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To Your Health and Happiness
Aileen and Sam
Monday, 12 October 2015
A few weeks ago we asked the readers of our Facebook page to suggest topics for the blog.
One idea was to write a blog on how often you should train - a more difficult question to answer than you may think!
To see any improvement in your performance you need to adhere to the FITT principle! I touched on this subject in an earlier blog (to see the full article click here).
However, just to recap, FITT is:-
- Frequency - this refers to the number of training sessions that are carried out per week i.e how often training is performed.
- Intensity - this refers to how hard a person works during a training session. The intensity of training is probably the most important factor when it comes to improving fitness.
- Time - this refers to the duration of the training session. The duration of training is inversely related to its intensity: the more intense a session is, the shorter the duration needs to be in order to gain the fitness benefits.
- Type - the chosen mode of training should be specific to the individual's needs and goals.
It is general advised to just increase one of these factors at a time in order to avoid over-training.
What is over-training???
Over-training is the state where rest is no longer adequate to result in recovery.
Taking part in a poorly planned exercise programme, and not allowing for adequate recovery can lead to excessive, chronic overload. This can lead to fatigue, illness and burn-out, this is referred to as over-reaching. Short periods of fatigue following heavy training are to be expected but they are normally reversed following a period of rest or reducing the training load.
If inadequate rest or recovery is allowed and a person is constantly over-reaching, they may well become over-trained.
Some of the most commonly cited early signs and symptoms of over-training include:
- increased resting heart rate
- slow heart rate recovery after training
- weight loss
- decreased appetite
- altered sleep patterns
- altered mood state
- recurrent colds or viral illnesses
- persistent muscle soreness
- feelings of burn-out and staleness, and
- overuse injuries.
Any form of physical training has some potential risks involved. However, most risks can be minimised through a well-constructed training plan and careful monitoring during exercise. Being able to monitor your training level comes with experience. I find the best tool to use is the RPE scale (rate of perceived exertion).
Any questions/comments are always welcome!
Remember, in true Fitness Puzzle style, together we can WORK IT OUT!
Wednesday, 7 October 2015
Over the years I have done 10 day cleanses, juicing detoxes, 28 day low carb or 7 days of “being good”.
Our bodies were designed to eat the three macronutrients – Fat, Carbohydrate and Protein - so it is important that we eat these. In what ratio depends upon your Metabolic Type (email me for more details firstname.lastname@example.org).
Ideally we all want a "quick fix" but the truth is that they don’t last. More importantly, our bodies can be very toxic, so to stress it more with severe dieting methods can make us feel worse.
So, other than finding out your metabolic type, what things can you could do?
This goes for your household products, skin care products as well as most of the fruit, veg and meat you eat. Othewise we run the risk of too many toxins entering our bodies due to the spraying of chemicals on our food and in the feed of our livestock.
People have said it is a more expensive way to eat – Yes it can be! However, if you have your food ratios and quantity right you don’t consume as much (you eat well and less is needed); as for the cost of your health later on, I personally feel it is worth every penny.
- 60% of what we put on our skin is absorbed.
- A female will absorb on average 4lbs of makeup into her system in her lifetime.
- Organic farming is sustainable.
- Every structure and function of your body requires a nutrient – it’s all about the food.
For those of you local to me, we now have a delivery service to the Aberfeldy area from MacLeods Organics, of Inverness www.macleodorganics.co.uk.
Don’t give disease the edge on your health system.
Think long term.
Go organic and listen to your body.
Just Eat Real Food!
To your health and happiness.
Thursday, 24 September 2015
Breast care is important to us Ladies! We can only give you a snapshot into this vast subject here, however, as with almost everything we write about, if you changed just one small thing (be that with your diet or lifestyle) you would be stepping a little closer to improved health.
For this post I interviewed Nancy Dale, a inspirational woman who became an expert in nutrition as a result of her own experience of breast cancer.
There is so much to discuss and I am hoping this gives the thirst to find out more. I am treating more and more women within my practice and I believe that by helping them to understand how their bodies work is a wonderful gift to offer someone. I love it.
Please enjoy the interview. Below it I have added more details on the screening mentioned :)
Thermography breast screening
As spoken about by Nancy, she uses thermography as a way of screening for abnormalities in the breast. I investigated a little more and for those of us in the UK; there are several facilities that offer thermography in England, but in Scotland only Aberdeen has the service available at present.
I decided to phone the main production company Meditherm to find out more.
So what did I found out?
- As with your finger prints - we all have a unique thermal pattern.
- Thermography works with physiology (that is HOW the body is works) where as a Mammogram works with structure (what your body is made of).
- Thermography does not replace a mammogram, however it can detect any abnormalities years before a mammogram. That means cancers can be traced well in advance of any mammogram breast screening program.
- Thermography is a non invasive safe way of screening your breasts.
- As you would get an MOT with your car, you would also get a yearly check up with thermography breast screening.
- When you first get screened you would have two done, 90 days apart. This is because your first screening is only a starting point until it is identified what YOUR thermal pattern is. Thereafter it is done yearly.
- The cost may vary. For you first two screening and results the cost can range from £275-£375, then approximately £120 every year after. This may seem like a lot of money, however this works out to be £7 a week for the first session and £2.50 a week for follow up appointments.
As a holistic practitioner, I cannot emphasise enough that prevention is better than cure. We can all make those simple improvements in our lifestyles. Our boobs should not be something to be fearful of developing a disease in; they were designed for nurture. Being fully aware of what procedures and treatments are on offer to us and being FULLY informed or circumstances, allows US to make the best decision for ourselves. I hope this has uncovered a little more information as to what is on offer out there and what you can proactively do.
To your health and happiness.
Sunday, 20 September 2015
A few weeks ago Sam and I decided to have a girlie day out. But instead of a relaxing spa day we opted for the Scottish Fitness and Nutrition Expo at the SECC in Glasgow!
We were looking forward to spending some time together pursuing our mutual love of all things health and fitness related - but first we needed a coffee! This gave us a chance to have a quick catch up and plan our wonder around the various exhibitions, information stands and demonstration areas.
We quickly realised that this was an extremely male dominated event but were pleased to see that there was an attempt to encourage us girls in the form of The SFN Sisterhood. The 100 Rep challenge also had a female competition too!
The event that pulled the biggest crowd was the CrossFit competition. For those of you who haven't heard of CrossFit, it is a programme developed to offer a full-body workout that combines elements of cardio, weight lifting, gymnastics, core training and more to prepare the body for the unexpected! All in all it is pretty full on, hardcore training and has almost developed cult status.
Without a doubt both the male and female competitors were extremely fit, strong and with their minds truly set on winning the competition. We felt that CrossFit definitely seemed to come across as a "survival of the fittest" and not sure whether this competitive lifestyle was for us. Is it a sustainable approach to fitness? Where does health fit in to it?
In fact health didn't really seem to feature in many of the events or exhibition. Lots of the products were aimed at getting you lean or bulked up but few addressed day to day health and even fewer (in fact none) mentioned women specific issues such as exercise and hormones.
In all honesty we found the expo a bit of a let down as unless you were interested in your bodies image you were ignored! Most of us aren't elite athletes but hope to improve our health and fitness in an easily manageable and sustainable way. We decided that being "normal" is very underrated! Who needs the pressure to constantly be in top form or look like a walking Adonis statue! But we also don't want to spend the rest of our lives sitting on the couch wishing we looked and felt better about ourselves.
So keep doing what makes you happy and healthy! Hopefully next year the event will be more inclusive with a wider variety of health and fitness related exhibitors - and you never know, maybe Ladies, Lunch and Lunges will be taking part too!
Tuesday, 8 September 2015
Recently I did a fab little Skype interview with a wonderful guy who has guided me in my education to better health, Magnus Mulliner. Today I am delighted to share my video of it with you. In it Magnus aims to give us a little insight into the empowerment of our own health.
A little something from Magnus:
" No one has ever healed anyone of anything, only your body given the right opportunity can and will heal itself. The question is, how far down the 'rabbit hole' are you prepared to go to make the necessary distinctions in your life to prevent (by giving your cells what they want and remove all inhibiting blocking factors) yourself from becoming a medical statistic and or 'disabled'. Ultimately become the change you wish to see in YOU! "
Wishing you all a joyous, fun loving year.
Love and light
Magnus A. L. Mulliner
Magnus and I chatted after our interview. We were talking about responsibility and why he felt woman were less likely to be "responsible" for their health. We discussed that in a lot of cases woman tend to be the "nucleus" of the house; the centre of "domestic operations" which usually require them to take on many different roles. Inevitably they put themselves at the bottom of the pile and view their health as a luxury that does not need to be addresses as there are more important people in the family that need attention. This is a topic I have touched on before in previous posts. If we truly wish to reap the benefits of good health we need to stop being so "selfless" all the time and learn to be a wee bit selfish every now and again.
I am looking forward to hearing your views on this as always.
Sunday, 30 August 2015
A very good friend of mine recently told me that she is expecting her first baby and, seeing as ante and postnatal fitness is my specialty, I thought it was about time that I did a wee blog on this topic!
Pregnancy for some people means a good excuse to put your feet up for nine months and “eat for two”. As long as you have a low-risk* pregnancy this needn’t be the case.
So what exactly are the benefits to exercising when you are pregnant?
- Helps to promote a healthy lifestyle for you and your baby.
- Can alleviate many symptoms of pregnancy e.g. back ache, varicose veins.
- Improved core strength.
- Enhances self-esteem and positive feelings.
- More oxygen rich blood via the placenta.
- Lower chance of high blood pressure.
- Increased endurance levels for labour.
- May help decrease the time in active labour.
- Less likely to need obstetric intervention.
- Increased confidence to cope with labour anxiety and pain.
- Faster recovery from labour.
- Better posture and less back pain.
- Improved sleep patterns and energy levels.
- Reduced chance of developing gestational diabetes.
- Less likely to suffer from stress incontinence and prolapse
- Quicker return to pre pregnancy weight, stamina, strength and flexibility.
- Enhanced body image and confidence.
But what about these Old wives’ tales?
“Exercise in pregnancy increases your risk of miscarriage”.
If yours is a low-risk* pregnancy, then your chances of miscarriage are not increased by exercising. In fact, research has shown that the rate of miscarriage is actually lower in runners and aerobic dancers than it is in women who don’t exercise at all (Pregnancy and Fitness, Baker 2013).
“Exercise will cause your waters to break”.
Not true! Your waters will break in due course, when it is the right time.
“Exercise will take nutrients from your baby”.
As long as you are eating a well-balanced diet and following a sensible, regular exercise routine that is suitable for your stage of pregnancy then there is no reason why any nutrients will be diverted away from your growing baby. Exercise actually seems to improve the function and growth of the placenta due to the increase in blood vessels produced as an adaptation to exercise
Exercises to avoid
- Avoid exercises that require you to work at a high intensity. In general I recommend that my clients work at level of 50-60% of their max (you should still be able to talk comfortably).
- From 12 weeks onwards it is recommended that you avoid lying flat on your back. This can be dealt with by elevating the “head” end of the surface you wish to lie on.
- It is best to avoid any exercise that requires you to raise your arms above your head, from 20 weeks.
- Avoid exercises with too much impact or twisting actions.
- It is also best to avoid exercises that stresses your pelvis laterally i.e. side lunges and some gym equipment.
- Abdominal flexion exercises i.e. sit-ups/crunches/v-sits etc. should be off the schedule until your tummy muscles have healed sufficiently after birth.
- Finally, any exercise that you don’t feel comfortable doing, either physically or mentally, should be avoided! It’s your body so listen to what it is telling you!!!
If you have any questions, please to get in touch!
*If you are unsure whether you have a low-risk pregnancy, consult your doctor.