All posts filed under: Health & Fitness

Health Matters:  Six Ways to Increase Self-Esteem

Last month was National Teen Self-Esteem Month and it got me thinking about the ways that we can nurture and support both our own and others’ sense of self worth and confidence. Teenagers have a lot to contend with these days, what with peer pressure, study and exam stress and the growing problem of bullying in schools. Social media can heighten the pressure to look and behave a certain way, to have the perfect body, own the latest gadget or wear the best trainers. There’s a tendency to look at others’ lives portrayed on sites like Instagram or Facebook and think that we don’t quite match up or that we aren’t good enough in some way. Teenagers are also dealing with practical, social and physical changes and of course hormones! Self-esteem is easily damaged, especially during childhood and teenage years. Of course I believe that it can be repaired and enhanced, so that as adults we can thrive, fulfill our full potential and be happy. I still think though, that preventative measures are always better than …

Why a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work

The old adage, one size does not fit all has never been truer. We now know that there are so many things that affect our body composition and it wouldn’t be wise to follow the same advice for example, at work, for my mum or my friend or the person off the road – you’ve really got to throw out that one size fits all and focus on personalization. What’s going to work for you? For your particular body type, your personal situation, your injury status, your food, and your lifestyle. We also know the oversimplification of eat less and move more doesn’t work for us. Yes, it’s very good, broad strokes advice – move less, eat more, and there is a certain element of truth in terms of the calorie balance, but what we know now about calories is that a calorie is not a calorie. For example, a calorie of fat differs from protein, differs from carbohydrate and the effect on our bodies of those macro nutrients can vary wildly from one of …

Is stress bad for your mind, body and wellbeing?

The answer, of course, is yes. But why? When we’re in a stressed state, we release different hormones, predominately cortisol, which can have a negative effect on our body composition because cortisol instructs the liver to secrete glucose into the bloodstream (in effect to get us ready for action because it thinks we’re in a threat state). We then have elevated glucose in the blood – which is not great for our energy levels or our body composition (our weight management). But stress can also affect the entire body from top to tail. It can switch on and off genes that we don’t necessarily want switched on or off, it can significantly affect our overall health through our genetic expression, which I think is fascinating! It also affects the nervous system – the autonomic nervous system. There are two branches to this nervous system: sympathetic and parasympathetic. Sympathetic is our fight, flight, freeze response. That’s our threat state, and when we’re stressed, we’re in a sympathetic dominant state. Parasympathetic is our rest and digest, and that’s the …

The Importance of Putting Yourself First

I was listening to an interview with Vishen Lakhiani, the CEO of Mindvalley. They do seminars, a month-long retreat in various parts of Europe, and they have a university. Mindvalley is a large company and has grown from acorns, when Vishen had little money. In the interview, he spoke about how he always puts himself first. Before his business, before his career aspirations. He prioritises his exercise sessions, his meditation, his self-care above anything else. He doesn’t have meetings until he’s finished his meditation and he never skips a gym workout for work or business. I find that really interesting – I would call these non-negotiables, and for me, spin once a week, personal training twice a week, a daily meditation, are some of my non-negotiables, and I will not allow anything, no matter what’s going on in this business, to supersede those priorities. As a result, I’m energised, I’m fit, I’m looking good – because that is important in this industry, and more importantly to me is that I’m feeling amazing. And that’s because …

What is your health worth?

This question comes up a lot, because we put a value against everything that we do, and some of the values that we put against health are not as important as they should be, or we don’t take it as seriously as we should. It’s very easy to get caught up in the here and now, and think, “Well, I’m okay for now. I don’t need to think too much about the future. The way I’m living my life now is okay, I’m managing.” Or, maybe you’re just firefighting all the time – you haven’t got the energy to put into health. My belief is that we’re sacrificing or selling off our future for the convenience of today, and you can apply that to anything in life, but particularly health. Is the way you’re living now selling off your future? One of our key beliefs here at Bodyshot is that health span is more important than lifespan. What I mean by that is, it’s really important to live a long, healthy, energised, and vital life …