How To Run Faster

It doesn’t matter if you’re training for your marathon PB or your first ever Parkrun, these tips from the experts are a surefire way to help you pick up the pace.

1. Warm Up Right

Static stretching won’t warm your muscles up in a way that allows you to run faster. In fact, it will be detrimental to your performance because it will relax your leg muscles to the extent that they are less efficient at propelling you forward. In a US study, runners who completed a sit-and-reach test before running had a worse running economy than those who didn’t, because their hamstrings were too relaxed. Perform dynamic stretches instead, such as high knees or walking lunges, to get your leg muscles fired up.

2. Set The Pace

It’s tempting to charge off at the gun when you’re feeling fresh – but you need to hold back if you want to finish fast. Starting too fast will increase oxygen consumption and blood lactate levels – the two key indicators of performance – faster than running at a consistent pace, according to research in the European Journal Of Applied Physiology.

Work out equal mile or kilometre splits that will give you a new PB and stick to them. Even if you feel you have more in the tank, save it for a sprint finish.

3. Keep Strides Short

You may think the longer your stride length, the faster you’ll finish. Unless you’ve got Inspector Gadget legs, you’d be wrong. Reducing your stride length improves running economy and cuts the time you spend in contact with the ground, which makes you faster. This was the conclusion of a Japanese study that found an 18% increase in stride frequency reduced impact forces, making runners more efficient, faster and less likely to suffer joint or muscle injury.

RECOMMENDED: 21 Running Tips

4. Breathe Easy

We’re pretty sure you’re aware that you need to breathe if you have any hope of setting a new record time. But it’s important you try to keep your breathing as easy and relaxed as possible when racing. Once exercise intensity becomes moderately hard – as it will be if you’re chasing a new PB – the most efficient breathing strategy is in through the mouth and out through the nose to maximise oxygen intake, according to a study from Liverpool John Moores University.

5. Work Up A Thirst

Instead of necking water or a sports drink every kilometre, only take a sip when you are thirsty, according to advice from USA Track and Field. It’s more important to start the race well hydrated (check your urine, which should be clear or very pale yellow) than to start dehydrated and overcompensate by drinking too much water too often during your race.

RECOMMENDED: The 10 Best Running Water Bottles

NEXT: 5 Ways to Improve Your Sprint Time

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How DJs Jamie Theakston and Andy Goldstein Shed the Pounds

Late-night finishes, early-morning curries and long days in the studio – the life of a radio DJ isn’t exactly conducive to a poster-boy physique. But when Coach‘s sister magazine Men’s Fitness challenged Jamie Theakston and Andy Goldstein to get back to their best, both men were more than just talk…

Anyone who works in an office knows the temptations of the 4pm biscuit run, the Friday doughnut round and the swift post-work pint. As it turns out, things aren’t much different in a radio booth: except that the volume gets turned up. “There’s always some kind of ‘week’ on,” says Jamie Theakston, Heart FM’s man in the morning. “Curry week, pie week, pizza week – we’d get sent that stuff, and so we wouldn’t feel bad about eating it first thing in the morning.”

At the other end of the schedule, late-night shifts for TalkSPORT’s Andy Goldstein meant frequent runs at the station’s (now-defunct) vending machine. “It wouldn’t be unheard of for me to have four packets of crisps in a shift,” says the Andy Goldstein’s Sports Bar presenter. “I was slowly getting obese.” Neither man knew much about weight training or nutrition – and the pair had never met before MF and London’s Embody Fitness gym challenged them to recapture their former glory. So were they ready for the real HIIT parade?

“I was struggling to fit into anything I could buy off the peg” – Jamie Theakston 

Jamie Theakston, 45, co-host of the Heart Breakfast show, weekday mornings from 6am to 9am.

Body fat before 24.1% / Body fat after 10.4%

In years gone by, the one-time presenter of C4’s The Games was quite the sportsman – fencing for Sussex, playing club cricket, winning a Man of the Match trophy in Soccer Aid 2010 – but injuries and life got in the way. “When I was active it was easy for me to drink and eat what I wanted, and I would never get any heavier than about 15 stone [95kg],” says Theakston.

“When you’re 6ft 4in [1.93m] your height can hide a multitude of sins, but at the end of last year I was struggling to fit into anything I could buy off the peg. I had a 38in waist: I remember thinking, ‘That’s quite big’.” Theakston had barely looked at a weight before, so early training – with Embody’s Chris Walton – was a struggle.

“I said to Chris that parts of my body that I didn’t know existed were hurting, and I thought I was physically unable to do the things he wanted me to do,” says Theakston. “He said it’d get easier and I didn’t believe him. But he was right.”

The real education for Theakston, though, came with his new diet. “I didn’t know the difference between protein and carbohydrate,” he says. “I’ve never taken much notice. I’d be in the studio at 5am, then I’d have a breakfast at 6.30am and maybe another one at 8.30am, and it was sausage or bacon sandwiches, tonnes of coffee… looking back it’s kind of shocking.”

He discovered it was about changing bad habits. “People persuade themselves that they ‘need’ a big breakfast to start the day, but it’s just what they’ve always had. Now I have two eggs with porridge and that’s it.”

RECOMMENDED: Healthy Breakfasts Worth Getting Up For

Now he’s in his best shape for over a decade. “You see it in the little things, like running upstairs: a year ago, I was carrying an extra three stone up. I feel brighter, my complexion’s better, all of those things.”

To anyone thinking of changing their own lifestyle, his advice is simple: “Don’t be afraid of the challenge. The hardest bit is the first couple of weeks. Then it keeps getting better.”

Start Stripping Body Fat

“The first goal for both Jamie and Andy was to start stripping some body fat and develop good movement patterns, as both guys had been pretty sedentary for a while,” says Chris Walton, director of training at Embody Fitness. “Jamie had also had a shoulder reconstruction a few weeks earlier so we had to go light on a lot of the upper-body work and also include quite a lot of rehab for his scapula, rotator cuffs and so on.”

RECOMMENDED: How to Reduce Body Fat

This targeted session does just that, before Theakston moved on to the tougher moves pictured.

1 Standing anti-rotation hold

Sets 2 Reps 20 Rest 30sec

Stand perpendicular to a cable machine and hold the cable at shoulder height, resisting the weight of the machine without moving. Do 30 seconds on each side for one set.

2 Step-up with single-arm press

Sets 2 Reps 10 Rest 60sec

Step up onto a box or bench, and press a dumbbell overhead with the opposite arm to your lead leg.

3A Dumbbell split squat 

Sets 3 Reps 10 Rest 30sec

Holding a dumbbell in each hand, step forward into a lunge, bending your front knee until your rear knee brushes the ground. Straighten your leg, then lower again.

3B Isolateral row 

Sets 3 Reps 10 Rest 60sec

You’ll need the machine for this one. Sit in the saddle and pull the handle down with one arm. Control it on the way up.

4A Cable pull-through 

Sets 4 Reps 8 Rest 30sec

Set up a cable rope attachment at just above knee height, and grip the cable between your legs. Pull it forward by straightening your hips, as if you were doing a deadlift.

4B Bench press 

Sets 4 Reps 8 Rest 30sec

Grip the barbell, brace your core and lower slowly, keeping your feet flat on the floor. However much you want to up the weight, don’t bounce it – aim to make each rep brush your T-shirt.

5 Rowing intervals 

Distance 100m Sets 6 Rest 40sec

Your goal for 100m: get it under 20 seconds.

Jamie on Andy “We took it quite seriously but we always had a good time. Andy was always determined to lift heavier than me, do more reps than me. It’s always easier training alongside someone else.”

“I had about ten pints, a hot dog, six nuggets, two hamburgers and a large fries, and didn’t think anything of it” – Andy Goldstein

Andy Goldstein, 43, host of Andy Goldstein’s Sports Bar on talkSPORT, weeknights from 10pm to 1am

Body fat before 25.4% / Body fat after 9.1%

“I was slowly getting obese,” says Goldstein, about the moment he decided to make some changes. “For me the turning point was around Christmas when I went to the darts. I had about ten pints and a hot dog, and on the way home I had six nuggets, two hamburgers and a large fries, and didn’t think anything of it.”

Goldstein’s no stranger to training, with a handful of half and full marathons under his belt, but he’d always avoided the weights room. “Like a lot of people, I was scared to lift heavy weights,” he admits. “I’d be on the treadmill for an hour.”

To put on functional muscle and burn fat, Embody’s Chris Walton gave him a programme of compound exercises with low rest. “I don’t believe in bodybuilding splits for new clients,” Walton explains. “If you only train one body part once a week, you’re resting it for too long. We’d superset upper and lower body moves, never going below about six reps. We pushed both guys hard.”

Goldstein had also tried diets before – “the 5:2 fast, the smoothies” – but this transformation required lasting changes. “The first three days were tough because I couldn’t eat any of the crap I normally have, but after that it was a breeze,” he says. “For breakfast I’d have chicken or steak or salmon. People pull a face when I say that, but then I wouldn’t get hungry for hours. It’s not like it would take me an hour to make – there’s no excuse for not eating healthy.”

Binges were replaced by new habits. “I’ve got into black coffee now,” he says. “I’ll still have a curry, but with a healthy sauce. I have 95% chocolate for a treat – I don’t need to indulge myself all the time.”

For Andy, the work outside the gym made bigger changes than the lifting inside it. “When I met Chris he said, ‘There’s 168 hours in a week and I’ve got you for three of them, so the rest is up to you’. Other people can help keep you on the road, but you’ve got to want it. Everyone’s got it in them. Don’t think of it as an end – think of it as a new way of life.”

Build Lean Muscle

“The training sessions towards the end were much more focused on trying to add some lean muscle,” says Walton. “As neither guy had done much weight training, we were still able to keep reps fairly high because they would still respond positively – from a lean mass perspective – to relatively high reps. They trained three times a week with me, and supplemented that with some high-intensity interval work on their own.”

Here’s one of Goldstein’s typical lean mass sessions.

1A Side step-up

Sets 4 Reps 6 each side Rest 30sec

Stand holding heavy dumbbells with a box to one side of you, and step up onto it. After you’ve done all your reps on one side, turn around and do it again leading with the other leg.

1B Semi-supinated lat pull-down

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 30sec

Hold the pull-down handle with your palms facing in – this targets your biceps, and it’s easier on the elbows. Pull the weight down strongly, and control it on the way up.

2A 1¼ goblet squat

Sets 3 Reps 8 Rest 30sec

Holding a kettlebell by the “horns”, drop into a squat so your elbows touch your knees. Come a quarter of the way up, drop down again and then stand up. That’s one rep.

2B Bench press

Sets 3 Reps 10 Rest 30sec

For a power boost, squeeze the bar: it’ll fire up the surrounding muscles, letting you squeeze out an extra rep or two.

3A Dumbbell push press

Sets 3 Reps 10 Rest 30sec

Holding a pair of dumbbells at shoulder height, bend your knees slightly and then use the momentum to drive them overhead.

3B Lateral step-over

Sets 3 Reps 12 each side Rest 30sec

Set up a low bench and hop over it, touching it with each foot at the top.

3C Renegade row

Sets 3 Reps 12 Rest 30sec

Gripping a pair of (preferably hexagonal) dumbbells, do a press-up, then row each dumbbell up to your armpit. That’s one rep.

Andy on Jamie “I didn’t know Jamie before this, but we train together all the time now, and we’re going to carry on, at least for the rest of the year. I think it’s harder for Jamie – he had to train after he’s got up ridiculously early in the morning, with no time for a decent breakfast. He’d go, ‘Well, I’ve had an egg…’”

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Eight elite trainers share how they recover after a long run

From ice baths to foam rolls, these top-notch runners share how they beat soreness.

Photo: iStock

We’ve all felt the burn – some of us, more potently so than others. But have you ever wondered, how do other people recover? Especially when you know your running routines can make your legs feel like lead. Here, Sydney’s best elite trainers share what works for them and hey… they more you know.

Foam rolling

“Foam roll and warm up prior to running to ensure that your muscles respond to the task at hand. Then stretch and foam roll afterwards to speed up your recovery and reduce the likelihood of injuries.”

– Moodi Dennaoui, Body Science.

Stretch it out at Yoga

“When it comes to recovering from training, I swear by yoga and hydration. After drinking water by the litre and completing a Yin Yoga session, I am a new man. When I am training hard, I try to fit in two yoga sessions per week.”

– Ben Lucas, Flow Athletic and Rebel Insider.

Sleep is key

“Sleep and nap as much as you can. Sleep is the key to recovery. Aim for 8-9 hours a night. If you can’t get that in, then a 20min recovery nap during the day will do you wonders, and not enough sleep increases your chance of injury and affects the level of intensity you can achieve during training.”

– Kevin Toonen, S+C Coach for the Special Forces and Body Science.

Take an ice bath

“When it comes to recovery I swear by ice baths. While opinions on this method vary between strength coaches and sport scientists, they always work for me, especially after a marathon. It’s so easy too. I just pick up few bags of ice from a petrol station, chuck it in a bathtub, add some cold water and submerge myself from waist down (I often keep on my jumper!)

“For me, ice baths help to reduce inflammation and reduce muscle soreness.

“Adequate nutrition and hydration, magnesium supplementation and compression are also great recovery methods post-long run. Sleep is probably the most important – no matter what you do.”

Go for a swim

“You can’t go past a swim to get the blood moving in a weightless environment. It’s the best way to flush out lactic acid after a tough workout or a run, especially if it’s cold! I then like to use a heat rub like the Deep Heat Pro sports recovery massage oil to further promote blood flow usually in the evening or whenever I can beg my girlfriend for a massage!”

– Tim Robards, founder of The Robards Method.

Walk it off

“Once you have finished your run, whether it be a long distance or sprints, spend a few minutes walking it out to allow your legs to cool down gradually. Also spend a few minutes doing a whole body stretch down to lengthen out your muscles post run and then again before bed.”

– Lauren Hannaford, former elite gymnast for Australia.

Get a massage

“I swear by self-myofascial release (or MFR) and stretching, in fact I feel that it should become a daily ritual for anyone who wants to lead an active lifestyle. If you don’t know how to execute this correctly, I suggest asking a trainer for guidance.

“Having said that, when preparing for a tough task, such as an endurance run where you are building up your kilometres each week, your body will require more attention.

“I suggest booking a reputable massage therapist once per week. Looking after your body enhances performance and proactively avoids injuries.”


“Take rest days. Staying mobile and flexible is vital for not only performance and recovery, but also injury prevention. Throw in some yoga and a massage into your weekly schedule too.”

– Katie Williams, beach sprinting champion.

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Get Lean and Strong At Any Age

The Performance Life

Pete Williams

The best thing about having the good fortune of co-authoring Core Performance books with Core Performance founder Mark Verstegen is having access to experts in human performance and cutting-edge research. (It’s the same information provided in the books and on this site, but being around it so closely keeps it in the front of my mind.) Last month I had my bodyfat measured with skinfold calipers at Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix for the fourth time since December of 2008.

Body composition is a more accurate barometer of overall fitness than scale weight. Two men or two women roughly the same height, weight, and age can have dramatically different appearances based on body composition. Simply put, body composition is the percentage of body weight composed of fat as opposed to lean mass (usually expressed in terms of a body-far percentage – 12 percent, for example, which is typical for a male team-sport athlete).

There are options when it comes to measuring body composition, ranging from the high-tech (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry, also known as DEXA or DXA) to hydrostatic weighing. There’s also bioelectrical impedance (BEI), which can be as simple as stepping on an inexpensive BEI bathroom scale. The subject stands on two electrodes that send a small current through the body, measuring the impedance to this current. (For a more thorough breakdown on body comp options, see our complete guide to body composition.)

Skinfold calipers are perhaps the best combination of simplicity, portability, and accuracy. That’s assuming a trained technician does the measuring. The technician uses the calipers to pinch the subject at seven sites: chest, abdominal, thigh, tricep, subscapular, iliac, and midaxillary. The thickness of the skin folds at the seven sites, measured in millimeters, is totaled and inserted into an equation (Jackson-Pollock), along with sex, age and weight to determine the subject’s body fat percentage. “You’re separating the skin and fat tissue from muscle tissue,” says Erika Wincheski, a performance nutritionist at Athletes’ Performance. “We find skin folds to be a fairly accurate measure.”

In March of 2009, I weighed 173.8 and measured 11.48 percent body fat. By December of 2011, I weighed 161 and had dropped to 8.65 percent body fat. (Height, of course, remained unchanged at 5-foot-11.) After a year of training for triathlon, stand-up paddleboard events, and obstacle races, I finished 2012 at 155. Perhaps more importantly, I had dialed in my nutrition further. The results were encouraging, especially for a 43-year-old recreational athlete.

Tester  Erika Wincheski
Date  12/5/2012
Weight (lbs)  155
Tricep (mm)  6
Chest (mm)  5
Mid Ax (mm)  3.5
Suscap (mm)  7.5
Abdomen (mm)  7
Iliac (mm)  6
Thigh (mm)  6
SUM 7 Site (mm)  41
Body Fat %  7.19%
Lean Body Mass (lbs)  143.85
Fat Mass (lbs)  11.15

Just for comparison’s sake, Wincheski lowered my age to 25, which dropped my body fat percentage to 5 percent. Since we lose lean mass as we age, age is a key variable in the equation. So too is adequate pre- and post-workout nutrition, something I’ve focused on more during the last year.

“As you age, your body is going to lose some of its lean muscle tissue,” Wincheski said. “We want to prevent that and increased activity will help. There’s a recovery piece there as well. You want to recover your body after training, otherwise you’ll continue to break down that muscle tissue. So by allowing yourself that recovery period to refuel your glycogen stores, and giving yourself the proper amount of protein and carbohydrate, you’ll prevent that muscle tissue breakdown.”

Seven percent bodyfat is comparable to some of the world-class soccer players and sprinters who train at Athletes’ Performance, though they can be as low as 3.5 percent. Of course, I never had world-class athletic skills at their age—or any age. The 7.2 percent “speaks to how lean you’ve become,” Wincheski said. “Muscle tissue is not being broken down and that’s a challenge for all of us as we get older.”

Related: The Problem with All This ‘Overweight People Live Longer’ News [The Atlantic]

About The Author

Pete Williams
– Pete Williams is a contributing writer for and the co-author of the Core Performance book series.

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Longevity, Health, Build Muscle

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Aerial Acrobatics: We give this new fitness trend a whirl

Ever dreamt of running away to a circus? This is the next best thing

Aerial Acrobatics: We give this new fitness trend a whirl

Now that we no longer have to chase our own food, I’m constantly amazed by the way humans choose to keep fit.

Treadmills, for example – what an odd invention. Can you even imagine the pitch meeting? “I’m looking to fund a machine that won’t let people go anywhere, do much of anything or get any fresh air or stimulation of any kind. They’ll walk on the spot and expend energy for the sake of it. What do you think?”

There are other, more artistic options. Like aerial acrobatics. This pursuit is more the Lady Gaga to your treadmill’s Margaret Thatcher. If you’ve ever taken in a Cirque du Soleil show, you’ve seen it done.

It basically involves wrapping your limbs around lengths of fabric bolted to the ceiling and then climbing up those lengths in increasingly imaginative ways. When done right you look like a lithe and sensual squirrel. When done poorly you come across as a moron, hog-tied in your own bed sheets. I won’t ruin the ending by telling you which one I was.

I started by signing up for the 90-minute beginners’ class at Wild Spirit Productions in Sydney’s Botany. Maggie Kelley is head honcho here and took our class of eight willing apprentices. If Jessica Rabbit and Pink had a love child it would be Maggie. She’s all red hair and toned limbs, minus the air of intimidation. 

What I hadn’t anticipated is that we’d spend 45 of our 90 minutes doing warm-up stretches. At the time it felt like pointless busy work. It became apparent the next morning, however, that without those stretches I wouldn’t have been able to wipe my own rear. I’m not exaggerating. You will use muscles you’ve probably never used unless you’ve had sex in space. And even then…

I quickly discovered I was the Rob Kardashian of our merry troupe. At one point I got my right foot so knotted up in my silk I had to just hang upside down until Maggie untied me. She was very patient – demonstrating each move before we tried it in pairs. It’s all quite choreographed and not at all like the scrambling-up-a-rope-in-gym-class I imagined it would be.

There are names for each climb, too. There’s the French: it’s dance-y and pretty, but slightly ineffectual. Then there’s the Russian: it’s gutsier and gets you where you’re going.

In the end, it was easier than I expected. The learning curve is steep but satisfying and by the end of it, we were all doing backflips. What a time to be alive. 

I admit the whole thing left me hurting more than Donald Trump after a John Oliver roast, but I’d choose this over running down my next meal. Unless that meal was piping-hot and waiting at the end of a stationary treadmill… We squirrely circus folk aren’t silly.

The Lowdown

What: Aerial silks. 

How much: $34 for a 90-minute class.

Where: 1/42 William St, Botany;

I loved: That you could get adept at this art very quickly – and that’s an excellent quality in a hobby.

I question: How long you have to keep at it before you’d be allowed to wear feathers. I mean it… I’d like a time stamp on that.

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Q&A: What are the Most Overrated Exercises?



Q: It seems like most people I see in the gym use the same exercises. Which moves work and which ones are overrated?

A: Doing the same workout over and over again isn’t just boring, it’s ineffective. When you repeat the same movements time after time, your body adapts, which limits your results. You can also develop strength imbalances and postural issues over time if you don’t mix things up. To get the most out of your workout, swap out some of your usual moves with new ones. Here are three to get you started:

Overrated: Traditional crunches

The crunch places unnecessary strain on your back, and it only targets the rectus abdominis.

Do This Instead: Plank with Hip Flexion

The plank with hip flexion trains your entire pillar—your shoulders, torso, and hips—while stabilizing your spine and improving posture to help you look and perform better. To do it, start in a push-up position with your hands beneath your shoulders and feet shoulder-width apart. Keeping your hips and torso still, draw one knee toward your chest. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite leg.

Overrated: Seated Machine Chest Press

When performing the seated machine chest press, your body has to follow a fixed path. This limits the range of motion in which you can build muscle and neglects important stabilizing muscles of your shoulders. Think about it this way: When the machine provides the stability, your body doesn’t have to.

Do This Instead: 1 Arm Bench Press

The 1 Arm Bench Press places the weight on one side of your body, forcing you to stabilize your body using your core. You’ll develop core strength and upper-body power that transfer to everyday activities and the sports field. To do it, lie face-up on a bench with your hips just off the edge of the bench. Hold a dumbbell at your shoulder in one hand and the bench behind your head with your other hand. Keeping your hips in line with your shoulders, press the weight over your chest and then lower it to your shoulder. Complete the set on one side, and repeat with the opposite arm.

Overrated: Seated Knee Extension

Knee extensions focus solely on your quads, but don’t help build strength and stability throughout the rest of your lower body.

Do This Instead: Split Squat – Back Foot Up

You’ll get a greater total-body workout with the Split Squat with Back Foot Up. This move benefits your quads, hamstrings, and glutes while building single-leg strength and stability to boost your performance. Here’s how to do it: Stand tall in a split stance holding a pair of dumbbells with your weight primarily on your front foot and your back foot elevated on a bench. Lower your hips toward the ground by bending your front knee. Push through your front leg to return to the starting position. Finish your set on one side, and then repeat with the opposite leg forward.

About The Author

Kevin Elsey
– Kevin Elsey is the vice president of the performance innovation team at EXOS. With three undergraduate degrees from Queen’s University in Canada and several years of experience as a personal trainer and physical education teacher, he brings a wealth of educational and practical experience to EXOS.

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Resistance Training, Strength, Build Muscle, Pillar strength, Stability, Abs, Q&A

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Wine, beer, spirits: Which alcohol has the lowest fat content?

We know alcohol isn’t great, but with party season upon us, it’s difficult to cut back. Here’s what should you be drinking, if you choose to drink at all.

Photo: Stocksy

When it comes to fat content, alcohol actually contains very little – if any – fat. Believe it or not, alcohol is actually a source of energy and, to a certain degree, is a hidden macronutrient. But, as it poses little-to-no nutritional value, it’s not something we often talk about.

Where fat comes to play is when we start to look at the energy balance (kilojoule or calories) or energy in, verses energy out. When more energy is consumed than your body is able to burn off, alcohol converts into fat, which makes it harder to manage weight.

With that in mind, these are the top options for weight management – in moderation, of course. And remember, always drink responsibly.

Red wine or white wine?

Dry white wine and red wine with 12 per cent alcohol both provide 510 calories in a bottle; basically equivalent to a meal. One small glass of 120mL has only 82 calories, however in my experience, most individuals pour much more than this.

Sweet white wine is much higher in calories, coming in at 750 calories for a bottle, or 120 calories in a small glass.

Avoid ordering a whole bottle of wine and opt for a small glass of a dry white with dinner.

RELATED: Soft drink vs. alcohol: Which is actually worse for your health?

Cider or beer?

I’ve spoken before about the differences between cider and beer, however we know that beer is still high in calories. So if you choose to drink beer, what is a good choice? Full strength beer has around 72 calories in a 200mL glass, a lite beer only has 50, and a low carb option has around 60 calories. While the low carb beer has the lowest carbohydrates, the light beer is lower calories, lower in alcohol, and has less than 3 grams of carbohydrate more than the average low carb beer in a 200mL glass – so, that would be my choice.

Vodka soda or gin and tonic?

It’s common for people to think that gin and tonic is a ‘healthy choice’, however when we break it down we might find some hard truths. When we look at the sugar content of tonic water, a standard 100mL contains 9g of sugar (that’s 9 per cent sugar or 1.5 teaspoons, just from 100mL of tonic!).

Whether you choose vodka or gin (or scotch), swapping the soft drink for soda water is the best choice. And ask for a tall glass, so you get more soda water, which helps delay the next drink, and improve hydration.

Chloe McLeod is an accredited practicing dietitian. For more from Chloe, head here.

If you are having a personal crisis, call Lifeline on 13 11 14. In an emergency, call 000.

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Q&A: What's the Best Source of Protein for a Vegetarian?



Q: What’s the best source of protein for a vegetarian?

A: A vegetarian diet can help you control your weight and lower your cholesterol, but you can’t just drop meat and fish—a key source of protein—without a plan. Your body needs protein to build muscle and maintain a strong immune system. It’s important to get about 0.6 to 0.8 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight a day. The good news: There are many vegetarian-friendly foods that are high in protein. Some healthy options include:

  • Grains (quinoa, rice, whole grain cereals)
  • Legumes (beans, peas, lentils, soybeans)
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Vegetables
  • Dairy products (eggs, milk, cheese, Greek yogurt)

Even if you include the foods above in your diet, you may find you’re unable to exercise as hard when following a vegetarian diet. This is likely due to a lack of creatine, an organic compound produced in the body and found in meat and fish, which helps muscles recover and can help build strength. If you find you’re lacking energy, add more protein to your diet and talk to your doctor or dietitian about creatine supplements.

About The Author

Amanda Carlson-Phillips
– Amanda Carlson-Phillips is the vice president of nutrition and research at EXOS. As a registered dietitian, she has provided educational seminars and individual counseling to a variety of professional and elite sports organizations.

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Strength, Health, Build Muscle, Q&A, Protein

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Jodhi Meares secret to looking good? Endorphins

The founder and creative director of The Upside on why her beauty regime is more internal than external.

Photo: Instagram @jodhimeares

Jodhi Meares has been in the spotlight for over two decades in various roles – model, billionaire’s wife, entrepreneur, TV presenter and successful businesswoman. But a constant through this time has been her unwavering inner – and outer – beauty, and a love of the active lifestyle.

Nowadays as we focus more on what we put in our bodies than what we put on it, we could all learn a few things from the founder and creative director of The Upside, who has been living this motto for years. Here, she talk us through her beauty routine, her workout of choice and her daily rituals.

What did you learn about beauty from your mum?

That less is always more. Mum’s idea of beauty is that it comes from within. She always said that if you have “good nails, good hair & good teeth”, that you will always look amazing.

How does your beauty regime differ in each place you are in?

I don’t buy into the hype of the newest and greatest products. I only use organic products on my skin and stay as natural as possible. So my beauty regime doesn’t really change but I do shift my internal regime depending on the seasons. I eat for the seasons, so if I’m visiting a colder climate I change my diet to root vegetables, lentils and wholesome foods and in summer I’ll eat lighter foods like salads and fruits. My regime is more internal than external.

RELATED: Why Elle Macpherson loves the alkaline diet

What are your must have products for face, body and hair?

Face: Cetaphil products are my go-to gentle option for my face

Body: Keri Lotion – It’s a model’s secret and it is the best thing ever!

Hair: My amazing friend and hairdresser Di Gorgievski has put me onto Oribe Supershine light moisturizing cream. It’s a leave-in conditioner that makes your hair shiny and soft.

What is your morning regime?

I wake up, jump in the shower, get to yoga and go about my day. I’m a ‘wash and wear’ kind of person so my regime is minimal. I prefer it that way! There is a certain effort that goes with it and health is very important. I focus a lot on my inner health and taking care of myself so that I have the ability to be natural with my regime.

RELATED: A dietitian rates what top celebrities have for breakfast

What is your evening regime?

Similar to the morning but reversed; I wash everything off and read a book that I love. Reading makes me glow. It’s the internal things that affect the external things. Without reading, yoga and the like I don’t sleep or feel as well.

What are your quick-fix and inexpensive tips and tricks?

Workout! Whatever it is that you love doing, do that! Go to yoga, box, soul cycle – whatever works for you, you just need to find something that gives you joy or at the very least, you don’t loathe!

I also always soak in Epsom salts, it’s the cure-all for jet lag and sore muscles post training.

What is your ritual for getting ready to go out at night?

These days I don’t really have a ritual. If I do have an event on at night I try to spend less time on my hair and make-up and more time working out. I love that internal glow exercise brings. It’s all endorphins! If you have a big night that you want to feel good for, my recommendation is to spend the day doing what you love and get a good sweat going, you’ll feel all the better for it.

Want is your ritual for unwinding when you need to relax?

Yoga. Yoga. Yoga.

What are your makeup bag essentials?

Mascara – as minimal as I am, I always love a lash.

RELATED: What Gigi Hadid eats for breakie will surprise you

What are the superfoods and drinks that help you feel your best?

Anything that hydrates me! Particularly something with electrolytes and minerals for post work out recovery. We love Hydralytes at THE UPSIDE, we call them Upside-dralytes! We also love Elle McPherson’s Super Elixir Alkalising Greens, so good for your insides and great in a smoothie.

What enhances your beauty outside of products?

My family always make me feel more peaceful and happier. Especially my little sister, she’s my favourite person and always makes me feel incredible. Family is what I treasure more than anything!

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Is Your Workout in Balance?


Dave Cruz

Training is a lot like nutrition. Healthy foods never taste as good as fattening ones, and exercise is the same way: The best exercises for your body are the least popular—and they seem to hurt the most.

The most popular moves? Anything where you sit or lie down. The whole machine concept is based on appealing to the lowest common denominator of human nature. You can exercise while seated on a padded chair. Of course this is highly ineffective.

The average person’s work ethic in the gym is the equivalent of going to a restaurant, ordering dessert, getting too full from dessert, and skipping the meal. Lots of empty calories and none of the stuff you need.

Most people go to the gym and immediately do the exercises they like. If you’re a guy, that usually means bench presses and curls. If you’re a woman, it often means hopping on the treadmill for a long, slow walk or run.

This mentality contributes to the populations downfall in health and fitness. People always work on the stuff they can’t see or don’t like to do, and they promise themselves they will do it tomorrow, but tomorrow never comes.

As a college strength and conditioning coach, I encountered the same problem early in my career. I came to the early realization that Monday would always be lower-body day. This was done for one simple reason. Every day, I was forced to battle with human nature. Athletes are no different than the average gym-goer. They want to do what they like. I was like the parent who needed to say, “No TV until your homework is done.”

When we first began developing training programs for athletes, they were just like the folks described above. Athletes who were not on a program would wander into the weight room, do a couple of sets of bench presses, and then wander over to the curl bar for a few sets. After this, they would leave.

My solution to this problem was simple: The first day of every week was lower-body day. This meant that athletes would return the next day to do the stuff they really wanted to do. A simple but effective solution.

The solution for you, if you’re not an athlete, is even simpler: Perform a full-body workout every time you go to the gym. Do your lower body and pulling exercises (like chin-ups) first. Save the bench presses and curls for last. If you just did a squat or squat variation, a pull-up variation, and then benched and curled, the result would be a vast improvement in your physique since it would correct common strength imbalances, which improves posture as a result.

Michael Boyle is one of the world’s leading experts in the area of performance enhancement and the owner of Michael is also the author of Functional Training for Sports.

Total Body, Posture, Training, Strength, Build Muscle, Reduce Pain

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