Have you set yourself some new goals for the year ahead?
In the past year, goal setting, hard work, and accomplishing the impossible have been on the agenda for Sea Ór's co-founder Mark Walton. In 2021 he was awarded a Guinness World Record for the fastest person ever to cross the North Channel of the Irish Sea on a prone paddleboard, doing so in 6 hours 11 minutes 37 seconds. While raising €12k in donations for the Irish Heart Foundation, a charity that helps people reduce their risk of heart disease. What an achievement!
During the Covid pandemic, Mark used his time to make changes in his life, to focus on wellness, and become fitter and healthier. Between 2020/ 2021 he lost 5stone (30kg) and gained a passion for prone paddle boarding. His extraordinary journey is a reminder that we are capable of reaching our goals despite what is going on around us. We spoke to Mark to better understand his values when it comes to fitness and what drives him to keep training:
“I love Christmas, and I enjoy all the trimmings that come with it, but when the new year comes I am ready for a change; new year, new me. I don’t see it as a penance, I’m actually looking forward to it, tend to find I sleep better, I’m happier, my mind is clearer and I enjoy training, especially as it’s the first step towards exploring my limits, breaking boundaries, and achieving personal results 🏃🏾🏋🏊🏻🚴🏿🧗♀️
“At Sea Ór we believe that wellness should be a priority for everyone this year; many have already gone down this road after the Covid pandemic. I certainly did. Daily healthy habits allowed me to do things that I couldn’t have imagined in my wildest dreams! However, one of the things I didn’t give enough attention to was nutrition. It goes hand in hand with any exercise, not only to fuel you but also to allow your body to heal and grow.
“Diet and nutrition significantly affect sports performance. But in simple terms, you feel better, you sleep better and you ache less when you eat well. I personally found that when I was working out a lot and eating poorly, after a while, the wheels came off the bus so to speak. Each individual is different and will need a tailored diet depending on their needs but the one common factor between everyone is good nutrition. Nutrition helps you reach new levels of health and energy.
The benefits of nutrition for any exercise include:
- - Delays onset of fatigue
- - Enhances concentration
- - Reduces the potential for injury
- - Allows you to train harder longer
- - Helps maintain healthy immune function
- - Improves body composition and strength
- - Prepares the body for the next day’s workout
What you drink and eat before, during and after any exercise affects your health, body mass, body composition, recovery, and performance. After exercise, to promote recovery, we will need to continue hydrating and replace lost nutrients. An optimum diet, with the addition of supplements, will help you to improve and maximise performance.
“One of the reasons we created Sea Ór was because personally I was overwhelmed by all the supplement options. Of course, we can source everything we need in our food, but Sea Ór allowed me the comfort in knowing that I also had an additional layer. When it comes to exercise in particular our Orplex™ Body Supplement containing seaweed is a one-stop supplement that covers so many aspects. Needless to say, I am biased, but there are very few plants that contain such a wide variety of valuable antioxidants, minerals and vitamins as seaweed.
I personally love the phrase – “let your food be your medicine”. No one would suggest it is a replacement, but more so that a good well-balanced diet is a foundation of a healthy life.
“Scientific research has found several compounds unique to seaweed with beneficial properties for health. Including seaweed in our diets will provide a rich source of nutrition. What makes seaweed so magnificent is that it naturally absorbs all its nourishment from the sea. Over 80% of the seaweed plant is made up of minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and other bioactive compounds. Seaweed encompasses a broad range of vital nutrients such as Fibre, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, and Iodine. In addition, seaweed contains several key vitamins such as Folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Vitamin B12.
There are many nourishing benefits of consuming seaweed. Yet due to its unique taste and texture, incorporating it into your diet on daily basis can be a struggle. Taking Sea Ór seaweed supplements is a great way to reap the rewards. All ingredients are organic, natural, and vegan.
The benefits of working out are amazing for your mental health, energy, and body. It doesn't have to be intense training. Even a gentle walk or yoga stretches will move you in the right direction. Start where you can and with what you can, and focus on progression versus perfection. Exercise is a celebration of what your body can do and it is the rawest form of freedom.
Too many people put up barriers to exercise. They feel like they have to commit to an intense regime of exercise, in the dreaded gym. The key thing is to do something, anything! Make it easy, make it fun, make it something that you want to do. If you hate spin classes, but love yoga, do yoga! It's not about what you do, it's about doing. Once you start, this will lead to more. Also, make it easy to do. If you can’t make the yoga class, go for a walk. The key here is forming habits and a healthy routine, to the extent you will look forward to it. Also, remember you rarely look forward to exercising, but you never regret it after you have done it.
In 2021, I paddled across the North Channel of the Irish Sea. It was something I never in my wildest dreams thought I could do. I told everyone what I was going to do beforehand as a way of making myself accountable. A sort of a mental Russian roulette. The fear or anxiety drove my training and prepared me well, though possibly too well. I trained too much, to the point where I was fatigued coming up to the event. I also didn’t allow myself enough time to recover after it. I started training again, days after the crossing. I found I had no energy. Normal training sessions were completely beyond me; I was gassed in the lightest of activities. I eventually stopped training completely 2 weeks after that crossing and got a chest cold immediately. It took me 6 weeks to get back to normal training all because I failed to prioritise my recovery. I didn’t listen to my body. I didn’t allow it the time to recover. I didn’t feed my body the things it needed to repair itself. The lesson here is –
“Listen to your body!”
The more you workout, the more nutrition your body needs to rebuild, replenish, and recuperate. Making sure to rest and refuel with a healthy diet will promote muscles repair and growth. Nutrition is a great way to protect yourself during pre and post-workouts for your body to recover faster and build strength. When your immune system is low and the body is dehydrated, you become more prone to injury or illness. The four main R's of recovery nutrition are to:
Restoring the fluids and electrolytes lost in each practice or workout.
Replacing the carbohydrates burned through exercise.
Repairing torn muscle tissue with protein.
Resting 7-10 hours a night.
Follow these key components and you will be well on your way to optimal performance.
Having passion and a positive mindset will serve as a solid foundation, helping you in achieving the best version of yourself. Don’t expect immediate results; Rome wasn’t built in a day. Remember to be happy on the journey. Developing your emotional and mental strength will motivate you to obtain sustainable results for a strong and healthy body. By being consistent, having discipline, practicing restraint, and persevering through the relapses, you can overcome any challenge!
We need macronutrients and micronutrients to operate. We are familiar with the macronutrients - protein, carbohydrates, and fats, but how well do you know the micronutrients? Vitamins and minerals are the underdogs, small but mighty. Vitamins are necessary for energy production, immune function, and other functions. Meanwhile, minerals play an important role in growth, bone health, and several other processes. Every day, your body uses essential nutrients to produce skin, muscle, and bone, but it cannot manufacture sufficient amounts on its own. Enhancing a good diet with supplements can help us on a path to achieve complete wellness.
Sea Ór was created with leading scientists and nutritionists to produce a premium range of seaweed supplements. Combined with the latest scientific research, Sea Ór makes it is easier to harness the raw powers of the ocean. All Sea Ór supplements include a unique seaweed-based and innovative marine formula, Orplex. This unique formulation contains two specially selected types of seaweed: Laminaria Digitata (also known as; Kelp) and Fucus Serratus, both hand-harvested off the west coast of Ireland. There are two Sea Ór supplements in the range; a product for the body Orplex™ Body; and another for beauty Orplex™ Hair, Skin & Nails.
The Orplex™ Body is composed of key ingredients that will support your personal fitness goals. This revolutionary food supplement has been formulated using the Orplex™ formula plus 17 vitamins and minerals scientifically selected by nutrition experts for total body health. Some of the vital nutrients that are used in the Sea Ór Body to enhance athletic performance include:
- Co-Enzyme Q10 reduces inflammation associated with exercise and improves performance.
- Vitamin C supports the immune system and decreases oxidative stress after exercise.
- Vitamin A helps repair new muscle tissue and protect against oxidative stress.
- Vitamin E reduces the amount of cell damage caused by free radicals released after exercise.
- Vitamin D supports cardiovascular health, bone growth, and muscle repair.
- Zinc supports the immune system and prevents early onset fatigue during workouts.
- Psyllium Husks promote healthy digestion and a healthy colon.
- Burdock Root supports body detoxification by flushing out toxins in the liver.
- Biotin is necessary for rebuilding muscle strength and helping tissues grow.
- Probiotics are good bacteria required for a healthy immune and digestive system. These include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Bifidobacterium longum, and Bifidobacterium infantis.
Check the label
Always consider the quality of the supplement you are choosing and what is in it. Given that the supplement market is largely unregulated, many supplements contain potentially dangerous ingredients that do more harm than good. It is important to choose evidence-based brands with transparency for ingredient sourcing, label accuracy, and nutritional value. Speak with a healthcare provider to ensure that any supplement you take works for your individual needs.