08 5 / 2012
A recent study by Loughborough University has investigated the success of Nikes Girls in Sport Initiative. The study looked into the attitudes of girls towards PE. For a lot of young girls, PE at school will be their first experience of exercise. It is vital that this is a good experience. How else can we expect young people to want to exercise?
The initiative aimed to bring in more female friendly options to PE lessons such as aerobics, pilates and dance. Traditional school activities may be off putting to many girls. Competitive sport is not everyone’s cup of tea, and neither is wearing gym knickers in a field in the freezing cold. Many girls feel embarrassed or are just not interested. Schools have an obligation to make it interesting! Students should not be forced to participate, they should want to. The study has shown promising results with increased participation in the vast majority of schools who took part. Obesity levels are rising, and physical activity levels in children are falling. It is extremely important for all schools to be aware of what will encourage students to participate in exercise.
My own first PE lesson at secondary school consisted of the whole year running round a field and being timed. The fastest 10, for all I could see, were from then on the only girls that would ever gain anything from PE. They would be good at everything; hockey, netball, swimming, cross-country and athletics, while everyone else would dread PE for the next 3 years. I saw PE lessons as pointless and had no idea why it was so important I had to have different socks for netball and hockey. I still do not understand that one to be honest. However, towards the end of school the activities offered in PE were much more varied and we got to decide for ourselves which we would enjoy the most. I looked forward to PE much more from then on.
Students should be introduced to activities that they will look forward to and hopefully continue to engage in for years. How many girls do you know who play netball in their forties?
23 4 / 2012
What is it that stops people succeeding? Put your mind to anything and surely you can achieve it. What is stopping you? What is tempting you to change your mind about achieving something you really want to do? Or should I say who? If you say no to some chocolate, everyone assumes you are trying to starve yourself into oblivion. Mention you are going on a diet and you have a crowd of people trying to convince you that you don’t need to. Why do people do this? What if you genuinely do need to? Or even just want to? Why are people obsessed with feeding people? Eating healthy makes you an outcast. Going to the gym makes you boring. Why? Do people not want each other to succeed? Is it that subconsciously people don’t want you to succeed? The truth is you can live a perfectly exciting life whilst saying no to a biscuit at break time! We are a nation of feeders!
Fair enough, we all have a friend who is trying to lose weight who blatantly doesn’t need to but if it makes them feel healthier why not? Just because someone is thin doesn’t mean their diet is not highly questionable. In fact some of the thinnest people I know are the most unhealthy. If eating healthily or losing weight will make someone lead a healthy and happy life why not help them? Believe it or not you can be sociable without having to eat the fattiest meal on a menu, and craziest of all, healthy food can taste really nice! Surprising to some, but true.
Now not that I am saying the responsibility doesn’t lie with you, ultimately it does, you have the power to say no. I am just saying it would be nice if you could go an hour without a chocolate biscuit being shoved in your face! Remember to your part though, take some time to think about someone you know who is trying to achieve something important to them, weight loss, a healthy lifestyle, a new hobby, anything. Are you making it easy for them? Or are you, maybe without even meaning to, making it a little bit more likely they will fail? Support people in their decisions, if it makes them happy let them embrace it.
04 3 / 2012
When trying to live a healthy lifestyle you are constantly being given conflicting information on what you should or shouldn’t be eating. Fat is no exception. Is all fat bad? Will all fat make you fat? Unfortunately whatever fat you eat, large amounts of fat = fat. However, if you learn to spot the bad kinds and eat the good kinds in the right amounts, fats can equal lower levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, glossy hair and healthy skin.
Let’s start with the good. Check your labels! You want to be eating unsaturated fats! These are found in oily fish, nuts and seeds and sunflower and olive oils. These are the fats that actually lower cholesterol and should be included two to three times a week in your diet.
Now for the bad. SATURATES! Found in meats, cheese, cream, butter, chocolate, cakes and so on. The government recommends no more than 30 grams of saturated fats a day for men and 20 grams per day for women. These fats have the opposite effect of unsaturated fats as they raise your cholesterol levels increasing your risk of heart disease.
Trans-fats, the plain ugly. Avoid these. These fats are mainly artificially made through a process called hydrogenation which is used in food processing to harden oils. This method is often used to give products a longer shelf life. They are commonly found in margarine, biscuits, cakes and some take aways. Trans-fats are seen to be so detrimental to health that many doctors are demanding a ban on them. Our bodies do not require this type of fat in any quantity so remember to check you labels and choose your treats carefully!
Getting the most from your fat
· Always check labels. It’s not just about calories!
· Use olive oil for cooking instead of butter or lard.
· Avoid solid fats as these are usually bad, saturated fats.
· Snack on nuts and seeds instead of chocolate and cakes!
· Eat oily fish instead of meat a couple of times a week.
· Choose lean cuts of meat and cut off any visible fat.
· Remember all fats have 9 calories per gram compared to the 4 per gram of protein or carbohydrates so don’t go overboard on any type of fat!
· Everything in moderation is key!
Visit www.zestwellness.co.uk for more information :)
21 2 / 2012
It’s pancake day! Actually, sorry to be boring but I don’t like pancakes. What I do like about pancake day, however, is the seemingly magical motivation effect that comes from the following 40 days and 40 nights.
Although rent is used for religious reasons, many people use it to kick start their health, regardless of their religion. 40 days to get into a good habit, whether it is giving something up or taking something up.
I personally find lent gives me a clear timeframe in which my motivation stays much higher than any other time of the year. I tell people what I am planning in doing for lent and that keeps me going. It’s natural to fall off into an unhealthy lifestyle occasionally, but remember to use every excuse to get yourself remotivated, excited and ready to feel healthy, energised and generally fantastic. Yay!
20 2 / 2012
End of competition and I am intrigued to find out how everyone has done :)
12 2 / 2012
12 2 / 2012
Yes, exercise can be intimidating! But is this a reason to avoid it? Maybe it is about time to be courageous, take that leap…and make your pal come along for moral support!
Whether it’s your husband of 10 years or your friend of thirty, let’s face it, it is more fun to look like a fool together than alone! Although, the only person who thinks you look like a fool is probably yourself!
Apart from the moral support your fitness partner of crime will provide, they may also bring you several other benefits.
First, and most importantly, they make it fun! Mixing your social life in with your exercising habits stops it becoming a chore. You look forward to it. You’re excited to carry on the conversation about Jill from work, not that you gossip at all… What I mean to say is that your in-depth conversation about current affairs will distract you from any boredom or discomfort you may have spent the whole time focusing on alone. Time flies away as fast as the weight falls off!
Maybe having someone there with you will give you the extra push to try something new. Try something you have always wanted to do but just not felt confident enough to. You want to enjoy exercise, you probably won’t love the first thing you try. So try, try, try again and you will get there. You will find what you love, and you will keep doing it, because you want to! Fancy getting fit and healthy from something you enjoy? You can!
You can laugh about the fun times and support each other when it gets hard. You can push each other to do that extra five minutes, or that extra session which all adds up to that healthy body you want. Be each other’s personal trainers! There are plenty of exercises which require a partner as well the obvious sports you can take up as a twosome. Racket sports are fun to play whilst burning plenty of calories and vastly improving fitness levels and coordination. What else could you want?
Exercising with a friend allows you both to reach goals you may not have previously thought about. You will be less likely to give up as you will be more motivated to continue. It is crazy how many people think that being healthy is making a choice to be strict and not happy. I believe the opposite is true, being healthy means doing things you enjoy, having fun and loving life.
And remember, if all else fails, depending on your partner’s fitness level, you could end up looking like an Olympic athlete!
Happy Valentine’s Day!
30 1 / 2012
30 1 / 2012
Camera’s at the ready!
I would love to see what makes you guys happy, what makes’s you want to keep going, and what makes you feel rather proud of yourself :)
I know as well as anyone how hard it can be to stay motivated for a healthy lifestyle, but reminding myself of things that make me feel postive has an amazing effect.
Something teeny tiny can make you feel as good as achieving massive milestones. I want to see the small and the big things that are important to you.
Whether it is a healthy meal you cooked, an encouraging quote or picture you saw, a picture of the family who make you want to do well or a picture of you at the end of a marathon, I want to see it!
Get your pictures sent to firstname.lastname@example.org with a reason why it makes you happy, even if the reason is ‘just because’ :)
21 1 / 2012
With the 1st third of the competition nearly over it is important not to let your motivation slip!
Remind yourself of the goals you wrote down. They are clearly important to you!
Get rid of what you know will tempt you! Sure, everything in moderation will not hurt you and will fit in with a healthy lifestyle. However, keep a record of how you feel. Do you feel fantastic or flabby after eating ice cream? If its the latter cut it out! Why would you want to make yourself feel bad as well as preventing yourself reaching your goals?