Are you beach body ready? It’s a phrase which is thrown around a lot as we approach the summer. And this year, an advertising campaign (run by Protein World) asking this exact question received over 370 complaints.
At BuySpares, we understand why people like to get themselves “beach ready”, but we’re also keen advocates of healthy living – and this is even more important when you consider recent research has suggested roughly 75% of men and 65% of women are set to be overweight by 2030.
Now there is no getting away that these figures are worrying. But there’s no reason why you or your loved ones should become one of these statistics, especially when being healthy is as easy as…
We’ve all been told the benefits of getting a good night sleep, and it has been suggested we should be getting between 6.5 and 7.5 hours of sleep per night. Getting the right amount of sleep can also help with your health and weight.
Researchers have found dieters who were well rested lost more fat, compared to those who were sleep deprived. The study also found dieters felt hungrier when they didn’t get enough sleep. Meanwhile a separate study has revealed those who get 5 hours of sleep a night or less, gained 2lb in less than a week.
It has been suggested this is because a lack of sleep slows the body’s metabolism, causing the body to burn less calories. Thankfully getting a better night sleep is not as difficult as you may think, nor does it involve lying there counting sheep. Instead, some of the top tips to get the best sleep each night are as follows…
- Make sure your bedroom is dark, quiet, tidy and smells pleasant
- Keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature – it’s suggested it should be between 18⁰C and 24⁰C. To help keep your bedroom at the right temperature throughout the year, consider having a fan in it during the summer months, and using an additional source of heating – such as an electric blanket – during the winter.
- Avoid drinking caffeine and alcohol before bed. Researchers suggest that you should not drink either of these for at least 3 hours before you’re due to go to bed.
- Set a regular bedtime and go to bed at the same time every night. It’s recommended to choose a time when you normally feel tired, this way you should fall asleep almost immediately and not be laying there 20 minutes later staring at the ceiling.
- Switch off the TV, laptop and your mobile phone. We’re all guilty of having one last check of social media before going to bed or watching the TV in bed, but this could be having a detrimental effect on your sleep. Switch all distractions off for at least 30 minutes before you go to bed.
Healthy Eating – It’s Not All Salads:
When it comes to eating healthily, many of us think of measly salads which consist of limp lettuce, a tomato and a few slithers of cucumber. But a healthy diet doesn’t mean cutting down on everything which you’ve previously enjoyed – it means eating in moderation.
Key to eating healthily is to eat the right amount of calories for how active you are, as this will ensure you balance the energy you consume with the energy you use. It is recommended that for men the daily calorie intake should be 2,500 and for women it should be 2,000. [source: NHS.uk]
In addition to watching your calorie intake, some of the key aspects of eating healthily (according to the experts) include:
- Eating a wide range of foods for a balanced diet, this will also ensure your body is receiving all the nutrients and vitamins it requires.
- Base meals on starchy foods including potatoes, cereals, bread and rice – where possible make sure this is wholegrain too. Despite misconceptions such foods aren’t bad for you nor do they lead to an increase in weight. In fact, starchy food will help you feel fuller and gram for gram, the carbohydrates they contain provide half the calories of fat.
- Reduce your salt, sugar and saturated fat intake. For the latter, instead of frying food or cooking it in oil (vegetable or olive), consider using a health grill such as a the Wellco Halogen Oven. Such a grill will drain the fat away from food, whilst they are also often quicker to use than your standard grill – and what’s more, at BuySpares we have a selection of health grills available at a great price and with next day UK delivery.
- Eat more fish – ok we know this isn’t everyone’s favourite food but fish is really good for you. Ideally, it should be included in your meals twice a week, with one fish being an oily fish such as tuna or mackerel – as fish is a great source of protein and contains many of the vitamins and minerals we need in our daily diet.
- Eat lots of fruit and vegetables, ideally we should all be eating 5 portions a day and this is easier than you may think. Adding a banana to your cereal is an easy way to get one portion, whilst vegetables cooked with other food also counts as a portion.You can also increase your fruit and veg intake by making your own juices and smoothies, by using a blender such as the Breville Blend Active. Why not consider making a breakfast smoothie? All you’ll need is…4 ripe peaches sliced and stoned
50g frozen blueberries
1 large banana cut into chunks
6 tbsp organic Greek yoghurt
Then simply play the peaches into the juicer to extract the juice, before pouring the juice into a blender with the remaining ingredients, blend together and serve in a tall glass. [source: BBC Food]
Eating healthily doesn’t mean you need to miss out on those foods which have the tag of being unhealthy, such as BBQs. In fact, our post “Your Kenwood Can Help You Create The Perfect BBQ” has a handful of recipes to try out for a healthy yet enjoyable BBQ.
Don’t panic, we’re not advocating you sign up to your nearest gym or run a marathon. But there are exercises you can do at home, without any specialist equipment – which will help you stay fit, healthy and in shape.
Some exercise can even be carried out whilst doing household chores, for example vacuuming your floors for half an hour will burn 130 calories. Mowing the lawn with a hand mower for the same period burns 215 calories – both of these chores are great ways to start exercising whilst keeping your home and garden tidy. [source: livescience.com]
Other exercises you can do around the home to stay in shape include burpees, squats and star jumps – whilst via BBC Sport you’ll find tips on exercise you can do to build strength / support muscles, get your heart beating and improve flexibility, balance and mobility.
Making sure you combine a good night’s sleep, exercise and a healthy diet throughout the year will not only help you look and feel great, but it’ll also mean come the build up to next summer you won’t have to be worrying about the latest “beach body ready” diet or fad.