Soul Food

Are you truly “feeding” yourself?

Think back to a time when you were involved in an exciting project or conversation.  You were so busy that time seemed to fly by and the outside world faded away. You had nothing on your mind but what you were doing.  Food was not even a thought.

Society now-a-days, falls back on food as a way to satisfy their needs and wants.  Most people end up confusing primary food with secondary food.  Primary food is the different aspects of life that feed you such as relationships, career, physical activity, and spirituality.

  • Having healthy and supportive relationships with friends, family, and co-workers are important and you should start to notice which relationships truly feed you in your life and which relationships are taking a toll on your energy.
  • The career aspect is choosing work that you are passionate about and like the people that you work with.  This is a very important atmosphere to maintain healthy relationships as most people spend the majority of their waking hours at work.  To live a healthy and balanced life you have to be satisfied with your career.
  • The physical activity aspect refers to our bodies thriving for movement and giving us energy along with releasing hormones, chemical messengers within in our body, such as estrogen, testosterone, growth hormone, endorphins, insulin, epinephrine, and many more.
  • “Almost all forms of spiritual practice come down to one thing: the more we bring our individual lives into alignment with the whole of existence, the more we feel nourished and at peace” (Integrative Nutrition).

Secondary food is actual food that a person consumes which adds taste, texture, and volume.  Therefore food can fill you, but it cannot fulfill you.  The more primary food we receive, the less we need to depend on secondary food.

primary and secondary food chart

“When primary food is balanced and satiating, your life feeds you, making what you eat only secondary.” (Integrative Nutrition).

To find out which primary food needs attention in your life check out the Circle of Life diagram at www.healingmatters.net/circleoflife.pdf

Resources:
http://www.feelnourished.com/Home.html
http://www.integrativenutrition.com/

Official Guidelines for Physical Activity

Beginning an exercise program has become one of the most important public health issues of today.

United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently met with combined support from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) and released jointly published physical activity recommendations. These separate guidelines collectively and effectively support each other and are all based on the most relevant science available that links physical activity to improved health and wellness.

  • ACSM/AHA guidelines focus on 30 minutes of moderate-intensity daily physical activity five days a week.
  • HHS guidelines call for a minimum of 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week, an amount most reasonable on five days a week at a duration of 30 minutes.

The associations note that the core recommendation as it relates to health gains of physical activity are highly consistent.  These recommendations conclude that relatively modest amounts of physical activity will improve the health and cardio-respiratory fitness of inactive persons, while expanded health gains, such as weight loss or weight maintenance, require more than the minimum 30 minutes of moderate activity most days of the week.

“Guidelines for physical activity have long been based on research demonstrating that even relatively moderate amounts of physical activity will have positive benefits on health,” said William Haskell, Ph.D., FACSM, lead author of the ACSM/AHA guidelines.  “A very important idea, especially for people who are inactive, is that health and physical activity are closely linked.  The more days a week that you can be active or accumulate some activity, the higher the significance for your health and wellness.”

“Numerous studies now suggest that if we can simply move people out of the lowest levels of cardio-respiratory fitness, it can have a profound (and beneficial) impact on public health”, says Barry A. Franklin, PhD, national American Heart Association spokesperson and Director of Cardiac Rehabilitation and Exercise Laboratories at William Beaumont Hospital.

Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Adults & Older Adults

Strong Evidence:

  • Lower risk of:
    Early death
    Heart disease
    Stroke
    Type 2 diabetes
    High blood pressure
    Adverse blood lipid profile
    Metabolic syndrome
    Colon and breast cancers
  • Prevention of weight gain
  • Weight loss when combined with diet
  • Improved cardio-respiratory and muscular fitness
  • Prevention of falls
  • Reduced depression
  • Better cognitive function (older adults)

Moderate to Strong Evidence:

  • Better functional health older adults
  • Reduced abdominal obesity

Moderate Evidence:

  • Weight maintenance
  • Lower risk of hip fracture
  • Increased bone density
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Lower risk of lung and endometrial cancers

Health Benefits of Physical Activity for Children & Adolescents

Strong Evidence:

  • Improved cardiorespiratory endurance and muscular fitness
  • Favorable body composition
  • Improved bone health
  • Improved cardiovascular and metabolic health biomarkers
  • Moderate Evidence
  • Reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression

In summary, the investment in a daily 30 minute or more exercise regiment betters your quality of life, delays diseases and reduces the medical expenses regardless of your age or your current condition. There is no time sooner than the present to invest your time and energy in a professionally developed and administrated physical fitness program.

Choosing the Right Goal & Finding Success

Everyone works out for different reasons.  Whether it is to lose weight, get stronger, to lean up and tone the body, help prevent health issues or fight against family history, it is important that whatever your reason or objective is that you first define your goal and make sure that it is right for you to help you find success.  Setting a goal that is unrealistic or purely based on an urge, no matter how well intentioned it may be, is only going to set you up for failure and ultimately lead you to stop working out.  So when you decide that you want to get started in an exercise program or start leading a healthy lifestyle, there are six simple steps that you can take to make sure that your goal is right for you.

The first step that you need to take is to make the goal personal and share it with someone you trust and feel comfortable with.  If you aren’t starting an exercise program for yourself, whether it’s to look better, feel better or to get healthy, there isn’t anything binding you to it.  We always know that there is an out.  When we make the goal about us and it is something that we feel passionately about and when someone else knows about it, we are going to do anything and everything we can to make sure that we succeed.

The second step in making sure that your goal is right for you and a success is to make it specific.  Losing weight is the number one goal that I hear.  And while that is a worthy goal, it isn’t specific enough to make you feel satisfied.  A one pound weight deficit is still losing weight, but I doubt that was your goal.  So the questions is, how much weight do you want to lose?

The next step is to make sure that the goal is measurable.  To get healthier is a very commendable goal, but how can you tell if you are reaching your goal?  You want the goal to be measurable so that you can get baseline numbers that can be compared against throughout your training.  What was your initial weight?  What was your initial blood pressure and resting heart rate?  Where are you starting at with your aerobic capacity?  All of these factors can be measured so that 3 months, 6 months, 12 months down the road, you can go back and check them to determine your progress and if no progress is being made, to make adjustments so that you can.

The fourth step to deciding the appropriate goal is to make it action oriented.  This means to determine a plan that is going to get you to reach your goal in the safest, most efficient way possible.  Often, the best way to go about this is to set up an appointment with a personal trainer or physician to have them set up a program for you.  You want to make sure that you are working at the proper intensities based upon your current fitness level and then progress your workout at the proper moment to maximize your results.  It is important that this program works within your everyday lifestyle so that adherence to the program is easier where it can be scheduled into your day so that there aren’t any excuses.

The fifth step is to make your goal realistic.  This may sound simple enough but more often than not, perception and reality don’t match.  Again, if weight loss is your goal, determining how much weight you can expect to lose or is a healthy amount to lose is not an easy task, but is also crucial in determining your success and eventual happiness.  Again, here is another time with this particular goal that making an appointment with a personal trainer or physician is an integral part of the process.  These individuals will be able to determine your current body composition, factor in any health risks, and determine what is realistic and safe and then help guide you through the process.

The sixth and final step is to make your goal timed.  This means simply when do you want to achieve your goal by?  Putting an end date to your goal gives you something to work toward, as opposed to leaving it open ended where there is no real rush to achieving it.
So by following these steps, not only will you find success in achieving your goal, but you will also know that it is truly the right goal for you.  And when that happens, you feel better about yourself, you are happier, feel a sense of pride and accomplishment, and are more likely to keep exercise a part of your life!

Sincerely,
Luke Lewitzke
A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer
Elite Sports Clubs
(262) 241-4250

Recreational Sports: The forgotten cardio workout

Can recreational sports be a supplementary part of your cardio workouts? I seem to be asking myself this question on a regular basis as I try to decide whether clients, and myself, should only participate in a workout designed for the fitness center. Would playing basketball three days a week be a good replacement for running on the treadmill?

As a sports junkie it is hard for me to continually run on a treadmill because it gets very monotonous with no chance of any of the conditions changing as I keep pounding away on that belt on the treadmill. Wouldn’t one rather take part in a sport during which the conditions constantly change, and still get the needed workout for your goals?

I am definitely an enthusiast for recreational sports as a part of your workout. It keeps one coming to the gym because they never know what will happen in a game of volleyball, basketball or even soccer at the club. Running on a treadmill or even using an elliptical would be great workouts as well, but as a “sports person” I can’t bring myself to participate in these activities on a regular basis.

If you are an individual that has been a sports enthusiast for much of your life it would make sense that you have trouble transitioning your workouts into a fitness center as you bypass your high school, and collegiate days on the courts. A typical fitness center or health club in general isn’t designed well for a former competitive athlete because everyone is there doing their own individual workouts. As athletes we are used to being a part of team workouts, or even competitions that bring us all closer together.

The best way we can get that feeling from our clubs is by participating in the recreational sports that our respective club may offer or even a group exercise class. For Elite Sports Clubs this could range all the way in the spectrum of sports from swimming, tennis, basketball, and volleyball to even indoor soccer in one of our Milwaukee Wave clinics. If one is used to the competitive spirit of sports then these recreational sports can at least help you offset your desire for competition. It is also a great way to get a workout in if you are an individual who only worked out because of sports in high school or college.

Men playing basketball photo

Playing basketball for an hour is an aerobic activity that can easily help offset running on a treadmill or using an elliptical machine. So, if you are someone who is looking for workouts that will not only challenge you physically, but also mentally then my club, Elite Sports Clubs, like many others offer opportunities to compete against others in a recreational sport of your choice.

Do you prefer machines for cardio or recreational sports? Does your health club offer recreational sports? How do you change up your treadmill runs, stationary bike rides or elliptical workouts to keep it new? Please share your comments.

Plus check out the recreational sports offered at Elite Sports Clubs.

Thank you,

Kyle Krogmann
Personal Trainer
Elite Sports Club-Mequon

Functional Training: Why we should be doing it.

Most of you have probably heard of the term “functional training.” Maybe it was in a magazine, at the gym, or even from your trainer. But what does this term really mean, and first and foremost, why should we be adding functional training to our workouts?

The best way I can define functional training, or functional exercises, is that they are movements that are done by us as humans in everyday life. By doing these exercises and training the body to do these movements, we will get stronger in any and all activities we would normally do on a day-to-day basis. Functional training involves full-body movements and incorporates multiple muscle groups, just like the things we do in our everyday life. Because more muscle groups are involved in each exercise, we need to have more neuromuscular control in order to perform that exercise. In other words, that specific exercise will be harder for you to perform and will require more concentration, balance, and energy.

This type of training is also considered multiplanar (which means moving through different planes of motion), and not isolated, which is working through a single plane of motion to isolate a certain muscle group. A good example of this would be to picture yourself performing a lunge with a dumbbell shoulder press, as opposed to just sitting on a machine and performing a leg raise, or leg extension. Obviously, you can figure out from the example which exercise will be more challenging.

Lastly, I would like to touch on the fact that functional training is a great way for you to maintain or even increase balance. As we get older, we want to be able to have good balance, as well as strength, not only to lead a more productive life, but also to prevent falls and injuries that may occur. Functional training should be something we all should be incorporating into our workouts, whether we are an athlete, avid exerciser, or just somebody that wants to live a healthier life.

Comments are welcome or if you like, please feel free to e-mail me at TonyBieri@EliteClubs.com.

Tony Bieri
Fitness Director
Elite Sports Club-Brookfield