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Ok, so this is pretty subjective! There are so many ways we can make ourselves happy but the way we do this can be very different from person to person. While some people may use exercise to keep themselves happy, other people may find enjoyment out of going shopping, or cooking. We are all different and that is brilliant.

Here are my top 10 tips on keeping happy which you may find useful;

1. Smile! Did you know that when you smile, you actually release endorphins – this one is easy. Even if you don’t feel like smiling, try forcing a smile and see what happens.

2. Exercise – while many of us think that exercise is all about fat loss and getting fit, actually there is far much more to it! Regular exercise can reduce stress, anxiety and depression and boost self esteem and happiness. Exercise doesn’t have to be going to the gym, it can also be going for a walk, doing a team sports, joining online classes.

3. Gratitude journal – I know journaling doesn’t come naturally to everyone and it certainly didn’t for me, in fact I found it hard to put my thoughts on paper but believe me it works wonders. Try and write 3 things you are grateful for and 3 achievements each day. When we focus on what we are grateful for and what we have achieved we focus less on what we haven’t achieved or what we don’t have.

4. Sleep – we should be aiming for roughly 8 hours of sleep a night. Sleep is vital for good health, brain function, emotional well-being and generally just resetting our bodies. Many of us struggle to sleep for many different reasons, so here are my top tips on better sleep hygiene;

a. Avoid caffeine after midday

b. Avoid screens in the bedroom

c. Create a good bed time routine – have a bath/shower, dim your lights, read a book and start that wind down process early

d. Make your bedroom a place for sleep and relaxation only. Many people have got into the habit of sitting on their laptops in bed – this is a bad idea because our brains can’t then recognise the difference between work/relaxation

5. Eat with mood in mind – Again many people think that good nutrition = fat loss but it goes much further beyond this! Food is medicine – ditch the processed food. Processed foods contain a lot of sugar and other hidden ingredients. Whilst making these poor food choices may feel good at the time, they leave our bodies feeling rubbish which then has an impact on our moods. Try and make small changes to your diet today, small habit changes = long term success. Think natural!

6. Purpose – an interesting one… What is your purpose? Have a think about it, it may not come to you straight away and that is absolutely fine. Without a purpose we can feel quite lost. Running is my purpose, it is what makes me feel most alive, empowered and I get a real sense of freedom with it.

7. Connecting to nature – something I only found in the last couple of years but if there is one thing in life that grounds me and energises me it is being out in nature. Try and get out in nature at least once a day – no phone, no music – just you and nature. Notice what goes on around you.

8. Consider some breathwork/meditation – just 10 minutes a day. I find this one hard, like many people – switching off my thoughts for 10 minutes can be a real challenge but what doesn’t challenge us doesn’t change us. I actually find that swimming or running is a great way to get that breathwork in as we are forced to slow our breathing down and breathe deeply.

9. Boundaries…one of my favourite words! The great thing about boundaries is that you can put boundaries in place and no one will know they exist, only you. Boundaries help us strengthen and manage our relationships with other people and within ourselves. Trust me, these work.

10. Last but not least, friends… Spend time with friends! When I say friends, I mean people who make you feel good and bring out the best in you and people who you can be yourself around!

This list is absolutely not exhaustive, but it is a good start! You may find this list overwhelming but try and pick just a couple of points that you can slowly introduce into your lifestyle!

Gemma x

Updated: Oct 26, 2021

My top tips on staying motivated!

Motivation is such a big word in the fitness industry! Something that so many of us can struggle with for various different reasons. Motivation comes from within and only we can really motivate ourselves! So here are my top tips to stay motivated;

· Write out clear, SMART goals

· Choose goals that EXCITE you

· Talk about your goals to your friends and family, accountability is key!

· Reward yourself

· Don’t do it alone – find yourself a workout buddy

One of the many benefits of online, live interactive workouts is having an instructor there to do the motivating for you! All you need to do is show up and bring your awesome attitude and we

will do the rest!

If you are lacking in motivation, please don’t feel you are alone, it affects all of us, even the most motivated people can feel demotivated! Don’t panic.

Start working your way through the above steps and you will see how quickly you will feel motivated again once you have a clear goal in mind.

No one ever regrets a workout, so when you are having a bad day and struggling to find the motivation to get moving – stick on your trainers, jump into a class and you will be glad you did it!

If you are struggling with your fitness goals, you can always book in a 121 consultation with me and we can come up with the best plan of action moving forwards.

Gemma x

Core training is absolutely essential for so many reasons! The biggest reason being our core assists in all of our day to day movements and functions. As well as our daily activities, core strength supports all of our workouts and big lifts. Having a strong core leads to optimal balance and stability, which equals better performance!

There are so many fantastic core exercises, you will never get bored! My favourite core exercises are;

  • Commando plank (challenges the upper body as well as the core, win win!)

  • Leg raises, targeting the lower abdominal muscles,

  • Bicycle crunches

  • Abdominal muscles

  • Side plank pulses (targeting those obliques!)

  • Walkout into shoulder taps (targets the upper body as well and gets the heart rate up!)

Not sure where to start? Why not try adding 5 minutes of CORE work at the end of each of your workouts - select your favourite core workouts and challenge yourself to do as many rounds as possible (AMRAP!) Why not try the below;

20 sit ups

20 bicycle crunches

20 russian twists

Repeat for 5 minutes, that’s right - no rest! Of course if you need to take a breather then definitely do, but see how many sets you can do in 3 minutes. As you get more confident you could add more moves in or increase the time so you are challenging yourself each time.

Who should avoid any core exercises?

Any pre and postnatal ladies should be careful around core workouts - before performing any exercise they should speak to a specialist in this area. Personally for my prenatal and postnatal clients, I do give them core exercises to do but I ensure they are performing these exercises safely and correctly.

How to perform core exercises correctly and safely in pregnancy

So here is my professional advice as a pre and postnatal qualified personal trainer!

  • Start off by ensuring you have nice soft knees, relaxed shoulders and your pelvis is tucked under

  • Take a nice deep breath in and fill the diaphragm with air

  • As you breathe out, you want to imagine you are pulling your belly button into your spine, whilst keeping the pelvis tucked under or imagine you are blowing up a balloon!

  • Your abdominal muscles (TVA) should be fully engaged and switched on at this point and you will be safe to perform pregnancy safe exercises.

Nb: Avoid any ‘crunching’ exercises and avoid any exercises that require you to lie on your back. Please consult a GP before doing any exercise in pregnancy.

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