Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Gobble, Gobble: How to Avoid Unnecessary Calories on Thanksgiving

If you’re in the middle of a Keebs Fitness weight loss program, you probably know that you’re about to face the most difficult time of the year. The period from Thanksgiving through Christmas can be rough for many people in terms of their weight loss goals. In particular, Thanksgiving is known for its tendency to encourage gluttony, and it can be a challenge to approach the day with a healthy attitude.

Still, if weight loss is truly your goal, you need to make it your goal on Thanksgiving just as much as any other day of the year. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the day’s many wonderful tastes, it just means that you need to exercise a little bit of control.

Here are a few things you can do to ensure that Thanksgiving doesn’t entirely destroy your weight loss progress:
  • Don’t fast before. If you skip breakfast and lunch in preparation for dinner on Thanksgiving, you’re probably going to overeat. Continue your regular routine of having a healthy breakfast, lunch and even your afternoon snack. This will help you to be able to practice portion control during the feast.
  • Focus on veggies. Eat a salad, or load up on raw veggies like carrots and celery before you eat your main meal. This will help keep your appetite in check, and it will help you feel full as you approach dinnertime. Skip hors d’oeuvres entirely and opt for these kinds of healthy items instead.
  • Watch out for fat content. There are foods that you’ll find on the Thanksgiving dinner table that are terribly high in fat, such as anything cream-based, as well as things like gravy. Avoid these kids of dishes. Most casseroles are going to fall into this category.
  • Go easy on the alcohol. The calories in wine can add up fast. Stick to one glass, if your family drinks wine with their dinner. Drinking alcohol can actually increase your appetite, and can make you less likely to follow good portion control practices. Stick to water (which can decrease your appetite) whenever possible.
  • Watch out for the weekend nap. Consider replacing the lounging that you normally do on Thanksgiving with a football game in the yard or give yourself a shot at Black Friday shopping. Find something to burn off some calories instead of just sitting around.
  • Enjoy the turkey. Turkey without skin or gravy is one of the best sources of lean protein you can find. Eat it with some brown rice or steamed veggies as leftovers, and you’ll have a balanced yet low-calorie meal.
Happy Thanksgiving from Keebs Fitness!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

When to Replace Your Running Shoes

Running in old or worn out shoes can lead to an increase in running injuries. Over time running shoes lose stability and shock absorption capacity. When this happens the stress to the feet and legs increases dramatically. Over time such added stress can lead to an overuse injury. A simple prevention strategy includes replacing running shoes when they wear out. 

The midsole layer of a shoe provides the cushioning and stability. This area usually wears out before the outsole shows major signs of wear. When a midsole wears out the shoe looses functional stability. It is this loss of stability and cushioning that leads to increased stress and increased injury risk.
It is recommended that you replace running shoes between 350-550 miles depending on your running style, body weight, and the surface on which you run. Lighter runners can get closer to the upper end of the recommendation while heavier runners are harder on shoes and should consider replacement shoes closer to 350 miles.

Running Shoe Replacement Tips

  • Track your mileage. After 350-550 miles it's time for a new pair. For runners who log 25 miles per week replace your shoes every three to four months.
  • You can check for signs of wear on the sole by placing your old shoes on a table and looking at them from behind. If the soles are worn and leaning to one side, the midsole cushioning is probably worn as well.

Spotting Midsole Wear

A shoe's midsole cushioning may be worn out long before the tread shows signs of wear. Because the bottom and tread of the shoe may look fine, identifying when the cushioning is shot isn't easy to do. Here are some tips for identifying midsole wear:
  • First, pay attention to how you feel. As your shoes begin to give out, you may begin to get some aches or pains in your bones and joints. You may also notice slight muscle fatigue, new tightness, or possible shin splints. Look for creasing of the midsole material in areas of high load (under the heel or the ball of the foot). A worn out midsole will have wrinkles and creases there.
  • Try to twist the shoe. A worn out midsole will allow the shoe to twist more easily than a new shoe.
  • Try on a new pair of the model that you are currently wearing. Compare this to your current shoes. If the cushioning in your shoes feels dead in comparison, it probably is.

Consider Rotating Running Shoes

If you workout with Keebs frequently, it's a good idea to have more than one pair of shoes. Think about buying two pairs at a time (or buying a second pair about midway through the life of your first). Add the new pair in to your shoe rotation when your "old" shoes have about 200 miles on them. If you use two pairs of shoes you should still track mileage per shoe, and replace each after it has 350-550 miles on it.

Thanks for reading! And feel free to ask if you have any questions about your current workout shoes!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

How Physical Activity Can Lower Your Blood Pressure

How are blood pressure and exercise connected? 

Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. If your heart can work less to pump, the force on your arteries decreases, lowering your blood pressure.
Becoming more active can lower your systolic blood pressure — the top number in a blood pressure reading — by an average of 5 to 10 millimeters of mercury (mm Hg). That is as significant as some blood pressure medications, such as Benicar.
If your blood pressure is at a desirable level — less than 120/80 mm Hg — exercise can keep it from rising as you age. Regular exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight, another important way to control blood pressure.
But to keep your blood pressure low, you need to keep exercising. The benefits last only as long as you continue to exercise.
Source: Mayo Clinic, Times Health Guide