Blog

What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Working Out?

Rachel Daily : August 22, 2014 11:34 am : Blog

You’re moving! Waiting for school to start back up! You haven’t bought your yoga mat yet, you need new workout gear, you’re just…tired. While we all know we should make it a number one priority to workout, sometimes time just isn’t on our side. Outside of that, even the most dedicated gym rats have lapses in workout frequency when a life event such as a move or a job switch is taking place. Regardless of the time off, we’re here for you when you hop back on the workout wagon! Here’s what happens when you go a little too long without exercise via Women’s Health Magazine .

stop-working-out

Even when you have the best of intentions, life sometimes gets in the way of a fitness routine. And whatever the reason behind it, the absence of workouts will cause your body to lose some of the progress it had made. Here’s how an exercise hiatus impacts your body—and what to do to get back on the plus side—for five common scenarios.

THE SITUATION: You had a crazy month at work and stopped your usual four-day-a-week gym habit cold turkey.
THE EFFECT ON YOUR BOD: Doing a mix of strength training and cardio is optimal for weight loss or control, muscle building, and aerobic health. Stop for a month, and you may notice that some areas get softer, that you’re not able to lug as many heavy groceries, and that you get winded a little faster from taking the stairs. “In a study of beginners who exercised for two months, their strength increased by 46 percent, and when they stopped training for two months, they lost 23 percent—half the gains they’d made,” says exercise scientist Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., who points out that they were still ahead of where they’d be had they never trained at all. Further, the more fit you were to start, the slower the loss; a triathlete on a break may only drop five to 10 percent of her fitness level in a month or two. Still, when getting back into it, go easy. For strength training, start with about 75 percent of the resistance you’d been using—and increase as you feel you can. You’ll be back to where you were in probably half the length of time that you took off.

MORE: The “Get Back in Shape” Workout Plan

THE SITUATION: You used to weight train like crazy, but for the past several months, all you’ve fit in is a few sessions a week on the treadmill.
THE EFFECT ON YOUR BOD: In this case, your aerobic health should be in good shape, though you may notice that your strength and muscle tone have diminished some. Without weight training, you’ve likely lost muscle mass and gained some fat, even if the number on the scale stays the same. “Surprisingly, research shows that longtime endurance runners lose muscle mass at the same rate—five pounds per decade—as everyone else, including the sedentary,” says Westcott. “Running and other cardio activities don’t build or maintain muscle mass.” Add some strength back to your bod, and into your routine, to remedy that in short order by following that 75 percent guideline mentioned above.

THE SITUATION: You ran a half-marathon, which you trained for like a fiend, then gave yourself a few weeks to recover.
THE EFFECT ON YOUR BOD: A break like this isn’t a major problem aerobically for someone who was in really good cardio shape. “You’ll be down from your competitive edge, but it won’t take long to come back,” says Westcott. “Just don’t expect to come back at full-speed right away.” He recommends easing back in using your heart rate (the zones may have changed from when you were at your peak) and perceived exertion—a seven on a scale of one to 10. He also recommends strength training as a muscle-building complement to your cardio workouts.

MORE: How to Make an Exercise Comeback

THE SITUATION: You’ve been really into yoga but now miss the CrossFit you stopped a few months ago.
THE EFFECT ON YOUR BOD: Swapping one workout for another isn’t a bad thing, necessarily. Just know that if you go back to program “A” after doing program “B,” you may not be able to bring your A-game to “A” as you once could. “Unfortunately, training is very, very specific,” says Westcott. He points out that at the peak of his cycling career, Lance Armstrong was (very arguably) the best athlete in the world, yet when he took up marathon running, his first race was a respectable-but-not-remarkable three hours. In the case of bodyweight training (yoga) versus weight training (CrossFit), expect your strength to be down when you first return to the gym. Which isn’t to say you should stop your Oming—no reason you shouldn’t have both in your repertoire.

THE SITUATION: You got injured and haven’t been able (or wanted) to work out at all for six months.
THE EFFECT ON YOUR BOD: In this case, you’ve definitely lost muscle and gained fat (as if getting hurt wasn’t enough of a bummer!), especially if your everyday activity level was affected in addition to the lack of workouts. “Once you’re cleared to exercise, you need to return very slowly, very light,” says Westcott. “Half or less of what you once lifted may be too much; go way down and find a resistance you can do with good form and without pain for 10 to 15 reps.” If you know you’re going to be sidelined (or currently are), he recommends upping your protein intake in your diet to help reduce loss of muscle mass during your time off.

Leave a response »

What We’re Reading: August 21, 2014

allison.glass : August 21, 2014 2:18 pm : Blog, News
Leave a response »

8 Ways to Cut Those Calories (Part One)

allison.glass : August 21, 2014 1:48 pm : Blog, News

Regardless of what you hear from dieting websites, marketers, or infomercials, losing the pounds is not an easy mission. Whether your goal is to really shed substantial weight, or shake those last few pounds, some little tricks of the trade out there can help you tackle those calories without your stomach noticing.

After reading through many of these clever ‘bite-sized’ strategies from the health gurus at Health.com, Huffington Post, and Boston.com, we chose our favorite ways to cut calories and burn a few more each day.

1. Step Away From the Nuts

Especially if they’re in a big bowl. The bigger the serving bowl, the more you’ll eat, Cornell University researchers say. Nuts have heart-healthy fats, but they’re also high in calories: 1 handful (about 1 ounce) of oil-roasted mixed nuts has 175 calories; 3 handfuls have 525. Cut out nuts altogether and save more than 500 calories. Can’t resist ’em? Eat pistachios: 2 handfuls are just 159 calories, and the shelling will slow down your munching.

2. Don’t Eat in Front of the TV

You’ll eat up to 288 calories more, according to research from the University of Massachusetts. Instead, eat at the table, and trade 1 hour of TV for a casual walk. Together, that’s 527 calories burned.

3. Limit Salad Toppings

A big salad might seem healthy, but all those goodies on top can make it more calorie-laden than lasagna or fettuccine Alfredo. Cheese crumbles, caramelized nuts, bacon, avocado, dried fruit, croutons, and vinaigrettes can add lots of calories. Save 500 or more calories by having just one topping, adding flavorful but lower-cal veggies (roasted bell peppers, grilled onions, or mushrooms), and using half the dressing.

4. Use Smaller Plates

Swap your 12-inch plate for a 10-inch one. You’ll eat 20 to 25% less—and save up to 500 calories. You won’t feel any less full, either, researchers say.

5. Count Your Chips (and Crackers)

No, you can’t eat your snacks from a large bag or box because it’s waaaay too tempting to eat until the bag is empty. (Remember Oprah’s blue corn–tortilla chip confession?) A chip-bender to the bottom of a 9-ounce bag is 1,260 calories sans the dip. So stick to 1 serving, about 15 chips—that’s 140 calories—or pick up some 100-calorie snack packs and save 1,120 calories.

6. Serve and Sit

Family-style meals, with platters and bowls of food on the table, invite people to go back for seconds and thirds. Cut hundreds of calories by filling plates before bringing them to the table; leave serving dishes in the kitchen, too.

7. Skinny Up Cocktails

Syrups, sour mix, sugary fruit juices, and creamy additions turn drinks into desserts: an indulgent Mudslide can have more than 800 calories. Order drinks mixed with club soda, tonic water, cranberry juice, or a squeeze of citrus; or try distilled liquors on the rocks. You’ll save up to 800 calories.

8. Don’t Clean Your Plate

Leave 25% of your food on the plate at every meal, says weight-loss expert James O. Hill, PhD, author of The Step Diet. Save what’s remaining as leftovers for a yummy lunch the next day. If you normally eat 2,000 calories or more each day, you’ll cut 500 calories.

*Calories above are based on a 140-150 lb. person

Leave a response »

Bucket List Bikes – The Rise of the Five Figure Ride

Rachel Daily : August 20, 2014 4:14 pm : Blog

via- The Wall Street Journal 

The prices of even completely ordinary bicycles have crept over $1,000, while the prices of fancier ones can start at $10,000 and keep climbing. WSJ’s Rachel Bachman reports on Lunch Break with Tanya Rivero. Photo: Baum

Last year, Ted Perry dipped into his 401(k) to buy a $20,000 bicycle.

Mr. Perry, of Dublin, Calif., knows it sounds crazy to own a bike worth more than his 2007 Honda Civic. But he has no buyer’s remorse about the custom-built two-wheeler he purchased from bike maker Baum of Australia, which captivated him with its superior welding, titanium frame and willowy 15-pound weight.

“I can’t afford the nicest car or the nicest house,” says the 51-year-old. But he is willing to splurge on the best cycling equipment. “Once you buy it and ride it, it becomes an extension of you, almost,” says Mr. Perry, a production manager at a sheet-metal-manufacturing company who bicycles about 150 miles a week.

Prices for elite bicycles are soaring. High-performance materials, such as titanium and carbon fiber, and more advanced components, including electronic gear-shifting systems, drive up costs. The average wholesale price of a bicycle sold at specialty shops, which generate the most dollars in U.S. bike sales, jumped 75% in 2013 from a decade earlier, according to the National Bicycle Dealers Association.

And bicycle enthusiasts, typically wealthier than average and competitive, seem willing to pay for the most advanced bikes available.

 

Trek, a leading bicycle manufacturer, offers seven stock models priced at more than $11,000. A growing number of small companies make hand-built bicycles, which can be far more expensive than mass-produced ones. Ben Cox, owner of the Newbury Park Bicycle Shop, in Newbury Park, Calif., says he sells five to 10 bikes a week at $10,000 or more. For a handful of his customers, Mr. Cox says, “there is no ceiling.”

Avid cyclist Alan Taylor, strategy director for a Sacramento, Calif., marketing company, vowed not to spend more than $3,000 when he went shopping for a mountain bike in the spring. But he wound up paying $5,000 for a carbon-fiber-frame bike that, at 25 pounds, weighed about 5 pounds less than a comparable aluminum model.

“You kind of amortize the price of your bike over miles ridden, and it gets pretty cheap after a while,” says Mr. Taylor, who kept his last bike for 12 years. “It’s ‘smileage,’ not mileage, and I am really happy with my bike.”

The more widespread use of carbon fiber in bike frames, instead of steel or aluminum, is perhaps the biggest reason for higher bike costs, industry experts say. Used by airlines and the military, carbon fiber is prized for its light weight, durability and vibration-dampening properties. It is also used in bike components such as wheel rims and handlebars.

“You can’t say the words ‘carbon fiber’ without pretty much tripling the price,” says Andrew Juskaitis, global senior product marketing manager for Giant Manufacturing Co., of Taiwan.

Ted Perry, of Dublin, Calif., with his $20,000 bike Chad Norwall

The brand’s top road bike has a $10,300 sticker price, which Mr. Juskaitis acknowledges is “stratospheric.” But he says high development costs mean slim profit margins for such top models. An electronic-shifting system, which changes gears at the touch of a button and minimizes chain wear, can be three times as costly as a traditional shift system. And hydraulic disc brakes, which offer more stopping power, can add 15% to a bike’s price over traditional clamp brakes. Mr. Juskaitis says Giant expects to sell a few hundred of these high-performance, or “halo,” bikes a year.

Research and development are the biggest cost drivers at Toronto-based bicycle manufacturer Cervélo, whose basic bikes cost $2,500 to $10,000.

“When frame designs could be drawn on a piece of paper and built from off-the-shelf tube sets, R&D was a small component of overall cost,” says Cervélo co-founder Phil White. “But designing a Cervélo takes a whole team of engineers, from materials specialists and designers to production engineers and aerodynamicists.”

Most bicycles are sold at big-box stores like Target and Wal-Mart for less than $100, according to the National Bicycle Dealers Association. At specialty shops, the average road bike, designed for long-distance riding and racing, sell for nearly $1,000, the Bicycle Market Research Institute says.

Last year, 35.6 million Americans rode a bike at least six times. That is down from 57 million people in 1989, according to the National Sporting Goods Association. But more cyclists today are true enthusiasts. The number of people who cycled on a road 26 times or more last year is up slightly in recent years to 21.4 million, says the Sports & Fitness Industry Association.

Some 30% of dedicated cyclists have household incomes of $100,000 or more, the association says. In the overall population, 22% are in that income bracket, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Not everyone thinks it is worthwhile spending so much for a bicycle. Dave Moulton, of Summerville, S.C., built and sold bicycles for more than three decades before retiring in the early 1990s. He says high-price carbon-fiber bikes built by major manufacturers exist for “snob value” and so-called “weight weenies” who obsess over superlight cycles. A few ounces make no difference to an amateur, Mr. Moulton says.

John Pryor, of Seattle, paid $10,000 apiece for custom cyclocross and road bikes. Ian C. Bates for The Wall Street Journal

John Pryor, an orthopedic surgeon in Seattle, celebrated passing his medical board certification two years ago by buying a $10,000 bike made by custom builder Seven Cycles of Watertown, Mass. Dr. Pryor, 38, bought the bike to compete recreationally in cyclocross, a form of racing on varied-terrain obstacle courses that is surging in popularity. Cyclocross participation is up about 300% since 2005, according to USA Cycling.

“There’s a combination of comfort, performance, aesthetic and craftsmanship that I felt I got over a mass-produced bike,” Dr. Pryor says. He has since bought a second Seven Cycles bike for $10,000 for long road rides.

Dr. Pryor is hardly alone in doubling up on bicycles. Of Seven Cycles’ customers, who spend an average of $7,500 on a bike, 99% already own at least one other bike, company founder Rob Vandermark says.

Write to Rachel Bachman at rachel.bachman@wsj.com

Leave a response »

New to Route Art? Follow These Tips From an Expert

allison.glass : August 20, 2014 10:27 am : Blog, News

It’s baaack! Our annual Route Art contest is here and we couldn’t be more excited to partner again with the expert himself, @WallyGPX. Creating Route Art may be simpler than you expect. Follow these tips below and good luck!


—-

Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.20.38 AM

Aloha route artists! I’m just as thrilled as you are to be part of this year’s MapMyFitness Route Art contest, and its an honor to have this chance to share a few tips with you. I’ll break down some quick thoughts into 3 succinct categories: Design, Ride Preparation, and Execution.

DESIGN

  • Print a map of your “canvas region” & look at your grid carefully. Do you notice any natural lines showing up that create simple shapes? Sketch an original basic line onto a map…then look closely to determine if it can be improved upon. Don’t see something right away? Consider rotating your map to perhaps see something that didn’t initially appear!
  • Do you have something in mind already? Look at your grid to see if there is a logical place to create your vision. Don’t settle for your “comfort zone” area if another region serves it better!
  • Look at your grid in a satellite view & locate open areas where you can curve your lines and thus perhaps improve your image. The best open areas appear as parks & parking lots. I strongly consider their use if your plan calls for a curved or diagonal line.
  • Create your Route on MapMyFitness and Save, then Bookmark to run/ride later.
  • Once “drawn”, add arrows indicating your direction, starting + stopping points, and any other notes to keep you focused. You may choose to go paperless, or perhaps your “rideplan” will help you during your workout? See what works for you!

RIDE PREPARATION

  • If you choose to use your notes, consider carrying them in a clip or around your neck. This should help to keep the paper from getting too sweaty!
  • Get up for the adventure! You probably feel nervous, especially if you’re working out along a route that you don’t normally travel. This is a normal part of “breaking out of your usual grid.” The good news is soon you’ll be out there focusing on your positioning & having a blast. Trust me, the blocks will seem to fly by!
  • Get to your starting spot. Open your app….& press Record. Stay cool, focused, and enjoy the journey!

EXECUTION

  • Positioning is a zillion more times important than speed. Don’t get going so fast that you are unprepared for your next turn!
  • Stay focused on your line AND traffic. Multitask with confidence!
  • When you’re done, don’t forget to hit Save!
  • It can get exciting, so also don’t forget to drink plenty of fluids!

I cannot wait to see all the creativity about to be blended with technology and exercise! I’ll comment on my favorites in a future blog, so until then, happy trails!

WallyGPX
#GPSadventure!



Screen Shot 2014-08-20 at 10.25.24 AM

Send us your Route Art here, or use the hashtag #sketcharoute on Twitter or Instagram.

Leave a response »
« Page 1, 2, 3 ... 45, »