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Taking the path to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction is undeniably challenging, with many obstacles and the possibility of setbacks. However, physical fitness can be a valuable asset in this journey. Regular exercise offers a range of benefits that support overcoming addiction, including reducing stress, improving mood, enhancing cardiovascular health, and regulating sleep. In this article shared by NuFitPro, we explore the transformative power of fitness in addiction recovery and its crucial role in the overall healing process.
Exercise is a natural stress reliever. When you engage in physical activity, your body releases endorphins, chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and mood elevators. These endorphins help to reduce stress and anxiety levels, both of which are common triggers for substance use. Additionally, regular exercise can improve your ability to handle stress more healthily, thereby decreasing the likelihood of turning to drugs or alcohol to cope.
Relapses are not uncommon during recovery, but they can be managed effectively with the right support. Physical fitness can play a significant role in rehab centers, where structured exercise programs can help individuals regain their strength and resilience. By enhancing physical well-being, these programs can foster a sense of accomplishment and self-efficacy, crucial components in sustaining long-term recovery. Before you decide on a rehab center, make sure you spend some time online researching different facilities to ensure you’re finding the right one for your needs and lifestyle.
Regular exercise stimulates the production of endorphins, often referred to as “feel-good” hormones. These hormones can boost your mood, thereby reducing feelings of depression and sadness that often accompany withdrawal from drugs and alcohol. This uplifted mood can provide the motivation needed to continue on the path to recovery.
Substance abuse can take a significant toll on your cardiovascular health. Regular exercise, however, can help to reverse some of these effects. It can lower blood pressure, improve heart rate, and enhance overall cardiovascular function. As your physical health improves, so too does your capacity to resist cravings and maintain sobriety.
Incorporating exercise into your daily routine doesn't have to mean spending hours at the gym. Even small changes, like taking the stairs instead of the elevator or going for a short walk during your lunch break, can make a significant difference. These small steps can build up over time, fostering habits of regular physical activity that support ongoing recovery.
Regular exercise can boost your immune system, making you more resilient to illnesses. This is particularly beneficial during recovery, as substance abuse can weaken the immune system, making you more susceptible to diseases. By strengthening your immune system, exercise can contribute to improved overall health, further supporting your recovery efforts.
Sleep disruptions are a frequent issue for those on the path to recovery from addiction, often causing further complications in their journey. Engaging in regular physical activity offers a solution to this problem as it aids in normalizing sleep patterns. This leads to deeper, more restorative sleep periods, which are essential for overall health. Sufficient sleep not only maintains mental and emotional stability but also equips individuals with the necessary energy and focus to effectively manage the hurdles associated with recovery. Therefore, incorporating consistent exercise into one's routine can play a significant role in improving sleep quality and, consequently, facilitate the recovery process.
Physical fitness is a powerful tool in the journey to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. By alleviating stress, boosting mood, improving cardiovascular health, integrating healthy habits, enhancing immunity, and regulating sleep, it provides a holistic approach to recovery that enhances both physical and mental well-being. As you embark on or continue your recovery journey, consider incorporating regular exercise into your routine. It just might be the lifeline you need.
If you want to make exercise and fitness a central part of your life, the helpful trainers at NuFitPro can get you started. Get in touch with us today to learn more
Are Carbohydrates Really Our Enemy?
An in-depth view of what carbohydrate foods you should be eating, when and why. A must read for people wanting to gain or lose weight.
I receive lots of questions regarding the eating of carbohydrates and one of the general questions that I frequently get asked is “won't carbohydrate foods make me fat?". This is not the case. Carbohydrates are an energy food for the body and are stored in your muscle and liver for use by the body. Carbohydrates are used by every cell in your body, used by the brain, used for moving muscles, whatever you do the glucose in the blood from carbohydrates are used to fuel that activity.
Most carbohydrate foods come from plant-based sources. The typical sources of carbohydrates that we eat include:
Some animal foods contain a significant amount of carbohydrates, such as milk and other dairy foods. There are different types of carbohydrates such as simple and complex, with the simple carbohydrates being digested quickly. Simple carbohydrates food sources include table sugar, fruits, sweets, soft drinks, and things like cakes and biscuits.
The complex carbohydrates include fiber, which is required for healthy bowel function, and can make you feel fuller for longer due to fiber absorbing water, which increases the bulk of the waste matter. This also makes the waste softer and increases the speed and ease with which it passes through the bowel. In addition, soluble fiber helps to stabilize blood sugar levels because it slows down the rate at which glucose is absorbed into the blood stream. It also helps to lower blood cholesterol levels, which is important for reducing the risk of heart disease. Also, the feeling of fullness which fiber produces can help people who are trying to lose weight to control their appetite.
Some plant-based foods will contain more fiber than others. Good sources of fiber are fruit, vegetables, wholegrain rice/pasta, whole meal bread, many breakfast cereals, nuts, seeds and bran. Particularly good sources of soluble fiber are fruit, vegetables, beans, and oats. Other complex carbohydrate food sources are classed as starch such as bread, cereal, potatoes, pasta, rice, and legumes (dried peas and beans) vegetables, seeds.
Do We Need Carbohydrates to survive?
Carbohydrates are the nutrients that we need in the largest amounts. According to published articles, 45%-65% of our total calories should come from carbohydrate intake. We need this amount of carbohydrates because they are the body’s main source of fuel. They are easily used for energy. All the tissues of the body can use glucose for energy. They are needed for the central nervous system and also the kidneys, brain and muscles (including the heart) to function properly. Carbohydrates can be stored in the muscles and liver (glycogen) and later used for energy.
In absence of glycogen for fuel the body will then
initially use protein from muscle tissue.
The Side Effects of a Low Carbohydrate Diet.
The low carb diet has been reported to be the main diet to lose fat. But this type of diet can have side effects. One of the main side effects is depletion of muscle glycogen and as glycogen is stored with water this also goes which can lead to dehydration. People associate weight loss from loss of water with fat loss, but this is not the case.
Another serious side effect that will affect your training goals is that on a low carbohydrate diet you will fatigue earlier which in turn leads to feeling lethargic and you don’t feel like training. This then leads to lack of exercise and will lower the metabolic rate. Muscle glycogen is the normal fuel choice for your muscle and without glycogen the muscle fibers contract less when glycogen is not immediately available to the working muscle. In absence of glycogen for fuel the body will then initially use protein from muscle and fat, the initial phase of your muscle depletion will be rapid and caused by the use of easily accessed muscle protein for metabolism or for conversion to glucose for fuel. If you then eat an excess of protein this does not prevent this because there is a caloric deficit.
A very important part of the low carbohydrate diet to remember is that when insulin levels are chronically low the catabolism of muscle protein increases, and much needed protein synthesis stops. Another side effect of this type of diet is the muscles and skin lack tone and become saggy. Saggy muscles and skin don’t look good, and you lose the healthy, vibrant look even if you have lost some fat.
Low carbohydrate diets are also a high fat diet which is not healthy. There are research studies that have been done that says that an increase in the consumption of animal products and/or saturated fat leads to increased incidences of heart disease, strokes, gall stones, kidney stones, arthritic symptoms, certain cancers etc. Fat is certainly necessary, and desirable in your diet, but they should be mostly healthy essential fats and taken in moderation. Processed foods/synthetic low-fat foods with loads of added sugars are not the answer. And neither are foods with artificial sweeteners nor added fat. The use of artificial sweeteners has never been shown to aid in weight loss and their use may also cause health problems. Another problem with embarking on a low carbohydrate diet is the lack of sufficient quantities of the nutrients, phytonutrients and antioxidants that are found in legumes, vegetables, whole grains and fruits. These nutrients are even more important when on a high protein, low carbohydrate diet.
Turning Glucose into Glycogen.
After a meal, blood glucose levels rise, the pancreas is the first organ to respond. It releases the hormone insulin, which signals the body’s tissues to take up surplus glucose. From some of this excess glucose, muscle and liver cells build glycogen. The muscles hoard two thirds of the body’s total glycogen and use it just for themselves during exercise.
The liver stores the other one third and makes this available as blood glucose for the brain and other organs when the supply runs low. Glycogen is designed for its task of releasing glucose on demand. When blood glucose levels drop and cells require energy, a pancreatic hormone, glucagon, floods the bloodstream. Thousands of enzymes within the liver cells then respond to release a surge of glucose into the blood for use by all the other body cells. Another hormone, epinephrine, does the same thing as part of the body’s defense mechanism in times of danger.
Conversion of Excess Glucose to Fat.
Sustained high glucose intake in the diet leads to increased fat synthesis. If glucose intake continues after muscle and liver glycogen stores are saturated, the glucose is not excreted or wasted. It is converted to a fuel storage form which has an unlimited capacity. I.e., triglycerides stored in adipose tissue. Glucose is converted to pyruvate by glycolysis. The pyruvate is converted to acetyl CoA, which is the starting material for the synthesis of fatty acids. This synthesis occurs in the liver followed by conversion of the fatty acids to triglycerides (also in the liver) and then transport to adipose tissue for storage. Triglycerides (fat) form the major energy store in the body.
You should avoid all processed (refined) carbohydrates as the processing strips away the nutrient density of the food and rendering it an empty calorie that contributes very little to cellular function.
So Which Carbohydrates Should We Eat?
Firstly, we should omit the foods that we shouldn’t eat like sweets, candy, biscuits, cakes, pastries, baked goods, processed and refined foods like white breads, pasta, white rice, and basically any foods with added sugars. The main type of carbohydrates that you should be eating are the nutrient dense types, these are the ones that contain the vitamins, minerals as well as fiber. Not only are the nutrient dense carbs insulin friendly, but they also supply your body with essential compounds that enhance metabolic function.
Many of the vitamins and minerals contained in carbohydrates are also co-factors that assist the body in fat burning. Others serve as antioxidants that keep the body cells working optimally. Fiber promotes satiety, which decreases the urge to overeat. The nutrient dense carbs include whole grains, vegetables and fresh fruits. You should avoid all processed (refined) carbohydrates as the processing strips away the nutrient density of the food and rendering it an empty calorie that contributes very little to cellular function. Eating these types of foods triggers the pancreas to release large amounts of insulin which in turn turns on the fat storage enzymes while shutting down the enzymes that are responsible for fat burning. This increases the chances of gaining excess body fat.
When considering adding grains to your diet, then choose the brown variety, foods like brown rice, whole grain pasta, and multigrain breads avoiding the white types of these foods. Brown carbohydrate foods burn slower which ensures that glucose enters the circulation much slower, which means that insulin will remain stable and the potential for fat storage is lower. For vegetables choose the green variety whenever possible, as these are extremely low in calories and can be consumed in large amounts. Other vegetables such as corn, peas, and squash have a higher caloric content, but can be eaten in moderation. With regard to fruits, avoid the canned variety as these are normally sweetened. Also limit fruit juices as these normally contain less fiber than ordinary fruits and less vitamins and minerals. Remember also that liquids pass through the stomach very quickly which in turn can cause an increase in blood sugar and insulin levels. So also limit fruit juices.
Importance of Post-workout Carbohydrate Intake.
The post workout meal is the most important meal that someone who is a weight trainer can eat. As mentioned above glycogen is depleted during your training and the liver and muscles are craving nutrients. The release of an enzyme glycogen synthase becomes activated; it is this enzyme that is involved in promoting glycogen storage. This enzyme release and a combination of other transporters facilitate the rapid intake of glucose allowing glycogen to be replenished at an accelerated rate.
But a two-hour delay in carbohydrate consumption can reduce the amount of glycogen resynthesis by 50%, so the need to get carbohydrates within 1 hr. is crucial. It may take up to 20 hrs. for glycogen stores to become replenished depending on the amount of glycogen used in training. The consumption of moderate to high glycemic index carbohydrate foods have been shown to rapidly provide glucose to muscles immediately after training but studies have shown that low glycemic carbohydrates do not provide the same rapid glucose rise. So, the intake of carbohydrates immediately after training is highly recommended but studies have also shown that consuming some protein post training is also beneficial. The protein and carbohydrate mixture both stimulate an insulin secretion which helps in glycogen resynthesis but with the added protein to this meal supplies amino acids to the trained muscle. A recommended amount of carbohydrates immediately after training is at least 1g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight. The consumption of a whey protein works best after training due to it being rapidly assimilated and reaching the muscles quickly at a time when the muscles are primed for anabolism which means that all of the protein will be utilized for muscle repair with little waste. Fluids are also very important as water is stored in the muscle along with the carbohydrate. So don’t neglect your water intake.
How Much Carbohydrate Do We Need?
Each gram of carbohydrate provides 4 calories. You need anywhere from 40-60% of your calories from carbohydrates. There is no specific Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for carbohydrates. Glucose is more efficiently oxidized than fatty acids of equal carbon chain length and can be utilized under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions. Consequently, a minimum of 50% of total energy consumed should be digestible carbohydrates. Increasing muscle activity requires adequate fuel supply for ATP synthesis by muscle. When muscle activity is anticipated, the adrenal glands secrete adrenaline. Adrenaline increases muscle glycogen degradation (by activating the breakdown enzymes and de-activating the synthesis enzymes). When muscle activity ceases, adrenaline secretion is switched off. When glucose becomes available again after a meal glycogen store in muscle are replenished. Glucose can only be supplied to muscle cells either by utilizing stored muscle glycogen or supply from the liver via the bloodstream. The energy value of one gram of carbohydrate is 4 calories.
In contrast to digestible carbohydrates, dietary fiber and other indigestible carbohydrates yield only minimal energy from intestinal microbial fermentation. Metabolism of fermentable fiber yields short chain fatty acids which are absorbed by the colon. Butyrate is utilized within the colonocyte while propionate and acetate are absorbed and transported to muscle and liver, respectively. Fermentable fiber provides approximately 2 cal/g of energy. Indigestible components of fiber benefit the intestinal tract by facilitating transport of nutrients and waste which lowers intramural pressure and promotes regularity.
Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates and tend to have more nutrients and fiber than refined grains. Eating plenty of whole grains may reduce your risk of heart disease.
The recommended amount of carbohydrate intake for a male and non-pregnant female recreational athlete it at least 60% of total energy intake, (assuming adequate intake is adequate). For endurance and strength-trained athletes 6-10g of carbohydrates per Kg of body weight.
If you want to lose fat, a useful guideline for lowering your calorie intake is to reduce your calories by at least 500, but not more than 1000 below your maintenance level. For people with only a small amount of weight to lose, 1000 calories will be too much of a deficit. As a guide to minimum calorie intake, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that calorie levels never drop below 1200 calories per day for women or 1800 calories per day for men. Even these calorie levels are quite low.
The absolute minimum amount of carbs required per day for healthy brain function is 150g.
Written By: Doug Lawrenson
June 18th, 2007
Updated: June 13th, 2020
Intermittent Fasting - two things to consider
BY BRIAN FRANK
1) what “eating window” time of day is best for you?
2) Your body type and IF
I have practiced IF on an off for the past 5 years or so and while the results can be impressive, it does take some getting used to, including initial feelings of hunger and empty stomach growling. These do subside in the first weeks as your body adjusts to this new pattern of caloric intake. However, I have not seen much written about employing IF during periods of mid to high volume training and or intensity. Another area that receives little, if any, attention in the IF discussion is body type and how each may respond. I’m scratching the surface on these subjects here and will continue to expound on them in future issues of EN and ENW.
I have most often practiced and found the 16 hours of fasting with an 8 hour “food” window to be the easiest to manage with my work and workout schedule. My eating hours are being between 11 AM and 7 PM, or noon to 8 PM in the summer when I want to ride and eat later in the day. For those of you who mostly workout after work, this pattern works well and allows for consistent use of Whey/Glutamine before bed for HGH spike after fasting for 3 hours or more.
However, for those of you who do your training early in the morning, you are accustomed to working out from a fasting state, so this is not new. However, waiting until 11 or noon to begin eating is challenging from both hunger and recovery/repair perspectives. If this is how you train most of the time, shifting your 8 hour food window earlier in the day is necessary, to say 8-9 am to 4-5 PM. This allows you to take maximum advantage of your post workout recovery window, but makes for an early dinner and a long evening with no snacking. But, if you want to lean out a lot, this eating pattern works extremely well.
Still another option when workout volume and intensity are high, shortening the fasting window to 14 or even 12 hours will still give excellent results and allow you to have a long enough eating window to have a good meal after both your AM and PM workouts.
Intermittent Fasting, Body Type - another consideration
When I first became serious about weight lifting in college, I studied Bill Sheldon’s three Somatypes; Ectomorph - lean, hyper metabolism, Endomorph - naturally higher body fat, slower metabolism and the Mesomorph - the perfect mix of the two, Adonis figure, olympic athlete, etc. It was then I learned, much to my chagrin, that I am an Endomorph.
I think it’s critical to know your body type, so you know how to train and eat.
However, today Somatypes does not seem to be much discussed or applied to training and diet principles, which is unfortunate. When considering Intermittent Fasting, this should be the starting point in my mind.
Ectomorph - Being lean and maintaining your ideal weight is so easy, you can’t help it. I do not think that Ectomorphs thrive on IF. Don’t get me wrong, it can be done, but it won’t be fun! Ectomorphs are necessarily fixated on not losing weight/lean muscle mass and have to eat sufficient calories every day and always consume calories during training to avoid this problem. Over the age of 50 gradual muscle loss is a major concern that should be proactively addressed with adequate daily protein intake and avoiding long periods without food during the day.
Mesomorph - IF works well to get super lean and shed those couple of pounds that you don’t need. You are so gifted naturally, you don’t really need much help. Of course, if you do get serious about your diet and practice IF, you likely will be winning most of the time.
Endomorph - That’s me and is the most common female body type. We struggle with easy weight gain, must restrict calories and workout to prevent it. We are prone to insulin resistance, hypoglycemia and type II diabetes later in life. On the flip side, we can be fat burning machines that never bonk! Honestly, without a doubt, Intermittent fasting combined with sugar and starch restriction is what our body’s crave and thrive on! To be clear, eliminating the sugar and starchy carbs is the #1 factor, but IF specifically improves insulin function, increases HGH levels while also reducing levels of our hunger hormone, Grelin.
** These statements are not intended to diagnose or treat any medical condition or give medical advice. You should consult a licensed health care professional before making significant changes to your diet or supplement routine.
NuFitPros takes your fitness goals seriously. We understand that reaching a healthy body composition is more important than simply losing weight. Our goal is to help you understand the difference and reach your goals. Call (323) 327-9201.
The lovely world of cardio, we have to love it right? Cardio has countless benefits for the human body, so it must be good for us, right? How else do you think all the celebrities stay so skinny and “toned?”
How many times have you seen people get to the gym and hop on a cardio machine and just gas themselves, and not to mention go do some resistance training right after. Or what about when someone gets done from an intense lifting session, then goes off and does an intense cardio session?
We know you’ve seen this before and we are not going to get into the psychology of why people do this because that could be a whole other article itself. We are more focused on is it optimal to perform cardio pre and post workout? With a specific focus on which cardio modality (type of cardio you do) is the best to perform to avoid the interference effect of strength, power, and hypertrophy gains?
But before we give you the answer, it’s vital that we always have to take people’s goals, activity level, overall health, and training experience into consideration before anything. So please read this with an open mind and a non-black and white answer, all or nothing approach.
When we refer to the interference effect, we are talking about the interference of strength, power, and hypertrophy gains (muscle growth) when doing cardio pre or post workout. This topic of discussion has been floating around for quite some time now, whether concurrent training is optimal or not.
We all have our biased opinions, but what is the correct cardio modality to do pre and post workout and should we even be doing cardio pre or post workouts? That is the million dollar question that many of us would like to know.
Why continue to keep robbing your hard earned gains and progress if you don’t need to. Instead, why not continue to maximize your overall potential the correct way instead of shooting yourself in the foot? As always, we bring scientific based evidence to the table to get to the bottom of these popular topics, because the research doesn’t lie folks.
Before we delve into the research, we want to quote what Brad Schoenfeld said:
“There is no one cookie-cutter recommendation I can provide that will be ideal for everyone. People have varying responses to exercise programs. Large inter-individual differences are seen in any research protocol.
Thus, in giving advice on a topic such as this, I can only provide general recommendations that must be individualized based on a variety of genetic and environmental factors. This is the essence of evidence-based practice, which should form the basis of every fitness professional’s decision making process.” (1)
We can’t agree more with this statement and we truly feel this statement is a legitimate and valid way of viewing such a topic like this one.
We are certain we can all agree that there are numerous different cardio modalities out there today. To name a few modalities that have more ground-reaction force with higher impact are:
Pretty much all the badass cardio workouts that we look forward to doing.
Cardio modalities that minimize ground-reaction forces are:
The stuff we like to watch TV on or read magazines ;)
These are all great choices whether you use them in the form of HIIT or LISS, but which modality is more optimal to prevent the interference effect and when should you do these you ask? Let’s delve into some research shall we.
Layne Norton and Jacob Wilson claim that when you choose a cardio modality such as running or sprinting after a resistance training bout, the ground-reaction force (think sprints) and distance causes more muscle damage as opposed to a modality with less impact such as cycling instead. Cycling seems to be more similar to hip and knee flexion as opposed to running because it’s biomechanically interfering with squat and leg press patterns. This muscle damage seems to be coming from the eccentric components when running and sprinting (2).
Norton and Wilson make a valid point in the essence that if you are going to do cardio post workout, make sure you do it in the form of an opposing muscle group. Let’s say you did a grueling lower body workout, you would then want to do cardio in the form of using your upper body, something like rope slams because otherwise if you go and run or do sprints you are going to get a complete interference effect and possibly get injured.
After resistance training you have mTOR (cell growth) being ramped up and protein synthesis (making of new proteins) being turned on and when you do cardio after resistance training you get such high drastic rises in AMP kinase (signaling cascade for ATP production) that it ends up shutting off protein synthesis. In easier terms, cardio after weights interferes with the muscle growth phase and a good analogy is after training you turn the faucet on for muscle growth and when too much cardio is being done or after training, it shuts the faucet off.
As for pre workout cardio, this tends to be a little trickier than post workout cardio and we say this because it really depends on a lot of factors such as: What muscle groups are you training that day? What form of cardio are you doing pre workout (low, moderate, or high intensity)? What modality will you use? Are you in a low calorie and glycogen depleted state?
A Study in the Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise shows 30 minutes of jogging pre workout decreases volume of spinal discs and leads to a reduction in the amount of weight you can load on your back (3). For example, if you did a moderate-high intensity cardio bout such as jogging before squats it’s probably not a good idea because it will lead to decrements in strength and negatively affect your squats. Jogging shows to have a lot of muscle damage in the quads, hams, and glutes, so this will definitely affect your squat game.
A 2012 study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition showed extended periods of moderate volume concurrent strength, power, and endurance training interferes with explosive strength development (4). This is not something you want if you’re trying to increase your 1 rep max on squats and deadlifts.
The data is pretty clear that performing moderate-high intensity cardio pre workout will lead to decrements in strength and power with your resistance training. Perhaps doing cardio earlier in the day and performing resistance training later in the day will not have a negative impact on either the performance or the measured markers of the exercise induced growth stimulus the resistance training session will have. However, we highly encourage doing resistance training and cardio on separate days as this would be the most optimal route to go.
In a study by Wilson et al. a large body of research indicates that combining aerobic and resistance exercise (concurrent training) has a negative effect on gains in muscular strength and size (5). There is credence to the underlying concept that catabolic processes predominate to a greater extent in aerobic training, and concurrent exercise therefore has the potential to impair muscular gains.
There is even evidence that cardio can blunt the satellite cell response (helps with muscle growth) to a bout of resistance exercise and therefore potentially impair the protein-producing capacity of muscle (6). With that said, why are people still considering doing cardio pre or post workout if clearly the evidence indicates that it can potentially inhibit muscular gains, strength, and power?
Burn more calories, increase muscle, and acutely increase your metabolic rate, sounds good, right? This is where the famous HIIT cardio would come into play. When you think of HIIT, high intensity and high stress should be taken into consideration.
What we have to keep in mind is that stress has to be recovered from, just like the stress from weight training. Last time we checked HIIT cardio is done during the week along with resistance training. If you are still recovering from a HIIT cardio session to the point that it affects your ability to lift weights, then it can be detrimental to your gains. If there is a significant eccentric component (sprinting and running), or high level of impact, HIIT can cause problems in your overall training and potentially lead to chronic overuse injuries.
You have to be cautious and smart when incorporating HIIT into your training protocol because it seems that the work to rest ratios in HIIT intervals are very similar to resistance training sets and your number one focus should be on progressive resistance training.
Here are some ways to avoid the interference effect:
We believe that the research is pretty clear here when it comes to this particular topic. Clearly there is no black and white answer, sorry to disappoint, but at least we have a great indication of what to do and when not to do it. It’s tough to predict that anyone can avoid any interference effect when it comes to aerobic or anaerobic training.
Just like anything else you have to compensate something. We are not all built like machines and able to handle the same workload as others. Genetics always play a vital role in how someone responds to training. Other factors such as nutrition, stress, sleep, occupational activity, etc. All must be taken into account.
Refer back to Brad Schoenfeld’s quote if needed, it pretty much tells you there are only general recommendations that can be given here. The best thing to do is choose the correct cardio modality that suits your training and goals. Always train hard, think logically, and but most importantly train smart.
(1) Schoenfeld, AARR Research Review. Cardio Roundtable Discussion. February and March 2013.
(2) Norton, L & Wilson J. Muscle college radio with Dr. Layne Norton & Dr. Jake Wilson. http://www.rxmuscle.com/2013-01-11-01-57-36/muscle-college/7694-muscle-c...
(3) Kingsley, MI., et al., Moderate-Intensity Running Causes Intervertebral Disc Compression in young adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc, 2012.
(4) Mikkola, et al., Neuromuscular and cardiovascular adaptations during concurrent strength and endurance training in untrained men. Int J Sports Med. 2012.
(5) Babcock, L, Escano, M, D’Lugos, A, Todd, K, Murach, K, and Luden, N. Concurrent aerobic exercise interferes with the satellite cell response to acute resistance exercise. Am. J. Physiol. Regul. Integr. Comp. Physiol. 302: 2012.
(6) Wilson, J.M., et al., Concurrent Training: A Meta Analysis Examining Interference if Aerobic and Resistance Exercise. J Strength Cond Res, 2011.
9 Things to Know
When it comes to increasing muscle size or definition, you’ve probably been told that lifting weights breaks down a muscle, which then becomes stronger or bigger as a result of the repair process. But is this really true or simply another one of the common gym myths that is passed along from more seasoned veterans to newbies?
Well, unlike many common gym myths, this claim is actually based in fact because resistance training to the point of fatigue does indeed cause muscle damage. Specifically, that damage occurs to the proteins that comprise muscle fibers. Muscles are bundles of individual fibers wrapped in fascia and connective tissue. The smallest components of muscle fibers are the actin and myosin protein microfilaments. The sliding filament theory suggests that actin and myosin overlap, and that when they receive the signal from the central nervous system to contract, they slide across one another to create a force-producing, muscle-shortening action.
There are two types of overload that can stimulate muscle growth: metabolic and mechanical. Metabolic overload refers to the amount of work that a muscle performs that depletes it of its available supply of energy. As a muscle is repeatedly exercised to the point of fatigue, the muscle cells adapt to hold more glycogen for fuel. Because 1 gram of glycogen can hold on to 3 grams of water, when a muscle stores more glycogen it can increase in size due to the extra glycogen and attached water.
Mechanical overload refers to the structural damage that occurs to the actin-myosin protein filaments as a result of strenuous exercise like weightlifting or explosive plyometrics. The muscle damage initiates a repair process in which certain hormones, along with the macronutrient protein, synthesize new satellite cells, which are used to repair the damaged muscle fibers. In other words, the role of protein is to help repair tissues damaged by exercise.
Read on to learn nine things about the role that protein plays to support the body during and after exercise.
Author Pete McCall Health and Fitness Expert
These days, Americans can't live without their phones. They can't sleep without them either. According to Sleep.org, almost 72 percent of kids ages 6 to 17 have at least one electronic device in their bedroom when they sleep. Adults? Probably nearly all of them.
Yet overuse of those same devices can inhibit sleep, and sleep is vital for our health in numerous ways. It helps us wake refreshed, keeps our skin looking healthier, our energy levels maintained better throughout the day, and improves our health overall. Things like blood pressure, blood sugars, resting heart rate, and other important health factors stay more leveled out with the right amount of sleep.
Read on for some details from NuFitPros.
When Our Phones Are Harmful
The big issue with our phones mostly comes down to addiction. We're so tied to our phones that we don't go anywhere without them, including to bed. But phones can mess with our sleep in critical ways. It can take you longer to fall asleep, affect your circadian clock rhythm, suppress the hormone that helps you fall asleep (melatonin), decrease your REM sleep, increase your alertness, and make you more tired the next day. Healthline explains the blue light your phone emits is also part of what hurts you and causes some of these concerns.
There are things you can do to reduce the adverse effects of your phone on your sleep, though, and it's as simple as turning your phone on silent or Do Not Disturb mode overnight, putting it further away from your bed, getting a blue light blocking app or glasses, and other healthy habits.
Our Phones Can Help, Too
Phones aren't all bad, though, and there are many positive ways they can actually help with creating positive sleep habits as well. If used responsibly, they can track sleep, help you fall asleep, help with creating a sleep routine, and more.
This app not only analyzes your sleep so that you can learn more about your sleep patterns, like your snoring habits or when you're in REM sleep, but it also has the ability to wake you up when you're in light sleep so that you'll wake more refreshed and ready for your day. You simply give it a time frame that you need to be awake in, and it will choose the best time in that window. It's pretty ingenious what the Sleep Cycle app can do.
Sleep Genius is an app that was developed as a way to help NASA astronauts fall asleep. It uses sounds that can help your brain work through a complete sleep cycle. This enables you to fall asleep faster, sleep better, and wake up at the optimal time for your body. It’s a pricey investment, but it also has the most cutting-edge features.
Headspace is a great app for helping you meditate before bed, get calm, or even enjoy some soothing sounds to help you fall asleep. If you wake up in the middle of the night, it even has a quick meditation to help you fall back asleep quickly. Each one is three minutes or so, but you can also choose longer ones. The great thing is that this app works for all times of the day.
Upgrade Your Phone to Enjoy More Apps
To get the most out of your smartphone for the purpose of helping sleep, it's best to have the latest option out there. There are numerous models to choose from, and having a great plan is a must, too. Look for a provider who offers unlimited data and a broad selection of the latest devices with competitive pricing. That way, you can get an affordable phone with top-notch battery life (important for apps you're running overnight). You can also enjoy the most connectivity for syncing wearables and trackers, and the best and most up-to-date operating systems. This may call for upgrading your wi-fi as well, so check into the latest and most robust modems on the market.
While your smartphone can help you sleep, don’t neglect other practices that promote sleep. You’ll want to exercise regularly and not too close to bedtime. Look to reduce stress before you head off to bed by practicing meditation and taking some deep breaths. Consider your sleep environment as well. Your bedroom should be quiet, dark, and cool, and if it isn’t, consider purchasing a white noise machine and some blackout curtains. When it comes to your phone and sleep, there are pluses and minuses. When used responsibly, a smartphone is a great tool to help you get the rest you need. So be sure to use your phone wisely, and make sleep a priority. Your happiness and well-being depend on it!
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