Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Road to Wellbeing.

For many of us, leading a happy, fulfilling, healthy and fit life is an un-attainable goal. We are often out of balance while trying to juggle our busy working life with our busy family life and our busy social life..We put everyone and their demands before our own and only when our bodies scream out to us for help do we take notice. How often do you prioritise your own wellbeing? We rush through our day at full speed trying to accomplish the impossible task of pleasing everyone all while running on empty.

Your health and wellbeing should be at the top of your list and there are some simple steps that you can follow in order to obtain maximum results.

The first thing you must address is your nutritional input. What exactly are you fuelling your body with during the day? Is it wholesome and fresh produce or processed and lifeless food out of a box? If you are feeling run down, lifeless and depressed, the answer to that question is probably because you are eating the processed stuff. It is not just a question of how many calories you are consuming, as a 100 calories of fresh fruit does not compare nutritionally to a 100 calories of gummy bears, obviously! It is more a matter of where those calories are coming from. It is important to really nourish our bodies with clean, wholesome and organic food. It is more important than ever to search out local produce that has not been sprayed with a load of toxic chemicals and to avoid processed foods which contain an ever increasing range of highly dubious additives. It is time to detox! I know the traditional detox is to survive on nothing but juice and water for days on end, but I don't really agree that this is a long term solution. By simply replacing the bad with the good you will be detoxing and cleaning out your system and gaining loads more energy to boot. Try eating a wide range of foodstuffs and also do your best to purchase organic or at least locally grown produce. Eat at least 3 meals a day and include protein, complex carbohydrate and fat in each meal. Snack on nuts and fruits and drink as much water as you feel you need. Everyone's thirst varies depending on their levels of activity and the time of year, but we should all be aiming for at least a litre or 2. Oh, and avoid sugar at all costs!

The next step to improving your wellness is exercise. Our bodies are designed to move and be physical on a daily basis. Unfortunately these days we have to schedule an appointment with our bodies to exercise. Finding an activity that you really enjoy will help you stick with the programme and making it part of your lifestyle means that you are exercising without even noticing. Cycling to work and back, walking the dog twice a day, playing with the kids, gardening, dancing...there is an endless list of things we can do in order to shake up our daily laziness and none of them require a gym membership. You can also join an organised group if you want a more social element to your fitness. There are Nordic walking groups, running groups, cycling and swimming groups, as well as triathlon, rowing, salsa....the list goes on and on. However, the one which we at Geneva Fitness encourage the most is our outdoor Boot Camp group. Here you will get a full hour of all round strength and conditioning and feel both physically and mentally elated at the end. These sessions are open to everyone regardless of their fitness levels as each movement can be adjusted depending on the individual and their capabilities.

So now we have dealt with your nutrition and your exercise, the next step is to take a look at your sleeping habits. Rest and repair is an essential part of our wellness. Without adequate night time sleep, our bodies rebel and start to breakdown. Ideally we should sleep for up to 8 hours each night although this is quite a challenge for a lot of adults. If you find that your nights are restless, take a look at your evening habits and maybe make a few changes to help you with your rest. Caffeine late at night is an obvious culprit as is drinking too much alcohol, eating a heavy meal or not eating enough. A lot of females will experience insomnia the week before their period and this is due to hormonal fluctuations. It is wise to avoid caffeine or any other stimulant during this period and opt for a soothing cup of camomile and a lavender infused pillow to relax the senses. Rest is also very important for those of us who train hard and make big demands on our muscles and energy. Your muscles will only benefit from your last workout if you follow through with a period of rest and recovery. I am half Spanish and there is a saying in my culture that states "you can rest when you are dead!" I used to live by this when I was 18 and had the energy to stay out all night and work all day...but it didn't last very long. Today my motto would be "rest so that you can live!".

Having an active social life and surrounding yourself with positive and inspiring friends is another essential part of your life. Loneliness can quickly lead to depression and being in a negative environment can destroy our self confidence and character. It is a sad fact that our society is suffering from an ever increasing amount of depression which in turn can result in chronic mental diseases, high blood pressure and many other stress related illnesses. If you ever find yourself falling down this slippery slope, take action immediately by looking at your lifestyle, i.e. diet, activity levels, sleep, environment...or seek professional help from someone that you trust.

Finally, a quick word on meditation. Meditation has been practised for centuries and I find it is the single most effective way of calming down the mind and body. A mere 10 minutes can flood your system with feel good hormones and help you restore sanity and balance in an otherwise turbulent day. I find that meditating before bedtime particularly helps me fall into a deep slumber and it does a great job at erasing any problems that might be dwelling on my mind.

Having an holistic approach to your life and your habits will keep you in balance and prevent your body from letting you down. Eating well, exercising, sleeping and having fun with friends and family are the only ingredients necessary for a perfect recipe.

Well, that's all from me today. You can leave your comments or questions below as it is always a pleasure to help you out with your health and fitness queries.



Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Struggling with Setting Goals?

If you are someone that has consistenly struggled to set goals in any aspect of your life, work, family life, or your health and fitness than this post is for you.

What if you looked in the post box one day and found a letter to you written by your goals! Pretty crazy right? That letter might resemble the following and is something I stumbled upon not too long ago:

Dear John,

You probably already know what this letter is about. You've seen it coming; I know you have. It's about us, John. It's over. I'm leaving you!

I've hung on as long as I could. You've got to give me credit for that. I mean, the way you swept me off my feet and talked lovingly about the future we would have together. I have waited so long for your embrace, your attention, and your love.

Why have you neglected me? Why have you made so many excuses? Your inaction and addiction to procrastination is tearing me apart. I simply must move on!

For years, I would get so excited every time you talked about the business we were going to start, the places we were going to visit, and the home on the water where we could watch the sun set every night. My heart would pitter-patter every time you talked about me to other people, only to be let down once again because you were afraid.

John, what are you afraid of? It's only me! I am your hopes, dreams, and goals. I wanted you as much as you wanted me, but you have left me no choice. I simply must move on!

Please do not attempt to talk your way out of this. The years of indecision and lack of discipline tell me everything I need to know. If you really—and I mean REALLY—wanted me, you would have found a way for us to be together.

I am tired of having my hopes soar so high just to just to see them dashed. I simply must move on!

Time is marching by without us, and my greatest fear is suddenly becoming visible on the horizon. I am so afraid that we could come to the end of our lifetime and never have the chance to really know one another. It breaks my heart to even entertain this thought, but I simply must move on!

Like the Genie that grants three wishes, I wanted to give you your heart's desire. All I wanted, needed, and asked for was your attention, your devotion, and your willingness to work hard for me. If that was too much to ask for, then I'm sorry. I simply must move on!

All things of value must be earned, and I've grown tired of your excuses and lack of patience. On numerous occasions, I was within your grasp, but you quit too soon. Why did you leave me when you were so close?

I'll let you in on a little secret. Every day I would call out to you, “I am your goal, here I am, come and get me!” I'm curious. Did you ever hear me? I repeated this question day after day, month after month, and year after year. But now, I've grown tired of hearing that the timing is not right, that you're tired, or that someday you'll get around to it.

It's now time that I get around to it myself and find someone who is committed, focused, and proactive. I simply must move on!

On behalf of all of your hopes, dreams, and desires, there is something you should know about us. We will never fail you, nor will we ever let you down. The main reason why we have not embraced one another is that you have failed us by not taking action! Why?


Your Goals

Please leave your comments below and stay tuned on how to effectively set goals and achieve them!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Bodyweight Based Training Programme

I hope you are all doing great! I apologize for the lack of posts lately but with us leaving on holiday and the official launch of Geneva Fitness, we have been a bit busy. However, as I promised before I left, I am here today with another addition to our video series. I know I told you that we were heading off to Tenerife for some island sun and fun but due to a strike in France at the time, our flight was cancelled so we decided to drive down to the South of France. We got to experience the many beautiful beaches on the Côte d'Azur with San Raphael definitely being one of cleanest and best for family fun.

Anyhow, the two clips below are a bodyweight based programme that you can do wherever you are. My aim is to provide you with the knowledge to be able to get a great workout regardless of space, time and location.

The programme below can be done in several different ways. The first example I will give you will be with sets and reps:

Be sure to get a good warm up using a jump rope, jumping jacks, high knees, bum kickers, side shuffles and some press ups. (Stay tuned for our Dynamic Warm Up video)
Perform each exercise for 3 sets of 12 repetitions in a superset format, i.e. complete prescribed repetitions for exercise one and immediately continue to next exercise until all the exercises in superset have been completed, then rest for 60-90 seconds before starting on the next set.

Another option is to perform the workout in an interval format and vary the difficulty of the exercise based on the time and your fitness level. Try using 50 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest still using a superset format, completing 4-5 rounds for a 16-20 minute workout, that is without resting between supersets. If you are just starting out, rest a minute or so before starting on the next round. So without further ado here is your first of many bodyweight based workouts to get you shredding fat and building lean muscle.

Do this workout two times per week for four weeks along with cardio interval training in between and you will be on your way to a new level of fitness!

I hope you enjoy the workout and if you have any questions on any of the exercises or would like further progressions or regressions of the exercises please leave us a comment below! If we reach 20 comments below I will provide everyone that left a comment with a little audio bonus track to make their 50-10 interval session a lot more fun!

Yours in Health,

P.S. Just wanted to let everyone know about our 21 Day Rapid Fat Loss Programme that we will be running on the 16th of August for a select number of Geneva residents. If you are looking for a programme that will help you skyrocket your results then you better click the following link before all the spots are taken, CLICK HERE FOR YOUR DREAM BODY!