We meet David Marshall, founder of Bodydoctor, all round fitness guru and a man of many a catchphrase, to talk about taking control of your health through fitness.
In case you didn’t know, Bodydoctor is an exclusive fitness facility in the heart of Eaton Square in Belgravia, with over 3500 square-foot over three studios, two treatment rooms and some very wonderful shower facilities. With a philosophy that works to provide everything that your body could possibly need for optimal benefits and, more importantly, to teach you to exercise correctly so your body becomes the gym and everything else just fits around you.
So, David, can you tell us what role can fitness plays in improving someone’s general health – both mental and physical? How can people really take control of their health through fitness?
Embarking on the correct safe and efficient fitness regime has a multitude of physical & mental benefits.
It will improve your heart-lung function, your lean muscle to fat ratio, balance and coordination, flexibility & mobility, digestion and crucially your visceral fat levels all improve. Literally every system that you need to function correctly to give you a healthy body will improve in profound ways.
Mentally, your concentration levels, your mood, your sleep quality and your lowered cortisol (which is the stress hormone) levels and your libido will all improve a great deal. Quite simply - you will feel good!
Whilst getting fit will not remove the stress from your life, it will put you in a much better position to control it and deal with it.
One of the most important things in fitness, which is often overlooked, is the quality of lean muscle, because muscle is the engine that, not only burns fat and controls the level of your metabolism, but also is the very thing that keeps you standing up! Quality muscle is essential for quality life – and that’s where the saying survival of the fittest comes from.
What advice would you give to someone who hasn’t exercised in a while or is just about to embark on a fitness journey?
First things to remember is that no one ever got fit and healthy by reading a fitness book or watching a fitness DVD! When you embark on a fitness regime, you’re not going into a sprint or a marathon, you are making a decision to change the quality of your life.
If you try and go on a crusade you will fall off your horse before you reach the gates of the fitness holy land so the most important thing is to start off with small steps and build on them incrementally on a daily and weekly basis. I encourage everyone to understand that if you try and change your life in a day you will want your old life back in a week and it is doomed to failure. Removing everything that you find comforting and enjoyable at once will inevitably become a struggle to maintain.
The simple way to do this is to remove something from your routine and/or your diet each day which is negative and change it for something good - this way you make a gradual adaptation. It’s just like turning round slowly versus spinning round quickly - if you do the latter you’ll get dizzy and fall over.
You talk about fitness going hand in hand with a gradual lifestyle change, which obviously includes what you eat and drink. How important is nutrition when it comes to fitness?
Nutrition is vitally important to maximise the benefits of your exercise regime, as exercise is energy, and food is fuel. The most important thing to remember is that the greatest problem in modern times is sugar – and these are often hidden sugars in the form of simple carbohydrates, salts and additives. I’ve always had a saying that when you look on a food packet which is produced (not recommended) and not grown naturally (always the best option) then as far as the ingredients go remember - If you can’t read it you don’t need it, and if you need to add the food is bad!
Put simply, anything with unpronounceable names (i.e. chemicals or additives and E numbers) are not created for optimal human consumption, but large profits. You weren’t made in a laboratory so you should avoid foods that are created in one! Eat your Greens as you were told as a child…LOTS OF VGETABALES and moderate amounts of fruit.
Can you tell us what you would be your top tips for anyone wanting to take control of their health this year?
My top-tip is quite simply to exercise regularly! Your body likes to get into a rhythm and maintain a rhythm that gradually builds up. Your body does not like ‘stop-start-stop-start-stop’, so be realistic in the time and the effort you will put in.
I’ve always found that one of the best nutritional tips is to drink your foods and eat your drinks. This means that you thoroughly chew your food until it is almost in a liquid state, thus enabling the enzymes in your mouth to prepare the food for the completely different enzymes in your stomach. This means your body will extract all of the nutrients, so you get the best benefits from the food as well as not overeating - If you wolf your food down you don’t extract the nutrients, and you also overeat.
When you drink, drink slowly rather than gulping. Taking in water at a slower pace allows your body to regulate itself, optimising hydration – and avoids bloating.
To book your personal training session with Bodydoctor, contact:
P:0207 235 2211