Fitness & Wellness

Pros and Cons Of Sport Supplements

Pros and Cons Of Sport Supplements

For every positive factor discussed about exercise and dietary guidelines, there are negatives. There are pros and cons for sport supplements, too. There are also good supplements that actually help you get fitter and ones that provide no health benefits, but are loaded with sugar and additives. Basically, these types of sport supplements are nothing more than fancy candy bars or sugary drinks that add nothing beneficial to the person not doing an intense, longer workout, except a few extra calories.

There are sports drinks and supplements that provide the benefits they claim.

Read the label and see if the supplement actually was tested by an outside organization. Third party testing is important. Since sports supplements aren’t well regulated, even if the label says it guarantees it contains certain ingredients, unless you have your own lab, you don’t know that for sure. In fact, some protein powders, when tested, contained ephedra, lead and even steroids. Cost is another issue that can make the case for opting for regular food over supplements. A hard boiled egg and an English muffin or some veggies are far less expensive and provides more nutrition.

Supplements don’t provide all the nourishment you need to be healthy.

Choosing food over supplements can provide extra benefits. Supplements are called that because they’re not meant to be the entire diet, but unfortunately some people use them as that. If you choose a whey supplement, instead of using a cup of yogurt, you’ll miss out on the probiotics from the yogurt. Choosing an energy bar over fruit with nut butter or a serving of nuts and some grapes boosts your calorie count, but doesn’t provide all the extra nutrition that whole foods provide.

There is a case for using supplements.

Sometimes, you simply can’t take whole foods with you or it’s extremely inconvenient. That’s when a protein bar can be helpful. However, it shouldn’t be a substitute for whole foods for the rest of the day. Some people take supplements when they can’t eat all the food they require to get the added nutrition. Some sports supplements include vitamins, which can be beneficial if you have a problem using certain nutrients efficiently.

  • There are a variety of different types of sports drinks, each with a different use. Not all energy drinks are alike. Some are useful for different situations, while others aren’t useful at all except for rehydrating, which water does without the added calories.
  • Some supplements, such as creatine, can create health risks when consumed too often or in too large of quantity. Creatine isn’t metabolized the same by all people. For some, it provides a boost of energy, but not for everyone. In some people, it can stress the functioning of the kidneys and bladder.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight, supplements are not necessarily the way to go, especially if you’re replacing your diet with them. You don’t get all the fiber to fill you up or the satisfaction that whole foods offer.
  • Supplements don’t always provide the same benefits that whole foods provide. If you eat food high in beta-carotene, you could lower your risk of cancer. However, if you take a beta-carotene supplement, you can increase your risk of cancer. They simply don’t work the same way as whole food does.

For more information, contact us today at SkinSport Fitness Center


Sugar Consumption & Metabolic Disease

Sugar Consumption & Metabolic Disease

There’s a group of changes to your body that point to metabolic disease. Having one of these changes doesn’t mean you have it, but does mean you have an increased risk. High blood sugar levels, high blood pressure abnormal triglyceride or cholesterol levels and carrying most of your weight around your middle are the signs. Metabolic disease leads to increased risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. What causes it, there’s a link to high sugar consumption.

Sugar is in everything, adding calories without adding nutrition.

It’s tough not to have a diet high in sugar, since it infiltrates all the food we eat! Take the go to favorite of the fast food world, the hamburger. Sugar is in the bun and the ketchup and mayonnaise. When you top it off with a soft drink, which is carbonated water, artificial flavoring and sugar, you have enough sugar to keep you going for a week. Not only is sugar in everything, it has no nutritional value, just empty calories. Breakfast cereals, jelly, candy, baked goods, sauces, bread and ready-made dinners all contain sugar. Sugar is highly addictive, especially HFCS—high fructose corn syrup. It metabolizes like alcohol and degenerates the liver. It causes inflammation and the symptoms of metabolic disease.

Added sugar is shown to both directly and indirectly account for diabetes and heart disease.

There’s direct evidence that consumption of added sugar is associated with insulin resistance, fatty liver, cardiovascular disease, elevated fat in the blood—dyslipidemia, diabetes and excess uric acid in the blood. These conditions don’t have to be in conjunction with weight gain either. Studies show that insulin resistance can develop without that occurring. While fruit contains fructose, the fiber changes the way the body reacts. The same is not true of HFCS, which is one of the most prominent types of sugar added.

Both the direct effect of sugar and the indirect effect, lead to metabolic disease,

As you can see, directly sugar causes dysregulation of fats and carbohydrate metabolism. However, there’s also an indirect link. Indirectly, high amounts of sugar leads to high calories and few nutrients, which causes weight gain and ultimately obesity. This too, leads to dysregulation of lipids (fats) and carbohydrate metabolism. The direct and indirect path both create the conclusion that eating more whole foods and cutting out added sugar can help prevent metabolic disease.

  • One mega study showed that not only sugar, but sugar substitutes in soft drinks can lead to visceral fat—fat around the middle. Rather than switching to diet drinks, switch to the ultimate diet drink, water.
  • Eating too much sugar can lead you to fill up on empty calories, leaving no room for nutritious ones that supply the nutrients your body needs to be healthy.
  • Not only is it hard to kick the sugar habit, because it seems to be in all processed food, sugar is addictive. It activates the opioid receptors in the brain, stimulating the release of dopamine, like opioids do.
  • Men with an apple shape and women with a pear shaped body indicates the potential for metabolic disease. That comes from visceral fat that lies deep in the abdomen and crowds the organs. Sugar consumption increases the tendency for visceral fat.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport


Great Protein Sources For Vegans

Great Protein Sources For Vegans

One of the problems faced by vegans is getting complete proteins. There are 20 amino acids that create a bond to make proteins. The body can make eleven of those, but it can’t make nine. They have to come from the food we eat and are called essential proteins. A complete protein contains all nine essential amino acids. Unlike animal sources that contain all nine in adequate amounts, not all plant protein sources are complete. These nine amino acids include: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, lysine, methionine and valine. Finding complete protein sources for Vegans is one of the challenges faced eating a plant-based menu.

Vegan protein sources that are complete, but most aren’t.

While it’s harder to find complete proteins in a plant-based diet, there are some sources. Buckwheat, soy and quinoa are complete. However, most aren’t, so you have to combine sources to make them complete. Luckily, you don’t have to do it all at one time or at each meal, as was previously thought. You can eat a variety of plant protein sources throughout the day and meet your needs for complete proteins.

Soy products are great protein sources.

Whether it’s tofu, edamame, tempeh or other soy product, it’s normally a great source of protein. Tofu, soy curds, have ten grams of protein in every half cup. It’s often used as a meat substitute. Edamame offers 8 ½ grams per cup. Edamame are immature soybeans and often used as snacks. Tempeh is cooked and fermented soy that has 15 grams of protein for every half cup. Soy products are often used to replace dairy.

You can combine sources of protein at a meal for a complete protein.

Eating a variety of different protein sources throughout the day is the best way to achieve your protein goal. However, if you want to ensure you have a complete protein at a meal, you can simply combine two sources. For instance, whole grains and beans, such as beans and rice or pita bread and hummus, create a complete protein. Whole grains with nuts or seeds, think nut butter and whole wheat bread, also are complete proteins. Nuts and seeds with beans also are complete.

  • Not only are lentils a good source of protein, providing 8.84 grams per half cup, they also provide potassium. You can increase your protein intake by including lentils in salads and soups.
  • If you like hummus, you like chickpeas, which are a good source of protein with 7.25 grams per half cup. Best of all, you can get this protein as part of your snack.
  • PB&J never gets old and provides a great source of protein, especially when on whole wheat bread—even better Ezekiel bread. Peanut butter has 7 grams per serving—2 tablespoons, while almond butter contains 6.8 grams per serving.
  • Adding tons of dark leafy green vegetables to your diet will supplement your protein intake. Kale has 2 grams of protein per cup and broccoli contains 4 grams per medium stalk. Even mushrooms provide protein, with five providing about 3 grams.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport


Best Workouts When You Have An Injured Knee

Best Workouts When You Have An Injured Knee

There are always people who come into SkinSport in Phoenix AZ and Anthem, AZ who have special needs. Some want ones that are good for people with bad backs, heart conditions or any special needs. If you have an injury, we modify the workout to meet your needs. We even have workouts when you have an injured knee. Meeting special needs is one reason personal trainers are so popular. Here are just a few ways to exercise on your own with a knee injury.

Loosen up with stretches and foam roll exercises.

When you first return to exercising, you need to take it slow. Stretches are a great way to warm up unused muscles after an injury, particularly if you’ve had a cast. It’s important to get all the muscles moving. Start simple with a knee straightener. Sit in a straight chair, feet flat on the floor. Lift one leg to straighten it, exhaling in the process and then lower. You can do this standing, too. Lay on your back and lift one leg. You can grab it to help lift. Include a standing quad stretch, calf stretch and seated hamstring stretch to reach all the muscles of the knee.

Try these exercises to help you stay in shape without stressing your knees.

If you just were injured and need to completely stay off your knee, there’s no need to let other parts of your body suffer. Do assisted pull-ups, laying dumbbell presses, seated overhead shoulder presses, a seated row, lateral pulldowns and incline dumbbell press. If you have a serious injury, always wait for the doctor to give you the go ahead. However, if you can still get out, doing exercises that focus on other body parts will keep you in shape.

Do exercises that don’t put pressure on the knee.

You don’t have to stick exclusively to upper body workouts. There are lower body workouts that don’t put undo pressure on the knee. Crunches and pushups are floor exercises that can be used. Leg lifts and heel raises done with resistance bands are a few. While running may be out, don’t give up cardio exercises. You can swim, use a recumbent bicycle or an elliptical.

  • Know your body and listen to it. If you feel knee pain, you may be putting too much strain on your knee. Stop and take a rest.
  • Working out and boosting your circulation will actually help your knee heal faster. It also helps prevent weight gain. I can’t express it often enough, always check with your health care professional first.
  • Using resistance bands can help you improve your range of motion. Start by doing front leg extensions without a band and either add leg weights or use resistance bands as your knees get stronger.
  • It’s always best to work with a personal trainer, particularly when you start. He or she can help develop a program specifically for your needs and identify the muscles that need the most help, plus create a program that will safely get you into shape.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport


Keeping Fit At Home

Keeping Fit At Home

So much changed almost overnight in Anthem, AZ, when the governor announced the stay at home order. For some, it was a time to sit and binge watch Netflix, but for others it was a challenge. Many of my clients were focused on keeping fit at home, so they wouldn’t lose those important fitness advancements they’ve achieved. I’ve had several clients ask for some routines they could do at home that didn’t require a lot of room or equipment. Here are a few exercises you can do throughout the day when you can’t make it to the gym.

It’s all about getting moving and doing it often.

Even if you’re stuck at home, that doesn’t mean you have to huddle on the couch with a bag of chips and the remote. Take the time to get moving. That doesn’t mean you can’t watch your favorite shows, just sprinkle it with exercise. If you don’t own resistance bands, get a set, they’re great for strength training, pack away easily and cost very little. Do lunges with soup cans in your hands as weights, squats or just hang on to the side of the chair as you watch TV and do squats. Push ups or modified knee-bent push-ups are another addition to stay at home workouts.

Every workout should have five elements.

Start every intense workout with a warm up. You need to gradually get the body ready for a tough cardiovascular and intense muscle workout. It all begins with increasing your body temperature, while increasing the blood flow throughout the body. Walking briskly in place is one way to do it at home. You can get all three types of workouts cardio, strength and flexibility by doing interval training. Start with side kicks for 10-30 seconds, rest for half the time and repeat up to 8 times. Do the same with the next exercises: Skater jump, crab toe touch, frogger, curtsy lunge and finish with ten minutes of cool down.

Get the kids involved.

If you found yourself being the teacher, it’s time to teach gym. Get the kids involved with your workout and you’ll both be healthier. You may find they’re more fun when you do them together. Start with push-ups. If you have an older child, you can both do them. Let your child do knee bent push-ups if necessary. If you have a young child, let them sit on your back while you do a push-up to get a real workout. Squats are versatile enough you can do them with your child or with a younger child hanging onto your back or sitting on your shoulders. Lunges, sit ups and the plank can be done with the child as your partner or part of the workout.

  • For those with children, making them part of your exercise routine is rewarding. Kids love the extra attention, whether they’re working out with you or sitting on your back while you do.
  • If you’re working out at home, schedule your workout at a specific time, as you would any appointment.
  • It’s important to ensure your form is correct. No matter what exercise you do, form is the most important part. Doing a workout more slowly and focusing on form is far better than pushing yourself to do it faster or do more repetitions.
  • If you want to workout with weights, empty milk or detergent jugs filled with sand or water can substitute for weights. If you have work to do around the house, just pick up the pace and put all your effort into it. Cleaning windows, washing walls and sweeping with vigor gives a good workout.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness Center


Keep Your Skin Healthy All Year Long

Keep Your Skin Healthy All Year Long

People who come to SkinSport in Phoenix, love the results they get. They lose weight, get fitter, increase their energy level and see positive results in all parts of their body. In fact, many of the dietary and exercises improve your appearance in other ways. They keep your skin healthy all year long. The combination of increased fitness, improved circulation and better nutrition is what makes the difference.

Make your skin look years younger by focusing on healthy fat.

In order to look your best, you need the right type of nutrition. Increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet is a start. Omega-3 fatty acids aid in keeping your skin supple, thick and moist. It reduces inflammation and the potential for acne. Walnuts and fatty fish are a good source of omega-3. Both also contains vitamin E, which is excellent for reducing skin damage, zinc and provides a good source of protein to aid in beautiful skin. Avocados are a source of healthy fat. It also helps keep skin moisturized and supple. New studies show that eating them regularly can help prevent skin damage from the sun. They are also a source of vitamin E and vitamin C, both of which protect the skin.

Include a rainbow of fruits and vegetables in your diet.

Each meal should contain fruits and vegetables. Sweet potatoes and other orange vegetables contain beta carotene that converts to vitamin A in the body. It’s also in spinach, which doesn’t fit the color code. Having adequate vitamin A is a natural sunscreen and provides antioxidants that protect the skin. Red or yellow bell peppers also contain vitamin A, but more importantly, is a rich source of vitamin C. That’s necessary to produce collagen, which reduces the risk of dry, wrinkled skin. Broccoli has both vitamin A and vitamin C, but also many other minerals and vitamins, which includes zinc. Tomatoes, another great source of vitamin C, contains lycopene, that protects the skin from the sun.

Exercise is essential for good circulation and can keep you younger at a cellular level.

When you workout, it extends telomeres. Telomeres protect the chromosomes from damage and cell death. The more damage and cell death that occurs, the older you’ll look. Exercise also boosts your circulation, which sends oxygen and nutrient rich blood throughout your system and to each cell. Exercise also helps flush cellular debris out when you sweat.

  • Getting adequate sleep can help you look refreshed and renewed each day. When you sleep it boots HGH—the human growth hormone—that’s necessary for healthy skin, strong nails and beautiful hair.
  • Avoid stress, learn meditation or workout to burn off the hormones of stress. Cortisol interferes with the production of collagen, which you need for supple beautiful skin.
  • Quit smoking if you smoke. Smoking narrows the blood vessels, including in your outer layer of skin. That means less blood flow gets to the cells, which causes a reduction in nutrition and oxygen.
  • Drink plenty of water. Even mild dehydration can cause cellular build up, dry skin, psoriasis, premature wrinkling and discoloration.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness Center


Benefits Of Walking

Benefits Of Walking

If you want to start an inexpensive and easy way to start a fitness program, try walking. It could be the first “step” toward fitness. There are a lot of benefits of walking and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time. In fact, studies show that you can break your workouts into ten minute sessions and get the same benefits as you would doing it continuously for a half hour. You’ll improve your heart health when you walk more and that’s just the beginning.

Build your bones with a weight bearing exercise.

Osteoporosis, reduced bone density, occurs more frequently in older women. Just like strength building exercises, weight-bearing exercise, like walking, can help slow the loss of bone. You’ll decrease your risk of stroke and can manage high blood pressure better when you walk. It also helps reduce stiffness, joint and muscle pain, as well as being beneficial to diabetics. Walking also helps shave off the pounds and obesity is the leading cause of preventable deaths, surpassing smoking several years ago.

Make your walk brisk to get the most benefit.

What is brisk for you, may not be brisk for someone else who is fitter or less fit than you are. That’s why adopting a definition that accounts for fitness differences is important. Brisk means that you can walk and still are able to talk, but singing would be out of the question. While you might puff a bit, you still can navigate the walk easily. One morbidly obese man was told he would die if he didn’t lose weight. He started out by walking. He could only go out the house and down to the street initially, but as the months passed he managed to go around the block, then further. He lost hundreds of pounds and now runs marathons. Always keep your walking safely within your fitness level.

Make some lifestyle changes to get more exercise.

Maybe you do have a really crowded life, but modifying a few things can help you get in more exercise. Remember it only takes ten minutes at a time to reap the benefits. Start by parking further from the store and walking. If you have to take the elevator anywhere, skip it and take the stairs. If your destination is on a high floor, use the stairs as far as you can and take the elevator the rest of the way. The same is true for going anywhere, especially if you use public transportation, get off a few stops early and walk the rest of the way.

  • Make your walk an appointment at the same time each day. Just like any exercise program, you’ll be more apt to maintain it when you feel it’s important and schedule it into your day.
  • As you get fitter, make your walking path more challenging. Take a route with hills or increase your distance or time spent walking.
  • Focus on posture when you walk. It’s important to have good posture. If you walk with a friend, check each other’s posture while you walk.
  • Walk slowly for a warm up and transition to a faster walk as you go, slowing it as you come near the end for a cool down. You can make your walk high intensity training by alternating between a fast walk and a recovery or slower walk.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness Center


How To Make Time For Workouts When You Don't Have Any Time

How To Make Time For Workouts When You Don’t Have Any Time

I see a lot of busy people in Phoenix, AZ, and many of them feel they can’t make time for workouts. I love helping people get fit and while I firmly believe that if you schedule a workout with a trainer or in a small group, you’ll automatically fit it into your schedule, I don’t walk in the shoes of every person who may be juggling a job, child and other responsibilities. So for those people, here are some tips to help you get or stay fit, even when life tries to dictate otherwise.

Look toward early morning for your workout.

The obvious choice is to rise earlier and exercise then or workout later at night, after all your tasks are done and the kids are in bed. It was once thought that exercising at night would rev up your system and make sleep impossible. That’s been proven false. In fact, it burns off the hormones of stress, which helps you fall asleep. So whether you’re an early bird or a night owl, find your best time and put in the work. You’ll be glad you did.

Break down your workout to several ten minute ones you can do throughout the day.

One study found that walking 30 minutes a day all at one time did no more good than breaking down that walking to three 10-minute sessions. Both provided the benefits whether done at one time or throughout the day. Break your workout down to several ten minute sessions and put them in your schedule when you have a few minutes to spare.

Workout with your family.

There’s a lot of studies on childhood obesity and fitness. They all indicate that kids need to get more exercise and eat healthier. You control both. You don’t have to be torn between getting and staying fit and making time for family. You can do both at once. Make an hour a day family time when you all do something active. It could be as simple as a game of tag or basketball or a bit more complicated, like a complete workout. You’ll be instilling the need to stay active, while encouraging the good health of all participants.

  • Include exercise as part of your daily tasks. If you live close enough to work to run, bike or walk, do it. Walk to the grocery if it’s within a few miles of your home. Take the stairs or park further from your destination than you normally would. Anything that increases your exercise is good.
  • Switch your after work drink with colleagues to an after work workout. You can socialize, while keeping each other motivated. Workout partners hold you accountable.
  • Do you want time for date night with a spouse? Schedule your date night at the gym and follow it with a delicious healthy meal.
  • If you take time to watch TV or follow friends on social media, multitask, or skip it entirely. Use that time for exercise, either in conjunction with the activity or instead of it.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness


Why It's Important To Meal Plan

Why It’s Important To Meal Plan

When I suggest to clients that it’s easier to lose weight and get healthier when they have a meal plan, I can almost feel their disdain for the idea. However, meal planning and cooking the meals ahead on the weekend not only saves money and time, it makes it far easier to say no to take out and fast food. The meals are all ready to heat and eat, so the time spent during the week is less than it would take waiting at the drive through window.

Meal planning is a multi-step process.

One day is spent planning and creating a grocery list. One day is shopping for the food and a day or even two will be devoted to cooking the meals for a week or more. One of the biggest problems people face at the end of the day is that their brain is in no condition to decide what to eat. They just want something easy to get it done. Half of the battle is having all the ingredients on hand for a dinner. That’s why the planning and shopping phase is just as important, if not more important, as the preparation stage.

Cooking food on the weekend lets you rest after work during the week.

Whether your work is that of domestic genius, factory worker, office worker or multiple roles, at the end of the day, most people are exhausted. You can cook several meals at once, chopping and combining ingredients for one, while another one is in the oven. You can also double recipes, creating meals for a following week, cutting down preparation time later. If baked chicken is one meal, plan a salad using leftover chicken for another day.

Paying attention to serving size is important.

If you’re trying to lose weight, serving size is one of the most important factors. By planning ahead and using divided freezer containers to create your own microwave dinner, you’ll be able to have an accurate measurement of serving size. It also cuts the risk of leftovers and eliminates those questions about dishes tucked to the back of the refrigerator. “Is it brown vegetables or green meat?”

  • It also is important to plan snacks, too. Don’t forget to make snacks that are easy to store, like veggies and dip or homemade trail mix.
  • Planning meals ahead allows you to find ways to use all the leftover perishable food you buy for one meal for other meals, so nothing goes to waste.
  • Planning meals lets you take advantage of sales and coupons. That provides one more savings, in addition to the savings on restaurant food and wasting food.
  • When you plan meals and have a shopping list, you’re not only less likely to buy take-out or junk food, you’re less likely to impulse shop and bring home bags of sugary treats.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness


How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

How Much Protein Do You Actually Need?

Depending on the latest trend in dieting, whether it’s keto or simply healthy eating, the amount of protein necessary varies, but not by much. Higher protein diets keep you feeling fuller longer, so people often have more weight loss on these types of diets. However, you can also get an excess of protein and miss many of the nutrients you’d get from one that is based on healthy eating if you take it too far. Finding the right mix of fats, carbohydrates and protein is important, too.

The amount of protein you need is based on several factors.

Age, physical activity, gender and whether you’re pregnant or breastfeeding all help in determining the amount of protein you need. The average person needs about 1/3 gram (0.36 grams) per pound of body weight. However, if you’re really active, you need more. For the very active person, the amount increases to 0.5 to 0.9 grams per pound. There are also exceptions. As a person ages, their ability to process protein declines, so they may require more protein to prevent muscle loss. Women who breastfeed or are pregnant require the extra protein for the baby’s needs.

Adequate protein is important, but you can get too much of a good thing.

Just because active people require more, there is a limit. Getting too much protein for a long time can cause health issues. It may start with intestinal problems or indigestion, but lead to exhaustion, dehydration, nausea, diarrhea, headache and irritability. Long term over consumption may cause disorders of the blood vessels, seizures, kidney disease, liver disease, cardiovascular disease and even death. There are also links to cancer, osteopenia and osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes. Luckily, you’d have to consume over 2 grams for every 2.2 pounds every day, which is double the recommended amount for a sedentary person, for a long time to see signs of over consumption.

How much is too much?

If you weighed as little as 110 pounds and ate a pound of steak every day, but no other protein, you’d still be safe. That pound of steak would average about 112 grams of protein, which is still under the danger point of 2.2 grams. It’s still good to keep an eye on your protein intake and not overdo it, especially if you’re following a Keto or other high protein diet.

  • A high protein diet may be good for weight loss, because it fills you up and keeps you full longer, but don’t forget, weight loss is still all about calories burned to calories consumed. Any excess calories are still stored as fat.
  • Most of the problem from excess protein isn’t from diet or daily eating. It comes from taking protein supplements. Learning to eat healthy is the best way to ensure you have all the nutrients you need.
  • Protein is necessary. It’s the building block for all the body, skin, muscles, bones, cartilage and blood.
  • One of the biggest problems people find with over consumption of protein is smelly breath that doesn’t seem to disappear with flossing or brushing. It’s a true deterrent to over consumption of protein.

For more information, contact us today at Skin Sport Fitness