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FitFarms Journal 29 October 2014

FitFarms Journal 29 October 2014

This special blog post report is what happened in one of our recent fat camp weeks as reported by one of our instructors.

2nd day in and the newbies feet are well and truly wet, whilst the busy bees feet are so wet they have started to wrinkle! I think knowing what to expect is worse for those still lacking a little confidence than marching on into the dark. Our 2 week champions are tired and they know what to expect for the next two days was tough enough the first time around. I think this is having an affect on the newbies as they haven’t all relaxed quite as quickly as other groups but that might yet turn out to be a good thing! You see less relaxed means more tentative more aware but it also means more stressed, so we usually like to relax a group as quickly as possible because of end of week results, this way around though more maybe remembered and a deeper understanding achieved, I guess only time will tell on that one.

Anyway into the 2nd day, it’s another great start with Zu’s wake up workout guaranteed to loosen off and wake up those aching muscles ready for the rest of the day, breakfast is a buzz of as the clients are returning from their workout feeling awake and refreshed and ready for the rest of the day, from this point on they may lose a little of this enthusiasm as tiredness sets in but it’s guaranteed that for the majority when it comes to going swimming at 3:30pm that feeling will return.

After dinner this evening it is resistance again, this time with that handsome young stud! (Me!) :-D but by this time the girls are too exhausted to even get enthusiastic about that! But then you can’t blame them, by this point on the second day they will have completed nearly 8 hours of exercise per day, 16 hours in total of everything from boxing, walking, resistance, aerobics, yoga, tai chi, stretching, kettlebells, hula hoops, swimming and fitball work and this is just the end of day 2. Our aim as always is to prove to people they can do it and it can be fun, so if your considering something like this but are put off by the amount of exercise? Don’t be it’s all part of the experience and the sense of achievement you’ll get from doing it will be so worth it! If you still aren’t sure take a look at our website, or YouTube channel and the testimonies we have on there from other fitfarmers. They all.. Or mostly started the week off uncertain as to whether it was the right decision.. If we do have anyone out there looking to take the leap as it were, if you would like a little reassurance feel free to get in touch on our Facebook site and one of the very people who will be looking after you on the course can get in touch and answer any questions you may have. :-)

FitFarms Journal 26 October 2014

FitFarms Journal 26 October 2014

This special blog post report is what happened in one of our recent fat camp weeks as reported by one of our instructors.

So into the 2nd week we go, with such a large group of 2 weekers it has created a strange dynamic for the group as we have fewer new comers than we do those on their 2nd week so it is like having 2 separate groups running at the same time, the girls all get on fine, the newbies as Zu has affectionately named them are eager to get started and find out what FitFarms is all about and the “busy bees” Zu’s name for our group of 2 weekers whilst a little apprehensive about doing it all over again are at least more comfortable in their surroundings and relying on the support from the group and ourselves to get them through these first 2 really tough days.

As we now run so many different length courses alongside each other we have to be extra careful to give everyone the experience they deserve as well as the attention necessary to help them take this first step, for some; and one of many for others towards a healthier lifestyle. To do this we have mentor groups, so each one of us has a core group of people to pay more attention to and to spend a little extra time with, just as a way of completing the experience.

Over these 2 weeks I have been working with our busy bees as their mentor whilst Zu has handled the 7 day clients from each course and Ian has worked with the weekenders and the mid weekers. One to one sessions work! They allow the clients to open up and discuss whatever they feel is pertinent to making the necessary changes and making the kind of connection with them that allows them to trust us and talk to us. In some cases the clients quite simply need a kickstart, a bit of motivation, they have no hang ups, no underlying health issues, they just want to get into this fitness bug they have either been hearing about from others or have experienced for themselves in the past, most of all they want to feel good! So the one to one sessions with them are more about getting to know what they like/dislike what we can do during the week to help them and if we can recommend or suggest anything that would suit them and their needs.

By the end of today we have seen some shy and uncertain faces become more relaxed and confident ( and that’s just us instructors!) and we have seen some weary and apprehensive faces become more determined, and then there are a few characters whose faces haven’t changed at all since they joined us over a week ago and I still can’t decide if it’s happiness or pain that we see :-) but I’m almost sure it must be happiness! I mean who wouldn’t be happy here :-D

Healthy Diet and Nutrition

Healthy Diet and Nutrition

In order to maintain our bodies in good health we require a number of nutrients. The main nutrients are protein, carbohydrates, energy, fats, a range of vitamins, minerals and, trace elements. As our lifestyle changes the balance required can change with it. The World Health Organisation is involved with research and is constantly mind full of the role it plays in the advice given out.

It is the general agreement that it is best to ingest specific foods in order to be supplied with the required dietary elements. Some elements are present in food naturally, such as calcium in dairy products. Some are added to the food as fortified elements, such as orange juice. The aim of dietary health is to support the living being through biochemical substances. The correct levels of these substances are required for optimal health. It is possible to undergo nutritional screening to assess our dietary intake is at the significant level to provide the essential nutrients we need to maintain a healthy future.

As we age our body can undergo certain changes which may not be obvious, and the thyroid is one such area. Even during testing the thyroid results may appear within the range expected for our age. The pituitary gland regulates the thyroid gland and produces thyroid stimulating hormone. It is this hormone which will work harder to stimulate the thyroid to maintain the required level of thyroid hormone in our body.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

Image Credit: Designed2Eat.co.uk

Building Stronger Bones

Building Stronger Bones

Losing bone density is a natural part of ageing, this can occur from the age of 40. On cross examination the bones appear more hollow. However, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle can reduce this loss. Not only is it important what you eat but also what is best to avoid. Milk, yogurt, fish, and green leafy vegetables are rich in calcium. Foods that are high in phosphates, such as alcohol, caffeine, red meat, and soft drinks, will prevent the body absorbing calcium from your diet. Vitamin D helps the body to absorb calcium, this can be obtained from oily fish, cereals, egg yolks, and fortified spreads. The NHS suggests that we get enough vitamin D from spending 15 minutes in the sun for up to three times a week. As a general rule the level we build up through the summer is sufficient to last us through to the next spring.

The NHS recommends that we should do five hours of weight bearing exercise each week to maintain and improve our bone structure and reduce the likelihood of developing osteoporosis. This could be made up of lifting weights, exercising with resistance bands, walking, and yoga.

As with any form of exercise it should be have several elements. To prevent osteoporosis the exercise need to be weight bearing, this requires the muscles to move against gravity. There should be a degree to intensity to the movement. Several muscle groups need to be worked, so make sure there is a level of variety to the exercises you perform. It is also important to enjoy your exercise routine, then you are more likely to maintain it in the long term.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

Image Credit: VTSprawl.org

Training for a Half Marathon

Training for a Half Marathon

If you have decided to run a half marathon you are obviously ready for a challenge. This is an accomplishment only a small part of the world’s population has achieved. Congratulations you are about to become one of them.

Motivation is of huge importance, but building stamina and maintaining that motivation is essential. Set yourself goals, how long do you have to train for the event? Your goals need to be realistic and attainable in order to avoid injury and disappointment. Fartlek training is one such of the training styles we use at FitFarms weight loss camp; we do discover that some of our guests are planning to run a half marathon in the future.

Fartlek is a system of difference types of running, from sprinting to jogging. Targets are set with landmarks. Short sprints are used to push the body to gain stamina and endurance. This is an alternated with jogging in order to achieve some recovery time. At each stage of the running set a landmark target. At each training session aim to set the landmarks further apart.

Ok so you’ve set yourself goals. The type of training you undertake will already enabled you to set yourself the goals you need to gain fitness and motivate you to your achievement. How much time do you have before the marathon event? Recovery time is just as important as training time to avoid injury. Balance the training/recovery time, ensure your nutritional levels are adequate for the task, and choose the correct footwear.

Steadily increase the mileage you cover during your training sessions, try and aim for your longest run to exceed the required length of the half marathon. Imagine the mental advantage of being capable of exceeding the marathon length on the big day. Ease off the training in the weeks approaching the run to give your body time to recover. Good luck.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

Image Credit and Training Schedule: SeeVanessaCraft.com

Tips on Fats and Sugar

Tips on Fats and Sugar

In the UK the average person consumes about half a pint of milk a day, and is considered one element of a staple diet. Milk is versatile, and an excellent source of calcium and the vitamins A and D. Adequate calcium in the diet will help to prevent osteoporosis later in life. Young children should be given whole fat milk as the vitamins are fat-soluble and therefore removed during the skimming process of skimmed milk. Research suggests that drinking milk will also help to reduce the risk of heart disease.

It is difficult to avoid sugar in our diets; it is labelled under a number of names. Of course in milk it is known as lactose, and is a naturally occurring substance. However, sugars added to our foods are considered empty calories as they do not contain any useful nutrients just added calorific amounts. The amount of sugar in the diet will have an effect on the liver and pancreas. Unnecessary sugar in the diet can be stored in the liver and build up over time when the liver cannot excrete it. The pancreas will need to work very hard to remove the sugar from the blood stream, and can even leave the pancreas tired, thus resulting in diabetes.

Artificial sweeteners may be a useful short term alternative to sugar. Yet, do we need to have our foods sweetened; it is considered we are just covering the taste of the food with the taste of sugar. Why not reduce the use of sugar and sweeteners in order to taste the food as it should be tasted, in its natural state. Let’s not forget sweeteners are food additives. Low fat alternatives are likely to contain a higher level of sugars to compensate for the reduction in taste.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

Image Credit to FennFitness.com

Racket Sport for Fitness

Racket Sport for Fitness

A racket sport has the advantage over team sports as you only need one other player. The sport requires speed, quickness, strength, and is a great cardiovascular workout. Your opponent is another person who is also looking to win, and the strategy you employ to win the game will give your brain a workout too. It can be a lifelong sport for all ages, as you grow older you may slow down yet can bring skill and technique to win the day.

Squash is an ideal sport for whole body activity, and is a high level of aerobic exercise. It is not about running miles in training but about speed, agility, and strength. During the game of squash the body goes through a range of movements, and strength in the legs, arms, back, and abdominal is essential. You may be on court for 40 minutes to an hour, and mental endurance is another skill you may need to acquire.

Choosing a good racket club is like most things, ask your friends for recommendations, visit your local club, or look out for reviews in the appropriate press. When you visit a club for the first time go with an open mind, are the courts in good condition, do the staff appear knowledgeable and approachable, and will the court availability suit your needs.

Squash, tennis, and badminton are probably the most popular racket sports, and can be relatively inexpensive to undertake. In the UK some schools have outdoor tennis courts for hire for a token value.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

Image Credit to HaileyBury.com

Tips for Sticking to Exercise

Tips for Sticking to Exercise

The key to sticking to exercise is being realistic with your expectations. Start off with small changes and then expend on them. If you’re a beginner to exercise then aim for 10 minutes each time you exercise for the first week, 15 minutes the following week and so on. Vary the type of exercise you undertake to work the different muscle groups.

What you like to achieve with your exercise programme? Would you like to make improvements to your level of fitness or do you aim to run a half marathon. Whatever you want to achieve staying motivated is the hardest thing. However, set yourself realistic targets and each time you reach that target reward yourself and then set the next target. If you’re training for a half marathon break the training sessions down into groups of weeks such as week 1 to 3 be able to run for specific distance, and weeks 4 to 6 increase the distance run and decrease the recovery period in each session.

It’s important that you enjoy the training or exercise you’ve undertaken, if you’re not why not try something different such as a team sport. You are more likely to stick to an exercise programme if you enjoy it. As a reminder how far you’ve come in improving your fitness level why not keep an exercise diary. In your diary keep a note of the exercise you’ve set out to achieve, did you achieve it and how did you feel at the end of the session. Look back at week 1 and how did you feel after 10 minutes of exercise compared with week 4 and 30 minutes of exercise. What a great way to stay motivated.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Fitness and Editorial Team

Image Credit to SparkPeople.com

Protein in your Diet

Protein in your Diet

Nutritionist agreed that protein is the best source of food for satisfying hunger, and fish is an excellent source of protein which is lower in fat to meat or poultry. It is considered protein takes longer to digest, which means you burn more calories processing them. As it takes longer for your stomach to process them it leaves you with a fuller feeling for longer.

The protein components of the human body make up about 16% of the total body weight; this includes the muscles and skin. Our daily intake is calculated by multiplying your weight in kilograms by 0.8 and weight in pounds by 0.37, this should equate to 10-35%. For body building or long distance running the evidence suggests this should be increased. The protein in our diet replaces and repairs the protein elements in our bodies. The proteins achieved from animal based products are considered high quality proteins. Vegetarians would replace the animal based proteins with plant based proteins to meet their needs.

Nutritionists recommend that around 50% of our diet should come from carbohydrates. Of course that is good carbohydrates, such as whole grains, fresh fruit and vegetables. Unsaturated fats are referred to as good fats and are thought to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. The daily intake should be no less than 20%. A good source of unsaturated fats is olive and canola oil, nuts, and seafood. A well balanced diet should consist of 50% of carbohydrates, 20% unsaturated fats, and 10-35% of proteins.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Nutrition and Editorial Team

Image Credit to TheScottishNutritionist.com

The Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise

The Benefits of Cardiovascular Exercise

What is cardiovascular exercise? It refers to any form of action that increases the heart rate and blood circulating around the body. Why do we need to increase the heart rate. The heart is a muscle and similar to any other muscle it requires exercise to become stronger.

Too many of us are becoming increasingly sedentary in our life styles and getting short of breath by just climbing the stairs. The reason for this is we are neglecting our heath and heart muscle. Not only will cardiovascular exercise strengthens the heart muscle it will also increase the metabolism and as we know when you increase the metabolism it makes it easier to lose weight.

Through cardiovascular exercise the heart will become more efficient by delivering more blood around the body with less effort it is also likely to beat at a slower rate during periods of resting. The lungs will also become more effective at oxygenating the vital organs, such as the brain, heart, and liver.
Cholesterol in the blood may decrease and endorphins will be released. The release of endorphins can make us feel happier and gives us a feeling of improved general wellbeing. The good feeling from the endorphins can help to relieve the symptoms of depression and tiredness.

Cardiovascular exercise can benefit the major weight bearing muscles in two ways. Not only are the muscles made stronger by the exercise, but also the respiratory system delivers more effective oxygen levels to those muscles. Exercising at the appropriate cardiovascular level will burn calories and in turn burn body fat.

The benefits of cardiovascular exercise are certainly impressive; it’s something we believe in a Fitfarms weight loss camp. Not only will it strengthen the heart and improve the blood flow it will also improve the respiratory system. The direct result of that is the metabolism increases and endorphins are released. The weight bearing muscles also benefit and at the same time body fat is reduced.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

Image Credit to Smerete.com