Get some expert tips for your summer holidays in our fitness Q&A, from Simon Cass, who is a personal trainer and co-founder of Invictus Training (invictustraining.co.uk).
Q: Do you have any tips for staying on track with my fitness goals in the holiday season, when I’m away from home?
A: One of the great things about a holiday is that it gives your body time to recover from all the training you do at other times! Doing the same exercise routine over and over can lead to plateaus and boredom, so look upon your holiday as an opportunity to do something different.
Before you go, make a simple fitness plan. If you aren’t doing them already, familiarise yourself with some essential bodyweight exercises that can be done anywhere, such as squats, lunges, push-ups, plank variations and pull-ups as these will keep your whole body muscular strength and endurance up to speed while you’re away.
Then, keep things simple and fun. Scenic walks, swimming, or exploring the area on a bike are all forms of low intensity exercise that will keep you aerobically fit while allowing your body to recover from your usual fitness routine.
Q: I’d like to do some weight training at home. What do I need to get started?
A: There’s a vast array of equipment available, so choosing the right gear can be daunting.
Key considerations are safety, budget and space. Whatever equipment you buy, it’s essential that you know how to use it safely and correctly so
I strongly recommend you invest in some personal training sessions with a REPS (Register of Exercise Professionals) accredited trainer.
The most versatile, effective and affordable items are free weights such as dumbbells, barbell sets and kettlebells. They don’t take up much space, and as you progress, you can buy additional weight plates. You can work on every muscle with these, and with kettlebells you can do some great cardio workouts as well.
You’ll also need some soft matting for comfort and to protect your floor. Ensure you use the weights safely. If you do move on to using heavy ones, always ask someone to spot for you. This means they watch and assist you with the weight if necessary.