Health Club Kettering Blog
Class: JUST JAHOOM MASTER CLASS
Date: WEDNESDAY 29TH May 2013
Time: 5.30pm – 6.00pm
Venue: Balance Studio
Cost: Member £1.00 Non-Member £2.50
Just Jhoom! - which translates to Just Dance! Although it takes its inspiration from Bollywood dance it offers something a lot more; increasing cardiovascular fitness with lively routines set to vibrant, infectious, fast-paced Indian music!
Inspired by the glitz and the glamour of Bollywood films, Just Jhoom! is the first and only accredited Bollywood dance-fitness programme in the UK.
Using Indian dance moves, Bollywood music and strengthening exercises we’ll make sure you get a really good workout without even realising that you are exercising! Get fit, look fab, have fun - The Bollywood way! So what are you waiting for?
Don't just sit there...Just Jhoom!
Amy Marshall is a very experienced instructor with over 7 years’ experience in the industry. She is a fully qualified in Bokwa, Just Jahoom, exercise to music, Zumba and now the new Metafit. She has taught at balance before and is very much looking forward to meeting and introducing the Balance members to Metafit.
Strength is so important that I’d talk about it all day if I could.
Since you’ve probably got a lot of other stuff that you need to get done today, I won’t. Instead, I’ve narrowed the benefits down to the five that I think are most important.
If you are currently strength training on a regular basis, what you’re about to read will make you feel even better about doing so. If you’re not, let me explain exactly what being strong is going to do for you.
1. Whatever your sport, be it running, cycling, swimming or a bit of everything, being strong will make you better at it.
Walk into your local gym and tell the instructor that you’re a runner. Chances are you’ll be given a program designed to improve your endurance. It will almost certainly involve light weights and lots of repetitions.
The problem is that any form of endurance activity involves literally thousands of repetitions. There’s no way you can replicate that in the gym. The best way to build endurance for running, cycling, or swimming is to go running, cycling and swimming. Then you use the gym to improve the qualities that aren’t built as part of your normal training.
Think of it this way: When you’re on your bike, each pedal stroke uses a certain percentage of your maximum strength. As you get stronger, the percentage of strength used on each pedal stroke goes down.
In this way, strength contributes to your endurance by improving the efficiency of each pedal stroke. It means you’re able to do the same amount of work with less effort, or more work with the same amount of effort. Being strong makes you more economical.
You can also forget about the myth that strength training will make you “muscle bound” and inflexible. Simply lifting weights through a full range of motion can improve your flexibility as well as, or even better than, typical static stretching.
2. You will build a core of steel.
Contrary to a lot of the training advice out there, you don’t need to do anything on a Swiss ball, a wobble board or any of the various balance devices in your local gym to strengthen your “core” muscles.
And the core is a lot more than just the abs. It’s the collection of muscles that help to stabilize the spine. For our purposes, let’s define the core as the muscles of the trunk and hips — basically, anything that isn’t the head, arms or legs.
Someone who can perform a standing overhead press with their bodyweight and deadlift twice their bodyweight — which are reasonably impressive numbers for a drug-free, genetically “average” trainee — will have developed a very high level of core strength simply by focusing on getting stronger in both exercises.
In fact, core muscle activation that is similar to or higher than that achieved by exercising on an unstable surface can quite easily be achieved with ground-based free-weight exercises like squats and deadlifts.
Outside of a rehabilitation setting, much of what passes for core training represents wasted time that could be much better spent getting stronger.
3. Strength training will improve your appearance.
The vast majority of people who take up exercise (and I’m guessing this includes you) are not doing so because of their health. They are doing it because they want to look and feel better. And that is exactly what strength training is going to do for you.
If you’re a woman, you are no doubt concerned that even the thought of pressing, pulling or squatting a heavy barbell will turn you into the female equivalent of the Incredible Hulk.
Testosterone is the main reason this isn’t going to happen. Where size and strength are concerned, testosterone is undoubtedly the “King Kong” of all the anabolic hormones. And women don’t have as much of it as men.
But the relatively small amount of muscle you gain will make a big difference to the way you look. Muscle takes up a lot less space than fat. So instead of getting bigger, the exchange of fat for muscle will make you look smaller and shapelier.
“If tone is the goal,” writes Mark Rippetoe in Practical Programming, “strength is the method.”
If you’re a guy, strength training will leave your clothes feeling tighter in all the right places, especially across the chest, shoulders and arms. As your back and shoulders get broader, you’ll create the illusion of a narrower waist. Not only will you feel strong, you will look it as well.
4. As well as looking better on the outside, you will become healthier on the inside.
Some people appear perfectly healthy from the outside. But on the inside they display early signs of insulin resistance along with a cluster of characteristics that can increase their risk of type II diabetes and heart disease.
As the name suggests, metabolically obese, normal-weight individuals have a normal weight based on traditional criteria. However, their blood sugar and insulin levels are far higher than would be expected based on their weight alone. They look fit on the outside but are fat on the inside.
And you won’t be surprised to hear that one of the best ways to beat metabolic obesity is with a combination of strength and endurance training.
Both forms of exercise improve insulin sensitivity. But each one works in a slightly different way. When you train with weights, you gain muscle. And it’s this extra muscle that helps to clear any excess sugar from your blood.
Endurance training, on the other hand, enhances glucose uptake independently of changes in muscle mass, increasing both the number and function of glucose transporters. These help to transport sugar from the blood into the muscle.
5. You will be able to quantify and measure your progress.
As I’ve explained here and here, most body fat tests are pretty useless at detecting changes in body composition. This makes it hard to tell if what you’re doing is actually “working” as well as you’d like it to.
Training for strength is a lot more satisfying, mainly because your progress is a lot easier to quantify. You are able to see the progress you’re making in the form of more weight on the bar.
This will give you a totally new sense of focus and direction. Going to the gym will be something you get excited about. Each workout will become a challenge to be conquered rather than another chore to add to your ever growing to-do list.
The terms “strength training” and “resistance training” are often used interchangeably. But they’re not the same thing. Strength training isn’t strength training unless it’s making you strong.
Thanks to Christian Finn and the facts about fitness for this article.
It depends on what you value most. If keeping pesticides out of your food is your highest value, then buy organic. If you care most about freshness and quality or keeping local farms in business and circulating money in your community, buy local. But very often you can do both. Some local farmers are organic in everything but name, so before you decide to pass them up, ask them not “Are you organic” – to which the answer must be no if they haven’t been certified – but rather, how do you deal with fertility and pests? That starts a more nuanced conversation that may convince you to buy their produce.
We can’t afford to buy all our produce organic, so where should we direct our money to get the most benefit?
On produce, some items, when grown conventionally, have more pesticide residue than others, so when buying these, it pays to buy organic. According to the Environmental Working Group, the “dirty dozen” most pesticide-laden fruits and vegetables are: apples, celery, strawberries, peaches, spinach, imported nectarines, imported grapes, sweet bell peppers, potatoes, blueberries, lettuce and kale/collards. The “clean 15″ are onions, sweet corn, pineapples, avocado, asparagus, sweet peas, mangoes, eggplant, cantaloupe, kiwi, cabbage, watermelon, sweet potatoes, grapefruit and mushrooms. So if you’ve only got a little money to devote to organic, buy the organic apples and skip the organic onions. But do keep in mind that it’s important to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables regardless of how they’re grown.
Why are vegetables and meat labeled “organic” so much more expensive than similar items without the “organic” label?
There are several reasons organic food costs more than conventional food. First, the demand for it exceeds the supply, and presumably, as more farmers transition to organic, the price will fall, though it will never match conventional prices. For one thing, organic farmers receive virtually no subsidies from the government. (European governments significantly subsidize the transition to organic; ours doesn’t.) But even on a level playing field, farming organically would probably remain more expensive. Farming without chemicals is inherently more labor-intensive, especially when it comes to weeding. In animal agriculture, raising animals less intensively is always going to cost more.
Think about it this way: The “high” price of organic food comes a lot closer to the true price of producing that food – a price we seldom pay at the checkout. It’s important to remember that when you buy conventional food, many costs have been shifted – to the taxpayer in the form of crop subsidies, to the farmworker in the form of health problems and to the environment in the form of water and air pollution.
O.K., apart from a clearer conscience, what does the premium paid for organic food get you as a consumer?
Organic food has little or no pesticide residues, and especially for parents of young children, this is a big deal. There is also a body of evidence that produce grown in organic soils often has higher levels of various nutrients. (But whether these are enough to justify the higher price is questionable.) Probably for the same reason, organic produce often tastes better than conventional (though a cross-country truck ride can obviate this edge).
So it’s possible to make a case to the consumer for the superiority of organic food – but the stronger case is to the citizen. Farming without synthetic pesticides is better for the soil, for the water and for the air – which is to say, for the commons. It is also better for the people who grow and harvest our food, who would much rather not breathe pesticides. Producing meat without antibiotics will also help stave off antibiotic- resistance. If you care about these things, then the premium paid for organic food is money well spent.
Are there real opportunities for consumers to make an impact on factory farming, unsustainable agriculture and animal cruelty?
Absolutely. As the market for humanely raised meat grew in recent years, the industry responded. The egg industry recently committed to an effort to phase out tightly confining cages for laying hens; some pork producers are phasing out gestation crates; McDonald’s has taken steps to ensure that the meat it buys is slaughtered more humanely; Chipotle now buys only humanely raised pork. There is no question that agribusiness responds to the “votes” of consumers on these issues. The food industry is terrified of you. And PETA!
New research from networking solutions firm Cisco UK and Ireland has found that the vast majority (90 per cent) of employees believe that “healthier workforces” benefit businesses.
The Health and Wellbeing survey involved 501 middle managers in part or full time employment, a further 89 per cent believe a fit and active employee performs better at work.
However, only 15 per cent of employees said their businesses had made changes to improve health and wellbeing as a result of major sports events taking place this summer.
A mere 13 per cent of firms were said to be running sport-inspired activity this summer, and just 38 per cent said their workplace was promoting team building through exercise.
Cisco UK and Ireland head of HR Phoebe Leet said: “2012 is a phenomenal year for sport and other large events, and I would urge companies across the UK to build on their existing health and HR policies in the coming months.
“This year is a fantastic opportunity for businesses to encourage and inspire employees to be proactive about their health in the long term which could help build a brilliant future for both their employees and their business.”
The research was conducted throughout December by Vision Critical.
By Christian Finn
One question that seems to appear in my inbox on an almost daily basis centres on the effect that individual foods have on weight loss.
“I’m having a hard time losing the fat from my gut,” wrote one reader. “Please can you give me a list of fat burning foods that will help get rid of it.”
It seems people want to hear that there are “good” foods and “bad” foods, and if you want to build the body of a superhero, all you need to do is eat less of the bad ones and more of the good ones.
I hate to be the one to break it to you, but the idea there are special foods (blueberries, dark chocolate, avocados and so on) that will somehow burn fat is complete nonsense.
But it’s the sort of nonsense that seems to pop up every so often on daytime TV or in the happy-clappy health magazines when they’ve got no more “declutter your life” or “I’m okay and you’re okay” articles left to publish.
Ultimately, getting rid of fat requires a healthy diet and exercise. It’s not about eating more of these so-called “fat burning” foods.
There are certain “hot” foods (such as red pepper) that give your metabolism a lift. But the overall effect is relatively small, and it’s debatable whether the short-term increase in metabolism has much of an impact on fat loss over time.
It’s also true that some foods increase postprandial thermogenesis to a greater extent than others. A chocolate bar (mainly carbs and fat) and a chicken breast (mainly protein) might have the same number of calories. But because the thermic effect of protein is higher than that of carbs or fat, your body uses up more energy processing the chicken than it does the chocolate bar.
However, none of this changes the fact that it’s your overall diet rather than any individual food that will determine your rate of fat loss.
A good example of this comes from a recent study where a group of clinically obese adults was divided into two groups.
The first group ate a 300-calorie low-carbohydrate breakfast. The second group ate a 600-calorie breakfast that included cookies, cake, or chocolate. Both groups consumed the same daily total calories – the men 1600 calories per day and the women 1400.
At week 16, there was very little difference in weight loss between the two groups – 33 pounds in the low-carb group and 30 pounds in the dessert-for-breakfast group. From week 16 to week 32, the low-carbohydrate group regained some of the weight they lost, while the dessert-for-breakfast group carried on losing weight.
I’m not saying that you should eat cookies, cake or chocolate for breakfast. Nor am I saying that you can eat nothing but Twinkies or potatoes all day and expect the best possible results.
The composition of your diet matters. It affects things like hormone levels, appetite, energy expenditure and so on, all of which will have an influence on how much of the weight you lose comes from muscle or fat.
But contrary to what the food police will tell you, there is a middle ground that exists between eating nothing but potatoes or Twinkies and obsessing about every single food that passes your lips.
Good food is one of the things that makes life so enjoyable. There’s no need to deprive yourself of all the stuff you enjoy in pursuit of complete nutrition perfection. You don’t have to.
If you’re looking to shrink and tone your belly, there’s a better way to do it than trying to do crunches. In fact, research has shown that doing abdominal exercises alone—even when performed five days a week for six weeks—has no effect at all on subcutaneous fat stores and abdominal circumferencei.
In an op-ed piece for Forbes Magazine, Jennifer Cohen suggests using strategies that burn up cortisol insteadii. Cortisol is a hormone in your body that depletes lean muscle and holds on to fat in the abdominal region.
One of the most important ways to help this process is to reduce stress in your life, because stress causes cortisol levels to spike. Cohen also delves into a number of other strategies that help reduce your cortisol levels, such as the following.
Getting enough sleep Reducing or eliminating refined sugars from your diet Slowing down your breathing
Doing short bursts of exercise (high-intensity interval training) Supplementing with vitamin C Eating fats―the good kinds such as the omega 3′s found in salmon, avocados and walnuts
The KEY Strategy for Reducing Belly Fat
Cohen certainly brings up some good points. Getting sufficient amounts of sleep, for example, not only helps normalize cortisol levels, it’s also important in order to optimize your circadian clock, which can have a profound impact on your metabolism and weight. As an example, a couple of years ago researchers at the University of Chicago found that dieters who slept for 8.5 hours lost 55 percent more body fat over the course of two weeks than dieters who only got 5.5 hours of sleep a night.iii
But the master key really lies with your diet, followed closely by the type of exercise you engage in.
About 80 percent of your ability to reduce excess body fat is determined by what you eat, with the other 20 percent related to exercise and other healthy lifestyle habits such as sleep and stress reduction. What this means is that if your diet is based on sugar/fructose and processed junk food, your chances of getting flat, ripped abs, even if you work out religiously, are quite slim…
You simply will not see defined abs unless you reduce your overall body fat, and a poor diet cause your body to hold on to excess fat, despite all your exercise efforts. Cohen mentions two of the most important dietary factors in her article, namely:
· Reducing or eliminating sugar from your diet. This includes ALL forms of sugar and fructose, whether refined or “all-natural” such as agave or honey, as well as all grains (including organic ones), as they quickly break down to sugar in your body
· Increasing healthful fats in your diet, such as healthy saturated fats and animal-based omega-3′s
One of the most pernicious dietary influences on your weight loss goals is fructose, which hides in so many processed foods and beverages, it can be near impossible to avoid unless you alter your shopping and cooking habits. By avoiding processed foods in general, and focusing instead on whole, preferably locally grown organic foods, cooked at home, you can circumvent one of the greatest dietary obstacles there is today.
The Primary, and the Most Surprising, Dietary Offenders
Fructose, primarily in the form of high fructose corn syrup hidden in processed foods and beverages is the primary contributing factor to widespread and seemingly out-of-control obesity.
What’s the Best Fat-Busting Exercise?
Once you’ve addressed your diet, exercise can truly begin to work its magic on your physique, and help boost fat loss even further. The trick to achieve flat abs is to incorporate the correct types of exercises.
High-intensity interval exercises are at the core. This short intense training protocol improves muscle energy utilization and expenditure due to its positive effects on increasing muscle mass and improving muscle fibre quality. Muscle tissue burns three to five times more energy than fat tissues, so as you gain muscle, your metabolic rate increases, which allows you to burn more calories, even when you’re sleeping. Further, several studies have confirmed that exercising in shorter bursts with rest periods in between burns more fat than exercising continuously for an entire session.
In fact, you can actually lose more weight by reducing the amount of time you spend on exercise, because when doing high-intensity interval training you only need 20 minutes, two to three times a week. Any more and you’ll overdo it!
Obesity is the result of inappropriate lifestyle choices, and unfortunately, our government has done an abysmal job at disseminating accurate information about diet and health. For example, conventional advice that is driving public health in the wrong direction includes:
- Avoiding saturated fat: The myth that saturated fat causes heart disease has undoubtedly harmed an incalculable number of lives over the past several decades, even though it all began as little more than a scientifically unsupported marketing strategy for Crisco cooking oil. Most people actually need at least 50 percent of their diet to include healthful saturated fats such as organic, pastured eggs, avocados, coconut oil, real butter and grass-fed beef in order to optimize their health
- Cutting calories: Not all calories are created equal, and counting calories will not help you lose weight if you’re consuming the wrong kind of calories
- Reducing your cholesterol to extremely low levels: Cholesterol is actually NOT the major culprit in heart disease or any disease, and the guidelines that dictate what number your cholesterol levels should be to keep you “healthy” are fraught with conflict of interest — and have never been proven to be good for your health
- Choosing diet foods will help you lose weight: Substances like Splenda and aspartame may have zero calories, but your body isn’t fooled. When it gets a “sweet” taste, it expects calories to follow, and when this doesn’t occur it leads to distortions in your biochemistry that may actually lead to weight gain
We have two bank holidays coming up, Monday 4th and Tuesday 5th June. We are open 8am until 7pm.
Monday 09.30-10.30 Body Define and 17.30-18.30 Body Pump.
Tuesday 09.30-10.30 Body Pump
17.00-17.30 Express Gym Circuits (booking at reception only)
17.45-18.15 Express Spin (booking at reception only)
While we’ve been recommending high-intensity anaerobic training (Peak Fitness) using a cross trainer or a recumbent bike, how about high-intensity interval training using weights. By performing each movement in super-slow-motion, with minimal rest between exercises, you’re effectively getting a very high-intensity exercise.
Interestingly, while they appear to be very different on the surface, both types of training achieve many of the same results, from working your cardiovascular system to improving strength and endurance, to promoting the production of human growth hormone (HGH). While being more effective than conventional strength training, this type of super-slow weight training is also much safer, as it actively prevents you from accidentally harming your joints or suffering repetitive use injury. This makes it an ideal form of exercise for virtually everyone, regardless of age or fitness level.
Even more astounding, you only need 12 minutes of Super-Slow type strength training once a week to achieve the same growth hormone production as you would with Peak Fitness!
So truly, if you’ve struggled finding time for an effective exercise routine, this could be the solution you’ve been looking for. The key to make it work is intensity. The intensity needs to be high enough that you reach muscle fatigue. If you’ve selected the appropriate weight for your strength and fitness level, that would be somewhere in the neighbourhood of just seven or eight repetitions. After your workout you will want to use the nutritional strategies above to support your recovery and muscle building.
Of course, strength training offers limitless benefits above and beyond muscle building, including weight loss, improved posture and improvements to back pain, so if you haven’t added it to your fitness regimen just yet, what are you waiting for?
If you’re looking for a powerful way to boost your overall fitness and get some serious results — fast –from your workout routine, look no further than the squat.
This is one exercise that should be a part of virtually everyone’s routine, as it’s relatively simple to perform, requires no equipment, and can be done just about anywhere.
More importantly, although squats are often regarded as “leg” exercises, they actually offer benefits throughout your entire body, including deep within your core…
The Top 8 Benefits of Squats
If you haven’t yet started a regular exercise routine, you can find tips for doing so here.
Suffice it to say, a varied workout routine of appropriate intensity is one of the smartest health moves you can make, and adding squats to your routine is a must.
What makes squats such a fantastic exercise?
Builds Muscle in Your Entire Body
Squats obviously help to build your leg muscles (including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and calves), but they also create an anabolic environment, which promotes body-wide muscle building.
In fact, when done properly, squats are so intense that they trigger the release of testosterone and human growth hormone in your body, which are vital for muscle growth and will also help to improve muscle mass when you train other areas of your body aside from your legs.
So squats can actually help you improve both your upper and lower body strength.
Functional Exercise Makes Real-Life Activities Easier
Functional exercises are those that help your body to perform real-life activities, as opposed to simply being able to operate pieces of gym equipment. Squats are one of the best functional exercises out there, as humans have been squatting since the hunter-gatherer days. When you perform squats, you build muscle and help your muscles work more efficiently, as well as promote mobility and balance. All of these benefits translate into your body moving more efficiently in the real world too.
Burn More Fat
One of the most time-efficient ways to burn more calories is actually to gain more muscle! For every pound of additional muscle you gain, your body will burn an additional 50-70 calories per day. So, if you gain 10 pounds of muscle, you will automatically burn 500-700 more calories per day than you did before.
Maintain Mobility and Balance
Strong legs are crucial for staying mobile as you get older, and squats are phenomenal for increasing leg strength. They also work out your core, stabilizing muscles, which will help you to maintain balance, while also improving the communication between your brain and your muscle groups, which helps prevent falls – which is incidentally the #1 way to prevent bone fractures versus consuming mega-dose calcium supplements and bone drugs.
Most athletic injuries involve weak stabilizer muscles, ligaments and connective tissues, which squats help strengthen. They also help prevent injury by improving your flexibility (squats improve the range of motion in your ankles and hips) and balance, as noted above.
Boost Your Sports Performance — Jump Higher and Run Faster
Whether you’re a weekend warrior or a mom who chases after a toddler, you’ll be interested to know that studies have linked squatting strength with athletic ability. i Specifically, squatting helped athletes run faster and jump higher, which is why this exercise is part of virtually every professional athlete’s training program.
Tone Your Backside, Abs and Entire Body
Few exercises work as many muscles as the squat, so it’s an excellent multi-purpose activity useful for toning and tightening your behind, abs, and, of course, your legs. Furthermore, squats build your muscles, and these muscles participate in the regulation of glucose and lipid metabolism and insulin sensitivity, helping to protect you against obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Help with Waste Removal
Squats improve the pumping of body fluids, aiding in removal of waste and delivery of nutrition to all tissues, including organs and glands. They’re also useful for improved movement of feces through your colon and more regular bowel movements.