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The 5 key lifestyle factors to instantly improve your quality of life

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Monday, July 15, 2013
If  you could have more energy, increased positivity and be healthier & happier would you be willing to commit to positive change in '5 key lifestyle areas'?

The obvious question you are likely to ask is...what are the '5 key lifestyle areas'?

Read on and all will be revealed on what truly creates the perfect body chemistry to be your best...

How well you sleep, the food you eat, how active you are, the way you think and how you manage stress are the 5 key areas of your life that directly affect your internal body chemistry and your chances for a naturally high life.



  1.  (1) HOW WELL YOU SLEEP

When you SLEEP well; your body naturally:

  • Restores chemical balance
  • Repairs muscle tissue damage
  • Processes memories from the day
  • Stores long-term memories of those things that you perceive as important
  1.  (2) THE FOOD YOU EAT

When you EAT well; your body responds to:

  • Maintain cellular balance
  • Boost energy levels to get you through the day
  • Enhance all of its systems & functions (muscular system, digestive system etc.)
  • Ensure chemical balance (controlled release of hormones, elevates serotonin levels and limits adrenaline and insulin spikes).
  1.  (3) HOW ACTIVE YOU ARE

When you EXERCISE regularly; it has a profound effect on your overall wellbeing:

  • Like food, exercise has both a foundation and a trigger effect.
  • A good fitness foundation allows you to manage daily pressures with less adrenaline response. 
  • You can also use exercise to immediately burn off excess stress chemicals (eg. cortisol) and rapidly restore your internal balance.
  • You feel brighter and more energetic due to 'happy hormone' release (endorphin's).
  • The longer term (chronic) effects of regular exercise on your mind, body & soul can be extremely positive.
  1.  (4) THE WAY YOU THINK

When you THINK positively; your body chemistry responds to:

  • Create an essential balance of hormones that assist in the pursuit of a naturally high life.
  • Reduce adrenaline kicking in when you are scared or anxious
  • Keep you motivated because you have hope
  • Ensures a better chemical balance (elevates serotonin levels).
  • Put out certain 'emotional signatures' with each prevailing positive emotion.  You can then become chemically addicted to positive thoughts and your body chemistry then seeks an environment to create more positive thoughts. 


  1.  (5) THE WAY YOU MANAGE STRESS

When you control STRESS effectively; you are essentially:

  • Providing  a stable platform to balance your body chemistry and avoid burnout.
  • Reducing the excess build up of stress chemicals (eg. cortisol).
  • Controlling feelings of fear, edginess and anxiety. 
  • Helping to avoid the the build up of inflammation and muscle tension within your body
  • Keeping blood sugar more stable and the fat cells less receptive.

In my next post I will be providing tips on how you can make positive change in the 5 key lifestyle areas.  In the meantime, try to use some of your own proven strategies to sleep better, eat healthier, move more, think positive and control your stress levels.

Enjoy the challenge!

Active Nutrition- How to be your healthy best

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Sunday, July 07, 2013

Many of you would have experienced an increase in appetite when you are more physically active...but what does this mean?  Is it simply our body telling us that we need to increase our energy intake to match our additional energy expenditure? If so, what is the best fuel for active bodies...?


Our 50-Day Winter Challenge participants and our City to Surf RunFit team have been committing to extra exercise sessions to increase their fitness and endurance levels over the next couple months. Whilst this is a great way to boost their health and fitness and get the energy flowing through their body- it is vital that they do not overlook the importance of nutrition within their 'ramped up' training program. Training for any event or outcome takes planning and perseverance, especially if you are pushing your physical boundaries. An increased training load not only puts your body under extra stress but also amps up your nutritional requirements.

Over the next few weeks, with the assistance of the Healthy Chef http://www.thehealthychef.com/ we will give you the nutritional tools to assist you to achieve peak performance – Including how to:

  • Nourish and fuel your body during training
  • Choose the best pre-training snacks
  • Hydrate effectively
  • Assist your post training recovery

WHAT TO EAT

Eating a nourishing diet will help you to:

  • Meet your nutrition and energy requirements
  • Promote recovery and tissue growth and repair
  • Prime your body for optimal health during your fitness training
  • Improve endurance performance
  • Reduce or delay fatigue during training and events

As recommended by the Healthy Chef, Teresa Cutter- 'a healthy meal should be made up of quality carbohydrate, protein and healthy unsaturated fats.'

CARBOHYDRATES – (primary source of energy)
LEAN PROTEIN –  (growth, repair of lean muscle, immune health)
HEALTHY FAT -   (vitamin absorption, immune health, fuel source)

CARBOHYRATE:
Carbs
 are the preferred energy source for the body as they will satisfy energy needs and support muscle recovery afterwards. We store small amounts in our liver and muscles as glycogen, which our liver breaks down into glucose during exercise and releases into the bloodstream for energy. The muscles and brain use this glucose, as well as their own residual glycogen supplies, to fuel their work. When our glycogen stores are depleted we become fatigued, making it harder to sustain higher intensities. Blood sugar levels may drop, compounding fatigue and leaving you feeling pretty awful – anyone who has ‘hit the wall’ would agree. Adequate carbohydrate intake is very important and will determine how much glycogen is stored ready for use during training. The amount of carbohydrate you need depends on your activity level and duration of your training sessions and what is important is the quality of the carbohydrate that is eaten. Natural wholefood and unprocessed sources are best such as vegetables, fruits, oats, beans etc.

PROTEIN:
Whenever the body is growing, repairing or replacing tissue, proteins are involved. They are found in your skin, bones, muscle and all your organ tissue. The body prefers to reserve its protein stores for functional purposes rather than breaking them down to use as energy. Training for an endurance event increases your protein requirements, as your body is continually repairing and adapting in response to each session. Adequate protein intake is very important to keep up with these changes and ensure that protein synthesis is supported for quick recovery and optimal performance. Your protein requirements will depend on many factors including gender, size, muscle mass, activity level and training intensity. Check out the Healthy Chef protein calculator here to work out your individual daily requirement as well as the best sources of protein.

FAT:
Fat’s are essential for digestion, vitamin absorption, hormone production and immune health. Fat is the other primary fuel for working muscles during exercise. Fats are the building blocks for cell walls and hormones, transporters of vitamins A, D, E, K and essential for bone and immune health. Inadequate fat stores and intake can lead to major health complications. My favourites are the Mediterranean style mono-unsaturated (oleic) oils and omega 3 oils which are anti-inflammatory to the body and can help the fight against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, help lower cholesterol, reduce high blood pressure, nourish the immune system and reduce symptoms of arthritis and depression.  Studies show that these healthy fats are associated with a longer healthy life. Top of my list are cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, macadamia nuts, avocado, flaxseeds, walnuts and almonds.

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

Think of your body as a high performance Formula 1 car with a finely tuned engine; premium fuel is needed for optimal performance! During training, you want to give your body the best quality fuel possible. Include a variety of delicious wholefoods to ensure you are getting the full nutrient potential of each meal and snack.

Your diet should be jam-packed full of colourful vegetables and fruits; the more colour, the more anti-oxidants! Natural antioxidants are really important during periods of increased physical activity, as your cells are exposed to greater levels of oxidative stress. Fill up at least half your plate with colourful salads or vegetables at meal times and munch away on fresh fruit in between if you’re hungry.

Aim to have 3 regular meals and adjust snacks around your activity levels for the day. If you do a long or really intense training session one day, your energy requirements will be higher than on days with much lighter sessions. To bump up your intake on more strenuous days, keep your main meal sizes the same and add in a couple of extra nourishing snacks (including post workout). This will help you to meet your energy needs and also counteract any dramatic increases in appetite, which can lead to overeating and weight gain for some. Be mindful of your appetite and listen to your body.

Like any great performance, planning and preparation is the key to healthy nutrition. 

I would like to acknowledge the Healthy Chef, Teresa Cutter for providing some of the nutritional guidelines in this post.

http://www.thehealthychef.com/about/

How much exercise is enough?

Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Sunday, June 30, 2013

One workout a week is enough... but it has to be two and a half hours long?! 

How much exercise do you need to stay fit & healthy?

A new study has found those who managed two and a half hours of exercise on one or two days of the week were just as healthy as others doing the same amount stretched over a longer period.

A recent Canadian study claims it does not matter how people accumulate their recommended weekly 150 minutes of exercise.

I recently read an interesting Canadian exercise study:

  • *The study found that those who did recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise in one session were no less healthy than those who split it up across the week.
  • *Canadian experts studied 2,324 men and women aged between 18 and 64.
  • *Participants were monitored with physical tests as well as blood tests.
  • *Results suggest that those who only exercise at the weekend can make up for sedentary lifestyle they lead for rest of the week.

  • Dr Ian Janssen, who led the research, said: ‘The findings indicate it does not matter how adults choose to accumulate their 150 weekly minutes of physical activity.’  

    Guidelines usually recommend adults perform moderate to vigorous physical activity on most or all days of the week for a total of 150 minutes, with no advice for frequency.

    So Dr Janssen and colleagues at Queen’s University, Toronto, attached a motion detector to the waists of 2,324 men and woman aged between 18 and 64.

    The tiny electrical actical accelerometer, about the size of a small package of matches, records how much a person moves every minute.

    The adults who met the advice of more than 150 minutes a week of aerobic activity were divided into those who exercised on five to seven or one to four of the days.

    Physical exams and blood tests on the participants then measured their ‘metabolic syndrome’ which indicates risk factors for diabetes, heart disease and stroke. 

    Those who were ‘infrequently active’ were in no greater danger of developing these illnesses than their frequently active’ counterparts, according to the study published in the journal Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.

    Dr Janssen said: ‘For instance, someone who did not perform any physical activity on Monday to Friday but was active for 150 minutes over the weekend would obtain the same health benefits from their activity as someone who accumulated 150 minutes of activity over the week by doing 20-25 minutes of activity on a daily basis.

    ‘The important message is adults should aim to accumulate at least 150 minutes of weekly physical activity.’

    So based on this...how much exercise should you aim for?

    My Advice:

    *It is a good idea to set a weekly target for scheduled exercise.  (eg. 150 minutes of moderate to high intensity exercise).  Break your exercise up across the week preferably, but ensure it is scheduled! 

    *I generally do not include incidental exercise (eg. general movement such as gardening or walking the dog) in this total. However, do not discount the benefit of general movement for your health- just consider it as loose change that will accumulate in your fitness bank.

    *If your fitness goal is to get leaner, your weekly scheduled exercise may need to be higher than the recommended 150 minutes per week. This will be dependent on your fitness level & conditioning in regards to what you can achieve in a week.  For someone with a low fitness level I may recommend just 100 minutes per week. Therefore, if you complete a 30 minute fitness session then you have reached 30% of your weekly target.  For someone with a more advanced level of fitness the target might be 200 minutes, therefore a 60 minute workout would achieve 30% of their weekly target.

    *Focus on increasing your fitness level by gradually upping the duration & intensity of your exercise sessions.  A fitter you will mean you can achieve a higher weekly time target and effectively be burning more calories (specifically fat) during your sessions.  When you are fitter your Basal Metabolic Rate (resting metabolism) is also higher and you will literally be burning more calories in your sleep!

    *Vary your exercise sessions to include a combination of cardio & strength training.  Both forms of training are necessary to create a fitter, leaner and healthier you! 

    Are liquid calories tipping you over the edge?

    Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Sunday, March 31, 2013

    WEED OUT calorie containing drinks 

    How much of your calorie intake is contained in liquid-form?

    If you’re looking for a simple way to reduce your calorie intake- then strongly consider 'weeding out' calorie containing drinks.  Not only will this help you maintain a healthy weight but it will also save you money too!

    It is predicted that the average person consumes approximately 20 percent of their total caloric intake in the form of beverages – this includes juice, smoothies, soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, alcohol and coffee. For instance, if you are currently consuming approximately 1500-2000 calories per day it is possible that you are getting between 300-400 calories from beverages alone. So imagine the weight you could lose if you changed tactic and consumed only water or green tea...

    Juice: Many people have the misconception that fruit juice is healthy because it’s derived from fruit. Unfortunately juice is high in sugar and calories and contains little of the nutrition you get from consuming the whole fruit. By eating an apple you will consume only one third of the calories of the same portion of apple juice – and you will feel fuller. Furthermore, by eating the whole fruit your body also gets the chance to digest the fibre, vitamins and antioxidants it contains – all properties that are more or less eliminated during the commercial juicing process.

    Alcohol:  Most of us drink it without considering the added calories that are contained within. One 375ml bottle of beer contains around 280 calories, and one standard glass of wine contains 100 calories. A rum and coke will provide about 300 calories. So by dropping that one glass of wine with dinner each night you are immediately reducing your weeks caloric intake by 700 calories – wow

    Coffee:  There is considerable confusion over the caloric content of coffee. Not all coffee drinks are high in calories. Coffee - without additives - is almost a zero-calorie drink. According to the USDA nutrient database - an 8 ounce cup of coffee (brewed from grounds) has just 2 (yes two) calories. The calories come from a tiny amount of protein and some mono-unsaturated oils.

    So: coffee beans + water = virtually calorie-free?!

    Yes, but It's what you add to the coffee that really matters. Products containing caffeine are traditionally bitter in taste - so to sweeten them up - we often add milk, sugar, chocolate or syrups. 

    Perhaps you need to drop the sugar (48 calories per teaspoon!!), change to a black coffee or low-fat milk option.

    Water:  is the only drink that can guarantee zero calories.  It will keep you hydrated, regulate your body’s thermostat, keeps your bowel functioning effectively, flushes out nasty toxins, enhances your metabolism, and improves overall organ function. Furthermore, all the new cells your body produces daily use the fluids you put into your body to create the basis of those cells. You may want to think about what chemicals or other nasties that are contained in the everyday beverages you drink and therefore what is forming the foundation of your body’s cells. 

    My Tip:

    When it comes to getting leaner, there isn’t a more simple tip than to cut out the calories you are consuming from beverages. This doesn’t mean cutting them out altogether. Over the next week write down everything you have to drink. Review it and make a plan for what drinks you can 'weed out' to help you reduce your calorie intake . If you are currently drinking three or four drinks a day that contain calories, try cutting out two or three of these – every little bit will make a difference. Remember to replace calorie-containing drinks with water.   Small changes can really make a difference- commit to it for at least a month and assess the change to your energy levels and waistline.

    Is alcohol stopping you from being your best?

    Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Sunday, March 03, 2013

    WEED OUT or cut down on alcohol 

    When was the last time you had a lengthy break from alcohol?

     

     

    As part of my 50-Day Challenge I made a commitment to eliminate all alcohol for the month of February.  I also challenged a few of my personal training clients to join me on Feb Fast to assist with their overall health and wellness.  Here are a few reasons why you may also consider taking a break from alcohol for a month, a week or even just a weekend.   http://febfast.org.au/whyitsgoodforyou/

    I can report that we were all successful in getting thru the month of February alcohol-free.  We all shared similar stories of temptation when attending weddings, parties and anything where drinks were readily available.

    Drinking too much, too often, due to social programming over many years can make you unaware that you are drinking purely out of habit alone.

    Not only does regular drinking lead to weight gain, but the mood issues, poor sleep, lethargy and non-productive hours that surround a high regular intake of alcohol have been known to cause relationship issues, work issues, health issues and life issues.  That's enough issues to make you want to go cold turkey!

    From a nutrition standpoint,  alcohol is a non-core product which provides an abundance of empty calories (ie. energy dense & nutritonal poor).  When you drink alcohol your body changes the way it processes energy.  It burns the simple sugars first (ie. alcohol) and the carbohydrates and fats then take a back seat, that are then more likely to be stored as fat on your back seat! (ie. gluteus maximus).

    So if you know that drinking a little too much, a little too often is negatively impacting on your life in more ways than you would like- now is a good time to live more and drink less.

    Mind Body & Soul 50-Day Challenge

    Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Sunday, February 10, 2013

    Take the 50-Day Challenge and create a fitter, healthier you!

    Stop wishing.  Create yourself.  Better things are coming...

    This is your time to shine!

    50-Day Challenge details:

    Start-up Week: Monday 11th Feb- Saturday 16th Feb 2013 (Enrolment Week)
    Final Week:   Monday 1st April- Saturday 6th April 2013 (Dependant on start-up day)
    Venue: Initial check-in and 50th day check-in to be completed at Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio in Bicton.

    Investment: $50 commitment fee to cover the full 50-days.
    Bookings:
    Contact Us today to enrol in the next Mind Body & Soul 50-Day Challenge

    More information: Find out more about the 50-Day Challenge on the MBS Facebook Page.

    RunFit tracks to Deepwater Point during February

    Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Friday, February 01, 2013

    RunFit (Session Details):

    Day:  Tuesdays
    Time: 6.00am-7.00am

    Venue: During February- Meet at Deepwater Point boat ramp car park (The Esplanade, Mount Pleasant),  on Tuesday at 6am sharp!

    *Please note:  Starting venue will  change each calendar month to add variety to your RunFit workouts.  Contact Us for full session details. 

    What to bring?: Please dress appropriately for weather conditions. Good running shoes and a drink bottle are a must! 
    Investment: $15 casual entry or all inclusive in our Club 50 Cross Training package.
    Bookings: Contact Us to join our next RunFit session.

    TrekFit (Sessions are currently suspended):

    Day:  Thursdays
    Time: 6.00am-7.00am
    Venue:  Sessions are currently suspended.

    *Please note:  Meeting venue will change monthly to add variety to TrekFit workouts. 

    Contact Us for full session details and to book your TrekFit session.

    What to bring?: Please dress appropriately for weather conditions. Good walking/ running shoes and a drink bottle are a must! 

    Investment: $15 casual entry or all inclusive in our Club 50 Cross Training package.
    Bookings:
    Contact Us  to enquire about our next TrekFit session.

     

    Holly Ord conquers New York Marathon

    Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Monday, December 05, 2011

    On November 6, 2011 Holly Ord ran the world famous 42km New York Marathon.

    Holly  raised over $15, 000 for Cure Cancer Australia thru her '42km Closer to a Cure' fundraising program.

    For the record Holly covered the 42km in a speedy 3hours 51minute & 37 seconds. (average pace was 5:30 per km or 11kph). 

    This might be Holly's first and last marathon judging by her postcard sent from Times Square NYC:

    To all at Mind, Body & Soul

    I made it!!  It was long, cold but amazing!  

    I am certainly a one-marathon wonder, never again.

    See you all when I get back.

    xx Holly

    Congratulations Holly on your outstanding achievement.  You have inspired us all to reach out of our comfort zone, more often.  Onwards and upwards!

    Gotta Love the Ride

    Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Friday, September 30, 2011

    This is a video of Mind Body & Soul client Holly Ord in the lead up to her 1st Marathon. To follow & support Holly in the final lead up to her New York adventure follow the links below. Go Holly!!

    www.hollyord.blogspot.com
    www.gofundraise.com.au/hollyord

    'Hi I'm Holly and this is who I am. I run, cycle and gym at Mind Body & Soul Fitness Studio most days during the week. On the weekends I always manage to fit in a visit and ride with my horse Harry. My focus at the moment is on my training for the New York Marathon in November to raise money for the Cure Cancer Australia Foundation. I hope that through my active lifestyle choices I inspire others to also be active, have fun and never forget that you've gotta love the ride!

    Fitness Australia Videos

    Mind, Body & Soul Fitness - Friday, November 19, 2010