Kettlebells – what and why are they Beneficial to exercise
I hope you all enjoyed my first exercise on deadlifts and I’m sure by now your technique is spot on and your strength is going through the roof.
Like deadlifts, I find kettlebells are very technical and hard to use, so until you know what you are doing you should leave them alone.
The last thing you want to do is injure yourself and not benefit from what kettlebells can do for you.
Firstly what are kettlebells “well they are those funny shaped balls with a handle on top of them…..shaped like a kettle?!’ The clue may just be in the name. But seriously kettlebells have been used for hundred of years and have a lot of key benefits to them.
The great thing about kettlebells is that they require you to focus on whole-body conditioning. So that means that no muscle is ever used on its own. They also involve a lot of compound and kinetic movements. Lifting and controlling a kettlebell forces the entire body, and specifically the core, to contract as a group, building both strength and stability at the same time. Kettlebells are great for working your posterior chain (basically from your head down your spine to your toes). They are a great way for re-engaging your glutes muscles (bum) as all the action and force comes from contracting and using your bum as your dominant muscle.
Over time our Glutes become lazy and less dominant and that is why a lot of us can suffer from lower back pain and tight hamstrings. Muscles are all connected to each other and work together and no muscle should ever be isolated remember your bum is one of your biggest muscles in your body so lets use it!
The benefits from Kettlebells are extensive, they can improve your posture, assist with weight loss, help with body conditioning, as well as improving your muscular strength, and bone density. The density of our bones is key as we get older and to women especially who can suffer from Osteoporosis (causes bones to become fragile and more prone to breaking.). They are also great for improving your overall Cardiovascular fitness and let’s not forget re-activating the glutes.
To sum up I think Kettlebells are a great way of exercising, but you must know what they are and how to use them before you start swinging them about.
I have put together a little video for you below; this will hopefully be helpful to you. It is a little circuit consisting of 4 exercises; 3 using the kettlebells then one based on just cardio. Give it a go and try to do the circuit up to 5 times with a minute rest in-between.
Have Fun and look before you swing!!!!!!!!
Little and often – The key to weight management
Ah, snacking – the age old problem, or is it? Although it may have long been associated with poor eating habits, it seems that eating little and often can be the best way to meet nutritional needs. For instance, did you know that by eating five meals a day you can shed up to 5lb in just five days? You can almost bid adieu to the days when three square meals a day was the answer to sensible eating. Now it seems that by eating more regularly – all be it smaller portions – you can also avoid the feeling of being bloated and tiredness which can stem from gorging at one sitting. In short, little and often eating can help you lose weight, control your hunger and stay healthier.
Eating small, regular meals helps to stabilise your blood sugar, controls energy levels and curbs the dips in concentration and energy you may experience when you’re hungry. Hunger pains can find us reaching for the biscuit tin, but eating little and often keeps hunger at bay alongwith an urge to overeat.
It is important to understand the effect of low blood sugar levels on the body, and the food craving it causes. Keeping a food diary may help to highlight when you binge and the types of food you are eating that trigger a rapid and false sense of hunger.
Diabetics often follow the GI index (the Glycaemic Index) this is a chart which tells them how quickly a given carbohydrate can feed glucose into the blood, obviously glucose, sugar is number 1 at a score of 100 .But did you know for example cooked parsnips are at 97 and watermelon, yes a fruit is 72? So it shows that not all foods that we think are good for us in fact are. The GI index is great value for you to follow if you are engaged in weight management and regular training.
Cutting out alcohol, caffeine, and sugary foods will prevent the yo-yo effect on the body’s blood sugar levels.
Eating food that is low in sugar will provide a slow and sustained energy release throughout the day. Eating little and often, and including complex carbohydrates to fill you up will also help. Cutting out alcohol, caffeine, and sugary foods will prevent the yo-yo effect on the body’s blood sugar levels. The regulation of blood sugar is controlled within our body by the hormone insulin and a sudden large rise in blood sugar promotes its production. Insulin is associated with the storage of fat.
Your body actual burns calories when you eat, this is called the thermal effect of food (TEF), TEF accounts for between 6-10% of daily energy expenditure for men and between 6-7% for women So you see by eating little but often your body keeps ticking over , it keeps on burning the calories never having time to rest . It gives you more sustained energy and also increases your metabolism which is great for weight management.
Before you undertake a diet plan you should always seek help from a medical professional. Some eating regimes may not be suitable for people with health conditions, so it is always important to check first.
If you combine eating healthily with eating little and often and take into account the above advice with regular exercise you will get the results you want !!!!