How Stillness Can Support Your Physical and Mental Health

Stillness is not something that is often celebrated in our fast-paced modern lives, however when we start to look at the research on the benefits of meditation and mindfulness, as well as restorative and Yin yoga, it is clear that stillness can be an answer to many of today’s health issues such as anxiety, fatigue, sleep problems, digestive issues and skin disorders, and many more. 

When we talk about stillness in yoga, we are not just talking about being still in your body, but also creating a sense of stillness in the mind. Allowing the noise to die down, the thoughts to stop racing, and the attention to be focused on the present moment. This is what we aim for in our meditation (which can be challenging to say the least) and what could bring about a sense of ease, relief from anxiety, and a more positive outlook when practiced regularly. 

Stillness is incorporated into all types and styles of yoga and is typically brought into the end of the practice when you find yourself in Savasana (or “corpse pose”). There are also types of yoga that encourage this meditative state throughout the practice including Yin, a gentle form of yoga in which each posture is held for anywhere between less than a minute and 5 minutes.  In this more passive approach, the practitioner can gently increase flexibility and improve circulation in the joints, while focusing on inner silence and connection. 

Yin yoga is an incredible way to cultivate self-awareness and inner peace, while also having numerous positive effects on our physical health.  

If you would like to discover the benefits of yoga for free. Make sure you request to join our Pinnacle at Home community. This free community is filled with yoga & meditation classes designed to support us all through these tough times.  

 

 

The Importance of Self Care In Isolation

This year hasn’t quite panned out as anyone expectedwith multiple lockdowns, job instability, fear, and an air of not knowing what is next to come. So how can we pivot and adjust our plans and our routine to get the most out of this time? For those of us who are productivity motivated, or goal driven, it can feel like this year has been a spanner in the works that seems impossible to work with 

Perhaps this time is an opportunity for us to revisit our values, to prioritise our physical and mental health, and re-structure our routines and rituals in order to be able to not only cope with the stresses of life and what is happening in the world today, but also to show up in our lives in a more grounded, more connected way.  

So what can you bring into your day to day life that will help you to improve your physical health, your mental health, and help you to be more stable in this fast-paced world?  

Here is a few things that our Upwey Studio Manager, Rosie incorporates into her day to feel grounded, present and positive in lockdown:

Getting up before sunrise to have time in quiet contemplation is newest habit. It can include journaling, pulling an oracle card for the day, meditation or simply watching the sun rise – depending on what I am feeling. 

Baths! Lighting a candle, putting some music on and letting myself just be completely relaxed as my soaks in an epsom salt bath is one of the most luxurious experiences for me. Before this year I never made time for baths, and now I understand what all of the hype is about! 

My yoga practice – whether it is a vigorous vinyasa practice or a few restorative postures in bed and some meditation, making time for yoga helps my mind to be clearer my body less tense. My yoga practice is the most important part of my self-care, and is truly the one thing that has helped my anxiety, changed my mindset, and healed my body in so many ways.

How Can Yoga Support Promote Self Care?

If you are looking for a practice that will help your body to heal, to recover from stress, to strengthen your immune system and to reduce your stress, we cannot recommend yoga enough, and if you need some help creating a home practice, we have created something special for you. 

The Yoga Ignite program is a three-week course specifically designed to help you to create a home practice with confidence, and with intention.  With this time in isolation, we want to help you to create rituals and routines to keep you well in your body as well as your mind.

Over the three weeks together, we will explore setting intentions for our practice and in our day, alignment in yoga poses, and the importance of breath in yoga and as a powerful tool for stress and anxiety, sleep, digestion and pain management. We will also work on transitioning from pose to pose safely and gracefully, delve into the stillness and silence of our practice, and discuss how to approach your yoga practice from a place of self-loveWith two live sessions per week, you will have all the support that you need to start your practice. 

Want to join us for the Yoga Ignite program? Find out more and book your spot here We can’t wait to see you there!  

3 Key Ingredients To Managing Through Uncertainty

As we adjust to life in lockdown again, a new wave of emotions can come over us as important parts of our life that we started to get back have now suddenly been removed again. We can have feelings of  loss, frustration and even sadness.

Finding positivity and new ways to fulfil routines that we just started is important to still gain the physical and mental benefits they provide us. Here are what we believe are the key ingredients to help you manage through the next 6 weeks and how we can be there to support.

Social Connection

One of the most significant parts of life that lockdown takes away is social connection. As humans, we thrive on connecting and being with others. Catching up with family and friends, but also missing that daily 2 minute conversation at a cafe or at the gym. You never realise how a smile and a ‘have a nice day’ from a stranger can actually help you have a nice day.

So how can we still connect with others? Obviously we have become familiar with technology catch ups with Zoom and Facetime which is important to see the smiles we miss. With current restrictions, you can still train with a personal trainer or a private class- this is a great way to see other people in a healthy and positive way. Find out more about our 1:1 private coaching options here.

Appreciate Nature

It sounds cliche, but getting outside for some fresh air and sunshine has so many physical and mental benefits for us. It helps us reduce anxiety, boost our vitamin D, lower blood pressure and improve our focus.

Getting outside for a walk or even just spending some time in the garden can help us feel better and more connected with ourselves. Remember that just because or clubs are closed, doesn’t  mean we can’t support you in person outdoors. We have created some amazing wellness pods designed to transform your daily outdoor exercise into a wellness experience. Have a look here

Practice Yoga

We may be biased on this one, but during times of uncertainty and stress, yoga is a fantastic form of exercise. Yoga helps manage your emotional and physical health and anyone can practice. It’s not about being flexible, spiritual or clam, it’s about taking the time you need to switch off your mind from the outside noise of work, family and stress and instead, focus on connection your body & mind to be in sync.

And the extra benefit? Yoga is something can be done from anywhere- all you need is you and a yoga mat. We have a variety of online yoga classes and new virtual yoga classes that we highly recommend you to explore. Find out more here

Do you need extra help with your health & fitness right now? Chat to our team today to see how we can help you.

The 5 things you’ll notice when doing reformer pilates

The 5 things you'll notice when doing reformer pilates

The Reformer pilates method is quickly becoming one of the most popular pilates streams around. But what makes this method different from its counterparts? 

Here are 5 things you’ll experience from your standard reformer pilates class. 

More equipment 

One thing you’ll notice about reformer pilates is that not only is there a traditional reformed bed which you’ll be doing your workout on but there’s more equipment in general that will be used to get the most out of your workout. From exercise balls to stretch bands, you’ll be using plenty of fitness gadgets to get you a deeper work out.  

Increased lean muscle 

Reformer pilates very much predicates the effects of deeper resistance that would not ordinarily come about from a traditional pilates workout. Due to this, people may find that their workouts may lead to a greater increase in muscle bulk in a shorter amount of time. These muscles are usually larger and tighter and a result of the carefully choreographed workouts created by reformer bed specialists who know how to get the most out of the equipment. 

Reduced joint pains 

While you certainly will be working up a sweat with a reformer pilates workout, you’ll find that you won’t have the same joint aches that would ordinarily come out during or after a HIIT workout. This is because reformer pilates uses less impact but still consists of enough resistance-based reps that’ll have your muscles burning in no time. This is a huge benefit to those who have experienced physical injuries and want to get back into shape without putting too much stress on vulnerable areas. 

Exceptional muscle tone

Once again, due to the resistance capabilities available on a reformer bed, users will notice an immediate improvement in muscle strength and tone. Not only will you be able to reach muscles you wouldn’t ordinarily think to strengthen but you’ll do so in a way that intensifies the workout, getting you visible results in a greater measure. 

Better posture and stronger core 

Another great benefit of reformer pilates classes is that you’ll experience better posture and a stronger core as a result. Not only do your muscles get strengthened but they’re worked out in such a way that your posture is enhanced and your core is built up in an upright position. Better posture not only helps your back strength but adds an illusion of greater height. 

Find out more about Pinnacle Health’s Reformer pilates classes

If these benefits have piqued your interest, get in touch with the team at Pinnacle Health today! Our team of fitness specialists can help you navigate through the world of pilates and help curate the perfect session to get you on track to your fitness goals.

From reformer bed to the traditional method, Pinnacle Health will get you where you need to be to help you smash your fitness goals. 

How to best prepare and cool down from a HIIT workout

How to best prepare and cool down from a HIIT workout

When it comes to getting the most out of your High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) workout, you may be surprised to find that a large component to your workout success lies in your preparation and cooldown before and after your workout, not just the workout itself.

In order to prepare yourself for your best burn yet as well as help you cool down so you don’t get too sore that you lose momentum, here are our top tips on getting the most of your HIIT training. 

Pre-workout

Choose the right energy source:

If you’re on a prescribed exercise plan and supplements are a part of your transformation, be sure to time your consumption accordingly prior to your workout. Weight loss shakes and supplemented drinks (like carnitine in water) may need to be consumed 30 minutes prior to workout to avoid cramps or the sluggishness that comes with a full belly. Recommended carbs or meals will also need to be scheduled accordingly. 

Dress appropriately:

HIIT workouts require a level of agility and limberness. You won’t feel agile with layers and layers of baggy clothing getting in the way. Be sure to dress appropriately for your workout without having any unnecessary layers hindering your movement. You won’t have to go out and buy a brand new activewear wardrobe but you will need to consider what gym wear will suit your type of workout. 

Pre workout stretch:  

This is perhaps the most crucial component of all. HIIT workouts are just that: high intensity! You’ll need to ensure that you avoid injuries or extreme soreness by stretching every muscle beforehand. From your legs to arms to those pesky muscles you didn’t know existed, aim to stretch your whole body beforehand to avoid regretting it later on.

Post Workout

Post workout stretch 

Once again, an additional stretch after a hard workout will help you avoid those savage “DOMS” and make sure you can walk down stairs relatively normally after a tough leg day. Stretching will also help you lean out your muscles so that they don’t bulk up and also relax your body from any lingering tension. 

Help assist muscle regeneration 

Once your hardcore workout is done and dusted, you’ll need some recovery food to help with your muscle regeneration. If you haven’t received guidance in this particular area from a specialist, a great start is consuming grapes right after your workout, and of course drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. 

Get in touch for more HIIT insights

These are just some of the things you can do to ensure that you’re fully prepared for your workout as well as fully cooled down to heal the body after strenuous exercise. We here at Pinnacle Health are dedicated to empowering our clients to face their fitness challenges head on and achieve the results they envision.

If you want to find out more info about the best means of prepping the body as well as the best exercises for effective weight loss and overall fitness, get in touch with our team today and we’ll get you on your way to your transformation. 

How To Reset Your Fitness Goals

CHANGE. It’s the word we hear all the time at the moment as our world is changing around us. When this happens, we can sometimes feel a little lost as our goals that we were tracking along well to earlier in the year, now feel unattainable. It’s important that we acknowledge that this can happen at any time in our lives, as our priorities change or as road bumps in life come along and make us change our focus.

So how do we positively re-set our goals without feeling like we have failed?

Accept the uncontrollable

 As human beings, we like to feel in control of our lives when in reality, there are a lot of actions, events and decisions that happen every day that are completely out of our control. Maybe we get injured or need to care for a loved one and don’t have the same time as before. Accept that this happens, and it doesn’t mean that you have failed, it just means we need to reset the goals we had. Change your focus to what aspects in your life CAN you control?

Set small realistic goals

Rather than creating a new goal to run a marathon in a month, break down your end goal into smaller, more manageable goals that you can have the satisfaction of ticking off as you achieve them. Write these down and tell your family about them as well to make you feel more accountable.

Write down your ‘why’

When you are writing down your goals, make sure you also write down your ‘why’. Writing down your reason why you want to achieve your goals will help you prioritise how important they really are to you. Try to choose a reason that is more than ‘ I want to lose 5kg’ and choose a goal based on your personal values. Maybe you want to be a better role model for your children? Or live longer and avoid getting heart disease or diabetes. These goals hold more weight and will help you stay on track when motivation starts to lag.

When it comes time to reset your goals, it will be easier to re-prioritise and focus on the goals that mean the most to you personally.

Do you need help re-setting your goals? Chat to our team today to see how we can help you.

How to Ease Back into Your Fitness Routine

It’s been 3 months since our doors closed and it’s been a tough and sudden shift of routine for many of us. The combination of being at home more, gym closures plus the onset of winter, it’s not a surprise that 44% of people say they are less active that they were before COVID-19.

So you are not alone! We are all feeling the struggles of getting back into a new routine and re-thinking what that even looks like now vs before. Here are our top tips when it comes to easing back into a fitness routine to help keep your motivation high, develop habits to train consistently and most of all, enjoy exercise and the feeling of getting fitter and stronger.

Don’t be too hard on yourself

Sometimes we can be really tough on ourselves if we gain extra weight, lose motivation or fitness. Setting high expectations on ourselves can add a lot of unnecessary pressure.

Allow yourself to accept your current situation and use this to help set long term sustainable goals. Remember that we all struggle at times and it’s okay to lose motivation and energy at times. The most important thing is picking yourself back up again and keep going.

Don’t go too fast too soon

When that motivation comes, it can come hard and fast! The importance of going from a low amount of exercise back into training is not to overdo it at the beginning. Pace yourself, improve a little more each week so that you have the energy and the recovery time to keep training consistently rather than hard every day.

Find the balance of training styles

The beauty of starting a new routine is that you can maybe try something you haven’t done before. Why not? It’s time to start something new! Look at finding the right balance of training to suit your goals physically but also mentally. Having a mixture of higher intensity classes like HIIT training and lower impact such as Pilates or Yoga will mean you will stay engaged in the variety and your body and mind will benefit too.

Ask for help if you need it

You don’t have to start a new routine on your own. Whether you choose to start something new with a friend or a family member to keep each other accountable or you are looking for more experienced support in a coach. Find the support that you need to find what you love and most important enjoy exercising.

If you are looking to try a new style of training or needing a little extra motivation as you get back into your routine, chat to our team about your goals and we can help find the right program for you.

Yoga Moves To Relieve Work Stress

With government-legislated quarantine still dictating our movements, many companies have opted to have their employees work from home (WFH). This action should be commended as it keeps everyday Australians safe and helps people stay employed despite the current circumstances. However, for those who are working from home, the new routine and lack of proper office equipment may take a significant toll on your muscles. Make your home office a makeshift yoga studio! 

Here are some yoga stretches that we recommend to relieve bodily stress and brighten the mind for work.

The crescent moon pose

A simple one to start you off. Remain seated and clasp your hands together. Lift your arms as far up into the air as possible and then take turns leaning towards the right or the left, moving slowly. This will help lengthen the spine and provide relief to muscles on either side of the body. 

The figure 4 stretch

While seated in an upright position, rest your right foot on your left knee as if you’re crossing your legs loosely. Next, slowly use your right hand to press down on the right knee towards the ground, creating a stretch that you’ll feel in the back of your right hip and buttock. Long distance runners use this stretch for muscle relief around the lower back area. 

The desk downward dog 

This motion is much akin to the downward dog stretch that you perform on the floor. Stand a meter away from your desk and bend over into a 90 degree angle, with hands resting on top of the desk. Then, use your weight to push forward and upward into the signature back stretch. It’s extremely important that your desk or table is secured against a wall in order to support your weight. If not, perhaps just stick to a regular downward dog on the floor.

Seated twist

While seated, maintain an upright position with both feet flat on the floor. Next, slowly twist your upper body to the right and take three deep breaths. Repeat this motion on the other side ensuring that your upper body is the only thing twisting. Keeping your feet flat on the floor will help you maintain your balance. Be sure to do this movement slowly and don’t twist further than what is comfortable. The gentler the movement, the better. 

Neck Release

Standing up with legs apart, take your right hand and place it over your head, resting your hand on the left side of your face. Then, slowly press your head down enough until you can feel a light stretch on the left side of the neck. Repeat this for the other side. This is a great means of relaxing tension in the neck and upper back after sitting down and staring at your computer all day.

If you’ve given these stretches a shot and are keen to take your stretches and overall tranquility to the next level, get in touch with the team and Pinnacle Health Club today! With our daily live yoga and meditation classes, you’ll no doubt find the perfect class to suit your fitness needs from the comfort of your own home! 

The Benefits of Doing Yoga During Quarantine

The world is changing, to say the least! With government-legislated quarantine regulations seeing more Australians spending time at home, we think it’s safe to say that the last few months have been challenging – both emotionally and physically. Fitness regimes have also been forced to change. But although you can’t visit us at the studio, we here at Pinnacle Health Club are dedicated to ensuring the studio comes to you and the exercise type we’re particularly encouraging all our clients to do at home is yoga. 

Here’s why.

Yoga keeps you fit

Much like other forms of exercise we specialise in at Pinnacle, yoga is an excellent way to tone the body and improve your overall physical health. This centuries-old method takes a holistic approach to your health, aiming to create balance between the body and mind. 

With minimal impact on the body, yoga is a great way to strengthen and stretch the muscles without damaging or exacerbating any sensitive joint issues. It can also help build up a burn to encourage weight loss, so don’t be fooled by the chill vibes that yogis give off. Yoga can be as challenging as you want it to be!

Continued practice will lead to better technique, making it great for increasing flexibility and strengthening muscles with extended use.

It doesn’t require much equipment 

Another great reason to try to get basic yoga into your isolation workouts is the minimal equipment necessary. While most classes are undertaken with a foam mat, you can always opt for a beach towel as an alternative. If your floors are slippery, we think it’s a good idea to place your makeshift towel/mat on the carpet for better grip. 

You can even up the ante with a resistance band to work the muscles a little harder (however this isn’t a requirement, or recommended for beginners mastering the art of yoga.)

Yoga is great for mindfulness meditation

In this particularly challenging time where uncertainty is rife and you can’t seem to see an end in sight to all the madness, yoga can be extremely helpful in helping to quiet down the mind and release any mental and emotional stress you may be feeling. 

Mindfulness meditation is a practice of focusing the mind on the here and now, which usually means honing all your concentration into the task at hand. The more you focus on your current task, the less room there is for things like fear of the future or past regrets to have a stranglehold on you through the day. 

While intense physical activity will always have its place (and the wonderful endorphins that come after), yoga focuses more so on slowing down the body and mind to achieve harmony between the two. 

We offer a whole host of yoga and meditation classes that’ll strengthen the body and brighten the soul. If you’re keen to see how you can start your yoga journey and gain a little peace of mind, contact us today!

The Importance of Staying Active And Connected For The Elderly

With many of us now in self isolation during COVID-19, we are all experiencing feelings of loneliness, frustration and the impacts of not seeing our family and friends. For the most vulnerable in our communities, these feelings can have even more of an impact as they are told to stay indoors and limit their contact with others. The daily routine that they once knew of going down to the shops, meeting friends for a gym class and having the grandkids over has all been taken away. For many seniors, their daily social connections and routine plays a large part of their overall health & wellbeing and they now find themselves with limited contact with for long periods of time.

We speak from experience in seeing the seniors communities in our clubs prior to COVID. The most important part of their daily gym classes is the social engagement and fun that they have with likeminded people. For many, they come to their daily classes to laugh, have fun and chat with others and continue the chats long past the class finishing! Having this taken away can increase the risk of developing mental health concerns such as depression and loneliness.

We can’t forget about the physical benefits of keeping up an exercise routine as we age. Studies have shown that older people who regularly exercise live longer and also:

    • Reduces risk of developing diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
    • Improves immune system function.
    • Increases mobility & balance to reduce risk of falls.
    • Improves bone density.

Showing our parents, grandparents and neighbours how to use technology such as FaceTime and Zoom is a great way to help them stay connected and confident in calling friends and family for the much needed catch up.

Checking in to see if they need you to collect anything from the shops or even making some extra meals or sweat treats and dropping them at their doorstep all help us stay close and comforted in the fact that they are not alone and have a supportive group of family and friends available to help.

Pinnacle is also running complimentary seniors classes at 11am every day via Zoom to bring likeminded people together for a bit of movement and a chat to help create that daily routine they need and encourage exercise. If you or a family member would like to register for this, find out more info here