Core: what is it and how can you improve yours?

CoreFitnessWhile core training has become a bit of a fitness buzz word in recent years, many are still unsure of exactly which muscles are involved in our core stability and how to activate them. Hopefully this information will help to provide some clarity.

While most think of core as a tight six-pack or toned abs, but the most obvious abdominal muscles only form a small part of the core, which is actually group of muscles that stabilise the spine and pelvis. Therefore, a core-strengthening exercise program needs to include all of these muscles to be effective. When well-conditioned, core muscles help to distribute the stresses of weight-bearing, as well as improving our balance and posture and reducing our risk of injury.

Read More

Prehab

Tight neck & shoulders? Aching lower back? Do you sit for hours a day? Do you play a sport or train regularly? Read on…prehab may be just what the doctor ordered…


What is it?

KP1_38782Prehab is a customised and ever-evolving exercise program designed to match your lifestyle, physical condition and goals for change and/or maintenance. It provides body-specific focused exercises and activities to best suit an individuals needs.

Used to keep high-level athletes in optimum physical condition for decades, incorporating prehab into your training regime is just as important for those of low to moderate fitness levels, if not more so. The philosophy is essentially to prevent injuries and to keep you fit to train and fit to sit! The development of postural issues, specific muscle weakness/tightness and pressure on joints is exacerbated by day-to-day life. Prolonged working hours, sitting (car, plane, desk, sofa), poor ergonomics in our work environment, stress and recreational sports/exercise can all play a role in causing a multitude of imbalances. Injuries often occur as a result of many years of repetitive strain. You’ll often hear someone say they bent down to tie a shoe lace and ‘put their back out’. The shoe lace is not the cause – it was likely the 10 years of sitting at a desk for 8-10 hours a day leading up to this event.

The development and execution of an effective program can be complex. The practice of prehab and its success relies greatly on an individuals ability to commit to prevention. The development of the program needs to be progressive and regularly re-evaluated to tweak and change with the individuals needs.

Read More

Donna’s Tricks to Fast Track New Habits

DonnaIt may take a lifetime to form our behavioural habits, whether good or bad, but practice makes perfect! No-one else created your habits. They are your invention. You may have copied your family, your friends or your favourite celebrities but ultimately it comes down to you. The good news is that you created those habits so you have just as much power to change them into healthy habits to last a new lifetime.

The most crucial emotion to remember is to stay positive. Edison tried 10,000 times to get his light bulb invention to work but failed each time. His lack of success was no deterrent for the scientist claiming “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” You may have tried 10,000 diets that don’t work either and if you are plagued by persistent negative thoughts towards life these new changes won’t work either.

They say we have to practice something 1000 times to form a habit. Lord knows you’ve practiced your bad habits at least this many times, so you’re a champion at them! In terms of a lifetime it’s a drop in the ocean. During this process make an extra effort to eat nutritious and balanced meals because this will help improve your mood and feed that positive outlook.

It’s also crucial to sleep well. Missing sleep is a major hindrance to healthy living so make sure you have adequate rest.

Read More

Forget Weight – What’s your body composition?

Why is it useful to measure your body composition?

Body composition describes the different components that make up our total body weight. It’s the ratio between our stored body fat and lean body weight (muscle, bone, organs … everything other than fat). Our Lean Body Weight (LBW) is metabolically active and fat (adipose) tissue is not. Our body composition determines our health, tone, shape, performance, strength, metabolic rate and overall appearance.

Bathroom scales provide a measure of total weight, but don’t determine what that weight is composed of. Based only on scale weight, a 90 kilo athlete with less than 10% body fat may be considered obese by a typical weight chart. This also includes Body Mass Index (BMI) measures for the same reason. While BMI combined with waist circumference gives some indication of our physical condition, it is not as accurate as body composition.

Read More

Fibre: Are you getting enough?

I realise I may sound like your mother right now … and I promise I’m not going to start discussing bowel movements … but after reading this blog you may find that, like many, you’re not getting enough fibre in your diet. While this may sound a little ho-hum, I find most peoples ears prick up when I mention the fact that increasing your fibre intake can help you to shed body fat!

While we all know about having fibre to ‘keep you regular’, many don’t realise the important role it plays in fat loss, satiety, heart health, reducing your risk of certain cancers, your immune system, IBS, inflammation, blood sugar regulation and production of healthy gut flora.

Read More

If you want to lose a kilo a day…read on!

It’s the nature of our fast-paced lifestyle. We all want to lose weight and we’d like it to happen yesterday. This burning desire is what keeps weight loss books, products and pills thriving.

Now I know you were all excited when you read the headline on this blog. You, like millions of others, are still looking for the magic carpet ride to a better body.

The good news is that you will get amazing results in a timely manner if you follow my program. The bad news is that while it’s possible to lose ‘weight’ quickly, it is not possible to lose ‘body fat’ quickly. Burning body fat requires a physiological process, which means you have to be in debt 7,700 calories to shed one kilogram of stored body fat. To put this into perspective, you burn around 300 calories in an hour of walking.

Read More

Agave Syrup – Healthy Alternative or Liquid Poison?

agaveAgave nectar (or syrup) is basically high-fructose corn syrup impersonating a healthy sweetener. Many manufacturers and marketing gurus have jumped on the ‘facts’ about the health-promoting properties of agave.

While the ‘blue agave’ species is grown in rich volcanic soil, there is unfortunately no evidence that any of these compounds remain present in the commercially manufactured syrup.

Agave is much sweeter than cane sugar and it pours more readily than honey. It’s also low-glycemic and, for this reason, is often marketed to diabetics and those wishing to lose weight.

While that all sounds like it’s the nectar of health, now let’s look at the facts…

The reason agave is low-glycemic is due to the fact that it is composed predominately of fructose. Agave nectar boasts the highest fructose content of any commercial sweetener.

Read More

Metabolic Suicide – The Recovery Mission

l_losingit

Reality television shows are earning top ratings by flaunting the dramatic weight loss of individuals desperate enough to endure punishing diet and exercise regimes.

Next time you hear someone moaning about a super restrictive diet, understand that it isn’t just a hissy fit. It’s real. The emotional and physical torment of deprivation challenges the very core of human nature and its inherent survival instincts.

Each time you jump from low carbs to low fat to low calories to high protein you are harming yourself. No-one wants to be fat and it’s great to become pro-active about getting in shape but we have to wise up about how it’s done. It won’t happen with fads, starvation or anything that even resembles torture but by re-booting your metabolism, it will happen and the best news is that it can stay that way. Diets which restrict calories too far may cause a reduction in weight but it almost always causes a reduction in metabolism. Once you begin on this downhill spiral, you are entering a destructive cycle where it is virtually impossible to lose fat without starving and over-exercising.

Read More

Things we all need to know (but nobody tells us) about Lycra!

Having had the privilege of living through the past 25 years or so of the evolution of exercise attire, from leg warmers to g-strings worn on the outside of our tights (circa 1980), I feel it’s time for me to offer a few pearls of wisdom. Rather than taking offense, think of me as the honest friend who is brave enough to tell you the truth and, hopefully save you from any future source of embarrassment or regret!Doc1-1024x778

The science behind wearing  Lycra

There are very few physiques flattered by lycra, but here are a few things we need to be aware of:

Read More

Muscle: Your Most Valuable Asset

Are you one of the thousands of Australians enthusiastically pounding the pavement to work off some of that extra winter-flab? Before you take another step, you need to know

Why we need muscles for fat loss

There has been an urban legend floating around for decades now that we must start a fat-loss regime with plenty of aerobic exercise to strip off the excess lard before tackling the weight-training for tone and shape. After all, muscle builds ‘bulk’ and your goal is to reduce your size, right?  But like many urban legends, this too is utter twaddle!

While aerobic exercise burns calories during execution, our participation is commonly restricted by both time and energy. Even if you were able to walk or run daily for an hour, what about the other twenty-three hours in your day? This is where strength training comes in.

Read More

12