Fitness & Wellness

A Healthy Diet Is The Key To Fitness

A Healthy Diet Is The Key To Fitness

Which is more important for fitness, a healthy diet or a program of regular exercise? While I always tell my clients at my Louisville facility that weight loss starts with a healthy diet, to maximize that weight loss, a program of regular exercise is also important. You won’t be at peak performance if you don’t have both. Adding adequate sleep, good hydration and avoiding abusive alcohol, tobacco and drug use is also important. No matter how much you exercise or do the other important things to constitute healthy living, if you aren’t eating healthy, you won’t get the healthy results you want.

A healthy diet includes whole foods and eliminates processed foods.

While not all processed foods are equally as bad for you, they pale by comparison when you see all the benefits of whole foods. Whole foods are foods that are closest to their natural form. They don’t come in boxes or bars, but are foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, grain fed beef, free range eggs and butter from grass fed cows. They go back to how food was meant to be consumed, fresh from the field or garden, without toxic chemicals and with all the nutrients they contain fresh off the vine.

It’s easier to skip the soft drink or fries than it is to exercise off the calories.

If you drink two to three soft drinks a day or eat a large order of fries, you’ve consumed all the calories you’d normally burn at a workout. So what do you do? Exercise longer? Exercise with more intensity? Skip the fries and soft drink? The last answer is correct. If just one order of fries can wipe out all the extra benefits from one exercise session, it means the key to weight loss and a healthy lifestyle is diet, with exercise supplementing it. To match the calories from a large order of fries, you’d have to eat 240 string beans, 120 asparagus spears, 72 medium stalks of celery or 12 large tomatoes to get the same number of calories from these vegetables. That not only is far more filling, it also provides far more nutrition.

Your diet should supply your body with all the nutrition necessary.

In order to be your healthiest, you need the proper nutrition. That only comes from a well rounded plate with healthy fat, carbohydrates and proteins. It should contain a rainbow of colors when it comes to fruit and vegetables. Each color of vegetables and fruit contains different nutrients and phytonutrients. For instance, blueberries and all deep red fruits and veggies, including red cabbage, contain anthocyanins. They can help prevent cancer, improve your mind, lower your cholesterol and improve vision. Yellow and orange fruits and veggies provide carotenoids that convert to vitamin A.

  • If you don’t have adequate nutrition, especially adequate protein, you won’t have the material to build muscle mass or the energy to workout.
  • A healthy diet drives weight loss and good health. Exercise helps boost the effects and maintain weight loss. You need both for good health, but a healthy diet should always come first.
  • Ultimately the goal is to build strong muscles, improve flexibility and endurance, while leaving you feeling your fittest. You won’t get that healthy feeling if you only exercise and ignore a healthy diet.
  • Not only will a healthy diet boost your weight loss, it also can improve your skin, hair and overall appearance.

Give Yourself An Early Christmas Gift Of Good Health And Energy

Give Yourself An Early Christmas Gift Of Good Health And Energy

It’s not too early to start thinking about the holidays, especially if you want to give yourself the Christmas gift of good health and energy. It’s not unusual for people who make holiday gifts to start early and even more important if you’re giving yourself the gift of a healthy lifestyle. If you start today, you’ll see the results you want for the holidays. Not only will you feel more energetic, you’ll look better, too. Dedicate the next few months to fitness and you’ll find sticking the program is even easier when the busy holiday times come around. You’ll have more energy to deal with all the chaos that the holidays bring, too.

You’ll learn how to make smarter decisions when it comes to food.

Getting fit isn’t all about working out, it’s about what you eat, too. Healthy eating isn’t dieting, but simply making smarter choices about food. You’ll learn how to choose food more wisely and make substitutions to make that choice healthier and lower in calories. Simple things like substituting Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to top potatoes not only boost nutritional values, they shave calories, too. Eating healthier can mean cooking differently and even changing some recipes. It can mean substituting applesauce for oil or sugar in baked goods and grilling, baking or broiling meat instead of frying. If you start now, you’ll be armed with all the information you need to avoid the extra pounds that normally come with the holidays.

You’ll start to see results of your workout in a month and by the holidays see significant changes.

If you stick to the program, it won’t be long before you see the difference in your fitness level. Not only will you notice that you have more energy, you’ll notice the difference in how you look. Of course, the longer you workout, the more impressive your appearance will become and the more energy you’ll have. If you have several months, the difference will be amazing and you may need to even buy new clothes for the holiday. It will be nice to tell friends and family your new size if they want to buy clothing for you as a gift.

You don’t have to pay a fortune if you workout in a group program or use the internet version.

Many people worry about the cost of personal training, but they often don’t realize there are other options, besides simply doing private sessions. Group training is a good way to save money, yet you also get a personalized program and best of all, enjoy the comradery of others in the group that also provide a great deal of motivation. You can even use online training if going to the Louisville gym is a problem.

  • There’s no time better than now to start. Why wait to boost your energy level and look your best, when you can ring in the new year with a whole new body and attitude.
  • Learning to eat and cook healthier dishes can help make the holidays healthier for the whole family. You’ll have the knowledge to make the meals not only delicious, but also nutritious.
  • Starting today can give you a headstart on preparing for the holidays when life is at its busiest. You’ll have the program scheduled into your life by the time that the holidays roll around.
  • You owe it to yourself and your family to be your healthiest. Too often people put their needs to the end of the line, but in order to help others, they have to be healthy.

Getting Fit With Online Help

Getting Fit With Online Help

If you don’t have the extra time to get to a gym or don’t have a gym near you, consider getting fit with online help. Not only is online training easier to fit into your schedule, it’s also far more affordable. You’ll get a personalized workout program and nutritional guidance at a fraction of the cost of individual face-to-face personal training. Whether you’re a busy working mom or dad, have erratic hours or have a schedule that doesn’t work with gym schedules, online training can make it easier to create your own workout schedule and it cost less. That’s a double win.

You won’t miss out on accountability, which is one of the bigger benefits of having a trainer.

Just because it’s online, doesn’t mean it’s like going to a website and following the exercise program when you feel like it. A good online program includes accountability with regular reports to a trainer. It’s either done through email or skyping. You’ll also have access to the trainer’s knowledge, so you can ask questions and even tell about your success.

It’s not all about exercising for fitness, either.

If you’re accessing online training, it should include both exercise and healthy eating. Healthy eating isn’t tricky once you know how to make smarter decisions, but initially, you may need more guidance. Having sample menus for each day and a shopping list really helps make it simpler. It also can provide recipes that taste good and don’t taste “low calorie” or “healthy.” Those descriptions identify rice cakes and food that tastes like vitamins, not real food.

If you want to watch how to do an exercise, rather than read about it, a good online program provides it.

No matter how articulate the writer, it’s not always easy to describe a body movement. What seems like a good description to some people, is unintelligible to others. That’s why providing a video of how the exercise looks can help achieve the best form. Having the right form for any exercise boosts the effectiveness and helps prevent injury.

  • Some online programs, like ours, allow you to use it if you sign up for just the online training or use it free as a supplement if you participate in a live program at our gym, like group or private training.
  • People often use online programs for their convenience, but also for the price and flexibility. New parents find it a great way to achieve their fitness goals without the need for a babysitter.
  • No matter how you choose to train, starting is the most important part. Online training can get you started until you’re ready to take your new found skills to the gym.
  • If you don’t need both nutritional training and fitness training, a good online program allows you to choose either one or both.

What Is The Paleo Diet

What Is The Paleo Diet

There’s always a new diet popping up that has merit. One of these diet philosophies it the paleo diet. It doesn’t use bizarre foods that you have to import or pay a fortune to get, but normal foods you’d find in Louisville, KY. It’s based on the premise that you eat foods like your ancestors ate. Not

your grandmother or grandfather, but going much further back to the age of the caveman, before farming was developed. They foraged for foods, as hunter-gatherers, eating wild beasts occasionally, but mostly, vegetation they found and the occasional bug when necessary. Bugs, by-the-way, aren’t part of the paleo diet, but they could be. They’re high in protein.

Paleo diets don’t contain grain or legumes.

Since the diet mimics preagriculture peoples, don’t expect to find any grain or legumes. Beans, dairy and grain simply aren’t part of it. It does contain many vegetables, so it’s far healthier than the average American diet right from the start. However, the exclusion of legumes based on the fact that they contain high amounts of phytic acid has been challenged by many people. Phytic acid is supposed to be an antinutrient according to many paleo enthusiasts. However, nuts are included in the diet, which also contain high amounts, yet they’re included. Just like oxylic acid interferes with the absorption of calcium in spinach, phytic acid interferes with the absorption of calcium, zinc and iron, but still provides nutrition enough to include it in a healthy diet.

Even though it’s called a caveman diet, you won’t be eating like a caveman.

Seriously, unless you forage in the backyard and eat some of those dandelion greens, (making sure they don’t have pesticides) or eat wild animals, your diet will be quite different from a caveman’s. It should be, cavemen didn’t have the luxury of foods out of season brought to them in refrigerated cars on trains. One of the biggest reasons noted for improved overall health, particularly dental health, was the ability to get fresh fruits and vegetables year round. However, unlike caveman days, it’s more expensive and harder to get grassfed beef and free-range chicken and eggs. These contain nutrients that aren’t in most commercial farm beef or chicken. .

There’s a lot to praise in the paleo diet that isn’t in the average American diet and some things missing.

The things that are missing are mostly things you don’t need to be healthy and even those things that are detrimental to your health. For instance, you won’t find refined sugar in a paleo diet or bread from refined bleached flour. There’s no diet anything, no soft drinks and no sugary cereal. What you will find is lots of protein and even more fresh greens and produce. It contains more omega-3 fatty acids than the average person eats. Of course, there’s no fried foods, trans fats or junk food.

  • r you, eliminating processed foods, as this diet does, can improve your overall health and help you lose weight.

The Best And Worst Low Carb Foods

The Best And Worst Low Carb Foods

To help you make the smartest choices in the food you eat, I’ve created an aid to choose from the best and worst low carb foods. Not all low carb foods are created equally. Low carb foods can help you on your goals toward weight loss, but some have more nutrition than others do. Obviously, the best ones will fall into the category of high nutrition and should be part of everyone’s daily diet. Not only will healthy low carb foods provide a way to boost nutrition, they also help you maintain weight after you lose those extra pounds.

You can get too much of a good thing.

While meat is part of a low carb diet, so is pork, eggs, butter and cheese. Right along with that butter are other types of fat, including high trans fats. Trans fats are the worst type of fats to eat, they provide no nutritional benefit and can increase the body’s bad cholesterol that causes heart disease. Even though foods containing saturated fat is also on the list, they’re not actually bad, since they raise both the good and bad cholesterol. You can get too much fat and too much protein if you’re not careful, but only transfats are a bad source of carbs. Too much protein is hard on the kidneys and liver.

There are more good low carb foods than bad ones.

Let’s start with the veggies. Broccoli, asparagus, spinach, leafy greens, cabbage and peppers are just a few of th nutritious low carb foods that should be on your list of those to eat. All these low carb vegetables are nutrient dense, so you’ll boost your overall health when you eat these. When adding fruit to your diet, stick with raspberries, blackberries and strawberries for the lowest number of carbs.

When choosing protein sources, choose wisely.

While nuts are allowed on a low carb diet, some are better than others. Brazil nuts, macadamia nuts and pecan are allowed to be eaten as often as you’d like. But pistachio and cashews are too high in carbs for that type of indulgence. For beef, lamb, game, pork and poultry choose gras-fed meats that are organic. Free range eggs should be at the top of your list, too. Most fish are allowed, but never bread them when you cook.

  • Mushrooms should also be on your list of good low carbs to eat. Sauteed in butter, they make a nice topper to red meat.
  • One simple rule to remember is that if it’s a vegetable that grows above the ground, it’s lower in carbs than those that grow below the ground.
  • Avocados not only provide healthy fat for a low carb diet, plus other nutrients, they fill you up so you aren’t as hungry. Try them with Tabasco or hot sauce, which is also low carb.
  • If you’re looking for great low carb topper for a burger, don’t turn to ketchup. Instead, consider mustard or mayonnaise. Both of these have far fewer carbs.

Should You Weigh Yourself Regularly

Should You Weigh Yourself Regularly

There’s never been a discussion on whether to weigh yourself regularly when you diet. The question has always been whether you should do it daily, weekly or less frequently. The verdict is in according to one study. It’s always been a given that weighing yourself helps you track your weight. While some programs require a weekly weigh-in, some newer studies show that weighing daily may actually help. While one study showed that men benefited from daily weigh-ins, but women didn’t, another study of only women showed the same results.

Weighing in weekly versus weighing in daily—which is best?

Conventional wisdom has always been toward regular weigh-ins on a weekly basis, rather than on a daily basis. There’s a reason for that. People’s weight vary from day to day, especially women’s weight. That can be depressing and counterproductive. However, a recent study showed that daily weigh-ins may actually help. One study that was undertaken by the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University, included 294 female students showed that weighing daily had a beneficial effect on weight loss. The daily weighers showed a loss of body fat and a lower BMI over the two-year study.

Daily weigh-ins were the only dieting technique used in one study.

One study from Pacanowski and Levitsky of the University of Minnesota Division of Epidemiology & Community Health and Cornell University Division of Nutritional Sciences, showed that men actually lost weight when the only strategy used was daily weigh-ins. Women didn’t fare as well as men in this study. Half the group was told to weigh-in daily, while the other half wasn’t during the first year. The half weighing in daily lost weight. During the second year, the other half started weighing in and the men in that group also lost weight. The women’s weight did not change.

Having accountability helps.

Upon reviewing the records of 11,000 people who were overweight and in a weight management program, the results showed that people who had official weigh-ins with either a nurse or dietitian lost more than 5 percent of their total weight compared to those that didn’t. That’s a significant number that can lower the risk of developing a serious condition, such as diabetes.

  • One study showed no difference in weight loss between those who had daily weigh-ins and those who had weekly weigh-ins.
  • Studies show that people who are discouraged easily shouldn’t do daily weighing, but for others, the feedback from weigh-ins can help spur them onto more success.
  • No matter how often you weigh-in, do it the same time of day. If you weigh-in daily, do it in the morning for the most consistent reading.
  • Recording the weigh-ins also helps boost weight loss.

Could Sitting All Day Be Slowly Killing You?

Could Sitting All Day Be Slowly Killing You?

If you’re like many people, your job involves sitting all day and that could be slowly killing you. Studies show that you need to take a movement break at least once every thirty minutes to be at your fittest and avoid serious conditions that shorten your life. In other words, the more you sit, the bigger the potential for death or a life threatening condition.

People average sit more than previously considered.

The REGARD—Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke—study found the average person actually sits more than previously thought. One of the goals of the study was to find out why Blacks in the southern US tend to have a greater risk for stroke than their white counterparts. In order to do it, Keith Diaz, lead author of the study tracked 7,985 black and white participants that were 45 or older for four years. Rather than using self-reporting, which had been used in most studies, the team used technology, a hip-mounted accelerometers. The results showed that in a 16 hour day, the subjects of the study averaged 12.3 hours of sedentary behavior, considerably higher than the previously reported findings of ten hours.

The more the participants sat, the higher the potential for death.

The more participants sat, the more their potential for earlier death. For instance, people who sat 11 hours a day had half the risk of death when compared to those who sat 13 hours every day. They broke the information down even further to find that the length of time mattered as much as the amount of hours of setting. If a person sat 11 hours, but got up every 30 minutes and moved, the potential for death lowered by 55%. Those who sat 90 minutes or longer, had twice as high of a risk for death than those that sat for less than 90-minutes.

Just standing isn’t the answer either.

The study showed you needed to move, so standing desk or not, walk to the bathroom, get a cup of coffee or simply walk to the copy machine to make the copies you need. Planning your day so you can move every half hour should be a top priority. “Sitting is the new smoking,” but without the tax or the smell. The first part of that phrase came from Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic at Arizona State University. Chronic sitting increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, breast cancer, colon cancer and kidney disease. It also boosts the potential for obesity, America’s leading cause of preventable deaths.

  • While a standing desk can bring benefits in other ways, if you’re not moving, the benefits are limited. Standing in the same position without moving for 60-90 minutes is just as bad as sitting in the same position for that length of time—but you do burn a few more calories. .
  • Don’t expect your workout at the gym to offset the risk of sitting. You’d have to do a minimum of an hour of intense exercise just to balance out the 6 to 7 hours of sitting you do every day. Note the word, intense, which is not recommended every day.
  • Find ways to be more active. Take the stairs, rather than the elevator. If you work in an office in an upper floor that’s that’s too tall to conquer (Seriously, I wouldn’t expect anyone to hike up 60 floors every day), take the elevator up part of the way and walk the rest.
  • Don’t use email or phone to talk to someone in your office. Get up and go to their desk as part of your break. If you’re on the cell phone, walk around the office while talking. Pacing counts!

Can Certain Exercises Remove Cellulite

Can Certain Exercises Remove Cellulite

No matter how overweight or thin you are, cellulite can be a problem. I’m constantly asked for the magic cure. The my that exercises remove cellulite is just that, a myth. But they do help to conceal the lumps and bumps of cellulite. Just like spot exercises, while they help remove fat deposits from all over the body, they don’t necessarily just attack the spot you’re exercising, but you are strengthening the underlying muscles and giving a more toned look to the area.

In order to effectively fight cellulite, you need to learn what causes it.

Nobody is really sure what causes cellulite, which doesn’t mean you can’t try to eradicate it. It’s actually fat cells that protrude through the connective tissues. Once it pushes through the collagen fibers, it protrudes. The thin layer of skin covering shows it as raised lumpy areas, which are normally on the bottom and thigh, but can occur on the upper arm and stomach, as well as other areas. While women have connective issue that’s vertical, men’s connective tissue is more criss-cross. That difference may account for the fact that more women than men have cellulite.

Other factors contribute to cellulite.

Women can’t seem to catch a break when it comes to cellulite. Hormonal factors may also play a role in its development. There are a number of theories how the estrogen, insulin, noradrenaline, prolactin and thyroid hormones all play a role. One of those is that menopause can slow the flow to the collagen fiber of the connective tissues. Less circulation mean less oxygen and less oxygen means a lower production of collagen. Not only that, menopause causes hormone levels to drop and less estrogen means larger fat cells. Menopause and aging also makes skin thinner, so the lumps are more noticeable.

A healthy diet and an active lifestyle can make a difference.

When you eat a healthy diet of whole foods, which is lower in sugar, you’ll help with overall weight loss and that can make the lumps and bumps look smaller as you lose weight all over your body. Cut out alcohol and lowering your carbohydrate intake helps too. Exercising regularly can improve overall circulation, sending oxygen to those areas to help build collagen or keep it stronger.

  • Not only do women have the problem of hormones interfering with circulation, they also cause women to store fat in their hips, thighs and bottom. The more fat stored, the more potential for cellulite.
  • You can boost your circulation with alternating hot to cold showers, cryotherapy full body treatments or massage.
  • Age and genetics play a role in how much cellulite a person has. Smoking also can increase cellulite. If you smoke, quit.
  • Strength training can help smooth the area of the cellulite out and make it far less noticeable. Lower body strength training will burn off fat, but most of all, it builds muscle tissue in the area.

Are You Working Out Hard Enough

Are You Working Out Hard Enough

Before you get the idea that you should discontinue all types of exercise because you’re not getting the results you want, you need to stop and see if you’re working out hard enough to make a difference. Don’t get me wrong, I applaud all forms of exercise. Doing something is always better than doing nothing at all, but for those who want to reach specific goals and see a difference from their workout, putting in the time isn’t enough. It takes commitment to getting the most from your workout time.

Can you zip through your workout without breaking a sweat?

That may be part of the problem. When you first started working out, you probably grunted and groaned a lot through each movement. The longer you worked out, the easier the routine became. That’s because the workout did what it was supposed to do, got you in better shape. However, if you’re still doing the same workout after several months, there’s a problem! Not only should you be increasing the number of reps, number of sets, intensity or amount of weight, you should be varying your workout. Your body becomes efficient, which means it burns fewer calories causing plateauing.

One sign you’re not working out hard enough is that you can talk while working out.

Heck, some people that are piking it, can even sing! While they may have great voices, they should be gasping for air while they bend, twist and lift their way to fitness. One test of effort from the U.S. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion is how much you can say. If you can utter more than a few gasping works and don’t need a break, it’s time to ramp it up and get serious.

You’re not working out hard enough if you feel great and ready to go dancing after working out.

Don’t expect muscle soreness every time, but you should have it on the days you’ve worked your hardest. Otherwise, you haven’t given muscles a true workout, but at least you’ve kept moving. If you want more than just maintenance and make true progress, you’ve got to do more as you get fitter. Your body will let you know by mild soreness that reminds you that you’ve worked it hard. Remember, there’s a big difference between pain and soreness. Pain should never be ignored and soreness should be applauded for the hard work it took to create it.

  • If you’re getting the aid of technology and checking your heart rate, anything less than 64 percent of its maximum is piking it, between 64 and 76 percent is moderate and 76 and 90 percent is a great workout.
  • Seeing changes in your body is a top clue that you’re getting the workout you intended. If your weight hasn’t budged, but your not increasing your caloric intake and there’s no difference in muscle size or clothing size, you need to work harder.
  • If you leave the gym just as dry and cool as you came in and don’t even require a shower, you didn’t sweat…which means you didn’t workout as hard as you should have.
  • If you end the workout feeling like you still could do more, you haven’t worked hard enough.

Exercise To Prevent And Relieve Back Pain

Exercise To Prevent And Relieve Back Pain

Many people in the workforce find themselves facing the dilemma of being unable to sit comfortably, lift or even move because of excruciating back pain. That leads to one of the biggest reasons for disability claims. It doesn’t have to be that way. You can exercise to prevent and relieve back pain. There’s a lot of reasons for the surge of this painful condition. One of them is prolonged sitting. Lack of activity and functional fitness is at the top of the list. Your muscles need to stretch and move to be at their healthiest. Improved circulation, strength and flexibility help tremendously. At one time, muscle relaxers and pain medication were at the top of the treatment list. With the high rise in pain medication addiction and more understanding of the problem, that’s no longer true.

Prevent back pain before it starts.

Even if you don’t suffer from back pain yet, if you’re in a sedentary job and have no active outlet when not at work, the odds of suffering from it in the future are great. Your muscles need regular activity to be at their strongest and prevent tightening. When you sit at a desk, or even on the couch, for prolonged periods, the muscles in your lower back start to shorten, until eventually, you have a full-blown case of back pain. Exercising on a regular basis can reduce the risk of back pain, even in people who have episodes already.

Stretching is an effect way to prevent and manage back pain.

When your back hurts, you just want to lay down until the pain subsides, but that’s the worse thing you can do. One quick exercise that can help lower back pain does require you to lay on the floor. It’s the hamstring stretch. Grab a towel before you lay down. Put your feet flat on the floor with knees bent. Hold one end of the towel in each hand, creating a loop. Lift one leg and put the loop around the sole of the foot, still holding onto the towel ends. Try to straighten that leg by slowly pulling on the towel. While you may not keep pulling until it’s perpendicular to the body, you will feel the stretch at the back of the leg. Hold that position for about a half minute. Lower the leg and put the towel loop around the bottom of the other foot.

Laying on your back with another exercise can also loosen muscles.

Lay on your back with your feet flat on the floor and knees bent. Put your arms straight out to help maintain position. You should rock your knees from side to side a bit, to get your muscles warmed up and looser. Lower your legs to one side, trying to keep your shoulders flat to the floor at the same time. Try to get the outer knee on the side you’re twisting toward to touch the floor. Slowly lift your knees back up and twist them to the other side of your body.

  • Try the cat pose. If you watch cats, they’re constantly stretch. Get on your hands and knees. Inhale, and when you exhale, arch your back, head facing downward. Inhale, but this time as you do, allow your belly to drop and raising your head, creating a concave curve.
  • Create a bridge. Lay on the floor, knees bent. Lift your bottom off the floor, while pushing with your heels and squeezing your buttocks muscles. Hold, lower and repeat.
  • Pull your knee to your chest while laying on your back. You can do one at a time, keeping the other extended to slowly stretch the back muscles. You can also do the same thing pulling both at the same time, holding for a few seconds and then lowering the legs.
  • Build stronger stomach muscles. Your back is supported by both the abdominal and back muscles. That’s why building a stronger core is important.