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Top Tips to maximise your Health and Fitness Goals PART 1

With 2020 just around the corner, most New Year resolutions include planning to lift more, run more, or sweat more. Chances are, you’re looking to do it in the most efficient and effective way possible. Sure, showing up may be half the battle, but the other half of the battle is made up of hard work, consistency, and training smart. Whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or you’re new to fitness, here are 19 workout tips to take your fitness to the next level. And remember: doing any type of physical activity is a great first step.

Wake up with a cup of coffee before your morning workout.

The caffeine in a pre-workout cup of joe helps stimulate your central nervous system, so you’ll have a little extra oomph in your indoor cycling or boot camp class. Plus, in addition to a performance boost, research shows that it can actually make exercise feel more enjoyable, so you’re more likely to push harder. Drink up a half hour before you start sweating to give it time to kick in.

Walk into the gym with a plan.

Having a plan of action before you step foot in the gym can help you avoid wandering aimlessly around while you decide what to do next. This indecisiveness not only adds time to your workout, it also makes it less efficient, since you’re letting your heart rate drop. A clear plan is your secret weapon. Know what exercises you’re going to do, where you’re going to do them, and in what order. What exercises you’re going to do, where you’re going to do them, and in what order. It’s also a good idea to have a plan B, just in case the machine or floor space you were planning on using is taken. Move on to other parts of your workout and come back, or be armed with a backup exercise in mind that utilizes different equipment.

The 5 Most Essential Fitness Tips For The Busy Woman

In the process of losing weight and staying fit, women often end up making mistakes like eating too less, not working out as per their body type and expecting instant results. It is essential to concentrate on having a balanced diet comprising all the nutrients, and compliment it with regular workouts by making exercise a fun activity rather than a boring task. Here's a fitness guide for the new-age women who are too caught up with their work, having no time for fitness:

Healthy Breakfast- a must!

A healthy breakfast with the inclusion of fiber and glucose is imperative to retain energy for the entire day. Out of all the three-time meals, breakfast is the most important one which should be light, healthy and nutritious. Choose food that is rich in fiber, protein, calcium, vitamins, and glucose as it provides energy for the entire day, fulfilling the requirements of the body.

Replace junk food with healthy snacking

The very first rule of maintaining a fit body is to remove unhealthy junk and oily food from their daily routine as it will affect your exercise routine and immune system. So switching to healthy snacking rich in protein, calcium, fats, carbs, minerals, and fiber will help in maintaining weight and reducing the risk of several diseases.

Follow a structured exercise pattern

One should prepare a structured exercise pattern to be followed daily with simple exercises like walking, running to tone the body. It is advised that women should exercise for at least three hours in a week to reach their fitness goal.

Keep your body hydrated

"When we exercise we lose a lot of sweat for which water is the best source that revives the body with immense energy for the day. Drinking water in regular intervals will help you avoid dehydration leading to a healthier you.

Cut out the carbs

Women should avoid refined carb-rich foods like cookies, chocolates, honey and white rice as they spike your blood sugar level, produce more insulin and increase the amount of fat in your body. Therefore the daily diet should extensively be rich in protein, calcium, and vitamins.

3 KILLER CORE EXERCISES

We can’t over emphasise the importance of your core. And it’s got nothing to do with sporting a six-pack come summer. Your core is the base support system for the entire body, supporting not only our posture but also the function of our remaining muscle groups. By building strength in our core, including the abdominals and the obliques, we are going to take pressure away from our lower back and help to correct muscle activation when doing all sorts of movements, including running, cycling, weightlifting, and even sitting at our desks. There are many simple things we can do to improve core strength… even when we don’t have access to weights. So just because you’re not at the gym doesn’t mean you can’t squeeze in a core-busting workout.

Just breath

Diaphragmatic breathing is crucial for core activation. By breathing into our stomach versus breathing into our chest, we are able to activate our core muscles to be ready to work. Our deep core muscles provide us with stability and we can easily switch these on by breathing in deep, and then breathing out by pulling our belly button towards our centre. Allow your belly to rise as you breathe in and suck the belly in as you breathe out. This way our core muscles are activated and are ready to get stronger.

Minimal weights

The core is our centre and it is an important tool to stabilise our systems. To carry the weight of our bodies, it is vital that we create body weighted strength in these muscles. There are many different core workouts that you can do to help build strength without any equipment. Our personal favourite that requires only your body weight includes various exercises from walk outs, planking to pendulum legs.

Hit the treadmill

Our favourite core workout is running! Running is an amazing tool to control your breathing, activate your core and build strength through these muscles. Running is an entire body workout, and the simple movement of one foot in front of the other requires engagement of many muscle groups, which over time will build significant strength. To ensure you’re using your core whilst running, spend two or three minutes beforehand practicing diaphragmatic breathing. This way once you head out the door, your core is ready to work!

TIPS TO REDUCE STRESS

Stress doesn’t always have to be a negative thing, but often times it’s to do with changes in behaviour and poor decision making. In this blog, we share with you a few tips on how to manage & relieve stress to help you feel better and improve your physical and mental health.

MAKE A LIST

Writing out a list is a useful tool to help you visualise and understand what it is that’s stressing you out. Seeing these stressors written down on paper can help you focus on one thing at a time and allow you to feel more in control.

EXERCISE

Exercising is important to help clear your mind and relieve mental stress while working on your physical form. When you exercise, you are left feeling better due to your stress hormones being lowered (cortisol) and your body releasing endorphins thus improving your mood. Hammer House Brunswick is designed around you with our club including tons of equipment, rows of cardio & world-class Personal Trainers. Fitting in a workout a few days during the week will help you feel more confident & get a much better sleep, leaving you a little less stressed.

GET A GOOD SLEEP

Getting a good nights sleep helps to calm your mind and body, stabilises your mood and helps with cognitive function. If you are not sleeping enough, your body doesn’t have time to restore & relax, so it’s vital to get enough rest to feel energised the next day.

CHANGE YOUR DIET HABITS

Believe it or not, food affects your mood. When you eat foods that are higher in nutrients, your body receives its essential vitamins to keep you fuelled, energised and alert. When you eat foods that are higher in sugar, have little dietary fibre and contain a high amount saturated fats, you tend to feel more sluggish & tried. Being mindful of your diet can determine how much energy & concentration you’ll have throughout the day, generally leaving you in a more positive state.

REDUCE CAFFEINE

Consuming lots of caffeine can make you feel jittery and anxious. Typically, caffeine can be found in tea, coffee and energy drinks. Substituting non-caffeinated beverages like water, fresh juices & herbal teas can help you feel more relaxed and in control of your thoughts & actions.

THINK POSITIVE THOUGHTS

When you continue to focus on the negative thoughts in your head, you’ll find the intensity and language will increase. To reduce this, it’s best to change your negative thoughts into a positive or neutral thought. By simply changing the language of how you think about these thoughts, will help you feel less anxious and stressed. For example “I can’t do this exercise” can be changed to “I find this exercise challenging” or “I hate this” can be turned into “I would much prefer”. It’s easier said than done, but with practice, you will find yourself combating these thoughts positively and their negative power will become muted.

MAKE YOURSELF A PRIORITY

It’s important to take time out for yourself, do something you love! You will feel re-energised & fulfilled in what you did for yourself & will feel happier overall. Practising self-care will help you to reduce stress and feel more positive. Make sure there’s a balance between friends, family & alone time.

Why Women should lift weights!

Here are three myths you’ve probably heard about women and weight lifting — and why you should feel good about reaching for more weight.

Myth No.1: It’ll make you bulky

Most women shy away from lifting heavy weights because they fear it’ll make them look bulky. This couldn’t be further from the truth! What we think of as “bulk,” or gaining muscle mass, comes from a combination of testosterone, consuming more calories, and almost daily weight training, If you’re not working muscle groups to failure six days per week or eating extra calories to bulk up, then lifting heavy weights will make you leaner — not bigger.

Myth No.2: Leaner muscle comes from lifting lighter weights

Out of fear of gaining bulk, many women tend to lift lighter weights while increasing the number of repetitions they complete for each exercise. At a certain point, your muscles will adapt to this strategy, and you’ll no longer increase your strength — but you will increase your endurance. But it’s simply not true that one strategy is better for building “lean” muscle than another. Lifting heavy weights can be just as effective at building lean muscle. In certain cases, it might even be more effective. The most important component of weight lifting is pushing your muscles to reach “progressive overload.” Essentially this means changing the amount of weight and reps you use for each muscle group, so they don’t adapt to a particular challenge. You can do this with both light weights and heavy weights — and still build lean muscle.

Myth No.3: Weight lifting doesn’t burn fat as effectively as cardio

Cardio is great for you — running, cycling, and other aerobic exercises increase your endurance, improve your circulation, and help regulate blood sugar. But cardio won’t help you build strength, define muscles, or lose weight as effectively as weight training. While you might burn more overall calories during a cardio workout, weight training increases your ability to torch calories long after you leave the weight room. Challenging weight training workout also helps elevate your metabolism for up to three days post-workout — increasing the efficiency of a healthy diet. The result? Less fat, more toned muscles, and a better metabolism. Want to know more? Be sure to speak to one of qualified Hammer House Personal Trainers about the best weight training exercises to help you achieve your goals.

Are you a Capsule Dieter?

In fashion, there's a concept called the capsule wardrobe: wearing the same limited set of clothes in different combinations, to save the time and energy of always having to find something new to wear.

The trend has now evolved into the capsule diet, aka the uniform diet: eating the same foods over again. Dietitian Melanie McGrice isn't opposed to the trend, pointing out that most people tend to eat the same "routine" foods anyway — but they're often the same unhealthy foods, whereas capsule dieting is focusing on eating the same healthy foods.

The obvious downside of eating the same foods all the time is that you eat the same foods all the time. The Australian Dietary Guidelines prescribe "a wide variety of nutritious foods" — that will ensure you hit all your nutrient targets, feed a diverse array of healthy gut microbes, and stop you from getting bored. You need a little bit of variety in your diet – BALANCE is key

A lot of people go the same chicken breast every single day, the same vegetables every single day. So you just need to mix it up a bit — swap your protein for another protein, such as lean red meat or tofu or egg or fish. The principle of Capsule dieting needn't be about always eating the same foods but rather following the same pattern. Say for example if your pattern is a serving of protein, a serving of grains and then three servings of veg, there's an awful lot you can do with that — grilled chicken breast with brown rice and veggies, or a stir-fry, or a roast. Be sure to speak to one of our qualified Hammer House Personal Trainers for more guidance