On Friday nite I was feeling a bit stressed making my way home from the gym. I had to be up at 4.30am Saturday morning to head to Bath for a mentorship and I still had to pack and get a few things done before being able to get to bed.

However once I got back to the apartment my stress disappeared quite quickly. I’m a big fan of both cats and dogs and our new flatmate needed to mind his kids cat (Willow) for the night. I hit it off with her quite quickly and ended up playing with her for a good while before going to bed and having a great sleep.

On Saturday at the mentorship, I got my lunch at the break and ended up sitting beside Tom (who runs them) and a Functional Medicine Specialist who spoke a huge amount about health and fitness in general. Considering that between them they have about 55 years experience working in health and fitness along with hundreds of thousands of pounds invested in their ongoing education, my strategy was to keep my mouth shut and listen to as much info as I could get off them.

And for them, the major “secret” to getting people fitter and healthier for the long term?

Working on improving their daily health habits over time…

This is something we like to work on in here in the Christchurch Fitness Centre and our online programs as lot. Because developing long term habits is the only way that really works. If you’re wondering what are some habits you could improve and add to your daily lifestyle, below are 3 of the many that were covered on the mentorship:

  1. Staying Alive: Our bodies are programmed to make sure we stay alive and are constantly on the lookout for danger – this goes back to caveman days. Problem is that although we might not be getting chased by lions these days, there is a lot of constant stress which the body has to protect us from and the knock on effect being that things like our digestive system are being compromised. Taking some time to manage this stress through things like meditation, getting out into nature etc will have huge benefits for our health.
  2. Chewing: Another thing that came up again and again was the fact that we need to look after our digestion. Even taking some extra time to be present, take a few breaths and actually chew the food that we are eating is vital with all of the chaos going on mentioned above.
  3. F.Lux for the Laptop: One of the habits that came up again and again was getting enough good quality sleep. A big contributor to a lack of sleep is the fact that so many people are always on their phone or laptop before bed. Ideally we should have these devices off for the evening but an option pointed out was installing the F.LUX app onto our devices which reduces the blue light which comes from them and allows our brains to switch off more naturally at night.
  4. Hugging it Out:The fact that we are losing our sense of community was also made over the weekend. Again the rise of social media and mobile apps were in the firing line as we don’t have the sense of connection with other people that was there in the past. Going back to point one it makes us feel less safe in our lives. So the solution was to make sure that you are spending time in places you enjoy being and feel part of a community, giving more people hugs (and we were in a gym where people work and train very hard), and if necessary getting a pet to help release feel good hormones like Oxytocin and Endorphins.

Obviously the next step for me is to make sure Willow stays more often…


Shane is a Coach (and Owner) at the Christchurch Fitness Centre. An experienced fitness professional who has helped numerous people lose weight, tone up and develop their confidence, Shane has a strong interest in continuous education and is doing /has completed mentorships/courses with (among others), the Irish Strength Institute, Body Development, Training for Warriors (level 2), Precision Nutrition, Steve Maxwell, Sigma Nutrition, Zuu, Darby Training Systems and Mike Mahler, TRX, and the Advanced Coaching Academy.