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Women’s Wellness Activator

I’ve been on somewhat of a personal and professional development path this past couple of years. If you’ve been reading these newsletters, following my social media and attending metafit, you will have noticed various shifts and changes in my message, my focus and my attention.

I’ll be the first to admit, I did fall out of love with taking metafit sessions day after day, week after week, and felt I could offer so much more than just metafit. So, I went searching …

I invested in courses, and business coaches. I entered an affiliation relationship. I experimented with a few different class offerings, I focussed on a different market segment.

I tried stuff – some worked, some didn’t.

Some things gave me great joy and satisfaction, others depleted me.

And it is as a result of all of these combined experiences – positive and negative – I have arrived where I am today … and that is exciting.

I’d like to introduce you to me – Jacqui Toohey – Women’s Wellness Activator – a funky term for a Health & Wellbeing Coach.

I help women build strong bodies, minds & lifestyle habits so that their strongest, healthiest and fittest years are ahead of them, not behind.

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Fitness not Fatness

How do you measure the success of your exercise or fitness program?

Was your answer an aesthetic measure – loss of weight, thinner waist, smaller thighs, visible abs, less cellulite …

So what happens when none of the above happen after weeks or months of exercising? Your weight is the same, you still have love handles, and your cellulite hasn’t budged. Have you failed?

If you said “yes” you’re not alone. Visible results are used as the measure of success by many – the diet industry, leading fitness chains, social media influencers to name a few.

Unfortunately, this is also one of the main reasons women give up on exercise – because they interpret their efforts as “failing” when appearance related milestones aren’t reached.

BUT, despite the scales not budging, you have more energy, can run 5km without stopping, have reduced your blood pressure, improved your cardiovascular fitness, reduced your resting heart rate, can carry 3 shopping bags in each hand from the car up your front steps…

Where is the cudos, the recognition or even the before and after pictures that captures all of that?

Somewhere along the way the reason we exercise has been flipped to be more about FATNESS NOT FITNESS.

But how fit and healthy you are is so much more than how you look. Its about how you FEEL, what you can DO, how much MORE you can LIVE.

That’s why I will NEVER run a 6-week challenge where how much weight you lose is the measure of success, I will never use before & after pics, and nor will I promise that by working with me you will lose weight.

What I WILL do, is encourage and empower you to reclaim your PHYSICAL POWER – the power to be, and do, and live more, and measure your success on what your body can DO, not what it LOOKS LIKE.

And see the word exercise to mean FITNESS NOT FATNESS again.
@jacqui.toohey

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Stress – the good, bad and the ugly

Is the feeling of being “tired but wired” familiar to you?

Or maybe you are on the “coffee, chocolate & wine” diet. You NEED a coffee to wake up. At 3.30 the afternoon slump hits and you seek out chocolate for a quick pick-me-up, and then a sneaky wine or two at night to help calm you down and fall asleep.

Squirming a little?

Let’s talk about STRESS today as nothing stuffs your hormones, health or happiness faster than unmanaged or chronic stress.

But first – I want to stress (ha ha) that not all stress is bad. In fact, a healthy dose of stress is needed to motivate you to perform and work at a high level.

The key is to manage your stress so that it doesn’t spiral out of control and set off a series of health issues and hormonal chaos.

I’d like to introduce you to CORTISOL – one of the main stress hormones (the other being adrenaline).

Cortisol receptor cells are found in almost every cell in the body, therefore this hormone can have a number of different actions depending on which cell it is targetting. Cortisol plays a role in:

  • Controlling blood sugar levels
  • Regulating metabolism
  • Acting as an anti-inflammatory
  • Influencing memory function
  • Controlling water and salt balance
  • Influencing blood pressure
  • Sleep/wake cycles
  • Digestion
    …to name a few!

Poor old cortisol gets a bad rap, but as you will soon see it is the chronic activation of the stress response that is the issue.

I could get super nerdy and detailed about the stress response, but let’s keep things simple. Here’s a brief explanation of the “fight or flight” stress response.

Your senses detect a potentially life-threatening situation that the brain interprets as “danger”. In response to this acute stress, the branches of the autonomic nervous system (sympathetic and parasympathetic systems) work in tandem, together with the hormonal system and set off a series of reactions we call the stress response.

In reaction to a stressor, the sympathetic arm – let’s call it the accelerator pedal – will initiate the “fight or flight” response. A series of messages stimulate the release of hormones, one being CORTISOL, and the body is activated to protect us from the danger by preparing us either to stay and fight or to get away as fast as possible – we become faster, stronger, and have more endurance for a short time.

Once the stressor has passed, the parasympathetic arm – or the brake pedal – promotes relaxation and recovery and brings the body back to its normal state.

This reaction is healthy and beneficial when it is turned on AND off.

The challenge is that for many people the accelerator pedal is always on, keeping the engine revving too high. This is CHRONIC stress and the cortisol surge never turns off. This can lead to elevated cortisol, or it may cause your cortisol levels to swing wildly between too high and too low – sometimes within hours of the same day!

Hello hormone imbalance!

The problem is that your body does not know the difference between physical & mental stress, actual or perceived stress, and it triggers the same physiological response.

Unfortunately, the body can overreact to stressors that are non-life-threatening, such as traffic jams, work pressure, family or relationship difficulties, even perceived stressors that don’t exist, except in our imagination, too much intense exercise without sufficient recovery, extreme dieting…

The more stressors, the greater effect on the nervous system. If the individual cannot remove the stressors the more dominant the sympathetic nervous system becomes.

Long-term effects of chronic stress have been linked to:

  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Increased belly fat
  • Changes in the brain, particularly the hippocampus which is the memory centre
  • Insomnia
  • Immune system dysfunction
  • Inflammation
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
    …wonderful hey!

The GOOD news is, however, that with a few tweaks to your lifestyle these effects can be halted or even reversed by managing your stress levels and finding the “Goldilocks” level – not too high and not too low – for cortisol.

Here are 3 strategies to start feeling a little more relaxed…

  1. MOVEMENT

Find something that you LOVE to do, that takes you outside, that gets the happy hormones flowing. Yoga, dancing, zumba, swimming, walking, LISS (low-intensity steady state cardio), pilates. ANY movement that leaves you feeling better than before you started.  **Beware of adding to your stressed state with too much high-intensity exercise.**

2. MINDSET

As women and mums, we are very good at trying to be everything to everyone, feeling guilty when we fall short of our own expectations and “not enough”. Working on your mindset, practicing self-compassion, choosing to do less to achieve more, will all go a long way to relieving the feelings of stress and anxiety that build up, keeping the accelerator pedal down and the engine revving.

3. MINDFULNESS

Mindfulness is a form of self-awareness training. Mindfulness is about being aware of what is happening in the present on a moment to moment basis, and not making judgments about whether we like or don’t like what we find. When we focus on the present and disengage from mental clutter, it allows us to have a clear mind. It makes it possible for us to respond rather than react to situations, and therefore improve our decision-making and potential for physical and mental relaxation. Ahhh!

Do you need to press PAUSE and take your foot off the accelerator? Then I’d love you to join me at our next mmmPower Your Heart Body & Soul workshop where we focus on the three m’s above – Movement, Mindset & Mindfulness.

WHEN: Monday 18th June
TIME: 7.30pm – 9.30pm
WHERE: The Swedish Pilates Studio, Glen Iris
BOOKINGS: Click HERE (you’ll be taken to Mindbody)
FURTHER INFO: jacqui@heartbodyandsoul.com.au

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Today I did something I haven’t done for a while…

Woman sitting on ledge thinking

Today I did something I haven’t done for a while – I stood on the bathroom scales and weighed myself.

I used to do this daily.

The number I saw on the scale would then influence my mood, what I ate, how much I exercised, how I dressed, what I thought of myself. In short – it would dictate whether I had a good day or a bad day.

What happened today? Looking down at the scales I noticed the numbers where a little different to the last time – “interesting”!

I looked in the mirror and I saw myself. I saw the body of a (nearly) 48-year-old woman. A woman who has carried, birthed, nourished and nurtured 3-children. A body that has been physically active for as long as its been alive. A physique that is strong, has run marathons, can do pull-ups, can deadlift more than it weighs. A scar that signifies the entrance to the world of baby #3.

A body that is starting to change as it transitions from child-bearing years through the years of peri-menopause to menopause and beyond. A frame that supports a family, encasing a heart that beats, lungs that breathe, and limbs that move.

A body that I am at peace with.

But it hasn’t always been that way.

There were years of fighting with my body. There were years of restriction, over-exercising, of not feeling thin enough. There was a great fear of getting fat, weighing more, of not being fit enough, of not being enough.

When I looked in the mirror then I only saw flaws – not tall enough, not busty enough, arms too muscly, too many veins, not enough curves, not a flat enough stomach…

And when I looked at the scales then, the number was much less than what it is today.

Weight does not equal health, or worthiness, or happiness.

Thin does not equal fit, or healthy, or happy.

Well-being and healthy habits are so much more important than the number on a scale. Living a fulfilling life is not dependent upon how you look, what you weigh or how young you stay.

I am heavier, happier and healthier now more than ever.

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Change

“The Change”

Change is sometimes forced upon us. Menopause is a little like that. We don’t have any control over when it will happen, how long the transition will take, or what symptoms we will suffer. But just like paying taxes and dying, women will travel through perimenopause on the way to destination menopause. But what we do have control over, is how we react to and manage this change.

I am 47. It’s a little weird to see that number on paper, as it confirms that I am creeping ever closer to 50 and yet it doesn’t seem possible. I still feel 24 in my head, my body usually acts like a 30-year-old and my outlook on life remains young. Yet I can tell my body is changing. Although it’s been pretty smooth sailing up until now, I know bumpy seas may not be too far away…

Entering my forties was a breeze – in fact I was in better condition both physically and mentally than I was in my twenties. I felt awesome! The baby-making days were well and truly over (you can read about my Bump, Bubs & Beyond story here), I was running faster & further than ever (pic above is me running New York City marathon in 2011 age 41), lifting, jumping, studying, I started my own business, worked with a charity, managed an active family. Life was (and still is) good.

Then earlier this year, I started to notice a shift both physically and emotionally.

Physically I’m not bouncing back quite as quickly from training as I did 12 months ago. I need to include recovery, restorative activity and rest days regularly or I pay for it (hello sore back!). I’ve noticed a little “marshmallow” around my tummy and upper legs despite no deviation from my usual diet. And, I have days when I am completely s p e n t.

But I think it’s the emotional side that is most telling. In general, I’ve never really been too up & down with the monthly ebb & flow of hormones. Not any more –  I’m all OvEr the place!  Some days I’m clear headed, efficient, super productive, can handle anything that comes my way – good or bad. Other days I’m in a complete fog. Making a decision is stressful, being “on” and “up” for clients a real challenge, and trying to see the good in situations or people takes a lot of effort. My darling daughter tells me that there are times when my fuse is really, really short and I’m super grumpy mum! I also have days when I’d prefer to be by myself.

So, although I haven’t had it medically confirmed (blood tests next week) I’m pretty sure I’ve just taken a seat on the perimenopause train. This could be a quick express trip or stopping all stations. Either way, this is why I’ve started researching, questioning, listening and talking with other women about menopause. I want to know the facts that will help answer all the “why do I feel like this” questions I have. I want to find solutions and work out strategies so I can embrace this stage of life and see it as a positive experience. And I want to STAY STRONG, FIT & ACTIVE (in active wear) for a long time to come.

Women are brilliant at talking! Sometimes we just need a little kick start to get the conversation flowing, but when it does – BOOM! Let’s start this conversation about menopause. It (menopause) will happen so staying silent is not going to make it go away. Being a negative Norah (sorry Gran T x) about all the side effects will not make them feel any better. If we share our experiences, talk openly and honestly – without judgement – we can help each other through this stage and out the other side with our dignity, sanity and badass attitude intact!  Because guess what – we still have a whole lot of living to do.

If you’ve got a story to share, questions to ask, strategies that have worked for you, I’d love to hear from you. Please email me at jacqui@heartbodyandsoul.com.au  or join the closed Facebook Group I’ve created especially for all of the 40+ fabulous women of the Heart Body & Soul community.

All power to the badass ladies of Heart Body & Soul xx

 

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Let’s talk periods

Let’s talk periods, or more specifically the menstrual cycle. Our reproductive years are marked by the regular occurrence of a menstrual cycle. Like it or loathe it, the menstrual cycle and the hormonal changes that drive the cycle, lie at the core of a female’s health and well-being.

Some of us are really in synch with our monthly cycles, others (me being one of them) not so much. But there is much to be learnt from tuning into your menstrual cycle and then to use this knowledge to your advantage, particularly if you have specific strength, performance or physique change goals.

The cyclic hormonal changes involve a number of important organs in the body that are instrumental to the development and regulation of the reproductive and immune systems. These hormonal changes influence your mood, energy fluctuations, cravings, body shape and performance. By having an understanding of your cycle it can provide you with a useful “snapshot” into the status of your overall health, and therefore how to potentially make a few tweaks to your lifestyle to see positive changes.

The following is a brief summary of the menstrual cycle, the hormonal changes and how exercise prescription can be altered to take advantage of these fluctuations. It may also explain why you feel stronger one week and like you’ve hit a brick wall the next.

A normal menstrual cycle can be anywhere between 28 and 35 days. For the purpose of this article let’s use 28-days as that fits neatly into a 4-week period. A cycle can be divided into 2 main phases – the Follicular and Luteal Phase. Each phase is characterised by a change in the ratio of the two main sex hormones – oestrogen and progesterone.

Follicular Phase

This first phase occurs between day one (first day of bleeding) and ovulation (when an egg is released from the follicle). When you have your period oestrogen and progesterone are at their lowest levels. Interestingly, this is the time when women are physiologically “most like men” which explains why you may feel strong and good when exercising.

Oestrogen levels rise gradually during the first 10-days of the cycle and peak just prior to ovulation around day 14. Oestrogen has a positive effect on mood and energy, muscle strength and force production, and has a protective quality in mitigating muscle damage.

In regards to exercise and training – this phase provides an opportunity to build muscle, improve strength and train at higher intensity. The body can handle more pain, can produce more muscle force and recovers well. Therefore, high intensity, short duration interval sessions are effective, as is training for strength and hypertrophy gains.

Interestingly, during this phase the body utilises more glucose and is more insulin sensitive – the body’s cells readily absorb glucose out of the bloodstream to use as fuel. It is therefore important to fuel the body with adequate amounts of carbohydrates to meet any increase in energy demands.

Ovulation

Ovulation – when an egg is released from the follicle – occurs around day 14 and is characterised by a sharp increase in all hormones, including testosterone.

Luteal Phase

The time between ovulation and menstruation is the luteal phase. Initially there is a dip in oestrogen levels, but this rises again, along with the hormone progesterone.

Progesterone is known to be “catabolic” in nature – it “breaks down” molecules – as a result increasing core body temperature and a switch in fuel source from carbohydrate to fat.

If you are in tune with your body, you may notice subtle changes that occur after ovulation – energy shifts, mood changes, maybe you don’t recover so well after training. And, as you near your period, you may experience symptoms of PMS and/or cravings.

This is potentially a time to switch down gears and reduce intensity and loads to match your energy level and mood, and honour how your body is feeling. In the lead up to your period, you may find switching towards lower intensity, longer duration intervals and exercises, circuit training and general play may be more beneficial than short, sharp intense sessions. If you suffer from bloating, cramping and other premenstrual symptoms, the ability to activate your inner core may be impacted and could leave you vulnerable to injury without adequate preparation.

And finally, if you really are feeling crap – give yourself permission to rest. A few days of lighter training or relaxation will actually improve your overall health.

Some women are more prone to cyclic changes than others. Understanding how you respond to your cycle can make it easier to adapt your lifestyle – exercise, nutrition, sleep and stress levels in particular – in order to work with rather than against your cycle.

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Readiness to Train

“As we warm-up, do a scan of your body. How do you feel today? Stiff or sore from Monday? Work and modify the exercises for how you feel today.”

Have you heard me say and ask this before? By being able to identify with how you and your body “feel” on any particular day, and then modifying how you train is one of the best ways to honour your body and get the most out of not only that day’s training, but your training in general.

Using a daily readiness scale is a simple way for you to track how different lifestyle choices and behaviours impact on your overall wellbeing, and therefore assist you to make the necessary tweaks to help you achieve greater benefits from your fitness program.

Your daily readiness score provides valuable insight into how various physical, emotional, psychological and lifestyle stressors impact you and your body. There are no hard and fast rules or “one size fits all” approach for training intensity as it all “depends” on so many different factors – gender, age and goals to name just a few. I believe the best approach for the everyday athlete – like you & me – is to honour how you feel, and if you want to get a little more techo, track your heart rate (HR) to monitor intensity and recovery through your workout.

Why measure?  We have been conditioned to think that “more is better” and “harder & faster” or “go hard or go home” is the way to approach each and every training or fitness session. But in reality, training an already “stressed” system too hard will see results plateau or reverse, and only increase the stress on an already inflamed body. Pushing through when your body and your emotional state is already in “fight or flight” mode and unable to cope will take you further away from your goals than towards them.

So, with that in mind and to help you quantify your readiness to train, I’d like to introduce to the Daily Readiness Scale as developed by PTA Global. This scale gives you an honest and solid indication of how hard you should train on THAT day, if at all. Simply answer the questions honestly and tally up your score. Once you know your readiness score, you make a few subtle tweaks to your workout to give you the best chance of improving your outcomes.

Give yourself 1 point for each you have done well:

  • I slept well and feel rested
  • I have fuelled my body with good nutrition
  • I have hydrated with 2+ litres of water
  • I have moved well and often in the last 24 hours
  • I feel energised and strong
  • I have no pain or stiffness
  • I feel emotionally happy and clam, not stressed
  • I feel mentally ready and motivated to train

What your score means:

GREEN 6-8 out of 8 – You are good to go!

AMBER 3-5 out of 8 – Caution! Reduce the intensity or weight today

RED 1-2 out of 8 – Take it very easy today

For example, if you scored in the red zone thanks to doing too much, eating poorly and not allowing for sufficient recovery in your life – then make your training session one that focuses on restorative movement or an activity that makes you feel better than when you started. And if stress and emotions are running hot, then reduce the stress & intensity in your session (stay out of the red zone!), and focus on play, movement and recovery. If you score in the amber or caution zone as you’ve pulled up a little sore & stiff, then employ strategies that will help you move more efficiently – lower impact, full range of movement, less is more.

And finally – the best way to increase your readiness score and boost your overall wellness is to try and tick all the boxes by looking after the 4 big rocks:

  • SLEEP – Prioritising good quality sleep
  • STRESS – Understanding how stress affects you and what strategy is needed to reduce its impact on your body
  • NUTRITION – Hydrating and nourishing your body with foods that serve you well
  • MOVEMENT – Move daily, decrease time spent sitting and find purposeful “exercise” options that you ENJOY doing

A little more on the BIG ROCKS to come soon!

How ready are you to train today?

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One step back…two steps forward

Do you feel a constant urge to make progress? In life, relationships, fitness, business? Have you noticed that progress isn’t always one way traffic?

Progress is by definition “forward or onward movement towards an objective or to a goal”, or my preferred definition “gradual betterment”.

The path towards the goal may plateau and undulate, and even loop back on itself, but ultimately we move forward, we get better, we progress.

Back in the day I very rarely (ie. never!) took a backward step in training until I was forced to. For the stubborn among us, sometimes we are forced into or need to regress a movement, skill or training load – such as when faced with injury or illness – before we can progress.

But there are also times, (and there are also sensible people who work with a good coach) when we can embrace regression or chose to take a backwards step, in order to take two steps forward.

If we embrace regression – rather than wait for imbalance or injury to strike – we give ourselves a better opportunity to succeed in the long run.

So, is it time to give yourself permission to REGRESS?

Maybe you’ve had an extended break from training. Maybe you are returning to exercise after having a baby. Maybe you’ve been stuck on a performance plateau for a few months. Maybe you have an underlying injury or imbalance that’s causing a chain reaction in other parts of your body.

Addressing an injury, imbalance, weakness or a plateau doesn’t have to be a negative experience

Tackle your weakest link, the one you’ve possibly been ignoring or avoiding for a while.

Regressing doesn’t always mean choosing “easier” exercise options.

Try slowing down – less is more.

Train smarter – not harder.

Try increasing your range of movement – focus on quality over quantity.

Allow for adequate recovery – within and between sessions.

You may find that by taking a step back, you come out stronger on the other side, and take two giant steps forward.

I’m embracing regression this term and working with a new coach. My focus is to slow down, less is more, quality over quantity – in order to become more efficient, move better, and progress.

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The Ageing Brain & Exercise

whats-your-excuse-fitness-motivation-triumphExercise – training for your body & brain!

We all know that exercise is good for your body – protecting you against diseases and conditions related to ageing. The good news about exercise doesn’t stop with the physical benefits though. More and more research is discovering that exercise has a positive effect on our brain and slowing the cognitive decline usually associated with ageing.

Thanks to Dionne for sharing her expertise in this area. A really interesting snapshot article from a fellow metafitter who practices what she preaches!!

Exercise has been known for years to be advantageous to cardio-vascular health, protecting against diseases associated with ageing. There is increasing evidence to suggest that exercise benefits age related and neurobiological cognitive decline. BUT the question is how much, how long and how often and what intensity is required to be beneficial? Is more, really more? In the face of such public uncertainty and debate, researchers have been eager to answer these questions!

Data collected from animal models suggest that cardiovascular fitness training (CFT) directly correlates to improvement in cognitive performance. In animals, aerobic exercise has been found to increase brain- derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and other important neurochemicals. This increases neurological survival and new neuron development. This means that the brain is more efficient, plastic and adaptive, which results in better learning and performance in adulthood.

Physical exercise, but not spare-time activity, at 36 years was found to be significantly associated with a slower rate of decline in memory from 43 to 53 years, after controlling for the same factors. Those who engaged in physical exercise showed on average a half-point slower decrease over those who did none. Those who gave up exercising after 36 years did not show the same benefit as those who were exercising at 43 years, either new or continuing. The results suggest that continued engagement in physical exercise slows down the rate of memory decline and that cognitive benefit of physical exercise is enhanced by persistent or more recent activity.

Further studies have also suggested that interval training increases in circulating growth factors is connected to temporal lobe functional brain connectivity in healthy older adults. Future research could focus on discovering that Metafit with its short duration and intensity would provide optimal changes in growth factors and how it may be beneficial to cognition and disease progression.

GO METAFITTERS!!!!

Dr Dionne Shnider
Ph.D. APCCH;M.A.P.S
Psychologist and Clinical Hypnotherapist
Provider no. 2713214W

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Metafit for the midlife mumma?

Are you a 40+ female and looking for a new way to exercise that is short on time but big on results? If yes…read on!

If you’ve clicked on this post I’m going to presume you meet the following criteria:

  • Female
  • 40+
  • Currently exercising but not seeing results for the time or money you are devoting to it OR
  • Not exercising but would love to/need to start, but you don’t like gyms, and yoga and/or pilates don’t float your boat either OR
  • You feel a little intimidated to sign up to boot camp run by a 20 year old male trainer alongside his footy team-mates, but you love the idea of working hard and feeling the buzz after a tough session

If any of the above sound like you, then please read on…

OK, so I’m no stranger to pushing my body (& mind) to do heavy-duty physical things…in fact I met my hubby whilst sharing the chin-up bar at the gym!…so when I was introduced to METAFIT it was love at first sight! But doing old-school bodyweight exercises in short, intense bursts for 20 minutes until your legs are burning and you’re gasping for breath isn’t for everyone…or is it?

For the past 18 months I’ve been taking 7 metafit sessions a week. The overwhelming majority of my clients are women, and most of them would be north of 40 (or pretty close to). So why is metafit so attractive/addictive to the 40+ woman?

Here’s what I think:

It’s the RIGHT type of exercise for this age group (and I fit into this age bracket too). What do I mean by RIGHT type of exercise? Its INTENSE but SHORT, you feel ENERGISED afterwards and you GET RESULTS.

HOW? Because you:

  • Get HOT
  • Get SWEATY
  • Get OUT OF BREATH
  • Feel the LACTATE BURN in your muscles
  • Work in SHORT BURSTS
  • Work until you FEEL TRULY CHALLENGED and NEED TO REST
  • Use your own BODYWEIGHT – yep, the same weight that you drag around each day so you may as well use it!
  • FEEL yourself getting STRONGER and FITTER as you master exercises you thought a 40+ woman can’t/couldn’t/shouldn’t do! (Floor to sky tuck jump anyone?)

WHY should a 40+ woman do metafit or HIIT?

  1. BONE HEALTH – weight bearing and impact exercise are essential for bone health and maintaining bone mass at this critical phase of life. After the age of about 30, bone loss starts to outpace bone gain. In addition, the decline in oestrogen production that also occurs as we age has a negative impact on bone remodelling activity. Bone mass is reactive, not proactive. Bone must experience stress ie. load and impact, in order to remodel. Less stress = less remodelling = loss of bone mass.
  1. To build LEAN MUSCLE MASS (notice I say mass and not size) and therefore INCREASE YOUR METABOLISM – muscle tissue = metabolic tissue. The more (dense) muscle you have the higher your metabolic requirements – your body needs & will use more energy whilst at rest compared to someone who has less lean muscle.
  1. The high intensity of metafit promotes EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) or the afterburn effect. Our bodies want to return to their resting state, but after being worked so hard during high intensity exercise, it takes considerable energy (calories) to do this. Even though the actual workout is only 30 minutes, the after effects are felt for many hours (up to 48hrs) afterwards.
  1. To MAINTAIN or INCREASE MOBILITY, BALANCE & POSTURE – the whole body functional nature of the exercises used in metafit see you getting up and down from the floor, moving forwards, backwards, sideways, using your arms and legs to push, pull, bend, lift, jump, hold etc through a full range of movement in all joints. At the same time your core & postural muscles are working to stabilise your torso and maintain posture. And the resistance is your own body – the same weight you drag around all day – nothing more, nothing less.
  1. Check the strength and integrity of your CORE & PELVIC FLOOR. If you find when you do burpees, sprints or jumps and pee your pants at ANY level…fantastic! This is 100% proof that your core/pelvic floor isn’t up to par for this type of training…yet. If this is you, please seek assistance from a specialised women’s health physiotherapist or your GP ASAP. Just like any muscles, these muscles can be trained to increase their strength and tone and your ability to control them. (Sometimes we need to experience a little of what we don’t want to do something about it!)

Are you a metafit or HIIT convert? How do you find it?

Curious to try? Come and join me at Heart Body & Soul in Glen Iris. You’ll find the timetable here. If you live a little too far away to visit me, search the Metafit Australia website for a coach near you.