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HOLISTIC FITNESS & SPORTS SCIENCE QUESTIONS

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What is HOLISTIC FITNESS?


The concept of holistic fitness goes beyond the usual targets of cardio and strength training. It considers the entire body as a "whole" and approaches fitness by also considering your internal and external environment to optimise your goals: body composition, skill development, aesthetics, athletic performance and overall wellbeing.




How to you train HOLISTIC fitness and sports?


Training using a holistic approach means you consider a broader range of training methods and styles. You will be viewing your physical performance, aesthetics, nutrition and mental wellbeing into the mix using a variety of different approaches. Think of it like a "spice mix": rather than training with one of a few focuses in mind; a holistic approach adds a whole variety of flavours, by incorporating a range of functional training methods to develop strength, endurance, cardio, mobility, stability, physical optimisation, body composition, mental wellbeing and skill. It considers integrating a healthy approach to nutrition that is specific to YOUR body, relying on natural resources as opposed to synthetic supplements




How does GENETICS affect your physical fitness?


The genes carried in our DNA are responsible for predetermining certain physical factors at birth: eye colour, what type of muscle fibre are predominant, our blood type, the shape of our bones, our likelihood to inherit genetic diseases, etc.. They affect our physical "starting point" and can help determine our maximum athletic ability. The range between minimal and maximal performance can change based on the intensity and type of training, and how our bodies adapt to any / or a combination of different training methods.




How do I lose BELLY FAT?


One of the most frequently asked questions on the internet. Let us be entirely honest: there is NO PRODUCT or fad diet out there that can miraculously get rid of your belly fat. What's more, you cannot spot-reduce belly fat by targeting a specific area (e.g. crunches/situps). Your body will gradually decrease your body fat as a result of an optimised and healthy nutrition plan and enough movement to balance your nutrient intake, calories and metabolism. A boost of exercise will be highly efficient to kick-start the fat-loss process. For maximum results, contact a CERTIFIED Personal Trainer and a medical nutritionist for a solution to suit your specific genetics and lifestyle.




Do SUPPLEMENTS really help?


The world of supplements can be a slippery slope that is full of chemical and additives. Our bodies have naturally evolved through time to function optimally with foods that can be found in nature (whole foods). Any product sold to you under the pretence of being a "miracle cure" or performance booster may be a marketing drive with little or no scientific backup. To be sure: ask your doctor, certified medical nutritionist or a trusted personal trainer to look at the food label. Ensure they are quality ingredients that suit your SPECIFIC needs - and check that the professional you are asking is not tied into a commercial contract to sell you that brand of products!




How can you increase your FLEXIBILITY?


To increase your flexibility, you need to use a combination of stretching, mobility and stability. This will allow your muscles, tissues and your joints to increase their length and hold the position in place during movements and static holds. Flexibility training requires warmup and preparation to be safe, and strength to remain stable. Find out more in our "8 Stretching Mistakes" article.




What is the difference between MOBILITY and FLEXIBILITY?


FLEXIBILITY is the ability for our muscles and connective tissues to extend and function at different length and stretch points. MOBILITY is the ability of our joints and connective tissues to move freely and use the flexibility without physical restriction.




How do you improve your STABILITY?


Stability exercises target the smaller "stabiliser" muscles that keep your joints working correctly, reducing unwanted movements. Stability training will allow your joints to move, your body to function in a correct movement pattern and utilise the right muscles. Typical stability training exercise involve challenging your balance and controlling small movements and weights.




Is it OK to work out when I'm SORE?


Firstly, you need to understand if you are feeling pain (sharp) or if you have a lactic acid build (sore). If you're feeling any sharp pain, consult your coach, physiotherapist or doctor before you carry on training. If you're feeling a little sore: this is a sign your previous training was VERY efficient... perhaps TOO efficient if you're so sore you cannot move. Recovery is an essential part of training: if your body feels like it needs a break, it may need it. Learn to listen to your body and next time you train, make sure you push yourself enough to feel it, but not so much that you can't move the following days and need a more extended break between sessions.




Is SITTING bad for you?


Human beings did not evolve sitting in chairs: we have evolved with movement being an integral part of our lives. Sitting for extended hours of time (or being fixed in ANY permanent position for the majority of time) will inevitably build up to give us back pains, poor posture, difficulty moving, hip and knee stiffness and could lead to more severe consequences. Even if you exercise for an hour a day, staying still in the same position can have serious consequences. Try to vary your seating positions and add as much opportunities to add movement into your daily routine.. it doesn't have to be exercise: just move a little more!




How much should your EXERCISE?


The answer depends: how much do you MOVE daily? Exercise is only a solution to increase our movement quota: so the answer entirely depends on your existing habits. Of course, certain statistics will say that the "average" person should exercise for 150 minutes of moderate activity and 75 of vigorous activity per week. Of course, this is only a statistical guideline that does not take into consideration your "daily active living" quota.. movement is life! So if you move more, you need to exercise less!




What is DAILY ACTIVE LIVING?


Daily active living coniders how much movement you integrate in your daily life, for example walking to get your shopping, cycling to work, gardening, cleaning, running after your toddler.. adding enough movement into your daily routine is a great way to boost your wellbeing. So if you move more, you'll need to exercise less!




What is the difference between STRENGTH and ENDURANCE?


Endurance is the ability of our muscles to exert force for a maximum amount of time. Strength is the ability of our muscles to exert maximum effort.




What is the difference between STRENGTH and POWER?


Strength is the ability of our muscles to exert maximum effort. Power is the combination of simultaneous speed and strength




What is the difference between SPEED and REACTION?


Speed is the rapidity of controlled movement and our muscle contractions. Reaction is the rapidity of our movement response to an external stimulus. For instance: how fast Usain Bolt can run the 100m (speed) vs how fast Bolt would dodge a ball flying towards him.




What is the difference between ACCURACY and AGILITY?


Accuracy is the precision of small and large movement combined with speed. Agility is our ability to adapt and change direction with ease.




What is PROPRIOCEPTION?


Proprioception is our body's ability to perceive movement and space, enabled by the ongoing exchange of information between our brain and our nervous system. For example, our ability to close our eyes and still touch our nose.




Can HORMONES effect my performance?


Hormones are a chemical messenger that enable multiple functions in the body. They vary based on our permanent biology as well as changes in our internal and external environments. If our body has a shift of hormonal patterns (from stress, fatigue, puberty, menopause or changes in our diet for example) it can have an effect on our athletic performance. We can use nutrition and other means of holistic training methods to support improvements in our wellbeing and athletic performance.




Can STRESS affect my exercise performance?


Studies show that mental and physical stress can inhibit our physical performance abilities. Including a mental wellbeing plan as well as training strategies to improve our performance capabilities is considered a HOLISTIC approach to sports training.




How can I improve my BALANCE?


BALANCE is a combination of several physical aspects: proprioception (your body's ability to percieve it's position within space) joint stability (your muscles and connective tissues working correctly to keep joints in place) and the vestibular system (your internal compass, monitored within your eardrums). You can improve your balance throught stability training exercises, yoga, pilates and slow, controlled exercises using unstable surfaces.





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