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Every winter in Melbourne it always makes me wonder why people just suddenly stop exercising.
Does your health and wellness just pack up and take a vacation to somewhere nice and warm as soon as the cold weather gets here, I think not. Its so important to continue to exercise all year round especially for adults that are in the middle age years of 40 and beyond (notice I didn’t say old!)
As I always say, exercise should not be a maybe I will maybe I won’t it should be a non negotiable and as regular as brushing your teeth.
The scary statistic is that around 64% of women and 60% of men over 40 don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity and one in 4 don’t get any at all!!
This jumps up to over 75% for adults over 75 years old, which is so sad as exercise at any age can be so powerful.
Whilst we are in the midst of an obesity epidemic and excess weight can be a result of physical inactivity, I think it is important to always come from a health angle not a weight loss angle. Weight loss should be a bi product of getting healthier. We can maintain a healthy weight range quite easily by focusing on nutrition and healthy eating, I am talking about doing exercise, specifically strength training and high intensity exercise for the health benefits that are so important as we age.
Here are my top 6 reasons why you MUST be strength training and exercising during winter and beyond:
Whilst we have a great program at JOLT Fitness in Essendon which covers all areas of physical activity required and our trainers are experts in strength training, mobility and what’s required as you age, you don’t need to limit yourself to thinking that lifting weights and strength training is expensive or requires machines, or gym memberships.
Pushups, jump squats, lunges, and mountain climbing are all examples of exercises that provide strength training and can be done anywhere!
If you have any health issues, ask your doctor what type of strength training is best to meet your needs and abilities and current health status.
If you really need to you can also work with a local fitness expert and we have a great program at JOLT Fitness. We all want to look better, feel better, and live a longer, healthier happier life. So don’t hibernate this winter, instead go out and get started now with a complete workout program that includes strength and high intensity training.
Yours Always In Health.
Brad Hodgetts, JOLT Fitness.
Click HERE for a 7 day FREE Trial of our Group Training.
Lack of energy, poor food choices, not being able to find time to exercise and heaps of excuses; these are all things that became a reality when I became a father 7 months ago, and I know aren’t unique to me.
Us men are just as susceptible to putting our health and ourselves last as women are. I was guilty of this throughout my 20’s (see below before and after picture) and it wasn’t until my mid 30’s that I really started to prioritise my health, until recently…
When Billie our first child came along life got so hectic, stress went up, exercise went out the door and poor choices were made. I was eating more and stopped exercising and got narrow minded on work and family. My health, energy and state of mind suffered.
I’d gotten myself into a pattern where I was only directing energy into running my business and looking after our daughter. And then felt like I had nothing left for me...I’d fallen back into those behaviours I had in my 20’s, even when fitness is my job!
A lot of the dads I know are the same. Their physical health and wellbeing goes on the backburner and even trying to keep up with the kids is a struggle!
Our stress levels increase – we’re so busy. Career, family life, taxi service for the kids activities, the demands on us in 30’s and 40’s have never been greater. So we’re time poor and tired, and as a result we eat more, we drink more and exercise is pretty much non-existent. This snowballs and creates bad health for years.
Now that I’ve realised my regression into those behaviours and that mindset, I’ve had to reset…and take action. Why did I start thinking exercise and healthy eating are an inconvenience? They’re not. They’re de-stressors, they improve my mental health, make me feel healthier and give me more energy to get through my day. So, there’s nothing wrong with making them a priority again like I did before my daughter came along.
Turning 40 this year has caused some self-reflection – and I realised I didn’t have to choose between health, family and work I just needed to get balance they’re all a priority.
I can’t just talk about being the best role model of health and wellness to my daughter that I could be. I need to show this through action.
Being a father later in life I want to be fit and healthy to be able to have decades with her, not use my age and her coming along as an excuse to stop living a healthy lifestyle.
My advice all dads out there this Father’s Day is to understand that your body has changed and there’s no such thing as a quick fix.
When we are young we can just sleep off most of our exhaustion, or get back into exercise and see results quickly, but as the decades go by we can’t anymore. It’s that four-day hangover that used to be one.
Our bodies don’t work in the same way anymore, and don’t bounce back as quickly or give us those quick results. But we need to realise that what we do in our 40’s and 50’s sets us up for our 60’s and a healthy happy retirement with children and grandchildren.
It’s not something that’s going to happen fast. Now we’re older, we we’re more susceptible to injuries. It’s going to take work, there’s no doubt about that. But you don’t have to go hard at the gym everyday, you just have to control what you eat, and know how your body works and what it needs from a training perspective. Add in some quality mobility and flexibility work and you’re on your way.
For me, the first week of getting back into my rhythm was crap, but once that was over, I started to see progress. The big difference in my attitude now, I’m driven by my family and how me being as healthy and happy as I can benefits them in so many ways.
Dads I want to help you get started back on the right path with your health this Father’s Day, by giving give you the chance to win 30 days of unlimited training to help you gradually get your health back at a pace your comfortable with.
Click the HERE to go into the draw and remember dads, your health is well and truly worth it!
This month we want to put the spotlight on the awesome Sarah Wallace who trained with coach Brad in 2016 for 5 weeks to prepare for the National Irish Dance championships in which she took out second place! She returned in June this year to once again dominate her training.
Here is what Sarah had to say about her journey with us:
"Since beginning my training with Brad in 2016, I have noticed a big difference in my overall performance with my Irish dancing. I feel a lot stronger when I'm dancing and now understand the importance of whole body training. Following my training with Brad, I have achieved great results in my dancing.
In September 2016, I received second place at the National Championships in a section with over 100 girls in it. After returning from a two month holiday in May this year, I resumed my training with Brad. It took a little while for my body to get back into shape, but with the help of Brad I was fortunate enough to win the State Championships for my age division in August (see picture).
Two weeks later I also won the O'Connor competition in Melbourne. During the September school holidays I will be competing at the National Championships in Adelaide. I know my body is now at optimal performance level and I can't thank Brad enough for helping me get there"!
After initially working on getting her conditioning back and burning body fat through HIIT training when Sarah came back to train in June, we then shifted the focus over to some strength and conditioning that would transfer across to her dancing and help Sarah perform better in competition.
Sarah's results over the last couple of months have been absolutely outstanding and Brad couldn't be prouder, not only has her body composition changed but her strength has gone through the roof.
Here is a break down of some of Sarah's awesome results:
Sarah pretty much increased her strength in all areas by a lot and we are super proud, her dedication and commitment to training has translated into some awesome results, WELL DONE SARAH!
Spring is a time of new beginnings. As we wake up from the last of our wintery sleeps, our minds feel energised, refreshed, better weather is just about here and everybody's ready to celebrate. Does your body feel the same way?
If you haven’t been working consistently on your fitness and health this winter, your body may be struggling to keep up with your mind. It’s hard to make a new start when you feel sluggish and discouraged.
That’s why we exist: to help you move from reality to your dream. If you have tried and failed at fitness, then you likely feel too paralyzed to try again. Motivating people to get healthy, however, is what we do best.
But you have to want to be helped! Let’s get started. Click here to read on.
We are going to focus mainly on what is ahead for you; the past is the past and it is best to leave it there. However, in order to make the best start, we need to take a look at what may have sabotaged your previous efforts to get in shape and change your health...
Today you start fresh and leave the past behind. Yes, you may have quit during your previous attempts to be healthy. That doesn’t matter now. What matters is what you do today, tomorrow and next week.
The following tips will help you make a strong start and make this time different.
This is where patience and courage comes in.
What is your dream or your goal? Do you want to run 5km? Do you want to exercise and eat in a way that energizes you? Maybe you want to exercise for 6 days a week.
Do not let the distance you have to cover cause you to give up before you even begin. Recognise that this will take some time. Every single fit person you know started somewhere short of where they are now. How did they get to their present condition? By taking ACTION and taking it one day at a time, celebrating every victory and getting up when they fall down. You can do the same.
Have you ever heard of the tyranny of the urgent? It means that if you don’t have a plan, the matter that seems to be the most urgent at the time will get attention, at the exclusion of the others. Without a plan, your own health will always take a backseat to what seems the most important at the moment—and that could be as simple as a television show that you want to watch! Having a plan will keep less important things from creeping in and sabotaging your health.
Count on it: if you do not plan for fitness and health, it simply will not happen. This time, make a plan.
Before you even start your new healthy lifestyle, decide:
Without a strategy, you set yourself up for failure. Plan on succeeding! Take some time right now to jot down some ideas to overcome the obstacles that you know will arise. Be prepared for them, and you will breeze through them.
It is no secret that the biggest predictor of whether a person succeeds in their fitness efforts is whether or not they have accountability. I’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: getting fit is not easy. If it were, we would not have our current epidemic of obesity and disease. If it were easy, more people would be doing it! In order to make sure you succeed this time, get some support. That support could come from a few friends who are making a new beginning with you, a personal trainer or group training instructor.
The people in your support system will be genuinely interested in how you are doing. They will encourage you when you lose your motivation. They will cheer when you get up early to exercise. They will talk you out of eating those muffins. They will expect you to tell them how you are doing and they will not let you fade out of the program: they will come after you if you start slacking.
Are you ready for your New Beginning? It is within reach, just take the first step.
Sometimes those holiday feasts are just amazing.
It's not just the abundance of delicious food but also the people, the decorations, and the ambiance.
It is way too easy (and common) to indulge on those days at this time of year but it doesn't always stop there.
Sometimes we overeat on regular days. Or at regular meals. Or All. The. Time.
Here are three tips to avoid overeating at meals.
(Psst, turn these into habits and ditch the willpower!)
Tip #1: Start with some water
When your stomach is growling and you smell amazingly delicious food it's too easy to fill a plate (or grab some samples with your bare hands) and dive into the food.
But did you know that it's possible to sometimes confuse the feeling of thirst with that of hunger? Your stomach may actually be craving a big glass of water rather than a feast.
Some studies have shown that drinking a glass or two of water before a meal can help reduce the amount of food eaten. And this super-simple tip may even help with weight loss (...just sayin').
Not only will the water start to fill up your stomach before you get to the buffet, leaving less room for the feast but drinking enough water has been shown to slightly increase your metabolism.
Tip #2: Try eating “mindfully”
You've heard of mindfulness but have you applied that to your eating habits?
This can totally help you avoid overeating as well as having the added bonus of helping your digestion.
Just as being mindful when you meditate helps to focus your attention on your breathing and the present moment being mindful when you eat helps to focus your attention on your meal.
Do this by taking smaller bites, eating more slowly, chewing more thoroughly, and savouring every mouthful. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This can help prevent overeating because eating slower often means eating less.
When you eat quickly you can easily overeat because it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full.
So take your time, pay attention to your food and enjoy every bite.
Bonus points: Eat at a table (not in front of the screen), off of a small plate, and put your fork down between bites.
Tip #3: Start with the salad
You may be yearning for that rich, creamy main dish but don't start there.
(Don't worry, you can have some...just after you've eaten your salad).
Veggies are a great way to start any meal because they're full of not only vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and health-promoting phytochemicals but they also have some secret satiety weapons: fiber and water.
Fiber and water are known to help fill you up and make you feel fuller. They're “satiating”.
And these secret weapons are great to have on your side when you're about to indulge in a large meal.
Have your glass of water, eat mindfully, and start with your salad to help avoid overeating at meals.
Nutrition and diet info is everywhere!
And each expert and association tries to lead you in their direction because they know best and their advice is going to help you
Everyone has heard (and maybe lived through) the intense focus on how much you eat. This has gotten way too much attention because while this does affect your weight and energy level, it's certainly not the “holy grail” of health.
Let's focus a bit more on the often overlooked (and proven) benefits of WHAT you eat and drink and HOW you eat and drink it.
What you eat and drink
The “calories in, calories out” philosophy (i.e. how much you eat) is being drowned out with research on other factors that may be just as important. Don't get me wrong limiting carbs can certainly help you lose weight but that's simply not the only factor for long-term weight loss and maximum energy for everyone.
When the intense focus on how much we ate didn't work in the long-run it wasn’t really a surprise. We kinda knew that already, didn't we?
You can certainly still continue to count your calories, carbs, and fat but don't forget to also pay attention to what you eat.
Ideally, you need a varied diet full of minimally-processed foods (i.e. fewer “packaged” “ready-to-eat” foods). This simple concept is paramount for weight loss, energy, and overall health and wellness.
Every day this is what you should aim for:
How you eat and drink
Also pay attention to how you eat and drink.
Studies are definitely showing that this has more of an impact than we previously thought.
Are you rushed, not properly chewing your food, and possibly suffering from gastrointestinal issues?
Do you drink your food?
When it comes to how you eat let's first look at “mindful eating”.
Mindful eating means to take smaller bites, eat slowly, chew thoroughly, and savour every bite. Notice and appreciate the smell, taste and texture. Breathe.
This gives your digestive system the hint to prepare for digestion and to secrete necessary enzymes.
This can also help with weight loss because eating slower often means eating less. Did you know that it takes about 20 minutes for your brain to know that your stomach is full?
We also know that more thoroughly chewed food is easier to digest and it makes it easier to absorb all of those essential nutrients.
And don't forget about drinking your food.
Yes, smoothies can be healthy and a fabulously easy and tasty way to get in some fruits and veggies (hello leafy greens!) but drinking too much food can contribute to a weight problem and feelings of sluggishness.
Don't get me wrong a green smoothie can make an amazingly nutrient-dense meal and is way better than stopping for convenient junk food – just consider a large smoothie to be a full meal not a snack. And don't gulp it down too fast.
If your smoothies don't fill you up like a full meal does try adding in a spoon of fiber like ground flax or chia seeds.
Consider not only how much you eat but also what and how you eat it.
Coffee is one of those things - you either love it or hate it. You know if you like the taste or not. You know how it makes you feel (i.e. your gut, your mind, etc.).
Not to mention the crazy headlines that say coffee is great, and the next day you should avoid it!
There is actual science behind why different people react differently to it. It's a matter of your genetics and how much coffee you're used to drinking.
NOTE: Coffee does not equal caffeine. Coffee contains between 50-400 mg of caffeine/cup, averaging around 100 mg/cup. Coffee is one of the most popular ways to consume this stimulant. But… a cup of coffee contains a lot of things over and above the caffeine. Not just water, but antioxidants, and hundreds of other compounds. These are the reasons drinking a cup of coffee is not the same as taking a caffeine pill. And decaffeinated coffee has a lot less caffeine; but, it still contains some.
Let's look at caffeine metabolism, its effects on the mind and body, and whether coffee drinkers have higher or lower risks of disease. Then I’ll give you some things to consider when deciding if coffee is for you or not.
Not all people metabolise caffeine at the same speed. How fast you metabolise caffeine will impact how you’re affected by the caffeine. In fact, caffeine metabolism can be up to 40x faster in some people than others.
About half of us are “slow” metabolisers of caffeine. We can get jitters, heart palpitations, and feel "wired" for up to 9 hours after having a coffee. The other half is "fast" metabolisers of caffeine. They get energy and increased alertness and are back to normal a few hours later.
This is part of the reason those headlines contradict each other so much - because we’re all different!
The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body
NOTE: Most studies look at caffeinated coffee, not decaf.
The effects of coffee (and caffeine) on the mind and body also differ between people; this is partly from the metabolism I mentioned. But it also has to do with your body’s amazing ability to adapt (read: become more tolerant) to long-term caffeine use. Many people who start drinking coffee feel the effects a lot more than people who have coffee every day.
Here’s a list of these effects (that usually decrease with long-term use):
So, while some of these effects are good and some aren’t, you need to see how they affect you and decide if it’s worth it or not.
Coffee and health risks
There are a ton of studies on the health effects of coffee, and whether coffee drinkers are more or less likely to get certain conditions.
Here’s a quick summary of what coffee can lead to:
Many of the health benefits exist even for decaf coffee (except the caffeine addiction and sleep issues).
NOTE: What’s super-important to note here is that coffee intake is just one of many, many factors that can affect your risks for these diseases. Please never think regular coffee intake is the one thing that can help you overcome these risks. You are health-conscious and know that eating a nutrient-rich whole foods diet, reducing stress, and getting enough sleep and exercise are all critical things to consider for your disease risk. It’s not just about the coffee.
Should you drink coffee or not?
There are a few things to consider when deciding whether you should drink coffee. No one food or drink will make or break your long-term health.
Caffeinated coffee is not recommended for:
If none of these apply, then monitor how your body reacts when you have coffee. Does it:
Depending on how your body reacts, decide whether these reactions are worth it to you. If you’re not sure, I recommend eliminating it for a while and see the difference.
Are you to sleep through the night?
Are you feeling exhausted or “running on stress hormones” all day?
Do not fear, I have some great tips for you!
The science of sleep is fascinating, complicated and growing
Sleep is this daily thing that we all do and yet we're just beginning to understand all of the ways it helps us and all of the factors that can affect it.
Lack of sleep affects just about everything in your body and mind. People who get less sleep tend to be at higher risk for so many health issues like diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer; not to mention effects like slower metabolism, weight gain, hormone imbalance, and inflammation. And don't forget the impact lack of sleep can have on moods, memory and decision-making skills.
Do you know that lack of sleep may even negate the health benefits of your exercise program?
What aspect of health does sleep not affect???
Knowing this it's easy to see the three main purposes of sleep:
Do you know how much sleep adults need? It's less than your growing kids need but you may be surprised that it's recommended that all adults get 7 - 9 hours a night.
Try not to skimp!
(Don't worry, I have you covered with a bunch of actionable tips below.)
Tips for better sleep
So how many of these tips can you start implementing today?
We live in a very busy fast paced world and maintaining our health and wellness can be somewhat of a challenge. Staying healthy should be a one of our top priorities if we want to maintain an active and healthy lifestyle as we age but when you throw in kids, school, crazy work hours and demands as well as home life its sometimes hard to figure out how the hell exercise and being healthy is going to fit in. A lot of the time its just easier to let it take a back seat or put it in the to hard or will start when I have time basket!
This is the last thing you should do as there is plenty of research out there that shows exercise and being healthy increases energy, improves mood, wards off fatigue, helps with depression, lowers blood pressure and stress levels and helps you get through your day.
So how do we fit a health and fitness plan into our busy schedules and lives? Here are my top tips for adding a health and wellness plan into your daily life:
What to take from this?
You don’t need hours and hours to exercise and fit being healthy into a busy schedule. There are so many people out there that juggle massive workloads and schedules and still find the time to stay healthy and exercise!
What do they all have in common? They make their health a priority and commit to fitting it in and being healthy no matter what and they reap the rewards. Commit to leading a healthier lifestyle and don’t settle for anything less than that!
Hey Guys wanted to share this awesome post workout recovery shake that is a staple in my post workout shake routine.
I always have extra Kale left over so I started throwing it in my smoothies and it tastes amazing not to mention the awesome nutritional benefits this little super food has!! Check out this super simple, quick and tasty recipe below and mix it up and try different flavours and ingredients!!
This shake is perfect after a hard Outdoor Group Training session at Essendon or at your gym!! Just consume within 30-60 minutes of training and your good to go!
You can also add some good fats like coconut milk, Avocado or Coconut Oil and have it as a meal replacement!
SUPER KALE SMOOTHIE
1 big bunch of Kale
200ml Coconut Water
3-4 Ice cubes
Add all ingredients in blender and blitz….ENJOY!!
The Festive Season is full of temptations, parties, drinking and festivities, so we have come up with a plan to ensure your clothes don’t miraculously shrink over Christmas. So sit back and enjoy!
Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even the comatose ale-charged kebab-stuffed daft party hat and fake breast-wearing bloater spread eagle in the hallway.
No, me neither. I’m a healthy well-respected Fitness Professional and I don’t get myself into that kind of state (well, not for the past couple of Christmases anyway ;-)
MANAGE YOUR FESTIVE CHARGE
The yuletide festivities are fast approaching, which means only one thing. Actually, that’s ridiculous, of course. Christmas means many things, but if you believe in Santa like me, it means that if you hang your stocking by the hearth, next to the chimney and when you get up on Christmas morning it will be filled with all sorts of random “gifts” like chocolate, cd’s, underwear and socks.
It’s this bizarre yet predictable ritual on Christmas morning that I love. I never get what I asked for, instead I get a load of underwear, hankies and chocolate and while underwear is a little boring and predictable in the present stakes there’s always a place in my stomach for chocolate, even though it does make seem to make my clothes shrink!
There’s good reason for this. It’s called Positive Energy Balance (PEB).
If you’re at PEB, it means that the calories you’re putting into your body exceed the calories you’re burning up.
Strangely this does in fact shrink your clothes and sometimes if you’re at PEB for long enough over the Christmas period, the stairs in your house actually get steeper and longer and the air on the balcony gets thinner. It’s the most bizarre phenomenon.
The television grows too and becomes an extremely dominant force in your Christmassy life as you start to lose interest in most other things (sporty stuff in particular) and get rather frightened about going outside, especially to the places where there’s physical activity involved. Well I’m here to put a stop to this madness.
It doesn’t have to be like this, we can turn PEB into EB, which means Energy Balance so the calories you’re putting in equal the calories you’re burning up.That way you stay roughly the same weight.
I think achieving NEB (Negative Energy Balance) might be expecting too much?
I suggest that attempting to lose weight over Christmas is tantamount to insanity and could mean that you are a very sad person indeed. I realise you’re confused and scared, but I am genuinely here to help, so do please trust me, I know what I’m doing (well most of the time anyway). I shall now become serious and helpful…
BALANCE, BALANCE, BALANCE
Weight loss isn’t a sensible goal over Christmas. It simply isn’t realistic. What you should be seriously considering is damage limitation. How can you have a fabulous Christmas with no regrets, yet still emerge from it in one piece, perhaps a little scraped and bruised, but not broken and wheezing like an old set of bagpipes.
The answer is in JOLT Fitness’s five-stage Christmas Survival Guide.
Only read on if you’re serious about limiting the damage this Christmas. If you don’t take my tips seriously you’re likely to feel insulted, guilty and angry:
CLICK HERE to download the guide!
All of the staff here at JOLT Fitness hope you enjpy the guide and wish you a very safe and happy Christmas and New Year!!
“I turned my stress, motivation, energy and training around and at 46 am the fittest and leanest I’ve ever been.” Busy dad of 4 Ben talks about how us about how he has thirved under a new approach to health and fitness.
Most of us have been there at one point or another; some of us may arrive there around June/July every year...being unmotivated, bored with our gym program and a little lost.
One of the biggest problems I see with people who live in Melbourne this time of year is that they are over worked, severely stressed, getting minimal fresh air and sunshine and are exercising the wrong way or worse not exercising at all.
It’s common to hear people who come to us saying they’re constantly lethargic, lack energy and are tired, sick, and generally feel lost with how to approach and exercise program. Without the right plan, often people try and combat this by avoiding the outdoors, doing the wrong exercise in the gym or not working out at all, and to top it off, eating all the wrong foods.
When the one thing they need to increase energy, ward off sickness and change their body shape is A WELL BALANCED EXERCISE PROGRAM.
Exercising the wrong way, without direction or a balanced program most often results in no progress, but is also disheartning, and can cause people to stop exercising altogether. One of our newer clients Ben was experiencing this exact situation prior to joining JOLT Fitness.
"I was going to the gym regularly, but I didn’t really know what I was doing, and was just going to whatever machine was free and giving it a go. The sessions had no structure and there was a lack of awareness and assistance to get the most out of it. Whilst I was reasonably active, I wasn’t really showing many results in weight loss, body composition or fitness improvement."
Ben knew he wanted a change and was sick of the hamster wheel of the gym and his lack of results. He was inspired to take the fist step to make some changes and try something different by his lovely wife Nat, who had been part of JOLT Fitness’s group training family for some time and had some amazing results.
"I had reservations about joining the group training at JOLT Fitness with Nat – to be honest, I really hadn’t given it any consideration before, because I didn’t think I’d like training in a group.”
Ben actually found that the group training was the best part and a really motivating factor with some other pretty cool side effects.
"I was really surprised that the group training aspect was fantastic for me and really created the motivation to attend daily. Not only are the people in the group really friendly and good fun to be around, it’s also a very encouraging environment.”
"There is a lot of personal instruction and assistance with technique from the trainers so you know you are doing it the right way as opposed to how I felt at the gym. There are people of all different fitness levels so you can really push yourself if you’re already fit, or if you’re not, you can enjoy improving your fitness level in a relaxed and encouraging environment.”
Ben’s experience doesn’t surprise us - training outdoors, being around likeminded people and having a well balanced training program that trains people the right way are three of the most important things when comes to improving your health and fitness.
Not only did Ben turn around his motivation but he also got some very impressive results along the way, "The results have been significant, I quickly went well below my goal weight and am now a lot leaner, having lost half of my body fat. More importantly I feel so much stronger and my fitness and energy levels have improved dramatically. I look forward to training every morning, even during winter, and feel energised and motivated throughout the day.”
Our advice to other busy parents like Ben is to pay attention to what your body is telling you. If you're not seeing the results you would like in the gym, have a look at what you’re doing, how you’re exercising (if at all), and what you’re putting into your body. And then, it’s about taking steps to change things, just like Ben did to turn that all around.
If you want to know more about how to exercise the right way, download our free report "The Right Way To Exercise" HERE.
This word “metabolism” is thrown around a lot these days.
You know that if yours is too slow you might gain weight. But what exactly does this all mean?
Well technically “metabolism” is the word to describe all of the biochemical reactions in your body. It's how you take in nutrients and oxygen and use them to fuel everything you do.
Your body has an incredible ability to grow, heal, and generally stay alive. And without this amazing biochemistry you would not be possible.
Metabolism includes how the cells in your body:
So when you put all of these processes together into your metabolism you can imagine that these processes can work too quickly, too slowly, or just right.
Which brings us to the “metabolic rate”.
This is how fast your metabolism works and is measured in calories (yup, those calories!).
The calories you eat can go to one of three places:
As you can imagine the more calories you burn as work or creating heat the easier it is to lose weight and keep it off because there will be fewer “leftover” calories to store for later.
There are a couple of different ways to measure metabolic rate. One is the “resting metabolic rate” (RMR) which is how much energy your body uses when you're not being physically active.
The other is the “total daily energy expenditure” (TDEE) which measures both the resting metabolic rate as well as the energy used for “work” (e.g. exercise) throughout a 24-hour period.
What affects your metabolic rate?
In a nutshell: a lot!
The first thing you may think of is your thyroid. This gland at the front of your throat releases hormones to tell your body to “speed up” your metabolism. Of course, the more thyroid hormone there is the faster things will work and the more calories you'll burn.
But that's not the only thing that affects your metabolic rate.
How big you are counts too!
Larger people have higher metabolic rates; but your body composition is crucial!
As you can imagine muscles that actively move and do work need more energy than fat does. So the more lean muscle mass you have the more energy your body will burn and the higher your metabolic rate will be. Even when you're not working out.
This is exactly why weight training is often recommended as a part of a weight loss program. Because you want muscles to be burning those calories for you.
The thing is, when people lose weight their metabolic rate often slows down which you don't want to happen. So you definitely want to offset that with more muscle mass.
Aerobic exercise also temporarily increases your metabolic rate. Your muscles are burning fuel to move so they're doing “work”.
The type of food you eat also affects your metabolic rate!
Your body actually burns calories to absorb, digest, and metabolise your food. This is called the “thermic effect of food” (TEF).
You can use it to your advantage when you understand how your body metabolizes foods differently.
Fats, for example increase your TEF by 0-3%; carbs increase it by 5-10%, and protein increases it by 15-30%. By trading some of your fat or carbs for lean protein you can slightly increase your metabolic rate.
Another bonus of protein is that your muscles need it to grow. By working them out and feeding them what they need they will help you to lose weight and keep it off.
And don't forget the mind-body connection. There is plenty of research that shows the influence that things like stress and sleep have on the metabolic rate.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to metabolism and how so many different things can work to increase (or decrease) your metabolic rate.
Easter is around the corner but the cheerful colors are not limited to flowers and eggs. There is no escaping the onslaught of sugar that threatens us at every turn. From jelly beans to chocolate bunnies, empty calories abound.
You need a plan.
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you really do need to know what you are getting yourself into when you reach for that fluffy, yellow peep. Brace yourself, this is going to hurt…
Sugar is really bad for you.
When you consume Easter confectionary, you are getting a large dose of sugar. Whether it is in the form of High Fructose Corn Syrup or cane sugar, it slams into your system like a bowling ball, and the effects are disastrous.
Within the first 20 minutes or so, your blood sugar level spikes as the sugar enters your bloodstream. It arrives there in the form of glucose, which is your body’s main source of energy. This sudden rise in blood glucose stimulates your pancreas to start pumping out large amounts of insulin, which is the hormone that helps your cells take in the available glucose. Some of this glucose is used immediately for energy. But the rest stored as fat by insulin, to be used later.
The more sugar you eat, the more insulin your body produces as it works hard to remove the glucose from your blood. But these high levels of insulin are not healthy. For one thing, the extra insulin in your blood stream signals to your body that you need more glucose, which causes you to crave even more sugar. But even worse, after repeated exposure to high insulin levels, your cells begin turning numb to the effects of insulin, and this leads to a condition called insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. When your cells no longer respond properly to the storage effects of insulin, the sugar in your blood has nowhere to go, and so it continues circulating in your blood. This is what is known as a ‘high blood sugar level.’
The result is that you feel fatigue, because you have no way of accessing the energy that is in your blood stream. You will likely feel weak, tired and have trouble concentrating, because your brain uses glucose to function.
If your blood sugar levels stay elevated, damage begins happening to various parts of your body. For example, the capillaries become damaged (which leads to blindness), your kidneys become diseased (which can eventually require dialysis) and nerve damage occurs throughout your body (which can lead to amputations). The heart muscle also suffers, which leads to heart disease, and your organs begin aging at a faster rate. You also become more susceptible to infections.
The ravages of sugar cannot be overstated: that handful of jelly beans is not worth it.
Easter only comes once each year. Do you really have to be so uptight about it?
Yes, you do. Because there will always be an excuse to eat poorly. Last month it was Valentine’s Day. The month before that saw New Year’s Eve. Before that was Christmas. You see the point, and the holidays in each of these months weren’t the only excuses for eating unhealthy food—no doubt your schedule included countless other “can’t-miss” opportunities to throw all caution to the wind! You likely had business dinners, birthday parties, evenings out with friends, fundraising banquets, breakfast meetings, church dinners…
Every one of these occasions screams, “But this is special!! It’s okay just this once!”
At some point, you have to stop the insanity, make a decision and choose health, so that the indulgence truly becomes the exception; not the rule.
So let’s look at some alternatives for your Easter celebration. You do not have to sit there munching on steamed asparagus while those around you are tossing back marshmallow ducklings by the dozen.
Consider the following ideas for Easter basket treats and munchies. Sticking to this list will ensure that you are clear headed and full of energy while your friends are slipping in and out of consciousness after their sugar highs!
Non-food ideas for kids’ baskets:
Have a healthy Easter!
This is for all you Mums. Actually it doesn’t matter if you are a mum or not, this is for all the women out there who feel trapped in a cycle of, “One day, I'll find time for myself, to eat healthy, lose weight and really take care of myself.”
It’s time to give back to yourself and we are here to help.
We know that it can be hard to find time to focus on yourself and when you finally do, you probably have a sense of guilt that there are other 'more important' things you should be doing.
That’s part of being a mother, you put everyone and everything first and yourself last.
But consider this. Neglecting yourself is not good for you or those people who depend on you. The only way you can keep attending to your many responsibilities and joys with the energy required is if your health is at its best.
Once your health starts declining, you will have no choice but to focus on yourself.
Wouldn’t you rather do it now and know what it feels like to be fit and full of energy and still be there for those people who depend on you?
Yes, starting is hard. In fact, it is probably the hardest part.
It may be hard because you’ve started before and failed. That doesn’t matter anymore. You are not doing it alone this time. We are here to walk with you every step of the way. We’re looking forward, not backward.
It may be hard because you have no idea where you will find the time to exercise. We’ll help you with that too. That’s what we do.
It may be hard because changing life-long patterns of eating seems completely undesirable right now. We’ve been there and believe me; if some of us can do it, you can too. The amazing thing is that once you get a taste for the energy and vitality that eating well brings, you won’t look back.
The longer you wait to take your health seriously, the more damage you are doing to your body.
There is only one way to slow down, stop or reverse many of the effects of aging (whether you are 20 or 70 years old): sensible eating and consistent exercise. (Well, that’s two, but they have to happen together).
You’ve dreamed about it long enough, now is the time!
Make this Mother’s Day the beginning of a new chapter in your life and give back to yourself.
Thousands of mums just like you are doing it and we want to help you be strong, vibrant, fit and full of energy.
It’s time to start. We’ll get you revitalised and feeling better than you ever have, you just need to make that first step.
Let us help you get started on your health this Mother's Day with a 2 Week Unlimited Pass (valued at $100) (usually 1 week trial only).
Contact us for more information and to get started.
0414 437 796
It’s happened to all of us. You know the feeling - you are away from home running errands, or you are out late because you had to stay at work longer. And you realize that you are hungry. Not just a little hungry though, more like hangry. You haven’t eaten for hours, your head is starting to throb, and you can’t even think straight.
Bottom line: You have to eat. Now!
As you survey your options, you realise that getting something to eat that is even remotely healthy is going to be nearly impossible. But you have little choice, so you grab a burger or a salad with “grilled chicken.” (Do you have any idea how much that piece of ‘grilled chicken’ has been processed and soaked and manipulated and transformed before it arrives in front of you?) Or a small order of chips just to get you through.
Just like that you have put food into your body that will lower your immune response, raise your blood sugar, reduce your energy and contribute to weight gain.
It is a tough situation, and like I said, we’ve all been there. Sometimes you really do have to eat ‘right now.’ But over time, these eating emergencies add up and significantly impact your health and fitness achievement.
The answer is to stop having eating emergencies, and I will show you how to do this. It does take some planning, but it isn’t as hard as you might think.
The first step is to make a list of healthy, on-the-go foods that you enjoy eating. Make sure that you include things with healthy fats, protein and carbs (if it’s around your workout time). When you are very hungry, you need to have all the macronutrients covered in order to get quick energy, satisfy your hunger and clear your brain fog. This does not have to be a complete meal, but it needs to be balanced enough to substitute for one if needed.
Here are some ideas to help you get started.
The second step seems obvious, but it has to happen if you are going to eliminate impulse eating: buy the food on your list. You have to get it in your house (or car and at work), so you have it when you need it.
The third step is to plan your food kit. This food has to travel with you, and you have to decide how you are going to transport it. The secret is convenience. If you only have five minutes to grab your kit on your way out the door before work, it has to be streamlined. Ideally you will leave yourself more than five minutes, but life happens.
Here are some tips to help you set up your food kit for ease and speed.
You’ve done the hard part. You’ve figured out what foods will make you happy and help you through the emergency, you’ve stocked up on them, you have gathered what you need for transport and you have your water situation figured out.
All that is left is making it happen. You have to take the food with you when you leave the house. The first few times you do this, it will seem complicated and tedious. But eventually, you will do it with little thought. It will be habit. That is why using the same cooler, the same bags and the same water container every time is so important. You will likely even find you grab the same foods nearly every time—it’s just easier. And it has to be easy, or you won’t do it.
The happy result is that when you are out and realize you are hungry, you will not have to eat food from a café or dodgy takeaway joint. You will have an assortment of health and energy promoting foods at your fingertips.
In the fast paced, weight loss driven, quick fix world of health and fitness let’s look the other way for a moment and think about the often overlooked and ignored real reason why all of us should be exercising and getting healthier.
What is that reason? Longevity and quality of life.
Exercise boosts life expectancy. Regular, moderate physical activity such as running or weight training can increase life expectancy by several years.
Sounds boring I know but I believe that when we start approaching exercise from the angle of long term health then we start to eliminate yo yo weight gain and loss, the constant chase of the next silver bullet and quick fixes.
We eliminate the finish line, because there isn’t one. Your approach to exercise is one of constant learning and improvement of health for every decade of your life.
Now it may not be smooth sailing and there will be some bumps in the road but what’s the pay off for this approach long term?
When exercise becomes a normal part of your routine you’re ahead of the game, you’re ready for anything that life throws at you whether it is sickness, injury, stressful situations or times of duress.
You’re able to enjoy life in the decades ahead and not be restricted by poor health, brittle bones or poor mobility. The power of exercise is so profound yet so underutilised when it comes to enjoying the later years of our lives.
In a well-rounded approach to exercise you’re:
Joint pain, depression, stress, lack of energy and poor health are always a constant in most peoples lives at every decade, so doesn’t it make sense to train and prepare to combat them ongoing?
Focus on maintaining strong bones and lean muscle, a strong immune system, healthy heart and lungs, a good mental state, great mobility and flexibility through exercise long term and you will be ready to tackle life no matter what your age.
We're celebrating all things bone health and exercise for longevity of life this month around JOLT Fitness, if you want help with getting started with an ongoing sustainable exercise program CLICK HERE and register for a success session and free trial of our group training.