22 May 2014

Keep it simple to keep fit: Herbalife

Samantha Clayton, former Olympic athlete, is taking the 'scary' out of exercise. In Singapore for the Herbalife Asia Pacific Extravaganza 2014, the Director, Worldwide Fitness Education of Herbalife said that Asians have to tailor their fitness regimes to take into account the extremes in weather in the region and the way they work.

"People here work more hours and sit in traffic more. You work with what you've got," she said. "Making fitness part of the lifestyle is key. People here are very enthusiastic once they understand that fitness is simple and practical."

Source: Herbalife. Clayton.
"I want to change people's opinions about what fitness is. It's just moving your body," Clayton said. "Think small steps for a lifetime." For example, exercises can be done while sitting on an office chair, she said. 

"Once you're sitting still, it's natural to feel tired, and five minutes is better than none. You could do some squats, grab a book and lift it over your head," she said.

Clayton also pointed out that proper nutrition has to go hand in hand with fitness, even though everyone has busy lifestyles and fast food and processed foods are everywhere. "Why not plan ahead and resist the pitfalls of reaching for a donut?" she asked, suggesting a protein shake which is "just two scoops of powder with water" or a banana instead. 

Some simple tips from Clayton towards a fitter you: 

Think of the long term benefits of a banana - rich in nutrients - over a donut - dense in calories. Protein-rich snacks tend to keep you fuller for longer, too. Once you start with the nutrition you have more energy, you want to exercise.

It is not about eliminating foods. You just need to control the portion size; don't overdo it. If you are putting fuel into your body and just sitting at your desk, your body will turn it into fat. Think before you eat. Does the body need the fuel or not?

Hydration is also important. A lot of times, people mistake thirst for hunger. If you are sweating you have to drink more water. The key is that if you sit at your desk at work then you have that fluid there throughout the day, and you can remind yourself to drink.

Follow the dictates of the weather. If the pollution index is very high, don't go out, but don't use it as an excuse not to move, either. Take your workout indoors; find something to do, like jogging on the spot, or taking the stairs.

Take 5 minutes out of every hour at the office to do some stretching or exercise while on your chair. The movement wil make you feel good and may help you to resist a snack.