Are you Summer ready? World Champion Ironman and Vive Co-Founder, Guy Leech, gives us his top five tips for getting in shape as the warmer months approach!
1. Work out with friends
When I hung up my swimmers many years ago, I needed a new way to motivate myself. I didn’t have to push to be the best in the world at sport anymore, so I needed to find something else to keep me motivated. One thing I found most useful was finding like-minded people to work out with. Committing to a mate that you’ll be in a 7am class makes it so much more likely you’ll both turn up. Eventually I formed paddle fitness classes and now, of course, I have Vive Active, but whatever form it takes, working out in a group is so much more fun, plus it seems to make the time go quicker!
2. Start small
It can take some time to form a new habit. Starting small is the key to making it happen. Whether it’s swapping a soft drink for water, having some alcohol-free nights each week, or adding an extra workout to your schedule, making gradual changes stops you getting overwhelmed and throwing in the towel before Summer even begins. Small changes might not seem like a lot to begin, but at the end of a year, the sum total of those changes can mean a dramatic transformation to your health.
3. Get enough protein
If you’re counting calories and keeping your portions small, make sure you’re still getting enough food to fuel your exercise. I love that being strong is the new skinny – but you need to have the food intake to get you there. Protein is especially crucial for building lean muscle mass. You can read about how much protein you actually need each day here (the figures might surprise you). By all means watch what you eat, but just make sure you’re still getting enough protein, as well as healthy fats (think nuts and seeds, avocado, eggs), that you’ve got enough in the tank to smash those workout goals too.
4. Mix it up
We’ve designed our classes at Vive to be the ultimate total-body workout, which means you can meet all your exercise needs just by coming to the studio alone. But, for the sake of keeping your mind fresh and your body constantly guessing about what’s coming next, I’d actually prefer if all our Vivers mixed in some other exercise to their week as well – ideally outdoors! I’ve found that reformer pilates has improved my paddling and my golf, so the best week for me is one where I get to do all these things – preferably a few times.
5. Think big picture
Having short-term goals is hugely important (perhaps losing those last 5 kilos or building more lean muscle), but don’t let those goals overshadow your long-term future. My Dad had a heart attack in front of me when I was 12, so I knows how important health is, not just right now, but as we get older too. I often tell people to: “fast forward to the last 10 years of your life”. Do you want to be active and still have a high-quality life? Ultimately, you need a bigger motivation than aesthetics if you want to make lasting changes. What you do in your day-to-day life right now plays a major part in how you’ll end up. So even though this Summer is important, think of those years ahead too. They might just be the motivation you need to get moving today and stay fit through all the seasons.