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Feeling low? How can exercise help?

Many of us have periods where life gets difficult and we feel low.  Or it’s in the depths of winter and Christmas cheer feels a long way away. There are many studies which state that exercise can help but how, why and when??? What? Rhythmic, aerobic exercises, which use large muscle groups are shown to improve anxiety, depression and mood. Running, aerobic classes, rowing, cycling and cross trainer can fit this bill. How Long? Just 10 minutes can lift your mood.  A longer 30 minute workout can help with anxiety and emotional stress. Intensity? Low to moderate intensity is best for getting benefits for depression and anxiety.  There are studies that show high intensity exercise can help with increasing mood. How Often? At least 2-3 times a week can show significant improvement in depression and stress.  Some studies show that … Continue reading

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Top ten tips for budgeting while trying to lose weight

Shop seasonally and shop locally; fruit and veg in season will always be cheaper than strawberries in winter! Use one food across various dishes; such as a good quality mince for a Shepherd’s Pie, Lasagne and Chilli dish. Use what you already have in your food cupboard; very often we have a hoard of tinned and packaged food hiding at the back of the cupboard.  Pick one item every few days and build a meal around it. Repeat the use of a main ingredient; pasta twice a week with a few different ingredients.  There’s no need to have seven different meals across a week. Look out for specials; look out for good deals and make up some passata with a glut of tomatoes, but don’t necessarily go for BOGOF’s.  A junk food option is costlier for your health over the … Continue reading

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Menu planning for health and weight loss

So many people today live very busy and chaotic lives.  They let that spill over into their eating habits.  Getting home from work late, opening the fridge and looking for inspiration isn’t a good idea. Sit down at the weekend with your diary and decide when you have time to cook.  Plan your weekly menu with this time in mind and order your food online.  This will stop the special offers making their way into your trolley. You can batch cook at weekends, then fridge or freezer portions.  Stir fry’s are healthy, quick and easy to cook.  Investing in a slow cooker may be a life-saver, meals can be on the side cooking away whilst you are at work.  Salmon and roasted vegetables is a lovely quick and easy dinner when you are short of time. All in all an … Continue reading

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Tiny habits for big change!

Micro habits? Can they make a difference at all?  Well, yes.  The concept being that doing a little of something often, can be the key to achieving bigger health and life goals. Imagine doing one small thing for even one minute every day, but over the course of a year, what a difference that would make.  Thirty crunches in one minute, for 365 days.  Probably you’ll be able to do more than 30 crunches in one minute by the end of the year, and be willing to do three, or four or even five minutes a day… Or the idea of practising the same piano scale a few times every day.  You may well get the scale wrong every day for weeks on end or play it slowly for many months correctly.  But suddenly it will be like climbing a … Continue reading

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The power to change is in your hands…

“The power to change is in your hands and your hands only.  No one else can do it for you.” Dr Libby Weaver A few thoughts on taking control of your own health … Stop blaming others; seldom are others the real cause of our problems, and are only an excuse we use to stop us from taking responsibility for the situation we find ourselves in. Stop complaining; complaining only puts everything in a negative.  Try to see the glass half full rather than half empty, and perhaps the challenge will seem more achievable than insurmountable. Don’t take things too personally; it’s easy to be consumed with worrying about what others think about us or to take offense so easily that we can’t move on or try anything new. Live in the moment; living in the past keeps us from … Continue reading

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Know your stuff … when it comes to what you’re eating.

A few things that are important when considering what to eat.  Checking nutrition labels.  The order of the ingredients matters to your health.  The first ingredients on the list tend to be the ones that make up the majority of the product.  E.g. Sugar high on the list for sweets but is often within the top three ingredients in sauces, breads and dairy products. The fewer ingredients the better.  The longer the list of ingredients, the greater the chance is that everything is highly processed and full of additives and chemicals. Know what you’re eating. If you can’t pronounce it, or don’t know what it is, try another option, as it’s probably not worth eating.  Be wary of ‘buzz’ words.  Words such as nutritious, natural, wholefood, healthy.  There is not necessarily a clear indication of what these words really mean … Continue reading

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Believe in your own success!

“You need to believe you’ll be successful or you won’t be.  But you have to believe it before it happens.  Most people fail because they can’t keep this positive frame of mind until they actually manifest success.” – Randy Gage Mr Gage is a coach and he believes that anyone can succeed at anything they set their mind to! Believe you can! When you’re trying to lose weight and be healthy, a positive frame of mind and believing that you can actually reach your goal is one of the most important things to concentrate on. Top Tips Believe you can! Enjoy the journey. Don’t be scared of change; instead – embrace it. Don’t dwell on what you can’t have or missing are out on, concentrate on how good you feel. Only you can change you; no-one else.  Once you realize … Continue reading

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Sandbells for weight loss

Sandbells for weightloss? What’s a sandbell? A sandbell?  Well, it’s a soft, stretchy disc filled with – sand!  You use them in similar ways to kettlebells or hand weights.  BUT, being flexible, they’re a lot easier on your hands and you won’t feel it quite the same way as when you drop a kettlebell on your foot! Sandbells can also be cheaper to purchase than kettlebells, don’t take up so much space, and won’t get condensation and rust over time like your kettlebells might. So why use weights when working out in the first place?  Weights help to develop good muscle tone, and helps increase the calories you burn in a given workout.  PLUS, as you develop muscle, you then burn calories for longer after your normal workout.  Research suggests that strength training with weights also imporves brain function and … Continue reading

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Suggestions for low impact exercise …

Not everyone likes fast paced, high impact aerobics or Zumba, and as we get older, it is important to consider ways to look after our joints, but that doesn’t mean we have to give up on exercise completely. Here are a few suggestions for low impact exercise:- Walking Low-impact aerobics Tai chi Elliptical trainer Stair climber Swimming Squats

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Walk your way to better health and weight loss

Want to start off a slow and steady exercise plan or fit more exercise in with simple walking?  Here are a few tips to make the most of a good walk:- Walk briskly – walking for exercise won’t necessarily be of any use if you’re just out for a Sunday afternoon stroll. Do intervals – Adding bursts of speed will burn more fat and you’ll get fitter faster.  For everyone minute of fast walking, follow with three minutes of normal walking and then repeat five times as you are able. Walk to a beat – High energy tunes will help you keep a good, fast pace.  Songs with around 115 to 120 beats per minute are best for walking. Walk on sand – The increased resistence increases the effort you need to keep your balance and stability so you burn … Continue reading

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