words by Lara Hassan

Here we go again – getting kids ready for school and catching up with work after a prolonged summer of indulgence and life in slow motion. It is sometimes tough to get back into your health and fitness routine, so here we bring you a few positive changes you can apply to your day easily to make the transition back into workout mode as smooth as possible…

Maintaining a positive attitude is key. Try not to be harsh on yourself  as you will only make it harder. So, take the view that you have had a wonderfully fun few months and now you are just as excited to adopt your healthy lifestyle once more!

Hot Water & Lemon
Start with a gentle detox in the morning by adding a cup of warm water with lemon as soon as you wake up. The benefits are many, in addition to cleansing, it helps boost the immune system and improves the metabolism.

Swap ‘Bad’ Carbs for Good Carbs
Many people believe that avoiding carbs is the key to achieving successful weight loss, however carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet, they provide our bodies with fuel it needs for physical activity and proper organ function. All carbs are broken down in to sugars and released into the blood stream. When we consume these easily digested, ‘fast-releasing’ carbohydrates, sugar is rapidly released into the blood stream providing a burst of energy. This sudden sugar rush is too much for the body to make use of so any excess is then turned into fat, leaving you with a sudden drop in blood sugar. This will leave you feeling tired, hungry and craving more sugar and you don’t want that to happen. Swap the fast release carbohydrates such as sugar, cakes, muffins, donuts, high sugar cereals and white bread/rice/pasta to slow release or complex carbohydrates. These include foods such as wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread/pasta, brown rice, fruits and vegetables. These  carbs’ are much more complex in structure than simple sugars and take longer to be digested and absorbed. They provide you with a slow- release and more sustained source of energy. This will help you feel fuller for longer, provide you with consistent energy and help prevent chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. More on carbs here!

Cut Down on Alcohol 
I am afraid it is time to say goodbye to that bottle of Rosé you’ve been keeping nicely chilled for balmy summer evenings. Alcohol is packed with sugar, which can be fattening and ageing (not to mention when hungover, exercise gets pushed even further away). Time to keep alcohol limited to the weekends and even then – drink responsibly.

Find A Good Gym Deal
Many gyms have offers at that time of the year, check out what offers or deals work for you and your schedule and seek advice. Try joining at the end of the month. Each sales rep will be tasked with a getting in a certain amount of new members per month. If they are short on their goal, they will be much more likely to make a deal with you towards the end of the month than at the beginning when time is on their side.

Make the Most of your Induction Session
Ask questions. Set  yourself some goals and use that hour to get as much information as you need to form and exercise plan.

Get a Trainer
This really is one of the best ways to approach exercise. The trainer will always know more than you do! You will achieve results much faster when you know what your body needs.The cost is totally worth it, it could actually save you money and time in the end. I have so many clients who join gyms and never make it. Throwing yourself back into a heavy workout after not doing anything for a month (or two!) you need a bit of guidance on what and how to achieve your fitness goals. This is when having a trainer is a saviour. The trainer gives you an estimate of how long it will take your body to achieve the results you want and will also advice you on what to eat. Make it easier on yourself, let someone guide you.