London is a minefield of temptations such as great food and big nights out. Complete with hectic lifestyles these events often mean fitness takes a back seat – leaving you approaching big events like birthdays, weddings or holidays not looking at your best and hoping the ‘Lose ten stone in ten minutes’ article you read in the Evening Standard will really work. It really won’t.
I spoke to Neil Odell, who runs Fit4MyDay, a specialist personal training business in London, to get some simple ways you can start to make a difference.
‘It sounds obvious, but simply combining healthy eating and exercise really is the key to getting the results to looking your best,’ he says. ‘In London there are now plenty of alternative options that can help you eat healthier and enjoy effective exercise.’ So it doesn’t all have to be about celery and three hour runs then?
‘No, not all. With a bit of planning and some research you can make a difference almost straight away. Have a think about where you buy your lunch every day – the sandwiches and salads in many popular snack outlets contain high amounts of fats, sugars, salt and food additives,’ he explains. So, avoid these traps by:
- Planning healthier snacks such as a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts
- Reducing the syrups and creams used in hot drinks
- Preparing your own lunches
- Consciously aiming to make healthier choices when dining.
But what about fitness?
‘A gym isn’t always the simplest answer – you’ll need to work hard to get results and you need to know what you’re doing. Enjoyment and fun are true motivators, and for many a gym may not be the answer. For a lot of people exercise classes are more effective, so try to find a gym that offers things you may enjoy doing, such as dance or boxing.’
A lot of gyms now offer personal trainers, which can help you focus, and be that vital push when you want to give up. Having once used a personal trainer for over a year I can honestly vouch for their effectiveness, my programme was tailored to what I needed, he never took ‘no’ for an answer, and always pushed me at the crucial point. Not only did I get fitter and look better, but I knew how to stay fit and look after my body.
‘And perhaps we would also all do well to use the space that London gives us all,’ adds Neil. ‘With plenty of parks to walk and exercise in they are crying out to be used more. Organise personal training sessions in the park, or explore all the parks London has to offer – which is lots – by jogging in a different one each week.’
The crucial thing to remember, Neil tells me, is instead of starting a full-blown heath and fitness kick next Monday morning, just make small healthier choices and introduce short bursts of activity on a daily basis – even this adds to up to big results.
Fit for My Day
Tel:020 8144 7564
Image by Garry Knight courtesy of Flickr