Monthly Archives: April 2017

Functional Fitness Training with Fit Balls

Functional Fitness Training with Fit Balls

Fit Balls, Swiss Balls, Physio Balls and Exercise Balls! Call them what you will, we all know what you’re talking about – those big blow up balls of different sizes and colours you have always wanted to try but never had the chance. They are becoming a favoured tool of the personal trainer, the ‘must have’ piece of equipment for the home studio, and an essential item for complete programming for the development of core strength and reduction and termination of lower back pain.

Because of a sedentary lifestyle, most people have poor posture. The muscles of the trunk are no longer able to support the body in the most efficient way possible. Because of external support from a chair, couch, car seat, etc., the neuromuscular system has “forgotten” how to maintain posture easily and efficiently. This usually leads to breakdown, pain and dysfunction.

I have found that using a Fit ball is a very effective way to correct postural alignment. Exercises on the ball can be very mild or extremely challenging depending on the needs of the client. By balancing on the ball, the client now has no other support to rely on except his or her own body. The body will automatically call on the righting and equilibrium responses, facilitating a coordinated effort of the postural muscles. The client unconsciously finds a way to balance on the ball with the least amount of muscle use possible, therefore reinforcing positive movement patterns.

Fit Balls are one of the most effective exercise tools to improve and develop spinal, pelvic and shoulder girdle stability. Total core stability is achieved along with improved posture and an increased awareness of your own body – the way it moves and the way it is designed to move. An enhanced kinesthetic sense is discovered and refined, allowing you to ‘feel’ your own actions and be able to adjust incorrect positions and movements performed throughout the exercises.

Fit Balls add variety to create new and challenging demands on the body in a number of different planes. Just about any exercise done in the gym can be performed using the Fit Ball. We all know how important variety is to every program. Not just from the point of view of changing the stimuli to allow for continued adaptation but to enhance motivation. Without it, the likelihood of adhering to our current exercise program and achieving our goals is somewhat slim.

Available in a number of sizes, from 45cm to 75cm in diametre, the right size Fit Ball is determined by your height and more importantly your leg length. While sitting on top of the ball, with calves perpendicular to the ground, your thighs should be parallel and at 90-100° with your knees and your body weight evenly distributed over both feet. This is your correct postural position. Imagine a straight line starting from your ear, travelling through your shoulder and stopping at the centre point of your pelvis. This visual connection will help you adjust and maintain correct postural alignment in the initial stages of learning with the Fit Ball.

Implementing the use of a Fit Ball recruits your ‘stabilizer’ muscles to establish and maintain a solid platform from which you develop strength, endurance and correct postural adaptations. They encourage the contraction and stimulation of deep muscle fibres within the trunk including external and internal obliques, rectus and transverse abdominals and the erector spinae and quadratus lumborum. I’m sure those of you who have sought professional advice for lower back pain and postural correction have heard of these muscles before. The relationship between the abdominal and lower back muscles is crucial to core stability, yet neither should be the sole focus of any particular training session.

When using the Fit Ball it is possible to reach muscular exhaustion without showing any normal signs of physiological fatigue due to the high involvement of stabilizing muscles and joint structures. Rotate exercises between the upper and lower regions and the trunk. This guarantees complete recovery of all muscle groups to allow each muscle to be utilized with maximum efficiency and productivity.

As with all exercise, the quality of the movement is more important than the quantity of exercise, repetitions or sets performed on the Fit ball.

The Fit ball is a great tool for the personal trainer to use. Clients enjoy using the ball, and it also promotes body awareness, improves balance and coordination, and reinforces proper spinal alignment along with a great new and challenging stimulus for your brain, as well as your body!

As a health and fitness professional for over 10 years, Daniel has personally trained more than 4000 people, on 4 continents towards the achievement of their fitness and lifestyle objectives using his unique holistic and functional approach to lifestyle enhancement. Daniel is a true leader and innovator in the industry. Daniel draws from an academic background in Human Movement, Exercise Science and Sports Management in Australia & also holds a Diploma in Massage Therapy, & Certificates in Workplace Health Promotion, Personal Training (ACSM) and Australian Training for Fitness Professionals (ATP), Golf Fitness & Conditioning, Postural Analysis, Weight Management & Fat Loss.

Keeping a Fitness Log For Weight Loss

Keeping a Fitness Log For Weight Loss

Losing weight is difficult, but one thing that can make it easier is looking at where you have been and how far you have come. This is what a fitness log is for, and many nutritionists and personal trainers encourage their clients to use them. A fitness log will allow you to keep track of what you are doing and what kind of progress that you have made. Putting together a fitness log will be enormously beneficial to you if you want to lose weight and get fit!

While there are many different fitness logs and workout journals that you can purchase at the bookstores and hobby shops, you will find that you can just as easily use a normal notebook. Just remember to date every page and soon enough you are going to have a lot of data that is quite valuable to you. You do need to keep up with it every day, and the more information that you put in, the more useful it will be.

When you are interested in keeping a fitness log, what should go into it? One of the easiest things to record from day to day is going to be your weight. Weigh yourself every day at the same time and you will soon be able to see what your progress is like. While your weight is going to fluctuate from day to day, there is going to be a clear line of progression that allows you to figure out how well you are doing. You may also want to record how you feel that day and whether you feel that your health is going. This can be an instrumental factor in tracking what affects your weight.

Another thing that you can put down in your fitness log is what kind of food you ate that day. Even the act of writing down all the food that you eat can make you more mindful of the dietary choices that you are making. Even if no one looks at them but you, you will find that you are in a perfect place to see how what you eat affects how much weight you lose or how much weight you gain. Having a record of how different foods affect you can also help you make better food decisions in the future.

Keep track of your exercise routines as well. When you keep track of them, you are going to be able to figure out what kind of routines work well for you and which ones strain you too much. You will also be able to see how consistent you are being about your workouts and whether you are sticking with your goals. You can always mark of a successfully completed week through stickers or a star in your fitness log.

Avoid Fitness Confusion and Get Into Amazing Shape

Avoid Fitness Confusion and Get Into Amazing Shape

If you are not up to date on the fitness industry, it is easy to be “suckered” in by false advertisements and promises. Learning the local fitness industry will prevent you from suffering the consequences later. Read the rest of this entry

Tricks to Eat Healthier at Restaurants

Tricks to Eat Healthier at Restaurants

EAT at restaurants anymore because there is not a particular celebration or special occasion. Currently, eating out has become a daily habit for many people. Without realizing it, the food they eat is not healthy for the body.

The average restaurant serving food in large portions, high fat and calories, also contains less fiber and nutrients than food served at home. If you often eat out, it is important to make healthy choices as you do at home.

Here’s the trick:

Choose restaurants that offer healthy food
Before making the order or sitting at a table, be sure to ask the restaurant if they will do the following things:
– Accommodates demand for cooking instructions and the use of food ingredients, such as those made from whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta or brown rice.
– Use lean cuts of meat. If the results are still cooking in fat or skin, do not eat alias remove.
– Serve butter, gravvy sauce, sauces, and dressings separately so that you can measure as needed.
– Use margarine to replace butter and low-fat milk to replace the cream.

A little cooking oil
Choose foods steamed, baked, or boiled. Avoid cooking method that uses oils and fats, such as frying.

Always ask for water
Ask for a glass of water or drinks that contain lemon juice, instead of high-calorie drink, soft drinks, or alcoholic beverages to accompany your meal.

Eating a salad before eating the main course
Eat salads in large quantities consisting of raw vegetables prior to or simultaneously with your food. Be sure to order the sauce separately so you only take as much as needed. Try dip the fork into the sauce to get the flavor of the sauce just a bit, which is at the end before eating lettuce.

Note servings
Most restaurants serve food with portions big enough to feed two people for. If excessive, eat half, and the rest can ask wrapped to take home so they can be eaten at any other time.

Should not need to order dessert, just an appetizer in the form of soup or salad. Or, just messaging as a piece of fruit or gelatin dessert.

Beat the Summer Heat with Crock Pot Cooking

Beat the Summer Heat with Crock Pot Cooking

When the weather outside warms up, the kitchen can be a terrible place to be. There are many things you can do however, when it comes to cooking a nice home made meal that doesn’t require traditional stove top or oven cooking. Learn to utilize some of the lesser heat producing equipment in your kitchen, such as the crock pot, in order to truly beat the summer heat and keep your cool while preparing a nice hot meal for friends and family. Read the rest of this entry

Coffee For Your Health

Coffee For Your Health

Many of us rely on coffee to get us going in the mornings, wake us up in the afternoons, and prepare us for that special business meeting. Go ahead, have a cup of coffee. It’s much healthier than you may be thinking right now.

Coffee is the most consumed beverage in the world. No matter where you go, coffee is usually available. Yet, until recently there’s been very little research on the effects of coffee on our health. The researcher’s are waking up however. There have recently been studies completed on a variety of health benefits to drinking that simply delicious cup of coffee. Read the rest of this entry

Best Foods for Weight Lifters

Best Foods for Weight Lifters

 

 

Our bodies react in different ways to the different types of food and supplements we consume. Taking an anabolic steroid has the potential to enhance your performance but you also need a good diet to help sustain your muscle growth and fitness level. The following foods are ideal for doing just that:

 

  • Meat – as long as it’s lean. Weight lifting requires protein and lean meat is a fantastic source. However, red meat and processed red meat have been shown to have health risks, so going with protein sources such as chicken and turkey are the healthier choice.
  • Dairy – as long as it’s low-fat. Not only does dairy have the muscle-building amino acids found in protein, it also has calcium which is ideal for both muscle and bone maintenance. Skim milk powder is a popular option for weight lifters. It can be easily added to protein shakes and also provides vitamin D, another important element in bone health.
  • Seafood and fish-Oily fish such as salmon and sardines are a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are extremely important for overall health, especially for the brain and heart. Shrimp and crab provide iodine, a mineral essential for body growth and development. Avoid large fish including shark, swordfish and tilefish which often have high concentrations of mercury and other pollutants.
  • Vegetables – It’s not all about the meat and protein. Weightlifters still need plenty of a wide variety of vegetables in order to get the antioxidants and nutrients the body needs for energy and protection from free radical damage. Vegetables are packed with anti-cancer agents and are essential for good health.
  • Red wine – A glass a day for women and two for men is perfect for getting the heart-healthy benefits of resveratrol and other antioxidants.

 

You can always buy anabolic steroids but be sure to eat a healthy diet for maximum effectiveness.

Quickstart Guide to Making Your Own Pet Food at Home

Quickstart Guide to Making Your Own Pet Food at Home

As a pet owner, no doubt you want to give your dog or cat the best care possible. And caring for your pet means feeding him the best diet you can. By making your own pet foods, you’ll be saving money, up to 80%. And to top it off, it’s easy; making pet food at home is probably a lot less time-consuming than you may have thought. With hundreds of websites offering free pet food recipes online, it’s now easier than ever to make your own pet food.

To prepare healthy and nutritious food for your pet you should study your pet’s natural habitat and food sources, and then prepare foods that most closely resemble their own natural or original diet.

Animals, because they are color blind, choose their foods by smell. Most dogs like gamey flavors best, as well as liver, fat, garlic, onions, horsemeat, lamb, beef, cheese and fish. Cats enjoy chicken, liver, fish, turkey, lamb, and yeast, and prefer fresh to aged flavors.

Cats are fussy eaters and it is not wise to continually feed them their favorite foods. Soon they will refuse to eat anything else; it is your job to see your cat has a balanced diet.

Animals do not need salt added to their diet as the natural salt in the food is enough for them.

Dogs may eat any vegetable they want, but cats should not have any starchy veggies, like peas and corn. Some dogs and cats even enjoy fruits!

It’s a good idea to always add a grain, such as Kibble, wheat germ, cooked oatmeal or whole wheat bread to meat dinners. For dogs use 75% carbohydrate foods (grains and vegetables) to 25% meat; for cats use half carbohydrate foods to half meat.

You will find, once you begin making your own pet foods, that it is really relatively simple and you will save some money as well. Remember that all pet foods should be served at room temperature; don’t serve food cold from the refrigerator nor hot from the stove.

Homemade pet food should take a ridiculously small amount of your time. As a general guide meats should be raw and vegetables must be finely chopped in a food processor or by a hand grater.

When it comes time for feeding, it is important that you let your dogs and cats eat as much as they want at the time of feeding. Once their body becomes nutritionally satiated, they will cut their food intake, sometimes by half the amount, and go on a maintenance diet. Incidentally, you should know that cats should be fed three times a day, while an adult dog needs only one meal a day.

Emergency Food and Food Storage

Emergency Food and Food Storage

Having food and water stored are key for survival when a disaster strikes. There are many types of foods that can be stored, but this article will focus primarily on foods for emergency situations. Creating a food storage can seem like an over whelming task, but when taken one step at a time this task can be accomplished with ease.

When disaster strikes and the power is off for a prolonged period of time the first food that should be eaten is in the refrigerator. I know this seems like an obvious answer but most people avoid opening the fridge because the items in the fridge will be exposed to air temperature. The reality is the food in the fridge will maintain its coolness because the food itself is cool, and the refrigerator will work like a cooler. The first time the refrigerator is opened a list should be made of the items in the fridge so the door isn’t open needlessly. Having a list will decrease the amount of time the door is open.

After the refrigerator food is eaten, next go to your freezer food. Freezer food is usually good for up to three days after the power is off. As long as there are ice crystals in the center of the food, it is still good to eat. After the perishable foods have been eaten during an emergency you will next want to consider consuming your food storage.

Let’s talk about how and what to store in your food storage. When creating a basic food storage all items can be broken down into the following seven categories:

  • Water
  • Canned or bottled goods
  • Paper products
  • Dried foods and grains
  • Snacks
  • Fats and oils
  • Sugars or sweeteners

Make sure you store appropriate amounts of items from each category. You can determine what the proper amount is by taking inventory of what you currently consume and use.

The first step when beginning to store food is to create a two week supply. When going to the grocery store start getting into the habit of shopping the ads and buying extras. You should store foods that are delicious and nutritious. Also, you should store foods that you are familiar with and that you currently eat. Consistently purchasing foods your family is familiar with will provide a sense of security when a disaster strikes.

Make sure while you are storing this food that you create an inventory system so you are naturally rotating your food. Placing new food items in the back of the storage area will force you to use the older items in front. Before storing these foods make certain you date and label each item. This will help in your rotating system. If items get disturbed or fall off the shelf you will know what order to put them back in and what foods you should eat first.

If possible, store all food in a dry, cool, and dark place. When storing crackers, cookies or boxed items store them in air tight containers to maintain freshness and keep moisture out. Try to store mainly non-perishable and staple items. These will sustain life and last longer in emergency situations.

After completing a 2 week food supply and creating an inventory system, move on to create a 3 month supply. This can be accomplished easier by first creating a master menu schedule. Without having a master menu schedule it would be very difficult to know what kind of supplies you really need. Over a period of time purchase the items for the menus on the master menu schedule and store and track them with the inventory system you created earlier.

After storing all of this food, secure a way to cook it in an emergency. Inexpensive charcoal grills, propane barbecues, and camp stoves are great sources of cooking in emergency. You can also use simple chafing dishes or fondue pots. Make sure you have stored matches. Without matches, cooking is next to impossible.

By following these simple suggestions you will feel prepared the next time an emergency situation arises. Have fun with your food storage, and try new things as you rotate your food.

Evaluating The Best Rated Diet Products

Evaluating The Best Rated Diet Products

Authorities estimate that human beings weigh more on average today than at any other point during the past. This increase in the average weight can be attributed to many different things. Some experts feel that a lack of exercise is to blame, while others point the finger at an increase in the number of processed foods being consumed by human beings today. Regardless of the cause behind this weight gain, almost every expert can agree that the increased average weight comes with significant risks. Read the rest of this entry