Define: Hunger

by Corbin Burkard, Head Trainer, Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire

Ever feel hungry? Of course you have. Feeling hungry is our body’s natural way of letting us know it is time to eat. What is often misconstrued is understanding how truly “hungry” we actually are. As a trainer who is dealing with nutrition questions on a daily basis, one of the first questions I ask people is, “Do you feel hungry during the day?” Often the answer I receive is, “No.” For many people this is simply because we are undereating and need to gradually increase calories in order to boost our metabolism so we can actually burn MORE calories by putting better food into our bodies on a more consistent basis.

On the other end of the spectrum are those of us that eat a sufficient amount (or too many) of calories on a regular basis. If we are eating enough calories during the day, odds are we feel hungry, or at least we certainly would if we missed snack time! Some foods make you hungrier without actually doing anything for you, like sugars and refined carbs. Whereas foods high in fiber, healthy fats, and proteins can assist to not only increase your metabolism and nourish your body, but can also help so you aren’t hungry constantly. From here, I put “hungry” into six different categories to help explain what type of hunger we are actually experiencing, and how to combat those types of hunger!

  1. Starving – The feeling that you could “eat a horse.” At this point you are more than likely shaky, lightheaded, and possibly sick feeling.
  2. Pretty Hungry – This is go time! Time to definitely be eating some food. You are maybe even a little past the point of when you should have last eaten. Right now there are some pretty empty sounds coming from your stomach, and this feeling more than likely came on gradually.
  3. You Could Eat – This is my typical response when I am not all that hungry, but know I will be within an hour. At this point there is no reason to be eating. Drink some water, see how you feel, and then start to plan or prepare for your next meal.
  4. Content – If you are not hungry, and also not full, why would you need to eat? This is one that gets a lot of people late at night. You have had dinner, you are going to bed in an hour, and there is no reason to eat! Don’t feel bad though, this is a common, learned, habitual movement (my favorite suggestion is to do air popped popcorn with light olive oil!). Typically I tell people to either drink some water or substitute something with essentially no caloric value to wean themselves away from late night snacks.
  5. Full – Stop! Slow down, put that fork down between bites, eat slower, take a drink between each bite, use a smaller plate, put the rest of the food away in containers for tomorrow! Going beyond this point is usually what makes us sick, wastes our money, and keeps our waistband tight.
  6. Overfull – Typically overeating happens often when we waited to eat until we were starving. You get all excited to eat again and start to cram anything and everything we can into your face too quickly! Afterward you feel sluggish, slow, tired, and sometimes quite uncomfortable. This can be easily avoided by trying to stay between numbers 2 and 5 at all times!

The Secret to Sleeping More, and Better!

by Corbin Burkard, Head Trainer, Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire 

I am the head trainer at Burn Boot Camp – Eau Claire, which if you don’t already know is a gym where 99% of our camps are female only! In my time here, I have learned that strong, hard working women seem to value the little sleep they get. 🙂 Aside from getting in your workout, sending the kids off to school, running to work, somehow putting food on the table, tucking your kid into bed for “the last time”, your day is full of time for naps, I am sure!

I am ready to let y’all in on a little secret about how to fall asleep quicker, stay asleep longer, and overall, sleep better. Exercise. Really, it can be that simple!

Exercise helps the release of chemicals in your body such as serotonin, and dopamine which are some of your “feel good” chemicals. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that assists in your sleep cycle. This chemical helps to influence your mood, and high levels can assist in decreasing anxiety and stress. One way to elevate this is through consistent exercise! Aside from directly helping you sleep, it also is a destressor which allows you to wind down after a long day and get to sleep quicker, rather than lying awake thinking about everything!

Dopamine is another chemical that is released during exercise. People commonly refer to this chemical as the one that makes you happy. Again, increased levels of dopamine help to decrease stress, and give you the feeling of a “runners high”.

Even though this is an article relating to how exercise affects sleep, it is still important to know that one of the first changes you will notice, when you begin exercising is having more energy! Exercise does make you tired, and will help wear you out to sleep better at night, but when in a regular exercise routine, those people have more energy throughout the day, and have an easier time getting up and out of bed in the morning!

Sleep is important in your day to day life, and is especially important when in a regular exercise routine. The time that your body is asleep, is the time that your body uses to recover! This can often be overlooked, when we are a society driven by success, and we don’t typically give ourselves 6-8 hours a night for quality sleep. A suggestion I usually make is set an alarm when it is time for you to go to bed, and stick to it!

There are so many various benefits to sleep, and we need to unlock ways to get more rest, maybe, as it turns out, we have had the answer right in front of us the whole time. So next time someone tells you they go to bed at 8:30, you should follow their lead!

 

 

What Is Pulmonary Rehabilitation?

We’ve all heard of cardiac rehabilitation. You know, it’s for people who have had a heart attack, to help them recover after an event or medical procedure, right? Well, what about those who struggle with lung problems? It’s not like a heart problem that comes on suddenly and can be life threatening.  Lung problems develop slowly over time, and those suffer in with emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and long-term asthma, also known as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), can feel there is no help for them. In fact, people with COPD often feel their lung disease is their fault, mostly because they were or are cigarette smokers. While cigarettes are a factor for COPD, they are not the only reason it occurs. Heredity plays a big part, and occupational hazards, like exposures to dust, chemicals, and fumes, also contribute to lung disease. We don’t blame diabetics for eating sugar or those with heart disease for not managing their stress better. I don’t see the need to blame smokers either. COPD has risen to the number 3 killer in the United States. And while the mortality rates for heart attacks and strokes (the number 1 and 2 killers) are decreasing, the rate for COPD continues to rise.

So, what is pulmonary rehabilitation? Like cardiac rehabilitation, pulmonary rehab offers exercise and education to help those struggling with COPD learn skills that can help them cope with their lung disease and improve the quality of their lives. What’s important to understand is that every time a person with COPD has an episode or exacerbation, they lose ground physically. As their breathing worsens, they stop doing some of the things they like to do. Over time, they start doing less and less, until they can’t even do some of their basic self-care, like bathing or dressing.

As our body and muscles become deconditioned, our ability to breathe also worsens. It takes more energy for oxygen to move through deconditioned muscles. A decrease in muscular strength also means we are less able to fight off infections. We need to stay strong to live with COPD! Pulmonary rehab is about stopping that progression and even reversing it. How? By getting people to slowly bring exercise back into their lives. Typically, pulmonary rehab programs run for twelve weeks and develop exercises specific to the person’s needs. For example, if a person with COPD gets short of breath with walking, seated exercises would be used to first increase muscle tone and overall core strength. Additionally, if the person is severely deconditioned, exercise might only be for two minutes at a time with frequent rests.

Besides the exercise, education is a key component of pulmonary rehab. The individual will learn many breathing techniques to calm shortness of breath, help with cough and phlegm removal, and improve the activities of daily living. They will learn how to fuel their bodies to breathe better and either gain or lose weight. And they will develop skills to conserve energy, so they can have more for the things they want to do.

As a registered respiratory therapist, I am trained to work with all types of critical and chronic lung conditions. I have forty years’ experience in the hospital setting and over twenty years working in pulmonary rehab.  As a life-long asthmatic, I know how it feels to be short of breath and bring my personal as well as my professional experiences. In fact, my passion for working with patients experiencing pulmonary issues stems from my personal experience and from watching my mom struggle with cigarette addition.

So, is pulmonary rehabilitation right for you?

Do you struggle to catch your breath, more and more frequently? Have you stopped doing the things you love? Don’t wait! Learn how pulmonary rehabilitation can help you and your family better cope with your lung disease.

Pulmonary rehabilitation programs are typically run as hospital outpatient programs and ordered by a physician, but individuals can also refer themselves to a program. A breathing test showing moderate to very severe lung disease is also required by most insurances. Both Sacred Heart and Mayo Hospitals offer pulmonary rehab, as well St. Joseph’s in Chippewa Falls. Contact your personal physician or the rehab program at one of these hospitals to get started.

Exhausted? Eat These

Don’t accept fatigue as the price of a full life, says Holly Phillips, medical contributor to CBS News and author of The Exhaustion Breakthrough (Rodale, 2015). Her solution: Aim to eat two of these edible energizers daily.

► Oats (1 cup cooked): High in fiber and protein, oats eaten for breakfast help stabilize blood sugar all day.

► Salmon (3 oz.): This fish’s hefty dose of protein speeds metabolism, which increases energy.

► Almonds (1/3 cup): They’re packed with magnesium, which helps convert sugar into energy. Protein and fiber provide sustained energy without a crash.

► Quinoa (1/2 cup cooked): Protein and amino acids in this gluten-free grain aid in muscle repair and post-workout recovery.

► Avocado (1/2 avocado): The fatty acids lower inflammation linked to fatigue-causing conditions.

► Lentils (1/2 cup cooked): High in fibe, lentils help regulate blood sugar levels, while their selenium enhances mood.

► Turkey (3 oz.): B vitamins help metabolize food into energy, while the amino acid tyrosine can keep you more alert.

► Blueberries (1/2 cup): Potent antioxidants combat free radicals that can injure cells and lead to fatigue. Healthy carbs rev energy without adding too much sugar.

► Goji Berries (1/4 cup): They may help improve blood flow and alertness

► Kale (1 cup): Yep, its superfood status extends to energy. Credit protein, fiber, and crazy levels of antioxidants.

Healthy Habits to Prevent Heart Disease

By Julie Hasenberg

Heart Health is dear to my heart….My daughter Faith was born with aortic stenosis and had her first open-heart surgery at five weeks old.  Her second surgery (The Ross Procedure) was done when she was seven.  Another will be forthcoming in the next few years, which will entail a mechanical valve and blood thinners for the rest of her life. Many of us make choices every day that affect our heart health.  Caring for your heart through a healthy diet and regular physical activity is the secret weapon to preventing heart disease.  Remember…You have a choice with your heart health! Go Red for Women says there are seven easy ways to help control your risk for heart disease.

1. Get Active!  Consistent, moderate intensity of physical activity of about 150 minutes per week is recommended. Also minimum of two days/week of muscle strengthening activities as well.

2. Control Cholesterol Good fat vs bad fat!  Good fat HDL (High density Lipoprotein) shuttles the LDL (low-density protein, bad fat) out of the arteries and protects the lining of the arteries from developing plaque. Most of bad cholesterol comes from animal products. A diet in good fats can consist of avocados, olives, coconut oils, and nuts.

3.  Eat Better!! Healthy foods are the fuel our bodies use to make new cells which create the energy we need to thrive and fight disease. EAT FRUITS and VEGTABLES, unrefined fiber-rich whole grain foods, fish, and good fats

4. Manage Blood Pressure. Eat a heart healthy diet, manage your weight and stress.

5. Lose Weight. Too much fat, especially if it’s at your waist, equals higher risk for health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes.

6. Reduce Blood Sugar.  Most of the food we eat turns to glucose (blood sugar) that our bodies use for energy.  Our body makes a hormone called insulin that acts like a carrier to take food energy into our cells.

7. Quit Smoking. At Highland Fitness we have helped hundreds lose thousands of pounds through whole food nutrition, exercise, and the guidance of an accountability coach and trainer.  Our members have lowered their blood pressure, reduced or eliminated medications for diabetes and cholesterol, and have gained energy to live abetter quality of life.

Visit www.highfitness.com! We’d love to serve you and keep your heart strong. Julie Hasenberg is the owner of Highland Fitness and Results Weight Loss, 715-833-2100