Monthly Archives: September 2015

Digestive Health

By | Exercise, Nutrition | No Comments

Healthy Gut

Digestion is something we usually take for granted until it gives us issues. Cramping, upset stomach, bloating, etc. can cause quite a bit of discomfort and annoyance. Rather than taking a tablet to cover up the symptoms, listen to your body and try to prevent these issues from occurring in the first place.

The following tips will keep your digestion working efficiently and your health in check.

Stay hydrated. Dehydration causes numerous problems, one being impaired digestion. Drinking more water could be the simplest way to improve digestion! To maximize the water you are drinking, add a pinch of sea salt and a wedge of lemon to your water bottle. This will help pull more water into your cells and hydrate you at the cellular level.

Eat the right foods. Yes, this may seem obvious on the surface, but the perfect food for one person may be a bad choice for someone else. Some common food intolerances include gluten, dairy, and eggs. If you think you might have a food intolerance, there are many tests out there that can identify your body’s response to common foods. In addition to cutting out any disruptive foods, you’ll also want to increase your intake of fibrous foods. These include plenty of organic fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts such as apples, berries, broccoli, and walnuts. Consuming clean organic foods and staying away from chemical additives will also put less stress on your system.

Exercise and lose weight. Even if you’re not overweight, the simple act of exercise can improve and aid in digestion. A strong abdominal wall will support a healthy GI tract and contraction of those muscles can help stimulate the GI tract. If you’re carrying extra weight around your midsection, it could be causing extra pressure on your abdominal wall and causing issues that would otherwise not be present.

Supplement with probiotics. Introducing healthy bacteria into your digestive system can have a positive impact on the ratio of good to bad bacteria in your gut. Studies have shown a decrease in digestive related issues in those who consumed probiotic-rich foods. A decrease in healthy gut flora could happen after a round of antibiotic medication, anti-inflammatories, and acid blockers. Consider eating real yogurt, kombucha, kefir, or taking a reputable probiotic supplement.

Chew and enjoy. Digestion begins in the mouth so chewing your food properly can really help initiate healthy digestion. Too many people eat on the run – while driving or working on the computer for example. Multi-tasking is great, but when it’s time to eat, slow down and enjoy your meal. Your brain needs to relax so it can better facilitate digestion.

So take a proactive approach to improving your digestion rather than trying to cover up the symptoms once they occur.

Squat to Improve your Health

By | Exercise | No Comments

Bodyweight_Squat

The squat is often called the king of all exercises. When performed correctly, it’s one of the best all-around movements for total body strength and conditioning. When using resistance as described below, the squat uses muscles of the legs, hips, core, back, shoulders, and arms.

We’ll use bodyweight and a barbell to perform this exercise, but you can also use dumbbells, kettlebells, or even a rubber band for resistance.

To Perform: Begin with your feet between hip and shoulder width apart while holding your arms straight out in front of you. Slowly squat down as you inhale, ensuring that your heels stay heavy, while pushing your hips back and maintaining the natural curve in your low back. Drop down to a depth where you still feel stable in your stance. Exhale as you stand back to the top, but don’t lock your knees all the way out. Repeat for 10-15 controlled repetitions. Squatting with just your bodyweight is a great way to become comfortable with the actual squat mechanics. It’s also an effective warm-up exercise to prepare you for your workout.

Try to Avoid: If you have limited flexibility or stability, it’s very easy to lose your form as you squat down. Ensure that your heels stay planted on the floor and don’t push your knees forward past your toes or allow the knees to cave inward. Also be aware of your overall posture – at no time should your back become rounded. It’s important to keep adequate tension built in your abdominal wall to protect your spine. Always hold your chin at a fairly neutral position – not too high or too low. Also avoid bouncing back up from the bottom position.

Barbell-Squat

How to Progress: A simple way to progress the squat is by adding resistance. Step under a racked barbell and place it on your upper back (not so high that it rests against your neck). Perform the squat as described above, but keep the barbell held firmly in place throughout the exercise. Choose a weight that allows you to perform between 7 and 15 reps and repeat for at least 3 sets. With added weight on your back, it’s crucial to keep your body in good form.

So get back to the basics and take advantage of the squat and all it has to offer. Add this variation to your workouts 1-2 times per week for an effective strength and conditioning tool.

Click the following button or call 847-240-0045 to sign up! Sign Up Now!