Eat A Healthy Diet
A healthy diet is one that is balanced in the correct amounts of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Stay of junk food, which is high in fat and contributes to obesity and heart disease, consider it only as treat and not part of your normal diet. Watch your salt intake, too much can raise your blood pressure. Carbohydrates are a great source of energy but don’t forget proteins that help with muscle building and repair. Fibre is important as it improves bowl movements, reduces constipation and may prevent bowl cancer. Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables that are a good source of vitamins and minerals. Don’t over cook them, as this will destroy their goodness.
Give Up Smoking
Smoking has so many negatives that it’s still amazing that people choose to smoke. However once you start you basically become a drug addict. Nicotine is as addictive as heroine and just as dangerous. The difference is that cigarettes are legal but only through historic circumstances. If the tobacco plant was introduced today it would be categorised as a Class A drug. It accounts for around 114,000 deaths in the UK every year. It is the biggest cause of leg amputations; it is the main cause of most lung diseases and of the people who die from lung cancer, 95% of them smoke. It also cost around £1800 a year for the average smoker to feed their habit. If you started smoking at 15 and are lucky enough to live to 60, you will have spent £81000 on tobacco.
There are only positives to stopping smoking. You will be fitter, healthier, and your body will look and feel younger. You will feel better in the morning, your breath will be worth being near again and fingernails, hair and skin will take on a much younger fresher look, and that’s only the start.
Here is a time scale to what you can expect after your last cigarette.
8 hours – Nicotine and carbon monoxide levels in blood reduce by half, oxygen levels return to normal. Circulation improves.
24 hours – Carbon monoxide and nicotine eliminated from the body.
48 hours – The decline in lung function and excess risk of lung cancer halts.
1 month – Appearance improves – skin loses its greyish pallor and becomes less wrinkled
3 – 9 months – Coughs and wheezing declines
1 year – The excess risk of a heart attack reduces by half compared to that of a smoker.
15 years – Risk of heart attack falls to the same as someone who has never smoked.
Don’t Train With The Flu
Proper Flu, as to a cold, can make you feel so poorly you probably want be able to move out of your bed let alone train. If its a cold and its only in your head, training may still be possible, once you feel it move into you body with symptoms of aching muscles, chills and fever then do not attempt it. Don’t forget that the heart is a muscle and viruses such as a flu virus can weaken the heart as well. Normally the heart can cope with this strain but once you start to exercise this additional stress could be potentially fatal. After a bout of flu you should give plenty of time for your body to recover and only start to exercise again when your energy levels are more or less back to normal.
Warm Up Before Exercise.
Warming up helps your muscles prepare for the exercise and helps prevent injury. It increases blood flow around the body and allows your muscles to move more easily, including the heart muscle. There is now a debate that a general warm up of the whole body is not as effective as once thought and that specific focus on the muscles that you will be using during your training session is much more effective. A typical warm up will include gentle aerobics and stretching.
Cool Down After Exercise
Cooling down allows the blood to re-circulate back to the heart, brain and other vital organs and prevents sudden pooling of blood, which in turn can cause a drop in blood pressure resulting in dizziness and fainting. It also helps remove a waste product called lactic acid, which can leave your muscles feeling stiff and tired for the next day or two. Cooling down usually consists of gentle jogging and stretching.
Keep a Training Log.
Keep records of all your training activities. When you weight train log the amount of weight you are lifting, the reps and sets. During an aerobic workout measure your heart rate and keep a record of not only of your heart rate during a specific exercise but its recovery as well including the number of beats it drops in a set time. By doing this you will see your progress which is one of the most motivating aspects of doing this.