If you’re following a weight loss plan, you might be deluged with new information about nutrition. You’re learning the basics, such as how much protein you need to eat every day, or how sugars are metabolized in the body. But you’re probably reading a lot about antioxidants, too.
One thing we’ve noticed about health and nutrition blogs is that the writers seem to assume that everyone knows what these mysterious micronutrients are. You’ve probably heard your friends talk about them, too. Ah yes, antioxidants, everyone seems to be saying. Gotta get those antioxidants. Meanwhile, many of you are probably thinking, Okay, great, but what are those exactly? And why should I care about them?
To understand antioxidants, it might help to back up and first learn about oxidants. Oxidants are all around us, and come from things like cigarette smoke, pollution, and alcohol, just to name a few. If you’ve heard the term “free radicals”, that’s just another name for oxidants. Your body also produces oxidants at times, to fight off infections.
The problem with oxidants is that an overload of them can cause damage to your body, all the way down to the cellular level. Back in the 1990s, scientists began to notice a link between oxidants, or free radicals, and serious health conditions like cancer and diabetes.
Antioxidants, on the other hand, help to strengthen your cells and protect them against damage from free radicals. They occur naturally in plant-based foods, like fruits, vegetables, tea, coffee, dark chocolate, and even wine. Aside from maintaining your caloric intake, antioxidants are one of the major reasons we recommend a diet rich in fresh produce. A varied diet helps you access all of nature’s little helpers, that protect your body’s cells and help to prevent many chronic diseases from ever developing.
Plus, antioxidants help to slow the signs of skin damage. So they can also be a powerful tool for your anti-aging arsenal.
Different foods contain different antioxidants. For example, tomatoes contain high levels of lycopene, while red wine contains resveratrol. Vitamins A, C, and E are also powerful antioxidants. You can even get antioxidants from herbs and spices, so eating a varied diet really is one of the best ways to protect your health.
To learn more about a nutritious weight loss plan that can also help to prevent aging and some chronic diseases, call us to schedule an appointment. We will discuss your priorities and help you put together an eating plan that meets your needs.
When you’re making progress toward your fitness or weight loss goals, the last thing you want is to take a break and undo a lot of that progress. But it’s July now, and it’s hot outside! Not only is exercise uncomfortable right now; it could be dangerous if you aren’t careful.
To keep up with your fitness and weight loss plan, take these four steps to keep yourself safe when exercising in the heat of midsummer.
Change your workout time. Avoid working out in the middle of the day, if you can. Move your workout time to early morning, or the evening after about 7:00.
Stay hydrated. Remember to drink plenty of water throughout the day, not just while you’re exercising. If you start a workout already dehydrated, anything you drink during the workout won’t really help all that much. You’ll become tired and tempted to quit sooner, and you could even put yourself in danger.
Dress for the weather. If you haven’t already invested in workout gear made from moisture-wicking, high-tech fabrics, summer is the perfect time to try them. Choose light colors, too; they absorb a little less heat from the sun. And if you’re walking or running at night, light colors will make you more visible to drivers.
Remember, also, to protect your eyes with sunglasses. A vented hat or visor will help keep the sun out of your face.
When you first heard about Botox, you probably thought, “A few simple injections, just under the skin, that nearly erase wrinkles and it only takes a few minutes? Sign me up!” But then you looked into how the process works, and maybe you felt hesitant. Botox sounds pretty bizarre, when you think about it.
Botox is simply the trade name for an injection containing a neurotoxin that is produced by a bacteria called Clostridium botulinum. If that sounds familiar, it’s because you’ve heard of this bacteria before; it’s the same one that causes botulism poisoning. That’s the part that makes many would-be Botox fans a bit nervous. Are you injecting yourself with botulism?
There’s nothing to worry about. You aren’t being injected with “botulism”, and when performed by a certified and trained medical professional, you certainly won’t contract botulism poisoning from Botox. The neurotoxin is inserted around the nerves in your face, most often your forehead, and it simply paralyzes the nerves. Now, they can’t contract and create unpleasant lines and wrinkles.
Because Botox is inserted under the skin, the effects remain localized. It’s not being injected into your bloodstream, and won’t roam through your body causing damage to nerves or tissues.
Contrary to popular belief, Botox also won’t make your face “go numb”. There are two types of nerves; those that affect feeling, and those that create motion. Botox is directed toward the nerve synapses that create movement. So you can’t furrow your brow, and your complexion will relax and smooth, but you can definitely still feel your face.
For the vast majority of patients, Botox brings about no side effects or only very mild ones. Occasionally some slight bruising or swelling will occur, but it’s very temporary. Within days, the wrinkles in your treated area will relax and smooth out, and regular Botox injections will even help prevent new lines from forming.
Running has long been regarded as the go-to exercise for torching large amounts of calories in each workout. For those following a weight loss plan, or wanting to get in better shape, running often seems like the only solution. Luckily, for those who hate running, this isn’t true at all.
First of all, you’ll burn calories and lose weight even if you just walk every day (assuming you’re following a reasonable eating plan). Any activity is better than none at all! But if you’re wanting to burn more calories, or if walking feels too easy now, there are other heavy-duty exercises you can try.
Stationary cycling. Assuming that the intensity of your workout is 200 watts or greater (check the bike’s display), you can burn about 950 calories per hour on a stationary bike. No wonder spin classes are so popular!
Outdoor cycling. You can also bike outdoors, of course. Depending on your course, you could burn around 680 calories by riding your bike. Add some hills and bursts of speed, and you’ll bump up that calorie burn even more.
Rowing. Again, the intensity of your machine should be at about 200 watts, which for most people will feel vigorous. You’ll burn around 800 calories per hour on a rowing machine, and give your back and shoulders a great workout, too.
Swimming. If you can swim at a pace of 75 yards per minute, you’ll burn about 680 calories in an hour. If you can do the breaststroke, you’ll increase your calorie burn even more.
Jumping rope. At a moderate pace – about 100 skips per minute – jumping rope will burn about 800 calories in one hour. Try an interval workout to make it more fun.
Kickboxing class. Your calorie burn will depend upon how vigorous the class is, but you can burn around 700 calories in a one-hour session.
As you can see, there are plenty of ways for you to burn major calories without having to run. As always, come see us before starting a new exercise regimen, so we can check your health and make sure your plans are safe.