Too Little Protein? Long-Term Health Effects Not So Good

We need protein in our diet to stay healthy. But how much do we need so we don’t experience negative, long-term health effects?

A Must-Have

Protein provides essential amino acids to keep our bodies healthy. Diets that restrict protein may be placing you in future danger. On a day-to-day basis, consuming too little protein may make you lethargic. You may have an increased appetite. Either way, you’re not putting yourself in harm’s way—at least not today. On a long-term health scale however, too little protein will eventually cause cellular breakdown.

Protein amino acids help build cellular structure. They keep “housing” cells strong and functional. Such cells may be those that strengthen the walls of your heart. They fortify the muscles that protect your bones. Without the necessary amount of amino acids, those cellular structures will become weakened over time.

How Much?

How much protein we need is still up for debate. Some experts recommend consistent helpings throughout the day. A side benefit is that protein helps you feel fuller and provides energy for a longer period. All are in agreement, however, that some protein is better than none.

What happens if there’s too little consumption of protein? Wayne Campbell, a professor of nutrition science at Purdue University offers his expertise. He explains that your body will compensate and rescue its most important parts. The body will “take amino acids from your skeletal muscle in order to supply your heart or some other organs.”

This is comparable to how calcium is stolen from pregnant mothers. If the expectant mom has too little calcium intake, the growing baby will take it how he/she can. Years later, women find themselves with osteoporosis or other calcium-deficient caused disorders.

Don’t Worry, Eat Protein

Yes, the long-term negative effects of being protein-deficient are worrisome. The calming news is that more than likely, your regular diet provides an ample amount. There is protein in mostly all animal-sourced and plant-based foods. Unless you’re eating only carbohydrates, chances are you’re getting enough protein from an array of foods you consume.

Common foods containing protein are: poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, nuts, soy products, beans and peas.

Another aspect to consider is exercise. Physical movement also slows down age-related cellular breakdown. So, if you’re eating a sufficient amount of protein and exercising, your cells will maintain their strength longer. Way to keep your youth!

If you’re interested in diet, food, and exercise, check out more brief, informative articles here.

14 Safety Tips For When You Exercise Outdoors

In life, family generally comes first. With exercise, safety is the priority. Whether you are alone or with your family or friends, keeping everyone out of harm’s way and free of injury is number one. At the gym, employees should help guide. But when you’re outside, it’s you who must be the most mindful. Below we’ve shared some helpful safety tips for when you exercise outdoors.

Dress for Success—especially outside

#1) Don’t be fooled by trendy exercise clothing you see in generic superstores. Sure, you want to look good in case you run into a cute neighbor or plan to take a selfie. More importantly, however, you want your clothing to “perform.” If it’s cold or wet, you want your jacket to keep you warm and dry. On the other hand, when it’s hot, you want to keep cool, but also protect your skin from sun exposure.

#2) With that said, it’s worth spending a little more on quality material and manufacturing. You only need one of each, really, for outdoor exercise wear: jacket, hat, hiking pants, merino wool shirt and leggings, long-sleeved UV protective shirt, shorts, and gloves. Unlike the gym, no one will comment that you’re wearing the same jacket again. In fact, outdoor peeps are used to seeing one another in their “signature” outdoor gear.

#3) Additionally, wear bright colors. You want to be seen, especially if it’s twilight, foggy, or you’ve fallen off the path into a ditch or ravine. Thank goodness bright blues, pinks, and greens are fashionable everywhere for

 

exercise outdoors!      

 

#4) Also, spend time researching and picking out proper footwear. Buy quality. If your feet get messed up, you’re not going anywhere. This is the one item worth buying a reputable, brand name, and spending the money. If they’re as good as they claim, the hiking, running, or trail shoes should last a while and keep your toes, arches, and ankles in good shape.

#5) Wear reflective clothing. Again, you want to be seen by cars, animals, and rescuers. (Bonus: most animals will run away if they see you first.) A lot of products now have glow-in-the-dark and reflective strips incorporated into their designs. Shoes, jackets, pants, and hats can all be purchased with this feature nowadays. You can also purchase reflective tape and add it to your favorite oldie outdoor wear.

TIP: Go to specialized stores. Speak to the salespeople and ask them what they recommend. Try stuff on. Take pictures and notes. Then, go home and log onto the Internet and find the items you want for less money elsewhere. Don’t feel guilty. Maybe your local store price matches? Also, outlets like REI have amazing sales several times a year.

You can always create a wish list.       

Cracking Open the Safe…

For the most part, working-out indoors is safe because the environment is controlled. The main cause for injury would be performing an exercise incorrectly. You lift too heavy, drop a weight on your foot, or pull a muscle or tendon.

Conversely, when you exercise outdoors, there’s a host of unpredictable elements.

First of all, as we’ve touched upon, you’ve got the weather. This will affect how you dress, as well as your ability to forge through your workout. If you’re in the city, you’ve got traffic, lots of people around, and noise. In the suburbs, there may be predators—and not just animals. In the mountains or wilderness, there can be tricky terrain as well as wildlife to contend with. None of these factors, however, should scare or deter you from getting a safe, satisfying workout.

And so then, let’s take a look at some more safety tips so you can confidently enjoy your outdoor exercise.

#6) Bring a friend or let someone know where you’re going. Never go exercising outdoors without telling someone or leaving a note where you’ve gone. If you don’t return on time, won’t it be safer when someone is able to come look for you?

#7) Bring water—even if your plan is to jog around the block. Lack of hydration is the number one cause for heatstroke (besides the beating hot sun, duh.) If you are going on a prolonged outdoor adventure, make sure you bring plenty of water. A hydration pack (like a Camelback) can be a life saver.

#8) Check the weather report for the forecast. Be prepared for rain, snow, ice, and even scorching sun. A hat is always a must, regardless of weather, and sunscreen is also important, even in the winter.

Look and Listen for Safety’s Sake…

#9) Always have a light source. Your phone most likely has a magnifying light feature. A headlamp is lightweight and can always come in handy. (Just remember to change out the batteries every so often. Or, carry spares.)

#10) Speaking of phones… You should probably bring one. However, DON’T hike, run, or jog and concurrently look at your texts. That’s a recipe for a tripping disaster. If you must, stop completely, and check the message or the call. Always leave for the outdoors with your phone fully charged. If you have a pack, you can carry a lightweight solar charger as a back up.

In addition to a regular cellphone, if you’re far from civilization, you may want to invest in a satellite phone with GPS. They can be pricey, but your location can be found if there’s an unforeseen problem—which may get you help sooner than later.

#11) Bring a whistle. If, for example, you’re alone hiking and you fall, who is nearby to help? Who can hear you? Perhaps you don’t have enough energy to yell. That whistle may also scare off unwanted four-legged visitors…

 

City Mouse vs. Country Mouse

#12) First aid in the city probably isn’t an issue. There will always be someone around to help or guide you. In the burbs, you may want to consider carrying a few bandages for blisters. In the wilderness, obviously you’ll want to pack an anti-bacterial cleanser, bandages, anti-bacterial ointment, rope, a knife, and a snake-bite kit, among other supplies.

#13) If you’re adventuring outside a city, learn about the wildlife on your journey and destination. Do bears, cougars, moose, snakes, or other critters live where you will be going? When you exercise outdoors away from large masses of people, you can expect animals to be dwelling there.

Read up on how to behave if you’re confronted by a non-human. You might want to carry bear spray or a bell. Learn how to alert the wildlife to let them know you are traveling in their environment. (You never want to surprise an animal.) Remember, it’s their land, too.

It’s also wise to learn about the plants where you’ll be exercising. It’s important to recognize and protect against poison, ivy, oak, and sumac. And, don’t eat any wild berries or leaves unless you’re starving and know they’re not deadly if humans consume them.

#14) Behavior between humans can sometimes be unsafe when you exercise outdoors—whether in the city, suburbs, or out in the mountains, jungle, or plains.

 

When in a city,       avoid walking or jogging near

 

dark alleyways or on industrial streets. Stick with the crowd. Speak up and turn in the other direction if you feel someone’s intentions are unsavory.

When in the suburbs, it’s probably best not to accept an invite into a stranger’s home if they offer you a drink or use of their bathroom. Additionally, learn to walk/run against the traffic. If a car slows down or stops near you, simply cross the street.

No matter what environment, if you feel in danger and need help, don’t be afraid to blow that whistle. Loudly.

What’s the Take Away

We certainly hope we haven’t frightened you from leaving your home or your local gym! Getting outside in nature—from a hike, to a trail run, to a walk in a city park—they’ve all shown to boost your immune system, improve your mood, and help keep your mind and body fit. And, you can be safe! We hope you’ll get excited to read some of our other articles on exercise, nature, and best health on GetThrive!

If you found this article helpful, feel free to contact us with your feedback, or check out Get Thrive on Facebook and join our community and conversations! Thank you— we appreciate your time and voice.

 

Alternate sources:

https://getthrive.com/15-hiking-essential-concepts/

https://getthrive.com/green-workspaces-benefit-productivity/

https://getthrive.com/must-de-stress-now/

Author and photographer: Carra Robertson

Pixabay: Dark city image and illustration

 

 

 

How Hybrid Exercising Can Give You the Body You’ve Always Wanted

Getting into the best shape possible requires that you switch up your exercise routine before your body adapts to it. You want to confuse your muscles. Combining two forms of training in one session makes for a successful hybrid experience.

Just like the “two heads are better than one” adage, the same holds true when it comes to getting the best physical results. Ideally, you’ll want to combine aerobic and anaerobic exercises.

For example, dancing (aerobic) with weight-lifting (anaerobic), or Pilates with jumping rope, or yoga with sprinting intervals. The combinations are endless.

Double-dipping will actually allow you to lower your body fat while improving cardiovascular and muscle strength. One trainer offers a compelling list of classes offered around the U.S. Other formats include pairing trampolines with spinning with TRX with indoor wakeboards with ballet, and classes with live DJs, adding to the fun.

Hybrid workouts can keep you motivated, challenged, and get you to a whole new fitness level. Mix it up!

 

 

Exercises to Lose Belly Fat

What’s the first exercise that comes to mind when you think of shrinking or lose belly fat around your middle? Sit-ups, of course! But, hang on a second (and drop that doughnut!) If you mean business—and don’t want to do a million crunches—here are several alternative exercises to flatten that tire forever.

 

Bye-Bye Belly Fat: Don’t Let the Door Hit You on the Way Out!

 

Are you so tired of that roll hanging over the top of your jeans? Ugh! Who isn’t? The people who got rid of their belly fat aren’t complaining anymore…

If you think a few sit-ups will do the trick, then someone sold you a bridge in Brooklyn. Losing belly jelly requires a combination of good eating habits and a collection of exercises. Here’s the best news: it is possible, and participating in a few moves everyday will have others wishing they looked as good!

 

A Longer Waistline May Mean a Shorter Life

 

Aside from how fabulous you will look and feel, losing belly fat may help keep you alive on this planet a bit longer. Research has shown that a larger waist size can be linked to:

– diabetes

– heart disease

– stroke

– some cancers

It’s never too soon to exercise your option to exercise.

Want to Go Belly Up?

 

Doing sit-ups is certainly a way to strengthen your core and tone tummy muscles. But if you want to shed the belly blubber, you’ll have to do other exercises. Your objective is to boost your metabolism, which will help you burn calories and fat and eventually lose belly fat.

Here are some key exercises to lose belly fat:

1) Run. Running in intervals (and on an incline) will maximize your effort. Try moving ahead at full speed for one minute. Then, allow your muscles and breathing to recover for one minute—but do not stop moving. During recovery mode, lower the intensity to a jog or a brisk walking pace. After the minute, go back to high intensity for another minute. Repeat this process for about a half an hour.

TIP: Running with your favorite tunes has shown to improve your workout. A great pair of bluetooth headphones, like the SENSO Wireless Sports Earphones are awesome for gym running. The sweatproof earbuds come in HD stereo and with a battery that lasts 8 hours.

 

2) Row. Rowing increases your heart rate and uses a bunch of different muscles, burning tons of calories. For this exercise, try 20 seconds of high intensity and then 10 seconds of rest. Keep your body in the same position; just stop rowing during the short recovery period. Repeat the process for up to a half an hour.

 

3) Lift Weights. Focus on lifting heavier weight, but take care not to injure yourself. Focus on your technique, earning the optimum results from each repetition. The beauty of weight bearing exercise is that you continue to burn calories long after you’re done with the workout.

Neoprene Body Sculpting Hand Weights get the job done!


 

4) Brisk Walk. Walk purposefully, at a speedy pace, continuously, for up to an hour. This will boost your metabolism and help burn away the fat.

 

5) High intensity interval train. Choose between four and eight different exercises. Examples would be: planks, mountains climbers, crunches, push-ups, squats, etc. Create a rotation going from one movement to another without stopping. Place exercises that work different muscles next to each other so you get an interval “break.” (Perhaps do 10 push-ups, and then immediately after, do 10 crunches, then do lunges, and so on…)

TIP: You can get a full body workout using a Vertical Climber .

These exercises, besides burning calories, help reduce stress. Stress encourages the production of cortisol, which actually holds onto fat, keeping you from losing weight. Stress-reduction and slimming down are a win-win proposal!

 

Gain Muscle, Lose Belly Fat

 

Once you’ve gotten into the good habit of exercising 3-5 days a week, minimum, you’ll be burning through calories like crazy. Then, once you lose your belly fat, you’ll be better able to see your muscles. This is where doing sit-ups will benefit your abs’ appearance.

You don’t have to do 100’s of crunches or bicycles in order to lose the big lump in the middle. You just have to eat nutritionally and moderately, and then add some fat-burning exercises. It won’t be long before you’re imagining yourself in a bikini again!

 

Sources:

https://www.prevention.com/fitness/best-workouts-to-target-belly-fat/slide/1

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/5-exercises-and-5-foods-to-reduce-belly-fat/#gref

https://getthrive.com/weight-loss-tips-not-for-dummies/

 

 

 

Reasons Why Interval Training May Be the Perfect Fat Burner

Some years ago, I was driving down the road on a stifling mid-summer afternoon. It was one of those days where the haze from the blacktop of the parking lot made visible the very sweltering heat I was feeling.

As I approached my destination, I distinctly recall, for the first time, seeing a group of varying sized and shaped people performing a series of strenuous exercises that appeared bordering on the ridiculous.

Although the conditions weren’t exactly ideal for outdoor activity, I nonetheless observed sprinting, stationary jumps with corresponding thigh slaps, and even lunges.

(Ugh, lunges!) What I came to learn, only later, that this phenomenon was called CrossFit. And, what I assumed would be nothing more than a quick flash in the pan, has become something far more than a passing fad. Looks like the laugh’s on me.

These days, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is, evidently, the way to approach exercise effectively, delivering maximum benefits. The practice basically consists of very short periods of high-intensity movement followed by even shorter periods of rest—and then repeat the pattern.

There are variations on the theme. Some experts suggest 20 seconds of a specific repetitive movement (like a burpee) with a 10-second rest period (and repeating that process for, let’s say, a 3-minute period.) Then choose a different move (like squats) and do the same.

Some workouts beasts swear by three intervals of intense work and then an equal amount of break (per interval) for optimal results. For example, 30 seconds on, 30 seconds off; then 60 seconds on, 60 off; then 120 on, 120 off.

Scientifically speaking, the short bursts of output create a larger consumption of oxygen—forcing the mitochondria to work harder to burn calories. Mitochondria have memory and reproduce cells with the same “thinking patterns”. So, if you are systematically teaching your cells that they have to work hard, they will eventually reset their thinking to burning more energy (and fat). Make sense? Hope so!

Shape Magazine has published a list including 8 benefits of High-Interval Intensity Training. If you like deep dives, check out the article! For those more interested in a quicker look, here are some of the highlights:

You’ll Burn More Fat

In the 24 hours following a HIIT workout, you are more likely to burn a greater number of calories than, say, if you went for a steady-pace run. The workout’s intensity forces your body into hyperdrive, which simply burns more fat.

No Equipment Necessary

One of the factors, which discourages people from participating in certain exercise programs, is the cost! You can’t ski without skis, gloves, poles, and the right clothing.

You can’t scuba dive without certification and gear. And you can’t bike at a serious level without an ever-more-expensive bicycle. HIIT, on the other hand, just requires you to show up. The workout will not be easy, but it’s far more gear-friendly.

Lost Weight, Not Muscle

While diets are good at shedding pounds, those jettisoned pounds often come with a corresponding loss of muscle. HIIT allows you to lose weight while retaining the muscle acquired as a result of the workouts. Not bad!

Location, Location, Location

Whether you choose to meet with a trainer or a group is completely up to you. Because HIIT is not tethered to any particular destination, you can perform the activities anywhere and adapt the workouts to the time and space you have available.

HIIT may not be for everyone. Personally, a game that involves a ball is more up my alley. But, there’s little disputing the impact of the workouts and the devotion of its participants. With results-based backing, you may find HIIT to be a logical next step. You may just find a community of people you’d not met otherwise—and a finely toned booty to boot.

Train in Vain? Hardly

Some years ago, I was driving down the road on a stifling mid-summer afternoon. It was one of those days where the haze from the parking lot made visible the very sweltering heat I could feel.

As I approached my destination, I distinctly recall, for the first time, seeing a group of young adults of varying sizes and shapes performing a series of strenuous exercises that bordered on the ridiculous.

Given the heat and concrete, the conditions weren’t exactly ideal for outdoor activity. I observed sprinting, stationary jumps with corresponding thigh slaps, and even lunges.

My god, lunges! What I came to learn, only later, was a new phenomenon known as CrossFit. And, what I assumed would be nothing more than a quick flash in the pan has become something far more than a passing fad.

These days, High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is all the rage. With a devoted group of participants that resemble something of a cult following, people far and wide have socked loads of their discretionary income into these programs.

So are they really worth it?

Shape Magazine has published a list including 8 benefits of High-Interval Intensity Training. If you like deep dives, check out the article!  For those more interested in a quicker look, here are some of the highlights:

You’ll Burn More Fat

In the 24 hours following a HIIT workout, you are more likely to burn a greater number of calories than, say, if you went for a steady-pace run. The workout’s intensity forces your body into hyperdrive, which simply burns more fat.

No Equipment Necessary

One of the factors that discourages people from participating in certain exercise programs is the cost!  You can’t ski without skis, gloves, poles, and the right clothing.

You can’t scuba dive without certification and gear.  And you can’t bike at a serious level without an ever-more-expensive bicycle. HIIT, on the other hand, just requires you to show up. The workout will not be easy, but it’s far more gear-friendly.

Lost Weight, Not Muscle

While diets are good at shedding pounds, those jettisoned lbs. often come with a corresponding loss of muscle. HIIT allows you to lose weight while retaining the muscle acquired as a result of the workouts. Not bad!

Location, Location, Location

Whether you choose to meet with a trainer or a group is completely up to you. Because HIIT is not tethered to any particular destination, you can perform the activities anywhere and adapt the workouts to the time and space you have available.

HIIT may not be for everyone. I love remaining active, but I’ve never found these kinds of workouts to be my cup of tea. A game that involves a ball is more up my alley. But there’s little disputing the impact of the workouts and the devotion of participants.

With results-based backing, you may find HIIT to be a logical next step. If you’re looking for something new, you may want to give it a try. You may just find a community of people you’d never have known otherwise and a finely toned body to boot.

 

Another Vitamin D Benefit

According to a new study, postmenopausal women can increase muscle strength with Vitamin D supplementation.

Help! I’ve fallen … and I can get up

Over a nine-month period, the trial (giving Vitamin D Supplements) revealed greater muscle mass and handgrip strength. In fact, results of the test conducted in Brazil showed that the chances of falling were actually decreased. Overall muscle strength was shown to increase by approximately 25%.

Older, Wiser, and Stronger

Often postmenopausal women are deficient in Vitamin D. What this study proved was that with taking supplements, muscle strength was increased and frailty was reduced significantly. Additionally, the supplementation also showed to provide protection from another symptom of post-menopause, which is

Often postmenopausal women are deficient in Vitamin D. What this study proved was that with taking supplements, muscle strength was increased and frailty was reduced significantly. Additionally, the supplementation also showed to provide protection from another symptom of post-menopause, which is degenerative loss of skeletal muscle.

There are still more studies to be done on Vitamin D supplementation, but this is great news for women. Staying strong is needed, especially as we age.

 

 

Can Botox Battle More than Wrinkles? 

Mostly everyone thinks of Botox as the cosmetic injection used to mask facial wrinkles. And although that’s what it’s mostly used for, Botox may also be a successful treatment for migraines, back pain, profuse sweating, TMJ, and perhaps even depression.

Botox in the Beginning

Originally, botulinum toxin type A (Botox) was used to help relax/paralyze muscles that created “crossed eyes.” That was back in 1970’s. In 1989, the FDA approved the use of Botox for that eye condition and also abnormal eyelid spasms. In the 1990’s, a company named Allergen purchased the Botox product for approximately 9-million dollars.

In 2002, it was approved for cosmetic use (with specific dosage) to treat frown lines between the eyebrows. In 2010, Botox was given FDA approval to be used as a treatment for migraine headaches. Today, there are several off-label uses for Botox, which have not yet been approved by the FDA. However, it isn’t stopping people from using it. Currently, it reports a revenue of over 2 ½ billion dollars, most of it from treating wrinkles.

Doctors and Studies

Botox basically “blocks the junction between a nerve and a muscle.” Injected in small doses, the product paralyzes the muscle for a period of time (usually up to 3-5 months.) Discontinued use of whichever muscle is chosen in the treatment can relieve a person’s pain. Cosmetically, it keeps the face from repeating habitual movement, thus lessening the “wrinkled” effects in the skin.

Botox is not a permanent treatment; it must be administered every few months to maintain desired results. Dr. Dave Campbell, a renown spine surgeon and founder of GetThrive sometimes prescribes Botox to patients with migraines. Dr. Campbell believes FDA approval for uses of the product are an important aspect in keeping treatments safe.

After all, Botox is produced from bacteria (Clostridium botulinum)—a bacteria that is 40 million times more powerful than cyanide. Off-label uses may not yet have the research and data from trials of treatments. With proper implementation and dosage Botox can be a successful treatment for particular ailments; however without FDA approval, physicians are taking risks using the product for overactive bladder, facial tics, muscle spasms, and other not-yet approved therapies.

Off-Label Uses

Two of the most current off-label uses of Botox are for relief of TMJ (temporomandibular jaw disorder) and depression. With TMJ, a patient may experience pain in the jaw, around the ear, difficulty chewing, and clicking when opening the mouth. Dentists or other physicians can use Botox to paralyze the masseter muscles in the jaw. This will keep the patient from grinding his teeth or clenching his jaw. The results are pain relief and an extended period where the jaw’s action takes a rest. Secondary pain in the shoulders and neck can also dissipate.

Researchers at the Hannover Medical School in Germany have found that injections of Botox in select facial muscles help to relieve symptoms of depression. Professor Tillman Kruger explained the process this way: “Our emotions are expressed by facial muscles, which in turn send feedback signals to the brain to reinforce those emotions. Treating facial muscles with botulinum toxin interrupts this cycle.” In their 2014 study, after just one Botox treatment, the participants experienced an average of 40% reduction in depression symptoms.

The Warnings

Most insurance will not cover the use of Botox for cosmetic purposes. If it’s an off-label use, chances are it will not be covered either.

You need to follow the explicit directions from your physician after being treated with Botox. The drug can move or migrate to other unintended areas of your body and cause potentially serious side effects. Known adverse affects that can occur are muscle weakness, horse voice, double vision, and bruising. There is no remedy for Botox gone bad except to wait for it to wear off.

With all this said, millions of people are regularly using Botox for various purposes. As with any “drug”, you’ll want to use your personal discretion before putting it in your body. For more details about health, pain management, and beauty, check out www.GetThrive.com

Sources:

http://www.webmd.com/depression/news/20140619/botox-depression

https://www.facebook.com/getthrivenow/videos/1848083932125316/

http://www.tmj-relief.com/botox-for-tmj/

https://allmedmd.com/pdf/Botox-Webinar-Slide.pdf