I’ve put a few easy stretches together to try at home. If you hold a stretch for less than 20 seconds, it doesn’t really do too much for you – try to hold for 30 seconds to keep your muscles supple. Over one minute will elongate the muscle and over 2 mins will help to relieve tight/chronic fascia as well as muscles.
Beef Stew Recipe
Chia -What’s all the Fuss?!
I shunned Chia seeds for ages – I figured they were just another faddy ‘Superfood’ that would cost 10times more than other seeds.
Then I saw my Manager at Evolve Wellness, Mimi, drinking them in a smoothie and was intrigued. She told me that when you soak them in water they swell up and act like little water bombs, hydrating your colon and improving digestion. As I always feel dehydrated and I like the idea of trying new things, I went and bought a little bag of them.
Ok, they look odd – like frog spawn – so not that appetizing – and they don’t really taste of anything. However, in my protein shake they added a new consistency, a bit like how I would imagine the popular ‘bubble teas’ to be. I kept drinking them like this for a couple of weeks and I must admit, I started to really like them and more importantly – see and feel a big difference in myself.
My skin was better – the odd spots I tend to get started to clear up, my skin felt plumper and had a glow to it. My digestion was better, I felt lighter, my stomach was flatter and I seemed to have more energy.
So I started asking my nutritionist friends about these funny blobby seeds. Here are some facts I found out…
– is 20% complete protein with all 8 amino acids – great for vegetarians
– is high in antioxidents – 4x higher ORAC value than blueberries
– contains 3x more iron than spinach (move over Popeye)
– helps to slow down the absorbtion of sugars and balance blood sugar levels and so is great for diabetics and those trying to cut down their sugar habits
– has 8 times more Omega 3 (the one we tend to lack in) than salmon. So instead of depleting over-farmed fish stocks taking fish oils, we can simply eat these little goodies!
– has 7x more vitamin C than oranges
– is a great source of sustained energy – I’ve seen ‘Chia Shots’ being sold in health food shops. The idea behind this is for distance training/hiking etc – knock back a shot of the dry seeds (easy to carry) and drink some water to keep you feeling satiated and energised.
The list of goodness in Chia is endless….
Apparently, Mimi’s way of drinking Chia is known as ‘Chia Fresca’ and is really common in Mexico where they add the seeds to juice or water (a great way to support a juice fast). However, you can also sprinkle the dry seed onto your food, make desserts from them or even sprout them!
I am completely converted and have now bought a super sized tub as it’s recommended to eat a tablespoon a day. I’m going to give sprouting them a go so will let you know how that goes….
What’s the deal with speed walking?!?
What’s the deal with speed walking?!?
I’ve always laughed at the idea of speed-walking. The bum-wiggling I saw in the Olympics looked a little ridiculous and walking fast is easy, right?
That was until I read about the benefits of speed walking on improving conditioning and thus running speed in Tim Ferriss’ brilliant book ‘The 4-Hour Body’.
In fact, the more I researched into speed walking, the more appealing it sounded as an alternative to one of my weekly runs – an easy-on-your-joints way of increasing baseline fitness (conditioning), improves core strength and co-ordination, working you in the ‘fat burning zone’ (and I defo need that after Christmas) and easier to add into life than running as not much forward planning is needed – have a rucksack and trainers, can walk anywhere! It’s also a great way to train yourself in an up-right position (heel-strike long-distance running can result in the head and shoulders stooping forward while this is a much more upright positioning more similar to barefoot running so great for your posture)
So, I decided to get a speed walk session in each week.
My challenge is based on the session described in the 4-hour body, though as I have no running track and I’d like to try and add it in to my home-ward journey after a class, I’ve changed it slightly.
You literally walk as far as you can in 15mins, sounds easy huh?!
I have downloaded the fabulous Run-keeper app on my iphone and all you do is switch it on and it’ll tell you how far you have gone. Or try it on the treadmill (with a 1% incline on).
I did my second session yesterday. The first session was ok – quite easy and pretty boring – I did it on the treadmill which wasn’t ideal but I had 15mins to kill before a class so I thought why not. In the first 7.5mins, I walked 0.70km so I tried to go faster for the second half of the session and I managed to achieve 1.59km total.
The second session upped the challenge – I was outside in Battersea Park. I must say at first I felt very self-conscious and silly. I was sure everyone was laughing at me and my swinging arms as I marched, however, I just kept reminding myself how this was going to improve my racetime so they will all be laughing on the other side of their faces soon (and if you walk fast enough you’re gone before they even see you – POW)! I got so into it – though I must admit you are DESPERATE to break into a run, it gets pretty tough and the minute I hit that 15min mark I took off in the nicest feeling run I’ve had in a long time… Anyway, this time I managed 1.75km in total. I know I could’ve gone faster, I can’t wait to try again, I don’t think I can wait a whole week for another try….. it seems I have got the speed-walking bug!
Three times per week is the recommended amount for an improvement in conditioning and I can’t wait to see the difference it makes, I’m hooked.
Why 15mins for speed and power training? http://www.elitetrack.com/blogs/details/5999/
Walking fast means you will live longer… http://www.livescience.com/10406-fast-walk-predict-long-youll-live.html
More on the health benefits of speed walking . http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/walking/HQ01612