Previous: Rope climbing for upper body strength and much more… Next: Health and training tips – thanks Phil and Eric! (part 1)

Health and training tips for female students!

I was recently asked by a student at Exeter university to help her out with an article she was writing. She asked for some tips about health and training aimed at women (students). So here they are in no particular order as they popped into my head (whilst watching England v Italy…so excuse the probable poor grammer and spelling)!!! Although this is aimed at female students it is equally suitable for everyone.

  • Cut back on alcohol especially alco – pops. If you are having a drink, wine is a better option. I realise that this is not a popular opening gambit!!!

  • Be aware that some contraceptive interventions like the pill will cause fat storage especially around the estrogen sites like hips, thigh and hamstrings.

  • Reduce processed carbs like: bread, white rice, cakes, pasta, cereal, soft fizzy drinks and sugar. Pizza and lasagne, although lovely are not good nutritional options.

  • Do not eat anything that is ‘reduced fat’, it will very often be highly processed and the fat will be replaced by some form of sugar. Generally it is sugar, not fats that cause hormonal fluctuations and body fat gain as well as a host of more insidious illnesses.

  • Increase consumption of meat, fish, fowl, offal, nuts, seeds, eggs, vibrant coloured veg, green leafy veg, water with real lemon added, some fruit (mainly berries).

  • Reduce fruit consumption!!! Generally females are misinformed into thinking that eating loads of fruit is good, in fact excess fructose (sugar in fruit) play’s havoc with our metabolism. Some fruit is ok but a constant and high load of fructose is very bad! Thin skinned fruit is generally accepted as being a better choice both from an antioxidant and a lower GI point of  view.

  • Where possible eat some veg at every meal (green and / vibrant coloured).

  • Sleep is vital so try to get adequate rest (8-9 hours). Do not fight the bodies circadian rhythm. Early to bed and early to rise. I realise again that this will not be a popular with you student types!

  • Eat red meat in the morning to boost dopamine (the yang / peppy / energising neurotransmitter). Breakfast should not come in a box! By boosting dopamine first thing in the morning with a high protein breakfast you will set your self up well for an energised day.

  • Don’t smoke. As well as the obvious stuff it will increase your toxic load and as such will not only make you smelly and wheezy but fatter as well…ummm!

  • Try to eliminate the estrogen imbalance that modern living bombards us with. Reduce plastics, PBA, parabans, synthetic beauty and hygiene products, cigarettes, soy, beer, mass produced animal produce and such like. Instead increase green vegetables, seeds, fibre (especially ground flaxseed).

  • Cut out gluten…it fogs the brain, causes inflammation and we are ill equipped to deal with it. Just because everyone eats it doesn’t make it right…unfortunately now days most people are unhealthy and one of the reasons is the huge and unnatural consumption of grains and other gluten type produce.

  • If anyone mentions calories in the same sentence as fat loss they are generally misguided and as such will be misguiding the listener. I realise this is a sweeping generalisation and there is much more to this subject but counting calories is unsustainable for most people and more to the point is unnecessary.

  • Step off the cross trainer and pick up heavy dumbbells. Constant CV training is not the most efficient way of getting lean and healthy. I will concede that some CV can be useful, goal and lifestyle dependant. Also be aware of the electromagnetic stress that is generated from being surrounded by a commercial gyms worth of electrical CV equipment. This can detrimentally impact on our hormonal balance by releasing cortisol (low grade adrenaline) as we train which can deminish our efforts. By all means do some CV stuff but long steady state running is best done outside in the sun (vit D3) and the fresh air.

  • Go organic as much as possible, if not organic at least try and get meat from a grass fed source and vegetables that are grown above ground should be organic.

  • PPPPPP – prior preparation and planning prevents poor performance! Prepare your food for the next day the night before. When cooking, cook loads and store it. Why cook 2 chicken breasts when you can cook 10 in one go? This saves time, effort and any excuse not to bother. Take your pre-parpared food for the day with you to college, university, work etc.

  • Drink water, organic coffee and green tea…but mainly water!

  • Consider supplementing with high quality fish oil and multivitamins as a very minimum. There are so many reasons how and why these very basic additions to the above tips will help you, from improving brain function to improving body composition and so much more in between. Unfortunately modern food production methods reduce the amount of micro nutrients available in the food we eat. We are also nearly all deficient in omega 3, our ancestors ate tons of the stuff, where as we do not. This deficiency is a real modern day delemma.

Other relevant blog articles:

Run yourself FATTER
Healthy breakfasts
5 best basic exercises…probably
Training tips for success
Why our training efforts may not be working
Hormones health and fat loss – a quick guide

Also if you liked the article please share / like and spread the love!