St. Louis Fitness Blog | Exercise and Health News | Nutrition Tips


Senior Fitness & the Benefits of Strength Training

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Exercise is important at any age, but for seniors it is imperative. Falls are one of the main causes of hospital visits. Balance issues commonly lead to these falls and so it’s one of the main focuses when we design senior exercise programs. Seniors also benefit from exercise because exercise slows or reverses bone loss (osteoporosis), slows down and reverses sarcopenia, (the loss in number and size of muscle cells that are then replaced with fat), increases flexibility, mobility and coordination, and improves posture. Senior exercise programs can also keep seniors independent longer. Exercise helps make it easier and safer to carry groceries into the house, climb stairs, manage household chores or garden.

Enhanced academic performance, and social and emotional benefits are just some of the benefits teenagers derive from exercise. Commenting on a recent study published in Clinical Psychological Science, Yale University child psychologist Alan Kazdin came just short of calling exercise an “elixir” for adolescent mental health and well being, but went on to stress its broad positive effects.

Drop The Soda = Drop Some Weight!

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We all know that what you drink matters as much as what you eat and a new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill showed just that. The results were astounding. Overweight people who swapped out their caloric drinks for calorie-free options – like simple water – were able to lose four to five pounds over a six-month period. Now before you switch over to diet soda, read our prior posts on diet soda… Studies show that even low calorie and no calorie sodas are unhealthy and are related to other diseases, such as stroke.

By now, most of us know that sodas and other sugary drinks (collectively “sugary beverages”) are just plain bad for us. But for most folks, the knowledge ends there… Recently, some new studies have revealed just how bad sugary drinks are. And it will most certainly surprise you… and even scare you!

Exercise Trumps Teen Obesity Gene

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One hour of moderate to vigorous exercise a day can help adolescents overcome genetic predispositions to weight gain, say European researchers.  In a population of 752 teens, physical activity mitigated the effects of gene FTO rs9939609 known as ‘fatso’ for short.  The FTO gene predisposes kids and adults to obesity.  The negative effects of the FTO gene (teen obesity) disappeared for active adolescents and their body mass index scores were on par with teens that didn’t carry the gene.  This is the first study to demonstrate that regular exercise can neutralize its effects in adolescents.  So even if you do have the gene, there’s something you can do about and that something is exercise!

Your Guide To High-Intensity Interval Training

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Looking for a way to add variety to your exercise plan while taking your fitness to the next level? High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is a cardiorespiratory training technique that alternates brief speed and recovery intervals to increase the overall intensity of your workout. HIIT is used by athletes and everyday exercise enthusiasts to reach performance goals and enhance fitness and well-being.

Foods & Fluids for Athletes

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Pre Workout Foods & Fluids

At least 2-3 hours before a workout, you should drink 16-20 oz of fluid. This will allow you to start exercise in a already hydrated state. Carbohydrate is the body's main source of fuel. Without it you will experience muscle fatigue, and will not be able to perform at a high intensity. Try to get .45 grams of carbohydrate per pound of body weight 2-3 hours before exercise. For a 120 pound woman, this would be 50 grams. Some examples of snacks with 50 grams of carbohydrate are: 1 1/2 cups tomato soup, 1 cup cranberry juice, 4 1/2 oz of fruit flavored fat-free yogurt.

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