FREE 30-MINUTE FITNESS ASSESSMENTS – FEBRUARY 2 – 21

During the first three weeks of February, we will be conducting free modified Fitness Assessments for new clients and/or former clients.  This is a great opportunity for you to refer friends and for former clients to reacquaint themselves with PFTL.  The assessment will analyze posture, gait, flexibility and balance. This will be a mini-version of the 2-hour comprehensive assessment we do for all new clients.

WHAT HAPPENS WHEN AN “ACTIVE COUCH POTATO” INGESTS ADDED SUGAR? (ACSM – Sports Medicine Bulletin January 2015)

A diet high in added sugar has already been established to be correlated with increased weight and metabolic disturbances. However, what happens when a person is ingesting moderate amounts of added sugar, either in the form of sucrose or high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) while also being physically inactive? Moreover, in this context, what constitutes being physically active?

Although previous research has shown that a diet high in fructose can cause deleterious metabolic effects to the body, these studies tend to use an excessive amount of added sugar, which often results in weight gain. Moreover, high fructose corn syrup is now being replaced with sucrose (table sugar) in many foods, giving the indication that they are “natural” and hence, healthier; although from a metabolic standpoint, HFCS and sucrose are essentially the same. This change in labeling has resulted in an even larger influx of added sugar in our diet.

Recent studies have investigated the effects of a diet high in a more moderate amount of added fructose (~17 percent calories from added fructose). It was found that, in as little as two weeks, a healthy young adult’s metabolic profile begins to be negatively altered. The observed consequences included increased postprandial triglyceride, very-low density lipoproteins levels and low grade inflammation when subjects were physically inactive. These results were found without subsequent changes in weight.

So now the question is this: What if a person who is ingesting only a moderate amount of added fructose, while maintaining their weight, is also physically inactive? According to the most recent ACSM recommendation for healthy adults, 30-60 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise is recommended, five days per week. The problem is that a person can go to the gym for 30-45 minutes, five days per week and still only be getting ~4000-5000 steps per day because they may be sitting at a desk at work or school all day then on the couch at night. This creates the “active couch potato” conundrum. The person thinks they are being active because they do their structured recommended exercise for 45 minutes per day. But, the fact is that they are inactive the remaining 23 hours per day! If you compound that circumstance with having just one bowl of sugary cereal for breakfast and a “natural” sweetened ice tea for lunch or dinner, you now have a person whose metabolic profile is being unfavorably altered, even though they were trying to be healthy.

Even if someone is diligently going to the gym daily and maintaining a proper weight, they are still doing their body harm if they are not being active throughout the day and don’t eat a diet composed of low sugar, unprocessed, whole foods. The fitness industry has done such an immense job at promoting regular, daily exercise, we need to now take it one step further and begin to educate people on the harms of being physically inactive the remaining 23 hours per day. Additionally, there needs to be more focus on educating people on the metabolic disadvantages of a diet including even a moderate amount of added sugar, regardless of whether it is from sucrose or high fructose corn syrup.

BEAT INFLAMMATION (Wellness News Jan. 2015)

Body inflammation gets a lot of bad press, but these stories refer to chronic or excessive inflammation that causes health problems. There is also a good type of inflammation that occurs when a strong immune system responds therapeutically to an illness or injury. Beneficial inflammation is a survival tool the healthy immune system uses to differentiate a harmless substance from a harmful one called an antigen. Inflammation occurring appropriately in the body is a sign that an individual’s immunity is hard at work as a healer.

Unfortunately, if the immune system becomes impaired, it is liable to attack the body’s own cells or tissues and create a harmful type of inflammation that becomes chronic, causing untimely aging and illness. When inflammation invades the body as an immune system overreaction, it may initiate a detrimental response to a new allergen, formerly innocuous. Worse, it can result in autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and diabetes. Autoimmune diseases have both acquired (obtained after birth) and hereditary component, often overlapping, and something we are learning we have more control over. Stress, exercise, and our diet DIRECTLY interact with our own DNA and can turn on and off good and bad genes.

Healthy weight and diet can keep the autoimmune DNA disposition of diabetes at bay.

Additionally, chronic inflammation within our microvascular system contributes to serious health conditions like heart disease, solid cancer (breast, colon, prostate), and dementia; also impacted by our stress, exercise, and diet DIRECTLY on the DNA responsible for the inner lining of our arteries: endothelial glycocalyx.

Here are some principal triggers of chronic inflammation. Learn them and make lifestyle changes to protect yourself from an inflammatory rampage.

Stress – Chronic stress keeps the body on “fight-or-flight” alert and is an inflammatory factor that can throw the immune system out of whack.

Environmental Toxins – Twenty-first century environment is filled with toxins, such as mercury, pesticides, and industrial chemicals. If you expect government agencies to protect your family from dangerous toxins, think again. It’s up to individuals to learn about common toxins and how to avoid them as much as possible. Check www.ewa.org for helpful guides to safer consumption and use.

Inferior Diet – Eating too much sugar, refined grains, processed foods, trans fats and other fats that oxidize when heated, including hydrogenated or partially-hydrogenated vegetable oils and margarine, can produce chronic inflammation. . While the Internet and numerous books tout a variety of “anti-inflammatory diet” plans, it’s wise to consult your primary care doctor before embarking on a special diet. If you eat a whole foods, high-fiber, heavily plant-based diet rich in phytonutrients (plant chemicals that are naturally anti-inflammatory) and consume healthy monounsaturated fats with omega-3 fatty acids and not chemically hydrogenated (good fat examples: olive oil, flaxseed oil, nuts, and avocados), you will go a long way toward improving your diet and keeping chronic inflammation at bay.

Exercise Deficiency – By now, most people are aware that a lack of regular exercise plays a role in many health problems.

Persistent Infections And Allergies – People who have chronic infections, caused by bacteria, yeast, viruses, or parasites, are likely to have body inflammation. . Uncontrolled food or environmental allergens also spark inflammation. A thorough physical checkup or allergy testing can lead to the correct diagnosis and treatment.

Do what you can to avoid chronic inflammation. It’s hazardous to your health.