Thursday, May 26, 2016

Two Food Habits That Age You

Nutrition, not age, determines the body's internal chemistry, affecting the quality and resilience of virtually every organ, cell, and system in the body. The condition of your skin, and quality of your bones, brain and connective tissue are all influenced by your diet. Your eating habits play a big role in determining how quickly you see and feel the effects of aging. Here are two habits to avoid.

Giving in to a serious sweet tooth
Excess sugar in your diet loiters in the blood and causes trouble by glomming onto protein molecules. This process, called glycation, causes cellular aging in several ways.
1. It slows the body's repair mechanisms. In the skin, sugar molecules gum up the collagen making skin less elastic.
2. It creates oxidative stress. Oxidation eventually leads to build up of toxins called AGEs. AGEs damage the mitochondria, your body's cellular engines. This can give rise to loss of memory, hearing, vision, and stamina. It is also related to Alzheimer's, arterial plaque and Parkinson's.

THE FIX - Cut back on processed sugar as much as you can. Choose naturally sweetened foods as they tend to contain other whole-food ingredients beneficial for reducing sugar load. Use less sugar in recipes at home. Add less to coffee or tea. Don't swap sugar for artificial sweeteners. They can do as much or more damage to your health in other ways.

Waiting to eat until you're famished
When the stomach is empty, its secretion of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, doubles. Going for a long period without food and then gorging is the textbook way to gain weight. Crashing & spiking blood sugar can create hormonal havoc.
1. When you gorge, you eat more, your blood sugar spikes higher and your body stores more calories for later. Blood sugar spikes are linked to insulin resistance and inflammation.
2. Insulin resistance adds to aging. Over time, we get metabolically less flexible, meaning our bodies have difficulty using insulin to shift micronutrients from the bloodstream into cells. This hastens aging by zapping a person's vitality, strength and sex drive.

THE FIX -Tune in to your body and get to know what it feels like to be moderately hungry. This is your sweet spot. Eat a healthy mix of proteins, fats, and nonstarchy carbs for long-lasting energy. Try hummus & veggies, nut butter & apple slices, or nuts mixed with a little dried fruit.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and
Enjoy Your Food  





Friday, May 20, 2016

Which Workout Is Best For Me? #3

I am completing a three-part series to help you determine how much exercise you really need. News headlines tout the seven-minute workout. Another study stated we need to exercise one hour a day to prevent premature death. The truth is, what's best depends largely on your goals and how hard you are willing to push yourself. Use this three week guide to tweak your routine to match your goals.

YOUR GOAL: STAY HEALTHY

YOU NEED: CARDIO 2X WEEK + STRENGTH TRAINING 1X WEEK + MORE MOVING

If your focus is to stay out of the doctor's office and in decent shape, 150 minutes of moderate steady state exercise a week can help you reduce you risk of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, depression, and other health problems.

Do a few higher-intensity intervals during your cardio sessions to make your heart stronger, help your muscles utilize oxygen and glucose and make your blood vessels more elastic so blood flows more easily. You don't have to be gasping for air, just pick up the pace at points throughout your workout. 

One 30 minute resistance total body workout is all you need to sustain strength. Cover all the major muscle groups using body weight, bands or dumbbells.

The key is how you spend those other 23 hours in the day. Reducing overall sedentary time is your goal. Prolonged periods of sitting can increase your risk for metabolic disorders and it even raises your risk of developing cancer. Set an alarm on your phone to remind you to get up from your desk. When watching TV, move during commercial breaks or DVR fast forwarding. Stand, walk a little, do a few stretches, hold a tree pose. Get creative and move your body. Park at the far end of the parking lot, use the stairs, play with the dog.

As I end this series, use these ideas to personalize your exercise routine and get the results you are working for. Remember, the most important aspect of any of these routines is compliance and consistency. The best exercise is the one that you DO. Avoid movement that makes you unhappy or stressed. Choose a workout that gives you energy and life.

Stay Active, Keep Moving and 
Enjoy Your Food


 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Which Workout Is Best For Me? #2

I am continuing a three-part series to help you determine how much exercise you really need. News headlines tout the seven-minute workout. Another study stated we need to exercise one hour a day to prevent premature death. The truth is, what's best depends largely on your goals and how hard you are willing to push yourself. Use this three week guide to tweak your routine to match your goals.

YOUR GOAL: LOOK MORE TONED

YOU NEED: STRENGTH TRAINING 2X A WEEK + CARDIO OR HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) 2X A WEEK

Strength training can change your shape even if you haven't lost an ounce. People who did a twice weekly total-body strength routine gained three pounds of lean muscle after 10 weeks. A 72-hour recovery seems to be the best time frame for maximizing muscle development. If you maxed out a muscle on Monday, wait until Thursday to train it hard again. Strength training triggers microscopic tears in muscle cells, which, when repaired days afterward, make muscles stronger. It's important not to shortchange the recovery process.

Do eight to ten different moves to target the major muscle groups (shoulders, chest, back, arms, abs and legs). Start with one set of 12-15 reps. That one set will deliver maximum muscle gains in beginners. As you get stronger, add sets and mix it up with higher reps/lighter weight and lower reps/heavier weight. You need heavy loads to elicit the muscle changes that deliver definition and build strength.

Cardio is key for burning the fat that hides the muscles. Mix up your routine by adding intervals and moderate steady state workouts. Give yourself 48 hours of rest between HIIT and strength training to maximize recovery. To understand more about High Intensity Interval Training, check out my past blog at HIIT Training

NEXT WEEK'S GOAL: STAY HEALTHY

Friday, May 6, 2016

What Workout Is Best For Me? #1

I am beginning a three-part series to help you determine how much exercise you really need. News headlines tout the seven-minute workout. Another study stated we need to exercise one hour a day to prevent premature death. The truth is, what's best depends largely on your goals and how hard you are willing to push yourself. Use this three week guide to tweak your routine to match your goals.

YOUR GOAL: LOSE WEIGHT

YOU NEED: HIGH INTENSITY 3X WEEK + STRENGTH TRAINING 1X WEEK

Research has shown that High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will trim more flab than steady state cardio and save you time. Alternating short periods of exercise at your highest effort with an easy pace allows you to log a 20-minute workout and net roughly the same calorie burn as a 30-45 minute workout at a steady pace. You get a boost during the intervals and also during the rest periods, because your body uses the extra energy to return to normal. Plus you get a nice 10% bonus after-burn.


During an interval, you run on fast-acting glycogen, or carbs, but recoveries are fueled by fat. Don't skimp on the recovery time. Run, cycle, swim - the undulating pattern matters more than the activity you are doing.

One of your HIIT sessions should focus on body-weight moves (burpees, squats, push-ups) to build muscle as well. Those who combined cardio and strength training lost more fat than those who did only cardio. Resistance training protects and builds the lean muscle which is your body's calorie burning furnace.

Add another day of weight training, making sure to hit all the major muscle groups and use weights heavy enough so you're spent with the last rep.

The key to weight loss is consistency.  On alternate days, walk, bike, play tennis. Do something active.

NEXT WEEK'S GOAL: LOOK MORE TONED