Staying hydrated.

Stay Hydrated, Friends

It’s important to stay hydrated and keep electrolytes balanced during summer workouts

 

Water makes up more than 60% of the human body. Maintaining hydration while training is a challenge, especially throughout the summer. Heatstroke can result from becoming overheated or dehydrated.

 

Water and Electrolytes

Staying hydrated is more than just drinking plenty of water, it’s keeping your electrolytes in balance.

If you’re dehydrated before you begin your workout, staying hydrated or catching up gets tough once the sweating begins. Drink lots of water throughout the workout. After the workout, you will need to continue replenishing fluids.

Sports drinks containing electrolytes (magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium) can be used to replace the necessary minerals lost via perspiration. Aside from sports drinks, coconut water and fruits and vegetables are good sources of electrolytes.

What are Electrolytes?

An electrolyte is a substance that conducts electricity when dissolved in water. Electrolytes are essential for survival as they create a modest electric current that allows many automatic processes in the body to work.

Electrolytes interact with cells in the tissues, nerves, and muscles, as well as with each other. The body’s ability to operate depends on the balance of various electrolytes.

 

Electrolyte Imbalance

Electrolyte levels in the blood can become abnormally high or low, causing an imbalance. These levels can fluctuate depending on bodily water levels and other variables. Important electrolytes, including sodium and potassium, are lost in sweat during exercise. 

An imbalance can impact how the body functions and cause a variety of symptoms. For example, if a person feels faint after a workout, an electrolyte imbalance could be one reason.

Electrolyte Recommended Intake

 

National Hydration Day

On June 23rd, National Hydration Day reminds us to replace fluids lost during workouts. SafeTGard Corporation founded National Hydration Day in honor of football Coach Victor Hawkins (September 1, 1964 – June 23, 2012) who invented a mouthguard that releases electrolytes to keep his players hydrated during games and practices. This day honors Coach Hawkins’ contributions to athlete health, safety, and success and to increasing awareness of the importance of proper hydration to athletes everywhere.

 

Staying Hydrated

Different people need different amounts of water to stay hydrated. As a general rule of thumb, you should try to drink between half an ounce and an ounce of water for each pound you weigh, every day. 

  • If staying hydrated is difficult for you, here are some tips that might help:
  • Keep a bottle of water with you during the day. To reduce your costs, carry a reusable water bottle and fill it with tap water.
  • If you don’t like the taste of plain water, try adding a slice of lemon or lime to your drink.
  • Drink water before, during, and after a workout.
  • When you’re feeling hungry, drink water. Thirst is often confused with hunger. True hunger will not be satisfied by drinking water. 
  • If you have trouble remembering to drink water, drink on a schedule. For example, drink water when you wake up, at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and when you go to bed. Or, drink a small glass of water at the beginning of each hour.

While water should always be your first hydration option, you can supplement your electrolytes with products from Nutrition Nation. Come have a chat with us about supplements that will help keep you hydrated for those intense summer workouts.

 

By Leslie Radford
blood pressure cuff on arm

How Exercise Can Impact Your Blood Pressure

One of the most effective methods to lower your blood pressure is to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine. 

Nearly half of American adults have high blood pressure, according to The American Heart Association. When left untreated, the damage that high blood pressure does to your circulatory system is a significant contributing factor to heart attack, stroke, and other health threats.

While hypertension may appear to be a frightening condition, minor changes to your regular routine might help you decrease and maintain healthy blood pressure. One of the most effective methods to achieve this is to incorporate regular exercise into your daily routine. 

Can Exercise Help Lower Your Blood Pressure? 

While exercise might cause your blood pressure to rise, this is only a temporary effect. To properly decrease your blood pressure, it may take up to three months of constant increased exercise. Of course, you’ll want to consult with your doctor before starting an exercise program.

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise generally accounts for a reduction of 4 to 12 mmHg in diastolic and 3 to 6 mmHg in systolic blood pressure. It does this by strengthening your heart and allowing it to work more effectively and able to pump more blood with less effort. Exercise also helps you maintain a healthy weight and lower stress levels, which are both leading causes of high blood pressure. 

What Exercises Lower Blood Pressure? 

For reducing blood pressure, a mix of aerobic activity and strength training is usually suggested. Aerobic exercise (often known as ‘cardio’) is defined by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) as “any activity that engages large muscle groups, can be performed continuously, and is rhythmic in character.” Resistance training, on the other hand, is described as any exercise in which your muscles are forced to operate against an opposing force. 

These two types of activities, when combined, help to reduce your total blood pressure. 

Not everyone enjoys running on a treadmill or pumping iron in the gym. You can find other types of exercise like yoga, walking, playing sports, biking, and using resistance bands to fulfill your exercise needs. No matter which exercises you choose, it’s important to find something you enjoy. 

Aerobic Exercise  

The American Heart Association recommends you aim to get at least 150 minutes of moderate-intense aerobic exercise, or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise each week. This can either be split as 30 minutes per day on at least 5 days each week or in shorter sessions of 10 minutes several times per day throughout the week.  

Resistance Training 

Newer research suggests that resistance training with bands or weight lifting can be used to supplement aerobic exercise to further reduce blood pressure. You should aim to complete 2 to 4 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions for each of the major muscle groups during your training sessions. Resistance training sessions should be somewhat spaced out throughout the week, to limit the potential muscle soreness. 

Get to Exercising

If you’re new to exercise, remember to take things at your own pace, don’t make it a chore or you won’t stick with it. Once you’ve become used to your new regimen, you can raise the intensity or number of repetitions. 

Blood pressure does naturally increase as we age, so it’s vital to stay active throughout every stage of life. 

Read “5 Benefits of Weight Training

By Leslie Radford
anatomical view of the heart

The Muscle That Matters The Most

Key Points

You might be fit, but are you protecting your heart health? 

 

Cardiovascular disease is the number one cause of death worldwide. It can even happen to someone as fit as a bodybuilder. 

In sports where the muscle mass of the large muscles of the body must contract at maximum capacity such as, for example, in bodybuilding, weightlifting, powerlifting, and strongman, the intensity of effort is the master and the heart muscle undergoes concentric hypertrophy. This is especially true of the left ventricle, which determines the ejection capacity. Therefore, it is possible to have a hypertrophic heart (thickening of the left ventricle). Dirty bulking can increase cholesterol and lead to heart problems. Over-dosing on certain supplements can even put your heart at risk.

It’s important to check in with your doctor, monitor your heart rate, eat clean, keep stress low, get plenty of sleep, and supplement appropriately. Let’s take a closer look at what that looks like. 

 

How to Keep Your Heart Healthy

February is Heart Health Month. Here are some tips to keep your heart healthy.

1 Know Your Numbers

According to the Group Health Research Foundation, healthy men and women should have their cholesterol checked every five years and their blood pressure checked every two years. Men should begin wellness visits at age 35 and women at 45.

Purchase a home blood-pressure monitoring unit. Adult blood pressure is considered normal at 120/80.

Get a physical with full blood work in your twenties to help determine if you have any risk factors. Ask about your family history as well. Your risk of heart disease and stroke greatly increases if a parent has suffered from either before age 55.

2 Go to Sleep

Chronic sleep deprivation can lead to a multitude of health issues, including well-known contributors to heart disease like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and impaired glucose tolerance. The more active you are during the day, the easier it will be for you to sleep at night.

You can set up your sleeping environment to promote deeper sleep by removing all artificial light, installing blackout curtains, or downloading some relaxation sounds for extra sleep aids.

3 Get it On

Sex can increase your heart rate and blood pressure as much as climbing a flight of stairs would. One study suggests that men who orgasm three or more times per week reduce the risk of heart attack by as much as 50 percent—which may be caused by the release of the hormone DHEA. Sex also releases beneficial hormones that reduce stress, cause relaxation, and improve sleep.

4 Don’t Exercise Excessively

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, it’s recommended that you log about 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of high-intensity exercise per week to keep your heart healthy. Some of you probably accomplish this in a few days! 

A review study published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings found that some endurance athletes who exercised at very high intensities over a long duration were at a greater risk of developing heart problems than those who exercised more moderately.

As the saying goes, too much of any one thing is not always a good thing. Different exercises stress the heart in different ways, and too much of any one form can push you into the higher-risk spectrum.

Lifting 3-5 times per week is not going to increase cardiac risk for most people, and the same goes for those who run less than 30 miles per week.

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