4 Reasons Why Winter Sun Is GREAT

Today’s blog post comes from the wonderful Lucy Anderson, one of our highly experienced osteopath and pilates instructor who specialises in your total wellbeing, not just getting rid of the niggles meaning you feel great for a long long time.

As I was going for my morning run in the park today, I couldn’t help but be reminded of what a difference a sunny day makes. I actually felt motivated and energised to push myself a bit further and less foggy-headed… like I should be back in bed!

But why does sunshine make us feel so much better?

Serotonin release: Sunshine exposure has been shown to increase brain cell production of serotonin – a hormone and neurotransmitter intricately linked with mood and central nervous system function. Research has shown a link between depression and low serotonin levels.

Vitamin D synthesis – Sunlight exposure is known to promote synthesis of Vitamin D in our skin, which is by far our most effective source. Insufficient vitamin D production makes us feel sleepy and sluggish and generally feel low by virtue of it’s link with immune and metabolic processes.
Vitamin D is not only important for mood, but also for bone health. We need Vitamin D to absorb calcium in the gut which is important for maintaining bone density.

Influences circadian rhythms – exposure to sunlight particularly in the morning and daytime helps to switch off production of melatonin, a hormone needed to promote sleep. This improves release of melatonin when it gets dark helping you sleep better.
Other benefits:….

Sunlight not only makes us feel better, but it has also been shown to help lower blood pressure. Sunlight exposure promotes release of nitric oxide from the skin. Nitric Oxide is a potent vasodilator – I.e. It widens blood vessel lumens. This reduces resistance to flow of blood within the vessel resulting in reducing blood pressure.

How can I get more sunshine in the middle of winter?
Getting sufficient sunlight exposure in the winter can be tricky given the short days and often cloudy weather (sadly, we have no control over it!) However, I have put together a few simple ideas to help improve your sunlight exposure in the winter:

1) Walk to work – ok, you might not have time to walk all the way to work, but consider getting off the tube one stop earlier and walking for 15 minutes. This has the added benefit of endorphin release from the exercise. It doesn’t always feel appealing to walk around on a cold day, but the cold air is a great way to help you wake up and become more alert for the day ahead.

2) Run outside instead of on the treadmill – Again, this might feel less tempting on a cold day, but. once you’ve taken that first difficult step out of the door there really is nothing more refreshing than a cold run along the river or through the park. Make sure you wrap up warm and invest in a good pair of running leggings – brushed fabrics offer more warmth. If, like me, you find the cold air harsh on your lungs, ears and nose, wear a hat that covers your ears – we lost most of our body heat through our head so a hat really does make a huge difference. A thin scarf or snood over your mouth and nose can help to warm the air as it passes into the lungs and also reduce pollution exposure.

3) Pop out for a coffee – while the coffee machines at work may be convenient and free, leaving the office for that mid-morning coffee instead of staying in will give you some sunlight exposure, fresh air and helps to dull that late-morning slump.

4) Invest in a light box – On gloomy days or dark mornings, sitting in front of a light box has been shown to be helpful in improving mood.

5) Take a winter holiday – depending on where you go, it can be a cheaper and a less busy time of year to get away to a beautiful beach destination. A weeks’ holiday in the sun really does help to beat the winter blues and break up the long, cold, dark days.

 

4 Reasons Why Winter Sun Is GREAT Third Space Sports Medicine

7 Reasons Diets Don’t Work

When we hear the word diet we often think of food deprivation, bland meals and unpleasant periods of semi-starvation. Thinking like this is completely wrong as a diet does not have to mean any of the above. Let us teach you how you can replace this way of thinking with a sustainable long-term healthy eating plan allowing you to eat normal foods without restricting yourself and learn the reasons why diets do not work.

BIOCHEMICAL INDIVIDUALITY:

DON’T FOLLOW SOMEONES ELSES PLAN – EVOLVE YOUR OWN

There are many fad diets out there and each is said to be able to help every single one of us, but what they do not take into consideration is how we are all physiologically different and how all of our bodies need different foods and requirements. This may explain how you and your friend have both been following the same diet but she has managed to loose 10lbs and you only 2lbs.

DEPRIVATION:

When a calorie restricted diet is followed over a prolonged period of time your body will go into famine mode and start to hold onto the calories that you eat and the stored body fat. It can even start eating into its own muscles for fuel (becoming catabolic). Chronic under eating tends to lead to binge eating and feeling bloated. Bloating often happens after a binge eating session as your body has consumed foods it is not used to, alongside the increase in volume. Shocking the body like this is not sustainable.

NOT SUSTAINABLE:

A diet is often perceived as a quick fix and something you can dip in and out of when you want to lose weight for a certain event or time of year. Ultimately most people think that these diets are unsustainable as they are not suitable to be followed over a prolonged period of time. The most efficient change you can make is in experimenting and finding out what will work for you, eliminating any foods that cause you irritation and monitoring your calories in and calories out. Be sure to add in lots of protein, good fats, vegetables and salad. Don’t forget that you can also have treats, but in moderation.

Don’t turn your treat into a daily habit – it is not a treat then!

DIET FOODS:

EAT PROPER FOOD!!

Many of us have to come think that “diet foods” are the best and most effective way to lose weight. In fact they may even be hindering your weight loss progress as these low fat, fat free products are all highly refined and processed containing virtually no nutrients whatsoever, so aim to avoid these wherever possible.

WEIGHT GAIN:

The cycle of deprivation and binge eating mentioned earlier can lead to weight gain and not weight loss, so you could become your own worst enemy. The most effective way to find a sustainable plan is to find real foods that are nutrient dense helping to keep you fuller for longer and aiding your body with all the vitamins and minerals it needs to function.

PROMOTE UNHEALTHY RELATIONSHIP WITH FOOD:

Following a calorie-restricted diet and depriving yourself of foods which you deem to be bad can lead to an unhealthy relationship with food, leading to cycles of deprivation and binge eating. The most important point to take on board here is to focus on eating good fats, proteins and vegetables allowing nutrient dense foods to nourish your body, helping you to build a good relationship with proper food.

DAMAGE METABOLISM:

When restricting calories your body will become stressed and an unfavourable hormonal environment can be created. Changes such as raised cortisol levels, thyroid dysfunction, impaired detoxification and altered energy production can make it much more difficult for you to burn fat and lose weight.

Using functional medicine testing  you can identify where and what is affecting your metabolism.

IN CONCLUSION

For all of the reasons above it is suggested that following a “diet” is not the best way to lose weight and become healthy, in fact following a sustainable life-long healthy eating programme is.

Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.

Can you have your Turkey & Trimmings and Eat it?

Ahhhh the festive season. Mulled wine, chocolates, work nights out with half a tonne of mini burgers, it can all be too much. Here is some advice on how to manage your nutrition during this period.

Manage your excess.

Don’t let one purple quality street turn into an empty box. It is fine to be a little more relaxed with your nutrition but you need to employ a smidgen of self-control. If you know you are going to have a big feast or a big night out then be disciplined in the time leading up to this. Get in credit which will enable you to fully enjoy the event!

You can also be smart when knowing there is potential to eat off plan. Lower your calories over the day so you can indulge slightly at a social event. HOWEVER MAKING DRASTIC CHANGES SUCH AS ONLY EATING 400 CALORIES OVER THE DAY SO YOU CAN EAT 1500 AT DINNER IS NOT ADVISED!

Do some glycogen depleting training.

Training with high intensity and volume will deplete muscle glycogen levels. You can then increase carbohydrate intake (helloooo roasties!). Depleting muscle glycogen will ensure that the majority of the carbs you are eating will be used to replenish your energy stores opposed to being stored as body fat.

Eat protein and fat first.

Can you have your Turkey & Trimmings and Eat it? Third Space Sports Medicine

How you eat your meals can make a big difference in the way the food is digested and stored in your body. More on this in January.

Fill your plate with veggies, protein, fats and carbs – IN THAT ORDER!

Doing this will reduce the amount of starchy carbs you put on your plate. Pile that turkey high!! Less room for the goose fat potatoes!

Eat before a night out.

Canopies, finger food and set menus. These are the devils for keeping your nutrition on point. Too easy to overeat with minimal nutritional value. The trick? Eat a fibre and protein rich meal before you head out. M & S superfood salad or a homemade mint and avocado chocolate smoothie. This will reduce the urge to mindlessly snack.

Xmas specific supplements.

Supporting the liver (number one priority) and taking certain nutrients to maintain body composition can be extremely helpful. Eating more of these foods can help support liver function.
With most of the patients we work with trying to employ the 80/20 rule is advised. Be on your plan for 80% of the time. 20% you can be more relaxed.

Inflame In The Membrane

Understanding how to manage inflammation can help boost your health and supercharge your performance. Inflammation is a crucial part of the bodies immune response. However there are two sides to the story!

There are two types of inflammation – acute and chronic.

Acute inflammation can be a response to exercise stress, an injury or infection. Physiological changes that occur include increased blood flow, accumulation of white blood cells, redness, heat, swelling and pain at the affected site. We need acute inflammation to promote the generation of new cells which leads to healing. With exercise stress this is how the body adapts to the stimulus and recovers.

Acute inflammation is crucial but it needs to be managed in the correct way.

Chronic inflammation is a long-term physiological response to one or more factors. It is a failure of the body’s immune system to maintain a healthy homeostatic state. It occurs when there is repeated exposure to acute inflammation or it is poorly managed. Factors such as poor nutrition, environmental toxins, over-training or infection can lead to chronic inflammation. If you do not address your nutrition and lifestyle then it could lead to the clinical symptoms of disease and poor performance.

Chronic inflammation is something we want to minimise as much as possible! Luckily we have put some tips together to help guide you in managing inflammation.

EAT THE RAINBOW

Brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants such as vitamin A, C, E, zinc and selenium which will reduce inflammation.

●  Vitamin A is found in eggs, pumpkin, carrots and sweet potato.

●  Vitamin C is found in broccoli, cauliflower, citrus fruit, tomatoes and berries.

●  Vitamin E is found in nuts, seeds, avocado and eggs.

●  Zinc is found in meat, nuts and seeds

●  Selenium is found in Brazil nuts and seafood

●  Pineapple and papaya contain enzymes (bromelain and papain) that lower inflammation

ENSURE YOU GET GOOD QUALITY SLEEP

Growth hormone levels are highest with good quality sleep. When we are sleep deprived, T cells (important for immunity) are lowered and cytokines (inflammatory cells) are raised. Bottom line……ENSURE YOU GET ENOUGH SLEEP.

USE LOTS OF SPICES

Certain spices aid in reducing inflammation in the body, as well as making your food taste better. Be generous with the ginger, turmeric, cumin and cinnamon.

CUT DOWN ON PROCESSED FOODS

Steering clear of processed foods is a quick way to avoid many inflammatory agents. These include omega-6 fatty acids, trans fats and refined carbohydrates.

EAT FOODS RICH IN OMEGA 3

Omega 3 fatty acids are an anti-inflammatory powerhouse. The highest levels are
found in wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, eggs, walnuts and flax seed and oil and green leafy vegetables.

GET YOUR B – VITAMINS

B – Vitamins perform hundreds of different functions to help us produce energy, improve digestion and create anti-inflammatory substances from our food. Increase the amount of beans, vegetables, seafood and meat you eat alongside supplementing with a high strength B-Complex.

EXERCISE – FIND A BALANCE

Exercise reduces inflammation, but it also increases it. And depending on the context, this increased inflammation due to exercise is either a good thing or a bad thing. Confused?!? It is all about balance.

Whatever your exercise regime, whether it is regular walking, high intensity gym work or marathon training make sure you are implementing proper recovery time with sound nutrition support.

Want to work with Liam in London Bridge to get your bespoke nutrition plan? Head over to here to book in!

How Quickly Do Bacteria Become Resistant To Antibiotics?

When our immune system is overwhelmed and we fall prey to some bad bacteria, all too often we go to the doctor and we are prescribed antibiotics.

Over use of antibiotics has been in the press recently because the boffins who create ever stronger antibiotics to beat these bacteria are finding it harder and harder to totally eradicate the bacteria.

The more bacteria evolve to resist the antibiotics being used against them, the higher the chance of these bugs (aka Superbugs) are of causing widespread disease and even fatalities.

It is so important that we as the human race look at how we use antibiotics so that we don’t end up in a world where a simple chest infection or a cut finger kills an otherwise healthy adult.

So please watch the video below, it isn’t long and it will truly enlighten you on how careful we need to be with our antibiotic use!

Finger (gar)Licking Good Immune Boosting Food

With winter fast approaching, finding ways to boost your immune system is vital. Liam in London Bridge and Clapham Junction is on hand to provide us with the best foods to include in your diet to boost your immunity before you pick up that bug going around the Northern and Jubilee lines….

Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds

Brazil nuts are high in the antioxidant selenium and pumpkin seeds are very high in zinc. Both nutrients support your body at a cellular level, strengthening your immune system.

Make a brazil nut and pumpkin seed vanilla smoothie

Broccoli

A powerhouse vegetable that is highly nutrient- dense, broccoli is rich in chlorophyll and contains other beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids and phytonutrients.

Steam for 2 minutes then pan fry in chilli and garlic

Garlic and ginger

Ginger and garlic are an awesome immune function double team. They contain compounds such as allicin and gingerols that have immunostimulatory effects, antimicrobial properties and help lower inflammation . All helping support a healthy immune system.

Add to a stir fry!

Green Tea

Rich in antioxidant polyphenols and catechins, green tea has been used as a health-promoting beverage for centuries. Catechins have antimicrobial properties and the antioxidants may help reduce the effects of stress, in addition to supporting immune function.

Try to drink 2-3 cups per day – or brew some and then let it cool and add to smoothies.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Not only are shiitake mushrooms high in amino acids, rich in B vitamins and are a good source of vitamin D. They also contain beta glucans and polysaccharides which naturally improve the function of your T-cells (immune system cells).

Whack them in a stir fry or make some chicken and mushroom soup

Turmeric

Now this is a proper superfood! This spice delivers a wealth of phytonutrients and has been shown to numerous benefits for overall health and performance. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin. This warrior can reduce oxidative stress, stimulate the T cells responsible for immune health, and aid in cellular protection Pretty impressive stuff!

Make sure you take it with black pepper and a fat source to increase absorption. Perfect recipe would be turmeric roasted salmon.

For bespoke advice book in with Liam here and for other tips and hints on your health please see our YouTube Channel here.

Immune Boosting Foods

With winter fast approaching, finding ways to boost your immune system is vital. Liam in London Bridge and Clapham Junction is on hand to provide us with the best foods to include in your diet to boost your immunity before you pick up that bug going around the Northern and Jubilee lines….

Brazil nuts and pumpkin seeds

Brazil nuts are high in the antioxidant selenium and pumpkin seeds are very high in zinc. Both nutrients support your body at a cellular level, strengthening your immune system.

Make a brazil nut and pumpkin seed vanilla smoothie

Broccoli

A powerhouse vegetable that is highly nutrient- dense, broccoli is rich in chlorophyll and contains other beneficial nutrients like vitamin C, carotenoids and phytonutrients.

Steam for 2 minutes then pan fry in chilli and garlic

Garlic and ginger

Ginger and garlic are an awesome immune function double team. They contain compounds such as allicin and gingerols that have immunostimulatory effects, antimicrobial properties and help lower inflammation . All helping support a healthy immune system.

Add to a stir fry!

Green Tea

Rich in antioxidant polyphenols and catechins, green tea has been used as a health-promoting beverage for centuries. Catechins have antimicrobial properties and the antioxidants may help reduce the effects of stress, in addition to supporting immune function.

Try to drink 2-3 cups per day – or brew some and then let it cool and add to smoothies.

Shiitake Mushrooms

Not only are shiitake mushrooms high in amino acids, rich in B vitamins and are a good source of vitamin D. They also contain beta glucans and polysaccharides which naturally improve the function of your T-cells (immune system cells).

Whack them in a stir fry or make some chicken and mushroom soup

Turmeric

Now this is a proper superfood! This spice delivers a wealth of phytonutrients and has been shown to numerous benefits for overall health and performance. The active compound in turmeric is curcumin. This warrior can reduce oxidative stress, stimulate the T cells responsible for immune health, and aid in cellular protection Pretty impressive stuff!

Make sure you take it with black pepper and a fat source to increase absorption. Perfect recipe would be turmeric roasted salmon.

Immune Boosting Foods Third Space Sports Medicine

Still Detoxing? Don’t Waste Your Money

Do You Need A New Liver Or A New Wallet?

Still Detoxing? Don't Waste Your Money Third Space Sports Medicine

We saw this yesterday and it tickled us – thank you Phil Hyland for posting the picture originally. We are looking one further because the liver is much talked about but little understood how it actually works so there is a very interesting video at the bottom  of this email that sums it up nicely!

Why Do We Produce Tears?

I’ll Cry If I Want To

We actually produce three different types of tears:

  • Basal Tears: These protect the eyes from debris

  • Reflex Tears: These are produced when we come into contact with harmful substances, e.g. onions. (Don’t forget my husband’s trick of sticking his tongue out when he cuts an onion – it actually works but don’t tell him that!)

  • Emotional Tears: Scientists are only just beginning to deduce why we produce emotional tears – is it to release hormones like the stress hormone cortisol, or more of a social signal, or both?

Watch this wonderful TED talk about tears to hear about this in animated detail!

Farting IS Good For You!

Farting IS Good For You! Third Space Sports Medicine

Farting is not acceptable in public. Is this because of the noise? The smell? Or simply because it is a stark reminder that we are all little more than animals making our way in the world? In fact, we praise babies for farting, clapping and whooping like they have just won an olympic gold medal!

Farting is, simply, good for you. If we look at the science behind what is going on, as James Meadow a former University of Oregon researcher spent his time doing, we can see that each person has their own “Microbiome”; the cultures of bacteria that live on and in our bodies and indeed create a cloud around us all the time.

Let’s look at the cloud around us – not all of this is flatulence but some of it is. When you fart, you emit a cocktail of gas but also plenty of bacteria suspended in this gas too.

The average person farts somewhere between 8 and 20 times a day, producing half a litre of gas in 24hrs and although we think of farts as smelly, 99% of their volume is odourless, consisting of oxygen, nitrogen (that we have swallowed) plus carbon dioxide, hydrogen and methane produced by our gut bacteria.

The smelly part of a fart comes from the sulphide products from our bacteria digesting what is in our gut.

Without our gut bacteria we would be in a lot of pain, so if you aren’t farting it is a good indication that your gut bacteria aren’t doing their job probably. So next time you feel the need to ‘fertilise the air’, think of yourself as a well oiled machine working at peak performance!

If you are struggling with any aspect of your health, get yourself booked for your treatment with us  here, now, we like helping!