Debbie Fleming, exercise & fitness professional, took time out of her busy schedule to talk about getting our bodies into the best shape for lasting health- and just to help us feel good in our skin.
Tell us about your background:
I’ve been in Fitness for over 20 years, first as a participant and then for the past 16 years as an instructor. I previously worked in media for a publishing house, however when I became pregnant with my first child I realised I didn’t want to continue in the same hectic crazy world.
I needed something I could do to not only earn money but it also had to fit around my new child and make me happy and so I went back to college to be an aerobics instructor.
At that time my fitness experience was limited, I had attended aerobics classes like everyone else and had run a few marathons but nothing could prepare me for my first fitness course!
How do you work with people and what type of clients do you work with?
I teach a large variety of exercise disciplines across various demographics so my approach is different to everyone. My day typically includes high end fitness boutiques in one city and then dashing to another city to teach a church hall of old ladies, It’s great!
There always seems to be exercise trends – whether it’s cardio or HIIT, with so much advice it’s often difficult to know where to start! Is there one type of workout you think is better than another for reaching our fitness goals?
Everyone’s fitness needs and goals are different so there’s no ‘one exercise fits all’. If you want to get fit as fast as possible then HiiT workouts are for you. High Intensity Interval Training is exactly what it says on the tin. Bursts of high energy exercises, such as burpees, repeated at speed for a timed period, between 10 and 60 seconds, a short rest period then repeated or another exercise is chosen. Because of the sheer intensity the workout usually only lasts for no more than 30 minutes. Not for the faint hearted.
We know we all have different body shapes; can we target certain areas? e.g. exercise to just tone thighs or flatten our stomachs etc
You can definitely target specific areas but you will notice a difference elsewhere too.
So for instance I began using the Smith Machine (assisted squats) to increase the size of my legs and glutes.
The added bonus was that my abs started to develop even more because I use muscle recruitment to support my back while lifting heavy weights.
However, doing hundreds of sit ups will not give you a flat belly if you carry excess stomach weight. The muscles will be underneath and the fat will still remain on top!
So that brings us to diet; sometimes we’re told to avoid carbs or eat more good fat; what are the best types of foods to eat to help us stay in good shape? How can we fuel our bodies for our day?
Yes we all need good fats to survive. Fats help our skin health as well as keeping joints supple, the trick is not too much! As I’m extremely active because of my job I tend to eat a lot of protein to refuel and repair my muscles.
Protein also gives you energy. So although I eat carbs I don’t have to have too much, although my weakness is pasta! I have a smoothie made with fruit only every day to help to get my 5 a day.
“We definitely don’t have to be at the gym every day, three times a week is good for busy people. We need to rest so muscles can repair, rest days are very important”.
How about the best food to eat to keep us full, energised and ready to work-out?
Porridge and bananas!
Do we have to be at the gym every day? How often should we be working out?
We definitely don’t have to be at the gym every day, three times a week is good for busy people. We need to rest so muscles can repair. Rest days are very important because believe it or not when a muscle is rested you can achieve more. Your progress will be quicker than if you hammer it every day on tired muscles.
I often think that mind-set plays a big part in whether we exercise and want to get fit. How can we stay motivated when we really don’t feel like exercising?
Classes are a great way to stay motivated. There’s classes for everything and men shouldn’t be afraid of classes, they’re not just for girls! I teach Studio Cycling and Body Pump. I have my fair share of men who understand that although they are surrounded by people, the workout is theirs so they control weight and resistance.
If we’re short on time, are there any short ‘work outs’ we can do?
HiiT classes are great the best short workouts, you’ll be burning fat all day!
Where can we find out more about your fitness programmes, events and get regular exercise advice from you?
Contact Debbie at:
Attitude Fitness worldwide
0044 7817 135661