Soft Tissue Work on the Go!

By now, most of us are aware of the many benefits that myofascial release can offer: increased circulation, improved muscular range of motion, and reduced muscle soreness, just to name a few. Whether you maintain an active lifestyle or not, everyone can benefit from regular myofascial release.

However, foam rollers usually aren’t convenient to travel with due to their bulky size, and you’ll rarely find foam rollers in most hotel fitness centers. Luckily for you, there are myofascial release tools on the market that are extremely portable and work just as well as traditional foam rollers at massaging out stubborn trigger points.

Often called a “massage stick”, “stick roller”, or “myofascial release stick”, they usually range from 17″-28″ in length and are available in varying degrees of flexibility (more firm or less firm). They can range anywhere from $20-$40, depending on the make and model. No matter which you choose, they get the job done. So don’t suffer with tight, sore muscles just because you’re on the road and couldn’t fit your foam roller in your luggage. Invest in a myofascial release stick; your muscles will thank you.

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Add Another Layer of Sun Protection with These Foods

The direct cause of sunburn to the skin is the sun’s ultraviolet radiation, which comes in UVA and UVB forms. UV sunrays trigger production of unstable oxygen molecules called free radicals. Excess free radicals created by overexposure to sun may lead to inflammation, skin aging and, potentially, DNA damage that causes cancer.

There are certain foods and nutrients that appear to provide some protection from the damage that UV sunrays can cause. Listed below are some of those foods, but remember that you still need sunscreen! Talk to your dermatologist about the best way to protect your skin and what topical sunscreen may be best for you.

* Omega-3 fish oils

UV sunrays trigger inflammation in the skin, and the body uses messengers it makes from omega-3s to moderate inflammation. Good sources of omega-3 oil include salmon, tuna, halibut, sardines, etc.

* Colorful fruits and vegetables

Plant foods like carrots, squash, peppers, tomatoes, dark leafy greens, all types of berries, plums, oranges, etc. have antioxidant properties. When you consistently eat foods containing antioxidants, they accumulate in your blood and tissues like the skin and this may help to neutralize excess free radicals caused by sun exposure.

* Green tea

Polyphenols, found in green tea may be more powerful than antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E. Some studies have hinted that green tea extract may be helpful in protecting skin from UV sunrays. Making your own iced green tea in the summer is a great way to stay hydrated and potentially provide yourself with some extra protection from UV sunrays.

* Cocoa

Cocoa contains antioxidants that, like green tea, may reduce the damage done by UV sunrays. Opt for pure cocoa powder or a small piece of dark chocolate that is at least 70% cocoa beans.

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Quick Dehydration Info!

With the July heat in full effect, it’s important to pay attention to any signs of dehydration. Dehydration can happen to anyone from kids to healthy adults to seniors. It happens when you’ve lost too much water in your body without replacing it, which prevents your body from performing its normal functions. Becoming dehydrated in the summer is fairly common if you aren’t drinking enough fluids because when it’s hot outside, our body loses water easily. Since water makes up at least 60% of our body, it plays a big part in helping our body to function.  Here are 4 common signs of dehydration:

  • Your urine is darker than usual: This is one of the most common signs of dehydration. Your urine should be light yellow (the color of lemonade), not dark yellow or amber.
  • You are urinating less than usual
  • Your mouth is dry and/or you are very thirsty
  • You feel weak and/or dizzy

It’s important that you do not wait for symptoms of dehydration to show up…drink water throughout the day even if you aren’t feeling thirsty with a goal of keeping your urine light yellow or almost clear. Keep in mind that most healthy people urinate 7-8 times a day, so if you aren’t urinating regularly, you may not be drinking enough water. Talk to your physician or Registered Dietitian Nutritionist about the proper amount of water you need each day.

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Hidden Sources of Added Sugar

By Deborah Jeffery, RDN

Due to the negative health effects of a high added sugar intake, the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommended that added sugars be limited to less than 10% of a person’s total daily caloric intake. For most, this is the equivalent of 10-12 teaspoons or about 25-35 grams of added sugar. Added sugars are sugars that are added during the processing or preparation of foods and beverages. Added sugar is obviously in products such as sweetened beverages, candy, cookies, and ice cream.  However along with these intuitive sources of added sugar, we also need to be concerned about the added sugars that we don’t even realize that we’re consuming.

Many processed foods like cereal, sports drinks, coffee beverages, BBQ sauce, salad dressing, granola bars, and sweetened yogurt, may be significant sources of added sugar. It’s estimated that there are 56 different names for added sugar that can be listed on a food label. A partial list includes:

Agave Nectar

Fruit Juice Concentrate

Barley Malt

High Fructose Corn Syrup

Beet Sugar

Honey

Blackstrap Molasses

Maltodextrin

Cane Juice Crystals

Maple Syrup

Caramel

Sorghum Syrup

Evaporated Cane Juice

Rice Sugar

Refer to the product’s Nutrition Facts panel to get the facts on a product’s sugar content. Currently, the “Sugars” number on the fact panel includes both added sugars and natural sugars from fruits and milk. This happens in products like sweetened yogurts and cereals with added fruit. The new Nutrition Facts label required on products in July 2018 will list added sugars in grams and as percentage of Daily Value.

For now if a food has little or no milk or fruit, the “Sugars” number will tell you how many grams of added sugar are in each serving. To get the calories from sugar, multiply the grams by 4. To get teaspoons of sugar, divide the grams by 4. Additionally, the ingredients on a product are listed in order of amount, with the ingredient used in the greatest amount first, then followed by the other ingredients in descending order. If an added sugar is listed as one of the first ingredients, you’ll want to make a different selection to help prevent developing an expanding waistline and chronic health disorders such as diabetes and heart disease.

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Get Your Glutes Up!

Glute training is all the craze nowadays and for good reason! The largest and most powerful muscle group in the body, the glutes work to abduct, rotate, and extend the hip. Having strong glutes will help improve posture and enhance aesthetic appearance, decrease your risk of injury, and allow you to achieve your full athletic potential. So what’s not to love? Glutes can be trained often and respond well to high volume, up to 2-3 sessions per week. Hit them with a variety of compound, multi-joint exercises using both high and low repetition ranges.

Here is a simple glute activation warm up to try. Perform 1-2 sets of each for 10-15 repetitions prior to exercise of higher intensity :

Supine Glute Bridge                                                                                                                    Quadruped Hip Extension                                                                                                                  Quadruped Fire Hydrants                                                                                                                  Side Lying Leg Lifts

Now that you’ve successfully activated your glutes, you’re ready to really fire them up! Try performing this circuit up to 3 times per week. Perform 2-3 sets of each. If performing multiple times per week, vary your rep ranges (8-12, 12-15, etc.)

Goblet Squats

Romanian Deadlifts

Bulgarian Split Squats

Hip Thrusts

 

 

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Sugar Guidelines

By Debbie Jeffery, RDN

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans were released in January 2016.  The guidelines from the US Department of Health and Human Services and the USDA were first released in 1980, and every 5 years a new version is release.  Although nutrition, health and wellness experts have been encouraging people to reduce sugar intake for years, this is the first time the guidelines have made recommendations on sugar intake.  An excessive sugar intake can not only contribute to weight gain but can also negatively affect overall health.  A diet high in sugar can increase your risk for type 2 diabetes, compromise the immune system, and also result in elevated insulin levels which raise the possibility of developing certain cancers and heart disease.

Added sugars are sugars that are added during the processing or preparation of foods and beverages.  This includes anything from the defamed high fructose corn syrup to the healthier sounding versions of honey and agave.  Added sugars provide calories without providing any nutritional value.  Fructose, the sugar naturally found in fruit, and lactose, the sugar in milk and dairy products, doesn’t count.  With these sugars from whole foods, you receive vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

The 2015 Guidelines recommendation is that added sugars be limited to less than 10% of a person’s total daily intake.   In practical terms, the guidelines limit added sugar intake to about 10-12 teaspoons or about 25-35 grams of added sugar.  A 12 ounce can of soda or 1 cup of ice cream would meet the entire day’s limit of added sugar.  Candy, baked goods and sweetened beverages are obvious sources but many processed products like cereal, BBQ sauce and salad dressings contain significant amounts of added sugar.  You’ll need to refer to the Nutrition Facts panel on products to find the sugar content.

Spend time to calculate your daily added sugar intake.  The USDA’s most recent figures find that Americans consume on average about 32 teaspoons of added sugar a day.  How do you compare?

 

 

 

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“Parents should avoid comments on a child’s weight”

If your child becomes overweight or is at risk for becoming overweight/obese, what do you say to them? Do you tell them they are getting fat? Do you keep your mouth closed and make different food shopping choices? In this article you will find some interesting results on what happened when parents voiced their opinion; as well as ‘how’ it was voiced.

Fresh off the press early this morning from The New York Times you’ll find this interesting article that provides a view on how influential parents comments can be on their children’s dietary actions. The article can be accessed here: http://nyti.ms/1UAyEtq

Unfortunately, this is an ongoing battle with national obesity and it continues to become more and more prevalent within our nations children.

What would you do, or what have you done, in this situation?

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