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Please join me on my new Fitness, Nutrition and Health website (17.10.2016) www.YourHealthHabitCoach.com for more information in relation to (1) Personal Training, (2) Nutrition & Health Coaching, (3) Group Fitness & Exercise Classes in South Dublin and Corporate Fitness & Well-Being in South Dublin.
Most of us have a reasonable good idea what we should and shouldn’t eat, drink in terms of food and beverages or what we should and shouldn’t generally consume ( e.g. cigarettes, excessive alcohol or various other drugs). I’m always astonished how we, or better our mind, is able to trick us into eating or consuming things we 100% know are not good for us.
Or …. are the food producers tricking us into this, adding ingredients i.e. sugar (often labeled different) and other additives that can be addictive and make us buy those foods and goods over and over again. I guess the whole area of marketing and advertising psychology plays a huge role. As we get promised if we eat this bar or that yoghurt it’s going to help us with X, and makes us feel happy (see all those smiley, young and fit looking people on the packaging) etc. etc..
The claims on food packaging can often be very misleading and are wide open to interpretation. In the one year long Nutrition & Health Coaching Course, I just completed, we spend a whole weekend on food labeling, learning how to read and interpret food labels, and also got two assignments going into lots of detail and assessing claims, packaging, nutritional values etc.. It was a fascinating assignment.
Coming back to my initial point …. all this raises for me the omnipresent question “How can we get ourselves to actually apply, day in day out, what we know is good for us in terms of nutrition, diet, food and exercise?”. This is one of the main questions I try to find answers to since I started to work in the health, fitness and well-being area in 2002. One of the main areas is raising awareness, educating clients and passing on knowledge to enable them to be self-sufficient in their quest to be a fitter and healthier person.
Before we educate, learn and start we ideally identify our BIG – WHYs, our reasons for, wanting to be healthier, fitter, trimmer looking, more energetic etc. and what those things allow and enable us to do or be in our life. These BIG – WHYs can then be used as motivators, when we sometimes are in danger of falling of the wagon.
Action Steps – Lets get you started (this will only take 5 minutes):
(1) What health and fitness areas do you want to improve in? Make at note of three to five areas.
(2) Jot down three to five goals or objectives for those areas?
(3) Write down one or two specific actions you can take in the next week to get closer to achieving these goals (do this for all goals). Keep it simple and make it easily achievable, set yourself up for success.
(4) Take your diary (paper or online) and schedule a date/time when you do these tings.
(5) Get started now and progress step by step over the coming weeks.
I hope this helps to get you that little bit closer to be healthier, fitter and happier.
Let me know how you get and what you think about these ideas.
In this Progression / Intermediate Core Strength & Pilates Video I’m showing you three strength based exercises, that combine
(1) Upper-Body Strength >> focusing on 1. Chest / Pecs, 2. Shoulders
(2) Core Strength & Toning >> focusing on 1. Obliques / Waist, 2. Lower Abs / Abdomen
 A Push-Up (full version, knees off the ground, there a lots of variation you can do)
 Plank with a Knee Pull-In
 Plank with a Side-Leg KIck
Always warm up before exercising e.g. go for brisk walk, jog, do a bit of cycling, do some mobilizing and loosening exercises for your joints.
Let me know how you get on with these exercises. Find more videos on my partner website – www.PilatesDublin.ie or on my facebook page.
Thomas Dekker’s quote made me reflect on the last year, a year full of changes that had a massive, positive impact on my energy, mental clarity, ability to focus and switch off.
Like a lot of us (especially those self-employed folks) , I worked crazy hours 60-80 hours per week, ate (healthy) but very irregular – sometimes I just forgot to eat, was stressed out chasing my tail trying to earn sufficient money, to pay the studio lease, council rates, bills and then there is the mortgage of our house as we well.
Running a fitness, Pilates and Kettlebell studio in Churchtown, South Dublin, Ireland with up to 25 Fitness, Pilates and Kettebell classes per week, 5 part-time instructors (that wanted to get paid on time “of course”), anything from 100-170 class participants per week, coordinating two-three therapists that rented a consultation and treatment room – managing all with my amazing part-time office wonder-women and having issues with my landlord just got to much for one person, me.
I closed the Fitnecise Studio “my baby” on Friday 3rd July 2015, after nearly six years of effort, long hours and dreams of being a studio owner, trainer as my health just suffered too much (I had stress related stomach cramps, digestive issues, absolutely no mental or physical energy left – something I nether experienced in the last 45 years), my stress levels were sky-rocketing.
Everything changed from there onward, it was end July 2016, the studio was closed. I signed up for a one year long Nutrition & Health Coaching Course with the IINH (Irish Institute for Nutrition & Health) in Bray. Just south of Dublin, with an inspiring, amazing, endlessly enthusiastic and unbelievably knowledgeable Nutritionist and teacher Richard Burton (contact me if you are thinking of doing that course and you want to pick my brain). I started to organize local fitness classes in community centres, parish and other halls (closer to where I live in South Dublin, Dublin 18), as I did up to 2009 before opening the studio. Beside that I took on my first personal training clients since years, this work is so much more rewarding – seeing clients getting fitter, trimmer and slimmer, seeing them progressing and succeeding.
I began to catch up with sleep, slept regularly eight to nine hours (something I rarely did in the last ten years) and have occasionally a 10-15min nap in the afternoon (the benefits of being self-employed or if you are working for Google 😉 . I take lots of time to eat properly and enjoy food (no TV, no phone, no laptop, no digital device around). I didn’t really change what I eat. My digestive issues disappeared.
My energy levels are the highest since many many years. It is so much easier to focus and concentrate, I feel mentally much sharper and more alert.
What are the learnings from the last year July 2015 – July 2016?
(1) It’s absolutely crucial to look after your health, as the saying goes “Your health is your wealth !”, without it nothing else matters. Being sick or unwell puts everything else in perspective.
(2) “Less is more” less classes, no commercial rent to pay, more time for my own health, fitness, friends and family.
(3) ( for fitness, health professionals and therapists ) Stay local, save yourself commuting time and stress getting stuck in traffic, plus you get your name out locally.
(4) Focus on the 10-20% of activities and actions that get 80-90% of the results, look up “Pareto Law” or “Pareto Principle” or ask yourself “What are the two or three things, I do thought the day, week, month, that get the majority of the results?”.
In terms of health and well-being I can think of
(4.1) prioritizing sufficient rest/sleep (the majority of us (in western societies) go sleep deprived through life, without even being aware of it and it’s serious health effects).
(4.2) taking and make time to eat (your digestion & energy will improve lots, promise ! )
(4.3) be physically active without stress (some people put themselves under to much stress re exercising, which can negate it’s positive effects).
(4.4) take digital breaks, for a few hours, a day, a weekend or even a week (switch your mobile, laptop, computer, tablet off every now and then … this might allow you to reconnect to those who are around you, these devices have a “off” button for a reason! ).
(4.5) Enjoy what you are doing. Ask yourself “How can I make this easier and more enjoyable now?” for tasks that you normally don’t like doing.
(4.6) Relax, Switch-off, Re-Energize regularly. Relaxing might mean different things for different people. Watching TV or browsing the web is not relaxing for me. I can switch off completely if I write diary with non-vocal music in the background or when going for a run after the important jobs are done or when having a chat with my partner or friends. Find out what works for you.
Let me know what you think, send me a e-mail or leave a message.
I’m going to start a “10min Lunchtime” Stretching and Loosening Exercise Class on Tuesday 19th July 2016 in Ulster Bank – CP Central Park, Dublin 18, Sandyford Industrial Estate, Leopardstown.
A lot of us work the whole day or the majority of it on a desk, on a computer, hunched over.
In an ideal world we do regular loosening and stretching exercises to prevent too much tension, tight necks, backs, shoulders and deteriorating posture. During these short classes we will go through various simple exercises. Once learned you might do them on your own or just rejoin the following week.
Your team leader or manager will be happy as well, as regular short breaks have shown to increase productivity in various studies. Read more about Booster Breaks here or the Oxford Journal’s full Health Education Research article here “Booster Breaks in the workplace: participants’ perspectives on health-promoting work breaks.”
We will do specific loosening, stretching and mobilizing exercises that focus on the
(1) Neck (2) Back (3) Shoulders (4) Spine.
The initial set of classes take place
(1) Tuesday 19th July, (2) 26th July, (3) 2nd August, (4) 9th August 2016 – 1.10pm-1.20pm
in Ulster Bank – Central Park, Dublin 18 Board Room – 5th Floor.
Classes are free for all staff, gym-members and non-gym-members.
Contact Martin – Gym Manager Ulster Bank, Personal Trainer for further information or reserve your place via adding your name to the “Sign-Up Sheets” on the gym-notice board, which is to the right of the gym entrance, 5th floor. We can’t take bookings via e-mail or left messages.
Are you interested in
“Look at this as a chance to learn more about nutrition and how food and what we *eat* or *don’t eat* influences our health, energy levels and ultimately quality of life.”
Some of my current south Dublin (D14, D16, D18) based personal training clients or fitness and Pilates class participants might know that I’m attending a one year *Nutrition & Health Coaching Course* with the IINH in Bray, just south of Dublin. IINH stands for “Irish Institute for Nutrition and Health”.
I will have to write four nutrition and health case studies as part of this course and found already two participants, who will join in in the next one to two weeks (Sat 16.01.2016). All meaning I’m still looking for another two case study participants in the D14, D16, D18 area.
The case studies consists of four One-to-One sessions, which are spread out over the next 8-10 weeks.
Session (1) – Initial Consultation – 1-1.5 hours:
The consultation should take place mid to end of January 2016. We will go through a nutrition and health questionnaire to find out what you are currently eating, are there any health issues, how active you are etc. etc.. I might give you a few small food, nutrition and diet tips after this session. The main objective here is fact finding and identifying what you current lifestyle is like.
Session (2) Nutrition, Diet Food Plan, recommendations, Tips – 1 hour:
(ideally 7-10 days after our initial consultation)
The information we gathered in the first session will enable me to create a personalized and nutrition and food plan with various tips, advice for you. This might include recommendations regards what foods you ideally eat more off, other foods you may replace with something else or foods that you could consider cutting out completely to improve your health, fitness and well being.
We could look into how to read and understand food labels, enabling you to make healthier choices when you go shopping. There will also be time where you can ask other nutrition and food relation questions e.g. “How much healthier is it to eat organic and is organic food really better for us or is it only a marketing ploy?”.
Session (3) Follow-up One 20min to 1 hour:
(around three weeks after our second session)
We will review how you got on with the plan and the various recommendations, possibly tweak the plan, identify other things that you can do and see what worked and what might not have worked for you, gather your thoughts, impressions and experiences so far. All to improve and deepen your understanding of how food and nutrition influences you physical and mental health, fitness and overall well being.
Session (4) Follow-up Two 20min to 1 hour:
(around three weeks after our third session)
The objective are the same as for session (3).
The follow-up session (3) and (4) might be done via skype or phone, but are ideally done in person.
Are you motivated? Do you want to make 2016 a health and fitter year and put in a bit of time, energy and commitment to see real results, then contact me. You will ideally keep a food diary for 7-10 days before we meet.
Please call or send me a brief e-mail via the form below within the next few days or as soon as possible if you are interested in participating in these case studies or if you know someone who would benefit from something like this.
Yours in Health, Fitness and Well Being
[iphorm id=”3″ name=”IINH Case Study form 01-2016″]
I’m just back from another a weekend of learning more about diet and nutrition as part of a one year “Nutrition & Health Coaching Course” with the IINH in Bray, just south of Dublin.
We covered topics like: (1) Organic vs Non-Organic (2) Pesticides, Herbicides (3) Food Labeling and the food industry’s tricks and labeling games, trojan-horse tactics aiming to confuse the consumer with jargon that most of us don’t understand, unless you put some time and effort and educate yourself about how to read and interpret food labels.
All fascinating, thought provoking and to a certain degree mind boggling.
I will produce various handout and talk about different aspects of the learnings in the next few weeks and share them with my personal training clients and group class participants to pass that knowledge on. So you benefit from all this.
Below a 42:00 minutes video about sugar … “The Secret of Sugar – the fifth estate.”
Enjoy and be surprise.
Here the original video description:
We’ve heard for years about the dangers of eating too much fat or salt. But there have never been recommended limits for sugar on Canadian food labels, despite emerging research that suggests the sweet stuff may be making more of us fat and sick. In the fifth estate’s season premiere, Gillian Findlay digs into the surprising science — and the reaction from the food industry — to reveal The Secrets of Sugar. Has the sugar industry been hiding an unsavoury truth from consumers?
A small but influential group of medical researchers is stirring up the health debate, linking sugar not just to rising obesity rates but also to a host of diseases including cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
We put a family of four on a healthy diet to try to beat their sugar habit and track the surprising results. We talk to leading scientists – and their critics. And we ask the food industry why those ingredient labels are far from clear when it comes to how much sugar is really on your plate.