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Tips For Burning Belly Fat

It’s often an area that is at the top of everyone’s list – the tummy! It can be a particularly tough area to tackle and for some it becomes an endless cycle of eating and excercising with very little results. Our personal trainers are going to guide you through the contributing factors and targeting exercises for losing lower belly fat.

It’s safe to say that body fat is most certainly a contributing factor for this particular area of the body. It’s important to reduce your overall bodyfat percentage to really see any results within your stomach area. As we all know, you can’t spot reduce. You need to have a good effective workout workout, a healthy, clean diet and nutrition plan – making sure that you’re conscientious about eating clean foods. Try to stay away from processed foods and too many carbs, get your protein and as always – drink plenty of water! You can also try some tea; Moderate exercisers who stocked up on the antioxidants found in green tea—called catechins—were more likely to lose abdominal fat while exercising than those who didn’t take them.

You will also want to make sure that you’re getting in some good cardio exercise throughout the week, whether you’re running, doing plyometrics; whatever it is, just getting that heartrate up!

Underdeveloped abdominal muscles can also be a big contributing foactor. Let’s say you haven’t been exercising and training for a while, perhaps you’ve even gone through some pregnancies. Your lifestyle and experiences are all contributing factors to your both your body fat and the strength of your body muscles. Posture and pelvic tilt can also be another factor. Luckily there are exercises that target your abdominal muscles so that you can begin to strengthen in that area, and in particular abdominal muscle exercises will help to strengthen and tone your abs – just be sure to vary your workouts to be the most effective. Yoga can be particularly good!

Don’t neglect your cardio either, aerobic training burns 67% more calories than resistance training or a combination of the two, according to studies.

Sleep also has a big part to play here. Studies show that getting only 5 hours or less sleep a night can increase visceral fat levels, so you should really be aiming to get at least 8 hours a night. Not only that, but breaking the habit of sleeping in on the weekends is also going to help. You want to keep your ‘body clock’ consistent, and that also goes for keeping sticking to your morning routine and kick starting your metabolism with a healthy breakfast.

All in all, you should aim for increasing your overall fitness, your posture and focusing on burning body fat in general. By having an effective exercise plan and a good, healthy, nutritional diet you can ensure that your entire body is getting the attention that it needs, not just one particular area. You’ll find that by boosting your metabolism, eating clean and having fun with your workouts will do wonders for how you look and feel as a whole, and we’d be delighted to guide you every step of the way.

4 Tips For Boosting Your Metabolism

A healthy metabolism will help your body convert the food and drink you consume more efficiently – if you boost your metabolism effectively, you’ll burn more calories even when in a resting state. So with that said, lets take a look at some ways to help give your metabolism that required ‘boost’:

Building Muscle

According to research, increasing your muscle mass will aid in boosting your metabolism when at rest. At Go-FitUK our personal trainers have proven and effective methods for building muscle through a variety of exercises and weight training. Not only that, but they will ensure you are working out in the most efficient and safe way possible, minimising the risk of injury and helping you look and feel at your best.

Add Protein

Protein is essential in any effective nutrition plan when you are looking to boost your metabolism. Include protein with meals and snacks to reduce overindulgence and speed up metabolism. It can be particularly effective when included in your breakfast to give you a kick-start in the morning. Try skipping on those carb-loaded breakfast bites like bagels or toast and have some eggs with sliced tomato or a few leaves of spinach.

In general we advise eating a palm-sized portion of protein of some kind like lean meat, fish, eggs, pumpkin, hemp or chia seeds. If you are vegetarian or vegan we would suggest you include a moderate amount of fermented soy foods such as tempeh, but no more than 50g per day. Please note while we agree certain soy foods eaten in moderation can be a healthy addition to your diet, women who eat soy at every meal or even every day may be putting their health at risk.  Soy has its good points but too many soy phytoestrogens do have an oestrogenic effect.

High Intensity

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is great for burning calories if you do it effectively. What’s great is that even after your HIIT session you’ll be burning fat for up to 48 hours thanks to EPOC (Excess post-exercise oxygen consumption). You can complete your HIIT workout in about 30 minutes or less, allowing for flexibility during your busy personal schedule. High Intensity Interval Training can be modified and scaled for different fitness levels and medical conditions. It can include a variety of workouts such as bodyweight exercises, cycling, swimming, walking, running and much more.

Get Your Sleep

Yes, we’re going to say it again! A good night’s sleep will help boost your metabolism. But not only that, if you get a good night’s rest you will be far more likely to get up and be motivated for your morning workout routine and have more energy to keep on moving throughout the day.  If you find it difficult to get to sleep early enough, try making sure your room is dark enough, cool enough and gradually make your bed time 10 minutes earlier each night. Having a “wind down” routine will also help get your brain ready for sleep; whether it be some hot tea, meditation or getting comfortable with a good book.

Stoke The Burn

All of the above tips will help to give your metabolism a kick-start, but it’s important to keep that efficiency going with an effective and structured workout and nutrition schedule!

How To Improve Your Push-ups

The push-up is one of the bread-and-butter workouts that we all know, and we either hate them or love them. Sure, they seem simple enough on paper – lower your body to the ground and push it back up again – but it’s not always that easy for everybody. Luckily there are a few exercises and techniques that our personal trainers regularly advise, that will help you get better at doing push-ups and doing them correctly. First up, the basics:

How To Do A Push-up

Before you can even improve your push-ups, the first step is knowing how to do a strict form push-up correctly:

  • Keep your feet together and make sure that your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width
  • Your head and hips should be in alignment with your spine throughout the movement. Your body should form a nice straight line from your heels all the way to the crown of your head. Lock your body into position by clenching your glutes and bracing your core.
  • Keep your elbows tucked close to your body when lowering yourself down. Try to form a 45-degree angle to your torso when viewed from above.
  • Your chest should be a few inches from the floor in your lowest position
  • Don’t twist your shoulders or torso on the way up; keep the weight of your upper body evenly distributed between your hands

With the above in mind, practice makes perfect. Once you’re confident you have the basics of proper form mastered, you can figure out what your push-up level is. Keeping to proper form, see what your maximum amount of reps is. This will be the foundation on which you can improve your technique and max reps.

If you struggle do any push ups at all, try try incline push-ups and push-up static holds

If you can’t do any push-ups, try with your hands elevated (about 12 inches at least), by using a bench, table or box. These are incline push-ups and are fantastic for beginners. Start by performing 3 sets with a minute rest between each set. Once you’re able to do 3 sets of 10 reps at your starting height, try lowering the height and repeating the workout.

If you can do 3 to 6 push-ups, try negative reps and low-rep sets

On your workout days, try to do some push-ups stopping a couple of reps shy of your maximum (even if this means just doing one push-up). Try doing this up to a dozen times throughout your workout or just during the day at random intervals.

On those same days, practice with some negative reps. Using perfect form, take 10 or 20 seconds to slowly lower yourself from the starting position to the floor. Return to the top position and repeat for a total of three slow but effective reps.

If you can do 7 to 10 push-ups, try low-to-mid reps

It’s at this stage that it’s most likely just the ‘sticking point’ at the bottom of the push-up movement that’s holding you back. To remedy this, try 3 sets of regular push-ups, stopping a couple of reps before your max. Then add a full set of low-to-mid reps; which consist of going from the lowest position to the midpoint (chest halfway between the floor and the top of the position), once again stopping a few reps before your maximum.

Don’t stop there!

No matter where you start on your road to push-up mastery, there’s always ways you can change up your workout and perfect your technique. Start small if you have to, but with dedication and practice, you’ll be surprised how much a simple push-up routine can increase your strength.

6 Simple Morning Workout Hacks!

We can’t all be “morning people”, but one of the most obstacles our personal training clients face, is getting up and motivated in the morning. It’s all too easy to keep hitting the snooze button and before you know it, you don’t have any time left for exercise and you’re straight into your busy work day. Well, we’ve got X simple tips for you to help you get motivated to get a workout in early so that your body is taken care of first before you get drawn into your regular daily schedule:

1. Get Plenty Of Sleep

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again; get a long, consistent sleep. It’s much easier to get up early and feel refreshed if you’re getting plenty of Z’s. If you find it difficult to get to sleep early enough, try making sure your room is dark enough, cool enough and gradually make your bed time 10 minutes earlier each night. Having a “wind down” routine will also help get your brain ready for sleep; whether it be some hot tea, meditation or getting comfortable with a good book.

2. Prep Your Workout Clothing The Night Before

Lay your workout clothes out so that they’re in sight when you get up, triggering your mind so that it knows it’s workout time. The less time you spend sifting through your clothes in the morning, the more time you’ll have to get in the zone and get your exercise in.

3. Put Your Alarm Out Of Reach

As we already mentioned, we’ve all been guilty of pressing the snooze button all too often. Strategically place your alarm clock far enough away that you’ll have to get out of bed to switch it off. That way, you’re up and ready to go. Combine this with step 2 by having your alarm clock near to your workout gear and you can grab them and go!

4. Get Your Fuel

You’ll need to fuel your morning workout, but try not to get too comfortable at the kitchen table when you do. Something you can grab-n-go, such as a piece of fruit, will be ideal. If you want to be really efficient, prep it the night before so you won’t have to spend time foraging in the morning.

5. Hydrate

As we all know, dehydration will have a huge impact on your physical performance, and simply by sleeping you will have lost water. Make sure to hydrate before your workout with plenty of liquid.

6. Make a Morning Playlist

Research has shown that music can reduce the perception of effort and increase endurance up to 15 percent. Make yourself a new playlist with upbeat and energising songs to give you that extra pick-me-up in the morning, both on the way and during your workout.

Rise and Shine

If you’ve been struggling to get up and motivated in the morning, give the above tips a try. You may even find some other tricks that work better for you along the way – we’d love to hear what your morning workout routine is like.

HIIT vs Steady-State

In the 1960s, a man name Kenneth H. Cooper came up with the concept of aerobics. Originally, aerobics, via the aerobics point system, measured the effectiveness of different exercises and activities for improving cardiovascular health. This lead to the coining of the term today known as cardio. Over time, however, the main focus of these aerobic-based exercises began shifting from improving cardiovascular health to helping people lose weight and burn fat. And it makes a lot sense since cardio exercises do indeed help people lose weight by burning excess calories and also help people burn fat by activating the fat-burning aerobic energy pathway in the body.

This aerobic energy pathway is the energy system in your body that uses stored fat- after being converted into fatty acids- in conjunction with oxygen and other chemicals to produce the body’s sole source of energy known as ATP. As long as this pathway is utilized, more and more fat will be burned. Early science believed that the best way to activate this pathway is by performing long-duration, low intensity exercises such as long-distance jogging, cycling, or swimming. This ultimately lead to the creation of other forms of cardio exercises today such as aerobic dance classes, step aerobics, and the extremely popular Zumba.

Although low intensity cardio is still the exercise king of weight loss and fat burning today, newcomers have arrived to challenge for the crown. The biggest gripe with low intensity cardio exercises is the duration, which often takes more than an hour. Cardio might seem to be fun and exciting the first time it’s done, but over time, it begins to feel way too repetitive and long. As more and more people become bored and lose interest, more and more people will quit. And for some people, they simply do not have the time. But are low intensity cardio exercises really the best option to burn fat and calories?

This is where the most prominent challenger to low intensity cardio steps in. This challenger is known as High Intensity Interval Training. High Intensity Interval Training, as the name suggests, is any “training” program that are performed in “intervals” at a “high intensity.” High intensity interval training, also called HIIT for short, are alternating periods of short high intensity activity with periods of low intensity recovery. The most popular exercise for HIIT is alternating sprinting with walking. Each sprint interval lasts between 5-30 seconds and each walk interval will also last between 5-30 seconds. The more fit you are, the higher the work to rest ratio will become. For example, if you’re really fit, you might be sprinting for 30 seconds and walking for 10. Someone that is less fit might be sprinting for 10 seconds and walking for 30. The total session length varies between 5-20 minutes, and because of the intensity, should only be done 3 days a week. When added together, that’s a maximum of only 60 minutes of exercise per week!

So what’s the science behind this? When the body goes through intense activity, it needs to be able to keep up with the energy demand. One way of doing so is by secreting high levels of fat-releasing hormones known as catecholamines into the bloodstream. The more catecholamines, the more quickly fat is broken down into free fatty acids. Free fatty acids are then used to replenish energy stores. Studies have also shown that HIIT creates a strong EPOC effect. EPOC, short for excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, is the extra oxygen your body needs in order to recover after an intense activity. The more oxygen you take in also means more calories are being burned. This effect can last up to an amazing 24 hours after the workout. However, other studies have shown that the amount of calories being burned during EPOC isn’t all that much, where at most an extra 60 calories being burned.

There are also a few drawbacks. High intensity interval training is extremely strenuous. People might drop out of low intensity cardio because it’s long and boring, but people can just as easily drop out of HIIT because it’s just too hard. High intensity interval training might also cause joint pain due to the high impact, and over time, might lead to serious injuries if performed incorrectly. Also, low intensity cardio can actually be done every day. HIIT, however, requires ample recovery time, which can interfere other exercise routines. Although HIIT might challenge low intensity cardio for the crown, it doesn’t come without its drawbacks!

Simple Diet & Nutrition Tips

You can be putting in a tonne of effort at the gym, but your workout really isn’t going to make too much of a difference if your nutrition plan is not up to scratch.

You need to keep a healthy, rested, hydrated body, free of junk foods and chemicals as much as possible in order to get the most out of your workout efforts. Even just the smallest of changes over time do add up and help you on your way to your fitness goals. To put it simply, you need to eat clean if you are investing time into fat loss and building muscle mass.

One of the first things that our personal trainers always stress is water. Water, water everywhere! Keep yourself hydrated by drinking at least 2.5 litres every day, more if you are exercising.  Consider starting every day with a healthful beverage consisting of hot water and the juice of a lemon; hydrating, detoxifying with an added vitamin boost. By staying hydrated you are helping to keep your cravings at bay.  It may also help with fat burning by improving digestion thus enabling you to metabolise calories more effectively.

Another component of clean eating is making sure that your food is literally clean. We’re fortunate that in this day and age, organic health food stores are springing up all over the place and that sort of access to that is easier than it has been in the past. If organic is not available to you, or it’s too expensive, that’s fine, just try to go for hormone and antibiotic free. Because what you don’t want is you don’t want to be consuming tons of protein to try and build muscle mass, at the same time consuming antibiotics and growth hormones and all sorts of other substances that unfortunately is in a lot of lower quality meat. What you eat influences the type of bacteria that reside in your gut, this will have a huge impact on your hormone levels.  We know that friendly microbiome feed on substances called lignans, present in some natural foods, including vegetables, fruit, healthy wholegrains and legumes such as beans and lentils. However, no amount of lignan containing food will help you if your friendly bacteria are out of balance with the bad.

Last but not least, it’s really important to enjoy yourself. So you should enjoy your food, you should pay attention to what you’re eating, how you’re eating it, when you’re eating it, and how you feel when you’re consuming your food. Because at the end of the day, consuming food should be pleasurable, but it should also be nourishing. The best way to know if something’s good for you or not is just listening to your body.It’s fine to indulge, but just indulge wisely. Do it in moderation. For example a glass or two of red wine may be very appealing after a stressful day.  However, take note – this little habit is extremely detrimental to your gut.  Studies show that just one glass in women and two in men can induce dysbiosis and bacterial overgrowth.

Most important is keep it clean, drink tons of water, and listen to your body!

3 Weight Loss Tips Applicable To Everyone

A weight loss focused endeavour can be tricky with all the different sources of information available online with varying and often contradicting content when it comes to your fitness level, gender, lifestyle, and everything in between. But there are a handful of fundamentals that, regardless of one’s background, should be addressed.

Let’s take a look at THREE fundamental weight loss tips, from our personal trainers, that EVERYONE can, and should, apply to their weight loss goals:

Number One – A combination of Weights & Cardio training

Weight training and cardio are often prescribed for different goals. Cardio tends to be the one prescribed most for losing weight. The truth is, a combination of BOTH might be the best answer. One study in 2012 found that resistance and aerobic training combined was able to increase fat loss more so than aerobic cardio alone. The combination also resulted in a gain of lean mass, such as muscle, while cardio alone resulted in a loss. This is especially true for beginners. Muscle’s higher metabolic cost also means more calories burned. The significance of it, however, is still up for debate, but it’s still better than holding more fat. If you do choose to do both, do them on separate days so they don’t affect the performance of each other. But if you have to do them within the same workout, then you should lift weights first and then cardio as there is less carry over fatigue.

Number Two – Choose A solid Nutrition Plan You Can Stick To

Seems easy and logical enough, right? But it’s much more difficult and confusing when you’re not sure where to start. Intuition tends to lead us to follow the advice of others. Especially those that already have the results you want. However, what might work for them doesn’t mean it will work for you. It really boils down to one factor: adherence. A 2014 meta-analysis looked at 48 studies that followed numerous popular diets lasting 3 months or longer. The first thing they found was that having ANY type of diet is better than none at all. A structured approach should certainly beat out just “winging it”. They also found that restrictive low-carb OR low-FAT diets were associated with the greatest weight loss but not significant different to every other calorie-reduced diet as long as the diets… were maintained. That led to them conclude that their findings “support the practice of recommending any diet” that the individual “will adhere to in order to lose weight.” In practice, this means testing out different plans that suits your preferences. That could be keto, high-carb, or even intermittent fasting or anything else. Adherence and calorie reduction are the biggest factors. Fortunately, if you follow the first tip of lifting weights and cardio, then you should be burning a solid number of calories, thus, have some buffer room for a larger food calorie intake.

Number Three – GET YOUR PROTEIN!

Although the previous meta-analysis did not focus on protein intake, it wouldn’t be surprising if protein was high, or remained largely unchanged, in the diets considering much of the focus was on carbs and fats. Regardless, the benefit of protein during weight loss has been well-documented. Two benefits being protein’s increased effects of satiation, making you feel full quicker, and satiety, making you feel full longer compared to the other two macronutrients carbs and fat. Such an effect will translate to fewer calories consumed per meal and longer periods before eating again, two nuanced problems commonly haunting weight loss endeavors. One study even found that increasing protein intake from 15% to 30% of total macronutrient intake was able to spontaneously reduce calorie intake by 441 calories. And then there’s also thermic effect. In short, protein requires more energy for your digestive tract to process. For every 100 calories of protein consumed, about 35 calories are used to process it. Carbs and fats, conversely, take a meager 5 to 15 calories. And of course, proteins direct connection to muscle growth and preservation. A common misunderstanding is that when you lose weight, you’re only losing water and fat. In reality, you’re also losing muscle mass. Having more protein not only attenuates this issue, it can also lead to an increase in lean mass when paired with lifting weights.

5 Tips For Building Muscle as a Beginner

It can be difficult for people to start their fitness journey, particularly if they are looking to go solo and plan it all themselves. For those guys and girls interested in building muscle in particular, what you can find on the internet is vast and very daunting, to say the least.

But there are some things that are more straightforward and fundamentally important for beginners to know. Let’s take a look at five of them that our personal trainers think all beginners can benefit from.

1: Start with moderate resistance and volume.

“No pain, no gain”, as the motto says, couldn’t be any more devastating for a beginner to follow. You don’t want to find yourself in the common situation of not being able to walk after your very first training session! The fact is, studies do show that untrained individuals can get bigger and stronger without pushing their bodies to the absolute limit.

Certainly, maximum intensity and volume become important matters once you’re more experienced, but for beginners, it incurs much more exercise-induced muscle damage. Since your body is probably not used to such exertion, you’ll be sorer and weaker for longer, hurting your future exercise performance. Go moderately heavy, perhaps something you can do comfortably for 10 reps, and then slowly progress from there.

2: Get Your Protein.

Nutrition is vitally important in all aspects of fitness. I think we can all agree to that. But often beginners fall short on their protein. Within the fitness industry, not many aspects are messier and more confusing than protein intake.

Whether that’s protein timing, eating protein with your carbs, or using specific types of protein shakes. The information is overwhelming, and often unsubstantiated, but none of it matters more than simply getting enough protein each day.

We advise eating a palm-sized portion of protein of some kind; lean meat, fish, eggs, pumpkin, hemp or chia seeds. If you are vegetarian or vegan we would suggest you include a moderate amount of fermented soy foods such as tempeh, no more than 50g per day.

3: Focus on Compound Movements First

The best way to achieve overall growth and strength is through compound movements. These include things like squats, pull-ups, bench presses, push-ups and deadlifts – all heavily targeting multiple muscle groups unlike isolation exercises.

It will take more effort to master such movements, but the payoff in terms of growth and strength is much more lucrative. .

Once you get your compounds down, then you can focus on isolation exercises targeting muscles that you want to improve.

4: Work on your mobility.

Many beginners, and even a lot of experienced trainers for that matter, believe that they can neglect stretching and warming up their muscles and joints.

But without proper mobility, improper lifting technique, lack of range of motion, and injuries often follow behind. If you feel like you’re not doing a certain exercise correctly no matter how much you practice, chances are that your mobility is holding you back!

Implementing dynamic stretches, PNF stretches, joint flows, and even foam rolling can go a long way in improving mobility.

5: Ask for Help!

There’s absolutely no shame in getting assistance in your fitness journey. Our personal trainers and other members of the Go-FitUK have been in your situation in the past and have the tips, knowledge and motivational words that you need. Come and join us today and let us help you get the best out of your workouts.

Female Fat Loss - Our 12 Week Transformation Programme

You’ve probably heard it before, but we’ll reiterate it again – it can be more difficult for women to lose weight and get in shape than it is for males. The muscle mass and hormonal output of women is different to that of men, and those are both very important factors when it comes to burning body fat off and keeping it off.

Our personal trainers at Go-Fit UK have worked with a plethora of women on their fitness journeys, from all kinds of different background, professions and personal circumstances. We know the techniques, training and nutrition plans required for maximising female fat loss, losing weight and getting in shape as quickly as possible; in the healthiest, safest way.

We have developed a fantastic, unique 12 week programme that combines effective workouts, nutrition plans and mind set techniques tailored specifically for women. We have based this programme on the real-world experience of our personal trainers, scientifically proven research into the stimulus of fat burning hormones and the countless happy clients we have seen reach their body transformation goals with us.

Our 12 week body transformation programme is so effective and flexible that is can be easily tailored to meet your personal fitness goals; from dropping post-pregnancy weight to toning up for looking and feeling great on your summer holiday.

Some of the key factors we address that are specific to female body transformation include:

Busting Female Fat Loss Myths

We’ve all read about and seen these types of diets and weight loss plans before – eat less, take fat burning supplements and jump on the treadmill at any given opportunity. There is a huge stigma that surrounds female weight loss – “doing anything that a man would do will make you manly!” Whilst it’s true that there are certain approaches and techniques that will work better for women, this statement is completely false. We will teach you what’s most effective for healthy weight loss and achieving the body you want with the correct techniques and tricks that give extra relevance to female fat loss requirements in particular.

Metabolic Rejuvenation

An example that’s all too common with female weight loss is short-term results. We’ve seen countless cases of women who have been on liquid diets with heavy focus on cardio workouts with extreme rebound effects of weight gain once they resume their regular schedules.  These types of plans typically result in a shut down in key fat burning hormones such as leptin and ghrelin, potential damage to the thyroid gland and metabolic catastrophe. Our body transformation plan focuses on metabolic rejuvenation; eating and exercising healthily so that you can maintain energy levels and fat burning whilst living your day-to-day life.

Liver Detoxification

Saving you the scientific explanation; your liver is what detoxes foreign estrogen, and too much estrogen (from any source) can make the liver less effective and impact weight loss. Once the liver has been gradually detoxed, using a variety of techniques, weight loss can be far more effective.

Premenstrual Issues

From water retention to chocolate cravings, we’ve seen it all and know exactly how it can affect your workouts and weight loss. But don’t worry, we have the knowledge, experience and techniques to assist in tackling and alleviating premenstrual problems where it relates to achieving your fat loss goals.

But that’s not all!

There’s so much more to our 12 week body transformation plan that we’d love for you to drop by for a free session and get a real feel for what we achieve at Go-Fit UK and how it can help you on your fitness journey. Just pop your details into the form below and we’ll be in touch, we’d love to see you at the studio and have a chat about your journey and goals:

Apply for your FREE body transformation session

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How To Improve Your Pull-Ups

The pull-up is one of the greatest muscle building exercises in existence, and is a solid inclusion in any strength-building personal training plan. To improve your pull-ups, let’s take a look at some easy tips to get the most out of this exercise.

The majority of strength for your pull-ups actually comes from your back and not your arms. This is why you should trigger your back muscles first before you bend your arms and pull yourself up.

Therefore you need to know the difference between the passive and the active hang. In the passive hang, you just hang from a bar with straight arms and nearly no activation of your back muscles.

In the active hang, you pull your shoulder-blades down and together which is called depression and retraction.

In both positions, you don’t bend your elbows at all!

The passive hang is mostly about grip strength and can also be used to stretch lats and pecs which will result in better opening of your shoulders. The purpose of the active hang is to activate your lats, traps and lumbars. So when you do a pull up the first thing you should aim for is the active hang position. You only use your shoulder-blades without bending your arms to get the movement started.

This is essential to engage a lot more muscles in your back and keep your shoulder girdles strong and healthy. You can do your pull-up with the release of the active hang and switch to the passive hang for each rep which is very good to learn a right technique.

But you can also hold the active hang during the complete motion. No matter which variation you choose, always fully extend your arms when you’re in the bottom position.

The next tip is also about optimal back engagement. When you do a pull-up, try to imagine that the resistance is right under your elbow. Driving your elbows down to your body as much as you can will activate your back muscles in an optimal way.

When you do this, your arms will bend automatically and of course you’ll work your biceps, brachialis and brachioradialis during the movement.

But to maximize the outcome in terms of back activation, you should visualize this elbow movement. To get the right image, you can practice this with a resistance band.

Fix the band right under your elbow and pull it down without grabbing it with your hands. By doing so, you only pull the band down with the elbow. And this will lead to right neural muscular input.

The last tip is about muscle tension; there are different ways to do a pull-up.

You can do them explosive or slow and more controlled. If you want to increase your explosive strength, it’s OK to quickly move up and down.

But you should never smash into your joints when you hit the bottom!

Most people want to do as many pull-ups as possible to set their new personal record. But when it comes to building solid strength and muscle mass, the “time under tension” is very important.

If you pull yourself up explosively and let yourself fall down quickly, your muscles will be under less tension than if you do your pull-ups slower and with the correct technique.

If you wondered why it takes so long to improve your pull-ups, check if you considered the above tips.

And if not, try and implement them into your workouts!

4 Fitness MISTAKES You Should Avoid

Whenever a fresh beginner finally musters up the courage to start their fitness journey, they often begin with a great deal of motivation but very little knowledge. Unfortunately, this often leads to mistakes that all beginners, and sometimes even more experienced people, tend to make.

For those of you taking your first steps on your fitness journey, our personal trainers have put together a list of five beginner mistakes that you should try to avoid if you want to maximise your efforts.

1: Going Too Heavy Too Quickly

Our personal trainers are supporters of heavy lifting for building muscle and strength, but often for beginners, the idea of going heavy precedes a much more important factor: doing it right.

Immediately lifting heavy makes it difficult to practice technique and these bad habits can stick with you. Eventually, it can lead to some unfortunate injuries and setbacks.

Best practice: go moderately heavy until you get the technique correct.

And since heavy eccentric lifting also tends to lead to a higher degree of delayed onset muscle soreness, going lighter first can cut down on recovery time so you can spend more time lifting and less time crying when you try to walk.

2: Too Much Cardio

Just like lifting heavy, cardio can be great, especially for your heart. But it doesn’t mean that you should ONLY do cardio. If you’re focusing on weight loss and all you’re doing is cardio, especially steady-state cardio, you’re only focusing on half of that equation: the fat. Not only will you not build any significant muscle with steady-state cardio alone, it also takes a long time to burn any meaningful calories. It’s much easier to skip that sugary treat each day than run 3 miles each day!

If you want to lose weight and be healthy, then the goal should be a mixture of cardio AND resistance training. Plus, you can still burn fat while lifting weights or with calisthenics.

3: Not Getting Enough Protein

It’s true that you can’t outwork a bad diet, but you also can’t outgrow a lack of protein. Protein is crucial in all physiological facets with the most pertinent being its importance to muscle growth.

Exercise alone won’t build muscle! A good nutrition plan feeds the stimulated muscle.

4: Not Getting Enough Sleep

Without a shadow of a doubt, you’re holding yourself back from getting the best results you possibly can if you don’t get enough quality sleep. Simply going to the gym tired and sleepy will cause your performance to suffer, you’ll feel slower, and probably make more mistakes. Your testosterone levels drop and cortisol levels rise, which slows down muscle building and recovery.

To make matters worse, lack of sleep can lead to an erratic appetite due to imbalances between the appetite controlling hormones leptin and ghrelin. That means eating more and getting worse results.

Simply put, don’t mess with your sleep! Get your 7 to 9 hours, and reap all of your gains.

4 Top Tips - How To Stay Motivated On Your Fitness Journey

Today our personal trainers want to share with you some fantastic tips on how to stay motivated throughout your fitness journey.

First of all, it’s extremely important that you set goals. What is it in Health and Fitness that you want to achieve? Perhaps you want to focus on weight loss, getting abs, generally feeling healthier or being more confident in your own body. This goal is quite possibly going to change as you progress along your journey, but setting your initial milestones is the very first step to progression.

Those initial goals are what will get you started on your journey. To keep the momentum going, set yourself big goals – three years, five years, ten years, and then work retrospectively to set yourself short-term milestones: what you do on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to work towards your bigger goals. Once you break these up into manageable and “more realistic” achievements in your mind, you will always find yourself reaching a positive milestone toward your long term goals.

You may find it helpful to have a daily to-do list, including your exercises for the day, so that you feel entirely positive and productive when you can check those tasks off your lists. Feeling positive and acknowledging your achievements is a huge morale boost and will leave you excited and looking forward to crushing your next goal!

It’s vital that you track your progress. We constantly monitor our clients using our fitness tracking app to regularly assess what is working for them, what they can do to improve and exactly how much closer they are progressing toward their goals. It’s not only important to have goals, but knowing what you have to do, and how much you’ve already done, to reach those goals is imperative.

An often overlooked tip – keep things fun! It’s not only important for progress that you keep your training varied, but it will do wonders for your motivation if you aren’t always doing the same exercises time and time again. Mix up your circuit training, try new things and always think of ways that you can improve and alter your fitness routine.

Competition is healthy, and so is finding inspiration. But what is even more important, is that you don’t compare yourself, your progress or your transformation with someone else. Everyone’s body is different, and everyone walks a completely different fitness journey. “Body goals” is a term that appears more and more often on the web and socially; there’s nothing wrong with having a particular look to work towards, and as we mentioned, goals are extremely important – but what’s most important is that you should be doing it for yourself and your own personal health above all else.

Date Truffles Recipe - Quick, Tasty & Healthy

Satisfy your sweet tooth while remaining guilt-free with these fantastic Date Truffles. Dates are naturally sweet and loaded with natural sugars, so you should avoid adding any further sweeteners! As always, enjoy them in moderation and as part of a solid nutrition plan.

The excellent thing about these date truffles is that you have the freedom to change the coating to your tastes. Fantastic alternatives could be roasted sesame, cinnamon, desiccated coconut, crushed nuts or dry ground berries. These healthy Date Truffles don’t just look terrific, they taste great and our personal trainers absolutely love them! If that’s not enough, they’re even freezable, saving you preparation time if you want to make a double serving; simply defrost the paste the night before and you’ll have yourself a ready paste to form more date truffles.

You’ll need the following to make these tasty Date Truffles, but of course feel free to play around with the coating to suit your tastes!

– 35g coconut oil, melted
– 30g dried dates, chopped
– 15g cocoa powder
– 35g nut butter of your choice
– 30g chocolate or vanilla flavour whey or rice protein powder
– 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste

Decorative coating ideas:

– Desiccated coconut
– Cacao powder
– Crushed pistachio
– Sesame

1. Place the dates and coconut oil into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
2. Place all ingredients into a suitable bowl.
3. Stir well to combine into a thick paste. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until firm.
4. Roll the mixture into 5 balls.
5. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

If you find that the paste is too firm, try adding more soft dates, but the trick is to form a paste that is both sticky enough for a coating but not too soft that you can’t properly form the truffles – it’s all about balance!

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Date Truffle Recipe – Video Guide

How to Relieve Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

What is Delayed onset muscle soreness?

DOMS or Delayed onset muscle soreness also called muscle fever, is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise. The soreness is felt most strongly 24 to 72 hours after the exercise.

Now many of you will know from experience that these can cause a lot of pain! There is no shying away from it, if you are not used to exercise or higher intensity exercise your body is going to be annoyed at you! You will not be used to it and your muscles certainly aren’t going to be happy!

But don’t worry! It does get better, it does get easier and it should NOT put you of moving forward!

The pain you’re in today is the power you are going to have tomorrow!

Below are some of ways to relieve the symptoms of DOMS –

  1. Blow Hot and Cold in the Bath or Shower, Blood flow transporting nutrients to the muscles and clear metabolites are an important aspect of reducing DOMS. Physiotherapists often advise switching between cold and hot while in the shower. This causes alternating vasodilatation and vasoconstriction of the blood vessels in the affected area. Try to switch the temperature every two minutes, but keep it fairly comfortable – nothing too extreme in either direction – and you should notice some improvement in the severity of your DOMS.
  2. Light Massage: Massaging a sore muscle can help reduce tightness while promoting blood flow, which in turn helps speed recovery, thus shortening the duration of DOMS.
  3. Adequate protein consumption is not only essential for building muscle mass, but ingesting protein during and after exercise has also been shown to decrease post-exercise muscle damage Protein comes from a variety of sources. You might prefer getting your protein from solid foods (such as meat) or supplements (i.e. powder, bars, liquids, etc.)
sugar

Whether it’s Weight Watchers, Slimming World, Atkins, Cambridge… all diets start with the very best of intentions, but historically the majority then don’t manage to stick to it. Why is this!? Why are over 25% of adults in England classed as obese? (according to NHS survey 2012). This is 3 times the amount since 1980!

More and more research is now proving that it isn’t fat that is the enemy but it’s sugar. The common trend since 1980 is that as our sugar consumption has increased so to has our obesity problem. The MASSIVE problem that exists is that sugar comes in all sorts of disguises and it’s ridiculously addictive.

If you check out the ingredients of the stuff that you really crave and enjoy and see anything ending in “ose” then it’s a sugar

  • Glucose
  • Fructose
  • Dextrose
  • Maltose
  • Sucrose
  • Lactose
  • High fructose corn syrup

Let’s keep this simple now. Once we have consumed any of these ‘oses’ the body will deal with it in one of two ways. Either we burn it off as energy (just about impossible given the amount that the average person consumes each day), or it’s converted into fat by the liver and stored in fat cells.

The biggest danger of the above is type 2 diabetes of which there are twice as many known (there are also a huge number of people that don’t realise they have it) in the UK since 1980.

As far as healthy guidelines and limits of sugar each day (remember we are talking added and hidden sugars here – anything ending in ‘ose) is 6 teaspoons per day for women and 8 teaspoons per day for men. An easy way to measure this is divide the number of grams by 4 to get the number of teaspoons. Couple of examples then:

  • Snickers bar has 27grams (so around 7 teaspoons) of sugar
  • 330 ml can of coke has 35grams (around 9 teaspoons) of sugar
  • Krispy Kreme doughnut has 26grams (6 1/2 teaspoons) of sugar

Get this then. In America of the 600,000 different food items found in their Supermarkets 80% are spiked with added sugar and the industry uses 56 different names for them! Why do they do this?

Because people are becoming aware of the dangers of over consumption of the stuff and so if we don’t realise we’re actually buying it then they will sell more, especially given that it’s proven that it can be as addictive as many class A drugs!!

If you’re wandering whether you might be addicted to something then just try giving it up for a couple of weeks and see how you feel and if you crave it.

These big companies (usually the culprits are any company that advertises) have us held hostage and herein lies the major problem with sticking to these so called diets and resolutions. We blame ourselves for not having the ‘willpower’ to keep going.

Hidden sugars to look out for on that ingredients list:

  • anything with syrup in the name
  • anything ending in ‘ose’
  • fruit pulps and concentrates
  • anything with sugar in it (obviously)

Check out those pasta sauces, salad dressings, breakfast cereals, low-fat yogurts, and breaded fish fingers and chicken bits.

Our bodies treat those white carbs in a similar way to pure sugar unfortunately. So breads, crackers, bagels, pretzels, starches such as rice, cereals, potatoes, corn and fruit juice all come under this category.

So watch your sugar intake. Be wise to these big companies that are very cleverly trying to push their addictive foods on to you. I can absolutely guarantee that if your sugar intake comes down so to will your weight and body fat %. This then becomes more about a long term lifestyle change rather than a short term diet that doesn’t work.

1 Tip To Boost Your Fat Loss By 100%

On our plan we ask you to drink four litres of water daily. This will leave you running to the loo every 30 minutes or so for the first few days but we promise this gets better and the benefits far outweigh the extra few sprints in the beginning (plus think of all the extra calories when you are doing the 100m across the office)

The process of burning calories requires a decent amount of water. If you are dehydrated it will slow down the fat burning process. When you burn calories it creates toxins in your body and you need water to help flush them out.

Water assists the body in other ways; it helps maintain muscle tone as well as lubricating your joints.

Proper hydration can help reduce muscle and joint soreness when exercising. Water is also required to help prevent constipation in a high fibre diet.

Every day you lose water through perspiration, breathing, urine and bowel movements. For your body to function properly, you must replenish its water supply by consuming drinks and foods that contain water.

Here’s 5 top reasons why H20 will be your new best friend:

  1. Water helps reduce wrinkles. According to recent studies, almost 1 in 5 men and women who drank 1.5 litres of water per day saw a reduction in wrinkles after 6 weeks without making any other changes to their diet. As well as wrinkle reducing it can also give us sparkly eyes, clear skin and make us look glowing and healthy
  2. Water stops headaches and dizziness. Don’t reach for the painkillers straight away, your headache could be a symptom of being dehydrated so drinking water should make it go away.
  3. It fights infections. Drinking water can help fight infections all over your body, not only because it flushes out toxins but because when you’re dehydrated you’re more likely to catch a bug.  Being well hydrated is also great for allergies and colds, because it clears the airways.
  4. It makes you exercise better. It’s common sense to replace the fluids you lose when you sweat with water, but what might not be obvious is that your body works better and harder during your workout if you drink water.
  5. It improves concentration. Because your brain is made of around 85% water if you get dehydrated it can affect your concentration and even your short-term memory. It has a particularly strong effect on your maths skills and it’s all because lack of water causes your brain’s energy levels to decrease.
How to beat two of Britain’s most common vices this New Year

How to beat two of Britain’s most common vices this New Year

It’s now just a few short weeks until the end of the year. As we say goodbye to 2016 and look forward to the coming year, our thoughts inevitably turn to New Year resolutions. A recent YouGov survey found that 63% of Brits intend to make a New Year resolution, with more than a third of respondents acknowledging that their resolutions had usually fallen by the wayside by the end of January. No matter how many times we have tried to stick with a resolution in previous years, we all like to try again each year, eternally hopeful that this year things will be different. For many, resolutions tend to focus on health-related issues, such as eating more healthily, losing weight and giving up smoking. Let’s take a look at how to tackle the two most common resolutions, to maximise your chances of success.

Why make a resolution?

At some stage or other in our lives, most people are conscious that they could do more to look after their health. Throughout the year, we somehow put those thoughts to the back of our minds, and do nothing about them. As the New Year approaches though, we have time off work for the festive period, and we start to look forward with optimism for the year ahead. That optimism gives us the impetus to set those goals, but to succeed we really need to plan a little on how to stick at it.

Resolving to eat healthily

Many resolutions to eat more healthily or to lose weight are driven by the excesses of the Christmas holidays. On average, we consume an astonishing 7,000 calories on Christmas Day, so it’s perhaps not all that surprising that come the New Year, gyms and health clubs are packed with new customers, determined to change their ways.

For many people who resolve to eat more healthily, January 1st will come as something of a shock. The vast majority of people have no idea of their daily calorie intake, or how to understand food labels. With little or no planning, it’s not that surprising that so many of us fail in the first few days of our resolutions.

The NHS actually recommends breaking down your resolution into more manageable and more measurable chunks, to increase your chances of success. Planning ahead of New Year’s Day will give you time to research meal plans for the first few days, and to buy in any food you might need. Rather than setting unrealistic goals, it’s better to set smaller, more achievable goals. So, instead of resolving to lose a stone in a month, why not resolve to lose 1lb per week for 14 weeks? Having smaller goals with smaller timeframes will help you keep momentum and will give you a sense of achievement.

Aside from dieting, the other food-related resolution that many of us make is to eat more healthily and more cheaply. All too often, we fall into the trap of believing that supermarkets offer the cheapest and best food, when in fact this isn’t usually the case. By buying locally, from independent butchers, greengrocers or farm shops, you can buy fresh, seasonal produce in the quantities you actually need, rather than the pre-packed quantities that the supermarkets force us to buy. If you’re unconvinced, do your own field research and shop local for one week, to see the difference in quality and price. As well as sourcing fresher food at better prices, you’ll see the additional benefits of less food waste and reduced food miles, and you’ll be putting money into your local economy.

Resolving to give up smoking

Every year, thousands of people resolve to give up smoking. Given that almost a third of all deaths in the UK are attributable to smoking, it’s not surprising that so many people want to quit. Even if the health benefits of giving up smoking don’t hit home, the thought of how much money you spend per year on cigarettes might do the trick – on average, each smoker spends over £2,500 per year on the habit.

Going ‘cold turkey’ is the least likely way to succeed, when giving up smoking. Again, you need to plan your strategy to have the best chances of permanently quitting. Consider using patches or gum, or even switching to e-cigarettes. Vaping, or e-cigarettes, could one day be available on the NHS to assist smokers to give up, per a 2015 report by Public Health England. Whichever means you choose, it could also help to have a friend give up at the same time, so that you can stick at it together and motivate one another. Do tell your friends and family that you’re quitting too, so that they can be supportive and aware of what you’re going through.

Whatever resolutions you make this year, with a little forward planning and a clear strategy, you could dramatically increase your chances of success. 85% of people who quit smoking at New Years are still going strong 6 months later, which is surely proof that short term pain can bring long term gains. It’s also worth looking at your New Year’s resolution success as part of a wider picture. Doing well with a resolution to eat more healthily and lose weight could see you taking up a new sport or hobby, getting out more and meeting new friends, for example. With luck, some solid planning and a little determination, your actions on January 1st could kick-start a whole new you!

The Anatomy of a 30 Day Transformation

Are you struggling to lose weight, tone up,  regain your fitness or benefit from real results?

Is the thought of dropping a dress size or two well outside your collective thoughts and current belief system? More importantly, is it sustainable?

Just 30 days you say…

Today I want to walk you through the process and procedures for truly transformational change with our 30 day transformation plan.

Timeframe: 30 days or less.

Our lovely Anna below had just one goal in mind, to fit in her bridesmaid dress for her best friends wedding. She had 30 days to change, not only body but her mind and eating habits also.

That’s when she approached the personal trainers here at Go-Fit UK, and as such we accepted her challenge.

Stage 1*

Current circumstance and specific planning/goal setting.

It is imperative that you understand your current situation and circumstances. We must highlight the habitual traits and negative lifestyle choices. From here we create solutions to the above and formulate an accountability structure that will form the initial outlay to your coaching and for your 30 days ahead.

Your mind is EVERYTHING

Now rather than just saying I want to lose a few pounds or tone a little here and tone a little there, we need to be specific. Crystal clear.

As a whole, what are you looking to achieve? Be exact and have complete clarity in your vision.

Dress size?

Weight?

Inches?

Fitness?

Habits?

Lifestyle?

Confidence?

Timeframe?

Be REALLY specific. No flim flam!

Once you have your goals, timeframe and clear specifics you now reverse engineer the entire process.

For example:

If you want to lose “X” amount in “X” amount of time. Then what needs to happen and how much do you need to lose weekly to achieve this goal?

Once you have the specifics, you can now define clear and specific WEEKLY goals.

For example, if your goals is to lose 1 stone (14lbs) in just 30 days. Then your weekly goal is to lose 3.5lbs per week for 4 weeks.

Simple.

Stage 2*

Mindset

As with stage 1 you must understand your mind, lifestyle choices and habitual traits. To truly incite transformational change, it is your ability learn and develop on a personal and emotional level that will guarantee life long and sustainable change.

For example:

When stressed or feeling low, what is your emotional response? Is there a pattern and what needs to change?

Internal conversation, do you constantly tell yourself that you’re NOT good enough? Have you previously failed and now struggle with the thought of stepping outside your comfort zone and potentially failing all over again?

Do you hide away and/or struggle with self confidence/self worth?

What has stopped you in the past?

Once again you must be specific, like the art of painting by numbers you need to understand the habitual traits and reasoning for your current circumstance.

You MUST find the emotional tie, the angsts and the trigger points. Because without resolve they will unpin your entire transformation.

For example:

Writing down your goals each day, both short term and long term. This then aligns your mind with your goals/dreams ahead.

Emotions, lets say you had a bad day at work. Perhaps an argument/heated discussion. This will naturally result in negative feelings, but do not allow this to harbour and instead write it all down.

For example:

  1. The problem/circumstance?
  2. Why?
  3. What is the solution?
  4. Will said altercation mean anything in 7 days’ time, come on – REALLY?

Then with the TRUTH above write down your goals again and align your thoughts with your journey ahead.

Or let’s say that you’ve tired losing weight multiple times before, and for whatever reason you failed.

Now instead of just pinning this as a failure, you need to understand that really and most importantly. It is a lesson learnt.

It is NEVER a failure.

  1. What did you try before?
  2. Why did you fail? – (be really specific)
  3. What have you learnt and what can you apply for the future?
  4. Understand that fear is just your safety response and a mental flex to inhibit any potential emotion and/or emotional pain.

Develop, learn and move on.

Stage 3*

Nutrition

You must understand that this is an exact science, to lose weight you must be in a calorie deficit.

You cannot train well and eat poorly and still expect a great result. Forget it. However, you must ensure that the nutrient density of your foods is high and at every meal.

Nutrition is actually very simple, and always it must be tailored to the individual. One size does not fit all.

Remember, you are what you eat. Eat the foods as mother nature intended, above all else portioning is paramount.

Portion Control

Fact: there are no foods that will make you fat.

Neither are there foods that will get you lean, toned, ripped or even muscular for that matter.

It’s all about moderation, energy balance, macronutrient balance and providing the body with what it needs for the intended goal.

For fat loss/health – if you are in any doubt build your meals around these basics:

* 1-2 palm size portions of lean protein (organic if possible)

* 2-3 fist sized portions of vegetables (especially greens)

* 1-2 thumb sized portions of healthy omega fats

* 1-2 palm size portions of complex carbohydrates around your workouts

If you remain consistent, and on task you WILL lose weight and in time, completely transform your body.

So there you have it, other than the exercise and moving more on a daily basis (the easy bit) the process is actually really simple.

Just be mindful that a professional and periodical exercise plan is highly recommended.

Although the secret to all of this, the one thing that deep down you know is truly key. Is just accountability and consistency.

With the right coaching, the right attitude and the right community you too can achieve phenomenal results in a very short space of time.

 

 

 

The Keys To Staying Healthy With A City Lifestyle

Early mornings, late nights, long working hours and high levels of stress. All of these take its toll on the body and also cause your priorities to change, especially when it comes to your health and well-being.

If that sounds like this might be you, then listen up. I have some simple and easy tips to combat this city lifestyle, improving your health and well-being without making any drastic changes.

HIGH STRESS: 

Working in the city often comes with a very stressful job. Over the long-term this can lead to some chronic stress that is constant low-level stress that just nags away at your mental health. Chuck in a few other work stressors like new projects or delayed trains, then this can all add up to leave you feeling awful, run down and result in things like nutrition and training habits falling by the wayside.

Eliminating this stress is almost an impossible task without quitting your job, which I am pretty sure you won’t want to be doing anytime soon. So we need ways to be able to at least try and reduce our overall stress levels.

We can start to do this with getting some proper sleep (6-8 hours), getting some regular exercise like walking or biking to work. These little things will aid in helping to tackle that stress just a little bit and help ease your feelings of being so run down.

SLEEP: 

As I am sure you know, those with busy lifestyles have to work very long hours and so often means getting home last thing at night. That is without taking in to account meetings that may run over or trains that are delayed.

So me telling you to just get more sleep may be a waste of time. Instead I want you to focus on quality of your sleep.

So here are some tips to help you get the best night sleep you can:
• No work stuff within the last hour before bed. This will help you unwind and relax before you go to sleep.

• Avoid answering e-mails on your phone before bed. The light from the phone will mess with your brain and make it think that it is actually light and not dark, meaning your body will try and stay awake.

• Make your bedroom DARK.
• Limit caffeine in the afternoon and evening.
IMMUNE HEALTH:

High stress levels can wreak havoc with your immune system, and therefore it is no wonder why so many are regularly falling ill. But here are a few tips that you can use to try and keep your immune system on track and fighting fit.

• Eat your greens – getting your 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day will make sure you are getting all of the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants you need to keep your gut and immune system functioning well. If you struggle to get your 5 portions in, then try taking a greens powder as this will help you get all you need in one fell scoop.

• Stay hydrated – the body is made up of mostly water, and so if we are dehydrated, then we are not going to be functioning at our best. Aim for 3 litres per day.

EXERCISE: 

Getting some regular exercise can be a massive help when it comes to keeping your body and mind well in check. Exercise is the leading stress reliever and will help you feel like you can tackle anything the day throws at you, in part; this is due to the massive rush of endorphins you get once you have finished a good workout.

There is no set rule for how much or how long you need to workout for, but if you can aim for 3 sessions per week, then that’s a great place to start.

However, the most important variable is to ensure that you actually enjoy your exercise. If it is not something you enjoy, then it is very rare you will ever stick to it and reap the stress relieving benefits from it. If you find yourself dragging your lethargic body to the gym each week, then you are just going to be miserable and end up worse off than when you originally walked in.

So I hope you can use these tips in an effort to combat your busy lifestyle and keep a hold of good health in body and mind.

Andrew James.

The Keys To Staying Healthy With A City Lifestyle

With many of our clients leading really busy lives, it’s imperative that we always have super energising foods as part of their nutrition plans!

So without further a due, please say hello to the infamous…’Quinoa’

Quinoa (pronounced – ‘keen-wah’) dates back to almost 4000 years and was discovered by the Incas. It was believed to be a ‘food from the gods’ so much so it was even reserved for their mighty warriors!

Here are 7 of the main benefits:

1. It’s protein rich containing 9 essential amino acids. Great alternative to meat if you’re vegetarian.

2. It contains twice as much fibre as most other grains. A fibre rich diet helps to reduce constipation, prevent the risk of heart disease and keep blood pressure in order.

3. High in manganese, an antioxidant which protects cells from the effects of free radicals.

4. It contains Lysine. This is essential for muscle growth and repair.

5. Quinoa is rich in magnesium. This promotes healthy blood sugar and therefore reduces the effects of type-2 diabetes. It also helps to relax blood vessels, which reduces the chances of migraines.

6. Quinoa contains iron. Iron carries oxygen from one cell to another and supplies it to our muscles to aid in their contraction.

7. It’s high in the vitamin B2, which improves energy metabolism.

So go on, get yourself down to the supermarket and stock up this ‘super food’ staple!

PS: let us know if you’d like a nice quinoa recipe to follow? Our ladies love it!

Click here if you are looking for more advice on nutrition