Health & Fitness

How To Stay Fit As You Get Older

How To Stay Fit As You Get Older

If you envision getting older means getting feeble and weak, so as you age, you do less and less, and you’re completing a self-fulfilling prophecy. Instead of being active, which would help you stay fit, you succumbed to inactivity, fearing that exerting yourself could cause injury. Rejoice that you’re getting older because it means you’re still alive. On the other hand, it’s vital to maintain your health with nutritious meals, plenty of exercise, and adequate sleep so you don’t look and feel older. It won’t guarantee you’ll live longer or feel better, but it gives you a huge advantage.

Sarcopenia is age-related muscle loss.

As you age, your hormone levels drop. Unless you intentionally intervene with exercise and a healthy diet, that causes a gradual drop in muscle mass. Reduced hormone levels make rebuilding or maintaining muscle mass difficult but not impossible. The loss of muscle mass affects bone density. The stronger your muscles, the harder they tug on the bone. That triggers calcium absorption by the bones to keep them strong and not break against the tug. If you don’t exercise, calcium leaches from the bone, and if enough leaches without replacement, you develop osteoporosis. Walking for a half hour daily can help prevent it.

Years of chronic inflammation can lead to serious illness.

You need to eat nutritious meals throughout your life and cut out highly refined foods, food with added sugar, and fried foods. Eating high-calorie foods that contain no nutrition and add extra calories leads to weight gain. The addition of sugar also causes inflammation and other damage to the body. Chronic inflammation plays a role in heart disease, diabetes, and a host of life-altering illnesses. It also speeds up advanced glycation end products—AGES. The sugar combines with skin collagen. That causes wrinkling by reducing firmness.

It’s never too late to start.

Living a healthy lifestyle can change your future. You may not look like you’re in your twenties again or run as fast as you did, but you will improve your fitness. Even though you won’t look 20, you’ll look and feel younger, too. You’ll have more energy than you did previously. Start increasing your activity level slowly by walking. One study showed that HIIT—high intensity interval training—combined with strength training improved health at the cellular level. A study noted the most improvement came in groups aged 65 to 80.

  • Exercise and a healthy diet can improve your potential longevity by helping you lose weight. Excess weight contributes to heart problems, diabetes, cancer, and high blood pressure. It also can cause painful joints.
  • Getting adequate sleep is vital for heart health and helps maintain mental clarity. You also need to maintain hydration. Even mild dehydration can cause seniors to have episodes resembling dementia and UTIs.
  • The body uses stem cells to make new cells throughout the body. Increased physical activity also increases the body’s production of stem cells, which continues throughout your lifetime.
  • Mental fitness is just as necessary as physical fitness. Exercising regularly, getting adequate sleep, and eating fewer refined, deep-fried, and sugary foods can improve brain health.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

What Does Clean Eating Really Mean?

What Does Clean Eating Really Mean?

Someone may have recommended you start a clean eating program to lose weight or become more fit. If you don’t know what clean eating is, you won’t know where to begin. Not all the food at the grocery is a healthy choice. Some food is nothing more than white flour and sugar with a few other ingredients to hold it together. It lacks nutrients. Eating clean means eating whole foods closest to their natural state, with minimal processing, which may include washing, freezing, cutting, cooking, and canning.

Clean eating isn’t dieting.

When you diet, you follow a strict food plan with each detail spelled out. Dieting includes calculating carbs or calories. Dieting always ends, sometimes in success and sometimes in failure. Then you go back to old eating habits that made you gain weight in the first place. Often, the weight you lose returns. Clean eating helps you lose weight without a restrictive diet. Just avoiding food with added sugar goes a long way to help you eat clean.

Read ingredient labels.

If you read a label and the ingredients sound like something from a chemistry lab, it shouldn’t be part of a clean diet. Avoid foods with added sugar. Today’s labels are easy to read. The FDA changed food labels to make them easier to understand. They show fiber, total sugar, and added sugar percentage and grams. Higher fiber is good. Natural sugar isn’t a problem. It’s in fruits and vegetables. Added sugar is where the real issue occurs. If you’re buying peanut butter, fruits, or vegetables, choose those that contain only peanuts, fruit, or vegetables.

Processed meat should never be part of a clean eating menu.

Processed meat includes meats cured, salted, fermented, or processed to enhance the flavor or improve preservation. If you love hot dogs, corned beef, beef jerky, sausage, canned meat or meat sauces, luncheon meat, or bacon, switching to clean eating will take some adjustment. There is a link to an increased risk of cancer. According to one study, each time you eat them, it takes 36 minutes off your life. It’s not much if it’s only occasionally, but it becomes significant if it’s several times a week for years.

  • Choose whole grains over refined flour. Whole grains contain bran, endosperm, and germ. Bran is fiber. The germ contains the nutrients. The endosperm is mostly starch. Highly processed flour contains only the endosperm.
  • You can eat cleaner by choosing organic fruits and vegetables on the EWG Dirty Dozen list. You don’t have to spend the extra money for organic if the fruit or vegetable is on the EWG Clean 15 list.
  • Healthy fat should be part of a clean diet. Healthy fat can come from food like avocados, fatty fish, nuts, and dairy from pastured grass-fed cows. Choose healthy oils based on smoke point. Olive oil is healthy but not when used to cook at high heat.
  • Clean eating doesn’t mean eating only fresh fruits and vegetables. Frozen fruits and vegetables may be more nutritious since they’re at peak ripeness when picked and immediately frozen.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

Why Breakfast Is Important

Why Breakfast Is Important

People often tell you how important breakfast is. You hear it on TV and probably heard it from your parents or a teacher growing up. Is that true, or is it an outdated belief? In earlier days, when people had to work hard in the fields, factories, and homes, breakfast gave them the energy to keep going. Today, with all the modern conveniences, including in fields and factories, eating a big breakfast isn’t as necessary for everyone. Eating breakfast may be vital for some, but not for others.

You’ll move more during the day when you eat breakfast.

You’ll increase your activity level when you eat breakfast, according to a 2017 study. That increased activity kept the metabolism fires burning strong. For people with diabetes, it helped keep blood glucose levels in line. A contradictory study showed eating your first meal later in the day helped weight loss. It reduces the hours you eat, which is the basis of intermittent fasting.

Children often perform better at school when they eat breakfast.

There’s a difference between the bodies of children and those of adults besides the size. Studies based on adults aren’t necessarily valid for adults. Many studies show that school-age children improved their classroom performance when they had a healthy breakfast containing carbs and protein. An egg and toast are one example. Oatmeal with nuts and fruit is another. Eating a nourishing breakfast after working out can jump-start the recovery process.

Some factors make the results of studies unreliable.

If you work day hours at a nine-to-five job, you’ll be more likely to eat breakfast. If your work hours don’t sync with your circadian rhythm, you’ll be less likely. Countless studies show that people who work the night shift for several years often have issues like digestive problems, obesity, metabolic disease, and heart disease. It increases your risk of ulcers and cancer, which may be due to other factors, like the circadian rhythm being awry.

  • If you’re going to have a physically active day, a hearty breakfast can help you maintain your energy without wilting mid-morning. It can provide the nutrients necessary to make it through the day.
  • The type of breakfast you eat makes a difference. Consuming only simple carbs like refined bread and cereals isn’t healthy, but eating whole grains, proteins, and healthy fat is.
  • A recent study showed skipping breakfast causes the body to burn more calories but increases inflammation. Inflammation contributes to conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
  • Pay attention to your body to decide if breakfast is right for you. If you want to lose weight, does it help to eat breakfast? If so, eat a healthy one. If not, try intermittent fasting by eating later in the day and ending food consumption earlier.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

Get Into Sports As An Adult

Get Into Sports As An Adult

You can make exercise fun by doing it with others. That doesn’t necessarily mean joining a Jazzercise or other group exercise class. It could mean joining an adult sports league or meeting with people for a less formal, but consistent, sports competition. Playing, whether you’re playing softball or paintball, keeps you active. It also provides social interaction and makes exercise fun.

One reason dancing is such good exercise is the same reason adult sports leagues are good.

Team sports or social activities like dancing are fun. Both types of activities keep you moving. Since they’re fun, you’re more likely to do them than you would traditional calisthenics, weightlifting, or jogging. You can’t go dancing without a partner, just like you can’t participate on an adult sports team without other team members. These are people that depend on your attendance. They keep you accountable so you’ll be more likely to show.

You may require more conditioning if you’re playing certain sports.

If you join a ski race team, you should condition your body over the summer. You don’t just take a ski lift to the mountain top and start racing without conditioning. Some adult sports teams workout together to ensure everyone is in good condition and increase the chances of winning. They also may workout together because it’s more enjoyable and encourages team members to exercise. People don’t want to let down the team with an injury they could have prevented if they had worked out with the group.

Socializing with others provides mental health benefits.

Studies show that people with a better social life live longer. Laughter makes you healthier. People who smile live a longer life. Joining an adult sports team provides socialization and camaraderie with others. Group sports become an extended community where people laugh, enjoy each other’s company, and often smile far more than they would if they were at home alone. Having fun reduces stress and automatically puts you in a community with like-minded people who want to enjoy life.

  • Adult sports help improve your self-discipline. Sometimes, you may feel like quitting or taking a pass on practice or a game. Since others hold you accountable, you do it, boosting your self-discipline.
  • You’ll make connections that can help you in life. They may benefit you in business or help you with information to improve your life or health.
  • You’ll improve your confidence when you play on a sports team as an adult. Knowing you still have it and still swinging at the ball….even if you don’t hit it out of the park, goes a long way in confidence building.
  • People often find it hard to cultivate friendships after they are out of school. Group sports help you do it. Joining is especially good for people who recently moved into an area and know nobody there.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

Foods To Eat That Build Muscle

Foods To Eat That Build Muscle

If you’re from Louisiana, you know that many foods everyone loves aren’t always healthy and won’t build muscle. There are healthy foods that do build bulk that are delicious and ones you’d want to eat even if you weren’t getting stronger or bulking up. The most effective muscle-building diets are well-rounded and are higher in quality protein. That’s true even if you follow a vegan diet. The increased protein provides the materials necessary to build muscle tissue.

Make sure your diet has adequate calories, even if weight loss is also a goal.

Too often, people trying to build muscle tissue are also trying to lose weight. It’s a bit of a balancing act to do it. You have to cut calories, but not by much. Identify the number of calories necessary for your ideal weight and eat that many calories, or at the most, cut it by up to 500 calories. Both ways will help you lose weight, but you’ll build muscle faster by cutting fewer calories and lose weight faster by cutting more calories.

Determine the amount of protein necessary and use a quality source.

You need between 1.4 to 2 grams of protein per pound of body weight. The protein must be complete. That means it contains all the essential amino acids. Proteins are the building blocks of muscle tissue. Amino acids are the building blocks of protein. Most plant protein sources don’t contain complete proteins. To achieve that, you can combine amino acid sources. Rice isn’t a complete protein. Neither are beans. However, when you combine the two into a rice and bean dish, you create a dish with all the essential amino acids, so it’s a source of complete proteins.

Eat a snack before and after your workout.

If you’re working out, you need energy. Carbohydrates provide that energy. Eating low glycemic carbs and protein before you workout helps you maximize your performance. Those same style snacks immediately following an intense workout help kickstart the recovery phase that starts muscle growth and replenishes the glycogen stores you burn. Low glycemic carbs include nuts, brown rice, vegetables, and beans. Eat the snack at least a half hour before you exercise and a full meal an hour and a half before it.

  • Make sure you have healthy fat in your diet. Healthy fat is necessary to create hormones that can help build muscles and boost metabolism. Avocados contain healthy fat. It also contains magnesium and potassium for muscle recovery.
  • Cut out food with added sugar. Also, remove high-glycemic carbs from your pre-workout snacks. They make your energy rise faster, spike your blood glucose and insulin levels, and then suddenly cause your energy to drop. You’ll run out of steam mid-workout when you snack on high-glycemic carbs.
  • Avocados, eggs, beans, salmon and other fatty fish, Greek yogurt, poultry, nuts and seeds, and quinoa help build muscles. You can eat them at a meal or as a pre or post-workout snack.
  • To maximize your nutrient intake and boost your protein, include Ezekial bread in your diet. Besides being a vegan option, it has 3.6 grams of protein per slice.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

Motivate Yourself To Get Fit

Motivate Yourself To Get Fit

You know you should exercise more. Your dryer keeps shrinking your pants, and getting out of your chair is harder. Starting may be your problem. How do you motivate yourself to get fit? Lack of motivation is one of the biggest reasons people don’t exercise or lose weight. They often put it off until the time is right, which usually never occurs. Make time to start a fitness program and consistently stick with that plan.

Can boosting your energy be a motivation?

Maybe you are too tired to play with the kids or walk very far. Plan a trip with the family and use it as motivation. If your family loves the outdoors, plan a camping and hiking trip. It takes lots of energy to do both. If your family is more into comfort, consider a weekend at a large amusement park. No matter what activity you plan, you have to get into shape to do it. Keep your focus on the days until your family trip or have a calendar to mark down the days and track your exercise efforts.

Do you want to look better or lose weight?

Have someone take a picture of you or do it using a full-length mirror. Dress in clothing that is more revealing so every roll or bulge shows. You’ll take a new picture once a month in the same outfit to help you see the change. Wellness on a Dime can help with nutritional plans and exercise programs designed specifically for you. You can also start by cutting out food with added sugar and highly processed food and increasing your activity by walking or exercising 45 minutes a day.

Phone a friend.

Make a deal with a friend to exercise together. If that’s impossible, do weekly check-ins with each other. Weigh yourself and take measurements once a week. Track your workout routine, including the number of reps and sets and how easy or difficult they are to do. Add to your program each day. Maybe you’ll only add an extra repetition or do something more significant like cutting out highly processed food or starting a meal plan. Winners keep score. The more you track your progress, the more likely you’ll be to reach your goals.

  • Set a timer. Every hour get up and move for five minutes. You can exercise, walk around, or tidy up the house. Do whatever it takes to get you moving every 55 minutes. After five minutes, you can return to sitting.
  • Create a goal. Your goal doesn’t have to be fancy. Just say what you want to do and give yourself a timeline. Make your goal realistic.
  • Write down why you want to start and keep it front and center. Is your blood pressure high? Do you need to lose weight to get your resting glucose level lower? Are you always too tired to have fun?
  • Exercise at the same time every day to make it a habit. If you run out of day before you run out of tasks, exercise first thing in the morning. Pick a time that works for you and make it your appointment with fitness.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

The Millennials Workout

The Millennials Workout

One of the biggest groups in the workforce today is millennials. They’re the group of people born between 1981 and 1996. They’ve witnessed many changes in the workplace and how they workout. Exercising and fitness is a top priority. A recent study showed it was almost as important as family is for millennials. Since many fitness changes came while they were young, millennials aren’t locked into a particular program by habit. They consume healthier meals, smoke less, and exercise regularly. Eating healthy is more important than dieting to most millennials.

Millennials tend to work out daily.

Since wellness is important, doing the things that keep millennials well is also a priority. Technology plays a huge role in maintaining good health. Using gadgets that help them monitor their health, like a heart rate monitor, is used frequently by that age group. Apps, technology, and videos are also part of millennial fitness programs. They tend to spend more money on fitness than older groups, even if their income is less.

Millennials tend to look ready for exercise at any time.

Athletic wear is popular with millennials, even if they aren’t working out. Nike, Lululemon, and Athleta are popular clothing often worn for the freedom of movement. Since millennials are involved in environmental causes and nature, walking in nature is a big part of their free time and workout program. Millennials use our wellness coaching program to improve their health and get a new perspective.

Millennials demand more for their exercise time.

There’s a reason HIIT—high intensity interval training—and CrossFit have become so popular. It’s quicker, so millennials love it. They start exercising, sweat it out, and spend a shorter time doing it. They finish quicker than with traditional workouts. They don’t waste time with treadmills since treadmills don’t provide as much benefit per hour they spend. Many millennials will use several workout methods from small groups to running to guided video training. They tend to appreciate the immediacy of on-demand fitness and turn their backs on traditional gyms.

  • You can workout like a millennial without spending most of your income. Wellness on a Dime offers healthy meal planning, a video exercise planner with videos, telemedicine services, wellness coaching, and health coaching.
  • Mental well-being is also a priority for Millennials. It’s one reason we include it as part of our program at Wellness on a Dime. We focus on your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
  • Millennials, also known as Generation Y, know that everyone is different and require different diets and exercise programs to address their needs. It’s why Fitness on a Dime focuses on personalized programs.
  • Many of the same traits and beliefs Millennials hold Gen Z also hold. Our online program is perfect for them and for Boomers and the Silent Generation. They find it easy to use.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

Can Relaxation Actually Energize Me?

Can Relaxation Actually Energize Me?

Most people don’t understand the benefits of true relaxation or just what relaxation is. It’s the opposite of the fight-or-flight response both mentally and physically. If you’ve had a long day and lean back in your chair to relax, but your mind is going a hundred miles an hour trying to solve a work problem, you’re not relaxing. Your body and brain relax right before you fall asleep. It’s the first stage of sleeping. However, relaxation doesn’t always end in sleep. It sometimes just energizes your body.

The flight-or-fight response triggers hormones—chemicals—to prepare you to do both.

Relaxation also begins with a chemical reaction. The hormones relax muscles, lower the levels of stress hormones, lower blood pressure and blood sugar, reduce heart rate, reduce inflammation, lower breathing rate, and increase the immune response. Using mental techniques to relax starts the physical response. You can also relax by lying down for a half hour, just sitting and staring, enjoying the company of friends, doing activities you enjoy, or listening to relaxing music.

Taking a quick nap not only helps you relax but also reduces sleep debt.

If you sleep enough, you can feel exhausted halfway through the day. Taking a nap helps. A short nap helps energize you even if you don’t lack sleep. You’ll experience the relaxation right before you relax and total relaxation after ten minutes of sleep. One study showed that just ten minutes of napping could revitalize you and improve physical and mental performance for up to two and a half hours. If your nap is longer, such as 30 minutes or more, it can leave you with a groggy feeling called sleep inertia, when you first wake up.

Relaxation creates deeper breathing.

When you breathe deeper, you intake more oxygen which can boost your energy level. Just taking a few minutes to relax and do deep breathing helps provide that. Other techniques include sitting in a quiet area and clearing your mind. Both divert your focus from the day’s stress and help you relax. That relief from stress can give you an energy boost.

  • Relaxation combats stress that makes you feel like you’re constantly carrying a hundred-pound weight on your back. Relaxation helps you reduce stress and lift the weight off your shoulders.
  • If you don’t have time to take ten minutes and want a boost of energy, drink a cold glass of water. Even mild dehydration can cause you to feel exhausted. The coldness of the water also helps boost your energy.
  • Several relaxation techniques don’t require much time. Progressive relaxation is completed by tensing different muscles throughout the body and then relaxing that tension. Guided imagery and self-hypnosis are two other relaxation methods.
  • Exercising or going for a walk is another way to de-stress and relax. When you exercise or walk, you divert your attention to the activity. The activity burns off the stress hormones and relaxes you.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

Improve Your Health Before You Get Sick

Improve Your Health Before You Get Sick

Rather than finding ways to treat an illness, you should do the things that improve your health in the first place. It’s much easier to spend an hour a day focusing on health than spending hours in the doctor’s office or the hospital. It’s also far less expensive. Your body heals itself, but only if it has the right tools. It requires the appropriate nutrients, plenty of sleep, adequate hydration, and exercise. It also needs protection from toxins and abuses, which include illegal drugs, cigarettes, and too much alcohol.

Your body needs exercise.

When you exercise, it increases circulation. It builds strong muscles, including the heart. You’ll boost the length of telomeres when you workout regularly. Telomeres act like aglets at the end of shoelaces to prevent the chromosomes from unraveling. Exercise helps circulate synovial fluid that lubricates the joints to relieve joint pain. Exercise helps keep bones strong and helps manage weight. It reduces the risk of serious conditions, improves brain and skin health, and helps you sleep better.

Eat healthier.

You don’t have to diet if you focus on eating healthier. Choosing whole foods, food close to its natural state, and avoiding foods with added sugar, highly processed food, and food with trans fats is a good place to start. If you use meal planning, it makes eating healthier easier. You plan the meal one day, shop the next, and cook all the food for the week on your day off work. You’ll even save money and time when you meal plan. You use most ingredients in several dishes and nothing goes to waste.

Get adequate sleep.

Lack of sleep causes the body to produce more ghrelin, the hormone that makes you hungry, and less leptin, which makes you feel full. That causes you to eat more and can add to the potential for obesity. Getting too little sleep is bad for the heart. When you sleep, your body heals and your brain reorganizes. If you don’t get enough sleep, it can interrupt that process. Lack of sleep also causes you to lack energy, so you’ll burn fewer calories. It can lead to an increase in accidents, too.

  • How do you change that? You accomplish it by doing the things that keep your body healthy. It doesn’t guarantee you won’t get sick, but it does improve your chances of preventing illness and chronic conditions.
  • Learn to deal with stress. Stress can lead to inflammation and put your body in constant fight-or-flight mode. That causes changes in digestion, vision, heart rate, and more. If you don’t de-stress it can lead to health issues.
  • If you smoke or abuse alcohol or drugs, get help. It’s not easy to quit on your own. Exercising can help you while you’re trying to quit. Don’t forget to hydrate frequently. Even mild dehydration can negatively impact the body.
  • Consult your healthcare professional before starting an exercise program or changing your diet. If you need help learning how to eat healthier, we provide meal plans that contain recipes and a shopping list.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching

Beginners Guide To Carb Counting

Beginners Guide To Carb Counting

It’s difficult to shed those extra pounds, especially with so many theories and diets you find available. In Louisiana, people are turning to carb counting. Any type of diet can be unhealthy if taken to extremes. The same is true for carb counting. Reducing carbs can be done healthily by focusing on low-carbohydrate foods like vegetables and eliminating simple carbs, like cake and other products with added sugar. Here is a guide to counting carbs that will keep you healthy.

You can balance macronutrients to lose weight.

Change your mindset from calories to micronutrients if you want to use carb counting to shed those extra pounds. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Traditional diets derive 45 to 65% of their calories from carbohydrates, 10 to 35% from protein, and 20 to 35% from fat. Low carbohydrate diets limit their calorie intake from carbs to 26% of their diet or less. Extremely low carbohydrate diets reduce the number of calories to 10% of calories from carbs. Calculate the calories you need daily, then multiply that amount by the appropriate percentage. If you’re on a 1500-calorie diet and deriving 20% of your calories from carbohydrates, you’d get 300 calories from carbs.

There are several types of carbohydrates and your body reacts to each differently.

If you break down the category of carbohydrates, you’ll find starches, sugars, and fiber. Sugar is divided further into food with added sugar and naturally occurring sugar. Some are simple carbs, and some are complex. Simple carbs break down quickly, causing blood sugar to spike. Food with natural sugar, like fruit, also contains fiber that slows the absorption of sugar. The goal of a low-carb diet is to avoid the spike in blood sugar and keep your blood sugar level.

You don’t cut out carbs completely.

A low-carb diet still requires tracking your food. It also requires you to make healthy decisions. One gram of carbohydrates translates to four calories. If 20% of your diet comes from carbs and you are on a 1500-calorie diet, multiply 1500 by .20 and get 300, which is how many calories from carbs you need. Divide the 300 by four to get the number of grams of carbs. In this case, it’s 75 grams. Make a healthy choice. About 10 cups of broccoli, 22 cups of celery, or almost 46 cups of fresh spinach all contain about 75 grams of carbohydrates. You’d get more than your entire daily allotment of carbohydrates in two cans of coke.

  • Reducing carbohydrates can help lower your risk of insulin resistance and diabetes. It also helps lower cholesterol levels. When you decrease carbohydrates, you eat more fat and protein. Both fill you and keep you full longer.
  • Most food labels contain the information you need for a low-carbohydrate diet. They also show if the carbs are from sugar or fiber. Make sure you check out the serving size, too.
  • If you’re trying to lose weight, you’ll need to identify your ideal weight, activity level, gender, and goals. All those will determine the number of calories you require, which is the first step to counting carbs.
  • Our personalized meal plans can help make carb counting easier. We provide complete meal plans with shopping lists and recipes. All you have to do is buy the groceries. It’s carb-counting simplified.

For more information, contact us today at Wellness On A Dime Coaching