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FITNESS4LONDON's Recent Blog Entries

The Inner Game of Tennis

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm reading a great book called The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey. It contains great insights into how to improve your tennis (or to improve any skill for that matter) by changing the way you learn.

Instead of rushing to judgment on your tennis strokes (and mis-judging what's going on) the book teaches you how to calmly and objectively observe what you're doing and what's happening, with full and relaxed concentration.

Only then (the book teaches) can you effectively analyse how to improve, rather than doing what most people do: criticising yourself with vague, unfocused, and unhelpful/unproductive comments like 'that was terrible' or 'I'm useless' or 'I'll never get this right', without really noticing exactly what just happened and learning from it.

Once you master this Zen-like approach to learning, you discard all the self-defeating emotions of anxiety/tension/anger/frustration/confusio
n/irritation, and instead observe what's happening and learn from it. The book helps you to focus, boost your powers of observation, think more clearly, learn more quickly, and enjoy yourself more.

Apart from improving your tennis, it helps you to 'learn how to learn more effectively' - and this skill can be transferred to every area of your life.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

PALEAN 7/12/2010 6:28AM

    Coincidence, but I almost got this book at the library the other day. Now I will! Thanks!

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Eating Raw Veg

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Here's a quick and easy way to eat more raw veg. After breakfast, get into the habit of eating two raw carrots, or 2 sticks of celery, or a red or yellow pepper.

By doing this as part of your breakfast routine, you don't need to worry about packing it for a later snack. Another thing, the goodness of raw veg depletes if you peel/chop raw veg and don't eat it straight away.

By setting a regular time to eat some raw veg at the start of the day, you're more likely to get into the habit, and it's done before the turmoil of your day begins.

By all means have raw veg at other times of the day too, but make sure you've got your breakfast portion in, as an absolute priority.

This way you'll get all the goodness of the vitamins, minerals, and fibre too, guaranteed every day.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ADZY86 9/20/2010 10:34AM

    I know this is an old blog (I was just doing some stalking on your page and came across it lol) but that's so interesting...I didn't know the goodness depletes after a while either. Every day I chop up a carrot, half a red pepper and some cucumber and pack it with my pitta sandwich. Maybe I should bring them whole and peel them when i'm about to eat them. Thanks for filling us in on that one.

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SCREWIE 7/15/2010 4:40AM

    Thanks again! I'll have to start using tinned tomatoes in my sauces. Usually I eat them raw 'cos I love them that way, I kind of use them like sweets and if I have cherry toms I pop them like sweets. Does the lycopene absorption need "proper" cooking, or does it work even if, say, I just chuck some tomatoes in the pan and lightly warm them up?

And thanks for stopping by my spark page :)

Comment edited on: 7/15/2010 4:40:43 AM

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FITNESS4LONDON 7/12/2010 4:35AM

    Most people aren't aware that the goodness of fruit/veg starts to deplete when you peel/chop, so it's best to eat as soon as you've peeled or chopped it.

Same goes for cooking veg, you lose some of the nutrients when you cook it. So either cook it lightly, stir fry briefly, or eat raw.

There are some exceptions to this rule. Tomatoes for instance, are better for you when cooked because the antioxidant lycopene is better absorbed by the body when tomatoes are cooked. So tinned tomatoes or tomato puree added to cooking are a great idea and very convenient.

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SCREWIE 6/26/2010 6:24AM

    I didn't know that the goodness depletes if you don't eat it straight away.

Thanks for the tip!

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Anyone into Tennis?

Friday, June 18, 2010

If you're into tennis, check out the tennis tips page of my site - there's a fantastic YouTube video clip of the best tennis coaching I've come across on the internet so far. Check it out and tell your friends!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITNESS4LONDON 6/26/2010 4:57AM

    I've had 3 of my first block of 5 lessons with my new tennis coach. Some great tips he gave me, for anyone into tennis:

1. In your groundstrokes, watch the ball right onto the strings, so that your head is completely still even in the second after you've hit the ball. Watch how Federer does this.

2. You absolutely have to master topspin if you're to progress with your groundstrokes. It enables you to hit over net with comfortable margin of error, and keeps the ball in when it lands. Always aim to hit with spin (whether it's topspin or slice), never flat.

3. Always aim for a target, and you'll learn accuracy far more quickly than if you're just hitting in a vague general direction. The more specific your target, the more you'll learn about how to adjust your shot next time.

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HIGHBURY.HOUSE 6/19/2010 4:43AM

    will do

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My new tennis club

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Just joined a local tennis club, Aldersbrook Tennis Club, near Wanstead, east London, UK.

Really glad I joined, 6 hard court (3 just resurfaced, good as new) and a friendly crowd of people. I'm contacting tennis buddies through my Fitness Buddy social network on my site, and getting fellow tennis enthusiasts to come over and play a match with me.

If you join a sports or fitness club it really boosts your health and fitness. You benefit from the social interaction with like-minded people, your competitive instincts are enhanced, and your sense of commitment to your health, fitness and chosen sport increases dramatically. I recommend it!


Exercises for upper/mid back

Sunday, May 02, 2010

I've been experimenting with new exercises for the mid traps and all those muscles of the rear delts (shoulders), rhomboids (between shoulder blades, deeper muscles) and associated muscles.

Lie face down on an incline bench (at 30 degrees from flat, or 45 degrees, it's good to vary the angle) and perform a variety of dumbell shrugs and lateral raises. Vary the position of your knuckles from set to set. And do some lifts with straight elbows, shrugging up, and then do some lifts where you bend your elbows to 90 degrees. Make sure you squeeze your shoulder blades at the top of each rep (ie each movement).

You'll feel a pleasant soreness the next day!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITNESS4LONDON 5/3/2010 4:15AM

    Just to add a safety tip to my blog about the shrugs and lateral raises - make sure you perform the movements slowly and smoothly. And don't use heavy weights for the lateral raises, make sure you start with light weights and only increase the weights in small increments.

The rear delts (delts = deltoids = shoulder muscles) and rotator cuff muscles are not designed to bear heavy loads, and can easily be torn by excessive weight. Go slow and smooth!

For the shrugs you can safely go heavier, as you're using powerful muscles of the upper/mid back, the traps (trapezuis) and rhomboids. But the same rule applies, go slow and smooth.

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HIGHBURY.HOUSE 5/2/2010 1:08PM

    sounds like fun - will give it a go

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GRAMPIAN 5/2/2010 4:57AM

  Thanks. Will try. emoticon

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