Welcome to the latest instalment of the Three-Tip Friday series at HT Physio!
Each Friday throughout 2021, I’ll be sharing three of my best tips, strategies and techniques for improving your health, fitness and well-being, then sending them to you in a brief email.
The information could be an interesting story from the clinic this week, some exciting research I’ve come across that you might find interesting or even a reminder of the best ways to stay fit and healthy.
There’ll be no spam and no annoying promo’s – just a little morsel of healthy goodness from your local physiotherapist before the weekend!
#1: Which type of exercise releases the most endorphins?: Endorphins are the “happy chemicals” that get released after a bout of physical exercise. They are the source of the so-called “runner’s high” and one of the reasons exercise can be enjoyable. But which type, intensity and duration of exercise releases the most endorphins?
I was surprised to read that higher intensity exercise is not necessarily better. In a 2017 study in the journal Nature, researchers found high endorphin release for groups who performed high intensity exercise or a steady bout of moderate intensity exercise. However, in the high intensity group, there was also a decrease in opioid receptor binding in the brain, which was associated with worse mood. The moderate intensity group did not see this effect – meaning they experienced a greater uplift in mood. The guidance for maximising endorphins is to take continuous, moderate exercise (6/10 exertion) for a period of 30-60 mins. Full study here.
#2: How to maintain muscle while losing weight: Losing fat is tricky at the best of times – but it is it even trickier to lose fat AND maintain muscle at the same time. When we consume less calories than we burn, the body strips away fat but it also burns muscle if we aren’t careful. Luckily, there are ways to prevent muscle loss. In this 2015 study, researchers found that people who engaged in resistance-based exercise 3 days per week and supplemented their low-calorie diets with whey protein, L-leucine and vitamin D experienced muscle gain, even though they lost an average of 3.4kg of fat in 13 weeks. This was compared to the calorie-restriction-only group, who saw similar fat loss – but also lost 0.5kg of muscle.
#3: 3 tips for better sleep with sciatica: Unfortunately for sciatica sufferers, this condition tends to be very uncomfortable at night time. The problem with lack of sleep is that sleep is when healing occurs – so interrupted sleep leads to interrupted healing. While it is not easy to improve sleep with sciatica, there are some tips that may help. In my latest video, I explain three of the best tips I’ve found for improving sleep when suffering with sciatica. You can watch the video on YouTube here.
P.S. Stuck for a gift for that “hard-to-buy-for” person?: Why not give them the gift of comfort, mobility and independence this year? We are offering Christmas gift vouchers for physiotherapy at my practice, perfect to get a friend or family member moving again this winter. There are lots of options available, so if you are interested in hearing more, just reply to this email and I can recommend some options as a thoughtful Christmas gift.
That’s it for this week! Thanks for reading. I hope you’ve had a great week.
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