We keep getting told we need to be fit and healthy, but what does that all mean? Between the BMIs and the five a days, it’s all a mish mosh of lingo that goes straight over our heads. So we spoke to personal trainer and fitness expert Adam Sefton who explains exactly what it all means.
Your BMI is what tells you how much body fat you have. “BMI or Body Mass Index is something that is determined by your weight and height, which are combined together to help formulate your BMI,” says Adam. “Having a healthy BMI is important to ward off other illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes.” Want to calculate yours? Divide your weight in kg by your height in metres, then divide the answer by your height again. As a general rule:
Underweight: BMI under 18.5
Normal: BMI 18.5 – 24.9
Overweight: BMI 25 – 30
Obese: BMI 30+
HOWEVER, it’s not always 100% accurate as there are factors to consider. Adam says, “It’s more of a guidance for some people. Sometimes the reading can be inaccurate, say for someone really sporty. Their reading would be higher because they have a higher muscle percentage in their body.” So if you calculate yours and it tells you you’re overweight, your doctor can help determine if that’s true or not.
The thought of eating a bowl of brussel sprouts is about as appealing as licking cat sick, but when you realise just how important getting that five a day that everyone bangs on about is, you’ll be chowing down on mini cabbages in no time. “We need vitamins in our diets so that our bodies can function properly,” explains Adam. “We need to eat a variety of fruit and veg to make sure we get all the right ones. And if you don’t you can get some nasty side effects. Feeling sleepy and have no energy? Maybe you’re not getting enough iron, found in things like spinach. Finding cuts and scrapes are taking ages to heal? You might not be getting enough Vitamin C, found in things like oranges and broccoli. So eat up!” We're convinced. Pass the peas!
Fat is our friend
Here’s a bombshell: fat and calories are good for you. You might here of these celebs doing tonnes of boring calorie counting but the truth is with the right foods you’ll get the right amount of calories and fats that your body needs. “Fat is not evil like the press like to make out!” Adam reveals. “Studies have shown that eating a good source of fat is very healthy for you. It means you get the right nutrients without eating useless calories. For example, chicken nuggets = bad fats and empty calories. Organic chicken with humous = good fats and the right amount of energy. Quality is key here and so is not ingesting anything your body can’t use!”
Why you so fit?!
Ah the eloquent rhetorical question once posed to Harry Styles by an over eager fan. But if Harry had replied he would have said it's because he works pretty blimmin’ hard. “Ideally you need to be exercising upwards of three times a week to achieve a good level of fitness. Work out your goal,” Adam recommends. Want to be the fastest on the track? Focus on cardio. Want to burn calories? Strengthen muscles. “There’s a myth that girls shouldn’t do weight work because they’ll get bulky like a bloke. Not true! Women have a different set of hormones to men that stops them getting the huge muscles, but weight training is good for achieving the right body shape.” And exercise can be fun! Join a dance class, swim club, netball team, heck just whack on your 1D album and make up some moves in the mirror. Whatever you do, get active and feel fab!
Pics: Lauren A Photography