Mehreen Baig came to our BBC screens to reveal her latest tips and warnings when it comes to home fitness.
As the third lockdown hits the UK, the fitness show came as several gym-goers were left with one main option – to work out inside their homes.
While many of us begin to lift weights and run on the spot in our living rooms, The Truth About Getting Fit At Home aired at just the right time.
So here’s the 7 most shocking facts we took from the BBC show!
1. Strength training can reduce health risks
It’s a known fact that fitness is beneficial to everyone, but Mehreen, 30, revealed that one particular type of exercise can reduce health risks.
Testing the theory on the BBC episode, the presenter gave us an insight into the idea that lifting weights doesn’t just help with weight maintenance and loss – it can have long-term health benefits!
She said that just one minute of strength training per week on each main muscle group might reduce your risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Mehreen added that it doesn’t matter whether you do just a few repetitions with heavy weights, or more repetitions with lighter weights.
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2. Bands give muscles a better workout
There is the common belief that dumbbells carry more weight than resistance bands – so Mehreen tested out which is more effective.
Revealing that bands can give muscles a better workout, a test using technology attached to her arm looked into whether the muscles are working as hard as when using weights.
There was almost an identical pattern in terms of loading compared to the amount that the participants had when using the dumbbells.
3. Wearable technology is motivating
Mehreen met with scientists at Liverpool John Moores University for an experiment to test whether using wearable fitness technology helps you stick to your exercise plan.
After a six week test, a group of volunteers using the tech were found to be doing twice as much exercise as a group using their willpower!
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4. Some sports bras can reduce pain
Ladies know what it’s like when they try to go for a run, but perhaps don’t feel completely comfortable in the breast department.
However, Mehreen discovered how to choose a sports bra that can reduce painful movement by 73 per cent. Okay, now I’m listening!
She found that if your workout involves running or jumping, using an encapsulation or combi bra may help to avoid pain and long-term damage.
The top tips to take away when choosing a sports bra include:
- When trying on sports bras, jump around and look in the mirror to see if your breasts are moving (if not, it likely provides good support)
- Consider its function – the bra that works for you when running may not work for you when doing yoga
- Consider how comfortable the bra feels
5. Getting a six pack can damage health
Mehreen put her own body to the ultimate test, revealing how pursuing the perfect six-pack body shape can damage your health.
Some of us might look at Instagram and pine over those fitness models with the defined abs – but should we be comparing ourselves to society’s idea of ‘health’, which could actually be quite the opposite?
The exercise that people are doing at home could cause harm to our bodies, the show revealed. Mehreen adds that working out is good for you, but that it’s all about maintaining a balance.
It was revealed that if you are training intensively every day, you can develop a condition called relative energy deficiency in sport.
This happens when you consistently burn more calories than what you eat.
6. Some protein shakes should be avoided
Mehreen investigates whether popular supplements like pre-trainers and protein shakes actually work for people who want to build muscle.
She discovers that some include hidden ingredients that we should avoid. The show displays the idea that there is a myth that you can make a food healthy by adding protein to it.
As some of the products are loaded with carbs for energy, they found that protein shakes have a wide range – one had 50g of protein and 250g of carbs, which is equivalent to a steak and 5.5 to six potatoes (1,250 calories).
Mehreen warned that people need to be aware of what they are drinking. Products including protein or caffeine can do what they claim if used correctly, but tells viewers to look out for hidden calories.
7. Runners tend to injure themselves
When it comes to running, Mehreen found that 50 percent of runners end up injuring themselves each year.
She looked into what we can do to improve how we run to avoid injury, and teamed up with sports engineers at Sheffield Hallam University to find out.
They have designed experimental software that can use a video taken on your phone to analyse the detail of your body movements, which can then be used to improve your technique.
Former GB athlete Becky Lyne gave the following tips when running:
- Keep your shoulders and hips level
- Be mid to forefoot when landing your feet on the ground
- Lift your body up more
- Lean forward from your ankles
- Use a metronome (a device that produces an audible click or sound at a regular interval set by the user)
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