Durban businesswoman, physiotherapist and celebrity fitness trainer, Christy Ann Du Plessis, is on a mission to empower South Africans across the country to start leading fit, healthy and active lifestyles.
Christy Ann believes in the healing power of moving your body. In a season where many of us prefer to hibernate, cuddle indoors and eat comfort food, this inspiring mother of three whose motto is “Believe, Move, Nourish”, reveals a few secrets as to how to beat the winter body blues.
Your belief system and thought patterns affect what you eat and how you move. So for a start, be mindful of your self-talk and rather try focus on gratitude and positive thoughts, especially on those blue days.
Create an upbeat playlist for your exercise sessions. Research suggests that listening to cheerful music can improve your mood, even after the song ends. Stay social and meet a friend – an “accountability partner” for a workout early in the morning.
Eat good nutritious food. Instead of grabbing the hot chocolate, try sipping on some tasty and nutritious smoothies or soups, which are lower in carbohydrates and nourish your body at the same time. Eat plenty of fibrous fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water. Replace coffee with hot water and lemon. Experiment with herbs and spices when cooking, instead if calorie laden sauces. Smaller plates, taller glasses. When it comes to your meals, an important contributor to healthy weight is your portion control. When dishing up, use a smaller plate and then your brain is almost tricked into feeling satisfied because you have a full plate of food. The same goes for drinks, if you want to treat yourself to something other than water, use a taller thinner glass which appears to be more than what it is.
Besides the weight loss benefits, exercise is truly medicine! Not only does exercise cause a release of the feel-good hormones, endorphins, and serotonin etc, but also causes a release of BDNF (a neurotrophin in the brain that actually makes your brain tissue grow!)
The world health organisation’s exercise guidelines suggest 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise at least five times a week, or 150 minutes a week. Moderate means you are exercising at an intensity easy enough to still be able to hold a conversation, but you should be too out of breath to be able to sing. Put exercise in your diary so that you physically have to delete the entry out of your diary to miss it. Get an accountability partner and set small attainable goals and then reward yourself when you have reached them.