The Advantages of Sprinting

The Advantages of Sprinting

While many people believe that the amount of time spent determines the quality of an exercise program, studies have shown that short, fast bursts of running are more effective than hour-long jogs. Sprint training is an excellent way to build muscle, burn fat and calories, and raise your metabolic rate, and it was the favored training method of sports legends such as Jerry Rice and Walter Payton. One of the best things about it is that you can do this training in only a few minutes a day, a couple of times a week, which will save you time over traditional forms of exercise.

Running on a track is the most popular place for sprint training because the distances are demarcated by lines on the ground, making it easy to keep track of exactly how far you’re running. The surface is also good for shock absorption, which is helpful for keeping your joints healthy and free of injury. If you don’t live near a school, gym, or other place with a track, you can still run sprints on any number of flat areas. Consider running on soccer field, football field, or other long stretch of grass or turf that is relatively flat.The Advantages of Sprinting

Doing a limited number of dynamic stretches before sprinting has been shown to improve sprint times and help the body avoid injury. Dynamic stretches are stretches performed while walking. Too much of this type of intense stretching will cause fatigue and decrease your sprinting performance, so aim to spend about 10 minutes if you’re in average shape, and up to 20 minutes if you’re super fit.

Dynamic stretching requires more effort and is therefore more tiresome than the gentle stretches most people are familiar with.

As you sprint, your heart rate increases to compensate for the increased need for blood flow to your sprinting muscles. Sprinting brings your heart rate to near its maximum speed. Over time, sprint training can increase your maximum heart rate, allowing you to work out more efficiently. Sprinting also increases your cardiovascular fitness, which helps you take in more oxygen while exercising and increasing fitness.

The Advantages of SprintingSprinting burns a great deal of calories in a short time. Professor James Timmons from the Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh reports that sprinting “can boost the body’s metabolism sharply, helping to prevent weight gain and diabetes.” Sprinting not only burns calories during its duration, but greatly improves overall metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories even when not sprinting.

Because sprinting is an anaerobic exercise, it works to build muscle in the same way that weight training does. When weight training, your body is required to produce short bursts of energy that increase muscle strength. Sprinting works in the same way. However, unlike most weightlifting exercises, sprinting uses dozens of muscles at the same time, making it one of the most complete muscle training exercises available.

With the added benefit of building muscle along with speed, sprinting helps you build and define the glutes, hamstrings, and quads, while at the same time burning off the fat layers that hide the muscles underneath.

Myths about Weight Loss and Nutrition

Myths about Weight Loss and Nutrition

There are several myths that one has in mind regarding what to eat and what to avoid in order to lose weight. Here is a  list a few of such myths along with what is the reality behind it-

  1. Myths about Weight Loss and NutritionFad diets don’t help you keep off the weight in the long term. So what does work? The best diet is not a diet at all, but a way of life that includes food you enjoy, exercise, and healthy habits. When you go on a fad diet and exclude necessary nutrients, you’re putting yourself at risk for becoming ill. Getting too little of any nutrient may not cause an immediate problem. But if it’s lacking for a long time, you may find you have health problems.
  2. Many people think carbohydrate-rich foods like pasta, bread, potatoes, cereal and rice are the bad guys when it comes to losing weight – and the popularity of low-carb diets several years ago has done little to dispel the myth. Added to this, it’s not uncommon to read that wheat, found in foods like bread and pasta, can cause bloating leaving many of us believing that cutting them out of our diet will help us lose weight. This has left many people feeling confused about whether or not they should include high carbohydrate foods in their weight loss diet. Most health experts agree there’s no proof that high carb foods are more likely to make us gain weight than any other food. Ultimately, it’s an excess of calories that makes us pile on the pounds – and it really doesn’t matter where those extra calories come from.
  3. Myths about Weight Loss and NutritionHealth experts are beginning to explore the idea that people who eat all they want and don’t gain weight are actually more active than the rest of the population, and therefore burn more calories. However, these folks don’t necessarily spend more time at the gym. They probably engage in a practice known as non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). When you stand up and pace while talking on the phone, chop cabbage for dinner or even twiddle your thumbs sitting at your desk, you are engaging in NEAT. So that friend who can pig out without consequence probably fidgets more than you do and stands on her feet while you’re sitting down. Engaging in NEAT throughout the day can increase your metabolism by up to 50 percent–so if you normally burn 2,000 calories per day while sedentary, NEAT can help you burn up to 3,000 calories per day.
  4. Those who skip meals throughout the day make up for those lost calories by eating larger meals in a later sitting. The impact of this eating pattern on the body may be different from those who skip meals but do not make up for the lost calories later. In particular, skipping meals tends to cause cravings for foods high in fat and sugar. Essentially, when your body believes it’s starving, it will crave foods that pack more calories per volume to supply the energy you need to be alert and active. One study in “Metabolism” found that when people skipped meals throughout the day, but ultimately ended up consuming greater amounts of food at later meals, they were at a greater risk for some dangerous metabolic changes. These included weight gain, elevated fasting glucose, and a delayed insulin response – all three dangerous precursors to diabetes.

Can CLA Supplements help in Losing Weight?

Can CLA Supplements help in Losing Weight?

Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) is an omega-6 polyunsaturated essential fatty acid (EFA) which is formed from linoleic acid in bacterium via a specific isomerase (a type of enzyme). This EFA is a mixture of positional and geometric isomers of linoleic acid. It is naturally occurring in meat and dairy products. In addition to reducing fat in the body, CLA has also been studied for its anticarcinogenic (anti-cancer) properties. Right now, CLA is of very high interest to scientists and nutritionists.

Can CLA Supplements help in Losing Weight?CLA has been quickly growing in popularity in the fitness world. Since its popularity is still relatively new, many people still have never heard of CLA. It is sold at almost all nutrition stores, and it is highly advertised on the Internet. Many competitive weightlifters and fitness performers have started taking this product and speak positively of its effects. CLA usually comes in 1000 milligram softgels, and is supposed to be taken with meals three to five times daily. I have taken CLA many times before, and currently, in preparation for bodybuilding. The effects were definitely felt even though I had to take it for about thirty to forty-five days until I actually started seeing a change.

Several studies, have shown  significant reductions in fat mass with CLA supplementation. One study looked at over 125 people for 2 years and found that 3.4 grams/day of CLA “reduces [body fat] in overweight humans and may help maintain initial reductions in [body fat] and weight in the long term.”  Another study published in the journal Lipids concluded the 4.2 grams/day of CLA “may reduce the proportion of body fat in humans” without affecting body weight. You can interpret that conclusion to mean that lean mass must have increased, if body composition improved without weight loss. Another study showed similar results (decreased fat without a change it weight) with a much smaller dose of only 1.8 mg/day.

Can CLA Supplements help in Losing Weight?In the last decade, many studies have looked at the role CLA may play in aiding weight loss. So far, studies on animals have revealed that CLA does reduce body fat. But to date, studies on humans have been inconsistent. Nevertheless, CLA is available in supplement form and is often an ingredient in over-the-counter slimming pills. It’s particularly interesting that this study looked at weight gain during holiday periods. Research shows that small amounts of weight gained on holiday often stay with us and are never lost. Over time, these extra few pounds gained every holiday add up to a considerable amount of excess weight. Furthermore, overweight and obese adults seem to be particularly susceptible to gaining weight during holidays. One should keep in mind that before taking any supplements it is advisable to consult a doctor.

CLA appears to help some–but not others, and its greatest value may be as a natural component of a healthy diet. One should keep in mind that there are many ingredients, components, and foods that can help you lose weight.  More and more, individual nutrition, and healthy shifts in eating patterns are forming the basis of losing weight, or maintaining a healthy weight that is good for you.

Losing Weight With CLA

Losing Weight With CLA

A  growing number of American dieters who take nutritional supplements containing the fatty acid CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) believe this latest weight-loss trend has real substance. They have found that, when used in conjunction with a regimented plan of diet and exercise, CLA not only reduces body fat but also increases muscle strength and exercise endurance. Now science has stepped in to explore CLA’s too-good-to-be-true health claims — and CLA has stood up to the skeptics. CLA is related to the omega-6 fatty acids, one of the two types of essential fatty acids that help the body increase metabolic rates, boost the immune system and keep cholesterol levels in check. CLA is found in dairy and animal fats, such as beef, lamb, whole milk, and eggs, but cannot be produced by the human body.

Losing Weight With CLAMost of the studies conclude that a person needs to take 3.4 grams of CLA (3,400 mg) daily to receive its benefits. (The amounts used in many of the studies were two to three times higher, but the treatment period was only 12 weeks.) In order for your body to get maximum use from its properties, it is ideal to take CLA before or during your meals.

CLA is thought to be a natural dietary supplement that induces a combination of fat loss and muscle gain. The benefits of conjugated linoleic acid are believed to include:

  • Decrease in fat
  • Increase in muscle growth
  • Increase in metabolic rate
  • Protects against fat gain following weight loss, thus maintaining initial reductions in body fat and weight, in the long-term.
  • May lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels

Negative effects of CLA are thought to include the triggering of insulin resistance (leading to high blood sugar), thus increasing risk of developing diabetes and an increased risk of developing cardiovascular and inflammatory diseases. Thus, one should be cautious when using conjugated linoleic acid supplements. Pregnant or lactating women should probably refrain from taking CLA completely.Losing Weight With CLA

Some people report feeling nauseous after taking their conjugated linoleic acid and more rarely gastrointestinal upset or loose stools. These side effects are typically reduced when the product is taken with protein (e.g. milk), and tend lessen roughly 2 weeks after commencing CLA supplementation.

If you intend to supplement with conjugated linoleic acid to help with weight loss, remember that that it is not a magic pill. You will need to incorporate it into a weight loss program that includes a healthy nutritious reduced calorie diet and regular vigorous exercise, in order to successfully lose weight and keep it off.

And the benefits of CLA don’t stop at weight loss. Over the past two decades, researchers have found that CLA also modulates the immune response, protects against heart disease, and inhibits the growth of various cancers. It may also prevent and control adult onset diabetes—a disease running rampant in our overweight country. And, because it helps prevent bone loss, CLA may also be a potent agent for preventing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

It’s important to keep in mind, though, that CLA is not a magic drug. It will not make up for poor eating habits or lack of exercise.