Monthly Archives: February 2017
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Kristin Kirkpatrick is a widely recognized registered dietician and the author of a new book entitled, Skinny Liver. This book gives a greater picture of what the liver does for your whole body and how to properly take care of it.
Kristin explains that organs such as the heart and brain are the body’s “lead actors” and the liver is the “director”. One of the most important and most resilient organs, the liver has the potential to rebuild itself if given the opportunity. The liver can regenerate itself, and you can even give part of your liver to someone else.
The liver affects other organs and parts of the body. One of the liver’s main roles is to metabolize nutrients and macronutrients. It is also responsible to manage the buildup of ammonia within one’s system. When the liver is not functioning properly, ammonia can build up and cause other health problems.
One main problem associated with the liver is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. This occurs when droplets of fat are found within the liver. Eventually the liver becomes overloaded with this fat and can’t function properly. This can develop into a more severe form called NASH, where these droplets of fat turn into inflammation and can lead to fibrosis and cirrhosis.
Kristin also warns of the danger of sugar with liver health. Sugar has no nutrient density and the liver is ultimately responsible for metabolizing fructose in one’s diet. This can become overwhelming for the liver, which may lead to other implications health-wise.
When our weight lifting objective is mass building, there are three key phases to consider: work, food, and rest. All three phases are very important, as you cannot properly build mass without focusing on all three.
This is what most people think of when building muscle mass—doing the actual work or exercise. Pick particular muscle groups that you want to work. This work tends to be more single-joint movements that will isolate muscles. Reps for each set should be in the six to 10 range, with three to four sets total. The weight with the movements are slow and controlled to create time under tension combined with this volume of reps. That combination will give the stimulus to grow the muscle.
After each workout, you will need to consume certain foods to assist in building mass. A little bit of carbs after the workout will restore the glycogen used during your workout. You will also need protein, so consider 1-1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of lean body mass. Also, be sure to drink plenty of water and maintain an overall healthy, nutritious diet.
Between sets, be sure to rest for 60 to 90 seconds. Slowing down will give you energy and intensity to put into your sets. For most people and muscle groups, a proper rest period between workouts is about 48 to 72 hours. Even if you’re still experiencing delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), as long as you’ve given yourself the proper rest period, you should be okay to proceed. Make sure to get quality sleep, usually seven to nine hours per night.
Remember to focus on all three phases to put your best foot forward in building muscle mass.
Here are a few of my biggest pet peeves related to health and fitness:
Jo Marchant is an accomplished science journalist and the author of the new book, Cure: A Journey Into the Science of Mind Over Body. This book examines the role that the mind plays in healing the body.
One example of how the mind impacts healing within the body is displayed through the placebo effect. Jo explains that many people do get better simply by taking a placebo. Decades of research has shown that taking any medicine, including a placebo, triggers specific changes in the brain that eases our symptoms.
Many trials have shown that placebos even work when the patient knows the medication is a placebo. This may be because the brain gets the signal that the body is being cared for, and therefore backs off on its own symptom signals.
Similarly, the brain decides what level of the symptom we need to see based on the severity of the injury or issue. This is similar with fatigue. The sensation created is a psychological one of exhaustion and fatigue, so that we don’t push ourselves to a risk of death. This role that the brain plays shows that we have some control through our beliefs, hopes, attitudes, for example. Exercises such as HIIT can actually help improve our performance and break down this fatigue state, as the brain learns to let the body go a bit further each time based on previous experience.
Jo also speaks about the role of the vagus nerve within the parasympathetic nervous system in altering one’s heart rate. By slowing one’s breathing, the vagus nerve is triggered to keep the body and mind calm. This helps the body to better respond to stress.
Cure is a great primer to understanding how powerful mind can be for your body. To connect with Jo Marchant or to learn more about Cure, visit www.jomarchant.com.
There are many health and fitness objections, but many of them don’t hold up. Here are some of the most common:
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There are multiple paths to becoming a certified personal trainer. I began my journey as a personal trainer because I wanted to get fit, but I didn’t have the time and availability to work with a trainer or get to the gym. In an effort to learn the skills and apply them to my own life, I chose to take part in the comprehensive certification program offered by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, or NASM. After six months of studying and learning, I was able to sit for the certification exam.
My daughter is also a personal trainer, but her path was a bit different. During college, she took kinesiology courses and acquired her L1 base level certification for CrossFit instructors. She is now studying to attain her certified strength conditioning coach certification.
Though the path to becoming a certified personal trainer can be quite varied, note that not all certifications are equal.
Is one type of certification better than the other? No; it simply comes down to the individual’s preference.
As a personal trainer, it’s more about working with your clients and being an overall good trainer. Here are a few tips in doing so:
When becoming a certified personal trainer, be choosy about the path that works best for you. A good personal trainer stands out not only because of his education but also because of his soft skills.
Here is the guide on selecting a personal trainer. You can use this to assess your needs as you work toward this goal.
After an intense workout, it’s normal to feel sore or stiff. You may even struggle to move. This is a natural physical reaction to the work you have done called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS for short.
What causes DOMS? The current popular thought is that when we do resistance style exercise, micro tears are created within the muscle, which allows these muscles to get stronger. Because of this, the autoimmune system often sends signals that we’ve overdone it, which manifests in the soreness we feel.
How can we manage DOMS?
There are smart ways to get fit and improve your physique without experiencing DOMS after every workout. By having a good plan in place and doing everything in moderation, you will be better able to manage delayed onset muscle soreness.
Lennard Zinn is a professional frame builder, bike designer, and co-author of a new book entitled, The Haywire Heart. This new book examines the potential impact on the heart when pushing one’s self too hard during the course of exercise.
Though exercise is often viewed as a key to living a healthy life, research has indicated that we can actually go too far during exercise. At a certain point, there is potential for exercise-induced disease, especially concerning the heart.
A competitive cycler, Lennard explained that during one particular race, he noticed his heart rate was extremely high. He decided to get it checked out later in the day and was instructed to go to the ER. Though he was in denial for some time about the issues with his heart, he continued to train and race. Eventually these incidents became so frequent that he needed to stop.
Lennard was experiencing arrhythmias, which is an electrical problem of sorts with one’s heart, that causes an irregular or abnormal rhythm. Symptoms encompass a wide variety, ranging from a racing heart rate to general uneasiness. The most common type of arrhythmia is atrial fibrillation, which can present as a strange feeling in the chest or an erratic heartbeat. This can persist for hours or days and may require medical intervention. Anything that seems out of the ordinary should be evaluated by a medical professional.
To encourage heart health, Lennard recommends adding magnesium to one’s diet, as it is critical for the function of the heart. Other beneficial supplements include CoQ10, baby aspirin, hawthorn, L-carnitine taken with alpha-lipoic acid, and iodine.
To connect with Lennard Zinn or purchase The Haywire Heart, visit www.zinncycles.com.
There are four main tactics to employ when trying to lose weight: eating well, movement, quality sleep, and managing stress. But if you're looking to find some incremental advantages, you can add some health and fitness biohacks. These practices/foods won't move the needle, but they may be something for you to consider as you go on your health and fitness journey.
While these health and fitness biohacks should not be used as a primary method of weight loss, they may be able to supplement the main four tactics.
There are several healthy foods you should include in your diet.
Be sure to incorporate some or all of these healthy foods into your regular diet to see a real improvement in your overall health.
Greg Amundson is known as the original firebreather in the CrossFit world. In his new book, Firebreather Fitness, Greg defines a firebreather as one who embraces the trials and tribulations of a great physical challenge and maintains an optimistic energy.
The term firebreather has less to do with the physicality of an athlete, but is more related to his spirit or heart. Both novices and seasoned athletes can embrace the spirit of a firebreather.
In the book, Greg includes exercises with visual representations and written cues. The movement patterns are broken down into four basic sets including:
Open – a full extension of hip and body (example: overhead squat)
Close – at axis of hip (example: crunch)
Push – (example: push up or burpee)
Pull – (example: pull up)
These movements are complementary and can be combined, such as with open and push movements, for example. Greg explains that the movements involve multiple joints and use body weight moving through the same patterns. Elite levels of fitness can be accomplished with just moving our bodies.
Greg also discusses the concept of virtuosity, meaning to do the common uncommonly well. This involves finding one’s self completely aligned and integrated between mind, body, and spirit. Other important concepts include intensity, intention to do one’s best, and consistency. Maintaining fitness is meant to be a lifetime lifestyle. To encourage ongoing forward movement, goal setting can be helpful.
Greg also points out the usefulness of the zone diet. This diet quantifies the food we’re eating in a specific way, which complements the physical exercise. The diet involves sectioning off one’s plate, with a high-quality protein source making up 1/3 (about the size of the palm of your hand) and fruit and vegetable carbohydrates making up the remaining 2/3.
As I near my 51st birthday, I have spent some time thinking about myself and my life. One of the biggest areas I have struggled with is self-inflicted stress and anxiety. I’m a perfectionist, so I’m always striving to be the best I can be.
The trouble with this mindset is that it often leads to comparison. It’s easy to look at colleagues in the industry, compare myself to how they look or what they have accomplished, and feel as though I am falling short.
What I’ve realized is that nobody is perfect. We all deal with this internal struggle. However, I have come to several realizations in determining how to prevent this negative mindset from taking over.
We are human. We all have good days and bad days. As members of the 40 Plus Fitness Community, we can support each other throughout the journey.