Commit to fit

One in three of us says we aim to start fighting the flab and get healthier in 2021. But can we keep it going?

New Year resolutions are made to be broken – but sometimes it really does pay to work hard to stick with the promises you made yourself on 1 January. None more so than when it comes to improving your health.

After that initial burst of enthusiasm starts to wane, you’ll need mental toughness and a determination to achieve the goals you set yourself. Often the problem is that we make exercising too complicated and time-consuming – and therefore quickly demotivating.

It doesn’t have to be that way. It is possible to improve your fitness in a fun and fuss-free way which doesn’t entail hours of sweat and toil at the local gym. (If you’re into the gym that’s great, by the way.) We’ve put together a quick work-out to kick start your day whether at home or in the gym.

You’ll get rid of some of those excess calories at the same time too. Here’s some basic exercises to wake up the mind and body as soon as you get out of bed…

WARM UP: Don’t forget to warm up. Make sure to get your heart rate pumping and your muscles warm or you’re just asking for injury. A few minutes of gentle stretching will make a world of difference.

JUMPING JACKS: A great way to ease yourself in gently, taking your body from asleep to awake. Make sure you clap at the top and slap your thighs at the bottom to ensure a full range of motion. Try and do 50.

T-ROTATIONS: While in the press-up position reach under your body as far as you can then up to the sky looking at the hand at the top. This warms up the shoulder, engages the core and stretches the chest. Do 40 (20 per arm).

SPRINTERS: Staying in the press-up position, bring one knee to the opposite elbow then change, building up the pace to a ‘sprint’, twisting at your hips and doing your best to touch each elbow. Go for 30 (both knees equals one rep).

PRESS-UPS: Keep your core engaged the whole time, make sure your hands are not in front of the shoulders. Aim for full range of motion, your chest touching the floor and arms fully extended at the top. See if you can do 20.

BURPEES: Bring your knees to your elbows and bum to your heels before driving up to the sky. Straightening your body in the air, as soon as your feet touch the ground, allow gravity to pull your bum back to your heels then shoot your feet back out engaging your core while landing in a strong press-up position. Go for 10.

KEEP IT GOING: It’s important to complete all exercises in quick succession to start your day right. If you do this programme three times a week for four weeks you will start to feel and see the real benefits. Try timing how long it takes to complete so you can measure your progress.