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.

No comments, bulicio, September 26, 2017

Moderate Exercises to Fitness!

Have you ever felt tired and stressed out from work and by the time you get home you see your three children running towards you asking you to play basketball with them? You refused and promised them that you will after you take you rest.
Instead of disappointing your children, why not say, “yes” after all? You will be surprised by the amount of energy you will have after that 30-minute activity.

Did you know that by exercising at a moderate pace for only 30 minutes, you would feel a lot better, mentally? It has been proven that this improves the appetite and sharpens your style in problem solving. Not only that. You will also feel that it is easier to sleep at night if you do moderate exercises even for only 30 minutes every day.

What are the benefits of regular exercise? It promotes self-discipline and has a positive impact how you perceive life. Exercise helps in lifting your spirits and getting you out of any depression. For first timers, it can be done for 15 minutes for 2 to 3 days a week. You can increase the time you spend once your body gets tuned up for it.

DON’T you ever force your body! If you get hurt, then stop. You can take a break from exercising for a few days and then you can start again but you need to start from day 1.

Here are some moderate exercises you can do and enjoy:

1. Do the Walking. Make use of your surroundings. You can walk your dog, with your partner or child. Encourage your family to do the walking exercise daily and you will find yourself burning calories while enjoying the surroundings and getting enough sunlight that is also good for your body.

2. Discover the wonders of Yoga. Yoga is one effective exercise that energizes not only your body but also your soul. You may want to learn even the basic yoga positions that are not too complicated but proven effective. A five-minute yoga exercise can perk you up and recharge your body with the energy you lost for the whole day. You relax and at the same time you stretch!

3. Engage yourself into sports. Play basketball, football, baseball, tennis or badminton. Many doctors have recommended sports as an effective way to stay fit and healthy. Sports can also be done in moderation. Do not take it seriously. Shooting basketball with a friend is one moderate exercise that is also considered a sport.

4. Join exercise programs at work. If you still do not have exercises programs at work, then why not start it? You can talk to your boss about it and start with your colleagues. You do not only lose calories but it is also one good way to bond with them. This can be done 30 minutes, 3 times a week.

5. Exercise while doing household chores. Gardening, raking leaves, lawn mowing, doing the laundry, vacuuming and car washing are effective moderate exercises at home. Make use of these chores to sweat and burn calories. Instead of using machines and gadgets to perform these chores, why not do it with your hands and lose some fats?

Making exercises as part of your daily routines will surprise you of how much calories you will lose. Doing these moderate exercises of the same amount every day can burn 150 calories up to 1,000 calories a day!

No comments, bulicio, September 25, 2017

How to Make It As a Fitness Model

People that follow my stuff know I generally write about nutrition, supplements, training, and other topics that are more science based than subjective topics, such as what is covered in this article. I decided to shuck my science geek persona, and write on a topic I know will be helpful to thousands of would be and want to be fitness models. (more…)

No comments, bulicio, September 23, 2017

Improve Your Health and Fitness

Over aeons of time, our bodies have adapted to cope with survival in a harsh environment. Although we achieved civilization thousands of years ago, our bodies have not evolved to adapt to this change. If we imagine ourselves back in the distant past we would have eaten less sugar, salt and fat in a year or more than we now eat in a week or less. We would have eaten a diet of meat and fish, mostly vegetable matter, fruit, berries, nuts, seeds and roots. We would only have drunk water, and may have sampled the splendour of honey. Foods would be rich in fibre, some protein, essential fats, vitamins and minerals, but low in sugar, salt and saturated fats. We would have been in almost constant motion; playing, working, foraging, preparing food, but rarely staying still. (I think that it is important to remind ourselves that our body is designed to be active, but that we often think of exercise as formal, vigorous, structured pursuits. It can be easy to persuade ourselves that going swimming or playing football twice a week is enough [and so we have an excuse for driving to work and to the local shops]. And although it is great to do these things, we can stay fit and healthy without a gym membership, just by doing everyday movements; walking, cleaning the house, and gardening, and yes I shall say that well-worn phrase- leaving the car at home.)

Don’t think that our person from the past would have been feasting on jumbo mammoth steaks Flintstone-style all day long either. Meat may have been in scant supply for much of the time (have you ever tried to catch a rabbit?) and women and children spent a large amount of time foraging for nuts, roots, berries and vegetable matter. Everyone would have been involved in acquiring food, and all methods of obtaining food would have used large amounts of energy; you have to cover wide areas to provide enough food for a family. Even when farming became a way of life huge amounts of energy would have to be invested in producing the fruits, vegetables and animal products. Animals too would have been reared on a diet of more complex foods rather than modern high-energy processed feeds. It is thought that their meat would have been much less rich in saturated fats and so healthier for the people consuming it.

Food production would have been part of every day life, unlike today where food arrives pre-packed, smothered in cellophane, produced days, weeks or months ago in a factory hundreds of miles away, glazed with wax, identical in size and colour to its neighbour, lacking any aroma, and likely to be lacking in nutrition. Our imaginary person would have experienced real, largely unprocessed food, and a varied seasonal diet (no strawberries at Christmas for Ms Caveperson). It is likely that they would have a relationship with what they had produced. If you ever grow your own fruit and veg you will understand how exciting it is to watch things grow, then how good it feels to harvest and prepare them. People would have wasted nothing- all parts of every fruit, vegetable or animal would be used for something, almost nothing was unusable; today in the UK one third of our food is thrown away and wasted, out of every 2 bagged salads purchased today, one will go in the bin (sounds familiar?).

Another aspect of our imaginary person’s relationship to food is the social aspect. People would have produced and processed the food together, celebrated harvests and abundant times, and eaten together as a family or group. Children would help the adults, and learnt how to grow and prepare food ensuring that they would be able to look after themselves as adults. Meal times may have been the only time when the extended family would be gathered together to swap the day’s news, gossip and stories. This way people eat more slowly, and eat less allowing their body to feel full and satisfied. Food would have produced social bonding and been a central and essential part of social life.

Life would have been hard, and still is for many people today who have to provide their own food, and so I don’t want to over-romanticise this imaginary person. However, I think that this person from the past is a useful tool for understanding what our eating and activity profile should be more like if we wish to be healthier and happier. There would have been no slouching on a sofa in front of the TV, no Chicken Dippas, micro-chips, and definitely (and thankfully) no Pringles. Our imaginary person may not even recognise these things as food.

Underneath it all we are still cave people, our bodies and brains have evolved to take nutrition from simple whole foods, we thrive on human contact and still feel the need to eat together and share food, and our bodies are healthier if we exercise consistently. We need a diet rich in whole foods, in raw foods, and home cooked foods. We should pick foods which are low in sugar, salt and saturated fat. If you are doubtful about the validity of a food, ask yourself how far-removed it is from its natural state, could you make it yourself, would it have existed a hundred years ago or more? If the answer is no then the chances are that it is not very healthy. We need to explore the excitement of foraging for food, growing it and preparing it, we need to rediscover the simple pleasures of podding peas, chopping fresh herbs, picking blackberries, and making pickles and jams.

No comments, bulicio, September 18, 2017

New Year Resolution to Lose Weight and Get Fit

With the forthcoming New Year, many people make New Year Resolutions. The most popular new year resolutions are to lose weight, get fit, eat right and reduce stress.

All these four goals are actually intrinsically linked to one another. The lose weight, you must start to exercise more (get fit) and start to eat healthier, more nutritious foods to provide you with the energy required to be more active, without putting on even more weight. It is worth reminding you here that to lose weight may actually require you to eat a little more in the long term, assuming you do not exercise now. Stress can be caused by many factors, but generally people that feel that they are in greater control of their personal lives find it easier to control stress in their working lives. So being more confident as a result of being fitter and healthier can lead to a reduction in stress. So, how do you stick to the plan?

Let’s break the resolutions down, and look at each in isolation.

Lose Weight
OK, as already mentioned, to lose weight we merely need to increase physical activity and eat a healthier, more balanced diet. The best way to do this is to set yourself goals. If you know that your diet is not ideal, but are not sure exactly where you are going wrong, then you must keep a food diary for a couple of weeks at the start of the New Year. This will quickly highlight where you are going wrong. Make sure that you write down everything that you eat and drink during these two weeks. It is best to keep a note of when you eat too, so that at the end of the two weeks you will have a picture of your eating habits in the morning, afternoon and evening. Many people eat too much in the evening after a busy and stressful day. This is most likely going to be the area you need to concentrate on!

Get Fit
Getting fit is a life long goal for many people. So how do you stick to a New Year resolution to get fit? The best way is to set goals, write an exercise schedule (and stick to it) and keep a training diary.

Goals
Goals can be based on endurance (exercising for longer periods each session), strength (lifting heavier weights, or lifting more repetitions of the same weight), frequency (exercising more often, such as 3 times a week, twice a day). When setting goals, always set goals that are attainable. If you have not exercised for 5 years, then setting a goal of running 5 miles a day by the end of January, or running in the London Marathon in the Spring, will be very difficult to achieve. And failing your own goals does you no good regarding self esteem and motivation. So keep the goals simple. My personal goals generally include the following:

1. Exercising more each week (by attending an extra kick boxing class, or by going for a run at the weekends).

2. Lifting heavier weights – when weight training it is impossible to achieve this goal without a lot of hard work, so again I do not specify how much heavier the weights should be, but simply be happy if they are heavier after a month.

3. Performing more repetitions of an exercise. This is very useful when doing circuit training in the gym or at home. For example, you could aim to do one more repetition each day you exercise. This seems like a very small increase, but if you exercise 3 times a week, with just press ups, sit ups, star jumps and squat thrusts, and you start by performing 10 exercises of each in one session, then by the end of January you will be performing 22 of each. By the end of February it will have increased to about 35 of each, and by the time spring comes you will be performing maybe over 50 repetitions of each exercise 3 or 4 times a week. So, small incremental increases are to way to make steady, attainable, progress.

4. Exercising for longer. This can again apply to circuit training at home, such as exercising for an extra 5 minutes each session each week. So start by exercising for 15 minutes, and by the spring you will be exercising for 1 hour and 20 minutes each session, which could be 3 times a week! You will soon get fit, if you stick to the plan!. If you prefer to cycle, run, walk or swim for fitness, then the same applies. Spend a little more time each week, and the improvements will keep coming.

Eat Healthier
This is possible the hardest thing to do well. Most people are well aware of what food is good for them, and what is not. If you are unsure check out our diet pages. The problem is sticking to the plan.

 

No comments, bulicio, September 4, 2017

Your Guide to Fitness

Fitness is something our culture knows about, but doesn’t activity participate in. Our lifestyles contain too much fast food and not enough exercise. Fitness is essential for your well being and overall health. It can make you age slower and live longer. Fitness keeps the blood pumping in your body and your heart healthy. Those who participate in fitness activities for at least 30 minutes each day significantly reduce their risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. (more…)

No comments, bulicio, August 20, 2017

Introduction to Parker Tube Fittings

Parker Hannifin Corporation is the World’s Leading Tube Fitting Authority. Since 1924, Parker has served the marketplace with dependable fluid power technology. Tube Fittings were among the first products manufactured by the company, and Parker has deep roots and expertise in the design of Tube Fittings. The company manufactures Tube Fittings to a very high standard to conform to all major specification requirements. (more…)

No comments, bulicio, August 18, 2017

Physical Fitness

Physical fitness is a necessary requisite for leading a healthy and an active life. It not only improves the strength and endurance of the body but also the lifestyle of a person. Physical fitness is difficult to maintain, especially amid the stress and strain of contemporary lifestyles, with little scope for exercise and recreation. (more…)

No comments, bulicio, August 7, 2017

Fitness Travel

Do you always feel fifteen pounds heavier after coming back from vacation? All that eating out and indulging can pack on a few pounds. Whether you are worried about packing on the pounds while traveling, already have a few to lose or just simply love exercising and would like to tone up; consider trying a fitness vacation. It is one of the hottest new trends in travel, not only do you get to get away, which in itself feels good, but you also get to lose weight and get fitter. There are plenty of fitness friendly travel options, but here are just a few of the many fitness vacations out there. (more…)

No comments, bulicio, July 31, 2017

A Look on Diet Fitness

Many people nowadays are very much conscious about their own health and fitness. In addition to that, these people, and many others as well, are now having that desire to sculpt their bodies to achieve that magazine-cover look. As a result, gyms, health spas and other fitness centers have proliferated all over to cater to the needs of the fitness buffs and aficionados.

Even on television exercise machines, weight loss products, and other paraphernalia to improve fitness have more or less gained control over the airwaves and made their way into the households. But exercise is not the only way to build that body beautiful. It also entails certain amount of responsibility on the foods one chooses to eat. Being healthy and fit requires one to observe diet fitness.

Diet fitness is as essential as exercise itself. Diet for fitness provides the essential nutrition one needs to restore worn-out muscles and for healthy growth. Diet fitness should never be taken for granted. With the popularity of keeping fit, many different views, methods, programs and dieting strategies have been formulated by many professionals. Among these are high carb diets and high fat diets. Which one is more effective and which one should one choose to follow?

First thing to know would be the fundamental differences between these two diet approaches. As the name implies, high carb diets concentrates on taking in carbohydrate-rich foods while high fat diets endorses fat-rich foods. High carb diets are utilized to glycogen stored in the liver and muscles. Glycogen is a glucose complex that provides large amounts of energy ready for use in anaerobic exercises.

Fats, on the other hand, is well-known for being the richest source of calories. It actually contains 2.5 times more calories than carbohydrates and proteins alike. Studies also show that it takes the body 24 calories to metabolize carbohydrates while it only takes 3 to burn down fat. So which one to follow? A person can follow a high carb and low fat fitness diet or the other way around. It is absolutely not recommended to follow both at the same time; unless of course if you want to gain body fat.

But then diet fitness is not all about losing fat, one must also consider his diet in order to keep fat away. Research shows that sustainable loss of weight can only be achieved on a diet which suits the individual food preferences, lifestyle, medical profile and satiety signals.

Diet programs all over can help you shed off excess pounds, but only one diet can help you stay sexy, and it is the one that satisfies you most. Other important aspects of having a fit diet are moderation, balance and variation. One must be careful not to leave out important nutrients and other substances necessary for healthy body functioning. health organizations are clear about the amounts of nutrients an individual should have in the body.

Low fat high carbs, high carbs low fat; the question is not which diet program will work out but which is it that will work for you. Striving for a sexy and healthy body does not have to burden an individual, diet fitness does not have to mean sticking to the same kind of food for life. One may even try to be adventurous and try out new foods out there. Who knows? one may even discover spinach interesting.

No comments, bulicio, July 29, 2017