Tuesday, November 29, 2011

WholyFit Christian Devotional Exercise - in Canberra Australia December 2011

First class to be offered in Australia
Free Class Demonstration
Tuesday 5.30-6.30pm Class demonstration, 6.30-7pm discussion about WholyFit and classes for next year.
Flexible 4 Life studio, Canberra Christian Life Centre, 46 Lhotsky St, Charnwood ACT
Instructor: Tamra Wilson, WholyFit Gold Certified Instructor and Flexible 4 Life founder.
What to bring: a sticky mat is essential, we have a few available but there won't be enough for everyone.

Who is a WholyFit class for?
Essentially WholyFit whole body power is a flexibility and strength class for the general population including those who are regular exercisers.
It is a Christian ALTERNATIVE to yoga NOT Christian yoga.

What makes WholyFit a Christian program?
WholyFit classes combine worshipful postures and movement with the Word of God and worship of God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Christian worship music is played and it is a very uplifting class.

Does WholyFit incorporate meditation?
WholyFit classes consist of the following:
Warm-up (postures around a theme scripture) to prepare joints and muscles for more challenging exercises and to memorise a specific scripture.
Standing  exercises to increase stamina and joint stability, promote muscle tone and strength.
Balance  as the name suggests your balance will be challenged to promote falls prevention and improve overall balance.
Matwork exercises performed on the floor which has a different focus to the rest of class.
Meditation This is how meditation was always supposed to be, full relaxation and time to focus on our Lord Jesus and His love for us through His word (the Bible), worship music and prayer is always an option.
As you work your body hard you will receive great benefits from taking time out to allow your body to repair and recover.

Why should every Christian try a WholyFit class?
Every Christian could use more time to focus on our Lord and most people can certainly use more exercise, this is a great class to build a firm foundation of strength and joint stability before trying other types of exercise. It is also a great life long practice to undertake alongside your walk with Jesus Christ our Lord and saviour.


Come along and be part of what the Lord wants to do through righteousness and peace through biblically sound exercise practice.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How to get results from your regular walking routine

Do you like to get into the outdoors for regular exercise?  So do I.

The good news is that while regular, sustained walking and jogging may do little to prepare your heart for sudden onset of stress you can make a few small changes to turn walking into a calorie burning, strength building training session that will strengthen your heart and prepare you for any stressful situation (without the increased risk of heart complications.

Try some of the following:

  • carry some light weights: you may also do some upper body exercises as a break now and then. Make sure you incorporate some shoulder blade squeezes to improve posture.
  • of course walk hills but best of all find some steep hills and walk as much of them as you can without pain in knees or a stooped posture. Your legs should do all the work not your back.
  • put light weights on your ankles or anywhere you feel comfortable, including a good backpack (with hip support).
What all of this does is build muscle, stimulate growth hormone which in turn increase your metabolism.

Remember this: consistency is key, do it often if not daily even if only a small amount and in time you'll see results that will last.

WholyFit Christian Devotional Exercise

At long last I have found a wonderful group of people who offer high quality group exercise designed as an alternative to Yoga.

So what is WholyFit?
WholyFit is a Flexibility and Strength class designed to flow and be similar to a slow dance or in general terms flow between postures and exercises.

WholyFit professes that its better that yoga?  
Well in my opinion it is. The reason is that as Christians we need to take care of the spiritual side of our life and yoga not only opposes what the bible says but it can be potentially dangerous in the hands of some instructors and those who don't understand what their body can and can't do.

How are WholyFit postures different?
Every posture or exercise is designed with functional movement in mind which means it strengthens you for the daily demands of life. Also each posture is assessed for safety and whether there can be a safer alternative performed to meet the same goal or outcome.

How can exercise be devotional?
During WholyFit classes we play inspirational Christian music either instrumental or worship style and instructors also declare the word of God throughout class. We open a class and close a class in prayer and the postures are names with biblical names. Often postures include hands turned up to the Lord Jesus Christ in open worship of Him.

Who can do WholyFit classes?
WholyFit classes are for everyone! Each posture has layer 1,2,3 so everyone can be challenged but still train with perfect form. There are also more challenging versions of each posture taught in workshops.
WholyFit also offers chair classes for those who can't stand for long periods of time.

WholyFit offers training in many different areas of exercise and requires a high standard in physical and spiritual aspects of everyone.

For more information see:  www.wholyfit.org

While WholyFit commenced in the USA and is based in the states I will be bringing WholyFit to Australia and in time there will be many classes available as well as their top quality DVD's for regular home practice.

I will commence classes late 2011 or 2012 at the Flexible 4 Life studio, Canberra Christian Life Centre, 46 Lhotsky St, Charnwood ACT.
I also plan to offer online classes for those too far away to attend classes.

Monday, June 13, 2011

WholyFit classes at Celebration Church

Class commenced tonight at 6.15pm with 3 eager participants. All made it through the class and the permanent time will be 6.15-7.15pm.

We discussed the idea of various workshops and Zumba classes through out the summer and I will be scheduling some of these sessions for Saturdays as well as evenings if in my home.
Topics may include:

  • Functional exercise - how to perform basic movements to keep you strong and healthy.
  • Joint health exercise.
  • resistance training without equipment or using weights, resistance bands and items around your home.
  • Zumba - for everyone, not limited to the fit, experienced dancer etc.
  • Kettlebell, boxing, circuit

Learn how to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the long term and take others with you on the journey.  Also see Good 4 U Health and Wellness ministry facebook page to encourage and inform you on the things you need to learn about.

See you at class.

Posting in June - what's next!

I've had some requests for some shoulder specific exercises so in the coming weeks of June i'll be including shoulder exercises that improve posture, reduce pain and help to manage pain due to everyday stress.

If you have other interests or suggestions please post here or email me directly or via the website.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

How to exercise anywhere

The latest research shows that you can get all the exercise you need in small bursts; e.g. 10 mins x 3 per day or even shorter duration if you add high intensity bursts. But if you aren't exercising regularly and want to maintain your exercise long term try to incorporate some of the following:

Think of all those times in the day when you are potentially wasting valuable exercise time.

  • microwave is on for 2 minutes or more
  • watching food at the stove
  • walking at a leisurely pace in the shops or in the carpark etc.
  • the famous one - the ads on TV
The opportunities to exercise are endless, you just need a trigger or reminder to do some type of exercise.

Try adding 5 mins extra exercise to your day using the above times to do a few more exercises.
Also remember that sitting on the floor can be quite a challenge in itself so give the couch a break and try just sitting on the floor for 5 or 10 mins of your favourite TV show, you'll be amazed.

Circuit at home - no weights

 Here's a simple circuit - try 15 or 30 secs on each exercise and then swap sides where applicable.  To maintain continuity try a regular circuit and change 1 exercise each week to make it interesting, I do.

Exercise 1

Jump squat - position 1

Jump squat - position 2

To increase the challenge of the jump squat keep low between narrow and wide stance.

Exercise 2
Table top start position
Table top level 1

Table top level 2

Exercise 3

Side toe touch - start position

 Table top directions: Press through palm of hands and spread fingers wide.
In all versions keep abdominals drawn in and press up through gluteals, press through the heel of the foot on the floor to get extra lift.

Side toe tap - step to side and repeat 

Exercise 4

1 leg squat - do slowly
1 leg squat - stand upright

Monday, May 2, 2011

change your eating habits for a lifetime

I'll keep it simple....short term changes bring short term results. Long term changes to your eating habits bring long term results better health, more energy, greater wellbeing.

Changing old habits for good is a daunting task but make a start and you'll be glad you did.

First change one of the following:

  • cut out soft drinks
  • reduce sugar intake and/or replace with honey, fruit sweetener and definately reduce how much you have.
  • eat good fats: avocados, nuts or nut butter no more than a small handful a day, low fat ricotta, cottage cheeses are also fine in small amounts
  • use avocado, hummus or other healthy spreads instead of mayonaise or butter/margerine.
  • limit intake of white bread (including multigrain), pasta, white rice, flour etc.
By the way you can still eat baked goods but learn how to substitute for the refined flours, sugars, butter and marg as well as preservatives that extend the shelf life.
Thoughtful, healthy food almost always tastes better than fast food and junk especially when you train your body away from less healthy foods!!!

Here's a great tip
If you feel like eating dominoes pizza, baked items or something that's really unhealthy ask yourself 1 question "how about an apple?" If the answer is no then you're probably not actually hungry and you're eating for some other reason. Apply that question this week and see if it changes anything.

Keep in mind you can eat foods like pizza and lasagne, you just need to learn how to make them healthy. Make your own so you can monitor how much saturated fat, sodium etc is in the food. Look for recipes with low cheese, use simple sauces low in sugar or better yet make your own. 

I am working on a dairy,soy and gluten free recipe folder to share with you so if you have any suggestions or questions please post on this blog.
I have a dairy,soy and gluten free muffin free that is to die for and I dont really like muffins now I love these and so do toddlers and their mum's here in the USA.

How to exercise everyday

Everyone feels overwhelmed at some point by all the recommendations on how much exercise you should do.

My recommendation:
Start with 10 mins a day!

  • walk or jog the stairs
  • make up your own circuit (30secs x 4 exercises and repeat 5 times or 30 secs x 5 exercises and do 4 times); include stairs or jump between narrow and wide squats, a core exercise, an overhead press and a posture exercise using your shoulder muscles to pull shoulder blades flat onto the ribs, also try lunges. Use some of the exercises from this blog and i'll be adding more soon.
  • walk uphill and include 10 mins of heart raising inclines (or do the same on the treadmill)
  • shadowbox using jabs (front and back arm), hooks, uppercuts and some simple kickboxing and evasive moves like a bob down and back up.  Again i'll upload some pics so you can see what to do.
  • If you walk the family pet try to run and keep up for 10 secs at a time and do this 5, 10 or as many times as you can during your walk.
  • Do some simple exercises while waiting for the microwave or something cooking on the stove.
If it seems too difficult to make up 10 mins then combine the cardio with some of the resistance exercises you know and keep watching this post for exercises to try.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Your children are what YOU eat!! Nutrition for the pregnant Mum

The old saying you are what you eat is true in many ways but did you ever wonder why so many children "don't eat their vegies"?

Its true sometimes they just don't like carrots or peas or some other type of vegetable but there is now evidence to suggest that what you eat while pregnant strongly impacts the tastebuds of your unborn child.

A child's tastes are developed at an early age, consider the following:

Q If all you ever fed a child during the first year to 5 years of life were raw foods and loads of fruit and veg what would happen when you feed a child McDonalds?
A You probably said they would love it.  Well that's not entirely correct. Studies show that children who eat a diet low in artificial additives, sugar, fried foods, salt etc don't actually like those types of foods.

If your pallette is geared to eating sugar, salt, fat (the bad kind) as your staple diet then anything else will taste foreign.
On the flip side if you eat a diet low or completely avoiding the foods above then you probably won't be able to stomach them.

So, when considering what you should eat during your pregnancy its not just your body you are taking care of you are shaping your child's own nutritional habits for the future.

Tip: If you struggle to enjoy vegetables find a way to spice them up a bit; add herbs, roast them, make a casserole with other flavours you love and that way you can hide the taste you don't like.

Tip for your child who eats solids: If you don't like bland veggies i.e. plain pumpkin, carrots and beans then don't serve that to your child. Add herbs or again serve in a soup or casserole (blended for under 8 months).

Benefits of exercise during pregnancy on your unborn child

Most people are aware of the benefits of exercise during pregnancy for Mum's.
  • decreased pain and improved posture
  • decreased stress and a better self-esteem
  • decreased nausea and varicose veins etc
  • Better sleep patterns 
I personally can say this was all true for my pregnancy and exercise was my saving grace so many times.

But what about the effects of exercise during pregnancy for the unborn child? Here are the main benefits:
  • Decreased body fat deposit in the last trimester (lower birth weight)
  • Better ability to cope with stress during labor and usually they are less stressed throughout labor
  • Newborn babies tend to be more alert and adjust more quickly to the outside world
  • lower body fat deposits have been sited up to the age of 5.
All aspects of growth and development are the same in exercising mothers as those who don't and may even be better.
This not only means your bub may be born healthier but there is evidence to suggest that your child maybe healthier in general throughout the crucial early years of development so if this doesn't motivate you to get moving I don't know what will.

ref:  "Exercising Through Your Pregnancy" James F Clapp M.D.
Note: He was part of the movement of MDs in the 1970s who proved the safety and benefit of exercise. We owe a great debt to medical professionals who put themselves on the line in the name of controversial issues.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What's the best type of flexibility training to do?

There are many different types of flexibility training and classes; so what's good for you and what's not? How do you know if your flexibility training is right for you?

Flexibility Training Techniques that I endorse

  • passive flexibility training - this is where you hold a position and use gravity or a partner to help you move further into a position.
  • active flexibility training - this is where you use your own strength to move into and out of an exercise (commonly called strength flexibility). This type of flexibility is most useful for what you need to achieve proper movement every day and involves movements more than isolating a muscle group such as squatting, bending, reaching, walking, etc.

Is all flexibility training equal
No, it is not. Flexibility training is a complex issue and I could get very wordy on the subject however i'll save you the time to say the following:

I makes sense to mimic the movements we do in everyday life (especially from birth) so what I teach and practice myself is based on movement patterns of mobile and healthy joints (usually found in babies, young children).

So flexibility training should address joint mobility and stability (to prevent injury) and it should also both strengthen your muscles and lengthen equally. 

In the coming months i'll post some exercises that focus on what is mentioned above.

Abdominal strengthener and Hip joint mobility exercises

 All Fours Footwork (above) - start with knees on the floor or with legs straight in a usual plank. Walk feet in until knees are under hips (keep knees off floor). Move between the two positions 5 times and gradually increase.

Hip joint mobility and active hamstring flexibility   (above and below)
Step 1. Start with your feet hip width apart, bend from hips and keep a straight back (keep extending your spins so you feel like your spine is being pulled away and your hips pulled back). This will be a great stretch.
Place your hands on something that allows you to keep a straight back.

Step 2. Tilt hips from side to side, you may feel stretching in the legs or a loosening in the hip joints.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Year's Goal Setting 101

So it begins....Its January and its time to take stock of the year that has passed and decide what will be for the year to come.

I always say if you can't resolve to change something at any time of year (whether it relates to your diet or exercise plans) or something totally unrelated like getting along better with someone then it won't last.

Here are a few tips to help you stay on track with new goals.

  • Make a plan to keep your goals in mind throughout the year.  Keep them on your wall somewhere you'll see them regularly and check how you're going. 
  • Plan how you will work toward your goals on a daily, weekly, monthly basis. Review how you're going along the way and don't get down on yourself if you don't achieve them just be prepared to change your plan to suit where you're at.
  • Spend some time on a Sunday or other preferred day to plan your goals into your week. For example if you plan to build a better relationship with someone then plan a phone call or a meal with them and put it into your diary.  If you're trying to eat healthy then set aside some time to plan your meals, shop and cook.
  • If something is important to you then put it into your schedule. This includes reading a book or taking time out to do something you've been putting off for a long time. 

January Exercises - squat and rotation/super squat for posture

Here are the first of the exercises to be added during January for those who want to keep up some exercises over the short break until classes re-commence in February.
The exercises are time efficient and effective in improving your flexibility, joint mobility and strength and you will probably find your heart rate will rise significantly too.
In all exercises you will need to maintain a strong abdomen and remember to breathe. If you are unsure about a certain exercise please post a message so I can help you work it out. I will use simple names so you understand the movements and positions you are trying to make.

There is no need for a major warm up before hand just do some shoulder circles to loosen the shoulders and also the shoulder joint mobility exercise i'll be posting next week.

Squat and rotation

As the name suggests you are aiming to squat and rotate the spine at the same time.

As you lower keep the knees pulled out using your thighs.
Choose the lowest point at the knees, mid calf, ankles or the floor.
Keep the top arm extending to the ceiling and imagine your torso is being pulled out of the hips (keep a long strong back) as you begin to stand in a smooth motion and finish in the position you started.

Try 5 times on each side and build up to 20. You should be able to go deeper each time you try it.

Super squat for posture

Start in your lowest squat position with hands relaxed in front of the shoulders.

Maintain a strong and lengthened spine (imagine your torso is being pulled from the hips) and drop the arms out in front.
As you stand up from the squat reach arms overhead (pic 3), then start again.

Try this 5 times and build up to 20