Whilst watching all the news and documentaries and general hoopla surrounding the World Cup I was thinking that the Brazilians use their beaches for all kinds of activities – not just sunbathing and taking the occasional dip in the sea!
Whenever the cameras pan to the glorious Copacabana beach, you see a hive of activity with ‘Cariocas’ playing not only football and volleyball but doing their exercise regimes too.
So this put me in the mind of writing a blog about how to make the most out of your beach or poolside holiday:
Beach bodies (we’ve all got one!)
How I hate that phrase and all the connotations it brings with it! One of the great things about the beach shots in Rio is the variety of body sizes and types that you see. It seems that it doesn’t matter what your size or shape, there is no embarrassment about wearing a bikini or trunks – as long as you are enjoying yourself. However if you are not feeling ‘body confident’ then try these tips to help you ‘prepare to bare’!
- Try cutting down on carbohydrates especially refined and processed foods (this includes fizzy drinks and alcohol), starchy veg (white potatoes) and wheat based products. These are all metabolised by the body into sugars that are then stored as fat, particularly around the middle. Simple carbs often increase bloating in the tummy area too.
- Get more protein into your diet in the form of oily and white fish, good quality meat and poultry, beans and lentils, nuts and grains such as quinoa.
- Fill up on salads (avoid bought dressings – use olive oil and lemon juice or vinegar instead of creamy dressings and mayo) and vegetables. Go easy on the fruit – about 2 portions a day (see my blog: http://www.lucksyardclinic.com/fruit-ok-eat/)
- See my blog on other foods that can help increase your metabolism and burn off those calories: http://www.lucksyardclinic.com/1-3-risk-diabetes/
Whether you are a regular exerciser and worried about keeping up with your regime whilst away or just want to make sure you keep active, follow these examples to keep you ticking over:
- What could be nicer than an early morning or early evening run or brisk walk along the beach? Both are great all round exercises, improving your cardiovascular health as well as exercising your core muscles and great for toning bottom and thighs.
- If that sounds a bit energetic, how about some pilates or yoga stretches. Learn to ‘greet the sun’ which is a wonderful way of waking up your muscles and starting your day feeling refreshed.
- Sea swimming is also a great toner – your body is having to resist against the waves and a bit of body surfing (or the real thing) is good for your core muscles.
- As we are rarely without our smart phones or tablets these days, why not download Tone’s ChiroMoves App (http://www.lucksyardclinic.com/chiromoves-lucks-yard-chiropractic-app/) which gives you a great stretch workout with an inbuilt reminder so you don’t forget to move whilst stretched out on your lounger.
Make sure you keep well hydrated in the sunshine. We lose a lot of water through sweating and it’s vital that you keep topped up throughout the day, even more so if you are exercising. Our bodies are over 70% water and adequate hydration is important for digestion, circulation and excretion, and skin health. Be aware that alcohol, teas and coffees and fizzy drinks all have a diuretic affect on the body and can contribute to dehydration in hot weather. When dehydrated we will often reach for a snack instead of a glass of water which can stave off those hunger pangs.
Sunshine and Vitamin D
I have written lots of blogs mentioning Vitamin D (search Vitamin D at www.http://www.lucksyardclinic.com) but thought I would remind you all how very important this vitamin is for our overall health.
It is difficult to assess how many people are affected in the UK but studies and regional monitoring show that Vitamin D deficiency is likely to affect at least half the UK’s white population, up to 90% of the multi-ethnic population and a quarter of all children living in Britain. Unfortunately it’s difficult to get enough through diet (main sources include oily fish and eggs) so sunshine is the best way of topping up our meagre reserves. However, this has to be done carefully! It is recommended that you expose your limbs to around 20 minutes a day of sun but not between the hours of 11 and 3 when our skin is likely to burn. As you may have tesd in the media, rates of melanoma have soared recently, partly as th result of sunbed use but also burning whilst on our 2 week annual holiday to sunnier climes.