As we wave off 2019 and welcome 2020, a lot of us will make plans for the year ahead.

Often, even with the best of intentions however, we’ve given up on them by mid-January. This is especially true when it’s new year fitness goals.

It’s not our fault though. When you have children, jobs, pets and a life, there can be lots of distractions. In fact, our goals may never have been achievable in the first place.

So would you like some realistic new year fitness tips for busy lifestyles?

Well, it’s your lucky day.

We asked Sinéad O’Connor from Back To It Personal Training to give us her expert advice on how to set realistic fitness goals that we can stick to.

Back to It Personal Training

Here’s what she says.


New Year, new you…

Or rather, New Year, same you, only a much better version.

There is so much focus on the whole ‘New Year, New You’ idea, and I think that it’s nonsense!

With 52 weeks of the year, although we do like to over-indulge in December, the damage isn’t done in a few weeks of festive feasts. Yes, we all like to treat ourselves, but 1lb of fat is made up of 3,500 calories, so it’s a little more than the odd mince pie! 

When it comes to setting new year fitness goals, just remember that you need to have balance to succeed. If you don’t eat, drink and do the things you love, then you will be miserable, and so will those around you.

Try to consistently eat moderately and train often for both physical and psychological wellbeing. 

I know it’s easier said than done however. Even when you are a personal trainer.

Balancing exercise with parenting

I am a mum of 3 boys under 3 with no family support locally. As a result, like most other families, I struggle to get everything done. I have to be everything to everyone who needs me, and still find time for myself.

Something always gives, and it is usually my health and wellness.

In 2015, I ran the London marathon. I was the fittest I had ever been, and whilst training I fell pregnant with my first son Harry. After he was born, I went back to work after a few months and hardly saw him. I didn’t exercise as much because of my 50-60 hour weeks, so I got bigger. I then fell pregnant again when he was only 4 months old.

During my second pregnancy, I put on 4 stone and suffered from SPD. I decided to start studying to make a career change because I wanted to do something which I was really passionate about. I also wanted to help others in the same position as me. 

After my second son was born, I took a major risk and left my job running a successful health and racquets club to start up my own business, specialising in pre- and postnatal fitness.

And that’s where Back To It Personal Training was born.

Fast forward 2.5 years, and my third son is now 11 weeks old. During this pregnancy however, I stayed active and carried on working.

I set myself little goals each week, and even managed to grow the business despite the obvious challenges.

Goal setting

To help me to manage the business, I took on a lovely lady called Laura to deliver my classes whilst I concentrated on baby and ran the business from behind the scenes. She is now running her own classes for BTIPT and we have doubled the amount of classes we offer. As it turns out, Laura was one of my clients and a mum who also decided to re-train and do something she loved.

I suppose the message is to never feel trapped. No matter what your fitness goal is, set small steps to achieve them in the longer term. By making time to be active and working hard, it will happen!

Photo by Alexa Williams on Unsplash

New year fitness tips for making a healthy start to 2020

There are plenty of excuses not to exercise.

We all do it, and worse still, we then crave quick fixes because our body isn’t getting enough protein and healthy fats. Did you know that if you don’t consume enough of these 2 macronutrients your blood sugar can rise and fall at an abnormal rate? This causes those darn sugar cravings!

Here are some really simple new year fitness tips for you to make some positive changes in 2020.

  1. Get to bed early. Ok so I know that this isn’t always possible with youngsters around, but try and do it. Just 1 extra hour a night could be an extra nights sleep over the week. Sleep, or lack of is definitely the solution and cause to everything in my opinion!
  2. Find out what your BMR is. Without this, you are pushing water up hill. Create a deficit (if required) in line with you goal. Track your calories, allow for treats, and don’t make yourself miserable!
  3. Drink at least 2 litres of water per day. Buy a big enough bottle, fill it at the beginning of the day and make sure you drink it all.
  4. Get support. Tell people around you that you are trying to change so that they can support you.
  5. Find a training buddy. Or perhaps a group because they will push you to train, even when you don’t feel like it.
  6. Be consistent. It’s the only way to get long term sustainable results.

Home workouts

It’s not all about going to the gym either. Make exercise work around your family.

Here are two quick workouts you can do from home, even with the kids around. You don’t need any special equipment and they are guaranteed to make you sweat! Do these at least 5 times a week for 6 weeks and track your calories. You will get results!

AMRAP 15 (As Many Rounds As Possible in 15 min)

Write down how many rounds you did and set challenges to beat your record each week to track your fitness progress.

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook there are always other exercises you an switch and change to keep things fresh:

  • Mountain climbers x 10
  • Jumping jacks x 10
  • Sit ups (ab crunches for ab separation) x 10
  • Press ups (knee adaption for ab separation) x 10
  • Sumo squats x 10

Tabata 

4 minutes of 20 seconds work, 10 seconds rest and 1 minute break before moving to next exercise:

  • Sargent jumps
  • Rock press
  • Squat
  • Tuck up (ankle tap for ab separation)

And finally

Don’t follow the fad diets and quick fixes. They don’t work in the long term. The science is really simple; create a calorie deficit and burn more.


If you’ve been inspired by Sinéad’s words, drop her an email at mail@sineadoconnor.co.uk or send her a message on Facebook.