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5 top FAQ's about New Year exercise resolutions for the unfit.

The New Year's Resolution can be a powerful thing. Even when you refuse to make one, there's a chance that decision has been made with a little self reflection.

If navel gazing isn't your thing, you may still be finding yourself with the phrase "must get fit this year" swimming round your head right now. It might be the reason why you've opened this email up rather than swipe past.

The prospect of starting a fitness regime (scary word right there... regime... conjures up images of regulatory physical jerks...) is daunting for the uninitiated but fear not.

Below is a list of common queries us Personal Trainers hear prior to starting with new clients. Perhaps the answers will prod you closer to achieving your as yet unformed goals. Read on!

Q. What should I wear?

A. What have you got in the wardrobe already? Some shorts or trousers with a bit of give, a pair of shoes with soft soles, supportive if possible, a T shirt which doesn't ride up and a soft sweater or zip through top. I'd recommend a supportive bra if you're female and want to jump up and down at all.

My tip: don't spend a lot of money on clothes until you've found the exercise for you. There may be some specific kit you want but the instructor will help you find the best value and prevent you from making poor choices.

Q. How much time will it take?

A. This depends on how specific your goals are. If you want to progress from the sofa to running 5km we can probably manage it in 4-5 weeks. You could be doing it by mid February. If your goal is to get ski fit for a holiday you've just booked then a trainer will work out what can be achieved in the time you have left and show you how to be safe and effective with your plan.

My tip: most things are possible given enough time and energy so it depends on your expectations and how much you're prepared to devote to the goal. A good personal trainer will help you decide this at the start and keep you on track.

Q. Will it hurt?

A. Probably. To make physical changes our bodies experience local muscle exhaustion. The recovery process causes muscle pain around 36-48 hours after exercise. It's safe, it's temporary, you can take a painkiller if you like. A well organised training regime will ensure the pain is easily manageable and there are ways of achieving long term training goals while minimising this feeling which is appropriate for many with underlying health problems.

My tip: Muscle pain is acceptable but lingering joint pain is not. It can be hard to tell them apart but generally pain along a bone (eh thigh/ upper arm) will be muscular but pain at a bendy bit ( eg elbow, knee, hip) should be checked out by a medical practitioner like a Physiotherapist.

Q. How often will I have to do it?

A. You should expect to exercise around 3-5 days a week for good health. Once you accept that a healthy body will require this kind of commitment you'll give yourself the best chance of avoiding up to 70% of lifestyle related illnesses such as heart disease, lower back pain, many cancers, diabetes and stroke.

My tip: understand that you are only accountable to yourself and your loved ones. No-one else cares about you as much as this small team so if you love your family and yourself then put the hours in for a healthier, happier life.

Q. When will I be finished?

A. There's only one answer for me here. You'll have done it when exercise is a routine part of your life. It may take you a resolution or a challenge to kick start but, as a Personal Trainer, I'm interested in my clients' long term health. I don't consider it a success until exercise is as normal to you as brushing your teeth.

I'm serious about changing peoples' lives. It's just another way to Enjoy Good Health.

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