It’s hard enough to stay active, fit and healthy at the best of times...

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So we thought we’d pick the brains of Annie Riley, our personal trainer at Long Ashes Leisure Club, to understand how she stays motivated and on the right track to achieving her fitness goals. We asked her how she stays motivated and if she has any tips for us too…

Q: What things can we introduce into our daily lifestyle to stay active and engaged with our fitness routine?

Annie: I’d start by trying to walk 10,000 steps 7 days a week. There are loads of gadgets you can track your step count with now like Fitbits and smart phone apps! It really helps to highlight how much exercise you’re not getting, which can be a big motivator.

Secondly, I’d definitely say drink more water. Staying hydrated can really help with your weight management and a lot of people underestimate it. It helps with your digestion, skin, body temperature and metabolism. You’ll also cut loads of calories during the week by replacing your tea, coffee and soft drinks with water.

Sleep is also super important to keep in your routine. Always try and get 7-9 hours sleep each night and put down your electronics a good couple of hours before you go to bed. You’d be surprised how much this can help!

Q: How do you avoid ‘falling off the bandwagon’?

Annie: I treat my workouts like doctor’s appointments. You wouldn’t NOT go to a doctor’s appointment. So, don’t skip your workouts and try to make them a priority in your daily routine.

It can also be really useful to have a gym buddy who you regularly workout with. If you’ve got somebody pestering you to go, you’re much more likely to stay on track. It’s also more fun to have somebody you can confide in and work towards a common goal with.

Use ‘reward days’. There’s nothing wrong with a glass of wine on a Friday night after a long week at work and some intense workout sessions! You just need to make sure you discipline yourself – don’t let that one reward on a Friday turn into you binging all weekend, because you’ll dramatically slow your progress!

Q: What are your own personal tips and tricks for staying healthy?

Annie: I workout in the mornings instead of evenings. I find that it puts me in a better mood for the day, and it also keeps me focused on being healthy for that day too, because I know I’ve already worked out. In my mind it’s done and I’m not stewing over that evening workout all day, trying to convince myself to go and do it! It can be hard to get into a morning workout routine but stick with it. You’ll notice a big difference!

Goal setting is another thing that I do. Whether I want to train for a sporting event or reach a target weight. If I have something to work towards, it really helps to keep me much more focused.

Also do exercise that you enjoy. For me, that’s swimming and running. If you hate your workout because you don’t enjoy jogging for example, you’re not going to stick to it. Do something you love like football or squash. Whatever takes your fancy!

Q: How can we keep on track with any fitness goals that we set for ourselves?

Annie: I pencil my workouts into my calendar like I would any other commitment. Most of us have access to a calendar now either on our phones, email or on the fridge at home. If you can see it regularly scheduled in, you’ll start making a habit out of it.

Tracking your workouts can also be a big motivator! Apps like MyFitnessPal and Strava can log and map your workouts. For people that prefer visual information, they can be a really big help!

If you can also log your food, that’s really helpful…but it isn’t always easy! It will really help to highlight your calorie in-take over the course of 7 days, and when you look back on a week that you thought was good, you might actually realise that it wasn’t as healthy as you thought.

Want to find out more? You can watch our full interview with Annie HERE.

Sessions with a personal trainer can be a really good way to get started with a new fitness regime and help you stay on track.

If you’d like to work with Annie on achieving a better lifestyle for yourself, get in touch by calling us on 01756 752261 or email annie@longashespark.co.uk

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