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23/01/2011

Record, record, record!

If fat loss is your goal and I can tell you it is with about 90% of our clients then you just have to track what you do and here is a study that heavily supports this assertion. “Researchers from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research kept tabs on 1,685 overweight and obese adults (men and women), whose average weight was 212 pounds. The researchers encouraged participants to adhere to a reduced-calorie, DASH eating plan and asked them record their daily food intake and exercise minutes.weight loss was 13 pounds per person. But researchers discovered something else; the more participants recorded what they ate, the more weight they lost in the end. Participants who did not keep a food diary lost about 9 pounds over the course of the study, while those who recorded their food intake six or more days per week lost 18 pounds—twice as much as those who didn’t track any food!  Spark People website. After 20 weeks, the average So if you are a client of ours we provide an online fitness journal for this express purpose. We would like to see you use it!  We have always said, if it isn’t written down it didn’t happen. But keep in mind, when we say this we are referring to exercise. We are definitely NOT referring to food. Because, whether you write it down or not, or whether someone saw you eat it or not, or it was only a broken piece of biscuit not an actual biscuit etc etc. That event DID happen and your body […]
19/01/2011

What does 300 calories look like?

Here at Best Practice we like to expose you to material that will help educate you. The link I am going to put in, although American is very useful for those wanting to lose body fat or simply not overeat. Check this out. The foods might be American but we have the same sort of stuff here. You might be surprised at what a difference organising your own food can make. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=1260
10/01/2011

Pilates and back pain

As someone who has suffered some back pain in my time, the article found at the following link was very interesting and informative for those who are bit unsure about this unique form of training. We have 2 group mat classes at Best Practice and one on one training is available by appointment. Phone 3854 0386 to enquire or book http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/fitness_articles.asp?id=801
08/01/2011

Nutrition – the key to fat loss

Okay, you’ve got a great fitness plan for 2011. You understand cardio fitness and how you need to do large muscle group activity like swimming, cycling or jogging, getting your heart rate in a training zone and doing this 2-3 times per week. You know you need to build muscle because a greater amount of lean tissue (muscle) equals a higher metabolism and therefore greater energy (read: ‘fat’) consumption at rest, i.e. for the to other 23 to 23 and a half hours you are not exercising. Great! So what is next? Two things actually. Sorry to state the obvious but number is 1….. Start! Plans are good but action is better. Number 2 is your nutrition. You can’t out train the bad diet. Period. So what is good nutrition?. Here is a quick and dirty summary and an example. You must have breakfast. It is the most important meal of the day because it kickstarts your metabolism and prevents you from eating that muffin or birthday cake  at work for ‘Kate’ from Accounting’s birthday. Try a boiled egg on the grainiest bread you can find. Throw in some smoked salmon and chopped tomatoes and rocket lettuce. If you are in a hurry, a high quality whey protein and low fat milk will do when you are in pinch. Add some berries for a great hit of anitioxidants. Don’t leave it too long between meals. Again, if you don’t eat regularly you will end up grabbing something very average, e..g vending machine ‘food’! So have a tub of low fat yoghurt or a […]
22/12/2010

‘Useful fitness’

Went for a ride with some clients today. Wow, what a fraternity of active people out there resplendant in their lycra in the early hours of the morning! We did the river loop which is about 35km’s. We took it pretty easy led by a serious cyclist, Dan from Jack Van Riet’s firm. We were joined by clients, David Heath and Michelle Leversedge along with another work colleague of Jack, Greg. Well done to all. You know this kind of thing is the reason we do what we do on the computrainer. You got get out there and do real stuff in the real world. Useful fitness is one of our drivers here at Best Practice. It’s great to look good in the gym, but what do you do with it?  
06/12/2010

Exercise and the fountain of youth…

Look. I am not a huge fan of the Sunday Mail but my wife wanted me to get it yesterday because there was an Elmo CD of Christmas Carols for Indi (our 5 year old). Anyway long story short I found a great article about a new study which found that endurance exercise (exercise like you might do on computrainer) stimulates the number of stem cells in our muscles which helps rejuvenate them and here’s the quote from eminent Professor Dafna Benayahu that I like, “For the first time our findings can explain why older people, who have exercised throughout their lives age more gracefully”. Bingo! Tell us something we the converted don’t already know!! In an age where there is a pill for everything why oh why don’t we use the best medicine of all thats one main side effect…. is feeling good and looking better??? Click here for our Pre Christmas ‘get off the fitness fence’ special.
29/11/2010

The importance of fats!

I know this heading will confuse you a little. But read this article to find out why some fats, particularly Omega 3’s are so important to health and yes fat loss. http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/nutrition_articles.asp?id=873 This article has come from spark people, a brilliant US web site for people trying lose fat and reclaim their health. I highly recommend it.
22/11/2010

Don’t forget to stretch!

Many clients (hopefully not too many…) don’t fully understand the importance of stretching before and after training, and as part of post training recovery i.e. at home! I’m sure there are some of you out there that stretch religiously (or am I kidding myself?), but for those of you that aren’t quite in that category, read on…   Why is stretching so important? Because it plays a vital role in keeping muscles and joints strong and pliable so they are less susceptible to injury. In its most basic form, stretching is a natural and instinctive activity. People often stretch instinctively after waking from sleep or after long periods of inactivity. But stretching pre and post exercise is something that should be done 100% of the time. Just 5-10 mins devoted to stretching could mean the difference between keeping your muscles strong and in working order, or spending days or weeks on the “sideline” nursing an injury.   When done correctly stretching helps strengthen muscles, and in turn strong muscles are important to stretching safely and effectively.   However, stretching can be hazardous when done incorrectly. There are many techniques for stretching in general, but depending on which muscle group is being stretched, some techniques may be better or more effective than others. See below for a list of pointers to follow when stretching to make sure you are performing them safely and to achieve maximal benefit and reduced risk of injury:   Breathe slowly, deeply and evenly – if breathing is strained, you’ve gone too far Stretching should never be painful Stretch […]
12/11/2010

Strength vs Cardio… Which is best?

The question most people want answered when they decide to to get fit and healthy, is how do I burn up those excess calories as quickly and effectively as possible… with strength or cardio training? The answer, my exercise-loving friends, is you need to do both! Wonderful, isn’t it 🙂 There are many facets to this debate, and the calorie thing should not be the only consideration. Improving general health and fitness is a combination of many things, not being limited to weight control. What about flexibility, heart health, functional strength to perform daily tasks and postural correction, just to name a few. There is no argument cardiovascular training will burn more calories in a session. However, it is worth keeping in mind that when you are actually lifting weights you are burning more calories, it is the rest time needed in strength training that limits the total calories burned in a session.  Worth noting is that higher total calories burned doesn’t necessarily translate to greater body shape transformation. A well designed strength training routine is likely to have a greater impact on body composition and shape than cardiovascular training on a session for session basis.  This is because while it will be burning less total fat content it is simultaneously increasing lean muscle mass (helps out those before and after photos). The crucial point above is ‘on a session for session basis’ a drawback with strength training is that your muscles need time to repair themselves.  So you need longer recovery time between sessions. This is where cardiovascular training takes the reins and is able to ensure your calorie […]