Don't give up!

According to research 80% of people that sign up to a gym as part of their new years resolution have quit by the second week of February. The momentum of their resolutions loses steam and it’s not difficult to see why. The most common reason for a gradual decline in impetus comes from us having taken an over aggresive and unrealistic approach for the New Year and after a few quick weeks of hard work, they’re less than thrilled with the results. But Rome wasn't built in a day so it’s time to get back on track!

So you had a night out and it ended with a kebab at 3am…big deal, or you missed a couple of days because you were feeling tired…so what? Don’t let a day or week off affect the bigger picture and put a stop to your fitness targetss. Nobody is perfect and the key to any success is not perfection…but rather persistence. Everyone gets knocked down once in awhile…to be victorious you need to be one of the ones that get's back up!

Improvements and fitness gains are not achieved through a single workout they come from repitition. So let’s say that you did push-ups and crunches every morning for a week and then quit. That’s 7 days of calisthenics. Now let’s say that you start back with something a bit more manageable, like push-ups and crunches 3-4 days per week. That’s over 180 days of calisthenics if you can re-start and keep it going through the end of the year! Most resolutions fail because we are too aggressive and leave no margin for error. When a day is missed or we take a needed rest, we quit out of self-disgust and frustration. Don’t give up so easily!

The message is simple... Don’t give up. Your health and fitness goals are too important to you, so get back up and try again! If you’re still going strong - good for you and keep it up! – you’re gaining momentum. There are plenty of workouts between us and our summertime goals. Each day is an opportunity that can take us one step closer to where we want to be. It’s February 8th... 80% will give up in the next 7 days…don’t be one of them!

Bettter Sleep = Better Progress

Personal training Gran canaria

Sleep, something so simple yet many find it very difficult to get right. Working hours, a busy social life or just a strange fear of missing out if you hit the sack before 12, whatever the reason sleep is the one thing that if most people fix would change the playing field completely. Whether the goal is to get leaner, stronger or to grow more muscle; proper sleep has so many benefits that it affects all goals equally. Change your sleeping patterns and see what it can do for you.

The majority of people require somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep per night. When comparing the averages of people training with me, the average is more like 4-7 hours per night, demanding jobs either requiring people to work late or simply being stressful enough that people need a social release at the end of it, many people are finding it increasingly difficult to switch off at night. Get your 7-9 hours though and that’s where you're going to see huge benefits.

Giving your body the right amount of rest helps you to recover from exercise quicker, your stress hormones are lower throughout the day and most importantly for how your physical appearance, your glucose metabolism improves with regular sleeping patterns. Now of course 1 or 2 nights of inadequate sleep isn’t going to completely unbalance your normal hormonal signalling but consistently getting lower amounts of sleep will make you feel stressed, weak and fat to the point where achieving your fitness goals, especially when it comes to aesthetics, can become a really difficult challenge.

HGH (human growth hormone) is the most important hormone to think about when improving your sleep. It's released in cycles as you are sleeping and although it’s different for everyone, generally the first release is said to take place about 90-120 minutes after you fall asleep and then another release 3 hours after that. So getting a minimum 5-6 hours sleep per night will be incredibly beneficial, but increase that up to 8-9 hours, and you'll see significant improvements in everything. HGH is not only hugely beneficial for recovery from exercise, but is also one of the key components when it comes to burning off massive amounts of body fat.

Bodyweight Training

personlig tränare gran canaria

I love training outdoors, for me nothing quite beats a workout on the sand dunes looking out onto the ocean or at the park surrounded by palm trees and a light breeze. It's one of the biggest perks of being a personal trainer out here.

Bodyweight training is ideal for these two beautiful locations, it allows you to construct an effective routine without the need for an expensive gym membership or any type of professional equipment. Bodyweight training allows you to exercise any time you like, anywhere you choose. 

Whether you are looking to tone your buns, sculp your abs or strengthen your core there are a wide range of different bodyweight exercises that you can implement into your regular workout routine to make a significant difference. Burpees are great for engaging your core, hamstrings, glutes, quads, arms and chest, whereas compound exercises for example lunges and pushups are particularly effective when it comes to performance improvements and strength gains. A plank is enough to challenge more than twenty different muscles across your body, including your glutes, legs, arms, back, and shoulders. 

While using bodyweight exercises as a method for building strength is a certain way to maximize your muscles in no time, the benefits don’t stop with just strength. Bodyweight training, if even just a few minutes every day, can have a huge impact on your body’s metabolism – helping it to work in over-drive so that you lose fat fast, and focus on building lean muscle instead.

Finally, perhaps the biggest benefit of bodyweight training is that it actually delivers results. Bodyweight exercises work because they comprise of compound movements, engaging numerous muscles and joints in each move to raise your performance and build strength faster.

The Psychological Benefits of Exercise

Personal training in gran canaria

We all know about the physical benefits of exercise — a healthy heart, weight loss, muscle development, cancer prevention, etc. — but did you know that exercise has been scientifically proven to offer several mental health benefits as well?

Exercise releases endorphins, a group of hormones that create a feeling of accomplishment when we complete a tough workout and the positive attitude that we have for the rest of our day as a result. These experiences are often referred to as “runner’s high,” but you can experience that same euphoric sensation from any type of vigorous, cardiovascular activity like aerobics and cycling.

Here’s a look at five key psychological benefits of regular exercise:

Relieves stress:

Exercising after a long, stressful day might be far from appealing, but it can actually be incredibly relieving. According to the Mayo Clinic, physical exercise helps your brain to boost production of endorphins and diverts your attention away from any stressful issues you are dealing with.

Stress and anxiety can also contribute to insomnia, which in turn can lead to a whole host of other health problems. Research shows that exercise can help people with chronic insomnia not only to fall asleep faster, but it also improves the quality of their sleep.

Boosts our mood:

Studies show that regular exercise helps your brain release feel-good chemicals like endorphins, neurotransmitters and endocannabinoids and reduces the production of immune system chemicals that trigger or worsen depression.

In addition, as body temperature is increased with moderate or intense activity it can have an overall calming effect on the body. Exercising outdoors also helps to provide vitamin D, which your body absorbs through sun exposure. Scientists have linked low vitamin D levels with chronic pain, asthma and seasonal affective disorder.

Improves memory:

Many studies show that exercise helps us combat the ageing effects on the brain. A study carried out by the University of British Columbia found that regular aerobic exercise boosts the size of the hippocampus, a section of the brain used in verbal memory and learning.

Another study in the UK produced similar results, showing that exercise can not only keep us sharper mentally as we age but that is also has the potential to fight the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

After only two years, a study presented at the Alzheimer’s Association International Conference showed that people who improved their diet and level of exercise saw improvements in memory and other mental functions.

Stimulates us:

In addition to the mood and memory-boosting benefits of exercise, it can also boost our energy levels and our sense of creativity.

A study in Sweden found that workers who engaged in regular exercise were more productive than those who did not exercise at all.

Another study showed that aerobic exercise stimulates our imaginations. Have you ever had a sudden moment of clarity and come up with a fantastic idea while out walking, jogging or biking? If so then you’ve experienced this phenomenon firsthand. Just as exercising outside gives us exposure to vitamin D, inspiration can come from a simple change of scenery.

Raises self-confidence:

Anxious or depressed people often describe having a feeling of a lack of control in their lives, My advise would be to first try committing to a regular exercise to help regain a sense of power and boost feelings of self-worth. Even those of us who don’t suffer from depression or anxiety can benefit from exercise.

Interestingly, exercising by yourself can improve your body perception even if you don’t shed weight or improve muscle tone as a result.

Exercise is an important part of your overall health, it offers numerous physical and mental benefits for people of all ages and abilities. The next time you find your energy or mood lagging, put on your workout gear and sweat it out! Your body and mind will thank you later.