If you’re someone who loves running, a new e-book called Run Faster: The 7 Secrets to Improving Speed, Endurance and Risk of Injury is sure to spark your interest. Written by
This guest post is by Ryan Rivera of Calm Clinic. Believe it or not, anxiety can sometimes be good for us. The upside of anxiety is that it can inspire us
Clarifying what we value most in life has many benefits. It helps us to understand what drives us, what we enjoy, what inspires us and what we would like more
As you may or may not know, Sizzling Hound Coaching is not my only forum for educating, inspiring and providing beneficial resources for the world. In addition to the work
I’m starting to get the impression that when it comes to nutrition, some of my readers feel that I’m nothing more than Mark Sisson’s mouthpiece. I certainly won’t deny the
Productivity seems to be the buzzword of the moment. It seems everyone wants to do more in the time they have. Increasing our productivity is a worthy goal, provided we
I’ve had a number of readers contact me recently, wanting to know more about the work I do as a coach. Before I go into the specifics of what I
The evidence is mounting that when it comes to improving our health through physical activity, we don’t need to do anywhere near as much as we have been led to
Are you looking for a simple and effective way to feel more powerful? Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, has revealed that adopting a Power Pose for as little as two minutes
I’m currently enjoying some new challenges as I work through Phase Two of The New Rules of Lifting for Life’s training program. Like all the New Rules workouts, Phase Two maximises muscle
If you’re someone who loves running, a new e-book called Run Faster: The 7 Secrets to Improving Speed, Endurance and Risk of Injury is sure to spark your interest.
Written by musculoskeletal Physiotherapist, Graham Nelson, Run Faster focusses on the science behind running biomechanics and how you can maximise yours.
Nelson says correct running posture provides the foundation for improved running performance.
“Running is a complex biomechanical movement, involving a specific sequence of muscle activity at the right times,” Nelson said.
“Correct running posture will help you run more efficiently and reduce load on all weight-bearing muscles and joints.”
Nelson added that there are five key elements to good running posture that will help you to get the muscle sequence right.
These elements are:
- Keep your head straight and shoulders relaxed.
- Keep your elbows bent between 90 and 60 degrees and make sure your arm swing goes forwards and backwards.
- Tilt your pelvis forward so you lean from the ankles.
- Land on the midfoot rather than the heel of your foot.
- Ensure your feet land underneath you, not in front, and pull your foot back quickly as you land.
Click on the video below to see Nelson explain and demonstrate these elements.
In Run Faster: The 7 Secrets to Improving Speed, Endurance and Risk of Injury, Nelson will also help you understand:
- Why strength training for runners is important.
- How to test yourself for weaknesses in the muscles that are responsible for forward propulsion.
- How to develop your own specific strength program tailored to your own musculoskeletal system.
- The importance of Mass Specific Force (MSF) and how this concept will transform your strength training.
- How to gain strength without mass to improve your power to weight ratio.
- The principles of plyometric training and how it can boost running performance.
- The key principles behind static stretching and why it can dramatically reduce risk of injury.
- The facts around interval training.
So, if you are a runner looking to go faster and further safely, this e-book could give you the information you need.
Click Here to order your copy of Run Faster: The 7 Secrets to Improving Speed, Endurance and Risk of Injury.
In the interests of full disclosure, please note that Sizzling Hound Coaching has an affiliate relationship with this product.
This guest post is by Ryan Rivera of Calm Clinic.
Believe it or not, anxiety can sometimes be good for us.
The upside of anxiety is that it can inspire us to move on quickly from a dilemma.
Anxiety triggers our flight or fight response and makes us more aware of ourselves and the things around us.
However, when we are in the flight or fight state for prolonged periods of time, our health can become compromised and an anxiety disorder can develop.
Anxiety disorders come in several forms, including post-traumatic stress, panic disorder, fatigue, obsessive-compulsive disorder and phobias.
The symptoms of anxiety disorders can be overwhelming and controlling them can prove difficult.
If you or someone you know is being affected by anxiety, it’s important to reduce and manage it as soon as possible.
Prescription medication may be an option in extreme cases of anxiety.
However, some medications can have adverse side effects and some can be habit forming.
Alternatively, there are natural methods of treating anxiety that have been proven to be effective.
In fact, some of the natural methods outlined below have been used successfully for centuries to treat many conditions, including stress and anxiety.
How effective these methods are depends on several factors, including level of anxiety or depression, age, focus and determination, there is no arguing that the benefits are there.
Just make sure that you talk to your doctor before trying anything.
You could be allergic to some herbs or certain exercises may not be good for you.
It is always best to consult with a health professional, so that you can get the best advice and guidance.
Exercise has a range of health benefits, including easing the symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Exercise is known to improve mood because it causes the release of feel-good hormones like endorphins.
Exercise can also help us feel good about ourselves because it is an immediate and tangible action we can take.
It can also offer opportunities for us to interact with other people and help us focus on something other than our worries.
Having a support system is important especially when we are going through tough times.
When we talk to someone we trust, it is like letting go of whatever is weighing us down.
It makes us feel better.
There are one-on-one or group therapy sessions supervised by a therapist almost everywhere now.
If that doesn’t suit us, we could choose to talk to a friend, family member, or even a stranger.
The purpose is for us to be able to share our innermost thoughts and feelings without having the fear of being judged.
Herbs like St John’s Wort have been scientifically and medically proven to be effective in the management of anxiety and depression.
St John’s Wort is a natural herbal supplement that can be bought as a pill, liquid or powder.
It improves the mood and acts as an antidepressant.
Another herb to consider is chamomile.
Chamomile is a natural sedative used for ages by different civilizations.
It is commonly used as a remedy to hysteria, nervousness, headaches, and stomach aches.
It is safe enough that babies can take it.
Chamomile is so popular that aside from coming in tea form or aromatherapy oil, it is also an ingredient in body lotions and scented candles.
Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils to enhance mental and psychological well-being.
These oils can be added to bath water, used as a room freshener, or found in incense sticks or massage oils.
Aromatherapy is best done in the evening, usually before bedtime.
This can induce relaxation and invite better sleep.
The best scents to use are lavender, bergamot, geranium and eucalyptus.
Massage, especially when combined with essential oils like eucalyptus, can be very calming.
Studies have concluded that massage has a therapeutic effect because the strokes help release stress and tension, relaxing not only the body, but also the mind.
A study conducted by the Touch Research Institute at the University of Miami School of Medicine showed massage reduced levels of the stress hormone, cortisol, by 53% in 500 participants who had depression or stress problems.
The same study also showed that serotonin and dopamine levels, neurotransmitters that help reduce depression, increased.
Ryan Rivera is the publisher and founder of Calm Clinic. He is dedicated to providing information that will help other people overcome their anxiety issues and bring greater awareness to what it’s like to live with constant anxiety.
Clarifying what we value most in life has many benefits.
It helps us to understand what drives us, what we enjoy, what inspires us and what we would like more of.
Values change over time, and deepen as we understand ourselves better.
Our values can also be situational. What we value at work may be different to what we value at home.
Getting clients to clarify their values is a common coaching technique and one that I use in my practice.
Take the time now to review the list of common values below and select five that you consider most important.
Consider which values serve as guides for your ideal behaviours, or of components of a valued way of life.
The values list below is only a guide. If any words are missing from this list that describe your top five values better, use those words.
Common Values List
What are your Top Five Values? If you would like to share them with me, please leave a comment below or contact me personally.
As you may or may not know, Sizzling Hound Coaching is not my only forum for educating, inspiring and providing beneficial resources for the world.
In addition to the work I do as a coach, I also have a full-time job as a primary school teacher in Melbourne, Australia.
At the time of writing this post, I’ve been working in the government education system for 12 years.
In that time I’ve seen and learned plenty.
One thing that has really stood out for me is the impact leaders have on the climate and culture of schools.
I’m writing specifically here about principals and assistant principals.
Unfortunately, the leaders with whom I’ve worked haven’t always had the most positive impact.
The reasons for this are many.
Lack of vision, inability to communicate effectively, emotional instability and poor time management are just some of them.
But I’m not writing this post to dwell on the past.
Rather, I’m concentrating on the current situation at my school and the transformation it has undergone since the appointment last term of a new principal.
Brett has reinvigorated staff, parents and students with a unique blend of innovation, personality and expertise.
He is a great example of someone who has a Growth Mindset.
Carol Dweck, a professor at Stanford University, has been leading the way in helping society better understand the connection between mindset and success in any area of life.
Dweck says that people with a Growth Mindset believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work.
This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.
Eduardo Briceno gave a great TED Talk about Dweck’s work.
I’ve embedded his talk below.
Make sure you watch it and take particular note of the three things Briceno says we can do to start instilling a Growth Mindset in ourselves and the people around us:
1. Recognise a Growth Mindset is beneficial and supported by science.
2. Learn how to develop our abilities, improve our practices and make our efforts more effective.
3. Listen for our Fixed Mindset voice and talk back with a Growth Mindset voice.
I’m starting to get the impression that when it comes to nutrition, some of my readers feel that I’m nothing more than Mark Sisson’s mouthpiece.
I certainly won’t deny the fact that Sisson’s Primal Blueprint has reshaped my thinking and my approach to nutrition during the past couple of years.
However, Sisson is not the only voice who is challenging the conventional nutritional wisdom that has been doled out to us for decades.
Peter Attia provides another compelling source of evidence that suggests what we thought was right is just plain wrong.
Attia is a surgeon who hopes to ease the diabetes epidemic by challenging what we think and improving scientific inquiry into nutrition and obesity research.
In an extremely open and honest TED Talk, Attia admits that when he was a young surgeon, he felt contempt for a patient with diabetes.
The patient was overweight and Attia thought she was responsible for the fact that she had diabetes and needed a foot amputation because of it.
However, years later, Attia experienced a life changing event that led him to question his assumptions and what the medical and health industries had led him to believe was the truth about diabetes.
I’ve embedded Attia’s TED Talk below. Have a look and post a comment to let me know what you think.
Productivity seems to be the buzzword of the moment.
It seems everyone wants to do more in the time they have.
Increasing our productivity is a worthy goal, provided we are focusing on the areas of our lives that enable us to use our unique skills, talents and abilities.
It is also important to remember that our efforts to become more productive must be aligned with the goal of increased effectiveness.
If we want to do more, then it only makes sense that we do it well.
With those points in mind, here are my Ten Tips to Increase Productivity:
In addition to boosting willpower and reducing stress, meditation has been clinically proven to improve our powers of concentration.
Being able to focus on what needs to be done when it needs to be done is one of the key attributes of a productive person.
2. Be physically active
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will know that I am an advocate for everyone being physically active.
The health benefits of physical activity are well documented here and throughout the internet.
Simply put, it is difficult to increase your productivity if your body is letting you down because you don’t have a habit of regular physical activity.
What could you accomplish if you had four more hours of productivity after you exercised?
3. Choose the right fuel
What you eat and drink makes a massive difference to your energy levels, mood and overall health.
If your nutritional habits aren’t helping those three key areas, then it is time to make some changes.
4. Reduce screen time
If we want to increase our productivity, we need to rethink our use of television, computers and other personal devices.
Screen time not only makes us less productive, it can also have a seriously negative impact on our health.
One study has found that people who spend two hours or more a day in front of a screen during their leisure time have more than double the risk of cardiovascular disease compared with those who spend less than two hours a day in front of a screen.
This is a particularly sobering statistic when the average Australian adults spend almost three hours each day just watching television.
5. Work from a list
I’ve kept a daily To Do List in my diary since I was in secondary school.
Writing down the things I need to do reduces the load on my working memory and allows me to use more of my brainpower to get things done.
6. Prioritize your To Do list
To make your use of a To Do List even more effective, prioritize your daily tasks.
I do this simply by writing numbers next to the tasks. Number one is highest priority, two second priority and so on.
Unless I have a very good reason for doing so, I won’t deviate from the order of priorities.
7. Capture your thoughts
David Allen is one of the more famous names in the productivity marketplace.
This year I’ve done some investigation into his Getting Things Done system.
One of the GTD concepts I’ve applied to my life is making sure I capture my thoughts as they arise.
This simply means that I record ideas, things I need to remember and any other important thoughts in my diary or in the Notes App on my phone on the spot.
Like the strategy of Working from a List, Capturing Thoughts reduces the load on my working memory and frees me up to be more effective, productive and creative.
8. Measure your progress
As I wrote in a previous post, we need to be able to measure our progress in the areas of our lives we are wanting results.
Measurement has three main benefits.
Firstly, it can motivate us to take the action needed to achieve our goals.
Secondly, measurement can help us understand the habits and strategies that are effective.
Thirdly, it can provide us with the feedback we need to correct our course if we get off track.
9. Leverage NET
NET is a concept I learned while listening to Get The Edge.
NET stands for No Extra Time.
In a nutshell, this means that when it is appropriate, we multi-task in ways that are beneficial for us.
If we want to increase our knowledge, skills or abilities but feel we don’t have the time, we can listen to audiobooks or podcasts while we are commuting to work, going for a walk or doing mundane tasks around the house.
If we want to increase our amount of daily physical activity but don’t want to sacrifice our TV time, we could stretch; do a plank or some push-ups during the ad breaks.
NET helps us to be more productive. What other ways can you leverage it?
10. Take action
You’re not going to become more productive until you actually start doing things.
Avoid the trap of paralysis by analysis.
Start by choosing just one of my tips and put it into action today.
Tweak it, modify it, and make it suit you.
It doesn’t matter what you choose, just choose something!
I’ve had a number of readers contact me recently, wanting to know more about the work I do as a coach.
Before I go into the specifics of what I do, it’s worthwhile giving you an insight into the coaching industry itself.
Since then, people have developed a variety of ways to explore who they are and how they want to live.
Coaching, as we know it today, draws on many fields to offer an integrated approach that enables us to perform better.
It is important to make the distinction here that coaching is not therapy, counselling or psychology.
Coaching differs from these professions because it focuses on the present and future and does not delve into the past.
It is also important to note that the role of a coach is not to give us advice or provide us with answers, but rather to help us tap into our own resources and support us to find the answers ourselves.
Effective coaching helps us to identify what we truly value, clarify what we want, clearly focus on the actions we need to take and follow through on the commitments we make.
Regardless of whether our ambitions for improvement are in the professional realm or in our private lives, coaching will accelerate our progress towards what we are seeking.
As a coach, I have the responsibility of challenging, guiding and inspiring my clients.
I work with them, support them and provide them with tools and structures that help them to accomplish more.
I draw on my skills, experience and training to help my clients identify what is really important to them.
I help them to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be.
If you want to work with me to start closing the gap between where you are and where you want to be, the first action you need to take is to click on this link.
The evidence is mounting that when it comes to improving our health through physical activity, we don’t need to do anywhere near as much as we have been led to believe.
For years, 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity each day was the standard recommendation trotted out to us by educators and medicos alike.
But this figure has been blown out of the water by a number of studies, including one carried out by researchers at Birmingham University in the United Kingdom.
The Sports Science team at BU, have proven that we benefit just as much, if not more, from three minutes of High Intensity Interval Training a week.
That’s right. Three minutes a week, made up of three 20-second high intensity efforts on three different days.
Researchers believe that one of the reasons why High Intensity Interval Training is so effective is that it uses a greater amount of our muscle tissue than continuous moderate exercise, such as jogging or cycling.
When we do HIIT, 80% of the body’s muscle cells are activated, compared to 20-40% for continuous moderate exercise.
Other clinical benefits of High Intensity Interval Training when compared to continuous moderate exercise include:
- Greater adherence over time by participants.
- Bigger increases in post-exercise fat burning and energy expenditure.
- Greater reduction in total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol.
- Bigger improvements in endothelial function, VO2 max, body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage, blood pressure and glucose regulation.
- Greater reduction of risk factors relating to cardiovascular disease.
- Enhancement of hormonal functions.
To find out more about Birmingham University’s research into High Intensity Interval Training, I encourage you to watch BBC’s documentary, The Truth About Exercise.
I couldn’t locate the full documentary online, but I’ve included an excerpt below to whet your appetite.
What is your take on HIIT? Will it change the way you approach physical activity? As always, your comments are encouraged and appreciated.
Are you looking for a simple and effective way to feel more powerful?
Social psychologist Amy Cuddy, has revealed that adopting a Power Pose for as little as two minutes can improve our brain chemistry and increase our chances of performing well in stressful situations.
Cuddy’s findings build on evidence that powerful people have high levels of testosterone (which Cuddy describes as the dominance hormone) and low levels of cortisol (described by Cuddy as the stress hormone).
Research has also found that powerful people consistently exhibit open and confident body language.
Cuddy made the link between body language and positive changes in brain chemistry through experiments that required participants to adopt different poses.
The participants who were asked to adopt a Power Pose recorded increases in testosterone and decreases in cortisol, when compared to participants who adopted other poses.
To learn more about Power Poses and how they could make a difference to your life, watch Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are.
I’m currently enjoying some new challenges as I work through Phase Two of The New Rules of Lifting for Life’s training program.
Like all the New Rules workouts, Phase Two maximises muscle by focussing on six types of movement patterns.
I wrote a post last month that gave details of my Phase One workouts.
The main difference between Phase One and Phase Two, is that I’m now aiming for three sets of 10 reps for the four strength exercises.
In addition, one of the Core exercises in Workout A has been replaced by a Combination exercise.
I’m also doing two exercises I’ve never done before, overhead sprinter step up (pictured left) and cable split stance chop.
The inclusion of these exercises in my Phase Two workouts has provided more variety.
Here are my New Rules of Lifting for Life Phase Two workouts in their entirety:
Workout A (Tuesday)
Warm Up: RAMP
Stability: feet elevated side plank with reduced base of support (feet on exercise ball, each hand on a medicine ball, 2 sets, 60 seconds).
Squat and Press (2 sets, 10 reps with two 20kg dumbbells).
Lower body: dumbbell jump squat (2 sets, 5 reps with two 45kg dumbbells).
Strength Superset One
Lunge: reverse lunge (3 sets, 10 reps with 37.5kg).
Pull: chin up (3 sets, 10 reps).
Strength Superset Two
Hinge: trap bar deadlift (3 sets, 10 reps with 102.5kg).
Push: dumbbell bench press (3 sets, 10 reps with two 30kg dumbbells).
Box Jumps (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10 minutes).
Foam rolling and stretches for adductors, hip flexors, lats and glutes.
Warm Up: RAMP
Dynamic stability: cable split stance chop (2 sets, 10 reps each side with 50kg).
Upper body: dumbbell single arm snatch (2 sets, 5-8 reps each side with 27.5kg).
Strength Superset One
Single-leg stance: overhead sprinter step up (3 sets, 10 reps with 5kg).
Push: standing dumbbell shoulder press (3 sets, 10 reps with two 20kg dumbbells).
Strength Superset Two
Squat: back squat (3 sets, 10 reps with 85kg).
Pull: pull up (3 sets, 8-10 reps).
Skipping rope (30 seconds on, 30 seconds off for 10 minutes).
Foam rolling and stretches for adductors, hip flexors, lats and glutes.
This will be my last post until August because I’m taking some time off to Sharpen the Saw. In the meantime, stay fit, healthy and well and feel free to leave a comment about my Phase Two workouts.