As spring approaches and excuses for skipping early morning workouts wear thin, Celebrity Personal Trainer Neil Russell, with Accredited Practising Dietitian Geraldine Georgeou, has today launched a new diet and exercise plan – developed exclusively for Zespri Kiwifruit - which aims to ensure all Australians start their day in the healthiest way possible – by waking up with a Kiwi and including daily exercise into our routines.
Easy for anyone to master, Neil's 'Wake Up With a Kiwi" seven day exercise plan contains a healthy mix of Resistance Toning (RTC) to increase strength and muscle tone, High Intermittent Intensity Training (HiiT) to reduce body fat and increase fitness, plus light jogging, stretching and yoga for balance. A healthy lifestyle doesn't stop with exercise however – it's important to fuel the body to make the most out of your morning workout. So, Geraldine has paired Neil's exercise plan with her very own nutritious seven day meal plan; a balanced combination of proteins, carbohydrates and good fats, including one Zespri® Gold Kiwifruit each morning as a nutritious way to wake up and fuel your body for the day ahead.
Zespri® Gold Kiwifruits are one of the world's most nutrient-rich fruits. They offer a veritable goldmine of nutrients including fibre, potassium, vitamin E and folate. Your biggest breakfast boost comes from their very high vitamin C levels; Zespri® Kiwifruits contain 100% of our daily requirement in just one piece. Research has shown that this high vitamin C content can help decrease feelings of fatigue and increase physical and mental energyi, making them a great way to kick-start your day. The Zespri® Gold Kiwifruit range incorporates three distinct varieties, each as succulent and nutrient-rich as the other. Zespri® Gold Kiwifruit is a taste of sunshine with its sweet, tropical flavour and smooth, golden flesh. Zespri® Charm Kiwifruit meanwhile has a nectar-like juice and richer taste - the most indulgent gold kiwifruit experience yet. Or there's Zespri® SunGold Kiwifruit, with a refreshing sweet taste with just a hint of tanginess.
Geraldine says: 'My Wake Up With a Kiwi 7 Day Diet Plan for Zespri includes quick and easy meals that provide the balance our body needs, all starting with a Gold Kiwifruit for its excellent nutritional benefits. Zespri® Gold Kiwifruits offer a serious breakfast boost, with an army of nutrients other fruits could only dream of – in fact there's twenty nutrients and minerals in each piece. In addition actinidin, a protease enzyme unique to kiwifruits, helps us digest several food proteins, including those found in meat, milk, legumes and cereal."
Neil says: 'With spring on its way, now there's no excuse for not getting out of bed early each day and getting energised. The Wake Up With a Kiwi Exercise Plan is a holistic early morning exercise program for all Australians who want to increase fitness, strength, muscle tone and flexibility. The highly nutrient dense and vitamin C-rich Zespri Gold Kiwifruit make it a great training aid – eating at least one each morning provides energy for your workout and fuel for your body for the day ahead."
For those with little time in the mornings, Zespri® Gold Kiwifruits are a convenient breakfast option. Their versatility - whether you like to -cut and scoop' the flesh out with a spoon or peel and slice or even to add them to a variety of breakfast foods - means everyone can benefit from their nutritional value, every day of the week.
So, why not try the Wake Up With a Kiwi Diet and Exercise plan tomorrow?
Question: What do you believe the key to good health is?
Neil Russell: Achieving some form of balance and progression in all aspects of life, and helping others. This includes being physically active by engaging in a wide variety of exercise modalities and eating fresh produce to nourish the body every day. I believe a formulated morning routine is crucial to this.
Question: Why are morning workouts best for us?
Neil Russell: The mornings are a great time to claim as our own; no distractions have suddenly arisen and we can dedicate some time for ourselves before others start asking to share it. This means that if you are planning on exercising, the morning is your best bet for making it part of a consistent routine. Additionally, morning exercise is a great way to prime the body for the day ahead, optimising your energy levels, mental wellbeing and performance throughout the day.
A healthy lifestyle doesn't stop with exercise however - including one Zespri Gold Kiwifruit as part of your daily breakfast is a nutritious way to wake up and fuel your body for the day ahead.
Zespri Gold Kiwifruits are one of the world's most nutrient-rich fruits. They offer a veritable goldmine of nutrients including fibre, potassium, vitamin E and folate. Your biggest breakfast boost comes from their very high vitamin C levels; Zespri® Kiwifruits contain 100% of our daily requirement in just one piece. Research has shown that this high Vitamin C content can help decrease feelings of fatigue and increase physical and mental energyi, making them a great way to kick-start your day.
Question: How often should we be exercising a week and for how long?
Neil Russell: That entirely depends on your goals. However, I recommend performing some form of exercise daily (e.g. run, walk, resistance training, swim, yoga, gym class etc.), it doesn't even have to be too structured (surfing, hiking, hobby/sport). The key is to elevate your heart rate and get the body moving every day. Also, it is important to find a balance between your strength, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility, to maximise all round health and wellbeing.
Question: What is your definition of a 'healthy breakfast"?
Neil Russell: A healthy breakfast should provide you with the energy to start your day off right and include carbohydrates, protein, fibre and contain a variety of antioxidants. I make sure that fruit is a part of my breakfast routine every morning.
Question: Can you share the Wake Up With a Kiwi seven day diet and exercise plan, with us?
Neil Russell: answer
Question: Can you talk us through the exercise plan component of Wake Up With a Kiwi?
Neil Russell: The Wake Up With a Kiwi exercise plan is holistically formulated to increase strength, stability, fitness and flexibility in a balanced fashion, and is designed for all levels of fitness. As a bonus the Wake Up With a Kiwi exercise program will help optimise your body shape by increasing lean muscle mass, decreasing fat mass and resting metabolism.
Question: Why was it important to create an exercise plan that doesn't require a gym membership?
Neil Russell: The Wake Up With a Kiwi exercise program is designed to accessible to all Australians, I want it to reach as many people as possible. Not everyone can utilise the convenience of a gym and fortunately here in Australia we have some beautiful parks and beaches where people can perform exercise at their convenience.
Question: Are you able to share the types of workouts you do with your clients such as Laura Dundovic, Maz Compton and Roxy Jacenko?
Neil Russell: These are highly motivated and very busy women who know how to achieve great results in business and personally. I optimise our training sessions by performing 2-4 specific body shaping resistance exercises (combining lower body, upper body and core) in a circuit with little to no rest between exercises. Each session will contain 3-5 circuits often with short bursts of high intensity cardiovascular training between the circuits. I tailor the exercises I choose based on each of the girls specific goals and body type to create the body shape, fitness and strength results that they desire.
Question: What are HIIT and RTC workouts?
Neil Russell: HIIT or High Intensity Interval training, as the name suggest utilises periods of high intensity exercises followed by low intensity exercise or rest. It is a great exercise technique for boosting your fitness and decreasing fat mass and can utilise a variety of exercises to get results. RTC or Resistance Toning Circuits are a series of exercises performed back to back designed to give the full body a workout. Performing a RTC will increase your lean muscle mass(muscle tone) and increase your metabolism(so you burn more energy throughout the day). By completing each of these workouts 2-3 times a week you will go a long way toward looking and feeling great every day.
Question: How does eating one Gold Kiwifruit per day help our training?
Neil Russell: Gold Kiwifruits are one of the most nutrient dense fruits in the world. They contain 100% of your recommended daily Vitamin C requirements which is important for the growth and repair of tissues and the structure and function of skeletal muscle. Gold Kiwifruits also contain bioavailable antioxidants which protect against free radical and exercise induced oxidative damage, slowing down the ageing process.
Protein absorption is crucial for those who do exercise. Zespri Gold Kiwifruits contain Actinidin which is an enzyme that breaks down proteins in the diet making them easier to absorb and deliver to the muscles; protein is important for the muscle repair process following exercise.
To put it simply, Zespri Gold kiwifruits provide you with the energy for your workout, aid in the recovery of muscle tissue following your workout and provide long lasting energy to keep you energised and fight off fatigue for the rest of your day.
Interview by Brooke Hunter