Monday, July 26, 2010
1. Detoxing or “Pre-toxing” during the week cancels out the effects of partying on the weekend.
False. “One drink a day can be good for you,” says Lisa R. Young, R.D., Ph.D., author of The Portion Teller. “But if you skip Wednesday and Thursday, that doesn’t mean you can have three drinks on Friday and toast to your health,” she says. “Your body (namely, your liver) can’t handle so much alcohol at once, even if you didn’t drink for a few days beforehand.” It’s better to drink moderately than to do restrict and binge pattern.
2. Alcohol Makes Sex Better.
Wrong again. Alcohol can make people feel less uncomfortable in a social situation. But the reality is that alcohol can actually keep guys from getting or keeping an erection, and it can lower girls' sex drives, too. More importantly, alcohol can affect your decision-making ability: You might put yourself in a risky situation; you might think you're ready to have sex when you're not or you might forget to use a condom — which can result in pregnancy and/or contracting a sexually transmitted disease. And if that’s not enough to deter you, alcohol induced sex tends to make for sloppier sex and more known to be ‘bad sex’.
3. Diet Soda Mixers Gets you Wasted Faster.
Diet mixers, such as low calorie tonic water, diet margarita mix and low calorie soda, spare calories but speed the rate that alcohol enters the bloodstream. High sugar liquids empty from the stomach more slowly than water or low calorie drinks.
Diet mixers contain little or no sugar, so the alcohol in the drink leaves the stomach quickly and enters the bloodstream rapidly, which makes you drunk faster. Australians researchers, using ultrasound, measure the rate that drinks containing diet or normal mixers emptied from the stomach.
Drinks using diet mixers left the gut 15 minutes sooner and caused nearly 50% higher blood alcohol levels. Women should be particularly care using diet mixers. Consuming the same number of drinks, blood alcohol increased more in women then in men. Also, women are more likely to use diet mixers.
4. Mixing Red Bull and liquor let’s you party longer.
True. Red Bull and other caffeinated drinks let you party longer — but not smarter. They make you feel like you’re alert but don’t reduce the real effects of alcohol, including slower physical and visual reactions. And be extra careful: They can make you think you can drive when you’re actually seriously impaired. In addition, mixing liquor with Red Bull is a straight-path recipe for a hangover. All of those sugars are going to dehydrate you and really that's what leads to your feeling less-than-great the next day.
5. Beer Before Liquor Never been Sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.
False. This is an urban legend shared but not scientifically true. In reality, alcohol is alcohol, and the overall quantity you intake will determine your resulting sobriety or hangover. Drinking beer before drinking hard liquor may prolong the onset of inebriation. However, it won’t ultimately matter whether you drink beer first or last; it’s the quantity of alcohol that does the damage.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
If you’re like me, you probably get bored with your routine, but often it is too uncomfortable or time consuming to try to figure something else out. Then you wonder – how often should I change my routine?
I usually see two different situations when it comes to people changing their exercise programs. On one hand, you have individuals who rarely change their programs at all. They go into the gym and repeat the same mundane routine (i.e., same exercises, same reps, same equipment for the same amount of time). These people often look the same after months of training.
Then, there is the other group. These people change their training programs way too often; for some, almost every workout. Ironically, many of these people workout with a trainer. I always tend to get on the fitness topic with these people when they find out what I do, and they'll start to tell me all about their training regimen. The conversation usually goes something like this:
"I love working out. I have a trainer who I see three, four or sometimes even five times per week. He or she is so amazing. Every time I go to the gym, we always do something different."
Now, at this point in my career, I've had this conversation a hundred different times. So basically, I've come up with this analogy to see if I can get them thinking as to why this might not be such a great idea.
"Interesting ... and, what if I was to say to you that every time I see you I am going to try and teach you a different foreign language. (They usually look at me like I'm nuts, but I continue on.) Do you think that you will ever be able to understand, speak or fully master any of the languages that I'm trying to teach you?"
They usually give me a very puzzled look. So, then, I explain to them that when you are training, you are not just training the cardiovascular system and the muscular system, but you are also training (i.e. programming) the nervous system. The nervous system is what actually sends the messages to the muscular system to perform a particular exercise. It's also what helps you refine various exercises and allows you to get stronger and have more control and fluidity when performing these patterns.
According to my training and conversations with world-class strength and endurance coaches, unless you are an elite level athlete, you do not need to change the training program as frequently as many people do.
Of coarse elite athletes will need to change their program about every six workouts, but consider the volume that they do. Back to my analogy, if you spent your full time job learning languages, then you could probably learn them more rapidly than if you just learned them in your recreational time.
I recommend intermediate/advanced level exercisers change their program every three to four weeks. Beginners can stay on the same program even longer—up to six weeks. Now this does not mean you have to do the same thing every day for three weeks. It means you may do cardio on day one, lifting routine A on day two, cardio + yoga day three and, lifting routine B on day four. The idea here is to keep this the same for 3-4 weeks. Then switch it up! If you were running, switch to biking, or run longer or faster
So rather than feeling pressured to do something different every time you workout, or on the other end, maintaining your same workout day-in-day-out for weeks or months, have confidence in knowing when to switch it up and when to keep it the same. Master where you are at, and then move on!
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
There’s nothing like the feeling of long travel days, the dehydration and swelling you experience from those oxygen-lacking flights, the less-than healthy processed foods you grab in the airports and the skipped workouts. All of this combines to make you feel, well, less than your best self.
My schedule entails a lot of time in airports and on long flights so I am no stranger to this feeling. Every trip I go in with the mission to combat this feeling and attempt to stay feeling good, energized and fit.
After personal trial and error and experimentation, I have found a few things that have drastically help me both look and feel better, as well as keep fit and healthy on those travel days. So next time you’re in for a long one give these a try – Happy Travels!
ü HYDRATE! – If nothing else, stay hydrated, I under-estimated the importance of this. Just look at what happens to a bottle of water (all suctioned at the end of a flight), this is essentially what happens to your body. Dehydration not only makes you feel sluggish, your skin will look dull, and you will likely feel hungrier, causing you to eat more than you normally would.
ü Go to the Bathroom every hour on flight – This forces you to stretch your legs and help get your blood flowing again, reducing the amount of swelling in your body. Challenge yourself to drink enough water that you actually need to use the restroom every hour. This is harder to do than you may think on the plane, but you will feel exponentially better if you can do this.
ü STRETCH – Try to stand up and stretch you arms, legs and back. Stand in place in the aisle for a few minutes and do this. I tend to stretch my quads a lot on flight because these muscles seem to tighten up most for me (plus it’s an easy stretch to do – just bend one knee and grab your foot with your hand).
ü SNACK – If a flight is short, I encourage you to eat meals either before or after the flight. The airport options are not diet-friendly (and don’t think ordering a salad is a healthy option – most airport salads are loaded with high calorie ingredients and dressings that are worse for you than a standard fast-food meal). Try to bring your own snacks such as apples, nuts, bananas, whole grain bread with almond butter etc. These snacks should keep you feeling satisfied and get you to your destination without packing on the high-fat, high-calorie options.
ü If you must have a MEAL…..choose your meal wisely (think of what you will feel like after versus what looks good in the moment). Opt for a sandwich and soup or chili. I love Wendy’s baked potato and chili. Baked potatoes are often avoided because of common ‘carb-phobia’ but they are actually high in something called resistance starch, which speeds up your metabolism, keeps you full longer and activates mood-boosting hormones in your brain. So go ahead – indulge!
If you are in for a long flight and must eat on the plane – they usually give you an option of meat or pasta + a vegetable + salad + appetizer + dessert. Go for the meat and eat the veggies and salad – skip the dessert if you’re really trying to keep healthy.
ü WALK- Weather it’s a long layover or you have time to kill before boarding, airports are huge areas with lots going on – so get out and walk around. Rather than going directly to your gate and plopping yourself down for an hour, explore the airport, browse the shops, and if you’re lucky enough to have minimal carry-on luggage take a brisk walk around for 10-20 minutes. You will feel better and more relaxed on flight.
ü Wear comfortable shoes and clothing so you are more apt to move around, walk and if you have enough time, you can pay a small fee to store your belongings at the airport and go for a walk or jog outside.
ü When you reach your destination, the best thing you can do to rejuvenate yourself and fight jetlag is to get in a workout. It doesn’t have to be long; even 15 minutes can do the trick. As tired as you may feel, the hardest part is getting started, it will be more than worth it! Bring a jump rope and try my 15 min rope workout: http://dynamicworkouts.blogspot.com/2009/10/jump-your-way-fit-in-less-than-15.html
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Ahh yes June over and I can hardly believe we are well into July! I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer! I know I’ve received many emails of my whereabouts the past few months. And I want to apologize for my lack of communication – I promise, I have not abandoned you!
To update you, I have been busy working on a large project, which I am so thrilled about and hope you will be too! I’ve mentioned a little about it in my previous update, but since then it’s taken a slightly new and exciting turn. I am so eager to roll it out as I hope you will get as much out of it as I do!
In addition to new beginnings I wanted to reach out to anyone who may be in the New York City area later this summer or fall. If you happen to be in town and would like to take a customized class under my program please contact me using the ‘contact’ link on the website.
Classes will be hosted in some signature Manhattan spots, so prepare to soak up some sun, meet some great friends and burn some serious calories. Levels range from recreational exerciser to professional athletes.
There are also a series of FREE classes –so there is no excuse not to come!