Monday, 22 November 2010

Recommended Books

Thought I'd try something new this time round...

I'm still not too comfortable on camera so bear with me!

If you want to get copies of the books I've put the links here.

(Turns out this one's no longer available, but if you're lucky you'll be able to pick up a used copy)

Enjoy :-)

Monday, 8 November 2010

Codex Alimentarius

I highly urge you to watch at least this first video.

If you're not interested in the rest, then you've only wasted a few minutes (I'm sure you'll waste more than that on crap TV and daydreaming today...), but if it sparks an interest - which it should - try to find/MAKE the time to watch the rest, and pass on the links.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

The NEGATIVE Force Multiplier!

I was having a conversation with someone yesterday, and we were talking about the things that people do without realising the consequences.

And it struck me that when I wrote the "Force Multiplier" post, I missed out something very important. I realised, that many people don't realise what they're doing.

You see, the idea of the Force Multiplier post was to encourage you do do as many little (or big) things as possible towards being healthier. And that the combined effect of all of these little things would add up to have a large effect on your health.

A multi-vitamin taken every day, along with a healthier breakfast, and a fish oil supplement, and 1 less pint of lager, and an extra cup or two of water etc all add up to make you healthier. None of them huge in and of itself, but when combined with the others are quite powerful. The more you do, the more powerful the total effect.

What I failed to mention was that the opposite is also true.

You see, drinking one or two cups of coffee per day won't kill you (although it will have a negative effect), eating a couple of biscuits a day won't kill you (though again....), having a glass of wine, a pack of crisps, a cigarette.....

Though these are all bad for us, and will have a negative effect on our bodies, alone they aren't a major concern (arguably).

But add these together, and you've got a BIG problem.

A couple of cups of tea/coffee, AND a cigarette, AND a couple of biscuits, AND a pack of crisps, AND a glass of wine... Do you see where I'm going with this?

All of these "little things", that "won't kill us" add up. They all add together and compound to have a huge impact on our health.

Again, the more you do, the greater the total effect.

One day of bad eating and no exercise won't make you fat, but stack a lot of those days together and you've got yourself an extra couple of inches round your waist!

Sometimes we don't need to go to extremes and "eat like rabbits" to improve our health, it's just a case of reducing the negatives that are holding us back.

If you smoke - cut back; if you drink a lot of tea/coffee/fizzy drinks - replace some of those with water; if you eat a lot of biscuits - have a few less.

Little by little you can cut back or cut out completely these little things that add up.

This is probably the first step you should take towards better health. Gradually replace the bad habits (junk food, caffeine, cigarettes, lack of exercise etc...) with good habits (drinking water, exercising, eating a raw salad every day...), and step by step you'll gain control over your health, your weight, and your energy levels.

Your challenge for the next week is to cut back on at least one of your bad habits, and introduce or increase one of your good habits.

Maybe cut out one thing (Chocolate? Crisps? Biscuits?) and drink an extra 2 glasses of water per day...? You choose. But do something.

If that goes well, gradually cut out more of the bad, and introduce more of the good. Your health will steadily improve.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

Should you be counting calories?

I've often told people that it's not so much the calories that matter, but where they're coming from.

Obviously 1,000 calories of chocolate has pretty much no nutritional value, whereas 1,000 calories of broccoli or vegetables has a lot to offer.

I still stick to my guns on this, but you can't argue the science. At the end of the day, calories in vs. calories out is the most basic rule to weight loss/gain/maintenance.

If you want to lose weight, you need to burn more calories than you eat, to gain weight, eat more than you burn, and to maintain, eat as many as you burn.

Although it does get more complex than this, and hormones come into play, as well as (like I said) where these calories are coming from, you can't escape this one, simple rule.

The benefit if getting these calories from nutrient-rich foods is that you will have to eat much higher quantities to get the same number of calories (so you'll be full, and not starved); and that by giving your body all the nutrients it needs, your brain won't be sending you the "eat" signal, so you won't get hungry as often.

So back to the calories...

Any diet that says you need to be eating X number of calories is one to steer well clear of.

Everyone is different, and for a diet to tell everyone, regardless of shape, size, age, physical condition etc, to eat the same number of calories is just nonsense.

So how many calories should you be eating, and how much do you need to cut back to lose weight safely and permanently?

There are a number of calculations used to workout your BMR (Basal Metabolic Rate - i.e. how many calories you need just to stay alive - this would be how many calories you'd burn if you slept all day).

BMR is responsible for burning about 70% of your daily calories, so it stands to reason that the higher this is the better (more muscle, more activity, smaller more frequent meals all increase metabolic rate).

My preferred method of working this out is the Katch-McArdle formula, as it takes into account lean mass, rather than just total body weight (which doesn't tell you how much of the weight is calorie-burning muscle, and how much is fat).

Since this formula uses lean body mass, it's the same formula for men and women. But you WILL need to find out your lean body mass to work it out - just ask an instructor at your gym to measure your body fat %, and you can work out your lean mass from that (Total weight - fat weight = Lean Body Mass).

So now let's work out YOUR BMR...

BMR = 370 + (21.6 X lean mass in kg)

120lbs (54.5kg)
Body Fat = 20% (24lbs)
Lean Mass = 96lbs (43.6kg)
BMR = 370 + (21.6 X 43.6) = 1312 calories

(remember, this is what's required simply to keep you alive! So you still need more, and cutting calories below this amount will only end badly)

Now you need to calculate your TDEE (total daily energy expenditure).
To do this, you take your BMR and multiply it by the appropriate value from the activity multiplier, which is as follows:

Sedentary = BMR X 1.2 (little or no exercise, desk job)
Lightly active = BMR X 1.375 (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/wk)
Moderately active = BMR X 1.55 (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/wk)
Very active = BMR X 1.725 (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days/wk)
Extra active - BMR X 1.9 (hard daily exercise/sports & physical job, or 2x day training)

So for our example above, assuming moderate activity (work out 3-5 days/wk),
BMR = 1312
Activity factor = 1.55
so TDEE = 1312 X 1.55 = 2033 calories

This is the most accurate method you can (easily) use. (There are others, but they're expensive, and for the sake of a hundred calories or so accuracy, this will do just fine!)

Going back to the example, to maintain weight, this woman would need to consume 2033 calories per day.

What if you want to lose weight?

Well we need that calorie deficit we talked about earlier. But the reason for going to all this trouble to work out the TDEE is so that you know how many calories YOU need to cut out to lose weight safely.
This is obviously different for everyone depending on their TDEE. So diets telling you to stick to X calories are just plain lying to you!

To lose weight, without sending your body into the starvation response, cut calories by no more than 20%. So for the 2033 calories/day example, she would need to drop the calories to no less than 1,626.


If you want to increase the weight loss further, work on the calorie deficit from the other end; exercise.

Burn more calories by increasing your activity levels to increase the deficit and lose weight faster, but safely.

So hopefully from this post you can see that what works for someone else, won't necessarily work for you. Work out what YOU need to do, and stick to the rules. No more than a 20% cut in calories, and increase activity levels.

Persevere and be patient. A body that took 10 years to acquire won't go in 2 weeks. Don't rush it or you'll end up depressed, frustrated, and right back where you started (or worse).

As I mentioned at the beginning where your calories come from is also key in unlocking weight loss. So check out my other blog posts to find out what you should be eating, and what you should avoid at all costs if weight loss, or indeed health, is your goal.

You can also work with me personally to figure out a diet suited to you and your specific goals by contacting me through my Personal Training website 

Friday, 1 October 2010

Crunches Cause Back Pain

I remember back at school we often did “fitness tests”. Even studying Sports Science at uni we went through these so-called fitness tests, and again on my Personal Training course.

The bleep test
Sit and Reach test (for flexibility)
The sit-up test etc.

These are all tests that have been used for years – but how effective are they?

The bleep test works. It’s a great way to test your general fitness level, and the key is in re-testing, NOT in the level you reach when you do it. (There are other considerations to bear in mind, but if all things remain unchanged, the re-test will show fairly accurately any gains or losses in fitness levels).

Sit and reach is pretty useless. It doesn’t show where your flexibility/inflexibility is coming from, since it is a whole body test.

And as for the sit-up/crunch test, that’s the reason for this post.

The rectus abdominus (the “abs” or 6-pack muscle) is a superficial muscle. Meaning, while it looks very nice, it doesn’t do much to support your body functionally. It won’t go far in helping with your stability, strength, or anything else... it will however help give you awful posture and back pain if overtrained.

Due to the attachments of the muscle in the body, if you do 100’s of sit-ups/crunches, it will pull your chest downwards towards your stomach, rounding your back and producing awful, and unattractive, postural distortions. As well as rounded shoulders and tight hip flexors (which are a problem many people face these days anyway, without these awful exercises reinforcing the posture!).

Obviously, as well as looking awful, this poor posture can cause all sorts of problems, predominantly in the shoulders, neck and back. Joints out of alignment will cause pain, stiffen up/lose mobility, and cause muscle imbalances which can lead to injury.

With back pain being as common as it now is, and all the hype about “core” training, more and more people are turning to these exercises in order to work their core. As well as the belief that thousands of sit-ups will help lose the belly (which obviously we know it won’t).

Well it’s not working. As I said earlier – the rectus abdominus is a superficial muscle, meaning it doesn’t work to stabilise and support the spine. In fact, it works to flex the spine. That means it’s actually going to make things WORSE, by exacerbating the problem. Plus, all the time you spend working your abs, you’re NOT spending doing the exercises that WILL help!

In order to reduce back pain, and pain in any other areas, you need to work on balancing the muscles across your body and re-aligning the joints.

If you want to work your “core”, you need to focus on exercises that will strengthen the deeper muscles of your trunk, such as the Transverse Abdominus and Obliques.

Planks, side planks, and side raises are good exercises for this, but sticking to large, full-body movements will make sure you’re activating your core in a functional way, instead of isolating the movements.

In short, you don’t need to specifically work on your core. If you’re using good exercise selection, your core will be working the whole time. (And as for losing the belly, it’s these large movements that are going to burn the calories, not small, isolated movements like crunches or bicep curls.)

Crunches will lead to imbalances, poor posture, back pain, and potential injury. You might have a nice looking 6-pack, but it won’t look good on a hunch-back who looks like they’re in pain!

For more ideas on exercises you can do that will work your “core” without causing back problems and muscle imbalance, check out my youtube channel


Wednesday, 1 September 2010

The Force Multiplier

A lot of people ask me (after they've asked what I'm drinking!) if I can feel the difference since drinking chlorophyll, or taking any other supplements.

The answer is - no!

This doesn't mean they don't do anything, but that there is no "magic pill". There are very few things you can do that will make a huge, noticeable difference straight away (aside from drinking enough water every day, or maybe cutting the worst foods out of your diet).

But the point is, all of these things add together to bring better health.

I don't just drink chlorophyll. I don't just exercise daily. I don't just drink 3 litres of water a day. So how would I even know if one in particular was making a significant difference?

It's the combined effects of all of these things that keep me going.

If I didn't believe that every single supplement I take, everything I eat and drink, was making a positive difference to my health - I wouldn't bother!

So if you take supplements, even just a multi-vitamin, don't expect some amazing result within a few days. Chances are, you won't even feel the benefits. But they are there, working in the background.

Currently, I take the following:

(You'll notice a lot of these I get from Nature's Sunshine Products - they're a well-established company, high-quality supplements, and it's all made from organic or wild-crafted ingredients)

Chlorophyll (daily)
Mega-Greens (daily)
Omega-3 (daily)
Vitamin C (daily)
Lemon/Lime water (daily)

Raw, crushed Garlic (1 clove every other day - don't want to smell too much!)

Protein shake (after workouts)
BCAA's (before and after heavy workouts)

I've read up on everything I take, and won't add anything to this list unless I truly believe it's going to benefit me in some way.

But could I tell you which ones make the biggest difference? No.

They are all Force Multipliers, adding together to give me good health. I can't remember the last time I was ill, I train 6 days a week (2 workouts on some of those days), and I feel great.

Everything you do will either benefit your health, or be detrimental to it.

Gradually add more positive's, and take out negative's and you'll be on your way to better health.

Exercise regularly
Eat more fruit and veg
Take supplements that will help your body
Sleep well
Go to bed earlier each night

Cut out bad foods
Cut out bad drinks
Get off the sofa - instead of watching crap TV "cos there's nothing good on" - go for a walk!
Quit smoking
Control your snacking

Start today. Do something to benefit your health in some way. You may not feel the difference immediately, but combined with the other force multipliers, you'll definitely gain something good from it. And before you know it, you'll realise you haven't been sick for a while, you're sleeping better than before, you've got more energy, you enjoy working out...

Start today. Go do it!


Friday, 27 August 2010

Why use BPA-free bottles?

If you’ve ever heard that you shouldn’t re-use plastic bottles, then you’ve heard right.

There’s been a lot of press about how many plastic bottles can leach plastics into your drink, maybe not so much recently, but over the years the articles have accumulated.

Well it’s true to say that if you can taste plastic in your drink – you’re drinking plastic. But what if you can’t taste it?

The numbers on the bottom of plastic bottles (usually in the little recycling triangle) like the ones below are there to inform you what type of plastic the bottle is made from.

I won’t go into great detail as to why bottles are required to have these numbers, I’ll just skip to the bit you need to know...

If your bottle has either the number 2, 4, or 5, then it’s fine (in theory – although I have read that any number under 5 is best avoided).

However, the type most commonly used is number 1 – Polyethylene terephthalate

If you check your water/fizzy drinks/juice bottles, this is the number you’re likely to see, and these are definitely only recommended for one time use. DO NOT re-use these bottles.

What about those nice colourful gym bottles given out as freebies by all sorts of companies? Well you tell me – number on the bottom aside, they always seem to taste like plastic to me.

You may also read that number 7 bottles (we’re really not being left with much here are we?!) can leach BPA (Bisphenol A) into your drink.

Bisphenol A is a xenoestrogen which is a known endocrine disruptor – this means it disturbs the hormonal messaging in our body (not good), and has been linked to cancer, decreased testosterone in men, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. And is particularly harmful to babies and young children.

So since we can’t drink from pretty much any of these numbered bottles, what do we do?

1 – Use a glass bottle

Using a glass bottle will eliminate all of these problems (as well as save on the landfill!), but isn’t always practical – you don’t want to drop a glass bottle, obviously! Not to mention they’re not as easy to find as you might think.

2 – Get a BPA-free plastic bottle

This is probably the most practical option. Plastic bottles are more durable and won’t smash into a thousand pieces if you happen to drop them.

There are plenty of places to get these if you’re looking for them.

The one I use is the Kor One (which you can get here in the UK or Europe, or here in the US)
This isn’t the cheapest option – but it looks pretty cool! Plus, some of the money from each purchase is donated to an environmental organisation. So you’ll be doing your bit for the environment too.

3 – Use a stainless steel bottle

Again, this eliminates the above problems since they are free from BPA and other toxins.

I use the Klean Kanteen, which you can get here in UK/Europe, and here in the US

And one of the sentences they use on their website sums it up – “What you put into your Klean Kanteen is exactly what comes out of it.”

They also donate a proportion of the sale price to environmental organisations through their 1% for the planet scheme.

You can see some studies on the effects of BPA on our endocrine system here: Environmental Health Perspectives Journal

Now go get yourself a drinking bottle that isn’t going to poison you!

Friday, 20 August 2010

Is That All You Drink?

For the last 2 or 3 years I've been answering the question "What the hell is that you're drinking?!"

(and at every Bootcamp for about the last year too).

It seems drinking a green coloured drink gets peoples' attention (despite the fact most of you drink brown drinks all day long, or orange, or yellow, or purple...)

Well the answer they usually get is "Chlorophyll", although recently it can change - most of the time now it's "Chlorophyll with Alkalising Salts" or my "Green Drink - Mega Greens".

It may look like "pond water", or "dirty dish water" to people, but it's good for you, and helps me make sure I get not only the required amount of water each day, but also many of the essential vitamins and minerals that are missing from most diets.

A typical day for me would start with a pint (about 1/2 litre) of water with vitamin C - I use the tablets that dissolve in the water - makes it far easier to drink a pint of water first thing in the morning (before I even get out of bed), and covers my daily vitamin C requirement.

Then, after breakfast I'll have another pint with my Mega Greens in it. This contains a whole variety of vitamins and minerals (it even smells like the health food shop!).

This brings my tally up to around 1 litre of water already, and I've already covered most of my RDA for most vitamins and minerals.

Next, I ALWAYS carry a bottle of water around with me (one of the easiest ways to make sure you're drinking enough each day).

I have 2 bottles that I use, one glass, and one BPA-free plastic (I'll explain this in the next post). Both are 750ml so they cover the next 1.5 litres per day.

I'll fill one with filtered water and add Liquid Chlorophyll and Alkalising Salts. This helps to alkalise my body, neutralising any acids from bad food choices (yes, I do make them too), exercise, stress, pollution etc.

And the other with filtered water, and squeeze either half a lemon or lime into it. This has two purposes - 1. it adds some flavour to the water (3litres of water a day can get quite bland and boring!), and 2. although lemon and lime are acidic, they have an alkalisin effect on the body when consumed.

I'll sip on these two throughout the day (though usually the first one will go during my workout).

If by the evening I haven't finished both bottles, I finish them. But usually they're long gone, so any extra I just add some Chlorophyll to taste and fantastic - I'm getting some extra hydration.

I also quite like the odd cup of Peppermint Tea after dinner... And the occasional cup of Green Tea.

So that should answer both the questions "What is that you're drinking?" and "Is that all you drink?"

To read about the benefits of drinking Chlorophyll, read my previous post 12 Reasons to Try Chlorophyll

Alkalising Salts here (these are the ones I use)
Mega-Greens here

I hope this helps!


Friday, 13 August 2010

Are you working hard enough?

One of the biggest problems I see when it comes to people not getting the results they want is quite simply that they're not working hard enough.

Setting up a Direct Debit or Standing Order for a gym membership won't make you slim.

Sitting on the stationary bike, reading a book or watching TV - won't make you slim.

The majority of people, even the ones that DO use their gym memberships, don't get the results they want and end up saying something along the lines of "It just doesn't seem to work for me - I'm different".

Well the main problem is, you're probably not working hard enough. You might think that you are, but if you're not getting any results, you're probably not.

Here's a really simple way to increase your workout intensity - to start with, just do your normal workout, but complete it in 1/3 less time than it normally takes.

So if you're normally in the gym for 1 hour, aim to get the entire workout done in 40 minutes or less. Although you won't be doing any more, you'll be upping the intensity and working harder.

Obviously this won't work if your workout consists of "20 minutes on the bike, 15 minutes on the treadmill etc. etc." (which is NOT the best use of your time anyway and is likely the reason you're not getting any results!), but if it does, you should increase the speed or resistance/level you work at by 1/3, and cut 1/3 of the time off.

Just increasing the intensity like this will kick start your weight loss again. And once the workout becomes less challenging - up the weights or reps, increase the speeds and inclines, and decrease the rest.

As a bonus here, I'm going to suggest a great beginner level workout for fat loss, AND fitness.

Give this a try next time you're in the gym (ask an instructor if you're unsure of any of the exercises): -

Quick mobility warm-up (squats, lunges, rotations, side-bends, forward bend + overhead reaches...), maybe 5 mins on the X-Trainer at a low level to get you slightly out of breath.

Main Workout

A1) Squat + Press x10 (with a pair of light dumbbells, 3-5Kg's)
A2) Push-Ups x10 (either elevated, or off your knees if you can't do full push-ups)

Alternate between A1 and A2 with no more than 30seconds rest for 5 rounds

B1) 1-Arm Cable Row/Pull* x15 per arm Use a weight that's challenging for 15 reps
B2) 1-Arm Cable Press/Push* x 12 per arm Same weight should be fine

*(these video's were filmed using resistance bands, but are exactly the same for a cable machine)

Alternate between B1 and B2 with no rest for 3 rounds

Bench Step-Ups x15 per leg Repeat for 3 rounds with no rest

This should give your training... and your results, the boost they need.


And leave a comment below to let me know how you got on or if you have any questions :-)

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

A great "food trick" to control calories and over-eating

A great way to control your appetite, and aid in weight loss, is to eat a handful of nuts (almonds, pecans, walnuts etc) about 20 minutes before each meal. (Seeds would also be a great compliment to go with the raw nuts.)

Ideally eat them raw as it reduces the oxidation of polyunsaturated fats.

You need to do this about 20 minutes BEFORE your meal to give your brain time to recognize the nutrition and reduce your appetite.

This works because the healthy fats (yes, healthy fats), fibre, protein, and micronutrients in nuts help to satisfy a lot of the nutritional needs of your body, thus reducing your body's "eat" signal, since it recognises that it already has a lot of the nutrients it requires.

Doing this will also increase your intake of healthy, nutrient-rich calories, multiple times per day, not only reducing your food cravings and over-eating, but increasing the percentage of your calorie intake from healthy snacks as opposed to other, less healthy options.

This will help in decreasing body fat.

You might also want to try drinking a glass of water (filtered of course - not tap) with the nuts, 15-20 minutes before meals, since the body can sometimes mis-read thirst as hunger. So drinking a glass of water before meals can also help to reduce appetite and prevent you from over-eating, or eating when you're actually just thirsty.

Give it a try - you might be pleasantly surprised! :)

Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Mark's Ten Top Tips for Healthy Living

It’s not what you do occasionally that has the biggest impact on your life, it’s what you do consistently, day in, day out.

So with that in mind, here are my top ten tips to leading a healthier lifestyle.

1. Drink only filtered or bottled water, and drink it from a BPA-free plastic bottle, or from a stainless steel or glass bottle. The plastic bottles that most people use leach plastic into your drink, and if you can taste plastic – you’re drinking plastic! This, and the amount of crap that’s in tap water (see video below) might not kill you – after all, it hasn’t up til now – but it WILL have an adverse effect on your health, and you may have problems that you haven’t even thought could be down to the water you’re drinking.

If you drink this EVERY day, the effects of it will build up over time and could cause all sorts of problems.

2. Drink at least 1 litre of water per 50lbs body weight. For most people this is 2-3litres. Carry a large bottle around with you and make sure you drink from it regularly to meet your quota!

*Quick tip*
If you’re not used to adequately hydrating yourself, you may find yourself rushing to the toilet every ten minutes when you start. Add a pinch of sea salt to your water. Just a pinch (if you can taste it you’ve added too much. And no, table salt won’t do!). This will help with electrolyte balance and you won’t be rushing to the loo quite so often.

3. Choose the HEALTHIER option. You don’t have to eat like a rabbit to be slim and healthy. Just make sure that when you’re choosing your meals, you choose the healthier option. It’s not rocket science, but if you consistently choose the healthier option, you’re saving yourself from a LOT of extra, unnecessary carbs/fat/toxins.

4. Take nutritional supplements. This isn’t a replacement for food, and doesn’t mean you can stop eating your greens, it’s just an extra boost to your diet that will help keep you healthy. A good quality multi-vitamin, fish oil/Omega-3, and a green drink will go a LONG way to keeping you fighting fit. But don’t be cheap - you get what you pay for with supplements so get the most expensive one you can afford – this is your health we’re talking about after all!

5. Get enough sleep. Sounds simple, but all sorts of chemical and hormonal processes go on while you sleep that are essential for balancing out your body and everything that’s gone on during the day. Make sure you get enough quality sleep. Go to bed earlier, and get up at the same time every morning (even at weekends if possible) – this will help to get your body clock into a rhythm and will help your sleep patterns no end. Also, make sure you sleep in a dark room, NO light whatsoever – that little standby light on your telly – cover it! Got an alarm clock that lights up or flashes – change it! And, this is very important, don’t take your phone to bed with you! – the electro-magnetic signals and radiation given off by your phone disrupt your sleep pattern, AND, subconsciously, leaving your phone on tells your mind that you’re expecting a call/text and your mind won’t fully rest.
If you use your phone as an alarm, BUY AN ALARM CLOCK! (Or most phones now will allow you to turn them off, and the alarm will still go off).

6. Exercise daily. This doesn’t have to be a 10 mile run, or a 2 hour workout in the gym. It all adds up. Even if you only have 15 minutes spare, use it effectively. It might not seem worth it, but if you’re doing it EVERY day, it’ll soon add up and make a BIG difference to your health and fitness.

If you are short on time and want some intense 15-minute workouts that’ll boost your metabolism and leave you burning calories all day, you can check out my book Fab In 15 Minutes – it’s got 20 workouts, all 15-20 minutes long, that you can do at home with little or no equipment.

Check it out here:

7. Get some sun! Not only will the fresh air do you the world of good – getting away from the false, air-conditioned environment many of us work in – but sunlight is essential for health.

Get at least an hour or so of sunlight every day. And if you really can’t (but seriously – can you really not go outside for your lunch break? (and NOT for a cigarette!)), then take a good vitamin D supplement. This would also be a good idea in the winter months when the sun isn’t so forthcoming!
Sunbed’s DO NOT count and have been proven time and again to be bad for you. AVOID THEM! Get some real sunlight.

8. Take time for yourself. This may sound strange, but stress is one of the biggest causes of disease. A body without stress won’t get sick. If you can take any amount of time out to just relax, take your mind off things and appreciate all that you have, then you’ll be on your way to relieving stress.

Meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises are all good. Or you could just take 30 minutes out to sit and relax, go for a walk, listen to some relaxing music... ANYTHING that relaxes you.
This is so powerful, yet consistently overlooked by 99% of people. Whether you believe it or not, give it a go for a week or two and see what happens... I dare you.

9. Cut back on watching TV. Not only will the extra time you have enable you to exercise, enjoy more time with family and friends, prepare healthier meals and a million other things, but it will also save you from mind-numbing TV shows which really don’t do you any favours or stimulate your brain.

Select the main programmes that you really can’t miss, and scrap the rest. You could read a book instead!

10. Laugh! You’ve heard the saying that laughter is the best medicine. Well it really is! Laughing has many effects on the body including stress relief, improving immune function, strengthening core muscles and your diaphragm...

To see more of the effects laughter has on our bodies, take a look here:

And a bonus number 11 - Take your shoes off. There are so many benefits to walking barefoot. Our feet have evolved without shoes! I’m not saying take a stroll down the high street barefoot, but when you’re at home, in the garden, in the park, or anywhere that’s safe to take your shoes off.

Not only will this strengthen your feet, ankles, knees, hips and back, but it could also help alleviate knee, hip and back problems.

I personally do ALL of my training barefoot, inside or outside (when the gym don’t moan at me), and if I do wear shoes, I wear the thinnest, least supportive ones I can find (such as Vibram FiveFingers, or some cheap water shoes – very thin, flexible soles, no support or cushioning etc.)

To read more on going barefoot, you can read an article I wrote a couple of years ago (called Barefoot Is Best) here:

If you can do all of these things I assure you you’ll feel ten times better than you do now (unless you’re already doing them, in which case I congratulate you!).

To your Health!


Friday, 25 June 2010

What's in Your Drinking Water?

Many prominent scientists are alarmed by the content of some drinking water and actively seek to change the processes involved. The practice of making water safe to drink actually involves adding large amounts of extremely poisonous chemicals to it. Key scientists are now providing evidence that long-term ingestion of small amounts of chemicals like these could be the cause of some major health problems.

Here is a list of just a few of the chemicals routinely added to our water supply:

Liquified chlorine
Fluorosilicic acid
Aluminium sulphate
Calcium hydroxide
Sodium silicofluoride

Even if the water leaves the source in a relatively clean state, don't forget that your water travels through pipes, which may have been underground since Victorian times. It is almost impossible for the water not to become contaminated by something undesirable.

Contaminants in Tap Water

Tap water is treated with a large number of chemicals in order to kill bacteria and other microorganisms. In addition, it may contain other undesirable contaminants like toxic metal salts, hormones and pesticides, or it may become contaminated by chemicals or microbes within pipes (e.g. lead, bacteria, protozoa).

Typical Tap Water Content:

Fluorine compounds
Trihalomethanes (THMs)
Salts of:
- arsenic
- radium
- aluminium
- copper
- lead
- mercury
- cadmium
- barium

Testing Your Own Water

You can assess the quality of your water by testing for Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) with a TDS meter which reads the TDS instantly and gives a read-out in parts per million (ppm) TDS. Generally, water with a TDS of 500 ppm or more is regarded as unfit for consumption. Most tap water ranges from 150 to 420 ppm TDS. A Reverse Osmosis system typically produces water with a TDS of 90 - 95% of the incoming water.

Fluoride in water

Another very important health hazard is fluoride, which is added by some water authorities in the UK, and is also present in many toothpastes and mouthwashes. Around 10% of the UK’s water supply is fluoridated, despite a huge and ever-growing body of evidence that the science behind this mass medication programme is questionable to say the least.

Fluoridation of water is banned in all other European countries. (see the Flouride Action Network - Statements from European Health Authorities).

For still more information on the dangers of fluoride, visit these links:

Thirty fluoride links from Dr Mercola’s site (USA)
Fluoride Action Network (USA)
Finally, you may wish to review the Scientific Facts on the Biological Effects of Fluorides.


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

12 Reasons to try Chlorophyll

1 - Contains Chlorophyllin
Chlorophyllin is a key derivative of Chlorophyll, with research demonstrating that it possesses several potential health benefits.

2 - Is an Antioxidant
Scientists believe that a portion of Chlorophyll's therapeutic capabilities lies in its capacity to neutralise free-radicals and limit oxidative damage.

3 - Acts as an Anti-Cancer Agent
Several animal and in vitro studies have shown that Chlorophyll (or its derivatives such as Chlorophyllin) possess anti-carcinogenic properties - the ability to prevent or slow Cancer. Successful findings have included several types of cancer, including liver, stomach and colon cancers.

4 - Protects Against Toxins
Scientists have repeatedly found that Chlorophyll and its derivatives can protect against toxins and the effects of those toxins, including abnormal cell death and carcigonesis (onset of cancer).

5 - Supports Health of Blood Cells
Researchers believe that Chlorophyll improves the health of blood cells, and that it may increase the uptake of oxygen in the blood. Some experts attribute this to some similarities between Chlorophyll and hemoglobin.

6 - Increases Energy Levels
Partially due to the blood-friendly attributes of Chlorophyll and its ability to detoxify, Chlorophyll may allow the body to optimize its energy production.

7 - Enhances Immune Function
Studies indicate that Chlorophyllin was able to increase the number of and activity of various immune cells, including T cells, B cells, and macrophages. These cells are some of the crucial components of the body's immune defences.

8 - Supports Cardiovascular System
Due to Chlorophyll's antioxidant properties, it may help prevent the oxidation of LDL (the "bad" cholesterol), thereby lowering the risk of cardiovascular disease and related conditions.

9 - Minimizes Side Effects of Chemotherapy
Scientists have shown that Chlorophyllin is successful in thwarting the undesired side effects of the chemotherapeutic agent cyclophosphamide.

10 - May Reduce Risk of Kidney Stones
Research suggests that Chlorophyll may help protect against calcium oxalate stone disease (one variety of kidney stones).

11 - Eliminates Odour
Findings from different studies indicate that Chlorophyll may eliminate or reduce odours associated with colostomies and urinary disorders.

12 - It's Alkalising
Many studies now have proven the benefits of alkalising the body, reducing the acidic environment needed for disease and parasites to thrive in. By drinking Chlorophyll, you are helping to neutralise the acid and prevent many health problems relating to the acidic environment.

How can Chlorophyll help prevent disease? First of all, Chlorophyll appears to have an affinity for blood (which may be explained by some similarities between it and hemoglobin cells). Some research suggests that Chlorophyll can increase oxygen uptake in the blood, which can increase energy, relieve fatigue, and improve certain blood disorders.

Chlorophyll also supplies the much-needed micronutrient magnesium, which is lacking in today's common diet, and can contribute to increased energy levels.

It also possesses antioxidant capabilities, which may account for some of its reported benefits.

Finally, Chlorophyll is a vital component of the plant kingdom. Since we know that a diet high in plant-based foods significantly reduces the risk of a wide range of diseases, it can be assumed that the Chlorophyll intake plays a part in that risk reduction.

I rarely drink water without this now!

You can get it by clicking any of the links above (Chlorophyll) or by clicking the TopQualitySupplements link on the right side of this page.


Monday, 14 June 2010

Every man needs a good WOMAN...

It's true.

Come to think of it, every woman needs a good woman.

What am I talking about?


These are all essential for health, and without any one of these, you're pushing your luck for staying healthy.

Water is the most essential element and we can't go for more than a couple of days without water before our body starts to shut down.

Most people are wlaking around in a constant state of dehydration, and as a result of this, suffer joint pain, back pain, headaches, and limited function of every organ in their body. Inadequate hydration has so many effects on the body I can't even begin to list them.

Suffice to say that it is imperative that you stay properly hydrated for your body to function properly.

A good rule of thumb is to drink 1 litre of water per 50lbs bodyweight.

And no, tea, coffee, alcohol, fizzy drinks, ANYTHING other than water just won't do.

Oxygen is again, essential for life. I feel like I'm insulting your intelligence just by pointing this out! Yet as obvious as this is, people don't breath properly!

Yes, we breath, but we don't breath fully, using our entire lungs and abdomen. Long, deep breaths of clean, fresh air are what we need for health, not the shallow, hunched over breaths we take most of the time.

Take time out every day to take 10 or 15 deep breaths. Take a deep, belly breath in for 5 seconds, hold for 10, and exhale for 10.

This will help to oxygenate your blood, improve lymph drainage (clear the crap out of your body), and expand your ribcage.

Sounds simple, but do this every day and it WILL have an impact.

On top of that, try to pay attention to your breathing. If you find yourself slumped over a computer desk, sit up, and take deep breaths for as long as you can remember to. Then when you find yourself slumped over again, repeat! Do this until your body remember to sit tall and BREATHE!

Minerals - All of the biochemical reactions that take place in your body require minerals, they are also required to maintain proper cell function.

Unfortunately most of the foods that plague our diets these days are severely deficient in vitamins and minerals, meaning we're left devoid of these valuable minerals.

This leaves our bodies chemically imbalanced, and makes it impossible to maintain optimal health.

Simply eating a healthier diet, with more fresh vegetables and fruit will help, but a good mineral supplement such as Colloidal Minerals will also go a long way towards helping.

Alkalinity - This one you may not have heard of, but research shows that disease, fungus, parasites and many other health problems like cancer, heart disease, premature ageing, obesity, allergies, fatigue, can all come from a having an acidic body.

In fact, most diseases (including cancer), and all parasites (which studies suggest up to 85% of people have) NEED an acidic environment to live.

So if you can make your body alkaline, instead of acidic, the health benefits are almost immeasurable!

And this is easily done by following a healthy diet, and using a green drink such a Liquid Chlorophyll, which are alkaline and will help to shift your pH levels back to where we want them. Aside from that, eat plenty of alkalising foods.

You can find out more about alkaline diets here.

Nutrition - Good nutrition is essential to health and wellbeing. It encompasses all of the above and more.

You need to be well hydrated, obtaining all of the essential vitamins and minerals from your diet (even if that means supplementing to fill the gaps), and cutting out ALL foods and drinks that are detrimental to your health.

If you haven't downloaded it yet, enter your name and e-mail in the box on the right of this page, and I'll send you some healthy eating hints and tips that will steer you in the right direction.

If you're interested, I use the following supplements on a regular basis, along with daily exercise and a healthy, balanced diet: -

Liquid Chlorophyll (to clean blood and alkalise body)
Omega Blend (I'm sure you've heard of the benefits of Omega 3 fatty acids...)
Super Supplemental Multi-vitamins (to help supplement what's missing from our food)
Colloidal Minerals
Vitamin C (just get the best one you can afford, ideally with Lyceine)
Vitamin D (Same as above, best you can afford - or just get more sun!)

I'm sure now no-one will disagree that everyone needs a good WOMAN. So go get one! :)


Wednesday, 26 May 2010

Tried Yoga yet?

I truly believe in a well-rounded approach to fitness, trying to incorporate as many different forms of training into my routine as possible.

Until recently I'd only "dabbled" in yoga. Taking a class here and there, when I get the chance.

But earlier this year I started to take more of an interest and recorded a couple of those follow-along-at-home yoga programmes on Sky. And I liked!

Now these aren't my favourite programmes to follow, but they piqued my interest and got me looking into the different styles a bit more.

Having always done Martial Arts, and being a big fan of Scott Sonnon's work, I quickly found a couple of styles that I preferred (though I'm still not sure of what their particular names are).

Being an active person, I'm more into the "flowing" yoga, moving swiftly and smoothly from one posture to the next in sequence. Rather than holding a position for 10 minutes until you get bored or fall asleep (whichever comes first!).

And of all of these, there are a couple I've found that I highly recommend.

These are:
Simon Low's Yin Yang Yoga (The Yang sequence)

Trudie Styler's Warrior Yoga

And most notably, Prasara Yoga, from CST coach Ryan Hurst.

This is delivered electronically (download) and has 5 "Flows" - Wind, SeeSaw, Cricket, Ocean and Vine.

I can't recommend this enough, it has instructional videos for every section as well as follow-along sequences, with 3 difficulty levels so you'll be able to follow along whatever your current ability.

You also get a course manual explaining all of the moves and sequences too.

I bought this a couple of weeks ago and love it. If you're looking to get into yoga, then you should start here! (Ok, maybe this one's a bit more challenging than the previous two suggestions, but you've got to challenge yourself hey?!)

Take a look at their website here: Prasara Yoga
and I highly recommend you give it a go!

If you're not as convinced as I am that this will benefit you in numerous ways, just ask for a refund within 60 days! NO RISK at all!

And you can even download the video's to your iPod or iPhone to take to the gym with you!

I've definitely noticed an improvement in my flexibility since doing yoga, and, although some are still very challenging, am getting to grips with the postures and movements and feeling more and more benefit as I do.

It's not just for old people and hippies, Yoga really IS for everyone. If you can keep your joints and spine healthy, the benefits will be priceless! Less aches and pains, more freedom of movement, and you'll feel great after each session.

I really, REALLY recommend giving it a go. And the options I've listed above are, I believe, a great place to start.

Let me know how you get on.


Saturday, 1 May 2010

Are you Fuzzy?! ...And do you want the Antidote?

Everyone knows that we're supposed to move more. But what happens if we don't?

Do we just get fat and lazy? Or does something more happen that makes it harder for us when we DO eventually decide to move?

I think "The Fuzz Speech" explains this pretty well, and shows why I advocate DAILY movement/exercise, yoga, and manual therapies like massage.

The same holds true for injuries - it may be a good idea to rest for the initial day or two after the injury, but the sooner you can get moving again (doesn't have to be hard exercise, just move), the better.

Here's the Fuzz speech:

And here, as promised, is (I won't say THE, but AN) antidote. Frank Forencich is a movement coach and works along the same principals that I believe in. He's written a number of books that are well worth a read, particularly "Play as if your life depends on it".

He may look like a loony in this video, and you might look like a bit of a nutcase doing it, but who cares?! It's good for you, feels great, and if you're really bothered, you can do it in the privacy of your own home each morning to start your day!

The/An Antidote:

Do this daily and you'll soon start to feel the difference!


Sunday, 21 February 2010

A Quick Note on Supplements

There are so many supplements available today that most people don't know what to take and for what reasons.

Many people take multi-vitamins with no idea what they're actually supposed to be getting from them, and this could be the reason that well-known companies are making a LOT of money selling cheap supplements.

I can assure you that if they're cheap to buy, they're cheap to make - which means cheap ingredients, and most importantly NO RESULTS!

Your health should be your first priority. People have no problems paying the extra for an upgrade to their car, or the bigger, better TV etc., yet when it comes to supplements for their health, they choose the cheapest option available.

Are you one of these people?

If so, it's probably not your fault. You've taken supplements before and not noticed any difference, so why pay more?!

Well hopefully I've explained that (though very briefly) above.

For the record, the supplements that I recommend are Nature's Sunshine Products, they're all natural and organic or wild-crafted ingredients. And although they're more expensive than your average supermarket or high street brands, it's for good reason - THEY WORK!

A good friend of mine has also recently pointed me in the direction of Fulvic Acid.

Watch the video's below, where he's interviewing Peter Gouge, the Technical Director of The Fulvic Acid Company.

Hopefully you'll learn why it's important to go for quality rather than price when it comes to supplements.

You can visit the Fulvic Acid Company's website at

You can also visit the Nature's Sunshine website and take the free health analysis questionnaire to find out which of your body systems might need strengthening, and what supplements are best for you, rather than guessing!

You can take the analysis here

In Health,


Friday, 19 February 2010

Exercise Video's


Just a really quick post today to let you know (if you don't already) about the exercise video's I've posted on YouTube.

Check out my channel

There's a few exercises you can try, some you'll have seen before, some you might not.

Be sure to subscribe to the channel so you can see when I post new video's.

Also, if you haven't got your Gymboss Interval Timer yet, I highly recommend them. Best thing I ever bought with regards to training!

Get yours here


Friday, 29 January 2010

Need some inspiration?


Apologies for the lack of posts recently. But this should be a good one to get back into things again.

I recently (today in fact) had an e-mail from someone asking his mailing list for inspirational video's that he can show his students, which reminded me of a few that I've seen that really get you thinking.

Take a look, if none of these inspire you, then I don't know what will...

I hope you can draw some inspiration from these, especially this time of year when people tend to fall off the wagon with regards to their new years resolutions.

Stick with it. You can't win the game if you don't play. So if your goal is weight loss, better fitness, or ANYTHING - you need to do something about it!