MindBody Fitness

Medical Reasons To Exercise

1. Exercise helps keep arteries flexible and malleable for heart disease and heart attack prevention.
2. Weight reduction can reduce blood pressure, glucose, triglycerides and total cholesterol – all contributors to heart disease.
3. Exercise inhibits growth of midsection fat, which contributes to diabetes. This belly fat is also linked to damaged blood vessels, heart disease, liver disease and Alzheimer’s disease.
4. Exercise is a drug-free anti-depressant.

5. Exercise in a group or at the gym can improve your social life – which has been shown to improve general happiness.

6.Strength training improves bone density, which helps to prevent osteoporosis.

7. Core training and core stability leads to greater functional strength which helps protect the body against injuries during activities of daily living, and leads to higher levels of sports performance.

8. A combination of both aerobic and strength training enhances metabolic function and thus improves weight management.

9. High- intensity interval training combined with adequate recovery periods is more effective than steady state aerobic training ( moderate- intensity continuous training) for fat loss. Both types do improve respiratory and cardiovascular function.

posted by Philip Bergman at 11:06 AM 0 Comments

Fitness and Training Facts

1.Mind-Body :
Using positive visualization ( seeing your efforts producing positive results) and guided imagery
( a visual guide and actual steps) helps an individual in reaching their desired goal.- Striving and reaching your true potential takes drive and commitment.- Not every road is paved smoothly. Expect some roadblocks and detours during your journey to becoming fit and balanced.

– Learn from your mistakes and address your weaknesses. Life is a growth and learning process.

– Pick your desired outcome and then determine the process that best helps you reach your destination.

– Enjoy the process not just the end result.

2. Fitness Facts:

– Cross Training is the best approach to creating a well-rounded fitness program that yields the best results.

– Cross training helps to minimize injury and reduce boredom.

– Strength training is as important as aerobic training in building a strong and resilient body. It significantly improves your overall energy, posture, metabolic function, reduces chance of injury, and thus improving longevity and quality of life.

– It is important to train at different intensity levels. High intensity training whether it involves, speed work on the track, on the bike, in the pool, doing explosive movements such as plyometrics, agility or medicine ball activities, should also be included once the athlete has a solid fitness base and is being supervised. High intensity training is always done in short intervals, followed by appropriate rest intervals. It is only a supplement to your other aerobic and strength training.

– Focusing on your day to day or life problems during intense exercise can cause a significant spike in stress hormones ( cortisol or norepinephrine). When you engage in both, the levels of stress hormones skyrocket over time. Repeated spikes increase your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Instead , focus on your breathing and surroundings. Try to empty your mind so that you will be refreshed and ready to deal with new challenges.

– Recovery from training is crucial to maintaining your efforts in reaching your specific fitness goals. The harder you train the more you need to recover. Replenishing your body with a 4:1 ratio of carbs/protein is vital.

– Nutritional recovery needs to happen within 90 minutes of training. Drinking caffeine along with your recovery meal refuels your muscles faster, by triggering an increase in blood glucose and insulin levels, thus helping the muscles store glucose as glycogen. Glycogen is how we store energy in our muscles. If it is too depleted and not restored, our bodies cannot function optimally. Endurance athletes know all to well when this happens – otherwise known as bonking or hitting the wall.

3. Health Facts:

– Exercise is essential to our blood supply. Oxygen which is vital for life function is carried by the blood via hemoglobin. Aerobic exercise which strengthens our heart function ( blood volume and cardiac output) is crucial to getting the much needed oxygen to all the vital areas of the body
( brain, major organs, muscles, and various tissues). Exercise in fact not only helps to ensure a healthy blood supply but it reduces the onset of atherosclerosis which increases the risk of heart disease.

– Thicker ( more viscous) blood can also increase the risk of diabetes. Slow flowing blood may delay the delivery of insulin to cells, raising blood sugar and fooling the pancreas into producing more insulin. Overtime, the pancreas is unable to keep up with demand, leading to diabetes.

– Herbs and spices may fight the hazards of high blood sugar. Some spices have anti-oxidant properties ( ex: cinnamon and Jamaican Allspice) block glycation – where blood sugar binds to proteins such as hemoglobin. Glycation can trigger an immune attack.

posted by Philip Bergman at 10:58 AM 1 Comments

The Power of Exercise

Exercise: Powering the Body’s Energy.

Nothing elevates your energy faster and more effectively than exercise. When you exercise, you are not just training your muscles, you are also training your DNA. Amazingly, you can actually change your genetic makeup that you inherited.

Research indicates that with even moderate exercise, your mitochondria ( your cellular energy factories) literally grow in size and efficiency. Basically, the more you move the more energy your body will make.

The human body is similar to a self-winding watch – it’s designed to generate more energy when you move. When you activate your muscles, you are revving up the gears of your molecular machinery.

  • Oxygen utilization increases and becomes more efficient.
  • Sugar (glucose) is better processed.
  • Fat burning is increased.
  • Brain cells regenerate faster.
  • Brain functions improve: memory, problem-solving, concentration and alertness.
  • Cardiac and pulmonary functions improve.
  • The nervous system shifts toward a calming state ( parasympathetic)
  • Your brain releases the “feel good” neurotransmitters – serotonin and endorphins.

The Oxygen Factor:

Oxygen is a crucial raw material of energy production. Exercise increases the oxygen supply to your cells. Exercise enables your lungs to become more efficient at extracting oxygen from air; the heart pumps more blood and blood vessels dilate, which increases oxygen delivery; hemoglobin releases a greater amount of reserved oxygen when body temperatures rise; and over time new capillaries actually grow.

By remaining sedentary, you are virtually suffocating your cells – you are not maximizing your oxygen reserves or energy supply.

The Mind-Body Connection:

What you believe and can conceive – you can achieve. Our body is directed by the mind. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. With exercise, as in all aspects of our life, what begins at an energy level – with thought or intention – translates to the molecular level and then
reverberates throughout the body . Exercise helps to build more efficient energy-building mitochondria; you also train and recruit more muscles to burn more sugar calories for the same amount of effort and produce more enzymes that better metabolize fat. As muscle develops and grows and fat dissipates, your cardiovascular endurance ( stamina) and energy levels rise and guess what, exercise becomes easier.

The Depression Connection:

Moderate exercise, according to many studies, is a powerful, natural anti-depressant. Exercise elevates the same neurotransmitters targeted by antidepressant medications, but without all the side effects, not to mention the cost. Many people suffer from mild forms of depression without realizing it. Regular exercise is the healthiest path to an improved state of mind.

Note: Individuals who have been prescribed antidepressants should not taper or discontinue use without a doctor’s supervision.

Keep it Challenging and Stimulating:

It is important to always remember to start easy and gradually build intensity and duration. Always warm up to prepare the body for activity. Build a good strong base of fitness – balancing aerobic, strength (upper/ lower body and core), balance, agility, and flexibility into your training. Then you can introduce new challenges ( sports or new activities) that test your fitness levels. Creativity helps to reduce boredom and chance of injury – this is best accomplished by cross-training ( essentially alternating your workouts and varying the muscles used to perform in those workouts)

The Inner-Athlete:

It is never too late to discover your inner-athlete. Every step you take , every mile you walk, every weight you lift, and every breath you take gives you new energy and life. All of the actions you take today will improve your life for years to come. The key is getting in touch with your inner potential. It starts with a thought and intention. It develops and continues with your commitment and desire to live a healthy life. You can use the power of the mind – such as creative visualization or guided imagery. Seeing yourself as athletic may be one of the most powerful tools you have for actually becoming athletic.

Two keys in successful visualization include – make it detailed and to visualize in the present. Support your visualizations with affirmations ( Ex: I am strong, I am fit, I feel great).

The inner athlete exists within each and every person. The journey begins with self-awareness and self-examination. Make a clear map of the terrain that lies ahead. Make a plan and make sure to strengthen your resolve by creating a strong support network. By getting clear of your goals and the obstacles that block your success you can create a path to reaching your potential – and eventually connecting with your inner athlete.