GymBug

I've caught it. Fortunately, it's not treatable.

Archive for the tag “fitness”

Veggies- Cooked or Raw?

Hi there!

I’m sorry (again) for gaps in posts! i have been studying and enjoying the wonderful weather Spain has been blessed with! However, I suddenly realised that something I’ve been thinking about a lot recently is something you might find interesting! There are forever new articles coming out about the raw food diet (exactly as it sounds, raw food). And whilst I do enjoy some food raw I don’t like it all raw and started doing some research into what foods are better cooked and what foods are better raw! I don’t have an exceptionally long list, but they are staples in my meals so might come in handy for you too!

In the cooked corner;

  • Tomatoes
  • Carrots
  • Aspragus
  • Mushrooms
  • Cabbage

In the raw corner;

  • Peppers
  • Broccolli
  • Garlic
  • Beetroot
  • Onions

Have it either way;

  • Spinach

This is a list I will continue to update as I find more information about but the idea behind the ‘optimal methods’ for consuming these depends on the nutrients and what best preserves them. For example, according to BBC Good Food, heating up the foods listed above makes it easier for our bodies to enjoy the benefits from some of their protective antioxidants. Essentially, it helps us better absorb nutrients, like lycopene in tomatoes.
On the other hand, some vegetables like those listed in the raw section are better kept raw because heating them up can damage an enzyme which results in the strength of anti-cancer compunds (glucosinolates) being reduced.

So, here’s a list (that’s incomplete) on how to best prepare your veggies! Let me know what you think and if you know of any others!

As always, I’m a GN Academy member and if you need some protein or any brilliant qualiy supplements/snacks/a lot, lot more then check Go Nutrition out! Use my referral code A5CJC for free 250g of protein when you spend £10 or more!

Gym Bug

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My first 10k race

Hi there!

I did it! This morning at 8:30am in Madrid I began my first ever 10km race at the Madrid Rock n Roll event. It was really different from my usual 10k runs (obviously) mainly because I set myself a target of 50 minutes. I’m so glad and proud to say not only did I not surpass this target, I was under! According to my Tom Tom Cardio GPS Watch I completed the 10k in 00:48:13, my official time (shown below) registered me at 00:49:48 with my “net time” being 00:48:21. This placed me 558/5408 overall, 48/2468 women and 4/128 category A!

Madrid Rock n Roll (4)

I’m not entirely clear on their timing method because some people with the same ‘official time’ but longer ‘net time’ were placed ahead of me in the official rankings! But it doesn’t matter! I ran a personal best for outdoor 10k (I ran 10k in just over 47 minutes on the treadmill) and I completed my first race, so I’m very pleased.

Madrid Rock n Roll (3)Madrid Rock n Roll

The atmosphere was brilliant. There was so many people cheering, great volunteers handing out water, medals, bananas, High5 taster packs and so on! Brilliant event that was well attended and everyone was in fantastic spirits despite the rain!

Madrid Rock n Roll (2) Madrid Rock n Roll (1)

I can’t recommend organised races enough! My next one is May 30th for the Edinburgh Marathon Festival 10k event!

Huge congratulations to all the racers today. And especially those who ran the marathon or half marathon, true inspiration!

Gym Bug

Earn rewards for working out!

Hi there!

So there’s been a gap in my posts because my parents were out visiting me for Easter! After a phenomenal week I’m devastated to say they’ve now returned home but I will be seeing them again in 45 days! People say time flies when you’re having fun, I can now definitly vouch for that one. After my brilliant holiday it’s now to get back on track. 3 weeks until my first 10k and I have my final visitor in between (which is another 4 days off exercising, not a bad thing though) so need to say focused.

Today, I discovered Bounts which is an app that allows you to collect points for exercising. Paid to exercise!? That sounds too good to be true! You collect points through your work out (for example, you earn 15 points for a 20 minute workout on MapMyFitness if connected to Bounts). You can then redeem these points for vouchers at places such as Waitrose, Starbucks, M&S and New Look! You can connect loads of apps and fitness trackers!

If you do sign up use referral code white327 and you’ll get 50 points straight away!

Money for keeping fit? Win. Win.

Gym Bug

How I drastically cut my 10km run time

Hi there!

When I started running consistently it was during my Christmas break of 2012. I had put on weight in first year (the ‘fresher’s fifteen’) and was really uncomfortable with how my clothes felt and how unfit I was generally. I started running with my dad who had been at it for a while. When I ran my first 10k it was brutal. My time was around 1 hour 15 minutes. It was a struggle the whole way and my evening was spent with me on the couch. It was here I realised just how unfit I had been.

I started running regularly and more and more I started to enjoy my Dad’s and I’s Sunday 10k sessions. By Christmas 2013 we were running 12k’s and made the mistake of doing a 16k too (no one won that one). Our 10k always hovered around the 1 hour mark. My dad is over 50, so we never pushed it.

Fast forward to Summer 2014. I went on a family holiday to Nerja (below you see the view from our villa, which indicates the length of the hill I had to run up). It was here my sister introduced me to hill sprints. Brutal, heart-pounding hill sprints. We only had to do roughly 20-30 minutes to be as worn out as a solid 45 minute run! I fell in love with the new high intensity element, something that I had generally lacked in my running. I continued to do hill sprints when I got home over the summer and I noticed my 10k runs with my Dad were becoming easier and easier (but not faster, because my Dad is over 50, I was warned).

I joined a gym within my first couple of weeks of moving to Madrid for a year abroad for University. I started off with just using the bike, doing some intervals and things. Then I went onto the treadmill and slowly started incorporating more and more intervals and HIIT into my cardio. I now combine HIIT on the treadmill and the bike for 2 cardio sessions a week, I do about 45 minutes each session.
Important; my first stint in Madrid was September-December, and I lost far too much weight. A key part of this was doing too much HIIT and not fuelling my body properly. Even with weight training I ended up being scrawny and unhealthy. If you do HIIT, ensure you’re fuelling your body correctly too. This means good carbs, protein and fats.

Now, onto Christmas 2014. I was limited to my exercise routine because I was putting on weight (because it was absolutely necessary). However, I did go out with my Dad for a 10k during my tme at home. The second we were out the car he said ‘Just you go on and run at your own pace’. I initially resisted, because I enjoyed the time we spent together running, but he refuses to accept it wasn’t my fault we ran a 16k!
It ended up being a mistake anyway, I ran so far ahead he tried to reduce the distance between us and pushed himself to far. However, I ran 11k in 57 minutes! I couldn’t believe it. I thought back to what caused my sudden incrase in speed and realised it was the HIIT. Whilst I did not fuel myself, my fitness and times improved dramatically (the lack of fuel is really bad and embarassing, I’m not endorsing my stupidity, if you do HIIT or speed work, fuel it right)!

My most recent 10k which I did on a treadmill clocked in at 47 mins 35 seconds. I altered my incline and speed throughout to achieve this and I wasn’t wiped out by the end! (I was tired, don’t get me wrong).

So, after this long (hopefully not boring) story, what’s my point? My point is if you want to cut your time and improve your fitness, logging kilometers and kilometers of steady running will not do it quite the same as using HIIT, hill sprints and lots of intervals. You need to speed train to improve your times!

Here’s an example of what you could do on a treadmill;

Warm-Up; 5 minutes at 9km/h

Sprint; 1 minute at 13-15km/h (wherever you feel you won’t come flying off the treadmill)

Rest; 1 minute at 9km/h

Repeat, repeat, repeat.

Cool-Down; 5 minutes starting at 9km/h then reducing by 0.5km/h every minute.

I do this often, I also mix it up with inclines in place of a sprint. The point is to challenge your body and your speed. You also don’t need to workout for as ong when doing HIIT because your sending your heartrate into a higher zone (if done correctly. Check out my HIIT post for more information on HIIT and routines!

Gym Bug

Working out sore muscles; Yaay or Naay?

Hi there!

I’m sure we’ve all been there. We’ve lifted heavier, pushed harder or returned to training after a break. We wake up the next day and feel like we’ve been hit by a bus. The question some of us may ask is; Can I (or should I) work out? I read an article recently from Greatist that discusses this. The pain is called Exercise Induced Muscle Damage (EIMD) and typically results in the onset of Delayed Onset Muscles Soreness (DOMS). I’ve been there, worst DOMS I experienced was after Tough Mudder, which I completely expected given I ran 11miles and tackled 25 gruelling obstacles. I had to take 2 days off from intense exercise to recover. Greatist also mentions that if your muscles are restricting your movement or limiting your strength then it’s probably best to listen to your body and give it a break.

The reason for taking a break? The muscle pain you feel is caused by microscopic tears in the muscle fibres and overworking these can make it much worse and lead to greater injury, which would see you out of training for a long time (trust me, I’ve been there).

You can opt for light exercise, such as walking or low-intensity cycling. Just make sure it’s low-impact. You can also work different muscle groups, focusing on those that don’t hurt, this is good also for ensuring you have a varied routine to ensure all muscle groups are worked.

Other methods Greatist mentioned to alleviate muscle soreness is ice baths, a massage and good old-fashioned stretching! Personally, I usually go for stretching and foam-rolling to help my achey muscles. I also use a massage bar from Lush which works wonders!

A key thing to mention and trust me, it’s solid advice you must adhere to; do not exercise if the pain is intense, on-going or highly restrictive. You should seek a doctor or a physiotherapists advice if you experience intense pain during, before or after a workout. I found myself with a grade 2 groin strain in January 2014 and was unable to do cardio for 8 weeks and once I could do cardio, it was light cycling for a few weeks before I could build it up. I also had to endure sports ‘massages’ from a physio (unpleasant to say the least). That extra workout when you’re sore is not worth it. Listen to your body. Plus, a sneaky extra rest day is always enjoyable (and good for the mind and motivation).

http://amandastonebarger.com/2014/05/04/mile-806-why-you-shouldnt-feel-guilty-about-rest-days/

Gym Bug

Image source; http://amandastonebarger.com/2014/05/04/mile-806-why-you-shouldnt-feel-guilty-about-rest-days/

My first 10k event!

Hi there!

Just a quick post for just now to share my excitement at having signed up for the Madrid Rock ‘n’ Roll 10k in April! I’m super excited and have signed up with a friend to do it. I’ve ran 10k before a lot but never in an event setting. This race as well gives loads of great perks icluding photos, pasta meal, a huge fitness expo, a commerative gift, T-Shirt and medal! All for £18. It’s incredible and I can’t wait to be part of a big runnig event through Madrid in the sunny month of April!

I’ve written a post already on motivation which explains how signing up to these things can be a great way to kick start a healthy change! Set yourself some realistic goals and you’ll be amazed by how great it is at helping you stick to your plans!

                                               Let’s get training!

Gym Bug

Macros

Hi there!

Discovered a brilliant image today on Facebook from The SFN Expo Facebook page. Macros are essentally your daily calori requirements, broken down into detailed calorie requirements for protein, fat and carbohydrates. Some people don’t like calculating macronutrients as they don’t feel it helps attain their fitness goals. However, if you’re interested in calculating your macronutrient requirements, you can do so following the steps below;

  1. Calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure
    (Weight in kilograms x 2.2) x (Number training hours per week + 9-12*)
    *you must select your intensity rate here for training, 9 being low intensity and 12 being high intensity)
  2. Calculate your protein requirements (in grams)
    Weight in kilograms x 2 grams (you can adjust this but try stay within 1.4-3.0)
    Multiply this by 4 to get calorie requirements from protein.
  3. Calculate your fat requirements (in grams)
    Weight in kilograms x 1 gram (adjustable but try keep this above 0.7)
    Multiply this by 9 to get calorie requirements from fat.
  4. Calculate your carbohydrate requirements (in grams)
    Total Daily Energy Expenditure- (Calories from protein + Calories from fat)
                                                          4
    Do not divide by 4 to determine your calorie needs from carbohydrates.
  5. Calculate your fibre intake (in grams)
    Total Daily Energy Expenditure
                      100
    It is advised to keep it at around 15g

I was curious about why you would consider calcuating your macros and found a great article on BodyBuilding. They give reasons to macro and reasons not to. I recommend reading the whole article on their website but the reasons are as follows;

Reasons to Macro;

1) You’re lean but you want to be leaner
2) You have no concept of what “enough protein” means
3) Your body signals are out of whack
4) You have a deadline to meet

Reason not to Macro;

1) Your neurosis gets you nowhere
2) You’re a macronutrient veteran
3) You just got your feet wet
4) You want to be healthy, not freaky shredded

There you have it! Macros all summed up. I calculated mine out of interest and my Total Daily Energy Expenditure is apparently around 1604 calories per day with workout intensity of 10, I do a lot of HIIT however, so when I shifted it to 12 (out of curiosity) it said I needed 1814 calories. I wrote a post recently about calorie calculators if you’re interested in seeing how different online calculators calculated my needs differently!

Have a great weekend!

Gym Bug

Un-dull the gym bike

Hi there!

Today was cardio day and I did a mix of treadmill work and bike work. Anyone that’s used a gym bike repeatedly probably understands that it can get quite monotonous and boring and the drive to keep pushing yourself dwindles away relatively quickly. However, today I tried a different type of bike session involving my gym playlist on my iPod. It’s almost like a little game you play against yourself. It’s really easy but can get your heart rate soaring at times, so it’s a really good HIIT workout.

Basically, after your warm-up start your chosen playlist. You want to have a mix of heavy, fast songs and slightly slower ones to achieve a mix of strength and speed work. Once you’ve started your HIIT session you cannot touch your iPod unless it’s to change the volume. The idea is that from now until cool-down you have to match the beat of the song that’s playing. No changing. To achieve the beat you need to change the resistance to allow you to match the beat whilst still working hard. If a really fast song comes on do not drop all resistance and let your legs freewheel. Make yourself work! What you’ll find is that instead of watching the clock you’re concentrating on the song and trying to think of any changes in the beat or how a particular song goes. It distracts you from the time and has you challenging yourself. It’s quite fun!

A couple of really good songs to have on your playlist can be found in my previous post here.

Give it a go and let me know what you think!

Gym Bug

National Obesity Awareness Week

Hi there!

So it is National Obesity Awareness Week and something everyone should look into! It’s not just about helping promote healthier lifestyles and helping people turns their lives around, it’s about making healthier changes in your life too! You can go on their website and take a look at great tips, recipes, exercises and GET INVOLVED.

Thought I’d share this as it is a great thing to do. We need to start getting off the couch and improving our lives! It’s running from Janury 12th to the 18th but what you take away from it can last forever.

Gym Bug

New Year’s Resolutions

Hi there!

Big gap in posts, I’ve been busy eating, socialising and studying! Hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and are looking forward to ringing in 2015 soon!

This post will be about the dreaded question; What’s your New Year’s Resolution?
My older sister works in a sports shop and has many people come in and say “Getting back into it for the New Year”. We all know the majoriy of these people won’t stick it out. It’s the well known scene of walking into the gym anytime in January and it being absolutely packed. Come February, it’s back to November population. New Year’s resolutions are a great idea but I believe given the horrible “it’s going to fail” mentality, people don’t stick to them.

That’s why I think that anyone planning on doing a New Years Resolution related to getting fit and healthy should NOT SAY IT OUT LOUD. Don’t say it’s your New Years Resolution! Think of another resolution to give to people when they ask. A healthy lifestyle is exactly that a lifestyle. Not a challenge to be tackled because it’s a new year. I also don’t think you should start your fitness regime bang on January 1st. You’re probably still staring at festive treats, may have some social occassions to attend? My advice would be to set yourself a date after the first week of January (for example, I know someone who’s set January 10th) and then tell yourself that’s the date you get back on track. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution, it’s a deadline to enjoy the last of the holidays and indulge. I’m not saying only eat chocolate from now until your personal deadline, but enjoy it and relax. The festive period only comes round once a year, so you should enjoy it!

Happy New Year readers and let’s get ready for an excellent 2015!

Gym Bug

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