Archive for June, 2014

U3A

Monday  30th June 2014
–  Shoreline  Series 2 :  Episode  4 of 13
Cape  Town
The history of the Khoi-Khoi, the Muslim and Malay heritage,
Cecil John Rhodes  and  Sir David de Villiers Graaff.
10H00  at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator:  Christo Vlok  044-533-5155

Monday  30th June 2014
–  U3A Film Club
Saving  Mr. Banks
The surprising background story to the making of
Mary Poppins  is revealed when Disney ( Tom Hanks)
tries for 20 years to obtain the rights to author
P.L. Travers ( Emma Thompson) children’s book.
18H15  at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator:  Brian  Hardy  044-533-5489

Tuesday  1st July 2014
–  Italian Conversation
09H45  at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator:  Brenda Hardy  044-533-5489

Wednesday  2nd July  2014
– Pompeii  :  Life and death in a Roman town
One of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history.
10H00  at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator:  Brenda Hardy  044-533-5489

Wednesday  2nd July  2014
–  U3A Plett  Social Bridge Club
General lessons for improving players, help and
supervised Bridge in a friendly atmosphere.
NB:  13H30  at the Angling Club
Co-ordinator:  Michael Webb  082-226-7280

Friday   4th July 2014
–  French Conversation
Please contact Rea for meeting arrangements at 10H00
Co-ordinator:  Rea Gardy  044-533-2387

Friday   4th July 2014
–  Mah-jong  :  Now every Friday !
14H00  at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator:  Amelia White  044-533-0113

Breeding Finches – Start to Finish

Finches are popular among bird enthusiasts because not only are they easy to breed, they are also considered songbirds, which means their sound is generally pleasant to the ears. You can easily find them being sold in local pet stores. Feeding and breeding finches can be such a wonderful experience at home, especially if you do it with your kids. These birds can be an educational tool for your children to learn how to nurture life and appreciate nature. Finches are generally shy when it comes to being hand-fed. It would be best to just allow the parents do feeding and rearing for the babies.

When to Start

The best time to start breeding your finches is when they are about 8 months old. There are finches that are highly dimorphic, which means one can easily distinguish their gender by simply checking out their colors. An example of this would be the Zebra finches. Society finches, on the other hand, can be a bit challenging in this department because they don’t have color patterns that tell whether they are male or female. One technique in determining the gender of the finches is by placing at least four of them in a cage and watching which birds get attracted to whom. Once spotted, you can place them in a separate cage so you can start breeding finches.

Prepping the Cage

The cage should get ample sunlight at least 14 hours a day. You can use a bulb or lamp as complement lighting, if necessary. The cage should be large enough to create a comfortable space for the parents to breed. Hang a basket in the cage that would serve as a place for the eggs to hatch. Putting together the nest requires skill. The nest should have lining material which you can get from pet stores. In most cases, the male finches arrange the lining materials themselves. For the nesting, you can use shredded burlap as well as dry straws. The nest is important when breeding finches and you should prepare the right materials ahead of time.

Checking for Eggs

Use a flashlight when monitoring the nest for hatchlings. When you notice the parents flying in and out of the basket, it is more likely a sign that there are already eggs poised to hatch. The female finch lays one egg per day, until she completes the brood of up to 8 eggs. Then she will begin sitting on the eggs with the male on a standby and ready to substitute when the female leaves and looks for something to eat. This is a sensitive stage in breeding finches that requires constant monitoring to ensure that everything goes smoothly.

It takes about 14 days for the eggs to hatch from the day when the female started brooding them. If you notice an egg that hasn’t hatched in 21 days, it is more likely an infertile egg. It usually takes four weeks for the parents to feed the babies until they start hopping out of the nest. After a month, the young will resemble an adult finch in size. Breeding finches is an awesome experience that you shouldn’t miss out on. Your first try can be quite nerve-wracking, but once you get the hang of it, you cannot wait until the next breeding season begins.

Endurance training: understanding your slow twitch muscle fibres will boost performance

Muscles and muscle fibre What are muscle fibres? Muscles – like the rest of the body – are made up of cells, and in muscles these cells form muscle fibres. Muscle fibres contract to create movement after receiving electrical signals from the brain – a chemical reaction then occurs in the muscle to create muscular activity. Depending on the sport or fitness activity, this chemical reaction can create long- or short-lasting energy (as in the case of a marathon run or a tennis serve respectively).  The specifics of slow-twitch muscle fibre Slow-twitch muscle fibres are endurance fibres What makes a muscle slow or fast? This has a lot to do with the number of slow- and fast-twitch muscle fibres a muscle has, and the way these fibres are trained. The more slow-twitch fibres there are, the better the muscle will be at providing lasting energy – see table 1 for examples of the percentages of slow-twitch fibres in the shoulder of selected sports participants. Conversely, the more fast-twitch fibres, the better the muscle will be at generating speed and power. You can change the proportion of the fibres between fast and slow, with the prolonged right training (although research indicates that these changes are not permanent). Twitch rate Muscles twitch – basically this reflects their speed of contraction when they are stimulated. Slow-twitch fibres do not have a very fast twitch rate compared to fast-twitch fibres, because they are not designed for speed.  Twitch rate per second Slow-twitch muscle fibres 10-30 Fast-twitch 30-70  Slow-twitch fibres have a good blood supply, which greatly assists their ability to generate aerobic energy (that is, energy that relies on oxygen to fuel the chemical reactions going on within the muscles that provide this lasting energy). This oxygen supply capability can be enhanced by the right training. Slow-twitch fibres can also be called ‘red’ fibres because of their ample blood supply. Unlike fast-twitch fibre, slow-twitch fibre is less likely to increase muscle size when trained via endurance activities (or weight training). However, well-trained endurance athletes will have slow-twitch fibres that are slightly enlarged, in comparison to non- athletes and speed or power athletes, such as sprinters. But the most ‘noticeable’ endurance training effects occur inside the muscle and manifest themselves on the road, track or water in terms of enhanced endurance ability. Table 1 displays how slow-twitch fibres can be developed through relevant endurance training. The more endurance training an athlete undertakes, the more slow-twitch muscle fibres they will develop. Compare the figures in the table with non-athletes, who would have around 45-55% slow-twitch fibres in their arms and across their body.

Slow-twitch muscle fibre’s response to endurance training: Improved aerobic capacity An increase in capillary density. Capillaries are oxygen-carrying highways, and the more capillaries there are in a muscle, the greater the potential for aerobic energy creation The more endurance-trained a muscle is, the greater its stock of enzymes relevant to other specific muscular energy creation processes – notably the Krebs cycle. The Krebs cycle is a chemical process that takes place in muscles. Using an analogy, it’s a bit like having your own oil refinery in your car, that keeps producing (cheap!) fuel. In the body’s case, this equally crucial fuel is adenosine triphosphate (ATP). ATP is the key energy-producing chemical in the body. Table 1: Percentage of slow-twitch fibre in deltoid (shoulder) muscle in males and selected sports Endurance athlete Percentage of slow-twitch fibre in deltoid (shoulder) muscle – males  Canoeist 71%  Swimmer 67%  Triathlete 60%   Further characteristics of slow-twitch fibre Muscle fibres – whether slow or fast – are bundled together to form more powerful units (these are known as motor units). They can be equated to cogs in a machine that synchronise with each other to produce, in this case, muscular power. Depending on fibre type, these motor units do not mesh in the same way.  Slow-twitch muscle fibres are recruited synchronously This means that their motor units work together to produce movement – one ‘cog’ turns another – and all at the same time. This contrasts with fast-twitch fibre, whose motor unit cogs are recruited asynchronously. Basically, the smallest cogs (ie, the slow-twitch fibres’ smaller motor units) turn first and then the larger ones (fast-twitch fibres) only once the athlete mentally stimulates them to do so. This can be achieved by psyching oneself up and becoming aggressive and explains why, for example, it is difficult to lift a heavy weight without being in the zone. With slow-twitch fibres, less mental effort is required to fire them, until the athlete is fatigued. If you don’t put a lot of mental effort in when jumping, for example, you won’t jump that high (and you’ll be using your slow-twitch and intermediate fast-twitch fibres). To jump high you have to engage the larger, fast-twitch motor units, and this needs greater mental effort.  Slow-twitch muscle fibres provide a stabilising function within muscles The percentage of slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscles fibres varies between muscles. The gastrocnemius – the larger of the calf muscles – has a greater percentage of fast-twitch fibres in comparison to the smaller soleus. Balance and stability work tends to target the muscles with the greater proportion of slow-twitch muscle fibres, whereas those with more fast-twitch fibres are more power- and movement-orientated. Thus a single leg balance, from a standing-on-tiptoes position, will emphasise the slow-twitch fibres of the soleus, while a straight leg jump will primarily recruit the fast-twitch muscle fibres of the gastrocnemius. Researched by KATIA C. ROWLANDS – PILATES INSTRUCTOR & PERSONAL TRAINER – 0825134256

GARDEN SAFARI MIX 2014

The preparations for the 2014 Cango Valley Biblical garden safari which is planed for the 24th and 25th of October 2014, have started.  25 gardens  in the Cango valley between Oudtshoorn and the Swartberg are open to the public. As  in previous years these  gardens form the nucleus of this exciting project. This is only possible with the friendly cooperation of the garden owners who make every effort  to accommodate this initiative to generate funds for the  maintenance of the Biblical garden at Schoemanshoek. By the way 98% of the plants in this garden have  a Biblical connection and were selected on research that was done by two members of the management committee.
As in the past we have categorised the gardens to enable our visitors to plan their trips. As yet the categories are the following: Formal gardens, Farm gardens (as an alternative to formal gardens), Panoramic gardens, Water saving/indigenous gardens, and other gardens. The latter includes the Biblical garden and a nursery. The good rain we had will surely ensure luscious and beautiful gardens to supplement the Cango Valley which is itself  so beautiful at this time of the year.
In an attempt to be innovative as far as the garden safari is concerned, we have  added a few exciting new items to the program, e.g.
• A flower festival in the church with flower arrangements based on a specific  theme. It promises  to be an uplifting experience. The management committee would like the community to participate and therefore we invite those that are interested in flower arrangement to contact Mariaan van Rensburg at telephone 0442728516. While the beauty of the flowers can be enjoyed, there is also beautiful music to be enjoyed and the lead glass windows of the church have symbolic  significance.
• Another exciting innovation is the Bonsai exhibition which will be there for the two days of the garden safari. The owner,  Mr Swift,  will be available for a limited time at 10.00 on both days to explain the concept to interested  parties. It is obvious that much time, knowledge and love for the Bonsai trees are  involved in this practice.
• Compost  is essential to the gardener. Therefore we thought it would be a good idea  to have an information session on the process of making compos. A leading farmer will explain this process to interested  parties at 10.00 on both mornings of the garden safari. Examples of raw material, compost in the half  way stage  and also well prepared compost, will be shown.
• We also would like to make use of this opportunity to introduce the public to some of the “developing gardens” in our valley. Some of these gardens are situated in narrow ravines  and places where you will never expect it. With this addition to the garden safari we would like to contribute to the  potential that already exists.
• The garden safari offers an opportunity to the early birds to obtain a weekend  package at a bargain/give away price. The package consists of one night accommodation for two, a complimentary ticket for two to one of the many places worth seeing in our valley (Cango caves, Cango ostrich farm, Buffelsdrift game ranch, Cango Wildlife ranch )  and two tickets for the garden safari. The price for the package is R250. The accommodation is in private homes with a three or four grade standard. The purpose of this initiative is to offer visitors from outside the Oudtshoorn area anoppertunity  to come and enjoy some of the exciting venues  that the valley offers. For more information in this regard please contact telephone 0795580002 or bdanielategan@gmail.com
• Over the past few years the hiking trails of the garden safari have become  very popular. Several hiking clubs have made use of this facility. The distances of the various routes differ e.g. 5km. 10km and 15km. However we can alter the distance to suite the specific hiking group. The different hiking trails will enable the hikers to visit some of the gardens e.g. the 5km trail will pass  6 gardens , the 6km. will pass 10 gardens and the 15km trail will pass 2gardens. More information at 0795580002 or bdanielategan@gmail.com
We invite you to participate in the Garden safari on the 24th and 25th October 2014 . Please update your dairy for at least one of these dates. The price per person is R45 and in turn we will supply you with a road map to the 25 gardens as well as refreshments (coffee/tea, muffin).•

U3A

Monday  23rd June 2014
–  The  Ascent  of  Man  :  ( Part  4 of 13 )
The  Hidden  Structure
The discovery of fire leads early alchemists to
develop copper, bronze, steel & gold.
10H00  at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator:  Alain  Leger   044-533-2963

Tuesday  24th June 2014
–  Italian Conversation
09H45  at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator:  Brenda Hardy  044-533-5489

Wednesday  25th June 2014
– Trekking  in  the  Simian  Mountains : ( Part 2 of 2 )
Carmen  Copestake will take us on a four-day hike
in the most beautiful mountains in Africa.
10H00  at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator:   Lynette Timme   044-535-9041

Wednesday  25th June 2014
–  U3A Plett  Social Bridge Club
Supervised bridge in a friendly atmosphere
with tips for improving your play.
13H45  at the Angling Club
Co-ordinator:  Michael Webb  082-226-7280

Friday  27th June 2014
–  French Conversation
10H00 at  7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator:  Merle Decot   044-533-5879

Friday  27th June 2014
–  Mah Jong
Learn and play this ancient and fascinating game.
14H00  at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator:   Amelia White  044-533-0113

KNYSNA TOURISM BOARD WELCOMES NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER

The Knysna Tourism Board today welcomed their new Chief Executive Officer, Greg Vogt. Chairperson of Knysna Tourism, Nan Raturat was pleased to comment: “We are happy to make this announcement today, after a rigorous process wherein the Board ensured that due diligence was followed. We are confident that Mr Vogt is what Knysna Tourism needs to take us into the future.” Raturat explained further that the Board appointed organizational development consultants, ODA, to assist with the recruitment and selection process. The process and sessions were facilitated by ODA director, Dirk Joubert. ODA met with the Board and agreed on the specifications and expectations of this position, as well as the key characteristics required to fulfill the duties and mandate of the entity. After a call for interest, 115 applications were received from national and international candidates. The candidates were put through a dynamic and energetic selection process. The panel consisted of Knysna Tourism Board members nominated by the Board; namely Nan Raturat, Lauren Waring, Steven de Vries; and former board member and Knysna businessman, Leslie Peters, who was an observer to the process. De Vries explained the process during a press conference held in Knysna today: “Based upon a schedule of all applications received, as well as their CVs, the consultant facilitated an agreement on a list of 38 candidates’ possible appointees which was then cut down to a shortlist of five persons. “After the reference checks were completed the candidates were evaluated by several competency based exercises. The shortlisted individuals were required to complete the EvaleX Managerial Talent Assessment – a comprehensive assessment battery consisting of two main components, namely a management simulation section which includes simulated management situations and case studies and a more traditional psychometrics section, looking at: intelligence, personality type and interests. In addition, some important cross cutting competencies were also tested for, including strategic capacity and emotional maturity.” For the day of the interview, the candidates were given a topic (72 hours prior to their interviews) to prepare a 10 – 15 minute presentation. On the day they were further given three scenarios to respond to and were also asked to answer a series of pre-determined questions posed by the panel. All candidates were subjected to the same process and each candidate was afforded an equal opportunity to prove him/herself. Having compared the candidates’ performance on the case studies, the interview, feedback from reference checks, as well as the results of the EvaleX assessment with the requirements of the position as advertised, the panel made a recommendation to the Board on the appointment of the CEO. At its meeting of 5 June the Board unanimously agreed to appoint Greg Vogt as the new CEO for Knysna Tourism. The contract runs until the end of June 2015, and Vogt has to take the organisation through a period of change. Vogt was asked for his vision for the year ahead: “Many may be wondering what is different this time round. What will I do that is different to my predecessors? My approach is therefore founded in a sound academic model that has enabled Knysna Tourism to recognise where our focus has lacked conversion. The restructuring of the organisation will allow us to deliver to Knysna as a whole and not just to the tourism sector. This tactic will actually bring more opportunity to the town as a whole.” He explained the four components that will be the core of Knysna Tourism. “The first being Marketing, PR and Communication, then we have Research and Development, followed by Information Management and finally Development, Business Events and Trade and Investment.” Vogt added that the current approach would integrate municipal initiatives into private sector initiatives, therefore defragmenting efforts working towards one goal and vision. “Internal workings of the organisation have been reformed – starting with capacity building within the office. The basis of the premise is that development and marketing goes hand in hand, offering the opportunity to build capacity, critical volume and market at the same time.” Vogt further explained: “The new thinking is founded in our brand that has clear core values and key words that we can embrace and identify with. We recognise that each business fulfils a niche within our economy, however works symbiotically with other businesses to function as a system. “Through recognising these niches, businesses are able to optimise within the system through integrated efforts. As businesses find their space and role in the system (their niche) they adapt to new challenges more effectively. The entire process evolved towards and efficient operating system. Last by no means least, is respect. We as the community need to learn to respect one another and the efforts that all business and organisations make to build this town and live the values of the Naturally Knysna brand.”

In closing, Waring, Board member and Municipal Manager for Knysna confirmed that Vogt will add great value to the organisation and that the town is now ready to see these initiatives and principles actioned. “A great future awaits the entity and the town of Knysna as a whole – to make it a place where people and nature prospur.”

Get, Stay, and Workout With Your Dog

Want to boost your exercise motivation? It’s a lot easier to follow a fitness routine if you have an enthusiastic exercise buddy. The perfect person for this is actually not a person – it’s your dog! Dogs make great exercise buddies because they’re always ready to go. They motivate you on those days when you don’t want to get off your butt – it would be hard to resist a happy face and a wagging tail, right?

So are you ready to get in shape with your pooch (and bond at the same time)? Here are four exercises that will benefit you both!

Jogging Your dog will never say no to a jogging session! When you first begin jogging with your canine friend, train him to stay on your right side as you can fall if he crosses in front of you. Start slow and keep an eye out for any signs of overheating such as serious fatigue or excessive panting. Bring lots of water and take breaks when you have to. As you increase your time and distance gradually, observe your dog carefully for any signs of overtraining.

Hiking You can burn up to 800 calories during a fast paced, two-hour hike. The best time to go hiking with your dog is in the morning. Go out just after the sun comes up and hike for a couple of hours. Be sure to bring enough water for you and your pet. If you live in a hot climate, you will want to start earlier to avoid the risk of your pooch overheating. Don’t stick to just one hiking trail, try a different one each time you hike to make it more interesting.

Frisbee This fun exercise can help you burn 200 calories per hour. Your dog will probably burn more since he’s the one doing most of the chasing and running, but you will both feel better after a few rounds of Frisbee. Some fresh air always helps, too!

Walking Again, walk around a different area every day to prevent boredom. Walk along walking trails, on the beach, and around various neighborhoods. You can also take your dog to the lake where you can walk and swim. Participate in dog walk fundraisers, too – they provide a great opportunity to get fit and help a good cause at the same time.•

U3A

Monday  16th June 2014
– Public  Holiday  :  Youth Day
There will be no U3A program

Tuesday  17th  June 2014
–  Italian Conversation
09H45  at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator:  Brenda Hardy  044-533-5489

Wednesday  18th June 2014
–  The  History of  Ethiopia  :  ( Part 1 of 2 )
Carmen  Copestake  will take us back through the
centuries to early Biblical times in this land of mystery.
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator:  Lynette Timme   044-535-9041

Wednesday  18th June 2014
–  U3A Plett  Social  Bridge  Club
Supervised bridge in a friendly atmosphere
with tips for improving your play.
13H45  at the Angling Club
Co-ordinator:  Michael Webb  082-226-7280

Friday  20th June 2014
–  French Conversation
10H00 at  7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator:  Merle Decot   044-533-5879

The positives and negatives of re-homing a rescue dog

Before you commit to spending hundreds of pounds on a pedigree puppy, take the time to consider an alternative- re-homing a rescue dog.

Every year around 100,000 dogs are abandoned in the UK. Contrary to popular belief, very few of these dogs are ‘problem dogs’. Most have been abandoned due to their families moving, new babys, death of an owner and other domestic problems- none of which are the dogs fault.

There are many benefits to rescue dogs. Most are older than six months old so they have been house trained and no longer chew everything in sight and some have even been trained. Many rescue centres also insist that their dogs are neutered and vaccinated before they leave the home so this is another worry taken off your mind.

Things you should consider:

Most rescue homes will want to do a home check before they let you take a dog. Gone are the days when they would let you take a dog as long as you could prove that you had a dog bed and a can of dog food. You must be able to prove that you are able to exercise your dog regularly, have an adequate home and garden and will want to see if you have any other pets. They will also take into consideration the character of the dog and whether it fits in with your lifestyle- there is no point in adopting a dog that hates children if you have three kids for example.

Some dogs may well have been abused or mistreated. As such they may have abandonment issues, may be nervous, aggressive or have medical issues. As a potential owner you must be willing and able to deal with these problems and be prepared to give your dog a lot of love and patience.

The reward for dealing with this initial bureaucracy is often the most fun, beautiful, happy, healthy dog that you could ever wish for, plus the warm glow of knowing that you have given an unwanted dog a new home.

For more information about rescue centres either ask your local pet supplies store or contact one of the main rescue centres such as The Dogs Trust, The RSPCA or the Blue Cross.

Finally, if you are stuck on having a particular breed of dog, why not consider looking at pedigree rescue sites. Most breeds have them (a list of some of them can be seen on ‘The dog rescue pages’) and they can provide you with a wealth of breed specific information as well as a gorgeous new pet.•

 

Mind-body Balance Training for Special Populations

Individuals who are balance challenged, such as those with Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, require a  method of balance training that usually includes keeping two feet on the floor. Fusing Western, Eastern and somatic concepts, this well-rounded practice combines ancient postures with traditional exercise to meet the balance needs of individuals with special needs, from the feet to the brain. Many personal training and group exercise sessions incorporate balance exercises into the routine. Balance training is used to increase the efficiency of single-leg pattern movements such as gait or standing on one foot. When the word “balance” comes to mind, trainers and instructors often think of unstable-surface equipments . Although these tools are highly effective, especially with active adults, special populations require a different method of balance training—a process that usually includes keeping two feet on the floor. Balance exercises, like any other exercise, must be progressed before incorporating highly unstable surfaces. In addition, balance training is more than a physical practice of balancing on one leg. It challenges the vestibular system, proprioception and brain; thus, the mind and body work as one unit.

What follows is a “wholistic” balance-training guide that fuses Western, Eastern and somatic concepts. This well-rounded practice combines ancient postures with traditional exercise to meet the balance needs of individuals with special needs, from the feet to the brain. Who Can Benefit From Balance Training?

The term “special populations” is defined differently in various contexts. In terms of exercise, special populations typically refers to individuals who require special attention or care to address their condition, needs or ability. Generally, there are program alterations that differ for special populations compared to the average healthy adult or athlete. The balance exercises presented here are beneficial for everybody, but were specifically designed for individuals who have a movement disability or neurological disorder. Diseases and ailments result in physical, mental and emotional alterations. As a result, bodies experience motor weakness, sensory changes, visual disturbances, fatigue and sensitivity to heat or paralysis. From seniors and stroke survivors to individuals with Parkinson’s disease or multiple sclerosis, a wide range of special populations can benefit from mind-body balance training. Key Components to Balance Training for Special Populations The five following components can be used to help people comprehend their training programs and progress. These components maybe used individually or together to further progress and regress balance exercises. This ensures that exercises are safe, achievable and enjoyable.

Awareness unites the brain and body connection and enhances focus and concentration. While being aware, people are present in the moment and able to recognize breath patterns. Awareness is crucial to execute balance effectively, as stressed and fluttering minds distract from the task at hand. During awareness building, you can educate your clients on the foot’s triad, which are the points on the foot that form a triangle. This includes one point on the heel and two points on the medial and lateral ball of the foot. Visual affect either assists or challenges balance, based on the visibility or focal point. Closing the eyes stimulates sensory receptors and proprioception. Partial or fully closed eyes help train the body for real-life situations such as fogged glasses, darkened room or visual impairments resulting from a stroke. Balance challenge variables include: Partially closing the eyes (see eyelids) Closing one eye Closing both eyes Looking at a focal point Visual fixation on stationary target with head moving Visual fixation on moving target with head stationary Eye gaze moving with the head   External stimulus incorporates either equipment or perturbation into the exercise, and either challenges balance or promotes concentration and assistance. A Pilates ball, strap or trainer’s touch may promote alignment or balance assistance. External stimulus combined with movement incorporates sensory stimulation with cognitive object concentration.

Contact point refers to anything that promotes balance while assisting the body or alignment. A chair, wall, body bar or a trainer’s shoulder can assist a client’s balance. Reducing contact points, such as lifting one foot off the floor or releasing one or both hands off the hips, challenges balance. Individuals with multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease often have days that are better than others in terms of movement and balance. Therefore, some may require adding a contact point such a wall or ballet bar to hold onto while reducing the contact points of the foot.

Movement includes any small or large range of motion of one or more body parts. During balance training, the person  may move his or her head, upper body or whole body. As a general rule of thumb, the more body parts that move, the more challenging the exercise becomes. In turn, movement can be used to progress from static to dynamic poses.

Researched By : Kátia C. Rowlands – Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer – 082 513 4256•

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