Archive for the ‘Coffs Coast MedFit’ Category

Is It Better to Lift Heavier Weights or Do More Reps?

August 28, 2016

Anyone who hits the weight room regularly will inevitably face the question: Should you add more weight and do less repetitions or use a lighter weight and do more reps?

The debate has raged on for as long as people have argued over cake versus pie (the answer is pie, obviously), but it’s not quite that simple.

The truth behind weight versus reps lies somewhere in between, but to paint a clearer picture, you have to understand why we ask this question in the first place.

A Worthy Villain: The Fitness Plateau

Once you’ve been following a fitness program for a while, you’ll eventually hit a fitness plateau—that dreaded no-man’s land where your body adapts to your routine, and you no longer make progress. It sucks, but it’s normal, and it happens to everyone.

One way to bust through the plateau is simply to change things up. This is where lifting heavier weights, adding more reps, or doing both (called a double progression) can shake up sleepy progress.

The Case for Heavier Weights

When you pile on the pounds, you typically lift on the lower end of reps (as few as 1-5 for some people). That doesn’t sound like much, but by doing so, you’re increasing your overall maximum strengthand greatly improving your ability to lift heavier weights.

Most of that newfound superhero strength is because you’re improving your efficiency at a given exercise. Think of how your bank account grows when you minimize unnecessary spending. It’s like that, and the more you practice restraint with a budget, the easier it is to save.

Lifting heavy weights feels awesome, but it’s easy to get sucked into chasing the numbers and running into a wall. Eventually, you’ll reach a point where you simply can’t add any more weight, and if you push it, you could compromise your form and put yourself at risk for injury.

“If you’ve increased your weight and now your form is breaking down, it’s best to drop the weight and then increase the number of reps you’re performing,” says Tanner Baze, a certified personal trainer.

Which brings us to…

The Case for More Reps

When you lift lighter weights for more reps, you are still getting stronger, just in a different way. You’re developing “muscular endurance,” or your ability to exert a certain amount of effort before you fatigue. Sure enough, doing more work (more sets and reps, more workouts, more overall bad-assery), will help you get stronger in the long run. Busting out more reps is also a challenging workout at a high-intensity level, which burns major calories and has a greater afterburn effect.

Plus, when you hit a plateau, adding reps instead of heaving more weight allows you to focus on proper technique and form and still leaves room for additional changes to your program, if necessary.

The upside of maintaining tip-top form is you end up really working the muscle as intended, not relying on a bunch of compensatory patterns (for example, letting your quads do all the work when your glutes are too weak) or potentially hurting yourself. One downside to this technique is that it may make your workouts slightly longer, as you’ll spend more time doing more reps.

Why Not Just Do Both?

Confusion about lifting heavier weights or doing more reps still lingers in the weight room because weightlifting and its effects on our bodies are often misunderstood, Baze says. Hint: It involves a lot morethan lifting super-heavy weight or banging out more reps in isolation.

You need a combination of muscle damage (that hurts-so-good soreness after a great workout), mechanical tension (the sheer strain of lifting something heavy), and metabolic stress (that “burn” you feel from your muscle really working). Both heavy-weight and high-rep training check those three boxes and will ultimately build strength. Plus, both methods require proper form, because without good technique, it doesn’t matter how much weight or how many reps you do, you could be risking injury.

“If your goal is just to generally get stronger and more fit, choose one or the other,” says Nathan Jones, a doctor of physical therapy student and strongman competitor.

For long-term progress and to keep things interesting, you can incorporate both heavy-weight, low-rep training and light-weight, high-rep training by switching up the sets and reps on different days or weeks (a technique known as periodization). “If you’ve been doing 5 sets of 5 squats and can’t add weight or get an extra rep, drop the weight and go to 5 sets of 8, or add weight and go to 3 sets of 5,” Jones says. Basically, imagine your sets and reps as a wavelength continuously going up and down.

There’s nothing inherently magical about changing things up this way. “Personally, I think it’s more psychological than anything,” Jones says. “Doing the same rep range every single time you lift gets boring. So doing something different helps you maintain motivation, and subsequently, keeps your effort high.”

The Takeaway

“There is no wrong decision here,” Jones says. When you lift more weight, add more reps, or do both appropriately with good form while keeping effort high, you’re nudging your body toward continually improved fitness and strength.

That said, when you add weight or make changes, do so in small increments. Your goal is to squeeze big results from little changes. It also helps to include a proper warm-up and cool-down.

“The single most important factor in your progress is your willingness to work hard and exert high effort,” Jones says. “So long as you’re doing more of something over time, you will get stronger.”

Mixing it up just a teeny bit to keep yourself motivated and to see progress—whatever your goal—will go a long way.

Article first appeared:http://greatist.com/move/strength-training-lift-heavier-weights-or-do-more-reps
APRIL 28, 2016  |
BY STEPHANIE LEE

Healthy Inspirations Recipe of the Week – Beef Rogan Josh

July 28, 2016

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Stop Chasing Success Instead Look for Significance

June 19, 2016

stop

I’m guessing to many of you type-a go getter, goal oriented people, the title of that alone makes you cringe. I feel ya.  Been there done that. We’re so conditioned to go after we want with so much intensity, yet sometimes that’s the very thing that keeps us from getting what we want.

Don’t Chase the Waves

I’ve written about my experience surfing at San Onofre once before when I discovered the 6 signs of being too attached to success.  For a while I found San Onofre to be a double edged sword. When I did catch a wave it was always an epic ride, but for some reason it didn’t seem to happen often enough. Then somebody told me “the key to San O is that you can’t chase waves.”  A take off point is the section of the wave where you paddle into it so you can stand up and ride it. Basically this wave has multiple takeoff points. But it breaks in each takeoff point at a different time. It’s also a huge stretch of beach.  So there’s a substantial distance between each of the take off points.

Nature Rewards Patience

The key to success on this wave seems to be patience. But, often I“ll find myself sitting in my spot and I’ll see what seems like a perfect wave start to form about 100 yards down, so I paddle like hell to get over there. When I get over there, the wave starts to break in the spot where where I was previously at. Essentially, lack of patience sends me into a frenzy of chasing waves, exhausting all my strength padding and not catching anything despite what seems like a tremendous amount of effort. But when I wait it out with with a bit of patience, I find myself continually rewarded with some of the best rides of my life and I’m not exhausted from the chase.

Nature in general appears to reward patience. A baby takes 9 months to be born, but not that long to be made (well, assuming you suck in bed). It doesn’t take long to plant the seeds for a tree, but some of the largest trees in the forest take over 100 years to reach that height. Waves come in sets. Between sets there is sometimes a lull. It can last up to 30 minutes, sometimes even an hour. But, when they do come and everybody else has disappeared they are yours for the taking. We’re patient about planting these seeds but we often are not about the seeds of success.

Chasing Success:

When you chase success it’s pretty similar to chasing waves. You get impatient, you start to exhaust your resources, and when time comes for you to shine in the limelight you’re not at the top of your game because you’re so exhausted from the chase.  Sound familiar?

Have you ever noticed how when you finally stop caring about something you’ve been trying really hard to accomplish it just kind of happens. We often forget that for the largest part of our journey in accomplishing a goal we’re not at the goal. But, if we keep going in the direction we’ll eventually get there.  The problem with chasing success is that it sends you in so many different directions that you end up right where you started.
How Do We Stop Chasing Success?

Well, this easier said than done. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe you should just stop. I think it’s important to have goals. I think you should write them down, I think you should review them. But, once you’re done with I think you should come to terms with why worrying is a complete waste of time and energy. So, here’s a few things to wrap it up

  1. Do what you can do to move in the right direction
  2. Be Patient
  3. Utilize your resources efficiently
  4. Enjoy your moment in the sun. It’s inevitable if you are not too busy chasing some other wave when yours comes.

    Article sourced here: http://theskooloflife.com/wordpress/why-you-should-stop-chasing-success/

Having a Workout Partner Can Double Performance

April 10, 2016

A lot of people work out alone, myself included. Sometimes it makes sense to exercise without a partner. You need a partner with similar goals, and sometimes at a similar fitness level, and those can be hard to find. But are those of us working out alone missing out on some possible benefits of having a partner? And when working out with a partner, what’s the best way to get motivated?

buddy workout

There are a lot of ways working out with a partner can help you. Your partner can spot for you, and otherwise make your workout safer. They can check your form and make sure you’re not letting it slip as you fatigue. A recent study by the Society of Behavioral Medicine took a look at the effects of training with a partner on your cardio work. They discovered that doing your aerobic work with a partner improves your results. On the surface what they found might not be exactly controversial, but the extent of it might be surprising, and some of the methods they used are important to those looking for the best results.

Many people work with a partner to increase their motivation. Having someone meet you to exercise sometimes makes the difference between showing up and not exercising at all. Just getting through the door is the most important thing, but the researchers in the partner training study showed that the motivation to work harder was also increased.

The participants in the study were divided into three groups that rode an exercise bike at a given percentage of their heart rate for time. The first group was a control, and they exercised alone. The second worked out with a single partner. The third group worked out with a single partner and was told that the results of their test were based on the partner with the weaker performance.

Before I get to the results, it’s important to note that the partner was virtual. The participants Skyped with a partner and could see them exercising via a computer screen at the same time. Although they were told the partner was working out at the same time as them and could see them too, it was actually a recording. For the third group with the team results, the recording was looped so that their partner was always better than them. How’s that for motivation?

In the end, solo riders made it an average of 10.6 minutes on the bike before stopping. Pretty good. Group two, the ones that rode with a partner on screen, went on for an average of 19.8 minutes. That’s an 87% difference. Imagine how much better your performance would be if you always exercised at a rate that much higher than you do now. The third group was on the bike for an average of 21.9 minutes, an improvement just over double than going it alone. Tell me that’s not impressive.

Not only did research demonstrate working with a partner, especially in a team format, improve performance, but the researchers also went on to measure this motivational boost over time. Doubling your performance for just one workout is good, but not ideal. Doubling your workout every time you exercise over time means major gains over working out alone.

One warning though, that I learned from one of those survival shows: sometimes a partner can push you too hard. If you’re in a survival situation, that could mean death. In the gym, hopefully it only means some overtraining or mild aches and pains from time to time, but it could mean worse. Using a partner to push your aerobic cardio is a pretty safe bet so long as you keep it aerobic, as it won’t likely push you into overtraining. But working with a partner on any kind of high intensity training has a good chance of pushing your body too far, so be aware while training with a partner just how much you’re doing. Be sure to take it easy if you begin experiencing overtraining symptoms. Shy of that, reap the benefits of team training and get better results than ever before (and probably have more fun, too).

 

References:

1. Brandon Irwin, et al., “Aerobic Exercise Is Promoted when Individual Performance Affects the Group: A Test of the Kohler Motivation Gain Effect,” The Society of Behavioral Medicine, (2012)

Sourced here: http://breakingmuscle.com/sports-psychology/having-a-workout-partner-can-double-performance
Written by:  Doug Dupont

Having grown up at the foot of a forest covered mountain in rural Vermont, Doug was active from a very young age. Hiking, running, and climbing were a part of everyday life in the Green Mountains. This culture of exercise led to dabbling in martial arts as a teen, and also getting work in a local powerlifting focused gym. Doug continued to pursue knowledge and training in exercise, becoming a certified personal trainer while still a teenager. Once in college he began his hand at the business… Read More

 

Coffs Coast Health Club eNews – April 2016

April 3, 2016

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Sportspower Coffs Harbour 2

Back Pain Secrets Revealed – Seminar Series!
back pain seminar
The health care specialists from Mid North Coast Physiotherapy & Sports Injury Clinics are running FREE SEMINARS for all members & their invited guests at both Moonee & Toormina clubs early in April.

Do you or someone you know suffer with back pain? Do you want to know more about the common causes of back pain and how to get rid of it?

The low down…

Where: Coffs Coast Health Club Moonee

When:  6.30pm Monday 4th April (straight after the ATTACK class) &

Where: Coffs Coast Health Club Toormina

When:  6.30pm Tuesday 5th April (straight after the TBTA & PUNCH classes)

There will be a special gift for all attendees, as well as the chance to win a special lucky door prize to get you on the road to a pain-free back sooner!

RSVP by call 1300273747 or email info@mncphysio.com.au to register. You can also put your name on the attendee list at Coffs Coast Health Club reception.

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NSW Seniors Festival Week April 1st – 10th

seniors 2016 2The annual celebration of life experience is on from 1-10th of April and this year’s theme is GrowYOUNG. At Coffs Coast Health Club we love Seniors Week and this year is no exception.

We are holding our inaugural Seniors Festival Week photography competition which is free to enter and open to everyone. All you need to do is capture what GrowYOUNG means to you and submit your entry via jacqui@coffscoasthc.com.au or a printed version through either clubs reception by 5pm Wednesday 6th April. This will be drawn by Emma Rhoades Photography at our free GrowYOUNG seminar on Thursday 7th April, 9.30am at Sawtell RSL with Jacqui Barnett.

Also available to our seniors during this week will be:

~ Free access to either health club
~ Free classes
~ Free mini massages
~ Free health assessments
~ Discounted morning tea at the Hidden Link Café (Sawtell Nursery), Hogbin Drive 9.30am (booking rqrd at CCHC reception)
~ Free talk with Mid North Coast Physiotherapy and Toormina Hearing at the morning tea
~ Free lucky door ticket every time you come for a workout at Coffs Coast Health Club all week (winner announced at Seminar) plus
~ Discounted memberships options

Take advantage of all that the Seniors Festival Week has to offer and if you have any enquiries please contact Jacqui directly on 0421971155.

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Coffs Coast Health Club CENEX logo gray
A recent Focus Magazine article shined the spotlight on our very own Personal Trainer Daniel Tempest. He is the man charged with the responsibility of educating the next generation of Personal Trainers here on the Coffs Coast.

Daniel Tempest cutDan is the Campus Manager for the local arm of The Australian Institute of Personal Trainers where those interested in becoming a Personal Trainer learn how to be one in a real gym, with real experiences instead of only online or in a lecture theatre.

Who is your most recent success story Dan?
“AIPT as a registered training organisation has the highest qualification to employment ratio in the market and our qualified students are also the most sought after. My first intake of students here in Coffs was October last year and already one of my students has recently become qualified, registered with Fitness Australia and started work at Beachbodies as well as Mass Nutrition. Her commitment and dedication to her study was exemplary and it has certainly paid immediate dividends.”

How can anyone interested in becoming a personal trainer get more information about it? They can call me directly on 0432 579 221, follow me on social media or visit our website at www.aipt.edu.au to get an understanding of the course content.

Grab the latest Focus magazine or find the article here on page 49 to get the full story…

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Join The 2016 Fitness Buddy Challenge!

buddy workout

 

Our 2016 Fitness Buddy Challenge is scheduled for Saturday 7th May. Grab your buddy and register at reception asap to secure your team. Your training can start today or you can wait for the official 8 week lead up starting on the 14th March for the challenge exercises below. Great prizes up for grabs and rewards along the way. Link up with your favourite Personal Trainer for some discounted small group personal training to get you Buddy Challenge ready!
trophy team

Buddys can be any age, any sex and any fitness level. Friends, family, colleagues or even complete strangers. The winners of the event will be based on Total Accumulated Buddy Points from the following exercises:

  • Most Toe Pushups in 1 minute
  • Longest Wall Squat Held
  • Most Situps (elbows to knees, unassisted) in 1 minute
  • 2km run time
  • Most skips with rope in 2 minutes

Participants who choose to go withoutPersonal Training preparation pay $25 each to enter. Participants who choose to go with Personal Training preparation pay only $10 each to enter.

Each participant can access the special offer of only $20 per 30min session or $35 per 60min session for Small Group Personal Training before the event. Participants do not need to be a member of Coffs Coast Health Club to take part in the event but if a non-member decides to join, they will SAVE OVER $200.

Prizes will also be awarded for the best dressed Buddys, surprise mystery challenges and lucky door.

Register at Toormina or Moonee reception desks or call Glen 0411 037 097 or Jacqui 0421 971 155 for further information.

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yoga pilates coming soon 2

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Short Term Workout Options for Friends & Family!

studentsDo you have friends or family that are in town during the school holidays? Would you like to save them some money & get them working out with you? Well due to popular demand we are now offering some short term workout options for them…

Single Visit – adult only $15, student or baby boomer only $10, incl access during all supervised hours

Week Pass – adult only $29, student or baby boomer only $19, incl access during all supervised hours

Simply see reception at either club or call Moonee on 6653 6122 or Toormina on 6658 6222 to take advantage of these offers for a limited time.

 

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Shaken Jamaican Balls!
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Stocks Australia wide of the Healthy Inspirations Proti powder were sold out but now they’re back! Available at both club receptions, the Shaken Jamaican Choc Orange flavour is amazing not only in shakes but also in cooking…

balls 2Weight Loss Coach & Personal Trainer Simone Saunders recently posted a short video of herself making Choc Orange Protein balls & they are delicious. If you missed the video, check it out here https://www.facebook.com/Coffs-Coast-Weight-Loss-Personal-Training-1459373320968742/ & then grab your own tub from either club.

Shake on down and get 10% OFF today but only while current stocks last!

 

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Have You Tried a Group Exercise Class yet?
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We have over 65 classes for you to choose from each week & here are the top 5 reasons why they are so popular…

1. It Saves Time: Check the timetable, choose your class, book it in to your day and make it happen. Classes start and finish on time, allowing you to get in, exercise and get out with minimal interruptions.

2. It Saves Money: All timetable classes are included in your membership and you can do as many as you like each week. No need to pay extra to have the most experienced and most motivating instructors all under the one roof. The benefits you gain with classes also save you money on health care, as people who workout are far less likely to get sick and also recover quicker.

3. It’s Safe: Whether starting out or continuing on, you want to feel safe. All of our Group Exercise Instructors are experts in their particular class type. These instructors both explain and demonstrate what needs to done and how it needs to be done. There are many different levels in each class to cater for all fitness and coordination levels and you can discuss you individual needs with your instructor before and after each class for further piece of mind if you like.

4. It’s Social: Group exercise classes are a great way to meet like-minded and like-motivated individuals. You’ll find you share common goals and interest which can be a great motivator to work hard in class and create more accountability for coming back week after week. Many great friendships have started over a pump bar

5. It’s Motivating: Having an awesome instructor and fantastic music encouraging you to push harder helps to take your fitness to the next level. Most people don’t workout to their optimal level by themselves, so by placing yourself in a motivating environment, you can be the best you can be. The excitement and energy in the room helps you forget you’re even working out

 

Come on in and try one out this week. Bring a friend for extra support if you like. See you there…

 

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ANZAC Day Public Holiday!
anzac

The clubs will be unsupervised on ANZAC Day Monday 25th April but will remain open with normal hours, classes & kids club before & after that day.

All 24/7 members will be able to access the club at anytime to workout during unsupervised times, so take advantage of that option and upgrade your membership for only $2 per week at reception if you haven’t already…

 

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Click here for more information on membershippersonal trainingweight lossmassage therapyrehabilitationgroup exercisechildmindingprivileges card & fitness careers or call us on 6658 6222 for Toormina or on 6653 6122 for Moonee for more help.

Invite your friends for a FREE TRIAL & grab yourself a new training buddy!

 

Sincerely,

Your CCHC Team

 

Fitness starting with your Feet

November 29, 2015

Our feet and ankles are very important, considering we couldn’t stand, walk, run, or roundhouse kick someone in the face without them. Unfortunately, our lower limbs tend to be neglected unless something goes wrong.

Strong and flexible feet, ankles, and calves provide our base for stable movement, and are essential for performing our daily activities without pain or strain. In this article, I will give you a brief introduction to the the basic anatomy and movements in the ankle and foot (just enough for a good familiarity, but not enough for you to perform surgery…). Then, I’ll discuss the primary importance of working on this area, and finally, how to incorporate exercises for these areas into your training routine.

Your lower leg is made up of the bigger tibia on the inside and the smaller fibula on the outside, then connects lower down to the talus and the calcaneus (heel), then to the five small bones of the instep and the metatarsals and phalanges (your toes).

Lots of different sized ligaments connect the bones together for stability, along with various muscles from the big calf to the small muscles that move your toes.

Foot Anatomy

The ankle and foot is made to move in a great variety of angles to provide stability and dexterity, carrying us over all types of terrain from soft sand to rocky ground. Your ankle is not like a hinge on a door, and your foot isn’t just one big lump you slide your socks onto.

All the large and small joints in this area work together to provide this nimbleness, but only if we keep them moving like they are supposed to!

Your Lower Legs Work Hard for You – Here’s What They Do

Jump RopeOur calves (the bigger gastrocnemius and smaller, deeper soleus muscles) point the foot down, giving us the power to rise up on our toes and assist with running and jumping. But even with the foot flat on the ground, our calves provide stability in squatting, lunging, and other big movements.

On the front and sides of the shin are the anterior tibialis, posterior tibialis, and peronei muscles, which provide stability like stirrups and slings, and also the fine motor control that keeps us balanced and steady.

Down into the foot are many small muscles that control our arches and toes. These foot intrinsic muscles are the most at risk for atrophy from disuse when we don’t actively get out of our shoes and move our feet as we’re meant to do.

What Can Go Wrong in the Foot and Ankle

With all this considered, it’s easy to see the complexity of large and small muscles and joints working together to keep us upright and walking, as well as running, jumping, and balancing.

The coordination and differentiation of all these possible movements is key to foot and ankle control, and to moving freely and gracefully through your feet.

It’s also likely why we hear so many complaints about stiff ankles and feet.

If the smaller muscles are too weak to support your foot and ankle, your body reacts by increasing the tension where it can, in the bigger muscles. The tightness in the calf and ankle is then a protective mechanism that stretching may help a bit, but improved control and strength in the foot would solve.

Another common issue people experience is collapse arches in the feet. This is caused by poor mobility in the midfoot, along with weak posterior tibialis and intrinsic muscles. With improved mobility and strength in these areas, the arches should correct themselves over time.

Below we’ll discuss a variety of exercises with an emphasis on coordination and dexterity to wake up dormant muscles and restore proper mobility and control over this important area.

8 Exercises for Building Strength and Motor Control in the Feet and Ankles

The exercises we show here have an emphasis on active movement in various angles and ranges of motion.

A lot of people don’t fully explore the movement our feet and ankles are capable of, and this results in stiffness and weakness. The first step is knowing that it is actually possible to move this way, and the next and best step is to practice!

 

Below, we’ll look at each of these exercises in detail so you can understand the mechanics and benefits of each exercise, as well as programming recommendations.

1. Foot Circles with Toes Flexed (Curled)

Foot 1This movement concentrates on the small muscles in the arch of the foot. These foot intrinsicssupport the foot, and control over them means improved control and dexterity, which is so important in graceful and athletic movement.

It’s a simple movement – it’s just making a circle! – but the addition of flexing your toes makes this surprisingly difficult and can lead to muscle cramping in the beginning. Start off by not flexing your toes strongly and do the circles slowly.

Do 10-15 reps in each direction for 2-3 sets.

2. Toe and Ankle Movement Coordination

Foot 2Here is another simple movement that works on coordinating the use of the muscles of the lower leg and foot. Simply lift your foot up and down through your full range of motion and add the toe movements with it as well.

The coordination is toe extension (lifting toes upward) as you lift your foot upward, and toe flexion (curling in) as you point your foot down. And the other variation is then flexing your toes down as you lift your foot upward, and extending your toes as you point your foot down.

Do 10 repetitions of both variations for 2 sets.

3. Diagonal Patterns

Foot 3These are combined motion patterns of either your foot lifting up and rolling inward and then pointing down and outward; or your foot lifting up and rolling outward and then pointing down and inward. You are essentially tracing an X with your foot as you work on the coordination of ankle and foot motions.

This can be another surprisingly difficult exercise and is extremely useful for learning how your ankle can move.

Do 10-20 reps for 2-3 sets.

4. Rolling up Onto the Toes

Foot 4This is the first exercise where we are putting weight onto our feet.

The goal here is to combine a loaded active stretch to the ankle and foot together. It’s a dynamic move, so don’t hold too long in any position, instead go slowly through the full range and back again to encourage active movement through all the positions.

Do 5-8 reps for 3 sets.

5. Squats with Ankle Rotation

Foot 5In this exercise, don’t worry if you can’t drop down into the full deep squat position. The purpose of this exercise is to practice rolling on the inside and outside of your feet while weightbearing in a “compromising” position.

If you were to run and unexpectedly roll onto the side of your foot, you’d likely get a nasty ankle sprain. The exercise shown here is a progressive way to practice these common stresses to your feet and ankles. You can control the pressure and stress of the movement and use it to strengthen these positions to make it less likely to be severely injured when it unexpectedly happens.

Do 5-8 reps for 3 sets.

6. Ankle Rolling Side-to-Side

Ankle RollingHere we move to standing and up on the ball of the foot as we practice rolling our ankle from side to side.

Again, it’s better to do this while we are controlling the forces so we can strengthen them, rather than having it happen randomly and possibly causing injury.

Do 5-8 reps for 3 sets.

7. Weightbearing Ankle Circles on the Heel/Ball of Foot

Foot 7Continuing in standing, we’ll now practice ankle circles while placing as much weight as we are comfortable with on either our heels or on the ball of the foot.

There are different forces and strains involved in the two variations, so it’s good to familiarize yourself with both.

Do 10 reps in each direction for 2 sets.

8. Calf Raises

Calf RaisesAnother classic exercise, this is the most direct way of strengthening the calf muscles in their full range of motion from a full stretch to a full contraction. You can adjust your intensity by how much you hold on with your hands and by eventually adding weight to your body through a backpack or holding dumbbells.

If this is too much for you, then work both feet at the same time or start on a flat floor versus a step to reduce the range of motion until you get stronger and can handle strengthening from the full stretch.

Do 8-12 reps for 3 sets.

Fundamental Calf Stretches for Flexible Lower Legs

Calf StretchA very common complaint we hear from people is their lack of ankle flexibility.

Many bodyweight exercise moves, especially as you move into intermediate and advanced work, such as the pistol squat and various locomotive patterns, require good ankle flexibility.

The calf muscles are a very dense muscle group because we use them constantly – even just in standing and walking. And the ankle joints,  because of the lack of variety of motion throughout the day, tend to be stiff and immobile. This can require aggressive stretching, in terms of load, not intensity, to achieve improvements in range of motion.

A classic and effective exercise is using a step or sturdy block for your foot so you can drop your heel down to stretch.

It’s simple, not fancy, but works extremely well if you are consistent and approach it the right way. I recommend doing this in shoes, in this way you can place the middle of your foot on the edge of the step comfortably for the stretch. This is protective of your foot arch and allows you to put more weight into the stretch.

 

The variations are with your knee locked out straight and with your knee bent. The straight leg version emphasizes more of a gastrocnemius stretch, and the bent knee version gives the calf muscles a bit of slack and thus puts more of a stretch in the ankle joint.

The calf responds well to long holds of stretching, so 1 to 2 minutes for 3 sets should be a minimum goal. Stretch before active movement such as the strength and motor control exercises above so that your body learns to adjust and retain the new range of motion from the stretching.

Self-Massage Techniques for Healthy Feet, Ankles, and Calves

Self MassageA bit of self massage work is very useful in the lower leg and foot to loosen some tension prior to stretching and exercise.

The massage itself doesn’t make you more flexible, but it does temporarily help you feel less tight and gives you a window of opportunity to stretch further with less discomfort.

Just make sure not to overdo it, the trick is to apply just enough pressure to ease tension, not push as hard as you can to force it to happen!

 

Starting at the foot, work along the sole along the contours of the bones and feel the small muscles in you feet, keep the pressure light at first then gradually increase the pressure. If you are doing it correctly you’ll notice an easing off of tension in the muscles. You can then add more pressure and continue if you feel you need it, or move on to the next area.

Move on to the sides of your shin, into the calf and the front of your shin. The calf can be especially sore to massage deeply, so be aware of this and go gradually until you get accustomed to the pressure.

You can also use a ball to change the pressure and get into the muscles from a different angle.

Along with being mindful of gradually increasing pressure, you should limit your time on self massage to no more than 5 minutes. Too much of a good thing is still too much. And it is much more valuable to spend the majority of your time on active exercise.

Keep Your Feet Healthy for a Lifetime

Our ankles and feet are too often under-exercised and taken for granted considering how much we rely on them everyday. It’s no surprise that this neglect of their full range of motion and total potential for coordinated movement can lead to stiffness and weakness, and perhaps even pain.

This article focused on simple, yet effective exercises that not only lessen the chances of potential injury, but may also reverse some damage that has already been done (barring any true injuries in need of surgery or more intensive therapy).

Spend 5-10 minutes on these exercises every day, and you’re likely to feel your feet getting stronger, more flexible, and more able to handle variations in movement.

 

Article Sourced from: https://gmb.io/feet/

 

Regenerate a Healthy Liver

July 28, 2015

You might be familiar with one of the following scenarios below:

  1. You’ve woken up for work with a ringing headache and are feeling about as average as Spain did in the World cup soccer. How did the end of financial year work drinks cascade into a shower of champagne or a steady flowing abundance of delicious beer?
  2. The weather had become so bitingly cold that it justifies a good hearty glass of red by the fire – every night. For every degree colder this fosters furthur justification of a) A cheeky glass of port or dessert wine to top the night off or b) Some/a block of chocolate to accompany the red wine

liver

Your lovely liver: An under valued vital organ that regulates many processes in your body. However, at this time of the year it’s starting to complain. Battered and bruised its been fighting a little too hard.

The liver has various functions within the body the main one being DETOXIFICATION. That’s right! The liver helps to purify the blood by removing toxins such as alcohol and drugs from the body. But did you know it also helps regulate hormone levels? Can you imagine what happens when it can perform this duty well? Hormones regulate everything from sleep to mood, metabolism, reproduction and immunity (to mention a few!)

The liver also works to DIGEST all your food. Fats are digested by bile in the stomach, which is a product secreted by your happy hepatic (liver) cells and transported to the gall bladder. Carbohydrates and proteins are broken down so that these nutrients can eventually be converted to ATP (energy) for use within the body.

Also wondering why when your liver has been under the pump you are more likely to come down with some mysterious flu? Well the liver is also responsible for your IMMUNITY.  It plays an important role in capturing and digesting nasties such as bacterial, parasites, worn out blood cells and fungi.

So lets focus on some liver regeneration…

Number 1: Reduce your alcohol intake. Limit alcohol to weekends only or if you can, commit to a month off. Lets face it, a hot milo in front of the fire is going to be lot more nutritious; alcohol is empty calories anyway (contains basically no nutrients). Focus on average 2L of water daily which can include herbal teas such as chamomile during the day to rehydrate and filter the blood.

Number 2: Reduce highly processed foods particularly ones that are not only high in saturated fatbut also salt and sugar. For example: processed meats and fatty meats (sausages, salami, bacon), deep fried take out and fast foods, cakes and biscuits, pastries and chocolate.

Number 3: Increase your intake of linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fat. This will aid in reducing liver inflammation. Include nuts, seeds (flaxseed particularly) and oils (e.g extra virgin olive oil) as a part of your daily diet.

Number 4: Be smart with your selection of fruits.  Berries, pomegranate and grapes (I know you are already thinking wine again but the alcohol content outweighs the benefits here people!) contain ellagic acid and resveratrol, which can help to regenerate liver cells. The bitter in lemon and limes can also break down stagnant material.

After following this for a good month you liver should start to improve all its functions. Hopefully a lot of what I have recommended also becomes habitual!

Written by 
For Dry July
http://wellbeing.dryjuly.com/regenerate-a-healthy-liver/