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.

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.