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Displaying items by tag: fitness
Monday, 19 September 2011 11:20

These Boots are Made for Walking

Whilst the words "boot camp" may conjure images of muddy military-recruitment training or physical punishment for prison inmates, Boot Camps have now become synonymous with a series of fitness sessions offered to those wanting to shed a few kilos or get fit.

The appeal? Achieving fitness and lifestyle goals in a motivational and dynamic team environment. Perfect for the unmotivated or those wanting to realise their full fitness potential, boot camps leave no room for slacking off during a work-out. Boot camps started to gain popularity in 1991 and since then have become a widespread fitness training option. Operating on a unique rotational basis, boot camps are great for those with short attention spans that get bored easily.

Training sessions hold a similar motivational mentality to that of traditional military boot camps, only with the view of accomplishment rather than punishment. Trainers take a 'hard taskmaster' approach, providing intense 'encouragement' to push clients past their usual barrier of defeat and into a new zone of accomplishment. Having been pushed to work out harder than they usually would, clients see increased results in weight loss, fitness levels, muscle toning and building, body conditioning, along with a general lift in attitude.

Boot camp programs operate all year round, but become particularly popular in the summer months as trainers have the advantage of mobility and thus the freedom to conduct sessions outdoors at parks and beaches-providing more enjoyable surrounds for a workout (along with the added benefit of uneven terrain).

A typical boot camp session involves a combination of weights and cardio, incorporating group and individual activities. This combination aims to achieve both cardio and strength fitness, whilst targeting a range of muscle groups.

Boot camp sessions typically have a limit on the number of participants ensuring that each individual is monitored and coached, maintaining the personalized aspect of each program. The intensity of the workout and the delivery by the trainer is determined by the client and dependent on session type and regularity. There are a variety of boot camps on offer, from those with a military-style intensity to those with a less intimidating approach, ensuring there is a boot camp for everyone.

And for those that prefer to exercise alone in the comfort of their home a variety of Boot Camp DVDs are available. Rocco Sorace, a well-known celebrity fitness and lifestyle trainer based in Melbourne, has produced Mind & Body Boot Camp an instructional DVD with a full training session, including a warm-up and stretch-down. Mind & Body Boot Camp is available at retailers nationwide.

To get the boot camp experience visit www.stepintolife.com.au and explore the personalised boot camp programs on offer.

Monday, 19 September 2011 11:23

Workout for the Body, Mind and Spirit

The origin of Pilates stems back to the 1920's when Joseph Hubertus Pilates developed a system of body conditioning exercises which he called Contrology.

Contrology was used as a form of rehabilitation for injured dancers, athletes and soldiers. Today this style of exercise has become more commonly known as the Pilates method which aims at delivering holistic benefits to mind, body and soul.

Pilates is based on a combination of more than 500 exercises and blends controlled breathing techniques with mental and physical exercises. The primary function of Pilates is to allow participants to achieve a greater awareness of the form and function of their bodies. Pilates, when practiced regularly, can help to build core strength, stability and mobility. Founder Joseph Hubertus Pilates suggests the "Pilates Goal" to be "the attainment and maintenance of a uniformly developed body with a sound mind and the ability to perform life's daily activities with zest and ease."

Modern day Pilates involves exercises which concentrate on training muscles to improve posture and alignment. Pilates is an intense session of exercises which have been tailored to focus on the core abdominal, leg, arm and back muscles. Pilates workouts encourage participants to think about how they perform everyday movements and incorporate the Pilates techniques into everyday activities.

Each Pilates movement challenges weaker muscle groups in the body to become stronger and more stabilized, when weaker muscles are strengthened stronger muscle groups are less likely to over compensate. For example when lower back muscles are weak from bad posture the body naturally tries to correct itself. This may mean additional pressure is placed on the hips when performing everyday activities. Weak back muscle can lead to instability and even injury in the lower back region. Pilates encourages participants to focus on strengthening these "core muscle" areas (abdominal, leg, arm and back muscles) which will improve overall muscle performance.

Incorporating Pilates into your exercise regime has numerous benefits to the body.

It enhances muscular strength and control, increases awareness of posture, improves stability and prevents musculoskeletal injuries (such as common lower back injuries). Pilates also helps to achieve relaxation and relieve stress. Pilates encourages increased muscle tone and builds lean muscle which in turn boosts one's metabolism, strength, flexibility and agility. Tanita Innerscan monitors assist you to monitor the effects of the Pilates method and dieting. The Innerscan range uses Bio Electrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) to send a safe and low signal through the body via electrodes. This signal measures resistance as high levels of water in the body act as a conductor while low levels of water in fat resist the signal flow. This advanced technology allows the Innerscan range to measure body water, muscle mass, bone mass, body fat and metabolic age.

The Tanita Innerscan monitors also provide you with a physique rating which is based on a body fat to muscle mass ratio. So you can monitor your improvement in the muscle tone of your body as part and parcel of your Pilates programme. Pilates will thereby boost your metabolism and ultimately improve your metabolic age, all of which is capable of being measured by the Innerscan monitor within the comfort and privacy of your home. The Tanita Innerscan range provides you with a snapshot of your inner health and wellbeing and importantly allows you to measure the benefits of such exercise regimes as Pilates.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013 09:14

Strength and Wellbeing

We all have a goal in mind, weather its to be healthier or slimmer. Here are some basic toning exercises which should make it into your daily routine to help you reach your goal.

1. Basic squats should be a normal part of your routine. They tone and strengthen your lower body: calves, quads, glutes, and hamstrings.

2. The bridge is a great all-over body workout that focuses on building a strong core to help everyday living.

3. Along with working your lower body, lunges also challenge your balance and core.

4. The sit-up works the abs and hip flexors through a wide range of motion.

5. Push-ups get your heart pumping while working your arms, back, and chest.

6. Tricep dips are a simple way to tone shoulders and upper arms.


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