Why This Ultra Marathon Runner Is Preaching A Healthier Healthy

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If strong wasn’t already being hashtagged as the new skinny, then Annie Foulds would be the one preaching it. As an elite personal trainer with a penchant for ultra marathons, Annie knows the benefits of a fit and healthy lifestyle. But, she also believes that there is more to fitness than just losing weight – and much more to be said about a healthy approach to healthy.

The Sweaty Betty ambassador penned this passionate note to welltodo London readers, to inspire truly healthy aspirations when it comes to getting ‘fit’.

Hey there ladies, Annie here…

When you look at ‘fit people’ what do you see? What do you really aspire to? Is it a strong lean looking physic or a super model skinny looking physic?  Go on be honest?

It’s an area I am very concerned about and I’ll explain why. I am a promoter of living proof that staying fit and healthy is the best way to be. I know all to well the benefits of having a fit, healthy and strong body. Take a look at my short list of some of the physical benefits…

Most of you will know that regular exercise or physical activity helps many of the body’s systems function better. It keeps heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other diseases at bay, and is a key ingredient for losing weight. Did you know that it also:
  • Improves your chances of living longer and living healthier
  • Helps protect you from developing heart disease and stroke or its precursors, high blood pressure and undesirable blood lipid patterns
  • Helps protect you from developing certain cancers, including colon and breast cancer, and possibly lung  cancer
  • Helps prevent type 2 diabetes (what was once called adult-onset diabetes) and metabolic syndrome (a constellation of risk factors that increases the chances of developing heart disease and diabetes; read more about simple steps to prevent diabetes)
  • Helps prevent the insidious loss of bone known as osteoporosis
  • Reduces the risk of falling and improves cognitive function among older adults
  • Relieves symptoms of depression and anxiety and improves mood
  • Prevents weight gain, promotes weight loss (when combined with a lower-calorie diet), and helps keep weight off after weight loss
  • Improves heart-lung and muscle fitness
  • Improves sleep

I think it is really important to not starve yourself – but learn to have a regular fitness routine in your life. Anything that increases your heart rate and strengthens your body. By starving your body this is what you are actually doing:

Starvation diets cause fatigue…
Your body’s protein provides most of the energy needed during the first few days of a fast, but after that the body will adapt to using fat for energy in an attempt to preserve muscle. Fat is then metabolised to ketones, which can be used by the brain for energy. However, prolonged inadequate carbohydrate intake results in the build-up of ketones, which become toxic, resulting in a condition called ketosis.

What are the consequences?
The kidneys and liver become burdened with toxic waste from the breakdown of fat and muscle tissue and the body’s normal functions are disrupted. Ketosis can cause fatigue, constipation, nausea and vomiting. The potential long-term side effects of ketosis include heart disease, bone loss and kidney damage.

In addition, the lack of calories will deprive your body of essential vitamins and minerals so hair, nails and skin will show signs of deterioration. Ironically, if you’re using fasting as a means of detoxifying or cleansing the body, you will actually be achieving the opposite effect.

The true fast track to weight loss
The safest, most sensible route to achieving long-term weight loss is adopting healthy eating habits, which endure long after the pounds have been lost. You’ll also want to keep your metabolism revved up to burn calories rather than save them. This can be achieved by:

1. Having breakfast: A morning meal kick-starts your metabolism after your body has been deprived of food throughout the night. Skipping breakfast keeps your metabolism running slow and you will save rather than burn any calories you eat later in the day.
2. Snacking frequently: Eating smaller, frequent meals will keep your metabolism working throughout the day. Snacking also prevents you from becoming too hungry. The hungrier you are, the less control you have over what and how much you eat.
3. Exercising: Cardio fitness activities (walking, jogging, swimming, cycling, aerobics, dancing) speed up your metabolism for several hours after your workout so additional calories will be burned off long after you stop moving.
4. Lifting weights: This activity will build and tone muscle which burns up to five times more calories than fat (even when your body is at rest), how great is that. More muscle means more calories burned and more weight lost over time. Hooray!
5. Eating according to your activities: If you do most of your physical activity during the day, make breakfast and lunch larger meals so you have enough energy to get everything done.
6. Drinking plenty of water: Your metabolism needs water to function properly. Remember, the recommendation is 1-2 litres per day.A word of warning…
Fasting and fad diets can be very dangerous for individuals with chronic conditions such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, liver or kidney disease, infection or pregnancy.Ladies, please don’t do it – take the harder route and exercise.  Make the long term change that will LAST A LIFETIME!Love, Annie

For more fitness inspiration and advice from Annie, visit: www.anniefouldspersonaltrainer.com

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