Posts Tagged “fitness”

Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2019/2020

Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2019/2020

Top 10 Fitness Trends for 2019/2020

Take a deep dive into the top 10 fitness trends for 2019 and the 10 fitness trends for 2020. sit back, relax and soak up the info! enjoy…

 

Exercise and fitness is a high priority for the UK government at the moment as the realisation  sets in that exercise can ameliorate some of the diseases that can develop as a result of our lifestyle habits. The cost to the NHS every year to treat some of these preventable diseases is huge. Recent estimates from the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) suggests that a sedentary lifestyle costs the taxpayer in excess of £1billion every year. 

Year on year we are becoming more aware of the importance of exercise for our health and well-being. The American College of Sports Medicine the foremost academic authority on sport science and exercise physiology (ACSM) examined the responses of 200 health and fitness professionals for their opinion on what the fitness trends for 2019 will be. Take a look at the top 10 fitness trends for 2019. 

1. Wearable tech

ACSM define wearable tech as smart watches, heart rate monitors, fitness trackers and GPS tracking devices. Wearable tech has truly transformed the fitness industry, instead of having to go to an expensive and exclusive sport science laboratories to get valid and reliable data on your fitness and how your body is performing and coping with the exercise stresses you are putting it through.  Now you can simply wear the tech on your wrist and get real time feedback and analysis of everything from the distance and elevation of your running route to how your cardiovascular system is performing during your workout. 

 

Tech such as Loadsol a wearable  insole for your running shoe that wirelessly transmits a real time data on your gait is just one of the new and emerging wearable tech that goes beyond just analysing your heart rate during exercise. Recent developments in wearable tech mean that we are on the threshold of analysing a whole range of parameters that could only be done by expensive lab equipment. Examples of this are; immune responses to exercise, EMG,  acceleration, respiratory, metabolic and neuromuscular parameters. 

 

2. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

HIIT is defined as short bursts of exercise followed a short period of rest (ACSM) HIIT has been shown to derive benefits to your body composition. One of the main proponents of HIIT is the British 6 time MR Olympia Dorian Yates. We are not suggesting that HIIT will turn you into a Mr Olympia ( at least not overnight!) but we are suggesting that it can be an effective way to train if done correctly. Dorian Yeates honed his HIIT workout routine over many years, constantly experimenting with what worked for his body and what didn’t. Why not give HIIT a try in your next workout.

3. Group Training

Group training is defined an exercise with five or more participants with instructor  teaching and motivating the class. 


Group training is an excellent way to train socially. E are all social animals and we need company and sometimes competition to bring the best out of us. Training with a friend or friends can be a great way to exercise whilst developing other friendships and to also reduce dome of the self consciousness and  anxiety of exercising alone in a room full of strangers. The instructor worth their salt will be a good motivator, teacher and above all …qualified! This can help you to learn the basics of exercise whilst you develop your confidence and exercise habits.

4. Body Weight Training

As the name implies , body weight training is you using your body weight to perform different types of dynamic exercise. It is an inexpensive way to exercise but it does have its limitations. You may train to the point where your body weight is no longer sufficient to overload your muscles thus provoking them to adapt and become fitter. However, in some sports, body weight training is more than enough. 

 

More and more local councils are installing body weight training equipment in local parks. When you next visit your local park, o over a have a look at what equipment there is and then …have a go! body weight training is becoming so popular, we are confident that body weight training will make the 10 fitness trends for 2020 and beyond!

 

5. Fitness Programs for Older Adults

As we age, numerous genetic and hormonal changes cause our bodies to lose not only bone density but muscle mass too. Gerontologists are on the case in trying to unravel the mechanisms that cause this process to happen as we age. But what we do know is that exercise can increase bone density and muscle mass. Slowing the ageing process and reducing the risk of age related diseases that can really affect our physical and mental health later in life.  The best way to reduce the risk of age related diseases and to live healthy for as long as possible is to exercise regularly along with a healthy diet, good social network (not the FaceBook type!)

6. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals

SFE Academy is a training provider that trains and certifies fitness professionals. We really do understand the importance of the knowledge and skill when designing and delivering exercise programs. We train all of our fitness professionals to be able to train a diverse population of people from children to older adults and everyone in between. 

 

It is important that all fitness professionals feel comfortable in all environments and with all people. We recognise that that skill, knowledge and friendly manner go along way to get people the results they want. All of our students are vigorously tested so that they meet the highest industry knowledge and standards. You have a right to demand that of your fitness professionals too.

 

7. Yoga

Yoga has been around for an extremely long time. The health benefits are numerous. Including, developing strength, flexibility and balance. There are many different types of Yoga out there. There will almost certainly be a type for you.

 

8. Personal Training

It just so happens that we also train the next generation of personal trainers at SFE Academy too! 

ACSM has listed Personal Training in the top 10 since 2006! This is a sign of how important personal training can be  when it comes to exercise and fitness. Personal trainers are able to develop training programs tailored to your unique needs and targets. They are there to help motivate you and teach you about how the body adapts and develops during and following a period of exercise. They will also be able to provide you with nutritional advice and guidance and monitor you exercise program. 

9. Functional Fitness Training

When you think of functional fitness training, think of the training montage in the film Rocky! Functional fitness aims to develop your strength, coordination and balance by doing of simulating everyday tasks and movements that you may do at home or at work. This type of training is advantageous as it uses all of the muscles (the agonist, antagonist, synergist and fixator muscles) used in that movement. Therefore, replicating real life situations. An advantage over fixed resistance machines at the gym that only pull in one direction.

10. Exercise as Medicine

The paradigm is shifting Ladies and Gentlemen! The role and usefulness of exercise to reverse a number of preventable diseases is becoming more apparent by the day! The knowledge that exercise as a medicine is filtering into schools, colleges, the Government and the medical profession too. Going to your GP (after the long wait!) will be more about analysing you exercise habits and prescribing exercise as a modal of treatment. The benefits of exercise on both physical and mental health are numerous

Tiffany Porter

Tiffany Porter

I first met the directors of SFE Academy during my work at the national charity SportsAble. Their enthusiasm for making a difference matched that of my own. Increasing brand awareness through my marketing background made perfect sense given that our ethos and values match my own.

How I got started

Tiffany is a fully qualified SEN Teacher with a variety of experience in schools and other learning providers. As part of her dissertation, during her BA Ed at the University of Reading, she was asked by Deafax to continue her studies into the effects of modern technology on children’s hearing. Later, she embarked on a career in teaching, a highlight of which was working as a Deputy Principal in New Zealand. This is where she became interested in Sport and Psychology, particularly how Maori children and young adults are affected by modern day life.

 

My Passion for Education

On her return to the UK she decided to pursue her passion for psychology further by attaining her Degree in Psychology. Since undertaking her degree, she has been active in the voluntary sector and volunteered her services at SportsAble, a charity supporting people with a range of physical and sensory disabilities through the powerful medium of sport. During this period she was recruited by SFE-Academy, a supporter and partner of SportsAble. She is particularly looking forward to helping deliver the teaching, disability and well-being courses. She currently works as our Director of Marketing and Public Relations. However, her knowledge of SEN and Psychology are a passion in which she enjoys providing to SFE-Academy by contributing to our ‘IDEAWORKS’ learning technology laboratory. 

7 Keys To Increase-Productivity

7 Keys To Increase-Productivity

What are the 7 Keys to Increase Productivity?
 
We’ve all had those days when we feel like we are not accomplishing anything no matter how hard we work.
 
Looming deadlines, increasing workload, multitasking, and stress could all disrupt a person’s productivity. “Work smarter, not harder” has become a famous motto among the workforce. And this statement actually has merit. Sometimes, when we wear too many hats, take on too much work, instead of becoming more productive, our productivity actually decreases. So what can we do to increase our productivity?
 

1. Have a healthy breakfast… or skip it!

have a healthy breakfast or even skip it to try and boost your productivity

I don’t mean to confuse you, but there are studies showing that skipping the most important meal of the day can benefit various brain functions. Intermittent fasting has been gaining popularity lately, and there are scientific studies to back it up. However, if you want to give this a try, it is best to ask for a doctor or a nutritionist’s advice first. For anything to work, one has to have the know-how and the right motivation. On the other hand, if you are a huge fan of breakfast and could not possibly start a day without it, by all means, eat! Fuel your body with the right food. Make healthy choices.

2. Take that coffee break

take a coffee break to help you increase your productivity

Though it might be tempting to just keep plugging away at work and skip your breaks in order to meet your deadlines, it would not be a very good idea. You need to relax and take a breather. This will give your brain a much-needed break and you a chance to walk around and enjoy a nice cup of joe, maybe even socialize with your other harried co-workers.

3. CBD Oil

Hemp Based Products

Adderall has been making the rounds around colleges and even workplaces. However, if you prefer a more natural approach to boost your concentration and productivity, why not give CBD oil a try. It has been known to increase alertness, help calm nerves, and boost your mood. So when you find yourself stressed with your head all over the place, why not try popping a CBD gummy, a flavored tincture, or even straight up CBD oil to help ease your stress and calm your nerves. Unlike its addictive cousin, THC, CBD will not get you high.

4. Limit multitasking

Avoid multitasking and focus on one job at a time - be more productive

Multitasking is not something the human brain is built for. It has proven to cause loss of productivity. Doing too many things at once will take away your concentration from the crucial things that need doing. This will make your work prone to errors and cost you time that you were trying to save by multitasking in the first place. Do one thing at a time before moving on to the next task. This way you can ensure each task is accomplished properly. Try doing the tasks that take the least amount of time to accomplish first. This will get these tasks out of the way and allow you to focus on the more complicated ones.

5. Take exercise breaks

Take exercise breaks to try and help ypou increase your productivity

Isn’t it ironic that a post about being productive is talking about breaks a lot? That’s because taking breaks in between tasks is a good way resetting your brain and preparing it for the whole new task ahead. Exercising will send a rush of much-needed oxygen to your brain and will help loosen your muscles that might have bunched up from getting the previous task done. Taking a brief walk, or a short stretch will allow your brain to stop thinking about work and “breathe”. This will help bring your focus back to where it is supposed to be – your looming tasks.

6. Use tools

use tools such as apps and other software to help you increase your productivity

Using online tools or apps to track your work and tasks for the day is one easy way of getting your day organized. When you have your day organized, you won’t need to spend extra time trying to remember what to do next; you would already have it laid out for you. Most of these tools are free and can be linked to your personal or work email. Just make sure that the apps abide by your company rules and risk profile.

7. Say no to meetings

work hard and play hard say no to meetings sometimes

Meetings take time. And a lot of the time, these meetings are not even really necessary. If you have a lot of things to do, and someone schedules a meeting, try to find out if your presence is necessary for the meeting. Or if the items on the agenda could be discussed through email, that would be a better venue. You only get so many hours in a day, after all.

This article first appeared on Madebyhemp.com in Collaboration with SFE Academy

Mentoring the Future

Mentoring the Future

Mentoring the future - Helping individuals achieve their qualifications.

Gene doping – How editing our genes for performance may be about to become mainstream

Gene doping – How editing our genes for performance may be about to become mainstream

Gene Doping

 

 

What is Gene Doping?

 

Gene doping is the use of DNA to alter how a gene works. It involves injecting new DNA into the body directly for the sole purpose of enhancing performance of an athlete.  The world anti-doping agency (WADA) is the international organisation tasked with ensuring sport is free from doping. Its core vision is “A world where all athletes can compete in a doping-free sporting environment.”   

 

WADA has undergone its fair share of criticism of late. The uncovering of systemic doping by athletes of the Russian federation in collusion with the authorities and the unsubstantiated counter claims made by them against other nations has sown discord and doubt in the public mind’s eye about the effectiveness of the international governing body that is supposed to prevent these kinds of abuses. Is a higher game afoot? A kind of 3D chess among competing geopolitical interests, although using the syringe as a chess piece? This article aims to examine the new frontier in performance enhancement, its leaps, its bounds and how we all might have to face its consequences.  

 

A brief history of gene technology and how we got to gene doping 

 

The Human Genome project (HGP) was an international research project to map all of the genes in all Human beings. The HGP project completed the sequencing of all Human genes. The circa 25,500 genes that form the hereditary blueprint for all Humans is now used across the world in research laboratories to try and understand how the genes are expressed. The HGP has had direct and indirect influences in fields as diverse as forensics, agriculture, molecular medicine, microbial genomics, and archaeology and now it seems sport too.  

 

Key Dates in the development of gene therapy and editing. 

 

To understand the role of gene doping in sport and exercise it is necessary to have an overview of the current state of gene technology and from the starting point of the HGP. These are some of the key developments in this field.  

 

  • 2005 – Gene therapy approved and used for the first time by scientists in Japan. In this case, the P53 gene had been delivered to a patient with squamous cell head and neck cancer.  

 

 

  • 2006 – Development of genetically engineered lymphocytes shows promise as a cancer treatment.  

 

  • 2011 – Successful use of gene therapy to treat haemophilia in mice.  

 

  • 2013Studies into the efficacy of using transcription activator like effector nuclease (TALENS) to correct an inherited skin disorder Epidermolysis Bullosa 

 

  • 2015 – Results from a phase 2 trial using Zinc finger nuclease to modify CD4 and CD8 cells to treat HIV patients.  

 

 

 

 

How Gene Expression is Regulated

 

There are two main ways that genes are regulated; control of transcription (DNA converted into its complimentary RNA code – think of a coat zip being undone) and translation (messenger RNA (mRNA) is used to make amino acids that make up proteins in your body) and changes in the structure of DNA.  Your DNA is a blueprint for the production of proteins which make up you. The blueprint is made up of four different bases; Adenine (A), Cytosine (C), Thymine (T) and Guanine (G). In RNA, Thymine is replaced with Uracil (U). The bases link up with specific bases to form base pairs; A&T, C&G 

 

Mutations are ways that the DNA can be altered and in some cases the alteration of DNA has effects on the way a protein is made and the gene is expressed.  One example of this is a point mutation.  Mutations to individual bases can be introduced by either substituting a base with another base or when a base pair is either substituted or deleted. Furthermore, an example of a point mutation is Tay- Sachs disease, Cystic fibrosis and Sickle cell anaemia 

 

There are a number of ways in which gene doping can potentially enhance performance. The up-regulation of some cellular functions in certain organs and tissues that lead to enhancing the capacity of the tissue or organ to deliver increased performance.  There are a number of candidate genes that if tweaked, could lead to performance enhancements.  

 

Endurance – Red Blood Cell Production  

 

Red blood cells (erythrocytes) are cells responsible for the transport of oxygen from the lungs to the cell and carbon dioxide from the cell to the lungs. It is easy to see why this would be a target for genetic manipulation for the purposes of performance enhancement. Erythropoietin is a hormone responsible for the production and maturation of erythrocytes.

 

Gene doping - Altering EPO to increase erythrocyte production

Credit: Human Genome Research Institute

90% of EPO is produced in the kidneys whilst the remaining 10% produced in the Liver.  Furthermore, the production of erythrocytes is regulated by the concentration of oxygen circulating in the body. In normal oxygen concentration conditions (normoxia) of the body, the activation of hypoxia-inducible transcription factor 1 alpha (HIF1α) is curtailed. As a result, the production of red blood cells in the body ameliorated. However, in conditions where oxygen levels are low (hypoxia) HIF1α binds to the Erythropoietin (EPO) gene leading to the gene being up-regulated which leads to increased levels of EPO. Therefore, the production of erythrocytes will increase as will the haemoglobin and haematocrit levels.Furthermore, this leads to an increase oxygen and carbon dioxide carrying capacity of the body. Ergo… increased performance.  

 

Muscle Strength and Endurance – Insulin like Growth Factor type 1 (IGF1)

 

IGF1 is produced in the liver and is controlled by growth hormone. The release of IGF1 stimulated by sleep, low blood glucose levels, hypoglycemia, high intensity exercise and low levels of IGF1 itself. This in turn stimulates the pituitary gland to release growth hormone which then releases IGF1.  

 

IGF1 has a role in muscle building (hypertrophy) this leads to increases in muscle power. Therefore, performance. It has been postulated that copies of the IGF1 gene could be inserted into muscle cells to cause hypertrophy. This could be valuable for strength and power events such as weightlifting and sprinting.  

 

Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (VEGF) & Fibroblast Growth Factor (FGF) 

 

Oxygen, carbon dioxide, nutrients and metabolic waste are all delivered or extricated by the vascular system. The body has a series of vessels connected to all organs and tissues for this purpose. Also, VEGF promotes the growth of the existing vasculature in a process termed angiogenesis. Whereas, FGF has a role in angiogenesis and tissues repair. The idea is that when copies of the gene coding for VEGF or FGF are introduced into muscle, this then will have the effect of promoting angiogenesis and increase muscles blood supply as a result.  

 

The role in sports performance is that a greater vascular micro structure results in increased oxygen deliver to the muscles and greater energy production for exercise.  

 

Gene doping and VEGF expression

The Vascular System.

Alpha Actinin 3

 

Alpha Actinin 3 (ACTN3) is postulated to play a role in fast twitch muscle contractions. This type of muscle fiber (fast twitch) is different from other fibers primarily by the way in which energy is derived for muscles contractions and how efficient the fiber is at producing energy from that ‘energy system’. ACTN3 has been termed the ‘speed gene’. A recent study suggests that ACTN3 plays an important role in muscle metabolism and the fatigability of the muscle. However, the study does not suggest that it plays a role in muscle hypertrophy.   

 

ACTN3 would be an obvious candidate for genetic manipulation to enhance speed performance in athletes. However,  if ACTN3 were to be down regulated to cause a deficiency, there could be a performance benefit for more endurance trained athletes.  

 

 

Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptor – α, β, δ, γ

 

PPAR’s play a role in cell differentiation and metabolism. There actions differ between to the four subsets but their use for the performance enhancement is interesting. They play a role in fat (lipid) metabolism, glucose homeostasis and insulin sensitivity. All three would be beneficial to an athlete interested in surreptitiously improving performance. Lipid metabolism in the liver and fat cells (adipocytes) is regulated by PPARα as is the breakdown (catabolism) and β oxidation of fatty acids (lipid metabolism). PPARβ, δ and γ on the other hand are responsible for the metabolism of glucose.  

 

The up-regulation of these genes would provide benefits in the increase in uptake of glucose by the cell. Therefore, increasing energy metabolism for exercise. Increased β oxidation would also provide benefits to energy production for exercise but it would also help athletes who need to ensure they are in the right weight category during competition such boxing, MMA and even bodybuilding.  

 

If the PPAR gene expression is exploited, it is also easy to see how this could easily cross into the main stream from elite sport. The proliferation and widespread abuse of anabolic steroids and growth hormone in gyms and health clubs today only reinforces the idea that societal pressure placed upon people to look good can lead people down all sorts of quick fix avenues.  

 

Gene Doping to Increase Psychological Performance.  

 

Several studies have assessed the possible candidates for altering the expression of certain genes that govern emotional control, stress and an athletes outlook during competitions. There are two main gene candidates in this regard; serotonin transporters (5HTT) and Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Altering the expression of these genes could produce improvements in all of the above psychological factors to accompany any physical changes the athlete experiences due to gene doping.  

  

Ethical and Philosophical Considerations

 

Altering the genes to enhance performance, is this cheating? Is this dangerous? Or is it inevitable? Gene doping raises some obvious ethical arguments.  Because the pace of change in the field of genetics means that we are fast approaching the point at which we will be in a world where athletes routinely alter their genes to gain the advantage. However. this has ramifications for us all. The use of anabolic steroids in the competitive bodybuilding in the 60’s and 70’s and the subsequent rise of the health and fitness industry in the intervening time has leached into the mainstream.  

 

Should we expect this to cross over too? Will society deal with it when gene doping does come along and what are the implications for society when we are in the era when gym members start to artificially alter the ways their genes are expressed just to look good? One could also argue that we all inherit  DNA, chromosomes and genes from successive generations with their own unique mutations. Some beneficial, some not so and some fatal.  

 

Why is Usain Bolt so fast? Is it to do with how ACTN3 is expressed and used in his muscles? What if another 100m runner didn’t have the same mutation as Usain Bolt or other runners. Therefore, giving a genetic disadvantage.  

 

By artificially altering our genes aren’t we just introducing mutations in a controlled way and leveling the playing field?  

 

In conclusion, It has only been since 2003 that we managed to map the Human genome. Although the pace of change in the field of gene editing, therapy, molecular medicine and others are increasing exponentially. However,  we are still in its infancy and there is a lot we have yet to learn and the dangers have not yet been fully realised.  

 

 Gene doping - Gene editing

Gene Doping: Editing the your way to performance?
Bogus trainers and a cluttered fitness training market.

Bogus trainers and a cluttered fitness training market.

Bogus trainers and a cluttered fitness training market.

 

 

The health and fitness industry has grown and as a nation we are becoming more interested in alternative health regimes. The fitness industry has grown in popularity around the world and alternative well-being is top of the agenda. Keeping fit and valuing our well-being, is highly recommended by personal trainers, doctors and other health practitioners to their patients. Furthermore, as an industry, we search out an instructor who can introduce us to a safe practice and have the right qualities and competencies to be a trainer.

 

A recent experience rushing from my daily chores to my yoga class, I but found a cover teacher instead. Yes, I was a little disappointed but inside my chattering mind, I thought just ‘give it a go’. As the class went on, I wasn’t assured by her practice. I felt there was no connection between her students and no flow and no adaptation to my needs made in the class. No encouragement and no emotional quotient. Yoga is supposed to be about looking inward and having a mind-body connection, not about posing.

 

What do others in the health and fitness industry say?

Ali Valdez sums up the health and fitness fitness industry and how the lack of knowledge, philosophy or emotional maturity to your practice can be detrimental to clients. “The fitness phenomenon has grown to big business, you can become a yoga instructor doing a 200 hour certificate program! Fantastic article on bogus trainers that don’t reflect the meditative skills, physical and spiritual guidance associated with genuine trainers.”

I’ve recently questioned the fitness industry as a whole and in the UK. There are no official qualifications required to teach yoga, so anyone can technically create a class and charge the “I saw you coming prices” for one to one lessons. Paul Fox from The British Wheel of Yoga (BWY) explains. That the fitness industry has become ‘shorter, less-vigorous, cheaper courses, which are mopping up the increasing appetite for teacher training.’

 

Bogus trainers and a cluttered fitness training market.

The way forward…

So, here’s my conclusion, to all this confusion the fitness industry if you are planning to step into any instruction programme. I would invest in time and money with accredited certification. Surely, there is a ‘duty of care’ as an instructor to provide validity as a qualified trainer. Therefore, protect the consumer. The potential consequences of this lack of regulation are poor competencies, potential injury to the client, and poor public perception of personal trainers. Additionally, it isn’t known whether personal trainers are meeting the needs of their clients. The criteria used in hiring them seems not to be clear.

Finally, I think that with the right tools trainers should project lifelong gains and to deliver the correct training processes. It is in the best interests of the  training establishments that there is available support to deliver high quality, professional and a confident approach.

Bogus trainers? Maybe. A way forward for for the industry? to coin a phrase ” Things can only get better”

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