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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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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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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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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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JUL
12

Carbohydrates late at night

carboeat1Eating carbohydrates late at night is, as we all should know, real bad news for our digestive systems and for putting on weight – right?

The hypothesis behind the assertion that ingesting carbohydrates at night is based on the fact – well, supposed fact – that as you approach bed time your metabolism begins to slow down and thus during sleep your digestive system is also likely to be in a low power state. As you are burning fewer calories during this time your metabolic rate switches off or goes into a low power mode. At least that is the conventional wisdom.

However, research has shown there are rises and falls in the metabolic rate even during deep REM sleep – known as the sleeping metabolic rate (SMR), which often correlates with day time rates. There’s also evidence that exercise increases metabolic rates, which perhaps proves the old adage, ‘after supper walk a mile.’ Obese individuals are likely to have lower metabolic rates than the average.

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JUN
17

Prevent gaining weight during the holidays

gainweightWhether it’s the Christmas/New Year period or a summer season break you can put on weight faster than you get a sun burn if you relax your dietary rules while having fun. Christmas and New Year is probably the worst time for dieters as it basically celebrates gluttony, but the rules are the same for any place or time when we may be tempted to over-indulge. So here are a few ways to stay in shape.

Drinking alcohol in moderation may be difficult if everyone around is being immoderate. Alcoholic beverages especially eggnog are high in calories and the carbohydrates in Guinness are 100% sugar which can result in an insulin rush.
Although drinking water while eating is not good for digestion, having a glass before a meal will suppress your appetite as well as help avoid dehydration.

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JUN
16

Is running a marathon really dangerous for your health?

marathon1Marathons the last two decades are very succesfull. More and more people are participating either for athletic purposes either for a cause.

Let’s start with the bad news though. For those who believe running makes you healthier there are some rather depressing recent statistics. Last year Ryan Shay, aged 28, running in the US Men’s Olympic Trials in Central Park was the first world class marathon runner to die of a heart attack while competing. One day later Mathew Hardy, 50, died of a heart attack just after finishing the New York City Marathon. A month earlier Chad Schieber, 35, died in the Chicago Marathon although he’d previously been diagnosed with a heart defect.

Then of course, back in 1984, there was the case of Jim Fixx, who is largely accredited with popularizing running with his 1977 book ‘The Complete Book of Running’, who died of a heart attack aged 54 while running near his home in Vermont.Enough to make you hang up your running shoes? Then what about Bhai Fauja Singh? Nicknamed the ‘turbaned tornado’, born in the Punjab in 1911 and now living in East London, he’s 100 years old, a life-long vegetarian who avoids alcohol, fried foods and smoking and weighs only 52 kg and is not only running in international marathons, but consistently winning them in his age group. And he didn’t even start serious competitive running until in his 80s! Kind of contradictory, no?

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MAY
19

5 Ways for healthy work launch

over3Present day work environments and schedules are not usually very sympathetic or flexible towards those trying to follow a healthy lifestyle or on a diet. Shift work, overtime, deadlines, family responsibilities and commuting can all wreck your fitness regime if you let them. While some compromises may be necessary the secret is to stay in control of the situation as much as possible.

Here are few suggestions to help maintain your weight loss program while also keeping your job.

Control your eating environment. Don’t let others dictate your food choices and don’t be afraid to turn down offers of unhealthy snack foods or drinks at meetings or office parties. Don’t be intimidated by other people’s views on your dieting. If necessary, explain what you’re doing and why. Be positive and assertive. Choose who you hang out with. Try to find like-minded co-workers to help give support to your health regime.

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MAY
06

Intensive training & yoga?

balasanaHave you ever consider what can be the relationship between bodybuilding exersices and yoga? Rushing headlong into our strength training routine without the requisite stretching and then rushing through our warm down isn't the best for your body. How conscious are you of your flexibility? Can you still touch your toes? Do you still want to be able to do this as you get older?  Yoga could be the power lifter or strongman’s new best friend and you don’t need an incense filled room to do this either.

There are a few quick and simple moves you can incorporate into your warm down that might just make all the difference.  After all yoga is no flash in the pan, it’s been around for a few thousand years and it may just extend your lifting career and improve your power lifting routine.

There are a few yoga moves that will improve the suppleness of your big muscle groups: the glutes, hams, quads, and lats.

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APR
09

Nutrition errors you have to avoid

fruitsbWhen comes to diet doesn’t mean starving all the time. If you’re not eating enough your body goes into ‘starvation’ mode and begins to consume muscle, not fat. You need to eat enough to maintain healthy levels of blood glucose to sustain your energy throughout the day. Three meals a day will burn stored fat if you’re also exercising regularly. Regular intake of food creates a ‘thermic’ effect as your body processes the calories. This increases your metabolism.

Skipping meals is bad for your body. This applies especially to breakfast. Even if you don’t feel hungry at that time, eating and drinking something nutritious in the morning is one of the best things you can do for your body.

When trying to lose weight it’s important to know your daily caloric intake. To reduce weight safely at the rate of 1 to 2 pounds a week you need to subtract calories from your daily total.

 

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MAR
18

Body problems and how to beat them

bodyproblms1If you are serious about developing your physical stregth, whether by competitive running, personal training, pumping iron in the gym, or even just doing yoga you’ll know there’s a whole lot more than seven potential ways in which your body can not only protest but cause some serious troubles.  Whatever your genetic strengths or weaknesses, learning to listen and respond to your body’s initial warning signs makes all the difference between a short or long recovery time and is crucial if you want to keep doing what you do well.  On this article the focus is on some of the most common injuries affecting competitive runners, but the information applies to most physical workouts and regimes.

Runner’s knee accounts for about 40% of all running injuries.  It typically strikes on longer runs, while descending hills or stairs, or after prolonged sitting.  Almost everyone is at risk.  The first solution is to slow down.  Take extra rest days and reduce your mileage, running only as far as you can without pain.  Running uphill or simulating hills on a treadmill strengthens your glutes, hips and thighs and prevents knees from rolling inwards.  Cycling is also good for strengthening your quads and swimming is knee-friendly.  If you have knee pain on waking which doesn’t ease up, stop running.

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MAR
07

Spring is here - Time to lose fat

over2After a really heavy winter in NYC, spring is coming and many of us - especially women- have been looking for different ways to lose weight. Recently I flipped a typical women magazine at my colleague’s desk, I saw advertisements selling magic cream, magic foods, uknown slimming pills and many other too good to be true weight loss products or services. Look as if those companies are never getting tired in coming out with new products which promise easy way to lose weight. Unfortunately, customers become the victim of many of these products but seldom they learn from it. Why? Because they too continue to look for easy fast and way to achieve the ideal weight.

There is only one secret to guarantee you to lose weight. This method has proved to be working well, whether it is in year 1968, 2008 or even 2048. Actually, instead of lose weight, you should lose fat to be exact. Weight can be fat, muscle and bones. What we need to get rid of is the body fat.

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FEB
11

What harm does over training do?

over1Overtraining is something that many people are facing nowadays. It hasn’t always been strictly hard exercise but has usually come from just pushing too hard in a few sets of just working out too frequently. Just putting too much strain on the body, going that extra unnecessary mile.

There are a few vital clues that our bodies give out when they have had enough and require some rest – or at least time off exercise all together (in the conventional sense). I believe movement and activity is always good but sometimes we need to take it easy with things like weight lifting, running, and other intense exercise.

Keep an eye out for when:

  • Sleep becomes disturbed
  • Digestion isn’t what it usually is
  • Constant feeling of tension in neck and shoulder muscles
  • Muscles feel heavy

This happens for a variety of reasons - our nervous system gets tired, and our muscle glycogen gets depleted leading us to feeling grumpy, irritable, tired, lethargic and like we don’t want to move – a sort of tired but wired feeling. Basically all the things that we do not want to feel especially when trying to look and feel healthy – the trouble is our nervous system needs a lot of time to repair, only good sleep, relaxation and food can help.

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FEB
10

5 Important Rules for Great Shape

healthyyear1Everyone have seen the cut/bulk cycle that many people go through adding weight for the winter with the pipe dream of gaining some extra muscle and dieting the whole summer to reveal those abs…..Its not something you want to do you can look and feel great all year round by following a few rules!

- Don’t attempt to bulk!

Your body is very self regulating if you start lifting heavy weights and doing intense workouts your appetite will ramp up and so long as you stick to good wholesome food 80% of the time you will gain quality muscle and your strength in the gym will increase….
Take your time with gaining size if your getting stronger it means you are getting bigger, simply having trust in that will keep you progressing in the gym. Find new ways to challenge your body and trigger growth whether thats 100 rep body weight squats or a fully loaded leg press just keep your body guessing! You can’t force feed yourself into growth it will just leave you feeling bloated and chubby….

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JAN
15

Personal Training and Fitness Analysis

healthtests1Before starting a personal training program you should take a fitness analysis which tests muscular strength, aerobic fitness, flexibility and body condition - and of course takes in great consideration your health problems if any.  The fitness analysis comprises the following.

Blood pressure check

It is important to test your blood pressure as high blood pressure increases your chances of strokes, coronary disease and kidney disease.

Body fat percentage check

Allows us to see what percentage of your body is made up of fat so we can get an understanding of how much muscle you have and how much fat we suggest you lose.

BMI test  Body mass index test

Estimates a healthy weight based on your height so you can get a rough idea of whether you are overweight and how overweight you are.

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JAN
11

Muscles and Intensity on training

intensity1Intensity refers to load/weight and has been shown to have a significant impact on muscle hypertrophy and is arguably the most important exercise variable for stimulating muscle growth.  Intensity can be recorded as a percentage of 1RM and equates to the number of repetitions that can be performed with a given weight.

Repetitions can be classified into 3 basic ranges:

  • low (1–5)
  • moderate (6–12)
  • high (15+)

 

These repetition ranges involve the use of different energy systems and stress the neuromuscular system in different ways.  This variation of stress impacts the extent of the hypertrophic response.The use of high repetitions has generally proven to be inferior to moderate and lower repetition ranges in eliciting increases in muscle hypertrophy.  This means that a load less than approximately 65% of 1RM is not considered sufficient to promote substantial hypertrophy.  This is because the high rep training can bring about significant metabolic stress but the load is inadequate to recruit and fatigue the highest threshold muscle fibres.Whether low or moderate reps evoke a greater hypertrophic response has been a matter of debate as both produce significant gains in muscle growth.  However, the general consensus is that the moderate rep range of 6–12 reps will optimise muscle hypertrophy.

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DEC
07

Meals after the gym

fruitsaOkay so you’re planning on going to the gym for a great workout but want to make it count and don’t know what to eat after a workout, right?

Why not try a delicious whey protein shake packed with carbs and nutritional goodness? What are the benefits of “shakes”?

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NOV
12

Legs Exercise Tuck and Hops

Tucks

tuckSteps:
Stand on a padded surface (tumbling mat) with feet slightly less than shoulder width.

It is important to practice tuck jump on a safe surface and avoid any harms.Bend your knees and use your whole foot to generate power to jump and not just your toes. Jump as high as you can. While you are in the air, tuck your knees close to your chest. Don’t let your shoulders lean out beyond your knees because this may stress your lower back.Land on the same spot with knees slightly bent to reduce the impact to your knees.

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OCT
14

Health Benefits of Yogurt

1yogurtAlthough it is unlikely to have much effect on the Greek debt crisis, eating Greek yogurt has many benefits for those interested in improving their general health and fitness.

Unlike more conventional supermarket yogurts, the Greek variety is unsweetened and has a thicker texture. It can also be used in a variety of ways other than simply as a desert item or something to pour on top of your cornflakes.

Perhaps most important is the fact that Greek yogurt is basically healthier.

High in protein:Compared to most other types of yogurt, the Greek variety has from two to three times the amount of protein. One cup of plain, low fat conventional yogurt usually contains 5 – 10 grams of protein, whereas one cup of Greek yogurt has about 13 – 20 grams.

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OCT
12

Losing fat and gaining muscle

fatandmusclesLosing fat and gaining muscle has nutritional, physical and psychological aspects. The following 15 strategies can help you reach your goals:

  • Increasing your protein intake helps protect muscles when calories are low and helps release stored energy.
  • Eating smaller meals more often provides a continuous flow of nutrients when calories are low. Foods high in nutrient volume but low in calories, such as spinach, broccoli and cabbage help you stay lean while feeling full. Beaten egg white expands for the same effect.
  • Eat more green leafy vegetables and fresh fruits to keep your body functioning and maintain your acid balance. Starches such as sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa, etc. Should be kept for post workout meals.
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SEP
09

Abs workout training - Hanging leg raise

Hanging leg raise works the abdominal muscles, especially the lower abs.  It also trains your grip strength which you need it for many weight lifting workouts including pull up and bench press.

Womanraise Menraise

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SEP
05

Cafeine and results to the brain

Neurons in the brain produce adenosine, levels of which are monitored via receptors.

When adenosine levels reach a certain level your body naturally begins to feel tired and ready to sleep or relax. However, when caffeine comes along in the form of a standard 100mg 8 oz cup of coffee its chemical similarities to adenosine deactivates the receptors and allows the brain’s natural stimulants dopamine and glutamate to flow freely producing a false energy rush. The effects vary according to genetics, physiology and tolerance.

coffeebeans

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AUG
08

The Five Rules for a Muscled Body

From time to time, people are saying they find the perfect solution to "build" your body. But what about if you don't want to become a body-builder, but just get more fit and healthy? Let's see the 5 basic rules to fit your self up the easy way:

1.  Eat five times a day at 2-3 hour intervals. This keeps you saturated with the amino acids and glycogen from protein and carbohydrate sources that you need to push abnormal muscle growth. This also prevents muscle loss due to a bodily starvation reaction to heavy workouts.

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AUG
08

Three Ways for Great Result in Weight Loss

We are often asked about the best ways to lose weight. Naturally we recommend exercise; specifically weight training and interval-based cardio, in combination with a healthy eating plan.  There’s lots of anecdotal evidence out there as to the additional things people can do to make weight loss more effective.  This advice ranges from the sensible to the sublime, and in some cases these hints and tips can actually do more harm than good. 

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JUL
13

Workout for Tennis players

tennis_match (1)

Working on your fitness can really improve your tennis game. The workout below targets each of the main areas involved in the game so you’re in top shape when you step on court. Repeat the workout twice a week for the best results, resting for 30-45secs between sets.  Start with a warm-up of marching then jogging on the spot and stretches for the upper and lower body.  

Forward and Side Jumps/hops – 2 sets.

Arrange 5 low hurdles in the floor roughly 1.5f apart (you can use cones or any other markers if necessary).  Jump over each hurdle with feet together, using your arms to add momentum, jumping again as soon as you land. Turn to your right and repeat the course, jumping sideways, leading with your left shoulder, and then repeat leading with your left. 

Lunge and Twist – 2 sets of 12 reps (6 each side)

Stand with feet together holding a medicine ball or weight level with your chest.  Take a large step forward with your right leg and extend your arms out in front of you.  Rotate your torso to the right and then back to the centre.  Bend both knees to perform a lunge, making sure your front knee is behind your toes.  Quickly straighten your legs, jumping up and bringing your left leg forward and right leg back.  Turn your torso to the left and then back to centre, lunging and jumping again.  Continue, alternating sides to complete one set. 

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JUL
05

When to take your supplements

Man-taking-pillWhey Protein (20gr)  is the fastest digesting protein with its amino acids quickly reaching muscles.

Some recommend a 200mg caffeine pill too instead of a cup of morning coffee to increase fat burning without raising cortisol levels. 30-60 minutes later, the most important step – eat a wholesome breakfast. Then wash down a multivitamin with a cup of Green Tea which contains natural polyphenols. These increase fat burning and aid joint and muscle recovery too although green tea extract is said to be more easily absorbed. Fish oil is another possible breakfast as well as lunch and evening meal time supplement.Another good time for supplements is an hour or so before training.

A whey shake containing 20gr whey plus 5gr BCAAs, 2-5gr Creatine and 2-3gr Beta-alamine will provide the amino acids to fuel your workouts, boost energy and muscle growth. The same mix is recommended immediately post workout.

 

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MAY
30

Yoga - The new way to improve your running results

Untitled-16The health benefits and the energy It's what keeps us jogging in the sideways rain, blistering cold and slippery snow and, once you're hooked, can be as addictive as any chocolate ice cream.  But despite the array of health benefits, running is actually quite tough on your joints.
Yoga is a new method to improve running. All about restoring the muscles and joints, the class uses yoga postures to target and stretch areas worn down from pounding the pavement. Needless to say, a serious stretch is well overdue.

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MAY
30

Heart Rate Measurement - a very important tool

Heart rate is a useful measure of physical exertion and can help monitor your performance and avoid some common training errors, such as going too fast on what should be long slow runs. You've seen this tool in front of you every time you are using a cardio machine in our gym.

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MAY
03

Injuries in free running

 freerunninginjuries

Many different types of injury can occur while someone is running. Although a certain amount of stiffness plus sore and tightened muscles is normal when training, it shouldn’t last for days and days on end.

As in the case of any kind of sports injury, correct diagnosis is fundamental to successful recovery. Check whether the problem is caused by inappropriate or poor quality running shoes - a very common issue specially here in NYC, poor or bad nutrition or insufficient preparation. Also keep in your mind that even when your injury has healed, it will take time and patience to get back to your normal.

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MAY
03

Handbags and health problems

According to latest media reports, handbags are getting heavier with one out of ten weighting over twelve pounds.

Did you know that carrying a heavier handbag can cause changes to your posture and increase your risk of injury?

It may sound far-fetched but the more you stuff into your bag the greater the risk of injury. While your bag may initially seem light, a heavier bag challenges your muscles and can quickly cause fatigue. Back pain, muscle aches, and injury all increase when muscles tire.If you can’t streamline your bag then you need to work on your core strength to combat the heavier load.  Try the following exercises three times a week.

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