Tag Archives: exercise

How to Become a Morning Person

“Early to bed and early to rise , makes a man healthy,wealthy and wise.” Benjamin Franklin. I totally agree. Studies show that people who wake up early in the morning are not only more productive but also successful as they tend to set higher goals, be more persistent and plan for the future. For me I find that my energy levels are so much better if I go to bed early. I wake up refreshed ready to plan my day. I usually wake up at 5.30 – 6 am every morning and by 9am I would have had breakfast, answered emails, prepared lunch for my husband, worked out and planned my day. Of course if you are a night owl it does not mean you are doomed to failure. I understand that some people may have night jobs. I also understand that we are all different and not everyone will be a morning person. No one shoe fits all. No point getting up at 6am if you go to bed at 1am. You will be mentally and physically exhausted. Here below are a few tips to help those who would like to become early birdies.

Go to bed at the same time every night

You need to set a suitable time for you to go to bed each night. As mentioned before no point staying up into the early hours of the morning expecting to get up early. You need to establish how many hours sleep you need per night. Personally I need 6 good hours of sleep. Others will need maybe 8. Once you have established how many hours you need then set a time and try to go to bed at that time every night. If you are someone that is used to going to bed late this may take some adjusting and it will not be easy and the next tip could help you.

Wake up at the same time every morning

If you start to follow a pattern you will find that your body will automatically adjust and you will begin to feel tired at night and wake up at the same time. No matter what time I go to bed I always wake up at 6am. This is what my body is used to. If you are a night owl as mentioned above waking up early in the morning may help in getting you to bed early as you will be pretty exhausted.

Avoid triggers that will keep you awake 

If you want to train yourself to go to bed early you will have to switch off. This means no social media before bedtime. Try a hot bath  and reading a book ( not a kindle ). You need to stay away from any computer or phone screens. No technology at all, not even TV at least one hour before bed. It is important that your room stays absolutely dark in order to get a good nights sleep.

Get yourself a good alarm and don’t press snooze

If you are new to getting up early you may want to invest in a good alarm. One that will be very loud so you cannot miss it. Do not hit the snooze button, you want to be awake not fall back asleep. I suggest getting out of bed and jumping straight in the shower to fully wake up.

To do lists

This is a great way to plan your day, writing down all you wish to do during your hectic day. Writing a to do list is a fantastic way to start your morning. It brings order and great satisfaction as you tick off what you have done.

Do not nap

As tempting as it may be to have a little nap in the afternoon, don’t. By not having a nap you will be more tired in the evening and able to go to bed at your usual time.

Exercise

Working out is good both physically and mentally. I would say that the best time to work out would be in the morning. It puts you in a good mood and by exercising early morning you get it out of the way. Also the more active and productive you are during the day the more likely you are to sleep well.

I hope the above tips have helped to make you become a morning person.

 

 

 

 

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6 Ways to Start the Day Right

Get into a morning routine that will set the tone for the rest of your day. Start the day the right way. Mornings are the best part of the day and they should not be rushed. You want to get your thoughts together, plan your day, not sprint out the front door. Here below are some tips that I hope will help.

Wake up early

Go to bed early and wake up early. I love getting up very early in the morning. For me this is the best time. I hate rushing. I like to take my time and gather my thoughts and have time to myself.

Drink warm water and lemon 

Make yourself a large glass of fresh lemon juice and warm water. This is like an internal shower and is very good for the liver, Have it 20 minutes before eating. You can also add some turmeric.

Deep breathing exercises

These are very beneficial especially if you live in a city and you are constantly challenged by a busy work schedule and stress. Cities are also very fast paced. This is why it is important to find time to yourself to distress and relax.

Have a green smoothie

Don’t grab a coffee and a pastry on your way to work. Instead opt for a healthier option that will give you more energy through out your busy morning. Refined sugar gives you that quick burst of energy followed by a quick dip. You want to be mentally sharp for your meetings. A green smoothie is a great way to load on vegetables and the beauty of a smoothie is that you can load it full of goodness. Try adding chia seeds, spirulina, wheatgrass or maca powder.

Exercise

In almost every post I stress the importance of exercise. It is so important for a healthy body and mind. Daily movement prevents the onset of disease. As we age it is so important to exercise. It is good for muscle mass which decreases as we get older and is good for bone strength. Exercise releases endorphins which promote feelings of happiness. This is why it is best to work out in the morning so you not only get it over and done with but it will put you in a good mood for the rest of the day.

Skin brushing

The benefits of skin brushing are endless. The skin is the largest organ in the body and it is important to look after it. Skin brushing removes dead skin cells, improves oxygenation and stimulates circulation. It also stimulates the lymphatic system which is essential in eliminating toxins. Best way to skin brush is before you shower. Make sure the brush is dry and start from the feet moving upward in circular motions. In areas of the body where the skin is thinner like the chest apply less pressure.

I hope the above helps. If you are looking for a bespoke nutritional plan purchase my initial consultation plan or email me.

 

 

5 Tips to Motivate Yourself to Exercise in Winter

Most of you come the beginning of January would have hit the gym to shed the weight gained during the festive season, but come mid month some of you may find it tough keeping it up. It is difficult to stay motivated when you wake up and it is bitterly cold and dark outside. Instead of waking up an hour early you probably want to get an extra hour of sleep. I will never stop repeating the importance of exercise and movement especially as we become older. Exercise makes us feel better and it not only keeps the weight off, but it is very good for our cardiovascular system and a must if you sit at a desk all day!  Here below are a few tips that I hope will help you stay motivated and moving!

Play your favourite song and get dancing

A fantastic way to get out of bed is by cranking up your favourite tune in the morning and start dancing to it. Don’t choose a song that will make you fall asleep, you want to wake up remember. This will set the mood for the whole day making you feel great and motivate you to work out.

Get a gym buddy

Getting a friend, family member or partner to exercise with is fantastic as you both motivate and push each other. Together you can create your an exercise plan. The key to success is planning ahead. Exercising together makes it more fun and a fitness buddy will offer you the support you need, making you feel more confident. If you have always been too shy to start a new class, with a workout partner it will make it easier.

Buy new workout gear

Shopping is therapy and it makes us happy. Go out and buy some sexy new workout gear that will boost your confidence and make you feel beautiful. Invest in some warm gear especially if you are running outside. You don’t want to freeze and be put off. There are some super cool exercise clothing out there.

Book a class

By booking a class you are committing yourself and cancelling or not showing up will mean that you will be charged. Most of you will pay a membership fee which means you want to get the most out of your gym, and if you have paid for an extra class you don’t want to throw money away. A class is great as it will make working out more fun and the instructor will be correcting your form.

Set a fitness goal

Why not commit  to run a a mini marathon or try a triathlon or start a new sport. By setting these goals you will be setting up a deadline to get into shape and this will motivate you to train. Remember winter bodies are made in the summer!

Hope the above helps. If you require a bespoke nutritional plan purchase my initial consultation.

5 Ways to Get Back on Track After the Holidays

This is my first post of 2018 and my first post in over a year. Due to personal reasons I took a break and I have to say that I actually enjoyed being away from social media. Like everyone I enjoyed the festive season and had a lovely Christmas, but now time to get back on track. I guess most of you are feeling bloated, fatigued and overweight after eating and drinking too much over the holidays. The secret to getting back to your usual routine is to do it straight away as soon as the festive season ends. The more you postpone it the harder it will be.

Get to bed early

Routine starts with going to bed early and getting up early. During the holidays most of us including myself would have gone to bed late. In order to get your body to its normal routine sleep is vital. When sleep is disrupted you wake up feeling exhausted and groggy. Getting back to a healthy sleeping habit will leave you feeling refreshed.

Grab a green Juice

Instead of grabbing another coffee go for a green juice. This is a fantastic way to include more greens into your diet. After all the over eating and drinking too much alcohol you need to alkalise your body. So go grab a juice on your way to work.

Get moving

Physical activity goes hand in hand with healthy eating. Get up early and go run or walk in the winter sun. Exercising not only will help you lose the kilos put on over Christmas but it will make you feel good and improve your mood. I suggest you exercise early morning before work. This is a great way to start the day.

Eat Healthy

I do not believe in diets but I do believe in healthy eating. A balanced diet is key to feeling good and functioning well. If we want to keep our bodies and brain active we must fuel it with the correct nutrients. Include more fruit and vegetables into your diet. Make sure you get plenty of good quality protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. As mentioned before after the festive season your body will be pretty acidic with all the alcohol and sweets consumed so you need to be alkaline. Give your liver a break and cut back on the alcohol and drink more water.

Have a light week

For the first week of the new year concentrate on you, on resting your body and mind. Spend time at home and cancel your social diary for that first week. You need to take a break. Have relaxing massages and listen to  classical music. This will help boost your  energy levels and it is also a time to reflect and set realistic goals for the year ahead.

 

I hope the above tips help. If you are looking to lose weight or have other health issues please email me or feel free to purchase my initial consultation on my website.

5 Reasons to Strengthen Your Core

A strong core is the key to longevity and fitness. Your core affects all your movements. A strong core improves posture, balance, back pain and athletic performance. Working your core is much more than just looking good in a bikini. The good news is that you do not need any fancy equipment to work your core. You can do core exercises from the beauty of your own home. The core really is the centre of your body.

Protects your back

This is very important. How many of us after a workout or all day sitting at our desks end up with terrible back pain?! Working your core protects your back muscles and reduces pain. If you have a weak core it means that your back muscles will have to work harder thus placing a strain on your back. Working your core will also encourage spinal alignment and better balance helping you with certain yoga poses.

Enhances athletic performance

A strong core helps with all sports from tennis, football, running, golf etc. You need core strength to play a sport. If you have a strong core you can run for longer without your legs and arms getting tired. If you do a lot of squats or work with weights if you have a week core you will be placing all the pressure on your knees forcing them to be over worked. A strong core will protect your knees and joints. A strong core protects both your upper and lower body giving you the best results when doing any form of physical activity.

Protects during pregnancy

As mentioned before a strong core protects your back. During pregnancy as your baby bump grows it can place an enormous amount of pressure on your back causing pain. If you have strengthened your core before falling pregnant you will not experience this, also a strong core will help with labour too and will prevent the ab muscles from dividing into two which can happen during pregnancy.

Improves posture

A strong core will make you look taller and thinner and improve spinal alignment. If you spend hours sitting at your desk in front of a computer you will no doubt be compromising your back muscles and posture. It is important to take regular breaks. Exercises like yoga and pilates will help strengthen core muscles and improve posture.

Improves your everyday movement

A strong core is not only beneficial in sports but in your everyday life. It will help you when you have to lift something heavy in the house or carry heavy shopping bags. Holding a baby in your arms can place a strain on your back but with a strong core that will be easier.  Your core affects all your movements  which is why it is so important. A strong core will make all chores easier and keep you injury free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Diets do not Work

Most of my clients come to me to help them lose weight. I do not believe or like the word diet. I do not believe in diets. What I do believe in is healthy eating and a healthy lifestyle which is essential in preventing disease. When you are healthy and active you will have an abundance of energy. Fad diets mess up your metabolism and are restrictive depleting the body of vital nutrients.

Diets mess up your metabolism

Most women make the mistake in thinking that by starving they will lose weight quicker and become obsessed with counting calories. When the body goes into starvation mode due to lack of calorie intake it will start to use up muscle and lean tissue thus resulting in muscle tone loss.  You need to be eating every 3-4 hours to speed up your metabolism. By starving your body you are actually slowing down your metabolism making it harder to lose weight in the long term. A balanced healthy diet consists of 3 main meals and 2 snacks.

Too restrictive

Most fad diets tend to eliminate food groups mainly carbohydrates and tend to be very restrictive leading a person feeling deprived. When on these fad diets a person will be even more sensitive to food and if they feel too restricted they will tend to crave all the wrong foods and will often have a massive binge.

Can be harmful

A restrictive diet like the Atkins diet which was a fad a while back can cause serious health problems. A diet that is too high in animal protein like the Atkins diet can cause an enormous strain on the kidneys leading to kidney stones and other problems. Your kidneys filter your blood getting rid of all unwanted waste and toxins via the urine. Eating a diet very high in saturated fats like meats can also lead to heart disease. This is why you need a balanced diet.

Cause nutrient deficiencies 

Following on from above, a balanced diet is essential for staying healthy. You need a balanced diet that includes carbohydrates, proteins and good fats. A restrictive diet will leave you feeling tired and deprived.

Carbohydrates are absolutely necessary for energy and endurance. You need carbohydrates for physical activity. Most women look at carbs horrified and underestimate their importance in a healthy diet. I am not referring to refined sugars such as white bread, white pasta, cakes, pies and processed foods which have zero nutritional value. They supply that quick burst of energy by raising your blood sugar levels followed by a quick dip in energy. This is why complex carbohydrates are what you should be fuelling your body. Complex carbohydrates are slow releasing and do not raise blood sugar levels thus resulting in energy for longer periods of time. Good sources include: Sweet potatoes, brown rice, porridge, stone ground wholemeal breads.

Protein is important for muscle repair and healing. Protein is needed to stop muscle tone loss. Good sources of protein are lean meats – please ensure you go for organic meats. You do not want to eat meat that has been injected with hormones and antibiotics. Other good sources: Tofu, lentils, beans, eggs and quinoa. Another is the super food spirulina, which is a blue-green algae rich in protein, iron and B12.

Healthy fats – your good omega 3 fats known as essential fatty acids act as an anti inflammatory by protecting your joints, ligaments and tendons. They are also good for brain function, cardiovascular health, endurance and stamina. Good healthy sources include: Wild salmon, sardines, mackerel, avocados, flax seeds, linseeds, pumpkin, chia and sunflower seeds.

I hope you have now understood the importance of a healthy balanced way of eating that a fad diet lacks. As mentioned above you need a healthy eating plan that incorporates all the food groups. You cannot isolate one or two groups and just have one. This will lead to health and anxiety problems as a person feels deprived, restricted and unhappy. Another thing that most fad diets do not mention is the importance of exercise. Healthy eating and exercise go hand in hand to maintain a healthy active body and mind.

If you require a bespoke healthy nutritional plan you can purchase my Initial consultation plan on my website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

No matter your level of fitness, you want to make sure that you get the most out of your workout. Here below are a few tips that will help you to achieve best results.

Stay hydrated

I discussed the importance of drinking water in my previous post. You should drink before, during and after exercising. Dehydration will lead to muscle weakness and fatigue. If you are tired you will not be able to make the most of your workout.

Get a personal trainer to prepare your fitness programme

Join a gym and get a personal trainer to give you a bespoke fitness programme. No matter what level of fitness you are at,  you will always benefit from a personal trainer. You tell them your goals, which area of your body you want to focus on. Not only will they show you the correct way of performing exercises but they will constantly be giving you new exercises to challenge yourself.

Plan your workout

Write down your goals and exercise plan for the next two weeks. By writing your workout programme it will encourage routine and you are most likely to stick to the plan. The plan should include the time you intend to workout, what activities you plan on doing each day and the duration.

Don’t forget to stretch

It is so important to stretch before and after any physical activity. So many people do not stretch enough. Stretching prevents soreness and muscle, joint and tendon injuries. Have you ever suffered from a low back pain upon waking up in the morning?  If you stretch before and after you won’t have any pain. I know from personal experience. I always used to stretch very little at the end of my workout and I suffered terrible lower back pain. This pain disappeared the minute I started stretching more. Stretching also improves flexibility.

Make sure to warm up before any physical activity

This is just as important as stretching as it helps to prevent injuries. by warming up you are preparing the muscles for a vigorous workout. Warm up should be light, you are warming up the body so no need to wear yourself out. Save your energy for the actual workout. I normally always do 10 minutes light cycling as my warm up followed by stretching.

Mix it up

Do not always do the same things. Not only will your body get used to it but you will end up getting bored of doing the same exercises day in and day out. To see results you have to challenge yourself and try different exercises. Try cardio, resistance training, yoga, HIIT, boxing etc. The more the better.

Calorie intake

Are you eating too little or too much? Healthy eating is essential if you want to get the best results in the gym. However starving is not the solution. Too often I see women not eating enough because they fear putting on weight. If you do not fuel your body correctly and eat too little, the body will feel fatigued and will not be able to perform at its best. Consuming too many calories is also not good. Having a big workout does not mean over indulging in junk food. Moderation is key. You should be having 3 healthy meals and 2 snacks a day. Make sure you have protein after your workout.  If you eat the right foods you will have an abundance of energy thus gaining maximum results from your workout.

Watch your form

No point in doing lots of repetitions if you are not performing the exercises properly. You risk injuring yourself. Best to do less but correctly. Form is everything. If you are new to exercise or not sure about a particular exercise please ask a qualified personal trainer who will be more than willing to help you.

Change your exercise routine 4-6 weeks

If you want to see changes in your body you have to change your workout regime every 4 – 6 weeks. It is important to keep challenging yourself. Not to mention you will get bored of performing the same exercises. You want to keep pushing yourself. You want to feel the burn when you exercise. By performing the same physical activity your muscles will adapt and you will not see results

Foam rollers

Foam rollers are truly great as they iron out your muscle. It is like having a deep tissue massage releasing knots and is used by athletes. It improves cellulite, posture, range of motion, flexibility and improves athletic performance. I did a  previous blog post on the benefits of foam rolling and how to use them with exercises.

I hope the above tips help you to achieve the best results!