Looks like there might be a new way to burn fat, and it’s all kicking off in Texas. Orangetheory Fitness gym in Austin has introduced it’s fresh style of group fitness, combining running, rowing and weightlifting in an hour-long session with a twist. Each participant is given a heart rate monitor that is connected wirelessly to a monitor in the classroom. Not only is everyone’s heart rate displayed, the monitor also shows how many calories each person has burned and which of the five heart rate ‘zones’ each person is currently in. Apparently, spending between 12 and 20 minutes in the orange or red zone is key to optimal fat burn, as this is where the heartbeat is at 84% of the maximum capacity. In doing so, fitness enthusiasts can look to burn between 400 and 1,000 calories in just one session, with an additional ‘after burn’ of up to 36 hours.
So we’re a few months in to 2016 and already starting to lack the motivation to stick to our ‘keep fit’ New Years resolutions. The solution? A cup of coffee, of course. In response to findings that most of us tend to give up on our fitness regime within the first six months, Professor Marcora – Director of Research at the School of Sport and Exercise Science in the University of Kent – has offered a little advice. Apparently, taking in caffeine can help to reduce the perception of effort during exercise. In other words, a cup of coffee can be all it takes to make working out seem less like hard work
If you’ve ever thought 30 minutes on the treadmill was a challenge – and most of us have – then you won’t believe the new world record set for time spent on one. ‘Ultrarunner’ Susie Chan spent a whopping 12 hours slogging it out on this cardio machine, covering a total distance of 68.54 miles. She just beat the previous record of 66.79 miles covered in the same time period. Susie completed this mammoth feat at Kingston University in London, under close supervision of sports science and exercise experts. 40-year-old Chan – having only taken up running five years ago – is also a mum of two, officially cancelling out any excuses that the rest of us may have been using to avoid jumping on that treadmill.
Although some call it ‘Pilates on Steroids’, many are nonetheless hooked on the Lagree Fitness method that has swept across America and over to the UK. Using the specifically designed Megaformer machine, these classes offer a no-impact program that combines core, endurance, cardio, balance, strength and flexibility training in to each and every move. By performing these moves at a slow, controlled pace, participants are able to activate the slow twitch muscle fibres to build a long, lean physique that most look to gain. Created by Sebastien Lagree, this effective fat-burning style of fitness is now set up in London, stirring up excitement amongst those looking for something a little more challenging.
Just when you thought the fitness industry had thought of every possible way to train, another method pops up to blast fat and build muscle. EMS – Electro Muscle Stimulation – is the latest method to have fitness fanatics buzzing, promising a total body workout using body current. By employing barely noticeable external electro impulses, the electric impulses that our bodies produce naturally are intensified; an EMS full body workout is said to activate over 90% of the muscle’s fibres during each contraction. This means that deeper muscles in the body are put to use during training, making this method up to 18 times more effective than conventional weight training. With all this comes increased blood flow to improve skin, reduce cellulite and tone up the body fast.
The UK is the place to be if you’re looking for fresh new ways to workout. One of the latest additions to this fitness-crazed island is Bodyism’s Clean and Lean class, found in Notting Hill, London. The 50-minute class offers a fusion of yoga for stretching, intense interval training to blast fat, ballet for strength and Pilates for toning. The class is designed to push each muscle group to fatigue and then stop, so even though its tough at the time, you’ll leave the class feeling energised – not exhausted. If this doesn’t sound interesting enough already, before you have a chance to break a sweat, you’re given a ‘berry burn’ shot filled with acai, green tea and amino acids to help release stored energy, and intensify the fat burning process.
Bad news for sun-seekers – and that may be the majority of us – health experts have now said there is no such thing as a ‘healthy tan’. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) has warned that anyone out in strong sunlight for more than a short time should make an effort to protect their exposed skin, using SPF 15 and above. This has prompted new NHS advice urging people to slap on eight teaspoons of sunscreen when the suns comes out. However, health watchdogs have also warned that almost one in four of us don’t actually get enough sun, resulting in Vitamin D deficiency. Confused? So are we. Looks like we all have to strike a balance between that sought after tan and pale skin vitamin deficiency, not forgetting of course, to bring a teaspoon measure on holiday for the sun screen.
There’s a new group fitness class available to fired-up Londoners looking to spend a little energy and have a little fun. Bounce Dance Fit – the brainchild of Italianborn Franco Conquista – is a high energy fitness routine combining Hip-Hop, Waacking, House and Vogue dance styles with commercial Pop and RnB music. After introducing the class in London, Franco is now planning to train up instructors across Europe, and further afield in Australia. Welcoming people of all ages and abilities, this up-tempo class promises a mix of cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility moves for a workout that tackles your entire body. So not only do you get to burn calories and have fun, you’ll also be able to learn a few new dance moves to take with you to the dance floor.
In a recent health revelation, it seems that the key to weight loss doesn’t lie with salads and green tea, but instead with the humble walnut. Scientists from the San Diego School of Medicine at the University of California have now discovered that a diet rich in walnuts can lead to the same weight loss result as a lower fat, higher carb diet. The study examined 245 overweight women over one year, who had been randomly assigned to one of three different diets. Those prescribed the walnut-rich, higher fat and lower carb diet ate around 43g of walnuts a day. Not only did they lose the same amount of weight, but also significantly improved their cholesterol levels – a result of the polyunsaturated fats found jam-packed in to this tasty nut. So, forget the low-fat fad – grab yourself a handful of walnuts a day to keep your body happy.