Fit 4 Life Brand Ambassador Dr Alfred Dawes top Fit in 5
If you follow these ‘Fit in 5’ tips, you cannot go wrong on your fitness journey.
One of the most underrated ways in which you can stay fit and healthy is to get enough sleep. There is no magical number of hours that one should sleep as this varies with activity levels and age. During restful sleep, your stress hormone levels naturally fall. High stress hormone levels can lead to weight gain and negatively affect your cardiovascular and gastrointestinal systems, leading to the development of chronic diseases over time. It is during sleep that your muscle fibres, damaged during resistance training, get repaired and grow, leading to greater muscle mass, which, in turn, leads to a higher resting metabolic rate. You simply can’t build muscle without adequate sleep.
Walking can increase the total calories burned each day without you going to the gym. Using the stairs and walking instead of driving can increase your step count dramatically, leading to more pounds being shed effortlessly. Taking 10,000 steps per day burns 400 to 500 calories. Do that for a week, and that 3,500 calories will be equal to a pound of fat!
3. DRINK WATER
It doesn’t matter if its alkaline, filtered, spring, or tap – you need to drink enough water to stay hydrated and healthy. Your body is 60 per cent water, and all organ systems are optimised by taking in enough water. Water is the only true detoxing agent that you need to flush your system. Dehydration affects your performance when exercising, resulting in a suboptimal workout. Constipation and kidney stones are just two of the many conditions caused by poor water intake.
4. CALORIES COUNT
Whether you are on a keto, Atkins, low-carb, high-carb, low-fat, vegan or intermittent-fasting diet, you lose weight only when your caloric intake is less than what you burn. There is no superior diet. It’s ultimately calories in, calories out. Persons get frustrated with weight loss when they believe that they’re in a calorie deficit but are not losing weight. The reality is, either they are consuming more calories than they think or they need to consume even less calories than they think they need. Be mindful of calories, no matter what your diet of choice is!
5. EXERCISE EQUALS WEIGHT TRAINING AND CARDIO
Oftentimes, we see men at the gym pumping iron every day while women are forever in aerobics classes. But they would see far improved results if they switched up their routine a bit. We need weight training in order to increase our muscle mass and resting metabolic rate. Weight training leads to a longer post-workout calorie burn when compared to aerobics. Building muscles helps you to get toned. Cardio training stimulates your cardiovascular system, leading to improved fitness and endurance. The fat loss shows off the definition of the muscles built with strength training and makes you look and feel better.
Dr Alfred Dawes is the brand ambassador for The Gleaner’s Fit 4 Life. He is a general, laparoscopic, and weight-loss surgeon; fellow of the American College of Surgeons; former senior medical officer of the Savanna-la-Mar Public General Hospital; and former president of the Jamaica Medical Doctors’ Association. @dr_aldawes. Email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com