A celebrity personal trainer has shared her tips for getting in shape as you enter middle age.
Three-time Olympian Sarah Lindsay, 40, says women in their 40s and 50s can easily make ‘huge’ changes to their bodies, and see ‘completely life changing’ results after three months.
And she says the secret to losing weight is to stop pounding the treadmill – and hit the weights instead. Sarah also highlighted the importance of diet, saying getting the right nutrients is far more important than counting or restricting calories.
Sarah counts TV presenters Christine Lampard and Melanie Sykes and footballer John Terry’s wife, Toni, among regulars at her gym chain, Roar Fitness.
Three-time Olympian Sarah Lindsay claims women in their 40s and 50s can easily make ‘huge’ changes to their bodies
How to get abs like this: The 40-year-old advocates weight lifting for fat loss
The former Olympian, right, also counts TV star Christine Lampard among her clientele
Explaining why age is not a barrier, she said: ‘The people we generally appeal to are an older age demographic, looking for serious results. You can do brilliantly well and get amazing results, regardless of your age.
‘Obviously I do have a background in sport and I’ve always been fit, but when I finished training my body did change a lot.
‘Ultimately, you should try to be the best version of yourself. There is no point trying to get a body like someone else because you will always feel like you’re failing.
‘The transformations at our gyms are mostly people of my age and older so absolutely, yes, it can be done.’
Here, Sarah shares some of her top tips with Femail…
FOCUS ON THE QUALITY OF YOUR FOOD, NOT THE QUANTITY
Work hard, play hard: Sarah says, ‘I enjoy eating healthy food. If I eat something awful, then I feel awful afterwards. As soon as you start to feel the benefits, then you start to work more’
When you can expect to see results
We say three weeks – you can really start to feel the benefits of a healthy regime properly after three weeks.
Obviously it depends on your starting point, but for people that is when you start to feel the body change – once you get to that point, then you’re ‘in’.
As soon as that starts to happen, then you want to do more. By 12 weeks, I believe that you achieve almost anything. By then you can see life changing results.
It’s consistency, doing it every day, ticking off each day. Then you feel it much quicker.
Start with health, always. Underlying any nutrition plan, with any goal, optimal health should underlie it.
A lot of people desperately want to lose weight and they don’t care about health – they just want low calories. But a plan like that might contain low nutrients. You have to look at the quality of your food.
The healthier you are, the easier it is to lose fat, gain muscle, sleep better, recover easier.
You have to think about what you’re putting into your body, ultimately generate from some kind of interest in your nutrition.
Health has to be number one.
It’s not about trying to look like me – you really can make huge changes but you have to make that decision, action out a plan and enjoy the process.
It shouldn’t be this torturous process of restriction and punishing yourself.
It is an enjoyable process and you will feel good. It then becomes a way of life, not a chore and you enjoy it. It won’t feel like sacrifice or hard work.
I enjoy eating healthy food. If I eat something awful, then I feel awful afterwards. As soon as you start to feel the benefits, then you actually want to work harder to achieve your goal.
DITCH THE TREADMILL FOR WEIGHT TRAINING
At Roar Fitness Sarah Lindsay and her team advocate weight training
Why is weight training important for women?
Weight training is really important for women. You start to lose muscle as you get older so you have to fight and hang on for dear life to any muscle you have.
It might sound premature to think about it at 40 but I think about longevity and my health goals around that.
You need to remain strong and well and healthy for as along as you can. I could have another 60 years and I want to be able to do everything I can do and not be restricted.
To prevent injury you need to do weight training in a controlled environment at your own pace – it should be slow, controlled and with good form. You’re not throwing weights around.
It then creates a safer way to be doing everyday activities and making yourself stronger in the long term.
Start building up slowly in a controlled environment over the long term.
When starting out with weights, you have to think of how the body moves – you flex at the hip, you push you pull, you squat; you have to make yourself generally stronger with all of the natural way your body moves every day.
I cover all bases when I start with people; I include every natural, normal plane of movement.
First you lay the foundations and get good groundwork behind you, then you can start to target certain areas, get more specific.
If you are looking to transform your body in the gym – or at home – start with deadlifts, squat variations, push and pull movements like a chest press, some form of row, a shoulder press – big moves will help to generally make you very strong.
SET GOALS – AND BE SPECIFIC
When starting out, you need to decide what your goals are – why are you doing this, what are your goals?
Be specific then decide how you’re going to get there. You have to find something that you like.
Starting by finding something you enjoy doing, make it regular and part of your routine then you try other things.
Perhaps you might the social side of exercise – so go to classes, start going with a friend. That way you’ll stick with it.
Healthy recipes YOU can try
Personal trainer Matt Lindsay shares his tips for the healthiest breakfast and snacks to keep you going.
Breakfast: Salmon, eggs, avocado and rocket
Roar trainer Matt Lindsay’s salmon, egg and avocado breakfast
Eggs: Are highly satiating and may reduce calorie intake later in the day. Regularly eating eggs may promote weight loss. Whole eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet, containing a little bit of almost every nutrient you need.
Avocado: Numerous studies have shown that eating avocado can improve heart disease risk factors like total, ‘bad’ LDL and ‘good’ HDL cholesterol, as well as blood triglycerides.
Salmon: Salmon is rich in long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for disease.
Tomato: Tomatoes are the major dietary source of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to many health benefits, including reduced risk of heart disease and cancer. They are also a great source of vitamin C, potassium, folate, and vitamin K.
Rocket: Both these leafy greens are rich in chlorophyll, amino acids and vitamins C, E, B and K. They also contain beta-carotenes, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin (for eye health). But rocket also provides glucosinolates, which help to protect against cancer.
Coconut salted caramel protein bites
Roar trainer Matt Lindsay’s coconut caramel bites
Nutrition: 80kcal each and 2g of sugar per batch
Ingredients (available from any supermarket) – makes eight bites:
- 5g Coconut oil
- 20g Shredded coconut
- 20g Linwoods Milled Flaxseed
- 15g Protein powder (any will work)
- 40g Skinny co caramel chocoholic spread
Method: Mix the ingredients together then separate into eight balls
Pop them in the fridge to harden, then enjoy
Gluten free, low sugar, keto brownies
Nutrition: Each brownie has under 1g of sugar and 193kcal, 2.7g carbs, 16.9g fat
Ingredients – makes six brownies:
- 40g Coconut flour
- 1/3 tsp Baking powder
- 30g Unsweetened cacao powder
- 85g Melted butter
- 60g Stevia
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 40g no added sugar chocolate chips
Method: Mix the coconut flour, baking powder, cacao powder
Melt butter and add to stevia
Mix in the rest of the ingredients
Add in one egg and vanilla extract
Put in the over at 160C for 25 minutes
Leave to cool on a rack, then serve
- Sarah Lindsay will be doing live Instagram workouts throughout lockdown