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Electrolytes and the Best Foods and Drinks for Hydration

It’s that time of year when more emphasis is put on staying hydrated and drinking plenty of water. We are advised to keep a water bottle on hand, especially when doing activities outside in the sun and heat and to maintain a normal body temperature, among other important functions.

When it comes to hydration, remember water isn’t your only option! What you eat throughout the day can also help you get the fluids you need in order to avoid the chronic dehydration that plagues most Americans.

EAT YOUR FRUITS AND VEGGIES

Remember that saying, you are what you eat? More than 60% of our body is made up of water — and in this case, if you eat certain fruits and vegetables, you’ll get a boost of that fluid.

“The foods with the highest water content are fruits and vegetables,” explains nutrition coach Brandice Lardner. “Water content is one of the reasons that fruits and vegetables are less calorically dense than other foods, as water increases volume but does not contribute to overall calories.”

When it comes to choosing which to eat for hydration purposes, Lardner divulges that cucumbers, celery, lettuce, melons and berries have the highest water content. However, those aren’t your only options. Diane Boyd, RD, LDN, consulting dietitian at Cape Fear Sports Enhancement, adds that other foods that are good sources of water include yogurt, milk and chocolate milk.


READ MORE > TASTY HYDRATION METHODS THAT GO BEYOND WATER


There is no right way to prepare these foods, however, cooking them does reduce the amount of water they contain.

“For the most hydration, eat these foods raw,” notes Lardner. “However, if you prefer cooked veggies, just have a glass of water with your meal.”

GETTING YOUR ELECTROLYTES

When it comes to choosing what to drink, water is the go-to for staying hydrated. However, if you are an athlete, it shouldn’t be the only thing you consume. You need to replenish your electrolytes to get enough sodium, which is an element of hydration, as well.

“Water alone is not enough for individuals running or participating in any physical exertion that lasts longer than one hour,” notes Boyd. “Extended work in the heat requires both fluid and electrolytes, particularly sodium.”

This is where sports drinks and gels or bars come into play. Lardner adds that this recommendation is based only on hydration and not performance.

You want to take extra precautions during the summer months, of course, but still need to replenish the fluids lost from sweating no matter the season. Of course, eating foods that have high water content can help with your day-to-day hydration, but sports drinks help you get those added vitamins and minerals you lose during physical activity.

“It’s important to point out that fluid needs are highly individualized,” stresses Boyd. “Individuals lose water at different rates and customizing replacement can be accomplished by calculating your sweat rate by weighing yourself before and after exercise.”

WHAT TO CONSIDER ABOUT ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE

Just as there are foods and drinks that can help aid hydration and replenish losses of sodium, there are foods that can speed up dehydration. The beverage that most dietitians note as  most dehydrating is alcohol. Boyd explains alcohol is a diuretic, meaning it increases your fluid loss. When drinking alcohol, having water between each beverage helps your body regulate the losses.


READ MORE > IS BEER ACTUALLY A GOOD RECOVERY DRINK?


For quite a long time, caffeine was blamed for dehydration, too, because it is also a diuretic. However, this has been proven to be a myth.

“While caffeine may cause you to excrete more water, it does not affect your overall hydration status as once believed,” assures Lardner. “In essence, you may excrete more water but you are also consuming water in your caffeinated drink.”

Though it won’t cause dehydration, you should still limit your consumption because it can have other negative impacts on the body, such as decreasing your sleep. Because of this, Lardner recommends having no more than 400mg of caffeine per day.

When it comes to being hydrated, it is important to know it should be a regular state for your body. This is especially important for athletes to recognize.

“It is important to know that you can not ‘fix’ dehydration by guzzling a bunch of water or sports drinks before a run,” concludes Lardner. “Hydration status is a state, and your overall performance and health will improve if you stay hydrated all of the time, whether it’s a run day or a rest day.”

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Ranking the 8 Best Walkable Cities Around the World

If fitness is your goal, the factors determining the walkability of a city changes. Take safety, scenery or the general fitness habits of people who live in the area. Having off-road pedestrian-only trails dramatically decreases the likelihood that walkers will cross paths with a car. Beautiful walking trails make getting outside more enjoyable. What’s more, doing so in an active city means you have the camaraderie of fellow pedestrians. All of these things add up to extra motivation to get you out and about.

Keeping this in mind, we’ve rounded up our favorite cities. While there are plenty of great metropolitan areas that are ripe for exploration on foot, these eight have that little something special that makes them stick out.

8. VANCOUVER, CANADA

With a mission to become the “Greenest City” in the world, Vancouver enacted a number of important initiatives via their Healthy City Strategy. Among them are a network of map stands throughout the city to help support a culture of walkability. These pedestrian signs will point you in the right direction and help you identify a wide range of destinations around town. With breathtaking waterside views and places like Stanley Park, one of the biggest urban parks in North America, there’s plenty to see on foot.

7. MINNEAPOLIS

While you might want to steer clear of Minneapolis in the winter months, it’s consistently ranked as one of the healthiest and fittest cities in the United States. Known for having the best urban parks in the U.S., miles of scenic off-road trails will take you along parkways, around lakes and over the mighty Mississippi. The metropolitan area also plays host to the “Most Beautiful Urban Marathon” and is the only U.S. city to make the cut on the worldwide index of bike-friendly cities.  

6. MUNICH, GERMANY

Marked by its pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, Munich offers a great place to walk for both locals and tourists alike. Known as the “city of short distances,” it is easily navigable on foot and offers plenty of beautiful parks and great architecture. If you go, be sure not to miss the 900-acre English Garden, one of the biggest urban parks in the world. From beer gardens, to shaded paths, sports fields and a Japanese teahouse, it is the perfect place for an afternoon stroll.

5. SAN FRANCISCO

Walkability scoring consistently ranks San Francisco as one of the best cities in which to hoof it. If you’re looking to burn some extra calories, the city’s steep hills will provide an extra workout as you navigate around town. Looking for an urban adventure? Check out Chinatown or the Financial District — both of which have stellar walkability scores. For a more peaceful jaunt, however, head north across the Golden Gate Bridge to the trails that meander through the stunning Marin Headlands.


READ MORE > 5 STRETCHES TO IMPROVE YOUR WALKS


4. NEW YORK CITY

There’s a good reason New York City is consistently ranked one of the top most walkable cities in the U.S. Walk Score has dubbed the Big Apple’s neighborhoods of Little Italy, Chinatown and NoHo all to be “walker’s paradises.” What’s more, Central Park offers a great escape from the hustle and bustle of city sidewalks and streets. With nearly 40 million visitors each year, there are plenty of other walkers and runners around to keep you motivated as you put one foot in front of the other.

3. BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA

A city best explored on foot, this South American hotspot offers stunning architecture, tree-lined roadways and an impressive arts and culture scene. For self-guided walking tours, be sure to get your hands on the Golden Map available at most hotels and tourist locations. If you go, be sure to check out the Rose Garden Walk, a serene path that takes walkers past more than 1,000 species of roses.

2. WASHINGTON, D.C.

Washington D.C.’s highly touted reputation for walkability is largely thanks to its pedestrian-friendly boulevards. That’s not to mention the mostly free monuments, memorials, and malls that beg you to lace up your sneakers and explore. Indeed, the city was recently named one of the top major cities in the U.S. for biking and walking to work, with around 16.7% of people commuting.

1. AMSTERDAM

A short stroll along a scenic canal and you’ll understand why this city is the perfect place to explore on foot — not just by bike. Amsterdam is always actively improving infrastructure to make it one of the most walkable places on the planet. Along with low speed limits for cars, they are also working to separate biking and walking paths for the benefit of all. That’s not to mention the city’s many gardens, parks and green spaces. Walking tourists should be sure to check out the city’s largest park, Sloterpark, which is characterized by over 200 acres of natural winding paths, pools, a zoo and a disc golf course.

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Can You Guess the Best Workout for Anti-Aging?

We can’t deny it: Your body reacts to each additional candle on your birthday cake. As you age, your cell function decreases, bones lose density, joints show signs of wear and muscle tissue and strength decrease while body fat increases. You might not be able to turn back the clock, but you can slow the effects of aging on your body through exercise.

“Both strength and power training are critically important as we age,” says Alice Bell, PT, DPT, a spokesperson for the American Physical Therapy Association. “In order to effectively manage the impact of aging on muscle strength and power, it is critical to incorporate high-intensity strength training into your activity regimen.”


READ MORE > 3 STRENGTH AND MOBILITY WORKOUTS TO PREPARE FOR SPRING RUNNING


WHAT IS THE BEST ANTI-AGING EXERCISE?

New research shows that certain forms of exercise have the most profound anti-aging effects.

A study, published in the journal Cell Metabolism, assigned participants in two age groups — 18–30 and 65–80 — and divided them into three training categories: high-intensity interval training (HIIT), weight training or a combination of the two.

After three months, researchers compared muscle biopsies of both groups and found that strength training increased muscle mass and HIIT increased mitochondrial activity, a cellular process that declines with age and is associated with increased fatigue and inability for muscles to burn excess blood sugar. The HIIT/strength training combination had the biggest effect in older adults, helping to decrease aging at the cellular level.

In a statement about the research, K. Sreekumaran Nair, MD, a diabetes researcher at the Mayo Clinic and senior author of the study noted, “These things we are seeing cannot be done by any medicine.”

The research points to the benefits of incorporating HIIT and strength training into your routine as you get older.

“The rate at which we lose muscle mass varies dependent upon our level of activity and engagement in meaningful exercise,” Bell says.

In other words, you’re more apt to maintain muscle mass and keep body fat in check as you age if you’re physically fit.

To maximize the benefits, Bell suggests incorporating HIIT and strength training into each workout.

HIIT is defined as mixing intense bursts of exercise with short periods of active rest; a run-walk combination is a good example of HIIT. Interval training can be incorporated into activities ranging from walking and biking to swimming. These bursts keep your heart rate up and help burn fat and, according to Bell, “High-intensity interval training is considered one of the best ways to improve cardiorespiratory and metabolic function.”

BUT DON’T FORGET STRENGTH TRAINING

Strength training is also important to maintain good health as you age. A 2016 study published in the journal Preventive Medicine found that older adults who did strength training at least twice per week had a 46% lower odds of death from all causes during the study period, a 41% lower risk of cardiac death and 19% lower odds of dying from cancer than those who did not strength train.

Bell suggests building strength by training with weights 2–3 times per week. “In order to optimize results a person must be utilizing the appropriate amount of resistance, performing the exercises with proper [form] and building in recovery time,” she says.

A physical therapist or personal trainer can create a workout regimen that incorporates interval and strength training that is targeted toward your current fitness level. The effort could help keep you looking and feeling stronger, healthier and younger.


GEAR UP FOR YOUR NEXT WORKOUT

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3 Common Things In The Best Weight Loss Diets

Common Things In The Best Weight Loss Diets

Hello All!!!!

The weight loss world is filled with misleading and often conflicting information. However, there are a few common things in the best weight loss diets out there. With the term ‘best weight loss diets’ I mean sustainable eating habits and not the fad diets that change every now and then.

Slim woman after diet.

Experts are of the opinion that doctors and dieticians should focus on finding out which diet is best for each individual and not which one diet is suitable for everyone.

The best diets have some common factors. They encourage people to eat lots of veggies and avoid added sugars and reduced refined grains. However, one factor that seems missing is keeping a watch over the portion size. Diet experts are of the opinion that without watching your portion size, even the healthiest foods can make you gain weight if you eat too much of them.

woman eating healthy salad

The common factors are useful and you would soon know why.

Eating veggies

raw veggies

A plant-based diet is said to add lots of fibre and helps in keeping the calories balanced. To increase the intake of veggies, you can make certain changes to your food such as adding spinach to the omelet you make for breakfast, including a hearty salad at lunch and eating veggies with protein at dinner. Adding veggies to your snacks is also a good idea. You can always have carrot sticks with hummus. It is advisable to turn your refrigerator into a mini-salad bar. Keep a stock of chopped fresh carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes and the like so that you can simply grab them on the go or add them to a recipe. The more accessible veggies are to you, the more the chances that you will eat them.

Avoiding added sugars

no sugar please

Now come to added sugars. You need to stay away from added sugars, the ones that are added to foods while processing. Sugar terribly affects your health and the worst part is that you may not be able to realize that you are consuming it. So, you need to check labels of foods and find out if they have sugar in them. Be wary of sugar in pasta sauces, breads and soups.

The best way out is to find healthier alternatives to foods containing sugar. So instead of a sugar loaded fizzy soft drink, just have a glass of chilled club soda flavoured with lemon. You can also use pieces of fruit to jazz up your drink. Instead of snacking on a piece of chocolate, eat nuts or a bowl of yogurt with fresh fruits.

Add more protein and fibre to your diet to help reduce sugar cravings. Fibre helps you stay full for a longer period of time.

Say no to refined grains

Foods Which Make You Fat white bread

Just like added sugar, refined grains can wreck your weight loss goals. Foods containing refined grains are white bread, pasta and rice. However, crackers and cereal are also made from refined grains. They are just empty calories that increase your appetite leading to too much calorie intake and eventually weight gain.

To decrease refined grains consumption, choose foods like whole-wheat bread, brown rice, whole-wheat pasta, quinoa and oatmeal. Read labels of packaged foods and make sure that whole grains are the first few ingredients on the list.

Finally, just remember to keep a control on your food portions so that you don’t accidentally go overboard. Try the practice of mindful eating.

If you follow all the above tips, you can soon lose weight the healthy way!

Hope you liked reading about the common factors in the Best Weight Loss Diets!

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