Higher Tone

Variety is the spice of life and the fuel for fitness


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RESULTS: BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year

WINNER: JADE JONES 

Won Britain’s first Taekwondo gold medal

Jade Jones

The 19-year-old really put Wales on the map when she kicked ass in the 2012 Olympics, beating Yuzhuo Hou 6-4 to take the women’s 57kg title in Taewkondo.

Her courageous win was Great Britain’s first Olympic gold in the sport.  Born in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire, Jones managed to give us one of the most iconic moments in this year’s Olympics.

“I’ve already started thinking about defending my title in Rio de Janeiro [at the 2016 Olympics]. I’m not competing again until next year and my coach has given me until January to be a normal person.”

Jade Jones

2nd Place: Dan Lydiate

Dan Lydiate

The Newport Gwent Dragons blind-side flanker was also named the Six Nations Player of the Tournament.  This was after featuring in every game except the opener against Ireland and receiving man of the match awards against Scotland and France.  

“To be part of such a talented Wales team and win the Grand Slam in Cardiff was incredible in itself but to then be voted player of the championship [was] absolutely unbelievable.”

3rd Place: Geraint Thomas

Geraint Thomas

Cyclist Geraint Thomas became one of only four Welshman to win multiple Olympic gold medals when Great Britain’s team pursuit quartet smashed the world record at the 2012 Olympics in London.

“It was a lot of sacrifice, I missed a lot on the road and put all my eggs in one basket… the Olympics was everything.”

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lynn Davies 

Lynn Davies

‘Lynn the leap’ won the Olympic gold medal for long jump in 1964 with an impressive leap of 8.07m.  He also competed in the 100m and 4×100 relay.

He became the first man to win two long jump titles at the Commonwealth Games in 1966 and 1970.

Daves was also a two-time winner of the BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year award in 1964 and 1966.

Team of the year: Welsh Rugby Team

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Winners of the male and female Carwyn James Award (Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman)

Ieuan Lloyd: He competed at the 2012 Olympics in the Men’s 200m freestyle event.

Leuan Lloyd

Elinor Barker: won a silver medal in the junior women’s time trial at the 2011 UCI Road World Championships in Copenhagen.  She was promoted to the Great Britain senior squad for the Glasgow round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup series

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - JUNIOR WOMEN TT

Unsung Hero Award: Arthur Wood

Long-term volunteer at the Swansea Rifle Club has been honoured with this grassroots award.

arthur


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BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year 2012

2012 has been hailed as one of the most memorable years in the history of sport for the UK.  How will Wales decide their most deserving winner with a list full of successful Olympians, Paralympians and even an Ironman winner?

Venue: Cardiff Millennium Stadium

Date: Tonight: Monday 10 December 2012

Coverage: Awards live on BBC Radio Wales from 7:30, live reports on Radio Cymru and this blog

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Chaz Davies won BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year in 2011

Contenders:

1) Gareth Bale: Footballer

  • baleBorn: 16 July 1989 in Cardiff
  • Became youngest Wales international as a substitute against Trinidad and Tobago in June, 2006
  • Named 2009 Wales Footballer of the Year
  • Voted 2010 BBC Wales Sports Personality of the Year
  • Named 2010-11 PFA Player of the Year

2) Leanda Cave: Ironman Winner

  • Leanda-Cave_300134kBorn: 9 March 1978 in Louth, Lincolnshire. Her mother is Welsh
  • Won triathlon silver for Wales at the 2002 Commonwealth Games
  • 2002 World Triathlon champion
  • Finished third in the 2011 Ironman World Championship
  • Wins both the Ironman and Half-Ironman World Championships in 2012

3) Nathan Cleverly: Boxer

  • Nathan Cleverly v Shawn Hawk WBO Light-Heavyweight TitleBorn: 17 February 1987 in Caerphilly
  • Makes professional debut in July 2007 with four-round victory over Ernie Smith
  • Wins interim WBO light-heavyweight title against Nadjib Mohammedi in 2010
  • Awarded full WBO light-heavyweight belt and makes first defence against Aleksy Kuziemski in 2011

4) Mark Colbourne: Cyclist

  • Mark ColbourneBorn: 9 November 1969 in Tredegar, Blaenau Gwent
  • Wins C1 Time Trial silver at 2011 Road World Championships in Roskilde, Denmark
  • Takes C1 3km Pursuit gold and C1 1km Time Trial silver at Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Los Angeles, USA
  • Enjoys a stellar 2012 Paralympics, winning track C1 3km Individual Pursuit gold, track C1-3 1km Time Trial silver and road C1 Time Trial silver

5) Aled Sion Davies: Field Athlete

  • aledBorn: 24 May 1991 in Bridgend
  • Claims double shot put and discus gold at 2010 World Junior Championships
  • In 2011 wins gold and silver in the shot and discus at the World Athletic Championships in New Zealand
  • Breaks F42 shot put world Record in April 2012 with a throw of 14.56m at the CP Grand Prix in Gateshead
  • Wins Paralympic gold in the discus and bronze in the shot put at London 2012

6) Tom James: Rower

  • tom jamesBorn: 11 March 1984 in Cardiff
  • Makes senior GB debut in 2003 and is part of eight that took bronze at World Championships
  • Wins 2007 Boat Race with Cambridge eight, graduates with engineering degree
  • Wins first Olympic gold medal as part of GB coxless four
  • Wins gold at 2011 World Championships
  • Wins second Olympic gold medal as GB coxless four triumph at London 2012

7) Jade Jones: Taekwondo

  • jadeBorn: 21 March 1993 in Bodelwyddan, Denbighshire
  • Wins gold at the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore in 2010.
  • Claims first senior title by winning -62kg gold at US Open in 2011
  • Takes silver at the 2011 World Championship in South Korea
  • Crowned Olympic champion after winning -57kg category at London 2012

8) Dan Lydiate: Rugby player

  • DanLydiatePTC1SBBorn: 18 December 1987 in Salford, Greater Manchester
  • Wales Under-20 ever-present in 2007 Six Nations
  • Battles back from career-threatening neck injury suffered in October 2007
  • Makes Wales debut off bench in 2009 autumn series against Argentina and first start a week later against Australia
  • Voted 2012 Six Nations player of the series as Wales win Grand Slam

9) Josie Pearson: Rugby and Discus

  • Josie PearsonBorn: 3 January 1986 in Bristol
  • Becomes first woman to play Paralympic wheelchair rugby for Great Britain at Beijing 2008
  • Switches to athletics and finishes fifth in both the T52 100m and 800m at 2011 World Championships
  • Another change of sport reaps rewards at London 2012 with Paralympic gold in the F521 discus

10) Geraint Thomas: Cyclist

  • geraintBorn: 25 May 1986 in Cardiff
  • Wins World Championships in Mallorca in 2007 as part of GB team pursuit
  • Makes Tour de France debut in 2007, becoming first Welshman to ride the Tour for 40 years
  • In 2008 as part of GB team pursuit wins first the World Championships in Manchester before striking Olympic gold in Beijing
  • Wears the white jersey for best young rider over the first seven stages of the 2011 Tour de France
  • Another World Championship and Olympic gold medal double in 2012 as part of GB’s team pursuit

Other awards to be announced:

 1) Team of the Year

2) Junior Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year

3) Lifetime Achievement

4) Unsung Hero

The panel of experts who had the difficult task of selecting the shortlist in November  were:

Nigel Walker, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, David Davies, Non Evans and Jayne Ludlow.


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Is Cardiff due a diet?

Cardiff is facing a health epidemic as more than half the population are obese or overweight and a third of people do no sport or exercise each week, according to research from the Cardiff Health Alliance.

These shocking figures may come as a surprise to some, especially after Cardiff became the first Welsh city to be awarded WHO Healthy City status in 2009.  Nevertheless, these factors contributed to Cardiff scoring badly for health in a PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) Good Growth for Cities report released in November 2012.

burger king

Is Cardiff a healthy city?

The announcement by Welsh Health Minister, Lesley Griffiths on December 3 to launch an £82 million support fund shows that cities in Wales are clearly struggling, with Cardiff as a prime example.

A healthy and active lifestyle incorporates a variety of factors, but I will be focusing specifically on:

  • Nutrition and the issue of obesity
  • Exercise and physical activity
  • The impact of alcohol on health and sports performance

Obesity 

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Obesity presents an increasing public health challenge for Cardiff.  The Cardiff Health Alliance reported that 53% of adults in Cardiff are overweight or obese, a statistic expected to dramatically increase unless action is taken.  Obesity can leave people with chronic health problems like type 2 diabetes, cancer and osteoarthritis as well as increasing mortality from heart disease and strokes.  The issue of obesity has been prioritised and Cardiff is trying to tackle the problem by implementing initiatives such as Change for Life and the All Wales Obesity Pathway.

Dr Nadim Haboudi, chair of the National Obesity Forum for Wales, said:

“The problem is huge, massive, worse than England, worse than anywhere in the UK and among the worst in the western world.”

Catherine Evans, the co-ordinator for the Physical Activity Network for Wales highlighted community initiatives that are taking place in Cardiff such as fruit and vegetable co-operatives, local cooking classes and the MEND (mind, exercise, nutrition, do it) childhood obesity programme.

Here’s an interview with Catherine Evans in which she discusses the problems caused by obesity and physical inactivity in Cardiff:

Exercise

One in three people in Cardiff take no exercise at all and only 27% actually meet exercise recommendations according to a survey by the Cardiff Health Alliance.  This figure is shocking and does go some way to explaining the high percentage of obesity in Cardiff.

Former Chief Medical Officer, Dr Tony Jewell, introduced new exercise guidelines in 2011, which advised that all adults should exercise for at least 150 minutes each week rather than 30 minutes on 5 or more days each week.

How much exercise do you think you manage to fit in each week?

There are several exercise initiatives in Cardiff which aim to encourage individuals from a diverse range of backgrounds to become more involved with sport and exercise.  There is a serious issue with health inequality in areas of Cardiff, such as Ely, Splott and Adamsdown.  Programmes such as ‘Communities First’ are essential for improving exercise participation and giving nutritional advice for people in poverty-stricken areas.

Venture Out Cardiff

Picture provided by Venture Out Cardiff

The Venture Out Cardiff programme offers a range of activities such as kayaking, horse riding and sailing for disabled people

The Venture Out project was founded to develop opportunities for disabled people to participate in outdoor exercise in Cardiff.

Jonathan Lee the Venture Out Cardiff Project Officer said:

“We aim to offer weekly activity sessions for disabled people, particularly adults with learning difficulties. Through the sessions we help people develop their confidence, social skills and specific skills related to the activity. We also see huge benefits to their overall fitness and well-being.”

“We use green spaces within the city to deliver most of our activities.  We have found that our outdoor activities help to reduce challenging behaviour and help people to sleep better, so the beneficial effects last beyond the duration of the session.”

Volunteers with learning disabilities also take part in an environmental group to conserve and manage local parks

Volunteers with learning disabilities also take part in an environmental group to conserve and manage local parks

There are a number of other campaigns in Cardiff, including:

The Cardiff Max Active card also helps to promote physical activity as if gives people the chance to take part in a wide range of discounted activities suited to all ages and abilities at leisure centres around Cardiff.

This map shows the locations of all the Cardiff Council leisure centres as well as community sports facilities:

Alcohol

Alcohol and exercise do not mix.  In the short term, drinking alcohol will seriously affect sports performance in terms of poor co-ordination and concentration.  Long term effects of heavy drinking include heart disease, some cancers, liver disease and there are also links to obesity.

A study commissioned by the Welsh Assembly Government has found the NHS in Wales spends over a £1 million a week on treating health problems caused by alcohol misuse and a further £1 million each week on treating obesity.
A graph showing hospital admissions due to alcohol in Cardiff and Wales
graph

Cardiff has a significantly higher hospital admission rate due to alcohol compared to Wales.  These figures were provided by the Cardiff Health Alliance.

This graph shows that Cardiff has a significantly higher hospital admission rate due to alcohol misuse than the average for Wales.  The Cardiff Health Alliance reported  2024 male hospital admissions in Cardiff, this is much higher than the average value for Wales which is 1140.

Following Alcohol Awareness Week which ended on November 23, Alcohol Concern Cymru has launched a Dry January campaign to encourage people to stop drinking for a month.

Here is an interview with Andrew Misell from Alcohol Concern Cymru about the relationship between sport and alcohol and the Dry January campaign.

Find out more about the Dry January campaign on the Alcohol Concern website:

http://www.alcoholconcern.org.uk/projects/alcohol-concern-cymru

Does Cardiff deserve the title of a WHO (World Health Organisation) healthy city?

Cardiff was granted this accolade in 2009 joining 13 other cities in the UK.  Since then it has sought to advance the public health agenda through nutrition and physical activity initiatives and promoting healthy urban design, but has it worked?

bute

Two ramblers in Bute Park, one of Cardiff’s ‘green lungs’.

Councillor Luke Holland, Cabinet Member for Social Care, Health and Wellbeing discusses key aspects of the WHO Cardiff Healthy City Programme.

This video explains the Cardiff Healthy City Model and the complex issues which affect people’s health and wellbeing.

Screen shot 2012-12-06 at 21.09.24

 

If you have been inspired to make a change relating to exercise, nutrition, alcohol or health this December, then please post your pledge as a comment below.

My Health Pledge: To try a different exercise class every week for the next 2 months.

What’s Yours?


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Reaction to the Abs and Cycle Class

I think it’s important to acquire feedback from several people for each new class, as everyone wants something different from a workout.

Cardiff University English student, Emma Jones

Q- Would you do this class again?

A- I will definitely be returning next week if my legs have recovered.  The hill climbs were really tough and I’m not sure if I kept up the resistance as high as I should have, so I’d like to come again and try to improve.

Q- Which abs exercise did you find the most challenging?

A- Holding the plank for one minute, my arms were shaking uncontrollably.

The Plank- a tough abs exercise

Running enthusiast, Fiona Campbell

Q- Why have you chosen to join the Cardiff University gym?

A- There is a great range of classes available, I particularly enjoy Pump & Tone and Advanced Fat burning.  The trainers are all really friendly and helpful as well.

Q- Did you enjoy this class?

A- Yes, I find it difficult to motivate myself to do abs exercises at home or in the gym, so I need the pressure of a group fitness class.

Q- Which was your favourite abs exercise?

A- The reverse crunch as it really targets the lower abdominal muscles.  I’m trying to get my bikini tummy ready for a Christmas holiday to Australia.

 

 

 


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Abs and Cycle

Venue: Cardiff University Strength and Conditioning Centre, Park Place

Instructor: Annie

Time: Thursday 18:15-19:15

Price: Student £3.10, Community customer £4.50

Description:

This brand new class combines an intense aerobic workout on static bikes with a sequence of abdominal exercises on floor mats. The group is split equally and whilst half of the people start on the bikes, the remaining individuals begin with an aerobic style warm up and then move onto the mats. During the hour long class, the two groups switch round 4 times, so that every 10-15 minutes you have the opportunity to change from aerobic activity to toning exercises. The class works effectively because it targets so many different muscle groups and you don’t get the chance to become too tired of any one type of exercise.

Instructor Annie showing us how its done at Cardiff University gym

Static Bikes

The time on the bikes mainly involves steady hill climbs where you gradually increase the resistance and try as hard as possible to maintain speed. During the last two segments on the bikes you are encouraged to alternate between sitting and standing positions. Maintaining the correct posture also gives your core muscles a good work out.

Top Tips:

For seated climbing on a spinner bike: hold in your lower abdominal muscles to help push your rear end to the back of the seat, then push the pedals down with your heels lower than your toes. Keep the heels low when you pull up, too.
For a standing climb: keep your back straight parallel to the ground and push your nose down to within a few inches of the handlebar.

Abdominal mat work

Throughout the class we repeated 8 different types of abs exercises, these included:

1. Simple crunch
2. Vertical leg crunch
3. Leg extensions
4. Plank
5. Side plank
6. Bicycle exercise
7. Scissors kicks
8. Reach throughs

How to: Bicycle Exercise

Step 1- Lie face up on your mat and place your hands behind your head, lightly supporting it with your fingers

Step 2- Bring the knees in to the chest and lift the shoulder blades off the floor without pulling on the neck.

Step 3- Rotate to the left, bringing the right elbow towards the left knee as you straighten the other leg.

Step 4- Switch sides, bringing the left elbow towards the right knee.

Continue alternating sides in a ‘pedaling’ motion for 1-4 sets of 20 reps

 

How to: Scissor Kicks (a winner to really hit your lower abs)

Step 1- Lie on your back with your legs extended.

Step 2- Raise your feet about a foot off the ground and move your feet back and forth from side-to-side, imitating the movement of scissors

The lower down your legs, the harder your abs will work.  Remember to breathe throughout this exercise.

Rate the Class

1) Atmosphere and Fun: 6/10

The class is fast paced and constantly changing, so it keeps you on your toes.

2) Sweat and Pain: 8/10

You can push yourself as hard as you want to on the static bike hill climbs, so the level of aerobic and cardio exercise is really down to you.

3) Calorie Burn: 400-500 per hour

4) Toning Potential: 7.5/10

The abs exercises were challenging enough to have a toning effect so I will be adding some of them to my stay at home abs routine.

5) Morning After Muscle Ache- 6/10

I’m not that used to cycling as a form of exercise, so I definitely felt it in my legs the next day.