February 19, 2016

Mel goes from couch to infinity

Mel, a 54 year-old married, mother of two, has a very inspiring story of how she was able to go from couch to 5K and beyond. She has even run an ultra-marathon! However, Mel wasn’t always so active. At one point, Mel weighed 275 pounds and was very inactive. She was on medication and oxygen 24/7. After moving to Mississippi, she saw a new doctor who had started to wean her off her medications, when she suddenly went toxic. Though she was OK after that incident, she lost 30 pounds during the process. She soon started to wonder if she could lose even more weight.

Mel began taking action. She started cooking recipes from diabetic cookbooks. She joined a gym and began participating in water aerobics. After making these initial changes, Mel dropped 65 pounds and was feeling better than ever. However, she still looked ahead to what else she could accomplish.

Mel’s sister asked her to do a Couch to 5K, as she didn’t want to do it alone. Mel agreed and promised her sister she would complete the Couch to 5K. Though it was challenging, Mel recognizes that it was one of the best ways to learn to run. At that point, Mel caught the running bug. Four years later, Mel has stuck with it. She ran her first 5K, then a 12K, then a 10K, half-marathons, full marathons, and even an ultra-marathon, which is any distance past 26.2 miles.

With running and using My Fitness Pal, Mel has lost a total of 170 pounds. She now has her life back. Though she worked her way up to running ultra-marathons, Mel really credits that initial Couch to 5K as being the game changer for her. Her biggest tip includes having patience with yourself. Forgive yourself for the days in which you don’t eat well. The weight will not come off overnight. It’s going to take time. Have patience and persistence, and don’t get caught up in the gimmicks. Eat smart and move more. To connect with Mel, find her on My Fitness Pal as MelisRunning.



The tao of running | Gary Dudney


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 18, 2016

Should I take protein supplements post-workout?

Have you ever wondered if using protein supplements after a workout is necessary? Many professionals will advise that you should take in protein and carbohydrates during a critical feeding window after a workout. During this window, muscles are able to absorb the nutrition and put it to use.

A study that was featured in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition in August 2013 examined this very dilemma. The study entitled, “Effects of Whey Proteins and Carbohydrates on the Efficiency of Resistance Training in Elderly People,” evaluated 141 men and women between the ages of 65 and 91 over a 12-week period. These people participated in resistance training three times per week. Some then consumed 20 grams of whey protein after their workout, while a control group did not.

So what happened? As it turns out, there was no real difference in the results of both groups. All participants gained strength and saw increases in muscle mass, but didn’t show a sizeable difference from the protein supplements.

The truth is, you don’t need a ton of protein. In fact, excess protein is converted to sugar in your blood. Then insulin kicks in and can lead to weight gain. Of course you need to ensure you’re getting enough protein, as it is a building block for building muscles, but be sure to avoid consuming too much.

Instead of opting for a protein shake, consider swapping it out with other foods that contain protein and have other nutritional benefits. Think about it more holistically. There’s also a cost factor involved with protein shakes and bars, as they can get a little pricey. They may be quick and convenient, but you are essentially paying for that convenience.

While elite athletes may see a small percentage difference in using these protein supplements, the rest of us may not find that they’re worthwhile. Focus on the larger picture and get nutrition from whole foods. You’ll feel healthier and you’ll likely safe a few bucks in the process.



Creatine 101

Understanding macros


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 17, 2016

How to not die of heart disease | Dr. Michael Greger

This is the part one of a two-part series with Dr. Michael Greger. He is the author of the book “How Not To Die”.
Dr. Greger says the number one cause of death for both men and women in the United States is heart disease. The good news is a vast majority of premature death due to heart disease is preventable.

Inflammation is the primary cause of heart disease. Death from heart disease occurs when a plaque within the arterial wall of our coronary arteries bursts. Coronary arteries feed oxygen to the heart muscles. When blood flow is cut off due to this bursting plaque, a part of the heart dies. This can lead to certain cardiac death. One of the first stages is the buildup of cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol in blood

One of the first stages is the buildup of cholesterol. High levels of cholesterol in blood damages the wall of the arteries.  White blood cells go into the arterial wall and eat up the cholesterol. This results in the eventual bursting of a plaque.

Heart disease is preventable without drugs and surgery. Simple changes in our diet can be enough to reverse heart disease.  He recommends a plant-based diet to prevent and reverse heart disease.

To connect with Dr. Michael Greger, author of How Not To Die, go to www.nutritionfacts.org to find his contact information.


How to not die of heart disease | Dr. Michael Greger

Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

You are in the gym, now what?

Today we'll meet up with John and Tammy and discuss their recent gym sessions. They share their workout and relate some great experiences as they work to improve their health and fitness.

John discusses his efforts to make going to the gym a new routine.  John says he's a little embarrassed to be working with just the bar during squats, but recognizes he has to improve his form before he begins adding weight. This is really important because, as Allan says, safety first.Another important thing is to limit complex carbs, especially the “white foods” (“Don’t eat anything white”, as sweet potatoes, bread, pasta, rice and privileging another kind of grains, as quinoa or such.

On the food side of things, Allan recommends that in addition to cutting sugar, it is good to reduce simple carbs. Staying away from “white foods” such as potatoes, rice, bread, and pasta will help accelerate fat loss.  If you want a grain, you're better off with those that are more complex and nutrient dense like quinoa.Tammy’s turn. Allan is interested in her bike workout. Tammy has some problems with her back, but as we know, the body tends to heal itself, especially with muscles, so it is very important to not stress it out with workout over the limits. Tammy had a surgery too, so for her, it is mandatory to work always safely and carefully.

During Tammy’s turn, they discuss her workout, which involved riding the stationary bike. Tammy is suffering from back pain and isn't ready to begin a resistance program.  Her health and fitness goals are more about the food, but after she heals, she should consider working on strength and muscle mass.

Ready to Rumble

Do you have patience, persistence, and progression


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 15, 2016

Dealing with pain and injury

Today we'll discuss  pain and injury.  When we start an exercise program and begin pushing ourselves, most of us expect we will feel some pain. It can be difficult for people to know when enough is enough, when to carry on and when to stop.  In this episode, I want to help you identify when to push and when to stop.

When we work on our muscles, we tear the muscle fiber down.  Our bodies were designed to respond to this.  The muscles are repaired and in that process, they're made bigger and stronger.  But this can only happen when we make sure to get appropriate rest and take in the right amount of protein. The cycle entails the following: challenge, feed, and recover.  During the challenge phase, it is common to have a little bit of discomfort and pain. And it’s fine to continue with such pain.

When you're new to resistance exercise, it is not uncommon to suffer rather extreme muscle soreness. It means that you've done enough work with that muscle to elicit growth. You'll want to ensure you give the muscle enough time to recover. It takes roughly 48 – 72 hours to recover from intense resistance exercise.

Another type of pain, which is most often associated with running is called a stitch. It is a sharp pain in the lower abdomen. This is believed to occur when there is a mismatch between abdominal muscles and the diaphragm. The stitch can be very painful, bu it is nothing to worry about.

Injuries require a lot more care.  The previous pain issues we covered will go away with rest.  With injuries, that's usually not the case.

Most common exercise-induced injuries are damage to a tendon, ligament, muscle or bone.  You should make sure you seek medical attention for injuries.  The doctor will give you information on how to repair the damage and begin rehabilitation.  I can't stress enough how important it is to follow your doctor's instructions.  Injuries can put an end to exercise permanently if you don't address the underlying issue.

How you should approach pain and injury will depend on the nature of the pain. Make sure you properly asscess your pain and injury before you decide how to go ahead.   There is some pain to get gain, but you'll need to know which type of pain is getting you gains or is going to sideline you.

What is high intensity interval training?

Ben Sound Royalty Free Music

February 12, 2016

Joel Boggess ReLaunches his health

Joel Boggess, the mastermind behind the wildly popular podcast ReLaunch, joins us today. Joel has an inspiring story to share that shows how he was able to relaunch health as a part of his life, like so many others are trying to do.

In his younger years, Joel was very interested in fitness. He actually worked his way through graduate school as personal trainer with 24 Hour Fitness. He soon found himself as the top producing personal trainer in the region. He enjoyed helping people realize their potential.

Over time, life got in the way. Joel got caught up in his responsibilities and lost touch with his love for fitness. By his mid 40s, he knew he needed to make a lifestyle change. At 5’5”, Joel weighed in at 223 pounds at his heaviest point.

One of the biggest decisions Joel made was to quit drinking. In his 40s, he recognized that he was drinking often and seeing the results in his waist line. While he still has an occasional drink, he has largely cut alcohol out of his life. Joel also began drinking more water and started going to the gym three or more times per week. After all of these changes, Joel is now down to 150 pounds.

Joel believes planning is essential to success. Create a plan that is disciplined and focused on your fitness goals.

  1. Regardless of your goal, make a decision and commitment. Promise yourself that you will see it through. Your goals have to be meaningful and real.
  2. Break the plan into manageable chunks. Be sure to put it together in a way that’s executable.
  3. Find the time in your schedule to put one foot in front of the other and take action.

Many people set unrealistic expectations that they can’t follow through with. Start small and get your momentum going. Soon enough you will have relaunched your health just as Joel Boggess was able to do.

Robin sets a stretch goal


Music: Ben Sound Royalty Free Music


February 11, 2016

Bone health with Dr. Susan Brown

Dr. Susan Brown is an acclaimed medical anthropologist, nutritionist, and author of Better Bones, Better Body. She has more than 20 years of experience in the area of bone health and is widely consulted with on many health issues. Today she is sharing a few ways to build and maintain bone health.

One of the keys in building and maintaining bone health is proper nutrition. In fact, there are 20 nutrients that are essential for bone health. You can find a complete list of these at www.betterbones.com. Most people will need to supplement, as it is difficult to get the proper amount in a typical diet. However, a diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and protein is a great start.

Most people have heard that milk is essential to creating healthy bones. While it is a factor, it has been proven that a higher dairy intake does not necessarily prevent fractures and may actually cause other problems such as hardening of arteries and development of kidney stones. It really takes a balance of all the nutrients.

Another key in building bone health is exercise. Building muscle will build bone. Activities that are great for building bone health including walking, perhaps with a weighted vest, and jumping or hopping. Exercises that build the back muscles are also great techniques to incorporate.

In addition to nutrition and exercise, reducing stress is another key to great bone health. Stress, cortisol, and adrenaline can damage bone. Introducing mindful exercises like yoga can prove to be helpful. This will put a load on the bones, while also reducing hormones of distress.

If your bone density is low, consider working with a physician or bone health center to uncover the causes of your bone loss. To connect directly with Dr. Susan Brown or to learn more about her bone health programs, visit www.betterbones.com.

The menopause solution | Dr. Stephanie Faubion

Music used for the podcast Intro and Outro: http://www.bensound.com/royalty-free-music

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