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

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

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

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 Grains Affect Your Health

How Grains Affect Your Health

What are grains? They are seeds designed for plant reproduction. They are also an integral part of a healthy diet and help you maintain good health. There are downsides to consuming grains. They may create health conditions ranging from mild to serious. One issue occurs because seeds have protection to ensure the species survives. It starts with the seed coat, which is strong enough to resist digestion. Not only does each person react differently to grains, but some also have problems with one grain and not others. Celiac disease, for instance, occurs when sensitive people eat grain that contains gluten, like wheat.

Enzyme inhibitors in seeds protect them.

When consumed, seeds pass through the digestive tract and are expelled whole in the waste, often miles from the parent plant. The new location gives it space, and the fecal material provides fertilizer. Other factors that ensure the survival of the seed and plant can cause health issues in humans. Even when seeds have their own space and fertilizer, it doesn’t mean conditions perfect. It may be too hot, cold, wet, or dry. Enzyme inhibitors in the seeds prevent the seed from sprouting where it’s doomed to fail. That same enzyme inhibitor can affect the enzymes in the body that are necessary to digest food, creating stomach issues.

The lectins in grains are natural pesticides that protect the seed and sprouting plant.

Seeds are almost magical. They contain everything necessary for survival, including pesticides. The pesticide is the lectin in the seed. It’s a pesticide, so it’s only logical that consuming large amounts can cause digestive issues in humans. Grains contain complex carbohydrates and proteins, which are harder to digest. Wheat, for instance, contains gluten, a complex protein. Gluten intolerance has grown dramatically in the last 50 years since hybridization increased the amount of gluten in grain.

Grains contain an anti-nutrient.

Phytic acid is the anti-nutrient contained in grain. It’s how plants store phosphorous. Phytic acids prevent phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and iron from breaking down and absorbing. It attaches to those minerals so they aren’t available to the body. One way to reduce the phytic acid in grains is to soak the grain, ferment it, or sprout it. It was how grain was prepared for use in the past. It eliminated both the phytic acid and the enzyme inhibitors.

  • Eating whole grains can help prevent heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and chronic inflammation. Including sourdough bread, which is fermented, sprouted bread, or bread made with soaked flour. Avoid bread made with highly processed and bleached flour.
  • Why choose whole grains? Processed flour is stripped of nutrients. The milling process removes the bran and germ containing the fiber and nutrients. It leaves only the endosperm that is starchy and high in calories.
  • If you have digestive issues caused by grains, identify which grains cause the problem. Pseudo-grains and brown rice flour might be good alternatives.
  • If you go grain-free it can lead to an increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, and lead to constipation, and nutritional deficiencies. It can cause inflammation, weight gain, and affect immunity.

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

How To Burn Fat And Keep It Off

How To Burn Fat And Keep It Off

In Louisville, KY, people are searching for easy ways to burn fat and keep it off. It’s not just a local phenomenon, it occurs everywhere. Some quick fix programs help you lose weight, but the weight is often water weight that returns almost instantaneously. Other programs may help you lose fat, but those often involve restrictive diets that aren’t meant for long-term use. Again, the fat returns. There is one option that keeps fat from returning. It requires lifestyle changes that become habits that are hard to break.

Start by moving more.

Consistently burning calories means being more active regularly, including an exercise program. Exercise does more than just burn extra calories. It builds muscle tissue. If your body has more muscle tissue, you’ll burn more calories. Why? There are two reasons. First, muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does. The more you have, the higher your metabolism 24/7. A second reason is that exercise releases irisin. The body has both brown fat and white fat. Brown fat mitochondria burn more calories. The lumpy, hard-to-lose white fat insulates the body. The irisin exercise releases white fat into brown fat, which increases calorie-burning by 20%. The more you exercise, the more calorie-burning brown fat you develop.

The key to fat loss is your diet.

No matter how much you exercise, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. It doesn’t matter if you run marathons or workout at the gym, if you’re consuming an unending amount of unhealthy, high-calorie foods, you’ll gain weight in the form of fat. Fat is the way the body stores excess calories. Your body needs micronutrients like vitamins and minerals, phytonutrients like anthocyanin, and macronutrients, which include protein, fat, and healthy carbohydrates.

You need other factors for a healthy lifestyle to make keeping fat off easier.

If you dehydrate or lack sleep, you’ll lose energy and be less active. That can cause a drop in the calories you burn, plus put stress on your overall health. Lack of sleep also causes the body to produce more ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and less leptin, the hormone that makes you feel full. That makes it difficult to resist temptation, plus causes you to crave sweets to get the burst of energy it provides. Food high in sugar causes blood glucose levels to rise quickly. Just as quickly as it rises, it drops dramatically, making you crave more sugar. It becomes a cycle of destruction.

  • Eliminate food with added sugar. The high glucose level caused by increasing sugar in the diet also causes a high insulin level and inflammation. Both can cause an increase in fat, particularly around the midsection.
  • Just working out may not be enough. An active lifestyle outside the gym helps. People sitting at a desk all day need to take five minutes every hour to get up and move to preserve the benefits of regular exercise.
  • Learn portion control. Healthy eating doesn’t mean giving up everything you love. You can still eat your favorite food, but not as often, and with portion control in mind.
  • Living healthy also means getting adequate sunshine. Sunshine provides you with vitamin D. More recent studies show that a higher percentage of obese people have a vitamin D deficiency.

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

How To Start A Low Carb Diet

How To Start A Low Carb Diet

In recent years, the low carb diet has gained popularity. Even though eating healthier is a simpler solution that doesn’t require calorie or carb counting, it’s true that carb counting does work. One of the main reasons it works is that low carb foods are often low calorie foods. Low carb foods are often whole foods that don’t contain added sugar and are part of a program focused on healthy eating.

What is a low carb diet?

Carbohydrates are macronutrients, just as protein and fat are. A low carb diet limits carbs, which are found mostly in plant-based foods. Not all carbs are bad. There are three types of carbohydrates: sugar, starch, and fiber. Those three types are all necessary for the body to be healthy. Healthier carbs like fruits, vegetables, nuts, milk, grains, and beans, should be part of your diet, but food with added sugar and highly processed foods shouldn’t. That often eliminates special diet foods that are low in fat, since sugar often replaces the fat to provide the flavor lost when the fat was removed. Pasta and bread are normally missing in a low carb diet, too.

How a low carb diet works.

The belief behind a low carb diet is that the diet will change the way the body gets its energy or calories. It will stop getting its energy from carbohydrates and get it from fat and protein. When the body gets calories from carbs, the body changes the carbs’ glucose to glycogen, then it stores the glycogen in the liver. When the liver is full, the glycogen converts to fat. When you limit carbs, the body must get its fuel somewhere else, which is body fat.

The pros and cons of a low carb diet.

Low carb diets can help reduce insulin resistance, a precursor of Type 2 diabetes. It lowers the levels of insulin released. It also aids in lowering the bad LDL cholesterol levels and increases the good HDL levels. It helps stabilize both triglyceride and blood sugar levels. Extremely restrictive low carb diets have side effects like constipation, headaches, lethargy, heart palpitations, and irritability. It can cause undue stress on the kidneys.

  • Extreme low carb diets like the keto diet can lead to nutritional deficiencies. Studies show that extreme low carb diets didn’t provide enough of 15 of the 27 vitamins and minerals the body requires for good health.
  • Often people mistakenly overeat high fat foods like bacon. While bacon will set the body into a state of ketosis, it’s not the healthiest way to do it and can add too much sodium to the diet.
  • You can get many of the same benefits of a low carb diet by simply giving up food with added sugar, highly processed food, pasta, and bread. Always talk to your health care professional first before starting any diet.
  • At Body Sculptors, we provide personalized nutritional plans. It contains menus, shopping lists, recipes and helps you track your nutritional intake, making losing weight and getting fit easier.

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