Beat the winter blues with these health boosters

Beat the winter blues with these health boosters

It’s that time of year when winter has fully taken hold and even the firmest resolutions begin to slip. With the morning still dark and the cold a constant torment, old habits can begin creeping back, which makes it even more important to retain that self-discipline until the warmer months arrive.

In order to achieve higher levels of fitness or lose body fat, you need to alter the habits that you have accumulated over a long period of time, which means being willing to adapt your lifestyle.

One of the most common things that personal trainers hear from clients is “I don't have the time to exercise”, but to this statement the response is always the same: in order to achieve your goals, you need to make the time to do so. Taking an hour out of your day a couple of times a week is not difficult and can make all the difference when it comes to creating a healthier, happier and fitter you.

Outside of the gym, your diet also has a major impact on your likelihood of achieving your goals, as it leads to a more positive frame of mind. If you’re hoping to shed some pounds, get fitter or simply feel better in yourself, there are some foods that can provide the essential vitamins and nutrients required, which can subsequently speed up your metabolism:

Fruits, vegetables, wholegrain, cereal, brown rice
All of these foods are full of fibre and take up more room in your belly, which also means you’re less likely to want a second portion. Believe it or not, food that takes more effort to chew actually makes your mouth work harder and ramps up the number of calories you are burning by 10 per cent, so it can be a double whammy! The result is an increased thermic effect, which all helps to maximise the eating and digesting process. If you do still want a treat, there are some energising foods and liquids that can delight the tastebuds without impacting the waistline:

Coffee, black tea, green tea, dark chocolate
Metabolism-boosting caffeine is found in abundance in coffee and black tea, but be careful not to load it too heavily with milk, cream and sugar. Caffeine helps to stimulate the central nervous system and can boost your metabolism by five to eight per cent, which amounts to almost 130 calories per day. Green tea does not contain a great deal of caffeine, making it great for drinking later in the day, and also has a high presence of catechin; an antioxidant that raises the resting metabolism by four per cent – or around 80 calories a day. Dark chocolate, meanwhile, contains both catechins and caffeine, although try to stick to an ounce per day or less to limit your fat and calorie intake.

It should be noted that although consuming these kinds of foods will help you to stick to your resolutions, they should not be seen as a quick fix solution. Ultimately, long-term change is brought about by breaking your habits and altering your lifestyle.

Healthy eating and regular exercise is about far more than just achieving a ‘beach body’ – it can help to reduce stress, improve your wellbeing and bring about general happiness.

If you need some pointers on the best way to complement your diet with an effective exercise regimen, consulting a personal trainer can point you in the right direction and help to sustain the ‘new you’. If you would like to learn more, feel free to get in touch with any one of the personal training team at PureGym, Quartermile.

PureGym at Quartermile is one of the busiest gyms in Edinburgh because of the incentives we offer. You don’t have to sign a contract and we have 24/7 opening times. To find out more visit the website or call 0845 077 3256.


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