Be Healthier and Happier

29th January 2021

Have you gained a few excess pounds during lockdown? Have you shirked your New Year’s Resolution fitness plan already? After a long 2020 which for most of us consisted of stress and emotional eating, lots of takeaways and maybe a few too many adult beverages – it’s time to turn things around.

A recent report flags that out of 10,465 patients critically ill with confirmed COVID-19, 73.7% were overweight or obese. Besides making people more susceptible to the worst symptoms of the coronavirus, being overweight increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes and cancer.

With 63% of adults identified as being overweight, obesity in England has become a national crisis. As our healthy life expectancy remains the lowest in Europe and our COVID-19 death toll has risen to the 5th highest in the world – it is clear that we need to change our lifestyle today to improve our future. 

Set yourself a goal

Think about losing weight. Goals are important – they can keep you going day after day and give you a measuring stick against which you can track your progress. Goals should push you, but they should also be reasonable.

If you’ve got 40kgs to lose, setting a weight loss goal of 40kg might seem intimidating. If however you say to yourself; “I’m going to lose 4kg in the next 4 weeks” and you achieve that target twice over – before you know it you’ve lost 8kgs, and that big 40kg goal doesn’t seem as far-fetched.

Get moving

It is a given that all forms of exercise help you get your heart rate up, which enables you to burn calories. While cardio is important for losing weight, to maximise the efficiency of your workout regiment it needs to be combined with strength training and various compound movements.  

Running, jogging, walking and cycling are all great but when aiming for a dramatic weight loss, it is important to combine these with weight lifting and various multipoint exercises designed to target muscle groups. Consider fusing burpees with bicep curls or a renegade row tricep kickback; these utilise both dumbbells and your body weight – providing a challenging yet highly effective workout. 

Before you start pumping iron, it is important to release the muscle tension in your body – likely pent-up from months of home working. Although they are currently temporarily closed due the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, Studio One have been publishing pilates tutorials on their Facebook page and conducting Zoom classes throughout the pandemic. Their team of experienced teachers demonstrate effective stretches you can do at your desk to help keep your body moving throughout the day. 

Hold your stretches and focus on taking some deep breaths in each position to deepen the stretch and oxygenate your system. Stretching will help beat the afternoon energy slump and prepare you for a more intense workout regime! 

Mission nutrition

Burning calories through physical activities like workouts is absolutely important – however, it is intrinsic to understand that exercise alone is not a sustainable way to keep us in a calorie deficit. Your fitness journey this coming year all starts with the foods and the amount of those you eat on a consistent basis.

Eating more fruit and vegetables protects you against obesity and diseases like cancer and diabetes. Cutting down on sugar can help too. Men and women should eat at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. The Zero Waste Company in The Pantiles is a great source of healthy foods, nuts, snacks and vegan goodies with limited and no sugar content. They are also the perfect port of call for ingredients to make tasty, sugar-free, bakes. 

Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling, meaning you can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories. If you’re looking for great quality produce, be sure to visit Oliver Greens of Tunbridge Wells. This store offers a wide variety of local produce and a selection of quality meat. 

The Pantiles

Of course, there’s no more scenic and enjoyable way of getting fit than simply embarking on a socially distanced stroll down The Pantiles. With stores dedicated to improving your well-being, this iconic Georgian colonnade is the ideal location for your essential trips. 

If you have any further concerns regarding your weight, or simply require professional advice on how to become healthier, Imperial Pharmacy at The Pantiles can also provide plenty of products, services and knowledge.