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•

Questions to Ask When Picking a Kennel

If you need to take a business trip or are planning a family getaway, you may have to board your pets while you’re away. Leaving your critters behind can be as stressful for you as it is for them, but it doesn’t have to be. Selecting the right boarding kennel is easy. Asking the right questions and identifying what’s most important to you can help you decide on the best option for you and your pet’s needs.

Should the Kennel Be Certified?
It’s not mandatory for kennels to be certified. However, there is a voluntary process for certification established by the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA). “The process is not cheap, and it’s rather difficult,” says Liane Ehrich, a certified veterinary technician in Tucson, Arizona.”Not all kennels bother with it.” Kennels that are certified by the PCSA are evaluated by 250 standards in 17 areas of pet care facility operation. To find out if a kennel has been certified, ask to see a Voluntary Facilities Accreditation (VFA) certificate.

Should I Tour the Kennel?
Always ask to tour the facilities. “A good kennel should be largely odor-free and as quiet as possible — difficult with dogs, but necessary for cats,” Ehrich says. It should also be well lit and attended by diligent staff. Of course, sanitation is also key. The living and playing areas should look and smell clean, and be free of waste and urine to prevent spreading disease.

Also look to see that the kennel isn’t overcrowded; ask the staff how many animals they usually board and how many workers are normally staffed. There should be no greater than a 1:10 staff-to-dog ratio. The higher the people-to-animal ratio, the more individual attention your pet will get. Animals should look content and stress-free, and also have proper bedding and water. High-tech facilities may have web cams set up so you can check in on your furry friend from your computer while you’re away.

And ask questions during your tour! What will they do if your animal gets diarrhea, breaks a toenail or won’t eat? How often are dogs walked? What will they do in the event your dog needs medical attention? If a kennel will not allow you an impromptu tour, do not leave your pet there.

What Hours Should a Kennel Have?
Kennels are usually not manned 24 hours a day, though it is reasonable to ask about staffing hours. Even if a facility is on a person’s property, they may have no idea if your pet gets caught in fencing in the middle of the night. It’s important to know whether or not someone will be on the premises at all times, or if someone will be checking in on the animals every hour or so throughout the night. You also want to make sure the kennel is open during the hours you will need to drop off or pick up your pet.

What Safety Issues Should I Be Aware of?
In a kennel, look for bent wire, torn fencing or jagged edges. “Ask if your dog will be allowed to play unattended with a chew toy,” Ehrich suggests. “If it is, that’s a red flag.” Dogs in kennels and day care should never wear collars. If they are, this is a serious strangulation hazard. And if you have a frail or elderly pet, a kennel housed at a veterinary clinic may be a better option.

What Immunizations Should My Pet Have?
Before bringing your pet to a kennel, you may need to stop by the vet. “The core vaccines for dogs are rabies, distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus,” says Lorie Huston, a small animal veterinarian from Providence, Rhode Island. “Many kennels require vaccination against Bordetella and canine influenza as well.” Other prophylactics, such as flea and tick prevention and heart worm preventatives, are also strongly suggested.

When it comes to cats, required vaccinations include rabies, feline panleukopenia, calicivirus and rhinotracheitis. “Cats that are allowed to socialize with other [cats] should have a negative feline leukemia and feline AIDS status, although vaccines may not be recommended depending on the cat’s lifestyle,” adds Huston. Check with the kennel to see if they require any other types of shots.

Haal uit en wys jou plakker!

Wees waaghalsig, wees slim, gebruik jou verbeelding wanneer jy jou uitrusting vir vanjaar se Loslitdag kies. Die tema is Loslit innie Lente en dit gee almal die geleentheid om uitspattig aan te trek. Maar onthou tog net jou amptelike plakker, of kry sommer ‘n hele ‘bos’ plakkers. Die jaar se amptelike kleur is liggroen.
Loslitdag vind vanjaar op Vrydag 4 September plaas en plakkers is nou in alle deelnemende winkels verkrygbaar.
Loslit Dag is in 1995 in Suid-Afrika bekendgestel en die oorweldigende reaksie van die publiek het ons oortuig dat hierdie ‘n jaarlikse instelling moet word. Die begunstigde organisasies is nasionale organisasies ter begunstiging van mense met gestremdhede. Die projek word beheer deur Die Nasionale Raad vir Persone met Liggaamlike Gestremdheid in SA en word geborg deur die Edcon-groep.
Loslit Dag het oor die afgelope 20 jaar R222 miljoen ingesamel vir mense met gestremdhede.
Donasies van R10 per plakker is belangrik aangesien ons so die nodige fondse kan insamel ter ondersteuning van persone met gestremdhede se regte tot onderwys, behuising, opleiding, toeganklikheid en werkskepping te ondersteun… met ander

woorde, volle inskakeling in die gemeenskap.
Die plakker is verkrygbaar vir ‘n donasie van R10 vanaf alle Edcon-winkels (Edgars, Red Square, Boardmans, Jet, JetMart, Legit, CNA), Game, Dionwired, Shoprite, Checkers, Absatakke, en deelnemende organisasies.
Kyk uit vir die kompetisie vir die mees oorspronklike uitrusting – besonderhede sal op die webblad en Facebook verskyn.
FB: www.facebook.com/casualdaySA
Twitter: @CasualDay_SA
Hierdie is ‘n fondsinsamelingsgeleentheid vir persone met gestremdheid. Die groot begunstigdes is die volgende organisasies:
Die Nasionale Raad vir Mense met Liggaamlike Gestremdheid in Suid-Afrika;
Die SA Federasie vir Geestesgesondheid;
Federasie vir Dowes van SA;
Die Nasionale Raad vir Blindes;
Outisme Suid Afrika;
Down-Sindroom Suid-Afrika;
Die Nasionale Raad vir Persone met Serebrale Gestremdheid;
Die Suid-Afrikaanse Dowe Vereniging;
Die Nasionale Instituut vir Dowes;
QuadPara Vereniging van Suid-Afrika;
Alzheimer’s Suid-Afrika, en
South African Disability Alliance.

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Andrea Vinassa / Media co-ordinator for Casual Day
Cell: 079 089 9835
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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•

10 Great Dog Breeds for Children

Thinking about adding a pooch to your family? Dogs make some of the most loyal companions. But if you have little ones running about, not all dog breeds are a good fit.

We asked Dr. Nicolas Dodman, BVMS, MRCVS, section head and program director, animal behavior at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, and editor of “Puppy’s First Steps,” for his advice about breeds of dogs that are known to be good with kids.

“Before adding a dog to your family, arrange a face-to-face meeting under properly supervised conditions,” suggests Dr. Dodman. “Dogs most likely to excel in such a meeting with children are those who have been properly socialized in the first place (during the first 12 weeks of life).”

Keep that in mind as you read this list from “The Perfect Puppy,” a book about different dog breeds and their behavior characteristics, by Benjamin Hart, D.V.M and Lynette A. Hart. Even though the dog may be great on paper, you want to see how he or she will interact with your children.

While the breed is never a 100 percent guarantee that a particular dog will get along well with your child — every dog is different — it’s a great place to start. Here are the top 10 dog breeds that are known for being kid-friendly.

Golden Retriever
Want a dog that can tolerate all the excessive hair and tail pulling that little kids enjoy? The golden retriever may be your best bet. And you don’t need to worry about your golden adding to the morning chaos and noise. These dogs aren’t known to be excessive barkers. Other reasons to choose a golden retriever? It’s one of the least destructive dogs and one of the most playful.

“But keep in mind, Goldens are #3 on the bite parade, third behind German shepherds and Chows),” warns Dr. Dodman. That’s why it’s even more important to arrange meetings beforehand, so you can see how the dog reacts when your child approaches.

Labrador Retriever
The most popular dog breed in America for 2013, according to the American Kennel Club, the Lab is a fixture in many American households. And with good reason. Easy to train and easy to housebreak, this dog can quickly learn the rules of the household. Just like the golden retriever, Labs love to play. But with all that playful energy comes some demand for affection. Labrador retrievers will play with your kids for hours — they just expect love in return, so be prepared to give out extra belly rubs.

This big dog (about 140 pounds!) is also a big teddy bear. They may be massive, but Newfoundlands are mellow dogs. You won’t see this dog being aggressive with your family or with other dogs. “Newfs” can be trained (though goldens and Labs are usually faster learners), but its ability to catch on to housebreaking is what they’re known for. Like the lab, the Newf loves affection, so if you’re thinking about this breed for your family, you better love slobbery kisses.

Basset Hound
If your family isn’t looking for a super-active dog, the basset hound may be the pup for you. Basset hounds don’t get easily excited, but they also tend to be less playful. As with any hound, be prepared to hear some barking every now and then. And, as fair warning, a basset may not be the best choice if you have new carpet. They tend to take longer to housebreak and be a bit harder to train. But if your family has some patience (and a good carpet cleaner), the basset can make a great family pet.

Looking for a pup to protect your kids? Look no further than the breed that made Lassie a household name. They will play with your kids, but also protect them. If you’re looking for a dog that will interact with your family and be affectionate, a Collie may not be the best choice. They won’t follow you or your children around the house — Collies are too independent — but they will come when they’re called, as they are easily trained and housebroken.

Norwegian Elkhound
Despite its strong appearance and bark, the Norwegian elkhound would not make the best of watchdogs. But they do make great family pets. Intelligent, playful, bold and alert, the Norwegian elkhound is always up for adventure. This breed can be challenging to train, but once trained they will not only understand their place in the family, but will be very loyal to it.

For more great breeds for children go to www.care.com•


Monday 17th August 2015
Earthflight : Part 2 of 6 : Africa
We will see Storks migrate from Southern Africa to North Europe
Vulture circle above Wildebeest migration of the Serengeti
and other birds like Cape Gannets, Fish Eagles and Flamingos
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-Ordinator: Lynette Timme 044-535-9041

Tuesday 18th August 2015
Italian Conversation
10H00 at 12 Challenge Drive
Co-ordinator: Brenda Hardy 044-533-5489

Wednesday 19th August 2015
Medical Matters : Dr Giovanni Coci
He will address us on the subject of Strokes
and other Cardiovascular Problems
10H00 at Formosa Garden Village Lounge
Co-ordinator: Lynette Timme 044-535-9041

Friday 21st August 2015
Tai Chi Class by Jennie Anderson
09H00 to 09H45 at St Peter’s Church Hall
Please present your U3A membership card
Co-ordinator: Jennie Anderson 044-533-0089

Friday 21st August 2015
French Conversation
10H30 to confirm with Ingrid
Co-ordinator: Ingrid James 044-533-0212

Friday 21st August 2015
Mah Jong : Ancient Fascinating Game
13H30 at Formosa Garden Village Small Dining Room
Co-ordinator: Amelia White 044-533-0113