The past 18 months have been like no other - our lives have been dictated by lockdowns and a virus that refuses to go away! As a consequence, many of us are under a lot more stress than normal. Click on the video above to have a chat with Naturopath Leisa Blanch from Gisborne Health Essentials on the stress response and lifestyle choices you can make to help mitigate symptoms.
It's fair to so say it's been a while since I've got the heels out and dressed up for for a social event.....And when I could, boy was I excited! It was my husbands surprise 40th and it was time to paint the town red - so with new heels and a new outfit I was ready to party!
Lately, women are becoming more and more confident around the idea of ‘fabulous at 40’. But is that really how you feel…? Or, do you feel like you are on a rollercoaster ride of emotional and physical symptoms, ups and downs? Are your tests all ‘normal’ and you’re told there are no pathological reasons for the way you feel? How many times have you been told you feel the way you do because ‘you’re a busy mum’ or because it’s ‘normal’?
Each year, I love to research the fitness trends for the forthcoming year. It's fascinating how much the industry has evolved and adapted over time and still continues to prosper; even through global pandemics! So when I started to look at what we should expect to see in 2021, a recurring theme kept popping up - "Exercise is medicine." So what does this refer to?
It's well established that exercise is beneficial for physical, mental and social reasons. It's most likely why everyone has a completely different agenda for working out! Did you know that people who exercise regularly are more likely to classify themselves as 'happy' compared to those who don't?
Comparison encompasses many facets of our lives including social, emotional, physical and material thought processes. How often do we look at others wishing we had their 'boobs' or their 'booty' or their skin type? We all do it - I am definitely guilty of this!
2020 has been ________? (Insert adjective of choice here). As Victorians emerge from harsh restrictions and we are liberated to move about more, we can openly see optimism creep back in. The spring weather has arrived, the days are longer and we have developed somewhat of a routine again - life seems 'reasonably' normal for the first time in a loooooooooong time!
This year, more than most, we need to hit ‘refresh’ on so many levels. As we’ve discussed in previous blogs, higher cortisol (the hormone created as a response to stress) can mean we have not only put on more weight, it also doesn’t want the body to lose it. So, in this blog, we are going to chat about having a genuine and stable self-worth based upon validating, affirming, and valuing ourselves as we are - belly and all - and therefore being able to choose a lifestyle that fully supports our health and wellbeing.
Ever felt completely stressed out, tense, and irritated, only to realise later that you just really needed to do a poo? Being constipated affects not only our physical wellbeing, but our mood, too and it is a surprisingly common problem that is rarely talked about. But when you have long term constipation, your gut (and probably your mood) is telling you that something needs to change.
Constant consumption of negative and fear-inducing news can induce chronic stress. The ready availability of high-sugar and refined carbohydrates in our foods creates chronic inflammation in our bodies and brains. As a result of the current world state, we are winding up in constant pursuit of instant gratification through our foods and our use of social media.
If you're anything like me, as you get older you need to do a really good warm up before even attempting to exercise! Coupled with that, stretching and rolling are also paramount in enabling me to continue working out going forward. So what sort of stretching do we do and when do we do it?
Most people know what macronutrients are - the carbohydrates, fats and proteins we consume in large amounts in order to provide energy for metabolism to occur, amongst other things. They are the fuel to make our 'engine run.' Micronutrients on the other hand are required in smaller amounts and are essential far many different processes throughout the body. They orchestrate a whole range of functions from bone growth to brain function and must be consumed in our diet for optimum health as our bodies cannot make them on our own.
Our autonomic nervous system is involuntary and consists of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system. These 2 systems can work together however have opposing effects. They can be referred to as our 'fight or flight' system (sympathetic) or our 'rest and digest' (parasympathetic) system
Well, July has certainly been a month we would like to forget! The lingering impacts of coronavirus have seen soaring numbers and restrictions reinstated. We had hoped to avoid the second wave but alas, here we are! Whilst we are fortunate to live in the Macedon Ranges, I felt it would be a good time to further discuss why it's more important than ever to practise physical / social distancing.
All sports and activities involve movement in different planes of motion. Exercise involves the distribution of weight through a variety of movements such as unilateral (single arm or leg) and bilateral (2 arms or legs) exercises. If you're anything like me, you will notice that movements on one side (usually your non-dominant side) can be very awkward and lack any sort of grace! Consequently, we seem to recruit the side we know best to perform many functional activities - but what happens over time if we don't balance ourselves out?
Aussies are in love with activewear! Athleisure has been popular for some time however since COVID began, it really started taking over the fashion space. People are wearing activewear all day because they can work in comfort, and then train in comfort and don’t have to get changed
Anecdotally, the more I speak to people, the more I realise how many of us have niggling shoulder complaints - me included! Whilst we all like to keep fit and active, as we get older we are more prone to overuse injuries. So why is the shoulder such a common joint to injure?
It's dark, oh so very dark in the mornings and by the time you finish work for the day, it's dark again. In the mornings, your flannelette sheets are hugging you like a warm blanket and you have little inclination to get out of bed.... Sound familiar? Well what if you change your mindset and look at the positives of exercising during the winter months rather than dwelling on the negatives?
Hello again! If you've been watching the news recently, you would have seen that cholesterol was the health focus this week. This insidious pathology is becoming quite concerning and health care professionals are worried that it isn't being taken seriously....
I think we have all gained a new perspective and appreciation for life 'pre COVID'. After being forced into isolation and having to drastically change the way we do things, it has become apparent that we may have taken some things for granted.
The Heart Foundation have done surveys and found that the pandemic has turned households’ usual eating habits upside down, with 54 per cent of people admitting to letting themselves go! It found 29 per cent were eating more to relieve stress and boredom, while 26 per cent were eating more desserts and nearly a quarter were snacking more than their usual habits.
After living the past few months following strict social distancing rules, we are now at the exciting phase of gradually reopening. Whilst Australia has been monumental in limiting spread of coronavirus, it has certainly been a challenging time for many. The health impact has certainly been less than predicted (at this stage anyway) however the economic impact is unprecedented! We have seen so many people impacted throughout the course of this pandemic with lives changed overnight.
It’s official, our lifestyles have had a forced overhaul since lockdown. Life as we knew it changed overnight and that included what we were putting in our mouths! Now I’m sure all of you are having a chuckle thinking yep – I’ve definitely tweaked my diet a little……
I feel a little privileged being able to contribute to the Change it Up community during these very unusual times. Kelly and Louise have asked that I take a slightly different angle and see if we can shine a light on some of the financial considerations during the pandemic as we all appreciate that our financial health has a huge bearing on our physical and mental health.
Isolation can either be a time to be more sedentary or you can really ramp up your physical activity! You are the master of your destiny and can draw on this opportunistic time to find new and innovative ways to work out. Many people are turning to apps and virtual training in a bid to keep moving during this time, whilst others are getting outdoors and hitting the trails in the beautiful autumn weather. Whatever you choose something is better than nothing!
I'm not sure about the rest of you but I've been in the kitchen more than ever during isolation! I'm trying make healthier choices by baking my own treats rather than resorting to pre-packaged goodies. Have you noticed that you've been wanting to snack more now that you're spending a lot more time at home? Why is this??
So with the world immersed in coronavirus and more information coming to hand about its pathology, I thought I would share with you some information regarding how you can best prepare your body to fight infection.
As human beings we cannot 'not think.' Our mind is always occupied by thoughts, whether we want to or not, and they influence our every action. The subconscious mind innately draws on situational issues and endeavours to process them to achieve an outcome. At this current time, I have no doubt that our subconscious mind has a lot of information to process and decompress! Whilst we are certainly not downplaying the life changing events that have taken place this week, we do want to provide you with some optimism and give you some strategies to help deal with negative situations. Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life and can be good for both your physical and mental health.
Wow - what a week! I don't recall ever going through such a dynamic time where things were evolving daily. We've seen the abrupt cessation of our fitness classes (*insert sad emoji), social distancing enforced and group gatherings limited. The holistic impact on our community is far reaching and unprecedented - so what can we do to maintain some routine and functionality in our lives during this time?
As we enter another week, the dynamic perpetuation of COVID-19 continues to evolve as the number of infections in Australia starts to grow. In our last blog, we gave you some insight into what the virus is and what we were doing to mitigate spread. Given how topical coronavirus is currently and how things are changing daily, we thought we would provide you with some epidemiology of COVID-19 and what the latest recommendations are.
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause a wide range of symptoms from the common cold to more severe disease states such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome). Coronaviruses are transmitted from animals to humans however the current novel coronavirus has not been detected in humans before.
There are two different forms of inflammation in our body. Most of us are aware of acute inflammation - a healthy response that serves to protect and repair the body from something damaging (such as in infected wound or strained muscle). This can manifest as redness, swelling or pus and is a vital part of the bodies immune response. Chronic inflammation however is not part of the bodies healing process. It is a slow and long-term inflammatory process that often goes unnoticed until it manifests as a disease state
I've been wanting to write about this topic since I attended a training day recently on the psychology of interpersonal relationships. You know how there are certain agendas that resonate with you? Well fast forward a week and couple the knowledge I gained from this professional education day plus watching the Taylor Swift documentary on Netflix (which I highly recommend!) and I present to you this weeks blog......
Sweating like a pig in this humidity? You're not alone! I thought it might be timely to discuss why we sweat, how we can monitor our hydration and the best way to re-hydrate. This weeks blog also features some advice from Naturopaths Leisa Blanche and Nicole Woodcock on their preferred products for staying hydrated. I hope you enjoy the read!
Metabolism- what exactly is it??? It's a term we hear used regularly within the fitness industry however many people don't fully understand what it is and how it affects our body? In this blog, I thought I would enlighten you on some of the simple facts about metabolism.
In my experience, observationally we are seeing more and more people suffering from mental health issues in our society. According to the black dog institute, one in five Australians (20%) aged 16-85 experience a mental illness in any year and almost half (45%) of Australians will experience mental illness in their lifetime. The onset of mental health is typically around mid-to-late adolescence in Australia and the 18-24 year old cohort have the highest prevalence of mental health than any other age group. The most common mental illnesses are depression, anxiety and substance abuse and they often occur in combination.
I already hear a collective sigh and a plethora of excuses being thrown around -"I don't have time to meditate," or "I can't sit still long enough," or best one yet - "its boring!" Well I empathise with you because that was me not long ago......... Fast forward a few weeks and several pod casts later and here I am meditating daily (I even have my husband on board!). So why might you ask did I decide to begin this journey?
Welcome to 2020 - is everybody ready to start the year off fresh and make some wholesale changes to their lifestyle? Whilst I don't make resolutions per se, I do tend to write down a set of goals I endeavour to aim towards by the years end. Some may be as simple as trying to eat some more vegetables in my diet! Remember if you decide that you want to make significant changes, you need to set small goals and make them achievable. Making drastic and sudden changes is rarely maintainable so keep it simple! On that note, what are the top health and fitness trends for 2020? Below is s brief synopsis of what to expect this year...…..
Challenges - they're everywhere!!!!! The fitness industry loves a fad and right now challenges are red hot! Whether it be be 6 week or 8 week challenges, a promotion to "lose weight" or "tone up" - the marketing is quite bedazzling and the lure very tempting...….. But does all this marketing extrapolate to fitness gains?
A certain show on Netflix has been a huge topic of conversation, I'm sure you know the one I'm alluding to...….. Some of you have asked my thoughts on the topic so I will endeavour to give you my opinions in a methodological approach. Now please keep in mind that when writing a blog, it is one persons opinion, not a research article or meta analysis so don't hate me...…..!
You often hear me refer to the term 'holistic health.' I'm a huge believer in encompassing all facets of life in order to promote good health. For me personally, being physically fit, having an active social life, enjoying a stimulating job as well as surrounding myself with positive people forms the foundations of good health. What I don't often refer to however, is the impact of your financial health on your overall wellness. Why might you ask is a fitness instructor talking about financial health?
The art of intermittent fasting… I’m sure you have all heard of someone getting great results with weight loss on an intermittent fast. Even though it may seem like the latest “fad” (which in some respects it is), historically, fasting has been used as both a religious and a medical practice for thousands of years.
Well this could be quite a comedic blog - it comes to you after an afternoon adventure at Mt Towrong winery, tasting their lovely wines and enticing gins. The reason for this stellar afternoon? A catchup of 'girl bosses' to appreciate where we came from and what we have achieved. Not only am I incredibly lucky to share an amazing journey with a truly special friend in Louise, but I am forever amazed to be surrounded by fearless females who continue to make exponential changes in the business world! Lets be honest, being a working mum is exhausting! Scrap that, being a mum in general is exhausting! Lets not sugar coat what is a truly rewarding yet utterly challenging time of our lives! It's rewarding, empowering, exhausting, overwhelming, isolating, but above all else, the best journey you could ever be on!
It's such a common occurrence within the fitness industry to exclude carbohydrates from your diet. Whilst there is always new data showing conflicting findings in relation to what we should consume, the bottom line remains that carbohydrates are a vital macronutrient and form a huge part of our daily nutrition intake. Carbohydrates are the bodies prime fuel source and our brains rely almost exclusively on glucose to function properly! Limiting or excluding carbs can thus lead to feeling tired, lethargic and "foggy headed." So why is that carbs have such a bad name?
Human beings are very adept at making excuses - we're all guilty of procrastination at some point in time. (Cue hitting the snooze button multiple times...……) On other occasions, we can find ourselves struggling to find motivation - especially living in the Macedon Ranges in the winter months! So now that spring is well under way, people are noticeably happier, more energetic and more inclined to leave the confines of our warm and cosy homes.
Did you know: The foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints, 107 ligaments, 19 muscles and tendons all holding the foot together and allowing it to move in a variety of ways (Source: American Podiatric Association) 25% of all bones are in your feet. When these bones are out of kilter, it is likely that so is the rest of your body (Source: American Podiatric Association)
I can hear the collective groans as you contemplate the pain of foam rolling... Don't worry, I don't miss the eye rolls and the not so subtle protests when we bring them out at the end of a class... :) It's an apparatus we have a love/hate relationship with but deep down, I know you all appreciate how good you feel afterwards....
I have to laugh sometimes when I hear phrases flippantly thrown around regarding fitness. Let me indulge you..... "Lifting weights will make me bulky" or "I 'm doing all this exercise and I'm not seeing results on the scales." Then one of my favourites, "my muscle will turn to fat if I stop lifting weights."
In the fitness industry, we hear multiple acronyms thrown around - HIIT, LISS, EPOC etc etc.... But what do they all mean? With trends coming and going and research proving and disproving the same theories, it can be difficult as a consumer to ascertain fact from fiction. So, in this blog I decided to give you a run down of the basic science behind training and how different formats of exercise impact different body systems accordingly.
It wasn't until I began my nutrition course that I appreciated the plethora of fats in our diet. First and foremost, we NEED fat in our diet. Whilst this macronutrient is often the topic of negative conversation, it is essential for many functions in our body including cell growth, providing energy, hormone production and also helps to keep your body warm.
On the topic of women’s hormones and fitness, the most important thing to grasp is that as women, we are cyclical beings. Each month we experience a fluctuation of the hormones estrogen and progesterone. By understanding how our hormones rise and fall each week of the month, we get a deeper understanding of why our moods also fluctuate, and can learn how to better manage our energy throughout the month.
Gluten free, sugar free, dairy free, fat free -food products are REALLY good at marketing what you want to hear! It's very palatable when these 'fad' words are plastered across our favorite brands, bedazzling us into thinking they are the sh%*. But does this clever marketing ploy really extrapolate into nutritious gains...??? I think not..........
You know that saying "don't put off until tomorrow what you can do today" - yep we've heard it, yes its antiquated (Benjamin Franklin asserted this back in 1882) but it resonates with all of us! (yes I'm talking to YOU - I know somewhere in your subconscious you are validating reasons to NOT do that onerous task that is lingering in the back of your mind......)
As fitness instructors, we see a plethora of body types. We get to check out your booty when you’re squatting like a boss; see your guns when you’re bicep curling and check out those rippling back muscles when you perform an overhead press with the barbells.
Are you recognising and managing your symptoms of stress?? I apologise if this is a little long but I had a lot to say for our first blog! In the coming weeks, I will break down the components of this blog to discuss them individually in more detail. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy Change It Up’s first blog on stress and anxiety.