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

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

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.

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.

The Ultimate Studio Member: Hear from Chris

 

In the lead up to the launch of our brand new studio locations in June, we wanted to celebrate some of our existing studio members and showcase how they mix up their training each week to keep them motivated.

Chris is a local to the Upwey area and a busy family man juggling 4 kids, his job as a UAT coordinator and his training. Chris and his wife Charmaine have been members at our Upwey studio for 2 years now and can often be seen in our Wellness studio doing a Pilates class together.

We sat with Chris to understand his training and what keeps him motivated:

“I train to be the best that I can be. As a young adult I was active but overweight and I had developed bad habits and unhappy with how I looked. Overtime, I have found that by changing little things with diet and lifestyle can really make a healthier and happier person.”

Chris is a man of routine! A normal week for Chris consists of running, 2 x Pilates sessions, 1 x Locker Room class plus a slower Yoga  class to ensure he gets enough variety to stay interested.

Chris’ typical training week schedule:

Monday: Depending on my mood (and the weather!) I will either go for a run or a reformer Pilates class.

Tuesday: 6am Hot Pilates for a good stretch.

Wednesday: Time for an endorphins fulled FIT50 Locker Room class

Thursday: Team running session with the Eastern Masters running club.

Friday: Rest Day! I get to enjoy a sleep in 🙂

Saturday: A sleep in and a restorative Yang Yin Yoga class to start off the weekend.

Sunday:  I usually try and make time for a long leisurely run.

Goal setting is a big motivational factor for Chris and he is facing the biggest goal yet by training to qualify for the Boston Marathon but rewarding himself is equally as motivating.

“What is the point of setting a goal if you can’t reward yourself? And I think a holiday to the US is a pretty good reward ”

Motivation can be hard when you train by yourself as there is no one to keep you accountable and also make it fun!

“I find exercise much easier and more fun by having someone to do it with. My wife Charmaine and I often train together and I have recently joined some running groups as we all keep each other motivated.”

“Success is not about winning, It’s about getting the best out of yourself”

Interested in finding out more about our latest studios? Find out more here

Mitch’s Game-Changing Journey!

Mitch is a familiar face for many at Pinnacle Scoresby and we were blown away by his 28 Day Game Changer results last year.  Here are some of his top tips for anyone still unsure as to how a change in your training can allow you to see some amazing results.

For many of us, doing our own thing in the gym a couple of times a week doesn’t result in us feeling our best. A little extra guidance, motivation and fun environment is all it takes for us to push ourselves that little bit extra!

Mitch was feeling this around 2 years ago when he first joined us at Pinnacle…

“I starting working a desk job in the local area and was a member of a conventional gym but was still feeling unhappy, unfit and unmotivated so after paying a visit to Pinnacle Scoresby, I quickly changed as the vibe of the club alone had me hooked!

I was encouraged by the coaches to get involved in the 28 Day Game Changer as a great way to help get a tatse of a different style of training. It was time to break my bad habits of limited exercises and bad diet. The Game Changer helped initiate breaking this cycle. I was so used to doing my own thing that it was time to try something different and I haven’t looked back since.

The 28 Day Game Changer was such an achievable goal. 4 weeks to give it your all- that;s it! The whole time you can see the end in sight. It makes it easier to stick to the diet and training. The trainers are a great support network and the nutritional advice is so beneficial.

What did Mitch do after his 28 days?? I absolutely love attending the club and the Locker Room sessions – the coaches have provided me with constant encouragement, guidance and a bit of a push when I needed it – I honestly cannot thank them enough. I walk out the Pinnacle doors dripping in sweat after every visit; I am as healthy, happy and strong as I have been in a long time and that’s only going to continue.

Honestly, joining Pinnacle was on the of the best decision I have ever made.”

If you are looking to make a change to your fitness routine like Mitch, you can register for our upcoming 28 Day Game Changer here!

It all kicks off Monday 11 February- don’t forget to get in early as registration closes 7 February.

Macronutrients: What Do I Really Need to Know About Nutrition?

With the rise of social media influencers, endless information about nutrition on the internet and misleading marketing, knowing what to eat can be challenging. Our resident Dietitian, Mikaela Welti takes things back to basics and keeps things simple for us to remember when it comes to nutrition.  

“Macronutrients are foods that the body requires in large amounts, so getting a good understanding of what this is made up of and what they do for our bodies helps us make the right decisions”

If you would like to find out more or have any specific nutrition questions, Mikaela is hosting complimentary fortnightly workshops for members, book in here 

What you should know about Carbohydrates…

  • Carbohydrates are the body’s preferred source of energy as they are broken down and absorbed more efficiently and easier than other macronutrients.
  • Carbohydrates are found in many different foods and range from larger complex carbohydrates to refined/simple sugars.
  • Healthier sources of carbohydrates include grains, fruits, dairy and vegetables.
  • Refined forms of carbohydrates are found in foods such as, donuts, cakes, desserts, chocolate and ice cream.
  • We all should be aiming to increase the amount of complex and healthier carbohydrates consumed and reducing the processed/refined carbohydrates

What you should know about Proteins?

  • The largest concentration of protein in the body is within our muscles.
  • We need protein in order to maintain/build muscle mass.
  • Sources of protein include red meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, dairy, nuts and legumes.

What you should know about Fats?
Fats are the most concentrated form of energy for the body, we therefore, do not need to eat as much food containing fats as we do for carbohydrates or protein, in order to meet requirements.

There are two main types of fat:

  • Saturated: these fats should be limited and are found in animal products, palm oil, pies, cakes and pastries
  • Unsaturated; are the preferred source of fats due to their ability to improve cholesterol levels, foods containing unsaturated fat include olive oil, nuts, fish (salmon), canola oil and seeds.

What each macronutrient contributes to our energy intake

MacronutrientEnergy per gram (kj)Energy per gram (Calories)Minimum ‘Best Practise’ Recommendations for the average adult (aged 19-70 years)
MalesFemales
Carbohydrate17kj4 calories50-55% of EER50-55% of EER
Protein17kj4 calories0.84g/kg/day0.75g/kg/day
Fat37kj9 calories< 25% EER<25% EER
Dietary Fibre8kj2 calories30 grams +30 grams +

*EER= Estimated energy requirement**
For more information on recommended nutrient requirements: https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients 

 

Women We Love: Team McLennan

Happy International Women’s Day to each and every Wonder Women! At Pinnacle Health Clubs, Women are always at the front. Not only does our ChicksLift program exist to empower & inspire women to train the right way for their bodies, our clubs and head office are filled with awesome like-minded females – just like Coaches, Elise & Melissa McLennan (not related!). We caught up with both these ladies to find out why they devote so much of their lives & passion to helping women gain confidence in their own skin.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO BECOME A FITNESS PROFESSIONAL? 
MEL: My passion for health and fitness intensified after having my first child. It gave me something else to focus on, time out for myself to do something good for me. I was dedicated, saw some great results and it greatly increased my confidence.

ELISE: My first Strength & Conditioning Coach was a driving force for my career choice. I was stuck doing useless training in a gym just trying to burn calories and never getting results. Ash (an old high school friend and now Strength & Conditioning Coach in Canada) introduced me to structured strength training and taught me the science behind it all. I fell in love and knew I needed to spread the good word.

WHY DO YOU LOVE TRAINING OTHER WOMEN? 
MEL: I love training other woman as I have seen what our bodies are capable of; the transformations they go through and also the desire to have that post-baby body back! I find women need more direction and praise than men, so I get a lot out of training woman specifically.

ELISE: My favourite thing about training other women is watching them fall in love and feel (and see) the benefits of getting strong AF!

WHAT’S YOUR FITNESS PHILOSOPHY?
MEL: Love life, live healthy – you CAN do this!

ELISE: Train smarter not harder. A philosophy I’ve developed from my own experience. I used to think I had to be killing myself in the gym at least 6 days a week to get results. I now follow a structured, progressive strength program 4 days a week and am achieving the best results I’ve ever experienced (both body composition & strength wise).

YOUR FAVOURITE EXERCISE TO PRESCRIBE AND WHY? 
MEL: Most of the time I love a fast paced high intensity workout.  I do also love a Dead Bug – it’s a simple movement which gives great results to our inner core muscles!

ELISE: Definitely the Pallof Press! I pretty sure every client I’ve ever trained has had to do this exercise. In my opinion, it is one of the greatest and most functional core exercises as it trains anti-rotation in a standing position and it uses many of our core muscles (obliques, TVA, glutes, rectus abdominis, etc).

CAN YOU SHARE A PERSONAL ACHIEVEMENT WITH US SO WE CAN CELEBRATE YOU? 
MEL: I made the decision to study a new career after having a family a huge change. At a time when I was trying to raise a young family I also had to establish myself in a completely new industry. My workplace was filled with people nearly half my age, who had a wealth of knowledge and were already succeeding and doing wonderful things. Today I am so glad I stuck it out! I have definitely found my passion and have even developed a niche for myself as Pinnacle’s pre and post natal specialist. Ladies, we’ve got this!

ELISE: Hitting PB’s in all my lifts the past few weeks amidst many minor  niggles has been a pretty good achievement.

We think that’s ace Elise – just like YOU & MEL! If you are interested in joining either of these ladies, they can be contacted at their prospective clubs. Elise works out of Pinnacle Scoresby & Mel can be found at Pinnacle Upwey.