Friday, March 29, 2013

Fitness Information Overload

As my patients and clients start getting into workout routines there are many common questions that come up.  The most obvious one relates to if a patient should continue through some pain or if they should stop at the first sign of pain when entering a new program.  This is a hard one to answer many times as sometimes we need to define what pain is versus the idea of overcoming obstacles.

The problem in these cases comes down to information overload.  If you look to your peers, health professionals, or the internet for advice you will often find conflicting advice.  “This seems to be true whether you’re looking for nutritional recommendations, training programs, or even deciding what type of exercise equipment is best."1

The best thing you can do is join a team, support group, or group fitness class.  This can minimize the information overload and you all can focus on the easiest pathway towards your goals.  During this journey to “health” you should have a physical with your physician to sort through some of the advice.  Then meet with a physical therapist to get a full body evaluation so that you can understand where you may run into road blocks during your fitness routine.

Keep learning, listening to your body, and make informed decisions!



Wednesday, March 13, 2013

How to Gain Weight?

Many of you read this title and ask, why anyone would want to gain weight?  Doesn't everyone look to lose weight?  But there are active individuals in the community that are looking to gain weight.  This weight gain may be to increase strength and power in a sport or secondary to a medical condition.  But putting on pounds does not mean that people should take in high-calorie junk food.  Let’s look at 5 steps to gain weight, healthily.  

1.  Set a realistic goal.  Look to your family and keep genetics in mind.  If everyone in your family is tall 
and lanky you are not likely to gain large amounts of body mass.

2.  Start a food diary.  Track how many calories you take in each day.  Add 300-500 calories to this number.  These calories should be from whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats.

3.  Eat small meals and snack often.  Your body will absorb the calories more efficiently if you take them in throughout the day instead of just loading up on one meal.  Do not use supplements that promise instant weight gain.  If it sounds too good to be true it probably is. 

4.  Have a professional asses your body composition and track your weight changes.  In most cases the goal is to add muscle mass, not body fat.

5.  If you are unsuccessful, contact a registered dietitian to help with your goals.  They can change your eating habits and can help improve meal planning.