Change it up
While Brooke says high-intensity interval training (HIIT) gives an excellent workout, you should combine it with low-intensity steady state (LISS) moves like walking, running and cycling.
“HIIT workouts are an efficient way to maintain or increase your lean muscle mass,” Brooke explains.
“Lower intensity exercise digs deeper into your fat stores as the primary source of energy rather than your carbohydrates and glucose, which complements fat loss goals.”
You should also make sure you’re moving your body in different directions.
“Try to incorporate a variety of the seven fundamental human movements: pull, push, squat, lunge, hinge, rotation and gait,” she adds.
The long haul
“Always monitor your progress,” advises Brooke.
“Some common methods include weighing, skin folds, measurements and DEXA [bone density] scans.”
It’s also useful to pay attention to how your clothes fit. Don’t be disheartened if the scales aren’t moving because you may be replacing fat with muscle, which is heavier.
“If you’re incorporating resistance training, take note of the weights that you use and this can be reviewed later to see if your strength is improving,” Brooke adds.
Know when to stop
“Dizziness, chest pain, numbness, tingling, breathing difficulties or fainting during workouts are signs that you should stop immediately and seek assistance if required,” Brooke advises.
You also need to distinguish the difference between the “good” kind of soreness that suggests you’ve had an effective workout and the “bad” kind that can indicate an injury.
“Bad pain is sharp and localised,” Brooke cautions.
“Any pain that progressively gets worse as you’re training is not a good sign. If you experience any of this, take a break from the activity until you can get to your doctor and have it checked out.”
Things to remember
When you work out, you should feel your muscles activate. “For example, if you were performing bicep curls and sit-ups, your upper arms and core would be feeling activated,” Brooke says.
But if you feel back or neck soreness, Brooke explains this is a sign of “bad” pain and that your technique may need work.
Remember: it’s not a good workout unless it makes you feel good in your body and also in your mind.
“Mentally, workouts can help to alleviate anxiety, boost your brain power, increase confidence, reduce stress, sharpen your memory and lift your mood,” Brooke recommends.
If you don’t already own a smart watch, consider dropping a few hints for one this Christmas! “There are so many on the market to meet personal goals, style and budget with a huge range of features to not only keep you motivated, but also track your progress,” says Brooke.
WATCH BELOW: Lara Worthington does a skipping workout at home