Ten things I’ve learned from 10 years in the fitness business

Ten years ago I quit my career as a journalist and re-trained as a personal trainer and Pilates instructor. Here are some of the key things I’ve learned in that time.

1. Fitness should be fun. Exercise isn’t about punishing your body. It’s about celebrating what it can do. Find an activity that you enjoy and you’re half way there, whether it’s heavy lifting or yoga, marathon running or pole dancing.

2. Every body is different. I’ve spent hours envying other people – their flexibility, endurance and figure – but we’re all different. Don’t compare yourself to anyone else.

3. Consistency is key. You have to be consistent with your workouts if you want to progress. Stick with it, be patient and you’ll get results.

4. Eat properly. If you want to change your body composition it doesn’t matter how much exercise you do if your diet is poor.

5. Listen to your body. Plans and programmes are great but sometimes you need to adapt. Are you really feeling under the weather or are you just being lazy? Is that niggle something you can work off or are you going to injure yourself? Did the workout you’d planned feel a bit easier than expected?

6. Longer isn’t necessarily better. If you’re an endurance athlete then of course you need to do long sessions but if you’re not then a shorter, intense session may all you need.

7. Rest and recover. These are just as important as hard workouts. Your body needs time to recover.

8. You don’t need need any equipment to get fit. You an improve both cardio fitness and strength just using your own bodyweight.

9.Mix it up. Your body adapts very quickly. Improve your results by keeping it guessing. If you’re working towards a particularly goal then progression is key. Increase your weight, reps or reduce your rest. Add different activities to your schedule for challenge and variety.

10. Get some help. Fitness can be confusing. If you’re not sure how to reach your goals or just want some new ideas ask a fitness professional. We’re here to help.

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