6 Fun Ways to Improve Your Balance

Man balancing over city

Balance is one of those things that is good for just about everything including a balanced diet, stress management, and it is also a great physical exercise. There’s nothing you do that won’t improve with good balance. Balance is also the main reason trainers prefer to use free weights over machines. When you use free weights or pick up rocks, tires, medicine balls, etc. they challenge support muscles throughout your body, which strengthen the functional muscles you need to thrive in everyday life.

When you strengthen muscles related to balance and structure you are able to exert more force with less energy. Essentially, you can exert force equal to the amount you can withstand without losing your balance which is why isolated machines are not preferred, the machines will absorb the force your body should be adjusting to. This is also why play is so important, you need to have good balance to maneuver yourself and quickly adapt to real-time changes in the game. Through play, balance incrementally increases over time. There are some great exercises you can do to develop balance.

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8 Ways to Manage Inflammation

Pain and Inflammation

Today I want to discuss 8 ways to manage inflammation, especially since most chronic disease can be linked to inflammation. Often, when we find a way to improve inflammation by removing a food or contaminant that causes inflammation, the body can heal itself in unpredictable ways. It’s amazing how much improvement I see in clients who manage to remove pro-inflammatory compounds and consume truly nourishing foods that are also delicious.

Inflammation is a natural process essential to our survival. It activates our immune system and protects our body from infection at the site of injuries. The function of inflammation is to eliminate the initial cause of cellular injury, clear out necrotic cells and tissues damaged from the original insult and the inflammatory process, and start tissue repair. Although, until the inflammatory process has completed, the body cannot begin the healing process.

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Coconut Oil is Not Pure Poison

Saturated Fat

Dr. Karin Michaels recently made a big splash on Facebook with her dietary recommendations. More specifically she referred to coconut oil as pure poison, which prompted a flood of questions, concern and outrage. First, Dr. Karin Michaels is a Harvard professor that represents the Harvard School of Public Health from the department Epidemiology and Nutrition, so most of her studies use epidemiological research designs (AKA Self Report) and you click here to learn more about how we should interpret the findings of epidemiological research.

The video of her talk has amassed over 1 million views and I would love to have shared it with you, but it is no longer available. So below is a news report on her talk as evidence that it happened.

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The Ultimate Guide to Fats

Ultimate Guide to Fat

It’s time I shared the skinny on fats with everyone. Which fats contribute to improved health, which fats promote a decline in health and why. To this day we are still inundated with conflicting information from seemingly renowned sources.

All fats have a glycerol head and a fatty acid chain of varying length or carbon atoms, how fat is categorized depends on whether there are open bonds in the fatty acid chain.
Saturated Fat

Saturated fat has a carbon chain with no open molecular bonds. Saturated fats are stable because a hydrogen atom occupies each carbon molecule, meaning that all possible open bonds are closed or “saturated”.

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The Carbohydrate-Insulin Hypothesis is Wrong and Why it Doesn’t Matter

Lowfat-vs-lowcarb

To understand how this contentious debate started, let’s see where the Carbohydrate-Insulin Hypothesis (CIH) came from?

In the classic book “Good Calories, Bad Calories” Gary Taubes plunges centuries of research to make the case that carbohydrates instead of fat is driving our current epidemic of obesity. He also illustrates how we got caught in the current low-fat recommendations and how the calories in–calories out theory is complete nonsense. It is a dense read designed for doctors and research scientist.

The CIH was simple: carbohydrate -> insulin release -> increased storage of fat.

This hypothesis has the benefit of parsimony, but it‘s the over-simplification that makes the CIH easily disproved. It’s not that the hypothesis is wrong, it’s just that it needs to be expanded.

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The Difference between Weight Loss and Fat Loss

Crossfit Primal Movement

This is simply losing mass. People rarely care where the mass comes from, they only care that the number on the scale is going down. You can lose intracellular water, extracellular water, muscle, and fat. Each of these will result in lower numbers on the scale. The only thing that is desirable is fat loss, the problem is that this is not a speedy process and if it is, you are likely losing water and/or burning muscle.

When you initially eat healthy your body lets go of water and inflammation. This is the initial weight loss you hear about on commercials “I lost 50 lbs in 3 weeks!”. You have not yet truly lost weight, you are now down to your weight without retained water and inflammation. This is where real weight loss begins and where your perception of healthy weight loss comes into play.
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