Dumbbells; Ladies who lunge (fitness podcasts)
‘My mission is to end the epidemic of death-by-desk’. That’s from a lady who knows what’s she’s talking about. Nicole van Hattem was a self-destructive executive for 20 years. She often skipped meals, had days of stress, nights of alcohol, and suffered from chronic sleep deprivation, before rising like the phoenix from her swivel chair, and launching a successful podcast that’s changing lives around the world.
Hot and Healthy https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/hot-healthy is about real stories with real people who have truly saved themselves. Nicole says ‘We can be our own gurus; all the answers are in us and listening to someone else’s story can give us the trigger.’ She uses her her experience as a holistic health coach to teach people how to get ‘fit and fabulous’ without damaging themselves.
Now, I’m not THAT obsessed but I am a lady who likes to lunge; by myself, in a group, or with friends. I would do it every day, if my willpower allowed me. It’s a great workout for the lower body and gives you sexy glutes – that’s the muscle around the bottom area —that studies about our ancient forefathers show, was designed specifically for the bikini. Watch out Brazil!
I’ve heard that world track cycling champion Anna Meares could perform Bulgarian squats; which involves a lunge with the rear foot elevated, while miraculously holding 165kg in weights. It may take a while for me to match that pirouette of a lunge. Until then I remain partial to the deep-lunge variety with a long arm stretch at the end, usually in the general direction of the wine rack or my boot flask; whichever is closer.
It’s called having a healthy balance; the yin and yang of life, although Sally Bennett, my personal trainer, reminds me that we really are what we eat and drink.
This weekend, I was mostly sushi and smoothies – with a dash of quinoa. Last weekend, I confess, I was more waffles and milkshake. ‘If you put sugar and junk in your body then that is what your body will become,’ Lord Sally warns. She adds ‘if you drink lots of water and eat healthy foods such as veg and meat, nuts and seeds then your body will love you for it and it will really show! Also make sure you get enough sleep’. Sleep? Unfamiliar in my house since the birth of my 4-year-old insomniac twins – hence the wine.
If there was a Fitness Anonymous, I would be bashing at its door, ever the prodigal addict. I’m at it six days a week. Although, by looking at me, you wouldn’t necessarily think it. Did I mention the wine? So I turn to personal trainers and podcasts to speed up the process. Try typing Fitness Podcasts into Google and give yourself a few days to trawl through 1,840,000 results.
Of course we all want to get fit, buffed, keep old age at bay, and drink wine. ‘The podcast is popular,’ says Nicole, ‘because when you listen to other people’s stories you have an opportunity to reflect and take one thing and make incremental changes that could in the long term make a massive difference.’
And you can see why so many of us are looking for the magic bullet when it comes to exercise and nutrition — it really does make a huge difference to the way we look and feel. Sally, who is also a highly-qualified personal trainer and British Olympic weightlifting coach says; ‘when you exercise, your brain releases neurochemicals called endorphins. These activate receptors in your brain which will give you that feel good feeling.’ It’s like a natural high without the toxins – just for that, it’s a no brainer.
But there is more! Exercise can help us fight heart disease/stroke, high blood pressure, non-insulin dependent diabetes, Osteoporosis, Arthritis, Depression and of course obesity.Sally’s got me on to the latest craze, ‘functional fitness’, where you pump heavy weights, flick ropes – bring your heartbeat up and down – grunt a lot, and sweat more.
But there is something that reminds me of home that is making a comeback. I’ve just got off Skype to a very sweaty, but elated friend in London who has been banging African drums for the past hour and feels ‘amazing’. ‘It’s all the rage over here,’ Debbie says, panting happily into my computer screen. She, like me, is addicted to exercise, and a victim of the whims and trends that pass through the fitness world like a fast set of dumbbell reps. So I’ve just signed up for a bingo-wing busting round of African drumming here in Doha, after Debbie convinced me that I am a natural born musician. She hasn’t heard me play the banjo!
Podcasts to help you become ‘fit and fabulous’:
Barbell Shrugged http://daily.barbellshrugged.com a highly rated podcast that helps you become a beefcake or just plain fit, the healthy way. It has workout and eating tips, blogs and video to help you on your way.Sleep with Me http://www.sleepwithmepodcast.com which claims to ‘help you fall asleep via silly boring bedtime stories’ is the number one pod on podbay.fm which browses top ranking podcasts in health by live iTunes rankings. Sleep is often overlooked as a major contributor in physical and mental health. Listen. Sleep.
Food Heaven http://www.foodheavenmadeeasy.com/podcast/ is a podcasts on fitness and nutrition. It’s popular because the hosts, who are serious dieticians, can help you think in a different way when it comes to food and nutrition. Meet Wendy and Jess as they work towards ‘making this world a healthier place, one meal at a time’.
You’ve read her here, now listen to Jane Dutton’s own podcast African! It’s quality storytelling about Africans making a difference and the insider track for smart investment opportunities linked to the topic. It can be found here https://soundcloud.com/janedutton/african. While you’re listening, you can also catch her presenting the news on the Al Jazeera English network.