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Personal trainer Olivia Cooney offers some top fitness tips to keep in shape this summer

Fuel up!
New research has proven that beetroots are a purple powerhouse that have post work-out benefits to help you maximise your recovery time. Beetroots contain anti-inflammatory properties that prevent muscle soreness so you don’t lose momentum. Studies show beetroot’s ability to boost sports performance and improve recovery is heightened in less fit individuals rather than elite athletes. Add them to salads for a quick health boost.

Double your results!
Pop-up fitness training is all about functional movement with the majority of the workout focusing on what you can do with bodyweight. An excellent training technique we use is ‘high interval training’. Using almost any explosive bodyweight movement you can perform 20-30 seconds of this movement to your maximum intensity ability and recover with short rests of 10-15 seconds. Repeat each exercise three times and move on to the next. This energetic style of working out can help double your results in half the time!

Team work baby!
If you can work as a team with your partner or a friend, you will get the results faster. You are more likely to keep healthy if you eat together than if you are with someone who is chomping on a piece of pizza whilst you dig into your salad leaves. Resentment will kick in and you might be tempted to cave in. Taking classes together or ‘going Dutch’ on a PT session will also have a high impact on motivation.

Do what you love
There is endless information and advice out there about what is the best workout to do for your body. Try out a selection of workouts that take your interest from boxing to barre, CrossFit to a running club, bootcamp and yoga – there are plenty to choose from! Find out what ignites the fitness fire in you. The only workout you will continue to do, and be able to maintain, is a workout that you actually enjoy most.

Pop-up those planks!
Gone are the days of a basic plank. Try these three alternatives to turbo charge your workout:
1. Drop your right hip bone to kiss the floor and make a rainbow shape over to your left hip bone to do the same.
2. Keep your hips low and raise and lower your locked out leg, alternating between legs, focusing on glute contraction.
3. Start the plank on your forearms and push up onto the palms of your hands into a ‘high plank’ position. Then return back to forearm plank and keep switching.

Walk more
Do you take an escalator every single day during your commute to work? Do you always jump off at the closest tube station even if it’s a sunny day? If you can try one alteration, make it a walk from the second or third closest station and take the stairs. Weekends are another opportunity to make the most of the time you have by taking more leisurely strolls.

Think positively
Whether you are just getting back to your fitness regime after having a baby or you’re training for your first marathon, it really helps to mentally prepare yourself and to think positively. If you find yourself struggling during a workout try to escape to a positive headspace, as your mind gives up well before your body does. Remember the reasons why you are exercising and you will find it easier to stay motivated.

Move to the beat!
It is a fact that listening to music can lift your mood in 0-60 seconds. Invest some time in downloading your favourite tracks and when you are about 20 minutes away from leaving for your workout put those buds in and let the music do the magic.

Put dates in the diary
There is nothing better than having a date in the diary that you are excited to reach. I say make a few dates and kickstart that motivation! It might be a summer barbecue, a get together, a wedding or a holiday. Create a mental picture of yourself and try to imagine how you will want to feel at that event and work towards that. You will stay motivated to get yourself there.

You are what you graze
A very common thing to do is to ignore what you have grazed on throughout the day and week. A handful of dried fruit might not seem worth thinking about, but making it two or three handfuls or ‘this’ and ‘that’ suddenly adds up. Try to minimise unhealthy snacking by stocking up on convenient, healthy produce.

Cheat now and then!
Don’t cut out things that you enjoy. Whether it’s chocolate, champagne or pizza – the minute you ‘cut it out forever’ will be the moment you have put a black mark on your healthy routine. Try to sneak in something healthy to balance it out, like making brownies with ready to eat sweet chili beetroots to get all the nutritional benefits even on your cheat days. Life is there to be enjoyed – not to be restricted! You won’t feel so bad on Monday morning when you return to your workouts and healthy food knowing that you are able to enjoy one of your favourite cheats at the end of the week.

Olivia Cooney is a personal trainer to Storm Models, Millie Mackintosh and tennis star Heather Watson. For Olivia’s recipes, visit

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