Starting out on your fitness journey can be daunting but don't forget everyone was a beginner once.
What's better? In short, the answer is that a combination is best.
To lose weight, the calories you consume must be less than the calories you expend. Cardio can help with burning calories and getting you closer to your weight goal.
The beauty is that there are lots of fun and varied ways of getting your heart rate up.
Spin is a great way to get sweating – good for those that really want to kick their cardio up a gear.
If you're looking to unwind, Zumba is our favourite way of combining both exercise and a good time.
On the other hand, weight training can be just as beneficial for weight loss.
Muscle mass requires more energy for maintenance. What this means is that the more muscle your body has, the more calories your body uses up when resting.
For those after a toned look, include some resistance training in your routine. If you want to train smart, head along to one of our Pump classes. When you're short on time, make sure to try our Core30 classes for a quick and targeted workout.
Balance is key. It’s important to include both cardio and weight training into your workout for overall health. Variety is good for your body, and makes you more likely to stick to your programme too.
Find both cardio and weight-based exercises that you enjoy and you'll look forward to heading to the gym.
Starting out on your fitness journey can be daunting but don't forget everyone was a beginner once.
It’s likely you won’t be the only beginner in the class and having others around means you never feel alone. Talk to the trainer before the class starts, they’ll keep an eye on you and make sure you’re being safe in your movements.
If you would rather work out in your own schedule we suggest booking in a time with one of our qualified instructors. Included as part of the Gym and Gym & Pool memberships, instructors are able to create a free programme tailored to your personal goals.
When it's time for you to progress further, your programme can be updated to help keep up motivation. Our instructors can answer any questions you have and show you how to use the gym equipment so that you feel more confident on your own.
It won’t be long before you start feeling the benefits of a routine and feeling more familiar with the equipment around you.
Check out how easy it is to become a member at your local Recreation and Sport Centre.
Misconceptions about weight lifting are common. The truth is that everyone could benefit from adding weight training into their exercise routine.
Weight lifting can be intimidating when you are new to it, but you'll soon find that it's well worth the effort.
The benefits of weight training are:
As you get older, and particularly for women, it's natural for your body to lose muscle tone and bone mass. However, it's proven that weight training helps to improve bone density. Simply put, weight lifting helps strengthen your bones and lessens the risk of breakages. Get into it!
Consistent weight lifting builds muscle. The more muscle your body holds, the more calories it burns at rest. This means the more you weight train, the more energy you'll burn lounging on the couch! If you're interested in dropping some weight, incorporating weight lifting into your exercise routine can help aid weight loss.
Weight lifting can strengthen the muscles of your core. Our core muscles help support the spine and can lessen the discomfort caused by sitting all day at a desk. If you are an office worker, strengthening your core is an important priority in offsetting the effects of a less-active lifestyle.
It may be obvious, but feeling fitter and stronger can make going about your everyday activities that much easier. Stronger muscles make picking up your children, getting from place to place in a hurry, and being active on the weekends less of an effort.
Lastly, a message for the ladies. Some women feel that weight lifting will make them look 'bulky'. There's no need to worry, that won't happen. A bodybuilder's physique does not come easy, and casual weight training won't make you look like one.
A good way to get started is to come along to a Body Pump class. Let the trainers know that it is your first time and they will make sure to look after you. Otherwise feel free to discuss incorporating weight training with one of our qualified instructors. One of our team can put together a free personalised programme for you as part of your Gym or Gym & Pool membership at any of our Recreation and Sport Centres.
We've all been told before how important our core muscles are to our health - better posture and reduced back pain being some of the most important benefits. The good news is it's never too late to start improving your core strength.
Pilates classes are one of the best places to start. They're a challenging but rewarding workout, regulars find it's easy to get addicted! Pioneer Recreation and Sport Centre(external link) offers classes for every experience level so don’t feel shy about trying it for the first time.
One of our favourite ways to target your core is a BAT class. This class focuses on activating your Bum, Abs and Thighs for a serious lower body workout. Our instructors do an amazing job of distracting you whilst your body's doing all the hard work.
Yoga(external link) is well known for providing a full body workout, but most importantly it targets the core muscles thoroughly. There are different types of yoga that focus on different areas of wellbeing. Pioneer offers three class types for you to choose from: Hatha, Restorative and Stretch and Release. We suggest trying them all to see which you like best.
One exercise that is sometimes overlooked in core strengthening is aqua exercise. Water jogging is a great non-weight bearing exercise that also provides resistance for the muscles. Simply running up and down the swimming lanes is a good workout, but we suggest having a go at the Aqua Deep and Aqua Fit classes. These classes are good for anyone looking for guidance or motivation, and are a really fun time. Bring a friend and give them a go!
Committing to exercising three to five times a week can be a daunting prospect, often people believe they don’t have enough time in the day to make this a reality. Yet the benefits in the short and long term are worth you finding the 30-60 minutes a day.
The hardest part of any exercise programme is always getting started, followed closely by making it into a habit that will last a lifetime.
Your local Recreation and Sport Centre has some advice which can make this much easier for you:
When you have a personalised programme that caters to your specific needs, you are much more likely to get results. Seeing feedback from your body in terms of changes is a great way to stay motivated and increase your desire to show up.
A great way to start this is to get a personalised fitness programme from one of our qualified instructors - they're free for Gym and Gym & Pool members(external link).
By informing those closest to you of your intentions to start exercising regularly, you then make yourself accountable to them. These people can encourage you to work out when you’re lacking motivation.
Don’t expect your dream body to appear in a month. When beginning to establish an exercise habit, set your goals around attendance rather than weight loss or any larger goal.
If you’re just beginning, commit to three workouts a week and make your first goal to attend the gym 12 times in your first month. By setting realistic and smaller goals you are more likely to achieve them.
By following these tips, regularly checking in with your trainer and making time to workout at least three times a week, exercising will be a part of your weekly ritual in no time. A complimentary personal programme is offered with Gym and Gym & Pool membership (external link)every 12 weeks.
Find out more about membership options(external link)
Gym and Gym & Pool members(external link) are entitled to a free personal fitness programme.
One of our highly qualified fitness instructors can update your personal programme every 12 weeks and support you throughout your fitness journey.
Whether you prefer group classes or gym training, a personal programme can help you reach your goals and stay on track.
Your free personal programme includes a:
A personal programme can give you more confidence using gym equipment, new exercise ideas and the ability to work on your individual fitness needs.
Access to the gym facilities and group fitness classes are part of Gym and Gym & Pool memberships(external link) so we advise you to try both.
Talk to one of the qualified fitness instructors at your local Recreation and Sport Centres(external link) to find out more about personal programmes.
Human beings are social creatures and most of us love to be around other people.
We all love to laugh, joke and have fun. In a world where email, texting and social media is increasingly the normal way to interact, working out with a group offers that human connection that is sometimes missing in day-to-day life.
We can do just about everything today virtually without ever talking to a person - with group fitness you have to get involved.
Participating in group fitness helps to motivate and push you further than exercising alone - here's why:
Recreation and Sport Centres offer over 150 group fitness classes each week, in addition to term-based Pilates and Yoga programmes.
Try a class today and you will find fun, friends and improved health and fitness.
Are you starting your fitness journey, or getting back into it after a break?
Here are a few things you might notice when you dust off those sneakers.
Fitness instructors at the Recreation and Sports Centres are there to help. Talk to an instructor today about helping you on your fitness journey.
If you are starting to run outside or in the gym here are a few vital tips to help your performance.
Check out some simple tips to keep fit and overcome low motivation levels.
Personal fitness programmes are free with a Recreation and Sport Centre Gym or Gym & Pool membership - talk to one of our instructors today.
Set a goal of how many times a week to exercise, be realistic and if you beat it, it's a bonus.
Swimming, group fitness classes or the gym are all fantastic options to get your heart rate up and build muscle. Use a personal programme to help you in the gym.
There are many benefits to be gained from regular stretching.
It can be tempting to cut short a workout session or forget to include a stretching routine, especially when you are short on time. It’s important that stretching becomes a regular habit as it can have a positive impact on your overall health. The benefits of regular stretching include flexible muscles, an increased range of motion in joints, and a decreased risk of injury.
For best results, it’s good to have an understanding of the two types of stretching.
Dynamic stretching involves the continuous movement of your muscles, such as a walking lunge or making wide circles with your arms. This type of stretching is best before or during a workout session as it helps to warm up your joints and muscles.
Static stretching involves holding positions for a certain amount of time, often for around half a minute. This kind of stretching is best after a workout when your muscles have been warm and are ready to be cooled down.
The wide benefits of stretching are the reason that our group fitness instructors include dynamic stretches during the warm-up, and static stretches at the end of our group fitness classes. For a session that targets all of your major muscles, our Stretch and Release class is a great way to unwind. For the days you're not able to make it to the gym, find some time for a home stretching routine(external link).
For all the physical benefits, many find that stretching slowly is also a great way to relax mentally. Next time you're working out or need to wind down after a stressful day, make sure to incorporate some time for a stretching routine.