25 Jan 2013

Are Energy Drinks Good For Us?

Hi folks,

A pretty general question so ‘ill try to answer it from a few different angles.

Gym scenario: Last Tuesday I walked in to the gym & saw one of my clients working hard on the exercises that I’d given him. It was great to see him putting the time & effort in by himself but I was horrified when he glugged down an energy drink. This particular client’s goal was to lose weight (body-fat), however many people (especially beginners) don’t seem to realise these drinks give us energy because they are packed with calories, the very thing that most of us are trying to lose!

I would only suggest possibly using energy drinks in two cases:
1)  If you’re exercising to maintain / increase weight (body-fat) by focussing on other areas of fitness such as muscle size, strength or agility.
2)  If your exercising continuously hard for more than 90 minutes (your muscles will be almost empty of energy (glycogen) & you will need to replenish salts (electrolytes) lost during sweat.

Workplace Scenario: Many companies that are interested in workplace health want to increase the energy levels of their workers (not surprising as their productivity will likely increase!). Unfortunately they go for the ‘quick fix’ by handing out energy drinks as part of health packs. Workforce obesity rates are high especially among those in sedentary roles, so the last thing they need are more calories which will ultimately plummet workforce health. A much better & more responsible approach would be to focus on boosting hydration & activity levels of the workers, & getting them to understand how to fit a balanced nutrition with their working day.

Let me know your thoughts folks


17 Jan 2013

Take this Vital Step to make Workplace Health Initiatives Soo Much Easier!

Hi folks,

Here’s how to make a huge leap forward for your company’s workplace health: Most companies recognise the value of a fit & healthy workforce, & equally many employees are open to the idea of fitting exercise in alongside their working day, what’s missing are the bits in between – organisation & facilities.

To take workplace health seriously, a large company needs to employ a specific workplace health coordinator. This job is often just written into the role of the HR manager or OH nurse who just don’t have the time to give it the dedication it needs.

However, one thing that will instantly get your workforce moving more & therefore performing better is to build some good quality shower & changing facilities on-site (shower cubicles, benches & lockers). Once employees are aware of these facilities (& that they are modern & clean to use) more people will start cycling & jogging to work as they don’t have to worry about being dirty & sweaty all day.  It also opens up massive opportunities for future activities such as pre-work exercise / running clubs, charity events, sports days & after work exercise classes.

So if your company hasn’t already got good changing facilities or they are run-down, then lets make this a priority this year!


11 Jan 2013

Shocking Facts about Diet & Exercise

Hi folks,

A short while ago i watched a program on Channel 5 called '50 shocking facts about diet & exercise'. some of it was interesting but most of it was either terrible or trivial info that most of us don't need to know. I didn't really want to draw attention to this program so i didn't really blog / chat about it, but I have heard a few people around the gym gossipping about it & misinterpreting the information so i thought i better try to straighten things out. 

As the program suggests, it blasted us with random facts about food, exercise, & our bodies much of which was frankly confusing (it would even put me off a healthy lifestyle). This is damaging as even though the info was factual, much of it was out of context e.g. saying that alcohol & a full English breakfast are good for us, & that your gym instructor may well be an adult film star. I think that this program did more damage than good & misguided people who are trying to start a healthy lifestyle.

I've done many roles in the fitness industry over the last 10 years & for 90% of us to be in good health we just need to follow these SIMPLE rules:

1) EAT / COOK CLEAN (buy unprocessed foods to create quick tasty meals & snacks. Steam, grill, microwave or boil this food. only add oil after cooking)
2) STAY HYDRATED (2-2.5ltrs of water per day)
3) SMART EXERCISE (Keep sessions short (30-45min) & frequent,  focus multi-joint exercises, or even better your full body, make sure you get out of your comfort zone, & chose a type of exercise that you enjoy).
4) QUALITY RECOVERY (Make enough time to get sufficient good quality sleep & me-time)

Follow 50 or 4? - which will you be more successful at? Hope this helps,


3 Jan 2013

How to succeed with New Years Resolutions

Hi folks, & Happy New Year!

Fed up of making new years resolutions that don’t stick? We all have goals for 2013 so here’s how to raise your chances of success:

  1. Choose a goal that YOU actually want to do, not what others want you to do. 
  2. Positive psychology – focus on doing things rather than stopping things; e.g. instead of ‘I want to stop eating so much junk’ change it to ‘I will eat more healthily!’ (if we're busy doing the positive things then we'll automatically stop the negative things) 
  3. Be Specific e.g. ‘I will aim to eat more vegetables each day’.
  4. Make sure you can measure it. ‘I will eat 4 different vegetables each day
  5. Make it achievable; make sure it’s something that you are physically able to do.
  6. Make it realistic; is it something that you can fit in to your lifestyle?
  7. Give yourself a deadline! make it less than 12 months otherwise we are tempted to ‘put it off’. It’s even better to break your ultimate goal down in to related medium & short term goals using the steps above.

You can use the template above for any goal you like, even for getting work tasks done (workplace health projects). If it ticks all my 7 rules then you've given yourself the best possible start! Next step preparation - be pro-active & get any kit together you might need.

Have a great one!