Fitness & Wellness

Get Rid Of Cellulite Fast

Get Rid Of Cellulite Fast

Cellulite is that lumpy look under the skin that makes the area look like an orange peel. The dimpling comes from fat pushing through the connective tissue. While diet is one cause, it doesn’t always happen to overweight individuals. Diet, hormonal influences, thinner outer layers of skin, genetics, and muscle tone can cause it. Even skinny people can have cellulite. That puckery appearance is harmless but not desirable. It’s why so many people look for ways to eliminate it. Some cellulite treatments require a doctor’s care, but others can be done without it.

Start by changing your diet.

A poor diet can cause cellulite. One offender is sugar. Cutting out food with added sugar creates insulin spikes. Insulin spikes increase inflammation, which is one cause of cellulite. Switching your diet to whole foods, and cutting out refined, high-sugar foods can help increase collagen production. The stronger your collagen, the less chance that fat pokes through to create cellulite. The less collagen and the weaker it is, the more prone you are to it. Cutting out caffeine and soft drinks and increasing water intake also helps.

Losing weight isn’t enough.

You might think that changing your diet and losing fat is all you need to do, but that’s not true. You also need to exercise. If you lose weight too fast, it can leave your skin baggy. That makes any cellulite you have more noticeable. If you exercise while changing your diet, you benefit from increased circulation. It helps remove excess fluid that builds in the area that causes the uneven surface, so it’s less noticeable. The muscles strengthen and cause cellulite to be less noticeable.

There are other treatments for cellulite besides diet and exercise.

While these types of treatments may be quicker, they can often be costly and don’t last as long. Cryolipolysis is one of those. It freezes the fat cells and kills them. Eventually, the body removes them. It takes four months to see results. Laser therapy liquifies fat cells and increases collagen production. After six months you’ll see results that can last up to a year. Shockwave therapy can take up to six weeks and involve twelve treatments but the results may only last two to six months. Lipomassage is a massage therapy that works on the same premise as exercise. It increases circulation. It may cause the skin to lose elasticity.

  • Women tend to have more cellulite problems than men do. That’s because hormones play a role. Women also have more body fat and a thinner outer layer of skin.
  • Self-massage creams may help. Like lipomassage, self-massage increases circulation. It also contains ingredients that can break down fat or build the skin so the cellulite doesn’t show, like caffeine and retinol.
  • Smoking contributes to the formation of cellulite. It interferes with collagen production. That inhibits the creation of collagen and leaves the body more prone to cellulite. It narrows the blood vessels and affects circulation.
  • Even if you choose medical treatments for cellulite, you still should make lifestyle changes. Making those changes can improve the results and increase how long they last.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

What Is Wrong With Grains?

What Is Wrong With Grains?

What’s wrong with grains? Some Alexandria, VA, citizens don’t eat most grains due to gluten intolerance, but other factors might make you want to eliminate them from your diet, even if they don’t contain gluten. People on a Paleo diet don’t consume grains because they believe our prehistoric ancestors didn’t, so our bodies can’t properly break them down, causing issues with our digestive system. There are reasons grains may not be healthy for you and ways to offset those problems.

Processing makes a difference.

Today’s grain is not processed as it was in the past. Historically, grain was soaked, sprouted, or fermented when making bread. That’s not true today. When it’s ground to flour, companies remove the bran and germ. The bran contains fiber that’s necessary for a healthy diet. The germ contains all the nutrients of the grain. All that is left is the endosperm. It’s primarily starch and empty calories.

The grain is different today.

In the 1960s, scientists created a hybridized high-gluten grain. Gluten is a combination of two proteins, glutenin and gliadin. Gluten makes bread chewy and gives it the dense texture and structure of modern white bread. It became so popular that over 90% of flour in the US comes from that hybrid. It may be the reason for an increase in people with gluten intolerance.

Grains contain antinutrients like phytic acid and lectins.

Phytic acid diminishes the absorption of magnesium, copper, calcium, iron, and zinc. It can cause issues in digestion to prevent enzymes from digesting protein and starch. Lectins are a category of anti-nutrients that protect plant seeds. One lectin is agglutinin. It’s a natural pesticide. GMOs are high in agglutinins, which may explain a high rise in gluten intolerance. Prolamins are another type of lectin. It prevents it from sprouting until conditions are perfect. It is what allows grains to survive in the digestive until they can be expelled in animal waste. The waste provides the fertilizer for the seed once expelled where it can grow. High amounts of lectin in the body can

  • Many of the grain products on the market today are highly processed. Companies bleach flour to make it white and add various chemicals to extend shelf life.
  • A negative reaction to prolamins in grain can cause a cross-reactivity from other types of seeds, like rice or oats. The symptoms of gluten intolerance continue if prolamin is the problem.
  • Grains produce enzyme inhibitors that don’t allow you to break down the protein in grains. Your body then produces more enzymes in a snowballing chain that leads to an abundance of digestive enzymes that potentially can destroy the gut lining and cause leaky gut syndrome.
  • You can reduce some of the problems associated with grains by choosing products containing sprouted grain, fermented grain, or soaked grain. Sprouted grain has more folate, fiber, useful amino acids, and polyphenols than unsprouted grain.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

How To Build Muscle And Lose Fat

How To Build Muscle And Lose Fat

There’s nothing more impressive at the beach than a washboard stomach or bulging muscles that are defined. You have to work hard to build muscle, but if you have excess fat that covers those muscles, nobody will see the results of your effort. You must lose fat as you build muscle tissue to get the best results. People often start an exercise program to get a lean, cut appearance and are disappointed. Either they cut back on calories too much, making muscle building difficult, or didn’t focus on shedding fat that hides all the hard work. It’s possible to do both.

It all starts in the kitchen.

You need the building blocks for muscle to increase muscle mass. The primary building block is protein. Increasing protein intake is vital to building more muscle tissue. A diet higher in protein also fills you and keeps you full longer. That helps reduce the calories you consume each day. Don’t drastically reduce calories. Provide enough to help build muscle mass. Find your ideal weight and add 500 calories to approximate the number of calories necessary. Your diet should get approximately 1/3 of its calories from quality protein like lean meat, salmon, and eggs.

You need carbs and fat in your diet, too.

Carbs provide energy to help you maximize your workout. The key is to eat the right type of carbs. You do need grain products, just make sure that you get whole grains. Whole grains provide antioxidants, some protein, B vitamins, and magnesium. Fruits and vegetables are carbs that provide other nutrients necessary to build muscle.

Maximize your workout benefits.

Use exercises that burn tons of calories and increase muscle mass. Create a HIIT workout using weights. Compound exercises also burn calories because several muscle groups and joints are involved. Lifting heavier will make you stronger. Lifting lighter with more repetitions will build bulk. You can even do both. The key is to lift to failure. Both types of lifting will take you to that destination. Consistency and making your workout more difficult as you become fitter is what counts.

  • When working on building consume between 0.8 and 1.5 grams of protein for every pound of body weight. It helps build muscle tissue.
  • Cut back on cardio. You can still do it, but not as your primary source of exercise. Cardio burns a lot of calories but it takes those calories from both lean muscle and fat. You’ll lose muscle if cardio is your only exercise.
  • Don’t fear fat in your diet. It should be a healthy fat, not from fried foods. Fat makes you feel full quicker and for longer. It helps muscles recover after working out. Use sources like nuts or fatty fish.
  • Don’t forget to hydrate and get adequate sleep. Lack of sleep causes an increase in the hunger hormone and a decrease in the satiety hormone so you eat more. When you sleep, your body heals the microtears. The scar tissue is the increase in muscle mass.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Real Mom Nutrition

Real Mom Nutrition

Real moms in Alexandria, VA, aren’t always appreciated. Being a real mom isn’t easy sometimes. They don’t have perfect children who love every nutrient-dense meal they create. Getting kids to eat food that boosts nutrition isn’t always easy, but that’s when real moms are at their best. They sneak healthy food into their child’s diet and avoid having junk food on hand. Nobody knows how to trick their kids into eating healthier than moms.

Don’t let the kids know the food is healthy.

A friend has a scale when they try new healthy food. The best rating is “Yummy. I’ll make it again.” Then comes the rating, “Okay,” followed by the lower rating, “Edible.” The lowest possible score is, “Ewww, this tastes healthy..” Too often food that doesn’t taste good is pushed on kids with the accompanying phrase, “It’s healthy” or “It’s good for you.” Instead, serve the food to adults at the table and give the kids something different. Tell them the food is for adults. That makes the food more attractive, and most want to try it. Let them if they ask. Adult food is far more appealing than “healthy” food.

Make food fun.

Create vegetable animal displays. Add to the fun by announcing you’re eating the nose or the ears. Create fun dishes like ants on a log. It’s celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins in a row. A dinner where you make your own taco or burrito night is always fun. Include healthy options like both traditional, like tomatoes and lettuce, and less traditional options, like avocado chunks instead of guacamole or sweet potato hash instead of refried beans. Use Greek yogurt as a topping instead of sour cream.

Create yummy recipes with added vegetables.

Add extra vegetables to scrambled eggs or make muffins stuffed with vegetables and cheese. Make sure what the children drink is also healthy. Bann sugary drinks from your home. There’s no reason to have soft drinks in the house. Skip the Kool-Aid and fruit juice, too. They’re all loaded with sugar. Instead, have bottled water available. You can make infused water, too. Let the kids pick the infused water flavor. Switch out commercial Popsicles for homemade ones made with fruit and coconut water. If you want a creamy variety, add yogurt.

  • Let the kids help make the food. Food always tastes better when you make it yourself, especially when you’re young. Give them age-appropriate jobs.
  • Cook food differently. Instead of frying food, air fry it, boil it, broil it, or bake it. Improve the nutritional profile of favorite foods by making substitutions. Instead of regular fries, opt for sweet potato fries.
  • Control the ingredients in your snacks. Make your trail mix instead of buying it. Add nuts, dried fruit, popcorn, and maybe dark chocolate chips. Divide it into individual servings and put it in plastic bags.
  • Show children how to eat healthy by teaching them to make their plate a rainbow of color when choosing vegetables. Each color provides different benefits for the body.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Staying Healthy This Summer

Staying Healthy This Summer

Summer is the time for family fun in the sun. But with that fun comes a few extra steps for staying healthy in the summer. Some ways to stay healthy, like exercising, should be done throughout the year. Others, such as hydrating, are more important in the summer. Your body is mostly water. It protects organs, keeps your body functioning properly by regulating temperature, helps eliminate waste, lubricates joints, and performs many other vital functions.

Protect your skin with sunscreen.

Sunscreen is important all year, but especially in the summer. Most women have it in their make-up, which is exposed the most in the winter. In the summer, clothing is cooler and there’s less of it so more of the body is exposed. If you go to the beach, apply sunscreen liberally and follow the manufacturer’s directions. We get vitamin D from the sun, so if you want to boost vitamin D intake, follow safe sunning practices. Expose your skin to the sun without sunblock three times a week for a few minutes midday, then put on sunscreen. Increase that time as your skin tans to up to 15 minutes a day. The fairer your skin, the less time you should spend.

Stick with your sleep schedule.

In the summer, the days are longer. It’s easy to stay up later and get up earlier. That can cause a problem with your sleep schedule and circadian rhythm. Lack of sleep can cause heart issues. It causes your body to create more hunger hormones and less satiety hormones. You’ll be hungrier and more likely to gain weight. If the light interferes with your sleep schedule, buy blackout shades to darken the room.

Don’t be a weekend exercise warrior.

Summer seems to be the time for sprains and strains. Some people are sedentary all week and get active on the weekend. They don’t prepare their body for the punishment the sudden activity brings. Get in shape and exercise regularly. Spend at least a half hour to 45 minutes five times a week to prepare your body for summer fun. You’ll have a lot more fun and have fewer accidents when you do. If you exercise outside, carry water with you and stay hydrated. Take breaks and get out of the sun if you feel too hot. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

  • If you’re venturing into nature beyond the beaten path or driving in an area without cell phone access, have a two-way satellite communicator. Always have your cell phone and let someone track it.
  • When your fun in the sun is near water, even if it’s a pool, assign swimming partners and closely supervise children. When you’re boating, also make sure there are adequate life vests.
  • Keep your beverages non-alcoholic if you’re in the sun or driving any vehicle, including a boat. Alcohol dehydrates you and when combined with heat, it can occur pretty fast. If you decide to imbibe anyway, alternate between water and alcohol.
  • Add healthier options to your menu for summer cookouts. Grill veggies for side dishes and chicken and portabellas instead of hot dogs. Choose fresh fruits and vegetables and avoid food that spoils if not refrigerated.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Drop The Fries And Move Those Thighs

Drop The Fries And Move Those Thighs

If you ask what body part people want to change, the answer is often the thighs. It’s one place where fat seems to accumulate, but there are others. How do you get rid of those extra pounds? You have to move more and eat healthier. A regular exercise program and healthy eating is the best place to start. Just cutting out junk food and replacing it with whole foods can help with the unwanted weight. Toning muscles and burning calories with exercise completes the dynamic duo that transforms your body.

Exercise does more than burn calories.

Most people realize that exercise tones muscles and increases the calories the body burns. They might not realize that more muscle tissue means a higher metabolism. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does. The more you have, the more calories you burn 24/7, including when you sleep. Those toned muscles make you look thinner even if you don’t lose a pound.

You don’t have to follow a strict diet to shed extra pounds.

You only have to eat smarter. Choosing whole foods instead of processed food or food with added sugar is a good starting point. No matter how much you exercise, you can’t out-exercise a bad diet. You’d have to run uphill between a half hour and an hour to burn the number of calories in a McDonald’s large fries. The calories burned depend on your weight and speed. That would maintain your weight, not cause you to lose it. Increasing your intake of non-starchy vegetables, fruit, and healthy protein and cutting out junk food can make a huge difference.

Get even more bang for your effort by increasing daily activity.

How often have you taken the car to a destination within walking distance? If you’re like most people, it happens frequently. Have you ever circled a parking lot several times in hopes of finding the closest parking space? Maybe you’ve waited in front of an elevator for several minutes instead of taking the stairs. Those are all opportunities to move more throughout your day. Take advantage of them, and you’ll get the fastest results.

  • You may love fries, candy, donuts, and other junk food with empty calories. That makes it hard to quit. It takes a few weeks to lose sugar and fat cravings, but once you do, you’ll realize just how delicious real food is.
  • You don’t have to starve yourself to lose weight. Having healthy snacks and meals is all that’s necessary. Eating smarter doesn’t mean you can never have a treat. Just don’t do it often and keep portion control in mind.
  • Drinking more water can help you lose weight and keep your body healthier. Replace any soft drink in your diet with water, and you’ll save 100 calories immediately. Drink water before a meal, and you’ll eat less.
  • When you make healthy eating and exercise part of your lifestyle, you’ll never have to diet again. It’s hard to eat too many calories. Whole foods have fiber, healthy fat, and protein that keep you full longer.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Eat Right, Live Strong

Eat Right, Live Strong

The goal of Team Worx in Alexandria, VA, is to help you live strong. That takes a program of regular exercise. It also requires adequate hydration, quality sleep, and learning to eat right. We can help you master two with an exercise program that transforms your body and nutrition coaching that speeds the process. Eating right means giving your body the macro and micronutrients it needs to feel and be your best.

Eat more healthy options and avoid unhealthy ones.

When you eat unhealthy food, like food high in added sugar or fat, it triggers the release of dopamine and opioids in the brain. These feel-good hormones have the addictive nature of opioids. The more sugar and fat you eat, the more you want. Like any addiction, it takes an increasing amount to trigger the pleasure hormones. Food with added sugar causes weight gain and affects your heart and kidneys. It damages collagen and causes wrinkles. If the food has high fructose corn syrup, a highly processed sweetener, it affects your ghrelin—hunger hormone—and leptin—your satiety hormone. It creates an empty pit of hunger you can never fill.

Choosing highly processed foods introduces chemicals and unnaturally high sodium levels into the body.

If you read food labels, you’ll notice highly processed food often has ingredients that sound like a chemistry experiment. If you can’t pronounce the additives, don’t eat the food. Not all processing is unhealthy. Washing produce makes it processed. The food that doesn’t resemble anything found in nature causes problems. Consider Cheetos, one of my guilty pleasures. There’s nothing natural about them. They’re high in fat and sodium. They contain maltodextrin. The FDA doesn’t require the manufacturer to label it sugar, yet the glycemic index is twice as high as table sugar even though the label shows zero grams of sugar. It’s no wonder it’s hard to stop eating them.

Stay focused on eating more whole foods.

Fill your plate with a colorful salad, baked salmon, fresh steamed broccoli, and a potato mash made with steamed carrots, cauliflowers, and potatoes. It’s delicious and far healthier than eating a burger and fries. This meal is a rainbow of colors from vegetables. Phytonutrients in vegetables give them their color, so the more colors you include, the wider the variety of nutrients. Choosing meals like this can help you get fit faster.

  • Including high-fiber food in your diet helps keep blood glucose levels even. It feeds the beneficial microbes in your digestive system to keep you healthier and helps keep you regular.
  • Live strong by hydrating regularly. Drinking water frequently helps. Avoid soft drinks. Studies show a link between diet soft drinks and belly fat. If you don’t like plain water, try infused water.
  • Include all types of exercise in your workout. Your body needs flexibility, strength, cardio, and balance training. Flexibility training and balance training are often overlooked but can prevent injury.
  • Exercising regularly also plays a vital role in another healthy lifestyle change. It helps you sleep better. Adequate sleep is necessary for heart health. When you sleep, your brain reorganizes information, and your body heals injuries.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Benefits Of A High Protein Diet

Benefits Of A High Protein Diet

Some people reap huge benefits when they switch to a high protein diet. It’s especially true if the protein is replacing simple carbs like sugar. The average American often has enough protein to sustain them but might do better by increasing protein. A high protein diet is based on the calories from each macronutrient. Traditional diets get 50% of calories from carbs, 20% from protein, and 30% from fat. Increasing the calories from protein to more than 25% is considered high protein.

High protein diets fill you and help you lose weight.

Protein is one of the most filling macronutrients. It takes longer to digest, so you feel full longer. It also increases your metabolism for a while because of the calories used to digest it. Protein also reduces the production of ghrelin, the hunger hormone, and increases hormones that make you feel full One study showed that when protein intake was doubled, from 15% to 30%, obese women being studied at almost 450 fewer calories. Protein also helps increase muscle mass. Muscle mass requires more calories to maintain. The more muscle mass you have, the easier it is to lose weight.

Contrary to popular belief, eating more protein is good for the bones and digestion.

Studies show that people who eat more protein have a reduced risk of osteoporosis. While earlier beliefs stressed the danger of a high protein diet on bones because of increased acid load, that’s been proven untrue. Both plant and animal proteins benefit bone health and can lower the risk of osteoporosis and fractures. It can lower cravings for late-night snacks that can lead to acid reflux.

Scientific evidence is constantly changing.

At one time scientists thought that eating more protein would raise blood pressure. The opposite is true. In reality, eating more protein may lower blood pressure. In over 40 studies reviewed, it lowered the systolic blood pressure by 1.76 mm Hg and the lower number, diastolic blood pressure, by 1.15 mm Hg. Some studies indicated that it lowered bad cholesterol and triglycerides.

  • If you have a pre-existing kidney disease, a high protein diet isn’t healthy. For people with healthy kidneys, it won’t do kidney damage.
  • As you age, you lose muscle mass. It’s a condition known as sarcopenia. That can lead to bone thinning. Staying physically active and eating more protein can reduce and even reverse the condition.
  • Increasing protein in your diet can help you heal faster after an injury. When consumed after a workout, it helps boost recovery. It contains the building blocks for muscles to get the process started.
  • While increasing protein does provide many benefits, not everyone should increase the protein in their diet. Always check with your healthcare professional first before starting a new diet or program of exercise.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

How To Incorporate Fitness Into Your Family Routine

How To Incorporate Fitness Into Your Family Routine

People in Alexandria, VA, are realizing that eating healthier and being active makes life healthier. Most wish they would have started earlier. It helps maintain a healthy weight and provides more than just physical benefits. It also offers mental benefits. Children who are active and eat healthier meals do better in school. It’s time to share a life of good health with your family. You don’t have to force the kids to eat bean sprouts and do calisthenics at the crack of dawn, you can add fun activities. You can slowly change how you cook to increase nutrition. The changes you make today affect your family’s health tomorrow.

Change your family’s diet slowly.

Start by changing how you cook if you fry everything or eat at fast food restaurants regularly. The change doesn’t have to be drastic. If your kids love fried chicken, switch to roasted chicken like you find prepared in the grocery made at home in the air fryer. Find ways to substitute ingredients to maintain the taste but add nutrients while you reduce the calories. You can use meal planning where you cook everything for the week in one day. During the week, just heat and serve.

Make being active fun.

You don’t have to do jumping jacks to exercise and get benefits. Buy hula hoops for everyone and have contests. Go for walks or bike rides. You can build their minds and bodies by taking trips to nature preserves or museums. Museums are large and you walk a lot as you see all the exhibits. If you have the space, start a family vegetable and herb garden. You can even do patio gardening. You’ll be surprised how much fun eating vegetables can be when you grow them yourself.

Plan gifts around an active lifestyle.

Family time should be active time and the gifts you give should reflect that. Instead of the latest video game, give the whole family rollerblades or bikes. Find a sport or activity your kids enjoy and plan gifts around that. Gifts don’t have to be sports equipment. They can be a family vacation to a large amusement park. If you’ve ever spent a day walking these parks or standing in line, you already know how active and wearing a trip can be. You’ll boost everyone’s activity level and make memories at the same time.

  • Start sitting at the table for supper at least one day a week. Don’t allow electronic devices. Eating together, sitting down, and socializing cause everyone to eat slower and make meals more enjoyable.
  • When the weather is foul, find ways to exercise in the house. Turn on the music and dance. It doesn’t have to be fancy to be fun.
  • Have healthy snacks ready in the refrigerator. Vegetables and dip, yogurt with fruit and nuts, and fruit, like melon, cut in bite size pieces are examples.
  • Get the kids to help make meals. Food always tastes better when you help prepare it. Have them make salads with vegetables you prepared if they’re young and give them more difficult tasks as they get older.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness