To an extent, our health and fitness journey has a pre-determined path — but there’s still room to break free

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“To what extent is our physical destiny set? Is there any point in training for skills and traits that don’t come naturally?…How do we maximise our genetic gifts and minimise the impact of our weaknesses? — Adam Sinicki

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of having limits. And yet…

Imagine two athletes, under the same program, giving 100% — they will not achieve the same results.

This is the basis of our genetic gifts — and limits. It is the idea that, irrespective of our effort or our regime, our bodies have — to an…


From nurseries to prams, a recent BBC article (amongst others) helps us revisit what it means to parent

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“Does he have his own room yet?”

Perhaps the strangest thing I’ve experienced in parenting is the idea that, from just a few months old, we send our son or daughter to another room. By themselves, in the dark, in the — quite literal to them — unknown.

It’s strange because before becoming a dad, I never questioned it. In fact, I was quite ready (and hoping) to spend most of my nights as a parent in relative peace, protected by the old saying “sleep like a baby” (the most painful phrase ever). …


An unbreakable spirit

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“Come back with this shield, or upon it.” — A Spartan mother’s farewell to her son before he went to war.

Confession: I wanted to be a Spartan.

When King Leonidas (re: ripped, Scottish accent-wielding Gerard Butler) led his 300 Spartans (re: other ripped actors) against King Xerxes and his million (more likely, 150–250,000) strong army, never before had I been so motivated to train.

“This… is… SPARTA!”

Those lines, those abs, and the popular 300 rep workouts that ensued defined years of training post-2006, and still have a following even this day. The reality, of course, is always different…


There are two parts to the warmup…

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The big questions we all ask ourselves: What is love? What is the meaning of life? And what — we wonder— is the perfect warmup?

I remember running a lot before sports in school. Running before basketball, running before cricket, running before, well, running. Because running, as all sophisticated sports teachers explained to me, is a warmup.

Science and experience have demonstrated time and time again that a warmup is needed for almost all exercise, training, and athletic endeavour. It primes the body and the mind. It’s essential, according to research, in reducing injury and also in maximising our performance


From our poop to our posture, basic every day health is more important than ever

Source: Unsplash. Amy Reed.

A few years ago, the brand Squatty Potty released an ad featuring a prince, a unicorn, and a lesson on how to poop properly. And I was mesmerised. It turned an otherwise boring or embarrassing topic into a funny and informative one.

The result? The (re)discovery, for many — including myself — of pooping correctly.

Because yes, thanks to the humble toilet, most people simply don’t poop optimally anymore. Myself included.

Thousands of years of evolution — and pooping in a squat position — has meant that anything but a squat to eliminate will likely squeeze our anal sphincter and…


Apparently, it’s a sensitive topic

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When I was young and it was just me and my mum and the rest of the world, she would — as parents showing their affection often do — hug me, hold me, and kiss me. On the lips.

And I thought nothing of it. It was love, pure intentions, a physical manifestation of our close bond. Until it wasn’t. Until it became different, odd, and quite frankly creepy.

And it was a girlfriend who pointed it out to me.

So I was pretty late coming to the realisation that parents kissing their children on the lips is somehow wrong…


Expand your arsenal

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“When it comes to working out, you probably rotate through an arsenal of well-known exercises — and there’s nothing wrong with that. But what you should also know is that there are a lot of uncommon exercises with which you will benefit from a lot.” — Alex, Movement Coach

You’ve faced off against the pull-up, come eye-to-eye with the push-up, bowed to the squat, and lowered yourself in humility to the dip. …


I stopped months ago, and it cleans itself, so why bother?

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Small Boy doesn’t like the bath. Or the shower. And definitely doesn’t like having his hair washed.

And we fought for months. He kicked, he screamed — some days, I was convinced there was more water from the tears streaming down his face than the water in the bath. And as his hair grew longer and longer (he has VERY long hair at nearly 3, having never been cut except the fringe), it became more and more difficult. More and more of a pain. More tears…

Until there were none. We just. Stopped. Washing.

But doesn’t his hair smell? Isn’t…


Embrace your failures — we can all learn a lot from losing

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My jaw, like dough. Beaten, kneaded. The feel of it, soft and swollen. And then I fall…

I’m not a fighter, and yet I’ve fought a lot in the dojo (and, unfortunately, once or twice outside). I’ve clocked in several thousand hours of martial arts, but really it’s the discipline, the routine, the versatility in the training that I’ve loved.

I’m not a fighter, and yet I’ve learnt so much from fighting.

Because fighting — despite its connotations of aggression, anger, violence — does have a beauty and wisdom to it. This isn’t street fighting after all, but a “dance”…


Yoga isn’t the perfect workout after all — here’s how to make sure you aren’t missing out

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Yoga offers so much. It’s a philosophy, a way of life, it’s spiritual development — and it’s also great for keeping physically fit. As a qualified yoga teacher and overall enthusiast, I believe that yoga is an incredible discipline, on the spiritual, mental, as well as the physical plane. And yet…

It’s not a ‘perfect’ system either.

Many yoga converts are drawn to the yoga poses, or asanas. It’s the basis of most classes in the West. There’s beauty in it, almost a perfect symmetry in it as you’re guided through sun salutations (surya namaskar) or the flows of Ashtanga…

Jamie D Stacey

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