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Virtual Reality – 30-Minute Core – Grit – The Orange Theory – HIIT – Sprint – It’s a Fitness Revolution

shutterstock_148023677Photo Credit: InShapeNews, 2017 – Fit Fads 

By Guest Contributor Peter Manning – Founder Circuits4Life:

NEWS FEATURE

The face of the fitness industry is changing rapidly with the latest trends in fitness training – short, intense workouts have taken over, because “TIME IS MONEY”!

The major players are listening to the young, time-poor masses, who are demanding shorter, more intense, and purportedly more effective workouts and the ‘Big Boys’ are coming to the party with training regimes that would put Navy SEALs, MI-6 and Spetsnaz recruits to shame.

For more information, visit info@circuits4life.com.au.

Les Mills gives us a myriad of options to push the consumer to their physical and mental limits, with promises of rapid results and smashing personal goals. The 30-45 minute high-intensity workouts are being sought out by today’s overworked, overstretched, leisure and lifestyle challenged young high achievers, and gym owners are paying a pretty penny for the privilege.

Orange Theory tells us that they have “the best one-hour workout in the country”, backed by the science of EPOC, with big screen heart rate monitored group training designed to motivate and inspire its participants to maintain a target zone that stimulates metabolism and increases energy.

And the latest power player in fitness, F45 – F for “functional” and 45 for “45 minutes” – is the fastest growing fitness giant, who is taking over the world with their group training facilities, 27 “unique & systemised programs”, and expensive, restrictive weekly schedules.

It’s All About the Music

Ask any Fitness Professional – they know all too well that these gym-junkie-giants, with their shiny new facilities, funky branding, gleaming, sculpted “trainers” and extreme generic workout sessions have changed the face of the fitness world, and today it’s “all about the music”.

10 years ago, fitness training was all about healthy lifestyle choices and healthy bodies, but the advent of franchised training has turned the training world upside down. They pair basic, limited training techniques with extreme tempos and target heart rates, state-of-the-art facilities with modern, thumping music (that have nothing to sing along to), and the latest in fitness technology and gadgetry –all fitting very neatly into the over-crammed schedules of the ‘must have the latest’ time-poor.

Of course, this is nothing more than just a very clever ‘McMarketing’ approach to revamping good old fashioned physical training. Why? Because these guys have discovered a short-term secret to securing their piece of the 9 billion-dollar annual fitness industry pie. Get in, hit hard, and get out!

One of the major flaws of some programmes being offered by the slick players on the fitness scene is that they are so extreme so as to be, shall we put it out there, dangerous, many fail to take the holistic approach required for the health and fitness of the participant, and do not take into account that the vast majority of the general population are simply not able to do the workouts without any degree of safety. They certainly don’t fit most of us every day ‘working stiffs’, who struggle some days to walk up a set of stairs, let alone reach for the ab-tearing, knee-jolting, gut-churning targets that are bound to set our wallets on fire, as well as our butts.

What of Australia’s Ageing Population?

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australia has an ageing population, with 41.55% of the population being aged 25-54, 11.82% aged 55-64 and 15.82% aged 65 years and over. (Figures released August 2016). That means that almost a third of the population is aged 55 years and over. And with only 12.96% of the population aged 15-24 years, possibly the only group whose bodies can actually withstand the rigours of the workouts on offer, the big end of town is targeting the wrong demographic for the wrong reasons.

Despite it being common knowledge in modern times that we can’t spot-reduce our ‘trouble areas’ (that’s politically correct talk for backsides and saddle bags), we are still lured by the shiny promises and ultra-fit marketing models that the big boys are peddling, only to once again waste time and money travelling the well-worn path to rebound weight gain, injury, and disappointment.

Back to Basics For All Demographics

Can the average Fitness Professional compete in this new fast-paced, fly-by-night, cult-style arena? Of course. It’s all about getting back to basics, with simple, full-body techniques and classes that pack a punch, that can be tailored to individuals and groups and their different needs and abilities, to deliver real, safe health and fitness results, cost-effectively, and keeping clients coming back.

Fitness Professionals understand physiology and energy balance, and that to make real changes and optimise the health of the individual, no matter their age, programmes need to deliver flexibility exercise, dynamic strength-training, static strength training, aerobic exercise and circuit training.

Circuits4Life – The Trainer’s Toolbox

Peter Manning, the creator of Circuits4life, is a 20-plus year veteran Personal Trainer and outdoor events creator. Peter has seen many a gym-giant come and go over the years, yet he also sees that one thing remains true in the world of fitness and health.

“The problem with a lot of these franchise-style set-ups is that they don’t cater to the general population, who generally speaking have little to no knowledge about health and fitness, yet have the greatest health and fitness needs. It takes years and years of training experience, and quite a good deal of understanding of how the body works before an individual can be anywhere near capable of safely and effectively navigating some of these extreme workouts and programmes.” Says Peter.

“Unfortunately, clever marketing has taken over from common sense. Yes, most individuals who start a new programme of any kind will see changes to their bodies, and perhaps even their health, in the initial stages. However, some of these extreme programmes quickly lead to over-training, lack of recovery, loss of motivation, rebound weight-gain, and injury. We need to get back to basics, and make the long-term health and well-being of the average person the number one priority again.”

Peter says that it’s time to stop looking for quick-fixes that do little more than empty your wallet, and have the potential to leave the participant mentally scarred and physically impaired.

“My wife and I are both Personal Trainers, with many years of experience between us, and a track record of safety and effectiveness. Over the years, we found that the biggest hurdle for us wasn’t that we couldn’t create effective, safe programmes, but that there just weren’t enough hours in the day to both deliver classes and training sessions, and plan fresh, safe, engaging programmes, whilst fitting in a family life. We understand why some trainers simply give up and join the franchise mobs – it is extremely hard, and highly competitive, running your own fitness business, but you never give up your passion for wanting to make a real difference. This is how I came to create the “Trainer’s Toolbox”.

Peter’s “business in a box” Trainer’s Toolbox was created to give Personal Trainers the edge in an ever-changing fitness environment. With over 160 almost indestructible pre-printed PVC exercise cards, across 8 different series of exercises, the Trainer’s Toolbox comes in its own sturdy carry case and can be used indoors or outdoors.

About Circuits4Life

Partnered with the Circuits4life pre-planned ‘Done4You’ training sessions, Fitness Professionals can now offer their clients literally thousands of consistent, professional and safe workouts, without the headaches that come with having to come up with fresh session ideas, or relying on dodgy stick figure drawings or ‘winging’ sessions. The Trainer’s Toolbox allows the trainer to cater to every sector of the population, who come from different backgrounds and age groups, and have varying degrees of fitness, as well as the young time-poor, to deliver real results, without all the expensive razzle dazzle, or the prospect of long-term damage.

The Trainer’s Toolbox is real training for real people by real people.

For more information, visit info@circuits4life.com.au.

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New Chronic Pain Treatment Revolutionises Sufferer Therapy Options

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Photo Credit: Hamza Butt, 2016 – Pain 

NEWS FEATURE

The Resolve Pain Clinic, based in Caine, Western Australia, has announced that a second pilot study and recent in-clinic testing suggests a new, inexpensive neurological treatment method can actually switch off chronic pain signalling, often in just minutes. This new chronic pain strategy has been found to be useful for a broad range of chronic pain types, from back and neck pain to arthritis pain, and even fibromyalgia.

For more information, visit www.resolvepainclinic.com.au.

The study, conducted by The Lifeworks Group in Western Australia, is the first of its kind and offers a better way to help relieve and even entirely eliminate non-malignant chronic pain, regardless of how severe or how long the patient has suffered. Investigators found that over half the study group was able to reduce pain immediately, with others experiencing varying but significant degrees of relief. In fact, there appears to be very few people who don’t get significant benefit from the treatment. Benefits are not just physical either, the financial cost of treatment is also reduced.

The total economic cost of chronic pain in Australia, during 2016, was over $A55 billion. Cases of chronic pain in Australia alone numbered more than 6 million and ranged from neck, back and arthritis pain. Furthermore, the Journal of Pain estimates the cost of chronic pain in the US is more than $US635 billion annually. Therefore, chronic pain costs more than cancer, heart disease and diabetes to treat. However, the introduction of the Resolve Pain Clinic’s new treatment program hopes to alleviate much of this cost in coming years.

The F2 Chronic Pain Treatment Program

Christine Sutherland, the developer of the F2 chronic pain treatment program, said that even two years after the original pilot study in 2003, participants reported that they were still mostly free of pain and able to go back to their lives.

Ms Sutherland said, “We’re excited to finally unveil this new proven approach and to share our findings, because we’ve known for a long time that very few people are being helped by current methods, and many people give up all hope. Finally, we can offer something that not only works but which works very quickly and quite dramatically for most people.”

“This approach recognises that chronic pain is very different to acute pain and that the pain signals are being generated within the nervous system itself, as a form of conditioning. These conditioned responses, once identified, can now be very rapidly extinguished, and that’s why the results are so extreme and so fast.”

Moving Beyond Traditional Pain Therapies

Sutherland notes that while traditional strategies such as cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (commonly known as “mindfulness”) achieve results, these are no better than placebo, with any effect typically vanishing as soon as the client has left the psychologist’s office.

“What we need to do instead of blaming the patient’s attitude,” said Sutherland, “Is to identify and then eliminate or extinguish the problematic conditioning. This way, the person doesn’t have to try to talk themselves out of their distress over their pain. Instead, we just switch the pain off.”

“What we see in the program is usually a continuation of the ups, downs, and flaring of chronic pain, but with much lower levels of pain, with less frequent and smaller flares, and a definite downward trend in pain. We typically expect to see quite a fast reduction or even complete elimination of the pain, permanently, so the person no longer needs pain medication and can return to their usual role.”

Ms Sutherland said that the new method must only be undertaken under the strict supervision of a qualified healthcare professional, in partnership with the pain team. This approach maintains a safe environment where everyone is fully informed, medication can be properly supervised, and any new symptoms are investigated promptly.

F2 Treatment Not a Magic Cure-all Remedy

However, Sutherland said the program isn’t a magic remedy. “Although it appears to have an extraordinarily high success rate,” Sutherland said, “There is no such thing as 100% effectiveness. There will always be those who do not respond well, particularly when the pain is actually caused by inflammation for example. Such pain is not real chronic pain, but actually acute pain, which utilises very different nerve paths to chronic pain and is really a very different beast altogether. This is why participation in the program is by doctor referral only. Our stringent approach ensures proper diagnosis before admission, and continued communication with the supervising pain team throughout treatment, which including the patient’s referring doctor.”

Ms Sutherland is hopeful that this new approach to the treatment of chronic pain will soon become the “gold standard” so that many more people may be helped instead of being consigned to a life of daily agony.

About the Resolve Pain Clinic

The Resolve Pain Clinic, Situated in Western Australia, investigates, identifies and then extinguishes pain so sufferers can get back to living an active life. The clinic’s mission is to uncover faster more effective therapeutic-based solutions that eliminate pain for chronic sufferers globally.

Healthy Eating: The Mediterranean Diet

NEWS-IN-BRIEF FEATURE:

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Photo Credit: atl10trader, 2010: Fish Dish: Mediterranean Cod

Research indicates that the Mediterranean diet reduces the risk of illnesses such as heart disease and stroke. However, this diet is a lifestyle choice rather than a short-term craze to lose weight and improve health.

The most renown Mediterranean diet research is the 2013 ‘Predimed study’ of 7,447 individuals considered at high risk of cardiovascular disease. This four-year study found those who consumed a Mediterranean diet reduced their risk of heart disease and stroke by over 30 percent.

What Foods are Considered as Mediterranean?

This diet revolves around clean eating, where natural foods – those grown in a garden or caught in an ocean – are eaten, instead of processed foods – those manufactured by man.

The basics of the Mediterranean diet are:

  1. Eating two servings of fish weekly.
  2. Adding vegetables to every meal.
  3. Consuming fresh fruit and nuts daily.
  4. Using olive oil for cooking.

To switch to the Mediterranean diet, gradually substitute unhealthy processed foods for those considered as healthy. Make changes weekly to promote long-term lifestyle habits rather than fads.

What Mediterranean Diet Recipes are Popular?

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Photo Credit: atl10trader, 2010: Fish Dish: Mediterranean Cod

Griddled Chicken with Quinoa Greek Salad

5 stars (25 ratings) | Ready in 20 mins | EASY | SERVES 4

A light dish of grilled chicken fillets and authentic salad with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomato and mint.
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • 473 kcal
  • 20g fat
  • 8g saturates
  • 35g carbs
  • 8g sugars
  • 2g fibre
  • 37g protein
  • 1.4g salt

Ingredients

  • 225g quinoa
  • 25g butter
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g chicken mini fillets
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 300g vine tomato, roughly chopped
  • handful pitted black kalamata olives
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • small bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • juice and zest ½ lemon

Method

  1. Cook the quinoa as instructed on the packet. Then rinse and drain.
  2. Mix butter, garlic and chilli into a paste.
  3. Season the chicken fillets with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in a hot griddle pan. Cook until cooked through. Then, transfer to a plate. Place the butter, garlic and chilli paste over the chicken and allow to melt.
  4. Place the feta, mint, olives, onion and tomatoes into a bowl. Then, stir the cooked quinoa through the salad. Mix in any remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Next, season well.
  5. Serve by placing the chicken fillet on top of the salad, and drizzle with the buttery juices.
Griddled chicken with quinoa Greek salad
Photo Credit: Good Food Magazine, 2012: Griddled Chicken with Quinoa Greek Salad

Griddled Chicken with Quinoa Greek Salad

5 stars (25 ratings) | Ready in 20 mins | EASY | SERVES 4

A light dish of grilled chicken fillets and authentic salad with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, tomato and mint.
  • Gluten-free

Nutrition: per serving

  • 473 kcal
  • 20g fat
  • 8g saturates
  • 35g carbs
  • 8g sugars
  • 2g fibre
  • 37g protein
  • 1.4g salt

Ingredients

  • 225g quinoa
  • 25g butter
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 400g chicken mini fillets
  • 1½ tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 300g vine tomato, roughly chopped
  • handful pitted black kalamata olives
  • 1 red onion, finely sliced
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • small bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • juice and zest ½ lemon

Method

  1. Cook the quinoa as instructed on the packet. Then rinse and drain.
  2. Mix butter, garlic and chilli into a paste.
  3. Season the chicken fillets with olive oil and salt and pepper. Place in a hot griddle pan. Cook until cooked through. Then, transfer to a plate. Place the butter, garlic and chilli paste over the chicken and allow to melt.
  4. Place the feta, mint, olives, onion and tomatoes into a bowl. Then, stir the cooked quinoa through the salad. Mix in any remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest. Next, season well.
  5. Serve by placing the chicken fillet on top of the salad, and drizzle with the buttery juices.
Pancetta-wrapped fish with lemony potatoes

Photo Credit: Good Food Magazine, 2012: Pancetta-wrapped Fish with Lemony Potatoes

Pancetta-wrapped Fish with Lemony Potatoes

5 stars (15 ratings) | PREP: 10 MINSCOOK: 10 MINS15 MINS | EASY | SERVES 2

Wrap up sustainable white fish in crispy bacon and serve as an all-in-one tray bake with potatoes.

Nutrition: per serving

  • 521 kcal
  • 25g fat
  • 6g saturate
  • 26g carbs
  • 3g sugars
  • 5g fibre
  • 46g protein
  • 1.6g salt

Ingredients

  • 300g new potato
  • 100g green bean
  • small handful black kalamata olives
  • zest and juice 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 chunky pollock fillets or another sustainable white fish
  • 4 slices pancetta or thinly sliced smoked streaky bacon
  • few tarragon sprigs, leaves picked

Method

  1. Preheat an oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.
  2. Place the potatoes in a pan of water and boil for 10-12 mins until tender. Add the beans for the remaining 2-3 mins. Drain and slice the potatoes in half. Tip into a roomy baking dish and toss with the olives, lemon zest and oil. Season well.
  3. Season the fish, then wrap with the pancetta or bacon. Place on top of the potatoes.
  4. Bake the fish until cooked through (12 minutes approx). Then squeeze a little lemon juice over the fish, and scatter with tarragon before serving.

JOIN THE HURLEY SURF CLUB’S FREE SESSIONS TO SURF LIKE A PRO

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NEWS FEATURE:

If you want to surf like a pro, but never had the confidence to follow your dream, then the Hurley Surf Club, with global hotspots, can make it happen. In Australia, the club is helping surfers progress from ‘wipeouts’ to ‘gnarly’ with their surf coaching program that’s travelling around New South Wales before heading to Victoria and, South and Western Australia.

The Hurley Surf Club coaching sessions are ‘free’. To participate, surfers must be over 12-years and able to catch waves and ride the line. So, the sessions are not for beginner boarders. Instead, they are designed to improve grommets, wahines and other surfer’s wave manoeuvres, so they rip and aim for a perfect 10.

How Long are the Free Coaching Sessions?

The free coaching sessions run for an hour and a half. Each session consists of eight surfers who ride the waves for an hour and are taped by a videographer. A surfing coach will then analyse the video footage and explain how a surfer can improve their surfing technique. Coaches typically review each session wave by wave so they can identify skills that can enhance surfing aptitude.

What are the New South Wales Session Times?

At present, there are three sessions listed in New South Wales, but the website is continually being updated. So, be sure to frequently drop by to check out any changes to session times and locations.

The New South Wales sessions listed are:

Saturday, December the 10th

  • Location: Hurley Surf Club, North Wollongong, N.S.W
  • Sessions: 8am to 10.30am; 11am to 1.30pm; and 2pm and 4.30pm

Sunday, December the 11th

  • Location: Hurley Surf Club, Kiama, N.S.W
  • Sessions: 8am to 10.30am;  and 11am to 1.30pm

Saturday, December the 17th

  • Location: Hurley Surf Club, Palm Beach, N.S.W
  • Sessions: To be announced

Are There Other Sessions?

Similar sessions will be held in Hawaii, California and New York in the United States; Hossenger, France; San Sebastian, Spain; and Newquay in the United Kingdom. Hurley will also be adding more regions in the future.

Does the Hurley Surf Club Have Other Offers?

For those surfers who miss out on a free training session or who want to improve their wave riding skills, they can take advantage of the how-to videos on some top manoeuvres such as the Backside Curve, Layback Hack and Frontside Tuberide. Surfers can also ask some of the world’s best ocean athletes questions about surfing.

Plus, surfers can send in a video of themselves surfing for analysis by Hurley. All the wave riders need to do is create a minute long video of them riding two right and two left waves. They can then upload this video to YouTube. Next, they’ll need to sign up for a consultation on the Hurley website, and fill out a questionnaire. A Hurley surfing coach will then review their video and provide comment within a day.

The resident online coach for Australia is currently Barton Lynch. Other countries have similar surfing legends providing feedback.

Follow us on Twitter for more news, tips and inspiration.

Explore our Pinterest boards.

Don’t forget to leave us a comment.

We like to hear what you have to say🙂

INTERDENTAL CLEANING GOING WHERE NO TOOTHBRUSH HAS EVER BEEN

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NEWS FEATURE:

Ask most dentists about oral hygiene and they’ll say that you must brush twice a day and floss regularly to avoid tooth decay. But, not all dentists agree. Some will suggest that there are better alternatives to floss, which often isn’t used correctly for it to be effective. This is where interdental cleaning makes a spectacular entrance that leaves the crowd breathless.

According to research studies, the effectiveness of flossing is inconclusive. In fact, a review of controlled trials, published in 2012, which compared the effects of tooth brushing and flossing to just tooth brushing found that there was little or no difference between brushing alone, and brushing and flossing, concerning the reduction of gingivitis and plaque build-up. After reviewing 12 studies and more than 1,000 participant results, scientists deduced that while flossing did reduce gingivitis and plaque build-up, these reductions were small and almost insignificant. Thus, it was deemed that flossing was not reliable.

Flossing

Dentist, Dr CJ Henley, of Henley and Kelly Dentistry, agrees that there is little evidence to suggest that flossing is effective.

“Most decay that I see clinically is related to diet with a high frequency of carbohydrate intake, or decrease in quantity or quality of saliva that occurs with increasing age, and increased number of medications,” said Dr. Henely. “With that being said, I still recommend that patients floss, as there is no evidence that it is harmful.”

Dr. Henley suggests that the best way to prevent tooth decay is to watch what you eat, by reducing the amount of carbohydrates (sugar) that you consume. He also recommends using fluoride toothpaste and mouthwash twice daily, and to visit your dentist regularly.

But, this still doesn’t answer the question of why flossing is ineffective. Well in response, the most common reason given for flossing not stepping up to the mark in terms plaque reduction effectiveness was flossing is not done correctly. So just how do you floss properly then?

According to the Australian Dental Association flossing can be done in five steps, which uses about 45 centimeters of floss, two hands and a gentle sliding action of floss over each and every tooth, carefully, so that you remove plague and don’t injure your gums. Now if you’re thinking this procedure sounds way too complicated and time-consuming for even the most dedicated of oral hygiene fanatics, then you’re not alone. Groans could be clearly heard from at least several kilometres away when flossing was mentioned. So what’s a better alternative to flossing then?

Take a deep breath, here comes Miss Interdental herself.

Interdental Cleaning

Interdental brushes are the alternative to flossing. They’re simple to use, look funky in bright and bold colours, and according to research, are more efficient at removing plaque.

One study states that interdental brushes, manufactured by TePe were effective at removing plaque, and favoured by users. The different brush sizes were said to give users access to various sites within a user’s mouth, depending on the user’s dexterity.

A systematic review of seven studies, which evaluated interdental brushes and floss effectiveness concluded that study participants preferred using an interdental brush. This report also stated that findings revealed that interdental brushes were more effective than floss in bleeding reduction and removal of plaque build-up over a 4 to 12-week period.

Now if you think this sounds too good to be true, then I just have to say that I’ve tested these little pocket rockets myself. Yes, me. I’ve poked and prodded my teeth with these colourful gems, and my conclusion is that they work. I’ve removed tartar build-up that’s sat on my teeth for years, and this was just in a week. My pearly whites are now pearlier and whiter than they’ve ever been, and my gums, well they look as fresh as the day I was born.

I found the key to using TePe interdental brushes was to find the right size and shape for you and your teeth. TePe has a range of options in interdental brushes, so there is a brush to suit everyone. There are longer and shorter handled brushes, some are angled, while others are not, and the brush heads are narrower or wider so they can fit in all sorts of interdental spaces.

Of course, if you’re still questioning why you’d put down that dear ole’ friend you call ‘floss’ and trade it for some colourful stranger that you’ve never heard of before, then all I have to say is, “You’ll never ever know unless you give interdental a go.”

For more information about the TePe interdental brush, or to order your brushes, please visit www.tepesmiles.com.au or www.oralcare4u.com.au.

THE RUNVENTURE TOUR IN BALI

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IN-DEPTH NEWS FEATURE:

Mention ‘Bali’ to just about any Australian and images of beaches, Bintang Beer and ‘Rhonda and Ketut’ instantly spring to mind for many. But there’s much, much more to this beautiful tropical island paradise and a new ‘RunVenture’ tour promises to show the slightly more adventurous traveller the ‘real’ Bali.

The tour is the brainchild of Sputnik, Chief Swashbuckler at The Swashbucklers Club (and regular InShape News contributor). Although Sputnik has been visiting Bali for more than 20 years, clocking up more trips than he can remember, it’s only been his involvement in ultra marathon trail running over the past few years that has sparked his imagination to develop a unique kind of tour there.

“Bali has lots of great tours,” said Sputnik. “These are typically for surfers, people who want to do Yoga and those looking to trek. But there was absolutely nothing for runners,” he said. “So when I was there in 2012 and wanted to go running, I found it almost impossible to find interesting and safe places to run. That got me thinking. So I asked myself, “What if I found some cool places, then invited people to come over and go running with me?” From there the cogs turned.”

The result is something Sputnik calls a ‘RunVenture Tour.’

“It’s simple really,” said Sputnik. “There’s a little bit of running, a little bit of adventure and a whole lot of awesomeness,” he said.

The RunVenture Tour

It’s a concept Sputnik says should suit a wide variety of fitness types, from relative beginners to more experienced runners. Originally, he planned on creating something super challenging for even his craziest ultra running friends, but eventually settled on a more modest experience that even includes a leisurely mountain bike ride option for those who wanted to give their feet a rest on a few of the days.

“The original plan was to find 20 to 30-kilometre runs and do that every day for seven days,” said Sputnik. “But after doing the research, hiring guides to take me to various places, checking out the difficulty of the roads and trails and experiencing the effect of the warm weather, I decided to tone it down a bit,” he said.

The longest run is a 17-kilometre beach run. However, Sputnik is quick to point out even that even this stage has a shorter version with runners able to drop in half-way so the distance travelled is more comfortable.

On most of the seven days, the runs are about 10 kilometres in distance, with the routes ranging from gentle, downhills to steep inclines up to the top of an active volcano.

“Yep, the day that we run to the active volcano top will be tough,” said Sputnik. “I can’t imagine too many people being able to run to the summit of Mt Batur. But once you’re up there you can enjoy the scenery,” he said. “Mind the descent is also somewhat challenging.”

Other runs include a ‘Jungle Run’, ‘Lake Run’, ‘Waterfall Run’, ‘Elephant Run’ and ‘River Run’ with the emphasis, says Sputnik, placed more on the experience and the destination, rather than any particular pace or distance.

“Most running events around the world are races of some sort,” said Sputnik. “Single day races, stage races, or actual training camps and it’s all fairly hard-core and competitive,” he said. “Even if you just go for the experience, there’s still a level of pressure, whereas this is fundamentally different and way more fun.”

“Every run finishes somewhere exciting. This maybe river rafting, zip-lining through the trees or waterfall diving,” said Sputnik. “There’s always a soft adventure component to what we’re doing,” he said. “Nothing too crazy, but certainly enough to keep things interesting.”

In addition to the scenic runs, highlights of the complete tour include visiting newly hatched baby sea turtles, rafting down the Ayung River, a sunrise dolphin cruise, a tree top adventure course, waterfall diving, watching the sunrise from the top of a volcano and a visit to Bali’s best Elephant Park.

Non-Runners Are Also Welcome

The other fundamental difference is that he RunVenture Tour has been designed with non-runners in mind.

“In a lot of ways, running is an inherently selfish activity, particularly when you’re running longer distances,” said Sputnik. “You get out there for hours at a time and do your thing. Many runners leave friends and family behind while they run (the selfish act) and the only way they can get involved is to be part of your support crew,” he said. “So we went to a lot of effort to make sure that those not running could join in on. So every day a guided walk in a similar location is held, then everyone joins for the adventure activities.”

This makes the tour perfect for non-running partners and even children who are up for a bit of adventure and a lot of fun. Sputnik says the first tour in August has already had a lot of interest and is on the verge of selling out, so plans to run several more tours next year are already in progress.

“We were pretty sure people would like the idea,” said Sputnik. “But it’s honestly blown us away,” he said. “We’ve had interest from as far and wide as Singapore, the United States and South Africa, and they all want to know more. Already we’re looking at launching a RunVenture Tour next year in another really exciting destination.”

For more information on the Bali, RunVenture Tour visit the SwashbucklersClub.com.

GWINGANNA LIFESTYLE RETREAT HELPING TO REDUCE HIGH LEVELS OF STRESS

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IN-DEPTH NEWS FEATURE:

The Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat is changing the lives of Australians, one guest at a time. Tucked away in the mountains above the Gold Coast in the Tallebudgera Valley, this lifestyle retreat aims to reduce stress, which according to Lifeline Australia affects 91 percent of Australians in at least one important area of their lives while almost 50 percent feel very stressed.

This level of stress is not only impacting the social lives of Australians, but it is also creating an adverse effect on the economy. Medibank reported that Australian employees are absent an average of 3.2 working days each year due to stress, which costs the country’s economy approximately $14.2 billion.

Gwinganna is focused on minimising this impact. The retreat sends its guests on a journey of discovery that leads them to a way to restore their health and vitality while de-stressing and unwinding. Not far from Brisbane, the retreat truly feels like it is situated a world away from the hectic pace of current Australian life. From detoxification and wellness techniques to organic cuisine and nutritional counselling to exercise and relaxation, this retreat delivers a comprehensive, holistic approach that has changed the lives of its guests.

The Gwinganna Team are Relaxation Focused

Behind Gwinganna, which is situated on a plateau and spans over 500 acres, is a team of experienced health retreat, lifestyle and culinary professionals. This includes Tony de Leede, owner and founder; Sharon Kolkka, general manager and lifestyle specialist; Hermann Schafellner, resident organic chef; and Carolina Rossi, nutritionist. All share a philosophy of helping people to add balance and ignite their passion for personal health and wellness.

Surrounded by ocean and valley views, Gwinganna, which means ‘lookout’ gains its name from the Australian Aboriginal people who were the original custodians of the land. With a vision of creating a full-service health retreat that embraces its heritage, successful Australian Body Works developer and owner de Leede has spent a number of years renovating the Gwinganna property. Additions include more accommodation, a gymnasium, another pool and training studios. Then, there are the custom-designed spa facilities and professionally trained staff.

“The focus is on the guest experience,” said de Leede. “Our staff members’ ability to understand and impact upon the retreat experience consistently makes Gwinganna a ‘must visit’ location and helps fulfil our objective of helping people alleviate their stress,” he said.

Gwinganna Strives to Deliver Lifelong Changes

The retreat is not your traditional health and wellness getaway. Instead, it aims to turn the guest experience into lifelong lifestyle changes. This means that focus is placed on the guest experience, says Kolkka the retreat’s general manager, which is an evolutionary process that serves as a support network for busy, exhausted people who are seeking to improve the quality of their lives.

“Each year, we review our programs,” said Kolkka. “This ensures that we are delivering the skills and support that people need to thrive and enjoy satisfying lives full of vitality,” she said.

“The structure of each day is unique and custom-designed to work with the body’s natural circadian rhythm,” said Kolkka. “The concept of afternoon Dreamtime is unique to our retreat and allows guests to rest, recover and enjoy the spa on their schedule,” she said. “Physical activities are divided into Yin and Yang, and guests learn how to understand their bodies’ needs.”

“Beyond the extensive service menu of health and wellness options, our location provides a way for guests to get up-close and personal with wallabies, koalas and native birds,” said Kolkka.

Additionally, Gwinganna is committed to sustainability. Currently, it is the only Australian wellness retreat to be eco-certified. This commitment extends to every aspect of the retreat – from its purchasing policy and organic food and skin care to a full-time organic gardener who teaches guests how to grow their own food, along with an organic chef who prepares all of the guest meals.

Organic and Biodynamic Foods Add to the Gwinganna Experience

Speaking of food, Gwinganna provides a bountiful culinary experience to show guests how delicious and fulfilling it can be to focus on organic, biodynamic food. The menu may also may make it easier for guest’s to avoid alcohol, cigarettes, drugs and foods that are not allowed at the retreat while they undergo detoxification.

“Gwinganna’s food philosophy is to use low human intervention when preparing food,” said Rossi. “This increases the nutritional value and helps the body absorb more nutrients,” she said. “Having an organic diet dramatically reduces pesticide levels in the body, decreasing the body’s toxicity. Finally, a balanced diet of carbohydrates, proteins and fats can help with various body functions, optimizing health.”

The onsite organic chef could not agree more with this philosophy. Chef Schafellner creates the retreat’s menu with the help of de Leede and Rossi, ensuring suitability and nutritional content.

“Real food is energising for the body and adds vitality,” said Schafellner. “In turn, this helps motivate people to be more physically active,” he said.

“Focusing on organic, clean food that minimizes toxins in the body can also improve one’s mental and emotional state,” said Schafellner. “I’ve watched guests change over the week that they are here,” he said. “It’s amazing and rewarding.”

Gwinganna Guests Feel Empowered to Live Healthier 

Many Gwinganna guests have experienced significant changes, including a sense of calmness, vibrancy and contentment. They are implementing Gwinganna principles, which have helped change their outlook and reduce or eliminate stress.

Guests, such as Angela Egan, entrepreneur, and Kirby Leitch, a nurse placement supervisor, who have spent time at Gwinganna cannot speak highly enough of the retreat and its positive impact on their lives.

Egan, who holds a bachelor of commerce degree in human resource management and marketing, visited the Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat on three occasions. Her first visit was in February of 2009, her second in January of 2010, and her last was in October of 2012.

“The first time I experienced Gwinganna I was suffering from chronic fatigue and sleep deprivation,” said Egan. “Since participating, I have significantly changed my life for the better,” she said.

“The best thing about all of the programs at Gwinganna is that they are a combination of physical, emotional, spiritual and nutritional wellbeing,” said Egan. “They are a holistic program that ensure participants can share as little or as much as they want,” she said. “They also always have yin (slower more nurturing) and yang (faster more action based) activities so that it provides a balance and caters for everyone on the program.”

“Above all though the food is absolutely amazing,” said Egan. “It is 100 percent organic and about 25 percent of it is grown on site,” she said. “It is delicious and nutritious and you feel as though you are dinning in a 5-star restaurant for every meal – well you kind of are.”

Leitch, who holds a bachelor of nursing degree and a graduate diploma in psychological studies, visited the Gwinganna Retreat in December of 2012 on a 7-day detox package.

“It was a health reset button for my body,” said Leitch. “I detoxed off caffeine, dairy, gluten, sugar and alcohol,” she said. “I exercised every day and the spa treatments were amazing.”

Leitch, says that at-first the package was testing, especially as her body adjusted to a lack of the everyday stimulants it had been used to consuming.

“It was challenging for the first 3 days, in the sense that I experienced headaches and nausea at times,” said Leitch. “Once this past, I experienced better quality sleep, increased energy levels and a general feeling of happiness within myself,” she said. “I could feel myself improving every day.”

“The spa sanctuary is absolutely beautiful,” said Leitch. “The treatments are aimed at making you feel calm, relaxed and pampered,” she said. “There are many options to choose from. It’s hard to pick.”

“It [the retreat] allowed me to take a break from my life,” said Leitch. “After partaking in the seven-day detoxification program, I felt healthier on a physical, mental, emotional and spiritual level,”she said. “As a registered nurse, I learned a lot about illness and diseases as well as prevention through a holistic approach. I have been able to incorporate in my life and those of my patients.”

For more information about the Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat, please visit www.gwinganna.com.

 

PHYSICAL EDUCATION COLLEGE GIVES CAMDODIAN CHILDREN A BRIGHTER FUTURE

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IN-DEPTH NEWS FEATURE:

Aiming to improve life for disadvantage children in Cambodia, many of whom work from a young age and live in poverty, the Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) and the Cambodian Children’s Fund (CCF) have teamed-up to offer a mutually rewarding and life-changing educational experience held in Cambodia for ACPE students and Cambodian Children.

The ACPE Cambodian Cultural Experience, which began in 2011, is helping Cambodian children by giving them a reprieve from their exhausting daily activities. A recent Understanding Children’s Work (UCW) report estimates that some 52 percent of 7 to 14-year-olds, or 1.4 million children are working. This, says the UCW, prevents children from gaining an education and also harms their individual welfare. Plus, it slows the ability to tackle poverty.

Yet, programs like the ACPE’s Cambodian Cultural Experience Program is bringing attention to the plight of Cambodian children and providing them with education, new sport and activity experiences, and life-skills training not to mention fun.

Australian College of Physical Education Students Gain a Great Deal from the Experience

Scott Reynolds, who is 21-years-old, has seen first-hand that the Australian College of Physical Education (ACPE) and the Cambodian Children’s Fund are working to improve the lives of disadvantaged children in Cambodia. For the second year in a row, Reynolds has been fortunate enough to travel to Cambodia on a three-week programme that has enriched his own studies and focused on helping others upon graduation.

Reynolds, currently studying for a Bachelor of Applied Fitness at the ACPE, has gone from the ‘happy shock’ of his first visit in 2011 to mental and physical preparation for the second trip he took in December 2012.

“While a lot of the program was the same, which helped me get ready by being more fit and organised with my hydration and diet plan, I also noted small changes that made it feel like a new experience,” said Reynolds. “There were new buildings and programmes for the kids,” he said.

“Best of all, though, was the fact that the number of kids participating had greatly increased from the previous year,” said Reynolds. “Some of the same kids I had met the previous year had greatly improved their English and fundamental movement skills,” he said.

Sarah Trees is another Australian College of Physical Education student who could not resist returning to Cambodia for a second time. Trees who first went to Cambodia in 2011 says the trip teaches her so much about herself.

“It’s strange to think that the people you meet, who live in such poverty, can teach you so much about what kind of person you want to be,” said Trees. “Compared to us, these people have nothing and yet they are some of the happiest, grateful and peaceful people I have ever met,” she said.

The Australian College of Physical Education Program Improves Life For Cambodian Children

The program is a way to take Australian students outside of the classroom and into the real world. The aim is to create well-rounded students through their time helping Cambodian children improve their own chances of having a better life. For both the Australian students and the Cambodian children, it is an opportunity to experience new things, challenge themselves, and exchange cultures for a life-long impact.

“It is an amazing live experience,” said Reynolds. “I felt very happy and warm inside, knowing that what I was doing was so rewarding,” he said.

Yet, he has some practical advice for anyone considering the programme.

“This trip is not for everyone,” Reynolds said. “It is very demanding. The temperatures and humidity can be challenging,” he said.

“You work at least 12 hours a day,” said Reynolds. “It’s a third world country, and it quickly reminds you how different it is from Australia,” he said.

Neglect and Malnutrition are Pushed Aside for Swimming, Health and Wellness and First Aid  

Despite many of the Cambodian children show signs of suffering like physical neglect, malnutrition, acid burns and limb amputation, they are positive, enthusiastic and eager to learn. Learning environments include classroom instruction and  essential life skills such as swimming, health and wellness, and first aid. Then, there is the sport, which introduces children to Australian favourites like Ultimate Frisbee, Oz Tag, and Cricket as well as Volleyball, Soccer, and Basketball.

On his trip this year, Reynolds experienced just how eager these students were to have these opportunities.

“The children are very thankful,” said Reynolds. “They will listen intently to every word and the demonstrations you give them,” he said. “Then, they will go and practice for hours until they have perfected what you showed them.”

“Although it [the program] is only three weeks, these children have a chance to see what is possible, and I hope it helps lead to positive change for them,” said Reynolds.

For more information about the APCE and the Cambodian Cultural Experience, please visit www.acpe.edu.au. To donate to the Cambodian Children’s Fund or learn more about the plight of Cambodian children, please visit www.cambodianchildrensfund.org.

Ultimate Frisbee Defined

LAYNE BEACHLEY AIMS TO LEVEL THE AUSTRALIAN PLAYING FIELD WITH STAR FOUNDATION

fencer

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IN-DEPTH NEWS FEATURE:

Layne Beachley, Australian surfing icon and founder of Aim for the Stars Foundation, a women’s sponsorship group, is seeking to level the playing field when it comes to equality in Australian sport. With sheer focus and determination, Beachley’s foundation is empowering women to reach new heights in sport.

According to Mamamia.com, a women’s news site, women are getting a raw deal when it comes to Australian sport. While 64.6 percent of girls are involved in organised sport, only 12.8 percent are still participating by the age of 35. Many believe this is attributed to the lack of equality in sport. Particularly when only 9 percent of media coverage is about female athletes.

Inequality in Australian Sport

Beachley, a professional surfer, witnessed the disparity in the Australian sporting world first-hand.

“My male counterparts were earning two to three times more than I was and that was considered fair,” said Beachley. “There were times I could not compete due to financial pressure even though I was rated number two in the world on the ASP Women’s World Tour,” she said.

Beachley says she did not want other young talent to feel this same pressure. From its humble beginnings in 2004 where four girls received grants to help fund their athletic careers, the Aim for the Stars Foundation awarded 28 grants this year and has helped 146 Australian girls with their athletic and personal achievement goals since its inception.

Through the foundation, Beachley is not only providing financial support to young female athletes, but she is also giving them moral support. The foundation’s annual fundraiser pays to send the girls to Sydney. Here, they participate in a goal orientation workshop, a team building exercise, which this year was in the form of surf lessons with Beachley, and a glam session for the gala where the girls celebrate their achievements and raise awareness and funding.

“It fills me with a sense of pride, satisfaction, and joy to know that I am having a positive impact on another person’s life,” said Beachley. “It’s very rewarding to be able to provide a stepping stone for these individuals and encourage them to fulfil their sporting dreams,” she said. “We stay in contact with all recipients to track their progress and offer any further assistance and support.”

Aim for the Stars Recipients

Two individual success stories from this year illustrate the foundation’s achievements. Alanah Maclaurin is 15-years-old and a passionate fencer who is currently ranked 5th in Australia for Under 17 Epee. Due to an autoimmune disorder that stopped her from swimming or participating in any contact sports, Alanah found it hard to find a sport that suited these restrictions. Compounding this was a neurological disorder that caused some motor skills and learning difficulties. Yet, fencing has helped to improve coordination and visual perception. Now she dreams of representing Australia at the Olympics and is also learning to become a coach.

“The grant will allow me to travel to competitions to improve my ranking and hopefully represent Australia overseas,” said Maclaurin when interviewed by the Aim for the Stars Foundation. “In order to represent Australia, I need to improve my ranking by competing on the Australian Fencing Circuit,” she said. “However, as I live in Perth, this is very costly as only 1 of the 6 annual events is held in Perth each year, so I’ll use the grant money to assist with travel and accommodation costs for interstate National competitions.”

Then, there is Princess Daniels. Born in Ghana, her family was fortunate to come to Australia. As a citizen, she started competing in 100m and 200m events when she was nine and was recently selected to attend the Christian Schools Sports Association (CSSA) National Athletics this year. Princess has already finished second in the 100m final at the NSW PSSA state titles in 2010 and 2011. She is using the grant money for travelling to competitions, purchasing equipment and uniforms, and improving her performance.

“I will use the money to travel to national competitions, to buy uniforms, equipment and to generally improve my running,” said Daniels when interviewed by the Aim for the Stars Foundation. “Without your help I would not have been able to do all these things so thank you very much.”

Beachley Aims to Equalise Sport for Women

Beachley’s overall goal is to fund as many female sporting and personal ambitions as possible.

“My goal is to provide $100,000 worth of grants each year to as many girls as possible,” said Beachley. “I look at this goal the same way as my physical training for surfing,” she said. “Equalising sport for women is about continuing to catch those waves, riding them out, and pushing forward. Positive change is happening, and we will get there.”

For more information about the Aim for the Stars Foundation, to donate, or to apply for the 2014 grant program, please visit http://www.aimforthestars.com.au.

WORKPLACE HEALTH CHALLENGE IS IMPROVING WORKPLACE INJURY AND CHANGING EMPLOYEE AND EMPLOYER MINDSETS

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IN-DEPTH NEWS FEATURE:

Workplace Health Challenge (WHC), an intensive workplace health improvement program, is seeking to minimise workplace injury and illness that Work Safe Australia estimates cost more than $50 billion a year.

Workplace injuries and illnesses, state the Australian Bureau of Statistics, are both physical and psychosocial and can have an impact on long-term health. In fact, research indicates that sitting down for prolonged periods at work can increase heart disease, diabetes and mortality risk.

Australian Health Survey results agree that radical change to Australian health is a must. While smoking is down three percent in the last four years and drinking rates have dropped 1.4 percent, the number of people considered overweight and obese has risen by more than two percent. This means that nearly two-thirds of the Australian population are classified as overweight or obese.

WHC has been implementing policies, procedures and programs since 2002 that are transforming individuals and the workplace. Many WHC participants have reduced high blood pressure and cholesterol levels, lost five to 50 kilograms of body fat, and have improved muscle strength and body tone as well as gained more energy and vitality.

Workplace Health Challenge’s Events are Having a Profound Impact

Workplace Health Challenge (WHC) and Operation 10 Kilos founder Julian (Jules) Smith is intent on changing the mindset of employees and employers when it comes to fitness, health and well-being. Smith, who holds a bachelor of health science degree from RMIT University, has been working since 2001 to bring these innovative events to workplaces throughout Australia and around the world.

The events yield multiple benefits, including those that impact the corporation’s bottom line – reduced sick leave, improved time management skills and greater productivity. Employees see that their employers are concerned about their health, wellness, and quality of life. The life-saving results of these programs are also helping prevent early death from illness and disease.

“While these types of benefits have been proven, it’s still been a tough battle over the years to convince some organisations,” said Smith. “These organisations have not placed an importance on health and well-being programs for their staff. Our response was to start offering our events ‘free of charge’,” he said. “We have gone from just five to 10 workplaces each year to hundreds of organisations that now pay a small entry fee per participant. These include both owner operators and large corporations in Australia and across 80 countries.”

Workplace Health Challenge Utilises Team Principals to Encourage and Motivate

Smith believes the four-time per year, twelve-week long WHC events are a must do for workplaces. Although all health, fitness and weight loss programs share the same principles – eat healthy, exercise and stay motivated – what makes WHC different is the impact it has when an entire workplace is involved.

“The power of the WHC lies within the workplace environment and is based on the ‘peer group pressure principle,” said Smith. “We are all in this together,” he said. “WHC is the ultimate team event. Success comes from the teamwork because those participating are encouraging, motivating and disciplining one another to achieve the program goals.”

“WHC is based on a system of success that includes eating five to six healthy meals a day, implementing a sound and simple exercise program of under three hours per week and utilising the systems in our book to track and monitor progress,” said Smith. “Having four events that coincide with the seasons helps keep participants on target. It’s a long-term strategy where organisations and individuals use a multi-year plan to achieve their goals.”

2013’s New Workplace Health Challenge, Operation 10 Kilos, Will Be the Ultimate Challenge

Smith feels all his efforts, over the years, have produced numerous memorable results – from a feature story on Channel 9’s A Current Affair to every organisation that has ever ‘given the WHC a go.’

“Since humble beginnings where the first ever WHC event and program was launched in my former football club, West Brunswick Football Club in Victoria, Australia, the WHC grew into a workplace based concept,” said Smith. “My thought was if it worked so well for a bunch of amateur footballers by transforming their lives, then it will ‘bloody’ work for a workplace,” he said.

“Officially, WHC first launched within the power and mining industry in La Trobe Valley, Victoria, Australia at Hazelwood Power Station,” said Smith. This program had over 8 companies participate and well over 100 employees join, including staff from companies such as Fluor, BAE Systems and Alstom.”

Since then, says Smith, staff and management from organisations such as Cadbury Schweppes, ANZ Bank and Australia Post, as well Telstra, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australian Customs and the Australian Taxation Office (ATO), just to name a few, participate in WHC events and programs.

The many participant success stories, from the local football club where the program initially launched to those across all industries, have been the inspiration for Smith’s number one health and fitness tip.

“Don’t Quit,” said Smith. “We’ll be updating the program to reflect our new 2013 strategy,” he said. “But be warned, this will be the ultimate challenge!”

To find out more about Workplace Health Challenge and the new program, Operation 10 Kilos set to launch this year, or to register your interest, visit www.workplacehealthchallenge.com. Julian Smith can be contacted directly at info@workplacehealthchallenge.com.

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