Monday, 17 June 2013

The Importance of a Strong Core

This article will discuss what the core is, why it is important to build a strong core and also look at some key exercises to help to develop a strong core.

What is our core?

I would suggest, from personal experience, that many people believe our core to be the abdominal muscles. And this is partly true. However, there is much more to the core than just our abs. The muscles in the lower back, pelvis and hips also make up our core. 

Why is it important to build a strong core?

Our core is so vital to most of our movement that it is important to develop a strong core for a number of reasons. 

  • A strong core can help with our balance and stability.
  • A strong core can help to reduce our chances of injury. Developing our core leads to a greater range of motion for us and thus makes us far less likely to get injured. 
  • We need a strong core to help us with daily tasks. Bending, reaching and twisting are all aided with a strong, healthy core and these are things that we do every single day. 
  • Developing our core is a major thing with sports. Athletes of all levels should look to build their core as it can lead to an improved performance. We can swing better, run faster and kick further.

Some key exercises to develop our core

There are many exercises that can be used to develop and strengthen our core muscles. At a beginners level there are simple exercises that will start building our core. As we progress we can change these exercises, making them harder to improve our core even further. 

Sit-ups and crunches, planks (bridges), push-ups, squats and leg raises are some of the basic exercises that we can do to develop and strengthen our core muscles. Once we master these, we can advance upon them. For example, we can start adding side planks, one armed push-ups and pistol squats into our routines. 


It is clear that the core is vital to our everyday lives, but it can also help us steer clear of injury and enhance our sports performance. There are many exercises we can do to strengthen the core, including crunches and planks. 

Monday, 10 June 2013

Push Up/Squat/Core Circuit for Beginners

Today we will look at a small circuit that will tone and strengthen our core, as well as our arms and legs. This circuit is designed for beginners but can be adjusted to suit your own needs. As we get better at this circuit, we can increase the reps for each exercise.

There are only three exercises in this circuit, but the key to getting the most from it is to not stop exercising. This circuit is excellent when combined with half an hour of pure cardio (think 30mins of jogging).

The Circuit

10 push-ups

12 squats

20 abdominal crunches

12 push-ups

15 squats

25 abdominal crunches

15 push-ups

20 squats

30 abdominal crunches

Note: ensure proper form is executed with each exercise. 

Monday, 3 June 2013


Many people do not realise that the amount of salt they consume on a daily basis could be putting their heart at risk. With that in mind, this blog entry will look into salt, looking at how much is too much, where salt is found and tips on how to reduce our salt intake. 

How Much is Too Much Salt

It is recommended, by health experts, that adults consume less than 6g of salt a day. A level teaspoon of salt is about 6g.

Currently, in the United Kingdom, the average intake of salt on a daily basis is above the recommended maximum allowance. 

Where Is The Salt?

Some of the main culprits of containing high levels of salt are processed foods, canned soups, take away foods and ready meals.

When we are out shopping it is important to look out for foods like baked beans, pizzas, pork pies and some breakfast cereals.

Effects of Too Much Salt

Consuming too much salt can have a negative impact upon our health. Too much salt can increase the risk of us developing high blood pressure, and this can lead to coronary heart disease.

Tips To Avoid Consuming Too Much Salt

Here are some tips to reduce the amount of salt in our diet:

  • Remove the salt pot from the dinner table
  • Check food labels when shopping
  • Add herbs and spices as a salt replacement
  • Switch salty snacks for fruits and veg
  • Avoid generally salty foods such as bacon
  • Be aware of cooking sauces as some are high in salt content
Salt is so easily over-consumed without the right knowledge and understanding. If we remain aware of how much salt we are allowed (maximum 6g per day) and we learn how to control our intake we will be fine.

Leave a comment, I look forward to your feedback.