November is here. That means cooler temperatures, less sunlight and plenty of turkey. Yet, November is also notable as it is American Diabetes Month.
Diabetes has the potential to send your health into a tailspin. It can even cause full blindness. Everyone should be aware of diabetes, its warning signs and how it can be prevented.
Diabetes Prevention Tips
Though your genetics play a significant role in your risk for diabetes, if you are proactive, you can drastically reduce its odds.
The first step is to achieve a weight that is appropriate for your height and body frame. Carrying excess weight severely spikes the potential of an onset of diabetes. Those who eat healthy and exercise on a regular basis will mitigate their risk for this life-changing disease.
In terms of specific exercises, all the data points to resistance training and aerobic exercise as the best ways to combat and control diabetes. If you are looking for specific foods that will reduce your diabetes risk, key in on fiber. Fiber boosts your blood sugar control, makes you feel full so you don't overeat and even decreases your risk of heart disease. Examples of foods loaded in fiber include beans, nuts, fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Warning Signs of Diabetes
The typical warning signs of diabetes are triggered by abnormally high levels of glucose in one's blood. If you find you are especially hungry or tired throughout the days and weeks, see your doctor to find out if you have diabetes or are a prime candidate for the disease.
High blood sugar will also mitigate blood flow and inflict nerve damage that makes it difficult for the body to heal. If you observe your cuts and sores heal at an especially slow speed, seek a medical evaluation right away.
A rapid loss of weight that cannot be attributed to a change in diet or an increase in exercise is also an indication that you might be a diabetic.
Additional diabetes warning signs include urinating at a high frequency, excessive thirst, blurred vision, overly-itchy skin, headaches, dry mouth, and yeast infections.
As noted above, one of the best ways to prevent diabetes is by controlling your weight. If you are ready to lose weight and get healthy, Ralph Roberts Training can help build your body into a lean machine. We'll customize a workout plan according to your physical fitness goals and help you achieve a fit, healthy body. Contact us today to learn more.
If you are looking for ways to eat right and stay fit, recognize you can't do it alone. The easiest way to obtain an answer is to ask someone in-the-know.
Thankfully, there are plenty of health food aficionados out there who are willing to share their knowledge. Here are some of my favorite nutrition blogs.
The world of nutrition is plagued by numerous myths, especially in the online realm. Nutrition Unplugged exists to dispel those myths and shed light on the truth. The blog also delves into the healthiest foods that are trending, the inside scoop on diet fads and other nutrition-related hot topics.
Sweet Potato Soul
Meat is quickly becoming more and more expensive. Those of us who live long enough might even see meat taxed out of our affordability range as governments look for ways to reduce water consumption (animals require massive amounts of water). Enter Sweet Potato Soul. This blog is hosted by vegan chef Jenne Claiborne. She provides readers with all sorts of scrumptious recipes that are completely void of dairy and meat.
Can You Stay for Dinner?
Owned and updated by Andie Mitchell, this health food blog is all about staying slim while enjoying tasty food. The blog is chock full of fantastic recipes and insightful posts about overcoming the challenges of dieting. Mitchell is well worth your respect as she has lost over 100 pounds and kept the weight off for years.
Healthy living does not have to be boring. This is the mantra of the Nutrition Wow blog. Composed by registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) Dawn Jackson Blatner, it doles out all sorts of helpful nutrition advice that will help you decrease your weight without becoming obsessed with calorie counts. It features all sorts of delicious, wholesome recipes that your entire family will enjoy.
Eating healthy is only half the battle in your quest for a toned physique. The other half is exercise. Though most of us are finding ways to eat healthier, it is awfully difficult to develop the perfect workout routine and stick with it for the long-haul. Lean on Ralph Roberts Personal Training to build the body of your dreams. Try us out for free!
When you reach for that multivitamin or other dietary supplement in the morning, you're probably not wondering whether they're really benefiting you. More than a half of Americans take one or more dietary supplements daily, but many of them may not need them in the first place.
Fact is, a healthy, balanced diet can provide all the daily nutrients you need for a healthy body and mind. But the decision to take supplements may depend on other factors, including your age, health conditions, and more.
Why Take Supplements?
Supplements can make up for what's lacking in your diet, and can decrease your risk of a vitamin deficiency. Many water-soluble vitamins are excreted by your body if you take more than you need, but others — including niacin and vitamins A, B-6, C and D can cause toxic symptoms in large amounts. These symptoms are usually mild — such as a headache or upset stomach — but they can severe and lead to kidney stones, heart issues, and even confusion.
Also, people taking certain medications need to limit or avoid certain vitamins because of potentially dangerous interactions. For example, anyone taking blood thinners shouldn't take vitamin E and K supplements.
Who Should Take Supplements?
People who eat less than 1,200 calories a day, strict vegetarians, and people with health-related issues that decrease the amounts of vitamins and minerals absorbed from food may need supplements. Pregnant women benefit from a prenatal vitamin because they have higher vitamin needs, while folic acid reduces the risk of birth defects.
Here's a general supplement guideline for adults and seniors:
Adults (ages 19 to 50)
We've already mentioned the importance of women taking folic acid during the childbearing years; their iron needs also go up during pregnancy. Also, calcium absorption starts to decrease — for both men and women — during adulthood. If you don't consume the recommended 24 ounces of low-fat or fat-free milk per day - you should take calcium or vitamin D supplements (unless you get the recommended calcium from other foods).
Women need less iron after menopause but require more calcium. In addition, the body absorbs less calcium as it did earlier in life. It's also harder for the body to absorb naturally-occurring vitamin B12 after 50, but it can easily absorb synthetic B12.
Research does suggest that fish oil, for men and women, can promote heart health - and there's plenty of research to back it. Moreover, people who get insufficient exposure to sunlight can benefit from extra vitamin D.
Working with a personal trainer such as Ralph Roberts will help you meet your fitness and wellness goals. Contact Ralph today to schedule a free personal training session!
Sleep is crucial for optimal health. In fact, sleep is just as important in preventing certain issues as are diet and exercise. Getting the recommended seven to eight hours each night helps you feel better, think better, and make better choices.
But what happens when you simply can’t get the sleep you need? Below, we dive into the effects of sleep deprivation as well as some tips for getting through those days when you’re lacking adequate rest.
The Consequences Of Sleep Deprivation
Whether it’s a baby keeping you awake all night, a work deadline pushing back bedtime, or insomnia disrupting your sleep cycles, the side effects of living on little sleep are severe. Some of the consequences of repeated sleep loss include:
Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world. Things happen that may cause you to lose sleep. While we don’t recommend skipping sleep on a regular basis if you can help it, here are some tips for making it through the day after a sleepless night.
1. Skip The Sugar
Sleep deprivation disrupts the hormone in your body that tells your brain you’re full. This leads to increased cravings — especially of sugar —the following day. Giving into that craving causes even more fatigue.
2. Get Some Sun
Research has found that getting outside to take in some bright, natural light immediately upon waking has exhaustion-fighting benefits. These include boosting your alertness, raising your body temperature, and resetting your circadian rhythms.
3. Watch the Caffeine
Reaching for cup after cup of coffee on a sleep-deprived day is tempting, but overdoing it on caffeine doesn’t help your situation. While one or two cups of coffee in the morning is beneficial, loading up on it all day can cause you to crash later — and keep you from falling asleep when your head finally hits the pillow.
4. Indulge In A Cat Nap
It’s true that long naps usually leave you more fatigued than you were before you decided to get some mid-day sleep. However, short naps (think 25 minutes) have been found by experts to help people feel refreshed and more energized the rest of the day.
5. Work Out And Drink Water
The last thing you want to do when you’re tired is exercise. But studies have found that low-intensity workouts decrease fatigue by 65 percent. And don’t forget the water. Dehydration in and of itself leads to fatigue, so reach for water instead of coffee when that late afternoon sleepiness hits.
For more tips on getting through a sleep-deprived day and other ways to stay healthy, reach out to Amarillo fitness expert Ralph Roberts.
There's nothing quite like the feeling of an intense workout - whether it's a sense of accomplishment, or the mental exhilaration of knowing you've met a challenge while doing something good for your body. Muscle soreness can be part of the equation, too.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is the soreness you may feel 12-48 hours after a workout. It can make it uncomfortable to perform day-to-day tasks, but the good news is that there plenty of ways to relieve it, such as those listed here:
1. Apply Heat
Applying heat to sore muscles reduces pain by increasing blood flow to the area. This helps heal the small muscle tears that lead to DOMS while ultimately relieving pain. You can apply heat in a variety of ways, from a hot tub, steam room, sauna, or just soaking in your tub at home.
2. Apply Ice
Many elite athletes swear by a post-workout ice bath because the cool temperatures constrict blood vessels - which reduces swelling. If sitting in shocking cold temperatures sounds daunting, then use ice to treat to specific muscles and areas.
3. Apply Heat And Ice
Since heat and ice both help in soothing sore muscles, why not combine them? One method is to apply an ice pack for 15 minutes, followed by a heat pack for 15, and then repeating the process until you feel relief. It's an effective way to promote better blood flow and muscle recovery.
4. Gentle Stretching
Muscles tend to tighten up when they're in the recovery mode, which can intensify feelings of soreness. Slow, gentle stretching will relieve the tightness and reduce pain.
5. Light Cardio
If stretching isn't enough to relieve soreness/tightness, light cardio the day after a hard workout can improve circulation and warm up your body. The important thing is to move, slowly and gently, and that can even mean walking around the house or your neighborhood.
6. Pack In Protein
Your muscles are depleted and need nourishment after an intense bout of exertion. And one thing they crave is protein, so give them what they want via natural sources such as fish, poultry, lean meats, lentils, and more.
7. Rub It Away
Not that you need an excuse to have a professional massage, but getting one is a great way to relieve pain and tension. If you can't see a professional, do it yourself with a foam roller or tennis ball.
To get more health tips, follow Ralph Roberts Training on Facebook.
Walk into any grocery store today and you’ll be overwhelmed by your bread choices: white, wheat, whole-wheat, multi-grain, sourdough, rye, and so on.
It’s difficult to make the decision of which bread to buy when health experts are constantly coming up with new studies that show the benefits of one type of bread versus another. The decision becomes even more complex when you throw in gluten sensitivity.
Well, there’s a new kid in town: sprouted grains. Research suggests this may be the best option yet.
What Are Sprouted Grains?
Sprouting is the process that occurs when a seed begins to germinate and grow into a new plant. Grains, in simple terms, are seeds. When the environment is just right, grains begin to sprout. The sprouting process involves taking grains in this stage and turning them into the foods we love — like breads, pasta, flour, etc.
The Benefits Of Sprouted Grain Bread
Research has revealed that sprouting may increase the absorption of certain nutrients — mainly amino acids, vitamin C, fiber, and B vitamins. This results in food that’s healthier for you to consume.
In addition to the increased nutrients found in sprouted grains, other benefits have been discovered. These include:
Sprouted grain bread, pasta, snacks, flour, and more can be found at any health food store and most big-chain grocery stores. Look in the bread aisle, freezer section as well as other places to find sprouted grain varieties. The selection may be smaller and the price higher, though.
How Do Sprouted Grains Compare To Whole Grains?
Whole grains are by far healthier than white bread and most other varieties. These enhanced products often have had the top layers stripped, which includes most of the nutrients, and have been artificially enriched.
Whole grain products, on the other hand, are pretty close to being completely natural and are minimally processed. But how does 100% whole-wheat bread stand up against sprouted grain bread?
Studies suggest the process of sprouting creates a grain that’s more easily digestible, meaning it’s better for people with gluten and grain sensitivities. Is this enough of an advantage for sprouted grain products to trump whole grain products? Ultimately, that’s up to you.
Combining Fitness And Nutrition
What you put into our body makes a world of difference in your overall health, appearance, and fitness level. When paired with an effective workout program, the results are amazing.
Reach out to personal trainer Ralph Roberts to get on your own customized fitness and nutrition program.
Stretching isn’t just useful before and after an intense workout. Performing certain stretches in the morning can jumpstart your day and help your feel more energized.
Why Stretch In The Morning?
The American Council On Exercise suggests every person, regardless of physical ability, stretch when he or she wakes up in the morning. One of the main reasons is to eliminate aches and pains.
While an achy body can occur at any time through the day, it’s most pronounced after your body has been at rest for an extended period of time.
There’s an increase of fluids in your joints and spinal discs as you lie horizontally during the night, but gentle stretches done first thing gets this fluid moving and alleviates stiffness.
In addition to the relief of aches and pains, morning stretching helps to improve posture, increase blood flow, and support greater energy throughout the day.
The Best Energizing A.M. Stretches
There are a variety of simple stretches you can perform to experience the benefits listed above. Here, we’ll discuss five of our favorites.
1. Easy Seated Stretch
In this move, sit comfortably with your legs crossed in front of you. Place your hands on your thighs, close your eyes, and take a deep breath. Continue this way with a nice, steady breathing pace for as long as you choose.
2. Soothing Seated Forward Bend
For this stretch, remain in the position described above. Bend forward with your head down, walking your hands out until your feel the stretch. Don’t force yourself all the way down if it isn’t comfortable. Do this move each day and you'll get there.
3. Stretchy Seated Back Arch
In the same seated position, place your hands behind you on the ground and press your fingertips down. Inhale and lift your body up until your bottom no longer touches the ground and you are resting on your knees and shins. Slowly lower yourself back down as you exhale.
4. Cow and Cat Stretch
Get on your hands and knees for this move. Drop your belly to the ground and look up as you inhale (this is the cow portion of the move). Then exhale, round your back, and lower your stomach into the cat position.
5. Downward Dog
Stand with your feet apart and bend forward at the waist, creating an inverted “V” shape. Take a deep breath, tuck your toes, and lift your hips. Allow your head, neck, and shoulders to relax, staying in this position for five deep breaths.
To make the most of your morning stretches, have an expert show you the moves. Give Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts a call to get started.
While nothing quite typifies the Halloween season as a carved Jack-O-Lantern on the porch, a pumpkin has many other uses - particularly when it comes to preparing healthy, tasty dishes.
Pumpkin can be categorized as a low-calorie "superfood." It's high in fiber, potassium, and beta carotene. And, of course, it has a lightly sweet, mild flavor that so many people love. Here are eight pumpkin recipes you can try this fall.
1. Pumpkin Muffins
These muffins have a sugary crunch on top and make for a perfect low-fat snack or breakfast. You can replace half the white flour with whole wheat flour, while also tossing in toasted, chopped pecans to add some heart-healthy fats.
2. Pumpkin Dip
Made with reduced-fat cream cheese, this easy-to-make dip will bring out the best in fall's flavor thanks to canned pumpkin, cinnamon and maple syrup. Serve it with apple slices for extra fiber and vitamins.
3. Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
Don't throw away the seeds after you carve your pumpkin. Five grams of protein are packed into an ounce of seeds, plus magnesium, potassium, and 20 percent of your daily zinc needs. Check out this recipe.
4. Pumpkin Chia Almond Nutter
This nut butter is full of warming spices and is a great addition to your morning oatmeal.
5. Whole-wheat bread with pumpkin seeds
Try a new twist with your whole-wheat bread with a recipe that includes pumpkin seeds, walnuts and sesame. The whole-wheat flour is low-cholesterol and low-fat, the walnuts are full of omega 3 fatty acids, while the pumpkin seeds are a great source of protein, zinc, and magnesium.
6. Pumpkin Waffles
Topped with maple-walnut syrup, these waffles are a perfect fall breakfast treat. They're enhanced with pumpkin, low-fat buttermilk, and brown sugar, and, thanks to the pumpkin, each waffle is loaded with vitamin A.
Plus, the walnuts add some heart healthy fats.
7. Pumpkin Pancakes
Tasty and festive, these delicious pancakes contain half of the calories of those made with buttermilk.
Pumpkin contains beta-carotene, which may reduce the risk for certain types of cancer while offering protection against heart disease.
8. Pumpkin Ravioli
Traditional ravioli includes meat and cheese that send calorie counts soaring. But by using pumpkin, this dish weighs in at less than 200 calories per serving.
Want more healthy, delicious recipes? Follow Ralph Roberts Training on Facebook!
For many of us, the scale is Enemy #1. We become obsessed with the number and starve ourselves in order to bring that number down.
But new medical research indicates the scale can often be misleading when it comes to measuring your health. In fact, it should only be a slight indicator how healthy you are — part of a larger equation.
Skinny Doesn’t Necessarily Equal Healthy
Our society has a bad habit of promoting skinny figures. A flat stomach, thin thighs and near-bony arms are all the rage. But does being slim mean you’re actually healthy? Not necessarily.
Sure, many people who are skinny are also in prime physical shape, but there are others in this category who may be in worse health than their larger peers. Similarly, certain individuals who qualify as “overweight” according to societal standards may be extremely fit, while others could be suffering from the usual weight-related concerns like heart disease and diabetes.
You’ve heard the phrase, “Looks can be deceiving.” Well, in this case, it certainly rings true.
The Truth About Health
Don’t misunderstand. Weight definitely has an impact on health and being obese leads to all kinds of medical conditions. But what we need to change as a society is how we measure obesity.
Currently, the obesity scale is based on body mass index (BMI), which is determined at a ratio of height to weight. The problem with this is that BMI doesn’t take into consideration muscle weight.
A true measure of health incorporates more than just BMI. It considers more functionality than the narrow snapshot provided by BMI numbers. Here’s what should be included in a thorough examination of someone’s overall health:
When you factor in the above list and only use BMI as one part of a larger equation, you get a true evaluation of your health — no matter what size pants you wear.
Getting Healthy With Exercise
Whether you consider yourself skinny or overweight, it’s crucial that you take the time to exercise regularly. This combined with a smart diet is the best and most effective way to achieve optimal health.
Finding time to work out can be a challenge, but fitting it into your schedule is the best decision you can make for yourself and your family. If you need some motivation or additional tips, reach out to Amarillo personal trainer Ralph Roberts today. In addition to personal training, Ralph Roberts Training can create custom workouts just for you. Contact Ralph Roberts Training today.
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