Is Diabetes in your Future? Take Steps Today to Improve Your Health

Friday March 28, 2014

A disease involving how your body uses insulin and glucose, diabetes is on the rise—and you don’t want to be next! Insulin is a hormone produced by your pancreas to help break down and use the glucose (sugars) found in the food you eat. Glucose is what gives your body energy to function. The body of someone with diabetes either cannot naturally produce enough insulin to function or the insulin it does produce doesn’t do its job properly. This creates an imbalance of insulin and glucose.

Without enough insulin, there’s too much glucose circulating in the body. This is called high blood sugar and is the main issue at hand with diabetes. This imbalance can damage blood vessels in the heart, eyes, nervous system, and kidneys. Type 2 diabetes is also associated with a variety of other serious medical conditions.

Someone with prediabetes is living with insulin-glucose levels in the beginning stages of imbalance. There’s more glucose in the blood than normal and cells may be becoming resistant to the effects of insulin.

Depending on your perspective, receiving a diagnosis of prediabetes can be seen as good or bad news. It’s good news, because such a diagnosis means you caught the disease before it becomes full-blown diabetes. With the right steps, there may still be time to stop the damage or even reverse it. Not willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes to stop or reverse the damage? Then your diagnosis is bad news. Because all you have to look forward to is diabetes.

If a blood test reveals that your blood glucose levels are edging toward diabetes, pay attention and take action! By taking healthy steps today, you can delay or prevent the onset of diabetes.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

The greatest risk factor for prediabetes is being overweight, as fat cells are more resistant to insulin than other body cells. Fat carried around your middle is especially dangerous to your health.

Thankfully, it doesn’t take much weight loss to make a big difference. Just losing 5 or 10 percent of your total body weight will reduce your risks. For someone who weighs 200 pounds, that’s 10 to 20 pounds. Read More…

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Drink Up, Slim Down? The Pros and Cons of a Liquid Diet

Friday March 21, 2014

One of the many weight loss tricks these days is a liquid diet. The goal is to lower your daily caloric intake by consuming nothing but liquids for one or all of your meals. Over-the-counter weight loss drinks are available for anyone to buy or you can work with your doctor using a medically supervised liquid diet plan. Made popular by Slim Fast, Medifast, Slender Now Thick Shake, HMR, and Optifast, liquid diets claim to provide all the nutrition you need in delicious, filling shakes.

Can you really drink your way thin? Does this sound too good to be true? Read on to find out.

Does a Liquid Diet Work?jacksonbootcamp1

Weight loss occurs when you burn more calories than you consume. So if you eat and drink fewer calories, you’ll lose weight. Liquid diets play off this formula by drastically reducing the number of calories in your diet. Many liquid diet plans start out at only 400 to 800 calories a day. Replacing meals with high protein shakes eliminates excess calories and fat from your diet and leads to weight loss. When you reduce calories and remove the option of food, you can expect to lose three to four pounds a week.

The route of going liquid isn’t for everyone. You’ve got to be motivated and disciplined to stick with it. As with any diet, the more overweight you are, the more weight you can expect to lose.

Will It Last?

One of the downsides of liquid diets is the slim chance that you’ll be able to keep the weight off long-term. Along with an initial weight loss, a drastic reduction of calories will slow your metabolism, as it forces your body into starvation mode. When this happens, your body holds onto as many calories as possible to conserve energy. Stop your liquid diet and return to eating normal amounts of food, and you can expect to regain all your lost weight. In fact, a depressing 95 percent of people who lose weight with a liquid diet can expect to gain it back.

Dieters will have the most success at keeping weight off long term if they eat some meals liquid and some meals with food. Studies have shown that the liquid diets that are most successful are those that combine meal replacement shakes with regular exercise and classes on lifestyle modifications and weight loss support.

These results aren’t just for liquid diets, but for all diets. There are multiple ways to effectively lose weight, but if you don’t make a long-term change in your eating habits and lifestyle, you can expect to gain the weight back. Read More…

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Risky Business – Stretches and Exercises to Avoid

Tuesday March 18, 2014

Many exercises once considered safe are now known to cause injury. That’s right—what you learned in P.E. class years ago might actually be dangerous to your body. Chances are, you may still doing one or more of these stretches or exercises and don’t know the dangers they pose.

So what kind of exercise is risky? Any movement that feels unnatural, makes you feel pain or discomfort, requires more flexibility than your current range of motion, or leads to a muscular imbalance. When the risk for injury is greater than any possible benefit of the exercise, it’s probably not worth it.

The following stretches and exercises may injure your neck, back, or knees. Learn alternate, safer ways to get the same benefit.

Safe Neckjacksonville

Ever roll your head all around in a circle? Probably not a good idea. When you roll your head back, it causes the neck to arch unnaturally and can hyperextend and compress the cervical spine, leading to nerve damage.

Another potentially hazardous movement for your neck is the plough. This is performed by lying on your back as you lift your legs over your head to the floor or rest on your shoulders and put your legs up in the air to do a bicycle. These two movements put undo strain on your spine and neck.

The old-fashioned way of doing curl-ups where you place your hands behind your head and sit up can also lead to neck strain. A safer alternative is the crunch. Lie on your back, bend your knees, and place your feet on the floor. Gently support your head with your hands, contract your abdominals, and lift your shoulders only four to six inches off the floor. Hold and then lower. Keep your neck and back aligned the whole time.

Many people don’t know how to correctly use the lat pull-down machine at the gym. If you were taught to pull the bar down behind your head, it’s time to do it differently. Unless you have very flexible shoulders, this movement can cause shoulder impingement or a tear in your rotator cuff. The bar may even injure your neck vertebrae. Work your lats safely by pulling the bar down toward your chest while keeping your back straight, abs tight, and slightly leaning back.

Safe Back

An injured back is a painful thing to overcome. Keep your back strong by avoiding the following: Read More…

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Fat Facts – They’re Not All Bad For You

Friday March 14, 2014

For many years, the diet community taught that fat is your worst enemy in the quest to lose weight. Rather than counting calories, you were told to count grams of fat. Fat does play a major role in obesity, because there are so many calories in fat, but all fat isn’t bad for you.
Actually, fats are an essential part of a healthy diet. Your body needs certain types of fat for energy and—strangely enough—heart health. Fat also helps your body absorb vitamins and minerals.

There are various kinds of fat, so it’s easy to get confused about what’s good fat, bad fat, and how many grams you can safely consume. Starting with the good and ending with the bad, the following fat summaries may help.

Unsaturated Fatdaphneala

When it comes to fat, choose unsaturated over saturated. Unsaturated fats are divided into two categories: polyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats. At room temperature, both of these fats are liquid.

Your body requires some unsaturated fat for normal functioning, cell growth, nerve transmission, muscle health, blood clotting, and inflammation reduction. When eaten in moderation, these fats help lower your risk of heart disease, high cholesterol, and high triglycerides.

Polyunsaturated fats are found in vegetable oils and fish. The type of polyunsaturated fat found in certain fish, walnuts, and flaxseed is omega-3 fatty acid. At risk for heart attack or stroke? Eat more omega-3s. Other sources of polyunsaturated fats include corn oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil, sunflower oil, seeds, and nuts.

Monounsaturated fats are found in foods associated with the Mediterranean diet: olives, avocados, nuts, seeds, olive oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. These foods are both nutritious and delicious!

Saturated and Trans Fat

Now to the bad: saturated and trans fats. Solid at room temperature, but also found in certain liquids, these fats are harmful to your health and lead to weight gain. They’re responsible for high cholesterol, artery blockages, and heart disease.

You’ll find saturated fat in animal products (dairy, eggs, meat, and poultry) and in palm oil and coconut oil. There are many different kinds of saturated fat, and while all are bad for you, some are worse than others. Unfortunately for dairy lovers, the saturated fat in dairy products (butter, cheese, whole milk, and cream) is the worst type of saturated fat when it comes to increasing your LDL (bad) cholesterol level. Read More…

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Top 10 Benefits of Group Fitness

Monday March 10, 2014

Guest Post by Dave Olesczuk – NASM-CPT, FMS – Owner Fit Body Boot Camp Las Vegas

Working out in a group is a lot of fun, but more importantly- it gets results. Recent studies have shown that working out in a group environment helps people reach their health and fitness goals a lot faster than if they were to be working out on their own.

Motivation, camaraderie, and getting amazing results are just a few of the reasons why you should consider joining a boot camp. Here are ten more:

1. Proper Instruction – Many people walk around a fitness facility and are not sure how to use the equipment or are intimidated by it. In a group setting, a trainer or coach will work with you to be sure you know how to use equipment and show you proper technique when using it.

2. Routine – Most fitness sessions are offered at the same time on the same day every week. Putting your group fitness session on your calendar allows you to set aside the time and get into a routine with your training on a weekly basis, which significantly increases the likelihood you will stick with the program.

3. Meet Friends – It’s a great way to make new friends. You meet like-minded people who have a desire to be fit and improve themselves. The guy at the office who ate 3 donuts in the morning and hit McDonalds for lunch is probably not the person you want to hang with. However the people you talk to at your fitness session are probably working hard and eating well like you do. They have the same goals and desires you do and it’s fun to hang out with people who have similar interests.

4. Accountability – It is much easier to skip a workout if you are training on your own or you are working individually with a personal trainer. It may be raining, snowing, too cold, too hot, windy, you feel too tired……name the excuse. It is much easier to bale on yourself than in a group setting where you make friends and they expect you to show up every session. They hold you accountable. You don’t dare miss because you know your friends will be there and you don’t want to let them down and you don’t want to hear the abuse you know they will give you for not showing up.

5. Saving Money – Group training is a fraction of the cost of personal training. And depending on the group setting, you will still receive individual attention during the group session. The benefits of the group session are exactly the same. You still get highly effective training sessions that move you closer to your fitness goals.

6. Set the Pace – Whatever the setting, no matter how motivated you are, there are limits to how hard you can or will push yourself when you are training by yourself. It is easier to go at a slower pace or quit one or two reps short of what you could have done. Group sessions set a pace for everyone to follow and you do everything you can to keep up. When the person next to you squeezes out 10 reps, you are going to do 10 as well. Read More…

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