Tag Archive | Physical exercise

Going to the gym continues

Even with aching muscles, the willingness of the body to still get out of bed on a Monday morning does surprise me!

With a determination that I’ve never experienced before, I’ve put the alarm on for 6.20am to ensure getting to the gym in time to allow the remainder of the day to occur as planned.  Great move!

Mondayitis only kicked in for 10 minutes, before reality hit, and the aching legs moved out of the bed

The gym was easier than it was over the weekend, so it’s going in the right direction.

While at the gym, my motivation is kept alive by seeing the different ages around me on the gym floor, I certainly wasn’t one of the oldest, and more likely closer to one of the youngest. Exercise and healthy nutrition is certainly a lifelong goal and habit.

I will keep you posted on how it all goes (upped the weight on one exercise already, maybe it was a little light anyway!!)

The first visit to the gym

The first visit to the gym is now over, my personal trainer for the morning, Rob, from Main Fitness was very good at ensuring I was getting exercises that fitted with what my goals were. He ensured that I was getting a fitness plan that would suit me too.

So, what did I ask for?

1. some cardio fitness

This is for my heart health, no point having strong muscles if my heart muscle is weak!

2. strength exercises, resistance

This is for my overall replacement of fat for lean muscle. It also builds my bone strength. As you know, ageing usually results in weaker bones, so I’m looking to ensure that I keep reminding the bones that they have to remain strong.

My program is going to start in a building up type of manner – not going to go hard and fast and then collapse and give up!! This is something that I’m wanting to have as part of my lifestyle. The gym is giving me an added kick up the behind. My nutritional cleansing was the first kick up the behind, and now I’ve got the motivation going strong and the energy to complete!  Amazing concept. Normally I’m off track early on, this time I’ve been on track for over 4 weeks, with no sign of going off track.

In the first two weeks, you will see me attending the gym regularly and I’ll also be keeping you updated with the exciting changes in my body, fitness and overall wellbing.

After that time, the program will change a little, as I’ll be getting stronger so will be looking at changing my weights and repetitions.

I’m going to be interested in how I am feeling 24 hours after this first gym visit. This time I’ve had a drink that contains vitamins and nutrients specifically to restore those lost in my workout and also to restore energy.  I’m really interested in how my body recovers as the weights did make my arms and legs tremble as I got into them, and I also felt that burning sensation – that told me I was working my muscles!!

When I returned from the gym, I spent time in the clinic, and I was greatly pleased to have a visitor outside the door that sung to me, just to remind me he was there!  Enjoy his photo, taken from the clinic chair 🙂

The Kookaburra wants to make an appointment

The Kookaburra wants to make an appointment

Have a great weekend!

10 week blitz begins!

Well, I’ve actually done it, signed up for the gym for the next three months.  Had all my measurements taken (and this is now the accountability part, I’m actually going to show them to you – very scary, but hey, if I’m not accountable, it won’t happen and I’ll easily fall off the wagon so to speak)

These are the dreaded measurements taken on Tuesday 20 August

These are the dreaded measurements taken on Tuesday 20 August

Now that you have that shocking image in your mind, here’s something beautiful that I saw on my walk home from the gym the same day.  Now, I’ve seen quite a few magnolia trees, but this one was just stunning – I hope you enjoy it as much as I did when I first saw it.

Local magnolia tree in full bloom, how old must it be?

Local magnolia tree in full bloom, how old must it be?

The personal journey I’m undertaking is for my own health and fitness and my own ability to age well, however, if you want to know the details of what I’m doing on this journey, please feel free to contact me below.

Are you exercising regularly? Want to know if it will benefit you?

Recently I came across an interesting piece of information. It was about how exercising can alter our genes.  Sounds incredible doesn’t it?

Well, there have been some studies that have shown that exercise does in fact change whether or not our genes are turned on or off.  When the gene is turned off, or silenced, which ultimately affects our metabolism and affects disease risk factors.  The structure of the gene cannot be altered, but it is now known that the environment can affect the genes by turning them on or off.

Incredible stuff is being studied out there today!!

So what environmental factors can do this? Well, it’s diet, stress and exercise.

The technical details I’ve borrowed, and you can read about them below 🙂

Utimately, make sure you get some exercise every day – this can start out as simple as walking up the stairs to the next level at work, when you’re doing this comfortably, make it two levels!! It doesn’t have to be ‘go out and run a marathon’!! Just get started. Stop putting off until tomorrow what can be easily done in your lunch hour today. Twenty minutes a day is enough to begin with – you’ll be surprised at how much more energy you have by the end of the second week.

Methylation is one of the ways that genes are turned off or on. During methylation, a methyl group (structure made of carbon and hydrogen atoms) is added to the gene. Think of it as adding a cherry to the top of a sundae. The cherry (methyl group) will either block or assist the message from being received by the sundae (gene). Turning genes off and on affects all processes in the body, ultimately making an impact on behavior, mental processes, disease states, and physical appearance.

English: This image shows a DNA molecule that ...

Exercise is one environmental factor that drives the process of methylation. In a recent study by researchers at Lund University Diabetes Center in Sweden, scientists set out to see exactly what exercise does to our genes. As part of their study, the scientists mapped expression of genes in fat cells before and after exercise in 23 men who worked out for one hour two times weekly for six months (1). Not only did exercising cause weight loss and improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure, but it also changed the methylation pattern at nearly 18,000 sites on 7,663 genes. Many of the modified genes were those involved in fat storage and obesity and diabetes risk.

Gene methylation isn’t limited to fat cells; exercise also affects methylation in muscle cells. In a study published in the journal Cell Metabolism last year, researchers collected muscle biopsies from 14 men and women both before and after exercise to determine the effect on gene methylation (2). Not only were major changes in the pattern of methylation seen after just one exercise session, but the researchers also found that more intense exercise caused even greater changes. Similar to what was seen in the fat cell study, several of the genes methylated in muscle cells following exercise are known to affect metabolism and the risk for obesity and diabetes.

It is often said that our genes and environment determine how we age and our risk for disease, suggesting that one factor (genes) is unchangeable, while the other (environment) we have control over. These new studies show how the environmental component of exercise is capable of influencing genes themselves, giving us an extra element of control. Exercise is an extremely powerful tool conferring loads of health benefits, likely driven largely by gene methylation.

References

1. Rönn T, et al. A six months exercise intervention influences the genome-wide DNA methylation pattern in human adipose tissue. PLoS Genet. 2013 Jun;9(6):e1003572. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1003572. Epub 2013 Jun 27.

2. Barrès R, et al. Acute exercise remodels promoter methylation in human skeletal muscle. Cell Metab. 2012 Mar 7;15(3):405-11. doi: 10.1016/j.cmet.2012.01.001.

Exercise and wellbeing

As I was out for my walk this morning, I realised a couple of things.

The first realisation was that I’ve done this walk before, many months ago, when I was lighter in weight, and more fit than I am now, however, I could never make it back up the 20% gradient without stopping for a breather in the past.

This morning, as I was approaching the top of the gradient, doesn’t look that steep in the picture, but believe me it turns me into a puffing billy!

The end point of the climb back home

The end point of the climb back home

Anyway, as I was approaching this tree, I realised that yesterday (and now also today), I climbed back up to this tree without pausing for a breather – how incredible! I can only put it down to the better nutrition I’ve been undertaking lately – boy, is it impressive

Well, this morning I thought I’d also let you know about the wonderfully easy strengthening exercises I’ve been doing post walk. Yes, this morning my arms and legs were a little tight after beginning to do them again yesterday, but I’m sure that will pass in the next day or so.

The first one I do is a raised push-up. This targets the chest, arms and core of the torso – and it can be done anywhere! I do it leaning against the railing on the backdeck – that allows me to spot any birds flying around at the same time!!

You can do it on anything though, a back of the chair (though make sure it’s a heavy stable one), a park bench or even a fence. Essentially you stand on the balls of your feet, hands wider than your shoulders, then place your hands on the chosen object and lower your chest to the object, lightly touch it with your chest, then push yourself back up.  I have been doing this 15 times before resting and then repeating it once more.

The next one I do is squats. This targets the lower body, I feel it in the thighs. Essentially, whenever there is a chair around, and I do mine with an outdoors chair on the back deck, perform a squat onto the chair, but don’t touch the chair! Stand facing away from the chair, with the back of your legs about 20cm away from the seat, and your arms held up straight out in front of you, then squat down until your bum just grazes the seat, then stand back up straight again. Again, I’ve been doing this 15 times, before resting and then repeating it once more.

The last one I do is Core. This targets the core muscles. I sit on the front of the chair (not lounging back!!), straight back, arms raised straight out in front of me, sitting tall, lengthening the gap between the belly button and the bottom of your chest. Hold your head up, as if you’re holding an apple between your chest and chin. I then lean back about 10 degrees, until I feel the tightness in my abdomen, it’s hard to hold this position, hold there for 3 breaths, then sit up. Another one that I repeat 15 times, before resting and repeating again.

What I love about these exercises is that you can easily do them throughout your day if you’re out and about, or even if you’re sitting in your office (I always ensure noone is looking, but I’m really lucky in that my office is my own!) – use your desk for the raised push-ups – so easy.

I’ve also found some other exercises that look interesting and I’m going to try them out over the next week too. They’re about improving flexibility.

Just to finish off, I wanted to share the beautiful pond at the botanic gardens where I’m walking to and from every day, it’s such a peaceful place

Pond at the botanical gardens

Pond at the botanical gardens