Saturday, November 08, 2014

Eating Before, During or After Exercise



I am not an expert in this area but found the article Add Sugar for Prolonged Hard Exercise by Dr. Gabe Mirkin in the Health & Fitness section of The Epoch Times of November 7-13, 2014, very useful. Below is a summary.

I follow my intuition on what to eat before or after exercise. When you are in touch with yourself, this is usually a safe bet. I don’t eat or drink anything except for coffee (at times) for half an hour before and after I exercise. When I have run the marathon, I have had a few Power Bars, and one time even a sandwich. This is fine for intense or long endurance workouts.

During exercise, muscles use sugar and fat, and, to a lesser extent, protein. For exercise at a relaxed pace, food and drink is not necessary unless hungry or thirsty. I would add that this is true hunger or thirst, and does not apply to times you may be thinking about pizza while you exercise! For intense exercise periods of more than 70 minutes, sugar should be consumed before and while you exercise. There is no advantage to restricting sugar during intense training, as it will not “teach” muscles to get along with less sugar. Carbohydrate loading, used by athletes mostly in the past, also is not effective. Athletes would restrict their carbohydrate intake for four days to “empty” their muscles of stored sugar or glycogen, and then eat a regular diet with extra carbohydrates for three days, all extra carbohydrates beyond what a muscle can store are turned into fat.
Dr. Mirkin wrote that athletesc an store the maximum amount of sugar in their muscles by eating their usual diet and cutting back on training for three days before a competition. A regular meal should be eaten three hours prior to an endurance workout and the workout should not be started on a full stomach. The meal should not be composed of simple sugars. 

Sugary foods and drinks cause blood sugar levels to rise. The pancreas releases insulin which causes sugar to enter cells. This leads to low blood sugar levels which can cause dizziness or feeling weak and tired, because the brain uses sugar from the blood. Simple sugars are to be added five to ten minutes before and during long endurance competition. Caffeine can also be used at these times, as it speeds up the rate at which sugar enters muscle cells. A combination of glucose, fructose and sucrose is most effective. (Sucrose is a sugar composed of both glucose and fructose.) However, the need for both glucose and fructose are needed during intense exercise. Sugary drinks can be used throughout intense exercise periods of more than 70 minutes. Sugary drinks, according to the doctor, should be used only during or after exercise.

Contracting muscles take up sugar from blood quickly, so there is no danger or high blood sugar levels (for non-diabetics) if sugary drinks are ingested during exercise. This protection (of not having high blood sugar due to contracting muscles) lasts for up to an hour after the workout is completed.
For endurance events of more than three hours, protein, solid foods and salt should also be ingested.


 My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Star Jumps

Star Jumps elevate your heart rate and work your core, gluteus maximus and leg muscles. Lower yourself into a low squat where your hips almost touch the floor and place your arms down by your shins. If you have back or knee issues, go as low as you go and do not be hard on yourself.  Quickly jump in the air and extend your arms and legs out to your sides in the shape of a star. Then move your feet together and land on the floor. Lower yourself back into your starting position. Exhale when you jump and inhale when you return to the starting position. Repeat for five total repetitions. Rest for several seconds before you start another set. Repeat until exhaustion.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Abdominal Exercise with Weight

Hold an octogonal weight  straight over your chest while laying on your back. Bend your knees to 90 degrees. Subtly bring your lower pelvis off the floor using [mostly] your lower abdominal muscles while doing a crunch. Exhale when you come up and inhale when you go down, your shoulders to an inch or two off the floor, never touching the floor for each set. Repeat ten repetitions for four sets.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Lower Back Stretch

Besides hugging your knees while lying down or standing and reaching for your toes, there are other stretches for the lower back. One of them is this one: Sit on the floor and stretch out your left leg, relaxed, diagonally away from your centerline. Bend your right knee with the heel of your right foot close to your crotch. Twist to the left. It may help if you hold onto your left knee with your right hand. As you exhale, twist further. You will feel a stretch in your right lower back, as well as, secondarily, your right latissimus dorsi and right gluteus maximus.

Now do the same for the other side. Substitute right for left and left for right in the instructions above. Enjoy.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Run and Sit Interval Training

Stretch your legs and buttocks. Run in place for 10 seconds. Do squats for 10 seconds. Repeat for four sets. Do squats with slight bounces for 10 seconds. Then repeat the four sets. Then do the bounces again. Repeat to exhaustion. Stretch.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Barbell for Lunges and Adductors

This is a variation of a lunge or of using the barbell for squats with legs in second position for the adductors. This is a very difficult exercise, used by some people competing. Grab a barbell with a weight that will challenge you but with which you can do at least five (if not up to ten) repetitions. Do a lunge. Then turn to the right with legs in second position (open legs with toes pointing diagonally out) and squat. Stand while bringing your right leg center, passing your left leg and then face the other direction, legs in second position, and do another squat for the adductors. Repeat this sequence at least five times. Rest 5 seconds. Repeat four more times (at least five sets.)

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Muscle Confusion

"Confusing" muscles is a way to get off a plateau. A blog post on plateaus was written years ago on this blog. Often people train using periodization. They use cycles of three weeks or three months on which they do certain exercises with specific weights and/or repetitions. The problem is that muscles accommodate to this and do not get "shocked". Ultimately, they adapt to the workout program and don't grow as much or develop in power and flexibility.

This is akin to a person developing a habit which eventually gets outdated and leads to no more spiritual, mental or physical growth. Or it is akin to a relationship that stagnates. When someone, for instance, gets used to you and what you do, they may get bored, or may take advantage of you, knowing they can get away with it because you will react in the same way, or not at all. What better way to get the ball rolling on your growth or on a relationship but to put in needed changes.

Exercise becomes ineffective when the muscles accommodate to certain stress. Variety must be added as in someone's life and relationships. 
My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Stupid Things People Say: "Big-Boned"


People say lots of stupid things. Among them is “big-boned”. Next time someone tells you that you are fat,  you are just big-boned, tell them to go --  well, it’s up to you what to say.
If someone tells you this, even if it's a nutritionist or personal trainer, ask them if they are a [good] orthopedist who took an X-Ray of you.

This article by an orthopedist explains just what my intuition has "thought":
http://www.youbeauty.com/body-fitness/ask-a-scientist-being-big-boned.

Some people use "big-boned" to attack others' appearance, while some people use the concept to justify being overweight. A doctor writing for fashion magazine Glamour wrote that most people are not big-boned, and this should not be used as an excuse for being overweight. Most people, Dr. JoAnne wrote, are medium-built and a larger than usual bone structure accounts for only about a ten-pound increase in weight.

An obese person can have a small skeleton. The excess weight damages the joints. On the other hand, weight bearing exercise to  strengthen muscle takes away stress from the skeleton and makes bones stronger. This type of exercise also causes new bone growth by increasing the rate that osteoblasts cells bring calcium to bones to make them stronger. Running and jumping exercises can make bones stronger by increasing bone density. This does not cause bones to get "bigger". A thin person may be big-boned, as can be determined by wrist size.

Remember, for fitness levels, you must take into account your weight AND BMI, waist-to-hip ratio, energy levels, blood work, endurance, strength and flexibility. In general, according to the American Council of Exercise, women with a body fat percentage up to around 30 may not be overweight. This depends on muscle tone and distribution of fat. The same holds for men at a 25 percent rate of fat.
Percentages vary with age.

References

http://www.youbeauty.com/body-fitness/ask-a-scientist-being-big-boned
http://www.nichd.nih.gov/health/topics/bonehealth/conditioninfo/Pages/activity.aspx
http://www.maxwettsteinfitness.com/Library/Ideal%20Body%20Fat%20Percentage.htm
http://www.glamour.com/health-fitness/2007/09/your-doctor-big-boned 

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Moving Plank

Get in the plank position. Get on the floor with palms of your hands and balls of your feet. Keep your back and hips on the same level. Now, bring your hands and feet together by using your abdominal muscles, not your back, hips or butt. This is very difficult. Try to do it five or ten times at a time, according to your ability and as long as you can. Breathe: Exhale when you bring your hands and feet closer together. Your lower back and butt will move up, but do not let this be too much, as this may indicate you are not using your abdominal muscles.
 
My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Butt Massage

Sit on a small of medium Swiss ball and rotate clockwise ten times. Repeat counterclockwise. Repeat as many times as you want or with different motions to soothe those aching gluteus maximus muscles. This is preferably done after you use them in a good workout!

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web site http://www.louizapatsis.com.

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Tough Abdominal Exercise

I haven't even tried this one. I saw it at the gym today.
Use the machine with the arm rests where you can bring your legs up. Another person holds a bar perpendicular to you and at the height of the upper part of your hip. Be careful not to scrunch your shoulders. Bring your legs up straight and over the bar to the right. Return your legs to starting position. bring your legs up and over the bar to the left.
That will rip up your abdominal muscles. 
My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Simple Standing Lower Abdominal Exercise

Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and slightly bent. With your lower abdominal muscles, curve your hips forward and then return to the starting position. Notice how difficult it is to do this using your abdominal muscles. Perform four sets of ten repetitions.
 
My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Use the Slide Boarder for Abdominal and Pectoral Muscles

Put on the appropriate shoes. Put the palm of your hands at a shorter edge of the slide board. Do a push up. Slide your extended legs back, and then forward. Repeat for four sets of ten repetitions. 

This is a good exercise. You'll feel it!
 
My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.
 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Hands on the Step for Arms, Chest, Abdominals, and Legs

You do not have to step on a step to work out. Use one step for maximum workout:

Place your palms on the step. Your torso and legs should be extended straight back. Do push-ups. This uses your arm and chest muscles, and your abdominal and leg muscles for stabilizers. Vary if your legs are touching or spread.

Do four sets of ten repetitions with each leg position.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Individual Fitness Needs



What is fitness? Many people these days think it is about getting thin. Just losing weight does not mean one is fit. The individual, for instance, may be losing muscle instead of fat while dieting, and muscle weighs more than fat. There are new diet and exercise trends and new yogurt brands that help you lose weight.

In reality, fitness is feeling at your best, feeling you have the energy to get what you want out of life. Fitness encompasses strength, flexibility and endurance. What good is strength without the ability to move at your muscle’s widest range of motion, the feeling of being flexible? What good is being strong or flexible if you can be that for a few minutes but can’t work out, dance, ski, do housework, take care of children or something else you want to do for a as long as you want to do it, or endurance? Another important component of fitness is making sure your medical statistics, such as cholesterol, triglycerides, blood pressure and heart rate are within the acceptable limits? 

Although there are statistics on weight, blood work and more that are acceptable by groups such as the American Medical Association and the American Council on Exercise, these differ per person. A health professional such as a doctor or personal trainer must tailor their programs to fit the needs of each client so that he or she can meet their fitness goals and live their best life. For instance, one person may bulk up easily but may have a weak cardiovascular system. A fitness routine to target this would be optimum. A doctor may want to assist the individual to meet their goals with personalized medicine that would help their heart and lungs work at their best capacity. The individual may also opt to get their DNA analyzed to see if they are prone for certain diseases or muscle and bone problems. They would have to be careful where they send the DNA to be analyzed, since conflicting results from different laboratories have been noted. Their doctor would guide them to make the right decision. 

Individuals’ goals may also vary. For instance, one person may want to enter a body fitness competition, in which case building muscle will be a primary goal. Another person may want to run a marathon, in which case increasing their endurance would be of primary importance for them. Their doctor, personal trainer or other fitness professional would tailor programs to meet their needs. A nutritionist may also assist the individual toward their goals. A metabolism test or other tests that will yield results specific to that individual would have to be taken into account.

In summary, although statistics such as weight for a given age or height and cholesterol level are valid, each person’s body, health and fitness goals differ. These should be taken account by fitness professionals when they assist the individual in meeting their fitness goals and getting the most out of life.

My third book, Pocket Guide to Fitness, is available on http://www.authorhouse.com and http://www.amazon.com. If you look up my name on those Web sites, you will find my other books The Boy in a Wheelchair and Life, Work and Play: Poems and Short Stories. These two books are on my Web sitehttp://www.louizapatsis.com.