Tag: Health

Diet and Exercise Made Simple

Diet and Exercise Made Simple

We all know diet and exercise are important. However, it doesn’t have to be hard! So many people make it out to be much harder than it really is. If you just do a little planning and put in the effort, your health and weight loss goals can be accomplished. 


Which is more important…diet OR exercise?

We all want to know! What is it?! What is more important for getting leaner, stronger, and for me to reach my health and fitness goals fastest? Do I need to focus more on diet OR exercise?

Answer: Neither!

Neither diet nor exercise trump the other. They are BOTH important if you want to reach your strength, health and fitness goals! They both work together to help create a healthy body. If you do one or the other well with little regard towards the other, you will not get near the results as if you worked both together. 

“Your diet helps to amplify the effects of exercise…”

Have you ever heard something like, “You can’t out exercise a bad diet”? Well, though exercise is highly valuable, and burns a ton of calories, it’s too easy for us to eat more calories than we can burn off. Also, if you have a bad diet, you likely will not have the energy to exercise enough to maintain a healthy body.


Have A Good Diet

Your diet helps to amplify the effects of exercise and gives you the energy to perform at your best. So, in order to perform your best, YOU NEED A GOOD DIET!

That doesn’t mean you should be stuck eating bland foods like chicken and broccoli every day, but you should put more thought into it than “oh look, ice cream has 2g of protein in it!”.

Your calories and their sources matter. Have a reasonable amount of fats, carbs, and protein if you want to perform your best and get the most out of your workouts.

DO NOT make one nutrient out to be “bad” and another the only thing you concern yourself with. Find an equal balance that fits your lifestyle and stick to it with little variation.


Do Real Exercise

“If you want to create change, you have to do things that are harder than walking your dog.”

If you don’t exercise you aren’t going to change much of anything. You can’t diet your way to a 6-pack while just sitting around or going through everyday activities. You need some amount of exercise no matter how clean your diet is.

Exercise not only burns calories, but it also creates numerous changes in your body, including hormonal, that changes how your diet affects you. If you want to look like you are fit and workout, then guess what? You’re gonna have to exercise, and exercise enough to create change.

WALKING DOES NOT COUNT!

Walking Is NOT Exercise!

If you want to create change, you have to do things that are harder than walking your dog! Even if you walk your dog uphill, that is still not considered exercise.

Do some strength training, go for a run, do calisthenics at home, cycle, or anything you enjoy. Do it multiple times per week and put in some strong effort so you can get some great results. This will amplify your results as your diet and exercise routine work together to create the most amount of change within your body. 


Make Progress Every Day

“You can do 1 push-up or squat today, 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day and so on.”

Your diet and exercise routine doesn’t have to be complex. Let it be simple.

Let go of the excuses, we all can make them, and get started today. Right now is the time to make a change. Tomorrow is too late!

Get up and do SOMETHING! Anything! Just move and work towards becoming stronger!

Start easy and progress forward by doing just a little more each day. You can do 1 push-up or squat today, 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day and so on.

You can run for 1 minute today, 2 tomorrow, 3 the next day and so on.

The Daily 30 is also a great choice and it was made specifically for beginners!

Whatever you do, continue to improve daily. Doing the same thing over and over will give you little results, plus it’s boring. Do something every day and work towards your goals!


Make Small Diet and Exercise Changes

“Most of us overeat at night due to under-eating throughout the day.”

When it comes to diet and exercise, keep it simple! Start with a simple diet change, like taking a multivitamin or drinking an extra glass of water every morning. Then you can move onto adding in a healthy snack during the day. Such as some fruit, vegetables or some nuts.

YES, I did say “add in” a meal before I said to take anything away. This is because most of us overeat at night due to under-eating throughout the day. If you add in a healthy snack/meal during the day when you need the energy, you will tend to eat less as night, which will make a big difference in itself!

For exercise, start with doing some push-ups, planks, squats, jogging, the Daily 30 or something! You MUST EXERCISE if you want to create change! This tends to be the hardest part for everyone, but it is extremely important! Diet and exercise go together.

Take it slow, but make a change! Your world starts to change the moment you start changing it! So let’s get to it!

Your world starts to change the moment you start changing it!”

Keep getting stronger my friends!

Strength to you,

Ryan J. Mathias

Owner and Creator of MathiasMethod.com

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Hydration for Athletes and Lifters

Hydration for Athletes and Lifters

What is Hydration?

First, hydration is a balance of fluids in the body or having adequate fluids within the body tissues. There are many factors which affect the balance of fluids within the body as our systems are constantly functioning and changing. Your fluid balance will change depending upon activity, temperature, electrolyte balance, fluids consumed and many other factors. So make sure to follow good hydration practices for optimal performance and health.

Good Hydration Practices:

  • Always carry fluids with you.
  • Consume water regularly throughout the day.
  • Drink 1 Liter of water within one hour of first waking up.
  • Drink at least 0.7oz X Bodyweight of water during active days.
  • Consume 1/2 Liter of a 6% saturated (60g per 1 Liter) solution of carbohydrates in sodium water (400-500mg per Liter) for each hour of your training.
  • Consume an extra 1 Liter of water, or more, when exposed to hot conditions.

Effects of Dehydration

Hydration is important because even a slightly dehydrated fluid balance can have negative effects on your body’s systems, health, and overall performance.

The effects of dehydration affect all tissues within the body. The blood is the smallest fluid compartment in the body and regulates the fluid within the surrounding cells. So fluid loss affects the cardiac system the most. This is due to a decrease in blood plasma volume, which holds a large amount of oxygen and allows for normal cardiac output.

This loss also decreases the blood flow to the skin. This mechanism is used to cool the blood and decreases sweat rate, therefore, decreasing core temperature. An increase in core temperature increases the likelihood of heat exhaustion and other dangerous heat-related illness.

Effects on Performance

The effects of dehydration can also have a great effect on athletic performance.

1A fluid loss of even 2-3% (% of body weight) can decrease your VO2 Max (aerobic performance/ the amount of oxygen the body can use) by 5% and fluid loss of 5% can decrease work capacity by 30% (fluid loss % based upon body weight). Those are major effects occurring after only slight dehydration.

The effects of dehydration are a major concern for endurance athletes that compete continuously for over 1 hour, but there is also a concern for athletes performing high-intensity exercise. 1It has been found that a fluid loss of only 2.5%, prior to exercise, can decrease the capacity for high-intensity exercises, such as sprinting or powerlifting, by 45%. That is nearly half of the athlete’s work capacity decreased just by not staying hydrated before performing.

Even for non-active individuals, hydration is important for proper body function. A constant state of dehydration leads to:

  • frequent headaches or migraines
  • rough skin
  • decreased muscular function
  • decreased joint function
  • joint pain
  • decreased kidney function
  • and multiple health problems

Many health and performance concerns can be alleviated by simply staying hydrated daily.


How to Stay Hydrated

Luckily, our bodies are smart and they do not give up fluid easily. So normal hydration is not difficult to maintain.

The kidneys filter your blood, removing waste, and maintain proper fluid balance within the body. There is a constant battle between the pull of fluids inside the body versus the pull of fluids out of the body. The side which has the most pull will take most of the fluids. If the pull is too great in one direction or the other, there is an imbalance that will have negative effects.

To be in fluid balance, the pull of fluids out of the body should be equal, or slightly greater, than the pull of fluids inside the body. If the pull of fluids is shifted towards a pull inside the body, then you are in a state of dehydration. This pull allows the body to maintain a constant blood plasma volume. Which then brings fluids to all other cells within the body.

The pull of fluids out of the body is based on the number of waste products that need to be removed through the urine. If there is a greater pull of fluids out of the body through urine then you are either hydrated or there is a major amount of waste product that needs to be removed. This waste can be excess sodium, or other electrolytes, proteins and nitrogen from broken down cells, or toxins within the body. 

Your body wants to get rid of these particles but needs water as a transport. So the more you workout and break down tissue, the more fluid you need to get rid of the waste.

Salt, Water, and Sugar

In the kidneys, Sodium, Water and Glucose are filtered together and move together. One of the major functions of sodium, an electrolyte [Na+], is to help maintain fluid balance within the body’s cells.

In the body, water follows sodium in order to maintain a constant concentration gradient (or fluid balance). This is from comparing particles in and out of the cells.

Also, for every gram of carbohydrates in the body, in the form of glycogen, there are 2.7g of water attached to it. This gives sugary sports drinks an advantage for hydration. If there are sodium and carbohydrates within a water-based drink, such as sports drinks, then there is a large pull towards fluids inside the body during absorption and filtration. This is why it is important to utilize appropriately concentrated sports drinks during long-duration exercise to stay hydrated.

However, that does not mean you always need a sports drink to stay hydrated. You have to earn it! If you are not doing intense exercise for at least one hour, then all you need is water for hydration. Only excessive and exhausting exercise requires more.

The most optimal concentration of carbohydrates in water for hydration is 6% concentration. That is 6g per 100mL or 60g of carbohydrates per Liter of water. The amount of sodium needed within the solution varies depending upon the individual, but it is also an important part of replenishment. The standard sodium content should be enough to taste like Ocean water or about 400-500mg per Liter of water.

It was also found that cold fluids moved through the stomach faster allowing for faster absorption in the intestines. So keep fluids cool during exercise, when possible.

The Perfect Hydrating Drink

To stay hydrated during exercise sessions exceeding one hour, continuous or not, drink ½ Liter of cool water with about 30g of fast digesting carbohydrates, in the form of sugar, for every hour of activity.

Throughout the day manage fluid intake by consuming water. You should consume the same amount of water that you lose throughout the day so that fluid in equal fluids out. This will help to maintain a state of hydration while allowing for urine production to remove waste products.

For individuals with a high activity level, drink a minimum of 0.7oz per pound of bodyweight to stay hydrated while removing the waste product from excessive muscle contractions.

During hot days, consume at least one extra Liter of water to account for the excess fluid loss from skin dissipation or sweat.


Final Thoughts

Overall, staying hydrated is not difficult but if neglected it can have major negative effects on your body’s ability to perform and function properly.

The first step to hydration is being prepared. If you are going to be away from a water source for a long period then carry enough fluids with you. Think ahead and know what you need to consume for the activity you are doing.

Also, learn to enjoy water. You should not constantly be craving water, as that is a sign of dehydration. However, you should not dread every drink you take. Water should make up a majority of the fluid you drink so have no complaints about the taste.

It takes some dedication to consume a large amount of fluid daily for active individuals. However, it takes the same dedication to be fit and healthy. By neglecting to stay hydrated you are neglecting to maintain a healthy functioning body. Just be consistent and you will find it is not as hard as you may think.

Stay strong, stay healthy, and stay hydrated.


Credits:

1 = Gleeson, M. Ph.D., Jeukendrup, A. Ph.D. (2010) Sports Nutrition, Second Edition. Excerpt.

http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/dehydration-and-its-effects-on-performance

For more on hydration, watch this video!

6 Steps To Fat Loss Forever

6 Steps To Fat Loss Forever

Losing fat is hard when you don’t know what you are doing. Luckily, these simple 6 Steps To Fat Loss Forever, make it easy to lose weight and keep it off for good! Get ready to start burning fat and losing weight, like never before!


Step #1: Take a multivitamin and drink more water!

First, start by simply taking a multivitamin every day and drinking more water. This may seem simple, but it can greatly improve how you feel. Plus, vitamins, minerals, and water all help with fat loss by regulating your metabolism and helping you feel full. 

Choose a good multivitamin that has about 50% Daily Value for most vitamins and minerals, and try to work your way up to drinking 0.7 oz x Bodyweight (lbs) in water each day.

Do this for 1-2 weeks before continuing to step 2.

Learn more about vitamins and minerals or staying hydrated.


Step #2: Exercise More!

Next, you absolutely need to exercise if you want to lose fat. Your diet is important, but exercise is much more valuable, as it affects how your body reacts to food.

However, it is vital that you maintain a regular diet as you increase your activity level. If you start out by increasing your daily activity and cutting calories at the same time, then your body will not have the energy to exercise. Eat clean, but eat enough to be full and energized for your workouts.

You should do 90 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days per week OR 30 minutes of vigorous intensity exercise 3 days per week OR a combination of these two.

Do this for 0-4 weeks before continuing on to step 3.

Learn more about these Exercise Guidelines.


Step #3: Improve Your Diet!

Before we cut out calories, we need to make sure that you can maintain a proper diet to fuel your increased activity levels. By improving your diet you will begin to improve your body composition, even if you maintain the same bodyweight.

Maintain this improved diet for at least 4 weeks before moving to the next step.

Learn more about how to improve your diet.


Step #4: Build Muscle!

In order to maintain your valuable muscle, it is important that you do a good amount of strength training while trying to lose fat. If you don’t, then you will lose that valuable muscle and have to work even harder to get it back.

Also, if you do some strength training, you do not need to do nearly as much cardio exercise.

Do this until you have built a solid base of muscle and strength before moving onto step 5.

Recommended Strength Programs:


Step #5: Cut Calories

If you are exercising regularly while maintaining a regular nutrient dense diet and have stopped losing weight, then you should start to cut out calories. NOT BEFORE!

Again, you need the energy to fuel your increased activity, then you can cut back when it stops working. 

I recommend you only cut out 200-500 calories from your daily intake and stick with that until it stops working. Then repeat. For most of us that is just cutting out one snack or part of a meal.

Learn more about modifying your caloric intake with these articles:


Step #6: Be Patient!

Unfortunatley, fat loss just takes time. If you have built up many bad habits over the years, it is likely going to take a year or more to correct them.

Progress may seem slow, but any progress should be viewed as a success. This is not easy! So, be proud of yourself every day for taking on the challenge!


Other Fat Loss Articles:


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Walking Is Not Exercise

Walking Is Not Exercise!

Did you know that walking is NOT considered exercise? This is not just my opinion but standards set by the American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines (ACSM Guidelines). However, many people do not understand this. Which is why I made this video to help explain why…enjoy!


daily 30 2nd edition book The Daily 30: Bodyweight Fitness Workout

Learn how to move properly while you build strength, burn fat, decrease pain, improve your fitness, and prevent injury, at home or in the gym!

This is great for men, women, and children of all strength levels!

Learn More!


Walking Is Not Exercise Video Summary

Walking is not exercise as stated by ACSM (American College Of Sports Medicine) Guidelines!

The ACSM Guidelines state that the Exercise Minimums to not be labeled as “sedentary” (without exercise) are:


ACSM’s Guidelines – Weekly Exercise Minimums:

Moderate Intensity (40-60% VO2 Max)                    30 Min. /Day               ≥ 5 Days/Week

               Or

Vigorous Intensity (60-85% VO2 Max)                      20 Min. /Day               ≥ 3 Days/Week

               Or

A Combination of These Two

* Williams, L., Wilkins. (2014). ACSM’s Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. American College of Sports Medicine. Ninth Edition. [Text]

Moderate Intensity Exercise: Running, rowing, swimming, hiking, cycling, playing sport at a pace that is it difficult to maintain a conversation. 

Vigorous Intensity Exercise: Sprinting, rowing, jumping, swimming, cycling, playing sport at a pace in which you cannot maintain a conversation.

Learn more!


So, walking is simply not intense enough to be exercise, or a “workout”, for most healthy individuals.

Walking can be exercise for those first learning to walk or the elderly who are losing their ability to walk. However, for most of the population, you need more intensity for it to be considered an exercise routine or workout.

Of course, walking does have some benefits, such as improved blood circulation, increased insulin resistance, and it obviously burns more calories than just sitting around.

However, for those of you trying to lose weight, build muscleget stronger, become more athletic, or reach your goals, your training needs to be done with greater intensity. Walking for exercise is just not enough!

If you are a beginner and don’t know where to start, you can start by getting my FREE Bodyweight Strength Training Guide that can give you a real workout with just a few minutes of exercise every day!

Now, go start a new challenge and take on the world!


Please leave your thoughts on “Walking For Exercise” below!


 

What Every Senior Hoping to Boost Their Overall Quality of Life Should Know

What Every Senior Hoping to Boost Their Overall Quality of Life Should Know

By Jason Lewis of StrongWell.org

Despite what you thought when you were 25 or what you hear from the younger crowd today, your golden years can actually be the most rewarding stage of your life.

It doesn’t just happen that way, however.

As a senior, in order to enjoy a higher quality of life, you need to work for it. Here’s what you should know to make it happen.

Staying Physically Active Is Where to Begin

Although exercise can be uncomfortable for seniors suffering from some ailments or mobility issues, know this: There is always a type of workout that you can do without too much pain and the benefits of exercise are well worth it.

Seniors who exercise spend less time injured or disabled than those who don’t — 25 percent in fact. The benefits of exercise extend far beyond that, however. Seniors can expect improvements to bone health, circulatory function, immune function, and more.

Even doing a few simple stretches can have a host of positive benefits, including reduced tension and calmness within the body and mind. If you need some stretching pointers, there’s a handy infographic that can provide some assistance, or check out the Mathias Method Mobility Guide.

You Can Easily Get Your Workout Indoors

When some seniors think about exercise, they think about scary things like running around the neighborhood, pumping iron at the gym, or barreling down a track on a bike.

You may be concerned about the weather as well. How can you exercise when it’s too hot, too cold, or storming outside? It doesn’t have to be this way.

Seniors can get more-than-adequate physical activity safely indoors. Try swimming, yoga, bodyweight exercises, group fitness classes, resistance band training, YouTube exercise videos, or even fitness-related video games.


daily 30 2nd edition bookTry the Daily 30: Bodyweight Exercise Routine!

Learn how to move properly to build strength, improve mobility, decrease pain, prevent injury, and get fit, at home or in the gym!

Great for men, women, children, and seniors of all strength levels!

Learn More!


You Can’t Isolate Your Way to Better Health

It doesn’t matter whether you want to spend time with friends at church, call up a workout buddy to accompany you on a walk, or host a weekly card game — as long as you’re socializing with other people with relative frequency, you’re actively improving your overall well-being.

It is thought that “older people who have close connections and relationships not only live longer, but also cope better with health conditions and experience less depression.” It appears that being an active member of a social group stimulates brain activity in a positive manner.

Your Dietary Needs Have Expanded

Eating a well-balanced diet full of fruits and veggies and low in sugar and saturated fat is what keep all humans healthy. When you’re 30, that’s about all it takes. But when you’re 60 and older, that well-balanced diet is necessary, but it’s not enough.

Your dietary needs have expanded. Your body now requires specific vitamins and supplements and perhaps extra nutrients.

You should work to increase your calcium, vitamin D, B1, and fiber at the very least. Also, remember to stay hydrated. You may have to drink more water than you think you should.

In the end, consult your doctor and listen to what your body is telling you.

Getting Quality Sleep May Be the Key That Unlocks It All

If you don’t give your mind and body the shutdown time it needs to replenish and recharge, then everything else you do — from diet and exercise to socialization — may be all for naught.

Sleep is vital to help you maintain and improve pretty much every aspect of your physical and mental health. For better sleep, try sticking to a strict bedtime and wake-up schedule, avoid eating in the hours before bedtime, try to limit your exposure to “blue light” (smartphone screens, computers, TV), and consider melatonin supplements.

What is the thread tying all of this together? Control. You are ultimately in control of your overall health. Sure, there are some things that are out of your control. But taking a “woe is me” or an “I’m just too old to change things attitude” won’t get you anywhere.

Make some of these smart lifestyle changes or additions and you’ll improve your overall quality of life in no time.