Archive | April, 2014

Guest post: How to avoid over-training and exercise-related injuries

29 Apr

One of the great aspects of exercise is the rush of endorphin that you get after a workout. In fact, that rush can make exercise somewhat addictive, which is surely a good thing seeing as it’s so good for us. However, fitness fanatics beware – it’s easy to fall into the trap of overtraining. Here’s how to make sure you can continue exercising safely and avoid overtraining or injuries from exercise.

Are you overtraining?

Injuries from exercise are pretty obvious, but overtraining can be a little trickier to recognise if you’ve never experienced it before. Here are some of the signs:

  • No longer seeing results from exercise…
  • Or have even reversed somewhat
  • Loss of motivation
  • Gain in fat
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Irritability and moodiness
  • Decreased immune system

Fuel your workout

A good diet is especially important for avoiding both injury and overtraining. It’s easy to get preoccupied with whey protein, particularly when trying to build muscle mass, but carbohydrates are essential too, as are other types of proteins. Without carbs, your body may instead use that very muscle mass you’re trying to build for energy when you exercise.

Here are some great foods for runners, and weight lifters should take a look at this article.

Short and sweet

Of course a three hour workout will feel like a great achievement – and it is! However, completing workouts of this length too regularly can lead to overtraining. It takes about an hour for our testosterone levels to dip, and cortisol to rise. Testosterone is good for training, as it enables our muscles to grow, but cortisol can cause weight gain, so extra long sessions at the gym can do more harm than good.

Take a look here for a great hour long cardio workout.

Swap dumbbells for your duvet

allowing time to recover after a workout is essential, but as well as planning in rest days it’s important that you get a good night’s sleep. As well as being a great way to avoid overtraining and injury, sleeping well is one of the best ways to recover from overtraining. Try to make sure that you get at least seven hours per night, preferably nine if possible.

This article offers some great advice on sleeping soundly.

Warm up and stretch

It’s such a basic part of a workout that often we can underestimate the vital importance of the warm up and cool down. Taking five minutes to warm up the muscles before exercise can make a huge difference to how they’ll perform, and forgetting to complete a warm up can lead to injury. Always make sure that you plan an extra ten minutes into your workout time – unless you want to spend even longer resting an injury.

Take a look here for a basic warm up routine, and here for useful stretches you can perform after exercise.

About Me

Hi there, my name is Jonathon. I work at Nature’s Best and I am something of a fitness fanatic. I love reading and writing about nutrition and I also enjoy running and picking up heavy things. I have been known to overdo it, so I am more than familiar with the risks of over-training.

Thank you Jonathon for your contribution to Grainddiction! It certainly has expanded our knowledge on over-training and exercise-related injuries! We hope to have your writing again one day.


don’t give up.

12 Apr


hope everyone is well.

today, i want to share a little about weight loss journey.

we all have been there. we wanted to lose weight so badly and when the scale doesn’t move at all… we gets disappointed and discouraged .

i mean… many of you have succeeded to lose weight in one attempt? some people do lose the weight on their very first attempt. unfortunately the second, third…and following weight loss are not easy as the first one. but today, i just want to point out that it is okay to fail. and it is okay to try again. don’t give up. know that weight loss does not happen over night, and be aware that it does take a lot of effort, and it requires full commitment and consistency from you.


okay, the first thing i want to say is that a healthy weight loss is about 0.5-1kg loss per week. too dramatic weight loss often only leads you to weight regain. also, too fast weight loss may indicate water and muscle loss, which are not what we really want. we want fat loss, not muscle loss. we want our muscle to be present and strong to do our daily activities, and it’s getting more important as we get older, to live healthy and independent (to stay at our own house longer, and delay moving to nursing home).

a couple months ago, the Dietitians Association of Australia released If at first you don’t succeed- try, try again, say dietitians. and I can’t agree more. a new survey has shown that most Australians (25-49yo) have attempted weight loss in the past year, however only 2 out of 10 were happy with their results. women and those aged over 40 yo found it hard to be in a healthy weight range.

based on the survey, 1 in 4 adults (who tried losing weight in the past year) had tried 1 of the 9 listed popular diets (meal replacement shakes, fasting and Atkins diet)- and men and women were equally likely to have tried one of those diets. this is not surprising, really. from experience, most clients i saw have tried losing weight using those methods. and as we can see ourselves, those fad diets may work for a short period of time, however more often than not, the weight will creep back on.

so, what do we do? just like when we try to quit smoking, it is expected to be more than just one single attempt. don’t expect miracle to happen overnight. and just like that- you won’t lose weight in 1 night. so, start small. expect about 0.5-1kg of weight loss each week. and put it in perspective, start sooner than later. if you know you have wedding to attend in December, don’t wait until November to start losing weight.

a wedding/party/overseas trip may be a great motivation to lose weight, but remember, always think about all the health benefits you get from weight loss! put your health first. i think this is a very important key that people often forget. weight loss is not only about getting into a size 8 dress or to be skinny. think about it as lifestyle change. this mindset is more likely to sustain than a “diet”. you need time, consistency and perseverence in weight loss.


a healthy weight loss diet should always include all the core food groups: fruit, vegetables, breads and cereals, dairy and alternatives, and meat and alternatives. there is no need to avoid 1 particular food group because they all provide us with different health benefits.

AGHE 2013

lastly, get support. get as much support as you can, from your family and friends. support is important. speak with your local dietitian to work out a healthy, sustainable and individualized meal plan that is tailored to you. this will keep up your motivation, too!

APD Logo_PMS_348good luck!


Have you had your 2 serves of fish this week?

10 Apr

Hello everyone 🙂

I’m back! Hope you all are well.

Today, I’m going to update you about fish. no- not about the fish that I have in the tank. but the fish that was on my dinner table tonight.


This post will be based on a Melbourne study, published in the Dietitians Association of Australia’s journal of Nutrient & Dietetics. see reference for the article.

The study compared two groups. one group simply ate two x 150g fresh salmon per week, and the other group took 2 fish oil capsules 6 days a week. Both group did it for 12 weeks. Both group also had wash out period, meaning they went back to their usual diet (no supplementation) before swapping across to the other treatment for a further 12 weeks.

This study’s paricipants were 11 patients with existing heart disease, and mostly working-age males with no smoking history and a moderate alcohol intake.

The researcher, Catherine Itsiopoulos concluded that fresh fish intake may have extra heart health benefits over fish oil capsules for people with heart disease. This may occur because fresh fish does not only provide us with omega-3 fats but also other nutrients like taurine and selenium. Also, by including 2x fresh fish in our weekly food intake, it reduces the chances of having less healthy foods.

Including 2 serves of fish in a week is in line with our Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines. I always recommend my clients to have at least 2 nights of fish, 2 nights of lean red meat and 1 night of vegetarian dish in their weekly diet. By doing that, it help in balancing our diet. There is no need to avoid one particular food (except if you’re allergic or intolerant to it) because every food has different characteristic that provides unique health benefit. Also, if you can’t fit in fresh fish, you can try having tinned fish (tuna, salmon, sardines) in your sandwich for lunch. Again, increases your omega 3 intake and reduces the chances of choosing less healthy foods (bacon/sausages/ham in your sandwich). I’m not saying that you can’t have them, however try to alternate your lean ham/grilled chicken sandwich with tuna sandwich. It’s about balance!

Oh my gosh, I can keep talking and talking about this all day.

Anyway, that was my update for the day. I hope you find it interesting!

Take care 🙂



Australian guidelines recommend healthy adults eat 500mg/day long-chain omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCn3PUFA), and for people with heart disease, this rises to 1,000mg/day. But the last National Nutrition Survey suggests Australians do not meet the recommended intake, with an average intake of 246mg/day.

Brazionis L, Ting E, Itsiopoulos C, Wilson A, Hodge A. The effects of fish or fish oil on the omega-3 index. Nutr Diet 2012;69:5-12.

Wiley Press Release. 2014.

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