Calories. We’ve all heard of them. Especially over recent weeks where the news is full of articles about laws enforcing restaurants to detail calories on their menus. But do you really know what calories are? Are they something to be afraid of? Do you know what to look out for?

What are Calories?

In short, a calorie is a unit of energy and can be used as a measurement for anything that produces energy – whether that be nutritional energy (food) or other types of fuel (e.g. coal).

In previous years, it was recommended that women take things easy during pregnancy. However recent studies, supported by the UK National Health Service (NHS), advise that exercise can be safe during pregnancy and can have positive impacts for both mother and baby!

Exercise is not dangerous for your baby, if carried out in a safe manner. In fact, the NHS states that there is some evidence to suggest that active women are less likely to experience problems in later pregnancy and labour. It is important to strengthen muscles to help you carry the extra weight of pregnancy.  Exercise can also help make joints stronger, improve circulation, ease backache and generally help you feel well.

In the run up to the New Year, many of us are starting to think up plans on how to make 2022 the best year yet!

According to a survey by YouGov, of those people making New Year Resolutions for 2019 - 47% wanted to do more exercise and/or improve fitness, 44% wanted to lose weight and 41% wanted to improve their diet.

Whilst these are great resolutions to have, it is often sticking to them which is the real challenge. In the same survey, YouGov found that only 24% kept to all their resolutions and 47% percent at least managed to stick to some of them.

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!).

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