Posts Tagged ‘coffscoasthc’

Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – February 2018

February 1, 2018

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Empowering the Coffs Coast to be the
Happiest & Healthiest Community in Australia!

#strongertogether  #peoplefirst #exerciseismedicine


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Here’s what’s going on in February at Coffs Coast Health Club & beyond to help you find your routine in 2018!


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What is a Healthy Sex drive?

November 8, 2015

gettyimages-88680713-couple-in-bed-letizia-mccall-openerToo high, too low, or juuust right? If your sex drive isn’t alive and kickin’, should you be concerned? Libido, a.k.a. sex drive, varies from person to person and between partners. While stereotypes definitely exist (think teenagers with raging hormones), sex drive is highly personal. In addition, depending on age, stress level, relationship status, etc., a person’s desire for sex can fluctuate. So how do you know if your libido is normal or out-of-whack? And if something is wrong, what can be done about it?

All About That Baseline

Sex therapist and New York Times bestselling author Ian Kerner, PhD, says that “normal is such an elastic word… it depends on what your baseline libido is.” He notes that while it might be normal for one person to desire sex once a day, it’s also completely normal for an asexual individual to have zero libido.

A significant deviation from the baseline is what’s ultimately a cause for concern. According to Kerner, a change in libido is only a problem when it’s a problem for you or for your partner. Sex and relationship expert Emily Morse notes that it’s not uncommon for couples to have mismatched libidos. There’s really no “normal” amount one should desire sex (or actually do the deed). Your libido is unique, as is everyone else’s. But if you feel it swinging up or down the scale, some factors could be at play.

Low Libido

If abnormally low libido is causing concern, it’s time to identify some potential causes. But keep in mind that different factors may affect different people (you guessed it…) differently.

Underlying Conditions

Underlying medical and psychological issues can depress libido to the point of non-existence. Medical conditions such as cancer or other chronic illnesses, for example, can understandably sap a person’s desire for sex. Psychological problems can also contribute to a diminished sex drive. Depression is a common cause of sexual dysfunction, and the treatment of depression doesn’t help matters . Research shows that certain antidepressants (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs) tend to lower sexual arousal more than others . And given that some drugs have more possible side effects than actual effects, it’s not surprising that certain other meds can do so as well. For example, some women may experience decreased libido while on hormonal birth control, but reports aren’t consistent .

Other psychological troubles such as stress can put a damper on things . Ava Cadell, MD, author and founder of Loveology University, notes that common psychological issues of people who complain of low libido include depression, stress, post-baby blues, performance anxiety after not having sex for a long time, and poor self-image.

Hormones

We blame hormones for everything from chocolate cravings to crazy mood swings. (And we’re pretty sure we can blame them for this pizza’s existence too.) In women, low androgen levels have been linked to low sex drive, but it’s not clear which one is the cause and which one is the effect . Some research suggests that certain hormones, such as testosterone, may also play a role in lowering or modifying sexual desire, but they are not the determining factor . Even if a woman’s hormones are all within normal ranges, she can still experience low libido. For men, it’s a bit more clear cut: if a man has low testosterone, his libido will likely suffer .

Relationship Issues

Comedian Louis C.K. said about his troubled marriage that men worry marriage equals sex with just one woman for the rest of life. “Where are you getting that twisted fantasy? You’re not gonna have sex with one woman. You’re gonna have sex with zero women.” Point being, if your relationship is rocky, your libido (or your partner’s) could also take a hit.

A whole range of relationship difficulties can contribute to low libido, according to Cadell. While pretty much anything that negatively affects a couple has the potential to limit lust, poor communication, anger, hurt feelings, or even boredom are common culprits. Kerner notes that poor libido is especially prevalent among couples recovering from infidelity—if the trust isn’t there, neither is the desire.

Other Life Factors

Already plotting tomorrow’s nap? Being overworked, short on time, fatigued, or all of the above tend to bump sex down on the list of priorities. New parents (yes, we’re calling a baby a “life factor”) may be especially susceptible. Who wants to have sex when running on three hours of sleep and dirty diaper fumes?

High Libido

When it comes to sex, do you feel like a little kid at a birthday-cake free-for-all? That’s OK. Having an unusually high libido isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it can become an issue—known as hypersexuality, compulsive sexual behavior, or sexual addiction—if it leads to problems with a person’s sex life and life outside of sex. As with low libido, there are a number of things that can skyrocket your sex drive to an unhealthy place.

Underlying Conditions

No, that honeymoon phase of a new relationship when you’re suspending work/life/laundry to get naked with your significant other isn’t a “psychological condition,” (as much as your neglected friends may argue). But there are serious mental disorders that can lead to a person making sex into priority number one. According to Kerner, sex can be a form of self-medication for some individuals suffering from anxiety. Low self-esteem, unresolved shame, and other entrenched feelings can increase sex drive as well.

An abnormally high desire for sex may also be considered a psychological condition in and of itself. Experts have come up with a set of diagnostic criteria for “hypersexual disorder,” although it’s not yet an official psychological diagnosis . A person with the disorder has excessive, intense thoughts and/or behaviors surrounding sex that lead to personal distress or intrusion on other areas of life. Fantasizing about your cute co-worker is pretty normal (and even healthy), but skipping out on work to watch someone shake that a** on the Internet may signal something’s not quite right.

Drug Use

Certain drugs can send libido sky-high. Unsurprisingly, most of them are stimulants such as cocaine, ecstasy, crystal meth, and caffeine . One class of drugs, known as substituted cathinones, stimulates the central nervous system and may give users a boost in energy, feelings of interpersonal connectedness, and sex drive . Wellbutrin, a substituted cathinone also known as bupropion, is prescribed by some doctors for weight loss—and increased libido is a side effect

How to Level Out Your Libido

Ask Questions

First, ask yourself if your libido is noticeably different from your baseline, and try to identify possible causes. Is it negatively affecting your happiness, relationship, or life? Second, if you’re in a relationship, figure out how your partner feels about your sex drive. Are the two of you completely out of sync or do things match up pretty well? If you and your partner feel a-OK about how much sex you want, chances are your libido is just fine. Just keep calm and carry on get it on.

DIY

Low libido got you down and you want to take matters into your own hands? Kerner suggests a number of things to help light your fire. First, give yourself and your partner a little extra lovin’. Masturbation and fantasizing are a great place to start, as is focusing on your partner’s pleasure during sex. But libido isn’t only built in the bedroom. Exercise, in addition to relieving stress and improving self confidence, can encourage feeling frisky. Another option is to go out with your partner and try something fun and spontaneous. And although this sounds pretty much the opposite of “fun and spontaneous,” scheduling sex with a partner can get you in a sex-oriented mindset and take away performance anxiety.

High libido, notes Kerner, doesn’t usually prompt too many complaints unless it causes a mismatch with a partner or if it’s part of a sexual compulsion or addiction. Talking with a romantic partner may be a good place to start if it’s the former, but seeing a professional is a must for the latter.

See a Pro

If there’s a psychological or medical condition, deep-seated relationship issues, or other factors that might be taking a toll on your libido, fixing the underlying problem is the way to go. While you might be able to resolve some relationship stuff and external issues on your own, talking to a professional can help enormously in addressing the thornier causes of low or high libido. Depending on the nature of the issue, try talking to a physician, psychiatrist, or sex therapist. If you feel that hormones may be contributing to a wonky sex drive, try talking to your general practitioner or OB/GYN.

Concerned about the side effects of medications? A GP or pharmacist might be good people to touch base with. For sexual compulsivity or sexual addiction, enlist the help of a specialist. A psychiatrist will be able to offer guidance and help you to formulate a treatment plan. Group therapy or 12-step programs offer other means of support. For relationship woes, consult a therapist who specializes in couples and/or sex therapy. Bottom line: Don’t lose heart; there’s a fleet of specialist that can help.

The Takeaway

Throw away all of your ideas of “normal”—sex drive is highly personal! Libido only becomes a problem when it’s causing you distress, affecting your day-to-day life, or hurting your relationship with a partner. If any of these apply, it’s worth figuring out why and possibly seeking help from a professional.

But I Thought All Yoga Was Therapeutic?

October 25, 2015

On the intelligence of varied movement.

Yoga practice, tree concept for your design

As we were moving slowly and consciously through a series of poses in a yoga therapy session last week, a 69-year-old client of mine who had practiced asana off and on for 40 years noted the difference between yoga therapy and the typical group classes she’d been to in the past, exclaiming, “No wonder I don’t attend classes anymore! It doesn’t make sense for me to do what they are doing. And I thought all yoga was therapeutic!”

What we came to understand in her session was that many of the poses, instructions, and approaches to fitness that she was encountering in her local yoga classes were aggravating her conditions rather than alleviating them. Was this just because she was no longer 25? Not at all—I’ve seen the same kind of overuse and repetitive strain in people in their twenties, and even in teenagers. But for some reason, it’s a common belief that yoga is exempt from the rules of cross-training and diversity of movement.

Injury has now become so much a part of yoga practice that it is widely accepted as inevitable. I recently came across a Facebook post written by a self-described “yoga teacher/mentor” this week that illustrates this prevalence perfectly. Her words (directed to her students) were, to this effect: “We’ve been through so much together, so many changes. I’ve seen some of you become mothers, others retire, we’ve ripped hamstrings and blown shoulders…” My mouth fell open. Since when are torn hamstrings and injured shoulders a normal, accepted part of the yoga experience? Memorable, yes, but something to look back on with nostalgia?? Somehow I don’t think that sages of yoga would agree, since yogis ascribe to the same rule of ahimsa as do medical doctors—first, do no harm.

Injury has now become so much a part of yoga practice that it is widely accepted as inevitable.

More and more, doctors are offering referrals to yoga classes, and teachers and students alike must be aware of what that means. Within the medical community, there is a growing sense of trust in yoga and in yoga teachers. My classes at a hospital, and my private lessons and therapy sessions, were full of doctors, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, and their families. Many of these medical professionals even chose to go through yoga teacher training programs so that they would have new options to offer their patients.

The issue is that to most people, a “yoga class” means a “follow the leader,” and includes the same 20 or so poses in every class. Some of them might feel good, like the reclining bent-knee-over-straight-leg twist that makes your back pop every time. This type of twist is actually destabilizing for your lumbar joints and can lead to later arthritis or sciatic nerve issues. Is it really worth it then? And while it may be momentarily empowering to kick up into headstand so you can say “I got that pose,” what about the nagging neck pain the next morning? Or maybe you love the achievement of full lotus but are noticing knee pain. Thankfully, there are other poses out there—poses that may make you stronger and more flexible. But discovering those poses takes time and demands attention to the specific needs of your body.

To see why a “one-size-fits-all” approach to yoga can be problematic, let’s look at the outline of a standard yoga class. A standard yoga class starts with some kind of warm-up. This, in my opinion, is the most important part of the class. Exploring your tightness du jour, breathing into a more supple ease in the morning, or de-stressing at the end of the day is why most students say they come to class. If left to our own devices, many of us might choose to spend anywhere from 20 minutes to an entire class doing cat/cow variations and all the core work and delicious hamstring and shoulder stretches we want. But the next thing we know, we are up and into sun salutes (or a comparable vinyasa) because the fitness class model demands that unless we sweat, we aren’t “doing yoga.”

In my private work, more than three-fourths of my diverse clients are unable to benefit their current physical state very much by doing “sun salutes” as they know them. Their backs are rounded in forward folds, their knees locked in downward dog, and their heads flung back as they grasp for backbends by straining upward. A chaturanga is a belly flop with shoulders wailing in misery, and stepping forward from downdog is an arduous and pretty embarrassing process. They hate these sun salutes but have done them religiously—thinking they were required in yoga practice and therefore must be good for them. With new or untrained teachers especially, sun salutes often take up a good amount of class time, as they may not be aware of other ways to generate heat.

In my private work, more than three-fourths of my diverse clients are unable to benefit their current physical state very much by doing “sun salutes” as they know them.

Next comes standing poses. Despite the fact that even students who have practiced for years have alignment epiphanies when they raise the surface at which they practice, in your average class, modifications with a chair or other high surface are almost never offered for standing postures like triangle. If the agile teacher and the other students are using no props, it could be embarrassing to pull out a chair—especially if the student is young, or older but wanting to appear strong and healthy.

After a few standing poses, many yoga classes include some sort of inversion, often much too difficult for those lacking core and arm strength. More experienced teachers will give some helpful modifications, since falling out of an upside-down pose can look pretty scary (as are lawsuits). Poses like legs-up-the-wall (or legs-up-a-chair) are wonderful, accessible inversions. And for those with more arm strength, a handstand or forearm balance is actually less risky than a headstand or unsupported neck-smashing shoulderstand. But even so, practitioners often eschew the simple poses in favor of more dramatic or “classical” postures. While inversions can be very beneficial for the body and mood, keeping your head and neck safe is an essential part of the practice!

The backbending part of class is excellent for many people, and a well-aligned bridge or locust can be quite strengthening. But when the other students start jamming stiff arms into full cobras, or teachers lift students into full wheels so that everyone “gets there,” many practitioners feel pressured to do things for which their own bodies will suffer (both now and later).

Twists can be the most subtle and luscious of asanas when approached in an informed and exploratory fashion. But a ”get it done” mentality takes much of the sweetness out of the twist. Going for a popping “adjustment” or squeezing excessively to “wring out toxins” promotes an aggressive approach to the spinal movement. In actuality, it is the breath that promotes the “detox,” not the twists “flushing the organs with new blood.” Of course, gentle twisting can help to calm the nervous system and keep the spine mobile. Popping is not always a good thing, though, and may set you up for joint problems down the line.

In many classes, there tends to be a similar approach to forward folds, which should be calming, soothing, strengthening, and lengthening poses. The “If you are more flexible, do ____” cue becomes a punishment to those whose natural suppleness (or lack thereof) may not meet their own expectations. They begin pulling and tugging themselves forward with rounded lumbar spines. When you consider the sitting that most of us do all day, why would collapsing and squeezing our spinal discs be a good plan?

Along the same lines, you’ll probably also find the ubiquitous “hip opener” in most classes. These are beneficial to a degree and may feel good to tightly clenched buttocks—but when overpracticed without good core strength and a countering squeeze from the outer thighs, they can cause instability of the hip joint. My motto is “Don’t feed the pigeon,” especially if it’s a fat spacious pigeon with way too much entitlement. In other words, if the pose feels too easy, the student needs to strengthen the muscles around the joint rather than increase a passive stretch. Loosen what’s too tight, tighten what’s too loose.

Along with warm-ups, shavasana relaxation has the opportunity to be a particularly healing part of yoga class, especially when attention is given to diaphragmatic breathing. In fact, some really great teachers add a sprinkling of “stop, breathe, and pay attention” practice throughout their classes, or start class with a centering resting pose. It is in the moments of resting that our minds and bodies download what we have practiced. Without the stopping and resting, the autonomic nervous system can’t assimilate the deeper benefits. Conscious rest provides a training ground for keeping us calm in all of life’s stressful situations.

What I’m talking about is yoga as a healing modality—not just for weight loss or “detox,” or to firm buttocks or perform impressive postures. I had one yoga therapy client who really understood the difference. She said, “I am here for the therapy, the process that happens in the breath and mind and body. I also do fitness yoga, a vigorous power flow, because I don’t like running!” She practiced yoga as therapy, along with yoga as fitness, and did not confuse the two.

If a healthy person with a clear mind and good joints and muscles takes vigorous classes to stay fit, good for them. But they need to vary their movements and be aware of the pitfalls of some repetitive actions too. A repetitive strain injury (RSI)like carpal tunnel syndrome is an “injury to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems that may be caused by repetitive tasks, forceful exertions, vibrations, mechanical compression, or sustained or awkward positions.” How many awkward positions do we assume repeatedly in yoga classes, especially in vinyasa? (Think weight supported on hands, neck thrust back.) How many times per week? Or if you are a teacher, how many times per day?

If you are unsure about how to practice therapeutically, it may be good to visit a well-recommended yoga therapist or experienced teacher who can map out some areas where you need strength practices, and others where you need to focus on flexibility. Consulting with the International Association of Yoga Therapists (IAYT) for trained therapists in your area may be helpful. Most importantly, a trained professional can observe how you breathe during yoga and help you to modify the speed and intensity of your practice accordingly. This type of help will give the prospective or long-term yogi more confidence in how to practice in general. Remember, the poses and breathing techniques we choose to practice may lower pain levels and help with range of motion, but it’s how we practice them that can change our lives.

I’m not offering these thoughts to frighten students or keep them away from classes they love. But how many times must we ignore the pinches we feel around the tops of our thighbones, or the lower back twinges in straight-leg forward folds? How many times must we continue to lower to chaturanga when it hurts our shoulders? When we “do it anyway” (just like going for a third cocktail or chocolate pie bender), we will pay for it sooner or later.

If you attend classes because you love them, consider trying the simpler “beginner’s” options for awhile. Go to your knees in plank pose, or skip the deep backbends even if you think you can do them—then add gradually from there. Ask yourself: Is this uncomfortable? Is my breath ragged? Am I stressed or anxious when I try this? If a teacher pushes you to ever-harder movements that result in pain, or won’t let you modify a pose, look for a new class.

If a teacher pushes you to ever-harder movements that result in pain, or won’t let you modify a pose, look for a new class.

My personal preference is to let my yoga be sweet yoga, and take a long walk (with attention to alignment!) if I want fitness. My “sweet” practice includes different strong asana every day, along with plenty of TLC. My body has been at this awhile and rewires well with some intense focused poses; this may be the case for you as well.

The home remedy I suggest for anyone is to be more playful in your practice—to breathe and stretch in joyful ways that generate a sense of openness in your body. Historically, before the development of asana as we know it, yogis simply moved to link the circuits in their energetic systems. They would then “breathe life” into these shapes. In fact, Tandava (Indian sacred dance) and Qigong both evolved out of playful, wise, joyful movement combined with breath.

Start on the floor on your belly or back and just see what your breath is doing; then move your way into cat-like stretches—not necessarily a yoga pose, but stretching to feel better and to connect with deeper breathing into tight areas. And when you discover the yoga postures that give you space, allow you to breathe deeper “into” constricted areas of your body, and leave you feeling refreshed, practice them! Practice them in a spirit of exploration.

Swami Rama of the Himalayas, a spiritual scientist and remarkable scholar of the mind/body connection, likewise encouraged his students to be like scientists in exploring the body and energetic system. But no good laboratory research is done without variables or by allowing oneself to damage the equipment. Explore and learn your strengths and weaknesses, and vary what you are doing physically. Only a mad scientist does the same thing over and over and expects a different result.

Article sourced here:  https://yogainternational.com/article/view/but-i-thought-all-yoga-was-therapeutic?utm_content=bufferd420f&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Written by:   BETH SPINDLER

Can You Get Too Much Protein?

October 18, 2015

too-much-meat

Can you get too much protein? Good question. With M&F and your gym buddies preaching the minimum of 1 gram per pound of bodyweight and a lot of mainstream media talking about the dangers of that standard, things can get a bit confusing. This two-part series, presented in easy-to-follow Q&A format, should help assuage your fears.

Q: This sounds stupid, but what is protein?

 A: Proteins are large molecules made up of chains of smaller molecules called amino acids. There are 20 different amino acids the body uses to make protein, and when you eat protein, your body breaks apart the aminos and sends them to whichever part of your body needs whichever type of amino.

Protein in general is an extremely important nutrient, and not just because you like big muscles. “In all cells of the body, proteins perform crucial functions and are present in numerous forms,” says Tabatha Elliott, PhD, who has studied protein extensively at the University of Texas Medical Branch (Galveston). “Proteins form structural tissue [such as muscle fibers], blood plasma, enzymes, hormones, antibodies, hemoglobin, you name it.” Protein is also responsible for a host of other things, from making your muscles move to transporting other substances (such as vitamins and minerals) throughout your body. Without it, you would be practically unable to function.

In fact, people who don’t eat enough protein suffer a host of problems, namely wasting, where the body basically attempts to feed the protein hunger by breaking down muscles and other organs. Protein deficiency isn’t often a concern in meat-loving America, and it certainly isn’t a risk among those who follow a well-planned bodybuilding diet. Rather, mainstream nutritionists worry about the opposite “problem”: the health effects of eating too much protein.

Q: SO EXACTLY HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH? WHAT ARE THE GUIDELINES FOR PROTEIN?

A: There are a lot of ways to determine how much protein the average person should eat to remain healthy. It can get really complicated, so we’ll spare you the details and just tell you that, according to the FNB, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of protein is 0.8 gram per kilogram of bodyweight per day. That translates to roughly 0.4 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight for men and women ages 19—70. Sounds awfully low, doesn’t it?

 It gets worse. You’ll sometimes see the RDA for protein listed as 56 grams per day for men. This number was derived based on a bodyweight of 154 pounds for the average male. Anyone see a problem with that?

Q: MOST BODYBUILDERS WEIGH IN AT A LOT MORE THAN 154 POUNDS, DON’T THEY?

A: Exactly. The recommendations applied to the general public just don’t apply to bodybuilders who eat specialized diets and live radically different lifestyles than the average person. Occasionally, a nutritionist who’s more enlightened about the dietary needs of trained individuals will recommend around 0.8 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.

That more realistic number comes primarily from the work of Dr. Peter Lemon, who reviewed research about protein intake and athletes’ dietary needs and concluded, in a paper published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism in 1998, that “dietary protein need increases with rigorous physical exercise.” The American College of Sports Medicine backs that recommendation, and it actually comes closer to the M&F-approved minimum recommendation of 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Then again, we wouldn’t argue if you wanted to eat up to 2 grams per pound.

Q: IS TOO MUCH PROTEIN HARMFUL? IF NOT, WHAT IS EVERYONE SO WORRIED ABOUT?

A: That’s a really good question, for one main reason. There’s yet another recommendation the FNB releases: the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), the amount of something you can ingest before experiencing negative results (anything from nausea to toxicity, or poisoning). However, and this is important, there is no UL established for protein. Why? Because, as the FNB reports, “There was insufficient data to provide dose-response relationships to establish a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for total protein or for any of the amino acids.” See that? They had no proof that eating more protein caused any problems. Dr. Lemon said something similar in the same review we quoted above: “Despite the frequently expressed concern about adverse effects of high protein intake, there is no evidence that protein intakes in the range suggested will have adverse effects in healthy individuals.”

 Since you asked, though, we’ll tell you why mainstream nutritionists have their boxers in a bunch. First of all, remember that they aren’t talking to you, the muscle & fitness reader; they’re concerned about the majority of Americans who spend much of their days sitting at desks, on subways or in cars, then sitting in front of the TV for the rest of the night. That’s an awful lot of sitting. For those people, consuming excess protein is just like consuming an excess of anything. Protein contains 4 calories per gram. If you eat too many calories, you’re going to gain weight, so a primary concern for nutritionists about so-called excessive protein intake is that it could result in obesity.

Then maybe your next question is something like: Great, so I have to worry about getting fat if I take a week off from training? Not exactly. The more muscle you have, the more protein you’ll use and the more calories you’ll burn overall. Plus, there’s a reason why we tell you to eat lean protein such as chicken and turkey breasts and top sirloin.

Q: WHY DOES M&F RECOMMEND SUCH COMPARATIVELY HIGH AMOUNTS OF PROTEIN?

A: We have a lot of reasons, but probably the most important one is this: It works to give you the physique you’re looking for. “Muscle growth happens when protein synthesis exceeds protein breakdown,” Elliott says. “The availability of protein plays an important role in that process, so it follows that increased amino acid availability—such as what is provided by the intake of dietary protein—will result in a greater anabolic response.”

It has been proven that the more protein you eat, the more protein synthesis occurs in your muscles. In a study published in The Journal of Physiology in 2003, researchers found that subjects who had been given an infusion of amino acidsexperienced a boost in muscle protein synthesis. No surprise, right? The amazing thing was that the rate at which subjects built muscle protein increased as the amount of protein in their bloodstreams increased. Therefore, the more protein you eat, to a degree, the more muscle you’ll build—all day long, with or without exercise.

We have other reasons for our recommendations, too. One of them is pretty basic: You’re most likely taking supplements (branched-chain amino acids, beta-ecdysterone) that boost protein synthesis, but if you don’t have a well of protein for your muscles to draw on, those supplements aren’t going to do much. Another reason is because there’s evidence that eating protein can keep you lean. For one thing, it’s the hardest macronutrient for your body to digest, which means your body has to use more energy (calories) to break it down. Protein also increases the amount of a hunger-blunting peptide called PYY in your bloodstream, meaning you won’t be hankering for munchies soon after eating a high-protein meal.

Yet another reason for our protein recommendations is more complicated, but no less rational. In fact, it’s all about ratios. In addition to deciding the RDA for nutrients, the FNB recently established what it calls the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range (AMDR) for protein, carbohydrates and fat to tell us what percentage of our calories should come from each. The AMDR for protein is between 10% and 35% of total calories. Now, to support the kind of body you’re boasting (or looking to build), you have to put down a lot of calories.

Our advice is generally that a 180-pound guy should eat 18 calories per pound of bodyweight per day, or about 3,240 calories. And that’s just to maintain his mass. So let’s do the math: Thirty-five percent of 3,240 is 1,134 calories of protein; divide that by 4 (the number of calories in a gram of protein), and you get 284 grams of protein per day. Divide that by our example’s bodyweight (180), and you get 1.6 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight per day.

It just goes to show that bodybuilders generally eat within the FNB’s acceptable range; it’s the FNB that’s not familiar with how much food bodybuilders need. Because you consume way more calories (sometimes almost twice the requirement of the average couch-sitter) per day, you have to eat that much more protein. Otherwise, as we discovered by doing more math, you’d be in for an equally fat gut. We plugged in the numbers to see what our 180-pound bodybuilder would be eating if he stuck with the RDA for protein and ate only 0.8 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day. Since he’d be eating only 144 grams of protein, he’d have to fill his plate with something else—like, oh, 500 grams of carbs. Needless to say, that’s more than his body could use for energy, so all the excess would head straight for his fat stores.

Q: DIDN’T I HEAR SOMETHING ABOUT KIDNEY DAMAGE OCCURRING FROM TOO MUCH PROTEIN?

A: “The breakdown of amino acids results in the formation of ammonia,” Elliott says. “The ammonia is then converted to less harmful urea in the liver and is then passed through the kidneys and excreted in urine.” Because it’s the job of the kidneys to take away any excess protein that your body’s not using, mainstream nutritionists worry that eating excess protein could tax your kidneys. However, several studies have shown that this just isn’t the case. One study, presented at the International Society of Sports Nutrition’s annual conference in 2005, examined the diets of 77 resistance-trained males and then tested their blood for various markers of kidney health. The subjects ate about 0.8 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight per day, and their kidneys were in perfect health. Another study, conducted at the Free University of Brussels (Belgium), found similar results for people consuming roughly 1.3 grams of protein per pound. There is very strong evidence that athletes taking in more protein are actually using that protein, either to build muscle or to burn as fuel.

Q: WHAT ABOUT MY BONES? CAN’T HIGH PROTEIN INTAKE MAKE THEM BRITTLE?

A: Some studies have shown that high amounts of protein in the diet can increase the amount of calcium the body excretes, which could potentially lead to fractures and osteoporosis, but those studies mostly involved purified protein and not whole-food protein sources such as meat. “But I drink three protein shakes a day,” you say, panicking.

“Isn’t that purified protein?” We hear you. But the fact that you also eat whole-food protein sources such as chicken and steak should provide you with enough calcium-protecting phosphorous and other nutrients. That was the finding of one study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2003. Subjects were fed either a high-meat or a low-meat diet for eight weeks, and researchers found no difference in calcium excretion between the groups.

Still worried? A study at Warsaw Agricultural University (Poland) showed that a high-protein diet in rats actually increased bone mineralization, meaning the rats that ate more protein had stronger bones. Keep in mind that resistance exercise is one of the best ways to keep your bones strong.

So if you ever wonder whether the fit and prim woman at a neighboring table is gaping at your 18-inch arms or at the 18-inch steak on your plate, remember that although we may look like rebels, you can trust us. Everything we write is either backed by extensive scientific research or even more extensive anecdotal evidence. Plus, we practice what we preach, so that we can bring you the most up-to-date, trustworthy advice and you can build the most ferociously muscled body possible. To do that, you have to keep your protein intake on par: Consume at least 1 gram per pound of bodyweight per day of quality lean protein, and drink protein shakes around workout time to make your muscles—and the rest of you—happy.

Coffs Coast Health Club – eNews August 2105

August 25, 2015

CCHC-inline“Empowering the Coffs Coast to be the happiest & healthiest community in Australia”
#strongertogether   #fitnessnfun   #coffscoasthealthclub

**NEWSFLASH** Coffs Coast Health Club Moonee COMING SOON!!!


The biggest announcement we have ever made has now arrived, yes that’s right we are opening a second Coffs Coast Health Club in Moonee on Saturday 19th September to help us cater for the entire Coffs Coast. moonee__retina_logo
 
If you live or work on the southside between Nambucca & Coffs, then Toormina is the club for you, however if you live or work on the northside between Coffs & Corindi, then Moonee is the club for you.

Current members of Toormina can transfer their home club to Moonee if that is more convenient for them or what most people have done is simply upgrade to a 24/7 Freedom Membership, which offers access to
moonee shopall classes & equipment in both facilities for only $19 p/w.
 
The new Moonee club will provide the same services as Toormina & the limited Foundation Memberships are now selling fast. Lee Kennedy is the Moonee Health Club Manager & can be contacted directly on 0409 079 311 or via lee@coffscoasthc.com.au to secure your new membership or transfer but be quick as we only have 100 Foundation Memberships available.
 
We are also offering 2 weeks FREE Membership to all current members for every friend they refer that becomes a member of the new club.
 
Exciting times ahead!!!
 
 

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Positions Vacant – A New Club Means More Employment Opportunities Too!!!
positions vacant 2
Most of our current employees have either been members of the club or are related to members of Coffs Coast Health Club & that’s the way we like it. Members & anyone affiliated with the club understands the importance we place on the service of our current members & local community. We hire based on a positive attitude first, as we can always teach the necessary skills required later.

The expansion now provides a number of full time & casual opportunities to join the team & we have the following roles available for the right candidates: Reception/Customer Service, Personal Trainers, Group Exercise Instructors, Childminders, Cleaners, Maintenance, Fitness Trainee, Business Trainee.

The positions may be suitable for you or someone you know, so pass it on. If you would like your favourite instructor or trainer to join the team than let them know. All you/they have to do is complete the application form here & drop it in to the Toormina club by 8pm Friday 4th September. 

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It’s Here – Member Appreciation Day 2015!
internal posterAugust 2015 is a monumental month in the history of Coffs Coast Health Club. It signifies 6 years since we first opened our doors & the start of our crusade to empower the Coffs Coast to be the happiest & healthiest community in Australia.

The club is certainly owned by passionate local health care professionals but it is the community in & around the club that breathes life into it. This community is made up of a terrific team & magnificent members combining to create a comfortable & supportive environment. The club has been recognised Australia wide for the efforts of everyone involved by becoming the regions most awarded health club & we want to say thank you.

This Saturday 29th August we will provide FREE ENTRY for past & current Member’s & their invited Guests. Group Exercise Classes, Childmidning, Face Painting, Fresh Fruit, Birthday Cake, Protein Balls, Product Samples, Seated Massage, Personal Training Challenges, Physiotherapy Assessments, Lucky Door Prizes & Giveaways.
 
We will also be offering once off Super Specials on Membership, Merchandise, Supplements, Personal Training & Massage Therapy Packs.
 
Simply show up on the day & you will go in the draw to WIN a GETAWAY to Aanuka Beach Resort! We will also give you a bonus ticket in to the draw for every friend or family member you bring on the day…
 
See you there!!!
 
 

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Dance for Cancer Fundraisers with Jacqui!
IMG_0271Stars of Coffs Coast – Dance for Cancer is a gala fundraising event for the Cancer Council NSW. The “Stars” consist of business owners and other notable characters from the Coffs Coast dancing with some of our local fabulous and talented dance teachers. The “Stars” are required to fundraise and perform a dance routine at a showcase dance event at C.ex Coffs on Saturday, 14th November 2015. 
 
We are REALLY EXCITED to let you know that our very own Jacqui Barnett has been nominated as one of the Stars of Coffs Coast who are going to be Dancing for Cancer in November this year. 
 
You can attend her fundraising Trivia Night with a Twist on Friday 28th of August at Cavanbah Hall, Coffs Harbour by either purchasing tickets from reception at Coffs Coast Health Club (cash only) OR by clicking on this link http://stks.be/trivia-with-a-twist.     

Stay tuned for more information or contact Jacqui directly on 
0421 971 155.
 

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Click here for more information on membershippersonal trainingweight lossmassage therapy,
rehabilitationgroup exercisechildmindingprivileges card
 & fitness careers or call us on 6658 6222 for more help.

Invite your friends for a FREE TRIAL & grab yourself a new training buddy!

OPENING SOON! Coffs Coast Health Club Moonee! Call the Club Manager,
Lee Kennedy on 0409 079 311 for further information.

Sincerely,

Your CCHC Team

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Tomato Salsa

August 20, 2015

salsa

How does ageing affect athletic performance?

July 12, 2015

Two men on an early morning run.

I remember the moment a few years ago while watching TV when I realized that if I were riding in the Tour de France, at age 42 I’d be the oldest person in the race. It hit me that my dream of racing in cycling’s biggest event was over…it was not going to happen.

Not that I’d been competing, let alone training seriously, on the bike for a number of years.

Or that not even in my “prime” years for competitive cycling would I have been good enough. It’s just that now I had an excuse…. I was too old, too far past my prime years.

So what happened? Is there a physiological reason people in their mid-40’s are no longer able to compete at the professional level in most sports, or is it a constellation of challenges, such as the time devoted to training, motivation, managing kids’ schedules or busy work demands?

“I’m old” is the common refrain for why we get worse at athletics as we age. But here’s what’s really happening in the body through the years to make world-class performance less possible. And, interestingly, there are a few physiological elements that contribute to athleticism that don’t seem as affected by aging.

The ‘sweet-spot’ age

In most sports, there is an age “sweet spot,“ at which the combination of physical, technical and strategic abilities comes together.

In most sports, this age sweet spot falls in the mid-20’s to early 30’s. Although there have been numerous examples of Olympians competing, and sometimes winning medals, over the age of 50, the vast majority of these come from sports requiring exceptional skill and less aerobic or anaerobic power, such as the shooting events, sailing, equestrian and fencing.

For endurance events, the upper cap for competing at the sport’s highest levels appears to be around the age of 40.

Chris Horner won the 2013 edition of the Vuelta a Espana, Spain’s version of the Tour de France, just shy of his 42nd birthday, making him the oldest winner of a Grand Tour in cycling.

The oldest Olympic marathon winner was the 38-year-old Romanian athlete Constantina Dita Tomescu, competing at the Beijing Olympic Games.

Dara Torres, at the age of 41 in 2008, is the oldest swimmer to compete in the history of the Olympics, missing the gold medal in the 50-meter freestyle by hundredths of a second. But these examples are the exceptions, not the rule.

Age changes how our bodies use oxygen

One big reason we see declines in aerobic (or endurance) athletic performance with age is that our bodies can’t use oxygen as effectively.

The maximal ability to utilize oxygen (VO2max) is a predictor of endurance performance across ages. VO2max is a numerical value that describes how much oxygen your body can use per kilogram of body weight.

VO2max is affected by how well your body can bring oxygen into the lungs, how well this is carried in our blood to the working muscles, and how much oxygen the muscles can use to fuel contraction.

Exercise can improve all of these, and the higher the VO2max, the more “aerobically fit” a person is. That is, they can do more endurance work for their body weight.

In the general population, VO2max tends to decline by about 10% per decade after the age of 30. Athletes who continue to compete and train hard can reduce the drop by about half, to 5% per decade after the age of 30.

The reason VO2max declines with age is that our maximal heart rates go down as well.

Maximal heart rate is the highest heart rate in beats per minute one can achieve during increasing intensity of endurance exercise. It is often roughly predicted as “220 – age = maximal heart rate.” Although the actual maximal heart rate for a given person is highly variable, as you age, your maximal heart rate decreases, whether you are a highly fit athlete or a couch potato.

And this decrease reduces both cardiac output and oxygen delivery to the muscles, which translates to a lower VO2max and thus to lower performance in endurance events as we age.

Even if oxygen delivery to muscles goes down, the ability of your muscles to efficiently utilize the oxygen they do get relative to a given workload (this is called exercise economy) is well maintained into our 60’s and 70’s, though total muscle mass tends to decline as we age, and can contribute to declines in performance as well.

In terms of competitive endurance exercise, rowers have shown the least decline in VO2max with age, but the difference to other sports isn’t huge. And it might be because rowing is a lower-impact sport than cycling (with crashes) and running (constant pounding).

Let’s not forget the muscles

Some evidence suggest that for sports that require high levels of strength or power, like weightlifting, age-related limitations may reside in our skeletal muscles, those muscles that move our bones and joints.

For competitive weightlifters over the age of 40 (masters level), performance drops more precipitously than it does for endurance athletes such as runners, swimmers and cyclists. That’s likely because weightlifting draws on type II muscle fibers (called “fast-twitch” muscles) to produce strength and power. Research indicates that these cells decline in number and function with age.

Not only do these cells decline with age, but so do the cells that support the repair and growth of skeletal muscles in response to exercise decline.

These age-related declines are not as obvious in type I muscles, those muscle fibers most associated with endurance-type exercise.

Recovery can take longer

As they age, many athletes complain that the ability to recover from hard bouts of exercise diminishes.

This can affect the intensity and volume of training of all athletes. But in many contact sports, such as professional American football or rugby, recovering from injuries and the cumulative effects of hard hits becomes the limiting factor in continuing to play at the highest level.

For instance, last season there were only two people in the NFL, Sav Rocca of the Washington Redskins and Adam Vinatieri of the Indianapolis Colts, playing in their 40’s.

Injuries take their toll on people playing non-contact sports as well. For masters athletes, experiencing more training-associated injuries leads to reduced training intensity and volume, and thus poorer performance come race day.

Better training can help you stay at your peak longer

Although all athletes will eventually lose the age versus performance race, with better training and recovery practices, in the coming years we likely will begin to see more athletes in their 40’s remaining competitive at the highest levels of sport. By “training smarter, not harder,” athletes can reduce the chances of injuries, maximize gains from training and minimize the effects of aging.

Older athletes need longer to recover and adapt to a training stimulus, so workout planning needs to change with age.

High-intensity interval training, for instance, focuses on the quality of a workout, rather than the sheer volume of training, and can be used effectively by older athletes to improve aerobic capacity.

Cross-training, such as weightlifting and yoga, can help to maintain muscle mass and flexibility, and reduce overuse injuries in endurance athletes.

An emphasis on “active recovery” strategies (an easy run or swim on your rest days) and improved sleeping habits are important for athletes of all ages, but become essential for older athletes.

Performance decline isn’t just about physical changes, however. As we age, our intrinsic motivation to train diminishes. Even in athletes, the motivation to train may shift somewhat from setting personal records to remaining active and healthy. And that’s a great motivation for any athlete at any age.

Article sourced from here: https://theconversation.com/how-does-aging-affect-athletic-performance-36051?utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+July+6+2015&utm_content=Latest+from+The+Conversation+for+July+6+2015+CID_dfc07cca0ea7652ac47df3029188ca6a&utm_source=campaign_monitor_us&utm_term=How+does+aging+affect+athletic+performance

Author:    Professor at University of Oregon

Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – July 2015

July 2, 2015

landscape.burst
Christmas in July!!
dance santa
Come down to the main street of Sawtell and help us celebrate ‘Christmas in July’ at Split Cafe & Espresso Bar!
The awesome team at Split will be putting on a great cocktail menu for us & allowing everyone to BYO alcohol for the night. Juice, soft drinks, tea & coffee will be available for purchase from the cafe.  There will be an amazing strawberry laden Wicked Berries cake for dessert!
Where: Split Cafe & Espresso Bar, First Avenue, Sawtell

When: Friday 17th July from 6pm

Cost: $25 p/head

How: Book now at reception, via info@coffscoasthc.com.au or by calling 6658 6222 

The party is limited to the first 80 people to register & pay for their ticket, so get in quick!!!
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When Life Gets Tough Put On Your Boxing Gloves!
punch 2
Have you ever tried a PUNCH class?  PUNCH is your ultimate fitness based boxing class that incorporates upper body strength and endurance. It is a great way to let go of some negative energy while working on a fitter, stronger, leaner and healthier you.
PUNCH is on our timetable:
Mondays at 9.30am, Tuesdays at 5.30pm, Wednesdays at 6.00am, Thursdays at 5.30pm and Fridays at 9.30am
All classes are run by a personal trainer who can coach you, help you with your technique and push you to your limits.
You don’t need to bring a partner and boxing gloves and focus pads are supplied. So really there are no excuses…give a PUNCH class a try this week.
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Coffs Coast Health Club CENEX logo gray 2BUSINESS DIPLOMA NOW AVAILABLE on the Coffs Coast!
Gain a professional edge in Business, Management, Project Management, Human Resources, Workforce Planning and Marketing by developing your skills and knowledge to explore various roles across a variety of industries, and more with a BSB50207 Diploma of Business.  Business managers assist companies in reaching goals and objectives related to sales, productivity, profitability and industry penetration.  The Diploma of Business is designed by leaders in the business industry and is based on REAL life experience to make you the best business manager you can be. It provides you with a step-by-step business plan and shares the secrets of successful business leaders.
This qualification has been specifically designed by leaders in the business industry and is based on REAL life experience rather than on textbooks.
The course will arm you with the necessary skills you need whilst still allowing you the flexibility to tailor your course to suit your schedule. You can juggle your studies with work or other commitments, enabling you to have the best of both worlds and learn face to face, not just online only.
NEXT COURSE STARTS 21st September & runs until 11th December.
Mondays:         5pm – 9pm
Wednesdays:    5pm – 9pm
Fridays:            5pm – 9pm
Our Diploma of Business is VET FEE-HELP approved, so you can start studying towards your dream job today – with no time lost!
Contact Christian directly on 0412 778 736 for further information regarding the course and qualification.
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Short Term Workout Options for Friends & Family!
fitness-friends

Do you have friends or family that are in town during the school holidays? Would you like to save them some money & get them working out with you?
Well due to popular demand we are now offering some short term workout options for them…
Single Visit – adult only $15, student or baby boomer only $10, incl access during all supervised hours
Week Pass – adult only $29, student or baby boomer only $19, incl access during all supervised hours
Simply see reception or call 6658 6222 to take advantage of these offers for a limited time.
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Sugar Busters Program – Are Hidden Sugars Stopping Your Weight Loss?

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You’ve probably seen our Sugar Busters Board at Reception showing you how much sugar is in common foods and drinks.  Its been the topic of much discussion and also been quite a shock to some people how much sugar they are consuming and how much sugar can be that hidden culprit in weight gain.
The Healthy Inspirations team can now offer you a 4 week Sugar Busters program for $149 ($89  if you are already a health club member!) This includes 4 weeks access to all health club facilities, weekly 1:1 Sugar Buster Coaching Sessions, weekly Sugar Buster Phone Consults and your Sugar Buster Resource Kit!
Speak to Simone, Leslie or Jenny from the Healthy Inspirations Team or call them on 6658 6222 to get started.
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Coffs Coast Health Club, very own Dance for Cancer 2015 participant – Jacqui Barnett!
JacquiJarrattProfile1This fundraising event, which will be held on Saturday 14th November, has been running for 6 years on the Coffs Coast and although it has gone through a couple of name changes it is a fantastic night of entertainment with each participant strutting their stuff on the dance floor to compete in 3 categories with all proceeds going to the Cancer Council.  Leading up to the event Jacqui will be running 2 fundraising events so save Friday August 28th for a Fun and Fabulous Trivia Night with a Twist and Friday October 30th for a Halloween Cocktail party.  More details on the way.  Donations can be made initially straight in to the Cancer Council charity box at reception!
Here’s the link to the Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Stars-of-Coffs-Coast-Dance-for-Cancer/1584019218507518?notif_t=fbpage_fan_invite jump on, like, comment and share!
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Be Rewarded For Your Hard Work In Julyimage001

Reward yourself this month at Coffs Coast Health Club. Not only do we provide the latest fitness & strength equipment as well as a huge range of cutting edge classes from the low intensity Seniors & Baby Boomer classes, through fun dance classes like Zumba, to high intensity Boxing, Circuit, Pump & Cycling classes but we would like to reward you for all your hard work.
For the month of July, Coffs Coast Health Club is offering a chance to win a FREE 60 Minute Massage each week with our Fabulous Masseuses for the Fitness Passport Member who visits the most in a week.
To win is simple, take time out of your busy day and treat yourself physically, emotional and spiritually with as many workouts as you can!
A winner will be draw at the end of each week in July, the more you train the more chance to win!

If you would like to know more call us on 6658 6222 or email us at info@coffscoasthc.com.au
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Climb 4 The Chopper!mount-kilimanjaro-np

Have you ever wanted to achieve a goal so big you can’t see it from the bottom, yet you know in 7 days you will have reached the summit?

Picture this. You are 5895 metres high, on the roof of Africa, just about to take your final steps on to the summit of the Dark Continent’s highest mountain; the beautiful and majestic Mt Kilimanjaro. As you reach the summit, the memories, the struggles and tribulations of the past seven days of adventure come flooding back and culminate into one euphoric emotion. At that moment, the feeling of achievement and success in reaching your goal is almost overwhelming…… YOU FEEL ALIVE!!

Peak Potential Adventures in support of Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter give you this opportunity to climb to the summit of the world’s highest free standing mountain from the 4th to the 13th of December!

Feel like this is something you want to be involved with? Contact Russ Holland on 0407 524 752 ASAP to secure your place for the adventure of a lifetime!

As an incentive, Coffs Coast Health Club are offering a FREE Mountain Fit program to help you climb the mountain of success!
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Welcome DanIMG_3683

Dan has recently come on board with us as a Personal Trainer. He is keen to help steer you in the right direction of health and fitness.

Dan has great sporting back ground, playing with the Coffs Harbour Comets Rugby League club and now being back on board with them as their Trainer, helping steer them towards another victory.

Dan has recently returned from the Baltimore in the US where he completed an internship at the headquarters of Under Armour. There he learnt how to train everyone from NFL players to the normal person wanting to get fitter and lose weight. Dan now has another way of making you head to your goals and have fun doing it.

If you see Dan on the floor, have a chat with him and introduce yourself and make him feel welcomed to the Coffs Coast Health Club Team.
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Clearance Sale Now Onimages

The weather has already cooled down so now is the time to update your NEW wardrobe.
We have stock that we need to move to make way for new exciting merchandise coming soon! We need your help to make this happen, and you save money! We think its a win win!

SALE Starts:       Wednesday 1st of July
SALE Finishes:   Friday 31st of July
SAVE 20% off the entire Coffs Coast Health Club Clothing Range!
Remember the best things go first, so hurry in.
See your friendly Reception team to find out more. Hurry while stocks last!
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Flash Sales for the Month of Julyimages (1)

At Coffs Coast Health Club all Supplements are on sale in July!
We are the exclusive stockist of all Nano products on the Mid North Coast
We will be heavily discounting stock at different times throughout the whole month of JULY!

Prices NEVER seen at Coffs Coast Health Club!
All supplements can be taste tested throughout the month
Ask your trainer which supplement will help you reach your goal faster.

Thinking of trying something new? Ask us how we can help you TODAY!
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“Clear your Head, Make a Difference” ~ Why Not Go Dry in July?  Im-Dry-this-July

Dry July is a fundraiser that challenges you to go booze-free for a month to support adults living with cancer.  It helps you get healthy and clear your head while also raising funds for an important cause.

Dry July takes a lighter-hearted approach to raising funds for a serious issue.  You don’t often get the chance to raise money for charity by not doing something! It is a challenge of determination that rewards participants with a great sense of achievement and feeling of wellbeing.

Taking part in Dry July gives you the chance to also focus on yourself – notice your own drinking habits and the value of a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Dry Julyers recognise a multitude of benefits themselves such as increased energy levels, a clearer head and clearer skin!

Dry Julyers are supported by an online community of other participants, ambassadors and partners providing advice, help and encouragement throughout the challenge.

Check out the Wellbeing Website if you plan on kick starting some healthy lifestyle changes with Dry July http://wellbeing.dryjuly.com

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Life isn’t Perfect … What to do When Things Get Messy

April 12, 2015

sometimes-life-gets-messy

Many people live under the common misconception that enlightenment grants them immunity to life’s events. They feel if they reach a heightened state of consciousness they’ll be exempt from getting angry, feeling sorrow or enduring life’s pesky clutter. Some think they’ll achieve solace and harmony at all times, and enlightenment will soak up life’s spills and scrub away the stains.

I’ll tell you right now, it won’t.

No matter where you are on the road to fulfillment, life gets messy. Milk cartons tip over. Businesses fail. Fender benders happen. Friends disappoint you. Messes, big and small, are inevitable. However, in any moment, you have a choice. You can meet challenges as the narrow perception of personality or as the infinite expansiveness of spirit.

When life gets messy, you’re receiving a gift — an opportunity to come into clarity. Say your son comes home from school with bad grades and has little or no interest in improving. This lack of motivation makes you depressed, cross, and frustrated. You’re gripped with worry and your aggravated mind runs wild. “How do my child’s failing marks reflect on me?” “How will others perceive me if he’s not doing well in school?” Your inner monologue declares, “I did something wrong. I’m a horrible parent.” when, in reality, the external event is presenting a chance to embrace your sadness, let go of expectations, and lovingly explore effective solutions for what’s truly affecting your child.

In every moment, you’re either experiencing life as your personality or as your spirit. Living as your personality engages all the aspects of your limited individualized self while navigating life as your spirit allows you to meet all things with spaciousness. Personality brings contraction, spirit brings freedom and both aspects present invaluable prospects for growth.

Disruption occurs so you can acquire a greater awareness of yourself and deal with life’s messes more consciously. Recognizing that everything is Divine allows you to stop judging situations as good or bad, and simply be with what is. In that space of acceptance, you can experience what you need experience and expand into more compassion, gratitude, and self-love.

Life is messy, but you always have a choice. You can cry over spilled milk, or you can grab a mop.

Article sourced from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/panache-desai/what-to-do-when-life-gets-messy_b_7033874.html?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000032