Monday, January 27, 2014

Nutrition Labels - Decoding the Mysteries and Myths

We had a super informative discussion today about the basics of nutrition and what to look for when reading nutrition labels.

The "Fab Three"
  • Protein builds muscle and is key for movement and cell productivity.  You can't get protein from within the body, so we must add it to the body.  Cutting back on this when "dieting" or trying to lose weight will only result in exhaustion and muscle function breakdown.  Examples of good protein sources:  lean meat (non-breaded chicken, turkey, grass fed lean cuts of beef and fish), dry beans, eggs, nuts, seeds, dairy products, whole grains.
  • Carbohydrates provide your body with glucose giving you quick energy.  Many think carbs are the enemy, but keeping your carbs "whole" - like whole grains and "fresh" - like fruits are the way to give your blood sugar a healthy boost.  Avoid white pastas, breads, sweetened cereals, etc.  These may give you quick energy, but are don't have other valuable nutrients.
  • Fats satify and sustain our appetites.  Try to keep these in small amounts and spread them throughout your day so you are not left feeling unsatisfied.  Avoid foods containing trans fats or high saturated fats.   Examples of good, healthy fats include olive, canola and sesame oil, avacado, nuts and nut butters, sesame, pumkin, chia and flax seeds, salmon, tuna, trout, soy and tofu products.
Think Nutrition Labels are confusing?  You are not alone.

Some final tips:
  • Be wary of claims like "all natural," "good source of ___," "low fat," "low sodium."  Chances are that those foods can be packed with sugars and chemicals to enhance flavor... and that can be worse than the sodium or fat!  Also, some claims are regulated and some are not.
  • Watch out for portion sizes!  Food packagers cannot take into account your personal daily needs.  You have to be aware the things that are going to impact your serving sizes and food choices such as activity levels, metabolic conditions, age, weight, etc.  (If you are struggling, you may want to talk to your doctor or a good nutritionist.  Just Move also offers meal planning via Evolution Nutrition.  Contact us for more information.)
  • As always, the best choices are the whole foods that are in their original state.  (Need recipe ideas?  Check out the awesome recipes from our class participants in the "Challenge Recipes" section of this blog!)
  • If you are interested in taking things a step further and buying organic, start with "The Dirty Dozen."  This is a continually updated list of the produce that is most impacted by pesticides and other harmful products.  You can view that list here.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Finding the Shoe that Fits!

Our first guest speaker, Ellen Hector, D.P.T., A.T.C. of Physical Therapy One led us in a discussion that included everything from shoes to how our body moves.  We had lots of different types of shoes and inserts for hands-on exploration and we evaluated people's walks!  Printed handouts from this discussion are available at Just Move.  Ask us for one next time you're in!

Some great take away tips from this discussion:
  • Our feet take the brunt of our daily activities and have many, many bones and ligaments. Understanding the chain of how our precious feet work with the muscles in our legs, hips and glutes and how our walk or foot shape impacts our joints and ligaments is WORTH it!
  • While the right shoe can help alleviate a problem, long term, it's good to evaluate how our body is working as well.  Often, we don't even realize the ways our body will compensate until we experience pain or injury.  For runners, the Good Form Running program at Gazelle is a great resource.  Another resource is at Agility Physical Therapy.   These places will break down things like how your feet hit the ground, your hip angle and many other things.  Understanding how your individual body works is a big part of selecting a shoe.
  • When selecting a shoe, it's important to keep in mind the activity it will be used for.  Most shoes are built for a specific activity.  For example, running shoes are designed for forward motion.  If you are participating in group fitness classes, a running shoe many have too much tread or to much forward pitch for comfort in other activities.  Most cross-training shoes are designed to give good multi-directional support, but may have too much tread for a dance fitness class.  There are shoes that are specifically designed for dance fitness and have a circular tread, but not all have good support.
  • To check for how supportive your shoe is (and not everyone needs the same amount of support - this is why understanding your gait or walk and body mechanics is important!) you can:
    1) Fold the shoe - it should only fold where your foot would bend naturally
    2) Twist the shoe - if you need arch support, you don't want that shoe to be able to twist
    3) Look at the foundation - at the arch and at the heel, you can check for a change in color to know that the types of materials used for support in that area are different
  • Your shoes don't last as long as you think they should!  They wear out long before they start to LOOK worn.  You begin to risk injury when you out wear your shoe life.  There's not a simple answer to know exactly when your shoe life is up unless you wear a pedometer or fit bit.  Then, most studies say that, depending on the shoe and type of use, you should replace them after 300 - 500 miles.
 NEXT WEEK 1/23 - DECODING FOOD LABELS!  Join us at Just Move at 10:15am

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Goal Setting for Success!

Thanks to everyone who came to our first FUEL - More than Movement discussion!  We talked about what to expect the coming weeks and even had some great suggestions from participants of new topics to add to the schedule.  We love the feedback, so keep it coming!

Here are the highlights from our Goal Setting for Success Discussion.

S.M.A.R.T. Goals = Smart, Measureable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.  We passed out a template that can be used for setting SMART goals.  You can download it here.

  1. You should have both Progress and Process Goals.  Progress Goals are the "achievement" goals, such as losing weight or decreasing blood pressure.  Process Goals are about the lifestyle and behavior changes you will make, such as walking one mile per day for the next 100 days.
  2. Make sure to set multiple time bound goals.  For example, if you had a goal to run a 5k in 2014, you might first have a goal of being able to run 1 mile in the next 3 weeks, then 2 miles in the next 6 weeks.  Setting multiple timeline goals also gives you room for being flexible when needed...
  3. Be flexible and ready to redefine your goals!  Life is going to happen.  It's inevitable.  Don't throw your goal out the window when you get off track for a week or two.  One participant had a great example of how she set a goal and stayed with it for 10 weeks, but as soon as she missed a week, she gave up.  What she realizes now is that if she had just redefined her goal a little and been flexible with her timeline, she would be feeling much more successful right now.
  4. Write stuff down.  You are more likely to follow through with things when they are written - or typed into an app if you're "techy."  If you need additional support with this step, contact us at Just Move Fitness and More, and we'd be happy to schedule a session where we can work on the goal setting or do some personal training or even meal planning.
  5. Manage your expectations.  Talk to others about their health successes and failures and find out what worked and what didn't.  No matter how many images you see in the media with amazingly fit women's bodies, it's not real life.  Healthy looks and feels different for EVERYONE.  (P.S. Check out this image from the Gorgo - Women's Fitness Magazine - Real Strength Campaign!  Realistic expectations are easier when we SEE what real healthy looks like!)  :)
One final note as you set your goals, we hope you keep in mind that what you look like and what size jean you wear are only ONE indicator of health...  Here are some others to consider:
  1. Emotional health - exercising improves mood, energy levels and sleep quality!
  2. Resting heart rate - exercising can help decrease your resting heart rate (meaning your heart doesn't have to work as hard!)
  3. Muscular strength and endurance
  4. Flexibility
  5. Balance
  6. Skill level (we see you rocking those dance moves!)
  7. Medical indicators - exercise lowers blood pressure and improves cholesterol and blood sugar levels
See you next week when Ellen Hector from Physical Therapy One joins us for The Great Shoe Debate!  (Why do shoes matter so much and why are there SO many to choose from???)  We'll have a bunch of shoes on hand for you to look at and you are welcome to bring your shoes to get some feedback.