More FITNESS & LIFESTYLE info, news & updates…
Did you know that?
I’ve read that a Dallas, Texas study says that our metabolism is positively influenced for as long as 48 hours after a single workout. When we exercise, our neurons are boosted, reducing appetite, lowering blood glucose levels and helping us to burn energy and also inhibits increased appetite so let’s keep moving, keep exercising and working out.
Another study in The Journal of Strength And Conditioning found that targeting regions of the body to reduce fat by using resistance training and total body exercise was more effective than performing hundreds of traditional sit ups if trying to shed that extra layer of fat across the stomach. Ive found that doing lots of sit ups causes people to have neck issues and even if we do a few sit ups on the floor and I urge people to clasp their hands behind their neck to support their neck, they tell me that rather than working their core abdominals, their neck still suffers. So just to let you know that even though we may not do lots of old-style sit ups, we’re definitely still working our core abdominal and back muscles in the exercises and stretches that we’re doing. When we’re trying to stay lean, thinking about improving our metabolism to burn fat, then we need to engage the whole body rather than lying on the floor isolating one muscle group (and possibly feeling neck tension and stress at the same time).
I like that for us in our classes, exercise isn’t just a physical thing but it also has positive social aspects too which is really good for our mental as well as physical health. I love the community feeling that we have when we come together to exercise, supporting each other, chatting and caring for each other and building lasting friendships. For me, I also find it’s a great stress-reliever too. What’s not to love about all of those benefits?
Oh and music can also play a part in motivating us to exercise, getting us through a workout but also (hopefully) enjoying it too.
I read a couple of Q&A’s in a fitness mag recently and thought you might be interested in too. The first question was ‘can you really increase flexibility or are some more flexible than others? The answer was: ‘you can increase flexibility but those predisposed to greater flexibility will find it easier to achieve higher ranges of movement. This is associated with a different balance of collagen in the tissues which is something we can’t change. However every structure of the body constantly rebuilds itself in response to the type of movement and exercises that we do so increased flexibility can be achieved by regularly doing exercises requiring a good range of movement at the joints like yoga.
The other question which I found interesting asked whether we should eat after a late night workout and the nutritionist and weight loss specialist answered saying: if you’re doing an intense workout, it’s a good idea to eat within 30 mins of training. Protein aids muscle recovery while carbs help replenish glycogen stores. After a late/evening workout, we want to strike a balance between getting in these important nutrients without consuming something too heavy like a big meal (not easy to digest if going to bed soon after. A smoothie is a great option here and combining a scoop of protein powder with some nut butter, maybe some mixed berries and a sprinkling of oats and blended with a nut milk would be good without having that too-full feeling. Good to know and that’s generally what I do on a Tuesday and Thursday evening when I get in from classes, after a shower, I’ll either have a couple of oatcakes with nut butter or a smoothie with banana and nut butter.
It’s the last week of February and Friday sees us into March already. The weather’s been great though and I think it was Thursday last week when the temperature was spring-like (or even some of our summers!) and I sat at my laptop in the dining room with the door wide open getting some fresh air. However, I do remember last March having to cancel some classes because of red weather warnings so I’m not holding my breath for this continued lovely unseasonal weather but am also hoping it does.
‘your diet is like a bank account. Good food choices are good investments’
‘if you focus on results, you’ll never change. If you focus on change, you’ll get results’
‘little changes can change everything’
Talking about change: your desire to change must be greater than your desire to stay the same.
‘set goals, not limits’ and ‘in between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed’.
There’s a lot on social media about following the 80/20 rule where you eat 80% healthy and 20% indulging. I do occasionally eat 2 (or sometimes 3) squares of 70% dark chocolate which I think goes into my ‘indulgent’ category but even then, it’s still fairly healthy (the other 30% is sugar however), it does contain minerals ie manganese, copper and magnesium that helps support proper blood circulation and muscle contraction so yessss, and tick.
Btw: the higher percentage of dark chocolate solid (eg 80, 85 or 90%, the other small percentage is less sugar). I find that if I occasionally buy 80/85% though, that I need less of it, maybe a square or 2 every now and then.
So, all in all, sounds like a good balance and if thinking of changing to include more healthy meals, foods etc into your diet, remember that it’s not a short term diet but a long term lifestyle change that counts.
I don’t know if you’ve tried adding chia seeds into smoothies, on top of porridge or making a chia pudding but if not, give it a try. I love to add chia seeds into overnight oats and make chia puds sometimes too. The seeds are nutrient dense being rich in protein, calcium and omega-3 fatty acids which contribute to reducing heart disease. They’re high in fibre and when you add them to liquid (eg nut milk), they absorb the liquid and help to keep you fuller for longer.
Remember to: take a moment to appreciate how awesome you are. Yes, you!
I look forward to seeing you this week for more fitness, fun, exercise/stretch options & variations while we’re working towards improving our flexibility, strength, posture and balance too.
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