Strength Training Benefits As You Get Older

Strength Training Benefits As You Get Older

As people age, they often focus on endurance and do some type of aerobic exercise to improve it. They also may include stretching in their daily exercise routine. Far fewer people include strength-training. Many don’t realize all the benefits it provides as they get older or think it could be too taxing for them to do. Some senior women think strength-building is just for men, or worry they’ll become muscle-bound. The truth is, strength training is important for people of all ages no matter what their gender, particularly seniors.

Strength training won’t build big muscles in women, but it will keep seniors mentally sharper.

While the attitude is changing, some women think that lifting weights is just for men and unladylike. That’s not true. Deceased icon, Supreme Court Justice, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, had a personal trainer and regularly lifted weights. She knew it helped her maintain her health both mentally and physically, allowing her to serve with clarity until her death at age 87. While she was a trailblazer who broke the glass ceiling, nobody would ever call her too muscular. The male hormone testosterone increases muscle bulk, and the reason women don’t develop large rippling muscles without a lot of extra work and a special diet.

Fighting obesity is important.

Obesity can lead to serious health conditions that include diabetes and heart disease. Aerobic-style exercises like walking and running burn calories, but the calories come from both fat and lean muscle tissue. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, so the less you have, the fewer calories you’ll burn. That makes losing weight or preventing weight gain harder. Strength training builds muscle tissue allowing you to torch more calories, preventing obesity, the leading cause of preventable death.

More muscle mass means greater strength.

The stronger you are, the less likely you’ll fall, which can lead to the inability to care for yourself. Besides lack of strength and improved balance, when you lack adequate muscle strength, it causes sarcopenia. Sarcopenia leads to a wasting of muscles, which are necessary to maintain bone strength. Strong muscles tug on the bones, causing them to uptake calcium to be strong enough to resist the tug. Lack of strength-building allows the bones to lose calcium, causing osteoporosis. Strength-building leads to stronger muscles and bones.

  • Strength training can slow the process of aging on a cellular level. Studies show that exercising increases mitochondrial activity to keep cells younger. The people benefiting most were 65-80.
  • Unless you workout regularly, muscle loss starts in the 30s, with loss increasing every decade. The older you are, the harder it is to build muscles due to lower hormone levels and more inefficient protein processing.
  • Strength training helps maintain mental fitness. Dementia, depression, and Alzheimer’s all benefit from regular strength training. Many therapists use it as an adjuvant therapy.
  • Weight training can help relieve arthritis pain, back pain, and aching joints. It builds the muscles, ligaments, and tendons to help reduce further pain by providing more support.

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

How Not To Gain Weight On A Cruise

How Not To Gain Weight On A Cruise

Even though Louisville, KY, is one of the nicest places to be, sometimes it’s fun to get away from it. People often find taking a cruise is a perfect way. Food plays an important role on any cruise and sometimes people report they gain weight and lose their momentum on a cruise, but it doesn’t have to be that way. You can enjoy yourself and may even shed a pound or two when you follow a few easy steps.

Stay active.

There’s a lot to do on a cruise, so take advantage of the situation. Find an active shore excursion you’d enjoy, such as a walking sightseeing tour, snorkeling, kayaking. or biking. You’ll see the sights and make memories, while burning calories. Work out at the gym when you’re not taking an active side trip, swim in the pool, or tour the boat. Don’t forget to use the stairs. When planning a meal, choose an option furthest from you and walk. You’ll burn more calories and aid digestion after a meal.

Go for healthier options and healthier food outlets.

Cruise ships offer a lot of options for meals. Choose healthier options. Instead of a heavy dessert, opt for a sorbet for most meals. You don’t have to deny yourself every meal. Choose one meal you’ll use to splurge. Many people make it to the last night to avoid being tempted every night. Say no to the breadbasket and yes to fruits and vegetables. Fresh fruits and vegetables can become a gourmet treat when prepared by a talented chef. Avoid dishes with high calorie, creamy sauces.

Keep a bottle of water available at all times.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how water boosts your energy and fills you up. Many cruises focus on fun in the sun, so having a bottle of water at your side constantly fits right into the picture. If you’re on a cold weather cruise, make that water in the cabin and green or herbal tea on the deck. Drink a bottle of water before dining and you’ll eat less. Studies show that subjects experienced weight loss by drinking eight ounces of water before a meal, even though they changed nothing else.

  • Limit drinks to lower-calorie options like white wine, light beer, or vodka. Avoid sugary, creamy ones that may have as many calories as an entire meal.
  • Give yourself permission to enjoy a treat. You’re on vacation, so enjoy. That doesn’t mean you need to become a glutton. Pick one meal a day to splurge, or one every other day. The rest of the time, enjoy healthy but lower-calorie foods.
  • Some dining venues offer a healthy menu with more fresh fruit and vegetable options, no fried food, and main dishes fit for a weight-watching king. Do your research before the trip and opt for the healthiest food outlets.
  • The buffet can be a friend or enemy if you’re trying to prevent weight gain. If you choose the buffet, survey all the options first, then fill your plate. Avoid wearing elastic waistbands and opt for traditional clothing that becomes tight if you overeat.

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

Healthy Habits = Healthy Life

Healthy Habits = Healthy Life

Living a healthy life in Louisville, KY, is all about having healthy habits. It isn’t about eating a salad once in a while or buying a gym membership and using it once or twice. It’s about the things you do every day that make a difference. Developing habits take a while, and many people start with one change and after a month or two, add another. The changes can be as simple as drinking tea or coffee without sugar to something more involved like a program of fitness. It doesn’t matter where you start. The important part is getting started.

A healthier diet should be a goal.

If you’re slamming down quickie burgers like there is no tomorrow, there may not be one for you. To have a healthier body, you have to have a healthy diet. A healthy diet doesn’t mean dieting but making smarter choices. Choose more greens, several selections of vegetables, and lean meat, fish, or poultry. Instead of high-sugar, high-calorie pastry, opt for fresh fruit as a dessert. If you’re overweight, changing your eating habits is necessary to lose weight. The sad truth is that obesity is on the rise in America and many of the obese are also malnourished.

Get moving.

Consider all the changes that have occurred in the last fifty or sixty years. Everyone used to be more physical. Adults would spend time playing tennis, roller skating, or bowling and kids loved playing games outside. Today, everyone is stuck in front of a screen and the only active muscles are in their hands. You’ll rust out before you wear out, so get up and move. Start a program of regular exercise. Make it a habit, so schedule it at the same time every day to ensure it becomes a habit. You don’t have to workout at the gym every time, you can take walks or do other activities.

You probably don’t get enough sleep.

Burning a candle at both ends has become a badge of honor in the US. Unfortunately, that’s bad for your heart and can even make you pack on pounds. Lack of sleep can cause a hormone imbalance between leptin—the satiety hormone—-and ghrelin—the hunger hormone. If you don’t get enough sleep, the body produces less leptin and more ghrelin, so you want to eat more and you gain weight. Lack of sleep can affect your memory, increase the risk of diabetes and negatively affect your immune system. Create a sleep schedule and stick with it until it becomes a habit.

  • If you want an easier way to ensure you eat healthier, our fitness plans are perfect. We provide a personalized menu, a grocery list and recipes. All you do is buy the food.
  • Don’t forget to drink plenty of water and hydrate often, especially in hot weather or when exercising. Even mild dehydration has side effects. For instance, it can make you feel sleepy. The next time you’re tired, drink a bottle of cold water and you’ll probably feel more awake.
  • When you make a change, focus on staying with that change for a minimum of nine weeks. Studies show the average time for forming a habit is 66 days.
  • Eating healthy includes what you drink. Soft drinks or fancy coffee drinks are high in sugar, calories, and ingredients that can be harmful to you. Don’t forget to include snacks in your meal plan.

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

Will Hormones Make You Gain Weight?

Will Hormones Make You Gain Weight?

Many times when you hear people complain that they can’t lose weight, it’s because they aren’t following the program. Either they ignore the calories they consume either at meals or in soft drinks and snacks or fail to exercise regularly. However, there are cases when your hormones are out of balance, which makes it easier to gain weight and harder to lose it. It’s one reason I tell people to keep a food and exercise diary, so we can find precisely where the problem is.

You have a lot of different types of hormones.

When people think of hormones, their mind immediately goes to estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, the sex hormones, but the body has far more than just those three. Hormones are the messengers of the body. They trigger different responses, including emotional responses. Those feel good hormones that provide a runner’s high are examples. Hormones can determine when you get hungry or feel full—ghrelin, the hunger hormone and leptin, the satiety hormone. Lack of sleep causes you to produce too much ghrelin. Too much insulin or excess cortisol may be the culprits behind belly fat.

If belly fat is a problem, maybe it’s stress that’s the underlying cause.

As noted before, both insulin and cortisol are linked to belly fat. You can help control both with exercise and proper diet. Cortisol occurs when you’re under stress. Learning methods to control stress or exercising to burn off the hormone helps. The fight or flight response to stress triggers cortisol production. Exercise mimics running or fighting, burning it off. As for insulin resistance, exercise improves glucose uptake and helps reduce belly fat, which is associated with insulin resistance. The best exercise to do is HIIT—high intensity interval training, weight lifting, sprinting and even increasing the amount you walk.

Look for other signs of thyroid hormonal imbalances.

I hear people complain of an inactive thyroid all the time. Besides weight gain, there are other signals this is the problem. Frequent constipation, sensitivity to heat or cold, fatigue, dry skin, hair loss and irregular heartbeat can also occur. Your thyroid regulates metabolism and can make a difference whether you lose weight or gain it. Sometimes, you can avoid problems by eating a healthy diet and avoiding stress. Start by cutting out sugar and highly processed food. Always consult with your doctor first.

  • No hormone is good or bad. You need them all, but you need them in balance. There are hormones to speed heart rate and ones to slow it. Balancing glucagon and insulin can make the difference between healthy and diabetic or hypoglycemic.
  • Most women find sex hormones out of balance during menopause, causing weight gain. Cutting out coffee, exercising more, eating more fruits, vegetables and phytoestrogenic foods consuming healthy fats and cutting back on sugar and salt can help,
  • Cutting out foods with added sugar can be a big help, regardless of the type of hormonal imbalance. Sugar causes inflammation, which leads to other problems, like insulin resistance, weight gain and oxidative stress.
  • Find ways to relax and reduce stress levels that work quickly. While exercise does that, you can’t always do jumping jacks when you need to relax, but you may be able to use breathing techniques or meditation.

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

How To Stay Motivated As A Beginner

How To Stay Motivated As A Beginner

It’s January and that means all those New Year’s resolutions have started. By now, many have also ended. I see it in Louisville, KY, people start a fitness regimen as a beginner and just can’t stay motivated. You can arm yourself with ammunition to help improve your chances of success. It all starts with setting a specific goal that you can measure. It makes the goal more exciting when you know if you’re coming closer and you can redirect if you’re not. Set a goal, make it specific and have a way to measure it.

Sore muscles are part of the program, but injuries shouldn’t be.

It’s normal to want to do more in your first few weeks. You’re pumped and excited about working out. Unfortunately, that very excitement is also something that can destroy your motivation. If you workout too hard or too much initially, forget to warm-up or cool-down or don’t use the proper form, pulling a muscle or worse could be in your future. Take it slow at first and learn the proper form for each exercise. An injury can keep you benched for a long time.

Don’t expect immediate change.

Whether you want to build your endurance, lose weight or just get a stronger, fitter body, it all takes time. Don’t look for overnight miracles. You will start to feel the difference in a week or two and start to see physical changes in about four weeks. You might see a few pounds drop the first week if you’re also on a healthy diet, but it can get discouraging if you’re weighing in several times a day.

Create a schedule and make your workout an appointment.

Most people schedule appointments on their phone or have a planner they use. Add your workout session to your schedule and make it the same time every day. One of the biggest boosts to success is consistency, which includes the time of day you workout. By making your workout as important as any other appointment, you’re saying it’s important and not letting life get in the way.

  • If your day is constantly changing, schedule your workout for the first thing in the morning to make sure you have the time to do it.
  • Get adequate rest between strength building workouts. Your muscles need between 48 and 72 hours to heal, so don’t work the same muscle groups two days in a row.
  • Track your progress and keep notes on how many sets and repetitions you’re doing. Make notes on how you felt. Add your method of measurement once a week, whether it’s how much you weigh, your body measurements or physical condition, like blood pressure reading.
  • Never compare yourself and how you’re doing with other people. Every person is different. Only compete against yourself.

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

How Much Protein Do We Actually Need?

How Much Protein Do We Actually Need?

A lot of the newer diets focus on bumping up the protein intake. It’s true that if you’re trying to lose weight, protein will fill you up and cutting back on simple carbs will reduce your caloric intake. But how much protein do you really need and when do you cross over to the land of too much? The answer isn’t all that simple, since protein requirements vary based on many factors, such as age, physical activity and gender.

What is protein and how does your body use it?

Protein is made of amino acids, which are necessary for many functions, including building muscle tissue. However, they also play a role in almost every function in the body, from maintaining the nervous system and increasing memory to boosting the immune system and creating enzymes and hormones. There are 20 amino acids in the standard genetic code and the past 30 years, two additional amino acids not in the code were added, selenocysteine and pyrrolysine. Of those 22, nine are essential amino acids, meaning the body can’t make them, and they must come from food.

The requirement for protein is based on the nine essential amino acids.

If you’re active, you need more protein than a sedentary person does, to repair tissue and perform all the functions of the body. A sedentary person requires about one gram for every 2.2 pounds of weight, while an active person requires 1.3 grams for every 2.2 pounds and those involved in high levels of activity increase their need to 1.6 grams per 2.2 pounds. An inactive person weighing 110 pounds would need 50 grams, which would increase to 80 grams a day.

The older you are, the more protein you need.

The very old don’t process protein as well as their younger counterparts, so an 80-year old with the same activity level as a 50-year old would need more. The very young also need more protein, since they’re growing rapidly. Men tend to have more muscle mass, so they need more protein than women do, unless that woman is pregnant or lactating, then they need extra protein for the baby’s needs.

  • You can eat too much protein but would have to eat double the recommended amount for a long time. Too much protein can cause digestive issues, nausea, exhaustion diarrhea, dehydration and headache.
  • While it’s difficult to get too much protein, even if you’re sedentary, it can occur if you consume too much over a long period. It can cause kidney, cardiovascular and liver disease, blood vessel disorders and even death.
  • You need protein for all cells of the body. It’s the building block for cartilage, blood, bones and skin. Lack of protein can cause edema, low immunity, mood changes and fatigue. However, the average American diet has adequate amounts.
  • One side effect of eating more protein than the body needs is halitosis. It’s the type that doesn’t go away no matter how much your floss or brush your teeth.

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

How Often Should You Go To The Gym As A Beginner?

How Often Should You Go To The Gym As A Beginner?

When someone is a beginner, at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY, there are a lot of variations on how much time is spent in the gym. Some people come every day to workout, while others come once a week or even less. What is the perfect amount of time to spend? The answer varies based on your goals and even your fitness level. However, if you only come once a week to the gym, you need to be doing some type of exercises on other days to get in at least 150 to 300 minutes a week.

Part of the variation is contributed to the type of exercise you’re doing.

Are you pushing hard and going at peak intensity? Then that 150 to 300 minutes a week is suddenly reduced to 75 to 150 minutes a week. That’s about two to three gym visits, since high intensity workouts are normally shorter. Your body can’t keep up the pace for that long, especially if you’re a beginner. For other people, particularly those out of shape, taking a more moderate pace would require more time at the gym.

Not all types of training have to be done at the gym.

When you’re working with a personal trainer, let the trainer be your guide. He or she will help designate how many days you should come. For others, remember, not every exercise has to be done at the gym. For instance, a beginner might start aerobic training by walking. It’s far more interesting to walk outside, or at least inside an indoor mall, than it is to walk laps around the gym. On days you walk, going to the gym may not be necessary. If you’re doing strength training, you need to rest those muscles for at least 48 hours so the microtears caused by the workout can heal.

Beginners need to start slowly and work toward increasing their workout.

If you’ve been sedentary for years and finally decided that enough was enough, you might need more rest between tough workouts and take it easier in the beginning. Some people start by working out two to three days a week for about 30 to 45 minutes. On the days away, they go for walks, ride bikes or do other gentle exercises like tai chi.

  • You can boost your exercise time by increasing your activity. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Park further from the store. On Saturday night, don’t go to a show, go dancing.
  • If you aren’t working with a trainer, at least for the first two weeks take it slow. Focus mostly on form than repetition. Make sure you include warm up and cool down time in your workout session.
  • As you progress, you can increase your workout time or workout intensity. If you push yourself too hard initially, you’re apt to cause an injury that will leave you sidelined for months. Always listen to your body.
  • Make sure your program is varied. Cardio should be done at least three days a week, while strength training should be one to two times for each muscle group. Flexibility training should be done daily.

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

Can Vitamin B6 Help Reduce Anxiety?

Can Vitamin B6 Help Reduce Anxiety?

All people feel anxiety at one time or another. Sometimes, it can occur for no apparent reason. It may be mild enough that it’s bothersome, but short term does not really change life significantly. For a small group of people, anxiety can be significant. Recent studies show that exercise can help relieve the problem when paired with professional help and the latest studies show that Vitamin B6 may play a role in reducing the level of anxiety. Just like exercise, it may also be an important ancillary treatment for depression as well.

Anxiety is relatively common, but short-lived in many people.

Anxiety and mood disorders include everything from panic disorders to social anxiety. Anxiety and depression go hand in hand, so treatments for one often help the other. According to NIMH—-The National Institute of Mental Heath—approximately 31% of adults in the United States have experienced one type of anxiety disorder at some time in their life. Traditional treatment includes therapy and some ancillary therapy ranging from prescription drugs, exercise or home treatment with herbs like valerian. Now vitamin B6 and to a smaller extent, vitamin B12, may be added to that list.

The study was smaller but may be significant.

A study published July 19, 2022, in Human Psychopharmacology considered how taking higher doses of vitamin B6 and B12 affected anxiety and depression. It followed 478 young adults and used self-reporting techniques and MFQ and SCAARED tests that screen for anxiety, before and after the study, to learn the results. The blind study divided the participants into three groups. Those who took vitamin B6, those who took a placebo and those who took B12. Not only did they find that B6 reduces anxiety, based on those reports it also helped with depression levels. They found similar results from B12, but to a lesser degree. Other tests were also administered to study the One downfall of the study was that there were no baseline measures of B6 and B12 taken before the study.

B6 and B12 affect the neurotransmitters that calm the nervous system.

The brain has a delicate balance of neurons that excite and inhibit information. When the balance is off, the results are linked to autism, depression, anxiety and schizophrenia. B6 is involved with pathways that reduce neural excitation, which can help relieve anxiety. There are a number of reasons that B6 and B12 deficiencies can occur. Oral contraceptives can deplete vitamins, which include B6 and B12. Poor diets, poor absorption of the nutrients which can be caused by IBS, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis or celiac and alcohol consumption can affect these levels as well.

  • Controlling issues that affect vitamin B6 deficiency is one way to help prevent anxiety. Vitamin B6 can also be used in conjunction with both exercise and therapy to treat anxiety.
  • While the study used supplements that contained 100 milligrams of B6 for those taking B6 and 1,000 micrograms of B12 for that group, far higher than the daily allowance, eating healthy is a better option.
  • Healthy eating not only provides vitamin B6 and 12 it also combines those nutrients with other phytonutrients, vitamins, fiber and minerals to work in synergy, which often makes the effects of all nutrients more potent.
  • Foods high in vitamin B6 include sweet potatoes, spinach, chickpeas, bananas, nuts, potatoes, winter squash, onions, watermelon, raisins and sunflower seeds. Meat sources include beef, tuna, salmon, turkey and chicken.

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

Healthy Eating In Real Life

Healthy Eating In Real Life

Are you always on the run and don’t have time for healthy eating? That’s how a lot of people in Louisville, KY, feel. Real life doesn’t look like a segment from a sit com out of the 1950s where mom stayed home and cooked all the meals from scratch, families seldom ate at restaurants and there weren’t even TV dinners, let alone the variety of microwave options available today. To eat healthy today, you have to plan ahead and choose food wisely, even if it’s restaurant food.

If you have time to cook at home, make it easy and create a colorful plate.

Not everyone has a chance to cook at home, but if you do, make it nutritious. One simple way to ensure that is by making your plate colorful. If your collection of food isn’t eye pleasing, with a wide range of color, it’s probably not well-balanced. Think about a plate that only contains meat, potatoes and white bread. You only have two colors, with butter melting, possibly three. When you make your plate more colorful, by adding green, red, yellow and purple fruits and vegetables, it’s far more pleasing to the eye and healthy. Artificial coloring, like those used in Skittles or M&Ms don’t count.

Plan your meals ahead.

If you prefer not to study and learn all there is to learn about nutrition, or simply don’t have the time, don’t worry. You don’t have to know all that information. Our nutritionists can do it for you and create meal plans specifically for your needs. All you have to do is buy the food and assemble it. You can make a week’s worth of meals over the weekend and even freeze some for later if you double the recipes. After work, all you have to do is heat and eat. It’s faster than a drive through.

Expect to eat out occasionally.

Even the best laid plans can go astray, so why not plan for contingencies. If you’re going to eat at a fast food place, make it one that offers healthier options and choose those foods from the menu. Panera has a poppyseed salad with chicken that’s healthy. Chick-Fil-A offers grilled chicken options. Starbucks offers sous vide egg bites. Even KFC offers grilled chicken breast with mashed potatoes and green beans as an option.

  • It’s also about what you drink. If you’re drinking soft drinks, including diet soft drinks, you aren’t doing your body a favor. While diet soda doesn’t have calories, studies show it can cause your waistline to grow.
  • Have healthy food in the fridge that you can eat on the run. Cut up fresh fruit and vegetables and have those ready for snacks and mini meals. Individual serving packs of nuts are also good options.
  • Learn to make smarter choices when you eat. Use Greek yogurt or even pureed cottage cheese in place of sour cream for potatoes and substitute brown rice for white rice as a healthier option.
  • Avoid frying food and instead opt for other techniques that are healthier, whether it’s roasting, steaming or even air frying, you can save calories and improve the health benefits of your food.

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