Get fit for life - not just for January

Melissa Bryce, leisure club manager at The Aberdeen Altens Hotel, explains how to make fitness work for you.

Melissa Bryce


Morning burst – if you exercise first thing in the morning, you kick-start your metabolism which encourages fat to burn throughout the day. For your first week, start with a light 20-minute walk and gradually work your way up to a 20-minute run. Trust me, once you’ve had a shower and you’re on your way to work, you’ll feel amazing.

Alternatively, go for a swim. Water has 12 times the density of air which means that swimming is 12 times more effective for toning muscles than any other cardiovascular exercise.


Do you take the train every day? It remains a pet hate of mine that they’ve still not installed gyms on ScotRail carriages but we’ll just have to make do. Simple muscle exercises are easy to do and don’t (luckily) make you look too foolish on a packed train. Sit up straight, tense your stomach muscles and hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 15 times.


Set an alarm to ensure that you are not idle for more than 60 minutes at a time. If you set an alarm to go off once every hour, you will remember to get up and move about. Team up with a workmate to encourage each other.

Everyone knows that taking the stairs is better for you than the escalator but I recommend taking things up a notch. Take stairs two at a time – and quickly – to encourage your heart rate to rise a little.

This is a strange one but stick with it – once you get into the habit, you’ll never look back. Each time you go to the bathroom, aim to complete 15 loo squats. But don’t touch the toilet, just hover above it to keep your muscles working.


Make a conscious effort to leave your desk during your lunch break. It not only makes you more productive in the afternoon, but helps maintain a low level of activity throughout your day. Aim to complete a short circuit each day, even for just 10-15 minutes of your lunch.

Close enough to a gym? The Aberdeen Altens Hotel runs a 30-minute Fatburn Extreme fitness class. Using High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) like this ensures that your metabolism continues burning for hours, right into the evening.


Don’t go overboard. When new members join us, they tend to spend every day of their first two weeks in the gym. This would put most people off, let alone a beginner, so it’s really important to work exercise into a healthy lifestyle – not the other way around. As a guideline, three sessions per week should be suitable to keep an individual moderately active but all abilities must make sure that they keep active each day, even if it’s just a gentle run.

Leaving Aberdeen during rush hour can be a nightmare so many of our members choose to come to the gym instead, allowing the traffic to subside.

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