Andries Lodder biokineticist in Fourways
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Staying Healthy during lockdown

Posted on January 20th, 2021 by Andries Lodder

As we are all very aware, 2020 and the start of 2021 has been nothing next to normal and COVID-19 pandemic has tuned a lot of peoples’ worlds upside down.

We as BIOKINETICISTS are involved in helping people improve certain aspects of their lives.

These areas include:
  • overcoming and preventing injuries
  • managing chronic conditions and illness
  • maintaining and improving fitness
  • weight management
  • general well-being and now COVID-19 prevention through physcial activity

It is something new to us and we are tackling it head on to try and keep a healthy and positive population.

Exercise can help assist in a variety of immune functions. For the body to function optimally, its vital organs need to be working in pristine condition.

Guidelines for exercise during COVID-19

Exercising is one of the only things we can physically take charge of to try and prevent contracting COVID-19 or to help our bodies fight the disease.

Remembering that caution should be taken when exercising not to over-do it and compromise the immune system further.

  • 150+ minutes of moderate intensity exercise, and 75+ minutes of vigorous intensity exercise a week.
  • 2-3 strength and resistance training sessions should be included, as well as 2-3 flexibility sessions
  • aim to do 5000-10000 steps per day

How does exercise help the immune system?

The human heart is the bodies centre of life and without it working optimally the bodies condition will begin to deteriorate.

  • As the blood circulates around the body, it is responsible for supplying oxygen and nutrients to the tissues as well as removing carbon dioxide and waste products from the body.
  • Just like any other muscle, exercise can increase the efficiency of the heart, strengthening the force of the hearts muscular contractions and inevitably increasing the perfusion of the tissues and organs with blood.
  • Increased blood flow around the body improves the body’s oxygen levels, reducing the risk of heart related diseases and creating a better environment around the body as a whole.

Not only does exercise improve your bodies immune system protecting you from everyday viruses and bacteria, but its benefits also extend across a variety of medical conditions and chronic diseases.

If you have had COVID-19 and are looking to get back into exercise, it is highly recommended to do so carefully and with supervision.

Many individuals are struggling with their hearts after having COVID-19 and having someone there who understand the human body and exercising parameters is highly beneficial.

For those wanting to try stay fit and healthy, contact us now for help and guidance.

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Lockdown Core Training

Posted on April 22nd, 2020 by Andries Lodder

If you’ve been wanting to try improve your core strength but just cant get around to it due to lack of time, energy or motivation, what better time is there than now. Lockdown is your time to shine.

Pilates is a great way to do this. It is a form of low-impact exercise which aims to strengthen the entire body, improve postural alignment and flexibility. When engaging in pilates exercises, we focus on mind body connection to receive maximum benefit.

What to focus on

There are two basic rules when performing pilates exercises to ensure you are executing correctly.

  • Breathing – try focusing on your breathing during your pilates session. The correct breathing technique will allow you to contract the core correctly, ensuring the load is place on the core and not your back for instance.

So the secret to correct breathing is to think about moving slow and controlled, exhaling whenever you are moving, pausing and holding a movement when you inhale.

  • Keep the core tight – to ensure your core is tight throughout the whole movement, you want to keep the lower back in contact with the floor AT ALL TIMES!

For some feedback, place something thin under your lower back (a sleeve from a top/ theraband) and tie the other end to something that will pull on it, so if you do let you back come off the floor it will pull out from under you.

Beginners pilates program

2 -4 rounds of the following:

10 x chest lifts

  • Laying on your back, knees bent and hands behind the head to support back.
  • Push the lower back into the floor, keeping contact throughout the movement, crunch up with the chest to look through the thighs.

10 x single leg chest lifts

  • In the same position and movement as the crunch
  • When crunching up you will simultaneously bring one leg up towards the chest, keeping the knee bent at 90 degrees.
  • When lowering the chest back to the floor, lower the leg to the floor, tapping the heel and back up (repeat all reps on one said and then swap) 

5 x 10 sec chest lifts hold legs at 90 degrees

  • Assuming a crunch positio
  • Lift one leg at a time to get both legs bent to 90 degrees at the hips and knees
  • Hold this position for 10 seconds
  • Return to start by lowering one leg at a time to the floor.

10 x chest lifts legs at 90 degrees

  • Assume crunch hold position
  • Keeping the legs in the air,
  • The upper body performs a crunch motion
  • Keep lower back contact with the floor at all times.

5 x 10 sec chest lifts hold legs straight up

  • Assume chest lift hold position
  • From here you are going to straighten then legs up towards the ceiling
  • Holding for 10 seconds and returning to start.

10 x chest lifts hold heel taps

  • Starting in a chest lift position
  • Keeping the trunk and upper body as still as possible, extending from the hip slow and controlled, tap one heel down to the floor, alternating legs.

10 x chest lifts with rotation

  • In a chest lift position
  • Rotate from the trunk (like squeezing out a wet towel) hold for a second and return back to the middle.
  • Without resting alternate sides for the required reps.

We hope your core is now on fire!!!

Don’t hesitate to get in contact with us if you have any questions!

At Home Body Weight Workout

Posted on April 6th, 2020 by Andries Lodder

All you need for this workout is a open space and a stable chair

Warm up:

  • Do 3 rounds of the following
  • Wall squats x 10
    • Stand with toes as close to wall as possible
    • Feet just wider then hip width apart, with toes pointing outwards
    • Hands above the head in a V position
    • Keep head straight, do not look to the side or down
    • In this position, squat as far down as possible without lifting the heels or falling backwards
    • Return to starting position
  • Step throughs x 10
    • Start in a push up position
    • Step through with the right leg, placing the right foot next to or as close as possible to the right hand
    • Keep the left leg as straight as possible
    • In this position bounce the hips lightly up and down
    • Return right leg to starting position
    • Repeat on the left side
  • Pelvic Bridges x 10
    • Lying on your back, with your hands at your side and knees bent
    • Push the hips up to the ceiling as high as you can
    • Push through your heels
    • Lower the hips back down
    • Repeat
    • If this exercise is to easy it can be done single leg

Circuit:

  • Sit to stands
    • Standing in front of a chair, feet hip width apart, hands out in front of you
    • Slowly lower hips down to the chair
    • Either sit on the chair or just lightly tap it
    • Then push through the heels and stand back up
    • x15
  • Tricep dips
    • Place hands on the edge of chair
    • Move body weight forwards off the chair, the legs can either be bent or straight depending on your level of strength (Bent is easier)
    • Bend the elbows and lower the hips towards the floor
    • Keep the back flat and close to the chair
    • Push back up through the palms
    • x 15
  • Lunge
    • Place the hands of the hips and start with feet hip width apart
    • Step forward on one leg, bending the back knee towards the floor
    • Keep the front heel flat on the floor and push weight through it
    • Push back up and bring that leg back to starting position
    • Repeat with other leg
    • x 10 per leg
  • Push ups
    • Start in a push up position with hands directly under the shoulder
    • Can either do this exercise on the toes at the back or on the knees depending on your strength (Knees are easier)
    • It can also be done with the hands on the chair (easiest ) or with the feet on the chair (hardest)
    • Bend the elbows, taking the chest down towards the ground
    • Push back up to straight arms
    • x 10
  • Step ups
    • Standing in front of the chair
    • Step up onto the chair with one leg, pushing through the heel of the working leg
    • Step back down
    • x 10 reps per leg

This is a very simple example of a at home body weight workout. To make things harder you can increase the reps or the number of sets that you do. You can also add in a cardio exercise, such as mountain climbers, between the exercises to bring the heart rate up.

Contact us here if you would like any more information, or a personalized program!

HIIT- Quick and effective Sweat Session

Posted on April 6th, 2020 by Andries Lodder

During this lockdown period we don’t all have access to a home gym with cardio and strength equipment. However, that does not mean we can’t get in a great exercise session that will get the heart rate up and help build strength and cardio fitness. How do we do this you ask?

Well the answer is HIIT, High Intensity Interval Training!!!

High Intensity Interval Training or HIIT is a training technique with two parts. The first is a short period of 100% all-out effort followed by a rest period that is either low intensity active recovery or complete rest. This type of training gets your heart rate up and keeps it up, there is an increase in the bodies oxygen demands. The body can’t keep up with this demand and so by the end of the workout there is an oxygen deficit and so the body asks for more oxygen during recovery post workout. This after burn effect is known as Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen consumption (EPOC) and it is the primary reason why you burn more calories and fat after high intense training session then with steady state long sessions.

Other benefits of HIIT sessions:

  • Increased metabolic rate
    • Due to the increase in oxygen demand and the EPOC that follows High Intense Interval Sessions there is an increase in metabolism and fat burning for up to 48 hours after exercise. This means that even after you leave the gym you are still burning fat!!
  • Quick and convenient
    • HIIT sessions can be done in 30 minutes or less and so there is no more excuses about not having enough time.
  • No equipment necessary
    • These sessions are not only quick and convenient, but they can be done anywhere as they need no equipment, in a bedroom, lounge, hotel room or even garden there really is no reason for not breaking a quick sweat.

Here is a basic example of a HIIT sessions:

  • 3- 4 Rounds/ 30 seconds work, 20 seconds rest (Do as many reps in the 30 seconds as possible)
    • Burpees
    • Squats
    • Mountain climbers
    • Push ups
    • High knees
    • Up, up, down, downs
    • Jumping Jacks
So next time you don’t have any equipment but still want to get in a good workout give this a go!

For more information and other workout ideas please don’t hesitate to contact us. During the lockdown we are offering home programs and Zoom sessions tailored to your specific needs.

Keep Moving, Keep Healthy and Stay Home

Posted on April 6th, 2020 by Andries Lodder

So we are at the half way point, 11 days into the lockdown and 10 to go! Just because all of our routines have been thrown out the window, it doesn’t mean you should let your health and fitness goals go the same way.

This may not be the time to start training for an iron man or get ready for the next crossfit games but a small amount of exercise everyday will go a long way to help keep you healthy, fit and sane during this uncertain time.

Here are our top tips to keep moving at home:

  • Aim for at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, with one or two rest days each week.
  • Incorporate a HIIT workout 3 times a week
    • HIIT workouts are one of the easiest ways to get your heart rate up with no equipment
  • Try something new but keep it simple
    • This is the perfect time to try something new. Give yoga a try, or stretch each night before bed. Work on your balance and stability. Even do rehab exercises everyday to fix any aches and pains that had been bothering you
  • Use your body weight
    • Exercises such as squats, push ups, lunges, planks, all require no equipment and can be structured into one of the most effective workouts
  • Make use of technology
    • Technology has taken over at this time. Fitness apps, youtube channels, Instagram influencers are all posting workout ideas and motivation daily and now is the time to support them and utilize their ideas to help keep your daily exercise varied and effective.
  • Contact us
    • Our Zoom sessions are up and running and we have are sending out home programs that are structure to your individual needs and use only equipment that you have access to.

This is not an easy time for many people. However, structuring your day, including a few minutes of movement and exercise and spending some time focusing on your personal goals can help keep any anxieties and stress at bay.

Posture at your PC

Posted on March 9th, 2020 by Fathima

Many of us sit by our laptops and computers focusing on the screen for most of the day with our neck in a fixed position. As a result, we often hear clients complaining of excessive neck and back pain. The pain is often described as “stiff” or “uncomfortable”, which often leads to headaches and migraines. Bad posture is one of the common causes of neck pain, as well as insufficient stretching and strengthening of the neck muscles.

One of the ways we can reduce neck pain is creating a work-space that reduces the risks of musculoskeletal pain and stiffness by adjusting our equipment in relation to our body position.

How can we make our workstations ergonomically effective?

  1. Raise the chair until your elbows are at the height of your keyboard.
  2. Keep some distance between your feet and check that your hips are higher than your knees.
  3. Lumbar support! Choose a chair that supports your back and allows you to sit back against it.
  4. Take note of your shoulders when they begin to tense up. Consciously remind yourself to relax the shoulders and neck.
  5. The topmost line of your writing should be at eye level.
  6. Your viewing distance should be 40-76cm distance away from the screen.
  7. Avoid reaching forward in order to type, keep the keyboard close to you with your forearms and elbows in line.
  8. Keep your mouse near you and alongside the keyboard.

At first, this posture may be uncomfortable, but you will soon get the hang of it.

Stretches at your workstation.

Each stretch should be held for 30 seconds and repeated twice on each side. If you experience any radiating pain or discomfort please contact your medical doctor immediately.

If you suffer with chronic neck and back stiffness, don’t hesitate to contact us for more information and further assistance.

How is bad posture affecting your life?

Posted on March 5th, 2020 by Andries Lodder

By Jennifer Steele

We have all been told time and time again to stand up or sit up straight. Having good posture makes us look poised, confident, healthy and professional but there are many health reasons beyond this that we need to consider when we think of good posture.

In our 21st century lives we spend the majority of our days sitting at desks, in cars or looking down at our phone screens. None of these positions promote good posture as it is in these positions that we slouch and start developing conditions such as Texting neck, or Anterior Neck Syndrome.

When we have good posture, we reinforce the alignment of the spine, neck and head. While slouching forces the head forward, the shoulders round and the back curves. The muscles in the body are forced to work overtime, some constantly being placed in shortened positions causing them to become tighter and tighter, while others are being lengthened and end up getting weaker and weaker. Constant bad posture trains the body to function incorrectly and this then transfers into all aspects of our lives.

Problems

Bad posture can lead to problems all over the body not only in the back but problems with muscle functioning, digestion, poor circulation as well as changes in mood and stress levels. Here are some negative side effects that bad posture can lead to

Pain and soreness:

Poor posture puts excessive stress and pressure on the spine and neck as it is not in its optimal position. Due to the excess stress put on the bones and ligaments, structural changes, such as disk degeneration, can occur while the muscles can go into spasm due to the increase strain put on them.

Poor Circulation:

Sitting with your legs crossed or your shoulders slouching forward can put excess pressure on veins, arteries and lymphatic vessels which can impact the circulation to and from specific areas. Fluids can build up where they shouldn’t and cause oedema pain and other problems.

Increased fatigue:

When you have bad posture, the body has to work harder to try and keep upright and in a normal position, the body is supposed to be upright and have good posture and, so it fights all the time to be in this position. This leads to fatigue quicker than normal.

Decreased Motivation and increased stress levels:

Sitting slumped and slouched over can have a direct effect on your productivity, motivation and stress levels. A study released in Health Psychology found a direct correlation between individuals with bad posture and poor work ethic and low self-esteem.

So how can you improve your posture and prevent these negative effects:

First things first check the ergonomics of your working environment- look out for our next post on how you can optimise your desk and working environment using proper ergonomics. There are supportive braces that you can wear that can help you improve your posture, but this generally isn’t a cure and as soon as the brace is off, you relax your return to your old habits. The best and most effective long-term solution is to do corrective exercises.

Below are 2 simple exercises you can try that can help correct your posture:

Seated Rows with Thera Band:

  • Sitting on the floor with your leg straight out if front of you.
  • Wrap the Thera band around your feet and hold each end in your hands.
  • Then keeping the elbows bend and tucked in next to your body, pull and row the Thera band backwards.
  • Move slowly back to the starting position making sure to control the movement throughout.
  • Repeat for 10 reps and 3 sets.

The Doorway Stretch to loosen tight pec and chest muscles:

  • Standing in a doorway, lift your arm so it’s parallel to the floor and bend at the elbow so your fingers point toward the ceiling.
  • Place the hand on the door frame
  • Slowly lean into your raised arm and push against the door frame for 10-20 seconds.
  • Repeat the stretch 2-3 times

For more information give us a call and we can do a full postural assessment on you and give you specific exercises to strengthen and stretch your over worked muscles.

“NEW YEAR, NEW ME!”

Posted on February 7th, 2020 by Fathima

By Fathima Jeewa

Your 2020 goal setting guide

At the beginning of every new year, marketing agencies flood our social media with logos such as “new year, new me”, or, “make this year one to remember!”. We are excited to begin new hobbies, join the gym or register for that 5 km we have always wanted to do. But, by the middle of the year our motivation and energy has fizzled out, and we are once again back to where we started, with just a resolution.

In this month’s article I would like to discuss goal setting and the strategies you can use to help you achieve your resolutions.

What are these strategies?

“S.M.A.R.T goals”

“Specific”, “Measurable”, “Achievable”, “Realistic”, “Timely”

Breaking this acronym down:

“specific”, relates to making your goal as detailed as possible.

“Measurable”, how can we measure this goal objectively? “perform pain free functional and muscle tests every 2 weeks”.

“Achievable”, is your goal within reach? We often hear clients making resolutions which are unattainable in a short space of time or because it is out of their scope.

“Realistic”, playing pain free is a realistic goal but once again it can only be achieved by following through each step of the S.M.A.R.T sequence.

Final step, “Timely”, what is your deadline for this resolution? Having a deadline will help you to remain focussed.

“team work, make’s the dream work”

A small tip from my side is telling loved ones, friends or family about your goal and why this is important to you, so when your intrinsic motivation starts to fizzle out, your support system reminds you why you started.

If you have any questions or queries about starting an exercise routine, previous injuries or just unsure which exercises are safe to do, don’t hesitate to contact us and let us help you achieve your goals.

Exercises to get you started!

Posted on January 22nd, 2020 by Andries Lodder

By Nicole Harran

The New years resolutions have been made and now the problem is sticking to them. What to do, when and how to do it are all problems we are faced with when we start a new training program. Luckily we are here to provide you with some “get fit” training guidelines.

Cardio

When the word “cardio” is mentioned – panic sets in and all that comes to mind is long hours of strenuous and tiring work. This does not have to be the case. Following are some fun and exciting cardio suggestions to get you started:

  • Skipping – it’s highly likely that the last time you jumped rope was a good amount of years ago. This is one activity that burns a large amount of calories in a shorter amount of time.
  • Boxing/ kick classes – Boxing and kick classes involve the whole body and nearly every muscle is used for most the session. It is a fun way to get fit with the high intense, vibey atmosphere.
  • Fartlek running – This involves alternating between moderate to hard effort running and easy running/walking. This allows your heart rate to pick up during the hard efforts and recover during the easy period.

Strength

Not knowing how to use gym equipment or what exercise to do, can be a daunting experience and something that may drive you away from training.

Do what you are comfortable with. Your body weight is more than enough to do a solid workout session. Adding in props and weights can come in once your confidence has built. Contact us to show you around a gym.

  • Body weight exercises – these are strength training exercises that use the individuals own weight to provide resistance against gravity.
    • Squats
    • Push/ pull ups
    • Tricep dips
    • Lunges
    • Step ups
  • Weight training – as you get comfortable with body weight training, adding some weights will ensure continued improvement and adaptation.
    • Weighted squats
    • Weighted lunges
    • Weighted step ups
    • Bicep curls
    • Shoulder press
  • Explosive training – this is a combination between strength and speed work to increase your power output.
    • Box jumps
    • Squat jumps
    • Jumping lunges
    • Explosive push ups
    • Ball throws

Stretching

Stretching keeps the muscles flexible, strong, and healthy, and we need that flexibility to maintain a range of motion in the joints. Without it, the muscles shorten and become tight. During further activity, they are then weak and unable to extend all the way. That puts you at risk for joint pain, strains, and muscle damage.

For more information on training, getting started and how to work your way around a gym, contact us!

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Getting started in 2020

Posted on January 16th, 2020 by Andries Lodder

By Jennifer Steele

It is a new year and like most people we have all made our list of resolutions. Whether these are to get fitter and healthier, run your first 10km, cycle the 94.7 or run the comrades we all have to start somewhere. For those that are starting from scratch it can be daunting, but there are a few tips that you can follow to make the first few weeks that little bit easier.

Getting started

Getting started with a new gym program or trying to get healthy can be a very daunting task. Walking into the gym for the first time or trying to decide what foods to buy are things that all newbies fear. That is why we are here to offer you some advice on how to start your journeys and how not to become overwhelmed with this new way of life.

The first thing we going to talk about is that we don’t want you to see this journey as a 6/8/12 week program but rather as a lifestyle change that will lead to an overall healthier you. Setting yourself goals is going to be important. However, don’t only have goals around the numbers on the scale. We want you to have goals like improving your strength, running your first 5km, lowering your blood pressure, gaining core stability, improving your resting heart rate and so on.

For now, we want you keep these few simple things in mind as your start planning a new healthier you:

  • Choose a form of exercise that you enjoy
    • If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, then sticking to the program and adhering is going to be much harder. If you enjoy swimming instead of cycling, then do that.
  • Set SMART goals that are about more than just weight loss
    • Yes, losing weight can be one of your goals but we encourage you to have other goals relating to other aspects of your health and life so that once you are your goal weight you are still able to see the benefits of all your hard work.
  • Fuel your body
    • One of the most important aspect of healthy living is the food you are eating. Not only to help you lose weight and become healthier but also to fuel your body and give you the necessary energy that you need for when you are exercising.
  • Ask and seek out help
    • When starting out it can be daunting to do so alone. Therefore, ask for help at your gym if you are unsure how to use certain pieces of equipment. If you don’t even know where to start, then find a training program designed for beginners and start with that.
  • Set up a weekly schedule
    • Plan your training session into your week and book them out in your diary. Your health and fitness should be a priority to you and so if they are scheduled into your day you can no longer make the excuse that you don’t have time. Also, only schedule your sessions at a time that suits you. If you are not a morning person and keep missing that 5am slot, then rather try and make it later in the afternoon to ensure that you get there. Be realistic with your plan.
  • Find a gym buddy
    • If you still are nervous or are finding that you keep missing your early session, then find a friend who is on the same path as you and plan to meet at the gym. This can help hold you accountable as well as push you to improve. Just ensure that they are not much more advanced then you are otherwise this could be more demotivating then motivating.
  • Listen to your body and know when to push yourself and when to chill
    • Not every session you do has to leave you drenched in sweat, gasping for breath. Make sure you plan a few high intensity sessions, some strength, stability and flexibility into your training program. Cover all aspects of fitness in order to really see improvements, prevent injuries and get full enjoyment out of this way of life.

Just remember that you don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great! If you want any further information or tips on getting started towards your 2020 goals do not hesitate to contact us!

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