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Health and Wellbeing - February 2018

05 Feb 2018

Health and Wellbeing - February 2018 Image

New year – It’s still you!

By Andrew Ward

Don’t listen to what the endless marketing campaigns say or try to tell you.

The turn of the year does not automatically require you to reinvent yourself or realise there was an old you and a better you on the horizon. It’s really nonsense and tiresome. The health and fitness industry really should move away from these gimmicks and send a stronger wellbeing message to the general public.

Giving your mind and body a break is an important part of a cycle of improvement. So your holidays when they come should always include a chance to clear your head and reset your goals for the next phase of your wellbeing journey.

Forget the short-term aspirations and resolutions. Instead, try and find something meaningful and aspirational to work towards that an improvement in your health and fitness is required for you to participate.

Travel and treks are great on annual plans. For example, if you are to cycle around Vietnam, walk the Kokoda Trail or hike through South America then a step change in your fitness is required. Maybe it’s the Eureka Climb, or your first 5km run.

Committing to, and participating in, these type of activities will put purpose and motivation behind your weekly cycle class, or the hours you spend on the stair climber/treadmill. The best reward is participating in the journey of your life. It’s much more meaningful than just another cardio session.

The best way to think about regular exercise and staying fit is that it adds life to your years and years to your life.

What matters most

If one of your key health and wellbeing goals is to lose body fat, then it’s important that you are aware of and address these four key factors for success. While they are all important, there is an element of priority and impact which should also be noted.

In order of:

Proper nutrition;

Regular resistance/weight training;

Proper sleep patterns and stress management; and

Moderate cardio vascular training.


Nutrition will make or break your results. Sugar is the killer here, so make reduction/removal of that your highest priority.

Weight training two to four times per week will help sustain and increase your muscle mass and, in turn, enhance your metabolism.

You will have a tough time losing body fat if you are stressed and not sleeping well – you will not achieve your goals if this is not a focus.

Finally, cardio vascular training alone isn’t a fat loss solution and of the four factors will have the least impact on your results. Cardio is important for maintaining heart and lung health and improved general fitness but shouldn’t be seen as a way to burn fat.

Fibre is satisfying

Fibre is our friend if we are trying to lose weight and stay healthy. High fibre foods make great snacks as they leave us feeling satisfied after consumption.

Conversely, junk food and fast snacks are often low in fibre which leads to overconsumption and feeling unsatisfied. Therefore, we should increase our awareness and seek out foods high in fibre as this will ensure we stay on track with our weight loss goals.

People often think fruit and vegetables are high in fibre, which is mostly true, but it is a generalisation. It’s worth knowing the best, highest density sources of fibre so you can make the best choices.

Here is a list of six fruit and veggie snacks and their approximate fibre content per 100g:

Dates: 8 grams; Avocado: 7 grams; Passionfruit: 10 grams; Prunes: 7 grams; Coconut: 9 grams; and Berries: 6-8 grams.

Worth knowing that lentils (15 grams) and beans (14 grams) are great sources of fibre but will require some preparation for snack foods.

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