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The 12 Days of 'Fit'Mas
  
 

    Willpower

    Willpower is like a muscle, and just like a muscle it gets fatigued and then you are more likely to give in to your cravings.


    To help strengthen your willpower you must spend a bit of time planning your day. Plan how you will deal with certain issues that may arise.


    For example, if there is a birthday at work and you get offered cake, what will you say and do to stop yourself giving in?

    What is your strategy to avoid grabbing a chocolate bar if your energy levels are feeling low?

    What do you do when the kids or your partner wants a take-away for dinner?

     

    Research shows that those who think ahead are the ones who are successful!



    Here are a few key things research shows about willpower:


    1) Balanced blood sugar levels in the brain increase willpower so eat frequently, but make sure these are snacks of protein and fibre.

    2) Take on big mentally draining tasks earlier in the day.

    3) Realise that high stress days make your willpower gauge fall drastically. What is your plan to deal with this?


    Body change is about SKILLPOWER not willpower



    Stay Hydrated!

    Our body is 60% water! The first thing you should do when you wake up is drink a glass of water, preferably with lemon, optionally hot or cold.

    Without adequate hydration our bodies cannot function and perform so ensure you drink at least 2 litres of water a day. Herbal teas also count!



    Cacao vs Cocoa... Do you know the difference?

    There are studies that show chocolate has some amazing health benefits, unfortunately it's not the store bought chocolate they are talking about, it's raw cacao.

    Cocoa and cacao look the same but their nutritional value is very different. Cocoa is raw cacao that has been roasted at high temperatures which removes most of then goodness :-(

    Avoid having dairy at the same time as consuming raw cacao as the dairy can reduce the amount of antioxidants we absorb from it, opt for almond or coconut milk instead

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5 Common Exercise Myths

Take a look at these common myths and see if you are guilty of thinking any of these are true!

Myth #1 If I am thin, I am healthy and don't need to exercise
These people are often the envy of their friends as they can eat what they like and not gain a pound. Unfortunately many thin people who don't exercsie have a high body fat percentage even if they are a normal weight for their height. 
Although they may be thin, they are lacking in muscle tone and may have loose skin lying on top of bone. On the inside, however, their 'overfat' physiology is similar to that of someone who is at risk of chronic heart diseases like diabetes, hypertension (high blood pressure), heart disease and high cholesterol. 
To help lower the risk of developing these chronic diseases and remaining healthy you should be exercising regularly, including thin, out-of-shape people

Myth #2 Lifting heavy weights will bulk me up
There are so many women out there that think this statement is true. It's not! One reason is that women do not have the necessary anabolic machinery that men do, like testosterone and growth hormone, that would enable them to reach the size that a man can.
A woman may appear bigger when beginning a regular weight-training programme if there is no attention paid to the fat-burning. In other words, putting on new muscle under a layer of fat, without shedding overlying fat will certainly make someone appear larger or 'bulky'.
If you have long periods of rest between lifting heavy weights then there is barely any sustained elevation of the heart rate. However, when attention is paid to fat burning through intense circuit weight-training with little rest, the result is always a much smaller, tighter physique with more visible defintion. 


Myth #3 Once I lose a bunch of weight with cardio exercises, then I will starting lifting weights to tone up
This one always throws me a bit because it assumes that lifting weights will in some way hinder fat loss when in fact it does the complete opposite. Weight training alongside intense fat-burning cardio will accelerate results, the two should be done together. 
Studies show that if you intermix cardio and weight training in a session so that you do some weights, then immediately jump on cardio, and then back to weights and then to more cardio etc then you will burn close to 10 times more fat than spending the first part of your workout lifting weights and the second part doing cardio.
Weight training is the 'new cardio' :) 

Myth #4 Working my abs every day will get me a six pack
There are many fitness gadgets out there that are an upgraded version of the old fashioned abdominal crunch because consumers still think that targeting the abs alone will give them a six pack to show off.
There are 2 problems with this tactic.

First, endless amounts of abdominal crunches may increase the strength and the size of the abs muscles, but without burning the fat on top of the abs, there will be no visible definition. The key is instead to consider abdominal training to be part of a full-body weight training routine that will help burn fat all over.

Second, training the same muscle group every single day will not produce faster results, and in most cases will even hinder the muscle's response due to over-training.


To help develop the abs and assure you have something to see once the overlying fat is gone, choose 3-4 heavy abdominal exercises to perform twice a week.
Don't forget the saying 'abs are made in the kitchen'- visible abs are more about a clean diet than anything else.

Myth #5
As long as the numbers on the scales go down, I am all set!
One of the newest revelations in the fitness world is that weight loss is not the same as fat loss. Just because you are losing weight does not guarantee you are losing fat. For example, when someone loses weight, they can be losing water, such as what happens on a low carbohydrate diet, or losing muscle such as what happens on long-duration exercise sessions.

If fat loss is the goal, be sure to exercise in a way that spares muscle and sheds only fat. Keep workouts shorter and more intense.






The Good Takeaway Guide

The occasional treat doesn't do any harm, as long as you have a bit of menu savvy to avoid danger dishes. 
Here is a little guide to help you out

INDIAN
Steer clear of poppadoms and fatty starters such as samosas and bhajis. Naan bread, especially Peshwari (my fave lol) are a no-no too.

Good Options- Dishes baked in the Tandoori oven that come without a sauce. Tomato-based or vegetable sauces are also better choices.
Danger Words- Korma, chicken tikka masala, poppadoms.


Chinese
The main danger when at the Chinese is all the deep-fried foods-avoid prawn crackers and anything cooked in batter, like prawn or chicken balls.

Good Options- Plain rice or noodles. Dishes with veg, chicken and noodles are not as stodgy and are easier to digest. Go for a fine noodle, like Singapore noodles.
Danger Words- Special fried, batter, prawn crackers.


Thai
This is the healthiest takeaway of all and is a better choice for those following a weight-loss plan, But some Thai dishes can be laden with fat. A Thai green curry with sticky rice can have around 29g of fat!

Good Options- Grilled prawn starters. Steamed rice, fish and vegetables and stir-fries.
Danger Words- Coconut cream, Thai green curry, sticky rice.


Italian
This can be delicious without being high in fat as long as you avoid pizza and other heavy choices.

Good Options- Pasta (especially whole wheat) is a healthy form of carbohydrates and is better served with a tomato or vegetable sauce. An arrabiata is a better choice than a carbonara or a lasagne. If you can't resist pizza go for a thin base and crust with basic toppings, share with another person and add a fresh salad.
Danger Words- Garlic bread, carbonara, lasagne, pizza.










Say Goodbye to Cellulite!!

Around 90 per cent of us have it but what is it? Plus the even bigger question, what can we do to beat the orange peel skin for good?

While cellulite contains fat, it's more than just fat cells. It's also not the same fat your body burns as food for energy as this comes from far below the skin, which is why even slim women suffer from cellulite! To get the best results you need to treat it as a skin problem, not just a weight-loss issue. Hormones, poor circulation, stress, smoking and how much you exercise also play their parts. That's why focusing on your diet alone won't improve it!

Over the years, toxins from the environment, processed foods and foods produced with chemical additives accumulate in our bodies and worsen cellulite.

By eating a healthy diet your body is clean and strong and is able to eliminate toxins efficiently.

The vast majority of us are depleted in the nutrients we need to detox our systems properly, and sluggishness, cellulite and weight gain are the common results.

To eat a clean, healthy diet cut down on foods high in sugar, fat and salt. Eat antioxidant-rich foods, such as deeply coloured vegetables and fruit, which fight free radicals linked to premature ageing and cancer.

Here are a few food tips to help you on your way-

Avoiding sugar as much as you can is vital as sugar interferes with how your body metabolises vitamin C, which is integral in restoring skin structure and the formation of collagen and elastin.

Eat vegetables and pulses rather than just eat meat and fish at main meals. Try to eat something raw each day to get your nutrients as close to their natural state as possible. Go for a leafy salad and snack on apples, nuts or berries.

Lightly steam your vegetables rather than boiling them to retain maximum nutrients, and ensure you get your quota of essential fatty acids by having two servings of oily fish per week.

Cut down on alcohol- it dehydrates your body and overtaxes your liver, which is a major detoxifying organ. To fill in any nutritional gaps, take a good-quality multivitamin and mineral complex every day.

Drink at least two litres of water or herbal teas a day. This helps your body's natural detoxification process and keeps your skin hydrated.







The De-Stress Plan!!

One of the major side effects of stress is weight gain. Banish your worries and lose the pounds forever, with a few simple menu changes.

Have a look at what diet type you are and what you can change to help ease stress while removing excess weight.

Which stress type are you?

If you-

  • have energy dips and rely on coffee and sugar for energy

  • regularly feel cold and sluggish

  • often suffer with fluid retention

then your diet type is- Stressed and Tired

Solution: Reduce stimulants like sugar, coffee or alcohol because they use up the B vitamins, magnesium, zinc and vitamin C, on which your body and brain rely to create energy and deal with stress.

If you-

  • suffer with constipation and/or diarrhoea

  • suffer from headaches on a regular basis

  • often get a bloated tummy after eating

then your diet type is- Stressed and Bloated

Solution: Increase probiotics, which help digestion. High levels are found in bananas. Garlic, onions, leeks and dandelion leaves.

If you-

  • have a tendency to feel depressed

  • have late-night binges or overeating sessions

  • have trouble sleeping

then your diet type is- Stressed and Demotivated

Solution: Have protein- eggs, cheese, fish, chicken or red meat – with each meal. This ensures that the brain gets what it needs for a healthy mood.

If you-

  • have periods that are becoming heavier, more painful and/or less regular

  • get premenstrual sugar cravings

  • have noticed menopausal symptoms?

Then your diet type is-Stressed and Hormonal

Solution: Detox your liver with water, fruit and vegetable juices. This will help you break down and release unused hormones.

Here is an example of a breakfast, lunch and dinner that will help to de-stress you

Breakfast

Scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, tomato and/or spinach and avocado, with rye or seeded, wholemeal toast.

Lunch

Sliced tomatoes, watercress and grated beetroot and celery sticks with a small carton of cottage cheese and chives, ½ handful walnuts and a very small drizzle of olive oil.

Dinner

Easy stir-fry with broccoli, asparagus, carrots, leeks, onions and any other veg you fancy. Flavour with garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Add protein such as chicken, prawns, tofu or cashews

Hope this helps

Chloe





Which Trainer Should I Choose?

Recently I have had lots of people question me over which trainers they should be wearing with regards to different activities/exercises/sports.

This led me to do a bit of research and to give you all an article which hopefully answers lots of your questions and helps you to perform your activity/exercise/sport in a better and safer way.

The big one has got to be running. Now I know marathon season has passed but you may be thinking about running one next year, or even have been inspired to get out and do a few laps around your local park. Either way a decent pair of running shoes should be high on your Christmas list.

Here are a few that have been recommended, look out for the ones that suit your type of activity best-

 

1.    Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove

Merrell has worked with Vibram to deliver this superlight, durable running shoe that’s like a glove for your foot. Built to tackle all running terrains.

Price: £75 | Link: Merrell.com

 

 

2.    Nike Lunarglide+ 3 Shield

Primed for night running in the rain, the LunarGlide+3 Shield which hosts a waterproof mesh to help your feet breathe and stay well ventilated and also features a reflective sections for visibility in low lit conditions. Added arch support ensures that when you make impact with the ground your feet are secure, while plush cushioning will help you go the distance.

Price: £90 I Link: Nike iD

 

 

3.    Reebok Realflex

Reebok’s own take on minimal running shoes aims to help feet move and flex naturally. This not only benefit long runs in the park but aids performance in your gym workouts when you are jumping or stretching. The Realflex also sports a layer mesh upper which provides greater breathability and aims to promote greater stability making you feel a little lighter on your feet.

Price: £65 | Link: Reebok

 

 

4.    Nike Flyknit Racers

Nike’s latest super lightweight, advanced marathon running shoes - the Nike Flyknit Racers – are made from using new Flyknit technology that means the upper is formed form a single woven sheet. They weigh just 160 grams and claim to save runners the equivalent of carrying a car over the 26.2 miles of an Olympic marathon. Probably not a Volvo Estate. There’s a slightly heavier, more cushioned version – the Flyknit Trainers - for us mere mortals too. They might not be out in time for this year, but there's nothing wrong with getting prepared for 2013 is there?

Price: TBC | Link: Nike.com

 

 

5.    New Balance 860

If running isn’t your thing these are great for a fast-paced walk. This shoe has a superflexible toe that makes it easy to push off and quicken your pace. But no matter how fast you go, the ankle padding will keep your heel snugly in place.

Price $90 | Link: shopnewbalance.com

 

 

6.    Asics Gel-Blur 33TR

These trainers are ideal for high-impact sports, great if you attend lots of group exercise classes such as Aerobics, Body Attack, Body Combat etc. They have gel-filled cushions under the heel to “soften the blow” of landings, while a foam insert at the arch keeps the foot secure and supported. On hardwood studio floors, the outsole’s herringbone pattern provides a reliable grip. Want to hit the court? This shoe has extra stability at the sides, which makes it ideal for the lateral movements of racquetball and basketball.

Price $85 | Link: asicsamerica.com

 

  

7.    Mizuno Wave Inspire 8

Control comes from a plastic plate in the midsole that runs from heel to forefoot. Testers whose feet pronate (roll in too much) raved that these kicks made them feel “supported” and “agile.” plus, the “sleek” upper is insanely breathable. Perfect for that bit of extra stability.

Price $115 | Link: mizunousa.com

 

 

8.    Adidas Adizero Adios 2

When Patrick Makau broke the marathon world record in Berlin clocking up 2.03.38, knocking a massive 21 seconds off the previous time, he was shod in a pair of Adidas adiZero adios 2s. The trick – special rubber under the toe for extra traction. Might help you run faster, world record not included.

Price: £80 | Link: shop.adidas.co.uk

 

 

I hope this has helped with a few ideas on the vast variety of trainers there are and that there are ones to suit your specific needs.

If you are still unsure then pop into your local specialist shop, if you have one, and they will help you decide which trainers will work best by taking a look at your feet and the way you run.

Remember to replace your trainers at least once a year. If you’re running and training regularly, replace about every 500 miles. Check them if the cushioning seems compressed or they’re wearing a lot on the soles.

 

Happy running everyone!!



12 Days of Christmas Workout

    Are you starting to pick at those Christmas goodies already?
    Has your training taken a back seat to Christmas shopping? To help stop you piling on the pounds over the festive season I have designed this 12 days of Christmas workout
    Go through the workout as you would the song (sing along if you want) and repeat all exercises. So start with day 1 and then day 2 etc giving you a full body workout that will get your heart pumping and your muscles burning and you don't even need to leave the house... No excuses!!! Merry Christmas Merry-Christmas-with-treehaha

On the first day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 1 30 second plank.

On the second day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

On the third day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

On the fourth day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 4 burpees, 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

On the fifth day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 5 press-ups, 4 burpees, 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

On the sixth day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 6 tricep dips, 5 press-ups, 4 burpees, 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

On the seventh day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 7 squats, 6 tricep dips, 5 press-ups, 4 burpees, 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

On the eighth day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 8 star jumps 7 squats, 6 tricep dips, 5 press-ups, 4 burpees, 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

 

On the ninth day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 9 sumo squats, 8 star jumps 7 squats, 6 tricep dips, 5 press-ups, 4 burpees, 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

On the tenth day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 10 reverse lunges (each side), 9 sumo squats, 8 star jumps 7 squats, 6 tricep dips, 5 press-ups, 4 burpees, 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 11 woodchops (each side), 10 reverse lunges (each side), 9 sumo squats, 8 star jumps 7 squats, 6 tricep dips, 5 press-ups, 4 burpees, 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my trainer gave to me: 12 renegade rows, 11 woodchops (each side), 10 reverse lunges (each side), 9 sumo squats, 8 star jumps 7 squats, 6 tricep dips, 5 press-ups, 4 burpees, 3 20 second wall sits, 2 tuck jumps and 1 30 second plank.

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