Health and fitness is something that I want to incorporate more into my daily life, and also into this blog, so for this collaborative #BEDM challenge I’ve brought on board my fitness enthusiast boyfriend, and qualified personal trainer, Sam. He’s going to outline a few simple steps that you can take towards a healthier lifestyle, starting today. If, like me, you find the mass of health and fitness information that’s out there totally overwhelming, this is the perfect starting point to get you heading in the right direction.
Walk where possible
In a world driven by technology, it’s easy to get complacent about an act as simple as walking, instead choosing to get in the car and drive about. Choosing to walk where you can will help burn more calories, reduce stress and costs nothing! On top of that, walking, a form of exercise in its own right, has been proven to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, asthma, strokes and some cancers. From a green perspective, a reduction in greenhouse gases and air pollution results in healthier and stronger lungs for all.
Cut out alcohol
Even as I type this, I can hear a collective gasp of horror! Cut out alcohol?! Is he mad?! But what if I told you that, although alcohol may make you feel like The Fonz, the negatives FAR outweigh the positives. A single millilitre of alcohol contains 7 calories! That may not seem like much, but when you consider that 1 unit contains 8mls of alcohol (that’s 56 calories!), things really start to add up! Just one glass of wine can contain up to 160 empty calories, the equivalent of a slice of medeira cake! Futhermore alcohol has no nutritional value. The body can’t store it, so puts everything on a backburner while it processes it, with one unit being processed per hour. Due to this, alcohol actually prevents your body from burning fat, as well as putting unnecessary strain on your kidneys and liver. Lastly, people generally don’t drink enough water anyway, and with alcohols infamous dehydrating effects, it puts you at even more of a disadvantage.
Cut out fast food
Another thing that society has ingrained into our heads is fast food. Deep fried, fatty and salty snacks that have such a bad effect on the worlds population I’m surprised a lot of it isn’t banned. One Big Mac comes to 560 calories, with literally half of those calories coming purely from fat. When you add a portion of fries, a Dairy Milk McFlurry and a Coke to that Big Mac, it equates to 1347 calories, over half of the recommended daily intake for the average adult! And in case you were wondering, having Diet Coke really makes no difference!
Use Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a naturally occurring oil found (funnily enough) in coconuts. It is high in Saturated fats, which have a history of being demonised in the media as a cause in the rise of high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases. These claims have since been debunked by scientific research which actually shows Saturated fats having the opposite effects. Coconut oil in particular stands out from the crowd, as it contains Medium Chain Tryglycerides, also known as fatty acids (other saturated fats contain Long chain Tryglycerides). Due to this unique molecular structure, coconut oil has the advantages of being sent straight to the liver from the digestive tract, in order to be used as energy, thereby promoting healthy fat loss. If they are not used as an energy source, they can be turned into ‘ketone bodies’, a water soluble molecular structure than can have therapeutic effects on disorders which include epilepsy and Alzheimers.
Drink plenty of water
Many people are dehydrated without even realising it. Average water intake should be 2-4 litres of water a day (more if you exercise). Staying well hydrated keeps your body’s systems functioning properly, allowing it to flush out toxins and keep up metabolism, thus burning fat. A common mistake people make is confusing dehydration for hunger. Quite often when feeling hungry a large glass of water will do the trick, allowing you to feel more energized, as well as having healthier skin!
I’d like to thank Sam for being a part of this post, and sharing these awesome tips. If you’d like to know more of his tips on getting, and staying, fit and healthy you can find him on Facebook and Instagram. If you have any tips of your own please drop a comment, I’d love to see how you guys manage your own health and fitness!
Thanks for reading, until next time!