No matter how much information comes out, some food myths refuse to die. Who has ever heard that eggs will raise your cholesterol or that eating late at night will cause weight gain? The following article separates the fact from the fiction based on current research.
Chances are you take a multivitamin of some sort. More than half of Americans do. But do they really do us any good? What does the research tell us? This New York Times articlelooks at what we know (and don’t know) about vitamins currently.
We know that sleep is essential to our mental and physical well being. Eight hours a night is the standard recommendation. There are some people,though, who find that even though they hit the sack early, they are unable to fall, or stay, asleep. One new question researchers are asking is whether gut health could be a factor in sleep health.
In this edition of Urban Reads, we explore sarcopenia, the long term benefits of 1% investments in self, and the difference between the en vogue diets: low fat versus low carb.
1. Have you heard of sarcopenia? Even if you haven’t chances are you are experiencing it right now. Sarcopenia is age-related muscle loss and it happens to all of us. The good news is there are ways to combat it or even reverse it. This article from CNN describes how.
2. There was a time that low fat diets were all the rage. We’re currently in an era where low carb or ketogenic diets are en vogue. Is one better than the other? Are either good ways to lose weight? This article from examine looks at both diets side by side.
3. What if you could just get a tiny bit better at something every day? At first, you might think, “This won’t make any difference. I have to work harder and faster!” James Clear shows, using the British cycling team as an example, how small changes lead to big results.
In this edition of Urban Reads, we explore the connection between our immunity and the fast food movement, fermented foods (and the perk of making sourdough bread at home!), and the quality versus quantity of those 10,000 steps a day.
1. This article from Examine.com explains how fast food affects our immune system in the long term, and why your body might treat that fast food cheeseburger just like an infection.
3. Many of us are using Fitbits, Garmins, or Apple Watches in an effort to track our steps. The goal is often to hit 10,000 steps a day. This article below explores whether it’s the number of steps or the effort behind them that really counts.
Check out what we are enjoying this month – from a sleep study, to the wide breadth of strength training benefits, to the real deal on those holiday potatoes.
Popular Science offers an answer to the question “How much sleep do I need?”. The author also explores how scientists arrived at that number and what happens when we consistently get too few hours of sleep.
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, let’s settle the debate: potatoes or sweet potatoes? Some stalwarts of the Atkins Diet might say, “Neither! Carbs are bad for you!” (Bogus.) Fortunately, the folks at Precision Nutrition have laid out a helpful infographic to cut through the misinformation and see the bottom line of nutrition.
Check out what we are enjoying this month – from mindfulness in motion, efficient workouts, and to making the most out of your desk chair.
A GQ author explores the concept of “mindful running” in this article. While the article specifically shows the benefits for runners, it is easy to see how this would benefit any form of exercise. Think about how you can bring more awareness to your movement and eliminate distractions.
An interesting article from Bicycling about a new study about the benefits of efficient workouts. You don’t need hours in the gym to reap benefits, just a little time and some hard work. While 13 minutes might work for elite level athletes, most people can get a workout that builds strength and muscle size in under an hour.
Perhaps you’re just now getting into the routine of exercising, have been exercising for some time now, or maybe you’re just considering starting an exercise program. Whatever stage you’re currently in, I’m sure you’ve wondered how to make an exercise easier or how to make it harder. Well in this blog post, I am going to discuss a few ways that you can regress and progression exercises in your workout program.
First, let’s talk about how you know when to regress an exercise. Regressing simply means making an exercise easier. Regression should occur if:
(1) You are experiencing ANY type of pain with a workout (experiencing pain and soreness are different, work to establish the difference). Sharp, shooting sensation, or a movement that consistently makes you wince are not normal and shouldn’t be ignored. PUSHING THROUGH THE PAIN IS A BAD IDEA.
(2) You have symptoms of overtraining. Symptoms of overtraining include feeling unusually tired, loss of motivation to workout, persistent muscle soreness, depression, or overwhelm at the thought of working out. The key to a successful exercise program is REST. If your body (or mind) is feeling fatigued, then it would be wise to let them rest for a few days.
(3) You are beginning a training program or workout regime that is not specific to your goals. Not all workout programs or gym classes are a universal fit. Know your limitations, and plan accordingly. Find a gym or workout program that makes sense for you and your body.
Next, let’s discuss when it is time to PROGRESS an exercise. Progressing is simply making an exercise more challenging. Progressions should be taken in small steps, especially if you are a beginner exerciser. Progression should occur if:
(1) the exercise begins to feel easy. When you first begin a new exercise, it may be difficult at first- exhausting you more, feeling the ‘burn’, and you may even begin to shake. But after a few weeks of doing the same exercise, that very exercise that used to exhaust you becomes easier and you’re ready for a new challenge.
(2) You don’t feel tired after your reps and sets. If you feel like you can pump out more reps, then go ahead!
(3) At the end of the training week, if your energy is up, and you feel less tired and fatigued, then you’re ready to add an additional training day. However, remember to give your body 48-hours of rest between resistance (weight) training and performing high level interval cardio training. Your body needs rest to optimally perform and gain muscle!
So, you may be thinking, what are some ways to progress? Here are four ways to progress/regress an exercise:
Lever length- to progress, move the weight farther away from the body and to regress, simply do the opposite
Balance- to progress, change your stance to staggered, single leg, etc. and to regress, keep both feet planted
Weight- to progress, add heavier weight and to regress, go lighter weight
Rest times-to progress, shorten rest times between reps and sets and to regress make those rests a little longer