Water Water Everywhere!
Today’s post is another double whammy! I am talking about staying healthy in the pool, and for those non-swimmers, the delicious healthiness of watermelon.
Today’s post is another double whammy! I am talking about staying healthy in the pool, and for those non-swimmers, the delicious healthiness of watermelon.
So what really happens when you eat sugar?
The truth is that the health and fitness industry is so rife with crap because, well, we buy it. Let’s take a look at what can be done, how to educate yourself so you don’t waste money, and how simple it is to really be healthy and happy with your body.
What if I told you I had THE ONE SIMPLE TRICK to get you to lose weight and gain muscle fast? All it takes is… laser treatments, super shakes,eating for your body type, weight loss wraps, or some other bald faced lie. The truth is that the health and fitness industry is so rife with crap because, well, we buy it. We are all looking for the magic bullet to get us to where we want to be. Admittedly, most people, including myself, think it would be nice right? But in reality, you can’t alter your height, limb or torso length, and most other characteristics determined by your genetics. It’s not about trying to look like “her/him”; it’s about being the best version of yourself. So let’s take a look at what can be done, how to educate yourself so you don’t waste money, and how simple it is to really be healthy and happy with your body.
My Redundant Plea
I have written on several occasions about where to go for good advice/where bad info comes from, how to spot bad swindlers/bad science, and why you need to think critically about your investment in your health and fitness goals. But, after another week of fielding questions about “which shake should I be drinking” and “how many carbs should I have”, I wanted to pick on a few more mind boggling BS claims. The powdered unicorn fart capsules known as shakeology, detox/cleanse, super supplements, and Gwyneth Paltrow continue to make people lose weight by making their wallets lighter. And it’s not just your local 20 something trainer caught up in a multilevel marketing scheme, it’s people who have credentials who are getting in on the action. Take “Dr.” Joseph Mercola seen below who continues to blur the lines between business and medicine.
These folks, and those who claim that you have to sacrifice, suffer, and deprive yourself to build a better looking body and that eating well and working out has to become your entire life, suck. They may make claims that their workout program will make you a battle-ready warrior or superior specimen of the human race, and that their diet will make you bulletproof. They may speak in absolutes stating “women should always do A, B, and C”, or “women should never do X, Y, and Z.” They use words like “groundbreaking” and “revolutionary” frequently when describing quick-fix fads and gimmicks. You may encounter entire groups that put down other people who don’t work out or eat the way they do. For the record, any group claiming to be better than others because of their health and fitness lifestyle has eaten too many of their own poop sandwiches. Speaking of poop sandwiches, just because someone had success with a particular diet or workout program doesn’t mean it’s the best option for you. Anything promising to make your muscles “long and lean” or says you can look like someone else is, once again, a turdy bacon club sandwich. Diets that blame a macronutrient (e.g., fat, protein, carbohydrates) or food group (e.g., dairy) for hindering your fat loss efforts are, you guessed it, crap.CARBS WILL NOT MAKE YOU FAT!!!!! Science (1). A low-fat diet isn’t a benefit because eating fat doesn’t cause disease. NOT eating it probably does, and we now know the body even needs some saturated fat to function optimally (2). Salt won’t kill you or drive up blood pressure if you’re generally healthy (3). And gluten… well what can be said other than food marketers have simply found another way to convince you that their bag or box of garbage is healthy (4).
Find the people who know their stuff, and learn from them. You can, again, check out my favorite “go to” resources here, but in short, Alan Aragon,Precision Nutrition, and Brad Schoenfeld will always be on my short list of trusted information sources.
Simple, Practical, Crap Free Advice
Now that we have bravely made it past the organic corn fill BM that is much of the fitness industry, let’s take a look at some info that will actually help.
-First up, short cuts don’t exist. Like many other aspects of life, if you truly want to achieve a goal, you must put in some effort.
-Strict diets are not sustainable long-term and exercise is not punishment. Your best bet is to eat real food with ample amounts of fruits and vegetables, and you’ll reap far greater results by consistently doing exercises you like (e.g. hiking, take a group fitness class, start learning martial arts, or anything that sounds fun to you) rather than haphazardly doing something deemed perfect. Find out what you like for both nutrition and exercise, and you will see results and be much happier in the long run. Isn’t that what it’s all about in the end anyways?
-Know that gimmicks prey on your insecurities (and even create new ones). You don’t have to be miserable or deprived. Stick to the basics: eat mostly real, minimally processed foods, and strength train 2-4 days per week, and get enough sleep. These should be done according to your preferences and time availability.
-If you make a mistake, or even fail completely, don’t beat yourself up. Practice some self-compassion and then move on and do something positive when possible.
I am going to talk about looking and feeling confident because if you want that shredded, 6 pack abs, glistening muscles, ripped look, you may want to think about what it takes to get there. First of all, it’s tough to get and stay lean enough to look like Khal Drogo. It takes dedication, knowledge, and a win of the genetics lottery. But from disease risk to brain function and physical performance, a healthy diet is vital for every aspect of life. So to feel confident enough to take off your shirt at a pool party or feel like you can take on the world (or a last minute 5k you get invited to), then you will want to look into these rational steps.
Protein 4 calories per gram. Main sources include meat and fish, dairy, eggs, legumes and vegetarian alternatives like tofu.
Fats 9 calories per gram. Main sources include nuts, seeds, oils, butter, cheese, oily fish and fatty meat.
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To see the big picture lets focus back in on what else is driving the obesity epidemic.
Traveling will always throw you in a funk when it comes to your health and fitness habits. So today I wanted to go over some tips to help you stay on track with your goals.
It’s inevitable. During the summer we will all likely be doing some traveling for vacation, sports, or a friend who selfishly demanded to do a destination wedding. Of course these events are special, but they will always throw you in a funk when it comes to your health and fitness habits. So today I wanted to go over some tips to help you stay on track with your goals, but more importantly, I want to hear about your favorite tips and tricks for staying on target.
Health Before Fun, Food, or Fitness
Before we dive into the fitness and nutrition side of things, I think it’s important to address the health needs of the traveler. Depending on where you’re going, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. First, if you’re going outside of the country (or to Michigan), make sure you are aware of the water situation. If the tap water isn’t good for drinking, then you will need to game plan for buying bottled water, brushing your teeth, and to keep your mouth shut when you take a shower or hop in a swimming in a pool. Nothing’s worse than running a trip short due to the runs. Speaking of which, consider taking bismuth subsalicylate (sold as Pepto-Bismol and various store brands) before every meal to decrease your chances of developing diarrhea (1). Never eat undercooked foods — eggs, meat, fish or poultry — or any food sold by street vendors, and wash your hands before and after meals to ensure you have a pleasant trip. Finally, make sure you are all up-to-date on routine vaccines (measles-mumps-rubella, varicella (chickenpox), diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis, hepatitis A, typhoid, polio, an annual flu shot, and, if needed, a prescription for generic Malarone (atovaquone proguanil) to prevent malaria. Check out this link to know exactly what vaccinations you need depending on your destination. Be sure to pack an ample supply of sunscreen, insect repellent with 20 percent or more of DEET, and a first-aid kit of hydrocortisone cream, antibiotic ointment and a variety of bandages. When flying, be sure to get up and walk around to avoid blood clots especially if you’re over 40, obese or pregnant, or have limited mobility (for example, because of a leg cast) or have a personal or family history of clots. Although rare, blood clots can be a very serious problem that everyone should be aware of.
Nutrition No Brainers
When I think about traveling and nutrition, I think about how speed is the key. You want to get in and out fast so you can just get to where you’re going. Of course, this means stopping at a fast food place. To avoid the junk at fast food places, I have a few tips that may seem like no-brainers, but actually going through with them is key.
#1 Pre Travel Game Plan – My wife spends hours planning her outfits for any trip. She writes down what she will need for each day of the trip, lays out the clothes, and then makes sure they will all fit in her bag. This same technique should be applied to your nutritional needs for any trip! Make a game plan by writing down how many times you/your family will need to eat, make a note of whether it will be on the road, hotel, or at the destination, and pack a cooler accordingly. The food you make yourself will almost surely be healthier than a number 8 with a soda at a fast food joint. This is especially true if you or your kids will be on the road for sports competitions.
#2 On The Road Game Plan – If you know your travels will take you on the road/air for multiple meals, there Here are a few things you can do to help keep yourself fueled with the good stuff: ask the airline ahead of time for a special meal, request a room with a small fridge for healthy food storage, and pack foods that don’t need to be immediately refrigerated.
#3 The Destination – Wherever you go, there is no excuse for not eating well. There are grocery stores, local markets, and healthy restaurant options everywhere. With a few taps of the smart phone, you can find these locations with ease. Because most of us will opt for the restaurant option, you will want to look for healthy choices online ahead of time;
* Protein (grilled chicken breast, lean beef, shrimp tuna, beans, etc)
* Side dishes because you can make pretty good meal from a few side orders, such as a single egg or a cup of fruit
* Appetizers because ordering a small item or two instead of a table-crushing platter of ribs is always better option
* The classic soup and salad options are filling and familiar
* Eat slowly, put your fork down and take long sips of water between bites so that you aren’t rushing through your meal and filling up before you even notice you’re satisfied
#4 Snacks – I love to snack on long drives because it helps keep me focused. Naturally, there are better options out there than chips and soda to snack on. So here are a few thoughts on what to pack, or what to look for at the gas station, when on the move.
* Focus on portion control when packing your own food. You will eat more if you put everything in one big container rather than many small ones
* Fresh produce such as apples, bananas, oranges, grapes, clementines, celery sticks, edamame and carrot sticks
* Hard-boiled eggs are perfect for any time of the day, but are particularly better for you than a hotel waffle or muffin at breakfast
* Dried fruit/jerky because fruits are packed with potassium and fiber and jerky is an excellent snack that’s low in calories and high in protein.(just make sure they both are unsweetened)
* DIY trail mix with unsweetened dried fruit, nuts, whole-grain cereal and seeds packed them in little snack baggies with cinnamon, pumpkin pie spice or smoked paprika to kick it up a notch
* And my personal favorite, snack sized pickles. No calories (that’s right… 0) and the salt in them will help you retain a little water so you don’t have to make quite so many potty breaks
Exercise & Sleep
When it comes to your health, exercise and sleep are crucial. And traveling will always throw a wrench in the works for both of these. Click this link to learn everything you need to know about sleep and how to keep a regular healthy pattern while traveling. And when it comes to exercise, you should always be able to make time for a quick workout. Those 30 to 45 minutes in the gym during the week doesn’t make up for all the time on your rear. Crunched for time? Well then do a cool 15 minute core workout like this one. Outdoor workouts like a scenic walk or run from the hotel work wonders. In-room workouts offer challenges, but doing dips on a chair, push ups, resistance bands, tennis ball for self-myofascial release, a bag filled with water for resistance exercise, and even a towel can easily be used for a yoga mat. Heck, if you have a wall, you can have a workout! Bottom line, don’t make excuses, just get it done!
A highly controversial, and often a highly confused, subject.
Let’s take a look at what you should be doing to keep yourself healthy and cool while exercising and looking hot!
Today I wanted to stay on the theme of fluid consumption, so let’s take a look at how to have fun and stay safe during the summer heat. This topic is important to me for many reasons. I am an Athletic Trainer which means I am a health care professional who collaborates with physicians to provide preventive services, emergency care, clinical diagnosis, therapeutic intervention and rehabilitation of injuries and medical conditions. So naturally, I want to keep everyone safe. In addition, I am a super heavy sweater, so I know firsthand the perils of not properly preparing. So let’s take a look at what you should be doing to keep yourself healthy and cool while exercising and looking hot!
Warm Up to The Heat
When it comes to exercising in the heat, you don’t want to go into it cold. And by that I mean, you need to get your body prepared for the extra stress that heat places upon it. Acclimation is the process by which the body adapts to heat stress, and it is a crucial element to heat safety. Because it can take a few weeks to get acclimated, you want to slowly increase the volume, duration, and intensity of your training. The complete process will vary depending on activity, but in general, during days 1-5 there should be light to moderate exercise lasting no more than 1 hour. During days 6-14, increase the exercise load up to 3 hours (1). This process is extremely important and should be taken seriously. It would also be wise to learn about the dangers of heat illness such as heat syncope, exercise (heat) exhaustion, and exertional heat stroke (2). Especially when you’re starting to get used to the heat, it is wise to prepare yourself by adjusting your training sessions, training with a partner, pre-cooling with ice towels before exercise. Try to and have ice vests/towels and even cold-water baths ready in case you need to rapidly cool down.
Sweet Scent of Sweat
Sweating is a normal, expected outcome of exercise. And before we talk about how much you should be drinking, it’s important to know how much you’re sweating. One way to figure this out is to use the simple test of weighing yourself before and after a run to get a sense of how much fluid you’re losing. This way you know how much water you need to be drinking during that time span.
But why do some people sweat more than others? Well, the answer might not be what you expect because it doesn’t have to do with how much body fat you have, or if you’re in great cardiovascular shape (3)! Sweating is a cooling mechanism that aims to dampen your skin. Then the sweat gets evaporated, and that process of evaporation cools you down. So essentially, those who produce more heat will be the ones who sweat more. Acclimation plays a role in this as well because as you exercise more in the heat, your body knows that you will be getting hot, so it starts producing a lot sweat quickly (4). There are other factors that play into how much you sweat. Factors you can’t change include how many sweat glands you’re born with (2 – 5 hundred thousand) and the fact that men sweat more than women (5). Modifiable factors that will make you sweat more include taking stimulants (e.g. caffeine), alcohol consumption, nicotine, and non-breathable clothing such as synthetic fabrics. There are also medical issues that will make you sweat more including hyperhidrosis and anxiety that require a doctor to diagnose.
Hydration, Electrolytes, Cramps, And Other Myths
When it comes to hydration during exercise, and life in general, there are a lot of myths, old wives’ tales, and misinformation thrown around on the internet. This is a bit off topic, but I would like to start by saying you don’t need to drink 8 glasses of water a day regardless of what marketing departments tell you (6). Even though dehydration will decrease your metal abilities, you would need to fight the urge to drink something for quite a while before that takes effect. Up next, coffee does not dehydrate you (7)!!!!!! Drinking coffee in isolation won’t cause dehydration because, guess what, it’s a liquid. The water that comes with the coffee far offsets the increase in sweating that comes with it. Here comes the big shock of the post… hydration and electrolytes have NOTHING to do with cramps during exercise (8)! This widespread misconception is again largely driven by marketing. Cramps are more likely caused by a high intensity of exercise, family history of cramps, and muscle damage (9). The latter point is the most important. Muscle damage caused by excessive heat can be a sign that your body is entering a danger zone. So when you’re exercising outdoors in hot and humid weather, take cramps seriously as a possible sign of heat illness (10).
Now that the myth busting is out of the way, let’s dive into what you should be doing to be safe in the heat. The first tip is to begin with the end in mind. And by that I mean you should come into an exercise session already hydrated. Euhydration is when you’re at an ideal, or slightly greater than ideal, level of hydration. This is important because many people can only drink about a liter of fluid an hour even though they sweat much more than that (11). So how can you tell if you’re at a euhydrated state? Well the answer is in your pee! Check out the chart below to see where your hydration level should be.
AM I HYDRATED? A URINE COLOR CHART
There are many hydration strategies out there, but your best bet is to just sip on water regularly throughout your exercise routine. If you don’t like the taste of water, then you can drink something with a little more flavor if you prefer. No matter what you drink, the end result will be about the same. But it’s important to remember that unless you are exercising for more than two hours, sports drinks aren’t going to be beneficial and will only add to your total amount of calories consumed for the day. The most important thing to do is weigh yourself before and after your exercise and drink back what you lost during that time.
Lets take a look at the big rocks and little rocks of fat mass loss!
How does doing 12oz curls can influence your fitness and physique? Whether you’re drinking whiskey, wine, or whatever else you use as social lube, we will dive into how it will influence your waistline.