Fitness by Laura Williams

By Kay Lockett on January 17, 2011 3:32 PM |


Get the look: Reese Witherspoon

The newly engaged star of Walk The Line and Legally Blonde is a keen exerciser who is determined to pass her sporty genes onto her children.

How she does it: Reese is often seen out and about in workout gear but her most recent sporting achievement was completing a mother and daughter triathlon with offspring Ava.

Do it for yourself: This year, if you want to get the very best results from your efforts at the gym, think about taking up cross training, which the triathlon is a great example of. It's a brilliant way to burn off hundreds of calories and fast-track yourself to super fitness.

By training in three disciplines (running, swimming and cycling) you're using nearly every muscle group and challenging your cardiovascular system more than if you just stick to one discipline.

You don't need to sign up for months of strenuous exercise to train in this way - mentally that might seem like a huge task and you'll end up doing nothing. Instead, try varying your routine in the gym. Start with a mini-circuit of, say, 10 minutes on the bike; 10 minutes on the treadmill and then an easy 15 minutes in the pool. You can increase the amount of time you spend on each before splitting your sessions over a week. If you find you prefer running more than swimming, say, you can concentrate more on that area.

I can feel my willpower beginning to slip with my New Year healthy regime. Have you got any suggestions on how to make it stick?

Not so long ago, analysts placed an exact date on when our New Year willpower starts to fail us, that is, the time when "naughties" make their way back into our shopping basket (it's a while away yet so you're a bit early). This insidious creep back to bad habits is what you need to nip in the bud. It's generally accepted that a habit takes 21 days to form, so you need to stick at your controlled eating and exercise regime for another week or so at least before you give it up as impossible. The key to permanent weight loss is to accept that you need to eat less and move more. Try not to deprive yourself but don't overeat either - that way you should be able to develop a healthy relationship with food.

App of the Week

ee-jan13-fitnesspal.jpgIt's all about the app these days and what better app to sign up for in January than MyFitnessPal. It's a fabulous application that provides you with tools that allow you to do everything from tracking calorie intake to calculating your metabolic rate. And the best part? They have a website if you're not in possession of a smartphone at