Let's be honest, sunny weather can mean more socialising and extra alcohol.......so how does alcohol really affect us after exercise? Well the pros go without too much explanation but...
After you work out, your muscles need time to repair themselves and grow. Alcohol disrupts this process, meaning if you're serious about making improvements, you probably should pass on the post-workout beers. The body uses human growth hormone during the muscle-repair process. The consumption of alcohol reduces the secretion of HGH, eliminating some of the gains that you made whilst exercising.
Most of us know that alcohol dehydrates the body by causing you to sweat and urinate more as your system tries to eliminate the toxin. Of course, working out can also causes dehydration. If you’re already dehydrated and then you start drinking, you are exacerbating the problem and can expect symptoms like dry mouth, headache and even dizziness in more serious cases.
The more dehydrated you get, the worse your hangover will be.
Since your muscles are not able to properly repair themselves due to the effects of alcohol, you will experience more soreness for a longer time if you drink after your workout. The soreness you experience after working out is from microscopic muscle tears or built-up lactic acid, both of which can take longer to resolve if booze is in your body.
So try and minimise alcohol, difficult though that can be at times, particularly in the sunnier months. Where you can try and save your drinking days for rest days, rather than on workout days and let your body repair itself, adapt and get stronger when it needs to..
Good plan - I'm right there with you! :-)
Follow my 5 tips to smiley summer sessions..
1 Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Maintain balance by drinking plenty of fluids (preferably water) before, during and after physical activity. Avoid alcoholic and caffeinated beverages.
2 Exercise smarter, not harder. Work out during the cooler parts of the day, preferably when the sun's radiation is minimal — early in the morning or early in the evening. Decrease exercise intensity and duration at high temperatures or relative humidity. And don’t hesitate to take your exercise inside or change it to something else when the temperatures get too much.
3 Ease in to summer. Allow your body to adapt partially to heat through repeated gradual daily exposures. An increase in the body's circulatory and cooling efficiency, called acclimatization, generally occurs in around 4 to 14 days! Not too long really.
4 Dress the part. Wear cooler, looser fitting clothing to facilitate cooling by evaporation. Remember, it’s not sweating that cools the body; rather, the evaporation of sweat into the atmosphere. Wear lightweight, light-coloured clothing in breathable fabrics such as cotton.
5 Relax, look around you. Work hard but enjoy the journey....loving your surroundings means that you'll look forward to getting back out there and makes your exercise change sustainable as a life changing habit smile emoticon If you're not enjoying the journey, it's much more likely that you'll give up before you get to where you planned to go.
Don't give up, whether you train with me, someone else or are happier training on your own......the important thing is that your on-going health is by far the best investment that you will ever make.
Whatever your chosen exercise, keep making those investments this summer. Get up, get out there and get stronger
A runner's relationship with the sun can be complex. You love soaking up its warmth and energy, especially after a winter of lots of freezing cold and treadmill-based miles. I know I'm weird but I much prefer winter running, but most don't.
Worried about unflattering tan marks, heat problems and sunburn, particularly if you're notching up some epic summer mileage? You might be surprised to learn that running in the sun also does your body good. Here's how to balance the risks and rewards...
We all know that the sun's damaging ultraviolet rays can cause skin cancer, and naturally runners that train outdoors may be especially vulnerable. Overexposure to UV radiation can suppress your skin's ability to properly protect itself and heal, so it's important that runners take steps so that their skin is protected and doesn't burn...
However, alongside the benefits of Vitamin D, recent research from Edinburgh University reports that the skin houses large amounts of nitric oxide, a compound that dilates blood vessels to reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart attack and stroke. It's believed now that sunlight activates those nitric oxide supplies and releases them into circulation. The large stores of nitric oxide released from the skin help more blood and oxygen flow to your muscles and by reducing the amount of oxygen the muscles use to produce force, the nitric oxide helps you go harder, longer through your work out. Good to know :-)
How does swimming in the sea compare to using the local pool?
A swim in the sea may improve your mood and health as well as work off the calamari! Ancient Greeks appreciated the health and beauty benefits of this mineral-rich water and bathed and soaked in seawater-filled pools and hot tubs. Among several health and exercise benefits, swimming in seawater can help increase your immune system function, improve circulation, promote overall well-being and hydrate your skin!
Seawater contains vital elements, vitamins, mineral salts, trace elements, amino acids and living micro-organisms that can produce antibiotic and antibacterial effects to help promote a healthy immune system. Reportedly, the components of seawater, similar to human blood plasma, are easily absorbed and utilized by your body while swimming.
In addition, proponents claim that swimming in seawater opens pores in the skin to allow the absorption of sea minerals and the expulsion of disease-causing toxins from the body.
So put down your book for a bit, elevate your heart rate and improve your mood :-)
It's starting to look a little bit more like we can lose the hat and gloves and begin to think about what the sunnier weather means for our bodies....
Exercising outdoors has myriad benefits, including an increased calorie burn (we like that) and of course the all important soak up of Vitamin D, that helps to keep our bones and teeth strong and boosts our immune systems. Don't forget some sunscreen and often forgotten is sunglasses (even this early in the year) - they stop you squinting, which releases tension in the neck and shoulders, resulting in a looser body and more conserved energy levels , not to mention keeping crows feet at bay. The more relaxed you are, the better you will perform. This week we'll look at how the change in temp affects our options and performance in exercise..
Although the leaves have always been eaten, historically the beet root was generally used medicinally for a range of ailments, including fevers, constipation and skin problems.
Beetroot is a good source of iron and folate (naturally occuring folic acid). It also contains nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants (notably betacyanin).
More recent health claims suggest beetroot can help lower blood pressure, boost exercise performance and prevent dementia.
But is that true? A well-conducted review from 2013 looked at research linking beetroot juice to improved exercise performance. The review found that inactive and recreationally active individuals saw "moderate improvements" in exercise performance from drinking beetroot juice. However, the review noted there was very little effect on elite athletes (which let's face it doesn't apply to most of us).
A 2010 study suggested that a diet high in beetroot juice may increase blood flow to certain areas of the brain. However, this was a small and short-term study with several limitations and as such does not provide robust evidence that a diet high in nitrates aids cognitive function. Further research is needed in larger numbers of people over a longer period.
From a personal point of view, I've found that beetroot juice seems to boost my cycling performance significantly - it's worth trying it about an hour before you work out and seeing whether you notice a difference.
A good regular addition to your diet if you exercise regularly and in general.
Interest in the health benefits of oily fish started when researchers noticed that Eskimos, who eat mainly oily fish, had fewer heart attacks and strokes than others on average.
Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel and sardines are said to help against cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, age-related vision loss and dementia but further research continues on these subjects..
It's a good source of vitamin D, protein, some B vitamins and selenium. It's also a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of fat good for our health.
The UK Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition reviewed the evidence on the health benefits of fish in 2004. It said a "large body of evidence" suggests that fish consumption, particularly of oily fish, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies have found that eating oily fish can lower blood pressure and reduce fat build-up in the arteries. The evidence is strong enough to warrant a government recommendation that we eat at least two portions of fish per week, of which one should be oily.
Try and eat fish a couple of times a week as an evening meal if you can but remember that you can get your omega-3 from a range of oily fish. Tinned sardines and mackerel, for example, are an easy and cheap way to stock up the store cupboard.
So this week, let's focus on some foods that are nutritionally interesting and why that's the case..
One of my total stars! Have them on your breakfast, in a smoothie, and as a snack during the day..
Why bother?... They are full of antioxidants such as Vitamin C, thanks to their phytochemical content. An 80g serving contains nearly 20 % of our Vitamin C RDA. They also contain Vitamin K, needed for healthy bones.
A study in 2012 of 93,000 women found that participants who ate three or more portions of blueberries (and strawberries) a week had a 32% lower risk of a heart attack compared with those who ate berries once a month or less. However, the study could not prove that these fruits definitely caused the lower risk. Interesting though..
Valued for its high levels of antioxidants, some nutritionists believe that if you make only one change to your diet, it should be to add blueberries.
I'd like to tell you about Jayne.
In February 2011, she was diagnosed with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). This is a rare blood cancer and leads to bone marrow failure. The illness progressed and she risked acute myeloid leukaemia.
Jayne was isolated in St James hospital in Leeds and underwent intensive chemotherapy. In July 2012, she went into remission and was then able to undergo a bone marrow transplant. She now uses her experiences to speak positively to others about how to get the most out of life.
I've been working with Jayne for the last few months to improve her fitness, strength and muscular endurance. We've worked hard on becoming nutritionally spot on and our aim is for her to run a 5K, having never run before. She is one of the most positive people that I know, works so hard, won't give in, unbelievably determined no matter how hard it gets and pretty all round amazing!
Please do follow our progress here on this blog over the next few weeks as we continue to train towards running that 5K in July #inspirationalgirl
With care and determination,our bodies can often be trained far beyond what we believed was possible.
Here's a post that Jayne has put onto her own facebook page about self belief......I hope that you feel inspired by her attitude towards her goals.....
This weeks plan from my Personal Trainer included a 45 minute swim!! I can’t do that……or can I?
I haven’t been for a proper swim since before my transplant (just a bob about on holiday!). Even before my transplant I couldn’t swim more than 4 lengths or so. I used to hold my breath, struggle controlling my breathing etc…..I believed I couldn’t swim more than 4 lengths, so I would stop at 4!
I used to believe I couldn’t run, and now I am progressing nicely with my training plan and can run 4 x 05 miles with a short walk in between each section.
Since my transplant I have a new ‘MIND’, a new ATTITUDE. I believe I can do anything that I want to do, it may take hard work but if I want it, I can achieve it.
So, I packed my bag and headed to the swimming pool.
I swam 4 lengths and my breathing was fine, shock, horror!!! I think meditation and also the fact that I can breathe when I run has contributed massively to this. After about 6 lengths my arms were really aching, but I thought to myself “sometimes when I run, my legs hurt but eventually they know I am not going to stop so they start working more effectively, maybe my arms will do the same”. So I carried on! Low and behold they stopped hurting!
I did have a very achey neck and shoulders throughout the swim, but I carried on, and stretched out when I reached the shallow end.
I did a phenomenal, for me, 40 (x 25m) lengths in 46 minutes. I can not believe it!!! I’m so flipping chuffed.
I have spent years telling myself I can’t run….I can.
I have spent years telling myself I can’t swim….I can.
Isn’t it sad that we tell ourselves that we can’t achieve certain things that we would like to, when in all honesty we haven’t even tried, or given it our best shot.
Don’t let others tell you you can’t achieve your goals, but worse than that do not tell yourself you can’t achieve your dreams or goals without even trying and giving it 100%.
We are all capable of more than we think we are.
Information overload (join the club)?
Try Running! Have you been trying to solve a problem or come up with a great idea for hours? Stop what you’re doing, and head out for a run. If you can't seem to find the right solution to a problem or your creativity has gone out the window, go for a jog! The repetitive nature of a running stride allows your brain to relax (since there are no complex steps to follow or movement patterns to master), while your body enjoys the uplifting rush of exercise-induced endorphins. Try it..