Exercise: your most natural medicine

Exercise is medicineHealth and Fitness professionals have always looked at prescribed exercise as a form of regenerative healing to the mind and body, in much the same way as primary healthcare has prescribed medicine to heal their patients.

Physically and physiologically exercise has always made total sense to secondary healthcare specialists, where we change the way we move and use our bodies in order to optimize performance and rebalance the loads on our joints and soft tissue, as to avoid unnecessary injuries improving our wellbeing and thus how we feel about ourselves.

All of a sudden, doctors and scientists are taking exercise much more seriously and putting the hard science and research behind the fitness myth, backing up what we have known for years but couldn’t openly say. Fitness and Exercise are Medicine!! Continue reading

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What muscles best stretch during pregnancy

Stretch for a healthy pregnancyMuch has been documented about exercise during pregnancy which has formed quite a diversity of opinion, amongst health professionals. Some will tell you to try not to be too active, in order to avoid overstraining yourself, whilst in a vulnerable state. Others will tell you that some form of exercise is good; perhaps some mild aerobic type work, along with specific strengthening exercises, but only up to a certain point in the pregnancy, or never in the 3rd trimester. Some recommend Pilates or Yoga and others simply tell you not to stretch, as was the case with a client of ours, whose GP told her exactly that.

With such a diversity of opinion, who knows what to believe? Continue reading

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Gluteus Maximus: Our most powerful power generator

gluteus-muscle.Ok let’s stand!

Clench your fists tightly and then do the same with your backside. Come on! Really squeeze them tightly!

Hold this for 15 seconds.

Now that’s what I call a Glut turn on:)

Some of you may feel like a cramp coming on. Some may feel that they are not engaging at all, whilst others will be as firm as a pumpkin. Well…it should be.

This muscle group is THE connecter of your legs to your back. If this is not taking on board the load from the weight of gravity and your own body weight then your lower back will start to over work; weakness sets in and inevitably pain will ensue.
An overloaded joint or muscle will become neurologically deficient and therefore vulnerable to the excessive forces placed upon it.
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Tight Hamstrings: The Bane of All Athletes

Stretch your hamstrings at Stretch AsiaHamstrings are speed generators. They are part of what I refer to as the “Big 5” power muscles. The Hamstring group helps the Gluteus Maximus extend the hip and increase stride length. Most hamstring injuries are not at the distal end where they cross the knee joint. This particular attachment (the insertion) is where the knee bends or flexes. Hamstring injuries tend to occur at the origin surrounding the Sitz bone, right at the heel of your pelvis. Normally, we don’t associate origins of muscles with much movement. However, in the case of the hamstrings, if you lack the stability and pliability at that attachment then it can, when at full gallop, slow you down and also potentially micro-tear at the muscle tendon junctions. Continue reading

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It’s Running Season! Get ready

marathonThe 20th Anniversary Standard Chartered Hong Kong Marathon will take place on 17 January, 2016. If you are one of the 70,000 lucky participants of any of the races, whether the full Marathon, Half Marathon or 10k race, you have less than 100 days to train.

Oxfam TrailWalker is only about 6 weeks away. So there is not a minute to waste!

Some of you will certainly have started training already, but many of the 35,000 10K participants are starting now.

Whether you are an habitual runner or just starting, the way you train, the frequency and intensity of your training and your ability to stay clear of injury will all play a huge part in your completing your race. So here are some of the recommendations we can give you to help prepare for a successful race. Continue reading

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Stretching the Psoas Major and Minor

This is one of the most important stretches you can do for lower back flexibility and general mobility. It’s also very beneficial for playing sports because it opens your stride and makes movement more efficient. According to physiotherapists at the r renowned Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, this is the one stretch they strongly advise all players to do before stepping on court. The hip flexor is considered the body’s number one posture muscle.

1 – Rest one knee on the cushion. Your back should be straight and your stomach tight, with your pelvis in a neutral position. Place one hand on your hip and the other on your knee. With shoulders and arms relaxed, take a deep breath. Continue reading

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Psoas: our primary posture muscle

tight Psoas affects your posture dramatically

If you could look deeply into the abdominal core from the front of your body, the final layer of muscle attaching into the anterior portion of your lower back or lumbar spine is the Psoas major, part of the hip flexor muscle group. This anchor for our lower or lumbar spine is coupled in the lower back by our spinal erector muscle group, which gives our very vulnerable lumbar spine support and stability. Like everywhere else in our body structure, balance between both sides of the joints is always key to achieving optimal position, mobility and function. Continue reading

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The importance of Mobility Training

Flexibility, Strength & Stability trainingFor all the newcomers heading into fitness and wellness programs, it is a daunting task to know what is right for your body type and personality. Do you want to be active in a team sport or do you simply want to live a healthy, active lifestyle just to be able to lead a more functional and productive life? You want to start a training program and you want to train in a physically intelligent manner avoiding injuries. Your goal is to improve your health, become faster or more powerful in your sport or simply to lead the best life you can.

Regardless of why you train, you want to perform better, move without impediment, and generally feel better, no matter what age you are. Continue reading

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Posture and Emotions: a powerful connection

Your posture affects your emotions and vice versaHumans are emotional beings. We live our lives expressively through the internal and external emotions that flow through us. Some of us are morning people and are full of energy at 6am. Our partners however, may be reluctant to face the day , show signs of withdrawal and express their early morning feelings by hanging their heads low or not smiling much (…until they have their cup of coffee, that is!).

Our emotions and our posture are interlinked
We develop certain emotional states that we move into and out of easily. Our body posture reflects these feelings when we walk, sit and move. If you are confident, happy and emotionally balanced, you will more naturally, stand straight and look tall. If you are under the weather, you will more naturally slouch, round out your shoulders, hunch and let your head fall forward. Our posture adopts and adapts to certain positions out of habits, past injury and repetitive overuse movements.

Can posture be corrected? Of course, it can. Continue reading

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The power of staying active

Extend your life! Stay activeAre you sitting comfortably? You shouldn’t.

Right now, the lack of physical activity in our western society is the #1 public health care problem that we, humans, face. It is even being said that inactivities like sitting are much worse for your health than smoking. This inactivity is leading to a slowing of our metabolic systems and causing us to become sicker quicker. It is weakening our musculoskeletal systems much more rapidly than we heretofore thought and distorting our body posture to a point where it is now an acceptable societal norm to stoop, hunch, buckle and wear our traps up by our ears. We have adapted to the chairs we sit upon and we are starting to look like them too. Continue reading

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