Exercise Physiology

Top 5 Gold Coast Running Tracks to prepare for the 2019 Gold Coast Marathon

Top 5 Running Tracks to prepare for the Gold Coast Marathon

Top 5 Running Tracks to prepare for the Gold Coast Marathon 1000 563 Ace Health Centre

The countdown is on; In just a little bit over a month, a lot of you reading will (hopefully) be crossing the finish line at this year’s Gold Coast Marathon. Whether you are an avid runner or a first-timer, preparation is always key to a successful marathon! By this stage of your marathon preparation, the runs are getting longer, and most people are getting a little bored or uninspired by your usual running routes. If this is you, we can totally relate! No need to worry though- we have searched all over the beautiful Gold Coast and handpicked our top 5 Gold Coast Running tracks to keep you motivated for the final leg!

 

5. Emerald Lakes Circuit

It isn’t the longest run, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in scenery! Not only that, but Emerald Lakes is home to some beautiful cafes and shaded rest stops that will keep you energised and rested. The loop is also ideal for interval training!

4. Hedges Ave

One of the better known Gold Coast running paths (and part of the Gold Coast Marathon track), Hedges Avenue is packed full of cyclists and runners on a Saturday and Sunday morning! Join the crowd and check out your competition, before finishing off with a quick dip in the ocean or a replenish your energy with one of the Gold Coasts finest Acai Bowls in Nobby’s.

 

3. Burleigh headland

Arguably one of the Gold Coast’s most beautiful beaches, Burleigh has more to offer than its bars and restaurants. Burleigh Headland is a shaded, scenic and dog free pathway that can lead you either north to the beach pathway towards North Burleigh or south to Tallebugera Creek. For a nice, easy flat run, take the lower track but if you are feeling brave and want to add in some hills, try a few of the undulating circuits. Just remember that there are no water stations on the mountain itself so take a water bottle!

 

2. Main Beach Federation Walk

If you are not into crowds, then this is the running track for you! This track will take you along the beachside from Main Beach to the Spit. You can hear the sound of the waves and spy some wildlife along the way. There are a few circuits intertwined but if you are new to this track, stick to the main path and you can’t get lost!

 

1. Currumbin to Coolangatta

This has to be our favourite Gold Coast running track for so many reasons! The path from Currumbin runs right alongside the beach down to Coolangatta. You get all the perks of running on the beach, without having to navigate the sand! The wide, flat, smooth pathways make it a perfect long run course for runners of all levels.

 

So there you have it- our Top 5 Gold Coast Running Tracks. Don’t just take our word for it; check them out for yourself! If you are interested in running the Gold Coast Marathon or Half Marathon and want to surround yourself with a supportive team to get you prepared, come see one of our Physios or Exercise Physiologists at ACE Health Centre. 

Kids lifting weights

Weights training for your kids; 7 things you should know

Weights training for your kids; 7 things you should know 838 559 Ace Health Centre

If you ask around whether children should exercise with weights, you hear all sorts of answers. It’s safe to say the public is divided. Some say working out with weights too early causes pre-mature bone fusion (epiphyseal fusion), and, as a result, irreversibly stunt growth. While others say it is totally safe for kids to lift some (light) weights.

Ultimately, our physiotherapists aren’t here to tell what side you should be rooting for, but we are here to debunk some myths regarding weight training for children.

 

Weights training does stunt growth

This myth, somehow, is still floating around out there. Scientific evidence indicates that resistance training results in increased serum IGF-I (a biomarker that correlates with bone growth) and that there is no detrimental effect on linear growth (Falk & Eliakim, 2003), There is absolutely no reasonable evidence that points to it being bad for growing bodies.

 

Weights training is dangerous

With quality supervision and an effectively designed program, the rates of injury in weights training are actually very low. And under supervision, kids of all ages can participate. When put next to other popular youth sports, lifting weights had an injury rate of 1 injury every 2850 hours of training, whereas rugby, for example, had an injury rate of 1 injury every 125 hours (Hamill, 1994).

 

lifting weights is boring

Weights (or Resistance) Training is a physical conditioning program that involves various training techniques that progressively increase resistive loads. It can include machines, free weights, plyometrics, body weight, and functional training. It can focus on improving muscle strength, increasing power or muscle bulk, enhancing endurance or a combination of any or all of these, and can be very sports-specific.

 

Heavy lifting doesn’t support weight-loss

Quite the opposite is actually true. In certain body types, weights training can be the key to weight loss. A 2018 report compiled by Active Healthy Kids Australia found that Australian kids are some of the least active in the world, ranking 32nd out of 49 countries. The report gave Australia a D minus for physical activity for the third year in a row.

One Queensland tailor reported being commissioned to make a 9XL pair of school shorts for a waist >150cm. Four out of five primary school-aged children don’t meet the minimum requirements of an hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity each day; even fewer are doing strength or weight-based activities.

Certain body shapes may respond better to heavier load resistance training than long slow distance training. If your child finds it challenging to keep up with other kids with cardio-based exercise (running, cycling, swimming etc) then putting them in an environment where they can dominate is an excellent way to build their confidence and self-esteem, all while getting a serious sweat up!

Based on our experience, big framed (aka big boned) folks, including kids, tend to be the strongest and best at lifting.  And boy do their bodies respond to it when they start training! Don’t be fooled though, leaning the body out through weight training takes time and effort and diligence. You’ve got to keep things going for months on end. Stay motivated!

 

Weight training leads to injuries

Again, quite the opposite is true. Weights training is essential for injury prevention in young athletes. If your son or daughter keeps breaking down physically, or even if you just want to keep them on the park/court/arena/apparatus/dancefloor for the whole season then weights training is a must.

Putting weighted loads through the body in different ways (pushing, pulling, squatting, etc.) helps increase the tolerance to pressures that they’ll face in their sporting lives. A study in 2015 put junior elite soccer players through a 10-week in-season training program and concluded that the program “led to a reduction in muscle-injury incidence and severity and showed improvements in common soccer tasks such as jumping ability and linear-sprinting speed” (De Hoyo et al., 2015)

 

Lifting weights only puts on mass

If you think weight lifting turns your kid into a big massive piece of rock, then think again! Weights training actually impacts brain growth and development.

A European study found that children who are physically fit have a greater volume of grey matter in the brain. This is important for executive function, learning, motor skills, and visual processing.
(Esteban-Cornejo et al. 2017)

 

Weights training is No FUN!

Don’t knock it till you try it! See a professional (ideally a physiotherapist or exercise physiologist) A healthier life often starts with lifting weights.

Best Time to Exercise.

Best Time to Exercise? The Morning vs. Evening debate

Best Time to Exercise? The Morning vs. Evening debate 1000 625 Ace Health Centre

For many of us, finding time to exercise can be challenging. So when we do, it is important to make the most of it. Exercise Physiologists have been debating this topic for years and while the saying goes, “the early bird gets the worm”; however, this isn’t necessarily true as there is no one right or wrong answer.

 

Pros to exercise in the morning

What are the Pros to exercise in the morning

It’s out of the way in the morning

Many early risers state this is the reason they prefer morning workouts. You don’t have to worry about how you will feel at the end of the day or unexpected outings/events.

You will have increased energy for the rest of the day as exercise increases the level of endorphins.. maybe you won’t need that afternoon coffee to help get you through your day after all.

 

It’s better for weight loss

Exercising in the morning will kickstart your metabolism. This means that you may burn more calories during the day as opposed to when you are sleeping.

A 2018 study by Wallis and Gonzalez found conducting a single bout of aerobic exercise in an overnight fasted state increased the utilisation of fat as a fuel source, improved plasma lipid profiles, enhanced molecular signalling pathways related to fuel metabolism in skeletal muscle and adipose tissue (fat) and reductions in energy intake (food consumption) over the course of the day.

 

Your body is prepared

Sleep is the optimal time for your body to recover and repair used muscles and convert food into energy (glucose) for the following day. When you wake up, your body is fresh and ready for a workout. Of course,  provided you slept well.

However, this also means it will take a bit longer to warm your body up of a morning before going into beast mode to prevent injury.

 

More restful sleep

A regular exercise routine always helps with better sleep. Experts suggest a morning workout to really hit the hay hard. Early exposure to daylight in the morning will help your body to power down early at night.

In addition, researchers at Appalachian State University found morning exercise lowers your blood pressure which is correlated with better sleep as it triggers up to a 25% reduction at night.

 

Early birds are more consistent

It makes sense. You aren’t likely to have anything else to do at 6 am. Let’s be real, after a long day, sometimes all you really want is to go home and watch Netflix. CONSISTENCY IS KEY!

 

What are the benefits to exercise in the evening?

Pros of exercising in the evening

What are the benefits to exercise in the evening?

 

You’ll have a more relaxed morning

No need to rush to pack a gym bag, post work out meal, lunch and a change of clothes. You can sleep in and take your time in the shower without trying to be in and out in 30seconds at the gym.

 

You are already fuelled and warmed up

You’re 20% more flexible later in the day as your muscles are warmed up and joints are more fluid from being up and about all day, this means you are less prone to injury.

Research has shown you naturally have more energy between 2-6pm due to increased testosterone levels and as a result of this, you may be better prepared for a workout later in the day.

Furthermore, you may have more energy for a more vigorous workout as you likely ate lunch and some snacks throughout the day to fuel your body.

 

You’ll have a more intense workout

A study by the University of Chicago said post work gym-goers are likely to attain a higher level of fitness as they tend to work out harder.

Protein synthesis peaks in the evening making it an optimal time for weight lifting. Aerobic or endurance workouts are also likely to be improved in the evening too as the lungs are at peak efficiency.

It’s an excellent way to blow of steam
After a long/rough day at the office, a workout can have a large effect on de-stressing when trying to unwind and relax.. as opposed to a bottle of wine.

 

Improved sleep quality

As mentioned morning workouts were better for improved sleep; there is evidence to suggest that evening workouts can help too.

A study showed that those who lifted weights in the evening had longer and better sleep quality than those who lifted weights in the morning.

While there is evidence to support both morning and evening workouts, the best bet is to pick what best suits you and your long term fitness goals as it is more likely something you can stick with – so choose your time and get sweating!