The festive season is great fun but with it comes indulgences that can leave you with a bit of extra luggage around the waistline.
With that in mind, most New Year resolutions involve shifting the excess and getting health and fitness back on track. Here are our top 6 wellness tips to kick off the New Year!
1. Transform Your Body Starting with Your Mind
A successful body transformation starts with a healthy mindset. Attitude is a choice and you need to find the motives and mindset within to allow you to hit the training frequency, intensity and dietary needs set to stimulate change to your body. Erase negative thoughts, excuses and of course skeptical opinions by others and surround yourself with positive people on the same journey as you. Joining a group fitness class, regular PT sessions and participating in activities and sports are great ways to find like-minded people, and create accountability and motivation for your new pathway to health and fitness.
2. Changing Shape
I am asked on a regular basis “what is the best exercise to flatten my stomach”? My typical answer is “Do you want to see your abs and lose belly fat? Or do you want to strengthen your core”? Everyone has abdominal muscles but if you want to see them then males need to be around 10-12% body fat, and females around 16-19% body fat. You simply can’t out-train an unhealthy diet!
If you really want to see your body composition change the best exercise to start with is in your kitchen with meal preparation. Secondly, have a well-designed workout program for the total body (don’t waste your time with endless amounts of crunches). HIIT workouts, circuit classes and compound strength movements are very effective for body composition results.
3. Movement is Life
'Sitting is the new smoking' according to a study by American Professor Steven Blair which involved 50,000 people over a 10 year period, and compared attributable fractions and risk of mortality. The study looked at blood pressure, smoking, cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, and cardio-vascular fitness (CVF). The result was CVF is by far the highest predictor of death.
Fat and Unfit = Very high risk
Thin and Unfit= High Risk
Fat and Fit= Low Risk
Thin and Fit = Very low risk
This research doesn’t however suggest that being overweight is good for you, but rather being fit is a key performance indicator for decreasing your risk of cardio-vascular disease rather than what the scales are telling you.
Tracking your daily activity using a fitbit, smart watch or app can be useful or even setting training days and activities on your calendar. Deciding to walk the golf course, take the stairs, bike to work or a standing work station are all great ways to increase your metabolism during the day.
It is advisable to try and have at least 2 days rest from your gym program. During these days you could speed up your recovery process by booking a massage, sauna, stretch routine or some light, low impact cardio like swimming, cross trainer or stationary bike.
Millbrook stretch class is also a great way to lengthen the tight spots and bounce back from an intense training session.
View our timetable
Mindful eating is a hot topic regarding nutrition these days. Foods that influence health, mostly organically sourced and balanced come to mind when doing your food shopping.
Quality: Whole foods preferably organic fruit and vegetables, lean sources of protein and healthy fats make up a balanced diet. Be aware of preservatives especially processed food sources. Eating packaged foods with a long shelf life is often detrimental to your health. Foods that may seem harmless and labeled low fat often contain higher sugar content. It’s best to keep things simple and clean.
Quantity: Eating habits could be affecting your waistline. Try slowing down and chew your food completely into liquid form before swallowing. Aim to achieve about a 500 calorie deficit from your regular diet if your goal is to lose weight. Look at your plate and see if you have the right Macro-nutrient balance to succeed. Protein, Carbohydrates and Fats are essential to a healthy diet. Using your hand to measure try this simple trick to balance your meals:
Palm determines Protein dense foods.
Fist determines Vegetable portions.
Cupped hand determines Carbohydrate dense foods.
Thumb determines Fat dense foods.
(Men double each portion size.)
6. Get Outdoors
Did you know in Nordic countries outdoor activities are a big part of their lives, such so that there’s a word for it called “friluftsliv” which translates to “open air living”. They have organisations and clubs set up to get people active outside no matter the weather.
Training outdoors in the beautiful surrounding we have here at Millbrook comes with many benefits, including the fresh New Zealand air and vitamin D and which can help relieve stress. For mental and physical health this concept will achieve both.
Try our new Millbrook “bootcamp” style circuit class on Wednesday mornings at 7:15am. This circuit class caters to all fitness levels and just might be the missing link to your summer wellness plan!
Featured Article by Luke Marshall
Luke is a personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist and strength and conditioning coach with over 13 years’ experience. Luke believes it is imperative to train smart and effectively, and to promote restorative movement and a healthy lifestyle to create the best YOU possible!