The pandemic has left many people deprived of the opportunity to be active, and with less physical activity often comes weight gain and various health-related issues. However, meeting your fitness goals is easier than you think. Andre Brown, a certified health, wellness, and fitness coach at Express Fitness in New Kingston, says achieving a great physique comes with gradual lifestyle changes and prioritising your health. He gave us a few tips to help you do just that.
Brown recommends that women who want to lose weight consume between 1,000-1,200 calories daily, while men should eat between 1,200-1,500 calories per day. “A lot of people think working out is the only solution for them to lose weight, especially in the tummy,” said the 32-year old fitness and integrative nutrition specialist, adding that exercising helps to form the glutes and tones the body, but much focus should be on nutrition. Being in the fitness field for 10 years, he said he has garnered the best results using the integrated nutritional approach, which allows you to consume of the right portions from all the food groups. Using this approach, he customises meal plans based on a person’s body type and fitness goals, ensuring that the right amount of calories are consumed daily.
His fitness programme teaches his clients to count their calories, and provides a layout of the meals and when they should be eaten. “For breakfast, meals should be eaten [between] 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. We also encourage persons to eat light snacks in-between meals, like eating fruits, nuts, or salads after breakfast during the 10 a.m. -11 a.m. period. For lunch, it is recommended that persons eat around 12 noon to 2 p.m. and snack between 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. For dinner, we encourage persons to eat from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” Brown said, adding that persons on a strict diet should not consume heavy meals after 6 p.m. With his programme, he implements two cheat days, which are on the weekends.
Depending on your fitness goals and how quickly you want to lose weight, a person tends to see their desired results between a minimum of three to a maximum of six months to a year, once they are consistent. Once you are goal-oriented, Brown recommends people work out for four to five days a week. However, a first-timer should exercise for just 45 minutes to one hour. Appropriate rest periods will prevent workout plateaus or overtraining. Brown told The Gleaner, “First-timers need more time to rest and recover after each exercise … [and] the resting period should last between 30 seconds to one minute.”
The HIIT (high-intensity interval training) routine comprises six exercises and is the perfect at-home workout to help you lose weight. These exercises include squats, squat jumps, front lunges, jumping lunges, burpee, and a wall sit or squat hold for the finale. It is recommended that these exercises be done for 45 seconds. Each of these exercises should be performed with a rest period between 15 to 30 seconds. “When you have completed all these six exercises, you can give an additional two minutes to rest and then repeat the entire routine for at least three to four times for the day,” Brown said, adding that these exercises can help to burn a lot of calories and usually last for 30 minutes per day.
“It is important to warm up before and after exercising to reduce soreness after a workout. One can take a minimum of five to a maximum of 10 minutes to warm and stretch,” Brown said, adding that drinking a lot of water is crucial to hydrating and replenishing the body. He also recommends getting adequate rest, consuming a lot of proteins, taking a cool or warm bath, and massages, which are recommended after workout sessions.
For a simple and efficient way to lose weight and stay in shape, it is recommended to use a five- or 10-pound dumbbell, 10 or 20-pound kettle bell, resistant bands, and skipping rope for basic workout equipment to use at home, particularly for women. “Ninety per cent of females in my classes use this equipment, and they were able to achieve their fitness goals,” Brown said, adding that other affordable home alternatives, such as small water bottles to do shoulder presses, biceps curls to tone their upper body, and the larger water bottles, can be used to squats, head lifts, bent-over rows, and many other exercises that target the lower body.
Andre Brown is on Instagram, @supreme_bodyscupltingja_.