Exercise the Healthy Way
By Sherry L. Granader (Sports Nutritionist)
Achieving optimum health and vitality is a process. It takes time, commitment and little “victories” along the way that make it all worthwhile. Changing the body happens in little progressions and each victory, no matter how small, gives you confidence to keep on keeping on and meet the next challenge.
If you want to achieve wellness and weight loss, you must do 3 things: eat well, strength-train and do aerobic exercise. You cannot separate the three – all must be a part of your regimen. Exercise can provide a powerful incentive to eat well so you have the energy to get through your workouts. Good nutrition will give you the stamina and strength to perform each workout properly, plus exercise keeps your metabolism in high gear.
Here are some tips that will help you achieve your fitness goals:
- There are no shortcuts – realise it takes time, effort, commitment and dedication to exercise daily - no excuses! Make a commitment to yourself to exercise each and every day, you have to move to improve!
- Take note of each little improvement – sleeping better, feeling better and less stressed with more energy, clothes fitting better and looking healthier are all worth celebrating. Reward yourself for these little accomplishments with a pedicure or facial or a new outfit, it will definitely help keep your motivation up.
- Setbacks are natural – and inevitable but it doesn’t mean you have to give up - overcoming any setbacks to reach your goals gives you strength of character and a true sense of accomplishment.
- Make some small sacrifices along the way – achieving weight loss does mean you have to give up some things like highly processed foods, for example. You will be surprised how making one small change can really make a difference in your weight loss efforts. Another instance might be to switch to sweet potatoes instead of eating a white potato - they are more fibrous, full of antioxidants and lower in sugar.
- Realise your timeframe – if you are not ready for the challenge ahead, hold off until you are because eventually you will feel ready inside. Most people get sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, exercising the right way will help turn that around and reach your fitness goals.
Maximise Your Metabolism
Metabolism is the rate at which you burn calories and is critical for maintaining a healthy weight. Everybody burns calories at their own individual way but there are some things you can do so it burns at its highest rate most of the day. Your metabolism changes throughout the day, it is slowest at night before going to bed but you still burn calories to breathe, digest your food and keep your heart beating.
Here are some things you can do to BOOST your METABOLISM:
- Eat mini-meals every 3 hours – that consist of good quality protein and fibrous carbohydrates like vegetables. Add some good fats like nuts, olive oil or avocado that will keep you full and energised.
- Schedule exercise – whether it is strength training or cardiovascular work, your metabolism will increase and will continue to increase in direct proportion to the length and intensity of your workout. Plus the boost in metabolism lasts for hours after you step off that treadmill or put down those hand weights.
- Water, water, water – water is necessary for every process in the body including good health. If you become dehydrated, the body cannot perform properly and goes in search of water, signalling you to eat more. Who needs that? It’s called ‘artificial hunger’ and causes your digestive system to slow down making it difficult to get the nutrients it needs. It can actually trigger unnecessary eating to make up for the shortfall. Drinking enough water can keep your body running smoothly, keep you full and curb your appetite.
- Cardiovascular exercise – shoot for a minimum of 40 minutes of aerobic exercise that will increase your heart rate and breathing. It will improve your body’s heart, lungs and arteries, as they will be able to deliver more oxygen to the working muscles. It will also help lower cholesterol naturally and reduce your risk of heart disease.
- Strength train – the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn just sitting here reading this article. It will also help slow down the ageing process by preventing muscle loss and bone loss. Strength training will allow you to do more aerobic exercise at a higher level and ultimately burn more calories.
It is all about calories in versus calories out however you can increase your metabolism by exercising effectively and making better food choices at meal times. Boosting your metabolism is the first step in helping it run efficiently so you get the results, burn calories and lose weight.