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13/Feb/2024

Embarking on a fitness journey involves making a multitude of decisions, with one of the most important being the type of workouts to integrate into your routine. For many, the question isn’t about whether to work out but rather the approach to take: do you focus on building endurance or increasing power? In a world brimming with exercise options, understanding which route aligns with your goals and physiology is critical.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the finer points of endurance and power workouts, aiding you in the quest to enhance your fitness and maximize your health. This is no one-size-fits-all scenario; ultimate success lies in tailored routines that resonate with your body and ambitions. Whether you’re a gym aficionado, a cardio enthusiast, or a rookie ready to break a sweat, this guide is your roadmap to making informed fitness choices.

Understanding Endurance Workouts

Endurance, the bedrock of aerobic fitness, is about the long haul. It entails activities that challenge your cardiovascular system over an extended period, improving your body’s ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to tissues. The benefits extend beyond the gym, boosting heart health and fostering a sense of stamina in everyday life.

The Endurance Regimen

Endurance workouts, often dubbed ‘cardio,’ include activities like running, swimming, cycling, and even dancing at a brisk, consistent rate. The aim is to maintain an elevated heart rate for the entire duration of the exercise.

Why Choose Endurance?

Endurance training is the cornerstone for those preparing for marathons or wanting to improve their general stamina. It’s also a powerful tool in weight management, burning a substantial amount of calories and encouraging fat utilization for energy.

Understanding Power Workouts

Power training, on the other hand, is about quick bursts of strength and speed. Referred to as anaerobic exercises, power workouts focus on short, intense actions that build muscle strength and size.

The Power Principle

Incorporating plyometrics, sprints, and weightlifting in your routine, power exercises push your muscles to generate force at maximum or near-maximum levels in a controlled manner.

Why Choose Power?

Opting for power workouts can lead to functional benefits including improved balance, agility, and coordination. Athletes, in particular, rely on power training to enhance their explosiveness and performance in sports where agility is key.

 

Factors to Consider

As you deliberate between endurance and power, it’s essential to weigh various factors that can sway your decision one way or the other.

Fitness Objectives

What are you hoping to achieve? Weight loss might lean toward endurance, while muscle gain could favour power. Tailor your decision to your overarching goals.

Personal Preferences

Do you relish the meditative rhythm of a long-distance run, or are you drawn to the challenge of heavy lifting? Enjoyment is a potent motivator in sustaining a fitness routine.

Health and Injuries

Your current health status and any past injuries should be considered. Endurance exercises are typically lower impact, making them a safer bet for those with joint issues.

How to Decide

Making the choice between endurance and power is largely an individual one. Here are some ways to help you reach a decision:

Fitness Assessment

Conducting a self-assessment of your current strength and cardiovascular abilities can point you towards which area needs the most attention.

Seek Professional Advice

Trainers and fitness professionals can offer personalized guidance that accounts for your body’s specific needs and limitations.

Trial and Error

Sometimes, the best way to know what works for you is to try both types of workouts and assess how your body responds to each.

Tips for Maximizing Results

Once you’ve chosen a path — or perhaps, a blend of both — here’s how to get the most out of your chosen workout philosophy:

Balance is Key

Ideally, your fitness routine should strike a balance between endurance and power to maintain a well-rounded approach.

Progressive Overload

Whichever regimen you commit to, it’s crucial to gradually increase the difficulty to continue seeing improvements and avoid plateaus.

Listen to Your Body

Adaptive training is successful training. Keep an ear out for what your body is telling you. If recovery is slow, it may be time to dial back intensity.

Conclusion

The battle of endurance versus power is not a battle at all; it is a continuum that serves different purposes for different people. Endurance and power aren’t mutually exclusive categories; in fact, blending both in appropriate ratios can provide an ideal platform for reaching diverse fitness objectives. Take the expertise from this guide, align it with your ambitions, and set forth on a fitness journey that’s not just productive, but also deeply fulfilling. Remember, the journey to fitness is continuous, and the path you choose today can — and likely will — evolve with you.


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30/Jan/2024

When people think of vitamin C, the first thing that usually comes to mind is its ability to ward off the common cold. But did you know that vitamin C is also an incredibly powerful nutrient for recovery? That’s right! Vitamin C plays a crucial role in everything from wound healing to muscle repair, making it an essential component of any recovery plan. In this article, we’ll dive deeper into the benefits of vitamin C for recovery and explore some of the best sources of this vital nutrient.

Immune System Boost

Vitamin C plays an important role in supporting our immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells. This means that vitamin C can help to keep us healthy when we’re feeling under the weather. But did you know that vitamin C is also important for healing injuries? When the body is fighting off an illness or recovering from an injury, it needs more vitamin C than usual.

Check out the benefits of intravenous vitamin C therapy HERE

Wound Healing

If you have a cut or scrape, vitamin C can help to speed up the healing process. This is because it is essential for the production of collagen, which is a vital protein that helps to build connective tissue. Collagen plays a crucial role in the healing of wounds, making vitamin C an important nutrient for anyone who wants to recover quickly from an injury. This is also why vitamin C is a common ingredient in skin creams and other beauty products.

Muscle Repair

Whether you’re an avid gym-goer or just enjoy staying active, you know how important it is to take care of your muscles. Vitamin C can help with muscle repair by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. This means that vitamin C can help to protect your muscles from damage and can also speed up the recovery process if you experience any muscle soreness.

On a personal note, I have been using a whoop band for sleep and fitness tracking and was surprised to see a 6% increase in recovery correlated to my vitamin C consumption.

Check out this article on injury recovery HERE

Supplements for Rock Climbing

Best Sources of Vitamin C

So, where can you find vitamin C? The best sources are fruits and vegetables like oranges, kiwis, broccoli, bell peppers, and kale. It’s important to note that vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that your body can’t store it. This is why it’s important to consume vitamin C-rich foods regularly. Vitamin C supplementation may also be a viable option for those not getting suffcient amounts through diet alone.

How Much Vitamin C Do You Need?

The recommended daily intake of vitamin C is 75 mg for women and 90 mg for men. However, these guidelines can vary depending on your age and activity level. If you’re recovering from an injury, you may need to consume more vitamin C to support your body’s healing process. Talk to your healthcare provider to determine the right amount of vitamin C for your needs. If supplementing with vitamin C for immune health or recovery, I recommend taking 500mg-1000mg several times per day.

Conclusion:

Overall, vitamin C is an underrated nutrient for recovery that should not be overlooked. From boosting the immune system to aiding in muscle repair, vitamin C is an essential component of any recovery plan. Make sure to consume vitamin C-rich foods regularly, especially if you’re recovering from an illness or injury. Incorporating more vitamin C into your diet is an easy way to support your body’s healing process and ensure that you’re feeling your best.


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04/Dec/2023

Have you ever seen those circular bruises on the back of athletes’ shoulders and wondered how they got there? Chances are, they’re the result of a practice known as cupping. Cupping therapy is an age-old form of alternative medicine, originating from ancient Chinese and Egyptian cultures. The practice involves creating suction on the skin using cups, which pulls the skin upwards and increases blood flow to the area. This is believed to help mobilize blood flow, promoting healing and relieving muscle tension.

There are various types of cupping therapy, each with its unique benefits and applications. In this article, we’ll delve into three main types: flame cupping, vacuum cupping, and sliding cupping. We’ll explore their characteristics, benefits, scientific research backing their effectiveness, and the potential risks involved.

Flame Cupping

Flame cupping, also known as fire cupping, is the traditional method of cupping therapy. It involves soaking a cotton ball in alcohol, setting it alight, and then placing it inside a glass cup. The fire consumes the oxygen inside the cup, creating a vacuum as it cools, which causes the cup to stick to the skin and draw it upwards.

Research suggests that flame cupping can assist in pain management, inflammation reduction, and promote relaxation. A study published in PLoS ONE found that patients with chronic neck pain reported significant pain relief after undergoing flame cupping therapy.

However, there are risks associated with flame cupping, including burns, skin infection, and temporary skin discolouration. Therefore, it’s crucial to have this procedure performed by a trained professional.

Naturopathic Pain Management Cupping

Vacuum Cupping

Vacuum cupping, also called mechanical or suction cupping, uses a hand-held pump to create the suction effect instead of heat. This method offers more control over the amount of suction and will avoid the potential to cause burns.

Research indicates that vacuum cupping can be beneficial for conditions like fibromyalgia and chronic back pain. A systematic review in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that vacuum cupping significantly reduced pain in people with fibromyalgia compared to no treatment.

While vacuum cupping is generally safer than flame cupping, potential side effects include bruising, discomfort during the procedure, and minor skin irritation.

Slide Cupping

Slide cupping, or moving cupping, involves applying oil to the skin, creating suction in the cup, and then sliding the cup around the affected area. This technique is often used for treating large muscle groups and is particularly popular among athletes for recovery.

A study in the Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine reported that slide cupping could improve range of motion and decrease perceived muscle soreness in athletes.

Slide cupping shares similar risks with the other types, including possible skin irritation and discolouration.

How it works

The primary goal of cupping therapy is to enhance circulation, help relieve pain, remove “heat,” and pull out the toxins that linger in your body’s tissues. It’s believed that the suction from the cups lifts the skin and underlying tissues, leading to increased blood and lymph flow. This fresh influx of blood nourishes and repairs the targeted area, promoting healing and relaxation.

From a scientific perspective, cupping therapy may improve blood flow, reduce inflammation, and activate the immune system. The vacuum created by the cup stimulates the nervous system, which can increase blood circulation and reduce pain.

Conditions

Several studies suggest that cupping therapy may be beneficial for a variety of health conditions:

  1. Chronic Pain: A systematic review of 135 studies found evidence that cupping therapy can effectively reduce chronic neck and lower back pain.
  2. Cardiovascular Diseases: Some researchers suggest that cupping could help manage cardiovascular diseases by improving blood flow. However, more research is needed in this area.
  3. Respiratory Diseases: Cupping is traditionally used in the treatment of respiratory diseases like the common cold, pneumonia, and bronchitis. Scientific evidence supporting this use is limited but growing.
  4. Skin Diseases: Anecdotal evidence suggests that cupping may help with acne, herpes zoster, and other skin diseases. More rigorous studies are needed to confirm these effects.

It’s worth noting that cupping has been associated with some risks, particularly when done without proper training or hygiene. The most common side effects include bruising, skin irritation, and mild discomfort. More serious complications, such as infections or bleeding, are relatively rare but can occur, particularly with wet cupping. Additionally, cupping is not recommended for everyone, particularly pregnant women, people with bleeding disorders, or people taking blood thinners.

Check out more Naturopathic solutions to chronic pain Here

Conclusion

Cupping is an ancient therapy that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of conditions, but it remains a relatively mysterious and controversial practice in the West. While cupping has been associated with some potential benefits, including pain relief, more research is needed to fully understand its mechanisms and effectiveness. Additionally, cupping does carry some risks, particularly when done without proper training or hygiene. If you’re considering cupping as a therapy, it’s important to do your research and work with a qualified practitioner to ensure safety and effectiveness.

For more information on Cupping Click Here

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13/Dec/2022

Vitamin D is an essential vitamin that helps our body absorb calcium, promote healthy bones and teeth, and regulate our immune system. It’s often referred to as the “sunshine vitamin” because our body creates it when we’re exposed to sunlight. But many people have difficulty getting enough vitamin D from exposure to the sun alone, especially in winter. Therefore for some of us it is necessary to take a vitamin D supplement to achieve optimal levels.
So what are the main benefits of vitamin D? Let’s take a look at 10 top benefits of this important nutrient.

1. Strengthens Bones and Teeth

Vitamin D plays a pivotal role in helping our bodies absorb calcium, which is essential for strong bones and teeth. Research has shown that having low levels of vitamin D can increase your risk of developing osteoporosis, a condition characterized by weak and brittle bones, in later life.

2. Improves Immunity

Studies have found that people with adequate levels of vitamin D are better able to fight off infections such as colds and flu than those who don’t get enough of the nutrient in their diets. This is because Vitamin D helps regulate our immune system by producing proteins called antimicrobial peptides that help fight off invading bacteria and viruses.

3. Helps Regulate Blood Pressure

Low levels of vitamin D can lead to higher blood pressure, which can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke if left unchecked over time. Adequate levels of vitamin D help keep your blood pressure at healthy levels, reducing your overall risk for cardiovascular-related health issues.

4. Reduces Inflammation

Inflammation is one of the body’s natural processes which helps protect us from infection and injury, but too much inflammation can be damaging to our health over time. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to increased inflammation in the body, so maintaining optimal amounts through diet or supplementation may help reduce the risk for chronic inflammatory diseases such as asthma or arthritis.

5. Improves Mental Health

Recent studies have shown that there may be a link between low levels of vitamin D and depression or anxiety symptoms in some individuals. It’s believed that this connection may be due to how vitamin D affects certain neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin which play a role in regulating mood and emotions.

6. Protects Against Cancer

Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with an increased risk for certain types of cancer including colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer among others. While more research needs to be done on this topic, it’s believed that adequate intake or exposure to sunlight could help reduce your overall risk for developing these cancers over time.

7. Improves Muscle Strength

Vitamin D plays an important role in muscle strength since it helps regulate calcium absorption into muscles tissues which allows them to contract properly during exercise or physical activity. Research has also shown that having low levels of this vital nutrient could lead to weaker muscles over time so getting enough through diet or supplementation may help improve muscle strength over time.

8. Boosts Brain Function

Studies suggest that having adequate amounts of vitamin d could help boost cognitive function by improving memory recall and alertness. Vitamin D helps regulate certain neurotransmitters like glutamate which play a role in learning and memory formation.

9. Lowers Risk Of Diabetes

There is evidence suggesting that low levels of this nutrient could increase your chances for developing type 2 diabetes since it helps regulate insulin production.

10. Decreases Risk Of Heart Disease

Maintaining adequate amounts through diet or supplementation has been linked with lower risks for heart attack and stroke. Vitamin D helps reduce inflammation within arteries therefore decreasing plaque build-up overtime.

Vitamin D supplementation

Besides sun exposure, Vitamin D supplements provide the most convenient way to ensure the adequate dosage is taken; however it is recommended that you get a lab test done first to determine your Vitamin D levels and then adjust your supplementation accordingly. The current international recommendation for Vitamin D intake stands at 400-800 IUs/day, however some people may need higher doses depending on their individual situation. Vitamin D supplementation can also be obtained through dietary sources such as cod liver oil or fortified foods. When supplementation is not enough to raise a severely low vitamin D level, a high dose injection is an option. For more information on how sun exposure affects vitamin D click here.

Conclusion

As you can see, there are numerous benefits associated with getting enough Vitamin D through diet or exposure to sunlight everyday! From strengthening bones and teeth, to reducing inflammation and improving mental health —this essential nutrient truly plays an integral role in keeping us healthy! For those who aren’t able to get enough naturally through foods rich in Vitamin D like fatty fish (such as salmon), eggs, mushrooms, and fortified milk, supplementation may be necessary depending on individual needs. Consulting with a medical professional would be a great way to ensure that your vitamin D level is optimal.

dr_shawn

Patient focused integrative health care. Utilizing effective natural approaches designed to be used alone or to compliment conventional medical care.


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