5 things you need for a healthier life

Information about improving your health can often times be confusing and complicated. Here are five easy to follow steps that help you achieving a better lifestyle.

1.      Chew your food

This may sound quite funny but most of us don`t spend enough time enjoying their food. Having just a quick lunch break in your busy schedule might be more detrimental to your health as you might think.

Chewing your food properly helps your body to better digest and absorb all the nutrients you need. Even more important, taking time to eat prevents you from overeating.

The signal that your digestive system sends towards the brain to say that you had enough is not very fast. It usually takes up to 20 minutes for your gut to realise the amount of food it encounters. Since most people finish their meal in much less time they tend to overeat.

So next time you have a meal pace yourself and enjoy your food instead of gulping down your plate as fast as possible.


2.      Kill your TV

How much TV do you watch every day? The average Australian spends more than 3hours daily in front of the Zombie box. Instead of wasting your time watching other people building houses, cooking meals or arguing with each other you could do something productive with your time.

Read a book, take a walk, spend some time with your friends and family or tackle a project that you always wanted to start.

It is up to you how you want to use your time. One thing is for sure, you can`t get it back.  


3.      Be more active

This is one of the biggest issues we face today. A majority of diseases and degenerative health issues like osteoporosis can be linked to physical inactivity. Being physically active can help you reduce stress and enjoy and overall healthier life.

That being said, you don`t need to work out countless hours in the gym or run on the treadmill like a hamster in a wheel. Regularly is more important than intense. There are many options available, just go with whatever suits you best.


4.      Don`t eat garbage

We are surrounded by unhealthy food choices that give have no nutritional value and can create a lot of problems for your health when consumed. Avoid processed food and all products with wast amounts of sugar and artificial ingredients.

Get in the habit of reading the food labels on the products you buy. You might be surprised what you will find. As a general guideline, avoid all food choices that contain words you can`t pronounce or a series of numbers that code some artificial extra.

Instead, switch to veggies, eggs, meat, legumes, nuts and some fruit. Take time to prepare your meals (follow rule 2 to free some time).


5.      Manage your stress

Deadlines, assignments, money issues and a ton of urgent projects. There are a lot of things that can cause stress and affect your health, physically and mentally.

Stress is one of the major health issues of our time and it is often times not possible to eliminate the factors causing it. That is why it is important to know how to cope with stress. There are different approaches that can help you.

Physical activity is definitely a good idea. Meditation and training your mindset can also be affective. Whatever you choose, make sure you find your way to deal with stress.  


Today is the first day of a better life. Take actions and move forward. One step at a time

And if you need help with your decisions, feel free to pay us a visit or just drop us a message.

This might kill your children

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare 1 in 4 Australian children are overweight or obese, and the numbers keep on climbing.  It has become an epidemic throughout modern civilisations Being overweight is not just a problem when it comes to performing in sports or moving in daily life. Excess weight is a major risk factor for a huge variety of diseases ranging from cardiovascular problems to cancer.

The earlier our children become overweight the more likely they will develop long-term health issues. And it is not the lack of movement that most people suspect to be the main culprit. Although this is part of the problem it has a fairly small impact compared to the most important factor, nutrition.

What and how we eat influences our body weight far more than any other parameter. 

But how did our children become so malnourished? Is it that parents just don’t care about good nutrition any more? With some that might be true, but then again there must be other reasons that add up to the equation.

If we take a look at the products that target children, we can see where things go wrong. More than 90% of the products that are “designed” for children should only be consumed in very small amounts, if at all. Big food corporations try very hard to convince children to consume their products. The total budget for commercials by soda and fast food companies is more than 10 times the amount spent for healthy food choices. The reason for this is simply profit. When comparing these products to vegetables and fruit the gross profit margin for junkfood is about 3 times higher.  To a big worldwide operating company that is all that counts.  There is no interest in healthy children.

And they really try hard to get the attention of your children and hook them to their product as early as possible. The food industry spends billions of dollars to turn poor nutritional quality food and drinks into gold. Toys, popular children’s characters, flashy colors and everything else that makes children’s eyes brighter is used or better abused. Who cares that the product is full of sugar and artificial stuff that has a closer resemblance with plastic than actual food? The ingredients are specifically designed to overload the brains reward center and trick it into loving the taste, even though the nutritional value is zero.

It is somehow perverted, that companies that produce some sort of junkfood sponsor for all major sport events. They have a very powerful lobby that influences political decisions whenever possible.

So what can you do?

Educate your children about junkfood. Let them know what they eat and help them make better choices.

Try not to buy any products that are considered bad food choices. Since profit is the number one reason they are on the market, you as a consumer can influence the market with your choices. Every choice counts.

Don’t let soda companies and other junkfood producers sell their products at schools. Take the influence away from your kids.

Ultimately you as the parent have the final say in your childs education.  What steps are you going to take at home and how will you influence their environments?



The way of setting Goals and Achieving them

Most people you meet have at least some unfulfilled dreams and things they always wanted to accomplish. While other people are really good at achieving things in life.

So what are the differences with achievers from non-achievers? Luck? Maybe. Hard work? Definitely. They have goals? Bingo.

But wait a minute, don`t we all have goals? Well, yes but there is a huge difference between a goal and a goal with a plan. When you ask someone what their dream is, you usually get answers like: “I wanna have money” or in our industry “I wanna be fit”. These are very lofty and frustrating goals. But it gets worse. When you ask why they want it they usually give you some answer like “because it`s good” or “my life would be better this way”.

The key to fulfilling your dreams and achieving your goals starts with your own motivation. It`s the “how bad do you want it" rule. Lack of motivation stems usually from two things –

1.      Having no clear goal

2.      Having no goal at all

If you want to achieve something you first need a clear vision what you want. You want to have money? How much do you want? By when do you want to have it? Want to be fit? What is fit for you? Running a marathon, squat 2 times bodyweight or being able to play with your kids?

Set a goal. Even if you have to adjust it a little later down the road. Don`t worry if you set the bar high. It is much better to set a high target and miss it just slightly then to set a low one and achieve it without problems.

You need a clear vision of your why. If you want to stay motivated you need to know why you are doing what you are doing. Without a purpose you will quit. Don`t waste your time with things you don`t want.

Once you are sure of what exactly it is you want and why, you can start to break down the bigger picture into smaller sections. For example, if you want to get in shape and be able to squat 100kg in 12 months from now, you should set smaller targets like I will train 3 times per week. From there you can plan your weekly goals and even daily goals. It doesn`t have to be always the big step that propels you right to the top. As long as you keep working on your dreams and keep moving forward you will achieve the best possible result.

Start now! Write  down your goals and what will motivate you. Work out a plan. Pin your goal somewhere where you see it every day and follow through.

The effects of sitting

A few thousand years ago our ancestors made a giant step in evolution by climbing down the trees and learning to walk upright. This changed the future of the entire human race. In the last few decades though, it seems like we are working very hard to reverse that upright posture again. The main reason for that is our self-designed modern environment. We try to make life easy for us and avoid anything that is not comfortable. Unfortunately the number one thing we try to avoid is moving. We take our car for a 2 minute drive to avoid 6 minutes of walking, we take elevators, escalators and everything else that helps us avoid this nasty thing called movement. Sitting has replaced physical activity in our daily life. Be it in the car on the way to work and back, sitting in a chair all day or the hours people spend on the couch watching TV or playing video games. Our modern way of “moving” already has a giant impact on our health and it`s not a good one.

The biggest problem is that our bodies are not designed to live under such lazy conditions. We are supposed to be physical active. As a result we see more and more people that suffer from being overweight, having bad posture, having back pain and a ton of other problems that are associated with physical inactivity in general and prolonged sitting in specific.

So what exactly happens to our bodies when we sit around in our chairs and cars? Let`s have a closer look.

Once we sit down our hips are flexed for a prolonged period. Over time, that leads to an overstimulation of the hip flexor muscles in your body, especially if you add stress to the equation. Your hip extensors on the other hand will get shut down since they get extended all day long. When some muscles get overworked and others stop doing their work it will affect your posture. See, the position a joint depends on the forces that act upon it. If one group of muscles works hard and another one always gets elongated than your joint slowly starts to change its position. In our example that can lead to a strong anterior tilt of the pelvis. Hunching over the computer all day is also not helping your posture. That is why we quite often find a major dysbalance in the upper body and shoulder region as well. As a result your body will fall into all sorts of compensation patterns when confronted with other activities. Even your breathing can be effected. Still wonder why you have that nagging headache or that lower back pain? Speaking of which…..

Sitting also effects our spine in some other way than just posture. While we sit, our spine loses its natural arches. Without going into too much detail here, this can have a tremendous effect on your discs. A lot of back pain and in some cases even disc herniations can be a long term result of sitting in front of a desk.

So, as you see the sitting has quite some impact. And the list goes on. But we also want to give you some helpful advice, since not all of us can minimize sitting in our daily life.

What to do

Even though there is a lot of talking about ideal sitting posture, there is no such thing. And while you can make better choices in the way you sit, you should try to change your position regularly and make sure you get up and walk a couple of metres whenever you have the chance.

If you work on a computer bring the screen to eye level. That way you will look straight ahead instead of hunching over the keyboard.

And if you want to learn how to fight the effects of sitting and improve your posture and health, you should pay us a visit.  

The Crow Team

10 reasons for doing Martial Arts

Some people still associate Martial Arts with violence and deem it a non-appropriate sport for their children or personally.

While Martial Arts teaches techniques that are designed to defend yourself or to compete in well structured tournaments, there is much more to it that meets the eye.

You gain much more than just a bunch of techniques to hurt others.

When you commence the journey you discover that prevention and de-escalation are the ultimate goals in solving conflict.

Learning Martial Arts is a great way to enhance your life. The changes people experience go way beyond the skills they learn in class.

The skills learnt impact people individually, throughout their daily life and have positive impacts on people around them. Taking up Martial Arts lessons is the first step towards a better you.

This is true for children, as well as men and women of all ages. Here is our top ten reasons why you should take up Martial Arts:

10. Socialisation Skills

Training in a group is a great opportunity to meet new people. The casual atmosphere people enjoy during sports, combined with partner practice makes it very easy to bond with others.

It´s not uncommon that the friendships you make in training will last for years to come.

9. Goal setting

Setting goals and following through to success is an essential skill in today’s world.

Just like setting goals in business or in our private lives, the road to your black belt starts with the first step.

To focus on your goal, work hard to achieve it and deal with occasional setbacks is a guarantee for success in Martial Arts and life in general. Everybody can quit, it is easy.

But true achievement only comes if you overcome the odds and keep going when times are hard.

Martial Arts is extraordinary in helping you develop this mindset. Set your goal, follow through and succeed.

8. Personal growth

Martial Arts is demanding. Training takes people out of their comfort zone and helps them to deal with orders, criticism as well as developing self-evaluation skills. Training is not always comfortable,

it forces you to do things you would normally avoid. It forces you to deal with problems, and ultimately helps your character to grow.   

7. Team work

Martial Arts is often viewed as an individual sport. And this is partly true. However, no martial artist will ever grow to a master level without good training partners.

You help each other to develop new skills and motivate one another during training, this team work helps individuals to ultimately get better and achieve their goals.

Being a good training partner is one of the essentials in Martial Arts

6. Mental benefits

In today’s world more and more people suffer from mental problems, like stress, burn out and depression. Most people have no outlet to blow off some steam and clear their mind.

Punching a bag really hard or training with some friendly people can have a huge impact on your emotional well-being. You will reduce your stress and increase your happiness.

Focussing on technique and practicing with a sharp mind will also enhance your learning ability, a skill that is important throughout all age groups.

5. Confidence

Martial Arts is a great boost for confidence, there is no doubt about that. Not only will your increased skillset help you, it will also change the way you walk, talk and get noticed by others. People can literally feel their selfconfidence increasing and benefit from the interaction with others.

4. Self-discipline

Discipline is a big factor in Martial Arts. But not only there, it is an essential skill for life. If you want to make achievements in life you need discipline to get there.

Everybody is accountable for their actions. Discipline is making your actions count.

To have success in life you need willpower to achieve your goals. Martial Arts is a great way to increase and develop this skill and take you closer to your dreams.

3. Physical fitness and health

One major benefit of following a Martial Arts program is the fitness you will develop along the road.

Losing weight, gain muscular strength and increased motor skills, while improving flexibility and mobility are only a few of the things you can achieve.

Feeling healthy and in great shape has a positive effect on other health parameters such as blood pressure, cholesterol among others.

The dangers of the sedentary lifestyle are well documented.  When you start a physical activity such as Martial Arts you can help to increase the quality of your life.

2. Learn life skills and values

Skills for life are very important, especially for our kids. Martial Arts is great for shaping values and behaviours such as focus, tolerance, fairness, humbleness, and discipline.

To develop these skills in a safe environment will be a major benefit for students of all ages.

1. Self-defence

The number one reason of course is the ability to defend yourself. Unfortunately not every dangerous situation can be avoided or solved without physical encounter.

The skills you learn over time will help protect yourself and those around you. Martial Arts will give you all the tools you need.