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What Comes First, Weights or Cardio?

Weights or cardio… So you’ve started reading this article because you NEED to know the best way to set out your workout in order to get maximum results, am I right?

But what first? Do I lift first and compromise my running, or run first and compromise my strength training?

We’re here now to help you answer that burning question.

At this stage you know what you want, you want to be lean, you want to be fit, you want the benefits of cardio and strength training all rolled into one package, that package being your body. You know that to be fit and fast you need to get the ball rolling on cardio and you know that strength sessions can help build up your physical and mental endurance. However, when time comes into play, it’s hard too do these two things separately and you’ve thought to yourself, how do I lay out my session, if I want to roll cardio and strength training into one session?

Weights or Cardio?… PUMP IT UP!

The answer friends, is strength training. There are multiple studies that have direct links to weights being more beneficial to you than cardio first.

Have you ever suffered painfully through a strength session after busting out a 5-10km run? It’s the most tedious, mind-numbingly painful thing.  You’re putting in little effort, your lifting shy of what you normally would and can’t bust out as many reps as you usually would. It. Is. Painful.

On the other side though, have you ever done a solid session of strength at the gym, and then found yourself energised and ready to knock some KM’s under your belt on the treadmill? I certainly have.

Weights or Cardio

What are the benefits? And why?

If you’re wanting to look ripped, is it going to be weights or cardio? you need to use your stored body fat as fuel for your work-out, this can only be done by utilising your glycogen store first – by strength training. Studies have found that there was more fat burned during a cardio session for the first 15 minutes if you did it AFTER your strength session, how great is that!

There is a definite increase in fat burning potential after a strength session, research has shown that energy is elevated for up to 24hrs after strength training which increases the percentage of fat being burned.

The increase in this energy expenditure is generally equal too or better than performing steady state aerobic exercise.

So there you have it, pump out some weights, THEN go for you run. Why not give it a go and leave us some feedback on how you think you performed?

weights or cardio
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Supplements vs. Steroids

What is a Steroid?

The specific type of steroids we’ll be talking about are the most commonly spoken about ones, Anabolic steroids.

Anabolic steroids can be used to help build bigger muscles, faster. When we work on building our muscles through training, we create micro tears in our muscle fibres, and every time it heals, it grows back bigger. Anabolic Steroids stimulate the male sex hormone testosterone, which Facilitates muscle growth and helps increase the results.

Anabolic steroids can help you builder bigger, better and leaner muscles and can be taken orally or through injections. The taboo around them has existed for a very long time, but they can be both helpful and also have some side effects.

Steroids Sup[plements

Benefits

  • Promotes muscle building
  • Reduces “Overtraining” and allows you to work out longer and harder
  • Enhance athletic performance
  • Faster recovery
Steroids Supplements

Side effects

  • Acne
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Baldness
  • Increased body hair
  • Increased Cholesterol
  • Fertility Issues
  • Potential for impotence
  • Heart disease

We can see without a doubt that there are both good and bad  effects, However due to the fact that anabolic steroids are illegal without prescription and the fact that some of the side effects can be life altering or even life ending, I for one would see the potential risk to be far to high. Especially considering we have supplements that we know can help us achieve fast effective results, there are a plethora of peer reviewed studies to show this. Granted the effectiveness of Anabolic Steroids is much greater but the risks are also infinitely greater.

Steroids Supplements

What is a Supplement?

Dietary supplements can be a variety things i.e.; Vitamins, Minerals, herbal or botanical, amino acids, Concentrate, metabolite, constitute or extract. Depending on what you want to do and what your goals are, there are so many supplements you can take to help you achieve your goals.

Some key supplements that you should include in your daily routine to help achieve muscle growth and better definition are:

  • Whey protein:

Protein is one of the most widely used supplements, and for good reason, it will increase your daily protein intake quickly and prevent your body from entering catabolism.

Steroids Supplements
  • Creatine:

Creatine helps boost your ability to utilise more energy under strain, it’s a nitrogenous organic acid that already occurs naturally in your body.

  • Multivitamin:

By the time we get our food, after it has been refined, packed and shipped to us, it has already some of it nutritional value. A multivitamin can help make sure we’re all getting enough of the good stuff we need to nourish our bodies properly.

Steroids Supplements

Conclusion

While it is obvious there is a temptation people to use anabolic steroids, the research is clear; Steroids come with extreme risk. We each take risks every day, we all have that little risk to benefit scale in out minds. For some people the scale can tip towards the benefit even when undertaking extremely risky activities. Some people like to skydive, some like to race high powered cars, some like to tight rope walk. None of these are activities I would personally undertake, but I realise its also not my place to judge. Definitely something to think about when condemning people for their actions. With all that said this girl will be sticking to her good old reliable supplements. Fast, Effective and without the risks. Ill leave the Anabolic Steroids up to the doctors.

Steroids Supplements
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How To Keep Motivated To Stay On Your Eating Plan

Everyone goes through stages where they just can’t find the motivation to keep up with there healthy eating plan, let’s face it… Cake. Tastes. Good.

So, we’ve come up with a few simple easy tips that should keep you on track with your goals, weather it be weight loss, muscle gain or just simply trying to eat better.

eating plan

1) Set yourself a GOAL –

It doesn’t have to be anything big but try and keep it specific so you can measure and track what you need to do to keep yourself accountable. For example, “I will drink 6 glasses of water per day”, “I will eat 200 calories less a day than what I am eating now”, I will eat 2 serves of spinach a day to up my iron in take”

2) Keep-it-SIMPLE and start off slow –

start your goals off small guys, it is extremely difficult to go from eating 2000 cals a day down to 1000 cals a day, it’s hard to go from drinking 10 soft drinks a day to none. Some people may have the will power to be able to achieve this, but some of us don’t and that’s okay. Set small challenges at first and you’ll start becoming addicted to the idea of setting and smashing goals with each goal getting bigger and bigger as you go.

eating plan

3) Plan for eating plan setbacks –

sometimes it inevitable that you’re going to get setback on you’re eating plan, maybe it’s your birthday (calories do not count on birthdays though) maybe it’s your sister’s wedding and you want to indulge in a few glasses of champagne that up your calories for the day? Or maybe you’ve just had a terrible day and decide to spoil yourself with a slice of cake. These things happen to everyone, just don’t let it be the complete downfall of everything your trying to do. One slice of cake is fine, but don’t get stuck in the mindset of “Oh I’ve blown my diet now, may as well eat the whole damn thing.

4) Buddy up –

Have a friend/family member or partner hold you accountable for your diet, maybe you have someone who has the same goals as you and you can motivate each other? Or perhaps your partner knows how much you want to achieve this so they help you keep on track. The buddy system can really help you to stay on track of your goals, feel like eating cake? Call your friend that’s eating a salad.

eating plan

5) Use an app! –

there are hundreds of apps out there that are designed to help us build and maintain habits. It can take between 16 and 21 times of doing something before it becomes a habit, and something simple like the app Habit Bull (Android) can remind you to drink those 6 glasses of water, eat those 2 serves of spinach or not eat that extra 200 cal your trying to resist.

6) Have an “After” plan ready –

A lot of people set weight loss goals and find that after they’ve achieved them, the weight starts slowly coming back, why? Because they haven’t planned for the after. Make sure your ready for when you’ve achieved what you’re looking to achieve.

eating plan

7) Keep a food and exercise journal –

an app like my fitness pal will keep you up to date with all your progress, it’s rewarding to see where you started and where you are now.

8) Try new foods! –

Don’t limit your healthy eating to just steamed veggies and boiled chicken, branch out and try new recipes, go to new restaurants and invent some of your own new recipes!

eating plan
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Does Olive Oil Prevent Heart Disease?

With heart disease now the biggest killer in most of the industrialised world people are searching for ways to protect their heart health. Studies have shown that the lowest death rates from heart disease are in the Mediterranean countries where people consume a lot of olive oil. So this poses the question, does olive oil prevent heart disease or is it just another coincidence?

olive oil prevent heart disease

Heart disease explained

Heart disease is a term for a range of conditions that affect your heart and it’s the biggest killer of Australians today with one Australian dyeing of heart disease every 27mins. The diseases that come under the term are diseases that affect your blood vessels that can lead to heart attack, chest pain and stroke, and diseases that affect your hearts muscle, valves and rhythm and conditions of that are that you may be born with.

There are many risk factors for heart disease and roughly 90% of Australians have at least 1 risk factor. These risk factors include; smoking, obesity, cholesterol, high blood pressure, being inactive, diabetes and poor diet. The best thing you can do to prevent heart disease is to limit your risk factors and protect your heart.

olive oil prevent heart disease

The Mediterranean diet

Science is showing that choosing olive oil, alongside a healthy diet, may actually reduce your risk of heart disease and even increase your life expectancy. A study comparing the diets of European and North American diets against the Mediterranean diet over 30 years has shown that the Mediterranean diet is linked with a lower risk of heart disease, lowered risk of certain cancers and a longer life expectancy, despite their higher dietary fat intake!

olive oil prevent heart disease

So does olive oil really help?

Apparently YES! Olive oil really can help to prevent heart disease. Olive oil actually reduces our risk factors for heart disease and helps to protect our heart by:

  • Decreasing plasma triglycerides- elevated levels of triglycerides in the blood are associated with an increased risk for heart disease.
  • Lowering LDL cholesterol- LDL cholesterol is named “bad cholesterol” because it’s simply bad for us. It builds up in our arteries and can lead to heart attacks.
  • reducing inflammation and oxidative damage,
  • Decreasing risk of blood clots- this helps to prevent heart failure and stroke.
  • Increasing HDL cholesterol- HDL cholesterol or “good cholesterol” plays a protective role within our bodies and helps to prevent fatty patches forming. HDL also removes LD cholesterol from our arteries and sends them to our livers to be removed with bile.
  • Olive oil is also a potent antioxidant which also helps to lower our risk of breast, colon, lung, ovarian and skin cancer development.

A number of studies have also shown that olive oil consumption also has positive effects on our blood pressure, arthritis, immune function and can help with obesity.

This means that olive oil really can help with the prevention of heart disease by reducing a number of risk factors!

olive oil prevent heart disease

Olive oil intake for good health?

Just remember that olive oil does have a high calorie count so don’t start drinking a cup a day! 1-2 TBS daily will give you the preventative measures that you need. Also look for extra virgin olive oil as this is a much purer form of the oil and contains more health benefits.

Conclusion

Keeping your heart healthy is one of the best things you can do to prevent and manage heart disease. So I guess it’s time to switch out your butter and vegetable oils and start protecting your heart by using extra virgin olive oil instead!

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Do I Need Sunscreen With More Than 30 SPF?

Our hot Australian sun doesn’t discriminate and without the proper skin protection its harmful UVB and UVA rays can cause havoc to whomever skin is exposed. Not only does the sun cause sun burn, it also causes premature aging, skin damage and even skin cancer. Sunscreen is one of the defences against the sun but is a sunscreen with 50SPF really necessary or can we stick to our 30 SPF instead?

sunscreen 30 spf

What exactly is SPF?

SPF stands for Sun Protection Factor, and you will find a rating of SPF on all sunscreens and even some moisturisers and makeup products. SPF measures the protection that a sunscreen will give you from the harmful UVB rays that come from the sun and cause skin cancer, SPF does not measure the other ray called UVA rays which are also damaging and dangerous. For best protection from the sun the cancer council recommends at least SPF 30+ applied properly (2mg/cm2) and reapplied every two hours.

sunscreen 30 spf

Should I use a higher SPF?

  • SPF 15 blocks 93% of UVB rays
  • SPF 30 blocks 97% of UVB rays
  • SPF 50 blocks 98% of UVB rays
  • SPF 100 blocks 99% of UVB rays

You can see that just because it’s a much higher SPF rating it does not actually block much more UVB rays from entering your skin, and there is still no sunscreen that blocks 100% of the sun’s harmful rays.  The problem with higher SPF ratings is that many people are misled into thinking they have a lot more skin protection then they do and they feel they can stay out under the sun for longer, reapply less often and not worry as much. Unfortunately none of that is true, and this type of false thinking can actually lead to more damage in the long run! No matter which SPF you choose you need to apply liberally and reapply every 2 hours and after swimming and towel drying, if you don’t them simply won’t work.

Another issue with higher SPF ratings is they may have higher protection against UVB rays but no protection against UVA, which can also cause damage and lead to skin cancer.

When buying a sunscreen opt for at least 30 SPF and then check the ingredients, look for a combination of these UVA protection ingredients; stabilized a avobenzone, ecamsule, oxybenzone, titanium dioxide and zinc.

sunscreen 30 spf

 Don’t forget to slip slop slap!

Many people think that because they have sunscreen on they are 100% protected from the sun, but remember, no sunscreen blocks 100% of UV rays so you must take further action to prevent skin damage.

  • Wear a hat
  • Protect your eyes with sunnies
  • Wear clothing that covers most of your skin when outdoors
  • Sit in the shade
  • Do not linger out under the sun
  • Use tints on windows of your home and car because UVA rays can and will penetrate glass.
sunscreen 30 spf

Conclusion

So there you go while a higher SPF rating on a sunscreen may offer more protection it’s only marginal and no sunscreen offers a full 100% protection from our sun. Grab your 30+ SPF, apply liberally and often remember to slip slop slap and stay skin cancer free!!!