Through my involvement over a period of 50 years in the “science of learning”, mostly at higher education level and in teaching and motivating students, I came to the conclusion that achievement depends on the following 10 basic principles of learning:
• Attitude and Interest
• Motivation
• Anxiety
• Time Management
• Concentration an Attention
• Information Processing
• Selecting Main Ideas
• Use of Support Techniques and Materials
• Self Testing and Reviewing
• Preparing and Examination Strategies

1.ATTITUDE and INTEREST towards study and attainment:
Examinations are usually viewed by most learners and students as anxiety-laden situations e.g. “the fear for examinations”. At this stage of the year students are in their final preparation for the examination. Insecurity and lack of confidence are the main reasons why students become anxious about the examinations.

2. MOTIVATION in general, culminate from one’s life goals and experiences, aspirations, external influences, determination, diligence, activity and self-discipline and imagery. The more congruent these elements become within one’s way of life, the stronger and more realistic your motivation will be. The right motivation to succeed can only be achieved through realistic goals, determination, a balanced lifestyle, effective planning, and the setting aside of a specified amount of time needed to study. At this late stage you may develop the feeling that it is probably impossible to change to a more positive approach. The more you engage in these 10 principles, the more you will evoke a stronger motivation to succeed.

3.ANXIETY, the unnecessary and acute presence which can upset all good intentions. Examine your emotional condition and attitude with regard to study and the examination. Situations or events that cause disruption or tension are of special importance. It is better to be more positive by trying to live with and accept unfortunate situations as part of the academic process rather than keep worrying or becoming anxious about them. Also, anxiety in study develops because of not having a goal to work for. Before your examination make a list of all the objectives you wish to attain. Effective study will ease anxiety. Avoid being to tense when studying. Practise relaxation exercises while studying or even in the examination room when writing – tensing up can block the information and ideas “getting through”.

4.TIME MANAGEMENT when studying. How much effective study time do you still have before your examinations ? You may have only 20 to 25 hours per week left to devote to study. Therefore you have to plan study time available very economically. Definite learning objectives need to be set for each study session, eg. a summary of so many pages; a certain concept must be understood and applied; the solution of a certain type of problem must be mastered. Also bear in mind that it is not only the number of hours that go into the work, it is also the amount of work that is put into each hour, that counts.

Avoid cramming. During the examination, schedule the answering of questions to ensure that you will be able to answer the total number required. About 5 to 10 minutes are needed for reading the instructions, re-reading answers and, if applicable, checking response cards. Calculate the rate at which questions should be answered in terms of time per sections/questions/marks. Use the calculated rate as a guide and set time limits within which to complete answers. Approximately one and a half minutes per mark are available for a three-hour paper counting 100 marks.

5.CONCENTRATION and ATTENTION when studying. “I can’t concentrate. Minutes and hours slip by and I just can’t apply my thoughts to my studies.” Poor concentration is often related to a “passive and aimless approach” to one’s study. To ensure that one concentrate effectively, one should set oneself specific short-term objectives while studying. A general objective such as “I am studying to pass matric or to qualify for a specific career should be translated into concrete and specific learning tasks every time the student sits down to study. These tasks must be set in terms of the subject matter to be systematically studied.

Prof Hendrik Gous –
044 695 0841/081 270 4227
( To be continued – Part 2)

Functional Fitness for Older Adults: 5 Essential Movements

Functional Fitness is a term you hear more often in recent years, especially in reference to fitness training for older adults. But don’t worry, just because it’s a new term, doesn’t mean it’s one more thing you have to make time for in your day. Functional fitness is all about training your body for life, rather than for a specific sport or for a certain esthetic appearance. It’s especially helpful for older adults because it addresses muscle imbalances and asymmetries, and it trains your body to move in the ways we move in everyday life.

There are five basic movement patterns that we use in everyday life. Let’s look at each movement and how we can train to improve that movement pattern.

1. Bend-and-lift movements.
In the gym we call it squatting, in everyday life it’s getting in and out of a chair or squatting down to lift a bag of groceries from the floor. Bend and lift movements require strength in the glutes, quads, and hamstrings, but also plenty of stability in the core, and flexibility in the knees and ankles.

2. Single-leg movements.
You’ll often train single leg movements in the gym with a variety of lunging movements. In real life, single-leg movements are called for when you walk, when you climb or descend stairs, or when you bend and reach forward on one leg to get something from the floor. Like the bend-and-lift movements, single-leg movements require combined strength, stability and flexibility with an added element of balance over a changing center of gravity.

3. Pushing movements.
Pushing movements typically involve your upper body pushing forward (opening a store door) pushing overhead (putting an object on a high shelf) or pushing to the side (lifting your torso from a side-lying position). In your workout you can train for pushing movements with pushups, overhead presses or side planks.

4. Pulling movements.
Pulling movements in your activities of daily living might include pulling the car door shut, pulling the sheets down from the top shelf of the linen closet, or pulling your suitcase off the floor. In your workouts you’ll train for pulling movements by developing core stability, strength in your back and shoulders, stability in your shoulder blades and flexibility in your shoulders.

5. Rotational movements.
Your thoracic spine rotates with every step you take and any time you swing a golf club or tennis racket. Any time you reach across your body or twist through the spine, you’re engaging in a rotational movement. This complex movement pattern requires a great deal of core stability and strength to support the spine during the rotational motion.
You can certainly train each muscle for strength and endurance in isolation, but functional fitness trains muscles and joints to work together during complex movement patterns involving multiple muscles and joints at once. It’s how we move every day, and training your body to move well can improve how you feel every day.

RESEARCHED BY : KÁTIA C. ROWLANDS – Pilates Instructor– 082 513 4256

Tips on how to relax after a long day

We all know it can be exhausting to be working a lot over a long period of time. Sometimes when I’ve been working hard, I can find it hard to relax even though I’m really tired. However, I believe that spending quality time outside work (or in my case, my studies) is important to improve your performance. Whether it is physical labour or hard thought-work, we all need to relax at the end of the day. Here are tips on how to relax after a lovely day of work:
Tidy or clean. It may sound strange to start a tip on how to relax with advice to do even more work. I know tidying and cleaning can be exhausting in itself, but for the purpose of relaxing better, I really recommend to spend about 15 minutes to clean the room where you’ll be spending quality time. Just put everything into drawers and closets (you can clean them later) and clean the empty surfaces. Use a detergent that smells clean, and you’ll fool yourself into thinking that there’s no house work to do tonight. It’ll be so much better to relax when you are not constantly reminded of what you need to do or should have done.
Use scents. For relaxing, I really recommend using scents. Personally, I love lavender. I have a small bag of dried lavender next to my bed that I sometimes put under my pillow. So soothing! I can also recommend using scented candles or an oil burner. Other relaxing scents include chamomile, ylang ylang, clary sage, bergamot, frankincense, and sandalwood. Scents work differently from person to person, and you should experiment to figure out what works for you!
Eat good food. When it comes to relaxing, it is important for me to enjoy a good meal. Try to make the process of cooking a goal in itself. Use the best ingredients available and make the food as tasty as you possibly can! You’re gonna thank yourself later when you sit down and eat the treats that you made. Just make sure you don’t stress with cooking just because you have to. If you’re exhausted, you should consider ordering food just for this night. But don’t make it a habit! It’s not good for you in the long run. I suggest browsing the recipes on Smitten Kitchen. Yum!
Have a glass of wine. If you can drink it legally. I find red wine in small amounts very relaxing with food or a good book. If you can’t or won’t drink alcohol, I recommend chamomile tea. It’s very relaxing, making your body feel heavy and relaxed. Tea is great to combine with a long bath!
Do something that takes your mind off things. Books. A movie. Making art. All are great to keep your mind off everything and let your body relax. For books, I really recommend Shantaram, Norwegian Wood and Never Let Me Go. For films, I really like Lost in Translation, Vicky Christina Barcelona and Once. I can also recommend to create something visual. Be creative! This is really important if your work doesn’t give you the opportunity to be creative during the day. Creativity helps us develop ourselves!
Wear comfortable clothes. I really do believe that the clothes we wear can help us accomplish something. If I want to feel good, I put on pretty clothes. That’s right, I relax better in a skirt than in a comfy pajamas. For me, relaxing is all about doing the small things that makes me happy. Give yourself time to be you. Wear the clothes that help you accomplish this and you’ll be on the right track!
Sleep. Get to bed early. After you get home, spend some time with friends or some quality time alone, have a nice meal, do something you like. You’ll probably be very relaxed and comfortable. Now it’s time to sleep! It is important to get a good night’s sleep if you are planning on being productive the next day and to have the energy to do something nice after work. If you are working hard for a long period of time, enough sleep is essential to keep you going. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Feel your body relax and let go.•

Your Feet – The Root Cause of Your Back Pain?

When you see some cracks in the walls you immediately check if the house lacks foundation. If your car is difficult to handle, especially after you hit a large pothole or the curb, you immediately check the alignment settings in your car. In both cases you make sure that there is a proper structural foundation.

Why is it that doctors rarely check the foundation – the feet – when someone is dealing with back or hip pain? When it comes to the ‘structure’ of our bodies we seem to forget that it needs to have a proper foundation as well.

The most obvious reason why doctors and therapists don’t look at the feet is that they are ‘too far away’ from where the pain is. How can something that is so far away be responsible for the pain in the back?

Well, the answer is pretty simple: If the feet are not fulfilling their proper function as the foundation of the body, all the structures that lie above the feet, like the knee, hip joint, or the spine, have to compensate for that.

The foot as a whole is a very complex structure that has two important functions: weight bearing and moving the body forward. In order for that to happen the foot must give you both stability and flexibility.

If you think about the foot, it has a whole bunch of bones, muscles, and three arches, even though most people are only aware of the big arch at the inside of the foot. Each part of the foot needs to fulfill a certain function while you are standing, walking or running. One of the bones’ vital functions is to spread the weight of the body over the whole foot, while the arches are the body’s number one shock absorbers and adapt to uneven ground.

Your Footprints Tell Your Back Pain Story

Have you ever looked at the footprints you leave in the sand when you are walking along the beach? Have you ever looked at the pattern that other people‘s feet are making in the sand? Have you ever watched how people are walking in general?

Well, if you haven’t, then I invite you to do so. Walk barefoot along the beach and have a look at your footprints. What are they telling you? How are you placing your feet? Are they both turned out? One foot turned out? Both feet turned in? One foot in, one foot out? Can you see the ‘arch’ in the footprint?

Then go out and observe how other people are placing their feet on the ground. This will be very revealing, because you will easily spot different movement patterns. You may be able to see how much tension people are holding not only in their feet, but also in their calves and lower backs.

The most common pattern that you will see is the ‘toeing out’ or duck feet. It is also the saddest pattern, really, because people learn to walk like that. Every time I go out and watch people I am shocked to see that so many kids are walking with their feet turned out, and neither their parents nor their doctors seem to realize that these kids are back pain patients waiting to happen.

This is not the natural way of walking or standing, and completely contradicts how we are supposed to walk. Unfortunately, many doctors will tell you that it is a structural failure of the body that cannot be corrected. But that is simply not true.

Are you holding too much tension in your feet so that the arches are too rigid and cannot work as shock absorbers? Are you clawing your toes, for example, so that the weight can not be distributed properly over the whole foot?

Depending on the way you are standing and walking, certain muscles in your feet, legs, and even your upper body will tighten up. Those tight muscles will shorten over time, while other muscles are not used at all. This will put more stress on the ankle and knee joints, which may lead to cartilage damage, and the hip and spine have to compensate as well.

As I said before, if your feet don’t give you the proper foundation your body needs, all the muscles, joints and tendons that lie above the feet will have to compensate. If you are holding too much tension in the arches of your feet they cannot fulfill their task as shock absorbers. This will ultimately have an impact on your spine as your spine is the next in line of absorbing the impact of every step you take.

Holding too much tension in your arches, or walking and standing with your feet turned out are only two of the many movement patterns that you have learned and developed over the years and that have a very damaging impact on the back.

These walking or standing habits can really make or break your back pain, so you need to find out what movement patterns you have. If you want to heal your back pain for good, you need to give your body a proper foundation.

‘TRIVAnetics – The Cybernetic Approach To Healing Your Back Pain’ is the ONLY back pain program that shows you exactly how to determine what walking and standing patterns are causing your back pain. And then it tells you, step-by-step, how to correct them. Easily, naturally, and in just a few weeks. For more information, go to www.healyourbackpain.com
Researched By : Kátia C. Rowlands – Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer – 082 513 4256•

Drinking beetroot juice reduces high blood pressure, trial shows

One glass of beetroot juice a day is enough to significantly reduce blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure, conclude researchers who conducted a placebo-controlled trial in dozens of patients.

The trial, conducted at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) in the UK, was funded by the British Heart Foundation, whose senior research advisor Dr. Shannon Amoils remarks:

“This interesting study builds on previous research by this team and finds that a daily glass of beetroot juice can lower blood pressure in people with hypertension – even those whose high blood pressure was not controlled by drug treatment.”

The researchers publish their findings in the journal Hypertension.

Beetroot contains high levels of inorganic nitrate. Other leafy vegetables – such as lettuce and cabbage – also have high levels of the compound, which they take up from the soil through their roots.

In the human body, inorganic nitrate converts to nitric oxide, which relaxes and dilates blood vessels.

For the trial, Amrita Ahluwalia, a vascular pharmacology professor at QMUL, and colleagues recruited 64 patients aged 18-85. Half of the patients were taking prescribed medication for high blood pressure but were not managing to reach their target blood pressure, and the rest had been diagnosed with high blood pressure but were not yet taking medication for it.

The patients were randomly assigned to one of two groups. One group consumed a daily glass (250 ml or around 8.5 oz) of beetroot juice, and the other group had the same except their beetroot juice was nitrate-free (the placebo).

The patients consumed the juice every day for 4 weeks. They were also monitored for 2 weeks before and after the study, bringing the total trial period to 8 weeks.

The trial was double-blind, which means neither the administering clinicians nor the patients knew whether the beetroot juice they were given was the placebo or the active supplement.

First study to show lasting reduction in blood pressure from dietary nitrate
During the 4 weeks they were taking the juice, patients in the active supplement group (whose beetroot juice contained inorganic nitrate) experienced a reduction in blood pressure of 8/4 mmHg (millimeters of mercury).

The first figure is the reduction in systolic pressure (when the heart is pushing) and the second figure is reduction in diastolic pressure (when the heart is relaxing). For many patients, the 8/4 mmHg reduction brought their blood pressure back into the normal range.

In the 2 weeks after they stopped taking the juice, the patients’ blood pressure returned to their previous high levels.

The team notes that this is first study to show evidence of a long-lasting reduction in blood pressure due to dietary nitrate supplementation in a group of patients with high blood pressure.

The patients in the active supplement group also experienced a 20% or so improvement in blood vessel dilation capacity and their artery stiffness reduced by around 10%. Studies show such changes are linked to reduced risk of heart disease.

There were no changes to blood pressure, blood vessel function or artery stiffness in the placebo group (whose beetroot juice did not contain nitrate) during the period of the study.

The authors note that the reduction achieved in the active supplement group is comparable to that of medication; the average reduction in blood pressure that a single anti-hypertension drug brings is 9/5 mmHg.

The study concludes:

“These findings suggest a role for dietary nitrate as an affordable, readily-available, adjunctive treatment in the management of patients with hypertension.”
To put the importance of these findings in context, the authors note that large-scale observational studies show that for every 2 mmHg increase in blood pressure, the risk of death from heart disease goes up 7% and from stroke by 10%.

Natural products to lower blood pressure are ‘more appealing’ than pills

Commenting on the findings, Prof. Ahluwalia says:

“This research has proven that a daily inorganic nitrate dose can be as effective as medical intervention in reducing blood pressure and the best part is we can get it from beetroot and other leafy green vegetables.”

She says one reason the findings are exciting is because increasing dietary nitrate is something patients can easily work into their daily lives and see a positive benefit.

“It is hugely beneficial for people to be able to take steps in controlling their blood pressure through non-clinical means such as eating vegetables,” Prof. Ahluwalia adds. “We know many people don’t like taking drugs life-long when they feel ok, and because of this, medication compliance is a big issue.”
Researched By : Kátia C. Rowlands – Pilates Instructor & Personal Trainer – 082 513 4256•

7 Essential Strength-Training Exercises to Master

If you’ve been spending any time at the gym, you’ve probably seen (or done) more than a few sets of these strength-training moves. These exercises are trainer and fitness buff favorites for balancing and strengthening the body; they are also effective when it comes to shaping, toning, and whittling. Learn how to do these seven essential exercises in time to add them to your Summer shape-up routine!
The classic bridge targets the abs and butt while opening up the chest, which can need a stretch if you spend a lot of time at a desk.
Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet planted on the floor hip-distance apart.
As you contract your ab and butt muscles, push your pelvis upward, away from the floor. Keep your ribs aligned with your pelvis, and make sure your knees are directly above your heels.
Lower your hips and pelvis to just above the floor and pause.
This completes one rep. Raise your hips back to the high position and repeat. Do three sets of 10.

Use lunges to increase flexibility and balance while strengthening lower-body muscles.
Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don’t keep looking down). Always engage your core.
Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn’t touch the floor.
Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position.
The plank can do it all — besides sculpting arms, the move challenges your balance and engages the core muscles for an extremely effective (and deceptively difficult) gym basic.
Start facing the floor, resting on your knees.
Plant your palms on the mat by your head, shoulder-width apart. Your palms should be flat; spread your fingers out wide to help support your weight and take the strain out of your wrists. Step your legs out behind you one at a time, and rest on your toes.
Contract your abs to prevent your butt from sticking up or sinking. Your spine should be parallel to the floor, with your abs pulling toward the ceiling.
Hold for 30-60 seconds.

The push-up is an old favorite for strengthening the upper body, but improper form can do more harm than good. Be aware of these four things as you execute a push-up: body alignment, hands, abs, and breath.
To start, get into a plank position (see above), making sure your shoulders are aligned over your wrists and your fingers and palms are spread wide, with pressure focused in your fingertips.
Keep your belly button pulled in as you lower down, and keep your spine straight so your body is in a straight line. Bend your elbows outward to the sides.
Make sure to connect your breath with your movements — inhale as you bend your elbows and lower yourself to the ground, and exhale as you raise back up into a plank.
Aim for 10 or as many as you can do, and add reps as you become stronger.
Seated Russian Twist
Russian twists target the abs, especially obliques, and help with circulation and digestion .
Sit on the ground with your knees bent and your heels about a foot from your butt.
Lean slightly back without rounding your spine. It is really important, and difficult, to keep your back straight, so don’t let it curve.
Place your arms straight out in front of you with one hand on top of the other. Your hands should be level with the bottom of your rib cage.
Pull your navel to your spine and twist slowly to the left. The movement is not large and comes from the ribs rotating, not from your arms swinging. Inhale through your center and rotate to the right. This completes one rep. Lift your feet off the ground or hold a medicine ball for a more advanced variation.
Do 15-20 full rotations.

The squat is one of the best functional fitness moves you can master. From picking up a load of laundry to stabilizing yourself when you lose your balance, you’ll use the squat in many areas of your life.
Stand with your head facing forward and your chest held up and out.
Place your feet shoulder-width apart or slightly wider. Extend your hands straight out in front of you to help keep your balance.
Sit back and down like you’re sitting into an imaginary chair. Keep your head facing forward as your upper body bends forward a bit. Rather than allowing your back to round, let your lower back arch slightly as you descend.
Lower down so your thighs are as parallel to the floor as possible, with your knees over your ankles. Press your weight back into your heels.
Keep your body tight, and push through your heels to bring yourself back to the starting position.
Do three sets of 10-15.

Superman The Superman targets your posterior muscles to correct body imbalances by strengthening often-neglected areas of your body.
Lie facedown on your stomach with arms and legs extended. Keep your neck in a neutral position by looking at the ground in front of you without straining.
Keeping your arms and legs straight (but not locked) and torso stationary, simultaneously lift your arms and legs up toward the ceiling to form an elongated “u” shape with your body, with your back arched and arms and legs several inches off the floor.
Hold for two to five seconds and lower back down to complete one rep.
Do three sets of 12.

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

Why Women Can’t Do Pull-Ups

While the pull-up has been used by everyone from middle-school gym teachers to Marine drill instructors to measure fitness, the fact is that many fit people, particularly women, can’t do even one. To perform a pull-up, you place your hands on a raised bar using an overhand grip, arms fully extended and feet off the floor. (The same exercise, performed with an underhand grip, is often called a chin-up.) Using the muscles in your arms and back, you pull yourself up until your chin passes the bar. Then the body is lowered until the arms are straight, and the exercise is repeated. The Marines say a male recruit should be able to do at least 3 pull-ups or chin-ups, but women are not required to do them. In school, 14-year-old boys can earn the highest award on the government’s physical fitness test by doing 10 pull-ups or chin-ups: for 14-year-old girls, it’s 2.
To find out just how meaningful a fitness measure the pull-up really is, exercise researchers from the University of Dayton found 17 normal-weight women who could not do a single overhand pull-up. Three days a week for three months, the women focused on exercises that would strengthen the biceps and the latissimus dorsi — the large back muscle that is activated during the exercise. They lifted weights and used an incline to practice a modified pull-up, raising themselves up to a bar, over and over, in hopes of strengthening the muscles they would use to perform the real thing. They also focused on aerobic training to lower body fat.
By the end of the training program, the women had increased their upper-body strength by 36 percent and lowered their body fat by 2 percent. But on test day, the researchers were stunned when only 4 of the 17 women succeeded in performing a single pull-up.
“We honestly thought we could get everyone to do one,” said Paul Vanderburgh, a professor of exercise physiology and associate provost and dean at the University of Dayton, and an author of the study. But Vanderburgh said the study and other research has shown that performing a pull-up requires more than simple upper-body strength. Men and women who can do them tend to have a combination of strength, low body fat and shorter stature. During training, because women have lower levels of testosterone, they typically develop less muscle than men, Vanderburgh explained. In addition, they can’t lose as much fat. Men can conceivably get to 4 percent body fat; women typically bottom out at more than 10 percent.
So no matter how fit they are, women typically fare worse on pull-up tests. But Vanderburgh notes that some men struggle, too, particularly those who are taller or bigger generally or have long arms. This is related to an interesting phenomenon: if you compare a smaller athlete to an athlete who has the same exact build but is 30 percent bigger, the bigger athlete will be only about 20 percent stronger, even though he has to carry about 30 percent more weight.
“We’re a combination of levers; that’s how we move,” Vanderburgh said. “Generally speaking, the longer the limb, the more of a disadvantage in being able to do a pull-up. I look at a volleyball player and wouldn’t expect her to be able to do a pull-up, but I know she’s fit.”
Researched By :
Kátia C. Rowlands – PLETT PILATES ; SPINNING & FITNESS STUDIO – 082 513 4256•

Sand Running vs. Running on Concrete

Sand running may be a more intensive workout and may have other benefits as well, but there are also people that prefer running on concrete. If you are undecided whether you should practice one or the other, you should know a few things about running on sand and on concrete.

Running on Sand Is a More Intensive Workout

When you compare running on sand with running on concrete in terms of calories consumed, running on sand is clearly a more intensive workout and you will burn more calories, as this type of workout is more difficult. Just try walking on sand and then walk on concrete; you will feel the difference. In addition, you may slip on sand and have to fight the friction; this will add to the difficulty of the workout.

Running on Concrete Is Harder on Your Knees

If you prefer to run on concrete, you have to know that this will put more stress on your knees and joints. The harder the surface, the more wear and tear there will be for your knees. This means that running on sand is a better alternative for your knees, as this is a softer surface and also acts as a shock absorbent.

However, if you get a good pair of running shoes, you may protect your knees when running on concrete. Knee bands may also be advisable when you choose to run on concrete.

Running on Sand Can Cause Injuries

When you decide to run on sand, you need to learn how to perform this activity, otherwise, you will end up injuring yourself. You can easily fall and hurt your feet if you don’t start with the basics such as running on flat surfaces, starting with wet sand and wearing some running shoes. Experts say that people running on sand are more prone to sprains, tendonitis and other injuries than people running on pavement or concrete. This is due to the fact that you have to adjust permanently to the surface and you can easily get injured. Consequently, you need some practice to learn how to avoid common injuries.

You should also know that running on sand won’t allow you to run at your normal tempo, as you will not be able to run as fast as usual. However, you will burn a lot of calories even if you run for only 20 minutes.

When it comes to choosing whether you run on sand or on concrete, you will be the one to decide. It’s important to take into account

your preferences as well. While many people consider running on the beach to be fun, you may not like the sun and the fact that there may be a lot of people watching.

In terms of protecting your knees and joints, you would be better off running on sand or softer surfaces, but if you get suitable running shoes, running on concrete will not be dangerous for your knees.

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

Hiking in Knysna

Globally people are choosing to hike for various reasons according to the Hiking Organisation of Southern Africa (HOSA). These reasons include and are not limited to:

Losing weight
Can prevent heart related diseases
Decreases high blood pressure
Improves and maintains mental health
Slows the ageing process
The rest of world finds it fascinating to travel to the countryside and abroad. Knysna’s catching up. The Harkerville Coast Hiking Trail is one of the most popular nature walks in Knysna. It is a two-day, 24-kilometre hike, starting and ending in Harkerville. It passes through some prime examples of high-forest, crosses sections of coastal fynbos and takes the hiker along some breathtaking natural scenery along a cliff-coast. There are 2 main huts for hikers, the Harkerville and the Sinclair,

Recently 2 day trails were accredited with Green Flag status by HOSA. Perdekop and Olifants hiking trails or the Elephant trail. Green flag status is a global benchmark for hiking trails and includes the following criteria: Conservation status, health and safety measures, cleanliness and maintenance, sustainability, management and others.

The Elephant trail is in Diepwalle. Other Park attractions in Diepwalle:

Tented camping decks (Diepwalle)
Forest Legends museum in Diepwalle
Tea garden in the middle of the forest (Diepwalle closest to camping decks and the Legends museum)

For more information, kindly call 044 302 5600 or visit www.sanparks.org or follow us on @SANParksGRNP•

Taste: It’s in your nose and memories

STORY HIGHLIGHTS We evolved to like things that are bad for us There aren’t particular areas on the tongue that exclusively perceive bitter, salt, sweet, etc.
Pregnant women may transfer preferences for certain flavors to the fetus Flavor preference can also originate in breast milk

It’s true that taste isn’t just about the way food hits your tongue; there’s a whole science behind how we perceive flavor and develop preferences for certain foods.
Here are some of the lessons from science that may help you think about eating in a new way:
1. You like what your mother ate
If you’re pregnant, you may be transferring preferences for certain flavors to your baby right now. The food you eat gets into the amniotic fluid and flavors it. The fetus can detect those flavors and remember them after birth, This also happens with breast milk when a mother nurses an infant. As children get old enough to eat solid food, they show a preference for flavors they first experienced in the womb.
It works for flavors like carrot juice, but not for something like salt, since the amount of salt a mother eats doesn’t affect the saltiness of amniotic fluid or breast milk. It’s actually the smell component of flavors that gets transferred. Mothers can enhance a child’s liking for healthy foods such as vegetables by eating them while pregnant and nursing.
In general, experience informs taste preferences, so if you know you’ve liked salty foods in the past, you’re going to want them again. If everyone collectively moves toward a low-salt diet, people will begin to crave it less.
And these preferences can begin from infancy. Babies fed starchy table foods high in salt showed elevated preferences for it.
2. The “tongue map” isn’t exactly right
You may have seen a textbook diagram of a tongue with a “sweet” spot on the front, “salty” areas on the sides and a “bitter” zone in the back. It’s true that these areas are a bit more sensitive to those flavors, but in reality, there’s no clear-cut map of which parts of your tongue taste what.

In fact, there are taste receptors in the back of the throat. This was shown in a case of a woman whose tongue needed to be removed, and she could still sense flavors.
3. The nose knows taste
A lot of what you perceive of flavor is actually aroma, scientists say. At the recent American Association for the Advancement of Science conference, Jane Leland of Kraft Foods’ research and development group demonstrated this by having the audience pinch their noses while eating a yellow jelly bean. The candy was nearly tasteless.
What’s going on? Basically, when your nose isn’t closed up, the aroma of the food from your mouth is going through the back of the throat to the nose to give you the full flavor experience. When you block off the front part of your nose, it’s like closing off the end of a hose and the water is no longer flowing,
4. Nostalgia while eating relates to smell
Many people have powerful memories of particular flavors from childhood, and re-experiencing them in adulthood can instantly bring back moments from years past. Marcel Proust famously begins “Remembrance of Things Past” with a description of biting into a small cake called a madeleine and being overwhelmed with sensations of prior times.

That’s because the olfactory sense is perhaps the most primitive one, and the anatomical connections between smell and emotions are more direct than for other senses. However, there hasn’t been concrete research on precisely how this phenomenon works, and it’s hard to study because each person’s experience is unique.
5. We evolved to “like things that are bad for us”
Humans are driven partly innately and partly culturally to consume salt. People desire fats to store energy, but over the long run, too much can cause cell damage and shorten life.We are hard-wired to like things that are bad for us.

Our ancestors probably didn’t live to age 50, so they sought out salts and fats without regard for the consequences of a bad diet — hypertension, heart disease and stroke — in middle to old age.
And there’s been plenty of warning about salt recently. Everyone over age 51, and people with a history of hypertension, diabetes or kidney problems should restrict their daily salt intake to half a teaspoon. For everyone else, it’s about one teaspoon.
Salt enhances sweetness by inhibiting bitterness. One of the reasons you find salt everywhere is that it reduces the bitterness of vegetables, making them tastier.
6. Yes, you can reduce fat and salt without losing flavor
There are two strategies for addressing the salt problem: creating salt substitutes and coaxing people to shift their preferences. And what about reducing bad fats? Chefs can develop delicious recipes that aren’t laden with fat and may even have a cleaner flavor.
Chocolate mousse, for instance, usually contains a combination of egg yolks and cream that creates a smooth, rich feeling on the tongue — and could also cause molecular damage to arteries.

Solution: Replace the cream and yolks with with a different protein. Water and gelatin, together with chocolate, make a mousse that’s still creamy, but it’s healthier and you can taste more of the chocolate.

And David Lebovitz, former San Francisco Bay Area pastry chef who now writes cookbooks in Paris, advocates minimalism. Even a few grains of salt can make a difference — put them on top of, not in, your culinary creations, he said. It provides a contrast in your mouth to the sweetness of chocolate or caramel, for instance.
“I don’t use substitutes,” he said. “You can substitute carob for chocolate, but it’s not chocolate. I don’t think you should really trick people.”

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