Archive for the ‘Holistic Fitness’ Category

  • The heart of the matter: You may not be as healthy as you think

    Aug 1, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Holistic Fitness1,432 CommentsRead More »

    By Lauren Antrosiglio They’re the healthiest people you’ll ever meet. You know them: They eat fairly healthy; they don’t drink too much; they don’t do drugs or smoke. They went organic before it was cool. Maybe you’re one of these people — and hats off to you. It’s hard work being healthy. However, “healthy” people need to worry just as much about heart health as obese people or those with a family history of heart issues. There are a few things you may be doing in the name of health that very well could be setting you up for heart issues. Excessive cardiovascular activity In the past decade, researchers have discovered a link between serious heart problems and excessive cardiovascular activity. Studies published in European Heart Journal and Journal of Applied Physiology found that the runners and cyclists involved in the studies all suffered damage to the right ventricle of their hearts after completing a marathon. The damage was reversed in most of the athletes soon after, but about a quarter of the subjects (mostly men over 40) showed permanent damage and fibrosis (scarring that can lead to heart failure). Researchers theorized that career runners and cyclists have a greater likelihood of damaging their hearts the longer they continue excessive training. This doesn’t mean that cardiovascular exercise is unhealthy, but that much cardio just isn’t as healthy as you think

  • No faddies, please: Time to ditch the top 5 worst diets

    Jul 4, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Holistic Fitness1,918 CommentsRead More »

    By Lauren Antrosiglio Have you been on a diet lately? If not, you probably know someone who has, and with reason. According to the Center for Disease Control, over two-thirds of Americans (68 percent) are overweight or obese. To make matters worse, we’re constantly bombarded with advertising for fast food and unhealthy processed foods. On one hand, the media tempts us with unhealthy foods and drinks, and, on the other, the media propagates images of “perfect” bodies for us to strive for. As a result, the diet industry is booming, our pockets are emptier, and there are tons of new — and potentially dangerous — diets popping up. For your consideration, here’s a guide to the five worst. …   Atkins & Zone diets These diets were made popular in the ’90s. Thousands of people rushed to the grocery store and bought a bazillion hot dogs, hamburgers, pepperoni, cheese, and processed meats in hopes of losing weight. What they did, instead, was clog their arteries and set up themselves for failure. The Atkins and Zone diets not only contain almost 75 percent saturated fat, but they put your body into a state of chronic ketosis. Ketosis is the body’s natural response to a form of starvation in which our body does not get enough plant-derived foods. Putting your body in this state for extended periods of time increases your risk

  • … nor any drop to drink

    May 30, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Holistic Fitness3,043 CommentsRead More »

    By Lauren Antrosiglio Every day, the average person loses about three or four liters of water. If you’re physically active, if you sweat, if you’re at a high altitude, 0r if you’re in high temperatures inside or outside, you lose even more water. And if you’re thirsty, that means you’re  already dehydrated.   Are you dehydrated? The best way to test your level of hydration is your urine. If you’re hydrated, your urine is clear; there’s no yellow. If you’re dehydrated, your urine is yellow, and the darker the yellow, the higher the level of dehydration. If you have orange urine, you’re dangerously dehydrated.   The eight cups myth A big part of the problem with inadequate water intake in America is mis-education and misinformation. For years, the FDA has been recommending that people drink eight cups of water a day. Unfortunately, that’s far from enough. You should be drinking half of your body’s weight in ounces of water every day. For instance, if you weigh 200 pounds, you need to be drinking 100 ounces of water a day.   Coffee isn’t water Even if you’ve had the correct amount of water, you can still be dehydrated from drinking dehydrating beverages (such as alcohol, tea, anything with caffeine, and soda), sweating, or physical exercise. Again, urine color is your best test of hydration, so see for yourself.   Water, fat

  • Priming for protein power

    May 2, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Holistic Fitness3,118 CommentsRead More »

    By Lauren Antrosiglio So, you’re in the market for protein powders. A quick walk down the protein powder isle of a vitamin store reveals a seemingly endless array of products, all of which claim to be The Best. Personally, I use a combination of whey protein isolate and whey protein concentrate, but for many reasons — including lactose intolerance and a vegan diet — whey protein isn’t the go-to protein powder for many. For that reason, I’ve put together a chart that includes the facts about protein powders on the market today so you can make an educated decision about which one is right for you. Here’s an explanation of terms: BV Short for “Biological Value,” BV is the standard used to measure the amount of protein that is bioavalable — that is, protein that can be assimilated and used by the body. BV also takes into account the amount of essential amino acids (necessary substances that our bodies can’t produce on their own) in any protein. The greater the amount of essential amino acids, the higher the BV. PDCAAS Short for Protein Digestibility Corrected Amino Acid Score, PDCAAS is the standard used by the World Health Organization to measure protein usability. This score focuses more acutely on the amino acids present in the protein. The highest score is one. Whey protein isolate Whey protein is created when proteins are

  • The real raw deal

    Apr 4, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Holistic Fitness2,191 CommentsRead More »

    By Lauren Antrosiglio Unless you’ve been under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the raw food craze. (I apologize to those of you who have, in fact, been living under rocks — I’ll catch you up.) The underlying philosophy for most devotees of a raw food diet is something like this: “Eating foods in their raw, unadulterated state is eating them as they grow in nature and allows us to absorb a much larger amount of nutrients from the food that would be lost if it was cooked.” Some facets of this are true, some not-so-true, and some just plain false. Here are some of the benefits said to be associated with going raw: Better assimilation of nutrients and enzymes from food? Cooking food above 118 degrees Fahrenheit supposedly destroys many of the nutrients in food as well as the enzymes that help our bodies digest these foods. However, digestive enzymes are actually produced by our bodies — we don’t need to eat digestive enzymes in order to complete the process of digestion. When we eat food, our bodies naturally break down the enzymes in the food to extract the amino acids for absorption. Increased energy? When someone who’s been eating mostly cooked or processed foods switches to a diet based on healthier whole foods, there’s often a perceived increase in energy. If everyone increased the amount of green, leafy

  • Stress is ruining your health & well-being: & here’s what you can do about it

    Feb 28, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Holistic FitnessNo CommentsRead More »

    By Lauren Antrosiglio Stress is so widespread that it’s pretty much accepted as part of the daily reality of life in modern society. However, there are just as many ways to relieve (and avoid) stress as there are different types of it. There are many types of stress, and the following list isn’t exhaustive: • Emotional stress: Relationship problems, worry over a child or family member, job issues, or depression. • Cognitive stress: Unrealistic demands, constant pessimism, morbid expectations, or living up to others’ expectations. • Toxin-related stress: Heavy metal toxicity, mercury and other toxins in food, pollution, pesticides, or perfumes. • Electromagnetic stress: From cell phones, computers, or electronics. • Metabolic stress: Overexercising, low blood sugar, or lack of food. • Sensory stress: Frequent loud noises, chronic pain, or excessive external stimulation. • Immune stress: Food intolerance or allergy, inflammation, or autoimmune disease. • Endocrine-related stress: Adrenal burnout, endocrine system disorders, menopause, or insulin sensitivity. • Spiritual stress: Loss of self, lack of purpose, non-empathetic, or unloving. • Structural stress: Poor posture, bad spine alignment, or physical trauma. If you only experience one of these types of stress, your system can deal with it. In response to stress, your body releases cortisol, the “stress hormone,” and subsequently restores equilibrium. However, most of us deal with a number of these stressors — and on a regular basis, at that. The

  • Let’s get primitive

    Jan 31, 14 • ndemarino • 5enses, Holistic Fitness2,334 CommentsRead More »

    By Lauren Antrosiglio For many people, going to gym classes or doing cardio on an elliptical machine is a matter of practicality, if not routine. However, your mountain-climbing, snowshoeing, hiker friends may be onto something. Science says so. Mind your mind According to a 2008 study conducted at Glasgow University in Scotland, exercising outdoors has a 50 percent higher positive effect on mental health than exercising at the gym. The study, which involved 2,000 subjects, showed that people who were physically active outdoors exhibited lower stress levels and a better mood/emotional response than people who exercised indoors. In a 2009 study from the University of Illinois, it was shown that children and preteens with ADHD exhibited higher levels of focus and concentration after walking in a park for 20 minutes. Did the same hold true for those who walked through city or neighborhood streets? Nope. The sunnier side of things Ready to head outside for a workout? You might want to leave the sunglasses at home. Ultraviolet light, which your body converts into Vitamin D, isn’t just absorbed through the skin; it’s also absorbed through your eyes. According to research published in 2012, wearing sunglasses blocks more than 1,500 wavelengths of light that are needed to nourish and protect your eyes. One way to keep your eyes out of direct sunlight but allow them to be receptive to the full

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