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  1. What is Low and High Impact Training?

    What is Low and High Impact Training?

    You may be aware of the terms ‘low impact’ and’ high impact’ but may not be aware of what they really mean. In exercise terms the word ‘impact ‘refers to the forc

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  2. Is A Personal Trainer Worth The Investment?

    Is A Personal Trainer Worth The Investment?


    Whether you're thinking about hiring a PT to help you in the park, or to help you with your new home gym you've created, how do you know when it's a worthwhile investment, or not?

    How do you quality control a personal trainer? It's a serious question and one that you should think about if you have hired, or are thinking of hiring, a personal trainer to help you with your workouts and exercise. With the rise in demand for personal trainers increasing, the number of courses available and the number of qualified trainers appearing on the market has also risen. But how do you know who is quality - and who is not?

    Quality Control?

    Is there such a thing as quality control of personal trainers? Well yes, and no! In the UK we have the Register of Exercise Professionals that oversees exercise and fitness professionals, including personal trainers. They have a strict framework that personal trainers' must achieve or better in order for them to call themselves personal trainer. Within this framework is on-going professional development - CPD for short. They must accrue a number of points each year to retina their status. This assures you the trainer is continuing their learning and knowledge - which benefits the clients they train hopefully.

    However, does someone physically interview and test every trainer every year? No is the quick and short answer to that. Gyms are more likely to have a handle on quality control purely because the trainer is in close contact with other professionals and also the gym management team. Complaints or issues should therefore be quickly revealed.

    Home Vs Gym

    Whether you have bought equipment for your home, or are wanting to go into a commercial gym or studio environment for your workouts making sure you have the right personal trainer will still be important.

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  3. How To Train Your Heart with Fitness

    How To Train Your Heart with Fitness

    Your heart. We all know that love can make it soar, or break it. But did you realise that your lifestyle can do the same? Everyday we make dozens of decisions that affect our health, and, ultimately, how long we live. So how can you train your heart fit? Get active!

    The heart is a muscle, so to condition it you have to use it – to benefit the heart, you need to perform the right exercise with the right frequency, intensity and duration.

    Which Activities Are Good for Working Your Heart?

    Activities that work the heart include walking, running, cycling, rowing, cross-country skiing, jumping rope, and the various indoor variations you might find at your local gym, such

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  4. How to Exercise for Anti-Ageing - Part 2

    How to Exercise for Anti-Ageing - Part 2

    You've read about the key anti-ageing benefits of exercise, but how do you get started? If you're new to exercising or just out the loop for a while, there are

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  5. Hand Sanitiser Needed for the Gym

    Hand Sanitiser Needed for the Gym

    Yes, it’s official, whilst the gym may help get you fit it could also be a danger to your health if you don’t wash your hands afterwards. How many

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  6. 8 in 10 Middle-Aged Britons are Overweight

    8 in 10 Middle-Aged Britons are Overweight

    Public Health England (PHE) have launched a campaign aimed at 40-60 year olds who they are concerned weigh too much, drink too much and do not exercise enough.

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  7. Which Fitness Trends Will Stick?

    Which Fitness Trends Will Stick?

    Fitness trends have changed over the years with the rise of boot camps, workouts in the park and boutique gyms. So what can we predict could happen in 2017 and even 2018?

    Based on what’s big in the States right now may help us predict what could hit the UK next year and whether you think it's going to give you a new motivation for working out.

    Return To Basics

    The first prediction is a complete return to basics.

    In the USA at the moment there is a growing popularity of TRX classes. This is a single piece of fitness equipment that provides you with a great cardio and strength workout. It's inexpensive and uses your body weight to create the resistance.

    It seems that people want to get back to simple but challenging workouts. With that in mind we also see an increase in popularity of HIIT workouts.

    HIIT Workouts

    HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training and is growing in popularity as a way of burning fat.

    The basic principle is that you alternate low to moderate intensity intervals with high intensity intervals. This can cover anything from running to squatting, the basic concept is that you alternate the intensity. The results are well documented, your metabolism speeds up and you will burn more calories throughout the day.

    This type of workout may be best started with a class or two so you get the idea and whether it's right for you. There's new ones popping up all over the Uk at the moment.

    Aerobics

    We don’t think you will be dressing like Jane Fonda again, but we do see aerobics making a return! In fact step aerobics are increasing in popularity already.  

    Take the hype away and aerobic literally means ‘with oxygen’. As long as there is enough oxygen to provide you with energy your fatigue should be at a low level.

    There's always an aerobic class in every leisure centre and if you know where to look you can look for some of the offshoot classes like Body Combat.

    Park Fitness

    Another activity on the rise is outdoor activities. More and more local parks are setting up outdoor gyms with equipment like pull up bars and stationary bikes.

    The idea as before

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  8. Virgin Active to Inspire More Children To Love PE

    Virgin Active to Inspire More Children To Love PE

    Virgin Active, working with the University of Bedfordshire have created a new programme called the Playmakers programme.

    A one year pilot has just ended involving 30 primary schools and 7,500 pupils across the UK. The objective has been to move away from the traditional teaching of PE in schools - winners, losers, who’s best at PE and who isn’t - to focus more on what they call ‘harnessing the imagination’ and ensuring that children have core movement skills.

    The Challenge

    The problem that playmakers was trying to solve was that unless children have a positive experience of PE in primary school they simply won’t continue being active or playing sport when they are older. So these early formative years are so important. So the need is to make PE lessons in primary school fun and imaginative. But an added problem was that primary school teachers who take PE are inadequately trained. Only 6 hours of PE training is given during teacher training to become a primary teacher. So it is no surprise that many teachers reported that they did not feel equipped to take PE lessons.

    The Objectives

    This initiative aimed to look at teacher training and engaging all children of whatever physical ability with a love of PE. In addition, the aim was to introduce a programme that could be easily replicated across schools.

    What Does The Playmakers sessions Involve?

    Children are encouraged to use their imaginations to design their own session such as dancing like animals or working through circuits whilst being that animal. The emphasis is on fun and total inclusion as opposed to what you can or cannot do physically.

    Results from the Trial

    Feedback has been very positive, with children enthused from learning PE in a more imaginative way and encouraging movement for children who may have done little sport or PE before they go to school.

     In fact the latest statistics show that more than a third of children say they dislike being physically active when they leave primary school. The deduction is that they will then be physically inactive in secondary school and then into adulthood, raising the risk of obesity and health issues in the future.

    Robert Cook, Virgin Actives UK Managing Director said, The results of our programme show what is possible when teachers are given the tools to facilitate new ways of teaching PE.

    “Harnessing the

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  9. How Music Can Help You Workout

    How Music Can Help You Workout

    Music has an ability to take us on a journey, hear an old theme song from a childhood show and we are back there remembering how we felt as a ten year old. Many scientists also believe that music can be hugely important to how our brains work when we are working out.

    A study conducted by M Schwartzmiller, published by the American Council on Exercise  says that when music is playing our body will naturally follow the beat of the music. The faster the beat or tempo then the greater the intensity of our movements. What is important is that some activities will naturally lend themselves to a repetitive beat. So much so that one scientist Costas Karageorghis has referred to music as ‘a type of legal performance enhancing drug’. In fact his paper The Psychological Effects of Music in Sport and Exercise is interesting to refer to as it provides some great examples from elite athletes.

    Examples of Using Music in Sport & Exercise

    Haile Gebreselassie broke

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  10. How To Choose Your Treadmill

    How To Choose Your Treadmill

    Treadmills were among the first indoor cardio machines, and remain enduringly popular to this day. One reason treadmills have remained so popular is their versatility.

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