Monday, February 23, 2009

Detox Diet?

Are you a big fan of the “detox” diet? Maybe you should think again. There are hundreds of products on the market that promise to help you cleanse your system or lose X pounds in a couple of days.

What those products don’t tell you is that they are made up of mostly stimulants, laxatives, and diuretics. Sure, the scale may go down a few pounds, but the weight won’t stay off. And trying to lose weight this way isn’t healthy, or smart!

There are several risks that come with using these products. Any of these products, whether it be a tea you drink or a pill you take, can lead to an imbalance in electrolytes, dehydration and you end up losing good gut flora (bacteria) that’s necessary to maintain gut health (i.e. avoiding yeast/bacterial infections that those good bacteria help to fight off). If you are spending money on these products, you will be flushing money down the toilet.

If that is not enough to convince you, recent reports show that some products that list all natural, herbal ingredients were actually found to contain traces of prescription drugs. Prescription drugs require a prescription for a reason – there are risks involved that need to be evaluated by a medical professional before they are prescribed for you.

So now that we have covered that detox diets are not the best plan, what should you do? Well, hopefully you have made changes to your diet since you started boot camp. You should be eating a diet of fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. If you want to take this a step further, you could cut out refined foods and alternative sweeteners.

The thing that is most important, is realizing that your liver, kidneys and sweat glands, do all the “cleansing” that most healthy people need. If you want more information about why you should steer clear of the “detox diets”, check out this article from the NY Times.

As Always...Eat Right, Stay Active and Keep Positive!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Active What?

It is very important to keep moving throughout the weekend. We hope you made it to the gym this morning, but if not, remember to get in a homework assignment. And as always, your instructors will be checking.

Can't make it to the gym? Try jumping rope. Jumping rope is great exercise and can be really intense. Try to keep up with the man in the video while you are jumping rope!

Watch the Jump Roping Man!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Keeping Your Heart Healthy

With Valentines Day upon us, we thought an article about keeing your ticker ticking and happy would be in order...

By Nancy Clark, MS RD CSSD

Although exercise is one of the best ways to improve heart health, even athletes are not immune from heart disease. You have undoubtedly heard reports of marathon runners who die of heart attacks and football players who have strokes. Women, like men, need to pay attention to heart disease; it is the number one killer of women, higher than all cancers combined.

To address the topic of heart disease among active people, the Sports and Cardiovascular Nutrition practice group of the American Dietetic Association ( featured heart health as the theme of their annual convention (April 2008, Boston). The following bits of information from that conference might inspire you eat wisely to keep your heart beating for a long and healthful lifetime.

• First of all, when it comes to heart disease, you should know your cholesterol numbers. Get your blood tested for total, LDL and HDL cholesterol. Having a low LDL is the primary goal for reducing heart disease. If your LDL is >160 mg/dL, the sooner you lower it to <100,>

• Foods that actively lower LDL include oats, barley, soy, beans, almonds/nuts and plant sterols/stanols (added to margarines such as Benecol). Although each single food might have only a small cholesterol-lowering effect—for example, consuming three glasses of soy milk a day might lower LDL by only five percent, combining several of these foods becomes very powerful.

• Oatmeal is easy to add into a sports nutrition plan. If cooking oats is not your style, simply eat them raw—mixed in with cold cereal. For example, Wheaties + raw oats + slivered almonds + (soy) milk + fruit creates an easy heart-healthy breakfast. Microwaving a packet of instant oatmeal (with a spoonful of peanut butter) creates a tasty, effective pre-exercise and/or afternoon snack.

• Inflammation, caused by cholesterol-filled plaques in blood vessels, plays a role in heart disease. Foods that reduce inflammation include salmon and other oily fish, walnuts, fiber-rich whole grains, fruits, vegetables and even dark chocolate. Among fruits and veggies, the Big Six are apricots, celery, oranges, tomatoes, broccoli and spinach. Eat them often!

• Humans cannot make omega-3s, that 's why we need to eat them. A healthy person can get the recommended intake from fish. Just eight ounces salmon (the richest source) provides a week’s worth of omega-3’s. (Cardiac patients need more, necessitating fish oil pills.) Salmon is also a rich source of vitamin D. Three ounces canned pink salmon provides the daily requirement for D, which protects against high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer and many other health issues.

• The risk of heart disease increases with age, particularly as women enter menopause. Menopause increases fat deposition in the trunk/waist area, more so than on the legs and arms. This abdominal fat is linked with heart disease.

And that's where Boot Camp comes in.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Are You A Runner?

Welcome to February Boot Camp and for all the new campers joining us this month, welcome to the blog! You should check the blog every day that you have camp. There will always be a new blog posted and hopefully you will get some useful information from them. We want you to use the blog in conjunction with boot camp so that you get the most out of this program.

When people are starting boot camp, they are often concerned about their lack of running ability. They are worried about not being able to keep up with the group or becoming injured. People often think that jumping into a program like boot camp will be too much for them.

We are sure you have figured out by now that all of the workouts at boot camp are scalable to different ability levels. But when it comes down to it, running is running. Whether you are a fast runner or at the back of the pack, you have to put one leg in front of the other and keep on moving. If you’re in the back now, don’t worry – you won’t stay there forever!

Some people are natural runners, so they may not find this post so helpful. But for the rest of us, running isn’t so easy. There is a lot that affects the way you run that doesn’t have anything to do with your legs. The way you are breathing, what you are doing with your arms, and how you are holding your hands all have an impact on your running.

Here are a few things to remember when running:

1) Keep your shoulders relaxed. If your shoulders are tense or shrugged, your whole body will follow suit. It is much easier to run when your body is relaxed.

2) Don’t clench your fists! You may notice yourself running with closed fists. Open your hands and loosen up!

3) Remember to breathe. Once you’re more comfortable with running you may want to try to match your breathing to your running stride, but in the beginning just try to remember to breathe. To start, try to remember to take deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth.

When you are running do you get a pain in your side or in your leg? You are probably experiencing a side stitch or shin splints. These are two ailments that are common with new runners.

A side stitch occurs from tension on the ligaments that attach the diaphragm to the organs below. Shin splints are caused by an inflammation of the tendons connecting the muscle to the shin bone. Check out these articles on the side stitch and shin splints to learn more.