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30-day challenge #8

Day eight of the 30-day challenge (by Adam Meakins) High five!

Check out WHO guidelines and wash your hands before and after exercising.

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Beweeginspiratie Exercise Inspiration

30-day challenge #7

The seventh day of the 30-day challenge (by Adam Meakins) 

Check out WHO guidelines and wash your hands before and after exercising.

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Beweeginspiratie Exercise Inspiration

30-day challenge #6

Day six of the 30-day challenge (by Adam Meakins) 

Check out WHO guidelines and wash your hands before and after exercising.

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Beweeginspiratie Exercise Inspiration

30-day challenge #5

The fifth day of the 30-day challenge (by Adam Meakins) High five!

Check out WHO guidelines and wash your hands before and after exercising.

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Beweeginspiratie Exercise Inspiration

30-day challenge #4

The fourth of the 30-day challenge (by Adam Meakins)

Check out WHO guidelines and wash your hands before and after exercising.

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Beweeginspiratie Exercise Inspiration

30-day challenge #3

Three days in a row? The third day of the 30-day challenge (by Adam Meakins).

Check out WHO guidelines and wash your hands before and after exercising.

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Beweeginspiratie Exercise Inspiration

30-day challenge #2

The second day of the 30-day challenge (by Adam Meakins)

Check out WHO guidelines and wash your hands before and after exercising.

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Beweeginspiratie Exercise Inspiration

30-day challenge #1

The first day of the 30-day challenge (by Adam Meakins)

Check out WHO guidelines and wash your hands before and after exercising.

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blog Exercise Inspiration

‘You can’t go wrong getting isolation strong’

By Adam Meakins, a Specialist Physiotherapist, as well as a qualified Strength & Conditioning Specialist in both the NHS and private practice in England. Also known as ‘The Sports Physio’.

The COVID19 virus is currently sweeping across the globe and battering the hell out of the human population. Some unfortunately become severely ill and die, some are left with long term disability, and some have other diseases go untreated.

Thankfully, most have not been severely affected by COVID19 with either a mild fever for a few days or no symptoms at all. However, despite the difference in symptoms there is no doubt this virus has affected us all in other ways forcing us to drastically change our way of living now and for the foreseeable future.

Social distancing and lockdown measures across the world mean many of us have been forced to spend extended periods in our homes unable to travel, move around, or go about our business as normal. Extended periods of time under social distancing and isolation measures has the potential to increase sedentary behaviours and risks creating further health and disability issues in our population. [1]

Maintaining levels of physical activity can be a challenge at the best of times, but even harder when unable to access facilities or equipment, especially when it comes to engaging with resistance exercise. The WHO recommends that all adults get a minimum of two sessions of resistance exercise a week [2]. This, however, is often overlooked or forgotten due to the more widely known target of 150 minutes of physical activity a week.[3]

One of my long-term goals has been, and continues to be, to promote the physiological and psychological benefits of resistance exercise with my slogan “you can’t go wrong getting strong”. At the start of the lockdown in the UK I began a ’30 Day Home Workout Challenge’ on social media posting daily videos of my own workouts done in my office/spare room.

‘You can’t go wrong getting isolation strong’

The idea was to demonstrate that simple, effective, no nonsense resistance exercise can be done in a limited space and with minimal equipment. These videos show a daily circuit of exercises that lasted about 20-30 minutes. The exercises were programmed through the challenge to equally work the upper and lower body, and focused mostly on simple push, pull, or lift movements, with some occasional light hearted fluff thrown in such as doing regular bicep curls, coz you know… curlz getz the girlz!

The dosage parameters of each session were also kept clear, simple and evidenced based, usually involving between 3-5 sets, with each exercise done to a rate of perceived exertion (RPE) level of between 8-10. My reasons for choosing RPE levels for resistance exercise is in a continued effort to get more to move away from using fixed rep ranges when prescribing or doing resistance exercise. I often find fixed rep ranges don’t allow for individual variation and often lead to under or overdosing, whereas RPE levels can simply and easily be used by all.

The idea for this 30-day challenge, and others I have done in the past is to help promote the idea that regular resistance exercise doesn’t have to be complicated or only done in gyms, with lots gadgets and gimmicks. Instead resistance exercise can be highly effective if it’s simply done regularly and is challenging and effortful.

References

[1] Chen, P et al (2020). Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): The need to maintain regular physical activity while taking precautions. Journal of Sport and Health Science. Vol 9, 2, 103-104

[2] World Health Organisation (2010) Global recommendations on physical activity for health ISBN: 9789241599979 https://www.who.int/dietphysicalactivity/publications/9789241599979/en/

[3] Lowe, A et al (2017). Are physiotherapists walking the walk? A global survey of physiotherapists physical activity levels. Poster Presentation at The World Congress of Physical Therapy, Cape Town, July 2 2017. Sheffield Hallam University Archive, http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/16662

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Taiji: Good exercise during COVID-19

Yifan Chen, Meichen Chen, Liwen Fu and Hui Wang

Taiji is an ancient Daoist philosophical term symbolizing the interaction of yin and yang, which are opposite manifestations of the same forces in nature. The dynamic interaction of yin and yang, underlying the relation and changing nature of all things, is epitomized in the famous “Taiji Diagram.”

一群人在森林里

描述已自动生成
source: https://ucmap.org/club/taiji/ 

Taiji is one types of Wushu rooted in the Daoist concepts of the interplay and necessary balance of yin and yang.

Some traditional schools claim that Taiji has a practical connection to the theories of the Song dynasty Neo-Confucianism (a conscious synthesis of Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian traditions). These schools believe that Taiji ‘s theories and practices were formulated by the Taoist monk Sanfeng Zhang in the 12th century (Wile and Douglas, 2007).

Taiji appears to have received this appellation from only around the mid of the 19th century (Hennning,1994). History records that Luchan Yang, the founder of Yang’s Taiji, trained with the Chen family for 18 years before he started to

teach the art in Beijing, which strongly suggests that his art was based on, or heavily influenced by, the Chen family art. The Chen family can trace the development of their Taiji back to Chen Wangting in the 17th century. At that time, Taiji had already developed.

戴帽子的小孩在草地上

描述已自动生成
Photo from Dr. Jing Liu

Many studies report improvements in quality of life, flexibility, strength, cardiovascular function, pain, balance, and kinesthesia after learning Taiji. According to the data, Taiji is mostly performed in the form of semi-squatting, so it can improve the stability of lower limbs and delay aging. In addition, Taiji combines breathing with the body to effectively improve respiratory function. Furthermore, Taiji is a lifestyle practice, regular practice can improve immunity.

戴帽子的小孩在草地上

描述已自动生成
Photo from Dr. Jing Liu

With the growing number of people remain quarantined at home, we should take exercise choosing at a rather restricted environment into consideration with an attempt to stay active and be healthy. Taiji presents its unique values in such a special period and should be introduced to the whole world. As above, we know that Taiji is not just a kind of Wushu, but way more than that.

On the one hand, Taiji is a low-cost and easily implemented exercise without facilities, which makes it easy to persist in the quarantine state. And its medical value presents in various aspects, such as memory, digestion, balance, flexibility and so on.

On the other hand, people around the world are going through a tough spell and what happened around might make you feel stressed or restricted than before. The slow movement and concentration of Taiji will guide you to find your peaceful inner heart. It is exactly the right time to do Taiji!

Here is an action demonstration of Taiji. The character in the video is Dr. Jing Liu, an associate professor from Department of Wushu and Arts, Nanjing Sport Institute, China.

Reference:

Henning, Stanley (1994). “Ignorance, Legend and Taijiquan”. Journal of the Chen Style Taijiquan Research Association of Hawaii. 2 (3). Archived from the original on 2010-01-01. Retrieved 2009-11-23.

Lin, Z., 2016. On Chinese Tai Chi Culture: Contemporary Values and International Communication. Asian Social Science 12, p273. https://doi.org/10.5539/ass.v12n10p273

Wile, Douglas (2007). “Taijiquan and Taoism from Religion to Martial Art and Martial Art to Religion”. Journal of Asian Martial Arts. Via Media Publishing. 16 (4). ISSN 1057-8358.

Yang, Y., & Grubisich, S. A. (2005). Taijiquan: The art of nurturing, the science of power. Zhenwu Publications.

Yang, Y., Verkuilen, J., Rosengren, K. S., Mariani, R. A., Reed, M., Grubisich, S. A., & Woods, J. A. (2007). Effects of a Taiji and Qigong intervention on the antibody response to influenza vaccine in older adults. The American journal of Chinese medicine, 35(04), 597-607.