Healthy Lifestyle

Running – isn’t it fun?

Monday! A great day to start the week with a new goal. Couch to 5K  Inspired by a client who has reduced his weight by 27kg and has now started a running programme supervised by his physiotherapist, I am here too restarting my Summer running schedule.  Every year I mange to get through the first 6 weeks (running consistently for 20 minutes – with walking either side) and then something gets in the way #excuses and I sneak out of completing the whole thing!  

So… Start date July 4 2016 – End date Sunday September 4 2016.  

See that face of utter determination – this year I am going to learn to RUN and learn to LOVE it too. 

Be Active, Healthy Lifestyle, Healthy Living

Useful Fitness Apps

Just read a nice blog describing apps which support monitoring fitness and activity. Nice descriptions and clear information…  hope you find the link helpful as we know that even using a pedometer to count our steps improves our output by about 27% from baseline.  Everything begins with the first step…

fitness apps


Healthy Lifestyle

Gut by Giulia Enders 

Considering whether to purchase this book I read the dedication which was addressed to Giulia’s single parent mum – as a single parent myself… of course I am going to buy it!   

Giulia Enders is working on her medical doctorate conducting gut and microbiological research.  Her book ‘Gut’ is an international bestseller, and on reading it is easy to see why.  It is very easy to read, and divided nicely into chapters  and sections where you can find the particular thing you want to know about your gut very easily.  I would nonetheless still recommend reading through from beginning to end as it gives such straightforward explanations backed up by science, as well as much common sense advice regarding how to put your best gut forward.  Yes!  That is a joke…

I wasn’t too enamoured with the illustrations which I think could have lent more to the actual content that was being described, but this is likely personal preference and some of them certainly made me smile.  They lightenend the book’s content though sometimes seemed a little obtuse.

Gut is divided into three main chapters: 

1. Gut Feeling describes the structure of the gut, talks about the kind of foods we eat and how they affect our management of allergies or suspected intolerances;

2. The Nervous System of the Gut informs us on how we experience food physically from our eyes through to our large intestine, and remarks on the relationship the brain has with the gut as well as why reflux and vomiting may happen, and best management of constipation;

3. The World of Microbes: 70-80% of our immune system resides in the gut and Giulia Enders describes very nicely how the gut flora develops and how to manage the good and bad bacteria we are faced with daily.

I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone who wants to know more in a common sense way  of the impact the gut has on general health and well being, and what steps they can take to improve current gut management.  You will definietly learn something here.  

Be Active

Can anyone do yoga

Can anyone do yoga – yes is the answer

Recently I was asked by a potential client what was necessary to maintain her current fitness and health levels as she progressed through her next decade.  I was reminded of how easy it is to fit exercise and activity into life pre children and how challenging it can become as our bodies seemingly deteriorate in the mirror.

But… having recently returned from a much deserved (even if I have to say this myself) joyous week of yoga, red wine and cheese in the South of France I can put out an alert that no matter your age or current levels of strength, endurance, flexibility or fitness generally it is wonderful to practise yoga.

There are so many different types from the more powerful and aerobic, to the more restful and meditative, everyone can find something to suit them. It really is worth searching out different classes and different instructors.  My yoga of choice in my 30s was Ashtanga – but having moved on in years and had children to occupy my time, it seemed difficult to absorb a class into the weekly routine.

Needing some breathing space this summer and having two weeks free when my children would be with their Dad,  I somewhat impulsively googled, and lo and behold found myself at La Roane with Janaki and Davey from Brighton – yoga instructors supremo.  What a pleasure.  Age range: 28 – 77.  Yoga experience – immeasurable.  Most flexble yoga bunny? 67… ankles behind the ears indeed!  From sea kayakers swimming in cold pools at 7am, walkers investigating caves, to 77 year old three times per week spinners, my yoga group was inspiring, exciting and enthusiastic about life and all it has to offer.

So when I speak to my client regarding what is necessary to maintain current fitness levels I will be remarking from a research perspective that yes… we have to do more and be more active to try and maintain our bodies, but the most important thing of all is to find the activity or exercise which you will love and enjoy, and which will continue to give you pleasure and fun, no matter what age you are.  And I have found my yoga mojo again… Hurrah.  Thank you Hannah for my fab photo, and thank you Cherry for being a flexible friend.





Be Active, Behaviour Change

My Harvard 10,000 steps

I’ve just returned from a week in Boston.  Amazing trip.  I stayed with friends and took a course at Harvard Medical School, the Blackburn Course in Obesity Medicine.  This is such an all-encompassing course  it makes you feel really up to date with the very latest in health research regarding weight management.  We were certainly made aware that weight management is a really new science, and for researchers there are more unknowns than knowns. In spite of the wealth of diet books  everywhere what works for you as an individual can be completely different to what works for the person at the next desk.  But whenever you make an attempt at trying to achieve anything with regard to healthy living,  remember this as progress in the right direction.  I, of course, am reminding myself of this as I am still working towards an average of 10,000 steps per day.  Interestingly although my course began at 8:00 am every day and did not finish till 5:30 pm, I managed to achieve my 10,000 steps daily.  I think when immersed with like-minded individuals a subtle pressure is exerted, which you rise to.

So the expectation attending a course such as this, is that the attendees, because we are all aware of the health risks associated with unhealthy lifestyles and being overweight is that we live the optimum healthy lifestyle.  So I did, last week anyway.   As I mentioned earlier, it’s all progress in the right direction.

Over the next few weeks my intention is to post some of my learnings from my course at Harvard, elucidating some of the very latest research.  And, as always, will be making practical suggestions regarding how to map and absorb these learnings into every day life.  Look forward to it.

My attempts at 10,000 steps… Progress in the right direction.