Feb 9th, 2015
5 simple body hacks you should already be doing
As a personal trainer, I find myself repeating a lot of the same information, it’s not that I like to sound like a broken old record but I’m seeing a common trend in my clients lifestyles that need to be addressed.
There are a few changes you can add into your daily routine to help you feel better. Read the rest of the article and ask yourself if you’re already doing these…
Drink more water
When I’ve asked my clients how many glasses they drink during a normal working day, some are surprised to find that they don’t drink enough. The recommended 8 glasses should be a normal amount but for some people it can be a real struggle, either the taste or the amount puts them off water.
Try adding in slices of lemon, strawberries, oranges or even cucumber to flavour your water naturally
Making sure you stay hydrated helps keep your metabolism high, improves your brain function as well as stopping you from picking at foods when you shouldn’t be.
Coffee/Tea in large amounts can seriously affect your sleep and opting for green/herbal teas can help reduce the amount of caffeine.
One trend I’ve been seeing frequently is the connection between having tea/coffee and munching on biscuits and cake. It’s become a automatic habit for most people to drink their tea but also have their favourite biscuits along with it. If you had a herbal tea would you still reach for the those biscuits?
Food for thought…
Make a conscious effort to walk more
Walking has been shown to help reduce stress levels and making a conscious effort to walk more can also help with fat loss. Walking to and from places can really help increase your daily calorie expenditure as your body burns it’s fat stores during the long steady state walk.
As fat takes longer to burn for energy, low intensity steady state exercises such as long hikes or walks can help you burn up your fat stores.
Aim for hour long walks on the weekends to help de-stress. Try to opt for the stairs instead of escalators/elevators and do your best to keep thinking about moving more.
Control your carbs/sugar on non-active days
Before this gets out of hand, I have to say this important fact, eating carbohydrates will not make you fat….partly. Eating it in abundance and not moving will make you fat.
Understanding what it does and how to use it is a fairly big topic so I’ll try to write it up briefly here.
When we eat carbohydrates our body turns this into glucose to be used by our bodies for energy. When we eat “carbs” our body tells the pancreas to release the insulin hormone to help control the amount of glucose so it doesn’t go overboard…
The insulin hormone’s key role is to transport the glucose to our muscles and other tissues/organs around the body to used as energy.
If we have a constant supply of glucose entering the body, what ultimately happens is that it gets stored as fat on our body because we can’t expend the energy fast enough!
For athletes and active people, their muscles have been depleted of glucose as they’ve been using it up for energy. When they eat carbohydrates the insulin helps to transport their energy back into the muscle cells.
To put it simply, the more carbohydrates or sugar you consume without any activity, will eventually make you gain body fat.
For people who exercise, your body is primed to absorb these nutrients without gaining body fat….unless you over splurge on your calorie intake.
For those wanting to get leaner, knowing how much carbohydrate you can handle without affecting performance will be important. Drastic cuts in calories/macronutrients will work for a short time before your metabolism ends up crashing and you end feeling rubbish. Slowly taper your carbohydrates keeping your protein/fat intake higher has been known to help people get the lean athletic look.
Sleeping 8 hours or more is ideal but not always possible…especially having the kids or a very demanding job.
Lack of sleep has been shown to severely affect your bodies ability to control it’s glucose levels. A study showed how keeping a relatively healthy male up for over 48-72 hours severely impacted his ability to control sugar putting him on par with someone who has type-2 diabetes.
Striking a balance between work and personal life can be hard but make sure you get enough sleep or at least catch up where you can.
Stretch your body
Stretching your body has been shown to also be stress relieving, even if it hurts!
Our body tightens up due to tense situations at work or repeated patterns of movement. Sitting down can cause your body to shorten it’s hip flexors causing it to tighten. Stretching movements or Yoga can really help to loosen up the body and make you feel re-energised and less lethargic.
For those who work in the office, stretching your chest and hip flexors can help you feel brand new!!
All the recommendations above should be 5 simple tips you should already be doing, some of my clients in Chiswick have already put these into action and we’ve been seeing massive progression in their stress relief and in turn their body fat loss. Stress, sleep, nutrition, hydration and posture are all linked together. Try to make a conscious effort this month to start implementing some of the ideas here into your routine and hopefully you’ll see some big changes. Good luck!