As the summer has neared its end and the never-ending heatwave has begun to subside, many runners will be starting to think about training for a longer event. Whether it is for an autumnal half-marathon or for something even longer in the spring it’s a good time to reassess how you are going to fuel it all. Because for many runners their primary focus is firmly set on the bare bones of their training plan and the necessary kit they’re going to need to get them through the upcoming weeks and months. And this is fine because at first you may be flying through the training and feeling slightly complacent about what’s ahead of you. But in reality, every runner knows in the back of their mind what is coming up. As you ratchet up the mileage in your legs you will inevitably have to face the prospect of doing some rather daunting long runs.Continue reading
I was distracted the other day by the glare of someone’s massive smart watch and it reminded me of how old and basic my own version is. Despite my family’s polite suggestions of an upgrade whenever another birthday is approaching I have resisted retiring my simple model. So far, I am not even tempted. Because why would I replace my running watch when it’s in working order and has everything that I consider to be the essentials for any run? It measures the time, the distance and also the pace. And to be honest, I only really care about the first two. I would probably find out that there are loads of other things it also records if I could be bothered to look it up in the app but truthfully, I cannot. Though still, I am outnumbered in my family by the wearers of sophisticated mini-computers who collect a wealth of information about their health and fitness stats.Continue reading
With the summer in full swing most people’s thoughts are firmly fixed on their upcoming holidays and the chance to finally unwind and take a break from their work…and workouts. And I am no different. It can be absolute bliss to be lazily soaking up the sun while sprawled out on a sandy beach with a good book and a cold drink by your side. But you will also probably not be surprised to hear that I believe that fitting in some exercise whilst on holiday can be the absolute making of it.
Now before you stop reading this and skip to the recipe bit of the blog, I am not at all suggesting that every holiday must be an ‘active’ holiday. Although I may be a massive proponent of multi-activity adventure holidays and even guilty of going on running holidays that involve racking up enough serious mileage to go well into the triple figures, that’s clearly not for everyone. I am not even saying that you are not entitled to take a break from your routine workouts, runs or training plans. After all, putting in sufficient recovery time from training is essential to prevent injuries and illness particularly if you have just run an event. If you can manage to time your recovery in with a planned holiday, it can be the perfect opportunity to fully recharge yourself. But if instead you are one of the masses of people who are just hoping to not lose too much fitness while taking a break somewhere scenic, you could have much more to gain if you take advantage of your different surroundings with a workout.Continue reading
It would be hard to miss the newsflash the other day that Kirin Holdings and Meiji University have done it once again. In another new technological breakthrough, they have produced some slightly shocking results. The same Japanese partnership that brought us Taste the TV – the first “lick-able” TV screen to accurately mimic food flavours in real time – have come up with something even better. They have created a ‘chopstick device’ that can boost the taste of salt in foods while you eat them. The chopsticks are essentially connected by a wire to a mini-computer that is worn on a wristband and creates electrical stimulation waveform that works its magic to make lower-sodium foods taste saltier when eaten. In fact, the device is able to supercharge the perceived saltiness of foods by 1.5 times without changing the actual salt content of each bite.
Although the thought of voluntarily putting a pair of electrically charged chopsticks attached to a lead into your mouth might sound like a badly thought out dare, the charge is said to be too weak to affect the human body. Yet it is just strong enough to affect the perception of taste. Which means that it could be a useful tool to help people eat a diet that is lower in salt and healthier without missing any salty flavour. This joint project is part of an overall aim of Kirin Holdings to support lifestyle disease prevention and addressing the very high salt consumption rates in Japan is a good place to start. Because the evidence is crystal clear. High salt consumption is a real killer.Continue reading
You may have noticed the recent outcry in the media about the new government regulations that have come into force requiring calorie information to be displayed on menus in England. You would be hard pressed to find many in favour of this initiative, at least publicly, as it feels like there has been a complete dogpile on any dissenting opinions. To recap, critics of this new law say that simply shifting the responsibility onto customers by giving them the calorie counts of meals and then expecting them to make healthy choices is hardly going make a dent in the obesity crisis. Displaying calories on menus may also cause anxiety and stress to those who are vulnerable or who are already suffering from eating disorders. As a Registered Nutritionist, I cannot disagree with either of these criticisms. But I am going to have to also stick my neck out to say that I am think cafes, restaurants and takeaways should display the calorie information of non-prepacked food and soft drink items that are prepared for customers. In fact, I would argue that the more readily available information we have about our food and drink, the better.Continue reading