A common mistake of people new to exercising - and really even among experienced exercisers - is to workout too hard, too often. This might not seem like a big problem initially, but over training can effect your health and is something that needs to be taken seriously.
Getting fitter isn't just about working harder in the gym—it's also about doing the right things the rest of the time.
As hard as you might crush a workout, the real labour happens on the days you don't sweat. When you exercise, your muscles undergo microtrauma. Afterward, what are known as satellite cells fuse to the damaged areas to repair the muscle fibres. But this process can happen only when you're at rest. If you keep exercising, your muscles never get a chance to repair themselves, and your progress will plateau and eventually decline. So taking time off is essential. But if your usual rest day is a date with your couch, cancel those plans pronto, and use these expert tactics to strengthen your recovery.
If you stifle yawns in 2 p.m. meetings and find yourself passed out cold during the previews on movie nights, you probably already know you’re run down. But there’s a big difference between being pooped out and being exhausted — and the signs aren’t as obvious as just feeling tired. It’s important to know the difference, because exhaustion can be downright dangerous.
Unfortunately, exercise-induced nausea is a real thing—here's why (and how to deal). In this age of tough bootcamp workouts and high-intensity interval training, feeling like you want to vomit has become an increasingly common aspect of a serious sweat session. If you ever (or often) find yourself dealing with queasiness as the result of a challenging workout, know this: You're not alone; exercise-induced nausea is a real thing—and it can really get in the way of the post-sweat pride you should be feeling.
You’ve probably noticed that crawling has recently been coming up a lot more in fitness websites and magazines. Perhaps you’ve seen someone crawling around at the gym, and you’ve wondered, “What in the world is that person doing?” If you’re lucky, you work with us at Paragon where we already include crawling in your warm-ups or training sessions.
Do you feel like something is just not right? You’re not sick. You’re not in physical pain. But something just isn’t quite letting you feel 100%. It could be your hormones!
If you’re eating more, sleeping less, and feeling frazzled and stressed out are your default emotions, even when things are going pretty good for you. It’s likely you’ve got a hormone imbalance.
Picture the scene. You’re 3 miles (4.8km) into your 10 mile (16km) long run in the pouring rain, when you feel an overwhelming compulsion to stop. There’s an ache in your knee, your back suddenly feels sore and more than anything in the world, you just want to stop and walk home. Well the first thing to do is take comfort in the fact that all runners have experienced something similar. When your training gets tough, for whatever reason, it can be a huge mental battle to keep going, but the good news is, you can win it.
Dizziness, blurred vision, or light-headedness when you exercise can be alarming (not to mention a detriment to your workout). The last thing you want is to feel dizzy and lightheaded when you come up from that last burpee, which is an unpleasant experience, (and somewhat alarming!) side effect during or after exercise. Here's what might be causing it and how to prevent it in the future.
Running a race can be a scary thing. Whether you’re toeing the line for your first 10K, or an elite level marathoner trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials, knowing that you’re about to push your body’s limits is reasonable cause for anxiety at any level. So how do you block it all out? Longer long runs and faster track workouts may increase your lung capacity and your leg strength, but how can your brain make the most out of all the work you’ve put in?
Pedalled by big business, the media and cultural expectations, we are all sold the same image of happiness: lean, toned and beautiful. When we see thin celebrities, fitness models and social media influences looking blissful and perfect, it’s hard not to equate being fit with success. This is only perpetuated by ads for fad workouts and weight-loss supplements, showcasing confident and beautiful “afters” as proof of their supposed efficacy.
Every time your heart beats, it pushes blood, nutrients, and oxygen through your arteries to reach the rest of your body. But when you have high blood pressure, it's a sign that your heart is having to work too hard to pump that blood where it needs to go. The result: Damaged arteries, a worn-out heart, and an increased risk of heart disease—which is to blame for the deaths of one in three women every year. Here's what causes high blood pressure, and how you can fight whatever might be throwing your heart into overdrive.
Exercise helps arthritis pain, but sore joints stop you from wanting to work out. Learn how exercise can improve your range of motion and make all movement easier.
Research has shown that exercise can help reduce arthritis pain and improve range of motion, and it’s now considered an essential part of arthritis management.
Whether you've pushed your limits in a HIIT class or during a marathon, you probably already know that having a strong mental game is just as important as being physically fit. Multiple studies have looked at how mental toughness can boost your performance inside and outside of sports. Pros talk about training their brains using visualisation techniques and mindful meditation.
The Christmas holiday period is typically extremely busy and can also be extremely indulgent with everyone gorging themselves on a sumptuous Christmas dinner and enjoying plenty of holiday hospitality with family and friends. In short, health and fitness is not generally found at the top of Santa's naughty or nice list.
Yes, Christmas is a time of celebration, and often excess, frequently resulting in firm New Year’s resolutions to get fit and lose weight, so it’s not surprising that many people struggle to maintain a healthy focus in December. If your fitness takes a back seat at this time of year, you’ll probably identify with some of the following problems:
o I’m too busy with Christmas preparations to fit exercise into my day.
o I get invited to loads of indulgent Christmas parties.
o I love Christmas but I know I overdo the eating and drinking.
o In January, I always have to try and make amends for the effects of the festivities.
If any of those phrases ring a few bells, these tips can help you. To enjoy the Christmas celebrations and maintain a healthy focus, simply follow our festive fitness guide which includes:
o Maintenance exercise routines.
o Time efficient exercise strategies.
o Calorie saving ideas.
So that when the festive season draws to a close, you don’t have a mountain to climb to get back in shape.
Keeping your fitness routine going
One of the hardest things to do when your time is in short supply is to maintain an exercise routine. If you usually exercise a few times a week, the extra demands on your time can mean that something has to give. However, reduced training doesn’t mean that your fitness levels have to plummet. Research has shown that a couple of weeks of maintenance training can result in minimal or even no fitness losses.
Indeed, in certain cases performance can actually improve after a short period of reduced training because the body has the opportunity to recharge and rebuild. Hence on returning to full training, you can find that you have renewed vigour and enthusiasm for your sessions. If you enjoy regular workouts, try the following tips for effective maintenance training:
Commit to stay fit
Simply plan, inform and execute. Plan in some shorter and/or less frequent exercise sessions. Explain to your friends and family the changes you’re making, but also the importance of keeping your fitness going, and then put your plan into action.
A little exercise is better than nothing
Accept that your workouts will be shorter but also realize that they can still provide training benefits.
o If you usually enjoy several jogging or running sessions, cutting your training time by half will still keep you fit.
o Instead of completing two or three sets of each resistance training exercise, reduce it to one or two sets. Your session will take less time but you’re still exercising the same muscles, so your strength won’t disappear.
Quality over quantity
If your typical training week includes some more challenging sessions, it is important to maintain them. Instead of interspersing them with recovery workouts where you exercise lightly, focus on every session being high quality. You can then omit the easier sessions, which will save time. A recovery session now becomes a rest day. The key to success with this strategy is to make sure you don’t let up on the quality of each workout. That way you are keeping your ‘fitness edge’ that you’ve worked hard to achieve.
In addition to focusing on maintenance training, you can also employ strategies within your workouts that save time. An additional benefit of some time-saving strategies is that the quality of your training session also improves.
Resistance training workouts
A typical session with weights in the gym involves completing two or more sets of a range of exercises, with a recovery period of anything between 30 seconds and several minutes between each set. This recovery period is an essential component of your training, but it is time during the festive season that you can ill afford to spare. Instead of relaxing and recovering between sets, for a change, try carrying out complementary exercises during the recoveries, for example: alternating between the following muscles:
o Chest and upper back .
o Biceps and triceps.
o Abdominals and lower back.
o Quadriceps and hamstrings (front and back of legs).
Cardiovascular (CV) workouts
Every workout should include a thorough warm-up and cool-down so there is no opportunity to save time there. However, in the main body of your session, there is an opportunity to reduce the duration but still get calorie burning and quality training benefits. Instead of doing a ‘steady-state’ CV session, try a few of the following time saving alternatives.
Five minutes brisk followed with five minutes easy
Whether you’re jogging outdoors or working out on a piece of gym equipment, alternate faster efforts with equal time recoveries. You get a greater training effect than just a steady workout and so you can cut your session time down yet still remain fit.
A short, intense time-trial
Again, any piece of gym equipment can be used, or walking, jogging or running outside. Decide on a time or distance that you’re going to exercise for and then after your warm-up, really go for it against the clock. It’s tough – but great training and a shorter session brings as many benefits as your usual longer workout. Always remember to include a thorough cool-down afterwards.
Hill training programs
For a change, select a hill training program, vary the resistance on the rower, cross-trainer or bike, or simply put more effort in on the hills for your outdoor training. This way you are substituting more quality for steady-state training, so a shorter workout brings greater benefits.
Simple calorie swaps and savers
Christmas is always a challenge to keep your calorie intake at normal levels but with a little planning you can still enjoy all the festivities and keep the calories in check. Simply try the three calorie saving ideas below to keep your weight under control at Christmas...
Watch the home measures
If you only get three glasses of wine out of a bottle, your 80 calories a glass shoots up to 160 calories a glass, so stick to standard measures if you can.
Standard potions of stuffing, combined with other trimmings such as bacon, sausage and sauce can easily total over 500 calories. Just sticking to stuffing and using the roasting juices as gravy will slash those calories by half.
Christmas pudding and mince pies are delicious – and also high in calories. However, when smothered in brandy butter or double cream, the calories go through the roof. Try some crème fraiche or yogurt as an alternative and you cut out fat and save calories.
Christmas all wrapped up
Most people will struggle with limited time and tempting fare at this time of year but with a little planning, the festive season can be enjoyed and healthy. By training smartly and following a few sensible eating strategies, you can maintain your fitness, balance out your calories and arrive at the New Year in good shape. Complements of the season and enjoy your exercise
Research has long proven that regular exercise does a brain good as much as the body. Breaking a sweat helps reduce insulin resistance and inflammation while simultaneously promoting and protecting brain cell growth. New scientific evidence, however, suggests that not just any workout helps fight against cognitive decline. You’ve got to really work it to see the best results as you age.
From diet programs to detox teas, so many products promise instant gratification when it comes to transforming your body. But is it actually possible to lose a substantial amount of weight in a healthy way. For many people who lose a large amount of weight rapidly, unsuccessfully keep it off. In fact, most people, upon returning back to ‘normal’ diet, gain back more than they initially drop.
Everyone, regardless of their commitment to fitness, is guilty of missing the occasional workout. Skipping the odd session isn’t going to affect your fitness or body composition. But what happens when one missed workout turns into three or four? What happens when work, injury or loss of motivation cause you to give up on training altogether?
Many women experience an irregular menstrual cycle sometime in their lives. This may last for a short time or may be a lifelong feature of their cycles. Causes include polyps, breastfeeding, chemotherapy, stress and drug use. Diet pills fall in this last category, and often knock menstrual cycles off kilter. If you suspect your attempt to lose weight might be causing irregular periods, consult your doctor.
Rise and shine! It’s time to leap out of bed and throw on your sports gear. What do you mean you’re too tired? Then why did you set your alarm to go off so early this morning? If you’re struggling to get the most out of your morning workouts, you’re not alone. Finding the motivation before we’ve so much as smelled the first coffee of the day can be tough. That’s why I've assembled a few tips for early risers. With the right planning, your morning workout can be a pleasure, not a chore. It all starts the night before…