Wednesday, September 28, 2016

How to Stay Fit While on Vacation in Vegas

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas--except those extra pounds you might put on if you ditch your exercise routine and eat unhealthy while on vacation!

Here are some tips on how to stay fit while having fun in Sin City!

Pack a resistance band.
They are lightweight and take up little space in your suitcase. You can get an awesome resistance workout in anywhere--your hotel room, outdoors, or even the airport. Check out some of my videos here and here!

Take a class. From aerial yoga to bootcamp, you can find tons of fabulous and fun classes in Vegas. I also recommend going on an indoor hike at Aria’s Spa and Salon, where you take an hour tour of Aria while working out by the resort’s public art collection.

Choose your food and beverages carefully. There are unlimited options for food and drinks in Vegas, so there is no excuse to eat unhealthy if you make the right choices. When dining out in Vegas, look for options that include mostly veggies, some whole grain, lean protein, and healthy fat. I recommend the salads at Greens and Proteins. If you choose to drink alcohol, I recommend staying away from mixed drinks to keep your calories in check and instead enjoy some red wine. I also enjoy tequila on the rocks with a lot of lime squeezed in, for a gluten-free treat that isn't loaded with sugar.

Stay hydrated. You won't feel like working out if you party too hard and end up with a wicked hangover. Make sure to pair your alcoholic beverages with a glass of water to prevent dehydration. Staying hydrated is key whether you plan to drink, stay up late, or walk around in the heat. I recommend bringing your own reusable water bottle and filling it up in the gym. This will help stave off dehydration and keep you fuller longer.

Before you go, check out these AMAZING VEGAS DISCOUNTS!

Have a great time!


Keebs Fitness

What Happens to Your Brain when you Stop Working Out for 10 Days?

Before you skip another workout, you might think about your brain. A provocative new study finds that some of the benefits of exercise for brain health may evaporate if we take to the couch and stop being active, even just for a week or so.

I have frequently written about how physical activity, especially endurance exercise like running, aids our brains and minds. Studies with animals and people show that working out can lead to the creation of new neurons, blood vessels and synapses and greater overall volume in areas of the brain related to memory and higher-level thinking.

Presumably as a result, people and animals that exercise tend to have sturdier memories and cognitive skills than their sedentary counterparts.

Exercise prompts these changes in large part by increasing blood flow to the brain, many exercise scientists believe. Blood carries fuel and oxygen to brain cells, along with other substances that help to jump-start desirable biochemical processes there, so more blood circulating in the brain is generally a good thing.

Exercise is particularly important for brain health because it appears to ramp up blood flow through the skull not only during the actual activity, but throughout the rest of the day. In past neurological studies, when sedentary people began an exercise program, they soon developed augmented blood flow to their brains, even when they were resting and not running or otherwise moving.

But whether those improvements in blood flow are permanent or how long they might last was not clear.

So for the new study, which was published in August in Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, researchers from the department of kinesiology at the University of Maryland in College Park decided to ask a group of exceedingly fit older men and women to stop exercising for awhile.

“We wanted to study longtime, serious endurance athletes because they would be expected to have a very high baseline” level of aerobic fitness and established habits of frequent exercise, says J. Carson Smith, an associate professor of kinesiology at the University of Maryland and senior author of the study. If these people abruptly stopped exercising, he says, the impacts could be expected to be more outsized than among people who worked out only lightly.

The researchers eventually found 12 competitive masters runners between the ages of 50 and 80 who agreed to join the study. All had been running and racing for at least 15 years and still regularly ran 35 miles a week or more.

At the start of the experiment, the runners visited the researchers’ lab for tests of their cognitive skills. They also had a special brain M.R.I. that tracks how much blood is flowing to various parts of the brain.

The researchers were particularly interested in blood flow to the hippocampus, a portion of the brain that is essential for memory function.

“We need far more research” into the time course of changes to the brain and to thinking skills because of exercise and skipping workouts, he says.

But for now, the study’s message seems fairly straightforward. For the continued health of your brain, try to keep moving.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Boot Camp with Brax

Brax came to boot camp this week! Good thing he wore his running shoes - he didn't want to miss out on any of the action!

How to Find the Best Fitness App for You

There are tons of new fitness apps out there! How do you choose the one that's right for you? Below are some suggestions. Have a favorite fitness app? Tell us about it!
Look for programs that offer personalized screenings and gather details on your past injuries, health conditions and fitness goals.
There’s a lot of cookie-cutter apps out there and people that just want to get your monthly subscriptions, and they’re really not concerned about helping you reach your goals or, more importantly, if any of these movements are going to injure you.
It’s beneficial if you can find an app out there or an online program where you’re having conversations via email, phone, or face time with the trainer that can help make sure you’re doing the exercises correctly.
Some apps offer daily or weekly check-ins with trainers and a few offer real time feed-back. While those are more costly, you can also pop into a live class in your area to get some pointers so if you’re a new yogi starting at home with an online subscription, it’s important to take a class a couple times a month to have someone check your form.
It doesn’t matter whether all the supermodels are doing barre classes if the thought of it totally bores you. Find something you love because you’re much more likely to stick with it.
It doesn’t have to be super high intensity and it doesn’t have to be the ‘it’ workout. Movement is movement.
High intensity interval training can offer mega results, but if you’re just starting out and have never done sumo squats with a kettlebell, make sure to tailor the program to your needs. That means if an exercise comes onscreen that irritates an old knee injury, take a rest, modify it or replace it with a move that works for you. Don’t be afraid to do fewer repetitions at first and work your way up. Five reps with proper form are far more effective than 10 done incorrectly.
While your Instagram feed may be full of #fitspo (that’s fitness inspiration), it’s important to pick an app that includes rest days to avoid injury and physical and mental burnout. Find something that’s not high intensity every day while you’re building your foundation.
You’ve heard it before, but if it’s worth repeating. Cross training is key not just to avoid injury but to keep your muscles from plateauing. Find an app or fitness program to help you add in some variety.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Baby Keebs

It's about time that I introduce my little assistant - Brax! Brax is my son and little workout partner. Thank you Alex for the adorable onesie!

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Is Juice Worse For You Than Soda?

You know orange juice has a lot of sugar -- 21 grams in one small cup -- but is it worse than a cola?
1. The dark secret in your glass of sunshine.
When fruit is stripped of its skin, pulp, flesh and other fibrous parts, it's distilled down to its sweet essence. That means that orange juice has roughly the sameamount of sugar as the demon of the nutritional world, soda -- about 5 to 8 teaspoons per cup. Add to this: the sugar in pure, natural juice and the sugar in sugar-sweetened beverages are both densely packed with calories, say Naveed Sattar, MD, PhD, a professor of metabolic medicine at the University of Glasgow. In a recent article in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology journal, Sattar points out that eating whole fruit is associated with a reduced (or neutral) risk of diabetes, but drinking fruit  juice is linked to an increased risk.
2. The cold truth.
The marquee vitamin in orange juice, vitamin C, is good for your immune system, and it's an antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals. But some of its benefits are overrated: No studies have been able to conclude that vitamin C helps cure colds. Further, you may not realize that the information on the label of your store-bought juice (even not-from-concentrate brands) refers to the amount of vitamin C that was present when the product was packaged, explains Alissa Hamilton, PhD, a former Food and Society Policy Fellow with the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and the author of Squeezed: What You Don't Know About Orange Juice. All juice loses nutrients over time (that's why the people at the juice bar urge you to drink their blends ASAP), and modern storage technology has radically extended the shelf life of mass-market juices. For example, today’s more efficient mode of storage is to strip the liquid of oxygen and then keep it in million-gallon tanks. The juice can remain in those tanks for upwards of a year. Then after it goes into the carton, it can sit on a truck, in a supermarket, and in your fridge, steadily losing vitamins.
3. The hidden extras.
When juice is processed and treated for storage, it inevitably loses flavor. To remedy this, Hamilton says that big juice manufacturers work with chemical companies to come up with "flavor packs" that make the juice taste like the beverage we know and love -- those are added to the juice before it's packaged for sale. The chemicals in the flavor packs are essences and oils found naturally in oranges, but they don't necessarily come from the same oranges that are in that carton of juice. Hamilton discovered that some of the flavor-makers are known to source their ingredients from countries like Brazil, which has different restrictions and pesticide controls than we have in the U.S.
4. The juicy conclusion:
With its links to obesity, diabetes, heart disease and gout and its utter lack of nutrients, soda is still worse for you than orange juice. The problem comes when non-soda drinkers swap out all their fruit or water for juice, an increasingly common diet habit. "People know that soda is bad for them, but I had one patients in my clinic drinking 2 liters of orange juice a day thinking he was getting all these health benefits, all while gaining weight, causing liver problems and increasing his risk of diabetes," says Sattar. He urges people to drink fruit juice sparingly.