Siobhan Byrne: How to stay on track for February
Failure is not due to lack of willpower but because you are asking too much from yourself
January is a month full of promise with a new year, new you mentality. But all too often the pressure of New Year's resolutions builds up leaving you failing the healthy eating programme or the plans for hitting the gym.
Most people's fitness and healthy eating plans start in January but if you failed last month then February is the perfect time to pick yourself up and start to make plans for that summer body.
Yes, you read right, summer is just around the corner, and if you have failed in January then you need to firstly ascertain where you went wrong.
For most people diversifying too much from what is the norm is one of the main reasons for failing to stick to that healthy eating and fitness plan. Remember, small changes do make a difference.
For my clients I always use a food diary to begin with. Each week I look at making changes and substituting certain foods rather than cutting them out.
I've always found January an important time to feed the body to stay at your healthiest and to keep fit and strong. Results come from being able to stick long-term to a plan. Take, for example, someone with a sugar addiction.
They can go cold turkey and see how they would get on, but I pretty much guarantee that unless the person has incredible willpower they are more than likely to not last the course.
The first thing to do is pick your vice. If sugar is your thing, then look at ways of having something sweet during your day.
Or choose a healthier option, such as substituting your usual sweet treat with, for example, a home-made date and nut butter ball.
The same can be said about training. If you had planned to train every second day to give yourself a kick-start and have only managed to get in a handful of sessions in January, then I suggest you take stock and assess what time you actually have for training.
Failure is not because you are completing lacking in willpower but, generally, because you are asking too much from yourself.
Small changes can help you to secure long-term results, which will lead to a happier, fitter, more motivated and energised you.
EXERCISE: CORE, ABS AND LOWER BODY
Side lunge chop
1/ Start by standing in an upright position with your arms raised overhead and hands clasped.
2/ Then take a step to one side, leaning forward and lowering your torso slightly forward while bringing your arms down to the side of the knee, like a chop.
3/ Push off the outside foot to return to the start position and then repeat the same movement on the opposite side.
1/ Start by leaning back, balancing on your hands in a sitting position with your knees bent and your feet flat and slightly off the ground.
2/ Then lift your upper body towards the knees and at the same time raise your knees to your chest, coming into a V position. Return to the start position and then repeat.
1/ Stand upright, with your arms straight and holding dumb-bells by your sides.
2/ Take a step back, dropping your back knee to the floor and leaning your torso slightly forward with your weight on your front leg. Then push off your front foot to return to the start position.
1/ Start on your knees and hands with your straight back.
2/ Raise one leg up with the foot pointing towards the ceiling and the leg bent at a 90-degree angle. Bring the leg back down towards the start position and then repeat.
Do each exercise 12 times before moving on to the next one. When you have completed each exercise, that is one set. Catch your breath before moving on to the next set, and do three to four sets, three to four times a week.
Health & Living