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Be Happy : Friday’s Health & Fitness Fact

7 Jun

Walk yourself fit!

Not a fan of running?

Walking at a brisk pace – 15 minutes per mile – burns almost as many calories as jogging for the same distance.

Not only this, but it reduces the risk of heart disease and diabetes, and lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.

So get those walking shoes on this weekend, leave the car at home, and walk to the shops!

 

But dont forget …

Jogging takes less time to cover the same distance and is good for your bones.

Weight-bearing exercises like running reduce your risk of osteoporosis, as it helps maintain bone mineral density.

 

Did you know?

There are many misconceptions around running and it’s effect on the body.

Many believe that running is bad for bones and joints, however recent research from the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (2008) found no evidence of accelerated rates of osteoarthritis among long-distance runners when compared with healthy non-runners.

It is in fact suggested that running could delay the onset of arthritis by more than 12 years – with those that run between 6 and 20 miles a week seeing the most benefit.

Professor Jim Fries, an expert in healthy ageing, emeritus professor of medicine at the Stanford University School of Medicine, California, and senior author of the study found the following from his research:

‘Running or jogging does not increase the risk of osteoarthritis, even though traditionally we thought it was a disease of wear and tear.

‘It’s the wearing that’s OK and not the tearing, because it’s important to avoid injury. 

We know now that painless running or other activities which are aerobic and make you fit help you remain vigorous for longer. 

You are four times better off in avoiding disability, and that’s what we all worry about. 

But we can’t say the same for the type of exercise that involves tears around the joint, primarily through twisting and turning. This accelerates development of osteoarthritis, particularly of the knee. Internationally, the most frequent cause is football. 

Even ballet dancers are at increased risk for osteoarthritis – at the base of the big toes.’

 

So don’t let the many misconceptions of others hold you back!

Be Happy : Friday’s Health & Fitness Fact

31 May

Sports Drinks are no more hydrating than water!

We see adverts all around us for the latest sports drinks, that promise to ‘revitalise us’, keep us ‘going longer’, and ‘improve performance’ – however do they actually work?

Oxford University Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine conducted various tests to research into claims made by manufacturers of sports drinks and protein shakes, and concluded that the quality of the evidence from the manufacturers was poor, and that the effect of the products was miniscule.

Sugar

In fact many sports drink are so high in sugar that the average fitness-freak doesn’t burn enough calories in a session at the gym to warrant drinking them!

A bottle of Lucozade Energy contains 266 calories – more than a Mars bar – only 260 calories!

Whilst a bottle of Powerade contains as much as seven teaspoons of sugar – similar to that of a can of coke – and you would need to walk for 30 minutes, or run for 15 to 20 minutes to burn it off!

Make your own sports drinks, and say goodbye to unnecessary sugar!

Water is better at hydration than any other liquid, both before and during exercise, however sports drinks may be seen to be more hydrating as you are more likely to drink larger volumes, therefore leading to better hydration!

You should drink 120-170ml of water for every 15-20 minutes of exercise – so an hour’s worth of exercise would require between 480 and 680ml – an average-sized sports drink bottle … But instead of drinking the sweet sugary option, keep that empty bottle before buying another, and make your own – not only a healthier option, but much cheaper too!

 

Isotonic Sports Drink :

  • 100ml fruit squash
  • 400ml water
  • a very small pinch of salt

Mix it all together and chill in the fridge.

An isotonic sports drink is best for :

  • A boost of carbohydrates
  • Long distance/long duration sports and activities
  • Replacing fluids lost through sweat

 

Hypertonic Sports Drink :

  • 200ml fruit squash
  • 500ml water
  • a very small pinch of salt

Mix it all together and chill in the fridge.

A hypertonic sports drink is best for :

  • A boost of carbohydrates – higher level than isotonic and hypotonic drinks
  • After exercise, to help top up muscle glycogen stores
  • For long distance events like marathons
  • Can also be taken during strenuous exercise.

 

Hypotonic Sports Drink :

  • 50ml fruit squash
  • 500ml water
  • a very small pinch of salt

Mix it all together and chill in the fridge.

A hypotonic sports drink is best for :

  • Quickly replacing fluids without adding carbohydrates
  • Drinking straight after a workout, as they directly target the main cause of fatigue – dehydration – by replacing lost water fast.

Be Happy : Friday’s Health & Fitness Fact

10 May

Treat yourself to that Friday night takeaway!

But stick to the tomato-based dishes …

Miracle foods do NOT exist, however some foods can help to increase your metabolism, and get your body burning more calories, even while you’re resting.

Spices such as cinnamon, mustard, ginger and cayenne have thermogenic properties, helping elevate your metabolism by 20% for two hours after eating.

A mere half-teaspoon, or a dash of Tabasco sauce added to your meal is enough to give you the full thermogenic effect!

And for a further calorie-burning boost …

Wash the spicy serving down with an ice-cold glass of water, and you’ll burn even more calories, as your body uses energy to warm the water up!

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