Tuesday, 30 October 2012

A Fitness Test for Everyone

Test Your Fitness

This blog entry is going to show a short fitness test for us to give ourselves a fitness ranking in different areas! There are six different areas and the idea is that we perform each test and record our results. We can then analyse what our results mean. (Test taken from Men’s Health Magazine)

1)      Perform as many press-ups as you can in a row. Record the result.
2)      Stand up and see how many seconds you can balance on one leg.
3)      Now see how long you can hold the plank position for.
4)      Now stand by a wall and jump as high as you can to tap it. Record the height in cm.
5)      Now hang from a pull-up bar, keeping your arms straight. See how many seconds you can hang for.
6)      Finally, run 1K as fast as possible and record the time in minutes.

Analysing the results

The first test is one of strength-endurance. If you scored over 60, this is strong, 40-60 is good, 20-39 is average, and below 20 is weak.

The second test is of the stability of the core. For a strong rating you need to have scored over 120 seconds, good is 60-120 seconds, average is 30-59 seconds and less than 30 seconds is weak.

The third test is simply about the strength of your core. Over 120 seconds is considered a strong core, 60-120 is good, 30-59 is average and any less than this is weak.

The fourth test is about explosive power. To gain a strong rating you need to tap at over 50cm, 36-50cm is good, 25-35 is average, and less than this is weak.

The fifth test is all about the strength of our grip. To hold your grip, in this test, for over 120 seconds gains a strong rating, for 60-120 seconds is good, 30-59 seconds is average and anything below is weak.

The final test is all about cardiovascular fitness. In completing the run in less than 4 minutes is strong, 4.5-5mins is good, 5.5-7mins is average and any longer than 7 minutes is weak.

In completing this test and looking at the results it is important that we do not take them ratings too seriously. However, this can give us a good guide of our fitness levels and can also give us goals to try and achieve.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

B Vitamins

B vitamins were once considered as one, single vitamin as opposed to 8 distinct vitamins. This blog entry will look into B Vitamins as a whole.

What are B Vitamins?

B Vitamins are water soluble vitamins and play an important role in the metabolism of cells. In total there are 8 B Vitamins (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 9, 12) and each has its own name.

Health Benefits of B Vitamins

With there being different individual B Vitamins the health benefits are more widespread. Each one has different properties. However, as a whole, B Vitamins are important and there are a number of health benefits associated with them. Below is a list of some of the main health benefits associated with the consumption of B Vitamins:

  • Help to convert food into energy
  • Helps to maintain healthy skin, hear and muscle tone
  • Promotes the growth of cells
  • Help with red blood cells
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease
  • Can help to fight depression
  • Helps our immune system
  • Can reduce anemia

What are the sources of B Vitamins?

There are a number of natural sources of B Vitamins before we begin looking into supplements. Some of the best sources of B Vitamins are; animal products, asparagus, broccoli, spinach, bananas, potatoes, milk, eggs, yoghurt, nuts, fish and wholegrain rice and cereals.

So it is clear that we definitely need B Vitamins in our diet and luckily there are plenty of foods available that are high in B Vitamins so there is no excuse!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest – Nottingham 2012

On Saturday the 13th of October 2012 I took part in Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest in Nottingham. Almost 4000 people took part. This blog entry will look into this amazing event.
What is Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest?

Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest is a series of adventure runs that currently takes place in 5 cities across the United Kingdom; Nottingham, London, Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff. Each city hosts a 10km (haha, more like 12km) run with a wide range of obstacles placed along the way.

My Preperation for Men's Health Survival of the Fittest

As I exercise regularly, I did not change too much up. I continued with my pull ups, press ups and planks. I added walking lunges to my routine and also made sure I got out there running more.

I ate my normal balanced diet in preparation and on the morning of the run I ate bacon, eggs and toast with a coffee. I also ate a banana about an hour before.

My Run

I ran the event with my friend. We took part in the Nottingham event and we were in wave 5, which started at 11am. It was a chilly morning but this was soon forgotten as the race commenced. The course began and the first obstacle to stand in our way was the hay bales!

 We then ran alongside the river trent completing a variety of obstacles along the way, including an army assault course, a swim across a freezing cold river, cargo nets and a run up and down the stairs in Nottingham Forest's City Ground! 

But the worse was to come. The final challenge, known as the Wall of Fame, is where dreams are made or ended! Teamwork was required for me and my buddy to get over, but we managed it and claimed our medals! 

The results 

For the Nottingham event, 3,769 people finished the race with an average finishing time of 1 hour 36 minutes and 53 seconds. The fastest time completed was 52 minutes and 2 seconds, with the slowest time being 2 hours 47 minutes and 31 seconds. I completed the race in 1 hour 25 minutes and 48 seconds. I finished in the top 30% of finishers – not bad for a first try.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012


Baobab – Superfruit

This blog entry will look into the superfruit – baobab (pronounced bay-oh-bab). It will discuss what baobab fruit is, where it comes from and the health benefits to consumption!

What is baobab?

The baobab fruit is a natural food source, and is naturally found in Africa and Australia. The baobab fruit looks a bit like a coconut and grows on baobab trees. Local people have used many parts of the baobab for centuries.

What are the health benefits of baobab fruit?

This is where the baobab earns a reputation and name as a super fruit. The health benefits of the baobab fruit are fantastic and appear to outweigh many other super fruits (such as the acai berry, for example).

Baobab is very high in vitamin C. It is said that it contains six times the amount of vitamin C than oranges!

It is high in antioxidants (something discussed here) and it is claimed that the baobab contains six times the amount of antioxidants as blueberries, and twice as many as gojiberries.

Although bananas are one of our favourite foods for getting potassium, baobab contains around six times the amount!

Baobab also contains a high level of calcium, around twice as much as milk.

Finally, baobab contains more iron than red meat.


Overall, the baobab fruit has many things going for it, and it does appear to be a genuine super fruit. It is important that, in our western society, we get this into our diet in the right way. It is vital that we get natural baobab, and reap the benefits!