Anti-oxidants from fruit and veges

FIT TIP: I am a firm believer in a diet that consists mainly of lean protein, unrefined carbohydrates, but as many vegetables as you can fit on the plate – and if you can’t fit many on there, you need to get a bigger one!
One of the reasons that vegetables are such a critical component of an athlete’s diet (anyone looking to improve their body through exercise is an athlete!) is that they contain not just vitamins and minerals that our body needs to operate efficiently, but also important anti-oxidants that are needed for recovery and regeneration of muscle tissue.
Anti-oxidants are purported to be helpful in the “fight” against oxygen free radicals – which are thought to be responsible, at least in part, for that familiar muscle soreness experience and ‘oxidative stress’. Anti-oxidants sound great, right?
So why shouldn’t we just load up on these awesome anti-oxidants to mop up those pesky free radicals? The truth of the matter is that anti-oxidants taken as supplements are not particularly helpful.
The purpose of training is to overload the athlete and force their body to positively adapt. From strenuous training comes a certain amount of muscle damage, which is needed as a stimulus for the adaptation. If we completely take away that stimulus, there is no need to adapt, and therefore no need to improve.
You will get a great dose of anti-oxidants from the many colours from fruit and veg… in particular berries, citrus fruits, dark green vegetables and green tea. Just the right amount to combat oxidative stress from the free radicals but not too much so as to remove the adaptation stimulation :-)

Sore knees?

FIT TIP: If you are a very active person engaging in high intensity exercise, this tip is for you! Tendinitis of the knee — inflammation of the tendons (the tissue that connects muscle to bone) — has stopped many an athlete short. Whether you are a weekend warrior on the footy field or training for a marathon, tendinitis can creep up on you and interfere with routine activities, let alone recreational ones.
Symptoms of tendinitis include:

  • Pain above or below the kneecap, where the tendons attach to the bone
  • Swelling
  • Pain that recurs with particular activities and eases with rest
  • In severe cases, pain that no longer improves with rest
  • In some cases, a constant ache that disrupts sleep.

Excess weight puts additional stress on the tendons of the knee and can contribute to tendinitis. With age, tendons become stiffer and more prone to becoming inflamed, while supporting muscles become weaker and less able to provide protection. Tight hamstrings and quadriceps also make you more susceptible to knee tendinitis.
During the first few days of feeling pain in your knees, you should rest, ice your knees, take over-the-counter pain relievers, and use a knee support. Rehabilitation for tendinitis includes exercises to improve flexibility and address muscle imbalances that place extra stress on the tendons. I can help with this! Once the pain and swelling are gone, you can resume normal activities (usually in a few days) and get back to more demanding athletic pursuits in a few weeks, after you have regained muscle strength.
If pain doesn’t improve, see your doctor. They may recommend additional treatments and, in rare cases, surgery.

‘Skinny Fat’

FIT TIP: Around 70% of your weight loss will come from the changes you make to your diet. Exercise is about 30%. HOWEVER it’s a very important 30%!! The problem with just dieting alone is that your body shrinks all over, so you lose fat (the bad stuff) but also muscle, bone density, water content… which is the good stuff and keeps you looking and feeling great!
Often, dieting will turn you into what I term ‘skinny fat’, or a smaller version of your fat self! And if the diet is too extreme and the weight loss is too fast, then the body goes into ‘starvation mode’ and you will ONLY lose water, muscle and bone… and NO FAT at all! This is because fat is a fantastic source of energy for the body to survive on if it’s starved.
Exercise is the key to changing your body shape. With the right exercise regime you will firm up and densely pack your muscle tissue. You will strengthen your bones. You will increase your stored water content. And you will ONLY LOSE FAT! How cool is that?
Many people, in the race to lose weight, lose track of why they’re actually doing it – to look and feel better – and instead focus on that number on the bathroom scales. I have a much better tool than that: Tanita Innerscan $450 body composition scales.
For example, I had one client who only lost 2kg, but dropped 7% body fat and gained 4kg of lean muscle (along with increase in bone weight and water content). If that client only focused on weight, they would have lost motivation a long time ago. But they look great and feel so much better now.
If you’d like to know how your body composition stacks up, I’m happy to offer you a complimentary reading and analysis of the results in my studio :-)

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