Wednesday 22 November 2017

Siobhan Byrne: Plan your way to fitness

Planning and preparing meals can help you achieve your health goals

Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Fitness expert Siobhan Byrne. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Weighted crunch 1
Weighted crunch 2
Foot up split squat 1
Foot up split squat 2
Kettlebell fly 1
Kettlebell fly 2
French press 1
French press 2
Shoulder press with dumbbells on bosu 1
Shoulder press with dumbbells on bosu 2
V-up1
V-up2

Siobhan Byrne

Welcome to this, the fourth and final week of our getting back into a routine feature. Hopefully by now you are nicely settling back into a health and fitness regime, and are finding time for your workouts.

This week, we are continuing to train with weights at home, to help tone and shape the physique. However, in order to promote overall health and fitness, we need to look at diet too, ensuring our eating habits are good ones.

As a busy mom myself, I know the key to this is meal planning. Don't be disheartened - when you see images on social media of other people's food prep, it may be unappealing and simply not sustainable for you. When prepping meals, remember - they have to be something you look forward to eating.

Rigid food prep has a place if you are competing, but if you are looking to clean up your act with healthier food, and eat more balanced meals, focus on food you actually enjoy eating.

Boiled chicken breast with broccoli may be healthy but, realistically, it's not a balanced meal in itself, nor is it a sustainable diet in the long term.

The key is to make small changes to your diet which you will be able to stick to over time, and yet which will help you see long-term results.

Opening a lunchbox filled with healthy foods that you enjoy eating will mean you will end up looking forward to mealtimes, rather then dreading them and ditching the packed lunch in favour of calorific, fast-food options.

Replace chocolate and crisps with fruit and nuts, for example, and prepare fresh meals rather than reaching for TV dinners.

Small changes do make a difference and, as you manage to maintain them, begin adding more variations to your healthier eating routine. Results may be slower, but you should see steady progress which can be sustained in the longer term.

Some of my favourite meal options include homemade soups with added protein pieces like chicken, or great fresh salads filled with beans and great fats like avocado seeds and nuts in moderation. These are all easy options and quick to prepare at home for the following day.

Getting back into a routine: Part 4 of 4

Kettlebell fly

1/ Lie on your back with your knees bent and holding a kettlebell/dumbbell of equal weight in each hand over your chest with arms straight.

2/ Lower the weights out towards the floor, keeping your arms slightly bent. Then raise to start position. Rep range of between 12-15.

Weighted crunch with feet up

1/ Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet raised, holding a kettlebell /dumbbell on your chest with both hands.

2/ Lift your head and shoulders off the floor in a crunch, keeping your legs in the same position. Lower back down to the start position and repeat. Look at a rep range of between 15-20.

V-up

1/ Start by leaning back, balancing on your hands in a sitting position with your knees bent and your feet flat slightly off the ground.

2/ Then simply lift your upper body towards the knees and raise your knees to your chest at the same time, coming into a V position. Return to start position then repeat.

Foot Up split squat

1/ Start by standing upright with one foot resting on a bench/chair or box and the other on the ground.

2/ Drop the body down towards the floor, bending at the knees. Then push off the front foot to return to start position.

Shoulder press with dumbells

1/ Start by standing - or kneeling on a BOSU if you have one - holding dumbbells at shoulder height with your elbows bent and your palms facing forward.

2/ Then raise your arms overhead, keeping your back straight. You may leave your toes resting on the ground for more stability or balance fully on the knees for a more advanced version of the exercise.

French Press

1/ Lie on the floor on your back with your knees bent and holding a kettlebell firmly in both hands above your chest.

2/ Bend your arms at the elbow, allowing the kettlebell to lower towards the floor towards the top of your head. Then straighten your arms returning to start position. Look at a rep range of between 12-15.

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