Archive for February, 2015

U3A

Monday 2nd March 2015
Downton Abbey Series Five – Episode 5 of 8
The story keeps the pace fast as characters interact
romantically or tread uncertain paths with trepidation
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Angela Embleton 044-533-1437

Tuesday 3rd March 2015
Italian Conversation
09H45 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 4th March 2015
The Dark Ages – An Age of Light – Episode 3 of 4
Along with Christianity, the Dark Ages saw the emergence of
another vital religion, as Januszcak looks at Islam and Muslims
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Angela Embleton 044-533-1437

Friday 6th March 2015
French Conversation
10H00 at 7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator: Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 6th March 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Fascinating Game
13H30 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator: Ameila White 044-533-0113

Knee Movement & Proper Form during Lunge Exercises

Oftentimes it’s easy to see things as black and white and, as fitness professionals, ideas can be drilled into us where there’s only one way of doing something. But in doing so, it limits our ability to grow with the emergence of new scientific findings and research to learn better technique.
To help dispel common myths and clarify areas often confusing and misunderstood, the following explains the controversy along with most effective and safe way to perform lunges.
It is correct to avoid excessive forward movement of the knee during squatting and lunging movements. It is a myth, however, that you should “never let your knees go past your toes while doing a squat or lunge.”This belief originated from a study that is more than 30 years old (1978 Duke University study that found maintaining a vertical lower leg as much as possible reduced shearing forces on the knee during a squat). The truth is that leaning forward too much is more likely what is truly causing the problem or injury. In 2003, University of Memphis research confirmed that knee stress increased by 28% when the knees were allowed to move past the toes while performing a squat. However, hip stress increased nearly 1,000% when forward movement of the knee was restricted. In addition, in group exercise, the cue “don’t let your knees go over your toes” has long been an effective general rule when trying to teach an exercise to a room full of people with different skill levels, abilities and goals. When a class has a large number of participants it is difficult to help each individual participant with their specific range-of-motion so providing a general “don’t let your knees go past your toes” cue is an effective way of erring on the side of caution for the exercise instructor.
The general pointer while performing a lunge is to try to keep your knees aligned over your second toe so that the knee is moving in the same direction as the ankle joint. However, in reality we often find the knee translating (moving) forward to the toes or beyond in a squat or lunge movement, so there are other things that must be considered. The reason for this can be attributed to the length of limbs (shinbones or tibia/fibula and the thigh bone or femur).
During lunge or squat movements, we should always emphasize beginning the movement by pushing the hips backwards before they lower towards the floor (a term referred to as “hip hinging”). This avoids pre-mature forward movement of the knee by shifting the hips backwards. As we continue to lower our body downward, this creates a healthy hinge effect at the knee, but there comes a time where the knee (tibia) will begin to move forward in order to maintain our balance (keeping our center of mass within our base of support). If you happen to have long limbs, then it is realistic to expect your knees to move forward over or beyond the toes. Any attempt to prevent this will result in either falling backwards or in bad squat or lunge technique which places increased loads into your low back. So, as long as you teach the lunge / squat movement correctly by first initiating the movement at the hip and avoid premature forward movement of the knee, then the fact that the knee may move forward is quite safe.
Part of the reason we lunge is to train movement patterns for our daily activities and when we climb stairs, the knee and torso naturally translate forward in parallel with each other (the torso does not remain vertical) for balance and to propel our body forward and upward. In some instances we’ve seen trainers recommend keeping the back as vertical as possible which is problematic. Our concern is that this vertical technique fails to train the neural pathways and muscles correctly, in the manner it should when you actually climb stairs or step up. Additionally, if you lack adequate flexibility in your hips (considered a mobile joint) when lunging with your torso vertical, then the lumbar spine has to contribute to achieving the mobility you need and in doing so, it will compromise its ability to stabilize the lumbar spine. This could, in fact, increase the loading on your low back.
TIP: Watch your technique in the mirror (side view) the next time you lunge. Place your hands on your hips or in the small of your back and perform your lunge. If you notice any forward tilting in your hips or an increase in the curvature of your low back, you are compromising lumbar stability and I would suggest revisiting your exercise technique.
To help learn the hip-hinge movement, stand and take a broomstick, place it behind your back, holding it with one arm above your head and the other arm places into the curve of your low back. The broomstick should touch the back of your head, the thoracic spine and the sacrum (butt). Keep your legs extended (not locked), push your hips backwards, but try not to bend the knees too much. Try to:
1. Maintain contact with the broomstick against all three points (head, thoracic spine and sacrum).
2. Maintain the same spacing between your hand and your lower back.
This exercise teaches you to initiate your lunge and squat by hip-hinging as opposed to driving your knees forward which places stresses across the knee and patella tendon.

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

The Best Way To Run With Your Dog

Proper run training for you and your most loyal companion. Few cultures on the planet treat their dogs like Americans, and more specifically, Coloradans. We buy expensive organic chow and tricked-out, joint-preserving doggie beds. Our four-legged friends accompany us to the office, coffee shop-and, perhaps most importantly, on training runs as our loyal pacers and are reminders of all things joyful and humble about the sport of running. Whether you’re preparing to adopt a dog or already have one who matches you stride for stride, it’s mutually beneficial to know how to run train properly with-and ultimately respect and protect-your favorite canine companion.

Puppy Love
Let’s start with puppies. If you’ve recently acquired a young dog or plan to do so (see sidebar on good running breeds), there are a few things to know when teaching your dog how to run with you. First, don’t even start running with your puppy until he or she is not a puppy. Veterinarian Tim Hackett, Chief of Staff-Small Animals at Colorado State University’s Veterinary Teaching Hospital in Fort Collins, says seven months would be the earliest he would recommend a dog begin run training. Dogs must reach skeletal maturity first, which in giant breeds may not happen until up to 20 months, says Dr. Erick Egger, a professor of Small Animal Orthopedic Surgery at Colorado State. According to Elizabeth Simpson, who as owner of Boulder-based Tenderfoot Training sees the dogs of many athletes, “When a young pup’s muscles tire, they cannot support the skeletal system and now you are grinding bone against bone and doing damage.”

Enduro-Dog
Once your dog reaches skeletal maturity, best confirmed with a quick vet check-up, it’s time to start endurance training. Just like humans, dogs need to build up mileage progressively. “Treat your dog as you would a friend you are helping get started,” says Simpson. “Don’t ask too much and increase the time and difficulty only as he gets stronger.” Hackett, who runs three paved miles every other day with his dog with one longer trail run per week, suggests starting with a mile a week while assessing recovery, watching how quickly heart rate and breathing return to normal and monitoring how your dog’s feet are holding up. Pad wear is arguably the most common injury in dogs that run regularly. Elite runners might start run training by completing a full, fast-paced run, then picking up Fido for a comfy cool down, suggests Simpson. Of course basic training will also be helpful for a younger dog just getting used to running in a controlled environment. “A well-trained dog is far more fun to run with than an ill-mannered dog who runs off, lunges at people, chases dogs or cars, and forces you to stop every two seconds because he has to mark another tree,” says Simpson.

Basalt-based author of Canine Colorado, Cindy Hirschfeld, who runs with her three-year-old mutt Tansy, has found a loophole. “We haven’t been very successful at training her on leash. She zigzags back and forth, which is a pain in the rear when you’re trying to run in a straight line!” Compromise between dog and master is found at off-leash areas, such as a non-wilderness designated National Forest trails or voice-command-allowed trails within Boulder’s Open Space system.

Training Tips
As you continue to increase your dog’s mileage and pace, it’s important to remember a pet is always at your mercy regarding breaks, explains Hackett. “Your dog will run as long as you do, whether she’s exhausted or not, so don’t drag her on your marathon training run,” says Hirschfeld, who caps pooch-accompanied runs at 10 miles. Remember, too, that dogs don’t sweat like humans. They cool down through panting and disperse some heat through their feet. Neither of which are very efficient, Simpson points out.

Knowing your dog’s resting heart rate and respiratory rate so you can assess recovery is helpful, says Hackett. For example, a rapid heart and respiratory rate that doesn’t slow with rest is one of the first signs of heat exhaustion. Others include collapsing, altered consciousness or unresponsiveness, and high-pitched wheezing or gasping for breath. Taking frequent water breaks, choosing shady running routes and working out in the morning or evening when temperatures are cooler are also important to your dog’s safety.

Hirschfeld taught her dogs to drink from a portable hydration pack and water bottles. Others prefer a collapsible nylon dog bowl. A diet rich in meat protein and digestible calcium with lots of micronutrients, good bacteria and enzymes will help your dog maintain a healthy body and endure rigorous workouts, says Simpson. According to Hackett, “High-energy foods are fine, but you will still need to watch weight to be sure calories in equal calories out.” Joint-easing supplements like glucosamine and chondroitin may be beneficial for older dogs. Be careful not to feed your dog for an hour before and after you run. A dog’s stomach acts as a holding tank during digestion, explains Simpson, and eating too close to exercise time can make your dog vulnerable to dangerous gastric torsion or bloat. Beyond endurance training, safety habits and diet tips, what’s most valuable is your relationship with your dog. “Running really takes up a small portion of your day and the rest of your time with your dog will be spent living a normal life,” says Simpson. “Your dog needs to be a good match for you and your lifestyle.” •

U3A

Monday 23th February 2015
Downton Abbey Series Five – Episode 4 of 8
The navigating through the shifting sands of the future
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Angela Embleton 044-533-1437

Monday 23rd February 2015
U3A Film Club : The Book Thief
This is the story of a young girl who transforms the lives
of those around her during World War 2 in Germany
18H15 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Brian Hardy 044-533-5489

Tuesday 24th February 2015
Italian Conversation
09H45 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 25th February 2015
Rearrange your Space and Yourself
Michelle Williams will tell us about life transitions,
changes and moves, thus a most relevant topic
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Lynette Timme 044-535-9041

Friday 27th February 2015
French Conversation
10H00 at 7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator: Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 27th February 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Fascinating Game
13H30 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator: Ameila White 044-533-0113

The Balance of Flexors and Extensors

Our upright posture is largely determined by the balance of muscles known as flexors and extensors. A flexor is a muscle that draws two parts of the body closer to one another. Lifting your knee up to the chest is flexing the leg. When you walk and that same leg moves behind you that is extension.
We can look at the front of the body being the flexors. Muscles that fall into the category are the quadriceps (not mainly a flexor but involved in the action), the psoas, the rectus abdominus (sit ups muscle). The back of the body are the extensors- gluteus maximus, hamstrings, erector spinea (spinal muscles that run up the back). This doesn’t mean that flexors can’t extend—they can and do. It is just that they have a primary purpose which is what we are looking in this post.
In the picture on the left we see a body that lives in the balance of flexors and extensors. The front of the body is matched in length by the back of the body. The lower belly and the lower back are equally long. You can see the same relationship in the legs—the hamstrings and quads live in harmony balancing each other nicely.
When we move to the picture on the right things get ugly. Not only do we have a body with poor posture but the relationship between the flexors and extensors has been thrown completely out of balance. Because of the nature of this bad posture, which is a very common pattern that I see in an overwhelming number of my clients, the flexors at the front of the body have become distended and are actually living in a state of extension. When the thigh push forward of the pelvis, the quads become over stretched (and they tighten full of tension as well), the rectus abdominis become overly long allowing the rib cage to lift too much in the front. At the back we have chronically shortened hamstrings as well as erector spinea. When these spinal muscles lose length and tone the head loses all of the support from the trunk.
We have basically turned out flexors into extensors and vice versa. The balance of the flexors and extensors is key to achieving good posture and movement patterns. The essence of my work is to try and move people from being the picture on the right and get them to turn themselves into the picture on the left.
Researched By : Kátia C. Rowlands – Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer – 082 513 4256

Tips for dog training

Dog training has different steps and methods. Important thing in dog training is to teach them command and control them. Training helps to develop skills and intelligence of a dog. Dog training can be given by yourself and your dog enjoys them most. This helps to build bond between dog and his master.

Dog training depends on the age and health condition of dog. Some breeds need more exercise and some needs simple tricks. Here are some tips for dog training.

Basic commands: During dog training, you need to control your dog and this can be done by teaching them basic command. Basic command includes command like run, sit, no, come and so on. Do not use different words for same command this will confuse your dog. For more effective techniques, teach command with body gestures or action.

Start with simple tricks: In dog training, you need to be patience and teach tricks step by step or one by one. Do not try to teach all tricks in one day and never punish harshly for not doing any tricks or action. This will create a fear in dog’s mind thinking on training.

Call by name: It is good technique to train your dog. Call its name and gradually it will understand when you call its name. While naming do not name them like Joe that will often confuse them with go.

Teach your dog to sit: Train your dog to sit whenever you tell them to do so. This will help to control your dog when some visitors come or when dog misbehaves.

Appreciation: Appreciation is must in training. Dog loves your appreciation during training. Appreciation is important when they does any action correct or rightly. Repeat the trick which they do wrongly but do not punish them harshly for doing wrong.

Behavior training: Behavior training is one of the important things in dog training. You need to train them where to do toilet and where to sleep and so on. Teaching them for three or four days will help them to understand and learn quickly.

Success and failure of dog training depends on the person and patience of person who teach them. Dog needs love and care. They love to play with their master and you need to spend more time with them. Dog training must be entertainment and enjoyment for both dog and you.

U3A

Monday 16th February 2015
Downton Abbey Series Five – Episode 3 of 8
The unsolved mystery of the murder of Green, the valet of
Lord Gillingham, is again raised when The Law puts in appearance
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Angela Embleton 044-533-1437

Tuesday 17th February 2015
Italian Conversation
09H45 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 18th February 2015
The Dark Ages – An Age of Light – Episode 2 of 4
Januszcak discovers that the Barbarian tribes suffered bad press
but in their journey they produced incredible art
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Angela Embleton 044-533-1437

Friday 20th February 2015
French Conversation
10H00 at 7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator: Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 20th February 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Fascinating Game
13H30 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator: Ameila White 044-533-0113

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Keeping Your Puppy Happy

Is Your Puppy Content?

Dog owners often have misperceptions about what it takes to keep their puppy happy. It’s true that puppies are cute and adorable, often growing up to offer good companionship for their owner. However, it takes a lot of time and patience to train a puppy in order to ensure that it does develop into an excellent companion for the dog owner. Following the steps outlined in this article will benefit any dog owner who is avidly seeking answers to keep their new puppy happy, obedient, and content.

Regular Shampooing

Just as human beings like to feel fresh and clean, dogs and puppies do too. Regular shampooing and grooming of your canine friend will guarantee that his or her disposition will show sure signs of friendliness. Furthermore, weekly shampooing will make certain that your dogs coat will stay in a healthy condition, free from mosquitos, ticks, and fleas, as long as you use a good conditioning flea and tick dog shampoo. Most dogs enjoy getting a weekly bath, in fact they can’t wait to jump into the water. They frolick and play in it, but when it comes down to the scrub a dub, dub, they enjoy that process too. I would suppose the only negativity of giving your pooch his bath is how they shake afterwards. Unfortunately, this is unavoidable, so prepare for a splash of water yourself.

Daily Brushing

Brushing your puppy is without question one of the most important things you can do for him or her. This helps with keeping control of their shedding and also if you use a flea comb as well it will help in the prevention of an infestation of flea’s in your home. That is if you keep Cujo in-doors, the majority of the time. Some people keep their pooch outside, except for winter but nevertheless, the puppy still requires daily brushing. As with bathing your dog, they love to be brushed as well. It gives their coat a healthy sheen, and prevents excess knotting of their fur as well. Long haired dogs especially require brushing on a daily basis, unless your prepared to be cutting knots out of their fur. The more knots, the more chance of fleas to burrow down into their coats and cause an infestation.

Vaccinations and Regular Veterinarian Care

Fido has to go see his or her Vet at least three times a month, though some don’t take them more than twice a year. This can be considered acceptable as well, as long as your pooch is healthy and has his or her vaccinations kept up to date. Regular Veterinarian care can be expensive but it is essential for your doggy. You can now get animal insurance, just like health insurance for humans. This helps cut down on the cost that can sometimes grow excessive if you have a dog that becomes diabetic or is on a special diet regimen. Just pause and consider how you would treat your own body and take that into consideration when taking care of Fido. He deserves good care as well.

So, as is obvious, having a puppy in your family requires more than just simply playing fetch. You have to be willing to give your time and energy to him or her in all the noted aspects. By doing this your sure to have a devoted, and healthy companion for many years to come.•

Some areas of the brain ‘may not slow down with aging’

Past research has suggested that as we age, our brain functions slow down. But a new study from The University of Adelaide in Australia indicates that there are areas of the brain that remain as effective in old age as they are in youth.
laughing older people
A new study suggests that some areas of the brain may remain as effective in old age as they are in youth.
Dr. Joanna Brooks – who performed the study while she was a visiting research fellow at the schools of psychology and medicine at The University of Adelaide – recently presented the findings at the 12th International Cognitive Neuroscience Conference in Brisbane, Australia.

To reach her findings, Dr. Brooks analyzed the “spatial attention” skills of 60 older adults aged 55-95 and younger adults aged 18-38.

Spatial attention is the ability to focus on a particular object in an environment with an array of visual stimuli. We use spacial awareness in day-to-day life, such as when we drive, walk, and pick up and use objects.

Study PARTICIPANTS were asked to carry out a series of spatial awareness tasks. One task, for example, required subjects to wear a blindfold while feeling a variety of wooden objects. They had to judge where they thought the center of each object was.

Results ‘challenge current models of cognitive aging’
Dr. Brooks found that all PARTICIPANTS – regardless of their age – believed the center of each object was more toward the left-hand side of where it actually was.

She notes that in other tasks involving touch and sound, participants in both age groups gave the same responses, indicating that there may be cognitive systems in the right cerebral hemisphere of the brain – responsible for spatial awareness and other functions – that are protected from aging.
This study, according to Dr. Brooks, challenges current theories about how aging affects the brain:
“When we think of aging, we think not just of the physical aspects but also the cognitive side of it, especially when it comes to issues such as reaction time, which is typically slower among older adults.
Our results challenge current models of cognitive aging because they show that the right side of the brain remains dominant for spatial processing throughout the entire adult lifespan. We now need to better understand how and why some areas of the brain seem to be more affected by aging than others.”

This research is part of an international collaboration with scientists from the UK, which aims to gain a better insight into the mechanisms behind spatial attention in the human brain. But Dr. Brooks notes that this study could also provide a better understanding of how conditions that impair cognitive functioning, such as Alzheimer’s disease, affect the brain.

Medical News Today recently reported on a study by researchers from the University of Edinburgh in the UK, which suggested that older people who can process visual information quickly are more likely to stay mentally acute.

Another study, published in the journal Psychology and Aging, suggests that the brain functions of older adults work better in the morning.
Researched By : Kátia C. Rowlands – Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer – 082 513 4256

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