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. :-)

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.

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

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

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

The FitFarms English Countryside Luxury Accommodation at the Somerset Retreat

The FitFarms English Countryside Luxury Accommodation at the Somerset Retreat

This photo is seen alot on national magazines and papers. The photo is of the FitFarms fitness retreat company car with the Somerset holistic boot camp in the background.

The photographer was James Wise who is local to the area and this was his first time taking photos at the retreat.