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Posts Tagged "exercise"

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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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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Safe Exercises during Pregnancy

Safe Exercises during Pregnancy

Being pregnant does not mean you have to totally stop exercising but you do need to avoid doing high impact exercises. It is hard to find out which exercises are safe for during pregnancy so I have made a list of a few exercises that can be useful if you are expecting a baby. Have a Swim Swimming is a good form of exercise as it works on the whole of your body by toning up your physique, increasing your endurance and keeping you agile. You won’t feel how heavy you’ve got during your pregnancy as the water supports your weight.  It is very therapeutic too. Aqua aerobics is a good way of incorporating swimming and low-impact aerobics together. Go for a jog I doesn’t matter whether you jog on a regular basis or not.  Ensure that you wear the right type of trainers and jog a little slowly than normal. Do a little Yoga Yoga is a very relaxing exercise which stretches your body. Obviously, not all of the positions are suitable for expectant mothers. Go for a slow Walk This is a less energetic form of exercise that can build up your stamina and improve your breathing and posture. Keep-fit Exercises Doing high-impact aerobics would not be a good idea while you are pregnant. If you are intending to start a new class you must tell the instructor that you are pregnant, otherwise try and find an antenatal class. Riding a bike If you are not used to riding a bike you can always try using an exercise bike. For one it is safer because you cannot fall off and it improves resistance and muscle tone. Again, keep the pace to a moderate...

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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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Swiss Ball Exercise Tips 3

The Swiss ball is excellent for exercising. Here are a few more Swiss ball exercise tips. While your breathing pattern is not as critical in this movement as with most other exercises, try to keep the inhale to the eccentric (down) phase and the exhale on the concentric (up phase). The Swiss ball, also known as an exercise ball (by Hippies), requires the body to respond to the instability of the ball, developing balance, engaging core muscles and increasing lower back mobility. Always lie your arms with  the palms up. Placing the palms on the floor rotates your shoulders forward, creating a rounded posture. Which is not something anybody should strive for. Not even Hippies…....

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Exercise using a Swiss ball

Swiss Ball Press Up There are many ways to exercise using a Swiss ball. Let us give you some great tips: Not keen on full press ups? Left your army fatigues in the wash or lack the upper bady strength to beat the World Record of Press Ups (non-stop: 10,507; Minoru Yoshida (JAP), Oct 1980 : Footnote 1 or my personal best of 84 in 1 minute but I digress….). Try this alternative instead. Place hands on the floor just wider than shoulder width apart. Place the swiss ball under your legs. The beginner can start with the stability ball under their thighs while the more advanced Press Up enthusiaste can start with the ball under their feet. Lower your chest to the ground and press. Variations include using only one leg on the swiss ball or even using two stability balls, one for each leg. Obviously the more advanced you make the exercise the more unstable it becomes thus involving additional muscle groups. The joy of this exercise is you can start at your own level and not be found in a heap on the floor day 1. Keep your shoulders in line with hands, core activated and not droppping your hips as you lower as this will put pressure on your spine. You must keep your body completely straight from head to toes like a board not a banana! Primary Muscle: Chest Secondary Muscles: Core, Triceps, Shoulders Equipment Needed: Stability Ball Mechanics Type: Compound Press up is a closed-chain upper-body movement Pros: exercise is much more demanding than a ground-based press-up on both the prime movers and the stabilising muscles. The closer the Ball is to your head the easier it is and the further away the harder it becomes. If your super strong have the ball in the other room and feet in the air and called a planche press up, but that is for another...

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Should I Exercise Before Breakfast to Burn More Fat?

People exercise at different times of the day, and claim different benefits for it. So is it better to exercise before breakfast to burn more fat? The answer is ‘not necessarily’, because even though you will burn more fat on an empty stomach, ultimately this will probably make little difference because your energy intake and expenditure and metabolism balances out, more or less, over the 24-hour period. What really matters is your total energy intake and expenditure, that is, how much you eat and how much you exercise and move in general. However, stay tuned on this because until this is examined further scientifically, how much meal timing manipulation could help with fat loss is not certain. One thing that seems clear is that people who eat breakfast maintain weight better and lose fat quicker, so don’t skip...

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Swiss Ball Vrs Weight Machines

Compare that to doing machine training in a gym, where you are usuallyseated in a chair that is bolted to the floor, designed for a six footmale and pushing or pulling the handles, or moving your legs back andforth. Fewer stabilisers are necessary, so your mover muscles becomestronger at the expense of the stabilisers. Doing this in the long timecan lead to joint pain, because the small stabilizer muscles that aresupposed to control the motion at the joints can no longer do the jobbecause they are so over-powered by the mover...

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Weight training Vs cardio for fat burning

Which is better for fat burning, weight training or cardio workouts? Does that mean you shouldn’t worry about weight training? Certainly not, because weight training has many other benefits for health and performance, not the least of which is extra muscle. It’s just thatthis advantage has been somewhat overstated and we need to get this fatburning thing right in order to develop the best weight loss andperformance programs. Getting the Afterburn Okay, so extra muscle does not provide that much advantage, but what about the afterburn? The ‘afterburn’, or the amount of energy you use after you stop exercising, has been promoted as an important slimming idea. If you can get afterburn, which is really another way of saying your metabolism increases for several hours or longer after a particular exercise, then that’s a bonus because you burn fat during the exercise and after you cease as well. We also need to consider how fuel is used preferentially according to how your body stores are maintained. After you do a vigorous or long workout, your blood and muscle glucose will be much lower than before you started. Low glucose stores signal the body to burn fat preferentially. So after hard exercise that uses a lot of glucose, the body switches to burning fat. That’s why all energy expenditure is important, not just fat burning during exercise. Strength training has so many great things going for it and I’m a big fan: increased strength, more muscle and body shape, better balance and bone density and improved functionality across all facets of human movement. But let’s be honest, we all need aerobic or cardio training as well. It has its own set of important functional benefits including general fitness, elastic arteries, increased heart and lung function and lower blood pressure to name a few benefits. Lifting weights can easily move us into the high intensity exercise zone above the 75 percent effort required to get some afterburn, but it’s only for short bursts. This is not consistent, steady-state effort and does not generally burn as much energy as a good run on the treadmill, cycle or row machine at moderate pace. I’ve based this on a 150 pound person (just under 70...

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Beetroot – A Natural Sports Performance Enhancer

The news of the Lance Armstrong doping scandal has been a major shock in the world of sport. It has also highlighted the widespread use of illegal substances to enhance physical performance. There is however a perfectly legal food that has found to improve sports performance. The mystery food… as you have probably guessed is the humble beetroot. The multiple Paralympics gold medallist David Weir admitted drinking beetroot juice during the marathon. This root vegetable has undergone various scientific studies which have verified its ability to improve sporting performance. The Channel 4 show, The Food Hospital, highlighted the ability of beetroot juice for cyclists.  This was a small study, but the results were very promising, however further studies are required. Other smaller studies have also backed the use of beetroot in sports performance. Researchers at the University of Exeter found that beetroot juice enabled people to exercise for up to 16% longer. This is a significant difference for sports men and women. The research involving this root vegetable, are not only limited to sports performance. A study conducted by the University of Exeter and Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry found that people used less oxygen when performing low intensity exercises such as walking after drinking beetroot juice. Beetroot is rich in potassium, folic acid, iron as well as many antioxidants including anthocyanins. Beetroots contain betaine, which has a natural anti-inflammatory effect on the body. Betaine is often used to treat cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This vegetable also contains nitrates, which help to widen blood vessels. These nitrates are converted to nitric oxide in the body. This results in lowering blood pressure and allowing more blood to flow (preventing blood clots). Nitric oxide also reduces the amount of oxygen that is needed by the body during exercise.  This double effect has a dramatic effect on sports performance, as well as low intensity activity. There is however a slight problem, before you head out to the supermarket, you would need to eat up to five beetroots for a significant benefit. Beetroot supplements also pose the same problem. You would have to eat many capsules to make a difference. This is why the experts recommend...

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Best Butt Exercises

…or The Butt Basic’s Part II Welcome back, here we list the best exercises for the Glutes. Phase One: Hip Flexor Flexibility and Glute Activation You must possess adequate hip flexor flexibility in order to open up the hips and maximally activate the glutes Pick two exercises and perform two sets of ten reps with a five-second isometric hold up top Pick one exercise and perform two sets of ten reps with a five-second isometric hold up top Robert Johnston PT (Personal Trainer) We hope you found our article on “butt exercises” useful. Please let us know by rating it...

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Tips on how to prevent sciatica

Sciatica, which is also known as sciatic neuritis, is the result of when the sciatic nerve is inflamed. The pain is felt down the back of the leg which is caused by irritation of the sciatic nerve into the leg. The sciatic nerve is the largest nerve in the body and is made up from the lumbar and sacral nerve roots from the spine. It leaves from the lower part of the spinal cord, and then passes behind the hip bone running down the back of the thigh. It is common to have problems with the sciatic nerve, but let us give you some tips on how to prevent sciatica from occurring. The pain is caused by an annoyance of one of five spinal nerve roots or to the left or right sciatic nerve. The lower part of the back, bottom and parts of the leg or foot is where the pain is felt. The symptoms can be a feeling numbness, pins and needles or difficulty in moving the leg. Sciatica is frequently misunderstood as to what the term means even though it is a form of back and leg pain and is not a diagnosis for the annoyance of the cause of pain but consists of symptoms. The symptoms will vary depending on the cause of the symptom.   How to prevent sciatica If you are sitting wrongly this can help to worsen sciatica butthere are many ways in which you can prevent and reduce the symptoms of sciatica. Examples are yoga, walking or swimming. These exercises can help to strengthen the muscles so as not to put a strain on the back. When you are standing ensure you are standing upright with your back straight and your head facing forward. Both feet should be well balanced with legs straight also. When sitting make sure you have supported the back of your neck with a cushion or something soft and sit erect. Your knees and hips should be the same level and your feet should be firmly on the floor. Driving is the same as sitting down, the back should be properly supported. Mirrors, seat and foot pedals should be set accordingly. If you are lifting something from the a...

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