Monday, July 25, 2016

The Beach Strength & Conditioning Workout

The only downside to spending a few quiet vacation days in a remote beach town is the distance it puts between you and your personal fitness. Scenic resort areas usually lack state-of-the-art training facilities and you’ll need to improvise if you’re going to stay fit away from your gym and trainer. Before surrendering to the summer sun and its beachfront barbeques, utilizing the space around you can help supplement a more extensive workout. 
The plan combines both strength and anaerobic fitness training to be performed without equipment but with the challenges an environment like an isolated beach can provide.


A warm up is necessary, even in the heat, to increase blood flow and oxygen to the muscles. This increases flexibility, decreases injury, and decreases fatigue. Increase hydration and mineral intake when working out in the heat/sun.
10-20 reps each
Push-ups (on your knees)
Squat to Stand
Reverse Lunge
Side Plank 30 sec each
Hip Bridge 30 sec each


All these things will provide a different stimulus to your muscles. This workout will definitely keep your strength levels and fitness tuned until you get back into the gym.
Body Weight Exercises: When finished, rest for two minutes and then repeat series.
Squats 1x20
Lunges 1x10 each leg
Push-ups 1x10-20 (Hold for 1 min)
Crunch 1x40
Close Grip Push-up 1x10
Toe Raises 1x20
Wave Squat 1x20 (3 quarter squats followed by a full squat)
Scissor Kicks 1x40
Supermans 1x20
Single Leg Hip Extensions 2x10


The sand provides an unstable surface which will challenge your nervous system, as well as add resistance as you sink into the sand.  You will feel the added difficulty in the first couple of reps.
Option 1:
1) Sprint 5 yards in sand then back to start, then 10 yards, then 15 covering 60 yards total.  Try to do this in less than 20 seconds 2-3 reps
2) Repeat -this time back peddling in between sprints.  IE:  sprint 5 yards and back peddle back, etc. 2-3 reps
3) Repeat-this time shuffling between sprints.
Option 2:
1) Start with 10 squat jumps in the sand.  Immediately proceed to 10 push-ups.  Immediately proceed to 10 sit-ups. Repeat for 9 reps each then 8 then 7 and so on until you get to 1!
Option 3: Do these drills in waist deep water for 20-30 yards each. Repeat when finished.
1) High knee run.  2-3 sets
2) Butt Kicks. 2-3 sets
3) Squat jumps 10-20 reps
4) Backwards run 2-3 sets
5) Lateral Shuffle 2-3 sets

Monday, July 11, 2016

 Just like quitting smoking, cutting out sugar is easier said than done because of its addictive nature, according to psychologist Alexis Conason. When you consume sugar in cake, cookies, ice cream, sodas or yogurt, it activates the same brain regions as other addictive substances like cocaine. Going cold turkey is the best approach to break the addiction and start improving your health.

Sugar in Your Diet

Before weaning yourself off of sugar, look at your diet to identify where sugar hides in all the different foods and beverages your consume. Read food labels and look not only for the word sugar, but also for sucrose, glucose, dextrose, fructose, high-fructose corn syrup, honey, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrates, molasses and agave syrup. Sugar is not only present in sweets, desserts and sugary drinks, but is added to tomato sauce, bread, ketchup, mustard and salad dressings. Get rid of all these sugar-containing foods.

Go Cold Turkey

Some people choose to gradually reduce their sugar intake over a period of a few weeks, but you can accelerate the transition and get rid of your sugar cravings more quickly by going cold turkey. Decide on a date in the coming week or month and prepare yourself mentally. Try not to focus too much on the fact that you won't be able to eat sugar again to avoid the "last supper" effect or uncontrolled binges. Instead, think of your new sugar-free diet in a positive way, and remind yourself that weaning from sugar will allow you to lose weight, get healthier and break your addiction and cravings.

Avoid Refined Grains

In addition to eliminating sugar-containing foods and beverages, it is a good idea to get rid of refined grains and flours in your diet. Even if the white bread, bagels, crackers, pretzels and many breakfast cereals you select do not have added sugar, the refined starches they contain can easily break down into sugar and increase your blood sugar levels, promoting weight gain and hunger just as easily as sugar. Aim to get your carbohydrates instead from fresh fruits, sweet potato, broccoli, squashes and other vegetables, as well as nuts, natural nut butter, plain milk and yogurt.

Be Prepared

The first few days after weaning yourself off of sugar and refined carbohydrates can be difficult. Be aware that many people experience more cravings, low energy levels, irritability, headaches and dizziness while the body adapts to a sugar-free diet. This transition usually lasts a few days. Drink plenty of water and eat lots of vegetables, fruits, nuts and other healthy foods to alleviate side effects. Once your cravings disappear and your energy levels improve, you will know your body has weaned itself off of sugar. Stay away from sugar to prevent starting a new vicious cycle of sugar addiction.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

If you were to read the nutrition labels of most processed food products, you might find that refined sugars and grains top the ingredients list more often than not. The problem is, these refined carbohydrates provide little to no nutritional value. In fact, consuming too many refined carbohydrates has been shown in studies to cause obesity, high blood pressure, high blood cholesterol and diabetes. Perhaps a more accurate nutrition label should include a warning: overconsumption of this product may cause multiple health problems, even death. 
Fortunately, you have a choice. You can say “no” to the countless nutrition-less “food-like” products and instead choose whole-food energy sources. “Whole foods … provide critical nutrients whereas refined grains are not only void of nutrients, they set your blood sugar on a roller coaster ride.

Dangerous Duo
Probably the greatest health issue facing modern humans today is obesity. More people are overweight than ever as the consumption of increasingly common processed foods continues to grow. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than one-third of U.S. adults are obese, the highest percentage in our history.
So how did this get started and why is this happening? A large contributor to the problem is our continuing shift from whole grains to refined carbohydrates, specifically refined flour. Humans have been refining grains since at least the Industrial Revolution, favoring white flour and white rice even at the price of lost nutrients.  Refining grains extends their shelf life, precisely because it renders them less nutritious to pests, and makes them easier to digest by removing the fiber that ordinarily slows the release of their sugars.
The fiber that would otherwise slow sugar absorption is destroyed as a by-product of food processing. For example, refining corn into sweetener makes it instantly digestible. High fructose corn syrup effectively becomes glucose, which is essentially predigested food. How stomach turning is that? Eating bread made with refined flour or drinking a cola is just a small step away from injecting glucose straight into your blood stream.
As far as sugar goes,  there is no point in arguing the difference between high fructose corn syrup and sucrose, commonly known as table sugar. They’re equally bad; they’re both poison in high doses.  Sugar both drives fat storage and makes the brain think it’s hungry, setting up a vicious cycle.
Calorie for calorie, sugar causes more insulin resistance in the liver than other foods. Consuming sugar elevates blood glucose levels, then the pancreas has to release more insulin to satisfy the liver’s needs. Heart disease and other health problems will continue to grow as long as the shift towards eating more refined flour and sugar-laden foods continues.

Whole Foods Are Best
Humans are not biologically hardwired to deal with refined carbohydrates. We are however, perfectly designed to digest and extract nutrients from whole-food energy sources, such as whole grains, fruits and vegetables. We have been genetically programmed to consume whole foods because whole foods deliver micronutrients that are critical for keeping the body alive and healthy with sustained energy.
In the case of chronic sugar consumption, the body gets confused and insulin production increases, causing too much glucose to be stored as fat. The sugar keeps circulating (in the body), resulting in insulin resistance and inflammation (the core cause of most disease), illness, weight gain and faster aging.
However, when we eat whole foods, there is a gradual release of glucose due to the fiber and micronutrient compounds. Eating whole foods helps to minimize inflammatory health issues.