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Being active?? - Group Talk - Week Commencing 15th April 2024.

A healthy lifestyle involves eating nutritious foods and taking part in regular activity whilst highlighting your mental health.

When it comes to activity/exercise there are a lot of misconceptions to what type is the most worthwhile, and what is the optimal period of time we should partake.

What type of activity/exercise are you currently undertaking and how long do you generally spend being active.

Activity/Exercise Misconceptions.

If we would work out, we can eat a great deal more: This sadly is a myth.

For instance a study overseen by Loughborough Uni, running at a brisk pace around a track for 10 minutes consumes about 16 calories a minute so totalling 160 calories over 10 minutes. Putting this in perspective a small bar of chocolate contains about 240 calories, so you would eat 80 calories more than burned.

Although exercise is an excellent way to stay healthy and fit.

The more you exercise, the better: Sadly this is another myth, HIIT (High Intensive Interval Training) is directly better than running for hours on end.

In 2011-12 BBC Horizon ran a Documentary program "The truth about exercise" In which Dr. Michael Mosley committed to three lots of 20 seconds HIIT sessions on an exercise bike, three times a week, during this time his insulin sensitivity improved by 24%.

The documentary also showed that the considerable problem with exercise is the draw to reward ourselves with food treats i.e. people do 30 minutes on the treadmill, burn about 120 calories then lie around and eat a muffin for example at approximately 500 calories so again eating 380 calories more than burned.

It summarised that HIIT suppresses our appetite, so this is less likely to happen.

HIIT directly targets visceral fat, burning away the fatty deposits that can lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Stretching prior to exercising will advert injury:  Static stretching, bending, that are holding movements will not prevent injury, however dynamic movements such as arm circling and side-stepping sends messages from the brain to the muscles saying, "we are ready to work", static stretching in contrast, triggers an inhibitory response in the brain.

If inactive in our early years, we should go steady when older: It's never too late to take up exercise. Clearly the older we are, we initially need to take things easier/gently and then increase it steadily.

Exercising in later life does not lead to a heart attacks and strokes is untrue.

First thing in the morning is the best time to exercise: This is not easy to analyse as it is thought being active before breakfast has advantages of burning more fat in the fasting state. However if performance is more important, then late afternoon or early evening may be better.

Being Active puts you in a good mood: This is not entirely true people do report feeling happier but that is often the real kick they get out of exercising.

The "endorphin release" is not likely to make them feel euphoric. Endorphin molecules are too large to cross the blood - brain barrier and actually reach the brain.

Evidence is actually much stronger for the positive impact on mood of time spent being active outdoors, particularly in a green environment. i.e. going for a run or walk in the park will lift your mood more than doing the same exercise in the gym.

Ab workouts and crunches will expel body fat: You don't get a six pack from exercise alone, to create a six pack requires dieting and lots of varied abdominal exercise including sit-ups, crunches, leg lifts, butt ups, planks and pull ups.

Isotonic drinks are the best method to quench dehydration: No definitely not unless you are an athlete working out for long periods of times and doing lots of sweating.

In fact milk is probably better for you than isotonic drinks which are full of unnecessary sugars/calories.

Milk is better than either a sports drink or water because it's a sources of high quality protein, carbohydrate's, calcium and electrolytes.

Milk is surprisingly enough, a good way of replacing sodium, which is lost in sweat.

The reason we don't need to track calories burned:

Fitness tracker - the latest high-tech version - Tracks that run, burned 328 calories.

The Reality - the latest high-tech version - It cannot predict the exact calories you burned.

It a very good idea to be aware of calories and track them when losing weight, so surely its a good idea to track calories burned.

Well, No its not.


The reason is simple nutritionists/scientists calculate the calories on food labels to be as accurate as possible! however tracking apps and watches are not accurate they estimate calories burned on an average.

What you can be sure of is regularly moving and exercising you will be using energy, which will help you lose fat. Using apps and watches to set goals and targets and tracking regularity of movement rather than exact burned calories is much more beneficial to us all.


Book - The fitness Chef - Graeme Tomlinson - Eat what you like and lose weight for life.

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