Love Your Gut Blog
Monday, May 6th, 2013
With the weather heating up it is important that we make certain considerations when it comes to hydration. When the temperature rises, the body will attempt to cool itself down by sweating. However, this can lead to dehydration. Along with water loss, there will also be a loss of salts (electrolytes) which are essential for our health and play vital roles in the body, such as supporting nerve and muscle function.
While exercise can contribute to fluid loss, even basic tasks such as shopping or gardening, during the summer months, can lead to dehydration. If exercising, sip on sports drinks which will help to rehydrate as well as replace electrolytes lost. However, do remember that while hydrating, sports drinks are still high in sugar and therefore should be limited if there is little exercise taking place. Also, remember to watch alcohol and caffeine intake as these are both dehydrating.
Don’t forget we also lose water when we sweat and urinate – so even on a chilly day it is important that we consume adequate amounts of water. Signs of dehydration can include; headaches, dark-coloured urine, reduced energy and constipation.
The Department of Health recommends that we drink about 1.2 litres of fluid every day. The healthiest way to reach this target is with water. However, other options such as milk, fruit juices, smoothies, squashes and herbal teas are a few great other options to help contribute to these daily guidelines.
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Nutrition and Exercise
Well done to all who ran the 33rd London Marathon on Sunday! Running is a fantastic form of exercise that can have great benefits for the body. However, the amount of excise required for a marathon can have significant health implication. While moderate exercise has been shown to increase the ability of the immune system, prolonged and intensive exercise can cause temporary depression of it. This can lead to an increased susceptibility to infections, such as upper respiratory tract infections. Gastrointestinal symptoms are also common complaints experienced during long runs, with symptoms such as bloating, nausea, vomiting and faecal incontinence often resulting. This can be due to a number of reasons such as reduced blood flow to the gut, anxiety and poor nutrition.
Below are a few tips for fuelling your body during periods of intense exercise:
- Always consume a varied well-balanced diet to ensure sufficient intake of vitamins and minerals as well as fats, carbohydrates and proteins.
- Consumption of sufficient fluids is essential during exercise to prevent dehydration and to compensate for mineral loss. Fluids should be consumed prior, during and after. Choose a sports drink which will help fuel the body and replace lost salts. Also, make sure to avoid alcohol as this dehydrates the body.
- Following exercise try to consume a small amount of carbohydrate as soon as possible to help replenish the body. Bananas or fruit juice are great options.
Anyone undertaking any large amount of exercise may benefit from consulting a nutritionist.
Wednesday, January 2nd, 2013
Happy New Year everyone!
2013 has arrived and the Christmas period is well and truly over leaving many of us with bulging bellies filled with guilt from all the delicious festive food we consumed.
With many of us making New Year resolutions and failing within the first few days why not scrap the idea of saying you are going to stop eating this, going to do that etc. and set out a list of goals or achievements for the coming year instead.
For example instead of saying you are going to lose weight perhaps state what weight you would like to be by the end of the year (or by a certain date) and what steps you are going to put in place. This may help you to reach your goal. It is also important to have reasonable expectations of what you can achieve as there is no point putting a plan into place that does not fit into your daily routine setting you up for an instant fail.
It may also be a good idea to not stress over putting your New Year ‘resolution’ into place straight away. Research has shown that there is a high instance of New Year resolutions being broken shortly after they were made. Getting back into the way of things after the Christmas period can be a bit of a struggle as the January blues set in and we get back to the grind stone. Why not ease yourself back into things first before setting your resolution.
Furthermore, our digestive health may not be at its best due to all the luxurious food we have eaten as well as the size of portions tend to be more generous and that extra chocolate too tempting. Not to worry though as once you are back into your usual routine, things should start to level out and your digestive system running more smoothly. To give yourself an extra digestive boost why not try to add a bit of extra fibre into your diet though eating brown bread, pasta and rice instead of white and a glass of orange juice to help kick start things. A brisk walk in the evening may also help to get things moving as well as making you feel more energised and good about yourself.
Whatever your plans for 2013 are, may we wish you the best of luck and success in achieving them!
Monday, October 15th, 2012
Walking? We do it every day whether it be walk to the car, walk to work, everything will involve us walking to get from A to B. Walking also helps our digestive system particularly a fast paced walk as it helps to get the blood pumping. It is a cheap and easy form of exercise.
Lack of regular exercise can result in feeling bloated, sluggish, increased flatulence, feeling lethargic and possibly some abdominal pains. While we’re not suggesting you start walking marathon amounts after every meal, a leisurely walk after a meal will aid digestion.
So, as we will soon be putting the clocks back, and while the sun is shining on the Autumn leaves, why don’t you have a lunchtime walk with colleagues this week? The fresh air and conversation could leave you invigorated for the afternoon ahead of work!
Monday, August 6th, 2012
After months of anticipation, the Olympics are finally here, hooray! With everyone in the mind of sport this is the ideal opportunity to get back into exercise or a sport you enjoyed at school. This not only will help us get back into shape but also helps to keep our insides nice and healthy. Regular exercise has been shown to help our digestive health as it improve motility of our bowels along with a good diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables.
The following tips with help point you in the right direction to get you back into a sport you used to do or pick up something new. Visit www.yakult.co.uk/fit were you can download ‘The Little Book of Fitness which gives you tips and advice on how to get back into keeping fit.
Other suggestions of how to include exercise into your daily routine include:
- Get off the bus two stops early or park a couple of blocks away from where you want to be
- Take the stairs instead of the lift
- Go for a walk during lunch
- Do housework more often
Love Your Gut would like to wish Team GB good luck for London 2012!