The definitive list of why you should exercise

OK this is it. The post to end all posts on exercise.  The reasons for exercise and improving you lifestyle go much deeper and are more complicated than just “losing weight” or “getting fit”. So here is the most definitive list ever compiled in history of definitive lists on the topic of why you should exercise.

N.B. As I started writing this article, it became clearer that the article would be more accurately title  “The positive effect of hormone release in your body after exercise”. That’s how my research panned out and its largely overlooked. Clients often focus on the end result and as trainers we often get focused on defining and attaining goals to keep our clients happy (and retain them). But the bigger picture definitely is the effect that hormones play in our body and the imbalance that occurs through inactivity. The bolded items below are almost always exclusively as a result of one or many hormones that are bolstered as a result of moderate (Cardio) or strenuous (HIIT) exercise.

You feel good after exercise 

Despite the hard work involved in strenuous exercise, in general you will feel much better due to the Endorphins and “feel good” hormones, such as adrenaline, serotonin, dopamine being released in to your system. Your body doesn’t know that your not being chased by a tiger, so it floods your system with hormones to increase your speed and pain tolerance and to increase the size and strength of your muscles so you will outrun the tiger next time there by increasing your chance of surviving and passing along your genes to your off spring.


Reduce Stress

In nature when an animal is under threat it will do one of three things; fight, take flight or fright (stand very still hoping not to be seen). In terms of evolution a stressful event ( a chasing tiger ) is relatively short lived. The stress response exists (fight, flight or fright reaction) in our body to react in order to survive. Cortisole is a normal hormone that plays a vital role in our body. Its levels are raised when we wake in the morning, when we exercise and when we are stressed (tiger chasing). It us used to heighten awareness to improve our chances or survival. When you are stressed from work or kids, cortisol levels stay high which is bad for our body. It starts to interfere with learning  by affecting memory (forget stressful event so you can move on in life) lower immune function (due to immune cells being surrounded in molecules telling them to stop fighting during this immediate stress response) and bone density (due to body function be redirected towards improving the chances of living during the stress event. Getting the picture. Long term stress is bad for our body and is linked with increase weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, affects sleep, heart disease, skin disorders. The list goes on.

Exercise lowers cortisol.

Well sort of. Exercise increases cortisol temporarily, but in healthy people it lowers to a normal level soon after. In stressed people the high levels can be helped to be lowered through the beneficial effects of exercise.   Cardio exercise (65-75% of max exertion) is found to be best to lower cortisol. Further to this, a study in Japan found moderate exercise in a relaxing environment such as the country side or woods as opposed to a city or suburb, lowers cortisol even further due to the relaxing effect of being in the country. So there may be a link in the raising of feel good hormones produced during exercise such as dopamine and serotonin and the lowering of cortisol.

Think clearer and improve learning

Exercise allows you to think clearer and boosts creativity. Stress hormones (cortisole) negatively affect neurotransmitters which affects memory and slows learning. When you exercise endorphin levels are raised, stress hormones are lowered which improves the prioritizing functions of the brain and improves learning. By returning stress levels to an optimum level(per above) and feeling better about your self (endorphins), learning becomes easier.  On a cognitive level, exercise allows you to clear you mind so you can focus more on what your learning with out other thought distracting you.

Hormone effect of exercise in the body

Estrogen – There are links between estrogen and breast cancer. Overweight women may produce too much estrogen. Exercise lowers estrogen by breaking it down into good and bad “estrogen metabolites”. In women who exercise the ratio of good to bad “estrogen metabolites” is important in reducing breast cancer risk. Lowering estrogen also aids weight loss .

Testosterone – Exercise increases testosterone levels which aids muscle growth and bone density. Low levels of can lead to depression, low sex drive, obesity and osteoporosis. The best way to raise testosterone quickly is through High Intensity exercise. Here are some ways to raise testosterone. As little as 1 six second sprint may be enough to raise levels significantly (although more are better). Lift very heavy weights 2-3 times a week. Rest for at least 2 seconds between sets. Have a spotter assist with 2 additional reps (per set).  Work the body’s largest muscles. (Legs and butt).  Protein shakes (soy in particular)can lower Avoid cardio exercise. Cardio lowers testosterone. (I’ll credit this last point –

Endorphins – When you exercise your body releases Endorphins, which are used to reduce the perception of pain. Endorphins, being an opiate produces a similar feeling to that of morphine. The shape of endorphins fit like a key onto “opioid receptors” in your nervous system, blocking the transmissions of pain and producing a euphoric feeling. In evolutionary terms, the production of Endorphins lower the perception of pain enable you to run faster, fight longer without tiring, to ensure your survival and pass on your genes. Endorphins also have a positive effect on brain function and can affect a persons personality, ability to think clearly and improve their mood. After exercise, sleep is important to repair and grow muscles. Endorphins act as a mild sedative thus allow sleep to come easier. They also stimulate the immune system.

Adrenaline also known as Epinephrine is a hormone, secreted by the medulla of the Adrenal Glands and the nervous system. It is released in response to extreme stress. The immediate response  when this hormone is released is the increase in heart rate, muscle strength, blood pressure and the metabolism of sugar. Epinephrine is also used to medically treat heart attacks, asthma and anaphylactic shock.  Epinephrine is designed to prepare the body for strenuous work. It is one of the two primary hormones that breaks down sugars. The other being glucogen. Ephidrene (similar to Epinephrine) is extracted from the Chinese desert shrub Ma Huang and used medically to treat the above. It also aids dieters to suppress appetite and breaks down glycogen in the liver.

Noradrenaline also known as Norepinephrine – is created in the top of the brain stem.  It prepares the body for stress by raising the heart rate, blood pressure and increasing sugar synthesis in the blood stream.  Norepinephrine and Epinephrine have a similar name and stimulating effects but  affect the body slightly differently.  Norepinephrine is synthesized from dopamine and therefore can be used to enhance the mood and improve mental alertness of people who are severely depressed. Too much Norepinephrine can cause symptoms of anxiety and panic attacks. Exercise helps to keep these important hormones at the appropriate levels. Aiding weight loss and good mental health.

Serotonin – carries signals along and between nerves. Among other things it contributes to well being and happiness. It is responsible for maintaining mood balance and low levels can lead to depression. Serotonin is made in the brain and the intestines. Seratonin levels affect mood, social behaviour, appetite, digestion, sleep, memory and lowers sexual desire and negatively affects sexual gratification .  Serotonin is made after sweet or starchy foods are consumed. It reduces appetite as food is eaten giving a satisfied feeling. Natural ways to increase serotonin include mood induction, sun light, massage, exercise and improved diet.

Epinephrine also known as Adrenaline is used medically to treat anaphylaxis, cardiac arrest, asthma and bleeding. Side effects include sweating, shaking and anxiety. In the body its naturally occurring and is the primary hormone in the “fight, flight or fright” response. Its used to raise awareness, increase the heart rate, increase blood pressure and metabolism,  to promote increased blood flow to the muscles, increase strength and raise the blood sugar levels. Adrenaline is released during stressful events such as High Intensity exercise, traumatic events and during risk taking behaviour such as extreme and risky sports.

Dopamine is synthesized in the brain and kidneys. The body is often “rewarded” with dopamine after certain behaviours such as gambing and drug taking.  The powerful high that is connected with Dopamine elevation is what makes the above behaviours so addictive. Dopamine also has other complicated bodily functions. Low levels has a role in Parkinsens Disease, ADHD while heightened levels are related to Schizophrenia. Dopamine  plays important levels in certain upper and lower levels of functions including motivation, arousal, reinforcement and reward, lactation, sexual gratification and nausea.

Reward – is the attractive component of something that increase the appetite for it; (Exercise, recreational drugs, food). Often in addictive behaviours, the use or abuse of a stimulus (exercise, drugs and food) increases as the pleasure it causes decreases.  The reward system of the brain at its core, is one of the sole primal survival mechanisms and is extremely complicated, making addictive behaviours difficult to combat.

Oxytocin is a medication and human hormone. It is used medically to increase the speed of birth and reduce bleeding after birth. In the human body it plays a role in social bonding and sexual reproduction. At birth, its released to help with birth, release milk and to help the mother bond with the baby. Normally in the human body raised Oxytocin levels causes feelings of contentment and security, reduces anxiety, cause calmness and protect against stress. Natural ways to increase Oxytocin are being altruistic,  hugging someone, light exercise, laughing, deep breathing, eating oxytocin rich meals  (Eggs, bananas, pepper), listening to soothing music,  talking to or being with a mate.

Human growth hormone – as the name suggests HGH is a hormone that stimulates cell growth, cell reproduction and regeneration. HGH is also known as somatotropin. HGH is a stress hormone that raises the levels of glucose and free fatty acids to assist metabolism. HGH production peaks an hour after the onset of sleep. Peak HGH secretions occur in teen years falling to a bit above half as an adult.

Factors the increase the release of HGH are:

  • other hormones
  • sex hormones – estrogen, androgen
  • deep sleep
  • niacin (Vitamin B3)
  • fasting
  • vigorous exercise

Factors the decrease the release of HGH are:

  • stress (build up of cortisol)
  • high blood sugar (hyperglycemia)
  • other factors are beyond the scope of this discussion


Improve Mental Health

Studies have show people engaging in exercise had lost symptoms of depressions after 3-4 months. The hormonal changes from exercise (discussed above) positively affected their thinking patterns which improved the quality of their life.

Increase your life expectancy

It has long been known that exercise increases your life expectancy. On a simpler physical level, exercise improves the quality of your sleep and causes you to make healthier decisions regarding your lifestyle (better eating habits, quit smoking and drinking etc) and improves your mental health. At a deeper level,  exercise strengthens your heart, improves functions of vitals organs and immunity, reduces obesity and risk of heart disease and some cancers,  improve skin and bone health.

Healthier pregnancy

Exercise reduces the risk of gaining excess weight ( reduces the chance of gestational diabetes ), cause your labour and delivery to be easier, and allow you to recover better and quicker,  sustain less damage during birth, reduce incidence of back pain, have more energy, lesson the chance of sickness and more likely to avoid prenatal depression. The list goes on but these are the most obvious.

Improve sex life

Exercise can increase the enjoyment of sex by providing you with the stamina to have longer and more fulfilling sex and giving you better climax’s. Increased cardio vascular fitness will increase endorphin’s which will increase your sex drive. Being fit in general will also increase your endurance which means you can last for longer making you a more enjoyable sexual partner. Hormones released with strength training will increase your libido and sexual arousal. As well as having the added benefit of being able to lift and hold your self and your partner in various positions will increase fun and satisfaction. The benefits of stretching from yoga and a general stretching regime will increase stamina and energy as well as making you more likely to try new fun positions.

Boost self esteem

Sitting around at work and watching television doesn’t do much for your self esteem. Exercise release heaps of feel good hormones which change how you feel from the inside. On the outside, you will feel better because of your sense of achievement from having started on a journey that is good and wholesome. You will notice that you look better and may even get compliments from others. People who exercise regularly report that they do have their down days but feel better once they have achieved their regular work out. That change of mindset does wonders to boost your self esteem. Exercise makes you feel in control as it gives you your anchor that you can rely on. The socialisation aspects of exercise cant be understated. Being a part of a group that meets regularly makes you belong to something. Exercise improves attention and concentration as you feel happy, healthy, relaxed and ready for learning.

Improves sleep

Exercise improves the quality of your sleep. As discussed above, exercise increases Serotonin and Endorphins which provides a mild sedative effect and increases drowsiness. Also the reduction of anxiety results in people getting to sleep sooner and staying asleep. Exercise strengthens circadian rhythms bring more alertness during the waking hours and better sleep. Improved sleep also has the added effect of providing a more productive exercise session, thereby reinforcing the cycle. Better sleep improves peoples mood and quality of life.


If you are still reading, thank you for taking the time to get this far. This research certainly opened my eyes to a few things and shows just how complicated the process are to loose weight and improve the quality of your life. The other benefits of exercise go out the door and around the corner. It is however well documented that exercise will lengthen our lifespans, our quality of life and make you feel better about your self.




I’d rather learn Kung Fu thanks

Wing Chun Kung Fu is a complete self defence system that places emphasis on technique, speed, relaxation and natural body mechanics to defend yourself. The 5 principles of Wing Chun are simplicity, practicality, directness, economy of motion and minimal use of brute power. That means Wing Chun is great for kids and women to learn to defend themselves. The training also teaches the student to be “aware” of their surroundings and to get out of trouble before it starts.

Learning Wing Chun Kung Fu with Fitness++ or anyone from the QWCA family means you will have access to a respectable lineage of teachers traced directly up to Ip Man. Learning Kung Fu with a qualified instructor means you will build confidence and develop self respect, improve your physical fitness and self discipline and as well as makes friends and have loads of fun.

So when someone says you need to learn BJJ or Taekwondo or Karate, just say “I’d rather learn Kung Fu thanks.”

Wing Chun

10 processes of change

Losing weight is the ultimate goal of 66% of Australian who are overweight or obese. We could say they want to become healthier, they want to run a 5k race or climb a mountain or what ever SMART goal they may have decided on but ultimately losing weight is the end goal. But its a tough ask because in order to do that they must change 20, 30 or 40 years of ingrained behaviour. PLUS to make things harder we have the fast food and pre-packaged food industry with seemingly endless budgets making it near impossible for people to move on to healthier choices. PLUS healthy food is so damn expensive. PLUS time makes healthy choices harder to contemplate, so choices make out of convenience often wins the day. PLUS  people simply don’t know how to go about lifestyle change?

SO that’s where a PT comes in. She ask questions and builds a picture of the the persons life. She applies her knowledge and see’s a path through the forest. She provides practical steps that her client  can follow and if they stick with the plan they should should sustainably lose 1-2 kilos a month and start noticing change in 2-3 months and start feeling better in 2-4 weeks.

BUT in order for this to happen a process of changes must occur in the client. Read here to find about the 5 stages of change.

The first stage of change is where the user does not want change or doesn’t accept there is anything wrong. They must either seek out or have information land in their lap to give them a “Conscious Raising” experience. This is the first of 10 processes they must go through. They wont seek this information out and will most likely reject what they are reading as unrealistic or unattainable or blatant lies.

Another event or process that may occur is an “Environmental Re-evaluation”.  This is a very slow, painful often rejected realisation that their behaviours may affect or event influence others.

As a person slowly moves from pre-contemplation to contemplation (where they are now considering change), they start may start to fear change (or to let goes of the fear and anxiety that goes with change.) But as they become more hopeful and hear other stories of success or start to see the light through the trees, they have a “Dramatic Relief”. This emotion step is quite important as people are often emotional decision makers, particularly if they have eaten for comfort (which is an emotional crutch). This emotional stage allows for more “buy-in” to the change.

With improved health literacy, openness to change, and their emotions on board they may notice that society is supportive to change toward healthier behaviours. Support structures are in place, (so called “healthy alternatives” at fast food restaurants, cheap and easily accessible books on cheap and healthy eating, parks and open spaces for exercise etc.) which make change easier than it seems.

When a person makes a decision to change they accept the values that goes with that and decide to accept these as “Who they want to be”. This “self-reevaluation” is a necessary reflection in the process of creating a new self image. Visualisation is very important. Imagine the new you or who you want to be. What you will look like. What you will start doing. How others will notice etc.

Once this starts to happen a sense of “Self Liberation” will start to occur. The emotional changes, then newly found education, the visualisation of the new you will start to solidify the belief that you can succeed. You will take even more steps to reaffirm this and success will be even more guaranteed. This change will be be even more noticeable which feeds back into the process per above.

You will seek out people who will help you or at least are supportive of your quest for change. Surrounding your self with positive people is another step towards guaranteeing success.  This is a well known and exploited fact in all success driven fields.

Replacing good habits for bad is called “counter conditioning” and an important part in change.  Its no mistake that this Transtheoretical Model ( (Prochaska & DiClemente, 1983; Prochaska, DiClemente, & Norcross, 1992) is used to assist recovery drug addicts from relapsing. Obesity is seen as a medical problem and the psychology behind the scenes is as much a part of the solution as it is part of the problem. Think of a friend you may have that was “once really bad, now they are a total gym junky”. An addictive personality will do things to the extreme….Eating, drugs, exercise. Now that they wish to improve their health, they will need to replace bad habits for good.

An often forgotten important part of the process is “reward management”. By rewarding yourself for good work you will be much less likely to relapse. As long as the rewards don’t offset benefits gained. The occasional wine, hamburger, night out etc.

A deeper method for controlling behaviours before they become an unmanageable problem is “stimulus control”.  Similar to counter conditioning, instead of replacing good behaviours for bad, stimulus control replaces cues for unhealthy behaviours and replaces then with good ones. So that means not only remove the bad food from the kitchen , but also remove the triggers that drives you to quick unhealthy fixes. Such as, going for a walk after a stressful day instead of going home and comfort eating. Going to the gym straight after work will see you wanting to continue your efforts after you get home. Eating off a bread plates instead of dinner plates will assist eating smaller portions of food. Make new friends that have healthier habits that will support your choices will help nip bad choices in the bud.


More can be discovered on the psychology of what drives us to an unhealthy lifestyle and equally bad to good health. More on this can be found here.




Fitness++ General Induction

Fitness++ General Induction

 fitness plus plus induction Hello and thank you for choosing Fitness++, your first choice for weight loss, strength gain, pain management and self defense.

Have you ever wondered why we need personal trainers? Why do we become overweight, racked with pain, needing to be stronger and have an edge to defend ourselves.

It’s a hostile world and like it or not it’s survival of the fittest where the weak and the old soon wither. The elements try to break us down and remove us from existence. Our job is to procreate them get out of the way for the youth to do the same.

You could even argue that the world is out to get you. Good food is expensive, bad food is cheap, the very food companies that we trust our money and health with take short cuts to maximise profits at our expense. Some conspiracy theorists allege that these companies knowingly make us sick, hooking us into a lifetime of medication, draining us of every spare cent, killing us off before we become too much of a cost on the public purse.

Cigarettes, alcohol, food, pharmaceuticals, gambling, all these entities are own by some rich individuals siphoning the weak at every turn.

That’s where a Personal Trainer comes in. They will look at your current situation and assess how he can help you to help yourself. A good trainer will look at the whole picture and not just focus on a narrow field of expertise. A good trainer will ask questions, digging deeper into the answers to determine your goals or causes of dis-ease. Often a person who asks for help, wants help with their whole life not just one aspect of it and often wont realise it. A respected trainer will often have to counsel people for more than just weight loss or martial arts. People come wanting to fix one aspect of their life, often silently begging for help with others.

The fact that you are reading this may be because you have reached a point in the decision cycle where you are no longer happy with the status quo, have had enough of the pain that racks your body or feel vulnerable in this hostile world.

Fitness++ offer Weight Loss, Strength Gains, Run Club and Self Defence as a way of taking control of your life.

In the very near future I will offer pain management and remedial massage. 

Welcome to Fitness++, you path to recovery, health literacy and self development.

How to run 5k

I was asked by some work friends, who are also runners, a couple of questions about my running. A few things struck me. I get a little bit excited whHow to run 5Ken I meet or find out about another runner.  Kind of like the feeling that some random person you just met went to the same school as you or has a friend in common.  And they are in my office no less.  Also the questions they asked me made me search my self a bit for the answers. It made me realise, again, that running or talking about running,  is only possible and more satisfying with other runners.

I’ve generally been a solo runner as my family and circle of friends don’t run.  I also figured running was somewhat of a solitary thing, so I just took it was meant to be a “me time” thing. Also given how breathless you can be, its hardly a place for chatting.

I was wearing my PT hat on at that moment when I was asked the questions and we were talking about how and when fatigue settles in for new runners. The point I was making was that there are a few stages a new runner must conquer before one can run 5k or even 2k.

First is the Cardio Vascular (heart/lung) aspect. For a new runner and certainly for those not even considering running, 5k might seem unconscionably unobtainable due to the fact that 500 metres into the attempt they collapse down into a breathless heap, gasping for air like a fish out of water, as they realise their Cardio Vascular system isn’t up to the challenge of supplying enough oxygen to continue. For smokers,  500 metres might be generous as the tar that cakes their lungs prevents barely enough oxygen through to support life. (I am of course kidding here. Some runners are smokers, but watching an unfit smoker run more than a 100 metres is hilarious for obvious reasons.)

But as some runners have discovered, if they properly pace them selves and continue running and walking their way to 5k they would go home and be able to gloat that they had “travelled” 5k that fine day and they would most certainly be doing it again in the very near future. They would of course need a few days to recover. The muscles will repair, the diaphragm and ribs will recover from all that heavy breathing.  The inevitable improvement that their CV system undergoes so that on their next attempt they will be able to run a little more and walk a little less and be well on their way to saying they “ran 5k today!”.

After about 6-8 attempts which, for the average semi-committed newbie runner might 4-6 weeks, they will notice a definite measurable improvement. They may be able to run 1000-1500 metres without stopping for a break, which is a 100-200% distance improvement over their first attempt. Not bad for only a handful of attempts. Such is the rapid power of repair and improvement of our body if only it were given a chance.

Their run to walk ratio will also be higher. When they first started they may have run 500 metres, then walk 500 metres, then run 400 metres, then walk 500 metres etc until they either give up for that day or reach 5k’s. (This by the way is the recommended way of starting running, run walk run walk.) So the run to walk ( or work to rest ratio)  is close to 1:1. It might be 500 metres of running followed by 1000 metre of walking. This would be a ratio of 1:2. You body is certainly capable of a better ratio but the mind is often unwilling.

As their fitness improves they will be aiming for 2:1, 3:1, 5:1, 10:1 , till eventually after a month or two they can comfortable run 5k. That only a milestone however. It was for me and unbeknownst to me its the standard length for the worldwide phenomenon “Parkrun”, which takes place each Saturday morning at 7am at a park near you. In Australia there are 151 parkrun locations, with nearly 200 000 runner taking part.  5km is the first Holy Grail for runners, then 10, 21, then 42, then 50 and finally 100k’s. WOW! But I digress.

So I was saying to my friends that the cardio system is the first system to be “trained” for improvement. So its the first obstacle to hurdle. I find once I hit about the 1-2 kilometer mark there was a marked improvement in my breathing.  I wasn’t running any slower or running down hill, but there was a definite improvement in my “rate of perceived exertion”. It felt like a load had lift. It felt like my body found a new gear, like I had a second wind.

This is a real thing people! When the body uses all the glycogen in the muscles and blood it must source more energy. It changes from using the Aerobic system burning Carbohydrates to the Anaerobic system burning Fat directly (known as the Krebs Cycle). It uses less oxygen,  much less oxygen but take a few minutes to ramp up production. It claimed the Anaerobic system is 8 times more efficient than the aerobic system. Hence the body needs less oxygen to do the same amount of work and you don’t feel like you are starving for air. A lot of beginner runners may hang up their shoes before discovering this effect. They never even get over that hurdle and never truly discover the joy of running.

I remember the first time I became aware that my breathing was easier, I was no longer struggling for air. I was so excited by this realisation that my body had changed “chemical gears” that I more than doubled my run that very day, travelling until my legs would take me no further. I had pushed my standard run of approx 6k’s out to more than 12K’s.

Once you are over this particular physical hurdle, the body is well supplied with oxygen and energy to sustain running simply until the legs give out. This is the next hurdle. For the novice runner with little running experience, bad shoes, bad form etc, that might be 3 – 5K before they need to stop and rest their weary legs or feet.  But day by day as they continue practising, changing band-aids on their blisters and running until they reach their limit, they also are undergoing change within the muscles they are using. Until the next milestone occurs where you feel strong like you can run endlessly but you stop out of sheer boredom. You think about the ironing at home or dinner or that report. The next milestone is “owning” your running so you truly make it a high priority and you fit it in where ever you can. This in my opinion is a big hurdle because at this point you may have to steal back 30 – 60 minutes, 3-4 times a week satiating your desire to run. Work, commuting, family, life commitments meet us squarely in the face competing for our time. And until they are re-prioritised you simply won’t feel happy spending upwards of 3 hours a week out on the road.

It becomes your time. You run for sanity. You run from your memories. You run too fill time because you are a recovering addict. You run because you are a loner and you are accepted by other runners. You run because your significant other can’t run and you cant stand to be at home but you don’t know how to move on.

Personally I run because I think its cool to run. I’ve always pushed to do things the average person can’t or won’t do. Guitar, computer nerdery, kung fu are all achieved by much fewer than 1% of the population. Personally I started running again in 2013 for sanity, then continued for fitness.  I had a Kung Fu grading approach and I needed the fitness. Now I like getting and being fit. 30 minutes of running (at my weight range)  is approx 500 calories or 1/4 of my (recommended) intake. I think I eat more than 2000 calories but I don’t care because I run.  I eat what ever the hell I want (within reason) because I run. I run because I like seeing other people out exercising. I run because I like being part of that elite circle. My next goal I guess would be a 42K run. I’d like to be a part of THAT elite circle. At the moment I run because at this stage of my life I’m piecing together a large puzzle that is Fitness++. Branding, Marketing,  Business Plans, community collaborations, the list goes on. While I run that stuff gets sorted out in my head like a 5000 piece jigsaw puzzle. A lot of it is unconscious sorting, but I make a conscious effort to give my brain that time to zone out and be creative.

Another thing that wasn’t apparent to me until I arrived there, was suddenly as a runner (even completing the meagre distance of 5k) you become a bit of a rock star to other aspiring runners. To someone who doesn’t run or who is getting started,  looks to you and appreciates your support if you take the time to slow down and motivate them step by step them to do better. The community at large greatly appreciates those that helps other get in to it.

Some individuals come to mind, but one who truly stands out in my mind on the Sunshine Coast is Neil Collie. I bought a pair of shoes (which are now long over due for a change) from Rebel Sports Maroochydore where Neil works. Neil saw me trying a pair on and came over to chat with me. Neil ended up inviting me to join his group of runners, the “Rebel Coffee Club” (the coffee drinkers that run) that left from Rebel the following day at 5pm. That first day was nice. I ran a PB because I had new shoes and I was running with a group of (relative) quickies. Running with others unearthed a mild competitive spirit that hadn’t risen up before. I was proud to hang with this group and wanted to show what I was made of.

I still get up to Maroochydore and run with them when I can because they are a nice group of people and because I like running with other people!

SO I guess I should rap up the dawdling piece. Lets see what we’ve covered. We run for our own reasons; social, physical, mental etc. There are a few plateau we must break through. Cardio, muscular and the mind and finally running is better when you run with a friend or a group.

See you out there.

















Balmy Cleaning Army

Fitness++ is partnering with community groups to bring people together.  I envisage a world where people who have time and energy to spare, give to the needy.

Got an hour a fortnight you and a friend can spare?

There are thousands of people in need of a volunteer who has an hour a to spare, to receive the gift of company or to supply some elbow grease, mow a lawn, take some rubbish out, change a light bulb, show someone how to use a computer, or smart phone,

Do it once a week , once a month or just once.

Its anticipated chores will be limited to minor domestics such as

  • cleaning,  doing laundry or vacuuming change a light bulb (within OHS reason)
  • preparing a meal or mowing, gardening or similar.

No dangerous work will be undertaken and to maximise safety volunteers can go in pairs.

Give the gift of hard work to an elderly person, family in crisis or busy family who needs help with that 1% in their lives to make a difference.



10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals

10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - long roadGoing it alone on a long journey can be a daunting and difficult task. It’s no different to improving your fitness and lifestyle habits. That is why Personal Trainer numbers have flourished in recent years. They are people who are educated in how the body works, how to improve your fitness, how to put on muscle and how to lose weight etc.


Here’s 10 ways a PT’s can help you reach your goals.

10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - goals

GOAL SETTING – A PT will ask you questions to elicit your underlying motivations.  Then they will dig some more and REALLY find out what your goals are and then link exercise outcomes to them. People don’t understand certain exercises will benefit certain goals. That’s your PT jobs to teach you


Accountability - 10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals

PROVIDE ACCOUNTABILITY – While your PT has the knowledge to help you improve your health, they are also someone to whom you are answerable to. If you don’t turn up to work, someone will ring at home and ask where you are. If you don’t come home someone will call looking for you. That’s the beauty of modern society everyone has someone that cares. But Fitness is a little different. If you don’t tell anyone and you fail, no one will know. But
get a PT involved and they will drive you to succeed. Your PT has got your back!


10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - confidence

CONFIDENCE – A PT will get your started, set you straight or pat you on the back when you are doing well. They will lift you when you feel down. Their goal is to chart out your path to success and keep you motivated and confident along the way. They will make you feel good about your successes and this in turn boosts your morale and creates a positive cycle for you making success easier.

10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - getstartedGET YOU STARTED – Starting out on your Fitness journey alone can be daunting. Going to a gym can be embarrassing if you feel out of shape, if you don’t know what to do and or how the equipment works. She will then show you how to exercise, when to exercise, what to eat and when to rest. Once you have established  routines, you will be set to continue on your own and maybe touch base with them weekly when ever you need a tune up.

10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - latest newsLATEST INFORMATION – A PT reads the latest articles, keeps up with the latest bloggers and abreast of Industry standards so you don’t have to. They figure out how this applies to you and disseminates it to you in a way you can understand.


10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - motivationMOTIVATION – You will be accountable to a PT so you will turn up. While you are there they will provide you with support and motivation to push you to your limits to get the best out of you while you are there. They will drive you to produce one more rep when you think you don’t have anything left, they will push you to increase the weights when you doubt you can do it. They will motivate you to succeed when you don’t think you have it in you.

10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - safetySAFETY / PROPER TECHNIQUE – A PT has learned how your body works and how it is designed to move. Right from the start he will show you proper technique there-by preventing injury and setting you up for better strength gains in the future.

10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - plateauSUPPORT – A (good) PT that is paying attention to you will get to know you and know when you are having an off day. They will pull you aside and question you and let you vent or clear you head. Once this mental baggage is offloaded you can continue training.  A good PT will know when to speak up and when to shut up. He will let you have a cry while you discuss how you got into such poor shape and will high five you when you smash you goals.

10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - routine

ROUTINE – similar to getting started, visiting your PT will establish good routine habits so you can continue on your own either for 6 out of the 7 days away from them or even forever if you are properly motivated. Once you have established your routines you will be set to maintain your goals for life.

10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals - results

RESULTS  this is important. Ultimately you should be seeing measurable results. But be guided by what you PT sets out as your markers for success. If you want to lose weight, that in itself isn’t a goal. It needs to be more specific and achievable etc. So a better goal might be to run a 5 k fun run or lift a certain weight. While the end result will be gaining lean muscle mass and losing weight while you fuel this, you mind will be on your REAL goal not the superficial one of losing weight.

This shows you 10 ways a PT can help you reach your goals and gives you an idea of how valuable a PT is and why you should consider engaging one.


Improved diabetes control with new diet

Adelaide researchers have developed a diet and exercise program which has proven to be highly effective in reducing the burden of type 2 diabetes, with an average 40 per cent reduction in medication levels.

The diet incorporates an eating pattern that is very low in carbohydrates and higher in protein and unsaturated fats.

The program is based on the findings from a $1.3 million National Health and Medical Research Council (NH&MRC) funded study, which compared the low carbohydrate eating pattern with the current best practice approach of managing type 2 diabetes with a high-unrefined carbohydrate, low fat diet.

“The research results are ground breaking,” Associate Professor Grant Brinkworth, principal research scientist at the CSIRO said.

“Health professionals have been divided over the best dietary approach for managing type 2 diabetes, and the ongoing uncertainty is a hotly debated topic amongst clinicians and researchers.

“The most amazing benefit of the low carbohydrate diet was the reduction in the patient’s medication levels, which was more than double the amount than the volunteers following the lifestyle program with the high-carbohydrate diet plan.

“Some of the participants managed to cease their medications altogether, and many described the study as life changing.

“This research shows that traditional dietary approaches for managing type 2 diabetes could be outdated, we really need to review the current dietary guidelines if we are serious about using the latest scientific evidence to reduce the impact of the disease.”

The two year research intervention was a collaboration between CSIRO, Adelaide University, Flinders University and the University of South Australia, with the exercise program delivered in partnership with community fitness centres.

Medication requirements were also monitored and supervised with appropriate oversight from physicians.

Professor Campbell Thompson from the University of Adelaide said there were further insights on the clinical outcomes.

“The very low carbohydrate diet presented greater improvements in the blood cholesterol profile, by increasing the levels of good (HDL) cholesterol and decreasing triglyceride levels to a greater extent than the traditional high carbohydrate, low fat diet approach,” Professor Thompson said.

“Both diets achieved similar reductions in bad (LDL) cholesterol levels, often a concern with some low carbohydrate diets.

“The variability of blood glucose levels throughout the day is also emerging as a strong independent risk factor for diabetes complications. In our study the very low carbohydrate diet was more effective in reducing the number and levels of blood glucose spikes and dips, flattening the blood glucose profile over a 24-hour period.”

Type 2 diabetes is one of the greatest global health challenges of the 21st century, with more than 350 million people suffering from the condition.

Obesity is a major risk factor for type 2 diabetes and given the growing increases in obesity and sedentary lifestyles globally, the world is facing a veritable tsunami of the disease.

In Australia alone, an estimated 800,000 Australian adults have type 2 diabetes with many more undiagnosed. In 2008-09, of the estimated $1507 million spent on the health care of diabetes in Australia, $490 million was spent on diabetes-related medications.

Based on the findings from this study, implementing a lifestyle program that incorporates this effective eating pattern at a national level could save up to $200 million annually through reductions in diabetes-related medication expenditure alone.



What I’ve been up to

Been a while since I last posted so I thought I’d lay down some bits and bytes.

Here are a few thing’s that’s been assaulting my senses lately.

snitchVisual – Movie “Snitch” – A father goes undercover for the DEA in order to free his son who has been imprisoned after being set up in drug deal. (IMDB)





Auditory – David Bowie Tribute on RAGE, Triple JJJ, Brissy (Wello Point) artist Wafia, wind and rain since midnight last night.

Smells – home made Chinese 5 spice,  Clove, Fennel, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Szechuan Pepper all bashed and finely mashed in my mortar and pestle.









Feels – Just started a Massage course so I will be feeling more of you soon, (Man that sounds weird) but for the moment I’ve been self treating my sore neck and shoulders. Found this magical trigger point in my lower trapezius that give up to 30 minutes of pain relief and increase Neck Mobility. Also been doing some reading about “Upper Crossed Syndrome” and “forward head posture”, common among computer workers and mobile phone users. So I attempted self “Sub-Occipital Release” which loosens the fascia and muscle at the base of the skull. Worth the effort and its been a lot better today.

Tastes – Pizza, home made base, onion, capsicum, anchove, capers, cheddar cheese, habinaro chilli.


Body Mass Index ( BMI )

The BMI is a good indicator of your body weight. It also is can be used as an indicator of your current and future health risks. This is true because on average people who are overweight or obese have high incidence of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, Type 2 diabetes, sleep apnoea, osteoarthritis, psychological problems and reproductive problems for women. (

The BMI is a indicator of where your weight should be for your age, sex and height. It doesn’t however cover all people and their cultural variations. It doesn’t allow for fat distribution around your body nor can it be used for children.

Calculate you Body Mass Index.

Your BMI will fall into one of four categories:

BMI (kg/m2) Classification
Less than 18.5 Underweight
18.5 to less than 25 Normal weight range
25 to less than 30 Overweight
30 or more Obese
Source: World Health Organization (WHO) 2000. Obesity: preventing and managing the global epidemic. Report of a WHO consultation. WHO technical report series 894. Geneva:WHO.