It’s been a while since I wrote a blog post about gym, a report back so to speak. The thing about gym is that there is always something happening. Last week was Open Week and a whole lot of Madiba Day celebrating… as well as ongoing Workshops, and Online Learning. The thing I really love about this gym is that it isn’t only about working out, though there is a lot of working out (!), there is always something new to learn and get involved in.
Recent Events at Sport Science
Madiba Day Fun:
Women’s Wellness Workshop: Women’s Running Matters: Healing Hormones and Health:
For this workshop there were two speakers: Dr Phato Zondi was chatting about how hormones can affect our running…
How to take advantage of your Menstrual cycle, and coping with the hormonal fluctuations of Menopause. That was so, so interesting, there is so much to learn here folks. The moral of the story… keep exercising, it makes everything better.
The second speaker was Dr Janine Gray, a physiotherapist, who spoke about injuries and specifically injuries pertaining to women runners. The point is that every runner is an individual, and has to be looked at as such.
After strengthening our core, the most important thing we can do to improve our running is to strengthen or glutes… in actual fact we just sit on them all day and we need to start thinking of ways to sit a lot less.
There is a Sleep Workshop Coming Up…
Madiba Day is a big celebration in South Africa and a day that everyone typically volunteers 67 minutes of time. As a family we love to volunteer and over the last few years we have been lucky to have painted a Madiba Day mural or helped on a community project. We were thrilled to join the Sport Science Team with their community service project…
It all began with packing sandwich bags…
Then visiting play schools…
And playing and painting…
We had such a blast, happy memories and a great way to meet the team, off the gym floor.
Last week was also Open Week at the gym, which means that non-members could join in and try out the classes and the gym floor. I decided that it was high time that my kids joined my gym class and see what I do every morning while they sleep in. I have to say they weren’t thrilled by the early wake-up call… but they totally loved gym.
Turns out it might have been a little harder than they expected…
They were grateful for all the breaks…
And some folk might have been a little stiff for the next couple of days…
I can say they are very inspired and have been trying new things and setting up little workout stations throughout their days… They totally get the fun and feel good factor that gym has to offer… and now the entire family loves my biokineticist!!!
About once a month Sport Science has a workshop where they tackle different topics that are pertinent to their athletes… they have had a series of Women’s Wellness Workshops and as well as workshops that everyone can enjoy. You definitely don’t have to be a super athlete to attend them, I am always there… and I always leave very inspired.
The sponsors are Granny Goose Bedding, and FutureLife Cereals… there are always grand prizes and samples to take home.
This workshop literally knocked my socks off… I always thought that triathletes were super awesome athletes that worked out eighteen hours a day… I was wrong. And with the training programme, that Sport Science has developed, you would be able to complete a triathlon. Honestly, it never occurred to me to even think about a triathlon, but their workshop left me thinking that it was totally doable.
The point is, whether I ever do a triathlon or not, this workshop got me back into the pool and swimming a couple of times a week. Not only that, where I had thought riding a bike was for somebody else and I never need to think about getting on a bike ago… I have since been giving it a go. To be honest, I don’t think it would take more than the slightest encouragement to give it a try after that fabulous workshop. I did slightly think about it a little bit, but that would just be insane… a year ago I couldn’t run around the track – and how everything has totally changed in the last year and a half.
A panel of experts was there to answer all the questions… and so many tips on swimming and running, cycling and setting up a training programme. All useful stuff, for working out in general… not just for triathlon training.
After the swimming tips, we had a dietician talk to us about what to eat and meal planning to improve your performance. What to eat before, during and after your workout… food that will help you to train harder and recover better.
You might not know this but the Sport Science Institute of South Africa has an online learning hub, where you can do courses about any number of topics. I have written about learning online before… there are a few do’s and don’ts to making sure you go the distance and actually finish the courses you begin. I have been working on two of the courses over the last couple of weeks. Don’t be misled by the fact that there are about six modules in each course and think that you can complete a course in a weekend. Theoretically you can, but you won’t get the most out of them, because there is a lot of information in them and it takes a while to think about and digest each module before you go on. I have to say I took copious notes throughout and since this is my year to try new things… both of these courses immediately got me started on new and better lifestyle habits.
Well I have just finished this course… and honestly it grew on me. Initially I found it a little tricky, but I have gotten better at understanding “nutrition speak” as the course went on. I learnt a lot as I went along and all those eating habits that I had when I started out at the gym initially, are changing… well those habits are going to their happy place and new healthier ones are replacing them. My biggest lesson learnt was to stop eating food because you always have eaten it. Change things up, eat a ton of different colours and eat to fuel your day. I have never really thought about fuelling my day or eating with my workouts in mind.
The significant thing about my eating habits since I started at the gym was that I really reduced my portion size… but I need to change things up again and start eating towards my much more exercise rich lifestyle. The meal planning module was so useful, photographs and printable notes and planners, to keep and use in the future. The best habit that I gleaned from this course was to keep a thorough food journal. It is a very interesting exercise, initially you discover that what you eat vs what you think you eat are not quite the same thing and then I found myself making better choices because I really didn’t want to write the bad choices down.
The first shocker to me on my fitness journey was that my sleep situation was far far from sufficient. In fact, my sleep situation was so appalling I am amazed that I ever got through a single day. Since then I have taken every opportunity to learn more about sleep… and when I saw there was a sleep course I could not sign up fast enough. This course is very hands on and practical… and even if you are the very best sleeper you will learn a lot. The first module is all about correct sleep habits and what your sleep pattern really should look like, and how to interpret and understand all the sleep devices and trackers that have been flooding the market recently.
After learning about about correct sleep habits the course goes on to explain the problems folk have with sleep and how they can get back on track. And then it gets much more practical… starting with a sleep diary. If you want to get a handle on your sleep then a sleep diary is essential. Yes, there are apps, and devises and so on… but by keeping a diary I found myself much more aware of the chasm between the sleep that I thought I was getting and the sleep that I actually was getting. As usual sleep is my hardest habit to keep track of, it is a discipline issue that I really need to get under better control. I am working my way through this course and I can see that already it has been quite instrumental in ensuring that I consistently get a good nights sleep.
Just Letting You Know…
As a Brand Ambassador for the Healthy Weight Programme at the Sport Science Institue of South Africa, I do get to try out their products, workshops and gym facilities, so that I can share what I am learning with our followers. These are not sponsored blog posts, I write them because I want to write them, and all the opinions expressed are entirely my own.