Saturday, October 27, 2012

Quitting smoking before middle age can gain 10 years for women

Women smokers can earn themselves 10 years of extra life by quitting the habit before middle age, say scientists.

A study of 1.3 million women found that smoking tripled the chances of dying over nine years compared with non-smokers.

Most of the increased death rate resulted from smoking-related diseases such as lung cancer, chronic lung disease, heart disease or stroke.

The risk rose steeply with the quantity of tobacco smoked, but even light smokers who puffed fewer than 10 cigarettes a day doubled their likelihood of dying.

Smokers who kicked the habit around age 30 avoided 97% of their excess risk of premature death.

The authors of the Million Women Study wrote in The Lancet medical journal: "Smokers lose at least 10 years of lifespan. Although the hazards of smoking until age 40 years and then stopping are substantial, the hazards of continuing are 10 times greater."

Women aged 50 to 65 were enrolled into the study, designed to investigate links between health and lifestyle, from 1996 to 2001.

Participants completed a questionnaire about living habits, medical and social factors and were re-surveyed three years later. Women were monitored for a total of 12 years on average, during which there were 66,000 deaths.

Initially, 20% of the women were smokers, 28% were ex-smokers, and 52% had never smoked.

Those who still smoked at the three year re-survey were almost three times more likely than non-smokers to die over the next nine years.

Both the hazards of smoking and the benefits of quitting were greater than previous studies had suggested, said the researchers.

Co-author Professor Sir Richard Peto, from Oxford University, said: "If women smoke like men, they die like men - but, whether they are men or women, smokers who stop before reaching middle age will on average gain about an extra 10 years of life."

He added: "Both in the UK and in the USA, women born around 1940 were the first generation in which many smoked substantial numbers of cigarettes throughout adult life. Hence, only in the 21st century could we observe directly the full effects of prolonged smoking, and of prolonged cessation, on premature mortality among women."

In a linked comment, Professor Rachel Huxley, from the University of Minnesota, US, said: "In most of Europe and the USA, the popularity of smoking among young women reached its peak in the 1960s, decades later than for men. Hence, previous studies have underestimated the full eventual impact of smoking on mortality in women, simply because of the lengthy time lag between smoking uptake by young women and disease onset in middle and old age."


Bootcamp Penang Schedule 29 Oct - 4th Nov 2012

AM 0830-0930HRS
Lembah Permai Tanjung Bungah
PM 1830-1930 HRS

Crystal Point – Bayan Lepas
PM  1830-9130 HRS
Youth Park
AM 0830-0930HRS

Lembah Permai Tanjung Bungah
PM 1830-1930HRS

Crystal Point – Bayan Lepas
PM 1830-1930HRS

Botanical Gardens
AM 0830-0930HRS
Lembah Permai Tanjung Bungah
AM 0700-0830HRS

Youth Park - carpark beside Temple on road to Botanical Garden

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

What does your sleeping position say about you?

The way you sleep can give startling insights into your personality, even giving away how stubborn, bossy or stressed you are, a body language expert has claimed.

Robert Phipps, a body language expert, has studied the four most common sleeping positions to determine how it reflects a person's personality and outlook on life.

The results, he claims, can identify how stressful your day was, how much you worry and how much control you have over your life.

It is said to reveal traits such as stubbornness, bossiness and fanciful dreaming, as well as how self-critical a person is or whether they feel in control of life.

According to his research, more than half of adults sleep in the “foetal” position, curled up on their side with knees tucked in.

This stance, favoured by worriers, is said to show the sleeper is seeking to return to their comfort zone after a stressful day.

Foetal sleepers are conscientious, ordered and like things in their place, according to the study, but are also in danger of over-thinking problems and worrying unnecessarily.

The research, for budget hotel chain Premier Inn, revealed the “log” as the second most popular position, adopted by nearly three in every ten people.

The log position, with a straight body and limbs at the sides, shows a person is inflexible and rigid in thinking, set in their ways and stubborn.

They may appear bossy to others, and so should aim to “stretch themselves” and embrace the challenges and excitement of a new day, it is claimed.

A quarter of people taking part in the study classed themselves as “yearners”, sleeping with their arms stretched out in front as though they are chasing their dreams or being chased.

According to Phipps, this means they want more from life and are willing to “go out there and get it with both hands”, eager to face the next day.

They can be their own worst critics, expecting great results in everything they do and giving up quickly when things don’t go their way.

“Yearners” should take care to go after what they really want and avoid wasting time pursuing whims that do not really leave them fulfilled, it is advised.

A further 17 per cent of respondents classed themselves as “freefallers”, sleeping face down with their arms outstretched.

Often clutching their pillow, they can appearing to be “holding on for dear life” in what is thought to be the most uncomfortable sleeping position for adults.

Those who adopt it can feel as if life “happens around them” and they are just “hanging on for the ride”, believing they lack control over what will happen the next day.

So-called freefallers can wake up feelings anxious, or believing they still have issues and tasks left over from the previous day.According to the research, they should aim to deal with things one step at a time, taking control of each day so they feel motivated to “be the boss of their own destiny”.

The study, of 1,000 British adults, allowed participants to select more than one option, with some selecting several sleeping positions in their responses.

Premier Inn spokesperson, Claire Haigh, said: "Many people read their horoscopes, but we wanted to give our guests a more unique way to look at how their day might turn out by looking at how they sleep.

“We have worked with Robert to develop 'sleep-o-scopes' and were shocked that the research revealed just how stressed we are as a nation.

"It is important we try and wind down after a long day and get a good night's rest so we wake up refreshed and ready to tackle the day ahead."

Sleep positions


People who sleep like this are returning to their comfort zone to de-stress themselves from the day's activities. The higher the knees and lower the head the more internal comfort you give yourself. Foetal sleepers are conscientious, ordered and like things in their place but they can over think things and worry unnecessarily.

People who sleep like this for the majority of the night can expect a refreshed awakening having dealt with the previous day's issues compartmentalising and organising while they sleep, allowing them to feel refreshed when they wake and ready to move onward and upward.

Foetal sleepers should be careful not to become too stuck in their comfort zone and be prepared to take on new challenges each day.

2. LOG

The sleeper in this position fully extends their head, neck, arms, legs and body all stretched out in a straight line. The longer you sleep like this, the more rigid your thinking and you can become inflexible which means you make things harder for yourself.

Loggers are set in their ways and can be stubborn, liking things done their way, which can make them come across as bossy or even aloof.

"Sleep like a log" is the old adage and people who sleep in this straight line can wake up stiffer than when they went to sleep. Try to relax more and let your muscles unwind from the day's hassles and you'll wake up feeling more flexible in your thinking.

Loggers need to stretch themselves each day to reach new goals and then your day is likely to be more exciting, challenging and fun. You'll see and feel the benefits in your body and mind as you embrace being a more relaxed you.

The Yearner has two possible meanings with arms outstretched as though you are chasing your dreams, conversely it can mean you are being chased. You feel you want more from life and are willing to go out there and get it with both hands, ready to capture every new and exciting challenge that comes your way.

Yearners are their own worst critics always expecting great results in everything they do, which can mean giving up to quickly with things that don't go their way right from the off.

Yearners wake up eager to face the challenges of the day, seeking out new opportunities. However, take care to make sure what you yearn for is what you really want or you'll spend a lot of wasted time and energy chasing things that don't really fulfil you.

Yearners should face each new day as a fresh start, reviewing where they are going and what they want from the day, then go for it and see it through with full commitment.


With the whole body outstretched flat on their stomach, arms at right angles, hands gripping the pillow as though holding on for dear life, physically the least comfortable position to sleep for most adults.

Freefallers tend to feel like life happens around them and they are just hanging on for the ride, which can make them feel like they're not in control of what happens.

Freefallers can wake up feeling like they still have things leftover from the previous day, which can make them feel over anxious about getting things done today.

Freefallers need to take control of each new day and deal with things one step at a time until you are happy to move to the next step. You will then be more motivated and inspired, creating opportunities for you be the boss of your own destiny.

Premier Inn spokesperson, Claire Haigh, said: "Many people read their horoscopes, but we wanted to give our guests a more unique way to look at how their day might turn out by looking at how they sleep. We have worked with Robert to develop 'sleep-o-scopes' and were shocked that the research revealed just how stressed we are as a nation.

Source :

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Bootcamp Penang Schedule: 22 - 28 Oct 2012

AM 0830-0930HRS
Lembah Permai Tanjung Bungah
PM 1830-1930 HRS

Crystal Point – Bayan Lepas
PM  1830-9130 HRS
Youth Park
AM 0830-0930HRS

Lembah Permai Tanjung Bungah
PM 1830-1930HRS

Crystal Point – Bayan Lepas
PM 1830-1930HRS

Botanical Gardens
AM 0830-0930HRS
Lembah Permai Tanjung Bungah
AM 0730-0900HRS

Youth Park Carpark – The one beside temple on road to Botanical Gardens 


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Eat like a cavewoman and lose weight

Forget Dukan. The diet that is currently creating the most buzz in the Twittersphere and elsewhere is the Paleo Diet.

The Paleolithic diet, to give it its full name – it’s also known as the Caveman diet – is a back to basics approach when it comes to food. Essentially, the guiding principle is that you do not eat anything that your ancestors two million years ago, prior to the arrival of agriculture. And in a world saturated with over processed foods, it’s quite a refreshing palate cleanser, although it is also a relatively restrictive way of eating.

Doing Paleo obviously means no processed foods but it also means you cannot eat refined sugar, legumes (as in peas, beans and lentils), grains, soy, salt and processed oils. Only naturally occurring foods such as game meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, eggs and nut are permitted so while you won’t go hungry, you will have to rethink your eating. A bowl of salad? Fine. But just remember that you can’t dress it in your usual balsamic vinegar, even though this might normally be perceived as the healthy thing to do.

Getting started is probably the hardest part. You will need to divest your cupboards of anything that doesn’t fit into the Paleo way of eating - and this means everything from cereals to pasta need to go in the bin. The Paleo diet is a low-carb way of eating but unlike Dukan or Atkins, followers don’t count carb or even calories. What they can expect is great levels of energy coming from increased protein consumption and less carbs, with weight loss a naturally occurring side benefit.

There are certain pitfalls to avoid. Raw vegetables are fine, especially roots like carrots but potatoes, which are believed to have been genetically modified since the Stone Age, are not allowed. It’s yes to nuts like walnuts, Brazils, macadamias and almonds but not peanuts or cashews. Because the consumption of all grains is discouraged, you won’t be drinking alcohol and it’s also no to coffee.

So what will you eat on a typical day? It’s important to stock up on Paleo essentials such as coconut oil, coconut milk, unsalted nuts, free range eggs and almond flour.

Breakfast might be a bowl of berries with coconut milk. Lunch could be a salad of roasted chicken with leaves, cherry tomatoes in olive oil and lemon juice vinaigrette while dinner is grilled fish with butternut squash soup.

Advocates of this way of eating claim weight loss, better skin and higher energy levels are just some of the benefits. If you are interested in giving it a shot, the internet is your best source of information. Paleo pinboards with delicious recipes, food suggestions and other tips abound on Pinterest, while there are a number of great Paleo blogs. And all these devotees are united in one firm belief: that giving your body a break from processed foods is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Ed Whitlock Runs 3:30 Marathon At Age 81

At the Toronto Marathon in October, Canadian Ed Whitlock set a new 81 year old age-group world record by running the 26.2 mile course in 3:30:26. This was more than 16 minutes off the previous age-81 best.

Post race, he said..."Based on the weather forecast of rain and significant wind, my goal was 3:30. Conditions seemed better than forecast as the race progressed and, based on a false appreciation of my preparedness, my initial pace was more ambitious. I realised sometime before halfway that I had made a big mistake and things were going to be difficult, and that's how it turned out, as I ran the last 4K very slowly, nearly 9 minutes a mile against a stiffening breeze. On finishing I wasn't that fatigued; the problem was that my legs had prevented me running properly. I put this down to the fact that I didn't have a long enough period of high-mileage training before the race and the lack of race practice--it was only my third race this year because of my injury problems."

At last year's Toronto Marathon, Whitlock broke his own 80+ world record by running 3:15:53. The following month, he slipped on icy stairs outside his house and broke a rib. He wound up not being able to run for much of the first part of 2012.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


AM 0830-0930HRS
Lembah Permai Tanjung Bungah
PM 1830-1930 HRS

Crystal Point – Bayan Lepas

PM  1830-9130 HRS
Youth Park
AM 0830-0930HRS

Lembah Permai Tanjung Bungah
PM 1830-1930HRS

Crystal Point – Bayan Lepas
PM 1830-1930HRS

Botanical Gardens

AM 0830-0930HRS
Lembah Permai Tanjung Bungah
AM 0730-0900HRS

No Run due to Kwong Wah 10KM- Best to luck to all the recruits  taking part

Get in the Lean Lane

Want to lose weight, get in shape, and run your best ever? Here are 50 ways to get there

We've all been there: Despite exercising and watching what you eat, the elastic in your running shorts seems to be as tight as your hamstrings. "Ninety-five percent of the runners I work with want to lose some weight," says Cassie Dimmick, M.S., R.D., a sports dietitian and running coach in Springfield, Missouri. "For good reason: The leaner you are, within reason, the faster you go." Getting lean requires the same trait that makes you get up at 5 a.m. for a five-miler: discipline. You need to be vigilant about your diet and consistent with exercise so that you maximize calorie burn, increase muscle mass, and decrease body fat. Luckily, it's easier than it sounds when you employ these tactics from dietitians and coaches. Get ready to lose!


Plan Ahead
"Know when you're going to eat and what you're going to eat," says Suzanne Girard Eberle, M.S., R.D., author of Endurance Sports Nutrition. "Plan it out at the beginning of the day and the week so that you're not scrambling when you're hungry." This helps you resist the temptation of fast-food restaurants or pastries in the break room.

Eat Often
Aim for three healthy meals and two small snacks a day, which means you're eating something around every three hours. A 2010 Swedish study involving more than 3,000 people found that those who ate more than three times a day had a lower body mass index and waist circumference; consumed more fiber and less fat; and drank less alcohol than those who limited their eating sessions to three or less. "Eating more often keeps your metabolism humming, and prevents you from getting super hungry," says Lauren Antonucci, M.S., R.D., owner of Nutrition Energy in New York City.

Repeat Yourself
The National Weight Control Registry is a compendium of more than 10,000 people who have maintained a weight loss of at least 30 pounds for at least one year. These successful losers "limit their exposure to temptations," says J. Graham Thomas, Ph.D., a co-investigator on the study, "and have a repertoire of healthy foods they pull from regularly."

A study out of Tufts University in Boston looked at the association between sugar-sweetened drinks and the nutritional habits of 947 adults. Unsurprisingly, those who drank the most sugary beverages, like soda, had a higher risk of obesity and a lower intake of fiber. When you celebrate, opt for wine, beer, or a drink mixed with club soda. "Margarita mix, orange juice, and Coke often have more calories than the alcohol," Dimmick says.

Veg—and Fruit—Up
Aim to have fruits and vegetables make up half of each meal. "Your breakfast should be half fruit, and your lunch and dinner, half veggies," says Dimmick, who adds that snacks should have the same 50/50 ratio: think carrots and a yogurt, or string cheese and an apple.

Daily Eats
Rotate three meals, says Pamela Nisevich Bede, M.S., R.D., sports nutrition expert for the Runner's World Challenge. Ideas: "adult" cereal (high on fiber, grains; low on sugar), oatmeal, Greek yogurt, or eggs. Always include fruit.
Rotate three to five meals. Ideas: salads (go easy on high-calorie toppings), sandwiches on whole grain (hold the mayo), eggs (if you didn't have them at breakfast), and broth-based soups. Always include fruit or a side of vegetables.
Rotate five healthy meals like chicken, fish, and whole grains. Always include vegetables. "Keep your meals interesting by changing the vegetable and fruit sides and mixing up the preparation of the entree," Nisevich Bede says.

Go Off the Sauce
Beware of the hidden calories in sauces. Use tomato sauce instead of alfredo on pasta; substitute hummus or mustard for mayo on a sandwich; and make your own salad dressing: Add a little ranch seasoning to plain Greek yogurt, or a dash of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Take It Easy on Nut Butter
Runners love peanut and almond butters, and for good reason: They offer protein, healthy fats, and fiber in a convenient package. But a serving size is two level tablespoons. "People often end up eating three tablespoons," says Dimmick. "That's an awful lot of calories."

Make Fiber Your Friend
"Multiple studies have shown that fiber is correlated to weight loss as well as weight maintenance," says Jennifer Vimbor, M.S., R.D., founder of Nutrition Counseling Services in Chicago. Fiber passes through your system undigested, so your body has to work harder and longer to move it out, which helps rev your metabolism and give you a feeling of fullness. Aim to eat at least 25 grams of fiber a day: beans, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. (But to keep your GI tract quiet during your run, don't eat fiber two hours before you head out.)

Keep it Away
Don't bring decadent foods into your home; it's easier to win the battle at the grocery store than at the dinner table.

Practice Long, Slow Eating
In a study published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association in 2011, researchers in New Zealand looked at the relationship 2,500 women had between their self-reported speeds of eating and their body mass indexes. For each step up in speed (on a five-step scale from very slow to very fast), BMI increased by 2.8 percent. By slowing down, you give your mind a chance to process that your body is full. Increase your meal splits by eschewing distraction: no computer, no television, no newspaper. "You'll become aware of every bite," Eberle says.

Go All DIY
"Throwing something together for yourself at home is almost always going to involve fewer calories than dining out," Dimmick says. "You can control the ingredients and the portion sizes." For nights you're too rushed to cook, stock your pantry and freezer ahead of time with these staples: vegetable and bean soups, a frozen vegetable pizza, brown rice you can microwave, a can of black beans and salsa (a combo of the latter three make an easy, healthy meal). In order to make a brown-bag lunch as easy as possible, double dinner recipes so that you'll have leftovers. Chili and lasagna—make them both heavy on the vegetables—are especially tasty the day after you make them.

Eat real Food
"The more packaged and processed foods you eat, the less satisfied you feel," says Antonucci. "A half of a sandwich is a better snack than a handful of pretzels; nuts are more filling than animal crackers." Pack an apple for emergencies.

Pay Attention
"Before you reach for a snack, make sure you're really hungry," says Eberle, who explains we often eat when we really need sleep, play, or downtime. 'You may just need to step away from your desk for 15 minutes and chill out."

What's Your Intake?
Count your calories, if only for a few days. "Most people hate doing it," Dimmick says. "But it's the only way to actually see the mindless eating over the keyboard or steering wheel or in front of the television." You can carry a small notebook and log everything or use an app: Loselt, MyFitnessPal, and MyPlate are three popular apps to track calories.

Bigger utensils and dishes promote bigger meals, so keep your dishes appropriately sized—a salad plate can easily hold a sandwich and a piece of fruit, which is a perfect lunch—and your serving dishes off the table.

After a long run, set a limit of "reward calories," Nisevich Bede says. "A safe number is 200 reward calories, and if you went for a really, really long run, 400 calories." Good choices include: low-fat ice cream; bite-size cookies; single-serving-size chips; high-quality dark chocolate.

Ken Smith 51, Starting weight: 250
Marathon PR: 3:08 in the 2011 Boston Marathon

"I'm a nurse practitioner, and when I was doing a dictation after seeing a patient, my back went out. You can hear me scream in the recorder. I gave myself seven months to get in shape, and I signed up for the ING Miami Half-Marathon."
"I used to never eat breakfast and didn't have time for lunch, so then I'd eat anything I could get my hands on. Two Whoppers for $4 was a favorite. I changed almost overnight. Steel-cut oats for breakfast; a salad, protein bar, and sandwich for lunch; salmon and pasta for dinner; I eat every two hours."
"I schedule my races a year in advance. That way, I have a race every two or three months, and it keeps me on track."

Darren Mah 37, Starting weight: 215
Marathon PR: 3:38 in the 2010 Portland Marathon in Oregon

"I knew I was heavy—my double chin hit my collar when I was typing, and all I wanted to do was lie on the couch after work—but once I saw a picture of myself at my sister's wedding, something had to change. Heart disease runs in my family; I was going to have a heart attack at age 40 if I didn't lose weight. When I saw that picture, I got on my treadmill that day and walked for 30 minutes."
"I used to eat really late at night, and now I try not to eat past 7 p.m. If I am really hungry, I'll have some carrots or a bowl of cereal—something that makes me feel full but not stuffed."
"I tracked my weight loss on an Excel spreadsheet, and still weigh myself every morning. I'm at my goal weight, but I still like knowing where I am."

Best & Worst Foods for Diets
After following about 121,000 men and women for 20 years, researchers at Harvard University published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2011 that documented the foods and drinks most and least associated with gaining weight. Nutrition Energy's Lauren Antonucci gives the benefits or drawbacks of each.

NUTS Great combination of unsaturated fat and *lling *ber.
YOGURT A good source of calcium, plus probiotics for gut health.
FRUITS High water content and key antioxidants and vitamins.
WHOLE GRAINS Packed with B vitamins and fiber.
VEGGIES Low calorie, lots of vitamins and nutrients, and high fiber.

FRENCH FRIES Deep-frying makes them high in calories and saturated fat.
POTATOES Often fried or covered with butter, sour cream, or sugary ketchup.
SWEETENED BEVERAGES Skip soda to save calories for when you need sports drink.
RED MEATS Avoid fatty cuts, such as T-bone, New York strip, and rib-eye steaks.
PROCESSED MEATS Most contain nitrates and are very high in saturated fat.

ROADBLOCK: You're famished
Eat something with protein, carbs, and fiber like plain, fat-free Greek yogurt with a cup of berries. "Don't let yourself get too hungry, as it's hard to stop eating," Eberle says.

ROADBLOCK It's a special occasion!
Celebrate. Moderately. Have a (small) piece of cake. No good comes of trying to "save up" calories. Eat your normal meals and snacks so you're not starving.

ROADBLOCK Gaining back lost weight
"Trying to stay at your lowest weight is like trying to stay at your peak fitness year round," Fitzgerald says. "When you dial back training, expect to put on a few pounds."


While pace and incline numbers on the treadmill are accurate, one number likely isn't: the calorie count. "The number doesn't take into account your metabolic rate or current condition, which make a big difference in the rate of calories you burn," says Gregory Florez, spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.

Be Honest
Was that really a six-miler, or was it four? Did you take an extra, unscheduled rest day? "Many runners believe they're consistent when they're not," says Tony Williams, a coach in Seattle. A surefire way to stay consistent: Follow a training plan and sign up for races. "When you have a plan, you have a way to set and reach goals so you taste success," says Briana Boehmer, a personal trainer and coach in Delafield, Wisconsin.

Run, Run, Run...
"The total amount of time you spend running is going to have the biggest influence on your calorie burn," says Matt Fitzgerald, author of Racing Weight: How to Get Lean for Peak Performance and a coach in San Diego. Start by adding easy miles, no more than a 10 percent increase a week. If you run in the morning, go for another two-miler after work. Increasing the distance of your long runs should be your last priority, because they require more recovery.

...Cross-Train If You Can't
A stress fracture or a case of plantar fasciitis takes you off your feet, so be smart about your training. If you're a beginner or an injury-prone runner, don't run every day; instead, get in at least three days of cross-training a week, says Williams, so you don't bring on overuse injuries. "Bike, swim, get on the elliptical, whatever doesn't aggravate your body," says Williams.

Then Crank the Intensity
If your volume is nearing maximum capacity or you're crunched for time, then add more challenging workouts like speedwork or hill repeats that strengthen your anaerobic system. Running a hill with a five-percent grade burns about three to five additional calories a minute, according to Liz Neporent, an ACE-certified personal trainer. But the key is to do these workouts prudently—no more than once or twice a week—and to pay attention to your form so that you don't strain a muscle or otherwise get injured. Follow a training plan appropriate for your level of running.

Exercise Today
Run or cross-train? Boehmer offers up this easy quiz to gauge what to do today Circle the number that best relates to your situation:

How hard was your run yesterday?
1 Easy
2 Average
3 Unusually hard or long: speedwork or longest run of the week

How are you feeling today?
1 Great
2 Not too bad
3 I hurt more than I'd like to admit

How many days in a row have you run?
1 2 3

ADD YOUR NUMBERS: If your score is 7 or higher, nonimpact cross-training—swimming, cycling, strength training-is a good call for a recovery day.

Pump the Iron
In order to maximize lean mass, stick with simple strength-training exercises for your major muscles, like squats, lunges, bench presses, and triceps dips. "You want to move big loads to build muscle," says Fitzgerald, who recommends lifting a weight that you can handle for eight to 10 reps.

Manage the Marathon
"The long-distance runs required for marathon training rev your appetite," says Eberle, "which makes it more challenging to take in fewer calories than you burn." Plus, it's easy to fall into the I-ran-20-miles-so-I-can-eat-whatever-I-want mentality. If you do go the distance, be conscious about your intake. Eat a meal filled with wholesome carbs and protein, like eggs and a whole-wheat English muffin, immediately after your run so you aren't tempted to snack.

Brian McCarthy 31, Starting weight: 230 & Liz Tierney 29, Starting weight: 240
5-K PRs: 20:16 (McCarthy) and 25:00 (Tierney)

TURNING POINT (Brian): "When we met six years ago, we weren't fat. We gained weight together. I'm 5'6", and I realized extra-large shirts didn't fit me anymore. I shouldn't be wearing XL to begin with."
SUCCESS IN NUMBERS (Liz): "It's a team effort. We hold each other accountable and get each other out the door to exercise."
NO "NO" FOODS (Brian): "We didn't cut any foods out of our diet because we knew that wouldn't be sustainable over the long term; we just introduced moderation. Instead of eating an extra-large pepperoni pizza, I'd have a slice."

A Winning Weight-Loss Combo
Approach eating and training with the same mind-set

1 You have to be consistent. Just like you can't only do a long run and expect to finish a race well, you can't focus on your diet just a few days of the week.

2 One bad run doesn't ruin your training, and one bad meal (or day of bad eating) doesn't derail your weight-loss quest. Lace back up and get out there.

3 Get to the starting line by setting small goals, like running for a half-mile beyond your current limit, or choosing a granola bar instead of candy.

4 There are days you don't want to run and days you want to raid Dunkin' Donuts. Tell yourself you'll just go two miles; chances are you'll pass up the DD.

Bicycling [14 to 16 mph]: 682 calories
StairMaster [no hands]: 614 calories
Swimming [50 yards/min]: 545 calories
Elliptical: 491 calories
Walking [15-minute mile]: 341 calories

ROADBLOCK You're injured
An injury doesn't give you a pass. Successful members of the National Weight Control Registry average one hour of brisk walking daily. "Consistency is key," Thomas says.

ROADBLOCK You're unmotivated

Surround yourself, either virtually or in person, with like-minded people. Join a running group or a charity organization training for a race; accountability is motivating.


Sunday, October 7, 2012

To Improve Fitness, Try Sleep

Most people training for a race or sport focus on adding more miles, workouts or weight training to improve their fitness. But new research suggests that simply getting more sleep can improve athletic performance.

The small study included five members of the Stanford women’s tennis team. For two to three weeks, the athletes maintained their regular schedules, sleeping and working out as usual. They took part in sprinting and hitting drills to measure their performance. Then the players were told to extend their sleep to 10 hours a night for five to six weeks.

After increasing sleep, the athletes performed better on all the drills. Sprinting drill times dropped on average to 17.56 seconds from 19.12 seconds. Hitting accuracy, measured by valid serves, improved to 15.61 serves, up from 12.6 serves, and a hitting depth drill improved to 15.45 hits, up from 10.85 hits.

The findings were presented last week at the Annual Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies. The study was small, and some of the improvement may have been the result of additional practice time. However, the size of the change suggests the athletes received a direct benefit from more sleep.

The study’s lead author, Cheri Mah, a researcher at the Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Laboratory at Stanford University, said the athletes who took part in the study also felt better and realized for the first time the real effect sleep could have on performance.

Katherine Hobson, who writes the “On Fitness” column for U.S. News and World Report, said she decided to hang up her running shoes and catch up on sleep during a recent vacation.I expected my first run back in Brooklyn to be a death march. Instead, I felt the best and went the fastest that I have in weeks. One possible explanation came to mind: I erased my chronic sleep debt on vacation, thanks to sleeping in as long as I wanted in the mornings and napping most afternoons, which made me extremely well rested when I took that run.

Over at Runner’s World, Mark Remy notes that many runners focus on “carb-loading” before a race, but perhaps they should also try “sleep-loading.”We runners obsess over speed work, long runs, tempo runs, hill runs, lactate threshold, resting heart rate, carbs, protein, recovery drinks, stretching, massage, ice baths, shoes, technical fabrics, gels, and about a hundred other variables.But most of us, I bet, don’t give sleep a second thought. It’s crazy, if you think about it. How can we expect to run well if we can’t stop yawning?

What do you think? Have you noticed a difference in your workouts depending on how much or how well you sleep?

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