Post 1 – Just do it!For my first post I thought why not start with the most important thing when it comes to achieving results. I’ve been asked by countless people what they can do to achieve their goals. My response is obviously varied depending on the individual and what their motivation is however one common thing attributed to all individual success is –  just do it! Yep exactly like the nike slogan however it is really true. If you look at the people who achieve results they put time and effort into what they do. This applies to not only elements of nutrition and exercise but in everything we do in life. If you really want something you have to get out there and do what needs to be done to get there. Now when it comes to exercise and nutrition we can help. We can guide you in respect to what you need to do to achieve the results you are looking. We can write you a personalised program, check your diet and make sure it is right for you but at the end of the day you need to do it. I often use the analogy of that to a doctor. If you are sick and the doctor prescribes you medication to get better most people will take it because they know if they don’t they wont get better. I find it interesting when people ask for nutrition or exercise advice how many people actually do not follow the simple steps to achieving what they want.

It is pointless getting caught up on little technical points. You need to look at the big picture and usually to get the results you need to put in the time and effort and those results will come. I’ve helped alot of people achieve what they wanted but 1 man stands out. He came to me and wanted to get bigger. He basically wanted to put on muscle size. I had a look at his diet and program and changed it all around so his program was hypertrophy based and his diet reflected the needs of his body. I saw him about a year later and he had been following my program and my nutrition advice and had put on around 22kg! He looked huge compared to before and it was pretty much all muscle! The point to this story is this man came for advice and took it on board. He achieved the results he wanted. There is only so much ‘information’ you can take in the rest just comes down to doing what you are supposed to and trusting that is the right thing to do. Do that and all the goals and dreams you ever hoped for will come true.

Post 2 – Barefoot running - There has been a lot of media attention on barefoot running and how good it is for you. We all know the media can be a little bias from time to time so here are some pros and cons on the matter to help you make up your own mind.

Pros

  • Works on strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the foot in conjunction with facilitating/encouraging proprioception development of the feet and lower body.
  • Loads the achillies tendon to a greater degree (is this really a good thing? Increased risk of developing tendonopathy of the achillies) and encourages individuals to run on the ball of their feet and decrease heel contact/impact with the ground.
  • Running barefoot from a young age can help develop and strengthen surrounding muscles of the foot.
  • Vibram five finger shoes are the new ‘barefoot footwear’ that advocate little support and therefore letting the foot work in its natural way. Plimsoll shoes are another form of low support footwear – just as effective with no added heel lift at a fraction of the price of the vibram shoes.

Cons

  • For most people natural movement and structure of their feet cause stress or overuse in one part of the body leading to knee, hip or lower back issues. The right type of shoe can help correct/prevent this issue.
  • The positive advocation for barefoot running is in its ability to help decrease chronic injuries (minimal evidence) due a decrease in heel striking while wearing shoes. However there are more than one theory on this matter. The first suggests even with runners you should be trying to make contact with the balls of your feet first at all times and your heel should not be touching the ground – this has to do with technique not shoes/no shoes wearing. However this type of technique may expose your body to potential risks such as achillies tendonopathy, metatarsalgia (forefoot pain), shin splints and stress fractures. The second theory suggests striking with your heel first (with or without shoes) allowing the foot to have a mid stance during running, causing pronation of the foot – allowing for shock absorption. This may reduce the risk of stress related injuries detailed above. However primary heel contact running may create a ‘block’ effect in your legs (as is the case when striking in front of your body {incorrect technique} rather than under your body/hip region {correct technique}) often leading to knee and other related leg issues.
  • The heel support we see in our shoes is predominatley for walking – which we spend most of our time doing and thus the support. It decrease the shock sent through our body and therefore decreases the stress sent throughout our knees and lower back.
  • Running on pavement even with shoes creates a lot of stress in our body due to minimal shock absorption. Without runners the entire impact is absorbed by our knees and lower back. Correct running technique can decrease this stress. Correct technique with cushion by way of correct footwear can decrease this same stress to a greater degree.
  • As we age the ability to train the foot muscles efficiently when running barefoot decreases and our risk of injury increases if continual barefoot exposure persists on harsh surfaces that give no absorption such as pavement and ash felt.

Conclusion: See a podiatrist. They are trained specialists and will help you find out what is the best option for you. There are lots of positives and negatives for running barefoot however you need to see what is the best thing for your body in the long term. Everyone is different. For some barefoot may be the best option for others perhaps not.

For further enquires contact Dr Steven Singh – registered podiatrist at ss3singh@gmail.com

Post 3 – Do not believe everything you see or hear - I have seen and heard things that were completely untrue and have had people come to me who had seen these same things asking if it were correct. Be very careful on your sources and check to see how credible the source really is. I realise how conflicting this message may come across as one would be lead to think is this piece of writing or this website credible. All the information on this site is cross referenced and extracted from highly reputable sources. Published books, articles from medical journals and professionals in their fields. Many websites simply compile information and go through no process to make sure the information they are providing is truly correct. I saw doctor Oz on television speaking to 3 overweight women about how to lose weight and I was disgusted by the information/education given to them. His approach to their weight loss was short sighted and information provided incorrect. He spoke to one lady telling her that her BMI placed her in a morbidly obese category and that was the big thing he wanted to focus on and that her waist circumference and dress size (although important) were not as important as her BMI and weight. BMI is a good general tool but on an individual scale tells you nothing. It does not tell you where the weight is (around your upper body and stomach as far more health implications than lower body). Does not take into account whether your weight is muscle, water, blood, bone density. Most people would not care about their ‘weight’ if they were fit, healthy and looked like an athlete. Therefore weight is not the issue, it is fat that is the issue. And BMI is a poor testing mechanism for this.

The point to all this is be very clear and do not trust everything you see and hear. Do your own research, check alternate sources. Government websites are usually good places to go to as they cannot just post anything they want on there (unlike T.V, newspapers and most .com websites).

Post 4 – There is a new amazing weight loss pill that guarantees results! Do you take it? – It perplexes me how many people think exercise and weight loss should be as easy as the title of this post. I often pose the question back to people in saying ‘what else in life is this easy? Why should exercise be any different?’ Let’s think about this for a second. No one hands you anything else in life. You need to work to save money to purchase the things you need or want, you need to study hard and apply yourself in your everyday life what ever it may be. Why then when it comes to exercise do so many of us expect the easy way out is just around the corner. If I told you you need to work hard, commit a huge amount of time and energy into achieving your weight loss goals most people would be so intimidated they would never come back. The reality is though this is what it takes to achieve EVERYTHING in life – no exceptions. There are three principles that achieve results.

1. Frequency – You must exercise and commit to your health plan on a frequent basis and not just once a week or month or whenever you feel like it.

2. Consistency – Keeping the frequency up. It is not enough to exercise all out seven times in a week, expect your goals to be achieved in that week and then when it does not happen give up. Results will come over time and applying your self on a frequent basis with consistency over time will be your ticket in getting there.

3. Effort – Once you are committed and attending and are working through your health plan frequently and consistently then you must not be afraid to get your hands and legs a little sore and put some real effort in. Most results come from just doing things. I have seen a lot of people achieve results not because they had the best trainer or knew what they were doing but because they had a goal in mind and they came in rain hail or shine, worked hard over a long period of time (didn’t expect results over night) and put a lot of effort in when they were in it.

Post 5 – Different diets - The new thing – Paleo diet – the caveman diet. This partially links in to my previous post however a little more dietary related. Ofcourse the Paleo diet works. All diets work. That is why they all get attention at some point in their lifespan. The thing is they are all simply a restriction of something. Paleo dieting is eating natural foods, nothing processed. No carbs after dinner or 2 or whatever number you want to restrict it to works (not for the reasons most people think however). Here are some common themes of most diets:

1. They restrict heavily processed foods like chocolates, chips, biscuits, ice cream – ie. things high in saturated and trans fats.

2. Generally high in natural food products (this is the predominate concept of the paleo diet)

3. Restricted energy consumption (this one of the main basis of the decreased carbs diet)