Enjoying Exercise and Workout at the Retreat | Weight Loss Boot Camp Report

Enjoying Exercise and Workout at the Retreat | Weight Loss Boot Camp Report

Today we have the pleasure of my high intensity interval training for the wake up workout, it’s a good session, very tough but ideal for this point in the week, more intensive means shorter bursts and rest periods more often so it is tough on the body but it doesn’t defeat the mind.

A lot of what stands in the way of our clients when it comes to exercise is the psychology, how they approach this new routine or lifestyle change will have humongous significance to whether they are able to maintain it or whether it gets pushed to one side the next time something gets in the way.

Exercise is not a chore! It is an enjoyable hobby or activity that primarily serves to improve mood, positively balance mental state of mind and increase confidence and inner strength. The reason people think of exercise as a chore is that they are doing it for the wrong reasons or they are doing the wrong type of exercise!

If you don’t believe that it’s possible, ask anyone of our thousands of previous clients who have left one of our intensive week realising that not only can they do extreme amounts of exercise but that with the right focus and approach they can enjoy themselves while doing it!

Today is proof of that, you take a group of people who up until this week haven’t done much if any exercise, especially not regularly and by the 5th day full of exercise they are not beaten and miserable, they are not incapable of moving (although stairs do prove to be a challenge!) in fact they are laughing, joking, still getting up at 6 in the morning to exercise and they have just absolutely owned a high intensity workout before breakfast and are still game for more!

To Anyone who doesn’t enjoy exercise.. Don’t give up! Just find the right group of people, the right instructor or the right reason and remember to focus more on what you achieve than what you fall short of.

Bonding with New Friends – Weight Loss Boot Camp Report – 1 Aug 2014

Bonding with New Friends – Weight Loss Boot Camp Report – 1 Aug 2014

Today has been a day of mixed emotions and a strange atmosphere, we usually have a group full of people who are exhausted and elated and absolutely ready to go home tomorrow, that is no different with this weeks group of lovely ladies, however there is a group of 9 of our lovely ladies who won’t be going home tomorrow and I think that is quite a daunting thought for them.

None the less the group have given it their all in everything today and by the end of presentations this evening it was quite the emotional day they have bonded really well this week and I think today it has hit home for the ladies leaving tomorrow that the support they have experienced on this week will not be all that surrounds them when they go home, but the group has been strong for each other this week and there is no reason that can’t continue.

One of the greatest things to come of these weeks is the continued support and the strong relationships built, if there is one tool that will help you succeed through to your goals it’s the support of your piers, on a final note from today, we the instructors have another 2 weeks straight through and thanks to the girls of this course we are in great shape for it, it’s been a real pleasure working with you and I look forward to keeping in touch and hearing about how well your doing.

Good luck girls :-)

Report from the Matlock Holistic Boot Camp – 24 July 2014

Report from the Matlock Holistic Boot Camp – 24 July 2014

Workout and Exercise. Photo Credit MouthsofMums.com.au

Today we have the pleasure of my high intensity interval training for the wake up workout, it’s a good session, very tough but ideal for this point in the week, more intensive means shorter bursts and rest periods more often so it is tough on the body but it doesn’t defeat the mind.

A lot of what stands in the way of our clients when it comes to exercise is the psychology, how they approach this new routine or lifestyle change will have humongous significance to whether they are able to maintain it or whether it gets pushed to one side the next time something gets in the way.

Exercise is not a chore! It is an enjoyable hobby or activity that primarily serves to improve mood, positively balance mental state of mind and increase confidence and inner strength. The reason people think of exercise as a chore is that they are doing it for the wrong reasons or they are doing the wrong type of exercise! If you don’t believe that it’s possible, ask anyone of our thousands of previous clients who have left one of our intensive week realising that not only can they do extreme amounts of exercise but that with the right focus and approach they can enjoy themselves while doing it!

Today is proof of that, you take a group of people who up until this week haven’t done much if any exercise, especially not regularly and by the 5th day full of exercise they are not beaten and miserable, they are not incapable of moving (although stairs do prove to be a challenge!) in fact they are laughing, joking, still getting up at 6 in the morning to exercise and they have just absolutely owned a high intensity workout before breakfast and are still game for more!

To Anyone who doesn’t enjoy exercise.. Don’t give up! Just find the right group of people, the right instructor or the right reason and remember to focus more on what you achieve than what you fall short of.

Report from the Matlock Holistic Boot Camp – 20 July 2014

Report from the Matlock Holistic Boot Camp – 20 July 2014

As always, today is jam packed with things to do, beginning with measurements and mentor sessions, but that’s as nice as it’s going to get, after breakfast the hard work begins with Zu’s introduction to exercise followed by our circuits class with a little extra and then yoga, all before lunch! After lunch the workload continues with boxing, interval training, abs and balls and a little stretch all before dinner.

The last class of the day is an introduction to resistance training with Ian. It’s the basics! Basic techniques, important teaching points and in a simple routine that will act as both a workout and an opportunity to gain a better understanding. This way those that need the technique get the help that they need and those that want a workout get the sweat they need! We are very proud of the fact that here at FitFarms, we are as much about understanding your own body and making informed decisions on your future healthier lifestyle as we are about enjoying the exercise and getting you nearer the end result your looking for.

This week is not going to be an easy one for us, the clients are all very happy and pleasant and seem very keen and jolly, but some are lacking in motivation, severely! But that’s why they’re here, and so we will do our very best to motivate and enthuse them during their stay but by the end of their course they will need to be feeling the benefits and feeling positive in order for them to maintain what they will of achieved through all their hard work. This way they will have proven to themselves how much they are capable of and they will be able to see how it feels to be fitter, fingers crossed for the rest of the week, today has been a good start, let’s just hope the energy and enthusiasm carries them through the week.

Red Lentil, Chickpea and Chilli Soup for Autumn At The Weight Loss Camp

Red Lentil, Chickpea and Chilli Soup for Autumn At The Weight Loss Camp

A Warm and Healthy Red Lentil, Chickpea and Chilli Soup for Autumn. Photo Credit Bubblews

The nights are drawing in and we start to think about those warming meals which may not be as healthy as we would like. But here is a very tasty and warm soup that you can mix and match the ingredients to suit your own tastes.

Red Lentil, Chickpea and Chilli Soup Ingredients

  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • large pinch chilli (flakes if possible)
  • 1 tbsp oil, olive oil is best
  • 1 red onion (seasonal vegetable), chopped
  • 140g red lentils, split
  • 850ml water or vegetable stock
  • 400g can tomatoes, can be chopped or whole
  • 200g of chickpeas, a carton or ½ a can, drain and rinse (leftovers can be frozen)
  • small bunch of roughly chopped coriander (save a few leaves to garnish)
  • 4 tbsp 0% Greek yoghurt, to serve

Technique

  • Heat a large saucepan and dry-fry the chilli flakes and cumin seeds for approximately 1 minute, or until they start to bounce around the pan and release the aroma.
  • Add the olive oil and red onion, and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the tomatoes, lentils, and stock, then bring to the boil.
  • Simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the lentils have softened.
  • Mix the soup with a food processor or a stick blender until it is a rough purée, pour back into the pan and add the chickpeas.
  • Heat gently, season and stir in the coriander.
  • Finish with a measure of yoghurt and sprinkle with coriander leaves.

This recipe only takes 10 minutes to prepare and 25 minutes to cook. There are sufficient ingredients to serve 4 people.
Let’s take a look at some of the ingredients and consider why those are in a healthy recipe as opposed to others.

Olive oil is considered a healthy fat as it is a monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA). MUFAs have be credited with helping to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering your cholesterol. Research is now starting to show that MUFAs help with maintaining blood sugar control, and therefore insulin levels. This blood sugar control is helpful if you suffer from Type 2 Diabetes. However, all fats should be used in moderation as they are high in calories.

Red and yellow onions are an excellent source of quercetin. This is a bioflavonoid that will scavenge cell damaging free radicals. Onions are rich in antioxidants that are anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial. Eating onions can help in suppressing rhinoviruses, the underlying cause of the common cold. Red onions contain allicin and this has been credited with promoting cardiovascular health, and preventing some cancers. Onions can be eaten cooked or raw, and counts towards our five-a-day.

Chickpeas have a nutty taste, and are high in protein and fibre. They also have a low glycemic index, an ideal combination to aid weight control. Chickpeas in your diet will help towards reducing heart disease through lower levels of cholesterol. Chickpeas are very versatile, and can be used in soups, as above, curries, salads, stews, and chilli’s. Chickpea flour is naturally gluten free, and can be used to make pakoras and pancakes. Chickpeas can even be used in baked goods as an egg substitute.

Yoga vs. Pilates: Which one is right for you?

Yoga vs. Pilates: Which one is right for you?

Pilates Workout. Photo Credit FitSugar

If you’re the type who doesn’t like doing all the cardio workout sessions and strength training workout programs but would still like to maintain a healthy fitness regimen, a holistic mind-body workout programs are more appropriate for you. Yoga and Pilates became popular among the health-conscious of us because of its power to make your body long and lean while promoting inner peace, a product of its “mindful movements”.

More often than not, Yoga and Pilates are being described in many comparable ways. True enough, they belong in the same practice but there are a lot of differences between the two. There are various types of Yoga and Pilates as well; as a result, they differ in many ways.

Mind-Body Approach. Both Yoga and Pilates focuses on how the mind and body are connected. They both establish this connection by introducing a calm workout environment, movements that help the practitioner relax and focus on poses and controlled breathing. While both establish the connection between the mind and body, Yoga throws one more feature into the mix – the spirit. Yoga endorses meditation with its proper breathing exercises that relieves stress and allows one to be calm. The mind-body-spirit connection is the foundation of Yoga.

Origin. Yoga originated from India more than 5,000 years ago. The practice evolved over the centuries and branched out into various types such as Ashtanga which involves synchronizing the breath with postures that produces internal heat that detoxifies muscles and organs, Vinyasa which is fast-paced as compared to other forms of yoga, Bikram which is ideally practiced in a heated room of 40°C with a humidity of 40%, and Kripalu which emphasizes “flowing the flow” of prana.

Pilates, on the other hand, is a much younger practice. It was developed by Joseph Pilates in the 1920s to rehabilitate injured soldiers from World War I. The art of dancing is what made Pilates popular; it uses various movements faster than Yoga’s to develop a graceful, fluid rhythm, similar to dancing. It has quickly gained a following among dancers all over the world.

Target Areas. While Yoga and Pilates use movements that are intertwined with breathing, each has specific target areas. Pilates is focused on the muscles of the abdominal wall and may help build abdominal strength by as much as 20% as its movements are centered on building core muscles. Yoga, on the other hand, is more focused on toning larger areas of the body other than the core. It targets legs, arms and abdomen as well due to its sun salutations and other poses.

So which is better for you? Practice Yoga if your goal is to achieve an overall balance of the mind, body and spirit. If you are aimed at enriching your lives, then Yoga is right for you with its breathing techniques that will help you relax and focus on your inner peace. It will help you manage stress and gain flexibility in one go. Practice Yoga if you want to achieve an overall toned body and if you would like to strengthen the larger sections of your body. It is recommended to those who has had their first heart attack, has high blood pressure or diabetes.

Pilates, however, is good if you’re a dancer or an athlete who wants to elevate your fitness program. If your primary goal is a solid core and a noticeable set of ab muscles, then Pilates is right for you. Pilates is designed for younger and more active practitioners.

Ditching the Elevator and Using the Stairs for Fitness

Ditching the Elevator and Using the Stairs for Fitness

Stairs for Fitness. Photo Credit RedBookMag

I just recently moved into a walk up apartment building. Living on the 10th floor, I always thought that the most convenient way to get up and down my flat was to take the elevator. While waiting for my ride, I noticed the usual signage posted near the lift doors saying “If you’re going up 2-3 floors, we recommend you take the stairs. It’s good for you.”

Seeing that I wasn’t in a hurry and that the lift was taking too long to get to the ground floor, I considered the suggestion and entered the stairwell. The ten floor challenge was on.

A few agonizing steps later, I found myself panting and literally crawling to my apartment door. After hydrating myself and getting some time to catch my breath, I vowed that conquering the ten floor walk up my apartment would be my next fitness challenge. I’d include walking up the stairs into my slowly growing fitness regimen.

Looking for a convenient workout that hardly costs any money and can be done throughout the year? Try stair climbing.

It’s convenient since most multi-storey buildings have elevators: schools, offices and even condominiums. Since the stairs are indoors you can easily climb them most of the year. You won’t have to postpone your workout even if it was raining or snowing outside. You won’t need any special equipment so there are no added costs. A good pair of running shoes and regular workout clothes are all you need.

Imagine all these benefits and I haven’t even begun to expound on the health and fitness part of the equation!

Research into stair climbing have documented its numerous health benefits: weight loss (in fact, studies have shown that you burn twice the fat in half the time than if you run); and muscle toning (not just of your lower body, but also of your arms, particularly if you use hand railings that help you pull your arms up). There is also the added benefit of less impact on your legs, ankles and knees. Other fitness benefits were validated through the two research presented below.

A study published in the journal Preventive Medicine monitored the health of 22 sedentary college-age women who began climbing stairs over the course of seven weeks. At the end of the study, researchers found that these women enjoyed better health outcomes in various categories: reduced heart rates, lower oxygen uptake and blood lactate levels.

Similarly, a Harvard Alumni Study discovered that men who averaged climbing at least eight flights a day enjoyed a 33% lower mortality rate compared to their sedentary counterparts. What is more amazing is that these findings are even better than the 22% lower mortality rate reported for men walking 1.3 miles a day.

Now I’m on my second week since adding stair climbing into my daily regimen. I’m happy to report that my endurance has improved considerably – I don’t pant as heavily as I used to. I’m a convert to this simple lifestyle adjustment and will continue to advocate it for other people interested in a low impact, affordable and all-weather fitness regimen that has proven medical and fitness benefits. I’d definitely advocate stair climbing for fitness!

Maintaining a Fitness Regimen for Busy Professionals

Maintaining a Fitness Regimen for Busy Professionals

Fitness Exercise Regimen for Busy Professionals. Photo Credit HealthMeUp

Most people, especially young professionals, with hectic schedules are prone to skipping a workout plan that they created altogether. Due to filled-up calendars, family and other personal obligations and work-related matters, it is so easy to have an inconsistent fitness regimen.

Thankfully in this busy and fast-paced world, the busy professionals have a lot of options to maintain that exercise routine while still being able to do their job as much as it requires them to. For a start, gyms and fitness centers that are closer to work are rapidly increasing making it convenient for the busy yuppie to head straight to the gym right after work. These places also close at much later hours, allowing the hardworking employee to still workout even if it’s two hours past the normal office hours. There are a number of fitness programs that are designed for the busy individual, depending on their fitness concerns. Given these terms, there are still a number of reasons that hinders many professionals to maintain an active lifestyle.

Barriers. Some of the most common reasons why professionals skip their fitness regimen are their impossibly busy daily schedules, leaving an illusion of not having ample time to work out. Another is that they are too tired to attend that spinning class after a series of meetings and client calls at work, leaving not enough energy for them to exercise at the end of the day. Another is that they need to spend more time with the family so instead of attending the 90-minute Yoga class, they will just go home straight after work to play with their dog or watch TV with their partners while munching on pizza.

Addressing these fitness concerns. By educating yourself that your health should be one of your top priorities, it will be easier to find time and energy to get back on track and attend the next Zumba class after work. Addressing these “barriers” should be a cinch when you know that you’ve prioritized your health above all else. Set aside time for exercise, whether it’s a 30-minute run around the neighbourhood or a full one-hour cardio workout at the gym. If your job requires you to travel often, bring portable workout gears like resistance bands, light dumbbells or Yoga mats with you. Download apps such as Map My Fitness to help you keep track of your progress. If you feel like you have no energy to work out, you should focus on nutrition and make sure you get enough rest and sleep every day. Make working out a family affair by attending fitness programs together. This way, you get to spend time with your loved ones while keeping an active, healthy lifestyle.

Have a plan on hand. Ask the help of a professional fitness trainer to help you map out your road to fitness success. Plan ahead. It’s easier to maintain a fitness regimen when you already have a workout plan on hand. The plan consists of which workout program you will have to do this week, how much time do you need every day, where is the nearest gym and fitness center that you can go to. If at times you don’t think you can squeeze in an hour of working out, you may do some alternative exercise in the form of walking instead of taking a cab, skipping the elevator and taking the stairs, or perhaps doing some 10-minute workouts like lunges or squats while you’re at work.

 

 

 

Weight Loss Retreat Exercise Routine Breakdown

Weight Loss Retreat Exercise Routine Breakdown

Here’s a Breakdown of the Weight Loss Retreat Exercise Routine developed by the FitFarms Team, as reported by Andy Baker.

Saturday…..

9:15 am: Introduction to Fitness Workout with Zu
All the basics in a continuous routine designed to build up a sweat and teach important techniques that will be regularly used and revisited throughout the week..(45 minutes)

10:00 am: Carry your Excess Circuits with Ian and Andy
3 rounds of the same circuit first time to practice technique and control second time with additional weight to emphasise the bodies struggle with excess bodyfat and the third time to understand how much easier things are when the weight comes off! Each station is a minute long and each circuit is continuous rest is taken at the end of each circuit ( 90 minutes)

11:30 am: Snack

11:30 am: Introduction to Yoga with Ian
An hour of your basic yet extremely beneficial yoga movements and techniques, improving flexibility and core and full body strength and improving cognitive functions like balance, co-ordination and concentration, ideal for those who have always wanted to try or for those who are stressed either physically, mentally or emotionally. (60 minutes)

12:30-1:30: Lunch with…….. Food! ;-)

1:30 pm: Introduction to Boxing with Andy
Covering the basics from stance, guard punching technique and pad work, this class takes the discipline of boxing and utilises it as a highly enjoyable fitness routine working the whole body and improving upper body strength and endurance. (60 minutes)

14:30 pm: Interval Training with Zu

30 seconds of slow pace either walking or jogging and 30 seconds of fast pace, jogging or running. Interval training is a fantastic way of improving your fitness and getting aerobically and anaerobically stronger. We used the road outside of our campsite which stretches on for roughly about a mile between bends, turnings or junction so it’s easier to gauge how far you’ve done but any stretch of road or type of terrain will be fine, even car parks are common place for such training. (45 minutes approximately)

15:15 pm: Snack

15:30 pm: Abs and Core with Andy

For this class we worked through the basic bracing and breathing techniques trying to engage our core muscles whilst breathing in a deep and controlled manner, then using this we added varying resistance and difficulty through a combination of arm and leg movements placing strain through the core muscles in many different ways. (45 – 60 minutes)

16:30 pm: Stretch with Zu

Bringing the intensity down before dinner, and allowing the muscles to relax and release after the impact of the say so far, a full body stretch focused on improving the mobility around the pelvis and core area. (45 minutes)

17:30 pm: Dinner …

18:30 pm: Introduction to Resistance Training with Ian

The basics are as good a place to start as they are to finish, so our introduction to resistance is a class built around basic techniques such as squats, deadlifts the prone position, shoulder press, bent over or upright rows etc used in a circuit to provide both opportunity to exercise and chance to understand the importance of correct position and movement. (60 minutes)

19:45 pm: Snack….

 

Sunday…….

6:45 am: Wake Up Workout with Zu
It’s time to get the blood pumping and loosen off those muscles stiff from the day before, Zu’s fitball class is a great way to start the day, with easy movements and fun social atmosphere and some good wake up music the exercises will allow your muscles and joints to feel free of pain and able to move normally again. (60 minutes)

7:45 am: Breakfast

8:15 am: Fitness Workshop with Andy

A brief chat, about balancing your workouts, the benefits of each aspect and how to identify and improve on your own weaknesses and strengths. (60 minutes)

9:15 am: Local Walk with the Whole Team

The walks are a great way to recover whilst active or to push a little further, a great chance to think and clear your mind, or in the case of clients on this course a good chance to ask questions get to know the team and the other people on the course and to get away from the campsite into the beautiful countryside.
(1:30 hrs – 2:30 hrs approximately)

11:30 am: An Introduction to Tai Chi with Ian

The perfect chance to clear your mind and concentrate on one thing, fluid movement! And introduction to tai chi allows you to refocus and realign whilst considering a spiritual perspective, relaxing and releasing stress and recovering from previous exercise. (60 minutes )

12:30 pm: Lunch…

13:30 pm: Zumba with Sue

A fast paced simple dance routine designed to get you hot and sweaty to the upbeat music, a mix between several forms of dance as well as some aerobic moves all to the beat of the music (60 minutes)

14:30 pm: Bells and hoops with Andy and Zu

The class is split into 2 halves, one half of the group will learn about kettlebells and the other will learn how to hula hoop, half way through they change over, both types of exercise are very core orientated and a great way to tone the tummy as well as other areas of the body, whilst kettlebells are very technical hula hoops are very rhythmical so both take a little practice to get right. (60 minutes)

15:30 pm: Snack and Bus to Pool

16:00 pm: Swim and Aquafit with Zu

A chance to ease the aching muscles and still get a little more exercise out of you, for the first 30 minutes it’s swimming time at an active but comfortable pace, after which Zu will take you for an Aqua session which is great for active recovery or as a joint supportive exercise relieving the pressure and reducing damage across the joints (60 minutes)

17:30 pm: Dinner…

18:30 pm: Resistance training with Andy

In this session we covered three different structures of weight training, a great way of targeting the muscles to increase the breaking down and rebuilding of muscles in order to develop tone not size or bulk and by placing the session at the end of the day it allows for maximised muscle recovery through the night, the structures we used in this evenings session were.. Super sets, Tri-sets and drop sets as detailed below.

Superset: 2 exercises working on either the same or opposite muscles, I.e 2 exercises for chest or 1 exercise for chest and 1 for back, he idea being to double the intensity of the set without reaching complete fatigue.
Tri-set: similar to the above except with triple the intensity of one set and more scope available with regards to exercise.

Drop-sets: again there are lots of ways to complete this structure but with limited equipment the best is as we demonstrated, pick 4 or so exercises and complete them in a circuit one after the other with each exercise reducing the rep range.. I.e. Shoulder press (25),upright row (20), lateral raises (15), reverse flyes (15) are the four exercises and the numbers in brackets are the reps for each exercise. (60 minutes)

Report from the Holistic Weight Loss Boot Camp – 07 July 2014

Report from the Holistic Weight Loss Boot Camp – 07 July 2014

So today is a pretty emotional one for the group.

They wake up get their results, have a final breakfast together and then say their goodbyes.

All before 9am and I think especially because this group has gotten on so well it is a little like the last day of school in the final year.

Everyone remembers how that felt, right? There is lots of picture taking, lots of hugs and promises to keep in touch, it’s amazing how much of a bond has been formed over this past 4-7 days, later on we will be welcoming another group, still fresh with the sense of achievement shared by those we sit having breakfast with this morning.

So for us today is a surreal experience a difficult one to explain, this evening we will be looking at a whole new set of faces sitting in the same spots as the guys and girls we have just spent an intense and full on residential weight loss retreat week with.

 
group weight loss retreat

Tonight we will start all over again with a new group of people looking for either, the right answer, a kickstart, a boost, a life changing experience or just a plain old weight loss holiday, we will get to know them share their stories try to understand what has lead them to this point in their lives, do they want our help and support or just our motivation?

Tonight we will begin all over again but again tonight will be the start of a complete lifestyle overhaul for some people, a life changing experience for others or just a really good holiday with lots of fun exercise and lots of great tasting food and lots of new friends to be made!

Once the new weight loss camp group have arrived we begin the introduction and ice breaker, this week we have a typically diverse group of people but untypical is that it is our second mixed week in a row, so it will be less of a transition for us from the 1st week to the 2nd.

This second weeks group have all arrived and seem very friendly, as always there is a certain nervousness within the group but the fact that we have a few lovely gentlemen and some girls on their second week in a row will help to ease the tension much quicker.

As the welcome and icebreaker session proceeds it is clear that we have some real characters in this group and it has the making of a fun filled experience, it’s amazing how easily people settle and relax into their surroundings once you encourage them to open up a little.

Tomorrow will be the real start to the week, for tonight it’s all about getting comfortable! So enjoy guys and girls you have a big fitness and weight loss retreat day ahead of you!