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Your return to training

While you may feel that you are ready to jump back into your previous routine, you may have some work to do physically before you can get back to your previous level of fitness. When a person take time off from training – a.k.a. ‘detraining’ – they can expect their fitness level to decrease.

While you may be expecting this loss after a long absence, you may be surprised to learn that even a two week break can significantly affect the amount of oxygen supplied to your muscles when exercising at your hardest, a.k.a. your VO2 max. When compared to VO2 max, strength gains will decrease at a slower rate, particularly for athletes who may still retain close to half of their original strength a year later!¹

At Body & Soul, we urge clients to book a reassessment after taking an extended absence from training. Not only will a reassessment help your personal trainer modify your program based on your current level of health and fitness (taking into consideration where you may have lost some strength), but it will also help you identify and establish new and relevant goals.

Reducing intake of added sugars

By reducing foods containing added sugars you can actually reduce your calorie intake without negatively affecting your quality of nutrition!

Think about it – most juices and soft drinks contain added sugars but provide little in the way of nutritional value. A couple of cans of pop can amount to a substantial amount of (unnecessary) calories without providing any nutritional value. There are several ways to reduce your added sugar intake; for instance, replace your soft drinks with water, eat fruit instead of drinking fruit juices and always check the ingredients list before buying food!

Exercising with arthritis

A common fear for people with arthritis is that physical activity will further exacerbate their joint problems; however, in the long-run exercise will most often help with joint pain and weakness. It is actually inactivity that will accelerate problems by increasing your risk of health issues and the risk of osteoporosis (decreased bone density and increased susceptibility to fractures).

Your fitness program should be developed with consideration to cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and endurance and joint mobility. Keep in mind that exercise (when done properly) seldom negatively impacts one’s health; however, you should still always speak with your doctor before beginning a new workout program.

Why is strength training important?

A well rounded workout routine, one that includes strength training, will help prevent the onset of many health issues including osteoporosis, stroke and heart disease. Often when people hear the term strength training they think only of lifting weights; however, there are a number of ways to perform strength exercises without weights; for instance, the use of resistance bands or your own body weight.

Incorporating strength exercises into your workout will help increase your overall strength as well as your muscular endurance. Additional benefits include stronger bones, increased flexibility, better stamina and improved circulation.

Strength training is a necessary part of any well rounded workout routine. Keep in mind that as you age you begin to lose bone density which is typically much harder to improve or maintain the longer it is overlooked. The best time to start strength training is now!

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What’s more important?

When it comes to health and fitness goals – weight loss, strength gains, more energy or general fitness – the question of whether nutrition or exercise is more important often comes up. Unfortunately, many self-proclaimed experts will argue for one or the other; however, in the end it really depends on your “bigger picture” goal. Is your goal simply to lose a certain number of pounds or is it to maintain a healthy weight and feel good about your body long-term?

If you have a weight loss goal then it is important to note that achieving that goal will strongly depend on your ability to maintain a good nutritional routine that includes a caloric deficit (burning more calories than you eat). However, establishing a strong workout routine will not only improve your metabolism, but it will also help you develop muscles and shape your body which will ultimately help you look and feel better! In our experience, clients with a healthy and strong nutritional routine and a good commitment to fitness tend to report a high level of satisfaction with their health, level of fitness and zest for life!