Jul 23

Kettlebell Guide

Complete Guide To Kettlebell Training – Beginner to Advanced

I guess for many people Kettlebell Training may be how you first discovered me. I was one of the first to introduce Kettlebell Classes into London and still teach Kettlebells to this day.

Kettlebells are a very powerful tool that can be extremely effective but they can also be hugely ineffective if abused.

In today’s post I’m going to lay out exactly how you should approach Kettlebell Training to get the most benefits from it while minimising injury at the same time.

History of Kettlebells

If you have not seen or heard of kettlebells then allow me to give you a very quick overview.

A kettlebell is a solid heavy ball with an offset handle just large enough to place your hand through. The origins of the kettlebell are a little vague but they can be traced back hundreds of years. Weights with handles were often used during fitness challenges for both carrying and throwing events and it’s believed that the kettlebell simply evolved from here.

Later the Kettlebell was adopted by the Soviet forces for training their soldiers and then finally gained popularity in the west.

Benefits of Kettlebell Training

Kettlebells are a tool just like any other piece of fitness equipment, they can be used correctly or they can be used incorrectly. The kettlebell is pulled, pushed, and swung in a dynamic nature causing excessive demands on the body.

Here are some of the benefits:

  • Offset Handle enables swinging of the kettlebell
  • Kettlebell Swinging increases the load and so increases the demands required to decelerate the kettlebell
  • Swinging increases the demand on stabilisation muscles as they work harder to keep joints aligned
  • Swinging the Kettlebell increases Lunge and Heart Capacity as multi-joint movements require more oxygen
  • Kettlebell Swinging requires no movement of the feet meaning a Full Body workout requiring little workout space
  • Kettlebell Exercises involve full body movements connecting head to toe and improving core integration
  • Regular Kettlebell Training increases ligaments and soft tissue strength due to the dynamic movements

Selecting the Correct Kettlebell

Since Kettlebells have become more popular in gyms and with personal trainers more and more companies have started selling them. Be careful! Not all kettlebells are created equal. Here’s a quick guide to buying your kettlebell:

Competition KettlebellsCompetition Kettlebell

These kettlebells have a more square handle and the body of the kettlebell stays the same size regardless of the weight. These bells are designed for competition and the narrow handle enables minimum movement of the hand inside the handle.  These kettlebells are great for single handed exercises but for the beginner they offer little room to hold the kettlebell with two hands.

Cast Iron KettlebellsCast Iron Kettlebell

These are my kettlebell of choice, they have a slightly rounded handle and a solid cast iron ball. The kettlebell should be smoothly shaped and have no sharp corners. The space between the handle and the ball should be just large enough to push a horizontal closed fist through but not so large that you can push a vertical closed fist through.

Types of Kettlebells to Avoid

  1. Anything that is made of vinyl, I haven’t seen a good one yet!
  2. Any Kettlebell with a flat plastic or rubber foot attached to the bottom
  3. Kettlebells with very large handles, use the fist test as detailed above
  4. All Kettlebells that have sharp corners, lines or edges

Selecting the correct kettlebell is vital as you will find out when you start training. Badly designed kettlebells will destroy your wrists, band up your forearms and seriously reduce the pleasure of your training.

What Kettlebell Weight to Use

Kettlebells traditionally come in a number of different weights, here’s my guide to what weight to use:

  • 8kg or 17lbs – Starting Weight for Women, I’ve never trained a women who shouldn’t start here. Remember this isn’t Dumbbell training!
  • 12kg or 26lbs – Unconditioned Men start here and Women advance to here very quickly
  • 16kg or 36lbs (Original Weight) – Average Conditioned Men start here, and many women progress to this weight within 6-12 months
  • 20kg or 44lbs – A natural progression for men and some women use this for Swings
  • 24kg or 52lbs – (Original Weight) – This is the goal for men and a nice demanding weight for most exercises.
  • 28kg or 61lbs – It’s a big leap from 24kg to 32kg so this can help bridge the gap.
  • 32kg or 70lbs – (Original Weight) – I like this weight for Swings and Turkish Get Ups

Due to the increased popularity of kettlebell training many manufacturers have started to produce smaller and interim weight sizes. Stick to the weights above and I’m sure you will find you don’t need any other sizes.

Most men can survive with just a 16kg kettlebell for some time and most women can benefit from an 8kg and a 12kg.

Where to Start – Level 1 (Stabilisation)

Most people jump in and start with kettlebell exercises that are way too advanced for them and end up getting injured or developing bad habits. As with everything in life we need to start off with the basics and build a strong foundation.

The human body is built from Stabilising Muscles and Prime Mover muscles.

Our stabiliser muscles are smaller and weaker but better at endurance work, they stabiliser the joints enabling a strong platform for the larger muscles to work from. The Prime Mover muscles are larger muscles and they provide the large movements, the quads are a great example.

Due to our current sitting lifestyles and the advent of weight training machines most of us have very badly conditioned stabiliser muscles meaning that our big muscles work but on a very shaky foundation.

So, in order to build a solid foundation and avoid injury we need to work on the stabiliser muscles first.

Here are 2 kettlebell exercises that every one should master before moving on:

# 1 – Turkish Get Up

The Turkish Get Up is a full body exercise that takes you through most of the fundamental movement patterns conditioning your core and stabiliser muscles in the process. The Turkish Get Up is probably one of the best all over body stabilisation exercises and has been around for hundreds of years.

It is believed that the Greeks would not train a boy with weights until he could get up from the floor with a weight held above his head. This concept mirrors my philosophy that we should not be training with any resistance until we have a strong enough stabilisation system to deal with it.

The Turkish Get Up involves 7 stages:

  • From the Fetal position roll onto your back and help the bell into the straight arm position. Don’t take your eyes off the bell
  • Bend the leg on the same side as the bell and place the opposite arm out at 45 degrees
  • Crush the handle as you sit up along the line of your arm, first to elbow and then to hand. Keep the kettlebell arm down and in its socket and the opposite shoulder away from the ear
  • Push from the heel of the bent leg and drive your hips in the air and into full hip extension. There should be a straight line from bell to bottom hand
  • Sweep the straight leg back and through to a half kneeling position
  • Taking the hand off the floor straighten the body and take the eyes off the bell and look forwards
  • Drive from the front heel and stand. Steady yourself and then reverse the movement

Here’s a video of the Turkish Get Up in Action:

# 2 – Single Leg Deadlift

The Single Leg Deadlift teaches you to hinge at your hips while maintaining a solid core and shoulder structure. Again you are teaching your body here how to stabilise during movement. If you can’t handle this movement then you certainly won’t be able to handle the kettlebell when it’s swinging at speed.

Here are my tips on the Single Leg Deadlift:

  • Maintain a solid grip with the shoulder and back in alignment at all times
  • Keep a soft knee on the standing leg and weight on the heel
  • Instigate the movement by taking the one leg backwards
  • Don’t over rotate the rear leg outwards and descend slowly with control
  • NEVER ARCH YOUR LOWER BACK
  • Only go as deep as your flexibility will allow

This is a tricky exercise and many people find they bend at their lower back trying to get the kettlebell to the floor, DON’T DO THIS. If your hamstrings will only allow you to get to 12 inches from the floor, that’s fine just stop and return to the start position.

Here’s a Video of the Single Leg Deadlift in Action:

Stabilisation Workout Program

Now you have an understanding of the two fundamental kettlebell exercises that I recommend for improving the stabilising muscles, lets put them together into a monthly workout program.

Week 1 – Practice Week

  • Monday: Turkish Get Up  (No Kettlebell) – 10 reps, 5 each side
  • Tuesday: Single Leg Deadlift (No Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Wednesday: Turkish Get Up (No Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Thursday: Single Leg Deadlift (No Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Friday: Turkish Get Up (Holding Glass Water) – 5 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Saturday: Single Leg Deadlift (No Kettlebell) – 5 reps x 3 sets
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 2 – Adding Load

  • Monday: Turkish Get Up  (Holding Glass of Water) - 5 reps each side x 3 sets
  • Tuesday: Single Leg Deadlift (With Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Wednesday: Turkish Get Up (Holding Glass of Water) – 8 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Thursday: Single Leg Deadlift (With Kettlebell) – 8 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Friday: Turkish Get Up (With Kettlebell) – 3 reps each side
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 3 – Combining Exercises

  • Monday: Turkish Get Up  (With Kettlebell) - 5 reps each side
  • Tuesday: Single Leg Deadlift (With Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 3 sets
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Single Leg Deadlift (With Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Follow With: Turkish Get Up (With Kettlebell) – 3 reps each side
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Single Leg Deadlift (With Kettlebell) – 8 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Follow With: Turkish Get Up (With Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 4 – Progressing

  • Monday: Single Leg Deadlift (With Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 3 sets
  • Follow With: Turkish Get Up (With Kettlebell) – 3 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Single Leg Deadlift (With Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 3 sets
  • Follow With: Turkish Get Up (With Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Single Leg Deadlift (With Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 3 sets
  • Follow With: Turkish Get Up (With Kettlebell) – 3 reps each side x 3 sets
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

The objective of the above 4 week program is to build skill and confidence with the movements. THE MOVEMENTS SHOULD BE CHALLENGING BUT NOT HARD! The hard workouts come later. Take your time, be consistent and build beautiful movement patterns. You will really benefit from this in the long run. Don’t cut corners or think you are too cool for these short workouts, get great at the finer details.

If you find the above workout plan too challenging then continue to repeat each week until you feel you are ready to move on.

Dynamic Kettlebell Training – Level 2

You should now have bomb proofed your body ready for more dynamic kettlebell exercises. Here is where you start to work a little harder and really feel the benefits of the ballistic movements of the kettlebell.

Again I have to warn you. Just as quickly as a kettlebell can improve your body it can undo it just as fast. If you haven’t mastered the Single Leg Deadlift or the Turkish Get Up then you need to do that first!

Here are the 3 Fundamental Kettlebell Exercises that take advantage of the fundamental movement patterns that we are all designed to use anatomically…

# 1 – Kettlebell Swing

The first and by far the most characteristic kettlebell exercise is the Swing. The Swing involves the deadlift pattern or hinging at the hips. During this exercise you will activate almost every muscle in your body and in particular the posterior chain or back line of the body.

Kettlebell Swings are highly effective at raising your heart rate, improving your posture and building strength endurance.

Here are my tips for the Swing:

  • Hinge at the hips NOT the lower back
  • Stand Tall and Squeeze your Abs & Buttocks
  • Load the heels NOT the toes
  • Maintain a Flat Back through the exercise
  • Lift the Chest and keep the Shoulders in their sockets
  • Ensure the shins track the line of the feet
  • Breathe OUT on the way down and IN on the way up

Here’s a Video Tutorial of the Kettlebell Swing (taken from my GB Challenge Series)

I would recommend that you start with the two handed Swing first and then progress to the one handed swing later. The movement principles are exactly the same between the two exercise you just hold the kettlebell with both hands rather than one.

A Note about Hamstring Length

As you enter the bottom of the Swing and your pelvis rotates forwards your hamstrings will be on stretch.  If you have tight hamstrings due to Core Activation discrepancies, injuries or lack of movement skills, then your lower back will start to arch to assist you in the depth of the swing.

It is VERY IMPORTANT that you do not let this happen. You must adjust the depth of your Swing so that your Hamstrings DO NOT over stretch at the bottom portion of the swing. If you have problems touching your toes or know that you have tight hamstrings when you lean forward then DO NOT swing too deep or far between your legs. Keep your swings shallow!

# 2 – Kettlebell Squat

We all know that the Squat is an incredible and extremely natural movement pattern.  Like the Swing it uses most muscles in the body and helps up sit down and stand up from a chair, toilet etc. Once you have mastered the Bodyweight Squat then you can perform a Kettlebell Squat.

There are 2 basic holding positions for the Squat, either with both hands or with just one hand. If you hold the Kettlebell with just one hand then you load one side of the body encouraging additional stabilisation to centralise the movement.

Here are my tips for the Kettlebell Squat:

  • Load the heels and the back of the body
  • Ensure Shins align with the line of the feet
  • Sit the hips back as if in Ski Boots
  • Keep your Chest Up as you hold the Kettlebell
  • Keep your Shoulders back and Back Muscles Engaged
  • Push the ground away from you as you drive up through your heels
  • Squeeze your Buttocks tight at the top

Here’s a Tutorial of the Squat & Press from my GB Challenge Series:

I would recommend that you start my perfecting the Squat holding the Kettlebell with both hands and then progress to one hand and then finally to the Squat and Press as demonstrated in the video above.

# 3 – Kettlebell Lunge

Just like the Swing and the Squat the Lunge is a fundamental movement that utilises most muscles in the body. Can you see a theme taking place here? Kettlebells are effective if you use the exercises that utilises the correct movement patterns along with the largest amount of muscle recruitment.

The Lunge requires more neurological involvement that the other 2 exercises. You need good balance and core stabilisation to prevent you from losing your balance.

Similar to the Squat the Kettlebell can be held either in one hand or by both hands. One hand will be more challenging and add an extra dimension of stabilisation to the exercise.

Here are my tips on performing the Reverse Lunge:

  • Step back with confidence, feet shoulder width apart
  • Keep your core tight to stabilise the pelvis and prevent wobble
  • Aim to kiss your back knee to the floor
  • Give yourself room by taking a good step back but not so far that it becomes a stretch
  • Pull yourself back up from your front heel
  • Keep your Chest lifted throughout the movement

Here’s a Video of the Reverse Lunge from my GB Challenge Series:

The Lunge can be performed Forwards, Backwards, Sideways and Diagonally. I recommend that you start with the reverse lunge first. It’s the easiest Lunge to control while holding a Kettlebell.

Dynamic Kettlebell Workout Plan

Now you have 3 new exercises that you can add to your workouts. Dynamic Kettlebell Exercises are much more challenging so we have to be careful with recovery times. Here is a monthly workout plan for you to try:

Week 1 – Acclimatisation

  • Monday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 20 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Tuesday: Two Handed Kettlebell Reverse Lunge – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 20 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Friday: Two Handed Kettlebell Squat – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 2 – Beginner

  • Monday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 20 secs / 30 secs rest x 4
  • Tuesday: Two Handed Kettlebell Reverse Lunge – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Wednesday: Two Handed Kettlebell Squat – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 4
  • Thursday: Rest
  • Friday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 20 secs / 30 secs rest x 4
  • Followed By: Two Handed Kettlebell Reverse Lunge – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Saturday: Rest
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 3 – Progressive

  • Monday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Tuesday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Followed By: Two Handed Kettlebell Reverse Lunge – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Wednesday: Rest
  • Thursday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 4
  • Followed By: Two Handed Kettlebell Squat – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Friday: Rest
  • Saturday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 4
  • Follow With: Two Handed Kettlebell Reverse Lunge – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Sunday: Rest

Week 4 – Adding Get Ups

  • Monday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 30 secs / 20 secs rest x 4
  • Follow With: Turkish Get Up (With Kettlebell) – 3 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Tuesday: Rest
  • Wednesday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 30 secs / 20 secs rest x 4
  • Follow With: Two Handed Kettlebell Reverse Lunge – 30 secs / 30 secs rest x 3
  • Thursday: Turkish Get Up (With Kettlebell) – 5 reps each side x 2 sets
  • Friday: Two Handed Kettlebell Swing – 30 secs / 20 secs rest x 5
  • Saturday: Two Handed Kettlebell Squat – 30 secs / 20 secs rest x 4
  • Sunday: Rest

You will notice that all Kettlebell exercises above are Two Handed. I recommend this format for the first 4 weeks. As your movement and strength improves then you can move onto single handed exercises.

I’ve kept the format very simple. Again, don’t be too impatient stick to the program, you are using a lot of muscle mass during each workout so don’t overdo it. If you find that the workout is too much then either reduce the time, increase the rest or reduce the amount of sets.

Most of all practice the movements and perfect your technique.

Advanced Kettlebell Exercises – Level 3

Even if you only practiced and used those 5 exercises that I have described you could get fitter, stronger and move better than 99% of the gym population. But there is more, a lot more that you can learn.

Here are 3 more exercises that you can add to your Kettlebell Toolkit to really supercharge your workouts when you are ready:

# 1 – Kettlebell Clean

This is the next progression on from the Kettlebell Swing. Once you have mastered both the Single Handed Swing and the Double Handed Swing, Squat and Lunge then this should be next on your list.

The Clean takes the Kettlebell from the floor and places it into the racked position in the ‘V’ of your arm. From this position you then have the option to Press the Kettlebell, Squat, or Lunge.

Of all the Kettlebell Exercise this is the most technical for some and many end up with bruised wrists or forearms.

Using the correct shaped kettlebell and keeping the bell close to the body will certainly help improve your skill.

Here is a Tutorial of the Clean & Press from my GB Challenge Series:

Practice the Clean without the Press first and when you feel comfortable you can add the press to the top of the movement.

# 2 – Kettlebell High Pull

Once you have mastered the Clean you can practice the High Pull. The High Pull is very difficult for some to master, you need good wrist strength and confidence in your movement skills. Start off light and move up.

The High Pull is hugely Cardiovascular more so than any other Kettlebell exercise. Plus as you tire your technique becomes even harder to maintain. Again start slow and build up.

Here’s a High Pull Tutorial from my GB Challenge Series:

# 3 – Kettlebell Snatch

Finally we are into the Kettlebell Snatch. Hugely dynamic and requiring a lot of confidence in your own strength and skill as the kettlebell is thrown overhead. Start light and practice.

The Snatch uses most muscles in the body and puts great demands on your shoulder stability, core strength, and explosive power. This exercise is definitely for advanced athletes only!

Here’s another Video of the Snatch taken from my GB Challenge Series:

Once you have practiced all these more advanced exercises then you can put them together into a workout. Here is a small sampling for you to try…

3 Advanced Kettlebell Circuits

Workout 1

Do not put down the kettlebell during this workout. Feel the flow as you move from one exercise to the next. Only rest at the end of the circuit.

  • Swing Left – 30 secs
  • Swing Right - 30 secs
  • Clean Left - 30 secs
  • Clean Right - 30 secs
  • Reverse Lunge Left - 30 secs
  • Reverse Lunge Right - 30 secs
  • Squat and Press Left - 30 secs
  • Squat and Press Right - 30 secs
  • Rest 60 seconds / Repeat for a Total of 3 Circuits

Workout 2

As with Workout 1 try not to put the Kettlebell down between exercises. Keep pushing. This is a tough sequence, that will challenge your grip strength too!

  • Swing Left – 30 secs
  • Swing Right - 30 secs
  • High Pull Left - 30 secs
  • High Pull Right - 30 secs
  • Snatch Left - 30 secs
  • Snatch Right - 30 secs
  • Reverse Lunge & Press Left - 30 secs
  • Reverse Lunge & Press Right - 30 secs
  • Rest 60 seconds / Repeat for a Total of 3 Circuits

Workout 3

For this workout we are working more on endurance, see how you get on especially when you encounter 60 seconds of High Pulls at the end..very tough! Run through this circuit only once.

  • Swing Left – 60 secs
  • Swing Right – 60 secs
  • Rest 30 secs
  • Clean & Press Left - 60 secs
  • Clean & Press Right – 60 secs
  • Rest 30 secs
  • Snatch Left - 60 secs
  • Snatch Right  - 60 secs
  • Rest 30 secs
  • Squat & Press Left – 60 secs
  • Squat & Press Right – 60 secs
  • Rest 30 secs
  • High Pulls Left – 60 secs
  • High Pulls Right – 60 secs

Conclusions

OK, that should be enough to keep you going for a while. Remember to start at the beginning and improve your stabilisation muscles first before moving on. Once you have mastered the Turkish Get Up and Single Leg Deadlift then you can start on the more Dynamic exercises like the Swing. Finally as you hone your skills and your body adapts progress onto more advanced exercises like the Clean, High Pulls and Snatch.

Enjoy your Kettlebell Training and please be safe!

Originally from : http://www.gbpersonaltraining.com/guide-kettlebell-training-workouts/

Jun 03

Back Pain Relief With Bak Balls

bakballsReduce pain and stiffness with “Bak Balls”

Bak Balls are used by the Physiotherapists to immediately reduce pain and stiffness and can be also used in your own home, at the office or while driving in your car to loosen a stiff and painful spine.
Bak Balls accelerate your recovery from back injuries, and reduce the chance of pain recurring or continuing in the future.
By exerting pressure on stiff joints, BakBalls assist in long term treatment and preventing back pain and other various related condition’s. They also allow you to safely self-treat your joints and muscles for relief without having to continually visit your Physio.
BakBalls are designed to match the anatomy of your spine and provide therapeutic force directly onto the most common back pains and are extremely easy and safe to use.
Sep 09

Showing Gratitude

7  Ways To Show Gratitude

Have you said thank-you to someone to show how grateful you are for them today? It’s such a small thing, but it can have a huge impact on your life, and the life of that person.

Find little ways to incorporate gratitudein your life, and you’ll be much happier … and you’ll make the people around you much happier as well. That’ll have a ripple effect that will make the world a better place … with such a small gesture!

Saying thank you isn’t hard at all. But the words can lose meaning if they’re just words. You need to say them with sincerity, or show your gratitude through little actions.

Can you imagine a world where everyone showed gratitude? If someone did you a kindness, you’d give them a warm smile and say thank you. If you were having a bad day, someone else would take time out of thier life to comfort you. People would still get angry, or sad, but could find ways to be grateful, even in difficult situations.

I know, I know … I’m an idealist, and such a world will never exist. But that’s OK. I can accept the world as it is, and even accept my own circumstances … and at the same time, show my gratitude for what a wonderful world we have. And what wonderful people (such as you guys) are in my life. And in doing so, my little acts of gratitude will radiate throughout the world, changing it in subtle but profound ways.

Corny? Maybe. But let me tell you: incorporating gratitude in my life (even if I’m not always successful at it) has changed me and has made me happier. I recommend it heartily.

For those who’d like to do little things to show their gratitude, to a specific person or to life in general, here are a few ideas that work for me:

1. Create a Gratitude Ritual. In the  morning I do a little ritual: I just close my eyes, and take a couple of minutes to think of the people and things I’m grateful for.

2. Send a thank-you card. You know, it’s nice to get a card thanking you for something you did. Saying thank you for a specific thing the person has done for you can go a long way. And it only takes a minute!

3. Give a free hug. OK, only do this when appropriate … but if you have a loved one in your life, give them a hug! Often we can go too long without showing our affection and gratitude, even to those who are closest to us. Don’t neglect this important part of your relationship. By “free” hug, I mean don’t expect anything in return — just give it as a gift of gratitude.

4. Give thanks for today! You don’t even have to thank a person … you can thank God! Wake up, and greet the day with gratitude. Be thankful you’re alive!

5. Do someone a free favor. Without expecting anything in return, do something nice for someone. Just something small. Get them a drink or a coffee, do a chore for them, offer to do an errand, anything they’d appreciate, really. Think of what the person likes, wants or needs, and try to do something (even something small) to help them. Actions speak louder than words, and doing something nice will show you’re grateful more than just saying it.

6. Give a little gift. It doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive, but a little gift can be a memorable gesture.

7. Say thanks even for negative things in your life. This is the hard part, in truth. When things go wrong, when we’re not happy, when people are mean to us, when we are worn down by the million slings and arrows of everyday life … we don’t want to say thank you. But in truth, this is the time when it matters most. If you’ve mastered the first 6 items on this list, you’re ready to master this one.

When life gets you down, when your hurt or angry or confused or frustrated, take a moment to stop and close your eyes and find things to be thankful for. Your health, your family, your job, the roof over your head, the fact that you’ll have a next meal, the beauty of the world around you, the good people in your life, your new Macintosh computer. Whatever you can think of, be thankful for them … and express that gratitude somehow. Realize that all is not bad in this world, and be happy for that.

And then, when you’ve mastered that skill, think of the negative things in your life … and give thanks for them. That person who was mean to you? Thank them for teaching you patience and understanding. That dog that tore up your trash? Thank him for teaching you humility as you pick up the trash. The natural disaster you went through? Thank it for reminding you of what is important in life. The illness you are going through? Thank it for making you stronger.

This post is a part of the Season of Gratitude hosted on Balanced Life Center.

If you found value in this post, please comment and share if you want more content like this….

PS. There is a cool ‘online’ way to show gratitude with personalised cards. Click HERE to find out how.

Nigel Pfitzner

 

Skype: nigelpfitzner
email: nigelpfitzner@gmail.com
phone/text: +61 418 268 829

 

Jul 21

Coffee Saves Your Life

Coffee can build muscle, boost brain power, and even save your life.

Coffee has  been revving people up for the last 1000 years, and with over 21,000 studies on caffeine, scientists have pretty much solved every mystery.

Your Health

A recent US study by the University of Scranton found that coffee is a significant source of anti-oxidants, reducing cancer and heart disease risk.

Harvard researchers also found that drinking more than 4 cups a day defends against gallstones and cirrhosis of the liver. This is thanks to it’s soluble fibre which also explains your mid-morning appointment with the sports section….

The downside is that if coffee is drunk within an hour of a meal, it reduces absorption of iroon and immune-boosting Zinc.

Your Heart

Harvard researchers tracked 128,000 people for 20 years and found drinking more than 6 cups of coffee a day did not increase the risk of heart disease. And last year, scientists at Brooklyn College in New York found men who drank 4cups of coffee a day, had 53% less risk of dying of heart disease.

Unfortunately, caffeine makes your arteries constrict, raising your blood pressure….but cardiologist Dr Matthew Sorrentino says “…if you don’t have hypertension to begin with, the temporary blood-pressure increase isn’t a problem.”

Your Brain Power

Drinking one or two cups of coffee before tasks can increase your short-term recall and alertness. reports a study by the University of Arizona.

“Caffeine has a mild mood-elevating effect,” says Dr William Lovallo, professor of psychiatry and behavioral science at the Univerity of Oklahoma. “That’s because it releases dopamine, which stimulates the area of your brain that is responsible for  pleasure.”

Caffeine has been found to decrease your risk of developing Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease.

Your Waistline

Caffeine is an appetite suppressant and also increases metabolism. “Drinking 6 cups per day combined with a low-fat diet can boost fat-burning by up to 20%,” says Catherine Collins, chief dietician at St George’s Hospital in London.

 

Your Muscles

Caffeine may also have a direct effect on muscles. The experts reckon it triggers calcium release in your muscles. “This means stronger muscle contractions,” says Terry Graham, professor of nutritional sciences at the University of Guelph in Canada.

Because Coffee has other chemicals that counteract this effect, so you are probably better off with caffeine pills or caffeinated energy drinks.

Your Aching Head

Caffeine increases the ability of your body to absorb pain-relieving drugs, by increasing the production of stomach acid.

 

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Nigel Pfitzner

Skype: nigelpfitzner
email: nigelpfitzner@gmail.com
phone/text: +61 418 268 829

Jul 20

Fast Fitness with Kettlebells

Kettlebells are an effective and versatile fitness & strength tool.

The exercises that can be performed with a kettlebell can incorporate all of the muscles in the body. The workouts can be quick and intense resulting in some surprising changes to the body in short periods of time.

Why Kettlebells Are So Effective

I have seen faster overall results with Kettlebells than any other training tool. But it is important to note that Kettlebells are just a tool. Using them incorrectly and performing exercises with bad technique or becoming lazy with your workouts will almost certainly render them as useless as other badly used tools. Don’t be fooled into thinking that just because you workout with a
Kettlebell you will get better results. Only working out with a Kettlebell correctly will produce some amazing results.

Kettlebells are highly effective for a number of reasons, namely:
• Dynamic Nature and Neurologically Demanding
• Challenges Stability and Core control
• Seamless movement through workouts
• Better Anatomical Alignment
• Compound Exercises using hundreds of Muscles

The Dynamic nature of using a Kettlebell requires coordination, control and energy consumption. The ability to absorb the kettlebells weight and then change momentum in the opposite direction takes lots of energy and muscle activation.

Regular Dumbbells are held in the centre and so balanced, but kettlebells are different. The off centred handle provides a challenge for the shoulder stability as well as adaptations that must be made through the core musculature.

The real beauty of Kettlebells comes from when you are “in the flow”, moving from one exercise to the next without resting.
Performing workouts like this are highly demanding and great for your cardiovascular health.

Finally, kettlebells use big compound movements smoking hundreds of muscles at a time. This has a better hormone response as well as energy consumption during and after exercise.

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Nigel Pfitzner

Skype: nigelpfitzner
email: nigelpfitzner@gmail.com
phone/text: +61 418 268 829

 

Jul 20

Cigarettes, Pollution and Glutathione

What a polluted world we live in!

Mothers-to-be are warned not to eat certain fish that are contaminated with neurotoxic mercury.

Cows are treated with genetically engineered damaging free radicals. Perhaps not so well known is the danger that second-hand smoke presents in generating those same dangerous free radicals.

Glutathione is the body’s most powerful antioxidant. Recent research showed ways that smoking compromises the body’s immune system. Cigarette smoke slowed down production of immune system cells called cytokines and reduced the activation of the molecule nuclear factor-kappa beta (NFkB) which detects free radicals and infectious agents. Treatment with glutathione, reported the study, “reversed both these effects” of cigarette smoking.

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Nigel Pfitzner

 

Skype: nigelpfitzner
email: nigelpfitzner@gmail.com