My top 10 tips to living a healthy life

I love science, particularly when it is to do with the human body. Physiology and exercise science are my two loves in this world, though at times it can cause me to overcomplicate everything!

I wanted to take a backward step and show everyone that there are very simple, very actionable ways that you can improve your health immediately. Whilst the list is built around physical health, most of the tips will have positive carry over into mental and social health as well.

 

1. Walk more

Walk to work, walk your dogs, walk and listen to some music, walk with some friends, it doesn’t matter why you do it, just walk! I love walking because everyone can do it. It doesn’t matter your fitness level, you can always begin with a short stroll. The benefits are far-reaching. From energy expenditure to helping people deal with stress and anxiety, I don’t think there is any form of exercise as underutilized as walking.

2. Make your food

Cooking isn’t always the most enjoyable activity, though the effort goes a long way to dealing with the widespread weight issues within our community. Many people are overconsuming calories due to the high energy density found within most processed foods. The size of the meals do not match the energy content and it is leading to incredibly high rates of obesity in our country. Cooking your own meals ensures you are using ingredients that are somewhat fresh and will usually contain far fewer calories.

3. Enjoy your food

Being healthy doesn’t mean eating broccoli at every meal. Being healthy is about consistently consuming the right amount of food that can fuel and replenish your body whilst keeping you in a healthy weight range. There are no specifics on what you must eat! Traditional representations of ‘healthy eating’ are outdated and whilst we must still consume a wide variety of foods to satisfy our protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals requirements, there is much more freedom in today’s version.

4. Get outside

Nature is a natural stress reliever. It allows us to get away from the information overload of today’s world and clear the mind. A large percentage of our population is also vitamin D deficient, which can be alleviated by simply spending some time in natural sunlight. Exercising outside is a great way to spend energy whilst reaping the benefits of stress relief and natural sunlight.

5. Be a kid

As we grow older and life gets a little too serious, we often stop playing. Time spent running around, jumping, climbing, throwing and kicking the footy becomes scarce and our bodies start to reflect the lack of stimulus. Our bodies don’t lose the capacity to play, they simply detrain due to the fact that we don’t do it anymore.

6. Lift weights

Weight lifting was once thought to cause all sorts of aches and pains later in life, though we have come to find that it is the complete opposite. Muscle mass and strength has been proven to improve the quality of life no matter the age. Weight training has proved to be beneficial for aerobic health, joint health, obesity rates and the ability to live independent later in life.

7. Socialize with exercise

Humans love to interact and to feel part of a community, we always have. Exercising in groups can be a great way to create bonds whilst increasing motivation and accountability along the way. There is no shortage of group classes available nowadays so have a look around and find an environment that suits you.

8. Relax

Relaxing can mean many different things to many different people. Universally I think it is safe to say that relaxing refers to taking a break from life. It is important to switch off. Both physical and mental health are improved when we dedicate time to relaxation. I am a big believer in being on or off, not somewhere in-between. Being on means giving your all to the task in front of you, whilst being off means reducing sensory input and giving yourself time to reload. It is impossible to be on all of the time and just like the laptop I am typing on, switching off will lead to greater performance when you turn back on.

9. Be self-aware

Self-awareness is what determines when you should turn yourself off. Knowing the signs of being over-worked or under-recovered allow you to better determine when you should push forward or when you need to take some rest. You may need to push your limits to find out where your capabilities currently sit.

10. Keep learning

Keep reading, listening and practising. Everything in life starts with good health and so it is essential that you continue to develop your own education. Not only does it allow you to take health into your own hands, but it also gives you the ability to teach the next generation from a young age.

Game Day Nutrition

Eating on game day

For athletes that are serious about their sport, game day nutrition is a major piece of the success puzzle. Many athletes will go to extreme lengths to ensure they are physically prepared for a game, yet somehow forget about the cornerstone of all movement, energy.

Energy is the fuel that allows us to run, jump and tackle. Having a large energy tank and using it efficiently is what allows us to repeatedly perform at a high level.

As humans, we source energy through the breakdown of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. The rate at which we can access the energy carried in these macronutrients is not equal, so it’s not just about filling the fuel tank, it is vitally important that we do so with the right fuel at the right time. Using a slow release fuel such as fat is not going to cut it when called upon during the numerous intense efforts throughout a football match.

Aside from energy, meal size and digestion rate must be acknowledged. I’m sure you all agree that you do not want to be playing with a full stomach. Once you are up and running, your stomach drastically reduces its ability to digest. That means the closer we get to a game, the faster the meal must be broken down.

Most proteins, fats, and fiber have slow digestion rates. Whilst this is a great thing for minimizing hunger, it is not great for game day performance. That is why in the examples below, you will see meals that are mainly carbohydrate.

Before moving forward I must stress that the following rules and examples are applicable for GAME DAY and do not necessarily apply to training days or rest days.

RULEBOOK

If you already understand nutrition and energy metabolism, here are the key rules that I want you to implement on game day.

Pre-game:

  1. Minimize fat and fiber intake.
  2. Consume some protein with breakfast.
  3. Eat low GI carbohydrates up until 2 hours before the game.
  4. Do not overeat.
  5. Do not excessively drink (you should be hydrated from the days prior).

In-game:

  1. Consume high GI carbohydrates.
  2. Consume water.
  3. Consume some sodium.

Both the carbohydrates and sodium can be found within a Gatorade or any major sports drink.

Post-game:

  1. Shower, relax, then eat.
  2. Eat lots of protein and carbohydrates.
  3. Replace any weight loss.

Without going into the specifics of exercise metabolism, it is important to understand that carbohydrates fuel high-intensity exercise. Our muscles and liver can only hold so much glycogen (energy), so ensuring our tank is full, and topped up regularly throughout the match, is very important.

If all of the above meant absolutely nothing to you, that’s ok!

Just follow the recommendations below.

Meal plan

For a 2pm start

Breakfast (8 am): Yoghurt, muesli, and berries or Weetbix with milk and a protein shake.

Lunch (11 am): 2 wholemeal sandwiches (no salad or meat) or medium bowl of fried rice/ pasta (do not over-consume!!)

Pre-game: 1 banana.

In-game: 1 Gatorade.

Immediately post-game: 2 scoops of whey protein and 1 Gatorade or soft drink.

Within 2 hours: large serve of meat with pasta, rice or potato.

Later that night: another 1-2 scoop whey protein shake.

For those starting at 12 pm, I would simply take out the lunch meal and have it post game.

For those playing at 10 am I would have a small breakfast at 6:30-7 am and then still have the banana at 9 am if hungry.

 

Hopefully, this information can help take your game to the next level in 2019!

Sloppy Supp Shop Guy ‘Swears Buy’ This New Max Shredd Fat Burner Thing

Recently we walked into a local sports supplement shop, with the aim of having a simple browse at the products available. It’s been well established in the fitness industry for some time that supplements are responsible for the bulk of any beginners results, hence our visit.

“G’day m8, names Jase need any help?” asked the bloke with the surprisingly sloppy rig behind the counter. “Nar all good thanks mate, just having a look”. Under the assumption that we could continue to browse the store unimpeded, we moved into another aisle. “What protein you taking? this new fat burner protein has got some people shredded fast bro. It’s basically like doing 1 hour of cardio per day without any of the work”.

We thought this sounded good, he explained that we didn’t really need to do any cardio because the $149 supplement that contained 7 days worth of servings would essentially burn all of our fat for us. We only had to occasionally go to the gym, without having to sacrifice any of our terrible lifestyle choices.

Impressed with the genuinely knowledgable supplement shop assistant with an underwhelming physique, that definitely had our best interests in mind, we walked out of the shop having purchased $300 in reasonably priced supplements.

These supplements, in addition to our 2 times per week, 25-minute workout routine will surely get us shredded in no time at all.

More to come.