When it comes to a work-life balance, many of us focus on the ‘work’ aspect. yet physical fitness and leisure activities have been proven to improve:
- Mental ability
- Motivation and Drive
Being a Chiropractor means that we believe leading a healthy lifestyle will improve every aspect of your life – give you more energy, a positive mindset and a stronger body. Food and nutrition play a vital role in our health, along with exercise, which is why we are dedicating this blog post to both those topics.
I would like to introduce Eoin of Fehilys Fitness; a fitness instructor based in Cork. He’s going to answer a few questions on fitness for all ages and offer tips for best practice and eating habits.
Do you have work-Life balance?
1) As a fitness instructor I’m sure you work with people of all ages and sizes. When it comes to aerobic exercise, what is ideal for these age groups?
For children and young adults, under 15 years of age, I would recommend any and all types of sport. Free movement in any type of sport is great for joint support and muscle building. I am a firm believer that all children, both boys and girls should participate in gymnastics. It is an outstanding foundation for all sports in later years, working on core strength, flexibility and co-ordination. I strongly believe in resistance training also, to include exercises like bodyweight squats, press ups, pull-ups and lunges. There is no scientific evidence to show it stunts growth and that is merely a myth.
With individuals of any age from 16 years upwards, I believe resistance training to be the best form of aerobic activity. People will say aerobic activity such as running, cycling and rowing is what is required for healthy heart, lungs and VO2 max etc. I challenge any of these people to squat 85% of their 1 Rep Max 10 times with their hip midpoint passing below their knee midpoint and feel what it does for their lungs and heart.
I’m not against aerobic activity and am all for the good endorphins being released due to a good run or cycle but it’s a choice and not a requirement. If you don’t like the idea of pacing the road for 1 or 2 hours, then don’t, pick up a barbell instead and it will have the same effect once you are performing the exercises correctly.
2) Are there particular exercises that strengthen the spine and maintain a good posture?
A strong spine combined with good posture is essential in my eyes.
People, of all ages, gender and size should be performing the following exercises, be it in the comfort of their own home or in their local gyms:
Planks, Back Extension, Bridge, Superman’s and “Y’s”
While these exercises can be done at home, we need to be in the gym on a weekly basis, working on weighted lunges, farmers walks, squats and pull ups. This will give maximum impact to your workout. These exercises build and strengthen all muscles, from your calves to your rhomboids. It is also very important to do some chest stretching to loosen out the muscles and avoid rounding of the shoulders, thus improving posture and spinal strength.
3) Fitness starts in the kitchen, would you say this is true?
This statement could not be more correct and I strongly believe that diet is 80% of any training program. You hear the expression “You are what you eat” – with a training program, you may only be in the gym 4-5 hours a week, this leaves nearly 164 hours a week where you have to be conscious of your diet.
Two common mistakes people tend to make is to “REWARD” themselves, after a good weeks training with unhealthy meals like takeaways and treats, and secondly, not to control their “PORTION” size. The average person can get the portion sizes completely wrong. This is reflected in the scales and people don’t understand why the scales aren’t dropping despite them eating healthily and training hard. The problem more often than not, being that they are eating portion sizes which are far too big. I have seen people eating fruit salad with natural yogurt containing 1200 calories, this being some people’s entire calorie intake for the day.
4) Lastly, if you had to recommend five super exercises for a quick 30min workout, what would you choose?
- Back Extension
- Shoulder Press