Fitness Science

Evidence-based fitness truths

  • Diets and body composition: be careful what you believe!

    18 September 2017 Author: Peter Rana

    The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) recently published a new paper called: ISSN Position Stand: Diets and Body Composition. Essentially it’s a critical analysis of the current literature on how various diets and nutrition strategies impact body composition. The paper cuts through the nutrition myths that so many of us blindly accept as truths and provides clarity on the effects of various diets on body composition.

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  • Get out of your head and into your body!

    14 August 2017 Author: Monique Rana

    Have you ever felt completely unmotivated and not wanting to get out of bed to exercise? You’re not alone. The other morning when I awoke I found it difficult to get up and excited for my morning run with our dog. Throughout my life there have only been a few times where I haven’t had the energy or motivation to exercise.

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  • Truth: Expensive≠Healthy

    29 May 2017 Author: Peter Rana

    Forget the nutrition facts label, the ingredients list and the say-so of experts. A new Vanderbilt University study published in the Journal of Consumer Research finds that shoppers think a food is healthy only when it costs them more. It’s the latest evidence that your brain may work against you when it comes to choosing healthy foods.

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  • Stress test without the stress

    1 May 2017 Author: Monique Rana

    The other day Peter shared an interesting fact with me that he’d learned from Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Aalia Desai – that just a 10% improvement in your cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) may reduce your risk of a premature death by a significant 15%! That seemed to me a pretty good reason to find out how fit I actually was.

    So I decided to let Aalia, who works at the ExerScience Clinic, put me through an exercise stress test – a first for me.

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  • Getting backs on track.

    20 February 2017 Author: Peter Rana

    Back conditions are a significant burden of health loss across the population. The New Zealand Burden of Diseases, Injuries and Risk Factors Study, 2006-2016 ranked Low Back Pain (LBP) as the third biggest contributor to health loss in New Zealand, as measured in disability adjusted life years (DALYs). One DALY is equivalent to loss of one year of healthy life. It estimated that back disorders were associated with 27,112 DALYs in the New Zealand population in 2006 and that 10% of the New Zealand population, or around 437,000 people, had a back condition.

    Costs associated with LBP that are covered by Vote:Health (the primary source of funding for New Zealand's health and disability system) are estimated to be about $215 million per year and more than $325 million per year when ACC costs are included.

    Back pain is a big, expensive problem!

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  • Grout Fit™, it’s the next big thing.

    31 October 2016

    This weekend I re-grouted my shower. It took around 8 hours and was quite a workout. My forearms got so fatigued that I had to recruit my chest muscles to do a fly-type movement for a bit of horizontal flexion, squeezing out every last drop of grout from the tube. And it occurred to me, had I discovered the next big fitness craze? Grout Fit™. After all, it required a whole lot of effort and made my forearms ache like hell so it must be good for you, right?

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  • Truth: To fail is to succeed.

    22 July 2016

    In Sports Illustrated in 1975 a revolutionary training programme was lauded. It involved a limited number of whole body exercises performed on innovative equipment. Training was to momentary muscular failure with workouts lasting less than thirty minutes done three times per week.

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  • Truth: Exercise is exercise

    13 June 2016

    For many years, it’s been a widely held belief that resistance training (or strength training) must be supplemented with some form of aerobic or endurance activity such as running to significantly improve cardiovascular fitness. But the truth is, there is no such thing as exercise for cardio vs resistance training as we’ve come to understand it.

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  • Weight loss: there’s no magic wand.

    23 May 2016

    If only there was a magic weight loss wand you could wave to help you shed fat, rev-up your metabolism and hold onto your muscle. Well, magic wands are in short supply, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.
    That’s the good news from a new study released in February this year by researchers at McMaster University in Ontario, Canada. Their findings show that you can lose a significant amount of fat and augment your muscle in just 28 short days. But before we find out how they came to that conclusion, here’s a bit of background.

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