Fitness & Wellness

Tips For A Healthier Heart

Tips For A Healthier Heart

No matter why you started your fitness program or are thinking of starting one, getting and staying healthy are always part of the goal. Here are some tips for a healthier heart. Heart disease is a killer and has the most potential for also causing death. However, when you make lifestyle changes and good choices for your health, many heart conditions and diseases are preventable. It’s all about changing the things you do daily that make a difference.

Eat healthier.

Cut out those highly processed foods and food that contains added sugar, especially if you have high blood pressure. Sugar is just as bad as salt for increasing it. Switch from foods that are fried and those with trans fats. Opt for healthier fat options like that from nuts, fish and avocado. You need fat, particularly Omega-3 fatty acids, so make sure you have salmon or fatty fish in your diet. It helps the heart keep a steady rhythm.

Get up and get moving.

Lack of exercise will rust you out faster than you can wear out exercising. Start working out regularly. While I believe you’ll get the best type of workout with the help of a trainer, you don’t have to go to a gym to start. Just get at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise every week or at least 75 minute of vigorous exercise. If you’re starting out, completely out of shape and not ready for a gym, walking a half hour a day is a good way to begin a program of exercise. Increase your distance every week, even if it’s just by a few steps. Don’t discount active sports and things you love, like dancing, swimming or playing ball.

Lose weight.

If you are overweight, lose weight. Excess weight is not only bad for your heart, it’s bad for your whole body. It puts excess pressure on the walls of the arteries and makes your heart work harder. It can increase your risk for high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack and diabetes. It’s even worse if you carry your weight around your middle. Visceral fat—belly fat—has a direct correlation to high cholesterol levels and high blood pressure.

  • Get moving. Even if you workout regularly, a sedentary lifestyle otherwise, can put your heart at risk. Move at least five minutes of every hour if you can. Spend free time being more active. Take the steps, rather than the elevator and park further from the store as a start.
  • Don’t smoke. If you do, quit. Smoking is especially bad for the heart. It also causes build up of plaque in the arteries and a leading cause of heart disease.
  • Get adequate sleep. Sleep is mandatory for heart health. It lets your body rest, lowers your blood pressure and lowers your heart rate. The body repairs itself when you sleep, including the heart.
  • Take care of your teeth. Bacteria from gum disease is linked to an increased risk of heart disease. It can cause inflammation and that can cause a build up of blood that makes heart disease worse.

For more information, contact us today at Biofit Performance

The Importance Of Good Workout Shoes

The Importance Of Good Workout Shoes

When clients come to Biofit Performance in Oviedo, FL, I am always amazed to see how much care they take to make sure they have the proper gear, most of the time it includes good workout shoes. Shoes are probably the most important piece of workout clothing and they need to be good and fit well. They also need to be appropriate for the type of workout you do to protect your feet. If you’re an avid runner, you’ll want shoes made for jogging or running. Cross-training shoes are suitable for working out in the gym.

Your workout shoes need to be a good fit.

There’s nothing worse for your feet or your workout than having shoes that are uncomfortable. You need to make sure the shoe fits at six different points. The heel is one of those points. If it’s too big, the shoe will slide and cause blistering and discomfort. The instep, width and length are also important for comfort and support. The shoe should also have enough flex to allow you to perform your workout with ease. Walk in your gym shoes before you buy and if the store offers a treadmill to test the fit, use it. Rather than just getting one pair of shoes, get several pairs. Each shoe protects your feet in different ways and allows your feet to meet the ground differently. You can switch among the shoes and aid in avoiding repetitive stress injuries.

Choosing a shoe that doesn’t fit or one that doesn’t offer the support you need can cause injury.

The quality, fit and shape of your shoes can make a difference between a great workout and one that ends in injuries. More obvious injuries include those to the ankles, both strains and fractures, bunions, corns and blisters. Lesser known injuries include metatarsalgia. It makes the ball of the foot hurt and poor fitting shoes, add to it. If shoes don’t have enough spring, due to the way they’re made or amount of use, they don’t act like shock absorbers and can also cause excess foot movement in the shoe. It can change the alignment of the foot and cause overuse injuries.

When you shop for shoes makes a difference.

Even if you choose the right type of shoe for your workout, there is a treadmill in the place where you buy the shoes and you use it, you still may not get a good fit. When you try on the shoes makes a difference, too. Your feet are their largest in the afternoon or the evening. They’re also larger after you workout. You need to try shoes at that time to avoid buying ones that are uncomfortably tight. Wear sports socks, the type you’d wear to the gym, when you do. Your toes should be able to wiggle, so make sure there’s a half-inch between the big toe and the tip of the shoe.

  • The more you use your shoes, the more the compression capabilities are lost. The National Strength and Conditioning Association suggest that for running, six months/approximately 400 miles is the safe life expectancy. More intense workouts will be sooner and less intense later.
  • If you have a worn are on the ball or heel on either side, pitch them and get new ones. They’re an injury waiting to happen and give too much heel motion.
  • Are your shoes right for you? One way to tell is by aches and pains. If you find you’re having knee pain or foot pain, the first thing to suspect is the shoes.
  • If you’ve had your shoes in the closet for ages and barely used them, they still could require replacing. Shoe materials can dry out in the midsole, outersole and upper area, affecting the functionality.

For more information, contact us today at Biofit Performance

Why You Should Sometimes Skip The Scale

Why You Should Sometimes Skip The Scale

If you’re following your workout to the letter, eating healthy meals that are lower in calories and getting adequate sleep, you should be making progress toward your weight loss goal. Notice that says should be making progress. Weighing every day can be deceptive. Your body weight fluctuates daily and a pound can be gained from temporary water weight gain. Sometimes, you have to skip the scale and use other methods to check your progress.

Working out can cause weight gain.

If you’re new to exercise or simply worked out harder, your weight gain can occur because of that. The new workout puts stress on muscles and causes micro tears, which increases inflammation. That can cause water weight gain, which is temporary and occurs because of the healing process. Your body also starts to store more glucose for more energy. Don’t get upset, especially in the first months. Track your endurance and how much you’ve improved in number of reps.

While you may vary your workout to avoid it, you might plateau occasionally,

Plateauing can happen, no matter how hard you try to avoid it. You can vary your workout and still see the scales stall occasionally. Don’t get upset. Instead, try measuring your progress a different way. Record your progress by checking how many inches you’ve lost. As you workout, you’ll gain more muscle mass and lose more fat. Muscle tissue weighs more per cubic inch than fat tissue does. It takes a larger container to hold a pound of fat tissue than a pound of muscle tissue. If you exchange a pound of fat for a pound of muscle, you’ll be much thinner.

Losing weight can be slow.

If you’re losing weight in a healthy manner, the process is relatively slow. Just shedding a couple of pounds a week is right for most people. That can be frustrating for those that want to see more progress or faster progress. If you know you’re that type of person, instead, focus on things you can control. Create goals for your workout program or those to learn new healthy eating recipes. You can track those easily. Maybe the goal is to make three new healthy recipes a week. Not only is that more productive than fretting over the scales, you get three new healthy meals a week.

  • Take a picture of yourself before you started and then wearing the same clothing, take a picture in the same location after every month. You’ll be able to see the changes after a few months.
  • Judge how much energy you have. If you have to take a staircase regularly, make it a contest to see how many flights you can climb before taking a rest. Getting healthy is what working out is all about.
  • Judge your fitness by your ability to zip through housework. Time yourself and push yourself to go as fast as you can. As you get fitter, you’ll find those jobs often go quicker.
  • The biggest measure of your success is how your clothes fit. If your jeans are looser, you’re seeing success. If you have to buy a new pair because the old fall off, hooray for you, you’re successful.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

Best Exercises Using Your Body Weight

Best Exercises Using Your Body Weight

We focus on a well-rounded program at Biofit Performance in Oviedo, FL. Some of those are exercises using your body weight. We focus on the six foundational movements, the squat, hinge, lunge, push, pull and carry. These are functional movements you do every day, so there are definitely bodyweight exercises to help improve your strength and flexibility. You can do them anywhere whether you’re on the road or at home.

You’ll get lots of variety when you use bodyweight exercises.

Squats and lunges are just two of the popular bodyweight exercises that you can use. You can modify them as you become stronger and more in shape. If you can’t master the traditional squat, use a table or chair to aid you. As you build strength, go to the traditional squat without aid and then to the pistol shot, where you push one leg in front as you squat, allowing the other leg to support your weight.

Push and pull movements can provide exercise for the upper body.

Have you ever tried a push-up? It’s one of the perfect exercises for using those muscles that push. You can modify it to your level of fitness, too. Knee bent push-ups are a good place to start if you’re out of shape. You can widen the distance of your hands to make the push-up more difficult. Pull exercises can also be modified based on your level of fitness. Start with an inverted bodyweight row until you’re in good enough condition for the traditional pull-up.

Lunges fulfill the exercise need for the lunge motion.

You do the lunge movement every day. It’s putting all the pressures on one leg and pushing your body forward at the same time. Take a step forward with one leg, shifting your weight a bit to make the heel hit first. Lower your body, making your extended leg parallel to the floor with the right shin, vertical and opposite leg bent with knee tapping lightly on the floor. Push back up to starting position and do the other side.

  • You can boost your endurance and make bodyweight exercises a cardio workout by doing them as a HIIT workout or circuit training.
  • You can use a traditional bodyweight exercise and modify it to work other muscles or to match your level of fitness.
  • Just like other types of workouts, bodyweight exercises require perfect form. Focus on form the first week or so, doing fewer per set or fewer sets. If you struggle to do an exercise, opt for an easier one until you build strength.
  • Our trainers at Biofit performance will help you build a program you can use for those days you can’t make it to the gym. You’ll be prepared to continue working out even if you’re on vacation.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

The Benefits Of Walking

The Benefits Of Walking

Not only do our sessions at BioFit Performance in Oviedo, FL, provide workouts that can get you in shape faster, our fitness trainers offer all types of help. We provide nutritional help, a wide variety of aids to help you with pain, the latest scientific aids, such as cryotherapy and infrared and even simple changes you can make at home to boost your overall level of fitness. For instance, our trainers help people learn ways to live healthier, such as encouraging a more active lifestyle, with suggestions that include more activity, like walking. There are many benefits of walking and it could be just what you need to round out your fitness life.

Walking is a great way to start conditioning your body for a program of exercise or supplement one.

Even though everyone has a personalized program designed for his or her level of fitness, some people want to get a head start, especially if they’ve spent years living a sedentary lifestyle. Walking can be the perfect way to start. A consistent program of walking provides many of the benefits the gym, but you won’t see as rapid of changes. You get the benefits of improved heart health, lower blood pressure, a lower risk of stroke and even weight loss. Walking can even stop the loss of bone mass that occurs with osteoporosis.

The you walk, the more pep you’ll have in your step.

If you’ve watched people, you’ll see a marked difference in how they walk. Some are slow and plodding, barely dragging out the next step. You also have that shuffle walk that often represents a little old man in comedy routines. That swift stride with a heads up posture is the look of a confident person and those with bounce in their step, seem to love life with youthful abandon. Walking can increase lifespan and make every day better.

Walking builds your muscles and slows age related memory decline.

Studies show that age related mental decline can be slowed by walking just 2.5 miles per day. Another study with people between the ages of 71 and 93 showed that those who walked more than a quarter mile a day had a reduced potential for dementia and Alzheimer’s. Walking not only improves your mental capacity, it improves your sleep, which in turn can make you think clearer. It boosts circulation, which helps both the body and mind. Walking is a great way to start an exercise program or add to any exercise program.

  • Walking is a simple aerobic exercise that allows seniors to live longer and more independently. It can be included in part of any exercise program for those days you’re not at the gym.
  • One study found that women who were post-menopausal, benefited from walking in all the ways mentioned, but also experienced a 40% lower risk of hip fracture.
  • If weight loss is your goal, find ways to increase your daily walking, such parking further from the store or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Walking burns extra calories. A brisk half hour walk burns approximately 200 calories.
  • Your joints will benefit from walking. Joint fluid circulates when you move. The increased compression and movement of walking causes more nutrients and oxygen to the joints.

For more information, contact us today at  BioFit Performance

How To Stay Motivated If You Don't Feel Like Working Out

How To Stay Motivated If You Don’t Feel Like Working Out

We like to think that people who come to BioFit Performance in Oviedo, FL find it easy to stay motivated, since we provide so much personal attention and an individualized program for each person working out. That close, personalized attention is motivating, since it holds each person accountable while providing the encouragement that’s often necessary for success. We also provide nutritional advice and a number of amenities that can add to your workout success. Nothing is more motivating than success.

Have you failed in the past? Then do something different.

Maybe you’ve exercised for a few weeks or ate healthy meals for a month, but went back to old habits quickly after that. It’s just too easy to get back to your old habits before you have a chance to make new ones that are healthier. Having someone to help, like a personal trainer or nutrition specialist can help keep you on the straight and narrow until the new lifestyle becomes a habit.

Make it easy on yourself and reward yourself for successes.

You don’t have to recreate the wheel to get fit. Use the expertise of specialists. They can take the guesswork out of fitness. Whether it’s a program designed to reach your exercise and fitness goals or a well laid out plan of nutrition, it takes the guess work out and makes it easier. A reward for a tough work can boost your motivation, so why not try pampering yourself with a massage, infra-red sauna or cryotherapy session, stretch therapy or other recovery techniques available. They all feel great and take the pain out of exercise.

Don’t forget that setting goals can be quite motivating.

Everyone has different motivations. If you love gaming or challenges, goal setting and tracking your progress can be quite a motivation. Decide on your overall goals and break them down to smaller ones you can achieve each week and let the fun begin. Your goal can be weight loss, increased repetitions of certain exercises or lost inches. No matter what it is, achieving each level can be exhilarating and motivating.

  • Give yourself a special reward if just achieving your goal isn’t enough. If your goal is weight loss or loss of inches, it could be a new outfit. For those who want to improve endurance, a walking tour or other active pastime could be good.
  • Get a fitness partner. We offer small semi-private group classes with an average ratio of one instructor per six students. You and your partner can share in the joys of success, compete for most success and make fitness more of a social activity.
  • Give yourself a break. If you’ve had a tough workout, take time to rest. Give yourself personal time for every hour you worked out or every goal you met. Take a long bath, a snooze or just enjoy doing nothing.
  • Find a quiet place you love. It might be a special spot in Center Lake park, an airboat tour or something as simple as a ride on the Ferris wheel at ICON Park in Orlando. Make it special and something you love.

For more information, contact us today at  BioFit Performance

5 Hormones That Have A Big Effect On Your Health

5 Hormones That Have A Big Effect On Your Health

Hormones do have an effect on your health and your weight. If your hormones are out of whack, losing weight is tough and gaining weight in all the wrong places comes easily. At BioFit Performance in Oviedo, FL, we focus on helping you get back into shape, which also means improving how your body functions and regulating hormones with exercise and a healthy diet. There are a lot of different types of hormones in the body. Most people think of sex hormones like estrogen or testosterone, but there are so many others that play a role on your health. Hormones are chemical messengers that trigger various functions in the body, including heart rate and temperature.

Insulin is also a well known hormone.

If your body doesn’t produce insulin, you have a condition called Type 1 diabetes. However, you can also have too much insulin, which results in insulin resistance and ultimately Type 2 diabetes. In both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes, the cells don’t receive adequate energy. Insulin allows the cells to receive the glucose in the blood. In type 1, there’s no insulin to do that. In type 2, because of an overproduction of insulin, the cells fail to respond. That lack of ability to get energy causes nerve damage, high levels of toxic keytones, stomach problems, high blood sugar levels, lack of energy, cell damage throughout the body and vision problems.

You need adequate sleep to be healthy and that calls for a hormone.

If you have problems sleeping, maybe your body isn’t producing enough serotonin. Serotonin is created in the thalamus and low serotonin levels are linked to the inability to sleep. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can cause heart issues, difficulty thinking and low energy levels. Studies find that there’s a link between low serotonin levels and depression, irritability, mood swings, poor memory and a low sex-drive. Exercise helps increase serotonin levels.

Hormones of stress not only play a role in your health, but also where you store fat.

You need stress hormones or you’d die. Besides being a stress hormone, cortisol also regulates many bodily functions. That’s why all cells have cortisol receptors. It controls your metabolism, lowers inflammation, controls brain function and aids in the control of blood sugar levels. Just like all hormones, there’s a perfect balance and having too much cortisol is bad. It causes low blood flow to the digestive tract, rapid heart rate and even is linked to the accumulation of belly fat.

  • Sex hormones, such as estrogen, progesterone and testosterone can get out of balance. That causes many different conditions that range from stubborn weight gain to gall bladder disease.
  • The fifth hormone that plays a big role in your health is HGH—human growth hormone. It helps you build strength, while also aids with heart functioning, bone growth, fat and sugar metabolism, body composition and regulating body fluids.
  • Exercise and a healthy diet are ways to help regulate your hormones. For instance, exercise burns off the hormones of stress and gets your body back to normal. It also aids with normalizing estrogen levels.
  • Controlling insulin levels and exercise is extremely important in preventing type 2 diabetes. It helps prevent insulin resistance, which is the precursor to Type 2 diabetes.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

Are Dumbbells Better Than Kettlebells?

Are Dumbbells Better Than Kettlebells?

Many gyms offer a good selection of both dumbbells and often kettlebells, too. Which one is best for working out? Just like any question on training, it all depends on what results you want. Each has their place and both are good. Kettlebells offer a bit more challenge, since they are unbalanced and working them mimics the things you do daily. They’re great for explosive moves and can be good training if you’re focusing on competitions that require it, like basketball. Dumbbells are good for all types of training and they’re easier to learn how to use.

You’ll get a full body workout with kettlebells.

The fact that kettlebells are off center and keep you unbalanced makes it a good full body workout when you’re swinging them. They work your back, glutes, hamstrings and core muscles as you build strength in your arms. Kettlebells also offer flexibility, strength and endurance training. When you’re swinging the kettlebell, you’ll boost your heart rate, while building strength and increasing your range of motion.

You can isolate specific muscle groups with dumbbells, and they’re far easier to use.

If you don’t have an instructor for kettlebells, stay with dumbbells. The moves are harder to control and need the expertise of a trainer to learn. Unless you’re working on dynamic moves, studies show that dumbbells provide bigger improvements in overall strength in a period of six weeks. You’ll find they’re easier to use and can make greater strides if your goal is just to get fit and build strength.

Increasing the weight you lift is easier with dumbbells.

Kettlebells don’t have the smaller increments in size to allow you to gradually increase the weight you lift. Unlike dumbbells, that allow you to increase the weight in smaller increments, which not only allows you to slowly increase the weight when doing exercises, also let’s you start with the most appropriate weight for your fitness level.

  • You have more options with your workout with dumbbells. You can use them in a slow, push-press style movement or use them with more explosive movements.
  • Many people start with dumbbells and as they get fitter, change to kettlebells for a change of pace. In fact, dumbbells let you get the feel for explosive movements when used properly.
  • Unless you have a trainer, there’s more risk of injury when you use kettlebells. Since the center of gravity is further from your hand, it adds a challenge. The swinging action does, too. Both add to an increased risk.
  • Which is the best to use? It all depends on your level of fitness, ultimate goal and whether you have adequate instruction. A personal trainer will help find the best tools to use to reach your fitness goals.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

What Is Primal Eating?

What Is Primal Eating?

What is primal eating? It’s about eating the way people did before industrialization occurred. While it’s similar to the Paleo or caveman diet, there are a few distinct differences. Both diets eliminate grains, since they’re based on what man might have eaten during caveman times. Both allow for rice a quinoa in the diet. However, the Paleo or caveman diet prohibits the use of dairy, while the primal diet encourages it, but only in the raw form. The Paleo diet doesn’t allow coffee or vegetables in the nightshade family like tomatoes, eggplant and bell peppers, but the primal diet does.

So what exactly do you eat when you opt for primal eating?

It’s simple. Avoid processed food. After all cavemen never went to the 7/11 for some beef jerky or grabbed a box of mac ‘n cheese off the shelf. Cut out those foods that came after farming, which includes almost all food that contains grain, especially those with wheat. Soy isn’t part of the primal diet, neither are peanuts, alcohol, granulated sugar (honey and maple syrup are allowed), and refined vegetable oils. If it sounds like most of the food on the dairy shelf aren’t listed, you’d be right, unless you’re in the fresh produce section.

The logic behind the primal diet is simple.

If you think about it, man lived for thousands of years and never once required a Twinkie, HoHo or Zinger to survive. In fact, many of the illnesses in today’s civilization, occur because of over consumption of sugar, processed foods and additives that lead to obesity, which is the leading cause of preventable deaths in the world today. Throughout hundreds of years of evolution has changed man, but processed foods were introduced recently. It makes sense that the body couldn’t evolve to ingest foods made in a lab and hope process them easily. The belief behind the primal and Paleo diet is that man was created to genetically consume the types of food found in these diets.

The primal diet is filled with healthy food and can improve overall health.

There’s no doubt about it, living on food with added sugar and other additives, simply isn’t healthy. One big benefit of the primal diet is that it’s good for people with diabetes, since it limits the sugar intake. It also can prove beneficial for those with food allergies and conditions like celiac disease. It is a far healthier diet than the average American diet and far more balanced. It’s good for weight loss, too.

  • One mistake that people often make on a primal diet is focus on meat. Cavemen didn’t. Early man ate both meat and vegetables, but heavily relied on more of a vegetarian diet with the occasional meaty treat.
  • Eating more plants, vegetables, seeds, nuts and oil increase the body’s anti-inflammatory benefits. Cutting out sugar and processed food also aids in reducing inflammation.
  • People on a primal diet often lose as much as those on traditional diets, but tend to lose more inches around the middle and that translates to losing more fat. That fat, visceral fat, is the most dangerous type of fat.
  • In short term studies, people on the primal diet showed improved blood pressure control, lower triglyceride levels, improved control of appetite and better weight loss than other diet types, even the Mediterranean diet.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance

Is Dark Chocolate Good For You??

Is Dark Chocolate Good For You??

There’s often a lot of smiles when clients at BioFit Performance in Oviedo, FL, find out that dark chocolate is actually healthy. Of course, there is a limit on the amount you should eat to reap those benefits and the quality of chocolate you should consume. It has to be high quality with a higher cocoa content of at least 70%. The higher the better. Dark chocolate does contain sugar, but the more cocoa, the lower the sugar count. It also has calories, which means you have to eat it in small amounts. One small square or two provides benefits, that delicious flavor and is about all you should eat in a day.

You’ll get nutrition and antioxidants in chocolate.

One bar of high quality chocolate, which rates about 70 to 85% cocoa, has 67% of the body’s requirement for iron, 58% of the requirement for magnesium, 89% of copper and 98% of the body’s daily requirement for manganese. It also contains 11 grams of fiber, lots of phosphorus, potassium, zinc and selenium. Dark chocolate also has antioxidants that help protect the cells from free radicals. The antioxidants include catechins, flavanols, polphenols and more. In fact, it beats blueberries and acai, two super foods, when it comes to antioxidants.

You could lower your blood pressure with a little chocolate.

Dark chocolate contains flavanols and those stimulate the lining of the arteries, which increases the production of nitric oxide. Why is that important? Nitric oxide causes the arteries to relax and that lowers the resistance of blood flow, which ultimately lowers blood pressure. Controlled studies show that it offers the effect of lowered blood pressure by way of improving blood flow, but the effect is mild. If you’re overweight and sedentary, the best way to lower your blood pressure is to lose weight and get more exercise.

Protect your blood vessels with dark chocolate.

You can improve your good cholesterol—HDL— and reduce the oxidation of bad cholesterol—LDL—by consuming dark chocolate. That lowers the risk for heart disease. It helps lower LDL cholesterol, too. Oxidized LDL can cause damage to the lining of the arteries and the antioxidants in it provides that protection against oxidative damage.

  • Dark chocolate can also improve insulin sensitivity, which also helps prevent diabetes, as well as preventing heart damage.
  • Studies in elderly men found that over a period of 15-years, consumption of dark chocolate lowered the risk for heart disease by 50% to 57%. It also lowered the risk of calcified plaque build up in the arteries by another 32%.
  • Dark chocolate might also boost your brain power. It improves blood flow to the brain with the caffeine and theobromine it contains. It’s shown to improve cognitive functioning in mentally impaired elderly patients.
  • If you were surprised that chocolate is healthy for you, you’ll be amazed at how delicious many other healthy foods are. We’re ready at BioFit Performance to help you learn how to eat healthy and enjoy every minute of it.

For more information, contact us today at BioFit Performance