What have you done lately that will benefit you in years to come? What can you do that will make you fitter, healthier and happier in years to come? For example, have you made any fitness commitments which you are now following? Are you better with your nutrition? Are you exercising more regularly?
There has been a big push recently for the Dubai Fitness Challenge. This initiative has been set up with the aim to make Dubai a more active City. Run by His Highness, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashed Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, it involves exercising for 30 minutes, every day for 30 days.
In order to see the benefits, results take time. Whether it is losing weight, building muscle, improving fitness etc…there is no quick fix, you simply have to put in the time and effort.
You need to make a lifestyle change.
That sounds quite scary. As humans, we do not like change. We are often afraid to change because we fear that we are stepping into the unknown, out of our comfort zone. We like a routine, something we are comfortable with, something that is easy as we get use to it.
However, what we are currently doing, may not be beneficial to us in years to come and instead it is becoming detrimental, not only to our health but our physical appearance too.
How do you make a lifestyle change?
Developing new habits can take a minimum of 21 days. This means that you need to make little changes to your current lifestyle so that your new routine takes over the old routine.
If your goal is health related, thats where I can help you. To be fitter, have more energy, be more productive in work, be more confident, lose weight, tone up, gain more muscle, move more freely. These are all very achievable goals and targets which myself and other fitness professionals in the industry can help you with. All of this is possible, if you are committed and have the mindset to change and embrace new ideas.
Some simple but effective changes you can make, are listed below -
Go to bed earlier, get up earlier
Pack a gym bag and put in the car
Cook and meal prep your food
Have your 5 a day
Keep a food diary of what you eat daily
Drink more water
Exercise more frequently
Buy new gym clothes
Train with a partner or a PT
Have a minimum of 6 hours sleep
Following some of these changes will change your body from its normal routine. Then after 21 days, you will adapt to the new lifestyle. Exercising shouldn't be a chore, it should be fun. There are many forms of exercise and different ways in which you can be active. Take advantage of the cooler weather and go outdoors, head out on the water, take a trip into the desert or even climb a mountain. Make it fun so that you will enjoy it. Doing new things is also a great way to meet new people who are looking to change their lives for the better. Don’t wait any longer, the sooner you start the sooner you will get results.
Now is time to make the change.
Outdoor UAE feature 11
It’s almost time to get outdoors and exercise as the weather becomes cooler and more bearable. But we must remember, that we are still in the desert and staying hydrated is really important.
Water, known as H2O by it’s chemical value, is the best source of hydration. Our human body is made up of 60% water. We lose water through perspiration when we sweat or when we urinate. We can increase the amount of water we have from drinking and from the foods we eat.
When are thirsty, we are already dehydrated. This is how the body tells us, by sending a signal to the brain to get us to drink. A 1% loss of body mass due to fluid loss is know as dehydration.
Here are some scary facts in relation to dehydration:
Thirst - is the sign we are already dehydrated and we have a dry mouth
Skin - becomes dry and shows more wrinkles
Physical - around 2% decrease in hydration levels can affect performance by 20%
Mental - can affect cognitive performance, visual vigilance and is related to tension and loss of memory
Weight Loss - drinking water instead if sugary drinks will promote fat loss and weight loss
Studies say you need to drink around 2 Litres of water a day and that is without exercising.
Exercise causes the body core temperature to increase which causes us to sweat. When we sweat due to the rise in heat and temperature, we lose not only water but vitamins and minerals also. You should increase your water intake if you are exercising.
If you drink coffee or alcohol, that will also dehydrate you. You will find that you go to the toilet a lot. What you are essentially doing here, is urinating the water out of your body and replacing it with caffeine or alcohol. Then the following day, in the case of alcohol, you wake up with a hangover, which is when your body is severely dehydrated. You then feel hungry and crave all the bad foods that are high in carbohydrates and fats. This is a Personal Trainers worst nightmare and a viscous circle. Hydrate yourself with water before you go to bed will reduce the hangover.
So how can you be healthier? Well, you can drink more. But what if you don’t like water? Then you can use lemon or lime to make infused water. This adds a bit of flavour without the sugar content of a sugary drink and without the calories.
Below are some estimates for you…
Can of Coke = 260 kcal
Orange juice = 120 kcal
Latte = 200 kcal
Hot chocolate = 230 kcal
Green tea = 140 kcal
Water = 0 kcal
Obviously, the serving size of each drink will determine the total amount of calories but it’s worth choosing the less calorie option, if you want to lose weight. Try it, stay hydrated and feel more alert!
Following on from last months edition where we spoke about Macronutrients and Calories, it is important that we understand our body type. Why? Because that is why most of us train - to change the way we look. But what if we can change the way we look quickly and more effectively?
This is known as a somatotype. There are three types of physique which can be easily distinguished so we can calculate how much of the general population fall under which category. The three different types are -
So, what are they I hear you ask? In the 1940’s, American psychologist William Herbert Sheldon discovered that people have three distinctive physiques. This is referring to their shape, skeletal frame and body composition. Everyone has a unique body. Which image best refers to you?
In a nutshell, Ectomorph are long and lean, with low body fat and low muscle. Mesomorph are normal height with a fair amount of muscle mass and wider shoulders than the hips. Endomorph are shorter and wider, with high body fat and low muscle, with their shoulders narrower than the hips. The way in which our body consumes food, digests it, stores it and uses it as energy will affect our body shape. If we exercise regularly
Genetically, it is in our DNA whether we are born with more slow twitch or fast twitch muscle fibres. Whether we are tolerant or intolerant to certain foods and whether we are more suited to burn fat or build muscle. Of course, there characteristics can act as variables which can change from person to person. However, if we know what body type we are, we can manage our nutrition and training a lot more effectively.
Our BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate) is also unique. This tells us how many calories we can be expected to burn at rest. So if we calculate and record the amount of we consume by calorie counting, then we compare that to our BMR, to see if we are in a positive or negative number, we are more likely to achieve results. For example, if I am male and my somatotype is Endomorph my BMR is around 3000 kcal a day. If we reduce our calories in and eat less than 3000 kcals, we will see a benefit. On top of that, if we exercise, we will burn more calories so we will be in a greater deficit. If my goal was to lose weight then this is a good start.
Lets now talk about exercise. Ectomorphs tend to be your endurance athletes, with little weight and big engines to run all day. Endomorphs tend to be your overweight general population who eat a lot and don’t exercise much. Then Mesomorph are in the middle and a combination of the two.
I hope this gives you more knowledge into your own nutrition and training. You should now have a good understanding and be able to link in the exercises you do to the different somatotypes, which will get you faster results!
Many people leave the Middle East at this time of year as the temperatures soar to 50 degrees and above. As it is the summer time, you still want to look in shape and feel confident with your body right?
In this article, I will give you tips and advice on how you can enjoy your holiday whilst maintaining your physical beach body appearance. The main topic I want to discuss here is calories. Each macronutrient consists of calories. Below is a quick break down -
Carbohydrates 1g = 4kcal
Proteins 1g = 4kcal
Fats 1g = 9kcal
With that said, you are able to calculate your total daily intake of food and convert it into calories. The speed in which our body breaks down the calories, to be stored or used as energy depends on our individual metabolism and daily nutritional intake.
When going away or travelling, many of us will relax and be more laid back with our food. When really our food is the main reason we put on weight or lose weight. We might settle for a sandwich or a burger from the service station just because we are hungry. With your goal in mind, you need to understand your macronutrients and have an idea how many calories you are consuming on a daily basis.
The term BMR stands for Basal Metabolic Rate. This means how many calories your body will burn at rest. Therefore you can calculate how many calories you eat, followed by your BMR to see if you are in a positive or negative state.
If you are positive, you will maintain or gain weight (depending how much) If you are negative, you will lose weight.
By knowing this, I hope it will add value and educate you when you travel to be more mindful of the calories you eat on a daily basis. Some of the options for food aren't great when travelling so think about the calories first before you consume.
The average sandwich has around 300 kcals. To burn that off alone equates to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.
Remember there are 3,500 cals in 1lb of fat. So thats approximately 300 minutes of exercise to burn 1lb of fat. Now as yourself, do you still want that sandwich? Think of the healthier options such as fruit or low calorie foods as a replacement. Enjoy your travels and stay fit and healthy for when you return.