Does the thought of working out in the gym make you anxious?

Do you find that the motivation to get fit can come to a grinding halt as soon as you walk onto the gym floor?

Does the thought of other people watching you exercise fill you with dread?

If you answered ‘yes’ to any of the above, rest assured this is perfectly normal and something that can be easily overcome with the right steps!

The journey to weight loss is never linear. In fact, did you know that it is completely normal and natural for our weight to fluctuate on a daily basis?

Have you ever had a great week with exercise and kept within your calorie deficit, only to step on the scales and see the numbers not change or worse, go up? Its very easy to feel disheartened and demotivated.

Before you start over-analysing your every movement, meal and drink since the last weigh in… STOP!

On average, an adult’s weight can fluctuate by around 5 or 6 pounds per day. In most cases, this fluctuation in weight is caused by water retention. Water retention or fluid retention (oedema) occurs when excess fluid builds up within the body and can be influenced by…

Given the busy lifestyle of today, many people want to ensure that when they schedule in their gym sessions, they make the most out of every single second of their time there. Whilst this enthusiasm is great to see, it is not the best approach and can have detrimental impact to both your health and performance.

It is common to see gym-goers skipping the warm-up and focussing immediately on their work-out programme. In theory, it can be argued that this approach best utilises the time spent in the gym as more time spent on the work-out itself. However, the truth is that this can cause a number of issues and can even cause avoidable injuries.

Naturally, when starting something new, a lot of us often consider any blockers or issues which we think are going to get in our way. In some cases, these thoughts become overwhelming and prevent us completing the very thing we set out to do. The same can be said for those looking into exercise for the first time or changing our workout routines.

But how do we break down these barriers? Let’s start with discussing what is defined as a barrier.

It is reasonable to assume that the lockdown measures over the last 12 months have fundamentally changed the physical activities of the majority of the population.

This has been caused by a number of factors, including the closure of gyms and outdoor exercise facilities and the limited access to outdoor areas (especially for those in built up areas). For many of us stress, lack of sleep and lack of motivation have also played a major part in our fitness habits (or lack of!).

It is safe to say that we all know that exercise and keeping healthy is important and that most of understand to, some degree, the reasons for this (such as reducing our risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and cancer).

But… did you know that for women, there are even more reasons to keep in shape and keep moving?

Did you know that the average working person in the UK takes circa 6 sickness days per year? However, these absences are not always related to bugs, coughs and colds. For some, these sickness days can relate to other things such as mental health, back problems and other musculoskeletal problems. Those who work in office jobs cannot escape being impacted by health issues. Sitting constitutes physical inactivity and sitting for too long each day or on most days implies having a sedentary lifestyle.

We all know that exercise is good for our physical health, but did you know that exercise is also great for our mental wellbeing?

According to recent statistics from Mind (www.mind.co.uk), approximately 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year, and within England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.

But what exactly contributes to better mental health?

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