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Thursday
Sep272012

3 Ways To Look And Feel Better This Winter

I've wandered a little off track over the last few blog posts, what with the politics and the musings and the existential angst. I try to offer something a little different here, figuring there's already an infinite number of websites out there telling you how great squats (still) are or why steady state cardio isn't ideal for most people. Boring!

But when my business partner cautiously ventured that the last few articles were a little obtuse (his word) and suggested the novel idea of posting a few actual health and fitness tips, I figured he probably had a point. I can always go back to somehow shoehorning Marxism into an article about glute training next week. (Ass Kapital?) .

Here's 3 health related...blog type...tip things

Sauerkraut - It's fermented cabbage and it tastes about half as good as it sounds (so only slightly better than the inside of an arse). The manufacturers take an admirably honest stance with regard to packaging , no attempts to appear appetising for them, no sir, the cheap looking label and stark colour scheme say simply, boldly -"here's your horrible crap".

But apparently sauerkraut has a host of benefits, chiefly in the area of gut health, which lame as it sounds is something I do get excited about.

I'm a fan of simple habits that can be thrown on top of or slotted into an already healthy diet. Cooking with coconut oil instead of olive oil, switching to almond butter instead of peanut butter, taking a fibre supplement and now sauerkraut are just some of the things I've tried over the past few months. I have no idea if these foods provide all of the supposed benefits, but I'd argue that always being on the lookout for effortless ways to be healthier has a cumulative effect.

So give sauerkraut a try. I have a spoonful morning and evening with my normal meals.

A skin care regime-if you're female you can pretty much disregard this part. If you're male, here's where you can make jokes about revoking my "man card" and inquire if I've just returned from a fitting at the vagina store.


I'll wait.

Now, if you're quite finished, I'll remind you why we all took an interest in fitness in the first place. Talk of performance and health are all well and good, but simply looking better is a motivating factor for more men than care to admit it. And why not? In these civilised times I'd argue looking good conveys a far greater evolutionary advantage than the ability to pick up heavy things. All the bench pressing in the world won't be as attractive as healthy looking skin, especially as we move into the winter and tight tshirts are harder to excuse.

It's not hard. Buy a thing called a scrub and use it a couple of times a week. Buy a moisturiser and use it daily.

And while you're at it why not learn to shave? Exfoliate, then lather. Shave with the grain. Wash and lather again. Now shave against the grain. Wash with cold water and moisturise.

Or better yet, get a proper straight razor shave from a barber . My local Turkish barber takes my coat, feeds me an espresso and applies a hot towel to my face before giving me the closest shave you can get, throwing fiery sticks in my ears and administering a vigorous neck and shoulder massage. It's the acceptable, male equivalent of a manicure, all for the price of a martini (you can still have the martini)

And finally -

Vitamin D3- Even more reasons to supplement with vitamin D this week-

“Vitamin D is a fat burning supplement. Healthy obese women undergoing 12 weeks of vitamin D supplementation significantly reduced fat mass and significantly increased fat free mass compared to placebo. The supplement was 1000IU vitamin D3 per day without changes in diet or exercise. All subjects had vitamin d levels within normal range.”

Read the study for free at the link below:

http://www.nutritionj.com/content/11/1/78/abstract

Supplements should be used to enhance health. I tend to be very sparing in my supplement recommendations. A good multivitamin, magnesium, a fish oil, are all extremely low cost insurance policies. If you live somewhere as grey and rainy as London, vitamin D is a no-brainer.

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