Fuelling Your Strength Training Workout

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It is not just important what you eat, but when you eat it is crucial to – especially as an athlete. Eating the correct foods at the appropriate time before, during and after a workout will not only properly nourish and fuel you—you may also see gains in your performance. Fuelling for strength training is slightly different than fuelling for cardio-based workouts. Here are a few tips to follow in order to get the most out of your workout.

 

1 to 2 Hours Pre-Workout

To keep you from feeling hungry before a workout, without stomach discomfort, choose a mini-meal or snack that combines healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and protein.  Depending on your personal goals and needs, the amount of food required is unique to you. An example of such meal could be an amaranth porridge sprinkled with almond milk, nuts and seeds.

 

30 Minutes Pre-Workout

Your focus should be on simple carbohydrates right before your workout. Select foods that provide quick energy and are easily digested. Fruit is a perfect example of this, as a light, easily digestible and quick on-the-go option to consume while on the way to the gym. For easy pre-workout fuel try filling a date with coconut oil for a delicious and efficient pre-workout snack!  No Protein is needed at this stage.

 

During Your Workout

During your strength-training routine, the essential components to focus on are quick energy and electrolytes. If you are training less than an hour, you can stick to electrolytes as your focus. If your workouts are longer than 45 minutes to an hour, you may want to consume easily digestible carbohydrates. Most athletes find it easier to drink than to eat during a workout, so seek out carbohydrates in a gel or drink format. You can blend up fruit and dates to make a gel, or make a fresh fruit juice for a steady burst of energy.

No matter the length of your workout, electrolytes are essential. As you sweat you lose minerals sodium, potassium, magnesium and chloride with water. When choosing an electrolyte replacement look for ones without artificial colours, flavours or fillers.

No Protein is needed at this stage.

 

Immediately Post-Workout

One of the biggest mistakes I see in action at the gym is people rushing to have their post-workout protein drink, thinking that it is the one-and-only essential macronutrient needed in order to build muscle. This is simply a myth.

Post-workout, your focus is to replenish lost glycogen stores in order for protein synthesis to occur. Simply put, you must consume simple carbohydrates first, then protein later, in order for muscle building and strengthening to occur.  Consuming a post-workout carbohydrate based drink is highly recommended due to the ease of digestibility and assimilation—less work on your body! To replenish your muscle glycogen fastest, consume a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein.

 

1 to 3 Hours Post-Workout

A high protein meal is needed several hours post-workout—not directly after—as many assume. Some plant-based protein sources include clean plant-based protein power, such as quinoa, beans, lentils nuts and seeds. If you are having a post-workout meal, include dark leafy greens for added vitamin and antioxidant support.

 

Fuelling your body on a clean, plant-based diet is the key to forming strong muscles and supporting long-term health. Follow these essential tips while working out, to see and feel the difference in your workout—and in achieving results!

What to Eat Before a Workout

 

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Just as you put fuel in your car before driving, you want to put fuel in your body before you work out. Eating the right type of fuel at the right time before your workout will help motivate and energize your workout. Pre-exercise fuel has many functions—it prevents low blood sugar, fuels your muscles and helps to ward off hunger. By selecting the right foods before your workout you can watch your performance excel!

 

1 to 3 Hours Pre-Workout

Preparing for your workout doesn’t just happen; there are many things to consider. Selecting a well-balanced meal containing all of your macronutrients (carbs, fats, protein) and even fibre, 1 to 3 hours before your workout will help to ward off hunger and top up muscle glycogen levels. A great pre-workout meal would be a gluten-free quinoa bowl with mixed berries, topped with slivered almonds and your favourite plant based milk-alternative.

Tip: When preparing your meals, be sure to choose food that are easily digested and can settle comfortably. This will help your body to use energy during your workout rather than in digestion!

 

20 to 30 Minutes Pre-Workout

It’s game time. You’re heading out the door, and you’re in a slight rush. Whether you’ve just woken up, or just finished work, it’s time to quickly prepare your body for your workout. Two main things to consider: holistic stimulants (such as yerba maté or green tea) and easily digestible, fast-acting carbohydrates (to top up your energy levels). If you’re up early and have no appetite, consider a liquid boost such as a vege/fruit protein smoothie to enhance mental focus and provide both immediate and sustained energy.

 

Sugar-free Fuelling vs. Functional Sugar Fuelling

Different workouts have different fuelling requirements. Length and intensity are two main considerations when fuelling your body and preparing for your workout. Functional sugars (sugars or carbohydrates your body needs for energy and stamina) are used wisely when engaging in intensive workouts like weight training, Cross-fit, endurance runs or bicycle rides, especially those that last an 30 minutes or longer. Before any of those activities, drink a pre-workout smoothie (have a look at some of the options at Hemptons – Recipes). If you are engaging in a less-intense or shorter workout such as yoga, pilates or walking, a fruit – like a banana – prior to workout is a suitable option to have 20 minutes pre-workout to give you an extra-boost without the added functional sugars your body doesn’t necessarily require for a less-intense workout.

 

Food vs. Liquid Fuel

If you’d rather eat 20 to 30 minutes before you work out, a simple piece of fruit will do! If you’re bored of fruit or want to try something new, try a level tablespoon of coconut oil blended with your favourite tea or on its own! Coconut oil contains medium chain triglycerides which are converted by the liver into energy source (much like carbohydrates) but contain no sugar or carbohydrates!

If you have a sensitive stomach, liquid foods tend to leave the stomach faster than solid foods do. Try a fruit and/or vege smoothie or fresh fruit juice before your workout. You can even try drinking a shot of Hemptons Hemp Protein powder and 250ml, instead of a full drink. If you know you’ll be jittery and unable to tolerate any food before your event or workout, be sure to make a special effort to eat enough carbohydrates the day and night before.

 

Hydration

Preventing dehydration before exercise is one of the keys of maintaining exercise performance (especially in hot/humid environments). Leading up to your workout, be sure to drink plenty of fluids. If possible, drink extra fluid leading up to your sport or workout, until your urine is a pale colour. Drink about 2 to 3 glasses, 2 to 3 hours before exercise and around 1 glass, 10 to 15 min before exercise for optimal hydration and energy.

 

If you are hoping for success in the gym or at your game and results in the mirror, planning your pre-workout meals and hydration is crucial. There are many things to consider when fuelling for your workout but the quality and selection of the right food at the right time and proper hydration is paramount. It doesn’t have to be complicated, just be sure to schedule your pre-workout nutrition just as you schedule your workouts.

Happy fuelling!

 

References

 

Kreider et al. ISSN exercise & sport nutrition review: research & recommendations .Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2010, 7:7 http://www.jissn.com/content/7/1/7

The 5 Worst Pieces of Weight Management Advice

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It all sounds so good, the endless promises and guarantees that by just following a miracle diet you’ll lose weight fast, keep it off—and get that bikini body, instantly.  You’ve heard it all before and seen many fad diets come and go, but one thing is certain, the fads never last .. and the weight never stays off.

 

“Whatever you do, just don’t eat this.”

Whenever a diet asks you to cut out a major macronutrient (that your body needs to function properly!), you know it’s not going to end pretty. Quick refresher: macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins and fats, all of which are essential for your body to function at its best. Carbohydrates are what your body uses as energy for your daily activities. Fats— good fats of course—are essential for many different functions in your body and proteins are the building blocks for muscle and you need it to help your body repair and rebuild tissue daily.

While fat-free or no-carb diets may be beneficial to individuals with certain health concerns, if it’s weight loss you’re after, you might want to try an approach more sustainable that’s going to give you the energy and strength to take your full life head-on, day after day, not deplete it. Eating a well-balanced diet including all your good quality macronutrients is a great start for successful weight management.

 

“I found the magic pill.”

It hurts to hear, but there’s no one little pill you can take to make the weight magically melt off your body for the rest of your life.

Anyone who promises their magic pill (or bean) will dissolve the fat right of off you overnight, is selling lies and making a lucrative profit off of your personal goals— which they have no ability or interest in helping you achieve.

Let’s be real: long-term weight management is all about moderation and eating a healthy diet, rich in nutrients. In other words, real food that will give you the energy you’ll need to live an active life. Exercise and a healthy diet go hand-in-hand when it comes to weight management.

 

“You’ll lose 10 pounds in 10 days!”

Doesn’t this sound fantastic?! While you might be able to achieve this, by fasting or drastically cutting calories, this is not sustainable and chances are as soon as you go back to your normal diet, the weight will find its way back to your waistline and butt.

Long-term sustainable weight management will happen when you develop a routine and slowly start to crowd the “not so good stuff” out by adding in more good-for-you foods. Keep in mind: this won’t happen overnight—this small-changes approach is one that can last a lifetime. Remember, the weight didn’t arrive overnight and will certainly not disappear overnight – no matter what you’re told. Consistently eating real food in the correct portions, is the only way the weight will come off – and stay off.

 

“Count every calorie/macro”

Not all calories are created equal and when it comes to being ultimately healthy from the inside out, you want to ensure you’re providing your body with foods that are a great source of micro-nutrients—not just the right amount of calories.

For example, say a bag of potato chips has the exact same amount of calories as a slice of whole grain bread with some avocado sliced on top, seasoned artfully with fresh dill and lemon juice. Which one of these is going to serve your body better? You’re going to eat that bag of potato chips, or eat avocado toast (that has whole grains, B vitamins and good fats). There are certainly some days that enjoying potato chips may be what you need. Most days you may decide to reach for the avocado toast.

For long-term weight management, look at the nutrients a piece of food contains before the calories. Guess what? Many plant-based foods are naturally nutrient dense. Let’s hear it for nutrient dense fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds!

 

“It doesn’t matter what you eat as long as you follow this workout routine”

Don’t get me wrong, movement is definitely part of a healthy routine. But just because you went for a run in the morning or hit the gym, doesn’t mean you get a free-pass to eat whatever you want later on. There is a saying “you can’t out-exercise a bad diet”. Just like getting a workout in at sunrise doesn’t mean your body needs a whole cheesecake for a dessert, it also doesn’t mean that you need to track every calorie you burned in a spreadsheet.

If you did a sweaty workout at the gym or in a group exercise class you’re going to want to supply your body with the right building blocks to replenish energy, repair and rebuild. What could help you achieve your goals while keeping you feeling good about your choices? Try whipping up a high-protein smoothie post-workout. Using your favourite Hemptons or Reclaim protein product, toss in some of your favourite fruits and veggies and you have yourself a recipe for both exercise and healthy eating.

What I’ve learned along the way is that no single diet is going to work for everybody. It’s all about taking it back to the basics and finding out what works for you. Focus on adding more plants, eating mindfully, moving more and finding the right balance you need.

Good advice to start with – start eating more real foods like vegetables, fruits etc. as opposed to processed “man made” foods like breads, crisps, cakes, sugars, fizzy drinks and your body will thank you by becoming healthier and leaner.

If you’re struggling with your weight, or don’t know where to start, talk to your health care practitioner or registered dietitian to help created a customized health plan for you.

Should I East Before A Workout

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Whether you’re headed to your weekly soccer game, crossfit box or a new HIIT bootcamp class you’re likely to wonder, “Should I eat before a workout?”

Honestly, heading into a workout properly fuelled can mean the difference between a good and mediocre workout – and, other than working out without a grumbling tummy, the correct food will help fuel you throughout your training session, so you don’t start strong and then fade as you run out of energy. Selecting the right foods can help your performance (and body) reap the rewards.

That said, what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat it are all factors that aren’t always as cut and dried as one may think. The time of day you work out can influence your food choices and quantities. For example, if you’re exercising right after work, you might have a substantial lunch three to four hours before the workout (optimal time for digestion) followed by a snack closer to the workout if needed. However, if you’re a morning person and work out before the rest of your day starts, you may only have a small snack or drink before heading out the door.

While many fuelling guidelines before sport are dependent on the intensity of your workout and your stomach sensitivity, there are some common mistakes we should avoid.

 

Avoid these three pre-workout fuelling mistakes:

Getting too hungry

Even if you’re looking to drop a few kilos, heading into a workout session hungry can result in lower energy levels and might not help you lose weight – as your body may actually go into starvation mode. In fact, it may cause you to have a sub-optimal workout followed by over consumption of food after.

Instead, have more energy so you can work out harder, by choosing a balanced meal (that includes carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and aim to eat it with plenty of time to digest before hitting the gym, circuit or field. If you need a little something right before your workout choose something small, such as a piece of fruit or raw vegetable crudité with a nut butter.

Overeating

How much you eat is definitely dependent on a number of factors, including your size, fitness level and duration of your exercise. There was a time when it was advocated to only focus on carbohydrates as a pre-workout meal. We now know that having a meal that is more balanced to include both carbohydrates and proteins is a far better to provide you with a sustained fuel while exercising e.g. it won’t give you a lift only to drop you as your blood sugar gets depleted i.e. like when you eat or drink a high sugar food or liquid. Regardless of your activity, avoid getting trapped in the carbo-load mind-set and instead eat sensible portions and give your body enough time to digest the food prior to your workout.

Eating too much fibre

One component of carbohydrates, found in foods in varying quantities is fibre. Fibre is found naturally in foods like oats, fruits and vegetables and are often added to snacks such as granola bars and cereals. As high fibre foods, especially before exercise, may cause sensitivity in your stomach e.g. bloating, gas etc. it is recommended you stay away from these prior to excersizing. If you realy do feel like that granola bar, leave it for after.

When preparing your pre-workout meals or snacks try and choose foods that can settle comfortably in your stomach, such as piece of fruit or sports drinks/mixes that are a source of mixed carbohydrates and proteins. You may find that these foods are easy to digest before your start moving.

 

So, what are good options to reach for before your workout?

Here is a list of my top six foods  :

Banana

Any fresh fruit will do but bananas are a favourite thanks to their portability. Eat alone 30 minutes before your workout or make it more of a substantial snack by adding a nut butter. Bananas also offer your body potassium, an electrolyte required by the body that is lost during exercise via sweat.

Vegetable/Fruit Smoothie

Vegetables like beetroot and carrot are very beneficial pre-training as they not only provide nutrients, but can actually assist in boosting performance (think additional nitrogen in the case of beetroot). So blitz up a pure vege or vege/fruit combo smoothie with a scoop of plant based protein. Just give yourself enough time to digest before actually training e.g. at least an hour.

 Oats

Rolled oats are a great option to have for breakfast when you’ve got some time to digest before heading to your workout (like a weekend morning). However, because they are higher in fibre, you will want to give yourself some time to digest.

Dried Fruit and Nuts

For an easy grab-and-go option a few handfuls of dried fruit and nut trail mix can do the trick. It can be a good snack when you need something on the fly because you can get nutrients and energy for very little volume. Nuts and fruit can provide a combination of carbohydrates, good fats and protein, but watch portion sizes. Calories in dried fruits and nuts add up quickly and so does fibre.

Gluten-free or 100% Whole Grain Bread with Nut Butter and Jam

Sometimes you can’t beat a good old peanut butter and jam sandwich. For a portable snack, pack a PB&J and eat it two to three hours before leaving the office and heading to work out. The peanut butter provides protein while the bread and jam can help to top off your glycogen stores.

Sports Drinks

For the times when food just isn’t an option, consider a good sports drink – and here I don’t mean reaching for the over coloured, flavoured and sugared drinks masquerading as “sport drinks” these days. Choosing a drink that will offer you carbohydrates for energy and some proteins. A fruit juice mixed in a shaker with a helping of plant based protein powder will do the trick. If you prefer adding some caffeine, add a small helping of green tea.

Keep the container in your gym bag and shake one scoop in your water bottle before and you’ll be ready to go.

The bottom line

A hard workout, especially one significantly over 60 minutes in length, can deplete energy stores in the body. Proper fuelling of balanced meals or snacks can be effective in helping support your energy levels during the workout.

And finally, practice makes perfect. You will likely find that some foods work great before your workout and others not so much.  Practice your fuelling just like you do your sport and never test anything new on game or race day!

Guide to Activated Charcoal

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Black is .. well the new black – when it comes to health and beauty, that is! Activated charcoal, has been making an appearance everywhere from juice bars to the cosmetic counter. If you’ve seen it around and want to learn more about what the hype is about, we’ve got you covered with this guide.

 

What is Activated Charcoal?

Activated charcoal isn’t the same as the charcoal you use in your braai. It’s typically made from carbonized wood or coconut shells that have been oxidized at an exceptionally high temperature. Heating charcoal causes it to expand and become more porous.

In Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, activated charcoal has been used to treat accidental poisonings and drug overdoses. Why? Because of its ability to adsorb toxins and poisons. Because activated charcoal is so porous it can adsorb a considerable amount, when administered properly, in appropriate doses.

You might be thinking you just saw a typo, but I did in fact mean adsorb (with a d, not a b). Adsorb means “to bind to” rather than “to absorb.”  Activated charcoal binds to toxins to help prevent them from being absorbed from your stomach into your body.

 

Where Will You Find Activated Charcoal?

Outside of the Emergency Room, you’ll find activated charcoal at your local health store— often sold in capsules, powder, or as a liquid. You may also see it popping up in juice bars where it’s being touted for helping to neutralize gas and as a way to “detox.”

Cosmetically, activated charcoal is being used in soaps, cleansers and face masks that are sold as products that help to soak up excess oils and draw out impurities from your skin. It’s also used in some natural toothpastes to help brighten your pearly whites.

Activated charcoal can also be found in water filtration systems—for you or your fishy friends.

 

Charcoal, Huh, What is it Good For?  Absolutely… everything? That might not necessarily be true.

Some natural health practitioners believe that small doses (under 500mg) of activated charcoal are effective at promoting overall well-being and improving the appearance of hair, skin and nails. (Large doses should be administered only by a health care practitioner in a supervised setting).

I believe in the power of natural remedies and while I don’t use it every day, I do use activated charcoal (mixed with French green clay) as a homemade face mask. From time to time, I also use it as a digestive aid mixed with lemon juice, maple syrup and bentonite clay and as a part of my teeth cleaning regimen.

That being said, there’s no evidence that activated charcoal should be used outside of clinical applications for poison and alcohol overdoses. Will it detox accidental poison when administered properly? Yes.  Does it adsorb excess oil from the skin when used topically? Maybe. Will it rid you of last night’s pizza? Absolutely not.

 

Is It for You?

Even though you’re seeing it everywhere that doesn’t mean activated charcoal is meant to be taken as a daily supplement—or that it’s right for you.

Consult with your doctor or health care practitioner about appropriate use of activated charcoal. If you are already using activated charcoal, please follow the guidelines and adhere to the contraindications listed on your bottle, especially if you are taking medications (because activated charcoal can interfere with the absorption and metabolism of other medications and supplements you are taking).

Foods to Support Testosterone Production

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June is Men’s Health Month, so let’s talk about an important hormone that’s on the top of many men’s minds: testosterone. Commonly known as the male sex hormone (though women produce small amounts as well), testosterone is responsible for sperm production, sex drive, bone mass, muscle size and strength and more—all things you (and the women in your life) care about. Levels of circulating testosterone in your blood begin to fall after the age of 30.

Low serum testosterone levels are correlated with a lower desire for sex, diminished erectile quality, fatigue, mood imbalances, decreased muscular mass and increased abdominal fat.

Aging is rough and reduced testosterone levels just make it rougher. A trip to the doctor’s office will reveal if you have low testosterone and there are several treatment options available if your levels fall critically low.

The best thing you can do to be proactive about your testosterone level is to keep up your healthy lifestyle. Getting adequate sleep, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising and reducing stress all help to support testosterone levels. Beyond making sure that you eating enough calories, macro and micronutrients to support your level of activity, adding more of the foods below to your diet can also help to support healthy testosterone levels. (And no, ladies, eating these foods below you won’t start sprouting chest hair or dropping several vocal octaves—your body won’t use these foods to produce testosterone because of your hormonal chemistry).

 

Zinc-rich Foods

Zinc is an essential mineral found in every single cell of your body. It stimulates the activity of over 100 enzymes and is essential for testosterone production. In the standard American diet, red meat and poultry provide the majority of zinc. Phytates from whole grains and legumes reduce zinc absorption, so if you’re eating a mostly plant-based diet, zinc is a mineral to make sure you’re getting enough of.1 Adult men should aim to get 11mg of zinc a day. If you eat an exclusively plant-based diet you may require as much as 16mg a day.2

 

Plant-based sources of zinc3:

  • Wheat germ (3.5mg per ¼ cup)
  • Sesame seeds (2mg per ounce)
  • Pumpkin seeds (2mg per ¼ cup)
  • Crimini mushrooms (1mg per cup)
  • Miso (1mg per 2 Tbsp)
  • Maple syrup (1mg per ¼ cup)
  • Chickpeas (1.3mg per ½ cup)
  • Almonds (1 mg per ounce)

 

Soaking beans, grains and seeds in water for several hours before cooking them as well as sprouting can increase the bio-availability of zinc in plant-based foods.2 For a zinc-rich meal make Mushroom Miso Soup, followed by a protein-rich salad stacked with spinach, shelled hemp seeds, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds, followed by a dessert of raw chocolate.

 

Vitamin-D Rich Foods

Preliminary research suggests that vitamin D deficiency is correlated with low testosterone levels in the blood.4 Your body can naturally produce vitamin D by getting 5 to 10 minutes a day of direct sunlight.

 

Plant-based sources of vitamin D:

  • White, kidney and black beans (sources of both vitamin D and zinc)
  • UV-exposed Mushrooms
  • Supplements
  • Healthy Fats e.g. Omegas

 

Cutting fat from your diet can decrease your testosterone levels, since hormones require dietary fat to be produced.5,6 So don’t skimp on your healthy fats!

 

Plant-based sources of healthy fats:

  • Avocados
  • Nuts
  • Seeds (chia seeds, sacha inchi seeds, hemp seeds in particular)
  • Cold-pressed oils
  • Coconut oil

 

Eating these foods, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, catching enough ZZZs and managing stress levels is important keep up healthy testosterone levels as you age. If you’re concerned about your testosterone levels, book an appointment at your doctor’s office and keep prioritizing your health!

 

How are you making your health better during Men’s Health Month?

 

References :

  1. Mahan LK, Escott-Stump S. (2008). Krause’s Food & Nutrition Therapy. Saunders Elsevier. 12th ed.
  2. National Institute for Health. (2013). Fact Sheet for Health Professionals: Zinc. Accessed on 6/4/15 from: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional.
  3. United States Department of Agriculture. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/food
  4. Lee DM (2012). Association of hypogonadism with vitamin D status: the European Male Ageing Study. European Journal of Endocrinology. Accessed on 6/4/15 from: http://eje-online.org/content/166/1/77.full.pdf+html
  5. Wang C (2005). Low-fat high-fiber diet decreased serum and urine androgens in men. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 90(6):3550-9
  6. Dorgan JF (1996). Effects of dietary fat and fiber on plasma and urine androgens and estrogens in men: a controlled feeding study. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 64(6):850-5. Accessed on 6/4/15 from: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/64/6/850.long

 

Top 5 Fitness Myths

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There are a handful of fitness myths that have been around forever, regardless of how much scientific research there is to refute them. I believe that human nature is partly to blame – people tend to believe that which supports their own personal biases. The unfortunate downside to subscribing to these myths is that they can prevent you from being the getting the most from your fitness routine. Here are five of the top offenders:

 

Myth 1: People Who Exercise Frequently Can Eat Whatever They Want

Oh, if this were only true. One need to simply take a look around the gym to realize this is not the case. Fitness clubs are filled with people who exercise almost every day, yet they just can’t seem to lose weight. It comes down to simple math: It can be easier to keep 500 calories out of your mouth than it is to burn it off. Sure, exercise is a big part of the equation, but it is by no means a license to eat whatever you want.

 

Myth 2: If I Stop Working Out, My Muscle Will Turn to Fat

This myth, often the result of people witnessing professional athletes lose their physiques and gain weight after retiring from their respective sports, is easily refuted by basic physiology. A fat cell is a fat cell and a muscle cell is a muscle cell. One cannot turn into the other. The reason these athletes gain weight is the same as for everyone else: decreased activity and increased caloric intake

This is what it takes a 68 Kg person to burn approximately 100 calories :

Workouts:

Biking: 23 minutes of casual cycling

Cardio dance class: 15 minutes

Elliptical: 8 minutes

Jumping rope: 9 minutes at a moderate intensity

Lifting weights, vigorously: 15 minutes

Pilates: 24 minutes

Rowing machine: 13 minutes

Running stairs: 6 minutes

Running: 9 minutes of running at a 6 mph pace

Swimming: 15 minutes moderate intensity

Walking stairs: 11 minutes

Walking: 20 minutes of walking at a 3 mph pace

Water aerobics: 23 minutes

Yoga: 20 minutes

Zumba: 11 minutes

 

Sports and Leisure Activities:

Basketball, shooting hoops: 20 minutes

Bowling: 30 minutes

Dancing around living room: 20 minutes

Darts: 35 minutes

Golfing, carrying clubs: 15 minutes

Ice skating, moderate: 18 minutes

Kickball: 13 minutes

Mini golf or driving range: 30 minutes

Playing catch with a football: 35 minutes

Playing Frisbee: 30 minutes

Playing soccer, casual: 13 minutes

Skiing,downhill: 10 minutes

Softball or baseball: 18 minutes

Tennis (doubles): 21 minutes

Tennis (singles): 15 minutes

Treading water, moderate effort: 23 minutes

Volleyball, recreational: 26 minutes

Water skiing: 15 minutes

 

Yard Work:

Mowing the lawn: 20 minutes

Painting house: 18 minutes

Raking leaves: 23 minutes

Shovelling snow: 15 minutes

Washing the car: 20 minutes

Weeding the garden: 18 minutes

Everyday Activities:

Carrying an infant: 24 minutes

Cleaning, moderate effort: 26 minutes

Cooking: 34 minutes

Doing dishes: 40 minutes

Mopping the floor: 20 minutes

Playing with children: 23 minutes

Pushing a stroller: 35 minutes

Rearranging furniture: 14 minutes

Shopping: 38 minutes

Sweeping: 23 minutes

Walking the dog, 26 minutes

 

Myth 3: To See Results You Must Exercise Continuously For an Hour

Out of these 5 myths, this one is probably the most detrimental to the masses. The number one reason people cite for failing to exercise is lack of time. Many believe that, if you don’t allocate thirty to sixty minutes to work out, then it’s not worth doing at all.  Research suggests that three ten-minute bouts of exercise have the same benefits as one thirty-minute session. There is even some new research into the value of “micro-workouts,” bouts of exercise as short as sixty seconds, may help to support cardiovascular health.

 

Myth 4: Lifting Weights Will Make You Too Bulky

Many athletes avoided strength training for decades, believing that increased muscle size would inhibit movement and lead to decreased performance. The conventional wisdom was that lifting weights would be detrimental and building muscle was to be avoided. Many people still believe this to be the case. Today professional athletes in many different sports engage in some form of strength training to both support performance as well as help decrease the chance of injury. Many also add stretching into their routines to help maintain flexibility.

 

Myth 5: Women Should Lift Light Weights to Avoid Getting “Bulky”

It has been my experience that the fear of building “bulk” is one of the primary reasons far too many women either avoid lifting weights completely, or, if they do strength train, choose weights that are too light. Both need to change. The “overload principle” of strength training posits that to “change” a muscle you must adequately challenge it. Thus, choosing weights that are too light will not elicit meaningful adaptations. Lifting appropriately challenging weights, however, may confer a number of benefits including increased bone density, increased functional strength and an increase in muscle.

 

So, seek out information from reputable sources, ones who support their positions with peer-reviewed scientific studies.