Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Back to the Gym

Tuesday Tip: Back to the Gym 🏋🏼‍♂️

After months of lockdown walks, home workouts, online classes etc the gyms are finally open again and many people are keen to return. Here are some tips for returning

# Familiarise yourself

New measures such as one way systems, time limits, reduced capacity, lack of changing rooms etc will be in place. Read the gym’s info and check their rules – that will help reduce anxiety about returning. Remember this is new for all the staff too so be understanding of that too.

# Plan your workout

With limited time in the gym it’s important to plan your workout. Your body’s ability to handle a high volume of training will have decreased, so aim for whole body workouts rather than targeting specific muscles etc. Let your body acclimatise with lower weights and reps etc. Be sure to warm up and include recovery time. Having just got back to the gym you don’t want to get injured and be out of action again!

# Book

You will need to book for many activities so plan in advance. With capacities reduced that also means you need to cancel if you can’t make it and if you’re on a waitlist then it’s your responsibility to check that waitlist and either be prepared to come and hope you get in, or cancel off the list so others have the chance.

# Do what you enjoy

After months away, you may find that your motivation is flagging so pick something you enjoy!

# Expect some soreness

You may be sore after your return. That’s normal; delayed onset muscle soreness is a natural response to using your muscles in diff ways. It usually occurs 1-3 days after the workout. The best advice is to keep active; walk, swim, do a diff style class, but keep the muscles moving.

# Hydrate

When you go back to the gym your body will need more hydration than usual. Many gyms will require you to bring your own water bottle as fountains will be out of use.

# Look after yourself

How you take care of yourself during downtime can have a significant impact on your exercise regime. Stay hydrated, eat well, don’t rely on coffee and sugar to get you though, and try to prioritise sleep.

Can’t wait to see you back!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Pre-workout coffee?

Tuesday Tip: Pre-workout coffee? ☕️

Coffee as a pre-workout is something that’s often recommended social media and fitness blogs but does it really help?

A recent study found that consuming even a small amount of caffeine before and during exercise can help people exercise almost a third longer. A study tested found that those who consumed caffeine whilst cycling were able to keep going for longer than those who drank water, delaying fatigue by up to 60%. The only drawback is that caffeine is also a diuretic, so it can cause dehydration. Other studies have however shown the dehydrating effect to be minimal and the consensus is that moderate consumption of caffeine is ok.

Other studies have shown that caffeine can trigger muscles to start using fat as an energy source, but this is only occurs when other energy sources are depleted. In endurance athletes for example, caffeine is used to get extra energy out of the body’s reserves during an event So in isolation it won’t magically burn body fat for you sadly.

Researchers have also found that caffeine can help reduce muscle pain. The study in The Journal of Pain found that caffeine (compared to a placebo) reduced thigh-muscle pain during exercise (which can mean being able to continue for longer) .

So overall caffeine does indeed enhance performance and makes it ‘easier’ to put in more effort during exercise. These effects are more noticeable during endurance exercise (over 90 mins). Caffeine also plays a role in helping contribute to clearer thinking and greater concentration. The effects are greater in those that rarely have caffeinated drinks as tolerance is built up, and the effect varies wildly from person to person.

So do you need to start necking an espresso before you workout? Probably not, but it could help on days when you need a little extra boost to get through your workout. However, caffeine can also have unwanted effects and its use can result in caffeine jitters, headaches, upset stomach or insomnia, and excessive consumption can have serious health risks, so best to use it only if you’re already a caffeine drinker.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Do you need protein shakes?

Tuesday Tip: Do you need protein shakes? 🥤

Protein shakes – all the rage, essential gym kit eh? But are they really necessary?

Protein itself is essential, especially for maintaining and building muscle, so it helps with recovery and is also great at keeping you feeling full. But the reality is most people’s diet includes more than enough protein as it is. Average daily recommended intake is 55g for men and 45g for women’s (with heavy exercisers needing a bit more: 1.2 – 1.7g per kg body weight). It’s not hard to get that in your meals e.g. 1 egg: 6g, 1 chicken breast: 20g, 30g cheddar cheese: 7.5g, 1 serving cooked beef mince: 18g, 1/2 pot cottage cheese: 18g, 1 tin of tuna: 25g, 1 serving Greek yogurt: 18g etc. So it’s pretty easy for most people to eat the required amount, with no shakes or powders required.

In an ideal world, if trying to build muscle then you do want to get some protein in within 30 mins of a strenuous workout. So that could be a reason to grab a shake. But you could save some pennies and instead go for something simple like a glass of milk (dairy milk contains 8g protein, soya milk contains 7g), or one of the best post-workout recovery drinks – chocolate milk (perfect carbs: protein ratio).

Aside from saving money you will also be protecting your health. Recent research shows that too much protein in the diet can increase your risk of osteoporosis amongst other health issues. Plus if you’re already eating a good diet then all you’re doing is taking on extra calories you don’t need, which could stall your weight loss attempts. They’re also not ideal as a meal replacement unless you combine them with other ingredients. For example as an grab and go brekkie option they’re great when combined in a smoothie with banana, milk, etc to give you a range of nutrients and a good balance of carbs too (but Greek yoghurt also does the same!).

So if you’re eating a balanced diet, and working out at a normal level (i.e. not an Olympic athlete!), then don’t stress about protein shakes as they’re really not necessary at all! Save your pennies!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Eating out, on track

Tuesday Tip: Eating out, on track 🍽

With restaurants reopening I know a lot of people are heading back our for meals etc. So I thought it would be useful to go over a few tips to help you stay on track, when when eating out.

Look up the menu in advance and decide what you will have, or a few options that you fancy. Then reverse engineer your day around it – log the meal, and fit your other meals around it.

You may want to prioritise lean protein for your main course e.g. steak and salad. But be mindful that restaurant portions are 2-3 times bigger than those you’d have at home, so consider a doggy bag.

Try to choose 1 or 2 courses rather than 3 if you can. Remember you’re the customer – if you want starter and dessert, or 2 starters, or even 2 desserts you can do that! You don’t have to go for starter, main and dessert.

Avoid extras – bread, olives, nibbles, oil, dressings etc. Ask for sauces on the side and you can decide how much you want to use. Ask for your veggies without butter etc too and be mindful of liquid calories (both alcoholic and non alcoholic).

Choose your indulgence – perhaps it’s booze, or the dessert, or the bread basket – whatever it is (for me it’s always dessert!), rather than having them all! It’s ok to enjoy a meal out but if you want to stick to your calorie targets then you can’t have it all.

Focus on the company and conversation – that’s what you’ll remember from the meal. It won’t be the food or that glass of wine, it will be the laughs and stories with your friends or family that you remember in months and years to come, not whether you had dessert or not!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Too busy?

Tuesday Tip: Too busy?🤯

It’s really easy when you’re busy to feel like the additional stress of trying to eat well or exercise to lose weight is too much. I often hear people say they’re just too busy to even think about it. I get it, I really do, I know how hard it is when you’re busy and feel like you never have a chance to stop and breathe, let alone fit in meal prepping, exercise etc. But it doesn’t have to be like that. Here are some tips I use with my clients to help them reach their fat loss goals, despite being short on time.

First off; ditch the all or nothing mindset. You don’t need to spend hours exercising to see results, in fact you don’t even need to workout every day or for long periods when you do. You also don’t have to spend hours prepping meals and creating a pile of tupperware boxes full of perfectly balanced meals. You do however need to commit a little time if you want to change things. Take an honest look at your schedule and see if you’re wasting time anywhere that you could use for something else. I’m not talking about hours, but perhaps that 20 mins idly scrolling through social media? or 30 mins watching TV? I’m not saying you shouldn’t do those things but if you’re desperate to lose weight then could some of that time be redirected?

Schedule your workouts and walks, you don’t need long, ten mins is enough (try one of my ten min workouts for example). Commit to a specific time and put it in your diary. Multitask and walk while you make a business call if you can or walk instead of driving to the shops etc. And be realistic, workout on days when you’re less busy. Don’t try to cram a workout in on your most manic day. Be generally active; walk, stand, fidget – do whatever you can whenever you can.

Stay in a calorie deficit – consistently. Now that does require some sort of tracking but you can make this easier on yourself by sticking to a small range of ‘go to’ meals and snacks that you know the cals for. Then you only need to work the cals out once. If you have say 6 meals you regularly have then simply rotate them. Use pre-prepared snacks and even the odd ready meal if you need, then it’s easy!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx