Action Changes Things

I began writing this as I wait for a client who I surmise is not going to show for the appointment, today, since the appointment was to begin 15 minutes ago. I’m certain when the appointment was made, there was every intention to come in and do the work. The intention to exercise, however, is not enough to make a difference, as many of you have realized. So today, I’ll be talking about action. You moving. You working out. You following your plan. You taking responsibility for your health. Because I’m here, ready to work. Where are you? Continue reading Action Changes Things

Drink Water for Weight Loss

By Dory Karinen, Personal Trainer, Elite Sports Club-West Brookfield

There’s so much more to water beyond just quenching your thirst! And as the weather heats up, there’s no better time than now to use weight-loss as an excuse to stay properly hydrated!

Water Glasses

8 glasses a day keeps the fat away.

As incredible as it may seem, water is quite possibly the single most important catalyst in losing weight and keeping it off. Although most of us take it for granted, water may be the only true “magic potion” for permanent weight loss. Water suppresses the appetite naturally, hydrates your body, and helps the body metabolize stored fat. The kidneys cannot function properly without enough water. When the kidneys can’t function properly, they deposit everything into the liver. The liver’s function is to metabolize stored fat into usable energy. If it is doing some of the kidney’s work, then it is not working at 100% capacity and more stored fat stays as stored fat. Water reduces fluid retention in your body. When your body doesn’t get enough water, it perceives this as a threat to survival and begins to hold on to every drop of water and every drop of fat. More often than not, when you feel hungry, it is because your body is dehydrated, not food-starved.

Water Facts:

  • You can survive for weeks without food, but only days without water.
  • 60-70% of your body is water.
  • Obesity decreases the percentage of body water – to as low as 45%.
  • 8-12 cups of water are lost daily and must be replaced.
  • Thirst is often misinterpreted as hunger.
  • By the time you feel thirsty, your body may already be dehydrated.

Water is critical for all bodily functions, especially when you are losing weight.

Water is required to maintain muscle mass. Muscle is the “furnace” for burning fat and calories. You need to maintain your muscle mass while losing weight. In fact, every chemical reaction in the body, including the breakdown of body fat, requires water. Water also helps rid the body of waste. During weight loss, the body has a lot more waste to get rid of – all that metabolized fat had toxins stored in it that must be eliminated. Without adequate water, waste products just stay in the system.

Water helps to suppress the appetite naturally and is the best treatment for fluid retention.

When people feel hungry, they may actually be thirsty! Drinking more water than recommended does not cause bloating or water retention when you have normally functioning heart and kidneys. Excess water is very quickly eliminated, and allows the body to function properly. If you have a consistent problem with water retention, too much salt may be to blame. Processed foods contain a tremendous amount of salt. The more salt you eat, the more water your system needs to get rid of it. If you don’t get enough water you will feel bloated. But getting rid of unneeded salt is easy – just drink more water! The more you drink the more ya shrink!

Drinking Naturally Flavored Water

Water is such an integral part in our overall health and wellness. Often people complain that they don’t like the “taste” of water. Instead of purchasing processed and sugar-filled bottled “health” waters, or adding crystallized (sugar) flavoring, consider adding fruits like berries, or lemons to your water. Or you can even try mint & cucumber for more of a “cocktail” flavor!

Our certified and educated staff at Elite Sports Clubs are a wealth of knowledge when it comes to this and other topics! You are always welcome to consult our trainers & Registered Dietitian for health & nutrition advice. Interested in becoming a member at our clubs? Stop in for a tour of any of our 5 Elite Sports Clubs locations. We look forward to seeing you soon!

How many glasses (or ounces) of water do you drink each day? Do you drink it plain, or add in some healthy “flavors”? Tell us in the comments!

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.