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Muesli paradise March 18 2016, 0 Comments

You come in from work and want a bite to eat before you go out for your evening run. Growing evidence says that eating high-sugar content candy bars is bad for you, with the sudden increase in blood sugar boosting insulin production to a point where the 'hangover' leaves you shaky and bad tempered. Long-term, this is one of the paths to insulin intolerance and type 2 diabetes. High-energy fruit such as bananas are always good, but my personal favourite is home-made muesli. With no added sugar, a small bowl of this is good for many kilometres of steady energy release. I make this in bulk, so if you want a smaller amount simply pro-rata the quantities down.

Ingredients

  • 1Kg of any one of or combination of wheat, barley and rye flakes
  • An equal volume of a mixture of your favourite nuts and dried fruits, chopped lightly where necessary. For instance brazil nuts, hazel nuts, almonds, cashews, sultanas, raisins, apples, plums, mangoes - really, whatever you find on the shelves in the shops that takes your fancy, but not with added sugar.
  • 250g of dates
  • 2 fine-chopped vanilla sticks
  • 250ml olive oil
  • 250 ml water

What to do

  • Mix the nuts, dried fruit and flakes in a large roasting tin
  • Blend together the dates, vanilla, olive oil and water, and add to the contents of the roasting tin, mixing thoroughly until damp evenly throughout.
  • Bake in a low oven (140°C, 275°F, Gas mark 1) stirring every 20 minutes until dry. Turn the oven off and leave the muesli in it to dry out thoroughly overnight.
  • When ready, add milk or joghurt and eat.

This is tasty, filling and pretty chewy. Eat it half an hour or so before you run. It also makes an excellent top-up between meals during the day  if needed.

Bon appetit and good running!


What are the relative values of running and walking? March 12 2016, 0 Comments

You know that running is more intense than walking, and believe in your heart of hearts that it is doing you good. But what does the evidence say? The benefits of different durations and intensities (walking and running) of exercise is discussed by Wen et. al. in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology (2014, 64:5).

It seems that, even in very small doses, walking and running are beneficial in reducing cardiovascular disease and lowering the risks of diabetes and hypertension. The benefits are on a sliding scale that increases as the amount of exercise goes up, but the biggest increase in benefit is at the beginning of the curve, where the amount of exercise is small (figure 1, after Wen et al.).

Figure 1: Relative benefit in reduced mortality for average daily running or walking time.

The implications from this are that benefits can come from relatively small changes - good news for those who have difficulty finding the time to do long work-outs. It also means that beneficial exercise can be built into your day by, for instance, getting off the bus a couple of stops earlier and walking the last part of the journey into work.

For those of you who want to ease yourself into spring with running or hiking, and would like to do so with less shoe and more you, ZEMgear Hero and Apex shoes are warmer for the still cold weather, but you should graduate fairly quickly to Terras as it warms into summer.

Good running and walking all!


What happens to our brains when we exercise September 02 2014, 0 Comments

Exercise has been touted to be a cure for nearly everything in life, from depression, to memory loss, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and more.

Running the Caballo Blanco Ultramarathon - article in the Laramie Boomerang May 27 2014, 0 Comments

If running is in your blood, this should strike a cord...

 


It's official - running is good for your brain... April 10 2014, 0 Comments

Recent news of a study which tracked its subjects over 25 years shows a correlation between aerobic exercise in your 20s and cognitive skills some 20 years later.  People who were able to run for longer in the first part of the test demonstrated better in thinking and memory tests up to 25 years later. Moreover, if their fitness was maintained, shown by smaller differences in performance at the end and beginning of the tests, people demonstrated better executive function skills (eg. working memory, reasoning, task flexibility and problem solving).

So there it is - if you want to be cleverer, get your ZEMs on and get running!

More about this study HERE.