5 Healthy Holiday Gifts to Yourself

  The month of December is filled with hustle and bustle.  It is also the season of giving.  With all of this giving don’t forget to give back to yourself.  Here is a list of 5 great ways to give back to yourself for a healthier and happier you.   Be kind to others. You […]

shutterstock_gift to self

 

The month of December is filled with hustle and bustle.  It is also the season of giving.  With all of this giving don’t forget to give back to yourself.  Here is a list of 5 great ways to give back to yourself for a healthier and happier you.

 

  1. Be kind to others. You don’t know what someone else may be going through, so do something nice for someone else. It can be as simple as looking them in the eye and sincerely thanking them, holding a door, or picking up the tab for the person behind you in line. When you put this kind of energy out there, it will make you feel better.
  2. An energetic workout that involves both cardio bursts and resistance training. This will not only provide health benefits, but it will also help relieve the stress that comes along with the holiday season. Finish off the workout with a stretch, yoga, or a foam roller.
  3. Indulge in something gluttonous such as a facial, a long hot bath, a massage, a manicure, or an extra treat.
  4. Forgive yourself! Everyone has regrets, it’s part of life. If you can find a way to forgive yourself for whatever it is that you feel was so wrong, then it will be like lifting a weight off your shoulders. Why wait for the new year for a clean slate?
  5. Call someone and tell them you love them.   Not only will it make their day, but it will probably make yours as well.

#healthyholidaygiftstoyourself

Sophie Pratola

704-604-1518

Personally Trained By Sophie

Navigating the grocery store… and coming out thin

This week’s subject is on the grocery store.    You know how to save money there, but do you know how to save your diet?   Consider this: Read food labels!  When considering your food purchases turn the container around and look at the label. Don’t know what to look for?  Start with the basics such as serving size.  […]

supermarket post

This week’s subject is on the grocery store.    You know how to save money there, but do you know how to save your diet?   Consider this:

Read food labels!  When considering your food purchases turn the container around and look at the label. Don’t know what to look for?  Start with the basics such as serving size.  What does that product consider a serving size, and how many servings are in the package?  Then look at how many calories are in that serving and think about how many servings you would typically eat in one sitting.  Next, look at how many grams of fat are in that serving.   As a general guideline, it is recommend to consume less than 40 grams of fat a day for most people.  Keep in mind, it is not wise to remove all fat from the diet because fat plays a key role in maintaining certain body functions.  Next scan down the label and look at sodium content.  The current recommendation is to consume less than 2,300mg of sodium a day (for general population).  Be mindful of frozen and canned items as they tend to have high sodium contents.   Fiber is another part of the label to review. Here is something you want to be high on the label.   Typically, it is recommended that you eat 14 grams of fiber per 1,000 calories eaten.  For a 2,000 calorie diet that would be 28 grams of fiber.  Lastly, let’s talk sugar.  While there is no official  recommended daily allowance for sugar,  it is usually recommended not to exceed 40 grams of sugar in a day.

A few final thoughts about the grocery store….

1. Typically (with the exception of the frozen food section),  the perimeter of the store contains better for you food than the interior section of the store.  On the perimeter there is the milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, meat, fruits, and vegetables.  The interior section generally contains more of the processed foods such as chips, cookies, soda, candy, and all sorts of other stuff that can derail your diet.  So stick to the perimeter.

2. Always go in with a list.  Know what you need before you go and don’t be tempted by those “great deals”.

3. NEVER GO TO THE STORE HUNGRY!

#survivingthegrocerystore

Sophie Pratola

704 604-1518

personallytrainedbysophie.com

The Fitbit Surge- the Pros and Cons

I recently purchased a Fitbit Surge to see what it was really like.  If you quit reading right now the take home message would be this: I like it for some features, but honestly you can get those features for a lot cheaper. In my opinion, the surge isn’t worth the money.  Here is my […]

IMG_0637 (1)

I recently purchased a Fitbit Surge to see what it was really like.  If you quit reading right now the take home message would be this: I like it for some features, but honestly you can get those features for a lot cheaper. In my opinion, the surge isn’t worth the money.  Here is my list of the Surge’s pros and cons.

Pros:   -Easy to set up and use the Fitbit and the app that goes along with it

-Like being able to read texts as they come in and scroll through previous texts on the watch

-The pedometer, distance, and floors features are useful tools to map movement/activity on a daily basis

-It tracks distances on runs/walks and has a little map on the app so you can see your route

Cons:   -when people say its “big”, it’s because it’s HUGE on your wrist and can actually get in the way during certain activities

-it doesn’t sync very well at all, especially with programs such as MyFitnessPal

BUT MY BIGGEST ISSUE with the Surge is:

-it is grossly inaccurate at measuring heart rate during exercise and as a result, it under reports the number of calories burned during workouts.  I have been an avid Polar Heart Rate monitor wearer for over 10 years, so I have an idea how many calories I am burning during my workouts.  The Surge general reports my calorie burn anywhere from 75-150 calories lower than what I am pretty sure I am actually burning.  I feel this is largely due to false heart rate readings during exercise.  There are times when I know my heart rate is up in the 140’s-150’s and the Surge is reading my heart rate as less than 110 BPM.  Since caloric burn is a direct result of intensity (i.e. heart rate), I know the counts are incorrect.  This is extremely frustrating when trying to accurately log calories consumed vs. calories burned.

 

While it’s been a fun experiment, save your money and buy a Polar, at least until Fitbit figures these issue out.

#fitbitsurge

Sophie Pratola

704-604-1518

Personally Trained By Sophie

The Dangers of Rapid Weight Loss

With summer fast approaching, a lot of us want to shed the winter weight, and want to do it quickly. However, be warned about the dangers of rapid weight loss. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing 150-250 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week just to prevent additional weight gain. To lose weight, […]

scale

With summer fast approaching, a lot of us want to shed the winter weight, and want to do it quickly. However, be warned about the dangers of rapid weight loss. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends doing 150-250 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week just to prevent additional weight gain. To lose weight, more than 250 minutes a week is recommended. This translates to more than 30 minutes per day, seven days a week. Obviously, increasing movement goes hand in hand with decreasing calorie intake. The newest recommendations by ACSM for long term, sustained weight loss is to lose a ½lb-2lbs a week. But what happens when you are too aggressive and weight comes off too quickly? Rapid weight loss can result in some serious health risks including:

-Gallstones (12-25% of people who lose a substantial amount of weight over several months get gall stones)

-Dehydration

-Malnutrition

-Electrolyte imbalances

Outside of these health risks, there are other side effects that can result from rapid weight loss as well including:

-loose skin around the abdomen, arms and legs which can cause mental distress and may even cause chafing

-Headaches

-Irritability

-Fatigue

-Dizziness

-Constipation

-Menstrual irregularities

-Hair loss

If you are trying to lose weight remember slow and steady wins the race. Do your research before you buy into one of the latest diet fads, cleanses, or supplement products that you are tempted to try. Always avoid severe caloric restriction diets (unless directly under a doctor’s care), and question diets that have you drinking your calories instead of eating them. Now let’s get ready for some healthy weight loss!

#healthyweightloss

Sophie Pratola

Personally Trained By Sophie

704-604-1518

scale with feet (3)_MG_8557

The Dreaded 40: Changes that occur as we age & how to stay young!

Nobody looks forward to turning the dreaded 4-0. There are lots of changes that occur in our body as we age. For example, resting metabolic rate drops about 2% per decade. This leads to a decreased need for calories to maintain your weight. This translates to approximately 100 fewer calories needed per day. When you […]

40 image

Nobody looks forward to turning the dreaded 4-0. There are lots of changes that occur in our body as we age. For example, resting metabolic rate drops about 2% per decade. This leads to a decreased need for calories to maintain your weight. This translates to approximately 100 fewer calories needed per day. When you don’t cut those calories through diet, or burn them with exercise, it leads to creeping obesity. Other things to keep in mind as you age is the change in fat distribution throughout the body. Fat becomes more visceral (surrounding your organs) and less subcutaneous leaving you more prone to heart disease. To add insult to injury, the number of fat cells in women actually increases during menopause due to a surge of hormones. Keep in mind as we age postural changes also may occur. The shoulders may become more rounded and the chin can drop forward. Combine this with a loss in bone density that occurs at an alarming rate of 1% per year starting at the age of 35, and progresses up to 3-5% for women during the first 5 years after menopause. Some other considerations as we age include a decreased aerobic capacity of 10% per decade, and degeneration of all body tissues. If you are still reading and haven’t given up because you are thoroughly depressed, keep this in mind; a lot of these issues can be prolonged or even prevented with a healthy lifestyle. Follow these 7 steps to ensure you age gracefully.

  1. Include strength training (especially rowing exercises to ensure posture)
  2. Incorporate aerobic & anaerobic exercises
  3. Do postural training
  4. Incorporate balance training
  5. Work on improving/maintaining flexibility
  6. Do mind body relaxation training and manage stress
  7. Be sure to have proper nutrition

#stayyoungforever

 

Sophie Pratola

704-604-1518

Personally Trained By Sophie