We’ve all been there. The alarm clock goes off and the last thing
we want to do is crawl out of bed and exercise.
We give ourselves an out, with the famous, “I’ll just start tomorrow” excuse.
Maybe we justify missing our workout by telling ourselves we look good
and we’re doing our best to get it in.
Now, of course missing a few workouts is fine….but only using your
external results as a monitor if you should miss a workout is a faulty
monitoring device. You see, the
external benefits of exercise (shedding unwanted pounds, burning body fat and
building lean muscle) are only part of the equation. The true power of exercise happens internally
to your body’s systems and the best way to see this is through blood
I’ve been coaching for over 20 years and I like to
teach my clients that if their internal systems are flowing (hormones,
digestion, blood, etc.) then the external results will always come….they go
hand in hand. My goal with this blog is to share the amazing
benefits exercise has on your body that can be directly shown through blood
Before we dive into the exercise benefits, I want to
quickly share that your food and exercise work together to create an optimal
internal environment in your body. So,
step one is to know how to optimally Fuel Your Body.
Exercise activates and strengthens
your muscles as well as helps create a balanced internal environment, but to
get the most out of your exercise it’s critical that you fuel your body
correctly. You see, your body is a
refuel as it goes machine, meaning it needs to be consistently fed the right
food to function optimally. This keeps
your blood sugar stable and your hormones in balance. Your nutrition (fuel) releases your stored
body fat and your exercise burns that fat up.
Here are 3 simple nutrition parameters to ensure your food is dialed in and
your blood sugar is balanced1. Eat every 3 to 4 hours (5-6 meals a day) – Make sure to eat within an hour upon waking, then every
3 to 4 hours and an hour within in bedtime.
Yes, you can eat before bed (it helps to prep your body for the fast
that occurs while you sleep and keep metabolism humming)
2. Eat a balance of Protein, Fat and Carbohydrates per meal – Your body needs all three nutrients to keep its
blood sugar stable. The exception is
your meal before bed. Unless you’re
hungry right before bed, you should stick to protein and fat only.
3. Eat the right amount of calories per meal – Too many calories at a meal causes a blood sugar spike
and fat storage while too few calories per meal causes your body to burn muscle
for fuel. The key is to eat the right
amount of calories per meal to satisfy you every 3 to 4 hours.
Ok, now that we have your blood
sugar balanced your body is ready to reap all the amazing benefits of exercise! Here are 5 excellent benefits that exercise
has on blood test results (keep in mind that great blood work means your body
is great on the inside!) Better Blood Sugar (glucose)
Optimal blood sugar readings are between 80mg/dl &
120mg/dl. This is how it
works….When it’s time to eat a meal and you feel hungry your blood sugar
is around 80mg/dl. Then about 90
minutes after that meal (as long as the meal was balanced) your blood
sugar is around 110 mg/dl. As long
as your blood sugar stays within the 80mg/dl to 120mg/dl range your body
will be in balance and will constantly release stored body fat. Anytime your blood sugar drops below
80mg/dl (typically by missing meals) your pancreas over releases the
hormone glucagon which causes your body to burn muscle, which slows your
metabolism and anytime your blood sugar spikes (typically by overloading
on carbohydrates and calories) above 120mg/dl, your pancreas over
releases the hormone insulin, which causes your body to store fat.
Ideally you want your Fasting Blood Sugar (8-12 hour
fast) to be between 80mg/dl – 90mg/dl.
Since exercise uses sugar and fat for energy, the more consistent
you are with your exercise the better blood sugar reading you will
have. Cardio and strength training
helps your body to more efficiently manage blood sugar levels and keeps your
blood sugar in a more optimal range by utilizing your excess glucose and
balancing out your two blood sugar hormones, glucagon and insulin.
Your A1C is an average of your blood sugar readings
over a few months. The lower your A1C,
the better. A lower A1C it means
your blood sugar is balanced throughout the day. Since exercise helps regulate sugar
levels and balances your blood sugar hormones, the end result is a better
fasting glucose. Since your
fasting glucose is improved, your A1C will naturally be lowered.
Higher HDL (your good
The two types of cholesterol we’re all use to seeing
on blood work are LDL and HDL. LDL
stands for low density lipoprotein (means it has more cholesterol than
protein) and is the “bad” cholesterol.
LDL’s go through your blood stream and leave behind plaque in your
arteries. HDL stands for high density lipoprotein (means it has more
protein than cholesterol). HDL’s
go through your blood stream and pick up the plaque left behind by the
LDL’s. So, the higher your HDL the
better for your arteries! Guess
what’s the number one way to increase your HDL’s? Your exercise! Especially steady
cardio for at least 30 minutes. If
you do cardio at least 4 days a week for 30 minutes at a steady heart
rate, your blood will begin to reflect an increase of HDL’s, which is
great for your blood, arteries and your heart!
Triglycerides are 3 fatty acids and a
glycerol molecule. Basically, they are
the main source of fat in your body.
High Triglycerides have a direct effect on the health of your heart and
cause excess fat storage. So the goal is
to keep your triglycerides low (anything less than 150mg/dl). As I shared, stable blood sugar causes your
body to continuously release stored body fat and your exercise then burns that
fat up in your muscle. So the more
exercise you can do (especially cardio), the more fat your body will burn. This will greatly assist with lowering your
triglyceride level in your blood.
Increased Endorphins will cause
more Balanced Hormone levels (ie. Cortisol, Thyroid, Estrogen and
We’ve all heard of the Runner’s High. Well, that is caused by the release of
neurotransmitters called endorphins (produced by your hormone system). Endorphins cause that sense of “well
being” we all feel after exercise.
I’ve always said that the stressors of life seem less stressful
when you are exercising consistently compared to when you are missing
workouts. This is all because of
Endorphins, and they also do more than just create a feeling of “well
being” they help in balancing your entire hormonal system. You see, your hormonal system works
like a kinetic chain and every link supports the next link. When one link is broken, it weakens the
entire chain and the chain in this analogy is your body.
As I shared, consistent exercise, cardio and strength
training, create a more stable environment in your body. This stability triggers more stable
levels of your all your hormones, a few being cortisol (your stress hormone),
thyroxin (your metabolism hormone) and estrogen and testosterone (your
sex hormones that greatly affect your mood).
So, there you have it! If you shift
your thinking about exercise from just a way to get an external result to
actually changing your body from the inside, you are more likely to get moving
and keep moving! After all, excellent blood work is a powerful
motivator and will always reveal your hard work. Just remember that if your body is in
amazing condition on the inside, you’ll be in amazing condition on the outside
too. We’ve heard it countless times,
always work your way from the inside out.
Your body is no different!
By: Mark Macdonald, Creator of the Venice Nutrition System and Author of NY Times Bestseller, Body Confidence
The goal for all of us is to get the most out of our exercise. In the past, many people thought just getting some cardio in, like a morning stroll with your best friend, or casually riding your bike through your neighborhood was good enough to burn body fat and get toned and tight. As an athlete and nutrition and fitness expert for the past 20 years, I’ve learned that getting the body you want takes much more than just casual cardio.
The most recent study from the researchers at the University of New Hampshire proves that using the “talk test” to measure if your cardio intensity is in the optimal range is a sure fire way to minimize your results and prevent you from taking your body to the next level.
Ok, so the big question is how should you do your cardio? I know we are all pressed for time and pulling 2 hour cardio sessions is challenging for anyone’s schedule. You see, it’s not about doing more; it’s about being better at what you do. By simply making these four adjustments with your cardio, you will activate all of your muscle, burn maximum fat, drop any unwanted pounds and greatly improve your overall endurance.
Tip 1: Do both types of Cardio
Body fat is primarily burned in muscle. So your number goal when doing cardio is to make sure that you are activating all of your muscle. We all have red muscle and white muscle. Most of us have approximately 50% red muscle and 50% white muscle. Red muscle is used on your slow and steady cardio (fat burning), like a brisk walk, slow jog or climbing stairs. Your heart rate is at a steady rate during fat burning cardio.
Your white muscle is used during high intensity cardio (interval training), like sprinting, running stairs or spinning. High intensity cardio focuses on a 1 minute burst of a high heart rate, followed by a 1-2 minute recovery, then repeat. If you are only doing one type of cardio, then you are only using 50% of your muscle and definitely not making the most of your time. The goal is to get at least 4-5 days, 30-45 minute per session of fat burning cardio as well as 2-3 days, 30 minutes per sessions of High Intensity (interval training) per week.
Tip 2: Push the Limits with your Heart Rate
Rather than focusing on the “talk test” to measure your heart rate, use a heart rate monitor or perceived exertion. Always know that if you can talk steadily throughout your exercise than you’re not working hard enough and your results will suffer. Perceived exertion means if the exercise feels to intense it is and if the exercise feels too easy it is. The goal with fat burning cardio is to push yourself to the point where you are almost out of breath and then back down a bit on the intensity and maintain that level of exertion throughout your entire session. This is typically around the heart rate of 135-145 bpm for most people.
For your high intensity cardio, your goal is to go as intense as possible for 1 minute (totally winded) and then recover at a very slow pace for 1-2 minutes. Your heart rate will typically be around 155-170 bpm for the 1 minute of intensity, then once you get back to 120-125 bpm from your recovery period, you repeat the interval.
Tip 3: Always do your High Intensity Cardio before Your Fat Burning Cardio
Fat burning cardio does exactly what is says: it burns fat. High intensity cardio mostly burns sugar. It’s important to know that it takes your body about 20 minutes to really start burning fat. Because of this fact you need to do your high intensity cardio first, high intensity cardio uses your sugar stores and will get your body ready to burn optimal fat. Once your high intensity cardio session is complete, (about 30 minutes), go right into your fat burning cardio. This simple adjustment to your cardio can burn up to 40% more body fat per session!
Tip 4: Choose the Best Exercises
As I’ve shared, the goal with your cardio is to activate maximum muscle. A big part in doing this is choosing the right cardio exercises. Your best exercises are movements that are low to high impact (impact is determined by how hard your foot impacts with the ground) and that activate the majority of your muscle. For example, walking on a 15% incline on a treadmill will burn more fat than walking on a flat surface. Sprinting or running up stairs are excellent types of high intensity cardio and will activate more muscle than spinning. If possible, I suggest avoiding exercise like the elliptical and stationary bike because they are non-impact and recruit less muscle than low-high impact movements.
There you have it, four tips that will take your cardio to the next level and in turn help your body get toned and tight!
Never Load Carbohydrates!
As an athlete, the majority of my coaches recommended carbohydrate loading the night before a game. The thought process behind this is that by eating complex carbohydrates (that huge bowl of pasta) the night before your competition, your muscles will fill up with stored sugar (stored glucose is called glycogen). This is then supposed to provide your muscles with more fuel during your competition, allowing you to have better endurance and more energy. From the surface, it seems to make sense. However, this is why myths are created. They all look good on the surface, that’s why they have survived over the years. Once you begin to pull back some layers and dig a little deeper, the holes begin to appear.
There are three facts why you should never carbohydrate load before a competition:
FACT 1 - Your body does not store glucose (glycogen) very efficiently.
You have learned that your body is a “feed as it goes machine.” The only thing your body is efficient at storing is fat, because it provides so much energy. Your body stores glucose primarily in two places: your liver and your skeletal muscle (the muscle you use to play your sport.) At best, your liver can store about 100-120 grams of glucose. That’s only 400-480 calories (4 calories per gram of glucose)! This is crucial to understand because the glucose stored in your liver is your body’s source of blood sugar. When your blood sugar drops; your liver releases glucose into your blood to keep your blood sugar stable. When your liver runs out of glucose, it begins to convert amino acids (muscle) into sugar. This is how low blood sugar triggers your body to consume its muscle.
Your skeletal muscles can store more glucose then your liver, however when you carbohydrate load, you spike your blood sugar. This causes your body to store fat as well as the glucose in your muscles. Whenever there is an excess of glucose in your body, most likely some of it will be stored as fat. In addition, anytime you spike your blood sugar, you create unstable blood sugar levels. This goes against the purpose of having a solid Body Confidence Structure. Your Structure is designed to maintain stable blood sugar. Storing fat and having unstable blood sugar is not how you improve your performance.
FACT 2 - The stored sugar (glycogen) in your skeletal muscle cannot be used as blood sugar.
This philosophy also came into being because people always thought that all the stored glucose in your muscle could be utilized by your body for energy. There’s one big problem with this: it’s impossible. Your skeletal muscle lacks the enzyme glucose-6 phosphatase. Without this enzyme, your skeletal muscle cannot provide the rest of your body with glucose. The stored sugar in your skeletal muscle can ONLY be used by that muscle.
Each sport utilizes some muscles more than others, which means that once your more active muscles run out of stored sugar, they have no more fuel. These muscles now become reliant on your liver for energy. Most likely, if your muscles are out of fuel; your liver is out of its stored glucose. This then triggers your liver to begin converting amino acids (muscle) into sugar in order to provide your muscles with fuel. This entire process will negatively affect your performance.
FACT 3 - You will experience energy drops during competition
The first two facts will cause you to have energy crashes during your competition because the lack of available glucose in your body triggers low blood sugar. Low blood sugar is always accompanied with low energy. In addition, carbohydrate loading the night before will ensure that you begin your competition with unstable blood sugar. This will also cause energy challenges throughout.
All 3 facts clearly show why you should never carbohydrate load. It can only hinder your performance. The facts are that your body needs to be fed consistently before, during and after your competition. Approaching your nutrition like this will take your performance to a higher level, and leads us into the second strategy on getting your competitive edge.
Author of the NY Times Best Seller, Body Confidence
Creator and CEO of Venice Nutrition
Everyone knows that a walk or jog outdoors on a beautiful summer day is so much more exciting than pounding it out on the treadmill. But if you’ve ever felt a little woozy or suffered from heat exhaustion afterwards, then you know how tough the blazing sun can be on your body. What you might not realize is how risky it can be too. In fact, prolonged or excessive exercise in the sun is one of the leading causes of heat stroke, a dangerous combo of exhaustion, muscle cramps and dehydration that can lead to shock, brain damage, organ failure and even death.
The good news is you don’t need to give up your favorite summer exercise; you just need to be smart about how you do it. Here are a few pointers to stay safe this summer.
- Stay hydrated. If you’re thirsty, you are already dehydrated. It’s wise to drink plenty of water throughout the day leading up to your workout and bring water with you during your workout. If you’re an endurance athlete and exercising for long amounts of time outdoors, a low sugar sports drink with electrolytes can help to keep you hydrated and balanced.
- Don’t overdress! Wear loose fitting active wear, preferably made of moisture wick fabric.
- Check with your doctor if you’re on meds. Certain medications can make you more likely to suffer from heat related illnesses.
- Take breaks in the shade and workout in the shade if possible.
- Don’t forget sunscreen- aim for a waterproof version with an SPF of at least 30. Remember, an SPF of 30 will protect your skin in the sun for 30 minutes…plan accordingly.
- A hat and sunglasses are your best friends in the heat.
- Listen to your body. If you feel any exhaustion, muscle cramping, fatigue, excess thirst, headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea or start sweating more than usual, stop your workout immediately and get help.
Here’s to a beautiful, healthy summer!
The Venice Nutrition Team
*info derived from myoptumhealth.com and healthline.com
As a Venice Nutrition Coach for many years, I’m all for trying anything that promotes a healthier, fitter body. Yet, whenever anyone attempted to persuade me to try yoga, I was skeptical. After all, I’ve always been that girl in the gym sweating it out, lifting ridiculously heavy weights and sprinting until my hips ached, silently telling myself, “no pain, no gain”. I looked good but felt fatigued, sore and unbalanced. Regardless, I kept living by my motto until I actually got hurt in the gym. I mean really hurt. This pain was certainly not worth any gains I’d ever achieved. My injuries were so bad, I had to stop all of my workouts and start extensive physical therapy. Without realizing it, a lot of the strengthening and stretching moves that my physical therapists recommended to heal my muscle imbalances, core weakness and misaligned back and hips, were actual yoga moves. It was time for me to change my ways and most importantly my way of thinking. It was time to create a healthy body, mind and soul.
Though I’m very much a “newbie” to yoga and I’ve only lightly scratched the surface of all that it has to offer, I’m tremendously grateful that yoga has become a part of my life. I’m also completely astounded at the seemingly infinite list of benefits that yoga has to offer. My research felt endless simply because the facts just kept piling up!
What intrigues me most about yoga is that it’s a great workout for the body and for the mind. And despite popular notion, it’s not all about twisting your body into a pretzel! Ask any seasoned yogi why they love yoga so much and chances are they’ll admit to being absolutely addicted to the mind/body connection and the mental clarity they feel after they practice. The way their body feels (and looks) because of regular yoga practice seems to be just an added bonus. Do I think that every well rounded workout includes resistance training and cardiovascular exercise? Yes. But throughout my own experiences and extensive research, I now firmly believe that a balanced workout routine should include yoga too. Here’s why (just a heads up...you are about to be very pleasantly surprised):
1. Increase your strength. Don’t believe it? Try holding a yoga pose in perfect alignment. I'm willing to bet you'll shocked at how challenging a workout it can be. On another note, there are so many forms and levels of yoga that it can easily be adapted for beginners (read: no contorting your body into a pretzel) all the way to advanced students.
2. Increase your flexibility. Stretching the body safely and moving gently from pose to pose is fantastic for mobility and releases lactic acid build up that causes pain, tension and fatigue.
3. Increase lubrication of your joints, ligaments and tendons.
4. Increase your muscle tone. Muscles that are weak (there are so many neglected muscles that are hardly worked throughout your regular day or exercise routine) are used extensively as you move through a series of yoga poses.
5. Increase your core strength. Yoga can help you to develop deep core strength because the majority of the poses rely on those core muscles.
6. Improve your posture. Increased strength, flexibility and body awareness can help you to improve your posture in both standing and sitting positions.
7. Improve your energy levels and awaken the mind.
8. Relieve chronic pain (such as neck, joint or back pain). A seasoned yoga instructor or therapist can help you adapt postures to avoid further injury and release tight muscles, strengthen weaknesses and re-align imbalances.
9. Help you to avoid injury by keeping the body mobile and strong.
10. Promote circulation.
11. Improve your lung capacity and respiratory health through deep breathing exercises. This can also be a very powerful benefit for athletes who wish to improve their endurance levels.
12. Improve your outlook on aging by making you look and feel younger.
13. Help you relax and handle challenging situations more effectively.
14. Can encourage self acceptance and positive thinking.
15. Drastically improve your stress levels and help you to feel a sense of calm. Yoga practice includes meditation which teaches you how to ignore the endless “mind chatter” that leads to stress. The result is also biochemical; practicing yoga decreases stress hormones.
16. Reduce your depression and increase your happiness.
17. Increase your focus
18. Lower your blood pressure and slow your heart rate, and especially help those with hypertension, heart disease or stroke.
19. Boost your immune system function.
20. Decrease cholesterol and triglyceride levels
21. Increase your body awareness, which helps you to correct your posture or alignment. This awareness allows you to gain the most benefits and prevent injury during other workouts and even throughout your everyday movements.
22. Help alleviate medical conditions such as asthma, insomnia and arthritis. Research in the US is still being done on this topic, but medical researchers are hopeful and suggesting therapeutic yoga as a form of treatment for sufferers.
23. Help with learning and memory. Some studies are suggesting improvement in these areas with regular yoga practice.
As you can see, the benefits of yoga are vast and quite powerful! Anyone, no matter their age, lifestyle, goals, or limitations has something wonderful to gain from practicing yoga. If you are interested in incorporating yoga into your lifestyle, I would recommend finding a beginners or foundation class to get started. Always make sure to let your instructor know of any health challenges or injuries you may have so he or she can modify the poses to best suit your needs.
Lead Nutrition Coach and Head Chef
*info derived from healthandyoga.com, spine-health.com and webmd.com
We all know that daily exercise and regular activity is a must, especially as we age. But did you know that regular exercise can actually help you lower your risk of some of the most common diseases? It’s amazing to think that we can help to control our health and only 30 minutes a day of regular heart pumping exercise is enough for many people to make an impact! In fact, check out how exercise works to ward off the following health risks.
Obesity- Reducing your body fat along with increasing your lean muscle mass with good nutrition and the right exercise program is the most effective way to get and stay at a healthy weight. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding obesity is critical to helping to avoid other diseases.
Type 2 Diabetes- With this dangerous (and often avoidable) disease on the rise, even in children, it’s no wonder Diabetes made the list. Regular activity helps to lower blood sugar levels and improve the way your body uses the food and sugar you take in.
High Cholesterol- Exercise, particularly aerobic exercise increases your HDL (the good cholesterol) while lowering your triglycerides; a great combination to keeping healthy cholesterol levels.
High Blood Pressure- Regular activity prevents your heart from having to work too hard to support your body. This lowers the pressure on your arteries, thus reducing blood pressure.
Heart Disease- Exercise is a great way to improve your heart function and enhances blood flow to help prevent heart disease.
Osteoporosis- In combination with a healthy diet including plenty of calcium and Vitamin D, weight bearing exercise such as walking, jogging, and weight training helps to build bone mass and prevent osteoporosis.
We invite you to get moving today for a healthier future! For correct exercise protocol and the most efficient forms of exercise, please visit your Exercise Tab in your online program.
The Venice Nutrition Team
*info derived from msnhealth.com, webmd.com and ehow.com
We’ve all seen the commercials. A perfectly fit and toned woman is lying down (clearly not exercising!) in the tiniest pair of short shorts with a pair of bright pink and silver sneakers on. Her legs are long and toned, her glutes contain no cellulite and her calves are perfectly formed. And she got all of this from her sneakers? What gives?
If you’re like me, you’re probably a skeptic. After all, I get more inquiries about the newest fitness gadgets from my clients and friends than I can keep up with. I watch the newest trends come and go daily and like I tell everyone, “Trends come and go but eating correctly and working out correctly always works!” That being said, these new “magic sneakers” have intrigued me enough to do a little research.
So how does these shoes work? Though I don’t own a pair (they’re expensive!), I can speculate. If you’ve ever used a bosu ball (that half ball type contraption most likely located in the stretching area at your gym), then you get the idea. There is almost a mini-bosu ball under the ball and heal of the shoe, forcing your balancing muscles to work harder. As a health professional, this makes sense to me.
According to Reebok, “Easy Tone is designed to give definition to your legs and butt. Simply walk and let the balance pod under your shoes do the rest. The slight instability created by the pod forces your muscles to work a little harder, toning you up as you strut. The more you walk, the more you’ll tone. Technically speaking your gluteas maximus muscles will get 28% more of a workout. And your hamstrings and calves will have to try 11% harder”. Even I have to admit, I’m a little impressed.
According to the ratings I found on the site and elsewhere on the internet, these shoes are incredibly comfortable, like walking on sand. Others said they could “see a difference in their legs and glutes” and really felt that difference while walking and doing their daily activities. The one interesting fact I noticed while reading the reviews is that the majority of women said that they are now walking more. I’m wondering if the actual purchase of the sneakers has encouraged and motivated them to walk more and perhaps is responsible for the tighter legs and glutes?
In my opinion, I would have to guess that these shoes would force you to target your balancing muscles, thus creating more of a burn and possibly increased tone. Buying the shoes won’t bring results, walking in them and using them might! Which brings me back to my original belief of eating correctly and working out correctly and regularly is what works, always! Will I try them? Probably not. As someone who struggles with SI Joint, back and hip problems, constant instability is the last thing I need. That being said, if you’re interested in using these sneakers and have any health issues such as back or hip problems, I would recommend that you speak to your doctor or physical therapist first.
If anyone out there has tried the Easy Tone sneakers, I would love to get your feedback!
Lead Nutrition Coach and Head Chef
*info derived from www.Reebok.com/EasyTone and www.examiner.com
Chances are, if you’ve ever worked out before, you’ve experienced some degree of muscle soreness. Whether you are a beginner to exercise or a seasoned fitness enthusiast who has been training for years, muscle soreness happens to all of us and it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
According to experts, during physical activity, small microscopic tears form in the muscle, creating minute amounts of damage to the muscle fibers. The combination of tears and inflammation in the muscle is what causes the aches, soreness and pain. A small amount of muscle soreness should be expected, particularly after experimenting with a new form of exercise.
So why would you experience muscle soreness 24 to 48 hours after exercise instead of immediately after? The reason, according to Exercise Physiologists is because of Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), the natural (and completely normal) response to muscles tissues that have been worked beyond their usual capacity. In other words, if you push it hard and try a new and strenuous exercise in the gym, you may experience DOMS and feel the pain the next day or even the day after. As your muscles adapt to the new exercise and become stronger, the soreness will dissipate.
So what can you do to help alleviate the muscle soreness? Experts agree that stretching is critical to alleviating soreness and preventing injuries. Regular stretching helps to elongate the muscles, preventing muscle contractions and spasms.
In addition to regular stretching, resting adequately between exercise can help your body to recover quickly, thus preventing further damage or injuries. Ice, heat and even the occasional anti-inflammatory can also help to relieve muscle soreness and discomfort. For more information about proper exercise and stretching techniques, please refer to your Exercise Tab within your program and speak to your certified Venice Nutrition Coach.
The Venice Nutrition Team
*information derived from webmd.com
Because there are so many sneakers to choose from, it’s important that you pick the right shoe type for your foot and the activity you’ll be engaging in.
First it’s important to have your foot evaluated properly by a professional. Luckily, there are a variety of shoe stores that now offer to watch you walk to determine your gait as well as evaluate your arch in addition to standard measurements as part of their services to help you find the best shoe.
It’s also important to pick the right shoe for the “job” or the exercise you’ll be doing. For example, if you are a long distance walker or walking is your main form of cardio, you will want to use a Walking Shoe. Walking shoes offer good arch support, are lightweight and have the right amount of cushioning for a serious walker.
If you are a runner, a Running Shoe is your best bet. Running shoes are generally light weight and have built in shock absorbers to help ease the stress off your joints with each pounding movement. They are typically lightweight and provide the essential support a runner needs.
Cross Trainers are ideal for someone who participates in light impact activities like aerobic classes, walking or weight training. They are not recommended for running because they lack the support necessary to absorb major impact.
Tennis shoes are built to support side-to-side movements for racket-based sports players.
Casual sneakers are very trendy right now and fine for lounging around or a leisurely walk or shopping but should not be used while working out because they lack any real support.
The Venice Nutrition Team
*information derived from FitSugar
No matter your age or activity level, it’s never too early to learn how to protect your joints. Aside from helping to prevent Osteoarthritis, the most common form of arthritis, taking action to protect your joints now can help to eliminate the possibility of injury and pain in the future.
It was once thought that Osteoarthritis affected only the elderly. Now research proves that even young, healthy and active are at risk. Aside from age, there are many factors that increase an individual’s chances of getting Osteoarthritis or becoming injured including genetics, obesity, injury, overuse and musculoskeletal defects. The good news is that there are simple, effective steps you can take to help prevent arthritis and lower your risk of injury.
1. Maintain a healthy weight. Your joints must be able to handle the stress of daily life and the more you weigh, the harder they have to work to support your body. By stabilizing your blood sugar and working out to keep your weight in a healthy range, you can lessen the load and stress on your joints. Many of our clients who begin to follow a healthy lifestyle and lower their weight find that they have less back, hip and knee pain.
2. Don’t overdo it. Whether it’s activity at the gym or at home, it’s critical for the health of your joints to give your body a rest and allow your body to fully recover. Not only will you benefit your joints, you’ll also see improved results in your physique. Remember over training or abusing your body hinders any muscle growth and weakens the joints.
3. Get moving. On the other hand, if you are sedentary, the lack of exercise can be just as harmful. A good combination of resistance training and cardiovascular exercise can help to strengthen the muscles surrounding your joints and help to prevent cartilage damage. For more information on a well balanced routine, see your Exercise Tab inside your program. We also recommend that if you are new to exercising or haven’t trained in awhile, you should consider working with a physical therapist or certified personal trainer to develop a routine that helps to protect your joints and correct any muscular imbalances. And don’t forget that you should avoid sitting in one position for too long. For instance, if you have a desk job, make it a point to stand up, stretch or take a quick walk around the office every 20-30 minutes or so to increase blood flow and keep the muscles that surround the joints from getting too tight.
4. Avoid jumping in with both feet. Trying a new and strenuous activity for the first time can cause major stress on your joints if your body isn’t prepared for it. If you have an interest in running a marathon or taking an advanced weight training class, it’s critical that you work your way up to it by slowly pacing yourself and training properly for the event. A physical therapist or personal trainer who understands your goals and physical limitations can help prepare you for that big event while protecting your joints.
5. Watch your posture. Over time, poor posture can lead to major imbalances and pain in your back, hips and knees. Working with a physical therapist or personal trainer to correct your posture can help to prevent these imbalances and keep joints healthy.
6. Take care of those muscles. When your muscles become overly tight from repetitive movements or even a desk job where you sit for extended periods of time, you are at a higher risk for joint pain and injury. Make sure to take the time to stretch adequately before and after exercise. Even a 10 minute stretch in the morning after a hot shower can help to ease pain and stiffness later in the day. Regular massage therapy with a trained professional can also help to loosen and stretch any tight muscles.
7. Talk to your Doctor about the right supplements to take. Though it is still a fairly subjective topic, there are many supplements available today that may help to ease pain, if taken correctly. Omega 3 Fatty Acids can help to reduce inflammation in the body. Glucosamine Chondroitin may help to alleviate joint pain and stiffness. It is important to speak to a health professional such as your doctor before taking any supplements.