Coffee Naps are Better than Coffee or Naps Alone – Things Worth Sharing

Are you a coffee drinker, napper, or both? It appears that the best way to wake yourself up is to drink coffee, and immediately follow it with a 20 minute nap. Don’t believe me? Check out this great video by Vox!

‘Things Worth Sharing’ is the portion of the website where I share interesting and useful health and fitness articles not written by 2 Weeks to Health. Nothing is advertised, everything is awesome.

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Quote of the Week – 30 Jan

“If you get 1% better at something every day then it is a successful day” – Unknown

Lets look at an example of this. If you want to get better at walking, and you get better at it 1% every day, how far will you be walking after a year of 1% a day increases? If you started by walking 1 mile before you were burned out, by the end of the year you would be walking almost 38 miles before you were done! That’s the power of compounding. So if you choose something and get better at it 1% a day, by the end of the year you’ll be 38 times better at it.

Do you have a favorite quote? Send it to 2weekstohealth@gmail.com and we will feature you in one of the upcoming weeks!

5 Things to Quit Right Now

1. Sitting for Extended Periods of Time

In 2010, doctors in Australia set out to see if watching TV affects your chance of dying. They observed that if you watch no TV each day, your chances of dying from cardiovascular disease in the next 10 or so years is close to zero. Then if you watched about 5 hours of TV per day, that probability of dying from cardiovascular disease increases to about 5%. This increase is added to the average probability of death of other non-cardiovascular ailments, so your chances of dying increases from 3% to 8% just by making your favorite after work hobby watching TV or playing video games. If you also have a desk job, this can increase significantly as you are now sitting for 8+ hours per day. So why does the death rate increase? When you sit down your natural enzymes that burn fat are reduced, your metabolism slows, insulin effectiveness is reduced, good cholesterol drops, your circulation slows, and you begin to have muscle degeneration. Choose hobbies that keep you active, and when you’re at work, ensure you are making time to get up and walk around.

2. Smoking Cigarettes

In any given year in the United States, there are close to 500,000 deaths that are directly related to smoking. Smoking can cause cancer in at least 16 different organs, including your lungs, mouth, and kidneys. Other parts of the body that research has shown to be negatively affected by smoking are your bones, immune system, blood, eyes, and reproductive system. Cigarettes have 43 chemicals that are known to cause cancer in them, as well as an additional 400 other toxins. You’ve been taught that smoking is bad since middle school health class, and that’s still the case today. If you are a current smoker, perhaps the best thing you can do for your health is to quit smoking.

3. Eating Processed and Packaged Food

Processed and packaged food is a very large category that encompasses everything from potato chips to frozen dinners. If your food comes frozen or in a sealed bag or box it probably falls into the quit list. Processed and packaged food are notoriously high in fat, high in sodium, high in sugar, and low in nutrients. So if they’re so bad, why do they taste so good? It wasn’t until about the last century that food has become abundant, and that’s only in select parts of the world. Because food wasn’t as abundant, our bodies became hard-wired to love foods that had high energy contents, such as fat, salt, and sugar, which were difficult to come by in the wild. Now that these foods are available everywhere, our body still craves them, but we no longer need them to stay alive, they only hurt our health. So next time you reach for food that is packaged or processed, try to think about a fresh alternative that won’t have as much added fat, salt, and sugar. Your instincts may think you need them, but you’re better off going with fresh foods.

4. Drinking Soda Pop

A single 12oz can of Coke has 140 calories which are almost exclusively from sugar (a carbohydrate). Drinking just 2 cans of soda per day will account for about 15% of the average daily calorie intake for an average person. The problem is soda adds no nutritional value to your body and it isn’t filling, so these calories are usually added on top of what your body already is eating. This means your soda is being stored as fat. Soda can also cause insomnia due to the caffeine, and tooth decay from the sugar. So what if you drink diet soda? You may not be drinking any calories, but the artificial sweeteners may have some effects on your physiology. The more sweeteners you drink, the more your body will crave a diet that is very sweet, causing you to continue to crave foods that are high in sugar. Studies have shown that when it comes to losing weight, switching from normal to diet soda has very little impact on the outcome. It’s best to cut them out of your diet altogether and drink water.

5. Complaining and Making Excuses

Wait, this isn’t a food, how can this effect my health? Mental health aside, when it comes to staying physically healthy, you need to keep a positive attitude and work hard to meet your health goals. You need to keep a positive attitude toward any changes you make to better your health. For example, if you decide to cut out soda from your diet, then instead of complaining about how you don’t feel any different after only day one, stay positive and realize long term it will have great health benefits. Also, never make excuses for not exercising or eating healthy. It’s a matter of priority. If you prioritize your health, then you shouldn’t be telling yourself “well I got home late so I’ll make a frozen dinner and skip my workout”. Make time, not excuses.

Author: Scott Van Hoy – Click Here to view the author’s profile

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What’s the Single Best Thing We Can Do for Our Health? – Things Worth Sharing

In this video posted by DocMikeEvans, we learn that perhaps the best thing we can do for our health is to walk for 30 minutes per day. Watch to learn why!

‘Things Worth Sharing’ is the portion of the website where I share interesting and useful health and fitness content not written by 2 Weeks to Health. Nothing is advertised, everything is awesome.

Quote of the Week – 23 Jan

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” – Haruki Murakami

When doing physical training, pain is inevitable. The pain often begins with the sound  of an alarm clock and continues until the last muscle is no longer sore. You attitude toward this pain means the world to your progress. To ensure you are getting the most out of it, don’t see it as suffering. If you perceive your workouts or healthy meals as something that is ‘the worst’, then your attitude won’t allow for long-term progress. Embrace the pain, but never suffer as a result. Always keep a positive attitude.

Do you have a favorite quote? Send it to 2weekstohealth@gmail.com and we will feature you in one of the upcoming weeks!

What Type of Shoes Should You Wear When Trying to Lose Weight?

The human body is structured to be able to efficiently hold up a certain weight. If you start exceeding that weight, your body will begin compensating or breaking down, causing pain or discomfort in certain areas. One of the most common areas that become painful when you are carrying a couple extra pounds are your feet and lower legs, and your shoes could be either helping or hurting this pain.

The arch of your foot can be thought of as a spring that absorbs the shock caused by the weight of your body when you walk or run. This spring is rated to a certain weight, let’s use 150 pounds as an example. As you start to weight more than the spring is rated for, the spring will overcompress. If you weigh 180 pounds and the spring is rated for 150, the spring will collapse under the weight, just like you see the back of a truck dip down when there is a bunch of stuff loaded in the back. This collapse of the arch of your foot then causes the rest of your ankle to roll inward with every step, a process called overpronation.

Overpronation can cause a lot of discomfort in the feet and lower legs, but this pain can be mitigated by wearing the right shoes. While there is no replacement to weight loss when trying to cure this pain, wearing a stable shoe that adds support under the arch can keep your foot in a neutral position while walking and running. While lower leg pain when you are a bit overweight is usually caused by overpronation, you can verify this by looking at the wear and tear of an old pair of shoes. If you notice that more of the tread is worn down on the inside of your shoes than on the outside, this is an indication that you are an overpronator. Also, running shoe stores such as Body N’ Sole will video tape you walking and tell you if you are an overpronator for free.

A common mistake I see people making is that when you buy shoes, they choose them based on style rather than functionality. While the Nike Free series look great, they offer zero support for your collapsing foot. You want to look for a shoe that is supportive and rigid in design. Usually, shoe companies will make these types of shoes fairly easy to identify on their websites by allowing you to search for shoes based on if they are “support” shoes. Some companies, such as ASICS, even allow you to filter shoes by whether or not they are made specifically for overpronation. Some shoes commonly worn by overpronators are the ASICS GT-2000s, Nike LunarGlides, Mizuno Wave Inspires, Brooks Adrenalines, and Saucony Hurricanes. I’ve personally run with each of the following brands, and you can’t really go wrong with any of them.

When you are buying your new pair of shoes to combat your overpronation, make sure you try them on with athletic socks on, preferably at the end of the day when your feet are a bit swollen, and that you have about a half inch of extra room in the toe box. If you decide to use insoles for a bit of extra support, purchase them before you buy the shoes so you can make sure the shoe will still feel great once you add the insoles. Spend a week or two breaking them in, and hopefully your new shoes will help alleviate any pain you may have been having.

Finally, remember to replace your shoes about every 6 months if you are active. The support will begin to break down after awhile, and you will want to replace your shoes to ensure your feet are getting the support they deserve. I hope you found this article helpful. Feel free to email me with any comments, questions, or concerns at 2weekstohealth@gmail.com.

Author: Scott Van Hoy – Click Here to view the author’s profile

Fitness on a Budget

I remember when I was growing up it was always difficult to convince my parents to buy me new things. They were incredibly disciplined in what they invested their money in, and if it was something they didn’t see as “valuable” or “worth the money”, it was an almost certain “no”. Dreams of buying 30 dollar dumbbells, a treadmill, or even some gym memberships were never going to be reached. If it wasn’t for the local YMCA offering a 12 dollar monthly membership, I do not know if I would have ever been part of a gym! Now I don’t want to throw my parents under the bus, they gave me everything that I wanted that I truly needed, but the point is there millions of people who struggle financially and still want to get healthy. I am now a college student, and I know what it feels like to live off of 100 dollars for a month; I see it with my friends and in myself every day! Breaking the bank isn’t an option for me or for many of us, and that is a sad but true reality. However, this reality does not inhibit our ability to live a healthy lifestyle. In fact, we can still get in tremendous shape and look amazing with the use of extremely cheap equipment. In particular, the following presents my five favorite exercise modalities, all which can be found at sporting good stores or online for under $20!

Your Own Body

As cliché as it is to use in this article, do not underestimate the power of bodyweight exercise in shaping an amazing physique! There are several successful exercise programs that use only your own body to change and get dramatic results. I personally prefer to use bodyweight exercises as opposed to weighted exercise just because of the lean and clean cut look it elicits. Whether it be push-ups, dips, squats, lunges, running, or jumping, there are hundreds of exercises out there that are incredibly effective, and they are completely free. Here is a sample body weight workout that will challenge you for free!

Exercise Bingo: Create a slip of paper for each of the spaces (i.e B1, N2, etc.), and put them in a hat. Pull out a slip of a paper, and conduct the exercise on that respective space for 1 minute. After the exercise is completed, pull out another slip. If you pull a free space, rest for one minute and drink water. The goal is to get two bingos on the same card.

B I N G O
1 Wide Push Ups Jumping Jacks Mountain Climbers Sit Ups Squats
2 Military Push Ups Burpees Free (1 minute break) Jump Squats Calf Raises
3 Plank High Knees Lunges Hip Bridges Arm Circles
4 Free (1 minute break) Butt Kickers 360 degree jumps Superman’s Free (1 minute break)


Speed Rope

A speed rope is very cheap item that will bring a hell of a lot of intd0c73dd1-e269-4b28-a360-57a2d7074ccf_1-89a1581b98b87ba35a057d771ef1ece7ensity into your workout. I would like to make the distinction between a jump rope and a speed rope, one is used for recreation and the other exercise. Don’t get discouraged, jumping rope is difficult at first, especially at high speeds. However, after practicing it for a few workouts you should pick it up quickly. You can find this modality for as cheap as $2.97 at your local Walmart. Check out this sample speed rope workout below!

15 Minute Speed Rope Circuit

Regular Jump (1:00) High-Speed High Knees Jump (1:00) Regular Jump (1:00)
High-Speed Jump (1:00) Regular Jump (1:00) Double Jumps (1:00)
Regular Jump (1:00) Single Leg Jump Rope (1:00) left Regular Jump (1:00)
High-Speed Side-to-Side Jump (1:00) Regular Jump (1:00) Scissor Jumps (1:00)
Regular Jump (1:00)(left) Single Leg Jump (1:00) right Regular Jumps (1:00)
  • Regular Jump– Normal jump rope at a regular pace.
  • High-Speed Jump– Jump as fast as you possibly can.
  • High-Speed Side-to-Side Jumps– Jump side to side with both feet as fast as possible while jumping over the rope.
  • High-Speed High Knees– Perform high knees while jumping over the rope.
  • Single Leg Jump Rope– Jump over the rope with only one leg, while the other is lifted off the ground.
  • Double Jumps– Jump high enough where you can perform two full revolutions of the jump rope before touching the ground.
  • Scissor Jumps– Put one foot in front of the other, jump, and then switch feet. Continue this process.

Medicine Ball

A medicine ball is yet another relatively cheap item that provides a lot of versatility when it comes to the amount of exercises you can perform with it. These can be found for anywhere between fifteen and thirty dollars. With its versatility nearly unmatched, here is three of the hundreds of moves you can perform with a medicine ball.

Medicine Ball Push-Ups are my personal favorite. The move is simply performing a push-up, but now there is a medicine ball under one of your hands. Medicine Ball Push-Ups have tons of versatility in their own right, and can also be performed with several balls, each placed on a different limb. It adds a balance and core component to boring old push-ups, and thus intensifies the move.  

Jump Squats are another already difficult move that Medicine Balls can intensify to push your body even further. This move is when you perform a normal squat, bending your knees to 90 degrees, and once you reach this point, explode straight up and jump in the air. Do all of this while holding the medicine ball in your hand.

Medicine Ball Burpees are another extremely challenging move that I love to use in both my workouts and the workouts of my clients. Start standing straight up, and then kneeling down and touching the medicine ball to the floor. Once the medicine ball reaches the floor, jump your legs back into Push Up position, and perform a Push Up with both hands on the medicine ball. Once the Push Up is completed, jump your feet back up to the ball, and stand up.

Agility Ladder

The Agility Ladder is my favorite thing that I mention in this entire article! It allows for workouts that challenge the coordination of the neuromuscular system, have high intense cardio components, and just provide for a fun and unique workout experience. All these benefits are only coupled when you realize it only costs eleven dollars at Walmart! Check out this Video with 30 speed ladder movements to see what it is all about!

Resistance Bands

Resistance Bands are the perfect replacement for weights for anyone that is on a tight budget. Not only do they serve the same practical purpose as dumbbells, but the difference in cost is absolutely astounding. While a pair of thirty-pound dumbells will cost around $40, the resistance bands will cost only $10! There are plenty of videos on YouTube that will take you through resistance band workouts from start to finish. 

All of this exercise equipment is a staple for the workouts I use for both my clients and myself. Not only are they all incredibly cheap and a perfect way to ensure proper intensity for your workouts, but they are extremely fun and challenging ways to workout. I promise that even if I had a billion dollar budget, these are exactly the things I would use to change my client’s lives!

This article was written by Alex Perelló.

Reignite Your Metabolism – Things Worth Sharing

Dr. Oz always comes up with fun and creative ways to teach us about how our bodies work. In this segment, he discusses the pituitary gland and how it can affect our metabolism. He also offers an easy solution to keep it working efficiently. What I love is that it hits on the point that we are all built slightly differently. To some of us, our hormones that are controlled by the pituitary gland might make weight loss much more difficult. However, something that was brought up by Michael Matthews in his book 12 Health and Fitness Mistakes that You Don’t Know You’re Making (summarized here), brings up that even if you have a naturally slower metabolism, the chances are it is no more than 20% slower than the average person. That 20% equals about 400 fewer calories a day needed by your body to function, meaning you must eat less or exercise more than the average person to lose weight, but it’s still very possible to do by eating lower calorie foods and hitting the gym. So watch the video below to learn about how your pituitary gland may be making it harder for you to lose weight, but keep in mind even with a slower metabolism, you have all the tools you need to lose weight and live a healthy life.

‘Things Worth Sharing’ is the portion of the website where I share interesting and useful health and fitness articles not written by 2 Weeks to Health. Nothing is advertised, everything is awesome.

Quote of the Week – 16 Jan

“Find passion, embrace fear, and create success on your own terms” – Dulce Candy Ruiz

There are hundreds of different hobbies and careers that lead to you becoming a healthier individual. Start exploring what is out there and find one you enjoy doing and can become passionate about. If you have any fears or anxiety that will inhibit living a healthier life, it is time to try to conquer them. It can be difficult, but life begins at the end of your comfort zone. If you do these two things, success will be on your own terms. Forge your own path to success by taking charging of your own fears, passions, and life.

Do you have a favorite quote? Send it to 2weekstohealth@gmail.com and we will feature you in one of the upcoming weeks!

 

The Top 5 TED Talks on Health and Fitness

For those who are unfamiliar with TED Talks, TED is an organization that hosts conferences around the world so people can share their ideas that are worth sharing. Usually these ideas worth sharing tackle some kind of societal issue. There are hundreds of talks about health and fitness on TED, but here are 5 of my favorites!

Can you be so healthy it kills you? AJ Jacobs took every little piece of health advice he received and followed it, leading in this talk titled How Healthy Living Nearly Killed Me. This talk is filled with humor and great facts about living a healthy and balanced life.

“We are literally going to sleep our ways to the top!” Sleep is incredibly important for our health, and this talk by Arianna Huffington talks about how if we want to succeed, we need to get more sleep.

In Emily Balcetis’ talk titled Why Some People Find Exercise Harder Than Others, we dig deep into the perception of exercise. Mentality is often more important than physical ability when it comes to living a healthier life, and this talk discusses how our perceptions can change our mentality.

Mick Cornett, the Mayor of Oklahoma City, talks about his own problems with obesity, and then how he analyzed his town to help make other healthier too in this talk titled How an Obese Town Lost a Million Pounds. What I like about this talk is it shows that once we learn how to live healthier, we should spread our wealth of knowledge and start a local movement starting from the grassroots level.

“This could be the first generation in which our kids have a shorter lifespan than we do.” Dean Ornish gives his talk The Killer American Diet That’s Sweeping the Planet, and it’s definitely one to watch. It gives a good world perspective on how obesity affects us as a whole and how we can work to combat it.

 

Author: Scott Van Hoy – Click Here to view the author’s profile