health

Top health experts share their best fitness and nutrition secrets

By Sangeeta Kocharekar January 11, 2017
WOMAN FITNESS

The surprising health and fitness tips and tricks you've probably never thought of before

These days we're bombarded with health information – what we should be eating, what we shouldn't, how we should be exercising, and everything in between. It's difficult to cut through the clutter of similar messaging, and learn something new. 

As part of the new Good Enough For You, Good Enough for Me campaign, Body Science asked for Australia’s top health experts for their best original health tips. These are the six most helpful pieces of information we learned. 

1. Pay it forward

WOMEN_EXERCISING

According to Kevin Toonen, strength and conditioning coach for the Special Forces and expert for Body Science, sharing your exercise knowledge with a friend, colleague or family member benefits both them and you. He suggests taking them through a session, teaching them something you’re good at in the gym or outside. Not only will this make a difference in their life, but it will improve your technique in whatever you teach. Nothing is learned faster as when you pass it on and teach.

2. Be mindful of nutrient combinations

FOOD

Consider your nutrient combinations on a meal-to-meal basis, says exercise psychologist Drew Harrisberg. Insulin 'turns on' fat storage and 'turns off' fat burning. When you eat high carbohydrate meals that cause large insulin spikes, it would be a good time to keep dietary fat low. On the other hand, when you eat higher fat meals, try to keep carbs low. Essentially, if you care about optimal body composition and overall health, a habit of high fat and high carb meals is a bad idea. 

3. Mix it up

WOMAN EXERCISING

Clint Hill, another strength and conditioning coach and expert for Body Science, trying new things each week or at least every fortnight is extremely important. Our bodies are made to move so try activities that you can have fun with take a surf lesson, learn to sing or go horse-riding. Challenging our Central Nervous System (CNS) with new activities stimulates hormones in our body to repair, renew and rebalance our endocrine system. Which, in simple terms, "balances" it out from a hectic high stress lives.

4. Map out a plan for your goals

With single digit body fat, Holly Louise, #thefitpharmacist and Body Science expert, knows a thing or two about achieving health goals. She says a big mistake people make is not being specific about their methods in achieving the results they want.

If you have a specific goal – such as fat loss for example – make a plan to achieve the best results in the most effective way. If you want to lose weight while also maintaining as much lean mass as possible (or building muscle if you are just starting out), you need to do more than just maintain a caloric deficit. You need to:

  1. Ensure you get enough protein every day to retain/build muscle.
  2. Ensure you eat enough carbohydrates, which provide you with energy and the ability to maintain training intensity.
  3. Ensure you eat enough healthy fats, which are vital for hormone synthesis.

This is why counting macros is superior to counting just calories (or not counting at all). It allows you to focus on improving your body composition, not simply just losing or gaining weight.

5. Test yourself for any food intolerances

WOMAN BLOATED GETTY

Personal trainer Alexa Towersey says it's vital to remember that both training and nutrition are very individual processes. Before you invest time and money or a nutrition plan or supplements, she suggests getting your food intolerances tested. No diet will work for you if the foods in it aren't able to be utilized or they cause an inflammatory response.  Learn to listen to your body. If a food doesn't make you feel good, don't eat it.

6. Find a partner who will push you

WOMEN EXERCISING

If you are the fittest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room, says personal trailer Scottie Hendo.

To increase your motivation and performance when training, partner up. Training with a partner keeps you accountable to your session, increases your intensity, maintains your focus, and if you pick the right partner, can motivate and push you towards your fitness goals. But be selective in who you train with. Make sure that you’re always training with people who lift you up, inspire you, and push you harder.  

To see more, check out their Instagram for a daily tip all this January.

Images | Getty

Like this? You'll love these...

The hidden health benefits of sex

5 steps to stay motivated to exercise

Easy exercises you can do before work