Supplement Overload – Which Ones Do You Really Need?

Monday December 23, 2013

Health food stores are full of them. Your cabinet may be full of them, too. But are they necessary for good health? Dietary supplements are a booming business. Making promises to help everything from weight loss, hair growth, and memory improvement to depression and sexual dysfunction, many people turn to supplements before trying medications.

If you’re new to the supplement market, it can be overwhelming. Vitamins, minerals, botanicals, and herbs in the form of capsules, pills, drinks, shakes, powders, and even energy bars all claim to give you something you need. The trick is determining whether your body could benefit from each option and how much to use.

Here is a quick rundown from the Fredericksburg boot camp on some of the most beneficial dietary supplements.


Most people could benefit from taking a daily multivitamin, as it is something of an insurance policy in case your diet is missing valuable vitamins or minerals. There’s a good chance you’re not eating the recommended number of fruits and vegetables each day, and a good multivitamin will pick up the slack.

As an added perk, there’s no harm in taking a multivitamin. Find one that’s made for your age and sex, and pop one a day or just on days when you know you haven’t eaten well. Just remember that it’s always better to get your vitamins and minerals from actual food, so eat your green beans!


Chances are you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet. Maybe you don’t care for dairy products or are lactose intolerant. However, calcium is an essential mineral at all ages for strong bones and healthy muscles. Thankfully for those who aren’t into dairy, there is plenty of calcium in fortified foods, beans, raisins, fish, and leafy green vegetables.

Unless you know for sure you’re getting adequate calcium in your diet, it may be good to take a 500-milligram supplement made of calcium citrate or lactate. Adults under age 50 need 1,000 mg daily, and adults over the age of 51 need 1,200 mg. Aim to get at least half of your daily amount from food.

Vitamin D

Without vitamin D, your body can’t absorb the calcium and phosphorus it needs. Vitamin D has been shown to help reduce your risk of diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and multiple sclerosis. It may also help curb your appetite.

Helpful and necessary as it is, most people aren’t getting enough vitamin D. This may be because people spend so much time indoors these days. Your body naturally produces vitamin D when you’re in the sunlight, but when you can’t soak up rays, you can ingest some vitamin D via salmon and tuna, as well as fortified milk, yogurt, and cereal.

For an added boost, take a 1,000 IU supplement of vitamin D each day in the summer and up to 2,000 IU in the winter. Read More…

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Slim and 60 – Staying in Shape in Your 60s and Beyond

Monday December 16, 2013

You’ve made it over the hill. Retirement is around the corner or you’re there already. The kids are out of the house and chances are you’ve got more time on your hands. You may feel a new lease on life. While your body may be aging and you may feel yourself starting to slow down, it’s no excuse not to exercise. Loss of muscle and bone isn’t just due to aging. It’s largely due to lack of use. And though you may not be able to run miles like you used to, it’s no excuse for not exercising. You’ll just have to adjust your activity to your ability.

Ready to feel and look your best in your 60s? Use these fitness tips that the Brownsville boot camp recommends.

Exercise for Bone Healthbrownsvillefbbcblog

As your age increases, bone density often decreases, putting your bones at an increased risk of breakage. Walking on uneven ground or missing a stair step could easily lead to a broken a hip or other bone. A single broken bone will immediately limit your independence and possibly lead to further complications.

During your 60s, it’s important to focus on weight-bearing, muscle-strengthening, and functional exercises to increase muscle mass and strengthen your bones. You’ll be less prone to falls, and if you do happen to trip, your bones will be strong enough to withstand the pressure.

Weight-bearing exercises are those that make you move your body against gravity. If you’re in good enough health to do high-impact activities, go ahead and jog, dance, or play tennis. But if you’re already feeling the effects of aging, choose low-impact activities such as walking, elliptical machines, or low-intensity aerobic movements. Get at least 30 minutes of weight-bearing cardio exercises three days a week.

Remember—strong bones are supported by strong muscles. Strengthen your muscles with exercises that use a weight or resistance against gravity. Options include weight lifting, weight machines, or elastic exercise bands. Adjust the amount of weight to your fitness level. Start out small and slowly increase the weight each week. Aim to include strength-training exercises in your routine three days a week. You will notice your strength improving slowly but surely.

Exercise for Balance

Weak bones and muscles put you at risk for falls, but so does a lack of balance. Practice balancing exercises each day so when you’re caught off guard, you’ll be able to keep your feet underneath you. If you feel wobbly getting in and out of your seat or climbing stairs, practice standing on one foot for as long as you can. Do this multiple times each day, and be sure to stand near a support in case you begin to lose your balance while performing the exercise. Read More…

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When Friends Aren’t Fit – How to Help a Friend Lose Weight and Stay Friends

Wednesday December 11, 2013

The struggle to lose weight is often a battle you can’t win alone. It can make a world of difference to have the support and encouragement of those around you. If you have a loved one or close friend that’s trying to lose weight, it may be time to come alongside to cheer him or her on. While you can’t be the only motivating factor for someone to lose weight, you can help create a supportive and weight-loss-inspiring atmosphere.

Before you take on this task, you’ve got to know if your friend even wants your support. Some may prefer you stay out of their business, but you won’t know until you ask. In the event your friend is interested in your support, the Kennesaw boot camphas a couple of ideas on how to help a friend reach success on the weight-loss journey and maintain a good friendship along the way.

Cheer Them On

The last thing a dieter needs is someone judging her or telling her what to do. Rather, she needs encouragement and praise for each small success. When a goal is reached, it’s time to celebrate. Rather than rewarding with food, try a movie, manicure, or flowers. When a goal isn’t met, it’s time for more pep talk. Criticism or dwelling on past mistakes won’t motivate anyone.

Be a Listening Ear

Dieting and changing lifestyle habits can be a tough gig. There will be days they will feel like giving up. There may be days they actually do. Many people eat to feed their emotions. They turn to food when they’re stressed, depressed, or happy. These are the dieters that need a friend who will be there to listen when they’ve had a rough day. Instead of turning to food for comfort, let your friend turn to you for advice and encouragement.

Join the Cause

Practice what you preach. If you’re encouraging your friend to eat healthy and exercise, you better join in. Weight loss isn’t just about cutting and burning calories but a new outlook on life and changed habits. Volunteer to eat what your friend is eating. Become an exercise partner and hit the gym together each morning. Having an example to follow and an accountability partner can make a world of difference for someone trying to lose weight. Read More…

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How to Enjoy the Best of the Season without Sacrificing your Diet

Saturday December 07, 2013

The holidays are a favorite time of year: decorations, music, family time, gift-giving, and… food. Everywhere you go, there it is. It’s enticing, delicious, and oh, so hard to avoid. It’s no wonder weight gain is so common during the holidays. On average, people gain at least a pound even before the New Year arrives. But the bad news is, most never lose that pound and keep adding weight year after year.

If you’re on a diet, you may be worried about overcoming the temptations of food during the holiday season. You may have gained in the past, but this year can be different! Follow these tips from the boot camp in San Diego to enjoy yummy food without ruining your diet.

Stay Activesocalbootycamp

Yes, you may be extra busy with shopping, parties, and school performances but being busy isn’t an excuse to skip exercise. Make time for your 30 minute boot camp session. Exercise during the holidays will give you more energy for your to-do list, help manage holiday stress, burn the calories from that bite of Christmas candy, and help keep you focused on your weight loss goals.

Pick and Choose

When sweets and goodies are so readily available, it’s almost impossible to say no completely. Give yourself permission to enjoy a small portion of one or two. Don’t take a full portion and expect to limit yourself to one bite. Most likely that’s not going to happen. Peruse the options available and then pick and choose what you’d enjoy most.

Party Smarts

Holiday parties often revolve around food. Plan ahead to resist temptations. Eat a small meal before the party so you’re not super hungry on arrival. If you bring food to share at the party, choose a healthy dish that you like. Find yourself gravitating to the food buffet? Focus your attention elsewhere. Find a friend to talk with or head to the dance floor.

Limit Alcohol

Many people are clueless about the calorie content of their drinks. A 12-ounce can of beer and a 6-ounce glass of red wine each contain around 150 calories. Just 1.5 ounces of gin, vodka, or whiskey contain 100 calories. Limiting your number of drinks will save on calories from both drinks and food. Stick to one or two alcoholic beverages a day. If you want to carry something around at a party, try sipping pomegranate juice or tea. No one will know the difference.

Cut Your Risk

You’re in control over what you put in your grocery shopping cart. If certain types of holiday food are your weakness, keep them out of your house, since you won’t be as tempted to eat them when you can’t see them. When temptations are given to you as gifts, be gracious, but quickly share the food with others. Read More…

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Back to Business – Keep Your Back Strong with These Exercises

Monday December 02, 2013

Ever suffer from back pain? A long day at work, heavy lifting, a new workout, an uncomfortable mattress, or even chores around the house can cause an aching back. You may feel like taking it easy, but staying active with back exercises will help relieve back pain and bring healing faster than rest.

If you’re prone to back aches and pains, these stretches are for you. Just 10 to 15 minutes a day of these simple exercises will stretch and strengthen your back muscles as well as surrounding support muscles. And lucky for you, most of these exercises are done on the floor with little to no equipment needed. Repeat each exercise three times at least once a day.

The Orange County boot camp wants you to note that if you’ve suffered a back injury or have osteoporosis, consult with your physician prior to doing these stretches.

Lower Back RotationRowlettPersonalTrainer

Get on the floor and lie on your back. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the ground. While keeping your shoulders against the floor, roll your knees over to the left side. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and then bring your knees back up. Now roll your knees over to the right side and hold.

Knee to Chest

In the same position on the floor as the lower back rotation (on your back with knees bent), take both hands and reach down and grab your left knee. Pull it up toward your chest and hold it there for 20–30 seconds. Return to the starting position. Now pull the right knee up toward your chest and hold. Lastly, pull both knees at the same time and hold.

As a variation, work another back muscle by crossing your right knee over your left knee and raising your left knee toward your chest. Switch legs and repeat.

The Bridge

Another back exercise is the bridge. Again, start by lying on your back, knees bent, feet flat on the ground. Keep your head and shoulders on the ground and contract your abs and glute muscles. Raise your hips up toward the ceiling and hold this position for about 30 seconds and lower. Repeat.

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