The Death of the Twinkie

A few random thoughts on the latest Fitness news stories….

The Death of the Twinkie

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Massive and scandalous to some…. and a non- story to others.  My first thought was, “Do people REALLY still eat Twinkies?”.  Apparently they do.  Lots of them.

In the end, I don’t think that the Death of the Twinkie will have much of an impact on anything.  While it sure isn’t a healthy food choice (It’s really nothing more than processed flours, sugars, fats and chemicals), in moderation it probably won’t harm you if you eat one every now and then.

Twinkies won’t help you to get into great shape, but, they’re also not the reason that there is an obesity epidemic in many societies today.  It’s not that simple.

I tried one (for science you see) and …BLECH!   I’m all for a good “fat food” splurge as a treat …but it’s got to be worth it.  It should at least taste good!

Give me some homemade cake, some real whipped cream, maybe a  few berries.  That would be worth it.

A golden blob of who knows what filled with a greasy “cream filling”?  Not so much.

Exercise May Ward off Anxiety

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First of all…. I can’t believe that we STILL have to study this stuff!  I think we have enough anectodal evidence to conclude that….. YES…. exercise makes you feel better.  I can honestly say that after 50 000 workouts in my life time, I have never (as in ever) had someone say that they felt worse after exercising than they did before.

So… a recent University of Maryland study showed that people who rested for 30 minutes per day over two days didn’t fare as well in dealing with stress as those that cycled for 30 minutes per day over two days.

Participants were shown a series of images that were violent or disturbing along with neutral or pleasant images shortly after either resting or exercising.  While both groups fared well in the measurement of anxiety levels, the exercise group maintained the decreased levels of anxiety for longer.  The resting group had levels that rose back to their pre-test levels quickly.

“We found that exercise helps to buffer the effects of emotional
exposure. If  you exercise, you’ll not only reduce your anxiety, but
you’ll be better able to  maintain that reduced anxiety when confronted with emotional events,” study researcher J. Carson Smith said.

10 Minute Workouts

A recent news story addressed the efficiency of short, 10 minute workouts and whether they can actually help someone maintain, or improve, their health and fitness.

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), multiple short burst workouts CAN improve endurance, strength and even metabolism in people who are just too busy to commit to longer sessions.  They even have a term for it.  Exercise Snacking.  I love that!

Trainers have know for years that the intensity of a workout session will be the deciding factor in how effective it is in bringing about change.  A 90 minute session of doing a few sets between chatting, drinking water and watching TV will hardly improve your body like a focused 10 minute blast of intensity.

I once challenged a client that told me that they had NO time to workout.  Eventually, they conceded that yes, they could sneak in 10 minutes during the day.  They wanted to know if they should go for a 10 minute walk.  This was a fairly fit individual to begin with, so I suggested skipping the walk (save that for errands that occur during the day) and trying this little circuit that I designed for them.

Pushups for 60 seconds (As many as possible!)

Crunches for 60 seconds

Squat jumps for 60 seconds

Cross Body Punches (like shadow boxing) for 60 seconds

Alternate Rear Lunges for 60 seconds

…..repeat for 5 more minutes!

Now… the above little “snack” is an absolute KILLER.  Very difficult.  …but it was designed to make a point.  The DURATION isn’t as important as the INTENSITY.

Do you think that if you could complete this circuit for 10 minutes everyday, it would get you fitter than going for a 10 minute walk?

You better believe it!  …and if you have TWENTY minutes, go for a 10 minute walk after round 2!

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