How to Keep Lactic Acid From Holding You Back!

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Most of us at one point or another have experienced muscle ache, burning, rapid breathing, nausea, and stomach pain during exercise, caused by lactic acid build up.

Our bodies utilize oxygen to break down glucose for energy during a workout; we begin to breathe faster as we attempt to get more oxygen to our working muscles. Sometimes there’s not enough oxygen available to complete the process, which results in a substance called lactate being created in our muscles. Our body can convert this lactate to energy without using oxygen, but the painful part is if the buildup happens faster than we can burn it off.

This means our body is trying to slam on the brakes, in essence, telling us to stop what we are doing; thankfully, it’s a temporary condition. There’s too much acid built up in our bloodstream, which causes the muscle fatigue and other physical discomfort during a workout.

Our bodies are intelligent machines and it’s the natural defense for the body to prevent permanent damage by slowing down the vital structures needed to preserve muscle contraction.

Once our bodies slow down, oxygen is more readily available, allowing continued aerobic metabolism and energy for the body to recover from the exercise we are doing.

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If we want to go the extra mile to ensure we are doing everything we can to prevent the buildup of lactic acid, we can manage it through diet too. Increasing our intake of magnesium, foods rich in fatty acids, and high in vitamin B, are extremely helpful to our bodies in processing lactic acid. If we really want to help we can take baking soda, because it is an alkaline substance, it helps to neutralize the lactic acid that may build up in the muscles.

 

 


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The Importance Of Electrolytes

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Electrolytes are essential to physical activity. During intense exercise they begin to shift in the body; dehydration is about electrolyte loss, not just water loss.

What are electrolytes?  They are minerals, which break into small, electrically-charged particles called ions when they dissolve in water. They regulate bodily fluids and are found in our blood and cells.

How much do they matter in physical performance?

They matter quite a bit.

Electrolytes are critical for any kind of performance. We should be just as concerned about replenishing them as we are with replacing any lost fluid. If we eat a balanced diet we’re probably consuming adequate quantities of electrolytes for normal human function.

But if we are working out….

The balance begins to shift, by increasing the concentration of electrolytes in the body and then, over time, depleting them. We can actually witness improvement in our immediate performance with replenishing our electrolytes when working out. Physical function may hang in the balance if electrolyte levels remain low after a workout.

Why?

Our bodies lose electrolytes through sweat, which can result in an imbalance. This may bring on symptoms such as; muscle cramps, fatigue, nausea, and mental confusion. If these levels stay low, it can effect our next workout and possibly cause longer term health issues.

 Key electrolytes:

  • Sodium and Chloride – help “excite” nerves and muscles
  • Calcium – aids muscle contraction
  • Magnesium – aids healthy cell function
  • Potassium – helps regulate pH balance
  • Phosphate – helps regulate pH balance

During workout sessions lasting at least an hour, the plan for electrolyte replacement will depend on the following:

  1. Keeping in mind, men tend to sweat more than women, so the amount of electrolyte replacement will depend on our size and how much we sweat. Do you sweat a lot when working out?
  2. Are you working out in warmer weather? (Excess water without electrolytes in heat, actually washes electrolytes out of the body, increasing the risk of dehydration.) Also–individuals who are salty sweaters, which is indicated by skin and clothing covered in salt residue during and/or after exercise, should eat a salty snack or drink a sports drink instead of water for pre-exercise hydration–especially in higher temperatures and humidity.
  3. The length of our workout. Endurance athletes would need the most fluid with electrolyte replacement, as we lose more water than some electrolytes when sweating (where we lose more sodium and chloride), so we need to be preemptive in replacing them before we hit the wall. How long do you work out? More than an hour?A general rule of thumb is to never begin a workout session thirsty or dehydrated. Start electrolyte replacement at the beginning of your workout.

How to best ingest electrolytes?

Besides looking at our diets and seeing foods, which contain the above key electrolytes, there are several quick and easy items we can grab to have with us during and after our workout.

  • Sports Drinks
  • Milk (chocolate milk is best)
  • Coconut water
  • Emergence C
  • Energy gels
  • Dill pickles
  • Tomato Juice
  • Table Salt
  • Bananas
  • Yogurt
  • Potato with skin
  • Greens
  • Mixed nuts
  • Baked potato chips
  • Pretzels

Electrolytes are important to our physical health, especially with an active lifestyle and warmer temperatures of summer coming up!


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5 Benefits of Pilates

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Ever looked in a Pilates studio and scratched your head, wondering what all those strange-looking contraptions do?

Many people who engage in Pilates as a form of fitness spend time working out on those machines and also practice regimes on their mats. They both offer the same benefits.

The main thrust of Pilates is the building of core strength, flexibility and lean muscle tone. Choosing whether to do you resistance workout on the machine called a “reformer” or on the mat is really just a matter of preference.

Although, many experts agree that beginners should start with mat Pilates classes, because of its attention on learning how to control your muscles during exercises. The work of Pilates is very specific and if you were to start on a Reformer, there may be muscle confusion, leading to over-taxing or under-working certain muscles.

Most people should give Pilates a try, as part of their overall workout program. Pilates is a full body workout. In taking just one mat pilates class a week for a few months, most students receive the following benefits:

1. Improved strength: Building toned muscles creates strength to work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole. As a result of the sequences using several repetitions, your body is learning to endure exercise for longer periods each time, which improves stamina and strength.

2. Well-toned muscles: Pilates gives the appearance of long lean muscles. Traditional workouts with weights tend to build short, bulky muscles. Pilates elongates and strengthens, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility.

3. More agility and flexibility: Although, yoga is known for being the optimum way to improve flexibility, for some people–Pilates is more effective. It places attention on movements while stretching. Your muscles are warm as you stretch, allowing you to stretch farther with less pain.

4. Improved posture: Any ache you have from your head down your spine can occur from bad posture. Pilates improves posture, by getting muscles into alignment, so they are not straining to hold your body up, instead it allows muscles to work effectively without creating strain on one muscle group over another.

5. Strong core: This focuses on the deep abdominal muscles along with the muscles closest to the spine. In Pilates, control of this area is achieved by incorporating the pelvis, trunk and shoulder band.

If you are interested in trying Pilates out, please contact us for our classes or private Pilates instruction. Carina AT profitnessnetwork.com


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How Do You Choose A Fitness Training Program?

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Many people choose training programs by default.

They sign up for the gym, because that’s what they’ve been told will help them manage their weight, or help them to feel better physically. After a few weeks, they’re bored, or just plain dread going there a few times a week, so they make excuses and stop showing up.

The key to choosing what you want to do in caring for your body is to understand what you need before committing to something, that just doesn’t suit you.

If you actually love what you do for fitness, it doesn’t become a burden or something you just do to burn calories. It becomes part of your life and lifestyle.

How do you get clear on what would work for you?

Here are a few ways to set you in the right direction:

The first items to explore are what your goal is in having a fitness routine?

Is it to lose weight, gain strength, flexibility, have aerobic fitness, build muscles, eat what you want or something else? Write down what your reasons are for wanting a workout program. Be clear about your ongoing and ultimate goal. Separate the goal from all the fears around you not being able to sustain your choice in programs.

Once you have the goal in mind…

The second item is to look at how this would be best accomplished.

Look in and out of the gym for activities, and write down all the options available to achieve your goal.

The third item is to ask yourself how much time you want to give, what activities from this list sound fun, what type of environment suits your personality and how much structure you need to stick with the program?

This question is important, in being honest with your self-evaluation you will know your interests. There is no reason to do something you don’t like, there are so many options available that you are bound to find a routine that will feel good to you. When you choose exercise, which fits your lifestyle and seems fun to you, it is much easier to stick to and frankly, even if it is not a 90 minute Zumba class, it’s better than starting something and quitting after a few weeks.

Fourth on this list is to try the routine out.

Go do some of the activities that interest you, see how they feel. Do you enjoy the experience and could you do this often? Can it fit in your lifestyle? Really get clear on what you personally enjoy, for some of us we want an experience that would give us our ‘alone’ time and for others of us, we want to be part of a group or a class.

Figure out what feels right and start incorporating it into your life regularly. It is much easier to stay committed to something we enjoy and that gives us the benefit of working toward our goals. 

 

 

 


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How Good Is Hiking For You?

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Hiking is inexpensive and easy to start, so you can participate no matter what your current fitness level is now. It can help you to lose weight and build a healthier body.

“Hiking is a wonderful way not only to participate in aerobic exercise, but also to clear your head,” says board-certified family physician Ray Sahelian, MD, who not only recommends hiking to his patients but also practices what he preaches by hiking regularly in the mountains near his Southern California home.

Hiking works almost every part of your body: from your ankles on up to your hips and butt for the lower extremities and your arms, stomach, back and shoulders for your upper body.

Texas allergist William Howland, MD says, “I’m just a guy who likes to be outdoors; hiking offers benefits for both the mind and body.”

Hiking offers psychological benefits as well, say Sahelian and Howland. “There’s a feeling of relaxation and enhanced well-being that comes on after a few-mile hike in the woods,” says Sahelian.

So what can hiking do for your body? According to an article in the Huffington Post, hitting the trail works out your body as much as it does your brain. Just one hour of trekking can burn well over 500 calories, depending on the level of incline and the weight of the pack you’re carrying. Hiking is a great way to get a serious workout without putting too much pressure on your joints. “Trails are often softer on joints than asphalt or concrete,” Caroline Stedman, a seasonal Park Ranger at northern Wisconsin’s Apostle Islands National Lakeshore, says, “So I find myself feeling less stiff and creaky after a hike than a jog down a sidewalk.”

Hiking also helps elevate your high-density lipoprotein levels and lower your triglyceride levels. This reduces your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure and stroke. It also can help with controlling Diabetes and effecting the actual prevention of this disease. Other health benefits in a variety of studies have shown it lowers cancer risk, increases bone density (it’s not just an aerobic exercise–it’s weight bearing too), and alleviates insomnia.

So lace up your hiking shoes and hit a trail near you for some mood and heart elevating fun!


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Exercise Outside For Added Benefits!

There’s a benefit to any exercise you do.

If you certain activities outside, you can compound some of those healthful benefits. According to a past article in the New York Times, “outdoor exercise tends to be more strenuous than the indoor version.” This of course doesn’t apply to all forms of exercise, but more so to those, with origins that began outside the gym doors.

Running. When you run outside you flex your ankles more, than when you run on a treadmill. On indoor equipment there’s really nothing, which mimics running downhill. Running up, down or on level ground utilizes your muscles differently and if the terrain varies, say you take a trail, run on asphalt or grass, your energy demands are greater too.

Bicycling. There’s no wind in a gym, so the drag you get from the wind outdoors can give you a heartier workout than riding the same distance on a stationary bike. This means you will burn more calories and gain more fitness.

Walking. Being outdoors is more enjoyable to most people. In some psychological tests, individuals scored quite a bit higher in self esteem and in the areas of having more enthusiasm, and pleasure. They also scored lower for stress, depression and fatigue after taking a stroll outside.

So in addition to your fitness regime, you may want to consider taking your aerobic exercise outside, when it suits you.


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