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T present, body weight exercise sessions are booming.

AIn 2016, it was named the number two fitness trend, only beaten by wearable tech clothing. Its popularity has led to many people ditching their gym memberships in favour of bootcamps, body weight fitness classes or training themselves at home.

What are body weight exercises ? The clue is in the title - all you need is yourself to work against, eg press-ups, squats, lunges, dips, plank, core exercises. You can also add in a few other things such as pull-up and dip bars.

Motivational Here are my thoughts on why it's so popular ... ? Requires minimal or no equipment - unlike most forms of exercise, you need zero equipment to train.

?It's 100% free with no gym required. Of course, training on your own takes consistency and self-discipline, therefore joining a class may give you that motivation you need to hit your targets.

?Training as your body was designed to train, in other words, natural body movements help you move better in day-to-day life and sports.

?It protects your joints. Some pieces of gym equipment can work your body in an unnatural way, whereas body weight exercises work the joints and tendons the way they are meant to be worked, and therefore help protect you from injury.

?Maximizes strength - body weight movements use multiple muscle groups at once, therefore will help build overall body strength making you generally stronger and more efficient. ?You burn fat - doing the right exercises, changing the speed, tempo, rest periods and targeting big muscle groups, eg legs, mean you will burn fat.

. ?Everyone can do body weight exercises - whether you are a beginner or an elite athlete, everyone can take part. A beginner at any age can train at home without feeling self-conscious and gradually build up their strength and confidence At DF Fitness, our beach bootcamps are pretty much all body weight exercises, apart from using a few bands to add variety to the top half.

I do believe we should train and eat as we were designed to do. As we age, its even more important to work on muscle groups we need for our daily activities, eg walking, carrying shopping, gardening, lifting from a seat are all important in life. Staying consistently strong will help you keep mobile for longer giving you a better quality of life.

NUTRITION CORNER Sauerkraut (a form of fermented cabbage) contains live and active probiotics which have a beneficial effect on the health of your digestive tract, lowering the risk of metabolic conditions such as diabetes, weight gain and toxins within your digestive system.

FITNESS TIPWhen performing body weight exercises, especially jumps or running on the spot, avoid training on concrete. Try to use a softer surface such as grass, sand or, if your at home, carpet.

This will lower the pressure through your joints.

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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Apr 29, 2017
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