Alice Liveing Image copyright Alice Liveing
Image caption Alice Liveing is one of the many personal trainers who share workouts on Instagram

Twelfth Night is nearly upon us, the cheeseboard is but a distant memory and the Christmas tree has been dead for a fortnight.

This is the weekend that January truly bites… and that can only mean one thing.

It’s time to do something about that resolution. You remember the one, don’t you? The one about getting yourself in shape?

But it can be quite overwhelming – with social media filled with posts about body transformations and adverts for cut price gym membership.

If you’re feeling the pressure, Radio 1 Newsbeat has been asking for a few tips to get you started.

Alice Liveing is a 26-year-old is a personal trainer and influencer, who’s gained nearly 700k followers on Instagram from sharing her workouts and recipes.

But – here’s the good news – Alice has also been praised for sharing her honest journey into the world of fitness, and tells us it’s not about having the “perfect body”.

“I trained as a dancer and did musical theatre. On my first day I remember it so vividly feeling like ‘oh god, I’m so different to everyone else’,” she tells Newsbeat.

“Everyone had super lean long legs and I was five foot one and over that first year my self confidence massively nosedived.”

“I spent every day in a dance studio in a leotard looking at myself in the mirror and comparing myself to everyone around me.”

She says she developed a “terrible relationship with food” and would binge on fizzy drinks and chocolate after eating very little.

It was during her college assessments that a teacher told her she needed to get stronger and it was here her relationship with weight training began.

“Finally I felt like I’d found something I was good at and I really enjoyed it, it gave me an escape from college.”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption You don’t need a gym to work out – get started at home

Alice became a personal trainer four years ago, but says this didn’t mark the end of her problems with body image.

She says she tells her clients that they shouldn’t exercise to look like anyone else, but to improve their quality of life and wants them to train for the right reasons.

These are her top tips:

1- Don’t train because you want to look like someone else.

“I got the six pack – but at that point I was like I don’t really have a life and I’m not very happy.

“I think a lot of people think there’s this magical pot of gold at the end of the rainbow when they reach their goal weight – but in reality it doesn’t happen like that.”

“You have to take a step back and look at the reasons behind why you exercise – is it going to motivate me, is it going to improve my mental health or long time health goals.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Alice says classes like spinning are a great way to get into fitness and won’t be intimidating

2 – Don’t compare yourself to others – especially people online

“We live in a world where comparison is king – the majority of people I speak to suffer with feeling inadequate in some way.

“In fitness there’s a big difference between providing someone with inspiration and on the flip side making people feel like they’re not worthy or good enough.

“I’ll have clients come to me and say ‘I really want to look like X’ and that’s never going to happen – you have to be realistic about what you’re trying to achieve.

“If you’re only doing it to look like someone on Instagram or to get the ‘perfect body’ then the motivation will be short lived because believe me, I’ve been there and done that.”

3 – Start with home workouts and classes

“When it comes to gym and general exercise intimidation, there are a couple of things I work around.

“If you’re really struggling to get the confidence to go to the gym, start at home – I think it’s a great place where you’re in a safe space.”

She says if you feel nervous about going to the gym then finding a class that’s right for you can set you on your way.

“Classes are a nice intermediary space and a slightly more encouraging environment – there’s been a shift recently in the language used in them, [instructors] are taking more care of how they approach these environments and the kind of vibe they bring on.”

4 – When you’re ready to hit the gym, get organised!

“I think the most important thing with starting a gym journey is knowing what you’re going to do before you walk in.

“There’s nothing worse than stepping into a gym and being like, what the hell do I do now?

“Use things like YouTube and Instagram so that when you walk in you have a plan, you can get on with it and don’t have to worry.”

And you don’t need to spend a fortune on membership either.

“There are so many budget gyms – I pay £20 a month and I get that’s still expensive for some people when money’s tight, but if you set it aside as a priority then having it is really helpful.”

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