Secrets of Health Experts

Tired of the usual advice on overcoming tiredness and having enough resolve to not cave in to cravings? Here, leading experts talk to Meggie Lunars about their can’t-live-without tactics.

The Nutritionist

Secret: Drink coconut water

“I sip unsweetened coconut water,” says Charlotte Watts, nutritionist and founder of www.positivelyslim.com. “It’s a natural isotonic drink, so it contains the same mineral profile as human blood, making it a quick rehydrator if you’re feeling drained or exhausted. It’s delicious, low in kilojoules and great if you’re active or breastfeeding. Coconut water also contains medium-chain triglycerides, or MCTs, which help raise metabolism.”

Steal it: Try Cocobella 100% Coconut Water, $1.99, from Coles.

The Celebrity Trainer

Secret: Find a moving meditation

“I have been exercising for years doing everything from jogging to boxing to surfing, but never found anything that could take my mind off my everyday stressors,” says James Duigan, trainer to Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and Elle Macpherson and author of Clean and Lean: Flat Tummy Fast (Simon & Schuster, $25).

“Two years ago I started practising jujitsu and have become calmer mentally and stronger physically. It forces me to be in the moment because like all martial arts, it requires you to focus on your opponent and on the moment. Finding that mindfulness has turned my workouts into moving meditations and made me more focused in everyday life.”

Steal it: It doesn’t have to be martial arts, but could be tennis or running or yoga. If it absorbs you, forces you to focus and takes your mind off any pressures in your life, you’re not only more likely to stick with it, you’ll also get mental benefits such as increased calmness.

The Cardiologist

Secret: Get a pedometer

“I wear a pedometer every day as it keeps me honest,” says Dr Lyn Roberts, chief executive of the National Heart Foundation of Australia. “If I check it at the end of the day and I have only done a couple of thousand steps then it is an incentive to go home and go for a walk after work or to walk home from the office rather than catch the tram.

“If I am travelling, it encourages me to have a walk before settling into my hotel. I try and aim for at least 6000 steps each day, and several times a week I try and clock up over 10,000.”

Steal it: Try the Omron Pedometer with a seven-day memory, $29.95, from pedometersaustralia.com.

The Scientist

Secret: Practise ‘mindfulness’

“I lie or sit still and focus on breathing into my diaphragm for 15 minutes each day,” says Dr Jane Plant, Professor of Geochemistry at Imperial College London and author of new book Eating for Better Health (from Amazon). “Each time a thought comes into my mind, I gently bring my focus back to my breath. Known as mindfulness training, this practice soothes my nerves, however anxious or stressed I’m feeling. Studies at the University of Pittsburgh have used functional brain imaging to prove mindfulness calms the mind.”

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