Health and nutrition tips from Fitness First
Its branches across the Middle East may be temporarily closed for the rest of the month, along with many other gyms and fitness clubs, but Fitness First is still encouraging us to lead healthy lives. Here, it’s advising on nutrition and good eating habits while staying indoors.
Banin Shanine, Fitness First nutrition manager, offers her tips below:
Keep your diet varied
“A balanced diet has ingredients from all food groups – namely, carbohydrates, protein, healthy fats and vegetables. Carbohydrates are needed for energy, protein for growth and repair, and vegetables for healthy metabolism, while good fats like avocado and olive oil help us to absorb nutrients. An ideal plate should consist of half vegetable, quarter carbs and quarter protein.”
Practice portion control
“Portion control is important. Eat larger portions of low-calorie, nutrient-dense rich foods, such as fruits and vegetables. Use small plates or bowls to regulate your portions, and avoid processed or sugary foods, as these can increase cholesterol. Prep your meals each week to ensure that your portions are consistent, and use a grocery list to avoid purchasing unhealthy foods.”
Get into a healthy breakfast groove
“Breakfast sets the tone for the whole day, providing fuel for daily activities and decreasing hunger and cravings, helping you to avoid unnecessary and unhealthy snacking. A fibre-rich meal is best, as it keeps you fuller during the morning and ensures that your blood sugar levels don’t drop. Your insulin levels are kept healthy too, preventing sugar binges or fatigue.”
Develop healthy rituals
“According to recent studies, more than 70 per cent of our daily salt intake comes from prepared and processed foods. Try to cut down on unhealthy staples, replacing them with smart health choices. Also try to stay hydrated, and carry a water bottle around with you as a reminder, if you need to. An average person should consume around 1.5-2.5 litres of water a day, depending on bodyweight.”
“Try and commit to a minimum of 30 minutes of daily exercise, consisting of cardio, some form of loaded resistance and bodyweight exercises. There are many suitable workouts that can be done in the comfort of your home. Try jumping jacks or use a skipping rope for cardio, or improvise with bottles of milk and other household items to replace free weights.”
For more advice, contact your nearest branch of Fitness First. There are 59 clubs across 50 locations within the Middle East, offering best-in-class equipment, free group exercise classes and personal training.