Fitness & Wellness

Confidence In A Gym Environment

Confidence In A Gym Environment

One of the reasons I often hear from people who want to work out, but fail to do so is their lack of confidence in a gym environment. That shouldn’t ever be the case for a number of reasons. Whether your uneasy about your knowledge of exercise or simply embarrassed by the shape you’re in, it shouldn’t stop you. Most people who go to the gym focus more on their own improvement and don’t watch the other people. But there are things to help you get back into the habit of working out and feel good about doing it.

Start by taking baby steps.

Just because you want to workout, it doesn’t mean you have to start at the gym, especially if you’re self-conscious. Start by going for walks, riding bike and doing mini workouts at home. Gradually increase the time you workout, walk or ride a bike to approximately to a half hour five days a week. Your progress will be slower than it would with a vigorous workout, but you’re doing something and building confidence as you do.

Make it easier on yourself by working out with a personal trainer.

Trainers understand not only how to help you with the right exercises and intensity for your fitness level, but also how to help you develop confidence in your abilities. They don’t judge you, but encourage and praise you for making the decision to take control over your level of fitness. You’ll build confidence and make progress quicker with a trainer who will get you off on the right path to fitness.

Get a workout buddy who also wants to get fit.

Whether it’s a friend or family member, a workout buddy can help you with that reluctance to workout. Just like doing it alone, working out with a friend can be done in the gym or at home. When you have a workout buddy, you’ll be more apt to stick with your program. That’s because it becomes more like an appointment and garners accountability. It’s also one reason people who use personal trainers tend to stick with their workout program.

  • Once you start a program with a personal trainer and develop more confidence, you can switch to a small group run by the trainer, which costs less and is actually fun.
  • Start with exercise you enjoy. If you hate regular exercise, do something active that’s fun. It might be hiking, biking or even dancing. The key is to get and stay active.
  • Dress for success if you go to the gym. Wear something that makes you feel like working out, which is also comfortable and meant for that sweaty adventure.
  • Just jump in and do it, whether you workout at home or at the gym. Waiting for the right moment means you’ll never get started. Don’t forget to add healthy eating into the mix for the best possible results.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Have You Tried An Impossible Burger?

Have You Tried An Impossible Burger?

If you’ve been to a Burger King near Gloucester, ON, Canada, you probably have seen the Impossible Burger on the menu. What is it? It’s a lab grown vegetarian option that doesn’t contain meat, but certainly tastes like it does. It’s a blend of potato and soy proteins in the latest version, which is different from the first one that contained wheat protein and not gluten-free. It has coconut oil and sunflower oil as a fat source and methylcellulose as a binder that provides fiber, too.

So how does it taste?

People who try this burger claim it tastes just like meat. It has the sizzle and smell of a burger with that juicy interior from the heme in plants. Scientists used the DNA from soy roots to modify yeast genetically and produces large amounts of soy heme. In fact, it tastes so much like meat, there’s now Impossible meats in the frozen section of the grocery, so you don’t have to go grab a burger to get the flavor, saving you money and calories, since you can eat it without a bun or all the condiments.

There are benefits to eating the Impossible Burger.

There’s no cholesterol in the Impossible Burger, so if you’re limiting your cholesterol intake, it’s far better than a regular burger. A regular burger has about a quarter of your daily cholesterol intake. It has less than one gram of sugar. It’s also made with 15% of your daily calcium, iron at 25 % DV, 19 grams of protein, 9grams of carbs, 130% DV of B12, 2350% DV of thiamin, 50% DV zinc, 15% DV of zinc and plus plenty of fiber—11% DV.

It sounds good, but are there drawbacks?

There are drawbacks with every product, including the Impossible Burger. It’s not the best choice when it comes to sodium. Just like many products that are geared to taste like meat, the Impossible Burger is high in sodium, with 370 mg—16% DV. Compare that to the 4% DV of a regular burger. It also has a high saturated fat content with 8g or 40% DV, 10% more than a regular burger. A regular burger also has far more protein, which keeps you feeling full longer, so you won’t eat as much later in the day.

  • Even though the regular burger has 20 calories more, that’s insignificant if you consume even an apple to fill the void later on after you ate an Impossible Burger.
  • Nutritionists suggest that the Impossible Burger isn’t the answer if you’re looking for a healthier option. The best option would be to eat half a burger and supplement the meal with vegetables, including mushrooms.
  • People on a heart healthy diet may benefit from the lower cholesterol, but the high sodium count and high saturated fat can wipe out the benefits.
  • There are healthier food options than the Impossible Burger, but it doesn’t mean you have to eliminate it from your diet. Choose the frozen patties and use half or a quarter to top a salad.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


What Foods Are High In Electrolytes

What Foods Are High In Electrolytes

How important are foods high in electrolytes? In order to answer that, you have to understand just what an electrolyte is and what it does. Electrolytes are electrical conductors in your body’s fluid. They’re minerals that dissolved in water to use their energy to help with bodily functions. For instance, you have to have electrolytes to control body fluids, blood pressure, muscle contraction, which includes the heart and maintaining the right pH of the body. People who have high blood pressure understand the importance of electrolytes like potassium and also sodium. Magnesium, calcium and chloride are other well-known electrolytes.

Electrolytes are in water and also food.

Whether you’re drinking bottled water or tap water, there are electrolytes in it. Only distilled water has them removed. The same is true of food. Consider salt, that’s sodium chloride. Just by recognizing the chemical name, you know there’s sodium and chloride electrolytes, so even junk food can have them. The problem is that you want a balance and food high in sodium doesn’t provide it.

What foods have a good balance of electrolytes?

Look for food that’s green and leafy, like spinach or kale. Consider healthy food such as broccoli, avocados, beans, almonds and peanuts. Soybeans and soy products like tofu, strawberries, watermelon, oranges and bananas are high in electrolytes, too. Yogurt is a good source of electrolytes, just as other milk products are. Fish, turkey chicken and veal are also high in electrolytes.

The key is eating healthy and balanced, to ensure you have a balance of electrolytes.

You probably already know that you can have too much sodium in your diet. In fact, you can have too much of any type of electrolyte. The key is always to eat healthy and have a good blend of electrolytes. What can cause you to deplete your store? Sweating, vomiting, diarrhea or diuretics can. Anything that dehydrates you, also depletes you of electrolytes. If you’re sweating, you’ll probably replace the fluid, but may not replace the electrolytes. Anyone working out hard and sweating over an hour and a half to two hours, should ensure they replace the lost electrolytes with a sports drink or other technique.

  • Knowing that the body has a perfect balance point can help you understand why over consumption of salt can cause a problem.
  • Some medication can cause an electrolyte imbalance. Make sure you discuss the potential with your health care professional when starting any medication or before consuming sports drinks.
  • Long before sports drinks were invented, coconut water was the original sports drink. It contains five electrolytes, sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus. As an emergency use, coconut water was used to replace blood plasma in WW2.
  • A little chicken broth, an apple, banana or a container of Greek yogurt could provide the electrolytes you lost during a workout.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Energy Drinks Vs Caffeine Pills

Energy Drinks Vs Caffeine Pills

Since the research showing that a cup of coffee or caffeine pills taken before a workout can boost performance, using one of those about an hour before working out has a become a ritual with many athletes. Recently, the focus has switched to energy drinks. It the change a beneficial one? Do energy drinks offer the same results? Let’s look at the benefits of caffeine first.

How caffeine or caffeine pills can help a workout.

It takes about 90-100 minutes for caffeine to be absorbed and the blood levels to peak. Caffeine affects the entire body, including the muscles and the brain. It can improve focus and reduce tiredness, while also triggering hormones for the fight or flight response, such as epinephrine. That increases performance, too. It increases fat burning and also aids in the release of feel good hormones. It can trigger the part of the brain that signals muscle to activate, increases heat production and can enhance the endurance performance by sparing the glycogen stored in the muscles.

Will an energy drink provide the same benefits?

Unlike coffee or even caffeine pills, the ingredients in energy drinks vary greatly. While caffeinated energy drinks can give you that caffeine boost, improve cognitive functioning and enhance muscle strength, it contains synthetically produced caffeine, rather than a natural source. The caffeine in energy drinks can be high and can cause issues during and after exercise. If you go with an energy drink, make it one with a natural source of caffeine.

What’s wrong with synthetic caffeine?

There’s a difference in the type of caffeine used, whether it’s in caffeine pills or in the energy drink. Caffeine from natural sources take longer to work, but also last longer. If the caffeine is produced in a lab, rather than extracted from the brewing process, you’ll have a quicker reaction, but it won’t last as long and you’ll find yourself crashing quickly.

  • Instead of using caffeine pills or energy drinks, consider using coffee or even green tea. The caffeine in green tea metabolizes differently, doesn’t give an immediate rush, but does provide a more sustained energy level.
  • Make sure you have plenty of water while you workout if you use either energy drinks or caffeine pills. Caffeine acts like a diuretic, so you’ll void more and have more potential for dehydration.
  • If caffeine or coffee gives you the jitters, don’t go to energy drinks, but choose green tea instead. The sugar and caffeine in the energy drink will probably produce the same results, but the green tea contains L-Theanine that prevents the shakes.
  • If you decide to choose an energy drink, check the label for additives. Many contain sugar, while others contain ingredients that sound like they came from a chem lab. Neither of the two are good for you.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Raise Your Quality Of Life Today

Raise Your Quality Of Life Today

What does it mean to raise your quality of life? For some, it’s all about possessions, having expensive things and where you live. For others, quality are things that are more intangible, like good health, mental well being and personal freedom. It means many things to different people, but one thing is certain, staying healthy is often at the core. You can’t control every aspect of health, but you can do many things that improve it and stay healthier.

Eat healthy.

Sure, you do only go around once, but that doesn’t mean you should eat cake and ice cream for every meal. Treating your body with the respect you deserve is important and it all starts in the kitchen. Unless you have a laundry list of foods you hate, most people find that eating healthy is not only easy, but also satisfying. Best of all, healthy food tastes good and makes you feel good. You can even make healthy eating an adventure by trying new recipes, even ones that have ingredients you don’t like. Savor the flavor of every bite and eat mindfully.

Feel how great it is to be the master of your own body.

Exercise is more than just getting your body into shape, it’s feeling every muscle move as you mentally command it. It’s enjoying the challenge of each workout and the feeling of success when you succeed. I had a client who was a dancer. She used to describe the joy she felt when her body moved to music and she felt every muscle obey. Workout regularly and enjoy every minute of it or one day, you won’t be able to do that. The body is a miracle and capable of so much more than most people realize.

Start each day with a feeling of gratitude.

If your attitude is gratitude, your life will be happy. Staying healthy is both physical and mental. If you think you’re sick and unable to control your life or make the changes you need to make, you simply can’t. We also tend to see more of what we focus on, so if you’re grateful you’re focusing on what you have, not what you lack. By doing that, you’ll be amazed at how the quality of your life improves.

  • Improve your quality of life by helping someone else. It doesn’t have to take a long time or cost anything. It might be as simple as complimenting someone or helping them carry groceries into their home. Focusing on helping others brings a higher quality of life for you.
  • Wear a smile and improve your quality of life. Try it now, smile. If it feels fake, picture you’re smiling at a pet or a favorite person. Not do it throughout the day. Add laughter for more benefit.
  • Treat yourself nicer. Whether it’s taking time to treat yourself to a day at the spa or something as simple as getting adequate sleep, you deserve better treatment.
  • Eliminate a bad habit, like smoking or excess alcohol, and replace it with a healthy habit, like learning something new every day, or coming to 180 Fitness for a life-changing program.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Increase Your Good Gut Bacteria

Increase Your Good Gut Bacteria

You’re never alone. No, it’s not Big Brother that’s watching you, but the microbiome that’s living in you. You have billions of microscopic fungi, bacteria, archaea, virus and eukaryotes living in and on your body. In fact, some estimates say they outnumber human cells by ten to one. They play an important role in your digestion, aid the immune system, produce vitamins, fight off bad bacteria or fungi and they even affect our mental health. Some things, like a round of antibiotics, can disrupt the balance and that’s when you need to increase your good gut bacteria.

Your doctor may have told you about probiotics and fermented food.

Whether you grab a container of yogurt with a live culture or head for the sauerkraut or kimchi, both fermented food and probiotics will help get your gut back to normal. It can prevent those horrible days after a round of antibiotics that kill off the good bacteria with the bad and leave the fungi and other microbes without good bacteria to keep them in check. Eating kefir, live culture yogurt, fermented vegetables, kimchi, kombucha, miso, sauerkraut and tempeh can help you get your microbiome back in order.

Feed the survivors.

Those bacteria you introduced with the probiotics or those that survived antibiotics are fragile and go through a lot of changes, including temperature changes and changes in pH. They need food that helps make the transition from the container to the gut easier. That food that makes them more tolerant and hardy are carbohydrates we can’t digest. Prebiotics, the food of healthy bacteria include onions, spinach, beans, garlic, asparagus, leeks, whole wheat, chicory root, bananas, Jerusalem artichokes, raw dandelion greens, oats and soybeans

Cut out sugar and fat!

It’s not enough to feed the good bacteria, you have to quit feeding the fungi and bad bacteria. Sugar and even artificial sweeteners can make the bad boys happy. Both of those cause an imbalance of bacteria in the gut called dysbiosis. One study in 2015 showed that artificial sweeteners, sugar and fat affected the balancing act of the bacteria and other microbes in the gut. Not only does it affect digestion, it can affect behavior and brain functioning. Eat healthy. Go with more vegetables and less meat in your diet.

  • Cut out stress. Stress can kill friendly bacteria, whether it comes from environmental stress like it being too hot or cold, day-to-day stress, lack of sleep or a shift in your sleep/wake pattern. You’ll have happy bacteria when you do.
  • Quit smoking. Studies show that smoking boosted the production of bad bacteria and halted the growth of healthy bacteria.
  • Watch out for the hand sanitizing and the cleaning chemicals you use. If you disinfect everything and use antibacterial soaps, including hand soap, you might be promoting the growth of lachnospiraceae, a gut bacteria linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes.
  • Exercise is a cure all, even for lopsided bacterial count. You can boost your healthy bacteria with a program of regular exercise. Come check out our free trial days at 180 Fitness.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Health Benefits Of Kale

Health Benefits Of Kale

Kale used to be relegated to the salad bar as decoration, but is now touted as one of the superfoods. How did that happen? It occurred because of all the health benefits of kale. I remember early in my grocery shopping days, there was always a small display of kale in Gloucester, ON, but it’s grown to take the space afforded to a popular vegetable that sells quickly. Kale has a lot to offer and since about 2012, has been coming on strong in popularity, with new kale recipes and treats appearing almost daily.

Eating kale is like taking a vitamin-mineral supplement.

This crucifer is a member of the cabbage family, so it offers many of the benefits other family members offer. It’s packed with nutrients. Whether you get the purple kale, green kale, curly kale or the kind with smooth leaves, there’s a ton of nutrition in just one cup. It offers over 200 percent of the daily value—DV—for vitamin A, almost 700 percent of the DV for vitamin K and well over 100 percent of the DV of vitamin C. It also contains vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, magnesium, vitamin B1, B2, niacin, phosphorus and iron. This tasty little packet of nutrition also is low in calories—just 33, has just 6 grams of carbs, with a third of those from fiber and three grams of protein. That’s not all. It has the healthy fat, linolenic-acid.

Besides containing powerful antioxidants like vitamin C, it also contains other types.

Quercetin and kaempferol may not be as well known a vitamin C or vitamin A, but they are quite powerful and kale is loaded with them. It also has other ones, such as flavonoids and polyphenols. The antioxidants protect cells from oxidative damage. The more damage to cells, the faster you age and the more prone you are to serious illnesses like cancer. Antioxidants help keep blood pressure low, are anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and act as an antidepressant, while also protecting the heart. Put a smile on your face, while you’re warding off wrinkles by eating a kale salad.

Kale keeps your eyes healthy.

If you want to keep your peepers protected, munch on a bunch of kale. Most people expect to wear glasses or have poorer vision, the older they get. If you want to avoid the lenses longer, eating healthy can do that. Lutein and zeaxanthin are two nutrients that are found in kale that help you keep your eyes healthier and protect them from macular degeneration and cataracts, two very common senior eye disorders.

  • Kale can help you lose weight. Considering that one cup is just 33 calories, it would take a lot to eat too much kale or consume too many calories.
  • Kale is high in fiber, which fills you up, not out. It also has some protein. Both of these facts, combined with the high nutritional value, means it’s also great for losing weight.
  • Not only is kale high in potassium to help lower blood pressure, it also has lots of calcium. Unlike spinach, which is loaded with calcium, it has low amounts of oxalate, which blocks calcium and other minerals from being absorbed, so there’s more bioavailability.
  • You can find a lot of healthy kale recipes when you use our nutritional program. Isn’t time to try the three free workouts and see everything that 180 Fitness has to offer.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness


Are You Wasting Time With Cardio

Are You Wasting Time With Cardio

While cardio is important to your fitness effort, you might be wasting time with cardio if you want to lose weight. Even worse, you might be sabotaging your efforts, too. Cardio is important for overall fitness, just as flexibility, strength and balance training is. It’s not meant as a cure all for every fitness goal, such as weight loss. You need cardio for endurance and a healthy heart, but strength-building workouts help prevent osteoporosis, while building muscles and flexibility training can prevent injury. Some people think that just running every day is enough. Not only is it not enough to get you fit, it can actually make losing weight harder.

Why isn’t cardio good for weight loss?

Sure cardio workouts burn tons of calories, but the problem comes from where it gets the calories to burn. It uses calories from both fat and lean muscle tissue. Think about the marathon runner. Their body is lean and not muscular at all. While the workout of a marathon runner will keep weight off, once they quit, it’s harder to maintain the low weight and not put on fat. That’s because the more muscle you have, the more calories you’ll burn and the higher your metabolism will be. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does.

Going bonkers with excess cardio workouts not only makes weight loss tougher, it’s boring.

Nothing will kill a workout program faster than boredom. If you love running, do it, but don’t forget to include other types of exercise for building strength and flexibility. However, if you hate it, there’s no reason to include running as part of your fitness program. There’s far more interesting ways to get fit, such as kettlebells, HIIT workouts, circuit training and exercise bands. You can get cardio training in a number of ways, it doesn’t have to be from a run or a walk.

Why not make your fitness and weight loss fun?

One thing we promise, besides great results, is that you’ll never be bored. Our boot camp atmosphere and constant change in the workout will keep you coming back for more. Working out in a group is not only cost effective, it’s also far more fun than working out on your own. You have the energy and momentum of the group and the comradery of others cheering you on to success.

  • We use many exercises that are full body workouts and not only build strength, but also flexibility and endurance, plus burn huge amounts of calories. You’ll get more benefit from every minute you workout.
  • Even walking can become a more effective workout by adjusting the pace of your walk. Walk at top intensity for a few minutes then at a slower recovery pace. It becomes a HIIT—High Intensity Interval Training—workout.
  • Even though distance running is a good calorie burner, it puts a lot of stress on your body. If you do too much day-after-day, it can affect your immune system and leave you feeling dragged out. We create a program that’s perfect for your needs, boosting your energy without overdoing it.
  • If weight loss is your goal, you need to include a healthy diet, besides working out. At 180 Fitness, we provide help in that area, too.

For more information, contact us today at 180Fitness.ca


Is Sugar Ruining Your Health

Is Sugar Ruining Your Health

One reason we provide nutritional advice, besides a program of exercise, it that what you eat is as important, or even more important as working out when it comes to any fitness goal. You simply can’t out-exercise a bad diet. One of the things we find most people have a problem with is all the sugar in their diet. You might not realize just there’s sugar in almost everything you eat and it could be ruining your health. At 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON, we help you eat healthier and kick the sugar habit.

Manufacturers hide the fact that sugar is a major ingredient in their product.

What do you do when you shop for healthy food? Often you read the labels to see what the top ingredients are. Manufacturers know that and often choose to use several types of sweeteners, so they show later in the ingredient list, making it look like it’s low sugar, even though when combined, it’s probably the top ingredient. Keeping you hooked on sugar isn’t necessarily part of their plan, but craving their product is. Sugar is addictive and can lead to a myriad of conditions that are varied You might find that chances of weaker eyesight, arthritis, gall stones and varicose veins are increased by eating more sugar.

You’ll crash your immune system when you eat a lot of sugar.

Some people take extra vitamin C when they feel like they’re coming down with a cold or the flu. It’s a good idea, since vitamin C boosts the immune system. However, when you have high amounts of glucose in your bloodstream, their structure is similar to that of vitamin C. Instead of grabbing up vitamin C to help, it grabs the glucose that leaves the phagocytes—white blood cells—powerless to fight. It can occur even with healthy foods that are high in sugar. For instance, drinking orange juice raises glucose levels in the blood to have the effect. Instead, eat the whole orange and the fiber slows the glucose and lets the cells work properly.

Sugar and diabetes go hand-in-hand and it starts with insulin resistance.

Sugar can cause insulin resistance, which occurs when there’s too much free glucose in the bloodstream. The body produces insulin to handle the extra. Insulin opens the cells, allowing the glucose to enter and provide nourishment. Over time, when there’s far too much sugar, the cells don’t respond, so the body produces far more insulin and the cells use the insulin less effectively. Eventually, the pancreas is put into a vicious circle of working overtime and pumping out insulin that isn’t used. Poor diet, lack of exercise, stress and sugar can cause it and it leads to type 2 diabetes.

  • Heart disease can come from eating too much sugar. Excess sugar in the bloodstream raises blood pressure. If more than 25% of your calorie intake is from sugar, it causes the liver to dump fat into the bloodstream, another factor for heart disease.
  • The American Heart Association’s guidelines for sugar for women is no more than 6 teaspoons of extra sugar daily, which doesn’t include natural sugar in fruit. For men, it’s 9 teaspoons of added sugar.
  • Do you want to look your best longer? Cut out sugar, it causes premature aging. They combine with proteins in a process called glycation and creates AGEs— advanced glycation end products. Those cells attack collagen and elastin that keep your skin looking younger.
  • At 180 Fitness, we even take you for a shopping trip to the grocery store. It helps to see how to pick the healthiest foods and maneuver through the jungle of misinformation on food packaging.

For more information, contact us today at 180Fitness.ca