exercise

Mistakes People Make When Lifting Weights

Mistakes People Make When Lifting Weights

We all know by now that strength training is good, right? It’s great for boosting metabolism, maintaining a strong core and increasing bone density, amongst many other reasons.

We do, however, get some people coming through our door who started with all the right intentions but ended up doing more harm than good though lifting weights. Here’s our short guide to what to avoid the next time you hit the gym to make sure you’re getting the best from your workout.

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Walking More

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Walking More

Often, when people decide to embark on an exercise regime, whether for fitness, fat loss or rehabilitation, the first place they think of going is the gym (or pool, or their bike but you get the idea – sweaty exercise, grr). However, there is one form of exercise which is often overlooked in favour of its higher-octane counterparts.

Yep, I’m talking about walking. We do it pretty much every day without thinking about it, but it could hold the secret to achieving your health goals, and here are 5 reasons we should do more of it:

5 Ways to Be Healthier This Week

5 Ways to Be Healthier This Week

I’ve long been an advocate of the ‘baby steps’ approach to health and fitness. Unless you are super-motivated and have cast-iron willpower, overhauling your diet or exercise regime will probably give you 2 weeks or so of smug, but I can almost guarantee that soon you’ll be right back where you started, possibly even a few steps behind, back on the ‘quit and start over’ train.

So, what to do – you want to improve your health, but where do you start? Try making smaller changes which don’t dramatically change your life to start off with. These 5 things will help you make the first steps. Bit by bit, you can implement tiny changes and before you know it you’ll be in the smug-zone for good, without feeling like you’ve sacrificed your life to get there.

3 Reasons Why We Love Foam Rollers

3 Reasons Why We Love Foam Rollers

Not just for sadists (if you’ve used one, you’ll know what I mean), our cylindrical, sometimes knobbly little friends which you find in the stretching area of the gym are fast becoming a firm favourite of ours.

We first came across them at a fitness convention way back in 2013 when we were subject to quite possibly one of the best core workouts we’ve ever done – you know the type when you’re afraid to cough, sneeze or err, get up out of bed.

Never ones to get sucked in by a sales pitch (okay, okay. It was 7pm on a Sunday night after a VERY intense 3 days of exercise and heavy learning. We were so exhausted we’d have bought anything – they certainly knew how to time it right) we headed home with our new toy under our arms.

Fast forward 5 years and what we thought might fall into the ‘fitness fad’ hole, along with slender tone belts and ab cradles (remember them?) are well and truly here to stay and we for one, couldn’t be happier. This is one bandwagon we were more than happy to jump on.

Here are our 3 reasons why we won’t be rolling off ours any time soon…

The Importance of Isolating & Strengthening the Back Muscles for Low Back Pain

The Importance of Isolating & Strengthening the Back Muscles for Low Back Pain

Studies show that following a back injury, 70% of people will significantly improve after 2 weeks, and 90% to 95% of people will recover within 2-3 months.

During this ‘acute’ phase, the focus should be on staying as comfortable as possible whilst the body’s natural healing process takes place. Passive treatments such as massage, manipulation (where appropriate), painkillers and heat can all help at this stage. It’s also important to be aware of posture, how to protect your back from further injury, and finding comfortable positions to ease the pain.

Staying active and avoiding excessive rest during the acute phase is also important to avoid rapid deconditioning of the back muscles.

The pain experienced by the 5%-10% who do not recover within this time is classified as chronic. Evidence shows that deconditioning because of pain and reduced activity in people who have chronic back pain can result in weakened muscles of the low back and spine.

It is possible for the body to be strong everywhere except the back. The back can only be strengthened when the lumbar spine is moving against resistance. Typically, if you have back pain, you will (unknowingly) change your body mechanics to protect your back, substituting pelvic motion for lumbar motion.

How to Start Running – 6 Tips from a Seasoned Beginner

How to Start Running – 6 Tips from a Seasoned Beginner

Sounds obvious, doesn’t it? “uh, put on your daps and leg it down the road”. Not so much. I remember when I started running about 5 years ago. I had not long had my second baby (new Mums: do your Kegels) and wanted something which I could do any time of the day and which wouldn’t waste my valuable time by having to travel to do it.

So out I trundled, calling “back in half an hour” behind me as I flounced out of the door. Now, if you’re new to running, or can remember when you were new to running, you’ll appreciate my crushing disappointment when 2 minutes into my ‘run’ I was pretty much ready to drop.

So, you see, it’s not quite as simple as trotting off for a brisk 3 miles when you’ve never run before. But I did persevere and in the following 12 months completed both a 10k and half marathon. And if ‘Mrs-I-can-only-run-for-2-minutes’ can do it, anyone can. Here are my tips for anyone just starting out…

How to Exercise When You Have a Bad Back

How to Exercise When You Have a Bad Back

We conducted a survey recently of people suffering with back pain and the effect exercise has on the level of pain experienced.

The type of exercise you should choose if you have back pain may vary according to your diagnosis, but here’s a quick rundown of things which are safe for the vast majority of back pain sufferers:

6 Mistakes People Make With Back Pain

6 Mistakes People Make With Back Pain

When you’re struck down with back pain, it’s hard to know what to do. Especially if you’ve not had pain before – it can be pretty scary and not wanting to make it worse is at the forefront of your mind.

Along with the old wives’ tales and myths, there are are lots of things people have in common when trying to ease their pain, and not all of them are actually helpful.

Take a look at these common mistakes, and see if you’ve been falling foul to any of them…