This is probably the number one exercise myth that despite it’s lack of evidence never seems to be truly debunked.
You still even see on the cardio gym equipment to this day heart rate graphs of the optimal zone to burn fat, implying that if you stick in this low zone you’ll lose more weight.
I am hoping that the evidence I am about to show you will debunk this myth once and for all. Continue reading
A recent inquiry by the Gallup World Poll aimed to discover which is the happiest country in the world. If you want to maintain the suspense of not knowing, look away now.
IT WAS DENMARK!
Reason: The Danes trust each other!
In a summary of findings, it was noted that the happiest countries correlated with lower levels of competition. And with strong links between happiness and health, I’ve drawn a few social parallels on Australia’s exercise participation rates: Continue reading
Running is not for everyone!
I was recently on a running track alongside a busy highway when I received a spray of abuse from a passenger in a car. It’s not the first time it has happened – actually it’s surprisingly common. Obviously it didn’t hurt me, and I suppose it comes out of the joy within an action that bears no consequence. Whatever. I don’t really get it…but it leaves me thinking every time. In a twisted way it motivates me. I start to think about how I would respond if the abuser actually had the gaul to do it NOT from a car driving 80kph in the opposite direction to me!
So, with tongue slightly in cheek – and without wanting to be labelled an internet tough guy – I leave my response to destiny in the hands of cyberspace.
Here’s why you’re better off undertaking some physical activity than riding shotgun in a passenger vehicle:
Having recently completed my first official ‘mini ultra’ 50km marathon, one of the most common queries I received was about when I was going to do my carb loading, so I thought I would put forward my opinion on this concept!
Carbohydrates are stored in the body, and unlike fat, storage space is limited. Our muscles are the primary storage site, however our liver has a small capacity to draw upon for various functions. Upon requirement of energy, stored carbohydrate (in the form of glycogen) is converted into glucose and utilised as fuel.
Now, the body uses two primary fuel sources – carbohydrates and fats. For rapid production of energy, carbohydrates provide the bulk of the fuel. This occurs predominantly during high intensity exercise. At low and moderate intensities, fats contribute a greater proportion of fuel as the process for breakdown is more complex and requires oxygen. At any given time the body is using a mix of these two sources but the contribution of each is dependant upon what we are doing.
The average human body can hold somewhere between 1600-2400 calories of energy from glycogen.
There have been many times where I have, through meeting work deadlines, having a good night out with friends or through the “joys” of parenthood, and I have not given it a second thought.
That is until I discovered what it is doing to my health. Continue reading
Who couldn’t relate to Lic’s last blog “The 10 minute deal”? I certainly could. That 15minute internal debate takes more bloody time and energy than some quality exercise, but yields none of the myriad of benefits the exercise session gives us. How ironic.
“…we are immersed in it and exist only in it during those moments. I feel that when I run. How often have you felt that when you have put the bins out? How immersed in that experience are you?!”
But where does that debate come from? Why does it even enter our minds in the first place?
I think it may germinate the way it does because of the box we put exercise into. Continue reading
I heard a recent statistic that watching two hours of television per day increased risk of death before the age of 65 by 13%, with associated risks of heart disease and diabetes going up by 15% and 20% respectively. Given the average Australian watches the box for around four hours per day, this should be an alarming stat to some of us!
Obviously we’re all smart enough to know there’s more to it than this otherwise, I’d anticipate, we would have seen a massive government legislation against the idiot box!
Surely it’s more about the behaviour that TV watching represents, and the impact that this has on our bodies when carried out over extended periods of time. Continue reading
Damn it’s cold outside! This was my thought as my knuckles were becoming numb on a frosty Adelaide Hills’ morning on my regular run!
We are all no doubt struggling through some of these colder months, so I thought this was the perfect time to talk about how our body’s natural warming system could possibly be a way to keep ourselves from putting on weight.
Scientists our now discovering that a type of fat storage tissue called Brown Adipose Tissue (BAT) is more important than we first thought.
In fact only 50g of BAT can account for up to 20% of someone’s daily energy expenditure!
So what is this BAT and how do we get more of it?
We are not ‘fixers’!
I just wanted to make that point up front. Now, a little explanation as to what that means.
Firstly, what do I mean by a ‘fixer’? A fixer, by my definition is a health professional that provides a service in which, you, the client need to be somewhat submissive to and subjected to. Continue reading
In my line of work, I often find myself repeating the same little spiel over the course of a week to a number of clients. This is simply because a lot of the concerns that my clients have regarding their health, fitness or their body are shared, and hopefully, the perspective or knowledge that I have to offer remains consistent (at least over the course of one week!). So I figure if I am going to be repeating myself I may as well get down in writing and share it freely!
The topic I want to cover this time is the development if injuries and how this can be avoided. The injuries that I am referring to are really any that develop slowly over a period of time, rather than sudden onset injuries, like falling over and breaking something. I will start by stating a few paradigms that almost always ring true in the development of overuse injuries- Firstly, that injury is a symptom of a more global dysfunction and is not the cause. Secondly, treating only the symptom may provide some short term benefit but reoccurrence, or manifestation into a different injury is almost inevitable
(remember the first point- the injury is just a symptom). Thirdly, there is a difference between pain and injury, and we often get a fair old warning about potential injury in the form of pain. I better hold up there and clarify, as you may be asking, surely if I am in pain, I am injured. No, that is often not the case. The word injury implies some sort of damage to the tissue/s of the body. We can experience pain without experiencing tissue damage, so in this instance, the pain is actually a valuable message that warns us of potential tissue damage and therefore injury, if we don’t do anything about it. My final paradigm is actually the spiel that I have been giving lately. Tightness often precedes pain, and pain often precedes injury. This means that the first thing you should do when you start to notice a little niggle in the front of your knee when you walk is investigate whether there is any tightness around the knee that may be increasing compression around the knee. If there is then you can take the appropriate action in relieving this tension through stretching, self-massage or having someone else massage the appropriate areas. This is the first step, and constitutes addressing the symptom to a certain extent. The next thing to do, is ask; why did this tightness develop in the first place? Be assured there is an answer. An Exercise Physiologist or Personal Trainer should have the skills to be able to help you answer this question, or refer you to someone who can. The most broad answer I can give you is that chronic tightness develops when some aspect of our neuromuscular system is out of balance and remedying chronic injuries or pain requires exercise designed to restore balance to this system.
So the main take home points are: pain and injuries are symptoms of more global neuromuscular dysfunction, and if a health professional that you employ to help you remedy chronic pain or injury is only focusing on the precise area of injury then they are not addressing the root cause of the problem and further investigation is needed for long-term relief.