The summer holidays are over and with any luck you’ve taken some time out and are feeling relaxed, refreshed, and ready to embrace the autumn and winter months, despite any post-holiday blues. What better way to give yourself an all over health boost than to address your fitness, your vitamin intake and your diet? After all, Christmas is only a few months away.
FITNESS – GET YOUR GEAR ON
If you’re planning to run away any excess holiday pounds, be it through running, boxing, Pilates, yoga, HIIT classes or a certain sport, invest in quality sports gear and you’ll feel twice as guilty at letting your training slide between now and Christmas, or giving up at the first hurdle. From renowned sportswear labels to high-street brands, the shops are full of new season fitness gear and footwear that combine fashion and function in a high-performance mix to take your training to new levels.
Do your shoes fit? The most necessary purchase you’ll need to make is on a pair of performance enhancing trainers. Invest in a pair to suit your activity or sport and support the shape of your foot. Ask a trained shop assistant to recommend a specialist brand, such as Brooks, Asics, Reebok, Nike, adidas or New Balance based on the way they fit your feet. This will help you avoid any injuries.
Better comfort and performance? Look for breathable, durable, design-focused sportswear in fast drying fabrics, specifically designed to regulate temperature, such as sweat-wicking fabrics on vests for indoor training and thermal, long-sleeved tops for outdoor exercise.
Want to look the part? There is no excuse for looking drab, especially when there are so many fabulous fabrics, colours and prints available to buy. Have fun with neon and monochrome geometric, floral and splattered prints on clothing and accessories. The brighter, the better.
HEALTH – NATURAL VITAMIN BOOSTS
Top up your vitamin intake and give yourself an energy boost. Whether you do this through supplements or with specific foods, it’ll help your performance and also make you feel on top of the world. As will drinking 2 to 3 litres of water per day, swapping caffeine for green tea, grazing on plenty of nuts, berries and grains and cooking only in coconut oil.
Why not start juicing? Super healthy cold-presses and juice-smoothies retain the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients and enzymes that promise to help you lose weight, boost immunity and cleanse your system. Use fresh ingredients in a cold-press to create purple beet juices, green kale juices and orange carrot juices bursting with goodness. Alternatively, create a juice-smoothie using a blender by adding bulky fruits with some crushed flaxseeds, chia seeds and nuts. Take a look in department and electronic stores now for some of the best bargains on electric blenders and juicers.
Want a breakfast of champions? Start the day with a vitamin induced breakfast packed full of proteins, grains, vegetables and fruits and you’ll be well on your way.
- Put apples and kale in your breakfast smoothie to boost cardio.
- Include spinach, eggs and avocado on your toast to help maintain muscle.
- Add blueberries and honey to your porridge help prevent injury.
- Add pine nuts, walnuts and almonds to cereals to stay lean and healthy.
VITAMINS – SHAPE UP WITH SUPPLEMENTS
Exercising and eating in the right way will build new lean muscle mass while burning unwanted fat. However, training hard can deplete your body of vitamins and nutrients essential for muscle gain and fat loss. Even with the best diet possible, it can be tough to get all these vital elements, and that’s where supplements are needed.
Add several health and fitness supplements to your daily regime to help your body on its road to fitness, leaving you feeling energised, supporting weight loss, as well as boosting your immune system and improving your skin. Talk to an expert at a health food shop or pharmacist where you’ll find an abundance of fitness supplements in the form of tablets, powders, protein bars and protein balls.
Vitamins A, C, D, E and Zinc – To boost your natural immunity and stay on top of your game.
BCAAs – To maximise muscle growth. These are amino acids that are a great source of protein for those who are dieting and counting calories.
Creatine – To aid muscle development and build strength. This is great for weight training and strength sports.
Omega 3 Fish Oil – To assist with cognitive function, fat burning and hormonal output.
Green Powder– To supplement a shortfall of nutrients and minerals. This is essential if you don’t eat enough leafy greens. Ensure your chosen green powder contains adequate amounts of fibre, antioxidants, digestive enzymes and wheatgrasses
Vitamin D – To boost bone density and energy production. From the lack of sunlight in the UK many people can suffer from low vitamin D levels which can drop dangerously low in winter.
Whey Protein – To repair sore muscles and trigger growth. Rich in BCAAs, whey is ideal pre or post-workout.
Glucosamine – For stronger joints. This is typically made from shellfish, can reinforce cartilage by stimulating the cells to produce proteoglycans, which can improve joint function and mobility.
Glutamine – To add muscle faster. This is an amino acid that minimises the breakdown of muscle tissues during strenuous exercise as well as improving muscle synthesis. Having adequate levels has also been linked to improved brain and gut health.