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Health and Wellbeing - November 2014

30 Oct 2014

Workout tips

One popular theme with today’s fitness workouts is time. It’s fairly common knowledge that we should be working out with higher intensity and less time, as opposed to long drawn out workouts lasting for 1.5 hours.

The high intensity workouts are well and good if you know what you are doing. Unfortunately though, enthusiasm, group environments, high intensity pursuits and a lack of experience can lead to injuries, which are disappointing for everyone. Physiotherapists unwillingly love all of this new high intensity training for all the wrong reasons …

Here are some tips to ensure you always enjoy your workouts:

  • Always warm up before exercising and cool down and stretch afterwards;
  • Stay hydrated before, during and after exercise;
  • Technique comes before intensity and heavy weights;
  • Learn to perform and execute moves properly before progressing;
  • Get yourself a trainer to train and teach you;
  • Be aware of, maintain and improve posture before, during and after exercise; and
  • Maintain a healthy spine – Perform balanced stretching, strengthening and mobility exercises daily.

Alcohol and weight control

Now is a great time to review this topic as we approach the celebratory months of summer.

Spring racing carnival is in full swing and the Christmas and New Year parties are just around the corner. Seasonally, it’s also prime time for working out and exercising, as many wish to tone up and lose a few kilograms before hitting the pool or the beach.

I am not going to suggest you become a party pooper and abstain from drinking over the festive period, but it would help if you knew a few facts in advance to ensure you are making good decisions so you achieve the results you want.

Alcohol and alcoholic drinks are loaded with calories you don’t need.

Alcohol can’t be stored so the body will metabolise your alcohol, and store whatever food you consume when drinking.

You rely on your liver to metabolise fat – if you are drinking excessively, you can’t expect your liver to be functioning optimally.

Alcohol impacts your decision-making, and will affect your food choices and selections when drinking.

The best idea is to drink in moderation, stay hydrated and make good conscious food choices.


Sugars – a quick recap

Sugar is no one’s friend these days, and for good reasons! But not all sugars are bad. In fact, some are our preferred source of energy.  

It’s important you increase your awareness of sugars to avoid confusion and poor food choices.

Types of sugars:

  • Glucose – found in vegies, fruit and grains;
  • Sucrose – table sugar;
  • Fructose – found in fruit and honey; and
  • Lactose – sugar in milk and dairy products.

What type of sugar should I avoid?

You should start by avoiding any sugar that is processed or added. Sucrose is a highly-processed sugar that you will find in jams, confectionary, pastry, soft drink, cereal and ice cream. You should minimise your consumption of these products.

Increase your awareness about fructose – refined and un-refined. The un-refined fructose is good for you. It contains fibre and is found in sweet fruits and vegetables. Refined fructose is found in canned and bottled products, is low in fibre and excess consumption can lead to excess fat on the liver.

 

The glycemic index (GI)

The GI is a useful tool used to represent how rapidly a carbohydrate impacts the blood glucose levels and how rapidly the body absorbs them. Low GI foods are slow-release energy sources and preferred over high GI foods. Awareness on low, intermediate and high GI foods is recommended.

While the preference is to increase consumption of low and intermediate GI foods, high GI foods are sometimes needed by the body and should not be avoided altogether.

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