We spoke to two of our personal trainers recently to ask their advice about all things fitness and nutrition. Discover their top tips for staying healthy and motivated day-to-day.
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1. What inspired you to become a personal trainer?
Job satisfaction! I wanted to pursue a career that gave me purpose and fulfilment in my everyday life. We work far more than we play, so I wanted to ensure my job felt more like play than work! Training clients on a 1-1 basis provides me with huge amounts of job satisfaction. There is no better feeling than when you receive positive feedback and comments from your clients who have managed to achieve results they never thought possible!
2. Could you share some vital personal trainer advice for individuals who struggle with motivation?
Make yourself accountable! Book in time with a PT or book a class and you are more likely to show up, especially if you have financially invested in the session. If you’re training solo then block out time in your schedule for your workout. Don’t stick this at the end of a long day, when realistically you will let yourself down, book it in a time that works for you! If you train best in the morning, fit it in before your usual day starts.
3. Can you provide some insights into how you help clients overcome plateaus in their fitness journey?
Find out why they are experiencing a plateau. Is it due to insufficient recovery time and in fact they are experiencing burnout? Or is it due to an ineffective training plan, if so change up the programme.
4. What are the most common mistakes people make when exercising and how can they be avoided?
Their intentions and mindset. Lots of people go to the gym because they feel they HAVE to not because they WANT to. Change your mindset to I CAN go to the gym, I CAN exercise and I WANT to exercise because I ENJOY it! I always say to clients, find something you enjoy. Exercise can be quite a negative thing for some people, particularly those just starting out, so try to find something you enjoy so it doesn’t feel like a chore! Perhaps try a new class, sport, swim or take the dog for a walk. Any movement is better than none!
5. If someone is nervous / anxious about joining the gym or starting their fitness journey, what advice would you give them?
Invest in a PT if you can! A good PT will knock out any nerves within the first few sessions. They will give you structure and an effective programme to follow which will save you hours of tedious cardio or hopping from one piece of kit to the next! If private PT is not an option for you, try a small group training class where the instructor can talk you through each exercise and ensure your form is correct from the get go. The last thing you want to do is get injured from poor form just when you’re starting out!
1. What inspired you to become a nutritionist?
I went through a period in my early twenties where I had a rather unhealthy relationship with food and tried every fad diet I could find. To break the cycle I started reading about healthy eating. When I made changes in my habits, my life started improving beyond just losing a couple of pounds. Understanding the difference between the diet culture and building lifelong healthy habits inspired me to help other people turn their lives around as well.
2. What is the most common misunderstanding people have about diet and exercise that you have experienced?
People often believe that they must increase the amount of exercise they are doing to lose weight. Rest/recovery and nutrition should be the first thing to look at when someone wants to lose weight.
The other thing, which is not necessarily a misunderstanding but more of a misconception, is that people often use exercise and the food they eat as punishment. Exercise should be a reward and a celebration for what our bodies are capable of and food is simply fuel that we need to survive.
3.Can you share some strategies for managing cravings and maintaining a healthy diet?
One of the best strategies is drinking some water before we reach for a snack. Often we confuse thirst with hunger so if you have a glass of water first and wait a couple of minutes you might find you’re no longer hungry. You could also prepare some healthy snacks for when the cravings hit so you have more control over what you put into your body. Dark chocolate, fruits and nuts are some healthier options.
3.What are your thoughts on protein? Should everyone who exercises be increasing their protein intake?
Protein is an important part of our diet for various reasons. The body uses protein to repair and build muscle so it’s paramount to have enough if we want to increase muscle mass. There are some amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that our bodies can’t produce on their own, so we need certain foods to provide those to us.
Ultimately, it really depends on each individual’s goals. If you are trying to build muscle but can’t seem to get the results, try to increase your protein intake and see if that makes a difference.
4.What are 3 foods you would suggest everyone includes in their diet?
When it comes to food, we all have our own preferences. The most important thing to remember is to have a balanced diet and try to limit the amount of highly processed foods you eat.
It is important that we support our gut health. I would suggest implementing either cultured yoghurts or fermented vegetables .
We also need fibre in our diet so make sure you eat some greens, whole grains or some seeds and nuts.
Personally, I like to include eggs in my diet. Eggs are a great source of protein and contain healthy fats. With various ways to prepare them, they are a versatile staple in my diet.
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