Valentine's Fitness Getaways

For the Mind & Body Conscious Couple - SUP & Yoga:

Amatara SUP & Yoga, Thailand

Set on the south-eastern peninsula of Phuket in Thailand, Amatara is an ideal wellness escape for couples looking to either deepen their practice or try something new. Boost your yoga practice whilst increasing feelings of sensuality, then inject some fun into your active holiday with stand-up paddle boarding. Return home stronger and revived, having experienced the benefits of healthy cuisine, as well as having been led through the depths of yoga and the highs of SUP by expert practitioners. 

 

Health and Fitness Travel (1300 551 353 healthandfitnesstravel.com.au) offers 7 nights in Thailand from $2,100pp. Price includes accommodation, full board, a SUP & Yoga program, and transfers.

 

For the Zen & Active Couple - Boxing & Mindfulness

Atmantan Fusion Fitness, India

They say variety is the spice of life. So, if you’re the kind of couple who likes to mix up high intensity with deep relaxation, why not combine them with an exclusive Fusion Fitness holiday at Atmantan in India. Indecisive couples can choose from a range of options to bring variety to their workout. After you’ve challenged yourselves with Bootcamp training and group hiking, why not silence your mind with private meditation classes. If you’ve pushed each other to the limit with a kick boxing workout, then reward yourselves with invigorating massages for a much-deserved treat.

Health and Fitness Travel (1300 551 353 healthandfitnesstravel.com.au) offers 7 nights in India from $2,835pp. Price includes a Fusion Fitness program, accommodation, full-board, and transfers.

 

For the Outdoor Couple – Hiking & Mountain Biking:

Discover Recover, Morocco

Experience Morocco with your loved one on an outdoor adventure wellness holiday and explore a world filled with untouched landscapes, ancient cities, centuries-old customs and an inescapable air of uniqueness. Choose from a selection of exceptional tours like hiking trips to the Atlas mountain, city tours, cooking classes and mountain biking. Then recover together on a wellness holiday where you can unwind and recharge with daily spa treatments, yoga classes on the beach, surf lessons and a variety of activities from paddle boarding to group exercise classes.

Health and Fitness Travel (1300 551 353 healthandfitnesstravel.com.au) offers 10 nights in Morocco from $5,170pp. Price includes a Discover Recover program and transfers.

 

For the Super Fit Couple - Bootcamp:

Marbella Club Bootcamp, Spain

Work up a sweat at the luxurious Marbella Club in southern Spain, where you and your partner will have fun whilst exercising in the beautiful outdoors. This comprehensive Bootcamp includes a healthy Mediterranean diet and individual support ensuring you and your loved one maximise your fitness goals. Twice daily personal training sessions and group classes help you learn invaluable information on continuing your training at home. Then relax together as you soothe your muscles with a variety of re-energising spa treatments and embrace the luxury Thalasso Centre.

Health and Fitness Travel (1300 551 353 healthandfitnesstravel.com.au) offers 7 nights in Marbella from $4,735pp. Price includes accommodation and breakfast.

 

For the Spa & Fitness Couple – Fusion Fitness

Shanti Maurice Fusion Fitness, Mauritius

From strength training and coastal running to tennis lessons and paddle boat yoga, you and your loved one will never get bored on this exclusive Fusion Fitness holiday at luxury retreat Shanti Maurice in Mauritius. A tailored wellness program offers you both the flexibility to choose exactly what you want. At the end of the day, calm your mind and strengthen your bond with yoga and guided meditation overlooking the beautiful turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean. Then indulge in a selection of spa treatments from Swedish, Balinese or the signature Shanti Fusion massage, facials and reflexology to soothe your muscles and ensure you both return home fully rejuvenated.

Health and Fitness Travel (1300 551 353 healthandfitnesstravel.com.au) offers 7 nights in Marbella from $2,840pp. Price includes accommodation, return transfers and half board.

Gym Bag Essentials

Health Bird caught up with yogi and all-round great gal Kate Kendall ahead of the Blackmores Running Festival this weekend (there's still time to register!) about what she keeps in her gym bag to keep her feeling fresh and energised during a hectic teaching and training schedule.  

   
  
 
  
    
  
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     Water –  I always carry around a large bottle of water and try to drink at least 2L a day 

Water – I always carry around a large bottle of water and try to drink at least 2L a day 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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     Beauty wipes  – I never leave home without my Simple Kind to Skin wipes      

Beauty wipes – I never leave home without my Simple Kind to Skin wipes

 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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     Magnesium  – Blackmores Magnesium tablets are my secret weapon. Taken daily, they help my often over worked muscles recover.

Magnesium – Blackmores Magnesium tablets are my secret weapon. Taken daily, they help my often over worked muscles recover.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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     Healthy snacks  – clean, raw and slow release energy snacks like nuts and protein bliss balls are my favourites

Healthy snacks – clean, raw and slow release energy snacks like nuts and protein bliss balls are my favourites

   
  
 
  
    
  
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     My laptop  – I never know when I’m going to have 10 minutes to catch up on emails

My laptop – I never know when I’m going to have 10 minutes to catch up on emails

Enhanced Workout Performance without the Fatigue!

Make Room in Your Gym Bag for these Seven Performance-Enhancing, Fatigue-Fighting Ingredients

Have you been so inspired by the upcoming Olympics set to kick off in Rio that you've upped your workout hours? Bravo! If you're in the southern hemisphere, there's no better way to fight the winter blues and if you're further north, you're already rocking (and maintaining) that bikini body. But to ensure you don't find yourself falling asleep on the bus on the way to work after another sun-up bootcamp, Health Bird spoke to Belinda Reynolds, IsoWhey Sports Dietitian and Nutritionist, on the right foods to help you not only enhance your performance, but also fight off fitness fatigue... Because sometimes, a gym session and diet overhaul is kinda exhausting!

Beetroot

Beetroot juice is no longer just a burger additive.  Beets are a rich source of nitrates, which increases the size of blood vessels to allow more oxygen to flow to muscles and  regulate muscle contraction.

New research is showing that beetroot juice, when taken before exercise, can enhance exercise capacity and sports performance, and in some studies, beetroot juice has improved endurance by up to 15%.

 

Glutamine

Glutamine is one of the most common amino acids found in muscle mass, but when you exercise, glutamine reserves become seriously depleted. This can have an effect not only on your energy levels, but also your muscle strength and ability to bounce back from exercise.

Fitness fanatics love Glutamine for two reasons. Firstly, it increases your ability to create Human Growth Hormone, which aids new muscle growth and the body's ability to metabolise fat. Secondly, it boosts your immune system- bodybuilders are very prone to becoming run down and sick, thanks to their Glutamine levels depleting during such intense workouts, and often look to l-glutamine supplements to help counterbalance this.

Ubiquinol

Coenzyme Q10 plays an important role in the production of energy, as it is essential for powering mitochondria - the ‘generators’ in our cells - providing them with energy. The majority of CoQ10 in our body is in the form of Ubiquinol, and is responsible for not only providing our cells with energy, but fighting illness triggers like free radicals and inflammation.

Studies have also shown Ubiquinol to increase short-term maximum performance, boost energy and speed recovery from exercise muscle exhaustion. Our Ubiquinol levels naturally decline as we age, starting at age 30, and earlier if we’re stressed and physically active. So if you’re burnt out, there’s a good chance your cells are actually depleted from the energy they need - Ubiquinol.

L-arginine

L-arginine may sound like it belongs in a laboratory, but it is a well-known supplement in fitness circles, that works in a similar way to beetroot juice.

Like beetroot juice, l-arginine increase nitric oxide (NO) synthesis, creating improved blood flow to all major organs. What’s so good about blood flow? Improved circulation benefits us when we're exercising because more oxygen is delivered throughout the body to organs and muscles, enhancing recovery.

L-arginine is also popular because it promotes growth hormones in the body – which doesn’t mean you’ll bulk up, but is actually beneficial if you’re looking to gain lean muscle and lose fat.

Magnesium

Magnesium is involved in all steps of energy production, making it popular in not just fitness circles but health circles in general. Magnesium is also the key nutrient required for muscle relaxation, with a deficiency often being the culprit behind muscle cramps, soreness and spasms. Two-thirds of Australians are deficient in Magnesium, which could explain why many of us are feeling regularly wiped out. If you have difficulty recovering post-workout and are prone to muscle cramping, or you find yourself consistently fatigued, investigate Magnesium.

Caffeine

Coffee lovers, celebrate! Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system, increases the release and activity of adrenaline, enhances endurance and even improves performance during high-intensity events for up to four hours! Obviously it’s important to not overdo it- drinking five cups of coffee before a workout is more likely to make you unwell in the long run. Stick to the recommended daily intake of no more than 400mg, which is the equivalent to four cups of coffee. And that's at a maximum!

BCAA’s  

BCAAs or branch chain amino acids, are the building blocks of our muscles. The intake of these amino acids helps to build and maintain lean and dense muscle mass. Consuming BCAAs before, during and after exercise encourages a protein balance within skeletal muscle and helps to prevent and reduce the breakdown of muscle during your work out.  The good news is that these days, many protein powders actually include BCAA’s in their formula.

Keep in mind that although there are many new ingredients out there that can boost your performance and reduce feelings of fatigue, no amount of pre-workout formulas will help you if you’re eating a diet full of energy-zapping, processed foods. These ingredients can certainly boost your performance if you’re exercising regularly - but they’re definitely not magic ‘ab-making pills’. Hard work and dedication is still what it's all about!

Belinda Reynolds BSc Nut & Diet (Hon) 

Belinda Reynolds graduated with an Honours Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics in 2003. She has been involved in the complementary medicine industry for nearly 15 years.

Belinda’s greatest passion is assisting practitioners in developing their knowledge by presenting new research in the area of integrative medicine. Now a mother of two, pre- and postnatal, infant and child health have evolved as subjects particularly close to her heart.

   

Eat Like An Olympian

Eat Like an Olympian- Genevieve La Caze

When you think about the diet of an Olympic athlete, I’m sure you’re thinking of whole chickens, powders and carb loading pastas and breads, but the fuel an elite athlete needs to perform at peak condition isn’t always as it seems.   

Australian steeplechaser Genevieve La Caze gives us a sneak peek at her menu, which is surprisingly normal considering the training she does. As an added bonus, all of the below is easily accessible and affordable!

Genevieve trains every day of the week except for Fridays, and genuinely loves racing and competing for the steeplechase.

The steeplechase isn’t just your average athletic event. While competitors do run on a track, to complete the race they also have to clear 28 fixed barriers, and seven water jumps. This adds quite the unique twist to an already gruelling event!

Here are five things that Genevieve always includes in her diet on an average day.  

1.    Peanut Butter- I have this with a banana, and include a coffee as well before I start my training at 9.30am

2.    Greek Yoghurt- This is always a quick, easy, and healthy snack to prepare when I’m on the go

3.    Veggies- Plenty of those in the diet! I include veggies in both my lunch and dinner meals each and every day

4.    Soft Boiled Eggs- This is another inclusion in my main breakfast/lunch that I have after finishing my morning training session. I have this with some cottage cheese, 2 slices of ham, ½ avocado, ½ tomato all on a bed of spinach

5.    Cereal- I usually eat gluten free cereal as a snack, sometimes pairing it with the Greek yoghurt mentioned above

About Genevieve

Genevieve La Caze is representing Australia at this year’s Rio Olympic Games in the Steeplechase event, and has been setting a string of personal bests in the lead up to the big event. Genevieve is currently working with Flexiseq, a topical gel to help ease joints, and regularly uses it after training sessions. 

 

 

 

 

Future Fitness

Workout Gear To Transform Your Workout

 

Your running shoes, t-shirt, and shorts or pants are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the right workout gear for your needs. Today there is so much more in the way of gear, tech and equipment than can improve your workout, make physical activity more enjoyable, and manage your physical development. Whether your goals are to lose a few pounds or to train for a marathon, the right gear can have a huge impact. By Amy Medeiros

-        Wearable tracking devices - There are a variety of different types of wearable technology that can be used to track your workout, monitor your heart rate and track your general activity. Wrist trackers like Fitbit are very popular, but if wearing something on your wrist is not for you, straps that can be worn across your chest are a great alternative. There are also waterproof options available for swimmers like the Garmin Vivoactive.

-        Wireless In-ear Earphones – Earbuds that are worn in the ear tend to be a better fit for runners and many people who regularly work out. They provide improved audio quality over traditional earbuds. Wireless in-ear earphones ensure that you never have to deal with tangled cords or accidentally pulling them out with your movements. These earbuds are attached by a plastic band that rests on the back of your head, so you never have to worry about slipping or losing an earbud. 

-        Mobile training systems – Mobile training systems incorporate technology used in wearable tracking devices and goes beyond. They incorporate a smartphone app, a heart monitor and earbuds to track your fitness. You also get pre-made audio workouts delivered directly to you. 

-        Apps to improve your sports skills – There are a variety of apps on the market that allow you to target your skills for different sports. If you want to improve your swing for softball, tennis or golf, a sensor from Zepp Labs provides you real-time feedback and analytics that show you what you can do differently.

-        Target different areas – Another tech advancement to improve your workout is a device called Skulpt Chisel that determines the quality of your muscles in different parts of your body, as well as measuring body-fat percentage and more. It allows you to measure specific changes in your body over time. 

-        Relax Your Muscles – Rolling out your muscles with a foam roller is a great way to loosen up after a major workout. High tech rollers incorporate the foam roller and a multi-speed vibrating motor to help you relax your muscles in your body faster and more effectively post-workout. 

Take your workout to the next level by investing in workout gear that will help you meet and surpass your fitness goals. 

Author Bio: Amy is a Marketing Consultant for BroadbandSearch.net. She writes about business, marketing, technology and the Internet. On any given day you can find her practicing yoga and reading copious amounts of books. Follow her on Twitter @amymedeiros3

Beyoncé's Athletic Line is Here!

Want to workout like Beyoncé? All you gotta do is wear Ivy Park

We announced in 2014 that Queen B would be releasing an athleisure line with Top Shop and we’ve been waiting ever since – filling our days with Pilates, playlists and patience.

Well, drumroll…. Ivy Park hits stores in mid April. Yes, really, that is like, days away!

Originally a collab with Topshop, it looks like biz-savvy Bey has partnered with several retail outlets

The line looks to be all about dance-fit looks like leotards and legwarmers. Bootylicious loungewear to slip into after your workouts and studio-to-street style tanks and leggings. The collection will also include footwear and given that the lady behind the brand is the woman who runs the world, there won’t be any slacking off when it comes to tech-performing fabrics and sports-savvy stitching. 

In fact, word is the delay is due to ensuring the technical elements and overall design are nothing less than flawless. 

 

 

Silent Disco Yoga - The New Flow

Silent Disco Yoga

Disco yoga? Yeah, it’s a thing.

 Kate Kendall leads Flow Athletic devotees through Silent Disco Yoga Moves

Kate Kendall leads Flow Athletic devotees through Silent Disco Yoga Moves

Last week I was invited to a warehouse space in St Peters in Sydney’s inner west. All I knew was that I’d be participating in ‘silent disco yoga’, that I should bring a mat and have my lobes prepped for headphones.

The evening was a special event – Flow After Dark - put on by Flow Athletic, the wellness space run by a yoga teacher and former NRL player in Paddington that’s been bridging the gap between cardio and calming since they opened in 2013.

So it’s no surprise that the revolutionary wellness space would bring disco yoga Down Under.

When the steely roller door lifted on the secret space, hundreds of legging-decked gals and head-banded guys eagerly paced inside with their yoga mats to find a place amongst an undercover fairground of carousels and boardwalk-style games and entertainment. The location was the event space favourite, Fairground Follies.

We were all handed glow-in-the-dark headphones courtesy of Silent Sounds and once kitted up, Kate Kendall, co-owner and yoga director of Flow Athletic lead us through an hour of Asana practice.

Back bends and other inversions were avoided since they would’ve been a little tricky with a headset on, but it was an otherwise energetic sequence of series one moves. The music was more ambient than upbeat but I’m told there might be another more beat-laden event in the near future.

 Silent Disco Yoga inside Fairground Follies 

Silent Disco Yoga inside Fairground Follies 

Already a hit in Hong Kong and the US where companies like Sound Off are extending their shushed sounds to other activities like Zumba and Barre classes.

 Sound Off in the US

Sound Off in the US

Disco Yoga in Melbourne also offers a powerful Vinyasa session and freestyle dancing lead by a live (and not so silent) DJ playing house music. 

 Pic courtesy of Disco Yoga website 

Pic courtesy of Disco Yoga website 

Couples Yoga! The new relationship trend!

When it comes to yoga, it's a constantly evolving practice that's been tipping the trend scales way before hipsters caught on and Instagram lit up with headstands and backbends. 

Shyamala Benakovic, Yoga Australia's CEO, is one flexible gal who's always meditating on ways to extend the practice. She shared with health bird her take on the top five yoga trends for 2016. 

Whether you want to skip couple's therapy for a relationship recalibrating asana session or teach your pooch to meditate - it's all here!

 Pic courtesy of yisforyogini.com

Pic courtesy of yisforyogini.com

Cultural diversification: Yogis in Australia are exploring the integration of aboriginal story telling into the practice versus the traditional connections to Hinduism.

SUP yoga: Asana practiced on the water, the perfect summer combination to increase balance and core strength.

Yoga Dance: The combination of yoga and dance helps to promote co-ordination and enhance the physical aspect while bringing in a variety of music genres.

Couples yoga: Designed to strengthen relationships both spiritually and physically.

Doga: Also know as dog yoga combines stretching, mediation and massage for owners and their furry friends.

No more boring workouts...

Ben Lucas- Owner of Flow Athletic, Trainer and former NRL player - this guy's got reds! - shows us how to never ever get board of a workout again in 3 Easy Steps!

"Mix it up and Have Something to Train For," says Ben. 

 Good times working out at Flow Athletic

Good times working out at Flow Athletic

If you were to do the same circuit or pump class every time you went to the gym, of course you are going to get bored.

If you are someone who likes variety, I would suggest signing up to several different classes per week. Perhaps do Spin Monday, Barre Tuesday, Strength Wednesday, Yoga Thursday, Running Friday for example.

Mixing up your training is not only fun but it also it gives you different markers to reach each day of the week. Try to schedule your least favourite or the hardest classes at the start of the week as no one likes Monday anyway, then towards the end of the week book into your favourite classes as people can tend to lose motivation towards the end of the week.

Alternately, some people prefer to have something to train for as seeing progress in performance can be very motivating. If that is you, why not sign up to a fun run and do run specific training for 3 months leading to the event? Once the run is over, then sign up for an obstacle course and change up your training again.

You can also make your performance related goals less event specific such as learning to do 10 unassisted chin ups with a specific program that will help to make you stronger.

There is nothing like seeing progress to keep you motivated!

Try a different counting system next time you do a circuit

There are so many fun ways of doing circuit workouts, so next time you train lets shake up your boring old routine with something new and fun.

A Countdown workout means that each time you do a round of the circuit you drop reps. For example, you may start by doing 12 reps of each exercise, followed by 10, 8, 6, 4, 2.

Try this workout tomorrow starting at 12 reps:

·      Burpees

·      Jump Squats

·      Mountain Climbers

·      Alternate Lunges

·      Push Ups

·      Squats

·      Reverse Crunch

·      *add 200 m sprint after each set if you are feeling up to it

You can also try a ladder circuit, which is where you start with low reps and add 2 reps to each set as you go along.

Change your Playlist

Sadly, not everyone gets as excited about a workout as I do and therefore sometimes we need something extra to get us motivated.

Changing up your playlist can be a fun way to get you into the gym. In fact, sometimes my Pandora playlist is so entertaining that I don’t want to stop training because I want to find out what the next song will be.

When I am in the gym I often listen to a playlist, but when I am doing a distance run I will often switch to a podcast.

I struggle to sit for long periods of time to listen to podcasts, but I find that I get a lot out of them so I have decided to slot them into my running time. Win, Win

 Tune in!

Tune in!

2016 HOTTEST FITNESS TRENDS

2016 HOTTEST FITNESS TRENDS

CrossFit, Pilates, and Spartan Runs are old news… but trimming off the Christmas goose and progressing to the next fitness level is a right-now priority!

So here are 2016s hottest workout trends, according to some of the fittest IsoWhey Sports athletes. Get out there and give ‘em a try.

 In the 1930s it was all about metal hoops

In the 1930s it was all about metal hoops

Altitude Training

Although this kind of training isn’t a new edition to the list of fitness trends, it is predicted to make a comeback! This style of training has been utilised by the pros for over 40+ years, designed to optimise athletic performance potential by placing our bodies in unusual oxygen deficit environments. The hearts, lungs, muscles and oxygen flow adapt to the environment which can allow us to become to become fitter, stronger and faster when back training in normal conditions. IsoWhey Sports ambassador and founder of Battle Fit Australia, Andrew Pap, recommends giving altitude training a crack if you’re wanting the fastest and most effective method when preparing for events such obstacle racing, mountaineering, weightlifting and ultras + ironman.

 Get high! High-altitude training in New Zealand

Get high! High-altitude training in New Zealand

Wearable Technology

We have all experienced the guilt of missing an afternoon workout, however technology is once again here to save us. New wearable tech (think Fitbit, Apple Watch and Healthbox by Under Armour) can now assist us reach our fitness goals by allowing us to stay informed and be accountable to the activities we’re undertaking. Sports wristbands, step trackers, heart rate and blood monitors are the newest and hottest devices on the market, containing motion sensors to accurately track our movement and check our heart rate throughout the day. We’re continuously being introduced to the newest edition with an array of different features, so it will be worth doing your research to see what suits you and your fitness journey!

 Apple Watch

Apple Watch

Strongman Workouts

Massive tyres, atlas stones, logs and yokes… these workouts focus on you guessed it – strength. Strongman training takes inspiration from the ancient Vikings, the highland games and other traditional lifestyles which tend to focus on arduous manual labour. It concentrates on functional training that focuses on full-body movement, not muscles. This style of training may appear to be labour-intensive chores, such as carrying weighty objects for a certain distance executed over a period of time - which can intensely increase strength! PT, IsoWhey athlete and nutrition and Lifestyle Coach Alexa Towersley really loves strongman training, as she believes that it acquires benefits you would hard pressed to argue with including muscle increase, fat loss and whole physique strength.

 Tyre flips

Tyre flips

ZUU

ZUU is a training style which concentrates on our natural instinct, grouping high intensity primal movements with body weight training. This full body workout helps us revive the basic principles of movement, using a combo of pushing, pulling, bending, twisting, squatting and lunging exercises. Pap recommends ZUU as it is ideal for those who like a full body HIIT workout, which can help assist develop mobility, agility strength and cardio endurance, whilst strengthening muscles, joints and tendons. 

 Image www.thezuu.com.au

Image www.thezuu.com.au



Bend & Sex

I know what you’re thinking.

“Really? You’re pushing pilates as a sex aid? OK, that’s not what you’re thinking at all. You’re thinking you can’t believe how fast you clicked the link to get here.  Read on for Johanna May Irwin's advice on the ways Pilates will enhance your private life... it's about more than just the magic circle.

Pelvic Floor Strength

Pilates practice has a strong focus on the pelvic area of the body, the pelvic floor in particular (yes, men have this, too).  Having control of the pelvic floor, knowing when to contract and when to release, and having an increase of blood flow are all very important and stimulating aspects of intercourse.

Stamina

Pilates classes are all about technique and controlled movement. The focus is not about how fast you get the exercise done, but how well you do it. See where I’m going with this one?

Mindfulness

Pilates requires a great deal of concentration. There is no checking off mental check lists during class. Your focus is purely on your body and how it is moving. This practice of mindfulness or being in the moment, help’s to stimulate the mind and the body. It’s also a great way to train yourself to be “in the moment” with your partner.

Equipment

Whether it be a studio or a mat class, participants are required to use their own body weight as their equipment. This strength building teaches the body how to hold itself. I mean, sex cramps kind of kill the mood, don’t they?

Flexibility

Pilates teaches your body to move in ways that you didn’t think were possible. This increases the strength in the joints and greatly improves the flexibility of the body as a whole. Bottom Line: It allows for a more long lasting, limber love making session.


Bio: Known for her focus on whole body transformation, Johanna May Irwin has spent the last five years training and teaching Pilates to a growing client list that includes men and women of all ages as well as private celebrity clients. A graduate of the Newtown High School of the Performing Arts, Johanna finished in the top 10 percent of her class and was invited to attend the New World School Of the Arts, in Miami, FL, on scholarship.

While in the United States, she began touring and was required to train six-hours a day. Both grueling and invigorating, she enthusiastically endured hours of movement– without a single injury. Upon completion of her studies abroad, Johanna moved back to her native Sydney to undertake her Diploma of Professional Pilates Practice and Trained with Pilates International, where she was subsequently hired and worked on-staff for several years thereafter.

Johanna’s dedication to the physical, mental and spiritual health of her clients has earned her recognition in a number of editorial features and a growing cliental that includes men and women of all ages as well as private celebrity clients. She credits her success to a strong understanding of both muscle structure and the disciplined movements that work to improve overall body health and function from the inside out. This is the knowledge she now provides to her clients in her new fully-functional studio.

 Johanna May Irwin

Johanna May Irwin

Part 2 How to Run a Marathon

In part one we covered off interval training, hill sprints, weights and technique as part of your marathon training. Health Bird checks in with Neil Russell from Atleta - who's trained celebrities, models and athletes - for part two of his expert run-training tips. 

Strength and Power

This element is often completely neglected by runners, but strength and power training significantly increases your maximal power output which is why runners should include it in their weekly training program.

The higher power you can potentially produce per stride, the lower the percentage of maximal power(effort) required per stride, thus improving running efficiency and speed.

All strength and power programs should begin with general conditioning exercises and then progress to more running-specific power-based exercises. A general conditioning exercise could be a body weight squat or lunge.

Perform 1-2 sessions per week

 Neil puts clients through their paces

Neil puts clients through their paces

Flexibility

Tight hip flexors, hamstrings and calf complexes (to name a few) are the downfall of many runners. Not only will tightness lead to poor running posture, incorrect neuromuscular patterns and eventually injury, it'll also slow you down.

A small amount of flexibility or mobility training should be incorporated into all sessions (in the warm up and cool down). Additionally, you should complete specific flexibility and active release sessions, i.e. stretching, foam rolling and massage ball release.

Use a combination static and dynamic stretches to maximise flexibility as different muscles respond differently to different stretching techniques.

Perform 3-4 individual flexibility/mobility/release sessions per week

Rest and Recovery

There’s no room for being a hero and skipping recovery including rest days, recovery sessions and techniques.

Rest days allow your muscles and endocrine system to bounce back, additionally every 4-6 weeks you should have a light week to allow your body to adapt/improve, or else you will keep fatiguing and actually start to see a decline in your performance in training and racing. This is called overtraining.

Recovery sessions are a great idea on the day following big training sessions or races. This can include pool/ocean work, or light walking and mobilization (try wearing compression gear) and help increase blood flow to the areas with causing further fatigue, meaning that you can get back to training harder sooner.

Post session acute recovery techniques should be completed after every session and include your cool down exercises, nutritional supplementation (protein, simple carbohydrates, hydration, and electrolytes) and contrast temperature showering/ice baths.

Tapering should be factored into your program, depending on the race distance, a week out from the race. In it's place, perform a few speed sessions and short runs. Also make sure you're getting at least 8 hours sleep a night for maximal physical recovery.

When used well these rest days, recovery sessions and techniques equal a better recovery from every session and race, allowing you to train harder and avoid injury, thus optimising performance on every race day.

Perform at least one rest day per week ideally with a recovery session and utilise your recovery techniques daily.

 Get your run on

Get your run on

 

For more information on how to prepare for running season, download that FREE Running E -book from IsoWhey® Sports which features articles from top trainers, strength and conditioning coaches and thletes. www.isowheysports.com.au

Marathon Madness - Trainer Tips To Win The Race part 1

5 Tips for an Amateur Runner Leading into Running Season

Part 1

 Neil on the RUN

Neil on the RUN

CREATING YOUR PROGRAM

Whether your aiming to notch up a 5K run around you local park or complete a 20K half run, the full 40K or hit the 26.2-mile New York Marathon  ... preparation is key. 

I'm not much of a runner, yoga's more my jam, so I turned to expert exercise physiologist Neil Russell Exercise Physiologist and owner of Atleta Fitness to write up this piece on how to train for the jog of your life. 

When you start planning your training sessions, there are a number of things that you should consider. These include your strengths and weaknesses, any conditions or injuries that you may have, and of course, your fitness level.

When you start training, remember that progression is the key. Don’t just come to your first session thinking that you are going to run 21km, that kind of thinking generally leads to unnecessary injuries and over training. Build your distance, run intensity and run difficulty (hills!) gradually every training session, also monitor your over all training load week by week.

Remember to factor in some hill sprints and interval training. And train on different surfaces such as on stairs, concrete, grass or even sand to condition your body for any scenario that you may face. You also want to get your body use to the lactic acid build up and other anaerobic byproducts, particularly if you are pushing yourself on for a PB or up hills the day.

In a typical training week, consider adding the following training sessions:

-       Interval Training. Run for 1km, then rest for half the time that it took you to run. Start with 4 x intervals on your first two weeks, then gradually build up to 6 intervals and attempt to complete your intervals in a faster time.

-       Hill Sprints. 5 x 1 minute Hill Sprints with a slow jog or walk back down the hill. This is a shorter training day, but it is a tough one

-       Weights room day. Focus on strengthening your legs, hips and core. Strengthening your whole body is important as you want to maintain good posture throughout your run to help prevent any injuries.

-       Long run day. Run for 40-60 minutes the first week, then add 10 minutes to your long run every week until the event. Keep note of how far you run in this time to give you a good idea of how long your will be running for on race day.

Technique

Technique drills are the cornerstone of any good running program. They should be performed as part of the warm up to reinforce good technique in the ensuing training sessions or the race.

Running drills maximises efficiency during running, increase speed or pace and reduce the risk of many common running injuries. They should focus on posture/alignment, foot striking, stride recovery and muscle activation.

 Some drills include:

-       High knees - running keeping perfect posture and quick contact with the ground

-       Butt Kick - running keeping perfect posture

-       Perfect Starts - Standing tall, lean as far forward as you can until you have to take a step, then start running. This will get you running with a slight forward lean, helping you contact the ground underneath your body rather than out in front of your body (striking in front of your body not only decelerates you every stride, but it also puts a lot of stress on the knee joint). This drill, when done correctly, is great for maximising speed and minimising impact.

Perform at the start of every running session.

WANT MORE? Check out the Isowhey® Sports free e-book featuring articles from Neil Russell, Matty Abel- elite endurance athlete, Andrew Pap- elite endurance athlete and Instagram influencer, Matilda Reynolds- professional Triathlete and Belinda Reynolds- Sports Dietitian.

Stay tuned for part 2 of Neil's expert advice on the Health-bird blog


Provided by NEIL RUSSELL VIP TRAINER Atleta Fitness at IsoWhey® Sports

BA(Hons) HMS, AEP, MAAESS

Neil Russell has over 10 years experience in Personal Training, Strength and Conditioning coaching and exercise rehabilitation. He has been a strength and conditioning coach for Australian and NZ representative athletes and a PT for internationally acclaimed actors, models and media personalities.

 

Take it Outside

Summer is upon the island, the island of Manhattan that is... and that means getting your sweat on in the great outdoors. 

Here's my top five under-the-bluesky yoga workouts to hit this season - in NYC and beyond. 

Brooklyn Bridge Park Waterfront Workouts

Pilates, yoga, ballet barre, dance.. you name it, it's all happening at this unbeatable location under the BK bridge. But yoga is my go-to and you can bend, flex and om on the grass with Abhaya Yoga

Get your Om On with Secret Sounds Yoga in Washington Square Park

The Bleeker Street studio, that offers aerial, core and kids yoga year-round, are hosting free sessions (starting June 4th) in Washington Square Park on Wednesday mornings at 8.30am for big kids and 10am for little kids. BYO mat. 

The Yoga Trail in Central Park

Focussed on yoga and traveling, and reconnecting with nature, New York-based The Yoga Trail is hosting daily yoga classes in Central Park. Where better to downward dog than under the shade of the Manhattan skyline, while surrounded by greenery?

Solstice in Times Square

Celebrating the summer solstice and International Day of Yoga, every yogi and their mat will decend upon the bustling, bright-lighted Times Square for a group sun salutation during several scheduled classes on June 21st. While classes are free, The Times Square Alliance supports three of their favorite yoga charities, Bent on LearningExhale to Inhale and Urban Zen so feel free to donate. 

Rooftop Yoga at The James Hotel

Girls-only yoga classes on the rooftop of this Soho hotspot have kicked off and are lead by Serene Social Weekly, pool-side vinyasa sessions run from May through September. Mats and water are provided for $25.

Namaste.

Gym Class Sexy

SOLOW's Spring 2015 collection is full of wet-look strappy bra tops, fishnet-accents and animal-print leggings. It's the Guns n' Roses of activewear and set to rock out at a shadow boxing or barre class near you.

SOLOW enlisted denim pioneer Daniella Clarke - founder and creator of the iconic Frankie B. brand - to collaborate on the Spring collection. 

“When I received the call from SOLOW to collaborate I was super excited for the opportunity as I am extremely dedicated to a regular workout routine. I have a very clear understanding of performance needs, and as a woman I also know what we need to feel supported and what we need to feel good about ourselves when working out. [And] I feel it's key to create pieces that could transport you from street to gym in style and comfort.”

Sarah Siegel Magness, founder of SOLOW has been a huge fan of Daniella Clarke's for years and is excited about the new eye and an edgy twist she brings to brand. "Together, we are forging a new philosophy that women's active wear can serve a woman's desire for both fashion and function while maintaining her individuality.” 

Stand out styles for the hot-to-sweat health bird include mesh cutout leggings in snake prints, lightweight, airy lace short leggings, and super sexy lace bodysuits.

SOLOW ‘s celebrity fan base includes Cameron Diaz, Gwen Stefani, Jessica Biel, Lucy Liu, Eva Longoria, and Jessica Simpson.

SOLOW can be found in Bloomingdale’s as well as over 365 boutiques and online retailers 

SHE GOT GAME

She Got Game... That's the rad title of Running Bare's latest athletic looks. Cool, huh. 

The collection features high-impact prints, chic monochrome and some fierce florals and is modelled by cool kids who workout as much as they work the runway, Lola McDonnell and Kendal Lee Schuler.

Running Bare design director Yolanda Powell says the campaign is about CONFIDENCE, ATTITUDE and SPUNK. "We have created a fashion-forward collection to take you from the gym to the street in a variety of styles to suit every body type and exercise intensity."

Women Only!

Sports maestros NIKE have opened a women only outlet in Newport Beach, California. Get this, the destination is called Fashion Island. Don't you just want to run there now in your Nike Frees?

The brand famous for its Swoosh recently announced five big-time plans for the future of the brand's relationship with its female customer. These included the Nike Pro Bra (a sports bra that still fits when it gets sweaty!) and an upgrade to their popular Flyknit sneaks. 

“Growth of our women’s business is outpacing men’s, which demonstrates that our innovations and lifestyle products are really resonating with female consumers in today’s marketplace. We are also focused on key opportunities such as e-commerce, retail doors and apparel, and Nike Fashion Island is part of that growth plan," says Nike's North American VP Cathy Sparks.

Not only will the store offer key designer collabs, but there's an in-store studio offering classes to shoppers - so you can trial the apparel while getting your yoga on. 

Shanghai, China has also launched their very own women's only destination. Welcome to the Club!