I’ve never really been a gym person, in fact since having kids, like a lot of Mamas, I find it hard to find the time to exercise at all. And to be honest, if I do have some down time I’d much rather sit on the sofa with a glass of wine and a good box set!
Now that the Small Boy has turned four, life is getting a smidge easier, he can entertain himself for short periods of time and is going to pre-school for his 15 hours a week – which has finally given me a few hours to myself!
So when Graham Whitehead approached me about undertaking some personal training with him I jumped at the chance at an opportunity to do something for myself, to try and get into a little better shape and show my kids that taking time to exercise is really good for you!
Graham’s a great personal trainer, he’s dedicated and committed, he’s easy to be around and not shouty like I expected he might be. He worked all my muscle groups in a twice weekly workout which included some cardio too. The exercises I were doing were all carefully monitored and Graham was always correcting my stance or position to make sure I was undertaking them properly in order to get maximum effect from the effort expended. Graham put together a tailored targeted lifestyle plan for me too, to help my diet and make sure I was looking after all parts of my health as well as exercising!
I learnt loads of things from the experience of having a personal trainer so I’m passing on my top five to you;
1.) Keeping a diet sheet makes a huge difference
Graham asked me to fill in a diet sheet for a week, showing everything I ate. There is nothing like recording your food and drink intake to make you think about what you’re eating! He suggested I ate half protein and half carbs in all my meals, cut out gluten and drink more water. All advice I followed and which helped hugely in helping me loose a little weight!
2.) Working your Core is massively important
As a Mama, all the growing an actual human in your tummy, delivering it out of your body and carrying it around postnatally for years obviously takes a massive toll on your body and pretty much destroys your core muscles.
The longer you leave it to repair your core the more other parts of your body start to compensate for it and that way lies trouble. A weak core can soon lead to all sorts of back problems and really weak tummy muscles. Last week’s edition of the The Times ran a front page story on the benefits of ‘Pilates over painkillers’ for helping with back pain.
I worked with Graham a lot on strengthening my core and trying to remind my brain that it’s still there and needs using more! It really helped a chronic back problem I’ve had since delivering my twins.
3.) Eating something between 2 – 5pm saves your sanity
I had been finding that at school pick up time I experienced a real dip in mood, I was tired and my energy levels were low. Just when I needed all my inner strength to get through grumpy, tired children and post school activity running around I was finding I was not in a good place mentally.
With the help of the diet sheet Graham shared with me I quickly identified that I wasn’t eating anything between 2 and 5pm. Once I changed that, and ate a healthy snack of apple with peanut butter on it or simply just a banana before I set off to collect the kids my mood lifted hugely and the school pick up is now much more bearable.
4.) Showering at a different time of the day is awesome
Usually I shower and wash and dry my hair on a morning. Once I started my PT sessions I found there was no point doing that before getting sweaty in a workout so I started to shower after a session. I can tell you there is nothing nicer than a shower at 11 o’clock in the morning as I was all.by.myself which never happens when you live in a house with four other people on a morning. It was sheer bliss!
5.) Role modelling the benefits of exercise to your kids is massive
We all put our kids first in everything we do, and running them around to their after school activities will always take priority over finding time to exercise ourselves. But sometimes it is important to prioritise yourself for their own good. Showing your kids that leading a healthy lifestyle is something you really value. That means that the example you set stays with them and, in turn, they come to value the importance of being healthy and looking after themselves too.
I really enjoyed the experience and learnt loads from it. I lost over five pounds in weight in three weeks and learnt that finding time for your health is hugely important as there really is nothing more important than your health!
Graham Whitehead works out of the White Hart Hotel gym and the facilities are great, he also offers training at your home or elsewhere. His prices are competitive and he designs programmes to suit individuals needs and budgets. You can call him on 07595 978335 or check out his website to find out more www.gwhealth.co.uk