Kelowna Personal Training

Antioxidants

Antioxidants

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

The physiological process of oxidation in animal tissue is quite normal and antioxidants are capable of counteracting the damaging effects. Antioxidants come in several forms having the ability to neutralise harmful molecules in our cells. These harmful molecules are known as free radicals.

It is impossible for us to avoid damage by free radicals as they arise from sources both inside and outside our bodies. The human body naturally produces free radicals and the antioxidants to counteract their damaging effects, but the body just can’t keep up with antioxidant production and in most cases, free radicals far outnumber the naturally occurring antioxidants. Therefore in order to maintain the balance, a diet rich in antioxidants is necessary to obtain the maximum benefits of antioxidants. Increasing your antioxidant intake is essential for optimum health, especially in today’s polluted world.

Antioxidants are believed to play a role in preventing the development of such chronic diseases as cancer, heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, Rheumatoid arthritis, and cataracts. In one recent study, the addition of a polyphenol-rich blueberry gel to the diet of oral cancer patients prevented recurrence of the cancer. Another experiment demonstrated that increased levels of selenium in the diets of a group of HIV-positive patients significantly delayed progression of the disease.

The three major antioxidant vitamins are vitamin C, vitamin E and beta carotene and you will find them in colourful fruits and vegetables, especially those that are blue, red, orange, and yellow.

Vitamin C examples are berries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes, and red, green, or yellow peppers.

Vitamin E examples are broccoli (boiled), avocado, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach (boiled), and sunflower seeds.

Beta-carotene and other carotenoids examples are apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.

Other antioxidants that can help keep you healthy include zinc and selenium.

Examples of food containing zinc are oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains, some fortified cereals if zinc has been added and dairy products.

Those containing selenium are Brazil nuts, tuna, beef, poultry, fortified breads and other grain products.

If you eat these foods raw or lightly steamed you will get the maximum benefit from the antioxidants and a diet rich in antioxidants is the most effective way to reduce the risks of many health problems associated with ageing.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Kelowna Personal Trainer

Sleep

Sleep

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Why is sleep so important, well you need sleep as much as you need to breathe and eat as whilse you are sleeping many things are happening, your body is busy tending to your physical and mental health and getting you ready for another day. For instance while you’re asleep your immune system produces protective and infection-fighting antibodies and cells and uses these to fight off foreign substances like bacteria and viruses and gives you more energy to defend against illness. Without this boost to your immune system it’s more likely that your body won’t be able to fight off these viruses and it may also take you longer to recover from illness. Long-term sleep deprivation raises your risk of developing chronic illnesses like diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

While you’re sleeping your body is also producing proteins that help cells repair damage. In children and adolescents, hormones that promote growth are released during sleep. These hormones help build muscle mass, as well as make repairs to cells and tissues.

Also when you are sleeping the brain rests busy neurones and forms new pathways so you’re ready to face the world in the morning. In children and young adults, the brain releases growth hormones during sleep. When you’re deprived of sleep, your brain can’t function properly, affecting your ability to concentrate and make decisions, even your balance and coordination. Your emotional state can be affected and you’ll more likely to have mood swings and be short tempered. Your risk of injury and accidents at home, work and on the road also increases due to your tiredness.

When you’re sleep deprived, the effects of alcohol consumption are magnified, as is your risk of being involved in an accident. Studies have shown that sleeping less than five hours a night increases the risk of death from all causes by about 15 percent.

A few studies have found a link between lack of sleep and weight gain, not sleeping enough can boost hunger. Sleep deprivation increases production of the stress hormone cortisol. Lack of sleep lowers your levels of a hormone called leptin, which tells your brain that you’ve had enough to eat, and in addition, it raises levels of a biochemical called ghrelin, which is an appetite stimulant. Many publications had already linked a lack of sleep to overeating and poor food choices, there seems to be an increase in the consumption of high fat and sugary foods. Sleep deprivation prompts your body to release higher levels of insulin after you eat, promoting fat storage and increasing your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Along with eating too much and not exercising, sleep deprivation is one of the risk factors for obesity.

An occasional night without sleep makes you feel tired and irritable the next day, but it won’t harm your health, but after several sleepless nights, the mental effects become more serious. Most of us need around eight hours of good-quality sleep a night to function properly, but some need more and some less. What matters is that you find out how much sleep you need and then try to achieve it. A variety of factors can cause poor sleep, including health conditions such as sleep apnoea but in most cases, it’s due to bad sleeping habits.

Remember sleep deprivation is dangerous to your mental and physical health and can dramatically lower your quality of life.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Kelowna Personal Training

Pump up your Diet

Pump Up Your Diet

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Kelowna

 

Do you seem to have come to a standstill with your diet, then you need some fresh ideas to pump it up. Your personal trainer can review your program to see if there are some changes that could be made, or you could try a few tweaks yourself.

Perhaps you are including too many processed fat free and low fat foods, they often are loaded with sugar, to compensate for flavour that may be missing when fat was not included. Sugar is not only high in calories but has no nutritional value and adds to our addiction to sugary foods, which doesn’t fill you up and leaves our bodies craving more. Try to avoid the processed low fat and fat free products, try having the regular versions and having a bit less, or if you have time, make your own meals and then you are in complete control of the amounts of sugar included. For a pick me up, try a piece of whole fruit with a handful of nuts or a small tub of plain yogurt, both contain protein which helps balance blood sugar and energy levels.

Try bumping up the protein in your diet. A gram of protein contains less calories than a gram of fat, and protein is more satisfying to your body than either fats or carbohydrates. Your protein intake need not just be in meat but also plant based proteins, such as beans and lentils, which also provide fibre and other important nutrients. These plant proteins are lower in calories, high in fibre and your body has to use energy to break them down.

Did you know that the part of the brain that deals with the sensations of hunger and thirst are very close to each other, so it can be easy to confuse one with the other. It is important especially when dieting to stay hydrated, it can help you to feel the need to snack less and avoid overeating.

Think about what you are eating. First of all try to plan out your meals, thinking about them in advance and even preparing them if possible, this will stop a lot of hungry, junk food eating. By planning the meals you will also have more control of the amounts you are eating. Also try keeping a food diary, as the amount you eat is often an underestimate. When you do have your meals, always set aside time when you will sit down, take your time to eat, paying each mouthful attention and tasting the food you are eating, and with no distractions i.e. the TV, phone, computer, and learn to notice when you feel full, it takes time for the brain to send that message through and mostly you are probably full before you stop eating.

Evidence has shown that exercising outside and turning the thermostat at home down slightly could increase your levels of energy burning, exercise and shivering seem to stimulate the fat burning.

Not all calories are created equal! By focussing on just how many calories you are consuming you lose sight of the nutritional value of the food. Your brain is 60% fat and the omega 3 fats which are found in oily fish are important it it as they ensure the connections between the brain cells work effectively. Low levels of omega 3 have been linked to depression which in turn can be linked to overeating.

Sleep deprivation can reduce and even undo any benefits from dieting and can even make you gain weight. Lack of sleep seems to be related to an increase in hunger and appetite, and possibly to obesity. In a 2004 study, people who sleep less than six hours a day were almost 30 percent more likely to become obese than those who slept seven to nine hours. Not only does sleep loss appear to stimulate appetite it also seems to stimulate cravings for high-fat, high-carbohydrate foods. Research showed that sleep deprived people choose sugary, fatty foods rather than healthy options as against those who were allowed to sleep the full time. You will also be less motivated to exercise and unable to resist temptations of unhealthy foods if you are missing out on your sleep.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Kelowna Personal Training

Calcium

Calcium

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training 

 

Calcium is an important mineral and has several functions in our body, we have more calcium than any other mineral. About 99% of the calcium in our bodies is in our bones and teeth.

Calcium is a mineral that is necessary for life. In addition to building strong bones and teeth and keeping them healthy, calcium helps our blood clot, nerves send messages and muscles contract including heartbeat. Each day, we lose calcium through our skin, nails, hair, sweat, urine and faeces, but our bodies cannot produce new calcium. When we don’t get enough calcium for our body’s needs, it is taken from our bones and this could lead to a condition called rickets in children or osteoporosis in later life.

Although a balanced diet aids calcium absorption, high levels of protein and sodium (salt) in the diet are thought to increase calcium excretion through the kidneys. Excessive amounts of these substances should be avoided, especially in those with low calcium intake.

Good sources of calcium include:

  • Milk, cheese and other dairy foods
  • Green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, okra, raw spinach
  • Soya beans
  • Tofu
  • Soya drinks with added calcium
  • Almonds, Brazil nuts, sesame, sunflower, chia seeds
  • Bread and anything made with fortified flour
  • Fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and pilchards

Going hand in hand with calcium is Vitamin D which the body needs to absorb the calcium. Without enough vitamin D, one can’t form enough of the hormone calcitriol (known as the “active vitamin D”). This in turn leads to insufficient calcium absorption from the diet, and the body takes calcium from its stores in the skeleton, which weakens existing bone and prevents the formation of strong, new bone.

Vitamin D is naturally available in only a few foods and good sources are:

  • Oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
  • Red meat
  • Liver
  • Egg yolks
  • Fortified foods such as most fat spreads, some plant based beverages and some breakfast cereals

Your skin makes vitamin D from the ultra-violet light (UVB rays) in sunlight and your body is able to store the vitamin and use it later. The amount of vitamin D your skin makes depends on time of day, season, latitude, skin pigmentation and other factors. Because of concerns about skin cancer, many people stay out of the sun, and the use of sunscreen or sunblock is probably the biggest factor that limits the ability of the skin to make Vitamin D. Vitamin D production may decrease or be totally absent in the winter months dependant on where you live.

It is very difficult to get all the vitamin D you need from food alone and some people choose to take vitamin D supplements to get enough of the nutrient needed for bone health.

And do remember that as well as ensuring you have a healthy diet that includes calcium and Vitamin D, exercise is important for building and maintaining strong bones, weight-bearing and muscle-strengthening activities. Weight-bearing exercises are any activity performed standing up, such as walking, running and dancing. When your feet and legs support your weight, your bones have to work harder, making them stronger. Your personal trainer can help you to ensure your diet and your exercise routine is helping you to build and maintain strong bones.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarterfitness

#personaltrainerkelowna

#privategymkelowna

#functionalstrengthandfitness