Health Archives - Elite Performance SF

High Heel Health

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High Heel Health

High Heel Health

 

The story today is about high heels. And yes, guys wear shoes with heels too so its not just a problem for females.

Sexy? Yes! But, lets look past aesthetics for a minute and talk about the high heel and your health.

“Statistics show that high heels are one of the biggest factors leading to foot problems in women, with up to a third suffering permanent problems as a result of prolonged wear.” – Osteopathic Association.

Permanent problem? From a shoe? How does that even happen?

A High Heel 2” and higher causes your weight to shift forward in your shoes, making your body compensate by leaning back. It can cause plantar fasciitis and strain in your hip, knees, and back.

Weight-shift When Wearing High Heel

Weight-shift When Wearing High Heel

Heres even more information on the effects of high heels

You may not be ready to give up your high heel just yet. So, here is how to reduce the impact on your joints while keeping your feet in a high heel:

Stretch (calves and low back)

Reduce the height of the heel

Choose softer insoles

Wear heels on days that you will be limiting your walking or standing

 

Think about your health when choosing a shoe to wear.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

New Year Lifestyle

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Work Hard

Lifestyle: Work Hard

The New Year brings new goals: a time to focus on the things that you have been neglecting or want change.

Personal health tops many lists, especially after the Holiday Season.

Trying to improve yourself is fantastic. Make sure to set both short term and long term goals, and make sure they’re attainable. For example, losing 2 – 3 pounds a week (depending on your starting weight) is a great goal and these numbers show a healthy weight loss.

Also, make it easy on yourself to attain these goals and turn them into a healthy Lifestyle. Working out in a group setting can be fun, can push you harder than you would have pushed yourself alone and it brings a social aspect to what many people think of as “work”.

In my group classes, I introduce new Fitness Toys occasionally and you can see both the Ab Wheel and Battle Ropes in the pictures above. It keeps workouts fresh and fun, which makes people want to keep working hard towards their goals.

And lastly, you can start/continue a training program at any time. The girl doing Medicine-ball Squats in the back has continued to workout even though she’s 5 months pregnant!!! Its great for her, its great for her baby and she has decided to make Health a Lifestyle.

So get your butt out there, set some goals and make 2014 the year that you change Health from something you think about occasionally to a Lifestyle.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

 

Your Second Brain

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Our Second Brain

Our Second Brain

Do you remember having to stand up in front of class when you were younger and getting all those butterflies in your stomach? Or getting ready for a sporting event, even when you’ve prepared for months, waiting for the starting whistle and you get that jittery feeling deep in your gut?

Well, theres a network of neurons in our gut that is so extensive some scientists have nicknamed it our second brain.

The second brain, which can operate independently of the brain, contains more neurons than the spinal cord! This large system of neurons enables us to ‘feel’ the inner world of our gut and its contents.

Nearly every chemical that controls the brain is also located in the stomach region including hormones and neurotransmitters such as: more than 90% of the body’s serotonin (the Happiness neurotransmitter) and 50% of the body’s Dopamine (the Reward neurotransmitter).

The gut is probably responsible for more than just the butterflies in our stomach when we experience excitement, fear and stress says Dr. Gershon, Chairman of Columbia University Medical Center.

Just think about what you put in your stomach on any given week. For an average person, they’re ingesting coffee, sweets, genetically modified organisms, alcohol (which is actually a poison), healthy calories, plus a lot of things we don’t see like bacteria.

From our guts perspective, eating is laced with danger. In severe cases, our second brain triggers diarrhea or alerts the brain to initiate vomiting.upset tummy

So the gut does much more than just handle digestion or cause the occasional nervous feeling. Doctors are starting to realize that this second brain partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body.

Leading scientists believe that the second brain could have ties to Obesity, Diabetes, Autism, Chronic Depression, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and may also have an effect on Ulcerative Colitis and Krohn’s Disease.

This is the reason to eat and drink cleanly. Take care of your gut and it will take care of you. Watch what you put in your body. Your body was designed to deal with harsh environments, occasionally. Help out your “second brain” and it will help you.healthy eating

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Skin Health & You

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Healthy Skin

Healthy Skin

Up until a few years ago I didn’t care much about my skin. I could be in Tahoe in the winter, snowboarding in the freezing cold or working out hard and showering afterwards thinking that I had done enough for my skin. But, when I started to pay attention to the dryness on my face, hands and feet, I noticed that I could feel and look better.

Guys think that lotions and creams are only for females, but when we males start using lotion, girls will start noticing us for healthy looking skin and not for Scaly Hand Syndrome.

Choose alcohol-free hand sanitizers, soap-free cleaners and moisturize your skin to keep it from chapping.

Its getting into the colder weather and the skin is more prone to small cuts, dryness and sensitivity, so keeping the skin hydrated is a must.

 

There are several types of moisturizers you can choose from, according to your skin’s needs. Lets dive in:

Humectants, such as glycerin and lactic acid, attract water and help skin retain moisture. Emollients, such as fatty acids and ceramides, soften and soothe. Occlusives (known as “barrier creams”), such as petrolatum, dimethicone or lanolin, leave a film on the surface of the skin and seal in moisture.

Most products contain a combination of humectants, emollients and occlusives, so it’s easiest to choose a moisturizer based on your skin type–there are formulas for oily or acne-prone skin (look for “oil-free” and “non-comedogenic” on the label), sensitive skin, and dry or mature skin.

You’ll also notice that moisturizers have different textures. (Occlusives tend to be the heaviest of the bunch.) Lotions are light, and creams are a little more substantial. For anyone with dry or extra-dry skin, you want something that has more substance-it’s better to use a cream, which tends to protect skin better than lotion advises Dr. Chaturvedi, Dermatologist.
Also, what you eat and drink is a vital part of skin health.

Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits in winter especially the ones which are rich in protein, antioxidants, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, B1 and B2 .

Try out these foods: low-fat dairy products (yogurt), whole grain products, eggs, meat, legumes, green leafy vegetables and fruits high in antioxidants (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and plums).

And of course drink plenty of water= Hydrate!

Drink water. Keep moisturized. Eat healthy.

And remember:

 In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Hydrate with Water

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Hydrate

Hydrate

In the past few years there have been too many stories of athletes exercising in the heat and getting extremely sick.

But why does this happen?

With prolonged exercise in the heat, sweat losses making up just 2% of your body weight can impair athletic performance and temperature regulation.sweating

Staying hydrated is extremely important for many reasons; one important part is that it helps regulate body temperature. As for working out, you won’t be able to exercise as hard or as long if you’re dehydrated.

Its really easy to downplay the importance and necessity of water since its free and abundant in most places (in Western society).

You should be drinking 14 – 22 (~2-3 glasses) ounces of fluid about 2 hours before exercise. And also drinking 6 – 12 ounces (~1 glass) every 15 – 20 minutes during exercise to replace sweat losses.

Also, drink 24 ounces of fluid for every pound of bodyweight lost after exercise. If you will be exercising in hot conditions, its wise to weigh yourself (with minimal clothing) before exercise and then again after exercise, and then re-hydrate using your post-exercise weight and the guidelines above.

Hydrate in cold weather too. The way our body conserves heat during cold weather training leaves us open to dehydration.

The human body has developed through millions of years of evolution, but its not a perfect machine. When our body needs water we wont feel it immediately, which is why you should drink water according to a time schedule rather than how thirsty you feel.

So hydrate yourself. And bring water everywhere.drinking water

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Spot Reduce Fat

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Spot Reduce Myth

Spot Reduce Myth

Can you spot reduce fatty areas?

In short….no.

Machines and products that target abs, the back of the arms, or inner thighs, as well as “toning” workouts may be effective strengthening exercises to build muscle in those areas, but they wont get to the fat that you’re aiming for.  The small muscles that are the main focus in these areas will burn calories, but it will be a small amount of calories.

Lots of “toning” programs like to focus on the little muscles, but these burn little calories. Large movements use large muscles, and they burn larger calories. So if you want to burn more calories, sticking to larger movements such as the squat, push up, and overhead press, are the movements that are going to help out the most.

Also, when working these big movements, you will be using the smaller muscles that you were probably trying to hit with machine exercises anyways.

These large movements (a.k.a. multi-joint exercises) are linked with the greatest muscle formation and metabolic after-burn (post-exercise calorie burn).

Further, high volume, low-rest exercise programs stimulate higher releases of growth hormone and testosterone, which is great for building muscle (which burns calories throughout the day)!party

Overall body fat must be reduced to lose fat in any particular area. Fat storage (how and where you personally hold your fat) is dependent on genetics, sex (hormones), and age.

So how do you lose fat weight?

In short, you lose body fat by decreasing your calories.

That can either be from a decrease in calories taken in (decreasing the amount you’re eating and drinking) or from increasing calories expended (exercising more using big movements as listed above). If you want faster results, decrease the amount of calories you take in and exercise more.

If you want to lose weight, intake less calories and exercise more with big movements.

If you have any questions or comments lemme know.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Childhood Fitness Report

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Childhood Fitness

Childhood Fitness

At a recent science convention in Texas, Dr. Tomkinson from the University of South Australia’s School of Health Sciences gave some disturbing information about a worldwide health trend.

Tomkinson et al found that kids today are 15% less aerobically fit than their parents were at their age.

“If a young person is generally unfit now, then they are more likely to develop conditions like heart disease later in life” states Tomkinson. Its troubling because cardiovascularly fit adults are less likely to have heart attacks and strokes. We are allowing our young generation to learn these bad habits and they are being setup for a life of disease and physical hardship.

 

What did the study show?

The research team reviewed 50 running fitness studies that spanned from 1964 to 2010, covering 28 countries and incorporating over 25 million kids ages 9 to 17. They found that children today take about 90 seconds longer to run a mile than their parents’ generation.suprised

Childhood obesity has dramatically increased in Western and some Asian countries.  And the team has found that a country’s fitness and obesity rates go hand-in-hand.

 

So what’s the cause?

Tomkinson has suggests a wide range of possibilities, with “about 30% to 60%” of the answer coming from “increases in fat mass” in children.

Another cause is an increase in sedentary lifestyles. There has been in increase in households with TVs, internet access and video games. Children are also less likely to walk, bike or skate to school than they were in the 1970s, at least in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K.

 

U.S. Health authorities insist that children should be getting 60 minutes of active play a day, but only 1/3 are getting that. Schools have cut P.E. programs and have left children to get exercise during recess or after school.

If you are a parent or relative of a child, motivate them to go outside and play. Go and play with them. Run around, get sweaty, and show them that exercise is fun.

My little niece is 2 years old and I want her to have a long and healthy life. Obesity and decreased aerobic capacity can cause many problems, and I wouldn’t wish that on my niece or anybody else. Please educate those around you, especially children.

 

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Better Than Steroids

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CoreControl Glove

CoreControl Glove

About a year ago I read an article that came from Stanford lauding a new product they made. In the press released, one of the inventors, Dr. Heller, spoke of how his product could help in a gym setting. When testing a subject on pull-ups, in “six weeks he went from doing 180 pull-ups total to over 620”.

620! Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaat?! Crazy.crazy

How is this possible?

“Our major heat exchange surfaces are our palms of our hands, the soles of our feet, and our face” says Dr. Heller.

The body works best in a specific temperature range. When the body gets overheated, for example when working out really hard or being in a hot environment, your system shuts down certain functions to keep you safe. sweating

In the case of pull ups, after a certain amount the enzyme that regulates muscle function will shut off the ability to do more pull ups because your body got overheated. With this new product, the CoreControl Glove, that specific muscle enzyme will keep the muscle working safely.

Have you heard of athletes going into ice baths after practice? Well, this is a more focused and controlled version of that, with the science finally backing up the process.

How does it work?

The glove wraps around one hand and wrist, creates a suction which brings your blood to the surface of the skin, and flows cool water through tubes in the glove to cool down your body temperature.

In the year that I’ve been following this story the CoreControl Glove has gone from over $3,000 to $995. The price is still a bit high, especially for commercial use, but if you want to increase performance without the use of steroids, than this is the way to go.

By the way, the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders, and Manchester United Soccer club have all started incorporating this device into their programs.

I’ll keep you posted on any updates for this product.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before 

What’s Your Posture Doing For You?

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Want to Avoid Aging Like This?

Want to Avoid Aging Like This?

“If we simply exercise without addressing our posture, we risk becoming stronger versions of our crooked selves”

 

For every inch of forward head posture, the weight of the head on the spine increases by 10 pounds!!! Do I have your attention yet?

Many people sit at a desk most of the day, especially around here in the San Francisco and Bay Area. Thats not entirely a bad things except that research shows that up to 90% of people sit with poor posture. yikes emoji

Here are just some negative effects of poor posture:

stiffness, chronic pain, low back pain, headaches, stress-related illnesses, breathing problems, hormonal changes, changes in blood pressure, decrease in flexibility

Do you have any of these aches/pains? If you do, I suggest you take a serious look at your posture. And keep reading–>

Your spine has four natural curves to it and when you sit with poor posture for long periods of time your muscles practice holding tension in unnatural ways. The body was made to perform certain functions and poor posture is not one of them.

Your spine has four natural curves

Your spine has four natural curves

Posture can be visualized like in the picture below. With the bad posture on the left highlighting a slumped forward sitting position (I bet you see this a lot!), shows the back working out of sync. This can create some of the previously mentioned aches. However, if you start practicing good posture, as shown on the right, it can lead to increased energy, decreased tension, increased productivity, and more!

Good vs Bad Posture

Bad vs Good Posture

So if you need to sit for long periods of time, here’ how you do it:

Allow the backrest of your chair to support your low and mid back, or use a back support. Relax your arms and keep your forearms parallel to the ground. Have your feet on the floor or on a footrest (if your feet don’t touch the ground), with your ankles in front of your knees. Adjust your seat so your knees are in-line or lower than your hips. Try to avoid crossing your legs and sitting for long periods of time.

Sitting at your desk and interacting with a computer can put a lot of stress on your neck. If we could reverse poor posture, we could be a lot healthier and happier every single day. superman emoji

Remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before

Muscle Soreness= Is It Normal?

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ice_bath_185v9ac-185v9aj

Have you ever said: “Why am I still sore?! I worked out days ago”

Let’s take a look into what extended soreness means.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) is a muscle soreness resulting from a workout that takes 1-2 days to hit you, and lasts from 1-3 days. It causes soreness, swelling, stiffness, tenderness, and reduced strength.

So who gets it and why?

DOMS is a natural phenomena and actually occurs in both the elite athletes and the novice gym-goer.

It’s believed to occur during eccentric exercises (muscle lengthening) such as plyometrics (explosive movements like jumping), running downhill, strength training and even uphill walking.

Its most prevalent when trying new exercises or being off exercise for a period of time and jumping back in. This means if you’re new to working out or just coming back from a long lay-off, then you’re more likely to experience this type of soreness.

Can you prevent it?

Warming up will help prevent the onset of DOMS, as will progressing slowly towards your goals. One of the worst things somebody can do with training is just jump right into it, especially when it’s intense exercise.

If you’re thinking of just jumping right into Crossfit, I’m talking to you! injured emoji

Can I just lie on the couch when I have DOMS?

Although just resting on the couch and laying-low might seem like a good idea, it’s actually best to keep moving. Doing some light exercise the next day will reduce some symptoms of the soreness. And though you wont be setting any PR’s during this time, your body will still appreciate it.

Here’s some additional help: ice (immediately), rest (from intense work), ibuprofen (for swelling & pain), massage, stretching, light exercise the following day, a sauna or a hot bath.

What if it lasts longer?

DOMS shouldn’t prevent you from daily activities. If the soreness lasts more than a few days, there could be actual damage to the area.

Are you somebody that just doesn’t get sore?

Some research shows that 1/3 of individuals don’t get sore from working out, but will still get the benefits of muscle growth, strength, muscular endurance, etc.

Train hard, train smart and if you have any questions, lemme hear’em.

And remember:

In order to achieve something you’ve never done before, you must be willing to become somebody you’ve never been before