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How can exercise help you stay young and feel great!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017
How exercise can help you stay young & feel wonderful

I watched a BBC programme the other day on how exercise can help your brain and body stay young and there are a few points I would like to share with you
How to keep the brain young.
We all know as we aged our brain can lose some of that sharpness we once had. You forget things, problems are harder to solve.
Well all is not lost…
They did a study where they got together a group of people all in their 60s. To start they had to do a logical & thinking test and recorded the results. Then for 10 weeks half of them walked and the other half played table tennis several times a week.
At the end of the 10 weeks they resat the same test.
The results showed three key things;
1. An increase in their cognitive processing.
2. Their brains had changed physically, the hippocampus and grey matter had increased in size. This is the area that controls memory and decisions making.
3. Their emotional state had improved with people feeling happier and more positive, particularly those playing table tennis.
Why did this happen?
Well when we exercise we raise our heart rate and this gets the blood following faster and improves the flow to our brains. It also increases the release of those feel good chemicals.
Also when you exercise with others you have a social interaction which is good for our emotional state. Whether it is a friend(s) or trainer.
And finally for some of the people they were learning a new skill. This is what creates new connections between your brain cells.
In Summary
Movement increases your blood flow to your brain which helps to keep it healthy. And if it involves are new routine or skill then you are forming new neural connections as well.
If you would like some advice or assistance on what is the best form of exercise for you to do please get in touch with either Paul or myself at the gym or pop in and see us. Next time I will talk about how it helps the body stay young.
Paul: Mobile 021 409 558 Email paul@advancedfitness.co.nz
Jane: Mobile 021 2727 003 Email: jane@advancedfitness.co.nz


Jane Williams
Personal Trainer
Advanced Fitness

Event preparation..........enjoy the process enjoy the event!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Event or experience…….lets help you enjoy the day! (Experience could be a tramp or ride that isn't race i.e. Old Ghost Road.)

When it comes to events we spend a lot of time focusing on the event, the outcome and then rely on our result meeting our expectation to say we were successful or at least happy with how it all went!

I would like to share from my own experience and from speaking with others, some take home tips on what I’ve learnt from my event/experience preparation and races.

1) Prepare well, train well……avoid what I call grey area training which is training with mid to high intensity and frequently but not for race duration. Is your race 3 hours long but all of your training sessions are tiring 1 hour sessions…….? You may be adding a lot of fatigue without improving fitness that you can use. Look at doing longer more moderate intensity work for the time you expect to riding/ running for and then short high intensity repeat efforts for strength and power gains. Check out the map/course of the event and find some comparable ground/ elevation so you’re not surprised when it comes to your race.

2) Prepare well! Same as point 1, but we will focus on looking after yourself and recovery. Eat well and eat enough, under eating will lead to under recovering which will have a big impact on your performance and increase the risk of injury. Hydrate well to allow your body to load and move well, you should aim for 30% of your bodyweight in water intake daily….more when exercising. Eat something easily digestible in the 30mins post exercise and a good meal in the 3 hours following.

3) Adapt your training to where you’re at……each day your body will respond differently to training which is why it is important to have a plan and avoid training too hard. It's also important to adapt your session each time if you’re not 100%
Here is a few questions to ask yourself…
Have you had 6 hours sleep last night?
Have you had water in the last 90 mins?
Have you eaten something nutritious in the last 5 hours?
Have you had a stressful day?
Do I have any aches, pains or niggles?

All of the above will have an impact on your ability to perform, if you’re finding you’re always getting the wrong answers then work on the behaviour change needed so you arrive at your training time ready to go!


4) Connect in training: Train with a friend or like-minded person who enjoys doing what you do, they don’t need to match your fitness level but avoid judging yourself on their performance when you know they are fitter than you. We know when we change the emotive response you get from exercise, we change performance, enjoy your training and you will enjoy the process not just the outcome! You will find an event or experience is a great way to get your kids healthy and fitness focused.

5) Don’t build up your expectations, enjoy the day……..I’ve done this to myself, put too much pressure on myself on the day and raced my race in the car on the way to the event. Worrying, stressed , trying to control everything I can’t control and raced at a speed I can’t maintain because I had under trained! All of the above will equal a performance that doesn’t meet your expectation.

Set a realistic goal that’s based on your own training, fitness level, experience in the event and preparation; then enjoy the challenge. Focus on the process and you will enjoy the outcome! Don’t forget to admire the scenery as often your event will cover some of the best area’s our country has to offer.

Completing an event can be the most invigorating experience and can be the start of a great journey. It’s always motivating to have a goal with your fitness, being able to have the feeling of accomplishment as you sit around after discussing war stories from the day is a feeling I would encourage you to experience.

My challenge to you is to find something (event or experience) you feel would challenge you and lock in your spot!

Connection through exercise........why?

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Connection…………Why?

As humans we crave connection with others! You could say we are pack animals!

At Advanced Fitness we believe that creating connection through exercise gives us benefits beyond the physiological change in fitness or strength.

Connecting with others is powerful beyond what we realise. Its as simple was this question? Do you enjoy exercising with your friends more than on your own?

Im going to answer for you…….yes! Lets face it exercise isn't complicated but it works better with connection. (If you answered no try finding someone else)

I would class my self as self motivated and someone who loves exercise (as weird as that might sound to some of you) but I always prefer to train with a friend. Why? Not because I’m not motivated otherwise but its just fun. NO ONE DISLIKES FUN!

We always look at the real reason why we exercise, some of us just want to be fit but as a whole there is much more to be gained from exercise and we find most people want some connection from there exercise. We know you are more likely to continue with your exercise if you feel connected to someone who comes along and feel like you can speak and talk and communicate and feel like your listened to. That will go along way to your feeling of belonging.

In the modern online world we have lots of “friends” but often not many people we are truly connected to. The world has never been so connected with some many disconnected people.

Online we use whats called an upward referral by looking for external motivation to gain feedback on what we are trying to achieve. If our motivation to see change or exercise is geared by what you think others think of you then expect to ride a wave of emotions and have inconsistent motivation.

Great if your admired by thousands but for most of us being motivated by our own desire to change and sense of achievement from making progress is going to be a healthier motivator. I believe my industry has a lot to answer for……..

My industry is great at trying to get you hyped up on the idea of short term goals “6 weeks to a new you” “ lose 10kg in 10 weeks” when in reality fitness should be about a lifestyle and long term health and wellbeing or performance. We lead you to believe that what others think is important and therefore we should do what ever it takes to get there then make sure everyone knows about it to make us feel like its worthwhile.

Sorry I got off track a bit there! A bit of a rant!

Here is what ill leave you with……
Next time your looking for something else with your exercise or feel like your missing something look for connection. Small group training can be fun or find a friend who has similar interests and level of fitness.

Don’t be afraid to ask, you never know there will be someone just as keen as you!

Our expectation drives our behaviour, set a negative expectation and you will always make that choice you wish you hadn't. Set an internal positive outlook and be open to change and watch your choices shift for the better.


Paul Todd- Health and Performance Coach
Advanced Fitness

Asking the right questions

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

We constantly ask ourselves questions......or question our decisions.

Questions around exercise are no different, with our often short term focused mindset its easy to hesitate or doubt that we are on track when results don't occur as quickly as we would like.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

1) What really makes me happy? We often have a desired outcome in mind, that idea of when we achieve that "GOAL" we will be successful therefore happy! This often leads to a focus on the outcome not the process/es that are needed to be successful. Find out what makes you happy.......enjoy your exercise and success will follow because the behaviour change needed for success will occur without effort.

2) Am i focused on the process? I like the term "process orientated" Its easy to weigh our entire motivation on the end result when in reality creating motivation around the day to day behaviour change needed to see the end result is a better use of our energy.
Its likley that the habits you will need to form to be successful in your fitness or health related goals will need to remain long after you have achieved the goal you set out to achieve at the beginning. Focus on the process and set goals based on the behaviour change!

3) Is it pleasure or pain? Our brain will always drive us towards pleasure but what will override this is the drive to move away from pain. Is your exercise filled with pain physical or mental/emotional pain, a lack of enjoyment or a frustration that no progress is being made? If we have to create pain to succeed we will be in a constant fight with ourselves and of course be questioning our decisions constantly.

Change your language and mindset and success will follow.

If you would like help asking the right questions talk to one of us.