Losing weight is one of the most common goals people have when they embark on a fitness regime. The good news is that if you’ve been inactive for a while you’ll find that at first almost any kind of exercise will help towards that goal.
In time, you may find that weight loss slows even if you keep working out regularly. That’s completely natural – it may well be that you’ve hit a healthy weight and you can just carry on exercising to keep trim. Or, you may have added muscle so even if your weight isn’t dropping you’re still getting fitter and healthier.
However, if you’re in the situation where your weight loss has plateaued but you still want the scales to shift to the left, then give this HIIT workout from Kira Mahal, trainer at personal training company MotivatePT, a whirl.
“Exercises that involve cardio and high-intensity reps are key to losing the stubborn weight that never seems to go away,” says Mahal. “All these exercises can be performed at home without any weights or machines, and it takes less than an hour to complete.”
Sets 4 Time 30sec Rest 20sec
“Health by stealth.” That’s how founder Alex Stanley describes the aim of Onigo, an outdoor escape room game that launched in January. By getting people outside for a walk or jog while solving clues with their friends, Onigo aims to boost both your physical and mental health.
We went to London’s Hyde Park and tried Onigo’s “The Break Out” game, which involved covering around 3.5km on foot and solving a series of clues to gain the equipment needed to escape a virtual prison. Naturally, your character has been imprisoned unjustly – Onigo isn’t about getting rightly convicted felons off the hook.
To complete the game you and your team have to solve all the clues in 60 minutes, which means a brisk walking pace is required most of the time even if you’re solving the puzzles rapidly. You can skip a puzzle that’s stumped you, but that will cost ten precious minutes, meaning you’ll need to run to the next location, which of course will only boost the physical health benefits of the game.
Onigo currently runs two different games in Hyde Park and Battersea Park in London, with plans to expand to other...
Your abs get a decent workout every time you squat, lift or press a weight because their key roles include stabilising your torso and transferring power between your upper and lower body. But only ever doing indirect abs training via the big lifts won’t get you a sculpted six-pack. For that, you need to hit your abs directly.
“Fully engaging your abs when doing the workouts ahead is really important to getting the most benefit from the sessions,” says Men’s Fitness cover model Alex Crockford (Instagram: @AlexCrockford). “I think about ‘sucking in’ my abs before and during the set, and breathing out on the concentric contraction, which can also help with a mind to muscle connection.”
And where do most people go wrong in their pursuit of washboard abs? “They keep doing the same exercises, and this lack of variety and progression means they make no progress,” he says. “I also see a lot of people rushing through the exercises without effective technique. Focus on great form and really engaging the muscles, and you’ll get the results you want faster.”!--digiteka-placeholder--
To help change up your abs training, Crockford...
As those who ran the London Marathon in April will testify, the glorious summer that the UK is currently enjoying stops being a cause for celebration the moment you line up to complete an epic endurance event.
Although the weather is meant to cool slightly in the build-up to RideLondon, it’s still set to be a scorcher and since cycling 100 miles takes a bit of time, participants in the event are going to be out in the sun for a long while.
That means some careful planning is required to ensure the heat doesn’t ruin your race. To help you plan out the big day in the most sun-savvy manner possible, we spoke to seasoned cyclist and physiotherapist at Pure Sports Medicine Bryan McCullough.
How should you adjust your race-day nutrition to help cope with the heat?
Nutrition and hydration are vital so you don’t end up “bonking” – running out of energy – or becoming dehydrated, the effects of which can range from affecting performance to being life-threatening.!--digiteka-placeholder--
Ideally you would have a good breakfast two to three hours before your allocated start time. The best options are...
Do you have a favourite healthy food product or drink you’d love to tell everyone about? Now’s your chance! Health & Fitness magazine and Coach are pleased to open the voting for the Healthy Food & Drink Awards 2019 today!
The awards will recognise the very best food and drink products that help keep British women healthy, from cereal bars and savoury snacks to refreshing thirst-quenchers and restorative herbal teas. The winners of the Healthy Food & Drink Awards will be announced in the March 2019 issue of Health & Fitness and right here on Coach.
There are eight categories in all, with four choices per category. You don’t have to vote in every category, so you’ll be done in a couple of minutes tops – unless like us you deliberate over best snack bar by taste testing each delicious snack multiple times.
Once you’ve submitted your choices you’ll have the chance to enter your email for a chance to win a £100 Amazon voucher. Voting closes on 15th November 2018, and the lucky winner will be notified by 22nd November.
Click here to start voting
People looking to track their activity with an app have an almost overwhelming amount of choice, with excellent free options available to record every possible type of exercise, and runners and cyclists especially well catered for. All of which means it takes an offering that hits the absolute centre of the sweet spot to convince anyone to part with their hard-earned. And that’s the spot activity tracking app Strava has aimed for by slicing and dicing its previous premium package and offering the pieces under the Strava Summit banner. You can still get all of Strava’s premium features through the full Summit membership, but if only a couple of features are of value to you, you might find that you can sign up for a cheaper pack with just the ones you want.
The new packs are called Training, Analysis and Safety. As you’d expect, the Training pack is aimed at people training to achieve a goal, such as completing a race in a particular time. The pack delivers training plans and in-depth pace analysis of their races, among other features designed to get people in shape to hit their target.
The Fitbit Ace is built on a simple idea: give kids a reason to get off their behinds and on their feet with an affordable and child-friendly tracker.
The Ace is certainly more child-friendly than a regular Fitbit, restricting the data they see and giving parents control over the account. At £80, it’s Fitbit’s second most affordable tracker behind the Zip and the same price as Garmin’s tracker for children, the Vivofit Jr.
But to find out if the Ace was compelling enough to command the attention of kids for the long haul, I got my hands on a pair of Aces – one for my 11-year-old girl, one for my video-game-addicted 13-year-old boy. Rather than rush to a verdict within a week, I waited until the first flush of new gadget excitement faded to see if the Ace’s appeal would diminish over five weeks.
Fitbit Ace: The Basics
The Ace is a very basic device. There’s no heart rate monitor, no GPS, no colour screen and no apps. Nor are there text and calendar alerts from a synced smartphone, and Fitbit withholds some adult-appropriate data like the potentially dubious calories burned. These are all sensible...
The Jabra Elite Active 65t’s cousins, the Jabra Elite Sport truly wireless headphones, really are wonders of modern technology, tracking your heart rate and activity, estimating your VO2 max and coaching you throughout workouts, all while still, you know, playing music.
When I tested the Elite Sport I was impressed by all the tech crammed in, but couldn’t help wondering if most would find some of the features a bit redundant. That’s a shame because the headphones themselves were excellent at the basics, with a secure fit, good sound quality and a decent battery life, but having to pay £200-plus for the accompanying extra features you might never use was a question mark against them. If you could pay less and have a set of Jabra headphones with all the basics ticked but none of the advanced extras, what would that look like?
The answer is that it would look like the Jabra Elite Active 65t. These truly wireless buds take plenty of cues from the Elite Sport, but there’s no heart rate monitor and hence no VO2 max estimates either. They’re still more advanced than most headphones, with an activity...
As bang-for-your-buck workouts go, this 25-minute blast from Melissa Weldon, head trainer at new boutique gym Sweat It, is one of the best we’ve seen. You get a solid warm-up, a round of compound exercises that test the strength of your whole body and a ten-minute stint on the treadmill that will be sure to leave you gasping for air. And all that in less than 30 minutes, leaving you half of your one-hour lunch break to recover!
This is just a taster of the classes on offer at Sweat It, which last 40, 50 or 60 minutes and are divided evenly between strength exercises and treadmill intervals. After you get through the below, however, we reckon you’ll agree that the word “taster” doesn’t really do justice to the work involved, so don’t take it lightly.
“Before we kick everything off we get the body prepared for work,” says Weldon. “Use this four-minute routine to mobilise and get your heart rate up. Do each of these exercises for 30 seconds.”
From a standing position, reach down and walk your hands along the floor until you’re in a press-up position. Then walk your...
While you might consider running and practising mindfulness to be very different activities, there is a good deal of overlap in the benefits both can provide. Both, after all, give you the chance to take a break from the hubbub of everyday life, and if you struggle with the stillness of meditation, you might even find that running is a more effective way of doing so than traditional meditation.
Mindful running can be seen as using your running as an opportunity to set aside whatever in the past is troubling you, ignore any potential future problems and just be in the present. It’s an activity that can provide as much of a boost to your mental health as to your physical, giving you a reason to enjoy – and even look forward to – running that goes beyond simply losing weight or improving your fitness.
“People often struggle to find the motivation to get out for a run, approaching it with a view that they would rather be doing something else or that they are only doing it because they think they should for the physical benefits,” says psychotherapist Michelle Shanley, who is working with...
In a pyramid workout, something – the reps, the speed, the intensity, the whatever – increases step by step until it peaks, then decreases step by step. That makes it a very different kettle of fish from most workouts, where you hit your maximum effort but then stop or hit a long recovery stretch. In a pyramid session you’re faced with an only slightly easier block of work.
That’s just something to think about when you sit down on the rowing machine to tackle this workout from GB rower and Olympic gold medal winner Will Satch. When you get to the top of the pyramid, be prepared to keep working.
How To Do This Workout
“The workout is based on effort and it’s as hard for beginners as it is for the pros,” says Satch, “It should be done at max effort for as long as you can hold it.”!--digiteka-placeholder--
The workout is broken down into 250m intervals. You work hard for 250m, then coast the next 250m. Each time you hit a 250m work interval, increase your stroke rate by two strokes per minute until you hit the top of the pyramid. At that point you come down the other side of the pyramid,...
Sleep, as you may have noticed, makes a huge difference to how you feel, but it’s increasingly being recognised as vital for good health in every part of your life – from your physical health (both your athletic performance and weight) to your mental health. And while we’ve made sure to provide you with plenty of tips to help you sleep better, or point you in the direction of sleep trackers and sleep apps to track the quantity and quality of your sleep, none of these will have as much effect on your shut-eye as the right mattress. So we thought we’d better weigh in with some expert advice and product recommendations for you to consider.
That expert is Simon Williams from the National Bed Federation, who has 34 years’ experience in the industry on both the manufacturing and retail side. Like all proper experts he knows that there’s no substitute for trying the mattress yourself, but it can help to narrow down your options into a shortlist first.
Williams recommends looking at your lifestyle to help zero in on the right options. This includes things like whether you want a...
There is something close to an obsession around weight nowadays. Some of it is driven by disconcerting news headlines that say close to two thirds of adults are overweight. Some of it is no doubt the result of the constant stream of images of beautiful bodies we see every day in all types of media.
Yet it’s not necessarily a bad thing either. If two thirds of us are overweight, it can’t hurt for the majority to shed a few pounds. But like all obsessions, it can go too far. And since Coach is all about being fitter, healthier and happier, we thought we’d focus instead on pointing out what a healthy weight actually is, so that once you’re there you can concentrate on an enjoying a healthy lifestyle rather than sweating the number on the scales.
What Is A Healthy Weight?
There are three main ways to determine whether or not you are a healthy weight, but none of them are perfect. That said, if you have a decent handle on all three, you’ll be able to make a sensible call.
Body mass index (BMI) has long been established as the go-to option for public health bodies. BMI provides a simple...
Vegan cuisine has taken off in a big way over the past couple of years, partly because of how restaurants like Stem + Glory in Cambridge have helped change perceptions of plant-based food.
“Historically, plant-based foods and vegetarianism in this country has all been a bit bland and boring. So we’re working hard with flavour and the food is healthy but it’s not healthy for the sake of it. Not like a boring bowl of raw veg, for example,” says Stem + Glory founder Louise Palmer-Masterton. “It’s vegan and it’s delicious.”
Stem + Glory was voted the best restaurant in Cambridge by the public in this year’s British Restaurant Awards, and Palmer-Masterton is set to open her third crowdfunded operation in three years in London this November.
While Palmer-Masterton doesn’t run the Stem + Glory kitchen herself, she’s been a vegan for going on 35 years now and has an admirable collection of recipe books that she’s tried and tested. So whether you’re a committed vegan or a meat-free Monday dabbler, who better to ask for some recommendations for the home chef?
“When you asked me this question I went...
Photography: Dylan Coultier
Like most fit guys, you’re probably addicted to numbers. Chances are you know your max bench and squat, and you might have a pretty good fix on your body mass index, too. If you’re hardcore, you might even know your basal metabolic rate (the amount of energy your body churns through when you’re at rest). And if you’re a runner, no doubt you can list your PBs in everything from the 5K to a Spartan Race.
But before you get too confident in the story these numbers tell about your long-term health, Professor Ulrik Wisløff, a physiologist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, has an important question for you: what’s your fitness age?
If you don’t know, says Wisløff – a 50-year-old former semi-pro footballer who is also one of the world’s top exercise scientists – that’s deeply unfortunate. Because even more than your real age, your fitness age is the key to knowing your true physical prowess or exposing the holes in your training programme.
What’s more, paying special attention to your fitness age, which you can maintain with a...
The physical benefits of exercise are indisputable, with a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes and strokes all linked to regular workouts, and there is growing body of research that suggests the effect it can have on your mental health is considerable as well.
A new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry analysed data on over 1.2 million adults in the USA and looked at the numbers of days a month where people self-reported bad mental health and how that related to the amount of exercise they did.
The study found that people who exercised regularly had 1.4 fewer poor mental health days a month than those who didn’t, averaging two bad days a month compared to 3.4. The effect was more pronounced in people who had previously been diagnosed with depression. In that group, people who exercised had seven days of poor mental health a month compared to 11 days for those who didn’t exercise.
No two runs need ever be the same, so if you’re tired of plodding around the same old route at the same old pace, let us inspire you to try something new. It could be heading out of your local area to tackle some stunning trails, mixing up your paces with a Fartlek session, or breaking up your run with some bodyweight exercises by following this workout from Mila Lazar, head of HIIT at boutique gym Another_Space.
The routine involves three running sections broken up by two short HIIT bodyweight workouts and provides a flavour of what is on offer at Another_Space’s new Another_Run sessions. These cost £10 and start at 6:45pm every Monday at Another_Space Bank, so if you thoroughly enjoy the workout below and live in London, give the group sessions a whirl too.
Run through the below exercises and add in some dynamic stretches of the legs, chest and back before you start the workout.
Time 1 min
From standing, jump and raise your arms above your head, landing with your feet spread wider than shoulder-width apart. Bounce straight back to the starting position.
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