Features

Issue 10 – Reboot your life

Bestfit Issue 10, Reboot your life cover.

Bestfit Issue 10, Reboot your life banner

Get a morning kick

One glass of mineral water with lemon offers us the perfect, healthy pep-up first thing in the morning. “Starting the day with a glass of water is great… you may be dehydrated from the night, which can make you tired,” writes Registered Nutritional Therapist Sophie Leicester. “Water helps your body’s natural excretion of toxins and helps with the health of the skin and the digestive system. The addition of lemon adds useful nutrients such as Vitamin C and other antioxidants as well as making it taste nice and fresh. It’s a simple, cheap thing to do to help boost your health and energy levels.” Try to use un-waxed, organic lemons wherever possible.

Freshen up

Time to ditch your regular shampoos and shower gels, many of which contain chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Parabens and Methylchloroisothiazolinone/ Methylisothiazolinone). These have been linked to changes in the hormonal system, decreasing of sperm production, skin irritation and hair damage. “Much more research is needed before we get too worried, but there are excellent products in the market place which don’t have these chemicals in them,” Leicester explains. These include Weleda’s bathroom range featuring their Wheat Balancing Shampoo (www.weleda.co.uk), Faith in Nature’s range of shower gels and deodorants (www.faithinnature.co.uk) and many of Burt’s Bees’ (www.burtsbees.com) shower items.

Shave Smart

Time to ditch your regular shampoos and shower gels, many of which contain chemicals such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES), Parabens and Methylchloroisothiazolinone/ Methylisothiazolinone). These have been linked to changes in the hormonal system, decreasing of sperm production, skin irritation and hair damage. “Much more research is needed before we get too worried, but there are excellent products in the market place which don’t have these chemicals in them,” Leicester explains. These include Weleda’s bathroom range featuring their Wheat Balancing Shampoo (www.weleda.co.uk), Faith in Nature’s range of shower gels and deodorants (www.faithinnature.co.uk) and many of Burt’s Bees’ (www.burtsbees.com) shower items.

 

Start Well

Porridge topped with blueberries and chia seeds is a tasty and simple breakfast dish that offers a good range of protein, carbohydrates and vitamins to set you up for the day. Furthermore, oats offer a slow release of energy to help sustain you during the day, while blueberries are an antioxidant – which is important for generating metabolic energy. “It’s an obvious bit of advice by try to eat lots of vegetables throughout the day and try to include three or four in your main meal of the day,” adds Leicester. “If you can, even try to and include some at breakfast – e.g. tomatoes and mushrooms with your scrambled eggs, and some wholegrain carbohydrates.”

half hour blitz, BESTFIT issue 10

If you struggle to incorporate regular exercise in your schedule, make the time to do at least 30 minutes of activity at least 4-5 times a week from now on.

“Get up 30 minutes earlier than you usually would do and go for a jog or bike ride,” suggests Amy Betts, Personal Trainer for The Training Room.

“Walking or cycling to work if safe to do so, and obviously within a suitable radius, is another great idea, as is doing a workout DVD or home workout circuit while dinner is cooking.”

You can keep on top of activity progress by wearing something like a Fitbit Flex wristband (£79.99 – www.fitbit.com/uk). Fitbit’s wireless technology enables you to track your steps, distance calories burnt and active minutes, as well as tracking the quality of your sleep. The flex will help encourage you to achieve and surpass the national guideline of getting at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity every week.

grab a brew

“There is a lot of research about how moderate coffee consumption may be beneficial for our long-term health; certain compounds in coffee may be positively good for us in preventing degenerative diseases such as Alzheimers and helping control our blood glucose helping to prevent Type 2 Diabetes,” says Leicester.

You can pick up a decent espresso maker and burr grinder to make lovely coffee at home for under £200, plus a monthly bean subscription from roast houses around the country, such as Cornwall’s Origin Coffee (www.origincoffee.co.uk).

Even better are herbal teas, many of which are antioxidants. “Try ginger tea as a warming pick me up; green tea (which does contain a bit of caffeine but is full of antioxidants; and fruit teas can be delicious hot or cold, particularly for those who don’t like plain water,” adds Leicester.

Check out www.shop.pukkaherbs.com/tea room/allour- teas.html for a range of over 35 different organic teas you can order online.

drink up

Aim to drink around 2.5 litres a day. “How much fluid we need varies from day to day and person to person, and we obviously need more fluid when we are exercising or if it is hot,” comments Leicester. “It’s important to remember that all fluids apart from alcohol contribute to our fluid intake, and that we can get water from our diet too – vegetables and fruits for example.

While the 2.5 litres a day idea used to be a ‘rule’ it is now seen as a guideline, as it has been established that if we listen to our bodies we are pretty good at establishing what is enough fluid. It’s a good idea to drink enough water so that your urine is clear, and to listen to your body’s signals about drinking enough.”

Variety

“For many people, boredom plays a big part in losing motivation,” comments Betts.

“Varying your workout will ensure that this doesn’t happen and it keeps the body guessing. If you do the same workout and movement patterns eventually your body will get used to it and you will hit a plateau. There’s also the important factor of preventing injuries. Often people get caught up constantly doing the same thing and sometimes this can cause repetitive strain injuries. Mixing up your training allows the body to rest different joint and muscle groups, preventing overuse injuries.

“Changes in intensity are a great way to progress your gym routine. Think about the speed of the exercise and how heavy the weight is. Put those two things together and you will get a higher intensity workout.
Sets and reps should be changed according to your training goal. To build muscle you are looking at threesix sets of six-12 reps and each week try to increase the weight in small increments. Integrating small bursts of high intensity cardio into your workout can also help with fat loss.”

try yoga

One unique way of trying ‘something new’ is havinga go at Broga. “It’s a signature fitness yoga designed around working with the male body and a male sensibility towards exercise,” explains co-founder Matt Miller. “It’s beneficial to men specifically because it allows a comfortable entry point into the world of flexibility and mobility without making participants feel out of place.

“From the very first class they begin to learn to use and strengthen the body in new ways while simultaneously opening up traditionally tight areas such as shoulders, hips and hamstrings.”

address

If you’ve had any aches or pains for a prolonged periodof time, it may be beneficial for you to visit a chiropractor. “Chiropractic can help to diagnose and treat problems with joints, ligaments, tendons and nerves and their effects on a patient’s health,” explains Neil Osborne from the Dorset-based Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (www.aecc.ac.uk). “Chiropractors are best known for treating back pain, but they are also able to provide support for pain management, sports injuries and active rehabilitation. Chiropractors can also provide exercise, diet and lifestyle advice.” Head to www.rcc-uk.org for a register of chiropractors with an interest in sports and rehabilitation.”

Have a massage

“Massage can also be really good in several ways,,” explains Osborne. “For example, when used alongside training it can help to relieve delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS). It is also useful in that it can distribute metabolites (caused during vigorous exercise) to reduce painful muscles. Massage is also well known for releasing tension in muscles, and it just feels good!” Relief from day-to-day aches and pains can also be found by adding two or three caps of Weleda’s Arnica Muscle Soak (£12.95 for a 200ml bottle – www.weleda. co.uk) to a warm bath. Pour, lie back and relax!

roll on

Most experts agree that the foam roller is an important fitness tool that’s here to stay. “Foam rollers can be great when used correctly,” says chiropractor Neil Osborne. “They can be used on the back (we would recommend asking qualified professional to demonstrate how best to do any back exercises to minimise the risk of injury). They are also great when used on other parts of the body, for example on the TFL muscle (at the top of the thigh). This is a muscle that is prone to tension, particularly in runners and the foam roller can help to loosen this off. They can also help on the quad, glutes, chest, lats and more.”

“Foam rollers can help to work out the knots and adhesions built up in the muscle and the best results can be seen after a workout,” says Betts. “Pick one area to focus on, the calves for example; roll down the muscle slowly and once you have found the most tender spot, keep the pressure on and hold it. As it starts to ease, start to roll again until you feel another area that needs attention. I would recommend 5-10 minutes at the end of your session.”

Sex it up

Sex is a great stress reliever, immunity booster and improver of cardiovascular health. Tracey Cox (www. traceycox.com) has plenty of suggestions for the best positions. Take Crossed Lovers, for example: get your partner to lay back, raise her legs straight in the air and cross one over the other.

You can penetrate and lean backwards on your hands to support your weight. This move is purported to be the most intense way a woman can grip her partner’s penis with her vagina, hence why it needs to be on your must-do list!

ZZZZ

Getting the right amount of quality sleep is vital to our health and well-being. Don’t eat or drink anything with caffeine or other stimulants after 5pm and try not to eat after 7pm. If you can, try to have you biggest meal of the day for lunch rather than dinner in order to give your body better time to digest it.

Furthermore, have a break from the use of electronic devices such as laptops, tablets and TVs at least an hour before sleep to reduce brain stimulation and perhaps have a camomile tea an hour before bed, which is a perfect natural calmer. Pukka (www.pukkaherbs.com) sells a range of teas (£2.39 for a pack of 20 tea bags) and food supplements called ‘night time’ which contain a dreamy mix of organic oat flower, lavender and limeflower, designed to help you nod off.

TRENDING

To Top