Avid trail runner, freelance writer and a mother of four with a healthy obsession for the great outdoors. Join me in my discoveries along the Mornington Peninsula and further afield by subscribing to my articles.
Published March 27th 2013
Small changes make the biggest difference
Fanny Blankers-Koen crossing the finish line in the 4 × 100-metre relay event at the 1948 Olympic Games in London. Credit: Keystone/Hulton Archive/Getty Images www.britannica.com
If you are worried about your fitness or weight, then here are some great tips to get you fighting fit and ready to do that walk or fun run you have always wanted to do.
Start small and increase your activity daily.
Incidental exercise is the most important.
Going for a walk/run is great but make sure you're not sedentary for the remainder of the day.
Small things help, like housework, gardening, walking the dog. Anything that keeps you moving and keeps your heart rate above your resting rate.
You will notice that the more you do, the more energy you will have and the less reliance you will have on sugary foods for an energy boost, therefore helping with weight management.
The more you move the less likely you will crave food high in fat and sugar, without feeling deprived.
Don't diet to loose weight, it may work in the short term but it slows your metabolism and you don't want that.
Take a good look at your pantry and fridge and make an honest assessment of what's in it, remove temptations from the house.
Eat as much healthy fresh food as possible, such as fruit,veg,lean meat,dairy,cereal etc
- Allow yourself to have a treat when you really feel like it. It's all about sensible eating, not deprivation.
- Find things you love or at least enjoy doing, eg. I hate gyms, I like being outdoors so bush walking and trail running are my choice. You may hate running but love cycling and team sports.
- You will notice your fitness steadily improving, so keep changing the intensity of your exercise to keep building fitness.
- A heart rate monitor can be a great investment in helping you to gauge where you're at. Typically your maximum heart rate should be 220 (men) 226 (women) minus your age (so if you're 30 your maximum heart rate would be 190 bpm).
- To get into your body's fat burning zones your heart rate should be at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate. 70% and above your maximum heart rate burns the maximum amount of calories, however you will produce more lactic acid. In saying that if you want to run your fastest you will need to train partly in this zone.
- Small changes in your exercise and diet make the biggest difference and are more sustainable long term. For example if you eat 1 cup of ice cream per night every night that averages 408,336 kilojoules or 97,455 calories in a year ( scary numbers aren't they ?). If you forgo that it equates to 12.6kg loss in body weight over a year.