Yoga vs. Pilates

It's an age old debate in the fitness industry about which is the superior form of exercise. They have similar themes so how do you know which one is best for you? As a general rule of thumb if you are stiff you should be doing yoga if you are bendy you may be better suited to Pilates. The truth is you will benefit from both and there's no harm in doing them both in your routine. If you want to come down on one side of the fence though here are some key differences to help you choose: Yoga Yoga was developed over 5000 years ago in India and has evolved into many forms. It uses poses and breathing techniques to focus the mind and improve strength and mobility. It is typically associated with

Strength training as you get older

We all know we'll get weaker as we get older but does it have to be that way? Evidence is pretty overwhelming for exercise at any age but there is an emerging group for focussed research on the older generation. Strength training is particularly important for women approaching menopause due to the drop off in oestrogen. As with the female triad in younger women, the lack of oestrogen in the body can lead to osteoporosis (weakening of the bones). With falls being one of the biggest causes of death and injury in the older population, making sure your body is a robust and balanced as possible is a good idea as you get older. Strength training 2-3x per week has been seen to reverse sarcopenia (t

How to get a six pack (and why I don't have one!)

For me the answer to why I don't have a six pack is simple.. Chocolate! In truth I am not committed enough to a healthy diet to have a low body fat percentage. We all have a 'six pack' but it's hidden underneath whatever fat we are carrying on our abdomen. Therefore abdominal work is not the key to having a flat stomach. The key is getting your body fat low enough for them to show. You need a certain level of fat to maintain hormone function. For women a body fat percentage between 19-25 is considered healthy. Athletes will have a body fat percentage around 14-20% in their peak phase of training. To get your abs to shine through you are likely to need a body fat percentage under 20% which ta

The importance of recovery

Recovery is something overlooked by a lot of people when planning their training. Without effective recovery from training you are leaving your body prone to injury and missing out on training gains. Recovery is talked about in 2 contexts, the immediate recovery between sets and the recovery between training days. In the immediate sense you are restoring your energy stores and removing the waste products of exercise. In longer term recovery you are allowing the micro tears to heal, new bone to form and muscles to develop. Basically reaping the benefits of your exercise! One of the models of training is the supercompensation theory. This outlines that after exercise you are temporarily tired

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