Author: jewelpts

Wellness

Fermentation


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20181202_111841Fermented drink has remained popular over the years.  Fermented food however has apparently less  appeal, however it has recently made a comeback.   Quite possibly it is due to the health benefits rather than the taste and convenience of these foods.    There is more interest in these foods and the impact on gut, brain and overall health.   Helpful bacteria are an important and essential part of our lives.  Every culture in the world includes traditional dishes that rely on bacteria for their preparation.   The diversity of bacteria in fermented foods has become more limited.    Industrialization has resulted in standardized productions using less bacterial species and heat and often vinegar in fermentation process doesn’t offer the same benefit potential.

Health benefits cited  involve every aspect of the body.   A highly functioning digestive system will enable the other bodily systems to optimize their performance as well.

Many of the fermented foods are plant based  and offer a good source of probiotics.  The process of fermenting allows a breaking down of the food particles and makes digestion easier.  In your gut they also help to keep the harmful bacteria from doing damage.

Fermented foods can include water based kefir, tea based kombucha,  dairy based foods such as yogurt, soybean based such as natto, tempeh, miso, vegetable based such as cabbage based sauerkraut, kimchi,  and other pickled vegetables.  There are fermented foods throughout history through different countries and cultures.  Different regions would use fermentation as a way of preserving the food for future use.

I have had success with simple recipes for yogurt, water kefir, sauerkraut, beet kvass, kimchi and assorted pickled vegetables and kombucha in the past.

My current favorite is kombucha – which involves using a “SCOBY”.  A Symbiotic Culture of Bacteria and Yeast.   Kombucha’s health benefit is glucuronic acid which helps the body to detox by pulling out environmental and metabolic toxins.

You will need to follow instructions exactly as to the ingredients, amounts, equipment to use (glass not plastics etc.), and the temperature and time.

If you are just starting to add these foods to your diet, I suggest that you purchase the store bought plain versions first before you make them.  That way, you have an idea of what to expect from what you make.

Wellness

Body Fat Breakdown


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The two types of fat in the body are essential fat and nonessential fat,  or storage fat.  Essential fat is needed for normal physiological and biological functioning.  It is placed throughout the body from the internal organs to the brain and spine.  The level of essential fat is approximately 3 % for men and 12% of total body weight for women.  Women have gender specific deposits of fat and a drop below the essential can impair the bodily functions. Women generally have a higher percentage of body fat than men do, here are gender difference in where the fat is stored as well.  Different body types are characterized by higher fat storages in different boy parts.  For example the gynoid or pear shaped body type in women with more fat storage in the hips and thighs. Males and females have different receptors in different areas that are more or less responsive to mobilizing fat. the female hormone estrogen has several roles in resting and exercise fat metabolism. One of the methods that is used to determine the use of fat as fuel is the respiratory exchange rate.   (RER)  A lower RER is an indication of a greater at metabolism and a higher RER is an indication of a greater carbohydrate metabolism. There are gender differences in exercise metabolism during different exercise intensities. Without specific equipment to test, one can have an estimated level of intensity by determining their rate of perceived exertion and  heart rate levels.    The different fat distributions is determined  by differences in hormones, hormone receptors and enzyme concentrations and other variables.  A persons body type ( and fat deposition patterns)  will also be a factor in predicting different health risks.

Non essential fat is storage fat or subcutaneous,  below the skin fat.  Storage fat that surrounds the organs is referred to as visceral fat.  Age is also a factor as to where  a persona will have more fat storage.  Thus when doing your body composition testing the numbers of ideal body fat percentages will increase as you age.  Nonessential fat has three main functions: an insulator to retain body heat, padding against trauma, and as an energy substrate during rest and exercise. 

Fat Mass is the absolute amount of body fat, the relative fat is the amount of fat expressed as a percentage of total body weight.  Body fat accumulates in two ways: increasing the size of existing fat cells and the formation of new fat cells.  Fat in the body is in the form of triglycerides (TG) (three fatty acid molecules held together by a molecule of glycerol.  During exercise, TG in fat cells, muscle cells and in the blood can be broken down (lipolysis) and used as fuel by the exercising muscles.

Fat mobilization refers to the process of releasing fat from storage sites.  there are two main enzymes that regulate the mobilization of free fatty acids.  The breakdown of fat, or oxidation of fat into energy that the body can use, occurs primarily in cardiac and skeletal muscle and the liver.  A metabolic training effect of aerobic exercise is an enhanced ability to mobilize and break apart TG for energy use.   Additionally it is possible to increase the response of the body to be activated by lower concentrations in a trained individual compared to a non-endurance trained individual.

What exercise burns the most fat?

During low -intensity exercise the majority of energy comes from fat.  As the exercise level increases the percentage of energy derived from fat decreases.  However, the absolute amount of energy increases.  Therefore expressing energy derived from fat as a percentage without considering the total is misleading.  When you are doing your cardio training on a machine you do not necessarily want to stay in the somewhat misleading fat burn zone.  One must also consider the effect that the exercise will have on energy expenditure after the exercise session is completed.   Your program should be individualized for fitness level, health, age, goals, risk factor profile, medications, behavioural characteristics, and individual preference.  Strength and flexibility training will also have an impact on aerobic and cardiovascular training.  There are some specific periodization suggestions from which to individualize the recommendations for optimizing fat during aerobic exercise.

Stanley P, Brown, Wayne C. Miller, Jane M, Eason, Exercise Physiology : Basis of Human Movement in Health and  Disease

 

Wellness

Importance of Water Intake


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Proper hydration will help one to feel more comfortable exercising and will enable more benefits from exercise and nutrition.

Why is it so important to drink water?  Why do we need to increase water intake with exercise?  Water makes up much of your body weight and is involved in many of the bodily functions.  In general, it helps your brain to function, regulating body tempwaterglasserature and flushes out waste from your body.

Water helps to create saliva and contains small amounts of electrolytes, mucus and enzymes.  This enables proper breakdown, and the dissolving of vitamins and minerals, and the delivery of these components throughout the body, proper digestion, and then enables waste elimination.

Water regulates your body temperature.  During physical activity, especially when you are in higher temperatures or are sweating more you need to increase your fluid intake.

Water protects your tissues, spinal cord and joints by lubrication and cushioning. Certain conditions can be very much affected by water intake such as constipation, exercise-induced asthma, urinary tract infections, and hypertension.

Being adequately hydrated allows optimal performance, with a positive affect on strength, power and endurance.   The optimal performance is also applicable to cognitive function, not having enough water can have a negative impact on focus, alertness and short-term memory.  Dehydration can result in fatigue, confusion and anxiety.

Water improves blood oxygen circulation.  Water carries nutrients and oxygen throughout the body, improving blood oxygen circulation.  Overall this can be a boost to your metabolism, which can have a positive impact on energy level.   Many people just drink water when they feel thirsty, studies show that thirst is a symptom of 1 – 2% dehydration.  * As a baseline the standard guideline for daily water intake is 8 glasses – there are many variances– for age, body size, climate, activity level and the amount of water one gets from their dietary choices.

https://www.dietitians.ca/Your-Health/Nutrition-Month/Nutrition-Month.aspxhttps://www.news-medical.net/news/20120218/Even-mild-dehydration-affects-mood-energy-level-and-ability-to-think-clearly.aspx

Wellness

February is Healthy Heart Month


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personal training using cable bands fitness workout with client

February is Heart Month,  a good time to raise awareness of what we can do to keep our hearts healthy. – and  sorry,  its not Valentine’s Day chocolates!

Heart disease affects approximately 2.4 million Canadian adults, and is the second leading cause of death in Canada.  The primary ways we can reduce the risk through lifestyle choices are: not smoking, dietary choices, getting enough exercise and enough sleep, stress reduction,  as well as monitoring blood pressure and cholesterol levels.  There are Government programs and partnerships to encourage and support Canadians to maintain healthy lifestyle choices.  These programs are to help prevent chronic disease in all ages in communities across Canada and include:  Run to Quit, Carrot Rewards, APPLE Schools and Kid Food Nation, in communities across Canada.

There is also more resources available concerning healthier food choices.  The Healthy Eating Strategy  outlines how  food ingredient labeling, including sugars and food colours; reducing sodium in foods; eliminating industrially produced trans fat; and restricting marketing to children., can help with disease prevention.

Canada’s Physical Activity Guide recommends that to keep it simple, you can aim for 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week of moderate exercise. That includes any activity that gets you moving around and breaking a slight sweat.   However, the half hour of exercise doesn’t go very far if you are sedentary for most of the other time.  If you are sitting a lot throughout the day, you should aim to get up and move around frequently.

Beyond healthy choices, cardiovascular disease is also influenced by biological and other risk factors.  Making one small change however, can make a big difference.

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/publications/food-nutrition/healthy-eating-strategy.html?_ga=1.29210620.1938051784.1430138407

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/food-nutrition/canada-food-guide/maintaining-healthy-habits/be-active.html

Wellness

Exercise and Mental Health


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1bikementalThere are numerous studies showing that exercise has a positive impact on mental health.  Depression and anxiety symptoms can often improve with exercise. Exercise can also be a stress reducer to keep people from being as stressed or anxious about circumstances.  Exercise and feeling good physically can also help people to feel more in control of other situations in their lives – which helps with mood.  Exercise can be meditative in that you take your mind off your worries – giving yourself a mental break.    Exercise can help you to gain confidence by meeting goals, coping in a positive way, or sometimes just some social interaction. It is worth taking the time for yourself to do something active.

If  lowering stress, anxiety or reducing the symptoms of depressions is one of your goals, it is especially important to learn what frequency, intensity, type and time spent will be the most beneficial for you and your situation.

Exercise releases the feel – good endorphins, and other brain chemicals which enhance your sense of well-being.

Our bodies are made to reward us for moving!