Top 12 Tips for a Healthy 2024
The beginning of the year is a time when we all look to a fresh start, and we hope that many of you will be re-examining your fitness and wellbeing goals. To help with this we wanted to share some of our top health and wellbeing tips.
1. Try to Exercise Everyday
This does not mean a full-blown squash match, gym session or high intensity class! We need rest as well (see No. 12 below). But research shows that short bursts of exercise done regularly are very good for our overall health. It makes us fitter, stronger and lifts our mood. Choose something simple that fits with your lifestyle – it could be a short walk, a cycle to work or a 5-10 minute exercise or stretching session as a break from your PC. The simpler and easier the better!
2. Make sure your Goals are Achievable
There’s nothing more demotivating or more likely to make you give up on a plan than missing targets so do bear this in mind when setting your goals. Don’t compare yourself to others and remember that every step in the right direction is one step closer to that goal and should be considered a success. Start slowly and build up gradually. For example, if you have never run before then start with a fast walk, then alternate walking and jogging adding a bit more running time each session or week. You will be amazed how quickly you can progress!
3. Build Strength Training into your Routine
The importance of strength training is increasingly recognised by health professionals and it grows in importance as we age. Muscle mass naturally decreases by between 3% and 8% per decade after the age of 30, and the rate of decline accelerates after the age of 60. Adding strength training to your fitness regime brings multiple benefits including burning more calories, improving core strength and reducing the risk of injury. If you don’t know where to start then speak to one of our PTs. You could ask them for a free programme, or perhaps buy one of our £99 PT intro packs to get you off to a good start in the gym. Correct form is really important to get the most out of your new routine.
4. Strengthen your Core
We recommend making time for some form of dedicated Core work every week as strengthening your core helps to support so many other sporting and lifestyle activities. A few minutes at the end of a class or gym session is great but a dedicated core session will do much more and assist any other training or exercise you do. We run a 30-minute Les Mills CORE class four times a week and have a number of 20 minutes Abs and Core Blast workouts available on Club Towers Live if it’s easier for you to work out at home. If you don’t have your free access code available for members, please email [email protected] to request yours.
5. Take up a New Sport to Re-energise your Enthusiasm
There is nothing like a new challenge to help reinvigorate us. So why not try a new sport this year? It could be tennis or squash at the Club, but equally it could be joining a running Club (e.g. Park Run), cycling, swimming or something more exotic such as one of the martial arts. The key is to bring some variety and give greater purpose to your training. If you are not a racquets member, you can upgrade for just £15/month and we run free beginner intros for both tennis and squash. Our 4-week tennis start-rite course gives a great initial grounding in the key strokes and will also introduce you to fellow members in the same boat.
6. Try a New Class
If a new sport does not excite you, then try a new class! We offer over 140 different classes every week and it is easy to get sucked into the routine of doing the same one(s) every week. Or try the same class delivered by a different instructor – each of our instructors brings something different in terms of their approach and expertise, so make sure you draw on as many as you can. January is an ideal time to try new classes and/or instructors as the new Les Mills routines kick in on the weekend of 13/14th. This means they will be new to everyone!
7. Train Together
Industry statistics prove that people who train with others are far more likely to continue for the long term. So, find a training buddy and attend the gym together, or go to a class with the same person each week. It will make your training more effective and much more fun!
8. Get Outside
In the winter months in the UK, we struggle to get enough sunshine, and this can adversely affect both our mood and motivation. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), caused by a lack of Vitamin D, is a very real problem for many people. Getting outside for a quick walk – especially on a sunny day – can really help us. Maybe during your lunch break or by walking to the Club rather than driving. Take every opportunity that you can! Vitamin D supplements can also help.
9. Book a Challenge or Race
We know from speaking to many members that a key motivation for exercising and eating healthily is having a challenge or event booked in. Be it a 5K, a marathon, or the three peaks walking challenge, is there something that you’ve always wanted to do that you can sign up to in 2024? If you already have something booked and would like some support with a training plan then do speak to our training team – they are all experienced in preparing for fitness events. Our own charity Spinathon takes place on the 2nd March – could you challenge yourself to 3, 4 or 5 back to back 45-minute classes? Save the date and book onto a spin class now!
10. Improve your Eating Habits
Three quick tips on healthy eating from our 16-week Healthy Eating Programme”, which are both proven to bring results. Firstly, try to eat more slowly and mindfully – this will help you to stop eating when you feel satisfied. Secondly, try to improve the quality of your food intake by aiming to eat minimally processed, whole foods as much as you can. And thirdly, don’t diet! Diets don’t work in the long term and can often leave you feeling deprived and miserable! Changes in habits can! You can find a free seminar on this along with lots of other useful information on our free nutrition hub here If you want help learning to eat better, then details of our 16-week course, starting January 2024 are here
11. Try to Identify the Real Problem
Often, we try to solve our health issues, such as food cravings or weight gain, without fully identifying the underlying issues. By addressing lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep, lack of exercise or lack of protein, a corner can be turned! And if you crave certain foods, then keeping these trigger foods out of your house can work too! Out of sight, out of mind! If you want to discuss these issues with a qualified coach then we offer all members a free 20-minute consultation with our nutrition and wellness coach Ann. You can contact her by emailing [email protected].
12. Be Kind to Yourself!
We wanted to finish on a really important one; be kind to yourself! Listen to your body and if you need to rest, then that’s ok! Rest days can play an important part in getting stronger and fitter so don’t overlook them or think of it as failing. If your body needs a quieter day, go for a walk or do some stretching and then go again!
We hope you have found these tips helpful. We would love to hear yours so please do share them by sending them to us at [email protected]. Our favourites in by the end of the month will win a couple of guest passes.BACK TO BLOG