Do what you love

HEALTH:

‘If you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work’.

You’ve probably heard this saying before and it also applies to exercise and nutrition; by choosing ways to be healthy that fill you with joy rather than dread, you will find your journey to wellbeing feels more effortless.

EXERCISE:

Exercise should be about more than just a way to get in shape; it should be a break from the stresses of life and something you can really look forward to.

Don’t just hammer away on the treadmill; try a variety of different routines and machines and discover what your favourites are. You’ll be amazed by the extra lift you get from loving the exercise you do as well as the benefits it provides.

NUTRITION:

To eat well without feeling deprived, try making some healthier versions of your favourite foods.

If you love a fry up, grill some bacon, tomatoes and mushrooms and serve with scrambled eggs and wholemeal toast. If chips are your favourite, try chopping some sweet potato or celeriac into wedges and roasting with a light spray of olive oil. Delicious and nutritious!

© Sarah West Nutrition

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Are you getting enough?

HEALTH:

Water is a primary component of the human body and is involved in nearly every physiological function.

It keeps us hydrated, maintains body temperature, transports nutrients and waste products in and out of cells, improves digestion and enhances organ function. So with all that going on, it is crucial that you get enough of it!

EXERCISE:

We lose a lot fluid through perspiration, so it is vital to replace that fluid when we exercise. Dehydration impairs both physical and mental functioning and you will be more prone to dizziness, fatigue or painful cramping if you don’t drink enough.

Always keep a water bottle to hand and try a sports drink after strenuous activity to help replace the sodium lost in sweat.

NUTRITION:

As well as increasing your pure water intake, try adding plenty of fresh or frozen produce to your diet.

Most fruits and vegetables contain up to 90% water which will satisfy some of your body’s fluid requirements whilst also providing you with essential nutrients and antioxidants.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Hearty reasons to get fit

HEALTH:

If you’re lacking enthusiasm, try making a mental list of all the ways that keeping fit can help improve your quality of life and increase your life-span.

Just thinking about all the amazing things you’ll be doing for yourself can be incredibly motivating; no matter what might be on your list of cons, they’re sure to be outnumbered by the pros.

EXERCISE:

According to research, physical fitness might be even more important than weight loss when it comes to protecting your heart.

54645Experts say that regardless of your Body Mass Index, if you’re physically fit you’re at reduced risk of heart disease and stroke.  So never let your weight make you feel self conscious about visiting the gym- every trip you could be increasing your life span.

NUTRITION:

One of the most commonly used vegetables is iceberg lettuce, which doesn’t provide many nutrients due to its high water content.

To get more benefit from your lunch, try replacing lettuce with salad leaves that really pack a punch – such as baby spinach, kale or watercress. These taste delicious and also provide valuable vitamin A and folate, the heart-healthy B vitamin.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Sleep tight

HEALTH:

How well you feel during your waking hours can depend entirely on how you sleep each night. A good night’s rest allows the body to repair and rejuvenate and is necessary to feel energised, mentally sharp and emotionally balanced.

EXERCISE:

Research shows that you sleep more deeply if you exercise regularly: as little 20-30 minutes per day can help you to enjoy a more restful slumber.

However, since exercise raises your body temperature and causes you to feel more alert, the timing of your workout is very important. A cooler body temperature and relaxed mind is associated with sleep onset so you should always finish your exercise at least 3 hours before bedtime.

NUTRITION:

If you have trouble sleeping it is a good idea to keep your evening meal light, with no strong flavours. Fatty foods is a lot of work for your stomach to digest and spicy or acidic foods can cause heartburn: both of which may keep you up at night.

It may also be helpful to limit how much you drink before bed. Caffeinated and alcoholic drinks – which act as both stimulants and diuretics – are particularly likely to have a disruptive effect.

© Sarah West Nutrition

Healthy digestion

HEALTH:

Digestion is the process by which food is broken down to be utilised by the body. Once the nutrients from your food have been absorbed, they are used to build and nourish cells and provide the energy needed to keep the body going.

 EXERCISE:

While there are countless ways to improve digestion, one of the most important – but often neglected – methods is through regular exercise.

sos cropped(1)Engaging in just 30 minutes of aerobic exercise each day encourages contraction of the intestinal tract and improves digestive transit.

 NUTRITION:

Chewing is the first stage of digestion. It not only physically breaks down what you eat, but also signals organs to secrete their digestive juices (such as pancreatic enzymes and stomach acids) to prepare for incoming food.

Next time you eat, try putting down your fork between mouthfuls in order to encourage you to really chew your food well. You might be surprised by the difference it makes to your digestion.

© Sarah West Nutrition