Staying Active in Cold Weather

The change of seasons causes the ambient temperature changes as well. As we are currently in the winter season, the temperatures drop. When it comes to physical activity, some individuals choose to take exercising indoors and some choose to workout outside in the cold.

However as the temperatures are low outside, the temperature of our muscles can also drop, which makes this a huge aspect for the sporting performance.

One of the biggest considerations for training in the cold is the warm up. It is very important to warm up before any type of physical activity especially cold weather, as the cold temperatures can significantly reduce muscle function. The decline of muscle temperature may result in reduced force up to 20% studies suggest, and they can take longer to build force.

As we know that the brain sends signals to the muscles via nerves, the rate of nerve conduction slows down in cold circumstances. On the other hand, muscles produce heat when they are activated, which therefore provides a protection from the cold.

Warm up before exercise is crucial in such low temperatures, and can decrease the risk of injury up to 40%. Additionally, warm ups that consist of strengthening, jumping, balance, and agility exercises potentially reduce the risk of non-contact injuries such as ACL-tear. However, exercise form is of a huge importance in such circumstances.

Some people rush the warm up section of the workout and neglect its importance, so take some quality time and put effort in to doing correct and effective warm up with good form. This will also make you feel better and ready for exercising in the cold.

Most physical activities outdoor include running, rope skipping, jumping, and others. Studies suggest that dynamic stretching during warm up could be more effective than static stretching.

Examples of dynamic stretch can be forward lunges with a twist, knees to chest, high knees, and side shuffle. Static stretches on the other hand include stretch holds for 5-30 seconds, such examples are standing hamstring stretch, shoulder, chest, back, calf, and adductor stretches.

It is suggested that dynamic stretches can help with the warm-up of muscles and improve performance more than prolonged holds of stretches. Now that we know the importance of warm up, another benefit of it is the improved muscle flexibility and readiness for the upcoming exercises.

A simple jog for 5 minutes can improve flexibility and warm up the muscles, and can help preventing muscle strains which is a quick stretch of the muscle beyond its flexibility limit. Most of the exercise specialists recommend that warm up and stretching is essential, as studies suggests that it’s a way of injury prevention.

However, the effect of warm up doesn’t last forever. It is also recommended the warm up and stretching to last at least 15 minutes prior physical activity to gain most of its benefits.

On the other hand, this means physical activity should be constantly maintained in cold weather while the muscles are still warm and loose, but if you stop and rest for prolonged time muscles gradually cool down and become less flexible which is a thing that we have to avoid. Depending on the exercise or sport, some exercise specific warm-ups may be required.

Reference:

PAY, B. Great Facts And Tips For Warming Up In Cold Weather.

Getting Back Into Routine After the Holidays

Studies have shown that walking just over a mile a day or doing three four-minute bouts of high-intensity exercise per week may be enough to help you maintain your weight and fitness level. By using the tips provided here, you should have ample time and motivation to do that much or more during or post-holiday season.

Reference:

Shepard, B., & ACE-CPT, A. R. Holiday Workout Tips.

Aliotti, G. Gina’s ‘No Gym’Holiday Workout.

Nutrition Strategies For Bodybuilding

Unlike most other sports that use resistance training as a part of their training routine, sports like bodybuilding, powerlifting, and Olympic lifting solely focus primarily on resistance training with very little accessory work. Among these sports bodybuilding’s primary goal is to induce skeletal muscle hypertrophy.

Table 1. Comparison between recommended macronutrient breakdowns from literature

MacronutrientHelms, Aragon and FitschenLambert, Frank and Evans
Protein2.3-3.1g/kg BW25-30% EEI
CarbohydrateRest55-60% EEI
Fat15-30% EEI15-20% EEI

The consumption of 55-60% of calories in form of carbohydrates in both off-season and pre-contest periods is considered to be beneficial in regards to maintenance of training intensity. Guidelines on this field suggest an intake of carbohydrates up to 6g/kg of body mass for male strength athletes.

Finally the fluid consumption also requires close monitoring. Leiper, Carnie and Maughan (1996) express that the daily amount of fluid loss can exceed 3L in inactive populations, and this number in active populations can almost reach up to 5L.

Aydin Parmaksizoglu

IG: aydinpar

References:

(Slater and Phillips, 2011)

(Lambert and Flynn, 2002)

(Lambert, Frank and Evans, 2004)

Fresh Food is the Best Food!

All this can make daily food consumption monotonous and poor in macro and micro nutrients such as the quality protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals, which in theory we know a lot about but we do not apply in practice. Therefore it is necessary to change the processed foods with foods rich in quality macro and micro nutrients as well as antioxidants.

Why we should do this? Well, here are some important reasons of why we should consume whole and fresh foods more frequently to boost our diet and therefore our health:

  • The modern diet is expensive for our immune systems – nearly 70% of our immune cells are present in our digestive system which ultimately makes these cells in direct contact with the food we consume on daily basis;
  • It makes a difference in our bodies of what food source we feed it with – processed food requires less energy to digest and absorb, while non-processed food not only gives the body with quality micro and macro nutrients, but it also take part in many important vital processes within the body;

So, to save some time for menu refreshing it is always good to put some effort in our habits such as planning, organised shopping, and creative imagination in the kitchen. Also it’s good always to involve members of your household in all this as you give everyone appropriate tasks to do, as it breaks the barrier of boredom whilst at home.

A Word On The ‘Fitness Lifestyle’

Per prima cosa, se hai appena iniziato il tuo viaggio di fitness, indipendentemente dal protocollo che hai scelto di seguire, stai ancora meglio di prima. Sii orgoglioso, sii felice! Anche se non cambi nulla nella tua dieta, vedrai comunque alcuni progressi. Ma questo non durerà una vita. Alla fine, man mano che progredisci, ti renderai lentamente conto dell'importanza della nutrizione. Noterai che mentre alcuni giorni ti senti molto più energico in palestra, altri giorni ti sentirai semplicemente prosciugato. Vedrai anche fluttuazioni nel tuo peso, ma farai fatica a individuare ciò che lo sta causando. Non preoccuparti! Non è necessario sapere tutto, ed è per questo che noi professionisti del fitness siamo qui. Per aiutarti e guidarti.

A Further Look Into Hydration In Sport and Exercise

References:

Consensus Statement (2004) IOC consensus statement on sports nutrition 2003. Journal of Sports Sciences 22: x 

Coyle EF (2004) Fluid and fuel intake during exercise. Journal of Sports Sciences 22: 39– 55.

Lee JKW, Shirreffs SM & Maughan RJ (2008b) Cold drink ingestion improves exercise endurance capacity in the heat. Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise 40: 1637– 44.

Shirreffs SM, Armstrong LE & Cheuvront SN (2004) Fluid and electrolyte needs for preparation and recovery from training and competition. Journal of Sports Sciences 22: 57– 63.

Shirreffs, S. M. (2009). Hydration in sport and exercise: water, sports drinks and other drinks. Nutrition bulletin, 34(4), 374-379.

Sleep: More Important Than You Think!

Sleep: More important than you think!

Since alcohol is not considered to be an ergogenic aid unlike caffeine it is suggested that athletes should either completely avoid alcohol use or stop its consumption 3-4 hours before sleep time. And that is because contrary to common perception of alcohol as a sleep aid, literature in this field claims alcohol to have a noticeable negative impact on sleep.

An Introduction to Core

rectus abdominis, oblques, erecor spinae, and hip muscles.

However, there are more muscles that are smaller and are located deeper than the larger muscles which normally don’t produce a lot of movement, they only contract statically in order to stabilize the spine during upper or lower body movements. Such muscles include transversus abdominis(TA), piriformis, pelvic floor, multifidi and other muscles in the hip and core. These muscles are divided into global (larger movable) muscles and local (static contracting) muscles.

mutifidi muscles which assist with the spine rotation and extension, which control the motion between adjacent vertebrae. It is suggested that in order to engage the multifidi is related to the ability to contract the TA.

supinae

References:

LEECH, G. (2013). WORKOUT AT HOME. AUSTRALIAN JOURNAL OF PHARMACY94, 87.

Liebenson, C. (2003). Functional “Core” Workout. Journal of Bodywork and Movement Therapies, 7(1), 22-24.

Core strength training for patients with chronic low back pain. Journal of Physical Therapy Science (2015, ncbi.nih.gov) 

Strength Training From Home

Skipping is a great workout that can be done at home

Pull-up bars can also be purchased for home use

References:

Azevedo, A. M., Petiot, G. H., Clemente, F. M., Nakamura, F. Y., & Aquino, R. (2020). Home training recommendations for soccer players during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Harrison, J. S. (2010). Bodyweight training: A return to basics. Strength & Conditioning Journal32(2), 52-55.

Mutz, M., & Gerke, M. (2020). Sport and exercise in times of self-quarantine: how Germans changed their behaviour at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. International Review for the Sociology of Sport, 1012690220934335.

Lipecki, K., & Rutowicz, B. (2015). The impact of ten weeks of bodyweight training on the level of physical fitness and selected parameters of body composition in women aged 21-23 years. Polish Journal of Sport and Tourism22(2), 64-68.