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Can Fast Food Be Healthy?

Tuesday December 30, 2014

 Eat out the smart way.

You know the downside to fast food: most of the menu options are high in saturated fat, trans fat, calories, and sodium and low in nutrition. The upside to fast food is that it’s convenient, yummy, and cheap. For many people, the good side of fast food overrides the bad. After all, who has time to think about health when you’re hungry and in a hurry? When work goes late, the basketball game just got over, and you have no energy to cook, grabbing fast food for dinner is an easy solution.

While it’s easy to categorize all fast food as unhealthy, Mesa Fit Body Boot Camp explains that there are healthy options out there. You just need to know where to look.

Picky about Sides

When you think about fast food sides, French fries likely comes to mind first. While they taste good, they’re not good for you. Avoid fried foods like fries or onion rings and steer clear of high-calorie foods like mac and cheese or mashed potatoes and gravy, and choose healthy, low-calorie sides instead like fruit cups, baked potato, or side salads with light dressing.

Go Light on Condiments

What’s fast food without dipping sauces and spreads? You may not know it, but half the fat on sandwiches and wraps can easily come from the sauces. Besides fat, sauces are often high in sodium. Eat healthy and take it easy on the dips and sauces. Avoid ranch dips and mayonnaise spreads. Choose BBQ sauce, mustard, ketchup, or honey mustard instead and your waistline won’t suffer.

Watch What You Drink

A fast food meal may be lacking in the nutrition department and overflowing with calories, so why add to the problem by drinking soda, lemonade, a milk shake, or sweet tea? Reign in the calories and sugar by ordering a water, skim milk, or unsweetened tea.

Be Salad Smart

Many people make the mistake of thinking they’re eating healthy by ordering a salad piled with high-calorie ingredients. Creamy dressings, croutons, cheese, crispy noodles, bacon, and fried chicken can easily make your meal as high in calories, if not higher, than a Big Mac. With the right toppings, salads can be a healthy choice when eating out. A personal trainer in Mesa suggests that you choose a salad with plenty of veggies, grilled chicken, and a small amount of low-fat dressing on the side.

Go on Portion Control Patrol

If you’re not careful, you’ll be ordering a tray full of food you don’t need. Single servings are often big enough to feed two. Regular-size portions provide plenty of food so don’t supersize your meals or drinks. Sometimes, even the child-size portions are enough food for an adult. The main dish alone should fill you up without unnecessary sides and desserts.

Keep It Under 500

On average, an adult eats 836 calories a meal when eating fast food, but that’s just an average. With a decked-out burger, fries, and drink you can easily consume a day’s worth of calories in a single sitting. Most fast food chain restaurants post the nutritional information of their menu online as well as at their location. This can be extremely helpful, so take advantage of it. Before ordering your food, add up the calories for your meal, being careful to include each item you order. Aim to keep the total calories for your meal under 500 calories.

Make the Switch

Want to eat healthier at your favorite fast food establishment? It might be as simple as making a few food swaps and you’ll save hundreds of calories. Rather than a double-patty cheeseburger, choose a single-patty hamburger. Go for grilled chicken strips rather than nuggets. Try a yogurt parfait instead of a milkshake or choose a baked potato over fries.

Fast food will never take the place of homemade meals made from fresh ingredients, but you can salvage your diet by making smart choices when there is no alternative to fast food.

Worst of the Worst. Want to know what one of the world’s worst burger choices is? Mesa fitness center reviewed several restaurants and discovered that Hardee’s two-thirds pound Monster Thickburger takes first place. With a whopping 1,290 calories, 2,840 mg of sodium, and 92 grams of fat, the Monster Thickburger contains almost all the calories an average person should eat each day.

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Eat Your Vegetables

Saturday December 27, 2014

Simple tips to include more veggies in your diet.

Were you one of those kids who refused to eat your vegetables at dinner but mom wouldn’t let you leave the table until you did? She knew what was best for you and was trying to teach you to eat healthy foods. Maybe you’re a parent today and have kids who don’t like their veggies or perhaps you still hate green foods.

Whether you like or dislike vegetables, they are some of, if not the healthiest foods in the world. If you need convincing, here are a few health benefits of vegetables: they reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers. They even help lower blood pressure and keep bones strong. On top of that, veggies contain little to no fat, calories, or cholesterol and are high in essential vitamins and minerals and fiber.

If veggies aren’t your favorite foods but you know you and your family need to increase your intake, here are a few helpful tips, provided by Van Buren Fitness Center, to sneak veggies in other dishes or prepare them in pleasing ways.

Veggies for Breakfast?

You don’t usually associate vegetables with breakfast foods, but it’s simple to add chopped veggies to an omelet. Chopped tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, onions, or peppers are simple ingredients to add to your eggs so your breakfast is the healthiest yet.

Add to Favorite Dishes

What does your family like to eat for dinner? An easy way to consume more veggies is to include them in the foods you already enjoy. Make an extra layer of veggies in your lasagna, stir chopped veggies into your favorite soup, add some green stuff to your casserole, or pile veggies on your sandwich or pizza.

Chances are pretty good that if you’re eating soup, casserole, and pasta, the recipes already include some kind of vegetable. A personal trainer in Van Buren also suggests doubling the amount of veggies the recipe calls for.

Hide Them

For those who dislike the texture of certain vegetables or for kids who won’t eat veggies plain, try this creative trick: grate or puree vegetables and hide them in other foods. Grated carrots or zucchini works well in meatballs, burgers, or meatloaf. Pureed cooked squash, peppers, and cauliflower are easily hidden in sauces, mac and cheese, or mashed potatoes.

Eat Them Sweet

Traditionally, vegetables aren’t known as sweet foods, but they taste delicious in baked goods. With all the yummy options—pumpkin pie, zucchini bread, carrot cake, or corn muffins, your kids will be begging for more.

Drink Your Veggies

Get creative in the kitchen with your blender or juicer. Carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and canned pumpkin are a few options. Find a recipe online that sounds good and give it a try.

While all your vegetable servings shouldn’t come from juice (you miss out on fiber), a serving or two a day is a great way to fill up on the nutrients vegetables offer. Carrot juice, tomato juice, or a veggie-fruit combination can be a refreshing way to get your recommended daily amount of vegetables.

Dips, Sauces, and Spices

Grab a handful of raw, cooked, or grilled veggies and make them more palatable with these ideas provided by Van Buren boot camp. Dip raw veggies in a ranch or onion dip, whether homemade or store-bought. Sauté your veggies in olive oil; glaze them with honey; or sprinkle on some salt, lemon pepper, or shredded Parmesan cheese. Broccoli and cauliflower are two veggies made even more delicious with a low-fat cheese sauce drizzled on top.

Life expectancy would grow by leaps and bounds if green vegetables smelled as good as bacon.”—Doug Larson

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Not Worth Your Time

Tuesday December 23, 2014

Impressive-looking exercises that don’t yield equally impressive results.

Ever wonder why your workout routine isn’t helping you lose weight, build muscle, or improve your performance? Well, your problem likely isn’t a lack of will power or hard work, but it may be that you’ve been doing the wrong types of exercise the whole time.

Exercising day in and day out without seeing the results you hoped for may make you feel like giving up. You’re not alone. The majority of exercisers who don’t experience fruit from their labors get frustrated and end up quitting after just a few months of gym attendance. Who can blame them? Well, don’t give up yet. All you may need is some redirection.

Here are the type of exercises that a personal trainer in Fort Worth says you’ll want to steer clear from. Sure, they may look impressive, but don’t be fooled—they aren’t going to help you reach your goals.

Anything Isolated

Exercises that isolate or focus on specific muscles and work only one joint are called isolation exercises. Bicep curls, triceps kickbacks, quadriceps extensions, lateral raises, leg curls, leg extensions, and crunches are a few of the more popular types of isolation exercises. If the exercise involves a weight machine, it’s probably isolating a certain muscle. Many exercisers go from one weight machine to the next with the goal of working each muscle group one at a time during the course of their workout. These types of exercises may look impressive, but they won’t produce the results you desire.

While isolation exercises have their place in a workout routine, they should be only a small part of yours. Isolation exercises should be reserved for those who need rehab following an injury, to strengthen a specific muscle that’s especially weak, or to increase the size or shape of a particular muscle. (For this reason, isolation exercises are often used by bodybuilders after they’ve developed a certain level of muscle mass.)

The Downside

Isolation exercises create a lower metabolic response since you’re not lifting much weight. Your heart rate won’t increase to the degree it would if you were using multiple muscles in a single movement. Don’t believe it? Watch someone do bicep curls and then watch another person do squats. Who looks like they’re working harder? Because of the lighter weight and focus on a single muscle, fewer calories are burned during isolation exercises.

Compound exercises, on the other hand, are much more effective at increasing strength, adding muscle, burning calories, improving performance, and getting a full body workout. Compound exercises incorporate multiple muscle groups and joints in a range of motion. Examples of compound exercises include all variations of squats, lunges, bench presses, deadlifts, pull-ups, rows, dips, and overhead presses. Fort Worth Fit Body Boot Camp believe that building your routine around these types of exercises may be the key to seeing the results you desire.

A Few Tips

Don’t be a quitter because of a lack of results. While you may look impressive doing rep after rep of bicep curls and crunches, you won’t reap as many health and fitness benefits as you would with compound exercises. Never think it’s too late to change your workout routine. Beginners will really see the impact of avoiding exercises that only work a single muscle and joint at a time, as they’ll be able to accomplish a lot more in a lot less time.

If you’re ready to make better use of your time in the gym, work with your personal trainer and plan your workout routine around compound exercises, saving the isolation exercises for special situations and body builders.

How Often? Aim to do weight training with compound exercises three to four days a week on non-consecutive days. Fort Worth bootcamp recommends that you give your muscles a day to rest and heal after each weight-training workout to maximize your results.

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A Sweet Trick Question

Thursday December 18, 2014

 Can a food be “healthy” if it’s high in sugar?

You know there are lots of sugars in sweet foods like cakes, cookies, puddings, pies, and soda. But you may be shocked to learn how much sugar is found in some of the foods you deem to be healthy. What’s the big deal with sugar? It’s nutritionally void and high in calories. Take in too much of these simple carbs and you’ll easily gain weight.

Sugar contains four calories per gram. One teaspoon of sugar is equal to four grams of sugar, so, one teaspoon of sugar has 16 calories. Hence why it’s recommended you eat no more than six teaspoons of sugar or 25 grams of added sugar a day. Most Americans, however, consume twice as much sugar as is recommended for good health.

It’s easy to eat more sugar than you mean to eat. Food packaging and nutrition labels can be tricky. Especially since sugar has so many different names! The next time you read a list of ingredients, remember to look for words that end in “ose,” such as high fructose corn syrup, as well as other common names, which include corn syrup, brown sugar, molasses, fruit juice concentrates, honey, and raw sugar. Both natural sugars (like those found in fruit and milk) and added sugars contribute to your total sugar intake.

Don’t be deceived. Just because a food advertises to be “whole-grain,” “fat-free,” “100-percent juice,” or “high in calcium” doesn’t mean it isn’t high in sugar. Norton Shore Fit Body Bootcamp urges you to be on your guard and closely examine nutritional labels for the amount of sugar they contain.

Packaged Fruit

Think twice before serving your family canned fruit or individual fruit cups. Generally packaged in heavy or light syrup, even the light syrup varieties are high in sugar. Peaches, pears, mixed fruit, mandarin oranges, and apple sauce all sound healthy, but the added sugars found in the syrup add up quickly. A single serving of any of these can contain as many as 26 grams of sugar.

Cereal

It’s easy to recognize that frosted, chocolate, and super sweet cereals are on the high-sugar offender’s list, but you may not guess that healthy-sounding cereals (those that have oat, bran, or wheat in the cereal name) may be semi-high in sugar. Read the label before assuming it’s low in sugar.

A personal trainer in Norton Shore also suggests that you watch out for sweetened instant hot cereals. While oatmeal and cream of wheat cereals are healthy and low in sugar, flavored individual packages often aren’t. One envelope may contain up to 16 grams of added sugar.

Beverages

Overlooking the sugar found in what you drink happens to us all, but liquid sugar counts, too! Fruit juices are often extremely high in their sugar content. Fitness professionals at Norton Shore gym center reviewed the nutrition label of an 8-ounce serving of 100-percent juice, and found that it contained 36 grams of sugar! Yes, it’s mostly from fruit concentrate, but it’s still sugar! Chocolate and strawberry flavored milks are even worse, coming in at over 50 grams. Even kids’ drinks that advertise 25 percent less sugar still contain 18 grams. Packaged green tea, black tea, and fruit-flavored tea may be high in antioxidants, but the high-sugar content may cancel their health benefits. Beware also the high sugar content of energy drinks, vitamin water, and soda.

Yogurt

Having a bit of yogurt for breakfast or snacks is healthy, right? Yogurt is good for you, but as with all your other favorite foods, watch out for high sugar varieties. Just a 6-ounce serving of many kinds of yogurt contains more than the daily recommended amount of sugar. It’s not just the fruit in yogurt that makes it high in sugar, but yogurt often contains lots of added sugar as well. Be safe and eat plain yogurt with fresh fruit or eat the lite varieties.

Hidden Sugar

Be on your guard against added sugars. It’s one thing if a food is high in natural sugars like fructose (fruit sugars) or lactose (milk sugars), but it’s another when it’s sucrose or high fructose-corn syrup. Read nutritional labels closely and limit the amount of sugar you and your family consume for a healthier, happier life.

Enough for a Week. One 12-ounce can of soda contains up to 40 grams of sugar or 10 teaspoons. Order a 64-ounce soda at your favorite fast food chain and you’ll consume 200 grams of sugar—that’s eight times the recommended daily amount! 

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Skipping a Beat

Tuesday December 16, 2014

Irregular heartbeats and what they mean for your health.

Have you ever felt your heart racing, pounding, fluttering, or skipping a beat? Called palpitations, these skipped and/or extra heartbeats can be felt in your chest, neck, or throat. You can feel them anytime: while you’re active or at rest, sitting, standing, or lying down.

When your ticker isn’t ticking like usual, it can be frightening. Sometimes the abnormal beats occur frequent enough to become bothersome and annoying. Thankfully, most palpitations are harmless and will go away on their own. Some palpitations, however, are symptoms of an underlying heart or medical condition and warrant a trip to the doctor.

The next time you feel that flutter in your chest or feel your heart pounding, take these facts about heart palpitations to heart.

Non-Medical Causes

Studies recently reviewed by Arlington Fit Body Bootcamp suggests that sometimes the cause of palpitations is medical or heart-related, but many times the cause is due to other factors. Strong emotions like stress, fear, and anxiety can cause a racing heart. Many people experience palpitations during panic attacks.

The nicotine in cigarettes, the caffeine in your coffee, and illegal street drugs can also cause irregular beats, as can the alcohol in your beer or wine. Heartbeat irregularities can be a side effect of herbal and nutritional supplements and certain medications (diet pills, asthma inhalers, decongestants, and those used to treat arrhythmias and thyroid problems).

Many women have palpitations during the hormonal changes that happen during pregnancy, menstruation, and perimenopause. But men and women and even children can experience abnormal heartbeats that are triggered by vigorous exercise. Additionally, big meals and high amounts of monosodium glutamate, sodium, or nitrates can generate palpitations.

Medical-Related Causes

Scary as a heart palpitation is, the above list of causes is generally no reason for concern and can be remedied with simple lifestyle changes. However, palpitations due to medical or heart-related conditions require the attention of a medical professional.

Several medical conditions including fever, low blood pressure, thyroid disease, anemia, dehydration, unbalanced electrolyte levels, and low blood sugar can trigger palpitations.

Other causes include arrhythmia, a history of heart attack, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, heart muscle problems, or abnormal valves, and low oxygen or potassium levels in the blood. When heart palpitations are coupled with any of these, medical treatment is required.

When to Call the Doctor

Infrequent palpitations that only last a few seconds usually don’t require a trip to the doctor, but frequent palpitations should be evaluated. If you can’t figure out what’s causing your palpitations, go ahead and see your doctor to rule out possible underlying conditions. Since you should never mess with your heart, call for emergency care if palpitations are accompanied by chest pain, fainting, dizziness, shortness of breath, unusual sweating, or loss of consciousness.

Getting Back in Rhythm

Treatment for palpitations will depend on the underlying cause. If the cause seems to be lifestyle related, lifestyle changes must be made. For example, if palpitations occur with too much caffeine, you may need to limit your number of morning coffees. When the cause is stress, relaxation techniques need to be applied. Whatever the cause, Arlington fitness center believes that identifying your trigger is the first step in eliminating palpitations.

Sometimes the cause isn’t as obvious and your doctor may need to perform blood tests, chest X-rays, an electrocardiogram to track abnormalities, an echocardiogram (an ultrasound of the heart), event monitoring (tracking episodes over a period of time), or the use of a Holter monitor (a heart monitor worn for several days to detect the heart’s electrical signals). The results from these tests will help determine a possible underlying medical or heart-related condition. Treatment may include medications or medial procedures.

Seek Help, Stay Calm. Before rushing to the doctor for palpitations, take heart that irregular heartbeats are rarely dangerous. In fact, studies reviewed by a personal trainer in Arlington revealed that one out of three normal hearts experience palpitations.

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Know Your Triggers

Thursday December 11, 2014

What could be triggering your migraines?

You can feel one coming on. You feel depressed or hyperactive. You’re irritable, craving foods, or can’t stop yawning. Maybe you experience auras and you see flashes of light or lose your vision. Then the pain hits you. Your head is throbbing, you’re sensitive to light, sound, and smells. You may even get sick to your stomach or pass out. Whatever comes along with your migraines, the pain can last for four hours to three days, leaving you feeling drained and exhausted.

People who suffer from migraines have hyperactive brains. Brain chemical imbalances, genetics, environmental factors, and changes in the brainstem all play a possible role in triggering migraines. What’s tolerable for some people triggers a headache in others.

Though you may know your migraine triggers, there are likely some you aren’t aware of yet. If you experience migraines, keep a headache journal. At the first sign of attack, record recent foods, drinks, stress levels, activities, sleep schedule, hormone changes, medications, odors, lights, or hunger. Then you can connect the dots.

Wondering what some of the most common migraine triggers are? Mission Viejo Fit Body Boot Camp reviewed numerous studies that revealed the causes of migraines. Read below to find out.

Food Triggers

When you know what foods lead to migraine pain, changing your eating habits can pay big dividends on migraine avoidance.

Common culprits include aged cheeses, processed meats that contain nitrates, monosodium glutamate (MSG), salty foods, meat tenderizers, onions, nuts, dried fruit, citrus, chocolate, and artificial sweeteners. You can also get migraines from skipping meals or eating on an irregular schedule, so take care to eat healthy meals at regular intervals.

Beverage Triggers

Just as food can bring on migraines, drinks can as well. Caffeinated beverages are a migraine trigger for many people. For others, a headache comes when they don’t get their regular caffeine fix. Alcohol can also trigger a headache—in particular, drinks containing sulfites or other impurities. If you find yourself suffering migraines after drinking, a personal trainer in Mission Viejo suggests that you avoid red wine, bourbon, whiskey, champagne, and dark beers.

Hormone Triggers

Ladies should be aware that they’re particularly prone to migraines due to changes in estrogen levels. This often occurs before or during monthly periods, during pregnancy and menopause, and while taking hormone replacement therapy or oral contraceptives.

Stress Triggers

Watch what you eat and drink and still suffer migraines? It may be from stress. Anxiety, fatigue, grief, and stress can all trigger headaches. Learn to recognize the various stresses and stressors in your life, whether at home or work, and practice stress management methods.

Sensory Overload Triggers

Your sight, smell, and hearing can become overly stimulated and trigger a migraine. Bright, flickering, or glaring lights; loud or high-pitched noises; and strong smells (perfume, secondhand smoke, and paint fumes) can either trigger pain or make it worse. This is why people with migraines just want to lie down in a dark, cool, quiet room.

Sleep Disturbance Triggers

Many people suffer from migraines due to too much sleep, too little sleep, or an irregular sleep schedule. Jet lag can also contribute to this problem. Aim to stay on a sleep schedule, sleeping and waking around the same time each day and you’ll be better prepared to fend off potential migraines.

Weather Change Triggers

Extreme hot or cold temperatures, high humidity, and changes in the atmospheric pressure can trigger migraines. Some people experience this going in an out of air-conditioned buildings on a hot day. To sidestep migraines, keep your eye on the weather forecast. When you see major weather changes ahead, it may help to start taking your migraine medication before the pain sets in.

Physical Exertion Triggers

Working out is good for your health, but sudden exercise—including sexual activity, can be blamed for migraines. If exercise triggers a migraine for you, avoid the pain by easing into exercise with a warm-up, ending with a cool-down, and staying hydrated with plenty of water.

Stinky Stuff. The studies reviewed by Mission Viejo bootcamp also revealed that three out of four migraine sufferers report worsening symptoms from exposure to strong odors. The most common offenders include cigarette smoke, perfume, and cleaning products.

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Plain Old Exercises that Just Plain Work

Wednesday December 10, 2014

 These exercises may not look impressive, but they get the job done.

If you’re looking to shed pounds, gain muscle mass, increase your strength, and improve performance, it’s time to focus on the right kind of exercises. Louisville Fit Body BootCamp believe that you should not waste your time doing impressive-looking exercises that don’t yield the impressive results you desire. Hone in on the tried-and-true exercises that have served countless people well over the years.

Next time you’re at the gym, focus your time and energy on these.

Make It Compound

Compound exercises are what you want to do during the majority of your workout. These exercises incorporate multiple muscle groups and joints in a range of motion so you’re working multiple muscle groups in a single movement. This burns more calories and builds more muscle than if you spent your time doing simple isolation exercises, such as bicep curls and triceps extensions, which only work one muscle and use one joint at a time.

Want to know what you should build your routine around in order to get the results you desire? Compound exercises. No, they don’t require fancy machines and you won’t see them advertised on television. What they will do is provide the strength and body development you want.

Some Examples

Ready to get your routine compounded? To get started, you’ll want to go with squats, lunges, bench presses, deadlifts, pull-ups, rows, dips, and overhead presses. A personal trainer in Louisville explains how to safely and properly perform a few of the most popular and effective compound exercises.

The flat bench press is an effective way to work your back, chest, and triceps all at once. Lie on your back on a bench with your feet on the floor and grasp a barbell with your hands in an overhand grip about shoulder-width apart. Inhale and lower the bar down to your chest so your elbows are parallel to the ground. Exhale and raise the bar back to its starting position. Moving your hands farther apart or closer together will work new muscles. Doing the bench press on an inclining or declining bench will increase the intensity.

Target your glute and multiple leg and back muscles with the squat. Hold a barbell and rest it behind your head on your shoulders. With your feet placed slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed outward, keep your back straight, bend at the hips as if sitting in a chair, and lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Then, raise your body back to starting position and repeat. Work different muscles by moving feet inward or outward and increase intensity by adding weight to the bar.

Get impressive results by working your back, shoulders, biceps, and abdominals all at once with the bent over row. Bend your legs slightly and hold the barbell with an overhand grip wider than shoulder-width. Bend over at about 45 degrees, inhale, and lift the bar toward your lower chest. Lower the bar back down and exhale.

The fourth compound exercise you’ll want to include in your workout routine is the simple push-up. This plain-and-simple exercise works not only your arms, but also your core, chest, and shoulders at once. Place your hands a little wider than shoulder-width on the floor and either place your toes or knees (easier) on the floor. Push up on your hands and keep your body in a straight line. Bend at your elbows and lower your body until it almost reaches the floor. Lift your body back up and repeat. Increase the intensity by placing your feet on a step. Work new muscles by placing your hands closer together or farther apart.

Rep & Weight

The fitness professional at Louisville fitness center recommend that you work your way up to 12 to 15 repetitions for each compound exercise and maximize your calorie-burning potential by increasing the number of repetitions and periodically adding weight.

“I do squats until I fall over and pass out.”—Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Diabetics On The Move

Tuesday December 09, 2014

 Have diabetes? Exercise is one of the best ways to control your weight and blood sugar.

Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you’re exempt from exercise. On the contrary, besides diet and medication, exercise is an essential part of controlling the disease. A personal trainer in Roanoke emphasizes that the benefits of exercise for diabetics can’t be ignored. It helps control blood sugar, burns fat, lowers blood pressure, builds muscle, improves circulation, boosts energy, strengthens your heart, reduces bad cholesterol, and manages stress.

An exercise program that includes both strength training and cardio exercise provides the greatest health benefit for diabetics. Talk with your doctor today about starting the following exercise programs.

Strength Training

Lifting weights is a highly effective way to control your blood sugar. When you regularly work your muscles they absorb more sugar. Strength training is also a great way to boost your metabolism and burn calories—not just during exercise, but throughout the day.

Aim to perform strength-training exercises two to three days a week, every other day. Develop a routine that focuses on each of your major muscle groups (legs, arms, back, chest, shoulders, and core). Start with small weights and slowly increase your resistance over time. Do several sets of 5 to 10 reps for each exercise.

Examples of simple strength-training exercises anyone can do at home or at the gym, under the watchful eye of your trainer, include bicep curls, triceps extensions, squats, lunges, hamstring curls, shoulder presses, chest presses, crunches, and planks.

Cardiovascular Exercises

To manage diabetes well, Roanoke bootcamp suggests that you also include cardio or aerobic exercise in your weekly routine. Cardio exercise is the kind that gets your heart pumping and your breathing elevated, strengthening your heart, muscles, and lungs. Along with strength training, cardio exercise helps your body burn extra glucose, decreases your body’s resistance to insulin, and helps your muscles know better how to respond to insulin.

Ideally, you will incorporate 150 minutes of moderate intensity cardio exercise into your weekly routine. You can do this with 30 minutes of exercise five days a week, 50 minutes three days a week, or even 15 minutes workouts ten times a week. Whatever it takes, make it part of your lifestyle and stick with it.

The simple act of walking is a wonderful starting exercise for diabetics. It’s easy, accessible, and all you need is a pair of comfortable, supportive shoes. Take a walk first thing in the morning, during your lunch break, or with your family after dinner. Incorporate more walking in your daily life. Take the stairs rather than the elevator or park in the farthest spot. Wearing a pedometer can help motivate you toward the recommended 10,000 steps a day.

There are numerous other kinds of cardiovascular exercise besides walking. The key is to find the one you enjoy so you’ll be more likely to stick with it. Swimming, jogging, cycling, tennis, basketball, aerobics, dancing, and working in the yard are just a few options.

Exercise Tips

If you’re living with diabetes and are new to exercise or out of shape, you’ll need to get your doctor’s approval before beginning an exercise program. Additionally, you may need to track your blood sugar levels prior to, during, and following exercise so you know how your body responds to physical activity. Depending on these records, you may have to adjust your insulin dosage or keep snacks or glucose tablets readily available in the event you have low blood sugar.

As a word of caution, if you’re living with diabetes-related eye conditions like retinopathy that have not been treated, do not lift weights or perform intense cardio exercise as these activities increase pressure in the eyes and can be very dangerous.

Otherwise, the fitness professionals at Roanoke Fit Body Boot Camp suggest that you get started on your exercise routine today! Take control of your health, manage your diabetes, and lose weight with exercise.

“Trying to manage diabetes without being physically active is like a singer performing without a microphone.”—Gary Scheiner, MS, CDE

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Where’s the Beef?

Thursday December 04, 2014

The benefits and risks of a high-protein diet.

Numerous weight loss plans revolve around this idea: eat more protein and eat less carbs. Say goodbye to bread, bagels, potatoes, sweets, cereal, rice, pasta, and certain fruits and vegetables and say hello to protein shakes, protein bars, meat, poultry, eggs, beans, and cheese. According to these diet programs, dieters must eat at least a third of their daily calories from protein sources to lose weight.

As you may have heard, these diets do seem to work—at least for a little while. However, nutrition experts and prominent health organizations like the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, and the National Cholesterol Education Program all urge caution when it comes to high-protein diets.

Why do low-carb/high-protein diets work and what are the possible health risks associated with these diets?

Huntersville Fit Body Boot Camp recently reviewed an article that discussed the benefits versus the risks of a high protein diet. Check out what the personal trainers had to say.

Is the Diet Effective?

Weight loss does happen on a high-protein diet. One reason this type of diet works is because foods high in protein fill you up and decrease your hunger, enabling you to eat less.

Eat more protein and you eat fewer carbs. It’s only natural. Carbohydrates normally provide the fuel your body needs for energy, but when you don’t eat carbs, your body burns its fat stores for energy instead. This process is called ketosis: your metabolism changes from relying on carbs for energy to breaking down fat cells for energy.

As your body adjusts to ketosis, your appetite decreases and you feel the urge to urinate more frequently, helping you lose water weight. These aspects are both beneficial for weight loss, but Huntersville fitness center suggests that they may come with long-term health consequences.

Too Much Protein?

When your body breaks down protein to be used for energy, it produces ammonia. May not sound like a big deal, but chronic high levels of ammonia in the body may not be safe.

Also, when more protein than usual is consumed, your blood becomes more acidic and your body’s calcium stores are secreted into the blood to help neutralize the increase in acidity. Since you need calcium for strong bones, consistently losing these valuable mineral stores through your urine may lead to kidney stones or osteoporosis.

Another downside to a low-carb/high-protein diet is a lack of complete nutrition. Many dieters who restrict carbs cut out fruits and vegetables—the best source for antioxidants and fiber. A lack of these vital nutrients can lead to disease and various health conditions.

Yet another reason you need to be careful of eating too much protein is that many sources of protein, including meat and dairy, are high in saturated fat. Eating high amounts of this type of fat raise your risk for heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, stroke, and certain cancers.

Additionally, the process of ketosis can make you feel nauseated and give you bad breath. Too much protein can even put a strain on your kidneys.

Last but not least, while a high-protein diet has proven successful at weight loss, the loss is usually short-lived. After six months, the diet seems to lose its effectiveness and many dieters have trouble maintaining their weight.

High-Protein the Safe Way

Still want to get into a high-protein diet? Work with your personal trainer and dietitian to develop a diet plan that’s safe for your situation. A high-protein, low-carb diet does lead to weight loss, but keep in mind that it may cause health risks if done for longer than six months. The fitness professionals at Huntersville bootcamp suggest that you the following in mind if you go high-protein:

Lose weight safely and prevent ketosis by eating a minimum of 100 grams of carbohydrates each day.

Be wary of cutting out complete food groups. Still include a variety of fruits and vegetables and whole grains in your diet.

Calories are still an important part of weight loss, so be wise in what kind of protein you eat. Choose lean sources of protein that are still high in nutrients such as lean meat, fish, low-fat dairy, eggs, beans, nuts, and soy.

A diet that you can maintain over the long run is your best bet at successful weight loss. Think you can survive on nothing but meat and more meat? You’re in for a rude awakening.

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Don’t Be Hatin’!

Tuesday December 02, 2014

Hate to exercise? What will it take to change your mind?

Those who prefer equate exercise with torture aren’t alone. Just look around. If everyone loved to exercise there’d be a lot fewer overweight people and heart disease wouldn’t be a leading cause of death. There are numerous reasons people dislike exercise. People fear the unknown. They’re too busy or too lazy. They want quick, easy results. They find it boring. And some don’t have a support system to keep them moving forward when they feel like giving up. The physical and psychological benefits of exercise obviously haven’t become real to those who hate working out.

Is there anything that can motivate a person who hates to exercise to start moving and keep going forward? West Fort Worth Fit Body Boot Camp suggests thattt may take a fresh approach to an old subject. Here are a few ideas.

Enjoy What You’re Doing

You may hate running, playing competitive sports, or being seen at the gym. That’s fine. If you don’t enjoy what you’re doing you’ll likely give up. The key to a successful exercise routine is finding something you enjoy doing. This may take time or creativity.

Is reading your hobby? Read a good book while you pedal your stationary bike. Want to spend more quality time with your spouse? Sign up for a dance class. Need to unwind with your kids after dinner? Play a Wii sports game together. Don’t want to miss your favorite television show? Lift free weights while you watch. These are just a few ideas to get you thinking. Combine something you enjoy with exercise and it won’t be such a chore. Get creative and try new things. You may even start looking forward to exercise.

Find a Partner

Accountability can be a powerful motivator when it comes to exercise. So can the enjoyment of spending time with a friend. Social people, especially, may learn to enjoy and commit to exercise when it’s done with a partner or team.

Make plans to exercise with someone you like being with. Go for an early morning jog, spot each other as you lift weights, or join another fitness activity together. For a social butterfly, this may be just what is needed to commit to regular exercise.

Challenge Yourself

Exercise can become boring and monotonous if you do the same thing every time with no goal in mind. What do you hope to accomplish with exercise? Whether you’re shooting for weight loss, lowered blood sugar, stress relief, or running a 5K, write down your goals and the time frame you hope to reach them. Then chart your progress. A personal trainer in West Forth Worth believes that you should keep an exercise journal to track your workouts, weight, measurements, BMI, and your feelings toward exercise.

Competitive, goal-oriented people can benefit from this approach to exercise. When you see your goals becoming a reality, you may actually start to look forward to exercise.

It’s All About Rewards

You may come to tolerate or even enjoy exercise if you experience the rewards it offers. Giving up after only a few workout sessions will leave you with sore muscles and a negative view of exercise. But sticking with your routine will lead to fitness rewards that make you keep coming back day after day, year after year.

Besides physical rewards, exercise comes with personal rewards: a goal accomplished, a new identity, the satisfaction of knowing you’re taking care of your body. If physical and personal rewards aren’t enough, West Forth Worth fitness center encourages their members to reward themselves in some other way. Stick to your routine for a month and buy yourself new workout clothes. Two months, and you get new shoes. Reach your weight loss goal, and throw yourself a party. When you realize the many rewards of exercise, you may never go back to a fitness-free lifestyle.

I hate exercise.”—Bridget Fonda

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