What exactly is your ‘metabolism’?

FIT TIP: The correct name for your metabolism is BMR – Basal Metabolic Rate. Your BMR is the minimum level of energy your body needs when at rest to function effectively.
This includes your respiratory and circulatory organs, neural system, liver, kidneys etc etc.
You are always burning energy (in the form of calories or kilojoules) even when you sleep. Otherwise you die!
Around 70% of the calories consumed every day is used for your BMR. In addition, energy is used when doing any kind of exercise – however the more vigorous the exercise, the more calories are burned. This is because your muscles act as your metabolic engine and use a huge amount of energy. Your BMR therefore is greatly affected by the quantity of muscles you have, and increasing your muscle mass will increase your BMR.
By studying healthy individuals, scientists have found that as people age, their metabolic rate changes. BMR rises as a child matures, peaks around 16-17, then typically starts to decrease.
Having a higher basal metabolic rate will substantially help to decrease body fat! A low BMR will make it hard to lose fat and decrease overall weight.
All the exercises conducted at the Busy Body studio are designed to affect one thing – your BMR, not just the calories burned while exercising. This approach takes a lot less time than traditional programs, and lasts for life :-)

Smashing Salt!

FIT TIP: Salt (or sodium chloride) is essential for survival. Your body depends on sodium to transmit nerve impulses, contract muscle fibres, and along with potassium, balance fluid levels in all your cells.
The body is so efficient at conserving this vital mineral that you need to consume only a tiny amount of sodium each day. Too much sodium sets off a cascade of physiological changes that can raise blood pressure. Over time, uncontrolled high blood pressure can stress the heart and blood vessels.
Here’s 5 great tips to smash your salt levels down to healthier levels!

  1. Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables. Our bodies need more potassium than sodium. But for most of us it’s the opposite, which can contribute to high blood pressure. Fruits and veges are naturally low in sodium, and many fruits and vegetables are good sources of potassium. Filling your plate with them will boost your potassium and shift the sodium-potassium balance in your favour.
  2. Embrace healthy fats and oils. Unfortunately, the big low-fat and no-fat product push in the 1990s wasn’t rooted in sound science. Many well-meaning product developers cut both the good and bad fats out of formulations, and in order to maintain consumer acceptance of their products, they were forced to increase levels of sugar and sodium. So skip most fat-free salad dressings and other similar products.
  3. Stealth health. The average person can’t detect moderate changes in sodium levels, including reductions of up to as much as 25%. Some food manufacturers are already starting to do this for you, over a period of time, so that you will not be able to detect it!
  4. Retrain your taste buds. We can shift our sense of taste to enjoy foods with lower levels of sodium. One key to success: make the changes gradually and consistently over a period of time, rather than trying to cut back by a large amount all at once. Try this trick: combine a reduced-sodium version of a favorite product (like vegetable soup, for example) with a regular version in proportions that gradually favor the reduced-sodium version.
  5. Watch out for hidden sodium. “Fresh” and “natural” meats and poultry may be injected with salt solutions as part of their processing, and manufacturers are not required to list the sodium content on the label. Some foods that are high in sodium may not taste especially salty, such as breakfast cereals, bakery muffins, energy drinks, and sports drinks.

Progressive training

FIT TIP: What’s the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing every day and expecting different results. So what do I see every day? The same people running the same routes, and hoping that they will get better body results.
Have a think about your routine? Is this you? Don’t be insane, make your exercise routine progressive!!
If you’ve ever trained for a half or full marathon, you should already have some exposure to this. There are free training plans available to increase your distance each week up to approx 85-90% of the full distance (adrenaline and crowd support will carry you the final few % on the day!).
But this can be taken much further.
Using good ‘ole running as an example: use a heart rate monitor to measure the intensity on your cardiovascular system. Add hills into the route. Increase your pace over the same distance. Try the lamp post sprint technique (sprint between two lamp posts, jog the next, and repeat). Wear a weighted training vest (or a backpack works well too). Conduct a strength session first then try your run with fatigued muscles.
Pick one of the above progressions, and improve it for 4-6 weeks, then move to another one. And you have a highly effective progressive running plan.
For anyone who pushes weights, the weights you push or the reps of the same weight must increase every session. If you can’t do this, there is a problem with your strength training routine. Often, training the same muscles too frequently is the culprit. Our muscles need a week to recover, rebuild and get stronger (called the ‘supercompensation’ process). Another common mistake is that the weight just isn’t challenging enough in the first place, so the muscles do not need to supercompensate at all.
In all honesty, a strength training prgram is the one specialised skill that you should see a Personal Trainer for. A plan can easily be developed for progressing fitness on your own, but I’ve seen too many things go wrong with strength to ever recommend this!
You must have a balanced training plan including stretching and recovery, cardio and strength. Otherwise you will never fully achieve your potential awesome body!

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