Posted on January 01 2018
At Pretty Athletic, we believe that being fit and healthy is not just for January, but an all-year-round way of life. After the over-indulgences of the festive season, we like to think of January as a time to re-set our exercise routine and adopt healthy eating habits.
Leading celebrity personal trainer and author of The Feel Good Plan, Dalton Wong, shares his top tips for being fit and well in 2018.
I recommend binning the January detox and focus on feeling good about yourself. It is not about starvation, living on rice cakes or unrealistic promises of losing 14lb in 14 days. It’s also not about a hardcore exercise regime that’s actually a one-way ticket to burnout. By mastering the art of listening to you body and giving it the nutrition, exercise, rest and compassion it needs, your body’s cries for help vanish. Instead of obsessing over the January detox, you’ll have a slim, strong, healthy body you’re happy with all year round.
It has been scientifically proven that exercise helps you sleep, makes you more productive, cuts food cravings and stimulates the happy hormone, serotonin.
Here is how to make yourself crave it:
Shush your lazy voice. Don’t give your excuses airtime. Have a yoga mat rolled out on your bedroom floor so you do your workout first thing, or pack your kit in your bag so that you’re ready to exercise at lunchtime. Treat the ‘nooo!’ voice in your head as you would an errant toddler – and get started.
Spot your tipping point. Your body might creak as you warm up, but every stretch releases tension and every movement makes oxygen flow faster around the body. The more aware you are of the moment when your mood tips from miserable to happy, the more intense it feels.
Make a power playlist. Listening to music helps you run faster or cycle longer. Songs with 120-140 beats per minute (BPM) make you perform the best. You can download software that organises your whole iTunes library by BPM.
Exercise mindfully. Switching on muscles with your mind – a moment-by-moment awareness of what your body is doing – can make them tone up 35 per cent faster. Observe how your abs engage when you lift a weight. The more mindfully you work out, the more you get hooked on the sensation of exercise, not just the results.
Bottle your post-workout glow. As you shower, take a moment to absorb how much calmer and better you feel about yourself. Perhaps it means you take fewer sick days or you’ve got more sex drive. Just 15 minutes of exercise improves your day.