Best Low-Fat Snacks On The Go

Best Low-Fat Snacks On The Go

Fat is not necessarily the enemy of a healthy diet. Your body needs fat for vital functions and the feeling of satiety. Some foods high in fat are healthy, like avocados and nuts, but most aren’t. People in Alexandria, VA, often opt for unhealthy low-fat snacks, especially when they’re on the go. These are often loaded with sugar or salt and contain the unhealthiest type of fat. One way to avoid food high in unhealthy fat is to choose fresh fruit or vegetables. Oranges, apples, and bananas make ideal choices for a low-fat diet.

Veggies and hummus make a good low-fat snack.

Whether you cut the veggies at home or purchase individual serving sizes at the grocery or convenience store, they’re a healthy fat-free option. The dip that often accompanies them may be a little sketchy when it comes to fat content. For a healthy low-fat option, try hummus as a dip. It does contain some fat, but it’s a healthy fat that your body needs. To make your own, use canned or reconstituted chickpeas—also called garbanzo beans, seasoning, lemon juice, and tahini. Some recipes combine chickpeas with low-fat yogurt, too.

Fruit snack packs can be a delightful addition to your snacking time.

Choose the no-added-sugar variety or fruit packed in their own juices. Fruit cups can be found in the produce aisle of the grocery and many convenience stores carry cups of fruit in their coolers for hungry motorists. The variety of fruit includes melons, grapes, and tropical fruit. Dole is just one company that makes a variety of fruit cups that aren’t prepared fresh daily. They have low or no sugar added options and some come in coconut water for a tropical taste. Always read the label to find the sugar content and calories.

Some options aren’t fat-free but contain healthy fat.

Several studies have shown that full-fat yogurt is healthier than no-fat yogurt. One reason is the sugar that’s added to give the no-fat version flavor. Yogurt is high in protein. If you purchase live culture yogurt, it also is an excellent probiotic to improve your overall health. Get plain yogurt and add fresh fruit, like a handful of berries. Don’t choose fruit-added options unless you read the label to check the sugar content.

  • Cottage cheese is another milk-based option. You can use low-fat options for your snack. Top the cottage cheese with unsweetened applesauce or fresh fruit for a tasty, yet healthy snack that will fill you up.
  • Add mushrooms to your list if you’re making vegetables and dip. It’s a good source of fiber, has protein and a host of nutrients, such as vitamins B6, D, and C, niacin, pantothenic acid, thiamin, folate, riboflavin, iron, potassium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, manganese, and selenium.
  • Keep containers of prepared fruit in your refrigerator. You’ll be more likely to eat watermelon and cantaloupe if it’s already in a bowl cubed. Other options are sectioned grapefruit, oranges, and tangerines.
  • If you make snacks at home, baked sweet potato chips are delicious and low in fat. It takes planning but is worth the effort.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Is It Possible To Take TOO MANY Vitamins?

Is It Possible To Take TOO MANY Vitamins?

More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to vitamins. You can take too many vitamins all at once or slightly more than you need over a long time. The type of vitamin makes a difference. Some vitamins are water-soluble. If your body doesn’t need extra water-soluble vitamins, it flushes them out in the urine. Vitamins that are fat-soluble accumulate in the body.

What are water-soluble vitamins and the dangers you face by overdosing?

Vitamins C, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12 are water-soluble. Since excess is flushed out in urine, the potential for overdosing only comes from taking mega doses, not from accumulating. For instance, if you constantly take high amounts of B6, it can cause the body to get more than it can flush out, leading to toxicity. Ironically, the symptoms of an overdose of B6 are the same as the symptoms of toxicity. It can cause neuronal cells to change, as well as changes to the skin, heart, blood, and digestive system. Too much vitamin C can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and nausea. Large amounts of B3 can cause liver damage.

Unlike water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins need fat.

Fat-soluble vitamins include Vitamins A, D, E, and K. Excess fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the body, unlike water-soluble ones that flush out in the urine. The effects of too many fat-soluble, in many cases, are similar to the signs of its deficiency. Taking too much vitamin A causes more to be stored in the liver. It can cause blurry vision, bone pain, poor appetite, nausea, dry skin, sunlight sensitivity, cracked fingernails, hair loss, mouth ulcers, and jaundice. Many of these symptoms are also symptoms of a vitamin A deficiency.

Supplementation can cause overdosing of vitamins.

You can’t get too many vitamins from eating whole food. It comes from supplementing at higher than recommended amounts. If your doctor suggests those high doses, it’s normally due to your body’s problem processing or absorbing the vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins still have side effects and place more strain on the kidneys. They can cause a strain on your organs. It’s always better to get nutrients from eating whole foods.

  • Taking too much vitamin D can cause vomiting, poor appetite, weight loss, nausea, constipation, disorientation, heart rhythm problems, and kidney damage. Get vitamin D from the sun, instead.
  • Vitamin E can naturally come from increasing consumption of nuts and seeds. Most people don’t need supplements. Too much vitamin E can cause diarrhea, and nausea, headache.
  • There are no upper limits set for vitamin K since no adverse side effects have ever occurred from taking more. That doesn’t mean you should take mega doses. Instead, get vitamin K from greens.
  • Always listen to your healthcare professional. Steer clear of taking too many vitamins, whether they’re water-soluble or fat-soluble.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

How Will I Know If I'm Dehydrated?

How Will I Know If I’m Dehydrated?

Get prepared for a hot summer in Alexandria, VA. Stock up on bottled water or get a reusable water bottle and carry water with you at all times. Staying hydrated is important. Knowing the signs when you’re dehydrated is just as important. Even if you carry water all the time, if you’re not drinking more fluid than you lose, it causes you to be dehydrated. Symptoms of dehydration vary by individual. In older people, it can look like dementia.

You’ll feel exhausted if you’re just mildly dehydrated.

Don’t reach for a cup of coffee or caffeinated drink when your energy lags. Instead, get a bottle of H2O. That boost of energy you get from the coffee might come from the water, but it comes with side effects, such as shakiness and jitters. There’s a link between dehydration and headaches, just like the link between caffeine withdrawal and headaches. If you’re a regular coffee drinker and had your cup of coffee, that headache may not mean you need more coffee, but more fluid. Drink water instead.

If your lips are dry and chapped, you may be dehydrated.

When your mouth feels dry, you normally reach for something to drink. What about if your lips are dry or your skin isn’t as elastic as it should be? Those are both signs you need hydration. The skin turgor test is a common way to check for dehydration. Both doctors and veterinarians use it. For humans, the skin on the forearm or abdomen is pinched between the fingers and then released. If you’re dehydrated, it takes longer for the skin to return to normal position. In animals, the skin on the back of the neck is pinched instead of the arm or abdomen.

Low blood pressure and high blood pressure can be caused by dehydration.

If you feel light-headed and about to pass out, it could be from a drop in your blood pressure caused by dehydration. It causes there to be a lower volume of blood. When there’s not as much blood circulating in the veins, it can’t reach all the cells and tissues of the body to deliver oxygen and nutrients. Just like losing too much blood, it can lead to fainting. At the same time, it can lead to high blood pressure as a type of rebound reaction due to a high concentration of vasopressin. The body increases vasopressin if blood volume is low or sodium levels are high. Dehydration causes both. It also causes the blood vessels to constrict, which leads to high blood pressure.

  • One simple way to check for dehydration is to check urine color. Less urine and a darker color indicate you need to drink some fluid. The best color for the urine is pale yellow. If it’s clear, you might be consuming too much fluid.
  • If your wake-sleep cycle is off, it may be due to dehydration. There’s a link between dehydration and shorter sleep cycles, leaving you tired the next day.
  • Dehydration can affect cardiac output. It affects the left ventricle primarily and can reduce the effectiveness of an intense workout on a hot day. You won’t have the energy to do your best.
  • Your mood can help you identify dehydration. Dehydration also affects your focus, concentration, and memory. Avoid it by sipping on water throughout the day.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Signs Your Body Is Too Acidic

Signs Your Body Is Too Acidic

Acidosis is a condition where the body fluids are too acidic. There are consequences when this occurs that can dramatically affect health or simply lead to weight gain. The body’s normal pH is between 5.35 and 7.45 That’s when it’s in balance. If it drops to 7.34 or lower, it’s one of the signs the body is too acidic. Acidosis can come from an underlying condition that is either metabolic or respiratory.

Metabolic, respiratory and lactic acidosis have different symptoms and causes.

The three types of acidosis have some similar symptoms but different causes. Metabolic acidosis occurs for a variety of reasons. It can occur due to diabetes, liver or kidney disease, dehydration, prolonged lack of oxygen, seizures, and poisoning. Fatigue, confusion, rapid breathing, and shock are symptoms of metabolic acidosis. Addressing the underlying condition or making changes to avoid the problem can prevent your body from becoming too acidic.

Respiratory acidosis occurs because of breathing issues.

Pulmonary problems, such as COPD, asthma, obesity, and sleep apnea, can cause respiratory acidosis. Fatigue, confusion, anxiety, sleepiness, tremors, warm flushed skin and sweating, shock, and shortness of breath are symptoms of respiratory acidosis. A third type of acidosis is lactic acidosis. It’s caused by lactic acid build-up that occurs due to cancer, liver failure, and several other medical conditions, including alcohol poisoning.

You can avoid many problems by identifying too much acid early.

Medical tests can identify whether your body is too acidic or alkaline. Identifying it early can help you control underlying issues and take affirmative action to solve the problem before it gets worse. Unexplained weight gain is one sign. Acid is stored in fat cells, which causes inflammation, leading to even more weight gain. It’s difficult to lose weight no matter how hard you try. The weight gain can also lead to reducing your pH level further, making acidosis worse.

  • One common complaint from people with an acidic body is joint pain. Acid can build up, causing inflammation of the joints. If you already have arthritis or joint issues, it exacerbates them further.
  • Sleep disturbances like insomnia can occur if your body is too acidic. It is one reason lethargy and exhaustion are such prevalent symptoms of too much acidity.
  • Acid reflux, bloating, and heartburn are often initial symptoms that your body is overly acidic. A higher-than-normal level of acidity can cause inflammation and irritate the lining of the esophagus. It creates digestive issues and nutrient absorption.
  • Cutting out processed foods, dairy, foods with added sugar, coffee, and white flour can help bring your body back to normal acidity. Exercising regularly and drinking more water can also help.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Benefits Of Strength Training For Older Women

Benefits Of Strength Training For Older Women

Although it’s happening less frequently, some women in Alexandria, VA, don’t understand the benefits of strength training for older women. The beliefs of society have changed dramatically, and there’s no longer a stigma attached to women lifting weights. Some women worry they’ll get bulky muscles and resemble the Incredible Hulk. That’s almost impossible with the majority of strength-building workouts. Others think strength training is dangerous for seniors. Both those beliefs are also misconceptions.

The body starts losing muscle mass mid-thirties.

Unless you take action and workout regularly, muscle mass starts decreasing at approximately 35. The loss of muscle is between 3 to 5% per decade. Leading an active lifestyle can slow muscle loss, but strength-building workouts ensure it won’t happen. Hormones diminish as people age, making it harder to build muscle. Muscles tug on the bones and cause the bones to uptake calcium. If you don’t have muscle mass, or do weight-bearing exercises, that doesn’t occur and can lead to osteoporosis. Women are protected from bone loss by estrogen but lose that protection during menopause. That’s when exercise is vital.

While you won’t bulk up like the Hulk, you will build muscle mass.

If you live a sedentary lifestyle, by the time you reach 80, about 40% of your muscle mass is gone. That loss of muscle mass does more than lead to osteoporosis. It can make a difference whether or not you live independently. Lack of muscle mass can prevent you from doing the activities of daily living, like toileting, bathing, or dressing. Not only will building muscle mass protect your bones from breaking if you fall, but it will also help prevent falling.

Strength-bearing exercises can improve chronic conditions or prevent them.

Building muscles helps reduce the risk of obesity. Obesity can lead to many serious conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and cancer. If you already have those conditions, it can reverse them. It can also relieve back pain, arthritis, and chronic depression. People who suffer from insulin resistance, a precursor to type 2 diabetes, can benefit from strength training. It improves insulin sensitivity, aiding the cells to uptake glucose for energy.

  • It’s more difficult to achieve a deep sleep as you age and strength training workouts can help you do it. A good night’s sleep plays an important role in heart health.
  • Strength training helps boost metabolism which tends to slow as people age. A slow metabolism can lead to several serious conditions, including obesity. You’ll not only look better, but you’ll also feel better.
  • When you work on building muscles, you’ll also be giving your brain a boost. Strength training can improve cognitive thinking, plus burn off the hormones of stress that cloud clear thinking and lead to anger or depression.
  • It’s never too late to start working out or doing strength-building exercises. It can start with something as simple as walking or using light weights. Strength-building can improve neuromuscular efficiency, which helps improve agility, balance, and coordination.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

How To Get Your Kids To Exercise

How To Get Your Kids To Exercise

Every parent wants a healthy child, but unfortunately, modern childhood doesn’t promote it. Instead of running outside playing, kids spend hours in front of a computer screen, watching videos or playing games. Kids need to move to develop muscles and build strong bodies. Teaching kids to be active at an early age can be the groundwork for a healthier life. There are ways to get kids to exercise that are fun and every parent can do.

Kids learn what they live.

Are you a good role model for your kids or are you also a couch potato that’s addicted to streaming videos or social media? Do you drive the kids to school when it’s just a few blocks to walk them? You set the pace and determine many of the options for activity. Do things that increase activity levels for both you and your children. Put away your phone or close your computer and make it time for active play. Start an exercise program and invite the kids to join you. Make it fun, so they’ll want to do it.

Start early and build on it.

You don’t have to wait until kids are ready for school to encourage them to be more active. If you’re working out, get your toddler involved. Toddlers can do some simple moves like walking lunges and deep knee bends. You need to focus on your form, but don’t worry about theirs. Just make it fun and give your child attention. Keep your child’s attention by changing exercises frequently and doing circuits. When the child is older, make exercise time part of every day.

Have fun while you’re staying active.

Forced exercise is a big turn-off. Make an active lifestyle fun. Ride bikes together, go for walks, or play a game of basketball. Get the neighborhood families involved with a hula-hoop competition or just have one for your family. An old favorite, jumping rope, can find renewed life when kids realize how much fun it can be. Take the kids to the playground and supervise their play, joining them occasionally by pushing the merry-go-round or swinging.

  • When purchasing gifts, make the gift lead to an active lifestyle. Get a bike instead of a PlayStation. Give a treat for the whole family, with bikes or a trampoline, or an active vacation.
  • Make your active lifestyle educational. Spending a whole day walking in a museum or through a botanical garden provides both. Take the kids rock hunting or looking for shells on the beach.
  • Eating healthy, getting plenty of sleep, and hydrating regularly are also healthy habits to develop. Make sure the hydration is water or infused water, not a sugary drink. Even fruit juice can spike sugar levels.
  • Change your habits and it will rub off on the kids. Park further from the store and walk or take the stairs instead of the elevator. Spend less time on the computer or watching TV.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Is Yoga Good For New Moms?

Is Yoga Good For New Moms?

I hear new moms in Alexandria, VA, bemoan the fact they can’t get their shape back overnight. Having been a new mom, I understand the frustration. However, pushing your body too hard or expecting immediate results can set you back. Your body needs healing time. It also took nine months for the change, so you won’t see it change back overnight. How do you protect your body, waiting at least six weeks or longer for health reasons, and still start the process of getting back into shape? You can start with walking or pelvic floor exercises, and then move to gentle exercises like yoga.

Yoga can help reduce the potential for postpartum depression.

Yoga can be strenuous or gentle, but either way, you’re getting exercise, and exercise can help prevent depression. It helps quiet the mind, allowing it to clear and provide deep relaxation. When the session ends, people find they’re calmer and have more clarity. Yoga provides the mother with time for herself to nurture her body back to fitness. If it’s group yoga, it provides the new mother with social interaction and time to share with other mothers. The deep breathing and meditative state of yoga brings calm at a time when many new moms feel out of control.

Yoga gets the body back to normal more quickly.

Yoga builds muscles. It doesn’t build the type of muscles on a bodybuilder, but strong, lean muscle tissue that builds the strength to get through all the tasks of a new Mother’s Day. It improves energy levels so moms get more done in less time. That’s a real blessing with all that new mothers have to do. It also helps posture to improve.

Not all poses are beneficial initially.

Right after childbirth, the body is subject to diastasis recti—abdominal muscle separation. It leaves women with a Buddha belly or mummy tummy that makes them look like they’re still pregnant. To avoid that, postpone doing exercises like crunches that put pressure on the abs or stretch them, like twisting exercises. Exercises with the belly facing down can also cause a gravitational tug on the loose muscles and stretch the midsection. Save yoga poses like the plank, cat, or cow exercises for later.

  • A child pose is an excellent yoga pose to reduce chest, neck, or head pain. It also strengthens the pelvic floor. Combine it with Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor.
  • Is back pain a problem/ Try the bridge pose. It’s the same in yoga as it is in traditional workouts. Lay on your back, knees bent and arms to the sides. Lift your buttocks off the floor until the body forms a straight line.
  • Another yoga pose that can be done as soon as exercising is allowed is the cow face pose. The cow face pose stretches the neck, shoulders, and upper back muscles. It also stretches the hips and reduces tension all over your body.
  • No matter what type of postpartum exercise program you do, take it easy at first and always follow the recommendations of your health care professional.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Ways To Keep Mentally Fit

Ways To Keep Mentally Fit

It’s just as important to be mentally fit as it is to be physically fit. If you’re not mentally fit, attaining physical fitness is almost impossible. The two are interlinked. When you improve your body, it helps your mind and the reverse is true. Exercise helps burn off the hormones of stress and sends oxygen and nutrient-laden blood throughout the body. It causes the body to release endorphins that make you feel good. Depression and anxiety can reduce your energy and even cause you to be bedridden. That’s not good for physical or mental fitness. When both the mind and the body are healthy, both function better.

Take it to the gym or dance your night away.

It doesn’t matter what physical activity you do, staying physically active helps your brain. If it’s a social physical activity, like a team sport or a visit to the gym, it promotes social interaction, which is both mentally and physically beneficial. Studies show that people with rich social lives live longer, healthier and happier lives.

Take a mental vacation, and get more sleep.

If you’re under stress and feel ready to explode, take a mental vacation for your mental health. Walk away from what you’re doing if possible and divert your attention. If it’s a project that has a deadline, getting away from it for a half hour can refresh your brain and make you more efficient. Getting adequate sleep is another way to help maintain good mental health. When you sleep, the brain reorganizes, repairs and gets rid of the waste accumulated during the day. You’ll have more energy when you have adequate sleep and can accomplish more.

Learn something new.

Getting out of your comfort zone and trying something different can be exciting. It can be as simple as going to a new restaurant or eating food you’ve never tasted. Making changes keeps the brain connections strong while stimulating the creation of new brain cells. Expanding your knowledge and trying new things can help keep you mentally and physically younger.

  • Laugh more. Scientists found that laughter can help trigger the immune system, and some groups even use laughter as an adjunct therapy. It helps reduce stress, increases oxygen intake, and improves your immune system. Laughter is an excellent coping mechanism for those with chronic disease.
  • Fake it until you make it. It doesn’t matter if you break out in a belly laugh or a chuckle. It will initially feel silly, but the more you practice laughing, the realer it will become.
  • Be more positive. Handle the things you can control and accept those you can’t. Know you can handle anything, regardless of the outcome. Working toward an outcome helps you reach that outcome, worrying about an outcome just stresses you.
  • Look on the bright side and be grateful. When you look for the bad things in life, you find them. The same is true when you look for all the blessings you have. An attitude of gratitude goes a long way in boosting your mental fitness.

For more information, contact us today at Team Worx Fitness

Full Strength Workouts Without The Gym

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