Be warned, fitness kick needs careful planning

Graham Smith, Fitness Manager at Bannatyne's Health Club, County Grounds, Riverside, Chester-le-Street.

Graham Smith, Fitness Manager at Bannatyne's Health Club, County Grounds, Riverside, Chester-le-Street.

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A FITNESS instructor is warning those wanting to get in shape this new year to give it some thought before jumping on the treadmill.

January traditionally sees many people signing up to gyms or beginning new fitness programmes.

While Graham Smith, health and fitness manager at Bannatyne’s, in Chester-le-Street, is keen to encourage those who want to get in shape to do so, he thinks that people should think exactly what it is they want out of their health kick.

 Graham said: “A very good saying is ‘Fail to plan, plan to fail’.

“You need to make goals and keep looking to achieve them. There is no point doing it if not.

“You might have a long-term goal of, for example, losing a stone. But if you break that down to smaller-term targets, it makes it a lot easier on yourself.

“Then if things change, it helps you keep it realistic.”

Graham added that getting fit can often be a very difficult process and that there will be ups and downs along the way.

He explained that a support network can be invaluable.

“I think it is all about willpower and getting the support of your family and friends,” he added.

“You might lose your way at some point, but they will help you to get back on the bandwagon and that’s important.

“It’s all about working to your own level, too.”

Graham added: “In a way, it is about pushing yourself, but you should only push yourself to your own limits.

“You see a lot of big fellas in the gym chucking things about and certain people think they can do the same straightaway.

“But it’s all about getting a good, structured plan and sticking to it.

“There has to be some variation though. If you do the same thing for eight weeks you will end up getting demoralised, so it’s important to have reassessments with staff.”

Even though getting fit means temptations such as takeaway food and desserts need to be off the menu, expert Graham said it’s essential to give yourself rewards along the way.

“There are different theories within the industry, but you do need to give yourself rewards from time to time,” he said.

“But it’s also important to keep in control of what you are doing and manage those rewards.”