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Reducing back pain caused by working from home

Many of you will now have been working from home for a large chunk of the year and although you may be getting used to not going in to the office, you may still find yourself with lower back pain that you didn’t have before (or worse pain than before). Back pain is one of the most common musculoskeletal conditions, and it can cause disturbances to your work and life.

When you were in the office you may have had physical interventions put in place to ensure you weren’t sitting still for a long period of time e.g. standing desks or ergonomic chairs. Now that you’re at home the likelihood is you don’t have these things in place, and this combined with not commuting and probably not having to climb as many stairs could be causing pain in your lower back.

One thing you can do from home to help with this is to vary your posture throughout the day, which has been shown to reduce shoulder and back pain. This could be a big movement like standing up and taking a couple of steps away from the desk before returning and continuing your work, or a small movement such as crossing and uncrossing your legs. This ensures you are not sitting in the exact same position for too long, as it has been suggested that even holding a ‘good’ sitting position can cause discomfort if held for too long as your muscles fatigue.

To put this into action try setting an alarm to go off at 20 minute intervals to remind you to change position (although probably best to have it as a quiet vibrate rather than a big alarm sound that might throw you off your train of thought!). You can try various positions – cross legged, on a different chair, or with your legs stretched out to the side (improves hip function). Have a stretch if you’re feeling stiff or achy, just a quick touch of the toes and shoulder roll could go long way.

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TIPS TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP

fat loss, optimal health, sleep for fat loss

How to improve your sleep.

Many of us underestimate the benefit of a good night’s sleep.

We seem to think we can function on 5 hours a night then back it up with a full day of work, week in and week out.

We ask so much of our bodies the least we could do is make sure we get adequate rest and recovery, so we stay healthy and functioning at our best.

Some quick tips on how you can improve your sleep.

  • Increase your exposure to bright light during the day – enjoy natural sunlight, it will improve energy, and the quality and quantity of your sleep.
  • Don’t consume caffeine too late in the day – having caffeine too late in the day can stop you sleeping at night. Aim to have your last coffee in the early afternoon not after 3pm to help improve your sleep.
  • Decrease your exposure to blue lights in the evening – too much light at night can reduce your melatonin levels, making it harder to get to sleep. Avoid using your phone, laptop and iPad at night. Or install an app that reduces blue light exposure.
  • Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day – Irregular sleeping patterns can result in poor sleep. For better long-term sleep, be consistent in when you go to bed and get up, this will help your natural circadian rhythm.
  • Consider supplements that may help – 

Melatonin – produced naturally by the body. It helps you fall asleep faster with no nasty side effects. Useful to combat jet lag as well.

Magnesium – can be taken orally or you can have an Epsom salt bath.

Valerian root – may help you fall asleep faster as well.

  • Change your bedroom set up – things like temperature, noise and external lights can affect sleep. Use blackout blinds to make the room like a cave. Get rid of external lights from alarm clocks and televisions. Try to reduce noise as much as you can. Use on old fashioned alarm clock and leave your phone in another room, turn off your Wi-Fi as well.
  • Eat carbs at night – adding carbs to your evening meal can help promote better sleep.
  • Try to chill out and relax in the evening – take an Epsom salt bath (the magnesium helps promote good sleep), read a book, listen to music, have a massage, do some stretching.
  • Avoid drinking too much alcohol as it can interrupt your sleep.
  • Make sure you have a good mattress and pillow – There is nothing worse than not being able to sleep because your mattress is old, and your pillow is lumpy. Investing in these things can also help with reducing back, neck and shoulder pain and help promote a better night’s rest.
  • Exercise regularly – Getting into regular exercise can help promote better sleep and health overall, although training late at night can leave you wired and stop you from falling asleep.

Why do I need to improve my sleep?

Well if weight loss is your goal, better sleep helps you lose weight, stay healthier and decreases carb cravings.

Poor sleep – 

Can lead you to you feeling hungrier than normal.

Can lead to you eating more than you normally would.

Can cause you to crave higher calorie and food.

Leaves you less energetic and reduces your overall energy expenditure.

Combine less movement with more food and you can see why losing weight is such a battle.

Something to think about

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The importance of staying active during COVID restrictions

As we’re facing ever changing restrictions and it doesn’t look like this virus is going anywhere, I thought I’d talk about the importance of staying active through lockdowns and other COVID restrictions.

Recent research has found that activity levels have decreased by 33% and sitting time has increased by about 28%. Those who were commuting to work have lost their walk to the station, or even a cycle to their place of work in some cases. Two-week quarantine periods have meant people are confined to their homes unless there is an emergency, such as needing to go to A&E. We all know that being sedentary is ‘bad’, but specifically it is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, obesity, cancer, diabetes, hypertension, bone and joint disease, depression, and premature death. As well as the physical effects of lockdown, there has been a huge impact on the nation’s mental health, with NHS mental health services having a surge in referrals.

If you were exercising before lockdown, you are not exempt from these this, although you’re in a much better place than you would be had you not been training beforehand. After 3 months of not exercising, it has been found that cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, aerobic fitness, and strength are all negatively affected. Luckily, these levels are not likely to be all the way back to how they were before you started exercising.

It’s not all doom and gloom though, as regular moderate exercise has been shown to benefit your immune system, which is even more important during this time. It has also been shown time and time again to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. For the best chance of sticking to your goal of being physically active, have a think about these things;

  • What kind of exercise do you prefer? E.g. doing a strength session indoors vs going for a fast walk/jog outdoors.
  • When do you want to be active? E.g. do you want to complete a full exercise session at a set time or exercise sporadically through the day in shorter bursts?
  • How can you schedule and prompt yourself to exercise? E.g. schedule a time to exercise and set a time on your phone to remind you, or book into a class online.

Habits have been found to be more likely to form if you set a time to do it i.e. exercise in this case, and if you combine it with something else you enjoy, such as listening to music or catching up with a friend.

As we age a number of things happen to our body which can be exacerbated by a lack of physical activity – loss of muscle mass, strength, power, and cardiovascular fitness. Resistance training in particular has been shown to ameliorate or even reverse this, and also improves walking endurance, gait speed, static and dynamic balance, stair climbing, and reduces risk of falls. For these reasons, it is important that older adults include strength training in their exercise regime.

The British Journal of Sports Medicine recently published an infographic on this topic, including the physical activity recommendations (150-300 minutes moderate to vigorous exercise per week) and examples of activity that could help you reach those recommendations. I have included this in the featured image (at the top of the page).

Hopefully we will see you all in the gym in the not so distant future if you are still training from home, but for now keep up those zoom sessions and try to get your walks in!

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HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR SLEEP TO BURN MORE FAT AND IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH

fat loss, optimal health, sleep for fat loss

Many of us underestimate the benefit of a good night’s sleep.

We seem to think we can function on 5 hours a night then back it up with a full day of work, week in and week out.

We ask so much of our bodies the least we could do is make sure we get adequate rest and recovery, so we stay healthy and functioning at our best.

 

Some quick tips on how you can improve your sleep without tablets.

  1. Increase your exposure to bright light during the day– enjoy natural sunlight, it will improve energy, and the quality and quantity of your sleep.

 

  1. Don’t consume caffeine too late in the day– having caffeine too late in the day can stop you sleeping at night. Aim to have your last coffee in the early afternoon not after 3pm to help improve your sleep.

 

  1. Decrease your exposure to blue lights in the evening– too much light at night can reduce your melatonin levels, making it harder to get to sleep. Avoid using your phone, laptop and iPad at night. Or install an app that reduces blue light exposure.

 

  1. Try to go to bed and get up at the same time each day– Irregular sleeping patterns can result in poor sleep. For better long-term sleep, be consistent in when you go to bed and get up, this will help your natural circadian rhythm.

 

  1. Consider supplements that may help

Melatonin – produced naturally by the body. It helps you fall asleep faster with no nasty side effects. Useful to    combat jet lag as well.

Magnesium – can be taken orally or you can have an Epsom salt bath.

Valerian root – may help you fall asleep faster as well.

 

  1. Change your bedroom set up– things like temperature, noise and external lights can affect sleep. Use blackout blinds to make the room like a cave. Get rid of external lights from alarm clocks and televisions. Try to reduce noise as much as you can. Use on old fashioned alarm clock and leave your phone in another room, turn off your Wi-Fi as well.

 

  1. Eat carbs at night– adding carbs to your evening meal can help promote better sleep.

 

  1. Try to chill out and relax in the evening– take an Epsom salt bath (the magnesium helps promote good sleep), read a book, listen to music, have a massage, do some stretching.

 

  1. Avoid drinking too much alcoholas it can interrupt your sleep.

 

  1. Make sure you have a good mattress and pillow– There is nothing worse than not being able to sleep because your mattress is old, and your pillow is lumpy. Investing in these things can also help with reducing back, neck and shoulder pain and help promote a better night’s rest.

 

  1. Exercise regularly– Getting into regular exercise can help promote better sleep and health overall, although training late at night can leave you wired and stop you from falling asleep.

 

THE EFFECT POOR SLEEP HAS ON FAT LOSS

 

Well if weight loss is your goal, better sleep helps you lose weight, stay healthier and decreases carb cravings.

 

Poor sleep –

Can lead you to you feeling hungrier than normal.

Can lead to you eating more than you normally would.

Can cause you to crave higher calorie and food.

Leaves you less energetic and reduces your overall energy expenditure.

Combine less movement with more food and you can see why losing weight is such a battle.

 

Something to think about

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DO IT FOR YOURSELF

fat loss, weight loss

DO IT FOR YOURSELF

 

If you are ever looking for a reason to get a bit healthier, lose a bit of weight and get a bit fitter then start by doing It for yourself.

 

We can have things that motivate us externally to exercise but we also need an internal drive that gives reason as to why you have chosen to change your lifestyle and put health and fitness high up on your list of priorities.

 

You may do it for your family – so you can be healthier to make life special.

You may do it as part of a work group or a challenge that’s in the office or with friends as a bit of fun.

You may do it for a summer holiday.

 

These are good motivators to get you going but at the end of it you need to have an inner drive that says I am doing this for me.

Time invested in yourself to improve your health is invaluable.

You can’t help others if you’re always the one that needs help, or if you’re not fit enough, or your health isn’t the best.

 

What you get out of life when you make fitness part of it is huge.

You feel empowered and physically stronger.

Your mentally tougher.

You have more energy.

You sleep better.

Your quality of life is improved.

 

You feel more mentally ready to reach for bigger goals.

You understand that results take time and planning.

 

No one can do it for you, but they can support you along the way and enable you to continue on your journey.

Not only you will benefit but also those you share your life with.

 

CONTACT – Lisa to sign up for our 30 day trial hello@fitnesshub21.com

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MAYBE ITS TIME TO SHIFT YOUR THINKING

optimal health, personal training, Winchmore Hill

GETTING YOUR PRIORITES RIGHT – MAYBE ITS TIME TO SHIFT YOUR THINKING

 

I think New Years is a great time to reflect on the year that’s passed and set some goals for the year ahead.

For most people its weight loss and it’s a cycle they repeat year in and year out with no real success.

We focus so much on weight loss that we forget about our own health.

Dieting is hard, and most of the diets are so restrictive you can’t sustain them. Dieting doesn’t teach you about Optimal Health; It’s main goal is losing weight on the scale and sometimes it comes at the expense of our health.

 

Optimal health comprises 6 main areas –

Mental

Social

Emotional

Physical

Environment

Spiritual

 

These areas often aren’t considered when starting a diet to lose weight – the main focus of a diet often focuses on losing weight at all costs and ignores the importance of these 6 areas in our lives. At times the diets we go on start to compromise these areas of health that we should be nurturing and growing.

Yes; losing weight is important for emotional stability, our state of mind, how we look and feel, how we socialise with others etc it’s the method of how we do it that needs to change.

Find a way of eating that fits your life, extreme dieting works but the end result is usually weight gain and a rollercoaster of yo yo eating that leaves you emotionally and physical drained and they take you away from your social circles as you can’t enjoy yourself.

 

If you seek health first you will start to eat healthier, you will eat less junk food and processed snacks. You will look for healthier options and drink less alcohol. You will want to exercise as it will improve your strength and fitness. You will find a balance that works, that you can maintain; and you learn what works for you so that you can sustain it.

I am not saying it’s easy, sometimes the crash diet is a great kickstart; but you can’t be on a diet 12 months of the year.

You need a base plan and structure, you need to educate yourself and take responsibility for your own journey.

Making these changes to seek health will build on the 6 areas above and make you a more rounded healthy person AND you will more than likely lose weight at the same time.

 

We aim to help our members in these areas, we are available to work on a structure that fits them, to support them on their journey and if needed move into healthy eating plans based on calories and optimal health.

 

Contact us for more information on our 30 day trial

hello@fitnesshub21.com

 

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DON’T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF

fat loss

FAT LOSS MADE SIMPLE

 

You don’t need to worry about being on weight watchers, slimming world, intermittent fasting, a juice detox or any other diet method.

You don’t need to worry about how many carbs you need to lose weight, is breakfast important or not eating too late at night.

You don’t need to go to diet extremes and cut out everything you love.

You don’t have to give up alcohol.

You don’t have to train 5 x a week killing yourself in the gym.

You don’t even have to go on a diet to lose weight.

 

You just need to follow a few principles and key areas

 

Successful fat loss and optimal health come from

 

  1. Being in a calorie deficit

How you create this deficit is down to the individual.

The method of low carb, high carb, fasting etc. is specific to each person and what they prefer.

How you achieve your deficit is up to you but don’t sacrifice your own health to lose weight.

Don’t create too big a deficit as it will leave you with low energy and less strength for training.

Find your optimal deficit where you are losing weight, function well, sleep well, train well and are satisfied by the food you eat.

 

 

  1. Sleep

King of recovery is in the quality and quantity of your sleep. If you are eating well and training but struggling to lose weight, then maybe you need to address your sleep.

This is so overlooked as a way to get great results but so so important for fat loss and our overall health.

 

 

  1. Increasing your training

Exercise alone won’t cause you to lose loads of weight.

Yes, you will increase your energy expenditure from training and burn more calories, but it can also help with creating a more positive and motivated you.

It will get you fitter, stronger and more confident.

It can help you be more positive and feel in more control of your life.

It can help you to be more mindful of what you’re eating; especially if your trying to lose weight and you’re working hard in the gym.

The benefits of exercise go far beyond just weight loss alone. Look down the road a few years and ask yourself if I can make exercise part of my life where will I be in 2 yrs, 10 yrs etc.

How much better will you be by taking care of yourself now.

 

 

  1. Increasing your neat

Your NEAT is Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis – in other words it’s the calories you burn when you’re not in the gym or exercising.

If you want to lose weight quicker; you need to move more outside of your training at the gym.

Walk 10000 steps a day or 15000.

Take the stairs or get off the train 1 stop early.

Just move more and increase the calories you burn.

 

 

  1. Being consistent

Whatever you decide to do to create a calorie deficit, add to your life in the form of exercise or the healthy habits you create for yourself – stick to it.

Be consistent, give it time to work.

Don’t stress about it just be diligent and do each day what you set out to do and after a month test how you have gone.

If it’s working well then just keep going. Why change it if it’s working.

Trust the process and be patient.

 

 

  1. Finding joy in the journey

Smile and smile often, losing weight shouldn’t be boring or a chore all the time. Yes, you have to make changes and create new lifestyle habits and it can be uncomfortable but after a while you adjust. Find joy, find people who understand and can help you along the way, people who make the journey fun and worth it.

 

 

  1. Creating healthy habits

The cornerstone of successful weight loss and improved health is developing healthy habits over time. Your relationship with food and how mindful you are of what you eat needs to change.

You can’t follow a strict diet, lose weight then go back to how you ate before you started the diet and expect to keep it off. You have to change your lifestyle and approach to healthy eating; your habits need to change otherwise you will be dieting for the rest of your life.

 

We start by working on 1 thing at a time. Eg Could be late night snacking, if you have a tendency to over eat at night then you need to work on ways to change this. If it’s that bad, then changing this one habit could be the thing you need to start losing weight. You could opt for lower calorie healthier snacks to replace what you currently have, eat less in the day to allow for some snacks at night or portion out your snacks to keep you in a deficit.

If late night snacking is what leads you to over eat and gain weight over all your other eating habits, then start here. Replace the action of snacking on high calorie, low nutrient food late at night with a healthier, lower calorie portioned option.

 

This is just one example, but it shows how losing weight doesn’t have to be complicated or boring, it’s about being smarter and changing the big things that will lead to the best results.

 

 

  1. Realising there is no quick fix or short cuts

I won’t lie but losing weight can be hard work, it takes daily commitment and time and It involves changing your lifestyle to develop healthy habits.

There is no quick fix, no secret we aren’t telling you – just hard work and a rewarding result at the end of it.

 

 

  1. Adherence is key

No matter what you do or how perfect you’re eating plan is if you can’t follow it you won’t lose weight. There is no perfect plan that fits everybody.

The method of your weight loss needs to suit your lifestyle, food choices, likes and dislikes and social life.

If you prefer low carb and you can be consistent doing this then maybe that’s the option for you. Others may prefer higher carbs or opt to eat a balance of carbs and protein.

There is no right or wrong way – just the right way for you.

 

 

ONGOING SUPPORT

Our members have nutritional support built into their training memberships that they can access when they need help to stay on track.

Rather than just giving you a cookie cutter meal plan we aim to personalize the nutritional approach to each member.

We keep it simple and use what you’re already doing as a starting point.

You are involved in process and lead the way in terms of what you want to change.

Losing weight will have its ups and downs, it’s never linear and life will always throw us curve balls.

It’s how you react, get back up and keep going that counts.

 

For more information about our 30-day trial contact us on 07923471006 or hello@fitnesshub21.com

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FOCUS ON NOW – TAKE ACTION, MOVE FORWARD AND START LIVING

fat loss

FOCUS ON NOW – TAKE ACTION, MOVE FORWARD AND START LIVING

 

You can’t move forward in life by continually looking over your shoulder.

What has happened is gone – you need to shift your focus and concentrate on where you are now.

It doesn’t matter that –

You may have had some bad experiences with other gyms or coaches that turned you off exercise.

You may have a bad relationship with food in the past.

You are looking to get back into training 10 years after having kids.

You may be in a hole and unable to get out and on with your life.

 

Let go of the guilt and anger and focus on what matters.

 

What matters is now and what you are going to do about it.

 

Fat loss aside you need to shift your focus and focus on investing in yourself.

Rediscover who you are, find your passion for life, your energy and get back that desire to want to improve.

 

Health is a journey that starts with the desire to improve yourself.

You don’t have to have all the answers to start, or be perfect.

You just need the will and want to move forward and get yourself out of the position or situation you find yourself in.

 

No one can do it for you – but the after effects of you actioning it will effect everyone around you in a positive way.

 

Take it one day at a time.

Set daily tasks that you know you can achieve.

Be accountable to yourself and start to believe in your own ability to take control of your health.

Get up and get moving.

Take responsibility of where you are now and do something about it.

Be kind to yourself and don’t judge yourself so harshly.

If your food goes off for a day, it doesn’t really matter – you learn from it and make better choices next time.

You may not feel like training but go anyway – exercise will change your mood, lift you up and take you one step closer to where you want to be.

 

It’s a process – a journey – you learn from your mistakes and grow into a better version of who you are.

 

We need to stop kidding ourselves and realise –

There are no quick fixes – results take time.

Real results take effort and hard work – consistency is key.

No one can do it for you.

You are responsible for you.

That it all comes down to what you do with your body and what you put in your mouth.

 

 

Over time you need to develop healthier habits to sustain you.

You need to be accountable to yourself and stop blaming others.

You need to watch what you eat and how many calories you eat.

You need to start moving and exercising especially as you age.

 

So less talk, more action.

Take the first step – move forward – stop looking behind you and realise the best is yet to come.

 

Start today – contact Lisa to book a consultation to learn more about our 30 day Kickstart programme. – designed to get you back into exercise and on your way to a healthy and leaner you.

 

You are worth it!!

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INVEST IN YOUR HEALTH

The most common reason I hear for why someone can’t start training is that they can’t afford it, and I understand that sometimes that is the case but more often than not they aren’t ready to make a change or they don’t see the value in exercise at the time.

 

You don’t need to have a gym membership or train with a personal trainer to exercise. You don’t even need to leave the house.

So regardless of whether you can afford it or not; we all need to look after our health and wellbeing as we age.

 

Not everyone wants to exercise, laying around doing nothing is far easier than a 60 min training session (I get it).

But the benefits of exercise are huge and they spill out into every area of our lives and go above and beyond just losing weight.

 

Find the value in investing in your health and fitness – not just on material things.

 

How much do you spend to look after yourself?

 

We spend thousands each year on things that make our lives more fun, make us more fashionable, we always have money to go shopping and to restaurants

BUT

turn our nose up at the price of a training membership, or the cost of switching to a healthier diet.

Which I might add will provide your life with more quality years to enjoy the things we love.

 

Our priorities are mixed up and our own health is sometimes at the bottom of the list until you get sick or get some results back from the doctor.

 

I am not saying you can’t enjoy life and have nice things; but if it comes at the expense of your health was it a wise investment??

 

Those things can be replaced, but your body can’t.

 

Maybe look at your spend each month and see how you can cut back in some areas so you have more to invest in a great coach who can help you become healthier and fitter.

 

Having your health is more rewarding and will do more for the quality of your life than any material thing you can buy.

Without your health, you won’t enjoy it as much or not at all.

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LOSING WEIGHT WHILE RAISING A FAMILY

Losing weight can be hard enough on it’s own, but with a family around you that aren’t willing to follow you on your journey it can be frustrating and they may aid in sabotaging your efforts.
However all is not lost and there are things you can do to help you succeed in sticking to your healthy eating even if your family aren’t behind you yet.

 

GET THE KIDS INVOLVED IN COOKING
This can go along way in showing them what is in their food and if they are involved in the cooking process they might be more likely to eat it.

 

KEEP FAMILY MEALS SACRED
Eating together as a family is important.
Life is so busy we never get to sit down together and communicate.
If your trying to lose weight then adjust your eating throughout the day so you can enjoy the meal together.
You don’t have to indulge in loads of pasta or chips, you can still eat healthy options even if your partner wants to have a carb feast.

 

KEEP THE JUNK FOOD SEPARATE
You may not be able to eliminate all the junk food from the house but by keeping it separate and out of sight it will help you stay on track – out of sight out of mind.

 

LEAD BY EXAMPLE
Like anything actions speak louder than words.
If your partner is unwilling to go healthy then just leave it at that and go about your new regime of eating.
When they are ready they will start to make healthy changes. Once they see how much you are changing and benefiting from the choices you make they may see the light and make some of their own.