Leigh Carter Personal Trainer

Burning Fat

Burning Fat

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Although losing weight is as simple as burning more calories than you consume each day, it’s all in what you eat and how you exercise. When you use more energy than you take in from food and drink, your body burns stored fat and carbohydrates, and then even protein, to fuel your everyday activities even if you are not exercising and how much of each of them depends on your physical activity and if, or what you have eaten recently.

Your body uses nutrients in different ways. Carbohydrates are the body’s main energy source and it’s the nutrient the body favours to fuel exercise, but too much can lead to weight gain. Whereas protein helps to build muscle, which in turn leads to a higher metabolism. The body also burns more calories metabolising protein than it burns to metabolise carbs or fat. And fat supports vitamin absorption and helps manufacture hormones, by weight it also contains more than double the calories of carbs and protein, so too much and the body just stores it.

Your total calorie burn will be greater when you exercise at high intensities, your body relies on both fat and carbohydrate stores for energy in relatively equal measure as intensity increases, your body turns predominantly to easily accessed carbohydrates (glycogen) for quick energy.  High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a workout performed at high to maximum intensity, with running, cycling and circuit training as the typical activities and as it is impossible to work at near-maximum effort for long, usually a HIIT session lasts anywhere up to 20 minutes. The advantage of this kind of training is that you will get the same calorie burn off in say 15 minutes that you would in an hour with a low intensity workout, good if you are short of time.

Your body burns fat stores more efficiently when exercising at low to moderate intensities, which could be any exercise you like that gets your heart pumping – a gym session, running outdoors, a bike ride, swim session, etc.

When it comes to burning fat, body composition makes all the difference as muscle burns calories more than fat, even when at rest, so the more muscle mass you hold the better. So by simply toning up and changing the balance of your unique body composition from less fat to more muscle will help with weight loss. Resistance training is the best way to build muscle and a strength training programme, specifically designed for weight loss, combined with a cardio routine will help you shed pounds and develop muscle tone rather than bulk.

Regular exercise can help you burn fat and lose weight. Not only are you burning off those calories but you are also making adaptations to your body when you exercise on a regular basis which lead directly to your ability to burn more fat without even trying. The more activity you engage in, the more calories you’ll burn, and the easier it is to create the calorie deficit needed to lose weight. So it’s a fact, if you want to burn more fat, you have to work at it. Your personal trainer can advise on an exercise and diet program to suit your specific needs.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

For centuries, vinegar has been used for various household and cooking purposes and has been called a cure-all for decades, claiming that it can do everything from halt hiccups to whiten teeth, and even banish dandruff. Whether or not it’s capable of all those things, there is some solid research to back up apple cider vinegar as a healthy elixir, as long as you use it correctly.

The best type of apple cider vinegar to use is one made from cold pressed, organically grown whole apples, in which no chemicals or preservatives have been added, which contains the “mother of vinegar”, is a natural gelatinous substance formed during the last fermentation step, and is not pasteurised, this type of wholesome apple cider vinegar can be found in most health food stores.

More research is needed to definitively link apple cider vinegar and its capability to lower cholesterol in humans, but one 2006 study found that the acetic acid in the vinegar lowered bad cholesterol in rats. Also, a Japanese study found that half an ounce of apple cider vinegar a day lowered cholesterol in people who participated in the panel. Research has shown that apple cider vinegar lowers the overall level of triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the bad one) in the body and improves the levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (the good one).

Germ busting apple cider vinegar to help head off the infection when you feel an oncoming sore throat. Apparently most germs can’t survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates. Just mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle every hour or so.

Apple cider vinegar contains potassium, which thins mucus; and the acetic acid in it prevents germ growth, which could contribute to nasal congestion. So this could prove helpful when you feel cold coming on a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink could help sinus drainage.

The high potassium content in apple cider vinegar is also good the the night cramps which are often a sign of low potassium levels. By taking apple cider vinegar you are providing your body with an added dose of potassium, calcium, and other minerals that are essential for the joints in your body.

Fatigue is commonly caused by increased levels of lactic acid in the body which comes from exertion of energy and stress. The high potassium and enzymes in cider vinegar may relieve tiredness and boost your energy. So instead that cup of coffee during that afternoon crash, try adding a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a bit of honey to some water and see if it has the same effect.

According to several studies apple cider vinegar could help your blood sugar levels balanced. In one study of people with type 2 diabetes who weren’t taking insulin it was found that taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar before bed resulted in lower glucose levels by morning. In another study it was found that insulin resistant people who drank a mixture of apple cider vinegar and water before eating a high carbohydrate meal had lower blood sugar afterward. Scientists think the anti glycemic effect of the acid is the key.

It is said that apple cider vinegar helps you to lose weight as the acetic acid suppresses your appetite, increases your metabolism, and reduces water retention. Scientists also theorise that apple cider vinegar interferes with the body’s digestion of starch, which means fewer calories enter the bloodstream.

It is said to also reduce bloating, increase the benefits of the vitamins and minerals in your food, as well as many benefits of external use such as mouth wash to eliminate bacteria, insect bites, smooth sunburn, treat dandruff and makes your hair shine.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Training Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Personal Training Kelowna

Simple Swaps

Simple Swaps

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Want to be healthier without completely changing your diet? Try making a few simple changes to your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks that not only add to your recommended daily vegetable and fruit portions, but also cut down on calories and add extra fibre, vitamins, omega 3 fats and protein to your diet.

Instead of sprinkling sugar on your breakfast porridge or cereal, try adding a handful of berries, which will not only sweeten the cereal but also add vitamins, fibre and phytonutrients. If you have a sugary cereal try swapping it for a no sugar whole grain cereal or plain porridge adding fruit and nuts to give it sweetness and a flavour boost. If you like a full fry up type breakfast, try poaching your egg, grilling the bacon and tomatoes, and add some reduced salt and sugar baked beans. This will lower the saturated fat, sugar, salt and calories in your meal. You could swap your fruit juice for some healthy chopped fresh fruit, no matter how much fruit juice you drink in one day it will only count as one portion of your recommended daily amount and also the fruit sugars in the whole fruit are less damaging to your teeth.

If you make a sandwich for lunch, instead of mayo try spreading with a mashed avocado mixed with a little lemon juice and fresh chopped herbs, it’s just as creamy but full of good fats and vitamin C. What about adding some chopped nuts and seeds instead of croutons on your soup or salad, again full of vitamins and will add some protein value to your lunch. When having starchy carbohydrates, try swapping white pasta, rice and bread for whole grain. Whole grain is full of fibre, will make you feel fuller for longer and therefore keep your blood sugar levels stable. Try swapping a meat option with beans or pulses, to cut down on the saturated fat in your protein option. A can of salmon would be better for you than a can of tuna, as the canning process removes the heart healthy omega fats in the tuna but it remains in the salmon and oily fish is an important food to be included in your diet.

Another good swap is mashed sweet potatoes, carrots, celeriac, parsnip, in fact any mix of root vegetables instead of mashed potatoes as they don’t count as one of your daily portions. And try making sweet potato wedges, instead of the usual fries, the sweet potatoes contain beta carotene which converts to vitamin A in your body and again counts as one of your vegetable portions.

By swapping breadcrumbs for ground almonds, they are perfect for coating chicken, binding together meatballs and burgers, and they are rich in zinc, fibre and iron. When making sauces for meals try replacing creamy ones with vegetable based ones and you can even add a grated carrot or courgette to the sauce to bump up your vegetable quota.

Oat cakes spread with no added sugar nut butter make a delicious healthy snack providing protein and fibre which will keep you fuller longer. Frozen bananas whizzed up, will make a good creamy, low fat, potassium rich pudding, and add chopped nuts or a square of chopped dark (high cocoa content) chocolate, and you have a low calorie but satisfying ice cream substitute.

Try swapping that chocolate cookie for a Medjool date or two, they are packed with natural sugars, potassium, dietary fibre and are great for curbing sugar cravings, the high fibre content keep you feeling fuller longer, and 2 dates count as one portion of your recommended daily portions.

A handful of nuts, not salted, will keep your going longer than a chocolate bar, and so much healthier. Try some carrot batons dipped in humour, again a healthier more nutritional snack.

How about swapping your meal portion size for a smaller one, people often fill their plate with the intention of eating it all, without acknowledging that actually a much smaller portion may be sufficient. If you’re still hungry, you can always go back for a little more, probably that the first portion was enough to fill you up.

But if you think that swapping honey, maple syrup, agave sugar, coconut sugar or other sugar alternatives for your normal sugar, is healthier then you’d be wrong. These natural sugars are still sugars and therefore contain the same number of calories per gram as white sugar. They are made of the same components, sucrose, fructose and glucose and although they contain other nutrients such as iron and potassium any health benefits would only be gained by consuming excessive amounts. Too much of any kind of sugar increases the risk of tooth decay and adds excess calories to your diet. So it’s better to try to cut down on sugar not swap it for another kind.

If you need anymore ideas for healthy food swaps, speak to your personal trainer who will advise you on a healthier diet.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

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Exercise and the Brain

Exercise and the Brain

Exercise and the Brain

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Doctors and health professionals have been telling us for years that exercise is good for mind and body and it seems it’s never too late to reap the benefits of exercise. According to one study taking up moderate exercise several times a week is the best way to keep your mind sharp and active if you’re over the age of 50 and in a review of 39 different studies, it was found that thinking and memory skills were the abilities that most improved when people exercised on a regular basis, also finding that physical exercise improved brain function in people over 50, even if they were already showing signs of cognitive decline. According to recent human studies, even people who hold off on regular aerobic activity until later in life may still be able to gain from exercise in their senior years.

Whilst undergoing their tests, researchers found that aerobic exercise and strength training particularly helped to aid cognitive functions and had a great effect on the brain’s ability to plan and organise.

In a study done at the University of British Columbia, researchers found that regular aerobic exercise, the kind that gets your heart and your sweat glands pumping, appears to boost the size of the hippocampus, the brain area involved in verbal memory and learning. Resistance training, balance and muscle toning exercises did not have the same results.

It seems that if you are doing moderate exercise only once or twice a week there are still improvements in cognitive function, but the improvements are better the more exercise is done, exercise of moderate intensity, and on as many days of the week as possible, meaning you should probably be exercising on more days than not to see the benefits the study suggests. The study advises that each session should last between 45 – 60 minutes in order to see benefits to cognition.

Exercise affects the brain in many ways, it increases heart rate, which pumps more oxygen to the brain and also aids the bodily release of an excessive amount of hormones, all of which participate in aiding and providing a nourishing environment for the growth of brain cells.

Exercise stimulates the brain plasticity by stimulating growth of new connections between cells in a wide array of important cortical areas of the brain. Recent research showed that exercise increased growth factors in the brain and making it easier for the brain to grow new neuronal connections.

Exercise can also show a drop in stress hormones and a study showed that the antidepressant effect of running was also associated with more cell growth in the hippocampus, an area of the brain responsible for learning and memory.

The physical benefits are obvious, we know that exercise lowers blood pressure, decreases cholesterol, reduces fat, adds muscle and improves cardiovascular function. But now we know that exercise also reduces stress, anxiety and depression and allows us to maintain focus at work and to think clearly. So whatever exercise and motivators you choose, commit to establishing exercise as a habit, almost like taking a prescription medication. Your personal trainer can give you an exercise “prescription” to suit your needs and make the most of your brain power.

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

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Personal trainer kelowna

Healthy Heart

Healthy Heart

Leigh Carter

Personal Trainer Kelowna

Private Gym Training

 

Your heart is a strong muscle about the size of the palm of your hand and it’s the engine that keeps your body running. The heart has two pumps, one using arteries to send blood with oxygen away from the heart, throughout the body and the other using veins to bring blood back to the heart and send it to the lungs to get more oxygen. An electrical system in the heart controls the heart beat or pulse.

Ageing can cause changes in the heart and blood vessels. As you get older, your heart can’t beat as fast during physical activity or stress as when you were younger. However, your heart rate, the number of heart beats per minute at rest does not change as you age. Many of the problems older people have with their heart and blood vessels are caused by disease and not by ageing. An older heart can normally pump blood as strong as a younger heart, less ability to pump blood is caused by disease. So changes that happen with age may increase a person’s risk of heart disease and this is where you can do things to delay, lower, or possibly avoid or reverse your risk. Things you can’t control, like your family history, might also increase your risk of heart disease. But by leading a heart-healthy lifestyle you may avoid or delay serious illness.

Did you know that heart disease is a bigger problem to women than breast cancer. Surprising as it is, it is true, it kills more women every year than breast cancer. Also research found that 50% of women are more likely to be misdiagnosed after suffering a heart attack than men and their long term outcomes are worse. Women’s symptoms may often be less typical than the crushing, radiating heart pain, being often stomach problems, nausea and fatigue and 95% of the women experienced new or different physical symptoms as long as a month before their heart attack.

Whether you are male or female, young or old, there are a few basic rules to follow if you want to keep that heart working to its optimum level.

Don’t smoke as it doubles the risk of heart disease and women smokers are even more vulnerable to the toxic chemicals.

Stay a healthy weight and pay particular attention to abdominal fat, extra fat around the middle of the body may increase your risk of heart disease.

Avoid spending lots of time sitting, people who do have higher levels of inflammatory chemicals that are linked to heart disease and diabetes, whereas standing triggers a series of metabolic processes that may protect against these. Linked to this of course is staying physically active, Getting – and staying – active can reduce your risk of developing heart disease. It can also be a great mood booster and stress buster. So get out there as many times a week as you can and do some exercise you enjoy. Speak to your personal trainer who can tailor a program that will suit your needs.

Limit your alcohol, don’t forget alcohol contains calories. Regularly drinking more than the recommended daily amount can have a noticeable impact on your waistline. Try to keep to the recommended daily alcohol limits to reduce the risk of serious problems with your health, including risks to your heart health.

Keep your diabetes, high blood pressure and/or high cholesterol under control. You can help all of these by following a healthy diet with a combination of fruit, vegetables, pulses, oily fish, nuts, olive oil and a little lean meat and dairy. Again discuss with your personal trainer who can advise on a nutritional diet.

Learn to manage your stress as it doesn’t directly cause heart disease, but the way a person reacts to stress can increase their risk. Some people try to cope with stress by drinking more alcohol, eating more or unhealthily, or smoking, which can all be bad for the heart and in a person with heart disease, being stressed may trigger angina chest pain symptoms. Lifestyle changes such as change to healthy diet, more exercise, consider yoga or other relaxation techniques.

 

Contact Leigh Carter Personal Trainer Kelowna today for your free consultation

Start building a better body for your future

#leighcarter

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