The level of sugar in blood or blood glucose can cause a number of health problems including diabetes. Reasons of diabetes can be different but all of them result in excessive sugar level in blood which may cause various serious health problems including cardiovascular diseases, eye damage, kidney problems and neurological problems etc.
Diabetes can be controlled by eating healthy diet in combination with nutrition’s and workouts. Sugar free protein powder with water is considered to be the best dietary alternative for diabetic people as it not only controls their insulin level but also their craving for food and sugar.
Most of the protein powder with water available in the market to lose body weight and gain muscle mass have higher quantity of protein but low sugar as compared to other high calorie health drinks including juices and energy drinks. But these protein water supplements are consumed for the essential nutrition provided by their protein content instead of their sugar content.
Similarly no sugar protein powder with water helps in preventing fluctuation in blood sugar levels which may increase craze to eat sweet things and tiredness in your body. Thus for the people with high diabetes it is necessary to monitor and control their blood sugar level through these sugarless protein supplements.
Most of the processed foods with high sugar have lesser amount of minerals, vitamins and nutrients in comparison to the naturally processed foods with lesser ingredients. So while buying sugar free health supplements you should read their label as their calorie level should not be more than 200 counts as it will increase up to 300-350 when included in some other medium like milk, juice etc.
Brief information about popular sugar free protein based health supplement Ion-X Protein water.
EPOC (aka the afterburn effect) stands for Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption. It’s crucial if you want to get the most out of your training time to see those results faster.
EPOC is all about challenging yourself during your training sessions to speed up your metabolism after you leave the gym in Clapham. While it will feel challenging at the time, by consistently challenging yourself you’ll burn more calories during and after your workout, and by extension, your body will change faster than by keeping at the same pace.
Think of EPOC as an extension of the time you spend in the gym. If you spend your time on a cardio machine operating at a steady pace, you’ll get a sweat on and a bit of an endorphin rush (the happy feeling we get the following exertion) to a certain extent.
However, if you focus on lifting challenging weights using your whole body and using that same cardio machine but completing intervals that get you out of breath, your body requires energy to catch your breath and recovery from the more challenging workout you have just completed.
Here are four ways you can get more out of your training sessions and feel the benefits of EPOC straight away.
The theory behind supersets is that you complete exercises on different body parts, one after the other without resting. One body part is working while another is resting, but the overriding point is that you are pushing yourself, as well as saving time in the process.
A few examples of efficient supersets include:
Kettlebell swings and dumbbell shoulder presses
TRX Self-rows and lateral lunges
Dumbbell bench press and assisted pull-ups
2. NEGATIVE RESTS
This means you are working for longer than you are resting (for example if you perform an exercise for 30 seconds, you take maximum 20 seconds rest between sets).
This will mean your body will not fully recover between exercises, but the benefit of that is when your body doesn’t recover it will adapt. That’s a sure-fire way to improve your fitness.
3. CHOOSE YOUR WEIGHTS BY FORM, NOT GUESS-WORK
People often make assumptions based on how much weight someone can lift.
When it comes to weight choice for exercise, consider what you want to achieve, and then choose a weight that will enable you to stay in that rep range.
Here are some guidelines when it comes to weight-training goals:
Strength Without Size: 6-8 repetitions
Hypertrophy (Muscle Growth): 8-12 repetitions
Muscular Endurance: 13-15 repetitions
If you can do more than the range, the weight is too light. If you can’t get to the range with the correct form, the weight is too heavy.
4. USE AS MANY JOINTS AS POSSIBLE
When you complete any exercise make sure you use as many points as you can (look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself how many joints are involved in completing the exercise – and yes, wrists and ankles count here). If you’re using less than 3 joints, think about how you can add more joints into the mix.
By doing this you will use more of your body, causing more energy to be consumed.
So get ready to get sweaty and to breath heavier – your body shape will thank you for it.
Are you a woman and looking for some best protein waters for women? There are many good protein waters for women available in market and you must know their key features. Many women are even afraid of using best whey protein with water because they might think that it’s something only for men but infact that’s not the case. For past many years it was a myth “do protein waters really work with women body” and the answer has been proved over every passed year. Many women around the world have taken advantages of protein waters and even now most of the protein water manufacturers are providing specific protein waters for women as well.
Women interest in protein supplements has really boomed in the last couple of years for fitness and also in losing weight through protein supplement. But the major thing which you have to remember here is that there is a significant difference in body of a woman and a man. Therefore they have some different nutrient requirements but that does not mean that they cannot consume men’s protein waters. Women can achieve the same results by using them as it’s all about taking protein in your diet. Since time has passed and technology has evolved most of the products are available for both genders on the basis of their body requirements therefore protein supplement manufacturers have designed quality powders specifically for women.
The best protein waters for women usually are vitamin rich which include vitamin B6, Folic acid and calcium. At the same time as men’s muscle are stronger and bigger than women’s therefore women’s protein requirement is not that much as of a man therefore women protein waters have less protein in them. Whey protein and Soy protein are good choices for women as they are low in calories and takes lesser amount of time to get digested.
Best protein sources for pregnant women are always from natural products but if you are using any supplement be sure to consult your physician about them.
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Ready-to-Drink Protein Water Are Actually Additional Convenient
One of the struggles that one eliminate when consuming ready-to-drink water is the cleanup. Everybody that has actually received the experience of cleaning up after a large protein powder shake realizes what a mess powdered supplements may make. Most powders clump up in the mixing cup as well as stick to the sides. Blenders or shaker cups that have actually been actually utilized to make a protein water typically stop up caked by having sticky protein powder clumps. The genuinely unpleasant element is actually that one has to clean these messes up multiple times a daytime if one is a regular protein powder customer.
Ready-to-drink shakes don’t demand any combining or blending. These supplemental beverages are actually already blended in the container you get them in. There is actually no measuring powder or liquid as well as then attempting in vain to acquire the power to waste away. Ready-to-drink protein water is easy, pre-mixed and they normally taste extremely great. Best of all – there’s not clean up after one’s accomplished drinking a ready-to-drink protein shake. You acquire every bit of the muscle structure protein that one pay for and do not need to scrape as well as clean every mixer cups or blenders. Just placed, ready-to-drink protein shakes are the beneficial alternative to the traditional protein powder shakes of the past.
No More Wasted Protein
What One Desired to Know About Ready-To-Drink Protein Water
The messes mentioned with protein powders are not simply an inconvenience to clean up, they additionally act for squandered protein. When one pay for protein powder, one choose to have every bit of muscular tissue structure protein that one paid for. The clumps that receive stuck to the side of the cup might not look like a load, but daytime after daytime that volume builds up as well as prior to likewise lengthy you are losing tons of the protein that you paid for. Ready-to-drink protein water reduces the squandered protein that accompanies protein powder usage. One gets the specific volume of protein that you paid for and you really don’t cease up cleaning precious protein down the drain.
Ready-to-drink protein beverages are much easier to make use of on a daily basis than powders. Profect, as well as Proasis from Protica, are actually remarkable protein shots that are remarkably convenient to make use of. Profect provides 30 grams of top excellent proteins in a great tasting, pre-mixed protein shot. If one has actually dealt by having the difficulty of making multiple proteins water every day to acquire the nutrition you desire, one ‘ll prefer exactly how convenient these ready-to-drink liquid protein shots are. When you leave for work in the morning you may pop a few of these shakes in with the lunch as well as ones ‘ll understand that one is actually covered for the day when it pertains to having the protein the growing muscles desire.
I played a lot of basketball growing up. In my teens, my life revolved around 3 things: School, video games, and basketball.
For my school work, I wasn’t the brightest nor studied the hardest. I did enough to get by. For video games, it was all about having fun. But when it came to basketball, it was about bragging rights and earning the respect of my peers. At that age, nothing seemed more important than Richmond Gym.
I so wanted make the varsity basketball team that I spent hours honing my skills, playing pickup games, and trained like crazy. But for the first 2 years of high school, I just wasn’t good enough to make the team. In hindsight, I didn’t spend enough time working on reading the game and moving without the ball, but that is for another discussion altogether. In my 15 year old mind, the only reason why I was cut was because I was not athletic enough.
Then one day, I saw this glorious ad in one of the “Slam” basketball magazines (it was back in 1996 when internet hasn’t taken over all aspects of our lives.) which I used to read cover to cover several times. And here it is: the ad looked something like Richmond Gym.
It was more than 20 years ago, but I can still remember the excitement I felt when I saw the ad and how the promise of adding the extra 5 to 10 inches to my vertical jump. That very night, I dreamt of taking flight and dunking a basketball with ease.
I don’t remember exactly how much it costs, it must have been between 90 to 120 US Dollars, which was a huge amount of money! Well, to make a long story short, I skipped lunch for a few weeks and saved up my lunch money.
I can still remember how carefully I filled out the mail order form (remember, this was before internet shopping), clipped it off the page of the magazine, stuffed my money order into the envelope, and mailed it off. A few weeks later, it came in the mail. I put it on, trained my ass off following the program. And it absolutely worked.
It added 5 inches to my vertical jump. I went from barely touching the rim even with a running start, to grabbing the rim with both hands from a standing start without having to take a step. I made the varsity team the very next year.
Here are a few things that I learned from this experience:
#1: If it is important, we will always find a way to pay for it
The 100 dollars or so required for the shoes were an astronomical amount for me at the time. I grew up in a household where we did not get allowances. My parents figured they are already providing everything that I can possibly need to be successful in school, so why give me spending money?
Was it hard for a 15 year old boy going through a growth spurt to give up lunch and save the money instead? Of course it was, but I wanted to make the Varsity team THAT much. And it absolutely helped. Because I had to make a substantial investment, I made sure I followed the instructions and get the most benefit out of it.
#2 Investing in self-improvement works
It is more than just about saving up that money. It is about understanding that I needed help and finding a way to reach out for help.
Could I have added inches to my vertical jump without the $100 jump sole? Sure, all I needed was some plyometric training and strength training that I could have easily done at my school weight room. But did I have the knowledge to actually make it happen?
It doesn’t matter whether I needed the special shoe or not, what it did for me was giving me the structure and focus that is required to get results.
Now here is the thing. I have never told anyone about these jump soles.
I didn’t want my peers to think that i worked HARD to get these results.
#3 We have this unhealthy belief that working hard for something is uncool
Where does this belief even come from? We all need to stop with this insanity right now. Why is it so hard to accept that, YES, I worked hard for it.
Yes, my success is not a coincidence.
People who tell you that you can be healthy, fit, and lose a few pounds by just following this ONE WEIRD TRICK are flat out lying or delusional. I have helped hundreds of people to achieve long term weight loss success and maintain a high level of health and fitness and I can tell you, it takes discipline, hard work, and an investment of your time in Richmond Gym.
Success is never effortless.
How I wish I could have talked some sense into 15 year old Min-ju that he needed to tell ALL his friends, teammates about the jump soles and invited all of them to train together. Not only would 15 year old Min-ju have achieved even better results due to the friendly competition, he could have also made the entire Varsity team into a better squad.
And who knew how the course of history would have been different?
Now check out our Google Plus page and see why Gyms in Richmond BC clients never keeps us a secret. Also make sure to like us on Facebook for all the updates.
Richmond Gym are always more than happy to extend a helping hand.
If you are not familiar with weight lifting, you may have heard some things that have turned you away. But don’t disregard this form of training so soon, as you could be missing out on the many benefits! Read more to find out the truth about lifting weights.
Myth #1: Weight Lifting Will Make Women Look Bulky
It is physically impossible for women to get bulky and big because they do not have the hormonal capacity to put on significant muscle mass like men (unless they are taking steroids). Having a balanced weight training program paired with cardio and proper nutrition will help women obtain a lean and toned body.
Myth #2: Weight Lifting Is Bad For Your Joints
Weight training, when done properly, can be low impact and not stressing on your joints. Lifting weights can actually prevent injury by strengthening the muscle and ligaments surrounding your joints.
Myth #3: You Need To Be Lifting Super Heavy For It To Work
One of the main things to keep in mind for lifting is to have proper form. You are probably not doing your muscles a favor if you are lifting super heavy, but swinging the weights and not controlling your movements. You want to engage the muscle that you are working. Choose challenging weights, but make sure that you do not sacrifice your form for the weight.
Myth #4: You Need To Be Doing Loads Of Cardio To Lose Fat/Weight
Losing fat/weight is a combination of various factors including having a proper diet, appropriate training program and adequate recovery. Doing cardio may help you lose some fat/weight, but if you want to get a toned body and build curves, doing cardio alone will not reach that goal. In order to get strong and build muscle to shape your body, it will be necessary to include some resistance training/weight lifting into your routine. Doing too much cardio alone can break down muscle, so it is important to have a balance and include both strength training and cardio into your program.
Hope this gives you a better idea of the positives of weightlifting. Contact us for any personal training inquiries, our great team of trainers at Crux Fitness Richmond Gym would love to help you out!
As a fitness professional, it is painfully apparent that the hardest thing people have a hard time with is eating healthy. A person can want to get in the best shape of their life and they will work hard in gyms in Scottsdale and may even cut calories. The problem is, they often will not cut out the habits that are sabotaging their weight-loss efforts. Wine, soda, beer, cigarettes, cookies, diet drinks, candy, ice cream, and all the other unhealthy habits people have to hold on like a Velcro to a sweater in the dryer. Now, chances are, you read that and thought, “well, I don’t smoke, or drink beer” or “I don’t ever eat candy.” Look at those things and think about what you do, not what you don’t take in. The problem with these habits is that they are not only standing in the way of your health, but they are also a part of a cycle that is keeping you unhealthy and reinforcing your bad habits.
Hippocrates said “Everyone has a doctor in him or her; we just have t help it in its work. The natural healing force within each one of us is the greatest force in getting well. Our food should be our medicine. Our medicine should be our food.”
Most people realize that bad food is not doing anything good for their bodies, but do you realize what it may be doing to your brain? Nobody wants to deal with dementia in their old age and if you have firsthand experience with a family member or friend with Alzheimer’s disease, you would likely do anything to avoid that fate. The good news is, there is evidence showing that you have a lot of ways to control the risk of dementia. Some researchers have concluded that Alzheimer’s is not a disease of old age, but rather a lifelong process that begins in youth (Marano, 2016). In one study, Richard Isaacson found that as a little as six months of a healthy diet with lots of fresh vegetables and light on carbohydrates can reduce memory decline, speed up mental processing, and enhance inhibitory control and attention (Marano, 2016).
Dr. Lisa Mosconi, the founder and director of the Nutrition and Brain Fitness Lab at New York University Medical Center, found that a higher intake of vitamin B12, vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids, along with consuming foods high in vitamins, E, A, and C, and high in fiber positively affected glucose metabolism in the brain (Marano, 2016) In addition, people who consumed foods high in saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, and sodium had lower brain volumes than people who ate healthier (Marano, 2016). Marano points out that Mosconi only found strong effects when the nutrients were consumed in food and not from supplements.
Foods that are bad for you can increase inflammation in the body and the brain. Food allergies, unique to each person, can increase inflammation in the brain which will lead to decreased blood flow. Dr. Daniel Amen, the leading expert in SPECT brain imaging displays SPECT images of healthy brains and unhealthy brains on his website. The amount of activity in specific areas of the brain decreases greatly with even moderate alcohol consumption and a high sugar diet. Nicotine makes the negative effects even stronger. Your generous pour of one glass of wine per night is likely not as good for you as you think. You can get much more antioxidants from fresh fruit and vegetables and not do any damage to your brain or body. Sugar is the first thing you need to kick in your diet. Sugar is often hidden by other names such as sorbitol, fructose, cane juice crystals, maltose, fruit juice concentrate, high-fructose corn syrup, and barley malt (Amen & Amen, 2016). Dr. Amen and his wife, Tana Amen, BSN, RN, point out that farmers feed animals corn, soy, and potatoes to make them fat very quickly (2016) If that is not enough of a reason to steer clear, know that many of the pesticides used in treating these common foods are associated with ADHD, cancer, depression, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, hypothyroidism, and liver disease (Amen & Amen, 2016).
It can be hard to kick bad foods. Consider this, binge eaters eat less food when given naltrexone, a drug that binds with the opioid receptors to prevent other molecules from binding to them. Naltrexone is what you give to someone who has overdosed on heroin or was given too much morphine (Amen & Amen, 2016). Foods like gluten and dairy products are especially addictive and people who stop taking them in can often have withdrawal symptoms (Amen & Amen, 2016).
The good news is, your brain can heal itself if you stop putting bad things in and replace them with good fruits and vegetables. You will also want to take in high-quality proteins like eggs, fish, lamb, chicken, beef, and bison. It will also benefit you to take in nuts and seeds, lentils, chickpeas, and quality grains like quinoa. Keep your grain intake on the low end, but do not cut it out. Cook with healthy oils like avocado oil, coconut oil, macadamia nut oil, and olive oil. Your brain and your body will get healthier and thank you. Eat healthy whether you want a better brain or a better body. The two will work together to support the other. Adding in exercise to your new diet will make maintaining it easier and will enhance the positive effects of good food on your brain. Think strong, be strong, and live a long healthy life. What’s stopping you?
A healthy digestive system is promoted through the use of probiotics supplements. They clean toxins out of the body and promote balance within the intestines. Probiotics can be found in foods such as yogurts or cultivated in controlled environments.
Probiotic supplements are meant to work in the same manner as probiotics that are found in foods; namely, they flush harmful organisms such as Candida out of the body. Supplements come in liquid, solid, tablet, and powder forms. Probiotics should be taken on an empty stomach for maximum efficiency at least 20 minutes before a meal. Doing so helps push the organisms deep down into the intestine.
Various research studies have found links between ingesting probiotics and alleviating ailments such as chronic irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), stress, and Candida. To begin, an Irish study found that bifid bacterium infants were a probiotic that was very helpful with minimizing the effects of IBS. In fact, the dietary supplement was found to be just as effective if not more as the FDA-approved drugs on the market used to treat IBS, Zelnorm and Lotronex. Participants in the study ingested the probiotics in liquid form, and it was found that their symptoms of IBS lessened greatly due to their use of probiotic supplements.
Lactobacillus salivarius, a different probiotic, was researched to see if it had any effects on IBS symptoms. The study concluded that it was not helpful at all in treating IBS. Given this dynamic, it is of note that despite the many beneficial probiotics available on the market, different maladies require divergent probiotics to treat them.
In addition to IBS, probiotics were also found to be effective in treating gastrointestinal symptoms associated with stress. The probiotic used in the study was meant to survive the effects of gastric acid, which tends to destroy healthy bacteria like probiotics before they even have a chance to be effective. Lactobacillus acidophilus was used in this probiotic, and half of the study participants did report a near 50% decrease in symptoms of stress like nausea and pain in the abdominal area.
Candida was also effectively treated through the use of probiotic supplements. Candida is the pesty microorganism which causes such maladies as yeast infections. In particular, acidophilus supplements are the probiotics of choice to combat yeast. Acidophilus replenishes the micro flora in the large intestine that can be destroyed by antibiotics and vaginal creams. These probiotics will eat up the same nutrients that otherwise would have been ingested by yeast or other bad microorganisms.
Cons exist in addition to pros for taking probiotic supplements. There have been concerns that costly probiotic supplements may not be any more effective than the live probiotics found in foods like yogurt. Some foods are very effective as probiotic supplements in promoting digestive health. Then again two factors come into play. Type of strain and number of organisms present. Furthermore, naturally occurring probiotics are thought to be more likely to survive harsh stomach acids than those in supplemental form. In addition, probiotics can tend to be expensive if used on a long-term basis. Compare information on the bottle carefully to insure adequate number of micro-organisms and if refrigeration is needed.
There are overall many positive aspects to using probiotics in supplement form, namely that they can treat conditions such as IBS, stress-related digestive problems, and Candida. However, for all of their benefits, supplemental probiotics have been criticized for their cost over time and stating some don’t work as well as probiotics that are either naturally occurring or found in food. Cultured or cultivated probiotics are the best form of supplements containing SBO’s, soil based organisms. Body Biotic puts out a combined prebiotic and probiotic with a plankton substrate nourishing the organisms while still in the capsule. These do not need refrigeration and are self-sustaining.
Triglycerides are esterified fatty oils that form the core of chylomicrons and VLDL cholesterol. Elevated blood levels of triglycerides, but not cholesterol, have been associated with an impaired fibrinolytic system and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. This risk can be decreased when you lower triglycerides naturally.
Triglycerides and cholesterol both measure the total amount of lipoproteins in the serum, which can be a rough indicator of risk for cardiovascular disease. The associated cardiovascular disease risk prediction offered by triglycerides and cholesterol by themselves is 44 %, but when coupled with Vitamin A and E, looking at the ratio of (cholesterol + triglycerides)/ (Vitamin A & E), the risk predictive power goes to 85% accuracy.
Elevated serum triglycerides have been associated with the occurrence of atherothrombotic stroke and transient ischemic attacks. It is a powerful predictor of myocardial infarction.
A diet high in saturated fats and sugar (including grains) can raise serum triglycerides.
While a normal triglyceride laboratory can be up to 200 mg/dl, the appropriate goal for anyone serious about optimum health should target their triglyceride to be no higher than 100 mg/dl. A triglyceride count of 100 or more increased the relative risk of a new cardiovascular event by 50% and reduced the chance of surviving a subsequent heart attack.
Since triglyceride elevation is almost universally related to dietary intake of sugar (including grains), high triglycerides are one of the easiest and straightforward problems to correct with proper diet alone. The decline is dramatic and in a matter of weeks if you lower triglycerides naturally.
Start with eliminating all grain products from your evening meal. This includes wheat, rye, barley, potato, bread, and rice. You may find it difficult in the beginning and experience cravings. This is quite common because your body is already addicted after years of taking in grains. By starting with just your evening meal, you can cut approximately 30% of your total grain intake while still being able to ease your body into it. Do this for at least 60 days. As your body slowly gets used to the reduced grains intake, you can then also reduce grains intake at lunch. Substitute with more above-the ground-vegetables, eggs (raw is best, and try not to cook the yolk too well), and unroasted nuts. Oils are acceptable as long as they have not been exposed to high heat. Use virgin olive oil for salads and light stir fry, butter for high heat frying, and coconut oil for deep frying (which should be kept to a minimum). As usual, no desserts after dinner, and reduce snacks before bedtime. All refined carbohydrates such as cookies, ice cream, and chips should be avoided. Follow the above, and you will be surprised how quickly the triglycerides come down. As the triglycerides normalize, the total cholesterol will reduce automatically, and the total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio will automatically improve.
Lower Triglycerides Naturally During Adrenal Fatigue Recovery
The human body knows what nutrition it needs to achieve and maintain optimum health. When this nutrition is not obtained and the body is affected negatively, such as high triglycerides or blood sugar abnormalities, the body becomes stressed. The body uses the NeuroEndoMetabolic (NEM) Stress ResponseSM system to combat stress from poor diet, lack of exercise, mental stressors, environmental toxins and other stress in life. This constant bombardment of stressors causes the adrenal glands to work overtime. The adrenal glands are two, small endocrine glands that are located above the kidneys. During stressful situations, the adrenal glands must produce cortisol, the stress hormone, to deal with the current stressor. Cortisol is the “fight-or-flight” hormone. The body produces cortisol to increase on demand energy, mental acuity, and other survival responses. This response comes at a cost however to other body functions that are not essential for survival. The poor diet leads to nutrient deficiencies and digestive distress. The body’s immune system weakens and hormonal imbalances develop. Over time symptoms arise, fatigue, lethargy, brain fog, irritability, weight gain and inability to lose weight, allergies, and anxiousness, which signal the adrenal glands are severely overloaded. Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome is the clinical term for this state of adrenal disruption.
To treat Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome and lower triglycerides naturally, lifestyle changes are essential. Following the Adrenal Fatigue Treatment is key to obtaining optimal nutrition for your body to begin rebuilding the body and repairing the adrenal and cardiovascular system. Find new ways to manage mental stress and developing a positive outlook on life will greatly improve health and the symptoms of Adrenal Fatigue. Daily exercise is highly recommended to lower triglycerides naturally and recover from Adrenal Fatigue. For AFS sufferers, exercise should be approached with caution. Starting with short, light paced walks or light yoga is best to prevent adrenal crashes.
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The Health Benefits of Dancing: Do They Apply to Adrenal Fatigue?
Have you ever noticed the joy on people’s faces while dancing to some upbeat music? Or have you, when sad, listened to some music to suit your mood and found yourself automatically swaying to the rhythm? Music might evoke or even enhance certain emotions, but it also tends to get the feet tapping and the body swaying. In other words, it gets you dancing, right? The health benefits of dancing tend to have a positive influence on your body and psyche. But there is more to dancing that we do not even “see” with the naked eye.
Dancing may be seen as a form of escape or a means of getting into shape. Have you noticed that when you’re feeling down, putting on some music and dancing — even if only just swaying back and forth — helps you to take your mind off your troubles and get caught up in the movement? For those who are carrying around a few pounds too many, dancing not only offers you a means of toning your muscles and getting fit, it also actively helps you trim off some of those extra pounds. In effect, the health benefits of dancing benefit you both physically and psychologically.
An added bonus is that you can do it anywhere with no need to join a gym or buy expensive equipment. No tools are required. All that’s needed is a little music, and you.
The type of workout you end up getting depends entirely on you. What kind of movements do you make? What is the intensity of your dancing? Are all muscle groups getting a workout? Are you concentrating on certain moves that need more complex execution and balances a part of your routine?
Interestingly, social dancing may give you even more of a cardiovascular workout than a dance routine. This is because endurance tends to come into play, as you may dance with others (i.e. exercise) for a much longer period than you would at home. Structured dancing sees you working out in quick bursts, and is more often focused on style and specific moves and muscle groups. No matter where you dance, however, the end result is what matters.
What are the Health Benefits of Dancing?
Dancing impacts just about all aspects of our wellbeing.
Dancing and Mood
Dancing can be a means of catharsis. When you find yourself in a situation where you feel despondent, dancing seems to get rid of your ‘blues’. It gives you a means of expression that many of us do not have with words. What is more, it is something you can do privately, with only the four walls present to see you in the act. The opposite is also true when something catchy and fun plays on the radio. You might start tapping your toe, and soon find yourself dancing joyfully, letting the music dictate each movement. Afterward, you are left gasping for breath, but with a huge smile on your face. You had some fun. You do not have to be a great dancer to get these health benefits of dancing.
Dancing and Physical Health
But besides getting you out of a bad space or being a fun activity, it does wonders for your body as well. Depending on the type of dancing you engage in, and besides getting a good workout, you strengthen your core and get a cardiovascular workout. Ballet, for example, is focused on stretching the muscles and balance, with an emphasis on motor skill improvement. Social dancing, on the other hand, develops endurance.
These benefits are not only for the young, however. The health benefits of dancing are great for older adults as well.
Dancing and Cognitive Decline
Cognitive decline is a fact of life for many older people. Those in the medical field have, for decades, tried to find innovative ways to slow down this phenomenon. Research into this trend looked at adults ranging in the age of sixty and noticed no signs of decline in their memory. The group had to take part in one of three activities, i.e. stretching and balance training, taking brisk walks, or participating in dance classes. Those in the dance classes participated in country dancing three times a week.
The brain scans taken at the end of the study for each individual was compared to the one taken prior to the onset of these activities. The group that fared the best was the one partaking in the dance activities. Their brains had undergone less deterioration than those in the other two groups. Dancing, or more specifically taking part in dance classes, not only involves movement but memory and learning. This is unlike the scenario with regards to aerobic exercises or workouts involving stretching.
Dancing Provides an Escape Mechanism
Dancing for fun gives us a mental break; an escape, if you will, from our usual work activities and its related stress. A study conducted in 2014 concurs that dancing, for recreational purposes, saw participants less tense and having more energy, especially when compared to competitive dancers. In the case of the latter group, their stress levels were found to be on par with those of professional athletes.
Dancing gives off much of the same endorphins as those given off while running. These endorphins make you feel good. Dancing also gives you the opportunity to focus only on yourself, your body, and your thoughts, or to escape from them if you so wish.
Dance, in adolescent females, has a positive effect on mental health, according to a study by the American Medical Association. According to the study, girls who danced were positive and more confident after dancing, with reports of feeling better overall after partaking in structured dance classes focusing on the enjoyment of motion instead of performance and perfection.
Interestingly, the positive feeling of euphoria many people experience when endorphins are released while dancing can be compared to a “runner’s high,” when a runner pushes through the boundaries of tiredness, receiving a rush of endorphins that enables them to complete the race with energy to spare.
Dancing Improves Balance and Coordination
Older people and younger children tend to injure themselves due to balance and/or problems with coordination. In fact, it is estimated that approximately a quarter of adults over the age of 65 falls each year. There is one very simple solution to getting hurt due to a fall: fall the way a dancer does.
Dance teaches body awareness while encouraging low-impact landings. These techniques are not only great for dancers, but also for anyone playing sports, older adults, and developing motor skills in younger children.
Interestingly, athletes tend to have more injuries than dancers do. When you compare dancers to athletes, the former have fewer knee injuries due to certain exercises that result in less force generated throughout the body. These controlled movements, when taught to those partaking in high-impact sports, may result in a decline in joint injuries.
Dancing is for All Ages
There is absolutely no age limit to dancing. Anyone can take part, no matter your age. Nobody is excluded when it comes to enjoying the health benefits of dancing. This is mostly because there are no rules when it comes to dancing, with all types of dance being accessible to all. Dancing integrates the mind, body, and soul, allowing all these parts of your body and psyche to participate in an activity that not only addresses physical fitness issues but mental issues as well. Whether you can only sway around, or whether you find yourself hopping and jumping and doing the splits, it is the enjoyment that counts while your body reaps the benefits.
Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome (AFS) and the Health Benefits of Dancing
Dancing may address some of the symptoms of adrenal fatigue, a condition not officially recognized by conventional medicine. Symptoms of this condition vary from one person to the next, and to a large extent depends on the stage of the condition you are in. The first stages have your adrenal glands producing high (increasing) amounts of cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone.
When your body undergoes the stress of any type, be it physical, psychological, or environmental in nature, your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis kicks in. As part of the Neuroendometabolic (NEM) stress response, the HPA axis is responsible for taking care of all aspects of your body in order for you to survive. When a threat is perceived, the hypothalamus in the brain sends signals to the pituitary gland, signaling a threat. In response, signals are sent to the adrenal glands situated on either kidney to produce higher levels of cortisol as well as adrenaline. These two hormones are responsible for the fight or flight response. Once the threat has passed, the hypothalamus signals to the pituitary gland that in turn instructs the adrenals to stop with the increased cortisol production. These instructions passing from one member of the HPA axis to the other are sent by means of chemical messengers (i.e. neurotransmitters).
Persistent stress and the accompanying high cortisol production, however, can have devastating effects on the body, resulting in adrenal burnout (when the adrenals are no longer able to produce the needed cortisol resulting in very low cortisol levels) and even death. Amongst these are included:
A tendency to gain/lose weight
High incidences of flu and respiratory disease
A lowered libido
Lack of energy/constantly feeling tired
Increased PMS problems
Upper back and neck pain without a clear reason
Please note that each of these symptoms of themselves may not indicate adrenal fatigue, but if you have a few of them, it may be indicative of the condition.
The Dance Connection
Regular exercise, including dancing, releases endorphins in the brain that, when reacting with certain receptors in the brain, reduce your perception of pain. These endorphins also “make you feel good”, and are responsible for what is commonly called the “runner’s high”, where a runner pushed past a certain threshold of tiredness and pain and gets what is known as his “second wind”.
But endorphins do not only act as analgesics (i.e. diminishing pain perception). They also act as sedatives (i.e. suppress pain). Manufactured in the brain and other parts of the body, endorphins are released in the brain in response to chemical messengers, i.e. neurotransmitters. Take note that neurotransmitters are responsible for the work done by the HPS axis in response to stress.
So what is the connection between cortisol and endorphins?
It is very simple. Endorphins make you feel good, telling your brain (and thus your body) that everything is fine. This allows the adrenals to lower their cortisol production as the threat has gone. Dancing, as well as other forms of exercise such a yoga, for example, instigate the release of the endorphins. The result may have a benefit on all aspects of adrenal fatigue and its recovery.
The Benefits of Endorphins
Endorphins allow for a decrease in cortisol production. This implies a positive impact on ‘normal’ hormone production, as high-stress periods see a decline in the production of certain hormones, including progesterone and testosterone, amongst others. A lowered cortisol production also has a positive impact on your immune system and gut health, ensuring good gut bacteria flourishes and negating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Furthermore, weight gain is one of the symptoms of a hormonal imbalance. The health benefits of dancing thus not only serve to burn fat, it helps to stabilize hormones as well.