Energy

Q&A with personal trainer Alex Flint

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Alex Flint, 34, has been in the fitness industry for 14 years. He leads a busy working and family life often rising at 4am to run a successful personal training business; where he trains busy CEO’s, pro-athletes, mother’s and office workers alike, using the latest technology such as Bio Signature, which calculates the how your hormones are effecting your weight loss. Alex is also a fitness lecturer and often doesn’t get home until after 8pm when he then spends time with his wife and two children.

Alex is currently re-building his personal training brand Alex Flint that will make personal fitness more accessible to everyone, including training videos for at home fitness.

Like any busy professional, Alex could be stressed and run-down if he didn’t pay attention to his health and wellbeing through diet, lifestyle and exercise. He says the three things that he does to sustain his energy levels are:

Pay big attention to his sleep. Alex says that the optimum surroundings for sleeping include; a dark room and a lack of interference from electronics such as phones, iPods, radios and computers.

Eat fresh food high in fruits and vegetables. Make sure you eat regularly so you don’t get a slump in your energy.

Take supplements. They are helpful to balance any deficits caused by your busy lifestyle. Fish oil is especially helpful for weight-loss and re-balance.

When training clients Alex takes a holistic approach. The key to success in weight loss is 70% food intake and 30% exercise. He says the three most common requests or goals he is asked for are:

  • To look better naked. Much of weight loss is vanity based. People just want to look in the mirror or at a photo and feel better about their appearance.
  • Improve their health. Most of Alex’s clients are between 35-50 years old, they are starting to notice their health issues, or friends are experiencing health issues, and they want to do something about it before it escalates.
  • De-stress/re-balance. Most of us don’t take the opportunity to just relax and have some “me-time”. Exercise not only gives you some important time out, but naturally de-stresses you and helps you sleep.

Alex says it when it comes to fuelling our bodies, it is important to remember where we came from. Evolutionary speaking we are still genetically cavemen – only now we have cell phones! Our lifestyles have changed dramatically, even in the last 50 years, technology has changed the way we move (or don’t move!) and the way we eat; and not for the better. Alex gives us his top-ten-tips to how we can lose weight, be healthy and get back to our caveman roots.

  1.  Make time for moderate intensity daily movement. This means 30-60 minutes of activity – every day. It is easy as mowing the lawn, walking from an earlier bus-stop, swimming, riding a bike or playing sport such as golf.
  2. Move quickly every once and a while. Ideally 2-3 times a week you should exercise for 20 minutes at a higher intensity. This not only burns calories, but increases human growth hormone, which uses fat in your body as a preferential fuel and is an anti-aging agent.
  3. Lift heavy things at least twice a week. Resistance training can be anything from manual labour, weight training to a pump class. Resistance training builds muscle which increases the metabolism long-term. This is called the slow-burn effect, which means that the more lean muscle you have the more calories you will burn, even when you are sitting behind your desk! Alex says this is because, like a car with a bigger engine, it takes more energy for you to keep you alive. Losing muscle mass is the number one biological marker for aging. The longer you can prolong muscle mass, the more physically able you will be.
  4. Eat a diet rich in protein (lean meat, chicken, fish), nuts, eggs, fresh fruit and vegetables. Make half your plate plant-based, and the more colourful the better. If you can afford organic, all the better for you.
  5. Limit processed food. This will reduce your toxic load. If it comes in a box or a packet then you should leave it on the shelf. You will find if you only shop around the outside isles at the supermarket you will have a healthier stocked cupboard with less processed foods.
  6. Chew your food! If you make sure you chew each mouthful at least 15-20 times you will give your stomach time to tell your brain it is full and you will have better digestion. We only issue a pleasure response 5-10 seconds after something has been on our tongue, so you will find if you chew your food you should need less to be satisfied.
  7. Don’t go to bed on a full stomach. Eat dinner at least 2-3 hours before hitting the hay. After this, limit your intake to light liquids like water or decaffeinated tea. You need to sleep to rest, not digest. You will find that you wake feeling much more energised after a restful sleep when your body hasn’t had to be working to digest your food.
  8. Be realistic. Weight loss should be a long-term goal. You want to engage in some sustainable behaviour otherwise anything you do will only be a quick fix and not a long-term solution. Make small changes to diet or exercise; make them a habit before you move on to the next thing. More often than not we are all gung-ho in the beginning of a 12 week programme and give up at the end, returning to our old habits and yo-yoing our way back to where we once were.  Investing in a personal trainer can really help you keep motivated and stay on track.
  9. Have one guilt-free meal once a week. If you are healthy most of the time, and don’t sneak in any offending food items, then you can afford to have one meal that you really love. This is helpful when out in social situations or when you get so busy that you need a night off.
  10. De-stress. It cannot be emphasised enough; in order for you to be healthy you need to relax. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Many people who are overweight, worry about their weight. They worry they will fail, and beat themselves up when they don’t lose enough or eat the wrong foods. When you find yourself in a situation that causes you anxiety, food related or otherwise, the best thing to do is: pause; take 10 deep breaths and re-evaluate. The time you take to stop and think will save you from making a bad decision.

Alex Flint certainly knows his stuff. If you want to benefit from his years of training an expertise then you can contact Alex on 021 808 210 or by going to his current website: www.strengthdynamics.co.nz If you are interested in finding out more about Alex’s new personal raining brand,  keep an eye on Alex’s Facebook page: Alex Flint. Watch this space for new online PT training made easy at home!

 

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