Healthy Byte: Sweat or Not Sweat

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Originally Posted HERE

You curled, squatted, and burpee-d your way through a full-body workout. But after an hour of nonstop fitness your sweat levels are…low. What gives? Did you totally phone it in during your exercise sesh? Because it doesn’t count unless you really break a sweat, right?

*Insert buzzer noise here* Wrong! But you’re not the only one concerned—celebrity trainer Gunnar Peterson (who has trained the likes of J.LoKhloe Kardashian, and Kate Beckinsale) says he gets this question all the time.

His response to clients? “Um, did I just imagine all those cardio intervals where you were huffing and puffing?”

“Give yourself credit for everything you do.”

“Sure, [sweat is] an indicator, but it’s not the only indicator,” Peterson told Women’s Health at a workout event with MitoQ. For starters, what’s the temperature in the room? Because, yeah, if you’re working out in a 85 degree studio, you’ll likely sweat more than an air-conditioned gym. Also, are you hydrating enough? Because the less water you drink, the less you’ll likely sweat. “You know how hard you’re working,” says Peterson, so don’t let that be the standard of a successful workout.

It also really depends on your goals. Were you working your entire body? How does your whole body feel after your workout? Did you focus on arms? How do your arms feel? Tired? Worked? Good.

So even if you’re not sweating buckets, you still did the work. “Ultimately, give yourself credit for everything you do,” says Peterson, “and stop beating yourself up for everything you didn’t do.”

Healthy Byte: Stave Off Colon Cancer with Exercise

 

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Originally Posted HERE

Think back to what you were doing as a teen. Were you on the pounding the trails on the cross-country team? Maybe sprinting back and forth on the soccer field?

How active you were then—and how you’ve maintained it now—is important when gauging your risk of colorectal cancer, a recent study suggests. Physical activity during adolescence can lower risk of the disease, and if you continue moderate, daily physical exercise well into adulthood, the results are particularly dramatic.

Published in the British Journal of Cancer, the research looked at data from the Nurses’ Health Study II, one of the largest investigations into major chronic disease risk. Researchers analyzed data on 28,250 women aged 25 to 42, examining the long-term effects of physical activity, nutrition, and hormones, among other health factors.

They found that those who reported at least an hour of physical activity per day from age 12 to 22 had reduced risk of adenoma—polyps considered a precursor of colorectal cancer—by 7 percent, compared to those with lower activity amounts. Physical activity that started in adulthood reduced risk by 9 percent.

But for those who started being active as teens and continued that hour-plus-daily activity streak? They had the biggest benefit of all: They reduced their adenoma risk by 24 percent.

The takeaway here is that there’s a cumulative effect of physical activity as you age, according to study co-author Leandro Rezende, D.Sc., Ph.D.(c), of the University of Sao Paulo in Brazil. Starting physical activity at any age is advantageous for numerous reasons, including better colorectal health, he told Runner’s World, and the longer you maintain that activity, the better off you’ll be.

“Physical activity reduces the risk of colon cancer by several biological mechanisms,” he said. “Weight management and control are likely the most important, because it impacts insulin resistance and inflammation that are involved in the promotion and progression of cancer.”

Although this study didn’t look at whether activity intensity or frequency made a bigger difference, Rezende said previous studies have shown that moderate-to-vigorous activity is associated with lower bowel cancer risks, as well as lower risk for breast and endometrium cancers.

Plus, recent studies suggest you don’t need to get your exercise in big exercise blocks, or even in 10-minute-plus increments, as previously believed. Even small bursts of activity can add up.

“The more activity you get, especially if you do it every day, and at higher levels, the more of an impact on cancer prevention you’re likely to see,” said Rezende.

 

Healthy Byte: 5:2; 16/8; 14/10

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BLOGGER NOTE:  Click HERE for additional details on intermittent fasting variation. Personally in my 6th year of weight-loss maintenance I have naturally adapted to eating intermittently 15/9. Fasting for 15-hours may sound like madness but considering the bulk of the time fasting is spent sleeping, it has come easily for me and worked well in my day-to-day.

Originally Posted HERE

Let’s be honest: The word “fasting” doesn’t exactly bring up delicious thoughts and positive vibes. For plenty of people, it probably conjures up images of starvation and deprivation and makes their stomach start growling.

Yet, intermittent fasting has so many folks going wild right now, raving about how the strict-and-scheduled eating plans helped them lose weight and improve their health. So there must be *some* good in the health and weight-loss fad, right?

Charlie Seltzer, MD, weight-loss physician and certified personal trainer, points out that what most people are doing nowadays isn’t “true” fasting (in other words, eating only one meal per day or nothing at all in a day’s period). Instead, they’re intermittent fasting (duh), meaning they’re taking an approach to eating that involves restricting calorie consumption to a certain window of time each day, like only from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. (so you fast for 16 hours, a.k.a. a 16:8 diet).

The logic behind periodic fasting as a weight-loss approach: “Since you need to have a calorie deficit to lose weight, eating within a window makes it easier to eat less and hit your designated calories,” Dr. Seltzer explains.

Intermittent fasting has some pros beyond weight loss, too, says Dr. Seltzer. It works with a lot of people’s lifestyles, allowing them to skip meals during the day when they’re busy or not super hungry and might otherwise just eat out of obligation. What’s more, following a 5:2 fasting schedule may even improve your heart health; fasting can lower blood pressure and bad cholesterol, according to Cleveland HeartLab.

“True fasting has a large variety of health benefits beyond those that occur with calorie restriction,” Dr. Seltzer adds. “It can cause something called cellular autophagy, where our cells eat themselves [to destroy damaged cells and make way for new, healthy ones].”

That said, intermittent fasting shouldn’t be attempted without some thought as to whether it’s really a good idea for your personality and lifestyle—and not just because it could be challenging to stick to, but because it could be downright bad for some groups of people.

Registered dietitian Barbie Boules of Barbie Boules Longevity Nutrition says the people who should not consider intermittent fasting are:
  • Folks with diabetes or other metabolic disorders
  • People taking medications that require food
  • Anyone with a history of disordered eating
  • Women who are pregnant or trying to conceive
  • Children and teenagers

But honestly, anyone who requires a consistent, healthy input of calories throughout the day to be healthy (physically *and* emotionally!) isn’t the ideal candidate to try intermittent fasting. If you’re unsure where you stand, it’s always wise to speak with a medical professional first.

Here are eight potential disadvantages, side effects, and straight-up warnings about intermittent fasting to keep in mind if you’re a healthy adult and thinking about trying it yourself.

1. You might feel way hungrier.

Surprise, surprise: Not eating for 16 hours a day could make you ravenously hungry, at least while you’re in an adjustment period.

In theory, says Dr. Seltzer, intense hunger shouldn’t happen while intermittent fasting using a plan such as the 16:8 method; if you’re fasting correctly by filling up on protein at the end of the day, you shouldn’t be hungry first thing in the morning. (Your appetite wouldn’t kick in until later on the following day.)

In other words, only eating within a short window is not a free pass to set up camp at the all-you-can-eat buffet for eight hours, which would defeat the purpose of fasting. And this can be a huge challenge for many people who are used to eating much more regularly and who may not be totally in tune with their body’s hunger cues.

2. It might make you feel sick or fatigued in the morning, especially if you work out first thing.

Committed to your 6 a.m. workout? Intermittent fasting might not be a great choice. “I think it’s a terrible idea to exercise on an empty stomach,” says Boules. “We benefit from a little glucose before and some protein after.”

And even if you’re not a morning exerciser, not eating until, say, noon when you’re used to waking up and having breakfast at 8 a.m. may leave your stomach churning. In turn, you may feel off, a little lightheaded, or nauseous as you get used to the new schedule.

3. Fasting diets are rigid and rule-based.

Both Dr. Seltzer and Boules describe intermittent fasting as very individualized, meaning it could work well for some people and turn into a total disaster for others depending on a number of lifestyle factors.

4. It doesn’t always play nice with other diets.

Boules says intermittent fasting is often combined with other restrictive diets, like keto, which can cause double-trouble if either of those approaches—or heaven forbid both—aren’t right for you.

Adopting a diet plan that means you can only eat lean protein and vegetables between the hours of 1 and 9 p.m. every day doesn’t exactly set you up for winning any popularity contests with your friends and family (not to mention the mental fatigue that comes with jumping through meal-planning hoops on the regular), Boules points out.

But hey, your diet choices are your own, and if you are up for the challenge of navigating an intense and strict food routine and your personal life, that’s entirely your decision.

5. You may deal with low blood sugar.

This is why people with diabetes should steer clear of fasting. Low blood sugar, or hypoglycemia is a side effect of diabetes and insulin medication, but it can happen to non-diabetics, too (if you have thyroid disease, for example).

Other symptoms of mild to moderate hypoglycemia include headache, blurred vision, sweating, fatigue, and paleness, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

6. The research is minimal.

Look, we all know the internet is full of so-called health claims made by “experts” about the best diets. And while the field of research on intermittent fasting isn’t empty, Boules is hesitant to jump on the bandwagon based on what she’s seen so far.

“Despite a deluge of articles citing studies, solid evidence in support of intermittent fasting as a superior approach to eating just isn’t there yet,” she says.

What studies is Boules referring to? Well, most of the more compelling ones were actually performed on rodents. Human studies have not shown the same scope of evidence.

There also remains debate about whether the actual fasting is responsible for the health benefits, or if it’s simply the reduction in calories.

This isn’t to say that better, more conclusive research won’t ever become available, but as Boules said, we’ve got a ways to go before we understand everything about intermittent fasting.

7. It doesn’t help you create mindful eating habits.

While Boules admits that intermittent fasting can be a great strategy for curbing mindless late-night snacking, it can totally work against mindful eating, too. Rather than thinking about whether or not you’re truly hungry, you’re simply eating by the clock.

“I encourage my clients to [evaluate their hunger] on a daily basis and act accordingly,” she says. “Every day is different for sleep, exercise, stress, hormones, and schedule, which all affects appetite. It’s one of many reasons I don’t believe it’s healthy to apply ‘rules’ to your food philosophy.”

8. You can take it too far.

Even in dieting, moderation is key; no diet is sustainable if you’re unable to adapt it to your lifestyle as needed. For example, Dr. Seltzer reiterates that many athletes need a morning meal and see better results when they eat before training. Sticking to a strict intermittent fasting schedule in that example precludes that.

Ultimately, if you’re just not sure how to feel about intermittent fasting, don’t hesitate to hash it out with a pro, like an RD or doc you trust.

At the end of the day, if you’re a healthy adult, intermittent fasting probably won’t do damage (even if it turns out to not be a good fit for you personally). Dr. Seltzer and Boules both acknowledge the control it teaches, though they remain on the fence about whether the potential side effects outweigh the benefits.

“Please understand this will not work for everyone and is not required for good health,” Boules says. “While I’m watching the research and will own it if I’m proven wrong, I think it’s yet another example of a fad approach to wellness.”

Healthy Byte: Post Workout Refueling

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Originally Posted HERE

High intensity interval training – otherwise known as HIIT – is a firm favourite among gym-goers. It’s efficient, it forces you to work hard, and it targets the whole body in each calorie-blasting session.

To get the most out of your HIIT classes, you want to make sure you’re doing it right – and that includes your food intake before and after the session, too. But it can be hard to know what’s best; is it better to eat immediately before a high intensity workout? Or should you do it on an empty stomach in a bid to burn more fat?

Cosmopolitan asked Alexandra Cook – aka The Sports Dietitian, who’s working in partnership with nutritional supplement brand Lift – what her advice is when it comes to fuelling and re-fuelling for a HIIT workout.

“If you want to have a good session, being well fuelled is important,” Alexandra says. “Ensure you eat regular meals balanced with carbs and protein throughout the day, and well-timed snacks before and after training.”

The Sports Dietitian’s rule of thumb is to eat “a balanced meal 3 hours before exercise, and then a high energy snack an hour before to make sure you are powered and good to go.” If you’re not the meal-prepping type, a high energy snack in your gym bag will suffice.

For professional athletes who are training intensively, and often more than once a day, it’s important that they eat within 30 minutes of finishing training. For us mere mortals, the dietitian reassures us that the rules are more lax.

“Ensure you have a carbohydrate and protein based snack or balanced meal within 1-2 hours of finishing training, and then continue to ensure you have adequate carbs and protein throughout the rest of your day to meet individual training needs,” suggests the dietitian.

Alexandra’s recommendation for a quick, on-the-go refuel is a smoothie “mixing 1 banana, 30g of oats, 1 tbsp nut butter and 350-500mls of milk.”

Eating swiftly after your HIIT session is advisable because “the muscles are thought to be primed to accept nutrients immediately after exercise,” explains the expert. “This
will make sure you have a good balance of carbs and protein to start the recovery process.”

And what better way to help repair the damage of 50+ burpees than with a tasty snack?