In today’s digest we bring you articles on Why exercising during coronavirus is more important than ever for your mental health, The Best Spin Bikes For Home Training, 9 Common Intermittent Fasting Mistakes and How to Properly Perform the Barbell Row. Hope you enjoy them…
Why exercising during coronavirus is more important than ever for your mental health
A recent preprint study, published on Cambridge Open Engage, found that people who reported lower exercise levels during coronavirus than their previous exercise habits also reported a decline in their mental health. Participants in self-isolation reported screen and sitting time that increased by 20 to 30 percent on average. Those who consistently reported less than […]
- A recent preprint study, published on Cambridge Open Engage, found that people who reported lower exercise levels during coronavirus than their previous exercise habits also reported a decline in their mental health.
- Participants in self-isolation reported screen and sitting time that increased by 20 to 30 percent on average.
- Those who consistently reported less than eight hours a day of screen time had fewer depressive symptoms than people whose screen time was greater than eight hours.
As the UK Government continues to recommend physical distancing measures across the county to slow the spread of COVID-19, it’s taking a toll on everyone’s mental health. But how exactly does a change in exercise levels and increased screen and sedentary time affect you?
A recent preprint study, published on Cambridge Open Engage, collected self-reported data on exercise amounts, screen time, and mental health from more than 3,000 Iowa State University faculty, staff, students, and alumni located all over the country from April 3 to 7, when most of the country was in various stages of shutdown due to the virus.
The results showed that those who reported previously hitting the recommended amount of physical activity (150 minutes of moderate physical activity, 75 minutes of vigorous, or a combination weekly), but no longer met that threshold, also reported having worse mental health, study author Jacob Meyer, Ph.D., assistant professor and director of the Wellbeing and Exercise Laboratory at Iowa State University, told Runner’s World.
‘Those people who were meeting the guidelines pre-COVID and were no longer meeting guidelines had higher depressive symptoms than those who continued to meet the guidelines,’ Meyer said.
In fact, participants in this study who were in self-isolation reported that their screen time and sitting time increased by 20 to 30 percent on average. It’s not clear if activity time was completely replaced by screen time, it is certainly possible. Many people have replaced socialising with staying indoors during the coronavirus pandemic to help slow the spread, which likely means increased screen time.
Those who consistently reported less than eight hours a day of screen time (both before and after COVID) had lower depressive symptoms than the 562 people whose screen time went from less than eight hours to more than eight hours.
While these findings haven’t yet been peer-reviewed, the results suggest that many people decreased their physical activity and increased their sitting and screen time during the early COVID response in the United States. These changes were associated with worse mental health, Meyer explained.
‘These preliminary findings suggest that increasing efforts to maintain physical activity and limit screen time should be put in place, while also recognising the potential short- and long-term mental health effects of COVID at the population level,’ Meyer said.
The bottom line: Previous studies have found that regular exercise, such as running or yoga, can help cut depression and boost your mental health. So even though times are tough right now, if you can, try replacing some sedentary time daily with yoga, lace up for some miles, or a living room workout, aiming for at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity weekly to help boost your mental (and physical) health.
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Why exercising during coronavirus is more important than ever for your mental health was originally published at LINK
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The Best Spin Bikes For Home Training
There’s a reason why spinning studios are so popular. The sessions they put on are a time-effective and pretty enjoyable way to get fit, with excitable instructors and a room full of fellow riders to help motivate you to keep pushing. Naturally you lose some of that experience if you opt for a home spinning […]
There’s a reason why spinning studios are so popular. The sessions they put on are a time-effective and pretty enjoyable way to get fit, with excitable instructors and a room full of fellow riders to help motivate you to keep pushing.
Naturally you lose some of that experience if you opt for a home spinning bike, but you keep the time-effectiveness of the workout, and buying your own can also be a cost-effective move if it means you avoid regularly shelling out for expensive classes in boutique gyms.
High-end spinning bikes make an effort to replicate the studio experience too, with on-demand or even live classes you can follow on tablets or even screens built into the bike. Meanwhile, at the cheaper end of the spectrum you’ll simply be getting a piece of kit that will get you fit in short order, and won’t take up half a room like a treadmill or cross-trainer.
Spinning bikes differ from upright exercise bikes in the position you adopt while riding – you’ll be leaning forwards as on a racing bike – and they are better in terms of mimicking the feel of outdoor cycling. They tend to be pricier than upright bikes too, with the best budget spinning options still coming in over £200.
Here are the best spin bikes for your home.
JLL IC200 Pro
This is a great pick for beginners or anyone working to a tight budget. The IC200 Pro has a 7kg flywheel and offers eight levels of resistance, with the highest ones providing a challenge to even intermediate riders. There’s a tablet holder on the console too, so you can load up video workouts from apps or YouTube. If you want more resistance and have a little more budget to play with, check out the JLL IC300 Pro, which has a 20kg flywheel and costs £380.
With a 20kg flywheel that offers infinite, yes INFINITE, levels of resistance, the Cyclo-3 can provide a tough workout for all abilities. The JTX range does include pricier models that have heavier flywheels and more connectivity to apps, but the Cyclo-3 is a great-value option for anyone who just wants a simple spinning bike they can use to get fit.
Buy from JTX | £349
Echelon Smart Connect Bike
If you’re reading this article, you’re probably aware of Peloton, and we’re going to come onto that in a moment. But first, a cheaper alternative that offers a similar experience. The Echelon bike is linked to the Echelon app, which contains a vast amount of live and on-demand spinning classes (as well as other types of classes like yoga and strength workouts). Unlike the Peloton, there is no monitor on the Echelon bike, but you can attach a tablet to the console to follow the classes on the app. Subscription costs £39.99 a month, so consider if you’re happy committing to that, because although the Echelon bike is cheaper than the Peloton it’s still very expensive and without the app it’s pretty pointless.
Buy from Echelon | From £1,238.99 | Echelon review
The bike that has become synonymous with home spinning, Peloton offers a truly excellent all-round experience. The bike itself is an impressive bit of kit, with a solid build, a quiet ride and all the resistance you could ever need. Naturally you need the app to bring out the best of it, with live and on-demand classes that really do provide the feel of a studio session. If you want to bring the spinning experience to your home there is no better option – but it comes at a hefty price, with the bike costing almost £2k and the subscription £39 a month.
Buy from Peloton | Peloton bike £1,990, monthly unlimited classes £39 | Peloton review
Wahoo KICKR BIKE
The priciest bike on this list, but for very different reasons to the Peloton. The Wahoo KICKR BIKE is all about creating the most realistic ride feel possible, to the point where it has adjustable points all over the frame so you can set it up exactly like your road bike, and even enter your gearset details to mimic your real-world ride. The KICKR BIKE also links easily to apps like Zwift and TrainerRoad and will not only simulate the inclines you experience when riding in virtual worlds but also tip you forwards and backwards in line with the slope you’re cycling on. It’s a masterpiece of design, and the perfect bike for serious cyclists who want the best recreation of outdoor cycling possible when training indoors. For everyone else, it’s overkill of course – but what glorious overkill.
Buy from Wahoo | £2,999.99
9 Common Intermittent Fasting Mistakes
People know I support intermittent fasting. Truth be told, in the past, even after experimenting with a lot of healthy diets, I couldn’t develop muscles if I didn’t get fat. This was my experience before I tried intermittent fasting. Now that I’ve been known to intermittently fast, people excited at the notion of fasting have […]
People know I support intermittent fasting. Truth be told, in the past, even after experimenting with a lot of healthy diets, I couldn’t develop muscles if I didn’t get fat. This was my experience before I tried intermittent fasting.
Now that I’ve been known to intermittently fast, people excited at the notion of fasting have come to me for advice. Many of whom are dead set to fast and feast.
However, one should be careful since the plan could backfire big time. Come up with real goals and stay away from the wrong practices newcomers make.
Below you can see the mistakes you might be making. I’ve also included recommendations to help you improve.
- You’re still eating unhealthy food.
Most of the emails I get complain about the struggle with losing fat.
I ask them about their nutrition.
They almost always tell me they their nutrition could be better.
Nowadays, I wolf down food like Goku, and keep building my muscles with Chaos Nutrition concepts. But after everything’s been said and done, nothing can be done if you eat garbage. You need to know what kind of food to prepare.
Sticking to a healthy diet is quite the chore. As you can see, people who have problems with their bodies don’t have a healthy diet. They go for junk food, processed food, or drinks with a truckload of sugar.
If your breakfast is cocoa with the added sugar and milk and extra-syrup pancakes, you’ll need to train extra hard to get rid of it.
For those who are new to intermittent fasting, emphasize meat and fish that are as much as possible, unprocessed, and fresh vegetables.
I’m not saying you should never eat anything processed again because it can cause instant death. I used to eat bread, but now white rice is part of my diet. You see, as you go back through food processing, the food becomes more and more FUBAR. It goes through a lot of processing and in the end, it hardly resembles what it once was.
Now, when talking about drinks, if you consume any drink aside from water, or non-sugared coffee or tea, then don’t complain that you have a hard time losing fat. Don’t look for techniques that aren’t basic.
- You’re not keeping busy.
After you hear a secret from a friend, the tendency is you want to share it to the world. The same thing applies to when you have food in mind. You want to chow down anything within reach that resembles food.
When I started fasting for twenty-four hours, I went to sleep, did some golfing, worked out, and trained at batting. It was around seven in the evening when I started thinking about eating something. I drank tea and watched The Office. It kept me distracted. When it was time to sleep, food never crossed my mind.
When you hurry yourself to intermittently fast, you have to stay busy. Plan your day with activities that will keep you away from food. It’s a way to keep you from temptation. Try to avoid being with friends with food. Don’t even look at the office pantry and the free pastries lying there.
- You’re overusing stimulants.
People who fast intermittently often have coffee as their entire morning meal. Drinking one or two cups might aid in keeping you from being hungry. Coffee might also be good for increasing one’s metabolic rate in burning fat.
It’s a common occurrence that the morning becomes a caffeine feast. A couple of cups are okay. But don’t think of coffee as food. It isn’t. On a personal note, I believe it to be a bad idea to consume coffee after twelve noon.
Coffee is part of everyone’s diet, whether good or bad. Don’t beat yourself up if you love it. But don’t overuse it.
- You’re putting too much pressure on yourself.
Nowadays, I eat a single meal a day while staying true to the concepts of Chaos Nutrition. But it wasn’t always this way. I had to get used to being hungry, and it didn’t happen overnight. It took me a while. Honestly, I wasn’t sure if I would ever fast intermittently if I never broke my foot and survived without breakfast.
Take it easy when you start out. If you eat a lot of unhealthy food, and suddenly make a move to a single meal a day, that’s a pretty big change to take in. I recommend a single meal a day to people who only want to eat a single meal a day. Going from where I was to where I am now in intermittent fasting took me years. I started with six meals a day in ’06, then reduced to four in the summer of 2010. By autumn of that year, I was eating three to four times with an additional two times for snacking. I broke my foot during the winter of the following year, and somehow reduced my food intake to two to three a day. Eventually, it was down to two, and on occasion one a day. At the end of 2012, I had gotten used to a single meal a day.
It took years, but it was worth it.
Now, I have a couple of recommendations for you if you want to get into intermittent fasting.
- Try waking up late so you won’t be able to prepare your morning meal. Eat your first meal at noontime.
- Try a 24-hour fast once a week. Wake up late. And forget to prepare lunch as well. Time the fast sometime in the afternoon so you can break it the following day at the same time. That way you never really finish a day without eating a meal.
- You’re always afraid of being hungry.
Being hungry is fine. It happens to everyone everywhere. Being hungry won’t let your muscles perish. To fast for sixteen to twenty hours won’t be fatal. Research even reveals that fasting can sometimes make one healthier.
Fasting for a day is safe for your body. It’s not eating for long periods of time that you have to worry about.
I am now more fit than ever, and I only have a single meal a day. I haven’t underperformed, which shouldn’t come as a surprise when you consider Ramadan athletes. I even tried fasting after training to experiment on myself.
Hunger shouldn’t be feared.
- You’re thinking that more is better.
To fast intermittently is good. So let’s try it for forty eight hours. Then seventy-two hours.
It doesn’t work that way. Brad Pilon mentions this in Eat Stop Eat. Fasting after twenty hours is no longer beneficial.
Although it is still subject to circumstance. If you ate a lot before fasting, then fasting might be more than twenty hours. But if you regularly fast for more than twenty hours, try changing your habits. To fast isn’t the same as starving yourself.
- You’re staying away from the disorder.
Fasting intermittently depends on what is called negative feedback loops, a term coined by Ori Hofmekler, author of Maximum Muscle, Minimum Fat.
These loops are disorder. They are chaos. If you make what you eat more unpredictable, the more effective it becomes.
Another way of looking at it is seeing how its being effective stems from short term fasting. You have to accept this and hold it close to you.
You should understand and accept that short term fasting has amazing possibilities. It can hold a lot of power. It can help one reach his or her full potential, just like working out. To fast is to put stress on the body. It is something the body must adjust to. And when it does, the body becomes stronger.
- You’re always looking at the time.
Relax. Don’t stress yourself over the time left in your fasting period. A single minute won’t destroy all that you’ve worked for. This is an irony since most of the people who fast intermittently give attention to the relaxed life you can enjoy, and yet they still manage to make it all about the minutes until fasting is done.
Most of the time, I only have a single meal a day, which is dinner. Sometimes, it’s in the middle of the afternoon. Sometimes it’s around eight in the evening. It’s something I never fuss about. When I’m okay to have the meal, then that’s when I have the meal. I have the meal when it’s the best time for me to have the meal at my convenience. When I really get hungry, and it isn’t time yet, I chew on raw veggies. I’m not stressed. I’m free. If I find myself in New York, dinner then might have a sundae with waffles, or an ice cream sandwich with donuts at four in the morning. That makes me happy.
- You’re putting too much emphasis on the results rather than the process.
One of the most important things people should remember when going through a complicated dynamic system is that the entire system is more important than the end result.
You can do all you can to make sense of each part of the system, but you won’t be able to decipher their purpose if they’re all put together.
Many people emphasize these individual parts. Many people try to figure out if a small amount of sugar in their drink will destroy everything. Many people want to know how big an impact a single minute can make.
But most of the time, something more important that requires your attention comes up, making that small amount of sugar the least of your worries.
Important concerns can range from what kind of food you’ve prepared for yourself, your training regimen, the amount of food, protein, vegetables and fat you’re consuming.
I suggest that you dwell on how you’ll go about underfeeding (or feeding) yourself. Think of how much you’ll feed or not feed yourself. If you feed yourself a lot, then it means you’ll have more muscle. If you underfeed yourself, then it means you’ll take in less fat. Think of how often you’ll be fasting. Will it be every day? Will it be every week?
Don’t spend too much time on the individual parts. Remember, the more trivial the part, the less it matters.
How to Properly Perform the Barbell Row
Just as the bench press is the king of chest exercises, the barbell row is ruler of its domain for the lats and traps. With most other lat exercises you don’t directly fight gravity — a pulley eases the struggle on cable exercises. But with the barbell row, you can really load up on the […]
Just as the bench press is the king of chest exercises, the barbell row is ruler of its domain for the lats and traps. With most other lat exercises you don’t directly fight gravity — a pulley eases the struggle on cable exercises. But with the barbell row, you can really load up on the weight, making it great for upper back development. From a true strength standpoint, this exercise is a staple of most elite athlete programs. And when it comes to sheer size, no lifter should leave this lift out of his routine.
How To Do The Barbell Row:
Take a wide-grip, palms down approach while stabilizing your feet at shoulder width and bending your knees about 15 degrees. Your bent-over position should not be parallel with the ground, but at about a 60-degree trunk angle. If you start by retracting (pulling in) your scapulae you will further isolate your lats, but you will need slightly lighter weight. Some prefer the rounded upper back start and retract during the lift to make the traps work in conjunction with the lats. In either case, stick your chest out, flatten your lower back and pull the weight hard into your upper abdomen while sending your elbows backward. Return the weight under control and pause to avoid momentum from taking over.
While the barbell version is superior for overall development, using cable and dumbbell variations works well, too. For a more refined barbell version that uses a little more biceps, use a reverse grip (palms up) just outside your hips on the same bent over row movement. Your pull will be more to your lower abdomen and shift the emphasis to your lower lats, with some help from your bi’s. Some gyms also have a modified barbell with neutral handles.
Many people avoid the bent over row as it requires more lower back and ab control to maintain a solid posture. Also, it is often thought of as an athletic lift and many gymgoers still avoid it like the plague. But if you’re not rowing with barbells, you’re limiting the progress you can make, both in muscle size, shape, and quality.
- Minimize the amount of momentum you use, or else you risk jeopardizing your posture. This can lead to injury, or at the very least, an ineffective set. Experienced lifters may use 1-2 calculated cheat reps at the end of a set.
- Change grips and hand spacing from set to set, or workout to workout, in order to encourage complete back development.
- If lat development is high on your priority list, always aim to perform this exercise first in your back routine when you are at your strongest.
- Complete your back routine with pulls through different planes such as the seated cable row, lat pulldown, standing cable low row and straight-bar lat pulldown.
- As you progress, try to build in advanced techniques such as forced reps, rest-pause and negatives to elicit even greater gains out of your lats and middle back.
To get all of the benefits that the barbell row has to offer, perform it first in your back routine, doing 8-10 reps for four sets. You should be aiming for positive muscle failure at that range – if you can do 11 reps, you’re going too light.
Exercise Sets Reps Barbell row 4 8-10 Seated cable row 4 10 Lat pulldown 4 10 Standing cable low row 4 10 Staight-bar lat pulldown 3 12
David Sandler, MS, CSCS is the director of StrengthPro, Inc., a Las Vegas-based sports-performance consulting group. For more info, visit www.strengthpro.com.
How to Properly Perform the Barbell Row was originally published at LINK