Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Losing fitness in lockdown?

Tuesday Tip: Losing fitness in lockdown? 🏃🏼‍♀️

I know a worry for many of you (me included) is losing your fitness during lockdown. Suddenly you’re not walking to the office/school run, you’re not able to get to the gym or classes etc. Well don’t panic – it’s not as bad as you may expect.

Studies show that muscle loss doesn’t occur until about 4 weeks BUT that’s only if you stop training completely! And even then it’s minor and happens in tiny increments each week. If you continue to workout even just with bodyweight workouts then you’ll preserve muscle mass, and post lock-down you’ll be back to normal within a few weeks. If you have no equipment then focus on full body circuits, increase intensity by adjusting the tempo, and increase the volume (number of reps) e.g. a 10 bodyweight move circuit repeated 5 times etc a few times a week.

Studies show that over 12 weeks there’s only a 16% reduction in aerobic fitness overall. If you can run or cycle then this will help, but even long fast paced walks will help. If you’re into cardio classes then you’re sorted as HIIT workouts lend themselves to small spaces. You can do your own little HIIT workout, but if you struggle to motivate yourself to work hard then there’s loads of free workouts online now – see my previous posts or ask me for links). Another fab way to replicate cardio workouts is with skipping – 2 mins a few times a day as a cardio blast!

Specific fitness losses will go a degree relate to your own training/exercise history, types of exercise you do (fitness is maintained for longer if you did a variety of types of exercise e.g. not just running, and genetic and lifestyle factors. However, if you’re a regular exerciser it will take longer to lose fitness as things like increased capillary density take much longer to disappear.

So basically – don’t fret! You’re going to be fine! I hope these tips help. If you want any specific advice then please ask, anytime.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Fitness and Exercise

A Quick Bodyweight Home Workout – Ten mins, Ten Exercises

I know, like me, many of you are missing your classes and workouts.

I just thought I’d do another quick, equipment-free workout for you guys to try. Remember it doesn’t need to be a 45 min session – any exercise is good! This little circuit takes only ten mins – if you have more time then you can always do it twice or three times, but if you don’t then just do it once! Get the family involved too 🙂

If you want to do it “with me” then there’s a video below.

Or you can use the pics below or download a pdf of the workout here: Bodyweight Circuit 2

Have fun! 🙂

xx

 

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

‘Grabbing a “healthy” snack ….. ‘

‘Grabbing a “healthy” snack ….. ‘ 🥓🍞🥜

I think if you were going to choose a “healthy” late morning snack/brunch option you’d probably assume the mixed nut bag is probably a better option than a bacon roll. And you’d assume it was healthier and certainly better for you if you’re trying to lose weight/fat.

Nuts, seeds and blackcurrants are full of nutrients – “good” fats, protein, antioxidants like Vitamin E etc. So nutritionally they are a good option, but the bag also contains a whopping 607 cals, with 28g fat and only 10g protein. The combination of fats and protein will help keep you full and satisfied but thats’s a really hefty snack that probably isn’t worth those calories.

In comparison a bacon roll would probably be perceived as a “bad” choice. In reality it has far fewer calories than the “healthy” option with only 389 cals in total. It’s also lower in fat with only 17.4g and higher in protein, 18.1 g. It still provides carbs, protein and fat so will keep you satisfied until lunch. I’m not suggesting you have one every day, but it’s certainly not terrible!.

So if you’re trying to lose weight/fat, and you really enjoy a bacon bap then go for it! As long as it’s part of a balanced diet which contains fruit and veg etc it’s fine! Don’t be swayed by the idea that nuts/seeds are inherently a “better” option – they’re not always!

🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Boost your Immune System

Tuesday Tip: Boost your Immune System 🦠

No amount of lifestyle intervention can completely protect you but here are some practical tips to strengthen your immune system.

# 1 Follow the advice

First off; follow the official advice; advice from the govt, NHS and scientists – not the news, social media, or your mate down the pub. Follow the science-backed advice. If in doubt about self isolation call 111.

# 2 Eat well

Eat a balanced diet and ensure you’re loading up on lots of fruit and veg to ensure you get the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory phytonutrients you need to fight infection. It also ensures plenty of fibre to keep your gut microbiome healthy too.

# 3 Vit C and Zinc

Vitamin C won’t prevent infection but has been shown to reduce symptom intensity and duration. Load up on citrus fruits, leafy green veg or get a high dose Vit C supplement. Zinc also helps boost the immune system and is found in meat, poultry, seafood, beans, nuts, whole grains and dairy products.

# 4 Sleep

Adequate sleep is the foundation of your whole immune system. While you sleep the hormone melatonin stimulates the creation of new immune cells so sleep is critical. Try to get 6-8 hrs a night.

# 5 Exercise

You need to get those muscles working to produce chemicals that stimulate the thymus gland (involved in production and functioning of immune cells). Cardiovascular fitness is also essential for strong, healthy lungs. The lymphatic system relies on muscle movement to circulate immune cells around the body too. Exercise also produces endorphins which will make you feel better and reduce stress.

# 6 Drink

Hydration is vital as it keeps the mucus membranes in your respiratory tract moist which means they can trap the germs and prevent them entering your cells. so drink up!

# 7 Reduce stress

Stress increases cortisol production, which weakens our immune system. A lot of the covid-19 coverage is creating mass-hysteria so if you’re feeling anxious steer clear of the news/social media – take a walk, read a book, call a friend, play with your kids, whatever you do to relax.

Finally, it wouldn’t be fair to leave this one off – wash your hands.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip : Beat The Afternoon Slump

Tuesday Tip : Beat The Afternoon Slump 😴

The mid afternoon energy slump – usually 3-4pm is common to all of us! It can have you reaching for the sugar or caffeine to stay alert but instead try these tips to help beat that slump!

#1 Start right

Not starting the day right can have big impacts later. If you don’t have breakfast you’re far more likely to feel sleepy later in the day. Try a brekkie that combines protein and carbs – eggs on toast, porridge with nuts/fruit. If you’re in a rush take it with you – peanut butter bagel, yogurt pot etc.

# 2 Watch the carbs and fat

Now I’m definitely not saying to cut carbs totally for lunch – you need them for energy. Too few and you’ll find you’re running low by 3pm. But on the flip side too many carbs and you’ll feel sluggish all afternoon. Go for a fist sized portion of carbs with lunch. Also reduce the fat – high fat meals are harder to digest so leave you feeling sluggish. So have a sandwich by all means, or a pasta salad, but load up on the veggies and go easy on the bread/pasta and cheese etc.

# 3 Have a break

Studies have found that taking regular 5-15 min breaks leads to increased productivity at work, and can help combat the afternoon slump. Try to get up and walk around at least once every hour throughout the day. Then, during your break, do a few stretches and take a few deep breaths to invigorate and refresh your mind and your body.

# 4 Drink more

The afternoon slump can also be a result of dehydration. So grab a cold glass of water when you start to feel sleepy. You could add a little lime/cucumber/lemon to your water to add to the flavour. Or try soaking some bits of pineapple in your water for a delicious pineapple-infused burst of energy!

#5 Use your head

It sounds counter intuitive as it’s the last thing you feel like doing but using your brain helps to combat that slump. Try a fun, quick task like crosswords/puzzles etc to give those brain cells a blast. Engaging your brain this way will rouse your concentration levels and refocus you.

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tip: Post-workout Munchies

Tuesday Tip: Post-workout Munchies 🥤🥪

Feeling very hungry after your workout? Regular workouts boost your metabolism and often increase your hunger. Those dreaded post-workout munchies can make you reach for extra snacks and eat more than you want to which could derail your fitness goals.

# 1 Reconsider your burn

Did you really burn as much as you’re about to eat? Studies have shown that we usually underestimate the calories consumed through food and overestimate the number of calories burned by exercise. As I’ve said in previous posts those fitness machines almost always over estimate and even fitness trackers aren’t as accurate as we’re led to believe. So be realistic when it comes to choosing post-workout foods. Go for something with protein, carbs and fat – and if it’s not a main meal then aim for only about 150-200 cals. A glass of milk (dairy or soya) or chocolate milk is an excellent post workout refuel.

# 2 Are you really hungry?

Ask yourself are you really hungry? Unless it’s a definite yes don’t reach for that protein shake or snack (and remember as I said last week – protein shakes aren’t really necessary for most of us anyway!)

Drink a big glass of water first and then decide. Try not to just get in to the habit of eating after workouts for the sake of it.

#3 Eat regular meals

If you’re starving after your workouts then maybe you haven’t eaten enough earlier in the day. Studies have shown regular meals with a good balance of proteins, carbs and fats results in less desire to eat extra snacks post workout and curb that hunger.

# 4 Schedule your workouts

If you always feel hungry after working out, then simply make sure to schedule exercise before one of your main meals.

That way you won’t need to eat any extra snacks, and thus additional calories, between meals.

# 5 Don’t try to earn calories to eat later

Try not to workout simply for the reward of eating later. Again something I’ve talked about before – try not to reward yourself with food. Exercise itself should be the reward so find something you enjoy – cycling, running, classes, dancing etc and then enjoy the endorphins!

Happy Tuesday 🤗

Xx

Nutrition and Calorie Tips

Coco-nuts!…

Coco-nuts!…. 🥥

Coconuts are heralded as a “superfood” So coconut yoghurt must be better for you right?

Coconut yoghurt contains fewer carbs than dairy yoghurt as it is lactose free (the natural sugar in milk). It also contains saturated fat, specifically medium-chain triglycerides, which are easily absorbed by the liver and converted to ketones (an alternative energy source in the brain) and could be beneficial for dementia and related conditions. There is also evidence that coconut may help type-2 diabetes, elevated cholesterol levels and may assist weight loss. Critically though many of these benefits are associated with coconut oil or meat,not yoghurt.

It’s plant-based and suitable for those with dairy/lactose allergies or vegans (but not all coconut yoghurt are actually vegan, many also contain dairy milk or gelatin). Natural yoghurt is dairy based but contains live probiotics and is good for gut health. There are no naturally occurring probiotics in coconut yoghurt (though some brands do add them in). If you are aiming for weight/fat loss however then natural yoghurt has some benefits.

Coconut yoghurt contains significantly more calories than natural yoghurt and approx 5 times as much saturated fat. Whilst the fat in coconut yoghurt is the more beneficial medium-chain triglycerides thats still a large amount of fat and that has it’s own risks. There’s also significantly less protein in coconut yoghurt. Higher protein can help keep you fuller for longer – which from a weight loss perspective is helpful.

So if you were assuming coconut yoghurt is “healthier” and therefore better option for weight loss then think again. The “good” fats in coconut yoghurt don’t offset the extra calories I’m afraid. There are lower calorie coconut yoghurts out there so if you really love coconut yoghurt then check the labels (a lot is watered down reducing the calorie content). If you are unable to eat dairy then consider some of the lactose-free yoghurt which have comparable calories, or go for a soya based option.

As always – calories count guys so check those labels – and have what you want, within your calories. Knowledge is power!

Enjoy 🤗

Xx