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Women's Fitness

Enjoying a truly healthy lifestyle doesn't mean committing yourself to a life of gym slavery and eating rabbit food.

A little planning, simple changes to your diet and dedicating a few hours a week to exercise is all that it takes.

Just remember that if you are looking to transform your body, crash dieting will not work long term. We firmly believe the best way to achieve your body size and health goals is to make a commitment to yourself to make the changes you need and stick to them.

Setting achievable targets on a weekly or monthly basis can help you to keep on track. Achievement, however small is a great motivator. Once you achieve a certain amount of weight loss or maybe an exercise goal, celebrate then set a new target and work towards that.

A well thought out nutritious diet along, with a well planned and structured exercise regime will reap huge rewards. You can start your exercise and diet plan by aiming for your primary goals. Maybe that's toning up, weight loss or muscle gain and once you've achieved that, you can then follow the guidelines here to stay lean and healthy.

As with most weight or fitness goals, eating 5 or 6 nutritious meals per day will help you reach your goals. You may think fewer meals will keep you lean and healthy, but this is not the case. Your body will store less of the calories you consume as fat if you have regular small meals throughout the day, thanks to keeping your blood sugar and metabolism at the correct levels.

You're also less likely to snack on foods that are bad for your goals, as the combination of small healthy meals, along with the eating the right nutrients will keep your hunger in check.

Focus your meals on quality protein, complex carbs and plenty of the good fats, such as Omega 3 based foods. You need protein for general bodily repairs, carbs for daily energy along with fueling your workouts and the good fats will also be used as long lasting fuel and prevent over storage of fat.

We always recommend drinking around 8 glasses of water a day, to stay hydrated. This will not only help you get you through your workouts, but will also support liver and kidney health, along with hydrating your skin. All of which will make you glow with health.

It's a good idea to monitor and even record your daily nutrient intake, especially your calories. Once you know your maintenance levels you can then adjust your intake to speed up or sometimes regulate your progress.

Everyone is different so you need to find out exactly what works for you.

If you are eating nutritiously, using the foods we suggest, you may not need supplements. It actually depends on what you are trying to achieve.

However, sometimes it can be difficult getting all your nutrients from your meals, so this is where supplements to meet certain goals can be of benefit. A good Omega oil blend can be useful as the good fats have so many benefits and are not always easy to get in the right quantities from a normal diet.

Your body needs lots of protein when you are following a fitness regime, so supplementing with a high quality whey protein powder can be useful. You need to make sure you are consuming more protein than carbs and a protein shake can be the basis of 2 or 3 of your meals per day. This saves force feeding yourself when you may not be particularly hungry, as it's far easier to drink your extra nutrients.

A high quality antioxidant can also be of benefit, to support your immune system after intense workouts.

Never rely on supplements alone, as a nutritious diet and along with a sensible exercise routine, is far superior for long term, permanent fitness.

We've listed a number of useful fitness supporting supplements below for you to consider.

Your training schedule should be aimed at burning off, then keeping off your excess fat, adding or toning muscle and increasing your cardiovascular fitness.

You can achieve this by using a mixture of resistance training (using weights) and cardiovascular exercise. The thing to keep in mind is that the more lean tissue you have, the more calories you will burn when you exercise.

Aim for all over body routines and exercises. Never try to 'spot reduce' as it doesn't work. For instance, if you need to lose belly fat, exercises that focus on your abdominal muscles will not reduce your belly fat on their own.

With regard to weight training for fitness, you do not have to lift extremely heavy weights to see results. If you are not interested in building more muscle then lighter weights are fine for toning up. However, adding a little muscle to your frame is a great idea, as it will make you look much fitter and improve your posture as well as your strength obviously.

Cardiovascular exercise is important for overall fitness and there are many forms you can try, including running, cycling and swimming. Variety is the spice of life and that includes exercise. By changing and trying different exercises, you'll stave off boredom along with keeping your body from getting used to the routine and seeing it's effectiveness fade.

To begin with it may be a good idea to build up gently and workout twice per week, for the first few weeks, building up to 3 times per week. Always have at least one day between workouts to ensure your muscles and nervous system has time to recuperate.

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