Take Your Health to the Next Level
Being able to properly travel again this year has been truly wonderful. Many of us have earnt a good rest by lying on a beach, or a sun lounger in front of the pool, sipping a cocktail as well as indulging in the local wine and cuisine. As Autumn approaches, now is the time to reset our lifestyle to improve our health and wellbeing. As a former elite personal trainer, Mick Rolton from Gym Design & Supply, gives us step-by-step guidance on what we all can make a difference in to improve our health and wellbeing, the good thing is that the first few steps don’t even involve exercise, so there is no excuse!
Focus on Breathing
Obviously, this is essential to life and wellbeing but HOW you breathe can also affect fat loss. Practising yoga-breathing (using your stomach to breathe rather than your rib cage) will really help you absorb more oxygen in your blood. This raises your metabolic rate, reduces your hunger pangs as well as helping to de-stress you whilst improving your mental wellbeing.
As you inhale, the oxygen you breathe in attaches to your fat cells and splits them into carbon and water which you then exhale as carbon dioxide. A 2014 study in the British Medical Journal found that this process can burn up to a half-pound of fat per day.
- Spend 5 minutes a day lying on your back, eyes closed and focusing on your breathing using your stomach to inhale and exhale.
- Aim to inhale for 3 seconds; exhale for 7 seconds.
Drink More Water
A simple way to improve your health and wellbeing is to increase your water intake. The human body is composed of around 75% of water and the brain almost 85% of water, making water the foundation for most of the natural chemical reactions in your body as it helps to flush out toxins including causes of cellulite. To assist your body in retaining some of the water, rather than just dramatically increasing your trips to the bathroom, you also need a balance of electrolytes. Unrefined natural sea salt (or sodium chloride) that is extracted from natural sources provide a wide range of original trace minerals including magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc and phosphorous. Adding a slice fruit gives vitamin C along with other vitamins and minerals. Filtered or mineral water is best (do not count anything else as your water intake as alcohol, most commercial drinks, teas or coffees will dehydrate your body).
- Drink 330ml of water per 10kg of bodyweight per day, eg 60kg person would drink 1980ml = 2 litres of water.
- Add a tiny pinch of unrefined sea salt plus a small slice of lime, lemon or orange
- Spread the water consumption over the day.
Be Consistent with your Sleep
There are two stages in which the body repairs itself when asleep. Aiming for 8 hours of sleep per night allows for the much-needed fix – from 10pm to 2am it deals with the physical repair of the day and from 2am to 6am, the psychological rejuvenation. You miss this repair if you are awake and not consistent with your sleep.
- Aim to sleep 10pm to 6pm.
- Switch off TV and digital devices at 9pm to allow the mind and body to calm down.
- Read a book or have a bath.
- When in bed, close your eyes and focus on your breathing to help clear your mind.
This is a major factor to incorporate into your lifestyle if you want to lose weight. Our body replaces 330 billion cells daily, equivalent to 1 per cent of all our cells, so within 100 days, you will have created almost a brand new you! But what you eat defines the health of your cells, for example gluten can inflame your digestive system and affect your sleep. Be consistent with your mealtimes as this makes a massive difference in keeping your blood sugar level up.
- Avoid anything that was not available 10,000 years ago as much as possible.
- Aim for one meal per day as vegan/vegetarian.
- Avoid gluten as much as possible.
- Plate portions should visually compromise 25% protein, 50% vegetables and/or salad and 25% starchy carbs (plus a tiny portion of healthy fat such as olive oil, nuts and/or seeds).
- Eat in a 12-hour window meaning you fast in the other 12 hours. Eat as soon as you can when you wake up or after training (if done first thing in the morning).
- Eat smaller meals every 4 hours, meaning you eat four times a day, eg wake up at 6:30am; eat at 7:00am, 11:00am, 3:00pm and 7:00pm. The last meal of the day should be protein with veg/salad only, with lower or no carbs.
- 80:20 rule — for your sanity, try and do this 80% of the time rather than all the time.
Exercise will strengthen your heart, body and mind and is essential to a high quality of life. Total body resistance exercises will strengthen your muscles, protect your joints and bones, whilst raising your metabolism long time after you have finished. Focus on exercises that keep a continual tension in the movement with no locking of joints. HIIT workouts will make you faster and fitter as these burn more calories and fat than traditional cardio. The faster movements and can include jumping but ONLY if you are doing the continual tension exercises. Both burn more calories and work the heart better if you superset with lower and upper body exercise and a cardio workout first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, will teach your body to burn fat for energy.
- 1 x Total Body Resistance session per week for 30 minutes. Involves supersets with a pair of dumbbells including squats/press-ups; deadlift/bent-over dumbbell row; static lunges/shoulder press; bench dips/bicep curl; plank/prone cobra. Move 1 minute per superset and rest for 1 minute. Repeat two-three times.
- 1 x HIIT workout per week for 30 minutes. Involves dynamic supersets with a pair of dumbbells including jumping squats/plyometric press-ups; clean and press/dynamic lunges; Swiss ball prone hip extensions/toe touches. Move 1 minute per superset and rest for 30 seconds. Repeat two-three times.
- 2 – 4 Cardio per week for 30 minutes. Try and keep your heart rate at least over 60% of your max rate (220-age), eg 220 ‑40 = 180 x 60% = 108 beats per minute. This can be a mixture of walking, cycling, running, swimming or playing your favourite sport.
- Don’t forget to warm-up and stretch before and after any of the above.
Gym Design & Supply offers 20 years’ of experience with an exclusive personal service and a wide range of options to help you create your dream gym space.