Just for fun…
A is for Attitude
It may have gotten you into trouble with your parents, teachers or ex-lover, but when you’re three quarters of your way through a strength and conditioning circuit and your lactic acid levels are so high that you’re grunting louder than a porn-star to get through it, you’ll be needing some attitude – kick-ass, bitchy, messy, inconsiderate, narcissistic, exhibitionist, self-indulgent, loud attitude. If you’re cute, clean, polite and inoffensive at the end of your session, you haven’t trained hard enough.
B is for Boxing
Not boxer-cise, but boxing. I could go on and on about the cardio-vascular benefits, core-strength and upper-body definition this will give you, but the truth is that you could get these benefits from many activities. What sets boxing apart is that if you don’t keep moving, you’ll get smacked in the face. If that doesn’t get your work-rate up, I don’t know what will.
C is for Core
Strengthening your core muscles improves your posture, prevents spinal injuries and pain, gives you a slimmer appearance by drawing the gut in, and increases your functional strength. It prevents incontinence in old age and after child-birth, and improves the quality of women’s sex lives. What’s not to like?
D is for Daylight
How much of it do you see? If you’re cloistered away in your office for most of the day, make sure you see some of it! Go for a run or bike-ride or enjoy a personal training session outdoors and you’ll get your recommended daily intake of exercise and vitamin D at the same time.
E is for Eating
Heroin chic is so twenty-years ago… You’ll need to be doing a lot of eating to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs to recover from workouts and give you lots of energy and an effervescent glow. Reduce intake of processed foods, trans- and saturated fats, and refined sugar, and make sure you’re getting plenty of protein, fruits and vegetables.
F is for Fun
If you want your healthy habits to stick for life, make your work-outs and meals fun. Find activities you enjoy and get creative with your cooking.
G is for Glutes and Guns
We don’t want to admit to being so vain, but we all secretly love that pump we get after a hard session.
H is for Heart
A sedentary lifestyle is the number one risk factor for heart disease. As little as 30 minutes of aerobic activity five times per week will improve heart health and decrease risk of heart disease
I is for Interval Training
Interval training means training at intervals of different intensity levels, alternating high-intensity bursts of exercise with short rest periods of a lower intensity. Benefits of this kind of training include avoiding boredom (and therefore increasing the likelihood that you’ll persist with your work-outs,) burning calories at a faster rate, and improving sporting performance by increasing your lactate threshold and lung capacity.
J is for Jogging
Jogging is a great way to exercise. As well as burning calories and improving cardio-vascular fitness, it tones the legs and improves circulation, and it has been suggested that it reduces the appearance of cellulite. As your fitness and conditioning improves, jogging becomes rhythmic and relaxing and can help you to de-stress.
K is for Knowledge
You also need to acquire as much knowledge as you can about how the body – and in particular your body – works. You wouldn’t try to build a house without plans, so make sure you’re taking the right actions when it comes to reaching your fitness goals.
L is for Longevity
Regular exercise and a healthy diet will help you to beat heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and osteoporosis. Not only will you live longer, but you’ll remain stronger, happier and more independent.
M is for Muay Thai
Incorporating kicks, knees, elbows, punches, grappling and sweeps, muay thai provides a whole-body work-out and intense cardio-training. You won’t just get in shape, you’ll also learn some devastating self-defence skills.
N is for Nature
Time spent in nature has been linked to stress reduction, relaxation and an increase in mental clarity. Many natural settings such as the beach, pine forests, waterfalls and mountains have high levels on negative ions in the air, which lift mood, relieve depression and purify the air of allergens.
O is for Osteoporosis
It has been estimated that osteoporosis effects a third of women and twenty per cent of men over fifty. Simple weight-bearing exercises can help to reduce your risk by stimulating the body to build stronger bones.
P is for Personal Training
Sometimes we all need some extra motivation, more attention paid to our technique, or the guidance of an expert. Perhaps your schedule doesn’t fit in with a gym, or you just want more flexibility in your work-outs while having the accountability of a coach who is constantly tracking your progress and checking that you are doing what you have promised between sessions.Whoever you are, personal training can help you take you fitness regime to the next level and achieve lasting results.
Q is for Questions
In your fitness journey, it’s inevitable that you will uncover or encounter health concerns. Perhaps you have a niggling injury, a reaction to a certain food, have hit a weight-loss plateau or are experiencing unexplained symptoms. See your health professionals and continue to ask questions until you get answers. Many conditions including thyroid problems, coeliac disease and, particularly for women, heart attacks, present vague symptoms which are often ignored, leaving people undiagnosed and untreated.
Your body needs a balance of challenge and recovery. Recovery methods include passive rest and sleep, ice or salt baths, yoga, stretching, spa, sauna, and massage. Let’s not forget the importance of drinking two or more litres of water per day and eating a balanced diet.
S is for Sports
Finding a sport that you enjoy is a great way to make sure that you enjoy your exercise, stick to a schedule and make supportive friends at the same time.
T is for Testosterone
Some studies have found that strength training increases the testosterone levels in both men and women. Testosterone assists in creating strength, muscle tone, a fast metabolism and a healthy sex drive.
U is for Under-eating
Under-eating has been linked to eating disorders, as in the case of anorexia nervosa. However, you may also unwittingly be guilty of under-eating due to time constraints and stress. It’s important when exercising to supply your body with the nutrients it needs to recover and rebuild, so while you need to reduce your intake of trans- and saturated fats and refined carbohydrates, make sure you are getting adequate protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants. If your appetite is suffering due to stress, or there are times when you are genuinely too busy to eat, invest in a good meal replacement shake to supplement your diet.
V is for VO2 Max
This term refers to lung capacity, or how much air your lungs can take in at once. You can increase your lung capacity through interval training.
W is for Weight-loss
In an era where obesity rates are sky-rocketing along with sedentary lifestyle diseases, weight-management is one of the number one health goals for most people. Kick-start your metabolism with a healthy diet which includes plenty of protein, vegetables and fruits, along with a strength-training program to help boost calorie-burning active muscle mass, then thrash your cardio sessions and you’ll be well on your way to achieving your ideal weight.
X is for X-Ray
What else could X stand for? When you have an injury, you may need one!
Y is for Youthfulness
Staying healthy through diet and exercise will help you to look and feel younger for longer. If you’re working out in the sun, however, be sure to cover up and apply sun-block to counter the ageing effects of the sun’s UV rays.
Z is for Zeal
Zeal describes the passion, enthusiasm and relish you are able to feel for life when you are in good health, and is the reward for your hard work and discipline. It’s what is going to keep you rewarded in the long term, and is ultimately what is going to make you enjoy your healthy meals and exercise routine!