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Mind, Body, Green - Ultimate Wellness articles

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

25 Of The Most Adorable Parenting Moments In The Animal Kingdom

They. are. just. so. cute!! It is a beautiful reminder to parents/caregivers of the magical moments we have with our children.

Direct link here

Image credits: David Lazar
There’s no love in this world like the love of a mother or father for a child. It’s beautiful and often times can be seen across species barriers. We’re not the only ones capable of it, and these heartwarming photos of animal parents will show you that for sure.
We tend to separate animals into two different categories based on how they rear their children. Those are the R and K categories. K categories include animals like cats, elephants, and humans. They have few babies but have longer gestation periods. Their offspring tend to require more care and for much longer time. The R category is more focused on quantity for survival. Here are some great examples of K animals:
Image credits: Laurie Rubin
Image credits: Anton Belovodchenko
Image credits: Tin Man
Image credits: dailymail.co.uk
Image credits: Wolfgang von Vietinghoff
Image credits: Udayan Rao Pawar
Image credits: Daniel M√ľnger
Image credits: dailymail.co.uk
Image credits: Andre Pretorius
Image credits: Anton Belovodchenko
Image credits: Jim Ridley
Image credits: Michael Nichols
Image credits: Edwin Kats
Image credits: Jeanette DiAnda
Image credits: Igor Shpilenok
Image credits: Ric Seet
Image credits: Marco Mattiussi
Image credits: Jan Pelcman
Image credits: Michael Milicia
Image credits: Chuck Babbitt
Image credits: hqwide.com
Image credits: Frederique Olivier/John Downer Productions
Image credits: imgur.com

Sunday, May 24, 2015

A Doctor's View of CrossFit

Quite a prominent doctor too, it's a nice read to open the mind up a little about this exposure on cross fit.

Indeed it is a specialised sport on its own so it does have it's own impact on an athlete, just like any other sports really. Interesting. Enjoy~

Thanks T-Nation!

An Interview with Dr. Stuart McGill



Lead Photo Credit: CrossFit Ocean Isle Beach

Here's what you need to know...

  1. CrossFit is the fastest growing fitness pursuit, but some of the things participants do are questionable from a health standpoint.
  2. According to Dr. Stuart McGill, the spine is most at risk when it's flexed and loaded with high compression and when it extends while still bearing the high compression.
  3. Fatigue from heavy, high-rep lifts can cause deterioration of lifting form leading to a higher incidence of disc bulges and herniation.
  4. Dr. McGill says CrossFit could improve by making a few simple changes, like decreasing the number of reps required on Olympic lifts.

T Nation Poll

The Fittest on Earth... For a Year

Like it or not, CrossFit is here to stay, and in a big way. With over 10,000 CrossFit facilities and counting, it's become the household name in fitness.

And every year the CrossFit Games brings in hundreds of thousands of competitors to determine who "the fittest on earth" will be.

So what's next for CrossFit? Maybe cleaning up some of the issues that will make fittest-on-earth contenders debilitated-for-life later on down the road.

Notes From A Physical Therapist

Dr John Rusin
As a sports performance physical therapist, CrossFit has been on my professional radar for years. Both CrossFit athletes and facilities have sought my services.

One of the biggest misconceptions I hear is that all CrossFit athletes are chronically sidelined with debilitating injuries. This isn't accurate and the reason for the spike in physical therapy may surprise you.

Good physical therapists are movement specialists and coaches above all else. The focus in my professional work with high-level athletics such as CrossFit has gravitated more towards injury prevention and pre-habilitation than traditional rehab.
Screening, evaluating, and preventing future injuries makes up a majority of my cases with CrossFit athletes over the past few years. Just as with any other competitive sport, there will always be an influx of chronic and traumatic injuries. That's part of the game.

Does CrossFit Hurt People?

Ring Dips
I only have so much anecdotal evidence behind my claims that CrossFit may be one of the most debilitating forms of training.

While research is incomplete, it's important to justify or refute these claims regarding CrossFit-specific injury rates as the world's fastest growing athletic specialty continues to grow.
This is a tall task. To set the record straight, I spoke with one of the top thinkers in biomechanics to get his perspective on CrossFit.

Insights From Dr. Stuart McGill

Dr. Stuart McGill is considered one of the world's top spinal specialists and researchers.
He's been sought out by corporations, the government, elite athletes, and professional sports teams for his expertise in injury prevention, programming, and rehabilitation.

Related:  Back to McGill

Dr. McGill has made enough groundbreaking advancements in his field to carry an opinion backed by science that speaks volumes.

I had the chance to get his take on CrossFit. Here's what he had to say.
Dr. Rusin: Is CrossFit inherently dangerous?

Dr. McGill: My expertise is in back injury, so that is the perspective from which I view controversial topics such as this. For the record I have a love-hate relationship with CrossFit.
I don't think "dangerous" is the right word, but certainly "injury risk" is appropriate and it facilitates discussion of practices that influence injury risk, injury mechanisms, and injury rates.
A major component of CrossFit is Olympic lifting. Olympic lifting must find the lifter. Not the other way around given the special anatomical gifts needed to lift with efficiency and injury resiliency.
The flexibility required in the hips and shoulders in many cases is a gift from your parents. No matter how much stretching is attempted, some will never have the hip and shoulder socket anatomy to deep squat and support a bar overhead. But they will try, and their compromised form will create substantial injury mechanisms.
The majority I see are spine disc bulges and vertebral end plate fractures. Most of these fractures are undetected by radiologists reporting on MRI, CT, and x-ray scans.
Overhead Squat
Dr. Rusin: What can the average CrossFit coach without a strong background and focus on the Olympic lifts do to identify at-risk athletes while also keeping their clients and athletes safe?

Dr. McGill: This is a difficult challenge for any coach. Anyone can play basketball with little risk but this cannot be said for the Olympic lifts.
The next issue is that programming within a CrossFit routine can be problematic.
World-class Olympic lifters train with very few reps – usually just singles and doubles. They have also learned to never miss a lift, never lift when fatigued, and never compromise form.
They do not create muscle memory polluted with fatigued patterns. This approach creates faster gains in performance and less injury.
I have known several Olympic lifters over the years who are unanimous in stating that their back injury was tuition. It taught them never to lift with compromised form again. One went on to set multiple world records.
Dr. Rusin: What are the most common causes of injury?
Atlas Stone
Dr. McGill: The spine's discs are quite tough and resilient to high load when they're not bent but remain in a neutral posture. Second best is when they are flexed and then loaded, but they must not move.
Think of flexing the spine when picking up an atlas stone and the spine is curled over the stone and lifted with extension at the hips – the spine stays locked.
The injury bogeyman appears when the spine is flexed and then loaded with high compression, and then it extends while still bearing the high compression.
Here, high reps of these bending movements while under the high loads from the bar slowly delaminate the collagen fibers that form the outer rings of the disc.
Eventually the cumulative effect is the gel-like nucleus of the disc seeps through the delaminations causing a disc bulge. We have performed dozens of experiments over the years to prove this.
Dr. Rusin: It's well accepted that placing the spine in a flexed position under daunting loads is a bad thing. But don't Olympic lifters endure the same types of stresses as CrossFit athletes executing Olympic lifts within programing or WODs?

Dr. McGill: This is the distinction between the real Olympic lift competitors and CrossFit athletes.
The high repetitions and deterioration of lifting form from fatigue in CrossFit athletes causes a higher incidence of disc bulges and herniations. I rarely have to deal with these injuries in the Olympic athletes – typically they have healthy backs but succumb to shoulder, knee, and hip injuries.

Related:  4 Most Damaging Types of Training

But CrossFit compounds the risk further. Olympic athletes toughen the collagen in their spine discs by only training mobility in the ball and socket joints.
CrossFit athletes must perform exercises like burpees. Performing ten burpees before ten snatches replaces disc toughness with flexibility and softness in the matrix holding the collagen fibres together, resulting in a more potent injury risk scenario.
Many athletes have, and will, pay the price with years of back pain misery.
Dr. Rusin: So CrossFit-specific programming can be risky for lower back health. By now, don't coaches and programing coordinators over at the CrossFit HQ know this?

Dr. McGill: While attending the CrossFit competition at the Arnold Classic, one thing really stood out: the lifting technique was just awful.
I did not see one competent lift. Not one! And things only got worse with each rep and set. (I will note that I have consulted before with some CrossFit gyms and there are some very competent lifters.)
No corrections from the coaches, only encouragement to continue lifting. The injured athletes went down to the medical tent where I saw very strange and, in my view, inappropriate chiropractic and physical therapy approaches being administered.
Dr. Rusin: What were they doing?
Rock Tape
Dr. McGill: They were putting athletes into flexion positions and applying manual technique to their back muscles making the situation worse.
The clinicians appeared not to understand the mechanisms causing the athletes pain – they had disc pain.
I suspect athletes think injury will not happen to them, and that lifting form during fatigue is not going to catch up to them, but maintaining good form is that important.
Dr. Rusin: How do CrossFit athletes compare to other elite level athletes you've worked with?

Dr. McGill: I'm not able to answer the question, "Who are the greatest athletes?" But I can address the training and whether or not it creates the best athleticism in the individual.
The programming based on going to failure with speed and high load will shorten the athletic window of many of these people. But can I say anything different for MMA, American football, and many other sports?
Training to compete in the CrossFit Games is about creating a very special competency, but our work shows it does not create the best transfer. I don't know how transferable it is to other activities and sports.
Fitness variables compete with one another. For example, one cannot train for maximum explosive power and still train for endurance.
It's not possible to enhance the fast twitch mechanisms for maximum speed and strength while enhancing fatigue resiliency by challenging the slow twitch metabolism. But this contrast does not necessarily lead to injury – only a poorer specialized athlete.
Dr. Rusin: So are you saying that CrossFit-specific programming can hinder an athlete's potential athletic development in sports other than CrossFit?
Ball Throw
Dr. McGill: The programming within CrossFit will only create a better CrossFit competitor. There are better ways to build a faster running back in football, a better rower, a better Olympic lifter, etc. Decreasing the volume of reps is just one variable, among many, that would need optimizing.
Some will argue that some CrossFit events requiring torso-bending power such as the seated overhead medicine ball throw creates athletic competency.
Dr. Rusin: I have argued that the GHD medicine ball toss is one of the single most risky movements in CrossFit, period. So, does the ball toss create any athletic competency?

Related:  Does CrossFit Lead to Injury?

Dr. McGill: I would argue that each individual only has a defined amount of training capacity. A much better set of exercises could be programmed to achieve the athletic competency without using up so much of the available training capacity.
Again, the programming is not designed to allow maximum athletic development while reducing the injury risk. The point is, risk could be mitigated, and athletic variables increased with more thought directed at programming.
Dr. Rusin: One of your recent studies – relevant to this discussion of fitness and injury risk – revealed that fitter police and firefighters got hurt sooner.

Dr. McGill: We tested several hundred firefighters together with a police SWAT team for athletic variables: biomechanical, physiological, range of motion, endurance – a robust battery of tests.
Firefighter Pistol Squat
Then we followed the firefighters for three years and the police for five. The results were the same: the fitter ones got hurt more.
Then we analyzed the injury mechanisms – the majority of injuries did not occur on duty but rather in the weight room, and they were training in the style of lifting to failure and compromising form.
The guys who trained more moderately were slightly less fit, but they were sufficiently fit, and more injury resilient. This just shows that programming matters.
Dr. Rusin: In your view, what's the most positive aspect of CrossFit that we can all learn from?

Dr. McGill: Of course, I see many positives. In CrossFit, I see people rallying around physical activity that may not otherwise become involved. When I was younger, I would have loved this – the tougher the challenge, the better.
In high school and college I trained for strength and size, then later for specific athleticisms involving speed and strength. But then I had to tone down the intensity as the mileage on my body was showing with pain and slower recovery from injury and training.
By my early 50s I made a conscious decision to make it to retirement with as much remaining athleticism as possible. Now I look around and see my contemporaries who still have their joints – and they were not the ones who thought intense training when they were younger would give them good fitness through the lifecycle.
This is only achieved with moderation.
But having stated that, I am equally dismayed by many of the students at my university who are so soft and untrained that they will suffer the health consequences of being physically weak.
If I could influence them, I would coach them in movement competency then send them to CrossFit; but a CrossFit facility concentrated on proper movement and science-based programming methodology, of course!
Dr. Rusin: What would you do if you could run CrossFit for a day?

Dr. McGill: That's a fair question and the right question for anyone who wants the right to voice an opinion. It puts it in perspective.
From a programming point of view, I would reduce the number of reps of Olympic lifts. Perhaps modify programming to singles or doubles at the beginning of a sequence. But there would need to be a way to test competency.
I would not add volume to an event that had an inherent risk for tissue damage, like the Olympic lifts, or the seated med ball throw up and over the roman chair. In fact I would drop that event as it steals resiliency from the lifts.
Actually, if reps were required, I would ban it. The laws of human motion with injury resiliency begin first with proximal stiffness enhances distal athleticism, and secondly, generate power at hips, not the spine. This will create a more competent and injury resilient athlete.
Ball Toss
So we have a list of things that you would omit from CrossFit-style programming. Are there any additions that you'd like to see in CrossFit?

Dr. McGill: Some more variety in the events to include obstacle courses, and more endurance holds, like a new military plank hold. These would maintain the mental toughness element that is a wonderful feature of CrossFit.
Interestingly this seems to be the direction of the Spartan races and Tough Mudder events. The natural team-building that occurs is wonderful. No wonder participation is growing among police, firefighter, and military groups.
We're just publishing a study where we trained a group of firefighters with a program of substantial repetitions and weights but we did not coach form – the emphasis was on completing the reps. This will sound familiar to the CrossFit community.
In a second group we had a coach insist on good form for every rep, stopping when form broke, and continually correcting.
Both groups enhanced their fitness. However, we tested their movement competency in high-demand firefighting tasks following the training sessions. The coached group moved with more competencies and fewer injury mechanisms. The high-rep, go-to-failure, form-compromising group had more injury mechanisms in their movements.
From this perspective, transference of movement skill to other events, together with fitness, required a disciplined training approach. Our data showed that performing more reps without focusing on technique did not transfer as well to other activities, while the disciplined movement form approach did.
CrossFitters interested in being better athletes with fewer injuries will be interested in this – and adjust their programming approach as a result.
Dr. Rusin: This could clean up the high incidence of injuries secondary to CrossFit programming and participation. It may broaden the scope of what CrossFit could be capable of for the transfer of athleticism into other sports.

Dr. McGill: Variety of events would absolutely assist in better transference of athleticism to other sports, and reduce injury risk.
Some strongman events would better test grip strength, frontal plane strength and isometric endurances that are lacking in many CrossFit routines. This would require the CrossFit executives to expand the brand.
Adding movement competency judging to CrossFit would reduce injury risk. Some events are currently judged for example achieving the chin to bar – but this is to count reps based on a performance metric. Judging the lifts for form and skill would be best, but difficult to administer.
Dr. Rusin: While I agree it would be great to have a metric for movement competency and execution, doesn't it all start at the foundation of coaching?
Dr. McGill: Coaches need a lot of training. I am so disappointed when I hear coaches yelling at an incompetent lifter to keep trying for more reps with awful form. This is common on YouTube clips and is poor press for CrossFit.
A great coach assesses their athletes for injury history, body type, current athleticisms, and training goals, then creates a program while training best technique. A poor coach beats a client up and makes them sore.

Related:  The Future of CrossFit Training

Dr. Rusin: That is one of the biggest misconceptions I see all over the fitness industry: the assumption that overly hard training methodology that routinely puts an athlete into the ground will produce optimal results when compared to more intelligently and goal-oriented programming.
There's a big difference between programming a movement to be "hard" and programming to be "challenging."

Dr. McGill: Absolutely. Clearly some people do not have the competency to pull a bar from the floor. They should be pulling from blocks. I suspect that incorporating this modification would reduce a lot of CrossFit lifting related injuries.
Dr. Rusin: So how can we protect our CrossFit athletes?
r. McGill: No athlete can stay in peak fitness for very long without becoming sick or breaking down. The combat sports have instituted commissions to reduce the number of fights or to monitor a fighter before reinstating their competition status.
Legislation to limit training volume for cricket bowlers (similar to baseball pitchers) in Australia is another example that these approaches reduce injury rates while preserving high performance.
Some equivalent institutional or legislative mechanism from the CF head office would assist serious CrossFit athletes

Friday, May 22, 2015

People with no kids don't know (video)

He really made me laugh....enjoy!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

How to Activate Transverse Abdominal

Hokai, this is VERY important to those who are bearing child to be and also post after delivering child to be, but it is just as important to those who have LOWER BACK issues.

During my gymnastic years, I develope lower back problems just because my discs were rubbing against each other. I could barely swim on my front when I moved sport. This was my fundamental, my base, my permanent ground set up for more extreme physical conditions from there on. And it really helped to know and understand that we have 4 LAYERS OF ABS. And the MOST important layer is the one behind your 6-pack :).

Mommy trainer

Every women needs to activate her T.V.A-Transverse abdominal muscle and pelvic floor muscles after giving birth. This is the exercise you need to do during the first 1-10 days post birth. If you have had a ‘C’ section it is better to wait for 5-14 days before you start.

Why is it Important? 

It is important to start activating your TVA along with your pelvic floor muscles as this is the first part in your rehabilitation from your pregnancy, labour and birth.  These muscles have been severely stretched and even more so after a ‘C’ section. During your pregnancy and you will have lost or have minimal neural connection to the inner core muscle now.

If you have strong TVA and pelvic floor muscles you can hold good posture whilst you are breastfeeding, carrying and lifting your baby. It will decrease the risk of back and hip pain and reduces possible post pregnancy incontinence.

Exercising the muscles sooner rather than later will help to start to correct a diastasis recti (post pregnancy abdominal separation) ultimately leading to a flatter stomach and if you want to eventually get back into a regular exercise routine activating these muscles daily is a must to prevent injury.

Where are these Important Muscles?

  • The transverse abs run from our sides (lateral) to the front (anterior), its fibers running horizontally (transverse).
  • The muscle runs transverse and is the deepest of the major abdominal muscles (the others being the rectus abdominis, and the internal and external obliques).
  • It ends (the muscle insertion) by joining with the large vertical abdominal muscle in the middle (the linea alba), where the fibers begin to curve downward and upward depending on what direction it has to go to meet the linea alba, and below the sternum it combines with next most superficial muscle (the internal oblique). This insertion runs down by the belly button where it passes over the thick abdomen muscle (the "6/8-pack") and all the ab muscle fibers join together.
The transversus abdominis (TVA) helps to compress the ribs and viscera, providing torso and pelvic stability. The transversus abdominis also helps pregnant women deliver their baby.

Watch my video guide to Activate your TVA's correctly

Make sure this is the first Exercise you do after Giving Birth and do it sooner rather than later.

You don't have to engage the muscles lying down you can think about engaging your TVA and Pelvic Floor muscles together during the day.
Have a look at your stomach when you are standing, sitting and when you are holding your baby and try to activate your T.V.A muscles.

First think about activating your Pelvic Floor Muscle then draw your belly button in towards your spine, I think about either trying to zip up a pair of jeans or imagine you have a corset on and it is being pulled tighter, it is a subtle contraction.

 You should see your tummy muscles draw in; if you can see this happening, you are activating the correct muscles. You could use a mirror to help, stand sideways and watch yourself activating these muscles.

From 1-14 days post birth this is the exercise you need to do try to think about activating your tummy muscles regularly when you are lifting, changing and carrying your baby. If you can concentrate on this for a couple of weeks post birth the connections will become stronger, the muscle strength will increase and activating these once weakened muscles will become second nature.

20 years Experience in the Fitness Industry. A Personal Trainer and Corrective Exercise Specialist. I have specialized in Pregnancy and Post Natal Exercise for more than 15 Years. My company Pregnancyexercise.co.nz is dedicated to providing professional advice during your pregnancy and beyond. I want all women to benefit from exercising both during and post pregnacy. I try to achieve this through this blog, my website and facebook sites. http://pregnancyexercise.co.nz for On-line Pregnancy and Post Natal Exercise Programs

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

My Post Pregnancy



So yeah, thought I'd share my own experience about 'recovering' back to my pre pregnancy body with the hopes that some of you may be inspired to take this guidance, as I do am weary about the safety and recovery of our fragile bodies throughout this period of time.

These were a few 'blogs' that I religiously read through my pregnancy stages, just so that their lifestyle and experience were similar to mine. One of the blogger is now expecting another baby so I will still be sticking to reading her life!


As of 4 months post pregnant, I am about 90% back to carrying my usual Les Mills Body Pump weights and feeling 70% in my core. I am however over 100% on performing Les Mills Body Balance as I find that I still have the flexibility in the joints, as well as strength from the yoga poses done during my pregnancy stage.

It is the core that I am very particular about to carry out my everyday activities. Here was my journey the moment I delivered my darling little baby.

Weight before pregnancy: 48kg
Weight at 36 weeks pregnant: 57kg
Current weight at 4 months post preg: 49kg

What's important is that one has to stop bleeding, and is clear from diastisis recti to start small exercises such as going on all fours (horse stance).

2 weeks after delivery
Body: Abs felt very achy sore, like going hard at the gym after missing for a week.
Exercises: Loads of Kegels from day 1 and Transverse abdominal activation lying on my side.
Frequency: Twice a day about 5-10mins when lying down resting.

3 weeks after delivery
Body: Check to see if there is still any diastis recti. None. Very important not to carry heavy items until next check up with gynae
Exercise: Chest push up on knees - 2 x 15 times
                Plank - 3 x 15seconds (5 sec rest)
Frequency: Once this week.

4th week
Body: still feeling weak, but taking it easy and being extra patient.
Exercise: Les Mills Body Balance 30 min
                Push ups - increase to 20,15,10
                Plank - 3 x 30 seconds (15 sec rest)
Frequency:  3 times this week

2nd month
Body: Feels like it is progressing rather slowly. Bleeding has stop so worked towards carrying more body weight type exercise.
Exercise: Les Mills Body Balance 30 min
                A mini circuit exercise of (2 rounds):
                        Push ups
                        Plank - 30 sec
                        Side plank - 45sec
                        Lunges - 2 x 10
                        Straight jumps - 3 x 10
                        Squats - 2 x 10
Frequency: 2-3 times a week

3rd Month
Body: Swelling has reduce alot, confident to start running around and jump. Kegels are still essential as I still feel a little 'lose' on that side when I jump. Struggling still on ab workouts.
1st two weeks: GRIT Cardio workout (body weight cross training is also good enough)
3rd week: Added Team teach body pump
4th week: Included Body Balance
Frequency: 3 times a week towards the end of the month

4th Month (started teaching all my classes again)
Body: Feeling stronger, but core work still needs more work. Abdominal exercises are easier.
Body Pump - twice a week
Body Balance - twice a week
GRIT - once a week
Frequency: 5 times a week.

It is most important and very extremly crucial is to have a husband or family members who are around and supportive to run all the other errands whilst you are healing. Support is essential to us mothers throughout, emotionally, physically and mentally.

As for me, I dedicate this post to my wonderful hubby who has been through thick and thin so far through this journey.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

50 Inspiring Quotes From Your Favorite Cartoon Characters

I love this!

Cartoons aren’t just for kids anymore; I think we’ve already established that. So it’s no surprise that these (mostly) cartoon character quotes apply to you no matter how old you are. Collected by playground equipment maker AAA State Of Play, these 50 quotes are from all sorts of characters from all sorts of cartoons. Whether they’re 3D or classical 2D, movies or TV series, they still have a point. Even Chuckie’s “A baby’s gotta do what a baby’s gotta do”, since it also doubles as a good explanation why babies do anything at all.
Though it could be argued that DC Comic books are a little too dark for children, and Adventure Time is for adults anyways. Then again, many materials can be read and watched by both adults and children. After all, there’s usually enough
AAA State of Play is a family owned US playground equipment manufacturer located near Indianapolis.
I guess the “family” part betrays how they got to hear most of those quotes.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Do it Better: Dynamic Warm-ups

As far as everyone is concern, warm ups are very important to prevent any injuries and to condition the muscles for a better workout. Below are some exceptionally good ones to maximise the warm up while minimising some time and of course any risks.

Warm-ups for cardio workouts have traditionally consisted of performing your cardio activity of choice at a lower intensity with gradual increases to higher intensity. While gradually increasing intensity is important, adding dynamic warm-ups to your clients’ routines can add multidimensional benefits to their cardio workouts. It can also serve to enhance their overall fitness and general wellness by decreasing the likelihood of overuse injuries.

Dynamic warm-ups, says Chris McGrath, founder of Movement First, a New York City-based health and fitness education, consulting and training organization, typically consist of integrated movements that help improve muscular strength, mobility, stability, balance, coordination, agility and/or even power. Warm-ups can include foam rolling, balance exercises, yoga-type movements, agility drills and even plyometric drills.

Because most cardio activities are performed with relatively small ranges of motion and are dominant in one plane (straight ahead, such as walking, running, cycling, stair climbing, elliptical, etc.), it is important to incorporate movements that move the body in more complete ways. This should include full ranges of motion, rotation and side-to-side movements.

McGrath suggests incorporating the following five movements into your clients’ dynamic warm-ups:
“Loosen” Up. Foam rolling can help reduce excessive tension in chronically tight areas. It can also improve blood flow and circulation. If a client has a muscle that is chronically tight, taking a few moments to “loosen” that area up can be beneficial for his or her workout and protect against overuse and/or unbalanced movements.
Extend. Most people spend much of their day sitting, which puts the knees, hips and spine in a flexed position. Counteract this tendency by incorporating movements that extend and lengthen, especially the parts that may be hunched up when sitting (hip flexors, hamstrings and upper spine).
Use Full Range-of-motion Movements. Many clients have few opportunities to move through complete ranges of motion during the day. Therefore, they can greatly benefit by introducing full ranges of motion, even if (and perhaps especially because) the cardio workout they will be performing will not.
Rotate. The hips and upper spine are designed to rotate more than other parts of the body. If these areas lose that ability, other parts may be required to do more rotating than they are designed to do (for example at the knees and lower back). Therefore, find ways to add mobility to the hips and mid-upper back.
Move Sideways. Have your clients spend some time moving the body laterally. Side-to-side movements can wake up lateral stabilizers, resulting in better control and protection for when they do move straight ahead.

With countless variations and exercises to apply, these five movements provide a great framework for designing creative and effective dynamic warm-ups for your clients. And, as mentioned earlier, you can also employ the flow-based properties of yoga to transition from one movement to the next. In the following video, Jessica Matthews, M.S., E-RYT 500, senior advisor for health and fitness education for ACE, demonstrates a six-minute yoga-inspired dynamic warm-up that will help your clients get ready for just about any activity. Urge your clients to follow this warm-up prior to your sessions together or for their between-session workouts.


For more ideas and exercises to include in a dynamic workout, check out these additional resources:

The Dynamic Warm-up Every Runner Should Try
Teach your clients how to take a few minutes to properly warm up with these multiplanar drills and you’ll be helping them run with better results for years to come.

5 Foam Rolling Exercises to Prep for a Dynamic Workout
To adequately prepare your clients for dynamic workouts, they need to do more than just a quick warm-up or a few stretches. To get the blood flowing, increase neural input to the muscles and enhance mental focus, here are five creative foam-rolling exercises that will help fire up your clients for their next dynamic workout.

Dynamic Warm-up
This continuing education course offers 25 energizing and innovative warm-up exercises to prepare your clients for superior sport performance. These techniques improve flexibility, prevent injury, reinforce proper speed movement and mechanics, elevate tissue temperature, and activate the nervous system. The dynamic warm-up sets the tone for a great workout or competition and can also be used as a stand-alone conditioning routine.

A Detailed Guide to Designing Activity-specific Warm-up and Mobility Drills
Whether you’re providing a 30-minute session for a deconditioned client or a two-hour workout for a professional athlete, these detailed guidelines and protocols will help you properly prepare your client’s body and mind for a maximally efficient training session.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Elemelons

Something Funny!! Thanks 9Gag

Friday, May 8, 2015

Why tidying up could change your life

I find this very very beneficial and useful. The one that sinks in the most is step 3; to never save your best perfumes. Therefore, I have started to open up ALL my toiletries gifts muahahaha...And no, I have stop collecting stuff from the hotel rooms.......

Thank you very much the guardian

‘I was surprised to be told that the ‘before’ picture doesn’t look that messy, but that’s the effect of shoving 80% of your crap into groaning cupboards and drawers.’

‘I was surprised to be told that the ‘before’ picture doesn’t look that messy, but that’s the effect of shoving 80% of your crap into groaning cupboards and drawers.’Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

I am stuffing a letter between two books when I realise my possessions are in charge of me. It’s a hoarder’s attempt at tidying: hiding stuff inside other stuff. My coffee table groans under books, digital devices, coffee cups, lint rollers, newspapers and one or both of my kittens, Ollie and Sebastian.
Bottles of toiletries line the bathroom mirror collecting dust, and upstairs cubbyholes burst with clothes I no longer wear. Let’s not even talk about my inbox, crammed with unread emails. The Stuff is winning. Enter The Minimalists, Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Millburn, who believe that without the abundant clutter of material possessions you’re free to prioritise the stuff that matters: family, hobbies and passion projects.
Nicodemus and Millburn launched theminimalists.com in December 2010. In the first month, it attracted only 52 visitors to the site. Last year, it drew more than two million, as well as nearly 30,000 Twitter followers – and their TED talk has had more than 600,000 hits on YouTube.

Nicodemus goes to his Montana office to Skype me because he has no home internet – one of the many effects of exchanging his £80,000 lifestyle for a decluttered existence, including a four-month “experiment” of living in a cabin with Millburn.
“It wasn’t just possessions taking up my time,” says Nicodemus, who used to work as a business manager for a telephone company. “I was working 60-80 hours a week, plus I was studying, so all my free time was spent pacifying myself with an accumulation of possessions. It was a revelation that I could be deliberate with my time – and that I can work 30 or 40 hours a week and still have a great life.”
The idea of tidying up our lives, ridding ourselves of material clutter, is ancient and enduring, a practical and emotional goal we’re constantly trying to achieve – check out “storage solutions” on Pinterest to see almost fetish-like homages to tidiness. The concept is big again now with Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic Of Tidying Up currently topping the New York Times bestseller list. Now, as we claw our way out of a recession that forced many to embrace a “less is more” lifestyle, Nicodemus and Millburn have captured a moment of backlash against the endless, mindless accumulation of stuff. Here’s how I got on with their help.

Step one Decide why you’re becoming a minimalist

“I can’t tell you how many times I went for a new car, promotion or job on impulse, never asking myself why,” says Nicodemus. “So before you even start, ask yourself: how might my life be better with less stuff?”
I get down to three reasons for waging war on stuff. First, I think my time would be better spent on humans I love than wasted on objects I don’t – half a weekend is a ridiculous amount of time to spend cleaning a flat that’s not much bigger than me. Second, when I need something, I’d like to find it, not go on a quest for it. Third, I haven’t seen Sebastian in days. He’s got to be in here somewhere.

Step two Play the 30-day minimalism game

This is a way to declutter in daily steps. On day one throw out, sell, donate or recycle an item. On day two, two items. On day three, three items, and so on. After 30 days, you’ll have removed 564 items. “People resort to coathangers and paper clips in those later days,” says Nicodemus, who recommends playing the game with a friend or work colleague “and betting something – a coffee, a steak dinner. Having that accountability helps”. If you don’t know any other clutterbugs, tens of thousands of people tweet their way through the 30-day challenge using the hashtag #minsgame.
The first thing I throw out is a pair of ripped jeans. I earmark two Post-it pads to throw out tomorrow, and I already know on the third day I’ll throw out these old lint rollers and the cup with a chip on the rim. Then I think, why not just throw them out now? Long story short, I remove about 100 items on the first day.

Step three Get rid of your ‘just-in-case’ items

In most cases, any item you’ve been hanging on to “just in case” can be replaced “in less than 20 minutes for less than £10” – usually in a charity shop, or even for free online. For example, the French grammar books I kept just in case I learn French. Many JICs will never see their save-the-day moment. In a year, Nicodemus and Millburn had to replace their disposed-of JICs fewer than five times between them.
I sheepishly admit to having a JIC bag of old mobile phones. “It’s hard to throw out mobile phones,” Nicodemus says. “You think, ‘This is worth £300. To get rid of this is to get rid of £300.’ But it’s sunk cost. We hold on to things because we spent a lot of money on them five years ago, but the second you bought it you were never going to recover that money.”
I donate the phones, as well as two sacks of clothes I was keeping just in case one day they magically fit, look good, or no longer have holes.

Step four Have a packing party

“Everything is more fun if you put ‘party’ after it,” say the minimalists. In their TED talk, Nicodemus and Millburn tell the story of the day they spent packing all Nicodemus’s stuff (with “a couple of pizza deliveries”). He then unpacked items as he needed them day by day. “After three weeks, 80% of my stuff was still sitting in those boxes. I couldn’t even remember what was in most of them.”
I pack up the bathroom, bedroom and living room and, as you can see from the “after” picture and my smug expression, it was pretty successful. I put away all my books, leaving only a notebook and the Italian textbooks I use weekly.
One small chest of drawers was totally empty once I cleared out the rubbish, so I donated it and put the stylish boxes that had been clogging up the corridor in its place. (Ah … in its place.) Clearing out the kitchen cupboards made space for the glasses my parents gave us as a housewarming gift. To my genuine astonishment, I too find life is fine with only the essentials and what’s in those boxes has become a mystery to me, although not an intriguing one.

Step five Digital decluttering

When you work from home, people think you’re amazing simply because you work rather than, say, sit in your pants drooling on yourself, watching Jeremy Kyle. “Well,” you get to say with a smug eye flutter, “you have to be very disciplined”. But while I’m disciplined enough to avoid Netflix during working hours, I’m not disciplined enough to avoid working during Netflix hours. I can’t even get through an episode of Better Call Saul without absentmindedly checking my emails. That’s the opposite of “living deliberately”.
“Try removing internet from your house,” suggests Nicodemus. “Start by removing email from your phone.” I compromise by placing email, WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook on the fifth page of my iPhone in a folder marked “Must you?”. Baby steps.

'To my genuine astonishment, I too find life is fine with only the essentials.'
‘To my genuine astonishment, I too find life is fine with only the essentials.’ Photograph: David Levene for the Guardian

The verdict Decluttering saved my life

Outer order has indeed contributed to inner calm in the household. I was surprised to be told the “before” picture doesn’t look that messy, but it’s only because I’d shoved 80% of my crap into groaning cupboards and drawers.
That’s the tough part: now that I live in such an ordered oasis I must resist the urge to hoard more clutter behind cupboard doors. Decluttering makes you feel like bathtime did when you were a kid: at best you procrastinate and at worst you put up a fight, but as soon as you do it you think, “That was fun: now I feel clean and can sleep. Why did I put it off?”
I do feel bad for not going all in with the digital declutter, so as a show of goodwill towards minimalism, I mark all my emails as read. All 1,184 of them. It feels amazing.

Whey-ing up the benefits

Interesting information on Whey. Do be careful when taking them, for they can cause side effects :)

Thanks Les Mills!

Whey-ing up the benefits 2015-05-06

Walking into a supplements store today can be a little overwhelming. There seems to be a supplement for everything and more and more products are coming to the market everyday. In order for exercisers to build and repair muscle, adequate protein intake is required with athletes needing slightly more protein than the average active individual. But what is the difference between different proteins?
Whey Protein
A complete protein, meaning it contains all 20 amino acids used by the body, Whey is generally branded as the best and the most commonly used protein supplement. Fast and easy to digest (providing you aren’t lactose intolerant), the liquid component (whey) is extracted from milk in the cheese making process. Whey, in addition to high protein content, contains good fats, minerals and vitamins all of which are beneficial for the body while supporting fat burning, boosting the immune system, improving insulin sensitivity, and decreasing appetite. The only disadvantage of whey is that the lactose intolerant or vegan can not consume it.
Soy Protein
Soy is renowned as one of the best non animal product sources of protein and a great alternative for vegetarians and vegans. Soy contains all nine essential amino acids, as well as good levels of zinc, potassium, iron, vitamin E and B complex vitamins. On top of this, soy has had a long history boasting the ability to lower cholesterol and prevent breast cancer. In recent years there have been an increasing amount of studies into soy to determine if the super food really is all it’s cracked up to be. Soy today is generally highly processed, and genetically modified and also appears in a large range of foods, but the jury still seems to be out on its pros and cons.
Pea Protein
For those who are lactose intolerant and are keeping a cautious distance from soy protein, pea might be the answer. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, as well as the gluten intolerant, unlike whey and soy, pea protein does not contain allergens. Higher than other plant based protein pea protein contains the same protein content per serve as whey protein. Pea protein contains a unique combination of essential amino acids that are great for muscle growth and weight loss.
Isolate vs concentrate
Protein Isolate and Protein Concentrate are often written all over supplement packaging, but what is the difference? Protein isolate is protein concentrate broken down even further than concentrate. The further breakdown results in smaller peptides which are more easily absorbed by the muscles but at the cost of other health benefits. In the digestive process our body will break down protein concentrate further so contrary to popular belief consuming isolate does not affect our muscle fibre’s absorption of the protein and does not affect muscle building. There are arguments which support both isolate and concentrate proteins and it seems they both have great advantages.