Tuesday, 2nd August

Once we start exercising, we all assume we can train normally forever, never have an injury, never have any aches and pains, and this type of thinking and lack of preparation causes many people to get derailed in their programme, leading to quitting your exercise plan sometimes not long after it has started.

Most people get pain every day not from well designed exercise plans, but everyday life and failure to be active.

If you are sitting around too much, then some kind of pain will eventually enter your life as your body is designed to move regularly, and not to be stationery. You need to get more active right now, in however small a way to start.

If you never stretch, then everything will feel a little tighter leading to pain and niggly injuries. Flexibility needs to be worked on and everyone is included in this.

If you don’t sleep well, then all that tossing and turning can lead to inadequate rest and you waking up already struggling, your body is not recovering properly and not fighting off fatigue properly. You will likely be irritable and pain be part of your life.

Forget about eating healthy so you can just look leaner, you should also eat healthy because your body needs to recover from exercise and everything else life throws at you, and give you the energy to be productive in your day. Healthy foods helps heal your body, and keep you out of pain.

An ever-increasing number come to us with severe back problems, these issues develop usually because you overdo things on one side and the other side becomes weak, or you may carry too much weight being a major cause, or a specific injury may have happened and you wonder how to get pain free again or your job may encourage back pain, i notice for example that hairdressers and dentists suffer in particular as they lean over people most of their day.

Most people have never heard of fascia, that cobweb like substance that’s all over our bodies protecting everything. By making sure we work on this daily, we make sure injuries heal quicker and most injuries never develop in the first place. Prevention is always better than anything else so make sure your programme is comprehensive, hits all areas of your health and looks after you both inside and outside of the gym.

Sunday, 3rd January

We have a “20 mile march” attitude to our gym, our training programme, our eating programme and our philosophy in general.

The 20 mile march is simple, it is to get from point A to B in the quickest, safest and most sustainable way possible, addressing challenges along the way, dealing with them and marching on with a well-thought out strategy of being in it for the long term, and always doing the RIGHT thing for our members no matter what.

You get many trying to sprint before they can walk, often blowing up before they get a even a mile down the road. These include those who offer you faddy diets, such as cleanses/detoxes/eliminate food groups/shake and bars types of diets. Whilst you will lose weight, you will always pile it back on and more, leaving frustrated and angry that you fell for products that only “cowboys” sell, that take you to the cleaners and your wallet.

If you really want to go the whole 20 miles, then you need to start off steadily and at a sustainable pace. Making wholesale changes to your diet immediately is too much and you will be likely back to square one relatively soon. Make one change in your diet, sick to it, once that becomes normal for you, then make another change, then try to master that and so on.

Mastering the basics and making them an engrained part of your lifestyle are vital to your success, and you lasting the journey.

Mastering the fundamentals mean you appreciate what works for you, and you will be less tempted to veer off course for all the “cowboys” waiting to steal your money offering their “magic beans” just like Jack and the Beanstock.

So this week, start off as you mean to go on. Making solid food choices, showing up for your workouts, realising the value of sleep, and staying positive knowing that as long as you keep marching forward, you are going to be a REAL success story that will likely be in great health and in shape for a lifetime.

Tuesday, 22nd December

This time of year makes you realise that it’s the ideal time to improve your fitness. Gyms are usually a lot quieter this time of year, and suddenly you have a lot more room and time to “get good’ at those things you may have been putting off for a long time.

This is the time to “experiment” between what makes you feel good and what sucks the energy out of you.

You will soon realise that an exercise session, however short, will automatically bring your energy levels back to life and make you feel alive again.

You must know of many gym-goers who right now are having time off, planning a whole array of over the top meals (pizza and chips etc) on a daily basis, along with setting records for most boxes of chocolates consumed.

This is the time you get to know you body. If you are still exercising on a regular basis, you will notice how eating and drinking badly will affect your performance in the gym.

Eating rubbish “party” food for example, will immediately hit your performance, make you feel nauseous at times in your workout and usually hit your strength workouts too. Eating this kind of food immediately makes you crave good quality “clean” food straight after your workout, which is yet another reason to keep on training.

Nothing wrong with having a blow out over christmas, but turning it into a two week or even one month all out blowout will mean only one thing.

Once you get back to training in january, not only won’t you have any energy, drive or your usual ambition, but your immune system will be down too. You will be susceptible to colds and other illnesses (this is why there are far more adverts by drug companies for their products such as lemsip etc this time of year) which will further detract you from your “recover after christmas” efforts.

If you just stay more active, get more fresh air, and keep a core of healthy foods and snacks amonsgt the unavoidable treats, then you wont go far wrong and stay strong into the new year.

Monday, 26th October

So many of you are now approaching week 4 in your programme. You have learned how to go flat out on your programme, and what’s ahead in the next four weeks will require a brand new demand on your energy systems.

You have different energy systems and we will be using all of them as we go through all sorts of different programmes.

It’s vital this week then that you give it everything, you give it your very best and find out how far you can really go in these 4 weeks.

Your food is ultra-important right now, the energy demands are vast so you need to be ready and up for it at all times. The old saying is that you can “never out-train a bad diet” being very true.

If you’re not properly hydrated (drinking enough water), then your workouts will always be a big struggle, and you are not going to recover as quick too.

If you are sleeping poorly or not getting to bed as early as you should after a tough workout, then your body will not recover as quick, and there’s no way you will be energised for your next day’s workout either.

Your workouts are vital, but the support you give them through proper nutrition and sleep are absolutely paramount so let’s prepare even more and take your performances and results to a whole new level!!!

Wednesday, 19th November

Keri’s Leaner faster stronger

Seasonal and local – day 2

Is out of season food healthy or not?

Unless you live a life like Barbara and Tom from the good life, tending to your fruit and vegetables day in day out, you probably have little knowledge of seasonal food and it’s health benefits.

Since eating within the seasons is the advice given by health professionals these days, it makes you wonder if eating out of season food is in fact healthy or bad for us?

From a health perspective, food that’s not in season has been grown in huge greenhouses or shipped from warmer climates travelling thousands of miles before arriving in our supermarkets. This has many consequences for the consumer. Firstly, they are picked before ripeness so that it can endure the long distance shipping experience. This means that it’s nutrient profile is lower than a local and ripe product. Vitamin C for instance, which is abundant in most fruit and vegetables, is notoriously unstable and so would be lost in transit so to speak, making out of season food less nutritious.

Also transporting produce sometimes requires them to be zapped by a burst of radiation to kill germs. Preservatives such as wax is also added before refrigeration.

Taste wise there is absolutely no comparison. Locally grown food tastes amazing, has great texture and looks appetising. Most local food grown by farmers are also healthier due to having less pesticides and chemicals used for preservation too.

Air miles is another issue for many people. Local food usually travels only a few miles from farm to table ensuring less pollution to the environment.

Another quite interesting argument for eating seasonal is the fact that our bodies actually crave seasonal food due to the weather. Have you noticed how you fancy salads in the summer and crave stews and soups made of root vegetables in winter?

It’s all great saying that local and seasonal is better,tastier and cheaper, however how practical is it to eat like this all the time? If you lived in Italy or California, it wouldn’t be much of a problem, Burry Port however?

Unless you love pigging out on carrots and caulis for the whole winter, you are going to get pretty bored very quickly. Not many fruits are in season in cold and wet Wales in winter.

Our advice would be to try and eat as much seasonal food as you can to get a good amount of natural vitamins and nutrients, as well as getting a tastier and better value product. However supplement with imported fruit and veg as well. We have no intention of giving up bananas anytime soon as they are a great addition to the sports diet.

Seasonal food are in abundance in supermarkets these days, as they do try and cater for popular demand. Many supermarkets buy produce from farmers in Wales and the UK these days, you can usually find the grower written on the label.

Another option for tired and busy workers is frozen fruit and vegetables.

Studies show that these are actually healthier in terms of vitamins and nutrients than many fresh out of season produce, due to the fact they have been picked and frozen within hours, and so have not lost any of their nutrients. It also means you can eat strawberries for instance all year round.

Choosing frozen also means less wastage for the family too. No more shrinking yellowing broccoli lurking in the back of the fridge, which everyone forgot about!

Here is a list of what’s in season in November, helping you to make good seasonal and local choices in the supermarkets and small local shops.

Eat to train,

Nicola.