I wanted to kick off the 4-week series by giving details about my warm-up and cool-down routines. I’ve also got a delicious breakfast recipe quarenteed to make getting up in the morning that little bit easier.

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, a warm up and cool down should always be a part of your routine. As a professional athlete, they were key components of any training session I did.

Warming up is important for loads of reasons:

  1. Reduce the risk of injury
  2. Prepare the body and mind for exercise
  3. Increase the body’s temperature so muscles are more elastic and can move more efficiently
  4. Increase the heart rate and directs more blood to the working muscles

Here is my 5 minute on the spot warm up. It’s quick but effective and i find it perfect to do right before a run:

  • Jog for one minute
  • High knees for 1 minute
  • Kick your bum for 1 minute
  • Arms overhead and stretch to each side, do it 10 times
  • Grab your ankle quad stretch, five times each leg

Give it a try before your next workout.

After a run or workout, i always make an effort to do a quick cool down. The benefits of a cool down include:

  • Gently slowing of the heart rate
  • Increasing blood flow and nutrient delivery to muscles
  • Aiding the disposal of waste products like lactic acid
  • Aiding recovery and reducing muscle soreness.

My cool down includes both gentle running and stretching. It’s important to stretch as it helps to improve flexibility, range of motion and posture while also relaxing the muscles and returning them to their resting length post workout.

My favourite 10-minute cooldown routine:

  • Five to seven minutes alternating easy jogging or walking
  • Three minutes of stretching targeting the arms, shoulders, quads, hamstrings and calves.

Give it a go after your next session.

Foam rolling is another great addition to any warm up or cool down routine. It’s a self-massage technique that can help to increase circulation to your muscles and relax any tight muscles to prevent a build-up of tension. I tend to aim for two to three times per week at a separate time to my workout and as I love a good chance to multitask I will often do it while watching my favourite TV show or listening to a podcast. My toddler see’s us rolling on

the fowm roller so much that even she rolls on it!

Overnight Oats:

These are largely responsible for getting me out of bed in the mornings. I love my bed and I need a very good reason to leave it. This breakfast always does the trick! Since these are overnight oats, there’s no cooking. You just mix everything for this overnight oats recipe together the night before and the recipe takes care of itself. It makes for a great start to the day and is the perfect base for a whole host of delicious toppings

Serves: 1

  • Prep time: 1 minute (and then popped into the fridge overnight)
  • Ingredients:
  • 240ml milk
  • 50g jumbo porridge oats
  • 40g frozen mixed berries
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 2 tbsp. nuts/seeds (optional)

Method:

Combine all of the ingredients, except the honey, in a bowl or container. Mix gently with a spoon. Place in the fridge overnight. Next morning, drizzle with honey and eat.

Toppings ideas:

Mixed Berries (Blueberries/ raspberries) & seeds (Sunflower/ Pumpkin seeds)

Chopped banana, pecans nut and a drizzle of honey

Grated apple, cashew nuts and a drizzle of honey