We used to think that if you wanted to grow your brain you learned a musical instrument or another language. But, as renowned neuro-psychiatrist John Ratey explains, the science now shows conclusively that being fit is as good for your mind as your muscles.
AT A GLANCE: EXERCISE AND THE BRAIN
- Exercise improves blood and oxygen flow to the brain, as well as the brain’s chemistry.
- Exercise boosts the brain’s attention, memory and motivation systems.
- It’s only since 1999 that we’ve known humans keep making new brain cells throughout life, and exercise is key to this.
- Exercise influences the brain’s “flight or fight” response; fit people don’t stress out as much as others.
- Exercise is a form of psycho-therapy; it helps people become masters of their own fate.
- Being fit reduces cravings for everything, including the need to check your phone!
- If you exercise you will learn quicker and better.
- Need more proof? Einstein was a keen walker, cyclist and sailor – he was fit!
Did you know you are Never too old to get into Exercise?
The secret is to find an activity that is fun, supportive and challenging. If you start today, in a month you will feel stronger, fitter and improved some aches and pains. Your joints will love you.
Knee pain affects two thirds of women over 50 and is often brought on by osteoarthritis but this needn’t prevent you from exercising. Aqua aerobics and swimming are great if you have osteoarthritis as they will improve your fitness without straining the joints. Gentle exercise, strength training using light weights or just your body and cycling can also help strengthen your muscles and sometimes alleviate pain.
If you think you are too unfit to start exercising, the important thing is to find a someone like a Personal Trainer who can help you and adjust your exercise to suit your level.
75% of women are afraid of gyms. But you don’t have to join a gym to get fit. You can walk, swim or dance or do any other activity that gets you moving and having fun. Find a buddy to join with you as you are more likely to stick to it.
A Canadian study also found 41% of women over 60 avoid exercise as they are afraid of falling but regular exercise can build balance, strength, stamina and flexibility and massively reduce your risk of falling. Weight training, yoga, pilates and tai chi are all especially effective
If you find something you love that keeps you moving, you won’t find exercise a chore. Examples are bushwalking, dancing, gardening, bowling, hiking, playing outdoors with children.
So you think you’ve heard all of the many benefits of HIIT training? Aside from fast fat loss and quick results, HIIT training is loved thanks to it’s short, but sweet workouts. But what’s actually going on beneath the Lycra when you HIIT it hard?
- You’ll push yourself to the max
The clue is in the name. Moving at max intensity is the only way this will work. This style of training puts a large stress on your cardiovascular system and increases your body’s need for oxygen during the effort phase creating an oxygen shortage. This shortage tries to replenish itself during the recovery phase, however, due to the short nature of the recovery, the system doesn’t have time to recover fully before the next interval.
- You’ll sweat – wear the glow with pride!
Sweating lots all part of the HIIT experience. But don’t reach for a towel between sets. For the body to lose heat through sweat, it must evaporate from the skin, so wiping it o will likely just increase overall sweat production. Wear your sweaty glow with pride.
- You’ll also rest for half the workout
A rest is as good as a rep. Yes, really. The ideal ratio for a 20-minute session is 30 seconds on, 60 seconds off. Resting for so long might feel like cheating, but your muscles need time to renew their oxygen and glycogen levels. Too little rest and your body becomes catabolic, breaking down muscle tissue.
- You’ll tap into your muscle glycogen (which metabolises fat)
To power a HIIT session, your body taps into muscle glycogen, not fat stores – calm down, if your goals include weight loss, this is a good thing. HIIT triggers a release of human growth hormone and testosterone – both play a key role in metabolising fat. For best results, go for a peak hormone response by incorporating compound movements into your session; think squats, lunges and burpees.
- You’ll burn calories for hours after
Your body is still burning calories while you’re busy shaking up your post-workout protein shake. This after-burn effect is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption or “EPOC” and is the reason to why this style of training is so much more effective at burning calories and in turn fat than your steady state or regular aerobic exercise.
Simply put, you’re still burning calories for hours after your workout ends. You can amplify this effect by staying active, so consider Metafit as part of your daily routine.
New research claims that boosting your cell health could be the answer to a long, healthy life.
Most age related diseases are linked to mitochondrial dysfunction. Every cell in the body relies on the mitochondrial energy supply to function; so we want to slow the rate of damage within the mitochondria you have and increase the rate of new mitochondria you produce.
Of the many suggested tactics to achieve this goal, exercise is the most important!! And the more intense the workout, the better the results. When you put your body under pressure like you do with fast high intensity exercise, it has to find a way to keep up with those demands on energy and it’s solution is to make mitochondria more efficient..
A recent study from the Mayo Clinic in the US found that regular high intensity interval training (HIIT) led to a 49-69 per cent increase in how well the mitochondria performed and the biggest benefits were seen in older participants.
Try one of our HIIT Classes: 6.15 am Saturday Mornings at Oak Flats Senior Citizens Hall. Only 30 mins; Investment $10.
New research suggests it takes an average of 66 days to turn small changes into a routine habit.
However, Sydney clinical psychologist Dr Cindy Nour says that when struggling to change certain behaviours; it’s totally normal to take two steps forward and one step back.
Journaling is a simple way to become aware of your behaviour. By writing down your habits, the environment you’re in when they rear up and how you felt, you soon notice the cues and patterns that will act as warning signs to allow you to face your habits head on.
Try to think of ways to improve your environment so the triggers are removed
Make sure you secure a support network.
You don’t need to completely eradicate a habit but rather replace the bad with something more promising.
Concentrate on small shifts to eventually achieve and sustain big results
If you need help, please contact me.
You should aim for 20 mins exercise every day.
The exercise needs to be cardio and you need to be working at 50 to 60 per cent of your max heart rate. “To determine your max heart rate, subtract your age from 220.
You don’t have to run, you can walk.
Wearing compression garments can boost the benefits of exercise. According to research by the Australian Institute of Sport and Aussie company 2XU, compression garments can help blood flow through the heart.
If you want a great cardio workout, come and try a Boxing Class
Your first class is free, so come on and try it out! Bring a friend for free too.
Thereafter classes are $15/class, or buy set of 5 ($50) or 10 ($100) week sessions that is only $10/class.
If your fitness regimen has become boring or hard work, it’s time to put some fun back into and rediscover all those great Kid’s games that double as exercise.
The humble skipping rope is the most inexpensive yet portable of all gym equipment. Revive those school playground memories of pounding the playground with pigtails flying in the wind.
The beauty of skipping is that a few 5 minute burst (or 10 mins depending on your fitness level) over the course of the day are all you need to get your heart rate up. The skipping rope also works your arms, core and legs and can improve bone density, coordination and balance.
While the jumping part is really child’s play, the take-off and landing require precision so as not to damage more “mature” knees and ankles. Use those natural shock absorbers of the body by staying on your toes with your knees slightly bent. Hold the rope at hip height with your palms facing your body and your elbows in. You don’t have to jump high, just a few centimetres.
So if you’re looking for some fun ways to add variety to your fitness regimen, why not try a Personal training Session tailored to your particular goals or a boxing class, where you actually get to skip!!
More suggestions for fun ways to exercise coming in the next few weeks!
A dodgy knee shouldn’t stop you from getting the benefits of this essential functional movement.
The squat is about the best exercise to target all the big muscles in your legs and best of all, you don’t need any more equipment than a chair or Exercise ball and your own body weight.
Squats not only strengthen and shape your legs and booty, they are also one of the best fat burning exercises you can do. So it is a good idea to incorporate them in your weight training sessions, two to three times per week.
However a common problem with squats is poor technique which can lead to injury. Many people lead with their knees but this is incorrect. You must first push your hips backward like you are going to sit down.
How can I modify the squat if I feel I have poor technique or have a knee injury or knee pain?
Option 1: Using the Common chair:
Sit tall on the edge of a stable chair, with your spine straight, shoulders down and chest up.
It is a good idea to place it against a wall so it can’t move.
Place your feet on the floor shoulder-width apart. Push up through your heels and in a strong movement stand up. Depending on your level of mobility, you can either support yourself with your hands to sit back down on the chair or, from a standing position, push your hips back and in a controlled movement sit back down on the chair. This is 1 rep.
Option 2: Using an Exercise Ball
Stand tall with an exercise ball between the wall and your lower back, with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointing out. Lean into the ball, push your hips back and in a controlled movement, lower into a squat. The ball will roll down the wall, giving you support. Once you reach your sticking spot (aim to get to a 90 degree angle), push up through your heels in a strong movement to return to standing as the ball rolls up the wall with you. This is 1 rep
Integrate Fitness into your life – a fitness program has to fit into whatever else you’re doing day to day, so be creative!
Start Small, Aim big – the key is to start with something manageable and something you enjoy.
Establish an Achievable Exercise Habit – there are so many opportunities for incidental exercise – work out whenever you can!
Exercise with a Friend – its fun and your friend can hold you accountable to turn Up!
Exercise outside where possible – it benefits your mindset, serotonin levels increase, its interesting and your body moves in new ways to adjust to the landscape
Exercise opens the gate to eating better – choose food as close to the natural source as you can
Vary Your program – keep challenging yourself by trying new things
If you’re looking for a fun new way to burn calories, have loads of fun and tone the entire body, why not try Boxing or Personal Training.
Grapefruit: Studies show that eating just half a grapefruit a day could help you drop a few kilos in just 12 weeks thanks to its ability to lower levels of body fat-storing insulin.
Salmon: loaded with mono-unsaturated fats (good fats) – salmon is a key ingredient to speeding up you sliming. Studies show eating foods rich in these good fats helped dieters lose more weight than following a low-fat regimen. It is also good for boosting eyesight, skin’s appearance, brain activity and heart health. Aim for 3 to 5 portions per week.
Green Tea: This is the reason Japan has the lowest obesity rate! Just 3.5% of Japanese citizens are obese compared to a whopping 29% of Aussies. Green tea is full with health-boosting antioxidants that stop your body from storing fat and help to suppresses appetite. Aim for 2 cups per day. Pre-workout will help burn fat more effectively.