health

The power of being human in healing & recovery

Photo by Anete Lucina via unsplash.com, edited by KT

Photo by Anete Lucina via unsplash.com, edited by KT

In the last month of 2016, I was deeply struck by the death of AA Gill, a "journo giant", who died from cancer. It inspired me to write this article about why being human to each other, and to ourselves, can have a profound affect in healing and recovery and at the very least make an individual feel that they matter, especially when facing terminal illness.

 

AA Gill's last article, published just one day after his death explained his traumatic and frustrating journey of care from the NHS in the last months of his life. I was struck by how beautifully he narrated his situation. He was denied a life lengthening treatment, immunotherapy, because it is too expensive to get on the NHS. He acknowledged the genuine care towards of the people who work within the NHS towards him, mentioning in particular a nurse who was devastated to learn that his chemo was no longer working. He ended his article by saying,  "you don't get that in the private sector" referring to the humanity and empathy of the nurse.

You can read AA Gill's parting gift to the world here:

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/more-life-with-your-kids-more-life-with-your-friends-more-life-spent-on-earth-but-only-if-you-pay-d7lwpht3j

 

Same same but same

The turn of a new year always makes us a bit more philosophical as we look back at what we have achieved and then look forward to what lies ahead for us. I see countless Facebook posts about 2017 being the year of kindness, of solidarity, peace, togetherness, humanity. I myself posted my new years message, urging people "to be the change you want to see".  New year or mid year, we all want the same thing to feel the humanity of others and to feel that we matter. It's what connects us and it has powerful healing properties.

 

How to be human 

Above all, whether you work with people or have people in your life who are in pain or recovering or not, the way we can help each other in a daily way is just by being human. Being human to me means being kind. It means holding space for someone when they need you; listening to someone in need of being heard; giving of your time, energy and love. It also means holding space for yourself, listening to yourself and allowing yourself to be quiet, giving back to and loving yourself. I believe the body knows how to heal itself otherwise our species would not have survived this long. It needs the right conditions - physically, mentally and emotionally to help it along. 

 

Humanity heals

This is relevant in our personal lives, in our work life and particularly in medicine and therapy when you seek help for illness and injury. Being human or what the medical profession often call "bedside manner", can have a profound affect on your perception and ability to recover.  It is really important that you choose therapists and medical practitioners you trust, have a good relationship with and who hold space for you without judgement or ego during your healing and recovery. If you feel you need more "human" than what is being offered do not be afraid to walk away and find therapists who better suit your needs. My new guru, the late Louis Gifford, believed that the human part of therapy and medicine is as important as the healing of tissue, because you, your consciousness, is part of that healing. Your synaptic connections, your thoughts, play a part in what messages get sent from the brain to the tissues. Feeling safe and cared for positively impacts your emotional and mental outlook on recovery.  

 

Human yourself  

And kindness and humanity doesn't always have to come from others. Being human to yourself is just as important. I firmly believe part of the self-management of your own injury or condition is being kind, loving and compassionate to yourself. So go be more human to yourself and others in 2017 and see what impact it has on your healing and recovery, your life and the lives of those around you.

 

If you are struggling with an ongoing injury, or have suffered with ongoing pain that just won't go away we can help. Please contact KT at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk for a complimentary phone conversation. 

 

 

 

 

The Precision Movement end of year message

Another 365 days down as we say goodbye to 2016 in just a few weeks time.  In celebration of 2016 I'd like to share with you my Christmas message... 

What an amazing year we have seen in the UK.  No year is ever dull here but 2016 was particularly colourful.  The people voted on Brexit, we got a new Prime Minister a British win at Wimbledon, a British win in the Tour De France, 27 gold medals and 2nd place in the medal table at the Olympics in Rio.  It just goes to show what a nation of talented, motivated, driven people can do when they put their minds to it. 

In the world of Precision Movement we helped numerous people out of pain and back to full movement function.  This year I've had people compete in the London Marathon, Pru100 cycle ride, I had clients return to golf after years of pain and injuries, a client participate in a kayaking adventure week in Scotland, 2 clients competed in the Patrouilles Des Glaciers for the 4th time.  I successfully sent clients on ski holidays, watersports holidays, and I rehabbed a total knee replacement which was super fun!  Others have returned to a life without pain, cycling to work, running at their leisure, playing a game of football with their friends - and this is why I do what I do...

Life is short.  I am a firm believer in designing your life.  Pain and injuries are sometimes a part of an active life - but they shouldn't stop you from getting back on track and getting out there, experiencing and living the life you want to live.  Precision Movement exists for the adventurers, the explorers, the active souls who want to really live a life without restraints, without borders - a life of freedom.  Our clients (that's you) live the type of life that creates stories around the dinner table leaving your grandchildren mesmerised, in awe and inspired to go out a life their own life of freedom and adventure.  Yours is the life that other envy - it's full, its beautiful and if injury or pain ever strikes, we'll get your better so you can go out and do it all over again!

So as we enter 2017 I want to know what you will all go on to do next.  You've got 365 days in 2017... what will you achieve?  What heights will you reach?  What depths will you delve to?  

All in all its been another amazing, inspiring year for me at Precision Movement.  I cannot do my job without the support, the loyalty and the 'fight' that you bring to your movement, rehab and training journeys with me.  Keep talking about Precision Movement and what it has helped you achieve.  Send us the adventurers, the explorers and anyone who just wants their freedom back!  

Wishing you all a safe, healthy, happy and festive holiday season with family and friends.  Take this time to rest and recover and I'll see you all again in 2017 for more adventures!  

Guilt-free Christmas Cocktails!

Guilt-free Christmas Cocktails!

Precision Movement's KT shares her favourite healthy Christmas cocktails so you can enjoy the festivities without incurring too much damage!

Hot chocolate that helps your healing & recovery

As the days and nights get colder it's tempting to reach for warm foods that give your comfort but may not be nutritionally beneficial.  Nutrition is an integral part of recovery from injury and pain as well as supporting a healthy happy lifestyle.  

You really want your food intake to be doing the following:

1.   Reducing inflammation in your gut and in your body overall.  Inflammation stresses your immune system which means healing and recovery are compromised.  You want to promote healing and recovery by reducing inflammation.

2.  Nourishing your body with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals for healing and recovery and for all the vital processes for a healthy, happy functioning body.

3.  Fuelling your adventures or your rehabilitation is that's where you are currently at!  Whatever your life is filled with you want your food intake to support you so you have the energy to enjoy it.

A quick and easy way to fulfil all these criteria and even take with you on your adventures is with this incredible rich hot chocolate drink.  It's loaded with anti-inflammatory foods such as coconut cream and super antioxidant rich cocoa powder containing maca and cacao as well as plenty of vitamin E from the fresh almond milk.  I drink it as a bedtime warmer when I make my hot water bottle at night.

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Rich Hot Chococo

Ingredients

* 1 cup fresh pressed almond milk

* tablespoon coconut cream 

* 1-2 tablespoons Of The Earth Superfoods Hot Chocolate powder

* Stevia to taste 

Instructions 

Place the almond milk in a saucepan on the stove and heat gently so as not to burn it.  Place the almond milk and all the ingredients in a blender and whizz up.  Drink with joy and let the nutrients heal you!  

How self care impacts health, healing and recovery from injury

How self care impacts health, healing and recovery from injury

Precision Movement's 5 categories of self care and how they positively impact injury recovery and healing.

My secret antioxidant loaded winter warmer drink!

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I have a secret to tell you... I've been drinking this super amazing antioxidant loaded drink every morning this year.  And it makes me feel super virtuous! So I thought I'd finally share it so you can be virtuous too.  Also it's more of a winter warmer than a spring/summer refresher so it's more apt for October. 

 

KT's super antioxidant Winter Warmer drink 

juice of 1/2 a lemon 

juice of half a lime  

1/4 teaspoon of Clear Spring matcha green tea powder  

A slither of fresh ginger grated  

2 teaspoons of baobab powder  

manuka honey to taste  

Boil the kettle and place all the ingredients except the honey in a mug. Fill the mug with hot water and stir until all the ingredients are blended nicely. Add making honey to taste.  You're good to go!  I take mine in a KeepCup so I can enjoy on my morning commute :) 

An audio postural meditation for you

 

 

I'm always trying to think of ways to recreate the sessions you do in the studio for your to travel with or do at home.  As you know, consistency is the key to getting better faster.  

 

I have considered doing video clips of exercises but I'd rather not have your attention on a screen when it should be on your body and how exercise feels. So, I've come up with something I think is much much better! I'm going to trial audio recorded training sessions.  

 

Benefits  

1.  It's the closest recreation of doing a session in the studio with me but without me. 

2. You'll hear my motivating little voice saying all those helpful little analogies and KTisms that get you in the right alignment doing the right movement. 

3. You can take your focus into your body and use a mirror for feedback instead of looking at a screen. 

4. You can put on your headphones anytime, anywhere and inconspicuously do your programme. You'll look like a total pro in the gym! ;)

5.  You'll be more motivated to do that third and final set instead of just doing the bare minimum two.  You know it's the last set that really counts!

 

First come first served... for the freebies!

I'll be trailing the bespoke recorded training session for free for the first three people to email me.  I think one has already gone now so there are only two free ones left.  Just inbox me at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk and I'll record your latest home programme for you to download and listen to whenever, wherever.  

Going forwards, bespoke recorded sessions will be charged - fee upon request! 

 

Freebie for all

As as a preview, and due to popular demand, I've recorded a demo above. It's a 10 minute guided postural meditation that you can listen to on your commute to work or on a 10 minute break during your day. You can do it sitting or standing.  Let me know what you think! 

For those of you not working with me at the moment, if you don't understand what the analogies in the recording mean please do feel free to book a postural session with me so I can teach you.  Once you know what all the references are the recording will make much more sense!

If you would like me to send this recording to you directly so you can download it to your phone please ask me in your next session or email me at KT@precisionmovement.co.uk.

 

Precision movement philosophy phrases to live by

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After last weeks blog about checking in with your goals for the last quarter of the year, I thought I'd follow that with some motivational inspiration. Sometimes we get so bogged down with the day to day stuff we forget the big picture reasons for living and enjoying life. So here are the Precision Movement phrases to live by... Everybody say Om! 

 

1. You are what you absorb 

Sadly just eating the right foods is now not enough if you are not absorbing their goodness! How do you know if you are absorbing the nutrition you eat? Well you should feel good for eating highly nutritious food but most of us don't know what good feels like if we have only what we feel like now to compare it to. So my recommendation would be to get your gut tested and see how functional it is. See our partners page for contact information on Karen Maidment and Hannah Richards who can help with this. 

 

2. Movement is the foundation of life 

From the movement of blood and transport of nutrients and removal of toxins to getting around town movement is absolutely essential for life. It's also really important to move well, efficiently and effectively to minimise injury and discomfort. I believe movement is as important as breathing, eating and sleeping.  Stagnation leads to injury, depression and indifference.  So move more and move well - if you need some help with this you know where I am. 

 

3. Your body is a thoroughbred 

We can take our body for granted. We don't think about what it does every day to enable us to live, to see, to hear, to communicate, to move, to breathe, to digest food. Our body is a gift, it is our house and we should take care of it like it's a thoroughbred race horse or a top of the line sports car. You wouldn't put sludge in a sports car so don't put rubbish in your body. You want to nurture your body, feed and water it well, give it sunlight and fresh air, move it regularly and give it a bit of challenge every day to make sure it can withstand the toughness of life. 

 

4. Study your user manual 

Too many people assume they know how to move well. Here's what happens - we are born, we teach ourselves to move (amazing!), we continue to learn good movement and sports in childhood and hopefully our teen years. Then we go to university and we either continue (super amazing!) or we stop moving. Then we go to work and it's basically all over. I'm generalising here but you get the idea. When we enter the work place we teach our bodies to adapt to the sitting work environment which can give us all kinds of issues. The greatest gift you can give yourself is re-learning good movement either through a sport like martial arts or dance or working with a movement specialist to support you and get you back to your sports. 

 

5. If you don't use it you lose it

I am a personal testament to this! If I don't exercise regularly I start to lose my strength, my stability my tone and my shape. Many of the people I work with begin to lose their postural endurance and flexibility.  You've got to make an ongoing commitment to yourself to maintain your body. You'll live a longer happier life if your body is agile, functional and well taken care of. It really comes down to loving yourself enough to take care of yourself. 

 

6. Get in your discomfort zone

Comfort doesn't lead to growth or change. I purposefully placed myself in some very uncomfortable situations this summer to remind myself what it's like for my clients to change movement patterns and posture - it can be frustrating and uncomfortable both physically, mentally and emotionally. So I do know what it's like to start something completely new - I highly recommend it regularly. The joy comes when you master something that you've been struggling with - that's growth, that's change, that's a life worth living and an example worth setting to your children, friends and family around you. 

 

7. Movement is a constant teacher 

I'm finding more and more as I work with clients watching them learn and connect with their bodies that movement serves as a fantastic teacher. No matter how long you have been training you can always learn some new movement or reconnect with how movement feels in your body. To me, mastering movement is not about just exercising it is about really understanding how your body works and serves you. I highly advocate using movement and sports for challenge and personal growth. I am still humbled by movement - it's always been my greatest teacher. 

 

8. Mind over matter 

Firstly the brain is the control centre of movement. We don't move unless the brain is motivated towards something. Many things are involved in the motivation of movement. One of the important factors is how you feel about/towards that intention. If you dislike what you are doing your brain gives a different output in contrast to if you do like what you are doing. So, when moving, even if the movement or exercise is something you don't particularly like, train your mind to find the benefit in it and feed that information through the brain and attach it to the exercise. The brain/mind/body will avoid things it doesn't like - so override the dislike factor - reframe it. The saying mind over matter is never more true than it is here! 

 

9. Be present 

When anyone comes to work with me in the studio yes there are reps and sets and alignment and gains and goals etc. But what I really think they gain is the experience of being present in their body. It might sound a little kooky but going to the studio or the gym and just going through the motions, the reps, the sets, thinking about work or what you'll do afterwards is really not as beneficial as being present with your body for your workout. Movement is an enriching educational experience. It's an outlet, a form of expression, a release of energy or a way of conjuring up energy. But all this good stuff only happens when we are present in our movement. It's like anything really - when you are present you are alive and the experience is banked. When you are somewhere else you're just wasting what you're doing in the present. 

 

So there you have it - 9 magical philosophical paragraphs to live by.   Now go forth and conquer... :D 

An hour with KT how can I help you further?

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My work as a rehabilitation specialist is an important but relatively small part of health and wellness. I always try to give as much verbal advice as I can along with reading material and tonnes of motivational and moral support! But sometimes we need a little extra... Freebies anyone? ;) 

I'm offering an hour of my time throughout the months of September and October (to the first 15 people who sign up) to sit down and ask me anything about your health and wellness that you feel will support your work with me in the studio - (coffee and treats included obvs). If you are not currently a client of Precision Movement you can still book in with me - we don't discriminate here! 

All you need to do is:

1. Think of up to three topics you would like help with or would like to change. It could be a nutritional question, how to optimise your sleep, how to fit your home programme in to your life more optimally, to a new goal such as climbing Everest! 

2. Email me direct to book yourself in and list the topics you would like to chat about with me so I can prepare accordingly. 

3. Meet me at The Atrium restaurant at Grosvenor House Apartments and we'll discuss the topics and formulate a plan about how to integrate changes into your life for a healthier happier you. 

How does that sound? 

 

Contact KT direct at KT@precisionmovement and with the subject line "an hour with KT". Valid through September 1st - October 31st 2015. Appointments subject to KT's availability although we'll try to accommodate as much as possible. Appointments are non-transferable and cannot be rescheduled once booked. 

Breakfast Hacks part 1

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The buzz word for 2014/2015 is hack - which basically means shortcut. If you are an entrepreneur like me you need to be efficient with all the other stuff that takes you away from working or having fun in life! Introducing KT's 4 top breakfast hacks to make at home upon a request from a client. 

 

1 min smoothie 

Prep time: less than a minute  

Smoothies are great but I always find they take a bit of prep time so when your priority is to get out of the house in the morning.  You can prep most of your smoothie the night before by adding fruits and veggies that do not need to be cut in the blender and then adding the cut fruits in the morning just before you blend. Cutting fruit and leaving it means it will oxidise and lose its nutrients. 

Use a blender that you can put a drinking lid on so you can blend and go. I recommend The Nutribullet.

 

KT's Go-To Get-Out (#GOGO) 1 min smoothie

Put in blender the night before or put in a sealed snack bag and put in the fridge overnight.

Handful of Spinach

Handful of blueberries 

Handful of raspberries  

Tablespoon of coconut oil 

2 tablespoons of Raw cacao powder 

2 tablespoons of Great Lakes gelatin 

In the morning chop up a banana and add a nut milk like hazelnut or almond or coconut water.  Blend all ingredients for up to 30 seconds place your drinking top on and you're good to leave the house with a nutrient packed breakfast to start the day! 

 

1 minute yoghurt brekkie

Prep time:  1 minute 

To really save time, buy a one portion yoghurt rather than a big tub. I like full fat Greek yoghurt.  Pack up a portion of berries, nuts and seeds of your choice and store them in a seal packed bags for use as needed.  Add in chopped banana.  Add 2 tablespoons of Great Lakes gelatin for an added protein boost. If you need a sweetener use raw natural honey or agave nectar. Stir up and enjoy. 

 

Eggy muffins 

Prep time: 10 seconds grab & go 

For those who love a good protein filled breakfast try making egg sausage and cheese muffins.  You can make a batch to last you through the working week for a grab and go solution for energy that lasts to lunch time.  If you prefer a lighter option go for veggies instead of meat.  Let them cool fully then pack them in a tupperware box, tin foil, or in a sealed snack bag and store in the fridge.

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/scrambled-egg-muffins-2/

 

Quick pancakes 

Prep time: 4-5 mins 

If you have 5 minutes to prepare a breakfast with a difference make up pancake batter beforehand and store it in a squeezy bottle.  Heat the pan, and squeeze out your pancakes which take about a minute each to cook.  Serve with berries and banana or full fat yoghurt.  This is great solution for a house full of kids that need to be fed and out the door to school on time!

 

My healthy pancake recipe 

1/2 cup bobs red mill pancake flour 

1/2 cup almond flour 

1/4 cup raw cacao powder 

1 egg beaten 

1 tablespoon coconut oil 

almond milk to preferred batter consistency 

I also add 2 tablespoons of milled flaxseed Q10 mix 

I serve it with plain yoghurt, chopped banana, strawberries and a drizzle of agave nectar.

 

Breakfast hacks 2 features next week which is a selections of the best grab and go breakfasts around town and a few of my favourite places for longer sit down breakfast meetings too! 

Happy breaking your fast! :p  

Is this the best hotel gym space in London?

 

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As many of your know Precision Movement has been making extensive additions and changes to our little Mayfair studio space courtesy of Grosvenor House Apartments.  And though she be little she is (mighty) fierce and versatile.  Here are the new changes to the space and how they optimise your workout.

 

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The rig 

This March we had a custom designed BeaverFit rig installed into the ceiling.  This has been the most anticipated change in the studio since we moved in.  The rig will be used for pullup/chin up and brachiation training. Also check out the fat GRIPZ for extra intensity without extra load.  It has proved super popular so far! 

 

 

 

Suspension Training 

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The rig also enables us to use TRx, Crosscore180 and Olympic Rings for suspension and aerial training.  Bring on the strength!  The rig is 3.5m long meaning we can have someone working on the Kinesis, someone working on the TRx and someone in the weight area quite comfortably.

 

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The floorspace 

The matted floorspace has been increased by a third meaning more workable space for people to use and more people using the space at the same time.  It also means the floorspace becomes more versatile - we can bring out a barre for a ballet workout or clear the space for kickboxing or a yoga based work-in.  We have had some guests using the space to practice their karate katas and MMA moves.  We have left the space open for just this purpose because no single person's workout is the same and we want to cater to that as much as possible.

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We now have adjustable weights up to 41kg each alongside the original rack of 1-10kg.  We have a few olympic bars and weight plates for more traditional strength training as well as weighted medicine balls and powerbags.  The original Kinesis cable machine is still installed as well.

 The bring out put back system 

We have lots of different equipment that can be used in the space - kettlebells, powerbags, battling ropes, agility equipment, olympic bars, medicine balls.  We bring out what we need into the space for your specific workout and then put it back to open the space up again.  It sounds really obvious but many gyms, particularly hotel and residence gyms are the same space as our little studio but packed full of machines which limits the type of exercise you can do in the space. Training has moved on past machines... there are some uses for machine work but at Precision Movement we are more steered towards challenging your body in different ways. Which is why we think our space is becoming one of the best hotel gyms in London. 

The space is being used more than it ever has been and it's being used in many ways, for all kinds of movement, workouts and sports conditioning.  If you haven't been down to visit yet, then please do. We'd love to have you! 

Precision Movement's summer smoothies!

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What you refuel your body with after a workout is as important as the workout itself which is why I designed the Precision Movement post-workout smoothies for Grosvenor House Apartments by Jumeirah Living which are freshly prepared and served at The Atrium Restaurant on floor 2.  If you've not had one after your workout yet have a nosey at the selection and make sure you order one next time... you are what you eat and absorb so refuel that body right!

 And if you're not already working with us at the studio but still fancy a smoothie then pop in and visit us and we'll prepare one for you. 

My favourite is 'Continue the Calm... I always need a reminder! ;)  

 

 

 

Do you want to know what KT is really like?

Let's face it, I'm hard to sum up in a tidy little phrase - though many have tried!  So I asked my lovely clients, the recipients of my knowledge and expertise to describe their experiences of working with me. My fabulous web/video/media guys at SquareGlu sprinkled magic dust over it to produce this little movie... 

 

Thanks to to my lovely clients for taking part - I did tell you I'd get you your five minutes of fame! And thanks to SquareGlu for making such a professional end product.  

 

Popcorn at the ready.... ;) 

 

Precision Movement's inspiring summer book recommendations

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As many of you will remember I set myself some pretty hefty goals this year.  One of them was to read a book a month. I haven't quite stuck to this time frame but I have read 6 books this year so far! :) 

 

I try to think of many random ways I help make life a little easier for you all. So at this critical time of year when you are packing for your vacation and you realise you haven't got a book to read on the beach I have put together a list of my top four reads from this year so far. Now you can't say I don't look out for you all... ;p Without further ado my four hand picked book recommendations for summer 2015...

 

Winning Without Losing by Martin Bjergegaard

Probably the best business book I've ever read. Martin interviewed many of the top entrepreneurs on the planet asking them how they find and maintain what he calls the new dual optimum (a fancy phrase for the more globally recognised "work/life balance"). Hugely inspiring, with some great instant take-aways and broken into manageable chunks so you can read a chapter then take a dip in the pool, read a chapter then go for lunch. I'd recommend it if you need to recharge your business brain. 

 

13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do by Amy Morin 

Amy has a brilliant personal story to tell about her hardships and how she overcame them by NOT doing what mentally strong people DON'T do. If you're feeling a bit beaten up right now then this is a good booster for the spirit and the soul.  

 

When I Stop Talking You'll Know I'm Dead by Jerry Wientraub 

For a lighter story that reads more like a novel try Weintraub's life story of becoming a self-made man in Hollywood. With anecdotes about Sinatra, Elvis and a host of celebrities and musicians it's an engaging and fantastical story of a man who has lived what seems like a charmed life but he's worked his absolute socks off for.  I love his chutzpah - every good business person needs that! 

 

 The Road to Character by David Brooks

This is my most recent read.  I actually went to see David being interviewed in May which was a real treat.  This book is all about cultivating the eulogy virtues. We're pretty good at the CV virtues but perhaps not so focussed on the virtues that develop our character - such as bravery, kindness and selflessness. David takes 9 inspiring people from history who have made a difference to the world with their strength of character. He explores their lives and how they developed their eulogy virtues.  It's a beautiful and humbling read - good for an ego check! 

 

For those of you who are jetting off for the summer I wish you happy travels. Be safe. Make memories. Enjoy every moment. I'll still be posting so keep reading and read a book or two - it's really good for relieving stress! 

 

Optimising nutrition for PrecisionMovement2 workouts

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PrecisionMovement2 workouts are the fitness part of what we do here in the studio.  Even though client may initially come to us with an injury, once they are better they often want to get fit again or set themselves a goal or train for an event.

To support your fitness workouts it's really important to get the right nutrition.  We advise the following:

1.  Count nutrients not calories.  Every time you sit down to eat it's a chance to nourish your body.  Choose the most nutrient dense foods containing vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, reparative proteins and fats.  If you find eating lots of fruits and vegetables a challenge then take a fresh vegetable juice every morning.  It's the best vitamin hit you can get!

2. Avoid processed foods, sugar and caffeine.

3.  Balance out alcohol with proteins and fats in your meal  It will minimise the risk of blood sugar spikes and crashes.

4.  My top ten food recommendations are salmon, spinach, kale, pomegranates, blueberries, avocados, apples, ginger, lemons and carrots.

5.  For water intake multiply your body weight in KG by 0.033 for the optimal intake in litres.  Opt for Evian, Vittel, Fuji or Hildon Spring (which we have at Grosvenor House Apartments) as they are natural spring waters and have the highest natural mineral content.

In addition to optimising your nutrition sleep is essential for the healing and recovery of exercise. It helps the body metabolise more efficiently, you can mange stress better, and it improves mental and emotional health too.  For more information on optimising your sleep read my top ten tips for the best nights sleep every night.

Featured Specialist: Karen Maidment Functional Nutritionist - keeping your insides healthy!

Karen Maidment

Karen Maidment is co-owner of Pure Body Balance in Gloucestershire.  She is also the author of Meals that Heal and the creator of specialist cooking workshops that teach you how to make meals that really do heal your body.  Karen not only specialises in nutrition but in all the systems of the body and how they work together to optimise a healthier happier lifestyle. Karen works with clients of Precision Movement to optimise their lifestyle and nutrition aspects of health to support the training they do with us.

 

KT:  What sparked your interest in Nutrition and wellness?

Karen: I have always had a love for cooking and food. From a very young age my sister and I were encouraged to get involved with our parents back garden allotment. We would get paid a penny for every caterpillar we removed from Dads cabbages! And my mum would pop us on a foot stool so that we could reach the worktop and make little cookies and fairy cakes. I grew up in the countryside where blackberry picking, locally shot pheasant and rabbit and home grown produce were part of the norm.

Later on in life during a dip in enthusiasm for my post graduate career in fashion my now husband and business partner Adrian, encouraged me to follow my heart and begin a distance learning course in Nutrition Coaching. Three years later as I was coming to the end of this first course Adrian was taken seriously ill with Crohns Disease. After 2 years of misdiagnosis he finally ended up having major surgery and so we used both his education with the CHEK Institute and my knowledge in nutrition and lifestyle management to turn his health around.

 

KT:  For you, what is the foundation of health?

Karen:  Actually to me a healthy mindset is the key. After a decade studying and working in the health industry I have come to realise that as health coaches we tend to be way to hard on ourselves. There is a level of perfectionism that we seem to aim for that is simply unattainable. Yes eating organic food, clean water and seasonal produce are the foundations of my nutritional regime, BUT honestly none of this matters if I dont like, love and respect myself enough to make those choices daily. Most importantly, it's to treat myself with compassion when I dont make the most healthful choices. I am only human after all!

 

KT: What types of people usually seek out your help and why?

Karen:  This has evolved as I have evolved both as a coach and with my own health journey. During my 10 or so years in the industry I have worked through numerous health issues myself, in fact I am still a work in progress. From Adrenal Fatigue to Amenorrhea, IBS to Insomnia. I tend to find that clients with similar health issues to those I am working through seek me out. A few years ago I started my website endibsnaturally.com at that time I was working through major IBS symptoms and so it seemed natural to me to share how I was healing myself with my clients. Now I tend to be working a lot with auto immune disease and adrenal fatigue. Many of my closet family members have various auto immune diseases, such as my husband and after an incredibly successful and busy year in 2014 my adrenal health certainly took a hit!  My clients tell me that they connect with me due to my authenticity and ability to show compassion through my own challenges. It requires a great deal of courage on my part to show what I sometimes feel are my imperfections, but my clients LOVE that. It makes them feel understood and shows them that if I can get well they can too.

 

KT:  How do you help people achieve better health and wellness?

Karen:  Nutrition and lifestyle coaching fused with practical recipe and cookery support. Ultimately there is no point knowing what you can and cant eat if you dont know how to cook and follow a basic recipe.

 

KT:  What do you specialise in?

Karen:  Many back pain syndromes and injuries are caused by inflammation which creates instability leading to injury. For instance tennis elbow and lumbar spine weakness have show to reduce and resolve themselves once inflammatory foods such as gluten and dairy have been taken out of the diet. I often see reoccurring injuries failing to heal after corrective exercises and hands on therapy due to this inflammatory process. In addition using foods as medicine you can actually facilitate a quicker recovery from pain and injury. Saturated fats for instance are known to improve bone, muscle and tissue structure, as is homemade bone broth which contains high amount of collagen and gelatin. I have seen fantastic results by supplementing with a mixture of bone broth and Great Lakes Gelatin in structural and tissue related injuries.  Anti inflammatory juices containing ingredients such as fresh turmeric and beetroot and calcium rich greens such as kale and spinach are also great nutritional medicinal tools to promote recovery.

 

KT:  What do you typically eat for breakfast?

Karen:  We follow a Paleo type diet so we often have eggs, salad and some root veggies. I make us a seasonal green juice everyday which nearly always has fresh lemon and ginger, two of my favourite juicing ingredients. I always make sure I have live foods with my cooked protein. Poached wild salmon is a favourite as are the most incredible organic handmade pork and herb sausages from our local farm shop.

 

KT:  What are the four foods/supplements you cannot live without and why?

Karen:  Food wise I love organic coconut oil and ghee, these are my staple forms of fat. I do not tolerate dairy very well and so ghee gives me all of the great fat soluble vitamins without the casein and lactose. Wild honey, which is my favourite sweetener, it tastes great and contains live enzymes to help you break down carbohydrates whilst offering up antibacterial properties. Homemade broth to keep my digestive system happy and my bones, skin and muscle strong.

With regards to supplements I cannot live without the North American Herbs & Spice range, these are food grade, wild and handpicked. Particularly I love their probiotics (Healthbac), there adrenal and B vitamin booster (PurelyB) and their mineral support (Purelymin). I do not take any supplement every day, rather I listen to what my body needs and take them as and when I feel my body needs a little boost. Bear in mind that most supplements that you buy are synthetic and are actually of very little use to your body.

 

KT:  With Easter just around the corner, can you recommend a healthier option for a chocolate Easter egg?

Karen:  I am totally in love with Booja Booja chocolates, particularly the champagne ones. They taste insanely good and contain no dairy or gluten, to big no-nos for my health. They are also organic. You could also consider making your own raw chocolates, there is a fab recipe in my cook book Meals That Heal.

 

Karen's book Meals that Heal is available to purchase HERE 

Details of Karen's next cookery workshops can be found HERE 

To find out more about working with Karen to optimise your nutritional health please contact her at karen@purebodybalance.co.uk or call the centre on 01285 83127.

How corrective exercise differs from regular exercise

KT at Precision Movement
KT at Precision Movement

The number one question I get asked is "Are you a physio?" - unfortunately I cannot lay claim to this esteemed profession!  I am not a physio.  The second question is, "So are you a personal trainer then?".  Again I cannot say I am a Personal Trainer either - well not anymore.  I fall somewhere between the two and work under the grandiose title of "Corrective Exercise Specialist".  This line of conversation invariably leads to a discussion about what type of exercise I do and how it differs from gym training.  I will now humbly attempt to explain in an effort to give you a better understanding of the difference....  Wish me luck!

What is corrective exercise?

Corrective exercise is a special type of exercise usually used as part of the rehabilitation process in healing and recovery from chronic pain, injury or surgery, or given to those who suffer from poor posture.  The emphasis really is on optimal alignment, stability, mobilisation and then strength development.

In comparison regular exercise that you might do in the gym or in sports has a different goal - often increased fitness, body shape change, weight loss etc.  As the goals are different the exercises and movement given are bigger and incorporate more muscles.  This helps co-ordination for sports and is also effective for conditioning the body to change shape and increase fitness.  If I were to give these exercises to someone who is in pain and has poor alignment, poor stability, mobility and strength they would not be able to perform them effectively and could potentially hurt themselves further.

It's important to mention here that corrective exercise also forms a foundation for all movement and exercise.  If your foundational principles are good then your risk of injury is much reduced.  When clients come to Precision Movement with fitness goals we still take them through foundational principles to make sure alignment, stability, and mobility is optimal for more complex movements.

The types of exercises

The majority of exercises I do with clients at the beginning of their programmes are floor or swiss ball based.  I ask them to repeat the repetitions many times to elicit postural change and I also ask them to engage in mindful exercise which includes some psychology techniques.  Corrective exercise rarely makes you sweat and definitely doesn't increase your heart or breathing rate.  It is not easy though!  The areas we stretch are usually tight and stiff and the muscles we train are weak to begin with.  When clients adapt and improve, programmes are updated to challenge them further.  

A classic exercise I teach clients is the horsestance series.  It looks very easy but it is actually quite challenging.  Before clients can do this exercise effectively I'll also teach and often reset their breathing mechanics, help them effectively activate their core and how to activate stability through their hands and feet.  When the exercise is performed correctly it is exceptionally effective in training stability and forms a solid foundation for more complex movements that you would do in the gym or in sports.  

Typical exercises you might see in the gym are squats, lunges, pullups and pushups.  These are all neurologically complex movements meaning the brain needs to send a huge amount of information to the muscular system to perform the movement successfully.  You might use a kettlebell swing which is a dynamic form of a deadlift pattern. Running, martial arts and many other sports are also exceptionally challenging to the body and brain. To perform these exercises and sports well you'll need optimal joint stability, understanding of core function, breathing mechanics, optimal joint mobility and to minimise the risk of injury good alignment throughout the body as well as in the movement.

When does corrective exercise become regular exercise?

At Precision Movement we are specialists in change.  Our goal with everyone is to get them to a fully functional movement state for life and whatever sports they participate in.  

We don't want someone lying on the floor doing a mundane exercise forever.  We may ask someone to do this in an early stage of rehabilitation to get certain muscles firing but when they adapt to the exercise we make it more challenging.  All the exercises we give have many many progressions right up to regular exercise that you'll recognise well.  Perhaps the difference in giving regular exercise at Precision Movement is we might make changes or modifications that are specific to an individuals needs eg.  A static lunge might include a band to emphasise the inclusion of the hip stabilisers that have a tendency to be lazy - they might now be strong but the band acts as a reminder for the individual to maintain good knee alignment.

In a way, we use corrective exercise like servicing a machine.  A machine that has been running for a while might need some parts changed, an oil or water change.  Similarly, we'll do a maintenance check and make sure all the stabilisers are firing correctly and alignment and mobility are good.

For more information on corrective exercise for postural alignment, pain relief and management of injuries and degenerative conditions please contact us.

How to be healthier and happier at work

I love my job!
I love my job!

Last month I was invited to speak at the Lansdowne Club in Mayfair about the tragic death of Moritz Erdhart. I posed the question 'does the responsibility of your health and wellness lie with the company or does it lie with the individual?'  In part 2 of this blog I'll be focussing on how you the individual employee can take responsibility for your own health and wellness at work.

The buck stops with you

I truly believe your personal health is your own responsibility.  That is not to say you should automatically know how to attain optimal health - that is what health specialists are for.  But, however many health benefits your company offers you it is your responsibility to use them.  I think we can all attest to feeling sharper, more productive and more amiable when we are well rested, well fed and have a sense of content and happiness about our lives.  

Stop, think

Every time you order a meal you are making a personal choice about how to nourish your body.  Only you can get to the gym, or get to the 5-aside football, office rugby game or pilates class.  Only you can make a decision to sort out your desk related back pain.  And it also your choice (within reason) about when to leave the office at night. 

The LifeRez - It's a state of mind

You can minimise the chances of injury or illness by taking responsibility for your health now and making LIFESTYLE changes that you can maintain for the foreseeable future.  A few blogs ago I wrote about Precision Movement's Life Resolution campaign - making smaller manageable health changes that you can maintain for life. At work your priority is work but health and wellness will make your work more enjoyable.  The liferez system is perfect for implementing health and wellness into you work life.  

The essentials

There are a few small essentials that you can easily incorporate into your work place.  Start with your work station - ask for an ergonomics assessment to ensure you have the best possible posture when you are working.  Drink more water and you can start by adding just one extra glass of water a day.  Make sure you leave the office at lunchtime for fresh air, natural light and movement.  There are many more things you can improve easily and you can find out what they are and how to implement them on Twitter page and Facebook.

The back bone of life

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 21.21.53
Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 21.21.53

Last week I was asked to speak at the L Club in on Sloane Street about the importance of the spine for health throughout life.  I thought I would share with you what I shared with the audience of the L Club how your spine develops, what injuries it is most vulnerable to at certain parts during your life and how you can minimise the risk of injury as you age.  If you are tempted to just read what it says under your current age bracket this would be foolish.  Remember what you have done in the past and what you do now will all influence how the spine will respond in later years. Read on to find out more....

0-3 years 

When we are born our spines are curved like a shell.  In the first 2 years up to when we walk we go through huge amounts of development and change in the spine.  We learn how to move it and stabilise it and to sit up, crawl and walk the spine changes alignment.  As we grow our spines take on three curves - cervical, thoracic and lumbar and these curves are responsible for maintaining good posture, keeping our intervertebral discs in place and providing shock absorption.  This is one of the most important developmental stages of our lives and we should never underestimate the value of babies learning to move efficiently and effectively.  The movements and postures that babies learn here serve them for the rest of their lives which means if faulty movements are developed it will affect movement, co-ordination, posture and strength development in later years.

3-21 years

This is the time when we should move and learn sports.  Jumping around and pounding on our bones is the best way to make them dense and strong coupled with a good intake of calcium from leafy greens and vitamin D from the sun as well as good overall nutrition.  Any weight bearing sports are good for bone density development (swimming is a non-weight bearing sport).  Intense learning of sports is not recommended until age 7.  Ideally children should try out lots of different activities.  At age 7 if children show an interest in a particular sport they have enough neural development to learn more intensely.  Children should not lift heavy weights as it can stunt growth.  

21-30 years 

When we get to 21 we have fully grown but we can still increase our bone density.  Bone density is exceptionally important for the prevention of osteoporosis.  Between 30-35 our bones begin ageing and it is no longer possible to increase our bone density - we can only slow the rate of decline.  This is effectively done by weight bearing exercise such as strength training.  The discs between your vertebrae have fluid and a jelly like substance inside which acts as part of the shock absorption I mentioned earlier.  At at 30 our bones cannot get any denser.  From here our bones go through a process of becoming less dense.  

30-45 years 

This is the time when the spine is most vulnerable to disc injuries.  Mostly because of our lifestyles - too much sitting and not enough movement.  Up to age 45 the discs are refilled with fluid each night as part of the recovery process when we sleep.  This is why you are taller in the morning and shorter at night!  One of the reasons why disc injuries happen between 30-45 years is because of years of 'ligamentous creep' the connective tissues in the spine stretching over time to accommodate poor posture.  Ligaments are the strongest structures in our bodies connecting bone to bone and they give our skeleton stability.  Once ligaments are stretched they do not go back to their original length.  Over time, years of time, it makes the spine unstable and then the discs become vulnerable to pressing out on to the nerves.  

45-55 years 

Past 45 the discs begin to dry up and the spine becomes stiffer.  This actually has an advantage as the discs are less prone to pushing out against the nerves because they are less plump.  However, less fluid in the discs means loss of disc height.  Firstly, you lose height which is not so bad.  Secondly, your vertebrae are much closer together so the ligaments become lax and can create instability.  This hinders movement, particularly rotation, and can also lead to bone spurs and stenosis.  

55 onwards 

Depending on what you have done or not done with your body you may experience some pain or injury in your spine as you age - common but not normal issues are osteoporosis, arthritis, spondylitis, ankylosing spondylitis and postural imbalance.  What I always find interesting is that most people as they age will have some sort of disc degeneration but not all suffer with pain from it.  The key here is movement - the more active you are the less likely you are to feel pain.  

The most important point here is what you can do to minimise the risk of injuries and diseases when you are older.  Once you have these issues they can be managed but they are not reversible.

If you want to know more about minimising the risk of spinal complications when you are older or maybe you have a spinal injury that you'd like to know how to manage better then contact me at 

KT@precisionmovement.co.uk

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