Thursday 14 December 2017

Siobhan Byrne: Summer's here, but stay focused

Lazy, hazy days can tempt you to stray from your fitness goals, our fitness expert cautions

Siobhan Byrne: Working out regularly leads to results. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Siobhan Byrne: Working out regularly leads to results. Photo: Marc O'Sullivan
Floor dip1
Floor dip 2
Mountain climber on swiss ball
Mountain climber on swiss ball 2
Diamond crunch 1
Diamond crunch 2
Press-up 1
Press-up 2

Siobhan Byrne

"The only workout you ever regret is the one you don't do." No truer words have ever been spoken, and I've yet to do a workout that I wish I hadn't done.

People often ask me if missing a workout really makes a difference. Well, missing just one workout doesn't, apart from the calories that you would have burned had you exercised.

With the recent spell of lovely, warm summer weather - even if it is intermittent - nobody would blame you for skipping a workout in favour of getting outdoors and enjoying the sunshine.

However, it is important to remember that consistency matters. Working out regularly leads to results in terms of shape, fitness levels and muscle maturity. Your body actually likes routine and thrives on consistency, including good, healthy and clean eating habits.

So, while skipping the odd workout and having the occasional treat dish is okay, beware the temptation to get lazy. A good workout will help release endorphins and make you feel more energetic afterwards, even helping you to sleep better that night.

A regular exercise regime is so important to our overall health and well-being. While missing one workout may not be a problem, be careful it doesn't become a bad habit for, once you justify missing one session, it can become a slippery slope.

Remember too that working out keeps you more focused on healthy eating - you will be less likely to snack on calorific takeaways and treats as you will be mindful just how hard you worked out trying to burn off those calories.

During the good weather, look to take your workouts outdoors. You don't need much space and it can be a great way of feeling rejuvenated after a hard day's work. Or try adding these great exercises here, which can be done indoors or out.

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

Focus on your goals


1/ Start on knees or toes with hands under chest and back flat in a plank position.

2/ Lower yourself to the ground, then back to start position. Keep the back flat throughout.

Floor dips

1/ Start by sitting on the floor with your hands behind you, fingers pointing towards your feet and feet flat on the floor.

2/ Lift your hips off the ground so your weight is on your hands and on your feet. Dip down towards the ground, bending at the elbows, and then return to straight arm start position. Your glutes should not touch the ground throughout this exercise.

Diamond crunch

1/ Start by lying on your back with the soles of your feet together, knees out to the sides and your arms straight up over your chest.

2/ Then raise your head and shoulders off the floor. Lower the body back down to start position, then repeat the movement. Keep the soles of the feet together throughout the exercise.

Mountain climber on swiss ball

1/ Start with feet on floor and two hands on the Swiss ball in the middle of the ball. Make sure your back is flat with your core engaged.

2/ Slowly bring one knee up to the ball while balancing with the other foot. Gently repeat with opposite foot.

* For a less advanced version, complete the mountain climbers on a bench or try them with hands on the floor.

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