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Showing posts from 2016

No place for shame in self-improvement

When I began this blog I wrote a post that outlines my ethos in health and fitness. I want to take those ideas and expand upon them.

Today I want to look at this bit

"Positive results are achieved through positive means."

And more specifically I want to take a quick look at the culture of shame and guilt that sometimes creeps into fitness, and why I believe it is detrimental, to individuals and "Fitness" as a concept, and an industry.
There's a theory that says that we have to hit rock bottom (or some variant therof) before we can truly commit to a major lifestyle change. That people need to feel dreadful about their current situation before they can properly invest in the change. I'm not sure whether I buy into that or not. I think that it is definitely possible to make small, manageable changes to our lifestyle, by choice, from a positive place. A complete change in lifestyle does take a serious trigger - but I would question whether, as a personal trainer

My top apps for supporting a healthy lifestyle.

The hardest part of making healthy choices and lifestyle changes is making it a habit. It's easy to make a decision to "eat better", "exercise more" or whatever your current plan is. It's a lot harder to stick to it on the rough days, for long enough that it becomes a habit and part of your life that you can't imagine being without.

I love a bit of tech. I am a super geeky science nerd and finding ways to use technology to support my health and fitness makes me very happy. So with this in mind I thought I'd give a quick run down of my favourite smartphone apps for developing and maintaining healthy habits.

Habitica
I'm starting with this one because it's mad and I love it.

Habitica is basically a to-do list app, but it's specially for the gamers among us. If you are familiar with Dungeons and Dragons, and all the games that grew out of that system and fantasy world, you will recognise Habitica.

The app allows you to create 3 types of to-d…

You can have this one on me - Resolutions for a more healthy new year

Happy festive winter season Free Living Fitness Fans! Wondering what to do to make your new year even more awesome and healthy? Start here!

I want to begin by looking at my countdown of the most important things we all need to be doing for good health and wellbeing - then we'll look at how you can fit this into your daily life for a better new year, and how to form lasting habits.

1. Sleep
Sleep is so unbelievably underrated in its importance for our wellbeing. If you aren't getting enough sleep you are chipping away at your life expectancy, intellect, and your ability to get through the day in a vaguely competent manner.

Sleep is your body's time to rest, heal and process your day. How much you need depends on a lot of factors, but it's worth using about 7 1/2 hours as a guide. So, decide when you need to get up, count the clock back 8 hours and make sure you are in bed, ready to settle down about that time. No phones or work in the bedroom, no procrastinating, just g…

4 reasons why you should eat

I feel ridiculous writing this post.
It should be excruciatingly obvious.
But it's not.
Everywhere I look I am seeing messages about not-eating.
"don't eat these things" "don't eat very much" "don't eat at this time"
And frankly, it's not very healthy. Physically or mentally.
So what I'm going to talk about today is why it is important to focus on eating, rather than not-eating, when working towards your health-improving goals. And yes, even, no, especially, when one of those goals is fat loss.
Fuel for your activities So food is fuel for your body. It provides the energy you need to function. Your body uses carbohydrates and fat as fuel. It can use protein, but only when under quite a lot of pressure. Your brain can only fuel itself on glucose (carbohydrate) and you can only metabolise fat in the presence of carbohydrate ("fat burns in a carbohydrate flame").
When your body runs low on fuel, you feel tired, sluggish, an…

Doing what you love is good for you.

In my Free Living Fitness manifesto I said

Fitness should be the result of living your own full and joyful life

This principle is for me, the most important of all, it is the anchor of the who FLF concept.
Why?

My role is to help people improve their health: To help people make their bodies stronger, more efficient, more comfortable and longer lasting! There's a lot of ways to get to that place but in my opinion, the best, most sustainable route to good health is doing something you love.
Because for any positive change to become a habit, it has to be something that you keep coming back to. The rewards have to be greater than the cost. Fitness in itself should be a great reward. You get to be healthier, avoid disease, improve your quality of life and extend your life expectancy. But how many times have you heard someone say something like....
"I'd rather have this cake and deal with the diabetes later" "I don't want to live an extra few years if it's no f…

Tips for sustainable fat loss

I want to introduce you to a series I am going to be rolling out over on my Facebook page.

I'm always seeing gimmicky ideas about what people should or shouldn't be doing to "lose weight". But most of the time, they just make me cringe. Why?

Well...
Many of them simply don't work.
Others are completely incompatible with the average lifestyle.
They are often unsustainable and hard to stay motivated with.
Those that promise fast weight loss don't result in lasting weight loss, and often that "weight" is water or muscle, when what you really want to be looking at is losing fat.

Sustained fat loss and weight maintenance is actually really simple. It is a matter of consuming an appropriate amount of calories for your activity level, assuming that you are reasonably active (at least 30 minutes a day folks) but also not an athlete training under extreme circumstances.

That last point is pretty important. Pro body builders, olympians, even full time health …

Free Living Health and Fitness Manifesto

Everybody is entitled to good health.
Everybody has the right to feel good in their own skin.

Fitness should be the result of living your own full and joyful life
Physical well being should compliment psychological well being
Positive results are achieved through positive means.
Fitness is best achieved through understanding and working with your unique body.

Well being is not a competition.
Fitness scores, weight or dress size are not a measure of your worth.

Fads and gimmicks are out, sustainable, good living is in.

Let's get started....