Thanks for stopping by.
I’m Luke Jones – Content Creator, Personal Trainer & Chief Burrito Eater.
The short story:
Here at Health Room, I spend my time exploring and sharing ideas in the things that fascinate me. Usually things related to movement, nutrition, habits, mindfulness, entrepreneurship, and everything in between. The big cheesy goal is to help you (and myself) develop habits and routines that allow you to live the life you want to live.
To help you unleash your inner HERO.
But it wasn’t always that way. Not all that long ago I was a stressed out uni student with a few niggling health issues, and no idea where I wanted to be in life (let alone how to get there).
Feel free to scroll on down to hear the longer version.
I was born in a small town in South Wales, close to the mountains but not too far from the city. I was lucky to be brought up with a loving family and a great group of friends.
Sport was always a big part of my life growing up. Football was the main one; I loved it, and played as much as I could. Cricket was another, although it’s safe to say I didn’t love it quite as much. I dabbled in athletics too, mainly focussing on jumping over poles, sandpits and hurdles.
I became hooked on martial arts when I was around 14, beginning with Tang Soo Do. At around 17 I discovered MMA, and got really into Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Thai Boxing too.
In my mid teens, my journey into the whole fitness and health world really began. I became really interested in strength training and nutrition, and how they could affect how I performed as an athlete.
I felt at the time that it was something I wanted to make a career out of in the future, but didn’t really know how.
In the meantime, I was working hard at school, and ended up getting accepted to Imperial College in London to study Geology and Earth Sciences. At the time I really had no idea what Imperial was, had never really heard of it. But it turned out it was one of the best places in the world to study that sort of thing.
It seemed like a degree that could lead to lots of opportunities at the end, so I thought I’d go for it.
The Tipping Point
Uni was a big change for me, and I struggled with it – the move to the big city, the workload, and the different people. I’ve always been pretty introverted, so didn’t embrace the lifestyle of partying and drinking. Making friends during the early stages wasn’t too easy…
I also had no idea what a pegmatite was, or when the KT boundary occurred, so academically I always felt a few big steps behind everyone on my course.
Instead, I found comfort in my training, which I threw myself into. I began Thai boxing, tried my hand at judo for a couple of years, and trained BJJ religiously at the Carlson Gracie London BJJ Academy.
Football, interval training, running, climbing, swimming, gymnastics, strength training; anything to keep me moving and pre-occupied. It was almost an addiction, and my philosophy was always to go until I could no more.
Go hard or go home.
This no pain no gain approach sounds pretty cool, but only works for so long.
I was struggling with the uni workload, and the feeling that I should be doing something else with my life was growing.
I just didn’t feel true to myself. Combine this looming worry with the constant punishment my body was being put under, an acidic high protein diet, and a total disregard for rest and recovery; eventually something’s gonna give.
I’d had issues with mouth ulcers since my late teens, but these got a whole load worse at uni, sometimes to the point where I would be unable to eat. I was also constantly tired and getting digestive issues, along with niggling injuries and back problems.
The warning of adrenal fatigue signs were all there, but I was too stubborn to stop and listen to my body.
In early December 2012, I received a set of blood test results that suggested the likely possibility of Crohn’s disease. Although there was never an official diagnosis, the doctors were quite happy to offer me a cocktail of different pills and potions.
That was a big wake up call.
Perhaps a little naively, I decided that the pills and potions were not for me, and that I would solve this health thing on my own.
That’s where my fascination with health and habit changing went to a whole new level.
As I said, health and nutrition was a big focus of mine, even whilst I was supposed to be busy learning about rocks.
My diet had been evolving and changing over the years (and continues to today), from one full of protein shakes, eggs and meat; to being based on whole, nutrient dense plant foods; fruit and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole-grains and legumes.
The benefits were by no means instant, but over time my symptoms became less severe, and my energy levels began to rise.
I realised too that the diet acted as a catalyst for many of the other habit changes I was able to make. It allowed me to think out of the box, and consider alternative ways of living.
I changed the way I trained, swapping the go hard or go home approach for something a bit more intuitive back and tactical. I visited a chiropractic clinic. I adjusted my posture. I started practicing yoga and meditation. I read a lot more on personal development.
I really set out on this journey of discovering myself, and finding my place in the world.
Like most people who try to make a lot of changes at once, I definitely struggled. But my reason why was powerful, and it helped me stumble forward. Through trail and error and lots of mistakes, I learnt a few techniques to develop lasting, sustainable habits, rather than ones that fizzle out after a couple of weeks.
Through the struggle, I also I figured out what my values were, and decided that I needed to carve a career that was true to them, rather than following the safe option after university.
The idea of Health Room became firmly planted in my mind, and continued to grow.
The Birth of Health Room
As university drew to a close, I had the spare time needed to focus even more on improving my health and creating my future.
I decided that the traditional Earth Science careers were not for me. They didn’t resonate with me at all. Not one bit.
So after a few months of resting, learning, and finishing off a Diploma in Human Nutrition, I decided to create Health Room, and I threw myself into creating content.
It started out mainly as a way for me to explore and share ideas that I’m passionate about, and if others could learn from my experience and mistakes, then that would be an added bonus.
Now the message is similar, but my focus is a little more outwards.
I’ve always liked the idea that you can become the hero of your own story. And that’s what I want to get across to you guys – you can empower yourself and make the changes you want to make, to get to where you want to be.
Today, the blog reaches more people than I could ever have imagined, and it continues to grow. For that I’m truly grateful.
I’m certainly no expert, and I make loads of mistakes. But I’m always trying my best to keep moving forward with an open mind and provide useful content.
The blog really helps me keep on track, and provides me with a sense of purpose. I hope that it might help you too in some shape or form, small or big.
Health Room and Beyond
One thing that I’ve learned since starting this site is that if you trust in your instincts, follow your passion, and put in the hard work, opportunities will spring up.
Moving forward, I also have opportunities for magazine articles, freelance projects, expos and collaboration projects with some pretty cool people and companies.
It really is an honour to be a part of this community, and I couldn’t wish for anything more.
As cliché as it sounds, if you really have a powerful ‘why’, the opportunities will arise to help you to move in that direction. You’ve just gotta make sure you put in the work, push the boundaries of your comfort zone, and say ‘yes’ to the things that scare you.
I’m excited to see where this is leading, and thanks for joining me on the journey!
Personal Training and Online Coaching
In August 2016 I qualified as a Personal Trainer with the Fitness Factory Academy, based in Cardiff.
This was a step I’d wanted to take for a long time, and eventually plucked up the courage to do so.
As well as working face to face with individuals and groups, I’m now offering Online Personal Training and Nutrition Consultations.
The HERO Podcast
The latest step on the journey…
Again, this is something I’ve been wanting to do for quite some time, and finally it’s a reality.
The HERO Podcast is essentially an extension of the other work I do here at Health Room. It’s a weekly show where I explore and share ideas in healthy living, human performance, and lifestyle design. Everything from eating well and moving mindfully to carving out your dream career.
Through essay style monologs, long-form interviews, and actionable tips, the aim is to help you develop the habits & routines that allow you to reach your goals and become the best version of you.
Ultimately, so you can unlock your potential, and unleash your inner HERO.
Subscribe (and maybe even leave a short review) below:
UNLEASH YOUR INNER HERO
Proven tools and tactics to help you eat, move and live better. A plant based diet plan, full body mobility workout, habit changing eBook and much much more.