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Monthly Archives: August 2016

August 31, 2016

The Yoga Lifestyle | Doron Hanoch

Doron Hanoch comes to the 40+ Fitness Podcast to discuss his book, the Yoga Lifestyle.  We go beyond the basics of the physical yoga practice and explore ways to take yoga outside the studio.

If you want to develop discipline and get the benefits of yoga, you have to show up.  Don't worry about what you may or may not accomplish that day, but get into the habit of making sure you are there and then get present.  The benefits will come.

Benefits of Yoga:

  • Flexibility
  • Strength
  • Breathing better
  • Mind training

Doron then discussed a 1 – 2 breathing technique for relaxation and falling asleep quickly.

 

Links

Doron Yoga

Yoga Retreats

Facebook

Youtube

Art and Photography website 

 

 

Yoga's Healing Power | Ally Hamilton

August 29, 2016

Yoga’s Healing Power | Ally Hamilton

Ally Hamilton found yoga as a senior at Columbia. She expected it to be too easy for her and was pleasantly surprised by the true physical challenge. But she was even more surprised to experience the other improvements in her life that came from a regular practice.

In her book, Yoga's Healing Power, Ally goes through the eight limbs of a yoga practice.

Yamas

This limb represents our commitments and restraints. In this part, we focus on kindness, truthfulness, non-stealing, accountability, and not coveting.

Niyamas

This limb relates to our observances, being pure, working hard, and our religious practice.

Asana

This limb is the physical practice that most of us recognize when we think of yoga, the movement, the stretching, the meditation.

Pranayama

This limb recognizes the life force and energy of the universe.

Pratyahara

This limb relates to releasing yourself from your likes and dislikes.

Dharana

This limb is about uninterrupted concentration as a means of fulfilling your dreams.

Dhyana

This limb relates to a state of being where there are no borders between you and the world.  It relates to having discipline in your practice.

Samadhi

This limb is a state of flow and enlightenment.  Difficult to achieve but a blessing when you do.

 

If you start to treat your body as the gift it is, it shifts the way you feed it.

~ Ally Hamilton, Yoga's Healing Power

 

My apologies for the interruption by my dogs, but it really was a cool moment for me.

Learn more about Ally Hamilton at Yogis Anonymous.

Should I do yoga? | Julie Zuzek

August 26, 2016

Cracking the Aging Code | Josh Mitteldorf

In Cracking the Aging Code, Josh Mitteldorf does a deep dive into the science of aging.  His research has led him to some theories that differ quite a bit from what many of us may have believed were true.  Our body is programmed to destroy itself as we age.

As a part of this discussion, Josh explains why he doesn't believe Paleo or natural eating extend our lives.  Nor does he believe that anti-oxidant therapy make us more healthy.  In fact, anti-oxidants may shorten our lives.

The four core reasons we age:

Inflammation

Inflammation is important to help us address outside threats, but when we're older, this inflammation turns on us.  Inflammation attacks us, causing arthritis, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer's disease. It is also associated with many types of cancer.

A high-carb diet is inflammatory.  Having extra bodyfat is inflammatory.  But our bodies are different and we have to experiment to find what works for us.

Immune System

The Thymus gland creates T-cells to fight viruses and bacteria.  As we age, the T-cells begin to turn on us and are linked to arthritis and macular degeneration fo the retina.

Apoptosis

This process of “cell death” is important to help the body get rid of damaged cells.  As we age, the process degrades resulting in two types of errors:  damaged cells may be missed, or healthy cells are destroyed.

Telomere Shortening

Each time a cell is divided to go on the telomeres, which are endcaps for the DNA helix shortened.  When the telomere reaches the end, the cell can no longer divide and effectively dies.

Links:

AgingAdvice.org

2 weeks to a younger brain | Dr. Gary Small

https://40plusfitnesspodcast.com/aging-well-dr-mark-williams/ ‎

August 24, 2016

Ketogenic diet for weight loss

My weight loss while on a ketogenic diet[/caption]

In this episode, I discuss how I used the ketogenic diet for weight loss.  Ketosis is a physical phenomenon, where your body adapts to using fat for energy instead of sugar. Susan, who you met on episode 142, joined me on this conversation so she can ask questions as I went.  I switched my eating to allow me to go into ketosis so I could drop some weight I'd gained over the past few months.

To get into ketosis, you lower your carbohydrates (carbs) to 20 grams or less and you increase your fat to make up the calories. You'll keep your protein moderate to ensure it doesn't spike your blood sugar.

In ketosis, your body burns the fat and produces ketones.  These ketones can be used by the brain as fuel.  In fact, most of the science on ketosis shows that the brain favors ketones.   I know I feel better when I'm in ketosis.

Concerns with Ketosis

  • Ketoacidosis – This is a dangerous condition that is typically limited to type I diabetics. In this condition, your ketone level gets dangerously high and the blood sugar is also high.  This is a very rare condition and not something you'll
  • Compliance – The ketogenic diet is difficult.  It is not easy to go from being a sugar burner to a fat burner.  Staying at 20 grams of carbs per day is very limiting.  Fortunately, once you're in ketosis, you may be able to ratchet up your carb intake.
  • Carb withdrawal/Keto flu – During the transition, you'll likely have some fatigue, effectively feeling like you have the flu.
  • Medications – If you're a diabetic and take meds to help manage your blood sugar, you should talk to your doctor.  You'll have to monitor yourself very closely.  The ketogenic diet can be an effective way to reverse diabetes.

Ketogenic Diet Tools

You should be able to feel that you're in ketosis, but there are tools to measure ketones.  To be in nutritional ketosis you will have a ketone reading of 0.5 – 7:0.  You can measure ketones three ways:

  • Keto-sticks are a cost effective way to measure the ketone bodies in your urine.  However, once you get fat adapted, you won't be excreting ketones, and they will stop working.  This makes them great for showing that you're in ketosis when you first start.
  • The Precision Plus with ketone strips can measure the ketones in your blood.  This is the most accurate way to determine when you're in ketosis.
  • The Ketonix is a tool you can use to measure ketones in your breath.  This is a pain and mess free way to do the measurement.  I haven't seen any science to prove this tool is as accurate as the blood.

Other Considerations for the Ketogenic Diet

  • Tweak your protein intake based on your exercise intensity.
  • Make sure you're getting enough sodium and potassium.  With a ketogenic diet, you'll lose water weight and with that some electrolytes.
  • You'll likely lose some water weight early in the ketogenic diet.
  • There are extraneous sources of ketones that you can take to increase the ketones.  These can help when you need more energy.
  • Medium-Chain Triglycerides (MCT), which is processed from coconut oil.  Because of the nature of this oil, it increased your ketone level quickly.  Just make sure you ease into using it as it can cause diarrhea.

Whether you choose to use ketosis as a way to lose weight, now you understand what it is when you hear someone talking about it.  More and more people are trying ketosis.

If you have any questions about the ketogenic diet, feel free to comment on this post.

Have a happy and healthy day!

Allan

Below are the links I mentioned in the podcast.

Keto-stix

Precision Plus with Keto Strips

Ketonix

Keto Clarity by Jimmy Moore


The scoop on ketosis with Jimmy Moore

 

August 22, 2016

Susan’s Success Story

Susan, a Forever Fitness client, comes to the 40+ Fitness Podcast to share her success story.

Susan reflects on her decision to work on her health and fitness when she turned 43.  She started by walking during her daughter's practiced volleyball.  She progressed from that to a group class after a friend won a free boot camp program and gave it to her.  She discovered that being in a community made doing the exercise much easier.

When she began focusing on weight lifting, she noticed how seeing others working hard gave her motivation to push herself.  She joined Forever Fitness Personal Training when she was looking to accelerate her progress.  She didn't always like the recommendations but she saw the results. Having a coach motivated her to push on.

Having a thyroid issue has always made it easy for her to gain weight.  Through managing her food and exercise, she managed to lose 40 lbs.  Her doctor was very impressed.  Her blood work looks much better and her need for thyroid meds has reduced.

 

August 19, 2016

How to maximize your functional fitness

Functional fitness is a term that has been made much more common with the creation and growth of crossfit.  Basically, functional fitness means training your body to deal with everyday activities.  When I work with my clients at Forever Fitness, I ask them to project their vision of health and fitness and then we can develop a program to get them there.  Functional fitness typically involves using non-traditional training equipment.

Define Functional Fitness

To train for functional fitness, you should start by defining your current (benchmark) state.  Do you have any physical limitations such as injuries or weaknesses?  What are your strengths?  What are the current demands on your body?  As you can tell, these questions are very individual to you.  Don't skip this step as it is critical to know the answers in order to design a program that will work for you.

Next, you'll determine what functional looks like to you.  This vision statement gives you a picture of what you want to be able to do.  For me, I want to be able to have the stamina to play sand volleyball.  I want to be able to move my body and objects without injuring myself, especially my lower back.

Focusing on functional fitness is going to push you to do workouts that are relevant.  As a result, you're much more like to stick with the program and meet your fitness goals.

Training for Functional Fitness

I strongly encourage you to hire a personal trainer to help develop a functional program.  It can be quite difficult to build an exercise program that will effectively hit on multiple fitness modalities and avoid injuries.  A dedicated personal trainer can help you get started and stay engaged as you build your functional fitness.

Part of your programming should focus on correcting your weaknesses.  Strengthening my core is integral for me to avoid back injury while I lift weights to build the strength I want.  I also need to focus on my mobility for the same reason.

After considering your weaknesses, you can get some work done to improve your strengths.  But it might take some patience to get your weaknesses addressed to a point it is safe to train strengths.  Again, that is an area where a personal trainer can help.  Once you're ready, you'll likely work on continuous improvement on your weak areas while you progressively push your strengths.

Functional Fitness Tools

Here are a few tools you may want to invest in (or seek out at the gym):

  • Kettlebell – A ball with a handle in many different weights.  The awkward shape of the kettlebell makes it valuable across many fitness modalities (strength, balance, endurance).  An example of a good kettlebell exercise is the Russian kettlebell swing.  This exercise works endurance and builds strength across the posterior chain (back, butt, and hamstrings).
  • Agility Ladder – A ladder-like piece of cloth or plastic that you lay on the floor.  The various exercises are to move through the ladder from side to side as you go through.  The object is to move through the ladder as quickly as possible to build agility and speed.
  • Medicine Ball – A large, soft, weighted ball.  The most common exercises for the medicine ball are wall balls and medicine ball slams.  In the wall ball, you hold the ball at your chest facing a wall.  You squat and on way up you throw the ball (using your legs) up to a target that is 8 – 12 feet off the ground.  Medicine ball slams involve bringing the medicine ball over your head and throwing it against the floor.  Both of these exercises work endurance and strength.
  • Battle Ropes – Long, thick (1 1/2 – 2 inch) ropes.  The length and thickness of the battle rope determines the intensity of the exercises.  The rope is attached to a wall or post and you grasp both ends of the rope.  Making various wave patterns builds endurance and strength.
  • Weighted Sled – A sled that allows you to stack weights to add resistance.  You grasp the handles and using your legs you drive the sled forward as quickly as possible (much like pushing a car).
  • Sandbags – Sandbags come in different sizes and weight.  Some have handles, but I find the ones without handles to be more effective for functional fitness as grasping them is harder.  You can build an entire workout using sandbags and bodyweight.
  • Clubbells – Invented in India, clubbells are clubs with weighted ends.  Swinging the clubs helps build strength and thorasic mobility.
  • Tires – Old truck and tractor tires provide for strength, endurance and power work when you work to flip and jump over them.
  • Rubber Mallets/Sledge Hammer – Using tools like this to hit or pound a tire helps build strength and endurance, expecially grip strength.

Obviously, I've gone over a lot of exercises and you may not be able to picture all of them.  You can find examples on youtube, but I'd strongly encourage you to work with a trainer so you can maximize your functional fitness and avoid injury.

Uncommon exercises

August 17, 2016

The hidden toxins lurking in your food | Mike Adams

In his book, Food Forensics, Mike Adams (aka the “Health Ranger”) reveals some terrible toxins that lurk in the food we eat.  Mike has dedicated himself to performing laboratory evaluation of the foods we eat and reports the results.

Lead

Lead and other heavy metals are often in the food we eat, even when it is organic.  The key to avoiding toxins like lead is to look at the country of origin.  China and India have shown to have a higher contamination of heavy metals, such as lead.  Whereas the United States, Canada, and Europe is very clean.  Mike grows much of his own and I buy most of my vegetables and meat from local farmers.

Lead tends to be stored in our bones in place calcium. It does this when proper calcium intake is not sufficient. It is critical to get calcium from plants as our bodies are not able to absorb the mineral calcium that is provided by most supplements. As we age and our bones break down (osteopenia), lead that had accumulated in our bones over our lives can release lead, damaging our kidneys.

Bisphenol A (BPA)

BPA is a chemical in our plasticware. It is an endocrine disruptor. which means it will affect your hormones.  It can cause cancer in women and feminization in men.  This disruption can be quite devastating to your body.  You should avoid plasticware whenever you can, and you should never heat food in a plastic container.

Aspartame

I had an addiction to Diet Coke.  Over the years, people kept telling me I needed to stop.  It wasn't easy, but I managed to kick that habit.

The artificial sweetener, aspartame is poison.  It distorts our natural taste preferences, causing us to eat more.  It also causes us to choose unhealthy foods and beverages.  But you can re-adjust your taste threshold with some effort.

Lifetime Detox

The good news: our bodies can clean themselves if we work to avoid the toxins and eat things that can help us defend against those we can't.  Avoid the extreme detox supplements.  They can be quite dangerous.  Consider every meal an opportunity to detox.  You are constantly in the process of rebuilding your blood and body.  If you give your body good food, you will be building yourself with better, cleaner materials.

 

Sharable Quote:

Share on FacebookAsk yourself, how do I wish to feel and perform tomorrow? – Mike Adams

 

Links:

Food Forensics

Health Ranger

Natural News

Caught in the dorito effect | Mark Schatzker

How to shop for good food

August 15, 2016

Play Golf Forever | Suzanne Clark

Yes, we're staying on our “play” theme for just one more episode.  In episode 136, I explained how playing sports can help keep you motivated to workout as a way of improving your performance on the court, field, or in this case, golf course.  Our guest, Suzanne Clark, author of Play Golf Forever, shows you how to make sure that you're in shape for golf, but these lessons are applicable to any sport you choose to do.

Key take aways from this episode:

Sarcopenia is a muscle wasting that affects us as we age.  It can begin as early as age 30.  Most of us will lose 1% of our muscle mass each year, which means we've lost 30% or more by the time we're in our 60s.  Resistance exercise is the best way to slow or stop sarcopenia.

To avoid injury on the course, players should:

  • Get lessons: Taking golf lessons will ensure you're swinging the club properly and help you avoid injury.
  • Conditioning:  Having an “off the course” workout program can ensure your body is properly conditioned for the game.
  • Warm up: Have a regimen of warming up before you practice or play.  Having your muscles warm and primed for the work ahead does matter and so many golfers skip this step.

With attention to your body you can ensure you stay healthy and uninjured.  And then you can play golf forever.

Contact Suzanne Clark at: Fitter Forever

Can I get a good workout with a Wii?

The value of play part 3

 

August 12, 2016

The value of play part 3

This is part three of a three-part series on play.  In episode 136 we covered sports and in episode 137 we got into kids games.  In this episode, I want to go back even further to when we were babies and toddlers.

While you probably don't remember what it was like for yourself back then, I'm sure you've seen babies and toddlers.  But did you pay attention to the movements they were doing?

Being on the floor, crawling, squirming, standing and sitting.  These movements are primary for helping us build strength and balance and maintain mobility.  And the nature of children had us constantly working at a progression, getting stronger, faster, and more capable across multiple fitness modalities.

When was the last time you sat on the floor?

Just the practice of getting down and getting up are valuable movements.  I've developed a mini-course that I've opened up.  This Uncommon Exercises mini-course will help you go through some movements that are similar to what we did as kids.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

The value of play part 1

The value of play part 2

August 10, 2016

The value of play part 2

This is part two of a three-part series on play.  In episode 136, we discussed the value of sports.  In this episode, I want to go back a bit and explore some of the games we played as kids.

Be it hopscotch, foursquare, or kickball, the games we played as kids were integral in helping us build important fitness modalities.

Let's just go through hopscotch.  Tossing the rock to land on a square for hand-eye coordination.  Hopping on one foot for balance.  Bending to pick up the rock for mobility and balance.

Add to that, the joy of playing with children and I think you can see how playing kids games can be a great way to build fitness and live a more joyful life.

The value of play part 1

The value of play part 3

August 8, 2016

The value of play part 1

This is part one of a three-part series on play.  Play was an integral part of us developing fitness modalities as we grew up.  Unfortunately, we abandoned many of those aspects of our lives and as a result, have lost fitness.  In this episode, we are going to explore the value of sports.

What sports did you play as a child and teen?

Even if you weren't the best at it, do you remember the joy of playing?  How it kept you moving even when you were fatigued?  Competition, being on a team, having fun.  All this helped you keep you more fit.

Perhaps it is time to look for a sport you can begin playing now.  Or at the every least, start working on your fitness so you'll be able to participate in a sport soon.  Sports can be quite motivating and you deserve to play again.

The value of play part 2

August 5, 2016

A secret weapon in your health and fitness journey

In this episode, I reveal a secret weapon for health and fitness.

The secret weapon I’m talking about is keeping a journal or a log. It allows you to collect information about the things you do in life and gives you the opportunity to look back and understand where you were.

One of the things you need to do once you’ve started writing a journal is to express gratitude every day. This simple act puts you in a frame of mind that great things will happen. Start your day right by documenting how good your life is. If you’re having a bad day, pull out that journal to relieve yourself of stress.

Log workouts to keep track of your progress. Log the weights you used before or how far you’ve walked in 30 minutes. Logging gives you a mindset of completion and allows you to see what you’ve accomplished which helps with your persistence. You also achieve patience because you can see you’re getting better as you progress. Occasionally, I log my food, particularly if I notice I’m stalled a little bit.

Log how many hours of sleep you get. If you notice that you didn’t sleep well on the other nights, you can go back to see what was going on.

The data you get from logs is a powerful thing. Don’t shy away from keeping information that will help you become a better you. Logging lets you track your goals. Write your ultimate goal on the first page and mini goals on the next pages. Track how well you’re doing as you progress.

 

August 3, 2016

Why can’t I stop? | Dr. Bruce Odlaug

Brian Odlaug received a PhD from the University of Copenhagen in Public Health. He is knowledgeable about and conducts seminars on the topic of behavioral addiction. His new book, Why Can’t I Stop, takes a closer look at behavioral addiction.

When it comes to eating and nutrition, many people wonder if they’re actually addicted to sugar. If so, this addiction is more of an emotional and behavioral issue than simply a lack of will-power. In fact, behavioral addictions are remarkably common. They are under recognized when compared to substance addictions. Often times, there is shame and secrecy involved, and the addiction will go unnoticed and untreated. Many people will continue to function normally in their work and relationships. Over time however, their lack of presence and financial or health consequences may become evident.

So how is a food addiction diagnosed? It’s actually not a formal diagnostic set, but there are certain questions to ask and specific behaviors to look for. Typically, it’s not just the quantity of food consumed, but it involves food consumed over a longer period of time. The individual knows there are consequences to consuming the food and they have a desire to cut back, but they are unsuccessful in attempts to limit themselves. They may even give up other activities to prioritize eating. Cravings and urges are common. Those addicted to food can even become irritable or restless when they are unable to eat. Essentially, if you don’t have the ability to control your urges, you may have a problem.

So how can one overcome a food addiction? Key strategies include eating only at specific meal times, not eating alone, and removing unhealthy foods from the home. Understand your triggers and fill your time with other fun activities. Family members can also get involved by modeling healthy relationships with food, helping with cooking and controlling meals, and encouraging fun and healthy activities.

If you are struggling with a behavioral addiction, you are not alone. Though the solution may require seeing a physician and taking medication, the addiction can be addressed.

Warrior | Theresa Larsen

August 1, 2016

Movement for self-healing | Meir Schneider

Dr. Meir Schneider is the founder and head teacher of the School for Self-Healing in San Francisco. Born blind, Dr. Schneider taught himself to see and developed a program for healing and recovery for others. He is also the author of Movement for Self-Healing.

Dr. Schneider explains that everyone has to deal with aging and many will experience back problems. A back injury can be debilitating and prevent people from feeling like they can move. Though the body contains more than 600 muscles, the ones that are commonly used are overused with great intensity. This can cause the muscles to become more spastic and tense, and can lead to immobility, arthritis, and back problems. To age properly, we must become more flexible and start to use the muscles we have never used before. One reason why is because humans are connected organisms. If we are not using one part of our bodies appropriately, this will be reflected in every other part of body.

In our modern world, we sit on chairs and walk on cement. This can tighten the muscles in the hip and lower back. When the lower back can’t support the rest of the back, the neck begins to hurt and you will begin to slouch as a result. Often times, the best solution for back pain is to stand up and look in the distance. To become stronger and better as we age, we need to stretch and move frequently.

Surprisingly, emotions can play a large role in causing back problems. The connection between the body and mind is powerful. Stress and negativity can cause the muscles to be tense. A massage that incorporates movement can also be quite helpful.

The key to self-healing is finding the muscles you never knew you had, opening them up, connecting your body and mind, and relaxing your muscles. Following these steps will help you along your path to self-healing. To learn more about Dr. Meir Schneider, the School for Self-Healing, or his book Movement for Self-Healing, visit www.self-healing.org or call (415) 665-9574.

Vision for life | Dr. Meir Scheider