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Walk for Energy
Is your energy lagging? Though it may be the last thing you feel like doing when you're tired, exercise -- even a brisk walk -- can be more effective than a nap or cup of coffee at fighting fatigue.
Hello and welcome to our
This month, we'll be sharing information about small weight loss gains as well as tips for safe hiking.
Small Weight Loss Means Big Gains
Janel Davis-Heitzmann, PT, MPT, CSCS
It's been a few months since we all made those New Year's Resolutions. Was your Resolution to lose weight?
Feeling discouraged with only a few pounds loss? A new study is out that may give you some encouragement. Losing as little as 5 percent of body weight can improve insulin sensitivity and lower risks for developing cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes, says research published in Cell Metabolism.
While that small amount of weight loss may not show huge cosmetic results, it comes with large health improvements. The study author states that people are ultimately much healthier on the inside and five percent of body weight can be a reasonable and achievable target.
Although the research was done with the small amount of participants (40 men and women) the participants who lost 5 percent body weight also lost 8 percent body fat mass, 7 percent intra-abdominal fat volume and a staggering 40 percent liver fat. This minor weight loss also decreased glucose, triglycerides and insulin levels in the blood.
Losing even a small amount of body weight results in lower blood pressure and heart rate. This contributes to lower risk of serious conditions such as stroke and heart disease.
Even if you're not seeing a huge cosmetic difference with your weight loss, keep up the good work! You can take comfort in the fact that your insides are noticing the difference.
Hiking is great exercise and being outdoors surrounded by nature's beauty, can help stress melt away. Normal overuse problems are sore feet or blisters, but when a fall happens it can cause injuries such as a broken wrist, ankle fracture, a cartilage tear, shoulder dislocation or ligament tear.
Strengthen your balance
Good balance is key to navigating the unstable surfaces you encounter during hike, so in your exercise routine, find ways to challenge your balance and strengthen your quads. Your quads have a big job to do protecting your knees on a hike and when they are strong they help absorb the shock to your knees. He suggests putting your back against a wall and doing "wall sits" or practicing yoga moves where you balance on one leg.
Hydrate for muscle strength
It's vitally important to stay hydrated so you don't get thirsty or suffer heat illness but did you know water also helps your muscles work more efficiently on a hike? Water or sports fluids assist with muscle recovery after the hike as well.
Bring brain food
A brain deprived of nutrition has a harder time helping you make decisions that will keep you safe and wobble-free. The brain does not function well when your body is on empty, so bring healthy snacks such as nuts, energy gels or dried fruits to keep your blood sugar strong and your brain and body in peak form.