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Health and Wellbeing

05 May 2016

Group exercise, 12-week transformations and a great calf exercise for runners!

Group exercise classes – be careful!

It is possible to severely injured yourself in a boot camp, if the instructors are not qualified.

Sure, there are some better ones but I urge you to do your research if electing to go down this path because an injury is not fun for anyone and in saying that, some injuries may not happen straight-away but as you get older (and you will), you are placing many loads, jolts and impact on your bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons and they will uncover themselves later on in life.

Please don’t get me wrong as I used to love group boxacise classes and played VFL football. In that time I was exposed to much poor training methods and luckily, due to my knowledge opted out for many given exercises, stretches or movements as I knew what was safe and risky and I made adjustments accordingly.

Please ensure that at a very minimum you are asked to complete a pre-exercise questionnaire before participation in any form of group fitness class, check the credentials of the instructor and/or establishment and remember – it’s your body, your health and injuries take time to recover from, are an inconvenience and are very demotivating.

12-week body transformations?

I am sure you will have come across all sorts of six, eight, 10 and 12-week body transformations and challenges through social media. Michelle Bridges holds probably the most notable 12-week transformation (12WBT). Are they a good thing and should you sign up for one?

I believe that anything that promotes getting more people active and healthy is a good thing. But I must stress that, with these sorts of programs, many of the tips, programs and follow up is of a generic nature and doesn’t allow much for individual differences, injuries and abilities.

The biggest problem though is that their nature doesn’t lead to any level of behavioral focus on evoking behavior change after completion. I have recently been asked to be the “fitness expert” behind a 12-week program and initially baulked at the idea but have since seen the approach offers many varied programs and has a focus on “real people, real results” and an emphasis on seeking change on-going and with some very simplistic methods of ensuring you will continue on after the 12 weeks.

Do your research and see if these sorts of programs suit you and your needs, or the people running them.

Single leg, calf-raises to minimise injury for runners

If you are a runner or participate in individual or team sports that require running, I heavily suggest that you do this simple test to ensure your calf muscles are acting as shock absorbers and minimising impact to your ankles, knees, hips and back.

Simply stand on the ball of your foot on the edge of a step on one leg and completely lower your heel to the floor slowly and then raise it as high as you can for as many repetitions as possible until you essentially grimace and cramp up.

If you can do 20 or more on each leg then your calves are strong enough to withstand the constant pounding that running evokes. If not, work on this exercise for one or two sets every second day until you can break the 20 barrier!

For a more information, exercise guidance or if you have any questions feel free to contact me

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