Tips for getting fit and healthy
Spring is finally here and getting fit and healthy is again my goal. I also want to lose weight. It signals the start of the weeks leading up to Summer and we love this time of year! It is a time for getting back on track, getting back to peak fitness. Or whatever that means. We might try to lose some kilos and pay more attention to what we eat and drink. Does your weight YOYO all the time? Do you have trouble sticking to an exercise regime? It’s OK, most people do, especially in these times. A lifestyle change might be the answer. The trick is to be ready to strip off and sit by the pool at any time of the year, not just during the summer holidays. But with gyms recently all closed due to Corona, how has everyone been keeping fit? It’s not easy. Online trainer-led sessions or running in the park? Both? Here I look at the issues and challenges of staying fit in these times. Also, I get the word from the owner of a health club in Amsterdam.
We are what we eat and that’s why I can’t lose weight
I have always struggled with my weight because I love good food and eating well. My weakness is having very low resistance to crisps and peanuts and I am definitely a snacker by nature. I love a cold beer or three. In the past, I was really overweight due to bad diet. In the more recent past, I dropped it down because I was careful with my diets and worked out a lot. I would say, that I am a classic yo-yo diet person. Weight goes up, weight goes down. When in the UK, I put on quite a few kilos. What I would prefer is stability.
Three things I have done to be in better condition in my 40’s than my 30’s (and my 20’s for that matter….)
One of the smartest things I ever heard was that the diet starts in the supermarket. Secondly, never go shopping when you are hungry. There is a list of foods I always buy and cannot do without. These include lentils, split peas, broccoli, spinach, broccoli, onions, garlic, tomatoes. These form the basis of most of my meals. I get protein from chicken, ham, pork, eggs, grass-fed beef. I buy curry pastes and make a lot of Indian food including a lot of vegetarian curries (never with rice). But, I never buy crisps, chocolates, sweets, peanuts or any snack items of any kind, as I know that if I do I will scoff the lot. The same goes for cheese. If I have cheese in the house I cannot resist. Well, I can resist, but I generally don’t. Know yourself!
So I eliminate a lot of carbohydrates by not buying them. Indeed, I never buy bread in any form. I have used a nutritionist in the past and that was interesting for me to hear where I was going wrong. For my general diet, I am trying to achieve a calorie deficit each month and get enough protein. I try to really keep an eye on my carbo intake. We all need proteins, carbo and fat in our diets, but it is the volumes of each that count. For reducing the carbs, I found the simple visuals on this carb locator very useful: nuts I love cashews, but they are the worst offenders! I never knew! And as for beer…it is like liquid bread. Not great for a diet.
Monitoring my daily burn.
I have an apple watch. Other brands are available… It is the first watch I owned in my life. I liked not having a watch. The smartwatch made one big change for me. I became obsessed with daily calorie burn. You have to close three rings on the watch to achieve your daily goals. One is standing time, the second is exercise and the third is calories burned. I need to burn 1000 calories a day to close that one. Then you try to reach the perfect week where all rings were closed. Then the perfect month….the perfect year? In my dreams. Still working on the perfect month….
What I am saying is that getting exercise and being active is now a part of my daily life. I do the walks and the cycling because I know it will help me close the rings. However, I don’t beat myself up with guilt if I don’t close the rings. I do try to every day though and it helps to remind me about getting fit and healthy. I do love getting out for a long walk and closing the rings.
Health and fitness lifestyle.
Again, know yourself. I need to be a gym member, to go to the gym and work out. But, I am not a body builder, I just want to get fit and healthy. I am not looking to bulk up. It’s not my body type. I would look weird with big muscular arms and shoulders, but I do want to get fit and get toned. I would like to have a six-pack once in my life! (still working on that). In the past, I have been the kind of gym member that goes 2 or 3 times a month when the whim takes me. Now I am in a groove where if I miss a day at the gym, I kick myself a little for not getting better organised. Again, my goal at the gym is to burn off calories, so I can close the ring on my watch.
During lockdown, there have been many online classes. But it’s not the same of course, but it was motivating all the same.
The Expert View
I love going to my health and fitness club on Marnixplein in the Jordaan. I asked the owner Sil, about other lifestyle change she recommends to busy expats like me.
Hi David, it was very interesting to hear about what you do to stay fit. Here at Sento, we hear so many stories from our members and every story is different. Everyone has different needs and goals. Fat loss might be one goal and another to increase fitness levels. What we do is to listen to what our members want, to advise and create a program that will mean they will achieve their goals. We are a health club. We have all the tools and experts in house to help our members achieve a healthy body and lifestyle.
Good and Bad Habits for getting fit and healthy
Getting fit and healthy is a mind set thing too. We help members to make better choices and lose weight. It is also a reversal of bad habits. If someone is over weight, it is mainly because they having been making poor food choices and leading a sedentary little where they are not burning calories, but storing them. It is as easy to adopt good habits as it is to adopt bad habits. We help them make better food choices and adapt an exercise regime that leads to fat loss and muscle tone.
As I said earlier not all our members are here for fat loss or fitness. Some are recovering from injuries. Our physiotherapy team are helping them and their bodies get back to full working condition and pain-free muscle use. Others come here for our extensive yoga sessions. And it’s not all about the body, as we offer meditation sessions too. We have a wonderful sauna, jacuzzi, spa and massages. We want our member to feel good and look great. And as you mentioned earlier, after any of the sessions with us, you have free and unlimited use of the Marnix swimming pool downstairs. Swimming is an enjoyable way to achieve an all-over body tone and is really good fun too!
Thanks Sil for these great insights about getting fit and healthy. Hopefully, you can reopen again soon.
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