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4th December 2013 Wellness

Fitness FAQ

Sports Bra & Nike Pegasus +30 – SportsDirect

There are a number of questions which I see popping up on my Instagram and e-mails time and time again, so I thought I’d compile a brief FAQ. I do hope this helps and if you have any other questions you’d like answered please don’t hesitate to let me know and I will aim to get them answered in future FAQ posts.

Please remember that I am not a professional and all information has been gathered by personal experiences, the endless reading of online articles and journals and picking the brains of my wonderful boyfriend and my magician of a Personal Trainer, Paul.

Is eating dinner after 8pm bad?
This is the story of my life. I hit the gym no later than 6pm, train for a maximum of one and a half hours, then an hours commute back to the countryside means I’m rarely eating before 9pm. This has fast become my routine and eating any earlier means snacking right before bed and ain’t nobody got time for that. Eating and drinking after your work out is essential to replace the nutrients and energy which your body naturally loses during this time. Plus skipping any meal can seriously effect your body’s recovery. I’ve been having a full meal of meat and vegetables, sometimes even a big plate of pasta, CARBS? I hear you screech. Yes. Carbs! But even if it’s just something small like a protein shake or some eggs it’s always more beneficial to have something rather than nothing.

Do you drink Alcohol?

In short? Yes. But at the moment? No. Confused? I thought so.
Let me elaborate, Yes I drink alcohol but I reserve it for social events or the odd weekend glass of wine. At the moment though I’m unable to drink due to my skin treatment so its Tee-total for me until that’s over with.
The thing with alcohol, like we don’t already know, is that it can be rather dehydrating so I wouldn’t tend to recommend a post work out wine as this is when your body will most need hydrating. But everything in moderation I’d say!

Do you eat carbohydrates?
Try not to get sucked in by the fad diets. You absolutely do need to include carbohydrates in your diet no matter what your fitness goals may be. It all comes down to eating “educated” as I always stress.
And if you are as uneducated to food as I was then you will be shocked to know that vegetables are Carbohydrates, but carbs of the complex, low-GI variety, therefore the best source for those with fat loss related fitness goals.
I, myself source the majority of my carbs from vegetables and whole grains but I’m not afraid to indulge in a starchy number or too every so often as my personal fitness goal at present isn’t fat loss.

Is fasted Cardio better than normal cardio?
There’s mixed reviews across the internet regarding “fasted cardio” and judging by the horror stories my friends have told me regarding their experiences, I’ll never know for myself. But as a person who attempted just Living on an empty stomach, I tend to lean more in favour of the non-believers.

Nutritionist Nicola Shubrook from Womens Fitness sums it up for us,

“When our body thinks it’s not going to be fed, it goes into ‘survival mode’ and stores fat to protect our organs and conserve energy (fat being one of the biggest sources of our body’s energy). Training on an empty stomach accentuates the problem, making it self-defeating. So make sure you eat at least an hour beforehand, even if it’s just a banana or a handful of nuts.”

Is caffeine dehydrating?
I like a coffee to accompany me on my commute to work and a super strength one about an hour before my work out to act as my pre workout. And as long as your drinking a good amount of water throughout the day it should be fine. It’s when you start drinking more coffee than water that nausea and caffeine shakes can set in.
I did quite a bit of research into the benefits of caffeine, which include performance enhancement and pain relief which is why it is my “go-to” pre workout. But not only that it has also been found to display antioxidant activity which can neutralize free radicals and also potentially reduce the risk of long term health issues such as heart disease. And if I’m being completely honest, all those neon coloured pre-workout supplements make me a tad uneasy.

Will drinking protein shakes make me bulky?
I get asked this time and time again but thanks to the internet I think the message is finally reaching people effectively. Most protein shakes are not just for men wanting to gain size, but you should always read up about any that you plan on buying to make sure they are the right choice for your goals.
But on the whole protein shakes promote the development and recovery of lean muscle, encourage fat loss and even provide your body with the essential nutrients it needs so even if you don’t want guns the size of Arnie, all of which is a benefit for women.
The use of protein shakes and sometimes meal replacements has also been reported to promote more fat loss than calorie reduced diets by improving your body’s metabolic rate.
So whether its HIIT, Strength training or endurance cardio which tickles your tush, your body will benefit from the right choice of protein supplements. However, all this said you should always seek the advice of a doctor before hand.

Endurance Cardio vs HIIT
Firstly lets start with the basics. Don’t expect to have a body like Candice Swanepoel just from running on a treadmill day in day out. The proof really is in the pudding because if you check out her Instagram, she shares a number of images from her strength training workouts.
Another key factor to really look into is the age old saying “You can’t out train a bad diet!”, quite simply any training plan will be considerably hindered and your fat loss stunted by poor nutrition.

Endurance cardio means 30+ minutes at a steady pace either using various machines like the treadmill or exercise bike or simply a long run outside. 30 minutes of cardio in this form can burn around 500kcal with can make a considerable impact on your daily intake and is a great way to improve cardiovascular fitness. However, excessive endurance cardio eventually burns muscle resulting in the dreaded “skinny-fat” appearance that I know too well whereas strength training will not only build muscle but prevent the loss of it too. And when I say build I don’t mean you’ll be selling tickets to the gun show any time soon. In order to get the “toned” appearance you must decrease fat and increase muscle so that your skin sits tighter to them and you don’t have to lift your body weight in order to do this. Think lower weight and higher reps. And if we are being completely honest, 1 minute has never seemed so arduous that when running on a treadmill.

Queue High-intensity interval training, which is composed of 15-20minutes of 60seconds jogging and 30second flat out sprints, which is not only morre efficient at burning fat and improving cardiovascular fitness but its a damn sight more fun. And as our lives become more and more hectic any way to decrease time and improve efficiency is welcomed with open guns.

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