Yoga For Diabetes

Yoga For Diabetes

Diabetes can exacerbate some conditions, like high blood pressure, heart disease or circulation. Yoga can help directly, like stabilizing blood sugar levels. Increasing activity and eating healthy are exceptionally good for controlling diabetes. Yoga is a gentle form of exercise that most people can do. There are several poses that have proven especially beneficial for diabetics.

You might be surprised you’re already doing a few yoga positions.

Do you think you’re doing the phalakasana? Probably not. However, you may be if you’re doing the forearm plank as part of your workout. It works the whole body and helps regulate blood sugar levels, while improving insulin sensitivity. Planks—phalakasana poses—can be done by people of all ages and most levels of fitness. It can be modified for beginners who have never exercised.

Yoga relieves stress.

Yoga can help lower high blood pressure, while reducing the potential for heart disease when you do yoga poses. Yoga relieves stress and stress can raise blood sugar levels and increase blood pressure. Stress increases the production of cortisol. Cortisol plays a role in increasing the amount of visceral fat—the most dangerous type of fat. The more visceral fat you have, the more risk you have of developing high blood pressure, heart disease and diabetes. Stress can also lead to stress eating, compounding the problem.

The reduction of cortisol when doing yoga can also reduce your feeling of hunger.

The more stressed you are, the more cortisol you have and the hungrier you are. That can cause you to eat more and make diabetes worse. It causes the liver to produce release more sugar to help the muscles get ready for flight or fight. That in turn, causes the body to release more insulin and the vicious cycle starts to get out of hand, creating first insulin resistance, then diabetes. Not only will yoga help reduce stress, it reduces inflammation. It increases adiponectin, an anti-inflammatory hormone.

  • Yoga can help with weight control, which helps control diabetes. While it doesn’t burn as many calories as some other types of exercise, it still burns extra calories. Studies found it also leads to more mindful eating habits.
  • Yoga can help improve overall sleep patterns and lead to a sounder, higher quality sleep. Lack of sleep causes an imbalance in the satiety/hunger hormones, making you hungrier, which leads to more weight gain.
  • Yoga helps build muscles. The more muscles you have, the more calories you burn and the easier it is to lose weight. A new study found that the more weight you lose, the more likely your type 2 diabetes will go away.
  • Whether you start yoga or some other form of exercise, healthy eating is also important for controlling diabetes. Like all forms of exercise, it can also improve your overall physical and mental well-being.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Best Stretches To Start Your Day

Best Stretches To Start Your Day

Are you one of those people that jump out of bed and immediately rush to get ready to work? There’s a better way to start your day and that’s by doing a few stretches first. If you’ve ever watched a cat when it first gets up, all it does is stretch for a while. We could learn a thing or two from our feline friends. Stretching upon rising can increase flexibility and boost circulation.

Lay in bed and stretch before you even put your feet on the floor.

If you sit at a desk all day, these will definitely help, but even if you don’t, you’ll get benefit. Lay on your left side with your right leg laying on top of your left leg. Your knees should be at a 90 degree angle, so it looks like you’re sitting on an invisible chair. Your hands should be directly in front of you stretched out, one on top of the other with palms facing. Lift the hand on top, in this case the right hand, straight up in the air and over to the side, twisting at the waist and opening the upper body with your arms rising up and over to the other side, following it with the eyes as you turn your head.

Take a cue from a runner to loosen your quads.

Quad stretches aren’t just for runners, they’re a good morning starter. The front upper thighs are the quads and you can stretch them and get the circulation going with a quad stretch. Stand next to a chair or anything you can hang onto to stabilize yourself. Bend one knee as you lift your leg backward and upward, grasping it at the ankle with your hand on the same side. Lift it slightly and hold in bent position for 20 to 30 seconds then lower it and do the same on the other side. Repeat several times.

Twisting to the left and twisting the right can get you warmed up whether it’s day or night.

Yeah, it was meant to rhyme just for fun and this type of stretch can actually be fun. Stand with your feet slightly apart and arms outstretched, perpendicular to the body. Then twist, swinging your upper body first to the left, then returning to the starting position and swinging your upper body to the right. Do this stretch for a few times and return to starting position. Then tip the upper body to the side, keeping the arms straight with one hand going straight up and the other lowering until you can touch your leg. Go back to starting position and do it again.

  • Stretch your shoulders. Stand up. Put both arms straight out in front and lace your fingers together, pushing your palms forward as you stretch your back and your shoulders.
  • After you stretch in front keep fingers folded, lift your arms above your head, turning your palms upward. Push the palms toward the sky as you lift your rib cage for a few seconds.
  • A shoulder roll is a stretch that can reduce tension and improve circulation. Just sit or stand using good posture and roll your shoulders first forward then backward.
  • Start by sitting on the edge of the bed, feet flat on the floor. Reach your hands toward your feet as you bend over, putting your knuckles on the floor and rounding your back. Hold that position for ten seconds, rise and repeat several times.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

What Are The Benefits Of Foam Rolling?

What Are The Benefits Of Foam Rolling?

Clients at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY, know that a hard workout can result in some muscle aches and pains. Those can lead to a reluctance to keep a workout schedule. The best way to deal with sore muscles is to avoid them and a foam roller can do that. There are several benefits you can get from foam rolling, besides relief of muscles aches and pains. It’s a technique where you use a self-myofascial release (SMR) technique.

When you loosen muscle tissue, you increase your range of motion.

Every workout should include flexibility exercises to boost range of motion. The more improved it is, the less chance of injury during a workout or just doing everyday movements. Foam rolling can be combined with exercises like static stretching to get the most benefit. In one smaller study, it was found that a combination of static stretching and foam rolling actually provided the most benefits for range of motion, when compared to either used alone.

Use it to warm your muscles before working out and increase circulation.

What is foam rolling? A foam roller is normally a long tube similar to a short, wider pool noodle. They can have a variety of textures from smooth to ones with foam projectiles. When you lay on them and roll, they release a variety of trigger points and can improve circulation, while loosening muscles. That same action can also increase circulation to improve recovery. It also reduces inflammation and by loosening the muscles, is the cause of increased range of motion.

Back pain can be debilitating and foam rolling can help reduce that pain.

Foam rolling is a massage, albeit a self-massage. If you’ve ever had a massage for back pain, you know how good it can feel when you’re done. There are some problems when doing this type of self-massage, but the biggest one is getting the foam in the right position and moving your body to ensure it creates the massage you want, without causing further injury due to an awkward position that can cause back straining.

  • If you want to look your best in a swimsuit, foam rolling can temporarily reduce the appearance of cellulite. However, the results are temporary. If you want more permanent results, a healthy diet and regular exercise is the way to go.
  • Fibromyalgia is a painful disease that’s exhausting and depressing. Foam rolling may help. One small study found that when 66 adults used foam rolling for 20 weeks, they had less fatigue, less depression, increased range of motion and far less pain.
  • Foam rolling isn’t good for every injury. If you are pregnant, have a muscle tear or other serious muscle or bone condition, you should avoid foam rolling. Always talk to your health care professional first.
  • If it’s hard for you to relax and get a good night’s sleep, you probably hold your tension in your muscles. Foam rolling can help loosen that tension and aid in getting to sleep faster.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Why Do Some People Never Sweat When Working Out?

Why Do Some People Never Sweat When Working Out?

Do you notice the guy or gal at the gym who always seems fresh and dry. They never sweat when working out or so it seems. There can be several reasons for not sweating—anhidrosis, but one of the easiest to identify is that they simply don’t push themselves to the point of sweating. However, there are also more serious health issues that could be causing their lack of sweat.

If you’re that person that doesn’t sweat, first check how hard you’re pushing yourself by taking your pulse.

If you’re leisurely exercising, riding your bike at almost a walking pace or lifting weights that aren’t a challenge, don’t be surprised if you’re staying dry. You need to exert a certain amount of effort to increase your heart rate, cause heat to generate and start to sweat. The more activity and the more you exert yourself, the more you sweat. It can be hard to tell how hard you push yourself based on how much sweat you have, since everyone is different, so take your pulse during a workout. Your target rate should be 50 to 70 percent of maximum heart rate, which is your age subtracted from 220 bpm.

You might be suffering from dehydration.

Some people are mildly dehydrated all the time and that can affect how much they sweat. If you normally sweat, but are working just as hard as normal and don’t, you could be suffering from dehydration. Dehydration is especially prominent during the summer months and is an easy problem to solve. Drink more fluid to replace the fluid lost. The American Council on Exercise suggests you drink 17 to 20 ounces 2-3 hours before working out. 8 ounces should be consumed a half hour before the workout with 7-10 hours every 20 minutes during the workout and 8 ounces a half hour after a workout.

Some medical conditions can cause lack of sweat.

More serious conditions can be the reason you may not sweat. For instance, diseases that affect the autonomic nervous system, like diabetes, Guillain-Barre, alcoholism and Horner’s syndrome, damage nerves and effect your sweat causing anhidrosis—lack of sweat. Thyroid disease can cause it since the thyroid regulates body temperature. Some autoimmune diseases, metabolic diseases and disorders of the central nervous system, like a stroke, can also affect whether you sweat.

  • Burns, skin infections and even bug bites can affect your ability to sweat, causing anhidrosis. Psoriasis can plug the pores. Even conditions that affect the sweat glands can lead to the inability to perspire.
  • If you know you have a condition that doesn’t allow you to sweat, be aware of ways to avoid overheating. Wear lighter clothing and choose activities and intensity carefully. Avoid exercising in extremely hot areas.
  • Sweating is an important bodily function that helps cleanse the body of waste and keeps it cool. Always check with your health care professional if your pulse rates indicates you’re working hard enough to sweat.
  • Lack of sweating, anhidrosis or hypohidrosis, can be dangerous. It can cause hyperthermia—overheating the body, stroke and even death.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Best Exercises For Stronger Obliques

Best Exercises For Stronger Obliques

At Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY, we focus on overall fitness using the tools of a healthy diet and a program of regular exercise designed specifically for each person. We are often requested to help people with specific goals, like building abdominal muscles, which includes the obliques. Exercises for the obliques not only provide that V look at the waist, but they also help maintain body stability. The obliques run along each side from the abs to the lats, the large flat muscles in the back that run to the sides.

You need strong obliques to do compound movements.

If you want to stay balanced when you’re doing squats or other compound movements, you need strong obliques. They help you stay centered so you don’t lean forward too far or fall out of form. Strong obliques are important for more than just proper balance, they help maintain strong posture. Because they run from the lats to the abs, they keep the midsection tight and whittle your waist.

You can use kettlebells, a medicine ball, dumbbells and barbells to make obliques strong.

Use a dumbbell or barbell to tighten your obliques. Hold the weight in one hand and bend to the side as far as possible. Hold for a second and return to starting position, then reverse sides. Stand a few feet from a wall with your side to the wall and use a medicine ball as a prop. Twist toward the wall and toss the medicine ball, catch it and return to starting position.

You don’t need equipment to do some oblique exercises.

If you know how to do a push-up and a plank, you’ve almost conquered the next oblique exercise. It’s a push-up to moves to a side plank. Start with a push-up, but instead of going down again, twist your body to the side, raising the arm that’s on the top, then lowering it to do the next push-up, where you’ll lift the opposite arm.

  • A seated barbell twist builds obliques. Start by sitting on a bench with a barbell resting on your shoulders. Slowly twist from one side to another while keeping your feet stationary.
  • Lay on a decline bench with legs over the edge at the knees. Raise your upper body up and twist to the side. Lay back down and repeat on the other side.
  • If you’re doing obliques, do them before any heavy lifting, not afterward, to prevent compromising your form. If you use weights, do fewer reps. Those that don’t use weights, like crunches can be done with more reps.
  • You can build strong obliques with side crunches. Lie on the ground with knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Lift your head and upper back with arms extended down. Try to tap your right heel with your right hand, then attempt to tap the left side with the left hand.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

How To Fit More Steps In Every Day

How To Fit More Steps In Every Day

For most people, it isn’t about the type of exercise to do…it’s more about just getting some exercise. If you’re working out in the gym already, then you can add to your program by getting more steps daily. Walking or increasing the number of steps you take can be done by anyone of any age and any level of fitness, so it’s a perfect way to add more exercise to your life. Whether you actually monitor your steps or just find ways to increase your steps, never really tracking them, it can increase your fitness without a lot of effort.

Take two or three breaks in the day to do more walking.

You don’t have to walk a full hour or half hour to boost your exercise. Try ten minutes at a time several times a day. It all adds to your overall fitness. Every time you move briskly or move more than you did previously, you’re boosting your exercise time. Taking several quick five to ten minute walks throughout the day can increase your exercise time without a lot of effort.

You don’t have to walk any place in particular, just walk.

If you walk around the living room, it counts as a walk. Your body doesn’t differentiate whether you’re going someplace or simply meandering. That means you can walk during commercials when watching TV or if you’re binge-watching Hulu or Netflix, save some money and get the version with commercials so you can use that time to walk or exercise. If you’re at work, take a timer and set it for 55 minutes, then walk around the office for five, getting a cup of coffee, going to the bathroom or getting bottle water. It can help you work more efficiently.

Use every opportunity as an opportunity to move more.

Are you waiting in line at the grocery, pace side to side while you wait. Park further from the store and walk those extra steps, instead of wasting gas circling the area for a parking space. If you have the option of taking the steps or an elevator, do the steps. If it’s several floors, walk a few floors and take the elevator for the rest. Are you talking on the phone and just standing there? Pace while you talk or keep on moving. Be very aware of times when you could be moving, but choose to sit or stand in place instead and change that.

  • People movers at airports are a big convenience, but don’t just stand, walk. You’ll get some exercise and to your destination quicker.
  • Talk a walking lunch. Pack a brown bag lunch and walk a five to ten minutes, sit on a bench and eat your lunch. Then take a walk back to the office and you’ve added quite a few extra steps.
  • Alternate your speed when you walk and turn it into a HIIT workout. Walk as briskly as you can for a few minutes, then slow your pace to a recovery pace for just as long or longer and back to the brisk pace.
  • Keep your house cleaner while you increase your steps. Make the extra steps count and walk as you vacuum the floor more frequently, make sure everything is put away or even scrub the sink or tub.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Great Protein Sources For Vegetarians

Great Protein Sources For Vegetarians

It’s far easier to find healthy protein sources for vegetarians than it is for vegans. It’s because vegetarians do eat some animal products, such as eggs, dairy or both. Lacto vegetarians consume dairy, while ovo consume eggs. Lacto-ovo vegetarians consume both. Not all plant protein sources contain all the essential amino acids necessary to remain healthy, but animal sources, like eggs, do.

Include dairy and eggs in your diet frequently.

Egg salad, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, whole milk and cheese are excellent protein sources. While both eggs and milk are great protein sources, eggs have a better quality of protein in a better ratio than milk. It’s also more bioavailable. For some people who are lactose intolerant or have dairy allergies, eggs are definitely the best option. It’s easier to ensure you have a complete protein if you include milk or milk products and eggs in your diet. Both milk products and eggs are also budget savers.

Look for the most complete protein or combine proteins.

There are twenty amino acids that the body uses, and they can make all but nine. Those are the essential amino acids. The nine amino acids include: histidine, leucine, isoleucine, phenylalanine, threonine, lysine, tryptophan, methionine and valine. Plant based protein often lacks one or two of them, unless they are a complete protein source. Some options that are good plant sources include buckwheat, which is extremely healthy, soy, quinoa and Ezekiel bread.

Combine sources of protein for a complete protein.

You can combine two incomplete sources to create a complete protein source. For instance, beans have a low amount of methionine and a high amount of lysine, while rice is low in lysine with a high amount of methionine. When you combine them, you get the perfect duo that is a complete source of protein. However, you don’t have to balance proteins at one meal if you use plant proteins. You can eat two compatible incomplete proteins at different meals that day to keep in balance and have a complete protein source.

  • Opting for a vegetarian diet can save money. It’s one reason meatless Mondays have become so popular. You can use lentils with rice, oats, wheat, rye and corn to make it complete.
  • Chickpeas provide 7.25 grams of protein per half cup. You can even use them to make hummus, a great dip that’s perfect for healthy snacks. Scoop up that hummus with pita bread for a complete protein snack.
  • You might not realize that leafy, green vegetables provide protein. For instance, kale has 2 grams per cup, while broccoli has as much as aa4 grams for every stalk you consume.
  • If you’re making an omelet as your breakfast protein source, you can boost the protein by adding mushrooms, which has 3 grams of protein for five mushrooms. Add Ezekiel bread toast and you’ve started your day with a protein rich menu.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Say Goodbye To Love Handles

Say Goodbye To Love Handles

If you’re out of shape, you face problems like beer belly, love handles, bat wings and thunder thighs. Those are just a few of the terms clients use to explain what they want to improve. We’ll help you lose those all those things and replace them with a fit, toned body at Body Sculptors in Louisville, KY. Let’s focus on one, love handles. What are love handles? It’s nothing more than the accumulation of fat around the waist. It can occur from many causes, including lack of sleep, but it all boils down to too many calories and not enough exercise.

Besides making clothing fit poorly, love handles cause other problems.

Fat accumulating around the waist can be of two types. The first is subcutaneous fat, which is fat just below the surface of the skin and easier to lose. The second is visceral fat, the most dangerous type of fat that is deep inside and wraps around the organs. Love handles can include both types of fat. It can cause high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, sleep apnea, stroke, cancer, liver disease, type 2 diabetes and osteoarthritis. If you take steps to get rid of love handles, you will also reduce the risk of those diseases.

You need to focus on exercises that work the muscles of the abs, hips and back.

While you need a total body workout, if you want to target love handles, add an extra session on exercises that work the muscles in that area. Losing weight all over your body and tightening the muscles in both the front and back of your waist help. To lose weight, include strength building in your diet. Strengthen the back and abs with planks, push-ups and mountain climbers.

You have to eat healthy and lose weight all over your body, too.

When you tighten muscles to lose the love handles, you’ll notice they’re toned better, but it won’t show if the fat’s still there. You need to lose weight. You can’t spot exercise weight away from a specific area. It comes off all parts of the body, even if you did spot exercises all day. Eating healthy is particularly important and focusing on healthy food choices that are nutritious.

  • Side planks, Russian crunches and twists are also excellent for getting rid of love handles. A side plank is similar to a plank, but you hold your body on its side and hold it up with just one hand, raising the other in the air.
  • If you’ve never tried a bridge, it’s not that hard, it’s not only good for eliminating love handles, it’s excellent for relieving back pain as well.
  • Always check with your health care professional first to make sure it’s safe to start a fitness program. In most cases, they’ll heartily approve. If you do have a health condition, let your personal trainer know.
  • At Body Sculptors, we’ll create a special workout program designed specifically for your needs, goals and level of fitness. We’ll also help you with personalized nutritional guidance.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

What Is Lifestyle Medicine?

What Is Lifestyle Medicine?

You know the drill. You go to the doctor, he or she finds you have a condition or disease and the string of prescription drugs start. Those drugs help manage the symptoms. Often, you’re stuck with a lifetime of prescriptions and even prescription changes for the rest of your life. It’s a program of managing the disease and treating the symptoms. What if you could eliminate the drugs and get rid of the disease entirely? Wouldn’t that be wonderful? That’s what lifestyle medicine is all about. It’s finding the root cause, often relating directly to your lifestyle, and helping you make the changes necessary to be disease-free.

Lifestyle medicine is used to supplement traditional medicine.

Doctors who use this philosophy of medicine don’t replace traditional treatments with lifestyle changes but use those changes to supplement the treatment. It involves six key changes. The first is a primarily plant-based diet. The second change is increasing physical activity. The third lifestyle change is stress management with the fourth being adequate sleep. Avoiding toxic substances and risky behavior and cultivating social connections are the next two steps lifestyle medicine focus.

All the steps are important, but the first step makes the biggest difference for most people.

Obesity is the leading cause of preventable deaths. Whether you’re just overweight or obese, it plays a big role in your overall health. It can cause increased blood pressure, diabetes and heart disease. To eliminate obesity, it takes a lifestyle change to make a difference. That means changing your diet and increasing the amount of exercise you get each day. What you eat is the key to lifestyle medicine. No matter how much you exercise, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. The food you eat can cause other problems, besides weight gain. You need the right body building nutrients to create a healthy body that can protect itself from illness or chronic conditions.

Exercise and other lifestyle changes are also important.

While your healthcare provider may initially suggest a change of diet, eventually, he or she will add those other changes to the list. Exercise, a healthy sleep pattern and managing stress all play a role in weight control. Exercise not only helps you burn calories, but it also helps eliminate stress, improve your circulation and extend telomeres that protect the body. Adequate sleep is heart healthy and also helps keep the hunger/satiety hormones balanced, so you don’t overeat. Stress can lead to depression, lack of exercise and even stress eating. It can also lead to using toxic substances to bury the stressful feelings.

  • Changing your lifestyle means cultivating new habits. It takes more than one healthy meal or trip to the gym. It’s a one-step-at-a-time consistent daily change that brings about an overall improvement in health.
  • Lifestyle medicine isn’t meant to replace traditional medicine but complement it. Talk to your doctor about making these changes for improved health. Most physicians don’t have the background to create a specific diet and exercise plan but will be happy to work with specialists in that area.
  • If your habits caused you to gain weight, which lead to insulin resistance and diabetes or high blood pressure, losing the weight is important. However, to do that successfully, you have to change your habits.
  • Lifestyle medicine uses a holistic approach. It’s not only about managing chronic disease, but also promoting health and preventing disease. Even healthy people benefit from lifestyle medicine.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training

Does Exercise Help You Live Longer?

Does Exercise Help You Live Longer?

Exercise is important for a number of different reasons. It improves digestion, increases circulation and helps prevent serious conditions that are life threatening, like stroke, high blood pressure, some types of cancer and type 2 diabetes. Not only does exercise help you lose weight, reducing the risk of obesity, the leading cause of preventable deaths, it increases longevity in other ways.

Exercise is half the dynamic duo that helps you live healthier.

Both a healthy diet and regular exercise are a combination that is known to increase life expectancy. While a healthy diet is the most important, exercise is a close second. Not only does it help lubricate joints, relieving many aches and pains, it also lengthens telomeres. Telomeres act like aglets, those plastic tips on shoelaces. Just like aglets, telomeres protect the DNA and keep it from unraveling. The longer the telomeres, the longer the cell lives and replicates, which slows the aging process by keeping chromosomes intact.

You may have heard of stem cells, but did you realize the adult body continues to create them?

Even seniors still have some stem cells. If they’re active, they have more than people who aren’t active, according to studies. Today, stem cell therapy is used to repair joints and other problems. Before the stem cell therapy, doctors suggest the patient increase activity. That helps the body to increase stem cell production to replace the older cells lost during exercise.

Even couch potatoes can increase exercise, but need to start slowly.

If the hardest thing you’ve done the last few years is lift the remote, you need to increase your exercise, but start slowly, especially if you have a health issue. Increasing the number of steps you take daily is one way. A study in Australia showed that when people went from no exercise to 10,000 steps a day lowered their mortality risk by 40%. Just increasing activity by 3,000 steps lowered the risk of dying significantly, according to another study. You can start with walking and after a few weeks, start a program of exercise in the gym.

  • People with arthritis often forego exercise to avoid pain, but studies show that exercise can actually bring relief. The same is true of back problems. You should work with a trainer to ensure you use the right type of exercise that won’t exacerbate the problem.
  • Exercise helps lower blood pressure and improve cholesterol levels. It boosts nitric oxide levels. Nitric oxide causes blood vessels to relax, so they expand. That makes blood flow easier, lowering blood pressure in the process.
  • The increased circulation caused by exercise can deliver oxygen and nutrient rich blood to all parts of the body. It helps boost brain power, while also boosting overall health of the body.
  • Stress is a killer and exercise is a stress buster. When you’re under stress, your body prepares for fighting or running. Exercise burns off the hormones of stress to help your body return to normal and reduce the risk caused by the changes stress makes.

For more information, contact us today at Body Sculptors Personal Training