To Fish or Not to Fish? - That is the question!

To Fish or Not to Fish? – That is the question!

How many grams are you eating?

I have recently spoken to people in regards to their opinion on fish, especially oily fish.  Whether they eat enough of it per week or even at all.  The responses were varied, as some thought you had to avoid having oily fish due to thinking it would make them gain more fat mass and others thought quite the opposite, the more they ate, the healthier they would be.  You need to strike a balance.  See the table below.

AMOUNT
GRAMS PER WEEK
Too Low
140g or less
Too High
560g or more
‘Just Right’
140g – 560g

These are general guidelines as everyone is unique but it helps you to get a picture.

Benefits of eating oily fish:

Having the right amount of fish provides you with ‘good fats’, containing EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).  These acids reduce your risk of stroke-inducing blood clots amongst many other things, such as:

  • Lowering risks of your arteries building up fat in them
  • Lowering your blood triglyceride levels, blood pressure
  • Full of Omega-3 fatty acids (type of fat great for our health)
  • Good source protein, Vitamin D and Selenium
  • Helping against cardiovascular diseases, prostate cancer, age-related diseases (lost vision) and dementia
  • Improves your memory
  • Reduces the risk of rheumatoid arthritis
  • It’s a great superfood (a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being)

Types of oily fish:

There are over 20 types of oily fish.  Here a some of them:

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Fresh tuna
  • Sardines

If you eat more than the recommended doses of fish per week, you will be putting yourself at risk of many problems (smelling of fish being one of them) such as: Vitamin D toxicity – This can produce a chemical in your body which will then cause you to have higher levels of calcium (Hypercalcemia).  This means you could end up feeling sick, thirsty, tired, confused and having constipation or diarrhoea, etc.

Try to find a right balance for yourself that works for you and that you can afford 

TOP 5 BEST & TOP 5 WORST FOODS TO EAT FOR A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP

First I will list the foods that could be interrupting your sleeping patterns.
  1. SUGARS - Consuming high Gi carbs at night can leave you feeling hungry and on edge which is exactly what you don't need when your trying to wind down.
  2. ALCHOHOL - Taking in large amounts can deplete vitamine B levels which aid in a good nights rest
  3. CAFFEINE - We all know that coffee morning feeling as the usual person sips a cup to help them wake up so cut down your intake on a night to get the extra ZZZZZ
  4. STIMULANT DRINKS - there are so many popular stimulant drinks on the market these days - these drinks are becoming the norm for many people and without realising it they grab a can from the fridge on a night and find it tough to drop off. 
  5. Diuretic foods - cut down on foods that will make you want the toilet all the time and will interrupt your sleep
Foods to help you nod off for a good nights sleep

  1. TRYPTOPHAN RICH FOODS - Tryptophan is an amino acid which aids in boosting serotonin in the brain making you feel good and produce more sleep hormones.  So foods such as turkey.
  2. GET MORE IRON - not enough iron can interfere with your energy levels and will sometimes make you wake during the night.
  3. MAGNESIUM - if you have low levels of magnesium in your body you may start to feel anxious which will prevent a natural drop off.
  4. WATER - keeping a good level of hydration will optimize temperature and body regulation creating a more relaxed inner environment.
  5. CALCIUM - As your mum says get a cup of warm milk before bed it helps to calm and sooth.
Changing your sleeping patterns can help too so try and read before bed to quiet the mind.  Making sure that you turn off the T.V will help you wind down naturally with no waking to turn off the T.V which has been playing to itself.  This was my problem and now I create a calm and quiet environment

Hope you manage to drop off and get a good night rest all the best everyone :)

PAINFUL JOINTS

PROBLEMATIC AREA TO BE DISCUSSED TODAY ARE THE BODY'S JOINTS.

The body has numerous joints which are the point in which two bones meet examples are:
  • Elbows
  • Knees
  • Shoulders
The joint permits movement and allows you to freely get around and accomplish daily activities.  Inside the joint there is a substance called cartilage.  This cartilage covers the end of the bones acting as a shock absorbed so the bones can move smoothly.  There is also a fluid inside the joint called synovial fluid which lubricates the joint allowing extra protection.

Problems can rear their ugly head making life uncomfortable and painful for many individuals lets look at a few of the causes of pain.

  • OSREOARTHRITIS - this is a progressive condition of the joint and comes about due to loss of cartilage leaving the bones vulnerable and less protected due to them rubbing together.
  • RHEUMATOID ARTHRITIS - is a form of inflamation affecting the ligaments tendons and muscles.
  • INFLAMATION OF THE JOINTS - this can be caused due to trauma to the joint/area
SO WHAT CAN YOU DO TO BUMP UP YOUR PROTECTION

There is some good news and that is that there is still time to increase the amount of protection you receive.   If you are experiencing pain the first port of call should be to see your local GP to get knowledge on your own personal/specific problem area.  Here are some great prevention and protection methods you can incorporate.

  • LOSE A FEW LBS - losing weight can help to reduce the pressure bearing down on your joints so they don't work as hard.  
  • EXERCISE - this can be beneficial as it will strengthen your muscles and keep you fit and supple.  Making wise choices according to your condition is the best policy.  Choose something you enjoy and that wont be too impacting on the joints like swimming or bike riding - something to take pressure off.
  • SUPPLEMENTATION - supplementation can be a great area to investigate as there are many supplements that can assist in joint health.  Ask your GP or do research that will allow you to choose the best supplement for you.
  • LOOK INTO DIET - there are many foods that will decrease inflammation and make you feel better.  Get some oily fish twice a week as this contains anti-inflammatory Omega - 3s
Always cover your back whether its seeing your GP or beginning an exercise programme there are people and knowledge available to you so do your research and take action against these annoying pains!!!

MEDITATION FOR A CALMER CLEARER YOU!!!

What comes to mind when you think of meditation?

I always think of that scene from ACE Ventura when nature calls - a vision of Jim Carry leaving his body to find enlightenment.


But there is so much more to it!!!

Meditation has been used throughout the ages to promote:

  • Healing
  • Relaxation
  • Increased energy
  • Development of the mind and body
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Reduce stress
  • Self regulation
  • Anger management
  • Enlightening ones self
  • Increase cognitive function
  • Increased memory recall
  • Weight management
Meditation hosts a plethora of benefits that will help you in getting to your goals whether it be to reduce stress or create awareness there is something for all.

HOW TO?

There are different techniques that will enable you wind down and become relaxed in a meditative state.  Try the following.

  1. Turn off anything that will distract you
  2. Put your phone on silent so it wont disturb you
  3. Find a place where you can be comfortable 
  4. Take a seat or lay down flat with a pillow supporting the head.
  5. Once you are seated get comfortable and close your eyes
  6. Firstly focus on your breath noticing the pattern as you inhale and exhale
  7. Breath deep into your stomach and out again in a steady rhythm
  8. Remember to keep calm and focus on your breath
  9. Take note of any noises or annoyances and just relax let go and focus on breathing
  10. As you become more relaxed focus on your calf muscles squeeze them and then relax them feeling any tension use your body
  11. Repeat the last step with other muscles to teach the body to relax and let go of tension
  12. After this is done go back to focusing on your breath
  13. When you feel ready slowly open your eyes and let yourself come around and become consciously aware 
Build up to 15+ minutes per day as a minimum and feel the difference as time goes by.  Give it a try and feel the benefits of meditation for mind body and soul - all the best everyone :)




HGH AKA HUMAN GROWTH HORMONE

I have been asked if I could do a post about HGH so I have decided to give you a short and sweet article on the subject.

WHAT IS HGH?

HGH is a hormone that is produced by a small pea sized ball located off the brain behind the nose.  This gland produces a substance which travels to the liver and produces IGF aka Insulin Growth Factor which when exercise/diet is done creates muscle growth.  It is very important in the first 18 years of life as it contributes to the healthy growth of muscles bones cartilage etc.

ORIGINS?

HGH was originally administered to individuals who's growth was under-developed to aid in their progression.  More recent cases has people purchasing and using HGH to increase muscular size and growth.  It has been famed as the fountain of youth by many although more research is needed on the subject.

The Ketogenic diet or the Keto diet with Stephanie Person

So I have had a few of you request information on the Ketogenic/Keto diet.

In my quest to find the latest knowledge/research I came across an expert called Stephanie Person.

After watching her very inspirational/motivational/informative Youtube channel I got in-touch and she has allowed me to post some of her material.

Here is an exert from her site:

Stephanie first heard of the Keto diet from bodybuilders.

"My low carb, high consulting credentials are completely self-taught.
I started educating myself regarding keto adaptation by trying to drive ketosis in my mother suffering from a terminal glioblastoma brain tumor. They gave her 6 months to live which prompted me to take an aggressive approach to slow cancer growth.

I dramatically lowered her carbohydrate intake and raised her dietary fats exponentially.

Immediately my mother’s cancer growth stopped. She is now in her 7th year of being cancer free

The diet produced great success for her mother.
After my mother’s cancer remission from a low carb high fat diet prescription I then was ready to apply nutritional ketosis principles on myself.  With success I was able to enter and maintain ketosis with incredible health improvements.
After experiencing the incredible benefits of ketosis myself, I applied low carb, high fat principles on close friends/clients at the same time.

The success stories of better health continued in people around me. My next approach was my personal training clients.

In a 2 year time period I was able to keto coach 8 subjects with 100% improvement in their weight loss goals.
Today I have keto coached 284 + clients nearly at 300!!! with amazing results.

I set up a live consultation with the individual. I then find out what their goals are in trying to keto adapt, all health issues and prior failures in attempting to keto adapt on their own.

The main concept I approach with importance to client is how stress plays as role in their failure to keto adapt.
I have been able to collect and study keto adaptation failures and success by my ongoing keto coaching and research practices. I continue spreading the word and educating the benefits of ketosis to people from all ages, ethnic backgrounds, gender and moral principles. I keep constant contact with my clients before during and after consultations to help support this emerging movement of people wanting to improve their health."

Her research and knowledge is constantly evolving and Stephanie considers herself a scientist of this field.





Detoxification is an important element to consider!!!


Fix that leaky gut!!!

Her experience and constant understanding of the Ketogenic idea is definatley an area you should research so watch her videos and keep an eye out for her updates.


There is so much to learn!!!!!



Watch the videos to find out more:



Stephanie can answer all you need to know and also offers various coaching packages to get you where you need to go.  Look at the following link to get more information:

http://www.stephanieperson.com/nutrition-coaching-rates-packages/


To find out more on Stephanie you can give her site a visit at:

http://www.stephanieperson.com/


All in the diet!!!


Please show her your support by visiting and liking her facebook page at:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stephanie-The-Business-Person/604522012970143


H4H would like to thank Stephanie for her knowledge and contribution to the site.  Remember to give her a visit on Youtube by clicking below:

Stephanies Youtube Channel


MAKE SMALL CHANGES TO GAIN BIG DEVELOPMENTS

When you quest is to gain additional muscle, improve fitness or decrease fat -  you need to take different points into account that could just give you that extra spark you need.

I always say everyone is individual and what works for one may not for another so tweaking your programme can maximize your gains.   If your stuck in a rut with your rotein try the following tips.
  • Do compound moves that cover a multitude of muscle fibers - Bench press - Squat - Deadlift 
  • Take note of your stance as this shifts the emphasis of muscular activation.
  • Level - changing the level as in standing/seated can work the muscles more intensivly
  • Equipment choice - change up the resistance you use as this creates a slightly different stimulus for the muscle.
  • Incorporate a new routein - is your plan stale and you have been doing the same thing for over 3-6 months then switch it up.
  • Record your results - keeping a track of your progress will allow you to know the areas which need work and it will allow you to best what you did last workout.
  • Throw an advanced technique into the mix - doing a superset will really challange you and your muscles
  • Get your diet in check - you may be training like a spartan but not eating like one.  Eat good clean foods making sure you get your fill of calories to support your goals.  Do a food diary then re-asses where you can alter your eating to maximize your gains.
  • Get a good training partner - having a great training partner can boost your confidence on your lifts and help you push through your barriers.
  • Crank up the tunes - by using motivational music you will be more likely to persist and enjoy your workouts.
  • Incorporate sprinting - this is a great way to maximize fitness and calorie burn.
All you need to do to maximize your goals whether it be level up muscle downsize fat is to self evaluate tweak and implement smart changes.

BLAST BELLY FAT - CARDIOVASCULAR CONDITIONING AKA CARDIO TRAINING

So you want to strengthen your cardiovascular system by adding C.V into your programme/life.  With a little planning and motivation you can tailor a routine to get you to your goals.

Me running stairs with my little training partner
Firstly lets talk about the benefits of a cardio programme:

  • Stronger heart function
  • Increased fitness
  • Improve sleep
  • More efficient at processing oxygen
  • Lower risk of diabetes
  • Lower body fat
  • Burn calories
These are but a few.

But where do we start?  Most people haven't got a clue where to begin.  Well you don't need any fancy equipment you can start right now.  Here are a few options for you to look into:
  • Walking - this is low impact and a real great place to start.
  • Swimming - another great place to go as the water takes pressure off of the joints so if you struggle get into the pool for a workout.
  • Bike riding - I love going out on my bike it lets you get outside with a forever changing scene to prevent boredom
  • Jog/Run - when confidence increases this would be a great step up.
  • Boxing - you can pound out the calories with boxing.
  • Circuits/Bodyweight - join a class with a friend or create your own workout that allows you to use minimum equipment/bodyweight.
WHERE TO BEGIN?

WARM UP & COOL DOWN

A thorough warm up is essential to a balanced and safe workout it also helps in preventing injury too. Start with 5-10 minutes of C.V exercise that allows you to prepare yourself for the work to come. You can then follow the warm up with some light stretching to full ready the body for your workout.  When your workout is coming to the end remember to incorporate some cool down exercises that allow the body to ease back into normality.   

KEEP HYDRATED

I see so many people in the gym going really hard and dehydrating themselves which leads to decreased performance and can seriously impact you and your training.  Keep optimally hydrated so your body can function at its best throughout not only your workout but your day to day life.

ELEMENTS OF YOUR PROGRAMME TO CONSIDER
  • Frequency - how frequent you intend to exercise.  As a beginner you want to start with a low amount of time/workouts and build yourself up slowly allowing your body to become accustomed to the activity.
  • Intensity - this is how hard you intend to exercise do you want to go steady or think about doing interval training.
  • Type - the type of activity you choose.  The best exercises involve large muscle groups.
  • Time - the duration you wish to exercise.  The best way is to increase the time over the coming weeks that you workout.
  • Intervals - if you have been exercising for a while try interval training where you sprint and recover for a desired amount of intervals.
  • Variety - its good to spice things up now and again to prevent boredom so throw in something new once in a while.
As a final comment I want to say give yourself a pat on the back for taking a positive step forward to becoming healthier and fulfilling your potential.  Live longer and stronger.


AlignMed Posture Shirt Review

AlignMed have allowed me to review their posture shirt here is information on their products:

FIRST A LITTLE ABOUT ALIGNMED:


AlignMed is the creator of apparel that activate and stimulate muscles naturally to improve and correct alignment.  Through 10+ years R&D, clinical studies and trials, AlignMed has proven to relieve pain, increase balance and flexibility, reduce fatigue and improve recovery rate.


AlignMed proprietary Touch Tension Technology uses controlled resistance to activate core muscle groups that keep your body upright.  With their unique and patented design, they create products in the world that canignite and stimulate muscles naturally – to influence proper body mechanics.

HOW IT WORKS

The new and improved Posture Shirt® 2.0 is designed with anatomic support & tension panels to encourage muscles to fire & joints to align. The 2.0 provides increased postural support and enhanced core stability.

WHY I LOVE IT AND YOU WILL TOO!!!

• Relieve Pain
• Increase Strength & Balance
• Improve Circulation
• Expand Mobility
• Increase Energy & Stamina
• Improve Flexibility
posture shirt• Facilitate Proper Breathing
• Prevent Injury & Increase Recovery

STYLES:

Pullover
Zipper
Cotton
Polyblend

KEY FEATURES:

• Vented PowerMesh™ Panels
• Lightweight / Breathable
• Comfortable + Form-Fitting
Superior Fit / Non-Restrictive
• Can Be Worn Discretely Under Clothes
• Moisture Wicking
• Anti-Microbial Protection

I got intouch with AlignMed and had a fantastic response full of energy and enthusiasm.  The service was quick and easy I received the product quickly.  Below is a picture of the shirt I am reviewing and wearing as I sit at my computer desk to type.  

A LITTLE RESEARCH

Ninety-five computer users employed at a municipal utility provider volunteered to be prospectively evaluated in the work place. 

A functional assessment of posture, lung function and strength was performed using a dynamic elastic shirt for four weeks. Disabilities of the Arm, Shoulder and Hand (DASH) questionnaire was given. 

A training log was kept to track weekly sensations of postural fatigue using a visual analogue scale (VAS).

RESULTS


Postural fatigue and muscular fatigue decreased by 21% and 29%, respectively, and energy level and productivity increased by 20% and 13%, respectively. 

Lung function (FEV1) improved 2.8% immediately, rising to 3.8% improvement at study completion. 

Hand strength improved 3.8% immediately, and rose to 5.4% at study completion.

FIRST IMPRESSIONS:

When I opened the box and unpacked the shirt I thought it looked great very clean and well presented easily accessible.




The shirt I have is white with grey segments and the AlignMed name and logo across the left shoulder.

It was easy to get on and is a snug fit I can feel myself sitting in a comfortable neutral position to me it is a comfortable shirt and looks good.


When I put the shirt on my sister said 'hey where did you get that it looks really unique and nice'

There is no restriction of movement I have ran around jumped up and down been on walks and the shirt is cool breathable and comfortable.  I feel a good level of support throughout.

Real thumbs up on all levels from me it feels tailor made a real great product I will be continuing my usage and if you have any questions please leave a comment.

To find out more keep your eves on the site or give AlignMed a visit at:

http://www.alignmed.com/

They have a range of products to support your needs.

Use the following code at the checkout to get a 10% discount:

Rooke14


BENCH PRESS

TOPIC FOR THIS POST IS THE BENCH PRESS

I have been asked if I would do a little article on bench press so here it is.  The bench press is a classic movement that when done correctly can yield fantastic results to sculpt the upper body.  So lets go.....

Equipment required:
  1. Bench or floor
  2. Barbell or dumbells
In the picture you can see me in at my home in my little conservatory where I have created a workout area.

I have a bench and squat rack combination. I am using a standard bar to demonstrate the exercise also.




Here you can see I have layed down on a flat bench and am preparing to lift the bar from the latches.






After you are in the ready position make sure your comfortable and feel solid and confident to perform the movement.  (Always good to have someone spot you or if you have never bench pressed get a trainer to take you through the motion).

Lower the bar towards the central chest then press back up to the original starting position and repeat for your desired repetitions.


 Here I have inclined the bench and am performing the exercise so it will transfer the muscular activation slightly to my upper chest.  It is good to engage as much muscle fibers as possible.  You can experiment with the different angles by changing the positioning on the bench.  You will see people using incline flat and decline benches.







Another way to change activation and shift focus slightly is to change your hand position.  Here you see I have used a reverse grip this will activate the upper chest more.




Here is a closer grip which will bring your Triceps into action.



The above can all be replicated with dumbells which will work both arms independently.  You can also perform the movement on the floor but you wont get the same range of motion as the elbows will stop at the floor.