All our Exercise related information in one spot.


Whether you're running into summer or winter this season. Here is 6 reasons to keep it going!!

No.1 Runners High
Also known as being “in the zone”. Once you get past the tough part, you literally run into this blissful state of motion. It’s hard to explain, but you know it when you get there because you can run for miles on this. 
How exactly does it make us happy?
Running is a form of aerobic exercise which helps to release chemicals one of those being endorphins which create a mood-raising high. A recent study in 2012 found that just 30 minutes of running during the week for three weeks boosted sleep quality, mood, and concentration during the day.  
Ever heard someone call running their “drug”? Well, apparently, it actually is pretty similar. A 2007 study in Physiological Behavior showed that running causes the same kind of neurochemical adaptations in brain reward pathways that also are shared by addictive drugs.

No.2  'me time'
There is no boss, no partner, or nagging children just you and pavement. Although it can be fun having a running partner it keep the pace up with, running alone gives you a great opportunity to think. Many runners process the issues of the day with several kms on the open road. You have enough time alone to work through whatever bothers you, and by the time you’re home again, you’ll feel mentally refreshed.

No. 3 Weight Maintenance 
Ever heard the words VO2 Max or EPOC being thrown around? The first one is your maximal oxygen uptake during exercise. Although the fitter you are the higher your VO2 don't stress just exercising at about 70% of your Max (slightly faster than easy pace) has been shown to give weight loss benefits.
You know that exercises burns calories while you’re working out. The bonus is that when you exercise, the burn continues after you stop. This is due to the latter EPOC, which stands for excess post oxygen consumption. Studies have shown that regular exercise boosts “afterburn”—that is, the number of calories you burn after exercise.

No. 4 Strengthens your Bones
Weight bearing exercise such as running increases our bone density. Exercise also increases the size, strength and capacity of our muscles. However exercise must be regular and ongoing to have a proper benefit. Our bones become stronger when a certain amount of impact or extra strain is placed on them. 

No. 5 Reduces your risk of cancer
Maybe running doesn’t cure cancer, but there’s plenty of proof that it helps prevent it. A vast review of 170 epidemiological studies in the Journal of Nutrition showed that regular exercise is associated with a lower risk of certain cancers. What’s more, if you already have cancer, running can improve your quality of life while you’re undergoing chemotherapy.

No. 6 Eat Healthier
Once an exercise program is commenced people often make healthier choices when it comes to the meals and snacks. Exercise also provides an opportunity to be away from food, and with an increase in mood post exercise people are less likely to boredom eat, emotionally eat or reward themselves.

Endorphins are one of the latest buzzwords when it comes to exercising but what are endorphins, and why do we need them? Read on to find out more about these bringers of a natural high.
Exercise decreases the stress hormones such as cortisol and increases endorphins. Endorphins are the body’s natural feel good chemicals, and when they are released through exercise, your mood is boosted naturally. As well endorphins, exercise also releases adrenaline, serotonin, and dopamine. These chemicals work together to make you feel good.

Types of Exercise to Release Endorphins

The best type of exercise for improving your mood is cardiovascular exercises and aerobics. This is because vigorous exercise helps to release the chemicals necessary for the mood-raising high. Yoga is also great as it reduces tension and stress while improving the mood. It focuses on stretching, breathing, and motion that release negative emotions in the body.

How long do you need to Exercise to Feel the Benefit?

Even if you only exercise for a short period of time, your mood will be improved. Just ten minutes of moderate exercise is enough to improve your mood, your vigour and also decrease fatigue. However, to obtain all the benefits from exercise, not just the mood improving aspects, you should do at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise every day.


Yoga has been practiced for more than 5,000 years, so it's barely a "trend" but no doubt down at your local coffee shop your hearing groups of Lululemon clad women (and men) rave about their sweaty workout from the hour before.

At NF HQ we love a little yoga session not only does it make us feel  relaxed, itmakes us  look and feel great - it's a great way to tone and trim your body - simple as that! !! This week we thought we would try something different and headed down to Hot Box yoga to see if getting sweaty really did make a difference to our usual yoga routine..

So what is heated Yoga???

Lose the heavy clothing, grab your yoga mat, and turn up the heat.
Actually, keep turning up that heat until you get to 38 degrees. Oh -- and there's humidity too, typically 40% humidity -- are you hot enough yet?

So whats the buzz when it comes downward dog to it?

There are predominantly 2 types at the moment either hot box or Bikram. The main difference is the style of yoga and heat. I know you’re probably thinking what do you mean style (??) isn’t yoga yoga? But in fact there are many different styles of yoga which either come from different origins or focus on different practices (breathing, stretching, mind, power) see our post Namaste for a quick list of styles.

 Hot yoga rooms are most commonly heated through an integrated use of modern technology, employing FIR radiant heating panels to enhance the wonderful benefits of yoga.

Far Infrared Rays are part of the sun's invisible spectrum. FIR radiant heat is a form of thermal energy. This is the warmth you feel penetrate your skin when you are outside in the sun. FIR light should not be confused with ultraviolet light which causes sunburn and damage to your skin. Far infrared rays do not cause sunburn or skin damage.

Far infrared rays are waves of energy, totally invisible to the naked eye, capable of penetrating deep into the human body (approx 4cm), where they gently elevate the body's surface temperature and activate major bodily functions.
Hot box yoga follows The Barkan Method is a style of hatha yoga that originated in Calcutta, India. The Barkan Method is form of Hot Yoga and finds its roots from the Bishnu Ghosh lineage, but also integrates postures from other styles of yoga to create variations and even greater range of motion.

We strengthen and stretch all areas of the body, which helps to quiet the mind, and nourish the soul. The movements of The Barkan Method reach deep into the tissue, relieve tension and stress, revitalize and assist in overcoming many physical and emotional problems, such as sciatica, back and neck problems, and depression.
The biggest difference between Hot box and Bikram other than style is the added 40% humidity (I’m sweating just thinking about it).
Bikram Yoga follows the principles of Bikram Choudhary. The room is intentionally heated to 38 degrees and also has an added humidity of 40% to warm up the body and assist with circulation, promoting detoxification and providing optimum conditions to improve the functions of the body's internal systems.
Bikram Yoga is a series of 26 postures and 2 breathing exercises. Each posture stretches and strengthens specific muscles, ligaments, tendons and joints needed for the next posture. The Bikram method also stimulates the organs, glands, and nerves moving fresh oxygenated blood to 100% of the body helping to restore all systems to a healthy working order.
The series is dynamic and exhilarating. The series of postures combine skills of concentration, patience, determination and self-control that increase mental clarity and reduce stress. The room is heated to warm your muscles preventing injury and allowing for a deeper workout.
Both Hot yoga and Bikram maintain that there are many health benefits of hot yoga on top of the already physical benefits of yoga.
The heat provides a challenging environment which increases your strength, concentration, endurance and stamina. It also allows you to work safely and deeply into the postures, giving faster results. If that’s not reason enough
Here are 10 more:
1.       Warm muscles burn fat more effectively.
2.       When we stretch fat it has no where to sit so it redistributes back to the blood stream to then be reused as energy.
3.       Speeds up the breakdown of glucose and fatty acids.
4.       A warmer temperature produces a fluid like stretch that allows for greater range of motion in the joints.
5.       Heart rate becomes elevated which improves the cardiovascular system (heart and lungs).
6.       Blood becomes thinner which clears the circulatory system.
7.       Promotes sweating which assists the detoxification process using the body's largest organ (the skin)
8.       Muscles, fascia and connective tissue become more elastic allowing for greater flexibility with less chance of injury.
9.       Capillaries respond to heat by dilating, this allows more oxygen to muscles, tissues   glands and organs helping with the removal of waste products.
10.   Teaches you determination, and focus in a challenging environment.

So what’s it actually like…

I hadn’t done a yoga class in about 5 years when I went to Hot box with my girlfriends. Not only did they have mats and towels on offer for the newey’s, the class was structured so well it allowed people like me (amateurs but flexible), like Ollie (the most amazing yoga man I’ve ever met) and like the young girl next to me (most uncoordinated person ever) fit right in.  I made the rookie error of wearing my “yoga clothes” (read: pants and t shirt) and literally had to wring the sweat out afterwards. I would recommend a pair of tight shorts and singlet/crop and an extra exorbitant towel and about 1L of water. I was amazed at how well my body adapted to the class and the heat. I can definitely say I’ve never sweated so much in my entire life but I’ve also never felt so good. I walked out cloud 9 both mentally and physically, which is a win win for someone like me who trains most days and could definitely feel their flexibility getting away from them.

Our Favorite Studios: 

Hot box on chapel Street.

Bikram Yoga in South Melbourne


Shake it up


Do you do the same workout week in week out? Well you shouldn't be. Its important to vary your workout for 2 fundamental reasons:
  1. Psychologically: To prevent bored associated with doing the same workout. Motivation is an integral part of a successful workout. Just doing the workout isn't enough its important to enjoy it and enjoy planning workouts to maximise the neurological/chemical benefits.
  2. Physiologically: To avoid reaching a plateau in workout performance and, subsequently, training results variety is the key. Research has shown that adding variety to an exercise program can improve adherence. Exercise scientists at the University of Florida observed that individuals who modified their workouts every two weeks over an eight-week period appeared to enjoy their workouts more and were more inclined to stick with their exercise programs when compared to individuals who followed the same workout regimens week after week. Varying your exercise routine can also help you stay physically challenged. Many of the body's physiological systems (e.g., the muscular system) adapt to an exercise program within approximately six to eight weeks. If you do not modify your exercise routine, you reach a plateau because your body has adapted to the repetitive training stimulus.
  3. Finally its a great opportunity to try a new sport, class or environment. Always in the gym why not head out to a local park for a challenging hill run or try that boxing class you've been peaking through the windows at all year.
Spring is one of the best times to start something new. The weather has started to warm up, sunny days are making us happy, we've got over our SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and we're keen to make some changes before summer comes. 

Buy I new pair of sneakers or workout gear to motivate too. Nothing strikes up commitment then having a new outfit to wear or putting some $$$ in. 

Alternatively if you're not sure where to start. See our helpful pics below; we've got week 1 all sorted for you!!


The biggest benefit to training using the stability ball, bosu or TRX exercises is that they are very effective at targeting core muscles, those muscles that are essential for stability and good posture but are often overlooked when exercising with fixed position or isolated muscles equipment such as those found in gyms.

Place your shins on a ball and walk your hands out until you're in the plank position. Pull your abs tight to keep your body stable.

Plank > Pike
10 reps repeat 3 times.
Make sure plank is flat to begin with and only raise pike as high as core stays activated.

Plank > jack knife
10 reps repeat 3 times.
To add to difficulty can start with hands on bosu ball.

Reverse plank > Hamstring curl
10 reps repeat 3 times.
Can be advanced with a rollout

Plank > Leg Raise
Alternate legs for 10. Repeat 2 times.

Stability ball > DB press core roll
10 reps repeat 2 times
Holding a dumbbell at your left shoulder, lie on a stability ball, keeping your hips in line with your knees (A). Push the dumbbell straight up to full extension (B). Grab your left wrist and rotate your body to the left, keeping your hips in position (C). Return your shoulders to the ball and lower the weight to your shoulder. That's 1 rep. Finish the reps on the left, then repeat on the right.

Plank > rollout
Can be done 2 ways depending on core stability and strength.

We hope you feel the burn as much as we do!!