How to maximise your health: The best exercise and fitness tips

Manage your time. If you don’t do this well then everything that makes you healthy suffers – you won’t get enough sleep, you won’t have time to prepare healthy foods, and you won’t find the time to exercise. Book appointments for the gym or some time for yourself in your diary just as you would meetings for work or the family.

Build more muscle mass. Once we pass the age of 40 we start to lose muscle mass and it leads to a slower metabolism, middle-aged weight gain and a decline in strength and function. You can build muscle mass by lifting weights, but I prefer functional fitness moves such as those in primal fitness classes like Animal Flow. Moves include crawling or trying to move opposing arms and legs. Not only does this build muscle, it also works a greater number of muscles at once, which gives more effective results.

Strengthen your rotator cuff. The muscles that hold the shoulder joint in place, the rotator cuff, are often ignored when we exercise but if they are weak you’re going to have worse posture and a greater risk of neck and back pain. There’s a simple series of exercises that you can do anywhere that work the area. If you search the terms “rotator cuff exercises” and “NHS” online, you will find the full programme.

When you exercise, focus. I see so many people at the gym who are simply moving their arms and legs up and down – and then they wonder why they aren’t getting results. You need to focus on the muscles. If you actually think about the move youre doing and squeeze the muscle you’re working while you do it you recruit more muscle fibres and get a faster, more effective result.

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