Monthly Archives: May 2013

Mental Health week

It’s mental health awareness this week and this year the the theme is mental health and exercise. In one way or another we all struggle with our demons and that can range from be anxious, worried, and stressed to more serious problems. You don’t go through life without experiencing these problems but I have found exercise to really help  – helping me to clear my head, focus my mind and order my thoughts..even in difficult times. It’s been proven that exercise can actually reduce fatigue, make it easier to concentrate and improve brain function.   Exercise and other physical activity produce endorphins — chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers — and also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress. As well as the above, exercise is very uplifting and there is always a sense of accomplishment after very workout that lifts you and makes you feel good about yourself and what you can achieve.Even after the toughest of my workouts! For further information about Mental Health Awareness week, please click here    Darrell http://www.run4fit.com

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Feel the force

star-wars-posterIn celebration of “May the 4th be with you” official Star Wars day today…here are some facts about Omega 3, not a planet in the Gamma quadrant but a key nutrient that will help you cross from the dark side of muscle soreness and fatigue to feel the force.

Omega 3s are a key nutrient that counters inflammatory chemicals in our bodies , helping them  to heal and recover faster.Unfortunately we cannot produce this ourselves and instead rely of our food to provide it.

Studies show that Omega 3 promote lung function and are thought to  keep cell membranes flexible and healthy which can improve mood and cognitive function (cleverness!).

One of the problems with the Western diet is that we do not eat a lot of food that contains Omega 3s. We tend to eat more Omega 6 and a high intake of Omega 6 (Veg oil,nuts and processed foods) has been linked with inflammatory conditions  and include heart disease.Studies show that higher blood levels of good Omega 3 can reduce heart disease by a third.

The main animal sourse of Omega 3 is cold water fish but there issues with Mercury that a high fish diet can cause. An alternative non animal source of Omega 3 are Chia seeds. Native to Mexico and eaten for centuries it is used as both a food or medicine. Chia seeds with water were the staple food of Aztec warriors.

Chia seeds are also rich in soluble fibre and when soaked in water and used to make a drink known as chia fresca – “chilly chia.”  is  brewed up by dissolving chia seeds in water with a little sugar and a squirt of lime.

In Chrishophers McDougall’s book “Born to Run” he describes the nutritional content of a  tablespoon of chia as  like a smoothie made from salmon, spinach, and human growth hormone.

Next time you are passing a health food shop don’t walk by, venture in and ask the dread locked sales person for the shelf where the Chia seeds are. When you find its likely you will already find a runner there as word spreads about these seeds known as “runners food”

Darrell “Luke” Smith