News You Can Use
Janet Alexander and Chris Maund

August 2013
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Hi there,
It is nearly the end of August, kids are back in school, Labor weekend and Father's Day is coming up which signifies the end of summer (and apparently the wearing of white trousers but don't get me started on that supposed tradition) and yes due to a hectic July I missed the July issue. Me bad! However, it wasn't like I was just sitting around twiddling my thumbs - instead I was fortunate enough to visit the Philippines on a lecture tour as a guest of the Philippines Olympic Committee & the Philippines Sports Commission. 
For the first three days I lectured alongside my colleague and friend Jason Glass - a strength and conditioning coach extraordinaire from Canada. There were over 500 national and provincial coaches attending as part of their Sports Science Seminar Series 2. Jason and I were co-presenters and covered a wide range of topics from sleep and jet-lag to nutrition, core conditioning and rotatory power training. On day four it was all about 'me and the girls' with Series 3 being a 1 day intensive on how to train the female athlete broaching such subjects as how to stay strong AND maintain a menstrual cycle, pelvic floor training and why females need to eat fat and not get too lean. Many of the national coaches brought their athletes along for the day as seen in the above photo where I'm rocking the red pants with a line up of strong female 'Sepak Takraw' athletes. Sepak Takraw is a new sport to me and just so spectacular to watch. Check out the following link which a) gives you a glimpse of the sport and b) shows just how athletically agile you need to be to play it! I tried some of the moves (and was even given the unique ball they use by The Chairman of the PSC to bring home), but I realized I'd probably injure myself if I kept at it and so was content to just watch!  I had a fantastic whirlwind trip and it was a blast to share the information with such talented athletes and passionate coaches. Hopefully I'll get to do it again but next time I'll write the newsletter first! Happy day to ya :) xxx
A healthy 'spare tire?' What?
  Chris tire dragging
Yes, there is such a thing as a healthy spare tire! Yes, it is attached around your middle but nope it is not a permanent thing. The above photo shows Chris training at the back of our studio in Encinitas, California dragging an 'old spare truck tire' up a slight incline/hill. It works wonders as a budget piece of equipment - not only for strength training but also for skill development such as what Chris is doing with a running drill - high knees and arm drive especially if you have a hilly race coming up. By attaching strong climbing rope to the tire and to a belt held around the hips you can use it as resistance and drag it behind you and just try and move. You can also pick the tire up and move it 'end over end' from one part of a field or parking lot to the other. Of course you have to make sure you are using good form while you squat/bend down to get leverage under the tire - no point blowing out your back in an attempt to get stronger. It also works as a chair during your rest periods if doing any cardiovascular interval type training to and from the tire plus as an object to jump in, on or over. If you add a medicine ball to the mix you can use the tire for target practice - throwing the ball into the center from either a standing, kneeling or lying position. Add a Swiss Ball and yes you have added another layer of unstable training. With my snowboarding kids I balance the Swiss Ball in the middle of the tire and they get up to some 'wild and crazy tricks' but not try it at home! There are so many ways to use the tire and lots of fun for a great outdoor workout. Who said you need high tech to be fit, healthy and strong? So next time you are driving past a tire shop -go in and ask if they have any spare ones to give away. The bigger the tire - tractor or truck - the heavier it is, the more resistance and therefore stronger you will be. Remember it's the only 'spare tire' we recommend so go burn some rubber!! xxx 
Probiotics - Anyone for Water Kefir?

Our bodies are filled with bacteria - billions, maybe trillions of them. Some are good while others are not. Under normal circumstances, our body maintains a healthy balance of good and bad yet trouble can arise when the bad bacteria overpower good bacteria, potentially compromising digestion and the immune system. You know the feeling: bad skin, bloating, poor digestion, irregularity, occasional diarrhea. That's when the power of probiotics can help. The root of the word 'probiotic', comes from the Greek word - 'pro' meaning 'promoting' and 'biotic' meaning 'life'. Medications such as antibiotics, poor sleep, stress, lifestyle, diet, disease and even our environment can upset the balance and shift the 'see saw' in favor of the bad bacteria.  Taking a probiotic daily is believed to protect us in two ways:

*1. Probiotics promotes good digestion. When your digestive tract is healthy, it filters out and eliminates harmful bacteria, toxins, chemicals and other waste products while also absorbing nutrients from your food and water intake.

*2. Probiotics support the immune system. This is where probiotics are believed to have the biggest impact - helping our immune system stay healthy and vital. Our immune system as you know protects us against bugs and germs. When it is depleted (like coming out of a winter season for you down under friends) this is when we can suffer from allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders, infections and adrenal fatigue. Probiotics to the rescue!

Of late we have been making our own water kefir probiotic and sharing 'the extra kefir grains' with our local clients. It is easy to make, basically live water kefir grains, sugar and dried fruit thrown into a jar with water and slices of lemon. Place it on the kitchen counter top for 48 to 72 hours and then BAM slightly fizzy liquid candy at your disposal. How can you not try it? You can find all there is to know about water kefir and how to make it on these two links. or A huge thanks to my client Lilah who shared her grains and got us started on this lark. Before water kefir we used a probiotic made by Sedona Labs which had 16 strains and cost $32 a pop. Water kefir is way more cost effective AND has over 38 strains - typically Lactobacillus, Streptococcus, Pediococcus and Leuconostoc bacteria with yeasts from Saccharomyces, Candida, Kloeckera and other minor yeasts.  Give it a whirl people. Fun and healthy - all in one plus your GI tract and immune system will love you for it!

 Enjoy the last few days of August and let us know how your home brewing goes - water kefir that is not beer. See you all in September. Cheers Janet and Chris xxx