Posted: February 13th, 2012 | Author: Aaron Bonser | Filed under: Health Tips, Nutrition | No Comments »
Did you know that cold weather does NOT cause the common cold? The common cold is an infection of the upper respiratory tract caused by a virus. Most colds are caught in the winter because most cold viruses thrive better in colder temperatures, when there is less humidity in the atmosphere.
There are more than two hundred viruses that can cause the common cold, an infection of the upper respiratory tract, but the most common ones are rhinoviruses. The well-known symptoms include head congestion, nasal congestion, sore throat, coughing, headache, sneezing, and watery eyes. Children may develop a low-grade fever, but this is rare in adults.
Colds usually strike eighteen to twenty-four hours after the virus enters the body. Most colds clear up on their own in a week to ten days, but occasionally a cold can lead to a more serious illness, such as bronchitis, a middle ear infection, or sinus infection.
It is estimated that healthy adults get an average of two colds per year. Children generally get many more because their immune systems are immature, and they have not yet developed immunity to many of the viruses that cause colds.
- Take vitamin C and zinc every 3 hours at the first sign of a sore throat or stuffiness in the head or nose.
- Sip hot liquids such as turkey or chicken broth. Chicken soup is very effective in relieving the worst of the symptoms and in shortening the duration of a cold.
- Remain as active as possible. Not only is staying in bed for ordinary sniffles unnecessary, but it will probably make you feel worse. Moving around helps to loosen built-up mucus and fluids. Unless you have a fever, a brisk walk or any other type of moderate exercise should make you feel better.
- Flush facial tissues after they have been used. Because they harbor the virus, tissues can pass on the virus or cause you to reinfect yourself.
- Wash your hands often. Cold viruses can survive for several hours on hands, tissues, or hard surfaces. A healthy person can contract the virus by touching a contaminated surface, then touching his or her own mouth or nose. Using an antibiotic soap may prevent you from reinfecting yourself.
The most effective method for the common cold is prevention. Taking care of your body with a nutrient dense diet and consistent exercise will help to improve and maintain the major body systems that fight disease and illness. Be mindful of commonly used surfaces such as door nobs, keyboards, and even handshakes. Often people aren’t mindful of others when coughing or sneezing which both can discharge the virus into the air around you. Keep your immune system finely tuned and pay close attention to your surroundings~
Posted: December 13th, 2011 | Author: Aaron Bonser | Filed under: Health Tips | No Comments »
What’s the predominant excuse you aren’t losing weight?
You work too much??
Contrary to popular belief, there are numerous ways to burn more calories and incorporate physical activity into your day job. One of the biggest contributors to health problems is lack of movement. Lack of movement slows down important chemical reactions throughout the body. These chemical reactions affect your metabolism, circulation, and brain function. Lack of physical movement also affects the amount of calories your body stores. If you eat something, your body will convert the food into energy. The catch is, if you don’t give your body a reason to use this new energy, it decides to store it primarily in fat cells. Your fat cells swell like balloons… better example = overgrown closets. We all know that when our closets overflow into the bedroom, it’s never easy to find a matching pair of socks or make it to the bathroom in the middle of the night without tripping over some shoes! Bottom line, in a messy room, it is difficult to move around. Imagine all of that going on inside your own body! So what do you do? Well, keep your room clean! In other words, make sure that you are using the energy you are putting into your body to prevent overgrown fat cells. Don’t think because you work all day, you can’t burn calories and lose weight. You can increase movement and the amount of you burn if you try the following:
Make the most of your commute = if you can’t walk or bike, try to park farther away adding (+) 20-40 yards to the front door, multiply (x) by 2 because you have to get back to your car, multiply (x) again by 340 days (considering a week or two of vacation plus sick days you’ll be out of the office) and you get (=) 13,600-27,200 extra yards/year. That’s a lot of football fields!
Take the stairs = one of the best ways to add incidental exercise. Climbing stairs can be one of the most efficient forms of physical movement you can do. Depending on the height of your work building, taking the stairs every time could add up to 20-30 flights/day or 6,800-10,200 flights/year! Who needs a gym?! It can also save you an average of 10-15 minutes out of your workday according to some medical association journals. Some journals found that at a hospital, it took a doctor an average of 13 seconds to climb 1 floor via the stairwell. Whereas, start to finish, it took an average of 37 seconds by elevator considering wait time.
Stand up = Standing stimulates muscles and increases heart rate (HR), blood pressure (BP), and the amount of calories you burn. You can stand while taking a call, texting, emailing, and even eating.
Stretch = stretching relieves tension throughout the body thus improving circulation and decreasing stress. Take the time to rotate your ankles, flex your quads, and extend and twist your torso.
Use a smaller drinking cup = not only is water one of the 4 essential nutrients, having a 1-2 ounce cup will require more trips to the water fountain thus increasing your movement throughout the day. Coffee or tea drinker? Use a smaller cup!
Deliver hand-written notes instead of e-mailing = have some fun and increase movement and interaction with your colleagues by personally delivering notes throughout your office.
Find an exercise buddy = surely there is a coworker in your office that would be interested in increasing the amount of calories he or she burns during the day. Motivate each other through physical challenges such as step counts, amount of visits to the gym a week, or total weight lost at the end of the month.
Sit on a fitness ball = you can swap your desk chair for a fitness ball forcing you to stimulate your core and improve your posture.
Store small exercise equipment at your desk = resistance bands and hand weights can easily be stored in a desk drawer and can help create an awesome workout without requiring a lot of space. Contact The Lab to get some cool ideas!
Chew gum = chewing is considered non-exercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT). Sorry parents, but so is playing video games! Twitching your legs is another form of NEAT.
Eat these common foods as snacks = the following foods burn more calories than they contain: celery, apricots, oranges, carrots, hot chili peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, grapefruit, tomatoes, apples, and strawberries.
Try to add some or all of these tips into your work day and I guarantee you will burn more calories throughout your day, decrease the amount of calories stored in your fat cells, and increase your overall health!
Posted: December 3rd, 2011 | Author: Aaron Bonser | Filed under: Exercise Tips, Health Tips | No Comments »
If you are having trouble losing weight there could be any number of reasons. I have listed 5 reasons that I feel are both manageable and achievable. While reading through these reasons, grade yourself on a scale of 1-10, 10 being perfect. This little test will help give you insight on areas of your health that you can improve.
1) Lack of movement -- If you sit and work long hours or have a sedentary lifestyle, start moving around. Functional movement increases circulation and can also affect energy levels. Try the following:
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
- Frequent walks like parking further away or taking a break from doing work can help you burn an extra 300-500 calories/day!
2) Overeating -- By eating excess calories and low-quality foods you are doing more harm to your body than good. Try the following:
- Keep a food log. Food logs provide visual feedback on what you’re putting into your body.
- Cook your own food with fresh ingredients.
- Measure portion sizes until you are comfortable eyeing portions on your own.
3) Undereating -- Not eating enough can deprive your body of essential vitamins and minerals. Undereating also slows down your metabolism because your body will just hold on to the few calories it gets. Try the following:
- Eat 4-6 smaller meals/day. This will help regulate blood sugar and calorie intake.
- Plan out your day in advance. Now you’ll know when you have time or can make time to eat.
4) Not enough rest -- Your body does much more than you think when you sleep. Sleep effects metabolism and hormone function. Not enough rest can affect some of the hormones that affect appetite and hunger. Try the following:
- Make an effort to get at least 6-8 hours of sleep.
- Go to bed earlier.
- Exercise 3-5x/week.
5) Low muscle mass -- Muscles require energy and burn lots of calories. Resistance training stimulates muscle growth and increases your resting metabolic rate. This means you’ll continue to burn calories long after you exercise. Your resting metabolic rate (BMR) makes up for 60-75% of your body’s total calorie expenditure. Someone with a healthy and high BMR can burn over 1,000 calories in a day without even breaking a sweat! Try the following:
- Resistance training 2-3x/week. Each session should average 30 minutes to an hour.
- Eat more protein. Lean meats, eggs, and protein powders are excellent sources of protein which help rebuild and develop your muscles.
A great way to help improve your scores in these categories is to find a workout partner. Working out with someone has all kinds of benefits. A workout buddy will help keep you motivated, hold you accountable, and even make exercise more fun. If you feel you and your workout partner need more education on workout routines and programs that will help reach your physical goals, contact THE LAB at www.traininglaboratory.com/contact.
Posted: November 29th, 2011 | Author: Aaron Bonser | Filed under: Health News, Health Tips, Lifestyle | No Comments »
As a health professional, I am asked health-related questions all the time. A common question is “what is the fastest way to lose weight?”
I joke, “starve yourself.”
I’ll have you know that I can be sarcastic when appropriate and if they don’t ask me if that’s healthy, I will make it a point and follow up to my response with, “It is also the most unhealthy and dangerous way to lose weight.”
I should also tell you that women like to ask this question more than men. It seems that the pursuit of beauty is a life long journey. But why do women devote so much of their time to achieving a figure that is pleasing to the male eye without considering the risks? It seems they are well aware of the simplest, fastest, and most effective way to lose weight. They are also completely oblivious to the health risks and/or they just don’t care.
I have heard real stories of women who will starve themselves to win cash prizes from weight loss competitions, to look “better” for a photo shoot, or even to fit into an outfit for ONE night out of the whole year! These are just 3 of many reasons why women feel the need to deprive themselves of food in order to quickly alter their appearance.
The one industry known most for this behavior is the fashion industry. Back in November of ’08, the death of an Israeli fashion model whose weight had dropped below 60 lbs was chilling even in a world that prizes rail-thin models as an ideal of feminine chic.
An important question to answer is where does the influence come from? Is it a genetic disorder or a cultural/social disorder? Do women realize that this method of weight loss resembles anorexia nervosa (AN)?
I found a blog response to the question “Why Do Women Starve Themselves?”:
“I used to fully agree with you, but about a year a go, my ideal body changed. I believe the reason why I, along with other eating disorder sufferers, (I’m bulimic, 4’11 and my crazy brain isn’t gonna let me stop losing wieght until I’m at atleast 85 pounds.) I do it because being “curvy” all my life has lead to problems. When I was 10 I was sexually abused. Most of this focusing around my breasts -- had I been thin, I wouldn’t have had breasts at that age. I was racially picked on for years. I’m not hairy, but they would call me names such as monkey because of my weight. Now, not only do I feel less ugly when I hop on the scales and I weigh less, but I feel like I’m less of an ape and therefore more attractive. Hope this answered your question. It’s such a pain looking in the mirror and never being satisfied with what you see, and most of the time it isn’t because you think curvy girls are ugly. It’s because you think you’re ugly (most women suffer from some form of body dysmorphia) and aspiring to a “perfect” body, is sometimes the only thing that keeps me sane.”
Follow the link to read more about the psyche behind AN.
A genetic disorder can be difficult to recognize because your brain will not accept reality. Are you “skinny” but see yourself as “fat”? Do you see yourself as “fat” but see those with anorexia as “thin”? If you answered yes to either of these questions you possess symptoms of AN. Other symptoms include the tendency to restrict eating and have odd food choices, yet also have an obsessive interest in diet and ingredients of recipes. Those with AN often exercise compulsively, are anhedonic and ascetic, and find little in life rewarding other than the pursuit of thinness. If you recognize these symptoms in yourself of others, seek medical advice for help and further prevention.
A cultural/social disorder can also be difficult because you are constantly influenced by the ideal from your society. I found a blog response to this question. Lisa writes;
“Walk into any clothing store selling female clothes. Look at the mannequins. Look at their size. Look at the models. Society has dictated to women that: Being a size 0 is beautiful. Being skinny means you’re clean, and sexy, and what not. Being fat means you’re dumpy, ugly, dirty, and messy. It’s discrimination. Women try to impress other women because women like to gossip. Stereotypically women are the ones who are always talking about who is wearing what, who looks like they gained weight, who has flaby arms, who wore an ugly skirt…you get the picture. Overall most females tend to be very judgmental of other females…” Can you relate to this response?
Whatever the reason for starving to achieve rapid weight loss, I want people to consider the following;
It’s important for people, women in particular, to understand that this behavior of weight loss is damaging to your body and can eventually lead to death. You can be thin and HEALTHY rather than thin and unhealthy. Here is a list of the physiological effects:
- Skin and Hair: Poor circulation as a result to tissue loss and damage can result in skin discoloration. The hair on the head can become thin and fall out.
- Heart and Blood Vessels: Blood pressure can drop due to inadequate body fluid levels causing episodes of fainting, dizziness, and palpitations.
- Metabolism: Inadequate food intake decreases blood sugar levels and could increase cholesterol levels. Liver function declines as well as body temperature due to decreases fat and muscle tissue.
- Muscles and Bones: Decreased muscle strength and tissue particularly in larger muscle groups can occur. Bone protein loss and calcium deficiency can lead to osteoporosis and increased risk of stress fractures.
- Brain: Brain function can decrease affecting concentration and limiting common thought process. Depression is prevalent sapping motivation and energy.
- Kidneys: Possible development of kidney stones and frequent night urination.
- Gastro Intestinal System: bowel movement slows down causing constipation and even illness.
These effects are severe and should be known. It’s not worth your health to lose weight via starvation. Even if it’s only a “one time thing”. With the resources available these days there are no excuses to not get educated on how to take proper action to lose weight. Instead of the pursuit of weight loss, try the pursuit of a happy and healthy life.
For more information on how to incorporate health and fitness into your lifestyle, contact THE LAB.
Posted: November 28th, 2011 | Author: Aaron Bonser | Filed under: Exercise Tips, Health Tips, Lifestyle | 1 Comment »
Did you know it is estimated that about 70 million people in the United States have arthritis? The condition affects men and women of all races and ethnicities and even children. However, arthritis is more common in women and in older individuals. If you are suffering from joint stiffness and pain from arthritis, exercising might be the last thing on your to-do list. However, arthritis specialists will recommend exercise for patients suffering from arthritis and so will I. I’m going to share with you the theory behind exercise and its affects on arthritis.
First let’s point out that there are over 100 distinct conditions of arthritis. The most common form is osteoarthritis (OA). About 21 million Americans are diagnosed with OA. This condition can be caused over years of wear and tear, hence the reason it is most prevalent in men over 55 and women over 60, as well as health conditions such as obesity, physical injury, or even heredity. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is another popular condition which involves the disfunction of your immune system. With RA, the immune system mistakenly attacks healthy joint tissue as if it were an infection or invading organism. This response can lead to stiffness, pain, and even tissue damage.
Well, that’s most of the bad news. I think most are waiting to here some good news, and there is good news!
I’ve learned that knowledge isn’t the only source of power. Action is power. It’s the people that actually do something with their knowledge that will be successful. It’s the people that accept defeat and do nothing that will suffer the most. I am about to give you the knowledge to fight this disease. BUT, that won’t be enough… you need to ACT on it.
Our bodies are designed to be active. The human body is so complex that scientists are still scratching the surface of its true potential. With that being said, you need to use your body the way it was intended to be used. You have to move. Movement immediately increases circulation in the blood stream which will help the systems of the body transport important compounds to the cells as well as remove any waste or toxins. Exercise takes movement one step further. With exercise you can stimulate cell growth and cellular regeneration. These are 2 very important processes you want taking place on a regular basis if you have arthritis.
Exercise is a highly effective way to combat arthritic symptoms without the need for surgery or medications. You should always consult a doctor before entering an exercise program in case there are specific limitations you health professional should know about. Other than that, it’s time to move!
You can reduce joint pain and stiffness by exercising. The following are a few ways in which exercise fights back against arthritis:
Exercise can strengthen muscles around the joints adding an increased level of support during daily functional activities and other applied stresses.
Exercise increases flexibility and endurance. These two characteristics will allow you to maintain full range of motion (ROM) throughout the joint as well as prevent fatigue in surrounding muscle tissue.
Exercise increases your overall energy level. This means it will be 10x easier to get off your butt and move. With higher energy levels you can fight depression and even increase self esteem. Think of it in another sense, exercise will supercharge your internal furnace!
Exercise can help with you get proper rest. Rest is more important than you think. This is the primetime for cell growth and regeneration. Your body will basically rebuild itself while you’re resting.
Exercise will help control your weight. Amongst the obvious health risks associated with obesity, excess mass adds excess stress to your joints. Learn about body mass index (BMI) and find out if you are in an acceptable weight class for your height.
I’ve used the term exercise as a general term in this blog. Understand that there are all forms of physical movement and exercise. Examples include walking, biking, swimming, yoga, and resistance training. For further questions or insights to exercises that may work for you or someone you know suffering from arthritis, contact THE LAB @ www.traininglaboratory.com/contact.
Posted: November 22nd, 2011 | Author: Aaron Bonser | Filed under: Health Tips, Nutrition | 1 Comment »
Most will make the excuse that they don’t have time. Make time! Good news is you only need about 15-30 minutes to have an efficient workout. Instead of longer aerobic or cardio routines, try short intervals of high intensity exercise. Refer to my blog http://www.traininglaboratory.com/blog/2011/11/20/5-reasons-to-consider-high-intensity-exercise/ to learn about the benefits of high intensity exercise.
Trust me, you can still eat tons of food this holiday. Just don’t eat it all in one sitting. Stuffing the stomach is for the turkey, not you! There is no rush to eat all this food. Remember two things; 1) it’s a holiday 2) leftovers!
Change Your Mindset:
Thanksgiving is about togetherness with family and friends. It’s not about weight loss or weight gain so don’t think like that. You’ll only be stressing your holiday out if you do. Instead, focus on weight maintenance. If you can get through the holiday season without gaining, you will be well ahead of the curve.
Don’t waste your calories on foods you can eat all year long. Stick to the seasonal selections. If you weren’t the chef, look for the choices that have less sauces and glazes. Choose sweet potatoes vs mashed potatoes. Choose white meat vs dark meat. Choose roasted veggies vs the creamy casserole.
Don’t be a couch potato! Most people will eat and drink more than they usually do. You can increase blood flow and burn calories simply by standing. Here are some tips; walk around and chat with everyone. Help set the table or serve food. Get up and go for seconds as long as your choices don’t conflict with my previous tips. Help clean up. Initiate a fun group game.