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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!
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Benefits of barefoot training
Why exactly is barefoot training better? Besides improving on your proprioception, strong feet lead to a more efficient use of our muscles. A study performed on barefoot runners in 2012, found that heart rate and relative perceived exertion levels in the runners tested was “significantly lower” in the barefoot runners than it was in the shod runners. Additionally, runners who were in their bare feet saw a 10% increase in their cadence, also without any extra perceived exertion. In a similar study done on weightlifters, found that those doing squats in their bare feet activated more muscle fibres in the lowering motion of the squat than those who were wearing shoes. Even if you’re uncomfortable with the idea of exercising in your bare feet, there are plenty of minimalist shoes that will provide the same benefits as going barefoot (VivoBarefoot, Vibram). The Golden rule with going barefoot or wearing minimalist shoes is to start slowly and to start doing exercises with your feet to help rebuild their muscles. Once you have the basics you can start to incorporate minimalist wear and barefoot training into your fitness as well as your daily life.
Want to improve your fitness and proprioception and don’t know where to start? Our holistic fitness program can help > > >
Why YOU need to train in your BARE FEET!
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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 if rushed into. Regardless of what activity you’re partaking in, if done properly, barefoot training or training in minimalist shoes can have extensive benefits to your physical health. Our bodies do not work in isolation and our modern lifestyles and bulky footwear are slowly disrupting our physical health, performance and wellbeing. That tight hamstring you have may not actually be caused from the hamstring itself but rather from an instability that started in your feet, that was then compounded by a tight hip from sitting too much, in combination with poor postural alignment. By finding balance from our feet up we can re-establish our foundations, reduce pain, prevent injuries, and improve athletic performance and agility.
Why barefoot training?
We spend so much of our time in confining shoes that our feet and the muscles that help establish our body’s stability are weak and underused. This underuse and heavy reliance on shoes makes us more prone to injuries. However, going barefoot or training in minimalist shoes takes time, as your feet and legs also need time to rebuild the tissues that are meant to stabilize your body, hence why injuries can also occur if you take the leap from being shod to unshod too quickly. The main issue with modern day footwear is that it destroys the proprioception that we gain through our feet. Proprioception is our body’s ability to sense our environment and spatial awareness and many of us may not even realize that it’s compromised. You can test your current proprioception by standing in your bare feet and closing your eyes. Lift your legs one at a time and see if you’re able to stay balanced. Severe stumbling or having a leg that’s better than the other is a sign of an impairment.