Don’t say “I want to lose weight”, say “It’s time to change!”

If-you-dont-start, you will never finish

Out of the entire adult population, how many people do you think want to lose some weight? And how many people want to lose a bit and how many a lot? 10%….20%…80%?

There’s no really definitive research out there but if you take into account that 64% of UK adults are either overweight or obese, then you would think the final figure is going to be nearer the 50-60% mark…that’s over twelve million people!

With such a big demand for something, you’d have thought that there would be some fairly effective solutions but, as most people know, the majority of the diet and weight loss business thrives on the fact that most marketed solutions don’t really work. The same people keep returning to try the latest fad product without any realistic hope of long term success.

If YOU happen to be one of those people who DO want to lose weight, then surely it’s time for a new approach…and there’s no better time to start thinking about it.

The truth is that so-called diets are trying to treat one of the major symptom of an “unhealthy” lifestyle, namely being overweight. By rigidly cutting out calories or certain food groups (the basis of most “diets”), then a temporary weight loss may occur. But what happens when the diet stops? If you’re still leading the same lifestyle, then surely the weight will come back on?

This is a typical “endless” cycle for most people looking to lose weight.

Surely then, the solution is to change one’s lifestyle in such a way that natural and progressive weight loss is a valuable by-product rather than a main objective?

To many people this is a seemingly insurmountable problem – a perception that a “lifestyle change” that’s effective in bringing about meaningful weight loss  must be drastic and extreme.

In fact, one of the biggest reasons why people don’t even start the process of getting fitter and losing that unwanted weight is because they think that ANY solution is going to be too hard and too painful.

It’s time this myth was put to bed for good!

If you take on board two big assumptions, then the whole process can be relatively simple and achievable (honest!).

1. You’ve got to REALLY want to make the change – the only person who can do it is you.

2. Nothing is going to happen overnight – but remember, this is all about bringing about a permanent change, not just a temporary quick fix.

Once you have these two things firmly set in your mind, then you can move forward.

I’ll be telling you exactly how and what to do in our next article.

William

The amazing 10 second body makeover

One of the simplest and quickest ways to both make yourself look fitter immediately  AND strengthen your core muscles for long term health is to get your posture right. Read on to find out why.

This may seem a very obvious comment, but not many people sit or stand with a good posture. If you don’t believe this, then just check out your own posture NOW!

If you are sitting, your bottom and lower back should be hard against the bottom and back of the chair (you shouldn’t be able to get your hand or arm in the gap), your shoulders should be back and your tummy muscles flat, firm and slightly held in.

A good sitting posture

A good sitting posture

If you are standing, your body should be straight from back of knee to neck, with your shoulders back, chest out, head up and with your tummy held in and muscles firm.

Good standing posture

Good standing posture

 

The chances are that you are slumped, with rounded shoulders, curved back and relaxed tummy muscles!

So, if this is you, then change positions into a “good” posture outlined above. Remember to pull in your tummy, not fully, but just enough to feel the muscles tighten.

For most of us, whether sitting or standing, this will feel unnatural to begin with and quickly your back and tummy muscles will start to gently ache. That’s not a problem, but it is an indication that your general “resting” posture has been neglected over the years  and it’s time to change things!

The objective is to always maintain the right posture, so start changing things little by little. When you are sitting down, begin with a good posture and, every time you realise you’re slumping or slipping in your seat, then alter your position back. Likewise, when you’re standing, adopt a good posture and then make corrections every time your body slips back to a “bad” posture.

To begin with, you’ll be making a lot of corrections, but that’s to be expected. After a while though, your body will start to adapt, the muscles will strengthen and you’ll find you adopt a good posture automatically.

Why is a good posture important?

  • It keeps your skeleton aligned in the right position, taking the pressure off joints and tendons.
  • It will strengthen your core inner muscles, particularly the ones surrounding your midriff, and will help minimise lower back strain and problems.
  • It will prevent you becoming round shouldered and your head will be supported correctly, taking pressure off nerves that cause neck and head aches.
  • If you learn to keep your tummy muscles firm and controlled permanently, then you’ll never need to do any tummy muscle exercises ever again!
  • It’s make you look and feel great! Next time you’re in  a public place, have a look around you and see who has a good posture and who a bad one. Now decide who looks fitter and healthier as a result!

Good luck!

William

 

’tis the time to eat and drink too much…10 great tips to save your waistline.

Master your portion size

Over the next few weeks, most of us will over eat and drink…after all it’s the festive season right? Eat, drink and be merry! There’s lots of TV ads showing very happy families sitting down at tables laden with glorious looking food and drink and we all start eating stuff which we wouldn’t normally even consider throughout the rest of the year!

No wonder the first week in January hits us like an express train!

So is there a way of having a great Christmas and New Year to minimise the effects of the January hangover?

You bet there is…just follow these simple tips and you’ll be able to indulge in all your favourite treats with a smile on your face!

1.  Drink lots of water – everybody says it but nobody does it! By all means have a small juice and coffee at breakfast but then stick to water instead of fizzy drinks. Aim to have at least 5 glasses per day and definitely drink one just before, and during, a meal. If you’re having alcohol as well, make sure you drink water in between.

Why it’s good: Water is the best drink for your body, bar none. Drinking it will stop you feeling hungry, will make you feel fuller and help flush out all the toxins from the alcohol.

2. Have a good nutritious breakfast everyday – you’ll probably be eating treats for the remainder of the day, so no need to start off with a cooked and fat-full breakfast! What’s a nutritious breakfast? See my article here for some great suggestions The top 10 ingredients for the perfect breakfast.

Why it’s good: Having a good, balanced breakfast will set your body up for the day and leave you less tempted to start snacking early on.

3. Eat smaller portions of EVERYTHING – don’t deprive yourself of any favourite treats, just eat a bit less of all of them. Don’t let anyone else pile your plate with food, don’t be tempted to finish off the last roast potato “because it’s there” and never have seconds of anything.

Why it’s good: If you think that we probably eat 20-30% more things at Christmas, then reducing the actual amount you eat by the same percentage will let you indulge to your heart’s content.

4. Go for lots of brisk walks – we’re not talking about hour long, all-the-family-have-to-come-too rambles, we’re suggesting quick 10 minute walks by yourself (or with a conspiratorial partner) up and down the road. Do one after every meal if you can and halfway through the inevitable TV marathon in the evening. It’s easy to do, doesn’t require any special exercise gear and no one will miss you for 10 minutes!

Why it’s good: Increase your breathing and heart rate and brisk walking is one of the most effective exercises you can do. A 10 minute walk won’t burn off a Christmas lunch but it will help the body metabolise the food and drink much more efficiently, stop you grazing on those after-dinner treats and make you feel human again.

5. Eat healthy snacks as well as the unhealthy ones – wherever you are, make sure there is plenty of nuts and fruit readily to hand. At those “grab a mouthful of something” moments, make sure it’s one of these, rather than chocolate or another mince pie. Save up your “unhealthy” treat for a certain time of the day and then really enjoy it!

Why it’s good: You’ll probably put most of your unwanted calories into your body by “grazing” on unhealthy treats over Christmas. If you can swap out 50% or even more with healthy ones, then you’ll be that much better off.

6. Brush your teeth after every meal – and as many times in between. It’ll make your mouth feel fresh again and will stop a binge run in its tracks.

Why it’s good: As well as creating a taste barrier, teeth cleaning is a great cue telling the body that eating time is over. Most drinks don’t taste so good after either!

7. Use a positive mantra – decide on an expression like “I just don’t need that“, “I know I’m not going to have a second helping” or “Don’t even think about it” and say it to yourself whenever temptation rears it’s head…not just once, but lots of times. And when the temptation passes, give yourself a huge mental pat on the back.

Why it’s good: Doing something like this may sound silly, but positive self-talk is extremely effective at directing your behavior. Do it enough and it will become self-fulfilling.

8. Keep a mental food diary – we’re not talking about calorie counting, but a big food plate. Imagine putting everything you’ve eaten on one plate and see how it piles up during the day. Keep it in your mind’s eye and slow down, or stop, the food intake when the pile gets too high.

Why it’s good: There’s a reason why all these diet reality TV programmes pile someone’s weekly or monthly food intake up on one table. Actually seeing how much you eat can be truly scary. Use this technique to help keep in control.

9. Try to stop eating when you feel a bit full – difficult with all the tempting food and drink on offer but crucial in keeping the calorie intake down. Never let yourself get into “stuff” mode…push your plate aside if necessary or excuse yourself from the table for 5 minutes.

Why it’s good: One of the main causes of being overweight is eating when you don’t need to. Let your body tell you when it’s had enough.

10. Try not to eat after 7pm – have a small treat and a fruit tea but avoid the late-night binge on the leftover turkey, roast potatos and spirits bottle.

Why it’s good: Going to bed on a full stomach is NEVER a good idea.

Follow these simple tips and you’ll emerge out the other side in the New Year relatively unscathed, ready to face the challenges of 2015.

Happy holidays!

William

Why now is the BEST time to start thinking about a New Year’s resolution…

Key points in this article:

  • There’s no need to dread the “New Year diet” if you take a different approach.
  • Plan some simple and achievable lifestyle changes that’ll both give you the control you want and make you fitter and healthier.
  • Look forward to the process because it’ll make you feel GREAT!

 Party drinks

With Christmas rapidly approaching, the last thing we want to be doing is thinking about that depressing moment in January when we realise that we have over-indulged during the festive period and really need to do something about our weight and general fitness.

This moment comes to most people – January is always the most profitable time for the diet and fitness industries – and we flock to the latest fad dieting book or celebrity-led fitness craze. It all goes to make this time of year even more depressing than usual!

If all this sounds familiar, then make a resolution NOW to do something different this year!

Instead of saying this to yourself:

‘Oh dear, I know I’m going to have to go on a diet after Christmas’

Say this:

‘This year, I’m not going to worry about my weight because I’m going to approach the whole slimming issue differently’

That feels a bit better doesn’t it?

Now stop thinking about losing weight at all. Instead, think more in terms of getting fitter and healthier. WHY?

  • Merely trying to lose weight is treating a symptom and if you don’t treat the cause (an unhealthy lifestyle), then you’re on a hiding to nothing.
  • To most people, everything to do with losing weight has BAD connotations…horrible diets, sweaty exercise sessions etc.
  • If you work on changing your lifestyle in terms of eating and activity, then you are looking at a long term solution, as opposed to a quick fix!

Check out this article for more information about this Don’t think “I want to lose weight” – think “I want to get fitter”

So if you think ahead to the New Year with a view to making your lifestyle more healthy, then that’s something you can really look forward to, as opposed to dread…and here’s why:

  1. Changing your eating and activity lifestyle is easier than you think, as long as you take it easy and think long term. If you want dramatic and instant results, then you’re going to be disappointed.
  2. Getting fitter and healthier will make you feel GREAT, whereas going on just a diet will make you feel BAD!
  3. Adapting your lifestyle is for a permanent effect and once you’re in control, you won’t have to worry about weight or diets again…imagine how that’ll feel!

Next steps:

If you like the sound of this approach, then I suggest you first read  The 5 golden rules before you try to lose weight. This will get you in the right mind set. Then find a plan that shows you how to make the changes…New In 90 is a good starting point because it will show you exactly what to do on a day by day basis. They are updating their App and it will be available in January but you can see the book here New In 90 e book.

Good luck!

William.

 

Why it’s important to manage your time if you want to lose weight and get fitter

Manage-your-time to manage your fitness

How much time are you REALLY prepared to invest to lose weight and get fitter?

A lot of people think (or hope) that losing weight is just a matter of watching what you eat using the latest diet craze. For some people this may be true, but to most of us, this approach just won’t work.

Changing anything “big” in your life, either because it’s forced upon you or done by choice, will inevitably take time, effort and focus. Whether or not that change is successful will depend on how motivated you are to see it through, particularly if it’s not a forced change. Even with the latter, the positiveness of the outcome will more often than not depend on your attitude and commitment to getting the best result (even if that means making the most of a bad situation).

What does this mean practically?

Well, learning to drive a car, a new language or a musical instrument would take a significant commitment and could not be done either overnight or halfheartedly. You would have to set aside specific time to study and practice over many months. Whether or not you are successful will depend on your motivation and commitment, with the latter being determined by how much you actually want to succeed.

Having big changes forced upon you are likely to be much more traumatic, but quite often the outcomes can be controlled to a degree by your approach to the problems and issues.

Losing weight and getting fitter can fall into both the above categories. A lot of people trying to slim or get more active are doing so out of choice, but many are doing it because they either know they should or have actually been advised to do so for good health reasons. But, make no mistake, getting rid of any excess weight (and then keeping it off) is a lot harder than putting it on in the first place! As such, it definitely should be treated in the “big” change category.

So, if you are one of those people who are unhappy with your weight and general fitness. you have to accept this first and foremost. Once you have done that, you can start to plan what you are going to do about it!

The good news is that something can be done! If you are one of those people who have tried diets in the past and found them not to work, you may be disheartened and fed up, so go back and read that sentence again…and the best thing is that losing weight and getting fitter goes hand in hand, particularly if you’re doing it for the long term.

The key is to understand this “big” change theory and treat it as such…and a crucial part of that is finding some time in your busy day – just like you’d have to for any other big change.

And so we are back to the question posed in the opening line. If you are not prepared to invest some time and effort, then you can stop reading this…come back to it again when you feel the right level of motivation!

If you feel you ARE ready for change, then you need to find, and then manage, some time for you.

For many people, this is a big stumbling block. “I just don’t have any time” is one of the most used excuses when it comes to losing weight and getting fitter. However, most people can actually free up some time (and we’re not talking about hours per day here…just a few minutes here and there) – if they want to.

So start by doing a short diary of your day, concentrating on blocks of time and what you are doing in those blocks. Remember, you don’t need to find huge amounts of free time.

Specific areas to target are TV and social media time (a recent survey suggested that the average Briton will spend over 3 hours and 14 mins per day either watching TV or on social media in 2014), coffee and lunch breaks and wake up/going to bed times. If you feel that you couldn’t possibly give up any of this sort of time, then you must go back to the “how motivated are you?” question.

Once, however, you have freed up some time, you have to find out how to spend it to achieve the most effective results for the long term. There is lots of information out there (the NHS is a good source – see link below), but a structured plan like New In 90 will tell you exactly how and what to do on a day by day basis in order to succeed in your goals.

Good luck!

William

Get the New In 90 book here

NHS Change4Life

Would YOU know what “too fat” is?

I wrote an article a few months back Being overweight is becoming “normal” says CMO, Dame Sally Davies about how people are beginning to accept that being overweight is the norm…and in a lot of research people constantly underestimate how “fat” they actually are.

So, before reading on, take a look at the figures in the picture and say which one most closely resembles your body shape.

African American women body image scale. Photograph: Adapted with permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd

African American women body image scale. Photograph: Adapted with permission from Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Whilst on the one hand it’s good to know that people who are overweight or obese are not stigmatised as much now as they may have been in the past, accepting that it’s OK to be overweight is not a great position to be from the point of view of your own health and fitness.

The latest evidence that we no longer see being “big” as necessarily “unhealthy” comes from the Rush Medical Centre in Chicago where a group of African American women were asked to look at the body shape scale above and rate which bodies they thought were underweight; OK; too fat; overweight or obese. They were also asked which of the figures represented their own body shape the closest.

This was only a small study, so not conclusive by any means and the average BMI of the group was 32 (which is classified as obese), but the women thought that only the last two drawings (8 and 9) were “too fat”. The researchers concluded that this particular group of women thought that it was OK to be overweight and it was only serious obesity that could actually be bad for your health.

When it came to identifying their own body shape from the drawings, many of them got it wrong, classifying themselves in a “normal” weight category.

The results of this study cannot be extrapolated out to the whole population but it does raise important issues at a time when the health services are struggling to cope with all the side effects of a population that is getting fatter.

So where did you put yourself on the scale?

For your information, Figure 1 on the left has a BMI of 16, and is therefore underweight; Figures 2, 3 and 4 lie between a BMI of 20 and 25, which is considered normal; figures 5 and 6 are overweight and very overweight respectively;  figure 7 is obese and figures 8 and 9 are severely obese.

Even though it’s well known that not all overweight people are unfit, if you are in categories 5 or above, you should be thinking hard about trying to lead a healthier and fitter lifestyle.

Food for thought, as they say.

William

 

 

 

Another diet? Forget it. Changing beliefs and habits is the way to go…

weight loss tips

With Christmas and the New Year fast approaching, we must brace ourselves for the inevitable over-indulgence during the festive period (yes we ALL do it!) and the ensuing onslaught of marketing from the diet and fitness industries. Looking at all the hype, you’d be excused for believing that the only thing matters when it comes to trying to lose weight and get fit is either the specific number of calories in a particular food, or the “zanyness” of the latest celebrity workout.

If only it was so easy!

Overweight? Just regulate “calories in” for a period of time or do a couple of sweaty workouts at the local gym and bingo, problem solved!

Unfortunately, we all know deep down that, however much we’d like this to be the solution, it’s not!

Creeping weight gain and inactivity (the two things do normally go hand in hand) don’t occur overnight…it’s a gradual thing that occurs as we get older and our lifestyles change. We no longer have time to rush to the gym and other things such as work and family start to take priority. Combine this with a non-stop onslaught from the food and drink producers and retailers that constantly pushes not-particularly-healthy-food in our direction, then it’s a double whammy.

Take a moment to imagine a world where the retailers only sold fresh, healthy food and drink and we actually had time to walk to work, play games and take part in leisure activities. In this scenario would 80% of UK adults be inactive and 62% overweight or obese? Probably not…and would we actually miss all those sugary drinks and salty snacks? Probably not!

Unfortunately this world won’t exist anytime in the near future so, if you are serious about wanting to lose weight and get a bit fitter, then you’ll have to create a bit of it yourself!

That means forgetting the latest fad diet or crazy celebrity workout and instead concentrating on your daily beliefs and habits when it comes to eating and activity. Only once you have identified the “bad” ones that are causing you to either eat too much or to be inactive, can you then change them.

And once you do that, you CAN adjust the balance of your life to slowly achieve the kind of healthy lifestyle you want to be leading. This adjustment will restore your “natural” weight and fitness levels and ward off the potentially damaging illnesses and problems that come with being overweight and inactive.

Remember though, this is a “lifetime” approach and won’t happen overnight…you’ve got to want to do it!

So now we’ve got the theory out the way…what does this mean in practice?

Change your beliefs: There are many reasons why we eat too much, some which are driven by beliefs we have picked up from childhood, and some which are triggered by external circumstances (the “eat all the food on your plate” childhood rule and the “I eat when I’m stressed” are two examples of this). The key is to identify them and then change them…and the good news is that it IS possible to change existing beliefs.

Change your habits: We are all creatures of habit and tend to do exactly the same things at the same time every day. If one of these is going into a high street coffee shop and buying a cappuccino and muffin mid-morning, or taking the lift instead of the stairs, then clearly that’s not a great habit! Like beliefs, the key is to identify and then change them.

If you get like this approach, then we recommend you read my free article The 5 golden rules BEFORE you try to lose weight . It’s packed full of useful information and advice on how to lose weight and get fit for the long term.

If not, then try another diet…it may work this time!

Good luck!

William

 

The “Portion Control” diet – it’s a winner!

I’ve come up with a new diet…it’s called the “Portion Control” diet and it’s going to be a winner! Why?

FACT: Permanent weight control is not about quick fix diets, it’s about taking control of what and how much you eat in the long term (along with a whole host of other things like exercise and activity).

There are no real rules for this (although the “recommended daily calorie intake” figures are a great place to start) and each of us must find our own “balance” between activity and eating. A large man working everyday on a building site will need more food than a small man working at a desk all day. That, surely, stands to reason.

However, most people have lost any sort of “input/output” sensitivity. Food and drink has become devoid of any sort of actual physical need. We eat so many meals a day, food portions are governed by our habits and plate size, we regularly go to coffee shops to meet friends and have the obligatory coffee and muffin (irrespective of how hungry we are), we drink socially, we snack, we have treats, etc etc. Most of what we do in life comes with associated eating or drinking and this is the cycle that has to be changed.

The quickest and easiest place to start is with the size of food portions. Why?

Two main reasons:

1. Most people tend to “fill” their plate with food. That’s a habit but totally mad if you think about it – since when do dinner plate manufacturers know anything about what YOUR body needs? Plates tend to be BIG so most portions sizes tend to be BIG.
2. Most people feel they need to finish everything on their plate. This tends to be a habit that is drilled into you since childhood (“You’re not getting down from the table until you’ve finished everything on your plate” – remember that?).

And then there’s the leaving food cooked by someone else…at a dinner party or in a restaurant…aren’t we all brought up to think that’s rude?

So, in order to get control of your portion size, you probably have TWO big hurdles to overcome before you even start!

So try this advice:

1. Try and assess how hungry you feel before each meal and adjust your portion size accordingly. This will take a bit of time but keep at it. The plan is to work out how much your body NEEDS on a daily basis. Use this hunger gauge to stop and think before you eat. If you don’t feel hungry, don’ eat just because it’s a mealtime.

The New In 90 hunger scale

Eat when you are in 2 or 3 and stop when you get to 4. You should never be in zone 1 or 6 and only in 5 at Christmas and special days!

The really important thing is to STOP eating as soon as you feel a BIT full and don’t worry about leaving food initially. A bit of wastage is nothing compared to your long term health and you’ll soon learn to adjust the size of future portions.

2. Use a smaller plate…a side plate for instance. Once you finish, you’ll probably feel full and won’t need any second helpings.

3. Eat slowly and concentrate on your food…try not to watch TV or use your phone while eating.

4. Don’t let anyone pile more food on your plate and don’t succumb to the “I don’t want anything left” comments!

5. Always have a glass of water with your meal and take regular sips.

By reducing your portion size slowly over time, your mind and body will start to get into tune. You’ll be able to enjoy all your favourite food, not because your mind wants it, but because your body needs it…and that’s the place you want to be.

Good luck

William

Want to get slimmer and fitter? Here’s one thing you MUST do…

newin90.co.uk

However you want to look at life, virtually none of us live in a vacuum. We all have partners, friends, family and colleagues to either support, work  or live with and we form relationships, however superficial, to co-exist alongside them. We comment and have views on them and they on us. Our behavior influences  them and vice versa.

With this in mind, it stands to reason that if you’re trying to make long term lifestyle changes in order to get healthier and fitter, you have to get their buy in and support. But, on many occasions, this just does not happen.

For starters, it’s incredibly difficult to make the decision to change…so many of us say things like “I need to lose some weight” or “I really should take more exercise” and then leave it at that. To actually start the process is another matter entirely! So when you do take the plunge, the last thing you need is apathy or even hostility or resentment from anyone close to you. This could be anything from children or a partner moaning about the lack of morning fry ups or  sweets in the cupboard to colleagues at work pushing you into yet another morning coffee and muffin.

The ideal way to approach this is to sit down with the relevant people and explain what you are going to do, why you are going to do it and what you hope to achieve. Most people, when they know you’re serious, will probably be very supportive (and maybe even a bit envious!), but you may also get some eye rolling or knowing smiles. However, if you’ve thought it out and are determined enough, you should be able to persuade them to see the benefit of your plan of action. Funnily enough, even if this process is hard, it will set a good marker in the sand for you to prove any doubters out there wrong!

Also, if you have spoken to your GP or a health professional in the past about any weight and fitness issues, it might well be worth telling them of your plans…they should be able to help you and the act of doing so will provide another incentive to really change things this time.

And don’t underestimate how changing your eating and exercise habits may effect those around you. For example, a sudden absence of most processed food and sweet snacks from the menu may annoy other members of the family but it’s important that whatever you do goes for everyone, whether it’s you doing the cooking or someone else. Likewise if you decide to go for a walk instead of the coffee shop with a friend, then you have to handle that kind of situation carefully…of course, you can always persuade them to come with you and then have a treat together just once a week!

Remember, whilst you are the number one priority in all this, any healthy habits and routines will benefit everyone else as well…if not more in some cases! Most people (especially children) will adapt very quickly, particularly if they are noticing a difference in you…and maybe even themselves if they come on board as well.

Whatever you do, don’t try and “go it alone”…you’ll find the journey much harder.

Good luck!

William
New In 90

This is one of my five “golden rules” for anyone wanting to get fitter, healthier and slimmer. I’ll cover the other four over the next few days!

 

Meditation and the importance of YOU time.

Make time for YOU

If you have any aspirations at all about trying to lead a healthier and generally fitter lifestyle, then it’s absolutely vital to understand the importance of YOU time and the part meditation can play in helping you cope with the stresses and strains that most of us have in our everyday lifestyle.

Whether it’s a tough job, hectic family life or just a general shortage of time, stopping just for a few minutes each day can have dramatic effect on the way you feel and cope with everyday pressures.

So even if you literally stop what you are doing for ten minutes and do nothing but stare out of the window, breathing steadily and relaxing your muscles, you’ll probably find it beneficial, but if you can go one step further and meditate, then you’ll really notice the difference.

A growing amount of research is starting to show that meditation is effective in treating depression and chronic pain, as well as coping with stress and cultivating a sense of overall well-being.

The discovery of meditation’s benefits coincides with recent neuroscientific findings showing that the adult brain can still be deeply transformed through experience. These studies show that when we learn a new skill or play a musical instrument, the brain undergoes changes through a process called neuro-plasticity. The region of the brain that controls the violinist’s fingers, for example, becomes progressively larger with the mastery of the instrument. A similar process appears to happen when we meditate and the evidence amassed from this research has begun to show that meditation can rewire brain circuits to produce beneficial effects not just on the mind but on the entire body.

The great thing about this is that anyone can quickly start benefiting…simply by finding ten minutes in the day and beginning the process!

Whilst this may sound easy, many people will see it either as a sort of weird mystic practice or a frivolous activity akin to sitting down and reading a gossip magazine!

Nothing could be further from the truth and it’s vital to see one’s general health and fitness in the context of your general lifestyle. So many people are just fixated on weight and diets, or gym and exercise, that they fail to realise it’s all about the overall package rather than just a specific thing.

Getting fitter, healthier and losing some weight is NOT about a certain type of diet and whether or not it’s successful, it’s about how you lead your life generally. That’s why finding those ten minutes for some YOU time is so important! I’ll be telling you exactly how to start meditating in the next couple of days but, in the meantime click on the article above for some initial help and advice.

William