My Own Process: Episode Two – The TP Therapy Massage Ball

Following on from my previous post on my personal processes I thought I’d introduce you to one of my go-to tools – The Trigger Point Therapy Massage Ball.  When I coached at Healthhaus I earned the nickname in some quarters of ‘The Pain Whisperer’ – other coaches would seek me out to help with certain clients who had movement restrictions or challenges for which they needed a strategy or second opinion. Throughout this time I never once attempted to ‘fix’ someone, and would always consider clinical referral as an option. What I did consistently do though was to simply listen to the client and when it came to providing my contribution my aim was to have them feeling or moving just 1% better. This was often exceeded and I was able to assist both client and coach with ideas, exercises or protocols to sustain or indeed improve the situation. I also had an extensive toolbox of equipment to utilise gathered from my training credentials and professional curiosity and the TP Massage Ball was one such piece of kit.

All Shook Up 

Whilst I don’t profess to being particularly flexible or consider that I’ve superb posture, it’s rare for me to be injured. I’m tuned in to what my body can do and I listen when it speaks. So it was a surprise last week when I became aware of what felt like tension in my lower left leg. It wasn’t particularly painful, didn’t restrict my movement or range of motion yet it was sapping my energy, concentration and focus. My initial response was that it might have been a reaction to a new supplement I’d just started taking. So I removed it from my diet, allowed it time to leave my body, but to no avail. I then looked back over my sleep, hydration, stress and exercise patterns -a skill I picked up from my mentoring from OD on Movement and then pinpointed a possible culprit. I’d increased the weights on an exercise I found challenging – this could well be the cause.

Usually when we’ve over-reached or over-trained the most significant response we feel is muscular soreness/stiffness. Think walking like John Wayne, having Elvis legs and/or wondering if we’re ever going to be able to get back up off the toilet again. However, what I was experiencing was not any muscular trauma. Instead it was trauma affecting my nervous system and connective tissue. Whilst I hadn’t overcooked my muscles in performing the exercise my nervous system had clearly blown a fuse.

Love Me Tender – Finesse Not Force

With this insight and using the TP Therapy ball I was able to explore along the line of the body that I thought was over-active, the one sending all the additional signals to my brain that were my source of distraction. Returning to my fuse analogy above I consider there are lines within the body almost like a string of Christmas Tree lights – when a line is playing up in some way you might have to check all along it to find the blown lamp or, in this case, the source of the change in balance in the body.

Within a few minutes of running the massage ball firmly (think using finesse not force) over this line, from the outside of my calf muscle (where the sensation was strongest) and thigh, across my hip and into my lower back the feeling had gone. Which area of intervention had caused the sudden improvement? To be honest I’ve no idea. I believe given the dynamic nature of the exercise I’d been doing that I’d blown more than one lamp, that each area benefited from some attention. Over the past few days I still need to use the ball a couple of times on these 4 sites for a minute or two and as soon as I do I’m fine again.


At least one TP Therapy Massage ball is constantly in my training bag and it’s one of the first things I pack when I travel. It’s small enough to easily fit in my palm, is light and has some pliability which means I can use it anywhere and anytime. It’s The King of my kit. With one, you too can become you very own Pain Whisperer.


More info on Trigger Point Therapy can be found on their website or at their YouTube channel.

the risk of routine, the choice of change

 

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“You’ll never change your life until you change something you do daily. The secret of your success is found in your daily routine.” – John C. Maxwell

My local supermarket doesn’t have automatic doors. It has two doors, side-by-side; one for those entering the store and one for those exiting. Yesterday, as I was leaving, I held open the (exit) door for someone who was about to go into the store. A small act of kindness and manners on my part towards a stranger. Yet despite that person recognising and appreciating the fact that I was holding the door open for them, they still went in via the ‘normal’ entrance door. As I was walking home it struck me that the same thing had occurred once before. Why would that be? In considering that question it led me to think about how often we do things out of conditioning, because we ‘should’, because there are rules and expected ways of behaviour, even when there could well be a different option or way laid out before us. How we become comfortable with the certainty of an established routine when perhaps allowing more uncertainty into our lives would lead to us being happier and more successful.

There’s an enormous amount of ways you could apply changing a routine to everyday life; it’s not limited to just the bigger and longer-term life goals. You could take a different route to work, experiment with adding a new ingredient into a favourite recipe, setting an incline on the treadmill at the gym rather than constantly running on the flat, opting to read a book before going to sleep instead of being online. The list is endless and the best part is this: the choice is yours.

If you’re looking to make a change, no matter how big or small, the first thing to do is to identify it. Write it down. What’s the thing that’s irritating you, the thing you want to take positive action on? Then decide upon the action you wish to take. To start with it doesn’t necessarily have to be huge, sweeping change – it simply has to be a step in the right direction, something you feel you can achieve. Then resolve to taking that action.

If you’re going to change something up in your everyday routine, or even in how you’re approaching a larger goal then I’d love to hear your plan in the comments below. Embrace the unknown and uncertain, and strive to seek enjoyment in every moment.

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On Staying Focussed

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A few months ago I was invited to present a health and lifestyle talk, the subject of which was my move from finance to fitness. The purpose of the talk was partly to share my story and also to take a look at some aspects of the health, wellness and fitness worlds that I thought merited a closer inspection. The Good, The Bad and The Ugly of those worlds. It was a great talk to prepare and present. Rather than take a normal Q&A session at the end, I had asked members of the club for whom I was giving the talk to submit questions in advance. The idea being two-fold; anyone that entered a question had an opportunity to win a coaching session with me, and also it meant that the questions could be handed out to the audience members to ask me. I was unaware of what might come up so it was a fun way to end the evening. One of the questions that was submitted, that I decided to make the topic for this post, was:

‘I’m interested to know, what is your top tip for staying focussed on the benefit of exercise?’ 

I thought this was a great question, as the person asking the question was already of the opinion that exercise was beneficial to them. I wasn’t being asked about the numerous benefits of exercise. Instead I was being asked about how to stay focussed on the benefit. For that person, staying focussed was the challenge. Not to ignore the context of the question and to touch briefly on exercise, my viewpoint is that all movement is exercise. I appreciate though that exercise tends to be associated with going to a gym or fitness centre and working out. So I chose to answer the question from that perspective, and below I’ve retained that example for illustrative purposes, though the principles outlined could be applied to any situation where adherence to a goal is challenging.

Essentially, my answer centres on identifying and understanding the underlying values that drive the behaviour. This can be done by using a series of questions to ask yourself. They are:

  1. What is the reason why you are exercising?
  2. What is the benefit you believe exercise is providing you?
  3. Why is that important to you?

These questions can be reduced to one question:

Why are you doing what you are doing? 

However, in order to arrive at that question it’s worthwhile going through the other three questions and providing some colour to them. After all, things are rarely black and white!


What Is The Reason Why You Are Exercising?

There could be a whole host of reasons as to why a person chooses to begin or to resume exercise. Weight loss, overcoming an injury, increasing lean body mass, training for a race and general improved health and well-being are just some examples. It’ll be different for each person, and could be a combination of factors. The important part is to identify the reason(s) or goal(s) for the action.

When it comes to goals, where possible and appropriate I like to help my clients set goals which are behaviour-based goals as opposed to being outcome-based goals. An example of an outcome-based goal would be to reduce blood pressure by 20 points in 3 months. An example of a behaviour-based goal would be to drink two cups of coffee a day instead of four. The key difference between an outcome-based goal and a behaviour-based goal is the element of choice and control you have. The decision as to whether to drink two or four cups of coffee is down to the choices made by the individual. The ability to reduce blood pressure levels could be at the mercy of a host of factors, some of which a person may be able to exert some control and choice over (eg: making nutritional adjustments) but also may be at the whim of external matters that there is seemingly little or no control over (eg: work-related stress).

Also, with behaviour-based goals it’s easier to identify obstacles and overcome challenges. If the daily coffee intake has gone down to three cups then first of all it is a step in the right direction and, through determining how that was made possible, finding the cause of the success, strategies for further success (in this case, reducing consumption down by a further cup per day) can be planned and put into practice. The behaviour is the process through which the (outcome) goal can be reached.


What Is The Benefit You Believe Exercise Is Providing You?

Now things get more interesting. The benefits of exercise are certainly numerous, but the perceived benefits of exercise that an individual expresses may be few. It may be that by exercising a person believes they will be better able to play with their children or grandchildren. It may be that the person believes that by exercising it will help them drop a dress size for an upcoming important event. It could be that a person considers exercise as a good way to socialise. The list goes on and on. Whatever the belief may be, being aware of it is to be aware of that person’s needs and wants when it comes to exercise.

From my coaching experience, I don’t look at a person’s perception of the benefits they are deriving from exercise through merely a professional or scientific point of view. For example, a person may be spending a lot of time in the gym on cardio machines with the aim of losing weight. If I approached the scenario simply from the basis of showing (off) how much knowledge I may have on the subject it’s not going to help. Unless they’re doing something I consider unsafe I’m not about to start correcting someone for whom maybe even just coming to the gym is a challenge, let alone exercising. For I’d be invalidating that person’s beliefs. I’d be, on some level, telling that person that they were wrong. I’m not going to ‘correct’ anyone. Rather, over time, new coaching concepts and tools can be introduced and integrated to further guide the person towards their goal in an empowering way. They can take in new information and with it be in a position to make better decisions. At the outset I want to listen and understand. To get to know the person, their obstacles and their abilities, not just the problem.


Why Is That Important To You?

‘Why?’ is such a powerful question. It really gets to the heart of the matter. In goal setting or adherence it speaks beyond our needs and reaches out to uncover our values. Our core beliefs. From moving through the process, identifying the reason and determining the perceived benefits of exercise now is when the driver of the action can be discovered. The why.

To illustrate the point from another angle, a dental appointment is something few of us look forward to. We know it could involve some level of discomfort. It may, depending on where we live, be quite expensive to receive dental treatment. It may be an inconvenience. But nevertheless we go to the dentist. Why? Because we acknowledge that it is important to have healthy teeth and gums – we place a value on it – and are prepared offset other values we may have around pain, money and time in order to ensure that the value we place highest (our health) is met. Our values and actions are in alignment.

As with the benefits, the rationale as to why exercising is important could be any number of things, but will most likely come down to one or two reasons for each person. It may be that a person wants to have fun when they exercise, or that they want to inspire their loved ones, or that their doctor has indicated they need to take action to offset the risk of a certain condition and they want to achieve something for themselves. In coaching, this is where I’ve found the greatest connection can be made and I look to facilitate an understanding for a client as to whether there is good alignment between their goals and their values, especially if staying focussed is challenging.


Staying Focussed – Will Tracking Progress Help?

Another possible option is to track your progress towards a goal. This can be helpful insofar as it can help you see how far you have come in respect to that goal, to see and recognise what you have achieved already. It can also help in terms of a ‘course-correct’. If by tracking you can see that progress is deviating from where you would wish to be then remedial action can be taken. Personally, I would look at resetting the goal, perhaps breaking the goal down into smaller goals with a greater chance of achievement, rather than be in a potential situation where you may be debating taking drastic, unsustainable or unhealthy action to meet a target.

If you find you are off course it’s important to remember two things: 1. you have taken positive action towards achieving something, you are doing it, and 2. be kind to yourself. Appreciate the efforts you have taken in making a positive change.

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Next Steps

Staying focussed on your goals doesn’t have to involve super-human feats of mind-control, or require some secret skill possessed by the few. By going through the questions above, thinking about your answers and taking a few minutes to write them down may prove to be an extremely useful exercise. Read them out loud to yourself, or keep them in a prominent place if that helps you. Refer back to them as, over time, circumstances and values can change. Through being aware of your values and ensuring that your actions are in line with those values you can then move towards your goals with greater ease.

Give it a try, especially with a goal or behaviour that has proved challenging in the past. By doing so, you may even find that there is no need to focus at all.


 

 

rest, recovery and ranieri

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‘My idea is that first of all the players need to recover and then to train’ – Claudio Ranieri.

At the time of writing this post, Leicester City FC are leading the English Premier League. In footballing terms, their rise from the bottom position of the table a year ago, avoiding relegation and now to be top of the league, is the stuff of fairy tales. Commentators, journalists and pundits have discussed, debated and argued over their rise and the means by which they have done it.  At the heart of the team’s success is their manager, Claudio Ranieri, a true gentleman of the game.

Last weekend I was listening on the radio to the build-up of a match and the subject of Leicester’s miraculous season was brought up again. Only this time I heard something new in the conversation. The panel were discussing what they, for the best part, regarded as something novel in Ranieri’s coaching methods- that he placed a greater emphasis on recovery than he did on training.

This got me thinking, not simply because I happen to agree with Ranieri’s approach, but because our default mind-set tends to be that in order to achieve something we need to work harder or work smarter. Yet how often do we rest harder, how often do we recover smarter?

The case for (more) rest and recovery

Exercise and movement exert stress on the body, and the extent to which they do is down to a number of factors, including the following:

  • existing level of fitness;
  • current volume of training;
  • current nutrition and hydration levels;
  • one’s mental and emotional state;
  • the intensity of the session; and
  • the amount and quality of rest and recovery beforehand and afterwards.

For the best part exercise related stress, the physical stress our body is placed under is very beneficial to us. It can help regulate energy balance, minimise or offset the potential adverse effects of lifestyle related illnesses and conditions, and elevate mood and metabolic processes to name but a few advantages.

However too much exercise, combined with inadequate rest and recovery, can lead to a host of problems in it’s own right. If you’re already feeling the effects of another stress on your body (eg: from illness) then, depending on the choice, duration and intensity of exercise, the stress effect of exercise could cause suppression of not only the exercise recovery process but the illness recovery process as well. The overall recovery time is increased despite best intentions to create the opposite outcome. Fatigue, susceptibility to illness, sleep, posture, diet – essentially your entire well-being – could all become compromised through this approach. To help make a further distinction on the matter it may be useful to think of your exercise sessions with respect to whether one is at the risk of ‘over-reaching’ or ‘over-training’.

Over-reaching versus Over-training

Over-reaching is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s more likely the result of one or two sessions for which the intensity was not best aligned with ability at that precise time. Over-reaching tends to be acute in duration. Over-training though is something you probably want to avoid. This occurs when there is a constant pushing of limits, when one may be ignoring the body’s warning signs.  Over-training is chronic in nature and duration and this can have adverse health implications, especially when it comes to our immune system.

The graph below, taken from an excellent article “Working Out When Sick” by Precision Nutrition, shows the relationship between infection (in this case upper respiratory tract infections) and exercise volume.

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Essentially some exercise is better than none or too much when considering the effects on the immune system. This isn’t to say that you can’t have an intense exercise session. Rather it’s important to ensure you have a strong rest and recovery protocol in place to compliment it.

My exercise rest and recovery strategy

With my own training I presently exercise on two consecutive days and then have a day off. At first glance I have a 2:1 work:recovery ratio, hardly in keeping with the content of this post. However, in terms of days, I actually have a 1:2 work:recovery ratio. How so? I do this by training between, for example, 8am and 9am on Day 1, and then between 7am and 8am on Day 2. With Day 3 as a rest day, and knowing that I will train again at 8am on Day 4, I’ve given myself a 48-hour period of recovery. In my two training sessions there is only one exercise that I incorporate into my plan for both days, so even within my sessions I vary my routine to assist with recovery. Why? The reasons are that I want to be able to train injury-free, for my training to be effective, and in line with my current goals. Right now this strategy works for me. At the end of this month I will take a week away from my physical training to allow my body to have time for further repair and growth. I also monitor my Heart Rate Variability (I’ll be posting on this in the near future) on a daily basis so that I can address any unexpected variances that may otherwise impair my rest and recovery.

Within each session I’ve one eye on my goals for that session and one eye on rest and recovery. Here’s some of the strategies I use:

  1. I always turn up with a pre-written plan of the session. For me, I’ve started training the moment I’ve committed the plan to paper as I try to internalise the plan.
  2. I run through a series of fascial mobilisers at the outset of the session to check in and see how my body wants to move in the here and now. With this feedback I can decide whether my plan is line with my body. If not, I adjust where necessary.
  3. Within the session if I feel I need a longer rest between sets then I take it. I don’t compromise quality or technique over time.
  4. I always perform a cool down, either stretches, use of a vibration plate/platform and/or a walk afterwards.
  5. I eat as soon as is practical after my training. (I personally find it difficult to take on nutrients when training and so prefer to simply have water.)

Summary 

The emphasis of this post has been more on the physical aspect of performance yet the principles can be applied to most endeavours. I’ve lost count of the times that I’ve solved a matter that was challenging me when I’ve not been consciously working on it, when I’ve stepped away from it. I’m sure you’ve had similar experiences. I take regular breaks when I study. In writing this post I’ve taken a break from it several times. I’ve gone from the physical (note taking) to the digital (computer) and back again throughout the process of creating it, allowing the rest from one medium to inspire the work on the other.

Do plan appropriate rest and recovery into your work and I’m sure you’ll be more energised, productive and happier with your subsequent achievements. So far at least, it’s working for Claudio and his team too!

is being selfish selfish?

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Selfish. It’s one of those words that is steeped in negative connotations. Being selfish or acting selfish is something we’ve largely been conditioned to assume is, in some way, wrong or bad. To be selfish is something to feel guilty or be ashamed of. Really? This post is about bringing balance to the notion of being selfish and why being selfish might actually do you a power of good.

On Being Selfish – Part I

I began working with a client recently, one whom needed some help in overcoming an injury.  After finding out more on the client’s situation and circumstances I showed them some exercises that I thought would be of greatest benefit. These were exercises that my client could do at home if so desired; no equipment was necessary and they wouldn’t take too long to perform. Yet I suggested to my client that they come to the gym and do the exercises there if possible. The reason? My client has a young family and, being a caring parent, would always put their needs ahead of their own. My client may find it difficult to find time to perform these exercises at home or – to be precise – to put their needs first.

I wanted my client to be selfish.

This posed a challenge but through discussion we agreed it was the best course of action. By taking time to be able to give the exercises complete focus, away from other pressures, my client would be able to help themselves, hopefully gain a feeling of achievement, potentially returning to everyday health sooner and to be able to have the subsequent time spent with their family more enjoyable and fulfilling. To be selfish now (and be OK with it) so as to be in a better position to give going forward.

On Being Selfish – Part II

I consciously have not created a post in the past weeks. For I too was being selfish. I had a re-certification exam paper to take and I wanted to take time to study, refresh my knowledge and pass the exam. I knew my best bet was to do so without the distraction of other matters as far as was possible. I’ve now written the paper and passed it a few days ago. Yet that’s not the end of the story, far from it. In studying in this concentrated manner I realised that whilst there were some gaps in my nutritional knowledge there were larger gaps in my application of what I already knew. The upshot: I have gained fresh insight and know that not only can I be of greater service to my nutritional clients, but that I can be of greater help to all my clients. By being selfish I’ve become a better coach.

Selfishness and Self-Improvement

If you look at most definitions of the word, to be selfish is to act in such a way that is (a) self-centred and (b) to the detriment of others. By contrast, the act of self-improvement is largely cast in favourable light. I believe the reason is due to Part (b), or rather the perceived lack of Part (b) in self-improvement. Self-improvement is not usually associated with actions that are to the detriment of others. Yet I feel there is something of a disconnect here. When someone is considered to be selfish their actions may well be self-centred, but are their actions also always without care or concern for others? Maybe the issue is not with the so-called selfish person but perhaps with ourselves, the person handing out the label? Do we have certain, definite, assumed expectations of the actions of others? And if those expectations are not met, if we are unexpectedly and immediately inconvenienced, then what?

Over To You

Time. You can’t make it, or acquire more of the stuff, but you can take time and choose how you spend it. Time is yours.

What do you want to take time to do? What is the highest and best use of your time? Could you take action in pursuit of that today?

In the two examples I wanted to illustrate that being selfish can be beneficial. With that in mind, what is the selfish thing you could do to improve not only yourself but the lives of others around you?

I look forward to reading your comments and yes, now that I’ve passed my exam I’ll be creating more regular content soon!

when’s best to make a change?

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Changing habits for the better and making resolutions to improve your life is something we’ve all done. Some seem harder to begin (let alone achieve) than others, and part of this may be down to when we start. I’m a firm believer in simply deciding to make the change and taking some immediate, positive action. However that’s not for everyone; it’s not always possible and sometimes change takes a bit of planning. Subsequently – in the western world at least – we tend to use Monday as the start of a fresh week, Monday’s the day to quit the bad habit and start the good one.

My suggestion is to make that day a Friday instead of Monday.

Why?

I suggest Friday as most of us tend to have a weekend free of our working obligations, we tend to have more time for ourselves. It suddenly becomes a lot easier to maintain and reinforce the positive change when our usual daily demands are lessened. Then, when Monday rolls around, we’re already into the fourth day of the new habit we’re establishing. As a result there’s not the same feeling of trying to get through the week that exists with a change that is instigated on a Monday.

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Over To You

What is one thing you would like to change to improve the quality of your life? Could you make a start, take the first step, however small, today? I look forward to your comments and have a fun and healthy weekend.

how you like them apples? 10 practical ideas to help kickstart your nutritional choices.

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If there’s one thing we all have an opinion on then it’s nutrition. I see that as a good thing; it indicates that we do take, to a greater or lesser degree, an interest in the food we eat.

This post was born out of a question a co-worker asked me a few years ago when I worked in finance, and studied health and fitness in the hours in between all of life’s other requests. Essentially, my colleague wanted to reduce weight and burn more calories. He had the gym-work down, but the food-plan was a minefield. It is for a lot of us. It seems you only have to turn on the TV or read an article to discover that last week’s superfood is this week’s one-way express ticket to the hereafter.

So to help my colleague I wrote down ten tips on nutrition and sent them on to him. Then a cool thing happened. Not only was he really grateful for the suggestions but he wondered if he could share them with the rest of his team? He’d told them what I’d written and they were curious. I was more than happy for this to happen. Before I knew it the email was around the company and staff were as likely to come over and ask me questions on diet as they were about cashflow statements.

Here are the 10 tips. (By the time I still have them you’ll know I didn’t put them together on company time. In hindsight perhaps I could have and claimed I was helping with corporate wellness!) I’ve kept them as close to the original email as possible.

(Note: Whilst I hold a Precision Nutrition certification I do not claim to be a nutritionist. Therefore you may wish to consult your doctor or primary health care provider before making any dietary changes.)

  1. keep it simple –  I believe it’s more realistic to take the view to change 100 things 1% than one thing 100%. Take your time with making any changes. Experiment. If something works for you keep it. If it doesn’t, simply ditch it and move on.

  2. portion control – This goes for food and drink. It’s about cutting down calorific intake gradually (e.g. 6 coffees a day to 5, 3 bags of crisps a day to 2, pizza only one night a week instead of twice). If this is something you feel you need to do then you may be surprised to see how suddenly something you thought you couldn’t do without becomes manageable (e.g. 6 coffees a day eventually becomes 1, if not zero). Does all the food on the plate/serving need to be eaten? Many people do this, whether through a sense of obligation/manners/guilt, etc. Listen to your body.

  3. hungry or thirsty? – Often what we think of as hunger could be thirst. Take something healthy to drink. If you still feel hungry 30 minutes later then do have something to eat. Either way, as before, listen to your body. In the same way that one shouldn’t overeat, one shouldn’t over hydrate. Linked to this, one of the reasons people may be prone to overeating is because despite the fact that they have eaten, the body has not been able to begin to absorb nutrients from the food. so the body is still in ‘hungry’ mode. By the time the body has been able to begin to break down the foods an excess has most likely already been consumed. A potential solution to this is to have soup (as a starter); the nutrients are more quickly absorbed by the body and therefore the feelings of hunger dissipate faster meaning that the chances of overeating are reduced.

  4. choices and options – This is where it becomes interesting. And, possibly, confusing. Processed and ready-made, or buying the ingredients and cooking? Organic or not? White bread or brown bread? Full fat or reduced fat? The list of questions goes on and on. The answers however are usually common sense. Quite literally, go with your gut! An area worth paying specific attention to is the products which advertise themselves as being low in fat. To compensate there is a likelihood that such products are probably higher in sugars, which leads me on to my next point.

  5. read the ingredients labels – Know what you’re putting into your body.

  6. eat colourful – Have a variety of colours on your plate. (The flip side of this: if you happen to watch any of the weight loss programmes on TV then, more often than not, when the person’s diet is literally laid before them on a table the overriding colour of the food is brown.)

  7. cooking methods – Avoid frying if possible, but if you have to use only a tiny amount of oil. Steaming is best, followed by grilled and oven baked. Obviously it depends on what it is you are cooking as to the best method for that item.

  8. eat properly – This is not about ‘what’ to eat, rather ‘how‘ to eat. To help one’s body absorb the nutrients of food faster always ensure it is properly ingested. (i.e. take time to chew food properly). Sounds easy, yet how often do we rush our meals? This goes back to the over-eating point above.

  9. discover new foods – This is a personal favourite. Go to a different food shop or supermarket. Or take a walk down differing aisles in your current food store. Find something new and work out what the hell to do with it.

  10. enjoy your food and drink – In many ways the most important tip. After all, if you feel that what you are choosing to eat is in some way a form of deprivation then it won’t be good for your emotional and mental states. Have fun when trying new, and hopefully healthy, food.

If  you find any of the above useful or actionable I’d love to hear how you get on, and if there’s anyone you think might benefit from this tips then please do pass them on.

who I am and why I’m here

As part of the WordPress Blogging 101 project I’ve been invited to introduce myself to the world. So, welcome to my first post.

My name is Kenny Manson and I’m an internationally qualified fitness professional, accountant and musician. I’m passionate and curious about health, wellness, personal development, business, technology and creativity.

At heart I’m a client-centred coach interested in and fascinated by the process of performance – how can we become better at the things we wish to give our best to?

I’m here as I wish to become a better writer. The reason I wish to become a better writer is that I enjoy the creative process; writing provides an opportunity to share aspects of what I’ve learned from the somewhat unusual mix of areas I’ve studied and worked in. And the reason for doing that is, well, why wouldn’t you?

I want to give back some of what I’ve learned to a wider audience and if even only one person finds something actionable in my writing I’ll be happy. That’ll be the aim of my future posts, and I’m looking forward to the evolution of this creative process.

Thank you for stopping by and taking the time to check my first post out.

OpenRoad