Publicado el 17 comentarios

Article published in Hola.com

article published in the hola.com

Hello! I have exciting news today!

Hola.com, a well-known magazine in Spain and other Spanish-speaking countries, has published an article of mine yesterday. For those who do not know the magazine, its website reaches 10 million users in Spain, and occupies the first position in the ranking of websites in the Lifestyle section. So you can imagine the great impulse that this publication means.

What have I written about? Exercises and dietary guidelines to lose excess fat. I know that many of you do not speak Spanish, but you can always use the Google translate, or just go and have a look. Here´s the link.

They loved the article from the first moment, and I did not even have to make any changes, which may indicate that my writing skills in Spanish are better than in English. Sorry about that, fellow bloggers!

I just wanted to share this great news with you and thank you for your support and patience during all this time. The magazine has offered me to write more articles, but I will not bother you every time I publish one from now on. The first time is special and I wanted to share with you the joy I feel right now.

The last weeks have been very intense, full of work and emotions, and I have some other good news on the way. But no spoilers … More news tomorrow!

Publicado el 17 comentarios

Why You Need Rest and Sleep to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

Why You Need Rest and Sleep to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

You may be ready to push yourself to lift heavier weights or run faster times, but it takes more than determination to reach your goals. It may be counterintuitive, but what you may actually need is sleep. Building a stronger, healthier body is a continuing process in which the body needs time to heal, build, and rejuvenate. While your time in the gym is essential, you need sleep to hit your full potential.

Sleep for Muscle Recovery and Enhanced Performance

Heavy training or even a new workout can create micro-tears in the muscle tissue. We’re all well acquainted with rest days—the days you don’t push your body. Muscle recovery does take place on rest days, bit it during sleep that rebuilding goes into high gear.

The repair of micro-tears requires the presence of human growth hormone, which gets released in it’s heaviest doses during slow wave sleep. Your typical seven hours of sleep is consists of five or six 60 to 90-minute sleep cycles. Human growth hormone reaches its peak during the first cycle and, while released in all subsequent cycles, the amount released steadily goes down throughout the night.

If you cut your sleep cycle short or even if you go to bed late, the release of human growth hormone gets altered. Without enough sleep, your muscles don’t spend enough time in slow wave sleep to repair themselves as they should. And, as you age, your body gets less efficient at the release and use of growth hormone, which makes getting enough sleep that much more important.

Adequate sleep can also enhance your athletic performance. Stanford’s men’s basketball team improved their sprint times, free throw percentages, and three-point field goal percentages by extending their sleep time. Their moods stabilized and players reported more satisfaction in all aspects of their lives.

You may not be an elite athlete, but sleep will help you get more out of your workouts and improve your performance on the court, road, or field.

Why You Need Rest and Sleep to Get the Most Out of Your Workout

Sleep Better and Smarter

You need sleep, but how do you get more? And what about quality? Not all sleep is the same. Your body needs to enter all sleep stages to fully recover. It’s not always as easy as closing your eyes, but there are ways to train your mind and body to fall and stay asleep.

  • Create the Right Conditions: Check your mattress. If it looks more like a canoe than a bed, it’s time for something new. You want a model that’s comfortable, firm enough for your weight, and reduces motion transferal, especially if you share your bed with a partner.

  • Set a Bedtime: As simple as this sounds, a consistent bedtime is one of the easiest but most powerful ways to enhance your sleep. For the best results, go to bed at the same time on weekdays and weekends so you’re not behind on sleep come Monday morning.

  • Use a Routine: You’re not a kid anymore, but that doesn’t mean a bedtime routine can’t lull you to sleep. Routines act as a trigger that sets the brain in motion and starts the sleep cycle.

  • Eat Better and More Consistently: Meal timing plays a part in the onset of the sleep cycle. Eat your meals at regular times and evenly spaced throughout the day. Dinner should be eaten early, but keep it light to prevent uncomfortable indigestion or heartburn.

Conclusion

Muscle repair, energy levels, and appetite control all rely on sleep. It acts as a foundation on which you can build an active lifestyle. When you’re getting at least seven hours, your body can function as it was intended. Move sleep higher on your priority list and start building habits that will support your workout goals.

Amy Highland

Amy Highland

Amy Highland is a sleep expert at SleepHelp.org. Her preferred research topics are health and wellness, so Amy's a regular reader of Scientific American and Nature. She loves taking naps during thunderstorms and cuddling up with a blanket, book, and cats.

Publicado el 9 comentarios

3 Things You Need To Know About Hip Bursitis

hip bursitis

Hip bursitis – or “trochanteric bursitis” as it’s known in the medical community – is a condition that occurs when small sacs of fluid in the hip joint become inflamed.

hip bursitis

(Image credit: Pexels)

The word “bursitis” comes from bursa – small sacs that sit in the hip joint and allow muscles and tendons to glide over each other smoothly. Evolution baked bursas into our bodies a long time ago to prevent rubbing of internal structures and to give us the freedom to move continually, all day long.

Unfortunately, bursas can become inflamed following excessive exercise and strain, especially those in the hip joint. Trochanteric bursitis is a particular form of the condition where bursas in the region of the trochanter become inflamed. Many middle-aged women who experience hip pain are usually suffering from some form of irritation of this part of the hip bone. You can have inflammation in other bursas of the hip joint, but those around the trochanter appear to be the most naturally disadvantaged.

The following are three things that you need to know about hip bursitis.

#1: The Pain Hip Bursitis Creates Come From Inflammation

The symptoms of hip bursitis are varied, but all relate to pain. People with the condition typically feel pain on the outside of the hip or thigh which worsens during exercise. In some cases, the hip can feel sore to the touch, or when sleeping on the affected side. Typically, the pain worsens at night and can lead to knock-on effects, like insomnia.

The pain of hip bursitis comes from inflammation, the process by which the body responds to a perceived injury. Inflammatory factors rush to the site, causing painful internal swelling and pressure on the surrounding tissue. The purpose of the pain is to prevent you from using your hip joint while the body carries out repair work on the affected site, but that can lead to distress and an inability to do exercise.

#2: Hip Bursitis Has Many Causes

There are several different ways that a person can end up with hip bursitis,” according to Dr Lucas MD.

One of the leading causes of hip bursitis is obesity. When a person becomes severely overweight, the excess weight puts a strain on the hip joint, leading to higher pressure on the interface between tendons and muscles, damaging the protective bursa sacs.

Surgery can also increase the chance of developing the condition. Around five to twenty percent of people who undergo hip surgery experience some form of hip bursitis in the years following. Researchers think that this happens because hip surgery leads different length legs, which over time, put excessive pressure on one hip joint, putting it at a mechanical disadvantage.

Other causes of hip bursitis include poor postures and trauma. People who experience serious hip injuries, for instance, in a vehicle accident, often damage their bursas and go on to develop bursitis.

 

(Image credit: Pexels)

Another leading cause of the condition is performing activities that involve repetitive motion, such as household chores, specific actions at work, or exercise. Repeatedly performing the same operations over and over again can damage the bursa sacs and lead to painful inflammation and injury.

#3: Treatment Of Hip Bursitis Involves Drugs, Physical Therapy And Rest

Treating hip bursitis is complex with a range of therapies on offer.

If you go to your physician about possible hip bursitis, the first thing they’ll recommend is rest. By resting the affected area, you give it time for inflammation to go down and for the site to heal. Doctors may also recommend that you take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medications, such as ibuprofen.

Physicians may then refer those with severe hip bursitis to a physiotherapist. The purpose of the physiotherapist is to help the patient strengthen the joints and muscles in the hip to prevent undue strain on the bursas. Some hip injuries can be the result of a lack of strength in the surrounding tissue.

For people who continue to experience substantial discomfort or difficulty sleeping, doctors may prescribe corticosteroid injections, a type of injection designed to reduce inflammation in the hip directly.

Unfortunately, some people continue to experience pain even after several interventions and many weeks of physio, especially if a mechanical issue is driving the condition. Doctors will often recommend surgery if conditions do not improve with home-treatment over twelve months. Surgery involves either adjusting the hip joint or removing the bursas if nothing can be done to reduce the inflammation.

Overall, hip bursitis is a painful condition. For most people, over-the-counter treatment methods are effective, but for some, the problem doesn’t go away. If you think that you might have hip bursitis, speak with your physician.

Dr Lucas MD

Dr Lucas MD

It is my mission to determine the best strategies to help you accelerate your recovery from injury, prevent chronic disease, and invigorate your musculoskeletal health and fitness.

Publicado el 12 comentarios

tips to drop your last 5 pounds

5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
Summer is coming and you may still want or need to lose a few pounds to look perfect. Here are some overlooking tips to drop your last 5 pounds, reach your goal, and look stunning.
 
You´re trying to reduce your body fat to the minimum so you´re fighting a natural survival mechanism. Food shortage has been a constant threat throughout human evolution. Without fat as a powerful energy store, humankind would have been extinct long before Stone Age. Body fat serves as:
  • an energy store,
  • a padding against mechanical impacts,
  • a coating against heat loss,
  • a construction material for tissues and organs,
  • and as a carrier substance for vitamins and other important components of metabolism, just to name a few.
(The beneficial effects of of body fat and adipose tisue in humans: https://www.nature.com/articles/0800473.pdf?origin=ppub)
 
When we get to this point, we usually forget the basics and complicate our lives. So, I’m going to remind you some things that people usually overlook.

1 – Stay focused.

This may not seem a tip because we use to think we only need the motivation at the beginning but, we need motivation all the time, and at this point, motivation is key.
You have been training and dieting and now you´re so close to your goal. It´s not time to drop the ball. Stay focused!
The finish line is ahead, few weeks ahead, few workouts ahead, few meals ahead. Don´t skip your workouts, no more cheat meals these last weeks… You didn´t come this far just to stay 5 pounds away from your goal.
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds

2 – Drink plenty of water.

Drinking enough water is crucial to your overall health, but it’s also an important tool in successful fat loss. Many studies support this statement, showing a positive correlation between increased water consumption and fat loss. 
Without water, the body cannot properly metabolize stored fat or carbohydrates.
The process of metabolizing fat is called lipolysis. The first step of this process is hydrolysis, which occurs when water molecules interact with triglycerides (fats) to create glycerol and fatty acids.
Drinking enough water is essential for burning off fat from food and drink, as well as stored fat.
When you aren’t taking in enough water, your body cannot do its job efficiently. If the only liquids you consume are coffee, tea, sodas, artificial fruit juices and the like, you will become mildly dehydrated, forcing your body to slow down its metabolism to compensate. A slow, water-starved metabolism may not burn fat efficiently.
In a 2014 study ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4121911/ ), 50 overweight females drank 500 milliliters (ml) of water 30 minutes before breakfast, lunch, and dinner, in addition to their regular water consumption, for 8 consecutive weeks. The participants experienced a reduction in body weight, body fat, and body mass index. They also reported appetite suppression.
A mini-review from 2016 ( https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4901052/) found that increased water intake led to increased lipolysis and a loss of fat in animal studies.

3 – Outdoor activities.

At this point, more hours in the gym may bring you more stress than benefits. You already train hard enough and you deserve to explore life beyond the gym.
Outdoor activities help you lose fat because you burn many calories in just a short time.
(Read: https://chape.fitness/calories-burned-by-activity/ and pick your favorite outdoor activity).
In addition, outdoor exercise provides a mental health boost beyond that of indoor gyms. Moving outdoors has been shown to reduce anger and depression and improve mood. Exposure to sunlight enhances vitamin D production, which may be partially responsible for this mood-enhancing effect.
(Associations between vitamin D levels and depressive symptoms in healthy young adult women:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25791903)
You don’t have to run a marathon or crush an outdoor boot camp to reap the benefit. Even low-intensity activities, like walking or gardening, will do. Personally, I love these two activities:
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
Interestingly, low- to moderate-intensity physical activity shows greater improvements in self-esteem than high-intensity outdoor exercise. Activities shown to improve self-esteem include walking, cycling, horseback riding, fishing and gardening. A regular dose of outdoor activity can help boost the already powerful esteem-enhancing effect of exercise.
If you prefer high-intensity outdoor activities, these are my suggestions:
  1. Hiking is an activity that requires little or no equipment and gets you into the great outdoors. The big advantage to hiking is it naturally spikes the intensity level of your workout which helps you to burn three times the body fat of a flat walk. A combination of cardio, endurance, and strength-building exercise, hiking requires minimal equipment, and you can adjust the workout pace based on trail difficulty, fitness level, and personal preference. Hiking targets glutes, abs, and leg muscles. For maximum effects, choose a hilly terrain and keep up a brisk pace.
  2. Cycling is a wonderful way to burn a handsome amount of calories and get the body back into shape. It helps increase heart rate which in turn burns fat. The best part about cycling is that it involves all major muscles, builds lung capacity and endurance. Depending on skill and fitness level, you can bike in the park or out in the street, or even try conquering rocky slopes.
  3. Swimming is quite an effective outdoor activity to lose weight. It’s a top cardio workout and helps improve muscle tone at the same time. Since swimming involves a lot of efforts and negotiation against water, it leads to muscle building and fat burning. Swimming also can help reduce blood pressure and alleviate joint pains.

Time for a true (recent) story!

My old friend Tito still competes in kayak events. We know each other since we were kids and we love to go out and have a few beers when we get together.

Last summer he participated in Guinness records, paddling for 24 hours. This summer will participate in the World Championship, senior category.

He trains in a high performance center with Olympic medalists, and the center’s trainers and nutritionists prepare them detailed and very demanding training and diets.

However, my good friend always asks me for an opinion when he is in trouble. Two weeks ago, he broke his foot and sent me a message, because he needs to lose weight for this summer’s competition. Because of this injury, he can not run, bike, elliptical … So I told him, «swimming is your only option, dude.»

Last weekend I sent him a message to ask how he was doing. He was really happy because he was losing weight. «My foot hurts a bit when I get in the pool but, in a few minutes everything is fine. I do not use my legs, as you told me and I swim for an hour. I’m losing weight and I do not hurt my foot.»

This is how your hands look like after 24 hours of paddling.

But my point is, even if you´re injured, there´s an activity that you can do without affecting your injury. As John Wooden said: “Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.” 

You do not have the pressure of a championship this summer, you just want to look better. If you face an injury, lack of time, or whatever, look at your situation with perspective, evaluate your options and do what you can right now. Life is not perfect and we all have to deal with difficulties. How we deal with them is what will make the difference.

4 – Sleep.

What you eat and how you exercise are two significant contributors to the overall success rate you see. But after that, it’s important to not overlook some of the other contributing factors that can sway the type of progress you experience.
One specific component that very often gets overlooked is that of sleep. No one ever thinks of sleep being a factor in success since, after all, you are barely conscious while you sleep. How much damage could you really do to your progress while you are sleeping?
Cutting back on sleep reduces the benefits of dieting, according to a new study. When dieters got a full night’s sleep, more than half of the weight they lost was fat. When they cut back on their sleep, only one-fourth of their weight loss came from fat. Sleep-deprived dieters also felt hungrier, producing higher levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger and reduces energy expenditure.  https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/10/101004211637.htm
5 tips to drop your last 5 pounds
You must not overlook the connection between the amount of sleep you get and your overall exercise performance. When you are short on sleep, it’s quite typical to find yourself struggling to maintain the usual level of exercise that you normally would tolerate quite well.
In addition to this, since sleep is the primary time the body recovers from exercise, it’s also when you will be rebuilding your torn muscle tissues. Without this recovery time, you’re going to go into your next exercise session at a disadvantage.

Try these tips to drop your last 5 pounds, I´m sure everything will be ok but, if you feel like you need more help, get in touch!

Publicado el 40 comentarios

What have I been doing lately?

Hi everybody, how are you? Have you missed me? Some of you may have wondered what I’ve been doing lately because I have not blogged as often as I used to.

As many of you already know, my father suffers from Alzheimer’s and it has worsened in recent months. From the caregiver’s point of view, it is mentally draining. Everything is routine and repetition, day after day. So I started to feel like I needed to get away from other routines, like blogging, doing and learning new things, to regain my joy, clean my mind and open new horizons.

The first thing I did was to escape for a week to Malaga to do some courses at the school of sport sciences:

  • latest strategies to lose weight,
  • strength training,
  • functional training,
  • and hypertrophy programming variables.

I learned many new things and met very interesting individuals. Without a doubt, it was a good idea and my clients will benefit in the future from what I have learned in these courses.

But although fitness is my passion, there are many more things to learn about.

I have completed the Facebook Blueprint courses. Last month I have been testing the Facebook ads.

I decided to start small, with a limited budget and focusing on the region where I live, Galicia. I think the results are not bad for a beginner.

If you have any suggestions to improve the results, I’d love to hear them!

Having taken a break from blogging has worked well for me. I have recharged my batteries, and soon you will hear from me again on a regular basis. Until then, be happy and do not skip your workouts!

Big hugs!