Fitter For Life Newsletter (No. 1)

Fitter for Life (FFL) is delighted to share its first Newsletter. We will be producing a Newsletter every second month as part of our information provision in supporting people to progressively improve their wellbeing. It will link with our other information sharing through our website, social media and collaborations with other people, groups and organisations active in preventative healthcare.

The Newsletter will share information on health and wellbeing topics of wide interest; seminal knowledge in strengthening and progressing people’s health and wellbeing; our clients’ achievements, activities, experiences and interests; and FFL’s collaborations and involvements in healthcare communities and with partner organisations.

Do enjoy the Newsletter. Your thoughts on it and suggestions for future Newsletter topics and improvements, please – enquiries@fitterforlife.com

Fitter for Life coaches and colleagues.

Fitter for Life Newsletter (No. 1)

A very warm welcome to FFL’s first Newsletter. We’ll publish this every two months to share our and your thoughts and ideas about being as healthy as you can and want to be. We’ll also keep you informed of FFL’s activities and development. Leaders in wellbeing and health will make valuable contributions, too.

The pressures and demands of life often mean that looking after ourselves gets pushed aside and forgotten. So, it’s maybe only when the consequences of that give us a jolt that we sit-up and think things need to change a bit.

Taking proper care of ourselves gives us the most valuable improvements we can make in our lives. So leaving looking out for “me” to last makes no sense. In fact, it’s pretty nuts.

Part of the “trick” of taking good care of ourselves is knowing just how well we can be, throughout our potentially very long lives. That way we don’t become one of the “worried well” or “unwell”; but somebody who knows they’re well and are able to fully enjoy it.

Fitter For Life is bringing together some of the very best preventative healthcare people to share their knowledge to help clients know, value and enjoy how well they are. They guide, support and encourage you, our clients, to a zest for life and wellbeing that is infectious, enduring and growing, whatever age or health status you are currently.

In this Issue

Two of our coaches share insights and experiences. Mari-Anne writes in detail about a client relationship, exemplifying the depth, outcomes and value for all parties involved. David starts our focus on Diabetes during May and June. These months see two UK National awareness weeks – Preventing Diabetes in May; Diabetes Awareness in June. We also share data of client achievements relevant to improvements and reversal of Diabetes symptoms. We discuss the impact of sedentary lifestyles, announcing our Take Five videos. Other FFL’s activities and developments in the two months to the second newsletter in July are outlined. We invite your suggestions for topics for the future, both for our publications and in our programmes, courses and social groups. Finally we outline, in Practitioners’ Corner, our professional development activities for FFL’s current and future coaches.

Deep and Personal – Mari-Anne and Client Relationships

Over the many years that I have been an exercise and wellbeing professional, I have enjoyed client relationships in varied, highly rewarding ways.

Every new client is unique in their prior experiences, goals, personality and physical or emotional concerns, which all need to be considered.

As a coach, my role is to motivate, educate and inspire people to do the things that they need to do in a positive and productive manner.

I can best exemplify this through one client relationship, which shows the depth and mutual reward and respect that develop and evolve between clients and their wellbeing coaches.

“Sheila” was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer three months after we started working together…

At that point we discussed how exercise might help her and her family. During the diagnosis and treatment phases over the course of 2017 and 2018, exercise played a vital role in the whole process. Activity had to be varied and adapted on most days, which meant we were in close, regular contact. At times, it might have been straightforward mobilising movements to keep body functions flowing, when strenuous types of workout were impossible. Sheila’s view of that period – “The continuity in having only one physical trainer – you, the whole time – meant that you knew exactly what my body needed at a specific point in time”. An example of a direct benefit she found was that at the time of the first chemotherapy, when she had to take some special medication for the bone marrow. I suggested she only bounced on a Swiss ball to release the bone pain associated with the medication. These symptoms vanished from then onward as we practised with the Swiss ball every session. There are many practical instances such as this that kept Sheila’s body from stagnating, proving critical in allowing her to receive, carry and process medication, and facilitate her body’s natural healing processes.

Additionally, the regularity of exercise supported Sheila’s mind and body to maintain the focus of getting better. Also, being able to talk to the same person frankly about how her body was reacting to treatment in combination with the physical training had a further benefit in being a positive and pro-active form of counselling. “It empowered me to take charge of my own destiny in the treatment and recovery process” Sheila thinks. “I had very, very few low moments as a result, and came out at the other end feeling and looking much better than when we first started in the autumn of 2016. The Surgeon and Oncologist both remarked, each time I saw them for a review, about the way I looked, felt, and the positive results I was getting”.

Immediately post treatment Sheila remembers “gentle exercises and massages in affected areas to ensure the return of mobility to the right arm and deal with scar tissues”. This regular programme allowed her consistent improvements over 6 weeks. At the end of which “my right arm was at least 80% back to full range and speed of movement; although the centre part of my chest was slower at responding, but it was doing so nevertheless’.

As Sheila tells it, “Finally, I reached a point I was training for the “future” rather than “troubleshooting” with the aims of increased fitness and weight reduction – to encourage a major drop in BMI – Body Mass Index”. The programme had two stages. The first, to complete a basic routine on a regular basis. “The stamina level improved and it allowed for the next stage of increasing the workout gently in terms of time or weights. Your gentle calibration of every aspect of the training, has been very favourable! After all this, I could feel a marked difference in resilience and further stamina improvement. Finally, where I am now (August, 2019), the body has finally begun to tone well (1 dress size drop in less than a month)!”

Sheila continues a more active lifestyle following her cancer treatment and remission. She says, “My work with you, Mari-Anne, has boosted mind and body. It has confirmed to me that maintaining the body moving in whatever way possible (workout, gentle exercise or massages) allows the body to do its own healing work. Exercise and healthy-clean eating allow the body to call on its own “natural pharmacy”, and this mindset is here to stay now. So, THANK YOU, for all your input, dedication, incredible ethics and huge patience with me!”

Take Five…

Sheila and Mari-Anne’s work together clearly has much that is very personal to them. Some things individual and some mutual within their professional relationship.

We can all find some valuable learning in their experiences, too.

Whatever our current physiological condition, there are benefits in moving. In ways that are appropriate to our present resilience and endurance level, naturally. As Mari-Anne indicates, Sheila’s continuing movements in the fulness of her cancer treatment “stopped her body from stagnating, proving critical in allowing her to receive, carry and process medication, and facilitate her body’s natural healing processes”.

The USA government’s authoritative NIH (National Institutes of Health) MedlinePlus informs on some of the major direct consequences of not moving, living a sedentary lifestyle.

  • We burn fewer calories. This makes us more likely to gain weight
  • We may lose muscle strength and endurance, because we are not using our muscles as much
  • Our bones may get weaker and lose some mineral content
  • Our metabolism may be affected, and our body may have more trouble breaking down fats and sugars
  • Our immune system may not work as well
  • We may have poorer blood circulation
  • Our body may have more inflammation
  • We may develop a hormonal imbalance.

Further, our cellular cleansing and renewal throughout our body is also likely not to function so effectively. Nor are our overall body systems and their working going to be as strong or effective as they might be.

Starting May 28 we will be providing videos to support and encourage everybody to consider moving in some of those spare moments, rather than be inactive or motionless. They each last five minutes. You can sign-up on our web-site for access to our Take Five videos.

Extending Healthspans

Healthspan is an idea of the 21st century. It defines the period of a person’s life spent with good health, without chronic or acute illness or disease. It is becoming more known, considered and discussed as a consequence of aging populations in many countries resulting in higher demands on services that treat illness. An article in August 2018 by Matt Kaerberlein of University of Washington School of Medicine, Seattle in Springer’s Geroscience magazine, indicated before year 2000 only 14 research articles had been published about “Healthspan”. By 2010 it was still no more than 100 in total. By mid-2018 the total had grown to over 900.

Fitter For Life’s blog of 14 March discussed Healthspans indicating that although people were living longer, the years people were living in illness were, in general, also increasing.

Life Expectancy (in years)

Source: U.K. Office of National Statistics

As the blog said, It does not have to be that way for the vast majority of people.

Bringing together the professional capability and the knowledge to guide, encourage and empower people to increasingly understand and influence their own wellbeing, and enjoy extended healthspan years is the origin and purpose of Fitter For Life.

Our activity programmes offer guidance, encouragement and support for all our clients to progressively influence their wellbeing; extend their healthspan. The programmes are designed for those with no previous experience of influencing their own wellbeing to those wishing to significantly extend their capability towards their genetic potential; for those with good health and those with recent and long-standing chronic health conditions.

Extending Healthspan is a key theme of our services to all clients; and our activities and collaborative work with other people and organisations in preventative healthcare.

We have recently started building a community network on Twitter using ExtendingHealthspans@FFL. We greatly look forward to a future of developing our activities to extend healthspans with clients, other healthcare professionals and other people with an interest in improving people’s wellbeing.

If you have an immediate interest to discuss healthspans, please be in touch directly with our coordinating executive, Colin @ colin.tuckwell@fitterforlife.com; mobile: 44 7899 763100; or enquiries@fitterforlife.com

Diabetes Type 2 – David, lead coach, Diabetes & Beating Obesity

A major modern health problem – that is both preventable and reversible

May 10 – 16 is Diabetes Prevention Week in the UK. More than 4.8 million people in the country suffer from diabetes (approximately 90% being type 2 diabetes); that’s 1 in 14 people, and unfortunately, this figure is expected to rise to over 5 million people by 2025. Similar numbers are part of modern life in many countries, and not only the richest.

A result of these startling statistics is around 185 amputations and 700 premature deaths per week. However, there is also good news. Most cases of type 2 diabetes are preventable and around three quarters of people diagnosed with the disease are able to put it into remission/reversal.

Strategies used for type 2 diabetes prevention and reversal follow very similar paths. In addition, by following a proven approach people will be adopting a healthy, nutritious diet and positive lifestyle that can be followed long-term. The resulting benefits can stay with you for the rest of your life. These include more stable blood glucose levels, lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, a reduction in blood pressure, maintaining a healthy weight and a general improvement in physical health and mental wellbeing. And what’s more, it is achievable with some simple changes in lifestyle!

It is largely accepted that a poor diet, inactivity and being overweight or obese are the largest contributory factors for insulin resistance (the main direct cause of type 2 diabetes). So it stands to reason, that these are the most important factors that need to be addressed to prevent or reverse the disease.

Diet

In this day and age it is all too easy to consume ‘fast’, highly processed foods; they are readily available, cheap and satiating. Unfortunately, these foods often contain high levels of simple sugars, salt and trans (bad) fats. In addition, what many people do not realise, is that some so called healthy foods like certain breads, breakfast cereals and pasta can also be unhealthy if consumed in large quantities. However, it is important to remember that no food is banned. In fact, moderation, meal planning and some simple swaps will make significant improvements. Just as important, we all know, is adjusting our food intake to match our activity and weight goals. This has to be a steady and concerted endeavour. A healthy weight loss is about one pound a week. This will see a stone lost in three months. Our clients’ examples in the following piece show that strong improvements contributing to diabetes reversals and remissions are frequently achieved.

Inactivity and Excess Body Fat

Along with a poor diet, being inactive can lead to the accumulation of excess body fat. This in turn can result in a person becoming overweight and eventually obese. Often at the same time some of our body’s systems, which most of us know little about, can be degrading. Deterioration of our glucose metabolism and body’s use of insulin is a root cause of diabetes. Unfortunately, this experience is becoming ever more common in countries around the world, with modern lifestyles and over processed food two major contributors. For those people at risk of diabetes or wishing to reverse its symptoms there is a need to increase physical activity levels whilst adjusting diet.

This does not mean we have to spend time in a gym or take up a sport (though fine if you wish to). Building up our activity levels. Moving more. Depending on our current level of activity, walking rather than taking transport sometimes. Walking places we like to be with a pal, pet or both. Some exercises in the home whilst standing during spare moments. Or sitting, maybe watching tv. Or lying in bed. Fitter For Life’s “Getting Started” sessions, Blogs and “Take Five” videos are constant sources of ideas and activities, seeking to share some enjoyable and constructive ways to move more. Once you do, your body will respond positively and say “thank you”. And you may get the “buzz” for more.

Improving Diabetic Symptoms and Client Wellbeing

Our work with people who have Diabetes Type 2 (T2) and the associated Metabolistic Syndrome (T2,Obesity and High Blood Pressure) indicates that many people are able to significantly improve their health status within months of starting a structured programme involving progressive exercise, good diet and adequate rest.

Examples of achievements from our many clients over the years include:

Lady – late 70s – first diagnosed in 1980s: blood sugar reduction from over 80 mmol to 59 mmol in one year. Reduced blood pressure. Improved stamina, balance and coordination.

Gentleman – mid-50s – recently diagnosed. Reductions in 6 months: weight – 2 stone; blood sugar 65 mmol to 44 mmol.

Lady – early 50s – recently diagnosed. Reductions: blood sugar from 100 mmol to 65 mmol in 3 months & to 44 mmol in six months; weight – two stone in six months.

Gentleman – mid 60s – 2003 diagnosis. Reductions within 3 months: blood sugar 70 mmol to 58 mmol; weight: one stone.

Lady – early 50s – recently diagnosed: Reductions in six months: blood sugar 86 mmol to 31 mmol; weight – 2 stone.

Gentleman – mid 50s – recently diagnosed: blood sugar reduction in six months 103 mmol to 50 mmol.

Lady – late 60s – diagnosed late 1990s: reductions in nine months: blood sugar 84 mmol to 45 mmol; weight – 3 stone; avoided need for surgery.

Note: Blood sugar levels: Here they relate to HbA1c tests of average blood sugar levels during an immediately previous three month period. Indicative measures are: <42 mmol – “normal”; 42-47 mmol = “pre-diabetic”; 48+ “diabetic”. This linked pdf indicates risk levels associated with different blood sugar levels.

A healthy weight loss rate is about 1 pound per week; 1 stone every 3 months. The combination of appropriately progressive activity combined with appropriate, scientifically proven changes in nutrition provides the most effective improvements in wellbeing.

More information and activity for avoiding and reversing diabetes and its insidious wellbeing effects will be appearing on our website – www.fitterforlife.com – during May and June, which sees the U.K.’s Diabetes Awareness week beginning June 14.

What’s Happening?

What’s to Expect at Fitter For Life

Our services are made up of courses, associated videos from previous sessions, events with guest speakers, our information depository of articles, leading research, videos and previous events relevant to our courses and wellbeing generally. An important feature is our social contact groups that any course member can attend. Members with particular interests can form their own groups too.

In your relationship with us you can be sure:

  • We’re Interested in You as an Individual, Understanding Your Aims and Partnering with You in Achieving Them
  • Your Safety will be a Prime Focus, and We’ll Guide You in Defining and Avoiding Risks
  • Your Enjoyment in Our Activities Together is a Fundamental Part of All We Do
  • We’ll Guide, Coach, Encourage and Support You in Wellbeing Activities Appropriate to Your Needs, Aims, Interests, Current Health Status and Lifestyle
  • We’ll Guide and Encourage You in Appropriately Progressing Your Activities, also Guiding You to Increasing Independence and Effectiveness in Your Health and Wellness Decision-making.

Our current programmes are described in detail on our web-site. They are designed for a wide range of people – from those with no experience or knowledge of influencing their own wellbeing, to those with significant experience which they wish to develop further based on current best practice. For those who are currently in good health and those with chronic medical conditions, whether recently diagnosed or of long-standing. More details are available here.

During the next two months we will be introducing some further programmes covering nutrition and exercising, see further leading preventative healthcare practitioners join us, start working with companies to support them with their staff wellbeing programmes, organise and run our first online webinars with guest speakers and publish three or four editions of our blog.

Please share your suggestions….. for topics for the future, both for our publications and in our programmes, courses and social groups at enquiries@fiiterforlife.com.

Practitioners’ Corner

One of Fitter For Life’s objectives is to collaborate with leading professionals in preventive healthcare in supporting clients’ wellbeing. We have an internal forum where we share knowledge and experience to support our individual and collective development as practitioners. It goes to the heart of Fitter For Life’s culture of continuous personal development and improvement. Practitioners’ Corner is open to all experienced preventative healthcare practitioners interested in continuous improvement of their personal capability; who have deep interest in helping clients develop their own capability to influence their wellbeing; and are pleased to share their own best practice experience with peers and colleagues. If you are interested in joining Practitioners’ Corner please contact us at enquiries@fitterforlife.com

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