This week I’m going to discuss the ten habits I follow as a personal trainer. Working in the fitness industry means that being healthy and looking REEM is part and parcel of the job and, I’ll be honest, I am a little bit (ok, a lot!) anal when it comes to health. Having said this, I guarantee that if you decide to take on just 50% of what I do, you will have more energy, build lean muscle, burn body fat and improve your overall health.
Keeping hydrated is the most simple thing I do to improve my health. I aim to drink 3 litres of pure water evey day to increase my metabolism, flush toxins out of my body, and allow my skin to glow (that, and the er… facials). At first you may find you need to visit the toilet every five minutes, but this will settle within a few weeks.
I aim to be off to the land of nod by 10:30pm as often as possible (on a school night……….BRAAAAAPPPP). If you fall asleep at midnight night after night, your body will release a stress hormone called Cortisol, which makes us store fat, especially around the naval. If you sleep in a dark room with no electrical pollution (i.e wireless, TV, bed lamp on) you will sleep deeper and will wake up refreshed – and will have burnt fat while you sleep!
Much of the western population is gluten intolerant. If you have any Celtic (Ginger) blood in your genes (like me) you will more than likely be gluten intolerant, which will cause you to feel bloated, sluggish, tired, spotty and struggling to burn fat and build muscle. Avoid the pastas, breads, cereals, etc. and instead increase your fresh vegetable intake.
This is common sense, there are no health benefits in a Jagerbomb or a bottle of red. I confess I’m pretty much teetotal (ok, a lightweight) and a Babysham gives me a headache and gets me dancing like my Dad in Pitcher & Piano. I’m not telling people to join me in the world of being a lightweight, but if you want to lose the spare tyre and muffin top, keep your alcohol intake to a minimum.
5. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is vital to boost our immune system, prevent cancer, boost our metabolism, build muscle, prevent Ricketts and beat the winter blues. In winter our exposure to the sun is obviously limited, and if your ancestors are from warmer shores than the Costa del Tonbridge, then it’s even more essential you take a vitamin D supplement. You can get natural exposure to vitamin D without a tablet, but it will involve you walking around naked at noon everyday for 20 minutes. After several arrests for indecent exposure I gave this up and now just take a Phil Richards Vitamin D tablet…I suggest you do the same.
As a personal trainer, I exercise 5 to 6 times per week which, I know, for most people is impossible as they don’t work in a gym. Aim therefore to exercise 3 times per week – I recommend focussing on weight training and intervals, which is the best way to burn body fat and build a lean, toned, healthy, strong body. Focus on compound movements (i.e. squats,deadlifts, pull ups, rows and sprints), which will work every muscle in your body and make you burn fat for 48 hours. I promise to all females lifting weights 3 x a week at boot camp or the gym, this will NOT turn you into an Eastern European shot putter sporting a permanent Movember.
Do not be afraid of all fats. Essential fatty acids make up a large content of my eating plan and are found in fish, olive oil, nuts, seeds, coconut oil and avocados. These fats will not make you fat, they will make you lean! I snack on sunflower and pumpkin seeds, almonds, cashews, etc. If you’re deficient in essential fatty acids you will store fat (especially around your back), have dull lifeless skin, sore inflamed joints, have the libido of a vegan stamp collecting monk, and risk long-term problems like heart disease.
I find the most simple easy breakfast to follow is an omelette. For generations before, our ancestors started their day with eggs and not a slice of toast or bowl of special K (although I still miss my Coco Pops, I admit). Cereals will leave you feeling bloated and hungry by 9am. Eggs are a ‘Superfood’ rich in protein, essential fatty acids and B vitamins, and are a cheap, perfect way to start your day.
9. Listen to your body
If I’m highly stressed, under the weather, or sleep deprived, I don’t over stress my body with intense exercise. If I don’t have the energy to work to my max in the gym, I will either cut the session shorter or use it as a stretch, yoga style, session. This will allow me to de-stress my body. A stress free body is a healthy body.
10. Set goals
You may have no desire to be a male tart (like me) or sport a set of guns like Madonna. However, even if it is small goals, set them for yourself. Whether it be to lose 7lbs by Christmas or to get into ‘that dress’, to boost your immune system so you don’t get struck down by man Flu every other week, or just to feel more self-confident and happy about yourself.
Now I’m off to drink a spirulina, flaxseed, linseed, gogi berry and coconut milk protein shake… don’t worry, this is not vital for all – remember, I’m a freak :-)
Hope to see you at Kent Boot Camps soon.