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Michelle Bridges' top tips for staying in shape
After shooting to fame as the straight-talking trainer on The Biggest Loser, Michelle Bridges has gone on to become Australia's leading health and fitness expert. With 10 bestselling books under her belt, Bridges' online weight loss plan 12WBT has also become a phenomenon - gaining over 800,000 likes on Facebook.
Now the lady responsible for literally shredding over 850,000 kilograms off her followers is putting her energy behind the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, held on September 21. Along with being the Head Coach of the festival, Bridges will be doing the half marathon.
beautyheaven chatted to the health guru to find out all her fitness tricks and tips ahead of the festival...
What are your top five tips for staying in shape?
- Lay down a realistic game plan. It’s important that your plan fits with your lifestyle and schedule, and you can execute it with military precision. Start small and simple and reward yourself for reaching milestones and achieving success.
- Schedule your workouts. Life is busy and exercise is often one of the first things to go if you don’t love it or make it a priority. Go to bed early and rise in time to fit training in in the morning, or commit to leaving work on time on certain days to squeeze in your session. Training at lunch time is a great option. It’s a good way to fit exercise into your busy day – and even better if you can get some workmates involved too.
- Plan your meals. Being organised is huge when it comes to staying in shape. Plan healthy meals for the week coming and buy ingredients ahead of time so you aren’t tempted by unhealthy, quick fixes that derail all your hard work. Make things that don’t take too long to prepare on the days you know you’ll be tight on time. Having a healthy, homemade frozen meal, like veggie lasagne, is also a good option if your schedule changes unexpectedly. It’s all about being prepared.
- Be informed. Research properly: find out what kinds of exercise suit you best and which healthy foods will help you stay in shape. This is also important when you’re travelling or are on holidays, when your routine might be different. Find out where you can do some simple physical activity and access some good options for healthy eating ahead of time.
- Be consistent. It’s great to set goals and be positively motivated by them, but understand that you do not need them to exercise. Be consistent and you will achieve. No bells and whistles, no hype. Consistency is being stable, solid and dedicated all the way through. Take the emotion out, go into autopilot, and do it – don’t think, just do!
What is your regular exercise regime?
To be completely honest, I make do every day with what my options are. I keep an open mind, and having a busy schedule means I can’t always get to the gym. What I always do is plan ahead and I try to include a balance of weight training and cardio every day.
Do you try and do some form of exercise every day?
I work out five to six days a week, and if I miss a session, I’ll make up for it with a double whammy over the weekend. It might sound crazy to some, but exercise is my rock. I can’t get through what I have to - need to - without it and I really do enjoy it. It has become so much a part of my life - I don’t know what I would do without it!
Do you ever have a rest day?
I do – rest and recovery are just as important for the body as doing exercise. Your muscles need time-out just like your mind does – time to repair and grow. On my rest days, I must admit, I still tend to do something active but keep it simple, even just a casual walk or a jump in the sea in the summer. Admittedly, I’m a bit of a mover.
Do you mix up your workouts?
I definitely do – after all, variety is the spice of life! Functional training, using multiple muscle groups, is the way to go. I have been known to surf, do trapeze or CrossFit and I do enjoy some mind and body exercise in a yoga practice. I'll give anything a go.
Can you tell us about the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival?
I am SO excited to be Head Coach for Blackmores Sydney Running Festival this year. It’s a once-a-year opportunity to be on the Sydney Harbour Bridge, traffic-free, and it is a spectacle and a half! The view of Sydney Harbour and surrounds is truly beautiful, and getting out there amongst all those healthy, active bodies – what better way to spend a Sunday?
What advice do you have for people taking part in the race?
Stretch and warm up. It’s something lots of people neglect, but it plays a key role in you reaching your potential, and it also minimises the risk of injury on race day. And taper – try to dial down your training the week before the race, and give yourself a day off before the big day.
To find out more about the Blackmores Sydney Running Festival, visit http://www.sydneyrunningfestival.com.au.
What workouts do you do to help stay in shape? Is fitness important to you?