The Most Effective Way To Train In The Heat

Even if Bikram yoga is your idea of hell, sweating through an outdoor workout session during the summer time may actually be a big fitness advantage. We are sure that some of you may be missing training in the cooler weather, but pushing yourselves to get up to train in the summer heat could help improve your performance in running, cycling or any cardio based activities. As long as you are taking the right precautions, workouts in warmer weather can help train for an endurance event like Tough Mudder or Spartan Race. Hot weather training may even eclipse high- altitude training when it comes to improving your performance.


Tips For Working Out In The Heat!

Elevating your core body temperature so much that you almost faint during a workout is not going to give you any street credit so it’s up to you to know your limits. You just need to listen to your body!

  1. Drink Up! The warmer it gets, the more you sweat, so you must make sure you are replacing all those fluids as you workout in such extreme weather. Make sure you are drinking water before, during and even hours after your workout. If you are training for less than an hour – water should be fine but anything more intense will require sports drinks to get those carbohydrates and electrolytes replaced.
  2. Slip, Slop, Slap! Even on days when the sun isn’t out and about, it is very important to always bring sunscreen, wear a hat and train undercover when you can.
  3. Humidity. Humidity is also a huge factor to take into account. The way in which the body cools itself during exercise is through sweat. Sweat hits the skins surface and it evaporates to cool the body. In a humid environment, you don’t experience as much of that evaporative cooling effect because the environment is already pretty saturated with fluid.
  4. Try Not To Go Overboard.. Understand that you can still be in good shape without heat acclimating. Try keep the intensity at a moderate pace and not too overboard during the first couple of hot workouts.
  5. Wear breathable clothing! Nothing worse than feeling even more warmer due to your track pants or thermal long sleeve tops! Time to get the t-shirts and shorts back out whilst also remembering to wear sun protection!

Tips To Bounce Back After The Long Weekend

If you are one to over indulge over a short break and find it quite hard to get back on track after diving head first into fast food, alcohol and not enough sleep (or too much sleep) after the break – then follow these tips to quickly overcome all of damage you may have caused your body.


1. Don’t Beat Yourself Up New days, mean new starts. There is nothing that will hold you back from being the best version of you that you can be more than beating yourself up about the past. It is not effective and will continue to make you feel even worse. Starting the day with the mantra ‘fresh start’ can be helpful.

2. Get Back To Your Routine ASAP. Try not to sleep into 12pm on your first day back on the job. Structure is key, if you use structure your body will take care of itself. If your normal daily routine involves throwing your phone at the wall when your alarm goes off for 6am bootcamp – then throwing your phone at the wall is what you should do! (Not really – LOL, I hope you don’t actually do that every morning). The sooner you start getting back into your usual routine, the easier it will get and the sooner you will return to your usual structured day.

3. Start The Morning With MOVEMENT, MINDFUL EATING an MINIMISING. We all know that exercise can help activate serotonin the “feel good” chemicals that help regulate your mood – and when you’re feeling happier you are more likely to make healthier choices! When sitting down to breakfast, eat mindfully (meaning slowly, with minimal distractions)Cut out processed foods as much as you can throughout the week.

4. Expose Yourself To Bright Lights. Bright lights centres the SCN a part of your brain that controls your internal time clock. Sitting outside to read the paper, taking a walk or jog, or even waking up with a bright reading light if it’s cloudy outside. By getting bright light early in the AM, your body will recognise a more stable waking and sleeping pattern after a weekend of staying up late and sleeping in.

5. Drink Lots Of Water. When it comes to counteracting a weekend of drinking, of course the best recommendation is to HYDRATE! Days of sun and alcohol can leave you feeling depleted, so consider carrying around a water bottle during the day. Try to avoid salty foods, instead of snacking on pretzels or potato chips – opt for some nuts of a mandarin.

There you have it! Keep these tips in mind for the next time you have a long weekend coming up 😀

How Much Water Should You Be Drinking?

If you’re looking for optimal health, especially if you’re out there training hard – then you need to be drinking an adequate amount of water. Your brain will only tell you that you’re thirsty long after your body actually needs it. When you work out and sweat, your body loses fluid that needs to be replaced, or else your muscles will suffer and your workout will suffer. and the rate you actually recover will also suffer. Because your body will often process that liquid before it’s able to put it back where it belongs, you need to drink MORE than normal after a workout.


  • Prevents a dry mouth – quite annoying when trying to work out
  • A well hydrated athlete can feel stronger and workout for longer and more effectively.
  • You will have more energy, and the exercises you struggled with when dehydrated will seem much easier.
  • Promotes cardiovascular health – your heart must work harder to pump the reduced amount of blood and get enough oxygen to your cells, which makes everyday activities like walking up stairs, as well as exercise more difficult
  • Keeps your body cool – your body releases heat by expanding blood vessels close to the skins surface (this is why your face gets red during exercise), resulting in more blood flow and more heat dissipated into the air. When you’re dehydrated, it takes a higher environmental temperature to trigger blood vessels to widen, so you stay hotter
  • Water helps muscles and joins work better – it is important for lubricating joints and when you are well hydrated the water inside and outside the cells of contracting muscles provides adequate nutrients and removes waste efficiently which enhances performance.


Firstly, you should make sure you are hydrated to begin with. Before working out drink about 500mls of water. During exercise sip 170mls of water every 15 minutes (240mls if exercising in extreme heat and you’re sweating buckets). For every 0.45 kilograms of water weight lost, replace it by drinking about 500mls of water or sports drink. Another good way to monitor that you’ve gotten enough water is in the bathroom. If you have a large amount of light- coloured urine, then you’re hydrated. If it’s dark, then you’ll know you need to drink more before, during and after your workout.


It’s possible to to drink too much water, but difficult to do. Hyponatremia usually found in endurance athletes. Diluted from too much water and sodium levels drop to dangerously low levels. This can lead to nausea, headaches, confusion and fatigue.

So, after reading this blog maybe – had it occurred to you that you are thirsty? Guess what, by the time you have felt this sensation of being thirsty throughout your day YOU ARE ALREADY DEHYDRATED! So really, your body is composed of roughly 60% water – so it’s pretty important so keep hydrated since nearly all of your systems will not function as well without the proper water intake.

Are You Wearing The Appropriate Shoes?

Improper workout footwear can cause a number of injuries. Besides the more obvious injuries, including ankle strains and fractures, bunions and corns. Wearing the wrong type of shoe can keep you from performing your best. When you’re putting in the hard work to get better, the last thing you need is your shoe to be holding you back.

The main differences between running shoes and training shoes are sole flexibility and the heel drop. With the sole flexibility, we know that running shoes are for heel-to-toe movement. Training shoes are for multi- directional movement, especially lateral (side-to-side) movement. The sole of a training shoe is more flexible to allow a wide range of movement. With the heel drop in a shoe you can usually tell a shoe is a training shoe by how much flatter the shoe is. The technical term here is the “heel drop” which refers to the distance from the heel height to the toe height. The higher heel drop in running shoe comes from added support and cushioning.


Training shoes support a range of movement including: cutting, stopping, breaking, jumping and changing direction quickly. This makes a training shoe versatile and good for many different types of workouts. They have a comfortable upper and flexible mid sole for multi- directional movement. A lower heel drop puts you closer to the ground to push off and pivot. Training shoes are lightweight for easy and efficient movement. Training shoes can be used for:

  • High intensity gym classes and outdoor boot camps (cushioning for high- impact and run training)
  • Weight lifting (heel support so you can go lower into squats, and then stand up)
  • Strength training (a training specific last makes for extra space in the forefoot)
  • Agility training (grooves and out sole patterns for traction during plyometric and multi directional movement)

Short distances on a treadmill is also fine, but anything longer than 5km is usually better with a running shoe on for shock absorption.


This is more obvious – running shoes are for running! Running shoes protect your feet when pounding the pavement over and over again. Where a training shoe helps with side-to-side movement, running shoes help with forward movement. Running shoes also provide more cushioning and support, which often translates into a higher heel drop. This makes for more comfort during long distance runs when you need lots of shock absorption.

Running and training shoes provide specific types of support to prevent injury. Here are some of the ways a mismatch of shoe to workout may increase your chances of injury:

  • Running shoes for lateral movement – higher heel drops make for a higher chance of ankle sprains during lateral movement.
  • Running shoes for plyometric workouts (like high explosive movements- squat jumps, lunge jumps, box jumps) – the extra cushioning and support from running shoes can keep you from landing properly and can increase your chances of a knee or ankle injury.
  • Running in training shoes – without the cushioning and support of running shoes, you can increase your chances of getting plantar fasciitis.
  • Not enough running support – stress fractures can occur from running without proper support, which can happen when using minimalist shoes lacking cushioning to absorb shock.
  • The wrong type of running shoes – tendonitis can happen when you aren’t wearing the running shoe for your pronation type, whether it’s an overpronator needing  a more structured shoe or a neutral runner wearing a shoe with too much arch support
  • Lifting weights in cushioned shoes – it’s best to do lifting with little cushioning.
  • Shoe size – Too small of shoes can cause your toenails to bruise and fall off – YUCK. You should be sizing up at least a half size to account for the natural movement and swelling of your feet during workouts. You may also need to find the right shoe width for your comfort.

The best way to find out the most suitable shoe for you, it to head into a store, such as ASICS, or Athlete’s Foot and get a proper fitting. They will do sizing as well as a gait analysis.

Top Benefits Of Dogs On Human Health

An apple a day may or may not actually keep the doctor away, but what about an animal a day? That’s a different story – when it comes to pet ownership, there are a number of proven health benefits for people, including physical, mental and emotional improvements. From enhancing social skills to decreasing a person’s risk of heart attack.


  • Dogs don’t just fill your heart; they actually make it stronger. Having a canine companion is linked to lower blood pressure, reduced cholesterol and decreased triglyceride levels, which contribute to better overall cardiovascular health and fewer heart attacks. Dog owners who do have heart attacks have better survival rates following the events.
  • Pets provide some consistency to our lives. Caring for a pet can significantly affect our routine and gives us something to do and look forward to each day.
  • Dog owners are way more likely to get the recommended amount of exercise per week than non- dog owners. People love being outside with their dog and helps them to be more active, which can also lead to help you lose weight.
  • Decreased blood pressure and reduced stress levels have been shown when a dog is present.


  • Children often turn to their pet for comfort if a friend or family member dies or leaves the family. Grieving adults who did not have a close source of human support were also found to have less depression if they had a pet.
  • Pet owners tend to feel less afraid of being a victim of crime when walking with a dog or having a dog in the home.
  • Pets can help us relax and focus our attention away from our problems and worries
  • Dogs can lift our mood and make us feel less lonely. They decrease our feelings of loneliness and isolation by providing companionship to all generations.


  • As we age, it becomes harder to get out and meet people. Dog owners tend to speak with other dog owners during walks. Dog owners in particular, tend to be a little more extroverted or outgoing. When you start to engage them about their companion animal, people tend to open up and really blossom because they want to share stories about their favourite friend.
  • Dogs create a sense of closeness and well- being. Families surveyed before and after they acquired a pet reported feeling happier after adding a pet to the family.
  • Dogs can promote interaction. Residents in long- term care facilities were more likely to attend activity sessions when an animal was going to be present.

Outdoor Training Benefits

There are many examples of how you can take your favourite gym workout outside – like taking your bike out for a ride on a bike track for a cycling workout, or running/ walking down a trail or path at a nearby park rather than running in place on a treadmill. To challenge your body to keep gaining results, exercising outdoors can have many advantages, not just the awesome scenery. Exercise variation outside means you are more likely to work your body in different ways.

#1 – Sunshine. Sun exposure means VITAMIN D!!! An increase of endorphin’s are also released by the body when exposed to sun. Of course, being sun smart as well – vitamin D has loads of benefits on the body such as: reducing depression, fighting diseases and immune- boosting benefits.

#2 – Psychological Benefits. Outdoor training is great for the mind. Exercising amongst trees and wildlife can give you a healthy mood boost and can help with anxiety and stress.

#3 – Wind Resistance. The wind (even increased temperature and hills) can actually help you burn more calories. When running or cycling outdoors, you may have to deal with the wind, which can offer natural resistance. A strong headwind can help you burn more calories, as you have to work harder to move a little faster, which activates the larger type II muscle fibres that are responsible for strength and definition.

#4 – Easier To Stick With. Creating an exercise habit is difficult, but finding one you enjoy can make it easier to come back to. So that shot of pleasure you get from being outdoors may mean it’s more likely you’ll stick to your program.

#5 – The Scenery Stops You From Getting Bored. Running through different scenery means you have a lot to look at, which means you’re less likely to get bored and end up exercising for longer. When the sun is shining, why would you want to be indoors in a stuffy gym stuck watching boring daytime TV?……..

Setting Goals For Summer

Every year, most of us make a promise to ourselves or set a fitness related goal along the lines of “I will lose weight before Summer” or “I’m going to get fit this season”. Let’s all have an honest moment and evaluate how successful we have been in achieving these? Firstly, congratulations for making the first step – having that positive mindset and target driven focus to know you actually want to achieve something is brilliant. Unfortunately, time in time out setting those sorts of unspecific goals leads to failure at achieving them. Setting unrealistic and unplanned goals (such as I’m going to lose a stack of weight by end of September) will inadvertently set yourself up for a potential failure – what is a “stack of weight”, is “end of September” a reasonable time frame? Failing at goals/targets often makes us lash out with more unhealthy behaviours and bad-decisions – sort of beating ourselves up for not being successful – recognise this pattern – “Damn i didn’t lose any weight, I might as well eat this whole large pizza”. This cycle of creating unrealistic goals, failing, acting out against the failure creates a merry-go-round of non-achievement and essentially pushes you further and further away from your target. So, let’s STOP THIS CYCLE NOW. What we want to make clear in this blog is how to be SMART when assessing your goals and how to succeed with them. There are 5 main steps you need to follow when trying to set your realistic and attainable goals- if you stick to these, you will 100% achieve as planned

S = Specific.   This means that every goal that you make should clearly be defined. Rather than saying “I want to lose weight” try making it more specific by saying for example, “I want to lose 5kgs across the next 3 months before Summer arrives”.

 M = Measurable.   What this means is that you should be able to clearly measure and track your progress. By creating a goal saying “I want to increase my fitness” gives no clear way to asses your progress. In order to re-frame the above goal so that it is measurable, start by measuring your fitness levels to begin with. Then you can determine a 6 week goal based on the initial data. E.g If you start out by only being able to do 10 burpees in 30 seconds, a measurable and realistic 6 week goal would be to complete around 15 burpees in 30 seconds, without breaks.

A = Attainable.   Before you can add numbers on how many KJs you want to lose, you have to know how high or low you want to go. It’s good to ‘aim for the stars’, but don’t be too extreme. Likewise, a goal that is too easy is also not very motivating. Only you know your limits. With the goal set in mind that you “Will lose weight”, what percentage is attainable for you. Research suggests that a 5-10% weight loss is attainable for most overweight people in a certain amount of time (e.g. 2 months) A measurable, attainable goal could be “I will lose 7% of my body weight within an 8 week period”

R = Realistic.   When it comes to losing weight, we all tend to want the unrealistic and typically unhealthy quick fix. Try not to set unattainable health goals that aren’t relevant to you in this time in your life. Choose something that is motivating you and that you are concerned about. Rather than setting the unachievable goal such as “I want to lose 5 kg in 10 days” instead, aim to lose half a kilogram a week. Attempting to lose weight faster than this is quite unhealthy and will only lead to failure and disappointment.

T = Time- bound.   Include an end point. Knowing that you have a deadline motivates you to get started. Since healthy weight loss is about 0.5-1kg per week, set your deadline accordingly. For the example of “I will lose weight” you could use 2 months. “I will lose 6kg of my body weight in 2 months”.

Here are a few more examples of action- orientated SMART goals:

  • I will walk 5 days every week for 30 minute each.
  • I will drink water instead of soft drink every day this week.
  • I will bring my lunch to work instead of eating out 4 days this week.

Remember that there are no quick fixes when it comes to fitness. Setting realistic goals and making an effort to attain your goal is a solid way to develop the healthy habits that will help you achieve long- term success. 

Are You Well Enough To Work Out?

After spending the past few days or even weeks bed ridden from being sick, you may be itching to get back to training after missing so much time off. But the most important rule is to listen to your body – because if you return to working out too soon or do not stop when you are sick, you can relapse or intensify the symptoms.

The nature and location of your symptoms is an important determinant of whether you should stay in your slippers or in your runners. We must differentiate between ‘above the neck’ symptoms such as runny or stuffy nose, watery eyes or a mild sore throat. ‘Below the neck’ ones are a cough, a congested or tight chest, an upset stomach, muscle aches or fever. If your symptoms are above the neck and you feel OK, it is fine to do a light work out. Research from Ball State University in Indiana found that infecting subjects with a mild cold virus did not affect their ability to exercise moderately. Lung capacity of the infected subjects was the same as that of the healthy ones, and running on a treadmill for 15 min felt no harder.

Ever heard of the old saying “sweating out a cold”? Is there any truth to this? Well, bringing up your body temperature is a way of fighting a virus. Keep the activity light to moderate and brief. Hard exercise compromises the immune system, allowing a virus to strengthen its hold. When you have a fever, you should not work out because your body temperature is already too high. Working out naturally raises your body temperature and elevates your heart rate. You do not want to intensify the effects of a fever with physical exertion. The body is already under stress in fighting the infection, so adding additional stress through vigorous exercise will do more harm than good. This could lead to loosing too much water or fainting.

It is very important to return to exercise with caution. Monitor how you feel, make sure you stay well hydrated (particularly if you have had a stomach bug), avoid getting wet and cold and look out for signs that you are overdoing it such as a work out feeling harder than it should, shortness of breath, weakness or dizziness. Remember to:

  1. Stay well hydrated
  2. Eat and drink after training
  3. Take some multivitamins or probiotics
  4. Don’t overtrain
  5. Wash your hands after the gym
  6. Don’t linger in damp clothing after exercise

All You Need To Know About Bootcamp

The best thing about bootcamp is that it is suitable for all fitness levels (the strong, the weak, the fit and not so fit). Bootcamp classes pushes you past your mental or physical block. There is no slacking, no matter what your fitness level may be and you are forced to push yourself through your barriers, with the help and guidance of your instructor. It’s a major benefit to have someone telling you to fight through what you think you cannot do. Most of us need that extra push and that is why the instructors are there to help you.

1. Keeping Motivated 

It’s easy to have commitment issues with the gym – whether it’s after work or early in the AM most people find it difficult to fit workouts into their schedule. Signing up for a bootcamp program will get you on the fitness bandwagon no matter what motivates you and will keep you on a consistent schedule . All you would need to do is take a few hours every week to commit to these time slots and you’ll see, the more consistent you are, the easier it is to stay motivated.

2. Increased Energy

A large amount of the classes are timetabled in the early morning so there is still time to shower and have breakfast all before getting to work. A bootcamp workout is most likely the hardest thing you will have to do all day – how awesome does it feel to get it out the the way early?! While everybody else is on their 3rd morning coffee – you will still be energised from your AM workout!

3. Building Strength

Halfway through the program – this is when you will start to notice some changes in your body. Whether it be progressing your push ups from knees to toes, or increasing the weight of your kettlebell, you’ll be able to notice a difference. Weights that you had been using when you first began, and exercises you were doing at a beginner level are also move up to an intermediate or an advanced level. suddenly – all your hard work and dedication starts to pay off.

4. Toning Up

Bootcamp challenges every muscle in your body – so you’re bound to feel the burn and intensity. By constantly moving for an hour, your body has little time to rest, therefore your burning hundreds of calories, even when you stop. In the course you may even slowly start to notice some baby bicep definition – yay gains!

5. Weight Loss

Now this takes some discipline in the kitchen to start seeing results from your boot camp sessions. As well as keeping consistent with exercising, we can also help you with your meal plans. Working at 100% and leaving class dripping with sweat, dos not mean you can eat what ever you like! Try tracking your calories and macros using an app like MyFitnessPal.

6. Confidence Booster

After your first class of absolutely smashing your workout, you will get that burst of energy and confidence when you realize what you just endured and completed. Getting through a tough workout can build your confidence and self esteem. Exercise is excellent for the body and mind. After all the progress and gains made, you will notice a huge improvement in how many more reps of a certain exercise you can do, and how far you’ve come. One of the most important things you’ll build at boot camp is confidence!

Body Dysmorphic Disorder

“A mental health disorder in which a person becomes obsessed with imaginary defects in their appearance. The worry and anxiety associated with the perceived fault becomes overwhelming and can dominate a person’s life.”

BDD is classified as an anxiety disorder and it’s believed to affect 1-2% of the population. It’s a mental illness that causes people to worry incessantly about the way they look. They often lose hours a day checking their reflection or working out in pursuit of the ‘perfect’ body and in extreme cases, withdraw from social settings or work because they feel they are too hideous. It might be their nose, their skin or even the length of their arms. People with BDD believe that 1 or 2 areas wreck their entire appearance. While most of us can name a feature or two that we wouldn’t mind improving, sufferers of BDD are completely consumed by their perceived flaw.The difference between normal body image concerns and BDD is repetitive behaviours. Someone with Body Dysmorphic Disorder might mirror- check for hours every day and constantly measure or weigh themselves or compare themselves to other people in real life or those on social media. Sometimes they’ll spend a couple of months or even years at a time fixated on one aspect of their appearance then it might shift and they’ll become concerned about a different aspect.

How It Happens

Similar to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), a lot of behaviour associated with BDD is a result of misfiring in the amygdala region of the brain, which controls our emotions. It’s the part of the brain that sounds an alarm and makes us stressed if things aren’t right. The amygdala lights up in response to a stressful situation, but brain scans show it lights up randomly in sufferers of BDD, who then seek to attach something to the stress. They get super stressed out and search for a reason why, and for whatever reason, people with BDD attach that stressed- out feeling to how they look. They also have incredible attention to detail and also appear to have something wrong with their visual system. It’s like they see a jigsaw puzzle but they haven’t put it together- they see the little pieces and become very focused on a single thing and take it out of context. BDD affects men and women equally, it can run in families and people who have grown up with controlling parents or as a victim of childhood bullying appear to be at a higher risk.

Spotting The Signs 

Simply wanting to lose weight does not warrant a BDD diagnosis. A person with BDD may experience a significant amount of distress or become seriously anxious if they can’t their points or become super harsh on themselves and think they’re a failure. It’s normal to have fleeting moments of dislike for an area of your body. But for most people the moment passes and life goes on. Yet for sufferers of BDD there are certain behaviours that intrude on leading a normal life.

  • Checking. A person with BDD will spend hours a day checking themselves in the mirror, or any reflective surface, analysing their body. They’ll look, touch and feel their skin obsessively.
  • Comparing. Sufferers of BDD compulsively compare their own body, nose of other body part to others in magazines or online.They will always unfavourably compare.
  • Avoidance. Many people with BDD will avoid situations where they believe they’ll look worse (e.g beach, pool or environments with bright lights). In extreme cases, a person can become housebound, making jobs and relationships difficult to maintain.

The fact that BDD is still not widely known about or understood by the general public mans sufferers may endure the condition for years without recognising it. Most people with BDD won’t realise they’ve got it – they actually think they’re ugly. One of the simplest ways for sufferers to start to understand they may have BDD is to consider how their assessment of their appearance compares to what others think of them. Do people around you say, ‘Why are you on a diet? You have a beautiful figure’. Or, ‘Why do you need to lose weight, you’re the perfect size and shape’. If your assessment of yourself is at odds with those who love you, it may be an indication that you have BDD.

Know Someone With BDD? 

If a loved one constantly puts themselves down and stresses about aspects of their appearance, take these suggested steps:

  1. Reframe the problem. It might be tempting to try and reassure them that they’re beautiful but that won’t alter their perception of themselves. Reframe the problem in terms of ‘anxiety about appearance’ rather than appearance itself.
  2. Plant the seed. Most people with the disorder only discover it exists about 10 years after the onset, and so informing them that there’s this thing called BDD can be really helpful.
  3. Help them get help. St Vincent’s Hospital Eating Disorders Treatment and Recovery Service treats BDD or they can put you in touch with a therapist in your area.

While it may be hard to admit that you’re ashamed of your appearance, if you think you, or someone close to you, may have BDD, finding a psychologist or therapist with specific experience treating the disorder. Treatment may involve cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), which helps change unhelpful thought patterns.