In my line of work, before and during travel – my main goal is to inspire and motivate people to become healthier. For me, the least important thing in your journey is how you look on the outside. Of course, we all want to look good on the external, but focusing on being healthy from the inside out will help you feel and look good, plus be able to sustain your health journey for life.
I work 14 hour days almost everyday on the ship and staying healthy outside of work, has been key for me. Here are my top 5 exercise essentials for those who are travelling and/or those who aren’t, but have limited time due to work, family and other commitments.
#1 The Key to a Flatter Tummy? What the Gut?!
One of the biggest goals of the people that I help worldwide as an International Personal Trainer either in person in gyms, onboard the cruise ship and also via the online Fitness To A Tee Flat Tummy programs is to have a flat tummy.
Where is your stomach though boo?
Worldwide so many people are struggling to lose weight around the midsection area. But do you actually know where your tummy is? Take a moment to locate it with your hand and think about how big the stomach organ is. Many people I ask don’t know where the stomach is. It is located just under the sternum by your chest and is only the size of your fist. So what’s behind the area that everyone always points to as the area of concern; the place where you want to pull your skirt or pants over; the area you do countless situps and diets for – only to have minimal to no results.
Behind that area sits your intestines!! The intestines are 22 feet long and can expand up to 3 times! So it’s super important to know what’s happening in that area and how to reduce it so your “tummy” can actually be flatter.
In ordinary good digestion, hair like follicles on the walls of the intestines eliminate what the body doesn’t need as you take in your nutrition. However due to toxins such as processed food, preservatives, stress, air/water pollution, synthetic skincare products, medications etc – undigested particles can get stuck in the intestinal walls and a mucoid plaque builds up. This happens over years and years if you’ve never cleansed your body, including your intestines.
That pot belly effect
What happens then is a fermentation process where the undigested particles rot due to being in a warm, dark sticky place. The intestines can’t expand backwards because of our spine; they can’t expand upwards as we have our heart and diaphragm; they can’t expand downwards because we’ll lose our guts eww…so the only place they can expand is outwards! Get it? Hence the “pot belly” or rounded tummy look many of us are struggling with.
I will go deeper into detoxification in one of my next blog posts. However, one of the ways to detoxify at the cellular level and clean the intestines is to use algae and seaweed in a concentrated form. Algae and seaweed therapies have been around for centuries in Europe, and research by Dr Rene Quinton, a French biologist shows that ocean water in which algae and seaweed are found and which keep the oceans clean…have the same nutrient profile as the human blood plasma and mimics the human body’s immune system. Thus, the same algae which cleans the ocean can clean the human body internally.
#2 Nutrition…Keep It Simple Silly!
Eating 5 – 6 small meals per day will always be my go to for a healthy, energetic body. A great way to eat is breakfast, mid-morning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack and then dinner. This will help to keep your metabolism working. Your metabolism is fuelled by your liver and is like your oil filter or engine of your car. If you keep fuelling your body regularly, it also reduces the chances of it going into survival mode i.e. your body won’t preserve the fat or hold onto the fat for fear of not knowing when it will be fed again.
Well…what do you do if you’re travelling and can’t eat 5 to 6 small meals per day. I suggest never skipping breakfast; eating within an hour of waking; eating as fresh as possible and loading up on veggies as half of your plate with each meal. Veggies are always available in whichever country you travel in. This will keep you in reasonable to great shape as you travel.
#3 Move It or Lose It…even in 20 minutes!
The key to keeping fit is to never stop moving. Movement comes in so many different ways so it could be a walk; a swim; a stretch class; weights; body weight; dancing to your favourite songs etc. All these things can be done when travelling or if you’re short of time.
Also workouts like Tabata and HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) can be done within 20 minutes. For tabata, you can find a tabata timer at http://fitlb.com. As an example, for tabata you can pick an exercise like skipping. You do 20 seconds of work, rest for 10 seconds and repeat 8 times which equals a total of 4 minutes. Repeat 3 to 4 times.
As an example of HIIT, after warming up for 5 minutes – you do 30 seconds of running, then 30 seconds slow walking. Keep alternating until you get to a total of 20 minutes.
#4 Everything You Need is Around You!
There is no rule that you need to have a skipping rope or weights with you. Why not use things like water bottles; your stocking as a “resistance band” around your thighs lol; a bag or a chair with a few things in it as a weight etc?
#5 Shut Up and Listen!
Listening to your body and being kind to yourself is the most important thing you can do on your fitness journey. As humans we are so used to guilt tripping ourselves once we start our journey, so for some people I work with – even having a not so healthy meal now and again becomes traumatic for them. I also had moments in my past when I obsessed and felt so guilty about eating something not so healthy e.g. when I was doing bodybuilding, but by the time I did my last competition in 2016 which I trained myself for, I had learnt to understand that everything in moderation is the key.
Also, eating and moving 80% of the time, with 20% not moving or eating super healthy is healthier for our souls and bodies. When you find yourself obsessing – ask yourself why; think back to your past thoughts about your body and continue to repeat sentences that affirm you positively. It may seem silly at first, but the more you say positive things to yourself about yourself – the more it becomes part of you.
Continue to walk with me in my next blog as I talk about my transition in London as I prepared to go to the Fitness and Business Academy before joining the cruise ship I’m currently on.
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