Archive for the tag - exercise

Is Swimming Better Exercise Than Running?

Dear Davey,

I used to run a lot, but I’ve recently taken up swimming which I really enjoy. However, I’m wondering which is a better workout? Swimming? Or running?

From,
Lucas

sexymaleswimmersHey Lucas,

When comparing swimming to running, there are a few big differences.

The first is convenience. For one, swimming requires a pool – and often a pool membership. If you’re traveling or on vacation, you might not have access to a lap pool. Second, swimming requires more preparation. In addition to showering before entering the pool, you’ll need to pack a bathing suit, towel, goggles, etc. Running, on the other hand, is much more convenient and accessible. You can do it on any street and only need a pair of sneakers.

In terms of calories, it really depends on intensity. If you run and swim with the same intensity, the caloric breakdown is quite similar; there’s not a huge difference between the two. Personally, I find it much easier to push myself on a treadmill versus swimming in a pool – but that is a matter of preference.

There are health risks involved in both running and swimming. Regardless of the exercise, there’s always the risk of injury. It’s important to consult with a physician before starting any routine. Having said that, swimming provides lower amounts of impact on the body’s joints. Because swimming is low impact, it’s a form of cardiovascular exercise often favored by the elderly and individuals with joint or knee issues.

Above and beyond these details, there’s another important variable to consider: enjoyment. Looking forward to a workout is a huge motivating factor; if you enjoy your workout, you’re more likely to stick with it. And a good workout is a consistent workout.

In other words, if you prefer swimming to running, embrace it!

Love,
Davey

 

Study: Exercise Helps Work-Life Balance.

**EXCLUSIVE** A shirtless Kellan Lutz goes on a rigorous workout by the beach in LA - jogging along the boardwalk before showing off his skills on the ringsEveryone knows that exercise is good for your mind. And most of us know that exercise helps the brain, too. But a fascinating new study shows that exercise can help balance out conflicts in life – like the push and pull of work and family life.

The study, which will be published in an upcoming issue of Human Resource Management, surveyed 476 working adults about their exercise behavior and their confidence in handling conflicts at home and in the work place. The adults worked an average of 40 hours per week, and just under a third had at least one child at home.

According to the findings, the participants who exercised regularly experienced a greater feeling of competence. This feeling of competence carried over into other areas of life, including work and home. Russell Clayton, author of the study, noted:

We found that [participants] who exercised felt good about themselves [and] that they could accomplish tough tasks…

In other words, these participants felt empowered to handle and manage the difficult situations and conflicts that most of us encounter in life.

Of course, this study isn’t hard evidence. And it doesn’t necessarily prove a cause and effect relationship between exercise, empowerment and work-life balance. Instead, it’s a good starting point… and another reason not to skip the gym today.

Exercise 30 Minutes a Day: Lose More Weight. [Study]

heater-pounder-maleHere’s something that I see a lot.

Someone – let’s name him Jeff – decides to make a new and positive change in his life by working out for the first time. Jeff is ambitious and doesn’t want to take baby steps. Jeff wants dramatic results as soon as possible, and so he commits to an hour of exercise, six days per week. After a few weeks, Jeff becomes frustrated with a lack of instant progress and feels drained. And he’s having a hard time juggling all those hours at the gym with his other responsibilities. Something has to give. And so Jeff stops exercising.

While Jeff is fictitious, I see this happen time and time again. Different names, but same story.

When starting to workout for the first time, don’t bite off more than you can chew; make a reasonable gym commitment. And now, a new study is echoing that sentiment.

The University of Copenhagen study followed obese individuals on two different exercise programs. One included thirty minutes of exercise per day while the other lasted 60 minutes. After three months, researchers found that the shorter exercise group was more pleased with the program and enjoyed the changes in their lives:

People who exercised for a shorter span were happier, more energised and motivated to lead healthier lifestyles…

 

The group who exercised longer felt drained. Moreover, the shorter exercise group actually lost more weight; 3.6 kg versus 2.7 kg.

So what does it all mean? If you’re truly in it to win it, be wise enough to start small. Start with a truly do-able gym commitment, and then let it build naturally over time until you achieve the results you want.

 

 

http://www.ibtimes.co.in/articles/507674/20130920/exercise-obese-body-weight-workout-sessions.htm

Losing Weight: When Nothing Works?!

Hi Davey,

I’m a 22 year old girl who has always been a bit overweight but now I’m definitely obese. I’ve tried to lose weight through several diets and to stay active, but almost always have failed.

My two biggest problems are 1) I’m incredibly lazy and I just can’t be bothered to go out to have a walk 2) I don’t like most of the fruits and vegetables that are recommended for a diet.

Do you have any tips or some way to stick to the diet and, above all, to avoid being so damn lazy?

Love,
Melissa

yesyoucanHey Melissa,

Thanks for the thoughtful and honest email. I have to warn you, my response is going to contain some tough love.

But first, it’s worth noting that losing weight isn’t just about moving more and eating smarter – though obviously both are crucial to the weight loss process. For a lot of people, losing weight can have a deep psychological component. Often times, weight issues are interwoven with childhood trauma, sexual abuse and so on. Some people eat food to self-soothe. Some people fear being perceived as attractive. Some people fear their own greatness.

In these instances, it’s important to reach out for professional help.

Having said all of that, you mentioned that your two biggest problems are laziness and a dislike of healthy food.

If you’re too lazy to exercise, then health isn’t a priority for you. And it’s a waste of time for you to embark on a fitness program. You need to really, really want the benefits of a healthy lifestyle to stay motivated.

Ask yourself, why do I want to be fit? Maybe you want to have a family and raise children – and be there for them. Maybe you want to live a long, healthy life – and be alive for your grandchildren. Maybe you don’t want to burden your family with the health ailments that obesity will likely bring. Maybe you love life too much to die an early death. These are the things that motivate me… but make your own list.

According to one study, obesity trims 10 years off of your life. If that doesn’t motivate you to take a walk, then I can’t really help you.

And yes, I know that not everyone enjoys eating fruits and vegetables. A doughnut tastes better than kale – but take into account how foods make your body feel. After eating a doughnut, your body feels slow and sluggish. After eating kale, you’re energized and lively. We don’t eat food just for taste, but also as fuel for our body. Make this distinction.

Over time, you may find that you do develop a taste for healthy foods. While steamed broccoli doesn’t excite me, a fresh, colorful salad definitely does. In other words, you don’t always have to pick between flavor and nutrition; some foods have both.

Last but not least, don’t underestimate the power of a positive mindset. Switching from a mindset of I can’t and I don’t to I can and I do makes a huge difference. Be your own loudest cheerleader, even if you’re still unsure of yourself!

Again, thank you for such an honest email. You’re certainly not alone in your obstacles, but I hope you find the strength and motivation to step up and achieve your fitness goals.

Love,
Davey Wavey

Video: Davey’s Urban Street Workout!

Screen Shot 2013-07-29 at 9.27.39 AMSome people grumble that working out is boring. Or expensive. Or inconvenient.

I say, use a little imagination. You can have a free, fun workout pretty much anywhere and at any time.

Case in point: In today’s video, I hit the streets of downtown Los Angeles to incorporate everyday objects into my gym routine. It’s actually a lot of fun and it can provide for a great, heart-pumping workout. Use the exercises that I demonstrate as inspiration and then create your own workout wherever you live – urban, rural or otherwise!

The world is your playground! Have fun with it.

Is It More Important to Diet or Exercise?

Diet-Or-ExerciseHere’s a question that I often get asked: “I want to have a healthier lifestyle, but I don’t have time to both eat better and exercise – so which should I focus on for best results?”

I understand that schedules are tight. But exercising without nutrition – or vice versa – is like trying to drive your car with the emergency brake on. While you may experience results through diet or exercise alone, it’s the combination of both that will really put you life – and your body – into high gear.

But you don’t have to take my word for it.

In a new study published in the Annals of Behavioral Medicine, researchers from the Standford University School of Medicine found that focusing on a proper diet and exercise simultaneously yields better results than changing either separately.

For the study, researchers divided 200 inactive participants, ages 45 and up, into four groups that each received phone coaching. Group one received coaching on both nutrition and exercise simultaneously. Group two received only dietary advice for the first few months – and then received additional coaching for exercise. Group three received only exercise coaching initially – and then dietary advice a few months into the study. Group four only received stress management coaching. The study lasted one year.

Even despite busy schedules, those participants who received coaching for both diet and exercise were more likely to meet national guidelines for exercise and nutrition than any other group.

It’s also worth noting that improving your diet doesn’t necessarily mean taking time out of your schedule. You have to eat regardless; it’s just a matter of making smarter choices. It doesn’t take any more time to ask for steamed vegetables instead of fries when you’re out to dinner. In other words, thinking that you only have time to either eat better or to move more is really a false choice. While exercise does require a time commitment, eating smart does not.

The bottom line: Don’t sell yourself short. For best results, focus on both eating smarter and regular exercise.

6 Do’s and Don’ts of Post-Workout Nutrition!

post-workout-supplementationWhat you eat after the gym is arguably the most crucial meal of the day. After working out, it’s important to consume the right foods to help your body replenish, repair and rebuild. Doing so will maximize your results.

Here are 6 key do’s and don’ts.

  1. Do take whey protein. Strength training breaks down your muscle fibers. Supplementing with protein gives your body what it needs to rebuild your muscles stronger than before. Whey protein is absorbed quickly by your body (unlike slower proteins like soy, hemp or casein) and so they are the best post-workout choice.
  2. Don’t eat fat – even healthy fats. Because time is of the essence, you don’t want to eat anything that will slow down the absorption of key nutrients. Fat (even good, heart-healthy fat) will slow down digestion, so it’s important to opt for food options without much fat content.
  3. Do consume simple carbohydrates. When taken after a workout, carbohydrates restore muscle glycogen. And if you don’t eat carbs in your post-workout recovery meal, your body may actually breakdown existing muscle for this very same purpose. This is really the only time when simple carbohydrates (a.k.a. the bad carbs like those found in many cereals and fruit juices) are advisable.
  4. Don’t eat foods with lots of fiber. Like fat, fiber slows down the digestion of food. While fiber is an extremely important part of your overall meal plan (especially for people looking to lose weight as it make you feel full), a post-workout meal isn’t the time to include it.
  5. Do favor liquid meals over solid foods. Solid foods are great, nutritious and delicious, but a solid meal tends to be absorbed slowly. Sure, a plate of chicken and potatoes has lots of protein and carbs – but it’s not going to be absorbed as quickly as a shake.
  6. Don’t wait! Did I mention that time is of the essence? Experts agree that sooner is better. If you can, bring your post-workout meal to the gym so that you can consume it immediately after exercising. Don’t let your window of opportunity close!

So, what are some easy suggestions to eat after exercising? I generally opt for a whey protein shake and a banana. You’ll get protein and carbs without fat or much fiber. Acia bowls are another great option. Alternatively, you could mix whey protein powder and dextrose into a post-workout recovery shake.

Share some of your favorite post-workout tips below in the comments below. I look forward to reading them!

9 Fitness Tips That Will Change Your Life.

281685_10151307342800742_1934251453_nPutting a good tip into practice can go a long way in transforming your life.

Today, I’d like to share a few of my favorite exercise and nutrition tips. They’ve worked for me and I know they can work for you, too.

  1. Don’t drink your calories. Most beverages are calorie bombs and often devoid of nutritional value. Save your calories for real food that nourishes your body with the nutrients it needs.
  2. Instead of focusing on long workouts, focus on quality workouts. Unless you’re training for the Olympics, no one needs to spend two or three hours at the gym each day. Use strategies like high intensity interval training and supersets to make the most of your gym time. Be efficient at the gym; it’s quality and not quantity.
  3. Eat carbs. Carbs get a bad rap but the truth is our bodies need them. Instead of eliminating carbs, focus on eating mostly complex carbs like those found in brown rice or whole wheat. Opt for products that list “whole wheat” in their ingredients.
  4. Be consistent. The secret to transforming your body is to consistently combine exercise and nutrition. It’s the little steps – day after day – that add up into a huge change. Think of each workout as a single stone block that you’re using to build a pyramid.
  5. Replace excuses with reasons. All of us can think of excuses to skip the gym or to avoid exercise (i.e., it’s too expensive, too busy, injuries, etc.). Excuses are the nails used to build a house of failure; they prevent us from achieving the results we want. Rather than sabotage your life with excuses, shift from a mindset of can’t to a mindset of can by thinking about the reasons to live a healthier lifestyle.
  6. Buy healthy food. It’s really as simple as that. If you don’t stock your pantry with toxic, unhealthy foods, then they won’t be an option to eat. Out of sight, out of mind.
  7. Make exercise fun. Think outside the weight or cardio room by taking class, going rock climbing or engaging in a sport. A healthy and active lifestyle is so much more than the elliptical or free weights – and if you enjoy it, you’re much more likely to keep with it.
  8. Pay attention to ingredients – not packaging. Product packaging is strictly marketing – and words like “fat free” or “reduced calories” or even “multigrain” are extremely misleading. Pay attention to the nutrition information and especially the ingredients. In particular, stay away from foods with added sugar (or sugar in disguise).
  9. Don’t just make goals, evaluate your progress against them. Having a specific goal is great, but routinely measuring your progress against it is even better. If you’re not making headway, change your approach.

What’s your favorite fitness tip? Share it with us in the comments below!

You Get 1,440 Minutes Each Day.

Let’s take a moment to put things in perspective.

AxaAv9mCEAE7fLt.jpg_largeConsider this number: 1,440.

It’s a relatively big number.

If you had 1,440 oranges, you could make 41 gallons of orange juice. If it were dollars, you could buy enough gasoline to drive my car the distance of New York City to Sydney, Australia. If you were 1,440 years old, you would have lived to see Alboin, king of Longobarden, poisoned by his wife in the year 573.

So now consider this: There are 1,440 minutes in each day.

Though time has a way of flying, that’s a lot of minutes. Obviously, each of us can (and will) occupy those minutes with the things that are important to us – like work, family, friends and our various commitments. There’s grocery shopping, hair cuts and doctor appointments. Our schedules are undoubtedly tight.

Lastly, consider that this number: 20.

It’s a tiny number, unassuming in its size. Compared to 1,440, 20 almost disappears. But 20 also happens to be the number of minutes of moderate intensity daily exercise recommended by the government.

Of the things important to us, surely our health is somewhere on the list. And so surely all of us can set aside just 20 of our 1,440 minutes to honor our bodies with the movement they crave. After all, a 20 minute workout sure as hell beats a 0 minute workout.

Study: Health Benefits of Taking Stairs Similar to Going to Gym?

130129100118-largeResearchers from Oregon State University studied 6,000 American adults and found that a generally active lifestyle (rather than structured exercise at the gym) can be just as beneficial in improving health outcomes – including preventing metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.

Instead of exercising at the gym, participants found ways to make movement a part of their daily life. For example, participants could take the stairs instead of an elevator. Or walk somewhere nearby instead of driving. Use a push lawn mower instead of a sitting mower. Pace around or do jumping jacks during a commercial break.

According to Paul Loprinzi, lead author of the study, these simple additions of movement have a large and measurable effect on overall health:

We encourage people to seek out opportunities to be active when the choice is available. For example, rather than sitting while talking on the phone, use this opportunity to get in some activity by pacing around while talking… People get it in their minds, if I don’t get that 30 minutes, I might as well not exercise at all. Our results really challenge that perception and give people meaningful, realistic options for meeting the physical activity guidelines.

In fact, researchers found that 43% of the people who participated in these short bouts of movement were able to meet the government’s guidelines for recommended exercise – compared to 10% of Americans, overall.

This news is especially exciting for the many people who claim that there isn’t enough time to exercise. Everyone can make a few seconds or a few minutes to include more movement in those activities that we’d be doing anyway. And because those extra minutes translate to real improvements in overall health, there’s real reason to do so.