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What are some of the key benefits of doing cardio for your health?

What are some of the key benefits of doing cardio for your health? 150 150 NewStartPT

WEIGHT LOSS:

Cardio is a great for weight loss! A 30 min session of cardio can burn a high number of calories,

which will aid greatly in losing weight! Keep in mind, the intensity of the training will obviously determine the amount of calories burnt!

LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE:

Regular cardio exercise will help to improve the health of your heart. A healthy heart pushes out more blood with each beat, enabling it to function more efficiently. This decreases the stress on the heart and surrounding arteries, potentially reducing blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, cardiovascular exercise may help lower it. If you don’t have high blood pressure, exercise has been shown to help prevent it from rising as you age.

IMPROVE BLOOD FLOW:

Regular cardio-based physical activity enables the heart to achieve improved blood flow in the

small vessels around it, where blockages of fatty deposits can build over time. Better circulation

in these areas may prevent heart attacks. Evidence even shows that exercise can cause the

body to create more physical connections between these small blood vessels, meaning the blood

has more ways to travel to where it needs to go.

IMPROVES LUNG CAPACITY:

Many people tend to shy away from cardio because it can be tough to breathe as you perform

the exercise. However, that heavy breathing you are experiencing is actually improving your

lungs. Cardio will increase your lung capacity as you push your breathing ability to the limit

during a tedious workout. This has a whole range of benefits, right down to just being able to breath more easily!

GREAT FOR MENTAL HEALTH:

This is a big one! Since cardio exercise releases endorphins, another benefit is that it simply makes you feel good afterward. Cardio is a healthy way to combat mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or stress. Many people have coined the feeling one experiences after physical conditioning as a “runners high.” While it has this name, you don’t just need to be running to get it, and a lot of people can even experience similar endorphin release through weights training! Aside from the endorphins, as you are doing cardio, you are challenging yourself mentally. There are bound to be many times throughout your workout when you feel like you may quit. Pushing through a tough workout and eventually finishing gives you a great sense of accomplishment and leads to a natural “high” you may feel afterward. When you get into the routine of doing cardio exercise, you will start to feel better about yourself overall and improve your confidence.

TYPES OF CARDIO YOU CAN DO (to list a few!):

Running, stair climbs, skipping, walking, boxing, ball slams, rowing, cycling, swimming, kettle bell swings and sprints, are just a few types of exercises you can do for your cardio fitness.

Keep in mind though, while cardo is an important aspect of training and staying healthy, it’s also just as important to include strength training into your workout regime, to make sure all muscles are activating correctly and to maintain good strength, mobility and posture!

25 Minute Circuit Workout

25 Minute Circuit Workout 150 150 NewStartPT

Are you struggling to find time to fit in your extra workouts? Or even just your normal workouts?
Here is an easy lunchtime circuit that takes just 25 minutes!
Start with a walk and some light stretches to warm up, and then complete the following:
25 Jumping Jacks
20 High Knees
20 Alternating Lunges
20 Push Ups
20 Standing Elbow to Knee
Rest for 1 minute at the end of the circuit, then do it all again! Do this 3 times through for a great
session!


Some benefits of doing a lunchtime workout are:

  1. You will feel more rejuvenated and focused!
  2. It will reduce stress levels!
  3. You will have a sense of accomplishment!
  4. It makes you take a proper break away from your office!

If you are unsure how to do any of these, simply click here to see a video on them!

Compound or Isolation Exercise

Compound or Isolation Exercise 150 150 NewStartPT

Have you heard your trainer use the phrases “compound” or “isolation” exercise, and not sure what
they mean?
Here is a breakdown on each and what benefits each have:
Compound exercise is where you are using multiple groups of muscles. This is beneficial if
you are wanting to do a full body workout in less time and burn more calories for weight loss! These
also help build up strength in everyday living. There is less fatigue on individual muscle groups as
they are all working together and not individually. An example of a compound exercise is squats!
They use multiple muscle groups: glutes, quads, hamstrings and thighs!
Isolation exercises are when we only use one individual muscle group. Isolation exercises
are beneficial for when fixing up body alignment, imbalances or needing to activate a specific
muscle group – essentially all rehab-based training. They are also more beneficial for specific muscle
building, as you are able to focus your energy and attention into just working that one muscle,
rather than having to work on a group of muscles at once. An example of an isolation exercise is
Bicep curls! When doing a bicep curl we are isolating the bicep muscles to perform the movement.
Both compound and isolation exercises have their place in a well rounded workout regimen
and it is important that we are doing both. If you are interested in getting a complete, efficient
and functional workout, doing predominantly compound exercises during your training is
ideal. However, if you have imbalances with muscle groups, focusing more on isolation
exercises can help to fix up these imbalances, as well as reactivate the muscles that is not working
efficiently. This is vital to avoid injury from overuse of the predominant working muscle.

No Equipment Home Workout

No Equipment Home Workout 150 150 NewStartPT

Are you stuck on what to do when not with a trainer, or stuck at home without a gym?
Here are 5 simple exercises that you can do within the comfort of your own home, with no need of
any equipment:

  1. Air Squats onto a seat
  2. Alternating Lunges
  3. Push Ups can be inclined, on your knees, or on your toes
  4. Glute Bridge
  5. Plank Hold
    If you are unsure how to do any of these, simply click here to see a video on them!

Using Exercise To Boost Immunity

Using Exercise To Boost Immunity 150 150 Aaron Smee

Exercise has plenty of obvious benefits. I’ve gone over a lot of these through different blogs, so make sure to check them out! What I want to go over in this one though, is how it can help to boost your immune system. Before I get too much further, I want to state that this is just my view (backed by a few other people’s opinions and articles), and if you go to google, you will probably find plenty of articles saying the exact opposite to what is below!

So, moving forward, exercise can help to boost your immune system in several different ways! A few of theories are that it does this by;

  • Help flush bacteria out of your lungs through increased breathing rate
  • Increasing your white blood cell count, as well as helping them to circulate around the body faster, letting them detect diseases and pathogens faster
  • Increased body temperature, similar to what happens when you get a fever (which is your body’s way of making itself less favourable for disease growth)
  • Reduced levels of stress hormones, which effectively allows your body to recover and repair faster.

Each of these, while only theories, would definitely help to fight off any bugs that you may get. As I said though, it is not certain that (or how) each of these things occurs.

One study (published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine) that helps to support the idea of exercise helping with your immune system, followed a group of 1002 healthy adults aged from 18 to 85 years, over a 12 week period during the US autumn and winter seasons in 2008.

During this study, the participants were examined in all parts of their lives, including their diet, lifestyle and exercise frequency. Over the 12 weeks, they reported on any symptoms arising that could be associated with respiratory illnesses, and their severity. The study found that, during this time, the participants that were regularly exercising were reporting symptoms much less frequently, and when they did, the symptoms were less severe.

What this means, is that your body can fight infections off better when you are fit and healthy, and it only makes sense that this would be the case. When you are fitter, everything works more efficiently. You are effectively making your body better able to handle stress. This means that the rest of your bodily functions take up less of your overall energy when you get sick, and your body can devote more energy to getting better. On top of that, with the increased energy devotion, the immune response is also going to be stronger, as it will also be able to work more efficiently.

For anyone that is wondering as well, the amount of exercise that is required for this level of response doesn’t seem to be huge either, just consistent. Half an hour a day is more than enough to get this sort of result, as this is enough to get a response in each of the areas mentioned right at the start. When this happens regularly, your body just gets better at it, like with everything else.

On the flip side to this though; if you are already sick, the best thing to do is to listen to your body! If you feel like you need to rest, it is most likely because you do. If you are on medication to get better from an illness, then exercise starts to cause problems. A lot of the side effects from things like antibiotics will be similar to the effects of exercising, and combining those both together is not a great idea. Further to this, studies have actually shown an immediate decrease in your immune system during hard exercise, which means you really shouldn’t be pushing yourself too hard is you are already fighting a sickness off!

Outside of this, all of the obvious things we can be doing to improve our recovery revolve around living a healthy lifestyle. This includes not smoking, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, drinking in moderation, getting enough sleep, and minimising your daily stress!

 

Another study which goes into much further detail is here:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254618301005

This study goes over everything in detail, and is well worth the read if you want further clarification on how exercising can help boost your immunity!

To see how exercising can help you to boost your immunity and feel better in general, why not give us a call? It’s as easy as heading over to the contact page and getting in touch! Otherwise, you can search “personal trainers near me” and see how close we are to you on Google. If you live in Bowen Hills, I can guarantee we will come up!

 

New Start PT now offers Yoga Classes!

New Start PT now offers Yoga Classes! 150 150 Aaron Smee

 

As you may have heard, New Start PT will be offering Yoga sessions as of next week! Here is a bit of background on the lady that will be running the classes; Natasha!

“I practiced yoga intermittently for many years and always sought after the relaxation I experienced during and after my practice. My favourite practice was yin yoga, not only for how good my body would feel afterward or how it complemented my exercise regime, but for how it enabled me to ‘switch off’ mentally. Albeit, challenging me to do so.

After a very stressful time in my life, I ventured to India to experience life in an ashram, a mental sabbatical if you will. It was there that I learnt the traditional teachings and philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga. My initial intent was not to become a yoga teacher, but rather enjoy this month to myself. It was because of the in-depth knowledge I gained and the reignited passion I found for yoga that I decided I would utilise my new skillset to help people.

The further I studied Health Science and the nervous system, the more I understood the significance of stress and its role in disease pathogenesis.

It is through the teaching of yoga that I am able to provide people with the tools and techniques they need to encourage relaxation, develop mindfulness and manage stress and anxiety. The beauty of yoga is that anyone can practice it, at their own pace, in their own time and with their own style. Through the practice of yoga, we can achieve great things on a mental and physical level!

The main types that I like to focus on are Yin Yoga, Vin-Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Power Yoga!”

Yin Yoga: A yin yoga class comprises of a series of floor-based static poses. The poses are held for up to five minutes and are passive in nature. There is a large focus on meditation to enhance the experience of stress relief. Yin yoga targets deep connective tissue between the muscles and fascia throughout the body.

Vin-Yin Yoga: A combination of vinyasa flow and yin yoga is beneficial for creating heat through the body (with movement and breath) to prepare the body for static holds (deep tissue release). This is ideal for morning practice or early evening.

Vinyasa Yoga: Vinyasa is a style of yoga that connects a sequence of postures from one to another, seamlessly, using the flow of the breath. The benefits of vinyasa for the physical body are eliminating toxins through sweat and the mind is benefited by focusing on the breath to eliminate mental chatter and calm the nervous system.

Power Yoga: Power yoga is strength-based vinyasa practice. It contains the same principles as vinyasa yoga, including creating internal heat, increasing stamina, strength, and flexibility, as well as reducing stress.

We are looking forward to seeing people coming along next week, with the first session being Tuesday at 1pm! Make sure to let us know if you can make it, as bookings will be essential! Head over to our Contact Page to make your booking now!

150 150 Aaron Smee

While the physical benefits of exercise are generally the most commonly thought of, and the most noticeable, it goes much further than that. The benefits of exercise regarding mental health are just as good, and for some people, even more of a necessity. When you exercise, your body will release endorphins, which will make you feel good! Now, most people don’t even notice this in comparison to how they are physically feeling, but it is there. People who exercise more regularly will get a better and better effect from this and will generally feel much better mentally than those who don’t exercise regularly. On top of this, they will also generally have more energy, sleep better, remember things better and just be overall more positive.

On a normal, healthy level, this is a great thing to have.

What is even better though, is the positive effects that exercise can have on the mental health for many of the more common mental health challenges. Studies have shown that exercise can be very effective in treating mild to moderate depression. In fact, after half an hour, similar results have been found with exercise compared to antidepressant medication. The big difference though, is that exercise doesn’t come with the side-effects and downsides that come with medications. To further strengthen this, it has also been shown in the past that exercise can prevent these people from relapsing into a state of depression, once they have gotten themselves out of it.

There are a few different ways in which exercise is beneficial here. On top of the endorphin release mentioned earlier, there is also signs of neural growth in the brain after regular exercise.

Exercise has also been shown to reduce the effects of anxiety and stress. The increased blood flow around the body through increased heart rate helps to get more oxygen to the brain, allowing the body to relax better and have more energy. Once your body relaxes more, it allows your mind to relax more! To add to this, as mentioned a few times already, the endorphin release that occurs during and after exercise is an effective combatant to the hormones which are creating the anxiety and stress in the first place!

Going down a different direction, exercise has also been shown to help improve the symptoms of things like ADHD. At the same time your body is releasing dopamine, it is also sending out a number of other hormones, including dopamine, adrenaline and serotonin. These are all directly affect our level of focus and attention. Having a higher amount of these in our system has been shown to have a similar affect to medication as well.

These are just a few of the “more common” mental health challenges that people have. The mental affects of exercise are so great that, where possible, it should always be included in a persons treatment for recovery in any type of mental illness

For those that are currently struggling with their mental health, it may be challenging to even start this on their own. In these instances, finding someone to help is always a good idea. Whether it is a friend or a Personal Trainer (or both if you are lucky!), having someone to help when things get hard will make the difference between being able to continue and improve, or stop and go backwards.

Finding The Best Personal Trainer

Finding The Best Personal Trainer 150 150 Aaron Smee

There are lots of questions that people have when they are looking for a Personal Trainer, or Personal Fitness Trainer, as some people call us. What sort of result do they want? How much privacy do they want? How far do they want to travel to get to their sessions? And the most common one.. how much should they be paying? The answer to each of these depends on each person, and for most of them there is really no single answer.

The Goal
First of all, do you want to lose weight, or gain muscle? The answer to this will straight away narrow down your search for the right Personal Trainer. If you are wanting to lose weight, then you can really pick any trainer. A trainer can help you to effectively lose weight from any location, provided they know what they are doing. You can have a mobile trainer that comes to your house, a gym based personal trainer that works in a commercial setting, or a more private based personal trainer that works out of a personal training studio. On the flip side of this, if you are wanting to gain muscle, this cuts out the majority of mobile personal trainers, as they simply can’t carry around all of the strength training equipment that is necessary for the right training. The other 2 options are still equally good though!

To see what results we have achieved for our clients, make sure to head here: RESULTS!

The Environment
The next question you want to ask yourself is what sort of environment do you want to train in. Do you care whether there are other people that can see you? If the answer is no, then, again, you can really pick any of the 3. If you answered yes though, then your options are down to a mobile trainer, or a studio based personal trainer. Referring back to the last question, if you are wanting to lose weight, then both mobile trainers and studio based trainers will work for you. However, for strength and muscle gain, a studio will be a better choice, as it will still offer the equipment needed for this style of training!

The Distance
Now, for traveling. If you are like most people, you may have already tried a google search, and put in something like “Personal Trainer near me” to see if you have any good trainers close by. The distance that you should travel to see the right trainer depends a lot on the above two questions. If you have found a trainer that fits everything you want, then you should make getting to them a priority, even if they are slightly further away. You definitely should not be sacrificing your results for the sake of travel time (unless the trainer you have found is an unreasonable distance away of course!).

To see just how close we are to you right now, you can head HERE!

The Cost
As far as how much people should be paying, well, that IS a simple answer in my opinion. The amount you should be paying is whatever your chosen trainer is choosing to value their time at. This is something that comes up a lot for personal trainers, and it is quite often a point of frustration.To put it simply, you will ALWAYS find someone who will charge less than the trainer you are interested in working with. I can guarantee it. What I can also guarantee is that you get what you pay for. What people should really be looking for, rather than how much a trainer charges, is what results they have given other people. On top of that, whether they can back themselves with a guarantee on their results. Any trainer who will offer a guarantee that you will get results knows what they are doing, and you can go to them knowing that you will get the results you want.

 

If you didn’t know that trainers even offered guarantees on their services, and would like to know more, we would be more than happy to give you more details! Head HERE and contact us!

 

While there are definitely more questions that people have outside of these, I feel they are the cause for the most roadblocks in peoples decisions to get started. Hopefully when you can answer each of the above questions, you will have narrowed your search down to the best trainer for you!

 

How To Walk and Run Better

How To Walk and Run Better 150 150 Aaron Smee

In honor of Bridge to Brisbane, here are some tips on how to improve your ability to walk and run. Whether you are a serious or casual walker or runner, here are some tips that you can use now in preparation for your next 5km Park run or major running event.

Tip 1 – Take better care of your feet
Our feet are more than just tools from getting from point A to point B. If there are issues with your feet, compensatory patterns can arise affecting your gait e.g you might move with a limp which in turn causes damage to your knees and hips. To take better care of your feet, try doing the following one night at home: first soak your feet in a bucket of warm water for 10 minutes (add bath salts for extra relaxation), then give yourself a foot massage using your fist/knuckle or thumbs (find a sore spot, apply gradual pressure and hold until the pain eases). It is always a good idea to have well fitting shoes that have decent grip before going out for your daily walk or run (consult a foot doctor/specialist such as a podiatrist).

Tip 2 – Improve your movement through cycling and swimming
Other sports such as cycling and swimming can improve your walking and running indirectly. Both of these sports improve your leg strength in a functional or practical way. These two sports can also teach you how to contract the right muscles in an efficient manner, while also being low impact for your joints (perfect for those with joint issues or going through rehab).

Tip 3 – Strengthening and stretching the right muscles
The most important muscle groups involved in walking and running are your muscles above and below your knees (calves, hamstrings, quadriceps etc), your muscles above and below your hips (hip flexors, glutes, core etc) and your back muscles involved in your gait (lats, lower back etc). These muscles should be your focus for strengthening, stretching and recovery. Consult your personal trainer at New Start Personal Training for further help in creating a tailored program for your needs.

Once you start incorporating each of these into your normal routine, you will be surprised at the difference it can make! Most people that do this find that their times start going down for both long and short distance runs. Along with that though, they also report a lower injury rate, a faster recovery rate, and less “pain” while actually running.

If you are experiencing some issues with your running, be it unexpected pains, or just not being able to get faster times, why not give one of the above, or all, a try!

I have a sore neck or back because of work – What can I do to fix this?

I have a sore neck or back because of work – What can I do to fix this? 150 150 Aaron Smee

It is a fair guess to say that most people in the modern world have suffered from a sore and tight neck/back due to desk work, or experienced ‘text neck’ syndrome. It would also be fair to assume that most people are aware of posture and that they need to try and maintain ‘good posture’. But what does this really mean?

In this article, Josh will teach you in 5 easy steps how to correctly sit and use technology in order to minimize the negative effects on your body. I believe that it is always better to have a proactive or preventative approach to health rather than reactive, which will save you time, money and pain in the process.

Step 1 – Feet
Feet should be flat on the floor, with your knees in line with your hips. If they are not, this means that you need to adjust your seat accordingly.

Step 2 – Chest
Sit up straight and keep your chest ‘proud’. Translation: Keep your bottom into the base of your chair, while your back should maintain good contact with the back of your seat. It is particularly important from your lumbar or lower back up to your shoulder blades to be touching the back of your seat as this ensures no arch or gap exists between the seat and your back.

Step 3 – Neck and Shoulders
Make sure that your neck and shoulders are relaxed. This means that your shoulders should not be raised or in a shrugging position. Also, pay attention to whether you feel that your body is leaning or tilting around the shoulder region and adjust accordingly.

Step 4 – Eyes
Position your computer or phone screen to be directly in line with your eyesight. Slightly tucking in your chin helps keep your head from angling upwards or downwards.

Step 5 – Arms
If you are using a handheld device, keep your arms close to your body and push your elbows into your ribs. This will help you to engage the correct shoulder and back muscles in a ‘down and back’ position.

For most people, these 5 steps will go a long way to helping them reduce pains that are experienced on a daily basis in the neck and back while sitting at their desk. For some, a bit more work is needed to strengthen the correct muscles, so that their body is able to get into the correct position. The best way to know if your muscles are strong enough is to contact your local Personal Trainer for a posture and bio-mechanical assessment, which we do completely free of charge! All you need to do is contact us and book a time in! While you are here, we can even help with advice on your current eating plan and training program, to help get better results all round!

If you have a sore neck, or sore lower back, give us a call!

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