HOLISTIC TRAINING

  "I realised that in order to optimise health, we need to learn to manage external stressors on a day to day basis, by making conscious, smart choices based upon awareness of how you feel at that moment in time." - Casall ambassador Matthew Griffiths.

TRAINING TO BE HOLISTIC

Take an honest look at your lifestyle and see what areas need to be improved. Work towards enabling better sleep, better nutrition, better training, better thoughts and more control with your social network. “Work one area at a time and embrace the process, take your time and avoid rushing - the most sustainable changes are the ones completed in baby steps”, Matthew recommends warmly. The next step is to strengthen the muscles we use in everyday life, i.e. the muscles that stabilise the spine, the shoulders and the hips. A strong physical foundation is also critical for success in regular training. Matthew recommends ‘functional training’ and tools such as gym balls, rubber bands, mats and balance tools. The exercises are similar to everyday movements (replicating natural movements patterns such as pushing, pulling, squatting, lunging, lifting and rotating) with the number of repetitions, resistance or weight being adapted to strengthen the body so that it functions as well as possible for the stresses the individual is exposed to in everyday life.


 

5 EXERCISE TIPS

Here are Matthew’s top 5 exercises tips for improved energy, stress release as well as strengthening your posture.

1. Upper back Self-massage with pressure point ball

How: Place the pressure point ball on the muscular region beside the shoulder blade, then slowly begin move up and down and side to side massaging the muscles. Complete 45-60sec of massage,
then switch sides.

Benefits: A great way to reduce tension in the upper back and neck area.

2. Glute Self-massage with pressure point ball

How: Place the pressure point ball on the muscular region under the glute, then slowly begin move up and down and side to side massaging the muscle. Complete 45-60sec of massage, then switch sides.

Benefits: A great way to reduce tension in glute area and lower
back.

3. Hip Extension with rubber bands

How: Place one or two bands (if you want more resistance) around the legs as illustrated, with the legs positioned at 90 degrees. Start with the hips on the floor or a mat, then push the hips upwards
as shown, hold for a couple of second then slowly lower the hips.

Complete 15 -20 reps, with 1-2 sets.

Benefits: This will help strength the glutes, hamstrings and core,
resulting in a stronger hips and better posture.

4. Single leg, two arm flex band pull

How: First attach the flex band around a fixed object, making sure the band is evenly placed and is at chest height. Stand on one leg with a slight bend in the knee, keeping a tall back with chest and
gaze lifted and arms straight. Then pull the band with both arms, until your elbows are at 90 degrees, then slowly straighten your arms again while keeping a tall back. To increase the effort, stand further away from the band’s fixed point.

Complete 15-20 reps, with 2-3 sets

Benefits: This will strength the muscles through the upper back, core and all the muscles in the standing leg.

5. Flex band core rotation

How: First attach the flex band around a fixed object, making sure the band is evenly placed and is at chest height. Stand with the legs apart and slightly bent, facing the band, keeping a tall back with
chest and gaze lifted and arms straight. Make a controlled rotation using your back and core muscles turn 90 degrees and then return back to the start position.

Repeat on the other side, then alternate between left and right for 20 reps.

Benefits: This will strength the muscles through the upper back and core region.


 

HOLISTIC WAY OF LIFE

External stressors can affect the function and performance of the body, far more than we appreciate and it’s hard to predict how you will feel on a particular day. Imagine you had a stressful day at work, missed lunch, forgot to drink water, drank too much coffee, and this left you drained and tired. It is worth remembering, that the body detects all stress as stress, whether it is positive stress such as an intensive run or negative stress such as a bad night of sleep. We can use training to counteract stress and find better balance in the body, but rather than a high intensity training session opt for energy-building exercises, such as stretching, light cardio or calm yoga.

Matthew suggests starting with developing and training the following five areas, in which he believes we need to find balance in order to achieve improved well-being and health.

Your self

Mental health is important so spend time investing in developing positive thoughts, good feelings and creating realistic visions. Adding a mind & body practice is good way to get started with improving mental health.

Your social network

Finding some work/life balance; allowing for personal growth as well as building friendships and loving relationships and being happy in your working and living conditions are all vital to this.

Your sleep

Get regular, peaceful, deep sleep of between 8-10 hours a night. This includes rest, power naps and energy-building activities such as meditation and breathing exercises.

Your training

Regular, functional training (which helps us to work better in everyday life) and exercise adapted to what your day holds – perhaps today you need some yoga or trail running or even body weight training.

Your nutrition

Food should give us energy and benefit the body, not be a burden on it. Organic foods without additives and a minimum of stimulants (such as coffee) promote health and contribute to a healthier environment. Good hydration throughout the day is a must!