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Training Advice


HEALTH BENEFITS OF CYCLING

Everywhere you look, people are jumping on the cycling bandwagon. I love to cycle and it’s no surprise given the many health benefits associated with cycling.

It’s one of the easiest ways to exercise; you can ride a bike almost anywhere, at any time of the year, and without spending a fortune. Most of us know how to cycle and once you have learned, you don’t forget. Let’s look at the major benefits:

1) Builds strength and muscle tone. It is not an activity that solely involves the legs, but builds strength in every single part of the body.

2) Increases muscle tone, especially in the legs, quads, butt and hips.

3) Improves cardio-vascular fitness; cycling uses the largest muscle groups the legs, raising the heart rate to benefit stamina and fitness.

4) Improves co-ordination – arm-to-leg, feet-to-hands, body-to-eye coordination.

5) Reduces stress – outdoors is always a great way to be with nature and feel the fresh air. Guaranteed to takes one’s mind out of everyday life stress and rejuvenates the soul.

TIPS:

Start slowly.

Increase speed gradually.

Have fun.

Be safe.

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KETTLEBELS ARE FOR WOMEN!!

If you were looking for a single exercise… one that would not only burn fat, build muscle, boost your endurance, but also improve your posture and keep you from getting lower back pain – look no further… It’s called the kettlebell swing.

Kettlebells are nothing new to the world of fitness and one of my favourite exercises. They are basically round weights with handles.

Why are they so awesome?

  • Serious cardio without the boredom of the hamster wheel (treadmill)
  • Functional strength without the monotony of isolated reps
  • Fun and varied, never boring
  • One compact, portable device
  • It’s safe — for any age, shape or size
  • Combines “cardio” and “strength” training

Why are they unique?

The Kettlebell favours swinging motions that are close to real life motions than other weight lifting motions. In fact, the Kettlebell is not strictly for weigh-lifting purposes, but more closely represents High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which is designed to burn fat, tone muscles and give a full body workout.

The Kettlebell favours swinging motions that are close to real life motions than other weight lifting motions. In fact, the Kettlebell is not strictly for weigh-lifting purposes, but more closely represents High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which is designed to burn fat, tone muscles and give a full body workout.

Perfect for women!!

How to utilize them the best way

To properly do a Kettle bell swing, you’ll need to do a powerful hip thrust using your glutes and hamstring muscles. In traditional weight lifting, these muscles, along with your lower back are known as your “power zone” since they are involved in virtually all forms of lifting, running and jumping movements. Even low reps of swings will increase your muscular power.

Some of the reasons why I personally like using kettlebells:

  • It decreases workout time by half.
  • It’s a full-body and very balanced workout.
  • It makes your butt very strong and firm.
  • It’s easily transportable and can be used almost everywhere.
  • It can be shared in a group setting, making it a social activity.
  • It can target every single muscle group in your entire body.
  • Did I say it’s quick and gets to the point?

One thing that you can be assured of that a kettlebell workout is both effective and fun! Running just is not my thing, but kettlebells represent a whole different kind of activity and many people like me think swinging these handled weights is great.

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YOUR POST WORKOUT CAN BE REALLY FUN & RELAXING

After working out we need to make sure we prepare our body to cool down properly and get ready for the next activity without being tired and using this as an excuse to finish our day.

After a training session, the first urge is to jump into a cold shower and cool yourself off, but that is not exactly wise. What you do after working out is just as important as your workout to get the best results, and here’s why it’s not so wise to jump into a cold shower:

  • First of all, if you stop suddenly from a great training session, there’s the risk of a sudden drop in your blood pressure and your blood could gather in your legs, so in order to prevent this from happening, you should continue with an easy walk for 10-15 minutes after running, or some stretching out after cardio or strength training. We’ve actually provided some after workout stretching exercises in the past and I totally support this practice. This way you’ll relax all that tension from your workout, avoiding soreness the next day and help expediting the healing process of muscles that start to break down from exercising. It is advisable that you alternate hot water with cold water during your shower to keep the blood flowing from one extreme to another, for muscle recovery and against the inflammation after your workout.
  • Also, you should not rush into drinking a lot of water after your workout. We know you’re dehydrated a lot, but drink small portions and allow your body to steady your heartbeat and get back to a normal rhythm, before filling the water gap in your body. In 15-30 minutes, after you workout, your body’s metabolic window will be open and that’s the perfect time to drink water and a protein shake as well, to rebuild your muscles. If a shake is not your preference, then another protein substitute will be fine, just make sure that the protein is substantial.
  • Having a full massage can also help, or rolling on a foam roller, under your legs, back and neck will do the trick as well if a massage is not for you. Don’t forget to rest well and eat well, if you want to keep healthy-looking and glowing.

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THE POWER OF EXERCISE

Not long after I turned 50, the onset of menopause changed my life. My hot flushes became intolerable; sometimes only getting 2-3 hours of sleep a night. I felt irritable and moody. I didn’t want to take HRT, but decided to give it a go because I was just so desperate for some sleep and to get my life back in order. After a few weeks, I felt a slight improvement and the hot flushes had subsided. After 6 months, I took myself off HRT after learning exactly what was in the tablets (i.e. animal urine). I tried a few other natural things, but nothing really helped and I started to slip into a depressed state because at this time I started to put on more and more weight.

I decided to get back to the gym and focus on my food, cutting back on processed sugar, gluten and dairy. I started eating more raw foods, hydrating myself properly and taking essential fatty acids. I ate organic meat and chicken and included more fish in my diet as well. I undertook the services of an awesome personal trainer and soon regular exercise and weight training became part of my every day life – all of which is now known to reduce the severity of many menopausal symptoms from hot flushes, to poor memory, low sex drive to depression, sleep problems to lack of energy.

Eventually I regained my health and life back!

So…it doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s something you enjoy and will stick to. Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes five times a week and keep it varied so you don’t get bored. If you are not used to exercising, start gently and build up your stamina. If you have any health conditions, are overweight or haven’t exercised for a long time, get the OK from your doctor first…AND remember, don’t neglect stretching after exercise, as this will help to keep your joints supple and flexible as you get older.

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LIFTING WEIGHTS & MENOPAUSE

Weight training during pre and post menopause is an excellent way for women to get in shape, or stay in shape. It also helps with some major concerns many women have about their bodies during this transition – such as weight gain and loss of bone density.

One of the main reasons lifting weights is beneficial for women during or after menopause is because it helps improve bone density. When you lift weights, you force not only your muscles, but also your bones to work. One of the most important things to remember when lifting weights during menopause is to engage in activities that work groups of muscles instead of isolating muscles. You can divide sections of your workout to legs, chest, back muscles. This will also help you get the most of your workout by helping you burn fat faster, which is a key advantage to women concerned about their expanding waist lines. Also, consider working your abs, being careful not to strain your neck whilc cdong them.

Another important thing to note is to switch up your routine with different weight bearing exercises especially if you are someone who gets a little bored with exercsising. Weight bearing means anything that puts pressure on your skeletal system. The more you move, the more fat you lose.

Lifting weights can be a challenging activity for some, so make sure you have a “spotter” on hand, i.e. a personal trainer. Alternate muscles groups every day so that your muscles have time to rebuild and repair themselves after a workout.

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FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLES OF ADULT STRENGTH TRAINING

Principle #1

All strength training sessions should begin with a warm-up period of at least 10-15 minutes and conclude with a cool down period of similar duration. Resistance exercise is strenuous. If you do not prepare adequately for muscular exertion, you place yourself at risk of injury.

Principle #2

Before you begin each strength exercise, make certain that you and the equpment are positioned properly. If you are at the gym and don’t know how to set up your equipment, ask for help. As you position yourself for an exercise, you should feel balanced – spine, head and shoulders erect, your chin up and looking straight ahead.

Principle #3

All exercises should be performed with smooth, slow, controlled moveements in both the positive and negative phases of every repetition. There is no need tor quick jerking movements in adult strength training for health.

Principle #4

In almost all strength exercises, the proper breathing sequence in performing a repetition is as follows:

  1. Before you begin, inhale moderately through your nose so that your chest expands and rises slightly;
  2. As you begin to move the resistance, begin to exhale by blowing out gently and slowly through rounded lips:
  3. Continue to exale throughout the positive phase of the rep.

Principle #5

If you feel joint pain or some other type of abnormal discomfort during the course of an exercise, stop immediately. Do not try to “work through the pain.” Simple!

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WEDNESDAY WORKOUT 

Here is a great workout for you to try today, this week, or even at the weekend! But – just try it!!

It’s a challenging workout, so work at your best pace to finish (with correct form). The workout itself will take about 30-35 minutes, so with your warm-up, cool-down and stretching, you maybe looking at about 40-45 minutes total.

Ultimate Challenge

Warm-up: 5-10 minutes (for example: fast walking, slow body weight exercises, skipping)

For time: 30 minutes – various modifications are provided for a few of the exercises. Remember to SCALE DOWN where necessary.

  • 500 metre run, jog or fast walk
  • 30 box jumps OR 30 step-ups ( on each side) OR 30 body weight squats
  • 30 walking lunges (30 per side)
  • 30 pushups – wall, knees or on your toes
  • 30 burpees OR squat jumps

1 minute rest

  • 400 metre run, jog or fast walk
  • 20 box jumps OR 30 step-ups ( on each side) OR 30 body weight squats
  • 20 walking lunges (30 per side)
  • 20 pushups – wall, knees or on your toes
  • 20 burpees OR squat jumps

1 minute rest

  • 300 metre run, jog or fast walk
  • 30 box jumps OR 30 step-ups ( on each side) OR 30 body weight squats
  • 30 walking lunges (30 per side)
  • 30 pushups – wall, knees or on your toes
  • 30 burpees OR squat jumps

Record your time!! The next time you do this workout, try and knock a few seconds or minutes off your workout.

Stretch, stretch, stretch!!!



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