Our Fresh Start Fitness Boot camp incorporates the most effective workouts for your cardio vascular fitness, muscular strength and endurance and flexibility . We also want your holiday to be fun so there is an emphasis on enjoyment and enjoying the cultural delights of Chiang Mai. We also want there to be an educational element, therefore, during the course of this week, we will be sending you blogs related to the activities you will be doing at our fitness bootcamp along with some ideas that will help keep you on track after you leave our fitness bootcamp holiday.
The Fresh Start programme is made up of many elements, including walking, cycling, orienteering, bleep test, aqua, yoga, pilates, Muay Thai, pool games, circuits, kettle bells, HITT, strength and team games.
We have summarized the benefits of these so that you know what you will get from each of these elements:
Research shows that engaging in moderate exercise every day, which includes brisk walking, jogging, strength training and HIIT can repair old DNA and have anti-aging benefits in the body, adding three to seven years to your life . Wow that is reason to exercise!
Walking is considered a mood lifter as it triggers the release of endorphins – the natural pain-killers of your body . It improves cognitive function and even slows down the onset of dementia.
Walking regularly can also improve sleep and circulation, support joint health and reduce chances of disability in adults over 65 . According to another study, walking two miles a day can reduce your chances of hospitalization from severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by half . Walking for at least one hour per day can reduce a male’s risk of stroke by as much as one-third, regardless of his pace .
There’s more. Walking also boosts your immunity. One study found that postmenopausal women involved in a walking training program show improvements in harmful immune effects linked to menopause . This is why we love to walk at Fresh Start! We will be sending you a deeper look at the benefits of walking in nature on Sunday!
When we were kids, we would use our bikes for fun or to get to school. As we reach adulthood, some of us drop our bicycles and only use the gym for exercise. People often view exercise as a chore but when we were kids, we’d ride our bikes because it gave us a freeing feeling in the great outdoors. We want to bring this feeling back in our fitness bootcamp.
Cycling involves a great deal of pedalling, which means it is a great toning exercise for your calves and thighs. However, what most people don’t understand that it’s an all-over physical workout that works your core, shoulders and arms as well. Your arms are constantly engaged while balancing the cycle and your legs are connected to your core. Due to the increase in muscle flexibility, cycling also boosts cardiovascular health . Studies also show that cycling reduces risk of cancer, arthritis, diabetes and obesity , , . Needless to say, the constant movement involved in cycling helps you lose weight, improves your energy levels and boosts stamina. We have a wonderful cycle ride for you on Sunday which will take you through picturesque Thai villages and we will also take you to a local cultural attraction.
According to researchers from Harvard, just eight weeks of yoga every day can significantly improve sleep quality in people suffering from insomnia . Yoga is a great stress-buster as well. One study found that bi-weekly yoga sessions helped cancer survivors feel less fatigued and sleep better in the night . Yoga incorporates breathing exercises, which allows you to slow down and connect with yourself. This helps you relax better and hence, fall asleep much faster.
Research also shows that yoga helps reduce the intensity and frequency of migraines among migraine sufferers . Our daily actions, especially hunching over to view cellphones and computers can tighten the neck and over-lift the trapezius, causing muscle imbalances that may contribute to migraines and headaches. The various poses and stretching involved in yoga counteract these imbalances. Other studies show that yoga can significantly reduce anxiety, depression, muscle tension, anger and hostility and fatigue . We think yoga is a great way to end one of our bootcamp days and a perfect antidote to the hard slog we do!
HITT (High Intensity Interval Training)
HIIT involves intense bursts of activity with short rest breaks, making it a fast and highly effective fat-burning workout. One study shows that 12 weeks of HIIT reduces your waistline, zaps visceral fat and boosts lean muscle mass and aerobic power .
HIIT also leads to rapid and significant changes in DNA among healthy yet inactive people, increasing their fat burning capacity . Another study showed that individuals were able to improve their blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity with just two weeks of HIIT, indicating that it can effectively reduce one’s risk of diabetes, metabolic disease and other chronic illnesses .
Tabata is a style of HITT training that our trainers like to subject you too!
Muay Thai is the national sport of Thailand and an integral part of our fitness programme. Muay Thai is a striking art that incorporates attacking movements from the fists, knees, elbows and feet. It improves your cardio vascular conditioning, leg, arm and core strength and it’s great for increased hip mobility. It is also an excellent stress buster as you kick and punch the stress away!
We are lucky enough to have some Muay Thai fighters and trainers working at the bootcamp!
Just like muscle, bone is a dynamic tissue that responds to weight-bearing and resistance exercises. During a resistance exercise, your muscle pulls on bone, creating tension that fortifies bone tissue. Pilates includes resistance via resistance bands and apparatus springs but most moves in Pilates are also body-weight exercises that work muscles. This makes Pilates a great workout to improve bone density and reduce risk of bone-related diseases, such as osteoarthritis .
Pilates also strengthens your abdominal muscles because you are contracting your ab muscles with each movement. It targets the deep abdominal muscles like the transverse abdominis, along with the superficial ones such as the rectus abdominis (that forms the six-pack). Pilates is great for core stability as well, which is linked to a myriad of benefits such as improved posture, improved low back pain and reduced risk of injury.
Pilates also improves flexibility and balance, which reduces risk of injury . The flexibility factor comes in because unlike most exercises that only involve the sagittal plane of motion, such as in the case of crunches that has only forward and back motions, Pilates involves movements in several planes. There is an increased range of motion throughout the body, which helps improve flexibility and reduce injury risk.
Also called the shuttle run test and beep test, this 20 meter multistage fitness test uses cones on a flat surface that mark out lines 20 meters apart. The test involves a special recording that indicates when the runner should start and when the runner should reach the other cone and turn through beeps. As the test progresses, the beeps get closer by each minute, which represents a level. If the runner does not reach the line by the time there is a beep, the runner has two beeps to catch up. The test is stopped if the runner fails to catch up.
The last level needs to be completed successfully to determine an individual’s fitness level, which ranges from poor to excellent depending on the results of the test. Online calculators can be used to convert test results to VO2 max scores for more accuracy on fitness levels .
Richard used to do the bleep test in both the marines and the police,hence it’s inclusion into our fitness bootcamp programme!
Our fitness bootcamp includes aqua fitness sessions include pool noodles because what most people don’t know that the foam toy is also an effective toning tool. A pool noodle is a buoyant device, which allows you use multiple muscle groups because they have to work to counter its floatation. This helps firm up your body and burn maximum calories because you’re working two opposing muscle groups by the resistance of water, which is higher than that of air.
Resistance under water is also linked to reduced stress on joints thanks to the buoyancy of water, making aqua workouts great for those who can’t exercise on land . They also reduce risk of injury because resistance is provided in multiple directions.
Our fitness bootcamp is all about circuits. A circuit training programme generally consists of 9-12 exercise stations to target your cardio vascular fitness and all your major muscle groups. You’ll be performing up between 30-60 seconds on each station with short rest breaks in between. Depending on your fitness trainer and fitness level, you’ll be repeating an entire circuit 1-3 times.
Circuit training comes with many benefits. One obvious benefit is that it boosts functional strength. Doing circuit training every week increases muscle endurance, which dictates the number of flights of stairs you can climb, how many pushups you can perform in a row and so on before getting tired . Circuit training also improves your body composition – in other words, your muscle-fat percentage. Increased muscle mass means you will burn more calories during workouts and even rest.
If you thought our programmes were already diverse enough, think again. Our fitness bootcamp also includes orienteering in groups from the local area, where you must use your navigational skills to travel through unfamiliar terrain. It’s a competitive activity that makes it fun for any age-group.
Orienteering involves walking, jogging and hiking at a decent speed, which means it boosts you cardiovascular strength, provides muscle toning and wards of disease.
However, orienteering is not just an activity that demands physical strength and ability. It requires mental skills too to formulate strategies on how to overcome obstacles and reach your goals. An orienteer has to come with the best decision on the directions that need to be taken within a short time period. Decision making needs to be quick and smart, which puts an orienteer under a healthy amount of pressure and thus, boosts his or her mental skills.
Another major benefit is that it helps boosts self-esteem. An orienteer has to be courageous and believe that he or she can complete an entire course and surpass its challenges to be victorious.
Your heart rate elevates rapidly when you swing kettlebells – this effect is equivalent to any form of jumping exercise. According to one study, you can burn up to 20 calories a minute with kettlebells depending on how hard you work 
Ketllebell workouts are easy on your body and typically flow from one exercise to the other, similar to the vinyasa flow in yoga.
Kettlebells are great conditioning tools as they increase cardiovascular and muscular health. Switching a kettlebell from one hand to the other employs more mobility and coordination as well. Furthermore, kettlebells are incredibly versatile and can be incorporated in any exercise form, from traditional cardio to HIIT and Tabata.
The benefits of strength training apart from the obvious toning up and strengthening, include a boost in metabolic rate and fat loss (yes, you can burn fat while weightlifting), injury prevention, improved self-esteem and IQ, stronger bones, increased flexibility and better posture , , , . Strengthening workouts are also great mood-lifters.
Our fitness bootcamp also helps individuals work together with team games involving tyres and jerry cans! These encourage teamwork, thus boosting confidence and developing relationships among team members. The games also provide consistent physical training to boost health and fitness.
Our Fresh Start fitness bootcamp is constantly striving to incorporate variety into its fitness regime. It currently includes a number of routines that aren’t only effective in boosting health and fitness, but are incredibly fun as well and even help recruit your mental skills. Our guests always comment on how diverse our range of activities are. We also try and make each week slightly different for guests that are staying for multiple weeks with different cultural attractions, exercises and walks.
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