7 Ways to Think Like An Athlete


We admire athletes for their focused approach to performance. They tap into discipline, strength and positive thinking and get results. Think like an athlete and perform better at sport – and in life!

 

chau-cedric-523130-unsplash (1)

 

  1. Think big. Be limitless in your thought process. In a special article for the New England Journal of Medicine, the authors reveal that the more ambitious the weight loss goal, the bigger the success!
    However, it also makes sense to start small, and remember the phrase, ‘every journey starts with a single step’. The moment you make a commitment to getting started is when things start to happen.
  2. Be mindful. In the run up to Wimbledon 2013, it was widely reported how tennis player Novak Djokovic practised both mindfulness and meditation, paying regular visits to a Buddhist temple in London. Mindfulness is a method of focusing on the current moment through activities such as meditation, yoga and breathing.A 10-year study of mindfulness in sport suggested that mindfulness is effective because it helps athletes focus without distraction. “I have to really focus on the job in hand,” Jessica Ennis told Women’s Fitness. “If your mind wanders, you don’t get the most out of the session,” she added.
  3. Endure the pain. “That’s the closest I will come to knowing what it’s like to have a baby,” said Sir Bradley Wiggins when he broke the world record for distance cycled in an hour in the summer of 2015.Don’t get comfortable! Athletes are happy to put up with pain and a review from 2012 revealed that they have a higher pain threshold than the average. Push out of your comfort zone and keep in mind the phrase made famous by Susan Jeffers’ book: Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway.
  4. Have a vision. Visualise and rehearse in your mind your best performance. In the film Rush, there’s a scene when world champion racing driver, James Hunt, drives the entire course in his mind, holding his steering wheel and talking through each and every twist and turn. Visualising your success, your race, a slimmer healthier you in action gets results.
  5. Believe in yourself. A study in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology aimed to examine what mental toughness was all about. They found of the 12 attributes that define mental toughness an “unshakable self-belief in your ability to achieve your competition goals” emerged as the most important.
  6. Repeat a mantra. Positive self-talk works. Researchers have shown that using simple positive phrases, such as “I can” or “ball-target” help with both power-based and more precision-based skills according to the British Psychological Society.
  7. Celebrate success. Mo has the ‘Mobot’ and Usain Bolt has the ‘lightening’. It’s vital to celebrate your success as it confirms that all the work and commitment was worth it – so bask in your glory.

 

Introducing our Shop

Screen Shot 2016-04-01 at 4.05.49 pm

We’ve embarked on a journey of building a health service that can help you achieve your health goals, whether you simply want to become more active and eat well, or your managing an active athletic lifestyle

Amplify’s small and passionate team have been working tirelessly on a revolutionary set of services, that will help to transform your health and life. And we are proud to launch a vitamins and supplements store with a wide range of health and fitness products, as our first milestone.

We are dedicated to providing a wide range of products and brands, that we know most of you are taking today, to maintain your health and to supplement your active lifestyle. And we promise what we are building in this store keeps very much in line with our broader health service offering and will always add value to your life.

If you want to continue to hear about our developments, you can drop us your email address here.

We’ll send on more updates as we go along!

 

 

7 Nutrition Tweaks for Active People

If you exercise and maintain a healthy and active life, it makes sense to ensure you are in the driving seat when it comes to nutrition, too. Here are some easy tips to help you make changes for the better NOW!

IMG_4455

  1. Choose ‘active-friendly’ nutrients

One in five adults and one in six children may have low vitamin levels of the ‘sunshine’ vitamin – an estimated 10 million people across England alone, according to NICE recommendations from 2014. Vitamin D is essential for active people as it’s been shown to help build strong bones and boost muscle health. Other essentials for anyone keeping active include magnesium, which is lost when we sweat, and essential fatty acids for a healthy heart. And take antioxidants to protect against damaging free radicals, which according to studies are produced when we train, particularly if it’s hard enough to feel exhausted. Try sports antioxidants from Reflex to beat oxidative stress.

  1. Eat before exercise

Before a run, cycle or cardio event, endurance athletes should focus on consuming slow release carbs and allow time to digest the fuel (this will vary from person to person, but for most it’s around two hours). If you’re in a hurry grab a carb bar, such as SIS’s Go Energy Bar. If you’re lifting weights opt for lean protein and carbs, for example lean chicken and noodles or for time-pressed gym bunnies try a Promax Bar from Maxi Nutrition.

  1. Fuel up on the move

If you’re working out aerobically for 90 minutes or more you’ll need to top up your glycogen stores and keep on top of electrolytes. The American College of Sports Medicine recommend we fuel every 45-60 minutes during a long workout, taking on board 30-60 grams of carbohydrate (120-240 calories) per hour. For ideas on what to eat during your workout visit the Amplify Shop.

  1. Get Carbs on board after your workout

After a long run or bike ride, or hard session at the gym, you’ll need to boost your carb and protein levels for energy and repair. “Choose a three-to-one ratio, carb:protein if you’ve trained hard and re-fuel within the first hour – the acute phase of recovery,” suggests Dr Justin Roberts from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge. Unrefined, or liquid sources of carbs are a good choice as they will digest quicker, try SIS Rapid Rego Recovery and for more ideas, check out all our post workout nutrition products.

  1. Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is vital for total health as well as maintaining good performance in sport and it’s why we’ve included a hydration measure on our dashboard (coming soon!). When you are exercising and active it’s essential to stay on top of hydration levels, particularly as the weather heats up in the summer months. Try Zero Extreme tablets, which have the added benefits of extra vitamins, or Higher Nature’s Performax sachets with added electrolytes, great for post workout rehydration.

  1. Eat for your body type

Precision Nutrition, the world’s largest online nutrition coaching company make the recommendations based on body type. Ectomorphs (longer limbs and skinnier bodies – a typical runner) metabolise carbohydrates better than other body types. The recommendation is for a 55:25:20 diet (carbs: protein: fats). Mesomorphs (stockier, muscular athletic types) need a 40:30:30 diet. And endomorphs (rounder and heavier) are recommended a 25:35:40 combination.

  1. Get rid of refined sugar

Eddie Izzard, the 54 year old comedian who recently ran 27 marathons in 27 days, gave up ‘refined sugar’ three years ago, ‘Once you get yourself off refined sugar, you do get to a much better place,’ he told the BBC. The simplest way to kick-start going sugar-free is to get label savvy. If sugar is in the Red, don’t buy it! Hidden sugar is in most foods, even those we perceive to be healthy. For example, a 100g portion of granola can have around 13g of sugar. Swap sugar-laden cereal for protein, for example, boiled eggs, which will fill you up, and give you energy.

Looking for sugar free fuel for your training – check out the range at the Amplify Shop.

 

 

Essential Fatty Acids (EFA)

For a healthy heart, mind and body, make sure you are getting essential fatty acids.

robson-hatsukami-morgan-280172-unsplash


What are essential fatty acids (EFAs)?

EFAs are unsaturated fatty acids that are essential to human health, but cannot be manufactured in the body. “The two main essential fats that we must absolutely get from food are alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA (the ‘mother’ Omega-3 fatty acid) and linoleic acid or LA (Omega-6),” explains Lucy Ann Prideaux.

Humans have some potential to convert ALA to the highly-beneficial longer-chain Omega-3 fats, EPA and DHA. Both, however are already present in oily fish such as salmon and mackerel, as well as seafood and some sea vegetables (see below).


Benefits of EFAs

Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are important to the normal functioning of all cells of the body and play a critical role in the development and maintenance of proper brain function; heart function; normal vision; and the production of hormone-like molecules that modulate immune and inflammatory responses. EPA and DHA are strongly associated with healthy cardiovascular function, and DHA is essential to brain development and visual health.

These two polyunsaturated fats can, according to the British Heart Foundation (BHF), “reduce blood cholesterol, including triglycerides”. They are recommended for a healthy heart, preventing the blockage of arteries as well as help prevent heart disease and stroke. Studies of heart attack victims have found that supplementing the diet or increasing consumption of omega-3 fatty acids daily can reduce the risk of stroke, follow-on heart attacks, and death.

They can also relieve the symptoms associated with ulcerative colitis, menstrual pain, and joint pain.

Deficiency of essential fatty acids may cause the following:

  • decreased immune function
  • depression
  • dry/scaly skin
  • hormone imbalances
  • joint pain and inflammation


EFAs and Fat Loss

“EFAs have been found to inhibit fat storage, increase the chemical process ‘beta oxidation’ (i.e. fat burning), improve insulin sensitivity, and increase thermogenesis (i.e. calorie burning),” explains Lucy Ann Prideaux, “and therefore have a very positive effect on fat loss,” she adds.


Food sources

  • LA is commonly found in nuts, seeds and their cold-pressed oils, as well as vegetable oils and animal foods.
  • ALA is found in plant sources such as nuts and seeds and most abundant in walnuts, hempseeds, flaxseed, chia seed and the oils from these foods, as well as rapeseed oil, red meat and dairy.

Oily fish contains EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) fatty and its recommended we eat it two to three times a week (see suggestions below). “This is regardless of whether we’ve had a heart attack or not due to a change in guidelines from NICE (National Institute for Care and Excellence),” say the BHF. Do check on mercury levels, PCBs and other toxins in deep-water fish such as tuna.

  • Anchovies
  • Bluefish
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Salmon (wild has more omega-3s than farmed)
  • Sardines
  • Sturgeon
  • Lake trout
  • Tuna


Should you supplement?

  • For heart disease prevention and management, a 500mg combination DHA /EPA from fish oil per day is often recommended. For optimal brain and immune system functioning, 1000mg/day is the preferred dose.
  • Pregnant women and mothers, nursing mothers, young children, and women who might become pregnant should choose supplements over potentially contaminated fish. Omega-3 fatty acids are critical for fetal neurodevelopment and may be important for healthy birth weight as well. It is worth noting that supplements made from the body of fish, often called omega-3 fish oil supplements are safe to take in pregnancy. But those made from the liver of fish, such as cod liver oil, are not recommended to take in pregnancy.
  • Note: fish oil has both EPA and DHA. Algae oil has DHA and may be a good option for people who don’t eat fish.