Monthly Archives: October 2015

Keep going

Motivation to keep exercising…some basics

Many articles will cite 21 days as the amount of time needed to form a new habit – this is not always true – but it’s a great way to start a countdown to making change (for the better) that will become an integral part of your lifestyle. Our attitude is one of the biggest obstacles to staying motivated and going on even when you don’t feel like it. These mental barriers need to be confronted in order to start and maintain a regular exercise routine (or any good habit really). I will deal with this topic in more detail in another post later.

We’ve all heard (and made) many excuses to why we can’t or won’t exercise today – address each one and find a way to overcome it. Here are a few to get you going:

“I don’t have the time…”

Solution: you can devote small chunks of time throughout the day to exercise – in the end it all adds up. For example doing sit ups during tv commercials. You can also do 10min of walking in the morning + 10min of body weight exercises (like push ups or sit ups) + 10min of walking in the evening = 30min that day.

 “I’m too tired”

Solution: nine times out of ten you will feel much better after your session as exercise gives us more energy – more oxygen circulating to the brain so your work capacity improves among many other benefits

Keep going

Keep calm and always keep moving

“I’m afraid of getting injured”

Solution: learn correct warm up and cool down techniques from your biokineticist and chat about how they can help you get started with a program and how to increase and progress over time. As your confidence on your ability increases you will find that doing more challenging exercises become easier to execute

“What do I wear to the gym?!”

 Solution: wear what you are comfortable in. Going to the gym is not Paris Fashion Week – make sure your clothes are breathable and allow lots of movement. Most people are generally too busy worrying about themselves to take any notice of others

“It’s too expensive”

Solution: you only really need a decent pair of training shoes, comfy sweat pants and t-shirt to get started whether you will be training at gym, at home or walking round the block.

“I don’t feel like it”

Solution: You may not want to, but you need to! Exercise is good for you in so many many many ways. More energy, better weight management, improved concentration, feeling healthier and stronger, almost all chronic condition symptoms start improving or going away…the list goes on

“Who will look after the kids?”

Solution: hire a babysitter or find a friend or relative who can help out for that hour while you go exercise, or hop on the bike at home while the kids are taking a nap. Alternatively you can involve your kids in exercise as a family – there are a myriad of fun home exercise for kids and adults to do together if you get creative enough

Fitness as a family

Exercising together as a family can be fun and a great time to bond

I’m too old to get active now anyway”

 Solution: not true! Age doesn’t matter. You should become even more active after retirement and even try learn new skills which have always been on your wish list (such as ballroom dancing or swimming). Do more gardening, take more walks, play with the grandchildren. The more active we are as we get older the more endurance we will have to keep doing ordinary, everyday things without pain, discomfort and injury

So what are you waiting for….?

Never quit

Just keep going one step at a time

I made use of images from:–clipart

Person stretching their quads

Stretching for flexibility

Why stretch?

Injury prevention The ability of a muscle to stretch determines the range of movement of the various joints of the body. If a muscle between two joints (like the hamstring) is restricted due to lack of flexibility then the joints on either end (your hip joint and knee) cannot move through their full range of motion which in turn affects the joints connected to these joints (the rest of your pelvic structure, lower back, ankles) and so on, creating an inflexible and inefficient movement pattern which over time can lead to poor posture, joint pain, muscle pain and injury. Using equipment such as foam rollers can assist in providing a good stretch to various muscle groups like the ITB, quadriceps or hamstrings.

Foam rolling

An example of a foam rolling to stretch the ITB

Static Stretching

This is the traditional form of stretching where the position of the joint is maintained without any movement for 20 to 60 seconds at a time. These stretches are generally the most commonly known as there are a large number of standard stretch positions for all major muscle groups of the body.

Shoulder and upper back opener

Forward fold shoulder stretch

Calf stretch

Calf stretch against a wall

Side lying quad stretch

Quadriceps stretch lying on your side


Figure 4 gluteal (bum & hip) stretch

 Dynamic Stretching

Makes use of various continuous exercise movements for a certain number of repetitions to increase the range of motion which the muscle can achieve stretching before exercise vs stretching after exercise.

Arm swing

Dynamic stretch: arm swings

Leg swings

Dynamic stretch: leg swings

(above images from and

Should I stretch before or after exercise?
Current trends in research and literature reveal conflicting information regarding this debate, however it is generally accepted that performing dynamic stretches before exercise helps improve blood circulation to the muscles as well as helping to become mentally prepared for physical exertion.

The nature of static stretching is slow and controlled and most beneficial when there is increased blood flow and the muscles are warm after exercise, hence the muscle fibres can reach greater lengths without injury and mentally, static stretching becomes a great way to cool down after exercise.