Summer is here which inevitably means we’ll be bombarded with ads for slimming tips and tricks and ‘helpful’ guides to get the perfect beach body. Many of us make the mistake of thinking of getting in shape solely for summer, after all it’s when we generally show more of our body to the world. But this can be a damaging cycle to get into where we just diet and exercise for a specific goal only then allowing our fitness and healthy habits to fall by the wayside once summer is over.
So this month we are going to be looking at how and why we need to focus on getting fit for life.
There are always trends and fads when it comes to dieting and losing weight but the best approach is to aim to eat a healthy, nutritious, balanced diet and be sure to fuel your body so you have enough energy.
Last year the government launched a health campaign called Better Health to help people make better choices with diet and exercise. This campaign is great for helping you make changes to your lifestyle that you can stick to for life.
Don’t skip meals
You might be tempted to cut out all snacks and even skip meals but this is not generally advised, remember it’s not just about quantity of food it’s also about quality- sweet, sugary snacks that lack fibre and nutrients should be replaced with fruit and healthy snacks that provide energy along with vitamins and minerals.
Exercise all year round
Change your mindset and embrace exercise as a part of your everyday routine. Even simple changes such as making sure you go for a brisk walk every day will set you on the path to lifelong fitness. It’s important to make exercise part of daily life as we age- adding in strength training up to 3 times a week will help strengthen your bones, muscles and improve your posture and balance.
Join a class
Make a commitment to exercise by joining a regular class such as Move It or Lose It or Bootcamp. Taking part in a regular class means you’re more likely to stick to it, you’ll make new friends and it’s a great way to get professional support and advice on nutrition and exercise.
Make sure it’s fun!
In order to make sure you stick to a healthy lifestyle you need to make sure it’s fun. So pick activities you enjoy and try to do them regularly. Set yourself challenges to complete to ensure boredom doesn’t set in- you could sign up to complete a swimathon or maybe a sponsored walk or run. Whatever you choose make sure you enjoy it!
Get out in the garden and raise your heart rate while you do a bit of weeding, digging and planting. As well as some much needed vitamin D if you work a bit harder you’ll be getting a healthy dose of cardio and strength training too.
*Please speak to your healthcare professional before you embark on any new exercise or diet regime.
Please get in touch if you would like to find out more about the classes or one-one fitness sessions with Amanda. Personal plans to help you start making changes now, have accountability with some added motivation to help you succeed!
Good nutrition and regular exercise is important for everyone of all ages but we should pay particular attention as we are ageing, especially over the age of 50. Our dietary requirements can change for many different reasons but as we age both men and women become prone to certain disorders, particularly disorders affecting the bones or cardiovascular system.
The age-old mantra of move more, eat less is too simplistic and you risk missing out on vital vitamins and minerals if you just cut out meals. The word diet is loaded and many of us associate the word with meaning eating less but really, we should be looking more closely at what we are eating.
Fuel Your Body
No matter how active you are it’s really important you are fuelling your body to give it the energy it needs. It can be tempting to eat less when you are trying to lose weight and get fit, but you are putting yourself at risk of injury or illness if you are not properly fuelling yourself.
The important thing to remember is to try and make sure you are eating more healthy, nutrient dense foods and less of the foods that are high in salt and sugar (convenience foods and snacks such as crisps and biscuits). The government Eatwell Guide is an easy to understand example of what you should try to include in your meals to ensure you are getting the right balance of each food group in your meals.
To continue living an active life as we age it’s important to make sure you stay active and eat well. The current government guidelines suggest that older people (over the age of 65) should aim for 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity a week. You should also include at least 2 sessions a week where you focus your activities on strength, balance and flexibility.
Contact Amanda if you have any questions about good nutrition and exercise for a healthy lifestyle.
If you’ve been inactive following surgery or been recovering from an illness you might feel apprehensive about starting to exercise again. It’s important to listen to your doctor and make sure you are fully recovered but once you’ve had the all clear from your healthcare practitioner it’s time to start thinking about building up your fitness again.
Returning to normal physical activities after a long period of inactivity is really important for your recovery- your muscles will naturally be weaker, and you will feel much less fit than before so you need to build your strength and fitness back.
Listen to your body
Following illness or surgery it’s important to listen to your body. You might be eager to get back to your normal activities but even after your doctor has given you the all clear you still need to remember to rest and recover. Start off slowly - walking is a great way to start getting fit again and help your body heal. Over time you can gradually increase the intensity and time spent exercising. If you enjoy walking you could join a group (check out Ramblers for local walking groups) to keep you motivated.
Make Positive Changes
Whether you have had a joint replacement, heart attack/heart surgery, illness such as Covid or other respiratory illness, you should think about what changes you can make to your lifestyle to help aid recovery and support your body.
As you get fitter and stronger you can start to add to your exercise routine- strength training is important to help build muscle and improve cardiovascular health. If you want to protect your body and help prevent further injury then you should add strength training to your routine alongside cardio training such as walking, running, swimming or cycling. Joining a fitness class is a great idea to help keep you accountable with the added bonus of being lots of fun and a great way to meet new friends. After being stuck inside following illness or surgery it’s common to feel isolated so joining a class is a great way to improve mental health too. Move It or Lose It is a great class for people who have mobility issues and can be carried out seated if necessary.
Personal Coaching and One-One Sessions
If you are feeling overwhelmed at the thought of joining a class but you still need the motivation and help you might like to try one-to-one sessions with a personal trainer. Your personal trainer will be able to tailor the session to your abilities and needs making it a great option if you are recovering from surgery or illness. Just make sure you have the all clear from your healthcare professional and be sure to tell your personal trainer what you are recovering from, how you are feeling - physically and mentally and what your fitness goals are.
If you have been given the all clear by your doctor and are looking to get back into exercise following surgery or illness but you're unsure where to start, contact Amanda.