I am sure that many, if not all of you, have heard about the ketogenic diet a lot lately. Maybe you have even tried it out! Recent research is proving that getting healthy fats (avocados, coconut oil, olive oil, and more) is important for your health and well-being, and the ketogenic diet might be a good way for you to make sure you are making these a part of your diet. However, there is some back and forth on just how healthy the typical keto diet might be.
When people are trying to implement this diet, it will usually involve a large cut in carbohydrates and a big rise in fats. This is great if you are still eating lots of vegetables and eating the healthy fats but this is not always the case. Check out the following links to read up more on the keto diet from Dr. Mark Hyman, a great source to follow for all things health and wellness! There is also a great article from Mind Body Green, another great resource.
A Functional Approach to the Keto Diet with Mark Hyman, MD
The Power of a Ketogenic Diet to Reverse Disease
Keto Diet: Every Question You’ve Ever Had, Answered
As always, take everything you read with a grain of salt. Not everyone is the same and what works for someone else might not work for you. Read carefully and figure out the pros and cons of the keto diet for you. If you have any questions, please don’t be afraid to reach out to one of our trainers! We are all here to help you!
The following Guidelines come from the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) website (www.acsm.org). ACSM, founded is 1954, is an organization that promotes research, education, and practical application for sports medicine and exercise science. This research helps exercise professionals provide the most up-to-date and reliable information to those we work with. Continue reading to see how your workouts “measure up” to the guidelines.
- Adults should get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week.
- Exercise recommendations can be met through 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise (five days per week) or 20-60 minutes of vigorous-intensity exercise (three days per week).
- One continuous session and multiple shorter sessions (of at least 10 minutes) are both acceptable to accumulate desired amount of daily exercise.
- Gradual progression of exercise time, frequency and intensity is recommended for best adherence and least injury risk.
- People unable to meet these minimums can still benefit from some activity.
- Adults should train each major muscle group two or three days each week using a variety of exercises and equipment.
- Very light or light intensity is best for older persons or previously sedentary adults starting exercise.
- Two to four sets of each exercise will help adults improve strength and power.
- For each exercise, 8-12 repetitions improve strength and power, 10-15 repetitions improve strength in middle-age and older persons starting exercise, and 15-20 repetitions improve muscular endurance.
- Adults should wait at least 48 hours between resistance training sessions.
- Adults should do flexibility exercises at least two or three days each week to improve range of motion.
- Each stretch should be held for 10-30 seconds to the point of tightness or slight discomfort.
- Repeat each stretch two to four times, accumulating 60 seconds per stretch.
- Static, dynamic, ballistic and PNF stretches are all effective.
- Flexibility exercise is most effective when the muscle is warm. Try light aerobic activity or a hot bath to warm the muscles before stretching.
- Neuromotor exercise (sometimes called “functional fitness training”) is recommended for two or three days per week.
- Exercises should involve motor skills (balance, agility, coordination and gait), proprioceptive exercise training and multifaceted activities (tai ji and yoga) to improve physical function and prevent falls in older adults.
- 20-30 minutes per day is appropriate for neuromotor exercise.
How did you do? Did you meet all the guidelines? If so, great and keep doing what you are doing! If not, do your best to add in the rest of the guidelines that you missed to your workouts. They will help you become your healthiest and happiest self! Feel free to look at the ACSM website or ask any of the personal trainers, many of which are certified by ACSM, here at Personally Fit if you have any questions or need recommendations.
It is important to get plenty of sleep each night. There are numerous reasons for needing sleep. Today we are focusing on how not getting enough sleep could lead to weight gain. I chose to cover this specific reason because many people join the gym to try to lose weight. No matter how hard you work in the gym, if you are not living a healthy lifestyle outside of the gym, you most likely will not see many (if any) improvements. One important part of living a healthy lifestyle is to make sure you are getting enough sleep each night.
Especially in the direction that the world is going today with two-wage earner households and 24-hour entertainment through television and the internet, it has become increasingly difficult to get enough good quality sleep. In 1998, only 35% of Americans were getting eight hours of sleep. This number has since dropped to 26% in 2005.1 This lack of sleep is causing a bad cycle of overeating and not sleeping well that is not helping anyone improve their health. Enough sleep each night is needed so that your body can go through the sleep cycle and obtain the benefits from the each stage. What happens in each stage is listed below.
- N1: between being awake and being asleep
- N2: Onset of sleep
- N3: deepest and most restorative sleep
- REM: Occurs about 90 minutes into sleep and repeats about every 90 minutes throughout the night
*** To learn about what happens to your body during each stage please visit the following website: https://sleepfoundation.org/how-sleep-works/what-happens-when-you-sleep
If sleep is cut short (ie. You are not getting the full eight hours needed), “the body doesn’t have time to complete all of the phases needed for muscle repair, memory consolidation and release of hormones regulating growth and appetite.”2
Sleep has a large effect on your hormones. Two hormones that mainly effect your appetite are leptin and ghrelin. Leptin tells you when you are full, and ghrelin tells you when you are hungry. When you are not getting enough sleep, leptin levels decrease and ghrelin levels increase. This leads to you over eating, especially carbohydrates.4 Those who do not get enough sleep are typically seen eating smaller breakfasts but then increasing food intake throughout the day. Those who are not getting enough sleep are also seen getting 42% more calories from carbohydrates, protein, and fiber at night after dinner compared those who obtained enough sleep.4
The findings provided by research, “indicate that total sleep deprivation or insufficient sleep both increase daily food intake, thus providing further support that one function of sleep in humans is to conserve a small but physiologically meaningful amount of energy.”4 Insufficient sleep is now considered an independent risk factor for weight gain and obesity. Obesity is then a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. It is important to get enough sleep so that you are not trying to find the energy you missed in food!
- Patel, S., Malhotra, A., White, D., Gottlieb, D., & Hu, F. (2006). Association between reduced sleep and weight gain in women. American Journal of Epidemiology, 164(10), 947-954. 10.1093/aje/kwj280
- National Sleep Foundation (2012). What happens when you sleep? National Sleep Foundation.
- John Hopkins University. The science of sleep: Understanding what happens when you sleep. Healthy Sleep.
- Markwald, R. et al. (2013). Impact of insufficient sleep on total daily energy expenditure, food intake, and weight gain. National Academy of Sciences, 110(14), 5695-5700.
Did you know that by participating in physical activity and exercise, you are helping yourself fight off germs? By exercising at a moderate intensity, you are boosting your immune system and thereby fighting off illnesses. Other ways to help your immune system is to eat a healthy diet and reduce stress.1 Health care professionals can say with confidence that exercising regularly will help their patients boost their immune system and result in better health.
This does not mean you should go to the gym for as long as possible and work the hardest you possibly can when you start to feel sick. High intensity exercise will actually compromise the immune system’s ability to fight off the germs. Instead, try participating in moderate intensity exercise for 30-45 minutes three to five days a week. This will allow you to further enhance your immune system.1 You could go on a faster-paced walk, ride your bike, or hop on the elliptical to meet these recommendations. Most studies look at the effects of aerobic exercise (like the examples just mentioned) rather than resistance exercise when studying the effects of exercise on immunity. Studies that have been done with resistance training have shown no benefits, but no negative side effects either.1
Not only will exercising help to fight flues and colds but also cancers. Regular exercise can prevent cancer and increase the survivor rate in those who already have cancer. In fact, it may reduce all-cause cancer rates by 45%.1 That’s surely a high enough percentage to get me moving! Along with cancer, pneumonia/influenza, septicaemia and nephritis are among the top 10 leading causes of death in people over the age of 65 in the United States.2 Therefore, it is of utmost importance to keep the immune system healthy throughout the aging process. Doing something as simple as staying active has the ability to do just that! Exercising regularly is associated with numerous physiological benefits that help out the immune system: enhanced vaccination responses, increased neutrophil (type of white blood cell) phagocytic activity, lowered inflammatory response to bacterial challenge, and many more.1
Those that feel healthier are healthier. One study found that “80% to 90% of regular exercisers perceive themselves as less vulnerable to viral illnesses compared to sedentary peers.”1 This is all just one more reason to stay active and continue to exercise. It doesn’t matter which form it takes, just keep moving!
- Hart, J. (2014). The positive impact of exercise on immunity. Alternative and Complementary Therapies, 20(2), 88-90. 10.
- Simpson, R., Lowder, T., Spielmann, G., Bigley, A., LaVoy, E., & Kunz, H. (2012). Exercise and the aging immune system. Ageing Research Reviews, 11(3), 404-420.