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Matt Smith of Fire and Steel Fitness (image supplied) Matt Smith of Fire and Steel Fitness (image supplied)


Personal trainer tips on travel and fitness

Matt Smith of Fire and Steel Fitness (image supplied)



I caught up with personal trainer Matt Smith of Fire and Steel Fitness, for some hints and tips on how to keep things focused while travelling.

Why does work travel pose some specific risks to maintaining our health and fitness?

Any sort of disruption to your normal schedule is a disruption, and getting knocked off the horse happens. Also, jet-lag can be a bitch.

The key is to make sure that you stay active — your body will thank you for the endorphins, your brain will be satiated with the routine, and your progress won’t be hampered.

Is there any point in trying to stick to our normal regime while we’re travelling for work?

That depends on what your goals are, and how fast you want to achieve them. At the end of the day, one missed workout due to a two-day trip to Bristol isn’t going to be detrimental. A week-long trip would need some consideration. A week of drinking and eating like shit will effect you the same away as it will at home.

Hotel gyms are unlikely to have the equipment that I’m used to at my gym — is there any point packing my gym gear?

It doesn’t matter if they don’t have everything, they have something — or, you can find something. If you can’t adapt, you’re too precious and so is your program. There are a million and one ways to build muscle, burn fat, and improve your health — cardio, cable machines, body-weight, a local park — at least one will be open to you.

When you’re meeting with clients, it can be hard to be too strict about what you’re eating or drinking. If your focus is on building a client relationship, you don’t want to be fussing about whether or not your meal is gluten-free. Any hints or tips on how to navigate client entertaining from a health and fitness perspective?

The only reason you should be fussing about gluten is if you’re intolerant. Gluten-free options offer no fat-loss benefits. If you are gluten intolerant, you should be well-versed in how to chose wisely.

If you’re simply trying to watch what you eat, make sure to select something high in protein, and swap out any chips for seasonal greens, and drink water instead of beer or wine.

What about room-service and the mini-bar — is that completely off-limits from a health and fitness perspective?

Nuts are a great source of fibre and protein, but calories are calories. Binge-eating on a Snickers bar in the safety of your Travelodge doesn’t make them calorie free.

What are some general hints and tips to help me try and keep my health and fitness from going completely off the rails while I’m travelling for work?

Plan ahead, understand where you’re going, and whats near by. Is there a gym in-house, or will you have to find one? Will you have time on your work trip? Will you care if you’re with your mates?

Don’t eat shit all the time. By all means, enjoy the delicacies, but spread the wealth. Try to keep 80 percent of your day on track, then let your hair down the other 20 percent.

Have fun, but don’t do a disservice to all the hard work that you’ve been putting in.

Read more from Gareth Johnson

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Friday Fitness Freak



Image sourced from stock photo library
Image sourced from stock photo library

What do gay men eat for breakfast?
We recently did a survey on the breakfast habits of gay men around the world — one of the clear results is the high proportion of men who start their day by eating breakfast cereal (48%).

What’s wrong with cereal?
Quick and easy to eat, and often quite tasty, it’s not difficult to understand why breakfast cereal is such a popular choice.

The problem with breakfast cereal is that is even if you opt for something that is low in sugar and high in fibre, you’re subjecting your body to a big intake of gluten.

The paleo diet
There’s obviously quite a bit of debate and conflicting research among nutritionists, but most guys who are super-serious about their diet and fitness, tend to lean towards the “paleo” approach which advocates limiting the intake of gluten in favour of a high protein and vegetable diet.

Eat like a caveman
In simplistic terms, you’re trying to replicate the diet of your genetic ancestors — the thinking is that when a “caveman” started the day, they either snacked on some of the left-overs from the night before — lean wild meat — or they grabbed some nearby nuts and berries until they were able to hunt for some more meat or fish.

What’s wrong with gluten?
As it’s a relatively new introduction to the human diet, in evolutionary terms, there is quite a bit of evidence suggesting that gluten can be difficult for the body to digest and process and may result in gluten sensitivity.

Symptoms of gluten sensitivity include bloating, abdominal discomfort, pain or diarrhoea, or it may present with a variety of extra-intestinal symptoms including headaches and migraines, lethargy and tiredness, attention-deficit disorder and hyperactivity, schizophrenia, muscular disturbances as well as bone and joint pain.

What should you eat for breakfast?

  • If you’ve got time — fry up some eggs or a small steak with some spinach on the side.
  • If you’re in a rush — grab a handful of nuts and some berries and stop for something more substantial when you get to work.
  • It’s time to look beyond breakfast cereal.

Read more from Gareth Johnson

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