How to Get 30 Minutes of Exercise Each Day

Physical inactivity is the second highest lifestyle related cause of disease and illness in Australia.

Running

As part of our Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, participants must consistently do 30 minutes of moderate intensity, ‘huffy puffy’ exercise each day.

What is ‘huffy puffy’ exercise?

‘Huffy puffy’ exercise is any movement that gets your heart rate up and makes you sweat. You should be out of breath and unable to hold a conversation in full sentences.

The National Physical Activity Guidelines recommend accumulating 2.5 – 5 hours of moderate intensity or 1.25-2.5 hours of vigorous intensity exercise each week. In an ideal world, you’re aiming for a combination of both.

Benefits of exercise

Getting 30 minutes of ‘huffy puffy’ exercise in each day can be easier than you expect. Besides, the benefits are totally worth it! Getting vigorous exercise in each day will help:

  • Optimise your mood, memory and brain function

  • Increase your blood flow, oxygen and nutrient supply to your body

  • Reduce your risk of chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis

  • Assist with managing your weight

Here are 3 fun and easy ways to get puffed in 30 minutes:

1. Circuit Training

Circuit training is one of the most efficient ways to enhance cardiovascular fitness and muscle endurance. It’s easy to create a short, sharp session at home using different exercises to target different muscle groups and body parts. Try incorporating upper body exercises like pushups, tricep dips and chin ups with lower body exercises like squats, lunges, calf raises and stair climbs. Throw in some crunches, planks and leg raises to finish off and work your core. With minimal rest cycles you can easily make this a high intensity session and tick off your 30 minutes easily.

2. Interval Training 

Steady state exercise like going for a long run, ride or row at a slower speed are great, aerobic, huffy puffy exercises, but if you want to boost the overall intensity, try adding interval training. This style of training mixes high and low intensity (or active rest) exercise for great metabolic results.

Instead of going for a slow run, try sprinting for 30 seconds at maximum effort and then scale back the intensity to an easy jog for 1-2 minutes of active recovery. Repeat 8-10 times. Varying exercise intensity can help your body adapt to exercising for longer and at higher intensity levels.

3. Skipping

Skipping rope is a fun, total body way to break a sweat. Using a skipping rope strengthens both your upper and lower body, gets your heart rate pumping and builds coordination and balance. If that’s not enough to convince you – a skipping rope costs less than $5 and is light and transportable so you can take it with you anywhere.

All 3 of the above exercises are great ways to incorporate ‘huffy puffy’ exercise into your favourite routine or use them on their own as a serious heart pumping activity. Don’t be afraid to mix up your cardiovascular exercise – any activity that helps you get your sweat on is perfect! 

Healthy Eating for Men

When men think of healthy eating for some reason, they automatically think they have to eat salad. But we’re here to tell you, you can be healthy without having to resort to boring rabbit food!

healthy eating for men

Men and women aren’t that different when it comes to daily nutrition. Yes, men tend to have more muscle mass which increases their requirements compared to a female. But nutritionally speaking, men still need a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to tick along each day. If you’re a ‘skip the veggies, pile on the meat’ type of guy, don’t worry we’re not about to suggest you turn your phone off and lock yourself at home eating chicken, broccoli and rice to meet your goals!

 

We surveyed all the men in our lives and found some common themes when it came to eating habits. Based on these findings, here are our Top Tips to Eating Healthy as a Dude while still balancing life and the bro-code.

 

Common Man Trend No. 1 – Skimping on the veggies

Veggies just get in the way of meat right?! Well depending on your age, 5-6 serves are recommended each day for men. This equates to 3 cups of vegetables or 6 cups of salad which we know can be hard to meet at times.

Hot Tip 1

Our biggest advice here is to try and add a serve or two to breakfast. Throw some spinach, tomato, mushrooms into the pan while you’re cooking your eggs and add some baked beans on the side. Or if you’re partial to something sweet for breakfast, give our carrot cake porridge a go! It’s far easier to meet your serves each day when you start early with 1-2 already ticked off before morning tea.

 

Common Man Trend No. 2 – Forgetting to trim the fat

Just because it’s attached to your steak doesn’t mean you should eat it! Leaving meat untrimmed can more than double the fat content and add over 500kJ to your meal. It’s also not a fat we need any more of in our diets.

Hot Tip 2

Try making a visual connection between the fat you’re eating and the energy it provides. That 500kJ is the same as an extra ½ cup of rice, a slice of bread, or a tub of yoghurt. Always trim the fatty rind off BEFORE cooking or avoid the temptation altogether and swap that rib-eye for a nice eye fillet without the fatty rind and heavy marbling to start with.

 

Common Man Trend No. 3 – Making it all about the meat

Overconsumption of protein, in particular red meat, is one of the most common downfalls for Australian men. It seems to stem from the common misconception that more protein equals more muscle mass. But in fact, excess protein is simply a waste, not to mention problematic for our health. High meat and in particular, red meat intake is associated with an increased risk of colorectal cancer (1). High meat consumption also leads to an increased intake of energy and saturated fat that over time can cause excess weight gain and a build-up of LDL (bad) cholesterol in your body.

Hot Tip 3

There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy a good BBQ and red meat 2-3 times per week. The World Health Organisation recommends keeping red meat intake to 500g/week or less to decrease the risk of cancer. A great way to include red meat while not going overboard with 450g rumps is to make your own burger patties. Try our delicious homemade recipe for beef burgers HERE, they’re delicious!

 

Common Man Trend No. 4 – Falling into the cycle of after work drinks

It can be easy to fall into the habit of having ‘one or two’ drinks (or at least that’s what you tell your partner) after work each day to wind down, or perhaps a few more when catching up with friends over the weekend. Unfortunately, this common habit can negatively impact your health by increasing your energy intake, appetite and altering the way your body metabolises fat.

Hot Tip 4

Our advice is to enjoy one beer, or one glass of wine with a meal, but be careful not to let this become a daily event. If you’re joining your colleagues after work for a drink then try and opt for something non-alcoholic (just don’t tell them), or a choice that has a lower alcohol content like light beer so the overall quantity of the toxin entering your body is less. Avoid getting yourself into rounds as you lose all control when you’re part of the pack.

 

Common Man Trend No. 5 – Not adjusting your intake to reflect your activity

Most guys eat the same thing every day. But as your training load changes, so should your daily energy intake. It can be easier to remember to increase your intake on a heavy training day, as your body gives you hunger cues. But it’s the other way around that can be forgotten.

Hot Tip 5

If you didn’t end up going for that long run like you’d planned, or if you got too busy with work to get to the gym, think about scaling what you’re eating. We’re not saying starve yourself – but perhaps swap that large roll for a wrap or your rice out for potato. This will help you adjust your intake to reflect your activity without having to resort to rabbit food.

 

Common Man Trend No. 6 – Ignorance is bliss!

If you are unaware of recommended serving sizes for different food groups, then it becomes increasingly easy to miss the mark and either be eating too little or too much! Unfortunately, this strategy isn’t going to help you hit any training or nutritional goals.

Hot Tip 6

Try using visual measures of the food on your plate based on the following serve sizes:

  • Protein – aim for approximately the size of the palm of your hand

  • Carbohydrate – aim for approximately 1 fist on your plate for lunches and dinners

  • Salad/Vegetables – aim for 2 fists serves on your plate. 1 serve of veggies = ½ cup of cooked veg, 1 cup of salad. Remember you need 5-6 each day

 

Final Word

Life is about balance and we’re all about enjoying food. We firmly believe healthy eating shouldn’t be HARD or BORING. We challenge you to give our 7 hot tips for Healthy Eating for Men a go and see how you feel. We’re not asking you to eat rabbit food, just make some conscious decisions for your long term health. 

Comment below if you give any of these strategies a go! 👇🏼

 

References

(1). Cancer Council Australia (2013). Position Statement: Meat and Cancer Prevention. Retrieved from Cancer Council NSW https://www.cancercouncil.com.au/1752/cancer-prevention/diet-exercise/nutrition-diet/other-foods-nutrients/meat-and-cancer-3/

Move More: Tips to Increase your Incidental Exercise

Incidental exercise is the movement you perform as part of your everyday life that makes up your daily activities. These movements can be simple – from walking to the mailbox to gardening to playing with the kids – but together these bite-sized chunks can add up to a significant portion of your total daily physical activity. Physical activity has excellent health benefits and forms the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. It raises your daily energy expenditure and helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.

Sitting is the new smoking. Here are some handy ways to boost incidental exercise:

  • Set an alarm on your phone or watch to move hourly from your desk or chair
  • Invest in a standing desk
  • Take regular breaks to grab another glass of water
  • Take phone calls on your mobile and do laps around the office
  • Don’t install a printer at your desk, walk to collect printing
  • Catch up with work colleagues or friends over a brisk walk instead of sitting down at the office or coffee shop
  • Always use the stairs over the lift or escalators
  • Jump off the bus a few stops early and walk the rest of the way
  • Multi task – instead of sitting down in front of the television, do chores like washing, ironing and folding.
  • Park further away from the shop entry
  • Leave the TV remote on the coffee table and get up to change the channel

 

Why Alcohol is the Hand Break on Your Weight Loss Goals

No-one likes a hand brake. 

Yet consuming even moderate amounts of alcohol has detrimental effects on weight loss. The biggest problem with alcohol is not simply its energy density, it’s also how alcohol effects our body’s metabolic processes. Most importantly, its capacity to metabolise fat.

The reason why alcohol impacts our metabolism is linked to the way in which ethanol is processed. Ethanol is a toxic molecule and our body doesn’t have a storage place for it. Unlike fat, which is deposited into fat cells or carbohydrates which are stored as glycogen in our muscles and liver. Essentially the body has no choice but to prioritise the breakdown and removal of alcohol over all other macronutrients.

The major processing site for alcohol in the body is the liver. Up to 98% of alcohol consumed is transported to the liver where the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase converts alcohol to acetaldehyde. This molecule is then transformed into acetate, producing a sudden increase in blood acetate levels.

The body prefers to burn acetate over fat because it is more efficient. Acetate is a very readily available fuel source so the body doesn't have to do much metabolic work to use it. Our body suppresses fat oxidation (fat burning), sometimes by up to 73% (!), until the acetate is burned off. This means that for the subsequent hours after drinking, your body is in unable to utilise fat stores and any plans you had for fat loss come to a grinding halt.

But wait, there is more bad news…

When we drink heavily for an extended period of time, our body recognises alcohol as a consistent energy source and adapts to use it more efficiently. The body activates a system known as the ‘microsomal ethanol-oxidising system’ in order to redistribute and remove excess alcohol and promote body fat storage. The most common site of fat storage is around your mid-section (hence why lovers of alcohol usually sport a "beer gut").

If you’re a part of our Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, these are just a couple of good reasons why alcohol intake scores so poorly. While for some it may be hard to avoid, it wouldn’t be called a ‘challenge’ if it wasn’t challenging, right? We only have your health at heart. Plus it’s only 30 days out of your whole life – you’ll thank us for it later. 

 

 

7 Tips to Drink More Water

For some, drinking enough water each day is easier said than done. Maybe you dislike the taste, get too busy or just plain forget about drinking until bedtime, when chugging eight glasses is highly impractical (and not advised!). To help you drink more water, we’ve put together 7 tips you can use to develop this healthy and essential habit.

  1. Buy a water bottle (and use it)


    Invest in a high-quality, stainless steel or heavy duty BPA free plastic water bottle and take it with you everywhere! If you regularly forget to drink water, find ways to keep your water bottle visible. Keep it on your bedside table, on your desk and in the car. Increase your availability of water and opportunity to drink and chances are you will.

  2. Add sugar-free flavour


    If plain water isn’t your thing, try flavouring it with fresh fruits and herbs. Try these tasty combinations:

    Cucumber and mint
    Fresh lemon or lime wedges – squeeze some of the juice into your water first
    Frozen berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries. These also double as ice cubes and are great for summer
    Fresh lemon and ginger root
    range slices & blueberries
    Watermelon and mint
    Rosemary and grapefruit
    Kiwi and cucumber

  3. Switch things up and go for a sparkling mineral water

    Soda streams are all the rage at the moment and are a cheap way of making your own bubbly water without the wastefulness of buying numerous bottles from the supermarket.

  4. Add water to your daily routine

    Adding water into your morning and night time routine is an easy way to ensure you drink at least two glasses of water each day. Get into the habit of drinking a glass of water before you have breakfast and another right before you brush your teeth at night.

  5. Turn your water bottle into a timer


    You can create drinking goals and mark them on your water bottle to hit targets by certain times of the day. Use tape or a permanent marker to mark how much water you aim to drink by a particular time. This is a helpful way to keep track of whether you are going to hit your goal water intake (or not). You can also buy motivational water bottles pre-marked or even fancier products with inbuilt computers that track your water consumption.

  6. Create mental triggers


    Identify some mental prompts to drink water. For example, if you feel hungry opt for a glass of water before eating. Not only will this keep you hydrated it will could also possibly curb your hunger.

  7. Be active


    We lose water in sweat which needs to be replaced during and after exercise. If you're struggling to drink, go for a brisk walk or do some exercise in the gym. This will help drive thirst as your body works to restore its hydration balance or homeostasis.

Happy drinking!

 

3 Benefits to Eating What’s in Season

Fruits and vegetables naturally grow in cycles and ripen during a certain season each year. Purchasing your fruits and vegetables when they naturally ripen is called ‘eating seasonally’, and eating with the seasons has some serious perks to it. 

1. Bang for your buck

Choosing seasonal produce can help you get the most value out of your dollar. Fruits and vegetables picked during their season are in peak supply and this means the cost of growing, harvesting and transporting produce is much lower. If your produce is sourced locally from Australian farmers, the cost of transporting and storing the crops is reduced too. All of these savings are passed on to you, the consumer. For example, buying berries when they are in season is much friendlier on the wallet than buying in their off season when prices can double or even triple!

2. Tastier

Non-seasonal produce typically must be harvested before it is ripe, cooled to stall ripening, stored and transported significant distances to where it will be sold and consumed. The ripening process is then controlled by hot rooms, humidity and ethylene to cause even, uniform ripening. The other way seasonal fruits and vegetables are farmed in Australia is with the assistance of green houses. While there are no food safety issues with either of these methods, seasonal fruit and veggies are naturally ripened on the plant, tree or vine and harvested when they are in their prime. This means tastier, crispier vegetables and sweeter fruits. Strawberries are a great example of how sweet and delicious in-season varieties are.

3. More nutritious

Buying out-of-season fruits and vegetables can mean your food has travelled thousands of kilometres with controlled aging in that time. This can affect nutrient density – particlarly some antioxidants. Green leafy vegetables like spinach are rich in folic acid which decays over time and the vitaminc C content of spinach can decrease by up to 90 percent! In-season produce is fresher and this can mean it’s higher in nutritional value. 

2 Fruit 5 Vegetables - What is a Serve?

As part of our Healthy Lifestyle Challenge, participants strive to include 2 fruit serves and 5 vegetables serves into their diet each day. So what exactly is a serve?

Fruit

1 standard serve of fruit is approximately 150g (350kJ)

1 serve = 

  • 1 medium piece of fruit e.g. 1 apple, orange, pear, small banana
  • 2 small pieces of fruit e.g. 2 kiwi fruit, apricots, plums, nectarines
  • 1 cup diced fruit e.g. fruit salad, melon, berries, pineapple

Fresh is best but occasional sources include:

  • 30g Dried fruit e.g. 1.5 tbs sultanas, 2 dried apricots
  • 125ml Juice (100% juice, no added sugar)

These should not constitute your fruit serves of a daily basis but are OK to include occasionally.

FruitServes_nobackground.png

Vegetables

1 standard serve of vegetables is approximately 75g (100-350kJ)

1 serve = 

Non-Starchy Vegetables:

  • ½ cup cooked vegetables
  •  1 cup raw salad vegetables

Starchy vegetables:

  •  1 medium potato
  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • 1 small sweet potato

We challenge you to use at least 4 of your serves from the non-starchy veggies each day, leaving 1/day for the starchy variety.

Vegetable_Serves.png

Only 6% of Australians get enough vegetables each day - we're hoping to change that, one challenge at a time!

Stay on Track in 2017

2017 is here and motivation is at its peak! It can be easy to jump headfirst into New Year's resolutions, only to run out of puff after a few weeks. If you want long term change, set realistic goals using our top tips to help you achieve them…

Top tips to Stay on Track this New Year

1. Forget Detoxes

From colon cleanses to juice fasts (*face palm), detoxes are believed to be the best way to rid your body of toxins, lose weight and kick start a healthier lifestyle. The truth is though, there is no evidence to support such practices. Our body is well equipped with 2 kidneys and a liver to filter our blood and eradicate toxins. By simply eating a healthy, balanced diet and ensuring healthy habits each day, we help our body to maintain a balance in the long-term, without the need to “detox”…..whatever the heck that means. 

2. Choose SMART goals

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. By making your goals these factors, you'll have greater chance of keeping them throughout the year. Write them down and hold yourself accountable to them! Tell your accountabilabuddy (yes that’s a word) what your goals are so they can help keep you on track too.

3. Slow and steady wins the race 

If weight loss is your goal, the steadier the loss, the more likely it is that the weight will stay off. A healthy weight loss is approximately 0.5kg to 1 kg per week. It may sound small but it can quickly add up to a considerable change. Slow and steady, while not sounding particularly “sexy”, is more achievable and can be maintained long term, increasing your chance of overall success.

The same goes for diving head first into exercise - if you overdo it, the more likely it is you'll never want to do it again. Consistency is key; one huge work out that induces so much pain you cannot walk for a week will not make you stronger or fitter! Regular exercise that builds on the previous session will ensure long term change for the better. Start easy, and build as your fitness increases.

4. Make many small goals instead of one big one

Map out your Ultimate Goal and then break this up into smaller, bite sized goals. It will be easier to achieve your overall goal if you can imagine the outcome occurring in the not so distant future. Smaller chunks will help you keep working steadily and more consistently on your Ultimate Goal. Onwards and upwards!

5. Reward yourself (but not with food!)

When you reach your goal/s, celebrate! Choose an activity that is special for you such as a gold class movie, some time with your favourite people, an indulgent massage or beauty treatment, a new outfit or set of wheels :) I like to treat myself to a swim in the Ocean, it's completely up to you. As long as it’s not food.

6. Get back on the horse

If you had planned to go running every day and today you sat on the couch and ate a block of chocolate instead (we know, sometimes it just… happens), pick yourself up and get back out there tomorrow.  Don’t wait for Monday to roll around. Remind yourself that consistency is the key. You haven't let anyone down and every day is a new day! Which brings me to the next point...

7. Make every day your New Year's resolutions day 

Get away from the "all or none" mentality; incorporate healthy behaviour into your everyday lifestyle! Our Healthy Lifestyle Challenge aims to achieve just that! It's those small, daily habits we consistently repeat over time that become entrenched. Make the choice and stick to it.

8. Practice makes perfect 

Keep practicing those great healthy habits. A study by researchers from the University College London shows that it takes 66 days for a new habit to become the norm. Don’t give in - recognise it takes time to turn new behaviours into habits, so keep going and you’ll soon see they become second nature.

Happy New Year!

Dietitian Approved