What to do of a winters evening in Devon? You know the feeling; you glance out the car window as you drive to work to see the sun coming up over perfect 4ft offshore waves then it’s pitch black by the time you drive home. What to do? Go to the pub? Watch Coronation Street? Now there is another more fulfilling choice! Use the long, cold, dark winter months to get fit, get healthy and feel tremendous.
Being healthy is being in a state of physical and mental well being.
To look healthy and to feel healthy you need to find a balance in everything you do. Life is about fun and fulfilment. Too much fun and you won’t be happy; too much work and you will be dull.
Imagine your body is a car, it needs fuel and you need to use it regularly to keep it in optimum condition, and sometimes it could really do with a wash.
The importance of exercise
The department of health recommend that we do at least 30 minutes of moderate physical activity a day. Recent research indicates that high intensity exercise burns fat more rapidly. It is thought that our metabolism is working for up to 10 hours after we finish replenishing glycogen stores and getting rid of lactic acid.
Don’t sacrifice your health for your wealth. “I haven’t got time for exercise” is not a valid excuse. Your health and the health of your family should be the number one priority above everything else!
Regular exercise has physical, social, psychological and economic benefits:
Maintain a healthy heart and boost your immune system.
Decrease the risk of injury by becoming more flexible and more efficient at transporting oxygen around your body and to your muscles.
Improve circulation, reduce cholesterol, and reduce blood pressure.
Reduce the risk of illness. Heart disease, diabetes, cancers, gallstones etc.
Enhance mood, self-esteem, anxiety, stress and combat depression.
(It is thought that a cause of depression is a decreased production of certain chemicals in the brain, specifically adrenaline, dopamine, endorphins and serotonin. Exercise can increase the level of these substances which make you feel positive and energised)
Strengthens bones- reduced risk of osteoporosis.
Cardiac Hypertrophy (The heart muscle grows in size which makes it more efficient at pumping blood around the body)
Increase in red blood cells and increase in mitochondria. The body becomes better at transporting oxygen to the muscles.
A quicker metabolism which means your body becomes faster and more efficient at converting the calories you consume into energy.
The importance of diet
A balanced diet is the key to good health. Consume foods from all food groups. (Carbohydrates, Protein, Fats, Vitamins and minerals)
Elevate your metabolism. Combine high intensity exercise with eating little and often. (5-6 meals a day, nutrient dense calories) This makes your body better at using the fuel you provide it with. Do not skip meals or starve your body this makes your body less efficient at burning fat.
Eat antioxidants and Phytochemicals. These protect against illnesses and diseases. (eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day, eat garlic, nuts, and berries)
Cut down on saturated and hydrogenated fats. (crisps, biscuits, cakes) The occasional treat is fine but try to eat healthy snacks (fruit, yogurt, nuts, oat bars instead)
Decrease salt intake. There is already enough salt in your food, adding extra will increase blood pressure.
Consume good fats (monounsaturated, polyunsaturated). Fish, nuts, avocados, seeds, oils help reduce cholesterol and absorb antioxidant vitamins which have been shown to decrease the development of free radicals which cause illness and disease (A, D, E, K) Only Vitamin B and C are soluble in water.
Eat complex, low GI carbohydrates. Eat Muesli and porridge instead of sugary cereals. Try adding fruit, honey, cinnamon, fresh mint and natural yogurt to your muesli and porridge. Eat Brown rice, couscous, whole meal pita/bagels instead of white bread and pasta. These keep you feeling fuller for longer and keep you energized throughout the day.
Combine a healthy diet with an active lifestyle
Grill, Steam, Roast – Maintain essential nutrients in your food. Try roasting your vegetables in olive oil, garlic and herbs.
Eating protein after exercise speeds up recovery of your muscles and makes you more toned and lean. Protein is the most filling nutrient, stops you from overeating and has been proven to boost your metabolism by up to 20%. (Bean, 2011)
RAINBOW – Eat as many bright colored vegetables as you can.
Drink water before, during, and after exercise. – Being hydrated makes you more alert, and more efficient at producing energy. If your urine is dark you are dehydrated! It should be a clear, pale colour.
Make your own sauces. Pre made sauces that you buy in a jar are often high in sugar and salt. Try to stick to red colored sauces and avoid creamy ones.
Example of a good, healthy sauce or bolognaise
Can of chopped tomatoes, Garlic, Basil, Onion, Chilli
“Alcohol killed my first wife; I came home pissed and shot her” (Jeffro, 2004). Enjoy Alcohol in moderation. It is converted quickly by the body into energy but alcoholic drinks have a high sugar content therefore excess calories can lead to fat gain. Avoid hitting the kebab shop or eating fatty foods after drinking. This is why a lot of drinkers put on weight!
BMI – Body Mass Index
Use the following simple equation to evaluate your health.
Weight (KG) ÷ Height (in metres) squared
E.G. If you weigh 75kg and are 1.78m tall:
75 ÷ 1.78 x 1.78 (3.1684) = 23.67
If your BMI is between 18.5 -25, you have the lowest risk of developing diseases which are linked to obesity such as Diabetes and Heart Disease.
Whatever your goals or fitness levels, from losing weight, to developing muscle, strength and power Bay Fitness gives you the opportunity to better yourself this winter in a fun, social, friendly environment. One to One or two conditioning includes health and lifestyle screening, nutrition analysis, fitness tests and in depth postural and technical analysis. Group fitness sessions cater for all abilities, extending advanced athletes and offering regressive easier options for beginners. Each participant has an opportunity to work at their level and is encouraged through enthusiasm and advanced sport psychology and only positive shouting and screaming!
18:30 – 19:30: Georgeham Hall – Boot Camp
19:30 – 20:30: Georgeham Hall – Fitness Yoga
18:30 – 19:30: Braunton Rec – Boot Camp
09:30 – 10:30: Braunton Rec – Boot Camp (for mums)
18:30 – 19:30: Croyde Hall – Boot Camp
19:30 – 20:30: Croyde Hall – Fitness Yoga
18:15 – 19:30: Wrafton Hall – Boot Camp
10:00 – 11:00: Croyde Beach – Boot Camp
Founder of BayFitness, Andrew Blake is an ex-pupil of Georgeham and Braunton school. He is a qualified L3 personal trainer, nutritionist, fitness yoga instructor, football, tennis and surf coach. He has lectured Sport Science, taught PE, and coached to a high level in Devon, France and New Zealand. He is a charming young man.