Whack-a-Mole and Wellness

I’m not sure how popular arcades are anymore. Skee-Ball, Pac-Man, and Frogger have been replaced by Pokemon Go, Fortnite, and Candy Crush. Actually, people still play Pac-Man – but only on their phones. One game I don’t see very often anymore is Whack-a-Mole. For any readers under the age of 25, this was an arcade game that consisted of taking a rubber or wooden mallet and hitting animatronic rodents that popped up in various spots of the playing surface. If you hit one, two more would pop up in other spots of the board. It might sound odd, but I often think of Whack-a-Mole when discussing the challenges of holistic wellness. Let’s say someone is trying to lose weight. If done properly, this

I’m Not Sweating; Is This Working?

Do these thoughts look familiar? If they do, do not worry. Although, these are common concerns for a lot of exercisers, they are actually just misconceptions. More factors contribute to sweating during a workout than most of us want to believe. Though it would be nice to gauge our exercise intensity based on how much we sweat, many factors play into different rates of sweating. These include gender, age, weight, fitness level, genetics, clothing, temperature, and humidity. So, why do we sweat? We sweat to cool the body to compensate for the rising of core temperature. Our bodies need to be cooled more or less depending on outside factors including temperature, clothing, humidity, fear, or s

Pre-Workout and Related Supplements: The Good, Bad, and Ugly

Working out can be an intense challenge. Moreover, having enough energy to get yourself into the gym can be an even greater obstacle. Whether it be the crack of dawn before work or a late afternoon grind, you may find yourself gravitating towards caffeine or pre-workout supplements to energize you and provide that edge needed to focus and optimize performance. If you find yourself reaching for some sort of stimulant prior to working out you are certainly not alone, especially considering that U.S. retail sales of vitamin & nutritional supplements for 2017 was over 36 billion dollars. Undoubtedly, a significant portion of that expenditure was allocated towards pre-workout and related suppleme

The Mind-Muscle Connection: Fact or Fiction?

In the research, this mind-muscle connection is referred to as “attentional focus”. This is the practice of directing our attention to the muscle or group of muscles we wish to activate during a particular exercise. For example, during a cable-pull through, we want to target the posterior chain. This primarily includes the glutes and hamstrings, similar to a deadlift. If we’re using our mind-muscle connection, we think about cues such as “squeeze the glutes” or “twisting your heels together and into the floor” to turn on those muscles. The need for attentional focus during strength training has long been debated in the health and fitness world. On one side, there are those who believe that t

The Amazing Avocado

Since 2014, the consumption of avocados in America has more than doubled. Although there are several varieties of avocados grown across the globe, “Hass” avocados are grown in Central America and are the most common species imported to the United States by a large margin. What’s all the hype about with this green botanical fruit? Aside from their delicious taste and creamy mouthfeel, avocados have an auspicious nutrition profile that can benefit health in numerous ways. It is important to note that over 75% of the calories in avocados are derived from fat. Because of this, the amount of calories in avocados is relatively higher than one might expect. A medium-sized avocado contains around 32

Straighten Up Your Posture

In my last blog post, I talked about sitting and how we should be mindful to change our position or add minutes of movement throughout the day. In an effort to encourage this, many companies and individuals are moving to standing desks or adjustable sit-stand desks However, be aware that moving from seated to standing while maintaining improper posture is simply allowing the problem to continue in a different position. Standing is often seen as the fix. However, if we stand still with the hips anteriorly tilted we find similar biomechanical problems as compared to when seated. (Check out the blog post here for more information on this!) This negates the positive effect of standing as compare

Is Sitting the New Smoking?

It’s no debate sedentary jobs are on the rise. In a study conducted in 2010, they found two out of every 10 adults had a job back in 1970 in which they sat for the majority of the day. By 2003, it had increased to six out of every 10. But it’s not only in the workplace, it is also at home, particularly with the rise of technology. We engage in activities which require less energy, like watching TV, and spending time seated at the computer or in the car commuting to and from work. The average person spends upwards of 12 hours a day sitting. “Sitting is the new smoking." “Sitting too long can kill you, even if you exercise.” For years, headlines have used startling headlines like these to draw

No, You Shouldn’t Worry About Coffee Causing Cancer

A judge in the state of California recently ruled that coffee companies in that state – most notably Starbucks – must add a cancer warning to their products. The reason for this warning is the presence of a compound called acrylamide, which is found in all brewed coffee and certain other foods cooked at high temperatures (like French fries). Acrylamide is listed on the American Cancer Society’s website as a “probable carcinogen”, placing it in the same category as wood stove emissions, shiftwork involving circadian disruption (working the night shift), HPV, consumption of “very hot beverages” (defined as hotter than 65 degrees Celsius), and a very long list of chemicals. In California, a law

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