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Monthly Archives: July 2016

July 29, 2016

How to of strength and mass

Looking for a how to of mass and strength? It’s only natural that many people will be interested in building muscle mass and also gaining strength, but these two do not always go hand in hand.

Interestingly, the overall process for building muscle and strength is the same basic process. There is a level of work required to break down the muscle and build new muscle. To do the work, consider using your body weight, elastic bands, or other items around the house if you don’t have actual weights. However, the body also needs to be fed building blocks in the form of protein and water to build new muscle. Another critical component is rest, which refers not only to the time between exercises, but getting quality sleep each night. This cycle of work, feeding, and rest is what allows for muscle growth.

To build mass, you will do three to four sets of eight reps each. Between exercises, you will rest for about 60 seconds. To build strength, you have to add more weight to your reps, though you will be doing fewer reps than you would when building mass. Strength building can fatigue the muscles faster, so you will want to add extra rest time in between sets, allowing for a greater rebuild. In either case, when you can complete all sets with up to 10 reps, you know it’s time to add more weight. Keep stepping up the weight to advance your progression.

You can choose to work on building mass and strength at the same time by alternating your focus on different days. Though you will see gains over time, you may see greater gains by following a periodization approach. In this approach, you will focus on each individually for a period of three to six weeks, and then alternate back to the other—mass or strength.

Incorporate this how to of mass and strength to optimize your workouts. Doing so will ensure that you are maximizing your opportunity to add muscle mass, strength, or perhaps both.

4 fitness modalities that matter

July 27, 2016

The tao of running | Gary Dudney

Gary Duney is a columnist for Ultrarunning Magazine. He has been a runner for more than 40 years, having completed over 200 marathons and ultra-marathons. He is also the author of The Tao of Running and discusses running motivation in today’s episode.

Gary explains that older runners are able to adjust their workouts to their specific level of fitness. They tend to do well with long, slow distance runs or a combination of running and walking. Running is a simple exercise that provides a great calorie blast. However, many look at running as difficult or painful. In his book, Gary explains that the Taoist recognizes that life may be difficult and full of unpleasant experiences. Similarly, an individual who has never run before will experience both pain and excitement in this new challenge. In accepting all parts of the run, one will have rich and rewarding experience that is felt emotionally, mentally, and physically.

Some people are also afraid to run. In response to this, Gary speaks about the benefits of staying relentlessly positive. It is so very important to substitute the negative with the positive in order to avoid falling into a downward spiral. When things start to hurt during a run, the inclination is to think that something is wrong. Recognize that you are supposed to be feeling this pain when running a hard race. Other people around you are likely feeling the same way. Acknowledge the pain and see it as something positive. Be aware of the negative self-talk. Consider using mantras to help you stay focused.

To find your running motivation, challenge yourself to do a little bit more. Realize that you are only as old as you choose to be and that you can do anything that you set your mind to. Running is also a great option for improving your cardiovascular fitness and endurance. To learn more about Gary Dudney or The Tao of Running, visit www.thetaoofrunning.com or email Gdudney@comcast.net.

 

Mel goes from couch to infinity

Not a born runner but that can change with Pete Magill

July 25, 2016

How is your mobility

How is your mobility? Do you know what mobility is? Mobility is a restriction of the body that prevents you from moving through a whole range of motion. Mobility is mainly impacted by the flexibility of joints and muscles.

Injuries are a major cause of limited mobility. If you have injured a joint, be sure to see a doctor to resolve the issue. You can begin training once you have been to physical therapy. Some injuries may be so bad that they leave scar tissue, which can also cause restricted mobility. One approach to remedy this is called flossing, which involves using a rubber band to pull the bone into the scar tissue, possibly breaking it up over time.

When muscle injuries don’t quite heal the way they are supposed to, abrasions in the muscle can form and not allow the muscle to straighten to full length. This imbalance can be repaired, though it will take time and effort. One method of achieving this is through SMR, which involves rolling an object on the muscle’s pain point for 30 to 60 seconds. Over time, the muscle will lengthen and be looser, allowing for a wider range of movement.

Stretching is a big part of mobility and flexibility. Static stretching is the type of stretching that most people are familiar with. It involves holding a stretched position for a period of time, ideally 60 seconds. The second type of stretching is called dynamic stretching. This is where you’re doing stretching movements, but in a more dynamic way. This is typical among athletes because it does not give the same weakening of the muscle seen with static stretching. However, it causes a greater force on your body and could cause injury if you’re not properly warmed up. In either case, never stretch a cold muscle. Be sure to warm up the muscles first by moving around and getting a good blood flow.

So how is your mobility? Even if your mobility is good, it is something that we all need to continue to improve over time.

4 fitness modalities that matter

July 22, 2016

Understanding heart rate and exertion

When you’re first starting out with an exercise program, it’s normal to wonder what your heart rate and exertion level should be. Is your heart rate too high? You may be concerned that you might overdo it. Before beginning an exercise program, be sure to talk to your doctor. Make sure your doctor is aware of what you want to do and get his or her clearance before starting.

The two fitness modalities that are central to one’s heart rate and exertion level with exercising include cardiovascular health and endurance. Though many people think cardiovascular exercise is the key to losing weight, it’s really about building greater endurance, being active, and having a stronger heart and respiratory system to live a long, healthy life.

There are two ways to measure exertion. One is with heart rate and other is through feel. To measure your heart rate, you can opt to use a heart rate monitor. Some pieces of equipment in the gym may even have a heart rate monitor included. You can also use a wearable heart rate monitor which will collect the data. These are a great way to know when you’re getting a good workout and can be especially useful when doing high intensity interval training. To measure through feel, use a scale of one to 10.

To get a better look at these exertion zones and the corresponding heart beat levels and feel levels, visit older.fitness/zones. There you will find the formula to calculate your maximum heartrate at any point. The various activity ranges include the basic range, the fat-burning range, the aerobic range, the anaerobic range, and the maximum range. When you’re first starting out, you should not be doing any work in the maximum range more than once per week. Over time, you will get more comfortable with pushing the boundary with your heart rate and exertion levels.

 

Have you mastered the art of intensity

July 20, 2016

The china study solution | Dr. Thomas Campbell

Thomas Campbell, MD, is a board certified family physician and instructor of clinical family medicine at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. He coauthored The China Study, which sold more than a million copies and inspired the 2011 documentary Forks over Knives. He also is director of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, a nonprofit organization in Ithaca, New York, which promotes optimal nutrition through science-based education, advocacy, and research in partnership with eCornell, Cornell University's online course provider. He lives in Rochester, NY.

The China Study Solution is based on the book, The China Study, which is based on a very comprehensive study in rural China which showed that a whole-food, plant-based diet has the potential to prevent and reverse many chronic diseases.  The China Study became a worldwide phenomenon, selling more than a million copies and inspiring countless readers to reinvigorate their health by making better food choices.

With Dr. Campbell we discuss his 3 food group concept, which is inspired by nature:

  1. Animals, or animal sourced food group;
  2. whole plant food group; and
  3. processed plants or plant fragment.

We also discuss transitioning to a plant-based diet, whether going cold turkey or a gradual transition over time, as well as the options and health benefits.   Changing our behavior can be hard, but Dr. Campbell discusses his six-step approach which he has developed based on many years of observation in his family practice.

While there is plenty of science-based information in The China Study Solution, Dr. Thomas Campbell’s book also provides practical tools and advice on stocking your kitchen, reading food labels and navigating social situations.

 

The end of heart disease | Dr. Joel Fuhrman

July 18, 2016

The love diet | Dr. Connie Gutterson

Dr. Connie Gutterson is a New York Times bestselling author, a registered dietician, and nutrition instructor. Her new book, The Love Diet, talks about the importance of self-love for health.

Dr. Gutterson explains that self-respect and self-love is key to freeing one’s self from a cycle of shame and weight gain. Many patients in these cycles put themselves second, while making someone or something else in their lives the priority. They may find themselves in a state of unhappiness and poor health. This lack of self-love can make it difficult for an individual to make changes in their life for the right reasons. Negative thoughts can lead to self-sabotoge.

The first step to making a change is realizing that no one is perfect. You first need to realize your worth and commit to breaking the shame cycle, which involves a feeling of shame after eating, followed by poor sleep and stress. This can lead to a craving for sugar, overeating, and becoming depressed. The body can produce cortisol, which can lead to weight gain and a change in blood sugar levels.

The Love Diet explains that there are two components to fitness—the emotional and nutritional pieces. The program goes through seven stages, with each stage having a focus for each component. Stage one includes a moderate elimination diet to regain control of blood sugar levels. Stage two is called Veggie Boost and focuses on non-starchy vegetables. Stage three incorporates different sources of protein, not just meat. It also discusses how sleep and stress can affect the appetite. Stage four discusses portion sizes and introduces fruits. Stage five brings in a more diversified, varied diet that includes dairy. Stage six introduces legumes and discusses mindful eating. The last stage increases whole grains.

Though this is a methodical process, it has great flexibility. If something doesn’t work, this program offers alternatives. The key is to find your self-love for health, in addition to fine-tuning your diet. To connect with Dr. Connie Gutterson or learn more about The Love Diet, visit www.conniegutterson.com.

A funeral for my fat | Sharee Samuels

July 15, 2016

The green smoothie prescription | Susan Boutenko

Dr. Victoria Boutenko is an inventor, researcher, and teacher of classes on healthy living and raw foods. She is also the author of The Green Smoothie Prescription.

Dr. Boutenko was always interested in human health. She discovered raw food as an alternative to the standard American diet and began researching how to consume greens in a more palatable way. After all, the benefits of consuming these greens were clear. She saw an improvement in her skin, nails, and energy level. The scientific proof of its results are included in her new book.

She explains that smoothies and juices are different. While juices are just as nutritious, smoothies are easier to prepare because the process takes only two to three minutes. Also, the fiber and antioxidants in smoothies allow them to stay fresh for up to three days in the fridge. This fiber also doesn’t allow the sweet juices from apples or pears to be absorbed too fast by the body. This is how consuming green smoothies can normalize one’s blood sugar. The magnesium included also helps to heal the pancreas, lower sugar, and reduce insulin resistance. This is another reason why green smoothies are a great option for people who have diabetes.

Some of the main essential nutrients in green smoothies include magnesium, which allows bones to be flexible and dense. Green leaves are almost the only source of magnesium. A lack of magnesium can lead to diabetes, depression, and heart disease. Potassium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C are other essential nutrients found in green smoothies.

With green smoothies, the food is the medicine. Consuming such a nutrient dense food will provide your body with all that it needs, which will allow you to eat less food and possibly lose weight. Foraging for greens can also allow you to save money, enjoy your environment, and get some exercise. To learn more, visit www.rawfamily.com.

The Green Smoothie Prescription contains great smoothie recipes that address certain conditions and improve your health.

Plant-based diet | the plant trainers

July 13, 2016

7 training mistakes you may be making

Many people are working hard to improve their fitness, but they are actually making some common training mistakes. Be sure to avoid the following training mistakes in your own fitness journey.

1. Going too hard.

This is typical at the beginning of the year when people are looking to make a change in their health. They will go hard the first day, and then spend the next two days struggling because they overdid it. Instead, start with basic body weight movements and take it easy. Once the skill is developed, weights and progression can be added over time.

2. Not having intention.

Don’t do things for the sake of doing it. If you don’t have a clear purpose, it’s easy to drop out of a program quickly.

3. No intensity.

Some people are just going through the motions and using the same weights months later. To allow the muscle to progress, you have to challenge it and progress by working up to heavier weights.

4. Lack of consistency.

Working out sporadically will not give the muscle enough stimulus. Keep persisting so you are building on the progress you’ve made.

5. Lack of rest.

Rest is a component of building. That’s when the body rebuilds the muscle. Be sure to get plenty of sleep, as this is a big part of getting an appropriate amount of rest.

6. Poor form.

If you’re not using the right form, you are pushing yourself through an unusual movement pattern and possibly straining muscles that were not intended to be strained. If you don’t know the proper form of the exercise, ask a trainer.

7. Not feeding.

Food is critical because it provides building material for your body in the form of proteins and fats. It’s also an energy source, which is critical for your well-being.

By avoiding these common training mistakes, you will set yourself on the path to a stronger, healthier version of you.

On failure

Can you take the heat?

July 11, 2016

Can you take the heat?

When it gets hot outside, can you take the heat? It can be difficult to exercise outside during the summer. When taking your run or fitness routine outdoors, be aware of these conditions that may occur as a result.

The first is heat exhaustion. This is when the heat has depleted your body of water or salts, and you’ve essentially become dehydrated. Common symptoms include confusion, dark brown urine, headache, cramps, a rapid heartbeat, nausea, and pale skin. If you experience these symptoms, immediately stop what you’re doing, rest, and get to a cool place. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine, which will also dehydrate you. Drink plenty of water. If your symptoms do not diminish within 15 minutes, go to a doctor.

Heat stroke is another concern. This occurs when your body has a higher temperature of 104 to 105. This is a life-threatening condition where you can run the risk of brain damage. You may experience seizures, fainting, dizziness, or fatigue. Get your body cooled down very quickly, even by possibly submerging yourself in water. Get into an air conditioned area and then go to a hospital for treatment.

Sunburns are also common when you spend an extended amount of time outside. This could include first, second, and third degree burns. Aloe vera can help with first and second degree burns, but third degree burns are more serious and need to be seen by a physician. With both second and third degree burns, a risk of infection is present. If you notice yourself getting a sunburn, find some shade. Repeat damage and exposure to the sun can also cause skin cancer. Find a healthy sunscreen free of toxins and use it often.

Hot weather is not an excuse not to exercise. You can opt to move your routine indoors or continue outside. If you can take the heat, stay aware of what’s happening with your body, hydrate often, and protect your skin from the sun while exercising outside.

7 training mistakes you may be making

July 8, 2016

The menopause solution | Dr. Stephanie Faubion

Dr. Stephanie Faubion is the Director of the Women’s Health Clinic in the Department of Internal Medicine at the Mayo Clinic. She is one of the country’s leading experts on menopause and is knowledgeable about bone and joint health. She is also the author of The Menopause Solution.

The Menopause Solution, is meant as a guide for women during menopause to help them be healthier for the rest of their lives. Women are living longer than ever before. In 1900, women did not live past age 50 and rarely dealt with menopause. Now, the average lifespan of a woman is approaching age 90, so menopause is something that most women will go through and live many years beyond.

In order to get a head start on menopause, Dr. Faubion explains that women need to be informed about what’s happening to their bodies and what they can do about it. By focusing on fitness, their overall quality of life will be better. Other areas of concern include sleep and stress management. Successfully managing both areas is key in the prevention of long-term diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.

Joint health is another important topic for post-menopausal women. Around the midpoint in their lives, women will experience more joint pain. Many women will start to develop arthritis after menopause. Dr. Faubion recommends that women recognize when they have pain, examine what triggered it, and stay tuned into their bodies.

Bone health is another area of concern. Many women are seeing bone loss around the age of menopause. This correlates with a loss of estrogen. In fact, women will experience the most bone loss of their lives within the first five years of menopause. To prevent bone loss, women should adopt a proper diet complete while maintaining a sufficient calcium intake. Resistance training and getting enough Vitamin D are also helpful in minimizing bone loss.

Be sure to check out The Menopause Solution to learn more about bone and joint health post-menopause. To connect with Dr. Stephanie Faubion, visit http://www.mayoclinic.org/.

The estrogen window | Mache Seibel

July 6, 2016

The gut health diet plan | Dr. Christine Bailey

Dr. Christine Bailey is a qualified nutritionist and health consultant. She is a leading gut health expert and the author of The Diet Gut Health Plan.

Dr. Bailey explains that irritable bowel syndrome affects many people, yet it’s not actually a diagnosis, but more a collection of symptoms. In fact, 10 to 20% of the population will have these symptoms, which can include bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, and alternating diarrhea and constipation. These symptoms express an imbalance in the gut and immune system. To find a solution, you must first find the trigger. For some, these issues can be caused by foods to which the body has an immune reaction. Other times, they may be caused by an overgrowth of bacteria, yeasts, or parasites in the small or large intestine. Other causes can include an imbalance in the gut microbiome, stress, or medications. It’s not always easy to find the triggers.

Dr. Bailey recommends the “R” approach to help repair the gut. The first step involves removing any triggers with the help of gastroenterologist or a process of elimination. The second step includes replacement of vital nutrients such as zinc, which can tend to be low, yet are vital for digestive health. The third step is to repopulate the gut with beneficial bacteria and yeast, usually through eating fermented foods. The fourth step is to repair the gut lining, as a leaky gut may be more prone to long-term or autoimmune conditions. The fifth step is a rebalance. This involves resetting our perception, mood, anxiety, and stress levels, which can impact not only our gut health, but our overall health.

The Diet Gut Health Plan also includes unique recipes, which have different flavorings. Those who have bacterial overgrowth may have to eliminate cellular foods, which includes onion and garlic. These new recipes provide an alternative to other bland offerings, yet they also aid in the digestion process.

To connect with Dr. Christine Bailey or learn more about The Diet Gut Health Plan, visit her website at www.christinebailey.co.uk.

 

Get a happy gut | Dr. Vincent Pedre

July 4, 2016

Warrior | Theresa Larsen

Theresa Larson is a doctor of physical therapy and the founder of Movement Rx. She has been a lieutenant in the Marines and also battled an eating disorder. She is the author of a new book entitled Warrior.

Theresa grew up in a single-parent household after her mother passed away when she was 10 years old. After her mother’s death, Theresa became shy outside of her family environment. To counteract this, she threw herself into sports such as basketball, softball, and cross country. She did well and gained local recognition. Though Theresa was feeding off this sense of accomplishment, she was very lonely. She put constant pressure on herself to be the best. The pressure continued to build as she went to Villanova University on a college scholarship and participated in ROTC. She felt the need to perform, be noticed, and serve as an example.

Theresa joined the Marines and was a new platoon leader at the age of 22. This was intense time filled with great responsibility. Though much was out of her control, she began to exercise control through her abuse of food. Theresa had developed bulimia. After all, Theresa had a mindset of perfection. She defined fitness as how she looked, how fast she ran, and how many pull-ups she could do. Eventually, she could no longer maintain this control and feared she may put one of her Marines in danger, so she reached out for help.

Today, Theresa appreciates what her body can do. She rarely weighs herself and does not compare herself to others. She believes that a true warrior is one who asks for help when he or she needs it. When Theresa took that step, she started to grow and change.

During a struggle, one is often reluctant to reach out for help, yet this is actually the strongest, bravest thing you can do. Theresa conquered her eating disorder and through the process learned that you do not have to go through life alone in your struggles. To connect with Theresa Larson or order her book, Warrior, visit www.drtheresalarson.com.

Why can't I stop? | Dr. Bruce Odlaug

July 1, 2016

On failure

Failure in business is often viewed as an opportunity to learn something. On failure with eating and exercise, however, we need to determine how we can use that experience to help our future journey.

A perceived failure is often due to triggering events. In order to overcome these obstacles, you first must understand what the trigger is and if it is likely to spur an action. One great example of this is tempting foods at a holiday cookout. The atmosphere, people, sights, and smells can all be triggering. After all, in this environment, it feels good to eat these foods. It can affect your emotions by triggering a reward sensation.

So what can you do to break this cycle? The first option is to get rid of the trigger or avoid it entirely. This is the easiest method, though it’s not always doable. If it’s not doable, you can try to change or swap out the action. You must prepare and plan to do something else. In the example of the holiday cookout, perhaps you bring a salad or your own healthy foods to share and eat. Others may threaten to jeopardize your ability to break the cycle. They may question your actions or make comments. Recognize that you don’t need to be apologetic or answer to them. Find anchors, other people who are in a similar situation as you, to help pull you out of the cycle.

On failure, you can overcome threats to your success by getting to know yourself, those around you, and how they will affect the cycle. If you slip, don’t beat yourself up. It’s one day. Remember, you haven’t failed unless you quit entirely. You have the power to change what you do next. Take steps to avoid your triggers or change the action, and you will find yourself back on the right track.

7 training mistakes you may be making