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Exercise

Exercise for a Healthy Pension

Exercise for a Healthy Pension

It’s never too late to start exercising….that’s a fact! Taking up exercise in your 60’s can still help to prevent major illnesses. These are the findings of a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine which followed 3,500 healthy people at the age of retirement. The eight year study found that those who exercised three times were more likely to remain healthy than their non active peers. The results found that exercise cut the risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and depression. A fifth of the participants were classified as healthy eight years after the study. This group was mainly full of people who regularly exercised and exercise “newbies”. Dr Mark Hamer, from University College London said, “The take-home message really is to keep moving when you are elderly. It’s [a] cliche, but it’s a case of use it or lose it. You do lose the benefits if you don’t remain active.” Doireann Maddock, senior cardiac nurse at the British Heart Foundation, said: “This shows us that even if you don’t become active until later in life your health will benefit. However, there’s no need to wait until retirement to get started. Adults should try to be active daily and aim for 150 minutes of activities that get you breathing harder and feeling warmer each week. “Every 10 minutes counts, so even hopping off the bus a couple of stops early or taking a brisk walk on your lunch break will help.” The article A Workout a Day Helps Keep the Doctor Away reports on another large study highlighting the benefits of exercise on maintaining good health and preventing illness. We hope our health article “exercise for a healthy pension” has helped you. Please let us know by rating it above....

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Basic Rules of Strength Training (Part 2)

Rule 3: Develop Core Strength. The arms and legs are only as strong as the trunk. A poorly developed trunk is a week support for hard-working limbs. Strength training programs should first strengthen the core muscle before focusing on the arms and legs “Core muscles act as shock absorbers during jumps, rebounds, or plyometrics exercises; stabilise the body; and represent a link, or transmitter, between the legs and arms. Weak core muscles fail in these essential roles, limiting the trainer’s ability to perform. Most of these muscles seem to be dominated by slow twitch muscle fibres because of their supporting role to the arms and legs. They contract constantly, but not necessarily dynamically, to create a solid base of support for the actions of other muscle groups of the body. Many people complain of low back problems yet do little to correct them. The best protection against low back problems is well developed back and abdominal muscles. The abdominal and back muscles surround the core area of the body with a tight and powerful support structure of muscle bundles running in different directions. The rectus abdominis runs vertically and pulls the trunk forward when the legs are fixed, as in sit-ups, to maintain good posture. If the abdominal muscles are poorly developed, the hips tilt forward and lordosis, or swayback, develops at the lumbar area of the spine. The internal and external obliques help the rectus abdominis bend the trunk forward and perform all twisting, lateral bending, and trunk-rotating motions. The trunk acts as the transmitter and supporter of most arm and leg actions. The vertebral column also plays and essential role as a shock absorber during landing and take-off type actions. Excessive, uneven stress on the spine or sudden movement in an unfavourable position may lead to back problems. Sitting produces greater disc pressure than standing; the less stress occurs when the body is prone (such as during bench presses). Rule 4: Develop the Stabilisers. Prime movers work moreefficiently with strong stabiliser, or fixator, muscles. Stabilisers contract,primarily isometrically, to immobilise a limb so that another part of the bodycan act. A weak stabiliser inhibits the contraction capacity of the primemovers. Improperly developed stabilisers may hamper the activity of...

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Basic Rules of Strength Training (Part 1)

Basic Rules of Strength Training (Part 1)

Rule 1: Develop Joint Flexibility Most strength training exercises use the full range of motion of major joints, especially the knees, ankles, and hips. Good joint flexibility prevents strain and pain around the knees, elbows, and other joints. The way to develop joint flexibility is to ensure that adequate stretching exercises are performed on training days Rule 2: Development of Ligament and Tendon Strength Strength of the muscle improves faster than tendon and ligament strength. Overlooking the overall strengthening of the ligaments is the main cause of injury. Most injuries are not in the muscle but in the ligaments. Tendons and ligaments grow stronger through anatomical adaptation to training. Progressively increasing the load used in training improves the visco-dynamic movements and allows them to better accommodate high tensile loads such as dynamic movements, plyometrics and maximum strength training. The primary function of a tendon is to connect muscles to a bone. Tendons also transmit force from muscle to the bones so that movement can occur. The stronger the tendon is the greater is its capacity to store elastic energy. Tendons and ligaments are trainable. Their material and structural properties change as a result of training, increasing their thickness, strength and stiffness by up to...

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Robert Johnston – Exercises for Pregnancy

Robert Johnston – Exercises for Pregnancy

We’d like to introduce to you, our resident expert on physical exercise and training. Robert Johnston. The following is a transcript for a Q & A session that we recently did: (H3 = Healthy3, RJ = Robert Johnston) (H3) How did you get involved in personal training? (RJ) Coming from New Zealand I have always been interested in sports as a child, but developed an interest in exercise in my teenage years when everyone was growing taller and bigger than me. This lead to joining a gym with my friends and training and developing programs to gain our goals. My interest has never gone away and I found myself writing programs for my friends and correcting their technique came naturally. When I left University I struggled to find work in my field so I went for a job in a very large gym in Auckland. There I was exposed to so much more training philosophy’s and physiological methods, as the gym had all top of athletes (Professional/Olympic/Amateur/Sundays best) and Exercise Fanatics. I spent 3 years at the Gym then moved to London, Uk and have been working as a Personal Trainer since 1998. I tend to view my attitude to training is it can be fun and enjoyable and not just a dull, painful slog that drives so many people away. My major specialities Fat Loss, Boxing, Sports Specific and Strength Training. But I am interested in all that will help in the quest for physical Fitness as you would expect. (H3) What can women do to increase their chances of conception, in terms of physical exercise? (RJ) Being underweight or overweight can delay the time it takes a woman to conceive. A woman’s weight before getting pregnant is often an overlooked factor in fertility. Keeping a healthy weight can help with conception.Time to conception was increased fourfold in women with a BMI below 19.  Pre-pregnancy BMI of 25-39 – considered overweight or obese — had a twofold increase in the time it took to get pregnant. A BMI less than 19 (18.5 to 24.9 is considered normal) is even worse. (H3) Is it a good idea to diet whilst trying for a baby, so as to minimise weight gain during pregnancy? (RJ) As long as you eat a...

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Is Exercise Better than Drugs?

New research has suggested that exercise may be as effective as drugs at treating conditions such as heart disease and strokes. This latest research questions whether doctors may be unnecessarily prescribing drugs, when dietary and exercise advice may be more appropriate. So is exercise better than drugs?, maybe doctors should be prescribing a regular walk or jog? The research analysed previous studies found no “statistically significant” difference between the effects of drugs and exercise for people with type 2-diabetes, heart disease and stroke. The research did however find that drug treatment (diuretics) was more effective than exercise for heart failure. The study which was published in the British Medical Journal analysed the results from 305 randomised trials involving 340,000 patients, was carried out by researcher Huseyin Naci from LSE Heath, London School of Economics and Political Sciences and Harvard Medical School. The researchers found that prescription numbers are continually on the increase, but exercise and activity levels are comparatively decreasing. Prescription numbers have dramatically increased during the past decade, with average of 11.2 prescriptions for every person in the UK in 2000 compared to 17.7 prescriptions in 2010. The researchers found that only 14 per cent of adults in the UK exercise regularly and only around a third of the adult population meet the recommended activity levels. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that physical inactivity causes 3.2million deaths around tyhe world each year. This is a staggering figure, and one which can easily be reduced, without the need for any equipment, and without unwanted side effect! Regular walking, cycling, sports activities or jogging is enough to make a huge dent in this death rate. The added benefit of regular exercise is an overall improvement in heath, stronger bones, weight control, and reducing the risk of cancer and depression. The researchers commented, “The findings of our review suggest that exercise and many drug interventions are often potentially similar in terms of their mortality benefits; exercise interventions should therefore be considered as a viable alternative to, or alongside, drug therapy.” They added that in cases when drug therapy only provides a modest benefit, the importance of exercise should be fully explained to patients. This is something that the NHS should...

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Kids Wing Chun Academy

Kids Wing Chun Academy is a school that is based on teaching children of all ages discipline, good behaviour, respect as well as instilling self confidence and the skills of self defence. We recently had the oportunity to interview Sifu Jude Hudson.       1) How did you first get involved in Wing Chun (Martial Arts)? Brief History My brother told me about two men sparring, one was blind folded the other was not. when he asked why one of the men was blind folded he was told that it balanced the session as the other man was blind. We found a traditional Wing Chun school and started our journey; that was over 20 years ago.   2) What inspired you to create KWCA? The son of a close friend of mine had been badly beaten up at a party and this had affected me. I knew that I could help people like that to make sure that something like that would never happen again to them. At that time however, I was running a company and could not. A number of years later, I left that company and decided that I would invest everything my wife and I had into starting a school that would help children gain confidence, belief, and self defence skills using Wing Chun. I wanted to work with children as I could get to them early  to make life changes in their lives. Helping children to deal with confrontation and bullies, and  coupling this with a value system that promotes the right behaviour.   3) What are the benefits for children to get involved in Wing Chun?  Wing Chun is specifically designed to help build confidence and self belief through it’s unbelievable hand skills when taught a system correctly. Wing Chun is the antidote to protect themselves in all situations.   4) What’s different about Kids Wing Chun Academy?  Kids Wing Chun Academy focuses on teaching traditional Wing Chun at a younger age. We focus on imparting skills that will transition children from age 4 to 14 to 40. We have had a number of children that have left other schools to train with us. These students realised the hard way that what they...

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A Workout a Day Helps Keep the Doctor Away

A study has found that regular weight training and cardio exercises can help prevent illnesses in older age. So can working out really keep the doctor away? Many of the previous studies have been conducted on younger people, but this one followed 86 women, between the age of 70 and 80. The women all had mild cognitive impairment, which is a risk factor for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The participants randomly assigned weight training classes, outdoor walking or yoga and Pilates classes for 6 months. This study which was published in the online journal PLOS ONE, was based on previous research by Prof. Liu-Ambrose, Canada Research Chair in Physical Activity, Mobility, Cognitive Neuroscience. Her research found that weight training once or twice a week may help to minimise cognitive decline and impaired mobility in seniors. The researchers found that the women who were part of the weight training and cardio group had less doctor visits compared to the yoga and pilates group. The weight training classes targeted different muscle groups for a complete body workout, whereas the cardio classes were targeted to the individuals specific age related heart rate. “While balance and toning exercises are good elements of an overall health improvement program, you can’t ‘down-dog’ your way to better brain health,” says Teresa Liu-Ambrose, an Associate Professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine and a member of the Brain Research Centre at UBC and VCH Research Institute. “The new study also shows that cardio and weight training are more cost-effective for the health care system.” This study provides further evidence of the need for regular exercise throughout all age groups. If you are new to exercise or have a chronic illness, please consult with a qualified personal trainer before starting an exercise...

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TRX Suspension Training

What is TRX suspension training? It allows for the explosive movement of plyometrics without the same stress upon landing. By adjusting the body position, the level of difficulty of a particular exercise changes as well. Making it appropriate for people at all fitness levels. TRX Core training is performed on the TRX Suspension trainer using your own bodyweight eliminating your need for bulky and expensive exercise equipment. TRX Core Training will increase your power centre by helping you to develop a strong core that will lead to stronger transference of power from your lower to upper body. When you use the TRX suspension trainer your entire core will be activated as a stabilizer in every TRX exercise! Many exercises include things like push ups, leg squats, chin ups, planks etc.. TRX is actually quite simple to use. Pretty much all you need to do is snatch the handles and move your body away from what is referred to as the “anchor point” to begin working out. The biggest benefit of TRX training is that it gives your core muscles and extraordinary workout. In addition, it also strengthens all of the stabilizer muscles in your body. This is truly unique and the only other exercise product that I can think of that does something similar to this is resistance bands. It’s for anyone: So, who should do TRX? Everyone! It’s beginner-friendly: Another reason to try a TRX class — it’s easy to tweak exercises to your own level of difficulty and ramp up when necessary. You determine how hard or how easy you really want to go. So really advanced or really beginners can work out in the same class and get what’s right for them.” The cardio-strength training connection: Don’t think it’s just your muscles that you’re working. TRX suspension training moves target different parts of your body while also raising your heartbeat. Many exercises done on the TRX suspension cables integrate so many muscles, which require oxygen. This increases your heartbeat and breath as you hold a move or do your reps, making many TRX exercises superefficient, integrated strength and cardio moves. It beats boredom: Two suspension straps — infinite ways to use them. You can do it...

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Benefits Of TRX Training

Unlike most machine exercises, many TRX exercises are three dimensional. Most gym machines are in the sagittal plane, which means you only move forward and back (bicep curl machine, a leg extension machine, a treadmill). But what are the benefits of TRX training? In real life, your body moves in all three planes: forward and back, side to side (frontal plane), and rotation (transverse plane). Because the TRX allows you complete freedom of movement, you can do BOTH traditional strength training/single-plane movements AND multi-planar/3D functional training. TRX BENEFITS FOR WOMEN It’s time to lose the fear of bulking up and gain slim, firm, toned muscles! Many women are doing cardio-only workouts, or using weights too light to do any good, because they are afraid of big, bulky muscles. The TRX allows you to build tremendous strength and power without ever bulking up, no matter what number of reps per set you do, and regardless of whether you do TRX by itself or in addition to traditional cardio. TRX Training provides the following benefits: • Core training: in this instance your body’s center of gravity is located just above the hips and along the middle of your torso. When you modify your position, the center of mass shifts accordingly. Your body will use its muscular strength and coordination to achieve the correct position during these movements. This controlled use of muscles leads to better overall muscle development and more unified strength rather than the very specific muscle build-up of weight training for example. TRX training body weights are designed and used to displace the center of gravity of your body on purpose in order to activate your core muscle structure for stabilizing and balancing the body. • Pulling exercises: these are the original body building methods. Through the use of pulling exercises, you are allowing your rear deltoids, hamstrings, biceps, traps, and forearms. Through the use of TRX training, you are using the entire body mass for pulling exercises in addition to any added weight load for increase in performance and difficulty which will include the entire posterior muscle group and better torso stability is added through better hip extension and the inclusion of back pulling. • Unilateral training: the...

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Why it can be dangerous to do twisting sit ups

Many people (Kevin W) do twisting sit-ups to target both the rectus abdominus (abs) and the obliques at the same time. Killing two birds with one stone? Makes perfect sense, but there’s a problem. It can be very dangerous to do twisting sit ups When you do a sit-up – or a full crunch where your lower back doesn’t stay flat on the ground – your lumbar spine rounds forward, which is called flexion. The problem is, spinal flexion puts a lot of pressure on the intervertebral discs. Which are located between each invertebrea and help to absorb shock. If a person constantly puts pressure on their intervertebral discs, it can cause microtears to form in the tissue, which can lead to a number of unpleasant back issues. But there’s one specific motion that’s far more dangerous to discs than flexion: flexion combined with rotation. Unfortunately, that’s the exact motion you’re doing when you do sit-ups with a twist. Flexion with rotation pushes the nucleus pulposus – the jellylike center – of the disc posterolateral (back and to the side), which is precisely where discs tend to herniate. Unless you actually want a herniated disc – and experience the numbness, tingling, and excruciating pain that goes with it – avoid sit-ups with a twist, or any spinal flexion combined with rotation. Best to do your normal Crunches on the Ball (Upper Abs) and Side Crunch on the Ball for your Obliques (Waist) 1. Swiss Ball Crunches 2. Side Crunch on the Swiss Ball  ...

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Swiss Ball Exercises – Wall Lunge

Swiss Ball Exercises – Split Squat (Swiss Ball wall Lunge) Using Swiss ball exercises to perform a split squat adds dimension to a regular squat workout. Using a Swiss ball requires all the body’s muscles work together to maintain stability. The Swiss ball helps improve posture as your body continually adjusts to remain on the ball. This adds difficulty to your workout. Swiss ball wall lunge or Swiss ball squats challenge you in two ways by forcing your body into the correct posture to keep the ball against the wall and maintain this position throughout a series of repetitions. This is a great exercise if you have trouble maintaining correct form with your lunges: This exercise focuses on working your quadriceps (front of the thigh) and the glute muscles. Swiss ball split squats are a great leg strengthening exercise as well as perfect for toning the typical trouble spots on the body.  The swiss ball simply adds dimension to your workout by forcing your body to reach it’s optimum position of posture and balance. Instructions to lunge your way to perfection: 1: Stand with your back to the wall and one foot out in front, with the other close to the wall and heel off the floor 2: Position the ball between your lower back and the wall 3: Tighten your core muscles (abdomen, pelvis, hips and lower back) as you slowly bend your knees. 4: Lean fowards from the hip slightly (keep the back straight) to allow the ball to drop to your buttocks 5: Bend both knees and lower your body down until the back knee is hovering just above the floor and the front thigh is parallel with the floor 6: Push yourself back up to the starting position Variations and progressions Perform shallow lunges to make the exercise easier Add dumbbells in each hand to make it harder Muscles worked Rectus Femoris Quadaricp = Front thigh Vastus Medialis Vastus Lateralis Vastus Intermedius Biceps Femoris Hamstring = Back Thigh Semimembranosus Semitendinosus Gluteus Maximus Glutes = Butt Iliopsoas Inner Hip Muscles = under Abdominal wall to Thigh bone Gastrocnemius Calves = Lower legs Soleus Related injuries this exercise is good for: Quadricep strain (thigh) Anterior cruciate ligament rupture...

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Why do I feel nauseous after exercise?

Why do I feel nauseous after exercise?

What’s important isn’t to hammer your body into absolute physical submission, but to “train” it; to encourage it to adapt to higher and heavier loads, progressively. Push your body too hard, and blood gets directed away from your stomach to exercising muscles in order to meet the increased oxygen demand, As tough as high intensity training can be, there is a reasonable limit of intensity to hover at when pushing oneself. And I would clearly say that nausea and/or generally not feeling good are not a required part of the equation. On the other hand, I’m not saying baby yourself. You just need to not push yourself so hard that your body rebels on a physical level Usually, people who feel sick when they exercise “aren’t in good physical condition to begin with”. This is a very important one. Are you eating before you train? If you eat shortly before training, that’s a definite no-no for stomach well-being. If you’re not giving adequate time before eating and training for your food to digest and leave your stomach, THAT can be a cause for a problem. This may slow down digestion and cause food to slosh around your stomach, potentially leading to nausea If you DO eat at some point before training, how long? And what kind of food are you eating? Heavy, spicy and fatty food will linger in the gut much longer than fruits or vegetables. If you take sports drinks with your workout, try taking one with a carbohydrate concentration of less than 8 per cent. Carbohydrates in sports drinks take a longer time to digest as compared to water, so there’s a possibility that they might cause intestinal upsets.   Being sick to my stomach is not an indication of a good workout. I have been sick off and on but I don’t like it. Plus, I don’t feel it’s necessary. The workout should never become something you dread. If you do, it’s time for a change. Back off a bit and rest a little more. When you can, take less rest as you get more adjusted to it. Remember this, Workout in a way that is safe and keeps you coming back for more. Don’t...

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