Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

October 2018 // Archive

Date based archive
27 Oct

One of the fitness progress measurements and health standards used to indicate one’s weight range, is body fat. Fat is our energy storage warehouse that our body pulls from to meet the demands we place upon ourselves. Because every BODY is different, we see a range of people who either carry too little, just the right amount, or an excessive amount. But what does this body fat mean in relation to our bodies and on our fitness journeys??

The scientific term for body fat is “adipose tissue”. It’s important to clarify that a person carries both fat pounds and muscle pounds and a normal bathroom scale doesn’t differentiate between the two. I know that for myself, my weight might be higher than one assumes because of the muscle that I carry. This might put me in a different bracket on a chart that shows the health ranges of body weights. But body fat needs to be accounted for. On the reverse, a normal looking sized person may actually be unhealthy because the majority of their weight is fat not muscle. This would then put one at risk for medical problems. This goes to show that just because a person is “skinny” doesn’t mean they’re healthy.

When a person tells me they want to lose weight. I know that they want to lose fat, not muscle. Here is a good example of what this means: “Body fat percentage is simply the percentage of fat your body contains. If you are 150 pounds and 10% fat, it means that your body consists of 15 pounds fat and 135 pounds lean body mass (bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood and everything else)”
Here is the standard chart:
General Body Fat Percentage Categories
Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% plus 25% plus

Another useful too would be:
• Fat mass: Weight x body fat percentage
• Lean mass: Weight – (weight x body fat percentage)

The scale doesn’t always show your weight in terms of good vs. bad pounds. Being realistic and understanding that losing body fat, not muscle is important. Often times quick fixes, cleanses, and really restrictive approaches to weight loss, yield water loss in weight, not fat. Having your body fat measured allows you to determine your goals and be realistic about how much and what type of weight you should lose. I hope this is informative for those of you who are stuck on that scale number. There is much more to weight loss than one thinks ?

19 Oct


Water: Used 100 different ways but when it is time to heat up or chill out this liquid??

We use life’s most important element hundreds of times per day in many different ways. From showering to quenching our thirst, H2O is part of all that we do. Sometimes we use cold water, sometimes room temperature and sometimes we use it hot.

There is no label on water that reads, “For best results….” Temperature can be trial and error or totally based on preference. Science tells us there are two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom but what happens when you heat or cool this liquid??

Drinking water: For this, the winner is cold water. It passes through the stomach faster which means the intestines absorb it quicker, and hydration occurs faster. The American College of Sports Medicine says that drinks should be between 50 and 72 degrees F for optimal hydration. How much of this cold water should you drink?? Well, that depends on a number of factors. Every cell of our body needs water. It gets rid of waist, keeps our body temperature in check, and lubricates our joints. 60% of our body weight is water. We lose water through urination, sweat, and even breathing. About 20% of the water we need can come from our food. However, for most adults, men should consume about 15.5 cups or 3.7 liters and women should have 11.5 cups or 2.7 liters. Probably more than assumed.

Showering: Hot or cold this daily cleaning task exposes our skin to different temperatures. The hotter the drops, the more natural oil from the skin gets stripped. Dry, cracked skin has never been a good look. Leave that for winter. Lukewarm is best which opens the pores (good for face washing too) and washes away bacteria. You don’t have to burn off the germs with extreme heat. Warm water for washing hair is also ideal. Hot water can damage the hair. Shampoo works its magic best with warm water.

Toothbrushing: There’s no science behind toothbrushing water temp, so do so at your discretion. I would say most of us just do room temperature.
Washing the dishes: The water should be about 120 degrees F. That is almost too hot to touch but this necessary to kill off an bacteria and grease. The key is that hot water dries quicker so the bacteria has less time to come back.

Washing produce: It’s actually best to use room temperature. Some of us like that fresh feeling of washing off fruits and veggies with cold water. However, cold water can actually perpetuate bacteria when it enters the cracks of the skin. Warm water transpires wilting faster. So just go with room temp.

Watering plants: Best at room temperature. Hot water causes damage to the roots and can even kill the plant. Cold water causes dormancy, so it won’t optimally grow.

We need to drink and use this liquid readily. If we are going to do something, we are going to do it right, so using the best temperatures is important. Cheers to H2O and proper hydration, cleaning, bathing, and watering.

12 Oct


Sickness and disease are part of our life here on earth. Life can forever change when diagnosed. We know that as we age, our bodies become more vulnerable as our time here on earth has allowed for body to develop illness. But there is a whole other side to the tragedy of disease, and that is the business, money making industry of medical care. We are victims of this system. Let me further explain.

We are trained to set ourselves up for the aging process. We make sure our retirement will cover health care costs. We set up life insurance…. but isn’t this really death insurance?? We set up health care…. but isn’t this really disease care?? For medical companies, this is all just business…. nothing personal. Prozac alone is a billion dollar making pill. Here are some of the latest totals I found for what people are spending: “That means that, last year, the average family paid $9,996 for coverage alone, and, if they met their deductible, a total of just under $18,000.Meanwhile, an average individual spent $3,852 on coverage and, if she spent another $4,358 to meet her deductible, a total of $8,210” (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/23/heres-how-much-the-average-american-spends-on-health-care.html).

Our sense of fear causes us to adhere to health advice that is very costly. We live in a world of modified food that has made us sick. The government backs these large companies. We are eating genetically engineered food which has led to an increase in obesity and diabetes. This has created an entire market for genetically engineered insulin, which has dollar signs written all over it. Stress levels are through the roof these days for people, putting them as risk for physical and psychological problems (again dollar signs). With age we accumulate waste over time in our bodies. Our cells degenerate and regenerate over and over again, and if we aren’t healthy enough, at some point our bodies fail at this cycle. Sadly, humans think that living healthy is boring. Smoking and the enjoyment of fat ridden foods brings pleasure. And the disease business preys on this.

More and more drugs are being placed on the market. Prices continue to rise both for insurance and out of pocket costs. Consider this: “U.S. spending on prescription medicines in 2016 increased by 5.8 percent over 2015 levels to $450 billion based on list prices, and by 4.8 percent to $323 billion when adjusted for discounts and rebates. The biggest drivers of prescription growth came from large chronic therapy areas, such as hypertension and mental health” (https://www.cnbc.com/2017/05/04/us-prescription-drug-spending-as-high-as-610-billion-by-2021-report.html).

Health is a choice. Take care of your body and you will take care of your wallet. The medical industry and quality doctors of course want to help us. Nurses don’t do their amazing jobs for the money. But dollar signs are looming in the shadows of health care. I don’t want to be a skeptic, but if every time I go to the dentist it feels like a sales pitch, it does make you think twice. What you do today counts for tomorrow and years ahead. We can’t erase old damage, but we can do what we can while we can to replace good cells with the bad. That starts with one healthy choice at a time and I’m here to help you.
Reference: “The Business of Disease” (2017) by Sonia Barrett.

05 Oct


Our fitness journeys are unique to us all but all have one element in common…. we are improving our health. What has led us to the decision to start, step it up, seek help, or try a new approach is the result of feeling stagnant, unmotivated, tired, low self-esteem, upon a doctor’s recommendation, or just to have a new hobby. We create questions in our head that sometimes are due to knowing the answer but needing to hear the answer from someone else. If we acted upon the answer that we know is right, well, my job would be null and void. The truth is that most times you have already answered yourself. But I’m here to guide you, support you, and help you confirm any doubts that should be squashed. So here are the most common questions I get, but truly have to respond with every BODY is different or I have to assert that you are not allowed to do something….
1. If I work out 5 days a week and eat right, how much weight will I lose by (insert date)?? How can I know that exact answer?? On December 13th will have lost 8.2 pounds (yeah it doesn’t work that way).
2. Can I eat this instead of that?? Probably not if you have to ask. You are substituting a choice but in doing so are settling or compromising to push the limits of a new plan. Oh how we love control.
3. How much weight do most of your clients lose?? Well, that is a case by case basis. This isn’t just about weight loss.
4. I have a bad back, knee, shoulder, can I still do the exercises?? Absolutely I’m the queen of modifications.
5. If I go on a trip what am I supposed to do?? You have the tools, you know how to make better choices, and trips do happen, so you have to learn to prepare. You are still YOU no matter where you go, so be bold and brave to stick to your plan.
6. Holidays are coming how can I avoid all those foods?? Probably won’t be able to 100% but fuel your fire and exercise more (nothing wrong with having more motivation to work harder). This won’t negate the damage entirely but will be a factor to consider the next time you have a second serving. Think of the exercise involved.
7. My significant other just doesn’t get it what can I do?? Communicate, communicate, communicate and be strong to assert your goals.
8. I walked a lot at the zoo or Disneyland, that counts for exercise right?? I want you to take time out of daily activities you already do. You are trying to justify not doing a workout to yourself and me.
9. Why won’t the scale move but I’m losing inches?? Your body is reshaping itself but an external health factor may exist. Have your bloodwork done to see if there is an internal issue such as hormonal imbalance or lack of nutrient absorption.
10. My doctor said I need to do this or that what do you think?? I’m working on my Doctorate but I’m not there yet. They gave their recommendation for a reason. I am not liable to go against that advise so sometimes I have to say, “Phone a friend on this one”.

I want to help every BODY, and as much as a trainer that I am, I’m also an ear and somewhat of a therapist to some. I love it. I wouldn’t change what I do. But remember, you are in control. You make the choices. You do the work. We don’t hold hands walking Greenbrier Hill, so I’m there for what I can and the rest is up to you.