All You Need To Know About Green Tea

All You Need To Know About Green Tea

Clients at BioFit Performance in Oviedo, FL, can get nutrition nutritional guidance, which includes not only food but also beverage. While I emphasize the importance of water, some people want an alternative. I suggest green tea without added sweetener or just a touch of honey and lemon. There are a lot of health benefits derived from drinking green tea and it has no calories.

Aside from having no calories, green tea can help you burn fat, so it’s good for weight loss.

Studies show that drinking green tea can boost your metabolism and aids in increasing the amount of fat you burn. One study showed that people taking green tea extract supplements burned between 4% and 17% more calories compared to a control group that took a placebo. Part of it is the caffeine in green tea that boosts the metabolism, but the antioxidant catechin, epigallocatechin gallate—EGCG—is the real calorie torcher.

EGCG also is a potent antioxidant that aids in preventing neurodegeneration.

Besides torching calories, EGCG also can help protect you from serious degenerative conditions like dementia, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. They help to not only prevent damage, but also to reverse damage that already exists. Several large studies showed that adults who drank at least three cups a day for several years suffered far less from cognitive impairment and had a 30 to 40% lower risk of Parkinson’s disease.

You’ll improve your workout and makes you more alert.

A cup of coffee before a workout can make it better and also boost your alertness if you’re not working out. Green tea can do the same, but there’s limited potential for getting that shaky feeling that you get if you have too much coffee. The reason is the L-theanine, which increases the GABA, a neurotransmitter. GABA has an anti-anxiety effect and boosts the production of dopamine. Green tea offers heart healthy benefits and also may be effective for preventing insulin resistance. By preventing insulin resistance, it lowers the risk of diabetes.

  • Green tea has antibiotic and antifungal effect, which makes it beneficial for improving oral health. It can help prevent caries and bad breath. It also can improve bone health, particularly when consumed during perimenopause.
  • The antioxidants in green tea have been tested and found to slow the growth of some cancer cells. For instance, consuming green tea lowers the risk of prostate, breast and colorectal cancer.
  • The antioxidants in green tea help boost your immune system. While all green tea contains some vitamin C, matcha green tea contains the most. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant. 4
  • Green tea helps hydrate the body and reduces free radicals, both of which help reduce the signs of aging. It also reduces the effects of photoaging.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

How To Gain Weight Naturally

How To Gain Weight Naturally

If you’ve ever stated that you have a problem trying to put on weight, you probably never got any sympathy and understanding from others. Often people who want to gain weight eat unhealthy food and cease all exercise, hoping to put on a few pounds. You can gain weight naturally and in a healthy manner with both diet change and exercise. That’s right, when you use a program designed for you, exercise can help you gain weight.

Just like being overweight is unhealthy, so is being underweight.

No matter what end of the weight spectrum you are, it’s unhealthy if it’s the extreme end of the spectrum. How do you know if you’re underweight, use your body mass index or BMI? It’s a chart that compares your height to weight and assigns a number. A body mass over 25 is overweight and one that is 18.5 or less is underweight. Between those two extremes are normal weights. Being underweight can be more dangerous than being overweight.

Adjust your diet and eat more calories but make them from healthy food.

In order to gain weight, you have to eat more calories than you burn. However, most people trying to gain weight turn to junk food, pastries and other unhealthy options. Junk food may in fact be counterproductive. The high sugar amount can cause you to feel sick and even eat less. Instead, focus on higher calories healthy food like dried fruit and nuts, full fat dairy, whole grains and meat. The extra nutrients can help you build more muscle when combined with an exercise program designed to help you gain weight.

Avoid excess cardio and focus on muscle building.

True, the more muscle you have, the higher your metabolism, but the more muscle you have, the more you weigh, too. Muscle weighs more per cubic inch than fat tissue does. That’s why people often look thinner, even if they don’t lose a pound, after they start an exercise program. One way to boost muscle tissue is strength building exercises. These can include bodyweight exercises like push-ups or squats or ones that use weights.

  • One study found that underweight men increased their chance of dying early by 140%, while women increased it by 100%. Obese people only increase their risk by 50%. However, many times people with serious conditions often lose weight due to the condition and become underweight.
  • Have a preworkout and post workout snack. It should be a combination of carbs and protein. The preworkout snack can help your workout be more efficient and the post workout snack can help build muscle.
  • Include food that’s highly nutritious, but also dense in calories, like nuts and nut butter. Avocados, red meat and full fat cheese or butter are also good. Make sure animal products come from grass fed or range free animals.
  • At BioFit Performance, we can help you by creating a program of exercise and diet that aid in gaining weight in a healthy manner. Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain it or just build muscle, we’re here to help.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

Can I Exercise With Sciatica?

Can I Exercise With Sciatica?

Across America people suffer from lower back pain. I hear about it all the time in Oviedo, FL. It describes the pain, numbness or tingling that starts in the lower back and can run all the way down to the foot. It’s caused by compressing the sciatic nerve, the body’s longest nerve. Once it’s compressed or irritated, it continues to create the problem until there’s relieve. I often get questions about the safety of exercise with sciatica. In most cases, it is safe and should be done. However, you should always follow the directions of your health care professional when it comes to exercising.

The causes of sciatica and type of exercise determine whether exercise is best.

Sciatica can come from a sacroiliac joint that’s misaligned, a tight piriformis muscle, herniated disc or spinal stenosis. In most cases, keeping the muscles look can improve the condition and relieve the pain. The more active you are, within reason, the more relaxed your muscles. However, some types of movements can aggravate the condition. Things like high impact activities, such as running and jumping, or activities that involve twisting the torso, squatting, bending forward with legs straight or leg lift style movements can make your back pain worse.

Exercises that can actually speed healing.

Sciatica can often get better with time, but for many, exercise can boost that recovery. It’s all about increasing exercise gradually and paying close attention to the pain or other symptoms. In other words, let your sciatica be your guide. These types of exercises should always be low impact and involve gentle stretching, which can help loosen muscles in the legs and lower back. Often abdominal muscles are weak, which forces the back muscles to do double duty, another reason for spasms and pain. Strengthening the abs is another way exercise helps relieve pain.

Talk to one of our trainers who will help with a recovery plan.

At BioFit Performance, we offer recovery service that extend beyond a plan of exercise. They include an on-site physical therapist, massage therapist, chiropractor and stretch therapist to help guide you and equipment to bring relief, such as the cold and hot plunge, infra-red sauna and compression boots. A personal trainer can guide you with a program of low-impact activities, such as a warm-up riding a stationary bike. Only once your muscles are warmed and loose, will the trainer guide you through exercises that build core muscle strength, like the pelvic tilt and bridge or a modified plank.

  • Part of every exercise routine for sciatica should include gentle stretches. A personal trainer will help you with the proper form to ensure it helps rather than hinders your healing.
  • Touching your toes while keeping your back straight isn’t a stretch that’s good for sciatica and can slow the progress of recovery. Instead, consider ones like the single or double knee-to-chest stretch or supine hamstring stretch.
  • Straight leg sit-ups and double leg lifts should be avoided if you have sciatica. They can put undo tension on the sciatic nerve and even cause disc injury.
  • If you have back pain, we welcome you to visit BioFit Performance and inspect all the options we offer for recovery. We offer a free consultation and a chance to learn how to get fit and free from pain.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

Is Walking Good For Lower Back Pain?

Is Walking Good For Lower Back Pain?

One way to help relieve lower back pain is by walking. Since lower back pain often comes from lack of exercise or sitting too long, it helps break the habit of inactivity. Low back pain can also come from improper form when lifting, too. For that type of problem, focusing on form and building core strength is a big help. Increasing your activity, in most cases, can improve circulation and help reduce pain in your lower back.

Studies show that exercise is effective in reducing back pain.

Not only have studies showed that back pain is often relieved with exercise, walking is one form that’s just as effective as other types of exercise. One study compared walking with other types of exercise and found it was just as effective as they were, but it wasn’t superior. It was also found effective for increasing endurance of the lower back muscles and reducing chronic pain in another study.

There are people that shouldn’t take up a program of walking.

While walking is good for the lower back, always consult your medical professional before you do it for back pain, especially if you have respiratory distress, increased risk for cardiovascular collapse or arrhythmias. If you’ve recently had unstable angina, myocardial infarction or are experiencing chest pain or excessive fatigue, you need to consult your professional before continuing a walking program. Never go it alone if any of those symptoms exist.

Walking provides other benefits for the body.

Besides lowering the amount of pain you feel from your lower back, you’ll also reduce stress. Walking increases the endurance of the back muscles, too. It can help improve your mood and reduce depression and anxiety. It also helps lower the risk of other injuries and tissue damage. One study found that mild exercise like walking was just as effective as medication as an adjunct therapy. It helps improve the quality of life and best of all, free.

  • When you first start a program of walking, especially if you have lower back pain. Start with a short walk and build on that. You can walk several times a day and then extend the walks to longer ones.
  • While the CDC recommends you be active for 30 minutes a day, you don’t have to walk a full half hour straight. You can break it up to three ten minute walks every day.
  • Just like any type of exercise, you need to make it a habit to benefit from it. Schedule your walks for the same time every day to do that. It doesn’t matter what time of day you walk, just that you do it.
  • Focus on posture when you walk. You should try to poke your head into the clouds and breathe normally as you walk. Keep your pace brisk, but not painful and swing your arms freely.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

Why Can't I Stay Motivated To Workout?

Why Can’t I Stay Motivated To Workout?

There are many different reasons people can’t stay motivated to workout, but the most prevalent one is that they don’t have a goal that drives them and makes them excited to keep exercising. You have to know why, with conviction, you want to get healthier and look great. Nothing worthwhile has ever been accomplished without effort and getting fit is definitely worthwhile.

Identify your goal and why it’s important.

Is your goal to lose weight? Why? Is it your goal or something someone else told you to do? That’s important. If you made that decision, then you’re on the right track. If it was a friend, spouse or relative, you’ll be less likely to follow through with the effort. If that someone was your doctor and it’s for your health, you need to find the reason you want to be healthier. Is it to be able to participate in more activities? Is it to live longer and see your children raised and their children raised? Find the key to unlock your motivation.

Maybe it’s “stinken’ thinken'” that’s preventing you from success.

You have to believe your goal is realistic and that you can accomplish it. If you say you’re going to “try” to exercise regularly, you’ve lost have the battle. However, if you put exercise in your schedule and consider it an appointment with the gym that’s as important as any other appointment, your chances of sticking with the program increases. When you doubt yourself, you’re half defeated right from the start.

You might be less motivated if you think of a workout as something you’re forcing yourself to do.

Let’s face it, nobody likes to do things they’re forced into doing. People who hate to workout force themselves to clean, while other people look forward to that time at the gym. What’s the difference? Attitude. Find something you like about the workout. Notice how your body feels on every move. Once you start to notice, you’ll start feeling the change in your body and how much more control you have. You’ll notice how much stronger you are and how you can handle more flights of stairs without exhaustion. That makes it completely worthwhile.

  • Take up something active for those days away from the gym. Make it something you love doing. Your workouts can become a means to an end, helping you get in better shape to do what you love.
  • Smile while you workout. Force the smile for the first few weeks and it will soon become second nature. One study showed that smiling helped improve performance in the gym and keeps you working out longer.
  • Vary your workout. If you’re working with a trainer, the trainer will make sure to keep it fresh so you don’t get bored. If you’re working out alone, switch your routine frequently. It prevents plateauing.
  • Think about the miracle that’s your body and the fact that you can workout. You’re one of the lucky people that has that option and ability. When you realize your body is a gift you’ve been given to care for, you’ll be far more motivated to stick with it.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

Eat, Hydrate, Sleep, Repeat

Eat, Hydrate, Sleep, Repeat

Biofit Performance in Oviedo, FL, is known for workouts that get you into shape quickly. Many people come to us because of that. What they learn is that we also help you eat healthier and focus on emphasize the need to hydrate and sleep. Why are those things important? They are simple things that you can do to change your life for the better, but you have to do them every day and make them a habit. Eating one healthy meal, getting one good night’s sleep and sipping on water throughout one day isn’t enough.

A healthy body starts in the kitchen.

The human body is an amazing machine. Like any machine it needs fuel. However, unlike any machine it can actually repair itself, so having the right fuel is important. Eating healthy and avoiding highly processed food or food with added sugar makes a huge difference in not only your health, but your mental attitude. A healthy diet filled with nutritious fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources provides the nutrients to repair damage, feed the beneficial microbes that control many functions of the body and help balance hormones that direct bodily functions.

Drinking more water may be just what you need.

One of the best low calorie drinks is water. If you don’t like the taste, infuse it with fruit to give it a light flavor. Most people don’t drink enough water to be their best. It’s important to circulation and blood volume, prevents achy joints, boosts your energy level, improves oral hygiene, aids digestion and can even help mental functioning. The human body is between 50-75% water, depending on several factors.

Getting adequate sleep is not only healthy, but it can also help you lose weight.

You need sleep. It’s the time your body heals. It’s especially important after a tough workout, since a tough strength building workout creates small tears in the muscles. When those micro tears heal, they build muscle and make it stronger. Lack of sleep may sabotage your efforts to lose weight, as well. If you get too little sleep, it affects your body’s hunger/satiety hormone balance, reducing the hormones that make you feel full and increasing those that make you hungry.

  • People often choose soft drinks when they’re thirsty. Soft drinks are loaded with added sugar, which can cause insulin resistance and destroy a plan of healthy eating. Even diet soft drinks have been shown to cause fat to accumulate around the belly. Water is best for overall health and weight control.
  • If you’re adding fruit to your diet, stick with the whole fruit and avoid juices. Fruit juice is filled with natural sugar and none of the fiber that slows the absorption to prevent spikes. You’ll fill fuller eating the fruit.
  • If you want to get the best type of sleep, keep your bedroom cooler. Warm sleeping conditions can disturb REM sleep. It’s the first stage in sleep patterns. Scientists recommend a temperature between 60 and 68 degrees.
  • No matter what you do to live healthier, it takes time to form a habit. Making a healthier lifestyle a habit is what really makes a difference. If you have several things to change, focus on one or two at a time for several weeks and then add the next change.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

Is Walking Enough Exercise?

Is Walking Enough Exercise?

Oviedo, FL, and the surrounding area provides a lot to see and do. It makes walking easier, since you could change your location every day and still enjoy new scenery and interesting places. While walking is a good starting point, particularly if you’re out of shape and need the extra cardio, but it’s not a complete workout. You need all types of fitness exercises and a full body workout. Strength-building, flexibility training and balance are also necessary. Walking also doesn’t provide a full body workout, but it’s a start. It’s a weight bearing exercise that also provides endurance training.

Modify your walking to work your arms and make it a strength-building workout.

Since it’s a weight bearing exercise, it helps prevent osteoporosis and can actually reverse the process. It builds strength in the legs. As you walk, your muscles tug on the bones and that tugging triggers a message to the brain to send more bone building material to make the bones stronger. That means they recalcify. That’s good for the legs, but what about your arms? Arm weights can help you do that, but you have to swing your arms vigorously.

It may not be a complete workout, but it’s a good supplement.

Getting back into shape means starting slower and less aggressive, especially if you’re older or have health issues. You can alternate between the gym and walking, working out one day at the gym and walking the next. On the days at the gym, you’ll get all types of fitness workouts for all parts of the body with a workout designed especially for you and your fitness level.

Walking can provide a lot of benefits, but you still need a full workout.

Walking increases circulation and a great way to start to get fit again. You can make it more effective by modifying how you walk and make it a HIIT—high intensity interval training—workout. All you have to do is modify the intensity, walk at top speed for a minute or two and then at moderate, recovery speed for the same amount of time, then back to top speed. However, to be truly fit, you need strength and flexibility training, as well. Both types of training are important for preventing injury and living your best life.

  • Walking outdoors can provide even more benefits. It can boost your vitamin D level. Studies show that many people are deficient in vitamin D, which also boosts bone building and boosts your immune system.
  • Even if you consider it just walking, you still need to warm up and cool down, especially if you’re walking at a brisk pace or modifying the intensity to make it a HIIT workout.
  • You might think that walking doesn’t require skill, but form, good posture, is extremely important. Stand tall with your chin level to the ground, eyes focused straight ahead, shoulders back and back straight.
  • You don’t have to walk for a half hour to an hour straight. You can break it up to ten minute sessions throughout the day. Walking faster is important, since studies show people with a fast walking pace live longer.

For more information, contact us today at Biofit Performance

How Can I Tell If I'm Dehydrated?

How Can I Tell If I’m Dehydrated?

There’s a rule of three when it comes to survival. You can last three minutes without air, three days without water, in severe climates, three days without shelter and three weeks without food. Water is far more important than food. You don’t have to be completely without liquid to be dehydrated. A lot of things can create the problem, from diarrhea and vomiting to excess sweating. Dehydration symptoms can vary from moderate dehydration that can slow you down to severe dehydration that can be lethal.

Moderate dehydration can start with fatigue.

You might feel exhausted and think you just need sleep or a little coffee might boost your energy. While the fluid in coffee can help, just drinking a glass of water might be the key. It’s the quicker-picker-upper in many cases. Mild dehydration can interfere with your wake-sleep cycle, as well. Dehydration is associated with short sleep cycles, leaving you tired the next day. You’ll get tired quicker when you workout if you’re dehydrated, so it affects your workout negatively.

Dry skin with minimal elasticity and cracked lips are signs of dehydration.

Most people already know that a dry mouth means they need something to drink, but aren’t aware of the other symptoms. One simple way to check for dehydration is to grasp skin on the abdomen or forearm between your fingers for a few seconds and release. It’s called the skin turgor test. If you’re hydrated, your skin will go back to normal quickly, but if you’re dehydrated, the skin will take a long time to return to normal position.

Headaches and light-headedness or dizziness may be signs you need hydration.

Blood thickens when you’re dehydrated and causes blood channels in the brain to stretch, which is one possible reason you end up with headaches. Not everyone gets a headache from dehydration, some people are more susceptible than others are. It also causes low blood volume and that can lead to fainting You can also get dizzy.

  • Dehydration can negatively affect the functioning of blood vessels and even affect blood pressure regulation. It reduces cardiac output from the left ventricle and dramatically affect people performing intense exercise when it’s hot.
  • Check the color of your urine when you’re dehydrated. It will be darker and scant. The dark urine indicates the body is conserving fluid. It should be a pale yellow when adequately hydrated.
  • Dehydration can cause low blood pressure, but it also can cause high blood pressure. The low blood volume from dehydration causes the low blood pressure. In others, it can cause high blood pressure by increasing a chemical called vasopressin, which constricts blood vessels and causes water retention.
  • You’ll lose your focus when you’re dehydrated. It affects memory, mood and concentration. Severe dehydration, particularly in older people, causes confusion, anger and symptoms that may resemble dementia.

For more information, contact us today at Biofit Performance

How Exercise Helps With Mental Health

How Exercise Helps With Mental Health

One of the big benefits of working out at Biofit Performance in Oviedo, FL, is that good feeling you experience after a tough workout. It’s a combination of stress reduction, happy hormones and a sense of accomplishment. Exercise helps with mental health. It helps boost your emotions and also helps prevent or slow the progress of brain related illnesses, such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. Exercise has also become an adjunct therapy for people suffering from depression or anxiety.

Let’s start with the effect exercise has on stress.

Everyone has experienced one of those days when “if it could go wrong, it did go wrong” or times when you feel like you are ready to explode even at small things. Normally, that happens because you’re stressed out. Your body is under stress and the fight or flight response already started. What can you do to eliminate that gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach? Working out helps burn off those hormones that got your body ready for running or fighting and get you back to normal.

Exercise also does more than just burn stress hormones.

As you exercise, you’re boosting circulation. That sends more oxygen and nutrient laden blood to all parts of the body, including the brain. It feeds the brain and studies show it can make you more alert, no matter what your age. Brain studies indicate exercise can help boost the production of new neurons in the hippocampus, the area of the brain that has to do with memory, emotion and learning. It also improves neural signaling, growth and connections by increasing neurotrophic factors and neurohormones. Other studies show that not only is it good for depression and anxiety, but it may also help with some issues faced by people with schizophrenia.

While the physical brain changes are part of it, so are the fitness changes you experience.

As you get fitter, you start to look at yourself differently. In fact, just exercising can help bring those changes. One study showed people changed their perception of their self-image within days of starting an exercise program, even before physical changes were apparent. The physical changes you undergo, like better posture, also make a difference. You walk taller and look more confident. When you look more confident, people see you as a confident person.

  • Exercise triggers natural pain relievers like dopamine and serotonin. These hormones make you feel good and are the cause of “runner’s high.” Serotonin improves your sleep, which also affects your mood.
  • Studies indicate that exercise boosts mental functioning and increases cognitive abilities. One study indicated cardio actually caused neurogenesis—the creation of new brain cells.
  • Aerobic exercise boosts circulation and may be the best depression fighter. The harder you work out and the more you sweat, the more endorphins the body makes. However, a recent study of strength training for stroke victims showed marked mood improvement and improved sense of control.
  • Skeletal tension is one way people hold in emotions and don’t deal with problems. Exercise can help relax that tightness. Tai chi and flexibility training can help in that way. If you suffer from severe mental issues, always seek the help of a health care professional.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

Does Keeping A Food Journal Work?

Does Keeping A Food Journal Work?

Losing weight is all about focus. Many of us go through life eating snacks and tidbits without even thinking. If you’re like a lot of people, you may be a grazer, eating small amounts of food throughout the day, but those small amounts add up, especially if they’re filled with calories. If you want to understand just what you eat and how much you eat keeping a food journal can help. You’ll be surprised at how much you actually eat when you track it.

Don’t forget that what you drink makes a difference.

If you’re eating healthy but downing four to five soft drinks a day, you’re really not eating healthy and probably consuming far more calories than you might expect. A 16-ounce cola is about 130 calories, so if you’re drinking three or four a day, you’re adding an additional 390 to 520 calories. The Starbucks specials may be coffee, but they also pack a calorie laden punch. A 20-oz Mocha Frappuccino has 500 calories and the same size white chocolate mocha has 580. Just three to four are a full day’s worth of calories.

Record everything no matter how small.

There’s a lot you can add to your food diary, but the primary focus should be on recording every morsel. You also can record how you felt right before you ate. Were you frustrated and headed for a bag of chips to crunch away the frustration? Do you find you eat more under stress? Are you stuffing your emotions down with food? Record the time you ate. If you’re always grabbing a candy bar mid-morning, plan a healthy mid-morning snack.

A food journal can do more than help you lose weight.

If you’re having digestive issues it’s a good time to start a food journal. Not only will you log all the food you eat, but you’ll also log how you’re feeling, whether it’s diarrhea, bloating, hives or headache. After a while, you’ll start noticing a pattern of certain foods causing the problem. Eliminate that food, or in the case of food intolerance, like lactose intolerance, that group of foods, and see how you feel. Many health issues are solved in this manner.

  • Are you worried that it will be too cumbersome to track the food you eat? Don’t worry, you won’t have to carry a pen and paper around, use the notes area in your cell phone or make a video or recording and chart it later.
  • Make sure you identify those times you mindlessly grab a few chips and record it. Even cleaning up that last bit of food from the serving bowl counts. You’ll be surprised at how it adds up.
  • When you food journal, knowing what a portion is or how to judge how much you ate is important. Food journaling is a good tool to help you learn portion control, too.
  • One study showed that people who kept a food journal for three months, but didn’t focus on dieting, lost weight compared to a control group that didn’t keep a journal. It’s also a good way to ensure you’re getting a balanced diet.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance