Do you think you everything about exercise? The chances are you probably still go by the old rules. The newest science and research has started to flip the rule book on almost every issue, including maximizing your fat burning and muscle recovery, so you can finally reach your goal. Here are 6 new rule changes in fitness:
Old Rule: Exercising on an empty stomach will burn more calories and fat.
New Rule: Have a 150 calorie jump start meal an hour or two before your workout.
The latest research in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism has suggested that exercisers who ate breakfast before treadmilling for 30 minutes had significantly more fat burning (for as long as up to 24 hours) than those who decided to eat post workout. This was the case even though both groups consumed the same amount of calories during the day.
Another study conducted by the Strength and Conditioning Journal concluded that people that workout on an empty stomach are unable to push themselves through high intensity workouts. They also have a tendency to lose more muscle and will not burn nearly as many calories.
Some great pre-workout foods can be a banana, half a cup of plain low-fat yogurt, and whole wheat English muffin with peanut butter. Organic beet juice has been popular among many athletes. Beet juice contains nitric oxide, which helps open your veins. This allows more nutrients and oxygen to get distributed to your muscles, which can help fight muscle fatigue and eventual soreness.
Old Rule: Get shoes that supply the most support and stability.
New Rule: Less the shoe, better for you!
There are obviously some sports and activities that call for more support and stability (ex. Basketball, tennis, etc.) but less of shoe actually can help improve your running form. Bigger, clunkier shoes cause you to hit your heel to the turf before pushing off with your toes or forefoot. This can cause almost double the impact which leads to more stress on your muscles and joints. According to a recent study conducted by Penn State, minimalist footwear can help reduce injury rate among runners.
Old Rule: Save your abdominal workout until the end.
New Rule: Keep your core or abs engaged through everything you do.
Your abs are the key to almost any good workout. Our bodies rely on our abs as well as back to perform almost every task in our lives. The biggest job of your abs is to supply stabilization or foundation for your extremities to work off of, so over half of your workout should be geared to strengthening and conditioning your abs. This means that you should focus on doing more exercises like planks and floor runs. In other words all exercises should require stiffening your core as you work against resistance.
Exercises that strengthen the abdominal walls not only improve athletic performance such as speed, quickness, and jumping, but also may help reduce injuries and muscle soreness. What about arms and legs? To make sure you are engaging your abdominal as well as working out the rest of the body make sure you are standing up. For example, squats and lunges will give your legs a great workout while still tightening your abs. As for arms, grab two dumbbells and do flies as well as curls while standing.
Old Rule: Use a Buddy system for best results in the gym.
New Rule: Being a solo act at the gym is sometimes just better.
There are many people that believe it is necessary to have a lifting or running buddy to ensure they workout as well as have a high intensity workout. For some, yes this must be the case due to the competitive nature to outperform another person, but for most people it is distracting. Research from Santa Clara University discovered that most people will exercise harder and longer if they are alone. The study also suggested finding a good partner who is focused and is committed to fitness can be more beneficial but the average person is not this way. It is probably best for you and your best friend to avoid working out together because you will find yourself focusing on your plans for the weekend rather than exercising.
Old Rule: Wait at least a day until your next workout.
New Rule: If you’ve gone hard, you may need an extra. Listen to your body.
You have probably heard that you should at least take a full day off in between strength training to allow your body to recover, rebuild, and get stronger. In reality you may need to take up to 72 hours until you decide on working out those specific muscles again. If you push yourself to hard, you may compromise form, results, and even risking injury. Intensity is much more important than frequency. If you are one of those people that must go to the gym every day, make cardio a larger part in the off days from lifting. It will allow many of your muscles recover as well as it will help your body to lose weight and not adapt to your usual workouts which may lead to better results.
Old Rule: Working out is the only way to be healthy, fit, and in shape.
New Rule: Every choice you make comes into play.
We all know exercise and diet have a lot to do with your health, and will never argue that point but the other 16 hours of the day can make or break it for you. A rule of thumb is the more you move the more you burn. If you work at a desk job like the majority of the United States, make sure you get up at least once every hour. Instead of giving someone a phone call on a different floor, get up and go to talk to them.