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BESTFIT Issue 15 – News

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news-coverIf you’ve ever struggled to explain to others the high you feel when out on a run, we can help you out. A new study shows the effects had by leptin on the dopamine neurotransmitter, which elicits motivation.

Researchers at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre studied voluntary wheel running in mice in cages, comparing the physical activity of normal mice with those that had undergone genetic modification to suppress a molecule activated by leptin (STAT3). Results showed that normal mice were less active because this molecule would signal that energy reserves were sufficient; when this is not the case, our brain tells us to become active and look for food. The release of this molecule would therefore tell us that there is no need to be active and look for food, which, in doing so, would give us that ‘runners high’ feeling as a result of the dopamine neurotransmitter. A pretty technical explanation for our love of running.

intensity-slow-downWe all know that high intensity workouts are a great way to shape up, but have we actually been secretly dreading each 20/30-minute mad tempo routine that HIIT gives us?

Apparently so. It seems that a lot of us are now adding slower paced and lower intensity routines into our fitness schedules, with Bliss Yoga and Glow Vinyasa Flow Yoga becoming more popular when looking to reduce the pace of our workouts. Slow has also become the basis for new fitness plans, such as the ones on offer at Inform Fitness in New York in which participants reduce the pace of their reps to 10 seconds up and 10 seconds down, push or pull. This reduction in speed has also been recognised in a report issued by the American Council on Exercise, suggesting that whilst HIIT just beats slow-mo in calories burned, the benefits of both are still important when looking to get lean. So no need to feel guilty if you want to take a breather from doing those burpees.

aquaspinFor anyone that loves swimming, spinning or a combination of both, this could be exactly what you’re looking for.

A new fitness trend making its way across Australia puts stationery spinning bikes under water for the ultimate fat-fighting combination. AquaSpin advocates the benefits of the high-intensity spinning coupled with the constant resistance of the water, helping you to burn a decent 800 calories in one session. It also promises less soreness, due to the aqua massage created by the water, allowing you to feel less of the burn during your workout and none of the soreness after it. If that wasn’t enough to convince potential aqua spinners, this class also promises a low-impact workout that will help to reduce cellulite and improve blood circulation. What more could fitness fanatics ask for?

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fat-its-all-in-the-headHaving trouble shifting those last few pounds? If so, there may be a new solution on the horizon to help you fight the fat.

A new research study conducted by the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência in Portugal and the Rockefeller University in the US has examined how the brain signals back to fat tissue to induce fat breakdown when leptin levels in the body are high. Researchers, after studying the white fat tissue of mice, discovered that when sympathetic neurons within the tissue were activated, a neurotransmitter called norepinephrine was released, signalling the fat cells to start fat hydrolysis. In short, there could be a way to induce fat breakdown by stimulating parts of the brain. As a result, head researchers are now hopeful that the results of this study will lead to the introduction of therapies that tackle central leptin resistance in obese people. Sounds good to us.

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sand-trekFor anyone that loves to run on the beach but hates being outside during the dreary and cold British winter months, you may soon be able to keep warm and still workout on the sand.

A new treadmill prototype called SandTrek promises to simulate walking or running on sand whilst remaining indoors, with users able to sink their feet into the sand as they would do on a beach. When discussing the range of benefits to be had from the machine, it’s creators focused specifically on the rehabilitation properties that it brings. They suggested that running on sand allows for lower impact training stimulus as opposed to running on harder surfaces, also demonstrated within various research studies. The machine itself offers users a running speed of 7km/per hour and if successful, will cost between £7,900 and £9,900 to buy. Worth it we think… especially if you’re missing out on beach runs during the winter.

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kangoo-powerThe Aussies have done it again, pioneering the world of fitness with a brand new workout regime promising plenty of calorie-burning fun.

Using specially designed ‘bouncing shoes’ Kangoo Power offers the newest addition to the dance-styled fitness classes, being held at places such as Mix-Fit in Australia. Whilst the shoes themselves are a little pricey – one pair will set you back around $300 (about £140) – participants have the option to borrow a pair in order to get their workout done. The routine itself promises to build muscular strength and cardio-respiratory endurance simultaneously, with high-intensity moves that will help you to burn 500 calories in just one hour. Not only does it help you slim down, it can also improve balance, bone density and oxygen flow, meaning there’s really not a lot of reason why you wouldn’t want to try it.

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fat-waterThrowing a curveball into the world of low-fat health trends is the brains behind FatWater, a new drinks product promising a better source of energy than those given by traditional sugary sports drinks.

In opposition to the insulin spike and sugar crash you can experience from other drinks, FatWater uses a patented nano-fusion of Bulletproof XCT Oil – made from Medium Chain Triglycerides (MCT’s) found in coconut oil – and purified water. The result is clean-burning MCT energy that won’t store as fat if not used, but will instead be excreted by the lungs and kidneys. Whilst fat may not sound great-tasting, the creators of this drink promise to keep your taste buds happy with natural flavours including Berry, Orange and Lemon. If clean energy and great taste aren’t enough to get you sampling this drink, FatWater also comes packed full of B-Vitamins to keep your nervous system in check. Hydration at its best, we think.

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friends-with-benefits

If you’ve been lacking motivation going to the gym in recent weeks, then help might be at hand thanks to your health and life insurance.

Health Rewards are attempting to motivate and support more and more people to adopt a healthy lifestyle by rewarding them for not only signing up to their policies, but also for the exercise you put in, with a host of fantastic benefits. They use their exclusive partnerships with VITALITYLIFE AND VITALITYHEALTH to make it easier and cheaper for policy members to get active.

Of course, there are varying levels of support to match your budget, but whatever level your sign up for, you can tap in to their professional wellbeing advice and support, as well as gain valuable life and health cover. They offer some pretty decent benefits, too. With weekly rewards including free cinema tickets, free coffee at Starbucks, iTunes vouchers, discounts on holidays and annual cash back, there are always things to help you stay motivated. In September, members were able to get 50% of a Garmin or Polar. The wearable tech is great when it comes to measuring your steps, setting fitness goals and keeping you in check by sending you updates, prompts and other useful stats. Something to think about if you’re looking for an alternative to your existing cover, or just something else to help motivate you.

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