Obesity, is it an epidemic?

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In today’s society becoming overweight or obese seems to be an ever-growing problem. I don’t write this from a judgemental point of view, but more from a worried point and want to discuss why it seems to be more accepted in the current times when it could be seriously damaging ones health.

As I mentioned I am not here to judge. I can take into account the reasons for some people being obese or severely overweight, things such as depression, tragedy, insecurity and so on, and for those people i really do have the deepest sympathies. But for some people I feel it is just either total laziness or lack of knowledge surrounding food? According to the gov.uk report in 2015/16 58% of women and 68% of men were classed as overweight or obese in the UK, there was also 525 thousand admissions into NHS hospitals that same year with obesity linked as the main factor to them being admitted as it causes health issues elsewhere.

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After digging further into research I also found that obesity in children is now the worst it has ever been with 1 in 5 reception children also being classed as overweight or obese. Now from that perspective I personally feel for the children as they are not really in control of what their diet is like and are told what to eat, I understand some children can be difficult and picky with food but that’s no reason to shove fast food down their throat!

I personally am I big believer in balancing lifestyle, it’s not all just healthy living of course you need to eat the things you enjoy in life but keep it to a minimum or wait until you are where you want to be as we all love food of course. But being overweight and obese can lead to so many issues with your health including

  • Strokes
  • Cancer
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Joint problems
  • Lack of energy
  • High blood pressure
  • Sleep apnea

Just to name a few!

What can you change?

If you are classed in the categories mentioned it’s almost pretty certain you have been told to make some significant changes in your lifestyle, here some tips to help you get on the right track and make that change which can save/change your life!

  • More exercise/movement- seems pretty obvious right?
  • Work closely with your doctor/nutritionist
  • Go through the journey with someone- You may have a family member in the same situation as you, get them on board on do it together!
  • Avoid junk food/drinks- Fast food, fizzy drinks, alcohol
  • More fruit and vegetables
  • Increase water intake
  • Empty the cupboards! Get rid of anything in the house that may tempt you to go off track
  • Hire a personal trainer

Losing weight can be an extremely difficult journey particularly if you have gotten to the obese stage, make a change before it becomes too late! It wont be easy but you can 100% get yourself back to a healthy weight for the sake of yourselves and your family. I understand this can be a controversial topic and I’d love to know what every bodies thoughts are on this! So leave plenty of comments and I look forward to hearing people’s opinions. Once again thank you so much for reading!

Matt

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Life on the side lines

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Coping with the stress of an injury requires both physical and mental toughness. Sports injury recovery normally zones in on the physical rehab side of things.But it’s also important to include sports psychology techniques so that you don’t suffer mentally as well!

Athletes react to injuries with a whole host of emotions such as denial, anger, sadness, and even depression. People who have suffered with an injury often feel hard done by and can’t really come to terms with it if they are normally fit and healthy. Although these feelings are very much real, it’s important to do your best to get beyond the negative and find more positive ways to cope with the setback you are currently facing.

Here are some tips to try to help you cope with the injury, I have recently tried to implement these myself after finding i really struggled not only physically but very much mentally after my recent injury.

 

Get some support around you

A common mistake people make after becoming injured is to completely isolate themselves, whether that be from family, friends or teammates. It is vitally important to keep in contact with people when recovering as these people can be there for you when you need to vent some anger or you are feeling down about your injury. This can be a real comfort knowing you have a good support network around you.

 

Get more knowledge of your injury

If you know more about what’s actually happened to you, the less chance you have of getting anxious or scared about it all. So ask as many questions as possible when it comes to meetings with the physiotherapist or the doctor! By knowing more about what is expected in the rehab you will feel a greater sense of control.

 

Listen to the experts! Don’t rush back

This is one of the most common and biggest mistakes people make, myself included. How many times towards the back-end of your rehab do you feel like that you are feeling good, and ready to get back into action. Only to find you have rushed back way too early and end up setting your recovery time back even further? which will again make you feel down. So listen to what the doctors tell you and don’t be arrogant and ignore the advise.

 

Keep a positive attitude

Make sure you are doing everything to give yourself the best chance of recovery. Start by being committed to getting better, this begins by being in control of your own thoughts and self-talk. Use things such as imagining good things in your head instead of focusing on the bad things. Focus on what you want the outcome to be rather than the present!

 

Mental health covers a wide umbrella and affects people in all walks of life, it is important to know you can talk to people. Don’t isolate yourself whether it’s in sport or life in general. Anyone who is going through a tough injury at the moment, it doesn’t last forever and you will get back to your best if you follow what you are meant to be doing!

Thank you again for reading 🙂

Matt

 

 

Back pain? Try these exercises!

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Office worker? Driver? Construction worker? The chances are no matter what your occupation you will have experienced some form of back pain in your life. On average 80% of adults have suffered from lower back pain at some point in their life, a pretty staggering statistic! Back pain also contributes to more missed days at work than any other illness/injury. Americans spend approximately $50 BILLION dollars a year alone on just back pain!! So today I’m going to touch on a couple of exercises targeting the Hips, Glutes  and Lower back. Which anyone can do at home to try and hopefully bring you  some relief from that pain.

TIP- Make sure you warm the muscles up prior to stretching

Childs pose

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Child’s pose is a classic yoga rest pose that stretches your upper, middle and lower back, as well as your glutes, which are all part of your hip complex.

  1. Kneel on the floor with both big toes touching and your knees separated about hip-width apart.
  2. Place the glutes onto your heels and lean forward, resting your chest on top of your thighs.
  3. Place your forehead on the floor. Relax your arms alongside your body. Slowly walk the hands forward until they are straight, trying to avoid the shoulders from touching your ears! Hold the stretch for around 30 seconds, repeat as many times as you see fit!

Hip flexor stretch

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A lot of back problems are down to the shortening of the hip flexors from sitting down for long periods of time and so on.This is a great stretch to try and get some release through that area.

  1. Starting in a kneeling position, place one leg up and in front of the other one. Keep the foot flat on the floor, on the leg you have just lifted up
  2. Try your best to keep the knee at a 90 degrees angle. Also ensure you keep the back knee in contact with the ground.
  3. Once in this position lean forward slightly until you feel the stretch through your hips, hold this for about 10-12 seconds and repeat. 

Piriformis stretch

The piriformis muscle is located deep in the area of the glutes. Stretching the piriformis often can lead to instant pain relief if performed correctly!

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  1. Start by lying on your back with both feet flat on the floor and knees bent, this can also be performed with legs straightened out.
  2. Pull the right knee up towards the chest
  3. Grab the right knee with your left hand and pull towards the left shoulder until you feel the stretch.
  4. Hold the stretch and then perform on the opposite side

 Cow cat back stretch

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LEFT: Cow pose RIGHT: Cat pose 

A great stretch to help improve flexibility, posture and stimulating those abs!

  1. Start on all fours, placing the hands directly under the shoulders and the knees directly under the hips, Point the fingertips to the top of the mat.
  2. Have the spine, neck and head in a neutral positon (flat)
  3. Move into the cow pose, inhale as you drop your stomach towards the mat. Lift the chin and chest up and look towards the ceiling. Draw the shoulders away from the ears
  4. As you exhale move slowly up into the cat pose, pull your belly towards your spine so you are engaging your core and round the back towards the ceiling so it resembles a cat stretching
  5. Repeat 10-20 times

So INHALE for cow pose and EXHALE for cat pose.

Other things to consider to prevent back pain-

  • Try and limit the amount of time sat down
  • MUMS: Don’t always carry your children on one side
  • Bending down and picking stuff up properly, bending the knees to lift!
  • Work on your posture  (Sitting and standing)
  • Get a standing desk
  • Take breaks if you drive for long distances
  • Correct form when lifting weights
  • Strengthening your core
  • Activation of the Glutes/nerves

Treatments-

  • GP/Doctor
  • Physiotherapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Massage therapist
  • Yoga
  • Pilates

I have really tried to simplify and pick out some exercises which anyone can do at home no matter what your age or ability. This is really the tip of the iceberg when it comes to back pain, you could go on forever and in so much depth!

Once again thank you for reading! let me know if this was of any help to you. Any comments and feedback are greatly appreciated.

Matt

 

How easy it is to slip back into bad habits!

So today I want to talk about how very easy it is to slip back into bad habits when you are training for an event or trying to be healthier. At the moment I am currently in training for my first ever triathlon sprint in Kendal on the 22nd of April, for anyone who doesn’t know a triathlon consists of a Swim, Bike ride and then a Run(not long to go). Sometimes when you are training for such events  it can be very easy to go off track as you think ‘ill be ok I have plenty of time’ as you are doing this for enjoyment rather than competing, the truth is it soon creeps up on you! Now I understand it can’t all be just flat-out training, you need to spend time with friends, family and enjoy doing things you like. But as the old saying goes ‘everything in moderation’. This past weekend  I returned home to see all my mates and family and to have a bit of a blow out…….

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Don’t let things spiral

So as mentioned above I went for a good old-fashioned blow out, sadly for me this didn’t really go to plan! I spent Saturday night getting carried out of the nightclub and put in a taxi home…. pretty embarrassing? Now there is no problem with letting your hair down from time to time and going a bit crazy, but the key thing is not to let it get out of control, don’t let a cheat weekend turn into a cheat week. One thing that really stood out for me over the weekend was how bad I have felt for days after, Sunday I obviously felt absolutely shite and then that carried on even into Monday and Tuesday! If your body isn’t used to a big night on the town try to be careful how much you put down your neck. My weekend consisted of alcohol, terrible food, waking up late and no training….. this has no doubt put me back a few weeks with my training.

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Forget about it

Although I know myself that I’m now not where I want to be, it’s no good to sit there and feel sorry for yourself or make excuses. At the end of the day its been and gone and there isn’t anything you can change or do about it! So just pick yourself up, dust yourself off and just work your arse off to get back into the position you want to be at. Because when you are training up for an event its you vs you, no one else can get you up out of bed and drag you out for a run or to the gym. So find it within yourself to forget about the weekend just gone and learn some valuable lessons moving forward, and make sure you don’t end up getting smashed every single weekend! otherwise you will see your personal results disappear in the blink of an eye. I’m obviously not telling anyone to never drink or eat something bad again because it  happens from time to time. But if you are really serious about wanting to get into shape or do an event to the best of your ability you need to consider the choices you are making…..

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my post everyone! Let me know any feedback or leave me a comment!!

 

5 Instagram accounts you should be following!

If you are anything like me, Instagram is your go to for near enough everything these days! You can get pretty much anything from the best clothes to wear to helping with your gym workouts and so on…. here are some of my personal favourite accounts that I follow which I find useful based on things I enjoy (Health, Fitness, Travel and Motivation)

 

1. @oneforthegram

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So first up I want to introduce my good friend Praz who runs this account! If you want to see some stunning images of beautiful landscape and iconic landmarks, this is the account to follow! His photos are from all around the world, Most of the photos are taken with his drone giving him some of the most breath-taking pictures you will see on the gram, get around him guys!

2. @james_smudge

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Another guy I have fortunately had the pleasure of meeting is James Smith. James is a soccer coach in the USA as well as an international health coach helping people all over the globe with achieving their goals via his Instagram account and his website. His account is full of motivation and sound nutrition tips. Well worth a follow!

3.@get.through.hell

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Feeling down on yourself or just had a bad day? This account is literally just for inspirational/motivational pictures with great phrases on which I am sure you can relate to your everyday life and I can guarantee will make you feel better about yourself . I personally read these on the regular to keep myself going!

4. @gildeafitness

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Want some new and interesting ideas to burn fat? This is the guy to be following, his account is packed with hundreds of different HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) videos meaning that working out will never become repetitive or boring again! He has his own unique style which for me stands out compared to a lot of other personal trainers on Instagram! Also has some pretty funny Instagram stories as well.

5. @jacks.flight.club

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Looking for a cheap flight to anywhere in the world…. jacks flight club is ridiculous! It is completely free to join up, you then get email alerts on some seriously cheap flights to pretty much every destination you could think of. They also have a premium membership which you’ve got to pay a monthly fee to access even better deals! Certainly worth the value if you are a regular jet setter!

 

Once again guys thank you so much for reading my posts! I hope these accounts will help you moving forward. Feel free to leave me any advice, comments or feedback!!

How to stay motivated!

Ever find yourself in the situation where you have been training or working so hard  then all of a sudden you wake up and just think ” I can’t be bothered” or perhaps you aren’t seeing the goals/results that you would want? We have all been there trust me. Motivation is sometimes a skill that has to be learned rather than coming naturally from within, after all if getting motivated was so easy, everyone would be doing it right? But without nothing to work towards how can you add any fuel to the fire to keep you going?! Here are some things you can work on to help yourself achieve some of your goals, not only do theses principles apply in sport but also in aspects of everyday life as well.

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The man in this picture is a guy named Inky Johnson, Anyone looking for motivation/inspiration look this guy up online. His story will 100% give you a massive boost of motivation.

 

Make sure you START!

The first step to even getting on track to achieve your goals is making a start, get up off the couch and go and sign up to a gym/club/team or whatever it may be. Get out and DO IT!

Set some GOALS

Right, so you are there. You’ve signed up to your gym/club, now you need something to work towards! A good way of doing this is to use the SMART principle.

Specific– Clearly define your goal, rather than  just saying ” I just want to lose some weight” this is way to vague with not much direction towards the goal, instead try saying to yourself “Ok, so I want to lose 16lbs,trying to lose 2lbs per week” then once you have achieved that goal, set another!

Measurable- Learn how to measure your progress, set a time frame that you want to achieve your goal in. Start out by measuring your own fitness, Then determine a 4 week goal based on your fitness levels. For example, If you are starting out and can run 5 miles in 45 minutes, a measurable and realistic target/goal would be to run 5 miles in 42 minutes or under by the end of your 4 week time frame.

Achievable- Even if you are just starting out or class yourself to be a seasoned training junky, don’t set the bar too high for yourself. Obviously have a long-term goal you want to reach, but set little goals along the way in order to ACHIEVE that goal. Setting targets which aren’t achievable can lead to you thinking you have failed yourself and in turn you will not feel good about yourself, so create little stepping-stones along the way!

Relevant- Make sure your goal is important to you! don’t set a goal or sign up to something just because your friends and family have done it. Find something that excites you in order to keep yourself motivated! If you are doing something you don’t enjoy, the chances are you won’t want to carry on doing it!

Time frame/Time bound- A similar principle to the measurable part of SMART, give yourself an ample amount of time to complete your goals and be honest to yourself when you are setting them. In turn take things into consideration in your life when setting a time related goal whether its having kids or you are busy at work, factors like these could hinder the progression of what you are working towards so bare that in mind when setting targets!

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Prove people wrong- There isn’t a  more satisfying feeling than doing something that everyone told you that you cannot do, use this negativity to push yourself forward. A lot of people will try to drag you down and tell you your goals are stupid or unachievable, keep focused and concentrate on what YOU are doing, don’t let anyone distract you or tell you that you can’t do something. At the end of the day you would rather try with the chance of failure, rather than not trying at all!

Surround yourself with like-minded people- There is a saying I once read somewhere that said ” the people you surround yourself with is the person you become” which is so true. If you are associating yourself with people with no drive or ambition, the chances are you will become the same, be around similar minded people to you! If you want to achieve your  goals get in with people who have the same end goal as you, for example if you want to run a marathon? join a running club! Want to do better in your business? surround yourself with successful  business owners.

Make a change- If you are in the gym or in a job that you aren’t happy with, make a change. Life is way to short to be wasted doing things we don’t love! A lot of people think its difficult to make a change or are afraid of it. Making a change doesn’t necessarily mean quitting it just means you might need a change of focus to re-energize you. For example you have been a long distance runner you’re whole life then you feel like you’ve had enough, take a break and go and try something new then re visit the running after a break.

REST- It is so important to know your own body, no matter how old or experienced you are the chance of ‘ burnout’ is very much a reality. So from time to time just learn when to take a step back and take a break from whatever you are doing and take time to rest.

 

There you have some ways to keep yourself motivated during times when you feel like giving up! Thank you for taking the time to read. Feel free to add any comments on what ive written I would love the feedback!