7 Healthy lifestyle must do’s to better your overall wellbeing

As a Personal Trainer / Strength and Conditioning Coach I have the opportunity to work with people looking to change and better their overall health and lifestyles. Typically, people will ask what they can do outside of the training sessions to reach their personal health and fitness goals.

Everyone walks a different path and have different goals from deadlifting 200kg to competing in a city run or even being able to take the stairs without pain. Everybody is so different with different personal objectives that may be challenged by long hours and travel mixed with family commitments and other stressful tasks that need to be completed – often by yesterday. The main aim of this post is to aid or offer some direction in maintaining health amongst the daily chaos we call life.

Here are some areas that need to be focussed on to achieve the best version of yourself. Some of these areas you may already be in control of, but if not, I suggest taking note and make some changes for the better.

1: Sleep more

The aim here is to have unbroken sleep patterns. Sleep is when your body recovers – it requires this to repair and prepare for another day of action ahead. I would suggest aiming for 7 – 9 hours of unbroken sleep. Note that unbroken was in bold italics! This is what I recommend focussing on – if you struggle here, I suggest switching of the television 30 minutes earlier and read a book in bed with an herbal sleep/aid tea.

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2: Learn about food portion sizing

It’s very easy to lose control of your bodyweight if you don’t or can’t control how much you’re eating. Understanding portion sizes or to actually know roughly how much we should eat for your goals is the key. As a simple and basic rule of thumb (excuse the upcoming pun) you have to eat according to the scale of overall body size – so use your hand. If you look at the palm of your hand that will determine your protein portion size per meal, a fist will determine the veggie portion size, your cupped hand determines starchy carb portions and the surface area of your thumb is the portion of fats per meal. With this guideline you can always ensure you are eating a balance of macronutrients. If you are wanting to lose weight – reduce the starchy carbs to half a portion or skip it entirely unless training on that day.

3: Eat according to your body type (Somatotype)

Human beings all differ in shapes and body sizes. We vary genetically in body composition, energy levels and metabolic rates. Different body types or groups (“Somatotypes”) typically share the same following characteristics: Metabolism (how nutrients are processed and metabolic rate), morphology and skeletal structure and hormonal environment. In sport it becomes much clearer if you were to look at a long-distance runner (I Type: Ectomorph) in comparison to a sprinter (V Type: Mesomorph) – The 2 body types are very different and we can apply general nutrition strategies to this concept. The following categories are a general concept and people can adapt their body type as they wish or need through training and nutrition:

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I Type (Ectomorph) – Light and lean and may have longer limbs. Metabolism is fast and excess energy can be burnt through general movement and heat. Rarely is this body type too hungry and easily full and have a high tolerance to Carbohydrates. So therefore this body type could potentially consume a higher Carb diet without gaining as much body fat as the other two types.

V Type (Mesomorph) – Naturally more muscular or athletic with a flexible metabolism. If they have excess energy it can easily build muscle mass. Typically, this body type will be hungry with heightened activity otherwise have a normal hunger for foods. They are testosterone and growth hormone dominant.

O Type (Endomorph) – Naturally heavier build with more body fat and shorter limbs. They will possess a slow metabolism and excess energy gets stored as fat. They are very sensitive to hunger cues and may always feel hungry. This body type has a low tolerance to Carbohydrates. Therefore this body type has to be careful when eating excess Carbohydrates as they can gain body fat easily.

This is a basic guideline. We tend to fall into a category however sometimes we are in between or some people will have evolved into a different body type through hard work and determination… or no training and over eating.

4: Know what you’re eating (understand your Macronutrients)

Basically, you just need to break your meals down into 3 major food groups (Macronutrients): Complex Carbohydrates, Fats and Protein. Here is a basic healthy food list of all three groups.

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Carbs

Whole Grains: Wholegrain seedy breads, brown rice, oatmeal and starchy vegetables, such as sweet potatoes and corn. These food sources are rich in fibre, minerals and vitamins, which help slow down the release of energy in a more sustainable form.

Oatmeal: A bowl of oatmeal is a healthy breakfast option. As a great source of dietary fibre, oatmeal can help improve your bowel movements, lower cholesterol and provide sustained energy until lunchtime.

Whole-grain pasta: is great to consume over lunchtime. Unlike the refined pasta, whole-grain pasta includes B-vitamins, iron, antioxidants and several trace minerals. The slow-release of energy is ideal for a mid-day meal to prevent sluggishness and hunger pangs later in the evening.

Lentils: One cup of cooked lentils contains about 16 grams of dietary fibre, which is over 60% of your recommended daily intake. It is also a valuable source of protein. They are easy to prepare and are full of nutrients - especially folate (provides 90% of your daily value), manganese and iron.

Sweet Potatoes: are high in potassium, vitamin A, carotenoids and vitamin E, which helps protect you from heart disease.

Avoid: mostly simple carbohydrates such as table sugar, white bread and sugary drinks. These are refined, which means the natural minerals vitamins, and fibre content is removed. This makes simple carbs a source of quick energy but little nutritious value, which is why there are sometimes referred to as “empty calories”. These can be consumed occasionally but not often.

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Fats

Avocado: are an excellent fruit packed with potassium and fibre – they have been shown to have major benefits for cardiovascular health.

Cheese: is a great source of calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus and protein!

Nuts: provide a high amount of healthy fat and fibre. They are also a great source of plant-based protein. Healthy nuts include: Almonds, Hazelnuts, Walnuts and Macadamia nuts just to name a few.

Avoid: overly salted peanuts – just too much salt.

Extra Virgin Olive Oil: Extra virgin olive oil contains vitamins E and K, and is full of powerful antioxidants. Some of these antioxidants aid in fighting inflammation.

Full fat Yogurt: I personally like Greek yogurt varieties which are also high in protein. When choosing a yogurt be sure to check the amount of sugar per serving – it’s not uncommon to find lots of sugar used to sweeten the product.

Fatty Fish: Choose fish like Salmon, Trout, Sardines and Tuna. These fish are full of Omega 3 fatty acids and high-quality protein. Try to choose wild fish varieties opposed to over-farmed and undernourished fish.

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Protein

Chicken Breast: Rich in protein, easy to cook and a great option with most other foods. Eat without the skin to have the healthiest option.

Eggs: Each egg contains 6 grams of protein – a great little option as a snack through-out the day to maintain your protein levels. Also, eggs contain healthy fats and minerals.

Lean Beef: A great source of protein which is high in vitamin B12 and iron.

Turkey Breast: Once again high in vitamins and minerals and another great option to chicken as another source of white meat protein.

Beans and Lentils: These are a great plant-based protein source that should be incorporated into every diet. Plenty of fibre, folate and protein.

For further help with eating the correct amounts on a daily basis, understanding your body type and ensuring you eat the right whole food Macros feel free to contact me directly.

5: Stress Less

Understandably everybody stresses – it’s totally normal and is simply a part of life, however if you find yourself stressing often your body will suffer. Your central nervous system (CNS) is in charge of your “fight or flight” response. In your brain, the hypothalamus gets the ball rolling, telling your adrenal glands to release the stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones rev up your heartbeat and send blood rushing to the areas that need it most in an emergency, such as your muscles, heart, and other important organs. If the hypothalamus doesn’t tell the hormones to relax again people can be stuck with chronic stress, overeating issues and other forms of problems that greatly affect their health and wellbeing.

When we train, we apply stress to our muscles to create microtrauma – after the damage has occurred, we rest and recover in order to allow the muscle to heal and grow stronger. If you have a high stress job and train hard, possibly struggle to sleep as you have so much on your mind you will find yourself in an overtrained state. Now, just to clarify – I’m not saying don’t train or exercise, training can also be an outlet for stress – simply we need to de-stress and recover from what may be an already taxing working lifestyle on top of your training. Here are some things you can do to de-stress.

Get a massage: This is a great way to not only relax but also release tension in your muscles and help along recovery from your workouts.

Spend time on hobbies: Hobbies are a great way to fully immerse yourself into something that you derive pleasure from – if it’s active, even better! Personally, for me Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and surfing completely absorb my focus. This helps to clear the head and really, I have to live in the moment – if your distracted you will either be tapped out or cop a wave on the head! It’s nice to live in the moment when we are surrounded by distractions.

6: Stay Hydrated

I’m sure this point has been preached to you many times – but it’s a simple daily task everybody should undertake. Here in Switzerland the tap water is amazing! I drink litres of basic tap water (sometimes with vitamins added) throughout the day. This stuff comes straight from the tap and is truly important for you to function properly through the day. If you don’t drink enough water you can feel the following symptoms:

  • Loss of attention span

  • Dizziness

  • Irritability

  • Sleepiness

  • Headache

As a rule of thumb you should be drinking 35ml for every kilo of your weight. So if you’re 60kg, you should be drinking a minimum of 2.1l

7: Eat within a 9 – 12-hour window (Restrictive eating)

This is simply a great way to allow your body to fast during your rested and sleeping hours. We burn more fat when we sleep than when we are awake and our muscles recover from any type of strenuous activities carried out through the day. If we can eat within a window of time during the day it allows our body to function more efficiently in breaking down the foods we have consumed during the non-eating window. Our body is a magnificent machine that functions best when allowed time to distribute and burn the nutrients provided from our foods.

Hopefully some of these healthy lifestyle tips are already being utilised by anyone who takes the time to read this blog post – if not, maybe consider making to changes and see how it can improve your health through a small shift in some lifestyle habits.

"Fit für die Firma" - We were on Television!

Last night one of my Boot Campers "Effie" was featured in a documentary made by the television channel Arte. Arte wanted to follow her and the team as they took part in the Virgin Pulse Global Challenge. This physical step challenge aims to help cultures all around the world and improve the health and performance of over 2 million employees. They have also partnered with UNICEF for the "make a difference campaign" where donations provide access to sanitation facilities, hygiene training and emergency transport services that can reach pregnant women and mothers with newborns living in isolated communities. Effie and her team were to accumulate as many steps as possible (aiming for 10,000 per day) over a 100 day period. Footage of us in action is found around the 21 minute mark :)

https://www.arte.tv/de/videos/073399-010-A/re-fit-fuer-die-firma/ (only available until 30th December 2017)

Surfari Fitness Workshop - 7 May

Seminar Description: 

This seminar is designed to provide specific movements geared towards building strength and conditioning specific to surfing. As we live in a landlocked country we need to prepare our body for the potential physically heavy conditions that we may face whilst surfing. I believe a bit of preparation can help you get the most out of your time in the water - and when we don't have much time in the water, this is extremely important. The aim of this seminar is to further develop core strength, upper and lower body power and balance - and provide you with some knowledge as to how you can maintain and build the appropriate fitness for your upcoming surf trips. 

How to Book:

Visit www.surfari.ch/lukerennie1.html and book one of the 6 tickets

New Studio now OPEN!

New Studio now OPEN!

My new studio is open as of tomorrow, 3rd January 2017, at Friedaustrasse 12.

I am super stoked with how well it has turned out and how it shall evolve. I have some new equipment to push you all to your limits with more to come! Contact me for more info. 

Last Boot Camp for 2016!

Last Boot Camp for 2016!

Litrally very cool (0 degrees) last bootcamp for the year! Massive thank you bootcampers for your ongoing support and positive energy to power through the physical barriers that I constantly present to you! Well done and I can't wait to train you all in the new year!

Dein Fitnessstudio? Neben dem Sofa links!

Dein Fitnessstudio? Neben dem Sofa links!

Here are some simple exercises utilising push, pull and squat movements that anyone can do at home with some basic pieces of equipment – Yoga Mat, Fitball, Foam Roller and Resistance band. Easy, time efficient and effective – Give it a go!

Nur die Harten kommen in den Garten

Nur die Harten kommen in den Garten

A big thank you to the Mooris team for this blog post and for being awesome boot campers! I love having you all on board. To many more Boot Camps to come. See you on Monday, and “Kein Weinen”, gell!

Open House Event

Together with Gemeinschaftspraxis MORIS, I would like to invite you to our Open House.

Come celebrate with us at our new studio and practice and benefit from special discounts on appointments and products. Also be sure not to miss out on the informative speech on nutrition at 3pm.

We are looking forward to seeing you there.

 

Details:

Saturday, 11th June 2016 at 14:00–18:00
Badenerstrasse 658, 8048 Zürich

Trouble losing that little bit of extra weight? Why not keep a food diary?

The concept of losing weight seems quite simple – train hard and eat clean, however much of the time people tend to struggle in the eating clean department. In some cases people actually don’t understand which foods are high in calories and therefore may struggle to lose that little bit of extra weight. If you can devote more attention to this area whilst training consistently, success towards your end goal will shine through.

A food diary (simply recording everything you eat) can unveil overeating patterns such as –

  • what foods are being consumed (calories)
  • when they are being consumed (time)
  • how often they are being consumed (daily)
  • why are they being consumed (habit)
  • portion sizes
  • where eating takes place (emotional behavior, habit )

It’s a very simple process that I believe is a necessary tool in breaking unhealthy habitual behaviour. Even by recording everything you eat we can break overeating habits and make changes to the foods that are being consumed. The best way is to fill out the food diary every time you eat, so therefore you wont forget what you have consumed. Or if this seems too difficult there are some fantastic calorie counting / food diary apps where you can simply scan barcodes and obtain the specific caloric information required. Its all about being mindful and maintaining control of urges –its the small fill ups on sweets and junk food that when eradicated can really help make a change – all of these small unhealthy meals need to be recorded.

One thing to remember: No one is perfect – you will face obstacles such as the occasional inconvenience, however this is a basic obstacle that you can overcome to succeed in your weight loss goals. If you really want to make a change, take this step in the right direction along with a personalised training program. The time is now, make a change and enjoy your progress.

Breathing – 20,000 reps per day, but do we do it well whilst exercising?

Breathing is something we obviously all do in order to be alive – but do you breathe correctly when you exercise? Did you realise the majority of the time when we breathe during rest we only use about 10 – 15% of our lung capacity? We take short sharp breaths consistently through our daily lives.

Whilst exercising our bodies require large amounts of oxygen increasing our respiration rate. Knowing some simple breathing techniques will allow your body to get more from your exercise routines or sports and or avoid complications such as dizziness after intense training.

Cardio

As a basic rule it is important to always maintain a good posture in order to keep your chest open to improve your lung capacity. If running you should maintain a straight back and hold your head high. When doing cardio it is best to try to breathe abdominally – this allows you to gain larger volumes of oxygen into your lungs. When your not training practice breathing where your abdomen rises naturally and allow your abdomen to contract slightly to push the air out. Another way to enhance your breathing is to combine Abdominal with Thoracic breathing – also practice this when you are relaxed  –begin by inhaling abdominally filling the bottom of your lungs as much as you can and then aim to fill the top of your lungs into your chest feeling your rib cage opening up or expanding slightly outward. If and when you combine the two you will achieve greater amounts of oxygen into your bloodstream. If you are someone who enjoys training in the cold outdoor air it is a good idea to try to focus on breathing through your nose to warm the air before it gets to your lungs – obviously breathing through the nose can be difficult depending on the intensity of the workout, but this may help avoid getting sick and keep you training.

Resistance Training

Strength training requires stability to perform the movement of sometimes very heavy weight. Breathing appropriately will help maintain support or what’s known as bracing. Some trainers advise using the Valsalva maneuver – which is a moderately forceful exhalation against a closed airway. This particular style of breathing can help to stabalise the trunk during heavy compound lifts such as the Dead lift, Squat, Olympic weightlifting and bench press. Generally this method will be utilized by athletes who have a healthy blood pressure and are accustomed to training with heavy weight. This type of breathing is not suitable for everyone however, especially if you have higher levels of systemic blood pressure. Forced exhalation throughout normal repetitions is the general best practice for people going to the gym to improve their fitness. For example if we are doing a bench press we breathe in on the negative repetition where the weight is lowering to our chest 2 or 3 times in and breathe out in a relaxed manner and out gradually when we push the weight above our chest. We want to always keep oxygen in our blood for our muscles – so focus on breathing in a controlled manner.

High Impact Sports or Training

High intensity sports place high demands on our bodies – and if your not in good shape you can expect to get gassed out fairly quickly. Depending on the sport you play breathing can vary slightly however as a rule try to breathe deeply and rhythmically. Breathing from the diaphragm is the aim – accessing the larger lower parts of your lungs allows for more oxygenated blood and more rounds or better performance whilst training. Its always very important to try and not hold your breath when under pressure – obviously different if your underneath the water say duck-diving a huge mass of whitewater whilst surfing! However, staying relaxed in a pressure situation no matter what sport you are involved in can only help to maintain focus allowing you to perform your best.

Cool Down and Stretching

The aim here is to equalise our breathing –You may have completed an intense set of exercises and now its time to focus on equal length inhale and equal length exhale. This type of breathing is said to calm the nervous system, reduce stress and lower the blood pressure.  As a general rule whilst stretching you should breath in when you have opened your body in some way ( e.g. shoulders pulled back and chest out ) and breath out when closing your body in some way ( e.g closing or inward flexion of shoulders ) .

If you can gain a regular and rhythmic breathing pattern or system according to the type of training you do you will gain greater results. Sometimes this may take lots of practice, as we have to teach ourselves new forms of breathing and naturally it is something we do without thinking – but why not give it a try, you have nothing to lose.

Why you feel sore after a hard workout (DOMS)

What is it?

We all know the benefits of doing a decent workout incorporating changes and alterations in your program periodically – however we normally pay for it the next day from our muscles being sore. It can be a pain in the butt! In some cases literally, however it is totally normal and a sign that you have created tiny micro tears in the muscles exercised. This is typically how our bodies adapt and muscles grow stronger. Its called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness also know as DOMS.

 

Why does this happen to me?

In most cases people have DOMS after having carried out some form of exercise that has tested them beyond their normal limits. When we exercise we typically perform 4 muscle movements – Eccentric (lengthening), Concentric (shortening), Isometric (static) and Plyometric (combining Eccentric and Concentric). It is the Eccentric or muscle lengthening movements that are responsible for the soreness. For example the lowering phase whilst doing a heavy bench press will apply increased force or tension on the lengthened Pectoral muscle fibers, causing ruptures and microscopic lesions. The micro trauma caused stimulates nociceptors (pain receptors) to cause the sensation of pain.

 

Why does it hurt the next day?

After placing stress on your muscles they want to heal to adapt and grow stronger. So the pain associated with DOMS is simply a side effect of the healing process. Without getting too scientific we have small amounts of calcium being stored in the damaged muscles slowing cellular respiration and breaking down muscle protein. This process causes pain through inflammation and or a build up of Potassium, fatty acids and Histamines. This normally takes about a day to occur – hence the pain being delayed.

 

Can I still train?

Staying active or light training to keep your body moving is beneficial. Keeping a steady blood flow to the area helps the healing process so gentle cardio or swimming can be a good idea. It’s a good idea not to train too hard whilst being sore, nothing worse than actually injuring yourself and losing all of your recent results gained!

 

How can I treat it?

The best way to aid the healing process is to simply draw more blood flow to the sore areas. Some options are as mentioned above light exercise, massage, ice baths, sauna and self- massaging devices such as foam rollers.

DOMS is a normal and natural occurrence that everybody experiences – overtime the severity of DOMS will decrease as you train more consistently and adapt to your fitness program. Once you have adapted to your program – Change it! Your body is an amazing machine, ever adapting to the stress we apply to become stronger.

Stay healthy and keep training.

Muscle recovery with a Foam Roller – Anyone can do it!

I have always thoroughly enjoyed rolling on my foam roller after having a heavy sparring session at Jiu Jitsu – instantly you are able to release the tension from the muscles you have tightened through working hard. Foam rolling is known as “Self-myofascial release” – and the aim is to apply pressure to specific parts of your body aiding recovery and allowing your muscles to once again be elastic and healthy. Foam Rollers are available in sports stores, major shopping outlets and of course online. I definitely think having one of these is a great investment for your health.

The following article is a guide as to how to use this little fitness tool correctly. 

The benefits of group training

We all know exercise is important and necessary in our daily lives – right? – but did you realise that training with either a partner or a group of people is the best way to exercise!? Even having another person sharing a circuit or fitness routine is proven to push you harder than if you train alone. Check out the following article