Get fit: no gym, no problem

You can get fit in the park or at home with small portable equipment. Here are some pictures of our client practising combo exercises at ‪#‎FitMummyPT‬ session. We bring equipment to the training session and provide you with a progressive fitness programme.  All you need is commitment, dedication and hard work.

We will be holding a bodyweight strength training workshop for beginners. For more information, visit: winniefitness.com/bodyweight-strength-training-workshop.

Want to try a Fit Mummy PT session? Email info@WinnieFitness.com to book  your place.  Click here for more information on our training session.

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When is the best time of the day to exercise?

Best time workoutFrequently asked question: When is the best time of the day to workout?

Winnie at Buggy Bootcamp Leatherhead says: That depends on the best time for YOU. Pick a time that you will stick to on a regular basis, as consistency is key to getting results when it comes to fitness. It’s okay to change the ‘best time’ from time to time because of changes in schedule.

For example, my personal ‘best time’ is between 10-11 am during school term time, after training my morning clients; between 8-9 am during school holiday due to a different childcare schedule.

So, schedule a date with your workout at a time that is right for you.

8 Benefits of strength training

Strenkettlebellgth training is essential for anyone who wants to be fitter, stronger and healthier.

Many people are spending most of their workout time on cardiovascular exercise (treadmill, cross-trainer, jogging) and less time on strength training (also known as resistance training), with a common belief that the best way to lose weight is to count the calories that was burnt, and the longer the session the better.  The truth is, strength training may just be the missing piece of puzzle to take your fitness to another level. Moreoever, there are many health benefits associated with strength training.

Here are 8 reasons why you should include strength training in your workouts:

1. You will be be physically fitter and stronger

2. Feel mentally stronger and more focused

3. Lose body fat and become leaner, which also means your body will be toned and looke sculpted

4. Raise your metabolic rate with ‘after burn’ effect

5. You will feel more energized

6. You will develop stronger bones and reduce the risk of osteoporosis

7. Help manage a variety of health conditions, e.g. high blood pressure, diabetes, back pain, arthritis and obesity

8. Enhance performance which makes everyday tasks easier

There are many ways to do strength training, which can be done at home or in the gym.  My favourite choices are body weight exercises and using free weights (dumbbells, barbells and kettlebells).

When it comes to strength training, it is essential to exercise with good form. If you are new to strength training, always ask your trainer for a demonstration.

If you are based in Leatherhead, Surrey, why not book a free taster session to experience the benefits yourself?

Benefits of outdoor exercise / fitness training

Outdoor fitness photoSummer is just around the corner. If you have spent the winter exercising in the gym, or working out at home with fitness DVD, now is a good time to head outdoors and refresh your fitness routine.  So why is outdoor fitness good for you?

Top 5 benefits of exercising and training outdoors:

1. Boost your endurance, stamina and tone your whole body for FREE

So there are lots of fancy machines, equipment and classes at the gym. But let’s face it, not everyone has a gym membership, or has the time to travel to a gym. The good news is, you can get an AWESOME outdoor workout using your own body weight, and it’s free! There are so many exercises you can do outdoors.  Different variations of squats and hill sprints are just two of my favourite exercises that you can do without any equipment. I also love to work my upper body with push-up using a park bench and mix in some step ups too. Interval training is also fantastic to improve endurance and stamina.

2 Psychological benefits – the feel good factor

Exercising outdoor not only keeps you healthy and fit physically, it also works wonder for your mood. The green environment and fresh air helps delivering oxygen to our body, combat stress, declutter our mind, feel positive, motivated and energized!  It also helps focus on our workout and reconnect with our mind and body. For mummies with buggies, fresh air and change of scenary are fantastic for your babies too!

3. Burn more energy

Certain weather conditions are known to boost your energy burn during a workout. Resistance from the wind, for example, makes you work harder while running and cycling as your body needs to counter-balance the added resistance. Your body also burns more energy while exercising in the cold compared with working out in a warm environment. The varied terrain and slopes also makes the workout more challenging, keeping your core hard at work!

4 Sunshine

Not only sunshine cheers you up and gives you an instant lift in the mood, our body creates vitamin D from direct sunlight on our skin. Vitamin D helps strengthen the immune system and makes bones stronger. Sunlight also boosts the levels of endorphins, aka the feel good hormones, and helps prevent depression. The best time of the year to get vitamin D from sunlight is from March to October.  20 minutes in the sun is enough exposure for an adult to see the benefits. To protect your skin from sunburn, don’t forget to apply suitable sunscreen before a workout.

5 Get your family involved

Keep your family fit and active by heading outdoors! Let the kids run around, play a ball game with the kids, there are so much activities to choose from.  It really helps motivating each other in staying active, and creates a foundation of healthy living in the family.  Why not make it a regular weekend activity and spend some quality active time together?

Outdoor family-friendly fitness training now available in Leatherhead, Surrey. Visit WinnieFitness.com to find out more.

Related article: Outdoor fitness sun safety tips

Benefits of exercise in pregnancy

WF pregnancy blog

Many women see pregnancy as a good opportunity to put the feet up, relax on the sofa and eat what they like for 10 months.  With morning sickness, tiredness, back ache and expanding baby bump, staying active might be the last thing on your mind. Unless medical contraindications or complications are present in pregnancy, pregnant women are encouraged to stay active for 30 minutes daily, most days of the week.  Activities/exercises include walking, swimming, strength training, pilates, yoga.  Moderation is key, and listen to your body.

 

Here are some typical benefits of exercise during pregnancy:

For the mother:

  • Better self image
  • Ease morning sickness
  • Boost energy levels
  • Minimize excess weight gain
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Better appetite control
  • Improved strength and endurance
  • Shorter labour and more strength to deliver the baby
  • Helps prevent complications, e.g. pre-eclampsia, gestational diabetes, large babies
  • Get back in shape quicker after baby is born

For the baby:

  • Healthier cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • Healthy birth weight
  • Leaner at birth
  • Calmer and less likely to be irritated
  • Lower risk of obesity later in life

Remember, every pregnancy is different and it is very individual.  If you would like more advice or information on how to exercise safely during pregnancy, please do not hesitate to contact our personal trainer, who is specialised in pre and postnatal fitness, by filling the form below. Alternatively, send us an email: info@winniefitness.com

Enjoy a fit pregnancy!

What exercises should a postnatal fitness programme include?

mumbabyexerciseSo you just had your 6-8 weeks postnatal check up with your GP, who gave you the green light to exercise. Or you had a C-section and now that you are 12 weeks postnatal, you want to get back into a training routine. You have certain fitness goals, e.g. lose baby weight, improve your abs, work on your posture, but what exercises are safe and effective, and what exercises should be avoided? As a trainer specialized in pre and postnatal fitness, I highly recommend a programme that is specficially designed for new mums. A good postnatal programme should contain the following components:

A good warm up:

This is essential in all training programmes, to warm up the muscles, joints, and slowing increasing the heart rate. This is especially important for postnatal women as body is still recovering, and a slightly longer warm up period is required.

Strength training:

Lower body strength training – glutes and legs

The glutes (butt muscles) are often weakened during pregnancy, as the pelvis tips forwards to allow the baby bump to expand. By strengthening the glutes, the pelvis becomes more stable. This in turn means butt muscles become more toned, pregnancy posture fixed, and the strength makes everyday tasks easier.

Exercises for the legs and glute are wonderful. Not only these muscles become more toned and change the shape of your legs and bum, they are also large muscle groups which burn a lot of calories! And big calorie burn means fat loss – which happens in your entire body. My favourite lower body exercises are the squats and lunges.

Upper body strength training – shoulders, chest, back and arms

Strengthening the upper body is essential for any new mum. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, the bump of the baby and the weight of the breasts shift the centre of gravity forwards, causing the shoulders round slightly. Working on the shoulders and chest will help correct the new mum posture, allowing you to tone your shoulders and chest and stand up tall.

Strong upper back and arms are just as important. Mums use a lot of their upper body to carry out every day tasks: bending down and lifting the baby / toddler, pushing the pram, feeding the baby, changing nappies, bending down again to clean and tidy up the room, stretch up high to reach things in the cupboard, and sometimes holding a toddler in one hand while carring shopping in the other. Having good upper body strength will certainly make these tasks more effortless. Continue reading

How to overcome winter weight gain

DaffodilsToday, we’re taking a look at winter weight gain. It’s a common problem – people tend to pack on a few pounds during the winter months.

The good, the bad… and the solution

Although winter weight gain varies from person to person, research shows the average gain to be five to seven pounds of fat. Some people gain this extra weight because of Seasonal Affective Disorder – a type of winter depression. But most of us can’t blame winter depression for our tendency to pick up extra weight during the winter months.

So, why does winter weight gain happen for most of us? It is quite simple – it happens because we eat more and move less during the winter months.

The good news is that we can do something about it. We don’t have to greet spring with softer middles and tighter clothes. So let’s celebrate leap year by tackling winter weight gain with our weapon of choice: discipline and commitment.

Five ways to fight winter weight gain

 I’ve put together five ways to help you stay fit and healthy in winter. Here we go…

1. Keep moving. Now more than ever you have to get your body in motion. Not only it helps with putting on extra weight, it also keeps our lungs and heart in good condition. It also helps lifting the mood and beat winter blues. Take a short walk to the shops instead of taking the car. Take the stairs instead of using the lift. Play with your kids, or schedule a long walk at the weekend. There are endless ways to keep your body moving.

2. Schedule structured exercise, and stick with it. During winter months, when it’s cold and rainy outside, exercise tends to be the first activity that you drop from a busy schedule. Make an appointment with yourself, schedule a time for exercise and put it in your diary, just like you would for any other meetings or appointments. Try to fit in two to three sessions of 30 minute workout each week. To find out how we can help you plan your workout, drop us an email at info@WinnieFitness.com

3. Stock up on nutritional snacks. Keep healthy snacks in your car, in your bag, and in your kitchen cupboard so you don’t feel hungry. Look for protein-rich snacks like unsalted almonds. If you have sugar cravings, have a portion of fruits – apples, berries, are my personal favourites. They are rich in vitamins and minerals, and relatively low in sugar content. Watch out for snacks that are ‘low-fat’, as they are often loaded with sugar to make up for the taste.

4. Don’t forget to eat healthy fats. Avoiding butter, cream and deep fried food can cut down your calories intake and cholesterol. But not all fats are bad. We need good fats in our diet to help absorb fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, E and K). Also, fats help us feel full. It is important to include healthy mono-unsaturated and poly-unsaturated fats in your meals every day for a balanced diet. Good sources are avocadoes, extra virgin olive oil, and raw almond butter.

5. Plan your occasional splurge, and do not deviate from the plan. Unending deprivation is never a good idea, but you have to be intentional about the time, place and food that you let yourself splurge on.  Want to enjoy your favourite food, for example, a piece of cake? Then let’s make a deal. Eat clean and eat well for six days. No cheating. And then at the end of those six days, go have the cake. One small portion. Guilt free. Just enjoy it. Then set the next goal. But you are not allowed to deviate from your plan in the meantime. If you do, you don’t get the cake. Choose wisely.

Remember: spring is coming. Let’s be ready for it, and leave winter weight gain behind.