Getting fit for sport

Whether you are gearing up for a ski holiday or a kick about on the weekend, solid physical preparation can make the difference between having an incredible experience, and having an incredibly painful experience.

Before considering a sports specific program for any sport, it is absolutely vital to achieve a certain degree of base strength and fitness. Though many sports primarily utilize the legs for power, strength must be developed across the whole body in order to move solidly as a unit. If a car is front wheel drive, it doesn’t mean you can drive with the back tires deflated.

CORE STABILITY.  A focus on core development is very important.  Strength and mobility in the TRUNK are vital components to moving dynamically and powerfully in sport. By learning to “move from our centre”, we take the stress away from our limbs and put it into the power source of our body. Developing control in this area enables us to initiate movements in safer and ultimately more powerful ways.

X TRAINING.  While it is good to develop a certain degree of cardiovascular fitness, don’t get carried away with monotonous activity (long runs, bike rides and 90 minute gym sessions!!). Repeated cyclical exercise puts our nervous system to sleep and many sports demand agility, quick reflexes and explosive power, so it is important that you imitate that type movement in your preparation. Taking part in other sports like soccer, squash, volleyball or chasing a dog along the beach can satisfy this criteria. Just try and mix up the pace and use a variety of exercises.

FLEXIBILITY training is probably the easiest area of physical development to totally NEGLECT. There is nothing fun about stretching, and let’s face it, it’s boring! But I assure you that stretching 15-20 minutes a day is less boring than waiting for recovery from a knee reconstruction, dislocated shoulder, neck strain or groin tear. Take time after each workout to stretch and be sure to focus on areas you are LEAST flexible in.

When it comes to sports, take time to warm up properly and don’t be too overzealous first time or first day.  Spend time stretching afterwards and use ice or hot and cold treatment to relieve any potential soreness.

Simon works as a full time Personal Trainer in Bournemouth from BourneFit Personal Training Studio.  For more info visit www.simonlesser.co.uk

Choosing exercise to suit you

For many, exercise can be hard work.  Both finding the time to do it in the first place and of course the activity itself.  Something worth considering is whether you are choosing the rights types of exercise for you.  Here we will explain more.

 

Step 1: Find something that suits your time

An 2 hour round trip to the gym when you have a busy schedule is near on impossible so find something that works for you.  Many of us are strapped for time, but at some point you have to prioritize training into your schedule.  We sometimes look at recommending 45 minute blaster sessions which can easily be done before work or on a lunch break.   

Step 2: The right types of exercise

This may sound obvious but it’s worth looking at closely.  First of all your goals will dictate what types of exercise you choose.  If you need specific muscle groups or specific fitness then the right types of training need to be applied.

The other aspect is your personality.  Get bored easily?..mix your activities and routine.  Prefer to be outdoors?..try running cross country, water sports or other outdoor activities.

Conclusion

Fitting training into our life is essential to results, so it has to be something that works for us.  The type of exercise we do will also be key to consistency as well as results.

The acid alkaline balance

Remember the ‘litmus paper’ from Chemistry lessons in school.  A test of how acidic or alkaline chemicals were.  The human body is much the same with believe it or not some people being more acidic than others.

Problems with being too acidic

Most of our concern needs to be with being too acidic.  This may lead to a number of problems such as weight gain, premature aging, joint pain and low energy.  At the high end of the scale high acidity in the body has been linked to cardiovascular problems and osteoporosis.

What causes us to be acidic?

Surprise surprise bad nutrition is top of the list for causing acidity.  Foods such as meat, eggs, dairy and wheat are acid forming foods as are most processed foods (all the stuff we enjoy).

Alkaline foods

The good news.  If your diet is high in fruit and vegetables, these are essentially the main alkaline forming foods.  There are a few exceptions but clearly this is another reason to be eating well!

Practical ways to improve you acid alkaline balance.

  • Drink hot lemon, particularly first thing in the morning
  • Eat foods in their most unprocessed form
  • Graze on fruit,  instead of high sugar snacks
  • Everything in moderation.  Gallons of coffee and wine everyday spell trouble!
  • Try almonds or dried fruit as these are particularly alkaline