HEALTHY LIV­ING

When to stretch, whether to push your­self to the limit, which omegas are best and what makes UVA dif­fer­ent to UVB.

Fairlady - - CONTENTS - BY SUZY BRO­KEN­SHA

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.

GONE FISH­ING

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’?

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