The Importance Of Stretching

The Importance Of Stretching

If you don’t realize the importance of stretching and do a short session during your warm-up, you’ll probably find yourself injured or have a less productive workout. When you exercise at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY, we include stretching in every workout. It helps improve flexibility and circulates the blood to the extremities to warm them for the upcoming workout. You can do stretching—flexibility exercises after a workout, while the muscles are warmed up and more flexible to improve your range of motion.

Stretching is the body’s natural reaction.

If you’ve ever stretched in the morning or after a tense day at the computer, you don’t think about it, you just do it. It’s a natural reaction to help loosen the muscles. When you wake up with a yawn and a stretch, it’s your body’s way of preparing for the day. Yawning increases oxygen intake. Stretching increases circulation. If you’ve ever watched a cat after a nap, you’ll notice animals automatically stretch. It’s instinctive in them, just as it is in humans.

Exercise, including stretching, can improve posture.

Bad posture can cause health issues and make you look defeated. It can cause headaches, breathing difficulties, incontinence, constipation, and heartburn. Even less known issues like TMJ can be from bad posture. Exercise is the best way to improve posture with strength-building at the lead, followed closely by stretching. It increases the range of motion, loosens muscles, and can help you return to good posture. It loosens muscles that are tight from years of bad habits and weakness.

Stretching before a workout can reduce the build-up of lactic acid.

When you increase your circulation, you’ll also be increasing the oxygen that travels through your body. If your muscles don’t get enough oxygen lactic acid can build. If you’re fit and the workout isn’t hard, it clears relatively quickly. If you’re unfit or perform a grueling workout, it can build up too quickly for the body to remove. Stretching helps shorten the process of removing lactic acid. If it remains it causes lactic acidosis. Lactic acidosis interferes with the body’s pH levels, makes each workout more difficult, and can cause pain.

  • A pulled or torn muscle can put you out of commission for weeks or months. It can happen anywhere, not just at the gym. Stretching improves your range of motion to help prevent it.
  • When you stretch, it prepares your body to become more active. It helps acclimate the heart for more effort and prevents a sudden
  • You’ll build muscle faster if you stretch before doing strength training. Stretching increases your range of motion and prepares your muscles to work muscles on all planes.
  • Stretching relaxes tight muscles and gets you in the mood for exercise by changing your focus. It can help increase oxygen in your blood to clear your brain if you stretch during mental activities.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

How To Get Started With Strength Training

How To Get Started With Strength Training

All types of exercise are necessary to be your fittest, cardio, flexibility, balance, and strength training. Each type of fitness requires different training. Some are easier to start than others. If you want to build cardio strength, ride a bike, run, or walk. Those activities don’t focus on building strength or improving balance or flexibility. Other exercises provide those benefits. While running may help build lower-body muscles, it doesn’t build upper-body strength. Here are some tips to help you start on the path to improved strength.

Don’t believe the myth that you need special equipment.

People often fail to do strength training because they believe they need expensive equipment, like barbells, dumbbells, or kettlebells. The truth is you don’t need any of those things. People have been doing strength training without any of those things. They use bodyweight exercises to provide resistance. Lifting your body against the force of gravity helps build muscles. If you want equipment but are short on cash, use resistance bands. They allow you to work muscles on all planes.

The most important factor in strength training is form.

To build strength, lift something heavy, push something heavy, or pull something heavy. It’s that simple. What isn’t that simple is maintaining the proper form when you do it. If your form isn’t correct, you face the potential of an injury or not getting the full benefit of your efforts. When you first begin, either have a friend to help or do the exercise in front of a mirror to check your form. Doing it right is far more important than the number of reps or the amount of weight you lift.

Don’t train the same muscle groups two days in a row.

When you’re building muscles, you stress them and cause microtears in the muscles. It takes time for those muscles to heal. The healing process is what makes them stronger. If you do strength-building every day, it doesn’t allow muscle tissue to heal. The muscles dwindle and get weaker. Get adequate sleep, eat quality protein, and if you do strength training two days in a row, work different parts of the body.

  • Track your progress. Make your workout tough, but one you can do without compromising your form. Start with exercises like push-ups, walking lunges, and planks. As they become easier, increase your repetitions and sets.
  • Kettlebell workouts or HIIT—high intensity interval training—workouts can speed your progress, while also boosting your cardiovascular health. Circuit training can also build muscle tissue with less time exercising.
  • Besides increasing repetitions and sets, you can modify exercises. You can make them easier or more difficult. You can alter them to focus on working other muscle groups. If you place your hands wider when doing a push-up, works other muscles.
  • Having a snack of carbs and protein 30 to 60 minutes before a workout can improve your workout. Consuming a high-protein, high-carb snack afterward can help with recovery.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Why It Is Important To Have A Regular Exercising Schedule?

Why It Is Important To Have A Regular Exercising Schedule?

Do you want to be a better pianist? Practice every day. If you want to be a better writer, write every day. The same is true of exercise. It’s even easier if you do it at the same time each day to form a habit. A regular exercising schedule carves out the same time every day to increase your chance for success. Consistency is the key to success and scheduling a workout helps maintain that consistency.

If you have an appointment, you don’t take other appointments in that time slot.

When you put something in your calendar, like a doctor’s or dentist’s appointment, you don’t accept another commitment at that time since it’s already filled. The same happens when you consider your workout an appointment with the gym. People who use a personal trainer have found meeting with the trainer at a specific time is far more motivating than going to the gym and working out alone. The gym takes second place to anything that interrupts the day when you don’t schedule it.

You have to make it important to you.

You should value your time at the gym. Exercise helps keep blood pressure regulated, reduces the risk of insulin resistance, helps shed extra pounds, reduces stress, and improves your immune system. You should value the benefits it provides and appreciate the time it saves at the doctor’s office later. Creating a regular workout time increases its importance and helps you develop a habit. Habits are hard to break.

Scheduling helps put structure into your workout.

You know you’ll exercise at a specific time every day and understand it doesn’t have to be at the gym. Scheduling your workout gives you the liberty to switch things up. You can work out in the gym three days a week and use the other days for different types of exercise. You could ride a bike, walk, or do something different, such as take dance lessons. You can schedule cardio, strength-building, and flexibility training on different days or include them every day, dividing up your strength-building to different areas of the body.

  • If you schedule your workout at the same time each day, you’ll miss it when you don’t do it. It becomes a habit to devote that time to improving your fitness.
  • Going to the gym at the same time every day can increase your social circle. You start to see the same people each time and interact. That makes working out more fun and improves your chances of continuing.
  • Just considering the best time to schedule your workout can be a benefit. If you know you get busy during the day and it wrecks your schedule, the logical choice is to make your appointment the first thing in the day.
  • It takes more than exercise to be your fittest. It takes a healthy diet, too. We provide nutritional coaching that can help you create new dietary habits.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Nutrition Tips For Seniors

Nutrition Tips For Seniors

One of the leading causes of poor health is inadequate nutrition. It can occur no matter what your age, but for seniors is more prevalent. There are many reasons for that. Digestive and dental health issues are two of the problems. Physical limitations that impede cooking are another. Even if the senior has a healthy diet available, absorption of nutrients usually isn’t as efficient as it was when they were younger. Less active seniors often don’t have a good appetite, so they eat less, also limiting the nutrients ingested.

Obvious fixes include changing the things that can be changed.

If the senior has poor dental health, seeing a dentist and taking care of the problem is the fix. Addressing digestive issues is another. If the senior has a physical limitation that impedes cooking, services can deliver healthy meals. Education is the best tool for seniors to help improve their diet. Often knowing what to cook and how to balance a diet is the biggest drawback that affects overall nutrition.

Seniors can benefit from meal planning.

Meal planning can take many forms. You can plan healthy meals one day, make a grocery list the next, shop the next day, and cook a week’s worth of meals on another day. It sounds like a lot of trouble, especially creating the meal plans and shopping list. It doesn’t have to be. Our Fit Meal Formula can create a personalized plan for you to follow. It even contains a shopping list. All you have to do is buy the groceries listed and cook. Most people find they save money by meal planning. If you’re cooking for one, simply freeze the other meals and use them for another week later. It’s a lot healthier than using prepackaged foods from the grocery since it provides more nutrients and no preservatives.

Don’t forget your vitamin D.

While it’s cold in the winter and there’s not enough sun to get the vitamin D you need, during the summer months you can make sure you have an adequate supply. Do safe sunning three times a week to boost your vitamin D. Safe sunning means spending 10-15 minutes in the sun. It should be at noon. Not only is the sun at its highest point, but your body is also most efficient at making vitamin D. People with lighter skin should start with less time in the sun. The older you are, the less able your body is to convert sunlight to vitamin D, so taking supplements, eating egg yolks, salmon, or beef liver helps.

  • If dental issues or a waning appetite is a problem, make a smoothie. You can add protein supplements, fresh fruit and vegetables, and nuts. It’s easier to drink several helpings of fruits and vegetables and less filling.
  • Create a rainbow of bright colors on your dinner plate by choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables are less expensive and keep longer but have the same nutritional value as fresh.
  • Make sure to carry water with you at all times and sip it throughout the day. Seniors dehydrate quicker than younger counterparts. and the signs of dehydration vary. Confusion that resembles dementia is one symptom, rapid heartbeat, weakness, cramps, and exhaustion are others.
  • Always discuss any changes to your diet with your healthcare professional. Some food can interfere with medication. Food sensitivity and medical issues can also be affected by certain foods.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Exercises To Improve Posture

Exercises To Improve Posture

If you have chronic back pain, headaches, and body aches, the problem can come from poor posture. Exercise can help. Bad posture can disrupt your digestion and affect your entire body. Walking tall also makes you feel more confident. You can prove it to yourself by checking your emotions first by slouching, then when you stand up straight. Slouching makes you look and feel defeated. When that happens, the rest of the world sees it too.

Practice good standing posture.

Whether you’re standing in line or walking in the mall, you can practice good posture. Don’t lean forward or backward. Your chin should be parallel to the floor and your hips, shoulders, and ankles should all line up. Maintain good posture as you walk. Don’t look at your feet but focus on a spot about twenty feet ahead. Tuck in your tummy and backside as you rotate your hips slightly forward.

Some exercises to help improve your posture include stretches.

Stretching can help relax tight muscles as they build strength. The cat-cow pose is a good one. The cow pose starts on hands and knees, then let your abdomen drop as you raise your head and look toward the ceiling. Hold the position, then lower the body back to neutral position. Lower your head as you arch your back like an angry cat. Hold. Go back to neutral and repeat. You can use the same starting position to do a high plank. Straighten one leg as you step your foot back, putting your weight on your toes. Then move the other leg backward. Hold the position. Don’t let your stomach droop.

Your sitting posture matters.

Your back should be straight, and your shoulders should be back when you sit. Your bottom should touch the back of your chair. Distribute your weight evenly on both sides of the hip. Your knees should be slightly higher than your hips and your thighs should be at a right angle, horizontal to the floor. Doing stretches and shoulder rolls are good exercises to help your sitting posture. Lift your arms straight in the air, trying to reach higher each time. Keep your hands together and even.

  • Sleeping posture affects your sleep. If you sleep on your side, put a pillow between your knees and keep them slightly bent. People who sleep on their backs should use a lumbar roll under the lower back. Avoid sleeping on your stomach.
  • A yoga pose can help your posture. The child’s pose, where you sit with your shin bone toward the floor and your bottom on your heels, bending forward as you stretch your hands in front of you.
  • Open your chest with a stretch. It improves breathing and posture. Stand with feet hip-width. Put your hands together behind you as you lace your fingers together and palms pressing. Inhale as you lift your chest upward, lowering your hands behind you. Take five breaths and relax.
  • A thoracic spine rotation can also help back pain. Lay on one side, knees together and bent. Your hands should be straight in front of you with palms touching. Keep your lower body in place as you lift one hand straight up and over to the other side so your arms form a T to your body.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

The Role Of Gut Health In Weight Loss

The Role Of Gut Health In Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight, we’ll help you at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY. We address all aspects of weight loss, including diet and exercise. A healthy diet and regular exercise both affect your entire body. The combination improves endurance, metabolism, mood, and gut health. That’s right, gut health is vitally important to your body. There’s a link between gut health and losing weight. It takes more than just cutting back on calories. It takes a healthy diet to create a more efficient digestive system to lose those extra pounds.

Your gut microbiome makes a difference.

Your body has trillions of microbes. There are more microbes than cells. Estimates say that for every cell you have, you have three microbes. These include fungi, bacteria, archaea, and viruses with an estimate of between 300 to 500 species. The beneficial microbes perform several tasks for the body, including maintaining gut health and protecting the body from harmful microbes. If the microbes are out of balance with too many harmful ones, it can create many problems, including sugar cravings.

Besides the microbes, the gut produces vital hormones.

Hormones play a role in all bodily functions. They’re messengers. They regulate metabolism, control appetite, and send a wide variety of critical information to the brain. There are approximately 20 different hormones created in the gut that vary based on diet, stress, overall health, and the substances produced by microbes. The hormones can help or hinder weight loss. If your calorie intake is too low, hormones increase appetite or reduce metabolism. An unhealthy gut causes digestive issues like gas, bloating, and constipation. It can cause unintentional weight changes, autoimmune disturbances, and mood changes.

You can improve your gut health

Studies show that a healthy diet with probiotic and prebiotic foods can help improve gut health. Prebiotic foods include food high in soluble fiber. Soluble fiber feeds the beneficial bacteria. A diet low in sugar also discourages harmful microbes, while a diet high in sugar harms beneficial ones. Getting adequate sleep also helps gut health, and so does good hydration. Studies found that starting or continuing a program of regular exercise can improve your gut health by improving the microbes in the gut.

  • You can help your digestive system and improve gut health by chewing your food longer. That allows more digestion to take place in your mouth, rather than your gut, making it more efficient.
  • Scientists have identified certain strains of microbes that are associated with obesity. They found the byproducts of certain microbes in obese people or those overweight.
  • Eating food high in fiber is good for gut health. So is consuming fermented food that is rich in probiotics. Garlic, chickpeas, onions, and bananas are excellent prebiotics that feed beneficial bacteria.
  • One study showed that after exercising for six weeks, the beneficial bacteria in the gut increased. Other studies show that chronic stress can reduce healthy bacteria.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Reasons Why People Shouldn't Go Vegan

Reasons Why People Shouldn’t Go Vegan

There’s nothing wrong with being vegan if you know how to create a well-balanced diet and have the will to get past the restrictions. Those people consuming a strict vegan diet often have studied the nutritional requirements or use an app to help them create their daily diet. While a vegan diet can be healthy, some people shouldn’t go vegan. A vegetarian, pescatarian, or flexitarian diet works better for most people.

What’s the difference in the diets?

There are all types of diets, but the most prominent ones in the plant-based world are pescatarian, vegetarian, flexitarian, and vegan. Flexitarian diets are the most liberal. This type of diet includes all types of food but limits the consumption of poultry, meat, fish, and seafood to the occasional meal. Pescatarians eliminate poultry and meat, while vegetarians eliminate meat, poultry, fish, and seafood. The strictest diet is the vegan diet. Only plant-based food is allowed and all animal products are eliminated.

A vegan diet provides many nutrients, but getting certain ones is difficult.

There are two major drawbacks to a vegan diet. Getting adequate vitamin B12 is one of those. Vitamin B12 is vital for nerve, heart, and muscle health. It boosts your metabolism and helps keep your body functioning properly. Supplementing with a B12 vitamin is often necessary unless the vegan focuses on consuming food fortified with B12. Zinc is another nutrient that’s difficult to get from a plant-based source. Many of the plant-based sources also contain phytates that bind to the zinc and make it unavailable.

Balancing your diet can be a challenge.

The body can create many amino acids, but there are nine essential ones it can’t create. You have to get the essential amino acids from your diet. Animal products contain all nine, but only some plant-based products do. You can combine food with incomplete proteins to achieve a complete protein profile. Combining beans and rice is an example. It takes planning to ensure you get all essential amino acids throughout the day, but some healthy people prove it’s possible.

  • Collagen is a building block for skin, muscle, bones, hair, ligaments, and tendons. It’s missing from a vegan diet. Plants don’t contain collagen but do contain the building blocks of collagen, so the body has to create it.
  • Studies show that people who are vegans often are low in vitamins K and B12, collagen, DHA, and EPA. Deficits in those nutrients create a potential for premature aging. A vegan diet can also cause an imbalance of Omega 3 and Omega 6.
  • Plant-based diets aren’t for everyone. People with IBS, soy, nut, or gluten allergies or intolerance aren’t candidates for a vegan diet. If you’re on a low carb diet, it’s not for you.
  • It’s simply more difficult to eat when you’re on a strict vegan diet, especially if you like to eat in restaurants. Few offer many vegan options. If you’re not good with planning or details we can help make it easier with personalized meal plans.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Can Intermittent Fasting Lead To The Development Of An Eating Disorder?

Can Intermittent Fasting Lead To The Development Of An Eating Disorder?

What is intermittent fasting—IF—and can it lead to an eating disorder? IF is not a specific diet, but a way of scheduling meals. It can be as strict as fasting two days a week and eating normally the other five to eating within a 16-hour window and fasting the other 8 hours. Creating rules around eating is one definition of an eating disorder and altering regular eating routines is another. IF fits both. Does it lead to disaster or is it beneficial?

Some smaller studies indicate IF isn’t a problem.

Studies indicate that IF may not be a problem, but the few studies existing are small. Professionals who work with those with eating disorders remain concerned. IF, like other diets, provides rules that indicate when to consume food and when not to eat. It ignores hunger patterns and could lead to binging. Another study found that IF was associated with other eating disorder behaviors like binge eating, laxative use, vomiting, and compulsive exercising.

IF is not just a way to lose weight, but also a way to help improve glucose tolerance.

Studies are still investigating whether IF has benefits. Many find that it does help reduce inflammation. Inflammation is associated with several diseases. It could help people with Alzheimer’s, asthma, arthritis, MS, and stroke due to or exacerbated by inflammation. It can cause insulin levels to drop, leading to decreased insulin resistance and improved levels of HGH—human growth hormone. It boosts cell repair and may extend life span.

It’s all about the why.

One factor separates IF from eating disorders and that’s your intentions. If it’s for the health benefits, such as reducing insulin resistance, or want the other health benefits it offers, then it probably won’t cause eating disorders. Following an IF regimen under a doctor’s care also reduces the potential for eating disorders. If it’s accompanied by other symptoms of an eating disorder, such as compulsive exercising or vomiting, it’s also a slippery slope.

  • One way to judge whether IF may be an eating disorder is to ask yourself how you would feel if you ate during fasting time. Would you feel like a failure or accept it and continue the next day?
  • In addition to those mentioned, other signs of eating disorders include weighing yourself several times a day, skipping meals, eating in isolation, fear of weight gain, and skipping meals.
  • Some side effects of IF include hunger, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, and nausea. It’s not for everyone. Pregnant or breastfeeding women should avoid it.
  • If you have acid reflux, diabetes, kidney stones, or other medical conditions, you should always talk to your doctor before starting an intermittent fasting program.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Are All Calories Created Equal?

Are All Calories Created Equal?

Clients at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY, understand that cutting calories can help you lose weight. They even understand that some foods are healthier than others. I’m lucky to have such smart clients who also know not all calories are equal. It’s not the actual calories that makes a difference in whether a food will promote weight gain, but the food itself. If you eat 2400 calories, all from healthy fruits and vegetables and a friend eats an equal amount of calories from sugary treats, you’ll get more benefits and lose weight faster than they will.

In order to metabolize some calories, it takes extra energy.

If you ate a stalk of celery, it wouldn’t amount to many calories. Your body would get even fewer calories since it takes calories to digest the celery. Some people think celery is a negative calorie food, but so far, no studies have proven or disproven the theory. Celery is also a diuretic, so if you’re gaining weight from retaining water, it helps you lose it. Eating 100 calories from celery—which would be a lot—has less effect on your weight than eating a hundred calories of cookies—two medium ones.

It’s about thermogenesis.

When you eat, it has to digest. That all takes energy and produces heat. The body has to break down the food by producing digestive juices and sending the food through the digestive tract. There it breaks food down further, removing the nutrients from the food. Those are extra calories used and not available to the body. Fibrous foods, like fruits, vegetables, or other complex carbohydrates, fats, or meat, use many calories for digestion, while simple carbs, like sugar and sugary products, use much fewer. Hence, 100 calories from high thermogenetic foods depletes to fewer calories, while those from sugary treats are available at 100%

The fiber in the food and the toxic elements make a difference, too.

Food with added sugar can be toxic. It can cause inflammation, which can cause weight gain. It can cause insulin resistance that leads to that and diabetes. A few calories from food with added sugar is more than just a few calories, it also can change your gut microbiome. A healthy balance makes your body work properly, but an unhealthy balance leads to disease and even obesity. If you get your calories from high-fiber food, the fiber feeds beneficial microbes to improve health and reduce weight.

  • Let’s not forget the nutrients in the food. Magnesium, vitamin D, vitamin C, carotenoids, iron, and zinc can all boost your weight loss efforts. Studies show that obese people are often deficient in vitamin D. People eat for a number of reasons besides just hunger.
  • Eating other thermogenetic foods, like meat and fat, can keep you feeling full longer. It’s because these types of food take longer to digest. Complex carbohydrates take longer to digest than simple ones.
  • The same food can have a different caloric effect. If you refrigerate a potato, reheating it later, the chilling process changes half the starch into resistant starch. You can’t absorb resistant starch so it passes out in your feces.
  • Calories from junk food are considered empty calories. That’s because they provide no benefit, other than the calories they provide. Choosing food that offers other benefits can make you leaner and healthier.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training