No barriers to getting fit

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Fans of the comedy series Ab Fab, starring Joanna Lumley and Jennifer Saunders will remember a dialogue between the character Edina and her on screen daughter, Saffron played by Julia Sawalha.

‘Saffi’ suggests that her mother give up all her expensive and frankly fruitless fads and treatments and “just eat less and do some exercise” to which an indignant Edina retorts: “Don’t be silly, dahling. If it was that easy, everyone would be doing it.”

Yet, it can be that easy if the desire is strong enough, say fitness and weightloss experts.

No need for annual gym membership, high tech footwear or personal trainers.

Just put on some comfortable shoes and start walking.

Gordon Hill, personal trainer at Impact Fitness said: “The reason most people fail to adhere to their new year resolutions is that they expect too much too soon – 10 years of poor diet and no exercise cannot be undone in 10 weeks.

“Consistency is so important and you need to be committed to a change in lifestyle.

“Setting realistic goals will help greatly. First of all set a long term goal. For example, a year from now two stone fat loss, and then break this down into shorter four-week benchmarks: down a dress size by February.

“There’s plenty of exercise that can be done in the home for those who don’t like exercising in public.

“Press ups, squats, lunges, sit-ups. Use a chair back or table for support, where necessary.

“Use stairs in the house for step-ups or climbing. It’s simple and doesn’t cost a thing.”

Gordon also advises: “Treat your daily fitness routine as an appointment that cannot be cancelled.

“Progression will come naturally so just be aware of your body and let it define the pace.

“Don’t forget to factor in muscle stretches after about five minutes into a walk to avoid cramping up. They’ll become easier to do after exercising, too.”

Getting out and about in the fresh air can also be mood-lifting, said Gordon.

He added: “Glasgow and East Renfrewshire have a richness of beautiful parks but make sure you do your walking in daylight or with a friend or an organised walking group.

“As fitness levels improve, try some interval training of 60 seconds walking and 30 seconds jogging, increasing the length and pace as you progress.

“Incorporate some press-ups and tricep dips – check out a reliable book or website for outdoor-friendly exercises – using a park bench, fountain or other park feature.”

It may be worth forking out for a personal trainer for the first few sessions to learn the right way to do exercises, and even plan out a do-able workout routine.

Sociallites who like company may want to join a walking or rambling club.

There are plenty of clubs and groups arranged by Glasgow Life and East Renfrewshire Council and the councils’ fitness teams can help plan a workout and diet regime that fits in with most lifestyles such as shiftworkers.

Always check with your GP before embarking on any lifestyle changes.