eastnine, an app which curates home workout content from the world’s best independent fitness experts have a range of plans to get you moving again.
Here, trainer Belle Hutt (@bellehutt) gives advice on how to get started on a wellbeing and exercise journey if you do want to shift a few corona pounds and it’s been a while since you’ve tackled a workout.
If I’ve been inactive for a while, how do I get started?
Keep it simple and keep it achievable. I advise aiming for 10,000 steps everyday, getting outside and walking while listening to a podcast two to three times a day.
It’s always accessible, free and great for your mental health. In addition to clocking 10,000 steps, I would also advise anyone who is new to exercise or has been inactive for a while to start taking up some gentle strength training.
Both of these forms of exercise are low impact, which is very important if you’re starting out, the last thing you want is an injury to stunt progress.
Finally, HIIT has proven to be very beneficial for not only fat loss but also your mental well-being.
However, be careful in the early stages and stick to low impact forms of HIIT to avoid injuries occurring, especially on the knees and wrists.
What’s the best way to measure my progress?
Personally, I don’t advise my clients to weigh themselves. Instead, I encourage them to take three basic measurements, the circumference of the waist, upper arm and thigh.
This will give a much more accurate reading of progress, especially if you’re doing strength training, they will see a much bigger difference in these recordings due to fat being lost and muscle being gained.
Take measurements every eight week – but most importantly, track how you feel.
How quickly will I start to see progress?
If you’ve been inactive for quite a while or have gained quite a few pounds, at first you will see a big change when you start moving more because your body is in shock.
If you’re going from doing no exercise to exercising everyday, your body won’t be used to it so the calorie/fat burn will be quite significant. After this period, it’s normal to reach a plateau.
To avoid this stunting your motivation and progress, you will need to keep switching it up. For example, switch the time of day you normally exercise or change the type of exercise you do.
If you have been walking now for three to four weeks, it’s time to take it to the next level. You might start taking three low impact HIIT classes, plus two strength classes a week.
If you’re doing this as well as still aiming for 10,000 steps every day you will keep progressing, seeing and feeling results, so you’ll stay motivated.
What’s the main piece of advice you would give to someone looking to lose weight?
I encourage everyone who is taking up exercise to not aim for quick results, aim for a lifestyle change. Exercise shouldn’t be taken up to reach a certain weight or look a certain way.
It’s an activity that should be practiced everyday, not just for physical results but also for mental stability and life longevity.
Don’t over-complicate it, it’s simply a gift to be able to move your body. Once you feel the benefits, you’ll wonder why you didn’t take it up sooner, it’s saved my life and I know it can save yours too. Good luck!
Eastnine is a fitness app which motivates, supports and guides people working out.
Consisting of experienced personal trainers, professional athletes and even Olympians, the audio and video app is packed with workouts and programmes to support users in getting fitter, toning up and becoming more confident.