Living a health conscious lifestyle often means taking steps forward towards a goal—but what about steps that seem to take you backwards? This Week’s blog post explores counterintuitive health tips that go against the grain. Read on to learn more about anti-movement exercises, reverse dieting, and recovering with MEAT instead of RICE.

Gain momentum with anti-movement exercises.

While most people connect exercise with vigorous movement, anti-movement exercises—exercises where the body is working against the force exerted upon it—should definitely be added to your regimen. That’s because even though your body might be stationary when performing anti-movements, you are working against gravity while holding a static position—great for stabilizing the spine, strengthening the core, reducing injury, and building lean muscle mass. Here are some ways to “anti-move” your routine: replace your usual crunches with front planks. Shift your position and hold side plank for an exercise that strengthens the muscles needed for quick changes in direction. And turn any exercise into an anti-movement exercise by using unbalanced weight—i.e. more weight on one side than the other—which will challenge the body to resist the variable load. For more on anti-movement and other counterintuitive health tips, take our daily quiz.

Does reverse dieting lead to weight gain?

While most diet plans focus on trimming calories, reverse dieting is a way to slowly increase calorie intake to maintenance levels after a period of prolonged calorie deficit—which can boost metabolism in dieters who have been on extended calorie reduction diets. Others who might opt for reverse dieting include bodybuilders or athletes post-competition. The methods behind reverse dieting include increasing caloric intake 3-5% per week until maintenance levels are gained. This not only helps increase metabolism—which can stall during periods of calorie restriction—but can also help reduce fat gains that often happen when people overcompensate with large amounts of food after periods of fasting. Plus reverse dieting might even be able to help bust through weight loss plateaus, thanks to the bump in metabolism. Learn more by taking our daily quiz.

Recovering from an injury? Why MEAT might be the better solution.

Conventional recovery advice suggests if you have an injury, you treat it with RICE—rest, ice, compression, elevation. However, one of our favorite counterintuitive health tips is the protocol advocated by many sports therapists known as MEAT—movement, exercise, analgesics, treatments. MEAT can be particularly helpful in the case of repairing avascular soft tissue, such as ligaments and tendons. Since ligaments and tendons have little to no blood vessels, the RICE method can actually impede healing since the compression and lack of movement prevent blood circulation that brings nutrients to these tissues. So while RICE is often best for acute muscle injuries, MEAT might be the better protocol for injuries to ligaments and tendons. Take our daily quiz to learn more about recovering with MEAT.


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