Posts Tagged ‘nutrition’

How Is CrossFit Heart Healthy?

healthy-heart

Number 1 killer in America?heart disease. No surprise there. Our nation is full of overweight, under active individuals that don?t see the future that awaits them. However, don?t get?the impression that if you don?t fall into overweight or under active that you evade heart problems all together. Poor nutrition, inadequate amount of exercise, stress and even genetics can all cause high blood pressure and put you at risk for heart attack. The American Heart Association recommends 40 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity 3-4 times per week to lower blood pressure. Yep you guessed it, CrossFit is considered a vigorous form of exercise. Since most of you fall down after the WOD we think you?d agree.

Talking with a lot of our members, you live in a high stress world with work and kids and tasks each and every day. You feel like you are going non-stop. You try everything you can to make it to the box even once or twice per week, and that?s a great start, but at some point your body is going to need a change. You?re going to need more.

CrossFit is great exercise for the heart. Constantly varying between circuits, strength movements, endurance WODs or short bursts of high intensity ones. All of which make the heart stronger, lowers blood pressure and increases not only life expectancy but also quality of life. We?re a family oriented box. We hang out with each other, play with your kids, ask about your life and want the best for you and your family. Your body is run on the beat of your heart, we want to help do everything in our power to make it the strongest beat it can be.

Make a commitment! Try adding 1 more day a week in the box and see what changes occur. You?d be surprised how much just 1 more day can improve your body?s well being. We challenge you to go out of your comfort zone. Push a little more than you may be comfortable doing. Focus on the struggle, and learn to go harder. Reach deep down and find what motivates you: your kids, your family, competition, the person next to you, or just the feel of a good burn and sweat. We all have our own reasons for choosing CrossFit, but at the core of our being we all want to be healthy and live long a healthy lives with the people we love.

Take care of your body, take care of your soul, you only get one. Ask for help when you need it and dig deep when you have to. Find that next level inside you so you and your heart can keep getting stronger and healthier. Contact us today for a free class if you are new to Crossfit. We want to be your health partner.

You Clean up nice!

LOGO NEW STACKYour power clean should look as smooth as you do on your Senior Prom.? Think of it this way when you are getting ready for a hot date or job interview you take your time to clean up nice.? Same thing should go for when you are doing power cleans in the gym or during a WOD.? Developing a good looking Clean doesn?t happen overnight or in 5 minutes. It takes time to perfect the movement and understand the mechanics.?

Why are power cleans so awesome? Well, it?s because it is one of the most athletic strength and power development movements that a person or athlete can do. It develops total body strength by using every major muscle group and requires the right movement patterns to be successful at the lift.? That?s why you see it so much in CrossFit boxes and your local high school gyms.? The benefits to doing cleans are second to none in my opinion.?

With that being said since doing cleans are so popular in the strength in conditioning world at any level of sport or CrossFit box everybody thinks that they can coach it because they did it when they were playing football in college or saw videos of it on you tube. Understanding biomechanics and human movement is much more important. This all starts usually at high school level weight lifting programs.? I think it is great when kids or athletes begin lifting weights but only if they have an understanding of the movement and have been taught correctly by a coach.???

imagesThe downfall of athletes performing cleans and other lifts inside these programs are that they are working in enormous groups of kids who are not shown proper technique but rather a quick description and then told to throw weight on the bar.? RED FLAG! Young athletes need to develop good habits and movement patterns first because they are still developing. Efficient movement and mechanics will do more good in the long run than hyper focusing on the 1RM.? That will happen naturally if they are taught correctly. On top of learning proper technique the athletes must possess the right amount of mobility and coordination to allow them to get into a good position.? It will be much harder to learn if mobility issues are not addressed.?

When learning to Clean you must understand each position of the movement by breaking it up into position holds and moving slowly so you know what each part of the movement feels like.? After this is understood then you focus on the speed of the movement.? When working the full movement a common coaching cue I use is ?Controlled Explosion?.? Almost all sports require this.? Generating force such as swinging a bat or throwing a pitch is controlled explosion. What does this mean?? When the bar is lifted off the floor to above the knee the bar should be controlled and keep all the muscles engaged. In other words, not rushing off the floor causing your hips to shoot up first and then throwing them at the bar to make contact.? Instead, lock yourself in and once you reach the power position that is when you unleash the explosion.? Full explosion results in ?Triple?Extension? which includes hips, knees, and ankle which occurs in all sports.? If this is achieved with good contact and vertical pull of the bar then a quick and explosive clean will result.?

froning3When it comes to improving strength and power and overall athleticism cleans should no doubt be a part?take your performance to the next level or need help cleaning up your technique contact Coach Thomas for 1 on 1 Personal Training. ?A 30 minute session for $45 or 4 sessions for $160. thomas@crossfitcollinsville.com?or by phone 618-344-3858.of your routine.? Don?t tackle this on your own! If you are looking to

Article Credit: ?Chris Thomas

Flintstone’s Kids – 10 million strong and growing!

UnknownThis is a common phrase that we heard as a child. We would make our way over to the cabinet and pull out our Flintstone?s chewables. We would gnaw the head off of Barney, or Wilma, or Fred, and then off we went to school knowing that we were healthier because we consumed our little cave men for the day.

imagesSeems to me that there are 2 points in life that we really value vitamins – childhood and pregnancy. It?s pretty common to see kids still downing the Flintstone family or something comparable and it seems like the first piece of advice that we give mother?s to be is to start taking pre-natal vitamins. I find it interesting because this is so different from the intended meaning of the word ?vitamins?. Vitamins got their name because they are seen as ?vital? to the human body. In other words, we have to have them to function properly. We ALL have to have them, not just children and pregnant women. I can understand the emphasis put on kids taking their vitamins because kids tend to be picky eaters, so getting all of their vitamins just from the foods they eat may be tough. However, I would argue that in our fast food, genetically modified world, even adults with very broad pallets still have a hard time getting everything they need just from the foods they eat. Even more, many pharmacist and nutritionist will tell you that the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) that the USDA puts out for vitamins is out dated. Many feel that if we take into consideration the common types of foods in our society today, we need more than the RDA of certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and stave off disease.

images-1Let?s talk about disease for just a second. It is a fact that getting the proper vitamins will help prevent disease. So it is not surprising that some of the best treatments for cancer and other diseases that researchers have found include vitamins. If you are looking for a loose, yet entertaining, example of this, see the movie ?Dallas Buyers Club? (3 Oscars can?t be wrong!!)

Unknown-1I?ll conclude with my own personal experience. I, like many of you, have been a chronic caffeinater ever since I have entered the work force. Being a Coach at CrossFit Collinsville makes for some early mornings, and being the Head of Baseball at Turn 2 Baseball & Softball makes for some late nights. Several cups of coffee from breakfast to lunch, and then an IV of Mountain Dew or Coke to finish out the night was pretty typical. I have adopted 2 habits that have changed this dramatically. The first is hydration (at a measly 160 lbs. my goal is to consume a minimum of 80 oz. of water each day, however, I average around 100 oz. on active rest days, and almost 200 oz. on heavy activity days). The second is a simple daily vitamin regimen. With both of these habits in play I now consume a single large cup of coffee on most mornings because I enjoy it, not because I need it to function, and soda has become something I will treat myself to only on very rare occasions, also for the enjoyment. The added benefit of both of these habits has been healthier food intake overall, because I don?t find my appetite as stunted as I did when I was high on caffeine all day.

Unknown-2Long story short, our vitamin habits shouldn?t end once we have outgrown the Flintstone?s. Whatever our health goals are ? weight loss, weight gain, performance, etc, vitamins are a VITAL part. ? For more information on our preferred choice of Vitamins inquire with one of our coaches or contact Jen Doehring via jen@crossfitcollinsville.com. ?Coaching people on habits that will make them healthier, happier, and experience a better?quality of life is a passion for us at CFC. ?If you want help adopting this habit or more set up a 30 minute consultation today!

Credit: ?Chris Fair

Why you should be jumping into bed!

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Hold up, wait a minute, don?t go there! Hmm?.busted! How many of you can honestly say you clicked on this blog just because the title intrigued you? Fair enough ? I?d done the same dang thing.

Now that I have your attention lets talk about your bed?and?.SLEEP PEOPLE. Let?s talk about SLEEP. Geez get your minds out of the gutters!

On a daily basis I hear the barrage of comments floating around the gym, social media, and in my every day life of people looking to lose weight. Often the outlet is through CrossFit since I am in fact a gym owner but more and more I find it sneaking into every conversation I have. I hear the words ?eating clean?, ?No GMO?s?, ?hydration? but rarely do I hear about SLEEP.

Let?s get some things straight ? here are a number of factors that will hurt or help your weight loss journey. If you are deficient in any of these key areas then you aren?t attacking the problem head on. ?You absolutely will not see your best results short term or long term if you do not address them immediately.

WHAT HABITS PROMOTE WEIGHT LOSS?
1. Proper Sleep helps weight loss. Lack or poor rest hurts weight loss.
2. Proper hydration helps weight loss. De-hydration hurts weight loss.
3. Activity helps weigh loss. Inactivity hurts weight loss.
4. Vitamin & mineral balance helps in weight loss. Imbalance of vitamins & minerals leads to weight gain.
5. Proper caloric intake helps?. under or over consumption of calories hurts weight loss.
6. ?Spine health improves weight loss and proper sleep.
7. ?High MET …you get the idea.

Look at the change in the 8 weeks on my sleep along…this is just one indicator.

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? March 10th?? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??April 30th

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During this same timeline other areas showed improvement. ?I was down 14 lbs & 12.25 inches and I am now wearing pants that are 2 sizes smaller. ?My gymnastic movements are improving in the gym, my running is increasing, my joint pain, recovery time, and strength are also improving. ?This is a ridiculous change and it is due to attacking my health and weight loss from all sides! ?When we treat our body better – it treats us better. ?It gives us a frame and composition we are happier with, it allows us to rest peacefully, it allows us to enjoy better energy, less headaches, aches and pains, etc. ?When someone tells me about a weight loss strategy I ask 3 questions.

MY 3 RULES:
1. ?Is it clean? ?Think of it as eating non-processed, chemical-free, natural ingredients.

2. ?Is it sustainable? ?Meaning if I start this habit could I continue it for the rest of my life? ?Sure some methods work – if you’re a billionaire and have the cash to fork over. ?I mean can the everyday average joe or sally work it into their routine daily and confidently commit to it?

3. ?Is it functional? ?Meaning is it designed to have functional use? ?This is why I absolutely love CrossFit (when done properly with a well trained, high integrity coach administering the workout.)

One of the habits that fits all these criteria is following and?logging my sleep.?When I started tracking my sleep patterns (or lack there of) I was shocked at how restless I was. I had been told that sleep had a huge impact on weight loss but I never felt equipped to do something about it. Now I do.

WHY SHOULD I START TRACKING & ANALYZING MY SLEEP?
1. Sleep makes you less hungry
2. Sleep decreases daytime stress levels
3. Sleep increases the body?s ability to burn calories
4. Sleep increases muscle mass (which helps promote increase in metabolism creating more fat loss ? think lean and mean!)
5. Sleep gives you a lower pain threshold ? that?s right less chronic aches and pains. Which could mean fewer drugs in your body to fight those symptoms.

I know it is super cool to be that 20 – 40 something year old who is so busy with their career that they don’t get ‘enough sleep’ – it gives the perception that you are crazy important. ?I dare to challenge you to treat yourself with the utmost importance and begin re-committing back to being the best version of YOU for yourself, your family, and your career. ?Walking around cranky, complaining, feeling like a sloth isn’t helping anyone so reconsider your current habits and regime and if you are ready for a change let us know.

Our system promotes healthy lifestyle habits vs. a barrage of shakes, pills, bars, and ?funny looking? stuff. The habits we are creating in our members will last them a lifetime and get them towards a path of health! To find out more and to get started down your journey of weight loss email me for a 30-minute consultation it is an investment in your future self of $45 and 30 minutes of your time!

To schedule a consultation please contact me?jen@crossfitcollinsville.com

Credit: ?Jen Doehring

Fighting Fatigue through your Morning Routine

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Let?s talk fatigue. Most American?s at some point in their day will use the expression- ? I?m tired/exhausted/beat/dead/etc.?. The purpose of this article is to help us better understand the pitfalls of our morning routine.

Today we will stick with the ?liquid? part of our morning routine. Pick your poison ? Coffee or that other stuff like soda, sweet tea, etc. Most of us reach for one or the other before we even leave for work.

After we consume our beverage we may feel a little better but the rest of the day is often this wrestling match between us and our symptoms of dehydration. By mid morning or early afternoon we are yawning and uttering the words ?I?m tired / I must not have gotten enough sleep?, etc. In some extreme cases lack of sleep may be to blame ? but that is very rare. More often than not your liquid routine it to blame.

When you head to the kitchen most people reach for their choice of caffeine. This is all reasonable given that most people wake up ready to go back to bed. The problem arises when we choose caffeine first. We are coming out of a slumber where we spent 6-8 hours at rest. While our body is at rest our organs and involuntarily responses are still occurring so our system is ?shut down? but not officially ?off?. As the body works throughout the evening it uses any reserves it has to keep it functioning. Up to 60% of the human adult body is made up of water. Let me repeat that ? up to 60% of our body can be narrowed down to one thing ? water. Since over half of our body is water what do you think the body is using throughout the night to keep us breathing, digesting, etc.? That?s right ? water. So when we wake up that is the first thing we need to replenish.

The fatigue you feel in the morning is often blamed on a poor nights rest or not being able to sleep as long as one would like. In reality the fatigue you are feeling is a symptom of dehydration. Our body speaks through signals to the brain and these symptoms are our way of understanding what the body needs to feel better. Fatigue, headaches, hunger, dry mouths are all symptoms of one thing ? dehydration. Think of those signals in terms of a car. You wouldn?t buy a car and then never give it an oil change would you? I mean you could but you will burn out the engine and long before the engine goes it will have symptom after symptom trying to notify you that something is wrong and it needs some attendance. Your body is no different. The symptoms of fatigue, feeling lethargic (lack of energy), headaches, hunger, dry mouth are all signals your body is sending to your brain saying ? we need water! Best thing you can do is begin reaching for water when you notice a symptom and back off the caffeine.

SO COFFEE IS BAD FOR ME, RIGHT?
No, that?s not the message of this article. In fact coffee has a big upside. Depending on quantities – Coffee has been found to reduce the risk of diabetes, improve memory and cognition, as well as, help in fighting free radicals.

IF COFFEE IS A GO, THEN WHY DO I STILL HAVE THESE SYMPTOMS? It?s simple ? you need water to fight the symptoms then you can enjoy your coffee.

You need to get your body back to a neutral state upon waking. To get your fluids back up immediately drink 12-24 ounces of water (or more) before you do anything else! Then use the rest of the day to meet your daily water intake to help continue the fight against fatigue, hunger, dry mouth, irritability, etc.

HOW MUCH WATER SHOULD I DRINK?
Easy answer is enough to fight of the symptoms you are experiencing. The more scientific one is calculated based off your weight. Keep in mind that the more active you are the more water you need. So the calculations below are a starting point and should be increased based off your activity level.

DAILY WATER RECOMMENDATIONS:
Body weight / 2 = #ounces of water/day.
Body weight/ 2, then /8 = #cups of water a day.

How you measure makes no difference. If you want to track ounces or cups it doesn?t matter as long as you know what you are tracking and you haven?t accidently transposed the numbers.
EXAMPLE:
Body Weight of 200lbs
200/2 = 100 OUNCES of h20/day
200/2 = 100/8 = 12.5 CUPS of h20/day

Chances are most people are not hitting their average water intake daily, couple that with poor re-hydration in the morning and it?s a no wonder our fatigue, hunger, and headaches are at an all time high!

Take home points ? re-arrange your morning so that the focus is on hydration first. I guarantee you will wake up faster. Then you can hit your cup of joe but keep up with your water throughout the day and have your goal in mind to fight off the symptoms of dehydration.

Credit: ?Jen Doehring

Powerful H20!

Water splashing into glassFeeling thirsty? Then you are already a little dehydrated, here are some ways that drinking water can help!

1. Water can help control calories. Simply substitute water for any higher calories beverages you may be consuming and enjoy the benefits from your waistline to your energy level!

2. When you?re hydrated, you can exercise longer and stronger. Not drinking enough water leads to muscle cramping and decreases lubricants in your joints.

3. Water can help increase energy. Most people reach for a caffeinated drink at least 1-2 times a day if not more. Dehydration plays a big factor in your energy level and how tired you feel. Next time you want that afternoon coffee or diet soda try drink two or three bottles of water and watch your energy bounce back!

4. 70% to 80% of your brain tissue is water. To keep stress levels down, keep a glass of water at your desk and drink from it regularly. This little habit also helps with physical and mental breaks. Make a goal to drain your glass every hour causing you to take a break from work to re-fill your cup every hour. Getting up and walking around greatly improves your activity level and your posture.

5. Got Wrinkles? More h20 = less wrinkles! It hydrates skin cells and plumps them up making your face look younger!

6. Helps with digestion by dissolving particles and helps pass them through your digestive tract.

7. How much water should you drink? Size, activity level, the weather and your general health all play a factor in how much water you should drink. Start with a goal of 100oz daily and increase if you feel more fatigue, thirst, or cramping during activity!

Credit: ?Jen Doehring

Simple Tips to Start Eating Better Today!

1. Eat a Healthy Breakfast

The word breakfast literally describes what the first meal of the day should do for your body. After fasting all night the first meal of the day is ?breaking the night fast?. Therefore, the first thing you should put in your body should be good for you.

Wake up and have a large glass of water first thing. Then start the day with a green smoothie, steel cut oats with fruit or even a piece of whole-wheat toast with peanut butter or almond butter. The key is to eat a nutrient rich breakfast with a combination of food to provide sustained energy throughout the day.

2. Don?t forget the fat!

Incorporating nutritive fat into your diet is essential for better health. Many people think that the key to a healthy diet is eating a low fat diet. This is not true. Fat doesn?t make you fat, carbohydrates and sugar make you fat. ?Good fats also lower your overall cholesterol and support brain function.

Good Fats

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3. Feed YOUR Body

If you are a competitive athlete you need more food and different food than a person who works in an office all day and goes jogging at night.? Use this tool to calculate the number of calories you need to support your lifestyle.

4. Balance and Moderation

The biggest mistake people make when it comes to nutrition is going on a ?diet?. Study after study proves that diets aren?t effective. Your diet should always be balanced and include a variety of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins and good carbs.? Make a commitment to changing the way you eat forever, not to fit into a swimsuit.

Start out with some of these small diet changes:

  • ?Incorporate more whole fruits and vegetables in every meal
  • Cut out refined sugar and processed food most of the time
  • Snack on nuts instead of chips
  • Replace one meal a day with a green smoothie
  • Focus on eating ?good fats? by incorporating them in recipes
  • Use herbs and spices for flavor not fat

5. Plan Meals

Stock up on healthy choices so when Wednesday comes around and you?re exhausted and just want to grab some take out, you won?t because you have a healthy meal at home waiting.

Do you have any healthy eating tips?