Helen Smith, who runs HS Group Fitness explains two exercises to get you into shape for when the clocks change

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Well March has truly taken us all by surprise. The weather has literally changed seasons day to day and this can make it very hard to be consistent with a new health and fitness routine.

One minute we are cooking hot stews and craving hot stodgy foods, the next we are creating wonderful salads, and spring cleaning our cupboards and fridges!

Helen Smith HS Fitness

Helen Smith HS Fitness

Hopefully with the changing of the clocks, this means a fresh start on the weather front and finally some nice, bright weather and longer evenings .

With this in mind, there’s no better to time to put on a few layers and get outside and exercising!

Not only will exercising outside, aid you in a better night’s sleep; you will also receive your daily dose of Vitamin D.

Here’s my top 5 list for getting started…..

lEnsure you have appropriate clothing and footwear. Well supporting trainers, high visability clothing. And layer up, have 2 -3 layers of breathable clothes to ensure you don’t overheat.

lCarry a mobile phone in case of emergencies and always let someone know where you are going and how long you expect to be.

lTake a bottle of water with you and sip often. When you leave it too long and desperately need a drink of water, you are already de -hydrated!

lBuild up your fitness levels gradually. Starting to exercise twice a week and then increasing to 3 and so on. Doing too much too soon after a long period of no exercise, will only lead to injury and lack of motivation. You will be amazed how quickly your fitness levels will improve.

lBe proud of all you achieve, even if you start by doing a 20 minute walk and the next time, manage to jog for 2 minutes and walk for 5 minutes, and so on. Everybody has to start somewhere and build up slowly. It’s the getting started , which is the hardest bitJ

So whether you are going outside for a run or wanting to do a workout in your garden or local park, here’s a quick 10 minute workout which gets your heart rate high and burns tons of calories!

Remember to warm up first with a 10 minute brisk walk or jog, and stretch the muscles before and after.

Warm up - Make sure you do a 5 minute warm up beforehand. Which can be jogging on the spot for 2 -3 minutes, followed by jumping jacks for 30 seconds and a set of 15 squats? Make sure your core temperature has risen and each body part has been mobilised.

Ladder routine - perform exercise 1 for a series of 10 repetitions followed by exercise 2 for 1 rep. Then perform exercise 1 for 9 reps followed by exercise 2 for 2 reps.

Continue increasing/decreasing this ladder of exercises, until you end with exercise 1, performing just 1 rep and exercise 2 finishes with 10 repetitions.

You should aim to complete the workout with minimal rest between exercises, resting as needed.

Exercise 1. Star Jumps (see left)

Stand upright with feet hip distance apart. Bend knees and touch both hands on the floor. Jump upwards, into a star position with both feet off the floor and both hands in the air. Exhale as you lift upwards, inhale as you land. Land with knees soft and sit into your feet.

Exercise 2 .. Tricep Dips (see top)

Sitting on your bottom, back straight and abdominals engaged. Place hands behind you, finger tips pointed towards your back.

Bend both elbows , taking your body weight towards the floor and exhale as pushing yourself back to starting position,

To make this exercise harder, position the hands in same position as above, Lift yourself up onto your hands, keep hips still and bend elbows again 90 degrees and exhale lift back upwards.

You can also hook one foot on the opposite knee to make this exercise even more challenging. Try not to thrust the hips up and down. Only use your arms throughout.

Helen Smith runs HS Group Fitness and Dance Studio, Halifax’s new women only health and fitness studio. Contact her on 07792 795833 or log onto www.hsgroupfitness.co.uk