12 Health and Fitness Tips | A to Z

Tip 1 | Getting Started!

Patience and Consistency are key!


At some point in our lives the light bulb goes off and we make the decision to stop what we are doing and decide to get fit. This first step is very important, however, many people make the mistake of doing way too much to soon. The biggest culprits are middle aged men who think they can get back into shape within weeks of a new exercise programme. The problem is you can not reverse 10 years or more of neglect in a few weeks. The mind is willing but the body just can't respond that quickly. The key is patience and consistency. A little and often will have enormous benefits.


Start today with a commitment to walk/run 2 times this week for approximately 30 minutes.

Tip 2 | Importance Of Resistance Training

You can run, walk, cycle and swim all day but you won't develop muscle tone without some form of resistance training. Resistance training is any exercise that causes the muscles to contract against an external resistance with the expectation of increases in strength, tone, mass, and/or endurance. The external resistance can be dumbbells, rubber exercise tubing, your own body weight, bricks, bottles of water, or any other object that causes the muscles to contract.


Benefits of Resistance Training

  • Increased metabolic rate - burn more calories at rest

  • Increased muscle tone and strength

  • Greater energy levels

  • Better posture - relieve back and neck pain

  • Less chance of injury in the elder due to falls

  • Lower blood pressure


Add in 2 resistance sessions on top of your 2 cardio sessions this week. Start by using your own body weight. Use exercises that target legs, arms, back, chest and abdominals.


Tip 3 | Key to Weight Lose

The number 1 key to weight lose is understanding and knowing your metabolic rate. Your metabolism is the process whereby the body converts food into energy (or uses it for bodily repairs) or stores it as fat for future use. Once you know your own metabolic rate, your daily calorie in take should be no more than 100 to 150 calories below, to lose weight.


This number (100 to 150 calories) is extremely important as to reduce your calorie intake my more will also reduce your metabolic rate and thus defeat the goal of using fat reserves for energy (i.e. weight lose).


5 Tips to Increase Metabolic Rate

  • Resistance training 2 to 3 times per week

  • Eat a nutritious breakfast - kick starts the metabolism

  • Eat regularly through out the day - every 3 hours

  • Aerobic training, include 2 cardio sessions per week

  • Reduce alcohol intake- unfortunately alcohol has a negative effect on the metabolic rate


Tip 4 | Calculating Your Own Metabolic Rate

First thing you have to do is work out your Resting Metabolic Rate. Grab a calculator and then start plugging in the numbers:


For men: RMR = (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) + 5

For women: RMR = (10 x w) + (6.25 x h) - (5 x a) - 161

w = weight in kilograms (divide pounds by 2.2)
h = height in centimeters ( multiple inches by 2.54)
a = age


This number tells you how many calorie you burn at rest (sleep) over 24 hours.


Now you need to add in your activity rating.

  1. Sedentary (little or no exercise) : RMR x 1.2
  2. Lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : RMR x 1.375
  3. Moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : RMR x 1.55
  4. Very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : RMR x 1.725
  5. Extra active (very hard exercise/sports & physical job or 2x training) : RMR x 1.9


Now you have the number of calories a day you need to maintain your weight. To lose weight safely, subtract 500 calories per day. Recommended weight lose is 1 to 2 LBS per week.


If you would like some help working this out, just send me an email and I will do it for you: carlcautley@fitnesstogether.com.


Tip 5 | Boosting Metabolic Rate

Vary your exercise routine. When you use the same muscle groups repeatedly doing the same exercise, the body adjusts and burns fewer calories. So, surprise the body and engage in different activities and utilize different muscle groups. Your body will reward you with a better metabolic rate.


6 Tips to Boost Your Metabolic Rate

  • Build Muscle Mass. Strength training builds lean muscle tissue, which burns more calories at work or at rest, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Do Not Skip Meals or Drastically Reduce Your Caloric Intake. If your body senses that food is in short supply, it will slow your metabolism to conserve energy.
  • Increase the Amount of Protein in your Diet. Most researchers agree that protein helps to stabilize the secretion of insulin into your blood stream, a process that can affect metabolism. The average person would benefit from protein intake at a minimum of 70 grams or higher each day.
  • Increase Movement in Daily Lifestyle. The more you move, the more you burn! You can actually make a significant addition to the number of calories you burn each day by relatively minor changes in lifestyle.
  • Go For an Evening Walk. Although exercising any time is good for you, evening activity may be particularly beneficial. Many people's metabolism slows down toward the end of the day. Thirty minutes of aerobic activity before dinner increases your metabolic rate and may keep it elevated for another two or three hours.
  • Get Adequate Sleep. According to researchers at the University of Chicago, women who got less than four hours of sleep per night had a slower metabolism than those who slept for a full eight hours.


Tip 6 | Top Metabolic Boosting Foods

  • Grapefruit. This diet super fruit lowers the insulin levels in your body that trigger your system to store fat. Plus, it is rich in fiber, and your body must burn extra calories in order to break it down.

  • Green Tea is the main source of epigallocatechin gallate, known better as EGCG. This healthy catechin speeds up your brain and nervous system, causing your body to burn more calories.

  • Yogurt (natural). The high levels of protein present in natural yogurt require a lot of energy to be processed. Plus, the pro-biotic cultures found in yogurt help regulate your digestive tract.

  • Almonds' essential fatty acids help raise your body's metabolism. Just don't overdo it because they're also very high in calories.

  • Coffee has caffeine, which does give you a boost. Just ensure that you don't exceed 2 or 3 cups a day, or you risk a host of side effects, including irritability and jitters.

  • Turkey. This protein-rich meat builds lean muscle tissue, which causes your body to burn extra calories and raises your metabolism.

  • Apple. Like grapefruit, this low-calorie snack is high in fiber, which your body must burn calories to break down. Plus, since apples help you stay full for longer, you'll eat less.

  • Spinach can help make you strong and healthy. In addition to speeding up your metabolism, it's a great source of antioxidants, magnesium, potassium, iron and vitamin C.

  • Beans. Low in fat and packed with protein, beans keep you full for long durations, and your body must burn extra calories in order to process this fiber-rich food.

  • Jalapenos. The capcaisin found in jalapenos causes your body to burn extra calories for hours after you ingest them, speeding up both your heart rate and metabolism.

  • Broccoli contains a highly effective metabolism-boosting team of nutrients: calcium and vitamin C. Calcium acts as a metabolic trigger, while vitamin C helps your body absorb more calcium.

  • Oatmeal. Because your body takes a long time to break down the fat-soluble fiber in oatmeal, this healthy food lowers your body's insulin level and speeds up your metabolism as a result.

  • Fortified soy milk is loaded with calcium, which helps boost your metabolism. Just stay away from the sweetened varieties.

  • Cinnamon. Add some zing to your daily cup of tea with this tasty spice to help your body metabolise sugars more effectively and maintain steadier blood sugar levels. Cinnamon can also help lower your cholesterol.


Tip 7 | Top 2 Metabolic Ingredients

The Two Most Vital Ingredients In Any Process In Your Body Are Oxygen and Water.


You can barely go a day without water and not even more than a couple of minutes without oxygen.


When the metabolic process occurs in your body, oxygen is one of the vital components for this reaction to take place. By being properly oxygenated, you keep your body's oxygen levels high and your metabolism stays at an optimum level.


Equally important to your body's metabolism is water. 90% of your body is water and when it comes to metabolism water is probably the most important component. Water is a means of 'transport' in your body and is responsible for getting the right stuff to the right places. Even more importantly though is water's function as a natural solvent. All nutrients and toxins dissolve into water to be transported and either used or eliminated.


By drinking plenty of water and breathing properly you can greatly increase your metabolism. In fact, these two natural metabolism boosters will probably increase your metabolism more than anything else.


Tip 8 | Starvation Mode

Remember, if you want to lose weight, only reduce your calorie intake 300 to 500 calories below your metabolic rate. Anything less and you're in starvation mode. Your body cannot tell the difference between dieting and starvation, so it changes its physiology to adapt.


During starvation mode, many experts agree that fat-storing hormones become active, and fat-burning enzymes decrease quickly, resulting in slow or no fat loss! Thus, continuous fat loss requires you to avoid starvation mode altogether. You need to burn off the fat, but feed your muscles!


Tip 9 | Why Avoid Trans Fats?

What are Trans Fats?

Trans fats (or trans fatty acids) are created in an industrial process that adds hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid. Another name for trans fats is "partially hydrogenated oils." Look for them on the ingredient list on food packages.


Why Do Companies Use Trans Fats?

Companies like using trans fats in their foods because they're easy to use, inexpensive to produce and last a long time. Trans fats give foods a desirable taste and texture. Many restaurants and fast-food outlets use trans fats to deep-fry foods because oils with trans fats can be used many times in commercial fryers.


How do Trans Fats Effect my Health?

Trans fats raise your bad (LDL) cholesterol levels and lower your good (HDL) cholesterol levels. Eating trans fats increases your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. It's also associated with a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.


Which Foods Contain Trans Fats?

Trans fats can be found in many foods but especially in fried foods like French fries and doughnuts, and baked goods including pastries, pie crusts, biscuits, pizza dough, cookies, crackers, and stick margarines and shortenings. You can determine the amount of trans fats in a particular packaged food by looking at the Nutritional Facts panel. You can also spot trans fats by reading ingredient lists and looking for the ingredients referred to as "partially hydrogenated oils.


Tip 10 | The Effects of Sugar

An influx of sugar into the bloodstream upsets the body's blood-sugar balance, triggering the release of insulin, which the body uses to keep blood-sugar at a constant and safe level. Insulin also promotes the storage of fat, so that when you eat sweets or other products high in sugar, you're making way for rapid weight gain and elevated triglyceride levels, both of which have been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity.


Sugary Foods to Avoid:

  1. Carbonated Drinks - 15 tea spoons of sugar per can.
  2. White Flour - things made of flour have no nutritional value.
  3. French Fries/Chips - a simple carbohydrate, full of trans fats
  4. High Sugar Cereals - check the label, 5 grams or more is a disaster
  5. Biscuits - empty calories, usually 50 grams per 100 grams


Pro Tip | Stick with complex carbohydrates, they tend to be absorbed more slowly, lessening the impact on blood-sugar levels.


Tip 11 | Making the Most of Your Training Session

Arrive at least 15 minutes before each work out to do a cardio warm up. This gets the heart going, warms muscles and stretches ligaments naturally.


Plan your sessions for the week before hand. Aim to target each body part at least twice.


Pro Tip | While Training, Know and Visualise the Muscles You Are Working


This ensures proper technique and stimulates quicker growth. If you're unsure ask your Personal Trainer exactly which muscles are been worked.


After the session always lightly stretch the muscles targeted during the work out.


Tip 12 | How Often Should I Train Per Week?

Major health agencies such as the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommend that for good health and to reduce risk of chronic disease, adults should participate in moderate-intensity aerobic (or cardio) exercise (such as brisk walking) for at least 30 minutes on 5 or more days of the week or vigorous-intensity cardio at least 3 days of the week.


The ACSM also recommends weight training exercise (8 to 10 different exercises and 9 to 12 repetitions of each exercise) 2 to 3 days a week. Weight training exercise is essential for enhancing muscular strength and endurance, helping to prevent the decline of muscle mass (and metabolic rate) that accompanies aging, and promoting bone health.


So frequency depends on the intensity and type of exercise that you choose to engage in.


Health & Fitness Together recommendation (per week):

  • 2 to 3 Personal Training sessions
  • 2 to 3 Cardio sessions