Incorporate A Stability Ball In Your Life

Incorporate A Stability Ball In Your Life

What’s a stability ball and how does it help boost your fitness? A stability ball works the core muscles that help maintain balance. Just sitting on the ball can increase the effort of the core muscles. Since the ball rolls, it’s harder to maintain stability and creates a workout that’s second to none. Some people use large stability balls as seating when they work at their desks for extended periods. It works the abs and can prevent back pain as you work.

Besides forcing the muscles to work harder, you’ll change position more frequently.

If you use a stability ball as a chair it helps your posture in several ways. First, it builds the core muscles that contribute to good posture and help relieve back pain. You also move more frequently when you use a stability ball as a chair. Changing position more frequently can help prevent stressed muscles and strains. It can eliminate the injuries caused by remaining in the same position too long and increase circulation.

If you want great abs, look no further.

Are washboard abs your goal? You’ll be amazed at how a little effort using the stability ball can help you reach your desired outcome. You can boost the power of crunches and other ab workouts by incorporating it into your session or just use it as a backup to sit on it and let nature take its course. You’ll feel the difference after just a few minutes. People who use the stability ball for the first time often incorporate it into their workout since they can feel the difference immediately.

No matter how you use it, it burns extra calories.

Losing weight can be an incredibly long journey. It seems to take forever to lose just one pound. That’s why anything that can help make it go faster is a benefit. Using a stability ball, whether sitting on it at the computer or using it during a workout, can burn extra calories and help weight loss occur quicker. The muscles put out extra effort that can burn an additional 350 calories a day. That’s an extra pound in just ten days. It won’t replace a traditional workout program or healthy diet but it will provide a bonus you might otherwise miss.

  • Getting up and moving for five minutes every hour is recommended to be your healthiest. When you’re using a stability ball as a chair, you’ll be more apt to do it.
  • People sit on stability balls to relieve back pain. Several exercises with this equipment can diminish tight muscles quickly and leave you feeling great.
  • Besides building abdominal muscles, you’ll improve your balance by exercising with a stability ball. It can help improve your overall grace and prevent unnecessary falls.
  • Using a stability ball frequently can help improve your circulation. Improved circulation helps all parts of the body from the skin to the heart.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

Should You Worry About Hormones In Food?

Should You Worry About Hormones In Food?

Today’s society is further from their source of food than ever. When people raised their food, they knew what those animals ate and didn’t use chemicals to boost productivity. Today, food might as well be grown on a different planet. A lot happens at factory farms that were never part of farming. Farmers give hormones to animals so they grow bigger or mature faster. There are hormones given to cows to produce 15% more milk, and beef cows get shots to grow to full size 20% faster. Even fish are given hormones to mature twice as fast. We’re eating the treated animals, so does that mean we’re also getting the treatment? Are there hormones in food we should worry about?

Organic pastured beef has become popular.

The FDA has tested the food and agrees that there is no harm in eating the meat from animals given hormones. The limited research results don’t indicate whether it is a problem. One widely used hormone is rBGH—recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone. It boosts milk production in cows. Do these pass on to people consuming animal products? It’s no wonder people are choosing a more natural option for their food, organically grown meat and milk from pastured cattle.

rBGH is in the milk.

The biggest concern about hormones occurs with milk production. Does drinking milk from animals using rBGH increase IGF-1—growth hormone levels? What are the effects of that increase? Does it increase the risk of cancer? Animals given rBGH tend to have more udder infections, causing farmers to give antibiotics. Does the increased use of antibiotics cause antibiotic-resistant bacteria?

rBGH does trigger the production of IGF-1.

rBGH won’t hurt you, but it does trigger the release of IGF-1—insulin like growth factor that may affect your health. The human body produces it, as do cows. The question is whether the rBGH increases it beyond normal levels and whether that can affect humans. There is a link between prostate, colorectal, and breast cancer and high levels of IGF-1 in the blood. Although there’s a link, scientists still don’t understand what that means for health.

  • Some evidence indicates that pasteurization does not deactivate the IGF-1 in milk and whether it’s absorbed through the digestive tract. One study suggested that the increase would only be 0.09% of normal daily production.
  • Another study identified that even if an infant drank 1.5 liters of milk with IGF-1 protein, it would be less than a 1% increase of the child’s normal daily production and have no effect.
  • Concern grew enough to create an outcry in the market. Today you’ll find products labeled rBGH or rBST-free. It doesn’t mean they didn’t use other synthetic hormones raising the animals.
  • Large companies like Kraft have now started using milk from cows raised without the use of rBGH in their Natural Cheese product, even though they found no significant difference between the milk from treated or untreated cows.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

The Top Benefits Of Walking For Fitness

The Top Benefits Of Walking For Fitness

It’s so beautiful in Honolulu, HI, that it’s amazing more people aren’t walking to their destinations but using their cars instead. There are so many benefits for overall fitness, physical and mental. Walking may be inconvenient if your errand involves bulky boxes or is at a distance, but for short distances, it saves gas and improves your fitness. Barring physical limitations, it’s an easy exercise almost everyone can do, providing cardio and weight-bearing benefits.

Walking is an excellent supplement to a traditional exercise program.

Exercise is all about being more active. If you’re already pursuing a scheduled workout program, you can supplement it with walking. It increases cardiovascular efficiency, extends endurance, and boosts leg strength. Walking is also a good recovery activity. If you’ve overworked your body doing traditional workouts, resting the next day is advised. That doesn’t mean laying on the couch. It does mean doing light activity that stimulates circulation to speed recovery. That’s the perfect description of walking.

Walking can help prevent osteoporosis and slow or reverse it once it starts.

Weight-bearing exercises like walking can help prevent the bone-thinning of osteoporosis. Exercise causes muscles to tug on the bone. That tugging causes the bone to uptake calcium for strength to resist the tugging. If there’s no exercise, there’s no tugging. Calcium is leached from the bone causing bone thinning and osteoporosis. Walking builds muscle tissue to prevent osteopenia, the loss of muscle tissue that precedes osteoporosis.

You’ll reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes when you walk.

Making your heart work a little harder is a good thing. If you don’t increase its efforts periodically, it becomes inefficient. Just like any muscle that you don’t use, it gets weaker. Walking keeps the heart pumping harder, boosting its strength. It also helps lower blood pressure by working large muscles in the legs. They produce nitric oxide that causes blood vessels to expand, making it easier for blood to flow and lowering blood pressure. It reduces bad cholesterol levels, helps you lose weight, and helps reduce the risk of insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes.

  • Walking improves circulation, sending oxygen and nutrient-laden blood to all parts of the body, including the brain. Research shows that daily exercise like walking reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s, improves dementia, and lessens the symptoms of depression.
  • Make your walking more effective by turning it into a HIIT—high intensity interval training—session. Just alternate the pace between peak intensity and recovery to do that. It burns more calories and gets faster results.
  • For people who are overweight or those with joint issues, walking is superior to running. It’s a low-impact exercise so there’s no pounding motion.
  • Walking also boosts your digestion, improves immune response, and reduces the risk of certain types of cancer. You can increase benefits by adding arm and leg weights when you walk.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

Most Effective Core Workouts For A Stronger Body

Most Effective Core Workouts For A Stronger Body

Your posture, digestion, and even your entire body are affected by the strength of your core muscles. That’s why workouts focusing on the core are so valuable. Every movement you make uses core muscles in one way or another. These muscles include the pelvis, lower back, hips, and abs. The abs and back muscles work together to keep you in balance, in an upright position. If one group is weak, it makes the other group work harder. It can force the back muscles to pick up the slack when the abs are weak. They must do extra work to maintain good posture. That can cause back issues and pain. It also affects your posture and makes you look heavier.

One of the best core workouts is the plank.

You’ll find a variety of plank modifications, but the basic plank is the most used for building abdominal and other core muscles. It’s simple enough. Get on the floor, lifting your body until your weight is on your forearms and toes. Keep your body straight, your arms bent at the elbow, and your upper arms at a 90-degree angle to the shoulders. That’s a low plank. For a high plank, continue lifting your body until your arms are straight and your weight is on your toes and the palms of your hands. Hold that position as long as possible, attempting to increase it as you get stronger.

Improve your core muscles by riding a bike and focusing on posture as you walk.

While it won’t give you flat abs immediately, riding a bicycle can work your abs and improve your core strength. The action of pedaling requires the use of several core muscles, but the real workout comes from balancing your body on the bike, especially during turns. You’ll only get that workout from riding a traditional bike, not the stationary bike in the gym. Combining bicycling as an aerobic exercise with ab workouts like the mountain climber provides the most benefits.

Do a glute bridge or burpees to build core strength.

A glute bridge starts by laying on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. You lift your buttocks, holding your abs and glutes tight until your body creates a straight line from your knees to your head. Hold that position as you squeeze your core muscles as tightly as possible, then slowly lower your body.

  • Consider doing walking lunges to improve your core muscles. Take a long stride forward as you lower your body into the lunge position. Raise your hands over your head to increase the effort to balance and work the core muscles more.
  • Walking and focusing on good posture can build core strength. Your head should be level with the floor, your shoulders should be back, and you should pull your abdomen in tightly.
  • Jump rope or use a hula hoop. You don’t have to have expensive equipment to improve core strength. Doing boxer jumps or high knee jumps can help.
  • We can create a workout program that increases strength, flexibility, balance, and endurance. It will improve overall strength and include the best core strength exercises that get fast results.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

The Best HIIT Workouts To Burn Fat Fast

The Best HIIT Workouts To Burn Fat Fast

If you want to burn more fat, you have to burn more calories. One way to do that is by using HIIT, workouts. HIIT is an acronym for high intensity interval training. It’s not a specific workout but a way of doing any workout. It modifies the intensity throughout the workout by alternating between high-intensity to a recovery pace throughout the exercise period. The high intensity session can’t be achieved for long periods, by alternating between it and a recovery pace, you can exercise at peak intensity longer.

Using HIIT for running burns more calories, but does it burn more fat?

While you’ll burn tons of calories when you run, not all those calories come from fat. Some come from burning lean muscle tissue. Muscle tissue requires more calories for maintenance than fat tissue does, so the more you have, the easier it is to lose weight. How do you ensure that you’re burning more fat than muscle, whether you’re doing HIIT workouts or steady-state workouts? Do strength training.

Using HIIT to do strength training can ensure you’ll burn fat while you build muscle tissue.

One of the easiest ways to change a strength-building workout to a HIIT workout is to shorten the rest periods. It prevents the heart rate from dropping down to resting mode and keeps it moderately high at a recovery rate. It increases heart efficiency, burns fat, builds muscle tissue, and improves your endurance. You can also use cardio between sets as the recovery exercise. Pumping iron for a minute and switching to jumping rope for a minute is an example of a HIIT workout using strength-building.

Add weight to your HIIT workout.

Wearing weighted vests, wrist weights or ankle weights can burn extra calories and more fat when you do cardio HIIT workouts. Adding kettlebells to your workout program is another example of increasing cardiac fitness as you burn fat. Several kettlebell movements combine intensity and strength-building. You can also add movement to your dumbbell or barbell workouts. The combination of movement and strength-building makes it perfect for HIIT.

  • Alternating between push-pull exercises is similar to HIIT and burns fat. You’ll burn extra calories from compound workouts. When the pressing muscles work, the pulling muscles rest. That keeps your heart rate high.
  • Add weights to calisthenics. Do lunges holding barbells, going as fast as possible, then slowing to a recovery pace. Doing goblet squats holding a kettlebell or dumbbells also can be an effective HIIT workout.
  • Modifying any strength-building or cardio workout by three sets at peak intensity for one minute, moving quickly from one to another, then taking a one-minute break and starting the cycle again.
  • The amount of time spent at peak performance and recovery pace varies for each person. Get your heart rate high for as long as possible and switch back to recovery. Modify the time you spend at a recovery pace by how you feel.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

How Processed Food Affects Your Health

How Processed Food Affects Your Health

You’ll find all types of cuisine in Honolulu, HI. The traditional Hawaiian diet was extremely healthy, but the food has changed with the mixing of cultures. Some of the additions were healthy, but other additions, like processed food, were detrimental to health. Many highly processed foods became local food, which is different from traditional food. Spam became a popular addition to the diet. It lasted forever when unopened and reduced food insecurity during and after WW2. It’s included in the unhealthy additions to the Hawaiian diet.

Much of the problem with processed food comes from what’s in it.

Spam is a perfect example of a popular locals food. It’s made with a mix of pork shoulder and ham, salt, water, modified potato starch, sodium nitrate, and sugar. The high nitrate and salt content can increase high blood pressure. The more salt you have in your diet, the more you crave it. The sugar content of spam also plays a role in its negative health effects. Like salt, the more sugar you have, the more you want, but for a different reason. Sugar links to the same brain receptors as opioids. The sugar can lead to diabetes, add to the risk of high blood pressure, and cause depression, dental caries, obesity, and acne.

Another problem comes from what’s not in it.

Highly processed food has the healthy part of the food removed. Highly processed flour and food made from it is missing the bran and the germ that contain nutrients, such as B vitamins, protein, antioxidants, and healthy fiber. What’s left is the endosperm, which is primarily starchy carbohydrates. The fiber in whole grains keeps you full longer, so you eat less.

Sugar is toxic, and the new fake sugars are worse.

There’s a trend for manufacturers to add HFCS—high fructose corn syrup. While you’ll hear it’s a natural sweetener, it isn’t. Like many of the Frankenstein foods created in a lab. Manufacturers add a bacterial enzyme to the glucose from corn and potatoes to increase the fructose and sweetness. That’s combined with pure corn syrup. The result is a sugar between 43 and 55 percent fructose with the balance from glucose. It increases the risk of serious conditions, is linked to obesity, increases liver fat, and metabolizes differently.

  • HFCS is added to many foods since it’s inexpensive to make. It’s added to everything from cereal to fruit juice. It’s also in condiments, salad dressing, bread, crackers, and applesauce.
  • Combining highly processed flour that contains additives with sugar to create baked goods creates a triple threat to your health. It spikes blood glucose levels that drop quickly, leaving you hungry again.
  • Today’s processed foods pack on the pounds. It’s why there’s an epidemic of obesity around the developed world. Obesity increases the risk of debilitating diseases that can shorten your life.
  • Even no-calorie sweeteners aren’t the answer. Studies show that people who drink diet sodas made with artificial sweeteners have a larger waist circumference than those who don’t. It’s from visceral fat—belly fat, the most unhealthy type.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

How Intermittent Fasting Helps With Weight Loss

How Intermittent Fasting Helps With Weight Loss

Intermittent fasting—IF—is a term used to describe an eating pattern. Food consumption occurs within a specific time window. Some intermittent fasting eliminates food for a day or two and returns to normal for the rest of the week. Others limit food intake to specific hours each day, fasting the rest of the time. One of the most popular types limits food intake to an 8-hour window each day, fasting the other 16 hours. All types of IF can improve weight loss if you eat healthy meals the rest of the time.

Eating is one way to lose weight.

When your diet is healthy, you’re more likely to lose weight. However, you can increase the benefits by limiting your food intake to certain hours or by alternating the days you eat regular meals and fasting the other days. Why does that work? There are several theories. One that’s proven is that you don’t eat as much, even on the IF, where you only eat within a time window. It’s especially true for people who snack at night or start the day with a big breakfast and eat large meals throughout the day.

Studies on IF aren’t new.

Early studies on rats began long before obesity was an epidemic. They showed that fasting and calorie-restricted diets kept rats younger looking longer and extended their lives by 83%. They had darker fur and fewer signs of aging. Newer studies have come to similar conclusions and even found fasting was beneficial for weight loss. Studies have shown it can help obese people improve health indicators. It helped reduce visceral fat and prevent oxidative stress. It improved metabolic disorders and increased insulin sensitivity.

It all depends on what you eat when you do eat.

If you only consume fries, burgers, and sweet treats when you eat, you probably won’t lose weight and definitely won’t be healthy. However, when you use IF, you don’t have to log in every calorie, but eat healthy meals and include more vegetables and fruit in your diet. People who use IF as an addition to healthy eating don’t feel as deprived as others on calorie-restricted diets.

  • IF helps the body remove cellular waste more efficiently. It increases beneficial hormones like HGH—the human growth hormone. Additional HGH can increase muscle mass and decrease body fat.
  • IF isn’t for everyone. If you’re taking blood pressure or heart medication, have an eating disorder, are diabetic, or are pregnant and nursing, always check with your healthcare professional first.
  • If you choose IF, don’t forget to include a snack in your meal planning. A healthy snack mid-afternoon or mid-morning can help stave off hunger so you don’t overeat at your next meal.
  • Recent studies show that people who use IF for 12 weeks or less can reduce body fat by 16% or more. Using it also can result in weight loss of up to 8%.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

Simple Healthy Habits To Adopt

Simple Healthy Habits To Adopt

If you’ve been a couch potato, don’t expect to run a marathon with one week of training. If you’re out of shape, you probably have a lifetime of bad habits to overcome. You can develop simple healthy habits over several months. Before you know it, you’ll be fitter. Ease into fitness. Start by taking a walk. If you aren’t sure how far you can go, start slowly. Keep the first few walks shorter to test your endurance.

Cut out food with added sugar.

That’s hard, but you can do it. Make sure you have naturally sweet fruit available to fill in the gap. If that’s too much to handle, start even slower. Just give up sweet drinks. Don’t choose diet colas as a replacement. Studies show they may put inches on your middle. Drink unsweetened tea, black coffee, or water instead. Skip the fancy coffee drinks that are more like desserts than a beverage.

Add extra vegetables to your plate.

Eating healthy means eating more nutritious food. You can cut down on fattening food with few nutrients and increase the health benefits of a meal by filling your plate with vegetables. Start your meal with a big salad to help fill you and have two servings of vegetables. Don’t put sauces or butter on veggies and don’t count potatoes as a veggie. Choose whole grain bread. Whole grain bread contains the germ, endosperm, and the bran. The bran contains fiber that fills you and the germ contains all the nutrients. Refined grain contains only the endosperm, the starchy part with few nutrients.

Get adequate sleep.

You might think you’ll burn more calories if you’re up 24/7. That’s not necessarily true. If you’re tired you won’t move as fast or do as much, burning fewer calories throughout the day. You’ll also be hungrier since lack of sleep causes the body to produce less leptin—the hormone that makes you feel hungry—and more ghrelin—the hunger hormone. Create a sleep schedule to ensure you get quality sleep and stick with it, even on the weekend.

  • Create a workout schedule and stick with it. Make your workout an appointment you need to keep. When you exercise at the same time consistently, it becomes a habit that’s hard to break.
  • Stay hydrated and drink water before you sit down to eat. Mild hydration can slow you down, and drinking more water can boost your energy. Drinking water before a meal helps you eat less.
  • Keep healthy snacks easily accessible. Snacks help prevent overeating at the next meal. Keep cubed melon, cut fresh veggies, or citrus slices ready. Make trail mix and pack it in portion-size plastic bags.
  • Add more activity to your life besides exercise to boost calorie burning. Take the stairs and not the elevator. Find other ways to move more.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!

How To Avoid Food Temptations Around The House

How To Avoid Food Temptations Around The House

There are plenty of tempting treats at groceries in Honolulu, HI, you shouldn’t make your home a fat trap, too. Eating healthy is the key to losing weight. You won’t make progress if you’re eating a family-size bag of chips and washing it down with a liter of cola after exercising, no matter how long the session is. It’s hard to avoid sweet treats and junk food, but here are a few things that can help.

Are you your own worst enemy?

Do you use the excuse that the kids want the cookies and snacks in your cart at the grocery, but you know you’ll eat them, too? Rethink your logic. Save your kids from the mental and physical problems that come from being overweight and help them learn healthy habits young. Get fresh fruit instead of buying fruit bars with all the added sugar. Have fruit and vegetables cut and ready in the refrigerator. Don’t forget some healthy dip.

Focus on portion size and what you can eat.

One benefit of eating healthy is that it isn’t dieting. Dieting is restrictive and leaves you feeling deprived. Instead of feeling deprived, focus on finding healthy meals you love. Remember portion size if you want a piece of birthday cake or another treat. Savor every bite slowly. You’ll feel more satisfied and far less deprived.

Remember that what you drink makes a difference.

Sugary drinks can also help pack on the pounds. Most people realize soft drinks add calories but don’t realize that fruit juice also does. The problem with fruit juice is that it’s packed with fruit sugar but has no filling fiber. Fiber also slows the entry of sugar into your bloodstream, so you don’t have a glucose spike. Opt for green or iced tea without added sugar, black coffee, or water.

  • Make snacks and meals ahead and store them in portions. Make trail mix and separate it into individual portion-size bags. Do meal planning and store meals in portions.
  • Stop before you eat junk food or add candy or snack food to your purchases at the gas station or grocery store. Ask yourself if it’s worth giving up all the progress you’ve made. Chances are, it’s just an impulse purchase that has become a habit.
  • Treat yourself to something special. Use a one-cup Mason jar with a lid as the container for a healthy parfait. Add a layer of Greek yogurt, frozen cherries, and half a ripe banana. Top it with yogurt and walnuts. Put the lid on and store it until you need a sweet treat.
  • If you feel an overwhelming urge to eat something sweet, drink a glass of water and go for a walk. The water can fill your belly and the walk will divert your attention. If walking outside isn’t prudent, do calisthenics in your living room.

For more information, contact us today at Hawaii Fit Camp!