10 Top Healthy Christmas Gifts For Physical & Mental Wellbeing

Tis the season to be jolly, overindulge and enjoy yourself. But how about giving the gift of wellbeing this Christmas? Or adding one of these to your own letter to Santa?

New workout gear: putting on workouts clothes you feel good in is proven to boost your motivation, so rather than that old pair of leggings again, how about some new gear that you feel great in? High street chains offer great ranges as well as your usually sporting suspects like Nike, Reebok, Adidas etc.

DNA testing: this might sound scary but training in line with your genetic potential (your inherited traits) gives you a 30 % boost in performance. Add in stats about what’s currently going on in your body and get the full picture. Vitagen-X offer a comprehensive range of DNA, blood and hormonal test. Get £50 off with the code XMAS38N

Online training & nutrition: fancy training at home, as you travel, in fact, anytime, anywhere? The 38N Academy offers a range of real time workout videos, nutritional advice, recipes, mindset workshops and even live weekly workouts, all for under £30 a month. Grab 3 months membership for £69 here or email us to gift 3 months to a loved one.

Hypnotherapy: hypnotherapy doesn’t have to be about overcoming a phobia or giving up smoking (though it’s great for both), it can be about healing past trauma, overcoming blocks, lowering stress, increasing confidence and a whole lot more. We’re big fans of the direct to the root of the problem approach hypnosis offers, and the effective results. We’re also big fans of Zoe Clews Associates on Harley Street as our go to.

Body composition monitors: ditch the scales! Yes controversial advice, but we coach our clients to focus on the fit of their clothes, how they feel, and their body composition. Why? muscle is denser than fat, as we get fitter we add muscle and drop fat, so we can often become heavier while looking and feeling better as we “lean down”. Bonus result, your metabolic rate increases. A decent set of Tanita body composition monitors for you to track body fat as opposed to body weight is where it’s at.

One-to-one coaching: sometimes we all need that little bit of extra help. Wherever you feel you need help in your life, why not reach out to a coach. We offer 6 week packages that not only address training and nutrition with bespoke solutions for both, but will help you set and work towards life goals as well as body goals.

A fitness kickstart holiday: having a holiday to look forward to will boost your mood, it will help you focus on your body goals, why not get an even bigger boost with a fitness holiday? We specialise in empowering our clients for sustainable change for life – which is why we’ve won awards and rave reviews. We’ve got options from 3 nights up to 6 nights in Marbella and Ibiza for 2019. Go on treat yourself.

Some quality supplements: there are loads of supplements out there. If you’re training then we’d always recommend topping up your protein with a good quality protein blend. There are lots of good ones out there (also lots of really bad ones – be careful). One of the best we’ve tried is Pure Blend Co – all natural ingredients, low sugar, no nasties. Bulkpowders also do a great range of products at great prices.

A kettlebell: weird choice? Not at all – a kettlebell (or better still 2 or 3) will open up a whole new world of resistance exercises you can do at home. Cheap, will last for years and will get you results when used as part of a programme. The only bit of kit we recommend for our at home transformational programmes like Ibiza Beach Body, as it’s so versatile. You can pick them up at pretty much all sports stores these days.

A hand blender: we start our day with a power smoothie (our clients get to learn our secret recipe and they love it) – protein, low GI carbs, anti-oxidants – it keeps you full to lunch time, doesn’t spike your blood sugar levels and is a great way to start the day. Nutribullet, or similar is perfect.

Winter Body Tips

Most of us find it really tough keeping up our exercise and nutrition goals in Winter. Is it any wonder? Short dark days, long nights, cold weather. It’s all to easy to skip the workout when you look out the window and see the rain falling. Plus the cold makes us crave comfort food (we’re swaddled in big clothes anyway..!)

Firstly, don’t be too hard on yourself. A lack of natural light can lead to a vitamin D deficiency (since we synthesise vitamin D from sunlight) which can in turn, lead to fatigue and depression. Even in mild cases, you’ll feel like you can’t be bothered to hit the gym or do a workout. Throw in cold weather and your body starts to crave the energy hits of sugars and starches from “heavier” carbs.

So now we know it’s normal to feel a bit ropey – we can take responsibility for addressing it. The winter months don’t have to be the time you let yourself go, only to give yourself more of a mountain to climb as Spring comes.

Yes it’s OK to enjoy Christmas festivities with canapés and mince pies – but don’t let it get out of control.

And remember – Summer Bodies Are made In Winter!

Here’s our top ten tips on how to stay on track…

1. Set some goals and be accountable
Arguably the most important tip here. Nail this and the rest will fall into place. Set yourself some training and/or body goals, and check in with them frequently. Make yourself accountable by publicly sharing them within a supportive space. Countless psychological studies show that setting and checking in with goals makes you more likely to achieve them than not (duh!) but also that telling trusted others (who support you) makes you more likely to succeed. A place like our Academy community is perfect – our members post their goals, their progress and are supported on their journey (38nacademy.com) – you have the benefit of being with a like-minded tribe. A close friend, partner or family member is another option.

2. HIIT it up
We get it, you don’t want to spend hours of your week training. Neither do we. HIIT delivers cardio-vascular, conditioning and fat burning benefits in 15 – 20 minutes of intense activity. It’s our go to way of training and a time effective way to keep to your body goals. Top tip – if you’re looking to reduce body fat go for it fasted first thing in the morning.

3. Take it outside
Outside the weather might be frightful but there is some great technical gear out there now to keep you warm and dry. Working out outside has been proven to boost your mood – cue Vitamin D. Plus, how good will that hot shower feel coming in from a workout in the cold?

4. Buddy up
See accountability in Tip 1 above…find a workout partner. You’ll have someone on the same journey as you, experiencing the same things. Support each other and you’ll find you’ll get there quicker, with more fun. Claire and I make each other accountable – mainly because we don’t want to let the other one down!
The good news is we’re launching a FREE 2 WEEK CHALLENGE on Facebook in January, where we’ll be posting our eating and exercise routine every day. We’ll be your buddies and you’ll be ours – burning off that festive excess and cheering each other on. Look out for details coming soon…

5. Gear up
New workout gear can make you feel more inspired to train. I see Claire lift heavier when she’s flouncing around in her new Nikes (not that she needs more encouragement to buy lycra!) Maybe add some workout gear to the Christmas list…?

6. Workout at home
These days you really can workout anywhere, anytime. Sites like YouTube and Vimeo have workout videos galore. We have hundreds of REAL TIME workout videos in our Academy – which is like having our own PT in your living room. And it’s for every level of fitness.

7. Enjoy the good stuff but moderate
Christmas comes but once a year, but the Christmas excess can feel like it will take a year to shift! Instead of over-indulging, make the conscious choice to enjoy what’s on offer – in moderation. Mince pies are yummy, but how many do you really need each week? Every time you’re tempted, pause and remember your goal (visualise it!) Think about this choice point and whether it is moving you forward or back.

8. Start a new programme
Learning stimulates new neural pathways, so why not start a new training and nutrition programme? You’ll be working your mind as well as your body, meaning you’re more engaged in the process, and get results. We’re launching a 40 Plus Back To Fitness 4 Week programme for the new year.
This is a complete, 4 week, done for you course with real time workout videos, meal plans, recipes and motivational emails to keep you on track. Look out of the launch (we already have a waiting list!)

9. Boost your vitamin D
Always check with your health professional before supplementing, BUT – in the winter you’ll benefit from a Vit D supplement. We also love waking up to light rather than the shrill of an alarm – so consider a light alarm clock that wakes you up gradually. They’re not too expensive these days and for us they make a huge difference to they way we feel.

10. Book a holiday
Booking a holiday not only gives you something to look forward to, but you can use it to reinforce your goals or help you set some for the future. We have it all covered at our Marbella retreats. Fitness, Mindset, Nutrition and winter sun. Surrounded by 5 star luxury.

Our Body:Reset retreat is running at the stunning Puente Romano Marbella from January 10th to 13th…so get in touch if you want to grab one of the last few spots… click here for details

Taking Your Retreat-Acquired Knowledge Home To Your Busy Life

Fitness retreats are all the rage right now with a mounting number of people looking to incorporate a fitter lifestyle into one that includes traveling to exotic destinations. Wellness tourism, of which fitness retreats forms a part, is booming with the industry growing nearly 50% faster than overall global tourism in 2017 according to the Global Wellness Tourism Economy Report (GWTER).  Our lives have become so busy that it is easy to lose track of what is important: our own health and well-being. At a fitness retreat, we are privy to invaluable guidance from seasoned professionals pertaining to our general health and well-being, fitness and nutrition. In order for the fitness retreat to be of real value to us, we need to take the knowledge we gain back home and apply it to various areas of our busy lives. That’s why we developed our Academy – to support you and keep you on track for your body goals, where ever you are.

Make an effort to eat healthily

Regardless of where in the world you go on a retreat, healthy nutrition is bound to be a focal point, especially considering that over 50% of adults in the UK are overweight or obese according to the NHS.  While on your fitness retreat you will become accustomed to eating nutritious meals that not only fuel your body but your mind as well. Once you return home you need to find a way to continue with your newly-acquired healthy eating habits despite a very demanding work schedule. One way to ensure that your eating practices change for the better is to rid your home of junk food. You should also start packing your own healthy lunches for work instead of buying takeaways or eating at the work canteen. If you are pressed for time to make your own healthy dinners, set aside an hour at the start of every month and draw up a menu. You can even prep some of the food in advance and refrigerate or freeze it for later use.

Forget fad diets, miracle supplements and  “promise the world” slimming teas and coffees. We focus on coaching you for sustainable fat (not weight) loss, and maintenance, whilst still living in balance and enjoying life. Our flexible nutrition approach based around knowing your TDEE (if you don’t know – come see us!) and ideal macro ratios make it simple to eat well for your goals. This is what we teach on our retreats and via our Academy, with a host of resources to make it easy to eat healthily even when you’re pressed for time.

You’ll have our nutrition workshop on your retreat to set you up for simple to follow, sustainable healthy eating, and in our Academy we have meal planners, recipes, nutritional videos and guides to help you.

Exercise regularly

The foremost purpose of a fitness retreat is to instill a healthy attitude towards exercise in attendees. Despite the importance of regular exercise being common knowledge, half of British adults never do any exercise according to the British Heart Foundation. Regardless of how demanding your work life is, you need to engage in at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic a week once you return from your retreat as recommended by the NHS. One of the easiest ways to incorporate exercise into a busy lifestyle is to start setting your alarm for 30 minutes earlier in the morning to either go for a brisk walk or jog, do some yoga or even engage in some kettlebell exercises. You can also remain active while at work, opting to go for walks during your breaks instead of staying at your desk or even squeezing in a gym session.

Most of our clients are time-poor so we focus on short yet effective training protocols both on our retreats and with our coaching clients. Why spend hours in the gym when you can get the same results with informed eating and training?

Stay well hydrated

During your fitness retreat, you would have often been encouraged to drink enough water not only during your periods of physical exertion but during the day in general as well. Sometimes it becomes difficult amidst a very demanding day to get through even a single bottle of water regardless of the recommended daily intake of 8 glasses.  If you struggle to drink plain water you can spruce it up easily with a couple of lemon slices, a sprig of lime or other fruit including pineapple, kiwi, and berries. Drinking a glass of water prior to a meal can help you eat less, aiding your weight loss efforts while keeping your body well-hydrated.

The success of any fitness retreat lies in its ability to change your lifestyle in the long run. If you only engage in healthy eating habits and regular exercise while on retreat but return to your unhealthy habits as soon as you return home, your time at the retreat would be futile. Try to incorporate what you have learned into your everyday life and fully enjoy the benefits of your time away on a potentially life-changing fitness retreat.

If you want to keep in shape post-retreat and be supported then why not join our  Academy? It’s an online resource brimming with workout videos, programmes, nutritional information, hundreds of recipes, mindset, goal setting and motivation tools, and a private facebook group where we host live training and webinars. It’s free for 5 days then just $37 a month – less than a PT session or a coffee a day!

Check out the Academy here.

Vlog: Why You Get Hungry After Training And What To Do About It

Getting increased appetite A.K.A getting hungry (or sometimes hangry!) after training is really common. Here’s why – clue – it’s your hormones… Embrace the hunger (it shows the training is working) plus, what to do about it – optimal refuelling strategy!

7 Things You Should Know About Stretching

Before fitness training, it’s important to warm-up and perform stretching exercises to prevent accidents or to enhance the output during the training. There are also a number of precautionary measures and tips to serve as guidelines when doing fitness exercises. Here are some of them.

1. To increase your flexibility and to avoid injuries, stretch before and after workout. Almost everyone knows that stretching before workout prevents injuries during the exercises, but only few people know that stretching after workout, when muscles are still warm, can increase flexibility.

2. Hold your stretching position for more than 60 seconds to increase flexibility. While holding your position for 20 seconds is enough for warm ups, holding each position for at least 60 seconds will develop the body’s flexibility.

3. Do not go into a stretching position then immediately return to the relaxed position, and do it repeatedly. This is more appropriately termed as bouncing while in a position. When stretching, hold that position for several seconds, and then slowly relax. You may do this exercise repeatedly this way. Bouncing or forcing yourself into a position during stretching can strain or damage some joints or muscles.

4. Work slowly in increments instead of immediately proceeding to doing the hardest exercise or position.

5. Make sure that you have stretched or warmed up all muscle groups. For some people, even if they have strong bodies, they tend to neglect the neck when working out of stretching. Stretching the neck muscles can be as simple as placing the palm of one’s hand against the front of the head and pushing it. Then, do the same to the sides and the back of the head.

6. Stretch regularly to continually increase your range of movements and your level of flexibility and strength.

7. Apart from preventing injuries and increasing one’s limit, it is also said that stretching is good for a tired body and also for a stressed mind and spirit.

Why not come stretch with us on the beach in Ibiza this summer? 🙂

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