BAMLife Issue 2 - Page 23

Read more at BAM Founder, David Gordon studied sport science at Loughborough University, was an international pole vaulter for 10 years before man-hauling unsupported across Greenland amongst other endurance experiences. After taking up athletics again recently, he is now current European over-45 pole vault champion. and well-being I love training and fitness but in the world of health and ‘well-being’ it’s only part of the picture. Here are some brief thoughts to chew on. Hydration Water is life. From a health perspective, it helps everything. For daily wellbeing, lack of proper hydration causes physical and mental fatigue, and poor performance in anything you do as well as  aches and pains in joints and muscles. If you’re drinking enough, your urine will be pretty clear. This is not breaking news. The elephant in the room is actually the chemicals, in particular, oestrogen, in our tap water. The many toxins and impurities in our water supply are not good. A cheap solution is a carbon water filter and your own drinking bottle (use bamboo charcoal as a perfect natural purifier).  Sleep Why does Roger Federer ensure 11-12 hours sleep a night and Usain Bolt insist good sleep is the most important single element of his training regime? It’s more important than we imagine. Sleep is fundamental to body tissue repair, the right hormones and mental agility, especially memory (although that’s a lost cause in my case). Sleep deprivation is linked to cortisol, the stress hormone but if you can get to bed early and sleep well, melatonin release is increased. Melatonin is a platform for general health and well-being. Sleeping in a dark room, reducing ambient and blue (computer) light after 9pm all help too.  My new year’s resolution was to get more sleep, which has been difficult but I’m hanging in there. Diet Eat less, exercise more! Actually there is a massive fundamental that doesn’t get enough exposure: the health of your gut. The future of medicine, in my humble opinion, is stool analysis. Yes my friends, we’re headed towards pooing into plastic bags, it tells us everything, a full confession. Until that glorious day arrives, what can we do? An easy win is probiotics, live bio-yogurt full of good bacteria that you need in your gut. There’s a war going on in your gut right now, with countless different bacteria, good ones and bad ones, so why not tip the scales in favour of the good ones? It also helps weight loss as it reduces cravings. We also need Fibre (or ‘prebiotics’) with fruit, beans and pulses which also promote the growth of good bacteria in your gut. Funnily enough, hold the front page: refined sugary foods are bad and a balanced natural diet with live yogurt and fibre are good. (we need 18-30g RDA – Recommended Daily Allowance as part of our diet). Goals Having a purpose and goals to look forward to is what makes life worth living, isn’t it? Three years ago I discovered masters (veterans) athletics, which let’s face it, matters to no-one except those involved. I love those big days in an arena in some far flung place when I gather with other usual suspects and do my thing. On those days I feel alive. I can’t wait till I’m 50, enter a new age group and will be young and competitive! Everyone is different but we all need to have those punctuation marks in our calendar, like a competition or event, or just something to look forward to. So, in summary, you are captain of your own ship, so take responsibility, make a plan and go for it. Dave. 23