Archive for Fitness Challenge

Walking Group @ The Melbourne Botanical Gardens AKA ‘The Tan’eal

Hello Ladies…

As part of my plan to stay in shape this winter I’ve decided to start a walking group around the beautiful botanical gardens of Melbourne to keep fit by walking around the ‘Tan’. Anyone interested please contact me. Walks will take place Monday to Friday, Mornings and evenings, time to be confirmed.



This is free! Just turn up and we can go for walk. Bring your runners please!


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Dreaming of A Flat Tummy

Dreaming of a flat tummy? Here are a few tips from Melbourne’s Function Force, Personal Trainer, Craig Moir.

According to Craig Moir, personal trainer and my personal torturer, flat tummy and killer abs have nothing to do with stomach crunches. For him (and he’s got the eight pack to prove it! That’s right, not six but eight!), exercises that strengthen the core are the key to a tummy worth showing off. The 39 year old, former bowl cancer survivor credits his physic and strong abs to maintaining a good posture throughout his day and activating his tummy muscles during all exercises including running.

According to Craig you can do all the crunches you like but it wont mean that you will get a hard rock tummy. Unfortunately most people when performing abdominal exercises fail to activate the correct muscle groups. Most focus sorely on the rectus abdomus which are the muscles worked mostly during sit up. They tend to leave out the Transverse Abdominal muscles, obliques and the erectus spina. The lower back is also part of the core. There are many muscles involved in attaining what we call the six pack of flat abs. They form part of the core.

The diagram below is from  Go Senior Fitness

In the olden days it was all about people walking straight and maintaining a tall posture. Maintaining a straight posture throughout the day could be more beneficial than doing stomach crunches because when you’re walking straight or standing or sitting straight you’re forced to activate the core muscles giving you a stronger core.

Besides a flat stomach having a strong core also means less back pain, especially for those who spend hours behind a desk.



Here are some of the core exercise that are part of the circuit and boxing training at Function Force Gym Brunswick

The above image is from No Iron Fitness

Image from Riverside Online,

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Foods for Weight Loss – Stevia, The Sugar Substitute

The word may mean absolutely nothing to you but this darling herb is the new kid on the block in the health industry. I’ve tried the commercially produced Stevia and also bought the plant. It’s freaky but the leaves actually taste sweet!) is the new sugar alternative.

Unlike it’s other sugar substitutes on the weight loss circuit, it’s not manufactured in a laboratory and hasn’t yet been found to cause cancer in rats or mice. You can grow this one in your herb garden!

Stevia is thirty times sweeter than sugar, has no calories. The body cannot breakdown the glycosides, the natural compound responsible for the sweetness, therefore you get zero calories.

It’s not bad tasting. Eating green leaves that tasted sweet was a little weird.

For recipes using Stevia, check out the Stevia Website

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Probiotics – Could these germs stop you from bloating?

If you thought then only way to a flat stomach was through exercise and painful crunches the you’re wrong. Most women have their flat stomachs hijacked by bloating. And I used to be one of them. I work and I’m fairly fit and most mornings I would wake up with a tummy that I could be proud. After breakfast, it was allover. My tummy would grow and grow with every meal that I ate and by night time I looked like I had a three month baby bump… til I re-discovered probiotics.

No. Probiotics have nothing to do with robots or robotics. Also known as ‘friendly bacteria or good bacteria’ . The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, defines probiotics as “live microorganisms, which, when administered in adequate amounts, confer a health benefit on the host.”

Microorganisms are tiny living organisms, which include bacteria, viruses, and yeasts, that can be seen only under a microscope. In the case of Pro-biotics, they are mostly bacteria and although you’ve all probably been freaked out by all the recent talks of germs and it seems soap and detergent manufactures are currently running a scare campaign against germs (every soap, wipe or hand wash seems to be have an anti-microbial agent in it!).

above diagram has been taken from Ecology Healthy Click on diagram to view sight.

Micro-organisms have been around longer than we have (sorry for the side track, I’m a qualified food technologist and I love talking about bacteria) and they live inside us and form part of the gut flora (this just means that there’s a lot of bacteria in your gut and some of them are good and some of them can cause a few issues if their numbers get too high) and are on our skin and in our nasal cavities. You can also find groups of bacteria in your private parts.

You can also find bacteria and other micro-organisms in our foods like yoghurt, small goods (think salamis and smoked goods) and other dairy products which rely on the action on the action of bacteria to impart certain cheese flavors that some people take for granted

Of course there’s always dispute about the so called benefits of ‘friendly bacteria or good bacteria’. As with everything, so called experts can’t seem to agree.

‘Friendly bacteria are vital to proper development of the immune system, to protection against microorganisms that could cause disease, and to the digestion and absorption of food and nutrients. Each person’s mix of bacteria varies. Interactions between a person and the microorganisms in his body, and among the microorganisms themselves, can be crucial to the person’s health and well-being’

Above are some of the reason’s that I take probiotics. The other main reason is bloating. Bloating has always been a nightmare for me and the only way I’ve been able to control bloating is by cutting down on fruits and taking probiotics. This may sound disgusting  but probiotics also helped the consistency of my poo. It’s made it firmer.

Although I’m daily intolerant I take two table spoons of drinking yoghurt every morning on an empty stomach. The reason I take it on an empty stomach is so that my food doesn’t interfere with the bacteria. Bacteria are sensitive to things like acids, salt, sugar, and heat, amongst other things in food. I want to give the bacteria that I’m drinking the best chance to colonize my insides so I make sure I don’t eat anything that will affect it for at least half an hour. This is just me!

The reason why I take a probiotic that is milk based in the form of a drinking yoghurt is because I have tried capsules and powders. Capsules and powders made my poo runny. Another thing about the types of bacteria and yeasts found in probiotics is that a lot of them grow better in certain environment For example, if I wanted to grow Lactobacillus acidophilus (which is one of the main types of bacteria found in probiotics)in the laboratory,  I would grow it in milk because the milk proteins will promote the bacteria growth better. And I can always tell how viable probiotics are in liquid form by smelling the liquid. In short I’ve gotten better results from drinking probiotics in liquid form than I have in powder or capsule.

Want more information on Probiotics? Here’s a list of articles that might be helpful

David Wolfson, N.D.Probiotics, A Primer’, 1999, Nutrition News

Jeanne A. Drisko, Cheryl K. Giles, Bette J. Bischoff, 'Probiotics in Health Maintenance and Disease Prevention',2003 
Alternative Medicine Review, volume 8, Number 2

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Body Makeover – Benefits of Boxing and Circuit Training

It’s nine pm and normally my mind would be buzzing and I would not have any problems typing or thinking. But I’m exhausted! Thanks to the boxing class that I’ve just taken at the Brunswick Gym, Function Force (for more information see their website It’s part of my new get back into shape regime recommended by my on and off personal trainer. I don’t have problems exercising,in fact when I start exercising, I enjoy it and I often wonder why I don’t do it often. I’ve found it hard working from home making the time to go out to the gym and work out. I’ve become like many other people, with gym memberships they regularly pay for but don’t attend. I’ve been hoping that one day I’ll just get up and go to the gym like I used to but it hasn’t happened.

I’m currently working out four to five times a week at the Function Force gym taking two to three boxing classes and two to three circuit classes. My personal trainer has recommended both the boxing and the circuit classes as a way of improving my overall fitness as well as a way to tone up. Hopefully just in time for summer and the bikini season.

I’m currently in my second week of classes and the challenge is to work out for six weeks and then report back on the results. Another girl who goes to the same gym has managed to lose at least 15 kilos since the gym opened in June this year just by doing the Function Force Training Camps (similar to boot camp) three times a week. There’s another guy who regularly attends both my boxing and circuit class who is seriously disappearing. I can’t believe how much he’s lost and my boxing partner claims to feel so full of energy that she just often takes off for a jog.

I’m half way through week two and I can already feel my body getting used to exercising again. I can’t claim to have lost any weight, I did weigh myself before I started and I weighed 62.9 kilos. I’ll re-weigh myself next week to see if I’ve lost any weight. My goal weight is 59 kg ( I look ridiculous if I go below this figure). And I hope to lose this weight by the end of the six weeks which should be on the 12th of Nov 2011. I started on the 8th of October 2011. I hope to just be more excited and motivated to train and also to hopefully be motivated to get back into weight training which I used to love.

Benefits Of Boxing

It doesn’t matter whether you know anything about professional boxing, one thing that Us sporting enthusiasts notice about boxers is their lean toned bodies that are always well proportioned regardless of body size. Their movements are always sharp and and light, nothing sluggish about boxing. You don’t have to be a boxer or get into a ring and fight to get the benefits of boxing for fitness. It’s well documented that boxing is a great way to tone, strengthen the body, and develop aerobic fitness for overall fitness. The guys at Function Force run a variety of boxing classes focusing on proper punching techniques, foot movement that will get your body moving and sweating at the same time.

The boxing and all their training is done barefoot. That’s right, you don’t train with shoes. Barefoot training is part of the Function Force training philosophy. They believe that when you train without shoes your feet are more responsive to movement and that you’re better able to control your movement because you’re able to sense the movement. It’s a little bit like touching things with your hand verses touching things with your hand wearing gloves. What’s going to give you the greatest sense of touch, gloves or your own hands and fingers?Anyway barefoot training and running is gaining momentum throughout the fitness industry and Nike, the very innovative company that have developed shoes that mimic the feeling of being barefoot.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is something that used to be a staple of many gym classes but I haven’t seen a circuit training class for over ten years until now. Circuit training offers the same exercise benefits as boxing only you don’t have to wear gloves. The principle of circuit training has always been to improve all the bodies energy systems – Aerobic and anaerobic (Lactic Acid and the Creatine Phosphate system), improve strength, power, and muscle tone.  The guys use the Function Force philosophy of every movement in the circuit and therefore exercise being relevant in the development of fitness. They make sure that the exercises included work every muscle in the body or as many muscle groups as possible

Benefits Of Group Exercises at Function Force

The great thing about working out at Function Force is that you’re working out in a small group of people so the trainers have the opportunity to make sure everyone is  well looked after.  The instructors (my personal trainer) makes sure that I work at my own pace but at a pace that’s challenging enough for me. It’s a little like a group personal training session. And everyone that trains there has one thing on their mind getting fit. No they are not meat heads or fitness fanatics just people who want to make the most of their work out and that’s very important to me.

The other is that it doesn’t matter how fit you are. Your fitness goals are personal and yours. The trainers will help you meet your goals and give you any additional information and tips that maybe helpful.

Classes at Function Force


MMA (Mixed Martial Arts)

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Circuit Traing

No memberships, pay as you go, no commitments! Open 6 days a week, personal training available visit for more information.

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