Monday, August 6, 2018

Self-Care Means Balancing Your Fitness Routine, Too

Picture
 Photo by Pixabay
  
Balance is a simple concept but difficult to develop in real life. There’s always something getting in the way of plans to exercise and eat right. However, part of the difficulty may be in our definition of what balance means. Here are some thoughts on redefining balance, as well as  developing and maintaining it.
 
First, we need to realize that our whole being, our mind, body and soul, needs nourishment. Our flesh and blood need air, food and water, and our spirit needs nourishment, too. Sometimes when we’re focusing on the former, we forget the latter.
 
Exercise can be a form of enrichment for the soul, as we learn to listen to our body and give it what it needs and avoid what it doesn’t. For instance, you might think you need french fries, and occasionally you might, but your body will tell you whether it feels good or not. Just as exercise needs a recovery period to build muscle, your soul and spirit need rejuvenation periods as well.
 
If you’re so busy doing everything you’re “supposed” to do that you don’t get enough sleep or relaxation --  “me time” -- then you’ll be just as burned out.
 
 Like night follows day, we need rejuvenation following activity. This world encourages working and excelling while overlooking being, relaxing and recovering. But we can’t have one without the other. Even too much exercise is unhealthy. The point of balance is having both activity (exercise, eating healthy foods) and relaxation (down time, occasional comfort foods). Moderation is key. Somewhere in our rush to be all that we can be, we forgot that it’s not just bigger, better, faster. The rhythm of life demands slow as well as fast.
 
 
So what’s the answer? I say it’s in listening. Listen to what others suggest, yes, but also do what our body is telling us. Do we feel good after eating a huge meal, or are we lethargic? Does exercise make us feel better? If not, let’s try another. Maybe yoga or tai chi is more your thing than Zumba. As long as you’re moving your body and strengthening muscles, you’re moving in the right direction. If it makes you feel good, do it. If not, try something else. Your body is a well-built machine that will let you know what it needs, if only you listen to the signals it’s sending.
 
If you are recovering from addiction, your ability to listen to your body has been compromised and will need readjustment. It will take awhile before you feel like yourself again, but eating right and exercising can help in the healing process. Your body was subjected to chemical stimulation or depression, so your normal rhythms were masked.
 
You need to relearn how to feel what you’re feeling and respond to it. Make exercise part of your routine. Exercise releases endorphins that elevate your mood. If you can exercise outside, all the better as you flood your body with healing vitamin D. Find a friend and go for a walk; socialize while working out. You will be healing your body and your spirit. Slowly, surely, you can get better and stay sober. Replace bad habits with good ones that will make you stronger, physically and emotionally. 
 
Caring for yourself and finding balance are a daily pursuit based on your lifestyle, family and friends, and your definition of what balance means to you. Every day you decide what you’re going to do to be healthy, and every day you weigh those choices against your schedule, things that come up unexpectedly, and the importance of knowing what can control and what you can’t. You can’t control a work meeting that runs late, but you control whether you eat that doughnut. Maybe a margarita with friends after work is important, because you’re supporting each other and building relationships. But maybe it’s a weekly or monthly activity, not a daily one. Going home and reading a good book or dancing around your living room with the kids is important, too.
 
You need all these things in your life, but only you can decide when and how much. Balance is elusive but not impossible. It’s determined by you as you choose each day how you spend your time. Do what’s “good for you” and what’s good for you. Only you can determine which is which.

Author: Sheila Olson (www.fitsheila.com)

Friday, June 29, 2018

How to Burn Fat More Efficiently


Article Source: https://nuzest.sg/burn-fat-efficiently/

We’ve learned that fat burning is a system we’ve developed to allow us to use energy over long distances. Our hunter-gatherer ancestors, whose genes we share almost unchanged, would roam their environments on the hunt for food for hours or even days on end. We would not be around today if they cold only hunt successfully if they could refuel on bags of potato chips or cans of coke every few hours. They would genuinely be running on empty, using fuel that they had previously stored. Someone who gets lost in the desert and is unable to hunt successfully will die, usually after a few days without food and water. But it’s not the lack of food that causes death, it’s the lack of water. Most of us can function, given water, for well over two weeks without food. That’s because we burn first of all our fat reserves, and then we that runs out, we start burning protein as muscle tissue. What’s ingenious about it is that we also generate another fuel when we burn fat called ketone bodies. These ketone bodies – or ketones for short – are actually are brain’s favourite fuels. If you keep burning fat, and continue to not eat over many days, the levels of ketones in your system can get so high they kill you. That’s why for many years ketones were thought of as bad compounds because they were known to occur at very high levels in people who were starving to death. To keep ketones as low as possible, you need to shut down your fat burning system. The best way to do that is by taking in lots of carbs.

Now, think about all those overweight people in the gym who you’ve seen working out on treadmills and cycling machines who never seem to lose weight. Chances are they’re working out for under an hour at a time and they’re also downing glucose- or sugar-laden energy drinks or energy gels to keep them going. Their diets might also be low fat and high in refined and processed carbs like white bread, pasta, pizzas and white rice.

What we now know is that we need to back off eating carbs to encourage our bodies to burn fats. This is one reason that there’s been so much interest in law carb diets, as well as ones that increase the amount of healthy fats. These kinds of diets are often referred to as Low Carb High Fat or LCHF diets. But it’s not just a question of what you’re eating, it’s also about how much and when you’re eating.

When we start exercising aerobically our bodies normally rely on the most readily accessible fuel. It’s actually not fats, carbs or protein. It’s a compound called glycogen that’s stored in our liver and muscles. If we’re replenished with glycogen from a good meal with plenty of complex carbs from vegetables, starches or grains the night before, most of us will have a reserve of some 500 – 800g of glycogen. This will be sufficient to act as our main fuel for around 60 to 90 minutes of moderate intensity exercise. So if you’re going to do some aerobic work in the gym and stop after just 30 minutes, you will have barely started to burn your fat reserves, irrespective of whether the machine in the gym tells you you’ve been in your fat burning zone for that half hour. You’ve burned part of your glycogen reserve that will be replete if you down an energy drink or another carb source after your workout.

What the fat burning zone inscribed on your treadmill, stepper, rower or gym bike is telling is however is right if you’re prepared to stay in this low to moderate heart rate zone for some time. This fat burning zone is approximately 60-70% of your maximum heart rate, which is roughly 220 minus your age, although it can be considerably higher than this if you’re very fit. But how many people can manage over an hour of aerobic work in the gym. Three or four times a week. Not many as it happens.

That’s one reason why, when it comes to burning fat, getting outdoors and doing a long walk or cycle ride makes a lot more sense for many people. But it requires time – something not many of us have in abundance. But perhaps you can manage this once or twice a week if you really try, ideally not on consecutive days.

Such is the flexibility of our bodies’ systems that there are also other ways of burning fat. Intermittent fasting is one of the best ways of getting there. It’s a somewhat fancy term referring to a pattern of eating that involves eating both less as well as less often than a normal Western person might typically eat. There’s actually nothing odd about this way of eating – our ancestors almost certainly ate this way. They certainly didn’t eat three meals a day with snacks in between. They would go through cycles of feast and famine – and it’s important to realise we are supremely well-adapted to famine because if we weren’t, we’d not be here today. And bizarrely, it’s now the excessive feasting that’s much more likely to kill us than the famine…

One of the most useful rules with intermittent fasting is to try to cut down on your meal frequency by avoiding eating within five hours of your last meal. Another point involves cutting out snacks between meals, as well as all refined and processed carbohydrates like white bread, white pasta and white rice. Doing a couple of training or exercise sessions on a completely empty stomach (other than water) will also help you shift towards being a better fat burner. As will engaging in very short bursts of high intensity exercise, with rests of the same or double the duration in between. This is called High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT and you’ll find plenty of information about it on the internet, such is its popularity given its proven role in triggering mitochondrial function and fat burning. Depending on what your fitness goal is, you can adjust the pattern of your HIIT sessions to deliver different results.

With a personal trainer with extensive experience in HIIT, there are even HIIT regimes suitable for people with serious diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity. It may seem a bit tough, but think of it as short and sharp, with good rewards. Get it right and your metabolism will become super flexible, using whatever fuels are most efficient. You’ll generate ketones at low levels (nutritional ketosis) to keep your brain super sharp and you’ll even burn fat while you sleep!

When you’ve finished a bout of training over 20 or 30 minutes, make sure you consume around 20 grams of good quality protein to help your body recover and your muscles to grow stronger following the exercise trigger you’ve delivered to them. It’s a good idea to get this protein in within a 30-minute window of completing your activity. If the activity has involved long periods of endurance, you might also want to add some complex carbs and branched chain amino acids to the mix, as well as a good quality multi-nutrient product with plenty of good quality vitamins and minerals, botanicals, probiotics and other micronutrients that help support your multiple body systems.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The Best Way to Keep Building Muscle After 40

If you're over 40, you probably have more “stuff” going on in your life than you did at 21, making it difficult to focus on eating right and training regularly. And the enthusiasm you once had for exercise—especially if you haven’t seen the results you were hoping for—may have waned, too.

You might feel that your body can’t handle the kind of punishment you used to dish out in your early twenties, and that it takes longer to recover than it used to.

But none of this matters. With the right type of training, you can still build muscle and get strong well into your forties, fifties, and beyond

University of Oklahoma researchers compared people of different ages who followed the exact same program for eight weeks. They found that guys between 35 and 50 years old built just as much muscle as those between 18 and 22 years old.

​The basic rules for building muscle as you age are mostly the same. Yes, the number of times you’ve travelled around the sun will affect the speed at which you make progress. But your age isn’t something you can change, so there’s no point worrying about it. You just need to train smart.

People of different ages respond to training in much the same way. It’s only the size of your results and the speed at which you attain them that varies.

So if you’re entering your forties, fifties, or even sixties and want to build muscle without injury, you can still make great gains by applying a few simple rules to your training program.

Embrace the Light
If you lift heavy all the time, you'll start to notice little aches and pains in your knees, wrists, elbows, and shoulders. Eventually, those minor niggles will get so bad that they'll interfere with your training. It will take weeks—maybe even months—before they clear up and you can train properly again.
Luckily, the solution is very simple: If going heavy on certain exercises causes you pain, just go light instead. Despite what some people might say, you can and will build muscle using lighter weights and higher reps. 

In one study, high reps and light weights (3 sets of 30-40 reps) stimulated just as much muscle growth as heavy weights and lower reps (3 sets of 10-12 reps). Doing 3 sets of 10 repetitions to failure promotes similar gains in muscle size as 7 sets of 3 repetitions with a much heavier weight. Japanese researchers found that taking a light weight and lifting it slowly increased both muscle size and strength to a similar extent as heavy training at a normal lifting speed. So mix it up. Heavy weights, medium weights, and light weights can all can be used successfully to gain muscle.

(Looking for a workout that uses light weights but builds strength, too? Check out this Insanely Tough 10-Pound Dumbbell Workout.)


Keep Moving
The standard approach to dealing with an injury is to rest. But with some injuries at least, you may be better off moving. Specifically, a form of resistance exercise known as eccentric training has been shown to work extremely well for the treatment of tendon pain in both the elbow and Achilles tendon. In some cases, it works better than surgery. There’s also some intriguing research to show that regular heavy strength training works just as well as eccentric training for the treatment of tendon pain.

NOTE: If you’re injured, the first thing I’d suggest you do is get it checked out by a therapist rather than trying to sort it out yourself. And if what I’m telling you contradicts what they’re saying, take their advice and not mine.

Stimulate, Don’t Annihilate
It’s all too easy to tell yourself that the reason you’re not gaining muscle is because you’re not training hard enough. While lack of effort is certainly one reason why people fail to build a decent amount of muscle, it's not the only reason. There are plenty of people out there who train extremely hard yet make little or no progress despite all they're effort. Walking out of the gym feeling like you’ve just gone several rounds with Kimbo Slice might leave you thinking that your workout has been an effective one. But if it’s not part of a structured plan that moves you towards a specific goal then much of that effort will be wasted.

If you keep on pushing your body to the limit in every workout, several things will happen. In the evening you will have that “wired but tired” feeling where you want to go to sleep but you can’t. You’ll find yourself staring at the ceiling wondering why you’re still awake at 2 a.m. You’ll wake up the next day with your heart pounding, just as tired as you were the night before. Trivial things that you never even noticed before will start to annoy you. You’ll feel anxious, moody, irritable. Worst of all, your results in the gym will dry up and you will gradually start to get weaker. You need to train hard enough to stimulate progress, but not so hard that it has a negative impact on the quality of your other workouts.
Hard work is a tool used to stimulate a physiological improvement. It’s a means to an end, rather than the end itself.

Blast and Cruise
Your body isn’t a machine. It needs a rest now and again. Do this by including a “cruise” week (also known as a deload) for every 3 to 9 weeks of hard training. 

Three weeks of intense training followed by a light week is a fairly widely accepted practice, although it’s not based on any research evidence that I’m aware of.

It’s not strictly necessary for everyone to deload after three weeks. But if I told you to deload “when you feel like it,” you probably wouldn't do it at all. And your body wasn’t designed to go “all out” for 52 weeks of the year without some kind of break.

In general, the closer you are to your genetic potential (i.e. the upper limit of what you’re capable of in terms of size and strength), the more often you’ll need to deload. Those who are farther away from their genetic potential will be able to reload less frequently.

Stretch What’s Tight
Static stretching has been heavily criticized in recent years. That’s because it doesn’t do a lot of the things it’s supposed to. Most of the research out there shows that stretching has little effect on muscle soreness, and doesn’t appear to do much for injury prevention either.

However, if you find that certain muscles feel a little “tight” (the hamstrings, hip flexors, quadriceps, and gluteals are the usual culprits), or there’s an “asymmetry” in flexibility (i.e. one leg feels substantially tighter than the other) then it’s worth experimenting with some static stretching to see if it makes you feel any better.

If you want a simple prescription for flexibility, aim to stretch any “tight” muscles for a total of 60 seconds per day. Stretching for 60 seconds has been shown to improve flexibility more quickly than a 30-second or 15-second stretch in a group of subjects aged between 65 and 97, all with “tight” hamstring muscles. What’s more, participants who stretched for 60 seconds remained more flexible for longer than subjects in the other groups. 

Three Is Enough
There is no correct training frequency that works for all people, all of the time. Nor are there rigid guidelines that determine exactly what your training routine should look like at any stage of life.
You may be doing just fine on a program that involves lifting weights 4 to 5 times a week. If that's the case, keep doing it.
However, from the studies I've read and my experience with clients, a program that involves lifting weights no more than three times a week is best for anyone in their forties. It allows for more recovery time, and keeps big, demanding exercises like the squat and the deadlift away from each other in your programming.


Take Your Time
Many in their late teens and early twenties will walk straight into the gym, do a few arm circles, and then jump straight into the heavy stuff. If you’re over 40, this approach will get you injured sooner or later. You have to make the time to warm up properly. The exact warmup that you do will depend on what your workout looks like. It will also vary from person to person, depending on the environment you’re training in, how strong you are, and so on. All of this helps to prepare the joints, the muscles, and the nervous system that controls those muscles for the heavy work to come.

While a good warmup can reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance, it doesn’t need to last forever. Foam rolling, dynamic activation drills, and various “alignment” exercises can be useful at certain times and for certain individuals. Don't just copy what other people are doing—choose things that are actually helping your own body and workout.

Pick Your Battles
Some people have a bone structure that makes them better suited to certain exercises than others. You might not be built for deep squats with a heavy barbell across your shoulders, deadlifts from the floor, chinups from a straight bar, or bench pressing through a full range of motion. If you’ve got short arms and long legs, for example, it'll be a lot harder to deadlift from the floor without rounding your back compared to someone with long arms and short legs. But that doesn’t mean you should give up on the deadlift. Just do rack pulls instead, using a starting position that allows you to maintain normal spinal curvature. If your wrists hurt when you’re doing chinups from a straight bar, use a suspension trainer. This allows your wrists to move freely rather than being locked in the same position throughout the movement. 

There are some exercises that will hurt no matter what. If so, don’t be afraid to ditch that exercise and find a similar one that doesn’t. There is no single “must do” exercise that can’t be replaced with something else.

Talk to us now to find out what are the exercises best suited for you and how to train to your optimum level even if you are in your 40s and above! Our personal trainers are here to help you improve your health and strength :)

Credits: Christian Finn (UK-based trainer who analyzes fitness and nutrition research. This story originally appeared on his blog at Muscle Evo.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Benefits of Pilates

When it comes to Pilates, most women either are die-hard enthusiasts or have never stepped foot in a Pilates studio. Are you in the latter group? Tons of research on the benefits of Pilates would suggest you switch camps. Here are some reasons why women should try Pilates.

It's Ah-Mazing for your Abs
Pilates hits your core (or, in Pilates speak, your "powerhouse") unlike any other workout. In fact, after completing 36 weeks of Pilates training, women strengthened their rectus abdominis (the muscle responsible for six-packs) by an average of 21 percent, while eliminating muscle imbalances between the right and left sides of their cores, according to a Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise study.

Pilates can ease back pain
A stronger core equals a better back, says Tracy Zindell, Flex Pilates Chicago founder and master instructor. That's why those with chronic lower back pain who practiced Pilates for just four weeks experienced more relief than those who visited a physician and other specialists, says a Journal of Orthopedic & Sports Physical Therapy study. What's more, their pain stayed away for a full year post-Pilates. Researchers believe that by stabilizing the core's lumbar-pelvic (lower-back) region, Pilates alleviates stress on the area and ups mobility.

It is easy on your joints
Pilates' slow and controlled movements puts minimal impact on your joints. Bonus if you're using the Pilates reformer: "The padding on a Pilates reformer is as thick as 10 yoga mats," says Zindell. "It takes the pressure off of your back and knees."

Pilates hones your focus
Pilates urges you to focus on 1) your breath, 2) your body, and 3) how they move together. It takes a lot of concentration, says Zindell. "You can't zone out." That means you're forced to forget about work, bills, boyfriends, and other drama for a full hour. Ahh.

It Improves Sports Performance
"When you start focusing on your core, you realize that all of your muscles are connected through your core. Try doing lunges without your abdominals. You'll crumble over," says Zindel, who has trained everyday athletes and professional ones including Chicago Bulls player Joakim Noah. "With a stronger core, you can run faster, your yoga is on point, and overall, the rest of your workouts improve," she says. Plus, by working in small groups or one-on-one with a Pilates instructor, you can learn moves that mimic and improve performance in your sport of choice.

It makes you more flexible
"I always hear people saying, 'I've never been flexible, I can't do Pilates.' But that's why they should be doing it," Zindell says. In one Brazilian study, when young women (without any prior Pilates experience) performed 20 Pilates sessions, they became 19.1 percent more flexible. When you're tight, you shorten your muscle and limit your body's range of motion, she says. At best, that can hurt your exercise performance. At worst, it can cause injury.

It Boosts your Brainpower
Joseph Pilates called his workout method "the thinking man's exercise." It could very well be. When Chinese researchers measured changes in women's brain activity after 10 weeks of Pilates training, they found an increase in the brain's alpha peak power, which is related to neural network activity, memory performance, and other cognitive functions. Researchers believe Pilates may even hold potential as a treatment option for people with brain-degenerative diseases and cognitive dysfunctions.

Think no further, try out our affordable Private Pilates classes where you have the luxury of having 1-1 quality classes at your home!

Source: https://www.fitnessmagazine.com/workout/pilates/benefits-of-pilates/

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

6 Tips to Stay Fit despite a Busy Work life

How to stay fit despite a busy work schedule

We know that most people have a very busy schedule in Singapore. We have one of the longest working hours in the world, and working so long is bound to give you health problems.

We also know it is not easy to take time out to go to the gym or head for fitness classes, so we came up with 6 quick tips for you to stay relatively fit.

Here are some 6 ways we know that you can keep fit even if you have with a busy office job: 

1. Assess your current abilities and choose the right program

You want to stay fit even with a busy workload. However, your goal has no meaning if you do not account for the starting point. Assess your current physical abilities and then plot your workout routine to fit your goals. 

Choose the correct type of class that offers you the time flexibility and focus on the type of lessons that meet your specific goals. This is so you get the most concentrated results without wasting too much time.

2. Focus on working out efficiently 

Choose a workout routine that you can do almost anywhere. It should be a form of exercise that does not require much in terms of preparation or equipment. Make sure when you start the exercise, you give yourself a time limit - say 1 hour - and you aim to put in all your energy into that 1 hour.

It should be a workout routine that aims at accomplishing substantial physical gains in a short time. Some examples are high-intensity interval training or bodyweight exercises. 
3. Make a schedule that you stick with 

The most common excuse we hear for not working out that usually goes something like this: “I had too much to do today that I just couldn’t fit my 5 minute quick workout session.” That is just not cool. 

To stay fit with busy work you need a dedicated schedule that you stick to week in and week out. 

Working out is a long-term, high-rewards deal. You have to put in the work consistently for life, to reap the benefits. So, make a schedule and keep to it because you know that staying fit is a top priority for a healthy future. 

4. Simple exercises to do at the desk 

If you are REALLY devoid of free time, what you can try are some simple exercises that you can near at or at your desk.

• Stair master: Take the stairs. Avoid the elevators. 

• Wall sit: This is great for building strength and endurance. To do it stand with your back against the wall, bend your-knees and slide-your back down-the wall until you're sitting on midair. Try to get your thighs to be parallel to-the floor. Hold this position for 30 – 60 seconds, maybe while reading a magazine. To go up a level, cross your left ankle over your right knee for 15 seconds. Now switch. 

• Fist Pump: Did I hear someone say that you are getting a bonus this month? Fist pump into the air like the champion that you are!!! Seriously though, punch your fists toward the ceiling for 2 minutes. 

• Shoulder shrug: Raise your shoulders up towards your ears, hold for 5 seconds and relax. Do this 15 times or reps. Try the advanced method and hold heavy books or paper reams in each hand while you shoulder shrug. 

• Perfect your posture: Adjust your chair height. Make sure that your feet, arms and hips are at a 90 degree angle to the floor. This will engage the core of your body. Keep your back straight through the day. Do not slouch. Ever. 

5. Have a good diet 

A healthy diet is essential to keeping fit. Exercise can only do so much to help you attain a healthy lifestyle.

• Make sure to eat breakfast. 
• Stay off excess coffee. Too much coffee can have bad effects on your liver. 
• Drink more water. 
• Eat whole foods, and not junk food. 
• Limit how much alcohol you drink 
• Carry healthy snacks with you. Pieces of fruit and such are great energy boosters. 
• Don’t get stuffed when you eat. Don’t overeat. It slows your digestion down and tires you out. 
• Avoid eating late. This stresses your body. Your metabolism is slowed after 8pm. You don’t want to be overworking your already tired body when you should be resting. 
• Increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Eat 3 servings of fruit a day. 

6. Work with a personal home fitness instructor 

And we’re here at our favorite piece of advice. It’s a sure fact that bringing a personal trainer into your life is a sound decision. Having a dedicated fitness trainer to back you up in achieving your fitness goals is a smart-workout strategy. We’ll support you in assessing your abilities and come up with a relevant workout plan.

We also guide you through overcoming emotional & physical roadblocks, thus getting you the real results much faster than any of the above tips. You'll get all the motivation you need.


Some useful tips to keep in mind are that you and your trainer are going to be spending a lot of time together, so you should try your utmost best to find someone who has the right skills and rapport with you. Also, you have to be ready to do your share of the work when it comes to actually working out.

Stay committed. 
personal fitness instructor at work
Working out with a personal fitness trainer will help you get more focused results in tight schedules

Friday, November 24, 2017

8 crucial things you must first tell your fitness instructor

things to tell your personal fitness trainer


​One major benefit of working with Fitness LX personal fitness trainers and yoga instructors is that we are able to customize and personalize training packages to suit you. To maximise this advantage, make sure you discuss these 8 things with your fitness trainer before you start training!

1. Major goals you want to attain

For a start, it is important to inform us about the goals you want to attain. We have met many people with a wide range of goals. This is because each person has specific goals they want to meet.

It is by the knowledge of the goals that we will give you instructions and guide you in ways that will help you attain them. For instance, if your major goal is to lose weight or build more muscles, you need to inform us. We have ample knowledge on how to help each person attain the set goals in an effective manner.

2. Medical history

It can be dangerous if you start doing the training without informing us of your health history. It is important you inform us of any chronic health condition you suffer. You should also tell us if you have any type of medications that you usually take.

In addition, it is also advisable you inform us of any other diseases you might have been diagnosed that might affect your training. Any good personal fitness trainer will be able to come up with a training plan that is personalized to meet your needs according to your health status.

3. Tell us what you like doing during the training

It is worth noting that it is you who will be doing the training, and  not us. Therefore, it is important that we give you an opportunity to do what you enjoy doing as you train. Inform the trainer of the things you enjoy doing in your fitness class.
 
By discussing what you liked with your trainer, it will be possible for us to come up with a more customized training program that fits your specific likes. Enjoying your lessons more will help with motivation to continue.

4. Inform us of any injuries you have or suffered before

You need to tell our personal trainer of injuries you have or suffered before. In case there is an injury that keeps on bothering you, let us know. This will ensure that we do not make you perform exercises that will aggravate the problem.

Since we have the right knowledge, we will even instruct you on strength work that will ensure that the injury does not recur again. We also get professional advice on the best practices that will help you avoid suffering from injuries as you do the training.

5. Your work schedule

It is important as home trainers, we understand your work schedule. This will help in developing a training program that suits your schedule. We will know when you have a more demanding or intense schedule, thus scale down your training regime.

When you do not have a more intense schedule, we will be able to scale up your training. All these will ensure that you do not get strained or overworked leading to fatigue that will hinder attainment of your set goals.

6. Your preferred area of focus

You might want to undergo our training program with special focus on some parts of your body. For instance, you can do the workouts that can reduce belly fat or gain more muscles.

Since we do not know your area of focus, it is advisable you inform us, so that we come up with training techniques to help you attain the objectives you have regarding those areas. We have ample knowledge on the best training that will help you get the best results.

7. Your past success and failures

It is vital you inform us of the success you have made and where you have failed. Tell us some of the reasons that made you succeed and also reasons for the failures.

This is necessary so that our trainer can understand how to create a training  program that will ensure that you only succeed and avoid failure or disappointment. We will know how to keep you motivated throughout to boost your success rate.

8. Timeline

When you begin your training program, you must have a timeline set to have attained some of your goals. You will need to share this with us, so that we come up with strategies that will ensure you can attain the goals within this timeline. We will also advice you if the timeline you have set is realistic or not.

Are you ready to start getting fit? Now that you know how to get the best out of working with personal trainers, make sure you communicate well us.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

4 Best Home Exercises to Strengthen Your Core

exercises to strengthen core

​​As a personal fitness trainer, many of my  clients are  keen on ways to make their core stronger. While I do core strengthening exercises with them in the gym using some equipment, I also understand that many are not as comfortable in the gym.
 
If you prefer to try exercising by yourself at home, here are my 4 recommendations for exercises that can strengthen your core. These are very basic exercises that anyone can do. 
​1. Abdominal Crunch

Let's start with the most well known - widely known as the dreaded crunches.

There are many different ways you can do a crunch, and they are all beneficial for strengthening your core.

The main form a crunch involves laying on your back, and moving your upper half towards your legs. However, due to the possibility of straining your neck during this exercises, there are other ways to do that will involve less risk. 

For instance, You can lay your back on the floor, and bring your legs up to your chest. This can be far easier for many people who want stronger core muscles. 

15-25 crunches are a great starter to get working on those core muscles. 
​2. Planking

Like with abdominal crunches, there is a lot of variety when it comes to this exercise. A regular plank involves laying on the floor and supporting your sore using your elbows to prop you up. This works out a variety of core muscles, including your obliques, as well as your abdomen.

Modifications to this can lower the intensity, but still work out those prime muscles.  Such as a Modified Plank, which is just like a regular plank, except that you are on your knees. Side Planks also work very well in working out a specific oblique muscle. 

One is called the Sliding Pike. In this position, you put a towel under your feet and take a planking position. Then you slide your feet forward, jutting your butt into the air. This works out not only your core muscles, but some of your arm and leg muscles as well. 

You should hold these for about 10 seconds and gradually increase the duration to 60 seconds. 
​3. Knee Tuck

This is where you sit tall, with your knees bent, but forced apart using a ball. An exercise ball works best, but even a child's toy ball will work for this. Then, while keeping your upper body still, lift your knees, and using your arms, pull your knees towards your shoulders. You don't have to place anything between your knees too.

Knee Ticks are similar to a sit up, but can cause less neck strain. This mainly works out your abdominal muscles. I would  recommend that you repeat this 15-20 times or more. 
​4. Leg Extensions

Lay on your hands and knees. Now kick backwards, making a kick with each leg one rep. This will help you work on core muscles as well as your glutes. This is also low impact, which makes it good for beginners as well as seasoned professionals. Unlike the others, there isn't too many alternatives that can be done with these, so it is best to do them by the book.

It is best to do 10-15 leg extensions per set. This is good for starting off. You can do more sets if you have more muscles and endurance.
​Aim for 2-3 reps per exercise and you can see the improvements soon.

Think these 4 are too easy? Here are some other exercises you can do.
https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/multimedia/core-strength/sls-20076575
https://www.realsimple.com/health/fitness-exercise/core-strengthening-exercises#move-5-sliding-pike

Having a strong core is key to having a strong body. If your core is strong, you'll have no problems with physical activities up to old age.

If these are too difficult for you, you can also look into Yoga classes or Pilates lessons with us. If you need a more customized training plan, don't be afraid to talk to us about your requirements too.

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