February 23, 2014

Are You Guilty Of These Workout Styles?

If you recognize yourself you are culpable of some common mistakes:
1.      Spin zealot:  Bikes may be great for your aerobic capacity, but the posture (including spinning and outdoor bicycles) emulates one most of us should avoid.  We spend too much time sitting at computers with rounded shoulders; your workout should try to reverse this.
2.      Devoted drone:  Steady state does not win the race.  More and more evidence is piling up that most of us should do at least two days of HIIT (high intensity interval training; each week.  Chances are your body is stuck in a rut, and those long slow cardio sessions are doing very little to get you out.  Try shorter but harder workouts and you will see and feel a difference.
3.      Cardio addict:  Your body needs more than cardio.  Strength training helps increase your lean muscle mass, making you stronger and able to burn more calories, even at rest. 
4.      Sports drink junkie:  Unless you are working out at a very high intensity for over one and a half hours, you do not need the extra calories or “electrolytes” found in a sports drink.  Water is your best bet. 
5.      Dazed and distracted .  Too many people intersperse phone calls and texting with their workouts.  Keep the electronics in the car and you will be surprised at how much more you can accomplish.

February 3, 2014

Four Food Myths

A few food myths to consume with your fitness myths:

  1. You can eat what you want after a workout.  Despite what your elliptical readout says, most people burn between 200 and 400 calories in an hour of exercise. Working out does not give you license to overeat. 
  2. You need a sports energy drink to get through your workout.  Unless you are working out for well over an hour at very high intensities, water is the ideal drink.  Most sports drinks will give you extra calories along with the electrolytes that you do not need during the average one hour exercise session.
  3. Eating carbohydrates makes you fat.  Eating the wrong type of carbs (white bread, French fries, and most processed foods) can certainly lead to weight gain.  However, unprocessed whole grains, vegetables, fruits and beans are loaded with vitamins, fiber and other nutrients that nourish you while  preventing you from feeling hungry.
  4. Eating eggs will raise your cholesterol: The egg yolk does contain a concentrated mount of cholesterol. However, studies have shown that eating eggs in moderation does not raise cholesterol levels.  Eggs are actually a great source of protein and other nutrients.