• Fact vs Fiction: 10 common health and fitness myths debunked

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    There is a colossal amount of information available to us about fitness, which is frequently contradictory. It is often hard to decipher fact from fiction which leaves us all in a state of confusion but, when in doubt, it is important to turn to science. 

    In a world of fad workout trends, sport science serves to discern fact from fiction with in-depth research and testing.

    Myth 1: Long sessions at a lower intensity burn more body fat

    Our bodies are always working to turn both carbohydrates and fat into energy which our cells can utilise. This energy production is constant, and the dominant energy source changes depending on what we’re doing and what we have most recently eaten. 

    It is true that when working out at 55-70% of your maximum heart rate, your body will utilise more fat than carbohydrate for fuel. The more intensely you exercise, the more your body turns to carbohydrate stores for energy. However, as higher-intensity exercise puts more strain on the body, it requires more caloric energy. And so, if your goal is to solely lose weight, it isn’t necessarily more effective train at a lower intensity to stay in a so-called ‘fat-burning zone’

    When it comes to exercise, a mixture of intensities is important. Striking a balance in your fitness routine is the best way to make it both productive and sustainable.

    Myth 2: Lifting heavy weights makes you bulky

    Lifting weights was previously associated with body building, strongmen, and professional athletes. It bred the longstanding misnomer that performing a low number of repetitions with heavy weights will result in an increase in size. It is important to dispel this myth because strength training is a vital component of any fitness regimen and will not give you unwanted bulkiness, especially if you are a woman. Women’s hormones aren’t conducive to ‘bulking up’, thus women have a greater handicap in putting on excess muscle mass.

    Don’t deny yourself the benefits of resistance training because of the irrational fear of becoming accidentally bulky. Instead, reap the rewards of improved cardiac and respiratory health, increased joint and muscular strength, better posture, more energy, and a faster metabolism.

    Myth 3: You can target areas for weight loss 

    The belief that fat loss in a specific region could be targeted by building muscle around it has evolved from the idea that gaining muscle increases metabolism. Whilst working out can help to reduce your overall body fat, you cannot control where that fat comes from.

    Targeting areas during exercise can be effective to build muscle and shape specific areas but directed fat loss will not occur. This is because, as you exercise your body breaks down stored fat, from fat cells distributed across your entire body, into chemicals that can be utilised as energy. No targeting is required because our bloodstream acts as a carrier for these chemicals to get the energy where it needs to be.

    Myth 4: Your workout must be intense and hard 

    Believe it or not, moving between different intensities and types of exercise is better for your body and fitness levels.

    Not every gym session has to leave you struggling to walk the next day and may be a sign that you are training too hard. It is not a good idea to frequently exercise at a high intensity because it can limit recovery and lead to overtraining. Ideally you should avoid putting too much stress on your body and limit high intensity workouts to 2-3 times per week.

    Myth 5: The more you can train, the better

    You might be relieved to hear that rest is key in fitness. When you work out, you are breaking down muscle fibres so that they can rebuild stronger. To do this, you need to give your body time to recover by scheduling in 1-2 recovery days per week. 

    Recovery days could incorporate complete rest or something which doesn’t put stress on the body, like a walk or gentle stretching.

    If you're looking for some new activewear to make training feel a little easier, check out Sundried's Gym Activewear today for gym wear that will support you and enhance your performance.

    Myth 6: Exercise will result in weight loss

    We have all been conditioned to believe that exercise is the most important element for weight loss but, in truth, it only accounts for a small portion of our daily energy expenditure. This means that it is hard to create a significant calorie deficit through exercise alone.

    Food intake accounts for 100% of the energy that goes into your body whilst exercise can only burn off 10-20% of it. And so, for weight loss, the focus should be turned to dietary intake and regular daily movement.

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    Myth 7: Fasted cardio burns more fat

    The thought process behind fasted cardio is that the body will use fat stores to fuel the session as opposed to dietary carbohydrates in the absence of a pre-workout meal, therefore aiding in weight loss. However, studies have shown that body composition changes associated with aerobic exercise in conjunction with a hypo-caloric diet are similar regardless of whether an individual is fasted prior to training. 

    Ultimately, when it comes to weight loss, an individual’s overall diet is far more important than a single fasted session. The body needs fuel to perform optimally, so eating a small pre-workout meal before a cardio session will only help improve your performance and may even prevent overindulgence later in the day.

    Myth 8: Exercising counteracts the effects of sitting at a desk all day

    If you are sitting at a computer screen or desk for most of the day, a 30-minute workout isn’t going to cut it. It is more important to take movement breaks every 30-60-minutes.

    It is time that we all start to become more innovative when it comes to movement in the workplace and schedule in calls on-the-go and standing meetings. 

    Myth 9: Body parts should always be trained separately

    The use of body part splits is frequently overused by lifters and can result in poorer results when done badly. What often happens is that people get too excited at the start of the week and train very hard, resulting in muscle soreness and a reduction in motivation the following day. Consequently, training the next muscle group will be at a much lower intensity, leading to a loading discrepancy between body parts.

    By hitting multiple body parts more often throughout the week, it is much easier to maintain an optimal muscle balance.

    Myth 10: A successful workout should be sweat inducing

    Sweat occurs when your core temperature rises to help cool the body via evaporation. Whilst your muscles will generate heat when you exercise, your internal temperature will largely depend on the temperature that you are working out in. For example, you will sweat less in an air-conditioned room compared to a heated studio. The humidity in the air also plays a role; you will feel like you are sweating more when it is humid because the sweat can’t evaporate from your skin.

    Don’t buy into the notion that sweating is a sign of a good workout. Instead, focus on other better indications of a successful training session like an improvement in fitness or enhanced technique.

    Final thoughts

    When it comes to fitness fads, it is important to exercise some caution. Especially if they seem gimmicky, sound too good to be true, offer ‘quick fixes’, or are trying to sell you something. 

    Take the time to do your own research and only invest your time and money into things which are backed by science. 

    About the author: Laura Smith is an elite level athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more advice from our ambassadors? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Product Recommendations: how to look the part whilst training

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    There is something to be said about the power of a flattering and stylish activewear outfit and its ability to elevate motivation levels. Looking good whilst working out has never been easier and with new styles being curated each season, there is bound to be something that takes your fancy.

    Jumpsuits & unitards

    Throwing it back to the 80’s, an all-in-one suit is the perfect way to add an element of luxe into your workout wardrobe.

    Matching sets

    A matching two-piece was possibly the most popular gym attire of 2020, and it is here to stay for 2021. My favourite combination is a pair of high waisted leggings and matching crop top which keeps things classy whilst showing a little bit of flesh. Check out Sundried’s Escape Sports Bra and Infinity leggings for the ultimate pairing.

    Flared leggings

    Another throwback, but this time to the 70’s, is the iconic flare. Whether you opt for a subtle bootcut or a ‘super-flare’ these stretchy leggings are highly flattering and do not compromise on functionality.

    Cut-out details

    Cut-out styles are less about showing off some skin and more focused on geometric lines derived from the runways. Think unusual, asymmetric, and crisscross which Sundried does perfectly in their Kona Swimsuit.

    Stand out-prints and materials

    Whether it is tie-dye, leather-look, patent, or animal print; adding a splash of colour or unusual fabric to your fitness look is the perfect way to dress to impress. For individuals looking for an element of luxury, why not try Sundried’s silky Eclipse Long Sleeve Top.

    Puffer Jackets and body warmers

    Padded outerwear is an essential item in anyone’s wardrobe, especially during the colder months. Keeping warm has never looked so good with Sundried’s Monte Viso Padded Jacket and Recycled Quilted Gilet

    Statement cycling socks

    There is no better way to jazz up a plain cycling outfit than with a pair of colourful socks. Sundried’s set of Weekly Cycle Socks give you plenty of options to choose from and ensure that your feet will be the envy of fellow riders.

    All black

    This trend is for those with pared-back tastes that appreciate the stylish simplicity of clean lines and a solid colour which Sundried’s Stealth Cycle Jersey and Stealth Bib Shorts demonstrate perfectly. Black is back and we love it!

    Remember that your fitness wardrobe is a chance to push boundaries and have fun with clothes, so make sure you do just that.

    About the author: Laura Smith is an elite level athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more advice from our ambassadors? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Small ways to make time for movement when you feel like you have no time

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    Regular exercise often helps to reduce stress and improve cognitive function; however, it is not always possible to make time for a training session. Well, perhaps it's time to re-frame what true exercise looks like and make time for movement.

    Many people fall into the trap of only moving when they have enough time for a training session but the long and short term benefits of simple movement should not be underestimated.

    If you find that you do not have enough time to hit the gym or go for a morning run, why not try the following tips for turning typical daily moments into an opportunity for exercise.

    Go for a walk during meetings

    Walking is one of the best ways to keep moving throughout the day. So, next time you have a scheduled meeting, suggest making it a mobile meeting whereby you can go for a walk outside.

    Take the stairs

    The elevator may go up, but it does not make your heart rate climb. Taking the stairs can offer you an additional dose of daily exercise.

    Multi-task

    Catch-up on reading, emails and admin whilst walking, pedalling or using the elliptical machine.

    Socialise on the move

    Next time a friend suggests meeting for lunch, counter with an active invitation. A yoga class, long walk or leisurely bike ride can be a great opportunity to catch up on the latest gossip whilst moving.

    Move whilst you wait

    Whether you are waiting for your dinner to cook or your next meeting to start, there are plenty of short periods throughout the day which can be used for movement. Next time you have a few minutes to spare, repeatedly do 10 push ups followed by 10 squats. Keep track of how many rounds you can do throughout the day and prepare to be amazed.

    Supercharge your chore list

    Whether indoors or out, do not underestimate the effectiveness of housework as exercise. Just throw on some music, pick up the pace, and throw yourself wholeheartedly into the efforts of maintaining your home.

    Stretch at your desk

    Sitting for long periods at your desk can not only affect your health but it can have a direct impact on your work performance and engagement. Try a few simple stretches throughout the day to help ease the strain of prolonged stillness.

    Transform your commute into an opportunity to move

    Walking, running or cycling to work is a perfect way to incorporate movement into your day. But, if your journey is a little too far, why not just park farther away and walk or cycle the remainder of the journey.

    When you start looking for them, you will identify lots of opportunities to be more active. Remember that every little counts!

    About the author: Laura Smith is an accomplished athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more training advice at your fingertips? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Sports and skincare - top tips on how to look after your skin as an athlete

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    As athletes our skin is exposed to the elements which can cause it to become reactive. But being an athlete does not mean that you have to sacrifice your skin! Here are a few top tips to keep your skin happy and healthy whilst you train.

    Never train with makeup on

    Keeping your face clean allows its pores to breathe properly as you exercise and sweat. With makeup, your pores stay blocked which can lead to acne and blackheads.

    Drink plenty of water

    Always carry a water bottle with you, as it is important to replenish the fluids you lose through sweat. Hydration is the key to excellent skin!

    Avoid touching your skin

    When you are hot from exercising, your skin pores open up for perspiration. This puts you at an increased risk of skin disease breakouts caused by bacteria on your hands.

    Keep your equipment bacteria free

    Workout apparatus harbours bacteria which can easily reach your skin and cause breakouts. Ensure that you disinfect your equipment before use to avoid transferring any dirt or grime onto your face.

    Take a shower as soon as you finish a workout session

    Sweat is the body’s natural method of cooling and detoxifying, but if left on the skin, bacteria forms and breakouts begin. If you are short on time and cannot shower immediately after your workout, change out of your wet gym clothes and wipe away the sweat as soon as possible. 

    Replace your towels

    Household towels are a breeding ground for germs and bacteria, so just imagine what your gym-bag towel looks like under a microscope. Keep your towels clean and avoid exposing your skin cells to unwanted toxins.

    Dry your skin gently

    Avoid harshly rubbing your skin after a shower. Instead, pat your face dry with a clean towel.

    Cleanse before and after exercise 

    If you let sweat sit on your skin, it can clog your pores and cause blemishes. Use a gentle cleanser to wash away the grime and sweat that’s accumulated on the skin’s surface. Oily skin can benefit from a cleanser formulated with glycolic acid, whilst dry skin thrives with an oil-based or nourishing cleanser formatted with ceramides. 

    Exfoliate your skin

    Exfoliation helps to remove the top layer of dead skin cells before they clog up your pores. 

    Use a mist to sooth your skin

    Use a soothing face mist after cleansing to help refresh and hydrate your skin. 

    Keep your skin moisturised

    Serums and oil-free moisturisers will keep skin hydrated without clogging pores.

    Protect your skin against UV rays

    Protect your skin from premature aging and uneven skin tones by choosing a water resistant, broad spectrum UVA/UVB blocking moisturiser with an SPF of 50. 

    An effective routine is essential to help keep your skin looking its best as, ultimately, preventing skin problems is easier- and less costly- than trying to fix them in the future

    About the author: Laura Smith is an elite level athlete who has been a Sundried ambassador since 2017.

    Want more training advice at your fingertips? Connect with Sundried's Personal Trainers on our app, for top tips, free workout plans and more.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
  • Lilly Issberner - Junior Athlete Ambassador

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    Have you always been into sport?

    Yes, I love sport. My favourites are: surfing, running, basketball.

    How did you first get into surfing?

    When I was 11 years old, me and my family went camping in Devon. My dad has been into surfing since we moved down to Cornwall 6 years ago. So he brought his surfboard camping with us and I caught my first wave on it and rode it straight to the sand. After that, I knew that I loved it!

    If you're interested in starting your own fitness journey, Sundried's Activewear is suitable for people of all abilities. 

    What is your proudest achievement?

    I’ve come so far in such a short space of time, so I’m most proud of my progression. I am working really hard on my surfing and my training/fitness and it is really helping me get where I want to be. After such a rubbish year last year with Covid and lockdowns, I’m excited to see what this year holds for me.

    Have you ever had any racing disasters?

    In Cornwall we have a lot of seals, that are very inquisitive. I was surfing at my local beach and there was quite a few people out the back, the session had gone quite well for me, I was pleased with what I had achieved. I was about to catch my last wave in and suddenly, right in front of me (1 metre ish away) a massive seal popped its head out of the water and starred at me and breathed out through its nose. I was close enough to see its whiskers. At that point I freaked out and paddled towards the beach and caught the next wave in on my stomach. I was scared that the seal would chase me in, but it didn’t. When I got back home I explained what had happened to my mum and she said, “We need to get over this if you want to be a surfer!” So the following week, we went to The Cornish Seal Sanctuary. Whilst we were there, I was able to get comfortable around them and understand that the seals are inquisitive of humans and that’s why they often come close but are scared once they realise what we are. Thank you to The Cornish Seal Sanctuary, I have now over come my fear of seals and don’t want to paddle out as fast as possible whenever I see them.

    How do you overcome setbacks?

    This is something I struggle with. Whenever I have a setback I always turn to the positive people around me.

    What advice do you wish you'd been given when you first started out?

    In surfing, things are not going to be easy so its really important to focus on setting yourself goals and making sure you are focused on achieving what you set yourself. Sometime its easy to lose focus as life often takes over, but with some discipline and dedication you will get to where you want to be.

    What are your goals?

    My goals are to become a professional surfer and travel around the world.

    Who inspires you?

    The people that inspire me are: Tehillah McGuinness, Bethany Hamilton, Alana Blanchard, Tassy Swallow, Sage Erickson, Leah Thompson and my parents.

    Why work with Sundried?

    I believe in Sundried’s ethos and its really important to me to do all I can to help look after the planet so that more generations can enjoy it. I am so proud to be working with a brand that offers products made from 100% recycled plastic, another range which is made from 100% recycled coffee grounds and other products which are made from their pioneering biodegradable fabric. I am very passionate about saving our oceans and freeing them from all plastic and waste, so I am happy to be a part of a brand which has the same views as me.

    To hear more from our ambassadors and get free tips on workout plans and more, connect with the Sundried Personal Trainers on our app.

    Posted by Aimee Garnett
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