Lauren Steadman

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I’m excited to announce our new Gym Buddies columnist, Paralympian Lauren Steadman.

A double World Champion paratriathlete and current holder of the European title (which she has won five times), the 25-year-old is a force to be reckoned with.

But while she’s an incredible athlete, she’s also very relatable and down-to-earth. Her first column reveals her secrets to success is setting small fitness goals and enjoying the journey, whether that’s working towards a personal best in training or taking up salsa dancing in her spare time.

I’m all for setting small goals this week. Today, I went to the gym for the first time in forever. I did a 20 minute HIIT session (see yesterday’s newsletter to learn more) and then, exhausted, was on my way. It’s not my usual gym session, but I’m proud of myself for taking the first step.

It can be tempting in January to workout as much as possible to make up for December, but overtraining might be causing you more trouble than good. So make sure you factor in those rest days, too.

WTF: What The Fitness?

CORE

Many people think this is the just your abs or abdominal muscles, but your “core” also refers to a wide range of muscles including your abs, lower back and hips.

Your core is involved in basically every movement you make. A strong core means can improve power and flexibility, but also insures stability and balance. Put bluntly: it’s essential.

There are many exercises that work your core, but the most popular are planks and sit ups.