Sweet potatoes have more sugar and around the same number of calories as russet potatoes. So why are sweet potatoes marketed as the healthier option? The answer is glycemic index (GI).
Foods like russet potatoes, white rice and flour, and oatmeal are often exiled by the health-conscious because of their high glycemic index. The term is thrown around on every fitness blog and forum, but what does it actually mean?
What is glycemic index?
Glycemic index is a measurement of how much a carbohydrate-rich food spikes your blood glucose (sugar) level. It also measures how fast glucose is released in your body. The greater the GI, the greater the spike. According to Healthline, “chronic high blood sugar increases the likelihood of serious diabetes complications like heart disease, blindness, neuropathy, and kidney failure.”
Therefore, it’s important to incorporate more low GI foods into a healthy diet. But that doesn’t mean cutting out carbohydrates altogether, since your body prefers glucose for energy. It just means being aware of the inconspicuous effects certain foods have on your body. When created, The low-GI diet was intended for diabetics. However, several other communities have adopted the lifestyle. It’s proven successful in managing blood sugar in Type 2 diabetics, according to Diabetes UK.
Why follow a low glycemic index diet?
Eating low glycemic foods can benefit anyone, not just diabetics. Unless you’re keto, carbohydrates are likely a major part of your diet. When choosing which carbohydrates to fuel yourself with, look at glycemic index databases online to find information beyond the nutrition label.
Some popular benefits of the diet are weight loss and maintenance. Not only do low GI foods regulate blood sugar, but they metabolize slower. Not only do insulin spikes from high GI foods hurt your health in the long run, the make you hungry in the short run. Therefore, those spikes lead to more calories consumed, and more weight gained. Foods with low glycemic indexes usually fall under complex carbohydrates, which are carbs that take more time to become sugar in your body. Complex carbs don’t have the drastic effect that simple carbs (high GI foods) do.
Weight loss isn’t the only thing to gain from this popular diet. With a few simple swaps to your carbs, here are some other low GI benefits, according to the Glycemic Index Foundation:
- Improve heart health
- Sustained energy levels
- Heightened mental performance
- Elevated sports performance
- Acne reduction
- Reduce breast cancer risk
What foods have a low glycemic index?
The many delicious foods you’re already eating that have a low glycemic index might surprise you. The GI scale ranges from 1-100: 1-55 being low, 56-69 being medium, and 70-100 being high. Keep in mind that amount, cooking method, fiber, and processing all affect glycemic index. Here’s how some of ingredients stack up:
- Sweet Potato
- Rolled oats
- Brown rice
- Whole wheat
- White bread
- Rice cakes
- Instant oatmeal
- Russet potatoes
- White rice
At Thrive Fitness, we help educate our members on the relationship between diet and exercise. The beauty of a low GI diet is that it can compliment almost any other nutritional preference. With Atlanta Meal Prep and our Holistic Nutrition coaches on-site, you can accomplish your goals both in and outside the gym. When you combine a healthy diet with one of Thrive Fitness’ personal trainers, you can live the healthy lifestyle that will benefit you for years to come. To get started today, email email@example.com.
Going on vacation is a summer essential. Whether you’re surrounded by palm trees or mountains, there are plenty of ways to stay active and have a healthy vacation wherever you’re venturing to.
Just because you’re away from your home gym or Thrive Fitness Atlanta for the week doesn’t mean you have to lose sight of your goals and diet. Here are a guidelines to stay active on your next healthy vacation:
Walk Wherever You Can
If you’re staying downtown, try walking vs. driving to where you need to go. This allows you to burn extra calories, get some cardio in, soak in more of the sights and culture, while saving some money on an Uber. When you can’t spare the time to visit the local gym or park to workout, walking is a sufficient alternative. Just because it may not be as intense as your typical routine doesn’t mean it’s not beneficial. According to Livestrong, walking at an average pace can burn up to 200 calories an hour. When you’re busy exploring a new city, you can rack up thousands more steps than you would at home. Even just at your hotel – taking the stairs instead of the elevator can make a huge difference. Those extra burned calories count when you want to indulge on the local cuisine (go for it).
Take Active Outings for a Healthy Vacation
Whether you’re traveling to a small town or big city, there’s always something adventurous to do. Experience your destination by active means – hiking, swimming, biking, rafting, jogging, and more. These activities are often offered in the form of group tours – making them even more social and enjoyable. Catch a glimpse of the area’s breathtaking views while still challenging your body. If you’re on your feet for most of your excursions, you don’t need to worry about being away from the gym. Getting a workout in on vacation doesn’t always have to be in the hotel’s gym – it can be a part of the vacation itself.
Adventures are always calling, so whether you’re at traveling or not – here’s how many calories that those adventures can shed for men (M) and women (F) in just one hour:
- Climbing: 899 (M), 774 (F)
- Kitesurfing: 945 (M), 814 (F)
- Canoeing: 572 (M), 493 (F)
- Horseback Riding: 327 (M), 279 (F)
- Mountain Biking: 694 (M), 594 (F)
- Surfing: 258 (M), 222 (F)
- Skateboarding: 408 (M), 352 (F)
- Swimming: 490 (M), 422 (F)
- Yoga: 387 (M), 281 (F)
Research Your Amenities
Hotel fitness centers aren’t ideal, but they’re better than nothing. Even if it’s just a treadmill and a few dumbbells, you can still scrap together a quick workout after your day of sightseeing. Those gyms don’t have personal training or a Body Fat Scanner – but they’ll still burn some calories. If there’s no fitness center, ask the front desk for local gyms they may have guest passes to or try some laps in the pool. Keep an eye out for common fitness events in the area you could fit in your itinerary – like 5k’s to free yoga at the local park.
Try Intermittent Fasting (IF)
Even if you don’t normally follow the popular fasting trend, vacations are a good time to start. Without a kitchen – you’ll usually be forced to resort to oversized restaurant portions. Don’t worry, IF won’t leave you feeling sluggish and unprepared to enjoy your healthy vacation – IF will actually improve your energy levels. This calculated change to your diet will allow you to indulge a few meals, while still not falling completely off the wagon. However, IF is not an excuse to overindulge on excessively fat-dense foods. It’s simply a tactic to keep your calorie count under control while eating out more often than not on vacation.
Water, Water, Water
Your location may be filled with tempting adult beverages – but too many could offset your goals. That’s why water should be your best friend away from home. Alcohol and sugary drinks lead us to underestimate how many calories and carbohydrates we’re really consuming. Drinking as little as two cups of water can help curb your appetite and keep you hydrated. This hack is useful come time for a carb-filled, high-calorie meal when eating out. When you’re walking from adventure-to-adventure, you’re losing more water than you think. Not fueling yourself with enough water, especially if you’re vacationing somewhere sunny, can cause anxiety, fatigue, and headaches.
Instead of relying on a juice detox after your summer vacation – just make it an active and healthy one. With Thrive Fitness Atlanta’s customized workout program and meal plan prepared by experienced personal trainers, you’ll have resources at your disposal for a healthy vacation – and a healthy lifestyle. Contact Thrive Fitness Atlanta at firstname.lastname@example.org today to create a lifestyle that you’ll carry to and from your travel destination.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day – unless you’re following intermittent fasting.
Intermittent fasting has gained popularity throughout pretty much every diet clan – especially the ketogenic diet community. Fasting may not sound attractive for snacking enthusiasts or fans of many small meals a day. Some fasting protocols are more extreme than others, but research suggests that it’s more sustainable and filling than you may think. If you’re opposed skipping out on meals – some research may make you think otherwise.
What is intermittent fasting?
Although there are several variations, the premise of them all is all the same: spend less time eating and more time not eating. For weight loss, research has shown that intermittent fasting can be a long-term, effective way of sustaining a healthy lifestyle. The typical fast lasts arounds 14-16 hours with an eating window of 8-10 hours. This version seems to be a fan favorite. There are other versions that have been slower to fame – like the ‘every-other-day’ fast and the ‘25/115’ fast. The ‘every-other-day’ fast is self-explanatory, while the ‘25/115’ consists of eating 25 percent of your calorie needs one day, and eating 115 of your calorie needs the next. Using either means, you significantly reduce the total amount of calories during the week.
Benefits of intermittent fasting
Many weight loss success stories have accredited intermittent fasting. However, research suggests that intermittent fasting can help you do more than lose weight. Here’s a sample of benefits you may experience while fasting:
- It’s easy. Little meals means little cooking. Its simple structure is easy to follow and is applicable to every diet preference. Intermittent fasting is also sustainable; The Atlantic reports that 80-90 people are able to stick with the plan long-term.
- Weight loss. Intermittent fasting has obvious benefits for weight loss, since you’re consuming significantly less calories in the long run. Besides reducing calories, this eating pattern works for weight loss because it boosts your metabolic rate, according to Healthline.
- Disease prevention. Intermittent fasting isn’t a cure for anything, but has showed promising results in prevention. By reducing blood sugar levels, intermittent fasting has protected people against type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. It has also been linked to preventing/delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease and cancer.
Brain function. Studies show that intermittent fasting can gradually improve cognitive function. This includes improved learning and memory and decreased oxidative stress. That’s why fasting has been growing in popularity as a treatment for the obesity epidemic.
- Prolonged lifespan. This research is fairly recent and still in progress – but so far, the results have are positive among several species, Business Insider reported. The fresh research on humans so far has also been successful. The results are most likely because of the dips in bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
- Increased endurance. Intermittent fasting shifts your body’s fuel source from carbohydrates to stored fats – so basically ketosis. The fuel preference reduced their respiratory exchange ratio, or “the ratio of CO2 produced to O2 consumed,” according to Medical News Today. In other words, intermittent fasting makes for more efficient exercise.
Should I try intermittent fasting?
This tactic works for many, but it may not be your best choice. When it comes to losing weight or building muscle, they key factor is building sustainable habits. At Thrive Fitness, we believe that a well-balanced diet is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle along with an active lifestyle. Any diet change should be made under a nutrition expert’s guidance. That’s why we have Holistic Health and Nutrition Coaches at your disposal. Contact Thrive Fitness Atlanta to talk about which diet suits your lifestyle today at email@example.com.
Cardio is oftentimes either drastically overlooked or underlooked. Many lifting enthusiasts forget to make time for cardio, while many athletes looking for weight loss resort to heavy amounts of cardio daily.
However, there’s no need to neither avoid it entirely nor run dozens of miles a week. The solution is either High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) or Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS). With the two differing programs, you could incorporate either of them to meet your cardiovascular needs.
What’s the difference between HIIT and LISS cardio?
- High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT is typically more challenging than LISS. Only lasting about 20-30 minutes, HIIT consists of short spurts of maximum effort with even shorter spurts of rest. These 30-60 second intervals are sure to elevate your heart rate and burn more calories in less time.
- Low-Intensity Steady State (LISS): LISS is an excellent stepping stone into fitness because it’s not as challenging as HIIT. Activities like jogging, walking, and light biking are all examples of LISS cardio. Usually lasting longer than HIIT, LISS activities place less strain on your body – but it takes much longer to burn the same amount of calories.
The Pros of HIIT and LISS Cardio:
- You burn more calories. After an effective HIIT session, your body continues to burn fat hours afterward. This is because HIIT yields higher Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (EPOC) than LISS. EPOC is your body’s way of cooling down after a workout – and the more intense your workout, the more your EPOC is stimulated. This is why HIIT is well-known for boosting metabolism.
- It takes less time. As long as you keep your breaks to a minimum, all you need is 15-20 minutes for a killer HIIT session. This makes HIIT ideal for busy individuals who don’t have much time for exercise.
- It builds muscle. In the matter of 20 short minutes, you can burn fat and build muscle. HIIT often incorporates strength exercises, which prevent you from losing muscle mass. Therefore, all the calories you burn are fat.
- It’s sustainable. Because LISS isn’t as challenging, you can keep it in your routine for however long you want. LISS should be something relatively easy and enjoyable.
- It’s safer. Since LISS doesn’t require bursts of muscle action, this makes it easier on your body. While HIIT can consist of plyometrics and other high-stress exercises – LISS doesn’t. You’re less likely to pull or injure yourself while doing LISS.
- It takes less recovery time. After you’ve established a level of endurance and muscle tone, your muscles are less likely to feel sore or exhausted after LISS. That means you can bounce back and repeat LISS workouts 5-6 days a week (be sure to take rest days).
The Cons of HIIT and LISS Cardio:
- It’s hard on your body. During HIIT, you’re constantly moving and doing exercises. It’s easy to get tired during HIIT and your movements may get sloppy – which may increase your chance for strain or injury. Staple HIIT movements like jumping and rowing can be taxing on your joints, as well.
- It takes more recovery time. Unlike LISS, you’ll likely have muscle soreness after HIIT since your muscles are growing by repairing themselves. Because of this, it’s best to do HIIT only 2-3 times a week.
- It can affect your nutrition. You may be taking advantage of how many calories you’re burning. Although it’s easy to shed 600 calories an hour (post-HIIT) – that doesn’t mean you should go splurge on fatty “comfort” foods.
- It can shed muscle mass. Because you’re not actively gaining muscle during LISS, the calories you burn can and do include muscle. If you’re looking to settle muscular imbalances or disproportions, LISS can help. If you’re trying to bulk however, HIIT may be best.
- It’s less convenient. LISS can take up to an hour, even more – so LISS doesn’t have the attractive convenience of HIIT. In order for LISS to be effective and burn a decent amount of calories, an hour is recommended.
- It burns less calories. If quick weight loss is your goal, LISS may not be for you. There’s no EPOC effect after LISS because it’s purely aerobic exercise.
So whether you like short bursts of intense activity, or lengthy runs of predictable exercise – there’s no excuse not to get some form of cardio in. HIIT may be more suited for athletes and individuals on the tenacious side. Whatever kind of athlete you are, you need cardio for the benefits it brings to your brain, blood, muscles, weight, mood, and more.
At Thrive Fitness Atlanta, our personal trainers can help you find out which kind of cardio and workout program is best suited for your goals and lifestyle. Email firstname.lastname@example.org today to inch one step closer toward your goal.
Weight loss is all about consistency – in food choices, gym trips, and hours of sleep. Consistent good habits can keep your weight loss steady. Your focus should be on building those healthy habits that will also help maintain your weight in the long run.
However, taking those healthy habits to the extreme can sometimes backfire for weight loss. Some glorified habits that are often promoted by the fitness community may actually be sabotaging your goals.
Here are some habits to steer away from, although they’re made out to be “healthy”:
Overworking yourself at the gym
Too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing – including exercise. Lifting and running every day without rest days can have adverse effects on your weight loss. Overtraining can increase your cortisol level, which can actually cause weight gain. Along with messing up your hormone levels, exercising too much also works up quite an appetite. The more energy you burn, the more energy need to consume. But by rewarding yourself with huge meals after your constant workouts, you may be underestimating your net calorie intake. It’s important to incorporate rest days into your routine for your weight loss, muscles, and mental health. You don’t need to feel exhausted all the time to lose weight.
Skipping meals for weight loss
No, you don’t need to miss out on your morning cereal to lose weight. Researchers found that people who skipped breakfast ended up eating the same number of calories they would have eaten if they had breakfast. They also found people who didn’t eat until midday were less active. So really, it’s a matter of your goals. However, one registered dietician noticed that “breakfast skippers tend to fall short of their recommended servings of important foods like veggies, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fat.” Some people who skip meals – and not just the “most important meal of the day” – end up overcompensating for it and consume more calories during the day, hindering their weight loss.
Weight loss supplements
Some supplements and detoxes are undoubtedly effective for short-term weight loss. However, they may not be the best option if you’re looking for long-term results. For a short time, supplements and other products can decrease blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. But like we said, weight loss is about consistency. The best way to follow healthy diets that will last a lifetime is to base them off real, filling food. With a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and protein, you’re sure to fulfill your optimal calorie intake for weight loss – all while getting the nutrients you need to be healthy in all aspects of your life.
Eating too much healthy food
You heard that right – eating too much healthy food can cause weight gain. Some people end up splurging on processed food because it’s branded as ‘healthy’ – like protein shakes, rice cakes, and more. In reality, any food is healthy in moderation – even your sweet cravings. Contrary to popular belief, having a piece of chocolate or a donut once in a while won’t kill you. Nutritionists suggest adhering to the “90/10 rule”: 90% healthy, 10% fun. Squeezing in three or four cheat meals a week can make your diet more psychologically sustainable without sacrificing any results. In an attempt to shun even the smallest dose of sugar, people often turn to ‘healthy’ alternatives like nuts and granola. In reality, those can end up having just as much sugar and be even more-calorie dense than that piece of chocolate. Moral of the story: just eat the chocolate. Just like one salad won’t make you skinny, one cheat meal won’t make you fat.
Navigating through weight loss can be tricky – but the trainers at Thrive Fitness Atlanta are here to guide you through it. With personal training and nutritionist services, our staff of experts offers the knowledge you need to build healthy habits and avoid unhealthy ones. Email email@example.com today.
If there’s one thing all athletes and many of the rest of us have in common – it’s that they want a strong core.
But you shouldn’t simply want a strong core for the aesthetic value of a six-pack (although that’s nice, too). Both men and women should be working their core for all the benefits it brings to your workouts and athletic performance.
Why have a strong core?
Because you need one. Your core is involved in a lot more exercises than you think – not just planks. You use your core for everything – deadlifts, bicep curls, bench press, and everything in between. By focusing on your main lifts and neglecting your core, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Incorporating more ab exercises improves every aspect of your training and gets you closer to your goals. A strong core improves your balance, stability, and form – which are fundamental to athletic performance as well as every other exercise. It may also improve posture and reduce back pain, according to Mayo Clinic. Harvard Health also published that strengthening your core shouldn’t just be an athlete’s concern – a strong core makes everyday activities easier, like housework and gardening. The good news is that you don’t need to dedicate entire days to this multi-tasking muscle group. All you really need is a few simple moves after your main workouts for no more than 20 minutes.
If you want to become a better overall athlete, here are some ab exercises to try out after you hit the weights:
For this exercise, you’ll need a weighted plate or medicine ball with which you sit down, cross your legs, and lift the plate or ball up.
From there, there are a couple of variations you can explore:
- Tucked-arm: For the energetic and rapid, this one’s for you. This Russian Twist variation calls for tucking the plate/ball close to your chest, and moving it from to side-to-side quickly, touching the floor by your hips. Challenge yourself and see how many you can squeeze in a minute.
- Extended-arm: For those who take it slow and steady, you may give this a try. Instead of trying to fit in as many reps as possible, set a fixed amount of reps for extended-arm Russian Twists. Instead of crunching in your arms, hold them out straight with your plate/ball in hand. Keep your arms extended and parallel to the ground while you twist 90 degrees from side-to-side. Don’t rush this one – complete about 5-10 twists each side with a three second hold after each twist.
You can’t go wrong with this staple move. If you’ve ever walked into any fitness facility before, there’s a 99% chance you’ve seen someone doing classic forearm planks. The classic version of this exercise consists of getting in the ‘up’ of a push-up position, then placing your forearms on the ground for support while keeping your body parallel to the ground.
If you’re more of a rebel, you can try adding these variations:
- Alternating planks: Make sure you find a comfortable surface to do these on. For these, start in that ‘up’ of a push-up position. Then one-by-one, you’ll switch your arms with your forearms continuously from 30 seconds to a minute. Hence the name ‘alternating’ planks – simply alternate from the ‘up’ position to a forearm plank position.
- Wave planks: Begin in the classic forearm plank position. Instead of planking still waiting for the time to pass, dip your hips down from side-to-side without arching your back. This works your obliques and not just your front abdominal muscles.
Yoga Ball Exercises
Large yoga balls are flexible pieces of equipment used for building a strong core, and every other muscle you can think of.
If you get your hands on one of these, be sure to break in your new ball with these exercises:
- Swiss Ball Crunch: If you remember the proper way to do crunches from your middle school P.E. exam, you should get the hang of this one right away. Lay down on a ball with your knees at a 90 degree angle and your back parallel to the ground. From there, just pump out your average crunches. By doing these on the ball, you can target your core more efficiently.
- Knee Tucks: Probably the most challenging workout on this list, this exercise will definitely strengthen your core. Place your hands on the floor, and your feet on the ball (your soles should be facing the roof). Next, just tuck your knees into your chest, bringing the ball forward. As simple as it is, you’ll feel the burn after just ten reps.
It’s okay to go all out at the gym – as long as you’re not overlooking your core. There are countless other core exercises that you can learn from the personal trainers at Thrive Fitness. Email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org to get started on shredding your abs and building a stronger core.
When you want to take your fitness seriously, trust the education and experience of personal trainers. Beyond guidance and motivation, certified trainers have invaluable knowledge in biology, biomechanics, anatomy and physiology that will help you succeed.
Whether you’re a beginner or elite athlete, ask yourself:
- What do I wish to achieve?
- Who inspires me?
- Why take the long road or veer from the path, when you can take the highway?
Losing weight, building muscle or getting in peak physical condition requires hard work, focus and dedication. Challenges will arise along the way. If you leverage the power of a personal trainer to help set goals, create a plan and navigate through the challenges – you’ll find it’s well worth the investment.
From perfecting your form to deciding the best food to fuel your training, trainers are also life coaches, mentors, and friends. They will provide the framework that beginners need as well as the insider knowledge to take advanced athletes to the next level.
Wherever you are in your fitness journey, here are a few reasons anybody could benefit from a personal trainer.
At Thrive Fitness, all of our personal trainers are certified, specialized and also skilled in creating the perfect program for each individual. Without an expert there to guide you, you may limit your progress or develop bad habits without ever knowing. Having a personal trainer by your side can keep you on track, help avoid injury from improper form or over training, and ensure you get the most out of each workout. In addition, training evolves over time just as your body does. Your trainer will outline a program and expertly guide you through each stage of your progress.
Personal trainers boost your confidence
Motivation is an invaluable part of getting and staying in shape. Personal trainers give you that extra push you need at the end of a challenging circuit. Through developing the right plans, they can show you what you’re really capable of. They can boost your ego just enough to help you tackle your goals by providing their unconditional support.
Personal trainers hold you accountable
We all know that feeling of wanting to skip out on the last few reps or just spend the entire day in bed (which sometimes, you need to). Having a trainer by your side is sometimes the only way to make sure you don’t cheat yourself out of an effective workout. By having a partner and sharing your goals – personal trainers leave you no choice but to stay on track.
Personal trainers tailor your workout
Thrive personal trainers take into account each athlete’s goals and personality to build an exercise plan that’s actually sustainable. With an extensive amount of equipment like cardio machines and every weighted prop you can think of – each workout is different for everyone. Not only that, but personal trainers can help you outside the walls of the gym to propel your nutritional needs. At Thrive Fitness, our on-staff nutritionist will help create a customized nutrition plan that perfectly compliments your workout plan.
Personal trainers are make your workouts exciting
At the end of the day, fitness shouldn’t be a chore. Personal trainers are always finding new ways to bring color to your workouts – because they know that people don’t respond to boring. Although exercise can be exhausting, it should never be dull. Training with the right personal trainer or even training in groups can make that five-mile run or 20-minute HIIT circuit fly by much faster than if you’re alone.
You can find out which one of Thrive Fitness’ multiple personal training options is more geared toward your goals by checking out our services here. See what our satisfied training clients have to say about Thrive’s enthusiastic, engaging personal trainers. Email email@example.com today to find out more information about out exercise and nutrition services.
Detox diets are on the rise: consisting of colorful juices from an array of fruits, veggies, and spices as a method to cleanse and reboot the body.
You may have heard of Beyonce’s ‘Master Cleanse Diet,’ which consisted of nothing but the combination of hot water, lemon juice, maple syrup, and cayenne pepper for ten days. She lost 20 pounds on that regimen, according to Shape Magazine.
There is a vast range of detox programs out there, some of which take an incredible level of dedication. So while the weight loss may sound appealing, before you buy an expensive juicer and begin your trek on a juice journey, you should know the facts first.
How do detox diets work?
Meant with the good intentions, detox diets are supposed to remove toxins from your body, since we consume many of them without even knowing it. By removing foods like sugar, caffeine, and gluten and replacing them with an abundance of organic fruit and vegetables, you can eliminate inflammatory foods and increase your hydration. By detoxing, you’re pumping your body full of micronutrients your usual diet might not provide that boost your metabolism and well-being. In essence, it’s a restart button for your body.
The possible pro’s
Although the concept is controversial, there are a few health benefits to cleansing. Rich in vitamins and minerals, cleanse diets aren’t as terrible as people make them out to be. To name a few benefits:
- Increases vitamin and mineral intake
- Transforms unhealthy eating habits
- Improves liver and kidney function
- Strengthens the immune system
- Boosts energy (in some individuals) and mental clarity
Detoxes receive much more criticism than they do praise. Although there are possible health benefits, there are always two sides to the story. Like the keto diet, it’s extreme and shouldn’t be a long-term choice. Here are some of the costs to joining the hype:
- Dangerously low in calories and protein
- Extreme and unsustainable over long periods
- Decreased energy levels (for some individuals), making exercise hard to push through
- Loss of water weight and lean muscle rather than fat
- Usually costly
Detox diets can be risky. Therefore they are not suggested for:
- Individuals who suffer from or are living on the edge of an eating disorder,
- Individuals with auto-immune diseases, heart disease
- Teenagers and children
- Individuals who are pregnant or trying to conceive
As with any diet, it’s always smart to consult with your physician or a nutritionist first.
Safe alternatives to detox diets
According to WebMD, a safe alternative to detox diets would be “clean eating,” which focuses on whole foods, whole grains, lean protein, fruits, vegetables, and non-processed foods. Eliminate high-fat and sugar-filled foods for weight loss and control.
If you do decide to pursue a detox in hopes to prepare for a diet change, keep it short (around 3-4 days). Not sure what diet to start? Consult Thrive Fitness Atlanta’s nutrition coaches to find out which diet plan will work best for your age, gender, and body type. Email firstname.lastname@example.org today to start your personalized fitness and nutrition plan.
Ready to workout? Game time? It’s important to get moving before you get moving. Stretching is vital for sports and fitness. – in other words, they’re advocating dynamic stretching.
All stretching is effective – so whether you want to run and jump, or do toe touches and hamstring pulls, your preference should relate to the type of exercise and areas of the body you intend to work. The latter falls under static stretching, which is a warm-up that involves staying still. The former falls under dynamic stretching.
However, there is a distinct difference between the two.
What is dynamic stretching?
Dynamic stretching is an active warm-up in which you prepare your body for the movements it is about to perform. It’s a more effective way to brace your muscles for action than standing still since it increases your range of motion as well as blood flow and muscle temperature.
Although the list of benefits of stretching is endless, it’s often overlooked by overly-confident athletes who are eager to jump right into their record-breaking lift. Here are some of the benefits unique to dynamic stretching:
By stretching, you’re not putting your muscles into shock right away – which puts you less at risk for injury. The British Medical Journal (BMJ) conducted a study among young female soccer players and found that “a comprehensive warm-up program designed to improve strength, awareness, and neuromuscular control can prevent injuries.” Their stretching plan included running, jumping, and other dynamic exercises. The study also concluded that “the risk of injury can be reduced by about one third and the risk of severe injuries as much as half.” This could be due to the fact that by dynamic stretching, you’re accessing more muscles than you would by static stretching, which usually focuses on a specific muscle or muscle group.
Studies show that dynamic stretching can not only prepare you for your workout – but also energize your workout. According to one study, “static stretching has a negative effect on balance and agility performance compared to dynamic stretching.” The BMJ also discovered that “high-load dynamic warm-ups enhance power and strength performance.” This is the reason you always see professional athletes of all sports squeezing in all sorts of dynamic stretches before the big game.
Since dynamic stretching literally gets the blood flowing quicker, it makes for a more effective warm-up. What it also does is improve your mobility, even if your goal is just to get some muscle gains. This study shows that a dynamic warm-up model increased hamstring flexibility, while a static model had no effect. By priming your muscles by introducing their whole range of motion early on, that could enhance flexibility in the long run. Not to say that you’ll be doing splits after some shuttle runs, but improvements are inevitable with consistency.
Examples of dynamic stretches
- Arm/Leg swings
- Hip circles
- Half squats
- High kicks
- Trunk rotations
To learn more about injury prevention and how to increase mobility and athleticism, contact the certified personal trainers at Thrive Fitness by emailing us today at email@example.com.
If numbers are your measure of progress, you’ve probably measured body mass index (BMI) or body fat percentage before. The two are often used interchangeably when in fact – body fat percentage should be the go-to choice.
The differences lie in who should use it, what to use it for, and how to find it.
The formula to uncover your BMI is 703 x (weight in pounds) / (height in inches) x (height in inches). If you’ve ever measured your BMI, there’s a good chance that you’ve been shocked, or even disappointed – especially if you’re muscular. This is because those who are clearly lean and fit like football and basketball players may be deemed overweight and obese. Renowned Stanford mathematician, Keith Devlin of NPR pointed out how BMI is “physiologically incorrect”:
“It makes no allowance for the relative proportions of bone, muscle, and fat in the body. But bone is denser than muscle and twice as dense as fat, so a person with strong bones, good muscle tone and low fat will have a high BMI,” Devlin said in his opinion piece. “Thus, athletes and fit, health-conscious movie stars who work out a lot tend to find themselves classified as overweight or even obese.”
Not only is BMI inaccurate, it’s inaccurate and old. The formula is obsolete, dating back to the 1800s. It leaves out several key factors like muscle tissue, waist size, and gender – and solely accounts for height.
Body fat percentage
A much more useful tool than the scale, body fat percentage can tell you the whole story. With more context and fewer limitations, body fat percentage is much more beneficial for your health and confidence.
You can discover and keep track of this incredible tool with Thrive Fitness Atlanta’s Fit3D Body Fat Scanner. In only 40 seconds with our revolutionary technology, you can discover not only your body fat percentage but also your obesity risk, segmental muscle/fat ratio, basal metabolic rate, and much more.
Here are four reasons to consider tracking your body fat percentage and ditch the BMI:
Get the whole story.
Body fat percentage isn’t just a number like BMI – it offers an explanation with it. Unlike BMI, it can identify if you’re part of the “skinny fat” phenomenon – which is when thin people have high body fat percentages. BMI would consider someone who’s “skinny fat” to be of ideal health – when in reality, they’re subject to many health complications.
Stay on top of your goals.
If you’re looking for that summer six-pack – body fat percentage can be your best friend. All the crunches, planks, and Russian twists in the world won’t get you to your goal if you’re not focused on lowering your body fat percentage by incorporating more full-body workouts. By focusing on body fat percentage, you lose your tunnel vision and can expand your workouts.
Weight loss doesn’t equal fat loss.
If one of your S.M.A.R.T. goals is to lose weight, then body fat percentage is probably your best course to keeping track of your progress. Our Fit3D Body Fat Scanner stores your data so you can see how your entire body composition has changed, side-by-side. The scale can be misleading because a dip in the scale can translate to loss of water weight or muscle mass, not always fat loss.
Lower your risk of disease.
Body fat percentage stretches beyond just weight loss – it can lessen your chances of reaching the point of cardiovascular disease. The Mayo Clinic found that working toward a healthy body fat percentage can boost good cholesterol and remove bad cholesterol (LDL). Lower cholesterol levels mean less plaque buildup on the heart’s artery walls.
Avoid the restrictions and manipulations of BMI by contacting Thrive Fitness today. Schedule your Fit3D scan by emailing us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.