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Dear Diana test 1440x 440.jpg

Dear Diana

Tips and advice that will help keep your body, mind and lifestyle in good shape.

Diana Archer Mills has a love of health and fitness running through her blood. She was just 12 when she started working in the gym owned by her parents (Phillip and Jackie Mills). Now, as Les Mills Creative Director she is behind the music and moves that feature in some of your favorite workouts. Not only does Diana know the intricacies of exercise inside out, she’s a whizz in the kitchen who has a talent for making healthy food taste delish. And as a mom of four, she knows a fair bit about pregnancy and parenting too.

What you want to know

Check out Diana Archer-Mills’ latest advice.

“I work out regularly but I feel like I am not getting anywhere. How can I tell if I’ve actually hit a plateau? And what can I do about it? I already exercise for 5-6 hours a week and don’t want to spend any additional time working out.”

 

Diana says: This is such a frustrating situation! Plateaus are simple to diagnose – if you’re working hard, eating well and not getting any results, you’ve hit one. And there’s only one way to get through… hard work.

I know, it would be great if I gave you a magic wand answer like ‘add a cup of cabbage to your smoothie’ but the reality is this: when you hit a plateau your body has stopped responding to the current stimuli you’re providing it with, and it needs something extra. 

The easiest way to do this is to add two high-intensity interval training workouts per week. (This doesn’t apply if you’re already doing more than two high-intensity interval training workouts a week – if this is the case, this is the reason for the plateau – you need to give your body a rest – chill out dude!). The high-intensity interval training of LES MILLS GRIT is almost unbearable but it will give your body the shake up it requires to continue.  Trust me it’s proven to get results.

Good luck and let me know how it goes.

 

“I work out regularly and I love the physical and mental benefits it provides. But my partner hasn’t seen the light and I know that he would really benefit from more exercise. Any suggestions for how to motivate him?”

 

Diana says: We all want love without love handles, right? Just kidding – we all know that exercise gives so many more benefits than just the physical blah blah blah… 

So how can you get your little couch potato into the frypan?

Honestly, all research would suggest that you can’t – they have to want to for their own reasons, especially if they’re going to do it long term. But hey, why not try to change them anyway? I’d start by offering to do something with them that they’re more likely to be into – maybe a weights session for your uncoordinated man friend, or a yoga class for your lazy lady. Make sure you accompany them to sweeten the deal, and then take them for food afterwards (take it from me, food bribes always work).

Last resort – hide the remote a few blocks from your house. 

 

 

“What can I expect when I work out while pregnant? How will it affect my exercise capacity?”

 

Diana says: This is a tough question to answer. Mainly because everyone deals with pregnancy differently, and each woman has a new experience with each consecutive pregnancy.

From my experiences, if you're having a rough pregnancy, you may have to drastically reduce your activity levels, or alternatively exercise may help you maintain your energy levels and alleviate some of your negative symptoms. If you're having a dreamy pregnancy you might keep doing exactly what you're doing for the first seven months. So to answer your question... you can't expect much – you'll have to wait and see (and then be cool with whatever your baby has decided to put you through!)

The only constant is that your range of movement is going to be reduced near the end of your pregnancy, because of the fact that your belly is so large, and that you'll need to be more careful with stretching and movement because your body will fill with lovely loosening hormones to help you get the baby out (but will also make you extra limber, causing increased potential for injury. Enjoy. 

 

 

“Although I am pregnant and constantly tired I know that regular exercise will be good for me (and my baby). Should I battle through it? And how hard should I push myself?”

 

Diana says: It's so unfair right? Aren't you going through enough already aside from being deprived of the enjoyment of your favorite workouts? Oh the joys of pregnancy.

The reality is that your body is giving you clear signals. If you're exhausted, it’s your body saying it doesn't need a BODYPUMP class.

The benefits of exercise while pregnant are profound for sure, but it should never be a battle. Find something that you enjoy doing during this special time in your life – it might just be walking in the sunshine – and aim to maintain your physical activity until labor.

Don't push yourself! Your body is doing so much extra already, consider this a time for maintenance as opposed to growth and enhancement. You are going to lose some strength and fitness, it’s just part of the deal, but it doesn't have to be too big of a deal! Just find activities that you enjoy (or find bearable) and do a little every day. You'll be back before you know it.