Posts Tagged ‘ Health ’

iCardioFiT: What is your Pre-Workout Meal?


iCardioFiT: What is your Pre-Workout Meal?

Are you one of those individuals that perform aerobic exercise and strength training anywhere from 35-50min a few days out of the week?  If so, great job!  The most important thing is to maintain proper nutrition!  Having a solid healthy diet as your foundation with you exercise patterns will allow you sufficient energy, prevent fatigue, and optimize your performance with aerobic and training.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned how important protein plays a role in building muscle.  Carbohydrates are also important for immediate energy.  There is so much information out there from personal trainers, exercise specialist, media, magazines, etc. that can be somewhat confusing to the novice person as to the best or most optimal nutritional choices pre-workout.

Oatmeal with Fruit

Oatmeal with Fruit

Like I always say to my clients and patients, everyone should be able to consume all the food groups (Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fruits, Dairy, Grains, Fats, etc) in order to accomplish their desired goal.  Whether that is weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain, proper intake of the above macro nutrients in a BALANCED approach is most desirable.  Some examples of a simple pre-exercise snack with plenty of water should fuel the body sufficiently. The best pre-workout meal is one that works best for the individual and one that is not digested too rapidly.

Here are a few options:

▪ A banana with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

▪ Low-fat yogurt and a piece of fruit

▪ Oatmeal made with skim milk and fruit

▪ Trail mix with nuts and fruit

▪ Granola with low-fat milk and fruit

▪ A smoothie made with low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, and wheat germ or flax meal

Sip water throughout the activity and after exercise is completed. (Very important not to stay Hydrated!)

iCardioFiT Tips for Pre-Workouts:

Choose high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods—whole-grain, high-fiber foods, consumed 1 hour prior to exercise, are ideal; some examples can include:  Breads (whole wheat/whole grain), Oatmeal, Yogurts, as well as Pastas (Whole wheat/Whole grain).  Special note:  Your pre-workout meal should take into consideration the type of activity as well as the activity’s intensity and duration into account.

Lean Protein with Complex Carbohydrates

Lean Protein with Complex Carbohydrates

It’s best to avoid food products that do not agree with your stomach during exercise activity.  You will most likely know what those are based on your experiences.  You definitely want to avoid food products high in fat protein (burgers, fried meats, etc.)  The fatty foods tend to stay in the stomach longer and can make you feel sluggish.  High quality, low in sugar energy bars and protein shakes are some alternatives that can be utilized as your pre-workout meal.  To assist the digestion process, the importance of water comes back into play!

GeT FiT and Stay FiT with iCardioFiT! …

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Reggie Laroche

The Clinical Exercise Physiologist 

[Contact: Reggie Laroche — relaroche@yahoo.com — 954-205-9904 for Personal Training, Exercise and Nutrition consultations!!!!]

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iCardioFiT: Calorie “Energy” Dense Vs. Nutrient Dense


Calorie Dense Foods vs. Nutrient Dense Foods

Are all calories created equal?  That answer is NO!

Some of us think that having a 500 cal Burger is the same as having a 500 cal meal such as a 1/2 turkey sandwich, plain low fat yogurt, and small bowl of mixed fruit (blue berries, black berries, raspberries) are equal.   This misconception exists among most individuals.  In order to achieve your goals (weight loss, lean mass gain, or weight maintenance), you must understand the energy in which you’re putting into your body.

Energy dense foods are food options that contain very high levels of calories per serving of that given food product.   The amount of nutrients that these energy dense or calorie dense foods provide is an extremely low level and have a decrease nutritional value.   If the goal is weight gain, then these high energy foods are just for you.  However, these “empty calories” do not just provide an increase in body weight, if consumed in excess can increase your chances for health related issues such as diabetes.  Examples of calorie dense foods include:  Cookies, Sodas (Coca Cola & Pepsi), Candies, cookies, and cakes.  Those are your obvious choices.  How about burgers and fries?  Creamy pastas from Italian restaurants?  Energy dense foods also includes cooking oils especially when foods are prepared with it in excess.

Calorie Dense donuts

Nutrient Dense foods are much better options in how they provide increased levels of nutrients that provide quality fuel for the body.  The nutrients include vitamins, mineral, high quality protein, health fats, and complex carbohydrates.  Examples of such includes fruits and vegetables which are loaded with the nutrients that we need however choose not to have enough of.  Dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, lean meats, whole grains like quinoa, oats, and barley are enriched with nutrient dense properties that we should consume more of.

apple - nutrient denseDinner - Nutrient Dense

salad - nutrient dense

So when you think about your diet behavior, are you consuming calorie “energy” dense foods or nutrient dense foods?  Choose wisely to accomplish your goals!

GeT FiT with iCardioFiT! …

Comment and Subscribe!

Reggie Laroche

The Clinical Exercise Physiologist 

[Contact: Reggie Laroche — relaroche@yahoo.com — 954-205-9904 for Personal Training, Exercise and Nutrition consultations!!!!]

iCardioFiT – Your Diet Behavior: It’s Easy to Be FaT!!


Most of you would agree with me on this statement.  It still surprises me that with all the awareness still coming out regarding health issues like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, various forms of cancers and etc, people still choose to have an unhealthy “Diet Behavior”!

So what do I mean when I say “Diet Behavior” ? When people think of the word “diet“, they tend to think about all the fad diets out there now.  Diets such as:

Low-fat Diet

Blood Type Diet

Liquid Diet

These diets follow low carbohydrate intake, high protein consumption, no carbs, just fruit, only veggies, only water, etc.  This is not a normal way to eat!  These diets have good intentions in helping individuals lose weight quick however these diets never seem to last in the long term.  Why is that?  Whenever an individual takes a food group like Carbs out of their Diet, OF COURSE they are going to lose weight.  The question is what happens after 2-3 months when they start consuming carbs again?… They will gain most of the weight back if not more.
The one thing that needs to change is our “Diet Behavior“!  The Types of foods we eat, the Amount of food we eat, the Frequency in which we eat, and even the Times of day in which we eat.

We should all strive to consume all the food groups in a way that we can manage our weight and still be Heart Healthy! We should try to follow the dietary guidelines for caloric intake which is approximately 2000 calories.  We should try to consume at least 3-5 moderate size portions of snacks and foods throughout the day.  And most importantly, no one should be eating dinner past 7pm.

Why put gas in a car if you don’t plan on driving anywhere?  This is the same concept when you think about putting food our bodies.

Let’s do our best to stay fit!  iCardioFiT

Reggie Laroche

The Exercise Physiologist

iCardio: What’s you Body Fat Percentage?


Do any of you know the answer to this question???  If you don’t know this answer or choose not know, then your choosing to go through life being IGNORANT about your health.  Your body fat percentage like your age, it’s just a number.  Psychosocially, you can choose how you feel about that number and how you want to proceed going  throughout your life.  However, knowing this number is especially important because of the potential risk levels you can be in or can soon reach throughout your lifetime.  The chart below shows the body fat percentage guidelines for MEN and WOMEN.

So which category do you fall in??

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Reggie Laroche

The Exercise Physiologist

iCardio: Functional Exercise Training…For Men and Women


If you want to get more out of your exercise training, then I suggest that you start to exercise multiple muscle groups at the same time. The way to go about this is called FUNCTIONAL EXERCISE TRAINING!! Functional exercises are a great way to mix up your exercise routine because they train your muscles to work together simultaneously. iCardio Tip: (The more Muscle Groups you exercise at the same time, the more Calories you burn)

Due to fact that our bodies go through various movements throughout the course of the day, performing functional exercise will now make them easy. This will also allow you to perform your strength training routines with improved technique and control. Why you ask? This is because your bodies synergistic muscles (“stabilizers”) are now better adapted to activate while your muscles contract. Introducing these types of activities into your strength training regimen, will enable you to do more and with a lot less effort.

To all my Women out there; the common problem areas that affect most women is their Lower body. Most women want nice lean and tone looking legs. However, women want a great upper body too. So why not, target the most muscle groups that you can when exercising, like your Quads, Hamstrings, Butt, Calves and combing them with upper body and core exercises. So ladies, here are a few exercises that you can incorporate into your weekly exercise routine.

Walking Lunges with Arm Curls
Squat, Arm Curl, into an Overhead Press
Squat with a Side step

To my Male crowd; the typical male workout includes just upper body (ex. Chest, back, shoulders, and Arms). Come on now fellas, functional exercises are a great way to target those forgotten muscles. Instead of performing the same old free bench press, take two dumbbells and do the chest press on the stability ball. Believe me, if you take your usual routine and incorporate functional exercise days into regimen, an increase in strength, power, and agility will be seen. So here are a few exercises to incorporate into weekly exercise routine.

DB Chest Press on Stability ball
Single leg DB Row
DB Single Leg Lunge, Arm Curl, into an Overhead Press

My hope is that you find this information useful and that you can apply it to your healthy lifestyle. Please feel free to comment, share, and subscribe!!

Reggie Laroche

The Exercise Physiologist

iCardio: When your belly enters the door first…


As many of you already realize.  America a BIG.  When I say big, I mean FAT and Overweight.  I find it very sad and disturbing to see  individuals that choose not to take care of their health.  So I decided to title this blog post: When your belly enters the door first…

Muffin top,…Pot belly,…”My pride”,…Love handles, ….all are synonymous for abdominal fat.

It sounds funny, however there are many chronic health risks to those that have large Waist Circumferences. According to the CDC Center for Health Statistics, about 34.2% of Adults of Overweight and about 33.8% of Adults are Obese. That’s 68% of Adults being Overweight/Obese in the US. Three out of four Americans will be overweight or obese by 2020, according to a new article from the Associated Press.  What is even more alarming is the amount of adolescent children that are following this same trend.  This Obesity Epidemic has to stop! The cost of obesity for a Man and Woman is approximately $2,646 and $4,879/year respectively according to an article in the New York Daily News.

When your belly enters the door first…..say Hello to Metabolic Syndrome. (i.e. High blood Pressure, Type II Diabetes, High Cholesterol (Dyslipidemia), peripheral artery disease, etc.)  These all increase your risk for Cardiovascular Disease.  Steps must be taken to reduce your risk… So what do I recommend to those that need assistance in reducing their risk factors while improve their over health and fitness.

::My Recommendation: The250:250 Rule ::

=>Exercise an Extra 250 Calories per day (Minimum of 30 min of aerobic exercise, 5 days/week)  However, at least 60-90 min of physical activity is required for weight loss to occur.

=>Eat 250 fewer Calories per day (Choose a Heart Healthy Diet:  A diet rich in fruits and vegetables; whole grain, high fiber foods.)  It is also important to maintain your hydration as well.  Many of you may think you hungry, when in actuality you’re  just dehydrated.

=>This will equal 500 fewer Calories per day.

=>Your total will be about 3500 Calories per week which = 1 lb lost/week.

This method is very simple to understand and easy to relate too.  How far you go in terms of improving your health and others around you is your decision to make.  Let your iCARDIO sessions BEGIN!!!  Let’s work to motivate yourself and those around you!!

Reggie Laroche

The Exercise Physiologist

 

 

 

 

 

iCardio: Keep Your Body Guessing…


Jadever Body Fat Scale. Old version of model J...

Image via Wikipedia

For those of you who wish to achieve a TONE and LEAN physique, then alternating  the intensities of your exercise program is very important.  Plateaus can hinder anyones progress to getting their body into great shape.  When people hit these plateaus within their exercise program, they tend to become frustrated and discontinue their healthy lifestyle.  Exercise and physical activity are what you want to keep consistent, but the TYPES of exercises are what you want to vary.

First of all, Forget the SCALE!!!!!

Do you tend to be the type that see an increase of  1 to 2 lbs in your bodyweight, and you equate it to an increase of 1 to 2 lbs of body fat? If you answered yes, then you are incorrect and you have been misinformed.  Stop buying clothes to fit in to and try to make the clothes you already have feel looser.  That means that you need to lose BODY FAT and retain your LEAN MASS.  A reduction of 1 inch within your waist circumference is equal to a loss of 1lb of body fat.  How many of you know the amount of calories you burn while @ rest? Here’s an example:  If your resting metabolism is ~1950kcals/day and you consume ~2600 kcals/day, I don’t have to tell you what that means….

To help reduce that annoying body fat, I have three ways to help you keep you body guessing.  These are also the same types of intensities that I tell my Cardiac Rehab patients to perform.  So here they are:

1.) ENDURANCE Training

Over the course of your iCARDIO sessions, you want to maintain a certain heart rate and intensity throughout the duration of that exercise to help build your endurance. (Refer to the iCardio: Exercising within your Target Heart Rate zone) .  The physiological benefits of endurance training is that you train you body to use oxygen efficiently and train your muscles to utilize that the fat stores as its primary fuel source.

2.) INTERVAL Training

A great FAT-Burning Training Technique.  This type of training allows  individuals to use whatever modality of exercise that they want. ( i.e running, walking, swimming or cycling). This type of exercise alternates between low intensities and short periods of higher intensities to help jump start your metabolism and energize your workout.  This unpredictable type of training exercise and the changing of velocities  between intensities cause your body to activate and alternate between the fuel sources (FATS vs. CARBS) to help increase your endurance, conditioning, and lactate threshold.

3.) High Intensity Interval Training (H.I.I.T)

This type of training is very strenuous but has many advantages.  You must perform short and high bursts of energy that will require you to push yourself past your 90-95% of your THR zone.  (Ex. 2 min at a low intensity, and 20-25sec at the High Intensity).  Total duration should be no longer than 20 -25 min.  So what’s the pay off Reg?  The benefits of performing H.I.I.T, is that such high bursts of intensities will jolt your metabolism to allow your body to keep burning those calories way after you’ve completed your exercise routine.  As well as improving your Cardiorespiratory fitness to tolerate aerobic exercises at such intensities that could compete with Superior Athletes.

So what’s the take home message?  To completely MAXIMIZE your workout, varying between  these types of training intensities are vital to achieving your GOALS in becoming LEAN and increasing your CARDIOVASCULAR Conditioning!

My Philosophy: You probably can’t be a Superstar athlete, but you can at least Train like an Athlete! Shout out to D-Wade and Lebron James!

Reggie Laroche

The Exercise Physiologist

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