July 16, 2012
I used to be a big believer in “more is better.” Nowhere in my life did I apply this philosophy more than in my own fitness training. I subjected myself to countless forms of extreme exercise in order to achieve optimum health. As thrilling as these activities were, I often injured myself and felt older than my age warranted.
For my fortieth birthday, I set a goal to be in the best shape of my life. My extreme fitness regimes were not moving me in that direction. In my quest to be my best, I came across mounting evidence proving that merely 20 minutes of high intensity exercise is more beneficial to one’s body than 60 minutes of aerobic activity. My “more is better” brain had trouble believing it but the data was compelling.
According to current research, human growth hormone (HGH) gets released during high intensity exercises such as sprinting. HGH is often referred to as “the fountain of youth hormone.” Why? Because it is the “master hormone” of the body. HGH is directly responsible for stimulating tissue repair, cell replacement, and brain and enzyme function. It helps grow cells, bones, muscles, and organs. HGH also burns fat and slows the aging process. High levels of HGH surging through your blood stream have even been known to REVERSE the aging process.
For the past two years, I have applied this twenty-minute, high-intensity workout theory to my own training and I’ve recommended it to many patients, family, and friends. The results have been fantastic! What I’ve determined is that twenty minutes of the correct exercise at high intensity ABSOLUTELY will get you in better shape than long hours in the gym or pounding the pavement for a 10-mile run. Now, at forty-two, I am in better shape than I was at twenty-two because of the changes I’ve made to my diet and exercise regime.
I have found the following three exercises give me the best results for my twenty-minute workout. If you will consistently follow this plan 5-6 times a week for at least 21 days, you will find that you’ll raise your metabolism, you’ll burn more calories the hours immediately after your workout, you’ll build more muscle, and you’ll turn your body into a fat-burning machine.
This is where you perform a cardio type exercise such as running, walking, biking, or swimming but instead of doing so at an average pace for a long period of time, you do repeated 30 second sprints with rest periods in between. It looks like this:
- 2 minute warm up at an easy pace.
- 30 second sprint as hard as you can.
- 90 seconds at an easy pace.
- Then repeat 30-second sprints 8 times following each sprint with 90 second at an easy pace.
- When you have completed 8 sprints, finish with a 2-minute walk or cool down.
The high intensity sprints signal your body to release HGH. This total workout should only take about 20 minutes. Perform a sprunning workout 2-3 times a week.
Want to make it more intense? Find a good hill to sprint up. Nothing will get you in as good as shape as a 20-minute hill sprun!
Not up to running yet? You can sprun at a walking pace as well. Just make sure you are pushing yourself as hard as you can during your 30-second walking sprints.
The first thing to realize is the more muscle your body has the faster your metabolism will work. When people don’t incorporate some type of strength training routine into their workout, they miss a great opportunity not only to look and feel strong but to speed up their metabolism.
The key is to not bulk up from your weight training. You want functional strength that helps you prevent injuries and feel stronger throughout your day. One of the best ways to achieve functional strength is through Suspension Training.
Suspension training, such as the TRX (Total body Resistance eXerscise), is unique because the exercises you perform use your whole body, especially your core. With two straps that hang from a bar you can do just about any exercise using the weight of your body and gravity as the resistance. It doesn’t take many repetitions to see and feel results. A twenty-minute workout is not only tough, but will make you crazy strong.
Check out the TRX website at: www.trxtraining.com
Old school is back! Push ups, pull ups, lunges, squats, jumping jacks, step ups, burpees, floor sprints and other such exercises will get you in amazing shape if done with enough intensity. I love interval training because you can do it anywhere with no equipment. With interval training the idea is to continually get your heart rate up and down for twenty minutes. Here’s how it works.
- Pick an exercise you are going to perform (push ups, step ups, mountain climbers, jumping jacks, running in place, etc.)
- Set a timer for 20 seconds.
- Go all out with one of the exercises for 20 seconds. As many and as hard as you can.
- Rest for 10 seconds
- Repeat again for 20 seconds. Rest for 10 seconds.
- Repeat for a total of 8 repetitions.
- That should take a total of 4 minutes.
Pick 5 exercises and you have yourself an intense 20-minute workout.
You should be out of breath, sweating, and tired after 20 minutes of interval training.
You can download a free app for your smart phone called Tabatta Timer to get a timer that will help you with this workout.
Here are some other key concepts to remember when trying to maximize your results in as little time as possible.
- Workout first thing in the morning. This will raise your metabolism early in the day and cause your body to burn more calories throughout the day.
- 80% of how you look will be determined by what you eat. Want to show off the muscles you are building? Cut out the starchy carbs and sugar. This will take you out of an insulin-resistant state and allow your body to burn fat more effectively.
- Get enough sleep. There is growing evidence that sleeping can help you lose weight. How cool is that? Your body repairs, regenerates, and even burns calories when you’re asleep. Research is now showing that people who don’t get enough sleep, or who are night owls, have a more sluggish metabolism. For maximum results, make sure you are in your deepest sleep between 11pm and 3am. These are the hours when the cells of your body are designed to rejuvenate.
Feeling good doesn’t take a whole lot of time. Knowing the key concepts to apply to your fitness and weight loss plans is key. Incorporate these three exercises (Sprunning, Suspension Training, and Interval Training) 5-6 times a week into your exercise routine for at least three weeks and you WILL be in the best shape of your life!
June 4, 2012
Summer can be one of the best opportunities to relax and rejuvenate. In my office, we are dedicating our summer to helping you be the healthiest you possible! The following are six simple steps you can easily incorporate into your daily summer activities. Give yourself the gift of health this summer and watch your life blossom.
1. Eat Fresh & Colorful
Make it a rule to have colorful fresh fruit or vegetable with every meal. Add a green salad, red pepper, or orange slices to your meal. Raw fresh fruits and veggies are packed with enzymes that help your body breakdown your food. You’ll get of tons of energy, antioxidants to boost your immunity and fiber to keep your digestion on track.
Carve out time to just chill out. This will rebuild fatigued adrenals and help repair damaged cell tissue and get your energy back where you are thriving. Our adrenal glands secrete chemicals that give us energy, boost our moods, and keep us moving. Grab a good book, turn off your smart phone, dust off your lounge chair, and just relax. If you are feeling especially depleted from your hurried life, talk to your chiropractor about vitamins that are specifically designed to support your adrenals.
3. Hydrate your way to health A general rule of thumb is to avoid thirst, it is a state of dehydration indicating your body has lost 2% of its water weight. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, body aches, back & neck pain, and overall lethargy and malaise. It is incredibly difficult for your body to function optimally when it is not well hydrated. Try coconut water for a burst of electrolytes.
4. Commit to daily movement
Movement is a GIFT you give your body. The gift is more energy, loss of anxiety, a boost of immunity, revved up metabolism and a happier you! You will never regret time spent moving your body. Take twenty minutes everyday to walk, run, bike, swim, hike, or whatever type of movement is easiest for you to do. Just move!
5. Create a 30-Day discipline
A great way to make a change in habits that are not supporting your health is to commit to one new health habit for 30 days. It takes an average of 21 days for a habit to stick. Summer is a fantastic time to make that commitment. Give up sugar, take a dance class, a new exercise program, or run a 5k. You are sure be a success!
6. Get a dose of daily laughter
Best selling author Dr. Norman Cousins claims he healed himself from cancer by watching movies that constantly made him laugh. In his memoir, Anatomy of an Illness, Dr. Cousin’s points out laughter can releases pain-suppressing opiates, lowers blood pressure, reduces stress hormones, improves memory and learning, Find people and activity that puts a smile on your face and a laugh in your belly. ‘Laughter truly is the best medicine.’
As always, let me know how I can help you. My passion is helping people get their health back on track in a fun, easy, and enjoyable way. Cheers to your healthiest summer ever!!
May 25, 2012
Is Your Digestion Making You Sick?
Did you know that you have a second brain in your digestive system? Next to the nervous system the digestive system is the most important system in your body. Doctors are now linking poor health in the gut to chronic health problems such as weight gain, blood sugar imbalances, autoimmune problems, sluggish metabolisms, chronic pain and arthritis. With a highly processed diet combined with high stressed living our digestive tracts are quickly becoming the source of many health problems.
The following is what you need to know to keep your digestion on the right tract:
What destroys your digestive system?
A diet high in white sugar, white flours, white rice and low in fiber will greatly injure the gut leading to poor absorption of nutrients and chronic inflammation. These will destroy the good bacteria of your intestinal tract
The easiest way to destroy your gut is through eating foods packed with chemicals that extend their shelf life and are high in Omega 6 fatty acids.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, MD in his book the “The Blood Sugar Solution” many modern inventions such as antibiotics, acid blockers, anti-inflammatory medication, aspirin, steroids, antibiotics in our food supply, chronic stress, and even cesarean section births also injure the gut, alter our good digestive flora, and lead to systemic inflammation.
How do I know if my digestive system is in trouble?
A malfunctioning digestive tract cannot always be detected until a significant amount of damage has already occurred. The most obvious symptoms are pain or bloating after eating, episodes of diarrhea or constipation, or burning pain in the stomach.
A whole new set of symptoms are now being linked to poor health in the gut such as aches and pains that won’t go away, inflammatory arthritic pain, unexplained weight gain, sugar cravings, hypoglycemia, insulin-resistance, chronic colds, low energy, depression, many autoimmune diseases, and obesity.
Your body needs the perfect balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut lining in order to function at an optimum level. Poor eating habits and stress set up the bad bacteria to out-number the good. This damages the gut lining creating a leaky gut syndrome. Just like a sprained ankle, when the brain senses injury to the body it initiates an inflammatory response. When inflammation hits the digestive tract it damages your metabolism, affects how your brain controls appetite, and creates an insulin resistance and weight gain. If that inflammation continues, it will start to affect your joints causing pain, stiffness, and fatigue.
What can I do to heal my digestion?
1. No Whites
The first and most important step to repairing your gut is to get off the foods that damage it. A no white diet is a great first step. This means no white flour, sugar, rice, or pasteurized diary.
2. Eat Fresh Raw Foods
Enzymes help us break our food down so that we can digest our foods better There are naturally occurring enzymes in fresh raw foods..When we cook food we destroy those enzymes. This places all the burden of digestion on the digestive tract. A key step to getting your gut healthy again is to increase the number of fresh raw foods in your diet. Ideally you want to be eating fresh fruit and vegetables at every meal. Green vegetables such as celery and lettuce are great additions to any meal and will help your body breakdown the foods you eat better.
3. No Bad Fats
Bad fats include canola oil, safflower oil, vegetable oil, partially hydrogenated oils, and peanut oil. When we eat these oils it initiates the inflammatory response in our bodies. This inflammation will destroy the lining of our stomach and intestines and ultimately block the absorption of nutrients that are necessary to keep our bodies functioning optimally. Bottom line is that bad fats destroy your health
4. Add good bacteria
I highly recommend taking a probiotic supplement before every meal. Most likely you can get a good probiotic supplement at your chiropractor’s office or at a natural health food store. Adding good bacteria into your gut will help destroy harmful bacteria that may be making you sick. It also will help you increase the absorption of nutrients, fight infections, reduce yeast, and normalize the ph of your gut. Many patients ask me if they can just eat yogurt to get probiotics in their diet. I encourage a more quality source without the diary.
5. Get adjusted
In my sixteen years in practice, I have noticed that around ninety percent of patients with chronic low back pain, also have digestive problems. Why is that? If you look at the nerves that exit the vertebra of the lumbar spine, they supply information from the brain to the lower half of the body. This includes the small and large intestines. When a nerve has pressure on it from a bone, it reduces the amount of information that it can send. When any cell, tissue, or organ is deprived information from the brain it stops functioning properly. What a chiropractic adjustment does is move that bone off the nerve and allow brain and organ to communicate better.
6. Investigate more
There is a whole new way that doctors can investigate what is going on inside our bodies. It’s called Functional Health Testing. What functional health tests do is evaluate areas of your body that might not yet be in disease, but are definitely not functioning optimally. In our office, we use an at home diagnostic test that evaluates the stool to determine if a patient has allergies to certain foods, parasites, yeast, too much bad bacteria, too little good bacteria, or an infection that might be causing a patient to be in poor health. Once we determine where exactly the imbalance is, we can treat it nutritionally to improve a patients health.
If you suspect that some of your health problems may be coming from your gut or you want an evaluation to determine if your digestion has reached an unhealthy point, set a special appointment time with Dr. Mindy.