A recent study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine of more than one thousand people found that staying active nearly halved the odds of you catching cold viruses and, even if you did catch one, made the infection less severe.
According to scientists this could be because exercise helps bolster the immune system to fight off bugs.
Read More about this study on the BBC News Website
One of the questions I am constantly being asked by my personal training and boot camp clients is how do they know when they are in the fat burning zone. Also why does it seem that the intensity is really low if you are to go by the charts that you see on machines in the gym.
When training my 1-1 or fit camp personal training in Manchester who want to lose weight I am not particularly interested in the “Fat Burning” Zone (well not totally, but that’s a post for another day).
It is actually the intensity of the exercise that I concentrate on during my personal training sessions.
While much has been made about the existence of a magical all consuming “fat burning zone,” it is actually one of the greatest myths when it comes to exercising and trying to lose weight and is based on science that is about 30 years out of date.
The myth comes from the fact that when you are participating in lower intensity exercise, you are actually burning a higher percentage of calories from fat than from blood sugar (carbs).
In theory this all sounds great, but as most things that sound too good to be true there is usually a catch.
The first gap in the fat burning zone theory is that your body does not care how you burn the calories or what fuel was used in burning them.
Your body gains or loses weight depending on whether or not you take in more calories than you burn or less calories than you burn. In other words, in order to lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than you use, because at the end of the day food is just fuel and body fat is just stored fuel that has not been burned.
Therefore, what we need to ask ourselves is:
Is it possible that we can burn more calories by deliberately reducing our intensity in the gym to make sure we stay in this magical “fat burning zone”?
The obvious answer to this is no, but how many people do we see in the gym walking, or on an exercise bike reading a book. The simple truth is that you burn more calories by exercising for longer and at a higher intensity, not by slowing down.
The trick is to exercise at an intensity pace that challenges our bodies and, over time, increase the intensity as your fitness increases.
This will allow us to work harder over time and as a result burn more calories withing the same time frame in the gym. So getting fitter means you can work harder and you will lose more weight faster.
The second problem with the fat burning zone theory is that even if it was true that it was more important to burn fat calories than total calories, the “fat burning zone” supporters would still be way off the mark.
Generally how this works is that when you reduce the intensity down to burn more fat you might burn 50% of your total calories from fat as opposed to maybe only 30% if you exercise at a higher intensity.
However, you also burn less calories in total; therefore you burn 50% of a lower amount of total calories!
To understand this a bit better take a look at the below figures for 30 min of cardio exercise for a person weighing 95kg:
Low intensity exercise
High intensity exercise
You can see that the higherintensity exercise wins on all counts, both calories burned and the amount of calories from fat. This is one of the reasons why we don’t do slow steady state cardio in our personal training sessions and boot camp sessions.
This article is by Liam Thompson, personal trainer based in Manchester City Cente. Liam specialises in helping people to lose weight through 1-1 or group coaching.
To arrange a free personal training consultation or a weeks trial at our fit camp please use the contact us form
Have a go at them and see how you get on.
High intensity intervals otherwise known as HIIT training can significantly increase fat burning. When your body is recovering, the aerobic system uses oxygen to convert stored carbohydrate / glucose into energy. Several studies have shown that interval training groups lose more stomach fat in half the workout time when compared with regular steady state cardio workout session.
Eating less processed foods that are high in fats, sugars and refined carbohydrates and changing to more natural foods is a great way of lowering total calorie intake. When it comes to wholegrain foods, go for produce such as for quinoa, which contains more protein than any other natural grain making it great for vegetarians as well. Quinona is an excellent source of manganese, which is a great regulator of blood glucose levels. (2013 update – If you really want to up your weight loss results, I would advise cutting out all grains especially wheat and pasta)
Finding ways to trick yourself into making positive lifestyle changes such as buying new clothes that are too small for you, is a great way of focusing your mind on the goals ahead. The direction is less ‘don’t eat this’ (negative) and more ‘I’m going to look and feel great’ (positive). The added bonus to this method is that you both get insape and you get a brand new wardrobe at the same time.
As a small side note im current working on a project with Fertility Expert Alice Ramcharran designed to help people with fertility problems lose wight in order to get healthy and conceive quicker. Is called Fertility Fitness, please check it out.
If you would like some help with losing weight in Manchester you can contact us clicking on the contact us link here
Many artificial sweeteners on the market in the UK today contain ingredients that may be quite harmful to your health. Our advice here at NorthWest Personal Training in Manchester is to check out your “diet drink” or sugar free product for the following potentially harmful ingredients:
Aspartame (E951) - has been know to produce the toxin methanol, which your body can process only in small amounts, and this has been shown to cause headaches and menstrual problems
Saccharin (E954) – another common sweetner has also been linked with bladder cancer and Acesulfame K (E950) which is found in many of the popular diet colas has also been linked with cancer, while sorbitol (E420) which is normally found in toothpase and mannitol (E421) have been associated with stomach bloating.
If you insist on having a Cola or a Fizzy orange we would recommend going for the “full fat” version as its likely to be healthier for you in the long run and if you need to sweeten up your coffee or tea, it’s best to go for brown sugar rather than white refined or try and cut it out gradually.
Also because diet drinks are usually sweet your body is expecting sugar and will start an insulin response. This will cause any fat burning to be switched off and your body will go into fat storing mode. This is one of the reasons why many people who consume diet drinks tend to be overweight.
We think that they shouldn’t be allowed to be called diet drinks because it give people the impression that they can help thm lose weight and that they are healthier than other versions.
Update: Just found an excellent article on this subject on another site:
Aspartame is poison
Overtraining can be defined as an assortment of symptoms and behaviours that happen in athletes and recreational trainers after repeated high intensity workouts, with insufficient rest periods to allow for sufficient recovery of damaged muscle fibres. This overtraining syndrome can continue for weeks or months, depending on the length and intensity of overtraining that precedes the athlete or recreational gym goer’s symptoms.
The main aim of training is to develop strength, build muscle and increase athletic performance. This usually involves stressing the skeletal muscles or cardiovascular system or both. This stress in the short term fatigues and weakens the muscle and there is also minor damage cause at a cellular level during intense training. While exercise temporarily weakens muscle, sufficient rest periods allow this muscle damage to be repaired.
This theory is typified by the below statement:
Workouts happen in the gym; however strength increases happen outside of the gym.
If you are overtraining, there is not enough rest time between workouts, stopping adequate repair and recovery of the damaged muscle tissue. This ultimately leads to decreased performance, fatigue, and other symptoms.
Diagnosis of Overtraining is made by process of elimination. A complete medical check-up should be undertaken to rule out other diseases, before assuming an athlete is suffering from overtraining syndrome.
Treatment of overtraining centres around taking longer periods of rest. The longer the athlete has been overtraining, the more rest period will be needed to recover. The amount of rest can range from two or three days, to several weeks, depending on how much the athlete has been overtraining.
There are also no rules as to how much rest is needed exactly. Usually the rest periods should continue until symptoms of overtraining have disappeared. Once symptoms have gone, the athlete should return to light training, slowly increasing intensity over time as long as they are free of symptoms.
It is possible that overtraining can be prevented; nevertheless this means as an athlete you need use self-discipline and common sense when undertaking any training. This is especially relevant for both recreational gym goers, as well as elite athletes. Care should be taken to get plenty of rest between workouts and competing. There is a tendency, especially in new leisure athletes, to feel that “the more they train the better”, this approach will quickly lead to symptoms of overtraining.
In order to avoid overtraining, athletes should not undertake the same workout routine two or more days on the trot, and should switch training sessions between high and low intensity sessions. In addition to this, planned rest days should be added to all training plans, to allow for sufficient recovery