MAKE SURE YOU KICK OFF YOUR METABOLISM FOR THE DAY
You hear too often about people skipping breakfast and I know we all sound like a broken record, but breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. By skipping breakfast you are actually doing yourself a disservice by making weight control more difficult. When you miss a meal you are not working side by side with your metabolism, which is exactly what helps make weight control easier. You will also find you probably eat more at lunchtime if you haven’t had breakfast. You want to kick start your metabolism for the day. It doesn’t have to be much. For example if I am on the run and don’t have much time I will at least have a banana or whip myself up a protein shake, just so I have something in my stomach to get my day started.
ALWAYS STRETCH DOWN AFTER A WORKOUT
I am sure a lot of you will agree with me that once you have finished your workout it is ‘ok quick onto the next thing, I need to be here, there and everywhere’. We quite often neglect to stretch out our muscles after they have been working hard and in a contracted state the past hour. True? It is just as important to stretch out your muscles, as it is to contract them.
Whilst you are working out, lactic acid is building up in your muscles, which often leads to muscle fatigue and soreness, so stretching afterwards help to reduce that fatigue and increase blood circulation.
Sometimes we skip the stretch because we feel strapped for time and let’s face it, it can be a little ‘Ouchy’. But by spending 5 minutes to stretch down, you are increasing your chances of injury prevention in your next workout by bringing your muscles back to their normal state and assisting with muscle soreness.
HYDRATION IS KEY
Hydration is so important; some of you may already know that half of our body weight is made up of water. By keeping yourself hydrated you are helping the heart pump blood more easily through the blood vessels to the muscles. It isn’t only important during exercise, if you are just outdoors in the sun on a hot or humid day you are losing water. Try to drink at least 8 glasses a day; you can drink 4 glasses easily by having 2 when you get up in the morning and 2 at night. Personally I find it hard to have to stay on track with my water intake so I carry a 1.25L bottle with me and put timelines down the bottle to make sure I have had a certain amount by a certain hour in the day. Trust me it works wonders!!!!!
EXERCISE ISN’T ONLY GOOD FOR YOUR BODY BUT SO GOOD FOR YOUR BRAIN
Most of us get ourselves to the gym, the park or the lounge room to exercise for our physical fitness but exercise isn’t only good for our bodies - it’s good for our brain and mood as well. How often after you have worked out or got the blood pumping do you feel as though your mood has been lifted? All the time, right? I know sometimes the stresses or anxieties of life can dampen our mood and when we feel like that the last thing we want to do is find energy to exercise. But, that is exactly what you want to do! Whenever you feel a little disheveled, get your body moving. It works for me every time; my best mood of the day is always after I have exercised or just got myself moving a little bit.
Exercise cranks up the body’s production of serotonin and dopamine - brain chemicals that are crucial to happy mood - and it boosts levels of the feel-good chemicals called endorphins! According to Harvard Medical School psychiatrist John Ratey: “Exercise is the single best thing you can do for your brain in terms of mood, memory and learning.” Here here to that, Doc!!
LISTENING TO OUR BODIES AND RESTING WHEN WE NEED IT
Resting your body is just as important as it is to workout. Pushing and pushing and pushing yourself without allowing your body to recover is more than likely to cause an injury and work against the effort you have been putting into your workouts.
I know resting or going by the slogan ‘no days off’ can make you feel like you are taking a step backwards on your journey to fitness and weight loss but you are actually only assisting your body in achieving results.
You are aiding yourself physically and psychologically by allowing rest days. Rest is necessary for your muscles to repair, rebuild and strengthen in that time off so that you can achieve your desired results.
You can still move on a rest day, you don’t have to sit and do nothing. Just keep it casual like a leisurely walk in the park with a friend or some stretching. I find it difficult to rest also, but I can always feel the difference in my next workout through my performance when I have allowed my body to rest and when I haven’t. I am always surprised at how much more I enjoy my workout when my body has been rested.
Have a happy, Healthy Weight Awareness Week! Much love, Lauren Hannaford.