clean eating, detox, gratitute, health and fitness, self help

🍋 Creating habits…Lemon & Ginger Warm Water and Following the Right Advice 🍋

45261603-C0D4-4A11-B0C4-995B372C7814

Lemon water: is it a 👍🏽 or a 👎 from you?

I have been drinking it for 6-7 years now daily and despite all the negative, or I would rather say controversial, views on the above ritual I’ve neither yellow or decayed teeth and also feel tons better after having a glass of lemon water in the morning. 

Doing something daily also creates a habit. It makes me feel good knowing that I can stick to at least one good habit without fail and that’s yet another benefit of having it in the morning. I have a routine of drinking lemon and ginger water, then I occasionally (that habit is still in the embryo stage 😜) take a greens shot, then I take my vitamins for the day.

If I don’t start my day with lemon water I will most likely forget to take the vitamins and will definitely miss out in the green shot.

Warm water on its own is great to consume before anything else when you get up. So even if you don’t believe in adding lemon or ginger to it – have some warm water … or not.. it won’t make you into a bad person if you drink or don’t drink it 😜💦 

Ginger is also known for its mainly anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities amongst many other benefits. I personally love it, but again, if you don’t – nobody is going to think less of you👌🏻

I just think that you should do whatever works for you and your body and ignore opinionated ‘experts’ out there on what SHOULD be good for you even if you don’t agree with it. What is good for one person might not be great for another. There are more benefits to it than risks.

I’m reading many posts from people involved in Health and Fitness and I must say that sometimes I have to count till 10 and physically stop myself from responding… sometimes I do write a response, but then delete straight away 😜 It’s not worth the hassle.. I think we should advise people on what to do, express our opinion.. but never push it or be arrogant about what we think is the way to go. One statement, one picture, one quote coming from someone you respect and follow can result in you blindly taking that advice. None of us are experts and none of us are perfect. I used to be that person who would religiously do everything my fitness gurus did… and I got burnt a few times…Now I listen, respect.. but check if that’s something that is going to be good or bad for me.

Have a lovely day everyone and enjoy doing, eating and drinking (in moderation 😆😆) whatever makes you happy and your body and mind healthy! 💕🍋💕

Advertisements
health and fitness, self help

5 TIBETAN RITES

5TR

5 Tibetan Rites is a series of exercises that I learnt while doing my Yoga teacher training. I practiced them for a few weeks and felt great. Then I stopped and moved on to something else.. as you do..

Two weeks ago one of my class participants mentioned the Rites and said she had been doing them for a couple of days and never felt better. And I thought I’d share the practice with you.

The Five Tibetan Rites is a system of exercises that dates back to more than 2,500 years old. They were first mentioned in a publication called The Eye of Revelation by Peter Kelder in 1939.

The Five Rites is a form of Tibetan yoga, which is similar to the Indian yoga practice. The difference between the two is that traditional Tibetan Yoga style as well as the Five Rites is more of a flow or Vinyasa style, with movements flowing rather than being held as “static positions” traditionally practiced in India.

It is said that they aid in improving health and support emotional well-being as well as enhancing mental clarity, memory and balancing hormones.

So how exactly does it work and why are these exercises so good for you?

I’d like to ask you to read this with an open mind and if you do believe in chakras then you should be quite comfortable with the terminology. If you are on the fence or a non believer then just refer to them as energy centres.

‘The rites stimulate the energy system of the body, wake up the chakras, and get energy moving throughout every cell in your body. The lamas believe that the Five Tibetan Rites stimulate all seven chakras to spin rapidly at the same rate. They believe that the aging process can be defined by the level of activity in one or all of the chakras. If any one of the chakras is blocked and its natural spin rate is slowed, then vital life energy cannot circulate, and illness and aging set in.’

The 5 Rites should be performed as a sequence and you should start with 3 repetitions of each exercise in the first week and then add 2 more per week up until you manage to do 21 repetitions of each rite (21 is considered to be a sacred number to Tibetans)

They should preferably be performed in the morning on an empty stomach.

You can watch a video on how to perform the movements or read the description below.

You can access the video by clicking here.

This is a description taken from one of the blogs online (the link to the article is just below the description)

5tr1
Rite 1

Stand with your arms outstretched and horizontal to the floor, palms facing down. Make sure your arms are in line with your shoulders. Your feet should be about hip distance apart. Draw the crown of your head up toward the ceiling. Focus on a spot in front of you so that you can count your rotations. Spin around clockwise until you become a little dizzy. Gradually increase the number of spins from three to 21.
Breathing: Inhale and exhale deeply as you spin.

Tip: If you feel super dizzy, interlace your fingers at your heart and stare at your thumbs. Also have a chair very nearby to grab onto to steady yourself if you feel as if you are going to fall.

This movement is known to release negative energy and balance the emotions.

Rite 2
Lie flat on the floor. Fully extend your arms along your sides and place the palms of your hands against the floor. If you have lower back issues, place your fingers underneath your sacrum. As you inhale, raise your head off the floor, tucking your chin into your chest. Simultaneously lift your legs, knees straight, into a vertical position. If possible, extend your legs over your body toward your head. Then slowly exhale, lowering your legs and head to the floor, keeping your knees straight and your big toes together.

Breathing: breathe in deeply as you lift your head and legs, and exhale as you lower them.The second rite strengthens the abs and stimulates the energy center associated with the pancreas.

Rite 3
Kneel on the floor with your toes curled under. Place your hands on the backs of your thigh muscles. Tuck your chin in toward your chest. Slide your hands down the backs of your thighs as you draw your shoulders back and your head up toward the sky. Keep in mind that you are arching your upper back more than your lower back. Move your head back as if you were drawing a line with your nose on the ceiling. Slowly return to an upright position and repeat.

Breathing: Inhale as you arch your spine and exhale as you return to an erect position.This exercise opens the solar plexus, heart and throat. It also helps cleanse and balance the emotions.

Rite 4

Sit down on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and your feet about 12 inches apart. Place your palms on the floor alongside your sitz bones. As you gently drop your head back, raise your torso so that your knees bend while your arms remain straight. You are basically in a table-top position. Slowly return to your original sitting position. Rest for a few seconds before repeating this rite.

Breathing: Breathe in as you rise up into the pose, hold your breath as you tense your muscles, and breathe out fully as you come down.This pose increases energy to the sacral region and is a gentle way to strengthen the thighs and glutes.

Rite 5

Lie down on your belly with your palms face down and in line with your bra strap. Press up into an upward-facing dog by curling your toes under, lifting your heart, and drawing your shoulders back. Your arms should be straight. Look straight ahead of you, or if you are a little more flexible, gently draw your head back, taking your eyes toward the sky. Then draw your hips up and back, extending your spine, into downward-facing dog pose. Repeat by moving back and forth between downward- and upward-facing dog.

Breathing: Breathe in as your rise up into upward-facing dog; breath out as you push back into downward-facing dog. This is the most vigorous of all the rites and is a great way to revitalize the energy centers in the body (https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/1022837/anti-aging-yoga-poses-the-5-tibetan-rites/amp)

I have also found a very good article on the rites, its benefits and feedback from people practicing it. Click here to access it. 

Give it a go and see what you think about it! It does not take a lot of time and you do not need a lot of space to perform the rites either.

Have fun with the practice and let me know how you are getting on!

Love & hugs,

Natallia

—————————————————————————————————————————

Bibliography:

  1. http://www.mkprojects.com/pf_TibetanRites.htm
  2. http://www.t5t.com/pages/What-Are-The-Five-Tibetan-Rites
  3. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Five_Tibetan_Rites
  4. https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.sheknows.com/health-and-wellness/articles/1022837/anti-aging-yoga-poses-the-5-tibetan-rites/amp)
  5. wordswords.com.au/…/26282930-Tibetan-Rites-131.indd_.pdf
 
clean eating, health and fitness, Uncategorized

SPROUTED GRAINS

sprouted grains

Adding these to your food will give your body a bit of extra goodness!

If you are not familiar with sprouted grains, here’s a bit of information on why we sprout them and what they are.

I sprout wheat at home and add it to kefir, scrambled eggs and salads.

(Wild salmon with scrambled eggs, spinach and sprouted grains)

A regular grain is essentially a seed that you could put in the ground to grow a new seed-producing plant. When you let that grain start to grow, but harvest it before the shoot turns into a full-fledged plant, you end up with sprouted grain. Pretty straight forward, right? Well, here’s where things get more complicated… In order for a shoot to grow, it digests some of the starch inside the seed and uses it as fuel to break through the grain’s outer shell. So, since sprouted grain is lower in starch, it has higher proportions of other nutrients, like protein, vitamins, and minerals, compared to unsprouted grains (www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/should-you-be-eating-sprouted-grains#sthash.Ysr1F0gl.dpuf)

“The advantages of sprouted grains are maximized when you are eating the sprouted grains themselves,” (www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/should-you-be-eating-sprouted-grains#sthash.Ysr1F0gl.dpuf)

Sprouted grains are whole grains, and whole grains are healthier than their refined-grain alternatives, like white bread, pasta, and rice.  (www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/should-you-be-eating-sprouted-grains#sthash.Ysr1F0gl.dpuf)

Sprouted Grain: Benefits

Sprouted grain differs from whole grain in three fundamental aspects:

1) sprouting activates food enzymes;

2) sprouting increases vitamin content,

3) sprouting neutralises antinutrients like phytic acid which bind up minerals preventing your ability to fully absorb them.

When examining the nutrient density of sprouted wheat to unsprouted wheat on a calorie-per-calorie basis, you’ll find that sprouted wheat contains four times the amount of niacin and nearly twice the amount of vitamin B6 and folate as unsprouted wheat; moreover, it contains more protein and fewer starches than non-sprouted grain and as a further boon, it is lower on the glycemic index making it more suitable for those suffering from blood sugar issues.

Furthermore, sprouted grain and sprouted flours – having been effectively “pre-soaked” do not need to undergo further soaking or souring and are therefore suitable for quick breads, cookies and cakes in a way that sourdoughs and soaked flours are not (www.nourishedkitchen.com/sprouted-grain)

You can always purchase sprouted grain flour online if you don’t want to do it at home.

Uncategorized

WALKING: THE MOST UNDERRATED ACTIVITY

walking

Despite being on the most underestimated activities, walking has many benefits for your health and fitness.

Although many of us have changed our perception on walking, it still remains one of the most underestimated activities out there. The main reason for this stems from the illusion that a few exercise sessions a week (especially if they are high intensity ones) or going out on runs eliminate the need for taking a walk.

So what is that miracle benefit that can only be achieved by walking?

If fat loss is your goal, incorporate walking into your lifestyle! If you are dealing with too many stresses, going for a walk might be that miracle cure you have been missing! If you want to rebalance your hormones to multiply the post-training/weightlifting/cardio effect, walking is the key to all of the above!

Walking and high-intensity exercises like intervals and weight training are synergistic in their actions. “This is not a calorie phenomena but rather a hormonal one. In order for the body to recover properly, age well, build muscle and burn fat, it needs the correct balance of stress producing hormones (cortisol, adrenaline, and noradrenaline) compared to growth promoting hormones (testosterone and human growth hormone,)” (HGH). During an exercise session, the desirable effect is to raise all of these hormones together to maximise fat loss.

However, in the days and hours following an intense workout, it is most beneficial to maximise the levels of growth hormones while minimising the levels of stress hormones. To keep stress levels low, walking should be done at a leisurely pace.

Many fat loss seekers misunderstand that changes in the way your body looks has much to do with changing the way you feel. Stress lowering activities such as yoga, Tai Chi and meditative practices are wonderful at this. A lower cortisol level along with lower perceived feelings of stress will have a positive impact on fat loss directly through less cortisol activity, and also indirectly through potential decreases in hunger and cravings for sweets or fatty foods, which cortisol will impact. The effect of walking is magnified in a nature setting as feelings of relaxation and comfort are enhanced.

So if fat loss is your goal you should maybe look into:

  • Changing your power walking to leisure walking
  • Whenever possible walk in nature-based settings

walk1Walking anywhere is better than no walking, so if you are nowhere near nature-based settings, any type of leisure walking will still help to balance the nervous system and make you feel more relaxed. In those cases when it is possible, go for a walk in a nature setting like the woods as it seems to have an even greater impact on rebalancing our hormones and making us feel more relaxed and rejuvenated.

Another big problem with walking is taking that first step and actually going for it. If you are very new to walking, start small with a 5-10 minute walk and gradually increase the time and the distance. Have a step goal you want to achieve daily and try and beat it if you can.

This feature is available on a variety of tracking devices (Argus being one of them), which are a great help to stay on track and be accountable for your actions. It all depends on how much you would like to invest into your tracker (or get a free app!), but I would certainly recommend having one.

10,000 steps per day should be the minimum step goal for a more or less active individual. A considerably lower number of steps is ok for those who are just starting to make changes to their lifestyles.

A few tips on how to make walking more fun

  1. Listen to Podcasts. I am a big fan of them and with a busy lifestyle, walking is the only time I can listen to podcasts. They are free and it is amazing how much new up-to-date information you can get out of them. There are so many podcasts out there ranging from comedy to science. (My personal favourite is Tim Ferriss’ podcast).
  2. Get a dog. With a dog, you will have no choice but to take the dog out! Can’t have one? Borrow a dog from somebody or join your friends on a doggie walk! Time flies when you have a walking companion.
  3. Walk different routes. If you can, avoid walking the same route daily to prevent yourself from becoming bored!
  4. Join a local walking group.
  5. Walk on your lunch break and whenever you can get around not using the car!
  6. Walk your kids to school and from school.

There are absolutely millions of ways you can get in these 10,000 steps into your day without even thinking of it or making any effort!

Remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Achieving small goals brings big satisfaction! Make little changes and you’ll be surprised how easy and quickly it is to reap all the benefits of walking!

clean eating, detox, health and fitness, self help

DETOX OR NOT DETOX?

DETOX OR NOT DETOX?

detox cake

First of all I’d like to say, that you have to practice what you preach whenever you are making a big statement that can influence people’s choices on this or that issue (unless you have done a tremendously massive research and can prove every single one of your points or have tried it yourself and it failed to work (which is still not a proof of a complete failure – it might work magic on other people)); and I am in no way trying to tell you that my say is the only say on this. ‘Fifty per cent of what I know is wrong. The problem is that we do not know which 50% it is’ (Timothy Noaked PHD). But I have a bit of an advantage here: I have done this, I have benefited from this, and I would not recommend it if I did not think it was worth doing.

The only thing I would add is that the results will depend on your health, fitness level, gut bacteria, and many other things (this post would be at least 10 pages long if I started going through everything in detail, so if you are interested in researching it more – please do and let me know what you will discover).

I have done clean eating detox a few times and have run detox programmes with awesome feedback and results, so yes I do what I say and sell what I believe works and helps people to improve their health and wellbeing.

After my very first clean eating detox over 3 years ago my perception of food, exercise etc has changed drastically! It was not easy for the first couple of days, but it showed me how sugar/caffeine/and other food dependent I was). It also opened my eyes on HIIT (High intensity interval training) and weight training.

I genuinely do not think I would be where I am now health and body wise if I did not do that detox. I started educating myself on nutrition, reading a lot and listening to podcasts while experimenting with different styles of eating/cooking/eliminating loads of foods from my diet, trying out different exercise methods etc.

Let me ask you a question: have you ever had a blocked toilet? I’m quite positive most of you have had that unsightly experience at some point of your life.

Toilet-outoforder

Next question would be: what did you do when it happened? Did you just leave it as it was and kept using it for your needs making it overflowing more with its contents; or did you ring the plumber and let the guy unblock it?

The same goes for your body. Do you ever feel that sometimes you just want to proper cleanse all your intestines and give your body a fresh start? I do, especially at this time of the year (and I am not a fan of hugely overindulging, because my body’s reaction to ‘bad’ food is bloating and feeling yuk (which is great as it shows that I’m doing all right with eating clean and healthy) )

bloat

Many diets have classified themselves as ‘detox’ diets. Such big differences between these ‘detox’ diets have lead to a phenomenon where the word ‘detox’ has practically lost its identity and has been associated with both positive and negative experience based on individual methods used. Whenever thinking of trying out a detox please make yourselves familiar with what is actually included into the detox, and who you are buying it from.

The liver, the kidneys and gastrointestinal tract via the gall bladder are the major detoxification organs. That’s right! We have an innate ability to detox every single day without even thinking the word ‘detox diet’.

So why are we so toxic if our bodies have an innate ability to detoxify some of the toxins we interact with?  Our exposure to various chemicals has been growing at an exponential rate and has become ubiquitous in our daily living.

As much as it’s very hard and sometimes impossible to get rid of all the toxins in our body, we can do our best to eliminate the ones that can be eliminated, such as dietary toxins:

  • Intake of trans fat,
  • High fructose corn syrup,
  • Processed foods,
  • Refined flours
  • etc

You don’t have to do a 30-day juice cleanse or some crazy water fast to get the benefits of detoxification.  Sitting in a steam room or sauna, yoga, tai chi, eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, avoiding meat one day a week, Epsom salt and therapeutic clay baths, emotional freedom technique, affirmations and acupuncture and acupressure are all excellent ways to gently detoxify your body.  But a nutritional cleanse where you limit your food intake does accelerate the process!

So, the conclusion to all this is: though we can naturally detox and our liver, kidneys etc are doing a great job in helping us to do that, giving your digestive system a break and relieving your body of ingesting processed foods, sugar, caffeine, gluten and similar for a few days will do your body only good (juicing, fasting, clean eating detox that includes intermittent fasts (those have numerous benefits!)).

The greatest benefit to a detox or cleanse is its ability to start fresh, and transition to a long-term, healthy way of eating. Within a few days, cravings for salty, fatty, or sweet foods disappear, you begin to appreciate the natural flavors of whole, fresh foods, and you are able to reconnect with normal hunger and fullness cues.

In addition, losing some pounds and inches quickly can create the motivation and confidence to embark on a longer journey (losing weight should not be the goal – the goal is to reeducate yourself, learn more on healthy clean eating as a part of your daily routine).

All of these benefits can make committing to healthy goals (i.e. cooking at home more often, eating breakfast each day or fasting, and bringing your lunch to work) a whole lot easier.

Some of the benefits of a clean eating detox:

  1. Break for your digestive system
  1. Acceleration of detoxification of your body
  1. Elimination of cravings for caffeine/sugar/junk
  1. Commitment to sticking to healthy lifestyle
  1. Educating yourself on what is what (i.e., eating fruit is great, but what’s better for you while detoxing: berries or fruit? Banana or apple?)
  1. Learning about the impact of stress and sleep on your health and wellbeing
  1. Figuring out what good fats are and why eating grassfed butter, for example, can help you lose pounds!
  1. Acceleration of fat burning during and after detox
  1. Learning about Intermittent fasting
  1. Sleep and skin improvement
  1. Learning about gut bacteria (are you familiar with this one??)

You have to strip it down and start afresh – it’s not a rocket science. Going back to the blocked toilet scenario: sometimes your toilet is blocked but somehow it would gradually go down, so what would you do: would you wait for it to go down and do another N2 and wait for a few hours for the contents to disappear so that you can use the toilet again, or would you actually do something about it?

cleantoilet

There are also side effects to it, which are unavoidable here (but differ from person to person)!

If you are throwing yourself headlong into clean eating, and your normal food intake had a significant amount of processed foods in it, then you need to also brace yourself for the first few days. They won’t necessarily be pleasant. Everyone is different, of course, but for many it’s not a great experience.

But after you get through those few days, the release is amazing. You really don’t crave much of anything. And if you do, it’s a mental craving rather than a physical one. Drink plenty of water to help with flushing out toxins.

It’s can definitely be a yucky process, and if you’ve been through it, you know exactly what I mean. Processed foods are not addictive by accident. They are manufactured that way. They are created to make you want more. There is a lot of science that goes into creating fake foods and being addictive is high up on the priority list simply because it ensures corporate profits. Removing these fake foods from your eating plan is no small undertaking.

burger-bacteria425

So don’t diminish what you are going through if you experience it. And if any medical issue arises during this period, please do seek medical help.

Detox is not a walk in the park! Here are some of the symptoms you might experience:

  • Fatigue/tired/exhausted/lethargy
  • Frequent and/or different bowel movements
  • Passing gas
  • Headaches
  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Cravings
  • Chills
  • Acne
  • Anxiousness
  • General crankiness

headache

On the bright side of it – if you stay strong for the first couple of days, you’ll be amazed how great you will feel after! (well, I did anyway)

So, it’s back to moi!

I am now gluten and dairy free, take my green power mix (spirulina, chlorella, wheat grass, maca, chia seeds etc) daily, eat spinach and kale daily, cook from scratch, eat dark chocolate, lift weights, do CrossFit, Yoga, cardio and have never felt better! (I do have cheat days and I am not a saint but 80%-20% ratio works great for me)

green yogurt

What have I achieved/improved/gained by changing my way of looking at food and fasting (which is also a huge part of a detox)?:

  1. I stopped getting cold sores (I totally give this one to the daily green power mix intake)! Up until August 2014 I used to get them every 2-3 months and those of you who get them can understand my frustration and my relief. After I started taking my mix daily (with coconut or goats yogurt mainly) I haven’t had one for 6 months now.
  1. I don’t stay ill for more than a day (touch wood!)
  1. My body shape totally changed and I now have my own personal six-pack coming through very nicely (need to work a bit more on this one after Christmas! ).
  1. I am stronger (I’ll give that one to CrossFit)
  1. I get bloated and feel yuk if I take junk, processed food or gluten (which means my body is free from all that yuk and reacts to it – fab!)

chicken salad

(typical meal)

  1. Intermittent fasting has changed my perception on breakfast and I love it and swear by it!
  1. I take butter and coconut oil in my coffee to stay trim! (cheers to Bulletproof Diet and Dave Asprey)

Whatever your views are on whether to say yes or no to a detox – I only talk from my personal experience and not just from what I have read or heard from somebody – give it a shot and see for yourself if it works for you or not!

As much as we can always rely on our liver and kidneys to do all the jobs, sometimes this is just not enough.

And what we are missing here is the majority of people do not know what they actually have to eliminate from their diet, how to do that and many other things that they need help with understanding.

So, detox or not detox? Which one is it for you?

Hope you enjoyed the read and looking forward to your comments whether you agree or disagree with the post 🙂

*****If you are interested in the upcoming 7 Day Clean eating Express detox go to 7 DAY POST FESTIVE EXPRESS DETOX :: Natallia’s Fitness

Some of the information used in the post is taken from these sources:

Mélanie DesChâtelets, BSc(h), ND, is a licensed Naturopathic Physician c – (http://www.gaiamtv.com/article/what-are-toxins-and-what-does-detox-really-mean#sthash.QVglPTok.dpuf)

Kirsten Nagy is the co-owner of Prana Energetics, a holistic healing center based in Denver, CO. She is a certified Master Nutrition Therapist and Energy Medicine Practitioner

Cynthia Sass, a registered dietitian with master’s degrees in both nutrition science and public health, Health’s contributing nutrition editor, and privately counselor in New York, Los Angeles

 

 

 

gratitute, health and fitness, resolutions, self help

New Year’s Resolutions: are we saying YES or NO to those?

Happy 2015, guys!

Have you started thinking about your New Year’s resolutions yet?

I stopped with having any, because ultimately they all come down to this:
____________________________________________________________
Do what makes you happy even if it annoys people around you!
(to a reasonable extent :)))

Live a healthy lifestyle (i.e. quit smoking, exercise, eat clean)

Be grateful and content with what you have rather than crying over the stuff you do not!

Be adventurous and take risks!


Remember if you really want something, but are very anxious,scared that it might not work – unless you have tried it you will never know what the outcome might be!
If you fail – you will learn from your mistakes and move on! If you succeed – imagine how amazing it would feel!
‘ If you win – you’ll be happy
If you lose – you’ll be wise’

Love life!

Spend money on travelling and exploring new places rather than acquiring material things

Value your family and family time – this is something no money can buy!

Happy 2015 everybody!
Make it your BEST year ever!
http://www.natalliasfitness.com

__________________________________________________________________

Uncategorized

ARE YOU READY TO HAVE A BALL?

FitBall-Banner

Are you ready to have a ball?!

This blog is mainly for those who are interested in Fitball exercise classes (Pilates and other classes involving the use of a Swiss ball) or those who would like to do some ball exercises at home.

What are FITBALLS? And no they are not your kids space hoppers 🙂 (though they do look very similar). Apart from numerous benefits (like strengthening core muscles, balance etc) Fitballs are great fun to use and they are quite a challenging piece of equipment at the same time.

The biggest benefit of using swiss balls is that they are very effective at targeting core muscles, those muscles that are essential for stability and good posture but are often overlooked when exercising with fixed position equipment such as those found in gyms. Fitballs are designed to help improve the core muscle groups by focusing on strength, balance, weight distribution, posture and coordination. By developing the core muscles and learning how balance and posture affect these muscle groups, the user can gain a better understanding of how the human body moves and through this understanding learn how to avoid injury.

BALANCE is another major benefit of using the balls: one of the primary purposes of a fitball is to help learn balance. The round shape of the ball makes it inherently difficult to balance on. This creates a need for the user to work harder while exercising as they must not only develop the strength and coordination needed to perform their normal exercise routines, but must also learn to balance on the ball at the same time. This requires the use and toning of even more muscle groups and can greatly enhance the overall benefit of a workout.

fitball1

       As opposed to performing isolation exercising standing up (targeting just one muscle group) when working out on the ball, which is unstable, your body needs to recruit additional muscles in order to stay balanced. This means that, for example, if you perform a bicep curl whilst sitting on the ball, your body will recruit your deep stabilising abdominal muscles (also known as core muscles), thereby toning your tummy while you tone your arms.

Below is a Fitball size chart. But you will find that not all 65cm balls are actually 65cm (not all 75cm ones are 75cm), some of them will be smaller, some  – bigger (even if it says that on the box). So my advice would be: keep your receipt, inflate the ball, sit on it and check that it is the right size for you. If it is not – deflate and take it back to the shop. If you are not too tall I would always go for a 65cm one, I find 55cm ones are too small.

Your height Ball height
< 150cm Junior 45cm
150 – 165cm Small 55cm
162 – 183cm Medium 65cm
180 – 200cm Large 75cm
198cm + X – Large 85cm

fitball chart

The classes will be starting in Dingwall from May. Please check www.natalliasfitness.com for all the news and updates.

Have a good day!

Natallia

fb Natallia’s Fitness

twitter@NatalliaMaguire

Instagram natalliamaguire

YouTube Channel natalliamaguire