Fitness & Wellness

Benefits Of Drinking More Water

Benefits Of Drinking More Water

Clients at 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON know I believe that drinking more water is good for both workouts and overall health. The body is about 60% water and blood, about 90%. When you become dehydrated, even mildly dehydrated, you lose energy, which can dramatically reduce the effectiveness of your workout. It’s also not good for your health or appearance. Even mild dehydration can lead to wrinkling.

Besides being tired, mild dehydration can affect the joints.

If you’ve ever worked out and felt sluggish, then drank some water and perked back up, you know that dehydration affects your energy, but did you know it also can cause achy joints? Staying hydrated is important for circulation and blood volume, which help your body recover more quickly, delivering nutrients to each cell. Dehydration increases inflammation and can contribute to joint pain, although it may not be the main problem. Unlike boosting your energy level, eliminating mild pain takes more than just drinking one glass of water, but staying hydrated throughout the day. Water lubricates the joints. Try increasing your water throughout the day and you may find joint pain is far less than it had been.

Your teeth will be healthier when you drink more water.

Water is necessary to develop saliva and keep your nose, mouth and eyes moist. It helps keep the mouth clean and delivers vitamins and minerals to keep dental decay and gum disease at bay. Drinking adequate amounts of water can help flush away acids and sugar from food and the bacteria that causes dental decay. Some of the bacteria water washes away creates odor, causing bad breath. Rather than grabbing a breath mint, grab a bottle of water to fight bad breath.

Your brain and digestive system depend on water.

Water not only cushions the brain, it’s involved in creating neurotransmitters and hormones. It also affects how the brain functions and its structure. Even mild dehydration can affect your reasoning process and how you think. Dehydration can also cause your digestive system to have problems. Not only does too little water cause constipation, it can lead to heartburn and stomach ulcers.

  • Too often people grab for a soft drink when they’re thirsty. That adds extra calories and affects your health. A tall glass of water is best for weight control and overall health.
  • Your blood will become thicker and more difficult to pump if you lack fluids. Drinking more water can help you maintain a normal blood pressure if the problem is dehydration.
  • Kidney damage from kidney stones create by chronic mild dehydration can be a problem if you drink too little water. Mild dehydration can also make allergies and asthma worse.
  • Drinking more water can help you lose weight. It can fill you up if consumed before a meal and lower your calorie intake. Sometimes, the body mistakes thirst for hunger and you eat calories you don’t need. Drinking more water can prevent that.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Reasons Why You're More Gassy Than Usual

Reasons Why You’re More Gassy Than Usual

Passing gas or flatulence and burping are two common occurrences. In fact everyone passes gas about 14 times a day and produce about 1 to 4 pints of gas. Passing gas is part of the body’s natural process to relieve ourselves from built up gasses in the system. Unfortunately, we can’t always choose where it happens. It can be embarrassing, especially when your in a large group that’s quiet. Excess gas can be your normal or suddenly occur, leaving you wonder why you’re more gassy than normal. Gas builds up in your body for several reasons, which include normal gas everyone has to some gas with lethal odors that have the potential to be weaponized.

Your intake of fiber may have increased dramatically.

Many times, the food we eat affects the amount of gas we produce. Too much fiber can be at the heart of the problem, particularly if you ate little fiber before and are trying to get healthier. Fiber is important, but when you’re increasing it in your diet, increasing it slowly is also important. There are two types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is the food for bacteria, which break it down with fermentation, which produces gas. If you’re increasing the fiber in your diet, go slowly.

You may be sensitive to some foods.

Lactose intolerance occurs because the body doesn’t make lactase, which breaks down lactose or milk products. How much or how little lactase the body makes will vary and so will the results of consuming milk products. Sometimes, the results are mild flatulence and for those who are very lactose intolerant, violent cramping and pain. Your body can’t break down the milk sugars or absorb them, so it creats a lot of gas in a short time period, which can cause pain in the intestines. Other food intolerance can cause the same problems.

You may be swallowing air without realizing it.

Drinking through a straw, smoking or even eating and drinking while talking can cause you to swallow air, so can eating too fast. Sometimes chewing gum or sucking on candies can, too. If you breathe through your mouth when you sleep, you’re probably swallowing air at night. Carbonated beverages also cause gassiness. People that swallow air frequently as a nervous habit are also frequently gassy.

  • Allergies to certain foods can also create similar gassiness like a food intolerance. Many times it’s certain carbs or sugars for food intolerance. The best way to find out is to follow a low FODMAP diet and reintroduce food slowly.
  • Keeping a food diary can also help you identify foods that make you gassy. Just note every food you eat and when you have the worst problems with gas. From that information, you can narrow down the culprit.
  • Built up gas can occur if you don’t walk after meals. When people move their legs as they walk, often small amounts of gas are expelled. Taking a walk after a meal can help relieve gassiness.
  • While most cases of gassiness are benign and normal, some aren’t. It could be a condition like GERD or celiac disease. Excess gas and abdominal pain should always be investigated with your health care professional if it occurs frequently.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Essential Vitamins You Need

Essential Vitamins You Need

If you’ve popped a multivitamin and thought you were good for the day and didn’t need to eat healthy, you’d be wrong. While even the most natural of multivitamins contain essential vitamins and minerals, they aren’t always processed by the human body or require certain phytonutrients, nutrients from plants, to boost their effectiveness. That’s why eating healthy and choosing food that is healthy is important. It’s also important that your diet contains a multitude of colorful vegetables and fruits for maximum benefit.

Start alphabetically with vitamin A.

The name vitamin A is a bit deceptive, since it’s a group of organic compounds that include beta-carotene and retinol, to name a few. It’s fat soluble, which means it requires fat to dissolve and it’s stored in fat tissues, so potentially, you can get too much. That only occurs for some forms of vitamin A. It plays an important role in the immune system and the functioning of the heart, lungs and kidneys. Lack of vitamin A is associated with eye diseases, skin problems from hair follicles and poor bone growth. Beef liver, frozen spinach, raw carrots and baked sweet potatoes are good sources.

Vitamin C is best known for boosting immune functioning.

The body needs vitamin C to repair tissue and keep the skin, bones and teeth healthy. It’s an antioxidant, so it protects cells from free radical damage and damage from toxins, including radiation. You need vitamin C to absorb iron in the intestines, too. Scurvy was once a problem, particularly for people aboard ships. It’s caused from lack of vitamin C. In fact, the British navy used lime juice to help cure scurvy in the beginning of the 19th century, so limey became a slanderous term for people in the British Royal Navy. Signs of scurvy are swelling gums, fatigue corkscrew hairs and bad wound healing. It’s water-soluble, so excess flushes out with urine, but too much can upset your stomach and lead to kidney stones. Raw red peppers, citrus fruit like limes, broccoli and baked white potato contain higher amounts of vitamin C.

Vitamins D and E are both important.

Vitamin D is important for your immune system. In fact, studies show a link between the development of complications from covid-19 and low vitamin D levels. It also helps mineralization of bones and teeth, maintaining normal calcium levels in the blood and reducing inflammation. The body makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun, so safe sunning is the easiest way to get it, but cod liver oil and salmon also has a lot. Vitamin E helps blood vessels widen and prevents clotting. It’s also an antioxidant that protects cells. Deficiency can occur due to malabsorption and cause anemia, immune system weakness, muscle weakness and fatigue. Wheat germ, sunflower seeds, almonds and peanut butter contain vitamin E.

  • Vitamin K found in collard and turnip greens, kale and spinach, helps form blood clots. It also plays a role in bone and dental health. Deficiency is rare, since gut bacteria make it.
  • Riboflavin is vitamin B2. It’s in beef liver, clams, yogurt and protabella mushrooms. It’s important for cell growth, skin, hair, nails and eyesight. Cracks on the corners of the mouth and on lips indicate a deficiency. Too much alcohol can cause a deficiency.
  • Niacin—vitamin B3—helps gut, nerve and skin health and assists in providing cell energy. It comes from beef liver, chicken breast and tuna. Folic acid—B-9—helps cell growth and is found in beef liver, cereal and frozen spinach.
  • Vitamin B12 is important for the nervous system and the creation of RNA, DNA, fats and proteins. It helps build red blood cells. It’s found in beef liver, ground beef, clams and salmon.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

How To Improve Muscle Tone Without Becoming Bulky

How To Improve Muscle Tone Without Becoming Bulky

Most women who want to improve muscle tone worry that they’ll end up bulky, looking more like the Incredible Hulk, without the green. The bulky look doesn’t work for many men either, unless they want to enter body building competition. The good news is that you can tone up without bulking up and it’s relatively easy. If you’re working with a trainer, he or she will show you how to do that, but for the rest, here are some tips that will help.

You need to lose fat, while building muscle and improving your posture.

Strength training workouts are necessary for building that lean toned appearance, so is fat loss. If you have a layer of fat covering those lean muscles, nobody will be able to see how toned you are. To burn fat, strength training is excellent. Go for multi-joint—compound exercises that work several muscle groups and torch calories. Squats, shoulder presses, pull-ups, deadlifts and bench presses are examples. Exercises that improve your posture can make you look thinner and more toned quickly.

Getting stronger should be your focus.

Strength training is extremely important, no matter what your fitness goal. It’s important for daily living to help prevent accidents and injuries. It’s especially important for seniors who want to maintain independence. You need a full body strength training workout at least twice a week to be at your best, with 48 hours between strength training workouts. Each muscle group should have eight to twelve repetitions.

Keep lean by minimizing the amount of rest you get.

The more strength training sets you do, the more potential for bulkiness, but resting more between sets can actually bulk you up, too. Taking less time to rest between sets can actually reduce the potential for that bulky look. According to one study in 2016, men who rested one minute, compared to those who rested three minutes, showed that those who rested longer developed muscular hypertrophy—bulkier muscles.

  • If you are a woman, hormones prevent that bulky look. In fact, women who build bulky muscles have to work super hard or take supplements in order to get bulky. Doing it naturally is extremely difficult.
  • Your posture plays a big role in getting that lean, defined muscular appearance. Yoga, Pilates, and stretching exercises that work through the entire range of motion can build long lean muscles, but so can making sure your posture is correct.
  • The amount of body fat you have will determine how lean you look. Combine your workout routine with a healthy diet to get the best results.
  • If you’re lifting weights, choose lighter weights, isolation movements and more repetitions for less bulk and a toned look. Your trainer will create a program specifically for your fitness level and goals.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Signs You Might Have A Magnesium Deficiency

Signs You Might Have A Magnesium Deficiency

There are a lot of health problems that can occur when you have a magnesium deficiency, some minor and others more serious. While severe magnesium deficiency is relatively rare, reported in less than 2% of the population, undiagnosed mild deficiency is far more prevalent, occurring in as much as 75% of the population. Deficiency can occur for a number of reasons. A bad diet is one, but some health problems that can actually make it more probable. People with celiac disease and chronic diarrhea are more prone to deficiencies. So are diabetics, alcoholics and people with HBS—hungry bone syndrome.

If you get frequent muscle cramps, you might be low on magnesium.

Not all tremors, muscle cramps or twitches are from magnesium deficiency. Some of those things occur in older adults without deficiencies and even if a deficiency occurs, supplementing with magnesium may not help in older adults. Some deficiencies can even cause seizures or convulsions. If you’re getting muscle cramps and muscle twitches occasionally, it could be normal or from other causes, like medication, neuromyotonia or a motor neuron disease.

Checking your magnesium levels may be an important predictor of heart disease.

Scientists believe that low magnesium levels can be linked to all types of heart disease from high blood pressure to plaque build up, cholesterol problems, hardening of the arteries and calcification of soft tissue. In fact, low magnesium may be a good predictor of the potential for heart disease. High blood pressure can be caused by deficiencies and studies show that magnesium supplements can benefit those people. People with irregular heartbeat that may also suffer from heart palpitations, light-headedness, shortness of breath, chest pain and fainting. Severe arrhythmia can increase the risk of heart failure and stroke.

Is anxiety or depression a problem and there’s no identifiable cause?

There are many mental health disorders that can come from lack of magnesium. Depression and anxiety are two, but lack of emotion, apathy and mental numbness are also early symptoms, with the potential for coma and delirium a potential for severe deficiency. Scientists hypothesize that magnesium shortage can cause nerve damage and that can increase the potential for mental health conditions in some people.

  • Animal studies indicate that low magnesium levels might lead to osteoporosis. It could cause the bones to weaken and also cause calcium levels, necessary for strong bones, to be lower in the blood.
  • Chronic exhaustion and fatigue with muscle weakness could indicate a magnesium deficiency. Low magnesium can cause potassium deficiency that leads to the muscle weakness.
  • Severe asthma may have a link to magnesium deficiency. Studies show that people with asthma may have lower levels of magnesium. Lack of magnesium can create the build-up of calcium in the lining of the lungs that restrict breathing.
  • Foods that are good sources of magnesium include dark chocolate, pumpkin seeds, popcorn, almonds, peanuts, other seeds and coffee.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

What Are Good Carbs?

What Are Good Carbs?

Not all carbs are bad carbs, nor are they all good carbs. That’s why going on a low carb diet requires you do more than just cut out all carbohydrates. Not only would that NOT make sense, it would be very unhealthy. With all the talk about low carb diets, let’s first identify exactly what a carb is and what a low carb diet entails. There are three macronutrient groups, protein, fat and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates—carbs—include both highly processed and unprocessed ones in three categories, sugars, starches and fiber. Carbs are fuel for the body and can be broken down to energy.

Low carbohydrate diets, often called keto diets, limit the number of calories from carbohydrates.

Low carb diets can help you lose weight and even improve your HDL cholesterol, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, but long term studies show it could increase the risk for serious conditions like cancer, stroke and coronary heart disease. The positives and negatives of a low carb diet revolve around the type of carbs you eliminate from your diet.

Which carbs are good and which are bad?

Sugars and highly processed white flour products not only help pack on the pounds, they aren’t heart healthy. Carbohydrates that are fiber-rich, such as fruits and vegetables, are staples of a heart healthy diet. The more processing a carb undergoes, the more it slides to the unhealthy or bad carb side. Baked goods, candy, pizza, and junk food fall on the “do not eat” side of the carbohydrate spectrum, while carrots, celery, red peppers and other vegetables are on the healthy or good carb side. In between the two and closer to the healthier side than the middle, based on how they’re prepared are potatoes, peas, corn, and squash.

Good carbs have more to offer than just calories—energy.

You don’t have to have carbs in your diet, but for thousands of years man has consumed them. It’s simply easier to get energy from carbohydrates. Protein takes more processing, so you feel full longer, while fat slows the digestive process, so it also adds to that full feeling. Most carbs are quick energy, except for fiber-rich ones, such as vegetables and fruit. They also fill you up longer. Highly processed carbs, like sugar and white flour do not contain fiber and also do not contain other nutrients that are beneficial for your health. If you’re cutting down on carbs, cut down on junk food, white flour and sugar products. Pile your plate with green leafy vegetable, red fruits and vegetables, yellow and even purple ones.

  • Some foods contain fiber, which doesn’t digest in the body. When you remove the fiber, you get net carbs, the number of carbs your body actually uses for energy.
  • A one cup serving of green beans contain 8 grams of carbs with just 4 grams of net carbs. A cup of broccoli is 6 net carbs less the non-digestible fiber, 3.6 net carbs. One cup of sugar is 199.96 carbs and 199.96 net carbs since there is no fiber.
  • Even high carb vegetables, such as potatoes, peas, corn, and squash can be important in your diet. Squash has a 16 net carbs, but also is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene that becomes vitamin A in the body, plus contains other nutrients, such as B6 and protein.
  • Whole grains have benefits that processed white flour doesn’t contain. They are in the “good guy” encampment. Many bad carbs come in a liquid form, such as soft drinks, which are mostly sugar water.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

What Is Sensible Protein?

What Is Sensible Protein?

Having adequate protein is important, but can you have too much protein? How much is sensible and healthy? You need protein to maintain your muscle tissues. Protein is made of amino acids and digests back to its basic amino acid. Those are necessary for the creation of enzymes, act with the hormonal system, build connective tissue, provide energy and boost the immune system. The amino acids also help balance the fluid in your body, build tissue throughout the body and are important to the immune system. A number of factors go into that decision on how much protein you require.

Your sex and your level of activity help determine the amount of protein you need.

The factors that determine the amount of protein necessary include body weight, sex and how active you are. If you’re working out with weights and trying to build muscle tissue, you’ll need more protein. Of course, the more you weigh, the more protein you’ll need, so the amount is based on percentages of daily intake. Women need more protein, since they have less muscle mass. The required daily amount is approximately 10% of your total caloric intake, but most people in America eat approximately 16%. Seniors need more to help preserve muscle mass, since they don’t process protein as well.

New diets are based on eating more protein.

The three macronutrients in a diet are carbohydrates, fat and protein. The traditional view of consumption is to allocate 10 to 35% of those calories to protein, with 45 to 65% going to carbohydrates and 20 to 35% to fat. Increasing the protein can actually improve your chances of losing weight. For the average person the DRI—the Dietary Reference Intake—is to consume 0.36 grams of protein per pound of body weight.

You can harm your body by consuming far more protein than you need.

Some of the problem comes from the food you don’t eat if you include too much protein in your diet. You’re more apt to cut out healthy carbohydrates, which often provide fiber. Less fiber leads to constipation, an increased risk for heart disease and for some, chronic illness. Too much protein can affect your kidneys, while increasing the risk of causing liver dysfunction, bone disorders, cancer and artery disease.

  • There are many experts now leaning toward the intake of more protein, especially if you’re trying to lose weight. It digests slower, so you eat less and it takes a lot of calories to digest it.
  • If you eat too much protein over a long time, it could be unhealthy. However, too much protein is 0.9 grams per pound of body weight. A 16-oz rib-eye steak has 7 grams of protein, so 130 pound person would have to eat over 16 steaks every day to achieve that amount.
  • Ensuring you get high quality protein is important. High quality protein can come from beans, salmon and yogurt. It’s far better than getting all your protein from red meat.
  • Eating a diet higher in protein can boost your metabolism. It also can help stabilize your blood sugar if you’re eating a sugary treat.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

What Does Holistic Eating Mean?

What Does Holistic Eating Mean?

Clients at 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON, know that what you eat is as important as exercise to achieve good health. It’s one reason many consider holistic eating. Just what is holistic eating? It’s a belief that your body requires healthy whole foods to be at its best and that our bodies, mind and spirit are intertwined, each affecting the other. It considers a healthy diet as part of the whole person perspective. Each person has a specific need and the diet for each is unique, based on that need.

A nutritionist asks many questions to find out exactly what your body needs to be its best.

Before discussing the diet you require, there are a number of assessments that must be taken. What’s your level of vitamins and minerals? Are your thyroid/iodine levels correct? What’s your body composition based on fat and your body measurements? Each person’s metabolism works differently, so measuring that is important for identifying the proper diet.

Holistic eating emphasizes several things to improve your diet.

The amount of water you drink each day is important for staying hydrated. Dehydration causes many problems, from lack of energy to how you digest food. Organic food is important, since it eliminates pesticides, herbicides, food with antibiotics and hormones, GMO food and food that’s irradiated. Eating whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, particularly those locally grown, foods that provide essential fatty acids in the right balance, minimally process food and food that is dense in nutrients are all part of a holistic diet.

If you’re a fast food junkie, you aren’t eating holistically.

Most fast food is high in salt and contain lots of high fructose corn syrup or other sweetener. Both are hard on your body and your health. They contribute to existing health issues and also cause others. Soft drinks are also eliminated in these diets and often so is coffee. Some foods still contain trans fats. Those have been proven to be detrimental for your health. Any food with additives should be eliminated. Choose packaged foods with the fewest ingredients and even better if it has just one, such as peanut butter that contains just peanuts.

  • Holistic diets focus on eating healthy whole foods, those with little processing, since you’ll get more nutrients from fresh produce. Heat destroys some of the nutrients. The lycopene in tomatoes is the only excepting, since cooking increases the lycopene content, even though heat destroys its vitamin C.
  • If you’re adding more fiber to your diet, add it slowly. It can cause gas and other digestive issues when increased too rapidly. Making other changes gradually allows you to accustom your body to the change.
  • One way to improve your chances of success on a holistic diet is to rid your cupboards of unhealthy food. Always read the labels on food to check ingredients before you purchase.
  • A holistic diet that addresses your personal issues can help you live healthier, while also aid in weight loss. You’ll feel healthier, have more energy and probably a different attitude toward life.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Can Herbs Fight Depression?

Can Herbs Fight Depression?

Your diet can play a huge role in whether you enjoy every day to its fullest or look at the world through cloudy lenses. A high sugar diet can contribute to depression, just as a diet low in Omega-3 fatty acids does. Spices and herbs fight depression, so they can be just as important for flavor as they are for your peace of mind. Many spices we use today were first used medicinally. Many were used for melancholia hundreds of years before they were used as spices.

Saffron was used by ancient Greeks then and is still used for depression.

In Greek mythology, Hermes transformed a dead friend, Krokos, into the flower that provides saffron via the stigmata. It’s still used today for it’s a ability to fight depression and boost immunity. In fact, there are studies being done now that are testing the viability for use, and they look promising. Those studies show that levels of serotonin—a mood improving neurotransmitter—are increased when taking saffron. Another study showed that saffron made a significant reduction in symptoms of depression compared to a placebo and as effective as antidepression medication.

Rhodiola looks like sedum, but has benefits for depression and stress.

Besides other health benefits, Rhodiola helps the body improve its response to stress and reduce the symptoms of depression. It’s believed that the HPA— hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical—axis of the body is overactive when depression occurs and this herb helps reduce that over activity and improve nerve cell communications. Some studies show that taking an extract for 12 weeks can make a meaningful difference in the reduction of depression. It was less effective than a popular medication for depression, but had far fewer side effects. Another study combined it with saffron, which made a significant difference in adults with moderate depression symptom after taking it just six weeks.

St. John’s wort tea has been used for centuries to fight depression.

St. John’s Wort is a popular herb that has shown promise in reducing symptoms in people with depression. Over 35 studies found St. John’s Wort made a difference when treating depression by lowering the symptoms of mild to moderate depressed individuals. It does have a drawback, which is a potential interaction with other antidepressant medications and the combination could prove life threatening. Don’t let the word “wort” deter you. It simply means plant, root or herb in old English.

  • Ginseng was used for many ailments, particularly low energy, which can occur with depression. It’s also used to fight the effects of stress. Even though there are studies, none are conclusive for its benefits for depression.
  • Chamomile tea has long been a treatment to help people relax, but it also has helped people with depression and anxiety, according to a study in 2012. It produced results far more significant than a placebo.
  • If you want to sleep soundly, put a little lavender oil on your pillow. Studies also show that it can reduce anxiety significantly. Studies are underway on how it treats depression.
  • While it’s not an herb, low vitamin D levels may cause depression. Studies show that it has a direct effect on depression and you can get it free with exposure to the sun.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness