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Beginning the fitness journey for elderly populations

During the later years of life, certain things can start to become harder, we gradually start to lose our strength, speed and co-ordination. For some people, this can unfortunately lead to a loss of independence. It is widely known that regular exercise can aid with vastly slowing down the ageing process, however, the proportion of people taking part in regular activity actually decreases with age. Therefore, it’s important to identify what barriers elderly people, exclusively, face when it comes to partaking in regular physical activity and try to combat them, as oppose to simply telling them that they should exercise.

 

The first, and in my opinion by far the most significant, barrier is social norms. Amongst the elderly generation, it is widely considered that exercise is something for younger people. This holds specifically true for resistance training, which is not only stereotyped for being exclusively for young people, but young men specifically- making older women twice as likely to disregard it. As well as being the most significant barrier, I also believe it is by far the most difficult to change. If someone has held a belief for 60+ years, the chances of them changing it are slim. Although, education goes a long way and it’s important to make small steps. An example of this would be encouraging a group of elderly people who already partake in aqua aerobics to try the light resistance class. And for the sedentary, instead of trying and get a book club into a strength training programme, start them off by encouraging a group walk. Also, from an individual point of view, if you are an elderly person who wants to become more physically active then putting yourself in the right environment, like a water aerobics class, is going to surround you with more like-minded individuals, and make it a lot less daunting should you choose to tackle a more demanding form of physical activity.

 

Next, there’s the physical barriers. Older people may have sustained many injuries over the years, which, combined with a natural loss of muscle elasticity and strength from sarcopenia, can make the prospect of more movement particularly less appealing than if someone had proposed the idea to them 30 years prior. To combat this, hiring the right professional can be key in making exercise pain free and enjoyable. A good personal trainer can identify any movement limitations you may have and provide an exercise programme which addresses these issues as well as making you stronger and healthier. For more serious issues, the right medical professional will be needed.

 

Next, there’s the fear of venturing into the unknown. Most people in their 20’s will have at least been to a gym a few times, even if they have not adhered to a programme they will have familiarity to what basic movements look like such as a squat or shoulder press. However, 40-60 years ago, gyms were a lot less common and therefore elderly people now haven’t acquired any knowledge of resistance training. Therefore, if they were to feel confident enough to go into a gym, they simply would not know where to begin, which can make the experience even more daunting and overwhelming than it already is. To combat this, there is a few options depending on one’s budget. The gold standard would be to hire a good personal trainer, who will provide a bespoke programme to you as well as educating you on correct exercise execution and the benefits of each exercise, so you can truly value the experience and the positive impact each part of the session can have on your life.

 

One important thing to note which often gets missed with elderly people is that their nutritional needs change as they get older. For instance, within the fitness industry it’s common knowledge that 2.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day, spread out over 4-6 servings will optimise protein synthesis, leading to optimal recovery. However, what is less widely documented is that protein requirements increase with age. The amount it increases is approximately 0.2g of protein per kg of bodyweight per day for every decade after 20’s. For example, someone in their 30’s would need 2.4g per kg of bodyweight per day and someone in their 40’s would need 2.6g per kg of bodyweight per day and so on. Now, this amount is particularly large once you get into the 60’s etc. Therefore, it’s important to recommend supplements that elderly people will enjoy, so that every meal isn’t just an enormous serving of meat in which will take a large amount of digestive power to breakdown.

 

Overall, many elderly people do experience barriers to exercise that many people fail to identify. That is why it’s important to meet them where they’re at, and help them in addressing them in a way that’s bespoke to that individual, to give them the best chance at adhering to a lifestyle of regular physical activity.

Are you reading this and are some points resonating with you? Would a small group personal training session for more elderly populations be something that you would be interested in? If so send us a message and if we can get a few individuals interested this is something that we would be happy to facilitate.

Principles of Training – Specificity

Different methods of training provide our bodies with a diverse range of stimuli, which in turn cause a wide variety of adaptations. This is why we need to apply the principle of specificity, which ensures that the training we are doing will provide our bodies with the correct stimuli to cause the desired adaptation and bring about the desired change to our performance or aesthetic measures of our physique.

 

In order to apply specificity, we need to work backwards. By this, I mean we first establish what element of our performance or aesthetic we want to change. In other words, this is your goal, such as lose body fat, increase muscle mass, run a faster 5k or increase your deadlift 1RM. Next, we take this change to performance or aesthetic and identify what adaptation will cause this.

 

To give some practical examples, let’s take some common goals and walk through the process of devising a training programme to optimise results. Firstly, it’s important to note that nutrition is paramount in any training goal you may have. However, as this article is only about applying specificity to our training programmes, we won’t touch upon that in this article.

 

If we look at programmes to increase muscle mass (hypertrophy) or optimise fat loss they are actually identical, it’s the nutrition which will differ. This is because in both of these programmes we want to provide as much stimulus to the muscle so that they have the best environment for growth when in a calorie surplus and the best environment to be retained in a deficit, thereby optimising fat loss.

 

When making a training programme ideal for optimising hypertrophy we need to look at which aspects of training that cause hypertrophy. These include: training close to/muscular failure on a regular basis, ensuring enough volume is completed on each muscle group throughout the week and ideally training each muscle group on 2 separate days per week. When it comes to training close to/at failure, it’s worth noting that this must be achieved by not only training hard but also selecting exercises with a high external stability so that it’s fatigue on the target muscle that is the limiting factor and not something else such as a loss of balance. Without this, we will have to cease the set prior to the muscle being close to failure and thereby not achieving our goal of that set.

 

Volume has been shown to have a linear relationship with hypertrophy i.e. when looking at it purely through the lens of specificity, the more volume, the better results. However, we need to apply the other principles of training in order to identify the optimal volume for each individual at a given time in their training cycle.

 

Next, let’s take a look at applying specificity to a popular performance based goal such as running a faster 5k. Now this is very context specific as there’s so many factors that go into improving 5km performance. Therefore, which element of training someone focuses on will differ between individuals, this will be talked about in much greater detail during the next blog on individualisation.

 

From a general perspective though, we need to identify that about 88-90% aerobic. Therefore, countless HIT sessions are not going to be very beneficial for 5km performance. Instead, we need to train aerobically for the vast majority of sessions. These are going to be made up of long easy runs, typically at an intensity around 60-65% of maximum heart rate. At this intensity, you should be able to hold a conversation quite easily, if you need to walk to achieve this then that is fine. Other types of training will be tempo runs and intervals where you are at the threshold between aerobic and anaerobic performance. This will help your body adapt to getting rid of lactic acid and be able to stay in aerobic respiration at faster paces. Lastly, a small proportion of the sessions will be anaerobic, working on speed endurance, as this accounts for a small part of 5km performance.

 

Overall, specificity is arguably the most important principle of training because if you get it wrong, your training can be extremely unproductive. The last thing you want to do is put 100% effort into a training programme only to fall massively short of your goals all because your sessions were bringing about ineffective adaptations in relation to your goals. Therefore, it is essential you learn how to apply the principle of specificity prior to writing any training programme.

Is fasting the best approach for fat loss?

What is fasting?

Before getting into the pros and cons, first we need to define fasting. Fasting can be defined as a period of time refraining from food. Some fasts allow for water, whilst others do not. This extreme approach often results in extreme results but is this beneficial for fat loss?  To allow us to critically analyse this we need to identify the factors of a lifestyle that must occur to result in optimal fat loss.

 

  • A Calorie Deficit:

 

A calorie deficit is where one expends more calories than they consume. A fast achieves this as you literally consume 0 calories. Therefore, this will guarantee weight loss. However, note this is weight loss, some of which will be fat tissue but what proportion is fat tissue will be due to other factors that are mentioned below.

 

In the case of intermittent fasting (typically eating in an 8-hour window of each day). Some calories are consumed so the approach is not as extreme. However, when compared with any other approach that results in the same calorie deficit, fat loss results are no better. Although, some find it as a great tool to control calorie intake, therefore it’s positives and negatives can change person to person.

 

  • Adequate protein intake.

 

Protein contributes to the growth and maintenance of muscle tissue. This is very important when trying to optimise fat loss because when we are in a calorie deficit, the body will lose weight via fat and muscle tissue (water too in the short term). Therefore, if we want to maximise fat loss, we need to do everything we can to maintain the muscle tissue we have and consuming adequate amounts of protein is vital for this to occur.

 

Fasting does not allow us to consume adequate amounts of protein. In fact, it allows us to consume no protein whatsoever. Therefore, when one loses weight via fasting, a considerably higher proportion will be lost via muscle mass vs if they had adopted a calorie deficit that allowed them to consume a protein intake of around 2.2g per kg of bodyweight. To put this into a practical example, someone who is 75kg would have to consume 165g of protein per day to maximise muscle retention whilst in a calorie deficit.

 

In the case of intermittent fasting, consuming adequate daily protein is possible. However, protein timing is also important as muscle protein synthesis (the process by whilst muscle is built and/or retained) dips every 4 hours. Therefore, if you don’t consume anything for 16 hours, then muscle retention will be very low for 12 hours a day, rendering poorer results compared to if you had adopted the same calorie deficit but spaced out your protein intake across the day.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Adequate Sleep

 

When we sleep, muscle protein synthesis is elevated. Therefore, in order to optimise muscle retention, one needs to get enough sleep. This will differ depending on a person’s age and training but a good rule of thumb for optimal sleep would be 7 hours + how many hours training you did that day. For example, if you trained for an hour then you will need 8 hours sleep for optimal recovery.

 

When fasting, people can respond differently to how it affects their sleep. For many though, feelings of hunger leave them restless and unable to fall to sleep. This reduction in sleep, and therefore recovery.

 

  • Adherence

You’re going to be consuming food for the rest of your life so unless you can confidently say that you can fast/intermittently fast for the rest of your life, then the chances are you will give up at some stage and fall into old habits. That’s why choosing a nutritional approach that you can adhere too is crucial for long term success. For many, fasting is very restrictive and boring to follow after a period of time and therefore not a good approach for many to choose. However, for others intermittent fasting is easy to follow, therefore it is down to you to be honest with yourself about what approach is best for you. Remember that your diet should not feel like a chore.

 

  • Adequate resistance training

 

Although this is technically not part of one’s diet. It is important to mention that resistance training contributes to the maintenance of muscle tissue in a calorie deficit and is therefore a non-negotiable for anyone looking to optimise fat loss. Amount of training needed in order to achieve this will differ between individuals but a good rule of thumb would be 2-3 whole body resistance sessions per week.

 

Fasting can leave people feeling energised in the short term but very low energy after a longer period of time. This will directly impact resistance training sessions that require glucose to fuel your sessions. We convert glucose primarily from glycogen via Glycogenolysis but also can also get it from proteins and fats (via gluconeogenesis). Therefore, it is important to perform resistance training sessions properly fuelled if you want to maximise fat loss in the long term.

 

Summary:

Overall, fasting and intermittent fasting does not seem to optimise fat loss. But remember that fat optimisation is only really important for anyone wanting to get to really lean levels of body fat (12% or below for men and 17% or below for women). If you are really struggling to keep off the first few pounds of body fat and you feel that intermittent fasting is the only tool that you can adhere to, then it’s a perfectly viable tool to use.

Understanding Fat

Why we need Fat in our diet:

Fuel Source

Protection of Vital Organs

Cell membrane constituents

Precursors of bile, hormones and steroids

Fat soluble vitamin intake

 

Types of Fat:

Monounsaturated fats: Sources include avocado’s, olive oil, and almonds.

Polyunsaturated fat: Sources include flaxseed oil, walnuts and salmon.

Saturated Fats: Sources include animal fats, butter, coconut oil

Trans fats: Sources include bakery goods, fried foods, dough of frozen pizzas and most processed foods. These are fats we should try and limit in our dietary intake.

 

How much we need:

Upwards of 20% of our daily intake of calories from fats is considered healthy, just as long as it’s not so much to the point where we do not consume enough protein.

 

Also, it’s important to consider that Fat is very calorie dense (9kcal per gram of fat compared to 4kcal per gram of carbohydrate and protein). Therefore, when amount taken in isn’t monitored then it is easier to end up in a calorie surplus and put on weight.

Importance of Resistance Training for Elderly Populations

 

What is Resistance Training?

Resistance Training can be defined as a form of exercise, whereby external weights provide progressive overload to skeletal muscles in order to make them stronger and often result in hypertrophy (growth in overall size of muscle cells) (Alix-Fages et. al, 2022; Phillips and Winett, 2010), which can lead to several benefits.

 

Benefits:

Less chance of falls and subsequent physical inactivity:

Araujo et. al (2022) found that middle aged or older people who could not stand on one leg for more than 10 seconds were more likely to die in the next seven years, compared to people who could. Why could this be the case?

 

People with less balance can be more prone falls. When in older age, this is more likely to lead to serious injury to lower bone density. If this results in a hip fracture, then there is no guarantee they will reach pre-injury level of recovery, leaving a lack of mobility and pain. With many people, this can result in them stopping activities which they used to enjoy, such as regular walks, and meeting up with friends to do things. This decrease in physical activity and increase in isolation can further accelerate the negative effects of the fall such as increased risk of depression and heart disease from being physically inactive

 

Reduce risk of chronic diseases and keeping one’s independence:

Furthermore, regular resistance training (2-3 sessions per week) has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, arthritis and type 2 diabetes. (Fragala et. al, 2019),  as well as being important in managing sarcopenia (the gradual loss in muscle mass due to age). Avoiding these chronic diseases can help people keep their independence in their old age, thus increasing their quality of life. For example, if someone can avoid osteoporosis and arthritis, then they can move with much more ease. This allows them the ability to complete activities such as playing with grandchildren and climbing stairs.

 

The snowball effect of being able to do these things can also have a positive effect on one’s mental health as they will be able to live with more confidence, less anxiety and more social interactions instead of potential isolation due to lack of mobility.

 

Seeing these benefits first hand:

As a personal trainer, one of the main protocols I take when working with older clients is to incorporate exercises which improve their balance and stability into their training programme, at a level suited to them. This can start off as simple as dowel assisted front foot elevated split squat, progressing all the way to unassisted single leg Romanian deadlifts. When performed consistently and accompanied by adequate nutrition, results are seen quickly so never think that it’s too late to start resistance training.

 

Reference List:

  • Alix-Fages, C., Del Vecchio, A., Baz-Valle, E., Santos-Concejero, J., & Balsalobre-Fernández, C. (2022). The role of the neural stimulus in regulating skeletal muscle hypertrophy. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 1-18.
  • AraujoCG, de Souza e Silva CG, Laukkanen JA, et al, Successful 10-second one-legged stance performance predicts survival in middle-aged and older individuals British Journal of Sports Medicine Published Online First: 21 June 2022. doi:1136/bjsports-2021-105360
  • Fragala, Maren S.1; Cadore, Eduardo L.2; Dorgo, Sandor3; Izquierdo, Mikel4; Kraemer, William J.5; Peterson, Mark D.6; Ryan, Eric D.7Resistance Training for Older Adults: Position Statement From the National Strength and Conditioning Association, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: August 2019 – Volume 33 – Issue 8 – p 2019-2052 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003230
  • Phillips, S. M., & Winett, R. A. (2010). Uncomplicated resistance training and health-related outcomes: evidence for a public health mandate. Current sports medicine reports9(4), 208.
  • Zhang, J., Ang, M. L., & Kwek, E. B. (2015). Who Will Walk Again? Effects of Rehabilitation on the Ambulatory Status in Elderly Patients Undergoing Hemiarthroplasty for Femoral Neck Fracture. Geriatric orthopaedic surgery & rehabilitation6(3), 168–172. https://doi.org/10.1177/2151458515583111

 

Soma Fitness COVID 19 Virus Prevention Protocols

We cannot wait to welcome our clients back into our gym. The team have been working hard to produce protocols in order to keep the environment of the gym as safe as possible. Every month the team at Viroclean will be giving our gym a deep sanitation to keep Soma a virus free enviroment. As a private facility focusing on personal training we can manage and have control over making sure all surfaces and equipment are clean and sanitised before any of our clients use them.

Here are a few more protocols we will have in place:

  • We will be leaving 15 minutes in between clients to clean and sanitise equipment, handles and surface areas. We ask clients to please be slightly flexible with us so that we can keep this in place and to be on time for their sessions.
  • On entering the gym please make your way to one of the hand sanitising stations to sanitise your hands before you touch any equipment. Hand sanitising stations will be located at the front section of the gym and at the back section of the gym feel free to apply as often as you feel comfortable.
  • Cleaning procedures for every evening have been put in place 6 days per week after each operational day for sanitation. This will mean we cannot conduct any training sessions past 9.30 pm MON – FRI & 7 pm SAT.
  • Our coaches will be equipped with gloves and visors for any close contact spotting. We will give you a choice if you wish your coach to wear them for the whole session. Please contact your coach prior to let him know what you wish them to do so, we have all the PPE available on site.
  • We will not be performing any assisted stretches with clients that which will require contact, all stretching routines will be demonstrated by your coach with the coaching cues required. (so, there is no getting out of stretching off at the end of your session).
  • If a coach requires to demonstrate technique to you on a piece of apparatus or equipment, prior to the demonstration your coach will then sanitise the equipment before you go to perform the exercise for yourself.
  • Coaches will be washing their hands before, during the middle and end of every session if they are not wearing gloves, Gloves will be replaced after each session if they are required to wear them.
  • Your coach will allocate you to either the front or back entrance to enter the gym if in doubt just press the buzzer at the front of the gym your coach will let you know if to come in through the front or through the back.
  • We please urge if any clients are suffering from any symptoms please let your coach know and do not attend your session.

Client Success Story – Paul Richards Moto Racer Gets Back On His Bike

Paul Richards began his coaching journey with his personal trainer at Soma Fitness originally for some strength and conditioning for his moto racing. After having an accident on his bike and sustaining bad injury, he worked with us to rehabilitate himself and he decided to retire from the sport. After getting back to pre injury condition Paul achieved his body composition goals and is now stronger more muscular and leaner than ever and is back racing his bike again. A true success story that we have been honoured to be a part of here at Soma. If you would like to achieve more, improve your physique and overall health contact us and book in your FREE consultation with one of our coaches.

Quarantine Resistance Training Tips

 


“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.” Charles Darwin

Not being able to go to the gym has forced us to use initiative and be adaptable. The more you’re able to adapt, the more you’re able to thrive.

I’ve enjoyed changing my usual workout routine, adapting a high volume, low intensity approach and getting creative with different exercises and workouts to stay healthy and in shape. I’m going to explain how you can do the same.

When deciding how to periodise a programme (depending on the clients’ goals) two main factors are taken into consideration; volume and intensity.
Volume refers to the amount of sets and reps performed in a workout and intensity refers to the load (weight) used and rest periods in the workout.
Volume and intensity have an inverse relationship. Meaning as one increases the other decreases or vice versa.
For example, if you are bench pressing a heavy weight, say 90% of your 1 rep max, the intensity is high. You can’t perform more than a few reps with this weight because it is so heavy and therefore the volume is low.

As gym equipment isn’t available to most, it is difficult to increase the load used, therefore we must increase volume.

Additionally to this, following the principles of progressive overload, will help to provide new stimuli and force the muscles to ADAPT. Progressive overload is the systematic increase in training frequency, volume and intensity in various combinations. This also helps to avoid the principle of diminishing returns, which suggests monotonous volumes and low frequency of exercise variation can leave an athlete stagnant.

Ways to vary your training:

Increase Reps
Exercise Tempo
Rest Periods
Take exercises to failure
Exercise variation
Uni-lateral exercises

Increase Reps:
As mentioned above, increasing reps increases the overall volume of a workout, essentially meaning we have done more. When looking to vary or increase the difficulty of your sessions, I would recommend to firstly increase the amount of reps you perform, before looking at other ways to change your workout.

Tempo:
Performing exercises at varying tempo’s is a good way of challenging the body and offering new stimuli. Firstly to understand why we vary tempo it is important to understand the different types of muscle contractions.

There are 3 types of muscle contraction:
Concentric phase (upward motion, where the muscle shortens)
Eccentric phase (lowering motion, where the muscle lengthens)
Isometric phase (a pause or hold at any point in the movement, where muscle length doesn’t change)

Manipulating the tempo at different stages of a movement, (for example a slow eccentric lowering of 4 seconds whilst performing a press up) creates time under tension (TUT). The greater a muscle’s TUT, the greater its potential growth stimulus is.

In contrast, more ballistic and explosive exercises (such as a broad jump) that implement the use of a rapid eccentric and concentric phase can potentiate power.

Rest Periods:
Shortening rest periods can be an effective way to increase intensity, however only if you can still perform the required number of reps. For example, if your target is to perform 12 reps of press ups over 4 sets and by the last set you can still comfortably reach 12 reps, then shortening rest periods in between sets can make this more difficult.

Recommended Rest Periods:
Training Goal              Goal Repetitions
Muscular Endurance   30s or less
Hypertrophy                  30-90s
Strength & Power         2-5mins

Taking Exercises to Failure:
This doesn’t mean taking the exercise to failure on the first set, as this will affect our ability to recover for the remaining sets and we won’t be able to perform as many reps overall. We can use what’s known as “reps in reserve” to judge this.

For example, if we are performing an exercise with a target of 12 reps over 4 sets, then the first two sets you might feel you could have completed another 2-3 reps in the set (reps in reserve). Then on the 3rd set you feel you could have only completed one more rep, then ideally we want to reach absolute failure on the last set, where you couldn’t have performed any more reps.

Exercise variation:
This involves changing an exercise for a given muscle group. For example, there are many variations of a squat that challenge the lower body:
Sissy squat
Sumo squat
Squat jumps
Narrow stance squat

It is recommended to vary exercises every 3-5 weeks depending on the individual.

Uni-Lateral Exercises:
Uni lateral exercises are single leg or single arm movements, such as lunges, single leg squats etc. Uni-lateral movements help to maintain a balance of strength between opposing muscle groups and right and left sides of the body, which reduces injury risk.

These are also a great option when performing bodyweight exercises as they are generally more taxing meaning less load needs to be used.

A final note to finish on is that while its not ideal gyms are closed, research has shown that we won’t lose as much “gains” as you may think.

One study has shown that resistance trained individuals (aged between 20-35) that trained 3 days per week, over 16 weeks and then were reduced to 1/9th of that over a 32 week period, retained the strength gained over the 16 weeks (with only a slight reduction at the final time point). And the muscle size gained was also retained.
Bickel, C. S., Cross, J. M., & Bamman, M. M. (2011). Exercise dosing to retain resistance training adaptations in young and older adults. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 43(7), 1177-1187.

We can take from this that maintaining size and strength doesn’t take much so quarantine shouldn’t affect your body composition too greatly!

If you’d like home resistance exercise and workouts ideas, then head over to the Soma Fitness YouTube channel, or contact me on:

Insta: tim_jeffers
Email: tim-jeffers@hotmail.co.uk

AT HOME EXERCISE PROGRAM – MOBILITY AND BREATH WORK

MOBILITY ROUTINE

A daily mobility routine is strongly recommended for anyone who wants to get the most out of their body and performance. We all focus on getting stronger and fitter and mobility often gets neglected. I would suggest going through a mobility routine before every training session that you participate in. You can also do this on days where you do not train as active recovery.

1) Squat to stand 10 reps

2) Hamstring Stretch 10 reps

3) Groiners/mountain position Internal into external rotations 10 per side

4) Groiners/mountain climbers 10 per leg

5) Cat cow 10 reps

6) Shoulder blade retractions 10 reps

7) Pec Stretch 10 reps

8) Lat Stretch into Cobra 10 reps

9) Prone Dynamic Blackburns into handcuffs 10 reps

10) Frog Stretch 10 reps

11) Pigeon Stretch 10 reps per leg

12) Trunk rotations 20 reps

13) Lying Side Thoracic Rotations 10 per side

BREATHING EXERCISE

Sit or lay down in a comfortable position, either on your back, in a chair or on the floor with your legs crossed.

NASAL BREATHS

INHALE for 5 seconds

HOLD the inhale for 5 seconds

EXHALE for 5 seconds

HOLD the exhale for 5 seconds

REPEAT THE PROCESS FOR 5 MINS

You can build up too 10 mins and you can do this (I personally do 8 minutes in the morning and eight minutes in the evening when I jump on my magnetic resonance mat):

– First thing in the morning which helps energise you for the start of your day.

– After a workout which helps get your body into rest and recovery mode and shifts your nervous system from sympathetic into parasympathetic.

– Before bed again shifting your body into rest and recovery mode and getting you into your parasympathetic nervous system.

– When you are feeling stressed and anxious, when we are stressed or anxious our body is in sympathetic fight or flight mode doing some deep breathing and following this breathing protocol helps to shift your body into parasympathetic rest and recovery mode.

Mobility and breathing exercises when done regularly and within a weekly/daily routine, Will carry over on everything you do throughout the day and any physical endeavours that you may participate in. You really feel the benefits when you stop doing the routine for a while you will then realise how much of a positive impact it has on you.

Let me know how you guys get on and if you have any questions please let me know.

FULL INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO

13 Tips to stay strong through the Corona pandemic while in isolation

After speaking to several clients and friends I hear that a lot of people are feeling the isolation and are going a bit around the bend.
I have put together a few tips I can really help you through these next few weeks, these are good habits to use within everyday life also.

1) Gratitude – Write down three things you are grateful for each day with pen and paper or on your notes on your phone, or even just in your head.

Here is what I am grateful for today: I’m grateful, that the sun is shining, I am grateful that I get to exercise today and I am well enough to exercise, I’m grateful for the extra time I have to read the pile of books that have been accumulating that before all this I would never have time to read. I could go on all day the are always things that we can be thankful for how ever tough life gets, picking 3 is a piece of cake.

2) Exercise – you have so many options: Go for a run, go for a walk, if you are lucky enough to have training equipment or a gym at home get that training session in, if you don’t have any training equipment at home follow our at home no equipment workouts. Our coaches are offering remote training services where we can train you through Zoom, Face Time or Skype, contact us to book in for a session if you are lacking motivation or need help laying out and organising your routine. Right now, we have a lot of time on our hands so there is absolutely no excuse not to be exercising unless you are unwell.

3) Sun light – Try and get at least 20 minutes of sunlight directly onto your body each day now the days are getting longer are we are no longer having to work inside an office get outside get sun light directly onto your body absorb that vitamin D that your body has been craving all through the winter.

4) Morning Light – Don’t let your phone be the first light your eyes see first thing in the morning now we have time to go outside and allow our eyes to absorb the natural morning sunlight play which does wonders for our circadian rhythm this will help you feel less stressed help balance out your hormones and also help you get a really good night’s sleep.

5) Breathing exercises – During these worrying times it is natural for our body to be in a sympathetic stressed state breathing exercises really help put our body back into Para sympathetic where we can be in a relaxed state of recovery. On Saturday I will be releasing a video with a mobility routine and a breathing exercise routine but if you would like to get on it straight away here is a little template for you: try to inhale through the nose and out through nose when you inhale, inhale as deep into the belly as you can try and inhale for five seconds, at the bottom of the inhale hold for five seconds then exhale for five seconds at the top of the exhale hold for five seconds then inhale again try to repeat this for at least five minutes and build yourself up for 10 minutes. I promise you; you will feel amazing when you add this to your daily routine.

6) Mobility – Do some form of mobility every day when you get into the routine of doing a mobility routine everyday your body will feel loose and amazing it will help with all the resistance training that you do are there any sport related activities that we do like running or cycling etc.

7) Learn something new – Use the spare time to try and advance your skills in a certain area it could be learning a new language, reading a book that you’ve not had time to read, Or even learning about a certain subject that may help you with when you go back to work. If you can’t think of anything, I challenge you to learn following three things: meditation, breathing and mobility. You may ask yourself why I chose these three things the reason is that I know how much of a positive impact it can have on anybody in any situation.

8) Play games – Growing up in the mid-80s and 90s I remember playing a lot of games, get the chess board out, get the family together and play a board game, Try not to spend the whole day in front of a screen as it’s very stressful for the body and is a major disruptor of our circadian rhythms. If you play games is great for the mind it stimulates pathways in the brain, improves creativity and it’s also a lot of fun.

9) Cook recipes with the family and eat together- Get the whole family together and cook together, get the kids involved if you have children eat the food you have made together as a family. this time we have now is very precious make the most of it be together with whoever you live with and get creative. Maybe try out some of our Soma Fitness recipes and send us some pictures.

10) Plan for when all this is over – create an action plan off what do you want to do when all this is over. This could be a fitness related goal, business goal or even a family reunion with family members we have been isolated from. Don’t wait till it’s all over to start planning, plan now and review it as the weeks go by you might add some things or change somethings take 30 minutes each day of alone time to think and reflect about your plan. If you have a fitness goal speak with your coach communicate with each other and start planning so you are ready to rock and roll once all of this is over.

11) Watch a comedy – Laughter is such a powerful medicine, instead of watching intense programs on Netflix put some comedy on and get a good dose of laugher into your routine.

12) Help someone- this doesn’t mean you have to go out and physically help someone unless you’re caring for an elderly relative then yes of course, this could be just picking up the phone and calling someone but you may know is alone at this moment in time or doing a food shop for an elderly neighbour, or connecting with an old friend that you haven’t spoken to in a while.

13) Eat healthy nutritious foods – We have time on our hands to plan prepare most of our meals use this time positively try to eat nutrient dense foods including fruits vegetables and good quality meats. The more nutrients in the body the stronger the body and the stronger the immune system. Don’t use this time to overindulge and drink alcohol in excess this will not positively impact your health or your immune system.

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I hope these tips help and if anyone else has got anymore tips or ideas please let me know and send me an email of what you have been doing with your free time and we can post a weekly accumulation what everyone has been doing and bounce ideas of each other.

Wishing you all a great day!