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

Suck It Up Or Change…

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It’s not every day you get to publish a book and share your thoughts about how we get stuck in life and the need to get unstuck before we completely ruin our health.

Today, however, I had some of my thoughts on the topic published on Amazon and it’s available right now for £0.99!

Grab a copy & share your thoughts, experiences and of course, thank you for your support!

suckituporchange

Be Your Best You, Living Your Best Life…

YvonneB

Obesity Isn’t Going Away…

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Obesity isn’t going away… It is widely visible yet still under tackled. And the question is Obesitywhat are we going to do about it?

Some of the facts:

  • Approximately 2.1 billion people (30% of the planet) are overweight or obese (as stated in a 33 year-long study published in the Lancet Medical Journal)
  • The worldwide prevalence of obesity more than doubled between 1980 and 2014
  • If nothing is done to reverse the epidemic, more than 1 billion adults are projected to be obese by 2030
  • 700,000 NHS staff classed as overweight or obese were told to shed their excess pounds in order to be a good example to patients (UK)
  • The rate of obesity in children ages 6-11 increased from 6.5 to 19.6 percent between the years 1980 and 2008
  • Medical experts claimed overweight Britons could be costing the health service £30 billion a year despite successive campaigns to educate people about healthy eating and exercise
  • At the turn of the 20th century, people were eating mostly simple, home-cooked meals. By 2009 about half of what people ate was fast food, or other foods away from home
  • All segments of the population are affected by obesity

And so the stats go on, each concerning and highlighting the need to truly educate people on health; prevention is and always has been better than cure.

What is the impact on health being overweight or obese?

  1. Being overweight leaves people more vulnerable to a host of health problems all of which place further strain on NHS resources, including Type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, strokes and some forms of cancer
  2. Daily activities become a chore and a burden. Whether it is looking after self or children, the things most of us take for granted, becomes hard work; getting dressed, bathing, travelling to/from work, picking up children, going shopping and so on
  3. It increases the likelihood of a person suffering from depression and dementia
  4. It can cause heartburn and urinary incontinence
  5. It can kill. It is estimated that up to 400,000 deaths a year in the EU are caused by overweight-related illnesses

If you have ever carried a few extra pounds you know how uncomfortable that can feel. Now imagine an excessive amount of body weight to carry and you can begin to imagine the struggle people are experiencing and how that affect them emotionally, mentally and physically. The cure is not just putting people on scales then telling them what to eat and what exercise to do; the approach needs to be holistic.

What are we going to do about it?

Educating people around health is vital and includes understanding:

  • Why certain foods are craved and how to manage those cravings (food content including sugar, fat and the different calorie values)
  • The mental challenges that go hand in hand with eating and how to become the master of their thinking (take control)
  • How emotions impact food choices and how by journaling emotions to see where triggers lie they can make small daily changes to a healthier life
  • Exercise is one part of a healthy lifestyle and not as effective as eating a balanced diet (the two work beautifully together!)
  • A healthy balanced diet is not about having to eat lots of boring or expensive foods (myths!)
  • Getting healthy is much more fun when done with others. The support and reduction in feeling ‘I’m the only one’ is priceless

We can bring about change together. The more we understand and pay attention to what we eat, the better. Leaving it to the food industry is NOT the way to go. Learning to read food labels, reading informative and well researched articles and making a decision to put health first is! I highly recommend the library of excellent articles available at http://thehealthsciencesacademy.org along with their courses. You won’t be disappointed!

Live Healthily!

YvonneB

References:
1. http://thehealthsciencesacademy.org/health-tips/being-obese/

2. www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs311/en/

3. http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-trends/obesity-rates-worldwide/

4. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/nhs/10999437/Overweight-doctors-and-nurses-told-to-slim-down-by-NHS-chief.html

Eat To Sleep…

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What most people wouldn’t do for a good night’s sleep!Dine Well

As a pretty solid sleeper myself I really empathize with people who struggle to sleep because on the rare occasion I have had what I would describe as sleep deprivation I have been moody, unfocused and in need of sugar fixes (or at least that’s what I told myself!)

So, how does poor sleep affect your eating habits?

It’s likely to increase your food intakeOn the rare occasion I have struggled to sleep eating has been a favourite way to pass the time. And a study carried out by the Mayo Clinic in 2012 found that those individuals who didn’t get enough sleep consumed approximately 549 calories more per day.

Late night snacks could become your normHere’s the thing, when you are losing sleep you are likely to feel more tired. If you feel more tired you’ll probably want to exercise less and eat more. Late night snacks might become a habit you don’t want so think before you eat.

The types of food you crave are unlikely to be good quality – Never having lost sleep have I thought ‘I’ll just go and get me a salad’. No, not a chance! Chocolate, crisps and all things sweet (loaded with calories & fat) tend to be the food of choice. Read ‘How sleep deprivation makes us want to eat fat

Poor quality food equates to poor nourishment – Ultimately adding up the results above also means you are likely to deprive your body of the food types it needs to repair, recover and function well.

Okay, that’s all a bit doom and gloom so lets think about what can be done to aid sleep. Here are some fab food tips taken from ‘Foods that help you sleep’ slideshow that could help:

Walnuts are a good source of tryptophan. It is a sleep-enhancing amino acid that helps make serotonin and melatonin, the hormone that sets your sleep-wake cycles. Also walnuts contain their own source of melatonin, which may help you fall asleep faster.

Cheese and crackers – one of my favourites! Calcium helps the brain use the tryptophan found in dairy to manufacture sleep-triggering melatonin.

Lettuce – it contains lactucarium, which has sedative property and affects the brain in a similar way to opium (yikes; is that a good thing??!)

Fish high in vitamin B6 – required by your body to make melatonin and serotonin (pistachios & raw garlic are also great sources of B6).

White rice – it has a high glycemic index (a number associated with a particular type of food that indicates the food’s effect on a person’s blood sugar level), so eating it will cut the time it takes you to fall asleep, according to an Australian study.

Chamomile Tea – According to researchers, chamomile tea is associated with an increase of glycine, a chemical that relaxes nerves and muscles and acts like a mild sedative.

Honey – A spoonful before bed (or with chamomile tea) could give you a more restful sleep. Key takeaway here; eat better food to aid sleep in the first instance and should you have a poor night’s sleep be aware of what you are eating.

Don’t let bad habits set in… Eat to sleep.

One health, live it well!

YvonneB

3 Ways To Increase Your Energy!

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You’re tired… In fact you’re sick and tired of feeling tired. You barely Energyhave enough energy to get through your day and people are making additional demands.

It’s not an unusual story but the good news is you can do something about it 🙂

Here are 3 ways to increase your energy…

1. Get stuck into some physical activity!

I know you’re probably thinking ‘she’s nuts’, you’re tired and I’m recommending you get physical. Contrary to any madness it is a fact that physical activity increases your energy; this can be as simple as a 10-15 minute brisk walk.

In experiments carried out by Robert Thayer, PhD at California State University, a 10 minute brisk walk not only increased energy levels it kept the level raised for up to 2 hours; not a bad little energy booster!

2. Eat good quality foods regularly throughout the day

Food and water are the fuel your body requires much like a car needs petrol & oil. There is no point in complaining about how tired you are when you are either missing meals or eating rubbish.

Think about it this way;
Low grade input = low grade output

Have you ever put the wrong type of petrol in your car? It has to be drained and can cause damage. Poor quality foods (and here I am focusing on fast food hell) have the same affect; you may feel full, you might even think it tastes good but inevitably it will harm your health and leave you feeling sluggish.

Grab some good energy foods including:

1. Low glycemic index foods (for longer lasting energy)
2. Whole grains‎ (wheat, oats, brown rice)
3. Healthy fat sources (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseed)
4. Energy boosting superfoods (broccoli, lentils, apricots, spinach)
5. Vi shakes (ingredients)

3. Drink Water to replenish, clean & revitalize!

Water is an underestimated requirement for bodily function; every cell in the body needs it and your body composition is 60-70% water. The quantity consumed has a massive impact on your well-being‎ and yet it is often forgotten, ignored or just consumed in insufficient measures (something I am constantly working on to improve).

Dehydration leads to tiredness and leaves your skin looking tired.
“Sometimes, even slight dehydration can leave you feeling tired and lethargic,” says nutritionist Keith Ayoob, EdD, RD, an associate professor at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York and author of The Uncle Sam Die‎t.

This is particularly true following physical activity when you’re body is craving fluids.

A few of the benefits attributed to drinking 2 litres of water per day include:

1. Natural weight loss aid/detox
2. Glowing skin
3. Better digestion
4. Better concentration
5. Less painful menstruation
6. Good regular bowel movement

No rocket science here (sorry!), just 3 ways to increase your energy… easily!

One Life, Live It Well…
YvonneB

Think yourself fit through the art of Visualisation

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Visualisation; no doubt you have heard the term before but what is itIf You Can Dream It and how does it work? Is it really possible to ‘think yourself fit’?

Well, here are a few people who would probably say yes if you asked them and going by their track record you might begin to believe there is something in it:

  • One of the most successful coaches in the history of NBA, Phil Jackson, used guided meditations for his players in order to improve their focus
  • Jonny Wilkinson, Former England rugby international fly-half, has used visualisation to mental prepare for games
  • From his youth days Tiger Woods has used internal imaging
  • Basketball star Michael Jordan has also accredited his success to visualising his goals
  • Jack Nicklaus believes his success has been down to practicing visualisation techniques

I don’t think the success of these individuals and their use of visualisation is a coincidence…

What is visualisation?
It is the practice of creating mental images of a desired result in your mind. It can be done by anyone and the results speak volumes.

If top athletes rely on it why can’t we? They weren’t always top athletes…

So, can you think yourself fit? YES YOU CAN! You can strengthen your body’s muscles through the thought process by imagining yourself going through the motions of achieving your desired outcome.

How can we be certain?
Apart from the stories of individuals, and there are many, research supports the power of visualisation.

Even as far back as 1800’s William James, a psychologist state that ‘every representation of a movement awakens in some degree the actual movement’. In other words whether you actually do the movement of just picture yourself doing it, the brain is activated in the same way; it doesn’t separate out reality from dream.

A study carried out by the Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Ohio, called ‘ From Mental Power to Muscle Power – gaining strength by using the mind’, demonstrated how visualisation can deliver positive results.

The basics of the study were as follows:

  • 30 volunteers were selected (young & healthy)
  • They were split into three groups
  • Two groups were taught how to use directed imaginary movement in as real a way as possible in their heads (finger and bicep movement)
  • The third group was the controlled group
  • Muscle strength was measured before, during and after the ‘imagined’ training sessions

The results speak for themselves!

In the two groups who used visualisation techniques:
Their finger strength increased by 35%
Their bicep strength increased by 13.5%

What actually happened?
The scientists concluded that the visualisation used in their research enhanced the signals, thus driving the muscles to a higher activation level and increasing strength.

Visualisation works because neural pathways are formed with each new experience we have. Crazy but true!

In conclusion
Whatever your health & fitness goals, you can double your efforts by thinking yourself fit in addition to taking positive actions to get fit. How cool is that!

Remember: ‘If you can dream it, you can achieve it!’ (Zig Ziglar)

To your mental & physical well-being,
YvonneB