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New year, new you! Jan 14

Publish date: 20/01/2014

Today's topic is New Year, new you! Pose your questions about changing your attitude towards health for 2014 to our physiologist, David Williams.

Niki asked:

I'm a working Mum, I drop the children off at school around 8am and pick them up at 5.30. There's hardly any time during the week to exercise. I've always exercised but am really struggling to find the energy or the motivation! Do you have any suggestions? Thanks, 

David Williams answered:

Hi Niki, setting a goal and usually drive motivation, what is it that you are looking to achieve? find that out and then set a few short terms goals that add up to the main goal. As for energy levels, being correctly hydrated and eating foods that will give a constant energy source will help. This could be something like porridge with a topping of mixed berries. If you can try to start the day with a mug of hot water with a slice of lemon. Try to avoid refined sugars (sweets, energy drinks et.) as these will give you a small peak with an extended low period.

AXA PPP healthcare asked:

We've had a question from Twitter:

I read somewhere that it’s best not to tell other people about your goals regarding weight loss. Do you agree and if so, why?

David Williams answered:

 Personally i think this can be seen from both points of view. If you do not tell anyone, you have no expectations on you to look like you are losing weight. However, some people might be motivated by positive and negative views of others. I think it depends on individual preference.  

 

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becs1 asked:

I like going to the gym, as I am not an outdoor exercise person. How do you stay motivated, and change your routine, when you haven't got a big goal? (as such)

David Williams answered:

I think its first about settling into the routine of gong to the gym and becoming familiar with equipment and the other surroundings. It can take about 6-8 weeks for adaptations to be visible in the body. I think its best to "cycle" your training programmes every 12 weeks. I stay motivated by having a set session for each day i use the gym in the week. For example i am currently doing a Chest and triceps session on a Monday with HIIT training, Tuesday is Back and biceps. Wednesday is a rest day (might involve doing nothing or going for a swim) Thursday is Shoulders and abs and Friday is legs and abs. Saturday or Sunday will involve a chest and back session with the other day being used for rest. I will follow a specific set workout for each day and perform the same one for 12 weeks. I will concentrate on seeing gains is particular muscle groups such as legs, shoulders and biceps. I recommend using pictures to monitor progress and maintain motivation 

becs1 commented:

Thanks, would you recommend any good resources to see the exercises for the gym? my local gym doesn't have that many

David Williams answered:

Goals can be as big or as little as you want. It may involve your abs becoming more visible. Your trousers becoming more loose or simply lifting a heavier weight or running for a longer period of time without stopping. Think what do you want to do? Do you ever see a person in the gym and think "i wish i could do that"...... try! You may not be able to at the start but eventually through small gains you will get there. I use the example of pull ups. I had a client that could not do 1, so his first goal was to do 1 with the correct technique  3 sets of 1 rep. After 8 weeks he was able to do 3 sets of 3 reps, after 12 he could do 5 and after 16 he could do 6. He now does (3 years down the line) 4 sets of 12 reps with added weight.

I was writing this before your last question...... i have an app for my iPhone that i use to monitor my progress called fitness buddy. This is very good and has lots of different exercises. 

becs1 commented:

Great thanks

David Williams answered:

Also try www.acefitness.org

becs1 commented:

Just had a quick look its very good...

AXA PPP healthcare asked:

Is it true that the only way to really lose weight is through dieting and exercise doesn't actually help?

David Williams answered:

No. Not true. Granted weight loss is greatly enhanced through moderation of diet. However, exercise is vital in the maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Losing weight does not always point to being healthy. Exercise allows us to build lean muscle mass which can greatly enhance fat loss. Exercise and the building of lean muscle also increases metabolism which in turn increases the fat burning process. 

It is often mistaken that losing weight makes us healthy. You can lose weight by not exercising and not eating. Using meal replacement shakes, being dehydrated and undernourished would involve drastic weight loss but it would invoke lethargy, decrease productivity in any activity (work or personal) and put the body in a worse state than it was before the weight loss started, sometimes with very dangerous repercussions. It is vitally important that we have a sensible diet and good activity levels allowing us to feel good and enjoy out lives.  

 

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becs1 asked:

I've heard two different pieces of advice around the ways to exercise - some say cardio first then weights, others say weights first. Do you you have any advice?

David Williams answered:

What came first the Chicken or the egg?............ this is one of those type of questions. There is various research that promotes each as beneficial. I however put it down to personal preference. I much prefer my clients to do a cardio session before progressing to weights. This is because for the majority of them i have them lifting heavy weights, which leaves them fatigued and probably too tired to perform a good cardio workout after. However, i know some fantastic personal trainers that swear by doing cardio last and achieve fantastic results with clients. 

David Williams answered:

I can tell you that research has proven that a good weights session will leave you burning energy for 1-2 after the session. Whereas a good cardio workout will have the body returning to normal after 10-15 minutes. 

AXA PPP healthcare asked:

One from Facebook:

Do you think brisk walking five times a week really is enough to keep yourself fit and healthy?

David Williams answered:

It depends on how intensive the walk is, the duration and your health and fitness goals.

David Williams answered:

If you are walking for an hour at a good intensity, getting out of breath and a sweat on. Then yes this will be very beneficial towards health . If you are nipping the dog round the block for 5-10 minutes and not exerting yourself then no it probably won't be.

David Williams answered:

Guidelines depict that it is important to raise heart rate above its resting level for at least 2.5 hours per week. It is entirely dependent on individual fitness levels what type the activity is but actually feeling that you have had a good bout of exertion is usually a good sign that you done this. If it is easy and you do not feel tired afterwards it probably had very little effect on your fitness levels. Avoiding sedentary behaviour is key to keeping yourself fit and healthy, keep on the move and try to be as active as you can.

AXA PPP healthcare asked:

Thanks for all the questions asked today! Our next live chat will be this Thursday 3-5 with Dr Sarah Schenker on staying motivated and healthy this year! Goodbye

 
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