exercise – Ritualize https://ritualize.com/main Health & Wellness Software as a Service (SaaS) with Mobile App Tue, 12 Dec 2017 06:14:23 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.2 Move Snacks https://ritualize.com/main/move-snacks/ https://ritualize.com/main/move-snacks/#respond Mon, 27 Nov 2017 01:24:18 +0000 https://ritualize.com/main/?p=6211 Most of us think we need to sweat it out at the gym or go for a long run to be active and if we miss those opportunities due to our busy lives, we beat ourselves up.  What counts as exercise has been institutionalised to the point that if it’s not a dedicated chunk of […]

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Most of us think we need to sweat it out at the gym or go for a long run to be active and if we miss those opportunities due to our busy lives, we beat ourselves up.  What counts as exercise has been institutionalised to the point that if it’s not a dedicated chunk of time in a dedicated place, it doesn’t count. There are a lot of ‘should’s’ going on – I should exercise, I should go to the gym.  It’s these ‘should’s’ that can set us up to fail, over and over again.  Sound familiar?

At Ritualize, we  want to challenge the notion of what being active is and change how we view exercise.

What’s important is you find something you enjoy, not something you ‘should’ be doing.  The research is showing that if you enjoy your choice of activity, you are more likely to stick with the healthy behaviour over the long-term.  

A great way to rewire your brain around what counts as exercise is to discover what we call Movement Snacks.  If you don’t like exercise or are simply too busy to get to a gym class, you will be surprised how active you can be throughout the day.  Some suggested Movement Snacks are:

  • Housework (it counts!)
  • Meet for a coffee and a walk rather than sit in a cafe
  • 30 second on the stop sprint
  • Gardening
  • Running around with the kids
  • Squat while brushing your teeth
  • Have a walking meeting rather than in a boardroom
  • Walk while you talk on the phone
  • Park the car in the furthest car park from the shops
  • Ritualize ZUU workout at home

Of course, if you love your gym classes or your runs, keep doing it. I love to run because it makes me feel good, but if you are someone who doesn’t like it, don’t do it.  Choose something you actually enjoy.

I love this approach to how we think about physical activity because it allows those who think they are not active to discover they either are or they can be.

Think about what Movement Snacks can be incorporated  into your daily life and make them count.

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5 Steps to Reprogram Your Genes https://ritualize.com/main/5-steps-to-reprogram-your-genes/ https://ritualize.com/main/5-steps-to-reprogram-your-genes/#respond Wed, 01 Nov 2017 02:03:41 +0000 https://ritualize.com/main/?p=4398 There are fixed, heritable genes (such as skin and eye colour) and there are genes that can be influenced daily according to our lifestyle. These genes are continually directing the production of proteins that control how your body functions at every second of the day. Genes turn on or off (sometimes at a rapid rate) […]

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There are fixed, heritable genes (such as skin and eye colour) and there are genes that can be influenced daily according to our lifestyle. These genes are continually directing the production of proteins that control how your body functions at every second of the day. Genes turn on or off (sometimes at a rapid rate) only in response to signals they receive from the surrounding environment – signals that you provide based on the food you eat, the exercise you do (or don’t do!), your quality of sleep, sun exposure and so on. Genes are like light switches that turn on and off and influence every element of body function. So, you are in the drivers seat to take control of your genes expression. Here are some tips for you:

  1. Awareness Start thinking about your everyday lifestyle and how your genes may be responding to it. Each day your genes will respond positively or negatively depending on how you are living your life.
  1. Exercise – The activity level of skeletal muscle modulates a range of genes that produce dramatic molecular changes, and keep us healthy (Neufer & Booth, 2005). Even one single vigorous workout can set off a chain reaction of health benefits through activation of key genes. Exercise can suppress the expression or genes that contribute to chronic diseases, whilst up-regulating healthy gene expression almost immediately. So, next time you’re sweating it out in a workout, know you are having a positive affect on your genes. It maybe the motivation you need to go that extra mile!
  1. Nutrition Studies have shown that different intakes of food can affect your gene expression through a process called methylation. Methylation reactions are critical for many bodily functions and need significant amounts of methyl groups from food to function optimally. We have known for many years that certain foods which are high in B vitamins help with methylation, such as cooked vegetables (especially green vegetables & beets), unprocessed meats and quinoa – but we also need other foods to make up a healthy, balanced diet.

CARBOHYDRATE AND GENE EXPRESSION

Recent research from the University of Science and Technology in Norway has shed light on the gene, expressing effects of certain types of diet. “We have found that a diet with 65% carbohydrates, which often is what the average Norwegian eats in some meals, causes a number of classes of genes to work overtime,” says Berit Johansen, a professor of biology at NTNU.

This has significant implications for people who follow recommended dietary guidelines and eat a diet that has 55-65% calories from carbohydrate.

“Genes that are involved in type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and some forms of cancer respond to diet, and are up-regulated, or activated, by a carbohydrate-rich diet,” says Johansen.

The researchers concluded that both high and very low carbohydrate diets were wrong, but carbs should be capped at 40% calories.  “A healthy diet shouldn’t be made up of more than one-third carbohydrates (up to 40 per cent of calories) in each meal, otherwise we stimulate our genes to initiate the activity that creates inflammation in the body.”

WHAT SHOULD YOU DO?

The Ritualize 80/20 food pyramid will give you a great balanced diet that is lower in carbohydrate and higher in fat and protein than traditional government guidelines. Eat plenty of fresh, locally grown vegetables and a moderate amount of fruit, as well as grass fed, free range meat and chicken, sustainable fish, legumes, nuts and seeds and drink plenty of water. Most of your fat should come from extra virgin olive oil and avocado, with moderate amounts of coconut oil, dairy and other animal fats as well as minimal amounts of processed fats and commercial vegetable oils. The big key is to avoid processed foods and eat mostly stuff that has been alive. Home cooking is always the best, but for the time poor, there are more and more healthier choices in supermarkets and grocery shops for a quick, easy meal.

  1. Stress – we have known for many years that chronic stress can have detrimental effects on your health, and we now know the biochemical pathways behind such negative effects. Even negative thoughts can stimulate the production of genes that increase our chances of chronic disease, but we need to understand the ‘Goldilocks effect’ of stress – we need a certain amount of stress to stimulate us and help us to adapt. This process is known as ‘hormesis’ and enables us to develop stress resistance. Just like an athlete can either under-train or over-train, we can get too little or too much stress. Athletes optimise their training by paying close attention to volume, intensity and duration, and so should we. During a period of prolonged and more intense stress, our recovery needs to be optimal – just like an athlete.
  1. Psychosocial – a number of other areas are emerging that can affect gene expression. We know that being socially isolated or rejected can up-regulate genes involved in dangerous metabolic inflammation, but being socially connected can have a positive effect on our wellbeing. Meditation has recently been found to suppress inflammatory genes and can even increase grey matter density and the practice of gratitude can enhance your mood and wellbeing. Doing a daily gratitude ritual, practicing a few 1-minute meditations throughout the day and taking time to connect socially will pay huge dividends over time.

The bottom line is that a range of interacting lifestyle behaviours affect our gene expression and our overall health. Eating well will give you the energy to exercise and exercising regularly will help you to manage stress and enhance your focus, as will regular 1-minute meditations and a daily gratitude ritual. This will put you in the right frame of mind to cultivate social relationships, which will make you more positive – a very positive lifestyle loop!

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Not a runner? Six reasons to enter a fun run anyway https://ritualize.com/main/not-runner-six-reasons-enter-fun-run-anyway/ https://ritualize.com/main/not-runner-six-reasons-enter-fun-run-anyway/#respond Thu, 12 Oct 2017 01:35:38 +0000 https://ritualize.com/main/?p=4911 Spring is when we see a flurry of fun runs and walks of short and long distances take-place around the country and if you've ever watched a Fun Run you'll have noticed the buzz, the pride and yes - sense of well-earned celebration as people cross the finish line.

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Spring is when we see a flurry of fun runs and walks of short and long distances take-place around the country and if you’ve ever watched a Fun Run you’ll have noticed the buzz, the pride and yes – sense of well-earned celebration as people cross the finish line. (See below for a list of events you can still sign up for over Spring).

If you’re not an avid runner, you may wonder how the words FUN and RUN could possible go together but for most people you talk to after their first run – they just want to do it again and again. It’s not just about the running. Here’s a few reasons why you should consider signing up:

1.You don’t have to run!

Many fun runs have a variety of distance options, some going down to just a couple of kilometers where you have the option to jog or walk if you can’t keep going. Worried you might look silly if you can’t finish? If you can’t continue – stop. Nobody will think any less of you and in fact, you’ll find that many people you meet on the day will be new to running events and are there, just like you, to see how far they can push themselves.

2. It’s social

Research tells us if we exercise with others (we call them ‘accountability partners’) we are more likely to achieve our goals. You’ll also be spending quality time together, you will inspire each other and be more motivated to see it through.

3. It’s fun!

They don’t call it a fun run for no reason.  The atmosphere and energy at fun runs can be amazing. Many organisers have music playing, entertainment and someone with motivating words blaring over a loudspeaker.  People even run in fancy dress and others push prams. It’s a wonderful experience, whether you’re a long-time runner or not.

4. It’s motivating

Most of us need goals to keep us motivated and fun runs are a great goal to have. Most fun runs give the option of getting sponsored to raise money for charity, so not only are you motivated to get fit and healthy, you are also motivated to support a worthy cause. Motivation has been shown to increase when you have a purpose or a ‘why’ behind it. Read our article ‘Find Your Why‘ to find out more about this.

5. You’ll get fit

Whether you’ve signed up for the 5k, 10k, ½ marathon or even a marathon, you’ll want to train and the more train, the more fitter you’ll get. The fitter you are, the better you will feel.  

6. You will feel great afterwards

Crossing that finishing line with hundreds of other people simply feels great. Not only have you achieved your goal, but you have helped raise money for charity and are a part of huge group of people all there for the same reason.


Upcoming fun runs across Australia

ACT

Run for your Lifeline, 4 Nov, Canberra

Grapest 5km Run, 2 Dec, Lake George

VIC

Homesglen Run for Change, 24 Oct, Chelsea

City2Sea, Sun 12 Nov, Melbourne

Carmans Womens’ Fun Run, Dec 3, St Kilda

NSW

Climb ‘n Dine stair climb, Sydney

MULTI-STATE

Run in the Dark, 15 Nov; Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney

SA

Glenelg Classic, 12 Nov, Glenelg

Grapest 5km Run, 18 Nov, Langhorne Creek

TAS

Walk for Prems, Sun 29 Oct, Hobart

Beach to  Bay, Strahan, Sat 4 November

WA

Color Run, 5 Nov, Perth

Trialthon Pink & Fun Run, 12 Nov, Perth

Images: © Anita Welsh Photography for Hobart Fun Run

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