Regular readers will have caught the first of my two-part interview with Monica Blackburn of MFB Osteopathy.
Today, she shares advice on healthy eating, exercise, and her favourite part of London.
What is the best advice you can give a healthy, fit person to avoid injury?
Exercise. Do it. Make time for it. Enjoy it.
Exercise is the most important thing to incorporate into your life. The other day someone asked me what was the most notable difference I saw in “healthy” versus “not-so-healthy” individuals. And my answer was “exercise.” For starters, it’s great for your heart and cardiovascular system, you get an awesome hit of endorphins (your brain’s “happy” chemicals) making you feel more alive, and it helps you sleep better at night (which is the only time your body can repair and build itself).
Looking deeper, proper exercise — especially strength training — builds a strong and efficient frame to support your body’s joints. This support means you’re able to hold your body up with better posture and you’re able to run/bike/practice yoga/etc by using the right muscles meant for the job.
What is your view on the importance of nutrition in health?
I’m all about preventative medicine. It’s far easier to STAY well than to GET well. Nutrition is the foundation. If you eat crap, your body will be built with crap. Most people are disconnected from the notion that the food you eat is what’s used to build your body, not just fuel your body. We require fat, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals to not only function properly but also to repair our bodies.
In our hectic modern lifestyles, it’s sometimes difficult to stay on top of our nutritional requirements. But there’s lots of healthy choices on the high street, you just have to take responsibility for your own health and nutrition. I eat meat and fish. I try to keep wheat & gluten to a minimum. I build a diet around a colourful array of fruit and vegetables. And I try to avoid sugar like the plague. I spend A LOT of time grocery shopping, preparing food and cooking, because if we eat well, everything else slots into place.
What exercise do you do personally? Why?
I like a lot of different stuff and it changes frequently as I try new things. I love rock climbing, so I’m at the bouldering wall at least once a week. I do weight training, which helps keep my back strong. And then a bit of running, cycling, yoga/pilates, and when the weather allows I like trying my hand at tennis! I’m not very good, but that doesn’t matter!
What’s your favourite “good for you” food?
I love Borough Market, so much yummy food and atmosphere. But also the whole area near London Bridge/Southwark towards Tower Bridge. I love the gritty feeling of London’s sordid past in that area!
Share your thoughts on nutrition and exercise in the comments!