Complementary Fitness 8 April news + updates

the Easter (school) holidays are here! Yay and all of our classes are on so I look forward to seeing you in all/as many classes that you can make.  I can’t wait to ‘Spring’ into more fitness and flexibility with you.

I saw this poster last week and thought you might have a chuckle: “anyone can workout for an hour but to control what goes on your plate for the other 23 hours, that’s hard work” (I totally agree).

I like to read inspirational quotes and thought I’d share a few with you:

‘For every minute you are angry, you lose 60 seconds of happiness” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

and this might make you think too: ‘destroy the idea that you have to be constantly working or grinding in order to be successful.  Embrace the concept that rest, recovery, reflection are essential parts of the progress towards a successful and happy life’ – Zach Galifianakis

“every moment of our life can be the beginning of great things” – Joseph Pilates

According to Healthy Magazinethe plank is a simple but incredibly effective core strengthening exercise which, when performed right, will not only strengthen and activate your core, but also your arms, bum, back and legs.  It’s a static move that requires no equipment and can be performed anywhere.  It engages multiple muscles at once and by improving the engagement of the core muscles, it will tighten your tummy, your bum and improve your ability to generate power and stability throughout the body, preventing injury and improving posture.’

5 steps to master a plank:

Plant your hands directly under your shoulders, like a push-up and ground your toes into the floor; squeeze your glutes as you lift your body into one straight line, with ears, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles on the same plane.

  • Engage your core by imagining your belly button pulling in towards your spine and don’t let your bottom dip.

Look at a spot on the floor about a foot beyond your hands so that your head is in line with your back.

4 Contract the belly button and glutes as hard as you can and hold for 20 seconds, longer if you can; if your back begins to bow or shoulders sink, stop.

Take slow, controlled, deep breaths throughout.

Plank

My advice for an alternative plank: a slightly easier plank option is on forearms where you place forearms on the floor, elbows below your shoulders, arms parallel to your body shoulder-width apart.  Lay your palms flat or clasp your hands together.  You can also bring your knees down onto the floor too instead of straight legs (less intense or challenging).

forearm plank
Plank on forearms and knees

Some more variations of the plank are side plank and supine/reverse (front of the body facing up) plank.  “enjoy” (is that the word for it? Ha 😊 )

side plank
supine/reverse plank

I read …

  • that a US study shows that carrying extra body fat – and especially fat around the middle, may see brain shrinkage.  Researchers measured BMI and waist-to-hip ratio of nearly 10,000 people (with an average age of 55) and found that those with higher ratios of both, had the lowest brain volume.  Another reason to stay trim is to ward off the risk of dementia.
  • that taking vitamin C before exercise might help recovery according to new research.  Exercise can cause an imbalance in antioxidant levels, leading to oxidative stress-related tissue damage.  However, the study showed that vitamin C increased antioxidant power in the blood and lowered oxidative stress.
  • This great healthy mantra by a doctor: “this is the only life you have so try to enjoy it.  But remember; everything in moderation except sleep”.

I love adding greens into smoothies and will usually add a handful of fresh spinach leaves in (occasionally some lettuce leaves instead/as well) which adds more antioxidants into our diets.  After last week’s Thursday fitness yoga class, I went home and put together some almond milk, a big handful of (organic) spinach, a banana, big tablespoon of almond butter and a scoop of pea protein powder – delicious and just what I needed after the class to tide me over and fill me up till 11am on Friday morning.

almond milk, spinach, banana, almond butter + pea protein powder post exercise smoothie

I look forward to seeing you this week for pre-Easter fitness, fun, exercise/stretch options & variations while we’re working towards improving our flexibility, strength, posture and balance too.  Don’t eat too many Easter eggs/chocolate though – remember balance and everything in moderation, ha.

See you soon, Susan xx

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