5 Simple Recovery Tips

Working out is only half of your journey to smashing your goals…What you do after your workout is as, if not more important.

We’ve got 5 simple, yet essential tips to help you recover and get the most from your exercise:

Rest:
Post workout the muscles and joints that you have used/targeted will be in a damaged state. Training them before they have recovered increases your risk of injury but also hinders progression as your body hasn’t had time to adapt to the previous workout. We recommend 24-48 hours rest for muscle groups before re-training. A good rule of thumb is ‘if it’s sore, rest it’.

Protein:
We use the analogy ‘a workout is like taking a sledgehammer to your house, you’re breaking down muscle fibres in order to rebuild them. A lack of protein is like employing a bricklayer who has no bricks, to rebuild your house’. Amino Acids (protein) are the building blocks of muscle, you cannot recover & rebuild muscle to be stronger and fitter if you don’t have the nutrients required.

Post resistance training your protein requirements are elevated to 2.2g/kg for roughly 48 hours..eg. if you weigh 100kg you will require 220g/day of complete proteins.

More Info: https://tomsfitness.co.uk/2017/10/22/your-guide-to-protein/

Hydration:
Water & electrolytes play vital roles in many metabolic functions. When we exercise we lose these at an accelerated rate…Therefore it’s essential to consume water throughout a workout as well as after..It is not essential to replace electrolytes unless you are exercising for 4 hours or longer, don’t believe the Lucozade hype!

Sleep:
Sleep is where we heal the fastest, many amazing things happen whilst we sleep including the production of human growth hormone which helps us to repair and build new tissue. Current guidance suggests that we need 7-9 hours/night, we all know where we sit on this scale. There are plenty things you can do to improve your sleep, we will cover this in future posts.

Stretching & Mobility:
Stretching immediately after and during your recovery period will help to reduce tension in the muscles & joints, promoting a faster recovery. This will also increase your flexibility, helping you to perform better and greatly reducing your risk of injury. We have 2 stretch routines below that you can follow:

https://tomsfitness.co.uk/2020/09/24/upper-body-stretch-routine/
https://tomsfitness.co.uk/2019/04/29/hip-mobility-routine/

We hope that you find this helpful.

Happy Health,
Tom’s

The 3 r’s of fat loss

Dropping body fat doesn’t have to be complicated or require crazy diets.

The one thing that all ‘diets’ have in common, including:

  • Keto
  • Paleo
  • Atkins
  • Cambridge
  • The 5:2
  • Intermittent fasting
    etc etc is that they produce a ‘calorie deficit’, this is the only thing that can cause a decrease in body fat.

You can reduce your calorie intake by making simple changes to your existing diet, a much more enjoyable and sustainable approach which can be done using the 3R’s system.

The 3R’s simply stand for:

  • Remove
  • Reduce
  • Replace
  1. Remove:
    This is the process of looking at which foods you can permanently remove from your diet without much difficulty. Where do most of your calories come from and are there foods here that you can live without?

    Start with 1 item at a time and be realistic, once you’ve adapted to one removal you can then look for the next.
  2. Reduce:
    As you can imagine, this involves looking at your portions and quantities. For example reducing from 2 slices of toast to 1 will instantly halve your calories from that snack. Reducing your servings of pastas, potatoes, meats, snacks & high fat foods etc will all have the same effect.

    You can bulk out your meals to ensure that you’re not hungry by increasing your intake of low calorie, high fibre foods (mainly veg) and lean proteins (chicken breast, turkey, beans & pulses).

    This approach allows you to continue to eat the foods that you like, just in a moderate amount, this is especially important regarding your favourite snacks as a diet without these will have a short lifespan.

3. Replace:
Finally, we can substitute and replace ingredients for healthier alternatives to lower our calorie intake. Great examples of this are:

– switch from butter to vegetable spread
– switch from full fat milk to semi, skimmed or even nut milks
– switch from rice to vegetable rice
– switch from sugar to sweeteners
– switch from fats to rapeseed oil
– switch to sugar free products such as drinks & sweets
– switch crisps to homemade popcorn

Applying the 3 R’s:
Naturally this won’t happen overnight and the key is in the planning.

You’ll need a good understanding of your current diet as a starting point, a great way to do this is to track your eating for a few days. A pen and paper is more than suitable, however an app such as myfitnesspal will give you all of the information that you need including which foods are highest in calories, sugars & fats.

We suggest splitting a page into 3 sections, one for each R & highlighting 1 or 2 changes for each R and slowly building on each area from there.

Over time these small reductions will add up to big change. Think of it as ‘saving £’, a few £’s here and there each day soon add up to a tidy sum.

Good luck & happy health,
Tom’s

Exercise & Lockdown

The arrival of lockdown #3 just after Christmas, in the depths of winter has the potential to see many of us struggle with both our physical and mental health.

It would be easy to retreat to our sofa with our favourite foods & drinks and wait for this chaos to pass. However it is more important than ever that we look after ourselves to:

  • protect our mental health
  • protect our physical health
  • put us in the best health possible just in case we did catch COVID
  • not have to play catch up in the spring
  • spend lockdown feeling good

With working from home and home schooling many of us are spending all day at home, in front of a screen and by the time we log off the last thing that we want is to exercise…We have some top tips and updates on official guidelines to help you through this lockdown:

  • take a lunch break, every day!
  • go for a walk before work or during your lunch break
  • block out time for wellness in your diary
  • track your daily steps
  • find something that you enjoy
  • plan your meals a week ahead
  • make a shopping list & stick to it
  • prepare healthy snacks for your day
  • identify any barriers getting in your way, how can you address them?
  • make time for downtime
  • try online classes and YouTube workouts
  • set yourself small targets/goals such as only having alcohol at weekends

The guidelines are clear about what we can & can’t do:

  • we can meet 1:1 with another house hold for out door exercise (socially distanced)
  • public places only, does not include gardens
  • we can still employ personal trainers for 1:1 training outdoors (socially distanced)
  • we should not do pad work (boxing) with anyone from outside our household
  • we can exercise up to every day if we wanted to

We still have lenty of options….The end is near and spring isn’t far away…

It’s up to you, what position do you want to be in coming out of lockdown?

Happy Health,
Tom’s

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/national-lockdown-stay-at-home#exercising

lose fat without counting calories

Counting calories is a great tool for managing your weight and has a proven track record for many reasons, these being:

  • the numbers don’t lie
  • we often have a distorted perception of what we’re eating, kcals and portion sizes (research has proven this)
  • we have bias beliefs on what is healthy & unhealthy
  • it’s almost impossible to accurately recall from memory all that we eat & drink and then estimate the calories
  • calorie counting makes you accountable
  • calorie counting gives you an honest understanding of what you’re eating and your relationships with food & drink

However, whilst an excellent tool tracking doesn’t fit with everybody. It can be time consuming at first and is not a sustainable long term approach. It can also encourage unhealthy mindsets around food. We’ve also found that people fear counting calories. In this article we’ve got some top tips to help you manage your calories without counting them.

>>>You can lose weight without counting calories and still enjoy your favourite foods<<<

Intuitive Eating
This means eating without emotional attachment to food whether positive or negative (guilt). Understanding when to eat and choosing foods that will nurture your body. Eating high fibre and protein rich foods at regular intervals will help you to manage hunger drastically reducing the chances of binging on high energy foods when you’re hungry. A good rule of thumb is to rate hunger from 1-10, 1 being extremely hungry and 10 being full..Ideally we should eat when we’re at 4/10..any lower and you’ve left it too long, any higher, ask yourself ‘do I really need this?’

Cravings vs Hunger
Often we overlook the reasons why we eat when we do. Unknowingly we all develop relationships between certain environments & feelings and foods, for example ice cream sales are much higher in the summer than winter. The more that we respond to these triggers the more ingrained and automatic our responses become, this is the formation of habits whether healthy or unhealthy.

A helpful exercise is to write a list of triggers that could cause you to make unhealthy choices eg. stressed = binge on sugar, in a parallel column make a list of positive responses eg. take 20 mins to relax/exercise etc.

Cravings = Specific foods, situational, pass within a short time – distract your mind!
Hunger = non specific, will eat anything, gets worse if ignored

Portion Control
By far the most effective way to drop fat. Smaller portions = less calories! (the basis of every diet & fad)
– use a smaller plate or bowl
– take longer to eat, enjoy every mouthful and savour the flavours
– pack out your meals with vegetables
– balance your macros

Takeaway Tips
– Focus on how much & how often you eat
– consume smaller meals at regular intervals
– prioritise vegetables and proteins over carbs and fats
– it’s ok to enjoy snacks – low kcal snacks are great for keeping hunger at bay
– there is room for sweets etc in your diet, in moderation and for the right reasons
– identify your negative triggers and create a positive responses
– set yourself short term goals that lead to your ultimate target
– monitor the outcomes – if you’re still not losing weight you’re not quite in a calorie deficit yet
– review and adjust the process when needed
– don’t stress, this is a long term lifestyle not a short term ‘diet’

Happy Health,
Tom’s

Slow Cooker: Pasta bake

We’ve got a super healthy slow cooker recipe for you that only takes 10 minutes to prepare.

Stick it in the slow cooker in the morning and forget about dinner for the rest of the day, it’s taken care of.

Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook: 4 hours on medium / 8 on low
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
2x Chicken Breasts (skinless)
1 Tin of Chopped Tomatoes
1 Chicken Stock Cube
Black Pepper
80g Wholewheat Pasta
vegetables of your choice
1 garlic clove
cheddar or Parmesan to taste

Instructions:
– Chop Pepper, Onion & Carrot (or veg of your choice) and crush garlic and place in the bottom of the slow cooker (cut fairly chunky to stop cooking too quickly)
– Dice the chicken and place in the cooker
– Add chopped tomatoes and diluted chicken stock to just cover the ingredients
– season to taste
– Cook on medium for approximately 3 hours
– Add uncooked pasta and cook for 1 more hour
– add cheese to taste for the last 30 minutes
– Serve & Enjoy

Covid-19 Update for Personal Trainers

On the 13th May the UK government released their guidelines for the return of sports coaches and personal trainers in the UK.

The great news is that we’re now clear to work with the public face to face in a safe manor. For us this means:

  • 1:1 only
  • outside in parks & gardens accessible without entering the home
  • no equipment provided by us for the meatime
  • sanitation pre & post session to be completed by both parties
  • a minimum distance of 2m to be kept at all times

This great news can be found here:
>>>CLICK HERE<<<

We’re sure that this news is as exciting for many of you as it was for us and we hope to see you soon.

Stay safe,
Tom’s

Slow Cooker: Asian Noodle Soup

We’ve got a super healthy slow cooker recipe for you that only takes 10 minutes to prepare.

Stick it in the slow cooker in the morning and forget about dinner for the rest of the day, it’s taken care of.

Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook: 4 hours on medium / 8 on low
Serves: 2

Ingredients:
2 Chicken breasts (Skin Off)
2 Nests of Noodles
4 Mushrooms
1 Medium Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
500ml water
2 Tablespoons Soy Sauce (Low Sodium)
1/2 Teaspoon 5 Spice
1/2 Tablespoon Fish Sauce
1 Tablespoon Ginger Paste.

Instructions:
– Chop onions, mushrooms and crush garlic and place in the bottom of the slow cooker (cut fairly chunky to stop cooking too quickly)
– Place chicken breasts on top
– Mix together the other ingredients and pour over
– Cook on medium for approximately 4 hours
– Boil noodles and add to the soup. Slice up chicken breasts
– Serve & Enjoy