kelowna personal training

Anti Ageing

Anti Ageing

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

The skin is our largest organ and our first defence to the outside world. We need to take care of it as it will start showing signs of ageing with fine lines and wrinkles. Although some of our skin ageing process is genetic the major cause of skin ageing is actually down to the external environment and multiple stresses that our skin can be exposed to daily.

Unfortunately we can’t stop the clock on the ageing process, as we get older, the body’s machinery begins to function a little less smoothly and we become susceptible to age-related and degenerative diseases. But there are certain foods that can help counteract the negative effects ageing has on the body. They won’t make you younger or stop you from getting older, but they can improve your overall health and vitality, and protect you against disease and illness, which could prolong your life.

Berries of all types, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, strawberries, are all super rich in antioxidants, such as flavonols and anthocyanins, which promote cell health and can protect against disease. Anthocyanins in particular, found in large quantities in blackberries, are thought to help protect against cancer and diabetes. Darker berries, especially ones that are black or blue in colour, tend to provide the best anti-aging benefits because they have the highest concentration of antioxidants.

According to some studies, blueberries may even help slow or reverse neurological degeneration, improve memory, restrict the growth of cancer cells and reduce inflammation. They are also good for urinary tract health.

Berries are also an excellent source of vitamins, especially vitamin C, which is good for your skin. Vitamin C helps repair damaged body tissues and has been linked to skin cancer prevention.

Eating fish or taking fish oil supplements, provides the body with omega-3 fatty acids that help protect against heart disease, helps your body regenerate healthy cells, reduce inflammation, decrease the risk of arrhythmia and lower blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids are found largely in cold-water fish, including salmon, herring, tuna and sardines. They help skin look youthful by producing and regulating sebum levels which helps skin appear more youthful and hydrated.

Another good source of omega-3 fatty acids is nuts. Apart from this and the protein they provide, they are also a good source of vitamins and minerals, including potassium, which helps lower blood pressure, vitamin E, which helps prevent cell damage, and calcium to maintain strong bones.

Vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, C, K and E. Studies have shown that a diet full of vegetables can help prevent cardiovascular disease, lower high blood pressure and, after a heart attack or stroke, lower cholesterol and unclog arteries. They’re also great for the immune system, helping the body fortify itself against sickness and disease.

Selenium is a trace mineral that contains an enzyme called glutathione that plays a major part in protecting our body from cellular damage that causes inflammation and ageing. Although selenium is available as a supplement, it is found in meat, grain cereals, egg yolk, milk, brazil nuts, mushrooms, garlic and seafood, so with a balanced healthy diet you should be able to get your requirements of this mineral.

Avocados are a fruit that has long been hailed for its anti-aging properties. Avocados with their vitamin E, potassium, monounsaturated fats and antioxidants provide a good mix of anti ageing properties. The vitamins and minerals in avocados have been shown to reduce cholesterol, improve skin health and lower blood pressure. They are also rich in folic acid (vitamin B), which have been linked to heart attack prevention and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. Avocados also contain a monounsaturated fat called oleic acid which has been shown to lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and protect against blood clots. They’re proven to act as antioxidants and combat the effects of overexposure to the sun. They are a good source of vitamin C which can boost levels of collagen, which plumps out wrinkles and fine lines naturally.

Eating whole grains is good for your digestive system and it’s the fibre that helps rid the body of unwanted substances, such as bad cholesterol and fats. Fibre also helps to control your appetite, keep blood sugar low and they are rich in vitamins and minerals which in themselves have anti ageing benefits.

Beans also contain fibre but are also rich in antioxidants, and all sorts of vitamins and minerals, including iron, vitamin B and potassium. The added benefit of being a good source of low fat protein therefore good as part of a balanced diet and especially good for those non meat eaters.

Along with all these foods a very important must is water, for without sufficient water in your body, your cells get congested, your skin can’t detox, and your bladder and kidneys won’t work properly, you’ll feel tired and eat more.

And don’t forget regular aerobic exercise is a must-do for anyone committed to slowing down the ageing process. Hundreds of studies show that exercise combats the loss of stamina, muscle strength, balance and bone density that increases with age.

So if you feel trying to juggle all these foods to form a good anti ageing diet is giving you worry lines, leave it to your personal trainer who can tailor a program and a diet to suit your lifestyle.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

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Leigh Carter Personal Trainer

Burning Fat

Burning Fat

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Although losing weight is as simple as burning more calories than you consume each day, it’s all in what you eat and how you exercise. When you use more energy than you take in from food and drink, your body burns stored fat and carbohydrates, and then even protein, to fuel your everyday activities even if you are not exercising and how much of each of them depends on your physical activity and if, or what you have eaten recently.

Your body uses nutrients in different ways. Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source and it’s the nutrient the body favours to fuel exercise, but too much can lead to weight gain. Whereas protein helps to build muscle, which in turn leads to a higher metabolism. The body also burns more calories metabolising protein than it burns to metabolise carbs or fat. And fat supports vitamin absorption and helps manufacture hormones, by weight it also contains more than double the calories of carbs and protein, so too much and the body just stores it.

Your total calorie burn will be greater when you exercise at high intensities, your body relies on both fat and carbohydrate stores for energy in relatively equal measure as intensity increases, your body turns predominantly to easily accessed carbohydrates (glycogen) for quick energy.  High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a workout performed at high to maximum intensity, with running, cycling and circuit training as the typical activities and as it is impossible to work at near-maximum effort for long, usually a HIIT session lasts anywhere up to 20 minutes. The advantage of this kind of training is that you will get the same calorie burn off in say 15 minutes that you would in an hour with a low intensity workout, good if you are short of time.

Your body burns fat stores more efficiently when exercising at low to moderate intensities, which could be any exercise you like that gets your heart pumping – a gym session, running outdoors, a bike ride, swim session, etc.

When it comes to burning fat, body composition makes all the difference as muscle burns calories more than fat, even when at rest, so the more muscle mass you hold the better. So by simply toning up and changing the balance of your unique body composition from less fat to more muscle will help with weight loss. Resistance training is the best way to build muscle and a strength training programme, specifically designed for weight loss, combined with a cardio routine will help you shed pounds and develop muscle tone rather than bulk.

Regular exercise can help you burn fat and lose weight. Not only are you burning off those calories but you are also making adaptations to your body when you exercise on a regular basis which lead directly to your ability to burn more fat without even trying. The more activity you engage in, the more calories you’ll burn, and the easier it is to create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight. So it’s a fact, if you want to burn more fat, you have to work at it. Your personal trainer can advise on an exercise and diet program to suit your specific needs.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Fitness Kelowna

Iron

Iron

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Iron is an essential nutrient to include in a healthy balanced diet as it has many functions including growth and development and plays a critical role in transferring oxygen around the body. Iron also helps in energy production, muscle function, DNA synthesis and the immune system. It’s most important role is to prevent anaemia. We get most of the iron we need from food, our body carefully monitors its levels of iron; absorbing more when demand is high and less when stores are adequate. Iron is stored primarily in the bone marrow and liver.

Red blood cells need iron to make haemoglobin, the substance that helps them carry oxygen around the body, from the lungs to the body’s tissues and carbon dioxide from the tissues to the lungs. Haemoglobin production falls if insufficient iron is available and with less haemoglobin inside them red blood cells can no longer carry as much oxygen, and so delivery to the cells is reduced, causing the typical effects of tiredness and fatigue.

Increased development of the brain is also one of the many benefits of iron. Since oxygen supply in the blood is aided by it and the brain uses approximately 20% of the blood oxygen, iron is directly related to brain health and its functions. Proper flow of blood in the brain can stimulate cognitive activity and help to create new neural pathways to prevent cognitive disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, so proper iron intake and its subsequent brain oxygenation is essential.

Iron is a vital element for muscle health. It is present in the muscle tissues and helps to provide the supply of oxygen required for contraction of muscles. Without it, muscles lose their tone and elasticity; muscle weakness is one of the most obvious signs of anaemia.

Iron also plays a key role in providing strength to the immune system of the human body. Thus, the body is made proficient enough to fight against a number of diseases and infections. Red blood cells are necessary for providing oxygen to damaged tissues, organs, and cells. Without it, there would be no haemoglobin; without haemoglobin, there would be no oxygen. The healing process needs iron to happen!

Iron, when consumed in sufficient amounts, can help focus concentration and energy, which will boost cognitive and mental performance. Increased flow of blood to the brain due to iron’s red blood cell activity is what results in this important benefit.

There are two forms of iron. One being haem iron which is found in animal products and is the most efficiently absorbed form of iron and not affected by other dietary components, but the other non-haem iron is found in plant foods and the body finds this more difficult to absorb.

Vitamin C helps the absorption of iron and when vitamin C rich foods are combined with foods rich in iron, absorption of the iron is substantially increased. Even a glass of fruit juice with your meal can aid with iron absorption.

The substance called tannin that is found in tea is also thought to inhibit the absorption of iron.

Foods high in phytates and oxalates, such as raw bran, whole meal flour, spinach, nuts, chocolate, parsley and rhubarb may also have a negative impact on iron absorption.

Dairy products like yogurt, cheese and milk as well as eggs interfere with iron absorption – that’s because casein from milk and certain forms of calcium inhibit iron absorption.

Good sources of iron in food include:

  • Liver
  • Lean red meat
  • Oily fish such as sardines, mackerel, tuna
  • Eggs especially yolks
  • Fortified cereals
  • Peas and beans, e.g. Chickpeas, lentils, baked beans
  • Dried apricots, prunes, raisins
  • Brown rice and whole grains
  • Soybeans
  • Leafy green vegetables, e.g. spinach, watercress and curl kale
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts

Your personal trainer can help to advise on healthy diet foods to adequately provide you with the iron your body needs to function efficiently.

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Personal Trainer Kelowna

Healthy Start

Healthy Start

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training 

 

Christmas is over, the turkey’s been eaten, the Prosecco has run dry – are we ready to tackle the next festive ritual – the New Year resolution. This quite often involves some kind of dieting and a ‘get healthy’ regime, after all the excesses of Christmas. Eating well can be a challenge, especially when there is such an overwhelming range of advice. Your personal trainer will tailor a program specifically to your needs but in the meantime here are a few things to think about.

  • Are you heavier than you were a year ago, do your clothes feel tight
  • Do you feel you don’t have much energy and you are you tired all the time
  • Are you eating more convenience, ready meals or take away fast foods than healthy meals you have prepared
  • Are your meal portion sizes increasing
  • Is your exercise regime non-existent or very little
  • Do you smoke
  • Do you drink more alcohol than the recommended weekly amount

Well if you have more YES than NO answers, then maybe it’s time for a healthy challenge. Decide what you want to achieve over the next month, and over the next year, maybe you want to lose weight, or to be able to run up and down your stairway without becoming winded, or you want to reduce cholesterol or lower your blood pressure. Maybe you just would like to feel healthier. Once you have decided you could speak to your personal trainer who will help you to set up some achievable goals.

Your diet is a good place to start. Sometimes even something as simple as making and taking your lunch to work with you instead of having that fast food lunch, can make a difference. And after that healthy lunch maybe a walk, even a couple of times around the car park, it all helps.

Choose crunchy raw vegetables instead of chips and serve them with a little of your favourite dip.
Whole grain bread and pasta to replace white bread and white pasta. Skip the sugary desserts and have a small dish of fresh berries, maybe with a dab of plain yoghurt then add a sprinkling of chopped walnuts. Use lemon juice instead of oil for as salad dressing. Reduce your intake of saturated fats and increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids from fish, flax and walnuts.

Make a grocery list before you go shopping that way you will stay away from the snack food aisles and the prepackaged foods aisles when you shop. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads, lean meats, fish, and legumes and avoid foods high in saturated fats, sodium, trans-fats and sugar.

The best cooking methods are essential for healthy nutrition, such as sautéing is better than deep-frying which just adds fats and calories and doesn’t add any nutrition. Steam your vegetables instead of boiling them to mush. Steaming will preserve the vitamins found in the vegetables.  When you cook your healthy meals at home, be sure to make a little bit extra to take to work for your lunch.

Tell your friends and family about your goals as you are more likely to get support and want to avoid failure. To help you stay motivated, make a checklist of how achieving your resolution will help you. Give yourself a small reward whenever you achieve a goal, which will help to motivate you and give you a sense of progress. Expect to revert to your old habits from time to time but treat any failure as a temporary setback rather than a reason to give up altogether and get back on track.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start Building a better body for your future

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Kelowna Personal Training

Small Changes for fitness

Small Changes For Fitness

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

How about making some small changes to your life that could make some big differences to your health and well being. Sometimes it doesn’t take much to make a difference.

Walking, power-walking or even jogging to work can make a big difference to your overall health and wellbeing. Walking at a leisurely pace for an hour can burn around 250 calories on average. When you’re carrying shopping bags, try to keep the weight even in each hand, your back straight, shoulders back and chest up for the best results. Try walking back home, or parking the car further away to ensure you get the most out of the mini workout. When you jog in cold weather, your body works hard to regulate its core temperature, meaning you use up more calories. Avoid the treadmill and head outdoors, wearing an extra layer instead.

Certain workouts and stretches are easy to do at your desk and can be done without your colleagues even noticing. So if you’re inactive for most of the day do try to have some kind of desk workout. Your personal trainer can help your with the best kind of workout for you.

Taking a lunch break will help you to unwind during work and reduces stress levels, boosting your productivity in the afternoon, and making it easier to sleep at night. If you’re able to get out into the fresh air and have a short walk, it will make all the difference. Just taking yourself away from your workstation for a short while will improve your state of mind.

Stretching improves blood circulation, increases your flexibility, improves your posture, reduces and prevents lower back pain, and can relieve stress. A simple five-minute routine every morning will wake your muscles up and prepare you for the day.

Instead of sitting through a five-minute commercial break on the TV, flicking through the channels, why not exercise through them. Try a quick high intensity circuit around your living room, which could include jump squats, crunches, leg raises, and step ups. Spend 30 seconds doing each circuit, with a 10 second rest in between, and you’ll be done by the time the commercials are done.

Cleaning and tidying has been proven to relieve stress as it acts as a form of meditation. It can also be a form of exercise, depending on what you’re doing and for how long.

Remember when you work out, you burn fat and gain muscle. Muscle weighs more than fat, which the scales do not show, so use your clothes as a guide instead, if they feel looser then you know you’ve made a difference, keep on working out.

Breakfast should be the largest meal to get your metabolism going and fuel you for the day, followed by a light, medium-sized lunch to keep you energised until evening, then a small dinner in the evening to just fill you with enough calories until bedtime.

Did you know it takes your brain around 20 minutes to register that your body is full? So give yourself time to enjoy the food and notice when you’re full. A number of studies have even found that you can lose weight just by eating slowly.

Small changes to your diet can make a big difference to your health and fitness. For example, try swapping mince beef for mince turkey to make a saving of roughly 125 calories per 100g, and maybe changing your plate size to a slightly smaller one, so that your portions are smaller.

Start writing out everything you’ve eaten and how much you exercise during the day. If you’ve skipped a day of exercise or binged on unhealthy snacks, writing it out can motivate you to stay on course and stop you from slipping back into old routines.

Save money and calories by making your snacks from scratch. Soup, crisps, bread and hummus can all be made at home using leftovers or store cupboard ingredients, you will know exactly what goes into your food. Homemade baked crisps using leftover vegetables like beetroot, turnips, or kale are far healthier than fried potato crisps. Adding nutritious grains, beans or pulses to stews, casseroles or soups will bulk them out giving you additional portions for lunches or dinner. It’ll keep you fuller for longer, too.

Healthy eating doesn’t have to be bland – in fact, adding spices to your meals can aid in weight loss. Hot peppers contain capsaicin, which has been found to boost metabolism and curb cravings. If you can’t handle too much spice, you can use milder spices like turmeric, ginger and cinnamon, which also have health benefits.

Sugar is what what nutritionists call ‘empty calories’ – they contain no value or benefits. If you cut out one sugary drink a day, it could save 51,100 calories per year, which is the equivalent to losing almost 7 kilos in a year. Try replacing your sugary drink with hot water and a squeeze of lemon for a much healthier and cleansing alternative.

Fresh fruit juices and smoothies are delicious, but try not to drink your way to a full stomach. Chewing satisfies your stomach and allows you to get all the nutrients and fibres your juicer may have juiced out.

Prepare all your meals for the week on a Sunday evening, and divide them up into containers for each day of the working week. This way you will have a ready prepared lunch everyday, and you will have control of the food you are eating, you’ll probably be saving some money too.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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