Fitness & workouts

Exercise SOS: Our fitness expert answers your questions

James Trevorrow is the product innovation manager for Virgin Active Health Clubs and he’s here to get you moving! Read his answers to your fitness questions.

Q: I'll admit it – I've focused on my eating plan and haven't thought about exercise! What's the minimum amount of activity I can get away with to support my weight loss?
Laura Rutter, Bristol

James says:

Don't worry – it's never too late to start moving more. If you devote a few hours to movement (whether that's walking, running, jumping, pushing or bending) every week, it can have a huge impact on health and body-fat loss. I would recommend aiming for five or six short, low-intensity sessions a week (such as walking for 20 minutes) or three slightly longer, more intense sessions (like jogging for 45 minutes). 

If losing body fat is a big goal for you, but you need to fit it into a busy schedule, one solution is training at a high intensity for a short period of time. Try just 20 seconds of doing something that really gets you out of breath (like running on the spot), followed by a 10-second rest. Repeat this eight times – which is just four minutes of work! Then take a one-minute breather and repeat the eight rounds again. Start by doing this twice in a row and build up to double that. 

If you have an hour lunch break at work, go for a 20 or 30 minute power walk before you eat. If you're a morning person, get up half an hour earlier to do this. Think about whether there's anything you can change about your lifestyle, too – we all like to relax in the evenings, but could you devote some time to exercise? Once you start feeling the benefits, you'll really enjoy it. 

Make it a family affair

How to get your partner or kids more involved in exercise

Hide 10 toys around the garden and watch your little ones run around, staying active while having the best fun
Get inspired to enter a seasonal running event together – or start doing your own weekend fun runs in your local park
Once the weather gets warmer, the parks start to blossom. Getting the bikes out for a family ride is great for bonding and will get you all working out

Find more fitness advice for beginners in Weight Watchers magazine, out now!