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Blog, Health & Wellbeing

Walking is a great way to lose weight and get more active. It is a perfect form of exercise for people of all ages and fitness levels – it’s free and simple and one of the easiest ways to get fitter.

There are many health benefits in walking: Regular walking has shown to reduce the risk of chronic illnesses such as heart disease, type 2 Diabetes, Asthma, Stroke and even some Cancers.

Before you begin regular walking I recommend you invest in pair of walking shoes or trainers. Make sure that these are comfortable, provide adequate support and don’t cause blisters. If you start taking regular, longer walks you may want to invest in a waterproof jacket and some walking boots for more challenging routes.

Starting Out 

Start slowly and try to build your walking regime gradually. You can start with a strolling pace and then progress to brisk walking and then fast walking. To get the health benefits from walking, you need to be walking at a moderate-intensity – aerobic activity. In other words, it needs to be faster than a stroll. Moderate-intensity aerobic activity means you are walking fast enough to raise your heart rate and break a sweat. 

Try to walk 10,000 steps a day. Most of us walk between 3,000 and 4,000 steps a day anyway, so reaching 10,000 isn’t as daunting as it might sound.

If to begin with, you can only walk fast for a couple of minutes, that’s fine. Don’t overdo it on your first day. You can increase your pace and distance of your walking routes gradually.

From walking to the shops or part of your journey to work, to walking the dog and organised group walks, try to make every step count. Important thing is to stay motivated and make it a habit.

Tips on how you can include walking into your daily routine:

• Walk part of your journey to work.

• Walk to the shops.

• Use the stairs instead of the lift.

• Leave the car behind for short journeys.

• Walk the kids to school.

• Do a regular walk with a friend.

• Go for a stroll with family or friends after dinner. 

Mix it up to add variety.  
Pick interesting routes such countryside walks with the family, park walks etc. Just remember to take it slowly at first, but then build up to a faster pace as your fitness improves. 

You can also join a walking group such as an organised Ramblers group. Walking in a group is a great way to start walking consistently, make new friends and stay motivated.

Set yourself a goal. You can walk 1,000 steps in around 10 minutes. Pedometers are a fun way to keep track of your walking. Use a pedometer to work out your average daily steps and then start adding those extra steps. Or maybe try setting a goal to enter a sponsored walk or entering a fun run. This will give you something to aim towards and ensures you keep to regular planned walking sessions. 

Get yourself outdoors and start walking and maximise the health benefits. The important thing is to stay motivated and make it a lifestyle habit.

Health. Happiness. Success.

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Blog, Health & Wellbeing

Can Stress Make You Fat?

Are you finding it difficult to lose weight? Or maybe you have lost some weight but still find you have fat around your mid-section. Do you feel you’re gaining more pounds and that the weight seems to have crept on gradually over the years? If this all sounds familiar to you – then have you stopped to think that stress maybe making you fat?

Stress is a way of life in the 21st century. It is extremely difficult to have a completely stress free lifestyle. But for some people the effects of stress go beyond feelings of anxiety and discomfort. The stress can leave them feeling emotional and also impact their appetite and leave them feeling ravenously hungry. Chronic stress can lead to craving more fatty, salty and sugary foods. This then can lead to weight gain which can further lead to more stress.

When we become stressed our bodies switch into ‘fight or flight’ response. When this occurs our bodies are triggered to release various hormones, energy – a change in metabolism, blood flow and various other changes. Our neuroendocrine system activates a series of hormones whenever we feel threatened such as; Adrenaline and Cortisol. If you remain in a stress state for a prolonged amount of time chronic stress can result in a host of health dangers.

Chronic stress and cortisol can contribute to weight gain. Many turn to food for comfort and to help cope with anxiety and stress. Often, eating becomes the activity that relieves the stress (referred to as ’emotional or comfort eating’). Research also confirms this fact and many studies show that stress plays a big role in excess fat and weight gain.

“Even if you usually eat well and exercise, chronic high stress can prevent you from losing weight—or even add pounds,” says Pamela Peeke, MD, author of Body for Life for Women.

Chronic stress and cortisol can contribute to weight gain in the following ways: 

▸ An increase in cortisol can slow your metabolism, causing more weight gain than you would normally experience. 

▸ Excessive stress can lead to greater levels of abdominal fat.

▸ Emotional Eating: The Increased levels of cortisol make you crave unhealthy food and combined with excess nervous energy can often cause you to eat more than you normally would.

The good news is that there are things you can do to reverse the pattern of weight gain, reduce your stress levels and waistline at the same time. Some of these include; exercise, eat a balanced diet, get adequate sleep, avoid caffeine, cigarettes and alcohol, try relaxation techniques i.e. meditation, Yoga, massage. Learn techniques to manage the stress.

If you find yourself chronically stressed out you should do what you can to decrease or manage your stress levels. The next step would be to follow a reduced calorie, yet balanced diet. This will combat weight gain and enable you to lose the extra pounds.

When you find yourself becoming stressed, stop and think of the possible implications that it may have on your health and weight. Adopt strategies and techniques to manage your stress. 

Don’t let stress take over your life! 

Thank you for reading!

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Blog, Health & Wellbeing

Over the years I have explained to my clients why the scales are not an accurate way to measure your real progress. Even when presented with all the rational explanations for why the scales are not a accurate measurement of progress, people still fixate on that number as the only measure of their success. I have had clients come to me who are obsessed with their scales and weigh themselves up to five times a day. Yes that’s right..five times a day! It’s unfortunate but for most of us, the number on a scale is the determining factor in whether we’ve succeeded or failed. For many it becomes an obsession. 

The truth is your weight is just one aspect of your progress. The scale cannot give you specifics of what’s going on inside your body. Did you know you could be easily losing inches without losing any weight at all?

Daily weighing is unnecessary, yet many of us can’t resist peeking at that number every morning. If you just can’t bring yourself to throw the scale in the bin, you should definitely familiarise yourself with the factors that influence its readings. There are important changes happening in your body that the scale can’t measure or detect. Some of these are listed below:

Changing Body Composition:
Muscle takes up less space than fat, making you look slimmer, and it’s more metabolically active. When you exercise, you gain muscle, raise your metabolism and lose fat, but that fat loss won’t always show up on the scale. Where it will show up is in measurements, how your clothes fit and how your body looks.

Water makes up about 60% of total body mass. Two factors influencing water retention are water consumption and salt intake. Strange as it sounds, the less water you drink the more of it your body retains. If you are even slightly dehydrated your body will hang on to its water supplies with a vengeance. Your body’s hydration level fluctuates from hour to hour and dehydration can result in the number on the scale to inch upward. The solution is to drink plenty of water.

Excess salt:
Excess Salt can also play a big role in water retention and influence the scale to fluctuate upwards. Cut back on your salt intake and hidden salt in foods such as soups and sauces.

Prior to menstruation women can retain several pounds of water. This is very common and the weight will likely disappear as quickly as it arrives. Premenstrual water weight gain can be minimised by drinking plenty of water, maintaining an exercise program, and keeping high sodium processed foods to a minimum. 

Ditch Those Scales Today!

So how much do you rely on the scale? Do they motivate you or does it make you feel worse? Would you ever consider getting rid of your scale permanently? If weighing yourself motivates you in a positive way, there’s no reason to change what you’re doing. However, if the scale makes you feel like a failure and unhappy, it may be time to try something new.

Changing your focus to goals that work on your fitness, strength and heath is a great way to take the focus off those scales and the number on the dial, which too many people allow to control their feelings and moods.

When it comes down to it, the best measurement should always be how you feel about yourself, how do your clothes feel, how do they fit and how do you feel about the effort you are putting in? Do your muscles feel firmer? These are the true measurements of success. If you are exercising and eating right, don’t be discouraged by a small gain on the scale. Don’t let a number on a dial ‘make’ or ‘break’ your day. Ditch those scales today!

Are You Obsessed With Your Scales? 

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Blog, Dal's Ramblings

Wow! Almost 20 years in the health and fitness industry. The journey has not always been easy. Pursuing a career in an industry where I was a minority was sometimes challenging. I took a few risks and broke some of the rules. I still seem to be very good at that even today! 🙂 My passion, drive, my ‘Why’ was to help others to be the very best possible version of themselves: healthier, happier, successful and to live a life they truly deserve.

My poetic rambling is a reflection of the early days in my career. I hope you enjoy it.

“Sweaty Floors and Broken Nails”

Working in fitness wasn’t a place for a girl like me..

Instructing 6 ft men to lift wasn’t meant to be.

6.30 a.m gym starts and 10.30 pm, whispering ‘Honey I’m home’..

Often tired and feeling so alone.

Sweaty floors and broken nails..

There is no option to ever fail.

One more rep..

Come on..

Take one more step.

Sharing all my secrets..

None were kept.

I know one day they will see..

I am that girl who holds the key.

Sweaty floors and broken nails..

There is no option to ever fail.

Follow my passion..

Follow a dream..

Don’t you see it was just meant to be.

Working in fitness was a place for a girl like me.

Instructing 6 ft men to lift was just meant to be 🙂

Sweaty floors and broken nails..

There was NO option to ever fail.

Health. Happiness. Success :

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Blog, Health & Wellbeing

The best time to exercise really depends on your personal preference. For many of us it depends on when we can fit it into our busy schedule. Some people prefer to exercise in the morning and they find this to really help them kick start their day and get them psyched up for the day ahead.

However, it’s important to remember in the morning our muscles are not normally ‘loose’ as later in the day. This is because our body temperature and blood sugar levels are lower. If you do opt to exercise in the morning then allow yourself more time to warm up before you commence your workout.

Some people can not bear the thought of getting up early to fit in exercise and prefer to workout in the evening and find this fits better into their daily schedule – and for some evening workouts help to relieve work day stress.

If you have issues sleeping such as Insomnia then the thought of getting up early to exercise, hitting the gym or going for a run could prove difficult and very unappealing. If you lack motivation in the morning then exercising later in the day is a better option.

For some people, lunchtime is the best time to exercise. It’s important to remember not to exercise immediately after eating a meal. This is because the blood that would circulate to your muscles will be going to your digestive tract.

Therefore it is recommended that you give yourself 90 minutes after consuming a heavy meal. Be sure to eat after you workout and not before, too close to your workout time.

The truth is that there is no reliable evidence or research to suggest that calories are burned more efficiently at certain times of the day. However, the time of the day can influence how you feel when exercising.

Different people will have different preferences and respond differently to exercise at different time of the day. So it’s a case of trailing a few different times to determine the best time for you.

It also depends on other factors such as; precise time of day, location, type of physical activity, social setting, and who you are with etc. This can play a major factor in how consistent you maybe with your exercise schedule.

Try working-out in the morning for a few weeks and then maybe during the day, try midday and then early evening. See which you enjoy the most. It is also a good idea to look at what type of exercise you are doing and also your daily commitments.

Once you establish a time that suits you then it will become a habit. It is important to vary your exercise and plans so that you don’t become bored. This will also help you stay more motivated.

The most important thing is to choose a time of the day you can stick with, so that exercise becomes a habit. To get the benefits and results it is essential you regularly exercise – keep it consistent!

Thank you for reading! 

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Blog, Business

My 8 Rules that stay fixed in my head at all times – in business and Life.  I do have more, but these are just some of the ones I wanted to share today:

(1) Accept not everyone wants to see YOU be successful.

(2) Don’t be distracted by criticism. Keep going!

(3) Learn to embrace risk. Believe in YOURSELF.

(4) Learn from and surround yourself with people who are where YOU want to be (see number 5)

(5) Invest in a Mentor / Coach and learn from the best in your industry. (see number 4)

(6) Do not talk ‘bad’ of your competitors. It’s not smart and is unprofessional.

(7) Change your mindset: be positive. Stay out of fear and stay in faith.

(8) Always stay humble and real. Stay true to yourself!

What are your rules in business and life?

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Blog, Dal's Ramblings
If you have been following me on my various social media platforms or reading my blogs then you will also know I am artist and have a passion for art and sculpture.

Yes, I am that individual who sits for endless hours in an art gallery or exhibition enjoying a piece of art or sculpture. Observing and enjoying allowing myself to get lost in my imagination..

Fixed in a trance like state, my thoughts lost amongst the beautiful hues, tones, textures and more…completely immersed.

I am indeed a very creative , expressive multifaceted…slightly odd..soul! #weirdo 🙂

One of my favourite sculptures is: ‘Freedom’ by the Sculptor: Zenos Frudakis. Location of sculpture: 16th and Vine Streets, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.(See picture below). I haven’t yet had the opportunity of visiting the location to view this marvellous work. However, when I seen the picture and video (below) it resonated with me. I am sure it will with some of you too. It evoked mixed emotions of pain, struggle, courage, victory, joy and freedom. It’s message is very powerful.

I believe everyone at some point in their life finds themselves in a situation where they seek the desire to escape and break free. For many it could be a internal struggle for others a more adverse one. Both often tough to break free from. Early this year I communicated with the Sculptor on Twitter – expressing my gratitude for such a beautiful creation. I wanted him to know how much I appreciated it and it inspired me. 

Zenos’s statement about his vision of the sculpture:

“I wanted to create a sculpture almost anyone, regardless of their background, could look at and instantly recognise that it is about the idea of struggling to break free. This sculpture is about the struggle for achievement of freedom through the creative process.” – Zenos Frudakis

YOU CAN break free from your mold

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Blog, Health & Wellbeing

What is overtraining and is there such a thing as too much exercise? Some of us are working out a lot more and are choosing to participate in quite intense, extreme forms of workouts. Many people train up to six or even seven days a week. Not only are they training more but often training harder than ever before.

Some of the causes of overtraining can be an increase in exercise frequency or duration, intensity of sessions and not allowing your body sufficient time for recovery and rest. It is very difficult to know if you are overtraining or when you have reached that point.

Overtraining signs can include complete exhaustion, physical tiredness, fatigue – or you may have trouble sleeping and even reach a point where you feel you lack motivation to exercise.  

Symptoms of Overtraining include:  

– Lack of Motivation.

– Tiredness, Restlessness.

– Joint, bone & limb Soreness.

– Decrease in performance.

– Increase in injuries.

– Elevated blood pressure.

– Decreased strength.

– Decreased endurance.

– Decreased max heart rate.

– A change in menstrual patterns.


Lack of Motivation.
Lack of motivation and drive can be a sign that your body needs rest and recovery from physical activity. So if you suddenly go from training 6 to 7 days a week to not wanting anything to do with the gym then it’s time to listen to your body – and take time out to recover and rest.

Joint, bone and limb soreness.
This is the soreness that is different from the usual soreness after your workout. It will often last longer than a few days and possibly can be more painful too. This can be very common in beginners or those who are new to exercise and is often due to doing too much too fast and too soon.

You stop seeing results.
Studies show that working out too much can actually cause you to lose muscle and gain fat! Hormones play a large role in this. Overtraining causes the body to produce inadequate amounts of testosterone – but will produce the hormone cortisol (the stress hormone) in higher levels.

You are sick more often.
Continually training combined with a lack of sleep, poor diet, mental stress could lead to feeling ill. This can be a sign of overtraining and your body telling you that something maybe wrong with your immune system from the increased training volume.

If you notice the signs of overtraining it may take the body a few days, weeks or possibly months to completely recover. You may also have to take time off your training.

Here are a few tips on how to avoid the effects of Overtraining;

Sleep is important for your body to recover, rest and to see results.

Correct Nutrition and the intake of proper nutrients is also essential for recovery.

Manage your stress levels. Try yoga, meditation or massage.

Recovery & Rest. Take some time out of your workout and schedule rest, relaxation and recovery time.

Now you are aware of how to spot the signs of Overtraining – train smarter and not harder!

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Blog, Health & Wellbeing

You may have seen lately in the media and press that HIIT training is becoming increasingly popular. According to a recent survey HIIT is fast becoming one of the top fitness trends and it’s up there with bodyweight training. 

So what is HIIT Training?

HIIT is short for High Intensity Interval Training and is a training technique where you train at your optimum level and give it hundred percent of your effort.

This is carried out through quick, intense bursts of exercise. The quick intense bursts of exercise are then followed by short, active or recovery periods and then the whole cycle is repeated at a set duration.

What are the benefits of HIIT Training?

HIIT increases your metabolism. This style of training keeps the heart rate up and burns more fat in less time. The combination of high intensity with interval training leads to EPOC (Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption) this speeds up your metabolic rate.

Therefore, the good news is that after you complete a training session you will still be burning fat even after you have left the gym. You will burn more fat and calories in the 24 hours after this type of workout than you do after a steady-pace run or cardio workout.

Say goodbye to those long boring sessions on the treadmill!

Time efficient and convenient.
HIIT Training is super efficient and is ideal if you have a busy schedule. The workouts can be done anywhere; gym, home, park and even in a hotel room – which makes it an ideal way to exercise if you are travelling or are away on holiday.

HIIT workouts are quick 30 – 20 minutes or less. These shorter workouts are ideal because most of us can integrate these into our lifestyle. You can squeeze in a workout during your lunch break or really step up your training to get in shape for a fast approaching event.

No gym or equipment necessary.
HIIT workouts generally use only your body weight, so it’s not a problem if you have no dumbbells, equipment or access to a gym. The focus of HIIT training is to get your heart rate up and then keeping it there – working at your maximum heart rate. These type of workouts help in muscle building and are excellent for fat loss and to increase calorie burning.

I recommend selecting exercises that utilise and work the majority of muscle groups. Incorporate full body exercises such as; burpees, sprinting, squats, deadlifts, and plyometrics. These will really kick your fat loss into high gear!

Give it a go! Incorporate some HIIT sessions into your weekly training plan and see what difference it makes to your body and achieving your goals!

Now over to you….have you tried HIIT training?


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Blog, Health & Wellbeing

Water is essential nutrient to maintain a healthy body, a clear mind, and a good balance within your body tissues. If you are trying to lose weight then water is very important. It helps to boost your metabolism and also helps to keep you fuller and has many other health benefits. However, many people fail to drink enough water. 

Here are some health benefits of water:

Weight Loss. Water promotes weight Loss. It removes toxins reduces binging and eating intake. Drink a glass of water between meals to keep your stomach full. Water can be seen as a natural appetite suppressant. Not only does water raise your metabolism it also has zero calories! Replace your calorie, sugary laden beverages with water.

Stay regular with water. Water benefits the body by promoting and aiding in good digestion. This along with fibre intake is essential for correct digestion. It does this by assisting to dissolve waste and toxin particles, enabling them to pass smoothly through the digestive tract. Water consumption is essential for healthy bowel motion and to prevent constipation. 

Water boosts your energy.
Water increases energy and helps to relieve fatigue. It helps to transport oxygen and essential nutrients to your cells in the body – keeping your energy levels boosted. Feeling fatigued can be a sign of dehydration. About 85% of your brain tissue is water and therefore water intake is essential to improve concentration, alertness, focus and general wellbeing. 

Water reduces kidney stones.

Water will help to eliminate and flush out toxins. It does this by diluting the salts and minerals that form solid crystal type formations known as kidney stones. It is essential to drink plenty of water to reduce the risk of Kidney stones and Urinary Tract Infections. 

Healthy Skin.
Water helps to nourish your skin. Dehydrated skin can be more prone to fine lines and deeper wrinkles. Water helps to plump up the skin cells – which helps your face to look younger. Drinking water can improve circulation, leaving your face clear, clean, glowing and improves the skin complexion. It is Mother Nature’s best skin product and best anti-aging treatment around!   

Water boosts the Immune System.
Drinking plenty of water can help fight against flu and illness. It is also a natural remedy to relieve and prevent headaches which can often be caused by dehydration.

More Tips:

  • Generally, nutritionists recommend as a guideline to drink at least eight 8 – ounce glasses a day. You may need more water if you exercise or sweat heavily or if the climate/ environment is hot.

  • When you are low on fluids and dehydrated, the brain triggers the body’s thirst mechanism. Sometimes this can get confused with hunger. So stop and think are you hungry or thirsty? More than often your body will require water.

  • Include more fruits and vegetables in your diet. These contain high water content and will add to your hydration. Approximately 20% of our fluid – water intake comes from foods.

  • Get in the habit of carrying water with you when possible – in your car, in your bag, at your desk etc.


Are you drinking enough water?

Hope you found this article helpful. Thank you for reading! 

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Blog, Dal's Ramblings

Often the stories we tell ourselves can set us back from achieving greatness and reaching our full potential. Listening to negative inner voices can be our worse enemy. When we are facing challenges that is often when self doubt creeps in. Learn to adapt to change and deal with setbacks.

I view challenges in business as exciting rather than threatening and have the confidence to take on most things. I may succeed or I could fail. I am determined, driven and will give it my best shot. Change the story you are continually telling yourself. Did you know you have total control over your thoughts?

My Monday rambling..

Dear Friend,

Often we spend to much time worrying..
Caring about what others think of us.
We hold ourselves back because of fear and self doubt.
We miss opportunities..Sometimes great opportunities…
because we simply think we are not good enough.
We fear rejection and criticism.
This is no way to live you life my friend.
Banish all self doubt and fear.
Believe in yourself and do not listen to the negative inner voices in your head.
YOU are good enough.
Go fulfil your dreams.
Set Yourself Free!

Love : Health : Happiness : Success 

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