With over 15 years experience in the fitness industry, over 10,000 personal coaching sessions under his belt and the recent founder of the bespoke fitness studio, Club 51 (www.clubfiftyone.co.uk), it appears that health advise from Jon Denoris is worth its weight in gold. Here he talks to Hip and Healthy about the small changes that make a big difference

Improve your posture
By doing simple postural exercises you can project yourself with much more energy and even appear taller and more confident. Try this exercise to lengthen the muscles in the back helping you to stand tall! Stand with your back against the wall, heels, butt, upper back and head touching. Now gently push your lower back against the wall and put your hands together in front of you (keep your elbows together & palms facing you). Slowly try to touch the wall above your head returning back each time try to do this 15 to 20 times every day in January. Why it works? It lengthens the lat muscles which often get tight and short.

Don’t ban any foods
(I mean it!) Adopting too strict a regime is one of the most common reasons people are unsuccessful in managing their weight LONG TERM. Use the ‘Pareto Principle’ or 80/20 rule – that way no food can gain control over you. Research indicates the following foods may help to improve brain power; BEANS, BLUEBERRIES, BROCCOLI, OATS, ORANGES, PUMPKIN, SALMON, SOY, SPINACH, TEA, TOMATOES, TURKEY, WALNUTS, BIO-YOGHURT.

Avoid ‘on/off’ thinking
Terms such as a ‘good’ or ‘bad’ body can promote negative self-talk and feelings that are too concerned with the aesthetic element of fitness. We all want to look our best, but focusing on all the fantastic health related benefits of exercise is much healthier. A good analogy is that of a dimmer switch rather than an “on/off” one, it allows us to be healthier at various times, but recognises that we all have the occasional time where we lose it. From a trainers perspective we work with the body on its alignment, strength and cardiovascular fitness. As long as your trend is moving towards a healthier lifestyle then that’s a great positive approach!

Don’t turn the word ‘fat’ into an emotion
It’s worth pointing out that fat isn’t an emotion! You can’t ‘feel fat’ (Psychologists call this ‘learned helplessness’). You can however feel ‘angry’ or ‘sad’ because you perceive yourself to be fat. Once you recognise this, you are half-way there, as you can then begin to address the reasons why. Common reasons I hear are things such as ‘not being able to play with my kids in the park’, or ‘I feel intimidated by the gym’.

Stressed? Project an ‘energy bubble’
Imagine that you have a bubble of energy projecting out from your central point and surrounding you like a sort of science fiction force-field. Everything stressful that happens outside this bubble just bounces off and away from you, leaving you calm and still inside the bubble. So the more stressful it is outside, the calmer you are inside.

Increase your fitness with this simple walking programme
This programme is easy to follow and is based on three different types of walk done twice over the course of a week with a rest day on the seventh day…

Day One & four “Steady Pace” One hour walk, whereby at the end you should feel slightly hot, perspiring, and able to talk (but not sing!)

Day Two & five “Slow-Fast” This time go 5 minutes slow, 5 minutes fast, and repeat sequence 3 more times (for 40 minutes total)

Day Three & Six “Beat Me Back” Walk out for 15 minutes, turn round & try to beat your time back

Day Seven – Rest!

Rule of thumb – use a 1-10 scale to see how hard you are working aim to work between a 4/5 and a 7/8.