KAYLA ITSINES is the co-founder of Sweat and, as head trainer, makes it her mission to provide women with the tools they need to improve their health and fitness.
With the release of her book, Reboot with Kayla, she shares her 10 essential tips for exercise.
THE ESSENTIAL TEN
01. FORM COMES FIRST
You can be an absolute beginner or an elite athlete, but lifting heavy, speeding through your workouts or trying advanced exercises is a waste of time (and arecipe for injury) if your form isn’t correct. That’s why we’ve included instructions alongside each exercise in your movement plan.
Focusing on getting your form right should be your priority, so go at whatever pace, difficulty level or weight will ensure you feel challenged while still getting the most out of every rep.
02. DON’T BE AFRAID TO USE SUBSTITUTE EXERCISES
A common fitness myth I want to bust is that substituting an exercise or changing part of your workout means you’re not fit or strong enough.
Exercise should feel good, and that’s the whole point of substitutions. You might swap out jumping exercises if you have bad knees, your best friend might not enjoy burpees if she has a big bust. Or your sister might change an exercise simply because she’d rather do something else. I want you to feel empowered to make your workouts work for you!
03. DRINK AND FUEL UP
As much as exercising can give you energy, it also needs energy, and getting into a good fitness routine goes hand-in-hand with eating nourishing foods. The timing and size of your meals and snacks in relation to your workouts is different for everyone and it might take some experimentation to find your sweetspot. But aim to eat enough and drink plenty of water to perform at your best.
04. LOVE HOW YOU CHOOSE TO MOVE
I’ve always loved HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts for how they make me feel and I know so many women in the Sweat Community love thistraining style too. Find the style of movement that makes you feel your best. It might be yoga, boxing, team sports, Pilates, heavy lifting or a combination ofstyles. Or it may change over time! Any time I hear someone say they don’t enjoy exercise, I genuinely believe they just haven’t found something they enjoy yet.
05. PREPARATION IS KEY
Although you can’t talk or think yourself fit. there’s definitely something to be said for the power of preparation. Workout prep can range from choosing your activewear, packing your gym bag or previewing your Sweat session in advance, to planning your entire week of workouts, creating a playlist or having a pre-workout snack in your bag.
06. FIND THE BEST TIME FOR YOU
I’m often asked, when is the best time to work out? The short answer is: whenever it works for your body, energy levels and schedule. My guess is that you’ve already got more than enough to juggle in your life, so do yourself a huge favour and move when it suits you. Getting it done matters far more than when you get it done.
07. DON’T COMPARE YOURSELF
Despite all the inspiring women around the world who are on their own health and fitness journeys alongside you, your path is yours and yours alone. No-one else lives the life you live or has the goals you have, and that is your power! Forget about wasting energy on comparison and run your own race. You’ll feel so much better for it.
08. KNOW WHICH INNER VOICE YOU’RE LISTENING TO
Listening to your body can help you to avoid burnout and injury, train with your menstrual cycle, or know when to step up your training, but be wary of it becoming an excuse for the times you don’t feel like working out or putting in effort. Listening to your body is great advice, but make sure you’re being honest and challenging yourself too.
09. CELEBRATE EVERY SMALL WIN
The one thing I regret in my fitness journey is not celebrating more often. As rewarding as your fitness journey will be, that doesn’t mean it’s going to feel easy every day. Some days a five-minute workout will feel like a massive achievement. but other days you might find yourself smashing a goal in the gym withease. It’s all worth celebrating, so look for every win you can get excited about.
10. HAVE YOUR NEXT GOAL READY
One of the easiest ways to lose momentum is to only have one goal in mind. Once you achieve it. you stop because you didn’t make a plan for what’s next. As you set each goal or get close to achieving it. Start to plan your next one to keep yourself going!