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Glenn Kaizer is a Certified Personal Trainer.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Napping: Not Just For Babies and Cats !

 If you feel a little out of sorts, and maybe a bit cranky in the afternoon, do what many toddlers do: take a short nap. You will be in good company. Albert Einstein, President John Kennedy, Eleanor Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, Thomas Edison, and many others discovered the benefits of that afternoon power nap!

What are the benefits of the nap?

Some cultures have naps built in to their schedules. In Spain, South America, and some other places you may find the midday nap part of the work schedule. There is evidence that a short snooze in the mid-afternoon revitalizes people's ability to focus, and work more efficiently. It seems to help overcome any middle of the night restlessness, too. People who nap have been shown to take in and remember certain kinds of information by increasing their cognitive abilities. Forty winks can give you enough energy to exercise without your caffeine fix. Afternoon dozing has been linked to better heart health, and better overall physical fitness. Catching a few Zs can cut stress and boost your motivation, patience, and performance.

What if you have to work all day?

So, you're convinced that a short siesta would improve your productiveness, and ability to get the job done. Supervisors, however, may not be impressed to hear you gently snoring with your head on a pillow on your desk at 2 p.m.. Most workplaces give employees a lunch break, and/or a 15 minute coffee break, though. Get your statistics about the benefits of short naps in the middle of the day, and share them with your employer, and ask for a trial drowse during a scheduled break. Your enhanced ability to concentrate and get the job done should speak for itself.

I Don't Know Anyone Who Does This

In some large cities, providing napping facilities has become big business. Check around where you live, or research what they do in metropolitan areas.  Make a list of famous people who got a little shut-eye during the day, and start a healthy trend in your area. We live in a culture that sees rest as a non-productive weakness. Are you strong enough to show them that one non-sleep-deprived person can make a difference?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Get Moving !

Don’t Be Afraid of a Little Exercise

“No pain, no gain” may put some fear in the hearts of some people. It shouldn’t, though. Quite the opposite, in fact. Although exercise may include sweating, and pain, it isn’t a given for every kind of getting fit. Essentially, exercise is moving more than you normally do during the course of a day. It’s too easy to put it off if you are not in the mood, so make a time in your schedule to move for your health.

Benefits of Regular Exercise

Is thirty minutes a day too much of a commitment for an activity that may prevent or minimize the effects of lifestyle diseases? Even if you begin with only three days a week, it will make a difference.

Mental Health

The positive effect of regular exercise on mental health cannot be underestimated. Getting out of doors, or even to the gym in bad weather, can give you a brighter outlook on life, give you more energy to do things you like, and help alleviate anxieties among other things.

Physical Health

Regular aerobic exercise can help prevent or diminish the effects of many diseases. Some of them are arthritis, osteoporosis, coronary artery disease, diabetes, certain cancers, and stroke. That is a powerful return for investing only 30 minutes a day for three or more days a week. In fact, daily exercise is more effective than a class-1 hypertensive medication in lowering blood pressure.

Brain Power !

Not only does exercise help with all of the above, it can help you to train your brain. Commit to regular exercise, and over a period of time you will notice an improvement in brain function.  John J. Ratey, MD who teaches psychiatry at Harvard University wrote this in his book, A User's Guide to the Brain wrote, "Exercise is really for the brain, not the body. It affects mood, vitality, alertness, and feelings of well-being."

So, will you wait until the doctor writes you a prescription, or will you be proactive with your health? Take time to exercise.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Soy Protein – FDA Approved

Adding Soy to Your Diet 

Some people wrinkle their noses when the topic of adding soy to their diet is brought up. They complain about texture and flavor, and are reluctant to try it. Soy, however, has been included in Asian diets for hundreds of years, and they are benefiting from this humble food. 

Why Eat Soy? 

For starters, soy is the best substitute for meat protein – and it comes without the risk that is inherent in animal fat. Our bodies cannot produce the amino acids on their own, and the soy provides them with the highest protein score rating possible by the standard measure for protein. All of this comes with high antioxidants, low fat, and a lower glycemic index making is safer for diabetics. According to clinical studies, soy may lower the bad cholesterol, (LDL), in our bodies without molesting the HDL, (good cholesterol). There is evidence that it may reduce risks of heart-related disease as well. Soy may reduce risks for prostate cancer, and colon cancer, and can reduce the risk of osteoporosis. Japanese women take in less calcium than American women do, but the Japanese include more soy in their diets. The result is that the Japanese women suffer less from bone loss. Dieters, menopausal women and diabetics have discovered positive outcomes by using soy products. 

How Much Soy Should You Eat ? 

The FDA recommends 6.25 grams daily of soy products. This would include such foods as tofu, tempeh, roasted soy beans, edamame (fresh soy beans), soy milk, soy cheese, and other products. Soy is best eaten with other foods rather than by itself, and it may increase the value of the food with which it is eaten. Add soy to your diet in small increments to accustom your digestive system to this new food. 

Cautions and Concerns 

One concern is that soy appears to affect people with a peanut allergy. More study is needed to confirm this, but to be warned is to be armed against possible problems. Other people complain of serious flatulence when they eat soy products. This is a legitimate gripe. Many have found relief by eating them with Bean-O, or digestive enzymes. This seems to be a problem related more to the use of certain processed soy products than for those who drink soy milk, or eat tofu. The benefits of soy are so many that it is worth a try. Begin slowly, and move into better health with one of the simple remedies – soy.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Increase Your Brain Function

Is there a way to help your brain to work better, and more efficiently? The good news is that there are ways that you can nourish your brain cells so you enjoy better brain function. There is a relationship between what you eat and how you live, and how healthy your brain is, and how well it works. The bad news (maybe) is that you may have to educate your taste buds to make it happen.

Things to do to improve brain function

• Eat more of the Omega-3 fatty acids such as yellow fin tuna, wild salmon, and flaxseed meal (mix it in with your oatmeal or cold cereal).
• Eggs have choline which is linked to good brain function.
• Incorporate more antioxidants into your diet. This includes foods such as citrus, and especially blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and pomegranate. Coffee is high in antioxidants as is green tea. Dark chocolate and garlic provide powerful antioxidants. Avocados are another super food.
• Complex carbohydrates supply much-needed sugar for brain function in its best form. Think brown rice, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and fresh fruit among other things. (Tip: if your family is not accustomed to whole wheat bread, pasta, etc., introduce it a little at a time.)
• Mom was right: eat your green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, and broccoli. They provide good nutritional support for many body systems including your brain.
• Spinach and cranberries may help prevent memory loss diseases such as Alzheimer Disease.
• Drink lots of water. If your brain is dehydrated, it is difficult to think well.
• Exercise. Thirty minutes of gentle walking three times a week will help you think better.

How to drain your brain

• Consume simple sugars including soda, sugary energy drink, and fruit juice. They contribute to blood sugar crashes, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, as well putting you on a high/low blood sugar ride.
• Meals that are high in carbohydrates will make you feel sleepy.
• Using nicotine will constrict your veins decreasing blood flow to your brain.
• Be a couch potato, and overeat.
• Refuse to learn anything new.

Do some research on your own to learn more. Don't you think it's worth a lifestyle change to have a better life?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Do You Know What You Are Drinking?

Tomorrow morning for breakfast, would you take a glass, half fill it with sugar, add acid strong enough to break down tooth enamel, stir in artificial coloring, throw in carbonation, and drink it? Statistics state that soft drinks account for more than a quarter of all beverages drunk in the United States. The average American drinks 53 gallons of carbonated soft drinks per year.

Is there really anything wrong with a can of soda?

• It depends on your definition of "anything wrong." If you drink one, or more sodas per day, you increase your risk of "metabolic syndrome." This increases your risk for heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Drinking diet soda does not change this statistic.
• Caffeine, in heavy amounts, may make you a bundle of nerves, and may aggravate heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat patterns). Additionally, it creates caffeine dependency.
• This "liquid candy" (so called for the amount of sugar in it) can fill you up with 160 calories leaving little to no room for foods with nutritional value.
• It can break down your tooth enamel causing tooth decay. The acid in soda pop is only slightly less destructive than battery acid.
• Soda often contains dyes that are harmful to some people. (Are you sure you are not one of them?)
• Some research indicates a link between drinking pop and esophageal cancer.
• Other studies suggest that there is a link between drinking colas, and having kidney stones.
• Diet soda has a higher amount of acid than regular pop.

If you still want to drink soda, do it wisely.

• Strictly limit the amount that you drink – no more than one can per day.
• Drink it with meals to restrict the damage done by the sugar and acid.
• Don't let it replace more nutritious foods.
• Rinse your mouth – or better yet, brush your teeth after consuming soft drinks.
• Use a straw to limit the amount of acid touching your teeth.

Glenn will be at The Gathering, a group of local merchants, in Ocala on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Make plans now to attend the gathering, and chat with Glenn about your own personal fitness program.

Get Up And MOVE!

Do we move less because we get older, or do we get older because we move less? Studies show that there is a definite connection between exercise and the aging process on a molecular level. As little as 100 minutes (less than two hours) of moderate exercise per week can make a difference.

What makes molecules age?

Telomeres are the caps on the end of the strings of our chromosomes. Each time a cell divides, the telomere erodes. When the telomeres on a cell are too short, it can no longer divide, and the cell dies, perhaps as part of the aging process. Some experiments seem to indicate that there is a connection between exercise, and the length of the telomeres. The more intensive the exercise, the more protection there is for the telomeres.

What kind of testing demonstrates this?

The testing took place with older and younger professional athletes, and with some untrained persons. Scientists noted that the older athletes' regular exercise activates an enzyme called telomerase, which helps keep the telomeres stable. The telomeres are then more steady, and can better protect the body cells. In older athletes, who had faithfully worked out for decades, the telomeres were the most stable.

Exercise has other benefits as well

Regular exercise helps regulate your appetite. People who exercise regularly have a lower pulse rate, and blood pressure. Exercise can even help alleviate certain kinds of depression. Don't you think you should start moving today?

Glenn will be at The Gathering, a group of local merchants, in Ocala on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Make plans now to attend the gathering, and chat with Glenn about your own personal fitness program.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Chew Carefully When You Eat

Moms always used to say, "Chew your food 32 times before you swallow." Remember how you used to roll your eyes? Well, guess what? Mom was right—at least in saying you should eat slowly, and chew more carefully for a longer time.

What are good eating practices good for?

• Chewing well is a part of healthy digestion.
• Put your troubles to the side, and try to be in a calm state of mind while you eat. Eating in a peaceful atmosphere contributes to good digestion. If you are accustomed to having a glass of wine with your meal, this, too will help digestion.
• Chewing food into smaller pieces makes it easier to swallow the food
• It gives the food longer exposure to digestive enzymes in your saliva, which in turns breaks the food down better for digestion.
• When your food has higher amounts of saliva, it slides through your stomach, and into your intestine more easily.
• Chewing slowly can help keep you from overeating.
• Careful chewing will help keep your teeth and gums healthy.

What happens if you don't follow good eating practices?

• You are helping develop bacterial overgrowth, which is a cause of flatulence, heartburn, IBS, and abdominal spasms.
• You may be aggravating muscle pain, headaches, asthma, and allergies, and skin rashes.
• You might be setting yourself up for constipation.
• You won't get the full value of the nutrients you are ingesting.

How to help your digestive system

• Cut your food into small pieces.
• Don't cram your mouth full. Chew a little at a time.
• Chew until what you have in your mouth seems liquefied. This will take time to get there, and you'll feel strange doing it at first.
• If you do not have time to sit and chew carefully, consider a liquid replacement such as a protein shake made with whey powder.

Start today. The sooner you master the challenge of a peaceful, calm, well-digested meal, the sooner you will feel a lot better.

Glenn will be at The Gathering, a group of local merchants, in Ocala on Saturday, February 27, 2010. Make plans now to attend the gathering, and chat with Glenn about your own personal fitness program. Click on the poster to see it better.