Keep your pre-exercise snack to about 200 calories and include 15 grams of carbs for every 30 minutes of aerobic exercise.
I’m 56, married to the wonderful James (who I met at school!) for 34 years, and a mother to 4 gorgeous grown up boys!
With my background in health care and in particular aged care and dementia, I realise the importance of exercise for a healthy brain as well as for a healthy body.
I’ve made it a part of my routine – it just happens so automatically now and I wouldn’t miss it for the world. The amazing people I have met and truly wonderful friendships I have made while training is an absolute highlight for me. Squeeze your glutes like you’re holding a $100 note in between your buttocks (it’s a lot to concentrate on at once, but like with all things – practice makes perfect, and a push-up with correct form is worth much more than multiple push-ups with terrible form!). Lift your chin so that you’re looking slightly forward, achieving a straight line from the top of your head through your lower back.
Find a mirror or get a buddy to record you as you practice these steps so that you can check your form and identify where you need to concentrate on. If you find that you’re compromising form to complete a full push-up, try introducing an incline. By reducing your points of stabilization from four to three you will recruit your abs for extra stabilization.
We’ve put together some of our top tips for those embarking on their first fun run, to help make it as stress-free and – more importantly – FUN as possible! This is not the day to experiment with food or drink, stick to what you’ve been training with and what you know works for you. Most importantly: don’t forget to celebrate your achievements and congratulate yourself on acing your first ever fun run!
Whether you strike heel, midfoot or forefoot first, your foot should land directly underneath your body. This change in form reduces the impact your legs experiences and cuts your injury risk by creating a more fluid, efficient stride. Slouching, or leaning from the waist, is a common problem for many runners who try too hard to perfect that “forward lean” they heard was part of proper running form. The magic number for optimal cadence is thought to be 180 steps per minute, according to a running coach who observed at the 1984 Olympics that this was the average cadence of most elite runners.
An average cadence of at least 170 for easy runs means you’ll reduce impact forces on your legs, cut your injury risk, and even improve your running efficiency. Even for the most motivated among us, sometimes scoring a new PB, or even finishing a run, can become a challenge some days. While you don’t need to spend a fortune on fitness gear, it’s important that the training gear you wear is of a good quality that keeps speed and comfort in mind.
Whether you’re heading out for a quick and breezy jog, or a 10 km slog, warm ups form a necessary part of a safe and injury-free run.
Everyone is different when it comes to eating before a run, so it’s important to trial what works best for you.
Sometimes, picking a steady pace for your run and sticking to it can be easier said than done.
Crack two eggs over the mixture, put a lid on the pan, and cook for another 3-4 minutes, or until the egg is cooked to your liking. I know it’s the best way to start my day and that if I skip breakfast I’m more likely to binge eat or snack more throughout the day. As a PT, I’m also really looking forward to continuing to support and motivate others to achieve their own goals – something I find incredibly rewarding. The research is very convincing, and this knowledge combined with the family history of heart disease and desire to be around for my family drove me to do something about my health and fitness – and so I became a member of Step into Life Caulfield! I also tend to not eat breakfast until after a session or event – but if it’s something like a half marathon I’ll make sure I’m well hydrated and have simple meals including some carbs for lunch and dinner the day before. Keep your elbows tucked close to the body, so the upper arms form a 45-degree angle at the bottom of the push-up position; don’t flare your elbows out to the side. By placing your hands on a low bench, or by standing against a wall (the closer you position your feet to the wall, the less pressure you place on your arms and upper back) you can concentrate on achieving fantastic form without as much strain; as you gain strength, either keep moving your feet further away from the wall or reduce your incline by practising on a lower bench, until you feel confident enough to try push-ups on the floor.
Perform a standard push-up, but at the exhale, ‘push’ forcefully off the ground so that the upper body soars and the hands are briefly in mid-air (for a Clap push-up, bring the hands together into a clap), then return to the start position. Keep moving for a little bit – go for a short walk, grab some water and have a little stretch out.
Luckily for you, we’ve cut through the nitty-gritty science and labyrinth of jargon that comes with it to give you an easier understanding of how you can improve your running form. The truth is that it doesn’t really matter where on your foot you land with each step; there are enormously successful runners who are fore-, mid-, and heel-strikers! While a slight forward lean is part of good form, it should come from the ankles, not the waist. To determine your cadence, count the number of times your foot lands in one minute, then double it to account for both feet. Instead of overindulging on an excess of unhealthy snacks, head for the fruit and veggie platter. Your pre-run warm up should aim to increase your heart rate slightly, open up your joints, and actively stretch out your muscles to prepare them for the task ahead. The human body is created for movement – movement that’s natural as a part of our day-to-day functions. When I got home I made the first step – and the hardest step – toward what has ultimately been the best decision of my life so far. Becoming a Personal Trainer was one of the best things I’ve ever done, and I feel so lucky to be able to help people who might be feeling like I did before I started my fitness journey: scared, confused, overweight, nervous and uncertain about the road ahead.
To run well, it’s important for me to have strength (thanks, toneup!), agility and speed (cardiomax does the trick there!), flexibility (powerflex is a perfect match), endurance and mental stamina (endurit and achievit push me hard!). I love that they don’t force you along – they just have this way of believing that you can do things and expecting that you will… and so you do it! This is an advanced push-up move, so be aware of your form and ensure that you don’t flare your elbows out when completing these.
This is definitely not a beginner’s push-up and requires strength and form to perform correctly.
Embrace the hype-building music, the sea of nervous energy as you wait for the starting gun, the sound of so many feet pounding the pavement, and of course that beautiful the sense of achievement as you (and everyone around you) realize that you’re actually doing this amazing thing!
Similarly, with the rest of your outfit for the day, the middle of a fun run is not the ideal place to discover that your new shorts chafe – so make sure you’ve given everything a good trial run first! Ditch the technicalities and focus on these three easy and actionable running tricks instead, and you’ll be on your way to your best run ever! Not only will you be setting a good example for your kids and creating fantastic memories, you’ll be squeezing in some valuable extra activity into your day – and every little helps! Choose suitable footwear – get properly fitted for a running shoe, and remember to replace your runners periodically to ensure that you’re getting the support you need to pound the pavement with properly. Set aside dedicated time for a warm-up before every tun – you could try jogging gently on the spots, some star jumps, or even raising your knee to the opposite elbow.
If you forget to drink enough water before your run, then ensure that you drink around 250 ml (1 cup) of water at least 15-30 minutes prior to heading out. He’s more than just my PT – he’s my mentor, and the person I have to thank for getting me addicted to running and collecting medals at fun runs! We chatted to Liz to find out what it took for her to be so dedicated to leading a fit and healthy lifestyle. I decided it was a new millennium and time for a new me so that I could be the best that I could be for my kids. Opt for veggie skewers, grilled fish, or lean meats like kangaroo – just remember to save a little room on the side for some fresh salad to keep it company. Go for grilled chicken, fish or tofu on top of greens and spend that starch serving on a scoop of the creamy potato salad you truly love.
If you’re at a kid-free BBQ, then take the initiative and start a game to pull yourself away from any unnecessary snacks that might be sitting on the table. It’s up to you to be honest with yourself and leave your ego at the door – sideline those excuses, and take responsibility for each and every one of your actions. There was a great army style chant that we used as we went along for our bootcamp sessions, with the words adapted for Step into Life. Some organizers have a donation agreement that any clothing items dropped along the route will be collected and donated to a local charity, a great idea if you have an old jumper that you’re happy to part with and if you’re confident that you won’t need an extra layer on your way home post-event, so check for details on this too. Drink some water and wait for 20 minutes first – you might be less hungry than you think!
I sought advice from a surgeon who told me that the only way forward was with back surgery. If you’re eating three delicious and nutritious meals a day but can’t figure out why the weight won’t budge, then keep a food diary of every single thing you eat each day for a week, and your portion sizes. You should be able to identify areas where you can clean up your act a little pretty quickly, and figure out healthier snacks you could substitute in, or understand whether you were eating out of hunger or boredom.
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