In January, people usually start with enthusiasm and hope for a new year and new beginnings. Well, we can’t exactly say that it was like that this year; For the majority, the struggle of 2020 just rolled straight through into the new year.
In reality, although the hopes and dreams may be there every year, the initial aspirations seem to dwindle early on, within the month of January. With cold weather and dark early nights, it is tempting to just stay in, watch TV and become a professional couch potato.
January is known for being a miserable time of the year, so much so in fact that a psychologist labelled the third Monday of January as Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year. It is said to be so because it was found that people are at their loneliest, the weather is at its worst, and the debts are at their highest.
So you can either let January beat you, or you can take control and beat the January blues and get yourself in order for the summer. I am a big believer in setting realistic goals that can be achieved within a reasonable time. Let’s start as we mean to go on, get motivated, get moving and get the body you want with the body you have. Not only will you look fabulous, you will feel great, with lots of energy and a strong mind that can cope with life’s challenges thrown upon us.

Eat for energy
Your body is your engine – you need to feed it with the best fuel for maximum super performance. Forget fad diets, if you eat right, you won’t need to diet. Feed it with lots of good fresh food. I am not talking about eating like a rabbit, on salads. I am talking about good, wholesome, natural foods. Cut out sugar and bad fats and you are half way there.
Sugar can slow you down and make you feel tired and sluggish. Sugar will give you a quick energy rush initially and then give you a sudden drop. So before reaching for those sugar laden sweets, biscuits and cakes, instead make your own and use natural sugar alternatives, then you can actually have your cake and eat it. Remember that sugar is added to lots of processed foods, often added to sauces and even cured meats. So always read the label and see how high it is in the listed ingredients on any item – if you see it at the beginning of the list, that is the highest ratio amount within, if it is nearer the end, the lesser amount of sugar ratio within the product.

Eat complex carbohydrates
Pasta, bread and rice are not the enemy. Eat wholesome grains in all granary wholemeal bread, rice and pasta. Don’t want to go all wholesome wholegrain on that, then mix it in partly with your regular white bread, rice or pasta. All these are not totally bad for you until you add thick, rich, oily, fatty and creamy sauces on top. So eat clean and get lean, with healthy low fat sauces in your cooking. Eat porridge oats, even if not for breakfast, add to other foods like your sugar free apple crumble. It can aid in reducing cholesterol. Don’t be afraid of eating potatoes, just don’t fry them in lots of oil; part boil first and cook in a little olive oil.
Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Not only are they loaded in fibre, they are good in helping sustaining energy as they release slowly, unlike regular sugars with that quick sudden drop.
Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. It is a simple rule but works if you actually listen to it. It is nature’s way to remain slim. Don’t force a mouthful of food or that desert straight after dinner if you are no longer hungry, but just want for it. Put it aside for later and eat it when you get hungry again.
Eat a balance of varied foods and include lots of protein rich foods. Keep it low in fat, with lean meats, poultry and fish. Skimmed milk versions of cheeses etc can help with keeping it lower in fats if needed. These proteins are your body building, immunity strength workers. It will help for muscle building and keeping the bones robust, as well as joints in good working order.

All fuelled up to work out
Eat something light a couple of hours before a workout, whether it is your sugar free cereal, toast or snack. Better still, have some fruit for that little energy boost. Save the main protein meal for after your workout and eat soon after the training as your body will be working faster burning it all off. Now you’re ready to work out, let’s go.

Work out
Even when I used to compete for competition in Miss Figure, I only trained three to four times a week, and when I wasn’t competing, I would train two to three times a week. It is about quality, not quantity of the training. You can train seven days a week, but if the quality of your training is poor, you will not see a real change or visual transformation. When you get the odd day with a burst of energy, make sure you use it. Give it your best and most intense aerobic active energy workout. On other days, when the energy may not be as much. instead of doing the aerobic energy exercises like running, bootcamp activities, dancing, martial arts, football, etc, do some weight training exercises instead, it doesn’t involve jumping around, but you can still work on muscle building or toning exercises. My motto is something is still better than nothing, so long as your technique is good.

High energy exercise
Motivate yourself with some lively music you enjoy to get you moving. If you need guidance or company, get online and find someone to workout with. With many professionals now doing classes online, find your instructor and work along with them. You will then hopefully be using good technique that will help you achieve good results quickly. You will get maximum benefit with both physical and visual transforming results.

Join me in my previous dance workouts on the Body In Balance app on Virgin Media TV or on the OTE channel.
You will also be able to do new live workouts coming soon, with the Body In Balance LIVE BIB network app launching for a variety of fitness workouts not only in dance, but in other training workouts that I enjoy teaching and also with many other qualified professionals in their own fitness subject areas.
Get that body you desire, get moving, and work out for both your mind and body.

Love and Sparkles x

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