As a personal trainer, I'm in and out of gyms all day. Something I've noticed lately is the emergence of an 'athleisure trainer'  being used instead of a bona fide sports one.

Be aware: fashion trainers might look cool and stylish, they might come in more colours and styles, they might even cost less, but - in the main - they are not suitable for working out in. 

That's because they're not made for athletic functionality or to help prevent injury. 

The grip on the bottom is likely to be inferior to fashion ones and the cushioning and support at the rear of the shoe is unlikely to be suitable for supporting the ankle and instep - particularly if you're running or jumping. Also, the impact on joints will be greater, which is a classic pathway to knee and hip problems.

Also, the materials and fabric used in fashion trainers are often 'hard', inflexible, heavy and without wicking to help release heat and moisture.

If you're an athleisure-trainer-wearer in the gym, it might not be your fault. When you walk into the trainer section of a sports store, the two varieties are often not de-lineated and if you ask a member of staff, they don't always know the difference.

So, do your research before you part with your money. Once you've worn your trainers (whatever type they are) you won't be ale to return them.

Don't Run Out of Steam

So much has been written about coronavirus and how to keep fit while we're locked down. So much information, so many You Tube videos, so many Instagram posts and so many people to like, follow and watch. It's overwhelming and exhausting - and that's before you've even done any exercise.

 My advice is this: find a type/s of exercise that works for you and keep doing it. Change it when you feel your body's got used to it or when it gets boring, The most important thing to do is keep going during this period. Those people who maintain an exercise regime throughout lockdown are the very people who are likely to remain committed when this is all over. They are the people who will stand out and flourish back in the gym/exercise classes and they are the people who will be able to feel proud of themselves from a fitness perspective for a very long time.


The Honest PT

Posted on September 17, 2015 at 9:20 AM


Let's talk dimples - and I'm not referring to the cute ones on your face.

I'm talking orange peel flesh, blubber thighs, lard butt and cottage cheese tummy. In case you hadn't guessed ladies, I'm talking about the dreaded cellulite - or persistent subcutaneous fat, as the dictionary so charmingly puts it.

Cellulite is on a par with death and taxes if you're a woman living in the Western world - it's going to happen to you at some point and there's not that much you can do about it. You don't even have to be fat, unfit or chavvy to suffer. Supermodels get it, as do Hollywood A-listers not to mention royalty (who can forget that photo of Princess Beatrice on the beach in a bikini?).

So why is it that an affliction that connects women so personally, also divides us in terms of judgement on others? Open almost any magazine nowadays and you'll be bombarded with images of beautiuful skinny women on one page, while on the next you'll see someone in the public eye sporting thunder thighs reminiscent of the surface of the moon? 

Talk about perverted sisterhood. We all get cellulite and we all try to hide it. But why should we, it's part of a woman's identity. It's tied-in with our genetic make-up, the same genes that give us the gift of children. And, if someone fails to hide it, we feel their pain but we're also secretly laughing because they got caught out and we didn't. And, in the case of celebrities, it's reassuringly nice to know that they're not so perfect after all and have to contend with the same cruel tricks of nature as the rest of us.

So where am I going with this? Well, as a personal trainer I'm painfully aware how many women are tormented by their cellulite. One lady I know of won't go on a beach holiday for fear of having to expose her dimpled flesh in a bikini. She pretends she prefers city breaks and ski-ing so in order to avoid the humiliation. A friend of a friend spends hundreds of pounds a year on self-proclaimed wonder creams in the belief that they will somehow cure her condition. Guess what, they don't. Her thighs are as dimpled as the oranges she eats while trying to lose weight.

The trouble with cellulite is that once you've got it, it's extremely hard to get rid of. It often develops during puberty (along with stretch marks) when teenage girls are prone to putting on weight - partly due to raging hormones but also because junk food is the nutrition of choice and exercise is not as attractive as boys.

Yes, there's many things you can do to improve the appearance of cellulite-infected skin. But ironically, rather like an infection, sometimes the remedies work and sometimes they don't. So, the best advice I can give you is: don't let cellulite take hold - unless, that is, you don't want it to ever let go. Glaringly obvious advice, I know, but important to state all the same.

And the best way to avoid cellulite? Well, you need to prevent toxins being stored in the fatty deposits that form just under your skin. So:

1) Eat 'clean'/healthy and avoid saturated fat

2) Drink plenty of water - preferably 1.5 litres a day.

3) Exercise regularly - particularly cardiovascular work (where you sweat out toxins)

4) Limit your use of salt - or use a low sodium alternative

5) Stimulate your lymph system by dry bristle brushing your skin and massaging afterwards with a softening or elasticity-giving cream

6) Try to avoid weight gain - particularly rapid weight gain.

And if you get cellulite, and you can't shift it, try not to stress - at least you're normal and unless you're a pop, soap or reality star, the rest of the world will never see it!

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