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Half marathon training

You’re feeling fit, strong and healthy. So what now? If you’ve started coasting from one session to the next now that you’ve made all that initial progress, it’s time to take your workout to the next level.

Not only does your body need a routine shake-up once it’s adapted to exercise, your motivation needs a boost, too. There’s always room to improve, whether you’re a runner, a weights girl or just looking to lose a few pounds – you just need to know how. Try training for a half marathon to break through your barriers and take your results higher.

Become a film star

OK, it might feel strange to watch a video of yourself working out, but it’s a great way to check your running technique. Sometimes a movement might feel right when it’s not quite perfect, which means that you’ve made a habit of performing it incorrectly. So, video footage allows you to see if you need to be more upright when running or need to work on your gait.

Eat for exercise

Keeping your weight in check is simple: avoid refined and processed foods, sugars and trans fats and fill up on vegetables, good fats and protein. But if you hone in on your healthy eating just a little more, you could see a huge pay-off when training for a half marathon. What you eat and when you eat it can have a dramatic effect on your results. Take carbs, for example – most people think they’re best consumed before exercise to act as a fuel, but they’re actually most useful after a tough session when the glycogen stores in your muscles are depleted and in need of replenishment. Plus, we’re more sensitive to insulin after exercise, so the effect carbs usually have on blood sugar will be less significant and less likely to be stored as fat. Win-win!

Know thyself

Get familiar with your genetic body type for a tailor-made workout. Are you a mesomorph (naturally low body fat and able to gain lean muscle mass easily); an ectomorph (naturally long, lean and slender and struggle to gain fat or muscle mass); or an endomorph (able to gain both fat and muscle mass easily)? Knowing yourself will help decipher the best way to eat and exercise for the results you want when you’re training for a half marathon.

Train to compete

What drives elite athletes to get up at the crack of dawn to begin a long day of training? You can bet it’s their gold-medal goal. Luckily, you don’t have to be a professional to have a competition goal – sign up for a half marathon to ramp your motivation up a gear.

Alter your aims

Struggling to blast the last five pounds through running? Want to shave seconds off your PB? Whatever goal you’ve been working on for last six weeks, change it up if your results are slowing. Focusing on something fresh, like a half marathon, can subconsciously change your approach to training, which might be enough of a tweak to get the effects you’re after.

Keep a diary

Studies have shown that keeping a food diary is crucial for successful weight loss. It encourages mindful eating, progress tracking and ensures you can’t get away with lying to yourself about your eating habits. Well, the same goes for exercise. No more skipping sessions, lacklustre efforts in the gym or excuses for giving your workout a miss. Jot down what you did and when, as well as how you felt before and after the sessions to discover what works best for you.

Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

Fitness fanatics warned of health risks

Published: 5:18AM Monday November 04, 2013 Source: Fairfax

  •  (Source: Photos.com)

    Source: Photos.com

A Hamilton-based fitness expert has warned exercise fanatics may be risking their health, if not their lives, from their obsessions with working out.

Waikato University clinical psychologist Jo Thakker’s words of caution come just over a year after 17-year-old Joshua Tanuvasa died while working out at the Les Mills Gym in Hamilton.

While his death last year on September 24 is still before the coroner, Thakker said she was worried others might also come to his fate by taking their passion too far.

There are 31 gyms listed in the Yellow Pages in Hamilton – and this number continues to grow as people turn to exercise as a way to slim down or bulk up.

Thakker said some were taking exercise too far and displaying disorder-like behaviours. She had seen several cases where young men were using supplements and then exercising excessively, some to the point of hospitalisation.

“They’re willing to risk their lives to look a certain way.”

While excessive exercise was not a recognised diagnostic category, it was an aspect of a range of eating disorders, Thakker said.

Young men were being bombarded with images of bulky athletes and feeling like they needed to match up. The reality was that not everyone could achieve such physiques.

Ali Alkadhi, 26, has just competed in the National Association of Body Builders New Zealand nationals.

His rigorous training regime had been “taxing” on both his body and his mind, he said. “Each week, the calories would be reduced and cardio would be added, and as you lose body fat, your mind starts to play tricks on you,” he said.

“I lost my desire for everything. All I could think of was food.”

Alkadhi said he believed all bodybuilders had some form of obsessive compulsive disorder, as they scrutinised every inch of their body to achieve perfection.

But the mental health factor is not the only problem facing keen gym-goers.

Over-exercising can lead to injury, fatigue and your results may even go backwards. Personal trainer and nutritionist Jake Campus said that in the 10 years he had been involved in the fitness industry, he had seen many cases of people pushing themselves too hard.

It was a case of excitement about training and striving too hard to reach their goals that saw most of them getting addicted, he said.

Campus believed about 20% of gym-goers would fall into the overtraining category. This became a problem when people’s bodies were not accustomed to their workouts, which led to overuse injuries and fatigue.

First Place Fitness personal trainer Michael Briggs also saw overtraining frequently.

Briggs said he believed almost everyone who trained went though a period where they pushed themselves too hard, and part of his job was reining them back in.

“You never tell yourself that you are overtraining; someone has to tell you.

“I think the health risks of not exercising are far greater than the risks of exercising. Exercise should be part of a balanced lifestyle,” he said.

While injury was the most common danger of training too much, there were more serious things such as the potentially fatal condition rhabdomyolysis. This is a serious renal condition which is characterised by muscle cell breakdown.

As a consequence myoglobin (an oxygen transport protein) leaks into the urine, which causes problems with the kidneys.

If you or someone you know needs help with an eating disorder, contact Eating Disorders Association of New Zealand on 09 522 2679.

    Copyright © 2013, Television New Zealand Limited. Breaking and Daily News, Sport & Weather | TV ONE, TV2 | Ondemand

    The latest high intensity interval exercise: Hollywood HIIT

    We’re all inspired by different goals and people when it comes to fitness. Whether you long for the curves of Kate Upton, or you’re in awe of the athletic prowess of Amir Khan, celebrity trainer Ruben Tabares has you covered. Not only does he train stars like the aforementioned (plus a few more fit A-listers you might have heard of), which means he’s used to the pressure of achieving results quickly, but his variety of clients means that he can help you reach any fitness goal.This full-body workout below, devised especially for WF readers, will boost your fitness thanks to its low rest periods and bursts of high intensity. Combined with smart eating, it also promises to boost fat-loss

    Get fit for summer

    Summer is on its way (we hope!). Maybe you’re planning to go away and have been fretting about gaining a few extra pounds around your waistline. Not to mention the dreaded cellulite you discovered when when you got your bikini out.

    There’s nothing like a beach holiday to get you motivated to loose weight so, before you pack your shorts and skimpy dresses, maybe it’s time to get rid of toxins, fat and fluids trapped under the skin. The quickest way? Up your fitness regime. Using the right fitness equipment, at home or in the gym, will help you reach your fitness and weight-loss goals.

    Whether it’s a bike, treadmill or simply a fitness mat to do leg raises, the right equipment and exercise all help the battle against cellulite. Eating coloured fruits such as papaya and mango is another way to get to grips with unsightly orange peel, while green tea has long been recognised as a natural fat buster.

    But don’t think you’ll have to go hungry – there are plenty of foods you can eat that won’t make you pile on the pounds. There’s everything from brown rice to fruit and vegetables, nutritional yoghurts and even healthy popcorn, while lean protein such as fish and chicken is perfect for keeping hunger pangs at bay. You can find healthy, tasty recipes online.

    If you haven’t exercised for a while, start off with easy leg raise repetitions, sit-ups and calf stretches. These can be done at home or at your local gym. When out and about, take the stairs instead of using the elevator, leave the car at home and cycle to work and go swimming instead of staying at home and watching TV. A change in lifestyle and a positive attitude will go a long way, as will having a session with a PT or working out in a group. So, to look good, in shape and ready to go for the summer, intensify your workout.

    Need a bit of inspiration? Strengthen glutes and hamstrings with the Roman deadlift. It’s one of the most effective moves, using muscles that are essential for other exercises that involve lifting, jumping or sprinting. It won’t be long before your overall body strength and conditioning improves dramatically, making you feel and look good.

    If you really want to go for it, training for a half marathon will take your fitness workout to the next level, help you lose weight and give you the body you’re looking for. What are you waiting for?

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