What you should know to become and stay healthy and fit: Nine key points. Remember, you can be fit and not healthy. We want you to be both!
Exercise is one key to good health. There is no substitute for exercise. Supplements can make a big difference when used properly. However, exercise can also lead to health problems. See below.
2. MAINTAIN AND BUILD MUSCLE MASS:
Skeletal muscle can and should be a large percentage of our body mass. Muscle needs to be metabolically active, to burn calories and to re-energize our bodies by synthesizing high energy molecules such as ATP through maximally active mitochondria. Many scientists believe that this is a major key factor in health and ageing.
3. FACILITATE POST EXERCISE RECOVERY
Exercise and post exercise recovery are periods of physiological stress on our bodies. Energy is drained from cells throughout our body during exercise. Our cells become energy starved, and some cells die. Help your cells regenerate cellular energy (ATP) by activating your cellular power house, a.k.a. your MITOCHRONDRIA.
4. SUPPORT NORMAL INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE
Exercise induces a state of inflammation which slows our recovery period. The old saying “NO Pain NO Gain” is incorrect!!! Exercise should not hurt. Pain is the product of inflammation. Inflammation is the result of high levels of cytokines and stress factors. These stress factors induce muscle degradation. Work hard …yes! But protect your body against inflammation. If you do not protect against inflammation, every exercise period will not only build muscle mass, but will degrade it. Inflammation makes exercise inefficient and can have long term health consequences.
5. OPTIMIZE METABOLIC RATE
Metabolic rate relates to how fast calories are burned. It is not the amount of calories we eat /day; it is all about their quality and the calorie load with each session of eating. Genetically, our bodies believe that excess calories need to be stored away for a “rainy day”. For this reason, fats are stored throughout our bodies. Mesenteric, omental and subcutaneous are common fat storage sites but fat also occurs in the liver (fatty liver disease) within and between muscle bundles (think of a steak streaked with fat) and around our hearts. Fat is easy to acquire with our standard diets and hard to remove; often it is the last substance to go when dieting.
6. SLEEP WELL
Sleep is essential for good health. Bedtime is not necessarily sleep time. One needs 6-7 hours of high quality sleep time to allow our bodies to re-generate from the previous day of activities. Failure to sleep well affects all aspects of our lives: behavioral, quality of life, mental energy, ability to learn, physical energy and even our rate of aging.
7. PREVENT AND FIGHT INFECTIONS
Gyms environments are great for fitness, but they can and do facilitate infections. Sweating and exhaling viruses and bacteria in a relatively closed environment will lead to colds and flu.
You are what you eat. The American diet is fast food based. So what? Fast food is quick release food. Foods as calories are quickly absorbed and flood into our bodies. Calorie overload induces fat storage and excessively high insulin levels. All process foods are guilty of this and you should avoid them. They are poisoning your body. Secondly, we now know that fat free means carbohydrate rich. The carbs are largely high glycemic in nature and quickly break down to sugars which drive excessive insulin, weight gain and poor health outcomes. Most processed foods are rich in omega 6 fatty acids. These fats, while essential to our bodies, are in all foods. These fats drive inflammation and may even have a role in cancer initiation.
Complex foods, not processed foods, with high fiber content and low omega-6 content are the best for you. These foods should also contain a high level of anti-oxidants. Best general advice: shop only the periphery of your grocery store. The internal isles are full of foods that are bad for you. Avoid processed foods!
9. READ THE LABELS: BEWARE OF MARKETING
Don’t believe what you read in the big print. Read the labels. Most material on food packages and supplements (yes even supplements) is either wrong or grossly misleading. The food industry now markets foods that are ‘healthy alternatives”. These foods may be marginally better but are largely over advertised and unsubstantiated. One should think of these healthy alternatives as not as bad as the others, but not necessary good for your health!
For protein supplement, buy quality, very high protein content products with no added sugars or carbohydrates. For omega-3 oil products, buy liquid formulations that deliver at least 3.5 grams of EPA+DHA/dose.