Best Vitamins & Minerals for a Healthy Immune System


Who doesn’t want a healthy immune system? (Raise your hand. No one?) But did you know the role your diet plays in keeping it in top shape to protect you from toxins and infections?

Sadly, too many of us don’t eat enough of the fresh fruits, vegetables and other foods we need to keep ourselves healthy year-round. You can’t just eat an orange or grapefruit and expect one quick burst of vitamin C to prevent a cold. A truly healthy immune system depends on a balanced mix of vitamins and minerals over time, plus normal sleep patterns and a hefty dose of exercise.

With some exceptions, it’s best to get your vitamins and minerals from your food rather than in pill form. Here are some tips for getting the top vitamins and minerals your immune system needs to perform.

Vitamin C

You probably know about vitamin C’s connection to the immune system, but did you know you can get it from much more than just citrus fruits? Leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale, bell peppers, brussels sprouts, strawberries and papaya are also excellent sources.

Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be a powerful antioxidant that helps your body fight off infection. Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts and sunflower seeds are all high in vitamin E. So are spinach and broccoli if you prefer to increase your intake through meals rather than snacks.

Vitamin B

This important vitamin — part of nearly 200 biochemical reactions in your body — is critical in how your immune system functions. Foods high in vitamin B6 include bananas, lean chicken breast, cold-water fish such as tuna, baked potatoes and chickpeas.

Vitamin A

For vitamin A, go colorful. Foods that are high in colorful compounds called carotenoids — carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe and squash — are all great options. The body turns these carotenoids into vitamin A, and they have an antioxidant effect to help strengthen the immune system against infection.

Vitamin D

As mentioned above, it’s best to get most of your vitamins from food, but vitamin D may be the exception to that rule. You can increase your intake through foods such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines) and fortified foods such as milk, orange juice and cereals. Many people have a hard time absorbing vitamin D from food, so if you have a vitamin D deficiency, talk to your doctor about supplements.

Folate/Folic Acid or Vitamin B9

Folate is the natural form, and folic acid is the synthetic form, often added to foods because of its health benefits. To get more folate, add more beans and peas to your plate on a regular basis, as well as leafy green vegetables. You can also get folic acid in fortified foods (check the label) such as enriched breads, pastas, rice and other 100 percent whole-grain products.

Iron

Iron, which helps your body carry oxygen to cells, comes in different forms. Your body can more easily absorb “heme iron,” which is abundant in lean poultry such as chicken and turkey, plus seafood. But never fear, vegetarians: You can get other forms of iron in beans, broccoli and kale.

Selenium

Selenium seems to have a powerful effect on the immune system, including the potential to slow the body’s over-active responses to certain aggressive forms of cancer. You can find it in garlic, broccoli, sardines, tuna, brazil nuts and barley, among other foods.

Zinc

You can find zinc in oysters, crab, lean meats and poultry, baked beans (skip the kind with added sugar), yogurt and chickpeas. Zinc appears to help slow down the immune response and control inflammation in your body.

Depending on where you live and what time of year it is, you can’t always get your hands on high-quality fresh produce. Keep this in mind: Frozen is fine. Manufacturers freeze frozen fruits and veggies at “peak” ripeness, which means they’ll pack a similar nutritional value as their fresh counterparts. Just choose plain frozen foods rather than those with added sugars or sodium.

How to Reduce Lactic Acid for a Better Workouts and Less Pain


Intense exercise or physical activity

A temporary buildup of lactic acid can be caused by vigorous exercise if your body doesn’t have enough available oxygen to break down glucose in the blood. This can cause a burning feeling in the muscle groups you’re using. It can also cause nausea and weakness.

During an intense exercise, like sprinting or lifting heavy weights, your body requires more energy than normal to keep the muscles functioning. In this case, the body metabolizes glucose to deliver energy to the muscles.

The metabolized glucose, called pyruvate, is converted into lactate. When lactate accumulates at high levels in the blood and muscles, it creates acidity called lactic acidosis, which causes muscle fatigue and at high levels can interfere with muscle recovery. The accumulation of lactic acid can cause burning sensations that can disturb your athletic activities.

What’s the solution to lactic acid build up?

There is a solution to almost everything and lactic acid buildup too can be tackled easily. Here are some precautions you can take to reduce the buildup of lactic acid.

Step 1 – Drink more and more water!

Drink water or an electrolyte-replacement drink, which can play a vital role in preventing buildup of water-soluble lactic acid. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. By then, you’re likely already dehydrated. The American Council on Exercise recommends hydrating with 16 to 20 ounces of water two to three hours before a workout and then 7 to 10 additional ounces of water for every 20 to 30 minutes of exercise.

  • Drink at least 12 glasses of water daily if you want to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
  • Breathe deeply during your workout and try breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Step 2 – Work out regularly!

The key to healthy and beneficial exercise is maintaining consistent activity. If you want to be physically fit, you need to exercise frequently. This will make your body adaptive to additional energy production and you will require less glucose to burn for energy, which eventually means less lactic acid buildup.

  • A physically fit person has a higher lactate threshold, a measure of blood vessel and heart fitness.
  • Working out several times a week is a must but giving your muscles rest for a day or two does wonders.

Step 3 – Accelerate your workout gradually!

While it is true that keeping yourself motivated to exercise on a daily basis is the key to a healthy lifestyle but, forcing your muscles beyond their capacity can result negatively. Excessive workout every day without any routine or cycle can cause severe muscle soreness.

  • Make sure to stay challenged, but don’t increase intensity too fast or all at once.
  • Add weight, repetitions, minutes or miles gradually over a set period of time to maintain healthy levels of lactic acid.

Step 4 – Know when to back off!

As much as we stress on consistent workout and keeping yourself motivated enough to bring out desired results, you must know when to back off. As you start to feel your muscles burn or you struggle to breathe, slow down until you catch your breath, so your body can deliver more oxygen to the muscles. Moreover, alternate periods of activity with periods of active and inactive rest as appropriate.

  • Be extremely cautious when lifting weights as this activity causes more lactic acid buildup.
  • Increase your weightlifting period gradually by keeping in considerations the weights and repetitions.

Step 5 – Stretch after intense workout!

Stretch immediately after your workout. Stretching after workout helps release lactic acid and gives an immediate relief to your muscles preventing them from lactic acid buildup and muscle soreness.

  • Lactic acid can take around 30 minutes to an hour to disperse post-workout, so make sure to cool down appropriately and stretch right after.
  • It is even recommended by various sports medicine experts to stretch after a prolonged workout to reduce the buildup of lactic acid.

Step 6 – Use a foam roller to massage the muscles!

Using a foam roller on your muscles loosens tight muscles and reduces the buildup of lactic acid as this act stimulates blood flow and encourages lymphatic drainage.

  • You can also massage your muscles with a foam roller before an intense workout.
  • Applying foam roller on your muscles can be done regularly for relief and relaxation.

Step 7 – Reduce lactic acid buildup through diet!

Apart from above-mentioned steps, including certain foods into your daily diet can help control lactic acid buildup to avoid lactic acidosis. As per what the experts say, foods and vegetables with magnesium, fatty acids, and B vitamins are recommended.

  • Foods rich in Vitamin B are leafy green vegetables, cereals, peas and beans, fish, beef, poultry, eggs and dairy products.
  • Vegetables such as Spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, navy beans, kidney beans and seeds such as pumpkin, sesame and sunflower seeds are great sources of magnesium.

 

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercises


Aerobic exercise is any type of cardiovascular conditioning or “cardio.” During cardiovascular conditioning, your breathing and heart rate increase for a sustained period of time. Examples of aerobic exercise include swimming laps, running, or cycling.

Anaerobic exercises involve quick bursts of energy and are performed at maximum effort for a short time. Examples include jumping, sprinting, or heavy weight lifting.

Your respiration and heart rate differ in aerobic activities versus anaerobic ones. Oxygen is your main energy source during aerobic workouts.

During aerobic exercise, you breathe faster and deeper than when your heart rate is at rest. You’re maximizing the amount of oxygen in the blood. Your heart rate goes up, increasing blood flow to the muscles and back to the lungs.

During anaerobic exercise, your body requires immediate energy. Your body relies on stored energy sources, rather than oxygen, to fuel itself. That includes breaking down glucose.

Your fitness goals should help determine whether you should participate in aerobic or anaerobic exercise. If you’re new to exercise, you might want to start with aerobic exercises to build up endurance.

If you’ve been exercising a long time or are trying to lose weight quickly, add anaerobic workouts into your routine. Sprints or high intensity interval training (HIIT) may help you meet your goals.

Benefits of aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise can offer numerous benefits for your health, including reducing your risk of a heart attack, type 2 diabetes, or a stroke.

Other benefits of aerobic exercise include:

  • can help you lose weight and keep it off
  • may help lower and control blood pressure
  • may increase your stamina and reduce fatigue during exercise
  • activates immune systems, making you less likely to get colds or the flu
  • strengthens your heart
  • boosts mood
  • may help you live longer than those who don’t exercise

Risks of aerobic exercise

Aerobic exercise can benefit almost anyone. But get your doctor’s approval if you’ve been inactive for a long time or live with a chronic condition.

If you’re new to aerobic exercise, it’s important to start slowly and work up gradually to reduce your risk of an injury. For example, start by walking 5 minutes at a time and add 5 minutes each time until you’re up to a 30-minute brisk walk.

Examples of aerobic exercise

During aerobic activities, you’ll move large muscles in your arms, legs, and hips. Your heart rate will also go up for a sustained period of time.

Examples of aerobic exercises include:

  • jogging
  • brisk walking
  • swimming laps
  • aerobic dancing
  • cross-country skiing
  • stair climbing
  • cycling
  • elliptical training
  • rowing

Benefits of anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercise can be beneficial if you’re looking to build muscle or lose weight. It can also be beneficial if you’ve been exercising for a long time, and are looking to push through an exercise plateau and meet a new goal. It may also help you maintain muscle mass as you age.

Other benefits include:

  • strengthens bones
  • burns fat
  • builds muscle
  • increases stamina for daily activities like hiking, dancing, or playing with kids

Risks of anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercise can be hard on your body. On a 1 to10 scale for perceived exertion, high intensity anaerobic exercise is anything over a seven. It’s not typically recommended for fitness beginners.

Get your doctor’s approval before adding anaerobic workouts to your routine. Work with a certified fitness professional who can help you create an anaerobic program based on your medical history and goals.

For workouts like HIIT and weight training, a fitness professional can also demonstrate the correct exercise techniques. Performing the exercises with proper technique is important for preventing an injury.

Examples of anaerobic exercise

Anaerobic exercises are performed at maximum effort for a shorter period of time.

Examples include:

  • high intensity interval training (HIIT)
  • heavy weight lifting
  • calisthenics, like plyometrics, jump squats, or box jumps
  • sprinting (while running, cycling, or swimming)

How often should you do aerobic vs. anaerobic exercise?

The American Heart Association recommends healthy adults get at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise at least 5 days a week, or at least 20 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity 3 days a week. You can also add in strength training two times a week to round out your routine.

Anaerobic exercises can be taxing on the body. With a doctor’s approval and the help of a certified fitness professional, anaerobic exercises can be added into your weekly exercise routine.

Perform anaerobic exercise like HIIT workouts no more than two or three days each week, always allowing for at least one full day of recovery

Obesity and Type 2 Diabetes


obesidad

About 422 million people around the world, including more than 30 million Americans, have diabetes. Approximately ninety percent of them have type 2 diabetes. People with this condition cannot effectively use insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas that helps the body turn blood sugar (glucose) into energy.

The inability to use insulin, called insulin resistance, results in increasing levels of blood sugar, which, if not controlled, can significantly raise the risk of major health problems such as blindness, kidney failure, heart attacks, stroke and lower limb amputation.         In 2015, the World Health Organization estimated that 1.6 million deaths were directly caused by diabetes. Until recently, this type of diabetes was only seen in adults, but it is now also occurring increasingly and more frequently in children.

Obesity is the most significant risk factor for type 2 diabetes and other metabolic conditions, and affects one in three adults worldwide.

The secret to managing type 2 diabetes isn’t found in a pill. In most cases, the best way to treat type 2 diabetes is by practicing healthy habits on a regular basis.

Keeping close tabs on your diet is a major way to help manage type 2 diabetes. A healthy diet for people with type 2 diabetes includes vegetables, whole grains, beans, fresh fruit, lean meats, and low-fat dairy.

Focus on eating fruit and non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, carrots, and lettuce, and having smaller portions of starchy foods, meats, and dairy products. Be especially careful about loading up on foods that are high on the glycemic index (GI) and especially the glycemic load (GL), systems that rank foods according to how they affect glucose levels.

High glycemic index foods are going to be primarily processed foods. Those processed foods tend to have more white sugar and flour in them, which are higher on the GI. Foods lower on the GI include vegetables, especially non-starchy vegetables, like broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens and whole-grain products, such as brown rice (as opposed to white rice).

Exercise Regularly as Part of Your Type 2 Diabetes Treatment Plan                                    The more intense the exercise, the better. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) may be better for weight loss and glucose control than continuous aerobic activity like jogging. HIIT involves alternating between short bursts of increased intensity exercise and rest — for instance, running and then walking on and off throughout the workout.

Regular weightlifting sessions can also help keep blood sugar levels steady. Use weights or resistance bands for 30 to 45 minutes two or three times a week. The CDC recommends getting at least 150 minutes a week of brisk walking or a similar activity, which comes out to about 30 minutes a day, five times per week.

 

10 General Fitness Tips


untitled 11. Move your body everyday of the week
Remember to prioritize movement, not just the concept of “exercise.” Even on days you don’t get a workout in, be sure you take a walk, stretch, stand, or dance! Your body was meant to move: enjoy it.

2. Schedule exercise like an appointment
Write down exactly when you are going to workout in your calendar or planner. You are the boss of you. And you wouldn’t cancel and appointment with the boss, would you?

3. Follow the 80/20 rule
Eat healthy 80 percent of the time. Indulge occasionally, but make sure most of your choices are healthy.

4. Add muscle building activities to your weekly workouts
Free weights, resistance bands, muscle sculpt classes or using your body weight with push-ups, planks and squats all work.

5. Find a form (or two!) of exercise you enjoy
If you’re totally bored with your workout routine, start exploring different forms of exercise! It’s easier to do and stick with the things we enjoy.

6. Workout in the morning
When you get your workout in first thing, you are less likely to skip exercise. When you leave it to later in the day, you may get tired or your day may get away from you and lose your motivation to do it.

7. Take one day a week for active recovery
It’s your day of rest from intense workouts, but you still move. Take a walk. Do a gentle yoga class. Just do something that’s less intense than what you do for exercise the other six days of the week.

8. Never go more than two days in a row without exercise
This applies to your vacations too!

9. Circuit training helps your burn calories and increase muscle
Circuit style workouts super charge your metabolism and help you shed pounds. By getting your heart rate up and working each muscle group, you can create a lean and sleek physique.

10. Get an accountability partner for exercise and weight loss support
Exercise together, share tips and swap encouragement.

Exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness


arthritis painAs you consider starting an arthritis exercise program, understand what’s within your limits and what level of exercise is likely to give you results.

Controlling Your Arthritis

Exercise is crucial for people with arthritis. It increases strength and flexibility, reduces joint pain, and helps combat fatigue. Of course, when stiff and painful joints are already bogging you down, the thought of walking around the block or swimming a few laps might seem overwhelming. Continue reading Exercise helps ease arthritis pain and stiffness

Wellness in the workplace the business benefits of providing health and fitness facilities


untitled 1Research and studies indicate that are many profitable reasons for companies to invest in corporate fitness despite economic downturn.

Most people agree that a fit and healthy workforce is desirable – it should even bring positive business benefits. But support for investment in fitness facilities seems to wane during times of economic hardship. Continue reading Wellness in the workplace the business benefits of providing health and fitness facilities

Online Fitness Programs Growing In Popularity


The benefits of a personal trainer and the convenience of the Internet have come together in the latest fitness trend: online personal training. This concept emerged about ten years ago, but in the past five years, online training programs have amplified in popularity, said an expert yesterday at the American College of Sports Medicine‘s 15th-annual Health & Fitness Summit & Exposition. Continue reading Online Fitness Programs Growing In Popularity

Fitness Testing


Fitness testing is a way of gaining information about the health, fitness level related and skill related components of an athletes fitness. Testing can take place in a number of environments, with laboratory testing being the most accurate; however there is still a large range of tests that can be carried out, away from a lab, which provide a lot of useful information. Fitness testing is not only for athletes, applies to any person that wants to get in a better physical fitness. Continue reading Fitness Testing

How FitnessPTO works


Training clients since 1993 has enabled me create a training system that is efficient, motivating, and which will help you achieve the best results you can!  Effective training is similar to going on a trip.  You need a starting point.  From there, you chose your destination.  Once you know where you want to go, you map out the route to get to there as efficiently as possible. It is also important that you plan for your meals along the way.  All of this makes for a successful and rewarding trip! Continue reading How FitnessPTO works