The Great Excuse… “I Didn’t Feel Like It”

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When you think there is nothing left in the fuel tank, go one more round! I got up this morning and was due to go for a run (only 3 miles) but ‘didn’t feel like it’. How many times has that stopped you from doing something; how you feel?

Then I asked myself a simple question – so what? Going for my run has nothing to do with what I feel like doing and more about doing what I want to do to get the health & fitness benefits I desire. What’s more important; the great excuse ‘I didn’t feel like it’ or my health? Easy win!

Dressed, trainers on, headset in place and off I went. It was a slow start, I could feel the emotional resistance but I kept pushing until eventually, one mile in, it felt comfortable. I had pushed through the barrier and was now entering ‘happy’ land. You see, there was no valid reason for me not to run, it was just a ‘feeling’. By simply questioning the feeling and its validity I could make a firm decision that was aligned with my health goals…

Just because the emotional tank says ‘no’ or you ‘feel’ like you’re on empty, you don’t have to stop. Sometimes you must dig deeper and push through the barrier to test your mental and physical capabilities because they are usually far greater than you ‘feel’ they are.

Boom! Lean in and ‘just do it’!

One Life, Live It Well

YvonneB

Power Up Your Fitness Mindset With These 3 Steps

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I’ve been back in the gym for a couple of months and so glad to be in the habit again. My Mental Fitnessrunning has taken a bit of a back seat but I’ll get the balance soon enough.

As I prepare to get back into a fit state I focus as much on building my fitness mindset as I do on creating my ideal workout.

What does a fitness mindset look like?

  1. Visual Preparation: depending on what you are working towards, have some images as a reference point to stimulate you. Using imagery to guide your workout is incredibly powerful. I have a portfolio of photos taken 18 years ago when I was competing in fitness figure shows that I like to flick through. They remind me of what I have achieved and help me focus on what more is possible. Even if you do not have photos, you can use your imagination. Picture yourself performing the exercises you intend to do or the end result you want. You can read more about this technique in detail with Dr John Rusin.
  2. Motivation: even though the photos are a good source of inspiration and help with the focus I like to reinforce them with audio. I was spending quite a bit of time searching YouTube for motivational videos to watch/listen to but have since found the perfect resource at Pre-workout TV; someone did all the hard work of pulling a list of great motivational videos together!
  3. Music: music really does it for me. Not only does it have the power to lift any mood, research has shown that it can aid pain by relaxing the body as well as improve your workout. I walk to the gym, maximising the time by listening to high energy music and walking at an energetic pace that prepares me for the workout ahead.

Mindset is as important as the physical activity itself; I fully understood that when running the London Marathon last year. My mind definitely got me over the finishing line!

What do you do to prepare yourself mentally for your workouts? Sharing is caring…

Fab Fit & Healthy

YvonneB

P.S: A recommended site for great tips and motivation is Breaking Muscle

I’ve Got Chills They’re Multiplying… Feed Your Cold

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Anyone old enough to remember Grease will recognize the first half of that title (oh, how I loved thatFlu film!) but I’m taking
a whole other approach with it!

Here in the UK winter is settling in nicely (thank you) and it is the time of year when colds, flu and all such nasty niggly viruses come out to play. Instead of (or as well as) visiting the bottle laden shelves of the chemist, here are a few tips to help get those viruses on the move.

First: What to Avoid

Cut down on foods that lead to inflammation. This includes things like refined carbohydrates, sugar, white flour or rice and saturated fats in butter (and animal fats, such as chicken skin).

Second: What will Help

Whole grains

Lean protein

Moderate amounts of healthy oils (ex. olive oil)

Fruit in moderation

Plenty of vegetables, herbs and spices

And a few other considerations

Shiitake, maitake and reishi Mushrooms are good for your immune system.

Garlic provides allicin, a natural chemical that fights bacteria and possibly viruses too.

Tangy citrus fruits are a great way to get vitamin C, a key antioxidant that supports your immune system. (Oranges & grapefruits are good as are the less tangy kiwi and strawberries).

Herbs and spices have been shown to kill germs. Rosemary, oregano, and thyme are other herbs that give you antioxidants.

Probiotics are “good” bacteria help keep your gut healthy and in turn are good for your overall immunity (found in some yogurts). Look for “live cultures” on the label.

Chicken soup helps fight inflammation. Warm liquids can soothe your sore throat and help relieve congestion.

Water – get your 8 glasses of water in!

In truth I have rarely been good at feeding colds, maybe because I don’t get them too often, but  I’ll refer to this short, simple list in future. What do you do to feed your cold/flu? Love to know! Please share your comments.

Hoping you get through the winter without any viruses!

One Life, Live It Well,

YvonneB

Reference: Webmd.com

Fact or Fiction? What To Look Out For On The Road To Better Health

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As a student of the Health Sciences Academy, I have the privilege Nutritionof accessing high end nutrition, fitness and well-being information.

On my scouting of their extensive library today I came across this great article and wanted to share it with you: Junk Science Blogs: 4 Signs You May Be Unknowingly Following One

Source: © The Health Sciences Academy. All Rights Reserved.

Read more: thehealthsciencesacademy.org/health-tips/junk-science/

Now I am a great believer in simplifying information in order to make it more digestible and accessible however this article highlights the dangers of oversimplifying, from ‘spinning’ information to drawing conclusions without all the facts.

A worthy read… You have been informed 🙂

Live Healthily, live happily,

YvonneB

What You Feed Your Brain Matters

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Well my opening statement is a simple one: What you feed your Brain1brain matters!

I am and will always remain intrigued by the intricacies of our make up, the way the body pieces together to move fluidly; the wiring of the brain to send specific messages to create a movement, a thought, a wish. We are incredibly built, more powerful than most of us will realise in our lifetime and yet we often choose to take this for granted and misuse it.

Like a finely tuned car we require a regular MOT, a long run and some TLC to operate optimally and one of the things we can do to make sure we stay finely tuned is watch what we eat. Mmmm, yes, a tricky subject! But let’s look at some facts…

Does Brain Food Exist?

Oh yes! Just like the rest of the body there are foods we can eat to enhance our brain power.

The brain requires some very specific things to work well and you might want to take note. It requires:

  1. Energy – glucose in your blood to the brain – Wholegrains
  2. Essential Fatty Acids – only obtained from your diet as the body is unable to make it – Oily Fish (Omega 3 fats)
  3. Blueberries – who knew? See why below
  4. Protection against free radical damage to cells – the magic ingredient lycopene in Tomatoes
  5. Zinc – Pumpkin seeds

Some other key sources include certain B vitamins, blackcurrant, broccoli, sage and nuts.

What Happens If You Eat These Foods?

  1. Increases the ability to concentrate and focus (from the steady supply of energy)
  2. Aids healthy brain function, the heart function, joints and general wellbeing (EFA)
  3. Improves short-term memory loss or delays it (blueberries – got to get me some of those!)
  4. Protects against the cell damage that can lead to the development of dementia (Alzheimer’s in particular) (Tomatoes)
  5. Enhances memory & thinking skills (Pumpkin Seeds)

The additional benefits of eating the food types listed above include reduced brain shrinkage, mental agility, enhanced cognitive function, improved brain power and improved memory. Not a list to be sniffed at!

So if you’ve been struggling to stay focused, to retain information or engage with a level of mental agility that you feel you have, you might want to check your diet. Are you doing everything you can to remain mentally healthy or are you resigned to letting it all slip away blaming the ageing process? The choices we have, the decisions we make!

What Are Some Easy Steps To Improve Your Brain Power?

Apart from eating good quality food here are 3 other ways to Brain2improve your brain power:

  1. Exercise your brainneuroplasticity (the brain can change!) – by doing something new
  2. Exercise your body – regular exercise not only increases brain function it enhances neurogenesis (every time you exercise you are creating new brain cells!)
  3. Train your memory – practice remembering things (you know, where you put your keys, wallet, even the children!!) Practice provides improvements.

Get your thinking heads on and post some other cool, fun or wacky ways to improve brain power; I’m open to ideas and new ways. And remember, what you feed your brain matters!

One Life, Live It Well

YvonneB

Sources of information:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/10-foods-boost-your-brainpower

http://www.foodforthebrain.org/

Keep On Running!

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The 26th of April is looming with the Virgin London Marathon ‎all Run3set and all I can tell myself is ‘keep on running’.

This will be my first marathon (hopefully not the last :)) and each day it draws closer I feel a little more anxious and excited; an interesting mix.

Having run the Nike Run To The Beat half marathon in 2013 I know to expect an electrifying atmosphere with lots of positive energy to bounce off of and I know that eventually the race will come to an end but the butterflies persist.

So I want to fix my mind on my ‘why’. Why have I taken this challenge on? There are a few reasons.

Firstly I had set this goal specifically for this year in celebration of my big birthday; turning 50. As someone with a history in health & fitness I wanted to commit to paying attention to my well-being, no matter my age, no excuses and fitness challenges ensure I deliver on that commitment.

Secondly I know these events are a great way to support charities I care about and whilst the charity I support regularly (Business against Poverty) is not listed for the marathon there are many other amazing causes that are and I have chosen Get Kids Going! To be mine. Why? Because they are working relentlessly to get and keep young people with disabilities in sports, creating champions to represent GB in major sporting events across the globe and if you watched any of the Paralympics of 2012 you know why this is important work and how supporting them can make a difference.

Paying it forward is one of my 7 business principles and that means ‘doing’, leading by example, not just talking a good talk. If I’m going to spend time encouraging others to get out of their comfort zones, to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, best I lead the way 🙂

Finally it’s about community, being part of something much bigger than me. When we act as a community we can achieve more, make bigger changes and impact our world in mighty shifts. I am looking forward to the camaraderie, the opportunity to support and be supported, to have fun and even shed a tear… I’m pretty certain it will be an emotional experience for many.

So, with my mind now fixed firmly on my why, regardless of the butterflies, no matter how uncomfortable the challenge, I commit to keep on running!

And if you’d like to show your support do any one or all of these things:

1. Watch my fundraising video & make your donation for the great work at Get Kids Going!

2. Come and cheer all the participants on! The cheer points for the Get Kids Going team are at miles 13.5 & 22 on ‘The Highway’ and 26 mile on ‘Birdcage Walk’.

3. Wait to drag me over the finishing line! I’m not sure how long it’ll take but a stretcher and a bottle of red wine will gain my lifelong friendship 🙂

A HUGE thank you to those who have already shown their support:

Andy Bottrill at Admiral Cleaning Supplies, Michelle Margaret-Marques of Manor Grove Spa, Richard & Lyn Botwood, Alan I, Nicky, Alleyne & Gayle of Bourne & Bargery, Jerry Walsingham of MBE Bath, Barry & Kay of Venture Funding Hub, Adrian Chase, Kate Shakespeare of Somer Valley Enterprise Park, Bunmi Phillips, Ronke Phillips, Cheryl Carver & Joan.

‎And to those who have pledged to support & rally round on my behalf – thank you!

Live Blissfully,
YvonneB‎