MY CRANE ANALOGY - AND WHY STRUCTURALISM WORKS
As the first of many blog posts to come I decided that I would tell my story of the building site crane. It's an overly simplified analogy comparing an immensely strong machine that we see active on construction sites all over the developing world to our muscular-skeletal system of the human body. I bring this story into conversation early on with new clients when helping them into understanding the process of building real applicable strength and stability into their bodies, and why a precise, controlled and patient work(out) ethic necessary in order to achieve this.Mechanics is everywhere. It is so common to the point that the majority of us don't even pay attention to mechanics at work. The obvious examples that spring to mind might be the cars we drive, or appliances in our houses such as washing machines or heating units. But how often do we appreciate the reason why our buildings don't fall down or how the brackets holding our TV to the wall are so strong. When was the last time you considered how electricity cables don't pull down pylons or how bridges span distant expanses without collapsing? This is before we even look into the natural environment (where incidentally many man made structures have been designed based on support systems inspired by nature).So going back to the good old crane. For simplicity just imagine a standard high rise crane with one vertical leg and a long arm across the top. It is designed to haul loads of thousands of tonnes high into the air with ease. Now just for one minute imagine that the leg of that crane had a kink half way up and the arm at the top was moved off centre. It doesn’t take a huge amount of understanding to realise this is a recipe for disaster and will inevitably lead to the collapse of the crane as soon as it comes under load or tries to move.At this point I want you to imagine that our bodies are that crane, our spine is the leg, and our arm is the arm. When we know how to stand well, to control and maintain a neutral spine position and structural integrity from the ground up our bodies can be incredibly strong, powerful and efficient. But introduce that leg kink (as a bend in the spine), or an off set lifting arm (a shoulder joint that is permanently internally rotated) then we immediately lose our integrity and our potential power and strength is significantly diminished. Load up your body whilst in this state and you’re asking for damage, and the pain and weakness that follows.Whilst biomechanics is an infinitely diverse and complex subject, with more varied parameters and environmental influences to take into account, it still easy to understand why structural integrity is so important in order to maintain an efficient and strong body.One school of thought says that physical therapists, personal trainers, chiropractors and osteopaths should all be working with the same goal in mind. To restore or maintain the natural function and ability of the human body in order that we are able to live as strong, capable, and pain free as possible contributing to overall healthy lifestyle.I have seen time and time again that by correcting peoples movement patterns and eliminating damaging habits and dysfunctions that clients are able to workout, perform well in sports and enjoy a happy and healthy life. For this reason I urge you to embrace structuralism within your training program in order to see the most effective and longest lasting results .
Has sitting become worse than smoking? Prolonged sitting has become the crisis of our modern age
Smoking is undeniably bad for your health and wellbeing but over the last 30 years this knowledge has become common sense so that more and more people are abstaining from this dangerous addiction or are taking the tough but worthwhile road to quitting. However it seems that one crisis has been replaced by another and you’re likely doing it right now. Sitting. Lounging. Relaxing. Call it what you will, our modern world of sitting and being inactive for extended periods of time is proving to cause a number of alarming issues.Sitting is not our natural state. As humans, we are meant to be walking and in motion and prolonged sitting is seriously stressing our physiology in a number of ways. Not only does it create issues with our mobility, sitting has been shown suppress insulin production as well as the enzyme called lipoprotein lipase that’s turning bad cholesterol into good cholesterol. This explains some of the reasons why sitting is associated with an increase in diabetes and heart disease. An additional study even found that those who spent the most time sitting faced this string of deadly statistics: “112 percent increase in diabetes, a 147 percent increase in death from cardiovascular events, a 90 percent increase in death from cardiovascular causes, and a 49 percent increase in death from all causes.”Related: The Importance of Staying In Motion EverydayThe comparison between smoking and sitting came from an Australian study done in 2012 that suggested that an hour of sitting shortens a person’s life by 22 minutes, whereas one cigarette reduces a person’s life by 11 minutes. This study created a media craze that brought further attention to this much needed topic. However, this hype also prompted further studies that ultimately determined that smoking and sitting cannot objectively be compared but that both are invariably bad for you, with smoking likely being much worse. What the media craze did bring attention to however, is that sitting is now the health epidemic of our time, especially when you think about the fact that not everyone smokes but everyone sits. What’s more is that even those who are reasonably active are still at risk. As some studies suggest that regular exercise it isn’t enough to offset the extensive amount of sitting that we do. So what can we do about it? Sitting, relaxing, or bingeing on your favourite Netflix show doesn’t have to be a death sentence if it’s done sensibly. The recommendation is to move every 30 minutes as well as keep up with a regular exercise regime in order to counter the effects of prolonged sitting. Something as simple as getting up and going for a brief walk or stretch can help, unless however, that walk is to go out for a cigarette. Related: This One Activity Should Be Your Biggest Daily HabitChange is gradual, just like our attitudes towards smoking, so an attitude shift needs to take place on a personal, corporate, and cultural level in order to fully address these issues. If you work at a desk, see where you work stands in terms of taking activity breaks or looking into exercise items likes walking treadmills or standing-desks. Look into starting a functional fitness training regime that will help with your mobility and fitness activities. You can also start by making individual choices to move more, like take a walking-meeting or lunch, taking the effort to walk to bathroom furthest away from your desk, walk over to your co-worker’s desk instead of sending an email, or even just standing up an stretching at regular intervals. Any additional movement you add to your routine will help in establishing lifelong healthy and functional habits.
It's time to shake up fitness! Why aesthetics should be viewed as a bi-product to our active lifestyles
When it comes to the large-scale fitness industry they have a way of making money off people’s failures. Gyms count on people who buy memberships and never show up and for fitness and nutrition plans to not be followed. The main reason for this is because as a society, the driving force behind fitness is based on our desire to look better with the focus of fitness being purely on aesthetics. While there is nothing innately wrong with wanting to look good, it needs to be a bi-product of your fitness goals. This is why it’s important to find a personal trainer that is willing to offer something beyond physical appearance. The problem with this portion the fitness industry and our society’s approach to fitness, is that this hyper focus on aesthetics has caused strong negative and distorted views on fitness and nutrition. It’s an overwhelming feeling to think that you should look and eat a certain way all the time, let alone exhausting and demoralizing. It’s not a very inspiring way to get people to want to change their lifestyles. A healthier and more viable approach to fitness should be about attaining optimum health, increasing energy and mobility, and ultimately to get back to moving as natural, functional human beings. This integration of well-being, balance, mobility, and yes, even enjoyment with our fitness not only brings the best out in us in terms of our athletic performance but also, in the end, with our physical appearance. Related: Is your fitness functional? When our bodies are moving and positioned as they should be, not only do we feel better, but ultimately we’ll also look better. The psychology behind this approach is more positive and also makes for long lasting, maintainable results both for our health and our physical appearance. This also enforces inner and personal accountability that will keep us motivated in continuing to being active and reach whatever goals we have set out for ourselves. Starting a fitness journey is so much more than just physical appearances and with the right approach, a good personal trainer can help you get back to your functional basics, lay out your goals, and give you the correct guidance while providing inspiration without micromanagement. A well-rounded training program aims in creating personal accountability through goals that are focused on achievements based outside of just physical aesthetics and are instead focused on getting back to basic functional movements and creating life-long fitness habits. Related: Personal Trainers are NOT BabysittersBy working with a trainer that takes a holistic approach to fitness not only are you getting the best approach for your health you’re also helping to change personal perceptions on our obsession with physical aesthetics. Isractive has everything you need to start a healthy and holistic approach to your fitness and health goals with our functional training methods. Get your fitness journey started by contacting us today.
Is your fitness functional?
Functional training is all the rage in fitness right now and is touted in many fitness programs but what does functional training really mean? Are you truly getting a functional workout as many of these training regimes claim? Functional training has become a bit of buzz word in the fitness industry and it is often misused as the term functional training is somewhat vague. Functional training is more than just being good at one specific activity, I mean, how functional is it for you to get really good a picking up and putting down something heavy? Functional training is about the movement you do everyday and working towards being the most efficient you can be in performing those movements. So while picking up heavy things may make you strong it doesn’t do anything to address potential deficiencies that are created by a sedentary lifestyle, poor technique, poor posture or stability, which when done properly, are the types of things that makes us a more efficient, functional, moving, and healthy human beings. Physiotherapists take a functional approach during rehabilitation. Primary function movements like standing, walking, running etc. become a physiotherapist’s aim in that they start from scratch to get you back to doing these natural movements in an efficient and healthy manner. Physiotherapists start from the basics and do exercises in steps in order to help the healing process of an injury. Stability, balance, range of motion are worked on in order to get back to that person back to the main movement that they were doing prior to the injury. Functional fitness works in the same manner in breaking down foundations and exercises to perfect your natural movements in the daily activities and fitness activities that you perform. Functional fitness reaches much farther than the mere longing for rock-hard abs. While there is nothing innately wrong with desiring to be aesthetically fit from your fitness program, the main focus and goal with our fitness instead should be to be able to live long, healthy and efficient lives. Then with the aesthetic part of fitness the coming as a welcomed reward for reaching functional efficiency. This is the true aim of functional fitness. Getting back to the basics is challenging so it’s extremely helpful to collaborate with personal trainer to help keep you grounded. A good trainer will come up with a plan to get your natural and healthy foundations back so you can get you to be the healthiest and most efficient version of yourself (and you might get those rock-hard abs too with your efforts). At Isractive, our primary focus is on functional fitness with a holistic approach to have you move and perform as nature intended. Contact us to start your real functional fitness journey today!
Marathon training tips for first timers
Whether you’re a seasoned runner or are new to the sport, the marathon is one of those awe-inspiring races that many dream of finishing. The marathon distance, 42.2 kilometers, requires substantial training but with commitment and the right training anyone can attain the goal of finishing one. Marathon training requires a planned and consistent training schedule, paying close attention to your body and monitoring your diet to make sure you’re getting enough of the right food to sustain your training efforts. If you’re considering giving this great race a try here’s some advice to get you started. GearBefore you start your training pick up a few essentials to ensure that you’re prepared and comfortable. Get shoes appropriate for your feet and the distance. If you’re wearing old or ill-fitting shoes you’re more likely to feel unnecessary discomfort once you start adding on the miles and will run a higher risk for injury.Invest in a water belt, carrier, or pack for your long runs.Make sure you have appropriate clothing to train in over the next 12 months and take into consideration the weather. Quality running gear will help regulate your temperature on the long runs and prevent chaffing and blisters. A watch/smartphone app– A general timing device that allows you to track your running time. TrainingPick a race and plan to have enough weeks/months to train. Depending on your starting level, this could be as long as 18-24 months (to increase your distance gradually and prevent injury). If you’re a true beginner to running a training regime of 3 times a week is usually appropriate enough for you to start but if you have some experience you will likely up that 4-6 times a week. Create or find a good training plan and start a training log. Additionally, your running week should be divided up as such (for example): Tempo runs – Mid-length runs that are around the same time as than your anticipated race pace. Sprint/hill runs – These runs are short and fast to build up speed and strength. If your race is hilly favour doing more hill runs. A long and easy run – This run is the most essential and it is important to actually run it easy. Your mileage for these runs should increase every other week as any sooner and you run high risk of injury. So every other week you scale back on distance so that you recover properly in time for the next one with the increased mileage. An active recovery run or activity – This activity or run should take place the following day or the day after your longest run. This activity can include a short and easy run or any other low impact activity like swimming.Strength and proprioceptive training – Teaching your body how to land and develop power, change direction and absorb impact along side strengthening all your muscle groups and sling systems will ensure that your running is as efficient as possible and injury free from the get go. Rest - This is your most important training tool so take your rest days seriously. Get enough sleep and take naps. You’re going to feel really tired as you adjust to the training so get as much rest as you can.Be honest with your fitness level, if you are starting from the couch, work from where you’re at not where you want to be. Additionally here are some other important tips to consider:Plan to have 2-3 weeks of tapering before the race. Tapering means cutting the distance and intensity of your training which allows your body to rest, prepare, and then peak for race day. Trim your toe nails before long runs to avoid blisters.Once you start running farther than 10-15 kilometers you’re going to start feeling some aches and pains in your legs and joints on your long runs. This is completely expected. The more you run the less fatigue you’ll feel from the longer distances however you need to ensure that your running technique, strength and mobility training work is on par with your running training itself. This will prevent pains and twinges from prevailing and developing into injuries.If you have trouble controlling your pacing at the start consider a run/walk training method.Don’t skip the short runs in the week as these runs help you build the endurance needed for the long haul. You have to learn, mentally and physically, how to run when you’re tired. Take the time to stretch. Runners are notoriously inflexible, especially in the hamstrings and stretching will help reduce injury and keep you mobile. Even consider planning a few sport massage therapy sessions. DietYou’re going to get hungry as you pack on all the miles and replenishing is important. You’re also going to need to eat while you’re out on your long runs. Experiment with different types of portable foods, energy bars, and gels and find one that works for you. When you find something that works, stick to it so that you can avoid any potential gastro-intestinal (GI) distress issues. Food is fuel so make sure you’re getting enough calories, and the right balance of protein, fats and carbs, both before and after a long run. On your long runs drink water and consume a gel or something with simple sugar every 15 to 20 minutes and consider having something small to eat every hour.For longer runs, consider an electrolyte drink to bring with you, especially if its hot. Try and replenish your depleted reserves with a balanced meal within 15-30 minutes of the end of your run. Race DayWhen the big day comes it is normal to feel nervous and don’t beat yourself up if your nerves kept you awake the night before. As long as you got some good rest that week one restless night shouldn’t effect your race. Lay out your clothes and gear the night before so that you’re not stressed in the morning. Give yourself lots of time.Eat a good breakfast consistent with what you’ve been eating during training, no new foods! If you’re traveling for a race, pre-prep food if need be. Never, ever, ever wear new clothes on race day! Chaffing and blisters can ruin all your hard work.Don’t go out too fast in the first few kilometers with all the excitement of the race, you have a long haul in front of you.Make it your goal just to finish the race. It’s your first time, enjoy it! Hopefully these tips will motivate and provoke thorough planning and thoughtful training along with many more questions and experiences to be discovered along the way. If you're you're struggling with knowing how to get started, or need guidance as to developing efficiency whilst avoiding injury then be in touch - were always happy to help!
WHY STICKING TO THE MACHINES IN THE GYM MIGHT NOT BE AS FAIL SAFE AS YOU FIRST THOUGHT
This surveillance footage (of which the subject will remain anonymous) shows very clearly why the popular myth of 'I only use the machines at the gym because that way you can't go wrong' is so incorrect and that the use of these machines can be just as damaging or injury inviting as any other exercise or equipment if performed poorly and without taking into account our human biomechanics and biology.
Thinking of going vegetarian or vegan?Here's some important information if you're thinking about making the transition
Vegetarian and veganism has gained a lot of momentum in the last few years and it’s now easier than ever to make this transition as more shops and restaurants are starting to include a variety of veggie options. In general, a standard western diet includes too much protein and not enough vegetables and with red meat having connections to cancer and the environmental impact that the meat industry is having on our environment it’s no wonder people are starting to make the switch. Going veggie can have a lot of health and performance benefits, such as reduced inflammation, weight loss, lower risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer, as well as improved gut-health, but making the switch doesn’t instantly mean that you’re going to be eating and feeling better. Part of the reason that people have such success with going veggie is because, in general, they end up making healthier choices by eating less processed foods and more whole foods. There are plenty of unhealthy veggie-eaters out there that rely on processed meat-substitutes and other packaged foods. I mean, Oreos are technically vegan but that doesn’t make them a healthier choice. Successful veggie eaters get their full servings of vegetables in a day but are not just focused on vegetables. Successful veggie eaters, especially those that are athletes, also view their food as fuel and make sure their meals are well rounded to included a balance of protein and carbohydrates.“For me, it's about optimizing health. It's about lifestyle and longevity. Then you think about what vegetarian diets can do for the mass population, in terms of lower consumption of resources. When you look at the numbers, it's pretty staggering.” - Scott Jurek, elite ultramarathoner, author, and vegan.Going veggie, especially going vegan, means that you need to pay attention to your vitamin needs. Vegans are more prone to vitamin B12 deficiencies as it is not a vitamin that humans naturally produce but it is found supplemented in many dairy products. Additionally, females, and especially female athletes need to stay on top of their iron intake as female vegan athletes needing 80% more iron than a non-vegan female athlete. Now some of these stats are used to deter people from going veggie, which is understandable as it may not always be best the best diet for everyone and their lifestyles, but in general you can get the nutrients that you need by eating a variety of different types and colours of vegetables, vegetables rich in iron and magnesium, healthy fats from foods like avocados, as well as including items like nutritional yeast and swapping out refined grains for whole grains. Variety is key.Protein is also important as this what makes us feel full, it is also especially important as an as athlete but this is not as difficult to acquire as many carnivores would have you believe. In general a person requires around 7 grams of protein every day for every 20 pounds of body weight. A cup of cooked lentils provides about 18 grams of protein, around 15 grams of fiber and it has virtually no saturated fat or sodium. There are also plenty of other plant-based options that provide the right amount of protein such as beans, legumes, tofu, tempeh, quinoa and nuts. Additionally, even modest vegetables like broccoli, carry certain amounts of protein as do the majority of other vegetables.The important thing to think about going forward, even if you’re not ready or not willing to make the switch just yet, is to just start off by choosing whole foods, mostly vegetables, and by reducing your intake of meat and diary.“Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” – Michael Pollen, author of “In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto”
CHANGE YOUR POSITION NOW!The importance of staying in motion every day
Stop for too long and you might just get stuck - don't believe us? Here's the facts --->
This One Activity Should Be Your Biggest Daily Habit
There are things we do every day because its good for us - for example, brushing our teeth. Yet there are others we should do and we don't. Who decides what makes it onto the daily to do list and what doesn't?
Personal Trainers are NOT Babysitters
Why the workouts outside of your personal training time are the most important.
Wanna have more sex? Improving your posture is a good way to start!
Your posture sucks. And now you may want to fix it for reasons other than just your health.....
Why YOU need to train in your BARE FEET
Minimalist and barefoot training is one of the few things the fitness industry has done right, though in practice it is something that many get wrong - read about out all you need to know here ....
לקרוא את הבלוג של ישראקטיב בעברית לחצו כאן
This is a mockup. Publish to view how it will appear live.