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).
How to beat 'SADS' and have the most productive winter ever
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a lot more common than people think. In fact, in the UK alone it’s been reported that 29% of the population have symptoms of SAD with women being four times more likely than men to experience symptoms. Even in Tel Aviv, with its relatively warm winters, the seasonal changes can still have an effect. So what is SAD? How can you tell if you might be affected by SAD? And what’s the best way to beat SAD? Here are some of the most effective ways you can tackle SAD and have the best winter yet. What is Seasonal Effective Disorder (SAD)? SAD is a reoccurring major depression that follows a seasonal pattern. It generally affects people in the late fall to winter with symptoms dissipating in the spring and summer. While the cause of SAD isn’t completely known, there is strong evidence suggesting it has to do with the limited or change in availability of sunlight during fall and winter months which can then change or alter a person’s internal biological clock as well as alter hormones.
The surprising health benefits of exposure to extreme temperatures
It may be that you like to indulge in the post workout steam room cycled with a jump into a cold swimming pool. Perhaps you’ve been injured and your therapist has suggested ice baths or heat pads. You may have even been training for an event and wondered about how training at extreme temperatures may improve your athletic performance when it comes to race day. Beyond this, whether you live in a hot or cold climate (or indeed somewhere that experiences both), we all remember the times when our Mother’s would tell us to put on another sweater if you’re cold, “or there’s nothing wrong with suffering a bit – It’s good for you!”. There may actually be a point to all this. Here’s what science has to say about the human body and it’s tolerance and reactions to different temperature environments. What air temperature is safe or (dangerous) for humans?The human body maintains a constant temperature of 37C, and this can fluctuate throughout the day within the range of +/- 1C. Internal and external factors contribute to any fluctuations, for example physical activity, emotional state, presence of an illness or of course the environmental temperature. Under normal conditions our bodies maintain our internal temperature by the use of subconscious response mechanisms, the most obvious of which are sweating and shivering. As for the external temperature range that humans can tolerate – we don’t have a straight answer. You may have seen on the weather forecast that they often refer to expected ‘real feel’ conditions. This is because the temperature that we feel (and can tolerate) also depends on additional parameters such as humidity and wind. Our ideal temperature while naked, is around 28C with a relative humidity of 40-50%. It has been reported that in extremely dry conditions (0% relative humidity), and with an adequate supply of cold water, that we can tolerate air temperatures of up to 120C for short periods (exact times are unknown, but we’re talking in the 10’s of minutes and not hours). In comparison, with a relative humidity of 80-100% (which can be common in tropical climes), we would struggle to tolerate long exposure of temperatures above 55C. The same applies to exposure to cold conditions. Below 28C we would likely feel the need to wear light clothes. Much below 20C slightly thicker clothing would be required and below 12C we’re already in the range that without winter attire we would be at risk of hyperthermia. In addition to the effects of humidity, (which apply to both hot and cold temperatures), we also need to take into account further complications such as frost bite. Our range of tolerance to cold is much smaller than that with exposure to heat. Again, exact data is hard to find, but there have been instances of temperatures of -20C being tolerated whilst physically active, but for most, the lower limit of exposure to cold whilst naked would be around 13C.
6 WAYS THAT YOU SHOULD LIVE LIKE A CAVEMAN IN 2019
Our urban lifestyles and technical environment may seem so distant from the caveman era of our ancestors, but what if they had it right? Whilst tribes may not have had the education systems that we have today, nature and evolution played its part in building life saving habits and instinctually healthy behaviour. Here’s our top tips for living cave-style within our modern world.
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 ....
TOP 10 TIPS FOR LOOKING AFTER YOUR PHYSICAL HEALTH
Keeping healthy and in shape doesn't (and shouldn't) have to be about killing yourself mentally or physically. Here is some genuine sound advice right from the heart of Isractive - our top ten for living a healthy life and moving well... 1. Don’t get stuck!Allocate 10 minutes each day to run through a basic routine of full body mobility movements/stretches. Ensure that through the years you don’t lose your range of motion in each joints and you’ll enjoy joint health and longevity of movement. Related: This One Activity Should Be Your Biggest Daily Habit 2. Walk!Who said exercise has to be intense all the time? Spend as much time on your feet each day as you do sitting. Walk around the office, walk your commute, and even a bit of housework is enough to balance out your sedentary time. 3. Want a smoking hot body?No problem, but let it be as a healthy bi-product of an efficient and strong body. Fix all the deficiencies in your movements habits, eat raw and green, and you’ll be performing at your best for pushing your limits in training. The lean machine look will pop out sooner than you’re expecting!
Top 10 Tips for Losing Weight Without Diet Restriction
Losing weight often feels like a daunting task, especially with the inundation of dieting trends, many of which have strict rules and restrictions. Further, restrictive dieting rarely offers long-term solutions, so how can you accomplish your goals in a healthy and non-restrictive manner that won’t leave you going hungry? Here are ten tips and suggestions to help you adapt your lifestyle towards sustainable weight loss without deprivation. 1. Focus on nourishing your body instead of depriving it.For active and healthy individuals, food is an important part of performance and body nourishment. The dieting mindset views food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ and then focuses on avoiding the ‘bad’ food as much as possible. The unfortunate outcome of this view is that it relies on a willpower mentality which doesn’t work. The more you try to restrict yourself, the higher the chance of failure. Instead, view food as the fuel you need to stay active and energetic!
THE BEGINNERS GUIDE TO INTERMITTENT FASTING
If you live in Israel, you’re likely familiar with the concept of fasting as every year during Yom Kippur the city shuts down with many observing the 25-hour fast. Regardless of your religious beliefs, you may have been interested in fasting for cultural reasons or perhaps for health or weight loss. Here’s all you need to know about fasting and how to prepare and do it safely. Intermittent fasting might not be appropriate for you so always check with your general practitioner before starting. What is Intermittent Fasting?Intermittent fasting is not a diet but rather a dieting pattern, as well as a common practice in many religions. It involves abstaining partially or completely from food for a set amount of time. So rather than specifying what foods to eat, like a diet, intermittent fasting just determines when you can eat. Different TypesOutside of religious fasting (where usually religious traditions or superstitions dictate the duration of a fast), there is no single way to fast but here are few popular methods: 16/8 method – This method involves skipping breakfast and restricting your daily eating period to only 8-hours. For example, eating from 12-8pm only and then fasting for the remainder of the day. 24-hour method – This method involves abstaining from food for a full 24 hours and then resuming eating the next day and alternating between the two. 5/2 method – This method involves restricting calorie intake to 500-600 calories for two non-consecutive days of the week and then resuming eating as normal for the remainder.
TRAINING TIPS FOR LAST MINUTE RUNNERS
Whether your friend has conned you into last minute race, you didn’t manage to keep up with your planned training schedule, or you’ve picked up a late-entry, what do you do if you find yourself training last minute for a running race? While it isn’t really advisable, especially for longer distances like the half or full marathon, it is possible to run well, regardless of what distance you’re wanting to run. Here are some tips and recommendations on how to approach the impending race day. Where to Start:Firstly, you need to have an idea of your current fitness level. Non-Runner – 5K - If your exercise regime in next to non-existent, attempting a marathon in less than a month is asking for a whole variety of issues and injuries, however a 5k is possible. Beginner Runner – 5K or 10K - For a reasonably fit person or novice runner, you will already have some of the psychological and physical strength base needed to finish longer distances. If you are running or have started running, even sporadically but can run for about 3 kilometers, a 5 or 10K is achievable. Intermediate/Advanced Runner – Half/Full Marathon - For those seasoned and fit runners that can run 8 kilometers or more, it is possible to look at the longer distances though you should consult with a doctor and a fitness specialist first.
THE KETO DIET - IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU?
What it is Ketosis? When does it happen? Who is it for? And how do I do it? We’re told that it’s the new kid on the block in the world of dieting, and it has been touted as a weight-loss powerhouse, but in reality this is solidly based science that has its roots in our ancestry. So what is the keto diet and is it something worth adding to your health and fitness regime? If you are considering giving it a go, here are some things to consider and don’t forget to discuss them with your doctor or a dietitian beforehand. What is the Keto Diet?The ketogenic diet or keto diet aims at reaching a state called ketosis. Ketosis mimics a metabolic state of starvation that forces the body to switch from its first choice of carbohydrates for energy and switch it for stored body fat instead. This strict diet is very high in fat and very low in carbohydrates (not unlike the Atkin’s diet). To reach ketosis, carbohydrate restrictions needs be limited to fewer than 50 grams of carbohydrates a day and it will take a few days to reach ketosis. Different approachesStandard – Diet consists of 75% fat, 20% protein and 5% carbs. Clinical – Intermittent days of high carbohydrate intake, such as 5 days of keto and 2 high carb days.Targeted – Allows for carbohydrates on workout days.High-Protein – Diet consists of 60% fat, 35% protein and 5% carbs. Related: Why Diet is Just as Important as Exercise Foods to AvoidRegardless of the type keto diet being undertaken, here are some examples of foods to avoid on keto days:- Sugary beverages- All fruit, except in small portions like berries- Grains or starches- Root vegetables and tubers- Beans and legumes- Unhealthy fats- Low-fat or diet products- Sugar-free foods Foods to Eat- Meat- Eggs- Fish- Butter- Cream- Cheese- Nuts and seeds- Avocados- Healthy oil- Low carb vegetables There are also plenty of examples and meal plans available online with a quick internet search. BenefitsThe keto diet has become popular because it has helped people successfully lose weight, therefore reducing the risk of obesity-related diseases. Studies have also shown that it can help with other types of illnesses like cancer and Alzheimer’s. One study touted that those on a keto diet lost 2.2 times more weight than those that weren’t while also improving cholesterol levels. It’s also been noted to help pre-diabetics and diabetics as the increase of ketones in the body keep blood sugar down and increase insulin sensitivity. Related: Thinking of going vegetarian or vegan? RisksLike any restrictive diet, they can be difficult to maintain, so being able to stay in a state of ketosis for an extensive period of time is challenging and risks a yo-yo effect with body weight. Additionally, further studies have shown that it can affect the speed and performance of athletes as fat requires more oxygen to create energy than carbohydrates, which can affect muscle contraction. Though, over time it might also make it possible to reduce reliance on carbohydrates for fuel during exercise.The keto diet, however, also comes with some serious risks as it can exasperate or create existing liver or kidney problems with the sheer volume of fat and proteins they need process. Additionally, nutritional deficiencies can happen with the lack of vegetables/legumes consumed, also making constipation common as the diet lacks sufficient fibre. Have you tried the keto diet? Comment below to let us know your experience with it.
THE BENEFITS OF STAYING FIT THROUGH PREGNANCY
Discover how you and your baby will thank you for keeping on the go! After getting past the excitement stage, many women begin to have concerns about their bodies once they find out that they’re pregnant. Things like diastasis, changes in their pelvic floor, physical changes to the body, along with discomfort and pain. Staying fit during pregnancy can help reduce or eliminate many of these issues during pregnancy and birth.Thankfully, it’s finally common knowledge that exercising while pregnant has extensive benefits for both mama and baby. While it’s not recommended to start a brand new exercise regime, the basic rule is, if you were active before your pregnancy you’re more likely to be safe to continue exercising while pregnant and carrying on doing the same exercises, provided you’re comfortable. Even if you weren’t all that active beforehand, walking is generally a low-risk activity that can be increased up to 30-minute intervals per day. Is Exercising While Pregnant Safe?Absolutely! Exercise does not put you at risk for miscarriage in a normal pregnancy but it’s still important to consult with a doctor and personal trainer about your current fitness levels and what you anticipate your activity levels will be during pregnancy. Contact sports or activities with a high risk of falling like skiing, horseback riding, biking etc. should also be avoided. You might not be able to exercise as hard or as fast as you did before your pregnancy but you’re still reaping one of these many benefits. Related: Top Five Benefits of Functional Fitness on Mental Health Benefits for Mom Boost in Energy, Mood, and Confidence: Exercise, whether you’re pregnant or not, helps energize and revive the mind and body as well as providing a positive body image and perception.Reduces Discomfort: Exercise can bring relief to all the aches and pains that come with being pregnant. Especially ones that focus on the pelvic floor and back. Water sports can also help by adding a feeling of weightlessness. Prepares the Body for Childbirth: Labour is often shorter in women who exercise. Additionally, moms that have good cardiovascular health and a strong core report using fewer drugs for pain during labour. Lower risk of pregnancy-related complications: Studies are finding that fit moms have a lower chance of complications such as gestational diabetes, unplanned c-sections, high blood pressure, constipation, leg swelling etc. Faster Recovery Time: Studies show that women who are fit during their pregnancy recover faster and better post-birth and can get back to their regular and new parenting routines faster than those who were not active. Sleep better: Studies have shown that women who exercise report sleeping better, longer, and more soundly than pregnant women who didn’t exercise. Increases Flexibility: Relaxin is a hormone that is released during pregnancy that loosens up your pelvic muscles and other joints in preparation for birth. Take advantage of this extra flexibility with functional daily stretches. Related: This One Activity Should Be Your Biggest Daily Habit Benefits for BabyReduces the Risk of Diabetes and Increases Brain Health: Studies performed on rats found that babies born from moms that exercised had better insulin sensitivity lowering their risk of diabetes and obesity, as well having lower rates of neurodegeneration leading to lower rates of diseases like Alzheimer’s.Lower Fetal Heart Rates: A study performed on human babies saw a decrease in fetal heart rates in mom’s that exercised regularly, a benefit that was traced and carried on to the babies after birth.
THE 5 EXERCISES YOU SHOULD BE DOING WHILST S(H)ITTING ON THE TOILET!
The perfect way to utilise your toilet time and ensure that your feet get the love they deserve As you may already know if you’ve encountered any of our previous blogs, we’re all about movements at Isractive | ישראקטיב, but don’t be fooled and think you’re about to read a piece about your gastro health. We’re going to assume for a second that all is well on that front, which is useful, because you’ve just allocated yourself the perfect moment to deal with another element of your human efficiency. Lets talk about your feet.You’re thinking, ‘what could possibly link my toilet time and my feet?’ , ‘They’ve totally lost it now!’. Fear not, we’re of sound grounding. One of the most common rebuttals to any of our ‘quick fix tips’ or workouts of the day is that finding the time to look after your mobility, and then another session for some cardio health, and a gym workout to keep strong, and some peace and quiet for meditation is near on impossible with long days at the office followed by family time and all the other usual demands on our energy. So here’s our gift to you - a few minutes serenity, locked in a box, poor phone signal (and lets be honest, if you’re taking your smartphone to the toilet – eww), and only the walls to keep you entertained – and most importantly an opportunity to right the wrong of our last two centuries of isolation, compression and oppression of OUR FEET.Whether it be through in-activity, high fashion, mis-information and marketing of sports brands or just habit of being heavily shod, its likely your ankles (and therefore calves, shins knees and hips) are paying the price. So take this 5 minutes of looking for something to play with and re-unite yourself to your little pinky. No not that one, the ones on your feet damn-it!Prevent unstable ankles, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis, shin splints, ACL stresses and a whole host of other irritations and injuries that can happen to us regardless of our level of fitness, whilst improving your control and balance by following our top 5 exercises for your feet.
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