Do You Think You Need To Exercise?

fitness exercise

A healthy life is a balanced life! But unfortunately a lot of us are so confused as to what a healthy or balanced life actually is we end up following or striving for goals that aren’t our own! A healthy person has balance and a balanced person has health.. not knowing where our own balance lies is I believe the reason we look for the evidence in terms of visual change. We need to see weight loss or improvements in physical fitness to assure us that what we are doing is working. When in reality anything we do to improve our health will have an immediate impact as well as play a part in the larger picture. We need to think health first!

Everyday we hear about a new study on obesity, health factors, illness and mental and physical disease. In a way our constant self analysis, comparison and judgement in all our self awareness can be a tool of our own evolution and development but it can also be a major component in our decline of health and wellness. The added stress and fatigue that sets in from this awareness is generally not considered a factor when trying to “be healthier” but think about it when might exercise and calorific restriction have a negative affect? When our bodies and minds are already too fatigued to respond well to it.

And what is the general response to being told our health is at risk because of weight or diet..? Personally I don’t think it’s coincidence that the worlds health appears to be in steady decline and we appear to be struggling with more issues now than we should be. I think it’s in the nature of how we cope how we survive. We are expecting too much of ourselves and not accounting for it in the right way. Many people would say to get fit, be healthy, to lose weight for whatever reason or see whatever results you are aiming for it is 70/80% diet 20/30% exercise but I think before that it is 100% mental health.

When I’m a good state of mind, a stress managed state the instinctive decisions we make and the conscious decisions will be what’s best for longevity but when stressed fatigued or emotional we rely on decisions for survival of the moment or current threat. So when looking to be healthy look to find balance and you can then trust in your own decisions.


Health and Fitness exercise tip by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

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FitFarms Spain – June 2018 Fitness Camp Review 2

FitFarms Spain

It’s Saturday and it’s arrival day for the FitFarms Fitness Boot Camp Spain guests. We offer two pick ups at 12.30pm and 5.15pm. There is one more collection from the airport this time at 8.15pm which we are doing for a lady coming from Norway. We are under an hour from the airport which is a real advantage for making the course run smoothly.

In the morning we had chance to go into the weight loss retreat villa and set up the rooms and store foods and do the standard health and hygiene checks in the Kitchen and exercise hall. The exercise are here at the Spain weight loss camp is rather impressive. It’s a huge ball room with wooden sprung floors which is great for aerobics and other high impact classes which we run throughout the holistic weight loss boot camp.

Malaga airport was extremely busy with holiday makers coming from all different areas. We managed to meet our first group of guests without any problems though at the Hertz rental car office. Then the short trip up the mountain to settle everyone in to the accommodation. We provide s quick healthy snack for everyone as most people have been travelling since the early hours and are feeling a little hungry.

One more airport trip to go later today and then the weight loss and fitness retreat course will be underway.


Fitness camp review by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

FitFarms Cardiovascular Mixed Intensity Exercise Challenge

FitFarms Cardiovascular ExerciseTime for another FitFarms challenge.. this time we are giving you 10 exercises of mixed intensity/difficulty but all more cardio-vascularly focused..

It’s a minute per exercise and it’s a pyramid so it will look like so

Exercise:

  • A
  • A+B
  • A+B+C
  • Etc all the way through to a full 10 exercises in a row

It would take around 1:00hr to complete all the way through with out rest however if you wish to start a bit steadier at the completion of each round you could schedule a rest ideally 10-30 seconds nothing more and the rest would stay the same all the way through but obviously this could add a few extra minutes to the total routine time.

It’s a long session this time and one of the points of a challenge is for it to push your limits so it’s not something you would do 2-3x a week as a normal routine.. it’s a one off session as a challenge see how far you get, make a note of your result and then try again in a few weeks or a month to see how it’s going. Below is a list of the 10 exercises not sure what they are look them up or get in touch with us, www.fitfarms.co.uk or the Facebook page the FitFarms club and we will be able to help you.

Or if you need alternatives you can replace the ones you can’t do with ones you can or as above get in touch and we will be able to give you some options..

  • Lateral speed step
  • Spotty dogs
  • Squat front kick
  • High knees
  • Skaters
  • Floor to ceiling
  • Running in the spot
  • Jumping jacks
  • Squat thrusts
  • Burpees

Health and Fitness exercise tip by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

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The Scenic Walk Experience at FitFarms Spain – June 2018 Fitness Camp Review

Fitness Camp Spain Scenic WalkThe walks which we have planned on the Spain holistic weight loss and fitness boot camp are very scenic. The lake is a vast open area with many people taking part in water sports like kayaking and paddle boarding. The lake is also a great area to relax and swim as the water and beach area is very clean.

The Spain weight loss retreat is excellently situated as we are just 1 hour from Granada and also under an hour from Seville. The Granada walk really is breathtaking and having the ancient city as a backdrop is fantastic.

The villa we have chosen to run the retreats is very impressive. It has 3 apartments and 7 rooms all being en suite. The accommodation sits around the swimming pool and the backdrop is the wonderful Andalucia hillside.

We are virtually all set up now and ready to go. Water bootles, journals etc are all prepared for the guests and food preparation has already begun.

The science behind the FitFarms Weight Loss retreat menu is balancing blood sugar levels and portion control. We know the amount of calories that go into each and every dish but we tend not to put too much emphasis on it as calorie counting can become a little obsessive to some guests.


Fitness camp review by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

FitFarms Spain – June 2018 Fitness Camp Review

people running exerciseIt’s Thursday early morning and we’re on our way to the Spain fitness camp and weight loss retreat.

This year we have changed the way we are running the weight loss and fitness retreat as we have lowered the number of guests to 12. The main reason for this is to improve the one to one attention we give the guests at the retreat. However we will be running more retreats so the intake of guests over the year will actually be more just a better standard of course.

One of the best things about the Spain weight loss retreat is the standard of food that can be bought in the supermarkets and local wholesalers. There is a fresh fish and meat market in the local town which is just 10 minutes away from the Villa. I’m cheffing this week and am already looking forward to seeing the variety of food types with all the different Mediterranean colours. There will be some videos coming up in the next couple of days of the food and the markets.

When we arrive in Malaga we will jump in a car and drive to a huge natural lake in Andalucia to do the first walk risk assessment. It’s going to be very hot so I’m not really looking forward to the run. Then we are driving down to the ancient city of Granada for the second risk assessment walk. Finally we will go back to Malaga to meet some food wholesalers and buy some more sports equipment for the FitFarms fitness camp and weight loss week ahead.


Fitness camp review by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

 

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Home Workout Routine for Fat Burning Muscle Endurance and Mobility

Home exercise

Check out this home workout routine for “fat burning” muscle endurance and mobility.

In full the time for this session would be around 1:30 hours but it could be broken into sections.

WARM UP

  • Spending varying amount of time on each articulation and flow depending on which areas feel they will benefit more.

JOINT ARTICULATION

Working in this order:

  • Neck joint
  • Shoulder joint
  • Spine mobilisation
  • Si joint (lumbar spine/hip)
  • Hip joint
  • Knee joint
  • Ankle joint

FLOW
Total time 20 minutes

  • Shoulder and neck flow
  • Spinal flow
  • Hip flow

FAT BURNER

Pick a continuous exercise. This will be your recovery exercise and can be different every time but needs to be something you can do for a prolonged period i.e. a squat or running on the spot..

Then pick a list of 10 more difficult exercises preferably with a seamless flow between them and the above choice so as to maintain continuity.

Example:  Continuous/recovery exercise … jumping jacks

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Burpees
  • Rock climbers
  • Skaters
  • Side to side
  • Floor to ceiling
  • High knees
  • Squat thrusts
  • Heismanns

The aim is to go 20-30 minutes without stopping 1 minute per exercise only using the jumping jacks to finish the minute off if you can’t complete it with the selected exercise I.e. if you are struggling to complete a minute of burpees do as long as you can then finish that minute off with jumping jacks and doing 2-3 circuits without stopping if necessary replacing one of the exercises with a minute of jumping jacks as a recovery but the main point being DONT STOP MOVING!!

Muscle endurance
squat 2:00 1:00 rest X3
Press up 2:00 1:00 rest x3
Floor to ceiling 2:00 1:00 rest x3

As many reps as possible in 2 minutes 1:00-30 seconds rest max in between each set repeat 3 times and compare reps from each set to challenge fatigue and recovery

Check out our YoutTube channel for upcoming videos related to these workouts and get in touch if you have any questions.


Health and Fitness editorial by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here.

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Stop Feeling Intimated in the Gym.

Overcome gym intimadationWhen it comes to exercising different environments can suit different people, some like to exercise at home, some in a gym with equipment, some outdoors, some prefer group exercise and some like to mix it up – no different than exercise itself. Something I’ve heard quite often though is people preferring group exercise for the feeling of social support, I’m not going to go against it I love group exercise and you should feel comfortable and confident in the environment for it to be enjoyable, however it seems a shame when people don’t want to try the gym because they find it daunting.

I read a nice little poster the other day titled ‘stop feeling intimidated in the gym’ which I quite liked so thought I’d share some of its words of wisdom, beginning with ‘make a plan before you come in, then follow it’ – I’m putting this first as it will make a huge difference as to what you do when you’re there and how you feel about being there, I’ve gone without a plan thinking I’ll wing it and subsequently spent longer than I’d care to admit walking around looking lost!

This brings me to the next point ’everyone there is focusing on themselves’ – if this weren’t true I’m sure that for all the time I’ve spent walking around looking lost at least one person would have come up to me to check that I was in the right place, they didn’t so I’m sure they were in fact unaware of me and focusing on themselves.

Next ups a big one ‘literally everyone in the gym gets intimidated’ – yup even those of us qualified to instruct other people using the gym, it’s human nature. ‘Weights are for everyone, not just guys’ – definitely! This is something that needs to change in a lot of gyms and largely ties in with the previous point; I’m never going to deadlift the same weight as the 6’2” brick wall of a bloke in there but I have the right to attempt to lift whatever fairy light weight my 5’1” body will allow -refuse to be intimidated by either the other users or the equipment, (a degree of arrogance may be needed for this one, stand your ground!) if you need or want help ask for it, somewhere in that gym will be a bored looking instructor wishing someone would ask for their help.

Lastly ‘you’re at the gym, why not make the most of it?’ – ‘I figured since I’d made it this far I’d just keep on going’, I think we can all learn a little something from Forrest Gump!


Health and Fitness editorial by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here

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Fitness Exercise with a Balance Board

Balance Board ExerciseAs a rule if I run in the gym I like to find a treadmill which offers me some sort of view, preferably by a window; unfortunately one particular day I wasn’t so lucky and found myself using the last one available situated in the corner of the room directly behind a stand of swiss and bosu balls. I watched as people took and returned them and found myself feeling sorry for the only item continuously left on the stand – a dusty balance board. Now I appreciate the balance board doesn’t seem like the most exciting piece of equipment and swiss balls have a reputation for being the go to for core exercises, but seriously the balance board can work core and more! Anyone who knows me knows my stance on developing core stability as fundamental for all exercise but in conjunction when performing standing/weight bearing exercise stability at the ankle is also unsurprisingly important. All joints in the body undergo a continual conflict between mobility and stability – to increase one is often to lessen the other.

In part, the purpose of a warm up is to increase mobility in joints, the ankle in particular has need for mobility to allow for movement in several planes, but it also needs adequate stability to prevent injury. The most common injury in sports and physical activity are ankle sprains which are estimated to account for 25% of injuries; most commonly ankle sprains involve the lateral (outer side) ankle ligaments and are associated with the movements plantarflexion and inversion (pointed feet turned inwards). I tend to be of the opinion that prevention is better than cure and where ankles are concerned a balance board is a good first step. They can serve to mobilise the ankle (remember mobility is still needed), more importantly can improve proprioception (the body’s awareness of where it is in space) and in turn improve neuromuscular control and the ability to correct excess movement, as well as helping to begin strengthening muscles around the ankle for stability. Functional movements such as squats can be performed on them, lunges with either the front or back foot in contact; as well as core exercises such as planks with either the feet or hands in contact, and even press ups.

I have to say bosu balls are also great and perfect for progressing ankle exercises (honestly run or hop your way across one) but to take things back to basics the balance board is amazing, so the next time you head up to grab a swiss ball spare a thought for the balance board, do your ankles a favour and brush off a little dust!


Health and Fitness editorial by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here

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Overtraining Signs and Solutions

overtraining exerciseI’ve noticed with some guests who have done a week at FitFarms that there’s apprehension at the beginning around the amount of exercise that will be involved and whether they’ll be able to do it all and keep up (the average amount of exercise at FitFarms being 4-6 hours a day), conversely I’ve seen others who are regular intense exercisers who seem to feel they should be spending the week stepping up their usual routine.

ACSM guidelines recommend 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise a week, so my question here is this: if a regular exerciser does 1-2 hours of intensive exercise daily, what would be the benefit in increasing it 2, 3 times or more to 4-6 hours? You may be wondering where I’m going with this or if it’s a trick question but what I really wanted to bring up is the subject of overtraining.

Now it’s not something that often gets mentioned in the average fitness setting as it’s more commonly associated with athletes however that’s not to say it doesn’t happen with non athletes.

What are the Signs of Overtraining

Overtraining is pretty much exactly as it sounds -an accumulation of training load without adequate rest that will ultimately cause a decrease in performance, the thing is as an exerciser you may not be aware of a decrease in performance if performance is not something you monitor, so how can you tell if you’re overtraining?

As with any other stress there may be several physiological responses, these include:

  • Increased resting heart rate in the morning
  • Poor appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Severe muscle soreness and stiffness
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Restlessness
  • Irritability
  • Agitation
  • Lack of concentration.

 

What are the Solutions to Overtraining

If overtraining has occurred the intensity and amount of exercise should be reduced and a plan put in place to prevent it happening in future by:

  • Ensuring good rest and recovery
  • Sufficient sleep
  • Rest between exercise bouts
  • Adequate hydration and nutrition for training
  • Abstaining from training through times of high stress

Health and Fitness editorial by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here

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What is the Aerobic System?

The Aerobic SystemI thought I’d get down to basics and have an attempt at explaining one of those mystery words that crops up in fitness, if you haven’t guessed here we have the great unveiling of…aerobic! We’ve all heard it but what does it mean, what does it do? Well generally speaking it is a system so I’m going to attempt to answer: What is the aerobic system? The aerobic system is the bodies way of using oxygen to produce energy (Adenosine Triphosphate/ATP) for muscle contraction, it is responsible for long term production of energy, continuing to produce energy over a greater duration where there is a low work load such as when going for a walk.

The aerobic system also works to support the anaerobic system, this system also produces energy but does so much more rapidly though only over a short period as it does this without using oxygen, for example when sprinting; this system produces metabolic by products (they’re what slow us down) such as blood lactate which build up faster than the body can deal with at the time but which an effective aerobic system will readily remove after. Effectively the aerobic system is always governed by oxygen supply and demand -availability, uptake from blood and delivery to tissue.

Developing the aerobic system helps to speed up recovery, particularly between bursts of exercise such as with high intensity interval training, as well as helping to sustain longer periods of exercise bouts. Improving the aerobic system increases the anaerobic threshold -the point where metabolic by products are generated, thereby also allowing exercise to be performed at higher intensities.

There are several protocols suggested for developing the aerobic system including exercising over a long slow distance or duration (more than thirty minutes), performing high intensity intervals, threshold training (focusing on learning where an individuals anaerobic threshold is, exercising for 3-10 minutes at or just below the threshold before resting and repeating), and performing resistance training with high time under tension (increasing the length of time a muscle is under strain).

So there you have it, something to remember the next time you see an ‘aerobic’ class advertised!


Health and Fitness editorial by the FitFarms team. FitFarms specialises in Fitness and Weight Loss Holidays for people of all different fitness levels, shapes and sizes. Check out our next courses here