Hot topics this week

FITNESS & DIET EXPERT

BAREFOOT running, toning shoes, green tea... there’s a lot that’s being debated at the moment. In this week’s column, I’m separating the truth from the false on some current hot topics.

BAREFOOT RUNNING IS BETTER FOR YOU THAN RUNNING IN TRAINERS: FALSE

This is probably the most hotly debated exercise topic right now. Experts seem to be split 50/50 as to whether barefoot running or running in minimal footwear is good or bad for you. If you’re undecided, take this advice from the ACE (American Council on Exercise): Try lower impact training such as resistance training first if you’re new to barefoot training and if you progress to barefoot running or running in minimalist shoes, start by doing just 25 per cent of your mileage in this way initially.

TONING SHOES TONE: FALSE

Toning shoes hit the headlines again recently after a well-known brand was forced to pay out millions in refunds after claiming its shoes improved bottom muscle tone by 28 per cent. Research undertaken by the ACE found that the shoes did no more for muscle tone than regular running shoes. The solution? Save your money and get squatting.

GREEN TEA HELPS YOU TO LOSE WEIGHT: TRUE

Not many people dispute this anymore – the evidence continues to stack up. Even more so with The Mouse Study! According to latest research from Penn State food scientists, obese mice that were fed a green compound tea along with a high-fat diet gained weight significantly more slowly than another group that didn’t take the supplement.

GETTING AN EARLY NIGHT KEEPS YOU SLIM: TRUE

Back in 2008, Harvard University research found that toddlers who had less sleep were more likely to be overweight by the age of 3. Research just published in Australia revealed that participants who had late nights and late mornings were a whopping one-and-a-half times more likely to be obese than the early risers. This is definitely a good case for calling it a day earlier rather than later.

CABLE, BANDS AND TUBES ARE BETTER FOR MAXING OUT MUSCLE GROWTH: FALSE
Put simply, your muscles either contract or they don’t. However, mixing your workout up with cables, kettlebells, bands and dumbbells is good for preventing boredom setting in, if nothing else. www.laurawilliamsonline.co.uk

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