We caught up with two of the biggest names in fitness right now to get their ten commandments when it comes to being fit, healthy and happy right now…
Cat Meffan – @catmeffan
Former fashion PR Cat is the blogosphere’s yoga queen – check out www.imperfectmatter.com. Seriously supple, her 41.1k Insta followers can’t get enough of her daily poses and exceptional leggings collection…@catmeffan
1. Plan Ahead
I plan my workouts as I would my social life… possibly because I don’t have much of the latter! Find time in your diary each week for your training and slot it in. Then you have no excuse not to train.
2. Fuel & Refuel
Making sure your body is properly fuelled before a workout and nourishing it afterwards is so important. There’s no one-size-fits-all in fitness and health, so it’s about knowing your body and finding out which foods work best for you.
3. Don’t Be Afraid
This is for the gym goers reading… I know what it feels like to walk into a gym with the intent to lift weights, then look over to the weights area, see an army of bulky men and just hop on a treadmill. It took me ages to get the guts to go and do my thing, but now I’m in my element. Generally, most people are actually more than happy to help with technique and spotting you.
4. Listen To Your Body
You’re allowed to have a bad day or a tired day. There’s no point in stressing about missing a workout if your body is screaming no. Just listen to it, take a day or two away from the gym, get outside, walk around in the fresh air and you’ll be back to your old self in no time. In the same way that if you’re feeling awesome, then maybe try to challenge your body with something new.
This isn’t just for the yogis out there. Whether you’re playing a sport or you’re in the gym lifting weights, never forget to breathe through the movements, as getting oxygen to the muscles will help with your performance.
6. Let The Endorphins Carry You
I love doing my workouts in the morning, as the endorphins produced during that time carry me through the day, feeling energised and on a high. I always have a much more productive day if I’ve got up and out of the house in the morning to get sweaty or just had an hour in the lounge on my yoga mat.
7. Mix It Up
If running is your thing, and you want to do it all the time, try to find another activity that complements it and will not only challenge your body, but help you in your favourite sport. I love yoga, but I run and lift weights to help with my strength and endurance. Your body becomes accustomed to exercise and without progressing your training you will plateau.
8. Rest Well
If you’re anything like me, you might find it hard to switch off and to actually take time out. Over this past year I’ve learned the importance of resting both the body and mind in order to make your performance better in the long run.
9. Do it because you love it –
Find an activity or exercise that you love and embrace it. You’ll see the results and benefits much quicker if you’re doing something you love, plus why would you want to feel that fitness is a chore. We might as well be happy while we’re sweating!
10. Treat yourself –
last but not least, a new pair of leggings or trainers can be just the boost and motivation you need to get back to your fitness regime, so why not treat yourself!
Image: Instagram @catmeffan
Lilly Sabri – @lillysabri
As well as running her signature ‘Hot Bootcamp Pilates’ courses, Lilly is a qualified physiotherapist and fitness model. We’re still trying to decide what we want more – that hair or those abs…@lillysabri
1. Get A Workout Buddy
They’re great if you struggle with motivation, but some words of warning: don’t rely on your buddy alone – if they cancel, that’s not an excuse for you not to go. Have a workout plan too, otherwise you’ll just gossip!
Image: Instagram @lillysabri
2. Do Physiotherapy
Like any machine, your body needs maintenance to prevent injury. Foam roll and stretch before and after a session, andlisten to warning signs – if you’re experiencing pain during or after workouts that’s not the normal muscular pain, get it assessed by a Chartered Physiotherapist. The longer you leave an injury, the worse it can become.
3. Monitor Progress
Try to avoid taking pictures too often, every 3 weeks is ideal. Don’t assess your progress by your weight either – as we all know, muscle weighs more than fat. I recommend complete accurate caliper testing of body fat every 2 weeks.
4. (Don’t) Diet
The question I am most frequently asked is how do I get a flat stomach & how clean is your diet? As you have probably heard/seen over & over… Abs are made in the kitchen. I’ve never dieted. Instead, I eat smaller, more frequent meals – six small rather than three large. This helps regulate blood sugar levels so you don’t have big energy dips, and aids digestion. Try to avoid snacking after 10pm and carbs after 8pm, and don’t be scared of healthy fats.
5. Workout At Home
By doing workouts out home, you’ll cut out travel time. Set aside an allocated time slot – 30 minutes minimum – keep exercise varied, and invest in a small amount of equipment. I recommend a kettlebell, dumbbells, a yoga mat and a KO8 fitness resistance band – you can see demos of how to use one on my Instagram.
Image: Instagram @lillysabri
6. Variation & Progression
It’s so important to keep your training programme varied to firstly prevent boredom, and secondly to get results. Your body becomes accustomed to the exercise you are doing & without progressing your training to the next level your progress will plateau. My best recommendation is to make sure your weekly programme involves a variety of different types of training for each body part. My weekly schedule includes weights, cardio, HIIT & classes.
7. Sleep & Rest
Don’t learn the hard way…to progress towards acheiving your fitness goals, your body needs time to rest. People often put too much pressure on themselves to trian harder and forget that your body needs rest. That, and adequate sleep, is so important for:
Recovery – allowing your muscles to recover and prevent delayed onset muscle soreness – DOMS.
Growth – without adequate rest, your body will fail to adapt, preventing you from getting greater results from your training. Furthermore, during sleep, the growth hormone is produced and protein synthesis takes place, which in turn will help muscles grow.
Brain cell restoration and energy consumption, allowing your body and mind to prepare for another active day ahead.
8. Keep Exercise Fun (& Challenging)
Most people who work out have a goal in mind, whether it is weight loss, toning up, or to generally live a more healthy lifestyle. It’s amazing to be focused, but sometimes the more pressure you put on yourself to achieve them, the harder and more tedious it can become.It’s important to keep the exercise you do fun & cater it to what challenges you. Gone are the days of staying on a treadmill for hours to burn a certain amount of calories (unless you’re specifically training for something that requires hours of endurance of course) Find an exercise form that suits yet challenges your body, and most importantly what you find enjoyable- that way you are far more likely to stick it & achieve your goals
Image: Instagram @lillysabri
9. Set Goals
Make your goal SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, realistic & to a time scale). Tell people to get others to help motivate you or if you prefer, don’t tell anyone what the goal is. Be your own motivation…then MAKE IT HAPPEN! I hope you’re feeling motivated… I certainly am. Let’s do this!
10. Live A Balanced Lifestyle
Like i say, I have never dieted. My secret is a healthy, balanced lifestyle, which includes working out daily, eating healthily and listening to my body. Plenty of rest & not depriving myself of a few naughty treats when I want them is key. Importantly, I don’t beat myself up about having those treats. The more understanding you are of your body and mind, the less you end up binging on foods that slow your body down.
Lilly Sabri is a Chartered Physiotherapist & Specialist Pilates Instructor MCSP, MAACP, MHPC.