Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Warning - this post contains graphic scenes….MRSA

Okay, I was just about to go for a run when I started to think what happened to me a couple of years ago. I had written a blog post but never followed up on it, and really, if this helps just one person then its worth taking 10 minutes out of my run!

Wind back 2 years, 1 month ago.  I was jogging through the woods when I felt something bite me on the backside (through the leggings I was wearing), I brushed it off, yelped a bit, then carried on jogging.

Later that night I noticed a small dark spot on my left cheek, like many people I like a good squeeze and started to try to extract it - nothing happened.

What followed was 10 days of pure and utter hell. This dot turned into a red inflammation mark and really hurt to sit on…

Sunday, 12 April 2015

10 reasons why you should exercise outside rather than the gym!

Every morning I flip a coin - should I exercise at the gym or go for a jog outside..I have this dilemma every morning and whilst the coin usually decides, it's also dependent on my mood and how much caffeine i've consumed.  The weather actually plays no part unless icy - I love to exercise in the rain, cold, mud and sun.  However, recently having suffered ill-health I've had a break in training and lost my mojo to getting outside - I've discovered a new love of spinning which doesn't hurt my joints, but I feel a bit 'guilty', and probably with good reason - after bit research it appears that exercising outside beats hands down in the gym…and here's why:-

  1. Vitamin D!  We all need this essential vitamin to regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body, which are used to keep our bones strong and teeth healthy.
  2. We have killer cells in our body - these little fighters help keep our immune strong, and nature i.e. plants, trees emit phytoncides, which not only protects themselves but may also help humans.
  3. Depressed, feeling low, under the weather?  Exercising outdoors can help lift your mood even if you just take a walk and ease stress, you don't have to run - just a gentle jog or walk is enough to lift your mood.
  4. Its not boring! Working out in a gym, especially a treadmill is lets face it boring - unless you are doing a sprint programme. I like to use a programme outside, where I may sprint from one tree to the next, then jog to the next daffodil and walk to the next lamppost - it's easy to mix it up!
  5. Its how we are designed to move - our bodies are not designed to walk on a treadmill, many people exercise at a 0% incline - this is just not normal - outside equivalent is at least 1%. Add in some hills outside and watch your fitness improve. I bet your friend who only runs on a flat treadmill would struggle to do the same speed outside!
  6. Different terrain - okay so I recently had concussion and a smashed up jaw from falling down a concrete hill but, lesson learnt - outside you need to concentrate more, it makes you work out 'in the moment'. Also with different terrain i,e, mud etc you need to hold those stomach muscles in - result - stronger core.
  7. It saves time - just stick on a good pair of trainers (note I said good - make sure you get some right for your foot gait), and just get out the door - its always the first step outside which is the hardest.
  8. Its free - a major motivation - save on membership and splurge on treating yourself to some decent trainers.
  9. Mix it up - you don't have to run outside, look at walking, taking a skipping rope, use your kids park for a workout - i.e. tricep dips on benches, monkey bars and press ups can be done anywhere - throw in some squats and you have an amazing personal circuit outside!
  10. Cycle - okay I don't cycle outside but thats only because i have a fear of traffic.. stupid fear and one day I will book a cycling course to face that - in the meantime check out your local trails and get cycling - its fun and a great workout.
  11. Swim - open water swimming - last year I went swimming in some amazing UK beaches with the kids - yes it was freezing and yes the water was not like the sandy shores of Dubai - did I care - heck not it was exhilarating and still makes me smile.
  12. Elements of air, wind makes exercising outdoors harder!
  13. Even walking a dog for a couple hours a day - all good mood boosters, plus you get to meet other dog walkers.
  14. Finally there are some great clubs if you don't want to run alone - but if you do like to go alone, you won't be disturbed by people interrupting your routine, like they often do in the gym - just when I'm about to hit that sprint, its just luck that someone will come up to me and say 'hi Molly how are you' - treadmill sprint ruined and so has my motivation!
If you have any tips training let me know! I'm not knocking the gym - I do both and both offer their own advantages - just think good to get out and make the most of what God has given us for free!


Monday, 6 April 2015

Fitness/health questions which always raise debates...

Hi i've had quite a break from here (nearly a year) - too much been happening and its been a busy busy time. I'm still writing weekly for the paper and chat on the radio, and as always researching various topics on lifestyle and beauty.

Im lucky enough to come across some amazing professionals in my line of work, especially fitness coaches/nutritionists basically experts whom I admire and respect due to their dedication and knowledge of their chosen fields.  However, it does seem that there are some undivided answers to the following questions and I would like to ask anyone to leave comments on their view. It's not a who's right or wrong debate, just that I value various opinions. So first up.

Should children use free weights?  It appears that many schools have gyms in which free weights are part of physical education.  Should there be an age limit to which they can start?

Sugar or Sweetners? Which is worse for health? I find lots of features how sweeteners are better for losing weight (despite the fact they have been proven to make you crave sugary foods), but for health which is better?  Also honey, fructose/agave all these syrups are sugar, is there one better than the other?

What exactly is the recommended exercise guidelines for adults?  I always thought 30 minutes of activity a day, but is this walking, jogging, or 30 minutes of vigorous activity?

Is it better to go for an endurance jog/walk or short sprint/walk?

What exactly are the health benefits of margarine? One composition away from plastic. Are we not better off using full fat butter? incidentally I have use lactose free for my son (including soya margarine).

If you have a cold guidelines always say you can exercise if the pain is from the neck upwards. What do PTs think? If I have a cold the last thing I want to do is exercise even though I do, but surely it makes your defences lower?

Views on orthotics? Necessary for foot gait or should we be focussing on strengthening our muscles to correct our foot gaits (I do use them as pronate and find it helps my knee pain)….

Caveman diet/Paleo/macrobiotic/5:2 what are your views on these diets? Im of the opinion the 5:2 is not good from research regarding hormone fluctuations?

Thats all for now folks - please leave comments and if okay with you I may print them in the paper - leave your details too especially if you specialise in this field! Thank you.!
PS I will start blogging more soon!