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Blog posts of '2014' 'December'

Winter Wonderland Workouts

Winter Running Tips with Dave Benson Personel Training

It is really cold outside, so cold the pavements are frozen over and i cant complete my run. Dont worry here are a few tips to help you combat this blizzard!

  1. Strengthen You Body Indoors - This is an opportune moment to get to the gym and into the weights area. Remember, cardiovascular training will help shift the weight but what keeps everything held together is the iron. 
  2. Wrap Up Warm - Determined to go out despite there being snow and ICE on the ground...i take my hat off to you...but remember to dress appropiately. Make sure you are wearing an appropiate hat as that is where majority of heat will be lost. Also, double up on the socks and wear a pair of leggings. From personal experience if im training in cooler environments im very concious about making sure im appropiately warm, so this means really layering up with thermals underneath, to avoid injury. 
  3. Change Your Feet - If you are still going to be running in snow and on other slipper surfaces you need to make sure you have appropiate footwear, otherwise you are asking to be starting news years injured. The appropiate for these type of conditions are trail running shoes. These specifically made shoes are ideal for all types of terrain giving the runner greater protection, support and traction coursing over off road terrains. 
  4. Harsh Realisation- Running outside when its frozen is dangerous and you will leave yourself open to injury. Try to avoid shiny surfaces, if you are to run over these you will leave yourself open to an array of injuries. And it is at that point you will be needing to see a good sports therapist due to the untold damage you shall have done. Out of all of these tips, this is my most strongly felt in the aid of injury prevention and if you must go outside to run, remain vigilant of ICE! Always look to run where it is CLEAR!

DONT Detox Just Drink

Don't Detox just Drink

A lot of you are going to be coming to me and saying "well im going to start my new year resolution to loose 10lbs in 10 days by detoxing". First of all 10lbs in 10 days that is an annoying topic that if is advertised i will rip apart. Lastly, detoxing because you have induldged and quite rightly so, you have enjoyed and let go of yourself which is wicked. Now you want to flush out all these toxins with a quick fix flush that involves you drinking loads of water and for most of you this will have been the most water you have drank all year....why? What this article is going to discuss is the benefits of keeping yourself well hydrated and why it is crucial to also. You shouldn't leave it to just one time in the year that you drink your 3 litres of water a day, make it a habit to do it on all 365 days of the year. 

Water is the most crucial part of anyones diet, given that 60% of our body is water it really should not be ignored. Also, for the fact it contains electrolytes and minerals, including sodium, chloride, magnesium, potasium, fluoride and calcium. Therefore, water provides us with a lot of the neccessary vitamins and minerals we need every day in order to live our HEALTHY BALANCED lifestyles.

The detox portion of water is where by it acts like a transportation system. Water takes everything (nutrients, oxygen, vitamins and minerals) to where they are required. Also, water (the transporter) takes waste products to the excretory organs where these waste products are got rid of. Furthermore, water, if you are looking at your detox, water is almost like a peace keeper. Water is the environment in which every single chemical reaction that occurs in the body takes place. The water content of each individual cell and indeed the whole body needs to be kept constant (Keeping the peace) between very narrow limits so that metabolism or any other function in the body remains efficient. In table 1 you can see the AVERAGE requirements for someone who doesn't do exercise. in order for our body to be kept constant we need to be consuming a minimum of 2.5 litres a day 365 days a year and thats if your not exercising. If you are exercising you will need to be consuming close to the 5 litre mark due to the loss of water weight and having to factor in exercise. if not enough water is consumed then you will become dehydrated which leads into the next area of discussion. 

Daily Water Output
Source Millilitres
Urine 1250
Faeces 100
Skin 850
Lungs 350
Total 2550

Table 1. Total water expended in an average day and the different areas and how much water they require. Based upon someone who has done no exercise in normal temperature and humidity. 

So, now we understand that water in reality is really crucial for us to maintain our body and bodily functions. However, at some point we all will/have experienced dehydration. This next section will discuss dehydration and elaborate more on why we should not be neglecting our water intake. Dehydration is basically a decrease of water within the body, and we as humans will become aware of this quickly as our bodies are always assessing our fluid balance and adjusting both intake and output to maintain total body water at an optimal level. If we look at dehydration from a performance perspective, a loss of 2% of body weight as water will seriously compromise performance, and a loss of 5% can be fatal! Water losses such as these will slow down your metabolism and therefore energy generation so that muscles will feel tired. Another result of such dramatic dehydration is blood pressure will drop and induce a lack of blood flow to the brain resulting in poor concentration and tiredness. So now we can start to really get an idea of how important WATER is and we should not just think ooooo 10 day detox, dont wind me up! If you still are not convinced on the HUGE benefits of water then take a look at these effects of DEHYDRATION. 

EFFECTS OF DEHYDRATION

INCREASE IN 

  • GASTROINTESTINAL STRESS
  • HEART RATE
  • CORE TEMPERATURE AT SWEATING BEGINS
  • CORE TEMPERATURE AT WHICH BLOOD FLOW INCREASES TO THE SKIN

  • CORE TEMPERATURE AT A GIVEN EXERCISE INTENSITY
  • MUSCLE GLYCOGEN USE

DECREASE IN

  • CENTRAL BLOOD VOLUME
  • STROKE VOLUME
  • CARDIAC OUTPUT
  • SWEAT RATE AT A GIVEN CORE TEMPERATURE
  • MAXIMAL SWEAT RATE

RESULTING IN

  • HEADACHES
  • FATIGUE
  • INSUFFICIENT KIDNEY FUNCTION
  • SUB-OPTIMAL PERFORMANCE

Furthermore, as a result of excessive water loss and electrolyte losses impair heat tolerance and exercise performance and can lead to severe dysfunction in the form of heat cramps, heat exhaustion or heat stroke. Dehydration can be caused also through use of diurectics such as Alcohol, caffeine and many other soft drinks that contain caffeine. These products (diurectics) accelerates dehydration rather than rehydration. This dehydration of the body can lead to the paradox which is water retention. The kidneys regulate acid base balance by secretion into the tubules and reabsorption of bicarbonate. A decrease in body water and increase in plasma osmolality stimulates ADH (Antidiurectic hormone) secretion. It is this process that causes water retention and that bloated look you will experience. This is because the water is returned to the body fluids and plasma osmotic pressure is decreased to normal levels, thus causing this retention effect. 

Maintaining Healthy Digestive Function

Fluid is natures flusher. Fluid speeds up gut function and the bodies ability to get rid of waste products, maintain an effective and efficient METABOLISM. Water held in the digestive tract increasing bulk, thus stimulating the muscles of the tract so they retain their health and tone. This is what prevents illnesses such as constipation, haemorrhoids and more severe bowel problems such as bowel cancer. Yes water can prevent bowel cancer!

In conclusion, water is not only important for getting rid of these toxins that we have accumulated over the period of excess but is important for the body to be kept at a constant. Also, water is crucial for weight management not because it aids gut function, but helps maintain our metabolism. As previously discussed when we become dehydrated or the consumption of products that do not rehydrate us, slow our metabolism down. This in turn effects our muscular function and alterness which makes us less likely to exercise simply because of our lack of energy through feeling lethargic. In retrospect, if you are completing a detox which involves you consuming 2.5+litres of water continue it, drinking water is more vital for YOUR health than you think.

Christmas Count Down Tips

5 Days Till Christmas - Tip 1: Portion sizes!!!

Christmas time, is going to be one big cheat meal, and that is fine. Christmas is a time to spend time with your family and an opportunity to enjoy some beautiful food and drink. However, the food we shall be enjoying isnt neccesarily the most nutriously balanced. But dont panic you can limit the damage just by following this simple and quick tip. 

create a cup with the palm of your hands, like you are about to receive a gift. Hands together and creating a cup like shape. That size you have just created with your hands should be the size of a single portion of food. Its not massive is it? No. This where people go wrong and they will over induldge, even when its not christmas, they will eat more than what they need. Stick to a sensible portion size to help you loose weight. 

4 days till Christmas - Tip 2 Quick Cardio for Quick Fat Loss

Christmas time is stressful, it is people rushing here there and every where to try and bring this massive family occassion together. That can mean you are pushed for time to workout and keep on top of your fitness or weight loss goal. Dont panic here is a quick tip to ensure you dont slip behind or miss out on your fat burning potential. 

Do a quick 5 minute warm up which can be just 5 minutes brisk walking/jogging/ skipping. Then complete 8-10 sets of 30 seconds sprinting (this can be done outside or on the spot, this doesn't even need to involve sprinting you can complete this taxing workout with just press ups if you wanted) with 10 seconds rest inbetween. This is a 10-15 minute workout that will have you gasping for air, your working 30 seconds flat out with little to no rest (10 seconds). This is guranteed to get the heart pumping and you burning fat all the way throughout the day. 

3 days till Christmas - Tip 3 The Squat

Ok so if you have been following these tips then you are a ready on the way to maintaining or even possibly loosing some more weight. Why not assist this with a simple exercise called the SQUAT. This exercise engages the whole of lower body and core muscles to help you perform a controlled upwards and downwards motion. Squats are one of the if not the best for toning your legs and improving core strength in day to day activities.

Heres how to perform the squat correctly and safely...

STEP 1 - stand with your feet hip width and a half a part

STEP 2 - have your toes pointing out away from your body just slightly

STEP 3 - begin to squat down as if you were to sit on a chair. Make sure your abs are sucked in tight and your back kept straight and you are looking forwards.

STEP 4 - As you have reached a 90 degree bend in the knee, begin to stand back up. Make sure you stand back up by pushing through your heals and not the balls of your feet! Maintain that tight core, straight back and keep looking forwards.

Begin by performing 10 reps just to make sure your technique is spot then you can begin to add in some more intensity by completing 3 sets of 20 reps with 30 seconds rest in between set. 

   2  days till christmas - Tip 4 cheese grater abs!

    

Who loves cheese! I do. This post has nothing to do with cheese but has everything to do with your abs and making them really stand out. Remember, for anything to grow or get more toned we really need to push it to its very limit. So, for our abs we are going to tri set that i do and is really effective at getting those abs to pop out. Now, i mentioned we are going to do a tri set, thats three exercises one after the other with no rest in between. The exercises are as follows;

  1. Flutter Kicks 
  2. Leg Raises
  3. Bicycle Crunches

Perform Three sets of 15 reps on each exercise, remember no rest inbetween them. Rest for 60 seconds once you have completed your fifteenth bicycle crunch. You have maintained the weight loss, your toning your legs, now lets get that mid section ripped and ready!

day till christmas - Tip 5 Spice up your christmas

Looking to make sure you really minimalise your weight gain over christmas? Throw in some spices for an extra measure of precaution. eatting hot foods will help speed up your metabolism and increase your fat burning potential. 

ITS CHRISTMAS!!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!!

                    

Caffeine

Caffeine is one of the most widely used drugs amongst athletes, professional and recreational. Often found in products such as coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolates and various other foods. Caffeine does have its place in enahncing athletic performance both aerobic and anaerobic, however there are some significant disadvantages when caffeine is abused. The purpose of this blog article is to take you through what caffeine does and some of the pros and cons of consuming caffeine. 

 

So before, we go into why we should and shouldnt take caffeine lets get some actual understanding of what caffeine does when it is in the body. Caffeine as you are all aware is a stimulant, a stimulant that acts upon the central nervous system. It does this by crossing the blood brain barrier and binding to adensosine receptors causing a decrease in adenosine bound to these receptors and subsequent  increase in circulating dopamaine activity (Fredholm et al, 1999). Where there is an increase dopamaine there is a feeling of greater confidence and this why we feel that buzz from taking caffeine products. So now you know a little more about how caffeine works and why feel alive when we take it, lets explore the positives and negatives.

 

Positives

  • Increase lipolysis- The break down of fat stored in fat cells (Dulloo et al, 1989).
  • Thermogensis- Heat production in organsims. An increase in thermogenesis will increase calories burned (Dulloo et al, 1989). 
  • epinephrine- a catecholamine released by the adrenal glands as part of a persons fight or flight response. Epinephrine release results in an increase in heart rate, blood vessel contraction, and dilation of air passages (Graham and Spriet, 1996).
  • Increase carbohydrate absorption (MARATHON RUNNERS)- caffeine consumption increases the absorption of carbohydrates in the intestine. This has shown an increase of carbohydrate oxidation by 26% which has shown a 15-23% increase in work capacity due to the faster delivery in carbohydrates!

 

Negatives 

 

  • Anxiety 
  • Reliance- based upon how much you have and are use to. You will find if you dont consume your usual dosage you will have some very nasty withdrawal symptoms such as; headaches, shaking, mood changes, tiredness etc
  • tremors
  • insomnia
  • gastrointestinal disturbances
  • heart arrhythmias
  • increase the risk of heat illness

 

In conclusion we can see that caffeine does have some amazing benefits as far as performance is concerned. However, caffeine is an addictive drug, and can have some every nasty side effects if the proper dosages are not stuck to. If after reading this article you are looking to use caffeine as a supplement or are looking for your correct daily dosage please email me on dave@bensonpersonaltrainer.co.uk.