Water serves vital roles in maintaining our health. Our blood is comprised largely of water and serves as a transport system that delivers nutrients to our cells and organs while removing waste through urine, perspiration and breath. Many chemical reactions that occur within our bodies also depend on water. Proteins, fats and carbohydrates are broken down through hydrolysis reactions into smaller, more usable components such as amino acids and fatty acids.
Water is also vital in helping to maintain our body temperature. It enables the body to release heat when ambient temperature is higher than body temperature. The formation of sweat and the subsequent evaporation of water from the skin surface cools the body very efficiently.
But what if our water demands are exceeding the amount of water that we are taking in? When we lose just a mere 1 to 2 percent loss of body weight from water, we jeopardize our performance and ability to cool the body. This taxes our system as our hearts pumps harder, circulation slows and muscles fatigue more quickly. What if that loss creeps up to 3 to 4 percent? Now you’re in the danger zone for heat exhaustion, heat stroke, and cramping.
Staying ahead of dehydration is key. Here are some tips to make sure your water levels are optimized. (more…)
Aging. It’s something that we all aspire to do well.
For most of us, we consider aging to be a passive thing; it just happens. But the good news is that there is another way. You can be actively involved in the process and positively impact the outcome.
After all, aging is a process. It’s an action. And just like other actions in our lives, if we practice them and learn new skills to improve how we do them, we can get better at doing them over time.
So, let’s talk about what aging is first. You’ve heard it said before that age is just a number. And in many ways, that’s true. We all know those people that look and perform 20 years younger than they are (and we also know their counterparts). More important than your age are the changes in these 10 biomarkers (the numbers that matter): (more…)
Last month, the media covered the story of Biggest Loser contest winners and their weight gain over the years after the show ended. Before I read the story, I was hopeful.
For once, I wanted to see the media cover what I’ve felt in my heart to be true for years after working with clients on their own wellness journeys. I wanted the story to share that making long-term, sustainable change occurs not just with diet and exercise alone. But instead, the story talked about a lower metabolic rate that was contributed to by their weight-loss. What a letdown. Number one, a lower metabolic rate after weight loss is not new news. And number two, the “answer” was disappointing in that it lacked any true insight and illustrates the essence of why our health is failing here in the US and abroad. We’re not focusing on what really makes a difference.
The key for anyone taking on any sort of long-term health plan is the need to train your brain for healthier thinking about yourself and your life.
I tell all of my new clients that the work that we do is only based on roughly 10% food and nutrition education and the other 90% focuses on thoughts and habits. Information on healthy eating, albeit not all of it good, is free. Go online. Go to the library. Everywhere you turn, someone has a plan for you to live a healthier life.
Lack of information is not the problem. Even if you get overwhelmed by the barrage of information and have a case of “analysis paralysis,” the basics have not (and most likely will never) change. Eat more vegetables and fruits, stick with lean and clean proteins, know your good fats, and if you chose grains, make them whole. Oh yeah – and move more.
So if it’s not a lack of information, what is it? (more…)
FART – lek training. Lol. I’m letting my inner six-year old out with saying that one a few times. So first off, yes, this is a real thing. It is a Swedish word that means “speed play” and also happens to be a handy technique for people that are looking to increase their walking or running pace.
Runners live by numbers and are constantly trying to improve their splits, race times and PRs (personal records for those non-running folks). Walkers aren’t usually as focused on their times but it’s my thought that they should be. Why? It could be the difference between a walk that counts as exercise and a walk that’s just a stroll. And that’s where you want to be to experience the benefits of cardiovascular exercise . (more…)