10 Reasons To Exercise Everyday

We all know how important exercising every day is for you. Let’s actually take a look at the Australian Physical Activity Guidelines to see what we all should be aiming for each day…

The Australian Government’s Physical Activity Guidelines state that:

• Doing any physical activity is better than doing none. If you currently do no physical activity, start by doing some, and gradually build up to the recommended amount.

• Be active on most, preferably all, days every week.

• Accumulate 150 to 300 minutes (2 ½ to 5 hours) of moderate intensity physical activity or 75 to 150 minutes (1 ¼ to 2 ½ hours) of vigorous intensity physical activity, or an equivalent combination of both moderate and vigorous activities, each week.

• Do muscle strengthening activities on at least two days each week.

With this being stated – are you meeting your daily physical activity levels? To maintain health and reduce your risk of health problems, health professionals and researchers recommend a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most, preferably all, days.

For a quick snapshot on why you should be exercising everyday – we’re going to list 10 benefits of training:

1. Prevent some serious health problems like heart disease, colorectal and breast cancer, and type 2 diabetes.

2. Control your blood pressure, blood sugar, and weight.

3. Lower your “bad” cholesterol and raise your “good” cholesterol.

4. Improve your overall appearance (well-shaped body and healthier and younger looking skin).

5. Make your bones, muscles, and joints stronger.

6. Reduce falls and pain from arthritis.

7. Strengthen your willpower.

8. Lower your chances of becoming depressed and increase your cheerfulness.

9. Improve your night sleep.

10. Strengthen your immune system and increase your energy levels.

Keep up the raining folks 👍🏻 You’re doing much more good for your body than you may realise!

How To Not Let Winter Weight Creep Up On You

1) As humans, we are predisposed to gain weight during winter. There is a belief that we need to gain a winter coat in order to stay warm during winter or that humans are biologically programmed to store fat during the colder months to ward off periods of food shortage. While this may have been true for our ancestors 2.5 million years ago…. Most of us aren’t faced with this problem, so weight gain is not necessary.

SOLUTION: Don’t just accept weight gain. Set small-term goals to help manage your weight during winter.

2) I’m hungrier in winter. You may feel hungrier in winter but this may have more to do with mood than appetite as people turn to comfort food to feel better when it’s cold, dark and rainy.

SOLUTION: There’s nothing wrong with being hungry but try to fill up on healthier foods such as proteins, wholegrains, fruit and vegetables and watch your portion sizes.

3) Winter meals are fattening. Healthy food choice is just as possible during winter as summer. Think healthy stews, soups and casseroles or warm toasty baked dinners – these all have vegetables and lean protein included.

SOLUTION: Find healthier alternatives to your favourite meals such as using salt-reduced chicken stock instead of milk and butter with mashed potatoes, and add flavour with fresh herbs and spices instead of pouring on the salt.

4) It’s hard to exercise in winter. Finding a time to exercise can be a challenge, especially if you have young children or working full time and winter can certainly throw in some hurdles with shorter days, colder weather and more chance of rain. But making exercise a priority is part of a healthy weight management plan.

SOLUTION: Take your exercise indoors with any of our workouts from previous blogs, take a photo of our group session whiteboards and complete it indoors. Or make use of indoor group training sessions and our awesome cable machines and free weights at the gym in our Waverley studio. If walking/ training outdoors on your own puts you off, invite a friend or join a group and walk together. And remember, you may be cold at first but exercise will soon warm you up!

At Home Workout

Introducing the….

“It’s too cold to go outside workout” 

Remember – good form over repetitions. Try and get through 3 sets and complete each exercise for 1 minute with 30 seconds rest between each exercise.

  1. Push Ups
  2. Alternating Squat Kicks
  3. Star Jumps
  4. Butt Kicks
  5. Walking Lunges
  6. Pulse Squats
  7. Tricep Dips
  8. Mountain Climbers
  9. Bicycle Crunches
  10. Leg Raises
  11. Plank Hold

5 Reasons Why Kids Should Play Sport

Sport gives children the opportunity to grow into well-rounded, confident, hard-working adults and we’re going to list 10 reasons why kids should play sports!

1. What else are they going to be doing with that time? If your child did not going to sports training, what would they be doing? In reality they would probably be watching TV, playing games on your phone or iPad or jumping off the furniture…. Wouldn’t you much rather your child be out in the fresh air at soccer practice, running around, and learning the value of teamwork! Sports remain incredibly important as they grow into teenagers as well and put their time and effort into something productive.

2. Develop social skills. Developing social skills is another huge part of parenting, and one that needs to be developed at a young age if wanting to lead into the future. One of the best ways to develop a child’s social skills is through getting involved in sport, particularly team-based activities. Communicating new ideas, listening to others as part of a group, and using communication to solve problems by working as a team, just a few of the things children learn from getting involved in sport. Children can grow into the first leadership role of their lives by taking a captains role in a sports team. Exposing children to environments where communication is key, will really pay off in the future. Their communication skills and ability to play a role in a team or as a leader will come in handy as an adult in the future.

3. Doors will open to unique opportunities. When I was staying in Hawaii, there were a few soccer teams staying at the same resort we were staying at because they had their soccer tournament on that weekend….. IN HAWAII!?! These kids were ages from 12-16 and I bet they I would not have had those opportunities otherwise! Throughout their years of playing sport your children may have the chance to meet met world-class athletes and be able to learn from them.

4. Build self-esteem and confidence. Moving back to the development of personal, social-based skills, self-esteem and confidence are two further areas where children can benefit through playing sport. Sport is a great way to boost a child’s confidence through encouragement and compliments, highlighting areas where they are doing well and rewarding them for showing improvement in these areas. Aside from a coach and parent’s encouragement, there is no greater feeling as a child than playing a major role in some sporting success.

5. Make new friends. Getting children out into new environments is a great way to helping them make friends. Engaging your child in sport can lead to healthy social benefits, meeting new people that could develop into life-long friends. Nobody likes to see their children locked away in their room when they could be out socialising with friends, and sometimes all they may need is a nudge and some encouragement to come out of their shell. Sport for youngsters is as enjoyable in its social aspects as it is for its physical ones – and you can only do that by going out and joining a sports club.

What Happens to Your Body When You Stop Training?

Most of you would know that even after taking a few days off training, getting back to class after a few days can be pretty painful. The change is real, and can sometimes be quite discouraging both physically and mentally. But have you ever wondered how long is too long before you have lost all of that hard work you have put in? Let us explain what happens to your body when you fall of the fitness bandwagon.

If you miss training for a few days or 1 week – that isn’t going to do that much. For most people that are exercising regularly ad have a moderate to solid conditioning level (4-6 times a week), 1 week off is an opportunity to take a break and refresh the mind and body. The biggest risk in taking 1 week off is more mental – say you’re a beginner, the routine of exercise is a huge key and for this beginner getting motivated after a week off might be more difficult for them. Some people may quit and never start again.

But 2 weeks of inactivity, is when your aerobic conditioning starts to really decline. Aerobic exercise (e.g a long run), works your heart and lungs. VO2 max measures your capacity to take in, transport and then to use oxygen during exercise. The more frequently you train, the more efficient your lungs and heart become at delivering fresh oxygen and blood to your body during exercise and the better your VO2 max will be. When you stop exercising, both VO2 max and the hearts ability to pump blood efficiently will start to decline. After about 2 weeks of inactivity you’ll notice some changes.

When it comes to strength training, the decline isn’t quite as noticeable. Typically for a regular exerciser who lifts a few times a week, taking some time off won’t really cause much loss. Strength and muscle mass change very little in a couple of weeks, so not a lot happens. It’s totally normal to feel weaker (which is why you want to ease back into your training routine after taking time off). So while there’s a decline, it’s less substantial than it is with your cardiovascular fitness. It takes coordination and muscle memory to lift, so feeling out of sync and not very confident can make lifting heavy weights feel even harder.

The fitter you are, the sooner you’ll notice signs of detraining. But the less likely you are to decline back to where you started. How much does that suck?! But since your body is more adapted to constant training at a higher level, you’ll notice a difference sooner than someone who works out more irregularly or at a much lower intensity. This applies for both aerobic and strength training. Factors like age and sex can also impact your rate of detraining, for example, older women have been shown to lose muscle mass quicker than other demographic groups.

So if you know that you’re about to have some time off training, we recommend that you get a few short high intensity workouts in than skipping it completely. The longer the break, the greater the effect. Also it often takes longer to get it back than the time you took off. So instead of skipping a few weeks or months of exercise, you should cut back the amount of sessions your doing, but upping the intensity on the days you can get a workout in. So if you need to modify your workout routine every now and then, in order to stick with it – that is fine, but bounce back when you can 🙂

Importance of Exercise Technique

There’s a reason why every exercise you perform comes with instructions. They’re not just to make you look good at training—they’re to train specific muscles the correct way. To get the most out of each exercise, it is VERY important to follow instructions carefully or to work on your technique with your trainer before adding load or speed. This will ensure that you safely gain the full benefits of your strength training program.

One main reason why technique lacks with some people is using too much weight. Take the Bicep Curl for example. Some people curl a large weight for show, but they bring their elbows forward and lean back, which reduces the effectiveness of the bicep-isolating exercise. For optimal results, less weight should be used so perfect form can be maintained—with the bicep actually doing all of the work.

Less is more must always be applied across all strength exercises. It makes no sense in performing an exercise—such as a Goblet Squat—if you aren’t able to successfully go through the full range of motion, or if you must compensate for a weakness. You will work harder with less weight, fully developing your muscles through the correct range of motion and using proper technique to produce improvements in training.

Finally, poor or improper exercise form can increase the risk of injuries. Lifting weight places enormous stress on your body, and exercise technique is specifically designed so that you can move the weight safely. If your technique is not spot on, you place vulnerable parts of your body, such as your back, shoulders or knees, in a danger zone, where they are more likely to cause an injury that can decline your strength training and your gains may drop off.

Healthy Tuna Lettuce Wraps

PREP TIME: 15 Mins

COOK TIME: 2 Mins

INGREDIENTS 

  • 2 drops rapeseed oil for brushing
  • 2 x 140g fresh tuna fillets, defrosted
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • ½ tsp English mustard powder
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp capers
  • 8 romaine lettuce leaves
  • 16 cherry tomatoes, preferably on the vine, halved

METHOD 

  1. Brush the tuna with a little oil. Heat a non-stick pan, add the tuna and cook for 1 min each side, or a min or so longer for a thicker fillet. Transfer to a plate to rest.
  2. Halve and stone the avocado and scoop the flesh into a small bowl. Add the mustard powder and vinegar, then mash well so that the mixture is smooth like mayonnaise. Stir in the capers. Spoon into two small dishes and put on serving plates with the lettuce leaves, and tomatoes.

Why You Should Strengthen Your Core Muscles

Are you guilty of often neglecting core exercises in your training routine? We’re going to give you reasons why not to, and why core exercises are an important part of a well rounded fitness program. Did you know that your core muscles include more than just the abdominal muscles? They are the muscles around your trunk and pelvis including pelvic floor muscles and your glutes. It is the core of your body, and building those muscles will benefit you for the rest of your life. They play a central role in everything you do, every movement you make stems from your core, since every muscle in your body is connected to the ones in the core. 

  1. Core exercises improve your balance and stability. Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to work in sync. This leads to better balance and stability. This can improve your performance on the field playing sport or in daily activities. Every time you walk on uneven ground or stand in one place, you use your core muscles to keep you there. The stronger those muscles are, the less likely you are to fall over.
  2. Core exercises don’t require special gym equipment. Any exercise that involves the use of your abdominal and back muscles in coordinated fashion counts as a core exercise. For example, maintaining a stable trunk can train and strengthen several of your muscles including your core muscles. You may also try different specific core exercises to stabilise and strengthen your core. E.g – planks, sit ups, crunches and hip raises.
  3. Strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical activities. Strong core muscles make it easier to do many activities, such as swing a golf club, reach for a glass from the top shelf and bend down to tie your shoes. Strong core muscles are also important for athletes, such as runners – as weak core muscles can lead to more fatigue, less endurance and injuries.
  4. Strong core muscles will help improve your posture. If your core is weak, you’re more likely to slouch over, since it’s harder to keep yourself upright. Good posture is better for your spine, prevents back pain and allows you to breathe easier.
  5. A strong core will help you look slimmer! Even if you never get six pack abs, a strong core will help you stand taller and straighter, making you look instantly slimmer. The inner muscles of the core help tighten your stomach and give you a smaller waistline.

Core Workout

Try this 5 minute ab workout at home – you may need a mat for to lie on or some carpet.

  1. Crunch
  2. Right Oblique Crunch
  3. Left Oblique Crunch
  4. Bicycle Crunch
  5. Reverse Crunch
  6. Long Arm Crunch
  7. Crossover Crunch
  8. Half Curl
  9. Vertical Leg Crunch
  10. Plank 

Try and complete each exercise as many times as possible in 30 seconds, with a 5 second rest in between.

Smoothie Recipe to Help Bloating

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 large cucumber, sliced
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
  • handful of ice

METHOD

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until super smooth. Enjoy!
  2. Hardcore Version: Add 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar to the mix.

 

Cucumbers:  Are loaded with water, which helps fight bloating.

Banana:  Bananas are high in potassium.  Potassium helps regulate sodium levels, which prevents water retention.  Too much sodium is a big cause of bloating, so that’s why bananas (and other foods high in potassium) help with bloating.

Coconut Water:  Like bananas, coconut water is high in potassium.

Ginger:  Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory food as well as a digestive aid.  It soothes the digestive system and relaxes the muscles of the digestive tract, which keeps you from getting bloated.  

Apple Cider Vinegar:   this one is optional in the smoothie recipe because the smoothie tastes better without it.  Apple cider vinegar, however, is great for reducing gas and bloating.  So if you are super serious about reducing your bloat, add this to your smoothie.