Tag Archives: exercise

Top 5 Reasons Kids Play Sports

“You want your child to be active and to have fun. Research shows that’s exactly what they want, too.

A Michigan State University study asked boys and girls aged 10 to 12 why they played sports. Here are the top five reasons they gave:

1. To have fun.
2. To do something I’m good at.
3. To improve my skills.
4. To stay in shape.
5. To get exercise.

Surprise; “winning” didn’t even make the top ten reasons.”

Read the full post here.

8 Hormones Involved in Exercise

“In the movie Fletch, released the same year that ACE was founded (1985), comedian Chevy Chase plays the role of Irwin “Fletch” Fletcher, a reporter working undercover to expose drug dealing on the beaches of Los Angeles. Over the course of his investigation, Fletch assumes a variety of creative characters as he identifies the corrupt businessmen and cops involved in the drug-dealing ring. In one scene, Fletch pretends to be an airplane mechanic and tries to fib his way into a hangar by saying he was there to check the ball bearings. “It’s all ball bearings nowadays,” is one of the most memorable quotes of this iconic ‘80s movie.

If you work as a personal trainer or group fitness instructor you have no doubt been asked how exercise can help someone achieve a specific goal. If you want a fun, but honest way to answer these questions, you can channel your inner Fletch by replying, “It’s all hormones nowadays.”

The endocrine system regulates the production of hormones, which are chemicals that control cellular functions. Hormones can affect a number of different cells; however, they only influence the ones with specific receptor sites. Hormones control a number of physiological reactions in the body including energy metabolism, reproductive processes, tissue growth, hydration levels, synthesis and degradation of muscle protein, and mood. Hormones are responsible for both building new muscle and helping to burn fat, so it is important to have an understanding of which ones are released in relation to exercise as well as understanding the physiological functions they influence. ”

Read the full post here.

Exercising During Cancer Treatment

“If you have been recently diagnosed with cancer or are undergoing treatment, it’s important to take special care of yourself. Studies show that one of the best ways to do this is to stay physically active.

That doesn’t, of course, mean you should run a marathon or scale a mountain. But it’s wise to add some form of regular exercise to your daily life–even during cancer therapy. Moderate aerobic exercise, such as riding a stationary bicycle or taking a daily walk, coupled with the use of light weights for strength training, can enhance physical well-being and spur recovery.

Exercise reduces fatigue
Research has found no harmful effects on patients with cancer from moderate exercise and, in fact, has demonstrated that those who exercised regularly had 40% to 50% less fatigue, the primary complaint during treatment. (See Fighting Cancer Fatigue.)

Engaging in regular exercise increases muscle strength, joint flexibility and general conditioning, all of which may be impaired by surgery and some therapies. Exercise is known to improve cardiovascular function and to protect bones. It also elevates mood, offering drug-free relief for the feelings of depression that may accompany a cancer diagnosis.

Finally, exercise helps control weight — a crucial factor, as studies have shown that gaining weight during and after treatment raises the risk of a cancer recurrence, particularly for breast, colon and prostate cancers.”

Read the full post here.

Exercise Advice for Overweight People

“Overweight people who are avoiding moving around aren’t lazy – they’re sensible.” So says Krista Scott-Dixon, a researcher and nutrition coach who lost 23kg (around 3st 8lb) over three years. “Being heavy changes your physical experience of the world,” says Scott-Dixon Unless you have experienced the physical discomfort of significant surplus weight, she says, then it can be difficult to comprehend the dangerous cycle of inertia that heavy people inhabit.

When weight is gained, it becomes harder to move. The harder it is to move, the harder it is to shift the excess weight. “You have all the mechanical stress of excess weight, but then you also have the metabolic problem.” The internal hormonal environment of someone who is obese (someone with a body mass index of 30-34.9) is different from that of a person with a healthy weight, says Scott-Dixon. “Fat is a metabolically active organ. It’s not just storage, it actually secretes hormones that affect your energy levels.” In short: “Even if you don’t really feel that much pain, you just feel like crap.”

For many of us, exercise simply isn’t part of our daily lives, and for people who are significantly overweight this can be compounded by the fact that conventional advice about exercise sometimes just isn’t possible to follow. Personal trainer Steve Barrett explains: “Exercise is stressful for the body – but for those who are severely overweight, their bodies are already stressed, their blood pressure is already raised, they are already fatigued, their joints already strained.”

Read the full post here.

25 Sports to Get You Active this Summer

“Depending on where you live, the weather is finally getting warmer. Summer is pretty much already here. Here are some sports which can be enjoyed during the warmer weather, or just simply an excuse to go outside or do something active.

Whether you like something calming or intense, find your challenge and get active. Even if you don’t want to play a sport, you can still go outside and just go for walk. Here are 25 sports which are fun any season, but especially outside in the warmer months.

1. Swimming
A great way to get active in the water. Whether you swim competitively or just for fun, there is plenty of fun to be had in the pool.

2. Tennis
Tennis can be played in any season, if you have an indoor courts near you. However, it’s great to play outdoors, especially if you can find some friendly competition.

3. Street Hockey
Also known as ground hockey. If you’re a fan of hockey, find some friends and an empty or deserted street and start playing.”

Read the full post here.

Yoga in Sport and Exercise Psychology

“The ancient practice of yoga is thousands of years old. It was first brought to India 3,500 years ago by nomads from central Asia practicing an intellectual discipline they referred to as ‘Yoga’. It was a way of using the mind to restrain the senses and control the body. The main tradition practiced in Western Europe is Hatha Yoga which is based on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, which is a sort of manual of Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras. It describes how to train the body, so that it can be used as a means of enlightenment.

The Bhagavad Gita, the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika all form the central concepts of yoga’s philosophy of life. Yoga techniques were summarised for the first time by Patanjali so as to bring a practical form of yoga to the people. 195 sutras were written in short, concise meaningful sentences. As in modern day psychology they are explanations of the nature of the mind, how it works and the obstacles, difficulties and emotional disturbances that can affect its functioning in terms of self-knowledge and reflective action. Patanjali recommended an ‘Eight-Limb Path’ as a way to change the mind positively. He believed that one of the minds fundamental characteristics was its inability and refusal to stay in the ‘here and now’. He described it as a monkey jumping from one branch of thought to another. As you will hear me describe in any of my classes, the mind is always wandering and being rebellious, never focussing on the moment, but instead getting distracted by past events, future plans and all the sensations it has to process in the meantime. As it is the mind’s job to think, it is relentlessly interpreting everything that is seen, perceived and experienced. It is led by thought patterns, habits, doctrines, perceptions and conditioning which have been learned and instilled over the lifetime of the person. These behaviours, thoughts, attitudes have been reinforced through repetition, regardless of whether they are good or bad, right or wrong.”

Read the full post here.

Top 7 Mental Benefits of Sports


“You already know that sports are beneficial for your physical health. But there’s more good news. In recent years, research has also found that sport participation can positively affect your mental health. Here’s how.

1. Sports improve your mood.
Want a burst of happiness and relaxation? Get involved in a physical activity. Whether you are playing sports, working out at a gym, or taking a brisk walk, physical activity triggers brain chemicals that make you feel happier and more relaxed. Team sports in particular provide a chance to unwind and engage in a satisfying challenge that improves your fitness. They also provide social benefits by allowing you to connect with teammates and friends in a recreational setting.

2. Sports improve your concentration.
Regular physical activity helps keep your key mental skills sharp as you age. This includes critical thinking, learning, and using good judgment. Research has shown that doing a mix of aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities is especially helpful. Participating in this kind of activity three to five times a week for at least 30 minutes can provide these mental health benefits.”

Read the full post here.

Pregnancy Exercise Dos and Don’ts


If you want to exercise, we have all the latest advice and guidance on how to keep fit safely during pregnancy.

How can exercise help me?

Regular exercise can help you to cope with the physical and mental demands of being pregnant, and prepare you for the rigours of labour. All those pregnancy issues, such as back ache, constipation and fatigue, will be easier to keep at bay, too.

Maintaining a healthy level of fitness is all part of staying well during pregnancy. We know that exercise can help prevent problems such as pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes. Exercise can improve your general mood and self-image, and you may find that a workout during the day helps you to sleep better at night.

You’ll find it easier to control your weight gain if you exercise. This benefit continues after your baby is born, making it easier for you to get back into shape. Read more about the benefits of exercising during pregnancy.

Read the full post here.

Exercise Can Protect Against Cancer


AMPLE evidence shows that exercising regularly reduces the risk of cancer. Similarly, those who have survived the disease are less likely to see it return if they engage in lots of physical activity after treatment. All this suggests that such activity triggers a reaction in the body which somehow thwarts cancer cells, but the details of the process have remained murky. Now, a team led by Pernille Hojman at Copenhagen University Hospital, in Denmark, has reported in Cell Metabolism that the key to the mystery is adrenalin.

Dr Hojman began her work by verifying that exercise truly does have beneficial anti-tumour effects. She and her colleagues gave some of the mice in their laboratory activity wheels, which the animals could run around inside as much as they liked. Other mice, meanwhile, were given no opportunity to exercise beyond moving about inside their cages. The researchers then induced mice of both sorts to develop one of three types of cancer. Some, they injected with a substance called diethylnitrosamine, which causes liver cancer. Others, they injected below the skin with melanoma cells, which then set up shop where they had been injected. Others still had their tails inoculated with melanoma cells. In mice, previous experience has shown, this leads to melanomas forming in the lungs.

Read the full post here.