Lower Your Risk Of Diabetes

Lower Your Risk Of Diabetes

Like other areas of the United States, Sacramento, CA, faces an epidemic of Type 2 diabetes. It all starts with insulin resistance. Insulin opens cells so they can uptake glucose. When the cells fail to respond to normal amounts, the body makes more insulin. That increase can keep blood glucose levels in check. The cell sensitivity continues to decrease until one day, blood glucose levels climb and prediabetes begins. Prediabetes leads to diabetes. You can lower your risk and even reverse the process naturally.

If you continue your lifestyle, the problem grows worse.

One out of three adults have insulin resistance. If you’re one of those people, you cannot continue with the same lifestyle and expect things to get better. If you ultimately get diabetes, you’ll have to change lifestyle habits anyway, so why not stop the problem before it escalates? Stress, excess weight, and lack of exercise can cause the problem. It’s time to take action before it begins or when you first have symptoms. What are the symptoms of insulin resistance? Some people experience no symptoms. Others have increased thirst, hunger, and urination. They may have headaches, skin or vaginal infections, slow healing, or blurred vision.

Changing your diet is a good place to start.

What you eat can increase or decrease your risk of diabetes. Eating a high intake of food and drinks with added sugar and highly processed foods increases insulin resistance. Choosing whole grains, non-starchy vegetables, and citrus fruits increases insulin sensitivity, so the body requires less insulin. Include high-fiber food, like beans and nuts, protein-rich food, antioxidant-rich foods like berries, unsweetened drinks such as water or tea, and unsweetened fermented food like yogurt.

Increase your activity level.

Exercise helps make the cells more insulin sensitive. It can help reduce abdominal fat. Abdominal fat is a leading cause of insulin resistance. It increases free fatty acids and inflammatory cytokines that directly affect insulin sensitivity. A sedentary lifestyle can help reverse the problem. Your body requires less insulin to maintain control when you exercise. It makes the insulin work faster and more effectively. The exercise should be mild to moderate aerobic workouts executed at the same time daily.

  • Don’t confuse type 1 with type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body doesn’t create enough insulin. Type 2 diabetes occurs when it doesn’t use insulin correctly. A healthy diet and regular exercise help both.
  • Changing your diet isn’t enough. You also have to change what you drink. Sugary soft drinks, fruit juice, sweetened teas, and sweetened coffee can increase blood sugar levels. Opt for water and unsweetened drinks.
  • Regular exercise helps control blood sugar levels and helps prevent damage caused by diabetes. It can lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart disease, and lower BMI, reducing the risk that occurs with obesity.
  • Studies show blood sugar levels are lower for up to 24 hours after exercising, it can lower the risk of diabetes when combined with adequate sleep, a healthy diet, and stress management.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC

Working Out Alleviates Anxiety

Working Out Alleviates Anxiety

There’s a reason therapists are using exercise as an adjunct therapy. It helps! Studies show that working out helps both anxiety and depression. If it’s mild anxiety about an upcoming interview or other situation that’s temporary, it can even help with the temporary anxiety caused by those issues. It’s not a replacement for professional counseling for anxiety disorder, but it does complement therapy. Always get professional help when anxiety is debilitating.

It’s about the fight-or-flight response.

The fight-or-flight response is a primitive response that helps you flee danger or fight for survival. It prepares the body for either, diverting blood from digestion then sending it to the extremities. That can cause a sick feeling in the pit of the stomach. It increases blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing. It causes the pupils to dilate and the body to tremble. If that reaction sounds the same as what you experience when feeling anxious, it’s because it is. The hormones released during stress and anxiety are the same.

You probably don’t worry about saber-toothed tigers.

Modern men have different stressors than Cavemen, but the reaction to the stress is the same. You may not have to worry about wild animals, but that traffic jam, angry boss, or screaming neighbor triggers the same reaction. It doesn’t have to be a real threat to trigger an anxiety attack. It just has to be stressful. Sometimes, a vivid dream, a movie that triggers a memory, or a sound or smell can cause anxiety. Studies show that exercise helps reverse that reaction.

Exercise diverts your attention and changes your focus.

When you exercise, you move your muscles. That decreases muscle tension and reduces the negative effects of stress. The less muscle tension you have, the lower the feeling of anxiety. It helps change the production of neurochemicals like serotonin, BDNF, and other anti-anxiety neurochemicals by raising the heart rate and changing brain chemistry. It causes the release of endorphins that make you feel good. These hormones are messengers that relieve pain, improve your mood, and reduce stress.

  • Regular exercise changes you physically. It improves your posture, which makes you look and feel more confident. It also makes you feel stronger and more able to handle situations as they occur.
  • Studies show that exercise is as effective as an adjunct therapy as medication. The only side effect of exercise is a healthier, more attractive body.
  • Learning meditation and focused breathing techniques can also help reduce stress. You can use relaxation techniques anywhere and immediately lower stress and anxiety levels.
  • Regular exercise can help you control mild anxiety that occurs in everyday life, even when chronic anxiety isn’t a problem. It can help prevent belly fat linked to stress hormones.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC

How To Improve Your Running Form

How To Improve Your Running Form

People from Sacramento, CA, who come to ISC often want to improve their athletic performance. That requires work in every type of fitness, strength, balance, flexibility, and endurance. No matter what the exercise is, doing it correctly is vital. It makes the difference between success and failure and sometimes injury. Most people fail to realize that’s also true for running form. You may have been running since you were a toddler, but it doesn’t mean you’re doing it right and probably means you’ve picked up bad habits along the way.

Learning the proper breathing technique for running is essential.

Breath control is an intricate part of running. It affects your whole body, no matter what exercise you do. Focus on breathing properly when you first begin and don’t worry about how fast or far you run. First, learn belly breathing to improve your breathing technique by helping you learn to take deep nasal breaths. Breathe through your diaphragm. Now transfer that knowledge to your run. Run slowly as you focus on inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth. Use the rhythm of your feet for your breathing rhythm. It helps reduce muscle tension and allows you to use your energy for running.

Prepare your core muscles for running.

The stronger your core muscles, the more strength and stability you have. It also improves your balance and reduces the potential for injury. Maintaining good posture as you run is also vital. Keep your spine erect and stretched through the crown of your head. Lean your chest slightly forward. Reduce your body tension that affects all body parts by stealing energy. Keep your hands relaxed and avoid clutching your fist. Let them brush your hips as you run. Raise your hands to chin high and then back toward the lower back. Don’t cross them over in front of your body in a punching style.

Start slowly.

Work on hip and ankle flexibility to prevent injury to your lower back, ankles, and knees. Focus mostly on form at first and gradually increase your intensity, duration, and frequency. Reduce your body stress by taking more steps per minute. Land softly using a forefoot strike that pushes you forward at the toes. Your thigh should be parallel to the ground. Don’t twist or rotate your trunk.

  • If you feel muscle pain or believe you might have an injury, take a break. If the pain lasts longer or is reoccurring, see your healthcare professional.
  • Get the right shoes for your gait and for the type of running you do. If you’re running on asphalt, you’ll use a different type of shoe than if you’re running on grass or rough terrain. Get advice from a running shoe expert when you buy.
  • Don’t overstride. Your foot strike should be directly under your knee, not in front of it. It can lead to injury, particularly if you’re going downhill.
  • Keep your feet low. Don’t lift them too far off the ground. That causes a bounce and burns more energy. You can modify your run to get in shape faster by making it a HIIT—high intensity interval training—session.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC

Try Boxing For A Great Full-Body Workout

Try Boxing For A Great Full-Body Workout

If you’ve never used boxing as an additional workout or used the moves in boxing, you’re missing out. Just air boxing can build strength. Boxing is a full-body workout that addresses all forms of fitness. It builds strength, cardio, balance, and flexibility. You’ll get a lot of relief from stress even if you don’t have a partner and only punch a bag or the air. Boxing is fun, challenging, social, and a good workout for both men and women.

You’ll work your entire body when you box.

Boxing is great cardio. Because you aren’t constantly moving fast, it provides many of the benefits of a high intensity interval training—HIIT—-session. It improves balance and coordination. You have to think ahead and plan your next move while anticipating your opponent’s move, so it improves both physical and mental agility. It’s all about proper form, dodging and dipping, and building upper body strength as you’re getting power from your legs and your hips.

You’ll burn tons of calories.

As noted previously, you’re constantly changing intensity, going from recovery as you wait for your opponent’s next move, to high intensity, either dodging that move or getting in your punches. That mimics HIIT workouts that burn hundreds of calories while you do it and continue to burn them after you quit. It boosts your heart rate during boxing, which helps reduce your resting heart rate. Depending on the difficulty level, you can burn as many calories as you would running. Whether you’re punching a bag, sparring, or in the ring, it helps you lose weight faster.

Boxing can be addictive.

Once you get into boxing, you get hooked on the fast pace and the adrenaline rush. Not only are you more likely to box since you enjoy it, but you’re also more likely to do other workouts to help prepare you for the ring. Whether it’s jumping rope or running up and down stairs, boxing can become a motivating factor. Like all types of exercise, you’ll do it more often if you enjoy it. The competition keeps you coming back for more.

  • Boxing improves hand-eye coordination. It challenges your mind as it builds your muscles. You’ll build new neural pathways in the brain. That can improve cognitive thinking.
  • Many of the moves in boxing are part of traditional calisthenics. Squats, knee-high moves, butt kickers, and reverse lunges are all moves you make in the ring. Preparing your body to box takes dedication.
  • You can adjust boxing workouts to meet your goals. You can make them strength-building, cardio, weight loss,
  • Boxing increases your energy, lowers blood pressure, and improves cardiovascular health. It helps decrease anxiety and depression.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC

What To Do When You're Too Tired To Workout

What To Do When You’re Too Tired To Workout

It can be too easy to feel too tired to work out, especially if you had a stressful day at work. All you want to do is lay down and rest and that 45 minutes or hour of effort seems insurmountable. If just thinking about getting ready for the workout makes you sign in exhaustion, here are some solutions that can help. The first one is to acknowledge how tired you are and determine whether there’s a reason for it. If you spent all night with a sick baby or have a touch of the flu yourself, giving in and lying down may be your best option.

Most people reach for a cup of coffee to combat fatigue.

Coffee is usually everyone’s go-to beverage when they’re feeling exhausted, but it shouldn’t be. Sometimes, all you need is a little hydrating. Nothing is better for that than a tall glass of water. Dehydration can make you feel weary and about to drop. Drink a tall glass of water and you’ll probably feel better. You’ll notice your energy rising within minutes of drinking it if dehydration is the problem.

Try a healthy snack to get you moving.

If the cold water doesn’t work, follow it up with a healthy snack. You may need a little energy boost. If that doesn’t work, try a psychological approach. Remind yourself who is in charge. Tell yourself that if you go to the gym and don’t feel more energetic after a few minutes you can go home. Usually, a short exercise session can stimulate blood flow and improve circulation. That sends energizing nutrients and oxygen to your entire body to boost your energy level.

Create a shorter version of your workout you can do throughout the day.

Sometimes, the thought of getting changed and putting in 45 minutes to an hour causes the problem. For those days you feel tired all day, doing shortened versions of your workout throughout the day can help. Have five to ten-minute sessions throughout the day. You can do some exercises, like lunges and squats, almost anywhere. You’ll get as much benefit from five 10-minute workouts as you do in one 50-minute session.

  • Only you can tell if you’re physically too tired to workout and know if it’s not just ordinary exhaustion from the day. If you aren’t feeling good, don’t go to the gym. You’ll be doing yourself and others at the gym a favor.
  • When your energy level drops and drinking water doesn’t work, practice belly breathing or deep breathing. Deep breaths can boost your energy and help you throughout the day.
  • Are you getting enough sleep? You may be sleep-deprived if you aren’t sleeping between 7 to 9 hours. Adequate sleep is vital to good health. Lack of sleep causes your body to overproduce the hunger hormone and underproduce the hormone that makes you feel full.
  • Before you decide the gym is off-limits, walk around for a while. Sometimes just moving can make you feel better. Healthcare professionals suggest you get up and move at least five minutes every hour.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC

Should You Exercise When Your Muscles Are Sore?

Should You Exercise When Your Muscles Are Sore?

There’s no doubt about it, after a tough day of exercise, your muscles can be sore the next day. People in Sacramento, CA, often forego exercise, while others go at it even harder. Which group is right? One important point is that you shouldn’t do intense exercise two days in a row. You need to allow any micro tears in the muscles to heal. It can be counterproductive. With that said, should you do moderate exercise or should you rest? That all depends on the level of pain you’re experiencing. If it’s extremely unbearable, seek medical attention. It could indicate a serious injury or condition.

Signs that tell you to take a rest may indicate an injury.

How do you know if the pain is unbearable or whether you’re overreacting? Think of it as the difference between sore muscles and jabbing pain. If you have an injury there’s often swelling, constant pain that you can’t relieve, black and blue marks, numbness, or tingling. If the pain is making you sick to your stomach or nauseous when you move, start with home medications like ice packs to reduce swelling. Do not exercise for a couple of days. If it doesn’t get better, or your symptoms are overwhelming, call your healthcare professional or go to an urgent care clinic.

Soreness can be relieved with exercise.

Don’t go to the gym and try to repeat the previous day’s workout, but don’t go to bed. Instead, do active recovery. Active recovery includes walking, swimming, or stretching exercises. If your legs hurt, work on your upper body and vice versa. Mild exercise increases circulation, sending healing nutrient-dense and oxygen-rich blood to the painful area. It’s a form of therapy for sore muscles.

Soreness signals the body it’s getting stronger and is different from pain.

Soreness means you’re doing something right. You’re stressing your muscles to help them adapt and become stronger. Soreness indicates healing and building new muscle tissue. Intense pain that starts several days after you workout is called delayed onset muscle soreness—DOMS. It’s a sign you need to give your muscles a few days of rest. It goes away but takes more time than traditional soreness. Any pain that lasts more than five days needs attention from a healthcare professional.

  • Whether or not you have pain after working out, don’t do the same exercise routine every day. Alternate your workout so you work different body parts or do different types of fitness workouts.
  • Don’t be afraid of soreness. It’s a sign that you’re making progress. Sore muscles are often the cause of quitting exercise when it’s a positive sign that you’re making progress.
  • One study found that soaking in a hot tub can help DOMS. It boosts circulation. A long hot shower or bath can also be helpful. Combine a hot soak, active recovery, and a massage to bring quicker relief.
  • To prevent and help heal muscle pain, eat a healthy diet that provides adequate protein, fruits, and vegetables. Avoid food with added sugar, highly processed, or salty food. Don’t forget to warm up and cool down after a workout.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC

The Importance Of Warm-Up And Cool-Down Exercises

The Importance Of Warm-Up And Cool-Down Exercises

People who workout on their own often fail to include warm-up and cool-down exercises. It’s always part of the program at Team-ISC in Sacramento, CA. These are short sessions performed before exercise and immediately following. They serve different purposes and use different styles. Warm-up exercises can be as simple as jumping rope or a brisk walk. Cool-down ones can be stretches or yoga poses.

Warm-up exercises prepare your body for increased effort.

Getting your body into full workout mode without a short warm-up can be a shock to the heart. The warm-up workouts increase circulation slowly. That gradual increase in effort slowly boosts your heart rate and boosts your breathing gradually. It also warms the other muscles of the body to help prevent injury. It starts the process of exercise in the brain to fire the neurons that make your session more productive. It helps prevent a sudden rise in blood pressure, gradually easing you into the intensity of a workout.

A cooling-down session can be used to increase flexibility.

Cool-down exercises gradually slow circulation and allow your blood pressure, heart rate, and temperature to slowly return to normal. Using stretches to cool down can help your fitness program in other ways. Your muscles are warm and more flexible, so it’s the perfect time to do exercises to increase your range of motion. That helps prevent injury in future sessions. Stretching the muscles can also reduce lactic acid and make recovery quicker.

The type of stretching used for each is different.

For warm-up exercises, you use dynamic stretching that involves similar movement to the action you’ll do during your workout. If you’re about to run, a brisk walk is a good example. Cool-down exercises use static stretches. Those are stretch-and-hold style exercises. Seated forward bending to touch the toes, the child pose, and the downward-facing dog are excellent cool-down exercises.

  • Both cool-down and warm-up exercises help reduce lactic acid build-up. Warm-up exercises increase oxygen, which means less lactic acid. Cool-down exercises keep circulation higher to remove lactic acid from the muscles.
  • Warm-up exercises boost your endurance and coordination. You’ll improve your agility, muscle control, and reaction time when you do warm-up exercises.
  • After an intense workout, the muscles are loose and feel almost jelly-like. If you don’t do cool-down exercises, you risk injury from falling. Since the blood pools in the extremities, you also risk fainting.
  • Warming up helps you get your thoughts together and focus more on your workout. It’s a time to switch from other activities to exercise before you increase intensity.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC

The Importance Of Mindset For Fitness Success

The Importance Of Mindset For Fitness Success

Not everything about fitness success has to do with the body. Your mindset plays a vital role in it. It’s not just that way in fitness but in every aspect of life. Almost everyone has heard the story of The Little Engine That Could. It’s all about focusing on accomplishing a task and accepting nothing less than success. Everyone knows someone who says they want to get fit, but the moment they face a challenge, they quit. Don’t let that person be you.

Practice exercising in your head.

All physical activities start in the brain. Your brain gives a signal to the muscle to move in a specific way. There are stories of POWs practicing physical challenges, like exercise, in their head while imprisoned. When they were finally released, they were fit and performed better, even though their conditions were horrible. Olympic athletes also use mental imagery and visualization to improve their performance.

Changing your mindset can improve your chances of a better outcome.

When you improve your mindset, you improve your potential for success. It’s not magic or mental mumbo-jumbo. If you believe you can succeed, you’ll keep trying. If you believe you’ll fail, you’ll quit at the first setback or difficult task. After all, why even put in the effort if it won’t make a difference in the outcome? If you dread each visit to the gym because you feel self-conscious or inept, it makes it easier to skip a few sessions and ultimately quit going.

Sometimes your scales lie.

If you’re working out to help you lose weight, track your progress but also use other measurement techniques to keep your mindset positive. There may be a week or two that you don’t lose weight but your measurements show you lost inches. Focus on the inches lost. That means you’re burning fat and building muscle. One cubic inch of fat weighs less than a cubic inch of muscle tissue. If you didn’t lose weight but lost inches instead, you’re still making progress. You have more muscle tissue and less fat. That’s just as important, especially since muscle tissue burns more calories.

  • Give yourself praise every time you do a workout right, make progress, or go to the gym when you don’t want to go. You have to start a workout for that workout to be effective.
  • Leave your negativity outside the gym. Face each workout with a positive attitude. If you do something wrong, don’t beat yourself up, just correct the problem and move on from there.
  • Don’t just focus on the gym to boost your fitness. Do something fun. Go dancing, play team sports, or take the family on a hike. Those things also help you get into shape and make life more fun.
  • Listen to your self-talk. Be kind to yourself. When you achieve a small goal, celebrate it. Reward yourself when you achieve a large goal. Have a workout buddy and celebrate successes together.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC

Pros And Cons Of Working Out With A Partner

Pros And Cons Of Working Out With A Partner

It’s not always easy to motivate yourself to go to the gym, which is one reason working out with a partner is a benefit. Other benefits make having a workout buddy seem like the answer, but it’s not always the case. There’s a negative side to it. Having a workout partner has its pros and cons just as everything does. Looking at both sides can help you discover whether it’s right for you.

Partners hold you accountable for showing up and working your hardest.

If you workout alone, skipping a session can be pretty enticing sometimes. A workout partner holds you accountable for going to the gym. They also hold you accountable for working your hardest and sticking with the program in the gym. That sounds pretty good, but what happens if the person holding you accountable is less accountable than you? You have to do the heavy lifting to keep the partnership working out and it can be pretty cumbersome. Choose a workout partner wisely. If you’re both equally motivated, the chances of both of you wanting to goof off at the same time are far less.

A workout partner can create friendly competition.

If you’re competitive, look for a partner with an equal edge. It can make each session a challenge, which can be fun. The more fun you have, the more likely you’ll be to exercise. If your partner wants to give up at the first challenge and you’re competitive, it can make each workout miserable. You must listen to them as they whine and moan at each challenge. It’s enough to make you want to quit, which you’ll probably do.

Having a workout buddy makes the workout safer.

A workout partner can be your spotter when you lift weights. You need a spotter for safety’s sake. They can observe your form and help make corrections. Doing an exercise wrong can cause injury or minimize the benefits. A workout buddy as a running partner can be vital. If there’s an emergency or you have a fall, your partner is there to help. If you run after dark, you’re far safer when there are two of you rather than if you’re alone.

  • Just having someone check your progress by phone or Skype can be a benefit. One study found that when someone called a person once a week to check progress, it increased the chance of continuing by 78%.
  • If your workout partner is part of your social life, you can switch your fun from unhealthy options to healthier ones. Going to the gym instead of stopping at a bar for drinks that are packed on the pounds is a healthier option that can be as much fun.
  • Everyone needs confirmation that they’re doing well. A workout partner can provide accolades when you’ve conquered a tough goal or managed one more set.
  • Workout partners can provide incentives to try new exercises and workout techniques. The best workout partner can be a personal trainer. He is always there and ready to work. He shows you new exercises and the right way to do them.

For more information, contact us today at Team-ISC