Lead a preventative life style and walk a pain free path!
Are you struggling with niggling back pain, joint problems or general aches? Is it affecting your performance of day to day activities?
It's important not to put off addressing the issue and realise that back pain and related problems are reversible.
8 in 10 people have bouts of low back pain.
Nonspecific back pain
This is the most common low back pain with a sudden onset (acute) low back pain without knowing the cause.
Pain can be from mild to severe and can begin immediately after heavy lifting or an awkward twist for example, or for no apparent reason like waking up with low back pain.
The pain could be for a number of reasons for example over stretching a muscle or ligament.
Most people recover within 7-10 days, however further bouts are common. It becomes classed as chronic (persistent) after six weeks.
It's important to keep as active as possible, as soon as possible. Stretching and warmth will help recovery as well as eating anti inflammatory food.
The spine affects many different aspects of our body including blood flow, nerve pathways, muscles and range of motion as well as affecting the health of all parts of the body, from head to toe.
A problem in the foot and/or knee could be signalling a problem in the lumbar spine, with the root being in the pelvis. Of course, problems could be occurring elsewhere in the body such as the neck and shoulders.
It's worth having an accurate diagnosis from which one can create an effectively natural healing and regeneration process. A good chiropractor is one of the best starting points.
The goal being to have the affected areas back to at least what they were prior to deterioration.
General, non-specific aches and pains can usually be easily treated.
Back pain is, in most cases, a self-limiting condition and 90% of people with acute back pain will recover within 6 weeks. However, up to 7% of people with acute back pain will develop chronic back pain. These chronic patients have considerable discomfort and account for approximately 80% of the social and health care costs.
So why is this debilitating condition so rife in our society?
Part of the answer could lie in the western lifestyle, loads of people are spending hours a day sitting, which can lead to excessive pressure on the lower back, sacrum and hips (5 times more pressure than standing) and often giving a stiff neck and shoulders. The results are caused by poor posture and non activation of the correct postural muscles which should give you the support you need. The pelvic girdle weakens with the lower abdominal organs sinking, pressing together and struggling for blood supply; which has knock-on affects. Abdominal and breathing muscles weaken leading to poor posture, poor breathing patterns and loss of core stabilising strength, which has knock-on affects.
Problems in the lower back lead to misalignment problems elsewhere in the body such as the knees and feet. Being overweight and sedentary life styles increase potential back and joint problems which also have knock-on affects.
Often, back injuries are the result of muscular imbalances or weakness. Blood supply, nerve pathways, and range of movement are also key areas in the spine. Further problems can manifest through the body.
Todays medical approach does have patients misdiagnosed, misinformed and misguided. The result being an enormous increase in joint replacement surgery, which could mainly be avoided.
Any problem in the body is a signal.
Quite usually, the core problem is elsewhere in the body - it's absolutely imperative to treat the body as a whole, with every thing being related.
So the knee problem shouldn't just be treated; if the core problem is a trapped nerve in the lumbar spine, treating the knee in an isolated fashion will not have long term beneficial results. Even if a knee is replaced, the problem will continue until the core and related problems are dealt with.
Replacement joints last for just ten years. Naturally, well cared for joints should last for a good, long life time.
Fortunately, the body is an amazing design and capable of healing and repairing itself.
It's brilliance and sophistication have put humans above all species. Unfortunately, we are the most unhealthy of all time! Many of our species are wearing out; dying too soon and would not survive in the more arduous conditions that animals endure. Given the right conditions the body will repair itself.
Any treatment should be in sympathy with the holistic diagnosis.
The modern diagnosis and treatment approach often isolates the body, prescribing drugs such as anti-imflamitories for affected areas and advising cold presses to reduce inflammation.
Inflammation, however, is nature's treatment. Warmth, initial inflammation and blood flow create the initial repair work. Any healing and repair work is aided by blood supply from the clearance of waste materials to the building of new tissue.
Many anti-inflamitory drug side effects include acting as inhibitors and actually stopping the rebuilding process. While they reduce inflammation and offer some pain relief, in the long term they're not always advisable. With correct treatment, they are not needed.
The complete picture.
To have true healing and transformation takes life style changes. Some of these can be simple to implement like taking the stairs, or sitting correctly.
Exercise the body to keep it in good condition. Target the hips and lower back with flexibility and strengthening exercises following the body’s natural movement patterns.
Include breathing exercises to help stabilise the core.
Diet is crucial to life as it: feeds and nurtures the body; affects our immune system, the body's functionality and recovery/repair.
A high anti-inflammatory food diet is important, including plenty of fresh organic vegetables and fruit.
Remember - it's never too late.
Lead a preventative life style and walk a pain free path!
Foods to eat as part of a preventative approach to living
Good health starts with the diet. Your body’s ability to grow and repair; perform and rest; stay healthy by keeping free radicals and viruses in check, comes from a good, balanced, healthy diet.
What’s not obvious when looking at modern day illness and diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, asthma, heart disease, high blood pressure, is that they are all inflammation diseases.
So, take a preventative approach of high anti-inflammatory foods in your diet to prevent the diseases.
Foods that combat inflammation.
Include plenty of these anti-inflammatory foods in your diet:
Foods that inflame
Try to avoid or limit these foods as much as possible:
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is the bodies natural response to injury or illness - the lymphatic/immune system’s white blood cells, via the blood supply. Swelling, redness, warmth and pain can often be experienced when we bang or cut ourselves.
Anti-inflammatory means one thing, whether it’s food, supplements or drugs, it reduces inflammation.
Food based anti-inflammatories work at minimising the inflammation which then reduces pain. Drugs work the opposite way by alleviating pain first. The problem here is that the immune system is weakened. Studies show that man made drugs such as aspirin and ibuprofen inhibit the repair and building process and increase the risk of heart attack.
One draw back with natural, food based anti-inflammatories is that over time the fat layer in the skin reduces. One can say that a positive side effect of an anti-inflammatory diet is becoming slimmer or finding your optimum weight.
Slimming pills contain the same active ingredient made in the laboratory, as natural, plant based food. The great thing about natural, is that you can’t overdose!
As well as having high amounts of anti-inflammatory ingredients, the foods on the natural food list also contain other extremely beneficial ingredients. Anti-oxidants are vital; so too is the immune system and the health of the gut. Many of the natural anti-inflammatory foods are anti-oxidant and will help boost the immune system and keep your gut healthy.
What we’re really looking at here are no processed foods whatsoever. We’re talking about of fresh, vibrant, organic food.
A natural approach has huge benefits for your body which will improve the quality of your life. It’s an important part of a preventative life style.
Which ever you’re using I hope you’re looking after your feet!
Blog by Rich Green
Barefoot, Flat Sole and Minimalist Shoes are growing markets with more than ever available now. Bare foot running is making a come back in the USA and is growing in popularity in the UK too. People are realising that landing on the front of the foot reduces potential injury, as this is what the foot is designed to do; where as placing the heel first creates continual impact shocks in the feet and legs. At least thats my take on it. I’d love to hear from anyone with experience either way on this topical blog where I may play devils advocate.
To be honest, as a personal trainer in the gym, I’ve never liked the treadmill for the simple reason of foot placement. Becoming qualified, PT’s are taught to teach a heel to toe action. The treadmill and raised cushioned shoe soles some how demand a heel to toe action .
Placing the heel first is like putting the brakes on!
This causes impact, first in the ankles, then in the knees and hips.
This is partly the reason to have cushioned heels and soles, to cushion that impact. However, do cushions successfully achieve this? Is the design down to marketing and fashion?
The foot is like a spring that generates motion and absorbs shock. The easiest way to experience this is to run or jump barefoot aiming for placement on the ball of the foot. Human feet have the same design as animal’s feet, only scaled down. Landing on the ball of the foot allows the arch to straighten out and spring back into shape.
Flat sole v cushion sole
Ankles sustain 1.5 times the body's weight in impact with every walking step, and up to 8 times the body's weight with each step when running or jumping.
Knees experience pressure equal to approximately 3 times body weight walking and approximately 5 times body weight running.
Is the man made cushioned soul better than nature's barefoot at dealing with such impact?
Cushion soles often have raised heels and arch supports which stop the natural spring in the arch by forcing a heel first placement. Heels of any kind shorten the achilles tendon and calf muscle; which in turn inhibits your range of movement and flexibility and can cause postural problems in the knees and hips. This can also, weaken the tendons and muscles of the foot.
As well as this, cushion soles raise your ankle and sole off the ground making them less stable and prone to rolling and sprains.
A flat sole engages your muscles and tendons, which strengthens them and puts a natural spring in your step.
There are around 200,000 nerves in each foot which thin soles allow your brain to provide you the sensory feedback you need to move with skill.
Thick cushioned soles don’t allow your feet to feel the ground, reducing sensory feedback to the brain resulting in clumsy, unskillful movement.
Studies from the American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation resulted in increased joint torques at the hip, knee, and ankle being observed with running shoes compared with running barefoot. This could explain why there is such a high proportion of knee osteoarthritis sufferers.
People are simply designed to walk and run; feet are designed accordingly. The body, legs and feet are designed to achieve this for a life time with no resulting injury.
Children and bare feet
Dr Mick Wilkinson, sport and exercise scientist advises parents to give their kids the best start in life with the bare feet and good old plimsole, so children learn to run naturally. Once they learn to run in fashionable cushioned heals, it’s difficult to unlearn the process. According to Dr Wilkinson, up to 20 per cent of runners using modern running shoes will develop injuries associated with the repetitive impact of striking the heel on the ground, such as stress fractures in the bones of the foot and leg.
Being in bare feet is is so beneficial. The earth's electro-magnetic charge cleanses the body by drawing out free radicles. It's also a great grounding thing to do, with any jumping adding to the experience. Having the whole foot spread at rest on the ground and moving over surfaces like grass, firm earth or sand help the alignment of the rest of the body's joints and posture, as well as the nervous system and blood flow.
Be conscious! Theres tons of contrary opinion on this highly debatable topic. Make informed choices about purchases, what you wear on your feet and why. Also, very importantly, be aware of how you walk and how your legs and feet actually move. Try different footwear to make comparisons and walk in bare feet whenever you can.
As a side note, make a special effort to take care of your feet. It’s obvious that certain trends in footwear can cause discomfort and cause problems and damage, so please do avoid them. Our feet are capable of carrying a heavy load yet at the same time are capable of making all types of movement possible. Spend time in bare feet, have a foot massage and even massage your feet yourself. Take care of them - they truly deserve it.
As I mentioned, Barefoot, Minimalist and Flat Sole Shoes are growing in popularity with more than ever companies producing them, so there is a healthy choice available.
Vivobarefoot is my personal recommendation if you’re interested in flat sole footwear. Their whole ethos is based on being as close to barefoot as possible. They have a complete catalogue for women, men and children, ranging from training, running, trecking to smart and casual wear.
Merrell also produce some very good flat sole shoes and know minimalist shoes. Their Bare Access is my favourite multi-sport shoe, Trail Glove caters to off-road adventure, the Road Glove is great for tarmac running, while Vapor Glove appeals to distance running.
It’s very common that people find the actual starting to be the most difficult part of training. My advice is to JUST START - and start with some thing very, very easy. This way you will find it easier to continue and create an all important routine.
It’s my role as a personal trainer to help clients achieve and surpass goals. However, there is an approach to training that we all go through which is:
Contemplation - Action - Inspiration - Motivation
Some people stay in the Contemplation period and never take action. The problem often being, knowing where to start and overcoming ‘boundaries’.
So, as I mentioned, JUST START - do something!
Keep things simple to begin with and create a good exercise routine.
4 mins a day is enough. I’ve seen with clients that once they are training and out of the ‘contemplation’ period that ‘action’ - ‘inspiration’ - ‘motivation’ becomes an ongoing cycle.
When you start training, you’re inspired to start eating better, then you’re inspired to sleep more, then you’re inspired to make a regular commitment and join a fitness, and so on.
If you can’t manage 4 minutes then start with one squat or lunge! The next day see how many you can do. You’re more likely to continue this way.
Start very easy
This way you’re more likely to continue, as you can achieve this. Focus on the routine rather than the results
Start training at home
For convenience and removing any boundaries. What you don’t need is to take a trek to the gym, get changed, spend an hour working out, then come home again.
Do short workouts
You can fit these into your busy day AND get great results.
Is 4 minutes enough?
You don’t need to spend an hour or so running or working out at the gym.
I never use traditional cardio training (unless for an event) as you can get better results from 4 minute cardio circuits. Here are the benefits
What kind of training?
Choose classic body weight exercises that are very effective and don’t take any equipment, or kettlebells. Ask yourself how many can you do in 4 minutes?
Who many squats in 4 minutes?
How many lunges?
How many kettelbell swings?
How many burpees?
You don’t have to work non-stop, you can do tabata style training sets: 20 seconds exercise, 10 seconds rest for 4 minutes. See how many repetitions you achieve, then try to do more next time.
Targeting your legs will incorporate large muscles, thus more fat burning, as well as engaging the core, which is important to strengthen as a beginner.
If you're a beginner, then don't over-do it - your first task is to create a routine and condition your muscles.
If you've done exercise before and find things too easy then increase the intensity. For example progress Squats to Jump Squats, then Burpees or Kettlebell Squats.
Once you’re managing to train for 4 minutes a day you’ll be surprised what happens!
Good luck and let me know what you do in 4 minutes?
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Aqua-fitness in the UK is pretty restricted to Aqua-Aerobics. It's very popular in Europe among Gyms, Fitness Centres and Health Spas in the form of Aqua-Cycling, Aqua-Treadmills, Cross-Trainers and more.
Aqua-fitness looks set to sweep across the UK as interest & popularity increases. There are huge benefits to using this form of exercise, fitness & well-being. I've taking a close look at it and completely recommend it as a form of exercise, what ever your goals are.
THE BENEFITS OF WATER
Water has many properties, particularly the natural resistance and weightlessness it provides. Hydrostatic pressure and buoyancy help blood circulation, ideal for problems of venous insufficiency. Pedalling against water pressure helps maintain fitness and gently develops cardiovascular and stamina capabilities.
Water cools the body, has a massaging effect, relieves swelling and reduces stiffness and impacts on the joints of the lower limbs.
During and after exercising, awareness of fatigue is diminished because buoyancy reduces muscle loads. Even post-exercise recovery time is improved as the elimination of lactic acid is faster.
The strengthening of the venous and lymphatic networks has remarkable results in combating water retention and reducing cellulite.
Aqua-biking has become the new aquatic activity very trendy for more than 5 years. You can cycle in your pool during an average of 30 to 45 minutes and burn up 1500 calories!
You can also do this activity in group with a coach, on musical rhythm, in individual coaching session, or even by yourself.
Aqua biking is a sport for everybody, from beginners to confirmed athletes, aquafitness is also ideal for resuming a physical activity after a break or an injury. And no matter what shape you are in, you can always customize pace and resistance to your own needs. It is a perfect stress reliever.
If you can't find a local gym or health spa that doesn't have Aqua-bikes, self contained pools with bikes are available.
There are various designs and models to choose from, all of which are self filling & draining, and require simple plumbing and installation.
Hydromassage jets give extra health benefits in the form of massage.
Also available are larger sized multi-function fit pools that have swim currents. This means you can swim at your selected speed in a much smaller area than a swimming pool!
The treadmill gives you the opportunity to do aquatic walking or aquajogging directly in your pool.
It can be set in a classic pool or swim spa.
Walking or running in water is recommended because there is no "shocks“. The ground impact we can have on earth during a jogging, is ten times less in a pool. This is a possible practice for people who can not swim. This system is not electric, it is up to you to lead the speed of the band, the more you give impulse, the faster you run!
The benefits of walking or running in water
AQUA CROSS TRAINER
What is an aquatic elliptical machine?
This is a complete device combining the benefits of: the rower, cross-country skiing, stepper and bike.It provides synergetic muscle and cardio workout . In fact, about 80% of the muscles are used during exercise!
The secret lies in its elliptical motion designed to replicate as closely as possible the natural movement of skiing while putting joints from shocks. One stationary, using the central fixed handlebar; the other, using the oscillating handles for a more intense cardio workout.
The benefits of an aquatic elliptical machine
Smooth work out of all muscles. The Elly improves cardio-vascular capacity and endurance, so you can stay in shape easily. It offers a complete and effective training as the entire musculature is requested: thighs, calves and harmonious toning buttocks and upper body.
Lose weight almost effortlessly. One interesting feature of Elly is its capacity to help you burn fat and thus lose weight. The exercises are easier than on traditional machines with the buoyancy of water on the one hand and the fact that all muscles are active and they accumulate the amount of calories spent. A significant advantage for quick results and motivating!
This is Mini sauna with organic steam for one person. It does not require a big space and
plumbing. You will have SPA benefits in your home!
Its fully made from cedar wood that grows on the high elevations of the clean ecological Mountains in British Columbia and Siberia.
A 10-15 minutes steam session warms the body, increases circulation and relaxes muscles.
You can mix traditional aroma oil remedies that have been found to be effective for the treatment and enhance your experience.
If you would like any further information on Aqua-fitness or any of the products featured in this blog, feel free to contact me. Whether you're a gym owner wanting to offer it as a service or an individual looking for the benefits in the comfort of home.
We’re not genetically designed to be over weight. It’s not all bad news though - being over weight is a reversible process. Firstly, don’t be guided by labels. There are lots of food and Pharma companies that are making millions from producing unhealthy foods. The sad part is that they are often marketed as ‘healthy’. Low fat and low sugar doesn’t necessarily mean low calories.
Also, there’s a difference between the amount of calories and the quality of calories you consume. Empty carbs are high energy, but no/low nutrient - the chances are they will spike your sugar and energy levels, affect your hormones and be stored as fat.
Avoid ready meals at all costs, and cut right back on processed foods. Eat as much fresh, seasonal fruit and vegetables as possible. Combine carbs with proteins and fats when eating which slow down the digestion, even out the energy supplied to the body and avoid the sugar spike and fat storing process.
Here are some foods to avoid if you’re serious about good health.
Margarine was originally developed as a food for fattening turkys. However, when it killed them and become unusable, the investors still wanted a profit. Yellow colouring was added and it was sold to humans. It contains trans fats and LDL (bad cholesterol) and increases the risk of CV disease.
Alternatives - butter, coconut oil, low saturated fat oils (olive oil etc).
Concentrated Fruit Juice
Concentrated Fruit Juice is processed and therefore low in nutrients. Fibre is also missing, so you’re basically drinking sweetened sugar. Some juices contain added sugar, or worse still, artificial sweeteners.
Alternatives - water, water, water, green tea, herbal teas, smoothies.
Including - white rice/pasta/bread/sugar; doughnuts,cakes, biscuits and even wholemeal bread.
These are high carb comfort foods with high calories and low nutrients. High carbs are digested very quickly, increasing blood sugar levels. Insulin is then released and the sugar is stored as fat. Check out the Glycaemic Index of carbs - low carbs digest more slowly thus being better for energy levels, high ones are digested quickly and spike your energy levels and trigger the fat storing process.
Alternatives - wholemeal rice/pasta and wholegrain bread. I prefer getting carbs from fruit and vegetables because you get the nutrients as well. Even wholemeal rice, pasta and bread are bulky, starchy foods, that can bloat, so be careful.
GM corn (all GM foods for that matter)
GM corn was made for fattening cattle. It does the same to humans. Also avoid sweeteners produced from it.
What you eat becomes you. The human body creates itself from the food it consumes and is in optimum health when fed fresh food. It has no need for eating artificial sweeteners which are chemicals. numerous side effects have been reported as well as inducing diabetes, storing fat and giving an increased appetite.
Corn syrup (sweetener)
Corn syrup is made from corn starch and contains very high fructose. It is connected to weight gain and obesity and is an added ingredient in many soft drinks and in canned, baked and processed foods such as barbecue sauce, jam and ketchup.
Alternatives - honey, organic maple syrup, molasses and stevia.
Processed soy is a great example of food that we’re told is healthy. However, the heavy processing can remove up to 90% of the nutrients, so again you’re eating empty calories. Also, a lot of soya is GM grown, so check the labels.
Alternatives - quinoa, milled flax seed with pumpin & sunflower seeds, beans, nuts and seeds.
There are more many foods that could be added to this list. Eating is very habitual and quite often done as a form of comfort.
Remember that you are what you eat - it’s your choice whether to eat fresh, live giving foods or to eat junk.
The rise of the smoothie maker has been gradual for years but in the last 12-18 months or so there has been a big boom. Recognised as a quick way to get in some post workout nutrition you can glug on the go, or just an easy-to-digest breakfast for those who can’t stomach whole foods early in the morning, smoothies are certainly here to stay.
But if you’re getting bored of your same old handful of fruit and milk/water combination, or are looking for more value for your money, then these recipes are here to get you out of the smoothie rut.
One word of advice - fat in the diet slows down digestion, so be careful with your post workout smoothie as you want to be able to quickly digest of the micro and macro nutrients needed for repair and recovery.
Sweet Potato Cream Smoothie
Not only are sweet potatoes a great source of slow-release carbohydrate, they also contain much-needed vitamin C – perfect for helping grow and repair tissues. Vitamin C aids the body in the production of collagen – required for synthesis of tendons and ligaments, as well as other tissues. It also helps maintain bones, along with calcium.
Egg Nog Smoothie
Eggs are one of the few dietary sources of vitamin D – but note that it is only available in the yolk, so if you only ever have egg whites you could be missing out on vital nutrients. Vitamin D helps absorb calcium, helping to develop strong and healthy bones, as well as contributing to other important bodily processes. Don’t be put off by the raw egg in this smoothie* – you won’t even know it’s there!
Optional extra protein kick = ½ a scoop vanilla whey, or alternative, protein powder
Chocolate Avocado Smoothie
With nearly 30%* of your recommended daily intake of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant, as well as healthy mono-unsaturated fat (the kind that helps lower ‘bad’ cholesterol) avocados have fast become fitties’ favourite foods. You may have heard of chocolate mousse made with avocado, well this right here is the smoothie version – making it that little bit more accessible every day!
Optional extra protein kick = ½ to 1 scoop chocolate whey, or alternative, protein powder
* Per 1 whole avocado.
Pink Kale Smoothie
Kale is just one source of vitamin B6, which helps regulate hormones as well as contributing to red blood cell development, neurological and brain development and function. It can be a little bitter on its own, but a big handful of raspberries and some natural sweeteners make this shake a tasty but nutritious glass-full.
Optional extra protein kick = ½ to 1 scoop strawberry whey, or alternative, protein powder
Apricot and Carrot SmoothieCarrots and apricots are both great sources of vitamin A – important for health vision, as well as bone, skin and immune functions. Get a boost with this delightfully orange smoothie. You can use the carrot raw… if your blender is powerful enough, but cooking it will make it that much easier to blend. Alternatively you can use the juice of two carrots.
Optional extra protein kick = ½ to 1 scoop vanilla whey, or alternative, protein powder
Try Them and SeeBy mixing up your smoothies you will add a variety of nutrients into your diet, as well as relieve the boredom of mundane shakes. Think about what you need most in your diet – which vitamins and minerals do you potentially not get enough of? If you’re not sure, a good way to tell is by the colour of the fruit and vegetables you eat. Eat mostly greens? Try the Apricot and Carrot, or Sweet Potato Cream Smoothie. Have a lot of orange fruit and veg in your life? Go for the Chocolate Avocado or Pink Kale Smoothie.
If you have a favourite smoothie recipe, please share it.
Using them means
So here are the 7 movement patterns -
Push movement uses the triceps, we can either push forwards or we can push upwards or forwards.
Body weight: Push-Ups, Kettlebells: Chest Press
Pull movement uses the biceps. We can only pull towards ourselves.
Body weight: Pull-Ups, Kettlebells: Rows
Now, this is used when we sit down into chairs, on the toilet and so on. Squat category, we sit back onto the heel as we sit the bum downwards, rather than backwards like we do in the dead lift, so sitting downwards.
Body Weight: Squats Jumps, Kettlebells:
Deadlifts are hip-hinge based movements based around picking things off the floor. We’re using the glutes and hamstrings with some core as well.
Body Weight: Reaching Single Leg Deadlifts, Kettebells: KB Deadlift
Lunges are stepping forwards, backwards or to the side movements. Again working the legs, strongly into the glutes, again with some core.
Body Weight: Backward Lunges, Kettlebells: KB lunge
The core is used in conjunction and extensively with all other muscles. Strength here is important in doing all other movement patterns.
Body Weight: Mountain Climbers, Kettlebells: Turkish Get Up
The oblique muscles are either side of our bodies and facilitate twisting motions.
It can be easy to overlook this movement pattern and leave it out of a training session.
Body Weight: Standing Twists, Kettlebells: Russian Twists.
You can use these movement patterns separately to begin with to condition muscles and increase range of motion and then start to combine them to achieve maximum benefits and cut down on the amount of time you train.
Use them collectively for a complete body workout, or separate and group them into how many days training you do, for example,
3 days training could be: day 1- Push & Deadlift; day 2- Pull, Squat & Twist; day 3- Core & Lunge.
Here's a kettlebell workout using all 6 movements:
Swing - 40 secs / rest 20 secs
Regular Row - 40 secs / rest 20 secs x 2
Goblet Squat - 40 secs / rest 20 secs
Overhead Press - 40 secs / rest 20 secs x 2
Side Lunge - 40 secs / rest 20 secs x 2
Turkish Get Up - 3 each side
And here's a 4-min workout that uses bodyweight exercises:
Reaching Single Leg Deadlift - 30 secs x 2
Pull Up / Chin Up - 30 secs
Y Squat - 30 secs
Push Ups - 30 secs
Reverse Lunge - 30 secs x 2
Cross Body Mountain Climber - 30 secs
Exercise should be simple and fun!
You can do these workouts knowing that you are working around 600 muscles, bringing strength and stability to muscles and joints, plus balancing your posture.
Risks v Benefits
It's my number one priority of any exercise as a coach to avoid injury.
Insanity, Distance Running and Bootcamps are too aggressive on the body for beginners and the older generation .
The only survivors of these types of workouts will be the young (because they heal quickly and have better mobility) and the experienced who have build up their condition over years of training.
There are websites and magazines devoted purely to running injuries and research shows that 50% of people will obtain a running injury within the first year.
As a Personal Trainer I'm always weighing up the risk vs benefit of every exercise that I use with my clients. If one of my clients gets injured then that is a failure on my part.
For us over 40's time is precious, so fitting in time for training can be difficult - but don't let it be an excuse to not train.
It's possible to do 10-20 minute workouts, 3-5 times a week that will be completely effective.
You can easily progress them as your body adapts too.
What to avoid
Avoid doing isolated movements, for example bicep curls and tricep extensions. They're good exercises in their own right and will build lean muscle, but they're time consuming and don't burn fat. For beginners too much weight could easily lead to joint problems.
Distance running is very time consuming and doesn't give a good return in fat burnt and there's no strength gained. Also, the joints suffer. One reason for injuries is that people haven't built strength in the foot, knee and hip relationship; consequently, stability is lacking which leads to poor alignment and injury.
Jumping can also place a strain on the joints and should be avoided by beginners over 40. It sends your whole bodyweight through your body in one sudden impact. Box Jumps, Jumping Lunges etc. can cause ruptured achilles tendon doing these exercises!
Over 40's and the metabolism
The metabolism increasingly slows down with age. Those with a sedentary life style will find that putting on unwanted weight is an unavoidable consequence. Before long, if left unchecked, this can get out of hand and your left with a bulging tummy and saggy arms.
It's possible to boost the system however. You can raise the metabolism, burn fat and increase lean muscle mass.
Compound movements i.e. movement that involves 2 or more muscles. An exercise such as the kettle bell swing involves over 600 muscles - it builds strength and stability, raises the cardio and is a big fat burner.
Hight Intensity Interval Training is the key. You can find more about HIIT in a previously written blog. Work hard for a short period; 20-60 seconds depending on your capability; rest; repeat, or do the next exercise.
Sports science has demonstrated the effects of EPOC (Excess Post Oxygen Consumption) on the body. The higher the oxygen requirements when participating in a chosen physical activity the greater amount of oxygen is needed to replenish the human bodily systems once the activity has ceased. This in turn increases the potential for accelerating fat loss as well as many other physiological benefits. The fat burn continues for up to 48 hours post exercise!
Lots of body weight exercises fall into this category. Squats and Press-ups are great examples. Kettlebells, Gym Based Boxing are also good examples of effective training that can be done in a 10-20 programme; will raise the metabolism; burn fat and produce lean muscle mass.
For a beginner over 40, a simple and quick session that targets the whole body could be
Exercise doesn't need to be complicated it just needs to be sensible.
The principle behind this is quite simple: calories consumed each day should be less than what they are now. You can achieve this by eating less and training more.
As I've mentioned in earlier blogs, you should be eating regular healthy meals. Don't starve yourself to lose weight. Eat life giving foods with a balance of macro and micro nutrients not life taking foods and 'anti-nutrients'. Do high intensity interval training. This doesn't have to be time consuming and can be fitted into the busiest of lifestyles.
What the offer includes
Remember, at peak fitness and health we offer free consultations and a taster hour session for just £15 - so you've nothing to lose.
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Good luck with your training and take care.