Studio 44 Column: Organising your exercise in isolation

MK personal trainer and nutritional advisor Joana Todor Back talks about how she boosts her own motivation, and her online classes via Zoom…

If you want to boost your wellbeing through exercise, then motivation and timing is everything.

Finding motivation in these stressful times is a bit more challenging than normal, so I would love to suggest practicing self respect. This a mantra I use daily and it keeps me in check.

SELF RESPECT for me stands for: Set goals, Exercise, Love yourself, Focus on fitness – Rest & relax, Eat right, Smile, Portray positive, Enjoy life, Care for others, Tell yourself you can do it!

Every morning when I wake up, I look at the self respect board and I get motivated because the 11 phrases empower me.

Finding time to exercise can be challenging, and the most important thing is to squeeze in any amount of it whenever you can, but when’s the best time if you can schedule it?

With social distancing top of the agenda, there are many different options available to you from Joe Wicks to Diana Moran, to lots of free content out on social media, from nutrition to exercise routines.

In order to do my bit I’m offering a free group taster class every week. If you fancy joining me and my clients just email me on and I will send you a Zoom meeting invite.

For now, thank you for reading my column and here are a few ways that could help with how you structure your day in order to have some sort of normality and routine:

Mornings – Working out in the morning (especially on an empty stomach) is the best way to burn stored fat, making it ideal for weight loss.

A study published in the Journal of Physiology found that exercising at 7am may shift your body clock earlier, meaning you’ll feel more alert in the morning and get tired earlier in the evening, potentially priming you to get enough rest to wake up and do the same thing the next day.

Afternoons – Workouts help with a performance boost, since the body has enough fuel. An afternoon workout can also be a great way to avoid an end-of-the-day slump. Even taking a quick walk may help you perk up and refocus.

Evenings – Research published in the journal Experimental Physiology found that night-time workouts do not disrupt sleep, and over time can also reduce levels of the hunger-stimulating hormone ghreline which is often called “hunger hormone”, which when regulated helps with weight loss.

A stress-relieving activity like yoga tends to help with deepness of sleep. As we are all forced to stay at home during the quarantine, there are more ways of working out and one routine is to alternate between upper and lower-body exercise.

It’s called Peripheral Heart Action training. Doing six or eight exercises, the effect of alternating between the upper and lower body produces a pretty strong metabolism lift and cardiovascular workout.

Call Joana on 07808 030091 or email if you would like to join in with a FREE Zoom online taster class.

This feature was published in the May/June 2020 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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