As most Personal Trainers will tell you in January: there are no shortcuts to fitness. We beg to differ... slightly. You can make sure that some essentials are in your arsenal before you embark on your new fitness journey, to make your life as easy as possible.
Try these 5 essentials to give you that edge:
1. Meal prep
Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. You know the drill. Consistency will make the biggest difference to your long-term gym game, and no more so than in relation to your diet. A habit is formed in a month but broken in a day. Preparing your lunches and breakfasts in advance will make it much easier not to slip off your diet plan into a large almond croissant. Thankfully, there are literally hundreds of prep recipes out there which are healthy, balanced and tasty. As well as lots of tasty low-calorie sauces as garnish and snacks to top you up. Simple recipes such as overnight oats made with protein powder and fruit are delicious and a nutritious breakfast. Plus, if you do it right, they’re pretty ‘gram-worthy too.
Water is completely critical to your general day to day health, as well as your training regime. Dehydration is a complete nightmare and can leave you with headaches and fatigue. Making sure you’re getting enough water is really important both during and after exercise. Try a low calorie and low sugar cordial, or some fresh sliced citrus fruit to make it a bit more delicious. You’ll find it easier if you aren’t constantly getting up and down for more water... so consider a chunky water container you can use for the gym and day-to-day like our partner The Protein Works’ Juggernaut which (surprisingly) holds a decent 4 pints of water.
3. Have enough gym gear
This might sound obvious... but if you’re training 4 times a week, you don’t want to be washing your kit every night and hoping that it’s dry by the next day! Make sure you have a sensible stock of tops, leggings or trackies, shorts, base layers (if you like them) and socks so you only have to do one load of washing a week. It’s easy to get derailed by the little things when it comes to fitness. Making sure you’ve got kit on hand to throw in your bag makes things so much easier. If not, you might end up like this guy – I can’t imagine the shorts were his first choice…
4. A good stock of supplements
Supplements aren't for everyone, so if they are your thing... this one's for you. Nobody wants the inconvenience of getting home from the gym and not being able to grab a recovery shake. Or, trying to wake up in the morning and not having your favourite pre-workout to give you that little bit of an edge. Supplements (on top of a healthy diet) can really help make your life that bit more convenient by having a filling shake after your workout, or a little caffeine boost on the go in the morning. Fortunately for everyone, January is a great time to stock up on the supplements that you love. You can make sure that if you didn’t have the time to prep a post-workout tuna salad, you’ve got a portion of your favourite shake in a shaker ready to go. For extra smug points, consider using a shaker which has storage so you’ve got a water bottle for your workout, and a shake ready to go immediately afterwards. Perhaps try our partner The Protein Works’ Pack ‘N’ Stack for storing your protein powder.
5. A comfortable place to sleep
This one is so often overlooked, but really is one of the most important things that you can do. Your sleep and general rest are really important to make sure that your body repairs and improves. Get your room set up in a way that makes it easy for you to sleep, including getting that phone out of the bedroom. That blue light is a natural trigger for keeping you awake, and it’s better if you don’t have a phone to scroll through if you wake up in the night. Also, consider getting a quality pillow or two, you won’t regret it. Gains are made in the bedroom as much as the kitchen, so get some good quality sleep in!
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