What is the best form of exercise? Research points to walking

Like diets, exercise trends come and go. From Zumba classes to CrossFit, it seems like there are endless types workouts tailored for different levels of physical ability. But are these workouts really helping you get healthy or are they just all hype?  And which kind is the best for overall health?
When it comes to the best form of exercise, experts say good old-fashion walking is the best.
“Walking is a superfood. It’s the defining movement of a human,”says Katy Bowman, a biomechanist based in Ventura, California. “It’s a lot easier to get movement than it is to get exercise.”
While other forms of exercise build endurance and burn fat, these health benefits mean nothing if people are sedentary before and after a workout.
“Actively sedentary is a new category of people who are fit for one hour but sitting around the rest of the day,” Bowman says. “You can’t offset 10 hours of stillness with one hour of exercise.”
Instead, Bowman suggests in her book, Move Your DNA: Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement, that walking is type of movement the body needs and therefore, is the best form of exercise for cardiovascular heath and overall wellness.
A study last year by the University of Texas School of Public Health found that many people who view themselves as “active” fall into the actively sedentary category in reality. Researchers surveyed 218 marathoners and half marathoners to collect data about their training and sitting times. Researches found a median training time of 6.5 hours each week, compared to the eight to 10.75 hours of total sitting time.
There is a belief that people should push themselves to the point of exhaustion during a workout to reap healthy benefits, but all that is needed is about 7,500 steps each day. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, people should get about 150 minutes of physical activity each week.
A small study published in Medicine & Science in Sports and Exercise  found that for every hour that is spent sitting, five-minutes of walking is enough to reverse harmful effects caused to arteries in the legs.
However, walking does have it downsides. Running is preferred for bone health and weight lighting is preferred for strength training. Still, walking increases circulation and supplies more blood and oxygen to the muscles, organs and even the brain. Walking regularly has been linked to improved memory and increased growth of new neurons. It also wards off the weakening of brain tissue associated with aging.

What is the difference between taking a hike and taking a walk?

The Oxford English Dictionary defines hiking as a long walk for pleasure but when does a walk become a hike? Is it walking on a path in the woods or wearing special shoes or carrying a backpack? Is it spending nights out in the deep wilderness with only a thin piece of nylon separating you from the elements? Not necessarily. How can we define hiking and walking so that we know when we’re doing it?
So let’s consider defining hiking by geographic area. If a hike is a walk in the woods, what is a walk in the desert or the plains? Some intrepid souls have pushed the boundaries of the traditional definition with urban hiking. Let go of the definition as walking in the woods, and a new possibilities open up.
So we still haven’t really defined the difference between taking a hike and taking a walk. Ask a hiker what he or she thinks the definition is and you’ll get a different answer. One will tell you that hiking through the dense forests is the true definition while another will say it’s the rugged paths . One thing that all hikers will have in common is that look of yearning and peace when they talk about their hikes. They’ll tell you about testing their bodies’ limits and the spiritual awakenings that they’ve had. They’ll groan fondly about bug-filled, rain-soaked hikes. They’ll smile when they tell you about the people that they’ve met and the bonds they’ve strengthened with friends and family.
So what is the meaning of taking a walk? According to the American Volksport Association, walks can be taken nearly anywhere but most are in towns, along roads or on short trails. A walk doesn’t involve camping overnight or much equipment beyond comfortable shoes and a water bottle. But the organization will tell you that a walk can be anything from a short stroll down the street to 10Ks on a trail. A walk can be strenuous and include challenging terrain.
So it seems that hiking and walking often are the same thing, and the best outdoors people have difficulty in drawing the line of when a walk becomes a hike. John Muir, the famous naturalist and hiker, didn’t worry about the difference when he said, “I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out until sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”

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


Monday 15th June 2015
Franceso’s Mediterranean Voyage : Part 7 & 8
Francesco travels from Athens by road to the Peloponnese
and then sails on to the Cyclades Islands towards Santorini
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Tuesday 16th June 2015
Italian Conversation
09H45 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 17th June 2015
Geological History of the Garden Route
Fred van Berkel will illustrate his talk with pictures of this area
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Lynette Timme 044-535-9041

Friday 19th June 2015
Tai Chi Class
09H00 to 09H45 at St Peter’s Church Hall
Co-ordinator: Jennie Anderson 044-533-0089

Friday 19th June 2015
French Conversation
10H30 at 7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator: Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 19th June 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Fascinating Game
13H30 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room Co-ordinator: Ameila White 044-533-0113

7 Ways to Make Water Taste Better

Not everybody has a taste for water, but we all need it to ensure that our bodies continue functioning properly. If you want to drink more water, but aren’t crazy about the taste (or lack thereof), here are some tips that can make it more enjoyable:

1. Add fresh fruit. Citrus fruits, such as lemons, limes, and oranges, are classic water enhancers, but other fruit flavors might also tempt your taste buds. Try crushing fresh raspberries or watermelon into your water, or adding strawberry slices. Cucumber and fresh mint are refreshing flavors as well — especially in summer.

2. Use juice. Any fruit juice can be a good base flavor for water, but tart juices, like cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and apple, are especially delicious. Go for juices that are all natural, with no added sugars. And remember: Fruits and their juices don’t just taste good — they contain vitamins and antioxidants that can benefit your health too.

3. Make it bubbly. Many people prefer sparkling to still water. If plain old water isn’t inspiring to you, try a naturally effervescent mineral water — which will give you the added benefit of minerals. Or try bubbly seltzer, a carbonated water. You can add fresh fruit or natural juice flavors to your seltzer, as suggested above, or look for naturally flavored seltzers at your local market. If you become a seltzer devotee, you might want to consider getting a seltzer maker for your home.

4. Get creative with ice. Some say that ice water tastes better than water served at room temperature. If that’s so, flavored ice cubes may make an even better drink. Use some of the flavoring suggestions above and start experimenting with fresh fruit, mint, or cucumber ice cubes. Simply chop your additive of choice, add it to your ice cube tray along with water, then freeze. You may also consider juice, tea, or coffee cubes. If you want to be more creative, use ice cube trays that come in fun shapes, like stars, circles, or even fish.

5. Drink tea. Herbal, fruit, green, white, and red teas are generally considered to be better for you than black teas (or coffee, for that matter) because they contain little to no caffeine. And there are countless flavors of these teas to choose from. Start with the selection at your local market or health food store. If you’re interested in pursuing more exotic flavors and sophisticated teas, start researching the vast array of specialty teas that come from all parts of the globe.

6. Try bouillons, broths, and consommés. If your palate leans toward the savory, you may pass on tea and start sipping one of these hot and savory liquids instead. Choose low-fat and low-sodium versions for maximum health benefits. Because soup is water-based, a cup of hot soup will count toward your daily fluid consumption.

7. Add fast flavor. If you’re looking for a quick-and-easy flavor booster, you might also consider sugar-free drink mixes, and flavor cartridges that can be used with your faucet filter system.

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

How Often Should Your Pet See a Veterinarian?

You know your cat or dog needs regular checkups to stay tail-waggingly healthy. But how often does he need to visit the vet?

The answers depend on your pet’s life stage, says Susan Barrett, DVM. She’s the head of Community Practice at Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine.

Kitten or Puppy: Birth to 1 Year

You’ll need to bring your kitten or puppy in for vaccines every 3 to 4 weeks until he’s 16 weeks old.

Dogs will get distemper-parvo and rabies boosters, and may also be vaccinated against health woes such as kennel cough.

Cats are tested for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus, and they get vaccinations that cover several diseases.

At this stage, your pet will also start heartworm and flea/tick prevention medications.
The vet will check your pet to make sure he’s growing well and shows no signs of illness. She’ll check again at around 6 months, when you bring your pet in to be spayed or neutered.

“We’ll also check to see how housebreaking, training, and socialization are going,” Barrett says.

Adult: 1 to 7-10 Years (Depending on Type of Pet and Breed)

During this stage, vets recommend yearly checkups, in which the doc gives your pet a head-to-tail physical. She’ll also take a blood sample from your dog to check for heartworms. (Cats are normally not tested because the tests are hard to interpret.) The vet may recommend other tests based on any problems your pet has or anything unusual she sees during the exam.

Your pet will get distemper-parvo and rabies booster shots during the first yearly checkup, then usually every 3 years after that. (The frequency of rabies boosters depends on state law.)

Your dog may get other vaccines to prevent illnesses like kennel cough, and outdoor cats should get feline leukemia vaccines.

It’s helpful to bring in a stool sample from your pet, which your vet will check for intestinal parasites.

Senior: 7 to 10 Years and Older

Vets suggest twice-yearly checkups for older pets. Your cat or dog will get vaccines when needed and will get a thorough physical, along with tests to follow up on any problems. Blood and urine tests can give your vet the scoop on your pet’s kidney health, thyroid hormone levels, and more.

Tell your vet about any changes you’ve seen in your pet — if, for example, your cat is drinking more water or your dog is no longer excited by his daily walks — because these can be signs of a new problem such as kidney disease or arthritis.•


Monday 8th June 2015
Geological Wonders of the World
Iceland, where Fire meets Ice
Arizona Crater, Vredefort Dome
Another two illustrated half hour lectures to be shown
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-Ordinator: Alain Leger 044-533-2963

Tuesday 9th June 2015
Italian Conversation
09H45 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 10th June 2015
Whales along the South African Coast
Dr Gwenith Penry will speak on the lives
and habits of the Bryde’s Whales in our bay
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Christo Vlok 044-533-5155

Friday 12th June 2015
Tai Chi class by Jennie Anderson
09H00 – 09H45 at St Peter’s Church Hall
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Friday 12th June 2015
French Conversation
10H30 at 7 Glennifer Street
Co-ordinator: Merle Decot 044-533-5879

Friday 12th June 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Fascinating Game
13H30 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator: Ameila White 044-533-0113

Why We Still Need Cardio Training: A More Effective Approach

Cardio training has really been taking a beating recently. In the strength-training world, it’s become trendy and fashionable to make a name for yourself by suggesting that no one ever do any form of cardio training ever again or all of your muscle mass will disappear. Why are we listening to people who can squat 600 pounds with a big gut and can barely move well?
Like many topics in fitness, the accepted view on what you “should” do swings from one ridiculous extreme to the other.
There is no question that the previously dominant view that people have to do long cardio sessions to get fit is incorrect. More isn’t better. But zero isn’t better, either.
Here’s what you need to know:
-Endurance—as a component of fitness—is essential for optimum health and function.
-Cardio increases blood volume, allowing more efficient buffering of acids produced during higher-intensity training.
-You don’t need nearly as much cardio as we used to think, but you need more than zero.
Endurance is an essential human capacity. It’s what allowed us to successfully evolve to the top of the food chain. Developing the ability to outlast our prey when hunting helped us obtain precious resources for survival. But the kind of endurance we had back then was developed at a higher intensity than the long, slow cardio training that was popular not too long ago.
Of more current interest, aerobic exercise changes the brain in ways that improve cognitive function and may have beneficial effects throughout the lifespan. Aerobically fit people have more fibrous and compact white matter, which is comprised of the bundles of axons that carry nerve signals from one brain region to another. More compact white matter is associated with faster and more efficient nerve activity. This provides a host of benefits to many mental and physical tasks. And aerobic exercise can help keep our minds sharp as we age. The goal of most strength training (or even cardio training) isn’t directly tied to a better brain, but I think it’s safe to assume that all of us want a sharp mind throughout our lives.
With strength training, the goal is larger, stronger muscles and this means we have to perform shorter, more intense training. A limiting factor is the accumulation of acidic waste products in the muscle when performing an effort.
When the accumulation increases at a rate that is faster than your body can clear out, muscles begin to burn and further contractions become increasingly difficult. Your blood carries sodium bicarbonate to buffer the acidic state. Boosting the acid-buffering ability of the blood would push your fatigue point further out. A little aerobic training can make your anaerobic training better by increasing blood volume, which allows the blood to carry more sodium bicarbonate.
To get this benefit, you may need only one “traditional” cardio workout a week, but there is a better way.
By performing interval training according to the ACE IFT model, you can get a lot of benefit in less time than “old school” cardio. I use this interval training two to three times per week for no more than 20 to 25 minutes per session.
There’s something inherently unnatural about climbing onto a machine and going absolutely nowhere while disconnecting yourself from nature. But sometimes circumstances like scheduling or weather make other options impossible. When doing this kind of training, it’s best to use the minimum effective dose so you devote more time to other forms of training or just other things in general.
Whatever you do should be engaging to both body and mind. That may mean using motivating music or some elements of play, competitiveness or reactivity. The moment you are not engaged and get bored, either change what you are doing or stop.
There’s not much need to do the long, boring, steady-state training of yesterday. Using modern, intelligent approaches to interval training gleans the most out of a minimum investment of time while still providing the benefits of aerobic training.

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

The Boxer Dog Breed

Members of the Boxer dog breed are loving, loyal, and energetic family dogs. They are renowned for being good with children, though their exuberance may be a bit much for small children. The boxer dog breed is sometimes looked at suspiciously, as they were popular for use in dog fights before dog fights were made illegal. The boxer dog breed is German in origin. The breed name “Boxer” comes from the dogs’ method of standing on its hind legs and boxing its opponents. The boxer dog breed boasts longevity of eleven to fourteen years.
The boxer dog breed attitude, or temperament, is really what it is prized for. Loyal, loving, and energetic, these dogs will follow their masters anywhere. Fearless and fright-less, they make wonderful guard dogs. However, members of the boxer dog breed do need obedience training, which should start in infancy as the boxer dog breed is not considered to reach maturity until it is three years old. Fence jumping can also be an issue with these dogs as jumping in general seems to be a favorite past time. The boxer dog breed’s athleticism is almost unrivalled.
The boxer dog breed is a large breed of dog. Weighing in between 50 and 75 pounds, the males stand 23 to 25 inches tall at the withers. Females are shorter, standing between 21 and 23 ½ inches tall at the withers. Males are larger boned than females. The boxer dog breed is muscular, with even muscle tone throughout the body. Eyes should be expressive. Ears may or may not be cropped, but should sit widely apart on top of the head. If left un-cropped, ears should hang over so as to frame the face.
The boxer coat is short and shiny. Various shades of fawn and brindle are permissible, but white blotches may not cover more than one-third of the body.
Sadly, the boxer dog breed is highly susceptible to many diseases and ailments. Perhaps most common are joint problems such as hip dysplasia and arthritis. Heart murmurs are also common, but while they need to be watched closely by a veterinarian, are often harmless. Epilepsy, which can be treated with medications, should also be watched closely. Bleeding disorders, intestinal problems, bloat, and various cancers are also of special concern to boxer dog breed owners.
By screening breeders well, it is possible to avoid many of the boxer dog breed health problems. They are great with children, which is rare for dogs of this size. While obedience training may sound daunting, it is well worth the work. Boxers are caring, loving animals who will quickly become old friends and intimate members of the family.