Survive Christmas this year!

Posted by on Dec 18, 2017 in Inspiration | Comments Off on Survive Christmas this year!

What no Fitness Matters classes for more than a week? But what will become of our toned tums and slender thighs?”……

Don’t panic! We’ve heard your fears and we’re here to help you stay trim this festive season.

Here’s our FIVE top tips.

  1. Avoid overeating
    You don’t have to eat more than you normally would, just because it’s Christmas. You can still enjoy a quality Christmas meal with all the trimmings, without going for a third helping just because it’s there! Instead of loose-fitting clothes, wear something with a normal waistband so when you reach to undo that top bottom, you know you’ve eaten too much!
  2. Try eating Rudolph
    Reindeer is a lean, healthy meat that is lower in calories, cholesterol and fat than most cuts of beef, pork or lamb! Like fish, it has high levels of health-boosting chemicals, such as omega-3 fatty acids, which protect against breast cancer and heart disease. If the thought of eating Rudolph is a step too far, just consider healthier alternatives to your standard Christmas fodder!
  3. Blast out the Christmas tunes
    Dancing is a fun and easy way to get your heart rate up, get rid of extra body fat and build lean muscle. Download some festive tunes and get Rockin’ around the Christmas Tree or dance to the Jingle Bell Rock!
  4. Pull another cracker
    Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a few cracker jokes! And, experts say that laughing can burn lots of calories by causing your heart rate to rise by 10 to 20 percent! According to Livestrong, research conducted by Vanderbilt University Medical Center found that laughing for 10 to 15 minutes burns between 10 and 40 calories.
  5. Skip the festive tipples
    Spirits, mulled wine, creamy liqueurs and hot chocolates… although delicious, many Christmas drinks are packed full of fat, sugar and calories. Try to pick the lower calorie festive celebratory drink options, such as gin and vodka with a diet mixer, or a glass of Prosecco, which has fewer calories than a white wine.


Most importantly enjoy the festive season with family and friends, laugh, dance and be merry!


Wishing YOU a very Merry Christmas!

How can Pilates benefit your lifestyle?

Posted by on Aug 15, 2017 in Exercises | Comments Off on How can Pilates benefit your lifestyle?

Pilates is a series of about 500 exercises inspired by calisthenics, yoga and ballet. Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in the body in a balanced fashion. It improves flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness.

Pilates can be an aerobic and non-aerobic form of exercise. It requires concentration and focus, because you move your body through precise ranges of motion. Pilates lengthens and stretches all the major muscle groups in your body in a balanced fashion. It requires concentration in finding a centre point to control your body through movement. Each exercise has a prescribed placement, rhythm and breathing pattern.

In Pilates, your muscles are never worked to exhaustion, so there is no sweating or straining, just intense concentration. The workout consists of a variety of exercise sequences that are performed in low repetitions, usually five to ten times, over a session of 45 to 60 minutes. Mat work and specialised equipment for resistance are used.

The Pilates method is taught to suit each person and exercises are regularly re-evaluated to ensure they are appropriate for that person. Due to the individual attention, this method can suit everybody from elite athletes to people with limited mobility, pregnant women and people with low fitness levels.

Health benefits of Pilates

The health benefits of Pilates include:

  • improved flexibility
  • increased muscle strength and tone, particularly of your abdominal muscles, lower back, hips and buttocks (the ‘core muscles’ of your body)
  • balanced muscular strength on both sides of your body
  • enhanced muscular control of your back and limbs
  • improved stabilisation of your spine
  • improved posture
  • rehabilitation or prevention of injuries related to muscle imbalances
  • improved physical coordination and balance
  • relaxation of your shoulders, neck and upper back
  • safe rehabilitation of joint and spinal injuries
  • prevention of musculoskeletal injuries
  • increased lung capacity and circulation through deep breathing
  • improved concentration
  • increased body awareness
  • stress management and relaxation.

Pilates is suitable for everyone

Pilates caters for everyone, from beginner to advanced. You can perform exercises using your own body weight, or with the help of various pieces of equipment.

A typical Pilates workout includes a number of exercises and stretches. Each exercise is performed with attention to proper breathing techniques and abdominal muscle control.

Join Kelly on the group fitness floor each Thursday morning at 8.15am for Pilates

Winter Wonder-Body Workout

Posted by on Jun 18, 2017 in Exercises | Comments Off on Winter Wonder-Body Workout

Natural Food Nutrition

Posted by on May 10, 2017 in Food | Comments Off on Natural Food Nutrition

9 Reasons Tracking Your Eating and Exercise Habits Will Help You Lose Weight

Posted by on Feb 19, 2017 in Inspiration | Comments Off on 9 Reasons Tracking Your Eating and Exercise Habits Will Help You Lose Weight

9 Reasons Tracking Your Eating and Exercise Habits Will Help You Lose Weight

“What gets measured, gets managed.”

It’s hard to find something that quote doesn’t apply to.

If you want to improve on something, you need to track your progress and the behaviours that cause progress. Researchers call this “self-monitoring” — the process of tracking and analysing your thoughts and actions to become more aware of how they impact your goals.1,2

A goal that about 30-60% of people share is weight loss.3-7 If you’re reading this article, it’s safe to assume that you’re probably one of them. You’re in the right place.

If you want to manage your weight, you need to measure your weight. You also need to measure the two things that control your weight — your eating and exercise habits.

Self-monitoring isn’t magic. You still have to create and maintain a caloric deficit to lose weight. However, self-tracking makes this easier.

Here are 9 reasons why tracking your eating and exercise habits will help you lose weight.

  1. You’ll Eat Less

When people record what, when, and/or how much they eat, and/or their weight — they usually eat less, and lose weight as the result. The simple act of recording your food intake, body weight, or exercise levels is more important than how precise you are or what method you use. The dieters who lose the most weight in the short- and long-term also tend to be the most diligent about self-tracking.

  1. You’ll Exercise More

When people record their exercise habits, they exercise more. They also tend to enjoy exercise more.

Often something as simple as a pedometer can give you the reason to start a step counting goal The fact that you know their behaviours are being tracked is enough to make you take more steps.

This doesn’t always make you lose weight, food intake is also an important factor in weight loss. If you also eat less, the additional exercise will help you lose weight

Small changes in your physical activity levels like standing and walking, even at a slow pace, can make a big difference in your weight loss efforts. Self-tracking is a simple way to move more with almost no effort.

  1. You’ll Get Immediate Gratification

One of the reasons dieters often fail is because they don’t see immediate results. Obese people also tend to be more likely to pursue immediate rewards rather than waiting for larger, delayed ones.

Weight loss usually doesn’t start until a week or two after you’ve created a caloric deficit. It often takes far longer than that for you to see large changes in your appearance.

Changes in water weight can often mask weight loss and make it look like you’ve gained weight. If you track your diet and exercise levels to ensure that you’re still in a caloric deficit, you can relax knowing that the weight loss is coming.

Tracking your food and exercise habits gives you immediate feedback on your progress. If you track your calories and how long or how hard you exercise, you’ll know immediately how your choices will contribute to, or detract from, your weight loss goals.

  1. Your Weight Loss Goals Become Easier to Achieve

Let’s say you need to lose 50 pounds in a year. You will have to eat approximately 175,000 calories less in 12 months.

As a dieter, that may look like an extreme, almost impossible goal. However, self-tracking helps you make this goal far more manageable.

Using the example above, you could set a smaller goal of eating at least 500 calories less per day or exercising enough to create a 500 calorie deficit each day.

Reaching these “bite-size” objective goals will allow you to go to bed every night knowing you’ll wake up the next morning one step closer to your dream weight. You won’t feel overwhelmed with your larger goal, but you’ll still be on the path to achieving it.

  1. Your Diet Becomes a Game

Recording your eating and exercise habits makes dieting into a kind of sport.

Like most sports, it’s not always easy or fun, but it’s rewarding and well worth the effort. When you start tracking your calorie intake and how much you exercise, it becomes a competition with yourself. Each day you try to do better than the last or to maintain your progress.

If you set a calorie goal for each day, you have to be strategic about how much you eat throughout the day. You can also use different exercise tactics to defeat your opponent (your caloric deficit).

Setting goals, which is another aspect of most sports, can also increase your chances of losing weight Having objective numbers to chase on a daily basis can make dieting almost like a game.

  1. You Can be More Flexible About What, When, and How Much You Eat

Tracking your food intake and exercise levels allows you to budget your time, calories, and food choices with greater flexibility, which can help you lose weight.

Making small adjustments to your eating habits when necessary, becomes more successful than those who attempt to stick to stringent rules.

Let’s say you decide that you’ll lose weight by:

  • Not eating anything after six pm.
  • Never eating foods with more than 5 grams of sugar. 
  • Eating no more than 500 calories per meal.

Those are fine goals, and they may work, but they may also increase your risk of failure.

What if your friends want to throw you a birthday party after six pm?

What if you have a late night date?

What if the only menu option has 10 grams of sugar?

What if you want to have a meal with more than 500 calories once in a while?

What if you’re sick of trying to follow unrealistic rules?

Self-tracking solves these problems. Instead of avoiding all foods that have more than 5 grams of sugar, you could set a daily or weekly target of calories from sugar. If you knew you were going to eat at a restaurant that only offered high sugar options, you could eat less sugar at other meals or at other times during the week.

Likewise, if you track your calorie intake, you could eat less at other meals throughout the day and pool your calories for a larger meal. Self-tracking gives you near complete control over your food choices and eating schedule.

  1. You Can Avoid the “Oh S#%t” Effect

“I just ate a box of Oreos. Oh s#%t, my diet’s blown. Looks like I’m off the wagon…”People who can’t lose weight or maintain weight loss often have this mindset.  If you track your calorie intake and exercise levels, you can put a situation like this into perspective.

You ate about 1,440 calories extra from that box of Oreos. That would slow your progress by about three days. It’s not worth ditching your diet over that.

If you were determined to make up for your cookie catastrophe, you could eat 100 calories less per day for the next two weeks, or exercise the equivalent amount.

Instead of despairing over small deviations from your diet, self-tracking allows you to see exactly how much (or little) your choices will affect your goals.

  1. You Can Enjoy Your Favourite Foods Without Feeling Guilty

Let’s say you purposely eat a whole box of Oreos… and a pint of Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream.

If you track your calorie intake and exercise levels, you can enjoy this kind of treat and know that you’ll still lose weight. You can adjust your exercise levels and eat less at other meals and throughout the week to make sure you’re still in a caloric deficit.

Self-tracking also lets you put the term “moderation” into objective numbers. You probably wouldn’t call a pile of Oreos and ice cream a “moderate” treat. However, if you track your calorie intake over time, you can see what percentage this feast made up of your diet.

Your total meal was about 2,400 calories. If you eat 2,500 calories per day, that would be about 14% of your weekly calories.

Tracking your food intake gives you the ability to indulge in your favourite treats, knowing that you’ll still lose weight (if you’re in a caloric deficit) and that you aren’t consuming too much junk.

  1. You Can Avoid Weight Loss Plateaus

If you track your weight on a regular basis, you can see how far you are from achieving your goal and how fast you’re progressing.

Weighing yourself is a great first step, but you should also record your weight. This allows you to make adjustments to your diet and exercise plan to keep the fat falling off.

If you see you’re falling behind, you can exercise more and eat less.

If you’ve lost more weight than you predicted, you’ll be even more motivated to continue.


Seven secrets to achieving your 2017 New Years Resolution

Posted by on Jan 5, 2017 in Inspiration | Comments Off on Seven secrets to achieving your 2017 New Years Resolution

Seven secrets to achieving your 2017 New Years Resolution

  1. Make your goals specific.People proclaim, “I’m finally going to get in shape.” But what does that actually mean? Do you intend to reach a certain weight? Or body-fat percentage? Do you want to run three miles without rest? Maybe be able to do 10 pull-ups? Makes goals specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound (SMART).
  2. Measure progress. “If you can measure it, you can change it” is a fundamental principle of psychology. These feedback loops will be a source of motivation as you reflect on where you started and where you are. They will also help you to know when you are hitting a plateau or slipping backwards, so you can adjust your efforts.
  3. Be patient. Progress is seldom linear. Some people will see rapid gains only to hit resistance later in their efforts. For others, initial progress may be painfully slow but then they suddenly achieve rapid breakthroughs. Making lasting changes takes time.
  4. Share your goals with friends and family. Social support is critical. Yes, it takes some personal courage and vulnerability to share something that you might actually fail at, but to dramatically increase your odds of success you’ll want support from those around you. One of the most effective things you can do is to get an “accountability partner”, someone who checks in with you daily or weekly. It’s easy to break a promise to yourself, but far harder to admit it to a friend.
  5. Schedule it. Have you ever said you can’t “find the time” to do something. Nobody finds time, we choose time. We all choose to spend our time the way we do—whether that’s eating junk food or going to a spin class. Make your new goals a priority and actually schedule them into your calendar. If you have a fitness goal schedule recurring time blocks for your daily workouts. Want to declutter? Schedule time to clean out your closet or garage on your calendar. Treat these New Year Resolution’s appointments just like they were scheduled doctor appointments. You rarely reschedule your doctor, you should treat this time the same way. That which is scheduled gets done.
  6. Something is better than nothing. Are you guilty of “all or nothing” thinking? Do you ever think, “Well, I might as well get dessert since I already ate those French fries?” And then, “I blew my diet last night so I’ll just restart it next week.” The difference between doing something rather than nothing is huge. If you don’t have a full hour to workout at the gym, just decide to make it the best 20-minutes you can. If you stumble out of bed and don’t want to do 20-minutes on the treadmill, lace up your sneakers and do five minutes (and you just might find you do another 15 minutes once the first five are out of the way). “Any effort towards your goal is better than no effort.”
  7. Get up, when you slip up. Legendary coach Vince Lombardi said, “It isn’t whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get back up.” Resiliency is paramount. Don’t turn temporary failures into total meltdowns or excuses for giving up. Instead, just acknowledge the mistake and recommit to the path towards the goal.

Achieving your goals isn’t about willpower. It’s about developing the right skills, executing strategies, and having the patience that inevitably lead to success. Will 2017 be the year you join the elite 8%?

Benefits of Group Ride

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Exercises | Comments Off on Benefits of Group Ride

Benefits of Group Ride

A spinning workout is an excellent way to burn some calories and relieve stress. The workout employs a stationary bike, which has various tension levels. There are numerous benefits to a spinning workout.

Burn CaloriesA spinning workout of 45 minutes may allow you to burn around 500 calories, which is a huge amount when compared to other types of workout. However, the amount of calories you burn will depend on the intensity of the workout. Adjust your bike according to the intensity you desire.

Build Muscle Tone
The spinning workout may help you build some muscle tone. The workout will focus on the core muscles, as well as the buttocks and thighs. You can increase and decrease the tension of the bike; this is similar to riding up and down a hill. While you pedal, you will work your thighs and calves. If you maintain the correct position on the bike, you will also work on your abdominal muscles. When you pedal faster, you are likely to burn fat. When you pedal slower and have a higher tension, you will work your muscles.

Increased Cardio Endurance
If you opt for regular spinning classes, you will build increased cardio endurance. This is beneficial, especially if you feel weaker and start panting even after an insignificant effort, such as climbing a flight of stairs.

Low Impact Exercise
A spinning workout is a low impact exercise. This means that it won’t put pressure on knees and joints, as other aerobic or running exercises do. The workout is also recommended for people that suffer from arthritis.

Relieve Stress
Any type of exercise is known to relieve stress. However, a spinning class can be a more efficient stress reliever than most types of exercise. This is due to the fact that the workout is intensive and it is a class where you can meet people and socialize.

Spinning classes are held by an instructor that will motivate you throughout the workout. In addition, there will be music, which will make the class more entertaining.

Reduced Risks of Injury
While running and jogging may present a high risk of injury, a spinning class is less likely to cause any injuries. However, it’s recommended to stretch prior to the class, so that you don’t pull any muscles.

Adjustable Tempo
The stationary bike will have adjustable tensions, which you can change during the class. Your trainer can indicate when to change the tension, or you can adjust it according to your abilities and fitness goals..

Can Be Done Year Round
Unlike other types of activities such as jogging, which can be unpleasant when performed during the months with extreme temperatures, a spinning class can be performed at any time during the year.

Get Into Aqua Aerobics

Posted by on Oct 11, 2016 in Exercises | Comments Off on Get Into Aqua Aerobics

Aqua Aerobics classes offer you something different to a traditional gym workout and you’ll really see a difference in your overall health and fitness.

Typical Aqua Aerobics classes will involve all the exercises you would expect in a ‘dry’ class but with added bonuses you can only get from exercising in water.

Benefits of aerobics in water

  • Water supports the body, putting less stress on your joints and muscles
  • This support is great if you’re older, have suffered an injury or are recovering from illness
  • Water pressure helps the heart move blood around the body, putting less strain on it
  • The impact of gravity is less in the water allowing a greater range of motion
  • Working out in water can also prevent overheating, helping you exercise for longer.
  • .. it’s fun! It is not often you can say that about a workout.
  • Not only is exercising in water good fun, it’s also amazingly good for you and comes with benefits it’s land-based equivalents can’t offer.
  • Water is 800 times denser than air so you will get a better work out with a smaller risk of injury than if you were exercising on land.

Also, the equipment will be provided by Fitness Matters so all you have to do is turn up in your swimwear.

See the Group Fitness Timetable for class times.

7 Steps to Getting Fit Before Summer Arrives

Posted by on Sep 14, 2016 in Exercises | Comments Off on 7 Steps to Getting Fit Before Summer Arrives

7 Steps to getting fit before Summer arrives!

Once spring rears its head, many women start thinking about the upcoming bathing suit season. It’s fine to want to look and feel good in your suit this summer, but remember that getting fit is about more than weight – it’s about strength, endurance, and good health, too. You want to have energy to enjoy the outdoors this summer, and getting into shape will help you make the most of the warm season. Follow these seven steps to get fit before summer.

1. Set a goal…beyond weight.
Don’t hang all your expectations and motivations on a number on the scale. With weight loss, plateaus are common. If you set yourself a goal beyond the immediate, you’re likely to maintain your motivation. For example, aim to hike a particularly steep trail or swim several extra laps this summer – the endurance and strength you gain from exercise will help you achieve these activity goals, no matter what the scale says.
2. Find the kind of routine that works for you.
Different things work for different people – some prefer to exercise at home and some prefer the gym; some prefer a flexible exercise schedule and others need regimented time slots devoted to exercise; some like to mix it up and some prefer to do the same exercises in the same sequence. You’re more likely to adhere to your exercise plan if it fits your style.
3. Don’t just focus on cardio; strength-training is important, too.
Building lean muscle does burn fat, but not as much as cardio. However, it’s still an equally important part of any get fit plan. Strength and endurance require strong core muscles, legs, and arms.
4. Mix it up with challenges.
Keeping up with your long-term routine can get a little stale. Throw in a weekly challenge when you feel your motivation lagging.
5. Don’t get injured!
Exercising irresponsibly can land you with an injury that leaves you on the sidelines. Don’t let a tight summer deadline trick you into overdoing it.
6. If you’re growing bored with your routine, do something different.
You don’t have to do the same exercises every time. There are so many different types of exercise – interval training, circuit training, yoga, Zumba, spinning, swimming, running – who said you have to choose one and stick to it? Boredom leads to demotivation; combat it by switching things up when needed.
7. Keep a food journal.
Writing down what you eat can help you keep calories in check.

The 5 Best Full Body Exercises

Posted by on Jul 26, 2016 in Exercises | Comments Off on The 5 Best Full Body Exercises

The 5 Best Full Body Exercises

When it comes to full body exercises, some are more effective than others, so in this article, you’ll learn the 5 full body exercises that get you the most results in the shortest period of time. (Each exercise below links to a video demonstration of the movement.).

Full Body Exercise #1: Turkish Get-Up

I may be a fitness buff, but my history and geography skills aren’t quite up-to-par, so I’m not quite sure how of why this exercise is “Turkish.” But the “Get-Up” part is easy to understand once you’ve tried this move.

To complete a Turkish Get-Up, you lie on your side, with a dumbbell in one hand. The dumbbell should be held out at arm’s length. From this position, you simply stand, while keeping the dumbbell overhead at an arm’s length. This means you only have one arm and two legs to help you both stand and push the weight of that dumbbell up as you stand.

This exercise can be difficult to learn, but if you can do 3-4 sets of 5-10 Turkish Get-Ups per side, then you are probably in pretty good shape!

Full Body Exercise #2: Swing Squats

For this exercise, hold a dumbbell or a kettlebell down by your feet with one outstretched arm, then drop into a squat position with your butt pushed behind you, your back straight, and your heels firmly planted. Now, stand about halfway up as you begin to swing the dumbbell up, quickly reverse direction and drop down into a full squat position again, then powerfully stand as you swing the dumbbell overhead.

If you do this exercise as explosively as possible, which I highly recommend, you will find that your heart rate will get very high with just a few repetitions, making the swing squat both a cardiovascular and strength building exercise.

Full Body Exercise #3: Medicine Ball Slams

This is a great stress-relieving exercise, and also helps to build power and athleticism in the upper body, core, and legs. It is also a very easy full-body exercise to learn.

To do a medicine ball slam, you simply get a medicine ball (those big heavy balls you can often find in the corner of the gym), raise it overhead, then swing your arms down as you release the ball and slam it into the ground as hard as possible.

As you can imagine, this can be a loud exercise, so you may want to find a private area of the gym (like an empty group exercise room) and you will also need to be careful not to let the ball bounce back up and hit you in the face!

For an extra challenge, I sometimes finish a workout to complete exhaustion with 50-100 medicine ball slams.

Full Body Exercise #4: Burpees (also known as Squat-Thrust Jumps)

As an infamous exercise used by fitness bootcamp instructors, the burpee is one of those movements that you can love to hate. It will give you a full body workout in a matter of mere minutes, but also requires a great deal of focus and intensity.

Here’s how to do a burpee: from a standing position, squat down, put your hands on the ground, kick your legs out behind you, do a push-up (optional), then kick the legs back up into a squat position, stand and jump as you swing your arms overhead. If you’re an advanced exerciser or want to add even more “oomph” to this exercise, you can wear a weighted vest as you do your burpees.

Most burpee workouts involve doing a series of 10, 15, or 20 burpees as part of a full body weight training or body weight circuit, but you can do just 1-2 minutes of burpees in the morning as a fantastic metabolic booster to jumpstart your day!

Full Body Exercise #5: Deadlift-to-Overhead Press

The premise of the deadlift-to-overhead press is fairly simple: you pick a heavy object off the ground and lift it overhead. The object can be a dumbbell, barbell, kettlebell, medicine ball, sandbag, or, if you’re working out with a partner, even another person!

When you pick the object off the ground, which is called a deadlift, you’ll need to have good form: looking forward with your knees bent, butt out, and back straight.

You then stand, and as you stand or after you are in a standing position, hoist the weight overhead – using your hip and leg muscles to assist your upper body with driving the weight up.