Fitness IQ

Is a collection of Random Health & Fitness Questions that we get asked or that we find important. I will post new ones each week or two.

Fitness IQ

Fitness IQ 382 What are pulses (beans) so good for you?

Beans and legumes are some of the most underrated foods on the planet according to and other sources. I ahve them at one or two meals a day. They are excellent sources of dietary fiber, protein, B vitamins and many other important vitamins and minerals. There is good evidence that they can help reduce blood sugar, improve cholesterol levels and help maintain a healthy gut. They are also a great replacement for meat as a source of vegetarian protein.(see more)

Fitness IQ 382 What are pulses?

What are examples of pulses?

Pulses include all beans, peas and lentils, such as:

          baked beans.

          red, green, yellow and brown lentils.

          chickpeas (chana or garbanzo beans)

          garden peas.

          black-eyed peas.

          runner beans.

          broad beans (fava beans)

          kidney beans, butter beans (Lima beans), haricots, cannellini beans, flageolet beans, pinto beans and borlotti beans.

Fitness IQ 382 What is a serving of veggies? According to the dietary guidelines, an adult consuming 2,000 calories per day should be eating 2 1/2 cups of vegetables and two cups of fruit per day. This is quite a leap from the typical American diet, which includes a mere cup and a half of veggies and one cup of fruit per day, according to the USDA. The USDA's Dietary Guidelines recommend adults eat anywhere from 5 to 13 servings of fruits and vegetables per day depending on age, gender, physical activity, and overall health. One serving is defined as 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables, 1/2 cup of cooked or chopped raw vegetables, or 3/4 cup of vegetable juice.

Fitness IQ 381 Is Yogurt Good for you? I certainly hope so. It is where I get 1/3 of my protein daily. According to Medical News Today yogurts can be high in protein, calcium, vitamins, and live culture, or probiotics, which can enhance the gut microbiota. These can offer protection for bones and teeth and help prevent digestive problems. According to Harvard Health we need calcium and vitamin D to keep our bones strong, especially after menopause. Greek yogurt they say is one of the best ways to get both of those nutrients. It's low in fat, and a single 8-ounce serving delivers about a third of the calcium we need each day. Greek yogurt is best, because it packs in about twice the protein of regular yogurt. Just avoid the highly sweetened brands. A healthier option is to top plain Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen berries. Some suggest that it is associated with better immune system function, weight management and reduced inflammation as well. If you want some sweetness try those sweetened with Stevia or take 1-2 tbs of all fruit jam and mix it in. What is Stevia? Check us out net week.

Fitness IQ 380 How many calories does jumping rope burn? Actually a good deal. Jumping rope is a full-body workout, so it burns many calories in a short time. For an average-sized person, jumping rope might even burn more than 10 calories a minute. See more here

Fitness IQ 379 Are cornflakes healthy? According to several websites they are, while others suggest they are not that great. They do have added sugar but not like many other cereals. They are though low in fiber, which is a big issue. I would say try not to have all the time, but you can include them as part of a healthy diet. They are inexpensive. Maybe try Bran flakes, plain cheerios, and unflavored shreeded wheat or oatmeal for added health benefits because of their low sugar content and more fiber.

Please see this website for how to pick a cereal. Tips to find the healthiest breakfast cereals

Fitness IQ 378 Is tea healthy to drink? Tea, especially green tea, is often said to be good for your health. Tea contains substances linked to a lower risk for heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. (see article). Health Benefits of Tea: Green, Black, and White Tea (from WebMed). Tea is a name given to a lot of brews, but purists consider only green tea, black tea, white tea, oolong tea, and pu-erh tea the real thing. They are all derived from the Camellia sinensis plant, a shrub native to China and India, and contain unique antioxidants called flavonoids. The most potent of these, known as ECGC, may help against free radicals that can contribute to cancer, heart disease, and clogged arteries. All these teas also have caffeine and theanine, which affect the brain and seem to heighten mental alertness. The more processed the tea leaves, usually the less polyphenol content. Polyphenols include flavonoids. Oolong and black teas are oxidized or fermented, so they have lower concentrations of polyphenols than green tea; but their antioxidizing power is still high. Here's what some studies have found about the potential health benefits of tea: See more

Fitness IQ 377 What is the Healthest Nuts? I love nuts. They are all pretty much healthy as long as they have no added fats of sugars. The Mayo clinic says that the type of nuts you choose to eat probably doesn't matter much. For example, walnuts contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans also appear to be quite heart healthy. Almonds, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts and pecans also appear to be quite heart healthy. And peanuts — which are technically not a nut, but a legume, like beans — seem to be relatively healthy. Keep in mind that you could end up canceling out the heart-healthy benefits of nuts if they're covered with chocolate, sugar or salt.Ounce for ounce, macadamia nuts (10 to 12 nuts; 2 grams protein, 21 grams fat) and pecans (18 to 20 halves; 3 grams protein, 20 grams fat) have the most calories - 200 each - along with the lowest amounts of protein and the highest amounts of fats. See paper

Fitness IQ 376 When it comes to snacks do not sabotage your health - KEEP IT HEALTHY! My favorite snacks are apples, yogurt, bananas, citrus, berries, popcorn (air popped), melon, cottage cheese, 100 calorie serving of nuts, whole grain crackers/pita or veggies with peanut butter or humus. I even been known to have a low calorie fiber one bar. Remember snacks are not a meal. Here is a solid list (some you should avoid if you are looking to lose weight).

Fitness IQ 375 Are nuts a good snack? Oh yes, but make sure they are not coated with sugar and salt. Lightly salted would be fine if you have good blood pressure. Nuts are very healthy (see article), but they are high in calories. I would keep portions to 100 calories (see what a 100 calories of nuts look like). They are also a great topping on a salad or mixed with steamed veggies.

Fitness IQ 374 What is does exercise do to the heart? Just as exercise strengthens other muscles in your body, it helps your heart muscle become more efficient and better able to pump blood throughout your body. This means that the heart pushes out more blood with each beat, allowing it to beat slower and keep your blood pressure under control. When you exercise regularly, your body's tissue (including the heart) does a better job of pulling oxygen from your blood. This allows your heart to work better under stress and keeps you from getting winded during high-intensity activities. Physical activity also allows better blood flow in the small blood vessels around your heart. Clogs in these arteries can lead to heart attacks. There's also evidence that exercise helps your body make more branches and connections between these blood vessels, so there are other routes for your blood to travel if the usual path is blocked by narrow arteries or fatty deposits. Exercise also increases your levels of HDL cholesterol, the "good" cholesterol that lowers heart disease risk by flushing the artery-clogging LDL or "bad" cholesterol out of your system.

(see article)

Fitness IQ 373 What is the best form of Vigorous Exercise? I say it is whatever exercise that you can stick with, that does not cause pain or injury, that makes you out of breath at times. That being said it is a hotly debated question in my industry. Find what works best for you. Climbing stairs and jumping rope is easy to implement for some, while walking up hills fast is one that walkers sometimes do. Here is a good article describing the differences.

I would suggest trying to get 10 to 30 minutes a day (75 to 150 minutes per week) of vigorous exercise. I would not do it more than 5 days per week

When it comes to Vigorous Exercise there are limits. The MayoClinic suggests no more than 1 hour a day - a total of no more than 5 hours a week - keeping it to no more than 5 days per week (see research).  

Fitness IQ 372 What is the difference between Moderate and Vigorous Activities?

Moderate and Vigorous Activities are all relative. What might be moderate for one person might be vigorous to another.

Generally moderate activity is where you can still talk, while with vigorous it is somewhat difficult to talk.

Example: A fit person may find walking 2.8 mph very light while someone who is unfit might find it vigorous.

Therefore try to meet the suggested requirements by finding the activities that suit you and progress at your pace. These charts work for most people.

Fitness IQ 371 What exercises burn the most calories? Running is the winner for most calories burned per hour. Stationary bicycling, jogging, and swimming are excellent options as well. HIIT exercises are also great for burning calories. After a HIIT workout, your body will continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours. See list here

Fitness IQ 370 What is diastasis recti, or rectus abdominis diastasis? We have seen this many times in our years in the industry. Wikipedia does a nice job explaing it. Interesting some forms of exercise can make it worst.  It is defined as a gap of about 2.7 cm or greater between the two sides of the rectus abdominis muscle. Diastasis of the rectus abdominis muscle most frequently occurs in newborns and pregnant women; however, it may occur in any adult woman or man. In the newborn, the rectus abdominis is not fully developed and may not be sealed together at midline. Diastasis recti is more common in premature newborns. In pregnant or postpartum women, the condition is caused by the stretching of the rectus abdominis by the growing uterus. It is more common in multiparous women (women who have had multiple pregnancies) owing to repeated episodes of stretching. When the defect occurs during pregnancy, the uterus can sometimes be seen bulging through the abdominal wall beneath the skin. Non-pregnant women are more susceptible to develop diastasis recti when over the age of 35 or with high birth weight of child, multiple birth pregnancy, or multiple pregnancies.

Additional causes can be attributed to excessive abdominal exercises after the first trimester of pregnancy. Strength training of all the core muscles, including the abdominis recti muscle, may or may not reduce the size of the gap in pregnant or postpartum women. Crunches may increase the diastasis recti separation. All corrective exercises should be in the form of pulling in the abdominal muscles rather than pushing them outwards. In extreme cases, diastasis recti is corrected with a cosmetic surgery procedure known as an abdominoplasty by creating a plication or folding of the linea alba and suturing together, which results in a tighter abdominal wall.

Fitness IQ 369 What is a hunchback?

Hunchback (kyphosis) usually refers to an abnormally curved spine. It's most common in older women and often related to osteoporosis. I see this a lot and I help people try to prevent it from getting worst. Some of it is genetic and some from poor posture, habits, and exercise. Some people with kyphosis have back pain and stiffness. Others have no symptoms other than an exaggerated forward rounding of the back. Severe kyphosis can cause pain and be disfiguring. Treatment may include medications for pain, physical therapy, and sometimes surgery. Age-related kyphosis is often due to weakness in the spinal bones that causes them to compress or crack. Depending on your age and the severity, you often can improve or reverse this problem. You can accomplish this by strengthening the upper back muscles; increasing tone helps pull up the shoulders and the head. We can help if you have it. (see article for more info. )

Fit IQ Question 366?

Is resistance band training effective?

I sure do hope so because I use them a lot in my training programs. Research has also shown that bands work. One study suggests that resistance training with elastic devices provides similar strength gains when compared to resistance training performed from conventional devices (see research). Resistance bands are extremely portable. Workouts with bands are highly versatile which means you can train at any time and different fashions. There are many strength and stretching exercise that you can do with them. Unlike free weights bands induce less joint compression, which helps prevent injuries. Staffr suggests that due to the flexible and variable execution of movements during an exercise, the workouts are also not as repetitive and therefore easier on your joints compared with free weights and machines. See AceFitness for band exercises. See our band video.

How long far do you have to walk to burn a pound of fat?

It is not just a simple math problem because your body weight and walking economy matters (how efficient you are when you walk). But here is an easy answer: You must burn approximately 3,500 calories to lose 1 pound. A 155-pound person will burn about 150 calories walking at 3.5 mph during 30 minutes on the treadmill at a zero percent incline. When you do the math, you'll see that you have to walk just under 12 hours to burn off enough calories to lose 1 pound.

Fit IQ Question 364?

How long does it take for excess calories to be made into body fat? Yikes, a 2012 study at Oxford University found that the fat in your food ends up on your waistline in less than four hours. Carbohydrate and protein take a little longer, because they need to be converted into fat in the liver first and it takes nine calories of protein or carbohydrate to make 1g of fat.  See site for article:

Fit IQ Question 363?

How many calories are there in a piece of apple pie? What pie has the least amount of calories?

Apple pie weighs in at around 400 calories, and pecan pie at about 500 calories per slice. The type of crust used can make a big calorie difference. At around 300 calories per slice, pumpkin pie is a good bet for an indulgent dessert. It's a calorie bargain compared with other fall piesApple, pumpkin or pecan: Which autumn pie is lowest in calories?

Fit IQ Question 362?

What is good posture?

Does it matter?

Practice good posture: You can not be truly healthy and fit if you have poor posture. Poor posture wrecks havoc on your body. There are three postural keys that I stress such as heads up and back to prevent forward head posture, shoulders retracted and arms slightly externally rotated to prevent rounded shoulders, and maintenance of the three natural curves to your spine through prevent standing and seated postures to prevent lordosis/swayback/kyphotic postures. If you are starting an exercise program it is important that you just do not just start doing any exercises on a body with poor posture rather address you posture with postural changes and other habits and exercises that both strengthen and stretch weakened and tightened areas which are common with certain types of poor posture. Learn more at MedlinePlus.