Posted on Leave a comment

Power training or light exercise?

Find out which training method better suits what you are trying to achieve. Explore our blog….

It all depends on what you are trying to achieve. Power training is designed to increase muscle mass and generally individuals doing this will gain some weight in muscle, fat or a combination of both. Light exercise is mainly used to maintain weight as well as add muscle definition.

 

Important points when engaging in power training:

Eat well. Several high protein meals must be consumed throughout the day. It is also important to have a meal 2-3 hours before training to allow time for the food to be properly digested and energy needed to be released. A typical pre workout meal would consist of a high protein meat such as chicken or turkey and complex carbohydrates such as vegetables and potato.

Heavy weights and low reps. In order to build muscle in a reasonably short period of time, it is essential that heavy weight sets and short breaks are applied. Typically sets of 10-12 on maximum resistance coupled with breaks of 30-60 seconds.

Allow time to repair. Training sessions must be alternated between different muscle groups to allow time for muscles to repair. Power training will result in muscles being literally ripped and a couple of days are needed for the repair to take effect.  A good protein supplement coupled with creatine and BCAAs will help speed up the recovery process.

 

Light exercise points:

Persistence is key. Although generally low intensity, light exercise sessions typically last a lot longer than power training. In order for maximum results to be achieved, regular sessions of over 1 hour are needed.

Cardio is king. Cardio sessions up the heart rate and increase temperature thus burning more calories and fat. They are particularly effective for problem areas such as around the stomach and thighs.

Eat healthy. All the exercise in the world will not get you anywhere if you have a poor diet. Try eating more lean meats and vegetables and cut down on breads, pasta, sweets, ready meals and desserts.

Posted on Leave a comment

Health benefits of running

Running is not only a great way to get in shape but it will also strengthen many parts of the body as well as lifting the mood thus boosting happiness. Just 5 sessions of 30 minutes a week can make a huge difference. Below are just a few of the ways running can help you lead a healthier life.

LOSE WEIGHT

Running will increase body temperature which causes hundreds of extra calories to be burned more effectively. Studies have shown that calories continue burning even after stopping. Covering big distances at a relatively fast pace will help shift fat from stubborn areas such as stomach and thighs making abs and glutes seem more defined.

IMPROVE OVERALL HEALTH

Running can have tremendous benefits on health. It can boost the immune system, lower the risk of blood clots, improve lung and heart performance, lower cholesterol, etc. Contrary to some inaccurate reports, running will actually strengthen joints and improve knee health. In addition to this, running increases bone mass helping avoid fractures and osteoporosis.

BE HAPPIER

Whenever you feel down, anxious or stressed out, put on some running shoes and you will notice that just after a few minutes you will feel better. This is also known as a “runner’s high” and is caused by the release of endorphins from running. It is known to create a feeling of euphoria and well being.

REDUCE THE RISK OF DISEASE

Several studies have shown that running can help prevent certain cancers and several diseases such as multiple sclerosis, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and high blood pressure. Running can also dramatically reduce the risk of having a stroke or a heart attack.

LIVE LONGER

As with other physical activities, running can add several years to one’s life. A recent study showed that individuals added an average of 3.5 years to their lives. Running can also improve brain function and helps defeat age-related mental decline.  It was also shown to prevent or slow down the progress of Alzheimer’s and dementia.

Posted on Leave a comment

Getting Fit for Summer

If you’re not 100 per cent confident about your body weight or shape, and the sight of someone coming towards you in a T-shirt or shorts makes you feel anxious about the thought of revealing your body, then it’s time to start working on your summer diet. And although many people just want to look good for that short period of time when the sunshine arrives, there is no better time than to make the healthy living choices that will lead to long-term well being.

It’s more than vanity

Sometimes we dismiss our ideas of slimming for  a beach-fit body as vanity, but it is more than that. The reason why a well-sculpted body in a swimsuit looks so appealing is because it is a picture of health, and evolution has resulted in us being attracted to signs of health. Looking good in public also allows us to cast off our inhibitions and become more of the people we want to be. This makes us happier and improves everything from our intimate relationships, our role model as a parent and our working and social lives.

Three steps to fitness

There is, and probably never will be, no one diet that suits everyone. Instead there are two main principles and one extra helping hand that together will inevitably lead to improved health and fitness.

Depending on your circumstances, weight loss might be high on your agenda, so you’ll be pleased to learn that safe weight loss is purely a matter of sensible calorie control and moderate exercise. A healthy diet that is conducive to weight loss will do two things: reduce the conversion of calories to fat and ensure we have enough nutrients to keep us in good health. Reducing the overall number of calories we consume is, of course, the key behind calorie control, but there are also ways we can make our bodies less prone to storing calories as fat, while promoting the use of fat as a fuel source.

Foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids (including avocados, walnuts and kidney beans) help to inhibit the storage of glucose in fat cells, while calcium binds with bile cells to help us excrete more fat; calcium is found in milk, broccoli and cheese.  Foods containing the carotenoid astaxanthin (prawns, langoustines, lobster, etc.) have a thermogenic effect, raising the body’s temperature and ensuring more fat is burnt. Catechin in green tea is also thought to have this effect on the body, as are diet supplements containing spices, chilli or caffeine.

The second element of a healthy lifestyle is moderate exercise, including running, swimming and cycling. Either of these activities, combined with a light weight-bearing element, will help you to convert fat into muscle. A pound of muscle burns up to an extra 50 calories a day compared with the same weight of fat – and looks a whole lot nicer too.

The third element to achieving a healthy lifestyle is the careful use of diet supplements. As the word ‘supplement’ suggests, these should be used as part of a healthy diet to boost results; after all, summer is getting very close.

Posted on Leave a comment

How Can Raspberry Ketones Help with Weight Loss?

The cutting edge of weight loss is an exciting place to be with obesity such a problem and people desperately looking for a slimming solution that doesn’t need drastic measures or a surgical procedure….

Safe weight loss is of paramount importance to a healthy society and there have been countless health and weight loss claims put forward by people providing evidence of diet success by taking food supplements.

If you are preparing your summer diet, you should avail yourself of all the information possible before making a purchase decision.

Raspberry ketones are phenolic compounds, a class of natural substances found in plants. They are part of what gives raspberries their delicious aroma and, as a result, are used in small amounts as flavourings (in such things as carbonated drinks, ice-cream and cosmetics) and perfumes.

The link with raspberry ketones and burning calories started about 15 years ago with strong evidence that these compounds had a powerful effect on lipolysis (fat metabolism).

In 2005, in Japan, experiments on mice on a high-fat diet found that those given raspberry ketones metabolised fat more quickly, reducing their fat levels. A later Korean study on fat in test-tubes provided more evidence that the phenolic compounds sped up fat metabolism. There have also been tests on rats and rabbits but still the well being industry waits for conclusive answers.

The most famous of all is a feature on the Dr. Oz show where raspberry ketones were shown to break down fat molecules thus assisting weight loss. Dr. Oz called raspberry ketone supplements a “miracle in a bottle”.

While most well being experts would probably agree that it is likely that raspberry ketone diet supplements would affect fat metabolism in humans, there is naturally a healthy caution about the correct dosage for safe weight loss. This is thought to be 500-600mg per day. Some fruit extracts containing raspberry ketones have a history of significant use within the EU, prompting the UK’s FSA to update its previous blanket advice on the ‘novel food’ classification of the compounds.

Healthy living is not always a clear cut issue, and we must always work together to balance the needs for calorie control and overall well being. Of course, any supplements should only ever be used as part of a healthy diet.

Posted on Leave a comment

Why eating dark chocolate is good for you

Eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate may positively affect your health and well being…

It is Easter time and we all enjoy indulging ourselves. Lucky for us, dark chocolate is the food to do just that without all the negative effect of other sweet foods. It sounds like a dieters nightmare but eating moderate amounts of dark chocolate (minimum 85% cocoa) will actually positively affect your health.

Dark chocolate contains flavanols such as Theobromine which make arteries produce Nitric Oxide that helps improve blood flow to the heart and reduce the calcification of arteries thus lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of blood clots and other cardiovascular diseases.

Dark chocolate contains Phenylalanine which encourages the release of endorphins creating feelings of happiness. It can also improve cognitive function by increasing the blood flow to the brain. Dark chocolate also contains small amounts of caffeine which has been shown to help with concentration and energy levels making you feel more alert and focused.

Dark chocolate is packed with anti oxidants. Anti oxidants help combat free radicals which are reactive molecules in our bodies that cause damage to surrounding cells. It is believed that free radicals may cause certain cancers and speed up the ageing process. Eating dark chocolate may slow down ageing as well as reduce the risk of cancer.

Dark chocolate is rich in vitamins and minerals. It contains high concentrations of Potassium, Magnesium, Iron, Copper and Manganese. It is also an excellent source of fiber which makes it great for the digestive system and feeling full thus assisting weight loss efforts.

It should be noted that dark chocolate also contains plenty of calories and sugar therefore it is best to keep to one bar a week for maximum benefits.

Posted on Leave a comment

How will Green Coffee accelerate weight loss?

It’s being hailed as a revolutionary weight-loss product that can melt pounds without the need for diet or exercise.

It’s no coincidence green coffee bean extract surged in popularity since being mentioned on The Dr. Oz Show. After being scrutinised by critics for calling green coffee bean extract a “miracle” product, Dr. Mehmet Oz conducted his own experiment on the supplement. Using 100 female volunteers, Oz said he found women who took the extract lost an average of two pounds in two weeks. Women who took a placebo lost an average of one pound during those two weeks.

What is it?

Green coffee beans are ones that haven’t been roasted. Green coffee beans are rich in chlorogenic acid, which studies claim slows the release of glucose into the body after a meal, thereby promoting weight loss. When coffee beans are roasted, most of the chlorogenic acid is lost. The unroasted extract with chlorogenic acid, is converted into a capsule form before being sold as a weight loss supplement.

The claims

Just type “green coffee bean extract” into an Internet search and you’ll be bombarded with companies advertising its ability to help you lose weight. Most of these products are unregulated and contain little to no chlorogenic acid. Our Green Coffee contains a genuine 20% chlorogenic acid as well as a helping of Green Tea which has been studied extensively for promoting weight loss.

A particular study, published in the journal Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, was conducted on eight men and eight women. They were each given a high dose and a low dose of green coffee bean extract, as well as a placebo, in three separate six-week-long experiments. Participants were provided a similar number of calories each day during the course of the experiment.

After 22 weeks, or about five months, the researchers found that, on average, participants lost more than 17 pounds.

The catch

Although results have been very positive, studies have shown that taking Green Coffee or indeed any other supplements will not work unless a change in diet and lifestyle is made. There simply are no magic pills that will melt fat without any effort. Granted there are prescription weight loss pills that will make you lose weight. These however come with many side effects and once a course is finished, you are almost guaranteed to pile the pounds back on.