Fit for summer!

Do you still fit into last year’s swimwear? Thought not! Time to get working on shaping up that bod…

Apparently, the weather is showing signs of improving, which means it’s almost time to get out the summer collection… and almost time to get into last year’s swimsuit. So, come on Birmingham, let’s get ready together and step up the exercise regime. Need some motivation?  Here’s some top tips:

Set aside time for exercise Develop a structure and pattern to your exercise. Build it into your daily routine by adding into your diary or blocking it out in your work calendar as you would a work meeting.

Focus on your goals ­– Set small, short-term achievable goals that you can meet, such as ‘I’ll do three, one-hour sessions this week’ or ‘I’ll use the heavier weights for the next session’.

Mix it up! There are lots of different classes out there at lots of different gyms. Even though instructors will vary their classes, it’s always good to try different instructors for new exercises and a fresh face!

Eat wellIt’s really important to look after your nutrition – maintain regular mealtimes and try to avoid snacking, especially in the evening.

Sleep well Make sure you wake up reasonably early and go to bed reasonably early. Sleep is important for our mental well-being.

Have fun! Be kind to yourself. If your body needs a rest from its new exercise routine, take it. Fitness should be fun.



Struggling to find the time to get to a gym? Here are five easy exercises which you can do at home in only five minutes. Do each exercise for up to one minute then as you improve turn this into a circuit by repeating the sequence twice, then three times so it takes 15 minutes. 

1 Stair climbing

Run up and down stairs at a fast pace non-stop for one minute – it will boost your heart rate and as it’s weight-bearing it will load your bones too. If you find it easy then try carrying something heavy (evenly loaded carrier bags full of books will do fine). 

2 Squats

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart (or slightly wider) and push your hips back as if you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight into your heels then push up to bring yourself back to the starting position. Work up gradually to squat for 30 seconds then build it up to one minute. 

3 Ropeless skipping

Imagine holding a skipping rope then rotate the ‘rope’ forward as if you’re skipping. Add in the footwork, you can hop from one foot to the other or jump lifting both feet simultaneously. Remember to keep the arms turning – you can alternate circling forward and backward – and keep going for up to one minute. 

4 The plank

On the floor, get into a push-up position then bend your elbows at 90-degrees and rest your weight on your forearms. Your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders and your body should form a straight line from your head to your feet. Hold the position for as long as you can up to one minute (and remember not to hold your breath). 

5 Lateral raises

Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms by your sides holding weights in each hand. You could start with bottles of water or tins of soup then build up to using hand weights. Raise your arms up and out to the side to shoulder level then slowly lower them back down and repeat. Don’t be tempted to let your arms drop suddenly, try to resist gravity. Keep going for up to one minute.