Fact vs Fiction

Fact vs Fiction

Strength-training exercises like crunches will get rid of abdominal flab.

Fact

Spot training (or reducing) isn’t possible. While crunches are important for firming and strengthening the abdominals, they won’t remove fat from that area. In addition to ab exercises, do a total-body strength workout to boost your overall lean muscle mass, and blast fat and calories with a consistent cardio routine (at least 30 minutes, three to five days a week for weight loss). Don’t forget to follow a healthy diet as well.

Myth

Sit-ups aren’t safe or effective for training your abs.

Fact

“When done in a controlled manner without the use of momentum, a sit-up is simply a trunk curl taken that much further by the use of the hip flexors, and can be a very effective ab-training exercise,” says Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Mass. So why the bad rap? “People with low-back pain have tight hip flexors and are advised not to do sit-ups because they work the hip flexors a good deal and might exacerbate the issue,” Westcott says. “But really, sit-ups can be done by the majority of the population.”
To safely get the most out of a full sit-up, follow instructions for the basic crunch, moving slowly in both directions, lifting up to an almost-seated position. If your neck aches, lightly cup one hand behind it for support.

Myth

If you want to get a firmer, flatter belly, you need to do ab exercises every day.

Fact

“Although the abs are postural muscles and have a predominance of slow-twitch fibres, which recover quickly from an abundance of work, they are still just like other muscles and need time to rest, recover and rebuild. Train your abs no more than two to four days a week on non-consecutive days.

Myth

You should train your abs at the end of your workout.

Fact

There’s some validity to the claim that training your abs last preserves your core strength for the earlier part of your workout: “If you’re going to do squats or multi-muscle exercises like push-ups or lunges that require a lot of balance, you might want to do abs last so your core is fresh and strong,”. On the other hand, experts generally agree that you should do ab moves when you’re most likely to do them. “The danger of always putting abs at the end is that people run out of time and end up never training them”.

Myth

Because the abs are endurance muscles, you have to do hundreds of reps to get results.

Fact

Abs do have greater endurance than most muscle groups—however, “doing an exercise with proper form, using slow, controlled motions, is an excellent way to maximize results,” says Stuart Rugg, Ph.D., chair of the department of kinesiology at Occidental College in Los Angeles. If you’re using correct form, there should be no reason to exceed two or three sets of 25 reps of any ab exercise you do. “Quality is more important than quantity

Consult a fitness professional before starting any exercise regimen.
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Benefits of Flax seeds

Benefits of Flax seeds

The flax seed carries one of the biggest nutrient payloads on the planet. And while it’s not technically a grain, it has a similar vitamin and mineral profile to grains, while the amount of fibre, antioxidants, and Omega-3 fatty acids in flax leaves grains far behind in nutritive values. Additionally, flax seed is very low in carbohydrates, making it ideal for people who limit their intake of starches and sugars. And its combination of healthy fat and high fibre content make it a great food for weight loss and maintenance

Flax Seed Nutrition

Flax seed is high in most of the B vitamins, magnesium, and manganese. There are three additional nutrient groups which flax seed has in abundance, and each has many benefits.
Flax seed is Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are a key force against inflammation in our bodies. Inflammation plays a part in many chronic diseases including heart disease, arthritis, asthma, diabetes, and even some cancers. This inflammation is enhanced by having too little Omega-3 intake (such as in fish, flax, and walnuts), especially in relation to Omega-6 fatty acid intake (in such oils as soy and corn oil). In the quest to equalize the ratio of these two kinds of oils, flax seed can be a real help.
Most of the oil in flax seeds is Alpha Linoleic Acid (ALA). ALA is an Omega-3 which is a precursor to the fatty acids found in salmon and other fatty cold-water fish (called EPA and DHA). Because not everyone is able to easily convert ALA into EPA and (especially) DHA, it is best not to rely solely on flax for your Omega-3 intake, but ALA also has good effects of its own, and definitely helps in the Omega 3/6 balance.
Flax Seed is High in Fibre: both soluble and insoluble. This fibre is probably mainly responsible for the cholesterol-lowering effects of flax. Fibre in the diet also helps stabilize blood sugar, and, of course, promotes proper functioning of the intestines.

Phytochemicals

Flax seed is high in phytochemicals, including many antioxidants. It is perhaps our best source of lignans, which convert in our intestines to substances which tend to balance female hormones. There is evidence that lignans may promote fertility, reduce peri-menopausal symptoms, and possibly help prevent breast cancer. In addition, lignans may help prevent Type 2 diabetes.

  • – Flax seeds need to be ground to make the nutrients available (otherwise they just “pass through”)
  • – Flax seed oil alone contains neither the fibre nor the phytochemicals of whole flax seed meal

Flax Seed Safety and Side Effects

Lot of research about the wonders of flax show little or no problems from eating it –- to the contrary, it has shown many benefits.
Big Fibre Load: Since flax has such a high fibre content, it’s best to start with a small amount and increase slowly, otherwise cramping and a “laxative effect” can result. People with irritable bowel syndrome may have an especially strong reaction to it, and should be extra-careful.
Oxidation/Rancidity: The oil in flax is highly unsaturated. This means that it is very prone to oxidation (rancidity) unless it is stored correctly. The very best way is nature’s own storage system – within the seed. Flax seeds not exposed to large amounts of heat stay safe to eat for at least a year. However, flax meal, and especially flax oil, are a different story. The meal, stored away from heat and light, will keep fresh for a few months, and the oil must be protected by refrigeration in dark containers, preferably being consumed within a few weeks of opening.

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Cardio Mythbusters

Cardio Mythbusters

 

Myth:

For Weight Loss, Focus On Cardio Over Strength Training
All cardio and no strength is not only boring, but may cause you to burn fewer calories overall. “Strength training builds lean muscle mass, which both increases your metabolism and decreases fat. “So the more muscle you build, the more calories you burn on a day-to-day basis.”
Some strength-training workouts can even double as cardio: A recent study by the American Council on Exercise found that maximize weight-loss benefits by incorporating up to four non-consecutive days a week of resistance-based exercise such as kettlebell, TRX, and weightlifting.

Myth:

Do Cardio First, Then Resistance training
If you’re hitting the treadmill for an intense cardio session and then plan to hit the weights afterward, you’ll have little energy left in your tank for your resistance training. When it comes to doing a full, high-intensity cardio session and an entire resistance training workout, perform each on separate days so that you can give 100% attention on each one of them.

Myth:

You Should Burn at Least 500 Calories During Your Cardio Sessions
Ignore the numbers on the treadmill, cross trainer or cycle console and focus on intensity instead. If you work harder in shorter bursts, you’ll burn more calories even after your workout is over. Use a heart-rate monitor (aim to stay between 65 and 85 percent of your max heart rate) or the rate of perceived exertion scale of 1 to 10 (strive for an 7 or 8 on high-intensity intervals) to determine if you’re working hard enough. Consult a professional before starting fitness regimen.

Myth:

Cardio On an Empty Stomach Burns More Fat
You can’t drive a car without gas, so why expect something different from your body? The trouble with this theory is that the large muscles that power you through your cardio exercise rely heavily on a combination of carbs and fats for energy. When you run or bike on an empty stomach, your body will turn to the carbohydrate and fat fragments in your bloodstream and muscle stores, not to the fat in your fat cells to energize your workout, says Michele Olson, Ph.D., an adjunct professor of sports science at Huntingdon College in Montgomery, AL. This strategy could completely backfire, she adds, as you may become hypoglycaemic (low sugar) and low on hydration, which can cause you to cut back on the intensity or stop the exercise.
Eat something light and easy to digest, such as a small piece of fruit and half a cup of low-fat yogurt sprinkled with a couple tablespoons of granola. And be sure to wash it down with one or two full glasses of water.

Myth:

If You Do Enough Cardio, You Can Eat Whatever You Want
Most of us overestimate how many calories we burn during our workouts; and we underestimate how many calories we’re eating.
Exercise alone just isn’t effective enough to burn fat, a recent study suggests that the average obese person loses approximately 5 pounds of fat over the course of eight months through cardio or resistance training alone. That’s an awful lot of work for very minimal results, so don’t forget the “calories in” side of the equation and follow a healthy diet that delivers the calories you need to eat to lose weight.

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