Personal Trainer Kelowna

Healthy skin

Healthy Skin

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym

 

We all strive to keep feeling and looking young, as well as keeping our bodies fit we need to look after our skin and good skin starts from within. Older cells are constantly shed and replaced by younger ones and a steady supply of micronutrients is essential to support this rapid growth. Eat the correct balance of foods and you’ll feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs.

A healthy diet with a rainbow of colourful fruits and vegetables, containing powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. These free radicals are caused by smoking, pollution and sunlight and can cause wrinkling and age spots. Betacarotene, found in pumpkin, carrots and sweet potatoes, and lutein, found in kale, papaya and spinach are powerful antioxidants, important for normal skin cell development and healthy skin tone.

The association between diet and acne isn’t clear, but some research suggests that a diet rich in vitamin C and low in unhealthy fats and processed or refined carbohydrates might promote younger looking skin. Vitamin C is an excellent antioxidant which is needed for a strong immune system, radiant skin and helps blemishes heal properly. The best sources are blackcurrants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweet potatoes. They all help to produce collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the skin.

Another powerful antioxidant is selenium which works alongside other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C and is also essential for the immune system. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. You can boost your intake by eating just four Brazil nuts which will provide the recommended daily amount. Mix these with other seeds rich in vitamin E as a snack or salad sprinkle. Other good sources are fish, shellfish, eggs, wheatgerm, tomatoes and broccoli.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats – the types found in avocados, fish, nuts and seeds – provide essential fatty acids which act as a natural moisturiser for your skin, keeping it supple. These fats also come packaged with a healthy dose of vitamin E, which protects skin from cell damage and supports healthy skin growth.

Your body needs omega-3 and omega-6 fats, essential fatty acids that cannot be made in the body and they therefore must be obtained through the diet. You will find omega-3s in oily fish and plant sources such as flaxseed oil, linseeds, walnut and rapeseed oil. Omega-3 fats encourage the body to produce anti-inflammatory compounds, which can help skin, particularly inflammatory skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Zinc is involved in the normal functioning of the sebaceous glands in the skin and helps to repair skin damage and keeps the skin soft and supple. Good sources are foods include fish, lean red meat, wholegrains, poultry, nuts, seeds and shellfish.

Over long periods of time repeatedly gaining and losing weight can have an adverse effect on your skin, causing wrinkles, sagging and stretch marks, and this type of crash dieting is often low in essential vitamins too. By eating plenty of beans, pulses, porridge and other slow-releasing carbohydrates you will release sugar into the blood stream gradually, providing you with a steady supply of energy and leaving you feeling satisfied for longer and therefore less likely to snack. Try to avoid high GI carbohydrates like biscuits and sugary drinks, as they lead to production of insulin, which may damage collagen and accelerate wrinkles. Your personal trainer can advise you on a healthy diet plan that can support your nutritional needs.

Skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Water is the best although all fluids count, but do try to keep a large bottle of water with you at all times to remind you to drink.

Smoking is linked to early ageing of the skin as it is thought smoking reduces the skin’s natural elasticity by causing the breakdown of collagen and reducing collagen production. Collagen is a protein that supports skin strength. It also reduces blood flow to your skin, so your skin gets fewer nutrients and less oxygen.

When you drink alcohol, your body and skin can become dehydrated, leaving the skin looking older and tired. By drinking water you can help your skin stay hydrated, preventing it drying out. So when you have alcohol, try to drink within the recommended limits, and have a non-alcoholic drink between alcoholic drinks.

And lastly something we should all we aware of is skin damage cause by sunlight which contains ultraviolet rays, which are the main cause of skin ageing and can cause skin cancer. It is important to protect the skin at any age against sun damage. Although you need to spend some time in sunlight so your body can make vitamin D which is essential for healthy bones, you have to balance the need for getting vitamin D and protecting your skin from sun damage.

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#privategymkelowna

 

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Healthy portions

Healthy Portions

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym

 

If you’re a healthy eater you can still have too much of a good thing, large helpings, or even just a little over-indulgence every day can really add up and an excess of food usually means an excess of calories, which will lead to weight gain. Often those difficult last few pounds you need to lose could be due to your portion sizes. And being overweight can also make a significant difference to your risk of heart disease. Being overweight puts you more at risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes. So the right amount of food goes hand in hand with having a healthy, balanced diet.

We all need a certain amount of calories to provide our bodies with energy, for growth and repair. The number of calories you need varies depending on your weight, gender and how active you are, as well as on your state of health. It’s important to remember that your energy requirements will change; many people find they gain weight when they retire, for example, and this can be because of a change in activity levels compared with when they were working. Your weight is one of the best guides to whether you’re eating the right number of calories or not. Making changes to balance your diet, for instance eating more fruit instead of chocolates, crisps and biscuits, will reduce the amount of calories you consume but you also need to consider the total amount you’re eating. Your personal trainer will be able to give you nutritional advice and work with you to plan a healthy eating regime.

It’s important to get a balance of food groups to make sure we get all the nutrients we need. When adjusting your portion size, remember that the overall balance of food groups should stay the same. You should have plenty of fruit and vegetables and starchy carbohydrates, along with some lean meat, fish, eggs or vegetarian alternatives and low-fat dairy products and avoid eating too many foods that are high in fat and sugar. The main group that we seem to struggle to get enough of is fruit and vegetables. Fruit and vegetables that are fresh, frozen, tinned and dried all count, as do juice and smoothies, and beans and pulses like kidney beans and baked beans. But remember that beans and juice will only count once a day however many portions of them you eat.

Don’t forget side dishes count too. Forget the bread or chips as a side dish if you already have some starchy carbohydrate with your meal, such as rice, potatoes or pasta as you’d be doubling up. If you know you’ll want some bread on the side, cut down the starchy food on your plate.

A standard-sized portion can look small on a large plate, so try using a smaller plate, or a bowl, it will stop you overloading. Measuring cups could help when it comes to getting your portion right for things like pasta and rice and stop you overestimating the amount.

Try having apple or some fat-free yogurt with berries to give you the sweet fix minus the added fats and sugars if you feel the need to finish the meal on a sweet note.

If you still feel hungry at the end of the meal, wait for about 20 minutes before reaching for a second helping, as it takes a little while for you to feel full after eating so give your brain time to catch up and you might not need that extra portion.

Beware of the ready made, prepackaged meals, check how many servings each pack contains, also most will detail the nutritional values and the meal may not be as healthy as you first thought. Remember preparing your own meals from scratch doesn’t have to take hours. By making your own food means you know exactly what’s gone in the pot and also gives you control over how much you serve, and if you are really time stretched, make double and save a portion for another day.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation.

Start building a better body today for your future.

#leighcarterfitness

#privategymkelowna

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Stress

Stress

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym

 

Stress can contribute to insomnia, weight gain, digestive problems, anxiety, depression and frequent infections, and has also worryingly been linked with cancer and heart disease. How many of us have not said how “stressed out” they feel. Well stress can be having a very negative effect on our body and physical health.

Your body responds to all stress in exactly the same way, each time you have a stressful day, your brain instructs your cells to release potent hormones. You get a burst of adrenaline and at the same time, you get a surge “stress hormones” the main one being cortisol, which tells your body to replenish that energy even though you haven’t used very many calories. This can make you hungry and your body keeps on pumping out that cortisol as long as the stress continues.

Cortisol is essential keeping us going throughout the day, and enabling our body to cope with the normal everyday stress it has to encounter. However, the type of stress many of us encounter in our lives can be described as chronic stress. Some of us have what is described as chronic stress where stress is experienced over a number of weeks, months or even years. When we are under chronic stress, the adrenal glands can become overworked by having to pump out cortisol almost constantly, and over time this is detrimental to our health.

Research has shown that elevated cortisol levels can lead to weight gain. One of the effects of cortisol is that it mobilises triglycerides (a type of fat) from cells in the body where they are stored, and relocates them as visceral fat around the abdomen. When you are under a lot of stress, you may start to notice weight creeping on around your middle. This type of weight gain has been shown to increase risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke and diabetes.

High cortisol levels can also intensify our food cravings for high-calorie foods, making us crave the foods and drinks that are going to give us that instant pick me up which aren’t usually the type of foods that are good for us. We crave sweet, salty, and high-fat foods because they stimulate the brain to release pleasure chemicals that reduce tension, and this soothing effect becomes addicting, so every time you’re anxious, you want fattening foods.

Sustained high cortisol can cause blood glucose levels to rise, suppressing the effect of insulin. Without insulin doing its job properly, this glucose cannot enter the cells where it is needed and this leads again to a raging appetite, which may lead to overeating. Additionally, all the unused glucose in the blood eventually gets stored as body fat.

When our bodies are under chronic stress, the best way we can avoid weight gain is to regulate cortisol levels through diet and stress management which could be in the form of exercise. Regular aerobic exercise will bring changes to your body, your metabolism, your heart, and your spirits. It has a unique capacity to exhilarate and relax, to provide stimulation and calm, to counter depression and dissipate stress. It’s a common experience among endurance athletes and has been verified in clinical trials that have successfully used exercise to treat anxiety disorders and clinical depression. If athletes and patients can derive psychological benefits from exercise, so can you. Exercise reduces levels of the body’s stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol and also stimulates the production of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that are the body’s natural painkillers and mood elevators. Endorphins are responsible for the “runner’s high” and for the feelings of relaxation and optimism that accompany many hard workouts.

Take advice from your personal trainer who can advise you on an exercise plan and the dietary requirements that will complement it. An anti-inflammatory diet could be of benefit as chronic stress can result in systemic inflammation throughout the body, which in turn helps to keep cortisol levels elevated. With an anti-inflammatory diet you should be able to reduce cortisol levels. This could consist of an increase in plant foods: fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, beans and pulses and a good intake of omega-3 fats found in oily fish, flaxseed for vegetarians. Too much caffeine puts a strain on overworked adrenal glands by causing them to become over-stimulated, caffeine combined with stress raises cortisol levels more than stress alone. So you may want to take it easy with the coffee or switch to decaffeinated.

Another stress buster is sleep. A study showed appetite—particularly for sweet and salty foods—increased by 23% in people who lacked sleep. A few nights of solid sleep can bring your body back into balance.

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation.

Start building a better body today for your future.

#leighcarterfitness

#privategymkelowna

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Eating for exercise

Eating For Exercise

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym

 

 

We’re all guilty of watching our good intentions fade away as we find any excuse not to do that exercise regimen we promised ourselves we would do. We know we feel a whole lot better when we are active, so perhaps this attitude is partly because many of us have no idea how to fuel our bodies for the forthcoming exercise. Whatever the motivation (or lack of), eating for exercise is fundamental to its success.

A balanced eating with fewer saturated fats and more fruit and veg will see us all a little lighter on the scales but making the right choices will also make that run in the park easier to cope with. To increase your energy intake and fuel your training sessions, eat more carbohydrate-rich foods, which are stored as glycogen in the body and are our main source of fuel. These stores are small, so a regular intake of carbohydrate is necessary to keep them topped up. Low glycogen stores may result in poor performance and increase the risk of injury. Good carbohydrates include whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans while bad carbs are often foods that have been refined and processed. Include sources of essential fats from foods such as oily fish, nuts and seeds.

You will also need enough protein-rich foods to help repair and build your muscles. For high intensity workouts it is important to get the protein in your diet right. Once glycogen stores are depleted, the body turns to protein to bump up energy levels so eat plenty of meat, fish, chicken and eggs to insure you have solid supplies. Vegetarians can help back-up their energy levels with dishes containing lots of pulses, nuts and seeds.

Exercising on a full stomach is not ideal, as food that remains in your stomach may cause stomach upset, nausea, and cramping. To make sure you have enough energy, yet reduce stomach discomfort, you should allow a meal to fully digest before you begin and this generally takes 1 to 4 hours, depending upon what and how much you’ve eaten. Everyone is a bit different so you should experiment prior to workouts to determine what works best for you. It is best to seek nutritional advice from your personal trainer on your individual requirements.

Five or six smaller meals a day are recommended for active individuals and this helps to keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel. Low-GI foods and recipes are also great as they slowly release energy into the body. How much you should eat depends on lots of factors from age, weight and daily activity right through to genetic make-up. Here again seek advice from your personal trainer. If exercising once or more every day, you will use more energy than if you did little or none. If you are a healthy weight and don’t want to lose body fat, you will need to eat more food each day to maintain your weight.

Food and drink also plays a part in recovering effectively from training. Good recovery is crucial to prevent a midweek slump in energy levels, and to aid muscle growth and repair. If you are training more than once a day and you have fewer than eight hours between sessions, aim to have a carbohydrate- and protein-rich food or drink within 30 to 60 minutes of finishing your first session. If you are training less than this, or with more time to recover, just eat as soon as you can afterwards.

It’s important to start any exercise session well hydrated so aim to do this by drinking water regularly during the course of the day, if the water content in your body falls too low it can have a major effect on your exercise performance. The amount you need to drink during exercise depends on the amount you sweat. This varies from person to person and also depends on the intensity and length of time exercising, as well as environmental factors.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation.

Start building a better body today for your future.

#leighcarterfitness

#privategymkelowna