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Resistance Training and Why You Should Include It In your Workout


When weight training is mentioned a lot of people instantly assume it is about bodybuilders lifting weights in gyms.  It is riddled with stereotypes and misconceptions. Many people believe these misconceptions and are missing out on the benefits of lifting weights.

Resistance training will not only add definition to your muscles, it will also get you into shape better. With this you’re probably thinking it will bulk you up. That is not the case. Gaining large amounts of muscles takes years of intensive training and it would involve a high calorie diet. You would need to be consuming more calories than you are expending.

A study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise suggests that resistance exercise is important for maintaining and improving bone health. An abstract of this study can be found here, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9927006

Researchers suggest “Although not all studies have shown improvement in bone density with strength training, strength training, if done with a high enough intensity for a prolonged period of time, seems to be effective for improving bone density in middle aged and older women who have low bone density. Programs that have been successful at increasing bone density have several common characteristics; training intensity above 70% 1RM, programs that last more than 12 months, and training frequency greater than two times per week.” A full copy of this article can be found here http://www.thesportjournal.org/article/training-improve-bone-density-adults-review-and-recommendations

Resistance training helps develop better body mechanics. It will improve your posture (http://www.springerlink.com/content/81v376x271j03343/) and balance and stability (http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/adis/smd/2005/00000035/00000001/art00004).

Numerous studies have documented the many wellness benefits of strength training. It can have positive effects on osteoporosis, sarcopenia and lower back pain. More recent seminal research demonstrates that resistance training may positively affect risk factors such as insulin resistance, resting metabolic rate, glucose metabolism, blood pressure, body fat, and gastrointestinal transit time, which are associated with diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. This is just one study which suggests all the above, http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0091743501909090

You burn calories during resistance training, and your body continues to burn calories after resistance training. In effect it increases you metabolism. This study has further information regarding this, http://www.aleixo.com/biblioteca/obesidade/artigos/The%20Role%20of%20Resistance%20Exercise.pdf. Muscle is the calorie burning machinery in your body. The more you work it, the more calories you will burn during the day, which aids in fat loss.

Still not convinced about including weights to your training? Here are a few more benefits:

1)      Muscle preservation

2)      Improves body composition

3)      Increases functional strength (for day-to-day activities)

4)      Increases energy

5)      Improves digestion

6)      Increases HDL cholesterol (the good type)

7)      Lowers resting heart rate

8)      Improves your mood

9)      Relieves stress

10)   Makes you look good naked

With resistance training the muscles need time to recover, so it should be done on alternate days. Always take the time to warm-up and cool-down.

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Sweet Strawberry, Mango, Pistachio and Marsala Fruit Salad


This fruit salad is very colourful and bright. A quick and easy salad to make that tastes pretty good too. Give it a go!

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Serves: 4

Energy: 318 calories per serving

 

Ingredients:

– 200g Sweet strawberries

– 150g shelled pistachio nuts

– 2 ripe mangoes

– 2 ripe peaches

– Caster sugar for sprinkling

– A small glass of Marsala, or sherry, or 4 tbsps rosewater

Method:

1)      Hull and finely slice the strawberries. Toast the pistachio nuts until slightly browned and releasing their aroma (be careful not to burn the nuts). Finely chop the toasted pistachio nuts.

2)      Peel and finely slice the mango. Finely slice the peaches and place into 4 individual serving bowls. Mix in the strawberry slices and sprinkle a little bit of caster sugar on each serving. Pour a little Marsala, sherry or rosewater on each portion.

3)      Top each serving with toasted pistachio nuts.


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Asparagus, Broad Bean, Mint and Mozzarella Bruschetta


Why not try this quick and simple starter before the season for asparagus ends.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4

Energy: 313 calories per serving

Ingredients:

– 300g podded and shelled broad beans

– 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil plus an extra drizzle at the end

– 1 lemon, juiced

– A handful of mint leaves, saving a few small ones back to garnish

– Salt and pepper for seasoning

– 100g asparagus, cut in half lengthways

– 4 slices rustic white bread, such as sourdough

– 1 garlic clove, peeled but left whole

– 1 small ball (approx. 150g) of buffalo mozzarella, roughly torn

Method:

1)      Cook the broad beans in boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain, refresh under cold water, drain again, and then peel from their skins.

2)      Use the back of a fork to roughly crush the beans with the olive oil and lemon juice. Then stir through the mint. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

3)      Cook the asparagus in boiled salted water for 1-2 minutes and drain under cold water too.


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The New Hype Surrounded By Beetroot Juice


The cultivation of beetroot can be traced back to somewhere around 4,000 years ago. The ancient Babylonians were the first to use it for various applications. Early Greeks and Romans used the root for its medicinal properties and the leaves as vegetables. Moving ahead with time beetroot held an important place in Renaissance (14th-16th century) medicine and was often used for treating various ailments. In medieval England, beetroot juice or broth was recommended as an early digested food for the aged, weak or infirm.

The juice of raw beetroot contains a multitude of benefits. Which will be explained further on.

So what are the nutritional ingredients in beetroot juice?

–          Minerals

Beetroot juice contains magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium and calcium, as well as small amounts of copper, selenium, zinc, iron and manganese.

–          Amino Acids

It contains trace amounts of amino acids (including D-amino acids [Alpha Amino Acids]) which help to build proteins to be used by the body.

–          Antioxidants

Various antioxidants (including flavonoids and carotenoids) are found in the juice. They fight and destroy free radicals in the body and help to fight premature ageing and to maintain a healthy body and mind.

–          Vitamins

Beetroots are a good source of folic acid and vitamin C. It does also contain small amounts of vitamins B1, B2, B3 and vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene.

The deep red colour comes from betacyanin, which helps prevent colon cancer. A rich supply of silica is also present which helps to utilise the calcium in the body which is also required for healthy skin, hair, nails and bones.

The Benefits

Research has shown beetroot juice to improve the respiratory system which would benefit swimmers, singers and mountaineers. Beetroot is known to boost levels of nitric oxide in the body, causing muscles to work more effectively and demand less oxygen.

A study by 12 Swedish scientists in The Journal of Respiratory Physiology and Neurobiology, was conducted on 12 healthy volunteers who were trained in breath-hold diving. In this test the 9 men and 3 women were either given a 70 millilitre shot of beetroot juice or an inactive placebo drink. They were then asked to hold their breath after having a clip placed on their nose. After drinking the beetroot, the participants were able to hold their breath for an average 4minutes and 38 seconds. After drinking the placebo they managed 4 minutes and 10 seconds. That is a difference of 11%.

Exeter University in the UK, carried out a study and concluded beetroot juice could improve your workouts. The study involved professional cyclists drinking a pint of store bought beetroot juice before riding in a simulated competition. They shaved vital seconds off their finishing times, which could be crucial in a sport where seconds often make a difference between winning and losing.  This study can be found in the journal of Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. An abstract of the study can be found here, http://journals.lww.com/acsm-msse/Abstract/2011/06000/Acute_Dietary_Nitrate_Supplementation_Improves.27.aspx

Another study also conducted by researchers in Exeter University, concluded that beetroot juice boosts stamina and an individual could exercise 16% longer. This is due to the nitrate the beetroot contains which reduces oxygen uptake, therefore making exercise less tiring. This study was published in the Journal of Applied Physiology. An abstract of the study can be found here, http://jap.physiology.org/content/107/4/1144.abstract

A study published in the American Heart Association Journal, Hypertension, stated that individuals who drank a glass of beetroot juice a day were found to have significantly lower blood pressure just 24 hours later.

Beetroot juice has a very strong and over powering taste. Therefore, it should always be consumed in small quantities and usually mixed with other juices, such as apple, carrot, cucumber and celery, which altogether have nutritional benefits.


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Hello world!


Welcome to VeeFitness. I am a qualified Level 3 Peronal Trainer who is passoniate about helping others in achieving their goals of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I have decided to start this blog to try and give you tips on your training. Also I hope to provide you with information about the latest research and any decent receipes. Please do let me know what you think and I hope it is of some benefit to yourself.