Ok guys - Christmas is over and we're off and racing into the new year. It's time to focus and make this year YOUR year for health + wellbeing, after all you deserve it. Now is the time you can TAKE CONTROL of your own health and make the necessary changes to your diet and lifestyle that will help you stay lean, fit, healthy + strong.
Many people ask me about the food I eat or what sort of fitness training I do. To be honest when it comes to looking after my health, there are 3 main keys that are extremely important in my life and being healthy and looking after myself is something I have to work at every day.
Eating fresh,nutritious food is the cornerstone of good health, which is why it is so important to think about what you put into your mouth every time you eat and drink. Is what you’re consuming making a positive or negative difference to your body? I follow my 80/20 diet and make fruit and veggies the main component of each meal then compliment with protein. I throw fresh fruits into breakfast dishes, eat a large salad for lunch and enjoy lots of veggies for dinner.
Don’t make it complicated - the oft-delivered excuse for people not cooking is that they don’t have the time, but the best recipes are often the easiest to make. Buy seasonal locally grown fruit and vegetables, as they are nutritionally better for your health and also less expensive. Read back labels – just because the box says it’s healthy, gluten free or low fat, that doesn’t mean it’s good for you. Adopt healthier cooking methods and use anti-inflammatory / mono-unsaturated heart healthy oils that can help prevent heart disease and lower cholesterol when you use them in place of saturated fats. Use herbs and spices in place of extra salt, avocado or hummus in place of butter in sandwiches. Substitute all your WHITE staples for the wholefood variety. The small changes you make to your ingredients now will have a huge impact to your health in the future.
The secret to exercising regularly is to enjoy what you do and make it fun, especially if it's going to become part of your everyday lifestyle. I love a combination of cardio, resistance training and flexibility training to ensure overall fitness and body shaping. The cardio keeps me fit and helps me reduce body fat, resistance training shapes and tones my body as well as helping to boost my metabolism. According to the journal of applied physiology the loss of muscle mass with ageing is associated with reduced muscle strength, loss of functional capacity and an increased risk of developing chronic metabolic disease. Resistance exercise combined with eating enough protein stimulates its absorption and prevents loss of muscle mass and strength. Flexibility training (stretching) will help decrease muscle soreness, and increase mobility, which will reduce the incidence of injury. Stretching also encourages the release of toxins in the muscles and increases the supply of blood and nutrients to that area. I love to vary my exercise to keep it fun and interesting. Walking, pilates, cycling, weights, kickboxing, yoga form the core of my personal exercise routine.
Making sure you have enough good quality sleep and relaxation for the body and mind to revive and recharge is critical for good health. Studies show that those who sleep for 5 hours or less per night generally weigh more than those who sleep for 8 hours per night. People who sleep for 5 hours or less per night also have a greater risk of developing metabolic syndrome (also known as syndrome X or insulin resistance syndrome), which can increase your risk of Type 2 diabetes, stroke and heart disease. Lack of sleep can also reduce levels of human growth hormone that can contribute to loss of muscle, decreased energy and an increase in body fat. Learning to relax and adopting a healthy work / life balance will help you manage your stress in our busy lives.
If you give your body the right environment, you will have the power to change your health in the future.