It’s more important than ever to get your body moving; new research by scientists in Belgium has found that just 45 minutes of cardio exercise helps slow down telomere shortening – which is one of the nine causes of ageing.
We asked Bethany Meyers, who is a New-York based SLT fitness instructor and Instagram star, for her top six tips to make exercising fun – especially if you can’t quite motivate yourself to get to that 6am spin class every day as winter kicks in.
Luckily, Bethany’s tips will help you start exercising, and actually enjoy it…
1 How To Get A Flat Tummy
“Crunches do not work for getting a flat stomach,” Bethany tells Lumity. “Think about how ballerinas stand. They have their stomach muscles pulled in, and their backs slightly arched. The trick is to think about your stomach muscles all the time as you’re walking around. Pull them in while you’re standing in line at the grocery store or talking to your colleague at the water cooler. It’s an easy habit to get into and you’ll see a big difference in no time.”
2 How To Exercise The Easy Way
There’s no easy way to exercise, but picking something you love doing will make it feel as if it’s easy, Bethany tells Lumity: “If you like roller-blading, or dancing at home in your underwear, or even just going for long walks then do that. You don’t have to sign up to an exercise class you hate and force yourself to do it. Do something that’s fun and you’ll look forward to it.”
3 If It Seems Hard, Don’t Give Up Immediately
“I was trying out a new class the other day and was finding it really hard,” explains Bethany. “And I thought, ‘this is what it’s supposed to be like!’. You won’t be an expert when you try out a new class and that’s fine. Don’t get embarrassed that you’re finding some of the moves difficult or awkward. If you’re going to give up a class, wait until you’ve done at least four sessions before you decide. You’ll find that after a couple of sessions it will get easier and you’ll know what to expect and you could find that something you didn’t like at the start becomes your new obsession. So keep an open mind.”
4 Work Out Early, Rather Than Late
“I’ve noticed when I teach classes that people who were booked in for the early morning sessions always come. But a lot more people cancel the after-work classes in the evening. If you wake up and sleep-walk into exercise you’ll find it easy to get on with it, because you haven’t had time to over-think it. And, you’ll start your day with that boost of endorphins and sense of pride that you set a goal and smashed it. We all know that if you have a class booked in the evening it’s easy to get distracted or tired out by the events of the day and end up putting it off. So if you treat exercise like a part of your morning routine, it’s done and you’re free to get on with everything else.”
5 Ten Minutes Is Better Than Nothing
Bethany says that if you really can’t face an entire hour at the gym then ten minutes of anything is better than nothing at all. “You’re probably going to be able to find ten minutes in your day to work out,” says Bethany. “Go for a walk in your lunch hour that goes up hills and steps, blast the music and dance at home while you’re getting ready in the morning, or sit on your exercise bike in front of the morning news. You’ll start enjoying it and probably find that ten minutes has magically become 40 minutes, and you’re having fun. Set attainable goals, but if you don’t decide to do anything then you never will. So get up and move and the rest will follow.”
6 Be Inventive With Diet Swaps
Bethany is a big believer that you can have it all. She loves sugar, so switches milk chocolate for strawberries dipped in melted dark chocolate with added Himalayan salt (try it, you’ll be hooked). Another genius health hack is using Kombucha as a mixer with vodka or other spirits when you’re partying with friends. “It’s fun, it’s fruity, delicious and it’s packed with probiotics which help fight off hangovers,” says Bethany.
Kombucha is the first thing that’s going on our shopping list today, after a long dance about at home!
If you’re in New York and want to try out one of Bethany’s brilliant workouts then check her videos out on Instagram and she’ll let you know where she’s going to be and when. As she says herself, “If you take SLT often, prepare to be challenged. Not because the moves are impossible and hard but because the moves make you think and perform.”
What are your favourite fitness tips, let us know below…