Author Archives: Russell Laurie

Myth Busters #46

Swimming is better than walking for weight loss

In general circumstances, the best exercises for weight loss are those that involve weight-bearing such as walking or jogging. Up to 30% less energy is used in activities such as swimming or cycling because they do not directly involve you weight-bearing through your legs however both these forms of exercise are low impact option for exercise.  The effectiveness of swimming is also very dependant on things like technique and experience. Someone who has never swam before is likely to do a lot of thrashing about, get tired very quickly and not get very far. More experienced swimmers will be able to swim a lot further at greater speed increasing their total energy expenditure and having a great effect on weight loss with out impacting on joints. But there is only one to get to that stage which is practice so don’t be scared to jump in the pool and get swimming especially if you are prone to overuse or impact injuries.

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Myth Busters #45

Exercising for longer at a lower intensity burns more fat

For a long time people have believed that exercising for extended periods of time at a lower intensity means you will burn more fat compared to a shorter period of higher intensity training. It is true that if you exercise at a lower intensity that you will be able to endure the exercise for longer, but the reason for this is that you are fatiguing your muscles and accessing your energy stores at a slower rate. So yes you will be burning more fat but it is not necessarily more effective for weight-loss and fitness gains. An alternative to this form of exercise is interval training, which is a short period of high intensity exercise followed by a bout of low intensity activity (rest period). This interchange is then repeated a number of times. This method of training will enable you to burn more calories in a shorter period of time which suggests you can achieve even better results in less time.

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Myth Busters #44

Overweight people should lose weight before they start resistance training

No matter what your size or weight, resistance training i.e. using weights or your own body weight, is actually a great way to lose weight. When combined as a part of a program which incorporates components of aerobic exercise as well, you can achieve some great results. Resistance training will lead to an increase in muscle mass and a gradual loss of fat due to the body having a higher resting metabolic rate and burning more calories even when doing nothing. Therefore it is beneficial to add resistance training sessions to a cardiovascular based exercises program for a well-rounded body transformation.

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Exercise Myth Busters #44

Swiss ball sit up with medi ball throwYou lose more weight doing exercises you are good at.

When you become more experienced with a particular form of exercise your body adapts to perform the exercise more efficiently and expend less energy. All exercise programs must be designed to constantly challenge the body and prevent a plateau in results. Weight loss requires excess energy expenditure, which comes more from activities which are challenging or you are not so familiar with.

High Intensity Workouts Away From The Gym

If you find yourself extremely busy with work and other aspects of life, it doesn’t have to affect your fitness goals. It is always possible to get a good workout without having to head to the gym and can be completed in a short period of time. The key is, of course, intensity. If you’re short on time, but want the benefits that long, slow cardio can provide, high-intensity workouts might be the perfect solution for you. Evidence shows that short, high-intensity workouts improve aerobic capacity and endurance in about half the time of traditional endurance exercise. Here are some excellent high-intensity activities you can try:


Running is great for fat loss, but it only speeds up your metabolism while you are running and for a short period afterwards. Sprinting not only burns huge amounts of calories while sprinting, it also keeps your metabolism going strong for days afterward. Sprinting combined with running or jogging can bring amazing results, especially when combined with a proper diet!

Boxing Training

Boxing workouts are a popular way to exercise, because they provide a total body workout, covering cardio and aerobic, anaerobic, endurance, coordination and strength building exercises, all in one workout.

Jump Rope

Jumping rope is an excellent and challenging cardiovascular exercise. It’s one of the foundations of a boxer’s conditioning program, and tennis champions use jumping rope as part of their conditioning routine. Jumping rope can burn up to 1000 calories per hour, making it one of the most efficient workouts possible – but don’t expect to be able to keep it up for an hour, at least not at first! Buying a rope is very inexpensive, making it accessible to everyone, and since you can get a great jump rope workout in only 10-15 minutes, minute for minute you just can’t beat it.

Circuit Training

Circuit training is an effective, productive workout. It conditions the entire body, because it involves many different activities done with quick changes. Circuit training is an anytime-anywhere workout if you incorporate bodyweight training into your workout plans, and a complete workout can be done in as little as 20 minutes.

Some tips for performing high-intensity non-gym workouts:

  • Because it is high-intensity, it is recommended that you check with your doctor before beginning a high-intensity workout program.

  • It’s also important to have a good foundation of fitness before you begin. Be sure you are accustomed to exercising 3 times a week for at least 20 minutes of cardio per session before beginning a high-intensity program.

  • Warm Up. Getting injured during a short, high-intense burst of exercise is possible if you aren’t prepared with a thorough warm up.

  • Perform high-intensity workout routines two or three times a week with plenty of rest between the workouts. Because of the intensity of these workouts you must give your body time to recover between performing these type of sessions

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Exercise Myth Busters #42

Recommended Activity LevelsExercising three times a week is enough

The current National Activity Guidelines for Australians recommend that you should perform at least 30-mintues of moderate exercise every day. The exercise should be intense enough to increase both your heart and breathing rates. For greater health and fitness benefits, the guidelines also recommend 3-4 sessions of vigorous exercise per week for at least 30 minutes each time, in addition to the moderate exercise listed above.

If you are only exercising three times a week, then this is better than nothing but for optimal health and well-being you should aim for at least 30 minutes a day, every day.

If you would like to view the National Activity Guidelines they can be found at –