Anthony S Casey

Businessman, Triathlete, Dad

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Tag: health

New Year, New You

It’s that time of year again: the holidays. And right after the holidays, the new year is right around the corner. Do you have your resolutions ready. Is getting fit on that list? you’re not alone. Getting your body in shape is one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions. Here are some tips to make that New Year’s Resolution a reality.

1. Go easy on yourself

There’s nothing wrong with moving at your own pace. When you’re at the gym seeing other people around you running at fast speeds and lifting very heavy weights, it’s easy to get caught up in comparisons. It’s best to start small and you can slowly build up more endurance. Even if you’re just going on a 1 minute walk a day you are moving toward your goal.

2. Formulate a plan: When, How, and What?

The best way to work towards a goal is to set specific expectations for that goal. If you just start the year saying “I want to get fit” you need to figure out how. First, ask when you will exercise. Remember that exercising is not a competition and you don’t have to train as many days a week as other people you know. As long as you set a schedule for yourself, you’re on the right track.

Then, think about how you will exercise. A key part of your workout plan is exactly what you are going to do. The best way to go about this is finding something you enjoy. Lastly, figure out how much time you will spend exercising. Make a plan and stick to it!

3. Get an exercise buddy

Sometimes a exercise buddy can be the wind beneath your wings. As long you are truly doing it to root each other on and not to be competitive, exercising with a friend can be a great social activity. It can be so much fun that you almost forget you’re working out (well, almost). If you know someone who also resolved to get fit, be each other’s accountability buddies. On days when you don’t want to get off the couch, a workout buddy can be just what you need.

4. Make sure your goal is realistic

One of the biggest reasons people drop their New Year’s Resolutions is because they were unrealistic in the first place. Be honest with yourself. You need to develop a solid foundation for fitness before cranking up the intensity. Set a goal that is reasonable and achievable.

The rest is just sticking to your goal and believing in yourself. You can do it!

What is the 5:2 Fast Diet?

Eat this, don’t eat that. Exercise in the morning, exercise at night. Try a sugar and carb free diet, only eat raw meat. There are hundreds of ways to lose weight, each one more complicated than the last.  To be honest, in our busy day-to-day lives, we rarely have time to make substantial adjustments to our routines. The 5: 2 diet is a way to focus less on dieting techniques and more on the daily buzz of life.

The Fast Diet is composed of 5 days of normal eating paired with 2 days of fasting (5:2). Participants are allowed to select any two days of the week on which they would like to fast, restricting caloric intake to 500 calories for women and 600 for men. The average woman may consume up to 2000 calories on a non-fast day and a man, 2400. Depending on your individual BMI (body mass index), these numbers will slightly vary. Your recommended caloric intake will also appropriately scale to your weekly activity level: sedentary, lightly active, moderately active, very active, or extremely active. The 5:2 program is designed to encourage better eating habits in the long run and simply advocate weight loss as a byproduct of an improved lifestyle.

The diet itself became popular in the UK after the BBC Horizon documentary, Eat, Fast and Live Longer. In addition to the 2012 documentary special, celebrity endorsement and media attention has positioned the diet in a favorable light.

It’s important to note that ‘fast days’ do not mean “eat nothing” days. They simply mean that instead of eating as you normally do, you prepare and consume particularly low calorie meals. Here are some excellent low calorie meals you should try for your 5:2 diet:

Slow Cooker Pepperoni and Chicken

Chicken-Pepperoni

1 cup contains 295 calories, 78 from fat and 52g of protein. This is an excellent post-workout meal.

Mushroom Lasagna Rolls

Lasagna

At 280 calories per serving, this vegetable-based dish will make for an excellent lunch or dinner.

Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon

SalmonToast

Smoked salmon is the way to go! This breakfast high in omega-3 will give you a strong boost of energy thank will last well into the day.

Have you tried the 5:2 diet before? Let me know!

Is “Too Much Running” a Thing?

The topic of fitness has always been controversial. Some claim that a healthy heart is made in the kitchen while others argue, the gym. Even Coca-Cola has recently shifted the dialogue from whether or not its sugary drinks are unhealthy and instead insists that consumers should simply exercise more. General knowledge dictates that a healthy diet and physical activity go hand in hand when improving one’s overall mental and physical well-being. Most people are asking two not-so-simple questions: which should be given more consideration? And is it possible to simply “overdo” it?

Evidence strongly suggests that a sedentary lifestyle ultimately leads to higher risk for heart attacks, strokes, heart failure, and diabetes. Because of this, doctors recommend at least three days of high-intensity physical activity a week. And yet, some perpetuate the myth that excessive cardiovascular activity can over-exert the heart muscle, leading to an unfortunate and untimely death. It’s unclear what constitutes as “too much exercise” or “running too much” as it differs from person to person, but we do know that bad practices like lifting weights that are entirely too heavy and neglecting rest days can contribute to injury over time. But besides best practice, is it fair to say that runners are at an even greater risk for heart failure?

Running-1024x682-compressor

 

Triathletes spend a lot of time training to prepare for ultra-competitive races. Exercise can improve heart health by reducing body fat, improving blood pressure and glucose, lessening stress and increasing production of HDL cholesterol while also lowering LDL levels. Concerned parties often cite isolated stories about consistent runners who randomly collapse in over exertion-related situations. On the contrary, it appears that studies have been unable to successfully link a higher mortality rate to excessive exercise (correlation does not equal causation). Moreover, even though some have suggested in the past that endurance events such as half and full marathons and triathlons pose a threat to runners, this simply hasn’t been proven. Endurance races are taxing, both physically and mentally, however, no concrete evidence exists that runners are at a great risk for heart failure simply because they run. According to the New England Journal of Medicine, cardiac arrests occur in less than 1 percent of every 100,000 runners. Family history of heart disease must always be taken into consideration when assessing these numbers.

Not everyone is equipped to handle endurance training. Those with a family history of premature heart disease, current symptoms of heart disease, or high blood pressure should consult a doctor before engaging in strenuous activity. As science and technology continue to evolve, perhaps we will find more information linking premature heart issues with endurance training. But for now, we just can’t say it’s there.

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