MF AQ

EV­ERY MONTH WE AN­SWER THE KEY FIT­NESS QUES­TIONS

Men's Fitness - - Feature Title -

QShould I carry a wa­ter bot­tle when run­ning?

‘On a long run, yes,’ says run­ning coach Gerald Smith, owner of run­ning coach lon­don. co.uk. ‘Your blood is mostly made of wa­ter so as you sweat your blood will thicken and your blood pres­sure will rise. That means you’ll find it harder to ex­er­cise.’ If you don’t want to carry a bot­tle, try the Snap flask belt from am­phi­pod.com (pic­tured), which holds wa­ter ves­sels com­fort­ably and se­curely for easy one-handed ac­cess.

QShould I change my pro­tein, carbs and fat ra­tios in win­ter be­cause of the cold?

‘You don’t need to change your diet macros mas­sively just be­cause it’s a bit brisk,’ says Emma Bar­r­a­clough, se­nior nutri­tion­ist at Science in Sport. ‘How­ever, if it’s af­fected your ac­tiv­ity level that’s a dif­fer­ent story. If you’re do­ing less car­dio then you’ll need to drop the per­cent­age of calo­ries you get from car­bo­hy­drates, in­creas­ing your pro­tein to com­pen­sate.’

QI know some­one who got a staph in­fec­tion. It was nasty. Should I worry about catch­ing one at the gym?

‘In the­ory it is pos­si­ble to catch a staphy­lo­coc­cal in­fec­tion in the gym from bac­te­ria lurk­ing on gym equip­ment or yoga mats,’ says Dr Ste­fanie Wil­liams, med­i­cal direc­tor at Euro­pean Der­ma­tol­ogy Lon­don. ‘For­tu­nately, the risk of ac­quir­ing such an in­fec­tion is low.’ But what if you’re the un­lucky one? ‘It’s worth tweak­ing your gym rou­tine to be on the safe side,’ says Wil­liams. ‘Make sure you shower im­me­di­ately af­ter ex­er­cis­ing, wash all your gym clothes af­ter each use and wipe any gym equip­ment as well as the in­side of your gym bag with anti-bac­te­rial wipes.’ But you do all that al­ready, right?

QI’ve­trained for most of my life but re­cently my mo­ti­va­tion isn’t what it used to be. How do I jump-start my de­sire to get in shape again?

Sim­ple: for­get about mo­ti­va­tion, and cre­ate rou­tines in­stead. ‘Rather than bat­tling to work up the mo­ti­va­tion ev­ery time you want to ex­er­cise, cre­ate an if/then plan for your­self to fol­low,’ says Pro­fes­sor Richard

Wiseman, psy­chol­o­gist and au­thor of 59 Sec­onds: Think A Lit­tle, Change A Lot. ‘For ex­am­ple, if I don’t make it to the gym, then I’ll do a body­weight cir­cuit at home. Plan the cir­cuit in ad­vance, and you won’t have to en­gage your brain when you’re low on willpower.’ Work out more with mates, too – ac­count­abil­ity is a great in­cen­tive to train.

QMFrec­om­mended tuna as a mus­cle-builder. Isn’t there a risk of mer­cury poi­son­ing?

Mer­cury lev­els are higher in preda­tory fish such as tuna – but don’t panic just yet. ‘Tuna is safe to eat in mod­er­a­tion – no more than three times a week,’ says He­len Bark­lam, a BANT-reg­is­tered nu­tri­tional ther­a­pist. ‘It also con­tains the min­eral se­le­nium, which is thought to al­le­vi­ate the tox­i­c­ity of mer­cury by bind­ing to it and pre­vent­ing its ab­sorp­tion in places it can cause harm.’ So start cooking.

Strug­gling to mo­ti­vate your­self? Trick your brain into form­ing

healthy habits

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