Wednesday, 11 March 2015

Love Your Body!


We all know we should put some time into our relationships with our spouses or partners to build a healthy, loving bond. How many of us, though, put as much effort as we should into our relationship with our health? According to Professor Steven Blair of the University of South Carolina, USA in an article in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, physical inactivity is the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.

"There is now overwhelming evidence that regular physical activity has important and wide-ranging health benefits," he said.

Government guidelines suggest that that adults under 65 should do at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity every week, but as only 14% of UK adults exercise regularly it seems that most of us are failing to reach that target.

A common reason for not keeping up with an exercise programme is poor motivation.

A good tip to help you keep committed is to choose a form of exercise you enjoy. Turn your chosen activity into a social event, and you'll soon be looking forward to it rather than dreading it. Get together with a group of friends, and go for long weekend walks or cycle ride, or take up a team game like netball. Netball's suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and most members enjoy the chance to improve their fitness in a fun, low pressure environment with new friends.

To find out more about Play Simple Netball, a friendly and approachable league organisation in the North West, visit www.simplenetball.co.uk or call 07779 642041.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Make 2015 the year that you get fit!

With research reported in the Daily Mail suggesting that the average person eats around 7,000 calories on Christmas Day alone, it's no wonder that January sees a sharp rise in gym memberships as we try to get ourselves back in shape.
A survey by international market research firm YouGov reveals that while only around a third of us (30%) make defined New Year's Resolutions, over half of that figure (51%) wanted to do more exercise and get fitter, while a similar percentage wanted to lose weight. With only 8% of us sticking to our resolutions, though, many of our good intentions peter out in the face of poor winter weather, dark nights and other commitments.
Writing recently in The Telegraph, fitness blogger and founder of the W10 Performance gym, Jean-Claude Vacassin, explored some of the ways we could try and keep to our fitness resolutions.
"In my opinion, most of us will remain far more engaged and motivated - and will ultimately get far better results - when we train in small groups. Personal training works for focused periods, but eventually, the relationship gets in the way of the training," he says.
If you want to get fit for 2015 and are worried about your motivation levels, then joining a netball league is ideal. It's suitable for all ages and fitness levels, and most members love the social aspects as much as the health benefits. It's a great way to bond with work colleagues, meet new people or simply get fitter, and once you start playing regularly you won't want to stop.

To find out more about Play Simple Netball, a friendly and approachable league organisation in the North West, visit www.simplenetball.co.uk or call 07779 642041.

Monday, 28 May 2012

Simple Tips to Improve Your Diet

Summer's here (at last!) and it's time to dig out your summer wardrobe.  For some of us, that can kickstart a healthy eating plan to feel better about ourselves and maybe shift a few pounds in the process! Here's some Simple tips to help you improve your diet.

Okay first things first: there is a difference between getting fit and losing weight. You can get fit without losing weight and you can lose weight without getting fit, they aren’t the same goal and require different things!

Food and What You Need To Know

There are a few important things you will need to know. Firstly it is that most types of food aren’t bad for you, just the amounts are. Fats, carbs, protein, fruit – they are all good for you if they are balanced well.  The common misconception is that as long as you don’t eat a lot of fats, you won’t become fat. This is not the case! The biggest type of food that causes you to gain fat and weight is complex carbohydrates (i.e. pasta, rice, spaghetti, bread, etc.)

Carbohydrates are the only food your body can produce energy from so your body has adapted to turning the unused carbohydrates into fats and storing it. Complex carbohydrates (foods like pasta & rice, etc.) are made up of long complicated chains that your body can store and use for energy when you need it – for example, eating pasta before playing netball and burning off all the energy it gives during the game. Simple carbohydrates (i.e. sugars) are made of basic chains that force you to have energy straight away. This will give you a ‘sugar rush’ for half an hour or so and then leave you energy-less. For example chocolate bars force a lot of sugar into your body and give you a lot of energy for a short amount of time but then leaves you with no energy again.

Protein is a very good type of food to eat for losing weight. Protein is found in meats, fish and eggs and is used for repair and growth of muscle, skin tissue, bone, hair, nails (etc, etc.) If there is no part of your body that is damaged or need repairing (this is my favourite part) your body will not keep the protein as it cannot store protein!

So bear those simple facts in mind when trying to improve your diet to lose weight! Do not attempt a ‘no carbs’ diet as this is extremely unhealthy and dangerous. Carbohydrates should be eaten every day, but only the necessary amount to how often you exercise. There are, of course, certain heart disease risks that are heightened if you eat a lot of red meats, for example steaks, mince meat. But, white meats (such as chicken breast, turkey breast, etc.) do not have these risks attached and contain more protein than red meat. Tuna is one of the only foods to have a high protein count and nothing else (i.e. no carbs,) but eating too much tuna may increase risks of mercury poisoning, so try to limit yourself to one tin a day at the most.

Combining Your Diet Knowledge with Simple Exercise

The best way to lose weight is to use the above dietary knowledge to form an effective diet plan and to do fat burning exercise. Fat burning exercises are usually the same pace as a ‘power walk’ (unless you are very healthy – then it will most likely be a light jog) that should keep your heart rate at about 120 beats per minute. This kind of exercise burns off the most fat compared to the amount of effort needed, however it does need to be done for longer – usually about 50 – 60 minutes to see better results.

This type of exercise does not improve your health. However, playing netball does. Running around the netball court for 40 minutes isn’t as easy as it looks is it? That’s because your heart is most likely beating at around 140 beats per minute – or 65% of its maximum capacity.  This is the cardio zone which is the best for improving your health and fitness – in particular your cardio vascular system (lungs and heart.)


Metabolism – What to eat and when

Metabolism has a massive impact on when you should and shouldn’t eat certain things. Whatever you eat for breakfast is burned off all day, so you should have a medium size, slow releasing breakfast – i.e. porridge, Weetabix, etc. You should aim to have a snack between breakfast and lunch – maybe a chicken sandwich on wholemeal bread (whole meal bread has less of a ‘starchy’ inner layer than white or brown bread). 12 o’clock noon is the time of day where your metabolism is at its fastest, so if you were going to have some crisp, chocolate or sweets (or anything unhealthy) this would be the time to have it – after your lunch of course! Your metabolism is at its slowest in the evening and at night, so you should aim to eat your dinner before 6pm. Since your body’s metabolism is slow at this time, try to keep the meal fairly light on carbohydrates as the energy that they give you will not be used at this time and will just be converted into fat (unless you exercise at 10 or 11pm.)

You should eat roughly 2-3 hours before doing any sort of training – particularly playing netball which involves a lot of running and more physically demanding work than fat burning exercise. As I said before, the best thing to eat before exercise is complex carbohydrates (rice, pasta etc.) as these give you energy to store and burn off later on, in training!

Remember, the only way to lose weight is to use up more energy than you are putting in – only slightly though, don’t go crazy!

Please note: All advice given should be taken with consideration to your current diet. Don’t change things too fast as this will shock your body and may cause you to lose a high amount of weight in a short amount of time, which can be unhealthy in some circumstances. A weight loss of 2 lb per week is a healthy amount, although any loss of weight is an improvement.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

Netball Nutters join the Race For Life

I’m sure a number of you will remember Debbie Morgan, our A Award umpire who umpired for the Simple Netball League on Mondays and Wednesdays evenings at the Velodrome until late last year.

Debbie suddenly became ill with stomach cramps in October 2011 and was then diagnosed with bowel cancer. Since that day, she has overcome huge obstacles in her fight against cancer.

It is for this reason that she is inviting all the teams from the Simple Netball League to join her in the Race for Life Manchester, a 5K Run at Heaton Park on Sunday 22 July 2012 at 11:00am.

Debbie has invited not only the netball teams from Simple but also netball teams from other leagues across Greater Manchester.  She is aiming to get at least one person from each team in Manchester to represent their team or club.

The group will be called the Netball Nutters and it’s guaranteed to be a very enjoyable day.

This event is not competitive, so you can walk, run or jog the course at your own pace. Those who jog or run often complete the 5k course in about 30 – 45 minutes and walkers take about an hour but there is no pressure to finish in a certain time.

The aim is to raise money for Cancer Research and for the Beechwood Cancer Care Centre, as well as encourage participation in this event.

It would be great to see lots of players from the Simple Netball League running (or walking!) on the day!

If you would like to join the Netball Nutters in their 5K run, please go to:


There are several Race for Life 5k’s at Heaton Park that weekend.  Please select Sunday 22nd July 2012 at 11.00am.
Choose to enter as a Group and use the Group ID DM40884 to become part of the Netball Nutters.

Please join Debbie and put netball on the map to support the fight against cancer.
I've already entered so I’ll hopefully see you there!

Jo

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


As Simple Netball League’s indoor leagues draw to a close, our thoughts turn to the summer and how different our outdoor netball leagues can feel!  It’s not just about the challenge of trying to shoot with the wind swirling; the summer leagues often feel more social and many teams go for a drink after their games.
Our summer venues

Didsbury is a good example of this culture and we return to Didsbury Sports Centre for our sixth summer of netball (on newly resurfaced courts, no less!). 

William Hulme Grammar School (WHGS) is another popular venue for our summer leagues and it’s good to be able to invite more teams to play here over the summer.  I expect a small stampede in September when it’s time to sign up for the indoor leagues at WHGS....

St Bedes College in Alexandra Park is a new venue for our Manchester Leagues.  The courts are hidden away behind a tall wall and some even taller trees in this quiet location near Chorlton. 

We will also be staying on at the Velodrome in Sportcity on Wednesday evenings for our only indoor league over the summer.  It’s been very warm in there recently so I’m hoping they’ll turn down the heating very soon!  With the Olympics on the horizon though, I think the wishes of the cyclists will be at the forefront of their minds, and maybe not ours!
Drink anyone?

The light nights and sunny weather always encourage people to be a bit more social and there are plenty of options in both Didsbury and Chorlton if you’re going to a swift bevy after your game.  The Didsbury (http://www.didsburylife.com/profile/217/the-didsbury.html) is always a good option when the weather’s nice and you can sit outside and watch the world go by.  It’s also good if you’re a bit sweaty after your match so you can cool off!

You’re spoilt for choice in Chorlton when it comes to bars and they’re pretty much all just a stone’s throw from WHGS.  They all offer a good vibe and a refreshing drink after a game – what more could you ask for? If you’re looking for a bite to eat, The Horse and Jockey at the end of Beech Rd have a good menu (www.horseandjockeychorlton.com) and some interesting independent beers on tap. It is a bit further than Wilbraham Rd but maybe worth the trip!

If you think the netball teams playing at the Velodrome will miss out over the summer then think again!  There’s a lovely cafe bar near the entrance to the National Cycling Centre which is well worth a visit, especially if you’re looking to refuel before you game.  It evens sells alcohol so you can still enjoy a beer or two after your game if you so wish!

Make the most of this summer and enjoy your evenings with your Simple Netball team mates...and raise a glass for us too!




Summer socials....

As Simple Netball League’s indoor leagues draw to a close, our thoughts turn to the summer and how different our outdoor netball leagues can feel! It’s not just about the challenge of trying to shoot with the wind swirling; the summer leagues often feel more social and many teams go for a drink after their games.
Our summer venues

Didsbury is a good example of this culture and we return to Didsbury Sports Centre for our sixth summer of netball (on newly resurfaced courts, no less!).

William Hulme Grammar School (WHGS) is another popular venue for our summer leagues and it’s good to be able to invite more teams to play here over the summer. I expect a small stampede in September when it’s time to sign up for the indoor leagues at WHGS....

St Bedes College in Alexandra Park is a new venue for our Manchester Leagues. The courts are hidden away behind a tall wall and some even taller trees in this quiet location near Chorlton.

We will also be staying on at the Velodrome in Sportcity on Wednesday evenings for our only indoor league over the summer. It’s been very warm in there recently so I’m hoping they’ll turn down the heating very soon! With the Olympics on the horizon though, I think the wishes of the cyclists will be at the forefront of their minds, and maybe not ours!
Drink anyone?

The light nights and sunny weather always encourage people to be a bit more social and there are plenty of options in both Didsbury and Chorlton if you’re going to a swift bevy after your game. The Didsbury (http://www.didsburylife.com/profile/217/the-didsbury.html) is always a good option when the weather’s nice and you can sit outside and watch the world go by. It’s also good if you’re a bit sweaty after your match so you can cool off!

You’re spoilt for choice in Chorlton when it comes to bars and they’re pretty much all just a stone’s throw from WHGS. They all offer a good vibe and a refreshing drink after a game – what more could you ask for? If you’re looking for a bite to eat, The Horse and Jockey at the end of Beech Rd have a good menu (www.horseandjockeychorlton.com) and some interesting independent beers on tap. It is a bit further than Wilbraham Rd but maybe worth the trip!

If you think the netball teams playing at the Velodrome will miss out over the summer then think again! There’s a lovely cafe bar near the entrance to the National Cycling Centre which is well worth a visit, especially if you’re looking to refuel before you game. It evens sells alcohol so you can still enjoy a beer or two after your game if you so wish!

Make the most of this summer and enjoy your evenings with your Simple Netball team mates...and raise a glass for us too!