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Most of us kick start the year with a plan to make changes, improvements – call them New Year Resolutions if you like! Setting them makes us feel like we are starting the year afresh. Some we stick to, some we don’t – but most people have improved health and fitness included somewhere in the list.

Here are a few tips to help you achieve your goals!

 

Exercise

1.Love What You Do

You’re more likely to stick to an exercise plan if you enjoy what you are doing so find something that you love.  Exercise comes in many forms – you just need to find the one that suits you best.

2.Exercise With A Friend

Research has shown that those who exercise together train for longer, burn more calories and exercise more often. And it’s a great opportunity to catch up with your best buddy!

3.Mix It Up!

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to mix it up. You won’t get bored and your muscles with love the variety. Try taking it outdoors too and make the most of these summer days. Research has shown that being outside has a positive impact on both physical and mental health.

4.HIIT

Struggling to fit an exercise plan in your busy schedule? Try HIIT – high intensity interval training. Gone are the days of running on a treadmill for an hour. Research has shown that 15 minutes of interval training just 3 times a week will improve your aerobic capacity. You will burn more fat, increase your metabolism and strengthen the most important muscle in your body – your heart!

5.Make A Plan

Have a plan that you can stick to is great but make sure it is flexible and always include a rest day. And if you miss a day, don’t be too hard on yourself!

6.Set Realistic Targets

You won’t go from casual jogger to marathon runner overnight but small increments week by week could see you doing that 10km fun run you always wanted to do in no time.

 

 

Diet

1.Balance And Variety

A balanced diet is the key to maintaining weight and overall good health. Include a variety of foods in your diet including green leafy vegetables, lean proteins, good fats like avocado and nuts, legumes & wholegrains, dairy and fruit. The easiest way to do this is to plan your meals.

2.Eat More Fibre!

Most Australian’s don’t consume enough fibre. We need both soluble and insoluble fibre and should aim for around 30g a day. Good sources of fibre include fruits, vegetables, wholegrains, oat bran, psyllium husk, legumes, nuts and seeds. Fibre helps maintain a healthy digestive system and also contributes to other processes such as stabilising blood glucose and cholesterol levels.

3.The Power Of Protein

Protein is a macro nutrient found in food and is one of the body’s building blocks for muscle, bone, skin and other tissues. It’s the ultimate “fill-me-up” food, keeping you fuller for longer. Starting the day with a protein rich breakfast has been proven to increase long term satiety so you won’t be tempted to reach for these biscuits mid-morning.

4.Gut Health

2017 is all about improving gut health! Research shows that a healthy gut is critical to achieving optimal health and to do that we need prebiotics and probiotics. A prebiotic food contains ingredients, mostly fibre, which gut bacteria feed on, producing fermentation by-products that benefit health. Include prebiotic rich foods in your diet like wholegrains, onions, asparagus, garlic, legumes and mushrooms. Probiotics are good bacteria that primarily line your gut and are responsible for nutrient absorption and supporting your immune system. Try probiotic rich foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, miso, yoghurt, komubucha and kefir.

5.Keep Hydrated

We all know that staying hydrated is one of the most important ways to stay healthy but most of us are dehydrated without realising it. Get in to the habit of sipping water throughout the day. One of the benefits of staying hydrated is that it can help maintain weight. Sometime the hunger pangs we feel are a sign of dehydration so before you reach for that snack have a glass of water!

6.Sugar?

There is nothing wrong with sugar – we just eat too much of it. In Australia the average consumption of sugar is around 60grams per day (equivalent to 14 level teaspoons of white sugar). That’s almost 2 ½ times what the World Health Organisation recommends! Too much sugar can contribute to a number of health problems including obesity. Try to limit consumption of products that are high in added sugar!