Workout of the Day
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Weekly Article Post
A Defense of Snacking
Nope. I am not talking about food - sorry everyone! I encourage you to read on, however, because I believe this topic will benefit everyone.
Recently, I have been reading about high intensity interval training, or HIIT. This method of exercise has captivated many researchers because it seems there are large physiological benefits, especially when compared to more traditional moderate intensity consistent training. HIIT encompasses many different modes, but above all the different modalities, is the necessity of vigorous submaximal training for a relatively short time accompanied by brief periods of rest in between the training bouts. So, for example you can do a six-minute circuit consisting of 1 minute of vigorous aerobic exercise with a 1-minute rest.
This method of training has many physiological and performance benefits that are intriguing to athletes of all levels, but some people who are just getting into the idea of exercise training look at HIIT as a very daunting task. Training at a such a high level of intensity (for whatever length of time) can be difficult to engage in because it may be uncomfortable for some people.
The question then is to find out, what is the lowest level of high intensity interval training that one can engage in and still reap the benefits? This is where Jenkins and colleagues, and Little and colleagues sought to find out. They found that engaging in short periods or “snacks” (around 20 seconds) of HIIT or sprint interval training (SIT) can improve cardiorespiratory fitness. This “snacking” protocol can help those who are just starting to get into exercise as well as those who are avid trainers who want to change up their routine.
So, go ahead and get snacking!
Weekly Nutrition Tip
Nutritional Tip of the Week: AVOID EXCESS SUGAR!
As a fellow sugar fiend, the topic for this week was one that I would have liked to ignore. However, as scrumptious as processed and natural sugars are, when consumed in large quantities, many negative effects on the human body, especially in the brain. So, keep reading for some interesting facts on your favorite sweet-tasting carbohydrate.
DID YOU KNOW? High blood-sugar creates an insulin (which is more than a simple blood-sugar regulating hormone) response to help shuttle glucose (sugar) out of the bloodstream. Insulin affects many other hormones within the body such as aldosterone (blood pressure regulator), estrogen (sex hormone), and the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline. This can keep your body at a constant state of stress-arousal, and can result in many health problems, especially in mental health. Some of these include, mood swings, anxiety attacks, insomnia, irritability, and difficulty concentrating.
Some other things that can occur from diets high in sugar are negative effects from oxidation and inflammation. Oxidation is a process that our cells rely upon to turn food into energy and require oxygen molecules that can break apart into reactive free radicals during digestion. Excess free radicals result in an inflammatory response (your body trying to heal itself by breaking down tissue and rebuilding) that, when unmitigated in the brain, can lead to chronic depression, schizophrenia, bi-polar disorder, and there has been a corelate of chronic inflammation on Alzheimer’s Disease.
An important thing to remember is that the brain is the main consumer of glucose in our body, but an influx of glucose can result in serious, permanent mental disorders and other health issues. Your body can synthesize glucose from low-carb, ketogenic diets, so all is not lost if you pull back from eating your favorite high-carb snacks!
Think of the current mental health crisis that affects Americans today: how much of this could be mitigated if we altered our diets in this way?
Food for Thought.
Would you like to know more?