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The structure and function if the digestive system

Although nutritional quality and quantity are central to optimal health and well-being, a functioning digestive system is pre-requisite for these benefits to take full effect. Failure of a single part of this system will compromise the amount of nutrition entering the body.

The stages of the digestive system are as follows:

-The mouth is the first part of the digestive system, the place where food in received. The roof of the mouth is formed by hard and soft palates and the anterior two-thirds of the tongue fill the floor of the mouth. The tongue is a muscular organ which is attached to the hyoid bone and mandible. Read More

Types of muscle tissue

There are three types of muscle tissue and each one has a different structure and function.

The three types are:

  • Smooth muscle, e.g. the digestive system
  • Cardiac muscle (myocardium), e.g. the heart
  • Skeletal muscle (striated), e.g. the hamstrings or triceps

Smooth Muscle

Smooth muscles are described as involuntary. It is not under conscious control but is controlled by the automatic nervous system. Smooth muscles, are found within the digestive system, the blood vessels, the urinary system and the reproductive system. It is used in all processes that maintain the body’s internal environment. E.g. blood vessels constrict and dilate (narrow and widen) to alter the flow of blood, and the muscles of the digestive tract contract to move food through the body. Read More

The Stages on bone repair

The grounds reaction applied to the body when jogging can be up to two and a half times its weight, which can actually rise up to 10 times if you factor in all other potential forces. Human bones are immensely strong and can deal with this, however as strong as they may be, they aren’t indestructible.

Bone damage can be referred to as a fracture. There are multiple types of fractures (e.g. greenstick, simple and compound). Although healing will depend upon the severity and complexity of an injury, they will all follow the same 4 stage healing process. Read More

Sports massage contexts

There are 4 different types of massage contexts which can assist in the performance, recovery and maintenance of an individual.

Pre-event massage

A pre-event massage should take place immediately before the event being prepared for. Ideally with a client leaving the massage bed and walking directly on to the playing field, court or arena. When performing a pre-massage for a team sport it is very hard to get through everyone, therefore there is a 2-hour period before the event takes place to receive a massage. Read More

Pre, During and Post exercise nutrition

Fuelling yourself for exercise is vitally important- whether it’s a pre-exercise feast to prepare you, or a high protein post meal to re-energise and repair your body. Eating the right food provides a great starting point to building your perfect body- Just what is the right foods to be eating?

Pre-exercise meal

It has been quoted that the perfect pre-exercise meal should be made of low glycaemin index foods. The rationale is that if a high carbohydrate meal is consumer pre-workout the relatively rapid rise in blood glucose will cause a release of insulin and a rapid fall in glucose levels, possibly even before the exercise session has begun. A pre-exercise meal featuring a low GI level should be consumed 1.5- 2 hours prior to exercise, and a high GI meal should be consumed as close to the session as possible. Read More

How does screening and consulting before exercise help you and your client?

Personal Trainers have a legal duty to ensure they minimise any risks and maximise the benefits of exercise for their clients.

Screening clients ensures that you have in depth knowledge of their previous physical states and medical knowledge. This ensuring that you are either able to create an effective programme for them as they are ready for exercise or that you must refer them to a GP to get clearance on a potential risk. Read More

Guidelines to follow when creating an individualised training programme

Planning individualised programmes for clients is a key principle of a personal trainer’s role. When creating these programmes, trainers must follow specific guidelines.

The guidelines and principles apply to all exercising programmes, in all environments including: Gyms, studios, clients’ homes, public parks, village halls, and even beaches (If you’re lucky enough!) Read More

How can feedback inspire a client?

Every client should finish a personal training session with a sense of accomplishment, and satisfaction. This is an aspect which the personal trainer can encourage.

It is vital to provide honest, informative and constructive feedback on client performances both during and after the session. The feedback given can improve a client’s technique, keep them motivated and help with future performance. Read More

The principles of soft tissue dysfunction

In order for an individual to create an effective and efficient movement, it is essential that the soft tissues are functioning properly. Any impairment of the soft tissue, including: Muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage will directly affect the quality of a movement. Impairment of soft tissue, can be caused by 2 factors:




Dysfunction can be described as an abnormality in soft tissue function. It possesses no specific condition such as a disease and it is free from inflammation. It can be described as having aches and pains or being tense. Soft tissues are placed under stress and demand every day, in a whole range of activities and they thrive being in this condition as they improve and adapt accordingly. However, these stresses can lead to imbalances which can over time lead to injury. A small imbalance could be a shortened muscle, a weakened muscle, an altered joint movement or faulty nervous stimulation. Two causes of dysfunction include: Read More

Discovering the best massage couch height for effectiveness

Setting the couch to the right height is the first crucial step in ensuring that you are able to work at a comfortable height to be most effective.

To achieve proper body mechanics, you need to adjust the couch based on the following criteria:

-Size of your client: The structure and body size of your client will play an important role in the placement of your arms away from your body. A larger individual would require the bed to be lowered. Read More