Healthy Thinking

Strong & Supple Workshop November 4th, 2017

Posted by on 05-10-2017 in Classes, Seminars | 1 comment

Strong & Supple Workshop November 4th, 2017

Come and join us for the last Strong & Supple workshop of the year. Learn the strategies that empower you to: – Decrease aches & pains through your own personalised routine – Learn movements that increase your strength, energy and suppleness all at the same time. Enjoy investing in yourself and learn from the rest of the gang who are now moving better and able to do the things they haven’t for years. Confirm your place by emailing us now at:...

read more

Parent Fit – Part Six

Posted by on 30-04-2016 in Attitude | 0 comments

When children arrive, all your health goals go out of the window right…? This week: How to use one of the most important tools you possess In this series we’ve been looking into ideas that actually support a healthy lifestyle when children arrive (or any other life situation that turns your world upside down). IMPORTANT NOTICE: You may find this hard to believe, but I’m not actually a midwife J . Please do not take these ideas as prescriptions, see your health professional before you do anything. The power of the mind When looking for help on a certain subject, it’s very tempting to go straight to the action points, the tips, tricks and strategies that promise improvement. Is this wrong? Not necessarily, but there are some downfalls. The home gym equipment industry is huge. Yet how many people do you know have treadmills that are now £400 coat hangers?! Is it that they don’t know how to work it? Or is there a lack of treadmill training programs on the internet? I think you know the answer to those. It must start with a decision 1) When challenging times arrive (and I think we agree having a child is challenging), we usually revert back to default mode. What does this mean? It means our behaviour will match our core values. I’m sure you can think of a friend who always seems to be starting a new diet and on a fitness blast only to be found in the bakery two weeks later. There could be many reasons for this, but one main one is that they don’t have health as a core value. If you want anything to succeed long term, like your health for example, it must become important to you. So important, that you will live it as a lifestyle the majority of the time, even when things get tough. The best way to do this is to develop a love for it. To help, in this article I explain ways you can do this http://www.alphapw.com/firm-foundations-iii/ 2) Basing your actions in love makes everything a whole lot easier (remember all the things you’d do when you were first going out with your partner?!) Even though the mum goes through far more obviously, a huge event has just happened that really affects both parents. Make the focus of this season restoration. So when it comes to eating healthily and taking the time to move when you are a new parent, see it as a gift your giving yourself, the gift of movement, nourishment through food, rest, sleep etc. You’ll be better for it, your marriage will be better for it and I can guarantee your child will be...

read more

Parent Fit – Part Four

Posted by on 30-04-2016 in Exercise | 0 comments

Parent Fit – Part Four

Is it possible to stay healthy when your world is turned upside down? When children arrive, all your health goals go out of the window right…? This week: Tips for pain relief and more ‘baby carrying power’! In this series we’ve been looking into ideas that actually support a healthy lifestyle when children arrive (or any other life situation that turns your world upside down). IMPORTANT NOTICE: You may find this hard to believe, but I’m not actually a midwife J . Please do not take these ideas as prescriptions, see your health professional before you do anything. What to do when you’re in pain? When children arrive, weird and wonderful physical tasks that would not have entered your head become part of daily life (taking a baby seat out the back of a 3 door car anyone!). As you can imagine (and may have experienced) these movements place new stresses on the body. Your body is an amazing creation and will put up with a huge amount. But it does have its limits, and the weaker areas, like the lower back for example, can suffer over time. So today I wanted to share with you a couple of simple strategies that can help relieve the pain, and hopefully stop it coming in the first place. Strategy one: It’s all about your BACKSIDE! The Wall Standing test Due to modern living, most of us have a weak mid-section (lower back, stomach etc.) When you add an extra weight to a weak system i.e. carrying a baby for hours on end, something has to give. The wall standing test is a movement that firstly highlights what good posture feels like and secondly, how to train the right muscles make it the norm. – Stand with your heels, hips and head against a wall, getting your shoulders right back. – Slide your hand between the wall and your back, in line with your belly button. Optimal posture is where your shoulders should be level and against the wall, and the meaty part of your hand snuggly fitting between your back and the wall (which is at belly button level). – If like many of us, you have too much of a gap at your lower back (or not enough), try flattening or arching your back until you get the right position. – Hold this position for 10seconds, rest for a few seconds, repeat 10 times. I’ll warn you, it will feel really weird at first, but you’ll be strengthening your back, stomach and buttocks which are crucial when carrying and lifting things. We’ve really found this helps (squeezing your buttocks and stomach) when carrying the baby. Strategy two: Have a lie down Most of us will feel back pain at some point. I would always advise to go and get it checked out by a professional, but this exercise often helps relieve the pain for a short time (which is priceless sometimes) * Lie on your back with your legs up over a block or a chair * Place your arms out to the sides at approx. 45degrees with palms up. Touch your thumbs to the floor * Relax your upper back and ensure your lower back flattens to the floor evenly from left to right * Hold this position for...

read more

The Bikini Athlete: A journey through motherhood

Posted by on 26-04-2016 in Attitude, Latest News | 0 comments

The Bikini Athlete: A journey through motherhood

The Bikini Athlete: A journey through motherhood, getting her body back and feeling good about it Today, I’m honoured to introduce a very good friend of mine; Kris J. Kris is a personal trainer, model and business owner (http://www.brasiliantan.is) from Iceland. Kris has also competed for over 5 years as an IFBB bikini athlete. Last year, Kris gave birth to her gorgeous son Oliver Breki. I’m sure for many women who care about their health and physical appearance, having children can produce a whole range of emotions. For those whose physical appearance is their actual livelihood, the stresses and strains of staying in good shape (that are there constantly anyway) are only heightened. In this regard, Kris has been on a very special journey, and the story of where this has led her, is very inspirational. Let me introduce Kris J; I wrote down a few thoughts that I have gathered regarding the challenges of motherhood and staying in shape. My baby boy, Oliver Breki, has turned one year old. It is amazing how much my life has changed since he entered this world. No words can explain what it feels like to me to be a mother. The level of love I feel for this little boy is stronger than anything that I have felt before and the fact that this is someone who relies on me 24/7 surely changes my outlook on life. These last 20 or so months have certainly been an emotional roller coaster for me but I would not change a single thing even if I had the chance to do so. For the last 8 years training and maintaining my physique and fitness has been an obsession of mine. I mean that in a positive way. I have put myself through a lot, made sacrifices and have constantly challenged myself as competitor, model and trainer. Some serious discipline is needed in dieting, training and everything else within this lifestyle and as a result I have become accustomed to thinking first and foremost about myself and what suits me. My fiance is a professional athlete as well and sees things the same way. That is probably one of the cornerstones of how well we fit for each other. Nothing could prepare me for the challenges of being a mother. First the prenatal period and then the period after I gave birth. It took me quite some time to realise the changes that were ahead and that I had to put most of my plans on hold indefinitely. My mirror image soon became something different to what I was used to and that really took its toll at first. I developed a pre eclampsia and a lot of other stuff came up that made this a difficult period of time. A lot of questions popped up in my mind. Was I ever going to be able to engage in the fitness lifestyle again? Was I ever going to recapture the shape and physique that I had worked so hard to retain? I kept telling myself that in 3-6 months after giving birth i’d be back in top shape and everything would be back to what I used to consider “normal”. After the birth of Oliver Breki the reality hit me. I was a mother and...

read more

Parent Fit – Part Three

Posted by on 19-04-2016 in Exercise, Latest News | 0 comments

Parent Fit – Part Three

Is it possible to stay healthy when your world is turned upside down? When children arrive, all your health goals go out of the window right…? This week: How to get rid of those aches, pains and get your body back In this series we’ve been looking into ideas that actually support a healthy lifestyle when children arrive (or any other life situation that turns your world upside down). IMPORTANT NOTICE: You may find this hard to believe, but I’m not actually a midwife J . Please do not take these ideas as prescriptions, see your health professional before you do anything. This week I want to talk about strength Working on strength is often misunderstood. Many think it means getting massive muscles and looking like Arnold Shwarzenegger. This misunderstanding often puts people off what is one of the most important aspects of health. Why is strength so important? In essence, strength allows you to lift, move, and carry yourself and external objects without hurting yourself. It can prevent injuries; it can also help you recover from them. It is so important that scientists actually use strength as one of the main indicators of longevity (how long you’re going to live). The great thing is you don’t always need expensive equipment to improve your strength. What will help new parents? What the female body goes through to deliver a child is unbelievable. It is literally trauma to the body. Tissues can be torn, stretched, pulled, all kinds of things! The big exercises like squats, deadlifts, pull ups etc. are extremely effective at strengthening the body, and I would advise those once you feel ready (always clear it with your health professional first, but you’ll start to know when you feel ready). In the initial stages however, there are a few exercises that will strengthen up key areas of your body, helping reduce pain, make daily tasks easier and reduce the chance of injury in the future. And men, don’t think this will only benefit the girls. What use are you to the cause if you’re a physical wreck! 1) Prone Cobra Ever felt your back start to ache or your shoulders have caved in after holding your child for a while? This exercise is a lovely stretch for your chest, shoulders and develops strength and endurance in your back. * Squeeze bum muscles together and raise shoulders off the ground by squeezing your shoulder blades together, keeping the chin tucked in * Hold this position for 10 seconds, relax by lying face down. Rest for 10seconds then repeat 5 more times (or until you cannot keep correct technique) 2) Hip raises This movement strengthens the crucial posterior chain muscles (back of legs, buttocks & back) that support your body. Start by squeezing your buttocks, flatten your lower back into the floor and raise your hips as high as you can. Slowly lower to the floor, aiming to complete 10reps. Rest and try 2 more sets. 3) All 4’s superman’s Not only will this provide essential strengthening to those tummy muscles that often decide to pack it in after childbirth, but this will really challenge your balance * Assume the all 4’s position * Draw belly button in and raise one arm off the ground at a 45° angle with your thumb pointing upwards until it is...

read more

Parent Fit – Part Two

Posted by on 11-04-2016 in Exercise, Latest News | 0 comments

Parent Fit – Part Two

Is it possible to stay healthy when your world is turned upside down? When children arrive, all your health goals go out of the window right…? In this series we’ve been looking into ideas that actually support a healthy lifestyle when children arrive and your world is turned upside down. I understand that if you haven’t got children you may feel this is not for you. You’d be right. But you may be able to use the principles outlined when going through certain crazy situations in work or with family that completely turn your world upside down. But before all that… IMPORTANT NOTICE: You may find this hard to believe, but I’m not actually a midwife J . Nor am I a doctor or any other of those amazing people on the maternity ward. The topics we discuss in these articles are merely observations and suggestions from someone who’s studied how to improve the performance of the human body and mind-set as a living for over 15 years. Please do not take these ideas as prescriptions, see your health professional before you do anything. This week I want to talk about movement You may notice I have used the word movement not exercise. This is for a very specific reason. When you hear the word exercise, what are the first images and emotions that come to mind? For most people, it involves a sweaty gym and often, a sense of punishment or obligation. There is a common belief that the only way to benefit from exercise is that you have to do it in a gym and work until you cannot work anymore! No wonder the mere thought of it can give new parents nightmares. There is another way Intense exercise causes energy expenditure, hence the term: work-out. As I will talk about in a future article in this series, during child birth your whole system goes through a tremendous amount (obviously a woman’s far more than men’s). So tough work outs i.e. expending more energy, aren’t always appropriate. What we found to work well for us were work-in movements. These are gentle movements that don’t raise the heart rate or get you breathless (so you are not expending energy). Yet the movement still improves blood flow, which helps to restore the body, so you actually gain energy. You can read more about work-in and work-out exercises here. Movement is always helpful. What movement is appropriate at any given time should be the question. So whilst you are still reeling from the dramatic shift in your life (or anytime when you are under a lot of stress and feel a work-out would make you feel worse) work-in exercises could be the key. Here are three simple examples: 1) Gentle walking. Ideally outside so you can get the benefit of fresh air. Start with 5-10minutes/day, see how you feel afterwards and adjust the time accordingly 2) 5 minutes of slow, deep breathing. You can either do this lying down or standing up accompanied by rhythmic arm movements (as if you have a paint brush in each hand and are painting the fence) 3) Play. Pick activities you really enjoy but don’t normally get a chance to do. See these less as a chore and more like you are giving yourself the...

read more

Fatloss Tips – Bonus List!

Posted by on 21-03-2016 in Attitude, Latest News | 0 comments

Fatloss Tips – Bonus List!

Last month we put together a list of short and sharp fat loss tips. They were so popular that we’re going to put together a couple more lists. And to hopefully further help, we thought we’d categorise them so you could work at one thing at a time (which seems to be the most effective way at approaching a new task, from a results and sustainability point of view). This week – Bonus Fatloss tips you may not have thought help!   Burn fat in bed. Did you know that the most potent fat burning hormone in your body peaks at 10.30pm?! But there’s a catch; for you to get the most out of it you need to be in bed asleep. Sleep is when your body repairs and re-charges. And considering all the hard work we put into getting in shape, treating yourself to good nights of sleep is a pleasure you’ll soon come to treasure. Keep hydrated. Thirst is a cheeky one and can often be mistaken for hunger pangs. Smash in a big glass of water, then assess the hunger situation (pic under a waterfall/wet cat) Vitamin D plays a huge part in fat loss. Whenever the sun is out, get in it as much as possible. As well as the vitamin D benefit, I’m sure there are tonnes of great things we don’t even know about yet from being outside in the sunshine. Work on ways to manage your stress levels. Whether it’s journaling, talking things through with a trusted friend, prayer, whatever it is, plan it into your schedule. When our stress levels rise, our body thinks we’re in for troubling times ahead. If we’re always worrying and stressing, our body responds by laying down fat over the vital organs (belly) for protection and fuel reserves. Let go of it bro! Forgive. What a biggie this cheeky one is! Unforgiveness harbours bitterness. If this is not dealt with, it can lead to elevated stress levels and health problems people wouldn’t even imagine is linked to unforgiveness. Make a list of those you need to forgive and do it. Remember, they don’t always have to be there for you to forgive them, and forgiveness is not ‘letting thm off the hook’, it’s releasing yourself. Unforgiveness is drinking poison and expecting someone else to die Keep a Grateful journal – Being aware of what we have and being grateful for it dramatically reduces stress levels. Buy yourself a nice notebook and each night write down 3 things in your life that you are truly grateful...

read more

Fatloss Tips – It’s All in the Head

Posted by on 16-03-2016 in Attitude, Latest News | 0 comments

Fatloss Tips – It’s All in the Head

Last month we put together a list of short and sharp fat loss tips. They were so popular that we’re going to put together a couple more lists. And to hopefully further help, we thought we’d categorise them so you could work at one thing at a time (which seems to be the most effective way at approaching a new task, from a results and sustainability point of view). This week – it’s all in your head! There are two main ways to approach fat loss through your diet.   With advice from an expert, plan a 14-30day blast, where you dive in head first.  Pro: This method can produce jaw dropping results and provide a real kick-start/boost to your healthy lifestyle improvements. Very good for the ‘all or nothing’ personality Con: It can be too much too soon for some people i.e. too much of a shock to the system and not sustainable.  Also, if you’re not careful, this method can cause a backlash of binge eating at the end of it, causing you to be bigger than you were. Constant baby steps.  Pro: The side effects are less harsh than the ‘all in method’. You can gradually implement changes to your lifestyle that are not painful and are definitely sustainable e.g. increase your water intake by one glass/day or change one of your daily coffees for a green tea. Con: The results aren’t as quick, and if you don’t pay attention to your measurables (tape measure, piece of clothing, photos etc) it is easy to lose heart and think nothings happen even if you have made great strides over a longer period. Instead of setting a goal e.g. lose ½ stone, aim to set habit forming challenges e.g. drink a glass of water first thing in the morning. You are a result of the things you do every day. Forming good habits will cause your results to last a lot longer. Pick a training partner/team to help you on your journey. Pick people who: Already have what you want Are better than you in this area Or are as motivated as you are, if not more so. We are AMAZING at justifying anything to ourselves. Make yourself accountable to someone. Arrange with someone to keep a check on your progress and how you are doing with each weeks challenge. (pic of someone eating a strawberry cheesecake, 1 of my 5/day!) We all fall off the rails at some point. This is life. Come up with some ‘back on track triggers’ for the times (which are inevitable) you come off the rails. It could be reading an article on health, an inspirational youtube training clip, even a conversation with certain friends can pick you up. Learn what works for you Make the call. With all the tips in the world, no one can ever make you achieve your goals. It has to be your...

read more

Fatloss Tips – Exercise

Posted by on 01-03-2016 in Exercise | 0 comments

Fatloss Tips – Exercise

Last month we put together a list of short and sharp fat loss tips. They were so popular that we’re going to put together a couple more lists. And to hopefully further help, we thought we’d categorise them so you could work at one thing at a time (which seems to be the most effective way at approaching a new task, from a results and sustainability point of view). This week – Exercise Resistance training (either using external resistance like a weight or just your bodyweight) improves your body’s ability to handle sugar, therefore is a fantastic way to get leaner and improve the way your body looks and functions. Work with someone who knows what they’re talking about (i.e. they’ve got a proven track record) to develop a resistance program you can work on 2-4 times/week.  To further the point on resistance training, the exercises the get the biggest bang for your buck when fat loss is concerned are the ones which use lots of different muscles at the same time. For example, deadlifting (lifting an object off the floor), squats, pull ups, press ups etc. burn far more calories and will get you leaner a lot quicker. Try a circuit of the above 4 exercises, performing 12 of each exercise at a weight where you can just about do the 12th rep with good technique, with no break in between exercises, e.g. 12 deadlifts straight into 12 pull ups (or assisted pull ups), straight into 12 squats, straight into 12 shoulder press (or press ups). Rest for 60 seconds then repeat 3 times. If you do it properly, you won’t be doing much else! One of the most effective forms of exercise to burn fat is interval training. This involves carrying out an exercise (walking, running, cycling, squats, anything!) at a moderate to high pace for a short time, have a little breather then repeat. Example interval training session: Walk as fast as you can for 1 minute, walk slowly for one minute. Repeat for 20minutes  Try something new. Apart from the new activity forcing the body to move in different ways, the brain LOVES learning new things (which also helps keeps it young and sharp as well), especially when it comes to exercise. It’s called novel movement. And when you first crack whatever it is your trying, for example a forward roll, your body releases chemicals that provide that lovely sense of achievement which can propel you to carry on and explore the next adventure. Everyone asks: What is the best exercise to lose weight? To start off, the best exercise is: the one you’ll do. Following a good program is better than not following a perfect program. So if you’re new to regular movement, pick activities you enjoy...

read more

Making awesome the new norm…

Posted by on 16-02-2016 in Attitude | 0 comments

Making awesome the new norm…

Once you’ve starting getting some results, how do you make them stick, how do you make them the new norm?! One of the best days in your life, is when you realise you are not the best thing since the discovery of baked sweet potato and half a pack of butter. When you learn that profound lessons can come from the mouth of a 7 year old, the world suddenly opens up and life changing lessons are everywhere. A prime example of this is when I was talking to a good friend of mine who is an accountant. Although our conversation had nothing to do with health and fitness he provided one of the most impacting revelations I’ve had for a while. This chap is an expert at helping people with their finance and he shared a phrase I’d never heard before: It’s one thing to get out of the red, it’s another thing to stay in the black. What on earth does this mean? He explained that getting people out of debt is only a part of solving the problem. Many of his clients, wiped all their debts only to find a few short months later, they were back in debt again. Why is this? Because it is a mindset.  As strange as it sounds, people had to get used to the idea of being in credit. How does this relate to your health?  Getting used to the health results you’ve achieved is often challenging and rarely talked about. It often takes time or, a ‘re-calibration’ period, to make the results you’ve achieved (e.g. you are now a size 10 instead of the size 16 you always have been) the new ‘norm’. This is the normal path of progress, so don’t worry. You will have ups and downs and even entertain the thought of going back to where you were due to the strange sense of certainty it offers. Don’t give in to it. So what ways can help make the new changes ‘the norm’? You are who surrounds you. Create an environment where the results you have just achieved are normal for the people around you. If you’re the strongest guy in the room, you’re in the wrong room. This also may mean avoiding certain people for a while. You are what you read and watch. Do you find reading certain books, articles, taking certain classes help keep you on track? Alpha challenge: Have a look at your week. What ways can you schedule in that help you make progress the new norm? Go for higher; it’s what you were designed...

read more