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Children can be taught to use their imagination to tackle frequent bouts of stomach pain, research shows. A relaxation-type CD, asking children to imagine themselves in scenarios like floating on a cloud led to dramatic improvements in abdominal pain. The US researchers said the technique worked particularly well in children as they have such fertile imaginations. It has been estimated that frequent stomach pain with no identifiable cause affects up to one in five children. The research, published in the journal Pediatrics, follows on from studies showing hypnosis is an effective treatment for a range of conditions known as functional abdominal pain, which includes things like irritable bowel syndrome.
In this study, the children had 20 minute sessions of “guided imagery” – a technique which prompts the subject to imagine things which will reduce their discomfort. One example is letting a special shiny object melt into their hand and then placing their hand on their belly, spreading warmth and light from the hand inside the tummy to make a protective barrier inside that prevents anything from irritating the belly The researchers, from the University of North Carolina and Duke University Medical Center, said a lack of therapists led them to the idea of using a CD to deliver the sessions. In all 30 children aged between six and 15 years took part in the study – half of whom used the CDs daily for eight weeks and the rest of whom got normal treatment.
As usual at Diets Don’t work we must also emphasise the importance of exercise and good healthy nutrition in preventing any illnesses, whether in children or adults. Many of our personal training clients in the London area have families and report that exercise and good nutrition really helps prevent their children getting ill, and it also means that when they do catch something nasty from school it’s gone in no time.
This power of mind over matter also plays a vital role in all sports and for those battling illness. whether it’s the mental toughness of a marathon runner or the mental calmness of German footballer getting ready to score a penalty!
A female athlete made her mark and proved that you are never too old for exercise or for a personal trainer for that matter. Ruth Firth, a 100 year old great-grandmother was jubilant after winning gold in the shot putt at the world masters games in Sydney. The fact that she was the only competitor in her category (shot putt, women, aged 100-104) does not diminish her achievement. She trains 5 days a week, bench pressing 80lbs and practicing hammer throws and javelin. She is hoping to defend her title in 4 years’ time.
At Diets Don’t Work personal training many of our clients are over 40, and lots of those are older than that; my personal training client Greta is now in her 60’s, I’m doing a 10k with D who has a personal trainer in Sunninghill (me!) who is in her 50’s, and the star of the show is B in Reading who has just passed 84!
In many ways the older a person gets the results of structured exercise become more more beneficial and visible. For a 25 year old, there can certainly be improvements in cardiovascular fitness and muscle tone, as well as lots of other benefits, but as a client becomes older these fitness and functional benefits have a more profound effect and make a bigger change to everyday life. B, our 84 year old success story, has gone from needing help to get everyday chores done, including trips to the shops, to now having the functional fitness and strength to do all of these things independently, thus making a huge difference to her life. Similarly, Greta in Holyport retains great posture and stamina, so is able to carry on life just as you or I would, while many of her peers who have become unfit and overweight are suffering form a range of debilitating conditions, from osteoporosis to knee problems.
So even of you are getting on a bit, it really is never too late, and in fact it can be a case of later having more marked benefits and easier improvements!
When a new personal trainer client signs on for a block booking of personal training, the first thing we do is get them to keep an honest and accurate food diary, which we then take away and analyse. More often than not, although the food going in is not too bad many of our clients fall down on sugary drinks. Whether it’s coke or sprite, sugary tea, some types of orange squash, there is a lot more energy going in from these sources than you would think. The interesting thing is that although we get clients who say that these drinks give them an energy boost when they get tired at work, it is the drinks themselves that are creating a cycle of excessively high and then low blood sugar levels. Like a cigarette, the drink will initially give a boost, but all of this sugar is used up quickly, creating a successive blood sugar trough. This leads to low energy and cravings for something sweet. So the sugary drink is actually creating the sugar low and not curing it.
The following is taken from an article by Kelly Brownell in the Los Angeles Times, and doesn’t just make sense for the U.S, but for anywhere in the western world where obesity is rising.
“If America is looking for a way to raise revenue and cut health care costs, there is an obvious solution:slap a tax on fizzy drinks. Congress has discussed this idea, but shied away from taking action after coming under industry pressure. That was a mistake. By levying a cent per ounce national tax on sugared soft drinks, the US could raise about $150 billion over the next ten years, while also saving an estimated $50 billion in medical bills. That money could go a long way in addressing the country’s mounting health care bill. There’s no doubt that soda pop is one of the main culprits behind the obesity epidemic in the US. Each year, the average American drinks 50 gallons of coke and other sweet drinks, which are assiduously marketed to children through celebrity endorsements and product placement. Portion sizes have steadily grown: the typical 8-ounce bottle of the 1950s had morphed into a 20 ounce behemoth containing the equivalent of 17 teaspoons of sugar. The industry complains that a soda tax would hurt the poor, but that’s a specious argument. As with tobacco, the poor stand to benefit the most, both health-wise and financially by reducing their consumption. It’s time to crack down on pop.”
So if you are looking for some personal training in London, or just want a good head start and some free advice, there it is. By cutting out sweet drinks and increasing exercise, you have lots more leeway on the eating side of things, and can eat a lot more good things while having treats from time to time.
For more nutritional tips and advice on all things fitness and health, have a look at our knowledge page.
Although all our personal trainers are REPS level 3 and qualified to train special populations (diabetics,elderly,obese,arthritic) we are always looking to expand our knowledge and think of new ways to torture our poor clients.
To this end three of our personal trainers will be getting together over the course of the next few weeks to swap ideas and exchange new personal training techniques, and we will be looking to use each other’s specialities too.
Annie Sealy (who is our fab personal trainer for the Windsor, Maidenhead, Ascot and Bracknell areas has a new type of cargo netting that attaches to doors and provides excellent instability for an interesting upper body workout, brilliant for stabilising the joints and increasing functional strength and joint stability. I am (Adam Atkinson, I am our head personal trainer covering the Ascot, Windsor, Bracknell, Sunninghill and Sunningdale areas) now a kettle-bell qualified instructor, so I will be trying to teach the troops about the posterior kinetic chain and how kettle-bell training can make you super toned whilst also providing an elevated heart rate for extended periods of time while doing resistance training. Meanwhile Stephen Hitchcock, who is our trainer for the Egham, Staines, Richmond and Virginia Water areas is a boxercise instructor and also a proper runner (is a member of a running club and everything!) so he will be showing us how it’s done.
Although we all have extensive experience in the home personal training field, you can always learn new things form other trainers, and it’s really useful in keeping all our trainers and clients interested in the sessions while keeping them varied and fun. All our profiles are on the site, have a look at the meet the trainers page, where there are also some hopefully flattering photos of us too!