Posts Tagged ‘health’
Monday, June 17th, 2013
BATON ROUGE—LA Boxing Baton Rouge member Lindsay Black, 31, recently reached a milestone on her goal of personal fitness. Her journey hasn’t always been an easy one, but she credits LA Boxing for providing her with a challenge she can accept.
At just 30 years old, Black said she was afraid she was going to have a heart attack every day, somedays she even thought about it on multiple occasions.
“There would be times I would breathe in and have to stop because you can’t breathe anymore,” Black said. “You have to breathe it all out and try again.”
Black weighed 280 pounds and had reached her limit.
“I thought, ‘If I don’t do something now, I’m going to die by the time I’m 35,” Black said. “I was busting out of a size 24, I looked at that and said, ‘I can go buy a 26 now or join Weight Watchers.’”
That night, Black joined Weight Watchers and became a vegetarian. In the first week, she lost 6 pounds. Around week 3, she starting working out at home, and continued to do so for nearly 10 months.
“I was the person that never wanted to jiggle around in front of someone else, so I worked out at home until I had the gall to do something somewhere else,” she said.
Some of Black’s friends had tried LA Boxing and loved it, and although Black says she had no desire to box, she was going to join a friend to try a free class. The friend backed out, and after many attempts at finding a new workout partner, Black found her courage and attended the gym on her own.
“I was terrified; I thought everyone was going to have a friend here, but me,” she said. “But it was the most fun I’ve had and I joined very soon after.”
At the 6-month mark, Black had lost 42 pounds.
“I didn’t look at it as a challenge,” she said. “I went from eating poorly and sitting on my butt to doing what everyone else does.”
Now, Black works out 5-6 days a week, and maintains a healthy diet. On the weekends, Black goes grocery shopping and prepares her meals and snacks for the week so there is never a question about healthy food choices.
“I was never part of a gym before, and I wanted absolutely nothing to do with a gym,” she said. “But I came here, I burned a ton of calories, I felt great after, I felt challenged, and I’ve learned what my body is capable of.”
June 7th marked 17 months at LA Boxing for Black, with a total weight loss of 137 pounds. Black only has 8 more pounds to go before she reaches her goal weight of 135.
“I had no idea coming in here that I would love boxing, but I love it!” she said. “I will keep coming here until I’m 100 years old.”
Tuesday, June 11th, 2013
BATON ROUGE—Although the official start of summer is a few weeks away, we’ve already seen high temperatures worthy of the title. Perhaps your workout could use some shaping up for the new season? Here are some tips to get your summer started right:
—Mix it up: Keep a list full of different activities you can do to workout different parts of your body, no matter what the weather is like. Trying new activities keeps the mind and body active, both of which are important in a workout routine.
—Get a partner: When you make a commitment to hit the gym with someone else, it’s much more difficult to break that promise. Plus, working out with a friend can make things more fun. When working out with a partner, set a regular time and place to meet, make sure your buddy is just as committed as you are, and have common fitness goals.
—Reward yourself: Small rewards can help you stay motivated. Treat yourself to a new pair of running shoes or boxing gloves when you reach a challenging fitness goal. Just make sure your rewards are non-food related.
—Set reasonable goals: Set goals that will provide a challenge for you, but don’t make them impossible; you will either get injured or discouraged.
Whether you’re maintaining your fitness or trying to shape up for swimsuit season, make sure your summer workout is a fun one!
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
BATON ROUGE—Find yourself obsessing over the scale on a regular basis? Stop! When you’re focused on exercising and eating healthy to lose weight or even tone up, many gym-goers rely entirely too much on the scale readings. Instead, judge progress through other means of measurement.
LA Boxing Baton Rouge’s personal trainer, Stacey DeJohn, said the numbers on the scale can often deceive someone who is trying to track their progress.
“I tell a lot of members to draw their focus away from the scale because it can be misleading, to a degree,” DeJohn said. “People either forget or don’t realize the differences in density between muscle and fat. A pound of fat has a much larger volume than a pound of muscle”
According to William D. McArdle of “Exercise Physiology”, 1 liter of muscle weighs 2.3 lbs while 1 liter of fat weighs 1.98 lbs. Of course this may vary due to numerous factors including race, being extremely lean, or being extremely obese.
DeJohn said people often use the scale as a tool for motivation. They may see one or two pounds slide off and it gives that person some reassurance that they are getting closer to their fitness goals. However, tipping the scale into the heavier direction does not necessarily mean you’re losing the battle.
“I often see clients increase in body weight and get discouraged. Yet, tracking their workouts in terms of reps, pace, and intensity, these numbers tell a much different story. Their energy levels are higher, their cardio threshold is increased, and they have much more strength,” explained DeJohn.
Checking your weight every morning and every night often leads to a motivational bust. “In the morning your body is dehydrated and nutrition deprived. Of course you’re going to weigh less in the earlier hours than mid-day after you’ve replenished yourself with fluids and food.”
Instead of driving yourself crazy over the fluctuating numbers of the scale, find simple alternatives to determine whether or not your fitness program is leading you down the right path.
“It’s more about what you see in the mirror and how your clothes fit than what the scale says. The numbers are not always 100 percent accurate in explaining the changes your body could be going through. You may not be happy with the scale but pleasantly surprised by the change in your waistline,” DeJohn said.
It’s important to take measurements of key areas, such as the waist, thighs, shoulders, and chest. These numbers provide an actual record and history of your progress. She also suggests taking a picture of yourself before you start your workout regimen, and then again at 4 weeks, 8 weeks, and 12 weeks, and compare the pictures to see the change in your body.
“Since you look at yourself every day and you’re around the same people all the time, it might be harder to actually see the change,” she said. “But once you put the before and after pics side by side, it’s a whole different world.”
To discover more or get started on a fitness regime of your own, contact LA Boxing Baton Rouge at 225-291-5269 (Sherwood/Coursey) or 225-341-3105 (Perkins/Acadian).
Tuesday, April 30th, 2013
BATON ROUGE—At LA Boxing, we promise to deliver an intense workout. However, it’s only intense if you give it your all, so how can you tell just how much your body is working? The Huffington Post’s blog on healthy living offers “5 Ways You Can Tell You’re Having a Good Workout.”
1. Rate of perceived exertion (RPE): Use a chart of 0-10 to rate the feelings cause by your exertion. For example, sitting on the couch would get a 0, as more exertion gets you closer to 10. At the same time, be realistic. Most people might think they are exerting at an 8, when it’s really a 5.
2. Actual Heart Rate: You could use a heart rate monitor, which will report your heart rate, calories burned, and if you’re working out within your target heart rate zone. To figure out your maximum heart rate, try one of these methods.
—The age-based calculation: 220 (men) or 226 (women) minus age. This is an average statistical prediction of your maximum heart rate and is better for beginners.
—Record highest heart rate: Workout at your maximum effort and record your heart rate. It’s best to do this while participating in a sport or an exercise you do often.
—Clinical stress testing: This is the most accurate and recommended for those over the age of 40, overweight, sedentary, or have a family history of heart disease. A professional will determine your maximum heart rate.
Once you know your maximum heart rate, you can determine how hard you’re working during a workout. Are you working at 60 percent of your maximum or at 100 percent?
3. Quality over quantity: The intensity of activity should dictate the amount of time you spend working out. The goal is to workout harder in a shorter amount of time.
4. Muscle fatigue: Your muscles reach maximum effort once they can no longer contract. You want to reach maximum effort, but don’t push too hard, to the point of dizziness.
5. Increased hunger: An increase in hunger immediately after or during a workout is normal with heightened energy expenditure. Eat your required calories, especially within the first 30 minutes after your workout.
Further reading—Shape magazine: Maximum Heart Rate Calculation (photo source)
Tuesday, April 16th, 2013
BATON ROUGE—Maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle isn’t easy, so when you find yourself hitting a rut, use these tips from The Globe and Mail to reboot your diet and get back on a healthy track.
1. Hydrate in the morning. Being dehydrated causes us to crave more sugar, reduces energy levels, and increase cholesterol and blood pressure. Start your day with a glass of water and work your way up to a liter each day before crabbing your morning cup of joe.
2. Lose a box. Identify the least healthy meal in your diet—perhaps it’s a frozen box of nothing good—and eliminate it from your routine. Substitute that meal for something better for your body.
3. Sit down and relax. Eating too quickly leads to overeating. Next time you sit down to a meal, put down your fork after each bite, chew and swallow before picking it back up again.
4. Eat tapas style. When going out to eat, or even at home, get into the habit of sharing your food to avoid overeating.
5. Taste the rainbow. Try to eat one food the represents every color of the rainbow each day, such as black or blueberries, tomatoes or watermelon, squash or carrots, kale or broccoli, and potatoes or cauliflower.
6. Drink a smoothie. Make your own well-rounded smoothie to help muscles recover, give you energy, or help you get a good night’s rest.
7. Go antique shopping. Replace modern dishes with antique ones, which are smaller than today’s large crockery sets. eating from a smaller plate will help you with portion control.
Further reading from Fitbie: Reset Your Diet
Tuesday, April 9th, 2013
According to an article in The Star, “Ten Ways to Work Out at Work,” there are easy ways to get moving during the 9-5 hours.
1. Check your screen. Avoid bad posture by making sure your computer screen is at a position that won’t put strain on your head and neck.
2. Take the stairs. Skip the elevator and take the stairs at least twice a day, skip a few steps while you’re at it.
3. Change your commute. Ride your bike to work or park in the spot furthest away from the office.
4. Combat computer slouch. Strengthen your rhomboid muscles (the ones that squeeze your shoulder blades together) by stretching your arms straight out from your sides and up, squeezing the shoulder blades.
5. Move. Take a walk around your office or step outside for as long as 15 minutes for each hour of work. The short breaks are good for your body and will even keep your mind energized throughout the day.
6. Shadow box. Throw a few air punches or walk briskly around your office to get the blood flowing.
7. Core workout. Work your core while sitting in your office chair. Tighten and release the stomach muscles, tightening for 10-20 seconds, resting for 30, and repeating.
8. Leg workout. While sitting in your office chair, raise one leg as high as possible, hold for two seconds, and release. Switch legs. Repeat on each leg 15 times.
9. Break time. Every time you take a bathroom or a coffee break, commit to doing a set of squats or pushups.
10. Change up the desk. Invest in a standing desk or swap your office chair for a yoga ball.
Discovery Health: 10 Office Exercises You Can Do Secretly
Washington Post: 12 Office Exercises
Photo source: How to Work Out Secretly at the Office
Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013
BATON ROUGE—Like humans, animals need regular exercise to stay healthy. While some animals can stay fit by regular play and life in the wild, other animals need special care and even custom workout routines from their trainers.
The Oregon Zoo is home to Eddie the otter, who is considered geriatric at 16 years old, and needs a special workout for his arthritic elbows. His trainer taught him how to play basketball to keep his joints moving.
Mother Nature Network put together an article compiling other animals getting their workouts in, including a walrus doing pushups and crunches, a cheetah race, and lions playing rugby, among others.
See all of the animal workouts here.
Have an animal of your own? Incorporate your dog into a workout you both can enjoy, like jogging on a new trail, or even playing frisbee or fetch can get your heart rates up.
Check out more tips on getting your animal involved in your workouts here.
Tuesday, March 26th, 2013
BATON ROUGE—Easter is right around the corner—will the Easter bunny be leaving you a basket full of colorful eggs? Eggs have bounced around in the news lately, with questions raised about just how healthy they are. So should you eat them or not? Here’s some facts to help you decide:
—While eggs have been considered unhealthy because of cholesterol, they do not adversely affect cholesterol levels in the blood. One large egg contains 212mg of cholesterol, and raise HDL (the good) cholesterol.
—Eggs are rich in antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthine which protect against eye disease.
—Eggs are full of high-quality proteins, vitamins, minerals, good fats, and trace nutrients.
—One large egg is 77 calories, 5 grams of fat, and 6 grams of protein with all 9 essential amino acids.
—An eggs is rich in iron, phosphorous, selenium, and vitamins A, B12, B2, and B5.
—Because eggs make you feel full, they have been proven to help people eat less and lose weight.
So, before you cut eggs out of your diet altogether, consider all of the good things they can offer. Of course, everything should be enjoyed in moderation.
Source: Authority Nutrition
Photo Source: The Kitchn
Tuesday, March 12th, 2013
BATON ROUGE—For years, insomniacs have blamed exercising too close to bedtime as a source for tired eyes when the morning comes. The annual 2013 Sleep in America poll results have the numbers to change that theory.
In an article by Medical News Today, “Exercise is the Key to Good Sleep,” going to the gym close to bedtime could be a key ingredient in achieving a good night’s rest, according to the new study completed by the National Sleep Foundation.
The poll was conducted using a sample of 1,000 adults ranging in ages 23-60. “Physical activity” was defined as movement lasting longer than 10 minutes, occurring in the previous week. Participants were divided into four groups, depending on their level of physical activity—vigorous, moderate, light, and none.
—Those who exercised documented their sleep better than those who had no activity, although they slept for the same amount of time each night (6 hours, 51 minutes).
—Vigorous exercisers reported good sleep almost every night during the work week. Two-thirds of this group said they almost never had symptoms of insomnia.
—Those who reported no activity also said they had the least amount of sleep, reporting rarely or never having a good night’s sleep. This group also showed symptoms of sleep apnea, a medical condition where a person stops breathing while they are sleeping.
Tips for a Good Night’s Sleep:
—Exercise regularly. Any exercise is better than none.
—Create a good environment for sleep: quiet, comfortable, cool.
—Perform a relaxing, pre bedtime ritual: a warm bath, listening to calming music.
—Go to sleep and wakeup at the same time each day.
—Only stay in bed when sleeping, do all other activities in other rooms.
—Save your worries for the sunlight hours, instead of bedtime.
Photo source: Exercise for a Good Night’s Sleep
Tuesday, March 5th, 2013
BATON ROUGE—Working hard to live healthy and eat clean? Make sure you’re paying attention to the food in your grocery cart; many foods appear healthy when they could be hurting your daily diet. Here are some things to watch for:
—Salads. Several restaurants and fast food places offer salads, but don’t let the greens fool you. Many of these salads are covered in cheese, croutons, high calorie dressings and meats that are high in fat. Choose salads with lots of fresh vegetables, seeds, and lean meats, and opt for a vinaigrette dressing instead.
—Low-fat yogurt. While this item might be low in fat, it is probably also high in sugar, which won’t help your waistline. If you’re craving something creamy, go for plain Greek yogurt and sweeten it with fruit instead of sugar.
—Granola bars. While granola sounds healthy, often there are loads of sugar hidden in these small bars. Check the ingredients list to see what ranks first, sugar or whole grains?
—Gluten-free bread. This buzzword has become associated with also being healthy, but it’s still high in sugar and not any healthier than other breads. Gluten-free items are made for people with food allergies, not for losing weight.
—Nuts. Snacking on nuts is a great choice for a healthy diet, but don’t reach for the packets of honey-roasted or candied options. When buying nuts, go for the raw, shelled nuts for fiber and protein.
—Sports drinks. Cutting back on soda? Don’t reach for the sports drinks. Many of these drinks are full of high fructose corn syrup, artificial food colorings, and sugar substitutes. Instead go for a water with a squeeze of lime or orange.
—Sugar free cookies and candy. Instead of sugar, these items are usually loaded with fat. If you’ve got a cookie craving, go for graham crackers or a 100-calorie pack of your favorite cookie.
—Veggie chips. These salty snacks still have 150 calories and 9-10 grams of fat per handful. Try baked tortilla chips instead.
—Sushi. American-style sushi rolls often contain cream cheese, mayonnaise, and shredded cheese. Fish that’s listed as “tempura,” is battered and fried. Look for basic rolls with fish, rice, seaweed, and vegetables. Skip creamy sauces and go for cucumber rolls.