Most men are scared of aging but if you do the right things, you won’t “get older” but you’ll rather age well like fine wine.
Naturally, as men age, testosterone levels go down and that leads to a change in the mental and physical state.
In this article, we’ll reveal the benefits of training into your older years and tell you exactly how you can approach this, in order to reap long-lasting benefits.
Why You SHOULD Train In Your Older Years
“I don’t train, I’m already old and the results are way slower than they would if I had started young…”.
This is one of the most common excuses you hear from men over 40, which they use to justify the lack of movement in their life.
Well, though this is a common belief, the fact of the matter is that while the response may not be as prominent, training is still a good stimulus regardless of age.
Whether you’re 15, 25, or 40+, including certain types of training in your lifestyle, will increase your health and improve the overall quality of life.
More specifically, strength training has been proven to be a good anti-aging tool, which helps maintain normal testosterone levels.
So again - You’re helping your body as time goes by and by maintaining it, you bring a healthy, functional, good-looking body into your older years.
What Training Should You Do?
When it comes to training, it is a fact that exercise relies on principles, which makes the end result predictable.
There are different types of training which in turn, bring different end results, so let’s analyze the most common types of training you can take on.
The goal of training is to usually get the best out of it, whether we’re talking about how you look, perform or feel.
After 40, it is likely that you won’t be after a competitive sports career, so naturally, you’d be more inclined to do training that focuses on overall development and wellbeing.
Strength training is the type of training you should focus on if your goal is to:
As we already mentioned, strength training is literally the fountain of youth for men over 40.
This is due to the fact that this type of training causes a strong anabolic (constructive) response in the body, making it a nourishing activity for practically your entire body and mood.
With strength training, you will observe improvements in strength & strength endurance, muscular tone, overall mood, sex drive, and overall athleticism.
As an adult man, this is the type of training you should primarily focus on.
Low-intensity, prolonged sessions are referred to as “cardio” and are the type of activity that most often comes to mind when you think of “training”.
This type of training has its benefits, which are primarily expressed in the increased efficiency of your heart & lungs.
Cardio training is the type of training you should go for if you’re looking to:
The thing about prolonged cardio is that it causes the release of cortisol, which in turn may lower testosterone levels.
This is why it is recommended to do some cardio but not too much and instead, focus most of your energy on your strength training sessions.
Cardio is optimally done after strength training, for 20-40 minutes at a moderate pace.
Including regular cardio in your routine may improve muscle tone, overall health & mood.
Frequently Asked QuestionsWhat we said above is very generic and it just displays the benefits of different types of training you can do.
Now let’s get a little more specific and dig into the details which can help you set up a training plan.
#1 What type of strength exercises should I do?The goal with strength training is to create a stimulus that is as prominent as possible.
Compound exercises that involve more than 1 joint and muscle group at a time, are your best choice, whether you’re a young or adult male.
These are exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, overhead presses, pull-ups, dips and other dumbbell, barbell & kettlebell exercises.
Such movements will allow you to lift significantly heavier weights, due to the greater amount of muscle fibers engaged.
This will therefore create a greater stimulus & biological response but then again, you shouldn’t lift too heavy, as you want to sustain this performance and avoid injury.
#2 How many sets and reps should I do?The question of sets and reps is controversial and you can easily get misinformed but the fact of the matter is that the number of sets and reps depends on the goal you want to achieve.
You want to increase your maximal strength? Focus on 1-5 reps (powerlifting range)
You want to create the most visually appealing physique? Focus on 5-15 reps (bodybuilding range).
Ultimately, your best bet would be to combine both the powerlifting & bodybuilding range, as that will allow you to stimulate the muscles across all their properties (strength, strength endurance, explosiveness, etc.)
As to the number of sets, it is generally best to start off at 5+ working sets per muscle group per week (as a beginner) and increase that number as you progress, up to 10-20+ challenging sets.
#3 How often should I train?When you workout, you do micro damage to your muscles and so, you need to carefully manage your recovery between workouts, in order to perform at your best from workout to workout.
Generally for strength training, optimal recovery comes around the 48th-96th hour after training.
Basically, you should train each muscle group again, when it is at its peak recovery state (48th-96th hr after a workout).
Think of it this way - Since your performance declines after a certain point in your workout, it is best to do 2 workouts with 5 working sets, rather than 1 workout with 10 sets.
Why? Because it would realize a greater total working volume (total amount of weight lifted) and thus, create a more powerful stimulus for the body.
#4 What type of cardio training should I do?Cardio is a great tool to use for recovery, unwinding and relaxation when you’re not in the gym lifting weights.
This type of training implies a low-intensity, prolonged training session and there are MANY such activities.
We’d advise you to avoid limiting your cardio to just the treadmill.
Instead, do some running outside, ride your bicycle, do some swimming, some rope jumping or even some quick walking.
These activities are best done after strength training or on your off days.
If your goals primarily resonate with what strength training provides as an end result, you shouldn’t do too much cardio, as it may rob you of the energy for your strength workouts.
#5 How often should I do cardio?
The last sentence of point number 4 brings us to this question but the thing is… There is no definitive answer.
But we can say this for sure - If you are primarily looking for increases in strength, strength endurance, muscular tone & testosterone production, overdoing cardio can be suboptimal.
We’d generally recommend doing 2-4 cardio sessions per week, lasting ~40 minutes.
These are done after your strength workouts, or on days when you don’t go to the gym.
We are not completely signing cardio off, as it is highly beneficial for the heart, lungs and your overall health.
It can even be used as a great tool to recover from strength workouts.
All we’re saying is - If you do a lot of cardio, make sure you’re also eating more nutrient-rich, whole foods that provide all nutrients to the body.
You’ll need that energy!
As men age, testosterone levels naturally decline and so, training can be used as a tool to mitigate the effects of getting older and help you age like fine wine.
If you’re an adult male, you should primarily focus on strength training, taking on compound, heavy exercises that engage more muscles at once.
The exertion should be moderately high and hard failure must not be reached too often, as that may increase the chance of injury or physical burnout.
Ultimately, you should be looking to mix strength & cardio training, along with recovery practices like stretching & massages.
Think of it as using the body every day and doing some activity regularly, even if it’s for 15-30 minutes only.
Movement is energy and so, if you want an optimally-functioning body as an adult, you should do your best to keep your body active & healthy, through training and nutrition.
Click here to edThe weight scale is perhaps one of the most common tools which people use to monitor & judge their fitness progress.
However, more often than not, it is something that can actually leave you frustrated and totally kill your motivation.
The scale is in fact the single most powerful mood-shifter!
And though your weight is one of the important variables to track, whether you are losing or gaining weight, it does not really give you an idea of the bigger picture.
This is exactly why it should not be the primary merit of progress, whatever your goal is.
In this article, we are going to explain the other, important things you should keep track of and how to actually use the scale so you can make it a functional part of your plan.
Now let’s get to it!
Does Your Weight Matter?
Now, surely, the scale has its applications on your way to a healthier body, which is why we are not telling you to completely give up on using it.
Even more so, your weight is a very important variable when it comes to calculating your daily calories, macronutrient needs, or even the intake of certain supplements, which are based on the individual’s weight.
And though that stands true, we will say it again - The number on the scale MUST NOT be your ONLY merit of progress.
There are many other things that you should keep track of, while also utilizing the scale to the best extent possible, without letting it crush your mood.
The Scale & What It Does NOT Show
Okay, think about it - Can one single number really show you everything there is to know about your fitness?
Is this number everything you really need to determine whether or not you are fit enough?
Well it may be, but ONLY if you are an athlete who’s looking to get into their weight division come competition day.
For the general population, weight should only represent a small percentage of the things we judge progress on.
It is a fact that the scale cannot show you things such as:
All of the above are far more important metrics of progress and if you only rely on the number that the scale shows, you are in for some massive disappointments.
HOWEVER, if you weigh yourself correctly and relate the change in weight to other parameters, such as the ones from above, you will have a much more realistic idea of your progress.
How To Use The Scale (The Right Way)
If you want to make your weight scale a viable tool on your fitness journey, rather than something that will shake your beliefs and motivation, PLEASE use these tips below:
Whenever you get a weight in, make sure it is IN THE MORNING, before eating, after going to the toilet and with just underwear.
THIS is your true weight!
If you weigh yourself on the same day, at the same time, before eating anything and after going to the bathroom, you will get the most accurate reading possible.
Otherwise, you risk weighing the food you took in, the water you drank, the fluids you retained, etc.
For the goal of sustainable weight loss and maintenance of lean body mass (lbm), you have to lose no more than 1-2 lbs a week.
If your true reading shows a loss greater than 2 lbs for the week, don’t be afraid to bump up the calories slightly.
If on the other hand, the reading shows an insignificant loss of weight, decrease calories slightly.
Oppositely, if you are trying to gain weight, aim for no more than 0.5-1 lbs a week.
This will allow you to avoid any unnecessary fat gains and thus, take less time to shred down afterward.
If you narrow everything down to the number on the scale… You’re in for disappointments.
Whenever you get a reading on the scale, whatever it is, set goals for your strength, endurance, visual look, mood, energy, etc, etc.
This will help keep you motivated and also, will give you a different perspective on the bigger picture.
Though your weight is an important variable when determining progress, setting up & adjusting a diet, it is NOT the only thing you should narrow your progress down to.
The scale does not show more important things like body composition, strength levels, mood, and more importantly, how you actually look.
Ultimately, your best bet is to monitor your progress on all variables possible, to ultimately determine whether your work is paying off well or your plan needs adjustments.
In the previous part of this article series, we gave you actionable tips on how to integrate training into a busy schedule.
However, setting up your training regimen is just half the battle and if it is not supported by a proper nutrition plan, then all your hard work will be in vain.
This is why, in this article, we’re going to tell you exactly how you can create sustainable nutrition habits, which you can adhere to.
What is Meal Prep & Why and How You Should Do It
Meal prepping is without a doubt one of the most efficient ways to ensure you’ll get all your nutrients in.
This method will save you time and money and will also give your body EVERYTHING needed to sustain healthy functioning, as well as any daily physical and mental activities.
At its very core, meal prepping implies cooking for a couple of days ahead, all at once.
This is a very flexible approach, as it allows you to prepare certain foods in bulk, which you can then use to create a variety of recipes.
Step #1 - Choose your Protein & Fat sources
As you should know by now, protein & fats are essential to the body, as they regulate a variety of vital processes, including but not limited to recovery, healthy functioning of all bodily systems and tissues, regulating hormonal function, etc.
If any of the 2 is in a deficit, you may experience unpleasant side effects, such as premature exhaustion, constant tiredness, brain fogs and disrupted sleep cycles.
This is why it is a good idea to pick out your protein & fat sources in the first place.
If you’re an omnivore, animal products should be your main protein & fat sources, as they contain all essential amino acids & fatty acids.
Essential basically means those are nutrients the body needs for optimal health, but can’t produce on its own.
This means that most of your daily protein will come from foods like chicken, beef, eggs, fish, prawns, cheese, and other dairy products.
If however, you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you are best off combining different grains, beans, and other legumes, to get the full amino acid profile.
Step #2 - Choose Your Carbohydrate Sources
Now, protein and fats are essential for the body but the fact of the matter is that carbohydrates aren’t really the same.
Though they are the preferred energy source for the body, they are non-essential, since the body can produce glucose via a process called “gluconeogenesis”.
And though that stands true, it is always a good idea to get your daily carbohydrates in, especially if you are an active individual.
The best sources of carbohydrates are all grains, beans, legumes & other wholegrain products.
These will grant a consistent, gradual flow of energy to the body, to meet all its energy needs for physical and mental activities.
We recommend white & brown rice, sweet potatoes, oats, starchy vegetables & fruits.
Step #3 - What about micronutrients
Besides protein and fat, most micronutrients are also essential to the body, as it needs them to regulate certain processes.
However, if you rely on diverse nutrition and include plenty of different products in your menu, you don’t really need to pay specific attention to micronutrients.
That is unless of course, you have certain micronutrient deficiencies, at which case your best bet is to consult with your doctor.
Step #4 - Cook in bulk!
Once you’ve picked out your favorite protein, fat & carbohydrate sources, it is time to cook!
For the meats, you can use basic marinade - Soy sauce, salt & pepper.
Once that’s done, you’ll have ~2-3 lbs of meat all cooked and ready.
For your grains and root crops, you can use basic seasoning and preparation.
Once that’s done, you’ll have a solid amount of carbohydrates ready on demand.
Since these are prepared in a very basic way, you can use them as a BASE to add upon.
And so for example, you can take some of the pre-cooked meat and toss it in a pre-heated pan with some vegetables, glazes & other spices.
The same goes for your carb sources, meaning that you can craft a variety of recipes and bring diversity to your nutrition, even though you cook the same foods every time.
Again, these are just your bases for meals and you can furthermore add vegetables, dried tomatoes, olives, capers and any other side products you may like.
Step #5 - Enjoy your food & time
Most people think that cooking your own food is time & money-consuming, but the truth is that it really is just the opposite of that.
Home prepped food is ALWAYS cheaper and takes less total time…
On top of that, developing this healthy habit will actually GIVE YOU more time on this precious planet.
So, what is it you can lose with meal prepping? Nothing, really.
In the modern-day, busy daily lifestyle, eating healthily can often be a difficult task for many people.
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When it comes to utilizing training & eating well for the goal of enhancing the quality of life, “I don’t have time” is the most common excuse people affirm to themselves.
More often than not, even if you suggest that the benefits of an optimized training and nutrition plan can outweigh the time invested, people continue explaining how busy they are.
If you’re already over this and are ready to take the next step for your greater good, keep reading.
In this article, we are going to give you actionable tips on how you can integrate a healthy lifestyle into a busy schedule.
Why Should You Do This?
Well, quite frankly your success in every aspect of life is primarily based on your physical and mental wellbeing.
In the modern-day lifestyle, you get robbed of quality movement and get access to a load of junk food which in turn may impact the quality of life.
In a sense, being fit and even muscular is something completely natural… Nowadays however the industrial cities impose us on unnatural living patterns, thus making fitness & wellbeing “someday goals” for most people...
At the end of the day, your body is a community of cells that you technically govern and nurture with the things you put into the body & the ways you use it.
You have no valid excuse to not keep your community healthy!
Now let’s talk about training and possible ways to integrate it into a busy schedule (yes, even if you work 12 hr shifts.
How To Train EfficientlyFor most people, it feels like forever to get to the gym, warm-up, do the workout, get back home, shower & eat.
And the truth is, all of this can be quite time consuming so your best bet is to optimize the whole process.
Here are some tips which you can use right away:
In essence, if you are a busy individual, there are ways to get around your schedule and fit a couple of training hours per week.
After all, this is for your greater good and it pays off big time.
One question still stands though - What is the best time to workout?
Some people have a schedule that allows them to train during different parts of the day, so let’s have a look at each one and analyse them.
Training in the morningUpon waking up, your body is in a sense, fasted, meaning that your glycogen levels are lower than usual and therefore, your strength performance would be suboptimal.
Nevertheless, training in the morning is a good way to kickstart your day, as it will give you tons of energy & mood (especially after your breakfast afterwards).
If you can only spend 30-40 minutes for a workout upon waking up, before breakfast, there is nothing wrong with that, just bear in mind that your performance will not be as good, due to the lower energy levels.
Training in the afternoonAs you wake up and get into your day, more and more sunlight passes through your eyes.
That sunlight signals the pineal gland to secrete serotonin, which is a daytime neurotransmitter.
In other words, serotonin makes you feel more awake, alert & gives you energy and mood for your daily activities.
So, you see, your organism is supposed to be fine-tuned to the sun & earth’s cycle and there are periods when your cardiovascular efficiency, muscle strength & nervous system are the most active.
This is generally in the afternoon, between 15:00 & 17:00.
So, if your schedule allows you to train in the afternoon, this would be your optimal choice.
Not only will you sync with the highest biological activity time window of the body, but you’ll also have food in your system and thus, more energy, as opposed to training in the morning.
Training in the eveningJust like the previous two, training in the evening has its advantages and disadvantages.
For instance, workouts after an entire workday can be a massive stress reliever!
On top of that, night time is the recovery time for the body, so with an intense workout, you are priming all the recovery mechanisms of your body and it becomes easier to fall asleep.
However, if you do your workout too soon before bed, you might disrupt your sleep cycle.
This is why we recommend training no less than 3-4 hours before bedtime.
Training and eating well should not be someday goals but more so tools that you use to optimize your performance in all aspects of life, as well as your overall living quality.
As your health should be your number 1 priority, it is important to consider how you can optimize your training process, so that the benefits would outweigh the time invested.
The best practices to do so are to find a local gym, do shorter workouts but more frequently, but also utilize any equipment you have at home, or even your bodyweight.
Furthermore, you can find “time gaps” in your life and replace those with more productive activities like training and cooking.
For example, most people spend at least 50 minutes a day on their Instagram feed and 1 hr a day on watching TV/YouTube.
That’s 2 hours you can easily use to get a workout in and prepare your food for the next 3 days.
Ultimately, proper and regular training sessions will quite obviously optimize your fitness & mood and thus, make you feel better and experience mental clarity, which you can apply anywhere you want.
In part two of this article series, we are going to tell you more about nutrition on a busy schedule and how you can actually spend less time & money to eat healthier and better.
See you there!
26/2/2021 0 Comments
We live in times where fitness has become a massive trend and paradoxically, fewer people consider it important, giving way to other things to get on top of their priority list.
The collective paradigm about health, nutrition, and fitness has been warped beyond belief.
This therefore leads to more people than ever getting lost in a vicious cycle of non-sustainable physical, nutritional and mental habits.
And while getting fit and starting a diet is just a “Someday” goal for many people, the truth is that it is the natural way the body should work.
The Modern-Day Lifestyle
Humans as a species have been on this planet for at least 200,000 years and for the most part, it has been a survival game.
It has only been the last 30 years that we’ve had easy access to such an abundance of foods, which can even be delivered to your doorstep!
So, you see where this is going, right?
We are way beyond our natural human patterns of movement and nutrition, working sedentary jobs and eating heavily-processed, nutrient-poor foods.
What we now call training is actually the way things worked for most of human existence.
Here’s The Best Part Though
Your HEALTH determines your performance in every other aspect of your life.
Think about it, too many people often get to the point where neglecting their body becomes habitual, rather than a choice.
This usually leads to an overall decrease in the quality of life, where they feel mentally and physically exhausted just a couple of hours into the day.
As this happens, it gets harder to focus and perform well on your other activities.
This is where physical, nutritional, and mental practices come into play.
Fitness & Nutrition as toolsBy now you should know that the best thing you can do to improve your performance in every aspect of life, is to keep your body & mind healthy.
And quite frankly, the physical part of it is really simple - Using your body’s active components (training) and granting fuel for performance & recovery (food).
As we mentioned above, the modern-day lifestyle imposes us to an environment where EVERYTHING we need is right around the block.
The question is, are you going to go to the gym or the pub?
Are you going to go to the grocery store or the burger joint?
Making all the right choices that will nurture all the various functions of the body, will ultimately set you up for a clear vision and good performance in all aspects of life.
The goal is to create a plan you can adhere to and bring into your older years, to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
Physical & Mental Practices Anyone Can UseNow that we have a firm grasp of the fact that taking care of your body is the least and easiest thing you can and should do, let’s have a look at actionable steps you can take towards that.
1. Bring diversity in your nutrition
Nowadays, more often than not, there are fad diets that overwhelm people trying to set up a concrete nutrition plan.
Should you do keto, paleo, low-carb or intermittent fasting?
The short answer is - Use whatever you can stick to in the long term.
But when building out your nutrition plan, consider this:
A balanced approach to nutrition is the best way to go, as each and every macro and micro nutrient has its own purpose in your physiology.
Eat some meat, some fish, grains, dairy products, fruits, vegetables, nuts and any other whole foods you may have in the local store.
Remember that the different colors of food simply show the different nutrients available in that food.
In this case, the more colorful your plate is, the better.
Enjoy food not only as a functional component of your health & recovery plan, but also a form of enjoyment and art.
2. Include endurance, strength & functional training
Your body is a complex biological machine that has a musculoskeletal system, used to move in the environment in a variety of ways.
As we mentioned in the beginning of this article, the modern-day lifestyle robs us of most movements which we would otherwise do.
This is exactly why, it is best to use as many functions of your body as possible.
Contrary to popular belief, your “fitness” is not just about going to the gym and lifting weights.
It is much more than that.
Your body can run, swim, climb, crawl, jump, pull, push, etcetera…
Think about it - Each of those movements engages a different set of active components (muscles).
The more of those components you frequently engage in challenging training sessions, the better your overall development will be.
This is mostly valid for people who are not athletes, as competitive sports would require a different approach, the goal of which would be to maximize on a couple of physical properties.
3. Take care of your recovery
Whether you are doing light cardio or grueling strength training, leaving a window for recovery before the next session is always mandatory.
It is this exact recovery window that allows the trained muscles/functions to reach the state of supercompensation.
Supercompensation is essentially the point during recovery, at which the exercised muscles/functions have a higher working capacity than they did prior to the training bout.
This is what progress actually is - Your body preparing for bigger challenges!
Here are our best tips to optimize your recovery:
4. Breathe more!
Besides robbing us of movement, the modern-day lifestyle often instills passive stress into the mind.
If your mind is stressed, so is the body and we all know that chronic stress has long-term side effects that manifest in many aspects of our lives.
And quite frankly - You don’t want that.
This is where breathing exercises come into play.
Now, breathing is normally an autonomous function... until the moment you think of it.
And this is actually good!
Consciously controlling your breathing pattern can have massive benefits on your autonomous nervous system (ANS) right away.
Just 5-10 deep, slow inhales and exhales can instantly act as a powerful signal for the body.
That exact signal tells the ANS that it is time to relax and recover, thus allowing many glands in the body to secrete health-nurturing substances.
The step-by-step breathing practice we have for you below, can be used daily to manage any type of stress and bring harmony back to the heart & brain.
This is essentially a meditation practice which has powerful effects even when done for a couple of minutes per day.
The main goal is to focus on your heart & lungs and induce a powerful self-regulation signal.
If any intrusive thoughts come to your mind, don’t follow and multiply them, just let them go and return your attention to the heart and lungs.
To Wrap It Up
Doing regular physical/training activity, eating well and practising mindfulness shouldn’t really be considered “goals”.
These are rather just the tools you can and should use to set yourself up for better performance in any other aspect of your life.
Modern-day cities provide everything you need for a complete biological optimization, right at your fingertips.
But the catch is that they also make it easy for you to create a full-on biological disaster.
The question is, which route are you gonna go?
Choice is yours, make the rest of your life the best of your life.
Alright, in part 1 of this series, we went over the two main types of injuries - Acute & Chronic injuries.
In case you did not read that article, let us briefly explain this further.
Acute injuries have an immediate onset, and happen when the working tissues’ capabilities have been exceeded, or a sudden clash/fall has occurred.
These are best managed by letting the area rest and applying ice in the first 48-72 hours, as well as training around the injury in a way that won’t aggravate it.
On the other hand, chronic injuries happen gradually over time and are mainly caused by poor exercise form, overexertion, and suboptimal recovery protocols.
Now, keep in mind, though these are two different types of injuries, poor management of an acute injury (even a small one), can snowball into a chronic injury over time.
If there are even small pains that persist, it is recommended that you do not neglect them and advise with a professional.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at the best injury-prevention practices.
How To Prevent Chronic Injuries
Alright, as you already know, chronic injuries are primarily the end result of poor training decisions and poor recovery.
And though that sounds bad, it actually means that chronic injuries are preventable!
Here are our best tips to help you prevent injuries and enjoy a functional body for decades to come:
#1 Prime The Body For Exercise (Warm-up)
It is oftentimes that people neglect the warm-up in the beginning of their training sessions and go too hard too fast.
Well, the fact of the matter is that preparing the body before you jump into hard sets, is the best way to prevent any type of injuries.
Think about it - If you cold-start your car and put the pedal to the floor right away, what would happen? Something will break eventually.
Now here’s what a good warm up will do:
The first two can be done with low-intensity aerobic activities, such as jogging, rope jumping or simply walking at a higher pace.
Activating your muscle fibers is best done by gradually increasing the working weight, for the first 2-3 sets of your first exercise.
All of this will prepare the body for heavier work afterward and will massively reduce the risk of injury.
#2 Use Proper Exercise Form
Whether you are a beginner trainee or someone who has a couple of years of experience, your main priority should always be your exercise form.
If you sacrifice good exercise form for a couple of extra kilograms on the bar, you are setting yourself up for an injury, thus robbing yourself of progress.
Remember that each and every joint has a certain biomechanical position, at which it can safely exert the most force possible for its working muscle groups.
Anything less than that and you are speeding up the wear and tear of your joints and ligaments.
#3 Eat well & Drink Water
When a person experiences an injury, more often than not the instinctive reaction is to look for creams & gels you can apply on the injured area, to speed up healing.
For that exact reason, food & water intake are often underestimated when it comes to healing, recovery, and injury prevention.
But if you think logically, you’d know that they are REALLY important and can be a powerful ally for maintaining a healthy skeleton & musculature.
This is simply because food contains essential nutrients, which the body can’t produce on its own, but needs for optimal health and recovery.
Furthermore, specifically in the case of injuries, certain foods can actually increase inflammation, while others can mitigate it.
Here are our 5 best nutrition tips to prevent & treat injuries:
#4 Get Frequent Massages
One thing you should really acknowledge is the fact that your muscular system is REALLY complex and has many functional components.
As you use it, your muscles & their fascia get fatigued, and even after solid recovery, they may feel stiff at one point.
The fascia is a thin layer of connective tissue that holds every organ, bone, muscle, and nerve fiber in place. As these active components go through stress, their fascia tightens up.
This is exactly where deep tissue massages can come in handy, to release the fascia and rejuvenate the working tissues & their nerves.
Besides releasing the tension from the tissues, deep massages will also improve blood flow to the area.
This in turn will allow the blood to deliver more oxygen & nutrients to the area, thus improving recovery and lowering the chance of injury.
If you do training activity regularly, it is recommended that you get a massage at least twice a month.
If you don’t like the idea of getting frequent massages, there are alternative ways to release the tension in the muscles & fascia on your own.
Stretching is in fact the best way to do so and it can further be combined with foam-roller exercises that will allow you to release the tension in-depth.
It is recommended that you do your stretching exercises AFTER the training bout rather than at the start, where the goal would be to activate your muscle.
Think of it this way - As you go into the workout, your goal is to recruit and activate more and more muscle fibers, by contracting the muscles (opposite of stretching).
Throughout the workout the muscles get fatigued and at the end of the training bout it is time to relax that tension, by implementing stretching exercises
#6 Use Joint Recovery Supplements
Besides managing training intensity, exercise form, and taking care of muscle maintenance, joint recovery supplements are also a viable injury-prevention option.
Here are our best picks for such supplements:
Ultimately, these supplements won’t compensate for the lack of proper exercise form, nutrition & a methodical approach to training, so consider them a bonus!
Click herWe all know for a fact that doing regular training has numerous health benefits.
However, most personal trainers that try to get you motivated to start working out, never really tell you about the possible downsides of training.
Those are namely the injuries one may experience throughout their training process.
Now, if you have been an active trainee for a while, you know the impact that even a small injury can have.
Usually, once a small injury is present, we tend to completely cut off training and sooner or later, nutrition gets ditched too.
But the best part is that injuries can be managed and prevented, in a way that will not cease the momentum you’ve gathered up until the point of injury.
In this article, we’ll go over common sports-related injuries, to discuss types of injuries, how to handle them & how to prevent them in the future.
Types Of Injuries
It is important to understand that there are different types of injuries, which in turn will be treated in different ways.
However, when it comes to sports injuries, there are two main types defined by physical therapists - Acute injuries & Chronic injuries.
Acute injuries happen right away when the active components of your musculature and skeleton, are exposed to an amount of stress, greater than what they can handle.
This type of injury is mostly to blame on falls, poor warm-up, bad exercise form, and often times, using excessively heavy training loads.
The most common acute injuries are the following:
On the other hand, chronic injuries develop gradually in time as a result of consistent overexertion, poor recovery, wrong movement patterns, and often times, poor treatment of acute injuries.
As you may or may not know, when you take your muscles through a more intense workout, you technically create micro-trauma in the working tissues.
In the period after the workout, the body aims to recover that micro-trauma to ultimately make all those tissues stronger and ready for bigger loads.
However, there is a certain recovery threshold, due to the fact that intensity by nature is strenuous and requires time to recover from.
If you consistently go beyond that threshold, sooner or later the degenerative processes in those tissues will be greater than the regenerative processes, thus creating chronic injuries.
Chronic injuries are generally harder to recover from and can in fact return in time, even after you have treated them.
Here are the most common chronic injuries:
Acute Injury Treatment - Do’s and Don’ts
Acute injuries may happen to anyone and if not taken care of, they can grow into chronic injuries.
This is precisely why you should know how to manage acute injuries in a timely manner.
The quicker you do so, the fewer complications will follow afterward, and the quicker you will recover.
Generally, at a sudden onset of an injury, there are two primary things that will help you - Resting & Icing the area.
At the moment of acute injury, you have already surpassed the tissues’ limit and there is no more room to engage them in any activity.
Putting the injured area to rest will allow all recovery processes to happen as quickly as possible, thus leading to quicker healing.
If on the other hand, you decide to continue the physical activity that led to this, you are setting yourself up for a serious chronic injury.
With most acute injuries, there is an immediate onset swelling around the injured area.
Applying an ice pack may help reduce pain and swelling, during the first days of the injury.
It is recommended that you put an ice pack on the injured area for 10-20 minutes, 2-3 times a day during the first 48-72 hours after the injury has occurred.
Contrary to popular belief, compression on the injured area will not actually help with the initial swelling.
Even more so, a tight compression may even make things worse.
By using an elastic band and compressing the area, you limit the blood flow to the spot, thus slowing down the recovery processes.
As we mentioned, it is often that an injured individual will completely cease all training activity until the injury recovers completely.
However, in most cases, this is in fact the worst thing you can do.
The benefits of physical activity still remain, even if a certain body part is injured.
For example, if your knee is injured, nothing is stopping you from training your upper body.
In doing so, you will promote blood circulation and thus favor hundreds of recovery processes in the body, allowing the injury to heal faster.
In short - Rest the injured area and continue doing exercises that don’t aggravate it. Your body will take care of the rest.
To Wrap This UpThough training offers a variety of benefits, there are also certain risks involved, which should be considered.
Injuries are something that can bring your gathered momentum to a stop.
This is the reason why you should definitely keep an eye on even the smallest pain and take care of them in time.
In the second part of this article series, we are going to give you actionable tips you can use to manage & prevent chronic injuries, to ultimately bring a healthy body in your older years.
See you there!
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Having a fit body is very crucial to your health. It gives you the energy and nice shape to keep on doing your daily activities without failing. Despite the benefits accrued from working out, some people have neglected their body fitness. This has resulted in lifestyle diseases, laziness, and lack of motivation to get things done. However, this is a challenge that can be dealt with by relying on the following tips to ensure you are not only healthy but also fit in 2021.
Switch To Outdoor Activities
The onset of the Covid-19 pandemic saw many gyms go out of business since they could not achieve social distancing -one of the guidelines put in place to help fight the deadly coronavirus. With the closure of training facilities, some of the fitness enthusiasts fall out of touch with working out but others resolved to turn to other options to ensure they keep working out. And this is where outdoor training facilities come in. Now that most people are still not in a hurry to return to the gyms, finding an outdoor activity will help in terms of enhancing your body fitness. You can engage in outdoor games such as golf, tennis, swimming, or soccer to keep your body active and fit.
Put Your Phone Aside While Working Out
In your quest to achieving your intended body fitness, you will face various challenges. Some of the obstacles come in form of distractions, such as having to respond to a phone call or reply to a message. This can be avoided if you choose to put aside your phone every time you start working out. Switching your cellphone off will allow you to focus 100% on your body fitness. No longer do you have to keep glancing at your phone to see who is calling or texting you.
Write Down Your Fitness Goals
Your brain cannot memorize everything you want to achieve this year in regards to your personal life, body fitness, and career. This is why you must note down your fitness goals. Once you have written them down, they will act as reminders of what you need to achieve this year in keeping your body fit and healthy. Every time you feel demotivated to keep working out, go back to your written goals and find motivation. If your goal is to gain more lean muscles, note it down in your notebook. Keep reminding yourself about that target as you continue working hard to achieve it.
When it comes to body fitness, you must be decisive. You need a plan to see you through in your journey towards maintaining the right body mass, eating healthy, and keeping fit. Doing all that will not be a walk in the park. Sacrifices such as staying away from your phone while working out or finding a new outdoor sport will all come in handy. You must remain dedicated and focused by writing down your targets to keep reminding yourself of what you ought to do. In that connection, you get the courage and urge to keep pursuing your fitness goals religiously.
2020 has taught us how life can be unpredictable. It has enlightened us about the need to be flexible and keep up with ever-changing times. One of the main highlights of 2020 was the effects caused globally by the Covid-19 pandemic. But as 2021 sets in, there is a need to start fresh and stay motivated. Below are some of the different ways you can remain focused and motivated this new year.
Write Down Your Goals
Writing down your goals gives you the hype to work hard towards achieving those goals. For instance, if in 2021 you intend to pursue your body fitness goals, then it is very important you note those targets down. Once you have done so, ensure you keep reminding yourself about those fitness goals. This will give you the motivation to get to the gym or subscribe to a workout program that suits you well and guarantee you the desired results.
Capitalize On External Accountability
Having someone keep you in check, will ensure you stay motivated towards achieving your goals in 2021. If working out is your new year’s resolution then opt to have a reliable workout partner. This partner should be ready and willing to walk with you throughout your fitness journey. In doing so, you will find joy in turning up for your workout sessions alongside your friend whose responsibility is to ensure you remain focused on achieving your intended body fitness goals.
Create A To-Do List
Having a to-do list gives you a comprehensive list of the things you intend to do. If it is visiting the gym, or participating in an online workout session ensure you have it on your to-do list. Whenever you feel like losing your motivation, you just have to peep at your list, and you will get the drive to do the task at hand. Ensure you focus on achieving all that is on your to-do list before moving to the next project unless you have to attend to a reasonable emergency.
Set Considerable Timeliness
You must have a due time for achieving your goals if you want to stay motivated in 2021. By having due dates and deadlines, you get the urgency and need to do a particular task. If your goal is to shed a certain amount of weight for the purposes of body fitness, have a set date when you expect to achieve that target. You will get the motivation to keep working out and putting in place other efficient weight loss management procedures to propel you towards your intended success.
Human beings tend to have a short concentration lifespan. It is very easy to lose focus of your goals. However, regardless of that possibility, you can still motivate yourself to keep on working towards achieving your goals. Some of the interventions you can use include having a plan, setting goals, creating a to-do list, setting due dates among other more guidelines. That will keep you focused and remind you of the magnitude of what you intend to achieve, thus keep you motivated.
25/1/2021 0 Comments
In the blog text Metabolic adaptation part 1, I discussed what metabolic adaptation is as a phenomenon and how to recognize it. Read Metabolic adaptation part 1 here
In the blog text Metabolic adaptation part 2, I discussed what kind of physiological processes are behind metabolic adaptation.
In the third and last text, we delve into the most interesting section - what we can do to undo metabolic adaptation.
Metabolic adaptation causes in over an extended timeframe (months to years) long-term changes in hormones, the nervous system, and habits, where the most important is the significant slowing down of metabolism. This very easily causes an increase in weight after diets and other “regimes”. The body protects itself from dying by conserving energy. In practice, we must tell the body to stop conserving to undo these processes. Next, you will find a step-by-step program on how to undo metabolic adaptation. The program requires an appropriate diagnosis of metabolic adaptation and that other reasons have been excluded (food diary, blood tests and other requirements).
1. Start eating!
Start with protein. Most dieters do not eat enough protein, which should be 1.5-2 g/per kg/day. It causes a decrease of fat-free weight, muscle atrophy and slowing down the metabolism of muscle cells. In one research, where protein intake was increased to 48g/day on average, it was found that the people researched increased weight only half of the amount compared to a control group, and most of this was fat-free mass. (1)
2. Start strength training
Increasing and/or intensifying strength training is the second most important step after increasing protein intake. Musculature and metabolism get the best kick out of intensive musculature strain. If you have not done any strength training before, start slowly and less often, for example with a two-split program (upper and lower body) 2-3 times a week for 30 minutes at a time. If you have done strength training before, increase the intensity, decrease repetitions, add multi-joint movements, shorten breaks, increase loads. With this you, above all, will ensure that all weight that “comes back” is metabolically active muscle tissue.
3. Increase the amount of energy eaten.
When you have increased your amount of protein to 1.5-2g/kg/day, start increasing other macronutrients. If you have been on a low-carbohydrate diet, start adding slow carbohydrates periodically, for example, +20g/day for every week. There are many misconceptions and phobias about carbohydrates but one thing is clear: they work just like gas to a flame for your metabolism. If you have been on a balanced diet, start increasing good fats and carbohydrates proportionally (depending on the final goal). The amount of energy eaten should be increased incrementally. How fast depends on how long the low-energy period, weight loss and metabolic have been, how much the metabolism has slowed down and how intense your strength training has been.
Example: Mary has been doing a “3-month low-carbohydrate “Super Diet” from Weight-Loss-Guru XXX” and during the regime has lost weight from 100kg/220lbs to 85kg/176lbs, but the weight has increased back to 95kg/209lbs in the next 6 months. The slowing down of the metabolism has lasted for 9 months in total. Before she started the ‘Super Diet”, she ate 2500 kcal/day which is approximately the amount of energy needed to maintain her weight. During the regime, her calories decreased to 1300 kcal/day when the diet ended. Today her daily caloric intake is 1800 kcal/day and her weight is slowly increasing.
1. week - 1900 kcal (+ 25 g of protein)
2. week - 2000 kcal (+ 50 g of protein)
3. week - 2100 kcal (+ 50 g of protein, + 15 g of slow carbohydrates, + 5 g of fat)
4. week - 2200 kcal (+ 50 g of protein, + 30 g of slow carbohydrates, + 10 g of fat)
5. week - 2300 kcal (+ 50 g of protein, + 45 g of slow carbohydrates, + 15 g of fat)
10. week - 2800 kcal, 180 g of protein, 200 g of carbohydrates and 142 g of fat in total
You probably noticed that the final amount of energy eaten is higher than it was before “Super Diet” that maintained the weight with 2500 kcal. This is on purpose - Mary’s muscle mass and metabolic rate increased that much, so she can eat more.
4. Increase the intensity of strength training
If we want to get rid of metabolic adaptation it is essential that we will not rely only on old methods (nutrition) but add muscle training and increase its intensity constantly. This doesn’t mean increasing the lifting weights, but only the intensity.
Let’s use Mary as an example. Mary has never done any strength training before.
1. week - 2 x 20 min
2. week - 2 x 30 min
3. week 3 x 30 min
4. week 4 x 25 min
5. week 4 x 30 min
6. week 4 x 40 min etc.
Note! Most dieters and people with metabolic adaptation have been doing a lot of low heart rate endurance training. This slows down metabolism because the body thinks it is important to conserve energy so it functions better over long distances. Have you ever seen a muscular long-distance runner? Instead of long and low-intensity endurance training, you should start an intensive HIIT -program which accelerates metabolism better than anything else without giving the body a message to lose muscle mass.
5. Get sleeping in order
Proper hydration; lots of fibres; increase activity; control your stress, dietary supplements, and others.
In addition to the 2 most important concepts, there are also many things that we can do to fix our metabolism and it depends a lot on the person.
6. Monitor different variables.
Without a quick feedback system from our body, we do not learn as efficiently, and we can even do something harmful. No one’s body works in the same way as another. Especially at the beginning of the process, we must monitor variables that we can use to make necessary changes quickly. For example, a food diary, exercise log, weight, body measurements, blood tests etc.
7. Be patient and persistent, enjoy the change.
Fixing metabolism is a similar process to the reversal of any other lifestyle disease. It requires time and energy. You will not get results during the first weeks. Quite the contrary - your weight will likely increase a bit when the body wants to conserve all the fluids and the contents of the bowels increase. Do not give up! Make a 3-6-month plan and stick to it. Remind yourself daily about why you started the program and what’s the goal. Imagine a newer and happier you in your mind that you will be after a while.
High protein intake sustains weight maintenance after body weight loss in humans.
Westerterp-Plantenga MS, Lejeune MP, Nijs I, van Ooijen M, Kovacs EM. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Jan; 28(1):57-64.
I have been weight training, running and cycling for 37 years and I have gained a vast amount of experience in fitness both as a Soldier in The British Army and in the past 21 years having been involved in the fitness industry.