It’s no secret that protein is a key player in building muscle and shedding fat.
However, many people might not realise how the results we achieve may be affected by the timing of our protein intake. New research suggests that the benefits to be had from increased protein consumption – including boosted metabolism, maintenance of lean muscle and increased feelings of fullness – may only be achieved if our protein intake is balanced throughout the day. This study – conducted by the University of Missouri – suggests we should aim to eat at least 30 grams of protein at each meal. This should include high-quality ‘complete’ proteins such as meat, eggs and dairy, which have essential amino acids for muscle growth and repair. Breakfast is especially important; eating enough protein at this time will help with appetite control for the rest of the day. No more all-day grazing and unwanted snacking for us.
Are you the late night fridge-raider who can’t seem to shake that hunger? You’re not alone, and apparently you have your brain to blame.
Using an MRI scanner to monitor the brain activity of several students, researchers at Brigham Young University discovered that, after looking at pictures of high-calorie food several times
during the day, neural responses – or spikes in brain activity – were lower at night. This means that our brain doesn’t find the food we eat at night as visually rewarding as it does during other times of the day, even though our actual hunger and ‘fullness’ levels – also measured during the study – remain the same. We therefore end up feeling less satisfied with our food intake, and look to eat more to achieve total satisfaction. Looks like you’ve only got your brain to blame for those midnight feasts.
Love running but hate the treadmill?
Well, Ohio State University researchers are looking to change your mind with a newly designed treadmill that automatically matches the speed of the machine to the pace of the runner. This new equipment hopes to recreate the outdoor running experience by removing the need for manual speed change buttons. Instead, if the runner picks up pace and moves towards the front of the belt, the speed increases. If the runner slows down and moves towards the back of the belt, the speed decreases. Treadmill running now has the potential to be as subconscious as the experience with outdoor running. These features have also recently been patented by the developers at Ohio State, in an effort to encourage funding towards the finished, commercialised product, and we for one are very excited to see it.
Did you ever want to join the circus? Here’s the next best thing.
Originating in Hollywood, new fitness trend ‘Trapfit’ uses trapezes to allow its participants to swing their way to a better body. Combining aerial arts, interval training and body strengthening, Trapfit lets you relive your childhood during your mid-air workout, as you swing from professional-level trapezes. To avoid injury, classes begin with a 20-minute warm-up on the ground, followed by 20 minutes using a heavy ‘jelly body bar’ to warm up the back and shoulder muscles before exercise begins on the trapeze itself. However, those looking to try Trapfit are advised to have a decent level of fitness beforehand. If not, joints will be extended past their normal range, risking injury without engaging the muscles properly. So make sure to prepare yourself well for what could be the most fun ever had during your workout.
If you’re getting tired of the current coconut water craze, we’ve got just the thing.
Alo – a company new to the UK – has created a healthy, refreshing new drink made straight from the Aloe Vera leaf itself. It’s available in a range of flavour combinations including watermelon and peach, pineapple guava and sea buckthorn, pomegranate and cranberry, wheatgrass, and honey; Alo promises a flavour to suit everyone. To boost that healthy dose, these drinks also come complete with little pieces of aloe vera, allowing for better taste and stronger benefits. After making sure their product contained no genetically modified organisms (GMO’s) and came straight from the plant itself, these guys managed to become finalists in The Natural and Organic Awards here in the UK. Healthy hydration never tasted so good.
Fitness junkies across America are being offered a new opportunity to test their fitness abilities, with the latest group class being offered by Lifetime Fitness, in collaboration with retailer Target.
The ‘C9 Challenge’ class is designed to target 9 core areas of the body in just 39 minutes, providing a quick full-body workout for those that hate having to spend long amounts of time in the gym. Starting with a warm up, the session then moves on to work on the upper body, lower body and core, ending with a one minute cardio blast for that metabolic after burn. Titled ‘C9’ to highlight the new range of active wear that Target has released, this class also encourages participants to look great whilst they sweat it out. We’re staying hopeful it’ll make its way to the UK soon.
Think to yourself – how long do you spend on your feet at work each day?
Research from the British Heart Foundation suggests that on average, we spend only 30 minutes a day walking around at work, a lifestyle that could lead to cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. In an effort to tackle this, the University of Chester has just started the longest standing experiment ever conducted, monitoring 24 customer service agents at a Virgin Media call centre in Sheffield. These workers – separated into two groups – will use adjustable sit-stand desks to stand for at least two hours every day whilst at work. The groups will be monitored individually for six months, with the whole study spanning one year. Both physical and psychological well-being measurements will be taken to assess exactly how standing may benefit us in the long term – could this be the future of all office jobs?
It seems mid-air suspension is the new craze taking over the fitness world.
One of the latest fitness classes to fall under this category is ‘Aerial Hoop’ which uses steel hoops suspended from the ceiling to create another circus-styled mid-air workout. Incorporating elements of gymnastics and acrobatics, aerial hoop sees its participants carry out a variety of shapes and poses, alongside spinning and the splits, to help increase strength, core stability, flexibility and endurance. Pole Perfect Fitness studio in King’s Lynn has seen a steady increase in popularity since it started teaching aerial hoop in December, including classes for children aged 5 to 11. So if you find your gym seems a little emptier these days, you can assume those missing are throwing shapes mid-air in a studio nearby.