So July, should be start of summer. Seems to be boiling one day and then raining the next!? Hopefully we’ll get a good month of solid sunshine!

Did anyone watch the tennis on Sunday (3rd July)? I was rooting for Nadal to win but unfortunately he really hasn’t been on form, and the more worthy opponent Djokovic took the title. You would expect him to win really; he has had a fantastic year! What do you reckon about the other great players in the game? – is Federer past it? I’d personally love to see him on the court next year…he’s got that certain quality about him that no other player has; very “Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee”. Murray, I’m not too keen on the guy, although I do feel he’ll been in for a Grand Slam soon. They all need to up their game, as Djokovic is on fire, and doesn’t seem to be ‘going out’ anytime soon. Djokovic must have had more sleep, or must be the impact of his new gluten free diet.

Yes, more sleep! Anew study at Stanford University in the States has found that sleeping longer ‘helps athletes reach peak performance’. They experimented this with their basketball team (who are very successful in College Basketball) and found that shooting accuracy increased by 9%, they ran faster sprints (2 seconds), and their fatigue levels decreased. This was over five to seven weeks of the new sleep cycle. Wish I could get in 10 hours of sleep a night! I’m sure this comes to no surprise to people, I remember as a child being told that more sleep always made you perform better in all aspects of life. I suppose having a bit of qualitative data is nice to back up your mother’s lectures though!

Somewhere you won’t be getting much sleep this summer is at …….music festivals. Glastonbury music festival was held just over two weeks ago and many are still talking about it. However, with names such as Beyoncé the festival is becoming extremely mainstream, and this can appear insulting to those that were used to the laidback, free, and hippy-ish festival it once was with headliners such as Radiohead or Pink Floyd. Those days are gone I think, although don’t put me down as an old man! But I really think Glastonbury has lost its touch, and has gone way too commercial. I mean watching U2 front man Bono strut around the stage and rip his leather trousers really doesn’t appeal to me whatsoever. I still want to go though, just for the ‘Glastonbury experience’-it still has that glimmer and feel about it, and I don’t think it will ever loose that inner history, but I reckon the older years would have made better overall festivals.

I’m into more original lower key bands at Leeds festival such as the Two Door Cinema Club, the View, The Streets, Beady Eye, the Naked and Famous, and the infamous Ed Sheeran are just some of the bands playing at Reading/Leeds Festival this year. As for a more party festival feel, I’d have to recommend Creamfields with massive names such as the Chemical Brothers, Magnetic Man, Tiësto, Calvin Harris, Paul Van Dyk, David Guetta, and Laidback Luke.

I don’t think you’ll see Djokovic there though. Talking of diets too, there is a lot of controversy about this new ‘Dukan Diet’ that is creating another change of habits food wise. The first phase of the diet is called the ‘attack phase’ where only protein and oat bran can be eaten. The second phase, non-starchy vegetables can be eaten. Exercise is compulsory too. Sounds like a taste sensation! 😉 However, it’s dead good for loosing weight; people have reported loosing 13 lbs in 2 weeks and 2.5 stone in 13 months. On the other hand, a court in France has raised this new diet in France say this diet is dangerous claiming the diet can increase your chances of heart disease and breast cancer. You could argue though, if someone eats fast food every day, are they doing better or worse on their eating habits now or on this diet? I personally believe a good balance of all elements of food is the best diet, involved with regular exercise and no snacking in-between meals.

However, Djokovic didn’t use this particular diet; he did change his diet for the better eating gluten free food. This can process energy in our bodies more efficiently, minimise fatigue that intense exercise can cause, enable you to save muscle glycogen (energy used for exercise), and maintain stable blood sugar levels during exercise. I think I’d still rather have my lovely plate of pasta!

These are the best stories I’ve picked up on the last few days and tried to link them nicely together. Please leave me a comment!

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Cheers, ULUB