Tag: health

How to ease yourself back into the gym

After what feels like a lifetime, gyms have finally reopened on April 12th. Let’s face it, trying to stick to a routine when you’re stuck at home during a global pandemic, is pretty difficult. So if you are looking forward to getting back into shape, you might feel like you’re starting from scratch again. Here we give you some tips on how to ease yourself back into the gym, after your unexpected holiday from working out. 

Don’t overdo it

Doing too much straight away can overwhelm you physically and mentally. It’s better to go into it knowing that you probably aren’t going to be as fit as you were, and that’s ok! Regardless of whether you are a runner, weightlifter, or crossfitter, taking time off from exercise means that you will lose some of your abilities. To ease yourself back into the gym, start slowly with lower intensity than you were used to, eventually build back up to the amount of reps, distance, weight, that you could previously do. You don’t want to cause yourself an injury on your first session back and it’s important to focus on form over intensity.  The good news is that you’ll also regain your strength quicker than it took for you to reach that weight in the first place thanks to muscle memory.

gym

Make a routine and stick to it

Jumping back in at 4 days a week will be a tough adjustment. We suggest starting with 1 or 2 days a week and sticking to it, to ease yourself back into the gym, after all, you need to form the habit and routine again. As you get more comfortable, build up your days. Rest days are so important, these are the days where your body repairs itself and makes the progress, so don’t try to make up for the lost time by working out every day. Recovery is part of being active.

Listen to your body.

The chances are, your body is going to let you know that it’s working hard, but pain is not always a sign of progress, it could mean you need to stop that activity. After being out of your routine for so long, your body may not have the range of motion it used to, so don’t push through pain, it’s probably a sign that something isn’t right. Going from sitting in the house for 3 months to a full workout, you will probably feel fatigued much quicker as you burn more calories than you have done and your body adapts to the increased stress. It’s really important to make sure you get enough sleep, so on gym days try and get yourself to bed earlier than normal, so as not to burn out. 

Improve your gut health

Gut health is the current buzzword in the diet world. Without the gut, your body wouldn’t be able to extract nutrients from food and absorb energy.

Diet and gut health are very closely linked and good gut health means having a healthy microbiome, as these promote good bacteria and destroy growth of damaging bacteria. 

With such an important role to play in the functioning of your body, ensuring your gut functions normally should be of top priority. Not only can it help with your diet, but it can help with your overall wellbeing and health. 

Here are 5 proven ways to improve your gut health. 

1. Lower stress

Having high levels of stress is hard on your whole body, including your gut. It is a catch 22 situation, the more you are stressed, the less you can sleep, and you guessed it, lack of sleep can cause bad gut health. One of the results of bad gut health, inability to sleep.

Some ways to lower stress may include meditation, yoga, and making 7-8 hours sleep a priority.

2. Eat slowly

Chewing your food slowly and thoroughly is a simple and easy way to improve gut health. Eating slowly can help promote full digestion and better absorption of nutrients. This may help you reduce digestive discomfort and maintain a healthy gut.

3. Hydration

Water helps all bodily functions to work properly, including your gut as it helps to remove waste from the body, which is an important part of the digestive process. Drinking plenty of water has been shown to have a beneficial effect on the mucosal lining of the intestines, as well as on the balance of good bacteria in the gut.

4. Supplements

Adding a prebiotic or probiotic supplement to your diet is a great way to improve your gut health. Prebiotics provide “food” to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria. There are a lot of products on the market and not all probiotic supplements are high quality or will actually provide benefit as the good bacteria just gets killed off by stomach acid. It’s best to consult an expert when choosing a probiotic or prebiotic supplement to ensure you get the most benefit.

5 . Fermented foods

Fermented foods such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, miso, and kefir are great dietary sources of probiotics. While the quality of these foods may vary, their benefits on the gut microbiome are proven and well studied to increase gut-friendly bacteria.

Why are rest days important?

Physical activity is essential for our health and for the achievement of our personal fitness goals. However, few people understand that being too active can actually damage your chances of developing your muscles, defining your body and smashing your fitness goals, which is why rest days are so important. 

Doctors, trainers and physiotherapists… they all agree on the importance of rest after exercise. It is a common mistake to think that doing sports every day, to the best of our abilities, is the best option out there to obtain quick results – this really is not the case.

The body needs a period of recovery after extended effort. If we do not respect it, all the benefits that sport brings are no longer present and training loses its main objective: to improve health and well-being.

It does not matter what your area of exercise is. Whether you practice an aerobic sport such as cycling, swimming or running, or if you lift weights in the gym, rest days are as important to your success as workouts.

Rest reduces the risk of injury 

Many of the common exercise injuries occur due to over-exerting yourself, and believe it or not – rest really is the most effective preventive measure in this case. Giving your body some time to relax and get used to the tension is especially important when you start a new training program, because during this crucial period, you still do not know what your limits are and how far you can truly push yourself. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t just have one or two days of rest between workouts, but also take short breaks during your exercises.

Too much exercise can interfere with your sleep 

sleep

Physical activity stimulates blood flow, which means that every cell in your body receives nutrients faster and works better. The downside of this is that it can upset you and interfere with your regular sleep schedules and patterns. Sleep is essential!! So you should always make a strong effort to get around 7-8 hours of daily rest.

Rest allows your muscles to grow 

This is an important fact that is often overlooked by workout-a-holics. Exercise not only works the muscles, but also damages them. Rest days are necessary for tissues to heal and grow. This is the reason why any professional bodybuilding program is based on the exercise of different muscle groups every day.

Relaxing helps you stay motivated 

Training regularly is good, but over time it may seem boring, allowing you to get distracted or it can just stress you out too much to continue. With that being said – there are always some new and exciting techniques that can help you rekindle your passion for exercise. More relaxation periods can help you eliminate stress, allowing you to have more motivation and do the exercises much more calmly, with greater concentration.

Resting is necessary to protect your immune system 

Too much exercise does a lot of damage to the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Your immune system is forced to go full steam ahead in order to cure all these micro-fractures. This causes your body to overheat and increases the risk of injury, because your natural protections from the body cannot keep up.

As you have read, rest days are important not only because they are necessary to allow muscles to grow, but this time of inactivity also allows you to stay alert and focused without slowing down progress which ultimately enables you to stay healthy and achieve your goals.

Tips to start eating a vegan diet

Whatever your reason for starting a vegan diet, it can be a huge lifestyle change and it’s often difficult to know where to start. Here are some tried and tested tips to help this exciting process go smoothly.

Take your time

Keep your end goal in mind, but go at your own pace. Some people are able to go vegan overnight and if that’s the right approach for you, great. But don’t be disappointed if you feel you need more time. Making small changes such as trying veganism for only one day a week, going vegetarian first, or even swapping one animal product at a time such as cows milk for oat milk. There is no right or wrong way to transition, so do what works best for your lifestyle.

Cook what you know

A really good tip when starting to eat a vegan diet, is to start with foods that you already eat regularly. If you have some staple meals that you easily know how to cook, it’s often a good place to start by changing up the ingredients to make them vegan friendly. With things like curries or pasta dishes it can be as simple as removing the cheese or swapping meat with some of the readily available meat substitutes that you can pick up in the supermarket, this way you don’t feel too overwhelmed getting to grips with a new way of cooking.

Use available resources

From apps to help you find vegan restaurants, to documentaries and cookbooks, there are endless amounts of resources out there to help keep you on track with your journey.  It’s always easier going vegan with someone else, but if you are going it alone, there are tonnes of vegan groups to join online to discuss and share ideas.

Take Vitamin B- 12

Vitamin B-12 is the only vitamin you can’t reliably obtain from a fully plant-based diet.  Many vegan foods are fortified with B-12, but if you don’t want to keep track of that all the time, it’s recommended to take a daily supplement.

Choose Wholegrains

Swapping out processed grains like white pasta and white bread, for whole grains, such as brown rice and quinoa, adds iron and B vitamins to a vegan diet. The extra fiber from whole grains will help keep you fuller for longer too.

Choose vegan Protein

Even though many people think it’s difficult for vegans to eat enough protein without animal products, it typically isn’t an issue for someone eating a varied diet including sources of plant-based protein. Most people often centre their meals around meat as their source of protein, and going vegan you may be focussing on what you can’t eat anymore, but there are plenty of vegan options so you don’t miss out on this vital muscle-building nutrient.  From soya, tofu,  lentils, chickpeas and beans, nuts, and seeds, vegan sources of protein are really easily accessible and can be added to all meals.

If you have gone vegan and have any suggestions to help those who are just starting out, please let us know and we will add it to our blog.

 

 

 

 

 

Protein What is it all about?

In the quest to meet your fitness goals, protein may be a very familiar thing to you, as one of the three major macronutrients that make up your diet (the other two being fat and carbohydrates). But what is protein all about and how does it benefit the body?

What is protein?

Protein is made up of a chain of 20 different amino acids that link together in different combinations. They are an important building block of bone, muscle, and skin and are found in every cell of our body.

Our body uses protein to build and repair tissues and promote proper growth. It also plays a role in protecting the body from viruses and transporting molecules.

How much do we need? 

Just because protein provides us with so many benefits, it’s important to know that you can’t just eat only protein all day long. The Recommended Dietary Allowance of most healthy people is 0.8 grams (g) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight. This calculation should get you within the recommendation to source 10 to 35% of your daily total calories from protein. Of course, this may vary depending on age and health, and athletes are advised to up their intake to between 1.1 and 1.7 g per kg of body weight daily. 

peanut protein

What sources to we get it from?

Protein is so popular because it has been shown to help weight loss and management. High protein food increases the feeling of fullness for fewer calories, and it can also have a positive impact on resting metabolism, so you will burn off more calories throughout your day. 

An easy and popular way to meet your daily protein goals is to eat an energy bar. There are many varieties so whether you are on a whole foods diet, vegan, or low sugar, there will be an option for you. These filling snacks are great for on the go.

Similarly, protein powders are an easy way to intake protein and are great to help repair muscle after a workout. It has been shown that a large single dose of 25 g of protein within the hour of exercise, can increase muscle protein synthesis.

If you are wanting to incorporate protein into your staple diet, you can easily add it to your plate. When most people think of protein they will think of lean meats, but there are plenty of sources for all dietary requirements. Eggs, greek yogurt, peanut butter, lean poultry and fish, chickpeas, oats, and quinoa all provide high-quality protein sources. 

When you’re choosing your protein source, be sure to pay attention to the food’s fat content as things such as red meat and nut butter, whilst high in protein may also be high in saturated fats.

 

How to eat healthily in lockdown

At WriteUp Fitness Reviews, we are passionate about keeping you informed, to ensure your fitness journey is a success. We are going through a strange period of time, where our usual fitness priorities have changed, and our routine isn’t so easy. So here we provide you with some tips on how to eat healthily when you are at home in lockdown, so you can maintain your healthy habits.

Pre- Planning your meals for the week

When access to the shops isn’t so easy, and you can’t just pop out to buy the ingredients for a meal that takes your fancy. To make sure you still reach your health goals, planning ahead is crucial.

Planning out a weekly food schedule means you can precisely count your calories, macros, and nutrients so you don’t have the dilemma of what to eat and end up raiding the cupboards. When you do your big weekly shop you can buy the correct ingredients needed for your chosen healthy meals and you won’t have any waste.

Get a wide range of nutrients

During the lockdown, unless you have an allergy, of course, its important to avoid missing out particular food groups. Getting a wide variety of nutrients is key to a healthy diet, especially when you need to keep your immune systems strong. Vitamin A, vitamin C, and Zinc are 3 of the most important nutrients and are all needed to boost your immune system and they are found in carbs, vegetables, fruits, and dairy.

Snack healthy

Being bored in the house, it can be easy to find yourself snacking all day for something to do, whether you are hungry or not. Keeping the right snacks in the house, prevent you from reaching for crisps and biscuits every time.

These again can be planned into your weekly big food shop so you know you have staple snacks in at all occasions. A good rule of thumb when it comes to snacking is pairing ‘protein and produce’ to make sure they aren’t just empty calories and are nutritious and filling. This can be things such as nut-butter and apple, yogurt and berries, hummus, and carrots. 

Use your freezer

When you think of healthy meals, freezer food isn’t exactly what comes to mind. During the lockdown, it’s a great idea to stock up your freezer. Frozen vegetables, meats, and fruits are just as nutritious as fresh, and they won’t go out of date as quickly. As we mentioned earlier, planning meals is really useful, and dishes such as curries, chillis, and stews can all be made in batch and frozen so you have on-demand, home-cooked meals, packed full of vegetables.

Keeping fit during the lockdown.

Exercise is so important for the mind and body, especially during turbulent times. During this time while we have to stay home, we can’t stick to our normal routine, of classes and gyms.  Here are some ideas to get a daily dose of exercise during the lockdown.

1. Keep it simple

You don’t have to have a home gym stocked with equipment to get your workout done, utilise things you can find in the house. 

A soft towel can be used instead of a yoga mat, your sofa or a dining room chair for step-ups or tricep dips, water bottles or tinned foods can be used for weights. Fancy equipment isn’t needed.

Even more simple, use your body weight so you don’t need any equipment at all. Push-ups, sit-ups, squats, star jumps and high knees running in place, are all excellent ways to do strength and cardio and can be done really simply.

2. Use technology

From online pilates or HIIT classes, there are plenty of videos online that bring your gym classes to your living room. You can find free videos on youtube, sign up to an app, and even many subscription websites have lifted their fees for the next few months. There are plenty of options out there.

3. Create a routine

Set aside a specific time for fitness. Our lives have changed with working from home and not having our usual routine. It’s easy to get caught up with the comfort of sitting at home and watching TV all day, so setting aside a specific time for exercise will help bring some order to your life, and make sure you are having that time to focus on your mental and physical health away from all external stresses. 

4. Get Fresh Air

As we will all be aware, the government is allowing us to take one form our exercise outside of our homes. This is really important. Whether it be walking your dog, a quick jog around the block, or yoga in your own garden, it’s important to get outside. As we get into spring the sun is coming out and we need that all-important Vitamin D for our health. So go outside, feel the warmth on your skin and take a deep breath. 

Making the most of your gym induction.

Gym inductions are often something that people dread, whether you have used gym equipment 100 times before, or this is your very first time, most of us just approach it as a tick box exercise without utilising the induction fully. Despite this, it’s actually a really important step first step on your fitness journey at your new gym.  Here are some ways you can prepare to make the most out of your important induction.

Safety First

Even if you have been to a gym before, it’s so important to learn how the equipment works and the specific etiquette within that facility. Even a treadmill can have different buttons and features, so for your own safety, it’s a great chance to learn how to use everything. Seeing the instructor give a demonstration can really help you to know the correct form to help prevent any injuries.

Don’t be embarrassed

Don’t feel worried about going into your induction even if you are a novice. Everyone has to start somewhere, and pros often need a refresher too. No question is too silly, so if you have any queries or concerns, don’t be embarrassed to ask during your induction while you have the one to one attention. Experienced gym members will be too busy concentrating on themselves to worry about anyone else. 

Share your goals 

When the instructor is taking you around, make sure to share the goals of joining the gym. Whether it be losing weight or improving stamina, the PT will be able to show you which areas of the gym to focus on and even demonstrate some exercises which will help you to reach your goal. You wouldn’t go to a new hairdresser and say ‘do whatever you want’, you would tell them what you wanted, the same should go when you join a new gym. 

Whether you are a customer just starting out on your fitness journey, or an experienced gym owner, WriteUp is a hub for reviews on all things fitness. If you have experienced a gym, exercise class, or fitness food product and want to share it with others sign up here to leave a review.

10 Health And Fitness Tips For Busy People

10 Health And Fitness Tips For Busy People

We are all busy people with so much to juggle, with work, friends, and family, we can all admit to saying ‘I don’t have enough time in my day to exercise’. Whether this is true, or just an excuse, here are some tips to help you squeeze in some exercise even on your busiest day.

1. Take the stairs

 Fast stair-walking provides the same health benefits in 15 minutes as you’d get from walking or jogging slowly for twice that time on flat ground. So if you’re at work or at home why not run up and down the stairs when you use them, to give yourself a fitness boost. 

2. Buy a Fitness Tracker

Whether you splash out on an expensive fitness tracker, or just use the pedometer in your phone, they are great tools to keep you motivated. Whether you set a step goal, or a reminder to alert you when you haven’t moved for a certain amount of time, it can be great to keep you active at times when you might forget, like sitting at a desk or watching tv.

3. Learn some quick recipes 

After a hectic day at work, the last thing we can often be bothered to do is start cooking a meal. To make sure that on these days you don’t reach for unhealthy convenience foods learn some super quick recipes you can knock up in an instant or meal prep on the weekend.

4. Choose a healthy hotel

If you’re working away or going on a weekend trip, it’s so tempting to indulge in hotel food or room service. A study found that people who travel away frequently with work are 1.92 times more likely to be obese. If you travel away from home for work try to book hotels with gyms and healthy menu options.

5. Get a good sleep

Busy lives often mean getting to sleep late and rising early. Experts estimate we already burn, on average, 69 calories per hour while asleep, so it’s really important to make sure you get enough sleep to help keep your body and mind healthy. 

Whether you are a customer just starting out on your fitness journey, or an experienced gym owner, WriteUp is a hub for reviews on all things fitness. If you have experienced a gym, exercise class, or fitness food product and want to share it with others sign up here to leave a review.

Why you should listen to music when you work out.

Why you should listen to music when you work out.

We’ve all been there when you’re in the middle of a run and the perfect song comes on and gives you an extra spring in your step. But there are actual scientific reasons why you should listen to music when you work out. 

 

Music is a mood booster.

It has been proven that music, especially our favourite songs, have the power to make us feel good. Listening to music when you work out can dissociate you from the pain or effort of exercise, and instead, tune in to good feelings and happy memories meaning that you don’t give up so easily. 

 

It can enhance performance.

It is in our human nature to sync our movements up with a beat. You will probably have noticed this if you are running and your steps match the song.  By listening to a high tempo song (120 beats per minute or more), we will increase our output more than we would without music, to match the fast beat.

Reduces perceived exhaustion

Music promotes internal motivation that makes vigorous exercise seem easier and less arduous. By creating a positive association with music it makes the whole process of deciding to work out easier in the future, as we don’t have those negative associations holding us back. 

 

Optimises Oxygen usage

Music improves physiological efficiency by increasing blood flow and reducing the amount of oxygen intake required to perform at the same intensity without music. Meaning our body can work harder without paying the price.

So put your headphones on and get moving!

 

Whether you are a customer just starting out on your fitness journey, or an experienced gym owner, WriteUp is a hub for reviews on all things fitness. If you have experienced a gym, exercise class, or fitness food product and want to share it with others sign up here to leave a review.