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    The July/August 2024 Issue Stories That Are Inspiring Our Editors Right Now

    We really created something special with this issue – yes, we said it! While tackling all things ‘positive body image’, ‘sports’ and celebrating the inspiring girlies who are off to the 2024 Paris Olympics, so much careful consideration went into each topic covered.

    The July/August 2024, themed The Body Issue, couldn’t have come at a better time, reckons our editor Gotlhokwang Angoma-Mzini. She reminds us of this very crucial factor: “What’s important is to know that our current body is all we have and any future version of ourselves will be reached with this present-day body. So it doesn’t need criticism, it needs encouragement.” The WH Sport section (flip the mag to access it) covers a cycling taboo that’ll give you literal goosies. We certainly had many ‘WTF’ and ‘women go through so much’ moments while editing it.

    Read on to find out what stories our editors are excited for you to lay your eyes on. These, are some life-altering reads we tell ya!

    These Stories Are Inspiring Our Editors Right Now

    Strength Is Universal, July/August 2024

    Chamain van Zyl, Online Editor

    “I hate to sound clichéd, but I’m completely hooked on the entire WH Sport bumper edition! I’m such a die-hard sports fan. You know the type – I get choked up at the finish line and spend Sundays rewatching the highlights. Yep, that’s me, #TeamSA’s biggest supporter. So, this issue is pure gold in my books! From the captivating cover featuring Jo-Ané van Dyk to the Hall of Fame story on Penny Heyns – and all 10 global editions of Women’s Health uniting to celebrate women in sport, this issue is an absolute must-buy. If you’re as passionate about sports like I am, I urge you to grab your copy a.s.a.p!”

    Liquid Gold, July/August 2024

    Kemong Mopedi, Deputy Editor

    If there ever was a place called soup heaven, pages 90 to 95 in the latest issue of Women’s Health SA is it. Cooking, once a favourite pastime of mine, is now a chore that I dread with every fibre of my being (adulting, not me!) Enter soups…Easy and convenient to make, one pot usually ensures that I get all the necessary nutrients needed to sustain my body. I love discovering new recipes and sprucing up old ones. I also scored another soup jackpot in the form of our digital soup guide – pages upon pages of soup recipes for all seasons! Prepare to seriously ladle up…

    READ MORE: The Secrets Of Successful Athletes

    Self-Esteem Under The Microscope, July/August 2024

    Michelle October, Features Editor

    2024 has turned out to be my year of deep self-work in order to uncover this elusive ‘self-love’ concept buried under years of trauma. Self Esteem Under The Microscope (page 48) couldn’t have come at a better time. It’s not so much a step-by-step guide to loving yourself (spoiler: it’s always a work in progress); rather, this article looks at the science of self-esteem and the many layers that create how you view yourself. By unearthing these layers, you can address them one by one until you’ve got a more positive way to look at yourself! An absolutely fascinating read. 

    Why Women Are Choosing To Be Child-Free, July/August 2024

    I’ve always known that being a mother wasn’t my journey. But I’ve always been told that it should, and will, be. Why Women Are Choosing To Be Child-Free (page 84) interrogates this concept and shares the views of many women who decided to forgo motherhood. It also serves as a helpful guide to child-free by choice women who need a bit of guidance for navigating conversations around the topic with others. Because there’s no reason to live a narrative that isn’t yours. 

    Hot & Bothered, July/August 2024

    Gotlhokwang Angoma-Mzini, Editor

    Everywhere I turn, I come across headlines that read something along the lines of: ‘Hidden Signs Your Body Is Inflamed’ or ‘How To Reduce Inflammation’. Inflammation is a common buzzword in the health and nutrition sphere lately. It’s deemed a major player in all sorts of health issues you don’t want to deal with. *Cue scary music*. But not all inflammation is necessarily bad. In fact, it can be quite a healthy, normal process for our bodies. Like, if you have a sprain, your body is stopping you from moving your foot. So how can you tell “good” inflammation from the kind of inflammation that you need to address pronto? Hot & Bothered (page 57) lays down the facts and gives science-backed advice about inflammation.*Cue chilled beats*

    The Stories We Tell Ourselves About Our Bodies, July/August 2024

    Hands up if you’ve never been self-critical in front of a mirror. There are very few women without body issues. Now, I’m not saying they don’t exist, but they are extremely rare. It’s much easier to find that women are generally dissatisfied with their appearance, which honestly is very very sad. If you’re having a hard time making peace with your body, The Stories We Tell Ourselves About Our Bodies (page 72), helps explore how to change your inner monologue, according to experts and women who’ve done it. Definitely worth a read.

    READ MORE: Get A Full-Body Workout In Just 15 Minutes With Only 2 Household Items

    Build A Strong Base July/August 2024

    Kelleigh Korevaar, Managing Editor

    If you’ve been sleeping on training your pelvic floor, it’s time to wake up. And you definitely shouldn’t be waiting for a specific stage of your life to start strengthening your core. Build A Strong Base (page 24) gives you a test to see where your pelvic floor is at, different goals and action plans and some causes of pelvic floor dysfunction (think: birth, impact sports, allergies, stress and poor posture or prolonged sitting – we’re all guilty of at least one). Plus, you’ll get an express full-body equipment free workout you can do at home .

    Cycling’s Silent Epidemic, July/August 2024

    We’ve all been there – a casual Sunday cycle, an intense spinning class or a cardio session on the gym bikes that leaves you sore and uncomfortable the next day (and sometimes a few days after too). Cycling’s Silent Epidemic (page 22 of WHSPORT) tells of the harrowing reality of many women who are forced off their bike seats due to labial swelling pain and swelling. With accounts of women who have experienced it first hand, insights into why it happens as well as information on what you can do about it and prevent it in the first place, this is a real page-turner. 

    How To Be Decisive, July/August 2024

    Pia Hammond, Creative Director

    I struggle with decisiveness. Doubt creeps into my mind on a daily basis – is what I’m making for dinner healthy enough for me to should I buy a house right now? When is the right time for anything in life? I’m learning that sometimes we need to trust the process and know that everything falls into place at the right time. I cope with these choices by talking it through, having a clear mind and being realistic with myself. Impulsivity can be damaging, rather lean into being vulnerable and trust yourself and the advice given by those around you. To anyone as indecisive as me, there are plenty of guidelines on page 60.

    Remember…It’s never too late to start living well. Find the July/August 2024 issue of Women’s Health on shelves now, or buy yourself a digital copy. Happy reading! More

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    Transform Your Legs With This 20-Minute Home Workout

    It’s safe to say that we’ve all found different ways to make home workouts work for us. You could be using a tin of beans as weights or your broom has magically turned it into a barbell.  Either way, we’re working on our fitness! If you have equipment at home but haven’t used any of it, I’d like to introduce you to your new best friend — the resistance band.

    At first glance, this piece of exercise band looks like nothing but a band, but this baby can make your body stronger and firmer without lifting weights. Health Coach, Online Trainer, and Bikini Pro Athlete, Andene Thomson shows us how we can transform our legs with a resistance band in just 20 minutes.

    20-Minute Resistance Band Workout

    Time: 20 Minutes | Equipment: Resistance Band | Good For: Quads, glutes, hamstring, and calves

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    50 reps x Knee-Banded Squats with Abduction

    Place the resistance band above your knees, with your feet hip-width apart (A). Lower yourself down (as if sitting into a chair) keeping the weight in your heels and sink down into your squat (B). While in your squat position, open the legs as you feel the tension from the band (C). Return to standing by pushing your heels into the ground (D). Remember to engage those glutes!

    Exercise 1

    1/  Knee-Banded Kickbacks (4 x 15 each leg)

    Place the resistance band around your thighs with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your core engaged (A). Shift weight into your left leg, so there is tension in the band (B). Squeeze your core as you kick your right leg back (C).

    2/ Knee-Banded Side Abduction (4 x 15 each leg)

    Place the resistance band around your thighs, while keeping your core engaged (A). Lift your outer leg up and straight out to side as far as possible, before bringing your leg to the starting position (B). That’s one rep!

    READ MORE: Get A Full-Body Workout In Just 15 Minutes With Only 2 Household Items

    Exercise 2

    1/ Knee-Banded Dumbbell Split Squats (4 x 15 each leg)

    Grab a dumbbell and hold it at your sides (A). Lower your hips until your front thigh is at least parallel to the floor. Push through your front heel, and extend the hips and knees to return to the starting position (B). That’s 1 rep. Don’t forget to change legs!

     2/ Knee-Banded Forward and Back Jump Squats (4 x 12 each way)

    Start with your feet hip-width apart, keep your knees soft as you tuck into a low squat position (A). Jump over a small step, rope or a towel to intensify, before jumping back again (B).

    Exercise 3

    4 x 20 reps Dumbbell Lying Leg Curls

    Start by lying flat on your stomach (A).  Place the dumbells between your feet and extend legs all the way back (B). Be careful not to arch your spine as you extend your legs back, then repeat the move (C).

    Exercise 4

    1/ Sumo Deadlifts (4 x 15 reps)

    Position your feet shoulder-width apart as your toes point out at an angle (A). It’s important not to round your lower back for this one. Grab hold of your weights with both hands as you lower your body down, keeping your core engaged, before returning back to starting position (B).

    2/ Knee-Banded Sumo Squat Pulses (4 x 20 reps)

    Get the resistance band on and start with your legs opened wide to the sides (A). Keep the shoulders directly over your hips and your knees are in line with your feet (B). Go for small pulses up and down (C).

    READ MORE: Use These 5 Resistance Band Moves To Ease Knee Pain


    Knee-Banded Double Pulse Sumo Squats

    Start with your legs opened to the sides and your toes turned slightly outward (A). As low as you can, take on a squat position as you make small pulses up and down (B). More

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    Ready To Get Fit? Tap Into The New Vitality Fitness Platform

    Get ready to experience fitness like never before with Vitality Fitness! This first-of-its-kind exercise platform has officially launched in South Africa and is here to make your workout routine more exciting and accessible. Whether you’re eager to explore new classes and activities or looking to reap rewards for staying active, Vitality Fitness offers a groundbreaking way to achieve your health goals—all in one convenient place. You’ll be hitting those #fitnessgoals in no time!

    “According to the latest WHO research, one in three adults do not meet the recommended amount of physical activity, contributing to a significant disease burden. Building on over 25 years of experience in promoting physical activity and helping Vitality members get healthier, we are revolutionising the way our members exercise with the launch of Vitality Fitness – an integrated exercise ecosystem that caters to individual needs, both at the gym and beyond, giving Vitality members access to a broader range of exercise options,” Govender says.

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    What’s In It For You?

    Vitality Fitness is packed with features that make getting active easier than ever:

    Browse, search and filter fitness facilities by location and activity type. Find and book the perfect workout with just a tap.

    Get two free visits to any facility in the Vitality Fitness network each month. Try out different activities and find what works best for you.

    Enjoy up to 75% off memberships at top gyms like Virgin Active and Planet Fitness. Activate your membership directly through the platform.

    Earn 100 Vitality points every day by staying active.

    Breaking Down Barriers

    “Through innovative, technology-driven solutions, we are breaking down barriers such as cost, access, and lack of motivation, making it easier for Vitality members to engage in physical activity and improve both their cardio fitness and overall health. I’m excited about the potential of these initiatives to transform lives, empowering our members to achieve their health and fitness goals more effectively than ever before,” Govender adds.

    Join Vitality Fitness today and take the first step towards a healthier, more active you. More

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    Cyclists, This New Device By Garmin Will Have You On The Edge Of Your Seat

    With the Tour de France in full swing and the Tour de France Femme just around the corner, Garmin’s latest release couldn’t have come at a better time. Meet the Edge® 1050 – the brightest, smartest and most connected cycling computer Garmin has ever unleashed. Featuring in-ride messaging, competitions, hazard alerts and more, it’s designed to make every group ride fun and connected. You’ll always feel like part of the peloton.

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    “We are excited to introduce our most capable, high-performing bike computer yet with the Edge 1050. Delivering an exceptional in-ride experience, superior navigation and community-focused features, our latest cycling computer is made to keep cyclists motivated—whether they’re planning a group ride with friends or a long, solo adventure.”
    Dan Bartel, Garmin Vice President of Global Consumer Sales

    Prepare For Your Next Big Ride

    The Edge 1050 is loaded with advanced tools to help you dominate every ride. Free Garmin training plans deliver personalised workouts based on performance and recovery. Insights from Firstbeat Analytics™ like VO2 max, training status, heat and altitude acclimation and more can help cyclists evaluate their performance and see how their body is holding up, while features like cycling ability and course demands allow cyclists to compare their abilities to the demands of a specific course so they can focus their training in the right areas. 

    READ MORE: 32 Hours Of Ride Time! Where Will Your Garmin Edge Solar Take You?

    Maximise Performance

    Edge 1050 offers premium performance metrics to help you ride smarter. Real-time stamina insights help cyclists closely monitor and track their exertion levels, influencing training efforts and showing how much further they can maintain their current pace. ClimbPro shows ascent and grade details, and Climb Explore highlights nearby climbs. Advanced cycling dynamics provide riders with insights into their performance and mountain bike metrics, including jump count, jump distance, Grit® and Flow™, which help track every epic ride.

    Ride Safe, Stay Connected

    For added confidence during a ride, Edge 1050 includes safety features like LiveTrack and incident detection, and it’s compatible with the Varia™ line of cycling radars and smart lights, as well as inReach® satellite communicators. For year-round training, it easily pairs with Tacx® indoor smart trainers.

    Garmin Edge 1050

    From Saturday group rides to solo adventures, make every ride better with the Edge 1050 premium cycling computer.

    What Else Is New?

    GroupRide Enhancements: Stay in touch with in-ride messaging, live locations and incident detection alerts. Cyclists can also add some competition to their ride with in-ride leaderboards for climbs, plus witty post-ride awards, including Speed Racer (highest max speed), Chatterbox (most heavily using the GroupRide messaging feature), Worker Bee (most time spent pedalling) and more.

    Road Hazard Alerts: Get real-time alerts about potholes, fallen trees and more from your fellow cyclists, and contribute your own reports to keep everyone safe.

    Refreshed Design: Angled casing, all-metal buttons and a 3.5” liquid crystal display.

    Garmin Pay: Make quick, contactless payments during your rides.

    Built-In Speaker: Hear workout and navigation prompts and use the bike bell to alert others.

    On-Device Course Creator: Design routes directly on the touchscreen with various map overlays.

    Surface Type Alerts: Get notified about upcoming unpaved sections and see different roadway types.

    Ride-Specific Routing: Tailored navigation for mountain, gravel, or road rides.

    Map Manager with Wi-Fi®: Add, swap, or update maps easily via Wi-Fi.

    Ready to ride? Find the Edge® 1050 at More

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    6 Workout Moves You Can Actually Do With Your Dog

    Working out with your dog doesn’t just benefit your health. It can be a real treat for your pet – and for you. “A dog is the best motivator you’ll ever have,” says Tricia Montgomery, founder and president of K9 Fit Club, a fitness club for people and their pets. “All they want to do is spend time with you and please you,” she says. “They look forward to it.” And although they won’t judge you for skipping workouts, it’s tough to say no when you have to face a wagging tail.

    Montgomery created this 30-minute circuit, which alternates between cardio and body-weight training moves, to give you and your canine a heart-pumping full-body workout.

    The only equipment you need is your leashed four-legged friend. Holding the leash, warm up together with a minute-long power walk, then perform high knees and butt kicks until you feel loose. Standing in place, perform arm circles while your dog stands next to you until your shoulders feel warmed up.

    Then repeat the following circuit three times, two to three times per week:

    Rover’s reverse lunges with paw

    Tell your dog to sit. Then face him with your feet together. Step back with one foot so that your front leg is bent at a 90-degree angle with your knee directly above your ankle. At the bottom of each lunge, ask your dog for his paw to “shake.” Release the dog’s paw as you stand to return to your starting position. Repeat on the other side, and ask your dog for his other paw. Repeat for 20 reps.

    NOTE: If your dog doesn’t know how to “shake” or won’t do it 20 times, pat him on the head instead.

    READ MORE: Are Stiff Joints Affecting Your Pet This Winter?

    Sit-and-stay side shuffles

    Holding the leash so your dog moves with you, perform a side shuffle across the room or workout area. Then, facing the same direction, shuffle back to your starting position. Repeat 10 times.

    Paws push-ups

    Ask your dog to sit or lie down next to you while you get into push-up position. Keeping your abs tight, and elbows tucked into your sides, lower your body until it hovers above the ground, then push back up. Do as many as you can, dropping from your toes to your knees if needed. While you recover, have your dog do five Doggy Push Ups: Tell him to sit, then lay down five times.

    READ MORE: What You Really Need To Know About Running For Weight Loss, According To Experts

    Waggin’ wall sit

    With your back against a wall, sit so your knees are bent at a 90-degree angle. If your dog is small, hold him. If your dog is large, ask him to put his paws on your lap to increase the challenge. Hold the wall sit for up to one minute.

    High-paw knees

    Perform high knees back and forth across the room or outdoor space while your dog walks or jogs next to you. Repeat for one minute.

    Puppy planks

    With your dog laying next to you, get into push-up position on your toes or knees with your elbows under your shoulders. Tighten your core and make sure your butt is aligned with your shoulders so your body forms a straight line. Hold for up to one minute while breathing normally. More

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    32 Hours Of Ride Time! Where Will Your Garmin Edge Solar Take You?

    You heard it right! Get set for an insane 32 hours of intense ride time or 60 hours in battery-saving mode with the Edge® 540 Solar, 840 Solar and 1040 Solar. Crush your training sessions and snag that QOM faster than ever. The best part? These solar versions keep you rolling longer between charges and offer personalised adaptive coaching, making them the ultimate gear for races or hitting personal milestones.

    Dominate Every Training Session

    These devices adapt to your goals and offer superior navigation, planning and training tools to enhance your performance with every ride.

    Choose Your Controls

    Edge 540 and 540 Solar feature intuitive buttons, while Edge 840 and 840 Solar offer both touchscreen and button controls.

    Ride Longer

    Get up to 26 hours of battery life in intense mode and up to 42 hours in battery saver mode. With Power Glass™ solar charging, the Edge 540 Solar and 840 Solar boost battery life to an impressive 60 hours in battery saver mode or up to 32 hours in intense mode. Gain an extra 25 minutes per hour from solar charging during daytime rides1.

    Tailored Training

    Compare your cycling abilities to specific course demands and focus your training where it counts. Daily suggested workouts and personalised coaching adapt to your training load and recovery, ensuring you’re race-ready2.

    ClimbPro Ascent Planner

    See remaining ascent and grade to manage your effort efficiently. Available on every ride, whether on your Edge device or through the Garmin Connect™ app on your smartphone.

    Power Guide & Stamina Insights

    Get recommended power targets throughout your course and monitor how much longer you can push it.

    READ MORE: Epic Rides From The Comfort Of Home With The New Garmin Smart Bike

    Navigation for Every Terrain

    Enhanced Accuracy: Multi-band GNSS technology provides superior positioning accuracy.

    Tailored Maps: Ride like a local with ride-type-specific maps highlighting popular roads and trails, plus searchable points of interest.

    Streamlined Setup: Access the info, courses and tools you need quickly and easily, and adjust data fields from your Edge device or paired smartphone.

    Seamless Integration: Pair with your favourite apps and platforms, including Strava, Komoot, TrainingPeaks3 and more through the Garmin Connect app.

    Get Ready to Ride Smarter

    So, gear up and introduce the rider you are today to the one you’ll be tomorrow. Embrace the edge and ride on.

    Garmin Edge® 540 Solar

    Garmin Edge® 840 Solar

    Garmin Edge® 1040 Solar


    **WH Partnership More

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    What You Really Need To Know About Running For Weight Loss, According To Experts

    Running has soooo many benefits. Just to name a few, it’s good for your heart health, strengthens your bones and reduces stress. It’s also known to burn quite a few calories, making it a solid workout choice if you’re looking to lose weight.

    Plus, running works your muscles and has positive effects on the metabolism, says Leigh Daigle. That said, it’s always wise to loop in your doctor or healthcare pro any time you’re considering picking up a new fitness routine, especially if you have specific medical concerns.

    Before you lace up and attempt to run for kilometres, there are a few things you need to know about running for weight loss, including how to get started and nutrition tips to support your journey. Ahead, experts break it down.

    Meet the experts: Leigh Daigle, MD, is a board-certified obesity medicine physician at Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare. Dani Rancourt, RD is a certified sports dietician and founder of Pivot Nutrition Coaching. Sarah Pelc Graca, CPT, is a certified personal trainer and founder of Strong with Sarah Weight Loss Coaching.

    Is Running Good For Weight Loss?

    We repeat: Running can be a great way to lose weight, but it’s not a magic solution, says Dr. Daigle. On its own, running won’t necessarily induce weight loss, but it can lead to significant weight loss when *combined* with a healthy diet and regular strength training routine, she says.

    After all, at its core, successful weight loss requires a calorie deficit (consuming fewer calories than your body requires to stay at its current weight), says dietician Dani Rancourt. “A calorie deficit can be created one of three ways: reducing calorie intake, increasing calorie expenditure via exercise, or a combination of both, and research shows that the combination of exercise and dietary interventions produces more weight loss than dieting alone,” she says.

    “Running can certainly be beneficial in helping someone lose weight, however, it’s important to note that you can’t out-run a poor diet.”

    With that in mind, running can definitely support your weight loss goals since it burns around 60 calories per km, says Rancourt. It’s also a full-body workout that engages your legs, glutes and core which helps increase muscle mass and boost your metabolism, in turn, supporting your weight loss goals, adds Dr. Daigle.

    Now may be wondering, “Does running burn belly fat?” Well, it depends. Running can certainly help burn belly fat (also known as visceral fat), however, it’s not possible to target a certain area to lose weight, says Rancourt. If you want to burn belly fat, it’s a multifaceted approach that requires a balanced diet full of fruits, veggies and fibre, resistance training, limited alcohol and stress management, *in addition* to a running routine, she says.

    How Much Running Should I Do In A Day To Lose Weight?

    Generally speaking, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that adults get at least 150 to 300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity (like brisk walking, bike riding, ballroom dancing, or even general yard work and home repair) or 75 to 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity (like running, tennis, or heavy yard work) per week. Adults should also incorporate muscle-strengthening activities into their routines, like lifting weights and working with resistance bands, per ACSM.

    The Distance And Duration

    When it comes to distance and duration, you must take into consideration your baseline fitness level, says Rancourt. Beginners should start running or walking short distances—between 800m to 1.5km—and gradually increase over time, says Dr. Daigle. If you’re an intermediate runner with some movement experience already, aim for 2.5 to five kilometres per session, she says. Finally, if you’re more advanced, aim for five to ten kilometres per workout.

    In addition to steady-state running, high-intensity interval running, which involves short bursts of intense running (like sprints) followed by periods of rest, is also worth your time, Dr. Daigle says. Not only will it spike your heart rate, but HIIT intervals burn lots of calories even after you’ve finished working out.

    All that said, you don’t have to exclusively run, because any form of cardio or movement will burn calories and help you lose weight, says Sarah Pelc Graca. If you’re new to running or exercise in general, start small and aim for one or two 15- to 30-minute cardio workouts per week, whether that’s walking, biking, or using the elliptical, she says. Once you build endurance, you can work your way up to a jog or run. “It can be easy to want to ‘jump the gun’ and commit to doing four or five days of cardio workouts right from the start because you feel motivated on your weight loss journey, but I recommend starting out small so that you can consistently execute your workouts safely,” she says.

    Other Exercises To Try

    And if you don’t catch the running bug, don’t force it! “If it’s not enjoyable, it’s not sustainable and if you hate running, you’re likely not going to stick with it long-term, which is going to make it extremely difficult to maintain weight loss,” says Rancourt. Running is not the only way to lose weight and walking, swimming, or biking are other great aerobic workouts to up your heart rate and support weight loss.

    The Big Book Of Walking Workouts eBook

    Inside this guide you’ll find easy-to-do workouts that will reshape your body, boost your energy and help you surpass your weight-loss and fitness targets.

    Nutrition Tips For Running

    Nutrition is crucial when it comes to successful weight loss—whether you’re running or not. However, all vigorous exercise, including running, can increase hunger due to the higher caloric burn and potential hormonal and metabolic changes (running increases muscle mass which increases metabolism), says Dr. Daigle.

    As a result, the goal is to create blood sugar-balancing meals and snacks containing protein, fibre and healthy fats to increase energy levels and reduce hunger—which ultimately makes fat loss more manageable, says Rancourt.

    READ MORE: 10 Healthy Snacks That Won’t Give You A Sugar Crash In 20 Minutes

    To break it down a bit more, protein is the key macronutrient when it comes to fat loss because it regulates blood sugars, keeps you fuller for longer and helps maintain muscle mass while in a calorie deficit, says Rancourt. So, try to incorporate high-protein foods like fish, chicken, beef, tofu, Greek yoghurt and eggs at each meal, she says.

    A diet rich in healthy fats (like nuts, seeds, avocado and olives) and complex carbohydrates (like whole grains, fruits, veggies) and low in processed foods and sugar will also fuel your workouts while maximising weight loss results, adds Dr Daigle.

    What To Eat Pre- And Post-Run

    When it comes to eating pre- and post-run, fuelling before a workout generally requires more carbohydrates, as carbs are the preferred fuel source of muscles, says Rancourt. So, if you’re crushing a 6 a.m. run, your best bet is to have 15 to 30 grams of low-fibre carbs (like a banana) 15 to 30 minutes beforehand to provide your body with a dose of fuel, she explains.

    After a run, eat a balanced meal full of protein, carbs, fruits and veggies within an hour, Rancourt recommends. If a full meal isn’t doable, consume a post-workout snack ASAP containing protein, carbs and fluids (like a fruit smoothie made with Greek yoghurt or protein powder), she adds.

    Last but not least, if you’re focusing on low-carb foods right now, prioritise eating carbs around your workouts to help you fuel and recover from your training, says Rancourt.

    Running For Weight Loss Pro Tips

    First things first: If you have any medical concerns, talk to your doctor before you begin walking or running, especially if you have joint or muscle issues, Pelc Graca says. If that’s the case, your doctor may recommend a brace to wear while exercising or a set of specific stretches to supplement your walks or runs, she adds.

    Running shoes are also key for your health to help you run or walk with proper form and reduce the risk of injury, says Pelc Graca. “I recommend visiting a running store to get properly fitted for running shoes, because oftentimes, the store professionals will look at the shape of your feet and perhaps even your running form using a treadmill to recommend the best running shoe for you,” she explains. “Not all running shoes are best for all people.”

    READ MORE: 18 New Running Shoes To Help You Run Faster And Farther In 2024

    Finally, remember that consistency is key for weight loss. “Aim for consistency in your walks and runs, rather than intensity at the beginning,” says Pelc Graca. “Building a habit of regular exercise will contribute to long-term success.”

    This article written by Andi Breitowich was originally published on More

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    How Many Carbs Should I Eat If I’m Trying To Lose Weight?

    If you’re trying to lose weight, you may have heard the recommendation to cut back on carbs. You may even be wondering how many carbs a day you should eat to lose weight—which, TBH, can be a pretty tricky number to figure out.

    Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to cut carbs altogether to lose weight. Your body needs carbs for energy and in some cases, they may even support your weight loss goals. “Carbohydrate-rich foods can be your ally when it comes to weight loss and management,” says dietician Charlotte Martin. The myth that carbs can make you gain weight isn’t entirely true and eating carbs won’t prevent you from losing fat if you want to, either, she says.

    Instead, swapping out simple carbs (white bread and flour products like baked goods, cereal and pasta) for more complex carbs like beans, sweet potatoes and whole grains, can help. Complex carbs help you control satiety, hunger and overall calorie intake, and therefore your weight as a byproduct—no carb or calorie counting necessary, says Martin.

    Here’s what you should know about consuming carbs during your weight loss journey and how many carbs a day are optimal for losing weight.

    Meet the experts: Christy Brissette, RD, is a Chicago-based dietician and owner of 80 Twenty Nutrition. Charlotte Martin, RDN, is a dietician and the owner of Shaped by Charlotte. Danielle Schaub, RD, is a dietician and the culinary and nutrition manager for Territory Foods. Crystal Scott, RDN, is a dietician at Top Nutrition Coaching.

    How many carbs should you eat in a day to lose weight?

    Remember: Cutting carbs completely isn’t necessary for weight loss—in fact, most people can lose weight without reducing carbs drastically, says dietician Christy Brissette. It’s recommended that you get between 45 to 65 percent of your daily calories from carbohydrates, Brissette says. “Dropping carbs below the 45 to 65 percent range isn’t recommended for most people because it makes getting all of your vitamins and minerals each day far more challenging,” she says.

    Since everyone needs a different number of calories every day, there is no universal number that will dictate whether or not you lose weight. However, to accelerate weight loss, your doctor or dietician may recommend that you practice a low-carb diet to see if it makes a difference. This means aiming for the lower end of the recommended daily carb range (45 percent).

    How To Calculate Your Carbohydrate Needs

    If you know how many calories you typically consume daily, you can do a little math to find your low-carb range using the 45 to 65 percentage rule. (For example, if you’re eating 1,800 calories per day, that equates to 810 to 1,170 calories from carbs or 203 to 293 grams of carbs per day.) To simplify, you can use the formula below:

    Carb Math: Your total daily calorie goal x .45 = the lower end of your carbohydrate calorie goal per day. To calculate that amount in grams, take that number and divide by four.

    However, remember that your daily carbohydrate needs will also depend on your activity level, age and body composition, among other factors. To that end, always consult your healthcare provider or registered dietician before trying a new eating plan so they can help you understand your unique needs.

    Healthy Carbohydrate Sources

    As a reminder, simple carbs are quickly and easily digested, while complex carbs take longer to digest, but translate into longer-lasting energy. Since complex carbohydrates take more time to break down in the body, they can help you feel fuller and more satisfied, making them a great option if you’re trying to lose weight. Healthy carb options include:

    Legumes like black beans, chickpeas, green peas and lentils

    Sprouted grain bread and whole-wheat bread

    Grains like barley, brown rice, farro, millet, multigrain hot cereal, quinoa, rolled oats, spelt and whole-wheat pasta

    Starchy vegetables like butternut squash, kamut, potatoes and sweet potatoes

    Non-starchy vegetables like cauliflower, celery, arugula, spinach and eggplant

    Fibre-rich fruits like apples, blueberries and raspberries

    Low-carb bread, granola and pasta

    READ MORE: 19 Complex Carbs You Should Def Incorporate Into Your Diet

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Does a low-carb diet help you lose weight?

    On a very basic level, weight loss happens when the number of calories consumed is less than the number of calories burned (known as a calorie deficit). Eating a low-carb diet is one way to lose weight, but it’s not the only way, says Danielle Schaub. Instead of focusing on the amount of carbs you eat, try to focus on the type of carbs, she says. Replacing simple carbs (like refined grains and sugar) with complex ones, like carbs from veggies and legumes, can help you lose weight over time.

    If you decide to limit carbs, you might be more likely to get more of your daily calories from protein and fat instead, both of which are more filling than carbs. “You may eat fewer calories overall because you’re more satisfied by what you are eating,” says Schaub.

    Can you eat too few carbs?

    Experts say yes. Eating too few carbs (under 100 grams a day) could possibly impact your memory, energy level and mood, says Brissette. “Carbs are your brain’s preferred energy source, and they boost the release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that lifts your mood and makes you feel happy,” Brissette says. “That’s why low-carb diets [may be] associated with a higher risk of depression.”

    Cutting back on carbs can also have some uncomfortable side effects. “Fibre is a carb and it’s important for nourishing your gut microbes,” says Crystal Scott, RDN, a dietician at Top Nutrition Coaching. “If you cut carbs, you also cut important sources of fibre and this can have a negative impact on your gut bacteria.”

    Rather than immediately opting for a low-carb diet to lose weight, try prioritising minimally-processed complex carbs, reducing portion sizes and increasing the amounts of non-starchy vegetables you’re eating first, says Brisette.

    READ MORE: 3 High-Protein, Low-Carb Breakfast Recipes You’ll Actually Love To Eat

    Who should follow a low-carb vs. high-carb diet?

    You may want to aim for a low-carb diet if you have diabetes or metabolic disorders that require you to keep your blood sugar stable, says Schaub. If you struggle to maintain a healthy weight or simply feel your metabolism slowing down with age, a low-carb diet (combined with higher protein and fat intake) may help you feel fuller and maintain muscle mass, she adds.

    On the other hand, you may want to opt for more carbs if you’re an athlete who wants to improve performance or an active person with high muscle mass, Schaub says. If you have kidney disease, a higher-carb diet may reduce the protein-filtering load on your kidneys, she says. Additionally, if you have digestive issues like constipation, reducing carbs and adding more fibre-rich foods (like whole grains, beans, fruits and veggies) may help.

    This article written by Stella Katsipoutis, Emily Shiffer and Ashley Martens first appeared on Women’s Health US. More