We all know too much sugar is a probably a bad thing, and that it can have some pretty serious effects on your health. But do we really know why? Should we avoid all it? And what about the artificial stuff? This month National Institute of Health released an article answering a lot of these questions for us.
The NIH explains that our bodies do need one type of sugar – glucose, to survive.
“Glucose is the number one food for the brain, and it’s an extremely important source of fuel throughout the body,” says Dr. Kristina Rother, an NIH pediatrician and expert on sweeteners.
BUT WAIT! Rother further explains there’s no need to add glucose to your diet, because your body can make the glucose it needs by breaking down food molecules like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
The NIH also explains that some of the sugars which are found naturally in foods such as fruits, vegetables, and milk, can be healthy additions to your diet because of all the extra nutrients and dietary fiber that come along with them.
Too much sugar = more calories and all the effects that come with it, such as obesity.
Want to hear something pretty shocking? Fifteen of the calories in the American adult diet come from added sugars. That’s about 22 teaspoons of added sugar a day. You may not even realize how much sugar you are consuming, as it’s hidden in so many different types of food under a different moniker. For instance – go home and check that jar of pasta sauce you just bought. Some of the different names for sugar include:
- corn sweetener
- high-fructose corn syrup
- fruit-juice concentrates
- raw sugar
- malt syrup
- maple syrup
- fructose sweeteners
- liquid fructose
- anhydrous dextrose,
- or other words ending in “-ose,” the chemical suffix for sugars.
The Artificial Stuff
Some say good, some say bad, in short – the studies are mixed.
The NIH explains:
People have debated the safety of artificial sweeteners for decades. To date, researchers have found no clear evidence that any artificial sweeteners approved for use in the U.S. cause cancer or other serious health problems in humans.
But can they help with weight loss? Scientific evidence is mixed. Some studies suggest that diet drinks can help you drop pounds in the short term, but weight tends to creep back up over time. Rother and other NIH-funded researchers are now working to better understand the complex effects that artificial sweeteners can have on the human body.
Some Tips from The NIH for Cutting Added Sugars:
- Choose water, fat-free milk, or unsweetened tea or coffee instead of sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and fruit drinks.
- Reduce sugar in recipes. If a recipe says 1 cup, use 2/3 cup.
- To enhance flavor, add vanilla, cinnamon, or nutmeg.
- Eat fresh, canned, frozen, and dried fruits without added sugar. Choose fruits canned in their own juice rather than syrup.
- Use fruits to top foods like cereal and pancakes rather than sugars, syrups, or other sweet toppings.
- Read the ingredients list to pick food with little or no added sugar.
- Use the Nutrition Facts label to choose packaged foods with less total sugar.
Take a minute to answer this question honestly: When it comes time to motivating yourself to workout, eat better, and make overall healthier decisions – do you tear yourself down, or build yourself up?
Time.com recently examined how positive thinking can make all the difference in an article titled “The Reason You Make Unhealthy Choices.”
The author explains:
People often think that they are motivated by self-criticism, but a burgeoning area of research suggests the opposite. Being kind to yourself, as opposed to tearing yourself down, leads to fewer bad feelings and, in turn, healthier actions.
One research example they give is an analysis 15 different studies and discovered a link between self-compassion and four key health-promoting behaviors:
- Eating better
- Exercising more
- Getting more restful sleep
- and Stressing less.
Conclusion: People who were more self-compassionate, practiced the above habits more often.
So what are some of these ways to practice self-compassion? Another Time.com article – 10 Ways to Gear Up for Weight Loss – gives some excellent tips.
- Don’t Beat Yourself Up: We all make mistakes, we all break a rule or two. We’re human! Acknowledge it, move on.
- Celebrate Every Success, this includes all the small milestones along the way to your goal.
- Don’t Focus Solely on Your Weight – examples improvements in sleep quality, mood, blood pressure, etc. (Check out 5 Reasons to Eat Healthier that Have Nothing to Do with Weight.)
- Find positive support – don’t let others tear you down either!
- Don’t set unrealistic expectations – just like in number 1, focus on progress.
As Apple unveiled its new iPhone and smartwatch today, one thing stood out to us tech-geeks here at Rock Creek Sports Club – the company’s focus on tracking health and fitness.
The new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus for instance, includes the M8 motion coprocessor “that gathers motion data from the accelerometer, gyroscope, compass and the new barometer, which senses air pressure to provide relative elevation.”
In short – it offers the user motion data that will appear in the health app so you can see how many flights of stairs you’ve climbed, or how far you’ve walked or run.
The new Apple Watch, which comes out next year, “unites the capabilities of an all-day fitness tracker and a highly advanced sports watch in one device you can wear all the time.”
The Activity app on the watch will measure three aspects of movement. The movement ring- the calories you’ve burned, the exercise ring measures the brisk activity you’ve done, and the stand ring shows how often you’ve stood up to take a break from sitting.
Even if you’re not a fan of Apple, we have to say, it’s exciting just to see the many different types of innovations being created to help people take an interest and control over their health.
In a new study recently published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers compared the pain tolerance levels between two different groups. One group used a stationary bike for 30 minutes, 3 times a week, for 6 weeks. The other group did not do any extra exercise.
After six weeks, they were retested, and the group that had to ride the stationary bike seem to have developed “a greater ability to withstand pain.” The control group experienced no changes from the first time they were tested.
Researcher Matthew Jones from the University of New South Wales to the New York Times:
The results remind us that the longer we stick with an exercise program, the less physically discomfiting it will feel, even if we increase our efforts, as did the cyclists here. The brain begins to accept that we are tougher than it had thought, and it allows us to continue longer although the pain itself has not lessened.
Check out the Full Article Here: How Exercise Helps Us Tolerate Pain
Former club members Jan Broulik & Joe Phillips are fulfilling their dream. They have sold their home here and purchased a Bed & Breakfast in Milford, Delaware, the Causey Mansion! (Check out the Website: www.causeymansion.com/)
Milford is 100 miles from RCSC and is located about 24 miles north of Rehoboth Beach and 17 miles south of the Dover area. The area is great for cycling, bird watching, beach going and just relaxing and don’t forget, Delaware is tax free. Milford is also just a short drive to Dogfish Head Craft Brewery in Milton and the Raceway & Casino in Harrington.
Jan and Joe are offering a discount for members who visit in 2014 (pending availability). Mention the name of any staff member at RCSC when reserving a room and receive a 10% discount!
Contact Joe at firstname.lastname@example.org or Call 302/422-0979 for reservation!
Don’t forget to “Like” them on Facebook at Causey Mansion Bed & Breakfast too!
Running may not be everyone’s favorite activity. Heck, many a Cross-Country teams’ motto is actually “Our sport is your sport’s punishment.” But a new study released by the American College of Cardiology may convince you to at least get a little jog in every day.
According to the researchers, running, even 5 to 10 minutes a day and at slow speeds (less than 6mph) can reduce your risk of premature death by nearly one-third and extended your life by about three years!
Carl Lavie, a cardiologist and co-author of the study, told USA Today that running consistently can even balance out other mortality risk factors, which include obesity, high blood pressure and smoking.
“Fitness largely negates adverse effects of other cardiological risk factors,” Lavie said. “Fitness may be the strongest predictor of survival.”
So, how many minutes of running will you get in today? Tell us in the comments!
Read the full USA Today Article Here: Running of any length or speed reduces risk of death
If weight-loss is one of your goals and you’ve struggled to achieve lasting results, you’re not alone. That’ doesn’t mean it’s time to give up – according to a recent article on Competitor.com it’s time for an attitude change.
Competitor recently took a look at a number of the people on the National Weight Control Registry, a database of men and women who lost at least 30 pounds and maintained it at least a year, and discovered what they had in common.
Here’s a hint – it’s not a specific kind of diet. Low fat, low carb, vegetarian, Weight Watchers – some work for some, some fail for some, some work for some, another for others.
“Another interesting characteristic of NWCR members is that the vast majority of them failed with weight-loss diets a few times before finally succeeding. The combination of these two characteristics—variety in successful diet approaches and failures preceding success—suggests that different ways of losing weight work best for different people. A certain amount of trial and error is required to find a system that’s a good match for one’s individual needs, preferences, personality, and lifestyle.
So if the diet itself doesn’t matter, what does? After exercise, the behavior that is most powerfully associated with successful weight-loss maintenance among NWCR members is self-monitoring.
Most NWCR members count calories or at least track their food intake. This can be done informally, as in aiming for a quota of five fruit and vegetable servings daily or limiting oneself to one sweet per day. But, one way or another, these folks are paying attention to, and quantifying, their intake. And almost all of them are weighing themselves at least once a week and as often as daily.“
Do you have a weight-loss success story? Tell us in the comments or e-mail Sharon.Sellers@RockCreekSportsClub.com
OK, admit it, you’ve been there. In your effort to make healthier choices you have at one time or another substituted those fries for a side of fruit, only to be disappointed when you received nothing but cantaloupe. Don’t be sad! Cantaloupe, which are actually in season right now, are full of awesome nutrition!
Fiber – Helping you to feel full
Potassium: Prevents muscle cramps, been known to help control blood pressure, regulate heart bean and prevent strokes.
Folate: Promotes healthy growth and maintenance of cells, and for you mothers-to-be, helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects.
Vitamin C: Known to protect against immune system deficiencies, cardiovascular disease, prenatal health problems, and eye disease. Plus – it’s awesome for your skin.
Carotenoids: antioxidants that are known to help prevent some forms of cancer and heart disease. They are also known to help with your vision.
Vitamin A: Also good for vision, a healthy immune system, and cell growth.
Plus…. 1 cup contains only 53 calories. So, go ahead and order that side of fruit, it’s worth it.
Four Rock Creek Sports Club employees and three members competed in the USAPL Colosseum Push/Pull Challenge Saturday, June 14, 2014, with spectacular results! Held in Columbia, MD, RCSC participants broke personal records and walked away with four medals!
Personal Trainer, Devin Knox
A strength and conditioning specialist at Rock Creek Sports Club, this was Devin’s third power lifting competition and his first without a weight belt. With a personal best of 529.1 lbs in the deadlift and a 352.7 bench, Devin earned a gold medal in his weight class!
Personal Trainer, Zach Tolchin
For his second power lifting competition, Zach went 6 for 6 of his lifts. He had a personal best of 468.5 for the deadlift and a personal best of 270.1 for the bench press. Zach also performed his lifts without a weight belt.
Personal Trainer, Robert Giles
Competing in his third competition, Robert earned a silver medal in his weight class, completing 5 of his 6 lifts! His winning deadlift was 523.5 and his bench was 308.5.
Front desk staff, Emily Karl
Competing for her first time, Emily completed 5 of her 6 lifts! After months of training with Devin, Emily was able to pull in a personal best of 253.5 for the deadlift.
Member, Ashleigh Kling
Ashleigh is Devin’s sister, power lifting runs in the family! Ashleigh not only won the gold medal in her weight class but also broke the Maryland state record for the deadlift with a lift of 325.2!
Member, Kristy Lang
Competing for the second time, Kristy won the silver medal for her weight class! She pulled a 319 for the deadlift and pushed 132 for the bench.
Member, Kevin Severs
Also competing for the second time, Kevin hit personal bests of 512 in the deadlift and 265 on the bench.
Once again, congratulations for a very successful competition! We are very proud of the hard work and focused dedication that these Rock Creek Sports Club employees and members demonstrated to reach their goals and achieve these results.
As some of you may know Robert Giles, one of our personal trainers here at Rock Creek Sports Club is also a History teacher and football/baseball coach at John F. Kennedy High School. It comes to no surprise to us, that his students love him as much as his clients do, and he was recently awarded the Best & Brightest award from NAACP Montgomery County, Maryland Branch in recognition of your partnership and dedication to the students of Montgomery County,
“I was completely shocked and surprised,” Giles said. “My students wrote numerous letters on my behalf without me knowing, and my principal did as well.”
Giles said he has known he wanted to be a teacher since middle school – and became more inspired during high school thanks to two of his teachers whom he also wanted to recognize — Mr. Engram and Mr. Wolinski.
“I was always taught by mother how important education is and I just wanted to help anybody who wanted to learn,” he said.
Despite his busy schedule coaching and teaching at the high school, Giles also continues to pursue his other passion, fitness, here at Rock Creek Sports Club as a personal trainer. And though it may not seem like it at first, teaching and personal training actually have a lot in common he explained.
“In both careers you are teaching people,” Giles said. “[Students and clients] have to feel comfortable with you and feel that they are being pushed, but they also have someone to fall back to if they need it. Fitness has always been a huge part of my life and I loved working out and helping people get in better shape, so I figured I might as well make it a second career since I loved it so much.”
Congratulations on your award Robert!
Obtain your personal trainer certification!
Rock Creek Sports Club is proud to be the training ground for Move Well Fit Academy! Move Well Fit Academy has partnered with the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) to provide training and education to aspiring fitness professionals in Washington, DC area who are seeking the Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) certification. This 80-hour, 8-week NASM CPT Prep Course will prepare one for this highly-regarded certification. Move Well Fit Academy is the only area personal training certification program that combines the certification program with an 80-hour prep course that includes weekly hands-on instruction. This hands-on instruction is what makes the difference between just reading the material in the book and truly understanding and experiencing the material.
About Move Well Fit Academy
Move Well Fit Academy was founded by Maurice Williams, a highly respected personal trainer in the Washington, DC area. Maurice holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from Elon University and a Master of Science degree in Exercise Physiology and Adult Fitness from Ohio University. He has been in the fitness industry since 1996.
Class days and times
The next class starts June 20th and runs until August 15th. There is an 80-hour course online that includes 16 to 24 hours of hands on learning at Rock Creek Sports Club every Friday from 2-4pm. Go to www.movewellfitacademy.com for more information and to register.
Join us at Rock Creek Sports Club on June 23 from 5-7pm for a “Tales from our Near Future Book” Signing with Jackson Coppley!
Jackson Coppley has always loved to tell stories.
“”I used to make up stories for my kids when they were little,” Coppley says. “And when I was dating my Ellen, I use to call her in the evenings and tell her stories over the phone.”
With all these stories and ideas bouncing around in his head, since he can remember, Coppley knew that someday he wanted to write when he could find the time.
Now that time as come! We’re excited to announce that Copley, a Rock Creek Sports Club Member, has recently published his first book, “Tales from our Near Future.”
Tales from our Near Future is a collection of three stories, which Coppley categorizes as “Techno Romance” and asks the question “What happens when the age of high technology encounters the human need for love?”
Coppley — whose career included a top-secret clearance working in tech with national security and the military — says he has often speculated about where we were in technology, where we are going, and how it will affect people.
“I think about how quickly we can Google information,” Coppley explains. “How that affects our nature at a conversation at party, or from a privacy view point — knowing everything about someone.”
Coppley is excited about the release of “Tales from Our Near Future,” and is eager to get started writing his next book, starting with trip to Italy that will include some time for research.
For Coppley, any day that he sits down and writes something, (he tries for at least 1,000 words on a daily basis), he says he knows it’s going to be a good day.
“I like the writing part the best,” he explains. It’s a pleasure. When I start writing, it’s like the story starts telling itself to me.”
Husband and wife members – Jeffrey Madison and Maude Windsor have loved working out at Rock Creek Sports Club for the past dozen years or so. So much in fact, that Jeffrey was willing to go the extra mile to make sure it remained a community gym.
That’s just one of many reasons we have named them our Members of the Quarter!
A few years ago, when there was a possibility that Rock Creek Sports Club would turn into a national chain, Jeffrey was concerned that many of RCSC’s employees would lose their job, and in turn, it’s status as a neighborhood gym.
“I just figured if I could, I would not let that stand,” Jeffrey explained. ”When we realized that the key to the deal was acquiring the client list, I suggested we create a petition. The petition stated that the undersigned would quit their membership should the national chain buy the club. Our team worked tirelessly to get over 1400 of 1800 members to sign the petition within the two or three week deadline. That was like a gut punch to the national chain’s intentions!”
What made Rock Creek Sports Club worth saving? According to Jeffrey, he loves it because it reminds him of the regular person gym in the movie “Dodgeball” — neighborly and a lot fun. For Maude, she said she had a great feeling after her very first visit, when she saw it wasn’t a “meat market.”
“RCSC is truly a neighborhood gym,” Maude agreed. “Everybody here is just trying to get a little fitness. That makes all the members friendly and loyal. Plus the staff really listen to your suggestions and comments.”
Though, with their busy schedules they don’t often find time to workout together, both Jeffrey and Maude find ways to make it into the gym at least a few times a week to keep up their fitness routine.
During the week, you may find Maude working out with one of her two trainers or walking on the treadmill while watching a DVD. As for Jeffrey, he enjoys circuit weight-training and riding a stationary bike. Plus, they are both fond of taking therapeutic, detoxifying saunas.
“(Staying fit) adds to the quality of our lives,” they said. ”We just feel better when we work out. Plus staying the same size saves on having to buy new clothes!”
The Bench Press is the most popular lift in the gym. It’s the upper-body exercise that lets you lift the most weight and builds upper-body strength like no other exercise since it activates so many muscle groups in the upper-body. These muscles include the pecs, deltoids, triceps, forearms, hand muscles and abdominals.
If done correctly, the bench press can increase range of motion in the upper body and increase bone density. Bench Press is a free-weight exercise, requiring more activation of smaller stabilizing muscles in the shoulders, vs a chest press machine that guides the movement through a fixed plane. In a fixed environment balancing and stabilizing is not required, making the chest press machine a good learning tool for the elementary movements of a chest press. But to fully develop the strength and flexibility of the upper body a move to the Bench Press is necessary.
With proper progression and safe practices the Bench Press can be very effective. Start with just the bar to build strength in the small muscles. Always use collars on the bar when plates are added. A spotter is strongly recommended, especially when attempting maximum weights. Learn proper form to avoid injuries to the shoulders, wrists and lower back.
RCSC’s free 15-minute clinic for the month of May is instruction in the Bench Press. Three different days and times are available, making this clinic accessible for everyone. Sign up at the front desk for one of the following times: Mondays at 9:30am with Sharon, Thursdays at 6:00pm with Robert or Saturdays at 11:00am with Devin. Sharon is a former competitive bodybuilder and Devin and Robert have each won medals in several PowerLifting competitions and they are excited to share the secrets to proper Bench Pressing! Then compete in our Bench Competition to be held May 28! See the front desk for more details.
Live longer, move better, think faster, and now… we know that exercise may even keep your skin younger! A recent article in the New York Times — Younger Skin Through Exercise — examines a few studies that may show proof that working out may slow down your skin’s aging process.
In one study, scientists gathered male and female volunteers ages 20- 84, about half were active, while the other sedentary, and tested skin from their buttocks (an area not often exposed to the sun.)
“When compared strictly by age, the skin samples overall aligned with what would be expected. Older volunteers generally had thicker outer layers of skin and significantly thinner inner layers.”
“They found that after age 40, the men and women who exercised frequently had markedly thinner, healthier stratum corneums and thicker dermis layers in their skin. Their skin was much closer in composition to that of the 20- and 30-year-olds than to that of others of their age, even if they were past age 65.”
But wait, you say. What about all the other factors that can affect a person’s skin – like genetics and diet?
Well in another study, scientists gathered sedentary volunteers 65 or older (with normal skin of their age,) and took skin samples from their buttocks before starting them off on an endurance training program.
The results: The outer and inner layers that looked very similar to those of 20- to 40-year-olds.
“I don’t want to over-hype the results, but, really, it was pretty remarkable to see,” said Dr. Tarnopolsky, himself a middle-aged exerciser, told the NYT. Under a microscope, the volunteers’ skin “looked like that of a much younger person, and all that they had done differently was exercise.”
Read the full article here: Younger Skin Through Exercise
Getting your heart in shape matters. That’s why cardiovascular training should be part of your workout. Some people think cardiovascular exercise is boring and monotonous, something they begrudgingly do without enthusiasm, just to get it done. Cardio CAN be monotonous if you approach it the wrong way. Here are five common mistakes people make when they do cardiovascular workouts. How many of these do you do?
Use Cardio to Compensate for Diet
You spent an hour sweating through a cardio session. Then you head to the kitchen for a snack – the wrong kind of snack. Of course you need to refuel, but don’t think an hour of cardio means you can eat what you want. Think like that and you’ll end up with problems controlling your weight. Sure, you may have burned 400 calories during your cardio session, but you can compensate for that calorie deficit quickly if you eat the wrong foods. Research also shows people overestimate how many calories they actually burn when they work out. If you compensate for every poor food choice with cardio, you’ll quickly end up overtrained or injured. You can’t out train the wrong food choices. Be smart – plan what you eat and keep it clean.
Overdo the Cardio
Cardio overkill is a common problem, especially for women. Visit a gym and you usually see more men pumping iron while women are staking out the cardio machines. Don’t follow the crowd. There’s a smarter option. Devote at least as much time to strength-training as you do to cardio – and maybe more. Cardio won’t change the shape of your body. It may help with weight loss, assuming you watch your diet, at least until your body adapts to the stress of the cardio you’re doing. Most research shows steady-state exercise doesn’t lead to appreciable fat loss. Plus, long periods of cardio and calorie restriction leads to loss of metabolically-active muscle tissue. Ultimately, that works against you when your metabolism slows in response. Don’t make strength-training an afterthought. Make it the primary focus if you want to see real change in how your body looks.
Never Vary the Intensity
Have you ever seen someone who runs at the same steady pace every day on an elliptical machine or treadmill? Chances are their body composition or weight hasn’t changed much over time. Working out at the same intensity doesn’t challenge your body enough to trigger significant fat loss unless you’re watching your diet very closely.
Research shows high-intensity interval training, where you work out at a high intensity and then recover, activates fat-burning hormones like adrenaline and growth hormone that help you shed body fat. In one study, researchers looked at the growth hormone response to steady state endurance exercise versus a high-intensity sprint. Growth hormone release was greater in the sprinters and was elevated up to 10 times above baseline an hour after recovery. High-intensity exercise creates an after-burn effect that forces your body to oxidize fat for hours after you’ve stopped.
There’s also some evidence that high-intensity exercise suppresses appetite more than exercising at a steady state. In addition, studies show high-intensity exercise is more effective for overall fat loss and loss of deep belly fat. Isn’t it time to up the intensity and infuse new life and fire into your workout? A little “cardio shock” can do wonders for your cardiovascular health – and your physique.
Do the Same Old Boring Cardio
Ever seen anyone in a “cardio rut?” Their eyes are glazed over as they go through the motions. Every few minutes they dart toward the clock to see how much time they have left. With so many ways to do cardio, cardio ruts should never be an issue. Spin and cycling workouts, step training, kickboxing, bootcamp and circuit workouts, high-intensity intervals including Tabatas are all ways to get your heart rate up and burn fat. Why do just one? If you do the same cardio workout every day, your body will become efficient at doing it and you’ll burn fewer calories. Mix it up and add variety. Variety is as good for your mind as it is for your body.
Do Cardio before Weights
Doing cardio before weights isn’t always a bad thing. It depends on the intensity and duration of your cardio session. If you weight train after an intense or long cardio session, you probably won’t have the energy to train with enough intensity. If you’re exhausted it can also affect your form and increase your risk for injury. To get the most out of resistance training, do it before cardio while you’re still refreshed or do cardio and resistance training on opposite days – unless you’re doing a light cardio session. Don’t resistance train when you’re already tapped out.
The Bottom Line
Cardiovascular exercise is important, but approach it the wrong way and it’ll make it harder to shed fat and change how your body looks. Cardio isn’t “king” when it comes to changing your body composition and moderate-intensity cardio isn’t necessarily the most effective way to make your body change. Keep doing cardio but avoid making these five all too common mistakes.