Are You Eating Too Much After Workouts?

Are You Eating Too Much After Workouts?

You often feel hungrier after your workout than you did before it. This makes sense, because you are burning more calories.

When you are sedentary and sitting you probably burn on average, between 1,800 and 2,300 calories each day. You did this simply by sitting in your office chair, walking to your car, reclining on your sofa while watching TV and just breathing, with little physical activity.

Those average calorie counts expended each day are typical for the modern adult man or woman. Now you have started to become active. That’s a great thing. Exercise combined with smart nutrition is an unbeatable way to get healthier from head to toe, mentally and physically.

When people start working out and exercising, they can become “health fanatics”. Again, this is a good thing. You are putting aside your sedentary lifestyle to improve your quality of life. Congratulations on that.

There is a problem though. Unfortunately, too many beginning exercise fanatics decide they will drastically limit their calorie intake at the same time. This puts your body in starvation mode, and can actually cause you to retain fat and not burn it.

Aside from limiting your results, it means you are hungry all the time. Especially after a workout, where you could have expended 300, 500 or 700 calories. Your mind is going to be screaming for nutrition, healthy fats, complex carbohydrates and calories.

If your exercise leaves you so hungry you could eat a horse, you may not be getting enough pre-exercise nutrition and healthy carbs. You may also believe that a single exercise session will offset a big-sized, fast food combo nightmare free of nutrition, tons of calories and unhealthy carbs.

Checking out the Science

A lot of people eat too much after working out. This is simply the truth. You may not even think you are overeating. However, science shows that for every 10 cal you burn, you have a biological compensation for 3 or 4 cal. This is referring to the time right after your exercise. You are going to eat another couple of times during the day at least, so you will eventually give your body the calories it needs to function properly, accounting for the fat-burning weight loss, muscle building or other physical benefits you are looking for.

A natural human tendency is to believe your fitness efforts are more successful than they actually are, you may think you have burned a lot more calories and fat than you actually did. Psychiatrists call this reward psychology. This is usually the mindset of beginners starting exercise for the first time, or returning to fitness.

The mindset is this.

I have just worked out strenuously for 60 minutes. If I reward myself with some type of tasty treat which may not be that healthy, that is a good thing. I am rewarding positive behavior, exercising. I am getting a taste of something I really love, even though it is probably not too good for me. All of my exercise will help offset that unhealthy reward, and then some.

The problem is the misconception of how much your exercise has impacted your body. In one important study, weight loss subjects were asked to report their own meal consumption and exercise efforts. Even with individuals who were not prone to overeating, the average subject believed he or she ate 47% less than they actually did. Those test subjects also claimed to be working out approximately 51% more than they did.

The only way to guarantee you are not eating too much after a workout is to keep a journal. Log every minute of your exercise efforts, and every single crumb that goes into your mouth. If your fitness efforts are not getting you where you want to be, and more importantly, if they are heading in the wrong direction, it may be because you are over-eating post-workout.

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month

The National Headache Foundation (http://www.headaches.org/) estimates that more than half of those who suffer from migraines have not been diagnosed. What is migraine and how is it different from a tension headache?

Migraines are intense or severe and often have other symptoms in addition to head pain. Migraines can be accompanied by warning signs (“triggers”) that an attack is about to begin. Tension headaches are more common and do not have a warning phase. Tension headaches also don’t typically cause the more severe migraine symptoms.

Migraine symptoms can include nausea, pain behind one eye or ear, pain in the temples, seeing spots or flashing lights, sensitivity to light and/or sound, temporary vision loss and vomiting. The sensations typically occur anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes before an attack.

The Five Phases of Migraines: While migraines can vary, most sufferers experience these five phases:

  1. Prodrome: The early “warning signs”
  2. Aura can affect vision (some do not experience this). A “halo” or bright light appears and gives everything a strange glow. Blind spots, geometric patterns, flashing, colorful lights, or loss of vision in one eye have also been reported.
  3. Headache: Usually occurs on one side of the head (pain described as stabbing and throbbing). Visual disturbances can continue, including extreme sensitivity to light. Many feel nauseous and vomit. Migraine can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.
  4. Headache termination: Can sometimes be treated successfully with medication and lifestyle measures. Migraines usually go away by itself at some point, most often if the person goes to sleep. Even after it is gone, there still can be some lingering effects.
  5. Postdrome: Migraine sufferers have reported symptoms after the migraine ends, including a loss of appetite, problems with concentration, and extreme tiredness.

As bad as migraines are, there is hope. The more people diagnosed and report their symptoms, the more we learn about them and the causes. Knowing the signs/symptoms leading up to your migraines are the first steps towards getting effective pain relief. The best option is trying to prevent migraines from happening in the first place. The15 most common migraine triggers are:

  1. Food – aged cheese, salty and processed foods, and chocolate.
  2. Food additives – artificial coloring, flavoring and preservatives, monosodium glutamate (MSG).
  3. Artificial sweeteners like aspartame have been linked to migraines.
  4. Hunger – not eating regularly or too fast.
  5. Alcohol – alcohol such as wine is a known trigger.
  6. Caffeine – coffee, tea and so-called energy drinks like Red Bull have been linked to migraines.
  7. Stress – stress can lead to tension headaches and those prone to migraines are more at risk.
  8. Bright lights – bright lights (clubs and in video games) and too much sun (not wearing sunglasses).
  9. Loud music / noises – loud music at clubs, high sound levels at the movies, drilling and jackhammers.
  10. Strong smells – perfume, cologne and aftershave, paint, paint thinner and other solvents, and cigarette or cigar smoke.
  11. A lack of restful sleep – tossing and turning with insomnia, trouble staying asleep throughout the night, even too much sleep or jet lag.
  12. Physical factors – High levels of exertion like playing sports and after sexual activity.
  13. Changes in the environment – a change in the weather or barometric pressure can trigger a migraine.
  14. Medications – some medications such as oral contraceptives and heart-related drugs (like nitroglycerin) are known as triggers.
  15. Hormonal changes in women – changes in the hormone levels can affect frequency and severity (some report less and some more). Some known triggers are: before / during a woman’s period, pregnancy, perimenopause and menopause.

How Can You Reduce Your Migraine Triggers? Find out what your triggers are. Keep a headache diary notating what you were doing, (eating, taking medications, etc.) before an episode. Many triggers are food and drink related. Cook with fresh ingredients. Avoid diet foods and convenience foods. Don’t get so hungry that you feel stressed and make bad food choices. Steer clear of wine and caffeine. Make lifestyle changes to reduce stress, like light exercise, meditation, or doing something you enjoy to help you relax. Avoid strong-smelling products; air fresheners, scented candles, using potpourri and essential oils especially those loaded with chemicals. Use unscented toiletries if possible. Experts stress that people who suffer headaches should see a doctor for a prevention and treatment plan.

The Link Between Gardening and Fitness

The Link Between Gardening and Fitness

A recent study of participants mostly in their 40s who gardened in a community plot for at least a year had a lower Body Mass Index (BMI) than those who did not; lower by 1.8 points for women and 2.4 points for men. Put into pounds, that amounts to 11 pounds less for a 5’5” women and 16 pounds less for a 5’10” man.

That is a significant weight loss doing something gardeners love to do. Have you really thought of gardening as a fitness workout? Most likely not, but it is. Thirty to forty-five minutes per day reaps many of the same health benefits derived from other types of workouts, such as lowering blood pressure and the risk of diabetes, along with strengthening muscles, joints and bones. The stretching, bending over and lifting are all exercise.

Tasks done when gardening like digging, raking, weeding, mowing, planting and trimming overall burn approximately the same number of calories as walking, cycling, swimming and aerobics – over 115 calories per 30-minute session. Some gardening activities burn more calories than others. For instance, turning over a compost pile with a pitchfork for 15 minutes will burn 100 calories. Pushing a power mower for an hour burns 300 calories. Did you ever imagine that something you like to do is so good for you? Not to mention all of the good produce you can raise and eat with gardening.

Not only is gardening good for you physically, but mentally as well. Digging around in the dirt has a calming effect. Part of the reason is that as you work the ground, the hormone endorphins are released into your bloodstream, resulting in the same euphoric feeling most people experience after working out.

Prepare for gardening as you would any other exercise. Start with a warm-up with dynamic stretching exercises. Warm muscles are less likely to get injured than cold muscles. After gardening, do some static stretching as a cool down. If you lift anything heavy, be sure to lift with your knees and not your back.

You might not even think of gardening as a way to get fit, but make no mistake about it, it is as good a workout as many of the other fitness routines. Not only are you getting fit, but getting healthy fresh vegetables in return to eat as an additional reward.

6 Ways to Exercise Outdoors With Your Kids

6 Ways to Exercise Outdoors With Your Kids

In the past, going outdoors to play was the norm. Video games, smartphones and iPads had not been invented yet. A tablet was something to write on with a pencil!

While technology is great when used the correct way, it has created a generation of obese or at least overweight children. Use these 6 ways to get outside with your kids and teach them the value of exercising.

Obstacle Course– It doesn’t have to be fancy. Use commonly found objects around the house that let kids jump, run, crawl and climb. A ladder, some cement blocks and a board, a cardboard box tunnel, etc. Think outside the box and you’ll have a whole course set-up in no time.

Hiking– Disguised as a scavenger hunt, this is a classic way to get your kids out in the sun and fresh air. Hide some things along a trail for them to find. Give your kid a list of clues on how to find each of the items. Soon they will like “hiking” and never even know they are doing it.

Geocoaching– Almost the same as a scavenger hunt, but for kids a little older. Use the GPS technology and the clues found on geocoaching sites on the Internet to find hidden objects. One good place to start is at http://Geocoaching.com. At last count there were 1,676,355 caches around the world.

Running – Here again, if you disguise it as something else, they will be running and not know it. Remember playing tag as a kid. You and your kids can still do that today, or how about hide-and-seek. Both games require running, but it isn’t the boring kind that us adults do!

Sports– Most sports require some type of moving around. At first, keep the competitiveness out of it until your kids understand the rules of playing. Slowly introduce the competitive angle into it and you just gave them a lifetime of challenge. Badminton, basketball, tennis, soccer, kickball or dodgeball are all good sports that will keep them moving for the duration of the game.

Lawn Games– These games require the players to switch sides after each game. Lawn darts, bean bag toss, bocce ball and an all-time favorite Blongo Ball, are easy to set-up and play, but still provide a lot of exercise.

Getting out and running around with your kids will not only do them a lot of good, but also yourself. The sun, fresh air and exercise will have them (and you) sleeping like babies!

6 Facts About American Fathers

1.      Dads see parenting as central to their identity.

2.      Dads are much more involved in child care than they were 50 yearsi ago.

3.      It has become less common for dads to be their family’s sole breadwinner.

4.      Work-family balance is a challenge for many working fathers.

5.      Despite changing gender roles, many still perceive mothers as better equipped than fathers to care for children.

6.      Seven in ten adults say it s equally important for new babies to bond with their mother and their father.

sourced from the Pew Research Center

 

How to Treat Road Rash

How to Treat Road Rash

Sooner or later, if you ride long enough, you will suffer a road rash incident. Of course, road rash is the scraping off of the outer layer of skin called the Epidermis and may extend down into the next layer called the Dermis. While a road rash may not bleed a great deal, it is still painful due to the damage to the nerve endings in the skin layers that were cut.

Cleaning the Wound

First, cover the wound the best you can until you get home. Then, use a syringe to clean the wound by squirting it with a solution of mild soap and water or an approved antiseptic wash such as saline solution. Make sure the wound is clean of any dirt or debris.

If not, gently use a gauze pad and try to remove the dirt or debris out of the wound, wash it and check again to make sure it is clean. If this is not done, the wound could easily become infected. If you can’t get everything out of the wound using the above procedure, then go see your healthcare professional for treatment.

When You Need Stitches

Most minor road rash won’t bleed much. But if your wound has not stopped bleeding after 15 minutes of direct-applied pressure, or if your cuts extend deep into the skin, or the edges of the cut has pulled apart, then you most likely are going to need stitches.

Tetanus Risk

While Tetanus is usually associated with stepping on a rusty nail, you can develop it in skin that has been torn or burned. As a precaution, if you have not had a Tetanus shot within 10 years, it is a good idea to get another booster shot.

Dressing the Wound

Once the wound is clean, cover the entire wound with semi-permeable medical dressing such as Tegaderm, Bioclusive or Second Skin. Secure the dressing with adhesive tape made to secure bandages. Remove the dressing every couple of days and check for infection or to see how the wound is healing. Keep the wound moist and covered until healed.

Preventing Rash Guard

Of course one way to prevent road rash, besides not falling off of your bike, is to wear clothing made to protect you in case of falls. Rash guard clothing not only covers exposed skin and protects you from sunburn, but it also lessens the severity of road rash should you fall off of your bike.

Being observant of what is going on around you and obeying all safety rules will minimize the chance of falling and suffering road rash. However in the event that it happens, clean and dress the wound according to the tips in this article.

Spring Into Action This Season to Keep Allergies at Bay

Spring Into Action This Season to Keep Allergies at Bay

Beyond itchy eyes, sneezing and runny nose, one overlooked side effect of allergies is dry or irritated lips.  For

allergy sufferers, managing allergy symptoms is paramount to getting through the season. It starts with the skin, as it is the first line of defense. Dry and cracked lips cause fissures in the skin, leaving them more susceptible to infection. Additionally, by relieving the lip discomfort, allergy sufferers also feel better, which in turn helps them rest and recover.

A few ways to alleviate allergy symptoms include:

  • Using a moisturizing lip balm can provide comforting relief and protection for lips that are feeling under the weather due to allergies.
  • Use an air purifier to remove contaminants from the air, such as dust, pollen and pet dander.
  • Ensure that the vacuum has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. A vacuum without this filter may make allergies and asthma worse by disturbing and blowing the dust particles in the air.
  • Bathe in cool water and use a mild soap without perfume or coloring.
  • Wash your laundry in hot water with a temperature of 130 degrees or greater.
  • Change your clothing after spending a lot of time outdoors to keep the pollen out of the house.
Essentials of a Healthy Breakfast

Essentials of a Healthy Breakfast

A wise saying: Skip all food, but not breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal; it is the food that gives momentum to your day-to-day activities. Therefore, a quality breakfast will automatically yield a quality lifestyle. Breakfast is important for your physical and mental growth. People who eat better breakfast have been found to be better performers than those who eat poor breakfast.

The importance of having a wholesome breakfast has lost significance in modern life. The working community has a tendency to skip breakfast and opt for fast food available in the market. Substitutes do not give the necessary nutrients to your body and can harm your body to a large extent.

Below is a summary of the essentials of a healthy breakfast that are recommended for an average human being.

  • Include wholegrain cereals. The cereal bran is an excellent source of fiber. Eating a wholegrain breakfast ensures better fiber content in the body to meet your energy demand. These are low in fat and cholesterol. Go for whole-grain oats, barley, wheat, maize, etc.
  • Add enough protein in your breakfast. Protein food is essential for bodybuilding. Protein-rich food satisfies your morning hunger and lets you manage long work hours without a problem. Breakfast foods rich in protein are milk, egg, peanut, soybean, etc. An excellent combination of a protein rich food will be a combination of nuts with milk. If you are in the habit of eating eggs, make sure that you eat an egg a day. Egg is a good source of Lutein that is essential for the health of your eyes. A poached egg with whole grain toast is an ideal combination of carbohydrates and protein.
  • Have a serving of fruits and vegetables. Our body needs fruits and fresh vegetables daily to protect us from diseases. The various vitamins and minerals present in most fruits and vegetables have nutrients that help fight diseases.
  • Avoid sugary breakfast. Sugar may result in low mental capacity. Also, some studies have proven that women who eat less sugar have better capacity to burn the fat than those who eat more.
  • Avoid processed meats. These are foods rich in saturated fats that are greatly damaging the heart. Most processed meats contain nitrite salts, which are found to be responsible for many diseases such as pancreatic disorders and colon cancer. Sliced and low fat meats such as chicken or turkey can be an alternative.

To sum up, a wholesome breakfast should consist of a bowl of wholegrain cereals, nuts with milk or egg and a serving of fruits and vegetables. One last note: Follow a regular eating pattern.

A Fun Way to Lose Weight and Stay In Shape

A Fun Way to Lose Weight and Stay In Shape

Ballroom dancing or any type of couples dancing burns 200 to 300 calories per hour! That’s the same as a fast walk, but it can be a lot more fun. Other benefits are improving posture and giving you a whole-body workout.

Don’t know how to dance? Classes are everywhere.  Check out Adult Education Programs, Gymnasiums, and Dance Studios. Classic ballroom dance like Waltz, Tango, and Foxtrot are easy steps. Latin dancing like Mambo, Salsa, and Cha-Cha, has fast steps and turns that are sure to be of great fun. Swing dancing is very lively and energetic too!

Another great benefit is the release of negative energy. Many of us internalize emotional pain and stresses. This can change your entire outlook on life. It can lead to low self-esteem, lack of confidence, anger issues and antisocial behavior. Release that negative energy with a little movement. Movement can express what we feel inside but can’t seem to get out any other way.

Dancing is exercise. No one wants to admit it, because it is so much fun when you are doing it. Moving your body in successive motions for a certain period of time is essentially physical exercise. Endorphins are secreted during such activities; it increases well-being, improves mood and promotes clarity and focus. What was bothering you when you stepped on a dance floor can be seen in a clearer light after twirling around on the floor.

Such movement also releases stress. Stress can cause internal body changes and render a body ill when out of control. People who suffer from chronic stress are typically more tense and prone to negative thoughts. Stretching the muscles of the body as you dance releases that tension in the muscles.

Over time, dancing can help you lower your heart rate, increase your endurance and help you get in shape. A person in shape is better able to combat negative energy and turn it into a positive one. Dancing allows the body to move in different ways, releasing negative energy and tension from the muscles as well as the mind. It doesn’t matter what form of dance you participate in as long as it helps you embrace positive thoughts and energy.

Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day

Bike To Work Day, Friday May 18th. Enjoys Broad Participation Throughout The Country!

May is National Bike Month and on Bike to Work Day, a wide variety of bicycle-related events are organized, with many cities holding major events where thousands of residents participate annually, and are supported by corporate sponsors.  Leading up to Bike to Work Day, national, regional, and local bicycle advocacy groups encourage people to try bicycle commuting as a healthy and safe alternative to driving by providing route information and tips for new bicycle commuters. The American Medical Association has endorsed Bike to Work Day as part of its push to encourage active transportation. The event is supported by many organizations, from local bike shops and restaurants to municipalities and transit authorities. For more infromation go to: www.bikeleague.org/content/bike-month-dates-events-0

Why Core Strength is So Important for Cyclists

Why Core Strength is So Important for Cyclists

Why is core strength so crucial to biking? “A strong core will improve your technique, strength and stamina, and complement everything you do.”

It’s true. Excellent core strength is equated with overall fitness. If you participate in sports like football, basketball and rugby, you are taught to keep your eyes on your opponent’s midsection. That is because no matter how many fakes and feints he throws, he cannot go anywhere without this vitally important part of his body. Until his core moves in one direction or another, he is not going anywhere.

For cycling, as well as in everyday life, core strength is very important. Cyclists obviously need strong legs, but they are next to useless if they are not accompanied by a strong core to drive powerful pedal strokes.

If you are thinking that your core means your abdominal muscles, you are partially correct. Your core actually makes up a complex series of muscles that is located in the area of your body which does not include your arms, legs and head. They include the rectus abdominis, external obliques, internal obliques, transverses abdominis and more than 12 other muscle sets.

All of these muscles combine to make up the “core” of your physical being. Whether tackling a long climb, powering down for a burst of speed, leaning hard into a turn or just cruising along, your core is important for balance, power, agility and control.

When your core muscles are weak, you restrict the full capacity of your lungs. This means you don’t breathe as deeply as you need to. Breathing is how you send oxygenated blood to all parts of your body, and your brain. This means a strong core helps every mental and physical process that is needed to participate at any level of cycling. Simply put, when your hips, lower back, pelvis and stomach muscles are all strong, your cycling ability improves.

Your balance, agility and control all improve with a strong core. These are all components of stability, which is one of the key aspects of cycling. If you do not present a stable, sturdy frame on your bike, you will become very familiar with the term “road rash”.

A strong core group of muscles also helps prevent injuries. When this group of muscles is capable, you can react quicker and avoid accidents or mishaps. A strong core even speeds up recovery time, which means you get back on the cycling trail quicker when you work at strengthening this important muscle group.

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