Category: Nutrition

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INJURY PREVENTION.

We exercise for a myriad of reasons. Some of these include the reduction of body fat, weight management, mental health, to feel better or just for the overall positive health benefits. However, there are certain injury prevention protocols that should be followed. The last thing any of us wants is prolonged downtime in the form of a preventable injury.

Here are a few protocols to follow.

Always warm up prior to any exercise activity. Warming up is important as it prepares the body and the mind for physical exertion. Warming up the body increases circulation, helps ligaments, tendons and muscles loosen up and slowly moves you into the mindset of “Okay now it’s time to work out”.

I always suggest light stretching immediately after the warm-up with more intense stretching at the end of a good workout. Again it is important to get the body ready for exercise. Light stretching at the outset does this. Include stretches for the entire body with more emphasis on injury prone areas such as the hamstrings, groin area and the lower back. At the end of each workout, when your muscles are warmer and more pliable, you can move into deeper stretching, while focusing on lengthening by holding stretches longer.

It’s important to know the difference between muscles soreness, a minor twinge or strain and a more serious injury. Typical muscle soreness is normal and a condition you really want to work through. You do this by warming up, light stretching and participating in your workout with maybe light modifications to sore muscle groups.

If you feel a minor twinge or strain during your workout or during physical activity know that this is a common occurrence. Almost everyone strains or pulls a muscle or one time or another. Typically, you will feel a sharp pain followed by a dull ache. When this happens stop whatever you are doing and end your workout for the day. Use the PRICE acronym; prevention, rest, ice, compression, elevation are the typical protocol for most minor strains or pulls. Here is the PRICE protocol.

Prevention: Protect an injury from further damage. Do not put excess strain on the injured area until the pain is completely gone.

Rest: Give an injury time to heal. This is very important as many people try to return to their normal routine before the injury has healed properly and end up reinjuring the area, which in turn creates longer downtime.

Ice: Use ice (ice packs) to reduce the pain and inflammation for the first 3 to 5 days after an injury. A top orthopedist once told me if every one of his patients would ice an injury he would be out of business.

Compression: Wrap the injured area if need be to reduce swelling.

Elevation: Elevate the injury above the heart to reduce the flow of blood to the injured area and reduce the swelling as well.

A more serious injury such as a sharp, excruciating snap or pop with continued, localized pain requires greater attention. Injuries like a pulled groin muscle, bad ankle sprain or severe tendinitis need to be addressed immediately. Stop all exercise that affects an injured area and see a qualified orthopedist or doctor immediately. A qualified medical professional can advise you on the extent of the injury and the proper protocol to follow as well as your exercise guidelines.

Stay away from weekend warrior mania! I know it’s a blast to go out with the buddies on the weekends for that pickup game of hoops, flag football, tennis or mountain biking. It feels great to go back in time and participate in sporting activities you did in your youth. You just have to remember your current age and fitness condition and don’t try to turn back the clock in one day. There is nothing wrong with participating in sports; however, as you get older it becomes even more important to warm up properly and to do some light stretching before any sport or exercise activity. Injuries can and do happen so you don’t need to encourage them.

Lastly, make sure you always cool down after any exercise session or sporting event. Rehydrate and give your body some recuperation time. Improper cool down can result in greater lactic acid build up and onset muscle soreness. Dehydration and insufficient rest saps you of needed energy.

So go out and have fun. Be active, but also be smart about it.

By Michael George

Michael George is an internationally recognized author, lifestyle coach and fitness expert transforming the health and fitness field with his innovative training philosophies and motivational voice.

DOer LIFESTYLE TIPS.

If you are a DOer then you have a DOer lifestyle. The key to making a DOer lifestyle work for you is time management. It is important that you use your time wisely and productively. Here are a few tips that I hope will help you live a healthier Doer, on-the-go, lifestyle:

  • Cook meals in bulk so you have prepared meals ready when you need them.
  • When making a salad or chopping veggies, chop extra so you can throw a quick salad together when you are on the run.
  • Do your cardio and strength training together. When walking on the treadmill or hiking do some arm work (bicep curls, shoulder press, forward laterals, triceps extensions, side laterals) while you are walking or hiking. You can even do most of these exercises on the stationary bike.
  • When on the go and walking try lunge walking for 25 paces. Having a child in your arms, while you are lunge walking is extra credit.
  • Do dynamic, compound multiple muscle group exercise when strength training. Such as squats with bicep curls, alternating lunges with shoulder press, glute kickback with triceps kickback, side leg raise with a one arm side lateral raise, and pushups or burpees super set with mountain climbers for extra cardio.
  • Walk or bike instead of drive on short trips.
  • When patiently waiting in the post office line or grocery store line do as many butt squeezes as you can.
  • Plan after dinner walks or bike rides with the family for quality, exercise time together.
  • Meet friends for lunch at a healthy restaurant. Or pack a picnic and take your friends on a nature hike.
  • Take the time to teach your child a new activity such as playing catch, shooting hoops, or jump rope.
  • Optimize your workout hour with 30 minutes of cardio, 20 minutes of strength training, and 10 minutes of stretching.
  • Split up your daily workouts in to 2, 3, or 4, 10 minute workout sessions for variety.
  • Increase the intensity of your workouts by adding in intervals of sprints, jump rope, or heavy bag work.
  • Always choose extra veggies or salad over starchy carbohydrates.
  • Choose low to moderate glycemic index foods versus high glycemic foods.
  • Make water your primary drink of choice every day.

These are just a few strategies a DOer can use to optimize their DOer lifestyle. There are numerous other ways to make your DOer lifestyle more productive. Get creative and see if you can come up with your own techniques. Living healthy and being a DOer can work in synergy if you make the most of your time.

By Michael George

Michael George is an internationally recognized author, lifestyle coach and fitness expert transforming the health and fitness field with his innovative training philosophies and motivational voice.

STEVIA. THE HEALTHIER ALTERNATIVE.

There has been a lot of hoopla the past few years about whether or not Stevia is a good substitute for sugar. Based upon medical research on Stevia and my own personal experience the answer is undoubtedly yes. I realize that eliminating sugar from ones diet completely is an unrealistic expectation for most people. There are just too many foods that contain sugar in one form or another. However, when provided with a conscious choice I suggest you choose the healthier alternative; Stevia. I have been a Stevia convert for several years now. Let me explain why I like Stevia so much.

Stevia comes from a small shrub that grows primarily in western North America and tropical regions in South America and is a genus of the Sunflower, Chrysanthemum family. Stevia extracts (called Steviosides) can be up to 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar with minimal, if that, effect on blood glucose. It is natural, safe, calorie free, carbohydrate free and curbs that sweet craving. No other sugar substitute that I know of does that safely.

In my opinion having a little sugar in your diet, or moderate consumption, is not such a big deal. On the flipside too much sugar in sufficiently large or excessive quantities in any form can promote weight gain. The best way to offset the possibility of gaining weight is by using a sugar substitute such as Stevia. You won’t feel deprived because Stevia curbs the sugar urge.

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry concluded that Stevia can be a rich source of antioxidants. Stevia has also been shown to aid in managing diabetes. The key to managing the epidemic of diabetes is in the control of blood sugar, or glucose levels. Controlling what you put into your body has a significant effect in regulating blood sugar levels. The latest research shows that carbohydrates affect blood sugar levels in the same way. Stevia is carbohydrate free.

It is not a sin to crave sweets. We all get that urge for something sweet once in a while. A practical solution is to use a calorie-free, carbohydrate-free sugar substitute. Stevia does not affect blood pressure or increase the levels of blood sugar. In fact a key benefit of Stevia is that it normalizes blood glucose levels.

If I haven’t convinced you that Stevia is an awesome substitute for sugar yet I suggest you go out and try some Stevia for yourself!

By Michael George

Michael George is an internationally recognized author, lifestyle coach and fitness expert transforming the health and fitness field with his innovative training philosophies and motivational voice.

 

 

References

The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry Chem. 2007 Nov 27 Links:
-Oxidative DNA Damage Preventive Activity and Antioxidant Potential of Stevia rebaudiana (Bertoni) Bertoni, a Natural Sweetener.
-Ghanta S, Banerjee A, Poddar A, Chattopadhyay S.
-sharm…@iicb.res.in.

Curi, R; Alvarez, M; Bazotte, R B; Botion, L M; Godoy, J L Bracht, AFrom Abstract: The effect of aqueous extracts of Stevia rebaudiana leaves on a glucose tolerance test… was also studied to eliminate possible stress effects.
Brazilian journal of medical and biological research: Revista brasileira de pesquisas médicas e biológicas / Sociedade Brasileira de Biofísica [et al.] 19, No. 6 1986, pp. 771-4.

 

OBSTACLE OF TIME.

We are all DOers, juggling family, career, social and personal obligations. For many of us, time is the #1 obstacle to getting fit, practicing good nutrition habits and living a healthy lifestyle.

Trust me I get it! I have an extremely busy lifestyle too. I start my day at 5 am and typically my head does not hit the pillow until around 11 pm during the week. However, I do get my workouts in almost every day.

So how do I do that? How can you overcome the obstacle of time? You do so by practicing three of the Power Tools of life. They are prioritizing, planning, and structuring your life. These are 3 vital components to living a healthy lifestyle.

Prioritize your life.

If your overall health or your fitness condition and nutrition habits are not one of the top five priorities in your life, then you need to rethink your life…. plain and simple. You cannot take care of others if you are not taking care of yourself. You cannot make others happy if you are not happy. You cannot spend quality time with friends and family if you are sick or worse…. 6 feet under!

Plan ahead.

Schedule your week, your workouts, shopping, and meals prior to the beginning of each week. That’s right! Schedule your exercise sessions and meals ahead of time. It doesn’t matter if you exercise at home, a gym or at a park… schedule it in advance. Planyourshoppingdaysandmealsinadvance. I know life happens and you will not always be able to get workouts in as planned. Flexibility is also an important key to living a less stressful life. However, you will be more apt to get your exercise sessions in and eat healthier meals if they are both scheduled into your week.

Structure your days, weeks, and months.

To incorporate a healthy lifestyle, which includes consistent exercise and eating properly into your life, you need to create a structure. Structuring your life creates balance and reduces the stress from always feeling like you are behind or not getting everything done quickly enough.

Practicing these three vital components will help even the ultimate DOer live a healthier more balanced, stress-free life. After all, isn’t that what a healthy lifestyle is all about?

By Michael George

Michael George is an internationally recognized author, lifestyle coach and fitness expert transforming the health and fitness field with his innovative training philosophies and motivational voice.

Stevia sweetens without calories

Promax’s new LS bars contain stevia.

Since the FDA approved stevia as a safe ingredient in 2008, more low-calorie juice and tea products are being sweetened with it. And the line up of diet foods in the grocery store using stevia as an ingredient is expected to increase.

This natural sweetener with zero calories is derived from the stevia plant, and like other low-calorie alternatives to sugar, stevia is intensely sweet, 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Stevia is available as a liquid and in powder form (packets or loose) and is sometimes flavored with fruit extracts, such as lemon, or vanilla.

Continue Reading on the Des Moines Register website

Top 10 Reasons You Don’t Exercise

Are you too busy to exercise? Or perhaps you find it too boring or confusing? If so, you’re not alone. Studies show that 60% of American adults don’t get the recommended amount of physical activity, and over 25% of adults are not active at all. These statistics reflect the fact that many of us simply don’t exercise. What’s your excuse?

Continue Reading on About.com