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Health and Wellbeing - July 2015

01 Jul 2015

Exercising your core–2015 vs 1985

Training your “abs” in the ’8os and ’90s was all about the ab-crunch! There was the basic crunch and side crunches, with the only real variation being how many you did (if you did them at all!).

These days much has changed and training the core has become more sophisticated and scientific.

A great core workout consists of exercises and routines that integrate three-dimensional movements of the spine, hips, and shoulders. This makes sense as these muscles all work together to assist us in our movement and maintenance of good posture for most hours of the day.

With core training, the focus should be on the quality of movement, proper alignment, adequate and challenging resistance and natural breathing. Core training is ideally combined with some general stretching, especially around the upper and lower back, hip flexors and hamstrings, inclusive of controlled spinal rotations and articulations.

The end result (which should be the key motivation for training your core in 2015) is a healthy spine. Like most good things, it takes time, knowledge and commitment.

Tips for losing abdominal fat

Excess abdominal (visceral) fat is not healthy and its presence is commonly linked to cardiovascular disease, type-2 diabetes and other lifestyle diseases. Unfortunately for men, the health risks for us are much higher than for the ladies.

Following is a list of nutrition, exercise and lifestyle tips for you to consider or apply to your daily routines for losing abdominal fat:

Nutrition:

  • Don’t avoid fat, just avoid bad fats and highly processed foods. Seek out and consume good fats from nuts, seeds, avocados, fish and olive oils;
  • Always eat breakfast and try to include a serve of protein in your daily selection. Avoid heavy carbs and sugary cereals;
  • Don’t just over consume protein. Aim to increase the amount of high quality protein in your diet; and
  • Drink lots of water. Tea and coffee are better than alcohol, juices and sugary sport drinks.

Exercise:

  • Build muscle and strength through weight training and some power-type lifting;
  • Your daily training should include a variety of high volume, moderate to high intensity workouts that physically challenge you; and
  • Quality time is better than quantity of time.

Lifestyle:

  • Get plenty of rest and quality sleep; and
  • Reduce stress – stretch, take yoga or meditation classes.

Thanks for reading this, my final article

After almost three years writing this column for Docklands News, the time has finally come to pack up the typewriter.

I would like to thank Shane and Bethany for their support and for giving me this terrific opportunity to share my health and wellness knowledge with the Docklands community.

If you know me at all, you will know that my two workplace passions are health and wellbeing and community engagement – this column brings both together and so, has been a joy to write.

I sincerely hope you have found the content of the column interesting and informative over the past three years. If you have ongoing questions about your healthy lifestyle pursuits, you can find my team and I at the YMCA Docklands on Collins. I am always available for a chat and some friendly advice.

I will leave you will the following tips, which are really just the basics:

  • Exercise 30 minutes per day, every day;
  • Always look for the more active option;
  • Train with weights two or three times per week to maintain healthy bones;
  • Stretch daily, find some quiet time;
  • Follow government recommendations in regards to healthy eating;
  • Balance life and encourage others; and
  • Remember, exercise is not just about fitness. It’s about living better for longer.

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