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      STAYING ON TRACK DURING COVID-19

      STAYING ON TRACK DURING COVID-19

      1. Staying on track with our fitness goals can be challenging, especially with the Covid-19 pandemic.
      2. Motivation also feels incredibly scarce these days, and many people find themselves asking: “Why even bother?”
      3. To lift your spirit and help you get over this, we’ve put together this post that offers three fantastic things you can do to stay the course and bring back your enthusiasm for fitness.

      Find Ways To Shape Your Training 

      One fantastic benefit of exercise is that it can assume many shapes and sizes. If you can’t (or don’t want to) train in a particular way, there are creative activities that you can do. For example, if you used to lift weights at the local gym. You can switch to bodyweight. While it may not seem as effective, you can create new workout routines by the simple use of your imagination. Alternatively, you can invest in a pair of adjustable dumbbells, a set of resistance bands, and a door anchor for home resistance workouts. Add a home pull-up bar to your arsenal, and you will have almost everything you need to keep training productively in the upcoming months.

       

      Switch Gears For A While

      If you’re healthy and able to move freely, you are blessed because you have the incredible ability to try different ways of training and pursue different goals. Sure, change is difficult, but it also leads to incredible personal growth. So what if you can’t train at a gym right now? Why not switch gears for a while and try something else? There are many ways to exercise. You can try bodyweight training, yoga, running, swimming, biking, and much more. Instead of dwelling on what you can’t do, focus on what you can do. Who knows? You might find something a lot more enjoyable in the process.

      Keep Some Helpful Reminders In Mind

      Any time you feel like giving up, keep these four things in mind:

       

      1. Discomfort is temporary: Taking the easy route is tempting, especially when you feel like you’re not training effectively. Remember, that discomfort is temporary, and it is infinitely better to do even a lousy workout than to skip it altogether.
      2. You can still train productively: Yes, no matter how limited you might feel right now, remember that fitness is fluid, and there are many ways to train productively. Instead of dwelling on the negative, focus on productive ways to improve your current training - both small and big.
      3. You’ll be proud of yourself: We all feel a bit lazy from time to time – it’s human nature. Whenever you feel like taking the easy route, remind yourself that you will always be proud of yourself for sticking to your routine and doing the work.
      4. You are not alone: We all are facing crazy times and it’s easy to feel alone but remember fitness is the best way to release natural endorphins in the body helping boost your mood!  Life will eventually go back to normal and when it does you will be the best you ever!  

      How To Lose Fat In Troubled Areas!

      How To Lose Fat In Troubled Areas!

      How to lose fat in troubled areas

      Can I lose fat from my waist? I really want my arms to be thinner. Can I have thinner thighs? Why it is so hard to target the troubled areas in my body?

      We are seeing more and more blog posts, articles, videos and ads that promise the ability to help you focus on specific “troubled” fat areas. This method is called “spot reduction,” and in today’s blog, we will discuss the science behind this controversial statement and see if it’s truly possible to target unwanted body fat.

      Content

      1. So, what is Spot reduction?
      2. Why some people carry more fat in certain areas of their bodies?
      3. Is Spot Reduction really effective?
      4. Summary

      So, what is Spot reduction?

      A lot of people are searching for a quick solution to help burn fat in “troubled area” most commonly stored on our waistline, thighs, butt and arms. As we all may know losing fat through exercise and diet is not as quick or easy as many of us would like it to be. I see articles all the time saying “20 min Abs workout to blast the fat off your mid-section” but is this true? Although this appealing method of targeting specific body area was recently promoted in the fitness and health world, there is not that much of evidence to support this claim.

      Why some people carry more fat in certain areas of their bodies?

      There are many variables that effect how the body stores fat i.e. age, gender, genetics and of course lifestyle play an important role in the weight gain. As we grow older the harder it becomes to burn that unwanted body fat.

      As an example, women have 6 to 11 percent more body fat than men. Furthermore, men store fat around their stomach, while women store fat on their hips and thighs. [[i]] [[ii]]

      Is Spot Reduction really effective?

      This method is based on the belief that exercising body muscles in the troubled areas will burn fat in that specific area. However, fat loss does not work that way!

      How does fat loss really work?

      Fat is stored in the body’s fat cells in a form of triglycerides. It is a form of energy that your body uses in specific occasions. When your body needs to burn these fat molecules, they must be broken down to smaller pieces, fatty acids, and glycerol. The two small molecules that are coming from the different parts of your body’s fat cells are then used during exercise to produce energy.

      So, we can confidently say that spot reduction does not correlate with the way our bodies burn fat.

      Are there any scientific studies around Spot reduction?

      A 12-week study in 2014 found that abdominal resistance training and diet did not reduce belly fat compared to diet alone in overweight or obese women.[iii]

      Another study that focused on the upper body resistance training program had the same conclusion. [iv]

      Many other studies support the ideas that losing fat from troubled areas is ineffective.[v] [vi]

      Summary

      In conclusion research shows that losing fat from troubled areas i.e. “spot reduction” is not possible, as our bodies burn fat in a generalized manner and not in specific areas. Everyone’s body is unique when it comes to what fat storages are burned first, but this is not something to be discouraged about. With hard work and consistence those tighter arms, slimmer mid-section, or whatever your goals may be will eventually come with a proper healthy lifestyle.

       

      [i] University of New South Wales. "Why Do Women Store Fat Differently From Men?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 March 2009. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/03/090302115755.htm. [Accessed 22 August 2020].

       

      [ii] Med.uio.no. 2020. Women Have Healthier Fat Than Men - Institute Of Basic Medical Sciences. [online] Available at: <https://www.med.uio.no/imb/english/research/news-and-events/news/2019/women-have-healthier-fat-than-men.html#:~:text=Men%20store%20fat%20around%20their,is%20generally%20healthier%20than%20men's.> [Accessed 23 August 2020].

       

      [iii] Kordi R, Dehghani S, Noormohammadpour P, Rostami M, Mansournia MA. Effect of abdominal resistance exercise on abdominal subcutaneous fat of obese women: a randomized controlled trial using ultrasound imaging assessments. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2015;38(3):203-209. doi:10.1016/j.jmpt.2014.12.004

       

      [iv] APA KOSTEK, MATTHEW A.1; PESCATELLO, LINDA S.1; SEIP, RICHARD L.2; ANGELOPOULOS, THEODORE J.3; CLARKSON, PRISCILLA M.4; GORDON, PAUL M.5; MOYNA, NIALL M.6; VISICH, PAUL S.7; ZOELLER, ROBERT F.8; THOMPSON, PAUL D.2; HOFFMAN, ERIC P.9; PRICE, THOMAS B.2,10 Subcutaneous Fat Alterations Resulting from an Upper-Body Resistance Training Program, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: July 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 7 - p 1177-1185

      doi: 10.1249/mss.0b0138058a5cb

       

      [v] Ramírez-Campillo R, Andrade DC, Campos-Jara C, Henríquez-Olguín C, Alvarez-Lepín C, Izquierdo M. Regional fat changes induced by localized muscle endurance resistance training. J Strength Cond Res. 2013;27(8):2219-2224. doi:10.1519/JSC.0b013e31827e8681

       

      [vi] Frank I. Katch, Priscilla M. Clarkson, Walter Kroll, Thomas McBride & Anthony Wilcox (1984) Effects of Sit up Exercise Training on Adipose Cell Size and Adiposity, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 55:3, 242-247, DOI: 10.1080/02701367.1984.10609359

      How Nutrition And Fitness Advice Has Changed Over The Years!

      How Nutrition And Fitness Advice Has Changed Over The Years!

       

      Nearly every week there’s a new story making the headlines: ‘fat makes you fat!’, ‘high fat diets make you live longer!’, ‘vegan diet linked to longevity!’, ‘The carnivore diet will make you lose weight!’. It can be confusing to know what to believe, because health and fitness advice constantly changes. That’s why we reached out to a nutritionist and personal trainer, to discover the main ways advice has changed over the years.

      Let’s start at the beginning

      Our ancestors were hunter gatherers who hunted wild animals and gathered plant foods for sustenance. They often went through periods of famine, due to seasonality or having an unsuccessful hunt. This would then be met with periods of feasting, in which food was eating in abundance. Back in ancestral times, do you think there was nutrition and fitness advice? Of course not. Food was for survival, and physical activity an essential part of that.

      Flash forward to the present day, we have more access to food than ever before. Our food environment has been coined a ‘food swamp’ by experts, due to the sheer vastness of food we have constant access to. Overeating is now a bigger global problem than undernutrition: more people are dying from eating too much than those dying from not eating enough. As obesity rates began to increase throughout the 1970s, more and more nutritionists, trainers, scientists and food companies came out with ways to stay healthy. This essentially created the health and fitness industry, skewing facts and misinterpreting data to meet their agenda, to ultimately sell to the people in need of a solution.

      1970 was the beginning of diets and gyms. People were told to move more, because less people were active in their daily lives, despite the low rates of obesity, initiating the beginning of gym culture. In the 1970-90s it was all group sports and classes, at home workouts, stationary bikes and weight lifting - it was Arnold Schwarzenegger’s prime!

      Food companies began mass-producing food and quick fix weight loss methods became all the rage. Think Slimfast, diet pills, the grapefruit diet and good old starvation. The belief was that you should eat as little as possible, and move as much as possible.

      In the early 2000s, when the obesity epidemic was in full swing, nutrition advice was all about calorie counting. More research had been conducted and health experts were getting a better idea of how weight is gained. Weight Watchers was the most popular diet, focusing on a point system to count calories and lose weight. Fitness continued to grow in popularity, in line with the growing obesity rates (the irony) and the attention was all about increasing your energy expenditure as much as possible.

       

      In more recent years, nutrition and fitness advice has changed. We’re favoring shorter, more intense workouts that can be added into our work day, we’re putting an emphasis on recovery, with high tech options like massage guns and cryotherapy and we’re using technology to track our every moment. Now the advice is less on moving as much as possible and more on moving enough and doing it regularly. 

      In terms of nutrition, there have been big changes. Diet foods and companies have been kicked to the curb, overtaken by diet ‘approaches’ like intermittent fasting, keto and intuitive eating. People don’t want to be told to eat less anymore, they want better options, rather than sacrificing their happiness. This is in part due to the changing face of the media: it’s less size zero models and more body acceptance, natural curves and nourishing your body.

      As you can see, nutrition and fitness advice has changed extensively over the years. Being cognizant of the ever-changing advice will hopefully help you to differentiate between trends and truths. 

      3 Pre-workout Snack Recipes You Can Make With Only 5 Ingredients

      3 Pre-workout Snack Recipes You Can Make With Only 5 Ingredients

      1. Power Baked Potatoes

      Carb up pre-workout with this energy-boosting spud. If you’re looking for fewer calories, than half the potato works perfectly, too. For a creative spin, use sun-dried tomato pesto instead of basil pesto. You can also swap the cottage cheese for the ricotta, or cut it altogether if dairy upsets your stomach and you want less fat.

      Prep time 5 min.
      Cook time 8 min.

      • 1 Russet baking potato (about 10 oz)
      • ½ cup part-skim ricotta
      • ¾ cup baby spinach leaves, chopped if desired
      • 1½ Tbsp pesto, homemade or store bought

      2. Strawberry Kiwi Yogurt Parfaits

      High in protein and carbs but relatively low in fat, these parfaits work perfectly as nutrient-dense workout fuel, particularly if you’re going to be lifting. 

      3. Pineapple Spinach Smoothie

      Smoothies are a quick and easy way to get a pre-workout snack. Although carbs are essential in a pre-workout snack, don’t forget to round it out with a little protein and fat like from Greek yogurt and chia seeds in this smoothie.

      Prep time 5 min.

      • 1/2 cup orange juice
      • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
      • 1 cup baby spinach
      • 1/4 large pineapple, chopped (or 1 cup frozen cubes)
      • 1 tsp chia seeds