August Moving: Arms

Having strength in your arms is important, it helps improve your posture which means your back is strong, resistance training your arms has shown that it reduces the risk of musculoskeletal injuries or at least reduce their severity. But proper form is important.

  • Strong muscles will enhance your workout. Once you start concentrating on your upper body, other exercises will seem easier.
  • Working your arms can help protect your bones. Every year your bones loose more strength, but the good news is, the more you work them, the more you help to maintain healthy bones and build density.
  • Working your arms, gives you that feel good factor, the satisfaction that you’ve worked something hard and will reap the rewards. It will help your exercise mindset going forward.

Exercises to try –

If you can do the 2 exercises 2 – 3 times a day. You will start to feel a noticeable difference in your arm strength.

  1. Forearm pulse: Connect your forearms together from your elbow all the way up to your fingertips, palms together. Push the forms arms together to create tension. Pulse your arms up and down, maintaining contact with no gaps and pressure. Do this for 30 seconds/ pulses. Ensure your shoulders stay down and your core is still scooped in.
  2. Press ups: You probably thought you might get away with out these, but no such luck. A few things to remember about press ups. The further your feet are away the harder it, which means the lower your arms/ centre of gravity the harder it is too. So bear this in mind when you choose the level you want to do the press ups at. Place your hands just wider than your shoulders. Keep your shoulders down and tummy scooped. Make sure your body is in a straight line, so your bottom is tucked in. inhale on the way down. Exhale on the way up. Aim for 10 reps.
August Moving: Arms

August Moving: Quads

The quadriceps are one of your power house muscles in your body (alongside your core), that really need to be strong and stable. The muscle groups in your legs work together to ensure that your balance and stability are in the right place when your body needs it, as well ensuring your knee flexes and extends as needed.

  • Having strong quads will aid the stability needed for the knee joints, which can inherently be unstable and depend on ligaments and muscles to protect them from injury.
  • The inner thigh muscles also provide internal rotation, which counterbalances the external rotation from your outer thighs and glutes.
  • Like any major muscle groups they require care and maintenance, stretching in particular is important as no stretching can lead to a shortened thigh muscle which in turn means your knee won’t be able to flex effectively.

Exercises to try –

If you can do the 2 exercises 2 – 3 times a day. You will start to feel a noticeable difference in your quad strength.

  1. Squats – super easy to integrate into your day when you’re brushing your teeth, making a cup of tea, cooking tea and more! You need to have you feet hip or shoulder width apart and a straight back. Remember to scoop in your core and engage it. You want to bend your knees, ensuring your knees stay behind your toes, and your chest stays higher than your hips. You have the choice to do normal squats down and up, or add in a pulse at the bottom before you come up. Aim for 15 reps.
  2. Standing leg raises: Standing up tall with your tummy scooped in. Raise your leg up in front of you so it is slightly bent and then lower back down, let your big toe tap the ground but nothing else and lift leg back up. If you need to hold onto something to keep your balance, rest your hand lightly on a chair. The lifting of the leg must come from the thigh not the knee. Aim for 15 reps on each leg.

August Moving: Core

Our core can be something that we obsess about, what it looks like, how strong it is and the exercises that we do. During my time as a dance teacher and Buggyfit trainer I have seen many different exercises to work the core.

  • My conclusion, simpler is the better and conventional is not always best. What I mean by this is that sit ups and burpees are not the answer, they don’t target our inner core.
  • Our core is a complicated part of our body, and many different things impact it. What we forget is that our body is made up of many different layers. Conventional exercises focus on building strength in the upper layers, whilst inner core work goes deep down.
  • Training these muscles is essential for stability, joint control through motion and ensuring all those inner muscle work together to propel you forward in the best way.

Exercises to try –

If you can do the 2 exercises 2 – 3 times a day. You will start to feel a noticeable difference in your core strength.

  1. Box scoop: Kneeling on all fours ensure your knees are directly below your hips and your wrists are below your shoulders, have your back in neutral alignment. Relax your tummy, it’s really important that you really let it all go! Otherwise the exercise won’t work effectively. Inhale and let your tummy fill with air, as you exhale slowly scoop your in and up. You want to begin from the top of your pubic bone and finish at your belly button. Your aim is to create a C scoop as you draw your tummy in. Take 4 counts to exhale and 4 counts to inhale. You need to have control through both directions. 5 reps. This can also be done standing up, but by doing it on your hands and knees, you work against gravity more, so your muscles work harder!
  2. Candlestick Dipper: This will work your transverse abdominus and your obliques. Kneel on the ground, with one leg out to the side. Ensure your back in straight and your hip is stacked above your knee for the one you’re kneeling on. For the one out to side, keep the toe facing forward and the heel to the back. Option A is to raise your arms out to the side at shoulder height, maintaining a straight line with your body tilt to the side away from the foot that it out. Touch the floor with your fingertips. The further away you touch the harder it is. Option B join your fingertips together above your head. Maintain contact with your fingers as you lean to the side and then bring yourself back up. It’s important to keep yourself aligned for both these options and don’t allow your bum to out backwards and you reach forward with you arms. For those who have a weak core or less than 5 months postpartum, only do option A!
August Moving: Core

August Moving

Summer months is always a time when we naturally pick up the pace and move more, whether that’s through day trips out or just because the weather is nicer, we are outside more. I’m someone who needs to go outside and move everyday whatever the weather. But the reality of moving in a specific way apart from day to day tasks can be daunting, we might all think about it lots, but the actual doing of it, can take some extra focus.

Throughout August I want to offer some real quick ways to integrate movement into your everyday that will allow a daily habit to be created. I’ll also provide some extra info about why we might want to support or exercise that part of the body.

Week one: Ankle | 5th August

Why start with the ankles? Ankles are one of our main joins that take the stress and strain of our whole body as we go about our day. They help keep us stable, work our core and pivot with changes of direction and motion as needed. Here’s some other key facts to remember about ankles –

  • A major function is proprioception, when neutral transmitters in and around the joint respond to signals from the brain that enable you to identify where the ankle is and how well balanced you are on it.
  • Improving the flexibility of your ankle will significantly help with your strength, squat and reduce injury.
  • The ankle is a hinge joint and works on one plane of motion – dorsiflexion and plantarflexion. Plantarflexion is the movement downwards – pointing your toes like a ballet dancer. Dorsiflexion is the movement up, when your toes go towards the sky whilst your heel is on the ground.
  • Strong dorsiflexion means the front of the shin can move forward during a movement, which helps with crucial body alignment and application of force.

Exercises to try –

If you can do the 2 exercises 2 – 3 times a day. You will start to feel a noticeable difference in your ankle strength.

  1. Flexion and extension of ankle: sitting on the floor extend your legs out in front of you, alternately flex your foot to the ceiling and then point it down to the ground. Push to the point that you feel a stretch. Aim for 10 reps flexing, 10 reps extending. This can also be done on a chair/sofa. What ever you choose, ensure you’re sat up straight and your shoulders are down.
  2. Heel raises: ensure you are standing up straight, place your feet hip width apart and take a slight bend. This is the position that you will hold during the exercise. Keep your knees and rest of body still, lift up your as far as you can, pushing the top of your foot forward. Lower back down. Do 10 reps. This can also be done on a step, by dropping heels below the top of the step and then raising them up.
August Moving: Ankles

Why use an Essential Oil Diffuser?

At doTERRA we recommend using essential oils aromatically, topically, or internally depending on the properties in each individual oil. Nearly every oil and blend, with the exception of HD Clear® and Immortelle, can be diffused. Diffusing an oil helps us take advantage of its most noticeable characteristic—it’s scent. By learning more about how much of a role smell plays in our lives, the impact of essential oils can be understood on a deeper level.

Petal Diffuser

The Power of Scent

Our sense of smell is one of our most powerful senses, and you have probably noticed in your own experience that some scents are more positively associated in our minds than others. Your body contains over 1,000 receptors for smell—more receptors than for any other sense. Dr. David K. Hill D.C., Founding Executive points out that even though our noses are not as acute as a bloodhound’s, “you can still detect thousands of varieties of odors in infinitesimal quantities.”

By putting essential oils directly into the air we breathe, we can influence the feeling of our environment, and, more powerfully, our own emotions. We know that citrus oils, for example, are uplifting and energizing to your mood, while scents like Lavender or doTERRA Balance® are calming and grounding.

Other Uses and Benefits

While smell is a great tool, there are other reasons that diffusing essential oils can be beneficial to you:

  1. It can purify the air in your home.
     
  2. Some oils can help maintain feelings of clear breathing and open airways. 
     
  3. To minimize the effects of seasonal threats. 
     
  4. Only a small amount of oil needs to be used if you’re using it in an ultrasonic diffuser. This means you can use one bottle of essential oil many times before you’ll need to purchase more.

How to Diffuse

The best way to diffuse is either nebulizing (cold air) or ultrasonic (water) diffusion. Heating oils to diffuse them can alter their delicate chemistry. Most of the diffusers doTERRA offers are ultrasonic diffusers, meaning that they use water to disperse the oil into the air.

To diffuse in an ultrasonic diffuser, put cool tap water to the fill line and add at least two drops or more to the water. Then, choose the time setting you desire and let it run. Diffusing in a nebulizing diffuser is waterless: take the cap and orifice off of your bottle of essential oil and attach it to the diffuser and choose your settings for time and amount at a time.

The combinations of essential oils you can diffuse are endless. And, like each of you, they are as unique as you would like them to be. 

The above information was disseminated amongst Wellness Advocates for BOGO week July 2019.

Using a diffuser during UC Grace events

If you have been to one of our events recently, you will have noticed that we have been using diffusers. Much like the reasons above they offer a great reason to uplift and set apart the mood of the room. At our latest event Going Deeper 2019, many participants commented how lovely it was to have something diffusing during the sessions, helping concentration, tiredness and energy.