Connect with us

From This Month’s Mag – Composite

woman getting tested running


From This Month’s Mag – Composite

Stretch To Destress

Pilates is so all powerful that it nearly has the one-and-done thing going for it. A new paper in >The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research got women with hypertension to slap themselves into the thick of a Pilates class to see what impact it would have on their ticker and what they found was a single session reduced blood pressure by a staggering 5-8mm Hg. That’s near-on medication level benefits, not to mention the upticks in core strength, flexibility and full-body strength. Imagine what kind of condition you’d find your heart in if you pretzelled yourself into a few more classes each week.


Randomized Controlled Trial

Research rating 4/6


No Frills Wins

The TV and internet can be like coiled snakes waiting to sell you that thing you really don’t need, so your life or workouts can be easier. And despite the glitzy promotions, it’s nice to know simplicity continues to win because easier is never more effective. In a clear attempt to win customers, the 5 Minute Shaper was pitted against crunches to see which worked the best for ab activation, but a paper in >The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found the crunch produced greater EMG activity in the abdominals. This is not the first time crunches have been victorious, because in past studies they’ve also beat out Ab Wheels and Ab Circles. Long live the queen of the flat tum, because she’s completely free, bar the cost of sweat.


Randomized Controlled Trial

Research rating 4/6



The number of flights of stairs you should walk up in roughly 45 seconds, if you plan to live longer than other women.

Source: European Association of Cardiovascular Imaging.

4,714 women were part of the study

64 was the average age


Cohort Observational Study

Research level 3/6


Worry Not

Getting into a serious relationship with the gym is always a goal worth shooting for but what if you’ve commitment phobia of that nature?  Golfsupport conducted a survey asking 1,438 women from different parts of the world about their experience using the gym, and they found these were the most common fears


Being harassed 78%

Solution: Go to a women-only gym (Although we do not condone this behavior whatsoever, and this shouldn’t be a thing.)


Not knowing how to use a machine 61%

Solution: Hire a trainer for just three sessions


Worried about how they look 48%

Solution: Go at off-peak hours or early morning


Fear of judgment 43%

Solution: Go with a friend


Building too much muscle 32%

Solution: Don’t worry – you won’t without all the male testosterone in you


Carb Controversy

Carbs are energy but Dr Peter Foley, Medical Officer for Diabetes Digital Media, thinks otherwise. Here’s a viewpoint from a different perspective


Carbohydrate-Free Energy

A research study which essentially pitted two teams of experienced endurance runners against each other. 10 of them ate a diet in which carbohydrate accounted for 60% of their calories. The other team of 10 ate a very-low-carb diet in which only 10% of calories came from carbohydrate. The runners were instructed to run for three hours and their ability to burn fat was monitored. The results showed that, not only were the runners on a very-low-carb diet perfectly able to run for three hours straight, they also burned more body fat than the high-carb team.


Body Adaptations

The human body can cope with exercising without carbohydrate in several ways. Firstly, there’s the sugar we store in our muscles as glycogen. It doesn’t matter whether you are on a low-carb or a high-carb diet – either way, your body will maintain a plentiful supply of stored sugar (glycogen) which will be available for use when exercising. Secondly, as we’ve seen above, the body can also burn body fat for energy whilst exercising.


Famous Low Carb Athletes

A striking example is Tour De France-winning cyclist Chris Froome who overhauled his diet to reduce his carbohydrate intake and replace it with more fat and protein. The change in diet enabled Chris to maintain a low but muscular body weight and helped him to win three Tour de France titles.


Fuel Your Training

One of the best ways to approach this is to try for yourself. A low-carb diet is any diet involving <130g of carbs in a day. When you focus on natural and fresh foods, you can eat a lot of fresh vegetables – especially greens – while still coming well under 130g in a day. The best way to approach this is to be your own experiment – see what works for you. It may not work for everyone, but always try to assess if it works for your training, body type and goals.









Continue Reading
You may also like...

More in Health

To Top