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What Helps Your Heart More, Losing Fat or Gaining Muscle?

What Helps Your Heart More, Losing Fat or Gaining Muscle? 150 150 NewStartPT

Most of us exercise to become healthier. One of the biggest factors in this decision for many
people is their heart. We are told that being fitter is beneficial for our heart. But what type of
fitness is best? It has been shown that the most beneficial, long term thing for heart health is
losing body fat. The easiest way to do this long term is to gain lean muscle mass!

But is strength based training the best type of training for your heart? Studies have shown that
those who had primarily lost fat during adolescence and young adulthood were much less
likely than those who had gained muscle to develop risk factors such as high glucose,
inflammation or “bad” cholesterol by age 25. The big issue that many people end up with
through strength based training is that they neglect their body fat content, as their main focus
is gaining muscle. This can easily be overcome incorporating additional cardiovascular
exercise into a strength training program!

While increased muscle is important for maintaining your mobility and independence, fat loss
seems to be a higher priority when it comes to keeping markers for heart disease under
control. So, to answer the question, losing fat is more important for heart health than
increasing muscle. However, you can have both at the same time!

The best thing that you can do to ensure that your heart remains healthy, is to ensure that you
have a healthy lifestyle, from as early in your life as you can. This includes a healthy diet, as
well as a healthy amount of all types of exercise. Missing out any part of this will almost
always result in an imbalance. Not necessarily with your heart, but somewhere. If you don’t
strength train, you will have trouble doing day to do activities as you get older. If you don’t
include cardio exercise into your program, you may be able to lift anything you want, but a
flight of stairs is going to seem daunting. And if you don’t have a healthy eating routine, not
only will it be much harder to achieve anything physically, but eventually something will
“pop-up” for you that will undo all the hard work you have done with your exercise.

How Effective Is Foam Rolling for Muscle Pain and Flexibility?

How Effective Is Foam Rolling for Muscle Pain and Flexibility? 150 150 NewStartPT

Many physically active people get muscle pain after exercise, known as “delayed onset
muscle soreness” or DOMS. Foam rolling is a popular means of alleviating delayed onset
muscle soreness and stiff muscles! But what does the science say? Is foam rolling actually
effective in reducing delayed onset muscle soreness, and in increasing flexibility? Some
studies show a small improvement, however, many don’t show any difference!

Foam rolling is a type of self-massage, usually using a cylindrical foam roller. They were
first used in the 1980s, and are now usually used in warm-up and/or cool-down exercises.
Proponents say foam rolling can reduce muscle pain, and increase flexibility (also known as
range of motion). Foam rollers and other similar devices are claimed to release the tightness
of “myofascia”. Myofascia is a thin connective tissue that surrounds our muscles. It prevents
friction between tissues, and transfers force generated by muscle fibres to the bone. Foam
rolling claims to stretch the myofascia and thereby could reduce such soreness and

Studies have shown, however, that the benefits of foam rolling are actually much more
noticeable as a WARM UP exercise, rather than recovery. When people use foam rolling
correctly before a workout, they have shown to have increased flexibility and range of
motion, as well as higher muscle pain tolerance. However, in both instances, the difference
was not very big. These studies also found that the effect on range of motion following foam
rolling is similar to that of stretching.

So if your goal is to increase range of motion, both stretching and foam rolling can be
considered as adequate warm-up routines. But remember: though foam rolling is generally
considered safe, it’s better to avoid it if you have a serious injury such as a muscle tear,
unless your doctor or a physical therapist has cleared you first.

5 Foods Aren’t Quite As Healthy As You Think

5 Foods Aren’t Quite As Healthy As You Think 150 150 NewStartPT

Food is what we need to survive. Its as simple as that. Most of us know a balanced diet is the
basis of being healthy. However, many people seek out different foods as for their “medicinal
qualities”, hoping eating them might prevent or treat particular conditions. It’s true many
foods contain natural chemicals that act in the body in ways that might promote good health,
and a lot of these are being studied in the prevention of cancer, heart disease and other

But the idea of food as medicine is often hyped up and over sold. A lot of what we hear about
foods “curing” conditions is based on studies done in the lab, testing concentrated extracts
from foods. The effect seen in real people eating the actual food is going to be different,
because so many other factors are involved. The biggest factor which makes the majority of
these “super foods” not really worth it is the sheer amount of them that you need to eat before
you get any real benefits. In some cases, the quantity of food required will actually cause us
to get sick, rather than having the beneficial effect that you are going for.
These five things show the common healing claims around the foods we eat don’t always
stack up.

Cinnamon, which contains a compound called cinnamaldehyde, is claimed to aid weight loss,
reduce cholesterol, and regulate appetite. Studies have shown that between 1 and 6 grams of
cinnamaldehyde per day can show some benefits. Cinnamon is about 8% cinnamaldehyde by
weight – so you’d have to eat at least 13 grams of cinnamon, or about half a supermarket jar,
per day, just to get the minimum amount on the range.

Red wine
The benefits of red wine are usually talked about because of a chemical in grape skins called
resveratrol. Resveratrol is a polyphenol, a family of chemicals with antioxidant properties.
It’s been claimed resveratrol protects our cells from damage and reduces the risk of a range of
conditions such as cancer, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease. On
average, a single bottle of red wine contains about 3 micrograms of resveratrol. The studies
that have shown a benefit from resveratrol use at least 0.1 grams per day (100,000
micrograms). To get just the 0.1 grams, you have to drink roughly 200 bottles of wine a day.

Blueberries have the same thing as grapes – resveratrol, however, each berry only contains a
few micrograms… you would have to eat more than 10,000 berries a day to get the active

Theobromine, a chemical in chocolate, has been shown to lower blood pressure in doses of
about 1 gram, but not at lower doses. Depending on the chocolate, you could be eating 100g
of dark chocolate before you reached this dose. That is four times the recommended daily intake. Chocolate is a discretionary food, or “junk food”. The recommended serve for
discretionary foods is no more than 600 kilojoules per day, or 25g of chocolate. Eating 100g
of chocolate would be equivalent to more than 2,000kJ.
Excess kilojoule consumption leads to weight gain, and being overweight increases risk of
heart disease and stroke. So these risks would likely negate the benefits of eating chocolate to
lower your blood pressure.

Turmeric is a favorite. It’s good in curries, and recently we’ve seen hype around the
turmeric latte. Stories pop up regularly about its healing power, normally based on curcumin.
Curcumin refers to a group of compounds, called curcuminoids, that might have some health
benefits, like reducing inflammation. Inflammation helps us to fight infections and respond to
injuries, but too much inflammation is a problem in diseases like arthritis, and might be
linked to other conditions like heart disease or stroke.
Human trials on curcumin have been inconclusive, but most use curcumin supplementation in
very large doses of 1 to 12 grams per day. Turmeric is about 3% curcumin, so for each gram
of turmeric you eat you only get 0.03g of curcumin. This means you’d have to eat more than
30g of turmeric to get the minimum active dose of turmeric.
Importantly, curcumin in turmeric is not very bioavailable. This means we only absorb about
25% of what we eat, so you might actually have to eat well over 100g of turmeric, every day,
to get a reasonable dose of curcumin. That’s a lot of curry.

We all want food to heal us, but focusing on single foods and eating mounds of them is not
the answer. Instead, a balanced and diverse diet can provide foods each with a range of
different nutrients and bioactive compounds. Don’t get distracted by quick fixes; focus
instead on enjoying a variety of foods.

Metabolism: losing weight and keeping it off

Metabolism: losing weight and keeping it off 150 150 NewStartPT

Losing weight may be tough, but keeping it off, as many people have experienced, can be much
harder. However, it may not be for the reasons you think! While losing bodyfat is often relatively
straightforward in the short term, preventing that weight from simply coming back again much more
According to the University of Michigan, about 90% of people who lose significant amounts of
weight, whether through diets, structured programs or even drastic steps such as gastric surgery,
ultimately regain just about all of it. They believe that the answer to why this happens lies with our
metabolism, or the balance of energy in VS energy out.
When someone begins a new restrictive diet, their metabolism slows down, because they are
suddenly consuming less calories. Their body responds by burning calories at a slower pace. As a
result, people will notice an initial drop in weight, but over time, will see less and less. The same can
be said for when you increase the amount you eat as well – as you increase your food intake, your
metabolism speeds up! This may seem like it is untrue, as people that continually put on weight
generally feel like it is because their metabolism “is too slow”, however it is more often the case that
they are simply just eating more calories than what their metabolism has increased to.
The way I always like to explain weight loss maintenance to people is this: your metabolism will go
up or down to match what is going in. To lose weight, you need to have more calories going out than
in. It stands to reason that over time, you can increase your metabolism by consistently eating
higher amounts of food. To make sure that this doesn’t also lead to you increasing your weight, you
can make up the difference with exercise to consistently make sure your calorie output is higher
than what is going in!
There is also a lot of talk about our metabolism slowing down as we get older, and that this also
leads to increased difficulty in losing weight, then keeping it off. Studies have shown that between
the ages of 20 and 60 our metabolism stays almost completely stable, even during major hormonal
shifts such as pregnancy and menopause. Based on the data from these studies, a woman of 50 will
burn calories just as effectively as a woman of 20.
If the calories we burn stay largely the same through life, the real source of obesity has to be the
amount we’re eating, and the amount (or lack) or exercise we are doing! So what does this mean?
Much of the ageing process, and the commonly observed middle-aged weight gain, is not because of
declining metabolism but genetics, hormone changes and lifestyle factors such as stress, sleep,
smoking and, perhaps most crucially, diet.

What are some of the key benefits of doing cardio for your health?

What are some of the key benefits of doing cardio for your health? 150 150 NewStartPT


Cardio is a great for weight loss! A 30 min session of cardio can burn a high number of calories,

which will aid greatly in losing weight! Keep in mind, the intensity of the training will obviously determine the amount of calories burnt!


Regular cardio exercise will help to improve the health of your heart. A healthy heart pushes out more blood with each beat, enabling it to function more efficiently. This decreases the stress on the heart and surrounding arteries, potentially reducing blood pressure. If you have high blood pressure, cardiovascular exercise may help lower it. If you don’t have high blood pressure, exercise has been shown to help prevent it from rising as you age.


Regular cardio-based physical activity enables the heart to achieve improved blood flow in the

small vessels around it, where blockages of fatty deposits can build over time. Better circulation

in these areas may prevent heart attacks. Evidence even shows that exercise can cause the

body to create more physical connections between these small blood vessels, meaning the blood

has more ways to travel to where it needs to go.


Many people tend to shy away from cardio because it can be tough to breathe as you perform

the exercise. However, that heavy breathing you are experiencing is actually improving your

lungs. Cardio will increase your lung capacity as you push your breathing ability to the limit

during a tedious workout. This has a whole range of benefits, right down to just being able to breath more easily!


This is a big one! Since cardio exercise releases endorphins, another benefit is that it simply makes you feel good afterward. Cardio is a healthy way to combat mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or stress. Many people have coined the feeling one experiences after physical conditioning as a “runners high.” While it has this name, you don’t just need to be running to get it, and a lot of people can even experience similar endorphin release through weights training! Aside from the endorphins, as you are doing cardio, you are challenging yourself mentally. There are bound to be many times throughout your workout when you feel like you may quit. Pushing through a tough workout and eventually finishing gives you a great sense of accomplishment and leads to a natural “high” you may feel afterward. When you get into the routine of doing cardio exercise, you will start to feel better about yourself overall and improve your confidence.

TYPES OF CARDIO YOU CAN DO (to list a few!):

Running, stair climbs, skipping, walking, boxing, ball slams, rowing, cycling, swimming, kettle bell swings and sprints, are just a few types of exercises you can do for your cardio fitness.

Keep in mind though, while cardo is an important aspect of training and staying healthy, it’s also just as important to include strength training into your workout regime, to make sure all muscles are activating correctly and to maintain good strength, mobility and posture!

25 Minute Circuit Workout

25 Minute Circuit Workout 150 150 NewStartPT

Are you struggling to find time to fit in your extra workouts? Or even just your normal workouts?
Here is an easy lunchtime circuit that takes just 25 minutes!
Start with a walk and some light stretches to warm up, and then complete the following:
25 Jumping Jacks
20 High Knees
20 Alternating Lunges
20 Push Ups
20 Standing Elbow to Knee
Rest for 1 minute at the end of the circuit, then do it all again! Do this 3 times through for a great

Some benefits of doing a lunchtime workout are:

  1. You will feel more rejuvenated and focused!
  2. It will reduce stress levels!
  3. You will have a sense of accomplishment!
  4. It makes you take a proper break away from your office!

If you are unsure how to do any of these, simply click here to see a video on them!

Compound or Isolation Exercise

Compound or Isolation Exercise 150 150 NewStartPT

Have you heard your trainer use the phrases “compound” or “isolation” exercise, and not sure what
they mean?
Here is a breakdown on each and what benefits each have:
Compound exercise is where you are using multiple groups of muscles. This is beneficial if
you are wanting to do a full body workout in less time and burn more calories for weight loss! These
also help build up strength in everyday living. There is less fatigue on individual muscle groups as
they are all working together and not individually. An example of a compound exercise is squats!
They use multiple muscle groups: glutes, quads, hamstrings and thighs!
Isolation exercises are when we only use one individual muscle group. Isolation exercises
are beneficial for when fixing up body alignment, imbalances or needing to activate a specific
muscle group – essentially all rehab-based training. They are also more beneficial for specific muscle
building, as you are able to focus your energy and attention into just working that one muscle,
rather than having to work on a group of muscles at once. An example of an isolation exercise is
Bicep curls! When doing a bicep curl we are isolating the bicep muscles to perform the movement.
Both compound and isolation exercises have their place in a well rounded workout regimen
and it is important that we are doing both. If you are interested in getting a complete, efficient
and functional workout, doing predominantly compound exercises during your training is
ideal. However, if you have imbalances with muscle groups, focusing more on isolation
exercises can help to fix up these imbalances, as well as reactivate the muscles that is not working
efficiently. This is vital to avoid injury from overuse of the predominant working muscle.

No Equipment Home Workout

No Equipment Home Workout 150 150 NewStartPT

Are you stuck on what to do when not with a trainer, or stuck at home without a gym?
Here are 5 simple exercises that you can do within the comfort of your own home, with no need of
any equipment:

  1. Air Squats onto a seat
  2. Alternating Lunges
  3. Push Ups can be inclined, on your knees, or on your toes
  4. Glute Bridge
  5. Plank Hold
    If you are unsure how to do any of these, simply click here to see a video on them!

Using Exercise To Boost Immunity

Using Exercise To Boost Immunity 150 150 Aaron Smee

Exercise has plenty of obvious benefits. I’ve gone over a lot of these through different blogs, so make sure to check them out! What I want to go over in this one though, is how it can help to boost your immune system. Before I get too much further, I want to state that this is just my view (backed by a few other people’s opinions and articles), and if you go to google, you will probably find plenty of articles saying the exact opposite to what is below!

So, moving forward, exercise can help to boost your immune system in several different ways! A few of theories are that it does this by;

  • Help flush bacteria out of your lungs through increased breathing rate
  • Increasing your white blood cell count, as well as helping them to circulate around the body faster, letting them detect diseases and pathogens faster
  • Increased body temperature, similar to what happens when you get a fever (which is your body’s way of making itself less favourable for disease growth)
  • Reduced levels of stress hormones, which effectively allows your body to recover and repair faster.

Each of these, while only theories, would definitely help to fight off any bugs that you may get. As I said though, it is not certain that (or how) each of these things occurs.

One study (published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine) that helps to support the idea of exercise helping with your immune system, followed a group of 1002 healthy adults aged from 18 to 85 years, over a 12 week period during the US autumn and winter seasons in 2008.

During this study, the participants were examined in all parts of their lives, including their diet, lifestyle and exercise frequency. Over the 12 weeks, they reported on any symptoms arising that could be associated with respiratory illnesses, and their severity. The study found that, during this time, the participants that were regularly exercising were reporting symptoms much less frequently, and when they did, the symptoms were less severe.

What this means, is that your body can fight infections off better when you are fit and healthy, and it only makes sense that this would be the case. When you are fitter, everything works more efficiently. You are effectively making your body better able to handle stress. This means that the rest of your bodily functions take up less of your overall energy when you get sick, and your body can devote more energy to getting better. On top of that, with the increased energy devotion, the immune response is also going to be stronger, as it will also be able to work more efficiently.

For anyone that is wondering as well, the amount of exercise that is required for this level of response doesn’t seem to be huge either, just consistent. Half an hour a day is more than enough to get this sort of result, as this is enough to get a response in each of the areas mentioned right at the start. When this happens regularly, your body just gets better at it, like with everything else.

On the flip side to this though; if you are already sick, the best thing to do is to listen to your body! If you feel like you need to rest, it is most likely because you do. If you are on medication to get better from an illness, then exercise starts to cause problems. A lot of the side effects from things like antibiotics will be similar to the effects of exercising, and combining those both together is not a great idea. Further to this, studies have actually shown an immediate decrease in your immune system during hard exercise, which means you really shouldn’t be pushing yourself too hard is you are already fighting a sickness off!

Outside of this, all of the obvious things we can be doing to improve our recovery revolve around living a healthy lifestyle. This includes not smoking, eating a diet high in fruits and vegetables, maintaining a healthy weight, drinking in moderation, getting enough sleep, and minimising your daily stress!


Another study which goes into much further detail is here:


This study goes over everything in detail, and is well worth the read if you want further clarification on how exercising can help boost your immunity!

To see how exercising can help you to boost your immunity and feel better in general, why not give us a call? It’s as easy as heading over to the contact page and getting in touch! Otherwise, you can search “personal trainers near me” and see how close we are to you on Google. If you live in Bowen Hills, I can guarantee we will come up!


New Start PT now offers Yoga Classes!

New Start PT now offers Yoga Classes! 150 150 Aaron Smee


As you may have heard, New Start PT will be offering Yoga sessions as of next week! Here is a bit of background on the lady that will be running the classes; Natasha!

“I practiced yoga intermittently for many years and always sought after the relaxation I experienced during and after my practice. My favourite practice was yin yoga, not only for how good my body would feel afterward or how it complemented my exercise regime, but for how it enabled me to ‘switch off’ mentally. Albeit, challenging me to do so.

After a very stressful time in my life, I ventured to India to experience life in an ashram, a mental sabbatical if you will. It was there that I learnt the traditional teachings and philosophy of Ashtanga Yoga. My initial intent was not to become a yoga teacher, but rather enjoy this month to myself. It was because of the in-depth knowledge I gained and the reignited passion I found for yoga that I decided I would utilise my new skillset to help people.

The further I studied Health Science and the nervous system, the more I understood the significance of stress and its role in disease pathogenesis.

It is through the teaching of yoga that I am able to provide people with the tools and techniques they need to encourage relaxation, develop mindfulness and manage stress and anxiety. The beauty of yoga is that anyone can practice it, at their own pace, in their own time and with their own style. Through the practice of yoga, we can achieve great things on a mental and physical level!

The main types that I like to focus on are Yin Yoga, Vin-Yin Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga and Power Yoga!”

Yin Yoga: A yin yoga class comprises of a series of floor-based static poses. The poses are held for up to five minutes and are passive in nature. There is a large focus on meditation to enhance the experience of stress relief. Yin yoga targets deep connective tissue between the muscles and fascia throughout the body.

Vin-Yin Yoga: A combination of vinyasa flow and yin yoga is beneficial for creating heat through the body (with movement and breath) to prepare the body for static holds (deep tissue release). This is ideal for morning practice or early evening.

Vinyasa Yoga: Vinyasa is a style of yoga that connects a sequence of postures from one to another, seamlessly, using the flow of the breath. The benefits of vinyasa for the physical body are eliminating toxins through sweat and the mind is benefited by focusing on the breath to eliminate mental chatter and calm the nervous system.

Power Yoga: Power yoga is strength-based vinyasa practice. It contains the same principles as vinyasa yoga, including creating internal heat, increasing stamina, strength, and flexibility, as well as reducing stress.

We are looking forward to seeing people coming along next week, with the first session being Tuesday at 1pm! Make sure to let us know if you can make it, as bookings will be essential! Head over to our Contact Page to make your booking now!

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