We’ve been talking about lean muscle a lot lately because it’s really our aim to help you reach your fitness goals. So if building lean muscle is one of your goals, you’ve landed on the right page today.
You see, the more lean mass (aka muscle) you have, the more of a kilojoule-burning powerhouse you become. You could be burning kilojoules just sitting on the couch watching a movie, or even in your car, sitting in traffic.
Building lean muscle is certainly not only about pumping iron in the gym. It is a fact that certain foods can help you train harder, burn fat faster, and help you sculpt muscle more easily. Let’s have a look at some of them.
So you’re really focussing on getting the right stuff in your body. That’s great. But have you ever considered what types of foods you need to keep out of your body? Which foods are actually breaking down your immune system?
Keep in mind that your immune system isn’t a single organ, but comprises millions of cells and organisms that help to protect your body.
It’s so frustrating that winter is the exact time when you actually want to prep your summer beach body but just have no will to get up early in the morning to exercise! And, we all know if you don’t do it first thing, things often get in the way and before you know it, the day is over.
To add to this dilemma, who wants to drink icy cold healthy smoothies when it’s freezing outside…no thanks! Chocolate, pizza, and a movie, thank you very much.
Staying in shape during winter is hard. There’s no denying that.
Since we already suffer from a lack of vitamin D during winter, it’s understandable that we feel kind of “bleh” and unmotivated to do anything.
Are you also finding yourself grabbing a chocolate or glass of wine whenever you feel cold and grubby? Oh, the joys of winter!
Perhaps your body is actually craving some good nutrition that you’re not necessarily getting in your diet.
Here are some basic tips for boosting your health in winter:
Do you also often feel like “work-life balance” is a myth? How do you achieve that “balance” when you work extra long hours to provide for yourself and your family? When do you slot in a workout or a walk to get the endorphins flowing if you don’t even have time to go to the bathroom or eat a proper lunch during your day?
Eating healthily at work is more often than not a challenge. Especially when it’s so easy to pop down to the cafeteria or restaurant down the road for a quick takeaway meal.
Healthy eating has many benefits though, such as helping with concentration and boosting efficiency at work, preventing illness and heart problems, among many others.
So where do you begin?
Meal-prep. As simple as that.
Winter is here in full force, and no one can deny that the change of the seasons comes with its own peculiar set of challenges.
For the next few months, getting out of bed in the morning could just as well be classified as a full-blown recurring trauma, and Sunday mornings are no longer spent lying on the beach basking in the sun, but rather curling up in front of the fireplace savouring the comforting glow of Netflix or Showmax.
One of the most challenging things about an office environment is how drastically it can alter our health. Now, we’re not only talking about that evil vending machine or that double chocolate cafeteria croissant; it goes well beyond that.
Holistic health in the work environment involves the physical (movement and diet) as well as the emotional challenges of employees.
The saying “if you want to change the world, start with yourself” rings true – even if you don’t necessarily believe it yet. Do you believe that you might just be able to change your company culture to create a more healthy, uplifting environment? Things might not change overnight but if you are persistent and driven enough, you’ll slowly but surely start seeing some changes in yourself and those around you.
It’s no good spending tedious hours in the gym and then becoming only skin and bones. What most of us are aiming for is getting lean, or bulking up, and getting toned.
What you also don’t want to be is one big heap of muscle but no one can see where one muscle ends and the other one starts.
Luckily, muscle definition isn’t a very complex concept: as you gain muscle and lose fat, your muscle definition increases. In simple terms, it’s the combination of developed muscles with a low(ish) body fat percentage.
You’ve decided to get back in shape and join a health club, or perhaps your current one is not doing it for you anymore and it’s time for a change.
“Whatever the case, choosing a new gym is much like deciding on a new car or property. There’s many variables that come into play, and what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for the next,” says Pierre Louw, owner of online business My Health and Fitness.
Sounds hectic, right? Fear not! This guide covers everything you need to bear in mind when gym-hunting.
Whether you’ve been working out at the gym for a while or are just starting out, establishing a routine and mission in order to achieve your goals remains a hurdle. At first. Your main mission is probably to shed a few kilos and put on a bit of lean muscle, whereas when you have been at it for a while, strength and conditioning starts to take priority. Consequently you begin to adapt your workout routine accordingly.
You’ve been going to the gym diligently since the end of 2017 or the beginning of 2018, and for the first few months things have been going great. You probably lost a few kilos, gained lean muscle, became fitter and felt more energetic and could finally fit into those tight jeans that have been lying in the back of your closet for a year.
But now, for some reason, things have stopped progressing. And for the life of you, you can’t figure out what that reason is.
Legs. They make up half of your body, yet when you visit the weightlifting area of a gym, you see so many lifters with perfectly toned upper bodies but underdeveloped lower bodies. How can this be?
Read on to find out how to build a solid pair of legs in the gym, and why it should be on your priority list.
As with all things health and fitness, there is always a strong connection between what we eat and drink and how often we exercise to achieve our optimum state of well-being.
Cellulite is a damned word in many people’s lives. If they could just get rid of the horrid hail damage. But how? And is it even really possible? Like really possible?
Do you also have such a love-hate relationship with your core? Why do abs have to be such hard work and why, oh, why does it have to be so painful?
The thing is, our core is much more important than simply the sexy six-pack we all long for. The core isn’t just one muscle either. In reality, it’s a rather complex physiological situation that is actually meant to help stabilise your spine – not just look gorgeous in a bather.
We are well into 2018, and have become accustomed to our routines and (hopefully) put effort into incorporating our fitness resolutions into our daily life. Perhaps the results have even begun to pay off. Alas, now is the time when things can start to take a wrong turn.
March is drawing to a close. Easter weekend is on the horizon (the long weekend that consists of Good Friday on the 30th and Family Day on Monday the 2nd), and then Family Day on Friday the 27th comes next, followed by Labour Day on May the 2nd.
Countless people sweat it out in the gym trying to reach their desired body weight and shape but let’s be honest, the struggle is real.
Is it possible to build muscle and burn fat at the same time? When do you start building muscle and stop burning fat? Or, when do you start hindering muscle gain by doing too much “fat burning” exercises? Wouldn’t you want to know?
Have you made it your resolution for 2018 to quit the cigarettes? Good for you! “The benefits of being a non-smoker can start as soon as one hour after the last cigarette, as blood pressure drops back to normal and circulation increases,” says Pierre Louw, owner of online business My Health and Fitness.
The other benefits of quitting are endless: a decrease in the risk of contracting heart disease and cancer, increased smell and taste and improved lung function. Not to mention you will no longer reek of smoke, and save a fortune in the process.
2018 is in full swing, and if you haven’t been adhering to your gym resolutions, the time to start is now. Perhaps you’ve put in a few sessions but you haven’t seen any concrete results. Or maybe the issue is that you don’t even know where to begin.
The solution? You need a personal trainer to get you on track. Here’s why.
An age old question that to this day plagues novice and veteran gymgoers alike is: What is the right combination of different forms of exercise to achieve the body I want?
And therein lies the answer; what type of body do you want? And, more specifically, what purpose do you want your body to serve?
Figuring out the right combination for your goals can be done as such.
What’s more important than getting that booty in shape? Uhm…we’d have to think long and hard about that one.
Maybe, in 2017, you followed the Instagram journey of 24-year-old Corinna Mantegazza who transformed her sad, flat booty into a tight, perky one? Well, if you didn’t, it was a good one and it got many talking and considering what they might be doing wrong and why they’re not getting the results they want.
Many in the health and fitness industry have come to believe that the secret lies in a combination of eating the right foods to fuel your body, adding weights to your fitness regime, and avoiding excessive cardio.
You can’t out-train a bad diet – maybe some will disagree – but we’ve all met that kind of people who eat whatever they want and still seem to stay in good shape. The truth is, it’s not viable, or healthy for that matter, in the long run.
In the end, everything in life is about balance.
So, you want to bulk up, you say… Problem is, you’ve probably heard 50 different opinions from people at the gym, personal trainers, YouTube videos, your colleague, and maybe even Men’s Health.
Where do you actually start and what’s the best way to go about it? How do you bulk up without getting fat? Let’s bust a couple of myths before we dive into the detail:
The art of mastering golf requires a lot of patience, dedication and precision. It’s nothing new for golfers to have fluctuating performances. One day their swings will put Gary Player to shame, other days they seem like amateurs. Barry Bridges, golf fitness trainer at Pure Motion Golf Academy, explains that in order to master your swing, you need to work on the following:
Holiday season is almost here, folks. How are you feeling about that beach body? If you’re not so confident yet, not to worry! Whatever you do, stay away from fad diets or anything that can harm your health – it’s simply not worth it.
Instead, we’ve put together a couple of tips on how to build lean muscle so that you’re toned, comfortable in your skin, and ready to soak up the sun while feeling sexy this summer.
Spring brings a sense of excitement as the weather starts to warm up. But it also stirs up anxiety as we realise that soon we’ll need to swap our winter layers for more revealing shorts and shirts. Yes, it’s once again time to firm up those winter bodies and prep for the sunny seasons.
Instead of another fad crash diet, which is neither fun nor sustainable, we asked a few of our experts to share their top tips for shedding some kilos in a healthy way. It is always worthwhile to consult a professional who can guide your health journey, and My Health and Fitness has a range of trainers and health consultants to support you.
It’s not easy maintaining your ideal weight during winter. It’s that time of year when exercise and healthy eating normally take a back seat as colder weather drives us indoors, and spikes our kilojoule consumption.
The best way to stay motivated during this time, is with a personal trainer who can offer you a realistic, effective exercise schedule. It’s also worth seeing a dietician to find out how you can adjust your energy intake for the colder months. Visit www.myhealthandfitness.co.za for a comprehensive list of consultants.
It’s not just about working harder though. Getting enough sleep is as essential if you want to reach your goal weight, and winter is the ideal time to catch up on your shut-eye.
With our busy lifestyles, it is easy to rush through our exercise routine. If you only have 30 minutes or an hour in the gym, it might seem more efficient to skip the warm-up and cool-down and head straight into the hard-core workouts. However, while these before and after sessions don’t always feel like “real” exercise, they do benefit concerning long-term fitness and strength.
As with your standard exercise routine, make sure you are executing the movements correctly for maximum benefits. It always helps to get a professional opinion to avoid injuries and to push your body to its full potential. My Health and Fitness offers a wide range of fitness specialists and health professionals who can assist.
Nipping it in the bud
It is a struggle to quit smoking. Social occasions, habit or the need for a guilty pleasure might all tempt you to indulge in “just one more” and before you know it you’re back to square one. It is, however, worth chucking those ciggies once and for all and with World No Tobacco Day taking place on 31 May; there’s no time like the present to kick those butts.
According to the World Health Organisation, “about 6 million people die from tobacco use every year, a figure that is predicted to grow to more than 8 million a year by 2030” if things don’t change dramatically. Not only do cigarettes harm your health, they also impact families and eat away at money that could be better spent.
Ever heard the old adage that muscle turns to fat, or you’re only burning calories if you’re working up a sweat? Yup, we have too, which is why we spoke to Pierre Louw from My Health and Fitness to debunk the myths that invade gyms the world over.
Pierre knows a thing or two about staying fit and runs www.myhealthandfitness.co.za, a Cape Town brand that connects trainers and nutritionists with everyday gym-users. Though not a personal trainer himself, Pierre has forged a career working with fitness professionals dedicated to helping people get the right results.
Consider the following myths busted.
Get the results that you want
Let’s be honest: it’s one thing to sign up for that gym contract, filled with promises of beach bodies and your #bestlife, but quite another to get motivated once the pressures of everyday life kick in. Before filing away your membership card with your other failed new year’s resolutions, try investing in a personal trainer who can keep you active.
Say goodbye to outdated fitness fads and start trending this year
In this day and age people will try anything to shift weight, and bizarre trends come and go as starlets like the Kardashians champion them on social media. However, like all fads, they come and go for a reason.
Here are a few dubious lifestyle trends to say good riddance to!
We live in a highly driven society. We are connected 24/7, with constant deadlines chasing us on a professional level, alongside social pressures from family and friends.
It is difficult to avoid the stress and anxiety that comes from our personal and professional lives. We can, however, adjust our lifestyles to manage the effect that stress has on our bodies.
A poorly constructed diet can do more harm than good.
Between the festive season indulgences and the looming sweets and treats of Valentine’s, many are trying to shed a few extra kilos. This might mean taking a fresh swing at low-carb high-fat, trying a controlled fast, or going raw.
These popular diets might hold great promise and even show impressive results, however, the danger arises when we tackle these kinds of eating plans after quickly scanning the web for basic guidelines and then applying it without consulting a professional. Dramatic changes in a diet or exercise regime can take its toll on the body and it is therefore essential to consult with a health professional first.
Think of any celebrity and they’ve recently been on some sort of ‘detox’. But what is the difference between a detox and a fad diet? And is there really a thing such as ‘detoxing’?
Let’s try to demystify a couple of those thoughts, shall we?
Fad diet versus detox?
The dictionary defines a fad diet as “a reducing diet that enjoys temporary popularity, a diet designed to help you lose weight”. Detox is defined as “a process or period of time in which one abstains from or rids the body of toxic or unhealthy substances”.
The essence of life, our most essential organ, indeed, the engine that keeps our bodies alive, is the heart.
Albeit relatively small, the heart pumps a staggering estimate of 23,000 litres of blood around your body. This pumping of blood is essential in delivering oxygen and nutrients to every organ and part of the body while, at the same time, removing unwanted carbon dioxide and other toxins.
Have you ever found yourself sitting at the office, glancing over to your colleague as she happily eats her healthy bowl of salad or raw veggies for lunch while you sink your teeth into your white-bread-chicken-mayo-sandwich?
The guilt sweeps over you as you feel every single carb pile up on your hips. She simply lifts another chickpea to her mouth and you feel like you can see her tricep pop through her sleeve. Not a great feeling.
So, will you ditch the bread tomorrow, go for a run and try a salad?
The heart is a complicated thing for more than one reason and having a holistic overview of the heart can be beneficial on many levels – especially if you’re on a mission to get fit and healthy.
On this fitness journey, it’s important to realise that it’s possible to harm yourself if you’re not educated on, or aware of, the needs and limits of your heart.
We look at three aspects when considering an overview of heart health and what you should pay attention to, and what to avoid.
We all have bad habits. Some people bite their nails, others drink 10 cups of coffee a day, and some can’t put down their cellphones. When a habit becomes an addiction, however, it enters a new, very destructive orbit. While nibbling one’s nails isn’t such a big deal, consuming excessive amounts of caffeine is straight-up unhealthy. Fortunately, neither of these is harmful to anyone other than the person with the habit.
As a health professional, you have an important role to fulfil in society. Your expertise and skills are much needed. However, the relationship you have with your clients is one of symbiosis. These two parties are interdependent for wellbeing and growth.
As an expert in the field of health and fitness, your mission is to satisfy the needs of your clients to your best ability while nurturing positive connections with them for your own benefit as well.
Like everybody in modern civilisation, you are a busy person – right? There is work, traffic, household tasks, family and social responsibilities and endless other engagements. Understandably, sticking to a fitness regime is hard.
Moreover, for many of us, being “on the go” really means not going at all, but rather sitting still – in meetings; in front of a computer; in your car. Consequently, the busier our schedules get, the idler our bodies become, leaving us unhealthy and unhappy.
Unfortunately, the knowledge of this flaw in our culture does not change the fact that our lifestyles are subjected to it and we need to do what we can to stay fit in spite of it.
All of us have suffered from a stomach sickness of some sort. Whether it is the more embarrassing gassy kind, bloating, heartburn, stomach cramps or even severe pain – everybody experiences abdominal discomfort from time to time. Our diet is directly related to our digestive health and consequently to our overall wellbeing, because let’s face it – cramps and crankiness go hand in hand and nobody with flatulence dares to be too friendly! If you are regularly experiencing tummy troubles, you might want to consider some dietary adjustments.
We all know the story: Clouded by guilt and discomfort brought on by holiday bingeing and laziness (mixed with an ample amount of new year optimism) you set fitness goals for yourself come January the second. You aim high (or very low if you measure health and fitness in terms of kilograms). Then comes February. The end. Fast forward to next January…. Aaaand repeat!
So, why do new year’s fitness resolutions almost always fail? Yes, the colleague who brings muffins for the office every day and the general business of life are great scapegoats. Yet, the problem is mainly that we set ourselves up for failure by the way we make resolutions.
Clever food choices make for clever people. Every bite you take can either boost or bust your brainpower. Here’s how to munch your way to more marbles:
Fish out your faculties
Omega oils are optimal brain food and nothing provides a better bucketful of this superb nutrient than fatty fish. There are many fishes in the sea, but salmon, tuna, mackerel, herring and sardines fare especially well at waxing your wit. There truly is something fishy about cognitive health…
We spend a lot of time exercising without realising the full beneficial effect on our brains. Equally, there are those who spend a lot of time doing nothing but keeping the couch warm without realising they could be developing the creeping condition of numbskull.
Bottom line (excuse pun) – it’s not just your body that needs that exercise, your brain needs the action, the movement, the concentration, and the motivated circulation of a healthy vascular system to keep it fresh and functioning in top gear.
Breathing. We don’t often think about it, but we all do it, all the time, simply because we need to survive. There’s a difference between surviving and flourishing though, and the truth is that breathing properly makes a huge difference to our lives.
Before we delve into doing it right, it’s interesting to understand how our lungs actually work.
When you’re pregnant, the last thing you usually feel like doing is working up a sweat. Between the sleepless nights, mood swings and morning sickness, it can be tough to motivate yourself to get moving. But, when you overcome your initial reluctance, you’ll discover that the benefits of being active make it well worth your while.
In the past, expectant mothers were advised to avoid exercise, and move as little as possible. Nowadays, however, the experts have found that it’s much better for moms-to-be to get moving. We all know that it’s good for our health and longevity to have some sort of movement routine, but it’s interesting to understand why exercising specifically while you’re pregnant is so important.
Every year the number of people using a digital screen grows. In 2012 over 2 billion people were spending their day in front of a screen compared to only 3 million in 1990. This year the number of children using digital devices for a few hours a day will climb close to 80 million. Gradually we are becoming dependent on gadgets with screens – screens that emit light and into which we stare like mesmerised rabbits.
But we forget the two most important elements required for these screens to work at all – and these are our eyes. Computer screens have come a long way since the 1990s – and modern display screens are geared to affect our eyes as little as possible. However, that does not mean that if you spend all day glued to your computer screen, you are not going to suffer some unpleasant effects.
Probably eight out of ten women will tell you that they’re not entirely happy with their figures. Fatter women will long for slimness, while the skinny, boyish figure will long for a fuller, more curvy outline. But the fact of the matter is that not every woman can be the same shape – and although Hollywood may be peppered with those hour-glass figures, the real world has millions of women who fall into the categories of Pear-shaped and Apple-shaped.
One of the most important building materials we can take when growing up or during adulthood when we want to keep our muscles healthy and our bones strong, is fish oil. You may be wondering why fish, in particular, are very healthy for us – providing unbeatable benefits from Omega-3 and that vital fish liver contribution, Vitamin A.
The value of Omega-3
So fish, the essence of fish and the fishiness of fish are closely entwined with our most ancient physiological and physical structures and development. Omega-3 impacts on the most vital areas of our health:
Today, in 2016, we hardly need to emphasize the health value of water – in fact, it’s more of a necessity than ever in our hurried, busy, busy life. Without it, in a few days, we would die. We can go for weeks without food, but only 3 days without water!
You know how it is. It’s 3am and you haven’t had a wink of sleep. Then, when you finally fall asleep around 4.30am the alarm goes off seemingly within seconds, and you wake feeling as though you have experienced a short coma. The room tilts when you get up, the bathroom seems to be in a different place, and one eye has trouble in looking in the same direction as the other.
Apart from merely wanting to be fit, there are several reasons why people may take up exercise – to alleviate stress, to improve a medical condition, to lose weight, to recover from an accident. But regardless of motivation – planning and maintaining a physical fitness regime is difficult if you are not driven by very specific goals and supported by people who share your vision of improvement and change. Staying the course and keeping up the physical pressure may be difficult on your own; attendance drops and becomes erratic, exercise routines begin to pall, and you may not feel the benefits you had hoped.