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6 Top Tips Unlocked That Healthy People Use To Stay Active, Mobile and Motivated!


It’s the end of 2018, the presents are about to be opened, turkey eaten and mulled wine is a plenty…

With motivation shrinking and tummies growing, it’s that time of year when we all start thinking about how things will change in 2019.  For a lot of people this involves promises of new fitness regimes, improving one's general health and well-being.

As a Physio these are things I should definitely be promoting – but as an actual human being who is running her business and the mummy of a pre-schooler these are things that I have also struggled with in the past, so I know how challenging they can be to tackle.

SO to make it easier I have come up with my top tips to starting at a gym/getting back to the gym/ losing weight/ GENERALLY becoming a healthier person in 2019 and doing it all injury free;

1. Exercise Classes

Starting at a gym or trying to get back into a work out routine can be intimidating, trying to fit it in around an already busy lifestyle as well as planning what to do in each session.

Booking a class means you know exactly when you are going to get your “me” time in and how long you’ll be there, you also don’t need to worry about coming up with a workout plan and you know that there will be an instructor in the class telling you what to do and they will also be there to correct your form/ give you pointers on how to do each exercise correctly so you don’t get hurt.

Classes/exercise groups can also be a really good way to meet other people with similar goals to you – this is a great motivator and makes getting fitter a lot more fun and a lot less daunting.

2. Ask For Help!! 

If classes aren’t your thing and you’d rather go out into the gym and do your own thing, the best way to avoid injury is to ask someone for help when you’re unsure.

When you sign up for a gym membership, you will probably be offered an induction session – take full advantage of this as they will show you what’s in the gym and how to use it. In most gyms there will be personal trainers on the gym floor who are usually more than happy to help, so ask for some exercise ideas or ask if they can check your form (this is literally their job) so you are at less risk of doing it wrong and hurting yourself.

This is especially important if you are new to lifting weights or using gym equipment – personal trainers will be able to advise you about what weights you should be lifting as well as how to lift them – If it’s your first attempt you will not be able to lift the same weights as the big hulk – like man standing next to you, he is big and strong and you are not… yet!

Side note; if you are using weights please mind fingers and toes when putting them down.

3. New Year New Diet!

DIETS AREN’T always cracked up to what they say they are, most of them don’t work.

Now I’m not a dietician or a nutritionist so if you are struggling with your relationship with food I would advise seeing someone who knows a lot more than I do. But these are my basic tips from personal experience for a healthy relationship with food. First of all – stop cutting things out. Carbs aren’t bad, we need them. Fats aren’t bad, we need them. ‘Cheat days’ aren’t bad, we need them. To lose weight (fat mainly) you need to be in a calorific deficit which essentially means you need to eat less calories than you are burning. THIS DOES NOT MEAN YOU HAVE TO EAT LETTUCE FOR LUNCH.

If you like your food like I do, you don’t have to give it up, just make a few more conscious choices with what you are eating – so resist that fry up for breakfast and get out of the habit that a chocolate bar OR crisps is acceptable as lunch and add in some more exercise – park further away from the office and walk, do squats while you’re watching your favourite TV programme – a balanced lifestyle is not and should not be scary or seem like a chore.

It might not be clear how this food section (a very passionate section) ties in with ‘injury free’ exercise, but in a nutshell if you are not giving your body the nutrients it needs, from a full and balanced diet, your muscles and bones are not equipped for growth or repair – therefore putting you at greater risk of injury.

4) Leave Guilt In 2018 

It is very easy to obsess over weight body image and exercise, but it’s not healthy – we’ve all been there, stepping on the scales every day, trying on those size-too-small jeans that we WILL fit into by summer and that’s fine, having goals is good but there is actually more to life than how big your bum looks in that – Let’s be honest, none of us are challenging Kim K for that front page spread.

I aim to do 1 hour of exercise 3 times a week, for me that is a combination of cycling, going to the gym and a Pilates class. I switch between cardio, strength workouts and core strengthening to keep myself interested. Finding 1 hour 3 times a week is doable, finding 1 hour 5 times a week is more tricky, so set yourself reasonable targets so you don’t disappoint yourself.

And remember even walking up those stairs instead of taking the lift or walking to the local shops instead of jumping in the car, all count towards your exercise tally for the week.

5. It’s All About Planning 

Goals are so much easier to reach if you know from the start how you are

going to reach them.

Let’s face it we all spend hours planning our summer get away. You know you search for which flight to take, who shall we fly with and from what airport, shall we go self-catering or full board, hotel or villa?

The questions you ask yourself and the planning that goes in to a holiday is full on so why don’t we do that with planning good health for ourselves?

At the beginning of each week/month/year make a plan which includes everything you know that’s coming up including work/ hobbies/ events/ appointments. That way you know what time you have free that week to book a class or spend an hour in the gym or go for a 30 minute run. If you have committed a gym session to the diary you are also probably less likely to sack it off for a box – set – binge.

Alongside these plans, make health goals for each week/month/year – small ones or big ones but keep them realistic. Achieving targets and goals is a fantastic way to keep yourself motivated, if it helps, come up with incentives and reward yourself when you reach those targets (e.g. 4 workouts a week = those new boots you’ve had your eye on).

If you intend to go to the gym, make a plan for what you’re going to do that day. The most valuable thing I learnt in 2018 is that it’s not weird to take a note book to the gym with your work out written on it – in fact it’s what most people do.

6. Listen To Your Body!

For the love of your Physio’s sanity please listen to what your body is telling you.

I would like 2019 to be the year that not a single client comes in and tells us they’ve had a ‘niggle’ for months but just carried on life despite it not going away. Your body literally is telling you that something isn’t quite right and you told it to "just be quiet for a while, we’ll sort it later."

The long and short of it is – pain/aching/niggles is your body trying to tell you it’s not coping that well with the stress it’s under, which means it’s time for you to ring the Physio and fix it before it breaks.

Hopefully this has been helpful to you, and you now feel ready to tackle the world of workouts like an absolute pro – safely and effectively. It is also important to remember that the Christmas festivities last, on average, two weeks. That’s 3.8% of the whole year. Do not stress about your fitness goals now, you have another 50 weeks to work on those, mince pies are here for a good time not a long time.

If you are still worried or nervous about trying an exercise class why don't you download our completely FREE report on Top Tips To Look For In a Pilates Class. Just click here to get your FREE copy. 

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– by lead Physiotherapist Wendy McCloud



Wendy founded WDC in September 2006. She has worked in both the public and private sectors. Within the NHS, Wendy worked as a Senior Musculoskeletal Physiotherapist and an Extended Scope Practitioner Physiotherapist as part of an Orthopaedic Consultant’s team specialising in Shoulder Pain. Wendy has treated royalty for Shoulder pain through referrals from her close links with a top Orthopaedic Shoulder Surgeon. More recently, Wendy has been the sole choice physiotherapist for all Essex-based referrals from London Shoulder surgeon Mr Matthew Sala. Wendy also worked within the national rugby union as the head physiotherapist for Southend Rugby Football Club. She led the medical service at the club for 11 years, working with players who achieved county honours and representative honours for various countries such as England, Samoa, Australia, and New Zealand.
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