Posts

Optimising Gut Health

Optimising Gut Health

Breaking our bodies down in the gym is hard work, and it is the stimulus we need to get fitter, but all of this could be going to waste if you don’t have fundamental recovery pillars. I see many clients fall into the trap of thinking that if they train hard, they can do whatever they want outside of the gym. They will then question why results aren’t coming!

Before a single weight is lifted, the first thing that I address with a new client is what they are eating- which ties into the health of their gut. The body will only begin adapting to the stressors that it is being placed under in the gym, once it has a healthy foundation first. So, if an individual has been drinking too much alcohol, consuming large amounts of inflammatory foods, and not enough vegetables, it is likely that their gut will be clogged up and not functioning properly. This blog will discuss an action plan on how to improve your gut health and maintain its optimum functioning.

If you have noticed any of the symptoms below lately, it may be that your gut health is not at its best:

  • Join paint
  • Fatigue
  • Intolerance to certain foods
  • Skin/pimple outbreaks
  • Foggy brain
  • Headaches

The good news is that gut health can be improved quickly and these symptoms can dissipate within a few days. An 18 hour fast can often be beneficial as the first step to clear out any remaining stubborn food sources that the body may be struggling to digest. After this, a great idea would be to cleanse the gut with vegetables; aim for variety but try to include the leafier green options as much as possible, as they pack more of a punch with regards to their micronutrient density. I recommend two cups of vegetables with every meal. Drinking plenty of water is vital too – the Australian Dietary Guidelines (2020) recommend drinking 40 ml of water per kilogram of body weight per day.

Staying away from gluten, dairy and soy sources may also help to unclog the gut. Try eliminating these sources from your food for one week, re-introduce them, and see how your body responds. If there’s no difference, you may have a tolerance for these foods and can therefore continue to consume them. If this isn’t the case, then don’t stress – the vegetable intake which you have now increased contains plenty of the common nutrients (if not more) that are found in dairy/soy products. Your carbohydrate intake can match your pre-gluten elimination intake, by adding sweet potato and potato to your diet. This will help to achieve greater satiety (the feeling of fullness in the stomach). Supplementation of fibre and probiotics can also be beneficial in the short term, particularly if you are willing to invest in pharmaceutical grade supplements.

Changing habits is often the hardest challenge throughout a fitness journey, and we at Absolute Balance are here to help. There is evidence suggesting that a healthy gut can support brain functioning and better mental health too, so this change is well worth the investment.  If you’re keen on learning more about this topic, and want to be held accountable with your eating, get in touch with us at Absolute Balance from our experienced team of Exercise Consultants. Good luck!

 

Jeremy Boyle

Exercise Scientist 

 

References

Australian Dietary Guidelines Summary. (2020). Retrieved 31 August 2020, from https://www.eatforhealth.gov.au/sites/default/files/files/the_guidelines/n55a_australian_dietary_guidelines_summary_book.pdf

  1. Choct (2009) Managing gut health through nutrition, British Poultry Science, 50:1, 9-15, DOI: 10.1080/00071660802538632

Meet the Team – Leigh Ashmore

Hi everyone, my name is Leigh Ashmore and I have recently joined the Absolute Balance family as a Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist in the Workers’ Compensation team. Although new to Absolute Balance, I cannot say I am a ‘newbie’ to the industry having worked as an AEP in Occupational Health for almost 15 years…my how time flies!

 

Over this period, I have seen tremendous growth in (and recognition of) the Exercise Physiology profession, particularly with the strong evidence for active-based treatment modalities proving so pivotal in improving injury recovery times. Over the years of my career, I have had the pleasure of helping many different people with a wide range of complex and challenging injuries achieve their recovery goals.

 

Winding back – my childhood years were somewhat unique. I spent time growing up in the Central Wheatbelt of Western Australia on a Wheat and Sheep Farm which was approximately 6500 acres, give or take! As you could imagine, this environment enabled fantastic opportunities to develop my love of outdoors and living an active lifestyle.

 

Since I was young, I always had a keen interest in sport, regularly playing for the local footy and basketball teams. Due to the geographical isolation of our farm, it would not be unusual for our family to travel more than 3 hours for training and games, particularly when I was lucky enough to gain a WAIS scholarship as a teenager. Due to my interest in exercise, I naturally gravitated towards completing an Exercise and Sports Science degree, ultimately specialising in Exercise Rehabilitation.

 

Jumping forward to the present, my beautiful wife Nikki and I have three wonderful kids, Caleb (8), Aidan (6) and Chelsea (3) who are such a blessing in our lives but they definitely ensure life is busy and there’s never a dull moment. Now things have come full circle and it is me driving my kids to their respective sports continuing the encouragement of an active lifestyle for optimal health and wellbeing.

Leigh Ashmore BSc(Sports Science) PGradDip (Exercise Rehabilitation)

Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist

 

 

Chronic Pain – Rewiring the Brain

The latest developments and research studies in neuroscience are revealing significant discoveries about pain. They are showing that chronic pain changes both the structure and function of our brain and nervous system.

It is no longer just about the body with the saying “no brain, no pain” never being more accurate.

Anatomy 101 – Throughout the body there are nerve endings that convey information up to your brain. The amount of nerve endings in a part of your body determines how much information is delivered to your brain.

How Chronic Pain Rewires the Brain
Chronic pain, over time, can cause changes in the way the brain is wired. Every time you feel pain the same pathways are stimulated in the brain. As a result, this pathway becomes more embedded in the brain. These changes are observable in the homunculus. The brain signals more neurons to “pay attention” to the painful stimulus. This is the beginning of an over-sensitised nervous system often termed, central sensitization.

3 approaches that can help!

  1. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy- CBT

CBT helps to identify and develop skills to change negative thoughts and behaviours. These tools can assist people in creating their own experiences and by changing their negative thoughts and behaviours. These strategies involve changing the awareness of pain and allow the development of better coping skills.

  1. Graded Motor Imagery- GMI

This involves using imagined movement and mirror-imagery to develop neuroplastic changes in the brain. This should be combined with exercise and movement of joints. One of the many ways this works is by decreasing fear associated with movement.

  1. Pain Education.

As previously discussed, chronic pain is often less about what is happening in the body and more about what is occurring in the brain. Learning about pain is proven to alleviate it. Depending on the circumstance, when you understand that if it is not about the body sending signals – then you can start to make the connection that often times it doesn’t mean you are damaged. Here is a great video to watch to better understand this concept created by Professor Lorimer Moseley – https://www.tamethebeast.org/

 

In this process it is also important to incorporate active management, rather than passive coping strategies.

  • Active management– ways to influence pain or to function despite pain – Exercise, activity pacing or support groups.
  • Passive coping – withdrawing and surrendering control to your pain eg. medication, surgery, or injections.

As with any condition, treatment for Chronic Pain should be comprehensive and specific to each case. If you would like more information on managing your chronic pain contact Absolute Balance by mail info@absolutebalance.com.au or view our website www.absolutebalance.com.au

Michael Buswell (B.Sc. – Exercise Physiology)

Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)

 

Crofford LJ. Chronic Pain: Where the Body Meets the Brain. Trans Am Clin Climatol Assoc. 2015;126:167-183.

Ahmad AH, Abdul Aziz CB. The brain in pain. Malays J Med Sci. 2014;21(Spec Issue):46-54.

Total Shoulder Arthroplasty (TSA)

Shoulder injuries are common among workers with job roles that are physically demanding and/or require repetitive use of the upper limb, particularly overhead.  Injuries range from shoulder bursitis and muscular strains, to multiple tendon tears with varying degrees of joint degeneration.  A total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA; arthroplasty is the surgical reconstruction or replacement of a joint) is used to treat advanced arthritic conditions when non-operative therapies have failed and pain levels and functional restrictions are interfering with both sleep and activities of daily living.  It is vital the non-operative therapies such as exercise rehabilitation and anti-inflammatory medications are afforded ample time to enable their benefits to take effect prior to proceeding with a TSA.  The exercise modalities also provide a valuable source of pre-habilitation to enhance the recovery outcomes post-surgery.

The shoulder joint (AKA: glenohumeral joint) is the most mobile joint in the body – think about all the movements you perform with your arm from washing your hair, to swimming and throwing a ball.  This ball and socket joint is comprised of the head of the humerus (ball) and the glenoid (socket) of the scapula.  Due to the high degree of movement that is capable occur at the shoulder, there are several key muscles and ligaments which provide stability to reduce the risk of injury.  Four of these muscles are collectively known as the rotator cuff, which consists of the subscapularis, infraspinatus, supraspinatus, and teres minor.  These muscles work together to ensure the head of the humerus remains centred within the glenoid and contribute to movements of the shoulder including rotation, extension, and abduction.

During a TSA, the degenerative ball and socket joint is replaced with polyethylene and metal components, mimicking the normal structure of the joint.  The long-term outcome post-surgery is dependent on several factors, one of these being exercise rehabilitation.  The rehabilitation will be individualised and focus on progressively improving shoulder range of motion, muscle activation patterns and restoring strength and endurance of the upper limb musculature.  The programme will focus on restoring scapular control and rotator cuff function to improve enhance the recovery process.  At Absolute Balance we establish specific goals based on the patient’s critical physical demands at home and work to facilitate a progressive return to pre-injury activities, in consultation with the treating specialists.  These goals help provide direction and an individualised approach to help achieve a positive outcome for the patient.

If you would like more information on shoulder injuries or other rehabilitation programmes that Absolute Balance can provide, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@absolutebalance.com.au

Daniel D’Avoine

BSc(ExerSc&Rehab) – AEP

Workers Compensation Specialist

 

References:

Boileau, P. (2016). Complications and revision of reverse total shoulder arthroplasty. Orthopaedics & Traumatology: surgery & research, 102(1), S33-S43.

Kiet, T.K., Feeley, B.T., Naimark, M., Gajiu, T., Hall, S.L., Chung, T.T., & Ma, C.B. (2015). Outcomes after shoulder replacement: comparison between reverse and anatomic total shoulder arthroplasty. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 24, 179-185.

Schwartz, B.E., Savin, D.D., Youderian, A.R., Mossad, D., & Goldberg, B.A. (2015). National trends and perioperative outcomes in primary and revision total shoulder arthroplasty. International Orthopaedics, 39, 271-276.

Simovitch, R., Flurin, P.H., Wright, T., Zuckerman, J.D., & Roche, C.P. (2018). Quantifying success after total shoulder arthroplasty: the minimal clinically important difference. Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 27, 298-305.

 

Why an Exercise Routine is So Important – Especially in the Current Climate.

I am willing to bet there are a quite a few people who have seen their usual day to day routine change drastically (probably more than once) over these past few months living in a post COVID -19 world. I am one of them, and although I did enjoy getting out of bed and commuting 10 metres to my laptop instead of halfway across the city – I have noticed that with these continual changing phases of lock-down I have not upheld my usual healthy routine. This is what many people who are injured and on workers compensation experience – a sudden change in routine. Suddenly they are not getting up to go to work, not doing the usual chores around the house, unable to perform their usual leisure activities. The same psychological effects of a change in routine apply, and we can use the same strategies to combat these negative effects.

Of course, as an Exercise Physiologist my first strategy is to continue with a consistent exercise routine. Unfortunately, different states of Australia are in varying degrees of lock-down but regardless of where you live ANY form of exercise that gets your heart rate up and your blood pumping is better than nothing. If work life and home life is melding into one due to working from home, I suggest blocking out a certain time of the day devoted to your personal health. Don’t wait for some “free time” to appear, before you know it, you’ll be nodding off on the couch in a food coma (a trap I have fallen into many times). Exercise has been proven to have a PROFOUND positive impact on depression and anxiety, conditions that are quite likely to be on the rise as social distancing and self-isolation becomes the norm over these next few months. Routine exercise will also help you keep your mind sharp and focussed to get through the working day – even amongst the maelstrom of children and pets and home life duties!

Sleep is also a MAJOR player when it comes to keeping sane and levelheaded while at home. Sleep deprivation can do some serious damage to your psychological state, and if there is nothing to wake up for, it is much more likely the late nights get later and later. Funnily enough, EXERCISE helps promote a healthier sleep cycle, which in turn again provides positive effects upon anxiety and depression levels.

The entire team at Absolute Balance are well versed in strategising individualised routine home exercises for our injured clients, if you feel that this change in lifestyle has effected your routine and possibly your mental state in a negative way please give us a call. We are happy to catch up one on one via Telehealth and provide our expert guidance.

Callan Smith

(B.Sc. Exercise & Sport Science, B.Sc. Exercise Science & Rehabilitation)

Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)

Gyms – How to get back in the swing.

Gyms are back!! Slowly around the country gyms will be dusting off the benches, turning on the machines, and opening back up with several Government restrictions easing for these facilities.

As an Exercise Physiologist, gyms are our ‘office’ – The team at Absolute Balance are all looking forward to getting back into these centres for both our rehabilitation clients and our own fitness and health.

We understand though that often it is so much harder to get back into the gym if you have had a lengthy break. Like some of our rehabilitation clients that have had their memberships put on hold – you may be in the process of recovering from an injury, outgrown the home gym you acquired in the last few months, or have decided that a gym membership is the best way to make health your priority. Whatever it may be, here are a few tips on how to get back to the gym and what to expect.

1. Expect a decrease

Regardless of whether you are a runner or a weightlifter – time off from exercise means that you will lose some of your capabilities.  This means that you may need to start at a lower weight or shorter duration.

The good news is that you can also achieve your goals quicker than it took for you to reach them in the first place thanks to muscle memory.

  1. Don’t rush it!

It can be frustrating knowing that you are not lifting the weights you once were or running as fast as you know you can, but you need to be patient. Work with the strength you have now and know that with consistency you will get back to where you want to be. By pushing this from your first session back, you run the risk of injury and will unfortunately need more time out of the gym! This applies to rehabilitation following an injury.

  1. Ease in and expect discomfort

Don’t try and do all of the exercises you know at once. By easing in this will allow your body time to adjust to the new stimulus and then you can gradually go back to your normal workout over time.

If you are getting back to the gym after a long break, you will most likely be feeling some soreness the next day. Once you start to get back into a routine, over the course of a few weeks this recovery will start to become faster. Remember to always warm-up and cool down. This is now even more important after a lengthy time off.

  1. Take those rest days!

Recovery is also a large part of being active. When you take a ‘day off’, your body is working to repair and refuel itself after the work you have done. This also helps you to be realistic about your frequency at the gym, allows you to have balance and to avoid the dreaded burnout.

Another useful tip is set some SMART goals and identify what motivates you to exercise. This can be analysed and applied using my previous blog on Self-determination theory –https://absolutebalance.com.au/self-determination-theory/.

If you would like more information on managing your return to the gym, Contact Absolute Balance by mail info@absolutebalance.com.au.

 

Michael Buswell
Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)

 

References

Bruusgaard JC, Johansen IB, Egner IM, Rana ZA & Gundersen K. (2010). Myonuclei acquired by overload exercise precede hypertrophy and are not lost on detraining. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 107, 15111– 15116.

Vaile, J., Halson, S. & Graham, S. (2010). Recovery review: Science vs. practice. Journal of Australian Strength and Conditioning, Suppl. 2, 5–21.

Workers Compensation Claims – Effects of COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen a change to the workers’ compensation system and the status of claims and how they are managed. Workers who have been on existing claims may be now restricted from returning to work. There may also be payment disruptions where workers have had their employment terminated due to business shutdowns. Medical treatment for those claims may be unavailable such as certain surgeries, hydrotherapy etc. Amongst other challenges, these issues pose a disruptive impact to the treatment and return to employment for the injured workers.

At Absolute Balance we treat a range of musculoskeletal injuries and stress related claims in the workers compensation system. As a consultant, I have seen my patients lose their positions with their previous employers or losing their graduated increase in hours as per their return to work plan due to the COVID-19 virus. The effect of this has not yet been reported in the WorkCover WA statistics however, the effect of this is starting to become apparent in the field.

Workers are losing focus and have had their goals disrupted due to their loss of workplace hours or no hours to go to. This places the worker in a holding pattern until suitable duties/hours are found. This has an impact on a worker’s physical function, especially if they were previously in a physical role however this also leads to an impact on their mental health and stress. According to WorkCover WA statistics, the number of stress-related claims in the previous 4 years has increased by 8% with this expected to be even higher when the effects of COVID-19 are analyzed. It is important to note that along with an increase in these claims, the average cost and duration is higher for stress-related claims with average days lost in 2018/2019 at 155 days.

Exercise physiology can play a part to continue to progress the workers during this difficult time. It has been supported by WorkCover WA to keep active at home and maintain their fitness and function. This provides a focus for the injured worker to stay on track to reach their rehabilitation goals to get their function back to pre-injury status. Just because the gyms are closed does not mean exercise has to cease. We have adapted our sessions to local parks whilst keeping social distancing requirements so that we can still progress patients through their rehabilitation. This has been especially important for those workers who were expecting to undergo surgery sooner as prehabilitation reduces anaesthetic risk and is associated with better postoperative outcomes. Workers who are suffering from mental health conditions and other stressors are still provided with structure, routine, a reason to leave the house, along with the additional benefits that exercise can provide for mental health conditions. For those workers who are currently not engaged in any treatment or have not been progressing due to the COVID-19 pandemic this poses as dangerous to the worker resulting in further loss of function and results in costly treatment and increased duration. Contact Absolute Balance to see how exercise rehabilitation can assist you to keep workers progressing.

Taylor Downes

Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)

References
WorkCover WA. (2020). COVID-19 Workers’ Compensation Claim Impacts. https://www.workcover.wa.gov.au/news/covid-19-workers-compensation-claim-impacts/
Government of Western Australia. (2020). Stress-related Workers’ Compensation Claims in WA. WorkCover WA. https://www.workcover.wa.gov.au/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/BISstatrep_20200331-2020-Stress-Related-Claims-Statistical-Note.pdf

Meet the Team – Daniel Nguyen

Xin chào (Hello in Vietnamese) I am Daniel Nguyen, and I have been working with Absolute Balance for 4 years, predominantly in the exercise rehabilitation team. I grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney and moved to Perth in 2003 with my parents when we started to realise that Sydney was getting too chaotic.

Growing up as an only child, the best way to entertain myself was to get involved with as many sporting teams and clubs as I could in school, including swimming, martial arts, baseball, soccer, and basketball just list a few. I aspired to become a professional swimmer or basketball player until I stopped breaking records in the pool and stopped growing in height. I soon realised that to continue my passion for sport, I needed to broaden my horizons. I decided to study a Bachelor of Science majoring in Exercise Physiology at Murdoch University. This provided numerous opportunities to work with a wide variety of industries ranging from conditioning elite athletes to assist people with sub-acute, chronic medical conditions and injuries.

During my short-lived basketball career, I sustained a serious knee injury which resulted in an ACL reconstruction. During my recovery and rehabilitation period, I got to implement the theory which I learned in my degree and put it into practice. From this experience, I discovered my drive and motivation to assist people who have sustained various musculoskeletal injuries. Working with Absolute Balance has provided me a great platform for me to not only grow my clinical skills but to also educate my clients and all stakeholders the benefits of exercise both mentally and physically. Over the years, I grew interests in knee and lower back injuries. This was mainly due to sustaining a knee injury myself but also due to my dad who sustained a lower back injury at his workplace that forced him to change job roles. From these experiences, I am able to Empower, Empathise and Encourage my clients through their recovery journey.

Outside of work I love spending time outdoors with my family and friends whether it is hiking, going to the beach, camping, fishing, or going for long bike rides along the coast. I am a bit of a foodie; I love trying new food at different restaurants, local cafes, and food trucks. This interest lead to another interest in traveling around the world to experience different authentic cuisines. I have traveled to Vietnam, USA, Canada, Singapore, Malaysia, and Bali.

Over the years of my career, I have had the opportunity to work and help many different people with a wide range of injuries and conditions. It gives me great satisfaction knowing that I have impacted their lives for the better whether it is improving their quality of life, return to work or return to sport.

Daniel Nguyen (B.Sc. Exercise Physiology)

Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AES, AEP) (ESSAM)

 

Meniscus tear case study – Scaffolder

Absolute Balance recently received a referral for a 6o year old scaffolder who had injured his knee at work as a result of stepping down out of a truck and twisting awkwardly. After an MRI scan was completed it showed a medial meniscal tear, which resulted in the worker having a variety of questions ranging from required treatment, likelihood of returning to work and the prospects of returning to an active lifestyle.

As is the normal process when seeing an injured worker, education on the injury forms a large part of the initial sessions and continues throughout the rehab process – essentially an anatomy 101 class specific to the injury. This case was no different, with these questions continually addressed and revisited from the initial review with the specialist to the weekly exercise appointments. The anatomy 101 class can be summarised into these three FAQ’s below.

  • What Is the Meniscus?

The meniscus is a wedge-shaped structure that is made of fibrocartilage. Together the medial meniscus and the lateral meniscus provide stability and cushioning to the knee.

  • What’s the Treatment for a Meniscus Tear?

This depends on the size and location of the tear. It is also influenced by age, activity level and related injuries. If the knee is not locking up, is stable, and symptoms settle, nonsurgical treatment will involve rest, ice and most importantly strengthening exercises.  If a tear is large, unstable and causes locking symptoms, surgery may be required with physical rehabilitation to follow.

  • Can I return to my physical job role and active lifestyle?

Yes! Dedication and consistency to maintaining strength, flexibility and a healthy lifestyle will give the best long-term prognosis for both returning to work and returning to previous levels of activity.

 

During the initial assessment with this worker they were unable to complete a full squat due to pain levels and restrictions in range of motion, were limited to several step ups and could not walk for more than 5 minutes.

After just the third supervised session and consistently following the non-surgical recommendations above, the worker has been completing full squats with 5kgs, is able to step up repetitively with no discomfort and has been cycling three days per week.

Through the use of education and empowerment the patient has taken control of the injury and is well on their way to getting back to what they love and enjoy. This case study will be revisited soon with an update on how things are tracking and what stage of the rehab timeline it is at.

If you would like more information on managing your meniscus injury contact Absolute Balance by mail info@absolutebalance.com.au or view our website www.absolutebalance.com.au

Michael Buswell (B.Sc. –  Exercise Physiology)
Senior Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP) (ESSAM)

References.

Herrlin SV, Wange PO, Lapidus G, Hallander M, Werner S,  Weidenhielm L. and Is arthroscopic surgery beneficial in treating non-traumatic, degenerative medial meniscal tears? A five year follow-up. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc.

Sonesson, S., Kvist, J., Yakob, J., Hedevik, H., & Gauffin, H. (2020). Knee Arthroscopic Surgery in Middle-Aged Patients With Meniscal Symptoms: A 5-Year Follow-up of a Prospective, Randomized Study. Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine. https://doi.org/10.1177/2325967119893920

 

My Training Zone

When you exercise, are you working hard or hardly working? Exercising at the correct intensity can help you get the most out of your workout — making sure you are not pushing too hard or doing too little.

One of the obvious ways to measure exercise intensity is to determine how you feel during the activity — your perceived exertion. Your perceived exertion level may be different from how someone else feels doing the same exercise as it depends on the individual’s fitness level. Exercise intensity is also shown in your breathing, whether you’re sweating, and how tired your muscles feel.

Another way to gauge is to check your heart rate. There are two ways to do this; take your pulse on your wrist for 30 seconds and multiply by 2. The other way is to use an activity tracker that includes a heart rate monitor ie – fitness watch.

Have you ever wondered what intensity you are working at?  Find out below, the 5 target heart rate zones:

  • Zone 1: Very Light
    50-60% of your max heart rate improves overall health & aids recovery – should focus on this zone for active rest days x 1 per week.
  • Zone 2: Light
    60-70% of your max heart rate improves basic endurance & fat burning – should focus on this zone for steady-state cardio 1-2 days per week.
  • Zone 3: Moderate
    70-80% of your max heart rate improves aerobic fitness, increases blood circulation to skeletal muscles and bones – should focus on this zone on hard workout days 3-4 days per week.
  • Zone 4: Hard
    80-90% of your max heart rate, increase max performance capacity, helps train body to use carbs for energy & to filter lactic acid more efficiently – should focus on this zone on hard workout days 3-4 days per week.
  • Zone 5: Max
    90-100% of your max heart rate – this zone is more for high-performance athletes to develops maximum performance and speed. It is ok to be in this heart rate zone for short periods of time during challenging workouts but not maintainable for a prolonged time.

How to find your target heart rate zone?
(220 – age = projected max HR x target HR zone)

Example – A 40-year-old individual intending to work on a moderate level of 70%.

(220 – 40 = 180 x 0.70 = 126 bpm)

The above individual will have to aim for 126 beats per minute to be working at a moderate pace. As mentioned before

Consider your reasons for exercising. Do you want to improve your fitness, lose weight, train for a competition or do a combination of these? Your answer will help determine the appropriate level of exercise intensity. Balance is still important. Overdoing it can increase your risk of soreness, injury, and burnout. Start at a light intensity if you’re new to exercising. Gradually build up to moderate or vigorous intensity.

Note that several types of medications, including some medications to lower blood pressure, can lower your maximum heart rate, and then lower your target heart rate zone. Ask your doctor if you need to use a lower target heart rate zone because of any of your medications or medical conditions. Interestingly, research shows that interval training, which includes short bouts (around 15 to 60 seconds) of higher intensity exercise alternated with longer rest time, is well tolerated. It’s even safe for those with heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This type of training is also very effective at increasing your cardiovascular fitness and promoting weight loss.

Be realistic and don’t push yourself too hard, too fast. Health and Fitness is a lifetime commitment, not a sprint to a finish line. Come and talk to one of the Absolute Balance Exercise Physiologist for further assistance.

Norlina Yakin

Exercise Physiologist

 

https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/exercise-intensity/art-20046887

https://www.polar.com/blog/running-heart-rate-zones-basics/