How To Cheat Death! Well, Almost…

We all want the miracle cure. The pill, the potions, the surgery – anything that might make us look and feel younger.

Well – we thought we’d let you into a science backed secret that’s pretty important you know about. We’re nice like that 🙂

If you remember, last week I wrote about science based ways to train that improve short term Human Growth Hormone production. It’s an incredibly important hormone for longevity of life.

Why? Because HGH leads to increased strength, lean muscle mass, decreased body fat, improved bone density and a faster, more efficient metabolism, as well as having other regenerative benefits. Oh and it also improves mood, energy, sleep and skin tone.

As we age however, it reduces dramatically. Meaning the benefits we get from it begin to diminish.

But we can cheat it.

So how…?

Well, exercise in general will give a short term boost in HGH and the great news is – specific ways of training can amplify the effect for best results.

To recap that is short bursts of HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) of no longer than 20 minutes. Followed by resistance training (weight bearing exercise) straight after if possible.

What’s exciting is two more studies not only reinforce the health benefits of varied training that we’ve mentioned above, but actually link exercise to life longevity in a HUGE study.

The first study looked at 4400 adults aged 50 or older who had their strength and muscle mass assessed between 1999 and 2002. The study checked in 2011 who was still living (I know a bit grim sorry!)

Incredibly those assessed with low muscle strength were over twice as likely to have died…

Interestingly muscle mass didn’t have an effect, it was purely the strength result. So functional strength decreases your mortality risk, as well as having plenty of other all around health benefits.

The second study looked at data from 80,000 adults in England and Scotland who’d completed surveys about physical activity during the 1990s.

The headline from this study is that those who’d done any kind of strength training were 23 percent less likely to have died during the study period, and 31% less likely to have died of cancer.

However, before you ditch your cardio and start lifting the weights, you might want to know this fact: those who did strength training and aerobic exercise had a 29% reduction in mortality. That’s almost a third…

In summary, mixing up strength training with aerobic activity not only gives you all kind of hormonal and health benefits, but can significantly reduce your mortality risk.

You’ll live longer, and because you’re training this way, you’ll have a better quality of life too.

This is exactly how we train, how we set up our programmes, how we train our clients. We’re looking for varied, challenging training that’s fun, and not only meets aesthetic goals, but delivers health goals over the long term. Now the data suggests it can also prolong your life.

Love to hear your thoughts and questions, so feel free to give us a shout.

38nacademy.com

References
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2018 Mar;50(3):458-467

American Journal of Epidemiology. Volume 187, Issue 5, May 2018, Pages 1102–1112

Middle Age & Weight Gain: How To Handle It

What makes loosing weight hard as we get older and how can we get a handle on it?

We had this question recently from one of our clients, but it’s not the first time we’ve been asked it. We’re middle aged ourselves so this is something we’ve looked into, for our own goals and to successfully help our clients.

First up, why does it get harder to lose weight as we age? Well, there are a few reasons – mostly to do with the natural ageing process of our bodies. After about the age of 35 (we’re all different though – that’s why we work with blood tests and genetic samples with our consulting clients), there are a number of hormonal changes going on in the body which can contribute to weight gain.

For both men and women sex hormone levels drop, with less testosterone in the body, we have a lowered ability to synthesis new muscle tissue. This is an issue as from this age we’re losing roughly 3 to 5% of our muscle mass per decade with a resulting progressive drop strength. It’s a double whammy, our muscle tissue is degenerating and our hormonal balance is no longer primed for regeneration.

Our bone density also lowers (partly in thanks to lower oestrogen levels), while this won’t affect our weight per se, it’s important to note this for the fixes we’re going to recommend.

Likewise our collagen production lowers as our age increases (yes wrinkles!) but also less elastic tendons and ligaments.

On top of this our metabolisms also slow as we age, meaning we burn less energy than we used to. Now factor in that muscle is highly metabolically active, and that we’re losing that too and you can see that we’ve got double whammy of metabolic sluggishness.

Throw increased stress into the mix (midlifers are known as Generation Squeeze – careers, kids, parents etc) and you can be looking at raised cortisol levels too. This is linked with increased body fat (particularly abdominal fat) not to mention a host of other negative health indicators – both physical and mental.

So, let’s recap: our metabolisms are slowing, we’re losing muscle mass (slowing metabolism further), strength, flexibility and bone density. We’re probably stressed too, leading to more fat gain and our lifestyles probably mean we’re not moving as much as we should and we’re probably eating too many of the wrong things at the wrong times. That’s why losing weight is harder as we get older.

All is not lost – far from it! And it doesn’t take a massive lifestyle overhaul. We need to address two factors – movement, and nutrition.

As we age, it’s great to keep moving for all kinds of health reasons, and if you can, a couple of HIIT sessions a week are going to be great to boost your cardiovascular fitness, burn body fat and raise your metabolic rate. If you need to ease into HIIT then standard cardio is fine, it’s about getting moving regularly.

If you can go the HIIT route then you need to train for 15 – 20 mins twice a week – do-able!

We also want to not only preserve, but increase that muscle mass, so a minimum of two sessions of resistance training a week are your prescription for: increased muscle, increased strength, better bone density, higher metabolic rate.

These sessions don’t have to be in a gym, or even using weights at all. Again, a 20 to 30 minute bodyweight workout can work wonders.

Moving more burns more calories too, which is going to help with your fat loss. The other thing that’s going to help is addressing your nutrition. Knowing what to eat, when makes a huge difference and it’s not about restriction or foregoing your pleasures – we love a drink. This is something we spend time coaching our clients on and helping them with their nutrition, making sure they’ve got a firm grasp of the essentials for sustainable, long term healthy living.

Add some stretching post workout for those tendons and ligaments, or a regular yoga class, and when you put it all together you’re helping future proof your body for old age.

Finally, address the stress. Start habits and rituals that help move you to a more positive space. Practice meditation and mindfulness. There’s a lot you can do for yourself, but working on your mind is definitely an area that getting help can make a big difference with. We’ll use NLP techniques or patterning based on hypnotic symbolism to help clients reduce stress and shift towards positive habits and thoughts.

There we have it, some of the things that are happening to us as we get older, and solutions for dealing with them so that we can get to, then stay, in the mental and physical shape we want to be in.

With the right knowledge its not that hard, its not that time-consuming but the results can be life changing and prevention is better than cure. It’s not too late to start and imagine how good you could be feeling a month from now 🙂

If you’d like to learn more fill out this form ➡️https://bit.ly/2VFZfhe⬅️

or book a call ➡️https://bit.ly/2P35PvP⬅️

https://38nacademy.com/midlife-mentors/

Will A Blow Out Ruin My Progress?

This one is a really popular topic – especially over the summer in Ibiza! A little bit of sun, a dash of uplifting music, some drinks, and that one small beer turns into a mighty session… have you undone all your good work?

Although the next morning it will probably feel like it – not at all – and this is where people go wrong. A big day or night out is not going to help your health progress – no doubt on that (although if you have a good time and end up with a smile on your face – hey!) BUT falling off the wagon doesn’t mean you’ve lost the wagon train and you should lay down and wait for the vultures.

We see this all the time – people work hard for their body goals – watching their diet, moderating their drinking, training hard, then boom! That big blow out and they give up. Don’t!

First up, we’ve been prone to the odd big night out. BUT…what we learnt about ourselves early on is that the all or nothing approach does us no favours.

If you restrict yourself over too long a period of time – strict eating, early nights, herbal teas instead of Gs & Ts, sure, you start to feel physically great, BUT…

Emotionally you’re probably bored, overthinking and stressing about every little thing.

So…

Moderate.

We’ve learned having the odd drink when we want, going out when we feel like it – all helps with overall balance and our goals aren’t as impacted as when we’re trying to be at the extreme end of something. Think of it like an elastic band, we want to be flexible in the middle, not pulled tight at one end, or else, when the band pings…

So….live a balanced life, acknowledge your goals, stay on track, understand your need to have fun (within reason) and you’ll be far less inclined to “go hard or go home”.

But what if you did slip?

Here are some practical ways forward…..

You wake up feeling like death warmed up – all those negative voices in your head will start telling you “See, told you so…” Thank them, acknowledge them, and pick yourself up and move on.

If you’ve had the mother of all days/nights/48 hours, don’t try to do anything. Respect your body and your mind. Rehydrate with lots of water, eat nourishing food, rest.

If you’ve only gone moderately hard, and you feel you can, then moving can really help a) shake off a hangover b) help swing your mood back up as the endorphins from exercising kick in.

Only go at a pace and intensity that feels okay to you, and is safe for whatever you’ve done the night before. Aim for either a short burst of activity to get you sweating a little bit, or go for a long steady walk in the fresh air. Both work, sometimes short and sharp is better, like ripping a plaster off.

Remember that your insulin and blood sugars will be all over the shop from over-indulgence, but rather than going for the fatty, starchy food your hunger hormones will be screaming for, smash in lean protein like fish, chicken (easy to digest) and lots of veggies.

Be realistic, it’s not the end of the world. Rest, realign and once you’re recuperated, carry on as before and you’ll be back on track before you know it.

Are You Investing In You?

I’ve just completed our Q1 accounts and what leapt out at me was the amount (relatively) that Claire and I have spent on coaches, courses and learning.

We have a stable business, a strong sales pipeline for our retreats, corporate clients and consulting clients. We know what we’re doing. So why are we spending on coaches and learning?

The answer is, because we have a growth mindset. It would be easy to sit back and stay where we are, and have an easy, uncluttered life, but that’s not what we want or believe in. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to rest every now and again, but when you stop learning, stop growing, you don’t stay still, you actually go backwards.

This year we’ve worked with business coaches, money coaches, sales coaches, NLP coaches and more. Why? We know this stuff…

Well, we do, but other people can often articulate it better (with a fresh perspective) and we want to be the best versions of ourselves we can be. When we see an area we can improve on we jump at the chance to work on it.

That way we can be the best we can be, and we can be even better at helping others. Our lives are a journey, and your learning doesn’t stop when you leave school or university, it carries on throughout your life.

Now, you might passively sit by and let life teach you lessons (and it will!) but why not take control and learn what’s going to benefit you, and the people around you, the most?

Could we have coasted on without these coaches? Yes, for sure. But they all added value to our lives and what we can offer others.

So this short blog is not meant to tell you how great we think we are, but rather how we acknowledge that we need support and learning to grow and become greater, to reach higher, to serve better.

The purpose of this piece is to ask you, where can you level up? What part of your life would you like to steer in a more positive direction?

It’s never too late. In the words of Ghandi, “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

if you’d like to talk to us about how we could help you move forward, then drop us a line.

We’d love to speak to you 🙂

Much love

James

Dealing With Fear

I was privileged to work with some fabulous clients this weekend. One common theme when we were looking at future goals was the role of fear.

Some of those fears were tangible, real, justified – if you’re going to climb a mountain, then you need to prepare and things can go wrong, of course.

But so many fears we talked about were intangible. Nebulous, “what if’s?”

Let’s make a distinction between a genuine thing to be rightly concerned about, like a health scare, attempting something genuinely dangerous, and a fear. For the purposes of this piece a fear is an unlikely and undesired outcome (that scares us) about something in the future that hasn’t happened yet.

I suffer from this myself. I call them the 4am terrors. Those irrational nibbling thoughts that sneak in when your subconscious is strongest and your rational mind is weakest.

Again, sometimes this terror can be serious. Proper problems that need attention. All too often though they’re (in the cold light of day) inconsequential things.

So what do you do when your fears are blocking you from achieving, or even attempting, your goals?

One useful tool is reframing.

We tend to have quite a limited perspective when it comes to ourselves and dwell on the negative outcomes of things that have happened, or could happen.

How often have you replayed an event in your mind thinking, “If only I’d said this. If only I’d done this?”

Yep, we’ve all done it.

We get trapped in our narrow frame of perspective.

What happens though if you look at your issue in a broader perspective (a bigger frame) and look at the positives (or potential positives) if it’s a future worry?

Here’s an example. Your relationship has finished. Of course that is a major event, traumatic, you’re sad. You’re dwelling on all the negative aspects that now brings to your life. You’re lonely. Will you find another partner etc?

What if we now look at that event within the context of your entire life and the opportunities it now brings.

Maybe you weren’t really suited to that person. Actually the relationship wasn’t so great. Now you have time to invest in yourself. You can meet new people. Take on that hobby you wanted to do for years….

You’re not trying to bury your feelings or re-touch the past – but what you are doing is giving yourself a broader frame of reference, which will help make the event easier to deal with and allow you to move forward.

Another tool you can use, is disassociation.

When we’re emotionally connected to our fears (of course!) it can make give us a limited perspective (as seen above with reframing). Those fears are closely associated with us.

Here’s two ways you can disassociate.

What if we were to pretend that the fear belonged to a friend of ours, rather than ourselves? What advice would you give them looking in from the outside…not emotional involved? We’re naturally limited by our perspective, so if we change perspective, how does that change our view of the fear?

Another way is to look at the present fear along a future timeline. I use this one a lot. In 6 months time, will this thing that’s giving me a racing heart at 4 in the morning, have any kind of significant impact in my life? How about in 1 year, 5 years?

When we start looking at fears like this we gain the perspective of distance, and we can see how that disagreement we had at work that we’re replaying and replaying, and worrying about, actually won’t matter AT ALL in 2 weeks, let alone in 2 months.

Naturally we all have things to genuinely be concerned about. Issues to overcome. That’s life. But so often the fears that stop us are those fears are our sub-conscious sabotaging us through over-protection. Those irrational, unlikely, night terror fears that we all succumb to.

Fear is always going to be a player your life.

Learn to play with it and don’t let it stop you moving towards your goals.

You’ve got this. I believe in you.

James x

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