2014 in Review: Fitness and Health Articles

2014 in Review: Fitness and Health Articles

As we look forward to 2015, let’s look back and see what we covered last year.

This review of the articles posted to the FunFit website in 2014 let’s us reflect on what we’ve learned, and allows us to get the most out of this year.

Let’s get into to it! 🙂

FunFit Crew

Fitness (6 Articles)

Let’s start with how to define fitness. A definition of fitness let’s you set clear goals and measure your progress as objectively as possible.

http://fun-fit.com.au/what-is-fitness-measurable-definition/

Now that you know that strength is a fundamental component of fitness, you can figure out ‘how strong are you?’ and see if you have any relative weaknesses you can focus on.

http://fun-fit.com.au/strength-standards-how-strong-are-you/

If you are just getting (back) into fitness or would like a refresher on how to get the most out of training, then please read this guide for beginners. (Or send the link to a friend!)

http://fun-fit.com.au/fitness-newbie-success-guide/

For those of you who’ve heard of Crossfit, or have been doing it for a while, please read my take on the pros and cons of Crossfit.

http://fun-fit.com.au/love-hate-relationship-crossfit/

If you or someone you know is pregnant or considering it, please read this guide on how you can get the most out of training while pregnant – safely of course! (Please share!)

http://fun-fit.com.au/pregnancy-exercise/

The Primal Blueprint is hands down one of the best lifestyle books out there. Read my review of this fundamental work.

http://fun-fit.com.au/primal-blueprint-review/

little ninjas self defence

Self Defence/Martial Arts (3 Articles)

Understand the motivation behind self defence training.

http://fun-fit.com.au/real-self-defence-risk-management/

Are you a parent? Please read this to help your kids keep themselves safe when they’re out and about and are offered a lift. (Please share with other parents)

http://fun-fit.com.au/pick-password-safety-tip-for-kids/

I’m often asked how to correctly tie a belt for martial arts. Here’s a video to which you can refer.

http://fun-fit.com.au/tie-belt-martial-arts/

prehabilitation

Rehab/Prehab (4 Articles)

Move better. Improve your functionality. Reduce the likelihood or severity of injury. Prehab.

Sore lower back? It’s often down to poor squat mechanics, weak and/or tight quads and glutes and tight hip flexors and hamstrings. Check out this video to help you do something about it!

http://fun-fit.com.au/quad-hamstring-lower-back-mobility-video/

Following up on the lower back, here’s a 9 stretch sequence you can do with a band to maintain or improve your suppleness.

http://fun-fit.com.au/9-ways-bands-can-help-stretch/

For those who like to integrate suppleness and strength dynamically, there’s FlowFit. Move, play, flow!

http://fun-fit.com.au/flowfit-move-better/

Done something to yourself? Check this out so you know for sure – when to ice and when to use heat. (Thanks again to Chirotherapy for the guest post!)

http://fun-fit.com.au/injury-treatment-ice-heat/

nutrition

Nutrition (2 Articles)

I have no problem with people criticising the Paleo Diet. What I do have a problem with is people misrepresenting the Paleo Diet (straw man) and then criticising what it isn’t. Example here.

http://fun-fit.com.au/paleo-diet-criticism/

Just in case you missed it in the fitness section above – this is a fantastic book. Please (re)read my review.

http://fun-fit.com.au/primal-blueprint-review/

Recipes (5 Articles)

Yummy things!

Delicious and low effort, slow cooked Turkey.

http://fun-fit.com.au/recipe-slow-cooked-turkey-garlic-mustard/

For the sweet tooth – gluten free, dairy free chocolate brownies.

http://fun-fit.com.au/paleo-chocolate-brownie-bites/

Need breakfast ideas? How about banana pancakes?

http://fun-fit.com.au/paleo-banana-pancake-recipe/

Looking for a healthy snack? Look no further!

http://fun-fit.com.au/recipe-kale-chips-win/

Choc Raspberry Cupcakes. Check this out – you won’t regret it!

http://fun-fit.com.au/recipe-choc-raspberry-cupcakes/

What are your thoughts on what you read in 2014?

I have a few ideas for 2015 – What would you like to see?

What Black Belt Attitude means when you’re 10

Black Belt Attitude.

This term is used a lot in martial arts. Especially with kids.
Let’s have a look at what it means to a 10 year old in the kids ninjutsu program at FunFit.

What Black Belt Attitude means to me

by Douglas Cameron (age 10)

  • It means not harming or using your skills against anyone unless they are a threat to you or to the society
  • It means helping people out no matter if you know them or not
  • It means to keep training and attending classes
  • It means to not boast to anyone about your black belt
  • It means to wear your black belt with pride
  • It means to wear your black belt to all ninjutsu classes
  • It means to not be too silly in class
  • It means to try to complete all tasks presented unless you can’t due to an injury
  • It means to attend all classes unless you are sick or away from Sydney

Compare this to the principles of bushido.

bushido black belt attitude

(If for some reason the image doesn’t load for you, the principles are:
Integrity, Respect, (Heroic) Courage, Honour, Compassion, Veracity (Honesty and Sincerity), (Duty and Loyalty).

Real Self Defence is Risk Management

Risk managment flow

Personal Risk Management matters

Please take a moment to reflect. What steps do we take to ensure we can enjoy a safe, happy and healthy life?
We take out insurance for car. For our home and contents. For travel. Some for death or permanent disability.

Almost all of us have learned to swim. Initially to prevent drowning and then for enjoyment. Many of us will have undertaken a first-aid course. Knowing how to treat injury and save lives is important.

On the North Shore we are very fortunate. We have access to a range of quality health practitioners who are skilled in injury diagnosis and treatment and future prevention.

These demonstrate proactive measures (planning for issues in advance – swimming, insurance and injury prevention) and reactive measures (first aid and physical therapy).

risk management chart

Sadly, there appears to be a breakdown in the prevention logic when it comes to self defence skills.

I think it’s due to a couple of factors. “Good people” (productive and social members of the community) not wanting to learn how to hurt others. This combined with an inaccurate perception of what comprises self defence training.

risk management circle

Self defence training is risk management.

It’s learning awareness and avoidance strategies to keep you out of dangerous situations.
It’s verbal tactics to de-escalate conflict.
It’s body language cues to alter the mood.
It’s understanding (but not agreeing with!) the thought process of the attacker so you are better prepared.

Physical training does make up a large part of training. This is so the practitioner has effective skill that work under pressure or if taken by surprise. However, physical is the last option. When all the other risk management skills have failed.

The scenario matters.
Adults may be at the pub. At the ATM or waiting for a taxi.
Teens may be catching public transport. Going to the movies. Hanging out in a park.
Kids may be waiting for school pickup. Walking to a friend’s house.

All these situations offer a higher degree of risk than sitting at home.

While the practice of self defence may not be compatible with every personality, ignoring the need for self defence skills will not make you safe from violence.

So, why are we averse to learning risk management skills that can PREVENT physical injury and psychological trauma?

Get in touch about self defence training now!

The Pick-up Password – Safety tip to protect your child

kids safety password

If you’re a parent then you care about your kids.
You want to know your kids are safe.
You want to know where they are.
A simple password can make all the difference.

Having a system for school pickup is a must. Most parents tell their kids if they are going to be picked up by someone else. Sometimes the parent might forget. Sometimes the child may not remember. A simple, yet effective solution is the pick-up password. The parent and child agree on a password. Only the parent, child and authorised collector know it. That way, if someone forgets an arrangement there is a quick solution.

Situational examples:

“Hi Billy.”
“Hi Mrs Jones.”
“Billy, your mum asked me to pick you up from school today.”
“Oh, ok. What’s the password?”
“Oh, yes. Your mum said you’d ask me that. The password is (correct answer)”
“Thanks Mrs Jones. Let’s go!”
(Gets in the car)

“Hi Billy.”
“Hi Mrs Jones.”
“Billy, your mum asked me to pick you up from school today.”
“Oh, ok. What’s the password?”
“Password? She didn’t tell me one!”
OR
“The password is (incorrect answer)”
OR
“Get in the car. I don’t have time for this!”
“Thanks anyway Mrs Jones, but my mum said “No password, no go!”
(Billy now goes to find a teacher)

Simple steps any kid can learn:

  1. Choose a password you and your child can easily remember
  2. Any time you arrange someone to collect your child remember to tell them the password!
  3. At pickup, your child will challenge the collector for the password.

If the password is correct, your child knows they are safe to go (and will probably be chuffed with the system!)
If the password is incorrect your child knows to run and find a teacher immediately.

Using a simple (polite) challenge/response system like this achieves a number of things.

  • Your child is safer at pickup time
  • You and your child will be more aware of personal safety without any fear or paranoia
  • Remove situational ambiguity so your child can practice making confident choices
  • Give your child the ability to say “no” to adults in certain appropriate situations

The exact wording can be modified depending on the age of the kids involved. The message must stay clear.
This tip (and many others) are the sort of thing taught in the self defence classes at FunFit.

Do you think this system would work for you? Please post your thoughts to comments and share this with parents you think could benefit. Thanks.

Goal Setting: Planning to Succeed – this is really Important!

Do you know how to set a goal that will help you achieve what you want?

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water.”
– Rabindranath Tagore

Goal setting may be one of the most important skills you can learn.

In fitness, knowing what you want means you and your trainer can put together a plan to work towards your goals. Whether you want to lose ‘weight’, improve your strength, get leaner, improve your core strength, get more flexible/improve mobility, increase your cardiovascular or muscular endurance or have sport-specific goals has a huge impact on the programming – exercise selection, timing, rest, sets, reps and loads.

In martial arts, knowing whether your true interest lies in MMA, fitness, kata (patterns), tournaments or street-realistic self defence can have a huge impact on the style you choose or the emphasis you want to put on different aspects of your training.

Start the process by choosing 1-3 targets. Limiting the number means you won’t get discouraged if you have lots of things you’d like to improve. Map them out – making sure they are SMART:

Specific
Measurable
Achievable
Relevant
Time-based

Specific
This means the goal is clear and unambiguous; without vagaries and platitudes. To make goals specific they must say exactly what is expected and why is it important.

A specific goal will usually answer five “W” questions:
What: What do I want to accomplish?
Why: Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.
Who: Who is involved?
Where: Identify a location.
Which: Identify requirements and constraints.

Measurable
This stresses the need for concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of the goal. The thought behind this is that if it is not measurable, it is not possible to know whether progress is being made toward successful completion. Measuring progress is supposed to you stay on track, reach target dates, and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs on to continued effort required to reach the ultimate goal.

A measurable goal will usually answer questions such as:
How much?
How many?
How will I know when it is accomplished?

Achievable
This stresses the importance of realism and attainability. While an attainable goal may be a stretch to achieve, the goal is not extreme. That is, it is neither out of reach nor below standard performance, as these may be considered meaningless. When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitudes, abilities, skills, and capacity to reach them.
An attainable goal will usually answer the question:
How: How can the goal be accomplished?

S.M.A.R.T goalsGoals-mistakes

Relevant
This stresses the importance of choosing goals that matter. A bank manager’s goal to “Make 50 peanut butter sandwiches by 2:00pm” may be specific, measurable, attainable, and time-based, but lacks relevance. Many times you will need support to accomplish it. A goal that supports or is in alignment with other goals would be considered relevant.

A relevant goal can answer yes to these questions:
Does this seem worthwhile?
Is this the right time?
Does this match my other efforts/needs?

Time-based
This emphasizes the importance of grounding goals within a time frame, giving them a target date. A commitment to a deadline helps efforts to be focussed on completion on or before the due date. This part of the SMART goal criteria is intended to prevent goals from being overtaken by the day-to-day crises that invariably arise in life. A time-bound goal is intended to establish a sense of urgency.

A time-bound goal will usually answer the question:
When?
What can I do six months from now?
What can I do six weeks from now?
What can I do today?

Using these criteria – think hard about what you really want. Write it down. Start planning. Start achieving your goals!

Self Defence and Martial Arts – What’s the difference?

A lot of people use the terms ‘self defence’ and ‘martial arts’ interchangeably. They have some overlap but are different things and should not be confused. A martial arts school can teach self defence, or it may ‘only’ teach martial arts.

Martial arts is the practice of physical techniques. These can vary greatly in focus. Super effective street realistic maneuvers, MMA (mixed martial arts made prominent by the Ultimate Fighting Championships); sparring (fighting for points or practice at full speed); and forms (patterns of movement to cement technique or for stylistic tradition).

Self Defence training is concerned with risk assessment and measures to minimize or eliminate that risk. The risk in this case is of being attacked. Risk minimization strategies include situation awareness, understanding the motivations and tactics of the attacker, how to circumvent the attacker’s behaviour, maintain distance and boundaries, choice speech to defuse the situation, pre-contact cues – and, of course, effective technique to escape and get home safely.

Obviously, smaller targets (potential victims) who appear weaker than the attacker will be more likely to be targeted. Women, teens, kids and older adults are all at increased risk compared to a large, strong looking adult male. It is even more important that these ‘at risk’ populations are pro-active in getting the right training to keep themselves safe.

In real-life emergency situations, defending yourself is not a sport. There will be no rules, no referee and no time-frame.
The assumption must be that the attacker is faster, stronger and much more aggressive. If they didn’t feel superior, stronger and faster, they wouldn’t attack. The strategies and tactics used must match the scenario.

That’s when realistic, scenario-based training will make the difference in improving your odds of avoiding or escaping the situation and getting home safely.

For more information, or to book into a self defence session, please contact Tim

.

Seniors Expo 2013

The Seniors’ Safety Expo will be on soon. It’s planned for 9.30am to 12.30pm, Tuesday 19th March 2013 to be held at the Turramurra Uniting Church, Turramurra Avenue, Turramurra.

The Expo will have around 20-30 stalls, invited from the various Crime Prevention, Insurance, Security and Personal Safety industries. The emergency services are also to be invited. Leaflets will be on display for those organisations unable to have a presence. We are hoping for a secure corral area with a demo and trial of power-assisted wheelchair scooters – what fun! Presentations of around 15 – 20mins are being planned to run during the Expo. We currently have on the schedule (selection tbc):

09:00 Doors open
09:30 Official Welcome – the Hon Barry O’Farrell, Premier, NSW
09:45 Police Looking After Seniors – Kuring Gai Local Area Commander, Supt Jeff Philippi (tbc) and Carroll Howe, Chair, Kuring gai Police & Community Safety Committee
10:00 At Home; Safe & Secure – our Crime Prevention Officer, NSW Police;
10:30 House & Bush Fires; An Aussie Problem – NSW Fire & Rescue Service, Gordon (tbc)
11:00 ‘Out & About’ | Personal Safety on the Move – Tim Brown, FunFit;
11:30 ‘Don’t be a Humpty Dumpty’ | Fall Prevention – Institute of Trauma and Trauma Management (speaker tbc);
12:00 ‘Ramps n Rails’ for Seniors – Hornsby Ku-ring-gai Home Modification and Maintenance Service? (tbc)
12:30 Close

If you know someone who would be interest in attending this FREE event please share this post.

Stay safe out there!

Colorado Tragedy: Scenario Based Training and Functional Fitness

A brief post today – linking to a thought provoking article by an American police officer and martial artist, Rick Randolph.
Like me, Rick is interested in scenario-based personal self defence training and functional fitness and has trained with Tony Blauer.

“…responsible training in real life scenarios…mentally and physically preparing yourself and your family for a horrible situation like this, empowering them with the tools and awareness to find a solution – to get out of there safely. Mental preparation, fear management, functional fitness and principle based tactics are the keys.”

http://rick-rickrandolph.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/thoughts-on-colorado.html

Please feel free to share your thoughts below.

Little Ninjas – Martial Arts for Kids

If you can't see the image, well played ninjas!

Our specialized Little Ninja’s Program is an age- specific curriculum that is professionally designed to teach children important life skills in a fun, exciting and enriching manner. Teach your child coordination, concentration and self-control using the excitement and fun of the Little Ninja Martial Arts skills. Teach key life lessons you would want your child to know.

Your Child Will Achieve More Than Just Learning to Kick and Punch

Little Ninja activities will keep your child physically fit and many of the group activities show children the benefits of good behavior. Best of all, your child’s class curriculum will also help them see the value of teamwork, good manners and trying their best outside the classroom.

The 8 main life skills that are taught in the Little Ninjas Program are Team-work, Balance, Focus, Self-Discipline, Memory, Self-Control, Coordination, Fitness.

Little Ninjas Reinforces Your Family Values

Many of the same concepts you are teaching your child at home will be consistently reinforced through classroom discussions in your child’s program. Topics such as good manners (which include keeping hands and feet to themselves), respect for one’s self and others, following directions the first time and more are taught!

Make Your Child Safer With Personal Development Lessons

Valuable personal development lessons have been built into the Little Ninjas curriculum. Your child will participate in discussions on: “Stranger Danger,””When to Call 000,” “Fire Safety,” “Street Safety” and more.

Little Ninjas Helps Prepare Your Child for Life

Little Ninjas will improve your child’s basic motor skills, as well as your child’s positive mental skills. These skills will help your child enter society with a confident and enthusiastic outlook. The Little Ninjas program aims to help your child become a better student in school, a better listener at home and feel more ambitious and courageous towards his/her future goals.

Your Child Will Learn to Set Goals, Build Confidence, Have a Positive Mental Attitude
Let us help enhance your child’s mental and physical development in a fun, positive and motivating way. Enroll your child today, and help prepare them for life! Class sizes are limited, call now to reserve you child’s space!

Phone 0411 411 289 or email Tim to book or have questions answered.

Tim Brown holds a 5th Dan Black Belt in Ninjutsu, is a qualified Personal Trainer and has over 10 years experience teaching Martial Arts to children. He is fully insured.