I am always asked questions regarding healthy nutrition and the latest, most popular diets.I try to make it clear that I am a personal trainer and not a dietician.Of course, with over thirty years as a certified trainer, I have a good knowledge of proper nutrition.I also have my own personal opinions on healthy eating and fad diets.
I believe a red flag should go up when a diet does not “allow” whole food groups, such as grains or dairy products.General and long term health benefits definitely come into question when this occurs.Certain nutritional deficits can increase when careful attention is not given to a balanced diet.
Many times when grains are eliminated, the emphasis is on protein ingestion.There are risks with long term high protein diets.Most are too high in saturated fats, which can lead to heart disease and other illnesses. Although high protein diets can result in weight loss, it can also cause high ketone levels. This condition, called ketosis, can be very serious and can cause gout, kidney stones, or renal failure.
If a diet is low in carbohydrates, low energy can result.Although the high protein diets allow carbohydrates through vegetables and to a lesser degree, fruit, the amount is still lower than if whole grains were ingested.Thus, feelings of fatigue and weakness may result.Please note that balancing a diet without a food group can be done, but most people do not balance it properly.
The bottom line is there are pros and cons to most diets.The best one is a diet that is designed for each individual with all specific health issues in mind.
Why the Importance of Good Alignment by Judy Paris, CPT
I don't think a person exists that grew up without hearing "Sit up straight!" from some well-meaning adult, (most probably Mom). Most of the time, it was coming from someone who undoubtedly was guilty of slouching to some degree.
What exactly is good posture? It is commonly described in the health and fitness world as the position the body is in where it is the most efficient, also known as being in good alignment. To take that a bit further, let's look at the numerous benefits of good posture. Proper alignment can help improve your breathing mechanics, prevent joint stress and pain, decrease injury risk, increase the body's movement efficiency, increase sports performance, and increase a stronger, more confident, and younger appearance.
Most of the time, it is fairly obvious to detect visibly poor posture in a person. The slouched shoulders, head jutting forward, and rounded upper back are easy tips. There are many other clues which are not so obvious to a typical onlooker. More signs of poor alignment are elevated hip or shoulder areas, internal or external rotation of one side of the body, one side of the pelvis tilted forward, back or too high, and fallen arches in the feet.
A skilled fitness professional can help with many of the issues that arise from poor posture during exercise, which can include muscle imbalances, body compensations for muscle tightness or pain, or poor movement patterns or problems during activity.
It is possible to change poor posture habits but it takes consistent and patient effort. Have a fitness expert help you find proper alignment in your body, not only while standing or sitting, but also while moving. Consciously correct your posture throughout the day. Avoid sitting for prolonged periods of time. It takes much more effort to maintain proper posture while sitting than it does while standing. Do some office work standing up.
Remember to strengthen the whole body, not just the areas that appear aesthetically problematic. Strengthen and stretch those important hip muscles. It is usually an area that is commonly weak and tight on individuals which contributes to poor alignment. Keep your abdominal and core area strong with a variety of strengthening exercises, particularly with variations of the plank.
As if the reasons above were not enough, there is a definite mind and body connection that is strengthened with proper alignment. You will feel more energetic, perform better, and just feel better every time you use your body correctly!
A Great low-fat option:Midnight Chocalate Cake with Fudge Icing by Doug Sheppard, CPT
Here is a good recipe I found that offers a little indulgence without all the fat. This recipe promises to cut the calories and fat without sacrificing flavor. The unsweetened cocoa in this recipe adds an antioxidant kick that will satisfy your chocolate cravings and help chase away oxidative stress.
Midnight Fudge Cake Ingredients 1 cup of Sugar In The Raw (Turbinado sugar) 2 large eggs 2 (2.5 ounce) containers of "baby food" prunes 1 1/4 cup nonfat milk 1 teaspoon (tsp) vanilla 2 cups oat flour 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tablespoon (tbs) Stevia with fiber 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 2 tsp instant coffee powder (decaf, if you prefer)
Directions for cake- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and line (with parchment paper) two 8 or 9 inch cake pans. Cream sugar, eggs, and prunes. Add milk and vanilla; whisk well. Measure and whisk dry ingredients together and whisk into liquid ingredients, mixing well. Pour batter into pans and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cake is done when you insert toothpick and it comes out with some moist crumbs on it. Cool for 10 minutes in pan, remove from pan and wrap in plastic wrap or cover with plastic wrap and a towel until ready to frost.
Chocolate Fudge Frosting Ingredients 1/2 cup Sugar in the Raw 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/3 cup nonfat milk 1/4 cup Earth Balance (buttery spread) 1/2 tsp instant coffee pinch salt 1 tsp vanilla
Directions for frosting- In saucepan combine sugar, cocoa, milk, Earth Balance spread, coffee and salt. Bring to boil and boil for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add vanilla and continue stirring until frosting begins to cool and thicken slightly (as soon as you feel it thicken, stop stirring and pour over cake to frost). Serves 12
So here's the breakdown- 219 calories, 5.2 grams (g) fat (1.7 g saturated fat);17g carbohydrate;6.2g protein;4.7g fiber;32 milligrams (mg) cholesterol; 64 mg sodium.
Chest Press using the Rip trainer by Doug Sheppard, CPT
The Rip trainer by TRX has become a staple in my client workouts. When the objective is to strengthen the core I typically think of various ways you need to brace the spine against resistance. I never did much in regards to asymmetrical loads to the body. The Rip trainer makes this easy to do. Today I perform a chest press while maintaining a neutral spine with the Rip trainer. Chest & core in a single movement. Now for the record, the load you're using will be lightened dramatically compared to what you may use on a standard chest press machine, but my argument is that you should only be using a load for chest presses that you can use while stabilizing your spine anyway. My goal is to build for "Go", not just for "Show". Check out this video and tell me what you think.
A great tool to help you get quicker by Doug Sheppard, CPT
I'm a big fan of agility ladder, hurdles, and cone work to improve foot quickness. But another tool I like to use is the slide board. It challenges you in the frontal plane which has a good carryover to most sports. It's a form of unilateral exercise. And finally, to be efficient at it you need to have a good initial burst step. The obstacles that most experience with the board is having access to one, or the fear of falling when trying to perform the slides. Well, get over your anxiety, and get on it! They're great, and provide a good challenge. Even if you're not training for the NFL combine, you can add a good aerobic workout to your routine. This is a nice change of pace exercise for a metabolic circuit. Again, give it a try, and let me know how it goes. See you in the gym!
The Turkish Get Up...the Best of all worlds by Doug Sheppard, CPT
If you really want to learn how to draft up your workout routine watch a baby learning to walk for the first time. No seriously. They start from the ground and typically get up from a crawl or kneeling position. This requires mobility in the hips, and muscle flexibility. They then drive up from this position like a lunge, and typically work to maintain there balance, while maintaining enough strength to stay up. Isn't that how we should workout? Combine strength, balance, flexibility, and mobility all into a single exercise. That's why I value the Turkish Get up as one of my favorite movements. Because it does exactly that. We need to start combining things as opposed to separating our modalities. Watch this video, observe what I mean, and I urge you to strongly consider mixing TGU into your routine. See you in the gym.
Chest press with hip rotation using the Rip trainer by Doug Sheppard, CPT
1.The Rip trainer is a new training device developed by the people who brought you the TRX and suspension training. This tool allows you to load your spine asymmetrically. You can work your core with or without movement. Today I wanted to show you a movement based exercise, and perform a chest press with hip rotation using the Rip trainer. If you’re a fan of MMA and train accordingly, give this a try. I’m using the Rip trainer quite a bit in our Class OutFit, just because of the simplicity when using it and it's ability to go anywhere. Give it a try, or better yet, come out to Class OutFit and give it a try.
Stronger shoulders and core using the kettlebell by Doug Sheppard, CPT
The bottoms up press using the kettlebell is a good way improve your deltoid or shoulder strength. Because of the weight displacement it will also engage your core along with improve grip strength. Start with single reps and gradually move into performing multiple reps. Good luck and see you in the gym.
Body weight training can efficient, challenging, and has a low risk of injury. It can go anywhere, so it makes for a good option when travel takes us away from the gym. To maintain a good level of intensity you need to monitor your rest time between sets. This is where a heart rate monitor can help. I'm still confused why more people don't wear their monitors during their strength training to get a gauge on their training intensity. Here's a simple, but effective workout that I like to do when I'm feeling stale, have a lack of time, and don't have access to any equipment. Good luck, and see you in the gym. 1.