What Should I Eat Before A Workout? – Articles

The food choices you make before exercise can dramatically influence the overall effect of the session, so it pays to have a good nutrition strategy to complement your workout efforts. Considering the wide range of individual nutrition needs and variety of exercise durations and intensities, I’ll lay out several approaches to help you hone in on a better pre-workout nutrition strategy for your program.

Of course, my best recommendations will need to be tested in the context of your personal situation, so keep an open mind, be patient and consider hiring an expert coach to help you make adjustments to the ideas in today’s post.

The most important considerations for pre-exercise nutrition are fuel availability to sustain performance goals and protein intake to prevent excessive loss or damage to muscle tissue during the workout. Whether your goals are to lose body fat, gain muscle mass, improve speed or increase strength, you must make efforts to fuel your workouts and nourish your hard-earned lean muscle, so you can reap the full benefits of the exercise stimulus.

We are Hybrid Machines.

Our bodies are remarkable in their ability to oxidize (burn) energy fairly easily from two primary sources, much like a hybrid engine can use gasoline or electricity. Our two primary fuel options, however, are carbohydrates or fat (lipids), and we often burn a blend of the two. A third fuel option for our bodies to burn is protein, but this source is usually only oxidized in extreme situations, such as exercising intensely while in a prolonged calorie deficit (such is the case with many chronic dieters).

Carbohydrates are internally available to fuel activity as glycogen (stored in muscle and liver) or blood glucose, but additional carbohydrates can be consumed before or during exercise to increase the amount of fuel available. Internal carb storage capacity depends on how much muscle tissue a person has, and it usually ranges between 1000-2000 calories worth of fuel.

The other major fuel for physical activity is found in internal fat stores and as free-floating fatty acids in the blood stream. The amount of available fat calories varies widely with body composition, but it can easily reach a few hundred thousand calories, so we always have exponentially more fat fuel available than carbohydrates.

Carbs are the fuel-of-choice for our cells when both carbs and fat are plentiful, so we’ll burn mostly carbs before switching over to the “fat fuel tank,” depending on one’s fitness level and workout intensity. Your individual fuel use can (and should) be measured, so you know how to best spend your exercise for max benefit.

There are additional ingredients that can support exercise performance and effectiveness known as “ergogenic aides” — compounds that are known to improve blood flow, help maintain lean tissue, support energy production, increase mental focus and decrease pain sensation, increase strength or power and protect cells from excessive free-radical damage during the workout. While these formulas don’t provide appreciable calories, they can be potent additions to your workout routine.

Life Time’s version of a performance supplement system is called StrengthStack. With 3-4 weeks of consistent use of a resistance-training program, it can boost performance during your workouts and enhance recovery between workouts.

Fat Loss vs. Muscle Gain

If your goal is primarily fat loss, then your pre-exercise choices should focus on adequate protein and the “lowest effective dose” of carbs. Adequate protein is considered at least 20-30 grams of high-quality protein within two hours of the training session.

Include only low-glycemic carbohydrates (like oatmeal, vegetables or Generation UCAN) in amounts equal or less than your dose of protein — just enough to prevent exercise-induced low blood sugar, but not enough to force your body to burn mostly carbs through the entire workout. If your session is longer than 90 minutes, you may want to increase the carbs to reflect a 2:1 carb-to-protein ratio, but that’s where the aforementioned personal experimenting comes into play.

For those looking to gain lean mass (and presumably aren’t too worried about rapid fat loss), then you want to provide enough fuel (carbs) to power through your high-volume workouts along with ample protein to minimize the catabolic effects of the session. Generally, gaining strength, size or power by training hard needs to be supported by a Carb:Protein ratio in the realm of 3g:1g or 4g:1g with protein intake being 30-45g (making carbs closer to 100g pre-workout).  

In short, it’s ok to surf the lower side of the carb spectrum for fat loss, provided you supply adequate protein. For muscle gain, it’s risky to go too low with your carb intake prior to exercise.

Intensity & Duration

For low-to-moderate intensity workouts (having personal data from an Active Metabolic Assessment will tell you exactly what “moderate” is for you), it may not be necessary to fill up on carbs beforehand because low-to-moderate intensity sessions rely primarily on stored fat for energy.

Similarly, if your workouts are fairly short (<60 minutes) — even if higher intensity — you may not need to emphasize pre-workout carbs either. Our glycogen stores can usually support one to two hours of relatively high-intensity exercise (although it may not be the most pleasant experience, you’ll get through it).

Eating carbs before these relatively easy or short workouts could blunt your fat burning capability unless the carb of choice is Generation UCAN (which appears to increase ability to use fat for energy across a wide range of intensities). Just be sure to consume adequate protein or amino acids within the two hours prior to exercising to prevent excessive muscle breakdown.

When it comes to longer-duration (>60 minutes) or higher-intensity (at or above anaerobic threshold for significant amounts of time), then you will definitely want to include some long-lasting (slow-digesting) carbohydrates with your pre-exercise protein dose. How much? That depends on what your outcome goals are (as discussed above). 

Food vs. Supplements

As we’ve discussed before on this blog, we’re big advocates of getting as much nourishment as possible from wholesome, unprocessed foods, but we’re also big proponents of using supplements to support good nutrition habits. The case for supplements is especially strong when pre-workout nutrition is the topic of discussion.

Getting fueled up for your workouts with whole food can be done, but that means you probably need to consume those solid foods at least 90 minutes prior to your workout session. For many morning exercisers, this would mean you’d have to wake up even earlier to prepare or eat your pre-workout meal and let it digest before you begin to reap the fueling benefits.

More convenient (and consistent) options like protein powder, branched-chain amino acids and carbohydrate supplements are tough to beat. These products are generally well-tolerated and readily absorbed into circulation even if consumed 30 minutes or so prior to hitting the gym. Based on these factors, many strength coaches and athletes view these items as staple components of the training program. They are effective, serve a purpose and make fueling properly easier and more consistent.

Personally, most of my exercise sessions happen early in the morning, and I’m not a huge fan of waking up at 4 a.m. to eat a meal for a 5:30 a.m. workout, so my go-to pre-workout routine is a liquid-only approach. On my way to the club, I’ll drink my StrengthStack PreWorkout Complex with BCAA Recovery. It’s easily absorbed within 30 minutes, and it helps me power through my workouts without missing a step. For longer sessions, I’ll add UCAN superstarch as my carbohydrate of choice.

When I get a chance to sneak in a lunchtime workout or evening session, I’ll adjust my meals according to the plan using the above logic and eat real food to support protein and carb needs.

This may seem complicated, but trust me — it’s not. Think about your pre-workout nutrition choices as if your results depend on them. (They do. A lot.) Choose to be prepared each and every time, and watch your fitness and body composition improve consistently.

What to eat during and after your workouts? That’s material for another post. Stay tuned!

In health, Paul Kriegler, Registered Dietitian and Life Time – Nutrition Program Development Manager.

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader. 

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Great MAMBO 36 EXTREME #1 MALE ENHANCEMENT PILLS

MAMBO 36 EXTREME #1 MALE ENHANCEMENT PILLS 100% ORIGINAL

Mambo 36

Uses: Mambo 36 is used to treat male sexual function problems (impotence or erectile dysfunction). In combination with sexual stimulation, Mambo 36 helps blood flow into the penis to achieve and maintain a strong erection. Mambo 36 is not indicated for use in women.

How to use: Mambo 36 is taken by mouths as needed, at least 60 minutes before sexual activity with or without food: only one pill is enough, no more than that. The pill effect may last up to 36 hours. The pills will help Delaying Ejaculation and Increasing your sexual self-confidence

Warning: Keep out of reach of children

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5 Expert Meal Prep Tips That Save Time – Articles

“Got no time?”

The average American doesn’t. Our fast paced lives often call for convenience. And with long work hours and long commutes, comes sacrificing time for prepping healthy meals in the kitchen.

After working with thousands of individuals through one-on-one nutrition coaching, I’ve found that the biggest misrepresentation of eating healthy is that it takes countless hours of preparation and cooking.

But meal prep doesn’t have to be that complicated.

When I talk with my clients and share some of my tricks (below) that get me through meal prep for the week (without spending hours in my kitchen), I’m often met with their relief of how easy and doable it is.

Check out a few of my go-to meal hacks so you can start healthy eating today. The more you practice them, the less you have to think, as they often become habitual and regular staples for each and every week.

1. Batch Prepare Your High-Protein Snacks

Hard boiled eggs are an easy go-to in my book. With each egg providing a good source of both protein and essential fat, they’re one of my most highly recommended snacks. I make a carton of hard boiled eggs each and every week so they’re easy to grab and go for breakfast or pack for snacks.

To make things simple, I recommend making hard boiled eggs by baking them in the oven.  Place each egg inside of it’s own muffin cup. Bake them for 30 minutes at 350 degrees and place them in a large bowl filled with ice water until cool.  Store in refrigerator.

Other considerations:  Every week, I also bake a package of bacon to have on hand and store in the refrigerator. Pack a couple strips as a snack or eat alongside some fresh berries for breakfast. If you have a little more time for prep, try making our portable egg cup recipe.

2. Make-Ahead Smoothies

Protein shakes and smoothies are a constant breakfast in my house for their ease of preparation and portability. Although I often advise to try to eat breakfast at the table as often as you can, sometimes you just need something tasty that you can take in the car with you on your morning commute.

If your short on time in the morning or don’t want to wake anybody up with the noise of your high-powered blender, making your shakes ahead could be an easy solution for you. Simply multiply out your favorite recipe by however many shakes or servings you want to make ahead. My recipe for the above photo includes the following to make 4 smoothies:  16 ounces of unsweetened coconut milk, 2 cups of frozen kale, 3 cups of frozen blueberries and 4 servings of strawberry whey protein.

I store the shakes in mason jars inside of the refrigerator as they are super easy to store and I can easily “shake up” my smoothie prior to drinking it in case any settling happens.

Other considerations:  You could also consider freezing your smoothie or shake servings if you want to batch prepare for farther into the future.  Start by freezing the smoothie inside a muffin tin or ice cube tray (once frozen, store individual servings inside of a large freezer bag).  When you are ready for a shake, grab a servings worth of frozen blocks and thrown them in the blender with milk. If you have kids, freezing smoothies can also be a nice way to make your own healthy popsicles.

3. Wash and Cut Produce All Together

How often have you bought fresh produce, forgotten about it, and then found it spoiled and way past its freshness date? Nobody has time for that wasted money!

Washing and cutting your produce all at once can not only save you time in the kitchen but also make you more likely to consume it. I like to first wash and cut (if needed) my different berries and keep them in glass containers on the top shelf of my refrigerator.  That way I see them first when I open the door and they become a nice reminder to pack them for lunches and snacks and don’t get lost in my produce drawer.

I love to have chopped vegetables at hand for easy snacks (I often snack on veggies and guac prior to dinner) or to have ready to bake or roast in the oven for quick dinners.

Other considerations: Keep your cut produce at eye level in the refrigerator so it’s the first thing you see when you open its door.  Frozen vegetables and fruit can be a convenient way to get produce into your diet with less risk of it going bad prior to your consumption. 

4. Slow Cook It

There’s something about a slow cooker that makes person feel like they can only use it in the winter or when it’s cold outside. Take advantage of this kitchen device, as during the summer, it’s beneficial because it doesn’t heat up your house like an oven can. And it’s a meal plan hacker’s dream as it takes minimal prep and you can turn on your cooker and not touch it for hours.

I like to take about 6 fresh chicken breasts (seasoned generously with sea salt and garlic) and let them cook on high for about 3 hours. Once they’re done cooking, I can either pack them individually with vegetables for lunches for the work week, or I often pull them apart (with 2 forks) and add some lower carb barbeque or buffalo sauce to have a nice pulled chicken for on top of salads or served up with veggies. 

Other considerations: A slow cooker should be a staple in every household. They take minimal prep and net you with only dish to clean up.  They’re nice for batch cooking multiple meals (i.e. chili) and are nice for cooking protein foods. If you are really time-starved and have no time for cooking, go for a rotisserie chicken at your local supermarket.

5.  Season Differently; Cook All at Once

Use aluminum foil to divide your cookie sheet into separate compartments. In the example above, I used different vegetables with different seasonings (garlic on broccoli, nutmeg on cauliflower and sea salt on Brussels) and extra virgin olive oil and roasted the entire pan for 30 minutes.

This helps in my house with a toddler, as on any given week, she decides if or when she still likes broccoli.  But it’s helpful for me as I can batch cook a variety of vegetables for my lunches and when it’s all said and done, I just have to roll up and toss the foil to clean up.

Other considerations:  I also use this method if I want to bake different meats or different seasonings.  You could bake up pre-cut chicken and flavor it three different ways for variety.

Hope you enjoyed a few of my hacks! As always, if you need help more on an individual level, we have in-club or virtual Nutrition Coaches to help.  Just email weightloss@lifetimefitness.com to get scheduled for a free consultation.

In health, Anika Christ – Senior Program Manager – Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader. 

 

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Söur Bruthers Sinkin’ Down Song

Band: Söur Bruthers
Song: Sinkin’ Down

Sour Bruthers Music Videos

Söur Bruthers add a touch of Country Twang to their highly polished midwestern rock. Sinkin Down is a cut off their self titled debut EP, which includes Better Days, a 2017 Winner of the 18th Annual Great American Song Contest.

The Söur Bruthers blend of americana and red dirt alternative country rock is one that will bring you back, but shove you forward at the same time! Söurlicious Rock with a Country Twang!!

““The Söur Bruthers sound is stylish, energetic, soulful, and satisfying in the way that any great blues-rock or Americana soaked record should be. The songwriting and performances are top notch.””

Official Website: https://www.sourbruthersband.com
Youtube Song Video: https://youtu.be/XVNOBwAJvm0
Soundcloud Song Link: https://soundcloud.com/sourbruthers/sinkin-down
Bandcamp Album: https://sourbruthers.bandcamp.com/releases
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sourbruthers
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sourbruthers

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Don’t Act Like available now

Short Bio:

What do you get when you mix the Los Angeles-based DJ Serafin, often referred to as one of the top 10 remixers of all time and well known not only for his mash-ups but for the esteemed remix website Crooklynclan.net with dance music’s rising star and Billboard charting artist Amber Skyes. You get the masterpiece “Don’t Act Like” available now on 418 Music

 

DJ Serafin:
https://www.facebook.com/TheRealDJSerafin/
https://www.instagram.com/djserafin/
https://twitter.com/djserafin

Amber Skyes:
www.facebook.com/AmberSkyesOfficial/
www.twitter.com/_AmberSkyes_
www.instagram.com/amberskyesofficial/

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10 Ways to Bust out of a Rut – Articles

Settling into a well designed, regular health routine can be a major triumph in our weight loss journey – until it’s not. While we’re certainly creatures of habit, we’re all prone to restlessness. At some point, we’re drawn to novelty as much as comfort. Sure, it can take a while to figure out what foods and workouts put us in the sweet spot for weight loss (not to mention life balance!). As hard won as this regimen may feel, eventually we can tire of the same exercise circuit or meal lineup. Simple tweaks in our weekly routines, however, have the power to stir up new enthusiasm and even push us to the next level in terms of physical change, metabolic function and mental game. Do you need to rekindle your engagement with your program? Check out these 10 ways you can use the “new” to your advantage. 

Schedule a workout “date.”

If your weekly workout routine is feeling a little mundane, try something more social with a friend or a group. I try to plan a monthly workout “date” with a close friend – whether we try a new class at the gym or go for our usual hike. Sharing the experience or having the chance to chat while busting a sweat makes the workout more enjoyable.

Take a day off.

One of the best ways to get out of a rut is to literally stop in your tracks! If you’ve been working hard and seeing progress, give yourself a day off from that routine. Most often, you’ll miss it and won’t be tempted to take yet another day right after, but having that one day is a nice reminder of how much better you feel when you move your body and eat what lets you thrive!

Go to class.

I often include cooking skills during my coaching sessions, but if you’re not working with a nutrition coach, taking a cooking class can be a nice and surprisingly fun option! Learning additional cooking skills can make all the difference when it comes to adapting a healthy diet for the long term. Whether you sign up to learn basic kitchen skills or try a specialty class (e.g. grilling, etc), taking advantage of cooking courses offered in your community will expose your palate to different recipes and new ingredients. It’s a perfect way to shake up your eating routine.

Phone a coach.

Many of my clients came to me with nice foundations for eating and exercise but were simply interested in getting new ideas. Sometimes fresh eyes can give you a totally different take on your routine and offer you novel options to get you beyond your current rut. If you have friends or coworkers on similar journeys, share notes on what foods and activities have worked for them.

Create a dream board.

Whether you cut out recipes/pictures of foods that look amazing or use the online version (Pinterest), just making a photo collage or recipe collection can infuse life into a limited, boring eating routine. I attempt to “try” something new with food each month – whether it’s something I see a coworker (e.g. fellow Flourish writer Paul) eating that looks good or something I find on my social media feed. 

Start a dinner club.

This one is my favorite! Set up a monthly or quarterly “dinner club” with friends who are also on a healthy way of life journey or have a similar commitment and mindset around nutrition. If a group arrangement isn’t the best fit, consider a night out with your significant other to bring some variety into your routine. Most restaurants today have options for healthy proteins and vegetables.

Find an exercise workshop.

Ask the staff at your gym or fitness facility if they host workshops to help members learn about fitness equipment. You may discover some new favorite tools to incorporate into your workout routine and feel less intimated making your way around the gym.

Train for an event.

This might be one of the most common things my clients do to get out of a rut. Signing up for an event or challenge can instantly elicit that “New Year’s” excitement and offer tangible motivation for committing or re-committing to a goal.

Hit the re-set button.

It’s easy to forget about our overarching objectives – especially if we’ve hit a plateau or aren’t seeing the rapid progress we did in the beginning of our journeys. Make a list of the reasons why you wanted to get healthy in the first place – even if it was solely based on enhancing your appearance. Revisit that list on the days when you’re feeling bored or tempted to give up. Add something new to it, in fact, each time you consult it!

Play!

Let go of the rigid take on exercise! Chase your dog or kids, go for a “fun” bike ride, or play your favorite sport. Some of my best workouts happen when I simply throw a basketball at a hoop and run full speed after the rebound (having completely missed the basket). Playing is just as important to our health and exercise routine as our cardio or strength training programs and can be helpful for those of us stuck in a motivational or even physical rut. Push the edges of what you think qualifies as “fitness,” and you might end up never seeing it the same again – all the while, changing your health and lifestyle for the better.

Have you ever found yourself in a healthy living rut? What got you unstuck? Share your thoughts and tips, and thanks for reading. 

Written by Anika Christ, Senior Program Manager of Life Time Weight Loss

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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11 Movements to Avoid Workout-Related Injuries – Articles

Many Life Time members love to work out. Unfortunately, some of them experience aches and pains that make workouts less enjoyable. In fact, commonly asked questions I get from members regard how to minimize or eliminate the discomfort they feel while exercising. Because these questions are asked often, this article will explain how a well-designed warm-up and cooldown can make exercises feel better during a workout.

In my experience, person who notice discomfort when they exercise usually skip these two parts of the workout or don’t use them enough. Also, since the majority of questions I get from members on aches and pains involve joints of the lower body (knees, hips, etc.), this article will show 3 exercises, 8 stretches, 2 different warm-ups and 2 different cooldowns for the lower body that can be used immediately.

 

Lower-Body Dynamic Warm-Up Option 1:

This Warm-Up takes about 5 or 6 minutes to complete. It consists of 2 exercises and 2 stretches. It doesn’t require any equipment to accomplish.

1.  Side-Lying Clam: Do 2 sets of 20 to 25 reps/side.   

 

  • Get into a side-lying position with the knees and hips bent at about 90 degrees.
  • Stack the heels together and roll your hips forward a bit (If your glutes are against a wall, your top glute is slightly forward and not touching the wall (about ½” to 1” away from the wall).
  • With your heels stacked together, raise the top leg without letting your hips rotate back (If you are against a wall, try to avoid touching the wall with your top glute muscle).
  • Lower your leg until it is slightly above (about ½”) the bottom leg so there is continuous tension on the muscle.
  • Repeat steps c and d until the rep goal is completed and then do the opposite side. 

 

2.  Glute Bridge: Do 2 sets of 20 to 25 reps. 

 

  • Lie down on your back so your palms are facing the ceiling.
  • Pull your heels towards your hips so your knees are at about a 90-degree angle.
  • Lift up the balls of your foot so only the heels are touching the floor.
  • Lift your hips up until your shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line.
  • Squeeze your glutes together on top of the movement for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Lower the hips back to the floor in a controlled manner.
  • Repeat steps d through f until the rep goal is completed.

  

3.  Dynamic Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch: Do 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps on each side.  

 

  • Get into a ½ kneeling position on the floor.
  • Do a “Posterior Pelvic Tilt” by rolling the hip forward on the side that the knee is on the ground (you should feel a slight stretch on the front of the hip).
  • Gently lean forward and simultaneously raise the arm (on the side that the knee is on the ground) over your head until you feel a deeper stretch in the front of the hip.
  • Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Gently lean back and simultaneously lower the arm (on the side that the knee is on the ground).
  • Repeat steps c through e until the rep goal is completed and then do the opposite side.

    

4.  Dynamic Runner Quad Stretch: Do 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps on each side. 

 

 

 

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Bend one knee and grab that foot with the same side arm.
  • While holding the foot, do a “Posterior Pelvic Tilt” by rolling your hip forward until you feel a slight stretch down the front of the leg.
  • Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Switch legs and repeat steps b through d until the rep goal is completed on both legs.

Lower-Body Dynamic Warm-Up Option 2:

This Warm-Up takes about 5 to 6 minutes to complete. It consists of 2 exercises and 2 stretches.  Regarding equipment, it requires a Mini Band.

1.  Mini Band Lateral Walk: Do 2 sets of 20 to 25 reps/side.

   

  

 

  • Place the Mini Band right above or below your knees based on comfort and fitness level (the band above the knee will be easier to do than the band below the knee).
  • Stand at a shoulder-width stance so the band has tension on it.
  • Take a step to the right with the right foot.
  • Take a step to the right with the left foot.
  • Take a step to the left with the left foot.
  • Take a step to the left with the right foot.
  • Repeat steps c through f until the rep goal is completed for each leg.

 

2.  Glute Bridge:  Do 2 sets of 20 to 25 reps.

  • Lie down on your back so your palms are facing the ceiling.
  • Pull your heels towards your hips so your knees are at about a 90-degree angle.
  • Lift up the balls of your foot so only the heels are touching the floor.
  • Lift your hips up until your shoulders, hips and knees are in a straight line.
  • Squeeze your glutes together on top of the movement for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Lower the hips back to the floor in a controlled manner.
  • Repeat steps d through f until the rep goal is completed.

 

3.  Dynamic Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch: Do 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps on each side.

 

 

  • Get into a ½ kneeling position on the floor.
  • Do a “Posterior Pelvic Tilt” by rolling the hip forward on the side that the knee is on the ground (you should feel a slight stretch on the front of the hip).
  • Gently lean forward and simultaneously raise the arm (on the side that the knee is on the ground) over your head until you feel a deeper stretch in the front of the hip.
  • Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Gently lean back and simultaneously lower the arm (on the side that the knee is on the ground).
  • Repeat steps c through e until the rep goal is completed and then do the opposite side.

 

4.  Dynamic Runner Quad Stretch: Do 2 sets of 8 to 10 reps on each side.

 

 

 

   

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Bend one knee and grab that foot with the same side arm.
  • While holding the foot, do a “Posterior Pelvic Tilt” by rolling your hip forward until you feel a slight stretch down the front of the leg.
  • Hold this position for 1 to 2 seconds.
  • Switch legs and repeat steps b through d until the rep goal is completed on both legs.

Lower-Body Cooldown Option 1:

This Cooldown takes about 5 to 6 minutes to complete. It consists of 3 stretches. No equipment is needed.

   

1.  Static Kneeling Hip Flexor Stretch:  Hold for 30 to 45 seconds on each side.

 

  • Get into a ½ kneeling position on the floor.
  • Do a “Posterior Pelvic Tilt” by rolling the hip forward on the side that the knee is on the ground (you should feel a slight stretch on the front of the hip).
  • Gently lean forward and simultaneously raise the arm (on the side that the knee is on the ground) over your head until you feel a deeper stretch in the front of the hip.
  • Hold this position for 30 to 45 seconds on each side.

 

2.  Static Runner Quad Stretch:  Hold for 30 to 45 seconds/side.

 

 

 

 

 

  • Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart.
  • Bend one knee and grab that foot with the same side arm.
  • While holding the foot, do a “Posterior Pelvic Tilt” by rolling your hip forward until you feel a slight stretch down the front of the leg.
  • Hold this position for 30 to 45 seconds on each side.

 

3.  Static Kneeling Calf Stretch:  Do 2 sets of 30 to 45 seconds on each side.

 

 

  • Stand with your feet staggered front/back at shoulder width, making sure the toes are pointed forward on each foot.
  • Place your hands on top of the front leg and lean forward with your back foot heel flat on the ground until you feel a stretch in your calf muscle.
  • For a deeper stretch, squeeze the glute on the side where your foot is back.
  • Hold the stretch for the required amount of time and switch sides, repeating steps a through c.

Lower-Body Cooldown Option 2:

This Cooldown takes about 5 to 6 minutes to complete.  It consists of 3 self-massage stretches.  Regarding equipment, a lacrosse ball, Tiger Tail and foam roller are needed.

 

1.  Lacrosse Ball Foot Self-Massage: Do 2 sets of 30 to 45 seconds on each.

  

 

 

 

  • Place the arch of your foot on top of a tennis or lacrosse ball (lacrosse ball is more intense).
  • Apply pressure with your body weight and roll your foot on top of the ball.
  • When the required amount of time is achieved, repeat steps a and b on the other foot.

 

2.  Tiger Tail Lower-Leg Self-Massage: Do 2 sets of 30 to 45 seconds on each side.

 

  • Get in a seated or kneeling position.
  • Place the Tiger Tail on the lower leg muscles that need attention (front, side or back).
  • Gently roll the Tiger Tail up and down the muscle using a slow, controlled speed.
  • When the required amount of time is achieved, repeat steps a through d on the other leg.

 

 3.  Foam Roller Hip Flexor Self-Massage: Do 2 sets of 30 to 45 seconds on each side.

  • Place the foam roller on the floor and place the hip of one side on top of it with your other leg resting on the floor.
  • Slowly move your body forward so the roller moves down your leg until it is right above your knee.
  • Slowly move your body back so the roller moves up your leg until you are in the starting position.
  • When the required amount of time is achieved, repeat steps a through c on the other leg.

The exercises, stretches, warm-ups and cooldowns listed above are very time efficient and can be used by most fitness enthusiasts. In fact, in my experience 75% of person with knee or hip discomfort from running, lifting or taking GX Studio classes have minimal issues when taking the time just to do one of the two warm-ups prior to classes or exercise sessions. 

If time permits, do one of the cooldowns right after the exercise session or later in the day (right before matress is a nice time to do the cooldown stretches as it helps person get better sleep and recovery). If you are limited on time, just pick one of the static stretches or self-massages and do one of them each night.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it is way more than most person do and makes a noticeable difference.

It is amazing how much better person feel by doing these exercises, stretches and, if time permits, warm-ups, cooldowns or both. It is just a matter of actually doing them.

In health, Corey Grenz — Program Specialist and Master Trainer — Life Time, Chanhassen 

 

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.  

 

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5 common foods that cause belly bloat  – Articles

Do you ever wake up with a flat tummy only to feel like you can’t button your pants after a meal later in the day?   

There’s a multitude of reasons why your belly may feel inflated and uncomfortable after eating, but one thing’s for sure. You want to get to the bottom of it and avoid any further discomfort.

It can be extremely helpful to keep a food-symptom diary where you keep track of what you’ve eaten and how you feel within 30 minutes, 60 minutes, and a couple of hours after each meal or snack. 

There are several foods that have been found to be common culprits of belly bloat that you might want to consider eliminating from your diet for a period of time.

5 COMMON FOODS THAT CAUSE BELLY BLOAT

 

1. DAIRY

Most dairy products (milk, ice cream, yogurt and kefir more so than cheese) naturally contain a specific sugar called lactose, which requires a unique enzyme (lactase) to be digested. An 8-ounce glass of milk contains 12 grams of this lactose, and a typical 6-ounce container of plain Greek yogurt has around 5 grams, for example. 

For many person with Northern European ancestry, this is not enough to cause gastrointestinal distress. However, for the majority of person of Asian or African descent, any amount may be too much.

If you lack the lactase enzyme or consume larger-than-you-can-tolerate portions, then any amount of lactose consumed can remain in the small intestine undigested (possibly fermented by bacteria or yeasts). 

Large amounts of incompletely digested sugars in the intestines (sugars of any type, but especially lactose) can cause water to be drawn into the intestines. The water drawn in to dilute the sugar load speeds GI transit time and can cause a feeling of bloating.

What to do: 

  • Try eliminating all forms of dairy for a few weeks as you keep track of your food symptom trends.
  • Take supplemental lactase enzymes anytime you suspect your food has dairy in it (available over the counter).

 

2. SUGAR ALCOHOLS

Polyols, or sugar alcohols, are approved food ingredients that manufacturers have been incorporating into food and beverages in response to mounting scrutiny of more artificial sweeteners like aspartame or sucralose. 

They are sugar-like compounds that have relatively sweet flavor profiles, but unlike sugar they have an -OH alcohol group in their chemical structure that renders them indigestible by our GI tract.

Recently, the energy drink and portable snack bar companies have turned to sugar alcohols to offer “more natural” product alternatives. One problem with this is sugar alcohols are slightly less sweet than real sugar and way less sweet than artificial sweeteners. As a result, products require rather large quantities to yield the sweet taste consumers prefer. 

As with many of these bloating culprits, the dose determines the carnage (IS THIS THE CORRECT WORD? IT MEANS KILLING, SLAUGHTER.). Xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, maltitol, glycerol and erythritol have been used for years as non-caloric sweeteners for chewing gum, sugar-free candy and diet products of all sorts. Of these, erythritol is the best tolerated by our digestive system, but it’s often derived from genetically modified corn.

Some popular sugar-free or low-sugar protein bars and beverages may contain well over 20 grams of sugar alcohols in a package. 

For a few person I know, this is far too much to feel comfortable because, similar to what happens with lactose intolerance, the body tries to dilute the indigestible sugar alcohol by drawing water into the intestines. This extra pressure feels like bloating and gurgling, and often comes with a sudden urge to use the bathroom.

What to do: 

  • Check the nutrition facts of that low-sugar or sugar-free product. Sugar alcohols are reported in the carbohydrate section
  • Limit the amount you consume to well below 10 grams at a time.
  • Avoid them altogether if need be and opt for natural sugar alternatives like stevia

 

3. SIMPLE SUGARS 

Sure, we all know simple sugars can be enemy number one for fat loss, but their trouble may not be limited to long-term body composition. 

A number of person experience rather immediate bloating from meals or beverages containing relatively large amounts of easily digested carbohydrates, namely items containing added sugars or refined grains. 

Often for these folks, visible stomach distention can be observed (and felt) within 30 minutes of eating, mostly because these sugars can be easily fermented by various types of bacteria or yeasts in the small intestine. 

Normally, there are very few of these organisms present in the small intestine because stomach acid is supposed to neutralize them, but if stomach acidity has been altered by overuse of antibiotics, antacids, GERD treatments or other commonly prescribed medications, there’s a chance that small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) may be the cause of your bloating.

What to do: 

  • Eat smaller meals. Sometimes the dose determines the discomfort. 
  • Reduce your intake of refined carbohydrates and added sugars — any ingredients that end in “-ose,” “syrup,” “juice” or “nectar.”
  • Rule out SIBO or possible yeast overgrowth with various tests like hydrogen breath test, stool samples or antibody testing.

 

4. CARBONATED BEVERAGES

Another common bloating culprit is carbonated beverages. Regular or diet soda, sparkling water or even bubbly alcoholic beverages (especially beer) may cause you to ingest a significant amount of gas (carbon dioxide). There are only two ways for that gas to escape the confines of the GI tract, and it often just gets burped up when overconsumed or downed too quickly. 

What to do:

  • Drink less of these beverages or drink them more slowly. Sipping is better than gulping, especially if you’re consuming them along with a meal.
  • Choose plain water with a wedge of citrus fruit instead.

 

5. LEGUMES (A.K.A. PULSES)

Beans, beans, the magical fruit… Everyone seems to learn at an early age that beans and legumes can turn our guts into an internal orchestra, but why?

Pulses are generally considered to be very nutritious because of their slow-to-digest, energy-sustaining starch content and decently high amounts of several amino acids (protein building blocks). Unfortunately, it’s the high amount of fiber that turns these little legumes into gas-creating bloat bombs for many.

While our own digestive enzymes have the ability to break down many forms of carbohydrates, some of the shorter-chain carbohydrates found in legumes can only be used by beneficial bacterial strains living in our large intestines. These bacteria can process short-chain carbohydrates into short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) — and gas. 

SCFAs specifically have an important role in regulating hunger hormones, enhancing immune system function and controlling inflammatory responses in the gut, so generally speaking they are a beneficial byproduct. 

However, if you drastically increase your intake of legumes in a short period of time, your body won’t be ready to handle the increased production of gas other than to feel (and sound) bloated. 

What to do: 

  • Include legumes in your diet for several different health benefits.
  • Increase your intake slowly to allow time for your gut bacterial environment to adapt.
  • Go for a walk after lunch or dinner. 

Keep in mind that not everyone will react the same to different foods and your sensitivities may or may not be reflected on this list. You may have to do a bit of investigating on your own to figure out why your belly rebels with certain meals. 

And if you try the suggestions above and still find yourself experiencing bloating or other digestive discomfort, email us at coaching@lt.life so we can connect you with a Registered Dietitian who can help you pinpoint your individual sensitivities with more specific questions and accurate testing. The difference this can make in your weight loss journey can’t be underestimated (SHOULDN’T THIS BE OVERESTIMATED?).

 

In health, Paul Kriegler, Registered Dietitian and Life Time Nutrition Program Development Manager.

This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.

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