"Listen to your body, listen to your mind and then do what makes you happy."
Dan Porter, Creative Team Traffic Manager, Personal Trainer, ex Rugby Union Player, Yoga advocate and handstand master talks about the importance of movement for men's health week!
I have always been a mover. Movement is the key to staying alive, without movement we seize up. But it's so much easier to move and keep moving when you are young... what happens when you have a job, a family, responsibilities - and 'less time' ?
Men's Health Week 2019 is all about numbers this year. The numbers I want to talk about are time related - how much time do you actually dedicate to movement, how much time can you dedicate to movement and how should you move during this time?
I'm Dan Porter, I started working at SBG in January 2019 I'm the Traffic Manager on the Creative Team. I come from an agency where I started as a Creative Artworker, moved up to Senior and then started doing holiday cover for the Studio Manager, when they left I stepped up and the rest is history.
My sport used to be Rugby Union - I played at National League Level in both England and New Zealand, before having to retire in 2017 after a serious leg injury. I then took 2 years out from rugby to try my hand at rowing and became a top rower at Durham University, trialling for the GB team before the London Olympics before returning to Rugby eventually. I have always been fascinated by the health and fitness industry, specifically all the different nutrition advice and exercise recommendations, which led me to become a qualified Personal Trainer.
Initially my drive was all about improving sporting performance, to become bigger, faster, and stronger. But, after retiring from competitive sport, my focus started to become less about performance and more about being 'fit' both physically and mentally.
This shift in focus came when I discovered Yoga. My previous employer put on a weekly Yoga Class at our office. Coming from a very male dominated, competitive, and aggressive sporting background i was initially very sceptical. However I slowly began to open up to the idea of taking time for myself, leaving my ego to one side, looking after my mind as well as my body, and realising the potential this could unlock in me.
Yoga is whatever you want it to be. There's no hiding behind anything and everyone is the same. You turn up on your mat, you move and you take whatever you need from that practice. It is yours. So that asks you the question, what do you need today? From yoga, from this gym session, from this class. It means you must listen to your body, to yourself.
So, first and foremost how much time DO YOU spend working on you. Is it physical... Do you go for a run? Go to a class? Go on the gym floor for a workout? Get outside for a walk? Or is it mental... Do you spend time with yourself and your own thoughts? Can you put a figure on that? Working on yourself doesn't have to mean lifting weights, it can be finding a quiet place to think, or listening to a podcast - just doing something that makes you happy. You need to work on both the physical and mental aspects of yourself.
Secondly, how much time CAN YOU spend working on you? I think you would be surprised at the answer to this question. Don't get me wrong we are all busy. But if you think about the time you actually waste - this is the time you can make work for you.
Screen time is an enormous part of this. How much time do you spend endlessly scrolling through your instagram feed, flicking through stories of people you don't even know? How much time do you spend watching TV on an evening? You may think that both of these things are helping you unwind... they are not. I guarantee you could get at least an hour of your day back if you reduce your screen time.
Suddenly you have created some time - but what SHOULD YOU do with that time to ensure you stay fit and healthy?
GO TO YOGA! Men! I'm talking to you. There is so much stigma attached to yoga "it's for girls", "it's just stretching", "not that hippy sh*t". Try it once a week for a month and then tell me it isn't helping you. We spend so much time as men hiding behind ego and bravado that we never actually make time for ourselves.
Is being able to squat and bench press hundreds of kilos really the definition of 'fit and healthy', is it really what you need? When you can't even touch your toes let alone support your own body weight in an inversion balancing only on your hands?
Keep constantly evolving – try that new class, a new exercise, walk a new route to work, cook a new recipe, travel to new places. "Loving yourself is not selfish, it is essential to your wellbeing and the wellbeing of the world."
Find out more...
Dharma DayDharma Day is a special day for Buddhists all over the world, including Business Analyst Mark Carr and his wife Julia, who lift the lid on what it means to them and how you can get feel enlightenment from the tradition too...