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Get through Christmas in great shape




By Keegan Longueira from Activate Fitness

Don't self sabotage a year of hard work at Christmas time.


The theory of marginal gains can be applied to marginal regression. A 0.1% increase in consistency over a month can have huge impacts on long term body composition and health. Never mock small changes. However, it can go the other way. The same way we never recognise in ourselves how well we have done over a period of time, we may also not recognise how things can easily slip. A bad meal turns into two, a week of no movement and prioritising health turns into two and a five year period of “raising the kids” before getting back to the gym turns into a 15 year regression.
It happens quicker than we think, so here are some strategies to navigate the festive season when it comes to health and fitness. Let's not sabotage all our hard work.
If we can stick to this one principle, everything else follows and becomes, as I like to call it, “Your non-Negotiables.” Now put your name in there, “Keegan’s non Negotiables”.

Here are some of mine:

I commit to working out consistently, when I haven't for two days in a row, on the third day, I must do something. This is as good for my mind as it is for my health.
I can have a sugary snack and treat at any meal I choose with the following boundaries. Never two meals in a row and never three days in a row. Practically this looks like, a slice of cake on Saturday afternoon and an ice cream on Sunday - but not on Monday.


Myself and my wife like the taste of good foods but if we can see it's packed with calories and a major red light, we cut it in half and share it instead of buying two. So either find yourself someone to eat with or save half for tomorrow!
Never compromise rest for temporary enjoyment for two days in a row. Stay up late, watch a movie, go out on the town, enjoy these things in life and make the most of it. But prioritise rest the following day, you will thank yourself for it.


Always ask, am I hungry or am I thirsty?

So having shared some of my examples, why not set up your own list of non-negotiables to keep yourself in check. Share this with family and friends if that will help keep you accountable.

If you use the following categories, you could set up some pretty solid boundaries for yourself:

* Rest and recovery: This could involve self care, meditation, sleep etc.
* Food and having treats: Maybe you struggle with portion control or have a sweet tooth, that's okay, but set boundaries.
* Exercise and movement: Don't let two days turn into three or one week, a month. Walking is exercising! Have intention on when and how you move.
* Hydration: Are you getting enough water?

Have an amazing Christmas season and I hope to see you in the New Year!

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Is it a good time to sell your property?

By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year. The quarterly report found the market had held up […]




By Ted Healy of DNG TED HEALY

Recently published property outlooks are suggesting single digit growth in prices this year.

The quarterly report found the market had held up better than evidence had suggested in 2022. The number of vendors cutting asking prices remained at low levels, while many house prices were being settled above asking prices.

However, the report warned that the resilience of the housing marking is set to be tested this year. It found annual asking price inflation slowed to six percent nationwide, meaning the asking price for the average home in Ireland is now €330,000.

There were 15,000 available properties for sale on in the fourth quarter of the year – an improvement on the same time last year but still below pre-pandemic levels.

Average time to sale agreed was 2.7 months nationwide which the report said is indicative of a very tight housing market.

The report said it expects to see 28,400 house completions in 2022, exceeding its previous forecast of 26,500 finished units.

The author of the report, Conall MacCoille, Chief Economist at stockbrokers Davy, said it appeared the market had held up better than evidence had suggested.

“The number of vendors cutting their asking prices is still at low levels. Also, transactions in Q4 were still being settled above asking prices, indicative of a tight market,” he said.

Recent months had seen worrying trends in the homebuilding sector, with housing starts slowing, and the construction PMI survey pointing to the flow of new development drying up.

“We still expect housing completions will pick up to 28,400 in 2022 and 27,000 in 2023. However, the outlook for 2024 is far more uncertain. The Government’s ambitious plans to expedite planning processes are welcome although, as ever, the proof will be in the pudding,” he added.

Locally, and unsurprisingly, the lack of supply of new and second-hand properties remains the dominant issue. There has been very little new construction due largely to the rising cost of construction, labour, materials and utilities which in turn is putting pressure on the second hand market.

This market proved particularly strong in 2022 with active bidding experienced on the majority of house sales and a large proportion of guide prices being generally exceeded.

The detached family home end of the market is particularly strong with increased competition for a limited number of available well located family homes.

So, what lies ahead and is it a good time to sell your property?

The answer is a tight market with scarcity of supply being a factor. If selling now you will benefit greatly from a lack of supply of available homes (therefore less competition) provided your property is marketed correctly of course!

For anyone considering placing their property on the market, contact DNG Ted Healy 064 6639000 for genuine honest advice on how to achieve the best possible price for your home.

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Tourism VAT rate should be “continued indefinitely”

A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its […]




A Kerry Fianna Fáil Councillor believes the current 9% tourism VAT rate should be continued indefinitely despite “the allegation that some hotels were not passing on the saving to its customers”.

The reduced VAT rate of 9% was introduced by the Government in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19 to the hospitality sector.

“I believe a return to a 13.5% Tourism VAT rate would be counterproductive at this stage, to small and medium businesses that welcome visitors to our country and our county,” Councillor Michael Cahill said.

“Catered food is already charged at 13.5%, alcohol at 23% and accommodation presently at 9%. This sector is providing pretty decent returns to the Exchequer and should be supported. All parties in this debate, including the Government and accommodation providers, should review their position and ensure their actions do not contribute to ‘killing the Goose that laid the Golden Egg’.”

He explained that the tourism industry is “in a very volatile market”, as can be seen by the enormous challenges “posed by COVID-19 in recent years”.

“A grain of rice could tip the balance either way and great care must be taken not to damage it irreparably. We are all aware that the next six to 12 months will be extremely difficult for many businesses with the increase in the cost of oil and gas, etc,, and a return to the 13.5% VAT rate will, in my opinion, close many doors. If a minority are ‘price gouging’, then it should be possible to penalise them and continue to support the majority who offer value for money to our visitors.”

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