Tips

Importance of Proper Breathing

proper breathing exerciseThe importance of proper breathing as we will be practising at the Devon weight loss boot camp and all our other UK Retreats

Most people breath using their chest and so don’t fully utilise their lung capacity. Breathing from the abdomen deeply, not only is good for fitness but it can also assist with weight loss alongside a healthy controlled diet. Deep diaphragm breathing techniques as shown by our Fitness and weigh loss boot camp trainers and yoga instructors will really help change your life.

Aside from weight loss proper breathing can assist in getting a decent nights sleep. Breathing deeply in and out of the nose enables the hair follicles and mucus membrane to act as natural filters, purifying the air going into our lungs. Similarly to how a day out in the fresh air feels on one of our Fitfarms Boot camp retreats you to can achieve something similar in everything you do by breathing completely and fully using deep abdominal breathing. When breathing fully your organs work optimally and your are able to regulate your mind and body, thus helping in getting a good nights sleep.

There are three basic types of breathing. Clavicular breathing is the most shallow and worst possible type. The shoulders and collarbone are raised awhile the abdomen is contracted during inhalation. Maximum effort is made but a minimum amount of air is obtained, Intercostal breathing is done with the rib muscles expanding the rib cage and is the second type of incomplete breathing. Deep abdominal breathing is the best during your stay at our boot camp as it brings air into the lowest and largest part of the lungs. Breathing is slow and deep, and proper use is made of the diaphragm and so assisting with your exercise at Fitfarms.

Actually none of the types are complete. A full yogic breath combines all three, beginning with a deep breath and continuing the inhalation through the intercostal and clavicular areas. To get the feel of proper diaphragmatic breathing, which you will experience on our Boot camps wear loose clothing and lie on the back. Place the hand on the upper abdomen, where the diaphragm is located. Breathe in and out slowly. The abdomen should expand outward as you inhale and contract as you exhale. Try to get the feeling of this motion.

To experience a ‘full yogic breathe’, sit up and place one hand on the abdomen and the other on the rib cage. Breathe in slowly; expand the abdomen, then the rib cage and finally the upper portion of the lungs. Then, breathe out in the same manner, letting the abdomen cave in as you exhale then the rib cage. This is the best type of breathing to do, not only at our weight loss boot camp but when walking or driving or doing just about anything.


Special blog post from Claire Swaffield, FitFarms Yoga Instructor and Behaviour Change Expert/Facilitator

Image Credit: Livestrong.com

The Fitness Camp Team are Completing a Fitness Exercise with the Kettlebell

Here we have Andy showing us how to do the kettlebell clean, twist and press. Ian talks us through the negative and positive twist.

It’s quite an advanced kettlebell technique so take your time and break down each exercise. FitFarms teaches this exercise during the fitness holiday so if you are not under instruction please take note of this video and watch the technique that is being performed.

Kneeling Clean and Press Exercise with Andy and Ian 5 Minute Session

Starting with the kneeling reverse fly. Andy from the fitness camp team does not use a mat but we advise to use a mat for theses exercises.

Like a renegade position make sure hips are parallel to the floor which means you will need to put in maximum effort.

Then the kneeling clean press, driving the hips through and rotating the wrist almost like a half squat.

Then into the kneeling wood chop which is great for the core. Make sure to drive with the hips. Then Andy goes into the tricep overhead

5 Minute Fitness Exercise Starting with the Hip Lift (Video)

The hip lift performed from the neutral spine position with the weights resting on the hips. You can also do this without weights to build up your strength and condition. Brings in hamstring and glutes and is another great core exercise.

Followed by the assisted sit up using the weights as a counter balance. Then the dorso rage which is a great back strengthener.

Finally the renegade row a real favourite at the fitness camp.

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

Obesity and Exercise

Obesity and Exercise

Obesity is considered a problem when you are 20% or more above the normally accepted weight for your height, age, and gender. The body mass index (BMI) and waist to hip ratio are also measurements and indicators of a healthy weight. A BMI of 30 or over is judged to be an indication of obesity.

One definition of obesity is there is a high ratio of fat to muscle. Using the BMI scale is then more difficult to measure in athletes, as research suggests muscle is heavier than fat. The waist to hip ratio gives an indication of where in your body excess fat is stored. A high waist to hip ratio would suggest fat is stored around the abdomen, and in turn the crucial organs such as heart and liver. A low waist to hip ratio would indicate fat is stored on the hip and thighs. Any form of excess fat is unhealthy, however abdominally stored fat is considered more crucial to reduce.

There are many types of training to increase stamina, build muscle, and improve endurance, all of which are important for a healthy lifestyle. However, safe fat burning would be the overriding concern for obesity. As the stamina increases, the muscles will build, and improved endurance will all aid the weight loss. Choose an exercise programme that’s variable, challenging, and something you will adhere to in the long term.

It is generally accepted that the most beneficial exercise should be carried out approximately three times a week. The exception to this is extreme weight training where twice a week should be sufficient.

CONTENT SOURCES:

Health and Fitness Advice by FitFarms Editorial Team

Image Credit: MHADegree.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

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