FITNESS4LONDON's SparkPeople Blog FITNESS4LONDON's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Fitness Buddy I've not logged onto Sparkpeople for ages, been busy building my social network Fitness Buddy on my Fitness4London site. Got just over 900 members now. All free to join and use. It's mainly for people living in London UK, but the weight loss buddy and quit smoking buddy is worldwide. <BR> <BR> Thanks to Asmarterway for making a comment on my previous blog post, or I wouldn't have logged onto Sparkpeople today. <BR> <BR> Hope you like it! <BR> <BR> ps- random cooking tip: I've just been giv... Fri, 9 Aug 2013 08:37:01 EST Balance - the elusive goal I was thinking today about balance in life. It's great to have goals and passions, but not so great if they steer your life off balance in unhealthy ways. <BR> <BR> For example, successful business people and professionals may have achieved a lot financially and career-wise, but at what cost to their health and relationships? I'm not saying it's impossible to be a high achiever in your profession AND be fit & healthy (both mentally and physically) AND enjoy great relationships, but it's cha... Sun, 25 Sep 2011 13:19:46 EST What's your biggest fitness achievement to date? What's your biggest ever fitness achievement to date, and how did you do it? That's the question I'd love to hear your answers to....... <BR> <BR> For me it was getting up to 185 lbs in weight, more muscular (12% body fat) last year. i'm a 42 year old male, 6'1" (185cm) tall. Right now I'm around 13.5% body fat, and 182lbs . Most people's goal is to lose weight, mine is always to gain weight, as long as it's lean muscular weight (with the proviso that I don't exceed 15% body fat maximum). <B... Mon, 30 May 2011 02:46:03 EST Is your strategy only 2 dimensional? It struck me as I lost yet another tennis match that I'm really limiting my chances by being 2 dimensional, when I could become 3 dimensional, in my approach to the game. <BR> <BR> By over-relying on groundstrokes (forehand/backhand), I'm hardly ever exploiting volleys, smashes (aka overheads), lobs, and drop-shots. All these shots are crucial for a well-rounded player, yet when I attempt them, I often flunk them through lack of mastery and practice of these shots. <BR> <BR> I've finally re... Thu, 26 May 2011 12:21:17 EST Should personal trainers be charged? Just seen on local news (London, UK) that one borough council (Hammersmith & Fulham) is now charging personal trainers for training clients in public parks. <BR> <BR> Shouldn't government be encouraging more physical activity, instead of adding yet more layers of bureaucracy and taxation? <BR> <BR> What do you think? Wed, 27 Apr 2011 03:30:00 EST Gym Membership I've had a busy few weeks with my clients, and found that I'm only getting to the gym a couple of times a week. This works out at £7.50 per visit! <BR> <BR> The rest of the week I work out at home, easier to squeeze in time-wise, as it takes me 20-30 mins to get to the gym, and 20-30 mins to get back home. <BR> <BR> And if I only get to the gym once in a particular week, that equates to £15 for the visit! <BR> <BR> How many times a week do you get to the gym? What stops you going more oft... Wed, 23 Mar 2011 12:17:24 EST Great book... Check out this great book: Turbo Charge Your Life in 14 Days, by Jason Vale. <BR> <BR> For those who don't know Jason Vale, he's The Juice Master, a vegetable-juicing guru, who packs a punch with his no-nonsense, no-excuses approach to weight-loss and fitness. <BR> <BR> Well worth getting. Plenty of inspirational examples of people who stopped making excuses and started living. Fri, 4 Mar 2011 04:22:54 EST A useful motivational trick... It's been several weeks since I've been on this Sparkpeople website, I've been so busy with new clients. Some days I've not even had time to get to the gym, so I've been doing more home workouts. <BR> <BR> However, if you've had a long day and get back home tired, it's easy to skip that workout you promised yourself you would do, right? <BR> <BR> So what I do is to plan in advance what I'm going to do when I get home in the evening, and set everything up in such a way that it encourages me ... Fri, 11 Feb 2011 03:42:20 EST My 2011 Fitness Resolutions Everyone's talking about new year resolutions, so I don't want to be the odd one out! <BR> <BR> 1. Improve my tennis to the point that I'm beating more people than are beating me. My arch-rival in tennis is my cousin, who is better than me, and it would be fantastic to beat him regularly. <BR> <BR> 2. Step up my exercise levels so that I'm making more consistent gains in healthy weight ie muscle, while maintaining my 13% body fat. To reach 14 stone would be good (that's 196 lbs to the Ameri... Fri, 7 Jan 2011 04:28:11 EST Cheese? When I ask my overweight clients what their favourite foods are, very often comes the reply cheese. <BR> <BR> In small amounts cheese is ok, a source of protein and calcium, and a source of intense taste pleasure. <BR> <BR> But it doesn't take much for it to become a source of excess body-fat. <BR> <BR> I eat cheese occasionally, sometimes for dessert after making a meal for friends, we dig into some cheese and biscuits and fruit. Red grapes, apples and pears go very well. <BR> <BR> Woul... Wed, 15 Dec 2010 12:43:26 EST Power Eating Just re-read a great nutrition book Power Eating by Susan Kleiner (published by Human Kinetics, in the USA). <BR> <BR> If you want to build muscle, gain energy, lose fat, this book is packed with great tips and lots of detail. Wed, 17 Nov 2010 06:23:59 EST Slight shoulder muscle tear Too much tennis has caused a slight shoulder muscle tear - so I'm icing it 20 mins a day (bag of frozen peas in tea towel), and massaging the area with baby oil (with my other hand!), and focusing on training legs/core while the shoulder area recovers. <BR> <BR> Still doing very light chest/back/shoulders/arms workouts, which seems to help, certainly not painful, and stops loss of muscle tone altogether. <BR> <BR> If you have an injury - don't stop exercising altogether! Treat the area dili... Mon, 27 Sep 2010 14:11:54 EST Nutrition Tools - Impressive! I've just started tracking my nutrition using the SparkPeople nutrition tools. I'm blown away by its perfect combination of simplicity and sophistication. <BR> <BR> I love the way it calculates your breakdown of carbs/fats/protein, both in numbers and visual pie-charts. And calculates so fast! <BR> <BR> Thanks to fellow Spark friends who encouraged me to give it a try. Sun, 12 Sep 2010 11:51:53 EST Swimming challenge I swam this week, for the first time in ages. <BR> <BR> As a kid I used to cycle to the local pool and swim one mile (65 lengths of a 25m pool) every sunday, then cycle back home. Thing is, I did the whole swim as front crawl (freestyle). <BR> <BR> This week I did 30 lengths, but this time I varied the strokes. First length was breast-stroke, 2nd length was freestyle, then leg flips (ie backstroke without using arms), and the 4th length backstroke. I continued this pattern up to 30 lengths... Fri, 10 Sep 2010 10:54:09 EST Colonic Irrigation ( ie - colonic hydrotherapy) I'm researching an article for my Fitness4London site about colonic irrigation, also known as colonic hydrotherapy. <BR> <BR> Has anyone had one, or know a friend who has? Please get in touch and let me know how it went, how you felt during it, after it, and would you recommend it? <BR> <BR> Opinion is divided. Some say it's not necessary because the liver and kidneys do a perfectly good job of detox, and healthy eating over the long term is sufficient to ensure a healthy colon. <BR> <BR>... Sat, 4 Sep 2010 10:14:23 EST The Inner Game of Tennis 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. <BR> <BR> 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. <BR> <BR> Only then (the book teaches) can you effec... Mon, 12 Jul 2010 04:49:33 EST Eating Raw Veg 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. <BR> <BR> 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. <BR> <BR> By setting a regular time to eat some raw veg at the start of the day, you're more likely to get ... Sat, 26 Jun 2010 05:04:13 EST Anyone into Tennis? 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! Fri, 18 Jun 2010 04:52:30 EST My new tennis club Just joined a local tennis club, Aldersbrook Tennis Club, near Wanstead, east London, UK. <BR> <BR> 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. <BR> <BR> If you join a sports or fitness club it really boosts your health and fitness. You benefit from the social... Sun, 30 May 2010 04:05:49 EST Exercises for upper/mid back 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. <BR> <BR> 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 whe... Sun, 2 May 2010 03:50:34 EST Top tip for muscle growth Here's a great tip for muscle growth - and you can put it into action the next time you're in the gym: it's SLOW NEGATIVES. <BR> <BR> What's slow negatives? Like it sounds, it means you perform the return half of your rep very slowly, such as the downward portion of a bicep curl. And for even better results, try pausing for 3 seconds halfway down. This will really stimulate new muscle growth. Thu, 4 Mar 2010 10:28:45 EST Raw Veg Juicing update The more I use my manual juicer, the faster I get. It's fiddly and slow the first time round, but as with everything, practice makes perfect. <BR> <BR> It's crucial to dilute the juice in water, at least 50% water, otherwise it's just too concentrated. <BR> <BR> My current favourite is English greens (cheap from any large supermarket), carrots, ginger. In the summer when radishes are more widely available I'll add them too. <BR> <BR> Feeling more energetic after each dose of raw juice! Thu, 25 Feb 2010 05:10:34 EST Raw Vegetable Juicing I've just ordered a manual masticating veg juicer - can't wait to see the health benefits when i start juicing. Watch this space! Sun, 3 Jan 2010 08:18:13 EST