• The Ultimate Guide To Interval Training

    The Ultimate Guide To Interval Training

    From the track to CrossFit, interval training is gaining steam everywhere — and for good reason. Alternating bursts of intense activity with periods of no- or low-intensity activity (known as active recovery), interval training effectively bumps up the heart rate, burns more calories and fat, and is more efficient compared to steady-state cardio (like jogging at the same pace for an extended period of time). No matter your fitness level, or preferred way to exercise, just about anyone can try out interval training.

    What is High Intensity Interval Training?

    High intensity interval training (HIIT) involves exercising at a high intensity (for 30 seconds to several minutes) then recovering with low intensity exercise for 1-5 minutes 1. While athletes have trained with intervals for decades, recent research points to short bursts of all-out intensity (coupled with short periods of rest) as an effective way to improve cardiovascular function and physical performance in less time than exercising with the same intensity for a full workout 2. Bottom line: high intensity means getting the job done in a jiffy.

    4 Standout Benefits of Interval Training

    1. Interval training is hyper efficient.
    While hitting the gym for an hour session may be the norm for many, it’s simply not practical for some of us. The good news is that research shows high intensity interval training has similar effects on the body to that of endurance training, but with less of a time commitment 34. In one study, 8-12 one-minute intervals of high intensity had the same effect on metabolism and muscle function as about 90 minutes of cycling at a moderate pace 5. Even if we think we don’t have time to workout, a quick 10-20 minute interval workout can still be beneficial.

    2. It’s great for weight loss.
    Moving in general is an integral part of shedding pounds, but including higher intensity intervals has been shown to amplify weight loss 6. Studies show high intensity intervals reduced more abdominal fat compared to sessions of moderate intensity 7 8 9. The formula is simple — the harder you work out, the more calories you’ll burn 10.

    3. It keeps working, even after you do.
    After a sweat sesh, our metabolism can stay elevated for a period of time — a term known as the afterburn effect (i.e. we burn more calories after exercise is complete, even if we’re lounging on the couch watching TV). Adding bouts of high intensity exercise during a workout has been show to increase the afterburn — also known as “excess post-exercise oxygen consumption” or EPOC — even more than moderate exercise 111213 .

    4. It does wonders for your heart.
    A primary benefit of interval training is its ability to increase aerobic performance 14. Increasing the intensity of aerobic exercise, like with intervals, is one of the most effective ways to improve cardio respiratory function (which is the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen to the body during physical activity) 15. In science-speak, interval training increases exerciser’s VO2 max — the maximum amount of oxygen the body takes in during exercise 16. Because muscles work super hard during high intensity intervals, they require more oxygen during and after exercise, which explains both improved cardiovascular strength and post-work out calorie burn. As an added bonus, because bursts of high intensity improve cardiovascular function, interval training can also prevent chronic disease (namely, heart disease) 17.

    How to Get Started

    If you’re used to working out at a steady pace, ease into intervals. Incorporate them slowly and start by alternating intervals of moderate intensity with low intensity before going all out. And remember, interval training doesn’t always have to mean lacing up those sneaks and heading out for a run. Free-weights, medicine balls, and kettlebells – or just your bodyweight – can also be used for a heart-pumping interval workout.

    25-Minute Walking Workout
    Warm-up for 5 minutes at a light pace. Walk for 30 seconds at a fast pace, and then walk 1 minute at a much slower resting pace. Repeat 10 times. Once you’ve mastered the power-walking intervals, try incorporating 30-second jog intervals. Finish with a 5- minute cool down.

    25-Minute Running Workout
    Walk or jog for 5 minutes at a light pace to warm-up. Run for 30 seconds at maximum effort, then jog or walk for 1 minute. Repeat 10 times. Finish with a 5-minute cool down.

    10-Minute Bodyweight Workout
    Walk or jog for 2 minutes, or complete 1 minute of alternating bodyweight lunges and 1 minute of jumping jacks to warm-up. Rest for 30 seconds. Complete each of the following exercises for 1-minute intervals with 30 seconds breaks in between.

    • Squats
    • Push-ups
    • Scissor kicks
    • Burpees
    • Plank

    10-Minute Free Weight Workout
    Walk or jog for 2 minutes, or complete 1 minute of alternating bodyweight lunges and 1 minute of jumping jacks to warm-up. Rest for 30 seconds. Complete each of the following exercises for 1-minute intervals with 30 seconds breaks in between.

    • Bicep Curls
    • Shoulder Presses
    • Squats
    • Alternating lunges with weight overhead
    • Russian Twists

    While Intervals allow us to increase training intensity without overtraining, high intensity interval training isn’t appropriate for everyone. If you do not exercise on a regular basis or have a chronic health condition, consult your doctor before trying an interval training routine.

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    Sources:

    1. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23210120
    2. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2988497/
    3. http://www.unboundmedicine.com/medline/citation/22194005/
    4. http://jp.physoc.org/content/588/6/1011.long
    5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23210120
    6. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3135883/
    7. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22854902
    8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/
    9. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19151592
    10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21311363
    11. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19151592
    12. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15942765
    13. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23210120
    14. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23539308
    15. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8897392
    16. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8897392
    17. http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1113/jphysiol.2011.224725/abstract

  • Expert in Me – Share Your Care Decisions Long-Term Conditions Workshop Event

    Healthwatch Warrington and Partners: Expert in Me – Share Your Care Decisions Long-Term Conditions Workshop Event

    Monday 12th February 2018, The Centre for Independent Living, Beaufort Street, Warrington, WA5 1BA, 10:00am – 12:00pm.

    Do you, someone you care for, or someone you support, have experience of a long-term health condition? If so, we need YOUR help!

    Having better conversations with care professionals is an important part of getting the most from care journeys. Shared Decision Making encourages patients/service users to participate in choosing the most appropriate treatment or care for their needs – considering personal preferences, lifestyle, beliefs and values.

    Healthwatch Warrington want YOUR help to develop training for people with long-term conditions, so they can get the most from their care conversations. Come join our Workshop on 12th February and help develop a 1 hour training session, so people with long-term conditions are aware of their right to ask questions and be fully engaged in their care.

    To book a place, please call 01925 246 893 or email: contact@healthwatchwarrington.co.uk

    You can also download and share a copy of the event poster by clicking here.


  • How to help someone with depression

    How to help someone with depression

    Feeling down or depressed from time to time is normal. But if these feelings last two weeks or more, or start to affect everyday life, this can be a sign of depression.Depression can develop slowly. Someone who is depressed doesn’t always realise or acknowledge that they’re not feeling or behaving as they usually do.

    Often it’s a partner, family member or carer who first realises that help is needed. They may encourage their friend or relative to see their GP, or find some other source of support.

    Signs that someone may be depressed

    Depression has lots of possible symptoms. You may notice that someone:

    • has lost interest in doing things they normally enjoy
    • seems to be feeling down or hopeless
    • has slower speech and movements or is more fidgety and restless than usual
    • feels tired or doesn’t have much energy
    • is overeating or has lost their appetite
    • is sleeping more than usual or isn’t able to sleep
    • has trouble concentrating on everyday things, such as watching the television or reading the paper

    See some more symptoms of depression.

    Signs of depression in older people

    The charity Age UK says that signs of depression in older people can include:

    • empty fridges and cupboards (which suggest a poor diet)
    • neglected appearance
    • poor hygiene
    • someone showing little joy in receiving visitors

    Tips to help someone who seems down

    Depression Alliance, a charity that provides support for people affected by depression, gives the following advice to friends, family and carers:

    • Let them know you care and are there to listen.
    • Accept them as they are, without judging them.
    • Gently encourage them to help themselves – for example, by staying physically active, eating a balanced diet and doing things they enjoy.
    • Get information about the services available to them, such as psychological therapy services or depression support groups in their area.
    • Stay in touch with them by messaging, texting, phoning or meeting for coffee. People who are depressed can become isolated and may find it difficult to leave their home.
    • Try to be patient.
    • Take care of yourself.

    When to get help urgently

    If the person you’re worried about expresses suicidal feelings, you or they should contact a GP or NHS 111. You can also contact Samaritans on 116 123 for confidential, 24-hour support.

    Hear how friends and family helped other people with depression on healthtalk.org.


  • Together: Peer Support Training Programme

    Together: Peer Support Training Programme

    Have you experienced mental distress? Would you like to support other people through difficult times?

    If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to these questions, you might want to take part in Together’s Peer Support Training Programme at Warrington Your Way.

    Peer Supporters use their lived experience as a way to connect with and support others on their recovery journey. As a Peer Supporter you may work with someone on a 1-1 basis, offer drop-in support, co-facilitate a self-management group or help promote the service.

    Become a volunteer Peer Supporter with Warrington Your Way, and;

    • Learn and develop new skills, techniques & tools
    • Improve your self esteem and confidence
    • Make friends & meet like-minded people
    • Share your experiences in a safe way to benefit others
    • Lunch and refreshments provided
    • Out of pocket travel expenses are available
    • Gain a certificate of attendance for all participants

    Training Dates

    Friday 16th February 2018, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Peer Support and the role of Peer Supporters
    Friday 23rd February 2018, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Motivating people and inspiring hope
    Friday 2nd March 2018, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Sharing Our Stories
    Friday 9th March 2018, 10:00am – 4:00pm, Coaching for Hope, Keeping Well and Next Steps

    For more information or to apply please contact Kerri Pearce, Peer Support & Volunteer Coordinator, by calling 01925 652204 or 07808 765230, or emailing: kerri-pearce@together-uk.org

    Find out more by visiting: www.together.co.uk


  • Why lack of sleep is bad for your health

    Why lack of sleep is bad for your health

    Many effects of a lack of sleep, such as feeling grumpy and not working at your best, are well known. But did you know that sleep deprivation can also have profound consequences on your physical health?

    One in three of us suffers from poor sleep, with stress, computers and taking work home often blamed.

    However, the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus.

    Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesityheart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.

    It’s now clear that a solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life.

    How much sleep do we need?

    Most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.

    As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep.

    A variety of factors can cause poor sleep, including health conditions such as sleep apnoea. But in most cases, it’s due to bad sleeping habits.

    Find out the common medical causes of fatigue.

    What happens if I don’t sleep?

    Everyone’s experienced the fatigue, short temper and lack of focus that often follow a poor night’s sleep.

    An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health.

    After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases.

    Find out how to tell if you’re too tired to drive.

    If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

    Here are seven ways in which a good night’s sleep can boost your health:

    1. Sleep boosts immunity

    If you seem to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs.

    2. Sleep can slim you

    Sleeping less may mean you put on weight! Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get seven hours of slumber.

    It’s believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).

    3. Sleep boosts mental wellbeing

    Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

    When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than six hours a night.

    4. Sleep prevents diabetes

    Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of having or developing diabetes.

    It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose – the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel.

    5. Sleep increases sex drive

    Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libidosand less of an interest in sex, research shows.

    Men who suffer from sleep apnoea – a disorder in which breathing difficulties lead to interrupted sleep – also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido.

    6. Sleep wards off heart disease

    Long-standing sleep deprivation seems to be associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, which may put extra strain on your heart.

    7. Sleep increases fertility

    Difficulty conceiving a baby has been claimed as one of the effects of sleep deprivation, in both men and women. Apparently, regular sleep disruptions can cause trouble conceiving by reducing the secretion of reproductive hormones.

    How to catch up on lost sleep

    If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more sleep.

    It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.

    Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or two of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clocks allowed!).

    Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

    Don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration temporarily, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.

    Read these common energy booster myths.

    Tips for getting a good night’s sleep.

    Read about ways to beat insomnia.


  • Why lack of sleep is bad for your health

    Why lack of sleep is bad for your health

    Many effects of a lack of sleep, such as feeling grumpy and not working at your best, are well known. But did you know that sleep deprivation can also have profound consequences on your physical health?

    One in three of us suffers from poor sleep, with stress, computers and taking work home often blamed.

    However, the cost of all those sleepless nights is more than just bad moods and a lack of focus.

    Regular poor sleep puts you at risk of serious medical conditions, including obesityheart disease and diabetes – and it shortens your life expectancy.

    It’s now clear that a solid night’s sleep is essential for a long and healthy life.

    How much sleep do we need?

    Most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly – but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it.

    As a general rule, if you wake up tired and spend the day longing for a chance to have a nap, it’s likely that you’re not getting enough sleep.

    A variety of factors can cause poor sleep, including health conditions such as sleep apnoea. But in most cases, it’s due to bad sleeping habits.

    Find out the common medical causes of fatigue.

    What happens if I don’t sleep?

    Everyone’s experienced the fatigue, short temper and lack of focus that often follow a poor night’s sleep.

    An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health.

    After several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Your brain will fog, making it difficult to concentrate and make decisions. You’ll start to feel down, and may fall asleep during the day. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases.

    Find out how to tell if you’re too tired to drive.

    If it continues, lack of sleep can affect your overall health and make you prone to serious medical conditions, such as obesity, heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.

    Here are seven ways in which a good night’s sleep can boost your health:

    1. Sleep boosts immunity

    If you seem to catch every cold and flu that’s going around, your bedtime could be to blame. Prolonged lack of sleep can disrupt your immune system, so you’re less able to fend off bugs.

    2. Sleep can slim you

    Sleeping less may mean you put on weight! Studies have shown that people who sleep less than seven hours a day tend to gain more weight and have a higher risk of becoming obese than those who get seven hours of slumber.

    It’s believed to be because sleep-deprived people have reduced levels of leptin (the chemical that makes you feel full) and increased levels of ghrelin (the hunger-stimulating hormone).

    3. Sleep boosts mental wellbeing

    Given that a single sleepless night can make you irritable and moody the following day, it’s not surprising that chronic sleep debt may lead to long-term mood disorders like depression and anxiety.

    When people with anxiety or depression were surveyed to calculate their sleeping habits, it turned out that most of them slept for less than six hours a night.

    4. Sleep prevents diabetes

    Studies have suggested that people who usually sleep less than five hours a night have an increased risk of having or developing diabetes.

    It seems that missing out on deep sleep may lead to type 2 diabetes by changing the way the body processes glucose – the high-energy carbohydrate that cells use for fuel.

    5. Sleep increases sex drive

    Men and women who don’t get enough quality sleep have lower libidosand less of an interest in sex, research shows.

    Men who suffer from sleep apnoea – a disorder in which breathing difficulties lead to interrupted sleep – also tend to have lower testosterone levels, which can lower libido.

    6. Sleep wards off heart disease

    Long-standing sleep deprivation seems to be associated with increased heart rate, an increase in blood pressure and higher levels of certain chemicals linked with inflammation, which may put extra strain on your heart.

    7. Sleep increases fertility

    Difficulty conceiving a baby has been claimed as one of the effects of sleep deprivation, in both men and women. Apparently, regular sleep disruptions can cause trouble conceiving by reducing the secretion of reproductive hormones.

    How to catch up on lost sleep

    If you don’t get enough sleep, there’s only one way to compensate – getting more sleep.

    It won’t happen with a single early night. If you’ve had months of restricted sleep, you’ll have built up a significant sleep debt, so expect recovery to take several weeks.

    Starting on a weekend, try to add on an extra hour or two of sleep a night. The way to do this is to go to bed when you’re tired, and allow your body to wake you in the morning (no alarm clocks allowed!).

    Expect to sleep for upwards of 10 hours a night at first. After a while, the amount of time you sleep will gradually decrease to a normal level.

    Don’t rely on caffeine or energy drinks as a short-term pick-me-up. They may boost your energy and concentration temporarily, but can disrupt your sleep patterns even further in the long term.

    Read these common energy booster myths.

    Tips for getting a good night’s sleep.

    Read about ways to beat insomnia.