All posts filed under: Health & Fitness

Less is more: five ways to exercise effectively in just 30 minutes or less

One of the most common mistakes people make with fitness is thinking they need an hour or more to exercise effectively. I want to introduce you to five ways you can exercise effectively without spending more than 30 minutes on a session – sometimes it could be as little as 15-20 minutes. Tabata or HIIT sessions Tabata is a high intensity type of interval workout based on 4 minutes in total – 20 seconds of high intensity exercise and 10 seconds rest. The idea is that you work very hard for 20 seconds and recover, except that the recovery periods feel less and less as the time goes on! With each tabata only lasting 4 minutes, you could do 3 of these in a workout with great effects. Interval sessions If you already have a running or jogging routine, this will be easy to add in. If you don’t, this is a great way to maximise the efficiency of your exercise session and make good progress in terms of cardiovascular fitness and speed. After warming up …

5 reasons why cold showers are good for your health (and keep you cool during a heatwave)

I was persuaded to try cold showers having listened to a podcast where the guest, (the renowned Dr Joseph Mercola) was discussing their benefits, specifically, cold thermogenesis. It seemed to me that the benefits of subjecting yourself to cold temperatures were too many and too compelling to ignore. Here are my top 5 reasons why cold showers are good for your health, and why you should start experimenting with cold therapy now. Brown fat activation Brown adipose tissue (BAT) is a type of fat that is typically found around the collar bones, sternum, neck and upper back. It’s a unique type of fat that generates heat by burning the white fat on the stomach, rump, hips and legs. One study found that cold therapy increases the activation of BAT by up to 15 times. Individuals who are frequently exposed to bouts of cold temperatures tend to have more BAT, which can also cause metabolic up-regulation and an increased production of heat in skeletal muscle, which means you’ll be burning more calories as you go about …

The Seven Secrets of a Successful Health Transformation

Why is it that some people manage to transform their health and others don’t? I’ve worked with hundreds of clients over the last few years, and I’ve observed the differences between those who succeed and those who don’t. Here’s what you need to consider if you want to reach a successful outcome. You are fully invested Successful people know that in order to succeed, you need to invest, and I don’t just mean in time and money. Someone who has what it takes to transform their health will be fully invested emotionally, physically and intellectually and very focused on their desired outcome. You have patience Implementing lasting and sustainable changes is a slow game. Think a marathon not a 100m sprint. You need to be patient, and focused. Appreciating that things take time is essential to the outcome, and you won’t be in a rush. You trust the program Holding on to preconceived ideas and limiting beliefs damages the chances of success. Trust in the person you’ve hired to help you. Believe in the power …

Why recovery is as important as training and how to balance the two

I recently ran the London Marathon for Alzheimer’s Research. I’ve trained several clients for a marathon, and the same thing happens every time; panic sets in a few weeks before and I refocus them on the importance of prioritising recovery and rest. The importance of recovery Understanding the fine line between a healthy training volume and over-training is vital. Generally, we put too much emphasis on training, instead of balancing our efforts with rest and recovery. What are the signs of poor recovery? Tuning into your body is a powerful way of reconnecting with yourself. The human body is extremely adept at sending us signals, but we’ve become good at ignoring them. There are typically six areas where you might have issues: Sleep Mental health Body composition Energy Digestion Fitness Sympathetic versus parasympathetic dominance The body is a complex system of nerves and impulses. The autonomic nervous system is comprised of the sympathetic nervous system and the parasympathetic nervous systems. Sympathetic relates to the fight / flight reactions. When the sympathetic nervous system is dominant, …

What are the effects of alcohol on weight management and fitness?

What are the effects of alcohol on weight management and fitness? Excessive consumption of alcohol can be harmful for the brain and body. Anything more than two drinks per day (on average) is too much, and problem drinking comes in many forms. If you’ve lost one of your personal possessions or your phone more than twice due to alcohol; if you’ve missed work or social engagements more than twice; if you’ve said something you regretted on several occasions because of alcohol, then that’s problem drinking. It’s about where it takes you rather than how much you consume. What happens when you drink alcohol? Alcohol is absorbed rapidly into the bloodstream through the stomach and small intestine. Once absorbed, it affects every part of the body. In order to metabolise the alcohol, the liver takes on the brunt of the work, and the alcohol is then processed out via the breath and in the urine. Alcohol affects the brain in various ways, primarily affecting the frontal lobes, which influence speech, memory, judgement and movement. The central …