Wishing to share the expert fitness knowledge of Matt at FITISM gym, the man who successfully got us 20 miles around the Ladybower reservoir, we asked him for his top 6 healthy tips for Riddle magazine.
Here are his recommendations, with a cheesy cheese joke sneaked in by me!
Should Your New Year’s Health Kick have not Quite…. kicked in…..
We ask fitness expert, Matt Kay, founder of FITISM for his top health tips…
Happy New Year! We hope you’ve recovered from suitably debaucherous celebrations over the festive season. Here at Riddle we’ve polished off the last drops of port, given the final crumbs of stilton a cracker and are reluctantly turning our thoughts to exercise, sensible eating and a healthier kind of happiness. Within reason of course, you can leave port but you can never leave cheese…
So, we asked Matt Kay, founder of FITISM gym for his top tips for a healthier life. You may remember, last year Matt helped me get through a 20 mile run for charity so he knows what up hill struggles we face!
Matt has an ambitious year ahead for himself. Following his work with Samantha Morton in her preparation and throughout the filming of Sky Atlantic’s The Last Panthers, Matt wants to make the healthy food he provided for Samantha available to everyone by launching a range of foods. He aims to follow this with a clothing range utilizing natural fabrics such as bamboo and organic cottons and, if he has any time left, there are plans to expand the gym.
When we spoke to Matt his first thought was to avoid the generic and rather obvious suggestions to simply eat less and exercise more. He opened the question up to his gym members, asking what they thought had worked and been important in their experience at FITISM. In a characteristically generous move, keen to encourage as much as possible, Matt has sneaked in an extra tip, starting his count at 0.
The power is in your mind (aka the master of all tips)
Ultimately you have to be crystal clear and inspired by what you really want. Here is the thought process many of our FITISM clients go through before starting and ultimately making health a lifestyle choice for the rest of their lives:
- Gain a sense of self worth – the realization that you are worth looking after.
- Start to value your health on an emotional level – ‘I want to be fit and healthy for a long, active life’.
- Get started with the intention of continuing – not by seeking the quick fix or chasing weight loss.
- Once momentum has been created, make a conscious decision to plan and schedule food and fitness into your daily calendar to maintain healthy momentum for life.
So above all else, you have to connect on an emotional level to what you really want, you’re WHY.
When you are connected to your why and have the self-belief that you are worth looking after, you are ready to start getting stuck into my 2016 top tips.
It’s fairly common knowledge nowadays that 80 per cent of your body transformation results come from what you are putting into your body. Having said that, exercise does play a role as does lifestyle factors like stress and sleep. Therefore, I’ve compiled six tips that incorporate all three factors for a complete holistic approach. The human body is three dimensional as should be your approach to get your body back in shape in 2016.
High Intensity Training has been used by sports men and women for years to get in tip top condition. It’s a method of training that allows you to get much more bang for your buck. A 30 minute HIT session two to three times a week is one of the best forms of cardio if you want to drop body fat and improve your fitness.
Try this simple 15 minute HIT routine at home that we call The 100 Set (no equipment necessary): 25 Squats, 25 Press Ups, 25 Sit Ups, 25 Lunges, 60 seconds rest – Repeat five times.
Importantly, don’t be put off. Start with what you can, five of each exercise if needed and aim to build up to the full 100 Set.
Often avoided by many due to a fear of putting weight on. However, when done correctly there is no better way to condition and shape your body. Generally speaking most people at this time of year want to drop body fat and increase lean muscle tissue (tone). To create shape and tone you must lift weights, don’t worry you won’t get bulky. As long as you’re dropping body fat by eating legal (see tip 3) and building lean muscle tissue your physique will become lean and toned. And the best way to achieve that is to do a combination of HIT sessions and strength sessions each week. Oh, and eat right of course…..
I am not a big fan of diets. Diets have a start and an end. The ultimate nutritional approach has no end. It’s just what you do. And yes it involves chocolate, alcohol and cake. ‘Legal’ is a FITISM term – it refers to a food that’s not processed, free from refined sugars, dairy free and gluten free.
In reality you will not be strict 100 per cent of the time and we understand that. But when you can control what you eat, which should be 90 per cent of the time, eat legal. Focus your daily menus on fish, meat, poultry, fruit, veg, nuts, seeds. During those remaining 10 per cent of the time, go for it and enjoy yourself without any guilt, just remember to go back to your legal foods afterwards.
Take a daily dose of apple cider vinegar
Without a fully functional gut no matter how legal you eat your body will not make the best use of these foods or be able to correctly process the ‘illegal’ foods. And if there is a time of year that your gut will need some TLC it’s post Christmas holidays! One of the daily habits we teach our clients here at FITISM is to take a shot of Apple Cider Vinegar morning and night. The Apple Cider Vinegar should be raw, unfiltered, unpasteurised, organic and contain magical living enzymes called The Mother.
Apple Cider Vinegar is full of other good things like potassium, iron, magnesium, digestive enzymes, malic acid, acetic acid, calcium, pectin, ash, which means it helps improve heart and kidney function, important for blood and heart health, protects against viruses, bacteria and fungus, builds strong bones and teeth, helps regulate blood pressure and cholesterol and maintains a healthy alkaline state in the body. Above all else apple cider vinegar helps to improve digestion and maintain a healthy gut bacteria ensuring you make the most of the foods you eat.
Dilute 1 -2 tablespoons of in a glass of water, add some organic honey if the vinegar makes your eyes water!
Eat more (of the right) fat!
Fat is misunderstood when it comes to body fat reduction. Eating more of the right fats will in fact accelerate your fat loss potential by reducing hunger and regulating blood sugar spikes (insulin is one of the bad guys when it comes to fat loss). Another daily ritual we teach our clients here at FITISM is to take a tablespoon of soaked flaxseed’s on an empty stomach first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Not only will this aid gut health by improving water absorption into cells but it will also increase your intake of omega-3 fatty acids. Flax seeds contain high amounts of omega-3’s but you must draw them out of the flax seed first. To do this fill a small jam jar with one part flax to four parts water, fasten on the jam jar lid tight and leave to soak in the fridge over night. The next morning your flex seeds will have swollen releasing their omega-3 fats. Simply take a tablespoon of the mixture twice daily. Get ready to feel your digestive system work very well, if it works a little too well reduce dosage to once per day.
Stress less & sleep more
The stress hormone cortisol is one of the bad guys when it comes to losing body fat and one of the best ways to regulate your hormones is to sleep better. A trick to help you get a good nights sleep is to have a spray of magnesium before bed to relax, it’s also great to accelerate recover from exercise.