The Highlights – ‘The 5 Ways of Wellbeing’

I’ve been on a journey since I was a skinny teenager at 17 years old working on a gym floor cleaning machines, giving inductions and helping to sell products (an old-fashioned gym instructor).

It’s 2019, I’m a Personal Trainer in North London with over 12 years industry experience and 9 years running my own PT business, MoJo Wellbeing Ltd.

The longer I’ve been in the job the less motivated I’ve been in being a glorified exercise babysitter. My motivation has been to become the best ‘functional health coach’ I can be. This is someone who helps people change their lives for the long-term. That person should spend their later years thriving, free of disease and chronic inflammation. Looking good while you’re doing it is just the bonus you get while you’re at it.

In order for this to happen, you need to have 5 key ‘ways’ in place in your daily routine. I’ve outlined these for you below. This is level 1, so if you’re already a level up I can set you up with the next steps you need to take. Let’s open a discussion about it..

WAY 1

Exercise

You need to have a basic level of activity for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.

The combination of increases in a sedentary lifestyle (for most) and constant food availability has had a huge effect on ancient metabolic processes that govern our bodies. This has led to a huge outbreak of type 2 diabetes and obesity led by excessive storage of energy as fat and increasing insulin resistance. Being active for 30 minutes a day, even if broken up into six 5 minutes intervals can help slow the negative effects of that.

For most of you that will mean walking up the escalators in the tube station rather than standing still, or taking the stairs instead of the lift at work…what I’m getting at is; you have to find every opportunity to move possible throughout the day. Just the stairs and escalator tips won’t be even close enough.

You must find ways of getting on your feet regularly around the office or work space, arrange special meetings and/or set a recurring alarm on your phone. You can monitor this on your phone easily with health apps. Take pictures and send them to your accountability partner (way 5).

Way 2

Nutrition

A vegan/plant-based diet that’s got adequate plant protein and keeps you healthy is not as hard as some people think. I’ve managed it for over 19 months. I keep a low body fat percentage, I’m stronger and I’ve not yet been sick or injured.

In a randomized trial by the journal of Nutrition & diabetes this year they found that, ‘plant protein intake significantly decreased fat mass, improved insulin resistance markers and improved body composition in overweight individuals in comparison to the control diet group’ (1). Furthemore, there are countless studies not only showing the benefits on fat mass but also of a vegan/plant-based diet in reducing the chances of almost every chronic health problem.

Yet, people care more about what they need to eat to help them stay fit, healthy and lean. That’s why I’ve built a plant protein list and what foods are best to combine them with for my clients.

Way 3

Hydration

The importance of hydration has been a big topic in helping my clients achieve results for years. In 2015, a study by researchers at Loughborough University found that, ‘that mild hypohydration, produced a significant increase in minor driving errors…the magnitude of decrement reported, was similar to that observed following the ingestion of an alcoholic beverage’ (2).

To put it simply – mild dehydration can have a big effect on your ability to exercise, on the functionality of your brain, on your ability to remember, on your pain threshold and on your basic motor skill function. Getting the right amount for you is vital for wellbeing and there are considerations to take into account like body size, activity level and gender.

Here’s a calculation to get a rough idea of how much you should be drinking.

Drink half an ounce for every one pound of bodyweight.

If you need help doing this please get in touch and I’ll help you calculate yours.

Way 4

Sleep

Getting a good night’s sleep has become ‘the hack’ for successful, wealthy individuals who are concerned with their optimum health in the fast-paced western working world. Yet, this rule applies more importantly to the unemployed, mentally unwell, public sector worker’s and children. The research is flooding out stating it could have a significant effect on health issues ranging from age related diseases (dementia and Parkinson’s) to mental health (anxiety, depression and ADHD.

Let’s understand one thing first, getting below 7 hours or above 8 hours for the majority of the population is going to hinder you rather than help you. Research conducted in Korea found that too much or too little sleep increases the risk of depressive symptoms in people who suffer hypertension/high blood pressure (3). Furthermore, a Harvard Medical Health letter published it analysis of multiple studies which found that poor ‘sleep-hygiene’ could increase the likelihood of triggering a bi-polar episode, contribute to anxiety, disrupt the routines of people with ADHD and cause a development of depressive feelings (4).

I have a huge list tips to help maximise your sleep and a blog post for my 5 essentials for a better nights sleep. But the best first practice you can implement today is this…make your bedroom a place that is your sanctuary, you should only be doing two or three things in there; sleep, make love and maybe light reading of an actual book. No TV’s, no working or catching up with e-mail’s and definitely no eating!

Way 5

Mindset

This ‘way’ is what I’ve experienced to be the most important of them all. It’s the goal setting practices and adherence aspect to the four other ‘way’s’. How you manage your time, how you plan your day and how you prioritize your daily activities will determine whether your life with become the happier and healthier life you deserve. In essence, that is all we are striving for; happiness and health. Earning money is all about having “time” to do the things that make you happy.

That’s why I have a 3 stage process to help program your day so you can adhere to the tasks you need to achieve your goals.

  1. Accountability
  2. Sharing your goals
  3. Giving your goals a deadline.

These are the keys to your success – and by success I mean wellbeing!

Let’s Get It

#mymojomatters

References:

(1) Kahleova.H et al, Nutrition & Diabetes, A plant-based diet in overweight individuals in a 16-week randomized clinical trial: metabolic benefits of plant protein, 2018 Nov 2;8(1):58.

(2) Watson P, Whale A, Mears SA, Reyner LA, Maughan RJ. Mild hypohydration increases the frequency of driver errors during a prolonged, monotonous driving task, Physiology & Behaviour, Volume 147, 1 Aug.15, Pages 313-318

(3) Son YJ, Park C, Won MH. Impact of Physical Activity and Sleep Duration on Depressive Symptoms in Hypertensive Patients: Results from a Nationally Representative Korean Sample, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2018 Nov 22;15(12)

(4) Harvard Mental Health Letter, Sleep and Mental Health. July 2009. Accessed April 29, 2018.

 

5 Essential Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep

Hey Curious Minds!

Being a personal trainer who focuses on all aspects of your wellbeing, I’ve noticed how little people in Hampstead and Highgate actually sleep! I’ve been ‘in the ear’ to all my clients about sleep for a while so it’s only right I get ‘in the ear’ about sleep to my friends and followers digitally too! What I find quite strange is that I shouldn’t even have to be doing this; we all know sleep is vital, so why do so many people neglect it so much?

I’ve heard it all before; “I’ve got too much to do/I only need 5 hours/I’ll catch up at the weekend” to know that people actually believe that this is an option AND think they are living a healthy lifestyle. The truth is, if you don’t sleep enough, you’re more likely to be obese, you’re more likely to be diagnosed with cancer, you’re more likely to suffer from Alzheimer’s and you’re more likely to suffer cardiovascular health issues – to name just a few. What is pretty clear from the research I have done is that, you will definitely have a poorer quality of life, if you disregard your sleep quality. I want to tackle this, so I’ve put together 5 essential tips that you can act on TODAY to help you make the right decisions to get a better night’s sleep.

Let’s jump right in!

Tip 1: GET MAGNESIUM – this is the natural ‘anti-stress’ mineral (– I know right? We all need this anyway). Research has shown that diets high in magnesium result in deeper and less interrupted sleep cycles. The best food sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables (surprise surprise), spirulina, chlorella and 100% raw cacao. Sadly, the average person is magnesium-deficient and deficiency has been shown to increase the likelihood of insomnia. So, it is absolutely key you get this mineral in your diet. An important note to make is that organic food contains much more magnesium than large scale, ‘conventionally’ produced food, which is almost totally devoid of magnesium. Alternatively, you can supplement magnesium easily without even having to take it orally. In fact, magnesium tablets or pills draw water into your gut that can cause poor digestion and diarrhoea. The best way to supplement magnesium is to absorb it through your skin; you can get body sprays and magnesium bath salts that are both incredibly efficient at absorbing magnesium, and are a great excuse to have a bath or massage ;-).

Tip 2: GET BLACKOUT BLINDS – clinically proven to help you get the best sleep ever! This one has been a big one for my wife and I; we’ve noticed an amazing difference when sleeping ‘blacked out’. If your skin and eyes absorb light from your window, it stimulates the body, therefore moving your sleep cycle away from the deep DELTA waves that flow in the most relaxing and regenerative sleep cycles. Instead your sleep becomes restless and disturbed.

Tip 3: GET A SLEEP ROUTINE – the body thrives on rituals and patterns. By setting a specific time to get ready for bed every day, you’re giving your body the message it needs to prepare for a good night’s sleep. If you’re up watching telly late, blue light from the screen stimulates your eyes and hormones are released to activate functions you need when awake. Poor sleep ensues, then the next night you try and ‘catch up’ on sleep by going to bed at 9:30pm. Your body has no idea what’s going on and you will lie there awake, thinking about what you need to do tomorrow rather than falling asleep peacefully today. A often hear of people waking up with an alarm set for 6:30am, and then hitting ‘snooze’ (sometimes multiple times!). This is the most stressful and ineffective way to start the day. You’ll feel more tired, more frustrated and you’ll have a poorer night’s sleep the following night.

Tip 4: GET A BEDTIME TEA – 20 minutes before getting ready for bed, make a tea proven to improve sleep quality and sleep latency. First tip is to find a quality Reishi medicinal mushroom extract; this has been scientifically proven to decrease the time it takes to fall asleep and improve the time spent in deep sleep. Second tip is to find a good quality Valerian root tea; a natural sedative and proven to be as effective as synthetic sleeping pills. This root can be so powerful that if you take too much, it could make you feel so well rested that you could feel overly drowsy the next morning! Finally, the ‘grandmother’s favourite’ tip: Chamomile – not only good for helping you ease into sleep, but also for improving digestion and expelling unwanted gases from your colon. Give these tips a try – and let me (and others) know how you found them!

Tip 5: GET A HIGH PROTEIN/HIGH FAT/LOW CARB SNACK ONE HOUR BEFORE BED – It’s been a big day at work…you’ve spent the day constantly making important decisions – and tiredness has finally kicked in. The last thing you want to do is cook a big meal, so what do you do? 1) Order Deliveroo, 2) make something quick (usually a pasta dish) or 3) head straight for the ice cream in the freezer! My most valuable tip will get you out of this sticky situation…don’t bother ordering, cooking OR binging. Stay calm and eat something low in carbs, high in fat and high in protein – you’re more likely to sleep like a baby. Low carbs reduce the likelihood of an insulin spike while sleeping and high protein and fat fuels healthy regeneration of muscle tissues, providing fuel for the functioning of your cells during restorative sleep. MY BEST OPTIONS FOR THIS? Almonds, pumpkin seeds, cashew nuts, walnuts, sunflower seeds, hulled hemp seeds! Crack some sea salt over them (or have the ‘nut butter’ versions with some raw veggies) and I promise you, you will feel more rested, more rejuvenated and better prepared for the tasks you need to complete the next day.

So there are my 5 essential tips for a good nights sleep! Plenty of information to get your teeth into and even if you only use one of them, it could greatly change the quality of your sleep and general wellbeing. Please share with anyone who has problems sleeping or you think might benefit from this information…Thank you and see you next time.

Patrick Moore Jones