Age is just a number

Age is just a number – Do you agree?

I can honestly say that at 45 years old I feel the most content I’ve felt in my life so far!

I was 35 when I started FitSista.  At the time I was so worried that I was too old to be a successful Personal Trainer, as all the trainers I knew were buff 21 year olds.  Luckily for me, I had the Life experience that they didn’t.  I’d been there and done that (not just read about it!).  My age was actually an advantage in my profession – and it still is as I get older!.

So rather than having a moan about the downside of getting older – Here’s to the POSITIVE POINTS!

  • Life Experience – You certainly don’t have that in your 20’s.
  • Greater Knowledge (although I do forget things!) – Hopefully by your 40’s you’ve learnt a few things.
  • Increased Confidence – I do things now that I’d never have done when I was younger.
  • I’m happy in my own skin – It’s taken me 45 years, but I’m extremely comfortable about who I am.
  • I take no shit – The days are well and truly over that I try to keep other people happy at the expense of my own happiness.
  •  I’m much more productive – I’ve got fire in my soul and I’m extremely passionate about my ambitions.
  • I need less sleep – I’m up and at ’em early and I get so much more done in a day than I ever used to.
  • I know exactly what’s important to me and what I want in life – and I really don’t care if I don’t match other peoples expectations.
  • I’m actually living my best life – Life is GOOD!.

This FAR outweighs the wrinkles, grey hairs, flabby bits, mood swings and hot flushes!

So whatever age you’re at – don’t use it as an excuse.  It’s never too late to try something you want to do and quite often, being older has its advantages!

 

Get active at the Office

Get Active at the Office

 

A recent study shows that the average British office worker spends more than 2 months of the year slumped at their office chair!  With just under a third of workers taking a lunch break and 95% saying they don’t see any sunlight in the winter months, it’s not surprising that working long hours leads to a sedentary lifestyle!

 

Inactivity and leading a sedentary lifestyle can not only double your risk of many Chronic illnesses such as Cardiovascular disease, Stroke, Cancer and Type 2 Diabetes, but it can also impact your Mental Health and Well-being and can create many Postural problems.

 

Being more active during the day can massively improve your Health, Happiness AND make you more alert and productive at work.

 

So, if you are one of those who sit at a desk all day, here’s some tips to try.

 

Are you sitting Comfortably?

Making sure your desk, chair, monitor and telephone are all set up correctly.  Your back should be supported, your feet should rest on the floor and your arms horizontal whilst typing.  Sit upright and try not to slump.

Keep Active during the day

At least every hour, try to get up and move away from your desk – even if its just to go to the loo or make a drink.

Take a lunch break

Even a 20-minute break outside in the fresh air will give you a mental boost and you’ll come back to your desk feeling refreshed re-energised and more productive.

Make the Most of your Commute to work

If you know you are going to be completely inactive during office hours, make your journey to and from work as active as possible.  Walk or cycle to work, park further away or get off the bus a couple of stops earlier so you at least get some of your daily steps in.

Get your colleagues on board

Set up a team challenge, get a lunchtime walking group together or arrange to go to the gym before or after work.  Being part of a like-minded group of co-workers can really motivate you all to keep active.

 

It’s not just employees that can benefit, a Healthy workforce makes Happier workers, which will not only be more alert, productive and increase staff morale, but will be less likely to have time off due to illness.  So, get the bosses on board too!

Un-processing your Diet

Un-processing your Diet

Recent studies have found that people who eat more processed food, consume about 500 more calories per day than those that eat wholefoods.  Why? Because processed foods provide limited nutrients and are not as filling, so you tend to eat more to feel full and an extra 500 calories per day, can lead to quite a significant weight gain!

It’s quite a big challenge to switch to an entirely whole-foods diet overnight. But you can start to make healthier choices most of the time by making some small, sustainable changes to “unprocess” your diet.

What are Processed foods?

Most packaged foods such as crisps, sweets, chocolate bars and biscuits are considered ultra-processed along with fast food, most take-out food and packaged bakery items, refined grains such as white rice, sugary cereals and white bread also are processed.  However, foods such as canned or frozen vegetables, whole-grain bread and rice, are considered less processed because they are closer to their original forms (and have more nutritional value).

Here are six practical tips to help you make nutritional improvements that will improve your energy, health and fitness, by switching from a processed to wholefood diet, increasing your fibre and protein intake and making you feel fuller without going over your calorie requirements.

1. Eat more fruits and vegetables.

When it comes to foods high in nutrients, fruits and vegetables can’t be beat. They contain fibre (which will make you feel full) and they also aid digestion.

  • Batch chop and prep salad and veg so it’s ready to go.
  • Add a side salad to your meal.
  • Snack on raw vegetables.

2. Avoid sugary drinks.

Fizzy drinks, alcohol, smoothies and canned coffee drinks often contain a surprising amount of sugar and calories. For example, a Costa caramel latte contains a whopping 34g sugar and 331 calories!

  • opt for tea or black coffee in coffee shops.
  • Choose spirits rather than beer or wine.
  • Read labels on smoothies/canned drinks.

3. Read labels.

In most cases food packaging does not give an accurate representation of a food’s nutritional value no matter what the claim on the front of the pack says! so it’s best to look at the nutritional label on the back of the item and check:

  • Serving size.
  • Amount of added sugar.
  • Ingredient list (keeping in mind that ingredients are listed by quantity, with highest listed first).

4. Skip convenience foods when possible.

There are a lot of foods that although marketed as healthy (such as bars or snacks) are often full of sugar and lack fibre and protein. Carry your own snacks to avoid temptation!

  • Nuts or seeds (portioned) and an apple.
  • Chopped veg with hummus.
  • Greek yogurt with fruit.

5. Eat mindfully at restaurants.

Eating out can feel like an occasion to indulge, but if you’re eating out regularly, learning to make healthy choices is essential.

  • If eating out is an infrequent occurrence, order what you love, but stop eating when your full.
  • You don’t have to go for all 3 courses!
  • If eating out is a common occurrence choose a protein and vegetable meal with whole grains as often as possible. Such as:
    • Sandwich on whole-grain bread with salad.
    • Fish, Chicken or Steak served with veg.
    • Salad (dressing on the side).

Small and sustainable changes are much easier and more beneficial in the long run when it comes to improving nutrition, rather than trying to make too many big changes all at once but to see a change you’ve got to make a change!

Maximise your Fat Burn

Maximise your Fat Burn

There are so many benefits of Exercising regularly! It’s good for your muscles and bones, it can reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve your brain, increase energy levels and is great for your Well-being as it makes you feel good!

However, the main reason many people initially start to exercise is to lose weight, as EXERCISE BURNS CALORIES!

So, if like many people, burning calories is one of your main exercise goals and you’re wanting to really blast your body fat, you need to make sure you’re doing it right with maximum effect!

 

Be intense when you exercise

Don’t be fooled by fat-burning zones. They often advise that working at a lower intensity is better for fat burning than working at a higher effort level (e.g. walking instead of running.) The harder you exercise, the more calories you will burn and that’s really what counts when it comes to losing fat.

 

Choose your exercise carefully

There is no such thing as the ‘ultimate’ calorie-burning workout. Energy expenditure is dependent not just on the activity itself, but on how much effort you put in, how good you are at it, how long you do it for, and how often. Choose an exercise that makes you work hard and that you’re going to do regularly and consistently and unless you want to be miserable and bored during your workout, do something that you actually enjoy!

 

Multi-task your muscles and work large muscle groups

Serious fat-burning exercises use the large muscle groups of the body – the thighs, bottom, chest and back. The greater the overall recruitment of muscle, the higher the calorie expenditure. For example, If you’re going for fat burn in your workouts, you’re far better off using the chest press rather than a bicep curl machine for maximum calorie burn.

 

Exercise Duration

To fire up the calorie furnace, fat-burning exercise has to be sustainable for a reasonable duration. So, while skipping is great, it’s not much use if you can only do it for three minutes. Guidelines recommend 20-60 minutes per session, three to five times per week so find something you can sustain for at least 20 minutes.

 

Interval training to maximise calorie burn

Interval training one of the best ways of maximising calorie burn, it improves aerobic fitness and is perfect if you’re short of time. To get the most from an interval session, push yourself outside of your comfort zone on the efforts and go steady during the recoveries. Try following a 2:2 rest/work ratio to start with.

 

Body weight load

Activities that are weight bearing, such as walking and running, use more calories than those in which your weight is supported (such as swimming or cycling), mainly because you have to shift your own body weight against gravity.

 

Fuel or Fasting?

The fasted workout theory that working out on an empty stomach in the morning burns more fat is somewhat true, as the body has to rely on fat stores for energy if you haven’t eaten first thing, but the lack of energy stores also means that you won’t work out for as long, or as hard as you may have if you’d have fuelled up beforehand.

 

Afterburn

One of the best things about exercise is that the fat-burning benefits continue long after you’ve ended your workout. The ‘afterburn’ (increased calorie expenditure) is far greater after intense exercise – another reason to work hard!

 

Intensity Progression

If you want to keep seeing fat-burning results you must keep increasing the intensity of your exercise, because as you get fitter, your body will be able to cope with the workload.  If you stick to the same pace or weight, the benefits will start to reduce. Keep progressing and pushing yourself so your workout feels challenging every time.

 

And Finally……

 

Daily Activity

Don’t underestimate daily activity! Keeping active during the day can really maximise your daily fat burn. That may mean keeping track of your daily step targets, getting up from your desk regularly or even just standing rather than sitting – but it all adds up towards your daily calorie expenditure, so KEEP MOVING!

Excuses not to Exercise

Excuses not to Exercise

When it comes to exercise, if just the thought if it has you thinking of any excuse to get out of it, you’re not alone. Many reasons for putting off exercise are completely legitimate, however finding ways to overcome these barriers is a starting point.

 #1 You’re too busy at work

These days, everyone seems to have a hectic lifestyle.  The solution to this is PLANNING. If an hour at the gym is out of the question you might still find that a 20-minute brisk walk to or from work or on your lunch break is do-able. It doesn’t have to be all in one go – break it up during the day

 #2 You have family responsibilities

When family takes priority, try to build exercise into your everyday parenting duties or weekend family time (e.g. walking with the pram, playing in the park, swimming or going for a family bike ride).

If you really can’t fit in a workout around the kids, re-assess your daily routine. Could you get up half an hour to fit in a workout? Or take some me-time when your partner gets in from work? Or when the kids are in bed? A 15-minute workout is just 1% of your day!

 #3 You’re confused about what you should be doing

You might not have a clue where to start or what’s the best exercise for your goals.  Look online, read up, ask a professional or hire a Personal Trainer – even just a couple of sessions can educate you, motivate you and put you on the right track with a suitable programme of exercise.

 #4 You don’t like the Gym

It’s a common problem (which is why many of my clients hire me as they can train at home) But it’s worth trying a few out, or going to a few different non-gym-based classes as there may be one you feel comfortable attending. Failing that, you really don’t need to go to a gym or class to exercise – you can do it at home!

 #5 It’s too expensive

Activities such as walking or running outdoors, or doing a home workout are all free!

#6 The Weather

You can’t control the weather, but you can keep an eye on the forecast and plan accordingly. You may need to reschedule your workout (e.g. an early-morning run to beat the heat) or even change the outdoor workout you’d planned for an indoor activity.

And there’s more…….

I’m too tired                          Workout early, get better sleep.

It’s too hard                           If it was easy everyone would be doing it! Build it up gradually.

I’m too old                             Being fit and healthy is beneficial whatever age you are.

I’m too unfit                          Everybody has to start somewhere – do what you can and gradually progress from there.

It’s boring                              Keep trying out different activities until you find something     you enjoy.

I’ve just done my Nails        Now this is the worse excuse EVER!

 

Remember, you can either have EXCUSES or RESULTS, unfortunately not both!

But if it’s important enough to you, you’ll find a way……