Thursday 21 September 2017

Don't break sweat over 'gym guilt' or be afraid to seek help to set goals

'The trick to maintaining your health kick is to ensure the initial burst of enthusiasm is sustained' Photo: Depositphotos
'The trick to maintaining your health kick is to ensure the initial burst of enthusiasm is sustained' Photo: Depositphotos
Eilish O'Regan

Eilish O'Regan

Getting fit is at the top of most or our New Year's resolution lists. But often times it's 'gym guilt' that has us breaking into a sweat.

The trick to maintaining your health kick is to ensure the initial burst of enthusiasm is sustained. Personal trainer Mark Holland of Ath-Elite Fitness, based in FlyeFit gym on Baggot Street, Dublin, said a key piece of advice was to set a goal, both short and long-term.

"Too often as trainers we see people with the best intentions aimlessly wander around the gym using whatever machine becomes available," he said.

"Try to follow a programme specific to your ability and needs. Don't be afraid to ask for help. We all need to start somewhere."

Mr Holland also cautions about becoming obsessed with weighing scales.

"Tracking your weight is one of many ways to track progress, but it seems to be one that people fixate on and I find it can lead to an unhealthy relationship with your weight," he said.

"I personally use pictures, body fat percentage testing, circumference measurements, strength tests, mobility improvements and exercise execution to gauge progress."

He said he tried to design personalised programmes for his clients to tailor it to their own goals, needs, ability and mobility.

Have reminders at the ready to prevent skipping the gym and going home to watch telly instead.

"Get into the habit of packing your gym bag the evening before, preparing your meals, managing your time to fit in time to exercise," added Mr Holland.

When it comes to diet, he said: "You don't have to eat plain chicken and rice every day, a good trainer will give full nutritional advice and help you figure out your food requirements to reach your goals."

Beware "30-day challenges" that make you sweat, but place very little emphasis on teaching you how to train properly, he said.

Lynne Davies (28), of Stillorgan, who works in sponsorship for 98fm, said she kept motivated training with Mr Holland twice a week.

"For me it's about feeling toned and having more energy," she said.

Irish Independent

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