Technology gives us a wealth of information at our fingertips and there’s very little you can’t find with a quick Google search. This is true in the fitness industry, but sometimes it’s difficult to find the right information amongst a sea of misinformation and content that at first glance seems like it’s trying to help you but in the end turns out to be a promotion.
The best advice can sometimes be the simplest and it’s always worth being cautious when the advice you see recommends sweeping changes before knowing anything about you or your lifestyle. In your fitness journey, remember that no two people will achieve the same result from the same actions, and there’s always an element of personalisation.
There are some fantastic tools online that provide recommendations or a framework around which you can build your plan. Here are some that have been around for a while and tend to attract good reviews all round:
Find the link to the app download here: https://www.myfitnesspal.com/
MyFitnessPal is a smartphone app that’s well known amongst people who work out, run and even those who are just taking a closer look at their diet and nutrition.
You can use this app to track calories, set goals, log exercise time and then look back at the data to discover patterns. This gives you the chance to really look closely at how your actual behaviour matches how you think you’re doing. One of the main reasons people are disappointed whilst trying to lose weight comes from tracking their food intake incorrectly and underestimating calorie intake.
A few biscuits at lunchtime are easily forgotten without any routine food tracking, but when they’re part of your daily total, they’ll easily explain why when you step on the scales the number hasn’t moved.
2. Couch to 5K
If you think running may be for you, the NHS support a programme known as Couch to 5K. The idea is simple in that you start with the assumption that you have zero running experience and nine weeks later, you’re able to run a full five kilometres (just over three miles). The relevance of five kilometres is that it’s considered amongst adult runners to be your first running milestone and is simultaneously achievable with some work but also impressive.
It’s all provided in podcast format so you can listen to the instructions as you’re doing it.
At the start, you’re introduced to running a short distance with brief bursts of running, alongside longer periods of walking which is a great way to ease yourself, and your body into running.
Over the weeks, the balance will shift to more running and with some commitment and undoubtedly sore calf muscles, you’ll run a 5K from start to finish.
…and you can say so on your social media!
3. Eat This Much
Find it here: https://www.eatthismuch.com/
When changing your diet and committing to a new, ‘healthy’ lifestyle, you may find that you need some guidance as to what this actually looks like on your plate. This website takes your calorie goals, spreads them across the number of meals you want to eat and then provides meal ideas that fit.
There’s an unfair assumption that eating properly means giving up ‘nice’ food, but this never actually has to be the case. Whilst a leafy salad for lunch is a bit of a cliché, there are many people who reach their goals that would tell you they’re as anti-salad as the next person and even the occasional burger and chips doesn’t stop them maintaining a lean physique.
This tool will introduce you to new flavours and ingredient combinations that you may have never seen before, and certainly, you’ll encounter ‘healthier’ alternatives to meal components that may have historically been responsible in part for you not quite hitting those goals.
4. Les Mills – Fitness Classes
Find it here: https://www.lesmills.com/uk/
Les Mills Fitness is a subscription-based video exercise programme that you can dip into at your own pace. Its popularity is growing and so too are the video options for training. The programmes feature a range of exercise styles that draw upon movements found in popular fitness activities. A perfect example is Les Mills BODYCOMBAT, which features routines from popular martial arts techniques.
The videos are well-produced and all movements are demonstrated clearly with a continuous stream of instructions and encouragement to suit people of all fitness levels. You’ll also find introductory videos that show you which movements you should become comfortable with before stepping into a full workout, great for those who are new to the programme.
This is a great idea for a home gym environment and the classes be viewed on most smart TVs, tablets and smartphones any time or day and night.
This is an ideal way to enhance your subscription and take full advantage of the health benefits of weight training.
5. Online Forums – But you’ll have to find one that suits you.
There are countless fitness and exercise forums that essentially allow you to watch conversations unfold and expose yourself to both sides of an argument. From this, you can decide for yourself which piece of advice makes the most sense and adapt the answer to your needs.
You can also ask a question yourself and watch the answers and disagreements develop, which is surprisingly useful, as many different personal experiences are shared alongside examples of where the science and reality have matched up.
Of course, there’s a lot of anecdotal rather than science-backed evidence presented which may not be useful, but this is often made clear by other forum members.
In short, it’s certainly worth getting involved and you’d be surprised how much new technique and terminology you’ll come across in just a few hours.