Friday, 28 August 2009

Exercise won't make you thin


I thought it was a done deal! I exercise more therefore I burn more calories and stand a better chance of fighting the flab. Ah, but that it were that easy.... After reading a recent article in Time magazine I can see my efforts are futile.

So my exercising might make me feel good-of that there's no doubt but what I really need to do is knock off the post work out muffins.

"In general, for weight loss, exercise is pretty useless," says Eric Ravussin, chair in diabetes and metabolism at Louisiana State University and a prominent exercise researcher.

The regular exercise I do *may* reduce my risk of developing some of those really nasty diseases so that's coolio, but not help me lose weight. This thinking had baffled me but I read on and was enlightened: your metabolism is regulated by the exercise you do. If you do more exercise you are likely to get more hungry. It's that simple, plus you might be more likely to indulge yourself in an aforementioned post-workout 'treat', piling back more than the colories you burned off.

The important thing about exercise for me, though, isn't the weight loss it's about that great feeling you get from it. Feedback from my body during and after exercise makes me feel great! It could be the endorphins that are released that do this but I'm talking about the real communication with my body-aches, lactic build-up, the feeling of my skin tightening, muscles contracting. Massive.

But exercise as health insurance isn't guaranteed either. The boffins reckon that we are designed more for low energy activity spent very frequently throughout the day (gathering nuts, hunting, checking on the cave guttering-that sort of thing) and it's this sort of exercise which proves very beneficial. Binge exercising is not as healthy as it seems.

Lose weight: eat less and ensure low level activity often.

I'm peckish now.

Rex Kwon Do

Ok, ok....last in the series of funnies!

"Do you think anyone wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys!"

Monday, 24 August 2009

Advice for martial arts teachers

I read recently in a book on the subject of teaching the following passage:

"it is very tempting to propose something like 'Do you understand?' or 'Is this clear?' The problem with these questions is that despite feeling unsure about what they have just been taught, most students when confronted with a question like this are unwilling to admit they don’t understand. They will most likely answer 'yes'. As teachers it is our job to check if students have understood rather than simply ask them."

OK, so that's the first self defence technique- understood? Good, off you go and practice in pairs, I'll be back in 10 minutes.

Seem familiar?

It seems glaringly obvious but as teachers we should concept check often: get the students to show that they have understood before pairing off to practice and even then come back and concept check often.

As a student I find it hard sometimes when a teacher comes back to check then introduces a further level of complexity before I've even grasped the initial concept.

The solution: KISS them.

Not literally or there may be ramifications. But Keep It Simple Stupid. The Stupid was probably put on the end by the marketing guru who thought this up to give it some pazazz.... ho hum.
(Wikipedia states: that KISS is possibly based on ideas "such as Occam's razor, and Albert Einstein's maxim that "everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler"".)

Keeping it Simple need not mean not showing examples or context but I find the simpler the better.

Concept check and KISS.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Ricky Ponting's fighting spirit

It's always great to beat the Aussies. Why? Well we're old rivals, it's clear to see, but also it's cos they're such bloody good athletes. As I type this on a sunny summer afternoon England are on the verge of winning the Ashes from them. It's not over and there is a *slim* possibility that they could see today out and bat all day tomorrow. But it's so slim that I wouldn't want to make a ham sandwich of that slice of slim-ness.

The amazing thing is though that the Aussies never give in. They have an amazing resilience in the face of adversity which has stood them in good stead in the past. At the opening of play today they were 80 for no wicket and the openers looked mighty comfortable. Even when they were sent from the field of play Ponting looked really in command. If it wasn't for an amazing run out Ponting, one of the best batsmen in the world and certainly a great captain, he may well have steadied the ship. The commentators never cease to say that the Aussies have the "stomach for a fight", "never say die" and this has been clear today with an incredibly solid fight back. They'll be kicking themselves over their first innings collapse of 160, something which has been attributed to English teams in the past.

If you're going to pick a fight with an Australian then make sure you know you're in for the long run.

And good luck.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Epee and foil

Introduction clip regarding the difference between epee and foil fencing:

I wasn't impressed with the fencing videos I found: there were no in-depth studies or good tutorials in my opinion. Please post if you've found some of note.