New Year, New You

Simple exercises to make sure this new year’s resolution lasts

With every new year comes a new year resolution – except all too often it’s not new. Many of us vow to get fit but how many of us fall off the wagon before the tinsel is off the tree?

A recent survey by Kellogg's Special K found that seven in ten women diet every single year. Which begs the question why many struggle to maintain their goal weight or keep to the excess weight off in the long term. Amongst the common reasons for weight gain are getting older, retiring, stopping smoking, having children and going to university. The research also found that half of the population feel they are overweight and are trying to lose weight (this rises to 55% in women).

If you’re one of the many women who find it difficult to keep your regime going, Steve Barrett — a top fitness advisor — is on hand to offer easy to follow tips. Steve, formerly a National competitor in a variety of sports (and a Personal Trainer for more than two decades), knows exactly how to kick-start a regime and stick to it. With these simple exercises, keeping your body in good shape doesn’t mean having to splash out on pricey gym membership and the best bit is, you can keep working out wherever you are — at home, at the office or even on the commute. Even the busiest of people have no excuse; these tips are simple and free!

Here are some simple exercise to get yourself motivated, wherever you are:

At your desk – Posture break
— As you sit at your desk, sink down, moving your shoulder forward and towards your desk. Then slowly sit up, lifting your shoulders and straightening your spine to gradually pull your shoulder blades back, opening the chest. Sink down again and lift.
— Sit in an upright position to straighten your back. Looking straight ahead, lift your shoulders whilst keeping your arms relaxed. Hold for a couple seconds and drop. Repeat until you begin to feel your shoulder muscles loosen.
— Sit upright and this time, with your spine straightened, move your shoulders and arms forward and then back through the shoulder girdle, opening your chest wide. Repeat a few times and to finish off, get the blood pumping by circling your shoulders round until you feel more relaxed.

At home – Revitalise
Whilst watching the TV, get a bit of exercise during the advert breaks. Stand looking ahead, lift your arms with your hands brought towards each other in front of the chest. With a straight back, begin to do small jumps, turning side to side whilst remaining on the same spot. Twist your body as your jump so your feet and arms turn in opposite directions. You can do this during the ads, your favourite show or even get a bit of music on — just as long as you make it fun!

(Although, these exercises are simple, if you have any medical complaint(s), contact your doctor before attempting them).

 Click here for Steve’s advice on getting mobilised, motivated and setting goals to achieve as well as immediate steps, like improving your posture:

For more information and your own personal plan on how to succeed with your resolution visit