HEALTH & FITNESS

Rowing is Dedication

Swan River – Perth

It is nearly always possible to find a stretch of calm water somewhere along the Swan River in Perth which makes it a perfect rowing destination. Perth Rowing

IGSSA Rowing – Perth

The Independent Girls Schools Sports Association rowing programme consists of five regattas starting in early May and ending in late June.

IGSSA Rowing 2015

MLC Rowing – Perth

MLC Rowing

Swan River Sunset- Perth

Swan River  - Perth

Rowing – Perth Girls Quad

MLC Rowing

20 Reasons to Cycle

Benefits of Cycling

Cycling is a low resistance exercise that has a significant number of health and other benefits, ranging from physical to mental and even environmental. The following infographics illustrate a number of these benefits.

Health Benefits of Cycling

Cycling Benefits

Non Health Benefits of Cycling

Cycling Benefits - Non Health

Benefits of Cycling – List

Health –

1. Cardiovascular Fitness

2. Muscle Strength & Flexibility

3. Improved Joint Mobility

4. Decreased Stress Levels

5. Better Posture & Coordination

6. Strengthens Bones

7. Decreased Body Fat Levels

8. Prevention/Management of Disease

9. Muscle Tone in Buttocks

10. Leg Strength

11. Enhanced Mental Health & Self Esteem

12. Improves Blood Pressure

13. Stronger Lower Back Muscle

14. No pounding on your joints

Non-health –

1. Carbon Neutral

2. Avoids Traffic Congestion

3. Low Capital Cost

4. Low Operating Cost (no fuel, no parking fees, low maintenance)

5. No Noise Pollution

6. Improved Body Balance & Coordination

7. Much Faster than Walking

Importance of Good Posture

Posture

The medical definition of posture, is the position or bearing of the limbs or the carriage of the body as a whole. It is used to describe how a person’s body is positioned when they are standing, sitting or lying down.

People tend to discount the importance of good posture but it is essential to good health and helps to prevent a number of ailments. It also becomes increasingly important as we age, when ailments tend to occur more often.

There has been a marked increase in posture related problems in modern times, as society has become increasingly more sedentary. People spend many hours watching television, behind their work-desk, playing computer games or on the internet. A study at Loughborough University, found that office workers spent more than five and half hours behind their desks during the course of an average work day. This is then compounded by significant amounts of time sitting during leisure time, after work.

Bad Posture

Factors Contributing to Poor Posture

1. Desk bound society – As discussed above, society has become increasingly more desk bound. People who sit for long periods of time generally have tight muscles, which is a common cause of poor posture.

2. Obesity – The increasing incidence of obesity, is also impacting negatively on posture.

3. Weak Core Muscles – A sedentary lifestyle results in weak core muscles. This makes it difficult to hold the hips and torso in proper alignment.

4. Work related stress and negative self-image – The ever increasing pace of society and the intensifying demands placed on us at work, contributes to postural problems. Negative self-image is also an issue, as we strive to continuously keep up with ‘The Jones’ and with fast changing trends.

5. Other factors – Other factors that can cause poor posture include decreased flexibility, bad walking technique, high heeled shoes, a poor work environment and standing for long periods of time or in unnatural positions.

Bad Posture

Why is Good Posture Important?

Maintaining good posture ensures that the bones of the body are correctly aligned and allows the muscles, ligaments and tendons, to work correctly and in unison. When there is good posture, the internal organs will sit in their correct positions and operate at optimum efficiency. It also assists with the normal functioning of the nervous system.

Research shows that poor posture results in a reduced intake of air to the lungs and ups the risk of dying prematurely. The risk of injury to muscles, joints, bones and the back, is increased significantly. Ultimately, it affects all aspects of our health and overall wellbeing.

Tips to Good Posture

1. Do not cross your legs while sitting for long periods. Knees should not be above the level of the hips and there should be a gap between the back of the knees and the front of the chair.

2. Avoid sitting in the same position for long periods.

3. Whilst standing, keep the chin up, shoulders back and pull your stomach in. Stand straight and tall, with the feet about shoulder width apart.

4. Keep the knees slightly bent and bear your weight primarily, on the balls of the feet.

5. Look straight ahead and hold your head level. Do not push it forward, backwards or to the side.

Improving Posture

Good posture is simply keeping the body in alignment. When in a standing position, it entails holding the chin up, maintaining a straight back, squaring the shoulders, keeping the chest up and out, stomach pulled in, feet pointing forward and the hips and knees in a neutral position. An indicator of good posture, is to be able to draw an imaginary line from the ear, straight down through the shoulder, hip and knee, to the middle of the ankle.

Building strong core muscles is fundamental to good posture and this requires doing some form of exercise. Specific exercises include leg raises, single leg extension and bridging.

Improving Bad Posture

Good posture is a habit and practice makes perfect. Consciously work on good posture at all times, whether it be in front of the mirror, behind your desk or whilst waiting at the bus stop. Try working the rhomboid muscles (muscles between the shoulders) by drawing your shoulder blades together and holding that stance for a count of ten, before releasing.

Avoid sleeping on your front or on your side, with your legs pulled up close to your chest. Ensure that your mattress is not lumpy and soft, as this will effect posture and create back problems.

Yoga is a great way to help improve posture. In addition to increasing body awareness, yoga strengthens the core and lengthens the spine. Specific yoga poses that can be performed include the cobra, the mountain pose, standing forward bend, the child pose and the hero pose.

Be aware of good posture whilst standing, sitting, bending, lifting and even when you are about to go to sleep. You will not only look better but also feel healthier.

Good posture is an easy and very important way to maintain a healthy mind and body. When you practice correct posture, your body is in alignment with itself and common problems such as back or neck pain, headaches, and even fatigue can be kept at bay.