Did You Know?
Swapping a daily can of soft drink to diet soft drink will save you enough calories in a year equivalent to about 8 kg of body weight.
To burn the calories from a daily can of soft drink you would have to walk 21km a week or 1092km per year (roughly the same as walking from Sydney to Melbourne).
Do you enjoy a coffee? Then give yourself a break. Switching a daily cappuccino from full fat to skinny saves you 2kg in weight a year (3kg if you usually upsize to a large).
Your average milkshake has a calorie value that takes 7.5km to walk off.
Switch from premium ice cream to low fat to save 70 calories per 2 scoops. If you have 2 scoops per day that's 3.6kg in weight saved a year.
Forgot your lunch? A burger will set you back at least 400 calories while a chicken salad sandwich from home will be less than 300 calories. This difference is at least a 28min walk.
A healthy sandwich daily instead of a burger will save you about 7kg of body weight in a year.
A burger will contain between 3 and 5 teaspoons of fat and 400-500 calories. I hope you like a clean house because you will need to spend between 1.5 to2hrs vacuuming to burn off these calories.
Would you like fries with that? A medium serve of fries take 1 and a half hours to walk off or you could run for 35mins. That's 320 calories and 4 teaspoons of fat.
If you replace 1 slice of regular cheddar cheese (that's 30 grams or a 3cm cube) a day with 25% fat reduced cheese you will save the equivalent calories of 4kg in body weight a year.
Would you drink 4 beers easily? Swapping to low alcohol (2%) stubbies will save you 180 calories or a 4km walk home to burn them off.
Don't top your wine glass up until it is completely empty. If you save the calories from 4 glasses a week, over a year you could save a whole dress size in weight.
Avoid cocktails - they are deadly for weight gain with some up to 500 calories. That's a 2 and a half hour walk.
Swap from fatty crumbed steak to extra lean grill or stir fry! You will hardly notice the difference but for a small piece of steak you will save 120 calories and 2 teaspoons of fat.
Your average store bought muffin has over 400 calories and 20g of fat. Trying to lose weight? Then that is half your daily fat intake gone in a couple of bites.
Always keep your fruit in a bag. If you feel hungry then there is no need to go grab a cake. One slice carrot cake equals the same calories as about 5 apples.
Low fat foods can still be high in sugar, for example sugary kids breakfast cereals are low fat but a small bowl has almost 4 teaspoons of sugar.
Get a goodnight sleep - research shows those who sleepless than 5 hours a night are 70% more likely to be obese.
Sweet tooth? Swap the lollies for sugarless gum. 10 Jelly Beans has 100 calories.
2 tablespoons of cordial concentrate has the same calories as an average apple or orange.
Need to relax? Grab a cup of tea. Tea contains a naturally occurring amino acid called L-theranine. This increases the amount of alpha brain activity. Alpha waves make you feel calm but alert.
One teaspoon of crushed garlic added to your daily cooking will give you enough sulphur-containing compounds, saponins, allicin and S-allycysteine that may improve your health by helping to support your immune system.
Side Stitches: Causes, Prevention and Treatment of Side Stitches
A side stitch, also known as exercise related transient abdominal pain (ETAP), is one of the most annoying and painful conditions suffered by participants of sport and exercise. Although not considered a true sports injury, it has been estimated that 70% of regular runners suffered from a side stitch in the last 12 months.
A side stitch causes an intense, stabbing pain under the lower edge of the ribcage and although it can occur on both sides of the abdomen, research has found that it occurs more frequently on the right side.
The pain is usually brought on by vigorous exercise and activity. Side stitches occur more frequently in sports that require a lot of up and down movement, like running, jumping and horse riding. They also occur more frequently in novice or amateur athletes.
What Causes a Side Stitch?
The pain is caused by a spasm of the diaphragm muscle. The diaphragm is a dome shaped muscle that separates the thoracic (lung) cavity from the abdominal cavity and moves up and down when you inhale and exhale. To understand why the diaphragm muscle spasms, we need to understand what is happening during exercise: Let's use the sport of running as an example.
It is interesting to note that more than 70% of humans exhale when their left foot strikes the ground, while less than 30% exhale when their right foot hits the ground.
When you inhale, your lungs fill with air and force your diaphragm downward. Conversely, when you exhale your lungs contract and your diaphragm rises. This pattern of rising and falling occurs quite rapidly when you're running and as most side stitches occur on the right hand side, consider what happens to your diaphragm when your right foot strikes the ground.
As your right foot strikes the ground, gravity forces your internal organs downward. Some of these organs are attached to the diaphragm, which in turn pulls the diaphragm downward. Now if you're also exhaling at the same time as your right foot hits the ground, your diaphragm is being pulled upward as your lungs contract. This creates a stretching of the diaphragm muscle and the ligaments that are attached to your internal organs, which inturn causes the pain.
Treating a Side Stitch
Like any other muscle spasm, when a side stitch occurs it is important to stop the activity that brought the stitch on in the first place, or at the very least reduce the intensity of the activity.
Another effective treatment for a side stitch is to alter your breathing pattern. First concentrate on taking full, deep breathes and avoid shallow breathing. Then, if you are one of those people who exhale when your right foot hits the ground, try instead to exhale when your left foot hits the ground.
Preventing a Side Stitch
There are a number of measures that help to prevent side stitch, the main ones being:
- Improve your cardiovascular fitness;
- Concentrate on breathing deeply during exercise;
- Warm up properly before exercising;
- Gradually increase exercise intensity;
- Strengthen your core muscles (lower back, abdominal and oblique muscles);
- Stretch more, especially your lower back and abdominal muscles;
- Avoid eating before exercising; and
- Drink more fluids.