When it comes to fitness, there is no shortage of conflicting information. In an attempt to set the record straight, Body & Soul tackles some of the most common polarizing topics here:
- Low vs. High Repetitions: Lower reps (less than 6) favour increases in muscular strength. Higher reps (more than 15) favour muscular endurance improvements. The range of 6 to 15 gives the best balance of muscular strength and endurance. Improvements are best when fatigue is achieved upon completion. This is why the eight to twelve reps range has been adopted as a safe way for people to strength train.
- Compound vs. Isolation Exercises: A compound exercise is one that requires the use of multiple muscle groups to carry out a movement. These exercises are beneficial for individuals who may not have time to go to the gym more than three times a week as they allow the individual to work out many muscle groups in a shorter period of time. That said, certain muscles benefit more from isolation exercise (i.e. hamstrings and biceps) as these muscles don’t change length significantly during compound lifts.
- Static vs. Dynamic Stretching: Stretching can help improve posture, reduce stress and improve mechanical efficiency and overall functional performance, but should you be doing static (involving no motion) or dynamic (involving motion) stretching before and after your workout? Dynamic stretches are typically done before you begin exercising and are a great way to help warm up the body and prepare it for the upcoming workout; static stretches are great for after a workout as they may reduce post workout stiffness.
It might be time to consider taking your training to the next level. Changing the intensity of a particular exercise may be as simple as increasing the weight and/or number of reps and sets or it could be achieved by increasing the difficulty. You can boost the intensity of an exercise by progressing from a modified or beginner version of an exercise (i.e. push-ups from your knees) to an advanced or intermediate version of that same exercise (i.e. push-ups from your toes). Increasing the intensity too quickly can be counterproductive as you risk overuse injuries like tendonitis, bursitis and fasciitis. Your body needs time to adapt to new demands and requires ample rest and recovery between workouts.
The March issue of our monthly e-newsletter – The Fitness File – is available now! This issue covers the following:
- the 7 key components of good health
- fitness tip: mountain climbers
- nutrition tip: be sodium savvy
- club news: waitlist, refer & receive, mask bracket reminder, and trainer testimonials
- staff spotlight: Michael Hales (Physiotherapist)
- studio Q&A: How can I improve my running?
Check it out here.
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It surrounds our environment and comprises most of our existence, and yet ensuring we drink enough water still proves to be a challenge for many people – with profound detrimental consequences to our bodies.
Water is an essential ingredient to human life. Affecting everything from brain function to healthy skin, the more hydrated we are the better our intricate systems function. When considering exercise, water is vital for the delivery of micronutrients to our muscles and connective tissue. Joints that are lubricated are more resilient to the stressors of exercise. Tissues that are hydrated are less likely to experience damage from strains and overuse. Temperature regulation via capillary dilation and sweat glands is optimized and the transportation of waste products within our tissues is regulated. Water is also vital in ensuring proper kidney function and maintaining adequate blood pressure.
Increasing your water consumption is one of the easiest things you can do to improve your overall health and increase your fitness performance.