Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How alcohol affects your body and exercise.

Alcohol in your system is detrimental to any kind of fitness activity (except maybe on the dance floor). Here's how booze wreaks havoc on your regimen.

1. Slower Recovery
Hard workouts drain the glycogen stores (carbs stored in the liver and muscles) and leave your muscle tissue in need of repair. "Pouring alcohol into your system as soon as you finish stalls the recovery process," says Tavis Piattoly, R.D. High levels of alcohol displace the carbs, leaving your stores still 50 percent lower than normal even eight hours later, according to one study. Sip or snack on a combo of muscle-repairing protein and carbs (think low-fat chocolate milk or peanut butter on whole-wheat crackers) before tipping back.

2. Packed-On Fat
When booze is on board, your body, besides having to deal with the surplus of calories, prioritizes metabolizing the alcohol over burning fat and carbs. Alcohol also breaks down amino acids and stores them as fat. "For some reason this process is most pronounced in the thighs and glutes," says Piattoly. "Excessive alcohol consumption really chews up muscle in those areas." It also increases levels of cortisol (a stress hormone), which further encourages fat storage, particularly in your midsection.

3. Disrupted Sleep
Boozing also blows your muscle recovery and performance by sapping your sleep. In a study of 93 men and women, researchers found that alcohol decreased sleep duration and increased wakefulness (particularly in the second half of the night), especially in women, whose sleep time was decreased by more than 30 minutes over the night. "Disrupting the sleep cycle can reduce your human growth hormone output—which builds muscle—by as much as 70 percent," says Piattoly.

4. Depleted Water and Nutrients
Alcohol irritates the stomach lining, which can reduce your capacity to absorb nutrients (the reason you have an upset stomach after a few too many), says Brian R. Christie, Ph.D.—not to mention that alcohol makes you pee. For every gram of ethanol you suck down, you pump out 10 milliliters of urine (that's about 9.5 ounces for two beers). As little as 2 percent dehydration hurts endurance performance. And by the way, you can't rehydrate with a dehydrating drink (e.g., beer).

Orlando Urban Assault Ride "The East Ride"

Orlando is well know for the Mouse and its parks, but for the cyclist this group is always on time.
For many years twice a week this group get together and take the town. Done at night and on MTB's, the Urban Assault as they call it, has become the latest trend with the 9 to 5 professionals with a healthy attitude and a young spirit. Imagine those old days riding along the neighborhood with the buddies when you were 12!

Here is the info:

 Mix of road riding & mountain biking in an urban & residential setting. The route is random with some urban obstacles (eg. curbs, staircases, medians, etc.) Ride is roughly 2hrs long and averages about 25 miles. Speed varies throughout the ride but overall average is around 16-18mph. We will ride thru (not all in one night) Casselberry, Winter Park, Winter Springs, Longwood, Maitland. Suburbia is more cyclist friendly and most of the streets/roads have bike lanes. But we have plenty of residential roads and trails to zig zag around. **WEATHER PERMITTING!!**This is a no-drop ride - nobody gets left behind. Lights and helmet are required. We meet in the parking lot next to the Buffalo Wild Wings at 7:00. We roll out around 7:05. Ride ends at the starting point. The BWW restaurant/ bar with outdoor seating for food, drink. Hope to see you there.

The Health Benefits of Cycling

       7 Health Benefits of Cycling

Bicycling, along with being the most efficient mode of human locomotion, is also one of the best all-around activities for improving our health. From head to toes, cycling’s health benefits are hard to beat.

1. Cycling is good for your heart: Cycling is associated with improved cardiovascular fitness, as well as a decrease in the risk of coronary heart disease.

2. Cycling is good for your muscles: Riding a bike is great for toning and building your muscles, especially in the lower half of the body – your calves, your thighs, and your rear end. It’s also a great low-impact mode of exercise for those with joint conditions or injuries to the legs or hips, which might keep them from being active.

3. Cycling is good for your waistline: You can burn a lot of calories while biking, especially when you cycle faster than a leisurely pace, and cycling has been associated with helping to keep weight gain down. And cycling has the added benefit of ramping up your metabolism, even after the ride is over.

4. Cycling is good for your lifespan: Bicycling is a great way to increase your longevity, as cycling regularly has been associated with increased ‘life-years’, even when adjusted for risks of injury through cycling.

5. Cycling is good for your coordination: Moving both feet around in circles while steering with both your hands and your body’s own weight is good practice for your coordination skills.

6. Cycling is good for your mental health: Riding a bike has been linked to improved mental health.

7. Cycling is good for your immune system: Cycling can strengthen your immune system, and could protect against certain kinds of cancers.