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Sport Speak and Body Chat

Fitness, Health and Wellness Musings, Tips and the occasional rant'n'rave about finding your excellence from an Athens 2004 Olympian. Return to

Updated: 2014-10-05T19:24:22.578+11:00


Calories or Micronutrients - which to choose?


The answer here is that you need to balance these.
You need the best nutrition-per-calorie you can get.

If you're trying to lose weight, gain weight or maintain it, the age old catch-cry of "Do the math - Calories in and Calories out" is the answer.

But you also need to be aware that a 300 calorie piece of cardboard (soaked with the "right" balance of Carbs, Proteins and Fats (not to mention sugars, sodium and fibre) is just not the same as a 300 calorie vitamin and mineral rich, whole-foodstuff to your body.

In the long run (your life), you do yourself a better service by choosing something of the required calorific value, with perhaps a slightly skewed macronutrient balance that is micronutrient dense, than by making a choice that is 'perfect' in the macronutrient sense but relatively devoid of vitamins and minerals.

Your body knows when it is provided with enough of "the good stuff"....and it knows when it's being cheated. If you rip it off in the vitamins and minerals department, for the sake of a few calories, or a few less fat grams, it will provide you with cravings for what it is missing: potentially driving you to eat more orf what you don't need in it's search for "enough" of what it needs.

As re-knowned chef and author Stephanie Alexander said during her recent appearance on SBS's "Insight" (A Gutful), talking about preparing fresh food and, yes, adding a little creme fraiche or butter or olive oil.....
"There is no such thing as "bad" food"
Stephanie Alexander, Insight, Monday 30 March, 2009
So the answer you learn to choose great food and sustenance, choose foods that give you the best value nutritionally. It's easy and delicious!

Cheers :)

Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Programme


Possibly one of the Australian Government's best investments in it's stated aim of increasing Public health is that of it's investment in Stephanie Alexander's Kitchen Garden Programme.

If you live in Victoria and have school aged children in your family you may well already know about this fabulous programme that teaches children how to grow food sustainably and prepare it for meals.

If you'd like to find out more about this programme and how to get access to it in your school, please click here to visit the Australian Government's Healthy Active page.

Food Labelling to prevent Obesity?


This week, SBS's "insight" discussed the obesity epidemic in it's programme entitled "A Gutful".
The discussion revolved around the perceived causes of the growing levels of obesity in our society and what can be done to prevent and reverse the current situation.

Are we an Obesogenic Society? What are the causes? And ... What measures can we take to prevent the advance of Obesity on us?

The expert audience included Professor Boyd Swinburn of Deakin University; a number of high profile Dietitians, including those from The Biggest Loser (Claire Collins) and Kellogs (Rebecca Bousted); high profile Chefs such as Stephanie Alexander; and representaives form various bodies such as Kate Carnell from the Aust. Food and Grocery Council, and Rob Moodie from the Preventative Health TaskForce.

All agreed that our diets and activity levels have undergone a major revolution in a very short time frame. Also agreed was that this revolution that makes food more accessible and convenient, and that has seen us significantly reduce our activity levels is the major contributor to the major health risk factor that Obesity is.

Much of the discussion revolved around food labelling and making it easier for people to understand what they were putting into their bodies in the name of food.

The thing that bothered me the most was that while I agree there is a need for food labelling that is easier to understand, the labelling criteria focused on only some of the picture!

The % RDI system was discussed, as was the Traffic Light System - both in respect to "Front of Package Labelling". BUT they seem to be concerned with only the standard items: Total Fat, Saturated Fat, Sugars, Sodium levels, and sometimes Fibre.
NOWHERE was there any mention of adding information regarding the overall load of the Vitamin and Mineral Content - the Micronutrient content! The macronutrients that give us our basic energy are important ( Fats, Carbs and Proteins), but so are the micronutrients as they are vital for our bodies metabolic processes.

Much talk was given to the apparently excessive amounts of sugar and fats and sodium in some products, but for my piece, I would take a product with moderate sugar /fat / sodium levels and high vitamin / mineral content over a low/non/fake sugar product or 'nil fat' product with either no or very little micronutient load. And on the basis that my clients don't have health issues that proclude them from this course of action, I recommend them to do the same. Why?
Think about it and come back to get the answer tomorrow!

If you must eat from packets, make an informed decision.
Consider the
macronutrient and micronutrient levels and the balance between them to get the 'best bang for your buck' when deciding what to include as fuel in your daily intake.

To find out more about Insight's "A gutful" please go to

Pure Fruit Sorbet Magic


Not much going on today, but I really want to share this fabulous recipe I found at for Mango and Lime Sorbet.

I'm sure you wouldn't ordinarily think of sorbet as something we'd recommend here, and you'd be right, but This Sorbet is different. It meets all our criteria for good-for-you-food.
It's a fabulous marriage of "Nature's Sweeties" that will leave you truly satisfied without aggravating your sugar cravings. Here are 7 reasons why:
  1. It tastes great!
  2. No preservatives, additives or emulsifiers that you'd find in a shop-bought sorbet
  3. It's a fantastic way to eat fruit in the hot weather we're facing here in Australia.
  4. An exotic Icy treat for those of you experiencing a very chilly winter around the world
  5. Stacked full of great-for-you, energy providing and recovery vitamins and minerals served in their natural states: a real, whole-food supply of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Potassium, Calcium, Phosphorous and Magnesium (Source: )
  6. Natural fruit sugars the way we were meant to consume them - sweetness along with loads of nutrients and fibre - so you'll feel satisfied with one sensible sized serving.
  7. REALLY quick and easy to make!
Try it out and let us know what you think: Mango and Lime Sorbet

Why Taking Obese Children Away is not The Answer


Over the last year or so much has been made of the parental role in childhood obesity in Australia and world wide. And it's resurfacing.

Doctors, Local Council officials and leading health experts in the UK have all called for obese children to be taken from their parents.

Surely our history teaches us that taking children from their parents is not the answer?!
As a very quick example, consider the damage caused by historical Australian government policies that removed indigenous children from their parents. While at the time, this may have seemed the best policy for the care of the children, it has since been admitted and recognised how damaging and cruel this policy really was.

Given that we know children "comfort eat" just as adults do; that they know when they are full and over-full; and that they can recognise the difference between when they're really hungry and when they are eating for emotional reasons, it seems strange and completely topsy turvy to remove them from their support bases.

Parents do play a very significant role in childhood obesity, however it must be better to educate the parents and the family and support them in lifestyle changes than to remove children from their support network and cause more reason for emotional eating and damage.

From a government spending perspective it must be cheaper to educate parents and families than remove children and feed, clothe and educate them elsewhere, and then need to provide counselling for both parents and children who have been separated. If the governments of this world, and (and as I'm in Australia) more specifically, the Australian Government really wants to reduce the costs of preventable disease, they will be wise to invest in such families and educate and thereby empower them.

Taking obese children from their parents is not the answer, unless we want to encourage a disabled mentality. Effective education and support in these cases should be used in the first instance to empower people and will prove to be a sound investment in the country and it's economy instead of a drain.

Thought for the Day


"The pursuit of happiness is the source of all unhappiness".

Impressive, huh? Certainly made me think, that's for sure. But not for too long. The way I see it is, if you're looking desperately and constantly seeking for things outside of you to possess, to "make" you happy, to keep up with the Joneses: then you're setting yourself up for trouble and a very unhappy life indeed.
If, on the other hand, you practice what I call personal peace, instead of looking for some all encompassing panacea outside yourself, then I think you have it made for a very happy life.

Think about that and let me know what your ideas are - post a comment.:)

Guilt Free Food - Always


Did you know that unnecessary negative stress in your life increases your chances of being overweight and decreases the chances of you losing any weight you might have to lose? It does. Cortisol, one of the key hormones released into your body in times of stressis catabolic (it helps break down muscle protein into glycogen that your body and brain can readily use), increases your appetite once the initial stressful situation has passed and adrenaline levels drop; and encourages the accumulation of abdominal fat (identified as the most dangerous to your healthNone of these are conditions are what you're looking for when you're trying to maintain or improve your health. Of course, right now I could go on about how you can control and even eliminate the negative stress in your life, but it's not what got my bug-bear going when I sat down to write today.What got me going was hearing these three words "Guilt Free Food". And my thought was ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Food should never be associated with anything so negative as guilt. Imagine what it feels like to be stressed out every time you consider eating (maybe you don't have to imagine). Here are the facts:Your body needs fuel to maintain your optimal healthFood is FuelYou need to eatBottom Line: If you get stressed about eating, your blood cortisol levels rise, your appetite increases, your muscle mass decreases and your ability to accumulate abdominal fat skyrockets - to say nothing of the other effects of being in a near permanent state of negative stress has on your life and health.Read and listen carefully: Food is not "Good" and "Bad".There are highly nutritious foods and less nutritious foods. Enjoy the high nutrition foods regularly and enjoy the less nutritious foods for fun sometimes, but NEVER, NEVER, EVER feel guilty. As you've read above: Feeling guilty only compounds the effect of consuming the less nutritious food. If you have a real craving for something like chocolate, twinkies or Cheezels...go for it: But let me clarify. I'm not talking about an addictive rush, when you're hungry for anything and everything in the fridge (or even the world) but what you're really doing is reacting to your feelings of anxiety and you're stuffing food into you to stuff down your emotions. No.I'm talking about a ridgy-didge craving.If you're truly craving something, your body is telling you that it needs something provided by that food choice - so first - have some water, and if that doesn't do it for you then have whatever it is that you're craving and really, really enjoy it, for your health's sake! Drop the Guilt - it doesn't serve you, or your health goals.Want to know all about high and low nutrition foods and the effect they have on your health so that you can make well informed choices? Check out this book: Ultra-Metabolism by Dr Mark Hyman MD from or, in Australia, Dymocks Bookstores[...]

Simple Portion Control


Yep, I'm sure you've heard this one before. Reduce the size of your meal portions if you're looking to reduce your waist line.

So: how do you control those portion sizes?

As an athlete, I was always told that about 1/2 my plate should be filled with carbohydrates like pasta and or rice; that the lean meat/ protein portion should fit into the palm of my hand; and that the remainder of the plate should be filled with plenty of colourful vegies. It was a guide designed to create a fairly consistent 60% Carbohydrate/ 20% Protein / 20% Fat macro-nutrient balance for active people. While I have my own thoughts and theories on the 55-60 CHO/20-25 Pro/15-20 Fats 'balance' ratio, it's a whole other topic and I'll stick to the topic at hand for now.. Meal size and portion control.

The guide was a fairly good one for it's purpose, but it failed to recognise that the size of your plate would dictate how much food, and therefore how much energy, you took on board at each sitting.

Controlling food portion sizes can be tough and doing it "by eye" isn't the answer as our views of what we need are distorted, BUT this device(image) just might be the answer. The Meal Measure frames your plate and portion sizes conveniently for you, to show you how you should be eating. We think it's one of the better uses of plastic this world has seen in recent history. Buy the Meal Measure Now(image)

See you at the Australian Fitness Expo!


Yes, you read that right. Put the dates April 17-19, 2009 in your Diary now and come see us at the Fitness Expo where you'll be able to try out our great gear: Numetrex Heart Rate Monitoring Clothes, our brand new Progio units (great for keeping your training routine when you're travelling or when you just can't get to a trainer); and of course our fab training, health and fitness advice.



Antioxidants seem to be the most recent bandwagon for promoting food choices to consumers and it's driving me mad. Why? Because it seems that it's the new "Fat Free / Low Fat" marketing scheme: where everything including sugar laden foodstuffs were labelled "Fat Free" or "Low Fat" in an attempt to entice people to believe that the product's fat levels made it a good food choice, and the fact that they were fat free or low in fat was a "new" thing.

While the claims were truthful with regard to their fat content, this condition wasn't new, and it unfortunately convinced many people that they were making "healthy" food choices by grabbing packets of sugar-laden, nutrient devoid and highly processed food that they may not have otherwise loaded into their shopping trolleys and bodies and, ironically enough, increasing the oxidative stress load on the body. Which brings me to the current Antioxidant drive.
It started with berries and fruit - fair enough...but now it's being used to sell instant coffee and I don't know what's next.

Antioxidants do serve a very useful role -they have been shown to slow and prevent oxidative stress, the build up of free radicals and therefore cell damage. So: it appears that they are indeed good for you, however the best form to find them in is in whole foods. Namely: fresh fruit and vegetables where they're packaged as nature intended and ready for our bodies to receive them:- not in highly processed pseudo-foods.

SO: Before you buy your next over-priced "Antioxidant" labelled feed, consider this - the best sources of bio-available antioxidants are whole foods that grow on trees, bushes, vines and in the ground. They are bright and colourful all by themselves and don't need a Marketing Agency's Graphic Artist to weave any visual magic to make them more appealing. Ditch the packets and visit the Fruit and Veg. aisle in your supermarket if you don't have your own garden. Better for you and Better for the environment.

New Studio in Brookvale


Sunday wasn't the brightest of days weather wise but we had a blast at the opening of the new Galileo Studio in Brookvale on Sydney's Northern beaches. With six of the "Beach's" Olympians including myself as drawcards for the opening, the new studio saw a great roll up of people interested in getting their health on track with the Studio's owner, Clare Hozack and her trainers, Dan and Katie.
Olympians might have got people in the door, but we didn't command much attention once the Vibration training platforms were in view. Vibration plate training was originally developed to boost muscle mass in Soviet cosmonauts and improve the performance of elite athletes. It's now available for all of us to reap the benefits and is used at St Vincent's Hospital and sporting clubs such as Collingwood Football Club in Victoria. We all had a good go so that we had more in common with the others in the studio and we gave it a very big "thumbs up".

It might be low impact and ideal for those with injuries or limited movement, but under the guidance of the fabulous staff in attendance, those plates give you a fantastic workout by making sure every muscle including all your stabilisers get a great workout. We also found it fabulous for stretching and recovery (some of us under the weather from nasty training regimes and others from a solid and recent bout of partying)... I managed to reclaim a good 7 cm in range in my hamstrings that had been subject to training with Clare a couple of days previously and the others had similar results. Other benefits from the Galileo vibration plate training include increased bone density, weight loss stimulus and diabetes management.

If you're considering working with a trainer to motivate you and show you the shortcuts to getting into and maintaining great health, we highly recommend the Galileo studio and it's staff in Brookvale. They're conveniently based in West St, Brookvale, and there's plenty of parking available, so give Clare a call at the studio on 99054144 to arrange a consultation!

Creating Momentum


Creating momentum in anything you do is about starting. Whether you have everything in place that you believe you need or not, the best thing to do is just get started. Every day, ignore the procrastinator inside and take the first step of your 30 minute walk and then come home and take the first step to nourishing your body well get the picture. This behaviour might be a new pattern for you and you may need to make some new habits but the best thing about it is that once you're started you will see little changes quickly and you can apply the same principles to your family life, your job and your business. Have recently watched Dan Kennedy's intro video that has reminded me of thes wonderfully baisc principles. If you're interested, you can take a look at it... . No doubt you'll get differnt messages to mine, but they'll be the right ones for you. Cheers

Training by 'Remote' with Progio


Was out and about today to meet a new friend of mine - Nick Zagrafos - to compare notes and play with some fabulous technology. With Progio, you can have have your Trainer with you full time for a fraction of the cost.

Nick and I met recently though our mutual friend Darren Hughes of Satellite Fitness (based down in Melbourne) when Nick was looking to find out more about our Progio units. Nick is a Personal Trainer based in Sydney's southwest. If you're living in that area and are looking for some outstanding help with getting your health or fitness (or both) on track or just shaped up, Nick is your man. Fantastic personality, intelligent, and wise to world, this man will have you feeling better and healthier in no time ( and No, he's not paying me to say that) Anyway, the main reason we met up was to get together and explore the Progio unit I've been playing with for a while.

This neat little unit let's you take your Trainer with you everywhere you go, and it lets your Trainer go with you everywhere you go (PERFECT for us Trainers heheheh). The Progio has a number of great features, not the least of which is it's light weight and practical shape that lets you use it as easily when you're running around outside, as when you're stationery in the gym using machines or free weights. Just as I did, Nick absolutely the loved the size, shape and weight of the unit and we were quick to get ideas flowing as to how our clients could best benefit. With Progio, we have the ability to send workouts to our clients who can often be anywhere in the country or in other countries from time to time. It also let's us maintain higher levels of support to clients for a fraction of the cost of Face to Face training which is great for them and really effective. In the near future you should be able to buy these great units from both of us, so stay tuned. Int he mean time if you'd like to know more, visit Satellite Fitness at and the Progio web site at

Lots going on....


While training for our 111km paddle is now over seeing that the event was nearly 2 weeks ago, there's heaps going on again here... including the updating of our website and the structure of our business.

Didn't blog much regarding the paddling adventure which I regret now, but suffice to say that is possible to learn to paddle a K2 racing kayak and then paddle it 111km down a river in the middle of the night in a record breaking 9hours, 47 mins and 50 secs. Wooo ohoooo! Now that I've reminded my self that all things are possible if you want them enough it's time to apply that to the areas in my life that are lagging.



Record keeping for Motivation


When you're starting to look after yourself, whether its for the first time, or you're returning to good health, the best thing you can do is do the basics consistently and with purpose. They will form the foundation of your everyday life and before long you won't even notice you're doing it.

I know it's hard to believe that something so simple as the elements of the Five Essentials can provide the foundation to you living long and well, but if you give it a go, you'll notice small differences in a very short time and bigger differences in the way you think and act soon after. But you won't know if you don't pay attention, and the best way to pay attention is to keep a simple log or diary. Draw yourself up a table or checklist that includes the five essentials (Wake up breaths, Water, Movement, good food and great sleep) and add one more column so that you can record how you feel for the day - I do this with simple "Smileys". I'm either feeling Good :-), Average :-, or Not good :-(.

The best thing about keeping a log like this is that it helps remind you of the good habits you've chosen to take on, and as you tick off each one, you can give yourself a pat on the back for moving towards your goal of changing your health and wellness for the better (that's five times you can cheer yourself on every day!).

Something so simple is surprisingly motivating and before long you'll notice that you're feeling better more of the time - even more motivation! Give it a go and start reaching for your potential.

Pt. 5. Sleep, Rest and Recovery


Well here we are. Pt 5. already. In the previous posts we've dealt with breathing more consciously; getting enough water; moving; and eating good, clean, whole foods. And with all that extra brain power being applied, it can be a bit tiring to begin with, so it's fitting that today we're talking about Sleep. It's the fifth element on the "Five Essentials List" and as essential as the others on the list it occupies.

No matter what your daily activities are, your body and brain need down-time to repair and renew each day. And the harder and longer you work each day, the more you begin to realise how much your sleep means to you.

Without proper rest and recovery, your body is unable to carry out the vital daily repair and replenishment works required. At first it begins to run on its reserves, and when it can no longer cope with the stresses put on it, it starts to break down. You become unable to think clearly and quickly, and your memory begins to fail, basic physical skills such as speakign clealry become challenged and your immunity drops,...and that's just the start of it. Add in things like weight gain due to changes in how your body processes your food, and also increases the hormones that up your appetite (weight gain bringing with it a whole other set of problems) and you can see that good quality sleep really is important. If you're a new mum, now you'll know why you have Nappy Brain - in case you had any doubt. :)

The Fifth Element: Get Great Sleep. around 6-8 hours is enough for most adults. If you know you're low on sleep, put in some extra effort yourself and consult a medical practitioner for help if you need it.

Pt 4. Food. Five Essentials to kick-start your way to a healthier you.


(image) Ooops - I've left this hanging until now. Today we're talking about my favourite topic:-Food.

Food is the body's fuel and you need to consume it. It provides vital energy, vitamins and minerals, and should be as fresh and unprocessed as possible. By food, I mean the stuff that either grows from the ground or in the water, or it eats what grows from the ground and water. I know we all live busy lives, but on the basis that we're all too busy to get sick or be sicker for longer than we need to be, here's my rule for food:

  1. If it needs a packet, eat it only rarely or not at all. (Generally, if it needs a packet it is highly processed and low in nutrients)
  2. If it's in a packet, check the Ingredients list to confirm that it is what it says it is.
  3. If its packaging free, it's probably fresh, unprocessed and full of vital, good-for-you nutrients. (not to mention the benefits for the environment and your hip pocket)
Eat moderate portions 3 times a day, and top up every 2-3 hours in between to help moderate your blood sugar over the day and therby prevent crazy cravings.

Include Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats in each nutrient dense meal. More on the nutrient dense concept in later posts, but for now, take a look at your general eating habits in terms of the packaging concept above, and see where you can make some really simple changes. keep breathing, drinking and moving.

The old adage that you get out what you put in is no more true than with food and how good you feel and how well your body functions.

Tomorrow: The fifth essential: Sleep and Rest.

Pt 3. Movement. Five Essentials to kick-start your way to a healthier you


It's part three, and day three of this series, and today we're going to take a look at the third of the 5 Essentials - Movement. But first:- How are you finding those 5 deep breaths in the mornings? What about your water intake - is it right yet? Have you noticed any changes? The most common changes I hear are that people recognise that they have more energy when they wake up and throughout the day. One of my clients put it very succinctly when she said to me "You know what? - "The Fog" has cleared, and I haven't done anything else other than drink enough water for the last week and my head is so clear!" These changes are so simple to make and so essential for everyone from the self-confessed couch-potatoes to elite athletes, and everywhere in -between. Without these 5 Essentials in-check, the rest of your life is so much harder than it needs to be, and any attempts to be fitter, or lose weight or be more creative are compromised.

Now to the third on the List: Movement.
Like it or not the human body was created to move, so if you have one, and you want to live well in it, you need to move.
You might not need to move to hunt and gather any more (Coles doesn't count), or escape predators as you would have had to do tens of thousands of years ago, but your heart, lungs, digestive system and other organs still need the benefits that movement brings. Here's the deal:
MOVE. Every Day. Build up to 30 minutes minimum. Check with your Doctor first if you haven't recently had a check up, and get the "All Clear".

Start with walking and make it brisk. If you're already in the habit of moving, break a good solid sweat, and breathe hard for those 30 minutes. Notice how good it feels to be activated. On top of the extra oxygen you take in, the movement helps your digestion, heart and lungs, liver, kidneys etcetera. AND it releases endorphins, which make you feel great: they're the best drugs in the world, and your body makes them, if you just move.

Tomorrow we'll talk about my favourite topic - Food.

Pt 2. Water. Five Essentials to kick-start your way to a healthier you


Ok, yesterday I might have burst the bubble when I told you that no one else but you can provide your miracle cure. But to be fair, at least I gave up the starting points and reminded you what your body just can't live without - those simple 5 Essentials:

1. Oxygen. 2. Water. 3. Movement. 4. Fuel. 5. Sleep.

We dealt with the obvious Oxygen yesterday. Today, let's take a look at Water.
While you'll live longer without water than oxygen, it's still incredibly important to your body's metabolic processes. Water plays a key role in the activities of every cell and organ in in your body and that includes how your body converts the fuel you provide it (food) into energy so that you can think clearly and cleverly, and have enough energy to get through your day without feeling exhausted.

All it takes for your thinking and energy levels to be impared is a fluid weight-loss of 1-2% of your body weight. So if you're 70kg, that's only 700g before you start to show signs of mental confusion and can't get aobut your normal daily activites as well (have you ever felt that frustration and crankiness at very simple, minor things?).

How much water should you drink?
There's aways the 6-8 glasses recommendation, but everyone is different on this, so you have to go the other basic recommendation and drink enough so that your urine is pale yellow in colour.

Tomorrow: Movement. For the rest of today, remember to breathe consciously, and start drinking enough water so that you can feel physcially better and think more clearly.

Pt. 1.Five Essentials to kick start your way to a better you.


If you're finding it easier to make new excuses than exercise and eat well, or you've given up trying to look after yourself altogether because you just don't know where to start or what to do, you're like the vast majority of the human population in the western world.

The fact that you, (along with nearly everyone else), don’t know where to start isn't surprising with all the circulating information and mis-information... And of course, if the answer to all your problems (be they wrinkles, or that spare tyre you're now carrying around your mid riff) is suddenly going to take less effort to fix or be more successful in less time, you're going to listen.

But here's the bottom line: so far, there is no miracle cure for your expanding waistline and declining health. Except you and time.

As complex as you may be, you still need to attend to what I call your "Essential 5".

They’re for beginners and the elite alike. You can’t live for long without them, and if you pay just a little attention to them you can live well and long. For today, here are 'The Essential Five' listed:-

1. Oxygen. 2. Water. 3. Movement. 4. Fuel. 5. Sleep.

Your body needs Oxygen, first and foremost - to state the obvious, it's one of the reasons that breathing is an automatic function. Automatic or not, try this every morning for the next week after you wake up:

Breathe 5 deliberate breaths into your abdomen and out again through your nose. Those five deep breaths will oxyenate you and remind your body to automatically breathe more deeply for the rest of the day. It will help improve your mood and brain function (those of you who have ever sucked on an oxygen tank after a big night out will be able to attest to this), and it’s also the reason that you come out of a Yoga class feeling tired and energised at the same time...... I’ll elaborate more tomorrow...

Run for Your Life.


A 21 year study has found that vigorous running activity in older people not only helps them live longer, but shows that they suffer fewer disabilities than healthy non-runners. The study was started in a time (1980s) when it was believed that vigorous activity would harm older people and that it would bring about "an epidemic of joint and bone injuries", and has proved distinctly otherwise. You can read about it by clicking here

Participants in this study were all aged 50 or more when the the study started ran an average of about 4 hours per week at the beginning of the study to around 76 minutes per week by the end of the study The runners have seen half the death rate and less disabilities than the healthy non runners.

With the benefit of my own experience, I believe it shows once again that regular, vigourous activity throughout our lives does have a dramatic and positive impact on our health, the keys here being regular and vigorous: not "extensive". Too much of a good thing can, of course, have a reverse effect and we need to remember that just because something is good for us, doesn't necessarily mean that more is better. And of course you don't have to run - any form of regular moderate to vigorous activity over your lifetime (not just up to your 30s and 40s) will help you live longer with less disability.

Here's the thing:
We are designed to move and if we stop moving, we begin to 'rust': our general health decreases; we have less general energy and mental alertness because we take in less oxygen; our muscles get weaker quicker; we start to suffer earlier from reduced stability and so, because it's harder, we move less, and less and less, until we stop. For good. Apparently, death is still one of the few things we can't avoid, but if it's up to me, I want to live well, rather than ill. Move it or Lose it, I say. :)

"Exercise is like the most potent drug. Exercise is by far the best thing you can do."
Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, director of women and heart disease at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City

No more Diets! Eat for Health.


I say this to my clients on a regular basis. No more Diets! "Diet" is an ugly four letter word. I'm sure it's a learned ugliness, but I don't know many people who see it in positive light, and in most of us it conjures up feelings of dread while we consider the percieved insane levels of deprivation required.Seriously: we need to change the way we look at food and the way our clients look at food. It is our fuel, not our enemy. Without it we cannot function even at the most basic level.Diet should refer to a set of lifestyle habits, and it should be used in conjunction with words like 'balanced' and 'nutritious', not 'deprivation'. Eating is about fuelling our bodies for optimum health and performance and it should be enjoyable.As I see it, it's a primary function of Health Coaches to educate our clients to this paradigm, rather than having them continue in fear of food or even specific foods, just as it is our responsibility to educate them to be active in a balanced way.It's our job to educate them so that they can freely choose to use and enjoy higher quality fuel most of the time, as well as treats without guilt. When our clients are in fear of food, they cannot look at nutrition from a blanced viewpoint and they will continue to look for the mystical weight-loss and health panaceas that we know do not exist beyond a sound balanced diet and managing the energy equation.Here's how I look at it:Humans are designed to eat enough food at regular intervals to maintain their health and wellness, and if we flout nature's laws, our bodies become unbalanced and we become unwell over a period of time.What is enough?Enough is when you feel almost full - around 80% of what you think your total capacity is. Stop eating when you've had enough.What is food?Food is a combination of energy and essential vitamins and minerals. Energy (calories or kilojoules) is provided by the body when breaking down the three macronutrients: Carbohydrates, Proteins and Fats. And we need all three along with essential vitamins and minerals (micronutrients - used to help resynthesise body tissues and chemicals) just so that our bodies and brains can continue to survive.Food is found in the ground or in the water, as well as on trees, bushes and vines, or it feeds on the stuff that grows from the ground or water before we feed on it.What about cravings?Generally, enough is when you feel satisfied. When you feel full and you don't feel satisfied (when you're still craving something extra even though you know you're full) it's generally for one of two main reasons. The first is psychological / emotional and can include boredom, stress, procrastination, sadness, joy, anger, fear etc. The second is physical and is caused by your body not receiving the nutrients or water it requires to carry out it's basic functions. The trick is to know the difference.If you're full and still craving:Grab some fresh water and drink it. Enjoy it. Then if you still have those nagging cravings and desire for more food, even though you're full:Check-in with yourself: how are feeling? Are you trying to put something off, or fill some time? Are you angry, afraid, sad, or even looking to celebrate? Will eating anything possibly solve the issue at hand?If you're still craving and you don't believe it's emotional, consider whether or not you're tired. If you're genuinely tired, your body WILL crave sugar, so grab some fresh or dried fruit and some fresh water.If you're not tired, start to consider what you've already ea[...]

fitcomxpo - The World's Largest Virtual Fitness Trade Show



To keep in touch with what's going on around the world, I tend to subscibe to relevant newsletters and online updates. While this sometimes means that I have an eMail Inbox that gets a bit crazy, the up side is that I find out about great events like fitcomXpo.

Never heard of it? Me neither. And that's because this is it's debut year! I've taken a good look around the site and I just can't wait for 25-27 March 2008 to come around!

We all know how expensive it can be to get to Trade Shows, and the team at fitcomXpo has come up with a magnificent solution. While it seems that they are not quite finished with their programme yet, they already have an impressive list of presenters and session tracks. The registration fee also provides you with downloadabe power point files and full access to the content for three months after the event! I've never seen that offered by one of our Trade shows here. Early bird event registrations are selling for USD 99.00 (approx AUD107.75 at today's rates), and once the Early Bird Special runs out, registration is still only USD199.00. It looks like a bargain either way, so if you're involved in the industry or interested in your own health and fitness, I suggest you take a look at the fitcomxpo web site and sign up!

No More Excuses. Exercise is Free.


We've just taken a half hour break from our work day, and have walked to the local rock pool for a quick swim to cool off and rejuvenate our brains.It's not busy at this time of day which is also very pleasant, but the main reason I've been inspired to write is that amongst the few people who were out today was a gentleman with significant movement impairment (perhaps caused by cerebal palsy?) enjoying the pool and moving to the best of his ability. Seeing him enjoying movement and the world around him reminded me to be thankful for and appreciate the fact that it's easy for me to move and that I don't have any excuses. It reminded me that while there might be "I don't want to-s" there isn't any CAN'T.He'd used his motorised scooter/cart to get to the pool, had painstakingly undressed and put on his inflatable ring, used the ramp to walk himself into and out of the water several times and in-between times had swum in a small space near the railings and then, when he was finished, painstakingly dry and re-dress himself before leaving. Everything he did took far more effort than if he had been normally mobile, and it took more time.While he was obviously enjoying the time in the pool and out of it, he was also working hard. I also noticed that he had the time to enjoy other's enjoyment or the spectacular day that is today. What a fabulous human being!It would have been so much easier for him to stay at home. For most of us with perfectly functioning bodies it can be hard enough to get out and get moving and ignore the myriad of excuses that we so readily concoct. "I can't because.....I'm not good enough; It's too cold; My shoes aren't right; people will look at me and laugh; I'm too tired; It's too hard; It will hurt....". I know it all sounds familiar and I don't doubt for a second that even my light-filled gentleman at the pool today has similar thoughts. But....the bottom line is that 99% of the thoughts that flash though our brains at the thought of moving are RUBBISH: There is no such thing as "Can't". You CAN if you want to.You do have time to move. If you have time to watch the television, you have time to move for 30 minutes each day.It isn't hard. If you have two good legs and two good arms you can move with great ease and that is what your body has evolved to do. It's as easy as going for a walk.Worrying about what other people think is a needless waste of energy - how can you possibly ever know what they're thinking? And, quite frankly, it's none of your business.You do not need the 'latest and greatest' shoes or equipment to exercise. As Arnold Schwarzenegger reminded us a few years back now, he never paid a cent to walk, run or do push ups. Your body is all you needMovement makes you feel good: Your body is designed to move. Movement energises you - body, mind and soul. It protects you from disease through a whole host of processes and best of's FREE. No more excuses.[...]

Lifestyle is the key.


Fighting your way through the jungle of dietary and lifestyle advice?. Fed up with not knowing which way to jump when it comes to your nutrition? Check out This site is comprehensive in a number of ways and is well worth the read and the resulting afterthought that goes with it.