Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

January 2021 // Archive

Date based archive
28 Jan


If only we could out exercise a bad diet. If only it were that easy. No one will argue that it’s easy to put on the LBs, but not so easy to take them off. Why is that?? You can’t out exercise the calories, fat, sugar, and carbohydrates that accumulate in excess. The good old days of being 16 and eating whatever your heart desired and still be thin, just don’t exist anymore. Think about that cheeseburger, shake, and fries, and how much it truly takes to counteract their damage.
So you might what to think again about how many calories you are taking in versus what you are burning. This also might influence your exercise choices.

If you aren’t gearing up for a 100 mile bike ride or Ironman, that super high carbohydrate pasta dinner with a few rolls, isn’t necessary. Jogging a couple miles the next morning won’t undo the intake. On the other hand, dessert last night isn’t going to fuel a quality workout the next day. High fat and high sugar foods aren’t going to equip you for the endurance and energy to have a quality workout to burn them off. Just a few moments on those lips, leads to more fat around the waist and hips. Pizza won’t make those problem areas disappear. The beers don’t add up to a six pack on the belly. That sluggish feeling doesn’t stir up motivation either. In fact, most might agree that when they eat healthy, they feel better, and actually want to workout. Hmmmm, there’s something to this FIT Lifestyle.

Most people underestimate how much they are really eating. Let’s say you at a McDonald’s Bic Mac, Large Fries, and Large Coke = 1330 calories. That would require 6 hours of strength training, or 2.5 hours of running, or 4 hours of walking. That is a major setback. Even if you goal is general fitness to maintain and be able to eat what you want, this e equalizer method doesn’t quite pan out. It’s not just the one bad meal. It can be the accumulation. The nightly glass of wine, the eating out twice per week, the creamer in the coffee…. it adds up and then by the end of the month the caloric totals reflect what has happened on the scale. If one glass of wine has about 110 calories then that takes about 30 minutes of walking to burn off (just that one glass). Being strict is not what I’m promoting, rather, being honest with yourself is the key if you have set numerically driven data goals. You don’t have to bring your egg whites like me, but you do have to tell yourself that your choices directly reflect your results.

The good old metabolism mechanism can only do so much. Healthy choices are critical on your fitness journey and each one counts. Enjoying the foods you like every now and then, really does have to stay to as infrequently as possible. Don’t make too many exceptions to the rules, because your goals and YOU are worth feeling, looking, and operating at their best.

21 Jan


Childhood obesity has been on the rise and it’s a direct reflection of lifestyle and eating choices. We live in a world where most things are a click away or convenient. Technology is the new form of playing with your friends. Less talk, less action, less movement. I recently watched a documentary on Amazon Prime called, “Danger: Teen Binging” (2015), in which 3 teenagers were obese and the movie documented how they coped with this on a day to day basis. Let me share what this film was about with you.

Of course seeing overweight teens is no surprise to me. In fact, everyday around 3pm I see students walking home from school with some sugary beverage in one hand and a bag of chips in the other from AM/PM. They have been sitting all day at school only to go home and sit more, have their terrible snack, and then eat again at dinner. The only good part is the WALK home. I can’t remember getting home before 5pm from school from sports practices and activities. Adding that it if I was home, I was outside with my neighbors playing until it got too dark. Times have changed. Now with school being online and sports cancelled, the problem has only exasperated itself.

In this documentary, we learn that 1 in 5 children are obese. Many reach a point of no return, meaning once they reach adulthood, it is too late to lose this weight. Their metabolism has been ruined and their only hope is surgery. Children as young as 12 are having gastric bypass surgery. The opening scene is of a devastated family whose daughter, Samantha, ate herself to death. She died as a teen from her destructive eating habits that led to such terrible health.

Then the film looked at 3 others teens. Harry was 14 years old, heavy set, but did not even know his current weight. To him, there was no problem. But his parents fought over this issue. He used his bubbly, comedic personality to hide from the truth of his weight. He was the class clown, loved by all, and has his own YouTube Channel. He loved to cook, but had alternative motives to eat many of the ingredients during the process. Harry wanted to be a pilot when he grows up, so his dad had him undergo the real medical evaluation for this process to prove to him that his dreams were unrealistic given his current habits. The army-like nature of his father versus the caring concern of his mother created a recipe for disaster. Regardless, Harry refuses to diet and doesn’t want to waist his childhood starving himself.

Jess was 16 years old. She was bullied at school and comes from a mother who had weight issues herself. Her mom had gastric bypass surgery and she is headed down the same path. Her typical snack is a Frappuccino and bag of chips.

Holly, who was 14 years old suffered from body anxiety. She rarely attended school and her mother was even fined for this. She sees her skinny sister and wonders why she is overweight. Holly is the type who keeps her emotions bottled up.

All 3 teens used food for comfort and pleasure. In the end, they started light activity but ultimately, they didn’t want to change. This means their adult lives will be marked by health issues and weight related issues. The documentary was nothing out the ordinary or shocking, but proves the point that children today need to get moving. Movement is critical so there needs to be a form of activity that is tolerable to them on a daily basis. Looks like the parents are up for a challenge. At the studio, I want to encourage every BODY to lead by example and be part of an active family environment. This is teamwork as you become the best version of yourself.

Danger: Teen Binging (2007) by Ed Kellie, &Katy Lock

14 Jan


Alcohol is a major part of our society and they more you think about it the more, you more you realize how most social occasions, eating, and events, involve alcohol. For me, it takes on a very negative connotation as of a result of life experiences, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be around it or still be in settings that have it. There are a lot of common questions when it comes to this beverage and I’m always asked on fitness journeys tricks and traits to still be able to enjoy a cocktail or two and reach goals. Thus, I had to do some research and found a documentary called, “The Truth About Alcohol”, to help me out.

They say on average people (both men and women) should consume no more than 14 drinks per week. But what is a drink?? A drink should be measured as a unit. 1 shot of whiskey is 1 unit. A glass of wine depending on size is 2-3 units. 1 pint of beer is 2-3 units. As such, most do exceed 14 units.
Alcohol has many effects on the body. The brain functions differently when drinks are involved. Hand-eye coordination is not as sharp because self-control is impaired. Your attention is divided and multi-tasking is out of the question. Your mental energy is very limited, hence poor decision-making results.

It may appear that some people get drunk quicker than others. This has to do with one’s blood alcohol concentration. The amount of water in the body is the key. A person with more water in their body gets less drunk. Essentially, the water is diluting the alcohol. And hey, they also say the more muscle you have, then less drunk you get (that’s up my ally). But the reality is that the bigger you are size wise, the more water you will have in your body and that is why someone petite gets drunk a lot faster.

Alcohol is also calorie rich and all of these are “extra” counted to the daily total intake. 1 shot has 59 calories, 1 glass of wine has 180 calories, and 1 pint of beer has 215 calories. Studies have shown alcohol makes you want to eat more. In fact, someone who drinks usually consumes 11% more than those who don’t in a social setting. That means having nearly 300 extra calories on top of the alcohol calories and not even knowing it. Eating before drinking can however help with processing alcohol in the body. The liver isn’t left on its own and the food helps absorb the beverages and slow them down as they come and move through the body.

Have you ever heard of the French paradox?? Well the French have a diet high in fat but the lowest rate of heart disease. They say the culprit is red wine because of its possible benefits to the heart. Wine dilates blood vessels because it is made up of polyphenols. The best type of red wine, noting that the darker the better, is called Sacration. But the counter argument is that you don’t need wine to help with heart health. The same benefits come from 24 grams of walnuts, 360ml of tea, or 85 grams of blueberries.

Does a night after drinking help with sleep?? The famous “night cap”. Truth is that it may help you fall to sleep quickly into a deeper state, but then the rest of the night is interrupted and light.
Finally, there are some studies relating alcohol to cancer. This is definitely true of the liver and pancreas. But some don’t know that alcohol does alter hormone levels, especially in women. This is the controversial link to breast cancer.

Alcohol and your fitness journey don’t exactly mix well, but I realize that this beverage is a big part of our culture. We always refer to moderation but must keep in mind the designated number of units and don’t exceed that. Again, choices, choices, choices, buy maybe this Blog will make you think twice. That’s what I do right haha??

“The Truth About Alcohol”, 2016, by David Briggs.

07 Jan


Well each of you know how much butterflies mean to me and their significance (don’t worry I will fill you in if you don’t). Butterflies are symbolic of our fitness journeys in a number of ways, most obviously revolving around the idea of change. In this Blog, I will discuss both the scientific and symbolic elements of a butterfly. May this spring fill your surrounding air with beautiful butterflies….

So the basic childhood story we learn begins with the caterpillar who eats lots of leaves and grows bigger and bigger over time. It sheds its skin a few times in the process and eventually hangs itself and spins a cocoon. In time, the cocoon emerges into a butterfly.

There are a number of symbolic meanings associated with this process. The butterfly emerging from the cocoon represents a new life and freedom. From a brown and gray cocoon, out comes a bright and colorful flying creature. The stages a butterfly goes through in the process of its transformation are very much like that of our lives and fitness journeys. We experience growth and moments of vulnerability. We are undergoing a transformation ourselves. The caterpillar is unrecognizable in the end. I love to hear clients share stories of when they encounter people in their lives who have not seen them in some times as they have undergone their very own transformation. The compliments and praise are encouraging reminders of the hard work one has accomplished. There are religious and faith related symbols of butterflies as well.

A funny thought I had was the caterpillar’s life revolves around eating. It is in constant search of leaves in order to feel completely stuffed so that it can grow. I’m sure some of us have had that feeling on our fitness journeys as we learn portion control. I’d be a rich woman if I charged for every complaint I heard about never feeling full at first when we start to replace old eating habits. Our weak moments cause us to over indulge, but we learn that we don’t have to be stuffed to be satisfied.
Butterflies are also symbols of lost souls. For me a butterfly represents my mother’s spirit. After her passing, it seemed that any significant occasion, holiday, or moment, was somehow marked by the appearance of a butterfly lingering in my presence. I just knew it was her bringing her love and spirit to be with me. As a result, my husband and I released live butterflies at our wedding (a project my brother was assigned to haha) and our guests were camera ready for the one butterfly that sat on a flower the entire ceremony. It was her.

I remember being told as a child that if you touched a butterfly it would no longer be able to fly. However, this is definitely not true. They’re actually playing dead. I have been to exhibits and personally touched quite a few so don’t be fooled. Some of you might “act” too sore in order to do chores around the house or tasks you want to avoid haha, so you “play dead” to procrastinate.

Well, this Blog served as an emotional release for me as well as sending a little personal touch about myself to you all. For those of you who see my tattoos, now you know their meaning as well. I’d love to hear about your butterfly symbolism if you have any. Go spread your wings now, continue to work on your transformations, and embrace the changes to come on your fitness journeys.

01 Jan


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is an agency we that is readily apart of our fitness journeys. Many of our choices and selections are a result of their regulations. We might see the term “FDA Approved”, but what does this mean?? So let’s explore this topic further….

The Food and Drug Administration ensures the safety of our daily choices. Essentially, the FDA makes sure that the products regulated are, “safe, wholesome, sanitary and properly labeled; ensuring that human and veterinary drugs, and vaccines and other biological products and medical devices intended for human use are safe and effective” (http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194877.htm).

A noteworthy piece of information on our fitness journeys is that dietary supplements don’t have to be FDA approved. The claims about these products shouldn’t be false or misleading, but that is up to our discretion of course once we purchase and use them. Many nutritional health stores carry items of this nature, so again we have to be careful. The best way to obtain any vitamin or mineral is definitely from our food. In any case, we should always read labels and even more carefully if they don’t state the term “FDA Approved”.
Companies undergo a series of vigorous approval tests. Part of this includes testing the products on animals and humans. Data is compiled and the agency takes it from there. Products continue to be regulated while they’re for sale on shelves so that no new products slip in.

The responsibilities and products the FDA is in charge of is quite extensive, but here are the most common taken right from their website (http://www.fda.gov/AboutFDA/Transparency/Basics/ucm194879.htm):
Foods, including:
dietary supplements
bottled water
food additives
infant formulas
other food products (although the U.S. Department of Agriculture plays a lead role in regulating aspects of some meat, poultry, and egg products)
Drugs, including:
prescription drugs (both brand-name and generic)
non-prescription (over-the-counter) drugs
Biologics, including:
blood and blood products
cellular and gene therapy products
tissue and tissue products
Medical Devices, including:
simple items like tongue depressors and bedpans
complex technologies such as heart pacemakers
dental devices
surgical implants and prosthetics
Electronic Products that give off radiation, including:
microwave ovens
x-ray equipment
laser products
ultrasonic therapy equipment
mercury vapor lamps
Cosmetics, including:
color additives found in makeup and other personal care products
skin moisturizers and cleansers
nail polish and perfume
Veterinary Products, including:
livestock feeds
pet foods
veterinary drugs and devices
Tobacco Products, including:
cigarette tobacco
roll-your-own tobacco
smokeless tobacco
This Blog is just a helpful reminder about choices because we are bombarded with daily decision making. It’s important that we read labels, and always consider the risks and benefits. The FDA is on our side, so use them as a tool to help with this task. Safety is important for the longevity of our fitness journeys.