Monthly Archives: June 2018

Antioxidants

They’re good right? But what are they and what makes them so amazing?

So, there are molecules in the body that get a bit excited when they break up (free radicals), they split from the bodies exposure to chemicals, stress, pollution, drugs and in defences against microbes. Once they split, they are a bad influence on all the other molecules and try get others to split too 😉 so these molecules go off galivanting around the body causing damage to cells and contributing to a variety of conditions.

Antioxidants on the other hand are councillors in my metaphor, trying to resolve these splits which in turn slows the effects, improving health, slowing aging.

Generally, antioxidants are found in foods that are fresh, natural and organic. Many nutrients begin to decrease in foods the longer they are stored, the more they are treated with chemicals and the more processed they are.

By eating a natural diet high in fresh fruit and vegetables, and good quality animal products, you will be consuming high antioxidant foods naturally, everyday.

Vitamin C = Berries, citrus, capsicum CoQ10 = Oily fish, Almonds, Hazelnuts
Bioflavonoids = Buckwheat, citrus Carotenoids = Carrots, Capsicum, Sweet Potato
Copper= Wholegrains, Oysters, Almonds Glutathione = Eggs, Garlic
Selenium = Brazil nuts, Eggs, Seafood Vitamin E = Wheatgerm, Egg yolk, Beef

How many calories should you eat?

Well, it depends :)! Are you looking to decrease/increase or maintain weight?

By calculating your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (how many calories you burn to during a normal daily) you can calculate how many calories you’ll need.

There are several handy calculators which exist one here https://fitnessvolt.com/tdee-calculator/ which is nice and simple or here https://tdeecalculator.net/ . Just pop in your age height and weight and roughly how many times you train a week then the calculator will give you an average expenditure, if you have your body fat% then it can be more accurate.

From there if you are looking to drop some weight, reduce your intake (approximately 10-15%, too much and you won’t have the energy to train well and it won’t be sustainable). If you are looking to gain muscle(weight), you’ll need to increase by the same amount. To maintain, keep it as it is.

That doesn’t mean stay there forever though, experiment with those calories. My aim is to eat as much as possible and still be working towards my goal, that way I can get as many nutrients, antioxidants and all the other good things I can naturally rather than paying through the nose for supplements. Currently my goal is to drop a few extra kg’s, I was working on 10% deficit (slow steady results whilst eating as much as I could), that’s been going a little to well, so will be changing to 5% deficit as I get closer to maintenance and as my metabolism increases)

Active Recovery

Recovery is an imperative part of our training, if we train hard we must make time to recover.

This ensures we are giving our bodies and muscles enough time to regenerate so when it comes down to crunch time in our training, we can perform. We do not want to overload our bodies with a heavy training routine with a poor recovery plan as this can provide the opposite of what we want from our training such as injury, dropped energy levels, vulnerable immune system and stress.

Stretching

Stretching is the process of lengthening our muscles, you’ll fee; this when you bend over and touch your toes and get an uncomfortable feeling. It’s important we stretch your muscles out as it adds to range of motion and can stop cramping.

Dynamic stretches – useful as a warmup – using movement to enable to muscle lengthening and extend out range.

Static stretches – useful as a cooldown – more controlled holds aid lengthening without the extra exertion (think- during exercises muscle fibres pick up tears, that’s how muscles grow. But we don’t want these tears being overly lengthened as then there will be injury, so static controlled stretching is recommended following a workout)

Active recovery

Ah rest days! It’s important when you are sore after a workout, not to just sit on the couch and not move! A rest day should still be a day where you are active, just lighter activity, use this as a time to go for a walk/bike ride/ swim, get your cardio on.

Rest

Have you ever completed a work-out and felt so sore that you struggled to get out of bed the next day?

Do you know why you get sore?

Well, when you work-out, what you are doing is loading your muscles…imagine you perform a bicep curl. When you activate (all three movement…concentric, eccentric or isometric) your muscles develop tiny, microscopic tears in it.

This causes your muscle to feel sore after a day or two of your work-out, this is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS). What happens is that your muscles recover strong, and this is how your muscles get larger and build strength! So slight soreness in your muscles after an intense work-out session is normal!

When your muscle recovers, it requires proteins to recover and re-build. There has been a lot of question around when should we consume protein and if there is a time when it helps to eat protein and allow a faster recovery.

While there are optimal times, unless you are an athlete (and even then it’s a large window) don’t stress about it.. Your body will use what it has and find what it needs if you are eating a balanced diet.

Other elements that affect recover are:

  • Proper Rest
  • Sufficient vitamins
  • Time
  • Stress

So the tip of the day. If you are working hard, make sure you eat clean, wholesome food that is unprocessed and make sure you take time to relax and sleep well at night!

Then before you know it, you’ll be wondering how you got so fit so fast!

DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness

You know what it’s like, you’ve smashed it at the gym, (you might have even just trained with me doing 300 squats 😊) a great session, that’ll leave you sore for days.

Congratulations, you’ve had an effective training session

It doesn’t matter if its been your first couple of weeks in the gym or you have been training for years, one thing that we all feel when we have had a great workout is muscle soreness (or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness as it is known aka DOMS)

Why does DOMS occur?

One of the reasons DOMS occurs is because we placed an unaccustomed amount of load on your muscles which results in microscopic tears to our muscles and connective tissue during our workout. This being primarily through the eccentric phase or lowering phase of the exercise. DOMS comes into play as a way for the body to let us know that it has entered a recover phase and is in the process of rebuilding our muscle tissue to help make us stronger for that particular activity

What is the benefit of DOMS?

As mentioned before, DOMS is a sign from your body, saying “take it easy over the next few days while I recover this particular muscle group”.

Picture the days following your intense workout, there is a microscopic construction crew assisting in the rebuild of your muscles. They need fuelling and all the resources to make this new build as flash as possible. It’s hot work these little guy’s need hydrating as well!

How long is DOMS meant to last?

Typically, DOMS begins within 12-24 hours of the intense activity being completed. DOMS is only meant to last between 24-72 hours. If your nutrition is really good (good amounts of Macro/Micro Nutrients and Water) then the recovery period may be accelerated.

Usually, after this period of 3 Days recovery, the muscles fibres will be healed and ready for another assault with a high intensity workout. However, connective tissue such as ligaments and tendons can take longer to heal as they have a limited blood supply in comparison to the muscles and ‘may’ require up to 5 days to fully recover.

A common misconception is that rest day’s, mean do nothing. Actually “active recover” during rest days, such as going for a walk, light jog, low intensity workout will improve the chances of a faster recovery.

Distinguishing between 2 pains

Acute, sharp stabbing pain during physical exercise is not to be confused with DOMS! If you feel uncomfortable, stabbing pain, stop exercising immediately and seek assistance from a GP or trained professional