3 things everyone (but especially women) should be doing

March 24, 2022| Current Issue, Editorial

When it comes to our health and fitness, it’s easy to become overwhelmed. The options are endless and it can be tricky to know where to start. Christine Sciberras, Founder and Head Coach at Melita Fitness, gives us some tips on how to make some small but effective changes to our fitness.

So let me help! Here’s three things we should all be focussing on.

1. Lift heavy stuff

There are many reasons for this: resistance training helps you build lean muscle, it helps you build stronger bones and it helps you burn more calories.

For women it’s especially important as we lose 5% of our muscle mass every decade. And that starts in our 30s!

We need to work to reverse this atrophy so that we can continue living full and active lives.

The way to achieve this is resistance training – lifting heavy stuff. You don’t need fancy equipment or complex movements. In our classes, we use a kettlebell (or two!) and simple but effective exercises, like squats and lunges. This method of exercising gives your body a clear signal that it needs to adapt and build stronger muscles.

But don’t worry, you’re unlikely to become ‘too muscular’ by accident! Unless you happen to be The Rock’s long-lost sister!

And the good news is that you don’t even need much time. A recent study found that 1 to 2 hours per week means you are 1/3 less likely to become obese.

2. Eat proper food

We live in an obesogenic environment. Our food is designed to be easily accessible, extremely palatable, and easy to consume. Millions of £££s go into developing this kind of food and making it irresistible.

This ultra-processed food is exactly the type of food we should be eating less of. Although ironically it takes up around 80% of a supermarket’s floor space.

We should instead be eating more vegetables, fruit, nuts, pulses, and good sources of protein too.

3. Prioritise rest

Now I know that for some of you with young children, this might seem impossible. But let me tell you why this is important.

When you lift heavy stuff, you damage your muscles. This is the signal your body needs to build back stronger. And this building can only happen when you are resting.

The other reason is this:
bad sleep = unbalanced hormones, especially the hormones that regulate satiety and cravings.

So you see without good sleep you’ll struggle to grow stronger. And you’ll struggle to make healthy food choices.

So prioritise your sleep: put your phone away, leave the tidying, switch off the telly. And get yourself to bed early instead.

BONUS TIP!

Whenever you’re making changes to your lifestyle, I recommend starting with the smallest possible change.

Pick one thing: like going to bed earlier or starting an exercise class. Focus on this one thing and stick with it until it becomes engrained.

Avoid overhauling too much in one go. Instead pick something so small, that you cannot fail to achieve it. Because once you achieve it, you’ll feel amazing.

And you’ll be excited to do more!