Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Who are you really looking for - Part One

Since I've come out of the closest to quash the perception that I'm a "Guru Trainer", I thought it might now be a good idea to get on with the job of sharing some information for those who are looking but maybe not finding exactly what or who they are after.

What am I talking about? You - that's right, you. You want to get fitter, you want to look amazing, you want to run a marathon, cycle in the Pyrenees, compete in a bodybuilding competition or you just want to lose five kilos so you can keep up with your kids at the park. You read blogs, you watch TV and read magazines and you wonder what the heck is the right thing for you. You might (like me) be on a tight budget, you might have an injury or a medical condition, you may want sanity or you may want to achieve a big dream.

However, you're feeling dazed and confused. Low carb? High carb? Long slow distance or intervals, body fat calipers or scales? Counting calories, points or not - what gets you there? Do you use an online trainer or see a PT at the gym? What about dietitians - good advice or bad?

In this mini series I'm going to summarize various options that you have when it comes to planning a fitness and health regime. I'm going to share the things you need to look out for in choosing a coach or trainer and the characteristics you need to avoid.

Firstly though, let's have a look at a very common situation amongst many of us, the case study of "Jane". Jane wants to lose 5kg she put on during her pregnancy (baby is 2 years old now), and being on a reduced salary, is on an extremely tight budget. Jane cannot afford to go to the gym, let alone buy organic meals, supplements or afford a personal trainer. Jane would like to have more energy as running around after a toddler and balancing her part time job and despairs she will ever be able to reach the image of the fitter, more energetic Jane she sees in her mind. Jane has no injuries.

Options that would work for Jane:

For nutrition ideas and recipes:

Australian Healthy Food Guide - website (www.healthyfoodguide.com.au) I have mentioned this neat little magazine several times in my blog - it's a handy sized magazine with all sorts of quick, family friendly and practical recipes that don't need too much preparation - in fact there is even a "five pm panic" column designed for fast healthy recipes when you're in a rush. Also has a rough guide to estimate your caloric requirements, meals and snacks.

Michelle Bridge's Crunch Time Cookbook: RRP $35.00 I've only just picked this one up but the recipes I've tried are easy, yummy and good for you. Visit Michelle's website for more details.

For great recipes online check out Kerryn's Good Food Blog and an excellent American site called Ask Georgie And for a bit of fun, there's always Pimp My Protein Shake. Even if you don't use protein powder, it's worth a visit for the name alone.

Jane could also invest in some fruit and vegetable wash to remove pesticides/residues from her produce.

For workout ideas and plans:

Jane can have a look on E-bay for books such as "Body For Life" that have training programs in them.

Jane can go walking with her toddler in the pram (depending on the temperament of the toddler of course).

Michelle Bridge's "Crunch Time" Book contains workouts you can do at home and more recipes you can try. I've seen this book for about $25.00, a relatively inexpensive purchase if you want a good few months worth of training.

If you're an aspiring runner, check out Hal Higdon's site for running plans from 5k to marathon.

I'm yet to come up with a fantastic site about strength training for beginners but I will continue to keep digging.

For equipment:

I recommend not skimping on a pair of good quality athletic shoes. Get fitted properly for them if you can by a store such as Athlete's Foot.

You can substitute resistance bands for dumbbells and these can be found at www.sportstek.net.au These are relatively cheap and come in varying resistances so you can continue to challenge yourself through your training program.

Exercise DVDs are also another great option for Jane - she could go for something such as Amy Bento's Kickboxing DVD which requires no equipment at all, only a penchant for punching. This workout which has different "premixes" to create different workouts will set her back $25.00

Not counting the shoes, Jane can get going with her workout and nutrition plan for an outlay of less than $100.00.

Easy peasy Japanesy!


Michelle said...

Great post Liz.

sarahz said...

Yes, great post Liz it reminds us that we don't actually have to be going to a gym all the time to reach our goals!