Keeping up your Fitness Motivation

fitness motivation

Keeping up your fitness motivation

Last week I went to New York for a few days with some lovely friends of mine.  It was the first time I’d been to the USA and I am happy to say that it lived up to all of my expectations.  It was hectic, exhausting, amazing, exhilarating, exciting.  I think I went through every emotion during my visit to this amazing city.  I’m already thinking of booking another trip there, this time with my other half, and know what places I would like to visit next time.  Back in the UK, back to reality I got a dose of the post holiday blues.  Don’t we all?

In preparation for my New York trip. I’d upped my fitness training.  Reasons?  Well I wanted to wear a pair of shorts with confidence and look passable on any photos!  Very shallow of me I know but I think most people like to look good for their holidays; it was after all what originally sparked off my desire to lose weight and reassess my diet a couple of years ago (read my post How re-thinking my diet led to sustainable weight loss).

So back home and the thought of getting back to the Gym or out for a run was the furthest from my mind!  It was tempting to say I’ll start next week but I’ve done that before and it’s made me realise how easy it is to lose your motivation and get out of a routine.  So I allowed myself a couple of days off; jet lag and getting kids sorted for back to school, getting myself sorted for back to work. So no excuses, alarm set time to get back into it.

Keeping up fitness motivation can be hard at times; set realistic goals and reward yourself along the way! Click To Tweet

It’s hard to keep motivated to keep fit.  It’s hard if perhaps you are at that stage where you are seeing no results, you are maybe trying to maintain your weight or like me you feel you’ve achieved your goals so what next?  So what can you do to keep motivated?

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Workout Music Playlist June 2016

Workout Music

Workout Music Playlist for June 2016

It’s the start of summer.  So a new month means a workout music for me to train to.  Loving the light mornings.  This time last year I tended to train early evening because I didn’t think I had time for a trip to the Gym first thing in the morning.  Now is a different story.  I get my gym kit ready the night before, get my post gym smoothie whizzed up and put in the fridge, and set the alarm for 6am.  Some days I will run especially if the sun is shining but I mainly do use this time of the day to get a training session in at the Gym.

Updating my workout playlist can help to boost my motivation when I am training. New month new playlist! Click To Tweet

So here are my 15 Workout Music Songs for June 2016 in a handy Infographic.


Workout Music


Workout Music Playlist June 2016 List

Busy Earning by Jungle

Magnetised by Tom Odell

All Four Walls by Gorgon City ft. Nyla & Fuse

Hotter Than Hell by Dua Lipa

Hair ft. Sean Paul by Little Mix

Like I Would by Zayn

Just like Fire by Pink

Raging ft. Kodaline by Kygo

Itch by Nothing But Thieves

Follow You by Bring Me The Horizon

Blind Faith ft. Liam Bailey by Chase & Status

Sorry by Justin Beiber

Wherever I Go by One Republic

Talking Bodies by Tove Lo (Clean Edit)

Salt Skin by Ellie Goulding


All my workout playlist songs are available on iTunes and other online music stores such as Amazon.

Have you updated your Workout Music recently?  What songs do you love listening to when you are training?



Post Gym Smoothie Recipe

Smoothie Recipe

Post Gym Recovery Smoothie Recipe

I train most mornings. I’m not a breakfast person, never have been although I have tried, but I do know that fuelling my body post workout will aid recovery and repair the muscles I’ve worked. For me this Post Gym Smoothie Recipe is not only tasty but is the right balance of protein and carbs. I do use a Nutribullet but I’m sure this works just as well in other blenders. I tend to make it the night before and keep in the fridge. Adjust the oats and add more Almond milk if you find it too thick.

This is one of my favourite smoothies. Its’ full of healthy ingredients and fills me up till lunchtime.

Post Gym Recovery Smoothie Recipe

One Nutribullet tall cup (approx. 590ml)
One big handful of Oats
2 Tbsps. of Greek Yoghurt
One big handful of frozen Blueberries
One banana
Top up with unsweetened Almond Milk (fill to max line)
Whizz up till Smooth

Drink, enjoy!

Post Gym Smoothie Recipe helps me to refuel and recover. Oats, Almond Milk, Banana, Blueberries, Greek Yoghurt. Click To Tweet


Do you have a post gym smoothie recipe that you use to refuel after a training session?  What ingredients make a good post gym Smoothie for you?

Workout Playlist May 2016

Workout Playlist May 2016

Putting together a new workout playlist is always a great way to perhaps give you an extra bit of motivation at the gym.  I try to change my workout music monthly and hit the shuffle button so it’s hard to second guess what’s coming up next.  I generally like my music to be upbeat but I occasionally chuck a slow one in there just because I like that particular track.

I’ve put together an Infographic of my May 2016 workout music playlist, in case you are in need of a little inspiration.

All my workout playlist songs are available on iTunes and other online music stores such as Amazon.

Putting together a new workout playlist can help give you a little extra motivation when you hit the gym. Click To Tweet

 Workout Music

What new songs have you added this month to your Workout Music Playlist?

My Strongwoman Workout #1


My Strongwoman Workout #1

My fitness goals are constantly changing.  Not because I’m extremely indecisive but once I achieve a goal or discover a different fitness need I tend to revaluate where I want to be in terms of my training.  This workout reflects my goal of building up my strength.

I love the idea of being strong.  Nothing gives me more of a buzz than being able to deadlift more than my own bodyweight or have the stamina to do 3 rounds of Sled Drags without completely keeling over!

It's good to mix up your workout; adding in different workouts can help boost your fitness and increase motivation! Click To Tweet

Below is a recent Strongwoman workout; I love this and was pleased with how much I pushed myself.  I’ve recently pulled one of my hip flexors so running has been off the cards so doing this workout gave me the post-workout buzz I needed.

I am not a qualified Personal Trainer or medical professional.
All the views expressed are my own.  I am an experienced runner and train regularly at the Gym.  All my fitness programmes and training have been designed to suit my own fitness capabilities and goals but happy to share if you are looking for inspiration and motivation.
Before embarking on any form of exercise or fitness programme or if you have any medical issues or injuries please ensure you seek professional medical advice.

My Top Ten Gym Bag Essentials

Gym Bag

My Top Ten Gym Bag Essentials

In previous blogs I’ve advocated that it’s all about thinking ahead, being prepared and having a plan when it comes to incorporating training into your lifestyle. Along with always having my workout outfit always sorted the night before I may sure that my Gym bag is packed and has the essentials I need to make the most out of my Gym workout.

Not sure what to take? Have a look at my Top Ten Gym Bag Essentials


Water Bottle – Fill up at the gym or at home and leave in the fridge overnight. Plus after a workout you need to re-hydrate.water bottle

Deodorant – Quick squirt before and after. You don’t want to be referred to as the ‘One’ by others in the gym and let’s face it we can all get a bit pongy!

Hairbrush – Keep a spare one in your bag, I use a compact one that you can fold.Hairbrush

Hair ties/ Bobbles – nothing worse than when you forget to bring one? I tend to tie them around the handle of the spare hairbrush that I keep in my Gym Bag.

Make-up/face Wipes – I don’t always have time to shower at the gym and as I live close-by I tend to get back home and shower before going to work or after work! I use wipes for a quick freshen up post workout.  If I’ve dashed straight from work they are essential in taking off my mascara before it has the chance to stream down my face mid-workout!  Not a great look!

Gym Towel – You will need one to wipe down equipment so make sure it’s small, compact and lightweight.

Headphones – I also keep an mp3 player in my bag which I charge weekly and update the play lists (when I remember). But if you don’t have a spare mp3 player/iPod to keep in your gym bag having headphones means you can always plug them into your phone.headphones

Spare Clothes – knickers, socks, maybe a spare t-shirt. I don’t pack much as generally I dash home straight after.  But nothing worse than having a sweaty bum post work-out.  Yuk!

Combination Padlock/Key – Most Gyms will have lockers, I bought an inexpensive lock specifically for the lockers at my local gym so no need to take it out of my gym bag unless I’m actually there working out!

Healthy Post Workout Snack – for a post workout snack make sure its protein rich, healthy but with an element of carbs; you need to re-fuel and repair those muscles. My favourite snacks to pack in my gym bag include protein bars, tubs of mixed nuts and dried fruit, a protein shake or smoothie, humus and carrot sticks, apples and peanut butter.healthy post workout snack

Of course the list could go on, especially if you need to go straight to work after a gym session. I will put that in a separate blog post.

My gym bag essentials help ensure I'm prepared so there's no excuse for not working out! Click To Tweet

So what are your Gym bag essentials? The above are essentials that make my Gym visits a much better experience, what are yours?

How to establish a morning Gym routine – Infographic


How to establish a morning Gym routine – check out the tips and tricks in this Infographic

There are many benefits to exercising first thing it the morning; you feel more energised for the rest of the day, it kick-starts your metabolism, you get more out of your day plus many more benefits.

I used to workout only in the evening.  I thought I didn’t have time to incorporate it anywhere else in the day.  More often than not I found that my workouts in the evenings tended to be more rushed and I had to deal with everyone else that simply didn’t have the time to workout in the morning.  I felt I didn’t have the focus especially if others were queuing for the same piece of equipment; not a great experience.  That’s if I made it to the Gym, if I didn’t then I’d have the guilt of not going which for me made it hard to go back if I missed a few sessions.

It wasn’t until I had a couple of busy weeks where it was impossible to get to the gym in the evenings that I gave switching to a morning workout a go.  It was hard getting up those first few mornings but once I got into the swing of things I began to enjoy it.  I felt I could focus more, there were no queues for certain equipment, I had no guilt trip about not making it in the evenings but most of all I got a huge sense of achievement for having worked out first thing; it give me more motivation to find the time to exercise in the morning.

Establishing a morning gym routine takes time and lots of self-disciple but trust me it's worth it! Click To Tweet

I’ve put together this Infographic for those who are thinking of switching to early morning gym visits and perhaps feel there are too many barriers in their way to doing this.  These are the tricks I used to get me out of bed, into my gym gear and out if the door!  It won’t happen overnight but once it becomes part of your routine you’ll wonder why you never worked out in the morning before.


Good luck!

Gym Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

Gym Etiquette

Gym Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts

In addition to my recent post about Gym Etiquette, I’ve put together this useful Infographic.  I warn you this is my first attempt at designing an Infographic so it’s probably far from perfect!  However, I’ve enjoyed the whole creative process involved and hope it proves informative.

If you are new to the gym you may not realise there is an unwritten etiquette of do's and don'ts! Click To Tweet

These Gym Etiquette Do’s and Don’ts have been put together to help the newbie Gym member to not make the mistake of falling foul of the unwritten rules that no one tells you when you sign-up.  Avoid being labelled as ‘the one’ who, for example, doesn’t wipe down equipment once finished with or rocks up late for a class!  Most of the time it’s really just about being polite and considerate to the others around you but there are some rules you may not be aware of.  Read this Infographic to make sure you are aware of all the unwritten rules!


Are there are unwritten rules at your gym that you have fallen foul of?

I’d love to hear from you!

Gym Etiquette – 10 Do’s and Don’ts for the Newbie

Gym Etiquette

Gym Etiquette – 10 Do’s and Don’ts for the Newbie

The Gym is a public place; it can get busy and crowded. Like any public space we tend generally tend to all get along nicely if we follow the unwritten, unspoken etiquette of being thoughtful and considerate of others around us. However, no matter how thoughtful of others you are when it comes to the Gym you can fall foul of the hidden rules and I inadvertently end up annoying fellow members. So to avoid getting shouted at, yes I’ve seen it happen, or perhaps unknowingly get a reputation for being someone that doesn’t follow the rules I’ve put a list together of Gym Etiquette do’s and don’ts.

New to the Gym? Avoid falling foul of the unspoken Gym rules that they don't tell you about at the induction! Click To Tweet

Do put weights back.Gym Etiquette It’s frustrating when you are hunting around for the 10kg dumbbells or can’t find the 10kg plates you need. If you think that then others will so always put equipment back in the right place when you finish with it; plus there’s always the risk of others falling over it! If you can lift it you can put it back!

Don’t hog equipment. I’m always very mindful about how busy the gym is before I start my program. For example, if I’m working on my legs and know I need to complete a lot of sets OR I need to superset in order to burn fat I know I will be spending a lot of time on ‘high’ demand equipment so I’ll either chose a time when it’s quieter or I’ll take turn with other users.   That goes for hoarding dumbbells that you are not using! Sorry that’s a real pet hate of mine!

Gym EtiquetteDo wipe down the equipment after you’ve used it! Nobody likes lying in someone else’s sweaty patches so bring a towel and wipe down the equipment once you are done with it! You can buy gym towels that are slightly smaller and lighter than a hand towel, keep one in your gym bag but remember to take it out and wash it once in a while! Gyms can be unhygienic places don’t add to it!

Don’t space invade! Nothing more frustrating when you are in the middle of a set and some walks across your path, hovers virtually on top of you when you are attempting a Deadlift or jumps on the treadmill right next to you when there are sever al others free. Be mindful of others and respect other people’s personal space, hopefully they will do the same for you!

Do switch your mobile off or better still leave it in your locker. Gym EtiquetteUnless you need the to use the timer take advantage of being phone free while you workout. Not only this but no one else wants to hear your phone going off or your phone conversations.

Don’t overlook the deodorant! Pay attention to your own personal hygiene. Sounds daft? Firstly, apply deodorant before and after your workout nobody likes to catch a quiff of someone’s stale body odour. Wear fresh gym clothing. It’s great to work up a sweat but chucking your sweaty clothes back in your gym bag until your next gym visit it a no no! Invest in more than one set of gym clothes so you will always have a clean set ready for your next visit. Do I need to say more on this point?

Don’t arrive late for your fitness class and don’t talk all the way through it. It’s impolite to your instructor and distracting for others. Arrive on time and you’ll get a good spot and concentrate on our instructor and you’ll get more out of the class.

Do use the Gym locker to store your bag, hoodie or jacket. Gym EtiquetteNo one wants to trip over your bag or jacket. If there’s no locker available leave them in your car. Just bring in with you the essentials; water, keys, phone and workout program, if you have one.

Don’t stare. Concentrate on what your workout and focus what you need to do. Staring at other people is off putting and downright creepy!

Do ask for advice or help. Gym EtiquetteUnsure how to use a piece of equipment? ASK! Ideally get a member of staff to show you how to use it or you can ask a fellow gym member but be conscious they may not use it correctly themselves! Failing that look it up on YouTube! You’ll have a better time when you are training if you know how to use the machines correctly.

Of course there are more I could mention when it comes to Gym Etiquette but maybe I’ll save those for another post. Adhering to the above will give you and other members a better workout experience. Getting shouted out by a fellow gym user for hogging weights or leaving sweaty patches on a bench can knock your confidence; it may even put you off going back!

So what Gym Etiquette do’s and don’ts did you discover when you first joined a Gym? I’d love to hear from you!

My tips to keep you motivated to go to the Gym


My tips to keep you motivated to go to the Gym

It’s the start of a new year and this is a popular time for people deciding to join a gym. Some of you have decided to do something about your fitness, tone-up or maybe lose some weight and what better place to do this than your local gym.  I applaud anyone that wants to lead a healthier more active life and what better way to start then joining a gym; you’ve made a conscious decision to do something about it.the gym

So you’ve had your induction at the gym, probably been a few times, maybe had a programme written for you. Motivation can start to diminish for all sorts of reasons especially as it can take a few weeks for gym visits becoming a habit and part of your normal weekly routine.  You might not be seeing any results, work is busy so you are struggling to get there, the weather is awful and your warm cosy living room is more appealing than an exercise class or a cardio session on the treadmill.  To be honest I go through times when my motivation for going to the gym starts to diminish and visits in the week start to be less frequent but there are various tips and tactics I use to get back into it and I’ve listed them in this blog.

Joining the gym is a big step, keeping motivated to go can be the real challenge! Click To Tweet

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