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Why The Government Does Not Have Our Best Interests At Heart

Why The Government Does Not Have Our Best Interests At Heart

This week the government announced that it was delaying bringing in restrictions of buy one get one free offers on highly processed food as well as free soft drink refills for 12 months.

The reason for this…. “allows us to understand its impact on consumers in light of an unprecedented global economic situation”

They’re concerned that the cost of living has risen so high that now is not the best time to restrict offers on cheap goods (it shouldn’t be called food).

This is utterly irresponsible of the government and will be terribly damaging to children and adults’ health and even those yet to be born. The NHS (already in massive crisis) will see an exponential increase in obesity-related illnesses and diseases because of this delay.

It’s like taking a mortgage holiday, like some of us took during the lockdown. It came in very handy, but while we were not making mortgage payments, we were still racking up interest on our remaining mortgage balance. When the payment holiday ends, our outstanding mortgage balance and mortgage payments will be higher than they were before the holiday.

The same could apply to global warming, delay any action for 12 months and the problem becomes x times worse to deal with.

The government are booting public health down the road to deal with later. And it’s not right.

I get it, we’re all feeling the pinch of the current crisis and for many in the UK sadly it’s a choice between heating and eating. But here’s what I would do if I were Prime Minister for the day to address both issues.

  • Bring in heavy taxes on all goods containing more than a set limit of sugar, saturated fat, salt or artificial sweetener. For example, any product with more than 5 grams of sugar per 100g is heavily taxed.
  • Have a yearly review of these limits and look to reduce the limits further.
  • Use the taxes raised to heavily subsidise all fresh food and produce, making this food very affordable for all of us.
  • Incentivise retailers to stock fresh food and produce. For example, 50% of their stock must be whole, unprocessed food otherwise they’re heavily taxed or fined.
  • Enforce better labelling on fresh produce; for example, the packaging on tins of pulses or packets of wholemeal pasta to display an easy and quick recipe with which to use the product.
  • Increase farming subsidies, particularly organic.
  • Think tank to find a solution to reducing fresh food waste.

We’re a nation ADDICTED to sugar, and we need to wean ourselves off. If we continue the way we’re heading, I cannot begin to imagine how bad public health will be in five- or ten years time, it’s worrying.

I am a firm believer that sugar and highly processed foods are one of the top causes of our disease and obesity epidemic and it’s high time we quit them.

Matt Jordan – the Energy Coach

Why Gardening is Both Good and Bad For Our Health


Why Gardening is Both Good and Bad For Our Health

Around this time every year, I get a lot of complaints from my clients with bad backs and acute injuries which put them out of action for a few days and even a few weeks. And it’s not my training sessions that cause these problems, it’s gardening.

This past month alone I’ve had three clients with gardening-related injuries. One client popped a rib out of alignment from mowing the lawn all day, another caused their vulnerable lower back ‘to go’ from weeding all afternoon and the third pulled their back from turning the soil for hours in their allotment.

These problems occur due to a lack of conditioning the body for the work involved and/or poor gardening technique that puts the body into a compromised position for a long period of time or a large number of repetitive actions.

If I were to ask someone to walk Ben Nevis, Snowdonia and Scarfel Pike back to back in one day, most would be able to do it just about. But with a few niggles, injuries, sores and a feeling incredibly worn out for the next week. But if I gave them 3 months’ warning to prepare for the challenge, I am sure they would be able to complete all three mountains with far fewer niggles, sore muscles and injuries. And that’s because they will have conditioned their body to the challenge by training.

So it would be common sense to apply the same preparation before embarking on a weekend of gardening. And we can do this by exposing the body to smaller chunks of gardening over a longer period of time.

TIP: Spread the load.

Instead of saving all your gardening jobs for one or two long days, schedule in shorter periods of time over a longer duration, for example, 30 minutes of gardening every weekday evening. This doesn’t overload your body and gives it time to rest, recover and adapt to the gardening labour.

Unfortunately for our bodies and especially our lower backs gardening involves doing things to the ground which inevitably can cause us to fall into a bad, compromised posture, like being stooped or hunched and bending and twisting. Those movements over a long period of time are a recipe for a back catastrophe.

TIP: Don’t be lazy, use the correct form.

Pick up using the legs, bending at the knee with your back upright. Weed kneeling down. Use the right tools for the job. Check out this entertaining YouTube video showing you how to correctly dig – How to REALLY Use a Shovel | proper technique = no back pain! And there are many other videos showing you the correct form for the other chores in the garden.

Gardening has so many benefits that far outweigh the possible risks and if we minimise those risks then we’re onto a real winner.

Benefits of gardening:

  • Being outdoors is great for our morale and self-esteem.
  • Exposure to sunshine provides lots of essential vitamin D.
  • Connection with nature helps ease stress and anxiety.
  • Gardening is a mindful exercise and mindfulness is great for our well-being.
  • Physical exercise like gardening strengthens the muscles, burns excess energy stores (body fat), improves mood, sleep and stress levels, and exercises the heart.
  • You get a great sense of accomplishment through seeing the fruits of your labour.
  • Home-grown food is great for the environment and our bodies.
  • A garden kept in the right way provides a habitat for wildlife to flourish.

Be sensible and use common sense when deciding to venture outside and make the most of your garden and you’ll reap all the benefits and greatly reduce the risk of injury.

Matt Jordan – the Energy Coach

Bro-ga – A New Class Arrives in Surrey

Bro-ga – A New Class Arrives in Surrey

Bro-ga is a yoga class specifically designed for stiff, aching men who need the benefits of yoga but are perhaps put off by the false stereotypes and stigma of a traditional yoga class.

Back in 2018 I joined a What’s App group of guys who took it in turns to host a yoga class. The instructor helped us inflexible lot to enjoy the benefits of yoga whilst not feeling out of our depth with the poses or embarrassed that we just couldn’t manage many of them.

Around the same I turn started a group called Fitter Men, a daily early morning exercise class for busy city workers who really struggled to find time to exercise.

I noticed in both classes that the guys benefited not just from the physical side of the class but also the interaction and socialising after the class and this was a big part of the reason the men enjoyed the classes so much.

More recently we had the pandemic, which left us reliant on socialising and exercising via a screen. This in turn has led to a rise in mental health issues including depression, anxiety and loneliness. When I was able to take classes in person once more, I noticed just how much everyone appreciated the in-person interaction and connection once more and it’s my belief that you can’t replicate the experience and health benefits of actually being in others’ company.

Last year I pitched my Fitness Tent, a training studio with breath-taking views over the countryside. The perfect environment to exercise, socialise and feel better. And that’s when I decided I needed to run a yoga class just for men, to create a moment in their week to unwind, be mindful, relax, work on flexibility and core strength and have a laugh and chat too.

Bro-ga has been a huge success at helping guys to touch their toes and feel stronger and supple. It gets them out of the house to socialise with guys who are at the same place in life. Conversation is helped along a little by a cool box of cold alcoholic and non-alcoholic beers to quench thirst.

I have now been to a number of 5-week courses and they are really enjoyable. I didn’t realise how much yoga was going to improve my core and balance. Great teachers with the bonus of a beer at the end of each session

I love the Bro-ga classes, it’s the right level, right mix of people and a great teacher too

I wasn’t sure at first, but my wife persuaded me.  After seeing her leave the house with her yoga mat under her arm for years now, I wondered what the appeal was. I get it now. You feel amazing afterwards. All I’d say is give it a try….so glad I did

Together with my team of experienced yoga teachers, we run classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays at The Fitness Tent in Chiddingfold and Clock Barn Studio in Hydestile and we are looking to expand Bro-ga to other areas in Surrey and Hants this year.

If you’d like to find out more about Bro-ga head to

Matt Jordan – the Energy Coach