I am a Personal Trainer and Nutrition Coach, a former member of the Royal Navy, joining at 17 years of age I completed a career as a Medic and Pharmacy Technician which included an operational tour of Afghanistan.
During my Military career, I had an extensive athletic career competing for the Royal Navy and Combined Services at Swimming and Triathlon, that led to competing for Great Britain Age-Group team at 3 x World Championships.
Taking a break from being an athlete, I completed arduous training to serve as a member of a specialist military unit where I have worked in high-performance teams in tough environments, physically and mentally.
I have always had a passion for health, fitness and living a positive life and over my career, I have realised the importance of mindset and resilience to live with optimal health through a stressful fast paced lifestyle.
Looking back at my years of racing and a career in a high pressure environment I believe that there are five pillars of health that need to be kept in check to ensure you are living your healthiest life. These are:
As a population we need to move more, it will depend on the individual and desired goals what that movement looks like. It can be anything from walking, running, exercises, yoga, swimming. By introducing these goals and habits a healthier life will be led and the movement will get easier.
The essential part of living, we need food as fuel to get through our daily lives. Fuel supports our bodies functioning and also builds our defence system to avoid getting ill. A common saying is that you wouldn't run your car with an empty tank…you also wouldn't get very far if you put the wrong type of fuel in your tank.
As an athlete this would be recovery - but for everyone sleep is paramount. No matter what your goals are, a lack of sleep will inhibit your results. Studies have shown that consistently achieving 7-9 hours sleep per night is crucial to improving fat loss, muscle gain, endurance and mental fitness, while reducing the risk of illness and injury.
A positive mindset will lead to a positive life, and it will also pave the way for working on the other values. I understand that for some people a positive mindset is not automatic, but what is important is recognising your current mindset and working on it to reach a positive mindset. A strong mindset is the mover towards goals.
Resilience has been defined as having the ability to “bounce back” from difficult experiences. I am known for my resilience and believe it’s not just bouncing back, it’s finding the way to cope and work through those difficult experiences and life stressors. Stress looks and feels different to every single person, building resilience can reduce the stress and also contribute to many other health benefits. It is important to understand that it’s not a trait you are born with, but something you can strengthen.