SPORTS INJURIES AND INJURY PREVENTION

ATHLETIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

Track and Field Athletes Competing

Photo Credit: Phil Roeder 2011 – Track and Field Athletes

In my time coaching athletes and clients, rarely have I come across an athlete or individual who has not suffered form of sports injuries. Unfortunately, when it comes to sports injuries, injury potential starts from a genetic level. So some athletes and individuals are more prone than others to injuries or being injured. This weakness is usually due to weaker bone structures, weak tendons and ligament makeup or many other physiological factors. However, as we do not know what our risk level is to injury, it is important that we take precautions. These measures then ensure that we protect ourselves from both minor and serious sports injuries when both training and competing.

Five Ways to Avoid Sports Injuries Using Injury Prevention Techniques

You MUST think about using injury prevention measures no matter what sport you play or the type of activity that you do. Following these measures will allow you to minimise the risk of sports injuries.

Five key elements to avoiding sports injuries by following injury prevention methods are as follows:

1. Warm Up and Dynamic Stretching

In modern lifestyles we are all time poor, so warming up is one of the most neglected elements. Therefore, therefore generating the highest risks of injury when not taken seriously. If you take part in a sport that requires explosive movement or rapid changes in speed and direction, and you don’t warm up adequately, then you are an injury waiting to happen. A simple 5-minute easy jog increases blood flow and body temperature, activates muscles significantly improves range of movement (ROM) and mobility. After your 5-minutues, it’s time to do Dynamic Stretching (stretching in motion) – walking lunges, legs swings, and shoulder rotations. These stretches will activate all of your working muscles and set you up for an improved performance and lower risk of injury. When lifting weights, your best warm up is just using the movement pattern you will do during your workout. You can either use lighter weights or use body weight at a higher intensity. Doing dynamic stretches between sets is also advised.

2. Cool Down and Static Stretching

Just like warming up, you must go through a cooling down process and allow the body to recover effectively. A Cooldown is as simple as a 5-minute walk, before moving into a static stretching process. Static Stretches are holding a muscle in a particular place for 15-30 seconds. This stretch is then repeated twice before moving to the next muscle. This process allows the central nervous system to recover from high levels of activity; the muscle fibres can relax, and a greater rate of muscle recovery will follow. Therefore, you set yourself up for less delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and a better recovery.

3. Nutrition and Hydration

There is a famous saying – “you are what you eat” – which is true. We are the result of the nutrients we absorb from our food. On a much deeper scale, the better the quality your food, the better quality your nutrients. Good quality nutrients lead to healthier cells and a much more efficient and stronger body function and structure. Hydration is also a key element in keeping your cells hydrated and clean. You’ll flush out toxins and keep healthy by drinking more water.

When injured it is instinctive for you to relax. You will typically eat bad food and try to escape from the depression of injury. You may even drink alcohol. However, it is far better that you eat better foods and drink less alcohol, so your body can heal faster. Your recovery from injury will be less.

4. Mobility and Stretching

FOAM rolling or SMR is straightforward and effective. Plus, it is one of the best injury prevention tools. Make sure you do some static stretching after using the foam roller, as this will reduce your likelihood of injury.

ACTIVE rest days are also ‘a must’. So spend 45-minutes stretching; your body will thank you for it. This approach will increase your performance. Not only that, but you will also feel amazing after a great stretching session.

5. Listen to Your Body

The greatest tool we have is our body. Evolution has seen us adapt over centuries, and the ability our body has to tell us when something is wrong is amazing. My advice, DO NOT IGNORE IT.

So often athletes argue with their body. They ignore the warning signs and think they know better. So understand the difference between Muscle Fatigue and Muscle Injury, and stop if something doesn’t feel right. If any pain persists without signs of improvement., then seek professional advice.

In conclusion, you need to protect your body from sports injuries. You only get one body in a lifetime, so look after it. PREVENTION will always be better than a CURE. So don’t wait until you get injured to start fixing problems by using injury prevention techniques. Remember to train smarter, not harder, for better results.

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

RUNNING: WHAT EVERY BEGINNER NEEDS TO KNOW

ATHLETIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

15574421102_80c6660a5a_bPhoto credit: Longwood 5KM and 10KM – 5KM START via photopin (license)

Humans by nature are vulnerable creatures. We all have addictions and for many individuals, it can be training and exercise. This addiction can be to the endorphins that can come with a great workout, the pursuit for better aesthetics or just fighting the emotional battle that if you don’t train today, you will put on weight. Let me start by reassuring you that its okay to take a day off, even two.

As we age, running becomes one of the most common forms of exercise.  The interest in running, for many, is associated with its meditative ability, which can have a positive affect on your life.

Running is a real personal challenge that is immensely rewarding, especially when you run with greater consistency. I thoroughly enjoy running, but I am not built like most typical runners, and I have learned the hard way through trial, error and some pretty good injuries to find out what works, and what doesn’t to improve not only my running but also my client’s.

My focus is purely on recreational runners, helping beginners and intermediates understand the best process to improve their running ability in the fastest way possible.  There are a few key factors to think about to ensure you not only see results but maintain longevity in your running career, get results and minimise the risk of injury. These are as follows:

  1. Running History: If you have never actually run consistently in the past, you must take this into consideration before deciding to run a marathon. Results take time to achieve safely, so set goals with plenty of time, start small then grow bigger. Give yourself at least 12-months to prepare for a marathon if you are a beginner, target smaller running events as part of your program and gradually build up your aerobic base and confidence over time. Working your way up over time, gradually you will develop a passion for a particular distance range. Terrain will also play a part in your passion, track, road or trails. For me, half marathon distance trail running reigns supreme.
  1. Running Shoes: It is so important to ensure you have the right pair of running shoes for you, your foot type and your running style. Your shoes will affect your running economy and prevent injury. So get fitted correctly, find comfort and functionality, and choose your running shoes less on the beautiful colours and more on their capability for you. Ensure your shoes are specific to your terrain choice and have a couple of pairs you can rotate. Don’t underestimate the influence shoe choice has on your running. So throw out that old pair of “Joggers” and take yourself seriously.
  1. Learn How to BREATHE: Breathe correctly. Learn how to activate your abdominals, specifically your diaphragm, to improve your breathing ability and performance. Oxygen is your primary fuel source, especially over longer periods of time, which requires a reliable and consistent breathing ability. Learn proper breathing skills and get it right from the start.
  1. STRATEGY: Start easy. Humans by nature are predictable creatures, so when we start running, we all initially want to run fast. However, when you start out running, it’s important to worry less about speed, and more about distance. Which ultimately means slow down, and go easy from the onset. Start small and build up, interval training at this time is ideal for beginners; where you run for a short period, then walk. Over time you can then gradually reduce the number of walking sets you do so that you can run non-stop. Then you can begin to lengthen the duration of your running.
  1. Have Fun: Most of all enjoy your running. It’s a fantastic discipline that can be harder than we think but give it the respect it deserves, listen to your body and be smart. I promise it will be something you will love forever. If you aren’t enjoying running, slow down, it’s not always a race!

Train Smarter, not harder for better results.

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Hypnosis Demystified: What is Hypnosis?

HYPNOTHERAPY NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ernest McLeod – Certified Hypnotherapist:

15616542202_2c450d4843_bPhoto credit: You are monkeys! via photopin (license) –

In previous articles we’ve explored some of the myths about Hypnosis, specifically, what it is not. So now it’s time to explore what Hypnosis is.

First off, these days, we refer to the state of hypnosis as a trance. In other words, it’s a state of mind. A state that comes naturally to most of us. That phase we go through between being fully awake and deep sleep to fully awake. Some refer to it as the dream phase. It’s when our body and conscious mind become very quiet, and our subconscious goes into a very creative phase. Most of us dream during this phase, even if we can’t remember. Typically as we rest, we’ll go through this phase multiple times.

When using hypnosis, this state is induced through various techniques. Concentration and focus or visualisation are commonly applied. Hypnosis is also and direct suggestion induced through distraction. People who regularly undergo hypnosis can get to a point where they will allow themselves to go into this trance state simply through direct instruction.

The most noticeable difference in this state to the naturally occurring dream phase is that the subconscious mind seems to go into a mode of hyper focus. For example, it may focus on the voice of the hypnotist, or a suggested object. If the person allows the subconscious to go into this state of extreme focus, the mind will allow the body to become sleep like, so it can put even more of its energy into this focus. This effect of hyper focus is used to suggest changes in behaviour. And from experience, we know that if there is a congruency of the changes suggested, these suggestions will be adopted by the subconscious mind.

Some people will go into a deeper state of trance than others. Some people will allow themselves to go so deep into the trance that their body appears to be comatose. The breathing becomes very slow and shallow, the heart rate drops and the body becomes deeply relaxed. It’s not uncommon to feel like you’ve had 8 hours of deep, restful sleep while being 20-30 minutes in a trance.

During this state, the mind is at its most creative. Artists,  writers and even scientists like Edison and Einstein used this state of trance to create their work. Hypnosis is very powerful, at the same time an incredibly relaxing experience.

About Our Hypnotherapy News and Review Columnist Ernest McLeod
Ernest McLeod Headshot 1Ernest McLeod is the owner of The Hypno Coach, established in 2012, and has been practicing Hypnotherapy in Adelaide since 2011. Ernest is a certified hypnotherapist and studies include Hypnotherapy through ASA and ICHP Australia as well as Psychotherapy. He also holds Certified Practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming and Certified Practitioner of Time Line Therapy with the American Board of Neuro-Linguistic Programming.

Ernest’s wealth of life experience includes growing up in Austria, close to Vienna. Moving to Adelaide in 1991 with his parents. His mum being South Australian. With his father working for the United Nations in Vienna, Ernest was privileged to grow-up exposed to many cultures. After graduating from college Ernest began a career as Software Developer which spanned nearly 20-years. Having also established himself as a internationally awarded fashion photographer, Ernest moved into hypnotherapy. Something that had fascinated Ernest since early childhood.

Ernest McLeod Logo

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methodology: Your Inner Dancer

GYROTONIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Dana Rader – Exercise Physiologist, GYROTONIC® & GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer:

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Photo credit: Dana Rader GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods

So far we have touched on the “intention” of the methods, the “playfulness” of movement and creating “energy” through our motion. Juliu Horvath the founder of the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methods was a classical dancer, and in creating his methods, wanted everyone to be able to experience dance in their own bodies. Adrianna Thompson, who is one of the creators of the GYROTONIC® applications to dancer program told me, “Juliu wants everyone to dance and feel their bodies fly.”

Yes, I work with many dancers, both professional and pre-professional as well as dance students and teachers in my practice. However, I also work with clients that have never danced a day in their lives. Many clients that have said to me, “my mum would not let me do dance for one reason or another; be it coordination, knock knees or feet issues. Therefore, I never got the chance to experience dancing.” The desire to dance is there for everyone. Just look around at how popular the various barre workouts are becoming today.

The methods we have been discussing allow an individual to experience dance technique from the inside out, and discover what it feels like to be in your own body. The GYROKINESIS® method was originally called “yoga for dancers” therefore it flows and involves continuous movement like a dance routine. It is accessible for everyone, with beginner classes beginning seated and then proceeding to the floor, and finishing with standing combinations.

Juliu dreamed of creating equipment that could enable dancers to perform a better pirouette. From that dream the GYROTONIC® pulley tower unit evolved. Interestingly enough it not only helped dancers improve their performance as well as avoid injuries, but created an exercise system where non-dancers can dance and allow their spirits to fly.

Regardless of your age, ability, or dance experience, the methods will awaken your dancer within through a holistic approach that teaches better body awareness, flexibility, strength and conditioning. So if you missed out as a child, there is still time to learn and discover your inner dancer.

GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® are registered trademarks of GYROTONIC Sales Corp., and are used with their permission.

About Our GYROTONIC News and Review Columnist

 

DOING THE LITTLE THINGS FOR BIG RUNNING RESULTS

MARATHON NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Ron Byland – USATF, RRCA and Lydiard certified Running Coach:shutterstock_55565920

I find a lot of people who approach me – looking to improve their running or training for a personal record (PR), whether their goal is to race in their first 5K or tenth marathon – don’t think about doing the ‘little things’. However, it’s the little things that ultimately adds up to big PR’s down the road.

Training for Results

Many runners do the same run and train over the same ground day in and day out and then when race day approaches, they find that they want to do something different. However, as Albert Einstien said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. Using this analogy, a runner needs to mix-it-up to see results.

During training, a runner needs to incorporate a variety of running types into their plan to fully develop their entire muscular and cardiovascular system. These running types include tempo, interval, hill, and appropriately paced long runs. In my opinion, however, the most important piece of training is rest. Appropriate rest will allow for the body to recover, repair, and rebuild. When all of these pieces of training come together, a runner will become stronger and more efficient.

Other Important Considerations

  • Change it up. Change your workouts and don’t spend all of your time doing the same thing every day. Include cross-training in your weekly training sessions, regardless of whether they are considered sports specific or not.
  • Strength Training (not sports specific). I believe this is one of the best ways to improve your overall health, allowing you to reach your running goals. Only 1-2 times per week of high-intensity training is all you need.
  • Swimming/biking/spin classes/walking (sports specific – cardio development). Except for walking, all of these allow you to improve your cardio, without the stress of impact on your body.
  • Yoga (not sports specific). Can be utilized for physical benefits (improved core strength, stabilizer muscles, balance, etc.) as well as relaxation and recovery. Many find yoga is a great mental exercise as well.

Injury Treatment and Prevention

Some runners may, but most don’t, seek treatment or take the time to let an injury heal. Many will continue to “push through the pain” thinking it will get better over time. In my opinion, it is better to rest as soon as possible, then seek treatment, so that you become healthier and return as a stronger, more efficient runner. To ensure you perform at your best ability, regularly visit a kinesiologist, physical therapist, and massage therapist.

About Our Marathon News and Review Columnist

Ron Byland HeadShotRon Byland is the current coach of Kelly Brinkman, 2013 USATF-MN Female runner of the year. He has an extensive competitive racing background that spans over more than 30-years, and he has been coaching runners for over 25-years. Ron is USATF, RRCA and Lydiard certified. He lives and works in Minneapolis, but also offers online training options for runners via his running club.

As the founder and coach of Minneapolis based Mile To Marathon Run Club, Ron Byland,  offers runners many coaching options, such as:

  • Customized Personal Training Program
  • Personal One on One Training Sessions
  • Virtual Training
  • Corporate Run Programs for 5 -500 runners
  • Couch To 5K Programs
  • Corporate Speaker

MileToMarathon Logo

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

REIKI HEALING PART 4: THE SACRAL CHAKRA

REIKI NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Camille Lucy – Certified Holistic Health Coach & Reiki Practitioner:

SacralChakraInfographic-850x1183

Image Source: A Guide To Balancing The Sacral Chakra, Your Center For Creativity (Infographic), Andrea Rice, May 2015 –

We all have chakras or energy centers in our body. In Sanskrit, Chakra means a wheel or disk. Chakras are “wheels” or vortexes of swirling energy throughout our body. We have 7 main Chakras: Root, Sacral, Solar Plexus, Heart, Throat, Third Eye and Crown.

The Sacral Chakra is located in the lower abdomen, between the pubic bone and the navel, and is represented by the colour orange. Its element is water. Associated with emotions and reproductive function, the Sacral Chakra is pleasure seeking. A blockage in the Sacral Chakra can lead to both physical and emotional distress such as overreactions, attachments, tension, cramping, fear of happiness or pleasure, and a lack of authenticity or creative expression. An open Sacral Chakra leads to abundant creativity and creation, passion, sensuality and connectedness.

Essential Oils to Clear and Balance the Sacral Chakra

  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Patchouli
  • Ylang-Ylang
  • Bergamot
  • Orange

Crystals to Clear and Balance the Sacral Chakra

  • Citrine
  • Moonstone
  • Orange Calcite
  • Orange Kyanite
  • Tangerine Quartz
  • Goldstone

Sacral Chakra Affirmation

 I love, appreciate and honour my body. I am open to experiencing the present moment through all of my senses, passionately and abundantly. I nourish, value and respect my body. I am open to touch and intimacy. I allow myself to feel pleasure. My body is sacred. My sexuality is sacred. I honour my emotions as they are the whisper of my soul. I take good care of myself – my body, mind, spirit – and I am at peace and sitting in love.

Simple Tips for Balancing Your Sacral Chakra 

  • Use the colour orange.  Crystals, lights, clothing, furniture or accessories. Envision the colour orange glowing brightly and transparently in your lower abdomen.
  • Dance the night away.  Dancing opens the Sacral Chakra. Moving your body helps to get your energy flowing. Move your hips, enjoy the music and your body. You can also practice Yoga positions that open the hips or use the lower abdomen.
  • Cut the Chord. Let go of people, places and things that are no longer serving you and your overall health and wellbeing.  Remove attachments, release old junk and make space for beautiful things to fill you up.
  • Find Water. Relax near water such as a lake, beach, river or stream. Stick your toes in to help the energy flow! Baths and showers also help provide relaxation and an opening of the Chakras.

About this 12-part Reiki Series

In this 12-part series, readers will learn about the energy of life, how it affects us, how we can utilise it in helpful ways and ultimately, how to achieve the Ultimate Success in their very own lives: real joy, love and happiness.  I will describe the Chakras (their location, connectivity and more), what energy healing is, and how the Laws of the Universe are at play at all times.  Additionally, I will detail how readers can open themselves to receiving, to flow with life instead of resisting, and how fear and love drive us. At the end of the 12-part series, readers should have a better understanding of their bodies, themselves and how to expand and enhance their experiences.

Next month I will cover ‘The Solar Plexus Chakra’. I hope you’ll join me then🙂

About Our Reiki News and Review Columnist – Camille Lucy

Camille LucyCamille Lucy is a Certified Holistic Health Coach, Certified Reiki Practitioner, graphic and web designer, business consultant, and Vice President of a local non-profit that “rehabilitates people through animals.” She is also a writer, a Mother of 3-girls, an artist, a Life-and-Love Junkie, a Self-Expression and Development advocate, and – well, you get the point. She’s a lot of things, just like all of us. Camille is also author of, “The (Real) Love Experiment: Explore Love, Relationships & The Self.” Learn more about her and her adventure(s) at www.CamilleLucy.com or on social media at @LiveFullToday.

Camille Lucy Logo

Disclaimer: The information published in this column is the author’s professional opinion, and based on their knowledge. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

TRAINING PERFORMANCE: LESS IS MORE

ATHLETIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

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Humans by nature are vulnerable creatures. We all have addictions and for many individuals, it can be training and exercise. An addiction to the endorphins that can come with a great workout, the pursuit for better aesthetics or just fighting the emotional battle that if you don’t train today, you will put on weight. Let me start by reassuring you; that is not the case and its okay to take a day off, even two.

As we age, we need to start listening to our bodies. Understand what fatigue is and what your body is telling you. Lose the impression that the only good workout is the one that leaves you dripping with sweat and limping out of the gym every day of the week. 

I have met more average individuals that train more volume than some athletes, put in more hours in hard training, yet get nowhere near the same results. I have no problems with anyone that likes to train every day, but lose the intensity, do yoga or go for a swim, even walk as one of your sessions. 

As far as intensity goes, less is more! Your Central Nervous System and muscles need a rest. Recovery is as essential as training itself and if you don’t let your body repair you will not get the results you are after. 

We are all time poor in a modern society dealing with the stresses of life. A quality program will get you the results you need through balance, maximising your workout time and intensity with plenty of rest and recovery. Partner this with a quality nutrition plan and watch what happens. 

Key points to think about in balancing your program are as follows:

Circuit or High-Intensity Training

Based on your training performance, circuits or high-intensity training is usually only needed once or twice per week for sustainability. Any more than this and long-term you will break down.

Resistance Training 

Focus on strength and lifting weights. Do some short HIIT before your session to get your heart rate up and then do a solid strength session at least two times per week.

Active Rest Days

Stretching, SMR, yoga, pilates, or even a swim are excellent forms of exercise on a rest day. Lose the intensity and the need to push the limits. 

Free Choice

These days are all about doing something enjoyable, so go rock climbing, take a long, slow run or play sport with some friends. Bring back the fun. 

As you can see four training days per week with a primary focus is all you really need to maintain a high level of fitness. Make those sessions of high quality, maximise your time and allow sufficient rest afterwards. Make sleep your priority and train smarter, not harder for better results. 

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion form the basis of this column. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Gyrotonic® and Gyrokinesis® Methodology: Energy in Motion

 GYROTONIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Dana Rader – Exercise Physiologist, GYROTONIC® & GYROKINESIS® Master Trainer:

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Photo credit: Dana Rader GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® Methods

In my first article of this series, I stressed that our exercise intention should always be to feel good, have more energy and to be uplifted. So what does “energy” in this context mean?  My clients often tell me that they have more energy after their sessions, feel good for days, and their body feels “alive” and “awakened.”  Why?

The Human Body and Energy

Science tells us that the universe is composed of energy circling and flowing in different forms.  Everything we experience, including ourselves, is simply energy in a variety of ways and on different levels. Eastern tradition calls our life-force energy our “chi” and this energy moves in our body along certain pathways. The secret of circulating this “chi” to successively higher power centres (chakras) of the body is the essence of many eastern and western movement traditions. Interestingly the one common theme that links many of the traditions including the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methods is the importance placed on the movement, flexibility and alignment of the spine, as the spine forms the major pathway through which the chi flows.

Juliu Horvath the founder of the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® methods believes that “the cause of all disease is stagnation,” which is why the essence of his exercises concentrates on circulation and stimulation. He found he could work through the blockages in the energy pathways, through mobilizing the spine in all directions.

Our Seed Centre

All of the GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® exercises focus on moving from what we call the “seed centre” the area slightly below the navel. The first energy centre or chakra is known as the centre seed. We take the chi energy, from the seed centre and move it up the body through the energy centres as we perform movement sequences, always unwinding and re-grounding the energy back to the seed centre at the end of a series.

Using Your Breath to Connect

Clients can use the handle unit to assist them to move their spine from their seed centre up the body and back down. As they move they can arch, curl, spiral, or moving freely through the same movements in the wave series, on the stool, as in a GYROKINESIS® class. This way they are always using their breath to connect with the body’s natural rhythms, moving their chi and improving circulation. Through the utilisation of these movements and breathing patterns, clients can remove energy blockages and create a process of regeneration, resulting in a feeling of increased energy and well-being.

GYROTONIC® and GYROKINESIS® are registered trademarks of GYROTONIC Sales Corp. and are used with their permission.

About Our GYROTONIC News and Review Columnist

TRAINING PERFORMANCE: WHY STRENGTH TRAINING IS A MUST

ATHLETIC NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Michael Meredith – Athletic Coach:

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Over many years as a coach I have encountered many athletes training for a variety of different sports. Individuals that I like to refer to as “recreational athletes”. I use this term as opposed to semi or professional athletes whom are paid or sponsored financially to support their athletic pursuits.

For most of us though, performance is the pursuit of pure passion, whether it is the local 5K park run, or playing A-grade in the local soccer competition. Athletic pursuits are usually the balance of life including a full-time job, relationships, and for many, looking after children whilst trying to fit in training and competition some where in the middle.

With such a variety of recreational sports on offer, sports-specific training is an absolute necessity, but there is a number of foundational training elements that get missed all so often, one of the most important being strength training.

The stigma attached to strength training is completely old school and out-dated and I do believe I have heard every reason under the sun why individuals wont do resistance training…

“I don’t want to look like a man.”

“I’m naturally strong, I don’t need to lift weights.”

“I hate the gym, it is full of posers.”

The list is endless, but with advancements in sports science and a better understanding of the human body. Strength training goes well beyond pure aesthetic results. We are all human and are made-up of the same foundation, muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, organs etc. Therefore, the philosophy should be the same in regards to foundational strength.

Many Athletes will vary in aesthetics, genetics and body composition based on their chosen sport, but the reality is we all need to be strong. It doesn’t matter what sport you choose: runners, soccer players, tennis players, tri-athletes, obstacle racers, rugby league players, even netball players .

Being strong will make you a better athlete. You do not need to spend hours in the gym to be strong. Two days per week strength training is more than enough to get the results almost all recreational athletes need to build and maintain a strong foundation. This does not necessarily need to be in a gym as there is some fantastic equipment available that does not require a gym to use. A good quality strength program will focus on lower and upper body compound movements and multiple movement patterns, or exercises that engage two or more different joints to fully stimulate entire muscle groups and multiple muscles – squats, lunges, deadlift, presses, push ups, pull-ups etc.

We need strength for a number of reasons including sports specific strength, strong muscles, strong joints, strong bones. These elements all come together towards injury prevention. A weak foundation will leave you exposed to a number of injuries that as a recreational athlete will leave you frustrated when you can no longer train or compete.

Whether a recreational or professional athlete, if you dedicate yourself to a sport, then you put your body on-the-line and risk injury. Therefore, you need to take all elements of training performance seriously. Prevention is always better than cure. So if you build a strong foundation, rest and allow your body to recover, and do all the little things right, then you will increase your longevity as an athlete. In addition, you will enjoy your sport more and decrease your chances of injury greatly.

Strength training has many variables to consider including; techniques, loads, volumes, time, and results, but its very easy to seek advice, which I highly recommend, to get a program and seek some support to learn how to train correctly. Strength training is extremely simple when done correctly but learning is the most important element. Learn your muscle activations, techniques, and what exercises train what muscles and how to perform these exercises correctly.

Consider this an education in exercise. Once you gain a better understanding, the results will evolve rapidly. No matter what your chosen sport, strength training must be an integral part of your training program, but keep it short, sweet and maximise your workload against your allocated time.

Overall, be fit, be strong, be healthy, and be happy.

About Our Athletic News and Review Columnist – Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith

Michael Meredith, Master Personal Trainer, Elite Obstacle Racer, Former Sydney A-grade rugby league player, Runner, and all-round health enthusiast, is the Founder of Aussie Athletes Health and Performance. As a coach, Michael’s philosophy is to focus on health and performance. His 12-week training programs for men and women, include strength and fitness, OCR (or obstacle course racing) and recreational running. Micheal aims to narrow the gap between strength training and aerobic endurance so that his clients’ can balance the two effectively to create the fittest, healthiest version of themselves.

“After more than 5-years as a Personal Trainer, I have helped celebrities, recreational athletes make it all the way to an élite level of fitness. In addition, I have annually sponsored two ‘everyday athletes’ as a mentor. This give one male and one female the opportunity to take on certain events throughout the year under the guidance of the #teamaussieathletes community.”

“My major focus as a trainer is to complete an exercise science degree and turn my Aussie Athletes business into a community based-group that operates out of its own head-quarters. Aussie Athletes Health and Performance is now operated via two of Australia’s premier Fitness First Platinum Clubs in Sydney Australia, these being in Park Street Platinum and Bondi Platinum.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

Crossing the Line from Healthy to Unhealthy Exercise and Eating Behaviours

EATING DISORDER NEWS & REVIEW:

By Columnist Eleni Psillakis  – Eating Disorder Educator:

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Photo credit: Anorexia via photopin (license)

The benefits of physical activity and healthy eating behaviours for physical and mental health are well documented. The Department of Health has published guidelines for recommendations of physical activity levels and dietary requirements for various ages. On average, it is recommended that 18-65 years old’s participate in 2.5- 5 hours of moderate activity per week or 1.25- 2.5 hours of vigorous activity per week.

Your Mindset About What is Healthy or Unhealthy

It takes a decision to start participating in anything. All actions or behaviours begin with a thought. I believe that in order to determine if a person has crossed the line from healthy to unhealthy behaviours when it comes to diet and exercise, we need to look at their thoughts about themself. It may be negative thoughts that are the cause of unhealthy eating and levels of exercise.

For example, a professional athlete may train and compete for double or triple the recommended time in the guidelines for physical activity. But, does this constitute excessive exercise? They may eat appropriate amounts of all the food groups to fuel their bodies for this level of participation. So the answer to this question, is probably no.

Crossing the Line

Crossing the line from healthy to unhealthy behaviour begins when anyone, athlete or the average person, start fuelling their mind with unhealthy thoughts about themeslves. The thought ‘I need to improve my speed’ is very different to ‘unless I perform I am not valued or loved’. Often it is a traumatic event that may cause feelings of guilt and shame that lead to negative self-thoughts.

What Unhealthy Eating and Exercise Habits Actually Are

Unhealthy eating and exercise habits can become a means of dealing with the festering mess within the mind. Eating disorders are complicated. They are not a vanity issue, or merely a body image issue. They can affect anyone. The line is crossed in the thought of life and living. Irrational fears and phobia’s manifest around diet and exercise, developing into an attempt to control issues people may feel are beyond their control.

Eating habits and food become tangled with emotions and feelings. Food is labelled ‘good’ and ‘bad’. Extreme anxiety, fear, guilt, shame and worthlessness are experienced if the unhealthy rituals are ‘broken’ or disrupted. Sense of worth for the sufferer is reflected in adhering to these rituals. The longer this continues, the harder these negative patterns are to break.

We can continue to try and treat the ‘seen behaviours’, and they need to be treated, but it is the underlying emotional issues that need to be addressed if true healing is to come. It is not merely a line that is crossed. It is a tangled mess of unhealthy levels of exercise and dieting that are motivated by unhealthy thoughts. It is not merely about learning to love your body but more about learning to love who you are.

About Our Eating Disorder News and Review Columnist – Eleni Psillakis

Eleni

Combining over 27-years experience in the fitness industry, education and a lived experience of eating disorder, Eleni Psillakis is raising awareness of eating disorders as serious mental illnesses. In this time as a group fitness instructor, personal trainer, secondary and tertiary educator, she is aware of the fine-line that may be crossed from healthy to unhealthy diet and exercise habits.

Using resistance training to gain weight to her 39kg frame at age 19, Eleni physically recovered and went on to compete in women’s bodybuilding. However the underlying emotional issues and thought patterns resurfaced 25-years later when her marriage broke down and she was diagnosed with clinical depression. Antidepressants and 8-years of psychological counselling, assisted with unlearning of negative thought processes that Eleni had of herself for most of her life. These were nothing to do with body image, but self-worth.

Resistance training again helped the process of stopping her thoughts racing during this time of depression and she stepped back onto the competition stage gaining a top 3 place in her division for each of the 5 competitions since. It was the psychological help that has made the difference this time around.

An Insight to Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders for Fitness Professionals”, a seminar that Eleni has written, has been approved by Fitness Australia for continuing education.

Eleni Logo

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape News.

 

 

 

 

 

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