Nicola’s Signature Article:
New Year, New You?

Is this the year you decided to set yourself a New Year’s resolution? Or are you someone who sets one every year? My question to both is; how are you getting on with them?

It seems the obvious topic for me to write about as many people have started that post Christmas health kick although even with the best intentions at the beginning, we can start to slip back to old habits and lose the motivation to keep it going consistently. It isn’t easy, but the fact that you are motivated to make a change is one of the hardest steps and a fantastic start. I am in no way perfect at this either, I have to really focus and put my mind to it, so I thought by sharing some ideas that I do to keep myself going, in turn may help your thoughts around keeping fit and also motivated towards your targets.

It is all about bite-size

  • Setting yourself a goal can seem daunting but in order to work hard I do think it is important to know what you are aiming for or at least working towards so that you can use it as the power behind your workouts.
  • Not too easy – Not too hard! Split your goal down into really simple targets that you feel are manageable, that will keep you positively seeking to achieve them on a weekly basis.
  • Don’t go flying out the gates expecting it will make the journey quicker. Enjoy the feeling and benefits of doing little and often, knowing that you are on track and in return the enjoyment will keep you coming back for more. Plus you then won’t pick up injuries!

Get in, Get out

  • You would think a long, average paced, one hour bike session would do the trick…… not necessarily. Everyone is different but as a general rule, make the session purposeful, get a sweat on and then get out of there!
  • You could get better results doing HIIT (high intensity interval training), circuit or fartlek training which is much more exciting and over in half the time.
  • Try joining a class, there is so much choice these days.

Everything in moderation

  • Yep, even I have biscuits!!
  • Exercise alone will take you to a certain level but if you a struggling to progress past that, it may be that you look to cut a few luxuries. What we eat does play a large part but I think a treat once or twice a week wouldn’t do much harm :0)
  • Trust me on this, as I went from student to athlete, if you choose better eating habits as a consistent lifestyle, the treats become much more satisfying and actually a treat!

GO GO Gadgets!

  • There are so many apps and gadgets out there now, get yourself a training buddy!
  • Track your progressions and be proud that you are making it happen
  • I like the smart watches. Some even tell you, which Heart Rate zones you are training in and can be great feedback.

I have put together some of my favourite exercises that you may like to try! The idea in circuits is to go hard and over time build up the number of repetitions, length of time, overall time, add weight or the number of times repeating the circuit. Be creative :0)

Circuit = 5 minutes (Each exercise is 30 seconds). Rest 3 minutes. Repeat.


Circuit = 5 minutes (Choose your favourite 5. Each exercise 1 minute) Rest 3 minutes. Repeat.

  1. High knees / skipping / jogging on the spot (anything cardio)
  2. Press up – Roll – Sit up (Use knees until you progress to full press up)
  3. Alternate lunges
  4. Heel to Toe walks
  5. Squat jumps / hopscotch / star jumps on the spot (anything cardio)
  6. Thrusters (squat to shoulder press)
  7. Rotating plank holds (right side to front to left side, 10 secs each)
  8. Step ups
  9. Tip Toes walks
  10. Mountain climbers (hands and feet on floor, drive your knees to your chest)