WHEN Mollie Millington “The Personal Happiness Trainer” was our guest in Slimpod Club recently she answered members’ questions on healthy fun exercise and gave some really great advice. Mollie (pictured) is an holistic health coach and a UK Athletics running coach and is a regular contributor to PT Magazine.
Here are some of the best Q&As from her Slimpod Club live chat:
Q: I train about 3-5 times a week, variations of circuits, HIIT and weights but days like today my legs hurt so much I’m struggling to walk. Should I have trained anyway, maybe just a different muscle group?
A: Great question. Your body needs rest. You should not lift weights consecutive days in a row. If your legs are sore, switch it up with yoga, swimming, or upper body workout.
Q: How do you find healthy fun exercise that you love? I HATE exercise, it leaves me feeling truly awful (sad, crying, grumpy). Do I just have to keep trying different things until I find something that clicks?
A: The question to ask yourself is, what I am all about? YOU HAVE TO FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE. Why would you want to do something if you hate it, even if it is good for you? (like eating Brussels sprouts). Try fencing, hiking, aquaZumba, pole dancing, cycling, tap dancing, whatever as long as it gets your heart rate up. Walking counts too!
Q: What exercise would you recommend for someone who has over four stone to lose and who is currently very unfit?
A: The important thing is to find something that you like to do and get started. Just start small and work your way up. The Couch to 5K is a great app to get going. Look into Jeff Galloway, too. He is a run coach who taught run/walk intervals for all distances (even marathons).
Start with doing a 15 minute workout two days a week using your equipment and see where it takes you! And listen to your Slimpod and/or your Fitpod.
Healthy fun exercise is great
Slimpodder Smirti ran the London Marathon
Q: Sometimes, like today, my body isn’t up to what I want it to do. Is marching on the spot while watching TV ok as a workout?
A: You bet! You can also use advert breaks as mini-intervals, as they are about 20-30 seconds each. So march in place for one, squat for the next, then star jump, then hold a plank. Repeat!
Q: Like many people I’m time poor. I work and have a severely disabled son. But I am aware these sound like excuses. I have run two half marathons since my son’s birth four years ago, but no running for about 18 months due to back pain from lifting him. Basically, I need short, energising exercises I can fit in here and there to help me fight the expanding waistline.
A: Good for you to want to fit in healthy fun exercise around a busy schedule so you can take care of yourself. Have you spoken to your doctor about lack of sleep and recent back pains? Do you have a new strategy to lift your son to help protect your back? Or perhaps you need to strengthen it more with exercise?
In terms of short bursts of exercise, check out my website for 130 free workouts (www.ptmollie.com) that are only 15 minutes long. Each exercise takes one minute and you can mix and match if you have more than 15 minutes to spare. Simple exercises would be squats, star jumps, press up against a wall or on your knees.
Q: I’m also time-poor, with three children, one being a baby and the others finishing school/nursery at 12pm and 3, plus I’m working from home. What exercises do you recommend for me, given the fact that I feel most self-conscious about my tummy area?
A: What kind of exercise do you like? If you take the kids to the playground, you can use the equipment there to work out for free. Pull ups, press ups, planks, step ups on to the bench.
Walking is also a great exercise. Pushing a pram makes it more of a workout too. Anything that raises your heart rate is exercise! – dusting, cleaning bathroom, vacuuming etc.
Q: I have a poor sleep pattern and often feel tired, I listen to Fitpod and get to the gym three times a week but sometimes it’s a huge effort to push myself to do the amount I want. Any advice please?
A: Listen to your body. Sleep is so important for your body and mind to recover. You can also switch up exercise to be a recovery session (slower walking, running, or cycling) instead of a very intense lifting session.
Q: I’ve set my goals, I’m motivated and would live to get fit but feel too old for joining a gym. We used to enjoy walking but we lost our walking dog at Xmas. I need to get out again.
A: You are only as old as you feel. What would you do at the gym if you joined one? Why not have a look at your local gym and see if there is any healthy fun exercise there that interests you – you may be surprised.
As for dog walking, look into The Cinnamon Trust. You can help an elderly neighbour by walking their dog for them once a week. Great exercise motivation and a way to help someone out.
Healthy fun exercise advice
Many thanks to Mollie and to all of our members who came along and asked her such brilliant questions.
If you’d like help with any aspect of your weight loss, healthy eating or fitness regime, then come along to our Slimpod Club on Facebook. It is open to all Slimpod users, and you can ask your questions at any time and get support and inspiration. We love to see anyone, old faces and new – please don’t be shy.
If you have a Slimpod but haven’t yet joined the club then contact firstname.lastname@example.org for your free invitation. And if you don’t have a Slimpod or a Fitpod yet, then what are you waiting for – jump in and buy one!