Health & Fitness Blog

What a Night!

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What a night!

It was such an honour to be shortlisted in the prestigious Sunderland Echo Portfolio awards and to share the stage with so many of the city’s brilliant businesses.

I still can’t believe we won an award for the second year in a row!

Although it’s the ‘Sole Trader of the Year’ Award, it’s recognition for EVERYONE involved at East Coast Fitness.

PT clients and Boot Camp members; winning this award would not have been possible without you! And I’m lucky to work with such a lovely bunch of people. I’d like to thank every single one of you for your hard work and commitment you show every day.

I’d also like to thank my family for your your unending support. Val Ellison for all of your help with social media, and your amazing baking skills! The work you do really helps bring the boot camp group together and creates a friendly, family environment for everyone. Thanks to Paul Barron for filling in for me when I’m away. And a special mention to Caroline for being there to support me 24/7.

Helping people get fit and improve their health is my passion and I’ll continue to help as many people as possible. Here’s to another fantastic year at East Coast Fitness! 


The Benefits of Morning Exercise and 7 Tips To Help Get You Into A Routine.

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Exercising early in the morning offers lots benefits, both to your health and to your daily schedule:

Boost Your Metabolism

When you workout at high intensity your body continues to burn calories after the workout, even when you’re not moving. So, if you get your workout done early on a morning, you’ll still be burning calories while sitting at your work desk.

Workout Consistency

Working out in the morning ensures that you don’t interrupt your workout schedule with other daily issues that crop up. For example, if you exercise in the evening you run the risk of being late from work, feeling overwhelmed with tasks that must be done, or overloaded with other unexpected to-do items. Other times you may simply feel too tired to exercise by the end of a long day. But, in the morning there is nothing to distract you from getting your workout done. Exercise will be your priority.

Improve Your Physical and Mental Energy

Movement can be an excellent source of energy, something many of us need when we start our day. But beyond that, morning exercise has been shown to improve focus and mental abilities all day long. Not only will you feel awake and have more energy after your workout, but your mind will be ready to take on whatever tasks you have lined up that day.

Develop Strong Self-Discipline

Waking up early on a morning to exercise certainly requires self-discipline. It’s not easy at first and does get easier over time. But while you’re training yourself into a routine, the discipline is likely to spill over into other areas of your life too.

Get Better Sleep

Waking up early in the morning to exercise will in turn help you sleep better. Your body will enjoy a healthy sense of fatigue at the end of the day and will be ready to sleep.

Improve Your Mood and Feel Happier.

Once you’re into a morning routine, your metabolism is boosted, your body is looking and feeling better, you’re sleeping well at night, and your mind is sharper and more alert than ever; you’re bound to feel happier!

 

Making morning exercise part of your daily routine isn’t easy at first. You will have to be disciplined to wake up early. But it just takes a little time and practice to make it a habit. Here’s seven tips to help you get started:

  1. Go to Bed Earlier
    It goes without saying, if you go to bed late, you’re going to struggle getting up early. Aim to get 7-8 hours of rest a night. So, if you want to be up at 6pm, make sure you’re in bed no later than 10pm.
  2. Prepare
    Lay out your workout gear in the bathroom the night before. Have your running shoes ready at the door. Music playlist ready.
  3. Move Your Alarm
    Set your alarm clock and then move it away from your arms reach, so that you have to get up out of bed to turn it off.
  4. Shower
    As soon as the alarm goes off, jump up turn it off, and get in the shower. Quickly shower and clean your teeth. This will wake you up straight away. Then get dressed with the workout clothes that should be laid out from the night before.
  5. Drink Water
    Before you leave the house drink a glass of water to hydrate your body.
  6. Keep Your Workout Short but Intense
    It’s not easy getting out of bed if you know you have to go through a 60-90 minute workout. Instead, complete a 20-30 minute HIIT style workout to get it done and out of the way quicker. Psychologically it makes getting up easier, plus HIIT style workouts are going to burn calories all day!
  7. Rehydrate & Refuel
    Drink more water and eat a healthy breakfast as soon as possible after your workout. This part is even easier if you prepare your breakfast the night before too. Overnight oats are my favourite; tasty, nutritious and saves me time on a morning.


7 Minute Ab Finisher

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Try this Ab Finisher at the end of your workout. A great way to tighten and tone your stomach muscles and it’s done in 7 minutes…

 

20 seconds CRUNCHES

20 seconds BICYCLE ABS

20 seconds FROG SIT UPS

20 seconds STRAIGHT LET CRUNCHES

20 seconds FLUTTER KICKS

20 seconds rest

X 3

Watch the video demo before you start the workout…

 


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This workout consists of 4 exercises for your legs and bum. Perform each exercise for 60 seconds with 20 seconds rest between exercises. Complete 4 rounds in total….

60 seconds SPLIT SQUAT
20 seconds rest
60 seconds SINGLE LEG BRIDGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds WEIGHTED WIDE SQUAT
20 seconds rest
60 seconds SINGLE LEG SQUAT

60 seconds rest

60 seconds SPLIT SQUAT
20 seconds rest
60 seconds SINGLE LEG BRIDGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds WEIGHTED WIDE SQUAT
20 seconds rest
60 seconds SINGLE LEG SQUAT

60 seconds rest

60 seconds SPLIT SQUAT
20 seconds rest
60 seconds SINGLE LEG BRIDGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds WEIGHTED WIDE SQUAT
20 seconds rest
60 seconds SINGLE LEG SQUAT

60 seconds rest

60 seconds SPLIT SQUAT
20 seconds rest
60 seconds SINGLE LEG BRIDGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds WEIGHTED WIDE SQUAT
20 seconds rest
60 seconds SINGLE LEG SQUAT

WORKOUT COMPLETE 😁


Beginners LEG & BUM workout

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This workout consists of 4 exercises for your legs and bum. Perform each exercise for 60 seconds with 20 seconds rest between exercises. Complete 4 rounds in total….

 

60 seconds SQUATS
20 seconds rest
60 seconds ASSISTED LUNGES (using a table/kitchen bench/back of sofa)
20 seconds rest
60 seconds BRIDGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds ASSISTED KNEELING GET UPS

60 seconds rest

60 seconds SQUATS
20 seconds rest
60 seconds ASSISTED LUNGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds BRIDGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds ASSISTED KNEELING GET UPS

60 seconds rest

60 seconds SQUATS
20 seconds rest
60 seconds ASSISTED LUNGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds BRIDGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds ASSISTED KNEELING GET UPS

60 seconds rest

60 seconds SQUATS
20 seconds rest
60 seconds ASSISTED LUNGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds BRIDGES
20 seconds rest
60 seconds ASSISTED KNEELING GET UPS

WORKOUT COMPLETE 😁


5 Minute Split Workout

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Each 5 minute round is split into 2 sections; the first half is made up with resistance exercises, and the second half is running…

Perform 10 Burpees, 10 Press Ups, 10 Lunges as many times as you can in 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Then Run for 2 minutes 30 seconds.

Rest for 1 minute.

Then perform another 3 rounds.

Total workout time = 23 minutes.

Watch the video below before you start…


The Benefits of Training with your Significant Other…

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The Benefits of Training with your Significant Other…

IMG_8742

Healthy eating and exercise have become more and more popular over the last few years. To the point where it’s now trendy to ‘look after yourself’. Healthy cafes and restaurants are more common, and people are proud to walk around in their active wear.

But, the next trend that I can see happening now…

Training with your partner.

Working out with your husband/wife/gf/bf/fiancé can provide HUGE benefits…

Guaranteed Quality Time

When life, jobs, and kids get in the way, it can be hard to find time to spend together. We often have the best of intentions when it comes to “date nights,” but sometimes even those can get put off if you have to work late or something unexpected comes up. However, if you’re prioritising your workouts, you probably already have them built into your schedule as “appointments” with yourself you can’t break. So, if you’re already making time in your day to work out, why not do it together? Exercising together means built-in quality time during the day, and more quality time helps keep your relationship healthy.

Better Sex Life

Feeling happier is a natural by-product of exercise due to the feel-good chemicals (endorphins) that it helps you release. The release of endorphins also helps ramp up your sex drive, so not only will working out together make you happier, but it will up your desire. In addition, working out boosts your self-confidence and can help you get in touch with your body: two more things that translate to increased arousal and better sex!

Healthy Competition

Feeling like the spark of your relationship could use some reigniting? A little healthy competition can bring the playfulness back into your relationship. Often between bills, child-rearing, and obligations, we forget the playful, flirtatious behaviour that helps us bond with our partner. But working out together can bring that back in the form of some friendly competition! Challenge your partner to a mini race or see who can finish a circuit workout first. See who can do the most squats or burpees. It not only keeps your workout interesting, but your relationship interesting, too!

Trying Something New Brings You Together

image1Trying something new together can bring you closer as a couple. Whether it’s jogging, yoga, dancing, or tackling a HIIT class together, trying something for the first time together is an amazing way to bond. This is because new experiences flood your brain with dopamine, a feel-good chemical—and when you experience those things with your partner, your brain links that positive feeling with him or her.

Built-In Accountability

People who are held accountable for their workout routine are more likely to be successful. And who better to hold you accountable than the person who knows you best? When you only have to answer to yourself, you’re more likely to skip a workout if you’re having a bad day or not feeling motivated. But letting your partner motivate you and keep you accountable—and vice versa—can bring you closer and ensure you get a killer workout in. A study in Prevention Magazine found that 94% of couples stuck to their workout plan when they did it together. Motivate each other and encourage each other and you’ll feel more positive about your workouts and your partner.

A Shared Goal Brings You Closer

But one way to really make your relationship healthy is to have a shared goal or activity. When you workout together, you’re both sharing the goal of getting healthy and prioritising your fitness. The experience of being on the same page about something big brings you infinitely closer.

Deepens Your Emotional Bond

Psychologists found that one way to feel like you’re bonding with your partner is to practice nonverbal mimicry. Nonverbal mimicry or “matching” is when you coordinate your actions with another person; think lifting weights at the same time, matching your running or walking pace with theirs, or dancing to the same beat. Working out together provides tons of opportunities for nonverbal mimicry, helping you and your partner feel more emotionally attuned with one another.

IMG_8746I have been doing lots of Personal Training with couples recently. And one thing I’ve noticed so far… the results have been fantastic!

The couples train together at the same time at my private fitness studio in Seaham. There’s nobody else there just me, and my clients. No distractions. Just the two of them working hard, and encouraging each other.

Even if their workouts are slightly different (depending on their goals), they’re still able to motivate each other.

This is what Sara and Marty had to say about training together:

“I really enjoyed watching Sara’s transformation her results have been brilliant.  I love that she actually enjoys exercising again,” Marty explained.

“Working shifts is hard and we very rarely have a great deal of time together, but personal training meant that we maximised our time together that we would have normally squandered because of the constraints of work.”

“And although our levels of fitness are different we were able to spend time in the same place together enjoying exercise.”

“Having that healthy rivalry that spurs you on to go that little bit further. And it helps having someone there who understands the aches and pains the day after”.

 

Sara said; “I enjoyed the PT programme, and training together made it easier to get out of bed on a morning for exercise. We actually spent more time together because of training, and because I am now more energetic we spend more time walking the dog, which didn’t used to happen.”

“I’ve tried doing loads of different forms of exercise that never lasts but having someone with you every step of the way makes you push yourself harder and actually keep up the exercise. It really helps having someone to motivate and encourage you when you’re feeling tired or feel like having an off day.”

“You also have someone to laugh with the next day when you both can’t move”

 

I am taking on new clients at the moment and I have a special offer on Semi-Private Personal Training….

 

IMG_1642

My 6-Week Semi-Private PT Programme is normally £720 (£360 each).

But for the rest of 2017, 2 people train for the price of 1!

£360 per couple. (£180 each).

You get 2 workouts per week, meal plans, body fat measurements, motivation, accountability and all of the benefits I have wrote about above.

If you would like more info just get in touch… 07875548880.


LITTLE BIG THINGS

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I’ve just finished reading the book ‘The Little Bit Things’, by Henry Fraser.

It’s a very inspirational book, and definitely worth a read. It will resonate with anyone facing an obstacle, no matter how big or small.

Henry was just 17 years old when a tragic accident on the beach severed his spinal cord.

Paralysed from the shoulders down, he has conquered unimaginable difficulty to embrace life and a new way of living. Through challenging adversity, he has found the opportunity to grow and inspire others.

The book includes Henry’s thoughts on how to look at the right things and avoid the wrong, and finding progress in whatever you do.

One particular part in the book stuck out to me. It was when Henry was in hospital, just after the accident. He received hundreds of well wishes and cards, which he read over and over again, because it gave him a hunger to get better, and a hope for the future.

One card in particular gave him inspiration. It was sent from one of his old school friends and included this quote by Francis of Assisi…

“START BY DOING WHAT’S NECESSARY, THEN DO WHAT’S POSSIBLE, AND SUDDENLY YOU ARE DOING THE IMPOSSIBLE.”

 

The thing I love about that quote, is that it can be true for any situation in life. Whatever problem you are up against, use this quote to get you started.

 

With regards to fitness and weight loss, it’s important to have a long-term target. Something to aspire to. But, you must break your long-term fitness goals down into shorter targets. If you don’t break down your long-term fitness goals, it can be very daunting and the end result can appear too far away, which can knock you off the rails before you even start!

For example, if you consider yourself to be unfit, thinking about running a marathon can seem impossible. So, start with what you can do, not what you can’t do.

 

Start with what’s necessary:

To improve your fitness, you need be more active and improve your eating habits to boost your energy levels.

 

Then do what’s possible:

You don’t have to start with 10 mile runs every day. Start with what you’re capable of doing. If that’s a 10-minute walk, twice a week, that’s fine. But the key is progression. The next week, make sure you walk a little further. Make it you mission to keep making progress every week.

 

And suddenly you’re doing the impossible!

If you concentrate on the simple steps and focus on achieving small daily targets, before you know it, you will be doing what you thought was impossible at the start.

 

If you struggle for motivation on your own, then a good way to get exercise inspiration is to join a group. Running clubs, gym classes and boot camps are excellent for extra motivation.

I encourage my boot camp members to work at their own pace, to push themselves within their own limits. There’s no point in comparing yourself to others or putting pressure on yourself. Concentrate on what you can do, not what you can’t do, and in a short space of time you’ll be super fit, achieving what you once thought was impossible.

I’m currently taking on more boot camp members, so if you’d like to join us get in touch with me on 07875548880.


Triple Pyramid Workout

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This Triple Pyramid is challenging for all parts of your body, especially your legs. But, it’s complete in just 20 minutes. All that you need is a set of dumbbells for a couple of the exercises.

10 seconds SQUAT JUMPS
20 seconds WEIGHTED LUNGES
30 seconds BURPEE PRESS
40 seconds SPEED SKATERS
50 seconds CROSSOVERS
60 seconds SQUAT PRESS
50 seconds CROSSOVERS
40 seconds SPEED SKATERS
30 seconds BURPEE PRESS
20 seconds WEIGHTED LUNGES
10 seconds SQUAT JUMPS

60 seconds rest

10 seconds SQUAT JUMPS
20 seconds WEIGHTED LUNGES
30 seconds BURPEE PRESS
40 seconds SPEED SKATERS
50 seconds CROSSOVERS
60 seconds SQUAT PRESS
50 seconds CROSSOVERS
40 seconds SPEED SKATERS
30 seconds BURPEE PRESS
20 seconds WEIGHTED LUNGES
10 seconds SQUAT JUMPS

60 seconds rest

10 seconds SQUAT JUMPS
20 seconds WEIGHTED LUNGES
30 seconds BURPEE PRESS
40 seconds SPEED SKATERS
50 seconds CROSSOVERS
60 seconds SQUAT PRESS
50 seconds CROSSOVERS
40 seconds SPEED SKATERS
30 seconds BURPEE PRESS
20 seconds WEIGHTED LUNGES
10 seconds SQUAT JUMPS

Workout Complete

Watch the video below for a demo of the exercises before you start.


National Cholesterol Awareness Month

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October is National Cholesterol Month, an entire month devoted to raising awareness of the dangers of high cholesterol and I think it’s important for locals to lower their cholesterol. Especially, because the North East has one of the highest cardiovascular death rates in the UK.
A lot of people hear the word cholesterol but don’t know that it’s vital for the normal functioning of the body. However, having excessively high level of cholesterol in your blood can have a negative effect on your health.

It can increase the risk of having a heart attack, stroke or mini stroke. Cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the blood flow to your heart and brain and increases the risk of a blood clot developing somewhere in your body.

The first step in reducing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.

Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fibre, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.

These foods can help lower cholesterol:
1. Oats. An easy first step to improving your cholesterol is having a bowl of porridge or a cold oat-based breakfast like overnight oats. Make sure you use wholegrain rolled oats to get soluble fibre. Add a banana or some strawberries for another.
2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fibre they deliver.
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fibre. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. So, they are great for weight loss too. The best options are kidney beans, black beans, cannellini beans and pinto beans.
4. Nuts. Eating almonds, walnuts, cashews, and other unsalted nuts is good for the heart. Eating 50 grams of nuts a day can lower LDL.
5. Healthy Oils. Using olive oil and coconut oil in place of butter or lard when cooking helps lower LDL.
6. Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits. These fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL.
7. Soy. Eating soybeans and foods made from them, like tofu and soy milk, is a good way to lower cholesterol. Consuming 25 grams of soy protein, or 500ml soy milk a day can lower LDL by 5% to 6%.
8. Fatty fish. Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats.


  • Timetable & Booking

    MORNING BOOT CAMP – SEAHAM



    Date: Monday & Friday
    Time: 06:00 – 06:45
    Venue: Seaham Youth Centre (Strangford Road, Seaham, SR7 8QE)
    Price: £30 for 4 week block booking / £85 for 12 week block booking (saving £5) / £160 for 24 week block booking (saving £20)


    Morning Boot Camp – Seaham






    EVENING BOOT CAMP – SEAHAM



    Date: Tuesday & Thursday
    Time: 18:30 – 19:30
    Venue: Seaham Sea Front – meet in Tonias Cafe car park (North Road, Seaham, SR7 7AG)
    Price: £30 for 4 week block booking / £85 for 12 week block booking (saving £5) / £160 for 24 week block booking (saving £20)


    Evening Boot Camp – Seaham





    CIRCUIT TRAINING – SEAHAM



    Date: Sunday
    Time: 10:00 – 11:00
    Venue: Seaham Leisure Centre (Deneside Recreation Ground, Seaham, SR7 8NP)
    Price: £5 per session