As a former elite personal trainer, Mick Rolton from Gym Design & Supply, gives step-by-step guidance on how to improve your health and wellbeing.
Words By Mick Rolton
1. FOCUS ON BREATHING
Obviously, this is essential to life and wellbeing but how you breathe can also affect fat loss. Practising yoga-breathing, using your stomach to breathe rather than your rib cage, will help you absorb more oxygen in your blood. This raises your metabolic rate, reduces hunger pangs and helps to de-stress you and improve your mental wellbeing.
As you inhale, the oxygen you breathe in attaches to your fat cells and splits them into carbon and water which you then exhale as carbon dioxide. A 2014 study in the British Medical Journal found that this process can burn up to a half-pound of fat per day.
- Spend 5 minutes a day lying on your back, eyes closed and focusing on your breathing using your stomach to inhale and exhale.
- Try to inhale for 3 seconds; exhale for 7 seconds
2. DRINK MORE WATER
Water is the foundation of the majority of the natural chemical reactions in your body. The human body is composed of around 75% water (the brain is almost 85% water) and it helps flush out toxins including the causes of cellulite. You need a balance of electrolytes in the water to help your body retain some of the water, rather than just dramatically increase your bathroom visits.
Unrefined natural sea salt (or sodium chloride) extracted from natural sources provides a wide range of original trace minerals including magnesium, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc and phosphorous. Filtered or mineral water is best, and do not count anything else as your water intake as alcohol, as most commercial drinks, tea and coffee will dehydrate your body.
- Drink 330 ml of water per 10kg of body weight per day
- Add a tiny pinch of unrefined sea salt to your water
- Spread your water consumption over the day
3. BE CONSISTENT WITH YOUR SLEEP
Our body does most of its repair when you are asleep. Generally, your body repairs itself in 2 stages, from 10pm to 2am it repairs physically and from 2am to 6am it repairs psychologically. You miss this repair if you are awake, so you should aim for 8 hours sleep per night.
- Aim to sleep between 10pm to 6am
- Switch off TV and digital devices at 9pm to allow the mind and body to calm down
- Read a book or have a bath
- When in bed, close your eyes and focus on your breathing to help clear your mind
4. EAT HEALTHY FOOD
Our body replaces 330 billion cells on a daily basis, which is the equivalent to 1 per cent of all our cells. Within 100 days, we will have created almost a brand new you, but what you eat defines the health of your cells. For example, gluten can inflame your digestive system and affect your sleep. The most important thing is to be consistent with what times you eat because this makes a massive difference in keeping your blood sugar level regulated.
- Avoid anything that was not available 10,000 years ago as much as possible
- Aim for one vegan or vegetarian meal per day
- Avoid gluten as much as possible – this can inflame your digestive system and affect your sleep
- Remember that plate portions should compromise 25% protein, 50% vegetables and 25% starchy carbs, plus a tiny portion of healthy fat
- Eat in a 12-hour window meaning you fast in the other 12 hours
5. EXERCISE REGULARLY
Exercise strengthens your heart, body and mind and is essential to a high quality of life. Two cardio workouts first thing in the morning on an empty stomach will teach your body to burn fat for energy. Focus on exercises that keep a continual tension in the movement with no locking of joints.
Total body resistance exercises will strengthen your muscles, protect your joints and bones while raising your metabolism long time after you have finished. HIIT workouts will make you faster and fitter burning more calories and fat than traditional cardio. Both of these workouts burn more calories and work the heart better if you superset with lower and upper body exercise.
- One Total Body Resistance session per week for 30 minutes
- One HIIT workout per week for 30 minutes
- Between two and four sessions of cardio per week for 30 minutes
- This can be a mixture of walking, cycling, running, swimming or playing your favourite sport
- Don’t forget to warm-up and stretch before and after any of the above
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