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Menopausal Women Urged to Use Slower Exercise Methods

The tai chi master Yang ChengfuImage via Wikipedia

This interesting article in Science Daily, discusses research that proves that slower resistance training is better for women over 45 for restoring balance, and muscle mass. They talk about a certain type of exercise called ‘Superslow’. But, what I’d like to remind every one is that slow exercise for older people has been around for hundreds of years: Tai Chi has been keeping Chinese people fit for at least that long or longer, Yoga of various forms all over the East has been doing the same thing, whether you use traditional Indian Yoga’s or are like me and use the Tibetan Yoga exercises it all amounts to the same thing. Slow exercise has many merits and now is proven to be more effective for a certain age group than pounding the pavement or sweating in a gym. Come on and check out our Yoga and Pilates private sessions and classes here on the Sunshine Coast here at balancenoosa.

Dr Sänger’s research group has investigated two particular methods of physical training. Hypertrophy resistance training is a traditional approach designed to induce muscle growth whereas ‘SuperSlow®’ is a more recently devised system which involves much slower movement and fewer repetitions of exercises, and was originally introduced especially for beginners and for rehabilitation. “Our results indicate that both methods increase muscle mass at the expense of connective and fatty tissue, but contrary to expectations, the SuperSlow® method appears to have the greatest effect,” reveals Dr Sänger. “These findings will be used to design specific exercise programmes for everyday use to reduce the risk of injury and thus significantly contribute to a better quality of life in old age.”

The study focussed on groups of menopausal women aged 45-55 years, the age group in which muscle deterioration first starts to become apparent. Groups undertook supervised regimes over 12 weeks, based on each of the training methods. To see what effect the exercise had, thigh muscle biopsies were taken at the beginning and end of the regimes, and microscopically analysed to look for changes in the ratio of muscle to fatty and connective tissue, the blood supply to the muscle, and particularly for differences in the muscle cells themselves.

“The results of our experiments have significantly improved our understanding of how muscles respond to different forms of exercise,” asserts Dr Sänger. “We believe that the changes that this new insight can bring to current training systems will have a considerable effect on the lives of both menopausal and older women,” she concludes.

live a balanced life…

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July 7, 2008 Posted by | Fitness, Yoga | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vibration Maximises Workout In Less Time

Vibration Exercise Platforms are being used in rehabilitation clinics and therapy clinics all over the world to help members and clients regain muscle tone, restore bone mass and help regain balance and learn to walk after serious illness or injury. But, did you know that they can also be used my elite athletes to boost their workout, avoid injury and help to flush the body of toxins built up during a workout?

Here are some of the stats, I found on the effects of Vibration Platforms on exercise:

  • Similar strength gains from 3 months of vibration exercise (maximum time 20 minutes) compared to 1 hour of conventional strength training

  • Doubling of blood circulation after vibration training, resulting in the body carrying off waste products much faster, thereby enhancing recovery.

  • Duration vibration exercise stimulates force and power output

  • Significant hormonal effects from training (increased testosterone and growth hormone, and decreased cortisol, ‘stress hormone’)

  • Increased flexibility

  • Increased explosive power

  • Explosive strength increases from 10 minutes a day of vibration training for 10 days is equivalent to those found from 200 drop-jumps from 24 inches, twice a week, for a year

  • Accelerated gains in neurological adaptation, shifting the force/velocity curve to the right (faster strength gains)

Now I don’t know about you but I would think that adding a 10 minute stint on a Vibration Platform to my workout regime on a regular basis would be a great way to capitalise on all the benefits using one can bring and maximise my strength and stamina at the same time.

live a balanced life…

May 28, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , | 1 Comment

Go to the Core for Power

Muscles of the trunkImage via Wikipedia

What is your core? Your core is comprised of all the muscles that make up your torso including the: rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, psoas and the erector spinae. This set of muscles are the main muscles that give you your core power.

What is core power? It is the same power that Martial Arts, Pilates and Yoga target for optimal body strength. I did Karate for three years and we were taught to bring all our punching, kicking and blocking power from our core, this is very important for women as our limbs are not as strong as men.  From the power you build in your core all other movement can rise without injury and you will be much more unlikely to develop back ache (and you can also minimise or delete backache from your life altogether just by developing core strength.

Your core muscles power all movements that require bending, pushing, pulling, and extending the trunk, just ask anyone who has just taken part in a picnic rope pull and ask them which of there muscle are sore the next day.

How can you build your core and move from this centre with balance and power from now on? Get yourself a Yoga or Pilates instructor, they will give you sets of exercises like the ‘Bridge’, the ‘Plank,’ the ‘Side Plank,’ and the ‘Bird dog.’ For even greater degree of difficulty and greater control and balance they might even get you to do these exercises on a ‘fit ball.’

A personal trainer can also add in working the abdominal muscles with a medicine ball or weight plate, rowing and  the erector spine with a ‘Back Extension’ exercise.

balance your life today

April 30, 2008 Posted by | Fitness, Yoga | , , | 1 Comment