0800 040 7526
A lot of the time our personal trainer clients obsess about being thin and svelte sexy beasts prowling the high street. We can certainly help to get them to this point, but along the way there are other components of fitness that are just as important and which should not be ignored. Although these components are not perhaps the main tools in the weight loss battle (resistance training, cardio-vascular work and good nutrition) they are just as important, and can actually be combined into a weight loss programme to make for a fitter, safer and more all round you. These are motor skills, a group of abilities that contribute to controlled and efficient human movement.
Proprioception is a component of fitness that informs an individual where all the parts of their musculoskeletal systems are and what they are doing relative to each other in space and time. Or in real-speak an innate sense of positional awareness. It’s a very important part of all round fitness, and all of our personal training programmes will contain elements of this. It really helps you to stay on your feet in sports and every day situations, when children/large labradors/husbands bump into you, uneven pavement threatens to tip you into the road and so on. Open chain exercises where your limbs are free in space as they push a resistance are great for this, as are wobble boards, bosu balls and stability balls. Free weight training is a good example of this open chain exercise.
Balance can be defined as the ability to maintain the centre of mass within the base of support. Again vital in everyday life and really helpful if you want to have fun and be an active outdoorsy type.
Co-ordination can be defined as a controlled interaction between two or more body parts that produces a desired movement under the control of the neuromuscular system.
All human movement requires some degree of these motor skills. The more complex the task the more motor skills are required. Different activities require different combinations of these motor skills, and they are just as essential to a great life and physical well being as being functionally strong, having a healthy heart/lungs and looking great. The whole package if you like. So try something new, get your personal trainer to make you do things that you may not be used to doing. If you can skip, try to skip backwards. If you like to jog, try to do some agility footwork before you go out; you never know when you might need to be agile.
Keep it varied, and good luck!
Scientists from Pennsylvania told the American Chemical Society that walnuts contain the highest level of antioxidants compared to other nuts. Antioxidants are known to help protect the body against disease. The scientists said that all nuts have good nutritional qualities but walnuts are healthier than peanuts, almonds, pecans and pistachios.
Dr Joe Vinson, from the University of Scranton, scrutinised the antioxidant levels of nine different types of nuts and discovered that a handful of walnuts contained twice as many antioxidants as a handful of any other commonly eaten nut. He found that these antioxidants were higher in quality and potency than in any other nut. Antioxidants are good because they stop the chain reactions that damage cells in the body when oxidation occurs.
The antioxidants found in walnuts were also two to 15 times as powerful as vitamin E, which is known to protect the body against damaging natural chemicals involved in causing disease, the study says. Nuts are known to be healthy and nutritious, containing high-quality protein, lots of vitamins and minerals as well as dietary fibre. They are also dairy and gluten-free. Earlier studies have shown that regular consumption of small amounts of nuts can reduce the risk of heart disease, some types of cancer, type two diabetes and other health problems. Dr Vinson said there was another advantage in choosing walnuts as a source of antioxidants: “The heat from roasting nuts generally reduces the quality of the antioxidants.
“People usually eat walnuts raw or unroasted, and get the full effectiveness of those antioxidants.”
Although this study confirms what many of us already knew in terms of nuts and seeds being healthy; however it must be remembered that nearly all aspects of nutrition for health are contradictory. Nuts and seeds are also very calorie dense, containing a large amount of energy in a small quantity. So eat them sparingly and try to use them as a snacking resource between meals, perhaps combining them with fruit or wholegrain carbohydrates (like oat cakes) so that you are getting all the food groups in one healthy serving. The addition of carbs will also ensure that you stick with a small portion of nuts.