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MAY
19

Improve Power & Fitness in Soccer

soccer2Improving power, or explosive strength and speed is a big deal in soccer. Ask a player what he feels he needs to work on and 9 out of 10 the answer will be: "get faster and more explosive"

And they are right, these qualities are definitely very important for a dominating performance in soccer and many other sports. Note: I am not a scientist, and I do not know much about research, so I would like to simply give you my personal take on this based on experience and logic.

This advice comes straight from the trenches. Theory is good, but it has to be backed by practice, in my opinion. I do a lot of work with association football (soccer) and my approach has proven effective over and over again: for myself as many others, applying the same strategies.

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8747 Hits
APR
17

Food for Body Building

musclefoodaBeets may not have occurred, or appealed to you as a body building option let alone something you should consume more often. Enough to put anyone off beets! However, fresh beets, if you can find them in farmer’s markets or health food stores are far better tasting either grated raw in a salad or as the colourful main ingredient in borscht soup. Minus the vinegar beets are naturally delicious and their nitrates increase vasodilation – the widening of blood vessels which increases blood flow to tissues that most need it enabling the body to work harder and also lowers blood pressure.

Surprisingly Psy forgot one truly important icon of Korean culture in his Gangnam Style spoof of Seoul lifestyles – kimchi! In Korea everyone eats it almost with every meal, including breakfast. This is beyond being simply a super food although foreigners may wonder what all the fuss is about. Kimchi has an acquired taste. Made from fermented cabbage, onions, garlic and spices it kicks a powerful punch as well as providing beneficial bacteria that aid digestion and nutrient absorption. A diet containing kimchi has been found to decrease waist size and body fat while improving blood sugar levels. Eat it as a side dish with any meal.

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  15682 Hits
15682 Hits
APR
17

5 Ways To Get Ready For The Summer

5healthfoodSummer is next to our door, and clean eating is a must, if you want to have a healthy body. Clean eating basically means to avoid pre-packaged and processed foods and return to basics – fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains *(preferably organic) and lean protein from fish.

Let’s start with vegetables. Dark green veggies such as broccoli, spinach and kale are high in folates – a cardiovascular booster – and low in carbohydrates.

Tomatoes are high in vitamin C and can be mixed with fresh basil in a salad or eaten alone as a snack. Try adding some roasted garlic to the mix. Garlic is a strong anti-oxidant that boosts the immune system, increases blood flow and lowers cholesterol.

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11323 Hits
MAR
12

Weight lifting and tendon injuries

tendon1Tendon trouble and injuries is common amongst those who push their physical limits especially weight lifters. Shoulders are one of the more vulnerable areas of the body; however, anyone involved in strenuous exercise, workouts and sports is liable to strain or damage their tendons. Taking anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen, advil and aspirin is only a short- term solution and if used extensively can lead to other health problems particularly of the digestive system.

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  10282 Hits
10282 Hits
MAR
12

Fitness & Health for spring time

springmainSo, while it may not look or feel like spring outside, it’s spring! The end of Spring when Summer should be teasing us. Bringing all the fun things you’d associate – holiday weekends, barbecues, weddings, evenings drinking outside….. all of which add up to bad news for your clean eating and training regime. We are all human though and the odd blow out is not going to have hugely detrimental effects to your overall goal if it is exactly that – occasional. If you eat cleanly and exercise regularly, nothing wrong with treating yourself every now and again. What is wrong though is allowing what should be a cheat “meal” to become a full –on blow out. So you have a glass of wine and a dessert at lunchtime…. This does not give you licence to finish the rest of the bottle over the course of the afternoon and then have a takeaway pizza for dinner and raid the biscuit tin for a midnight snack. Do not let treats become pig outs!

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12736 Hits
FEB
11

5 Tips to drop your body fat

gainweight“Why am I not losing weight even though I’m training more?”

A very common question from many people, have many answers...First we need to make sure that everyone understands the difference between weight loss and fat loss.
What’s the difference?
Weight Loss = Wanting to lose body weight on a scale – The sum weight of bones, muscles, organs, fat, etc.
Fat loss = Wanting to reduce the fat on your body regardless of weight – The amount of fat between muscle and skin.

Weight loss can be achieved through gradually reducing the amount of calories you take in or by doing repetitive exercise for any given duration i.e. walking, jogging, running, cycling etc

Weight loss problems

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14456 Hits
FEB
11

3 Tips for Dating & Fitness

datingfitnessmainLet's say that you’re out and about doing errands and you suddenly see a girl or a boy, that catches your eye. You decide to take action there because those clips you’ve seen on “pick up” and mystery’s pick up technique tells you that you have 3 seconds to make a move or you end up hesitating. Amazingly she/he’s giving you all the “IOI’s” and “kino” and you end up number closing her/him.

Boom! Nice….

If you aren’t so bold the scenario could end up like this…You’ve succumb to one of the thousand adverts for various dating websites and you’ve set up an online dating profile. You eventually find a good match and you’ve scheduled a date/time and place.

Great Job!

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12371 Hits
JAN
13

A self motivation trick for success

moti1Do you talk to yourself while you're working out? Serious question! Or would you rather not be the person everyone avoids on the gym floor as they're worried about the mental state of someone happily having a conversation with themself?

Do you respond better to motivation? Could you push out a few more reps or go just a little bit faster with someone there to encourage you? I'm guessing most people would say yes - which is perfect as it keeps us Personal Trainers in a job! So if you respond to someone pushing you to the next level, getting the very best out of you, motivating you to try those last few movements - why can't you be your own cheerleader?

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12302 Hits
JAN
13

Another approach to vegetables and health

vegies1While all vegetables are basically good for your health some are better than others. Cruciferous veggies are special due to their chemical composition which includes sulphurous compounds which give then their pungent flavour. When broken down by either chewing or chopping these sulphurous compounds are converted into isothiocyanates (ITCs) which can prevent and help fight cancer as well as boosting the immune system. Cruciferous veggies also contain antiviral/bacterial agents that can help keep you disease free.

Cruciferous veggies include beets and their greens, bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, turnip greens and watercress.

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  17841 Hits
17841 Hits
DEC
09

Training after middle age

older1Many women are turned off from training as they have the wrong impression that lifting weights or any kind of gym activity is something men want to do to build muscles. How your body adapts to working with weights is determined by your genetics.

For women there are numerous benefits for doing resistance training and I promise you won’t end up looking like Arnie! Resistance training is good for anyone of any age or ability. It offers the benefits of gaining strength, improved co-ordination, better posture, a serious kick to the metabolism and heaps of self confidence. Heart problems, fat and a series of other conditions may become better by time and self-confidence can be boost as never before.

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  10669 Hits
10669 Hits
DEC
09

Protein drinks & fitness

protein1Everyone needs a certain amount of protein in their diet and anyone involved in fitness training and body building will logically need more in a daily basis. One way to get an energy boost after working out while avoiding the dangers of high fat sources of protein, such as fatty meats, is by shaking up a shake based on protein powder alternatives or buy one of the hundreds brands in the market.

There are a number of such alternative sources of protein that are ideal for making shakes, including soy, egg and whey. All are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. All you need is a blender, 1-2 minutes and some imagination.

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  27062 Hits
27062 Hits
NOV
11

Something new, something old: Get some rest

rest2Workout - Recuperate

Getting sufficient rest and recuperation is as important as any workout. Overtraining won’t make you any stronger or aid your performance, so learn to keep a proper balance between the two by watching for the following markers.

A loss of body mass/weight of just 2% indicates a lack of sufficient hydration which affects both physical and mental performance. Another indicator of dehydration is the colour of your urine. Dark yellow means you need to drink more water. Drinking more fluids both before and after a workout is recommended.

It’s a good idea to check your resting heart rate each morning to see what’s normal for you. An elevated resting heart rate is a sign of stress and your heart trying to move more oxygen to muscles and the brain. Physical and psychological stress registers the same. Both require extra recovery.

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  24690 Hits
24690 Hits
NOV
11

Back pain and exercise: How fitness can help

backpain1Anatomy:

Your back (spine) is made up of vertebrae (bones) that make up 5 spinal regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, and the coccyx. Between each vertebrae sits a shock-absorbing disc that allows movement and provides flexibility.

The purpose of your spine is to protect your spinal cord. Nerves from the spinal cord pass through the intervertebral foramen to the body, allowing messages to be transmitted to and from the brain and the periphery (e.g., your limbs).

The spine is supported by ligaments such as the anterior longitudinal ligament, the posterior longitudinal ligament, and the ligament flavum, and the core muscles such as the transversus abdominis and the multifidus. The unique and complex structure of spine allows humans to move with great freedom, but also requires coordinated interactions between vertebrae, vertebral discs, ligaments, and supporting musculature in order to achieve healthy function.

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50492 Hits
OCT
07

Goals and Motivation

dweir1Not making much progress in losing weight, or on a slow train in attaining your strength and fitness goals? You think you have problems? Take a look at someone who could have had plenty to complain about, but took a different approach: David Weir, the British and World Champion Paralympic champion who won this year’s London Marathon for the fifth time and won last year’s New York Marathon and took triple gold in the World Championships in Christchurch New Zealand.

He is described as Britain’s top wheel chair athlete and one of the best in the world.
So how did he get there, given the significant disability of being born paraplegic? Self-perception seems to be the secret, or at least a large part of it. “I have never seen myself as disabled. I have always been treated as normal,” says the 34 year old from South London who has an 8 year old daughter from a previous relationship and now has a new-born son with his current partner.

He has been a full time athlete for the last thirteen years.

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  18170 Hits
18170 Hits
OCT
07

Medical checkups can save lives

testsaThe continuous advancement in medical tests has been a major contributing factor to the increased life expectancy of our generation (among with a better and healthier diet and of course fitness). With advancements in medical science, medical abnormalities can now be detected earlier and with greater accuracy. Picking up changes early is vital to ensure that you can treat the condition or changes appropriately. As a result, exercise physiologists are playing an increasing role in the treatment and prevention of many lifestyle diseases.

Whilst medical testing is a meticulous science, it does rely on each individual to request the appropriate tests from their GP. At various stages of your life, the tests that are suitable will change. The following graphic provides you with succinct summary of medical tests that are appropriate through your lifespan. If you haven't had a medical check up in the past year and you are over the age of 30, you know what to do! A medical check up could save your life!

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17222 Hits
SEP
10

Salt or Sodium and Extra Weight

salt2In the last decades many different theories about salt or sodium have come to light.

Weight gain and retention have many origins as well as supposed solutions. However, one common food item with a significant impact on body weight is salt, or sodium.

Food manufactures add a lot of salt to foods, deadening our over-stimulated taste buds, and to increase product shelf life. Salt is in virtually all commercially produced foods and drinks including diet soda and even some supposedly organic products. We get used to the taste and then find products with less or no salt not to our liking.

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  16103 Hits
16103 Hits
SEP
10

Muscle stretching

calv1When taking up an exercise such as jogging, more serious running or just about any physical activity that pushes your body beyond its comfort zone, you’ll need an appropriate pre and post exercise warm up and wind-down routine if you want to avoid injuries. In addition to this you should always remember to avoid eating at least one hour before you exercise.

It’s all part of the process of getting fitter faster while listening to your body’s needs and respecting its capacity.

A common area for problems when running is the foot and ankle region which is where most of the impact occurs and blood pressure increasing during training. Keeping your calf muscles flexible can help you avoid tendonitis and plantar fasciitis by softening the shock as your foot hits the ground. One popular injury preventive training method which focuses on flexibility and strength is the Wharton Performance Model.

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17282 Hits
AUG
10

Push ups workout tips

pushups1Push ups offer a great upper body workout, by using the body to work the deltoids, pectorals and triceps. However, this workout can put too much strain on your arm joints, especially those in the wrist. Modifications to your usual routine may help alleviate the pressure.

Ball press-up

Using a stability ball changes the position into a wrist-friendly, albeit more challenging exercise that targets the mid-chest area, triceps and abdominals. Hold your body horizontally with your toes on the floor over the ball. Hold the ball, grasping it to stop it wobbling. Your hands should be placed just under your shoulders. Bend your arms to at least 90° with each rep.

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17352 Hits
AUG
10

Dairy products and fat

dairy1Fat never goes out of fashion at least not the numerous approaches to getting rid of it. How it gets there is generally well documented usually under the headings of an unbalanced diet and lifestyle. Of course, getting rid of just about anything is always going to be harder than if we’d simply avoided it in the first place, but here we have a recent study that looks at making a cure for too much fat from one of the main culprits: namely dairy products.

It is a truth generally acknowledged that one of the main causes of obesity is a diet high in dairy fats. However, it has been discovered that diets high in low-fat dairy calcium in fact helped burn off more fat than low calcium diets mainly because calcium plays an important role in regulating body weight and fat metabolism.

Although better known for maintaining bone density and strength, calcium also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and has been shown to increase weight loss. A recent study found an increase in dietary calcium intake to 1200 1300 mg per day together with a normal intake of protein increased fat and energy excretion by about 350 calories per day.

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37776 Hits
JUL
16

Fitness requires energy

energy1Different physical activities have differing energy requirements, as one might expect. However, these energy requirements rely on a variety of sources of fuel as well as bodily energy systems to supply their needs. Understanding your body’s needs and responses according to the type of physical activity you’re involved in largely determines your overall performance and success.

Take, for example, the 100 meter sprint and the marathon. The sprint is a brief high intensity event, whereas the marathon is a prolonged endurance test. Both burn up plenty of energy from different sources and by way of different bodily systems. Basic energy comes via the muscles in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP. However, stored supplies of ATP for immediate use are limited and must be replenished and resynthesized from other sources via various metabolic paths depending on the intensity of the need.

The energy systems providing the metabolic paths are categorized as either immediate, short or long term and each is based on the resynthesis of ATP either from intramuscular phosphate PCr macronutrients, carbohydrates, lipids and protein or in some form of combination. These fuel sources use varying metabolic pathways in the regeneration of ATP.

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