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Are You Drinking Enough Water?

waterWater is such a vital component to everyone’s health and fitness. You can go weeks without food but you will only last a few days without water. So what does water exactly do? It has many functions throughout the body and every cell in the human body requires it. Some of the functions include the regulation of body temperature, protection of the body’s internal organs, as well as being a key component in digestion. Almost every system in your body requires water to function properly.

What are the signs you are dehydrated? Well if you find yourself very thirsty you are likely in a mild stage of dehydration. Symptoms of mild to moderate dehydration include dry mouth, thirst, dry skin, headache, and dizziness or being lightheaded. Severe dehydration can be life threatening and medical attention should be an immediate priority. Symptoms of severe dehydration include extreme thirst, confusion, low blood pressure, rapid heart rate, rapid breathing, and unconsciousness.

How much water should you be drinking? A good rule is to aim for ½ of your bodyweight (lbs.) in ounces. For example if I’m a 200 pound male, my daily intake for the day should be around 100 oz. of water. A positive indicator that you are well hydrated is the color of your urine. When you visit the restroom your urine should be mostly clear and very light yellow. If you notice a more dark yellow color chances are you are slightly dehydrated.

What about exercise? If you are an active person and find yourself doing an abundance of physical activity your water requirements may be more depending on how much you sweat. An easy tool that you can use is an ordinary weight scale to measure your fluid loss. Here’s how. Weigh yourself before you begin exercise and immediately after. For example, if I weigh 200 pounds before I begin my exercise and I weigh 198 pounds immediately afterwards I have lost 2 pounds of fluid that needs to be replaced. I did not lose fat or muscle during this time but water is the reason why my weight has dropped. So if we do a little simple math, there are 16 oz. in one pound, and if I lost 2 pounds that means I will need 32 oz. (16 oz. X 2) of fluid to return back to my normal hydration levels.

Water is an extremely important piece to keeping your body operating at its optimal level. So for those who neglect their daily water intake, let’s grab those bottles and fill them up! You may be surprised with the difference in the way you feel and how your fitness performance may improve.

Intensity – Are You Really Pushing Yourself?

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There are few other variables as important as intensity when it comes to your fitness training program. Many people have good intentions by going to the gym or following a specific exercise program, but they lack intensity. The real issue boils down to a sense of productivity. Yes, you may be training for one hour, but what are you getting done in that one hour?

The real magic happens when you step outside of your comfort zone. Challenging yourself to things you didn’t think were possible and then overcoming them. There is no shortage of focus on the actual training aspect of fitness, but what is usually never discussed are the mental challenges you will face. Have you heard that voice in your head? You know, the one that says you can’t do it, or that you should stop when things start to get uncomfortable. That voice can be a great asset or your worst enemy. If you can learn to control that voice and keep going when you think you can’t do anymore, that is when you will truly make progress towards whatever goal you are trying to achieve.

It reminds me of when Muhammad Ali was asked how many situps he did. His response, I don’t count my sit-ups. I only start counting when it starts hurting. When I feel pain, that’s when I start counting, because that’s when it really counts.

Many of you stop when the pain starts to set in and the brain screams for you to stop. But that is the moment where the magic happens. Those reps are the ones that are giving you the most progress.

So only you know if you’re really giving an all-out effort towards your goals. Effort is between you and you. Only you know deep down if you are really giving it all you got. Or are you just pretending you are? Only you can answer that question. So I encourage you for those that are just going through the motions or haven’t stepped outside their comfort zone to do so. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and the sky is the limit for your goals and progress.

Michael Snader, BodyAware Specialist and Nutritionist.

Yoga for a healthy gut

Aging begins in your belly.

Digestive health informs every aspect of our emotional and physical well-being. Many of the breathing and postural practices are directly aimed at the digestive tract.

When an area is opened or stretched out in a yoga pose, new life-giving nutrients are able to circulate into the cells. In this systematic way, yoga poses massage the vital organs associated with the digestive system, stimulate the digestive muscles and increase the wave like movements in the body that are known as Peristalsis. Yogic breathing exercises send oxygen deep into the cells of the body and help it to absorb nutrients and excrete waste products thoroughly. Yoga helps to reduce the stress response, re-balance the autonomic nervous system and create a powerful relaxation response that allows the healing functions of the parasympathetic nervous system to occur.

It is not necessary to wait until stomach ache or irregular bowel patterns have dissipated to begin your practice; start as soon as you can.

Yoga is highly beneficial for people who suffer from these chronic ailments, but if you are recovering from an obstruction or surgery, you should make sure your body is ready to practice.  If you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome you will find yoga, no matter what stage of digestive flare up, to be very beneficial.

Some of us may have too much acid in our stomach.  This is affecting our mood, which affects our secretion of hormones, which affects the buildup of new cells in the muscles and skin, which may mean we hold ourselves or move differently, which affects our muscles and our bone structure, which in turn affects our body’s internal understanding of what needs to be produced and expelled, which results in more acid or far too little, which ends in sleep patterns and energy levels, optimism and pessimism, craving and apathy.  The cycles are endless as the cosmos.  This also means you can begin anywhere, anytime.

Yoga postures and breath work massage the internal organs and the nerves associated with hunger and satiation; yoga strengthens the muscles of the pelvic floor and deep core; it alternately constricts and invigorates the flow of blood to specific areas of the body, which works to tone the fabric of the various body tissues as it maximizes the absorption of nutrients and facilitates elimination of toxins.

Come let us practice Hara Yoga with our yoga instructor Samantha and have a happy and healthy Gut!

5 Tips to Lose the Holiday Bulge

  • Baby Steps. Avoid burnout at the gym by committing yourself to 3 days a week if you haven’t been exercising. Don’t fall victim to the February burnout where you are sick and tired of working out because you committed to training 7 days a week on January 1st. Remember, it’s a marathon and not a sprint.
  • Short and Sweet. Keep your workouts around 30-45 min. Focus on intensity rather than the duration of your training. Sure you can workout for 2 hours if you stop and chat to your buddy or post your set of bicep curls on Facebook, but you can save yourself some time and just go all out for 30 minutes and get better results.
  • Where’s the Beef? Make sure to include a protein source at each meal. Protein helps you feel fuller longer and can help keep hunger at bay. Even if you’re not a meat eater, ensure a plant based protein source at each meal as well as snacks if you can.
  • No Cola and a Smile. Ditch the calorie containing beverages. Sodas, juices, etc. Stick with water and if you need something with flavor add a lemon, lime, or cucumber. You can save yourself a ton of calories with this one simple change.
  • Drop the Excuses. I don’t have time to exercise. If I had a dollar for every time I heard this. The fact is we all have 168 hours in our week. We all have the same amount of time to get things done. Some just manage their time better than others. Get up 30 minutes earlier. Problem solved. At the end of the day losing weight takes effort. You have to be willing to roll up your sleeves and get uncomfortable. There are no quick fixes. Again, it’s about a lifestyle change and understanding that you need to be committed for the long haul.

fitness tips, holiday fitness

Should I Breathe through Nose or Mouth?

People are asking me in my yoga class that which is good for me, either breathing through nose or mouth – what’s important?

Certain individuals, whether children or adults, have a tendency to breathe through the

mouth instead of the nose.

yoga tips, yoga retreat st lucia

In general:  Nasal breathing is healthier than mouth breathing for several reasons. Your lungs take oxygen from the air, and absorption of oxygen happens mostly on exhalation. Exhaling through the nose, which is smaller than the mouth, creates greater air pressure and therefore a slower exhalation. This gives the lungs extra time to extract a greater amount of oxygen.

 

And if you’re asthmatic,you may want to make a general effort to breathe nasally, as mouth breathing may exacerbate asthma. Chronic mouth breathing can not only affect your quality of life, but your life, period.

Your nose has vital nervous system connections to your lungs and heart. Not breathing well through your nose can alter your heart rate and blood pressure, as well as to increasing your stress response.
Your nose makes about 2 pints of mucous every day. If your nose isn’t working properly and mucous isn’t cleared, the stagnant mucous can lead to infections such as sinusitis or ear infections.

Lastly, not breathing well through your nose can aggravate snoring or obstructive sleep apnea. Nasal congestion alone doesn’t cause obstructive sleep apnea, but it can definitely aggravate it. If your palate and tongue structures are predisposed to falling back easily due to sleeping on your back and muscle relaxation in deep sleep, then having a stuffy nose can aggravate further collapse downstream. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

In Yoga: Whether you are exercising mild includes yoga, sleeping or going about daily life, it is preferable to do nasal breathing rather than mouth breathing. When you breathe through your mouth, your brain is tricked into thinking that carbon dioxide is escaping the body too quickly. This stimulates the production of mucous, as the body attempts to slow the breathing.use obstructive sleep apnea, but it can definitely aggravate it. If your palate and tongue structures are predisposed to falling back easily due to sleeping on your back and muscle relaxation in deep sleep, then having a stuffy nose can aggravate further collapse downstream. Untreated obstructive sleep apnea can lead to chronic fatigue, depression, anxiety, weight gain, high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack and stroke.

Just breathe. It doesn’t matter whether you’re breathing out of your nose or your mouth while you exercise hard. When you’re working hard, breathe through your mouth helps to take in enough oxygen. If you concentrating on your breathing that keep you calm or mentally focused while training and competing, go ahead. Just don’t force yourself to breathe out of your nose if it isn’t comfortable.

When you do light exercise, you can breathe through the nose where you’re at about two to three times your resting breathing rate. At that point you exceed four to six times your resting breathing rate (exercise hard, sometimes running)—taking in 20 to 35 liters of air per minute – you have to breathe out through mouth, you can’t push 21 liters of air through your nose comfortably.

Learn lot of breathing techniques with Samantha, breathe perfect expand your life.

Make Vitamin D your Priority this Winter!

caribbean wellness, fitnessWINTER DARKENS THE SKIES AND ALSO THE MOOD.  THE LENGTH OF THE DAY WILL SHORTEN AND THE VITAMIN D IN YOUR SYSTEM WILL FALL

VITAMIN D plays more of a role in our day to day health than we think

The enzyme to convert the precursor of vitamin D is found in the Brain, Breast, Prostate, Colon, Vascular Smooth Muscle, Kidneys, Skin, Macrophages and Endothelium. Vitamin D receptors are found in virtually every cell in the body. So Vitamin D goes much further than just keeping our bones healthy.

VITAMIN D Levels predicts performance in older people

Vitamin D reduces incidences of diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, viral infections, autoimmune discorders and cancer.

VITAMIN D is Super!

Anti-inflammatory, antioxident & prevents DNA breaks (anti-cancer).

The majority of the world is unable to synthesise VITAMIN D from sunlight for a period of time over the winter months

A light skinned person will synthesise 20,000IU (international units) of Vitamin D in just 20minutes of sunbathing.

There is a need for frequent replenishment of the bodys supply of VITAMIN D

Vitamin D is stored in the liver for only 2 weeks.

40-75% of the world is VITAMIN D deficient

This increases risk of a huge number of illnesses and diseases, and with increased vitamin D levels these could be reduced by 50%.

Breast cancer is more common in women with low VITAMIN D levels

Low levels of vitamin D are highly indicative of more aggressive tumour.

VITAMIN D improves fast twitch muscle strength and power

 

Preventing Holiday Back Pain

Here are a few tips that will prevent you from getting common back-pain while traveling.

prevent back pain

  • Pack light
  • Wear your heaviest and bulkiest clothes when you travel
  • When lifting your suitcase bend with your knees  and keep the weight between both shoulders and close to your body.
  • Try to book an aisle seat on the plane so you can move about every 30 minutes
  • Stretch arm and legs every 30minutes for circulation and muscle health
  • Try to keep your seat upright for good spinal alignment with a small pillow/folded jumper or support behind your lower back
  • Avoid keeping a wallet in your back pocket when travelling, this can lead to pelvic tilt and can trigger pain
  • Ask for more pillows if needed – to support your neck or to sit on
  • Keep hydrated
  • When sunbathing, be careful of reading on your front with your back and neck arched, place the book on the sand in front of you and lie flat with a folded towel or cushion under your stomach so your spine keeps good alignment
  • Don’t stay in one position for more than 40minutes, keep moving throughout your day
  • If you have neck pain and enjoy swimming breast stroke try not to keep your head out of the water,  this  extended position and compresses joints in the neck and may lead to pain
  • If you have back, hip, knee or ankle injuries , be careful with high load sports and classes e.g. waterskiing, running , volleyball and beach fit.

 

For personal advice and treatment or to pre-book appointments with Lucy our Osteopath contact the Wellness Centre extension 7856.

Iridology

Iridology, also called Iris Diagnosis is the scientific study of the eye investigating markings and patterns of the iris to reflex manifestations and bodily malfunctions among the many organs of the body. The concept of iridology is that the eye serves as the gateway to the body whereby its condition gives clues to the overall condition of the patient.

The iris is like a map of the body – changes in certain organs are reflected in specific parts of the iris. The right iris shows the condition of the right side of the body, while the left iris reflects the left side.

While your with us, see Dr. Maha Lakshman for a consultation!

Plyometric Training

So what are plyometrics?

Simply put, plyometric exercises are powerful and fast movements usually done very explosively. You may have seen others in the gym performing box jumps, jump squats, medicine ball slams, or medicine ball throws, but you can use your own body weight to perform plyometric movements as well.

A common misconception is that only athletes need to perform plyometric movements. However, this is not true and we can all benefit from them.

You don’t have to be an athlete to incorporate plyometric movements into your fitness routine. In fact, adding a few of these exercises to your routine can help increase your overall power, speed, quickness, and agility. As a word of caution for someone who has minimal training experience, be sure to incorporate your plyometric movements at the beginning of your workout after your warm-up. This will ensure that you do not injure yourself later in your workout due to fatigue.

Need help putting together some plyometric movements? Check out the workout right here at The Body Holiday. You can also see  Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

Use Your Body Weight

Many people think that they need a fancy gym and elaborate fitness equipment in order to get an effective workout. The truth is you really don’t need any equipment other than yourself and a little bit of creativity to get the blood flowing.

When looking at your fitness programme you should always look to master your own bodyweight before adding weight to a specific exercise that you are performing. For instance, you should learn to perform a series of pushups correctly before attempting the bench press. Once you master the pushup you can then move on to the bench press. The same goes for other exercises including the squat as well. Learn how to squat effectively with your own bodyweight before adding a weighted bar to the movement.

Not sure what to do or how to perform a workout with your own bodyweight as resistance? Check out our Total Body Weight Circuit performed right here at the BodyHoliday.

Want more life changing advise? See  Michael our resident Nutritionist and BodyAware Consultant when you are with us! Don’t forget to subscribe to BodyHolidayTV for more great fitness and nutritional videos.

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