FITNESS BLOG: Four week journey with a personal trainer

PUBLISHED: 17:15 18 June 2019 | UPDATED: 17:15 18 June 2019

Beth Sharp at LED Leisure Centre in Honiton.

Beth Sharp at LED Leisure Centre in Honiton.


Last week we started a series of features which will be written once a week, for a month, giving readers an insight into what having a PT is really like.

Click here to see part one.

I have now finished week two of having a personal trainer (PT) at LED Honiton and have really been astounded by Elena's vast knowledge, not just about the body but emotional wellbeing too.

We have been focusing on different muscle groups around my body and have already started to feel better in myself and noticed a difference in my energy levels.

Like a lot of other full-time professionals I'm always in a rush and meetings often overrun, putting me behind - meaning I am constantly rushing about, stressing.

On one such occasion I was late to one of my sessions so we decided to spend 45 minutes on the power plate which helps to cut your work out in half.

The power plate works by giving you a high-speed workout using multi-directional vibrations to contract and relax your muscles. It helps to increased blood circulation, decrease the stress hormone cortisol, boosts muscular strength, improve athletic performance and disrupt pain signals.

We did squats, lungs, planks and a number of other exercises that got my heart going. I didn't think it made much of a difference but by the next day I had a little soreness from the areas where we had focused. I also found the power plate to be a great machine to relax and massage my sore muscles and I can tell the difference the next day if I haven't used it to stretch.

During our workouts Elena also takes the time to educate me and what really interested was the impact stress can have and how many people do not realise they are stressed until they get to a point where it starts to really weigh them down. Stress was the silent killer that leads to high blood pressure along with so many other conditions and illnesses. Everyone has different symptoms to start but at the end often have them all - examples are insomnia, headaches, low energy levels, more hair falling out than usual.

And, the magic cure is exercise! This releases the endorphins which act as natural painkillers. Unfortunately for me, when I'm stressed all I want it a brew and a funny film to watch. But even if I only take ten minutes out to go on a brisk walk, as Elena recommended, I still can't believe how much better I feel.

Elena has made me feel more aware of my body and notice more when I'm feeling tense or I start to slouch.

One of the things I have been trying this week when I started to feel the tension is stretching my arms, back, neck and shoulders - the places most people hold the stress.

Stretching encourages the blood to move around a bit more - it might not seem a lot but it really has helped me, especially when I have been at work.

One of the most relaxing positions to help when you're stressed or annoyed (I can be a bit hot headed) is to lie down on the floor with your legs up against the wall forcing the blood back into and around your body and organs. Not really something you can do at work but in extreme circumstances I wouldn't rule it out. And, I may or may not have done this secretly in the work storage cupboard on a particularly stressful day, in an attempt to get rid of a migraine.

I also tried out a Pilates and body balance class - both of which were great and relaxing - I found body balance a bit more challenging and that Pilates was a good balance of exercise and relaxation - I found it challenging but also peaceful - it is definitely something I plan to continue with.

Overall I have lots more energy. One of my aims was to lose half a stone in a month though, and I've actually put on half a pound - but I feel better in myself so think that is a small price to pay.

Visit Elena's website here.

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