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Health & Fitness Blog


Make Vitamin D your priority this winter!

take vitamin dWINTER DARKENS THE SKIES AND ALSO THE MOOD.  THE LENGTH OF THE DAY WILL SHORTEN AND THE VITAMIN D IN YOUR SYSTEM WILL FALL

VITAMIN D plays more of a role in our day to day health than we think

The enzyme to convert the precursor of vitamin D is found in the Brain, Breast, Prostate, Colon, Vascular Smooth Muscle, Kidneys, Skin, Macrophages and Endothelium. Vitamin D receptors are found in virtually every cell in the body. So Vitamin D goes much further than just keeping our bones healthy.

VITAMIN D Levels predicts performance in older people

Vitamin D reduces incidences of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, viral infections, autoimmune discorders and cancer.

VITAMIN D is Super!

Anti-inflammatory, antioxident & prevents DNA breaks (anti-cancer).

The majority of the world is unable to synthesise VITAMIN D from sunlight for a period of time over the winter months

A light skinned person will synthesise 20,000IU (international units) of Vitamin D in just 20minutes of sunbathing.

There is a need for frequent replenishment of the bodys supply of VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is stored in the liver for only 2 weeks.

40-75% of the world is VITAMIN D deficient

This increases risk of a huge number of illnesses and diseases, and with increased vitamin D levels these could be reduced by 50%.

Breast cancer is more common in women with low VITAMIN D levels

Low levels of vitamin D are highly indicative of more aggressive tumour.

VITAMIN D improves fast twitch muscle strength and power

 

Preventing Holiday Back Pain

Here are a few tips that will prevent you from getting common back-pain while traveling.

  • Pack light
  • Wear your heaviest and bulkiest clothes when you travel
  • When lifting your suitcase bend with your knees  and keep the weight between both shoulders and close to your body.
  • Try to book an aisle seat on the plane so you can move about every 30 minutes
  • Stretch arm and legs every 30minutes for circulation and muscle health
  • Try to keep your seat upright for good spinal alignment with a small pillow/folded jumper or support behind your lower back
  • Avoid keeping a wallet in your back pocket when travelling, this can lead to pelvic tilt and can trigger pain
  • Ask for more pillows if needed – to support your neck or to sit on
  • Keep hydrated
  • When sunbathing, be careful of reading on your front with your back and neck arched, place the book on the sand in front of you and lie flat with a folded towel or cushion under your stomach so your spine keeps good alignment
  • Don’t stay in one position for more than 40minutes, keep moving throughout your day
  • If you have neck pain and enjoy swimming breast stroke try not to keep your head out of the water,  this  extended position and compresses joints in the neck and may lead to pain
  • If you have back, hip, knee or ankle injuries , be careful with high load sports and classes e.g. waterskiing, running , volleyball and beach fit.

 

For personal advice and treatment or to pre-book appointments with Lucy our Osteopath contact the Wellness Centre extension 7856.

Iridology

Iridology, also called Iris Diagnosis is the scientific study of the eye investigating markings and patterns of the iris to reflex manifestations and bodily malfunctions among the many organs of the body. The concept of iridology is that the eye serves as the gateway to the body whereby its condition gives clues to the overall condition of the patient.

The iris is like a map of the body – changes in certain organs are reflected in specific parts of the iris. The right iris shows the condition of the right side of the body, while the left iris reflects the left side.

While your with us, see Dr. Maha Lakshman for a consultation!

Plyometric Training

So what are plyometrics?

Simply put, plyometric exercises are powerful and fast movements usually done very explosively. You may have seen others in the gym performing box jumps, jump squats, medicine ball slams, or medicine ball throws, but you can use your own body weight to perform plyometric movements as well.

A common misconception is that only athletes need to perform plyometric movements. However, this is not true and we can all benefit from them.

You don’t have to be an athlete to incorporate plyometric movements into your fitness routine. In fact, adding a few of these exercises to your routine can help increase your overall power, speed, quickness, and agility. As a word of caution for someone who has minimal training experience, be sure to incorporate your plyometric movements at the beginning of your workout after your warm-up. This will ensure that you do not injure yourself later in your workout due to fatigue.

Need help putting together some plyometric movements? Check out the workout right here at The Body Holiday. You can also see  Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Use Your Body Weight

Many people think that they need a fancy gym and elaborate fitness equipment in order to get an effective workout. The truth is you really don’t need any equipment other than yourself and a little bit of creativity to get the blood flowing.

When looking at your fitness programme you should always look to master your own bodyweight before adding weight to a specific exercise that you are performing. For instance, you should learn to perform a series of pushups correctly before attempting the bench press. Once you master the pushup you can then move on to the bench press. The same goes for other exercises including the squat as well. Learn how to squat effectively with your own bodyweight before adding a weighted bar to the movement.

Not sure what to do or how to perform a workout with your own bodyweight as resistance? Check out our Total Body Weight Circuit performed right here at the BodyHoliday.

Want more life changing advise? See  Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Improve your Golf Game

Are you trying to improve your golf game? We all know some golfers such as Tiger Woods have embraced strength training as part of their regular training programme which has been a crucial part to his and other golfer’s success.

So what should you focus on to improve your golf game? I think the most important piece to any golfers game is to focus on the correct fundamentals of the swing. Look at hiring a professional to critique your current swing and see where you can make improvements. After the appropriate action is taken to ensure your swing is effective, let’s discuss what areas of strength training can benefit your game.

Golf is mainly a game of rotation, power, and finesse. In order to have an effective strength training routine you need to address all of these areas. You will never be able to generate maximal rotational power unless you have good flexibility through the hips and shoulders. In addition, you also need a strong rigid core so that your energy and power is transferred through the club and into the ball.

Check out our short workout here at The BodyHoliday on a few exercises that you can incorporate to improve your golf game.

Train with Balance

When performing any form of weight training we should always seek balance. What do I mean by balance? We need to work a specific muscle group and then the opposing muscle group in the same fashion so that we don’t develop muscular imbalances.

For instance, if we are doing an abundance of pushing work like bench press, pushups, flys, and incline presses which work the chest, and we are not equally matching our pulling movements like rows, band pull aparts, and reverse flys, over time we set ourselves up for injuries and muscular imbalances.

So ask yourself, are you training with balance? If not, make the change so that you can maximize your training in the long term with no injuries or neglect of any of the opposing muscle groups.

Need a switch in your workout routine? Try this upper body workout performed right here at the BodyHoliday.

See Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Workout Variety

It’s very easy to get caught in the same routine and find yourself becoming stagnant in your fitness programme. We are creatures of habit and once we start something we like it is unlikely that we stray very far from that routine. However, it’s very important that you add some workout variety and try something different every now and then.

So why should you vary your workout routine? Well, there are a couple reasons. The first is to avoid boredom. Sometimes we lose interest and stop exercising because we have become bored with our routine. That’s why it is crucial to keep things interesting. A second reason is that we have to create overload, meaning that we should be challenging ourselves and doing more than the body is used to. If we are not creating overload we will not progress towards our goals. Finally, a great reason to switch your routine might be to discover a new programme or workout that you have never tried.

That is why The BodyHoliday is such a great place to try an activity that you have never done before. Need an idea or workout to switch up your routine? Try this 100 workout that features 10 different exercises with 10 repetitions of each performed right here at The BodyHoliday in St. Lucia.

 

See Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Should You Stretch?

Some experts say “yes” and others may tell you, “it’s a waste of time.” So what’s the real answer? As with anything, it depends. It depends on what your goals are. I will give you some examples for both sides of the argument.

If your goal is to increase overall flexibility then you will need to hold static stretches. Static meaning that you will hold a specific stretch anywhere from 20 seconds onwards to stretch the muscle and increase flexibility. However, not everyone cares about increasing their flexibility.

So should everyone stretch? Not necessarily.

If your goal is to increase overall strength studies have shown that holding static stretches before a weight training session can actually decrease your performance. Same with doing static stretches in-between sets of your exercises. When stretching was done between sets a decrease in performance was noted.

Surely everyone should stretch after their workout, right? Well, again it depends. I would suggest that everyone take at least 5 minutes at the very end of their workout to hold some stretches. If nothing else it allows you to bring your heart rate back down to a resting level before ending your workout. Also, the muscles will be warm and have significant blood flow to them which will allow you to get the most out of your stretching.

So you’re saying I should quit my Yoga class? NO! Stretching can be very rewarding and can help you improve posture and perform everyday tasks much easier. Unfortunately there are no one size fits all answers when it comes to fitness or nutrition. Many time the answer is, “it depends.” However, if your goal is to increase flexibility check out some of our stretches performed right here at The BodyHoliday and subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Don’t forget to see Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant for more personalised  advice when you are with us!

Are You Following Fundamental Training Principles?

I’m not sure where I heard this saying before but it has always stuck with me. “Methods are many, principles are few, methods often change, but principles never do.” If we apply this to fitness training there are many different methods in order for us to achieve our goals. For instance if we are doing Cross Fit, powerlifting, taking a group fitness class, or just doing our own workout in the gym, these are all methods of training. The saying, “There’s more than one way to skin a cat,” holds true in the fitness world as there are many methods of training.

However, what doesn’t change are the principles to training. Unlike methods these do not change and hold true for no matter what type of training you are currently using.

  • Progression – You must be progressing yourself towards your fitness goal. For instance if your goal is to get lean tone muscular arms, then using 5 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets for your entire program will not get you the results you want. Why? Because you violated the principle of progression. You did not progress. For instance you could start with 5 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets but then progress to 4 sets, 5 sets, and then heavier weights such as 8lbs. or 10 lbs. A good way to ensure progression is to start with the end in mind and then work backwards from there.
  • Specificity – Is just a fancy word for being specific about your training. If your goal is to become a better swimmer then your training is not going to be running on a treadmill. Cross training is okay, but your main focus must be placed on the discipline or targeted on the area you are trying to improve.
  • Overload – You must challenge yourself to more than you are accustomed to. If you are weight training you need to overload the muscles in order for them to grow and come back stronger. If we go back to the example of obtaining lean tone muscular arms and we have decided to use 5 lb. dumbbells for 3 sets of 50 repetitions we are violating the principle of overload. In this instance if you can complete the exercise for 50 repetitions the weight you are using is too light and will not create an overload in the muscle. As a general rule if you can complete more than 15 repetitions with any given weight, the weight you are using is too light and needs to be adjusted.

So there you have it! Make sure no matter what training you are doing does not violate these 3 principles. Also, if your goal is to have lean tone muscular arms like mentioned in the example above check out our Strong Arms workout right here at The Body Holiday and subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Don’t forget to see Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant for more personalised life changing advice when you are with us!