Fitness & Wellness

It's Summer And Time To Drink More Water

It’s Summer And Time To Drink More Water

It’s easy for people to identify things they should do for a healthy lifestyle. Diet and exercise are always at the top of the list. One important lifestyle change you should also make is to drink more water, especially during the summer in Gloucester, ON, Canada. It’s when you lose a lot of fluid through sweating. Your body needs water, since it’s composed of approximately fifty-five to sixty-five percent water. Adequate fluid is important to a number of functions. When you consider that the heart and brain contain 73 % water, lungs contain 83%, and both the muscles and kidneys are 79% water, it’s easy to understand.

Do you want to shed a few extra pounds? Water can help.

Have you ever thought you were hungry and looked for something juicy? Maybe you were just thirsty. Thirst is often mistaken for hunger. If you’re not sure of what you want or simply feel hungry, grab a glass of water first. Water has no calories and is often exactly what your body is craving. Watermelon and other fruits and vegetables that have few calories are also laden with water, so they offer a viable alternative as well. Sipping on water throughout the day can also help you control your appetite and lose weight.

Are you working out in the heat? Make sure you have water.

Your body needs adequate fluid to maintain its normal temperature and aid in breaking down nutrients in the intestines. Adequate bodily fluids are also necessary to keep the joints lubricated, protect the spinal cord and act like a shock-absorber for the brain. If your muscles ache, start by drinking a glass of water and see if it helps. If you have a mild headache, try a glass of water first. It may not be the aspirin that helps, but the water you drink to aid in swallowing it. Even some signs of dementia are actually mild dehydration. Seniors are more prone to becoming dehydrated.

Don’t go for the Jo when you’re tired. Try a glass of water.

You’ll be amazed at how much of a quicker-picker-upper water can be. Unlike coffee, which contains caffeine, water simply hydrates you. Caffeine is a diuretic that can actually deplete your body of water. Lethargy and exhaustion is one sign of mild dehydration. Mild dehydration can cause muscle fatigue and poor athletic performance, too. Two hours before you exercise, drink a couple of glasses of water and then sip on water throughout your workout.

  • Drinking plenty of water is a beauty aid, too. Even mild dehydration can make your skin look older.
  • Don’t forget to take water with you when you hike, bicycle or walk long distances. It’s good to drink a few sips throughout the day. Guzzling down ice water right before or immediately after exercise can give you digestive issues.
  • If you have constipation, water is an aid to bring relief. Kidney stones are also prevented by drinking adequate water.
  • It’s recommended that people drink an average of eight 8-oz glasses of water a day. Larger people may need more. People who do strenuous work or exercise need more to replace what they lost through perspiration.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Enhance Your Self Care During And After A Pandemic

Enhance Your Self Care During And After A Pandemic

I love seeing people in Gloucester, ON, using the time for self care during this time and now it’s time to start planning for and participating in things that are healthy no matter what the conditions, but especially after a pandemic. Taking good care of yourself, losing weight to help with underlying conditions and taking a few moments each day to appreciate life and good health. It’s time to start anew with a plan for a healthier, fitter you.

If you didn’t follow a work out program during isolation, it’s time to start doing it.

While Adele acknowledged her weight loss achievement started long before the shut down, it took on a more dramatic turn with her unveiling on Instagram. She used the time that would otherwise be more hectic, to follow the advice of a personal trainer with a healthy diet and a program of regular exercise. Her goal, according to the trainer, was to get healthier and that should be the goal of every person, whether it’s weight loss that will get them there, more exercise, healthier eating or simply changing their mental attitude. You only have one life to live and during these troubling times, making the most of that life is magnified.

Eating healthy is at the core of being healthy.

It’s all too easy to soothe emotions with a diet high in simple carbohydrates, like pastry, candy bars and ice cream, but during any stressful time, what’s best for you isn’t always your first instinct. Eating a diet filled with fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables provides nutrients that can actually help you stay more positive. When you eat sugar, it does stimulate the opioid receptors that gives you that happy feeling. Unfortunately, that good feeling doesn’t last long and before you know it, it can dip to depression. If you’re not following your daily activities, the chances of burning fewer calories is greatly increased. A healthy diet can help you steer clear of depression and encourage you to feel good about yourself, besides building your immune system and reducing the risk of serious conditions.

If you’re feeling stressed, there’s nothing better than exercise to help.

Exercise burns off the hormones of stress and boosts those that make you feel happier and more satisfied. In fact, some studies show that working out can also be a great complementary treatment for anxiety and depression. It may be why so many people pace during a stressful time. Just taking a half hour a day to be active can improve both your mental and physical health, while burning extra calories and building muscle tissue.

  • You don’t have to exercise all at one time, studies show that breaking your exercise time down to three ten minute sessions is as effective as one long 30 minute session. If you haven’t started working out, do it today.
  • Did you break every healthy rule about working out and diet? It’s never too late to start. Start getting active. Turn on a video and exercise or dance if you’re stuck at home. Get up earlier and start your day with a workout, if you’re already going back to work.
  • Take a walk, jump rope, ride a bike, just keep your social distancing as you do. Getting outside and enjoying the sunshine can also make a huge difference in your emotional balance.
  • Don’t forget to get adequate hydration and sleep. Sticking with a regular sleep schedule can help you stick with a routine and also help you maintain a regular workout schedule once you are working.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

How To Lose Body Fat And Preserve Muscle Mass

How To Lose Body Fat And Preserve Muscle Mass

It’s hard enough to shed weight, let alone trying to lose body fat and preserve muscle mass, but it can be done. It all starts with eating a healthy diet that contains nutritious food, plus enough protein to help build or maintain muscle mass. It should be between 0.8-1.3 grams of protein per pound of current body weight. Not only do you have to have a healthy diet, you have to have one that has a deficit of calories, but not excessively lower, to avoid shedding both fat and muscle tissue.

No matter what your diet philosophy, it all boils down to a few requirements.

When people go on a diet, they want to lose fat, not just weight. That decision means you need to cut out processed sugar, food with empty calories and improving the quality of fat consumed. It means cutting down on salt, too. One method that has helped many is intermittent fasting. It’s about limiting your food consumption to 8 hours of the day and fasting the other 16. Intermittent fasting has been shown to boost HGH—human growth hormone. It also helps improve insulin sensitivity, lower triglyceride levels, reduce inflammation and slow cell damage from free radicals. Ghrelin, the hunger hormone, is also modulated with intermittent fasting.

Avoid over-exercising.

If you want to shed pounds and maintain muscle mass, the answer is strength training. Doing exclusively cardio burns calories, but they come from both fat and muscle tissue. Strength training tends to burn more fat. Anyone that works out, knows that you can’t do a high intensity workout, particularly one with strength training, seven days a week and expect to get the results you want. You need time to recover or you’ll actually lose muscle tissue rather than gain it.

Cutting too many calories, crash dieting, puts your body in starvation mode.

Fat is harder for the body to metabolize than muscle tissue. So when you crash diet, you’ll lose muscle tissue, making weight loss even harder. Cutting calories also doesn’t provide the nutrients the body needs to heal muscle tissue. Take smaller steps. Cut back two to five hundred calories a day, so you don’t see your metabolism drop like a rock.

  • It’s important to maintain muscle mass. Muscle tissue burns more calories than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the higher your metabolism is.
  • Don’t do strength building workouts every day. Give yourself a day or two of rest between sessions so your muscles can heal.
  • Eat before and after your workout to help build or maintain your muscles. It should be a balanced combination of high quality carbs and protein.
  • While too much cardio is bad for maintaining muscles, you still need some to be healthy. On days between strength training, do gentle cardio, like bicycling, walking or swimming. Keep at a pace that allows you to carry on a conversation without gasping for air.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Best Foods To Eat To Lose Weight

Best Foods To Eat To Lose Weight

Just cutting calories isn’t enough. You have to cut calories, while ensuring you get the most nutrition if you want to be successful. That means you need to identify the best foods to lose weight, which also provide the most nutrition. It means not all calories are created equally. While they all provide the same amount of energy, they undergo different processing in your body. Different types of food have different effects on your hormones, the amount of calories you burn and how hungry you’ll be.

If you start with a healthy diet that has high protein, you’ll feel fuller longer throughout the day.

Eggs have been given a bad rap because of its cholesterol levels. While it’s true that eating a lot of eggs can raise LDL cholesterol levels—the bad cholesterol—they’re great when you want to shed weight. They are an inexpensive source of protein and fat, both of which leave you feeling full longer, and that’s a real plus when you’re trying to lose weight. Several studies have shown that eating eggs, instead of a carb, like bagels, for breakfast, boosts weight loss, plus supplied many necessary nutrients.

Salmon is your friend for weight loss.

You’ll fill up, plus get lots of omega-3 fatty acids when you eat fatty fish like salmon. Omega-3 fatty acids are important anti-inflammatory substances that help protect the cells and reduce the potential for metabolic disease and obesity. Salmon is also loaded with iodine that helps your thyroid function properly.

Greens and cruciferous vegetables are also weight-loss friendly.

Cruciferous vegetables, which include cauliflower, broccoli and Brussels sprouts, are exceptional for dieting. They high in fiber, which fills you up and actually contain quite a bit of protein. Compared to other vegetables when it comes to protein, they’re very high. They also contain high amounts of nutrients. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, Swiss chard and kale are low in calories, so you can eat quite a bit. They’re also high in fiber to make them quite filling.

  • Beans and legumes are high in protein, inexpensive and full of fiber. That makes them the best possible diet food. They fill you up, without adding a large number of calories. They not only help your weight loss effort, they help your budget.
  • Consider lean beef and chicken breast for weight loss friendly meals. Both are high in protein, keeping you feeling fuller longer. That high protein also helps you maintain muscle mass, which is important when you’re trying to shed pounds.
  • Believe it or not, avocados are a fruit and a very good source of healthy fat. They also have a lot of fiber and potassium. Feel comfortable making some guacamole with fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro, jalapeno pepper and lime juice. All are healthy ingredients.
  • Boosting your protein intake is important and there’s an easy way to get it. Add cottage cheese to your diet. Unsweetened Greek yogurt is another option. Adding frozen fresh fruit, like black cherries, walnuts and wheatgerm makes both an exceptionally tasty and healthy treat.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Rest And Digest-Eating Close To Bedtime

Rest And Digest-Eating Close To Bedtime

If you workout at home or at 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON, you know that it’s only half the answer to losing weight and living healthy. Not only are there questions about what you eat, but also when you eat. Can you rest and digest food properly late at night? Is eating close to bedtime an unhealthy option? While the primary focus should always be on what you eat, when you eat is also important. The amount of food you eat also makes a difference.

Your body uses activity to help digestion.

What you’re eating late at night makes a big difference. If you’re munching on an apple, the potential that it will disrupt your sleep is small. A big meal will definitely be harder to digest. There’s a reason people often go for a walk after meals. It helps their body digest the food according to several studies. It did that by helping the food move through your body faster. Staying active after a meal also helps lower blood sugar levels. How much you eat makes a big difference, not only in how well you rest, but also in how you feel the next morning.

You make different choices late at night than you do during the day.

If you’re hankering for something to eat at midnight, the chances are that you’ll reach for a salad or fruit is smaller. Most people head for the bag of chips or other quick snack available. Few take the time to make something healthy. So often night snackers are loading their bodies with empty calories and will pay for it with weight gain. It’s not about the timing, but rather about the choices made later at night.

Foods high in saturated fat content should be banned from your late night munching.

Greasy chips, fries, that left over fried chicken aren’t fare you should be eating at all, let alone at bedtime. A diet high in saturated fat, especially when eaten at bedtime, affects the quality of your sleep. It affects the amount of deep sleep you get, non rapid eye movement—NREM sleep. It’s the time that your brain helps you reinforce and evaluate the things learned during the day. It can affect your learning. There are three phases, and during each phase, the body regrows tissue, builds bones and muscle, boosts the immune system and repairs itself. While a high fat diet is bad, eating a small snack that has carbs, fat and protein can help you sleep. Find protein that is high in tryptophan.

  • Heartburn is also another problem with eating late, especially big meals. It can cause acid reflux and if bad enough, burn tissues in the lungs, sinuses and nose. That leads to more than indigestion, but also coughing, sore throats, sinusitis, hoarseness and even asthma.
  • Eating late can deprive you of a good night’s sleep. Sleep quality and amount makes a difference in your level of hunger. Lack of sleep increases ghrelin—hunger hormone and reduce leptin—the one that makes you feel full, so you tend to eat more.
  • If you’re diabetic, eating a small snack that combines carbs with a protein or fat can help keep your blood sugar level until morning. Think apple with peanut butter.
  • If you know you’re hungry before bed, be prepared. Have easily accessible food ready for that time. Applesauce with cottage cheese, a slice of avocado or chicken on whole grain toast or unsweetened Greek yogurt with blueberries are good options.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Healthy Foods That Can Help Heal Your Body

Healthy Foods That Can Help Heal Your Body

If you’re eating healthy, working out and getting plenty of fluids and sleep, the chances of getting sick are reduced, but don’t disappear. Accidents also create a need to let the body heal. Whether you’re at the top of the list for eating healthy, or even somewhere at the bottom, changing your ways can do a lot to help you recover. While eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables always helps, there are foods that help heal your body and make recovery even quicker.

Add some mushrooms to a salad or soup.

Whether you munch on white button mushrooms with dip or make a grilled portabella sandwich, mushrooms help. There are even studies to see how shiitake mushrooms boost the immune system to help fight some forms of cancer. The compound they contain, lentinan, is thought to slow the growth of stomach and colorectal tumors. While less well known mushrooms like reiki or lion’s mane may have more healing power, even white button mushrooms and portabellas also help. Portabellas have anti-inflammatory benefits that can help relieve pain and help muscles heal faster, while also providing benefit of aiding people with inflammatory diseases.

Try some power packed beets or their cousin Swiss chard.

Break off the tops of beets and save them to cook later. Steam the beets, rinse them in cold water and slip off the peel. You’ll have a super sweet treat that is natural and healthy. You can eat it warm or store it in the refrigerator. It’s definitely good to have on hand, since it contains nutrients that help the body heal. It’s relative, Swiss chard is also packed with nutrients that keep you well, but also support bone health, are anti-inflammatory and can help fight off the effects of stress-related diseases. If you’re short on spinach, Swiss chard is a great replacement.

If you have a broken bone, you need extra calcium to heal.

While you may think of milk and milk products immediately when you consider increasing your calcium, there are other options. Eating yogurt won’t hurt you, but don’t forget the benefits of green vegetables, nuts and beans. Eating food high in vitamin D also helps, such as kale, nuts and beans, eggs, dairy and fatty fish, like sardines or salmon.

  • Eat probiotics, such as live culture yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut or kim chi. These are especially important if you’ve taken an antibiotic. Antibiotics kill not only the bad bacteria, but good ones, too. These food replenish those.
  • Make sure you have healthy fat in your diet. It can come from salmon or other fatty fish, avocado, olive oil or even nuts and seeds.
  • Maybe you’re suffering from nausea. Don’t despair and think you have to suffer. Drink some ginger tea and you’ll feel better fast. If you’re old enough, you’ll remember when ginger ale was used for nausea. Some people still use it today.
  • Make sure your diet contains adequate iodine, so your body functions at its best. While most salt contains, you can cut out the salt and eat kale, green beans, spinach, parsley or bock choy.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Food That Support A Healthy Immune System

Food That Support A Healthy Immune System

There’s no truer saying than “You are what you eat.” While you won’t turn into a donut by eating them, you’ll have donut around your middle if you eat too many. Food and diet is now being researched as an complimentary method to fight cancer and heart disease, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s also true that eating healthy can support a healthy immune system, which leads to fewer infections, colds and flu.

Everyone seems to understand that getting vitamin C is important, but it’s worth repeating.

Whether it’s citrus fruit, like grapefruit, tangerines, lemons or oranges, getting adequate vitamin C is important to your immune system. It helps increase the white blood cells that help fight infections, but your body doesn’t produce it. It’s not just in citrus fruit, it’s also in red bell peppers. Snack on red peppers with dip or try some of those colorful mini sweet peppers. One mini pepper has about 25 calories, but contains 271% of your RDA of vitamin C.

Get spicy.

Add garlic to your dishes, sprinkle in some sage. Both have antibacterial properties. Rosemary, peppermint, ginger, oregano and thyme also are good. Garlic, known in old movies to keep vampires away, also helps lower blood pressure. The sulfur-compounds in garlic, like allicin, boost the immune system. Sage is a natural antiseptic. Rosemary is not only known for fighting infection, it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory and has high amounts of vitamin A and C. Start spicing up your meals and sprinkling a bit of herbs in each. Your body will thank you and your palate will too. Holy basil is also a powerful virus fighter.

Go green.

Whether you follow Popeye’s example and grab a can of spinach, or wolf down some broccoli sprouts and dip, it’s all good for your immune system. Broccoli is good for your body because it’s packed with antioxidants, including vitamins A, C and E. Spinach is also rich in vitamin C, plus beta carotene, which is used by the body to make vitamin A. Both are best when eaten raw or cooked as little as possible.

  • Do you like berries? If you’re boosting your immune system, think elderberries. Not only are they antifungal, antibacterial and antimicrobial, some research shows they can help fight the flu.
  • Grab a handful of nuts, like almonds or walnuts. They have healthy fat and loads of vitamin E, which boosts the immune system.
  • Make your belly bugs happy by eating some yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut or kim chi. Make sure it has live bacteria. These healthy bacteria help give a kickstart to the immune system. Don’t get the yogurt with added sugar. Instead, add cut up fresh or frozen black cherries and walnut pieces to increase the benefits.
  • Have a cup of green tea. Green tea contains he amino acid L-theanine. It can aid in the production of T-cells to fight infection.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

Tips To Lower Blood Sugar

Tips To Lower Blood Sugar

There are millions of people in the United States that have diabetes. Some have type 1, which occurs when the immune system destroys the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. That means the body doesn’t produce enough insulin to function normally. Type 2 diabetes often occurs later in life. It starts with cells developing insulin resistance or a lower functioning pancreas. There are several contributing factors for this type. It is influenced by environmental factors, genetics, inactivity or diet. For both types of diabetes and many prediabetics or those with insulin, lower blood sugar is often the goal.

It starts with eating healthier.

Diet is ultimately important for anyone with problems regulating blood sugar levels. Reducing the amount of simple carbohydrates in your diet is important. Not all carbohydrates are created equally when it comes to blood sugar. Simple carbs, such as sugar, break down quickly. Think pastry, sugar and fruit juice concentrate. Complex carbs break down more slowly. They’re high in fiber, which slows the digestion. These types of foods help prevent spikes in blood sugar. They include fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains. Choosing food with a low glycemic index is important.

Burn off that extra sugar with exercise.

Participating in a program of regular exercise not only helps you lose weight and tone muscles, it also helps you improve your insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is the ability for your cells to use the blood sugar. When you exercise, your muscles use the blood sugar for energy. That not only lowers blood sugar, it actually helps with insulin resistance.

Controlling blood sugar is aided by staying hydrated.

Water is your friend, whether you’re trying to lose weight, want a quicker-picker-upper or want to control your blood sugar levels. Drinking water not only quenches your thirst, it keeps you hydrated without adding extra calories. Studies show that drinking more water improves the potential for maintaining good blood sugar levels. It also helps flush the kidney’s of the extra blood sugar, via the urine.

  • If you have high blood sugar, always make sure you track your blood sugar levels to prevent it from getting too low during exercise.
  • Keep stress under control. That’s not always easy to do, but very important. Stress affects your blood sugar through the release of hormones like cortisol and glucagon. Breathing techniques, meditation and other relaxation techniques can help.
  • While it won’t lower your blood sugar immediately, getting adequate sleep will help keep blood sugar level. Lack of sleep or poor quality sleep can affect insulin sensitivity and blood sugar levels. It also increases the hunger hormone and reduces the hormone that makes you feel full.
  • Include various herbs and spices in your diet. Cinnamon is known to help lower blood sugar levels by as much as 28%. Fenugreek seeds also can improve fasting glucose levels and lower blood sugar in diabetics.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness

How Much Fruit Is Too Much?

How Much Fruit Is Too Much?

We encourage people to eat fresh fruits and vegetables at 180 Fitness in Gloucester, ON, Canada. Fruit contains valuable nutrients that provide a wealth of health benefits. They have antioxidants, phytonutrients that you can’t get in non-plant based food, fiber, vitamins and minerals. However, you can eat too much fruit, too. So, how much fruit should you eat? What type of fruit is best? Why is eating too much fruit bad for you? There are some simple answers to these questions.

Don’t start eating fruit to the exclusion of other food.

There are many types of diets, some are good—-others aren’t. One type of diet is the fruitarian diet, where people live on primarily fruits such as apples, bananas and oranges. While that may seem healthy at first, but it neglects many important nutrients. Fruit doesn’t contain many important minerals, like iron or zinc. If you’ve ever eaten too much fruit at one time, you probably experienced that bloating and diarrhea that can cause discomfort. For those with diabetes or with already high blood sugar, too much fruit can cause it to rise even more.

Try to get two cups of fruit a day.

The American Heart association suggests four servings of fruit each day, which is approximately two cups. However, you also need other types of food, such as vegetables. You need even more of those, approximately 2 ½ to 3 cups a day. In most cases, people don’t eat enough of either. However, you’ll know you’re eating more fruit than you should by your body’s reaction. You’ll spend far more time in the bathroom than you normally would and find yourself bloated and gassy.

Eat a wide variety of fruit.

Your focus should be more on variety than on consumption. If you’re eating a wider variety of fruit, such as apples, berries and bananas, you’ll have a healthier diet. The sugar in fruit comes with fiber, which helps level off blood sugar and provides other benefits. It has loads of nutrients and even water to aid with hydration. Choosing from a variety of fruit ensures you get a wider variety of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals.

  • If you eat unlimited amounts of fruit, it actually can cause weight gain. In most cases, that can only happen if you’re juicing. A good alternative is making smoothies or eating whole fruit, which includes the fiber in fruit.
  • Snacking on fruit can add nutrition and keep you running at full steam. You can also add fruit to plain Greek yogurt for a tasty treat that’s healthy. Avoid the added fruit yogurt that’s often high in sugar.
  • Get adventurous. Try fruit you might not otherwise eat or exotic ones. Mulberries, dragon fruit, jujube, mango steen and lychee are a few that you might not have tried. Too often people with mulberry trees don’t even bother to harvest that delicious fruit.
  • Not only is eating fruit good for the body, it’s good for the brain. Berries can help improve memory, help prevent mood swings and reduce inflammation.

For more information, contact us today at 180 Fitness