Health & Fitness: The Most Popular Resolution
Many of us start the New Year filled with good intentions to improve a certain aspect of our live. This is known as a New Year’s Resolution. However, I am sorry to say that a large portion of these resolutions are not fulfilled. In fact, a nation survey found that in 2015, 58% of Australians (an estimated 11 million people) broke their New Year’s resolution, some in as little as 3 months!
Are you one of those people? chances are that you are, however, you can get back on track to take control and feel empowered, after all it is spring and the warmer weather is definitely a great motivator!
It would be no surprise to you all to know that this year the most common New Year’s resolution was in relation to health and fitness. So this newsletter I am going to give you some tips to help motivate you and keep you on track for the back end of the year with this popular resolution.
Research Any Diets & Consult a Health Professional First
There are a plethora of diets out there as you all know, and unfortunately I don’t have the space in this article to go through each and every one of them. Some of these diets are fantastic, however there are many that are terrible and do not have your overall health at heart.
Please ensure that you do a little research before starting a new diet and for any extreme diets, which involve eliminating whole food groups, skipping certain meals or fasting for example, I strongly recommend that you consult with a trained practitioner first. Also bear in mind that we are all so incredibly different and this will also help to determine which style of diet is most suitable.
Hint 1: Maintain Optimum Gut Health
For overall health, it is essential that you maintain optimum gut health. Two significant reasons for this are:
- An estimated 80-85% of our immune system is located in our gut wall, and
- All of the major neurotransmitters found in our brain are also found in our gut. With approx. 95% of the body’s serotonin (this regulates our mood, appetite, sleep, and muscle contraction) being manufactured in our gut.
These are such fascinating topics, if you would like to read more about them please follow the links below;
Hint 2: Eat Whole Fresh Foods
An uncomplicated first step towards optimal health, which should also improve your gut health, is to base your diet on fresh, whole foods. A whole food is one that is grown naturally, has not undergone any (or minimal) processing, and contains no additives or artificial substances.
Hint 3: Incorporate Fermented Foods
Another fantastic addition to your diet is fermented foods and drinks. This will do wonders to your overall health, both physically and mentally. You can make them yourself, purchase some from your local health food store or order online.
Additional Simple Food Recommendations
Some other health recommendations include:
- Elimination (or significant reduction) foods rich in sugars and salt,
- Eat plenty of healthy fats, such as avocado, fish, nuts and seeds, coconut, flaxseed, etc.
- Avoid alcohol or consume only moderate amounts (1-2 standard drinks 2-3 x weekly),
- Avoid artificial sweeteners,
- Watch your portion sizes and only eat when you are hungry,
- Drink plenty of water each day (approx. 2L),
- Every meal should consist mainly of a protein and vegetables, and
- Try to ensure you have at least 8 hours sleep a night.
Hint 4: Do Exercise You Enjoy!
Regarding fitness, it is important to find a physical activity that you enjoy, such as walking, jogging, tennis, yoga, swimming, or joining a local sporting team, etc. otherwise you may find it difficult to stay motivated.
Hint 5: Share Your Exercise with Others
Try and work this activity into your weekly routine, preferably with a friend, this will hopefully help you to stick to it and not find an excuse to skip a session.
Hint 6: Fitness Duration Outperforms Intensity
Studies have shown that achieving 150 minutes (or more) per week of exercise is adequate for weight loss and improving fitness. They also found that duration of exercise was more important than intensity, and that it is far more effective to change both your diet and your fitness routine at the same time, rather than changing one at a time.
Additional Simple Fitness Recommendations
Some helpful fitness tips include:
- Remember to drink plenty of water (minimum 2L)
- Eat after you exercise, preferably within 30 minutes. If you delay eating for over an hour cortisol levels will continue to rise, resulting in muscle breakdown, immune suppression and reduced insulin sensitivity.
- Foods/supplements taken post exercise should be rich in protein and may contain medium to high GI carbohydrates.
- Post exercise the body is primed and ready for growth and repair of muscle and to replenish lost glycogen stores, so it is essential that you choose a highly nutritious snack/meal/supplement at this time.
- Try to ensure each exercise session is at least 20-30 minutes long, and remember the longer the exercise session lasts for the more fat will be used.
- Supplements that can help to increase your fitness (in conjunction with regular exercise) include:
- A branched chain amino acid (leucine, isoleucine and valine) powder – essential for growth and repair of muscle
- Vitamin C – potent antioxidant that fights against metabolic stress in the body. It also supports the immune system.
- Co Enzyme Q10 – plays an essential role in energy production pathways in the cell.
- Magnesium – plays a key role in energy production and can help with muscle recovery.
- Essential Fatty Acids (fish oil) – helps reduce inflammation and supports joint health
- A B complex, iron and zinc would also be beneficial.
I hope this article has provided you with enough knowledge to keep you on your health and fitness journey for all of 2016. If you have any questions regarding this article please feel free to contact us.
- Internet - www.finder.com.au/press-release-new-years-resolution-statistics-2015-2016
- “Gut and Psychology Syndrome”. Dr. Natasha McBride. 8th edition. Medinform Publishing. 2012.
- Nutrition and Fuelling for Exercise and Leaness. K Sutherland. Health Masters Live – Unbiased postgraduate education. 2013
- Internet – www.dailyburn.com/life/health/best-pre-workout-supplement-ingredients/
- Internet - www.bodybuilding.com/fun/peak32.htm