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As part of our annual WOW Month, we hear from some of our colleagues on their top tips for fitness and wellbeing. This week, Louis McCarthy, Senior Associate in our Real Estate team shares his tips for starting off running.

What do you enjoy most about fitness?

This is easy - the direct and sizable benefits to physical and mental wellbeing. It is funny - exercising is about using up energy, but I find it provides me, in combination with eating well, with all the energy to get through the week at work and it's great for clearing the head.

Top 3 Fitness tips

  1. Limit alcohol intake (no need to cut it out completely, but ideally just a glass or two at the weekend. Go for quality over quantity!)
  2. Get plenty of sleep (the more time you sleep before midnight the better)
  3. Just get on with it - make it easier and have a set time so you don't have to expend energy on thinking about it - have a set time for exercising and get into the habit otherwise something more urgent will always pop up

Tips for beginners?

Choose something you won't hate and if you have the basic kit needed, get started! Don't do too much at the beginning. For something like running, which is my chosen sport, take your time and build up slowly - the only race is with yourself. A lot of people think running is sprinting and invariably start out at a gallop and run out of steam as soon as they've started.

Start by going for walks and including 20-30 second jogs. The jogging pace should be a bit quicker than walking only. The next time you get out try doing a few more 20-30 second jogs as part of the walk and aim to build up the running segment by 10% each time you go and get out 3-4 times a week. In a matter of weeks, you could be doing a 30-minute walk with 5x1 minute jogs built in, then you'll start to gain momentum like a rolling stone…

It always helps to have a target event to aim for – the Christmas Day Goal Mile charity event is the perfect event. The mile (4 laps of a track) is the perfect distance. Once you are up to being able to run a mile, the question then is how fast can you run it?

Nutrition tips

Forget what you heard about no carbs. If you want to feel good aim for plenty of slow-release carbs for sustained energy – lots of beans, lentils and wholegrains like pinhead oatmeal and brown rice. Lots of good quality protein -ignore the bars and foods with added protein - just eat the real deal! My overall rule would be to try to go for unprocessed foods as much as possible and a few treats on the side never hurt anyone.

My day starts with a coffee and some pinhead porridge (you need to soak this type) with frozen blueberries, chopped banana, pecan/walnuts, flax seeds, a sprinkle of cinnamon and honey (or maple syrup) – tastes insanely good and so healthy.

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