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7 Points of Health (4/7)

7 Points of Health (4/7)

Continuing our series on the 7 Points of health.

Point #4: Exercise

We believe living a healthy lifestyle is about balance. We’ve build our programs and coaching around 7 main Points of Health. It is important to develop each one of these seven areas in order to achieve and maintain optimal health: 

1) Nutrition

2) Hydration

3) Sleep

4) Exercise

5) Supplements

6) Hormones

7) Support System

Today we will discuss the 4th Point by exploring the importance and benefits of exercise.

Exercise has a number of tremendous benefits. It is one of the only things, besides drugs, that you can do, where you don’t have to lose weight and you can see improvement in your blood markers. Would you be better off maintaining a healthy weight, and exercising? Yes, but independent from diet, exercise can help improve blood markers.

Exercise strengthens bones and muscles, it improves cardiovascular health and can help prevent chronic diseases, it helps with mood enhancement and stress relief, etc. While providing all of these benefits, exercise as a weight loss tool isn’t terribly effective. The body adapts very quickly to new exercise routines and becomes more efficient, meaning that you begin to burn less calories than you previously did, which is why it is important to focus on all of the 7 Points of Health to both lose and maintain a healthy body weight.

That being said one of the main benefits of exercise is that it helps the body to be sensitive to satiety signals. A study done in the 1950s on Bengali workers exemplified this. There were four different groups compared; sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, and heavily active based on the demands of their jobs. From lightly active to heavily active, these people linearly increased their calorie intake. The sedentary group however, ate more then all of the other groups. Exercise can help the body know when it’s full and prevent overeating. In addition to that, of people that are successful in keeping their weight off after a period of significant weight loss, over 70% of them exercise regularly.

A few very important indicators of mortality are connected to things that we can greatly improve with exercise, including; VO2 max, grip strength, leg strength, and skeletal muscle mass. People that excel in these areas, to a certain extent, are more likely to live longer. So especially as we age, it’s important to do some kind of training to address these areas.

To help aid in improving these indicators of mortality and to improve general health, it’d be beneficial to focus some of your training on each of the three energy systems of the body, which are the ATP-PC energy system, the glycolytic energy system, and the oxidative energy system.

  • The ATP-PC energy system is the system responsible for quick bursts of activity. This system produces energy for up to about 10 seconds. Activities that train this system would include:
  • * Heavy weight training performing sets of 1-5 repetitions with 3-5 minute rests.
  • * Sprinting, biking or rowing for up to 10 seconds with 3-5 minutes rest between sets.
  • * Performing jumping variations for sets of 1-6 repetitions with 3-5 minutes rest between sets (any short intensive movements target this system).
  • The glycolytic energy system provides energy for bursts of activity that last from about 10 seconds to 2 minutes. Activities that train this system would include:
  • * Most weight training, when training with sets of around 8 or more train this system
  • * Circuit training, with sets lasting about 30 seconds to a minute.
  • The oxidative energy system provides energy for low intensity activities from 2 minutes up to several hours.
  • * Any type of steady state cardio falls into this category, such as: jogging, biking, rowing, hiking, etc.
  • * Circuit training, with activity of at least 3 minutes followed by a 3-5 minute rest.
  • * Training your ATP-PC system and glycolytic system through high intensity interval training also helps strengthen your oxidative system.
  • * HIIT training can be done in a number of ways, including: cycling, sprinting, rowing, etc. Work to rest ratio should be 1:4 or 1:5, meaning that if you sprint for 10 seconds, you should rest for 40 or 50 seconds.

These lists and examples are not exhaustive. Think about where the activity that you want to do falls based on the criteria above. If you don’t want to do steady state cardio on the treadmill, go for a walk or hike outside. Also think about your goals. If your goal is to build muscle, spend most of your time doing glycolytic system activities, and less training of the other systems. Whereas if your goal is to run a marathon you want to mostly perform oxidative system training and less training in the other systems. To focus on overall health, it’s a good idea to train each pretty equally.

If you need help with your training and nutrition feel free to reach out with questions, and set up a consultation with us today.

by

Derek Reasch – NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialists, 7 Point Nutrition Coach

7 Point Nutrition

Check out our Team and schedule your free consultation here

www.7PointNutrition.com

Info@7PointNutrition.com

7 Point Nutrition does not claim to diagnose, treat or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Always consult a physician for any medical conditions or health concerns you have and before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program.

7 Points of Health (3/7)

Point #3 – Sleep

Continuing our series on the 7 Points of health.

We believe living a healthy lifestyle is about balance. We’ve build our programs and coaching around 7 main Points of Health. It is important to develop each one of these seven areas in order to achieve and maintain optimal health:

1) Nutrition

2) Hydration

3) Sleep

4) Exercise

5) Supplements

6) Hormones

7) Support System

The topic we will be discussing today is point #3, which is SLEEP.

Proper and adequate sleep is something we all know we need, but often neglect. The more/better that you sleep, the more efficient your metabolism becomes, making it easier to build muscle, burn fat, and get stronger. Sleep is essential to optimize hormone levels, lower stress and anxiety, and improve cognitive function.

A lack of sleep slows the metabolism, increases blood pressure, increases ghrelin (hunger hormone), causes insulin resistance and increases cortisol. All of these can be detrimental to you reaching your health and fitness goals! Lack of sleep is like going to run a marathon without shoes! Sleep is so important and influences so much in our day.  

Think about this; you only get 4 hours sleep. How do you think your going to react when the baby spills her milk? Or when your boss asks you for the report that is due! Practically everything in our lives is impacted by the amount of sleep we get. And not just the time in bed, we need deep restful sleep.

Do you feel guilty for sleeping? I bet most of us don’t allow ourselves to get enough sleep because we feel guilty about it. We may feel that our partner will think we are lazy, or we have too many deadlines and stressors in our lives that we cannot afford ourselves a good night sleep.

If you are not getting the recommended 7+ hours of sleep a night, try allowing yourself to add incremental time to your night. Adding in 20 additional minutes for a week, and then another 20 the next week and see how it impacts your livelihood. A little extra can go a long way.

Here’s some important, and practical sleep tips:

  • Sleep according to circadian rhythms. 10pm-6am or 11pm-7am
  • Get 7-9 hours of sleep every night
  • Sleep in a pitch black room (light inhibits the production of melatonin, which helps you fall and stay asleep). Get black out blinds if necessary
  • Avoid stimulants at least several hours before bed
  • Avoid using electronics before bed such as TV, cell phone, computer, etc. Blue light prevents melatonin secretion
  • Go to bed and wake up around the same time each day

Sleep is one of the easiest and most important things to improve in order to optimize recovery and overall health. Apply these points to improve your sleep hygiene and pay attention to how much better you feel.

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Derek Reasch & Ronda Green – NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialists, 7 Point Nutrition Coach

7 Point Nutrition

Check out our Team and schedule your free consultation here

www.7PointNutrition.com

Info@7PointNutrition.com

7 Point Nutrition does not claim to diagnose, treat or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Always consult a physician for any medical conditions or health concerns you have and before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program. 

7 Points of Health (2/7)

Point #2 – Hydration

At 7 Point Nutrition we center our Nutrition Programs around the individual, using their unique situation while bringing balance to what we believe are the most important 7 Points of Health. It is important to develop each one of these seven areas in order to achieve and maintain optimal health: 

1) Nutrition

2) Hydration

3) Sleep

4) Exercise

5) Supplements

6) Hormones

7) Support System

We have always believed in having an overall balance in all aspects of life. We are continuing our explanation of these points with our 2nd Point of healthy living being hydration. 

Let’s look at some of the benefits of proper hydration:

  • Promotes cardiovascular health by increasing blood volume
  • Regulates body temperature
  • Lubricates joints
  • Removes waste from the body
  • Helps with digestion
  • Increases performance
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves mood
  • Improves skin tone

The list could go on and on. The first thing that most of us think about when it comes to hydration is water. Water is extremely important, and getting enough is a vital part of proper hydration, but that is just a small part of the equation.

It is important that you have sodium, minerals, and electrolytes with your food and water. Salting your food will help. As discussed in previous posts, normal sodium intake is 3-6 grams per day, and athletes may need more. Water flushes out toxins, but it also flushes out good things like electrolytes as well.

Dr. Sandra Godek, PhD in Exercise physiology, director of the HEAT institute and specialist in thermoregulation and hydration in athletes has given some great guidelines for hydration.

1) Eight glasses of water a day is a myth. Drink when you’re thirsty. Thirst begins when the concentration of blood has risen by less than two percent, and most experts define dehydration as beginning when the concentration has risen by at least five percent. So thirst is a good sign to know to drink.

2) Lack of water is rarely the cause of performance loss due to dehydration, low sodium and potassium are usually the cause. Many sports drinks are too diluted to provide adequate sodium. It’s best to eat a meal with sodium and carbs, which transports sodium, prior to exercise.

3) It is possible to drink too much water. Peeing clear is not a good thing.

Many people look at their urine color, and think if it is clear, that means they are adequately hydrated. If it is completely clear, that means that you don’t have adequate electrolytes in your system. Too dark is not a good thing either. We’re looking for lemonade, not apple juice. Your urine should be light yellow.

In closing, to sum up, I think Dr. Godek said it well in a recent article, “consider this- sleep when you are tired, eat when you are hungry, urinate when your bladder is full and drink when you are thirsty.”

A few easy points to remember: drink when you’re thirsty, get adequate electrolytes, especially sodium prior to exercise and pay attention to urine color, it should be light yellow. Do these things and you’ll maintain proper hydration.

by

Derek Reasch – NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, 7 Point Nutrition Coach 435-621-5465

7 Point Nutrition

Check out all our Coaches and schedule your free consultation here

www.7PointNutrition.com

Info@7PointNutrition.com

7 Point Nutrition does not claim to diagnose, treat or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Always consult a physician for any medical conditions or health concerns you have and before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program.

7 Points of Health (1/7)

Point #1 Nutrition

At 7 Point Nutrition, we center our Nutrition Programs around the individual, using their unique situation while bringing balance to what we believe are the most important 7 Points of Health: 

1) Nutrition

2) Supplementation

3) Hydration

4) Sleep

5) Exercise

6) Hormones

7) Support System

We have always believed in having an overall balance in all aspects of life. Over the next 7 weeks, we will dive deeper into each of these Points, today starting with Nutrition.  

This topic is very broad, and can be very confusing, and as such we’ll lay out some easy to understand basics. An easy way to prioritize nutrition tasks is by putting things into a hierarchy: 

1) Calorie balance – is priority number one. It’s a calorie equation first and foremost. You must be in a surplus to gain weight, a deficit to lose weight and obviously eating at maintenance for weight to stay the same. It’s important to calculate proper calorie amounts and make proper adjustments.

  • Calculate your BMR http://www.bmi-calculator.net/bmr-calculator/, estimate calories burned from both exercise and non exercise activities during the day, and add these numbers up to get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). (We use the InBody scale in our stores to get a more accurate, personalized analysis of this.)
  • Losing 1 lb of fat in a week requires a calorie deficit of 500 calories per day. Meaning your daily calorie intake would be 500 calories less than your TDEE to achieve this. Calculate your daily needs appropriately knowing that it’s best to shoot for a fat loss of 1-2 lbs per week, or 0.5-1% of your body weight.

2) Macronutrients – Protein, carbs, and fats. How you break up your calories is of next importance. You must eat a proper amount of each macronutrient.

  • Protein – Protein provides the building blocks for muscle growth and supplies amino acids necessary to prevent muscle breakdown. Research shows a protein intake of around 1 gram per pound of lean body mass is sufficient for muscle gain and/or retention.
  • Carbohydrates – the major source of energy in the body.The primary fuel in the body for muscle performance is a stored form of carbohydrate called glycogen. Carbs are also the preferred form of energy for the nervous system.
  • Fats – helps the body absorb vitamins, helps with brain activity, controls inflammation and regulates hormones. Research shows the minimum intake for sustained fat intake should be around 30% in grams per pound of lean body mass. So if you have 120 lbs of lean body mass, your fat intake should be around 36 grams. Fat intake below this amount for long periods of time can negatively impact hormones.

3) Nutrient timing – simply when to get your food in. Meals every 3-5 hours is optimal, especially due to the fact that there is no mechanism in the body to store protein. Proper pre and post workout nutrition can be important as well. In most cases it’s appropriate to split your macronutrient intake equally between meals.

4) Food composition – the type of protein, carbs and fats that make up your diet. Protein quality is higher in animal sources, such as meat, eggs, dairy, etc. and lower in plant sources. Carbs should generally be consumed from complex carb sources, such as brown rice, quinoa, potatoes, etc. and from healthy simple carbs, like fruits and vegetables. The majority of fats should be consumed from monounsaturated sources, such as avocado, nuts, olive oil, etc.

5) Supplements – supplements can be helpful in rectifying deficiencies, filling in gaps in your nutrition and also provide convenient healthy options. We will discuss supplements more in depth in a future article in our 7 Points of Health series, so stay tuned.

Use this hierarchy to help you to organize a well balanced approach to your nutrition. Creating a well balanced sustainable approach to fit a busy lifestyle can be difficult. To see how we can help you achieve your goals, set up a free consult with us today, and feel free to contact us with any questions that you may have.

by

Derek Reasch – NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, 7 Point Nutrition Coach 435-621-5465

7 Point Nutrition

Check out all our Coaches and schedule your free consultation here

www.7PointNutrition.com

Info@7PointNutrition.com

7 Point Nutrition does not claim to diagnose, treat or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Always consult a physician for any medical conditions or health concerns you have and before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program. 

Delicious High Protein Smoothie!

Smoothies have almost always been a staple to a balanced diet. They’re quick, easy and a great way to get large amounts of vitamins and minerals. So, I thought I would write up a quick blog post to give everyone my FAVORITE smoothie of all time! I will also be breaking down what each ingredient provides! Lets begin!

To start things off, I do want to say, I’m not Martha Stewart, so things may not be up to your perfect Pinterest recipe standards. However grab your blender and here we go! 

1. One Cup Greek Yogurt

Okay, so in my experience as a nutritionist, you either like yogurt or you don’t. Bear with me here if you don’t like it, the taste becomes really mild after the other ingredients have been added.

Greek yogurt is a very beneficial food. Greek Yogurt has more protein than it’s milk counterpart. Your body needs protein to provide muscle growth, fat loss, strong bones and better hair/nails.

It also is a powerful probiotic.  Probiotics are healthy bacteria that can help boost your immune system and decrease stomach issues.

Notable mentions: High in calcium and Vitamin B-12 (energy).

2. Two Cups Almond Milk

So even though almond milk is low in calories, it is pretty nutritious. They frequently contain added Vitamin-D, calcium and protein, making them more similar to regular milk in nutritional content. However, almond milk is naturally rich in several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin E. 

3. A Handful Of Spinach

I don’t really feel like I need to write this out. Spinach is widely renowned as a nutritional dense food and chances are you’re already adding this to your own smoothies. If you’re not though, here’s why you should:

Spinach is packed with fiber. Fiber aides with digestion and the absorbing of your other foods. 

Spinach is an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamin A: Spinach is high in carotenoids, which the body can turn into vitamin A.
  • Vitamin C: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that promotes skin health and immune function.
  • Vitamin K1: Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting, and one spinach leaf contains over half of your daily need.
  • Folic acid: Also known as folate, or vitamin B9. It is essential for normal cellular function and tissue growth, and is very important for pregnant women.
  • Iron: Spinach is an excellent source of this essential mineral. Iron helps create hemoglobin, which brings oxygen to the body’s tissues.
  • Calcium: Calcium is essential for bone health. This mineral is also a crucial signalling molecule for the nervous system, heart and muscles.

Spinach also contains several other vitamins and minerals, such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamins B6, B9 and E.

Need I say more?

4. One Cup Of Berries

This is where your flavor comes from! Bring on the berries! 

On average, most people should be consuming 2-3 servings of berries a day. Berries include blueberries, blackberries, cherries, raspberries, strawberries and other brightly colored berries! But why? Well berries have a whole host of benefits. The major benefits include:

  1. Reduced risk of heart disease, the #1 killer in america
  2. One of the richest sources for antioxidants.
  3. Natural, healthy source of energy

For more information on berries you can read about them here.

5. A Sprinkle Of Cinnamon

Cinnamon is loaded with antioxidants! Antioxidants protect your body from oxidative damage caused by free radicals. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to it. Cinnamon has also been linked to the reduction of risk to certain types of neurological diseases, diabetes, fungus, viruses and cancers.

6. One Tsp Honey

Why? Well because it tastes good! Honey will also provide natural sugars for energy. It is full of anti-oxidants like the berries and will also help manage blood sugar levels.

7. Optional Fiber – Psyllium Husk Powder

Psyllium is a bulk-forming laxative. This means it soaks up water in your gut and makes digestion much easier. It also helps promote regularity without increasing flatulence. It can be used as a one-off to ease constipation, or it can be added to your diet to help promote regularity and overall digestive health.

People with irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease are all too familiar with the banes of the bathroom. 

PRO-TIP: If you’re looking for more protein, add a scoop of whey protein powder!

we sell both on our website! Click the links above to view!

*Nutrition facts may vary per use depending on brands of foods used. Label shown does not include optional psyllium husk or whey powder.

Tanner Mertlich, Lead coach at 7 Point Nutrition and owner of The Muscle Bus, has helped hundreds of people achieve their ultimate goals of living a healthier lifestyle. Tanner is a certified personal trainer & nutritionist in Utah and has a burning passion to help others accomplish their dreams!

Find out more:

www.7PointNutrition.com

www.TheMuscleBusUtah.com

The Truth About Foam Rolling

Foam rolling, and other implements like it, can have their place, but the focus should be on correct use. It has been my experience that most people think that foam rollers, and other mobility implements, are doing things to the body that they simply don’t do. People often think that they are breaking up scar tissue by foam rolling but this simply isn’t true.

A study done on rats, where the MCLs of the rats were ruptured, showed that by scraping on these rat MCLs, with tools, they were actually able to remodel the tissue, compared to control groups. This study is part of the reason why many people think that mobility tools will cause such changes in humans. People extrapolated these results in rats to apply to humans as well. The problem with this is that these rats were unconscious, the tools scraping on them were human sized, and supra physiological pressures were being applied to them. The same results have never been duplicated on humans.

It’s been found that thousands of pounds of force are needed to cause change in human tissue. In a study in 2008 it was shown that it takes 2000 pounds of force to cause a 1% sheer in the deep thigh.

A foam roller causes a neurophysiological response. It’s a sensory input that we are giving ourselves, which causes a change in perception. This change in perception means that foam rolling can cause a short term reduction in pain, and can also cause a short term increase in range of motion, similar to static stretching. What it does not do is cause change at a cellular level. Meaning that you aren’t breaking up scar tissue, rearranging fascia, breaking up adhesions etc. External load over the course of time is what changes structure.

To explain this, let me ask you this question. If you could just lay on a foam roller and rearrange your tissues that easily, as if you were made of clay, what would a barbell do to you? A 300 lb barbell on your back would obliterate you. You would have a permanent dent on your back from squatting.

It’s important to know exactly what is happening so we properly know how we are to implement it. Because mobility implements cause a short term reduction in pain, or an increase in range of motion, spending 30 or 40 minutes foam rolling before a workout is a large waste of time, and you’ve likely lost the benefits of the first 5-10 minutes.

A study comparing a cycling warm up and foam rolling the lower body, found that foam rolling provided no additional increases in range of motion compared to cycling. Simply doing a general warm up, and/or an activity specific warm up, such as multiple light warm up sets before lifting, provides all the benefits of foam rolling while providing a more significant stimulus to the muscles.

If you simply like foam rolling and want to continue to use it, then the best way for it to be implemented is in between bouts of movement. So let’s say that squats are the first exercise in your training program for the day. You do a warm up set of 10-15 reps or so with just the bar, and you feel some tightness in your hip. Foam roll your hip for 20-30 seconds and then do another warm up set. 

Foam rolling the tight area, will cause you to perceive less tightness and then immediately loading the muscles allows you to take advantage of the short term increase in range of motion. Go back and forth in this manner while working up in weight, and you’ll probably feel pretty good by the time that you get up to the weight that you’ll use for your working sets.

That being said, the placebo effect is a very real thing. If you feel like you can’t get in a good workout without foam rolling for an extended period of time beforehand, then by all means do it. Or maybe you feel that you can’t wind down and relax at the end of a workout, or at the end of the day, without an extended bout of foam rolling, then again, by all means do it. I just want it to be understood what exactly foam rolling is and is not doing. I personally would prefer other forms of relaxation, but to each their own.

To those that want to add more benefit from foam rolling use it appropriately between movements and see the benefit. 

by,

Derek Reasch – NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, 7 Point Nutrition Coach

7 Point Nutrition

www.7PointNutrition.com

Info@7PointNutrition.com

7 Point Nutrition does not claim to diagnose, treat or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Always consult a physician for any medical conditions or health concerns you have and before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program. 

Sodium; Could it be the Best Performance Enhancing

Sodium has often been demonized, and it has long been thought that the less sodium you could consume, the better. More recent research has helped to shed light on how much sodium we really need, and the many benefits that can be rendered from consuming adequate sodium each day. When I began to focus on my sodium intake, it was night and day. My energy levels increased, my workouts were better, and my strength began to take off.

Optimal sodium intake increases blood volume, which helps deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the cells; which aids in repairing and removing waste from the cells. Sodium increases stamina and endurance and it allows athletes to hold more water in the muscles, which increases strength and explosiveness, and helps improve the integrity of the joints. When you hit a wall in the first 20 or 30 minutes of your workout, that is most likely caused by a lack of sodium, not carbs. 

Three of the largest studies done on sodium intake all showed that an increase in salt results in a decrease in cardiovascular disease and all cause mortality. The highest rates of all cause mortality were actually found in the groups that restricted sodium intake. It should be noted that there are a small amount of people that are salt sensitive, just like people that are lactose intolerant, or have peanut allergies, etc., but it is extremely uncommon. The research suggests that only a small percentage of people will have adverse effects from increasing sodium intake, while the majority will greatly improve their health, and will see the performance benefits that I’ve mentioned.

During the beginning phases of increased sodium intake, you will retain some water but your body will acclimate to the increased salt intake and will normalize. Your body will realize that it is no longer deficient, and doesn’t need to hold on to the sodium

So what kind of sodium should you use? My favorite way to increase sodium is through the use of iodized salt. Simply sprinkle it on your meals throughout the day. Iodine is another very important nutrient. Two billion people worldwide suffer from iodine deficiency, which can lead to goiter and thyroid disease. Thyroid disease causes your metabolism to slow exponentially. Iodine greatly improves thyroid function, and helps stimulate the liver where 70% of thyroid conversion from T4 to T3 occurs. Iodine also improves immune function by occupying the same receptor sites as certain toxins, that iodine will flush out.

How much sodium should you take? Salting your meals throughout the day probably will be sufficient, but begin to track how much sodium you’re getting in your diet each day. The research suggests that 3-6 grams of sodium is very healthy with no side effects. Anything greater than 7 grams can be potentially harmful for sedentary people, but anything under 3 grams is actually worse than taking in more than 7 grams. Sodium deficiency causes many more problems than sodium excess. If you’re an athlete or very active person, you may need even more than 6 grams. In addition to taking in sodium with each of your meals, try and consume some, both before and after your workout. Before the workout to help with your energy levels while exercising, and after your workout to help replenish what you have lost. It’s amazing to see the changes that can occur from something so simple. Start paying attention to your sodium intake toady, and see how you feel as a result. 

by

Derek Reasch – NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, 7 Point Nutrition Coach

7 Point Nutrition

www.7PointNutrition.com

Info@7PointNutrition.com

7 Point Nutrition does not claim to diagnose, treat or prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Always consult a physician for any medical conditions or health concerns you have and before starting any diet, exercise or supplement program. 

Lower Your Blood Pressure

There are many health related issues that need to be attended too, but fewer are more important and also more easily remedied than high blood pressure. A multifaceted approach is always best. No one thing can fix the problem. That being said, one important factor in reducing high blood pressure is weight loss.

This is not something that happens overnight, but you can start today by making improvements to your diet. Seek out quality information and qualified professionals that can help you. Below are a few simple nutrition, behavior and supplemental areas to pay attention to to help reduce blood pressure are as follows:

  • Lack of sleep is a major contributor to high blood pressure. Make it a priority to sleep more by getting at least 7 hours of sleep per night. Practice proper sleep hygiene by putting away phones and other electronics that affect your body’s circadian rhythm and ability to produce melatonin.
  • Potassium is important in relaxing the blood vessels. You should be consuming around 4700 mg of potassium per day. Good dietary sources are spinach, potatoes, salmon, coconut water and dairy. Potassium provides important cardiovascular benefits for athletes and helps prevent cramping. Always make sure to eat your vegetables with some proteins and fats. The protein stimulates gastric acid and lowers the stomach PH so the minerals are better absorbed and the fats are necessary to shuttle those minerals into cells.
  • Magnesium relaxes the blood vessels and transports potassium and calcium. Spinach is a great source of this as well, along with almonds, and dairy, such as yogurt.
  • Calcium helps contract and relax blood vessels as needed. Dairy is the most absorbable form of calcium. If things such as milk or greek yogurt don’t digest well for you, then try aged hard cheese like Tillamook cheddar. It is also important to get adequate vitamin D-3 as it improves calcium absorption by as much as twenty fold.
  • Vitamin K-2 helps decalcify arteries and prevent calcium deposition in soft tissues. Vitamin K-2 is found in egg yolks and grass fed dairy, such as butter and cheese. Most egg allergies are caused by avidin in the whites, so if the whole egg doesn’t agree with you, try just the yolks.
  • Hypothyroidism Low thyroid is a major problem in causing high blood pressure. In a recent study, a twenty point systolic blood pressure rise was seen from hypothyroidism.

To promote proper thyroid function, make sure to consume foods containing iodine. Good ways to get iodine in your diet are by drinking pure cranberry juice, or by simply sprinkling a little iodized salt on your meals throughout the day.

Daily fruit consumption is important as fructose helps optimize liver function where 80% of thyroid is converted.

Consuming certain polyunsaturated fats can increase inflammation and slow thyroid function. Farmers feed animals soy and processed vegetable oils to slow their thyroid and increase estrogen in order to fatten their animals, so it’s important to avoid these processed oils.

If you have high blood pressure it is important to begin today to address the problem. Implement these simple steps and take control of your health. We’d love to hear about your results from doing these things. Feel free to contact us with further questions or to set up a free nutritional consultation.

by

Derek Reasch – NASM Certified Fitness Nutrition Specialist, 7 Point Nutrition Coach

7 Point Nutrition

www.7PointNutrition.com

Info@7PointNutrition.com

7 Point Nutrition does not diagnose, treat or claim to prevent any diseases or medical conditions. Always consult a physician for any medical conditions or health concerns you have and before starting any diet or exercise program. 

3 Exercises For A Healthy Back

Take a minute and think… what is the most common injury sustained by people in the gym, or even just during daily life? I’m sure everyone reading this knows someone that has injured their low back in the gym, or by doing something as simple as picking up their child or moving a couch. Not only is lower back pain common among weightlifters, but in a study done by the Mayo Clinic, it was found that back problems are one of the top 10 reasons for hospital visits in general.

Many people that sustain back injuries are wrongly advised to simply take time off, or in extreme cases, to undergo surgery. Simply taking time off does not address the reason that a person hurt their back in the first place. When they go back to working out, they are less conditioned after having taken a break, and are more likely to experience another injury. There may be cases where surgery is a viable option, but many studies now show that recovery through rehabilitation is the same in a person that did not have back surgery, as someone that has had it. 

Dr. Stuart McGill is a professor, and researcher at the University of Waterloo. He has written several books about the spine research that he has been involved in, including “The Back Mechanic,” and “The Gift of Injury.” He has made many contributions in helping others to prevent and rehab spinal injuries, and is especially well known in his work with various athletes. One such athlete was Brian Carroll. Brian is an elite power lifter that had a fractured sacrum, and L4-L5 and L5-S1 that had many vertebral fractures and bone bruises. Through working with Dr. McGill, Brian made a full recovery without surgery, and competed again at an elite level.

Through many years of studying the spine, Dr. McGill has found three specific exercises that efficiently work all areas of the core without placing excessive stresses on the parts of the back that may be aggravated due to injury. Dr. McGill also avoids movements that cause a significant amount of spinal flexion, such as abdominal crunches, movements like that actually recreate the type of lower back flexion that tend to cause lower back injuries. The three exercises that are a part of his clients rehab have come to be known as the “McGill Big 3.” These three exercises are:

  • The Curl Up
  • The Bird-Dog
  • The Side-Bridge

The Curl Up

Step 1: Lie on your back with one knee bent and the other straight. Place your hands under your low back.

Step 2: Pick your head off the ground only a few inches and hold that position for 10 seconds. The goal is to perform this curl-up without any movement in the low back.

Step 3: After a 10 second hold, relax your head back down to the resting position.

How Many Reps to Perform

Dr. McGill recommends a descending rep scheme in order to increase stability without over fatiguing the body. An example would be to perform 5 reps, then 3, and finally 1 (each with a hold at the top). Rest about 30 seconds between sets and repeat. As you become better conditioned, reps can begin to increase. A simple progression would be to increase each set by one rep making it 6-4-2, and so on. 

The Bird-Dog

Step 1: Get on your hands and knees (quadruped) with your back in a neutral position.

Step 2: Being careful to not allow any lower back movement, kick one of your legs backwards while simultaneously raising the opposite arm until both your arm and leg are fully extended.

Step 3: Hold the extended position for 10 seconds before returning to the starting quadruped position, and then switch sides. Perform the same rep scheme as previously explained, beginning with 5 reps per side. 

The Side Plank

Step 1: Lie on your side, with your elbow directly underneath your shoulder, and your legs bent to help support your body weight (a more advanced position can be done by straightening your legs). Place your free arm on your side.

Step 2: Raise your hips so that only your knee and arm support your weight.

Step 3: Hold this position for 10 seconds before returning to the ground. Perform this exercise for the same amount of reps and sets as the other two exercises.

Perform these exercises, with the recommended sets and reps, at least one time daily, and watch your back health begin to improve. In my own training, I have found it to be effective to use these exercises as movement prep before I begin my workout. Be sure as well, to be mindful of your form, practice proper bracing while lifting and also be aware of your posture and spinal position throughout your daily activities. 

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Always consult a physician before starting any exercise or nutrition program.