A PERSONS BEST FRIEND
Looking for a good training partner? Look no further than your four legged friend; that’s right your dog! Statistics show that people who are dog owners live a more active lifestyle, walk more, walk faster and maintain this activity level for longer periods of time. Shirley Archer, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise says, “as workout partners, canines can offer energy, enthusiasm, and the social support so crucial to sticking with an exercise program.”
QUIT TO GET FIT
We all know the benefits of following an exercise program, but now exercise is being used to help smokers quit their habits. “Research shows that exercise can reduce cravings,” says Andrea Stevens Lavigne, spokesperson for the Ontario Lung Association. “It helps fill the gap.”
STEP AWAY FROM THE CHOCOLATE
Stress eaters listen up! If your daily job is getting to you and you find yourself reaching for a chocolate bar to ease the tension, try going for a 15 minute walk instead. Two groups of people, with similar occupational stress, were compared to see if the amount of chocolate they ate during the day differed when one group exercised and the other didn’t. Amazingly enough, the group that went for a walk consumed half the chocolate than the group that didn’t exercise. Exercise has been proven to enhance moods and manage food addictions.
A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY
When it comes to exercising and how much you should do, there is never one specific answer that can cover everyone’s needs. The current recommendation is to exercise for at least 20 minutes per day. A conflicting study states that women should exercise at least an hour per day to maintain bodyweight. Exercise experts say the most important message is to be active, regardless of the latest studies. How much one should exercise depends on personal fitness goals. If time is an issue, try interval training which will yield similar results in half the time.
STRETCH & WIN
Flexibility may not be number one on your fitness priority list, but according to David Geier, the director of sports medicine at the Medical University of South Carolina and a spokesperson for the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, it should be number three. Increased flexibility has been linked to greater kidney health and function, lowering instances of diabetes and even decreasing the chances of cardiovascular disease.
Endurance athletes may choose to fuel up on carbohydrates and rev up their glycogen stores before a big event. Canada’s ninth fastest female marathon runner, Nicole Stevenson, offers these tips to help you with loading
1) Do a trial load to see how your body responds.
2) Consume primarily carbohydrates for two days before the event.
3) On race day avoid high fibre foods.
4) Make sure everything fully digests before the event.
LITTLE GOES LONG WAY
QUIT TO GET FIT
STRETCH & WIN