Living healthily – a how to guide by Matt Thraxton

‘Chase the change’ is just one of the motivational mantras you’ll hear from Les Mills Trainer Matt Thraxton. This self-confessed BODYPUMP™ junkie has loads of fantastic ideas around how to best embrace a healthy lifestyle, so read on to find out more.

Matt Thraxton is a Melbourne-based BODYPUMP™, CXWORX™ and RPM™ trainer and a LES MILLS GRIT™ Series coach who’s currently in New Zealand to present during the filming of BODYPUMP™ 93. Check out Matt’s insights into how he gets through the day – take on board some of his advice to maximize your fitness and stay happy and healthy.

Wake up time
A typical day for me starts at 7am. I am usually fine, but there are some days that I need a little more motivation to get out of bed – I think everyone has these days from time to time, especially the day after a heavy leg session! It sounds a bit of a cliché, but on these mornings what motivates me to get out of bed is to think about what I love about my job. It fills me with a sense of purpose and really gets me going.

The first meal of the day
I always eat breakfast, and I try to make it high protein. Either some variation on meat and nuts or I go bacon and eggs, or perhaps oats with protein powder, banana, berries and honey.

Beating the mid-morning hunger pangs
I try to eat every two hours or so. I have a protein shake post workout and I will always have a few meals prepared for the day. When I’m feeling hungry mid-morning I tend to go for a handful of mixed nuts, sometimes with yoghurt and perhaps half a banana. Or I might have something like turkey breast, avocado and steamed veggies.

The ultimate lunch
My favorite lunch is steak, sweet potato, spinach and broccoli. I love it because it is a healthy meal that covers all the basics and tastes good. I believe that our diet should be made up predominantly from natural, healthy whole foods – things that grow out of the ground and that used to fly, run or swim.

Working out
The time of day that I work out depends on what classes I’m teaching and on what type of training I am planning to do, so I need to be flexible. If I am lifting weights I normally like to do it at around 11am or 3pm, not only is it good to have a couple of decent meals in me so I feel strong, the gym is quieter at those times.

Creating a workout schedule that sticks
It all comes down to making exercise part of your lifestyle. I clean my teeth every day, I shower every day, I eat every day, I exercise every day. Simple. I don’t really have a workout schedule as such, but I always make sure I cover off the foundation lifts each week such as squats, lunges, deadlifts, bench press as well as dips and chins. The group fitness classes that I teach keep the heart and lungs strong and I will also throw in one or two extra high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions to help keep the body fat down. I also utilize TRX suspension training and kettlebells a lot. I stick to this kind of stuff because it works and it’s fun.

Avoiding that ‘lack lustre’ feeling
There’s no specific time that I feel lack lustre, although I notice a dip in my energy if my diet has been poor or I have missed a meal. Occasionally, if I went to bed late or had to get up extra early, I find myself reaching for a quick shot of coffee around 3pm.

Getting a good night’s sleep
My mind always starts to race when it comes to bed time, so I have to write stuff down so I can let it all go and relax. Often this will be things I need to get done tomorrow, new ideas, or just random thoughts… A couple of years ago I started writing a Grateful Log before going to bed. I simply write down three things I am grateful for and I answer the following three questions: What good did I do for other people today? What good did other people do for me today? What did I learn today? That’s it. My secret to better sleep, and more happiness in your life is a pen and a journal.

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