A PE teacher and mum-of-two says that becoming an early riser and adding morning cardio exercise to your life is her best tip for improving sleep and your metabolism this year.
Belinda Norton, a health and fitness education professional and certified trainer from the Gold Coast, explained in her most recent Facebook post that the benefits of morning exercise far out way the extra 45 minutes of sleep you might get by staying in bed.
‘Morning exercise helps you avoid distractions and especially avoids the dreaded bed “phone scroll” routine,’ the 45-year-old fit mum said.
‘You’ll also reap the mental benefits of exercise all day by beginning your day with a boost of vitamin D; mind freedom; and a more grateful attitude.’
‘Morning exercise helps you avoid distractions and especially avoids the dreaded bed “phone scroll” routine,’ the 45-year-old fit mum said
Another added bonus is the community interaction and ‘hellos’ to other early morning walkers, runners or positively geared healthy individuals you might run into while you’re completing the task at hand, she said.
Morning exercise helps you make healthier food choices by feeling a desire to choose nourishing as opposed to fast fulfilment.
‘You’ll boost your metabolism with morning cardio by increasing your heart rate earlier enforcing an increase in clean blood cells saturations to major organs,’ she said.
‘You’ll sleep better if you exercise in the morning as you’ve completed a fitness task and feel less compelled to self hate or mentally guilt one self.’
Belinda encourages all Australians to walk for 30 minutes a day each morning, and to take the kids along with you if that’s a possibility.
Belinda encourages all Australians to walk for 30 minutes a day each morning, and to take the kids along with you if that’s a possibility
‘Encourage them to join you and get up earlier to help them understand this is a healthy motivated lifestyle,’ she said.
‘It also helps with before school organisation and increases our children’s ability to listen and learn.’
In 2022 Belinda’s major aim is to boost her intake of raw, wholesome foods, and to encourage others around her to do the same.
‘It truly is the magic elixir to our bodies performance level. These earth-grown foods promote internal health from digestion to blood boosting components,’ she wrote in January.
‘I encourage you to eat raw vegetables daily and increase your consumption by adding vegetables to every meal including breakfast.’
A PE teacher and mum-of-two says ‘real, whole grown foods’ are the ‘magic elixir’ to good health in 2022
Belinda Norton, a health and fitness education professional and certified trainer from the Gold Coast, said her number one goal for 2022 is ‘encouraging others’ – and her first piece of advice is to boost raw, wholesome foods
Belinda recommends making simple tweaks like adding spinach to eggs, eating raw carrots as snacks, eating baby cucumbers, enjoying cauliflower raw with dips and adding vegetables to every dinner.
‘The fact is food is more than just calories, its information that our cells need to function, it is the information that our metabolism can use to either run efficiently or sluggish,’ the mum-of-two said.
‘When we eat sugars, fruit juice or refined carbs, it goes right to the liver, where it starts manufacturing fat, triggering insulin resistance and causing chronically elevated blood insulin levels thus driving the body to store everything meaning it holds toxicity.’
She often eats meals like roasted garlic organic vegetables (left) and breakfast bagels made with a toasted seeded gluten free bagel, egg, spinach, purple cabbage and sweet chilli jam
‘The fact is food is more than just calories, its information that our cells need to function, it is the information that our metabolism can use to either run efficiently or sluggish,’ the mum-of-two said
She added that ‘real’ foods like vegetables and low glycemic fruits, healthy fats (nut seeds avocado and olives), gluten free whole grains, legumes and responsibility sourced proteins and seafood) give your cells the information they need to function at their very best.
‘They improve skin, hair, brain function, mind clarity and immunity,’ she said.
‘Eating well should not only be about quantity but more imperative with quality.’
Belinda regularly shares her health tricks and tips on social media, and recently spilled her secret ‘five step routine reboot’ to encourage Aussies to overhaul their lifestyles.
So what are the five things you need to do for a 2022 ‘routine reboot’?
Belinda regularly shares her health tricks and tips on social media, and recently spilled her secret ‘five step routine reboot’ to encourage Aussies to overhaul their lifestyles
1. Write a to-do list every single day
‘Having a daily routine is proven to reduce stress,’ Belinda explained.
‘We tend to fill our brains up with our ‘to-do list’, and this can be incredibly overwhelming when it repeats on a loop in our mind.’
When you write your list down, the PE teacher recommends sticking it in a visible place for your entire family to see, so everyone knows what needs to get done.
This should help to get the list out of your mind and mean everyone knows what needs to get done.
The second thing Belinda swears by is 30 minutes of morning cardio, which helps to get you ready to go every single day (pictured on a morning walk)
2. Start your day with some cardio
The second thing Belinda swears by is 30 minutes of morning cardio, which helps to get you ready to go.
‘Start your morning every single day with some sunrise cardio (walk, run, skip or bike) 30 minutes before your breakfast,’ she said.
‘Research shows that disrupted body clocks are associated with many physical and mental health conditions, including depression, diabetes, obesity and cancers.
‘A routine will ensure you are still feeling productive and fulfilled in your daily routine, even when it’s unpredictable.’
Make this morning movement a non-negotiable part of your routine, and reap the health goals in as little as one week.
3. Journal any thoughts before bed
The third thing Belinda said she does religiously is journal her thoughts a little every evening before bed.
‘Creating your goals and to-do list for the next day really helps you to get motivated,’ she said.
‘Write down both the moments from that day that you’re grateful for and what you intend to do tomorrow.’
Then, make sure you get between seven and eight hours of sleep every night in order to maximise your rest.
Writing a weekly dinner menu is one of Belinda’s favourite habits (one of her dinners pictured), and she recommends placing it in a visible place so that all can see
4. Write a weekly dinner menu
Writing a weekly dinner menu is one of Belinda’s favourite habits.
‘Place it in a visible place for all to see, and try keeping the menu for two weeks on a rotation to really save mental space, time and money,’ she explained.
If you can, get into a good routine of pre-preparing a healthy snack, meal or muesli every Sunday.
This will mean you’re far less likely to reach for something unhealthy when you’re tired and time-poor during the week.
Finally, Belinda revealed that having an exercise or training regime locked in will keep you ‘motivated, mobile and aligned’; she does 30 minutes of strength three times a week
5. Do 30 minutes of strength three times a week
Finally, Belinda revealed that having an exercise or training regime locked in will keep you ‘motivated, mobile and aligned’.
‘Our mobility is our health,’ she said.
‘Time is our most states barrier in exercise, yet we all need to prioritise moving our bodies for our health.’
Make sure you do 30 minutes of strength work three times a week, as well as your daily cardio for the best results.
‘Add in stretching and some fun and passion-type fitness activities in the outdoors to create a really balanced body routine,’ Belinda said.
You can follow Belinda Norton on Instagram here.