When to stretch, whether to push yourself to the limit, which omegas are best and what makes UVA different to UVB.
GO HARD OR GO HOME?
Maybe not! Some experts think pushing ourselves to the limit will do more harm than good. When 35 healthy adults who exercise for more than eight hours a week were asked to wear heart monitors and report back on their diet, mood and sleep for seven days, there was a direct correlation between time spent training at 90 percent maximum heart rate and disrupted sleep, more illness and injury, and a plateau or drop in fitness.
It’s all to do with recovery time. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) does push you to your limits, but the crucial thing is the ‘interval’ bit: built-in recovery time. ‘It’s during recovery that adaptations (in weight loss, definition or strength) take place,’ says researcher in sport and exercise science, Richard Blagrove.
We all know the benefits of eating fish, but a study in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry recently found that omega-3s from fish are also superior to those from plants and oils. Marine-based omega-3s are eight times more effective at inhibiting the growth of cancerous tumours, according to the study.
STRETCHING THE TRUTH
Stretching is no longer what you do before and after exercise – it’s the exercise itself. In the US, stretching classes are the new hot yoga, promising the Three M’s: Massage, Mobilisation and Maximising performance through stretching.
It’s all about helping your fascia to release. Fascia is the fibrous connective tissue that encompasses our muscles and bones and, while it’s protective in small amounts, it can become restrictive through inactivity (or, ironically, too much activity) and prevent us from moving freely and flexibly.
UV OR NOT UV?
What’s the difference between UVA and UVB rays? The best way to differentiate, says leading dermatologist Dr Luca Russo, is to think A for Ageing and B for Burning. UVA rays penetrate deep and damage your skin’s collagen and elastin, while UVB rays damage the superficial layers of your skin… think of sunburn as an indication that your cell DNA has been damaged by UVB radiation. Still interested in pursuing that ‘healthy glow’?