Archive for the ‘Nutrition’ Category

I know you’ve all probably heard this before, the concept of portion control, but allow me to re-iterate this concept by showing you an infographic of just why this is so important.

We all know there’s been an increasingly louder call for America to get healthy. Obesity in this country alone is at an all-time high. Health pundits all over the country are expressing how serious we must take this problem and curtail what has become several decades of increased calorie intake. If we compared the rest of the worlds consumption habits to America’s you will see we have truly reached scary levels.

In fact, some health professionals, such as Richard Carmona, former U.S. Surgeon General (watch his speech here— http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cPNw-kIPy8I), are making bold statements that if we continue on the path we have been on the past few decades, today’s generation of children will be the first generation to die BEFORE their parents. I don’t know about you, but that scares the beejeezus out of me! Think about the implications of that alone…frightening!

Okay, so check out the infographic and see why today I’m re-iterating the importance of both healthy choices and portion control. Help me to reverse this trend. Please spread the word. Thanks for reading.

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Ok, so we all know that the economy is not doing so well, right? But does that also mean that your health has to suffer as well? Is it automatic that if the economy is not doing well, that your health should not be doing well too? It seems that many people I have spoken to recently are so worried and stressed by the economy that there seems to be less emphasis on their health. Many people are abandoning their exercise routines, whether that be at home, or in the gym or with their personal trainer as they sit in fear of what the economy is going to do. So, it is time I spoke out as I can not stand by and not be heard when it comes to what is the most important asset in your life….YOUR HEALTH.

Money, cars, homes, boats, vacation timeshares, high-priced electronic gadgets and other assorted things we think are important, can’t hold a candle to the one thing that is THE most important thing in life: Our Health.

We all are feeling the effects of the turmoil that is our current economy. But the economy will change and it will get better. There is no timetable for when that will happen, but since the dawn of the American way and the wealth that our economy has amassed for over 200+ years, we have always experienced ups and downs, and after a down turn in the economy, it is always just a matter of time that the economy turns around. I firmly believe it will get better. I’m not an economic scientist, so I have no prognostications as to when and how. By following history, I know it is just a matter of time.

That said, in the meantime, while we all hope and pray for things to get better, many will go into a “shell” and let the economy eat them up. Between the amount of stress our bodies will endure as we watch the stock market go through its volatile gyrations, letting this stress dictate to our chemical physiology will throw off our bodies natural routines like proper nutrition, poor exercise habits or no exercise at all and not only will our finances suffer, but our health will suffer. And let me let you in on a secret…….Um, my friends, if your health suffers severely enough due to dangerous stress levels, lack of proper nutrition and no exercise, does it matter how your finances and ultimately the economy is doing? If you’re too ill to help yourself to weather the financial storm, or worse yet, you’re on a permanent vacation visiting St. Peter’s Gates, what good is worrying about the economy if you’re not around to watch things get better. If you lost your job, are strapped for money or whatever the daily stresses of life strip you of, you know what, you CAN replace those things. You CAN get another job, you can get another place to live or a new car…but you CAN NOT replace YOU. YOU, are your most important asset. Without your health to keep you going, then the economic misfortunes are going to be much worse than just a bad economy if you aren’t staying on top of your game by doing something to stay healthy and fit.

So don’t give up on your exercise and nutrition standards just because we are dealing with some economic turmoil right now. Stop listening to all the doom and gloom reported everywhere you look. Take stock in yourself. Your family. Your health. Your life. Remember, you still have you, and you are you’re most important asset. Without you, you have nothing. Don’t let the economy change who you are. Make a pact to stay healthy and strong and eat a proper diet so that when the economy does turn itself around, you are positioned to take advantage of it because your health will allow you to pursue new avenues. If you let your health go, then it will be so much harder to pick up the pieces when opportunity presents itself. Don’t you want be healthy and ready to seize the day, carpe diem, when opportunity comes knockin’? How will it be if you are sick, dealing with some new ailment or disease or worse yet, visiting the Pearly Gates, because you let stress tear your body apart and now you are not ready to help yourself to a better financial outcome? If you stay “ready”, mentally, emotionally and physically….if you stay true to yourself and take stock that you still have you and the economy can’t change who you are inside….if you have family and value them and cherish them for what they bring you in love and friendship…if you have your health, then my friend, you have more “wealth” than all the money in the world can buy, and the economy might have changed, temporarily, but nothing has changed for you, because you still have what is important in life, your health and your family. Times may change and money comes and goes, but you can not afford to ride the same economic roller coaster when it comes to your health. Health is not as easily gained once it has been lost. And as we get older, it is even harder to regain lost health, especially if you have let yourself go so much that now you have been dealt some serious health issue or issues.

Please, do not take for granted the sheer value of the most important thing you have in life….YOUR HEALTH.

Take some time for yourself each week to get a few hours of exercise in, whether that is walking, or jogging, or biking, or working out in your home, or going to a gym, or having a personal trainer assist you; you need to put some effort into both the proper amount of exercise and nutrition on a weekly basis. You don’t need to exercise like a “wild man”, you just need to do something physical, and that something needs to be consistent. Use the concept that I constantly preach to my clients I call the four M’s. Mind: the vehicle that “drives” the body, ’cause without the mind, the body does nothing, so the mind is the most important of the 4 M’s; Meals: proper nutritional planning whereby you eat balanced meals 5-6 times a week, with one day to have fun being “human” and eating what you want as long as it’s in moderation; Muscles: concern for muscle tissue whereby you exercise to make your muscles stay strong or build weak muscle to help your body get strong; Motion: movement that involves any type of aerobic activity, whether that be walking, or jogging , or biking, so you can elevate your heart rate. Movement doesn’t have to be limited by traditional aerobic activity as it can also be in the form of interval training as long as it is done with a minimum of moderate intensity with things like bands, med balls, kettlebells, dumbbells, bodybars, etc.

If you apply this concept, be creative with your workouts, watch your diet, manage your stress with workouts that help reduce the cortisol that is building in your bloodstream and heart vessels, and use the age old adage to these workouts call KISS…Keep it simple silly….your body and overall health will thank you tremendously in the long run. You’re exercise need not be some wild gyrations or heavy weights with confusing patterns of what you should do next. They only need to keep you in motion, have some concern for muscle tissue, and eating balanced meals. That’s it. Don’t give up on your health because the economy is driving you nuts and you don’t think you have the money to exercise. Again, if you get sick or lose your health, having or not having the money to exercise won’t mean much if you are unable to exercise in the first place.

So, stay strong and remember, you still have yourself, your ideals, your values, your principles, your morals, and your health. Let’s keep it that way. Stay healthy and keep on smilin’ : )

I wish you all the health in the world,

Todd D~

http://www.peakconditionfitness.com/

For my first blog post, I thought I’d write about something that is both very basic and is mostly common sense. However, it is also one of the most overlooked areas when it comes to exercise: Illness and exercise.

It’s coming up to that time of year when all sorts of illnesses are all around us. You want to stay healthy and avoid situations that could get you sick, but sometimes it is just unavoidable.

Okay, so you go to the gym and your feeling kind of tired and achy. You know it’s not just allergies, but is more likely a cold or even the flu. Should you tell your trainer you need to work extra hard to build up your immunity, shift your workout to a lower intensity or skip exercise altogether until the bout passes?

Most of us get hit with allergies, colds and other minor setbacks throughout the year, but few hard-and-fast rules exist regarding exercise and illness. So I decided to take some time today and write to you about the next time you’re sick, refer to these do’s and don’ts to help determine whether working out will help or hurt your condition.

1. DO a check of your symptoms first. If you have above the neck signs, such as a runny nose, sneezing, or a sore throat, moderate exercise is generally safe as long as you do not have a fever. You can resume intense workouts as soon as symptoms disappear. If you have below the neck signs, such as extreme tiredness, muscle aches, vomiting, diarrhea, chills, swollen lymph glands, or a hacking cough, allow at least two weeks before returning to intense training.

2. DON’T exercise with a fever. Fever (a body temperature above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit) signifies you are doing battle with a virus. Exercising under these conditions increases risk of dehydration, heatstroke, and even heart failure.

3. DO modify your exercise intensity. If you have cold or flu symptoms, you cannot power away your ailment through more intense workouts. In fact, you may make your illness worse. A simple sore throat, for example, could indicate an infection, and your immunity to fight it will be reduced if you continue vigorous exercise. Moderate exercise, however, is fine for mild cold symptoms as long your heart rate and body temperature do not increase excessively. William A. Primos Jr., MD, and James R. Wappes, MD., in The Physician and Sports Medicine Journal (January 1996) suggest working out at half speed for about 10 minutes. If you feel fine, you can increase your intensity. Stop exercising if you feel dizzy, nauseous or experience any other exacerbated symptoms. If you want to err on the side of caution, just stay home and rest.

4. DON’T over train or stress out. Over training can lead to suppressed immune function and exposure to opportunistic infections. In addition, attempting new or harder activities can lead to failure. Such stress may influence your immune system. Choosing activities you enjoy and can do consistently may improve your exercise adherence and immune function.

5. DO exercise to keep your immunity strong. Researchers have found a link between regular exercise and improved immune function response. Primos and Wappes note that during moderate exercise immune cells circulate more quickly through your body and are better at destroying viruses and bacteria.

6. DON’T infect or become infected. Be alert to air-quality conditions at your training facility. During cold and flu seasons, exercise during less-crowded hours to avoid catching or transmitting viruses. Consider outdoor activities if weather conditions permit.

7. DO use common sense. Ken Baldwin, president of Premier Fitness in Cambridge , Massachusetts , advises ill clients to stay home, rest, and drink plenty of fluids. It’s difficult to exercise when you’re coughing and sniffling.

8. DON’T let a temporary illness stop you permanently. Focus on flexibility, stress management, and mind-body awareness during down times. Moreover, plan how to resume your activity program as soon as you can rather than letting yourself drift into sedentary habits.

9. DO return to exercise when you’re ready. Making up for time missed in the gym can drain your immune system all over again. Exercise for two days at a lower intensity for each day you were sick, Primos and Wappes advise. Give your body time the time it needs to recover.

10. DON’T hesitate to consult your doctor. Even if an illness is minor, check with your physician if you are seriously concerned. As always, better safe than sorry.

Well, that’s it for my first blog entry. As always, I hope you stay safe, healthy and happy.

In health and happiness,

Todd~
www.peakconditionfitness.com