August 2, 2016No Comments

Fad Fitness – #TalkToMeTuesdays

Fad fitness

Fad fitness programmes

There’s no denying that there are literally dozens, hundreds of ways you can get fit and get the body you’ve always wanted. Some take longer, some need to be done more frequently than others and some just don’t hurt at all. What you need to be clear about is what works for you and your body. It may be you haven’t found it yet, but you shouldn’t stop looking. Think about what you would enjoy, give that a go and take it from there. When you find your right thing you’ll love it, going to a class or doing it won’t be a chore, it will be fun and you’ll smile the entire way through.

What does drive me a bit crazy however are the fad fitness programmes. The celebrities that every year have a new ‘smaller in 5 mins’ workout that convince you that if you do this workout just two to three times a week you’ll be sure to have their washboard abs and still feel great. No. Just no.

Let’s be clear, working out is a fantastic way to stay in shape and yes, a side effect is you lose fat in areas and build muscles in others. It doesn’t automatically mean that the scales will be lighter, you may get heavier due to muscle building. It doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll have an amazingly flat stomach either.

Getting to that shape and that body that you see in countless Hollywood movies takes a careful planning of both diet and exercise. A great phrase that I love is that you can’t work off a bad diet. If you exercise, that doesn’t mean you get to treat yourself to a really bad meal every night. Yes, a treat here and there is fine, it’s what keeps you going but I’ve known so many people that do a couple of workouts a week, expect an instant change in their weight AND expect to be able to eat the worst of the worst takeaways.

Your body needs caring. Would you put vegetable oil in your car? No. it needs proper maintenance just like your body and that is not going to happen in a DVD that shows you just 5 mins of information.

Most of the DVDs also do not encourage you to assess yourself. You don’t have the guidance, experience or knowledge of a trained instructor at home, just someone showing you the moves and encouraging you in a very generic way. How do you know if your posture is right? How do you know if you should move your feet an inch forward because you’re arching your back too much? You don’t. That’s why I always advise trying something out in person first and then giving it a go at home.

So next time you’re about to pick up a ‘5 mins washboard abs’ DVD, ask yourself would it be better to just pop along to a class at your local gym, community hall, leisure centre or any of the other hundreds of things going on all across the world?

Ciao for now x

January 13, 2016No Comments

Day 13 – Exercise and calories

A lot of people, especially those trying to stick to their New Years Resolutions, seem to think doing any form of exercise justifies a McDonalds. I'm afraid to say it really doesn't.

While doing some exercise is always better than doing none, it's extremely important that you are honest with yourself and have an understanding of how many calories you are actually burning.

The way you should work this information, goes back to one of our first posts, counting calories. In this post we calculated a basic figure of our daily calorie need but obviously that amount can increase if we are doing exercise in that day, but by how much?

This is where we need to be careful about how much we are overestimating our exercise. For example, half an hour of Yoga, in a person that weighs about 70kg is only 149 calories. A normal class is usually an hour so that's just under 300 calories spent doing exercise, not quite enough to justify a Big Mac!

Calculate your daily calorie needs using the first article we published and then if you do exercise, try to track and calculate the change in those needs for the days you exercise. Here's a great link that you can use to measure your calories used and includes every day activities around the house as well as exercise. Unfortunately it is an American website so makes use of Pounds rather than stone or kilograms but as a basic concept, 1 Pound, in weight, is equal to 0.45kg.

Enjoy and most importantly be honest with yourself.

Ciao for now x

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