Your Personal Trainer

Glenn Kaizer is a Certified Personal Trainer.

Search This Blog

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.