If you read my last post then you will know that last year I shot the campaign for boohoo wearing their boohooFIT range. Fitness and dance are such a huge part of my life so looking good in active wear wasn’t the only reason I was asked to be involved in the campaign, it was also down to having danced since I was a child, always being active and still juggling dancing/fitness work professionally alongside the hundreds of other jobs I seem to have acquired over the years! Fitness is a hot topic right now, it’s mentioned monthly in fashion magazines such as Vogue and Elle and the number of us actively taking part in some form of workout has increased dramatically over the last few years. It has also led me to be signed an ambassador for Reebok which is probably my biggest achievements to date.
Since publicising my fitness regime and giving interviews discussing my tactics I thought it best that I put my top tips into a blog post for you to read and consider if you’re currently into upping your workout game! Below I have listed 5 tips that can help you achieve a great workout and keep you on track if you’re struggling in certain areas of fitness. And if you’re a fitness fanatic and think you’ve got it all figured out, read on anyway as you may discover a thing or two that could really get you further ahead.
It sounds so obviously simple but you would be surprised how many times I see people working out or in a class without a bottle of water. The aim of all fitness is to work our muscles – whether it be by doing an intense session of cardio, or a strengthening yoga class, the aim is to make the muscle burn. In doing this you are going to increase your inner body temperature and no doubt sweat. Sweating is a sign of progress, whether you want to burn calories and lose weight or not, it shows that you’re doing something right and working your body in the right way by getting rid of toxins and unnecessary fluids. However, by losing fluid, you need to replace it, preferably with what our body loves most – water. Not only will this replace that lost fluid but it will also cool you down enabling you to workout for a bit longer and push the muscle more. (It also gives you the opportunity to take a 30 second break from a really tough workout – BONUS!)
The most important part of a workout is preparing you body correctly and looking after it. After all, the whole point of working out is improve your body in one way or another so it only makes sense to look after it in the right way by prepping it before you start. By following a warm up routine you will ensure that your body is ready to perform at it’s best for you during your workout and also prevents you from getting injured. A warm up should consist of a mixture of muscle stretching as well as increasing the heart rate so the body knows exactly what sort of thing is coming and isn’t shocked into anything which can result in a really nasty injury. The same applies for the end of your workout, you need to let your body know that it can relax back to a normal state and reduce your heart rate back to normal. This can be achieved by repeating the stretching part of your warm up, there is no need to do anything that will keep your heart rate increased like jogging or jumping. Check out this warm up video for help with how to prepare your body correctly.
When working out alone, music can be your best friend. If you’ve ever tried to work out in silence you will find your mind focusing so much on the exercise that you’re doing and notice when it burns or is a struggle. By listening to a playlist of your favourite songs you get carried away in the music and usually end up doing the workout for longer as your mind is distracted from any burn or muscle ache you might get. The music will differ for different workouts, try a ‘house’ or ‘up tempo’ playlist for cardio and high energy workouts and something a bit more mellow and chilled for a more static type of workout like yoga or stretching.
Possibly one of the most important things to remember whilst working out (especially for us girls anyway, right?) is that you want to look cute whilst going for your daily power walk or taking part in a class with friends. Most of the pieces I’m wearing in this post are from boohooFIT (check out the rest of the collection here) and this is only a tiny selection of what they have. There are a few things that I look for in my workout attire and one of the most important things for me is the quality of the material. In my opinion, if you’re going to be working up a sweat then you need material that wont become irritable or even worse, go see through!
In order to get the most out of your workout I think it’s good to try a number of different styles in order to find one that suits you but also to make your body work in different ways depending on the type of exercise. Personally I’ve never been a huge fan of jogging so found that dancing is an easier way for me to build up my stamina and do some cardio work. Others may love HIIT (high intensity interval training) whereas some may like exercises that last a little longer like yoga, body conditioning or pilates. It’s important to find what works for your body so you get the most out of each session and eventually you will know what is best for you. Who was it that said ‘try everything at least once’ – I’m not sure but I’m saying it now so try out different exercises and push your body in different ways to find your perfect fitness regime.
I hope that some of those tips are helpful, some you may have already known but hopefully you discovered at least one new thing from this post and you can adapt the way you approach your workout from now on. Let me know by commenting below this post or on Twitter if this post has helped you at all.
All photography by Victoria Mexatas (www.aurora-stories.com)