In the last couple of years Suspension Training System made its way over to Australian fitness industry and now it seems most training facilities have it as part of its staple training equipment. Majority of the market in Australia is dominated by TRX brand but there are many other less known brands offering very similar suspension training equipment. More
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Here are 100 workout tips from our fitness experts at Idealbody4life:
- Remember to consult with your doctor before starting any new training
- Start on simple exercises to build up strength and control
- Strong core is the key to heavy weightlifting
- Never sacrifice form for the sake of a heavier weight; perform exercise correctly
- Slow down; do not use momentum while lifting More
The major leading causes of death in Australia are cardiovascular diseases, cancer, injury and respiratory diseases.
The main cause of death in Australia for many years has been cardiovascular disease: coronary heart disease, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. The cost of heart disease to the Australian economy is over five million dollars per day, while almost every 10 minutes there is a death caused by heart disease. Many of these deaths can be prevented with more regular physical activity and a healthy diet. More
It is common for the body image of men and women to think that their body is bigger than it really is. For instance, only 16 per cent of young Australian women are happy with their body weight.
It is normal for women to carry fat on their hips and thighs. Frequent dieting does not work to remove this fat. Dieting is associated with many negative health effects, especially when episodes of dieting are followed by weight gain. Dieting can also make you depressed and it’s also linked with poor self-image.
Some people think they are overweight
Many people think they are overweight when they are not:
- Normal weight men and women – 45 per cent of women and 23 per cent of men in the healthy weight range think they are overweight.
- Underweight women – at least 20 per cent of women who are underweight think that they are overweight and are dieting to lose weight.
- Asian women – after moving to Australia, the body image and diet habits of Asian women get worse.
There is a common misconception around that thin people are healthier than overweight people. However, thin people may have got that way by eating an inadequate diet or by smoking excessively.
Weight loss from diets does not last
Australians spend up to one million dollars a day on weight loss programs that have little effect on their weight. Even if you remain on a weight loss program, it is likely that you will regain:
- One- to two-thirds of your lost weight within one year.
- Nearly all of your lost weight within five years.
Dieting affects your health and mental state
Women who diet frequently are more likely to:
- Binge eat
- Purge food (vomit)
- Have poor health
- Become depressed.
The weight loss seesaw
The weight loss, weight gain seesaw may put you at risk of heart disease. Some studies have shown that Just one cycle of weight loss-weight gain is a risk factor for the development of heart disease later in life, but other studies have disputed this. Research has shown that nearly every young woman and nearly half of all middle-aged women have dieted to lose weight at least once.
Body mass index
Men and women should aim to have a body weight within the healthy weight range. This can be calculated using the BMI (calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared: a value of 20 to 25 is considered within the healthy weight range). However, a recent study in the US has shown that it is possible to be overweight and healthy as long as you are also active.
Women need fat on their hips and thighs
It is normal for women to have fat on their hips and thighs. It is vital for:
- Fertility and lactation
- Prevention of osteoporosis
- Healthy skin, eyes, hair and teeth.
Men also worry about their body image
Men are under increasing pressure to have an ideal body:
- 17 per cent of men are on some sort of diet.
- An increasing number of men are undergoing cosmetic surgery.
- More men are buying grooming products.
Tips for parents
Adopting a healthy lifestyle is the best way to manage your weight and model healthy behaviours for your children. Try the following to encourage healthy eating at home:
- Avoid calling foods ‘good’ or ‘bad’ – try ‘everyday’ foods and ‘sometimes’ foods.
- Model eating all foods. For example, when eating ‘sometimes’ foods, such as chocolate or lollies, show your child that it is OK to eat them slowly and enjoy them without feeling guilty. This is much better than eating them quickly, secretively or all at once.
- Try not to use food as a punishment or over-use it as a reward.
- Don’t tell your child to lose weight – encourage the whole family to adopt healthy eating patterns and regular physical activity.
- Tell your child that you love them no matter how they look, what they eat or how much they weigh.
- Avoid using extreme weight loss practices yourself.
- Make family meal times enjoyable and stress free. Don’t make eating habits a big issue.
- Make sure there’s plenty of nutritious foods
- in the house, and limit access to less nutritious foods.
- Encourage your children to listen to signals from their body about when they’re hungry and when they’ve had enough.
- Serve food in the centre of the table so everyone can dish out their own size meals according to their appetite.
- Don’t make your child eat everything on the plate but do encourage them to at least taste some of the food.
If you need support, seek professional advice from someone who specialises in childhood weight issues.
As well as using good time management, another way to find time to exercise is to build it into the natural rhythm of your day. Depending on your lifestyle, you might want to consider the following ideas.
If you’re in employment
Despite advances in technology, many of us still spend more – rather than less – time at work. However, there are time-saving tips when it comes to working out:
- Go for a walk in your lunch break. Try to find at least three different walks and vary them throughout the week. It might even be possible to find an indoor walking route, incorporating stair climbing, for those inevitable bad weather days.
- Have meetings ‘on the hoof’. There’s no reason why one-to-one meetings with clients and colleagues can’t take place while walking around the local park rather then sitting in an office. Such meetings can be an excellent way of breaking the ice with new contacts.
- Talk to your employers about promoting health at work. Ask if it’s possible for them to provide showers and cycle racks to encourage people to cycle to work. You might also be able to encourage them to set up a gym. Sell the idea by pointing out that doing so will improve productivity, reduce absenteeism and result in a happier and more efficient workforce.
- Walk to and from work. If you live too far away, park further from the office or get off the bus or Tube one stop earlier.
If you look after children
Having children can change everything about your lifestyle. Some parents find their activity levels drop and their weight increases as going to the gym or playing sport becomes more difficult. Here are some positive steps you can take:
- Exercise with your child. Take them to the local swimming pool or play in the garden or local park.
- Find out which local sports and leisure centres have crèche facilities, so you can exercise while your children are being looked after.
- Walk your child to school. Not only will this help you to be active, it will also help your child develop an early pattern of physical activity that might stay with them into adulthood.
- Find out if there are activities available at your child’s school for the local community. Many schools use their facilities for sports and exercise classes in the evenings and at weekends.
- Ask your child what you can do to be more active. You might be surprised by what they’ve learned in PE – and perhaps you’ve forgotten what fun it is to play childhood games!
If you’re a student
As well as studying vocational and academic courses, students learn about and experiment with new lifestyles. Get into good habits by trying out the following:
- Go for walks with friends to talk about your studies. Brainstorming about an essay as you walk around the campus can be a productive use of your time.
- Spend some time in the learning resource centre reading about sport, exercise and health. The more you know, the more choices you have about how to be physically active.
- Most colleges run sport and exercise programmes that students can take part in. Find out which activities are on offer, and try those you think you might enjoy. Be adventurous and pick something you’ve not tried before.
If you’re based at home
If you find you spend most of your day in the house, try these tips to stay active and healthy:
- Plan your week so you have to walk to the shops frequently. By going often you’ll only have to carry light bags of shopping back.
- Look at ways in which you can be more active in and around your home. Use the stairs to exercise, work on the garden or install some gym equipment, for example. Even hiding the remote control for the TV can help.
- Look for community-based activity programmes in your local area. These don’t have to be fitness classes, just anything that gets you moving. Conservation groups can be a great way to get involved in improving your local environment and being active at the same time.
No time like the present
Exercise is never a waste of time, it’s an important part of a healthy lifestyle. It reduces your risk of heart attack and is an essential component in controlling body weight.
It’s also something you can do with other people, which can be great fun. So, there’s no time like the present to make that commitment to yourself to find time to exercise and improve your health.
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How to recognize and treat injury from physical training
Physical training damages our cell structure, leading to repair and anabolic process during the recovery, which in turn creates stronger and larger muscle fibers and other physiological responses. However, sometimes pushing your body above safe threshold or an accident can cause injury. Most injuries will respond to rest or RICE treatment (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation), but many injuries will require physical rehabilitation and changes to training plan in order to allow your body to repair and reduce any long term damage. First step is recognising the fact that you are injured and you can’t simply train through it. Unfortunately, too many people tend to ignore little aches and pains that are first signs of a potential more serious injury.
Next it is important to ascertain the correct diagnosis to proceed with your recovery and rehabilitation process. Frequently General Practitioners would not be very helpful, in many cases sport doctors or experienced physiotherapists will be better suited in providing you with a correct diagnosis and rehabilitation programme.
Find below a list of some of the common types of injuries;
- Bone Injuries: Injuries that are caused by direct blow, twisting movement and overuse stress, usually take the form of fractures.
- Articular Injuries: Articular cartridge is located at the end of long bones and it reduces friction between the bones as well as shock absorption. Articular cartridge is commonly injured in joint dislocation as well as overuse.
- Ligaments: Ligament binds bone to bone, hold the joint together. A healthy ligament is highly flexible but not elastic. Ligaments tend to get injured when joint is pulled beyond its range of movement, such as a sprain. When sprain occurs ligaments are typically stretched beyond their capabilities, which can cause ligament to have a partial tear or a full tear.
- Tendon: Tendons attach muscle to bone and are designed to withstand large tensile stresses. Tendons can get injured (ruptured) from either one traumatic stress or from repeated overuse, such as weightlifting.
- Muscle: A muscle tear or strain (minor tear) occurs when a muscle fiber is unable to take the strain placed on it by the exercise. Muscle strains are usually classified as grade 1, 2 or 3. Grade 1 strains involve only a few muscle fibers, while a grade 3 is a complete tear. The site where the muscle meets the tendon is generally regarded as the weakest point of the muscle.
- Bursa: The bursa is a small sac of synovial fluid located around joints and it provides a cushion between bones and tendons and/or muscles around a joint. This helps to reduce friction between the bones and allows free movement. Bursae are filled with synovial fluid and are found around most major joints of the body. The bursa can become inflamed causing a bursitis. The most common sites for bursitis are in the knee, ankle and elbow.
Type 2 is the most common form of diabetes, affecting 85-90% of all people with diabetes. While it usually affects older adults, more and more younger people, even children, are getting type 2 diabetes.
In type 2 diabetes, the pancreas makes some insulin but it is not produced in the amount your body needs and it does not work effectively.Type 2 diabetes results from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Although there is a strong genetic predisposition, the risk is greatly increased when associated with lifestyle factors such as high blood pressure, overweight or obesity, insufficient physical activity, poor diet and the classic ‘apple shape’ body where extra weight is carried around the waist.
Type 2 diabetes can often initially be managed with healthy eating and regular physical activity. However, over time most people with type 2 diabetes will also need tablets and many will also need insulin. It is important to note that this is just the natural progression of the disease, and taking tablets or insulin as soon as they are required can result in fewer complications in the long-term.
There is currently no cure for type 2 diabetes.
While there is no single cause of type 2 diabetes, there are well-established risk factors. Some of these can be changed and some cannot.
You are at a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes if you:
- have a family history of diabetes
- are older (over 55 years of age ) – the risk increases as we age
- are over 45 years of age and are overweight
- are over 45 years of age and have high blood pressure
- are over 35 years of age and are from an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander background
- are over 35 years of age and are from Pacific Island, Indian subcontient or Chinese cultural background
- are a woman who has given birth to a child over 4.5 kgs (9 lbs), or had gestational diabetes when pregnant, or had a condition known as Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome.
Symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes
In type 2 diabetes, many people have no symptoms at all, while other signs are dismissed as a part of ‘getting older’. By the time type 2 diabetes is diagnosed, the complications of diabetes may already be present. Symptoms include:
- Being excessively thirsty
- Passing more urine
- Feeling tired and lethargic
- Always feeling hungry
- Having cuts that heal slowly
- Itching, skin infections
- Blurred vision
- Gradually putting on weight
- Mood swings
- Feeling dizzy
- Leg cramps.
Preventing Type 2 Diabetes
It is estimated that up to 60% of type 2 diabetes can be prevented. People at risk of type 2 diabetes can delay and even prevent this disease by following a healthy lifestyle. This includes:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Regular physical activity
- Making healthy food choices
- Managing blood pressure
- Managing cholesterol levels
- Not smoking
The recent Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab) estimated that close to one million (7.5%) Australian adults have diabetes mellitus (Dunstan et al 2001). Type 2 diabetes is the most common form comprising 85 to 90% of those with diabetes mellitus. The most recent cost estimates available suggest approximately $216.7 million in health system costs were attributable to Type 2 diabetes, seventh leading cause of Australian deaths.
The burden of Type 2 diabetes is increasing and it is expected to become the leading cause of disease burden by 2023. From Australias health report 2010
- Three in 5 adults (61%) were either overweight or obese in 2007–08.
- One in 4 children (25%) aged 5–17 years were overweight or obese in 2007–08.
Plyometrics involve exercise that use explosive movements in order to develop both muscular power as well as ability to generate large amounts of force very quickly. This is achieved by the rapid alteration of lengthening and shortening of specific muscle groups while continuously applying resistance force to the muscle.
In order to grasp a better understanding of how plyometric exercises stimulate our muscles lets have a closer look at muscle contractions.
There are three different ways in which our muscle can contract: eccentric, concentric and isometric.
An eccentric muscle contraction occurs when your muscle contracts and lengthens at the same time. An example of an eccentric muscle contraction is lowering your self from a chin-up position. The bicep (upper arm) muscle contracts and lengthens as you lower yourself from the chin-up bar.
A concentric muscle contraction occurs when your muscle contracts and shortens at the same time. An example of a concentric muscle contraction is lifting your self into a chin-up position. The bicep muscle contracts and shortens as you raise yourself up to the chin-up bar.
An isometric muscle contraction occurs when your muscle contracts, but does not change in length. An example of an isometric muscle contraction is hanging from a chin-up bar with your arms bent at 90 degrees. The bicep muscle contracts, but does not change in length because you’re not moving up or down.
During a plyometric exercise, an eccentric muscle contraction is quickly followed by a concentric muscle contraction.
Plyometric exercises are often used by athletes in order to develop an explosive power for their chosen sport but recently have been used for both injury prevention and injury rehabilitation.
Essentially plyometric exercises force the muscle to contract rapidly from a full stretch position and in this position muscles tend to be at their weakest point. By conditioning the muscle at its weakest point, (full stretch) it is better prepared to handle this type of stress in a real or game environment.
Furthermore, an eccentric muscle contraction can be up to three times more forceful than a concentric muscle contraction. This is why plyometric exercises are important in the final stage of rehabilitation, to condition the muscles to handle the added strain of eccentric contractions.
However, one must remember that plyometric exercises are not for everyone as they are advanced form of athletic conditioning and can place a massive strain on unconditioned joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. Please take great caution when during plyometric exercise routine.
Low Intensity Plyometric Exercises:
- Pencil Jump
Stand with your feet parallel and shoulders widths apart, jump as high as possible by pushing off your toes and try to keep your legs straight.
- Low Lateral Jump
Place a marker or draw a line. Stand close to the side of the obstacle, with your feet parallel and ankles close together. While keeping your ankles close together jump up and over obstacle in a side to side motion.
- Ski Jump
Stand on one foot while the other leg is bent at 90 degrees and located under the bottom. Jump from side to side, bounding from one foot to the other.
Medium Intensity Plyometric Exerices
- Tuck Jumps
Stand with your feet parallel and shoulder width apart, jump as high as possible by bringing the knees up to the chest. Hold your arms across the chest during the drill and make sure to have a few practice smaller jumps before you start.
- Squat Jumps
Stand with the feet parallel and shoulder width apart. Place your hands behind the head. Jump up as high as possible during the concentric phase and keep your legs as straight as possible after take-off.
- Ball Wall Throw
Stand opposite a wall while holding a medicine ball to one side, throw the ball across your body and catch it off the wall on the other side of the body.