Despite being on the most underestimated activities, walking has many benefits for your health and fitness.

Although many of us have changed our perception on walking, it still remains one of the most underestimated activities out there. The main reason for this stems from the illusion that a few exercise sessions a week (especially if they are high intensity ones) or going out on runs eliminate the need for taking a walk.

So what is that miracle benefit that can only be achieved by walking?

If fat loss is your goal, incorporate walking into your lifestyle! If you are dealing with too many stresses, going for a walk might be that miracle cure you have been missing! If you want to rebalance your hormones to multiply the post-training/weightlifting/cardio effect, walking is the key to all of the above!

Walking and high-intensity exercises like intervals and weight training are synergistic in their actions. “This is not a calorie phenomena but rather a hormonal one. In order for the body to recover properly, age well, build muscle and burn fat, it needs the correct balance of stress producing hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline) compared to growth promoting hormones (testosterone and human growth hormone,)” (HGH). During an exercise session, the desirable effect is to raise all of these hormones together to maximise fat loss.

However, in the days and hours following an intense workout, it is most beneficial to maximise the levels of growth hormones while minimising the levels of stress hormones. To keep stress levels low, walking should be done at a leisurely pace.

Many fat loss seekers misunderstand that changes in the way your body looks has much to do with changing the way you feel. Stress lowering activities such as yoga, Tai Chi and meditative practices are wonderful at this. A lower cortisol level along with lower perceived feelings of stress will have a positive impact on fat loss directly through less cortisol activity, and also indirectly through potential decreases in hunger and cravings for sweets or fatty foods, which cortisol will impact. The effect of walking is magnified in a nature setting as feelings of relaxation and comfort are enhanced.

So if fat loss is your goal you should maybe look into:

  • Changing your power walking to leisure walking
  • Whenever possible walk in nature-based settings

walk1Walking anywhere is better than no walking, so if you are nowhere near nature-based settings, any type of leisure walking will still help to balance the nervous system and make you feel more relaxed. In those cases when it is possible, go for a walk in a nature setting like the woods as it seems to have an even greater impact on rebalancing our hormones and making us feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.

Another big problem with walking is taking that first step and actually going for it. If you are very new to walking, start small with a 5-10 minute walk and gradually increase the time and the distance. Have a step goal you want to achieve daily and try and beat it if you can.

This feature is available on a variety of tracking devices (Argus being one of them), which are a great help to stay on track and be accountable for your actions. It all depends on how much you would like to invest into your tracker (or get a free app!), but I would certainly recommend having one.

10,000 steps per day should be the minimum step goal for a more or less active individual. A considerably lower number of steps is ok for those who are just starting to make changes to their lifestyles.

A few tips on how to make walking more fun

  1. Listen to Podcasts. I am a big fan of them and with a busy lifestyle, walking is the only time I can listen to podcasts. They are free and it is amazing how much new up-to-date information you can get out of them. There are so many podcasts out there ranging from comedy to science. (My personal favourite is Tim Ferriss’ podcast).
  2. Get a dog. With a dog, you will have no choice but to take the dog out! Can’t have one? Borrow a dog from somebody or join your friends on a doggie walk! Time flies when you have a walking companion.
  3. Walk different routes. If you can, avoid walking the same route daily to prevent yourself from becoming bored!
  4. Join a local walking group.
  5. Walk on your lunch break and whenever you can get around not using the car!
  6. Walk your kids to school and from school.

There are absolutely millions of ways you can get in these 10,000 steps into your day without even thinking of it or making any effort!

Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Achieving small goals brings big satisfaction! Make little changes and you’ll be surprised how easy and quickly it is to reap all the benefits of walking!



DropadresssizeHi guys! FAT LOSS….This is one of the ongoing problems for most of us….How many articles have you read about losing weight? how many diets have you unsuccessfully followed? If we try to google fat loss or weight loss thousands of articles will pop up offering numerous ways of dropping a few dress sizes. But which one is it safe to follow? Well, I have tried calorie counting,  over exercising, surviving on rabbit food and many other ways of losing weight and body fat. Some of them worked for me and helped me to lose WEIGHT but not fat. I can honestly say that the very first time in years my body shape changed and I started gaining muscle and losing fat after starting to follow a high protein, high fiber, low carb eating plan and doing HIIT workouts and 30 mins fat burning rest based workouts (incorporating weights. These workouts are based on Metabolic Effect rest-based workouts but I’m waiting for my exam to be accessed so technically can’t call them Metabolic Effect though this is exactly what we are doing in these classes). My fitness level has improved drastically and though I do have treat days I try to stick to this eating regime most of the time because it works, it brings results and there’s no calorie counting, no points counting – eat clean, snack wise and do your exercises and you will discover a new you! There’s no magic pill – it takes time and effort but the whole point is IT BRINGS TERRIFIC RESULTS. I am not trying to force anybody to follow this but if you have a spare minute or two – enjoy the reading!

1. EAT CLEAN. Clean means eating food with no additives (or not a lot of them), foods high in protein (chicken, lean meats, fish etc), eat good carbs (brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc), limit your alcohol and sweets intake. Eat loads of veg and use balsamic vinegar and olive oil in your salads instead of salad creams, mayo or whatever else is out there.



coconutThe health benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, maintaining cholesterol levels, weight loss, increased immunity, proper digestion and metabolism, relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV and cancer, dental care, and bone strength. These benefits of coconut oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and its properties such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, antifungal, antibacterial, soothing, etc.

Weight Loss

Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.


Internal use of coconut oil occurs primarily as cooking oil. Coconut oil helps in improving the digestive system and thus prevents various stomach and digestion related problems including irritable bowel syndrome. The saturated fats present in coconut oil have anti microbial properties and help in dealing with various bacteria, fungi, parasites, etc., that cause indigestion. Coconut oil also helps in absorption of other nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.


Coconut oil is also good for the immune system. It strengthens the immune system as it contains antimicrobial lipids, lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid which have antifungal, antibacterial and antiviral properties. The human body converts lauric acid into monolaurin which is claimed to help in dealing with viruses and bacteria causing diseases such as herpes, influenza, cytomegalovirus, and even HIV. It helps in fighting harmful bacteria such as listeria monocytogenes and heliobacter pylori, and harmful protozoa such as giardia lamblia.


fish oilTake fish oil to lose weight and build muscle. Two recent studies provide more reasons to supplement with omega-3 fatty acids. The evidence supporting fish oil as a wonder supplement just seems to keep coming in.

A recent study of healthy adults showed that taking fish oil for six weeks significantly increased lean mass and reduced body fat, and these subjects weren’t even exercising. Imagine the benefits if you are following a resistance training programming!

Interestingly, subjects had a decrease in cortisol levels after taking fish oil. Researchers suggested that because cortisol has a protein degrading effect and is thought to result in increases in fat mass, the lower cortisol levels were responsible for the participants’ weight loss and muscle development.  More good news since higher cortisol levels are associated with higher mortality rates, meaning that fish oil supplementation has significant implications for both body composition and overall health and well-being.

Another study of people over age 65 found similar muscle-building benefits from omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Researchers didn’t test cortisol response to taking fish oil but did find that it increases muscle anabolic signaling activity, meaning that it enhances protein synthesis, ultimately having a positive effect on lean body mass. Combine your fish oil intake with a solid resistance training principles for optimal body composition results.

4. DO WEIGHT TRAINING 11acombined with cardio/interval training and go for long walks whenever possible. If you want to lose fat you HAVE TO lift some weights. These are the Metabolic Effect principles. The reason metabolic effect advocates short intense exercise combining weight training and cardio in one workout AND low intensity leisure walking is because these two activities are the most efficient way to exercise.  They:

– Build muscle AND burn fat
– They burn fat both during and after the workout
– Leisure walking can be done anywhere and short intense exercise saves on time
– Both have hormonal effects that reduce hunger and cravings.


avocadosMany people refuse eating avocados and nuts (including nut butter) because they are high in fat…yes, they are but it’s good fat. Your body needs all the 3 components: fats, protein and carbs but the ratio of them should be different.

6. PLAN EVERYTHING! plan everythingPlan your meals, workouts, shopping lists etc. What happens if you don’t plan your lunch or dinner? well, you eat whatever you can see in the kitchen cupboards & in your fridge mainly bread, cheese, crisps, and the rest of easily accessible high fat, sugar foods loaded with additives and with zero healthy benefits. BUT if you come home from work and your dinner is almost done in a slow cooker, or it’s cooked and just waiting for you to heat it up you will avoid snacking on the wrong foods.

7. waterWhenever you feel you are getting hungry – have a pint of water or a mug of fruit/green tea. If that doesn’t help – have a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts.


          Eat every 3-4 hours (3 main meals a day + 3-4 snacks). 3 meals a day

9. Do not eat more than 5-10 bites of carbs a meal. carbsThe whiter the carbs are – the less bites you should eat, i.e. if you are having a steak with salad and brown rice – 5-10 spoons of brown rice is ok, BUT if you choose to have chips stick to 5 bite size portions.

10. Include loads of fiber into your diet. fiber(this is an article from Charles Poliquin blog):

The media have done an impressive job in making the public aware of the importance of fiber, particularly its role in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and cancer. But did you know that fiber also can help you achieve your weight-loss goals? Yes, by means of its key role in digestive health and creating a sense of fullness, fiber can help you lose weight. However, it’s estimated that only 5 percent of US workers consume the daily requirement of fiber, so more education is needed.

How much fiber do you need? According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, an adult male between the ages of 19 and 50 needs about 38 grams of fiber a day, and an adult woman needs about 25 grams. Another way to look at it is 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed; the average American gets about 15 grams a day, total.

One of the reasons we are consuming less fiber is that various food processing methods can strip fiber from the food. Fortunately, food-labeling laws enable us to determine how much fiber a product contains. These laws also cover advertising, because for a manufacturer to make a health claim that their food contains fiber that can reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, the food needs to contain no less than 0.6 grams of fiber for the referenced amount. Further, the fiber reported cannot be fortified or added to the product. By the way, for every gram of fiber consumed you will lose about 2.2 points on your LDL score.

Another reason Americans are consuming less fiber is that we don’t consume enough fibrous carbs. The main source of carbs should be fibrous. Fibrous carbs typically have very low carb content. Their inherent high fiber brings about a very moderate insulin response, thus making them an ideal fat loss food. The best sources of fibrous carbs include the following:

• Broccoli
• Lettuce
• Cabbage
• Cauliflower
• Mushrooms
• Green beans
• Onions
• Asparagus
• Cucumber
• Spinach
• All forms of peppers
• Zucchini
• Cauliflower

Grains obviously have fiber, but not as much as you think. A slice of white bread may contain only 0.5 grams of fiber, whereas a slice of whole wheat may contain 2 grams per slice. Compare those numbers to a cup of navy beans containing 17 grams and a cup of raspberries containing 8 grams. Also, breads contain gluten, and a large percentage of the population is gluten sensitive. Instead of using bread for sandwiches, use dark leafy greens to wrap the meat. It will lower the glycemic index and help shift the acid/alkaline base in your favor.

Fiber blends that will encourage effective detoxification include chia and flax-seed; fibers of carrot, beet and citrus; cranberry seed; apple pectin; and psyllium.

The message is now clear: Fiber is critical to good health and belongs in every weight-loss protocol. It’s time to make a serious effort to put more fiber on your plate!


positive attitude

Natallia x