“What’s the hardest part of your workout?”
– Sarah C., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
– Sarah C., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
Our long-time Exercise Physiologist Robbie recently blogged about the awesome benefits of tea. So I figured I will blog about some of the benefits from drinking coffee (aka “cupped lightning,” “go juice,” “brain juice” or whatever you call it!) to get that morning jolt you need to attack the day!
The National Coffee Associations states that more than 60% of Americans drink coffee every day. Below are some of the great benefits of incorporating coffee in your diet.
A recent long-term observational study performed in 2017, which involved 20,000 participants, showed a significant correlation between drinking coffee and a longer lifespan. In a couple of different studies, drinking coffee was associated with a reduced risk of death in men by 20% and a decrease of death in women by 26%.
Coffee has antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients that can help us stay healthy. For example, coffee contains a few different B vitamins along with magnesium and potassium. Coffee has also been shown to be the largest source of antioxidants for people who eat a typical Western diet. Research has shown that we get more antioxidants from coffee than we get from fruits and vegetables combined! (Not sure if that’s a good thing, but you should always eat more fruits and vegetables!)
Coffee has also been associated with lowering the risk for diabetes, heart disease, and stroke. As a whole, coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of Diabetes. Some research has shown that people who drink coffee, have a 20-50% lower risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. In some studies, coffee has also been shown to reduce the chance of a stroke by 20%.
Coffee may help protect you against liver and colorectal cancer. Some research has shown that coffee drinkers have a 40% lower risk of liver cancer. Other research has shown that participants who drank four to five cups of coffee per day, had a 15% lower risk of colon cancer.
Coffee has been shown to have many other health benefits. If you’re interested in knowing more about the other benefits of this awesome beverage, keep an eye out for part two of this blog in coming weeks!
– Guy C., Fitness Director and Martial Arts School Director at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
8 Common Mistakes to Be Avoided at the Gym
For a lot of people, just putting on that workout gear and physically going to the gym is half the battle; after all, every person comes with their own laundry list of obligations competing for their time. That being said, once you’re at the gym, you’ll want to be sure you’re making the most of your time there by avoiding some of these common mistakes.
1. Not Warming Up or Cooling Down
A proper warmup will prime your body for what’s to come. It’s meant to get the blood flowing and warm the muscles, making your body ready to take on exercise and help prevent injury. When you warm up properly, this will help you perform better, whether you are doing cardio or weights. When you skip the stretch after a workout, those muscles that were just working so hard can tighten up, increasing your risk of experiencing an injury. For serious athletes and marathoners, cooling down is even more essential since it helps regulate blood flow throughout the body, bringing it back to a balanced state without overtaxing the heart.
2. Letting Yourself Get Distracted
With all the technology we carry around these days, it’s far too easy to let our focus get pulled away for an incoming text, to check social media, or to choose just the right song to listen to. Abruptly stopping for too long in the middle of a workout – when your body is primed, heart rate is elevated, blood is pumping to deliver necessary nutrients to those muscles you had been working – is never a good thing for the same reasons you want to include a proper cooldown. A proper cooldown avoids putting undue strain on the heart in regulating blood flow.
3. Not Consulting a Physiologist/Trainer/Doctor
Surely we’re here for a reason! Particularly if you’ve never set foot in a gym, or have been on an extended hiatus from exercise, it’s best to consult with an exercise physiologist before diving headfirst into exercise to make sure you’re doing things safely and effectively, using proper form, and maximizing your time. Keep in mind: if you’ve been away from exercise due to illness or injury, it’s a good idea to consult with your physician as well. Make use of the trained professionals available to you to assess whether you’ve healed properly, and recommend the right movements to help you towards your goals without aggravating any existing conditions.
While the body is made to move, too much gym time can lead to burnout or injury. It can be healthy to move every day, but be sure to vary exercise intensity in order to give your body the rest it needs.
5. Lacking variety
The body is very smart: in order to avoid plateaus, we have to keep our bodies guessing by switching up workouts occasionally. Aside from seeing better results through varied workouts, you’re also less likely to get bored from doing the same things.
6. Not Planning Ahead
Put some thought into your weekly workout plan, whether that’s marking down how/when you’ll be doing strength or cardio at the gym, or deciding which days might be better to wind down with some yoga or take a nice walk outside. Having a plan of action set in mind – and better still, actually written down on your calendar – will help you prioritize that self-care time and better your chances of following through.
7. Expecting Instant Results
Fitness is a process, and it takes time and effort to really see the results of that work. Expecting immediate results can sabotage even the most well-intentioned of goals. Don’t allow yourself to be discouraged quickly.
8. Comparing Yourself to Others
Looking to others as a source of inspiration can be great, but social comparison can be self-defeating, and often discouraging. Remember that everyone – including you – is on their ownjourney, in fitness or otherwise, and that is not expected to look the same across the board. Focus on the changes you see in yourself, and give yourself some credit for the work you put in to make it happen.
– Evelyn O., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
The Many Health Benefits of Drinking Tea
Looking for Ways to Improve Your Health This Year?
Reduce Your Risk of Heart Attack or Stroke?
Boost Your Immune System?
Sooth an Upset Stomach?
Consume Less Calories and Lose Weight?
Try switching from consuming a daily cup of coffee to a healthier cup of tea!!
There is plenty of research that shows that drinking tea daily can actually improve your health. There are many flavors and variations of tea drinks. Tea can be served hot or cold, so it can fit into any seasonal temperature.
Tea contains beneficial antioxidants that can help protect the cells in your body from the damage of pollutions or free radicals. These antioxidants help to keep our bodies stay younger and can fight back against cancer and heart disease. Try a white tea for more beneficial antioxidants!
Tea contains less caffeine than coffee does. This means less stress on your nervous system throughout the day. Herbal teas are caffeine free. If you are
looking for some caffeine to make it through the morning or a long afternoon at work try a green tea or black tea. These teas will typically contain only about 50% of the amount of caffeine found in a cup of coffee. You will get a small kick of energy and alertness without all the over caffeinated jitters.
Drinking green tea can help lower levels of LDL cholesterol and thus lower the risk of having a heart attack. Try drinking a matcha green tea which is made from ground green tea leaves. It is a more potent form of green tea.
Drinking tea can boost your immune cells’ activity. Holy basil and Tulsi tea have antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties that can help keep your immune system stay strong in fighting off illnesses.
Herbal teas like chamomile tea can help people with irritable bowel syndrome or an upset stomach because it is an antispasmodic. Antispasmodics have proven moderately effective in alleviating symptoms by targeting and relaxing the smooth muscles of the digestive tract.
Tea is CALORIE FREE. Drinking tea is a great alternative to drinking sugary soda, sports drinks, or coffee with milk and sugar. It can also be a great alternative to drinking just plain water because of all the different varieties and flavors. Decreased caloric intake by a small amount on a daily basis over a significant period of time will result in weight loss.
Robbie G., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health and Athletic Complex
Tips for Training Youth Athletes for Upcoming Sports from a Coach’s Perspective
The fall season is coming and with fall season, comes youth sports such as soccer and football. Training young athletes to get them ready for youth sports can be tricky because every kid is different and our youth can have very short attention spans. Here are some tips I have learned throughout my experience as a youth flag football coach, on how to properly train kids so they are ready for the season.
The number one thing I want to stress in order for you to properly train kids is to get them engaged and keep them focused on the task you want to accomplish. The best way to do this is to incorporate games into your training program. Games are a great tool because kids love them and they will keep them engaged and focused. However, these games cannot be without purpose. You have to design them in a way that is meant to develop a specific skill for their sport. For example, as a youth flag football coach, a specific skill that is important to develop is flag pulling. In flag football instead of physically tackling, each player has a belt with two flags attached to either hip. During a game, when the player with the ball has one of their flags pulled off by an opposing player, that is considered “a tackle” and the play is stopped. To develop this flag pulling skill I have my players play a game called “Sharks and Minnows.” The game is simple; one person (the “shark”) is placed in the middle of the playing field. The rest of the players (the “minnows”) are lined up on one side of the playing field wearing their flag football flags. The concept of the game is for the minnows to get from one side of the playing field to the other without getting one of their flags pulled by the shark. If one of the minnows gets their flag pulled by the shark before they reach the other side, they become a shark as well. The game continues until there is only one minnow left, then you restart the game making the surviving minnow the new shark. This game is fast paced, keeps the kids active, and develops a skill they need to acquire. The kids love this game and it can be modified to develop skills in other youth sports such as maintaining ball control in soccer or dribbling skills for basketball.
Another tip for training youth athletes is to put together fun drills. Kids don’t want to think of training as a boot camp and won’t buy into your program if it’s too challenging or complicated. I have found that putting together drills using fun training equipment is the best way to go. For example, if you want kids to develop agility, put together simple run through drills using an agility ladder. Kids love this unique approach and learning the different ways to run through them. It keeps them focused, engaged, and teaches them an important skill. Another thing to try is to create obstacle course styled drills. Kids love to run through obstacle courses and you can design it in order to help them develop different types of skills. Obstacle course drills will also add a healthy competition to your training program. Kids like a little friendly competition and practicing this during training will help them to face opponents during actual games. They will also get a good workout in by working hard throughout the obstacle course to win the competition.
The final and most helpful tip that I can provide is to always give the youth you’re working with positive reinforcement. Kids want to hear that they are doing a good job so if they’re working hard and doing the best they can, always make sure to let them know you’re proud of them.
Now that you have read these tips, you will be ready to train your kids in a fun and proper manner and prepare them for the upcoming fall sports season!
– Sean N., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
FALL Back into Your Fitness Goals
The end of summer can seem like a sad time of year, but there’s something about the cool, crisp air that can breathe some new life into your usual routine, especially when it comes to exercise. The heat and humidity are down which makes
those outdoor workouts more comfortable. Take advantage of the outdoors! Plan activities that involve being active. Go for a walk before or after work, go for a jog, or even sign up for a 5k race. One of my favorite fall activities is going for a hike. Hiking not only strengthens many of your muscles, but it also increases your cardiovascular endurance.
With the kids going back to school and the holiday season on its way, it is important to get ahead of the game and start exercising now. Outdoor workouts are great in the fall, however, so is going to the gym. Going to the gym can help you stay on track with your workouts. Getting involved in a variety of activities is key and you should make the most out of your time by doing more than just the machines in the gym. Take advantage of all that Dedham Health has to offer:
– Brynne B., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
Weight lifting has always been an important part of most training programs. Up until now, symmetry, stability, consistency, and predictability have been the cornerstones of everything you know. Reaxing is the first proprietary training equipment to turn this concept upside-down – and Dedham Health is the first (and ONLY) place to have it. Thanks to its innovative, sudden dynamic impulse system, the movement of resistance training becomes unexpectedly unstable. Reaxing Flui Weights, Reax Chains, B-Bungee Barbells, Flui Balls, and Flui Kettlebells oscillate, rotate, and bounce depending on the exercise performed by the user, adding unpredictability and dynamism to each exercise. These features force the user to react, adapt, and stabilize, stimulating proprioceptors and the central nervous system like never before for the ultimate functional, neuromuscular workout. Reaxing equipment comes in a variety of weights, so users at any level of fitness are able to perform a huge number of exercises exploiting inertia, dynamics, centrifugal force, and progressive resistance. Reaxing is safe, easy to use, and more versatile than any other fitness product around. Life is unpredictable – train to React!
For more information and personal instruction on how to incorporate our Reaxing equipment into your workout routine, feel free to make an appointment with one of our Exercise Physiologists.
– Jason L., Exercise Physiologist at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex
Start Your Five Focus: Learn These Five Major Components of an Exercise Program
The major components of exercise are varied and can be broken down into many subparts, so let’s make it easy! First, it is important to incorporate all five into your training. Next and last use the five major components listed below as a starting guide and develop a baseline level of competence in these areas to help yourself function at your best.
Aerobic endurance is your body’s ability to maintain a large muscle group activity such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc., for a period of time lasting longer than five minutes. Ideally, perform the activity for up 30 minutes at a time. The recommendation is to achieve 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.
Anaerobic endurance is how well you can sustain an intense effort over a short period of time. You can weight train for anaerobic endurance or intervals can be performed while running, cycling, swimming, or rowing, and you determine your effort through distance traveled or time-based efforts of 30-120 seconds. You can also use various weight training exercises to train for greater muscle endurance in this time-based range or use reps in 15-30 rep range. Perform one to two times per week.
Flexibility is your body’s ability to have adequate range of motion around the major joints in the body to allow you to perform your daily activities without being limited in your motion. Range of motion can be improved through dynamic warm-ups, myofascial release with foam rolling, yoga, bodyweight exercises, strength training, and static stretching. Flexibility can be performed every day.
Maximal strength is your body’s ability to produce maximal force for one or a small number of repetitions per set. You can train in a 3 to 10 rep range to improve your maximal strength. Depending on the movements, you can utilize bodyweight and strength training exercises choosing dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and cable-based weights that are a challenge for you to lift in the 3 to 10 repetition range. This training will improve your strength and ability to perform daily activities that require lifting and moving. Perform 1 to 3 sets, 2 to 3 times per week.
Coupling the first four major components above with mindful eating will help you to achieve the last component – improved body composition. We want to be in healthy ranges of body fat and body weight. Being in the appropriate areas for body composition and weight will allow you to function at your best!
These above descriptions are just a starting point. Other key areas include balance, coordination, and agility, but if we start with the top five the next three will improve. However, one very important component needed to improve any of the major components of exercise is ……. To be consistently consistent with your training. Train smart, train regularly. Ask an exercise physiologist to help you start your five focus!
– Guy C., Fitness Director and Martial Arts School Director at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex