London gym chain The Third Space gives us the lowdown on health and fitness trends for 2012.
The 4D approach
The experts at The Third Space think that a 4D approach to our wellness is the way forward and want us to address our fitness, nutrition, medical status and lifestyle. As Matt Julian (Head of Fitness) states "It is no good training hard at the gym for an hour, and then going home to drink a couple of glasses of whiskey!"
For your own '4D' approach, try to incorporate a healthy balanced diet with regular vigorous exercise. Minimise your alcohol consumption and try to incorporate some 'me time' such as yoga, mediation or reading a book in a quiet room to counter any stress in your life. If you have not seen a GP in years, then book yourself in for health screening: we should all know that our blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugars are within the healthy range.
This means instead of sitting on a machine doing a chest press (working only one set of muscles at a time) you should move as many joints as possible in one movement. So imagine lunging with a twist and bicep curl at the same time. This type of movement is much more natural (imagine placing a child in the back of a car: you bend, twist, reach and push all at once) and will better prepare your body for the onslaught of life.
I recently interviewed Michol Dalcourt who invented the very popular ViPR training device. He invented the ViPR after working with US hockey pros. The fittest, strongest player was a farmer, and his everyday work of chopping, sawing, twisting and throwing bales of hay meant that he was naturally so much stronger and more powerful than the other players that Michol was inspired to create a training tool to replicate these movements. Read the full interview.
I have been exploring this myself and am currently testing several 'barefoot' style shoes (watch this space for updates on my progress). As well as barefoot running, people are starting to understand the importance of strength training barefoot and of course yoga has been performed barefoot for centuries. Training without the support of trainers, means that your will get more feedback from your body and will also strengthen muscles in your lower limbs as well as improve your balance.
These are becoming increasing popular, with classes such as yoga/spin and cardio-pilates giving people a fun workout and saving them precious time on two classes for the price of one!
So whether you need a new trend to get you off the sofa, or if it is your straining jeans that are calling for help, be nice to your body and move it more!
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