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A Personal Trainer helping busy people to Lose Weight, get Strong and Healthy.
Blog Added: February 14, 2017 04:08:12 PM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
Blog Country: United-Kingdom   United-Kingdom
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Do’s And Don’ts Of Exercising After Giving Birth

Most women will usually carry a couple of extra pounds of body fat after giving birth, and are in a rush to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight. “When can I start exercising?” “How long [...] The post Do’s And Don’ts Of Exercising After Giving Birth appeared first on BUSY PARENT...

postnatal postnatalrecovery fitmamas coremuscles pelvicfloor Mums buggyfit #pregnancy childbirth caesarean

Most women will usually carry a couple of extra pounds of body fat after giving birth, and are in a rush to get back to their pre-pregnancy weight. “When can I start exercising?” “How long will it take me to get back my pre-baby workout routine?” “What kinds of exercises should I do? Or Avoid?” These are typical questions I hear from training clients.

postnatal postnatalrecovery fitmamas coremuscles pelvicfloor Mums buggyfit #pregnancy childbirth caesarean

“When Can I Start Exercising After Giving Birth?”

It’s absolutely critical to get the medical sign-off from your Doctor to begin exercising, as every mother’s situation is different. Also, please do discuss the types of exercise you’re planning to do, with your Doctor.

However, in general a Doctor will permit you to begin exercise after a 6 week check-up. For caesarean sections, it is often longer, at 12 weeks.

Some women may have additional complications, and will need to wait until those are fully healed and cleared by your Doctor, such as:

  • If the placental site is still healing and Lochia
  • Secondary post-partum haemorrhage
  • If you have suffered an air embolism
  • Thrombosis
  • If you’ve got an infection in your breasts, urinary tract, or wound site
  • If you’ve suffered pelvic floor trauma, loss of sensation, or prolapse

“How long will it take me to get back my pre-baby workout routine?”

I won’t sugar-coat it. It’s not a couple of weeks. It’s going to take some time.

Try not to focus on losing weight, but rather on allowing your body to fully heal, and building the strength to regain normal body function.

Increase exercise gradually. Make note of any unusual aches and pains and discuss any concerns with your Doctor.

“What kinds of exercises should I do After Having A Baby? Or Avoid?”

Exercises To Do

Simply walking up to 30 minutes a day, 5-7 days a week can be enough exercise initially.

A great exercise you can do at home is Pelvic Floor Pull Ups to regain control of your pelvic floor. All you do is to replicate the sensation of trying to stop peeing—try to hold the squeeze for a few seconds, then repeat for reps.

You can also work on your core. Start with exercising the Transverse Abdominis, and build up slowly to other exercises. Avoid crunches and sit ups.

You may choose to work on your balance and coordination, if you’re having problems readjusting to your centre of gravity after giving birth.

Having a heavy bump at the front of your body for 9 months alters your posture— creating an excessive arch in your lower spine and rounding your upper back. Working on re-aligning your posture is another great goal to have.

Strength straining is another important element to include in your training, to help improve your lean muscle, and increase your metabolism.

Exercises To Avoid

Many people decide to join a group exercise class, or work with a Personal Trainer. The only problem is that not all trainers have an ante-natal / post-natal qualification. They may suggest exercises that are completely unsuitable for you, and dangerous (many trainers are blissfully unaware of this, and just assume that as long as you have the Doctor’s approval, then you can go full on).

Let’s take yoga, or stretching in general. The hormone relaxin, which makes joints less stable, and enables you to stretch beyond normal limits, can still be in effect for 5-12 months after giving birth. Instead avoid intense stretches which may damage your body, and just do short maintenance stretches.

Stay away from high-impact exercises until your pelvic floor has fully healed, otherwise you can create further trauma. High impact exercises are anything that involves jumping, or where your body pounds the ground. So steer clear of jogging, trampolining, exercise to music classes, or vigorous dancing! Bootcamps typically do a lot of high-impact exercises, such as running, jumping and burpees, which put you at risk of injury.

Some clients have told me there are trainers running buggy workouts, where they get the new mothers to sprint with the buggies! Sprinting is definitely a no-no.

Be cautious with exercises that squeeze the thighs together, or spread your legs wide apart, as the joints around the pelvis area can be weak for some time after the birth.

If you’re still breastfeeding, then avoid getting dehydrated when you exercise, otherwise it may reduce the amount of milk you produce for your baby.

In Summary

Exercising after giving birth will help you to get back in shape—expect to get a little muscle soreness. Monitor any pain any discomfort, and change the exercise if it doesn’t feel right. Find a dedicated ante/post-natal exercise class, or work with a Personal Trainer who has the correct qualification—always check, as most don’t have one.

Your body has experienced some major changes and trauma over the last 9 months, so focus on regaining your normal strength and function, and eating healthily, rather than losing weight. It seems like the long way round, but by fixing your body first, you’ll get there faster in the end. Remember, your body is for life—take care of it.

George
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer — Ante-Natal and Post-Natal Exercise
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom

The post Do’s And Don’ts Of Exercising After Giving Birth appeared first on BUSY PARENT FITNESS.



Eggs — Essential For Health Or Heart Attack On A Plate?

Whenever someone asks me what I eat for breakfast, I can see the shock and horror on their faces when I tell them I eat 4 eggs fried in butter, along with 3 cups of [...] The post Eggs — Essential For Health Or Heart Attack On A Plate? appeared first on BUSY PARENT...

eggs cholesterol hearthealth health healthy NaturalCures HealthyEating Nutrition breakfast Primalliving Primal Keto Ketogenic Atkins LowCarb LCHF GetHealthy HealthyLife HealthTalk healthyheart heartfoundation HeartAssociation

Whenever someone asks me what I eat for breakfast, I can see the shock and horror on their faces when I tell them I eat 4 eggs fried in butter, along with 3 cups of vegetables.

“You only eat the egg whites, right?”

“Nope. I only eat whole eggs.”

They usually frown next. “But won’t they give you a heart attack?”

It’s a conversation I have all the time. Should you avoid eggs? Or eat them daily? Let’s take a look at truth about how eggs affect your overall health, cholesterol, risk of heart attack, and your body fat…

eggs cholesterol hearthealth health healthy NaturalCures HealthyEating Nutrition breakfast Primalliving Primal Keto Ketogenic Atkins LowCarb LCHF GetHealthy HealthyLife HealthTalk healthyheart heartfoundation HeartAssociation

Are Eggs Nutritious For Your Health?

Fats

Egg yolk contains 38% saturated fat, and 46% healthy monounsaturated fat (similar to the healthy fat in olive oil). 16% are polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs), containing omega-6 and omega-3 —which are considered “essential fats” (EFA) as they must be eaten as they cannot be manufactured by the body.

Did you know that 60% of your brain is fat? Your brain contains the largest concentration of EFAs in your body. The fat phobics might get their knickers in a twist over that one!

Research has shown these healthy fats reduce inflammation in your body, and may reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, dementia and alzheimers. EFAs can also relieve depression or mood swings, improve circulation, improve memory, reduce fatigue, eliminate dry skin, and lower blood pressure.

If you have any of the above symptoms, then take a hard look at your diet…how often are you consuming Essential Fatty Acids? When my training clients first show me their food diary, it’s usually very low in EFAs—they don’t realise how important it is.

Aside from eggs, the top sources of useable EFA are oily fish and fish / cod liver oils.

But surely I can get those essential fats from plants instead? Well think again! Unfortunately humans can convert less than 5% of Alpha-Linoelic Acid (ALA) from plants1 such as flax seed or hemp into useable omega-3—something to consider if you ever decide to go to eating only a plant based diet, as your health will eventually decline.

Chickens that are pasture fed, or have a special omega-3 diet, produce higher levels of omega-3 in their eggs—so are more nutritious than their grain fed peers, as a higher omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is more beneficial for health.

Vitamins and Minerals

Whole eggs are high in…

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2): needed to break down macronutrients such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins.  If you’re lacking in this vitamin, you may have symptoms such as light sensitivity or sore eyes, peeling skin on your nose, mouth sores and migraines. If you’re suffering from illness, injury, disease or alcoholism, you might require additional B2. The top sources of Riboflavin are eggs, meat and dairy.

Vitamin B12: This essential vitamin is involved in the metabolism, and DNA synthesis. Vegans are often deficient in this critical vitamin. The top sources of B12 are eggs, meat, diary, fish and shellfish.

Vitamin D: is involved in a wide variety of functions in your body, such as bone health, your immune system, blood pressure, and testosterone levels. People with low vitamin D can also experience depression. Your body also manufacture vitamin D from sunlight—however most people do not achieve optimum levels, as they work in an office all day and the only sun exposure they receive is protected by clothes or sunscreen. The top food sources are oily fish, milk and eggs.

Choline: helps to regulate memory, your mood and muscle function. People with low choline can experience muscle and liver damage. The top sources are meat, eggs, fish, poultry, dairy, cruciferous vegetables, potatoes, some nuts and beans.

Protein

Eggs were one of the top sources of protein recommended by Vince Gironda —one of the best known trainers of champion bodybuilders in the 1950s, including Arnold Schwarzenneger. He felt you could eat an unlimited number of eggs per day (making my 4 eggs a drop in the ocean). Most of the old timers, including Arnold, would blend 6 or more raw eggs, milk and fruit and drink this shake throughout the day.

Protein is broken down into amino acids; but not all foods high in protein are good quality. There are number of ways to rate food, but one of them is called the Biological Value (BV)—how efficiently the body can utilise the protein eaten. Animal sources typically have the best ratings, as plant sources are often lacking or low in a few amino acids.

Eggs had the highest BV with a score of 100; although only just pipped to the post by Whey with a score of 104. Eggs also contain a significant amount of the amino acid Leucine—a potent amino acid for muscle growth and repair.

And lets face it, eggs are one of the cheapest sources of high quality protein.

Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Diseases

Cholesterol is an important substance in your body, and provides critical raw materials to make hormones, such as testosterone and estrogen. These hormones have a wide ranging impact across your body, including whether you look like a man or woman, regulating menstrual cycles and sex drive, bone density, body fat and muscle levels. Your body converts cholesterol into Vitamin D when exposed to enough sunshine.

I bet you didn’t know that your liver manufactures cholesterol if there’s not enough around. And for the majority of people, your body produces more cholesterol than you eat. Your body will balance the production accordingly, so why not help it out? So when people have “high cholesterol” levels, this is referring to what is circulating in your blood (not what you had for breakfast).

Are eggs going to kill you? One study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, investigated the association between eating cholesterol and coronary artery disease (CAD).5 The authors concluded:

“Egg or cholesterol intakes were not associated with increased CAD risk.”

In a study of mediterranean university graduates, lasting over 6 years, they found no association between eating eggs and the risk of cardiovascular disease.2

In a study of egg consumption by nearly 10,000 adults lasting 20 years, they concluded:3

“Consumption of greater than 6 eggs per week…does not increase the risk of stroke and ischemic stroke.”

In a health and nutrition survey conducted in the US between 1988 to 1994, they authors concluded:4

“We did not find a significant positive association between egg consumption and increased risk of mortality from CHD [Coronary Heart Disease] or stroke in the US population. These results corroborate the findings of previous studies.”

And for further endorsement, the British Heart Foundation and the American Heart Association have changed their stance on eggs, and now say there is no limit on how many eggs you can eat (unless you have familial hypercholesterolaemia).

Will Eggs Help You To Lose Weight?

One study put men and women on a calorie restricted diet, and assigned them to eat either two eggs, or a bagel for breakfast.6 They found that…

“The egg breakfast enhances weight loss, when combined with an energy-deficit diet.”

In an earlier study of overweight and obese adults by some of the same researchers, they found that having eggs for breakfast gave greater feelings of satiety, and resulted in eating less calories over the day.7

One study put one group of participants on a standard western diet of high carbohydrates with low fat, and the other one on a high-fat low-carbohydrate diet including 3 eggs a day. The high-fat egg participants lost 11% body fat, which was nearly 5 times more than the high-carb group.8

Will You Give The Egg Breakfast A Try?

There’s still a common misconception even amongst some health professionals, that eggs raise cholesterol and are bad for your health. However, the more recent research and the dropping of limits for eggs by the British Heart Foundation and the American Heart Association should give you reassurance that eggs are indeed healthy and nutritious.

Eggs can also help your weight loss, by providing more satiety, resulting in eating less calories over the day.

There are so many different ways to cook eggs, that it never gets boring. So go on, and give them a try. Here are 2 of my egg recipes:

George
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom

References

[1]Brenna JT; Efficiency of conversion of alpha-linolenic acid to long chain n-3 fatty acids in man. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2002 Mar;5(2):127-32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11844977

[2] Zazpe I, Beunza JJ, Bes-Rastrollo M, Warnberg J, de la Fuente-Arrillaga C, Benito S, Vázquez Z, Martínez-González MA; Egg consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease in the SUN Project.  SUN Project. Investigators. https://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v65/n6/full/ejcn201130a.html

[3] Qureshi AI, Suri FK, Ahmed S, Nasar A, Divani AA, Kirmani JF; Regular egg consumption does not increase the risk of stroke and cardiovascular diseases. Med Sci Monit. 2007 Jan;13(1):CR1-8. Epub 2006 Dec. 18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17179903

[4] Scrafford CG, Tran NL, Barraj LM, Mink PJ; Egg consumption and CHD and stroke mortality: a prospective study of US adults. Public Health Nutr. 2011 Feb;14(2):261-70. doi: 10.1017/S1368980010001874. Epub 2010 Jul 16. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20633314

[5] Jyrki K Virtanen, , Jaakko Mursu, Heli EK Virtanen, Mikael Fogelholm, Jukka T Salonen, Timo T Koskinen, Sari Voutilainen, and Tomi-Pekka Tuomainen; Associations of egg and cholesterol intakes with carotid intima-media thickness and risk of incident coronary artery disease according to apolipoprotein E phenotype in men: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2016 Mar;103(3):895-901. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.115.122317. Epub 2016 Feb 10. http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/103/3/895

[6] JS Vander Wal, A Gupta, P Khosla, and NV Dhurandhar; Egg breakfast enhances weight loss. Int J Obes (Lond). 2008 Oct; 32(10): 1545–1551. Published online 2008 Aug 5. doi: 10.1038/ijo.2008.130 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2755181/

[7] Vander Wal JS, Marth JM, Khosla P, Jen KL, Dhurandhar NV; Short-term effect of eggs on satiety in overweight and obese subjects. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Dec;24(6):510-5. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16373948

[8] Amy Miskimon Goss, Barbara A Gower, Taraneh Soleymani1, Mariah Stewart and Kevin Fontaine; Effects of an Egg-based, Carbohydrate-restricted Diet on Body Composition, Fat Distribution, and Metabolic Health in Older Adults with Obesity: Preliminary results from a randomized controlled trial. The FASEB Journal
vol. 31 no. 1 Supplement lb320 http://www.fasebj.org/content/31/1_Supplement/lb320.short

The post Eggs — Essential For Health Or Heart Attack On A Plate? appeared first on BUSY PARENT FITNESS.



Do This One Thing To Live To Over 100 Years Old

You might be surprised to find out that when it comes to fitness and body composition, the biggest predictor for lifespan, is not how fit your heart is from hours of cardio—it’s how much muscle you have. Unfortunately, [...] The post Do This One Thing To Live To Over 100 Years Old appeared first on BUSY PARENT...

Longevity Health Lifespan Healthy Ageing vitality HealthAndWellness LongLife Strength Muscle

You might be surprised to find out that when it comes to fitness and body composition, the biggest predictor for lifespan, is not how fit your heart is from hours of cardio—it’s how much muscle you have. Unfortunately, due to sarcopenia, if you’re over 30 years old you will most likely lose muscle and strength every year…unless you do something about it. Read on to find out what you can do to live longer…

Longevity Health Lifespan Healthy Ageing vitality HealthAndWellness LongLife Strength Muscle

Increase Your Functional Ability And Live Longer

I’m in my late 40s, and I remember how sick and helpless my late father became from the age of 65. I fear that happening to me, which is why I have a relentless pursuit of health and fitness which encompasses my life. When I’m not training clients, I spend most of my spare time reading studies or books on health and fitness. Generally I will get through 2-5 books a week. Luckily I have a subscription to Kindle Unlimited, which helps me with my little habit.  🙂 

Anyway, back to my father.…in his teens and twenties he was very strong for his size. I remember him recounting the story of how he carried one of the solid wardrobes/closets in our family home down two flights of stairs, by strapping it to his back.

Father - fit at 45
My father in his prime—sadly he passed away in the summer of 2015

However, towards the end of his life, he lost most of his muscle. He needed help to get out of bed, to sit on the toilet, and to get washed and dressed. He would slide down the seat of his wheelchair–being unable to even sit up properly.

I don’t want to become too weak to look after myself , and become a burden to my children. I have about 20 years to go, and I plan to continue increasing my strength and functional abilities every-single-year. I also prioritise strength and functional ability for my Personal Training clients, as well as looking good of course. So far, I’ve not experienced any decline in my strength. I’m sure it will come one day, but I want to stay ahead of the curve for as long as possible.

Human Flag - fit at 45

In a study of 4,504 adults aged 60 and older,1 the authors concluded that low levels of muscle mass was

“a common occurrence that is significantly and independently associated with functional impairment and disability.”

If you become critically ill, muscle wasting occurs rapidly during the first week of admission to an Intensive Care Unit (ICU)–it’s even more severe if you have multi-organ failure, versus single-organ failure. One study found that the rectus femoris muscle (one of the muscles at the front of your thigh), decreased by 17.7% after 10 days in an ICU.2 So if you barely ok at walking before you went into hospital, I can imagine you wouldn’t be able to stand at all by the time you left the ICU. A depressing thought.

In an observation of 240 critically ill patients3, the authors stated,

“We have known for over a decade that critical illness survivors suffer from significant functional disability after hospital discharge.”

They found that those patients who had low muscle mass upon admission, were twice as likely to end up in a nursing home when they were discharged, due to loss of functional ability.

So putting on some muscle is like putting money in the bank for a rainy day…you’ll be more capable than others when faced with a severe illness.

Likelihood Of Death

There have been a number of studies on the level of muscle versus mortality risk.

Researchers at UCLA examined the data of 6,451 participants4 who had cardiovascular disease (CVD)—most often narrow or blocked blood vessels leading to a heart attack or stroke. They concluded that those patients with a high muscle mass, regardless of whether overweight or lean, had less risk of death from CVD than the low muscle groups. There was a further increase in survival of those those who had high muscle mass, but were not overweight.

Living to Over 100 years old

2,239 men aged between 56–68 years old were studied over 44 years.5 One of the things they measured was grip strength. They discovered that those who had those who reached 100 years had more grip strength than those 30 years younger than themselves. The authors also attributed longevity to being physically active, not smoking, and the absence of chronic conditions by the age of 62.

What you can do to increase your muscle mass and LIFESPAN

Firstly, step away from the cardio section of the gym, and start occupying the space with dumbbells and barbells. Once you’ve received some instruction on correct technique, the free weights provide more natural and functional movements than the restrictive machines can provide.

Women often stay away from the weights for fear of getting bulky. That’s a myth. Women’s testosterone levels are only 1/15 that of a man, so it’s very difficult for a woman to grow muscles (unless taking performance enhancing drugs). You’ve probably also heard that muscle can “turn into fat.” That’s impossible!

kettlebell, kettle, bell, swings, woman, women, glutes, weights

How much weight to use? Well, if you can lift it with good technique for more than 12 repetitions then the weight is too light for you. My female training clients can usually knock out one minute of kettlebell swings with a 24kg weight—some can also swing 24kg one-handed.

Bikini Model Anna Churakova uses a 70k / 154lbs barbell for squats…that’s nearly 30% more than she weighs.

Weights such as dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells aren’t the only way to build strength. I also teach Calisthenics (a form of gymnastics strength training), and suspension training on the gymnastics rings. They are all useful methods to build muscle, strength and functional ability.

Strength training 2-3 sessions a week for 1 hour is all you need to start building some muscle. So give it a go this week, and start regaining some of that muscle you’ve lost since your youth.

Live longer.

George
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom

References

[1] Low relative skeletal muscle mass (sarcopenia) in older persons is associated with functional impairment and physical disability. Janssen I, Heymsfield SB, Ross R; J Am Geriatr Soc. 2002 May;50(5):889-96. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/11344486_Low_Relative_Skeletal_Muscle_Mass_Is_Associated_with_Functional_Impairment_and_Physical_Disability

[2] Acute skeletal muscle wasting in critical illness. Puthucheary ZA, Rawal J, McPhail M, Connolly B, Ratnayake G, Chan P, Hopkinson NS, Padhke R, Dew T, Sidhu PS, Velloso C, Seymour J, Agley CC, Selby A, Limb M, Edwards LM, Smith K, Rowlerson A, Rennie MJ, Moxham J, Harridge SD, Hart N, Montgomery HE; JAMA 2013, 310: 1591-1600. 10.1001/jama.2013.278481. http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1879857

[3] Skeletal muscle mass and mortality – but what about functional outcome?
Zudin A Puthucheary, Nicholas Hart; Crit Care. 2014; 18(1): 110.
Published online 2014 Feb 17. doi: 10.1186/cc13729 https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4057190/

[4] Relation of Muscle Mass and Fat Mass to Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. Srikanthan, Preethi et al. American Journal of Cardiology , Volume 117 , Issue 8 , 1355 – 1360. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26949037

[5] Rantanen T, Masaki K, He Q, Ross GW, Willcox BJ, White L. Midlife muscle strength and human longevity up to age 100 years: a 44-year prospective study among a decedent cohort. Age. 2012;34(3):563-570. doi:10.1007/s11357-011-9256-y. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3337929/

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So We Tried Aerial Yoga…

We sent our kids to Nanny and Grandad’s house for sleepover last weekend. But what to do with ourselves? We decided to give Aerial Yoga a try. Here’s what happened… What is Aerial Yoga? Aerial Yoga or [...] The post So We Tried Aerial Yoga… appeared first on BUSY PARENT...

aerial yoga aerialyoga meditation flexibility balance antigravityfitness inversion

We sent our kids to Nanny and Grandad’s house for sleepover last weekend. But what to do with ourselves? We decided to give Aerial Yoga a try. Here’s what happened…

aerial yoga class aerialyoga vampire meditation flexibility balance antigravityfitness

What is Aerial Yoga?

Aerial Yoga or “Anti-Gravity Yoga” is a fusion of yoga, dance, pilates, calisthenics and suspension training (like TRX). Key to every class is the hammock—a high-strength fabric, typically weight tested to between 400-2,000 lbs, depending on the hammock. It’s fixed by two points to the ceiling.

What Are The Benefits Of Aerial Yoga?

My biggest reason for booking the class was decompression of the spine, by hanging upside down. I could feel myself getting longer whilst I was hanging, and my head eventually touched the floor (so we had to raise the height of my hammock).

It will strengthen the core, upper and lower body, plus increase flexibility. It improves proprioception—your awareness in positioning and moving your body, whilst suspended from the ceiling. It’s fun too.  🙂 

What To Wear

Similar to floor-based yoga, Aerial Yoga is usually performed in bare feet. It’s recommended that you wear long yoga pants / running tights, so that your clothes don’t get caught in the fabric. I wore tights with a pair of shorts on top, to preserve some of my modesty! I was wearing a vest (as were most of the people in the class), but in hindsight, a tight t-shirt covering the armpits would be a lot more comfortable, as some positions have the hammock under the armpits and shoulders, where it rubbed a little. You shouldn’t wear a watch or jewellery, to avoid getting stuck on the hammock.

Our Aerial Yoga Session

We booked a session with Ali Bate, at The Fitness Hangout in Godalming, Surrey. The studio was light and airy, with a wall to wall mirror at the front, and orange hammocks suspended from the ceiling throughout the room. There was a yoga mat below each hammock.

After getting acquainted with the hammock, we were soon sitting inside it, with the hammock wrapped around us and nearly all the light blocked out. We closed our eyes for a minute or two and relaxed.

We later moved onto some inverted poses, supported by the hammock. It felt good on my spine, but it’s not quite as relaxing as it looks, as the hammock digs into your hips a little.

When it was time to strengthen the core, we did an exercise almost the same as TRX plank to pike. Get into the plank position, with your feet elevated in the hammock–if you’ve never done this before, it’s more strenuous than doing it on the ground. Next, keeping your legs straight, bend at the hips and pull your feet towards your head.

There were some great stretches for the upper and lower back, and legs, such as supported splits. What’s more, the whole class “flew” in the air at one point.

aerial yoga aerialyoga meditation flexibility balance antigravityfitness inversion

We also did some exercises similar to gymnastics exercises on the rings. Going from an inverted hang with the body completely straight…to pike (bending at the hips, with your legs going towards your head…to a short version of “skin the cat”, where you try to touch your feet to the ground. We transitioned into a position I’d never seen before, the “vampire pose”–usually performed with both legs in the hammock, it was beautiful to look at…unfortunately not that comfortable for me, so I preferred it with one leg on the ground.

aerial yoga aerialyoga meditation flexibility balance antigravityfitness vampire

Who Shouldn’t Do Aerial Yoga?

Aerial Yoga is not for everyone. And like many forms of exercise, there are a long list of conditions which would exclude you from participating. As with any type of exercise class or workouts with a Personal Trainer, they should issue you with a PAR-Q form to check your medical history before you start.

What Did We Think Of Aerial Yoga?

I could see the potential benefits as it was a mixture of a number of disciplines. And for many people, these classes will be enjoyable and different from regular exercise classes.

My primary reason for trying it was still decompression of the spine. So I have to admit, I’ve since purchased a yoga hammock, so I can hang upside down for a minute or two after my Calisthenics workouts.

aerial yoga aerialyoga meditation flexibility balance antigravityfitness

Unfortunately Mrs Fitness didn’t enjoy herself as much as I did. She has low blood pressure, and the swinging around made her a little nauseous.  She bruises easier than anybody I know–so the hammock left her with a couple of bruises on her hips and shoulders. However, sitting still in it to meditate was comfortable for her, so I left her in peace in the garden, to relax.

My kids love the hammock. Sometimes we sit or lay inside it, to get some cozy time. Or they swing themselves.

George
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom

The post So We Tried Aerial Yoga… appeared first on BUSY PARENT FITNESS.



Do you have any ideas I can try?

I’ve got a bit of a problem and don’t know what else to try. If you have any ideas on how to help me, I’d love it if you can please share your ideas in the [...] The post Do you have any ideas I can try? appeared first on BUSY PARENT...

Insomnia, Sleep, NightTerrors, Nightmares, Kids, Sleeping, Hunger, Hungry, WeightLoss, LoseWeight, Growth, Hormone, FatLoss

I’ve got a bit of a problem and don’t know what else to try. If you have any ideas on how to help me, I’d love it if you can please share your ideas in the comment box at the bottom…I’ll be checking. Thanks.

What happened to me in the last 7 days?

Insomnia, Sleep, NightTerrors, Nightmares, Kids, Sleeping, Hunger, Hungry, WeightLoss, LoseWeight, Growth, Hormone, FatLossI’ve had a week of sleep deprivation, due to Fitness junior (aged 6) who has not been sleeping well, and has been waking me up all night long.  I usually take the “night shift”, as Mrs Fitness sleeps like a log, but I seem to have super-sensitive hearing, so I sort the kids out.

Mrs Fitness is often so fast asleep that almost nothing will wake her. I remember the time she accidentally locked the front door, so I couldn’t get back in one evening when I was coming back late. I phoned repeatedly, I rang the doorbell and knocked hard on the door. After 15 minutes (and now bursting to have a wee), I climbed over the locked gate into my garden and started banging on the window and shining a torch. It took me another 5 minutes before she emerged!

Anyway, I always tell my training clients about the importance of sleep. You can have a healthy diet, but if you don’t get enough sleep, it will undermine your fat loss attempts. Not only that, but there have been studies showing that reaction times of someone on very little sleep, are the same as a drunk driver. So you can kiss goodbye to a productive work day.

Not only will you burn less fat at night (due to reduced Growth Hormone release during impaired sleep), but you become more insulin resistant, and ultimately more hungry. One of my training clients was always staying up late, and had plateaued on her weight loss—once she gave 8 hours sleep a go, she instantly lost 4 lbs in as many days.

I always prioritise my sleep above everything else. If I have a bad night, I usually try to take a 20 minute nap in the afternoon, between clients. Or I’ll go to bed 1-2 hours earlier than normal to catch up.

I’d had a week of Fitness junior waking me up about 3-4 times a night…Friday was the worst. Fitness junior kept me awake from midnight to 4am! I get up at 5.30 am, as I train clients from 6am, so I only got 4 hours sleep that night.

On Saturday, around lunchtime I suddenly felt ravenously hungry. I don’t mean a little hunger, I mean so hungry that my stomach was eating itself from the inside out. Have you ever felt like that?

It wasn’t as though I’d starved myself for breakfast, as I’d eaten my usual 4 scrambled eggs and 3 cups of vegetables and some cheddar. I made myself my usual lunch, which is a “big ass salad,” including salmon and some grated cheese. It’s usually extremely filling, but this time I felt dissatisfied. I could see my eyes wandering around in the kitchen, thinking what should I eat next…

I managed to distract myself into not eating anything else, but in another hour, I could feel that hunger rising again. Puzzled, I wrote “feeling extreme hunger today” in my food journal, and kept trying to ignore it.

Mrs Fitness was away camping with the Beavers (the youngest section of Scouts), so I was looking after Fitness junior on my own. I only went to bed about an hour earlier on Saturday, as he kept coming down stairs after I put him to bed, and after another evening of being woken up all hours of the night, I again wrote in my food journal “still feeling hungry.” I was still confused, and searching for what could be wrong? Am I eating too little food? It seemed the same as normal. Have I been more active than normal? I didn’t think so.

It was only when I told Mrs Fitness, after she came back from her camping trip on Sunday afternoon, the lightbulb switched on. Of course, it’s exactly what I bang on about to my training clients–all I needed was a nap! And probably much longer than usual this time.

It seems strange to me that I already knew the answer, but because I was so tired, the logic seemed to have gone out the window.

Do you have any ideas to help Fitness junior?

Insomnia, Sleep, NightTerrors, Nightmares, Kids, Sleeping, Hunger, Hungry, WeightLoss, LoseWeight, Growth, Hormone, FatLossMy neighbour Chris, suggested that I might be giving him too much attention at night. Thinking about it, he was probably right. I’d normally be in his room for 5 minutes, imploring him to go back to sleep.

So for the last two days, I’ve been “Mr Boring”…as soon as he comes out of his room and starts shouting, I calmly put him back into bed without saying a single word, and barely look at him, then leave the room. So far it seems to have reduced the number of times he calls out in the middle of the night…but I don’t want to “count my chickens before they’ve hatched.” So I’ll have to wait and see how the next couple of days go. Thanks for the tip Chris.

The next problem I have is him actually settling down for sleep.  We normally have the same routine, a snack if still hungry, bath, stories in the bedroom, and then night night.

He’s six years old, and often says “I’ve had a bad dream.” His fear of initially falling asleep, could be the reason it takes 3 hours of calling out. These long summery days are still really bright when he goes to bed around 6.30-7pm, but he still says “I don’t like the dark” every time we put him to bed.

He refuses to sleep without a light on…and will scream continuously if we switch it off. I have explained to him multiple times how bright light stops people from sleeping well, but it he doesn’t accept the idea.

We bought him a dream catcher, but he pulled it off the ceiling and he managed to lose it. We asked him to tell his bunny and cat about the bad dreams, but that doesn’t seem to help.

Insomnia, Sleep, NightTerrors, Nightmares, Kids, Sleeping, Hunger, Hungry, WeightLoss, LoseWeight, Growth, Hormone, FatLoss

We also bought him a dream eater, and have put a pencil and paper near his bed. He’s written a few things, but it doesn’t seem to have made a difference.

I don’t know what else to try. So if you have ANY IDEAS at all, I’d love to hear from you–please share in the comment box below. Thanks.

George
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom

The post Do you have any ideas I can try? appeared first on BUSY PARENT FITNESS.



The Best Home Fitness Equipment For Women

I’ve found that most women want to tone up, lose weight, and get stronger. It’s not always convenient to get to the gym due to work and family life, so having some fitness equipment at home [...] The post The Best Home Fitness Equipment For Women appeared first on BUSY PARENT...

#FitnessEquipment #health #review #equipment #blogger #fitness #HomeWorkout #workout #LoseWeight #WeightLoss #Glutes #PR

I’ve found that most women want to tone up, lose weight, and get stronger. It’s not always convenient to get to the gym due to work and family life, so having some fitness equipment at home can help you to keep in shape. No, scratch that…you can get an amazing workout at home if you have the right equipment—so you can give that gym membership the “heave ho”.

I decided to write this post, after some of my female subscribers got in touch with me this week to ask what equipment they should buy—so  I got out some of the gym equipment that I actually use to train my female clients, and took a photo of them on my lawn to show you…

If you’re not sure why you should train with resistance equipment instead of only doing cardio, then read this article: 5 Reasons Why Women Should Lift Weights

#FitnessEquipment #health #review #equipment #blogger #fitness #HomeWorkout #workout #LoseWeight #WeightLoss #Glutes #PR

The Best Home Fitness Equipment For Women

#1 Resistance Loop Bands

These stretchable rubber loop bands are about 41″ long, not to be confused with the mini bands I cover later. There are so many exercises you can do with these to work that behind, such as kickbacks, side leg raises, squats, and band pull throughs. You can also tone up your upper body, by using them for rowing and assisted push ups. You’ll need to keep a close eye on your bands, as your man might be tempted to borrow them to for assisted pull ups. 

Portability: a set of bands fits easily in a drawstring bag, so you can take them with you when you travel. They won’t take up much room in your closet either.

Cost: I’d always advise you buy a complete set, otherwise you’ll buy one, then buy another, and before you know it…you’ve spent twice as much as buying the whole set in the first place. Usually (but not always), they are coloured from Orange (the lightest resistance and cheapest), to Blue (stronger and more expensive). There is often an even stronger black band, but unless you’re using it to support your bodyweight and you weigh over 200 lbs, then you probably don’t need it.  Expect to pay around £100 /US $100 for a complete set.

#2 Kettlebells

Rogue KettlebellAn awesome piece of equipment! Strength and cardio in one. When people ask me what treadmill to buy, I usually tell them to save their money and buy a few kettlebells! You should always get some one-to-one tuition from a Personal Trainer (PT) before attempting the kettlebell swing, otherwise you’re likely to injure your back if using poor technique.

Kettlebells are so versatile. You can work your entire body with a set of these. You can also do a lot of glute work. If one side of your body is stronger than the other, then you can use kettlebells to even you out.

Portability: Not very portable, but if you just had one kettlebell between 16-24kg / 35-53lbs, you could get a great kettlebell swing workout, taking up a lot less space than a treadmill. Kettlebells are great for HIIT.

Cost: Buying one is ok, but buying a set can get expensive. It’s another reason to get some sessions with a Personal Trainer, so you can experience which kettlebell weights are more suited to your current strength levels, and just buy those. You also get what you pay for—beware of cheap kettlebells, made in 2 parts, or with sharp seams. Buy single cast bells, with flat machined bases. A high-quality 44lb (20kg)  kettlebell will set you back about £60 / US $55.

#3 A Barbell, Flat Bench, And Squat Pad

One of THE BEST exercises for a toned behind, is the barbell hip thrust. You’ll need a barbell set with weights (preferably metal). For home use, just buy the standard barbell set, not the larger olympic barbell. A 55kg /125lbs set will suit most women. You can also use the barbell for a ton of exercises to tone and strengthen your entire body.

To do the hip thrust you’ll need to rest your shoulders on a padded bench. You can buy benches which incline, but if the main reason you’re buying it is to tone your glutes by hip thrusting, then a solid flat bench will be more comfortable to lean on.

Resting the barbell on your hips is excruciatingly painful unless you have a barbell squat pad, so make sure you buy one.

Portability: Not portable at all. And this set of gear will take up a lot of space in your spare room or garage. But you’ll probably gain some love from your other half, as he’ll want to use the equipment too.

Cost: Around £250 / US $325 for all three

#4 Yoga Mat

You can lie on a towel or carpet, but it’s just not as comfortable as a mat when doing floor exercises for the abs and glutes. For a more enjoyable workout, aim to buy one that is at least 10mm / ½” thick.

Portability: You could pack a mat into a suitcase. They usually have a carry strap.

Cost: Around £20 / US $20

#5 Mini Bands

These aren’t as versatile as the resistance loop bands, and are much shorter, at around 12″ long. But as an additional item to compliment your other fitness equipment, then these can supplement your glute exercises such as side leg raises, donkey kickbacks, crab walks and fire hydrant.

Portability: Very portable. Small enough to pack a set of bands inside a sock when you travel.

Cost: Around £10 / US $10 for a set of 4 bands in a carry pouch.

George
George D. Choy
Personal Trainer & Calisthenics Instructor
Gymnacity in Oxted, Surrey, United Kingdom


Some of the links or adverts in the post above are affiliate links—so if you click on the links and purchase an item, I may receive affiliate commission. All opinions I expressed in this post are entirely my own. Please refer to my Disclosure page on the About tab.

The post The Best Home Fitness Equipment For Women appeared first on BUSY PARENT FITNESS.



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