Resurrection of a dumbbell

Hands up all those who’ve got at least one piece of fitness equipment collecting dust in their garage/shed/spare room?

Most of us have, then, one day we pack it all up and head to the car boot sale or stick it on ebay.
With all our good intentions, the year we are finally going to get fit and healthy, we go out and buy brightly coloured fancy equipment, or we get seduced watching an infomercial and order that ‘life changing’ apparatus, or maybe you received a gift that never even got unpacked. Sadly these items eventually find themselves rejected in the cupboard under the stairs.

Truth is there are a lot of fitness gimmicks and passing trends out there, they have a flash in the pan of popularity but then the novelty wears off and they disappear.

There are some things, however, that will always be relevant to effective workouts and one of them is the faithful old dumbbell. ‘Weights’ don’t tend to go out of ‘fitness fashion’ and usually are made from materials that don’t rot or disintegrate and unlike mechanical or electrical fitness equipment, they don’t need servicing, all you have to do is dust them down and off you go again.

The main reason dumbbells end up as door stops though is people just not knowing how to use them properly or effectively.

Enlisting the help of a qualified personal trainer is by far the best option but if that’s not possible, spending time researching books and videos on U tube is well worth doing, or picking the brains of one of the fitness instructors down at the gym for some pointers can go along way to help getting that home workout up and running again and quite literally, because maybe your only stashed away piece of fitness equipment is a pair of trainers and there’s nothing easier, cheaper or more effective to weight loss or cardiovascular conditioning than going out for a run.

– This Article has been published in the November edition of Life Magazine –

Why everyone should do Pilates

I believe Pilates should have a place in virtually everyone’s fitness schedule. It has a reputation as being a bit girly or for the elderly as its ‘nice and steady’ but trust me, Pilates, when done properly, can be as gruelling as the hardest gym routine – if that’s what you’re after – It’s just in a different way and as I often say when I teach, “It’s your workout, so you work as hard or as gently as you want” It can be adapted to nearly everyone’s requirements. So let’s look at a few of the main benefits Pilates can offer.

Fitness is made up of several different components and one of them is flexibility but this is often missed out. This leads to injury down the line for many sports persons or regular fitness enthusiasts, very typically the ones who snubbed Pilates as boring and slow – I was one of them! You may be a person who sits at a desk or has a job involving a lot of driving and a good stretch out is exactly what is needed to counter the position you hold your body in for hours on end.

You could be one of those many long suffering folk with a ‘bad back’ – you need to strengthen your core, asap! This goes for post natal mums, anyone injured in an RTA or if you have a bad posture. Strengthening the deep internal core muscles is imperative for absolutely everyone, especially when you think of it as protecting your spinal column!

Then there’s that modern day epidemic called stress. The beautiful oxymoron Pilates can produce when you focus is relaxation and stress relief while you work hard physically. So if it’s an hour of peace from a busy household, stressful job or you just need some quality ‘me’ time, or any of the above issues apply, be you man or woman, young or old – Pilates really does work!

This Article has been published in the October edition of Life Magazine –

Make a date with fitness!

Another change of season is soon upon us. The kids are back at school and the summer holidays, barbecues and lazy days at the beach or in the garden are dwindling fast.
As we go into the first weeks of September, there’s still hope for a prolonged summer but for me, I’ve always felt that this is a time to get things done.
September can often signal a time of change, reorganisation and perhaps the start of something entirely new. It can also be an opportunity to get back into an old routine that’s gone a bit awry, as so often happens during the summer months.

When it comes to your fitness schedule, I believe you should consider it with the same depth of planning as any other important part of your life. When you want to do something enough you’ll spend time, money, energy and effort to make it happen. Take for example a theatre production you’d like to see or a destination you’ve always wanted to visit, where you have to commit to thetimes and dates when the performance is showing, or when your flight is scheduled to depart, and if you miss it – you miss it – so you don’t – you make sure it happens!

If you look at fitness in a similar way you are more likely to meet your fitness goals.
You may not be that enthused initially about the actual idea of getting sweaty or putting your body through an element of discomfort, or feeling embarrassed or self conscious about doing something new amongst strangers, but you do want the end results and that’s why scheduling in fitness is the best way to get what you want.
So book that class, get motivated with a friend and meet for a walk or sign yourself up for a Saturday morning park run and put it in your diary/calendar/smartphone and plan other things around that, rather than instead of, and you are more likely to do it.

Time frames are always good to work with too. For instance between the publication of this magazine edition and Christmas we have approximately 16 weeks or 4 months, whichever way you prefer to slice it but if your fitness goal is to lose weight, at a rate of 1 – 2 lbs weight loss per week (the recommended healthy rate) you could lose between 1 to 2 stones or between 6 to 12 kilos by Christmas morning. Wouldn’t that be a great present to yourself? All because you went to a Zumba class on Mondays at 7pm week in week out without fail and cut down on your chocolate treats for 4 months!

So now you’ve come to the end of reading this article, flick the pages to the classified section and call the number of that class you’ve been meaning to attend for the last 9 months and make it a date!

– This Article has been published in the September edition of Life Magazine –