The New Year has arrived, and  after all of the indulgences over the festive period, so many of us set the goal of becoming fitter and healthier. Despite this January intention for many of us, these changes do not last long. This is why MotivatePT has designed a simple guide to help you stay on track this year. We do not only want to create healthier lifestyles for a month or two but instead, we want to help you to create healthy lifelong habits.

How to Stick to your Resolution?

Resolutions are often not taken seriously, it is important to set out with determination. This New Year, start to make the right choices about food, exercise, and your lifestyle. Your hard work and dedication will be worth it in the end – you’ll enjoy a makeover that will last a lifetime. It is important to consider your resolution before the New Year, you should also break your goal into easily manageable steps. If you were to set a goal of losing 2 stone, firstly, this will take you a long time to achieve and you will soon become frustrated and disappointed.

This coming year set SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed goals. Break these goals into short, medium and long-term goals to help you to stay on track. This is key to ensure that your motivation levels remain high and to enable yourself to actually see some progress. Try to involve friends and family and you will then have the added support and will want to avoid failure.

It is also important to keep reminding yourself, why you set your goal in the first place. Keep this question in mind throughout – how will achieving your resolution help you in the future? Remembering why you wanted to start this goal and how it’ll help your future life will really help you to stay on track. Each time you complete a goal, reward yourself, this will help to keep you motivated and give you something to work towards.

Lastly, the most important part:

1) Write your goals down,

2) Write an action plan and how you are going to achieve your goals,

3) Create a checklist so you can measure your journey.

Remember, everyone falls into old habits from time to time. But don’t let 1 small slip result in a week of bad eating, treat any failure as a temporary setback, rather than a reason to give up completely.

How to make Healthier Changes to your life

Changing your nutrition and exercise regime will certainly help you to reach your goal, however, we can all adapt our daily habits to further promote a healthier lifestyle. The following simple changes can make a huge difference in your daily life.

  • Over the Christmas period, everyone has LOTS of tempting sweets, chocolates, desserts lying around, this year clear out the bad foods before the New Year. Instead of throwing away food, alternatively, you can give this unwanted food to someone in need, maybe a homeless person or a local food bank. Not only are you making better choices for your health, you will also make someone else’s Xmas by this 1 act of kindness.
  • Another way you can improve your overall health next year, you can give up alcohol altogether and become teetotal. Over the party season, we all tend to indulge, but having a break or quitting alcohol is a great way to detox, this is great for our bodies but also our wallets too.

Every day changes you can start to change from today include;

  • Drinking more water, you should be drinking 2.5/3 liters of water a day.
  • Instead of taking the lifts, or escalators you should start taking the stairs.  
  • The New Year is a great time to change these habits, not only for you but also your family too. Everyone should be participating in at least 30 minutes of moderate activity a day.
  • Although the weather is slightly chilly at this time of the year, by taking regular walks outside is a great way of introducing physical activity easily into your life. You can also meet family and friends in parks, national forests etc.
  • During work days, instead of scrolling through your phone on your lunch break, or replying to emails, you should complete a small workout on your chair, or take the stairs to the top floor.

These simple but easy changes can have huge benefits.

3 Day Meal Plan

Our mission at MotivatePT is to empower everyone to live a great every day. We make fitness easy to incorporate into your life and accessible to everyone. Not only do we educate you in terms of your fitness but upon request, we will also help you to keep on track with your diets too. It is very important to quickly address your eating habits as 2018 rolls in. We often form bad eating habits over this festive period. This is due to the added cheese in the fridge and the extra chocolates and sweets which have not yet been eaten. If you clear these out, then you cannot be tempted.

Below we have included a 4-week workout plan, however, if you continuously worked out throughout January but did not address your eating habits, then you could be fueling your body with the wrong types of food; this will, therefore, have a knock-on effect on the results – or lack of. It is crucial that you give your body what it needs in the way of proteins, carbohydrates, good fats, vitamins & minerals. It is also crucial that you take into consideration the correct portion sizes for your body’s individual needs. Please keep in mind that all of our nutritional advice is based upon the Government’s National Guidelines*. If you stick to the main principles of eating a healthy balanced diet – anything is possible!

[Please note our portions are devised for a female with the recommendation of 2000 calories per day. If you are male, add roughly a ⅓ more to each portion. Where possible, each meal is linked to either a blog or a recipe for you to find out more information and to help you with your daily eating.]

Day 1 

Breakfast Overnight Oats

Snack A handful of Popcorn  

Lunch Chicken with Salad (Spinach, Watercress, Homemade Coleslaw) with a Whole Grain Wrap

Snack 1 Avocado & Chocolate Cookie

Dinner Salmon Fillets with Mustard, Lemon and Chive Sauce, with a side of steamed Broccoli and Brown Rice

Day 2

Breakfast 4 Protein Pancakes with Raspberries

Snack Mixed Fruit Smoothie 250ml

Lunch Whole Wheat Wrap with Black Beans or Chicken topped with Corn, Homemade Guacamole & Salad

Snack 1 Apple & Peanut Butter  

Dinner 1 Teriyaki Salmon, a handful of Roasted Veggie Couscous, 3 to 4 New Potatoes

Day 3 

Breakfast    Porridge topped with a handful of Berries alongside our Morning Coffee Delight.

Snack        3 Energy Balls

Lunch        3 Rye Crackers topped with Homemade Hummus, Chopped Tomatoes & Avocado, plus a bowl of Soup.

Snack        Plain Greek Yogurt (no added sugar) & Chopped Fruit (a handful of blueberries and strawberries)

Dinner     Haddock Fillet & Chorizo  served with Brown Rice, or Sweet Potato and Steamed Green Beans & Broccoli.

*We are not dieticians. We are able to provide advice based on The National Guidelines and our own expertise as personal trainers. If you have very specific dietary requirements/intolerances we would advise you to see a dietician.

What Should You Be Drinking?

Another important factor to consider throughout each day is hydration. When working out at a moderate intensity for 1 hour, on average you will lose around 1 litre of water. Therefore, it is extremely important to remain hydrated throughout the day. The best drink for keeping hydrated is water. According to the National Government Guidelines we should be drinking 1.2 litres a day. However, if you are in a hot climate or are exercising this amount should be higher.

We also recommend to our clients to avoid all sugary/fizzy drinks, and to also limit their caffeine intake. If you get bored with just water, try adding cucumber or lemon to add flavour and you can also drink herbal teas as these are just as hydrating.

Workout at Home

Now that you have MotivatePT’s advice on what to eat, it’s now time to address the hardest part – the exercise. We have designed a 4 week program that can easily fit into anyone’s busy schedule. Throughout January, the Xmas madness is over and routine begins to fall back into place, now is the perfect time to begin. We have designed Monday – Friday workouts, which will target all the muscles within your body. Each circuit will take less than 10 minutes, there are no excuses, everyone can prioritise at least 10 minutes throughout the day. For maximum benefits, you should complete each circuit 2-5 times with as little rest as possible in between each exercise. If you do not have 30 minutes to spare, you can complete each 10 minute circuit 3 times a day. One in the morning, one during your lunch break and the last round in the evening. It also does not require the use of any equipment, so therefore you can train anywhere, anytime!

Adding this training programme within your daily schedule will not only help you to get fitter, but it’ll also bring a whole list of added benefits too. Many studies have shown that exercise helps you to sleep better, you’ll have more energy, your self-esteem and confidence improves. According to mayoclinic some other benefits of exercise include:

  1. Control of weight – Regular exercises will help you to control your weight, You’ll be preventing excess weight gain and exercising will also maintain weight loss. ‘Get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.’
  2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases – ‘Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, depression, a number of types of cancer, arthritis and falls.’
  3. Exercise improves your mood – Exercise is great at offering an emotional lift or to blow off steam after a stressful day. Even a 30-minute brisk walk can work wonders. This is because physical activity will stimulate many chemicals within the brain which will make you feel happier and more relaxed.

4 Week Plan

Week 1

Week 2 Week 3

Week 4

Monday (Arms & Abs)

  • 10 Chair Triceps Dips
  • 10 Crunches
  • 10 Arm Circles
  • 10 Plank
  • 10 Push Ups
  • 10sec Side Plank (each side)

Tuesday (Quads & Glutes)

  • 10 Lunges
  • 10 Squats
  • 10sec Wall Sit
  • 10 Hip Bridges
  • 10 Donkey Kicks (each side)
  • 10 Lateral (side) Lunges (each side)

Wednesday (Core)

  • 10 V Sits
  • 10 Leg Lowers
  • 10 Supermans
  • 10 sec Plank
  • 10 Deadbug
  • 10 Toe Touches

Thursday (Leg Day)

  • 10 Squats
  • 10 Burpees
  • 10 Standing Calf Raises
  • 10 Sumo Squats
  • 10 Jump Squats
  • 10 Curtsey Lunge

Friday (Fully Body)

  • 10 Push ups
  • 10 Jump Squats
  • 10 Bicycle Crunch
  • 10 Lunges
  • 10 Tricep Push ups
  • 10 Sit ups
Monday (Arms & Abs)

  • 15 Chair Triceps Dips
  • 15 Crunches
  • 15 Arm Circles
  • 15 sec Plank
  • 15 Push Ups
  • 15 sec Side Plank (each side)

Tuesday (Quads & Glutes)

  • 15 Lunges
  • 15 Squats
  • 15 sec Wall Sit
  • 15 Hip Bridges
  • 15 Donkey Kicks (each side)
  • 15 Lateral (side) Lunges (each side)

Wednesday (Core)

  • 15 V Sits
  • 15 Leg Lowers
  • 15 Supermans
  • 15 sec Plank
  • 15 Deadbug
  • 15 Toe Touches

Thursday (Leg Day)

  • 15 Squats
  • 15 Burpees
  • 15 Standing Calf Raises
  • 15 Sumo Squats
  • 15 Jump Squats
  • 15 Curtsey Lunge

Friday (Fully Body)

  • 15 Push ups
  • 15 Jump Squats
  • 15 Bicycle Crunch
  • 15 Lunges
  • 15 Tricep Push ups
  • 15 Sit ups
Monday (Arms & Abs)

  • 20 Chair Triceps Dips
  • 20 Crunches
  • 20 Arm Circles
  • 20 Plank
  • 20 Push Ups
  • 20sec Side Plank (each side)

Tuesday (Quads & Glutes)

  • 20 Lunges
  • 20 Squats
  • 20sec Wall Sit
  • 20 Hip Bridges
  • 20 Donkey Kicks (each side)
  • 20 Lateral (side) Lunges (each side)

Wednesday (Core)

  • 20 V Sits
  • 20 Leg Lowers
  • 20 Supermans
  • 20 sec Plank
  • 20 Deadbug
  • 20 Toe Touches

Thursday (Leg Day)

  • 20 Squats
  • 20 Burpees
  • 20 Standing Calf Raises
  • 20 Sumo Squats
  • 20 Jump Squats
  • 20 Curtsey Lunge

Friday (Fully Body)

  • 15 Push ups
  • 15 Jump Squats
  • 15 Bicycle Crunch
  • 15 Lunges
  • 15 Tricep Push ups
  • 15 Sit ups
Monday (Arms & Abs)

  • 25 Chair Triceps Dips
  • 25 Crunches
  • 25 Arm Circles
  • 25 sec Plank
  • 25 Push Ups
  • 25 sec Side Plank (each side)

Tuesday (Quads & Glutes)

  • 25 Lunges
  • 25 Squats
  • 25 sec Wall Sit
  • 25 Hip Bridges
  • 25 Donkey Kicks (each side)
  • 25 Lateral (side) Lunges (each side)

Wednesday (Core)

  • 25 V Sits
  • 25 Leg Lowers
  • 25 Supermans
  • 25 sec Plank
  • 25 Deadbug
  • 25 Toe Touches

Thursday (Leg Day)

  • 25 Squats
  • 25 Burpees
  • 25 Standing Calf Raises
  • 25 Sumo Squats
  • 25 Jump Squats
  • 25 Curtsey Lunge

Friday (Fully Body)

  • 25 Push ups
  • 25 Jump Squats
  • 25 Bicycle Crunch
  • 25 Lunges
  • 25 Tricep Push ups
  • 25 Sit ups