Claochlú coirpe #1: Cailleadh meachán

Braitheann an corp agus an sláinte atá bronnta orainn go formhór ar an slí maireachtála a leanann muid. Mar sin de, chun athrú mór a chur i gcrích, níl aon draíocht i gceist; caithfimid ithe mar is ceart agus slí maireachtála níos gníomhaí a chruthú. Bíonn an corp agus anam faoi bhláth nuair a chothaíonn muid an corp le bia glan agus bogadh flúirseach. Sin é. Chuir Ailbhe Ní Riain cúpla ceist orm ar na mallaibh le haghaidh tionscnamh ollscoile. Seo thíos an chéad ceann; tá súil agam go gcuidíonn sé le dhaoine aicsin a ghlacadh inniú. Cén sórt aclaíocht is éifeachtaí chun meachán a chailleadh, agus an bia is fearr ithe? Go hiondúil nuair a bhíonn sé mar sprioc ag daoine meachán a chailleadh, tagann rud amháin ar intinn: rith. Don chuid is mó ní hé seo an bealach is slaintiúla ná is éifeachtaí seo a bhaint amach. Cinnte, oibreoidh sé ar feadh tammaill, oibreoidh aon sort aclaíocht ar dtús nuair nach bhfuil an corp cleachtaithe leis. Ach an rud a fhéicimid go minic ná go bpiocann daoine suas gortaithe as bheith ag cur isteach na mílte fada ag rith, tagann srian ar dul chun cinn ar ná scalaí, agus éiríonn an duine díomuach. Ag an am céanna, thiocfadh leat a rá gurbh é an módh aclaíochta is éifeachtaí ná an ceann a bhaineann tú sult as agus a chloífidh tú leis sa fad téarma. Marsin más é rith do rogha, thar barr. Ach ní gá mothú go mbeadh iachall ort rith má tá tú ag iarraidh crut a chur or do chorp. Tá beallaí eile ann atá níos cinéalta ar na géaga, agus b’fhéidir...

Aipeanna don Aclaíocht agus Sláinte

Bhí mé ag comhrá le Lisa Madden agus Pádraig Ó Conghaile ar an Bricfeasta Blasta @ Radió na Life ar maidin maidir le aipeanna sláinte agus a leithéad. Seo thíos beagán forbairt ar an ábhar cainte a bhí a phlé againn. Tá an domhan ag titim síos le aipeanna na laetha seo agus an cuid is mó acu ag feidhmniú mar ábhar seachráin ón réaltacht. Sin ráite, is féidir linn buntáiste a bhaint as an teicneolaíocht seo chun saoil níos gníomhaigh agus slaintiúla a chaitheamh, má bhaineann muid úsaid mhaith as. Tá poitensiúil cumhachtach ag an gúthan cliste bheith mar thraenalaí pearsanta agat féin; is féidir leis treoir a thabhairt dúinn ó thaobh aclaíochta de, is féidir leis gréasan shóisialta a bhunú chun tacaíocht agus inspreagadh a thabhairt duit, is féidir leis cuidiú linn nósanna slaintiúla a chothú. Tá sé an-éasca agus mealltach an app is úire agus is deise a íoslódail achan cúpla seachtain, ach caileann muid amach ár comhsheasmhacht sa chás seo agus ní bhíonn éifeacht leanúnach aige ar do chuid dul chun cinn. Cosúil le achan rud a bhaineann le aclaíocht agus sláinte, coinnigh simplí agus seasmhach é agus bainfidh tú tairbhe as. Seo roinnt de na bealaí is fearr chun do ghúthan cliste a úsaid ar bhonn aclaíochta agus sláinte. Roghnaigh an ceann a oireann duit agus bain trial as.   Rianú Iompraíochta Tá aipeanna ann a ligeann dúinn rianú a dhéanamh ar ár aistear féin-feabhúschan. Piocann tú nós nó dhó atá tú ag iarraidh a chothú, iontráil cá mhéad uair sa lá nó sa tseachtain atá sé mar sprioc agat an iompraíocht a chur i...

Physical development of the young athlete: Doing it right

If you could turn back the clock and begin your athletic journey again, what would you do differently? This is a question I often ask myself, and the more I learn and experience as a coach in the physical development of young athletes, the more apparent the answer the becomes: a lot. My current journey is one of restoring my body back to pain-free movement after years out of sport with injuries and surgeries, with an increasing appreciation for the complexity of the human body. There is a lot to consider; the nervous system, somatosensory and circulatory system all working together to help restore quality function to the musculoskeletal structures, while resisting the conventional model of compartmentalizing the body into muscles and isolated actions. The body always finds a way to work around restrictions in joints and tissue, until it is eventually unable to positively adapt to the inefficient stressors causing mechanical failure, and pain joins the party. But what causes these compensatory and patterns non-traumatic symptoms in the first place? Why is there a pandemic of hip and knee injuries in the young GAA playing population? You won’t get a straight answer for these questions with a Google search but they are certainly worth investigating, some other time. For now, we can agree that an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure. While I don’t have all the answers on how to get out of pain, taking a look back at my training practices over the years and what was missing, based on what we know now, might shed some light on the matter. If...

What’s the Hot Fuss with Bikram Yoga?

Yoga has always piqued my interest as a potentially useful tool to help unwind years of unyielding stiffness and poor mobility. Although modern yoga is not a complete movement practice, any method of training that has survived for thousands of years and is used by many of the world’s best movers has something going for it in my book. The use of heat for the purpose of improving health is also centuries old, with a strong tradition of Sauna in the Nordic countries and Germany. Rhonda Patrick, a PhD in biomedical science, is a strong proponent of hyperthermic conditioning (sauna) for improved endurance, increasing muscle mass and formation of new brain cells, amongst other things. In this report she cites 37 studies to back up her claims that sauna is good for us. With these things in mind, and with the increasing popularity of Bikram yoga, Sara and I decided to give it a go last week. Of course, it is usually unfair and impossible to judge a particular method after only one attempt. So, this blog is in no way a definitive judgement of Bikram yoga, rather, my thoughts after the first experience. Read on to find out if it was also my last.   The Script As we took our place in 40 degree room, with the instructor standing on her podium at the top of the room, it didn’t take long to realize that the whole session was an ad-verbatim recital of a Bikram yoga script. It turns out that the script is standardized and instructors are told not to deviate from it, which made me feel like we were...

Recipe: Cashew Protein Balls

    Snacks and treats are often where people deviate from an otherwise healthy diet and succumb to sugar-laden temptations. But not anymore with this recipe from our resident foodie, Connie, passed down by another great lover of good food, Jerry Flannery. The only risk with creating these balls of delight is that you may eat them all in one go, so I would advise coming up with a strategy in advance to avoid this. A lot of recipes for delicious treats are complicated with long and obscure ingredient lists. This, on the other hand, is simple and quick. Enjoy! Ingredients: 1 cup (200g) pitted dates 1 cup (120g) vanilla protein powder 1 cup (200g) raw cashew nuts 10ml almond milk 1 1/2 cups (300g) dark chocolate Preparation: Blend the pitted dates. 2. Add the vanilla protein powder to the blended dates. Blend again.   3. Add the raw cashew nuts and blend it all up again until a firm dough is created.   4. In order to roll the balls add the almond milk. If the dough appears too moist, add a few linseeds and blend the dough again. Roll little balls and place them on a tray with parchment paper.   5. Melt the chocolate in a bowl. (A good way to do this is to rest the bowl of chocolate in a pot of boiling water and stir as it melts).   6. Bath the balls in the melted chocolate and place them on the tray with parchment           7. Place the balls in the fridge for at least two hours. Keep...

Strength Focus: Peg Hanrahan

Peg has been training with us at the UL Arena Strength Training class since its inception over two years ago, and thus is our longest serving member. Her progress has been remarkable in that time, and not only is she well known to the Arena staff for her athletic endeavours, but certainly serves as an inspiration to all others in the class. She is a very fit and healthy woman, and always comes to the gym with a positive outlook and happy to be there. Peg, whilst very much involved in sports and physical activity, had never set foot in a gym previously and she hasn’t looked back since. Full push-ups off the floor, deadlifting over 100kg, squatting over 50kg, kettlebell swings, pistol squats. Chin-ups are next on the list and it’s only a matter of time before we can tick that box. As Peg would say herself, once she sets her mind to something she will eventually get there. There is a lesson in that for all of us! From the point of view of the coach, Peg’s success over the past couple of years can be put down to a couple of things. First of all is her consistency. Peg has never missed a block of training. Of course, like anyone, life gets in the way every now and again, but she has never broken the habit of coming to the class. She always turns up. Secondly is her application and effort. A lot of people who come to the gym don’t particularly try and progress what they are doing in terms of load, they go through...

Making Joints Function Nice with Andreo Spina

  This past weekend I had the good fortune to attend the Functional Range Conditioning (FRC) workshop in Toronto. Functional Range Conditioning, as described on the website, is a system of training which simultaneously expands and strengthens range of motion across articulations, while teaching the nervous system how to incorporate said ranges into functional movement patterning. Andreo Spina is the creator and head instructor of FRC, as well as the Functional Range Release and Functional Anatomic Palpation Systems which are geared towards manual therapists. His background is as a Sports Specialist Chiropractor with a post-graduate fellowship in Sport Sciences. I first came across Dr. Spina’s work online as I was looking for answers that would help me improve my mobility and resolve chronic injuries. The first thing that struck me on podcast interviews and YouTube videos was his way of articulating complex topics in a way that made intuative sense, often calling out common misconceptions that are assumed to be true in the movement and rehabilitative industry. It was appealing to hear someone talk about the myths that are perpetuated by coaches and therapists, especially in relation to certain methods that didn’t make intuitive sense to me but that I had accepted on the assumption that those who are at the forefront know what they are talking about! More on some of those later. The second thing that stands out about Dr. Spina is that he can move. Certainly not an armchair preacher when it comes to graceful movement and mobility! It probably wasn’t too much of a leap of faith to imagine that if more people could move better in...

Nutrition Template for Fat Loss

There is more to fat loss than nutrition. We know that. We need to accumulate plenty of low-intensity movement every day, we need to occasionally lift heavy things and move at high-intensities, we need to sleep well and we need effective stress management.  Pretty straightforward. But then we come to nutrition and there is consternation and confusion. Certainly, some aspects of nutrition are subject to debate.  Is consuming too much protein damaging? How much is too much? Can athletes thrive on high-fat diets? Is organic really worth the extra cost? There are lots of interesting opinion, and some more compelling than others. But today, I want to focus on what is not debatable and provide an effective nutrition template that will work for most people, most of the time. To begin with, if you are still buying into the low-fat dogma, that’s the first thing we need to address. Snap out of it! Haven’t you heard about Ancel Keys and his Seven Countries Study in 1953 that got us all into this mess? If not here’s a two minute video from Fat Head that will fill you in. “It’s become part of the zeitgeist. Everybody knows saturated fat is bad for you. But when you start looking at the medical literature, and you root back through and find out where this whole idea came from, it’s bogus.” Michael Eades, M.D   If you want to learn more how everything we thought we knew about dietary fat is wrong and why, read Nina Teicholz’s recently published book The Big Fat Surprise. Or the infamous Good Calories, Bad Calories that kicked off...

Are you making sense in the Gym?

Avoid these mistakes, get stronger quicker, and leave in one piece. There are many wonders to be observed from day to day in a public health and performance centre, yet for every beautiful act of calisthenics and perfectly executed movement pattern performed, there are a hundred more strange and hazardous attempts at weightlifting going on.  Of course, every gym should be equipped with vigilant instructors ready to intervene during these oblivious efforts of self-harm, but when you leave a lot of people into a big room with lots of heavy objects, strange things invariably happen.  They say that the brain is the most complex object in the known universe containing around 100 billion neurons with Internet-like capacity, which makes the capacity of humans today to do stupid things in gyms all around the world all the more compelling. The motto of Hippocrates, ‘First do no harm’, is widely regarded as the number one principle for strength coaches when training athletes and so it should be with anybody training themselves.  The second principle, logically enough, should be to do something useful that is helping to reach your goals. Check out these common mistakes of your average gym-goer, and if you can just set that giant ego aside for a while we can make amends and really start making the most out of your time in the gym.   Mistake Number 1: Doing Random Stuff One of the more bewildering sights in a gym is watching someone arm themselves with a couple of tiny dumbbells and moving them around in some random fashion with no rhyme or reason.  I often play...