Optimal recovery from exercise

Following any type of  training, top of the list for the following 36-48 hours is recovery.  Here we will look at what happens during the recovery cycle and offer some simple ways to speed up recovery.

Recovery really is the crucial phase after all the hard work and sweat in order to accomplish two main things.  These are the body adapting the the training (becoming fitter/stronger) and allowing the body to be repaired before the next workout.  This will be specific to the type of training we have done as well as the all important intensity.

It goes without saying they quicker we can recover, the more often we can workout, the fitter we become!

Now, the fun bit – ways to improve recovery from exercise.

Eating beforehand

Yes, this sound silly, but the nutrients available to the body before and even during exercise are important.  Starting training on an empty tank leaves more refuelling for later.  Levels of essential nutrients such as protein in the body will help start the recovery process earlier.


The key to recovery is good rest, particular sleep.  Top athletes are know to sleep up to 12 hours a day in order to improve recovery.  A decent 8 hours will always be better than 6.  A daytime short nap is a great pastime!

Post exercise nutrition

This is a whole new article in itself.  What we eat in the 20 minutes following training drops straight in, and the rest of the day is key as well.  Protein and carbohydrates are of particular interest in the following 2 hours.

Active recovery

A light form of exercise such as walking will increase bloodflow and nutrients to the damaged areas, improving recovery more than just lying on the sofa!  No excuses there.

Simon Lesser works as a Personal Trainer at BourneFit Personal Training Studio in Bournemouth.  For more info visit us at www.bourne-fit.co.uk.

Boost your immune system this winter

November time, the temperature is dropping and it’s time to boost immunity against all those winter bugs.  Check out the simple tips below, an approach to strengthen the body as a whole.

Smoking and Alcohol

Even in small amounts, smoking and drinking will hit the immune system.  We already know this!

Reducing sugar

White blood cells which help us to fight bacteria, have their ability compromised when engulfed in sugar. Artificial sweeteners are even worse.

Take the toxins out of your diet

Limiting the amount of pesticides, preservatives and additives will help.  The damage of many of these substances has not yet been fully proven but we do know they affect our immune systems.

Eat lots of healthful foods

Foods particularly good for boosting immune function are fruits and veggies for their high nutrient content as well as their positive Ph effect.  Foods high in protein and essential fats are helpful in building immune system, helping to fight those invaders.

Don’t worry, be happy

Finally, looking after our stress level is important.  Find the activities that calm you the most and stick with them.  This may be as simple as a walk down the beach or going out for a nice meal.

Weight loss: The best way to start the day

After a hard earned nights sleep, top of the list for encouraging the body to burn fat is a solid breakfast. How we eat first thing is often linked to how we eat and behave the rest of the day..

Whats in: High protein, slow release brekky

High protein is trickier at this end of the day, but essential to boosting metabolism and slowing the release.  Something easy to prepare and easy to stomach are probably most important.  With many breakfast cereals high in sugar and covered in milk it is worth trying other options.

Porridge – the slowest releasing of all the cereal type brekkys also loaded with some protein.  By adding some seeds such as linseeds or sunflower seeds we can increase the protein as well as some slow releasing essential fats. Also try vanilla essence or cinnamon here for taste minimizing sugar or honey.

Eggs – in any form but fried! 2 or even 3 eggs poached, scrambled or dippy are great.  They can easily be combined with some baked beans for high fibre and more protein.

Muesli – tasty, filling and loaded with nuts and seeds (add your own if needs be).  Wheat free versions can be homemade or pre bought and try soya milk instead of cows milk.

Not ideal, but the eggs, beans, mushrooms and tomatos are fair game..

Whats out: Fast releasing muck!

Fast releasing breakfasts kickstart insulin for the rest of the day, leading to hunger, more hunger and fat storage.

Check the sugar content of your favourite breakfast cereal, probably as high as 20-25% guaranteed to send your blood sugar higher than a rocket by 10am.

Toast with fatty spread or sugary preserves will probably last as long as the drive to work.  Many of us don’t tolerate bread/wheat very well, best avoided when better options are available.

Skipping breakfast altogether is a common problem and probably worse than all the above put together.

A few squats in the morning

Early morning exercise will ensure subsequent calories are encouraged into muscle rather then fat and chuck metabolism into orbit!

Even a few minutes of exercise in the form of squats, press ups or sit ups will do. Power walking or even a regular workout early in the day is great.  This is a very powerful weapon, but something many forget – a great habit to form if you can.


Getting fit for sport

Whether you are gearing up for a ski holiday or a kick about on the weekend, solid physical preparation can make the difference between having an incredible experience, and having an incredibly painful experience.

Before considering a sports specific program for any sport, it is absolutely vital to achieve a certain degree of base strength and fitness. Though many sports primarily utilize the legs for power, strength must be developed across the whole body in order to move solidly as a unit. If a car is front wheel drive, it doesn’t mean you can drive with the back tires deflated.

CORE STABILITY.  A focus on core development is very important.  Strength and mobility in the TRUNK are vital components to moving dynamically and powerfully in sport. By learning to “move from our centre”, we take the stress away from our limbs and put it into the power source of our body. Developing control in this area enables us to initiate movements in safer and ultimately more powerful ways.

X TRAINING.  While it is good to develop a certain degree of cardiovascular fitness, don’t get carried away with monotonous activity (long runs, bike rides and 90 minute gym sessions!!). Repeated cyclical exercise puts our nervous system to sleep and many sports demand agility, quick reflexes and explosive power, so it is important that you imitate that type movement in your preparation. Taking part in other sports like soccer, squash, volleyball or chasing a dog along the beach can satisfy this criteria. Just try and mix up the pace and use a variety of exercises.

FLEXIBILITY training is probably the easiest area of physical development to totally NEGLECT. There is nothing fun about stretching, and let’s face it, it’s boring! But I assure you that stretching 15-20 minutes a day is less boring than waiting for recovery from a knee reconstruction, dislocated shoulder, neck strain or groin tear. Take time after each workout to stretch and be sure to focus on areas you are LEAST flexible in.

When it comes to sports, take time to warm up properly and don’t be too overzealous first time or first day.  Spend time stretching afterwards and use ice or hot and cold treatment to relieve any potential soreness.

Simon works as a full time Personal Trainer in Bournemouth from BourneFit Personal Training Studio.  For more info visit www.simonlesser.co.uk

Choosing exercise to suit you

For many, exercise can be hard work.  Both finding the time to do it in the first place and of course the activity itself.  Something worth considering is whether you are choosing the rights types of exercise for you.  Here we will explain more.


Step 1: Find something that suits your time

An 2 hour round trip to the gym when you have a busy schedule is near on impossible so find something that works for you.  Many of us are strapped for time, but at some point you have to prioritize training into your schedule.  We sometimes look at recommending 45 minute blaster sessions which can easily be done before work or on a lunch break.   

Step 2: The right types of exercise

This may sound obvious but it’s worth looking at closely.  First of all your goals will dictate what types of exercise you choose.  If you need specific muscle groups or specific fitness then the right types of training need to be applied.

The other aspect is your personality.  Get bored easily?..mix your activities and routine.  Prefer to be outdoors?..try running cross country, water sports or other outdoor activities.


Fitting training into our life is essential to results, so it has to be something that works for us.  The type of exercise we do will also be key to consistency as well as results.

The acid alkaline balance

Remember the ‘litmus paper’ from Chemistry lessons in school.  A test of how acidic or alkaline chemicals were.  The human body is much the same with believe it or not some people being more acidic than others.

Problems with being too acidic

Most of our concern needs to be with being too acidic.  This may lead to a number of problems such as weight gain, premature aging, joint pain and low energy.  At the high end of the scale high acidity in the body has been linked to cardiovascular problems and osteoporosis.

What causes us to be acidic?

Surprise surprise bad nutrition is top of the list for causing acidity.  Foods such as meat, eggs, dairy and wheat are acid forming foods as are most processed foods (all the stuff we enjoy).

Alkaline foods

The good news.  If your diet is high in fruit and vegetables, these are essentially the main alkaline forming foods.  There are a few exceptions but clearly this is another reason to be eating well!

Practical ways to improve you acid alkaline balance.

  • Drink hot lemon, particularly first thing in the morning
  • Eat foods in their most unprocessed form
  • Graze on fruit,  instead of high sugar snacks
  • Everything in moderation.  Gallons of coffee and wine everyday spell trouble!
  • Try almonds or dried fruit as these are particularly alkaline

Weight Loss: all foods are not equal

We all know about calories and you only have to read food labels to check the energy content of foods.  However we also know that all foods are not created equal.  Check out some of the foods below to encourage your fatburning potential.

Protein foods
Foods like chicken, fish, pork, eggs and steak have a higher thermic effect.  This essentially means the food requires more energy for the body to break it down.  These foods are also excellent in suppressing appetite.

Strawberries, Blueberries, Raspberries etc are all fair game as they are super slow release, also suppressing appetite and encouraging the body to burn fat.

Nuts, Seeds and their Oils
These foods are high in fat and also calories, but the key is good fats.  We naturally crave these fats and even a truck load of burgers will not satisfy these cravings.  We need the good stuff.  Adding Olive oil to salads, increasing oily fish, nuts and seeds is all good.

The best foods to eat before training

Regular exercise should be a cornerstone of a healthy lifestyle.  In some cases we invest a lot of time money and commitment in training, so it is important to get the food right.  Here we will cover the very basics of what is a major part of Sports Nutrition.

Don’t Panic!  

A lot of people worry they need to eat certain foods in order to exercise well.  An hour before training working up a frenzy of bananas, sports drink and water.  The other main fear is eating too much before training and feeling ill as a result.  This doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

Enough fuel in the furnace

With trying to lose weight in particular a lack of calories can be a problem –  this can lead to dizziness and poor energy during exercise.  Which equals a poor workout and less than optimum results.

The best approach

Eating a normal diet for most people works the best.  We should generally be eating slow release foods and this is certainly what you want to happen for training – the energy needs to be releasing slowly.  Just be thoughtful in approach.  Some slow release carbs need to be eaten in the last main meal before training.

How soon before

The guideline for food is a small meal 1-2 hours before or a main meal 3-4 hours works for most of us.  Play with this to see what works best for you.

And in emergencies

Skipped lunch due to a meeting?  Rushing around with no water all day.  If you are on the way to training with an empty tank try orange juice, raisins, a banana or jam on toast (all pure fast release carbs) and plenty of water.


The author: Simon Lesser is a Personal Trainer in Bournemouth, Dorset.  For more info contact us on 07748 914368 – or visit www.simonlesser.co.uk for more information.

Group Personal Training Sessions

Personal Training at a fraction of the cost

Group Personal Training is a new concept run by experienced Personal Trainers. For years we have run Personal Training sessions and seen great results through the support and motivation provided.

We now offer exercise sessions run in small groups, an amazing opportunity for you to experience great results without the great expense!

Workouts to suit your needs

Based on your goals, you can book sessions that suit your ability. All sessions are supervised taking place in our well equipped gym, making training motivational and fun.


Workouts include:

  • Toning and conditioning
  • Weight Loss workouts
  • Circuit / Boot camp sessions
  • Flexibility
  • Strength Training


We aim to maximise results through effective training techniques and good aftercare .All clients receive ‘aftercare’ in the form of nutritional advice, workouts plans and access to online resources.


FREE trial session

Come and try it out for yourself. Click here to contact us book your free trial session.


Click here for a PRINTABLE flyer to redeem your free session.


Benefits include

  • Fully supervised, motivational workouts
  • At least 80% saving on 1-2-1 Training
  • Full Exercise and Nutritional support
  • Qualified Personal Trainers
  • Workout guidance and Food plans


Just £8 per session!

Group Personal Training is an amazing opportunity, a new approach with fast results. You can come as often as you like and there is no monthly commitment.


Cost of Personal Training £35 – £40 per session

A saving of up to £32 per hour!


The balance between Weight Loss and Training

Trying to lose weight or reduce body fat is probably the most common and important goal to people.  It is often a simple balance of what we eat, how much energy we expend and metabolism.

However things are not always straight forward.  People aiming to burn body fat will often sacrifice some energy intake in an attempt to speed results, which can cause some problems.

Enough energy for exercise

Exercise when done correctly, is phenomenal at burning calories and boosting metabolism .    Too little energy will only get you so far, and as soon as you start a precious workout it feels like you have hit a wall.  The trick is to eat slow release energy foods and enough of them to fuel workouts.  Try eating a little more on workout days as a habit.

Hunger levels 

Our hunger levels are dictated by our blood sugar levels.  Low energy leads to high hunger and is more likely to lead to reaching for the emergency biscuits in the top cupboard.

Eat breakfast like a king

This doesn’t necessarily mean eating like a pig!  A substantial breakfast will actually boost metabolism, reduce the chance of hunger later (see above!).  Skipping breakfast or eating very little can only lead to trouble.

Balanced slow release nutrition

This is the key to long term results.  Skipping meals and cutting calories too drastically can only lead to trouble.  Consistency is the key.