Hey guys, hope you are all doing great!

So, an Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman were taking an intelligence test. They were all asked the question: “Which bird does not build its own nest?’

“It’s the canary,” said the Englishman “He lives in a cage.”

“It’s the parrot,” said the Scotsman “He lives in The zoo.”

I’ll get back to that at the end, great joke! I heard it this weekend as I was away, and it’s always great to expand your knowledge, in whatever field of work you are in.

I learnt a lot whilst away, one thing being about fat loss and strength training. As personal trainer Alice Burron found, if you strength train more often, you actually burn more calories sitting down and doing nothing! Here are some more benefits:

  • Helps to slow down or halt muscle loss that accompanies ageing. A typical adult loses about one-half pound of muscle per year after the age of 20, lowering your energy levels and leaving you feeling generally weaker.
  • It helps to manage or reduce pain from problems such as arthritis or old injuries.
  • As well as improving glucose metabolism, blood pressure, muscle strength endurance, body composition and insulin sensitivity, it can also improve your mood, sleep, balance and brain functions.

I thought I would simply put those facts out there, as sometimes we forget why we are doing things! I, for one, remember when I used to walk into the gym and copy what others were doing, simply because they looked great and figured that is how to do it.

If you do exercise regularly, think back to the start when you were unfit; no strength and no clue. Simply by putting your foot out the door and going for a walk, you are doing something more than you did yesterday. A step in the right direction, literally. Maybe you appreciate how easier it is walking up Steep Hill in Lincoln!

The point of all this is that realise you are doing amazing, and keep continue in making a difference in your own life; for the better!

Hope this is a bit of good motivation for you!

Oh yes, that joke!

“It’s the cuckoo,” said the Irishman.

“Very good,” said the examiner “how did you know that?”

“Everybody knows the cuckoo lives in a clock,” said the Irishman.

Ross Burns is a community fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Lincoln. He also regularly blogs on his website about common fitness queries and issues, and run his own gym.

Hope you are doing great. Today I thought I would share with you a recipe which give out to my Warehouse members. This recipe basically shows that salads do not have to be boring and that health is actually tasteful! So give it a try:

Hawaiian Salad with Teriyaki Chicken

Enjoy a taste of the islands. This salad is fun and full of flavour. Mangoes and Teriyaki-marinated chicken, all on a bed of delicious micro greens.

Here’s what you need (6 Servings):

  • 4 organic, free-range chicken breasts
  • 1/4 cup Real Healthy Teriyaki Sauce
  • 4 cups organic micro greens or mixed greens
  • 1 fresh, ripe organic mango, sliced
  • 4 Tablespoons organic goats cheese, crumbled

1. Rinse the chicken breasts. Place in a large ziplock bag with the teriyaki sauce, mix until all the chicken is coated. Place in your fridge for at least 30 minutes (Do it overnight for even better flavour!).
2. Heat a grill pan and lightly coat with coconut oil. Place the chicken breasts on the grill pan, and cook 4 minutes each side, until there is no longer any pink in the middle.
3. Remove chicken from heat and slice.
4. Prepare each plate with a pile of micro greens, sliced mango, goat cheese crumbles, a few onion rings and then top with teriyaki chicken.

Nutritional Analysis: One serving equals: 366 calories, 2g fat, 268mg sodium, 23g carbohydrate, 4g fiber, and 40g protein

A great, easy thing to cook and (what I do) put the remaining food in tuppaware and eat for your lunch/dinner for the next few days!

Ross Burns is a community fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Lincoln. He also regularly blogs on his website about common fitness queries and issues, and run his own gym.

If you ate just one mince pie every day in the lead-up to Christmas without compensating with extra exercise, you would be up to a kilo heavier by the end of December. That makes it easy to see how holiday weight gain happens.

Here are some of the most common party-season habits that are conducive to weight gain. So act now to avoid the extra kilos that seem to appear mid-January!

Going to parties hungry

A common mistake is overindulging on high-fat pastries, chips and dips while waiting for the ‘real’ food to arrive. Have a filling snack 60 to 90 minutes before you go, such as an apple and low fat cheese or a handful of almonds.

Ditching the exercise

Make it a priority to maintain gym commitments, regular walks, or take the kids to the beach or park. This will compensate for the extra food you’ll be eating.

Buying too much food

Cupboards stocked with excessive amounts of snack food, chocolates and lollies are a recipe for disaster. Enough said!

Snacking on poor-quality nibbles.

Good quality cheese, seafood, nuts and chocolates bring more enjoyment. Cheap crackers, pastries and chips do not. Savour the experience of eating beautiful food occasionally rather than filling up with high-fat snacks.

Eating everything on offer

Next time you are at a party, pay attention to the slim partygoers. Generally, you will find them pickier when it comes to food choices.

Letting Christmas run into January

Get back on track with your usual diet and exercise by January 2, or before you know it February is here and the extra Christmas weight will be with you for the rest of the year.

Having an ‘all or nothing’ attitude to dieting

Don’t mentally write off the next four weeks in terms of your food intake. Think like a healthier person and enjoy good quality treats in controlled amounts – then balance them with salads, seafood and fresh fruits.

December is just another month in the year, with a one to two day celebration. Do not use it as an excuse, January will be a lot harder for you otherwise. Now lets get moving!

Ross Burns is a community fitness instructor and personal trainer based in Lincoln. He also regularly blogs on his website about common fitness queries and issues, and run his own gym.

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