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Anxiety

I like to talk about things instead of bottling them up which is why I have written this blog on anxiety.  Until recently I never thought about anxiety like I do now.  I knew about it, but I didn’t look to understand it or have to deal with it.  Of course we all get anxious from time to time but I am talking about when it takes control of you, when it fully absorbs your mind and your body.  Your brain is forever thinking of a million things, the simplest of jobs stresses you out, you shut yourself away from friends and family, you get chest pains, you are forever feeling nervous, exhausted and restless.  The list is endless.  This is how I have been feeling recently and this is all very new to me.  The only time when I am fully free of this is when I am at The Gym, either training clients/teaching classes or working out myself.  There is a reason for this which I will explain to you now. A known reason for suffering with anxiety is unused energy.  Our bodies are not designed to be idle, they are meant for moving.  When we don’t move it can create tension which can lead to anxiety, which in turn can lead to stress.  Of course there are many that suffer with anxiety who are not idle, they may be either genetically prone to anxiety or have had experiences which have brought on their anxiety.  Either way you should look to exercise to at least relieve that feeling, if only for an hour or two.  Exercise releases chemicals into your body called endorphins.  These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that help reduce your perception of pain.  They also trigger a positive feeling into the body, not to dissimilar to morphine.  This is the exact reason why I feel positive and great when I am at the gym. However you go about getting regular exercise into your life is a good thing.  If you enjoy walking or cycling then get yourself outside and go exploring.  Likewise if you love being in water then get your swimming gear on and head to your local swimming pool or even the seaside.  If team sports is your thing then dust off your Puma Kings and join a football team, or whatever team sport does it for you.  It literally can be anything, just as long as you are moving and releasing the endorphins into your body you will start to feel good about yourself. Now of course I know exercise is not going to cure anxiety 100% but it can go a very long way in helping with it.  So the next time you feel anxious remember that you don’t have to just let it take over you, you can help to fight it with exercise.  I know I plan to.  Thanks for reading....

I’m aching after exercising, is that normal?

Most definitely!  This is called DOMS which stands for Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.  DOMS can take anywhere between 12 – 72 hours after exercise.  It is believed DOMS occur when there is small damage to muscle fibres.  Generally after a few days your muscle fibres will repair themselves, (protein is key to help with this) and you will be pain free….until the next time that is!...

Will doing Ab crunches give me a Six pack?

In a word, NO!  If only it was that simple.  There is an old saying, Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the Gym.   We all have Abs, some are just more hidden under a layer of fat than others.  To get Abs you need to eat the right things and train hard to reduce your body fat.  Before you know it, those beautiful things will be there for all to see!  You need to work the Abs from different angles to get the defined six pack. So even if you have low body fat you need to do a lot more than crunches!...

Good carbs vs bad carbs

Carbs sometimes get a bad name which is not quite fair.  The thing is there are good carbs, but there are also bad carbs.  I will explain the differences between the two. Bad Carbs, also known as Simple/Refined Carbohydrates, are quick to digest meaning you will feel hungry sooner.  They also provide you with little energy, they are low in fibre and they’ve have been refined resulting in more sugar and calories.  They are also stored as fat which results in gaining body fat. Examples of bad carbs: White Bread, White Rice, White Pasta, Potatoes, Cakes & Soft Drinks Good Carbs, also known as Complex/Unrefined Carbohydrates, are slower to digest meaning you will feel fuller for longer.  They prolong energy, they are high in fibre and they haven’t been refined so they contain natural sugar.  They help in reducing body fat. Examples of good carbs: Wholemeal Bread, Wholemeal Rice, Wholemeal Pasta, Most Fruits & Green Vegetables. So as you can see carbs are great as long as you are choosing good carbs over bad carbs!...

Fat loss vs Weight loss

I am asked on a regular basis about the best way to lose weight.  My reply is always to ask why they want to lose weight and not reduce body fat.  There is a massive difference and I will explain why. When losing weight you might see the number on the scales go down but why?  Is it down to fat loss? It could be but it could also be down to muscle loss & water loss which is not good.  That’s why weight training plays a massive part in reducing body fat.  The more muscle you have the more efficient your body is at burning fat.  Our body burns calories all day even when we are doing nothing.   This is down to your BMR (Basal metabolic rate)  So in a nut shell, more muscle = lower body fat.  How great does that sound! Another key component is of course nutrition.  You might train 5 hours a week but that still means there are 163 hours left in the week to undo all your hard work. Prep your meals is the best way, cook a batch of food for the week, put it in containers and freeze it. It’s that simple.  By prepping you will know exactly what you are eating.  Lunch and dinner should consist of protein, good carbs (see my blog on Good Carbs vs Bad Carbs) and of course vegetables.  Your body needs fuel for the exercise, crash diets will not give you the nutrition or energy to train.  In between meals it is ok to snack, just snack on the rights things. This will help prevent over eating at lunch and dinner.  Don’t starve your body between meals, fuel it correctly! The foods listed below are what I recommend to clients to assist in fat loss. Fruit Vegetables Proteins Carbohydrates Snacks Extras Blueberries Raspberries Strawberries Pineapple Apples Grapefruit Lemons Banana Melon Broccoli Kale Cauliflower Asparagus Peppers Spinach Cabbage Lettuce Onions Garlic Baby leaf salad Cucumber Baby tomatoes Celery Avocado Pak Choi Pal Choi Courgette Aubergine Mange tout Baby corn Extra lean mince Grass Fed Steak Turkey breast Chicken breast Tuna Steak Cod Haddock Salmon Mackerel Eggs Baby new potatoes Sweet potatoes Jasmine Rice Basmati Rice Quinoa Porridge oats Cottage cheese Total Greek yogurt Cashew nuts Walnuts Almonds Hummus Dark chocolate 90% Rice cakes Extra virgin olive oil Lucy Bee Coconut oil Balsamic vinegar Chilli Cinnamon Basil Coriander Peri Peri Cajun Jerk Flax seed Green Tea  ...

Will I get big if I lift weights?

I want to squash a myth I hear all the time about lifting weights.  By lifting weights alone you are not going to become Arnold Schwarzenegger, there is far more that goes into becoming the next Arnie than just doing a few bicep curls.  Now to some standing on a treadmill looking at the calorie counter going up is the only way to lose weight.  You are wrong, lifting weights is a great way to burn body fat and tone up your body.  Of course cardio is important, a strong healthy heart is what we all want but there is more to the gym than just cardio. So let’s ditch the running trainers once in a while, put on the weight gloves and start lifting....

Nixxie