Yoga Moves To Relieve Work Stress

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 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

Staying Connected with the Ones you Love is Critical to Maintain Mental Health During this Pandemic

How to ensure you are staying connected with people in meaningful ways

In the past few weeks, the reality for many has changed drastically. Forced to adapt to a new normal, people across Australia are finding themselves struggling to wrap their heads around the current pandemic we are all facing today. As new laws and regulations continue to prohibit gatherings of people, getting together with friends and family has become increasingly more challenging.

Studies conducted by the Department of Health show that healthy relationships with friends, family or even a pet can help reduce anxiety levels and depression while at the same time raising one’s self-esteem. With so much negativity surrounding day-to-day activities and the media today, doing everything we possibly can to feel connected to the ones we love is more important now than ever.

Pick up the phone

Technology has changed the way we interact with each other. In the early 2000s, social media was infantile with very few users indulging worldwide. Fast-forward twenty years, this has become one of the main forms of communication, especially for millenials. During these uncertain times, texting just isn’t enough to settle the mind. 

As the feelings of isolation and loneliness continue to settle in, be proactive in your approach to combat these troublesome ideas. Pick up the phone and talk to someone. Instead of spending your days scrolling through your Instagram feed, Facetime your mum or call your grandma. The easiest way to feel connected to those you love is reaching out and making an effort.

Ask if they’re okay

You may be surprised that when reaching out, you begin to realise other people are feeling the same way you do. As the situation continues to evolve, people across the world are struggling with the idea that there is no end in sight. Being trapped at home only amplifies these concerns and it can be hard to fathom on your own.

Ask the ones you love if they’re okay, and understand that while you may be having a hard time coping, they most likely are too. In these uncertain times, encouragement is monumental. Do everything you possibly can to ensure your friends and family understand that you are there to support them too.  

Plan virtual activities

While open and honest conversations are important to have, you can take your Facetime one step further by getting active online. Plan fun activities with your family and friends, whether it’s a virtual workout or a game of chess, exercising physically and mentally is one of the easiest ways to adapt to this new and unusual situation.

Interested in joining a virtual online community? Pinnacle Health Club is ensuring that those daily interactions you normally have in your gym class are still there for you from home, as we know how important that smile, high five and well done from your coach is after a tiring workout. Our online community is filled with likeminded people looking for motivation, inspiration and encouragement to keep up their health and fitness.

 

5 Ways to Boost your Immunity During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Ways to boost your immunity during the Coronavirus outbreak

As more and more cases of coronavirus continue to pop up around the globe, you may be wondering: how can I boost my immune system and stay healthy throughout this pandemic?

Beyond the obvious hand-washing, social distancing and staying at home tactics, there are a multitude of ways you can continue to remain strong both physically and mentally throughout this situation to ensure your well-being and health does not diminish. 

Relax and meditate

Meditation might seem like a strange concept at first, but if this is something you have been reluctant to try, now is the time to give it a crack. Meditation not only helps you to clear your head and focus on yourself during stressful situations, but it can also help to keep your immune system functioning properly. 

Be mindful of what you’re eating

Paying attention to what you’re eating and being conscious when it comes to your diet is a great way to ensure a healthy immune system. The easiest way to maximise your nutrition is by consuming an array of vegetables, fruits, proteins and carbohydrates. There are a variety of nutrients that play a huge role in building immunity. 

Carrots, kale and apricots contain beta carotene, which is then converted to vitamin A, vital for producing antibodies that respond to toxins and foreign substances. Oranges and broccoli are a great source of vitamin C which helps the body determine what kind of protection is required. Vitamin D can help reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses. Good sources of vitamin D include fatty fish, eggs and plant milk products. 

Stay active 

Even if you’re someone who regularly engages in fitness activities, during these trying times finding the motivation to get up and get after it can be challenging. Whether you attend fitness classes on a weekly basis or wake up and hit the gym each morning, with the new ban on health club attendance you are likely struggling with the idea of instead running outside or investing in online fitness classes.

Let’s work on finding motivation together! Join our virtual community at Pinnacle Health Club for coach and peer support. Whether you’re searching for calming pilates and yoga or kick-butt HIIT Strength classes, our online community can help guide and support you while at the same time providing challenges for you to level up you exercises.  

Get plenty of rest

If you’re one of the thousands of employees who have switched to remote work, your morning and evening routines have likely changed drastically. While your schedule may be flipped upside down, take advantage of your new situation and use that extra time to get some much-needed z’s. To keep your immune system strong, experts recommend getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night. 

Find creative ways to manage stress

Psychological stress can increase your chances of acquiring an illness. Also, when experiencing stress it’s common to fall back on unhealthy habits, including drinking, smoking and even eating junk food. It’s ok to feel stressed, afraid and anxious. If you’re finding yourself panicking more than usual, find activities that help relieve these stressful feelings. Whether it’s connecting more with friends and family or getting active with Pinnacle Health Club’s virtual online community, finding creative ways to manage anxiety will make staying healthy a lot easier.

Prepare Yourself for a Better Sleep: Lizzy’s 5 Top Tips

Prepare Yourself for a Better Sleep

Our coach Lizzy, is an expert in holistic health and has put together her top tips for improving your sleep.

Sleep is perhaps one of the most important yet under- appreciated factors that contributes to optimal health. This is the time when the physical and the psychological systems go into repair mode. Our stress hormone, cortisol, is reduced, and we get a surge in anabolic growth hormones like testosterone.

The natural sleep/wake cycle, or circadian rhythm, is something we share with most living creatures. A modern, fast-paced lifestyle though can severely disrupt this. Shift work, late working hours and screens or backlit displays such as tablets and smartphones can really impact our sleep.  When you are exposed to a bright light such as your phone in the middle of the night, your body registers a light source in a similar way to a sunrise. The result,  a premature spike in cortisol levels as your body prepares to wake up. This negatively affects the repair cycle and can have a detrimental effects on our overall health.

Reduce your caffeine intake.

Particularly after midday. If you struggle to sleep or have pre-exisiting anxiety, depression or hormonal imbalances, consider removing caffeine completely.

Get to sleep by 10:30pm.

This usually means in bed  by around 10pm. If this is difficult for you, try setting yourself a sleep alarm to alert you to when it’s time to start getting ready for  bed.

Use blackout curtains.

Minimising environmental light pollution (particularly if you live in a densely populated area) can really improve your sleep.

Limit screens after dark.

Do not expose yourself to bright TVs, computers, tablets and smartphones after dark. This is really under-appreciated, and can have a huge impact on your sleep and health.

MOVE!

Exercise will help promote blood-flow and help sleep. However for some, high intensity exercise and interval training can in fact impair your sleep. limit your harder sessions to earlier in the day and stick to  gentle activities like walking and yoga in the afternoon and evening.

6 Questions to Ask Yourself When You Aren’t Seeing Results

It can be pretty deflating when you feel like you are working hard but not seeing the results you want from your training.  

Our coach, Emma D has written down the questions she asks her clients when they feel like they have hit a wall.  Ask yourself and see where you think you can make changes to your training, your nutrition and your lifestyle.

Q1: Are you being CONSISTENT with your training? Stick to a regular routine of workouts that works with your lifestyle that you’re able to maintain.

Q2: Are you TRACKING PROGRESS? Logging exercises/weights/intensity in the gym is essential to ensure you’re applying the right stimuli to your body each week to get stronger and fitter.

Q3. Are you working at the CORRECT INTENSITY? Unfortunately nothing comes easy, you should be pushing yourself pretty damn hard at least twice a week to see improvements depending on your goals. However it’s also just as important to take rest days/weeks to avoid burnout.

Q4. What is your NUTRITION like? Majority of your diet should be coming from whole foods, adequate protein and a healthy balance of carbs, fats and essential micronutrients for optimal functioning.

Q5. Are you getting enough SLEEP? Sleep is a crucial part of recovery and avoiding burnout/sickness, aim for 7-9 hours per night.

Q6. How is your STRESS management? Exercise is already a stressor to the body, so adding too much your body will make it difficult to recover and improve both in and out of the gym. Make sure you give yourself time out to relax and reenergise for the week ahead.

For more tips and to chat to our coach Emma in club or get in touch at emdickeson34@hotmail.com 

Brian Blight: How The Locker Room Keeps Him Accountable

Brian has been an integral part of Pinnacle Oakleigh for over 3 years now and we have watched his journey with amazement. As a key member of the Locker Room team, Brian chats to us about his motivation and why team training helps him achieve his goals.

“Initially when I first joined the Gym (over three years ago I think), the reason I trained was to generally improve my fitness and build a bit of muscle after my earlier weight loss left me feeling weak. Whilst these fundamentally are still in the back of my mind, I now believe that I train for my physical and mental well being. I always feel good after a session. If I train first thing in the morning, it sets up my day and I actually feel less tired and more awake. When I train in the evening, again it sets me up for a good night and I always sleep better after an evening training session.

I chose the locker room because I want to train with others. If I trained by myself, I would pretty much find an excuse not to train. In The Locker Room you soon get to know the people you train with and develop a camaraderie and some sort of banter. Whilst exercising, as a motivational tool I usually try to match or beat other peoples speed, repetitions or weights. Also, if someone says to me “see you tomorrow”, I use that as motivation to turn up. I don’t want to feel like I have let someone down if I have made a commitment. Very minor, but probably my biggest motivation for me to exercise. 

I have tried many of the classes offered by Pinnacle and would recommend that everyone should try a new class every now and then. You may be surprised what really works for you.”

 

 

How To Stay Motivated This Winter

How to Stay Motivated This Winter

With the mornings getting darker, here are our quick tips to help you get up and going this winter.

Set out your clothes the night before

Being organised is so important. It takes an extra 5 minutes before you go to bed but laying your clothes out the night before makes it harder to say no in the morning. 

Get a gym buddy

Nothing motivates you more than knowing that you are letting someone else down by not being there. Whether that’s by booking into a class or going with a friend or family member. Keeping each other accountability helps not press that snooze button!

Move your alarm clock

How easy is it to just hit snooze and roll over? Why not move your alarm clock or phone to the other side of the room forcing you to get out of bed and switch it off! By the time you are you, you are already one step closer to being out the door.

Make sure you get a good sleep

Poor sleep or lack of sleep obviously makes getting up harder. Develop a bed time ritual that you stick too that helps to start your body to slow down. Stay away from your phone, as hard as it is! Your brain is highly alert when on your screens so does the opposite of what we want to be doing. My go to routine is a chamomile or peppermint tea in bed with a book (sounds very nanna but trust me!).

Have variety in your training

It’s human nature to lose engagement and motivation in the winter months so making sure you have enough variety in your training is the best way to keep things interesting. Try our studio memberships so you can combine HIIT training in the Locker Room with our Wellness classes and see how this improves your motivation and fitness this winter! Click here to find out more.

What is Reformer Pilates?

Have you heard of reformer Pilates but you are actually not sure what it is and why every is talking about it? Even though Reformer Pilates have been around for decades, it a relatively recent addition to a lot of peoples’ health & fitness routines and the buzz word for many given its range of benefits.

Hear from Emma, Pinnacle Wellness founder as she takes you through the different elements of a reformer class and shows how the different elements work together to create the ultimate full body workout.

“Sometimes the reformer can look like a pretty scary contraption, trust me you are not the first person to not know what bit does what!”

So what is the Reformer and how does this add to your workouts?

Adjust Your Resistance
Reformers have different levels of resistance springs, allowing you to adjust your workout to your fitness level or even to how you are feeling on the day!  Remember, more resistance doesn’t necessarily mean a harder workout, you can improve your practice with less resistance but more control.

Extra Support

Technique is so important in Pilates to avoid injury and maximise every exercise. The reformer acts as your support with the ability to utilise the front platform and bar to regain your balance if needed.

Adding a Little Extra with Straps

Just like the springs, the straps are there to add that little extra and can be used in lots of different ways improve your workout from adding more resistance to exercises focussed on balance and breathing.

Add a little more with TRX & Barre

Adding a bit more to your class away from the reformer helps to keep things fun and add that next challenge to your workout. The latest trend on reformer Pilates utilising apparatus like the barre and TRX improves balance and target smaller muscle groups to feel that burn!

“ Our wonderful instructors are on hand to show you step by step and encourage you to start slowing until you start to feel more confident and stronger. You will be a reformer Pilates expert in no time.”

Our latest Reformer Pilates studios is opening in June 2019 at Pinnacle Scoresby & Oakleigh. To find out more about our studio, click here

Love,

Emma Stallworthy xx

Pinnacle Wellness Founder