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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!

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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.

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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.

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Heart rate variability for maximum strength gains

heart rate

When you think about heart rate, you might be thinking about someone doing cardio – treadmills and beeps.

In reality, there’s a lot to heart rate that you might have missed. There are important overlaps between heart rate and performance in strength training that mean a better rate can improve strength.

Read on, because today we’ll be taking you through the two biggest ways that heart rate and heart rate variability impact strength training!

Heart Rate and Variability: Why it Matters

What do you already know about heart rate?

You probably know that an elevated heart rate is a risk for heart attack, stroke, and other common causes of death. You might even be working on your endurance exercise to keep your heart healthy and make sure that everything from sexual health to mental health are up to scratch.

Lowering your resting heart rate decreases the strain you’re putting on the love muscle, helping you to live a longer and healthier life.

How Strength Training Helps Your Heart

Strength training isn’t often discussed for the benefits to the heart, or the other way around – how the heart can benefit strength.

It’s a two-way system. Resistance-trained people are healthier and have a better tolerance for blood pressure without the negative effects.

The heart undergoes some serious stress during strength training but its only short-term. Additionally, your arteries become more flexible and reduce your risk of clogs, clots, and other serious conditions.

HRV: Benefits for Strength and Muscle Gains

The key benefit we’re going to discuss today is how the variability of your heart rate – the range it can go through – is key to strength training.

You’ll mainly notice this between sets. The ability to get back to resting heart rate between sets is key to improving your recovery – a key factor in keeping your performance up over long workouts.

This is the kind of recovery and performance that many people ignore, since it doesn’t increase your maximum performance right now. However, it helps you accumulate more volume over time which is a direct cause of building strength and muscle mass.

Heart Rate and Psychological Factors

You’ll also want to control your heart rate through psychological methods too.

This is one of the ways that your choice of music when training can make a big difference.

Psychological arousal is all about how hyped up you are – controlling this is a key way to adjust how heavy weights feel and help push yourself.

However, for the recovery we mentioned above its equally important to bring psychological arousal – and your heart rate – down after intense training.

Again, music can be a great choice here, and the music that you use to hype-up between sets isn’t appropriate continuously. Too much psychological arousal, or a chronically elevated heart rate, are bad for both training and health.

That’s why it’s good to find the right tempo playlist for pre and post workout and of course for the workout itself.

Learning to switch on and off when you need to is a great way to develop yourself as an athlete and bring about the best results with the most sustainable, healthy methods.

Post-Training Recovery: How the Heart Supports Muscles

Heart rate and arousability aren’t just about when you’re in the gym, however.

What you’ll find is that intense exercise will keep you in an elevated state of anxiety for a while after finishing. This keeps your heart rate up and places additional stress on your heart if you don’t balance it out.

This is clear from the relation we see between other forms of stress and the risk of heart problems. Any chronic increase in anxiety and heart rate can negatively effect your health, so it’s a significant matter.

Balancing your stress levels out after a training session is one of the ways you can reduce the chronic loading of your heart. This also helps with your exercise recovery and the development of strength.

Improving your return to a resting, restorative heart rate and psychological state can improve your session-to-session progress. Heart rate and relaxation methods – from low-BPM music to meditation to yoga – can all aid in this balancing act.

The Big Lesson

The benefits of proper heart rate and anxiety management for training is a huge deal.

If you’re planning on pushing yourself to new personal bests – and recovering so that you can keep doing it – you need to consider the physical and psychological impacts.

Fortunately, you can manage these changes in both the short and long-term. Developing good habits and being aware of how and handling the stress levels is easy with practice and the right tools.

How to Implement and Improve HRV for Strength Training

How do you improve your heart rate – and variability – without losing all your strength?

This is a question we hear a lot, since a lot of strength enthusiasts see endurance and strength as exact opposites.

Obviously, if you’re doing ultra-marathons you’ll struggle to keep the meat on your body – it’s easy to lose muscle. However, endurance and cardio training don’t have to be long-haul, and you can use them to improve your strength performance.

To start with, you actually need to track your heart rate.

You can’t set and achieve goals if you can’t measure the changes. This is why you probably want a heart rate monitor – so you can see if you’re getting better!

You won’t need to use this for all your sets and we recommend avoiding it for top-sets. Use it for warm ups and some of the lighter weights to see how you respond. Make a quick note of them and compare from session to session.

A weekly average is probably your best bet, since everything from sleep to stress can change your heart rate.

How Should You Train Your Heart for Strength Training?

HIIT is the best way to do this.

There are a lot of myths around HIIT – like the idea that it’s “better” than normal cardio, or that it burns more calories – but neither of those matter.

The important part is that HIIT allows you to focus on high-power, intense exercise. This assists with your heart rate variability while also helping you focus on explosive strength.

This is also specific to the kind of heart rate improvements you need: the ability to produce huge efforts and then recover quickly.

How to Build a Great HIIT Session for Strength

The kind of HIIT we’re talking about here comes in many forms. HIIT isn’t a single type of exercise, just a way of structuring different types of training. You’ll find there are some great choices for building other athletic characteristics (such as power, coordination, and speed):

  • Sprint intervals
  • Med ball/wall ball throws
  • Lunges and single-leg work
  • Jumps, hops, etc.
  • Core exercises
  • Rotational and single-leg work

If you combine these types of exercises into high-intensity circuits (using things like Tabata), you can make big differences in a way that helps your strength training, rather than harming it.

This is also great since it helps you cover muscle groups you might not focus on in training and can help prevent injury.

Effort Equals Results: Give Your Cardio Some Love

As with the rest of your training, you should be putting some thought into how you improve your heart rate for strength training.

Too much work in long-haul endurance can lead to slow-twitch adaptation. This can be a problem for strength, so you should aim to implement these lessons in your own training.

Heart rate isn’t the most glamorous way to improve in strength training – it’s not a good as a big bench press or huge squat – but you’ll be setting yourself up for those changes with a healthier, stronger heart.

Closing Remarks and Final Thoughts

Cardiovascular health and training don’t have to compete with your strength training.

Aside from the health benefits, these kinds of changes to your heart rate and efficiency can support better recovery and handling more volume.

Controlling and improving your heart rate are the two factors you need to consider and work on. Controlling your heart rate comes with psychological methods – from music to active relaxation – while improving it for the long-term is all about training smart.

Use these tips to add some high-quality, explosive HIIT to your training. You’ll find that your strength goes up, you cover some of the most under-rated areas of training, and you have the best chance for overall progress!

Joe Bailey

Joe Bailey

Joe Bailey is the Wizard of Lightbulb Moments at GetSongBpm. He’s recently developed a heart rate calculator to help people find their target heart rate simply by tapping their screen. When he’s not behind his own screen he’s in front of the crowds in the UK running 5km and 10km events and cross-training regularly.

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How effective is basketball at burning fat?

How effective is basketball at burning fat

Playing Hoops is a Super Way to Burn Fat, so Get Out on the Basketball Court

Burning calories is how you burn fat. The rate you burn these fat producing calories is directly proportional to how intense the activity is. You have to get your body furnace hot before you begin to burn calories, and therefore fat.

Walking and jogging are the simplest ways to burn fat. Vigorous exercise turns up the flame even more. The key is to increase your heart rate, which in turn burns calories in your body.

One enjoyable and effective way to burn fat is by playing various sports. Basketball is one of the most vigorously active sports you can participate, so it’s consequently a super way to burn away unwanted pounds.

The intensity of the competition will dictate how effective of a fat burner basketball is. Here’s how it works, plus some different levels of intensity that make basketball an increasingly effective way to burn fat.

Why Basketball Burns Fat

The physiological reasons behind why basketball is such an effective fat burning sport are directly related to exercise. Basketball is a game where you have to move around from one spot to another.

Sometimes these movements are at a slow to moderate pace, strategic types of moves to position yourself for a shot or to defend one. However, the largest percentage of the movements you’ll make playing basketball involve running, often at full speed.

Because basketball involves so much running and jumping, it requires exertion that raises your heart rate, even when played at a moderate pace. A full court competitive basketball game is one of the most effective fat burning sports you can play.

Practice

You can even burn calories shooting simple foul shots, even if you shoot alone. Practicing free throws with a partner does limit the fat burning effectiveness, but it’s still a moderate way to burn a little fat.

Shooting by yourself, however, means you have to chase down errant shots and that will help increase your intensity. Layups begin to add the element of running to your basketball workout.

The more intense your layup drills, the hotter you’ll make your internal fat burning machine. Full court layups raise this level even higher, making this practice drill extremely effective as a fat burner.

There are other drills designed to improve your skills as a basketball player, and they will raise your heart rate as well. However, the best way to burn fat while playing basketball is to play any of three different levels of game situations.

basketball for burning fat

Game Situations

There are three types of game situations in basketball that are extremely effective burning fat. All are competitive, but they don’t necessarily require a great deal of actual basketball skill to enjoy.

Of course, the better you play, the more enjoyment and the more productive a player you’ll be. However, to burn fat all you need to do is play the best you can. Here are the three levels of game play you can use to employ basketball as an effective fat burning workout.

· One-on-One

This is a way to get out on the basketball court, even if you only have another partner to play with you. One-on-one basketball is not only a great way to develop isolated offensive skills, but a super way to improve your man-on-man defense.

While you do not benefit from the exertion required to run full court, one-on-one is a game-like situation that requires a lot of physical effort. It is one type of basketball game that is an excellent way to burn fat.

· Half-Court Team Games

There are a lot of situations, especially for older basketball players, where the pounding of running full-court isn’t healthy. In these types of circumstances, you can enjoy the intensity of playing basketball, but only use half the court.

There are half-court leagues, plus this is one way to produce a game-like situation if all you have is a single basket. Driveway and playground courts are perfect intense half-court basketball games.

· Full Court Team

This is the way most basketball games are played. There are a number of sports experts who feel the athletes who play organized and professional basketball to be some of the most gifted and best trained athletes in the world.

Full court basketball is both challenging and physically exhausting. Watching a game on live or on television will make this point clear. There are coordinated substitutions throughout a game to help keep players fresh.

Of course, the level of intensity that you experience playing a full court game will be related to game strategy. Fast breaks in basketball require players to immediately sprint from one end of the court to the other.

Even a slower paced, more deliberate style of full court game, will have transitions after shots, and when the ball is stolen. Each time the ball changes hands in a full court game, all players must run to the other end.

Participating in recreational leagues or playing competitive basketball are both tremendous ways to burn calories. Even shooting baskets for fun is a low-impact type of activity that will burn fat.

When you take part in basketball games, you increase your heart rate and gain aerobic benefits for your fitness pursuits. The bottom line is, basketball is one of the most effective sports to help you burn away fat.