So, while it may not look or feel like spring outside, it’s spring! The end of Spring when Summer should be teasing us. Bringing all the fun things you’d associate – holiday weekends, barbecues, weddings, evenings drinking outside….. all of which add up to bad news for your clean eating and training regime. We are all human though and the odd blow out is not going to have hugely detrimental effects to your overall goal if it is exactly that – occasional. If you eat cleanly and exercise regularly, nothing wrong with treating yourself every now and again. What is wrong though is allowing what should be a cheat “meal” to become a full –on blow out. So you have a glass of wine and a dessert at lunchtime…. This does not give you licence to finish the rest of the bottle over the course of the afternoon and then have a takeaway pizza for dinner and raid the biscuit tin for a midnight snack. Do not let treats become pig outs!
“Why am I not losing weight even though I’m training more?”
A very common question from many people, have many answers...First we need to make sure that everyone understands the difference between weight loss and fat loss.
What’s the difference?
Weight Loss = Wanting to lose body weight on a scale – The sum weight of bones, muscles, organs, fat, etc.
Fat loss = Wanting to reduce the fat on your body regardless of weight – The amount of fat between muscle and skin.
Weight loss can be achieved through gradually reducing the amount of calories you take in or by doing repetitive exercise for any given duration i.e. walking, jogging, running, cycling etc
Weight loss problems
Let's say that you’re out and about doing errands and you suddenly see a girl or a boy, that catches your eye. You decide to take action there because those clips you’ve seen on “pick up” and mystery’s pick up technique tells you that you have 3 seconds to make a move or you end up hesitating. Amazingly she/he’s giving you all the “IOI’s” and “kino” and you end up number closing her/him.
If you aren’t so bold the scenario could end up like this…You’ve succumb to one of the thousand adverts for various dating websites and you’ve set up an online dating profile. You eventually find a good match and you’ve scheduled a date/time and place.
Do you talk to yourself while you're working out? Serious question! Or would you rather not be the person everyone avoids on the gym floor as they're worried about the mental state of someone happily having a conversation with themself?
Do you respond better to motivation? Could you push out a few more reps or go just a little bit faster with someone there to encourage you? I'm guessing most people would say yes - which is perfect as it keeps us Personal Trainers in a job! So if you respond to someone pushing you to the next level, getting the very best out of you, motivating you to try those last few movements - why can't you be your own cheerleader?
While all vegetables are basically good for your health some are better than others. Cruciferous veggies are special due to their chemical composition which includes sulphurous compounds which give then their pungent flavour. When broken down by either chewing or chopping these sulphurous compounds are converted into isothiocyanates (ITCs) which can prevent and help fight cancer as well as boosting the immune system. Cruciferous veggies also contain antiviral/bacterial agents that can help keep you disease free.
Cruciferous veggies include beets and their greens, bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, turnip greens and watercress.
Many women are turned off from training as they have the wrong impression that lifting weights or any kind of gym activity is something men want to do to build muscles. How your body adapts to working with weights is determined by your genetics.
For women there are numerous benefits for doing resistance training and I promise you won’t end up looking like Arnie! Resistance training is good for anyone of any age or ability. It offers the benefits of gaining strength, improved co-ordination, better posture, a serious kick to the metabolism and heaps of self confidence. Heart problems, fat and a series of other conditions may become better by time and self-confidence can be boost as never before.
Everyone needs a certain amount of protein in their diet and anyone involved in fitness training and body building will logically need more in a daily basis. One way to get an energy boost after working out while avoiding the dangers of high fat sources of protein, such as fatty meats, is by shaking up a shake based on protein powder alternatives or buy one of the hundreds brands in the market.
There are a number of such alternative sources of protein that are ideal for making shakes, including soy, egg and whey. All are high in protein and low in carbohydrates. All you need is a blender, 1-2 minutes and some imagination.
Workout - Recuperate
Getting sufficient rest and recuperation is as important as any workout. Overtraining won’t make you any stronger or aid your performance, so learn to keep a proper balance between the two by watching for the following markers.
A loss of body mass/weight of just 2% indicates a lack of sufficient hydration which affects both physical and mental performance. Another indicator of dehydration is the colour of your urine. Dark yellow means you need to drink more water. Drinking more fluids both before and after a workout is recommended.
It’s a good idea to check your resting heart rate each morning to see what’s normal for you. An elevated resting heart rate is a sign of stress and your heart trying to move more oxygen to muscles and the brain. Physical and psychological stress registers the same. Both require extra recovery.
Your back (spine) is made up of vertebrae (bones) that make up 5 spinal regions: cervical, thoracic, lumbar, sacrum, and the coccyx. Between each vertebrae sits a shock-absorbing disc that allows movement and provides flexibility.
The purpose of your spine is to protect your spinal cord. Nerves from the spinal cord pass through the intervertebral foramen to the body, allowing messages to be transmitted to and from the brain and the periphery (e.g., your limbs).
The spine is supported by ligaments such as the anterior longitudinal ligament, the posterior longitudinal ligament, and the ligament flavum, and the core muscles such as the transversus abdominis and the multifidus. The unique and complex structure of spine allows humans to move with great freedom, but also requires coordinated interactions between vertebrae, vertebral discs, ligaments, and supporting musculature in order to achieve healthy function.
Not making much progress in losing weight, or on a slow train in attaining your strength and fitness goals? You think you have problems? Take a look at someone who could have had plenty to complain about, but took a different approach: David Weir, the British and World Champion Paralympic champion who won this year’s London Marathon for the fifth time and won last year’s New York Marathon and took triple gold in the World Championships in Christchurch New Zealand.
He is described as Britain’s top wheel chair athlete and one of the best in the world.
So how did he get there, given the significant disability of being born paraplegic? Self-perception seems to be the secret, or at least a large part of it. “I have never seen myself as disabled. I have always been treated as normal,” says the 34 year old from South London who has an 8 year old daughter from a previous relationship and now has a new-born son with his current partner.
He has been a full time athlete for the last thirteen years.
The continuous advancement in medical tests has been a major contributing factor to the increased life expectancy of our generation (among with a better and healthier diet and of course fitness). With advancements in medical science, medical abnormalities can now be detected earlier and with greater accuracy. Picking up changes early is vital to ensure that you can treat the condition or changes appropriately. As a result, exercise physiologists are playing an increasing role in the treatment and prevention of many lifestyle diseases.
Whilst medical testing is a meticulous science, it does rely on each individual to request the appropriate tests from their GP. At various stages of your life, the tests that are suitable will change. The following graphic provides you with succinct summary of medical tests that are appropriate through your lifespan. If you haven't had a medical check up in the past year and you are over the age of 30, you know what to do! A medical check up could save your life!
In the last decades many different theories about salt or sodium have come to light.
Weight gain and retention have many origins as well as supposed solutions. However, one common food item with a significant impact on body weight is salt, or sodium.
Food manufactures add a lot of salt to foods, deadening our over-stimulated taste buds, and to increase product shelf life. Salt is in virtually all commercially produced foods and drinks including diet soda and even some supposedly organic products. We get used to the taste and then find products with less or no salt not to our liking.
When taking up an exercise such as jogging, more serious running or just about any physical activity that pushes your body beyond its comfort zone, you’ll need an appropriate pre and post exercise warm up and wind-down routine if you want to avoid injuries. In addition to this you should always remember to avoid eating at least one hour before you exercise.
It’s all part of the process of getting fitter faster while listening to your body’s needs and respecting its capacity.
A common area for problems when running is the foot and ankle region which is where most of the impact occurs and blood pressure increasing during training. Keeping your calf muscles flexible can help you avoid tendonitis and plantar fasciitis by softening the shock as your foot hits the ground. One popular injury preventive training method which focuses on flexibility and strength is the Wharton Performance Model.
Push ups offer a great upper body workout, by using the body to work the deltoids, pectorals and triceps. However, this workout can put too much strain on your arm joints, especially those in the wrist. Modifications to your usual routine may help alleviate the pressure.
Using a stability ball changes the position into a wrist-friendly, albeit more challenging exercise that targets the mid-chest area, triceps and abdominals. Hold your body horizontally with your toes on the floor over the ball. Hold the ball, grasping it to stop it wobbling. Your hands should be placed just under your shoulders. Bend your arms to at least 90° with each rep.
Fat never goes out of fashion at least not the numerous approaches to getting rid of it. How it gets there is generally well documented usually under the headings of an unbalanced diet and lifestyle. Of course, getting rid of just about anything is always going to be harder than if we’d simply avoided it in the first place, but here we have a recent study that looks at making a cure for too much fat from one of the main culprits: namely dairy products.
It is a truth generally acknowledged that one of the main causes of obesity is a diet high in dairy fats. However, it has been discovered that diets high in low-fat dairy calcium in fact helped burn off more fat than low calcium diets mainly because calcium plays an important role in regulating body weight and fat metabolism.
Although better known for maintaining bone density and strength, calcium also lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, and has been shown to increase weight loss. A recent study found an increase in dietary calcium intake to 1200 1300 mg per day together with a normal intake of protein increased fat and energy excretion by about 350 calories per day.
Different physical activities have differing energy requirements, as one might expect. However, these energy requirements rely on a variety of sources of fuel as well as bodily energy systems to supply their needs. Understanding your body’s needs and responses according to the type of physical activity you’re involved in largely determines your overall performance and success.
Take, for example, the 100 meter sprint and the marathon. The sprint is a brief high intensity event, whereas the marathon is a prolonged endurance test. Both burn up plenty of energy from different sources and by way of different bodily systems. Basic energy comes via the muscles in the form of Adenosine Triphosphate, or ATP. However, stored supplies of ATP for immediate use are limited and must be replenished and resynthesized from other sources via various metabolic paths depending on the intensity of the need.
The energy systems providing the metabolic paths are categorized as either immediate, short or long term and each is based on the resynthesis of ATP either from intramuscular phosphate PCr macronutrients, carbohydrates, lipids and protein or in some form of combination. These fuel sources use varying metabolic pathways in the regeneration of ATP.
Eating carbohydrates late at night is, as we all should know, real bad news for our digestive systems and for putting on weight – right?
The hypothesis behind the assertion that ingesting carbohydrates at night is based on the fact – well, supposed fact – that as you approach bed time your metabolism begins to slow down and thus during sleep your digestive system is also likely to be in a low power state. As you are burning fewer calories during this time your metabolic rate switches off or goes into a low power mode. At least that is the conventional wisdom.
However, research has shown there are rises and falls in the metabolic rate even during deep REM sleep – known as the sleeping metabolic rate (SMR), which often correlates with day time rates. There’s also evidence that exercise increases metabolic rates, which perhaps proves the old adage, ‘after supper walk a mile.’ Obese individuals are likely to have lower metabolic rates than the average.
Whether it’s the Christmas/New Year period or a summer season break you can put on weight faster than you get a sun burn if you relax your dietary rules while having fun. Christmas and New Year is probably the worst time for dieters as it basically celebrates gluttony, but the rules are the same for any place or time when we may be tempted to over-indulge. So here are a few ways to stay in shape.
Drinking alcohol in moderation may be difficult if everyone around is being immoderate. Alcoholic beverages especially eggnog are high in calories and the carbohydrates in Guinness are 100% sugar which can result in an insulin rush.
Although drinking water while eating is not good for digestion, having a glass before a meal will suppress your appetite as well as help avoid dehydration.
Marathons the last two decades are very succesfull. More and more people are participating either for athletic purposes either for a cause.
Let’s start with the bad news though. For those who believe running makes you healthier there are some rather depressing recent statistics. Last year Ryan Shay, aged 28, running in the US Men’s Olympic Trials in Central Park was the first world class marathon runner to die of a heart attack while competing. One day later Mathew Hardy, 50, died of a heart attack just after finishing the New York City Marathon. A month earlier Chad Schieber, 35, died in the Chicago Marathon although he’d previously been diagnosed with a heart defect.
Then of course, back in 1984, there was the case of Jim Fixx, who is largely accredited with popularizing running with his 1977 book ‘The Complete Book of Running’, who died of a heart attack aged 54 while running near his home in Vermont.Enough to make you hang up your running shoes? Then what about Bhai Fauja Singh? Nicknamed the ‘turbaned tornado’, born in the Punjab in 1911 and now living in East London, he’s 100 years old, a life-long vegetarian who avoids alcohol, fried foods and smoking and weighs only 52 kg and is not only running in international marathons, but consistently winning them in his age group. And he didn’t even start serious competitive running until in his 80s! Kind of contradictory, no?
Present day work environments and schedules are not usually very sympathetic or flexible towards those trying to follow a healthy lifestyle or on a diet. Shift work, overtime, deadlines, family responsibilities and commuting can all wreck your fitness regime if you let them. While some compromises may be necessary the secret is to stay in control of the situation as much as possible.
Here are few suggestions to help maintain your weight loss program while also keeping your job.
Control your eating environment. Don’t let others dictate your food choices and don’t be afraid to turn down offers of unhealthy snack foods or drinks at meetings or office parties. Don’t be intimidated by other people’s views on your dieting. If necessary, explain what you’re doing and why. Be positive and assertive. Choose who you hang out with. Try to find like-minded co-workers to help give support to your health regime.