Ocnutrition’s Blog


One Easy Move for a Healthy Heart
May 6, 2011, 5:42 pm
Filed under: Exercise, Heart Health, Weight Management

When I’m heavily involved in a task at the office that will take more than an hour, I force myself to get up off my chair and stand. My mantra has led me to take calls while standing and greet colleagues who “live” across the hall. That’s right – I’m proudly announcing that I have been doing lots of standing around at the office. Don’t get me wrong, I consider myself a workaholic and expect everyone to make the best use of work time. On the other hand, I want to be around for a long time to carry on with my workaholic tendencies.

This sudden obsession with standing was triggered after I came across a study conducted by Peter Katzmarzyk at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Louisiana. Katzmarzyk and his team analyzed the lifestyles of 17,000 individuals over 13 years; the research highlighted that people who sit for most of the day are 54 percent more likely to die of a heart attack – men and women are equally at risk. This means that the chance of heart attack doubles if you sit all day even if you exercise and eat well. This is because sitting is an independent risk factor regardless of other healthy behaviors you may be involved in. Quite frankly, I had to stand and read the rest of the article.

If the statistics don’t fully convince you, how about standing to burn extra calories? That’s right; when you stand you can burn more calories and even improve posture, tone muscles and increase blood flow.

Here are some tips to help you get started:

1. Socialize, stretch or visit the water cooler: Take a quick break every hour by getting up and stretching. If you’re in a cubicle like me and don’t want to attract attention when your hands are waving in the air with a stretch, get up and go to the water cooler instead. You can also try getting up and saying hello to your office mates. Standing up does not have to take you away from what you are doing or make you unproductive. A quick stand break is the goal.

2. Ditch the chair while on the phone. Get your body accustomed to the idea of getting up by standing while talking on the phone. Another option is to stand while reviewing work.

3. Set the alarm or mark it on your calendar: A common office chant is, “Is it that time already –4PM?” If you are so busy that you lose track of time, consider scheduling reminders on your calendar or phone. The idea is to make standing part of your daily routine.

4. Get a standing work station: Equipment such as Ergotron allows people to change positions, improve posture and stand while being productive at the office. Your human resources  or safety department may give you a high five for introducing a new idea since this type of equipment is known to increase workers’ wellness.

The bottom line is that sitting for long periods can compromise your health. Don’t be shy about standing around at the office and making health a priority – if a workaholic like me can squeeze it in and make it a routine, anyone can do it.

This information was brought to you by guest blogger Claudia Montoya, B.S. Human Development and OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice. OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino Hills and Long Beach. If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
kristy@ocnutrition.com
www.ocnutrition.com
(949) 933-6788



New Year’s Resolutions: Ring in Wellness for the New Year!
January 18, 2011, 3:04 am
Filed under: Exercise, General Nutrition, Weight Management

Begin the New Year right by making informed decisions that involve shifting your wellness focus from quantity to quality. Being more mindful of food, exercise and lifestyle choices will help get 2011 off to a great start! 

Follow the 80/20 approach
Trying to eat too healthy can set you up for failure. Instead, strive for healthy food choices 80% of the time, which gives you some leeway for the remaining 20% of the time. You can enjoy all foods on a healthy eating plan, just pay attention to how much and how often you select higher-calorie, higher-fat items.         

Concentrate on quality not quantity
Choose ingredients that result in less fat calories without sacrificing taste:

  • sauté with cooking spray and broth.
  • use 2 egg whites in place of one whole egg.
  • don’t add oil to the water when cooking rice or pasta.
  • use plain non fat yogurt instead of sour cream.
  • choose low-fat cheese products.
  • choose lean cuts of meat, poultry without the skin and fish and use oil-free marinades to enhance flavors. 

Schedule time for exercise
Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise daily, or 150 hours a week.  Exercise is the common denominator for losing weight and keeping it off.

Put eating in perspective
Overeating at one meal does not spell catastrophe. Consider it a “bump” in the road. Make the correction and move on.  Your attitude and how you handle mishaps is your strongest asset.

Get plenty of sleep
Latest research shows a relationship with making poor food choices, overeating and inadequate amount of sleep. Strive for 8 hours of shut eye.

This information was brought to you by Robyn Moss, MS, RD and OC Nutrition, Your Trusted Source for Health & Nutrition Advice.  OC Nutrition offers nutrition counseling services over the phone or in person in Newport Beach, Irvine, Orange, Anaheim Hills, Chino Hills and Long Beach.  If you have any questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact:

Kristy L. Richardson, MS, MPH, RD, CSSD, CHES
Registered Dietitian & Exercise Physiologist
kristy@ocnutrition.com
www.ocnutrition.com
(949) 933-6788



Aerobic Exercise…Maximizing the Benefits
December 3, 2010, 3:06 am
Filed under: Exercise, Heart Health, Weight Management

We all know about aerobic exercise, but are we doing all we can to maximize our effort?  Here are some facts and reminders in regards to aerobic exercise (also known as “cardio”)…

Let’s start off by talking about one of the most important factors related to cardio, your heart rate.  First you need to determine your maximum heart rate which can be estimated by subtracting your age from 220.  You can then calculate different percentages of your max to achieve a desired work level.  For example, if someone is 20 years old they have a max heart rate of approximately 200.  To find 60% of their max they would multiply .60 by 200 which results in 120.  The optimal range for aerobic exercise is 60% to 85% of the max heart rate.  If you are new to aerobic training, start at the lower level (60-70%).  If you would like to achieve a higher level of aerobic fitness, train at the higher level (75-85%).  You may have heard that the lower heart rate levels burn a higher percentage of fat and the higher levels burn a higher percentage of carbohydrate.  This is true but remember in order to lose weight you need to burn calories and a calorie is a calorie whether it’s fat or carbohydrate.  The higher the intensity the more calories you burn!

Now let’s talk about how much time should be spent doing cardio.  The recommendation is 5-7 days per week for a minimum of 30 minutes.  This is for heart health and good aerobic fitness.  If your goal is weight loss you should do 5-7 days per week for a minimum of 60 minutes!  You’ll be happy to hear that this activity doesn’t have to be done all at once.  The 30-60 minutes can be split into sessions as small as 10 minutes. 

What type of activity should you do?  That is primarily based on personal preference.  The only requirement is that the exercise work the large muscle groups (legs, chest, back) in a rhythmic fashion while keep your heart rate between 60-85% of your max for the entire session.  You can walk, run, swim, bike, stair climb, row, or whatever activity you enjoy.  To help prevent repetitive use injuries it is best to alternate between different types of activity. 

Go ahead; reap the benefits of aerobic exercise!

This information was brought to you by Just for the Health of It, a state-of-the-art personal training and yoga studio in the heart of Orange.  For more information please contact:

Diane McConahay, B.S.
Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor
(714) 639-0494
just4thehealthofit@sbcglobal.net
www.justforthehealthofit.info



Overuse and Overload Injuries – What Should You Do?
November 2, 2010, 3:07 am
Filed under: Exercise

Injuries resulting from overuse or overload are becoming more and more common.  The elbow and deltoid are two of the body parts frequently affected so let’s take a minute to discuss them.

The Elbow is a complex joint formed by three large bones, four sets of muscles, and thick tendons and ligaments.  The ligaments hold the bones together, the tendons attach the muscle to the bone, and the muscle helps move the joint.  Any break down in the 3 parts can cause pain.  Most elbow pain is cause by overusing or overloading the joint (e.g., tennis/golfer’s elbow, carrying too many items at once). 

Many elbow injuries can be treated with RICE therapy.  Rest (resting the injury), Ice (icing for 15-20 minutes three times a day), Compression and Elevation (to reduce the swelling).  If you’ve tried RICE and you’re still having issues, please contact your physician or physical therapist.

The Deltoid is composed of three muscle groups that make up the shoulder.  The three muscles are the lateral (side) deltoid which moves the arm up from your side, the posterior (rear) deltoid which moves the arm backwards towards your back, and the anterior (front) deltoid which raises the arm to the front.  Most deltoid overuse or overload injuries are from the deltoid supporting other muscles (acting as a secondary muscle) while carrying out exercises. 

Many deltoid injuries can be resolved with Rest and Ice.  If you’ve tried this and you’re still having issues, please contact your physician or physical therapist.

To prevent injuries make sure to use proper form, gradually increase weights or intensity, incorporate a variety of exercises, stretch, and give the muscles time to rest.  For a well rounded workout designed to prevent injuries, make an appointment with a Certified Personal Trainer.

This information was brought to you by Merritt Robinson, Certified Personal Trainer, and Just for the Health of It, a state-of-the-art personal training and yoga studio in the heart of Orange.  For more information please contact:

Diane McConahay, B.S.
Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor
(714) 639-0494
just4thehealthofit@sbcglobal.net
www.justforthehealthofit.info



Functional Movements – What Does Exercise Have To Do With It?
October 5, 2010, 3:42 am
Filed under: Exercise

Would you like to feel ok during your daily activities, or would you like to feel great?  Think of movements you do throughout the day, also known as functional movements.  This might be new to you since we don’t typically think about these movements until we can’t perform them. 

Which functional movements would you like to improve upon?  Picking up your child or grandchild, carrying a heavy box, walking from the far-parked car to an exciting venue, lifting your arms overhead to try on a blouse at your favorite store?

So, what does exercise have to do with all of this?  Functional exercise trains and develops the muscles in a way that makes everyday activities easier, smoother, safer, and more efficient.  These exercises enhance your ability to function independently and improve your quality of life!

There is a specific protocol that must be followed for the safe progression of functional exercises.  Safety is key so make sure to seek professional help prior to beginning a functional training program!

This information was brought to you by Just for the Health of It, a state-of-the-art personal training and yoga studio in the heart of Orange.  For more information please contact:

Diane McConahay, B.S.
Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor
(714) 639-0494
just4thehealthofit@sbcglobal.net
www.justforthehealthofit.info



What is Proprioception?
September 4, 2010, 4:15 pm
Filed under: Exercise

Proprioception is the body’s ability to convey a sense of position, analyze this information, and determine what reaction is appropriate.  In other words, it is the brain’s ability to know where a body part is without having to look.  This is necessary for performing coordinated movement and maintaining proper posture.  Proprioception allows us to do things such as walk, dress, and type without having to use our eyes for each movement. 

Proprioceptors are specialized sensory receptors located inside muscles, joints, and tendons.  These inform us of the degree to which muscles are contracted, the amount of tension created in the tendons, the change in position of a joint, and the orientation of the head.  It also makes us aware of the weight of objects and determines the amount of muscular force needed to move or lift an object. 

One of the most important tasks of proprioception is in core (trunk) stabilization.  Regular conditioning of the core muscles (abdominals and lower back) is vital for preventing injuries, ensuring correct posture, and create more efficient and functional movements.  The core is the power center of our bodies, so the core muscles can be the weakest link. 

Several studies have shown a close relationship between back pain and various aspects of proprioception.  Research suggests that those with lower back pain tend to have deterioration in certain aspects of proprioception that may persist without proper stability training.

How do we perform this proprioceptive type of training?  If we do exercises on unstable surfaces we will recruit the proprioceptors.  Unstable surfaces can be created in many different ways.  Exercises can be performed on one foot instead of two.  Stable surfaces can be avoided (for example, avoid using the back of a chair while seated).  There are also tools you can use such as stability or Swiss Balls, Dyna discs, balance pads, balance boards, foam rollers, medicine balls, and BOSU.   

We encourage you to start thinking more in terms of core stabilization and using unstable surfaces when you exercise and perform daily activities.  You’ll thank us for the improvements in posture, functional movements, and overall strength.

This information was brought to you by Just for the Health of It, a state-of-the-art personal training and yoga studio in the heart of Orange.  For more information please contact:

Diane McConahay, B.S.
Certified Personal Trainer and Yoga Instructor
(714) 639-0494
just4thehealthofit@sbcglobal.net
www.justforthehealthofit.info



Improve Your Health With Cycling
August 27, 2010, 3:25 pm
Filed under: Exercise

With the increased energy levels you’ve received from changing your eating habits, are you now thinking about adding an exercise routine to your schedule?  You may have been hesitant about joining a gym or buying that fitness DVD on TV, but it’s important to understand that the best exercise routine is the one you enjoy.

If you like the outdoors or need a break from an air conditioned office, grabbing that bicycle in your garage and hitting the road is an excellent way to improve your overall health.  Whether it’s a mountain bike or a regular 10-speed (new bikes have 20-speeds), cycling provides many benefits to your body and mind.  Here are a few to consider:

  • Cycling will reduce your risk of coronary heart disease.
  • Pursuing a cycling routine two to three days per week will trim and tone your leg muscles.
  • Cycling on a regular basis will increase your stamina and improve your ability to carry out your day-to-day activities more effectively.
  • If you are interested in weight loss, cycling will reduce those unwanted pounds while increasing the strength in your legs.
  • Cycling will cause you to sweat, which will help eliminate the toxins in your body.
  • Working out on your bike will lower your blood pressure, and reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
  • Cycling will increase your “good” cholesterol (HDL) and reduce your “bad” cholesterol (LDL).

But before you tackle a new exercise routine, make sure you receive clearance from your doctor if you haven’t exercised in over a year. 

A bike and helmet are the only equipment requirements you’ll need.  There are many more add-ons you can buy but we’ll stick to the basics here.  If you don’t have a bike, then consider buying one from your local bike shop. 

Always buy a bike that meets your goals.  If you want a bike for riding around the block for exercise, all you need is a basic bike.  If you have plans to race in triathlons, road races, or mountain bike races, consider doing some research online or asking around before stepping into the bike shop.

Whatever bike you choose, the most important thing to remember is to get a bike that fits your body.  We all have different size arms, legs and torsos so make sure the bike shop fits you to the bike.  Ask to try a few different models and ride them around the parking lot to find that perfect match. 

Once you have your bike and are ready to go, the next step is to…pedal!  Most people believe that exercising is painful, but it doesn’t have to be. 

The first two weeks of any exercise program should be well below your pain threshold.  Your mind and body need time to adjust to your muscles firing so give them some time to do that.  You’ll feel much better the next day and should have little to no muscle soreness.

After two weeks, consider applying more effort to your rides to gain greater health benefits.  It’s important to remember that your mind and body will adapt to discomfort so the longer you ride, the more you’ll focus on the experience – scenery, fresh air etc.  The end result is that you’ll find more enjoyment with cycling over time.

Keith Rejino is a triathlete, personal trainer, and sports photographer/writer for Dreamscape Images.  For more information on cycling, please see Dreamscape Images mountain bike website at http://www.dreamscape-images.net.