Categories
General

How to Increase Your Running Stamina and Endurance

Sometime in the future, a distance you find challenging now will feel easy. When that happens, it means you’ve increased your running stamina. We’re not saying a marathon will ever feel easy, but one day you’ll look back and notice that what you find challenging now will come much easier. An increase in running stamina comes from consistency, that means running multiple times per week for multiple weeks to accumulate fitness – there are no quick fixes if you want to increase running stamina. It’s generally accepted that it takes 10 days to 4 weeks to benefit from a run. The time will depend on the type of run, quicker and more intense runs being on the lower end of the range with long steady runs being on the other higher end of the range.

Before you begin working on increasing your running stamina, you need to make an honest assessment of your current aerobic base and build on that. Whether you’re a new runner looking to complete their first 5k or an experienced runner looking to increase their stamina for the final stages of the marathon and avoid hitting the wall, the rule of too much too soon always holds true, doing too much too soon only leads to injury or overtraining.

1. Be consistent

To increase your aerobic capacity and improve your endurance to run farther than you can now, you need to train consistently. Consistent training will build your aerobic base, increase your aerobic capacity (which is how much oxygen your muscles can use) and strengthen your muscles. When you begin to add extra runs to your week, they should be easy and slow speed follows endurance! You should aim for 3 to 4 sessions per week for 30 minutes or more. Aim to make one of these sessions your long run where you plan to go farther than any of your other runs that week.

Did you know?

Consistency is key to building your running stamina.

2. Run long

To run farther, you’re going to have to actually run farther! Either increase your long run by 510 minutes or add 0.81.6 km (0.51 mile) each time. It might not sound like much but it begins to add up. When you get into a bigger volume of training for a half marathon or marathon, your long run should be roughly 30-50% of your total distance for the week. Do your long run at a slow and sustainable pace; many people try to run their long run too fast and struggle to finish strong. Go slowly and just focus on covering the distance. Remember, speed follows endurance.

Tip:

Go slowly and just focus on covering the distance.

3. Tempo Runs

These runs are normally run over a shorter distance, but at a higher pace than at which you normally train. Training like this trains your body to clear lactic acid from the bloodstream quicker, which means you can run longer before fatigue and lactic acid builds up and slows you down. It will also make your easy running pace or planned race pace feel easier these runs are the key to improving your running speed. Tempo runs should be a comfortably hard pace that lasts from 20-40 minutes and up to 60 minutes for more advanced runners. They should not be an all-out effort that has you gasping for breath, but a challenging pace that you feel you can maintain over the duration of the run.

4. Eat for endurance

That means carbs! As a runner, you should focus on carbs making 55% – 65% of your calorie intake from carbs. You don’t need to eat a mountain of pasta at every meal, but be mindful of your carb intake to make sure it’s complimentary to your training. Before your long run, it’s key to  have a carb-based meal  to ensure you have enough energy to cover the distance. If you find yourself tired, in a low mood or unable to complete your planned runs, then increase your carbs. Always go for complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, brown rice and oatmeal instead of refined carbs and sugary foods that will spike your blood sugar (a spike is always followed by your blood sugar crashing).

5. Recover

The farther you run, the more you’re challenging yourself and therefore need to ensure your body is recovering between sessions. Good recovery comes from a good diet, stretching and sufficient sleep. Aim to eat a quality meal or snack of carbs and protein within 30 minutes after finishing your run. This is the optimal window of recovery where your body can best absorb the nutrients to refuel and recover with. Focusing on this will enable you to recover between sessions and go into each run feeling strong and able to complete it.

6. Work on your running economy

Working on your running technique will make you a more efficient runner. If you run efficiently, you will be able to run farther without feeling as tired as you will use less energy. Good technique comes from running tall (imagine a string holding you up), ensuring your foot lands under your center of gravity and a cadence of around 170 – 180 steps per minute. If you have weight to lose, then losing extra weight will also help your running economy since you will be lighter.

Read here how to increase your running stamina

7. Mind games

Running farther than you ever have before can be daunting, but you can do it! Mentally preparing yourself for your longest run of the week will make it easier. Some ways to make a long run seem less daunting are to break it down to 1 mile at a time, or to treat it as 2 x a distance you can run easily, or 1x a distance you can do with a little bit more added on a 10k with a slow 3k added on already sounds less scary than running 13k.

We hope this helps you increase your running stamina and help you run farther than before! Let us know what running topics you’d like us to cover in future posts by leaving a comment below.

***

Categories
General

Women’s Self Esteem and the Benefits of Sports

Taking a break in a workout to reflect

by Dr. Mauraine Carlier

We all have days when we can’t bear the thought of pulling on our gear and pounding the streets or going to the gym. We’re human: sometimes we can’t wait to get out the door and get a sweat on, but then there are days when the thought of exercise fills us with fear and dread.

Sadly, research has shown that it is even harder for many women, who feel a lack of self confidence when it comes to exercise. Research has shown that women feel they are judged more on appearance than ability, which can have a major impact on your self esteem.(1)

Go out there and exercise with confidence

A number of campaigns across the world have done an amazing job of showing that women of any age or size can play sports. From Always’ “Like A Girl” to Sport England’s landmark “This Girl Can”, the message is clear: there is no sport that is out of bounds for you. You don’t have to be super-thin to enjoy running, or really muscly to enjoy lifting weights, it’s your workout, and your choice.

The negative effects of social media are often discussed when it comes to body image for women. (2,3) However, these campaigns have specialized in using social media platforms as a force for good to get their message across. #likeagirl has become a badge of honor for many women on social media now, while #thisgirlcan has attracted almost 3m new participants to sports.

First and foremost, sports is about having fun. If you are not enjoying it, the chances of sticking to it are much smaller. But if you can find the right sport – for both your body and mind – then your chances of benefiting both physically and mentally skyrocket.

Female runner pauses during a run

Building Self Confidence with Goals

A great way to get started is to set little goals for yourself. Walking and running are inexpensive and uncomplicated ways to incorporate more exercise into your life. The adidas Running app has a goals feature to keep you focused and motivated to reach your goals. You’re in charge: pick the time frame and the distance and keep track of your progress. Who knows, maybe one day you might decide to run a half marathon or marathon. 

Tip:

Set short-term and long-term goals that are realistic and track your progress to stay motivated.

Love Your Body

Spoiler: there is no such thing as perfect. Don’t be put off just because you think you aren’t the right size, or other athletes have different body shapes to you: sports is for everyone to enjoy. Team sports in particular are a great start point as they make people feel part of a group, making them more relaxed and giving them confidence.

So often, women amaze themselves when they find out exactly what their body can do. Sports has the power to boost self esteem like nothing else, empowering you and building self confidence in everyday life.

Female running in city with adidas shoes

Simple things like wearing the right clothes and comfortable sneakers that make you feel good can have a huge impact on your motivation levels. Remember to go easy on yourself though – sports can be tiring as well as fun, so make sure you give yourself a break and take plenty of rest. Above all, try and have fun – then you’ll really be able to enjoy all the benefits of sports and be ready to tackle anything life can throw at you.

About the author:

Mauraine Carlier is a doctor in cognitive and sport psychology. Her work focuses on psychological and cognitive factors predicting the occurrence of injuries in sports. 

***

Categories
General

Effects of Stress on Weight and Hormones >> Know the Signs of Stress

Some experts estimate that a whopping 75-90 percent of all doctor’s office visits are related, either directly or indirectly, to conditions caused by stress.(1) Stress is a major problem in today’s modern world, thanks to social media, long working hours, lack of physical activity, and other factors. And while stress can cause a variety of health conditions, one of the most prevalent that most people are unaware of is its impact on our hormone levels and ability to maintain a healthy weight.

How stress is effecting human's health

What are the physical signs of stress?

Any source of stress placed upon the body, whether physical or emotional, triggers the production of the hormone cortisol, which is often referred to as “the stress hormone.” Cortisol is important for our survival, and when it spikes, during a fight-or-flight reaction, it’s what tells us to get out of danger, by jumping out of the way of a speeding car, for example.

The problem is that when we are under constant stress, our cortisol levels remain elevated, which then impacts numerous bodily processes, including your metabolism and emotional stability. Studies point to the fact that chronic high cortisol production is tied to ailments including anxiety,  sleep disorders, , hormonal imbalances, fertility problems, and, of course, weight gain.

When it comes to interfering with weight loss, stress can be a sneaky problem to tackle because you might not even suspect that it’s the root cause of the obstacles you’re facing. Below are five ways that chronic stress can negatively impact your quality of life, disrupt hormonal balance, and, therefore, interfere with weight loss.

The 5 Most Common Effects of Stress:

1. Stress Makes it Harder to Get Good Sleep

Cortisol is a hormone related to alertness, so one of its most important jobs is to help keep us motivated, awake, and responsive to our environment. Cortisol levels are typically highest in the morning, decreasing throughout the day, and then dropping to their lowest at night, around the time we should be headed to bed.

When levels of cortisol, and other stress hormones like adrenaline, are abnormally elevated throughout the day, it can be difficult to fall or stay asleep, or you may wake up very early (about 2-4 a.m.) feeling wired but still groggy. This lack of sleep can directly impact weight maintenance, as a lack of sleep affects levels of leptin and ghrelin, the hunger hormones that dictate appetite and feelings of fullness after eating.

2. Stress Increases Cravings

It’s no surprise that many people notice that the more hectic and overwhelming their life or schedule becomes, the harder it is to stick to a healthy diet. This is especially the case when it comes to sustaining newly formed eating habits, as research shows that stress makes it more likely that you’ll resort back to older, ingrained behaviors when responding to cues and triggers in your environment. (2)

Because stress hormones can interfere with your mood, sleep, and digestion, high stress levels commonly contribute to sugar and carbohydrate cravings. Additionally, research suggests that some people who are “high cortisol reactors” tend to consume more calories on days when they feel stressed compared to those considered “low reactors.”(3) Due to the effect of stress on hunger, high reactors are especially likely to crave sugary foods when feeling down or overwhelmed, which has been linked to increased risk for weight gain and various health problems.

Studies that have examined the associations between stress and eating behaviors have also found that high stress levels are an important risk factor for the development of many types of addictions, including food addictions. (4) Thus, stress may contribute to an increased risk for obesity and other metabolic diseases that are tied to eating hyper-palatable, high-calorie foods that have rewarding, mood-boosting qualities (like those that are highly processed, high-fat, and/or high in sugar). That’s because as stress decreases levels of “happy hormones,” such as serotonin, we crave more comfort and pleasure from the release of neurotransmitters tied to rewarding (eating) experiences.

A young women seems to be effected by stress

3. Stress Contributes to Digestive Disorders

Stress is one of the leading causes of digestive complaints and disorders, including constipation or diarrhea (both commonly associated with having “IBS”), acid reflux, and intolerances to FODMAP foods. That’s because stress can increase inflammation, which can damage tissue in the gastrointestinal tract, thus interfering with proper nutrient absorption and increasing many other symptoms tied to leaky gut syndrome.

Not only will you not feel your best when dealing with indigestion, but all of these problems can make it tough to continue eating a variety of high-fiber, whole foods, which are critical for healthy weight loss. Additionally, lacking certain nutrients (due to malabsorption) might ramp up your appetite in an attempt for your body to get the vitamins and minerals it needs.

And, of course, overeating due to stress can also cause digestive discomfort. Studies have found that increased stress hormones can disturb signals received via the appetite hormones which alert you when it’s time to eat and help guide how much you consume. Recent research suggests ghrelin secretion is “intensely responsive to both acute and chronic stress.” (5)

4. Stress Makes it Difficult to Stay Active

While it’s possible to lose some weight simply by eating a healthier diet, staying active is usually essential for weight maintenance, feeling fully confident in your body, and maintaining overall health as you age. Because stress increases inflammation and weakens the immune system, it can also contribute to symptoms that interfere with sustaining an active lifestyle—like lack of energy, slowed workout recovery, frequent illness, and the development of pain, soreness and/or stiffness in your muscles and joints

5. Stress Can Lead to Brain-fog, Moodiness & Low Willpower

One of cortisol’s roles is to channel glucose in the blood (obtained from sources of carbohydrates in the diet) to your muscles in order to deal with perceived threats or sources of stress. When we are under constant stress and glucose is being diverted to address these potential threats, this leaves less energy, or fuel, for brain activity and mood stabilization.

Studies have found that hormonal changes due to stress can negatively affect your ability to access memories, prevent you from creating new ones, and decrease your ability to form new, healthier habits. While stressed, you’re also more likely to revert to older habits at the expense of engaging in goal-directed behaviors. This can block your ability to start associating exercise and/or a healthy diet with improvements in your mood and well-being, leaving you much less motivated to keep putting in the necessary effort.

Summary

The effects of stress on the body should not be taken lightly. What can you do to improve your stress management? Even simple things like having a morning routine or switching to healthy snacks can help you reduce stress. Exercise is another effective way to manage stress

Find the strategies that work for you so you can avoid developing symptoms of stress and improve your peace of mind.

***

Categories
General

What Everyone Gets Wrong About Artificial Sweeteners

Are artificial sweeteners bad for you? We get this question all the time. First and foremost, it needs to be said: diet beverages have an undeserved bad reputation. They’ve been blamed for everything from making you gain weight to messing with your hormones. And, study-after-study tries to pardon the beverages without any luck. 

Plenty of research has found that the artificially sweetened diet drinks do not cause you to gain more weight. In fact, they might help with weight loss indirectly by reducing appetite.

So, why do artificial sweeteners have such a bad reputation? Probably for the same reason that people believe white rice will make you fat (it doesn’t). 

Nutritional dogma is always stronger than nutritional details. So, if you see an artificial sweetener on a label, here’s what you really need to know.

Do Artificial Sweeteners Make You Gain Fat?

Most of the negative research about diet sodas are done within studies with rats. But, when humans are tested, the negative results are not replicated.

can of diet coca cola

And yet, even if research doesn’t support the idea that diet soda causes weight gain directly (seriously, diet soda does not make you fat), plenty of people still believe it disrupts insulin sensitivity and, thereby, makes it easier to store fat.

In a new study, participants had two drinks per day of either 330ml of an artificially sweetened drink or 330ml of carbonated water (they tested carbonated water, so it’d be harder to tell the 2 drinks apart).

The artificially sweetened drink contained 129 mg of aspartame and 13mg of acesulfame K (about what you’d find in your favorite diet beverage, regardless of whether you’re a Coke or Pepsi fan). What happened?

After 12 weeks, there was no difference in insulin sensitivity, body weight, or waist circumference. As in, drinking the diet soda was just as “bad” (or good!) as carbonated water.

Do Artificial Sweeteners Effect Insulin?

A couple of years ago, we sent out a popular email that asked the question: Do Artificial Sweeteners F*ck Up Your Insulin?

The answer, according to research, was a resounding no.

Recently, scientists took it a step further. They essentially asked: Do Artificial Sweeteners F*ck up ANYTHING?

They wanted to see if there was any relationship whatsoever between non-caloric sweeteners (such as Stevia, Splenda, or Aspartame) and a myriad of things, like:

  • eating behavior
  • cancer
  • cardiovascular disease
  • kidney disease
  • mood
  • behavior
  • cognition

They then conducted a meta-analysis of 56 studies, including 21 controlled trials. (A meta-analysis examines a large number of independent studies, and is generally considered a stronger standard of evidence.)

The findings? A whole lot of nothing. Here is part of there scientist’s conclusions:

Most health outcomes did not seem to have differences between the [artificial sweetener] exposed and unexposed groups. Of the few studies identified for each outcome, most had few participants, were of short duration, and their methodological and reporting quality was limited,” the authors wrote.

It’s important to note: To date, nearly all the scary-sounding headlines about artificial sweeteners have come from research on lab rats. This analysis focused exclusively on research with either healthy or obese adults and children.

Do Artificial Sweeteners Disrupt Gut Health?

While some people still worry about the impact of diet soda on gut health (the microbiome), research is still so young in that area. But, we have found that some artificial sweeteners, while not “dangerous,” can create more GI discomfort than you might like. 

According to a recent meta-analysis, only saccharin and sucralose shift the populations of gut microbiota.

Or, maybe more importantly for your comfort of being around others, some artificial sweeteners can make you a bit gassy or even disrupt your normal pooping experience. (Yeah, we just said poop. It’s a first on this blog). 

But, not all artificial sweeteners are created equal. The one’s to watch out for include:

  • erythritol
  • isomalt
  • lactitol
  • maltitol
  • mannitol
  • sorbitol
  • xylitol 

list of artificial sweeteners that cause GI stress

Are There Reasons To Avoid Artificial Sweeteners?

Like any food, there will be great reasons for you to avoid artificial sweeteners. For example, if you drink diet soda and it makes you feel like crap, then don’t drink it. That doesn’t mean it’s inherently bad; just means it’s a bad fit for you. This goes for any food. You don’t need science to tell you what makes you feel your best.

What’s more, it’s also possible — pending several factors — that artificial sweeteners can affect some people’s neurobiology and make them crave sweet stuff.

This is not to say it makes you gain weight. Just as the reduction in appetite some experience when drinking diet soda doesn’t guarantee weight loss, the potential of increasing cravings doesn’t ensure weight gain.

But, if you find yourself with an insatiable need for sugar, this could be a reason. 

The Final Verdict on Artificial Sweeteners

Artificial sweeteners are misunderstood, and dozens of studies show that they are fairly neutral for most people, and more likely to help with fat loss than hurt (if that’s your goal).

Put more simply, “Not Good, Not Bad,” as the New York Times declared.

As far as we know now (and this stuff has been tested a lot) if you drink diet soda in moderation, there’s no reason to fear your diet soda consumption.

If safety is your concern (it’s always ours), the overwhelming majority of governing health bodies around the world approve of artificial sweeteners, including:

  • The Federal Department of Agriculture (FDA),
  • The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA),
  • The National Cancer Institute 
  • The Joint Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
  • The World Health Organization (WHO)
  • The Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA).

Or, as a 2019 review paper revealed:

“A few rodent studies with saccharin have reported changes in the gut microbiome, but primarily at high doses that bear no relevance to human consumption. This and other studies suggesting an effect of low/no-calorie sweeteners (LNCS) on the gut microbiota were found to show no evidence of an actual adverse effect on human health.

If diet beverages or artificial sweeteners find their way into your healthy eating plan and it works for you, there’s no compelling reason to give them up. But, if they aren’t things you eat, there’s no reason to start, either. 

The post What Everyone Gets Wrong About Artificial Sweeteners appeared first on Born Fitness.

Categories
General

Quick Warm-Up Routines That Will Change How You Exercise

Here’s something you won’t hear many trainers admit: A long workout warm-up — you know, the type that asks you to foam roll, stretch, or otherwise activate every muscle imaginable — can backfire.

Before you think we’re railing against common advice for the sake of being counterintuitive, we’re not saying warmup exercises are bad. We’re just saying the way they are implemented is flawed and, in many cases, not supported by research.

In fact, all the way back in 2012 in the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapymore than 100 studies were reviewed and the takeaway was:

Stretching has not been shown to be effective at reducing the incidence of overall injuries. While there is some evidence of stretching reducing musculotendinous injuries, more evidence is needed to determine if stretching programs alone can reduce muscular injuries.

If you want the benefits of warming up without dreading the typical process, we’ve tested dozens of different protocols on thousands of online fitness coaching clients and have found that there is a better way. 

The Benefits of a Warmup

The value of preparing your muscles to move can’t be understated. Your body needs to be ready for the stress of lifting weights, running, or performing a sport. If your muscles are warm and prepared, then they can generate more force and move more weight.

woman stretching

More importantly, preparing a muscle to move, produce force, change direction, or push the limits just doesn’t happen on its own. When you try to force it. That’s when injuries happen. 

A cold muscle is like a cold rubber band. To understand, think about the elasticity of a rubber band. You can stretch it, and the more you pull back, the more energy you can generate.

Now, imagine freezing the rubber band overnight. It changes everything. What was once easy-to-move is now stiff; what once took an incredible amount of force to break can now easily snap.

So, warming up your muscles is a good idea. But, how you do it doesn’t need to follow the usual routine.

How To Design A Better Workout Warmup

Most warmup routines are long and onerous (not to mention uncomfortable), which makes it something you dread. And because it’s right there at the beginning of your workout, it can feel like a reason to not show up at all, or you skip the warmup…and find yourself injured. We’ve all been there.

So, what if you changed everything about your warmup routine.

Yeah, you heard us right. We’re not saying you have to stop warming up. As we’ve pointed out, warm-ups are great. But, they aren’t so helpful if they sabotage your workout motivation.

So, we recommend a different option. Instead of a long warmup, we focus on just 1-2 exercises to get started. Here is our favorite 1-exercise warm-up.

And then, thanks to the advice of our longtime friend and contributing fitness expert Tony Gentilcore, we add workout fillers.

Fillers are a way to address trouble spots and tight areas during your workout, simply by doing them between sets. So, instead of worrying about all of the exercises you need to do before starting your workout, you implement strategic exercises into your workout to help you move better, prevent injury, and train harder.

Basically, you make use of your one- to three-minute-long rest periods by doing some easy muscle activation drills or mobility work. (Note the word “easy.” These are not meant to be supersets.)

“We always provide warm-ups for clients, but we also know not everybody does them,” says Born Fitness Head Coach B.J. Ward.

“That’s where fillers come in. We can plug in some movements that are going to help them move better and get stronger pain-free while they rest between sets. It doesn’t “feel” like you’re doing much but we end up sneaking in a lot of extra work in.”

If you’re new to workout fillers, Gentilcore goes a little deeper into the basics in this post, which also covers fillers for deadlifting. In a second post, he explains other techniques to help you squat better.

If you’re already familiar with fillers, then you’ll still want to tune in. Why? Because his deadlift tips are on-point. If you’ve struggled with squats or deadlifts, or just felt “off” whenever you’ve tried them, the mobility drills he shows could help you get moving and grooving better. (And if there’s one thing to know about our man Tony, it’s that the dude can deadlift like a boss.)

The Best Warmup Exercises

If you’re already sold on fillers or just want a great movement to prepare you for your favorite (or hardest) exercises, Coach Ward has your back. Here are some additional moves he recommends as fillers within workouts, or as a primary warmup movement before your workout. (Click a move to see a video demonstration.)

Warmup Exercises For Squats 

  1. 90/90 Hip Switch
  2. Combat Stretch Ankle Mobility

Warmup Exerciser for Deadlifts:

  1. Dead Bug Breathing

Warmup Exercise for Bench Press:

  1. Adductor Quadruped Rockback

Surprised? Here’s Ward on why a lower body mobility move can help you when you bench: “Most of us sit all day. The more mobility work we can throw in to unglue our hips, the better. And secondly, opening up the front of your hips can help you get into a better position on the bench press. We ask lifters to get their feet under their knees and squeeze the glutes during the bench press setup. If you’ve opened up the front of your hips it’s easier to lock into this position.

How to Perform Warmup Movements

For each warmup movement, perform 3-5 reps per side. Do only as many sets as necessary so that you feel a little more fluid, your muscles feel warm, and your range of motion has improved. In many cases, just 1-2 sets will suffice.

While we have these fillers paired with the “big 3 lifts,” you don’t have to bench, squat, or deadlift in order to use them. Try them between sets of any similar upper or lower body exercise.

And remember, for a super-efficient warm-up, here’s our favorite movement that will get your body prepared in less than 5 minutes.

Interested In A Custom Coaching Plan?

At Born Fitness, we know every individual is unique. There’s no one-size-fits-all plan. Our team can develop a plan around your lifestyle to help you reach your goals.

If you like the idea of fillers that we talked about above but aren’t sure where to start, more personalization and hands-on support though our online coaching program may be right for you. Every client is assigned two coaches — one for nutrition and one for fitness. Find out more here. 

READ MORE: 

The Surprising Science Benefits of The 5-Minute Walk

The Art Of The Deload

The Best Stretch For Your Body (In Less Than 5 Minutes)

The post Quick Warm-Up Routines That Will Change How You Exercise appeared first on Born Fitness.

Categories
General

The Surprising Health and Weight Loss Benefits of the 5-Minute Walk

The idea of keeping it simple is something that is embraced in almost every area of life — except exercise. Unless a behavior is extreme or challenging, it’s assumed that it won’t work. 

Believing this reality is not only likely to lead to injury and burnout, but it’s also a big reason why so many people struggle to see results, end up frustrated, and in general, miss out on all the ways that it’s easy to stay healthy.

Now, that’s not to say you don’t need to put in a little time and effort, but the time and effort needed to make a difference in your health and how you feel is probably much less than you imagine. 

Whether you’re looking for a place to start your routine, or you’re trying to dial-it-in and make the small changes that will result in a big impact, it’s time for you to walk. Literally. Here’s why and how to start implementing walking for fat loss.

Is Walking Better Than Running?

The difference between “healthy habits” and “fat loss habits” is one of the hardest health concepts to grasp.

Just because something is healthy does not mean it leads to fat loss. The easiest example is a common diet mistake. You can eat a lot of “healthy” food, but if you eat too much of it, you’ll gain weight.

Conversely, just because something helps with fat loss does necessarily mean it’s healthy. Dr. Mark Haub, a professor at Kansas State University, proved this when he lost 27 pounds following a Twinkie diet. 

The phenomenon is also true in exercise. All-too-often, people will argue about the “best” type of exercise.

Certain types of exercise, such as weight lifting, are more efficient for weight loss. And people will argue that weight lifting is more effective for fat loss than running. 

It’s really a matter of time, goals, and capabilities. Yes, if you go for a run and push the intensity, then you will burn more calories. But, how often are you going for a run? And, is your goal to be a better runner?

man trail running

Let’s say you only ran 2 days per week for 45 minutes. But, let’s also say you hated it, it led to some aches and pains, and those feels (emotionally and physically) made you a very inconsistent runner. 

Now, compare that to going on a 30-minute walk 5 days per week, at a brisk pace while listening to your favorite podcast.

Your total amount of exercise (150 minutes vs. 90 minutes) would increase, the frequency of your movement would be more (5 days per week vs. 2 days), the stress on your joints would be reduced, your stress levels would go down, and your motivation up. 

Not to mention, if you did other forms of exercise — such as weight training or playing a sport — the walking would function as a form of active recovery, which would help your muscles recover quicker and reduce soreness.

So, is walking “better” than running? Maybe not on a minute-by-minute comparison, but it could be a healthier and more consistent option.

And, in general, there are many benefits for lower-intensity exercise, and this type of training can also fill weaknesses that you didn’t even know existed.  

Can Walking Help With Fat Loss?

While it doesn’t make headlines because it’s not sexy, walking gets the job done much better than people think, as long as you put in the consistent effort.

Think of every step you take as a small win. In a 2011 study published in the journal International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, researchers found that taking a 5-minute walking break every hour could burn an extra 660 calories per week.

Extrapolate that over one year and you could lose about 9 to 10 pounds just by adding up the 5-minute walks.

Of course, over an 8-hour day, that amounts to 40 minutes of walking per day for at least 5 days per week. And not everyone can get up every hour to go for a walk. It’s a commitment, but even if you did half of that amount, you can still see a difference. 

In fact, some of the biggest celeb trainers, people such as Harley Pasternak, are best known for their focus on daily steps as a foundation for health and fat loss. Pasternak sets a goal of 12,000 steps per day for his A-list clientele, which is a whos-who ranging from Ariana Grande and Lady Gaga to LL Cool J and Adam Levine. 

legs of a person walking on a sidewalk

In general, you don’t need to model what celebs do (especially when it requires spending lots of money on approaches not backed by science. Cough, cough, celery juice!). But, if walking can work for them, you better believe that you should, at the very least, give it a try yourself. After all, it’s free. 

Proven Health Benefits Of Walking

The health benefits of walking should not be understated, and research shows that it is undeniably good for you.

New research from the Netherlands compared different types of exercise and movement (and lack thereof) on health markers. You’ll know “health markers” as the “under-the-hood” breakdown of how your body is really feeling and whether or not you’re healthy.

The study looked into the specific effects of:

  1. sitting
  2. standing
  3. exercise (occasionally)

Turns out, each has a distinct impact on your body that is measurable in as little as four days.

In this study, researchers recruited 61 adults — some who were healthy, some overweight, and some overweight and diabetic. None were exercisers prior to the study. The scientists then had the group follow three different living patterns, each for four straight days at a time. The patterns were:

  • 14 hours a day of sitting, getting up only to use the bathroom (sounds like my life after an early morning workout)
  • 13 hours of sitting + 1 hour of moderate exercise
  • 8 hours of sitting + 6 hours of standing or strolling around

Participants underwent a series of health tests before and after each block. The results:

  • The sitting period led to a worsening in cholesterol and increases in insulin sensitivity, even in those who’d been metabolically healthy (no diabetes) at the outset.
  • The exercise period led to an improvement in endothelial cell health (which keeps your blood vessels flexible, supple, and strong), but no effects on insulin sensitivity or cholesterol.
  • The standing/strolling period led to improvements in insulin sensitivity and cholesterol levels

The lesson is that movement has benefits, and you shouldn’t think of exercise as “checking off” all the boxes of health.

Just because you lift weights or have gym time doesn’t mean that you should think you can sit all day.

Also, walking has a surprising amount of health benefits (and yes, it will burn some calories too).

In fact, this is very much in line with what we’ve been saying for a long time: the movement you do outside of the gym has a surprising impact on your health and on weight loss.

It’s a win for all. If you need more details on the changes walking can make to your life, this article will help.

Have questions? Share them in the comments below or follow us on Instagram for our Sunday Q&A.

Or if you’re looking for more personalization and hands-on support, our online coaching program may be right for you. Every client is assigned two coaches — one for nutrition and one for fitness. Find out more here. 

The post The Surprising Health and Weight Loss Benefits of the 5-Minute Walk appeared first on Born Fitness.

Categories
General

061: ESS60, supplements, and sleep with Chris Burres

Hi friends! Happy Wednesday! Thank you so much for tuning into the podcast today. I’m chatting with Chris Burres all about ESS60 (which increased lifespan of test subjects by 90 percent), supplements, and sleep. I really enjoyed our conversation – Chris is incredibly knowledgeable and had great energy – and hope you like this episode. We talk about antioxidants, how to choose safe supplements, why it’s important to be good at more than one thing, tips for healing, restful sleep, and so much more.

Episode 61 of the Healthy in real Life Podcast with Chris Burres

Here’s a little bit about Chris Burres:

Chris Burres is a research engineer and scientist whose primary mission is to help people live, longer, healthier, pain-free lives. Burres has a diverse in the field of inventions and manufacturing. With a BS in Mechanical Engineering from University of Houston, Burres is a co-inventor of patents related to the use of explosives in downhole oil well drilling, a co-inventor of the most effiecient fullerene manufacturing equipment in use since 1991, and co-owner of a company that manufactures a unique product containing a Nobel-Prize winning molecule that has been shown to increase the lifespan of test subjects by 90 percent.

You can find Chris at his website here and on Instagram.

The link will give you $15 off if you want to give My Vital C a try!

Resources from this episode:

Why We Sleep

Don’t forget to sign up for your free 21 days of Les Mills On Demand! This is one of my all-time favorite workout platforms. The instructors are knowledgeable and motivating, plus the music is incredible. There are so many different formats, you’ll definitely find something you love. Get your free workouts here. Perfect opportunity to switch up your routine now that so many of us are at home.

I’m a huge fan of Daily Harvest for quick and healthy meals. Their smoothies are an almost-daily staple (such an easy way to get in a ton of nutrients) and I also love their overnight oats, soups, and bowls. Get $25 off your first order using the code FITNESSISTA. Check it out here. 

Thank you so much for listening and for all of your support with the podcast! Please leave a rating or review if you enjoyed this episode. If you leave a rating, head to this page and you’ll get a little “thank you” gift from me to you.

You can listen and subscribe to the podcast on iTunesStitcher, and Google Play.

The post 061: ESS60, supplements, and sleep with Chris Burres appeared first on The Fitnessista.

Categories
General

Beautycounter fall holiday 2020 is here!

Sharing some of my favorite gift ideas from the new Beautycounter fall holiday line + a little giveaway 🙂 Read on for the details. 

Hi friends! Exciting news: Beautycounter holiday is here!! With everything going on in the world, I have to say I was prettyyyyy pumped when this package arrived on the doorstep. As a consultant, I purchase the holiday haul (we get an amazing discount) for the opportunity to try out new products, surprise some of my clients, and share with friends and family for the holidays. There is so much good stuff this year and I’m excited to share some of my top picks with you.

If you’re new to Beautycounter, this is the perfect opportunity to treat yourself because many of the bundled sets are at a lower cost than buying products individually. (If it’s your first time ordering, you can also use the code CHANGEBEAUTY10 for 10% off your first purchase. *Holiday sets and certain items are excluded.)

Even if you’re not yet in the holiday shopping mood, I think we can all agree that we need a little extra self care right now. So go ahead and shop for yourself – so worth it!

These were probably my top pick from last year just because they were such awesome gifts! Liv and P both LOVED the jellies (they remind me of the Victoria’s Secret lipglosses I used to wear back in the day but not sticky at all) and it made me happy that they could have their own and I was reassured that they were made with safe ingredients. All of Livi’s friends got these for Christmas – I’m going to order a pack for her dance team friends- and they were a huge hit. They’re perfect for little cousins or nieces and also to break apart as stocking stuffers.

These make amazing teacher and hostess gifts. During the winter months, I always have a hand cream or body butter in my purse, in the car, and in the kitchen when I’m constantly washing my hands. The new scents are aromatherapeutic with essential and botanical oils. There are three scents: balance, uplift and calm.

The lip polish gently buffs with organic sugar and nourishing oils, while the Better Balm helps protect and soothe lips. The Better Balm conditions lips with murmur butter and helps to visibly reduce fine lines. I had the version of this from last year and it really helped me to prevent dry, chapped lips over the winter months.

This trip includes three of our reformulated lip glosses in the shades iris shimmer, lilac shimmer, and wild berry. Our BeyondSmooth Conditioning Complex is a blend of beeswax, candelilla wax, and organic carnauba wax that helps to lock in moisture to leave lips looking and feeling soft and smooth. The wild berry is my favorite one; it gives an awesome pop of color!

This Golden Hour Palette is so gorgeous!! It includes four eyeshadows, a blush, and a highlighter (talc-free and made with responsibly-sourced mica). Plus, 10% of the proceeds from the sales of it are being donated to Kailash Satyarthi Childrens Foundation.

Mission: The Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation US is dedicated to eradicating child labor and child exploitation by educating and mobilizing the public, engaging the private sector to prioritize children in their business models, building capacity of partners on the ground and advocating for the protection of children in national and international policies.

This is another one of the products I think will sell out, because it contains two of our bestselling products: the overnight peel and the All Bright C serum. This is a great way to try these two amazing products at a bundled discount, or if you already have and love them, it makes a perfect travel set since the bottles are a bit smaller. If you haven’t tried Beautycounter yet, I would absolutely start with this set!

If you plan to order more than $50, sign up for Band of Beauty here for your free gift! You’ll get a combo pack of two of our bestsellers: the charcoal mask and overnight peel! It’s $29 for the year and you get 10% back in product credit, free shipping on orders over $100. It’s like our version of Amazon Prime or Nordstrom Rewards. Please let me know if you have any questions!

(A dress and heels for about 15 minutes to feel holiday-ish and then went immediately back into lulu leggings and a hoodie.)

A fun lil bonus: leave a comment below with something that’s on your Beautycounter wish list from the list above! I’ll pick a lucky winner to receive what’s on their wish list and announce in Friday Faves 🙂

xo

Gina

The post Beautycounter fall holiday 2020 is here! appeared first on The Fitnessista.

Categories
General

Focus On: CXWORX

Sharing the details on Les’ Mills core program: CXWORX. This post isn’t sponsored, but if you’d like to try a class, please head to my referral link for 30 days free. The Les Mills workouts are incredible and I’m so excited for you to give them a try!

Hi friends. Happy Monday! I hope you had a lovely weekend. The Pilot was working, so the girls did our usual rotation of dance lessons, horse lessons (they’re both crushing it!!), time at the pool, and walks around the neighborhood.

I also took my first full CXWORX class and had to report back because it was so good… and my abs were so sore!

To be honest, since my surgery, I haven’t done a lot of traditional “core training.” I focus on DR-safe exercises because I don’t want to tear my muscle repair – mostly I’m just paranoid because it’s pretty tough to screw it up many years post-surgery – and even in online classes, some of the exercises aren’t very functional. So, I modify a lot! After throwing out my back, my chiropractor told me to stick to low-impact for a couple of weeks (strength training, yoga, and walking) and I’ve been getting a little bored with my routine. I can’t wait to get back into dance cardio, Peloton, and BODYCOMBAT. This past week, I decided to try something new, and figured that Les Mills’ core workouts wouldn’t hurt me because they’re so focused on safety.

I’d tried condensed CXWORX at the gyms where I’ve taught in the past, but this was my first full 30-minute class and I LOVED it. It will absolutely become a part of my weekly routine. It was safe, functional, motivated, and surprisingly challenging.

Here’s what to expect if you’ve never taken CXWORX:

Exercising muscles around the core, CXWORX™ provides the vital ingredient for a stronger body. A stronger core makes you better at all things you do, from everyday life to your favorite sports – it’s the glue that holds everything together.
All the moves in CXWORX have options, so it’s challenging but achievable for your own level of fitness. During the 30-minute workout trained instructors guide you through correct technique as you work with resistance tubes and weight plates, as well as body weight exercises like crunches, and hovers. You will also get into some hip, butt and lower back exercises.

All you need is a mat, some water, light weight plates or dumbbells, and a resistance band.

The workout includes a warmup, two standing core series, and three floor work core strength songs. Class went by quickly and I loved the mix of exercises. As someone who easily gets bored with crunches and planks, I loved that they included a diverse mix of exercises, like wood chops, deadlifts, halos, and tripod push-ups.

What I loved about it:

– Music-based. All of the Les Mills classes are music-based, which I find extremely motivating. The classes move with the beat of the music and intensity builds with each song.

– Functional core exercises. Like I mentioned before, I loved the mix of functional exercises and appreciated the fact that they include low back work, balance training and glute work. Whenever I design a core workout, I like to include flexion, extension, rotation, and lateral movement, and this checks all of those boxes.

Here’s a list of the tracks we did:

– Lots of modification and progression options. As someone who has to be strategic about core training with my surgery and DR background, they provided lots of modifications and options to make the exercises more challenging. I didn’t ever feel like I was straining or creating too much intra-abdominal pressure.

What I didn’t like about it:

– Less on the cardio side. As someone who likes to sweat from their eyeballs, it’s harder for me to chose classes that are purely strength  for the firs time. Then, if I like it, I’m hooked. Now that I know what to fully expect, I can’t wait to add it as a regular part of my routine.

– I didn’t have all of the equipment I needed. I couldn’t find my long resistance band, but it was fairly easy to modify without one.

I’ll probably take another class this afternoon. If you’d like to join me, use my link for 30 days free!

Have you tried CXWORX? How often do you do core training in your routine?

xo

Gina

More:

Exercises swaps when you have Diastasis Recti

Les Mills Barre Review

Focus On: GRIT

Les Mills On Demand Review

Functional core workout

Barre arms and core workout

The post Focus On: CXWORX appeared first on The Fitnessista.

Categories
General

The Most Common Cause of Sports Injuries >> Avoid this Mistake

Did you know that 30-70% of recreational and competitive runners sustain a sports injury during any 1-year period?(1) However, not many runners are aware of what puts them at risk.

When asked about the main cause of running injuries, most runners will reply:

  • Not stretching
  • No warm-up or cool-down
  • The wrong shoes…

What do you think? A lot of time and money is spent on researching the risk factors that might be the source of sports injuries for so many runners.

People doing stretching on the street to avoid sports injuries

Running Risk Factors for Sports Injuries 

Stretching does not help prevent sports injuries and neither does wearing the “perfect” running shoes.(2) At least, according to the latest research.

However, many studies to date do mention a common mistake that is likely putting runners at a considerably higher risk of getting hurt.

And luckily, there is something you can do about it. (Hint: It’s free and easy!)

So, what is the mistake that causes the most running injuries?

The simple mistake that increases runners’ risk of Sports injury

For decades, training load – specifically excessive mileage – has been suspected as one of the causes of running injuries, especially among inexperienced runners.

In other words, doing “too much, too soon” might get you hurt.

Which mistakes to avoid to prevent sports injuries

Sports scientists are still trying to fully understand the complex relationship between training load and running problems.(3,4) And even if there is no clear consensus to date, the available information supports the idea that you can and should do something about it.

What can you do about it?

Have you heard of the “10% rule”? This common rule of thumb suggests that you shouldn’t increase your weekly mileage by more than 10% each week.(5) A different study suggested that going up to 23% more mileage still won’t increase injury risk in beginner runners. The complexity of the factors in play and the lack of specific research makes it impossible to say exactly how you should increase your mileage. While researchers focus on determining the details, do something to reduce your risk of sports injuries…

Instead of following a strict rule, consider this advice:

  • Track your mileage: if you’re not already tracking your weekly mileage start right away. A free running app like the adidas Running app makes it easy by delivering your weekly stats via email.
  • Don’t increase the mileage too soon: be patient, stick to a “humble” increase in mileage (10% if you want to be really cautious), especially if you are a beginning runner without much experience in monitoring intensity and load on your body.
  • Watch out for signs of stress: increased irritability, persistent fatigue, problems falling asleep? All of this and many more could be signs of overtraining – in other words, putting too much stress on your body. Often runners will ignore other work and life stress and not count it as additional stressors for their runs. Whatever you are dealing with in your life has an effect on your body’s recovery. So reduce your training at  stressful times and focus on active recovery.

How to avoid sports injuries while running

Takeaway

Possibly the most common mistake runners make that leads to sports injuries is increasing the training load before they are ready. Whether it’s doing “too much, too soon” or just training too hard on days when you are stressed in your daily life, monitor your training load and find a balance between training and stress. This can help reduce the risk of running injuries.

Instead of pushing too hard, why not go the extra mile in injury prevention? Check out the 5-point plan that can help you avoid injuries in your next running season.

***