Did You Know…

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I’m always on the lookout for health tips, facts and Questioninformation to help us make better choices so here are a few of my ‘Did you know’ health facts:

  • Moderate to vigorous physical activity translates into a 45% lower risk of dementia
  • Regular tea drinkers hold onto more brain power, slowing age-related declines by up to 37% (Drs Mehmet Oz & Mike Roizen)
  • Laughter boosts the immune system, decreasing stress hormones and increasing immune cells & infection-fighting antibodies, improving resistance to disease
  • Laughter protects the heart. it improves the function of blood vessels and increases blood flow. This can help protect against heart attacks
  • Research from Austria shows that listening to music can help patients with chronic back pain. Listening to music on a regular basis helps our bodies relax physically and mentally, thus helping to relieve and prevent back pain. (Read more: here)
  • Listening to music can improve your workout (couldn’t agree more!) Scientists claim it can increase your endurance, boost your mood and can distract you from any discomfort experienced during your workout.
  • During sleep you can strengthen memories or “practice” skills learned while you were awake (it’s a process called consolidation)
  • In a 2010 study of women ages 50 to 79, more deaths occurred in women who got less than five hours or more than six and a half hours of sleep per night (Read more: here)
  • Ursolic acid (found in apple skin) ups muscle and brown fat, which boosts calorie burning (lead researcher Christopher Adams, MD)
  • The following fruit can potentially help with weight loss:Bergamot oranges: Studies show that compounds in the fruit may decrease cholesterol. Blueberries: This may reduce belly fat by affecting fat burning and storage genes. Pears: They’re high in flavonoids and catechins, antioxidants that help women ward off weight gain (Want To Shed Weight?)

Amazing stuff and well worth knowing if you really want to maximize your healthy lifestyle… Enjoy!

YvonneB

Rough & Tumble… I Did it!

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R&TSunday 12th of January arrived and with it the first of my charity fundraising events; Rough & Tumble… I Did It!

I’m not sure how I did it because it was by far the toughest ‘run’ I have ever done (more walking than running on my part) and more challenging than I had expected. It made my half marathon look like a walk in the park yet it was only ten miles; but 10 miles of flood water covered terrain, sticky, slippery mud (that was strong enough to pull trainers off) and near vertical hill climbs with equally difficult descents.

My goal – purely to finish. Having never taken part in an off-road event before setting a finish time made little sense. It took me a grueling 2 hours 23 to complete – 19 minutes longer than my half marathon!

It was a great day and I felt I really achieved something, testing my fitness within an inch of its life (there is work to be done!!) Yet I salute you Rough & Tumble… I Did It!

To see the champs of the day who ran spectacular times visit here.

To build my BT Donate fundraising pot for Business Against Poverty visit here and my May 2014 fundraising event choices will be online soon so get ready to get voting!

Awesome!

YvonneB

P.S – Big shout out to the lovely guys at Somer AC who very kindly transported me to and from the event (Mark & Richard – thank you!)

Get Your Fitness Groove On

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The holiday is well and truly over and it’s time to get your Fitnessfitness groove on! Whilst it usually feels like a hard slog to get into any kind of fitness routine post Christmas the sooner you get to it the better; BUT in moderation so as not to turn yourself off before you get turned on to it!

But why bother to get your fitness groove on?

I saw these figures from a recent report:

The number of obese or overweight people in the developing world nearly quadrupled from 250 million to 904 million between 1980 and 2008, according to a study published this month by a UK think tank. Over the same period obesity rates in high-income countries increased by 1.7 times. One third of all adults worldwide—1.46 billion people—are now overweight or obese, says the report from the Overseas Development Institute.

(Read more)

To me, that is reason enough! But it is important not to throw yourself on some crazy diet or exercise plan in the hope that it will change your health & wellbeing in 5 minutes. Real change requires real commitment and a better understanding of how your body works.

Some minimum guidelines are:

  • 30 minutes of activity 3-4 times per week. This can be something as simple as walks to the more strenuous activities like running, aerobics, swimming or strength training. Get a mix in to get the most benefit (aerobic & strength). Set yourself a fitness challenge rewarding a charity for your hard work
  • Drink 1.5 to 2 litres of water per day. Build up to it! It can be a real struggle if you go from no water per day to 2 litres. It can cause discomfort and many trips to the loo! As your body begins to rehydrate that need and discomfort will reduce.
  • Eat food that works with your body, not against it. We live in a society where ‘fast & quick’ is part of everything we are encouraged to do. The foods you need to reduce include pre-packed meals, sweets, alcohol, high sugar content, red meat and processed dairy products. Instead go for fish, poultry, vegetables, fruit, nuts, goats or feta cheese, seasoning & spices, oils (like sesame oil) and grains (lentils, pulses)
  • Look after your skin – it’s the biggest organ you have and it requires care to be at its best. Exercise, food and water will definitely help but what you put on your skin matters to. Avoid products that contain parabens, ureas and petrochemical to name but a few! I’ll do a separate post on ingredients and why they need to be avoided at a later date.

And lastly… Have FUN getting your fitness groove on! I say it all the time because I mean it. Fun, laughter, smiling; these can all impact the chemical make up of your body… positively!

YvonneB