Glycemic Index: What is it and how can your health benefit from it?

This is a guest post courtesy of Needak Rebounder for Flabs to Fitness.

photo provided by needak rebounder.

photo provided by needak rebounder.

The Glycemic Index is a valuable tool that has become a staple concept within health and fitness circles. When used intelligently and responsibly, the glycemic index can be used as a powerful mechanism for improving health, reducing the risk of certain diseases and reaching healthy weight goals.

What is the Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index - commonly referred to as “GI” - is a scale that ranks the way different carbohydrate foods affect your blood glucose (also known as “blood sugar”).  The GI is represented as a number, with the highest value being 100 which is equivalent to pure glucose and corresponds to the effect pure glucose would have on blood glucose levels.  So, if you were to consume a tablespoon of glucose, or sugar, you can imagine the effect it would have on your body: your blood sugar level would rise very fast seeing as glucose does not need to be broken down by your digestive system.  You might feel hyperactive, jittery or a suddenly energetic.  The glucose would cause a very rapid and high rise to your blood glucose level.

The higher the GI of a particular food, the more rapidly it is digested and absorbed by your body and the more dramatically it increases your blood sugar.  Foods that are low GI foods take longer to digest and absorb, which creates a gradual increase to blood sugar

image provided by needak rebounder.

image provided by needak rebounder.

In other words, low GI foods release the energy content of food slowly and steadily over a longer period of time unlike high GI foods, which provide quick-release energy within a shorter time span.

Can low GI diets help with weight loss?

One of the most significant and noticeable effects of low GI foods is their effect on appetite.  Due to their slow digestion, low GI foods last longer in your system and therefore keep you satiated for a greater period of time.  By steadily releasing energy to your body, you feel full for longer and experience hunger pangs less often than on high GI foods.  Therefore, when it comes to weight loss and weight management, the natural hunger-suppressing quality of low GI foods means you can stick to a healthy diet more easily and focus on feeding your body only as much as it needs

Research also shows that low GI foods encourage your body to burn stored fat and assists in lowering cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels. 

What are examples of low GI foods?

Generally, carbohydrate foods are divided into three GI categories:

Low GI: 1 to 55
Medium GI: 56 to 69
High GI: 70 and higher

When we talk about low GI foods, we refer to foods that are within the 1-55 GI range.  Below are some examples of low GI foods – as you will see, there are plenty of different foods that fall within the low GI range.  Creating your own low GI diet is not difficult when you know what to choose from!

Cereals: oat bran; rolled oats; natural muesli; porridge.

Breads: soya and linseed; wholegrain pumpernickel; heavy mixed grain; whole wheat; sourdough rye; sourdough wheat.

Vegetables: frozen green peas; frozen sweet corn; carrots; eggplant/aubergine; broccoli; cauliflower; cabbage; mushrooms; tomatoes; chillies; lettuce; green beans; red peppers; onions; yams; sweet potatoes.

Fruits: cherries; plums; grapefruit; peaches; apples; pears; dried apricots; grapes; coconut; coconut milk; kiwi fruit; oranges; strawberries; prunes.

Legumes (Beans): kidney beans (canned); butter beans; chick peas; haricot/navy beans; red lentils; green lentils; pinto beans; black eyed beans; yellow split peas.

Grains: brown rice; pearl barley; buckwheat; white long grain rice; spaghetti.

Eating low GI foods does not mean you need to forego your tastebuds or flavourful foods.  There are plenty of delicious low GI recipes easily found through Google.  The Glycemic Index Foundation is a good place to start – they provide breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack recipes that all look tantalizing and many of them take less that 20 minutes to whip up! 

photo provided by needak rebounder.

photo provided by needak rebounder.

Are there any benefits to consuming high and medium GI foods?

High/medium GI whole foods such as bananas, pineapples, watermelon and dates are advantageous sources of quick energy for times when your body requires rapid fuel replenishment.  For example, after performing a rigorous workout it’s important to refuel your body so that your muscles can properly recover and rebuild.  In such instances, eating a natural high/medium GI food in order to provide your body some immediate sustenance until your next meal can assist with muscle recovery

Other health benefits of low GI diets:

There is a significant body of clinical research which describe various health benefits of maintaining a low GI diet.  One of the most notable areas of research is the effect low GI diets can have in reducing the risk of diabetes.  High GI diets create unhealthy surges to insulin levels.  If you maintain a high GI diet for long enough, your body develops insulin resistance, which is a precursor to Type 2 Diabetes.  Conversely, low GI foods do not spike your insulin levels and assists your body in maintain proper regulation of insulin and blood glucose levels.  Proper Low GI diets can also help with managing and improving diabetes symptoms by improving blood glucose levels, reducing insulin resistance and improving blood cholesterol levels.

Other benefits of maintaining a low GI diet include being at a lower risk of developing heart disease and age-related adult macular degeneration

Final thoughts:

Given all the evidence supporting the benefits of low GI foods, it makes a great deal of sense to switch to a predominantly low GI diet.  Low GI diets can markedly assist with reaching and maintaining healthy weight and significantly lessen the the risk of developing serious diseases.  Furthermore, combining regular exercise activities with a predominantly low GI diet can maximise weight loss and promote overall well-being.  And you don’t need to overwhelm yourself with strenuous high impact or heavy duty exercises or heavy duty exercise to maintain good health.  There are numerous low impact options such as walking, rebounding, swimming, strength training which you can tailor to fit your individual needs and requirements.

About Needak

Needak Rebounder is an official retailer of the bestselling rebounder in the world.  Their fitness device is focused on alternate forms of in-home cardiovascular health, and their blog features many articles which focus on this and how it relates to the sport of rebounding.  Visit Needak.com if you are interested in exploring the Needak Rebounder and the revolutionary sport of rebounding.

Top Fitness Trends of 2017

By: Erin Vaage

At the start of a new year, everyone decides what trends from the previous year should stay, what trends need to die a quick death and what new trends everyone should get excited about.

But fashion and beauty trends aren’t the only trending topics you should be following. A new year really can mean the start to a new and improved you; a time to set health goals you’ll actually achieve.

How? Because this year, you’re jumping on the shiny, trendy fitness bandwagon. And 2017’s top fitness trends have workouts and classes that fit with your schedule and your fitness goals.

They’re fun, effective, and guaranteed to get you excited to exercise and maintain motivation throughout the year to shed those 15 pounds or get those killer Chris Evans-like abs that the ladies love.

The Top Fitness Trends of 2017

Mixed Format & Live-Stream Workout Classes

[Image:  piloxing.com ]

[Image: piloxing.com]

Class is now in session. And no, I don’t mean boring, monotone-speaking science classes. 2017 is going to make you actually enjoy going to class with mixed format gym classes or attending class in your living room with live-stream exercise classes.

Also called hybrid classes, these group gym workouts are anything but boring. For 45-60 minutes, they mix multiple workout styles into one, so you’re not just sitting on a bike for an hour. Instead, you’re doing combinations of cardio and strength training, which is even more effective at helping you shed off your winter weight and getting you bikini-bod ready. Find out who’s offering Piloxing or a combo spin and yoga class that you can try out.

If you’re not a gym rat, or your working-parent schedule doesn’t allow you to be, join a live-stream workout class. I know, those old Jane Fonda and Denise Austin workout VHS tapes were cheesy and not enough motivation to keep you burning calories five days a week. But I bet streaming an intense Jillian Michaels workout or bringing the ballet barre into your home will do the trick. More brands and studios will start jumping on this trend later in the year, so keep your eye out for live-stream classes that work best for you.

Rebounding

Watch a video on rebounding

Some of my best memories as a kid were jumping on a trampoline during the summer. Why do we have to stop doing all the things that brought us joy as kids? We don’t have to. And to start feeling young again, you can get yourself a mini trampoline. It doesn’t just make you feel like a kid again, it also makes exercising enjoyable.

Rebounding is one workout that does it all. Seriously, spending just 10-15 minutes a day jumping and doing various exercises on a rebounder can help you lose weight, improve your balance and coordination, strengthen your muscles, increase your metabolism, and even reduce headaches and help you sleep better at night.

And since it’s small and portable, you can keep your rebounder in your room or even at work and spend 10 minutes of your lunch hour rebounding.

Body Weight Training

This fitness trend requires minimal equipment; in fact, for most body weight training exercises you just need your body. From pushups to pull-ups, squats, lunges, planks, and more, if you’ve got yourself and enough space to do those things, you can get in an effective, lean-muscle-mass building workout. And you can modify your workouts based on your current training level.

Not having the money to buy a gym membership, get a personal trainer, or fill your home office with bulky workout equipment can’t be your excuse anymore. Anyone can do body weight training.

Intuitive Training

Several years back, intuitive eating was the latest health trend people were getting excited about. Its focus was on trusting your body and yourself. And this year, intuitive training is making its mark on the heath and fitness world.

Like intuitive eating, it involves listening to your body and choosing your workouts based on how your body is feeling on a day-to-day basis. Nothing against people’s set workout programs, but sometimes their routines have a one-size-fits-all mentality. Except, we’re not all the same, and our bodies definitely aren’t the same.

We’re individuals. We each have individual health needs that need to be met. Intuitive training reminds you to daily check in with your body. If you have an intense cardio session planned for today’s workout, but you’re feeling exhausted from yesterday’s workout and this morning’s workload, it’s probably better that you swap it out for a 30-minute yoga session or something a bit lighter.

But with intuitive training, you have to be committed to maintaining a regular workout schedule. Listening to your body doesn’t mean, “Oh I’m just tired (read lazy) so I think my body just needs to skip working out today.” Be in tune with what your body needs, but don’t let yourself start regularly skipping workouts to binge-watch Game of Thrones.

About the Author

Erin graduated from Central College with a degree in Health Promotion and is a Certified Personal Trainer through NASM.  She has enjoyed training people of all abilities and ages, from 13 to 102.  When not at the gym, she likes to spend most of her time outside hiking, skiing, climbing or mountain biking in her home state of Utah.

Sources

Barre3 (2008). Barre Online Workouts and Videos. Retrieved from http://barre3.com/subscription

Cellercise (1998). Cellercise with Dave Hall. Retrieved from https://cellercise.com/

Fit Fusion (2004). Workout Anytime, Anywhere. Retrieved from: https://www.fitfusion.com/

Smith, Jim (n.d.). 5 Best Bodyweight Training Exercises. Retrieved from http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-routines/5-best-bodyweight-training-exercises

Piloxing (2008). Image retrieved from: https://piloxing.com/

Romaniello, John. (n.d.). How to Build a Sexy Female Body. Retrieved from http://romanfitnesssystems.com/articles/6-tips-for-building-a-sexy-female-body/

Walters, Jennipher. (2013, September 29). My Secret to a Healthy Lifestyle: Intuitive Eating. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jennipher-walters/intuitive-eating_b_3976172.html

How do you Choose a Rebounder?

Hey guys!  So I posted a loooooong while ago now about Rebounding for Lymphatic Health, and I wanted to touch on the subject again because I've seen such a vast improvement in quality of life since taking action to treat my lymph system better.  The thing is, it may be a bit harder to pick a trampoline than you may think.  Each one is targeted at a unique population and you definitely don't want to invest in one that isn't right for you!

Ryan Smith over at Trampolinea sent me this awesome infographic the other day that I think would be a great resource for those unsure of where to start looking for a trampoline, or "rebounder."  It asks a few basic questions to get you on the path to greater lymphatic health, stat!

Photo used with permission from Ryan Smith at trampolinea.com. 

Photo used with permission from Ryan Smith at trampolinea.com. 

That wasn't so bad after all, was it?  I hope this helps you on your health journey to better lymph flow!  

Remember: recovery is just as, if not more important than your actual training session.  Health has to come before fitness, y'all.

The Magic of Ginger Detox Baths: Look at the Benefits

Retrieved from coolhealthyrecipes.com (9)

Retrieved from coolhealthyrecipes.com (9)

Taking a ginger detox bath seems “in” nowadays.  According to those who have tried it, it’s therapeutic.  With a plethora of positive health effects, why shouldn’t it be? 

Picture this: 

Due to the health benefits of ginger detox baths, some people are hesitant to use fancy and costly spa treatments. 

For rejuvenation, they don’t plan trips to health centers.  Instead, all they do is stay home and take a bath.  They head to the kitchen to get ginger, grate it, and soak the pieces in lukewarm water (1).

Before taking advantage of the power of a ginger detox bath, however, you should learn what you are getting into.  By doing so, you will know about the detox bath experience, the health benefits, and possible side effects. 

In this article, I aim to help you learn all you need to know about ginger detox baths. 

Let’s get started!

What’s a Ginger Bath?

Retrieved from oh whimsical me (10)

Retrieved from oh whimsical me (10)

To begin our description of ginger baths, let’s start with a real life anecdote about James:

James, a sales executive, suffered with chronic viral infections, flu symptoms, and crankiness.  According to James, within just a few minutes of soaking into a bathtub filled with hot water and grated ginger, he felt the effects. 

Particularly, he felt sweaty; in fact, he was concerned that he was sweating excessively, a condition medically referred to as hyperhidrosis. 

That night, when he went to bed, James’ body did a complete 360.  Upon waking up the next day, he felt wonderful.  He felt cleansed and energetic, and it was because of the ginger bath!

For many centuries, people were aware of the amazing therapeutic effects of ginger (2); however, it wasn’t until the early 21st century that ginger detox baths became popular in mainstream media.

Here’s why:

The Good Side: Positive Benefits of Ginger Detox Baths

Retrieved from Aromahq (11)

Retrieved from Aromahq (11)

Since ginger is a vasodilator, a ginger bath produces a thermogenic effect (i.e. causes a slight increase in temperature) on your body.  It eliminates toxins that may prevent any blood flow disruption. 

Therefore, by bathing regularly in ginger, you can expect a significant improvement in blood circulation. 

retrieved fmor new health advisor (12)

retrieved fmor new health advisor (12)

With a plethora of benefits, dipping in a bathtub with ginger is a great idea for improving your overall health.  Its therapeutic effects are similar to those of sauna bathing. 

Rather than spend money in spas, this natural solution is a great, economical alternative that you can do in the comfort of your home (3).

The benefits of ginger baths:

  • Aids with digestion
  • Facilitates weight loss
  • Alleviates menstrual cramps
  • Boosts energy
  • Helps you burn calories (4)
  • Benefits you with anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Improves your metabolism
  • Increases your alertness
  • Freshens your breath
  • Neutralizes acidity in your body (5)
  • Promotes the production of bile, which helps with your body’s absorption of fat-soluble substances such as vitamins A, D, E, and K
  • Facilitates your body’s production of gastric fluids
  • Relieves headaches
  • Alleviates pain due to rheumatoid arthritis 
  • Stabilizes blood pressure
  • Treats diarrhea
  • Relieves anxiety, exhaustion, and nervousness
  • Improves flu and cold symptoms
  • Helps with respiratory complications
  • Alleviates sea and motion sickness

Another huge advantage of the detox bath is its convenience.  It takes little effort to prepare a bath of lukewarm water and grated ginger.  Half an hour is usually more than enough to get the health benefits. 

Furthermore, if you live a sedentary lifestyle or you’re a workaholic, a weekly ginger bath is a great option to detoxify your body.

Although ginger baths provide wide ranging health benefits, it would be quite irresponsible of me to not detail any of the side effects and concerns commonly reported with the baths.

All is not Golden: Side Effects of Ginger Baths that you Should be Aware of

retrieved from ayshakti (13)

retrieved from ayshakti (13)

As with any holistic treatment, there is no guarantee that two people will get the same result by taking ginger baths.  While it comes with advantages, sweating excessively due to a ginger bath can have small, unintended side effects. 

Common Side Effects of Ginger Baths

  • Dizziness
  • Insomnia 
  • Muscle soreness
  • Restlessness 
  • Skin irritation
retrieved from singh vaid (14)

retrieved from singh vaid (14)

Start Slow with Ginger Baths, and Use Moderation

To reduce the risk of the side effects above, observe moderation when bathing with ginger.  Bathing should be done at most once, or if your body is not as sensitive to ginger, twice, weekly (6). 

You should also avoid staying in the bathtub for more than 30 minutes.  Remember, the goal is simply to detoxify.  Your goal is to rid your body of toxins and other harmful, unnecessary substances. 

The Extreme Case: Ginger Baths are not a Good Solution for Everyone

If your body or skin doesn’t react well to ginger, a ginger bath should be skipped.  This is just like any other food sensitivity that you may have: don't ingest or soak it in if you know it's got ill effects on you.  Though the likelihood of adverse effects is small, they’re possible.  

Key Takeway: Enjoy ginger detox baths, but keep the side effects in mind.

Now, that you know more about ginger baths, I’m not going to leave you hanging.  Check out this great ginger bath recipe:

The Ultimate Ginger Bath Recipe

Retrieved from detox diva (15) 

Retrieved from detox diva (15) 

A popular ginger bath recipe is the ginger baking soda detox bath.  Simply prepare (7):

  • 8 gallons of lukewarm water
  • A cup of baking soda
  • ½ cup of grated ginger – ginger powder is okay, too. 

Next, follow these easy steps:

  • Add the baking soda and grated ginger to the lukewarm water.
  • Stir slowly. Wait for about 10 minutes to maximize the effects of the mixture.
  • Soak in the bath for up to 30 minutes.

Are you an overachiever? Check out this extra tip to take your ginger bath to the next level:

For a more beneficial ginger baking soda detox bath, you can also add another natural ingredient: hydrated magnesium sulfate, or better known as Epsom salt (8).  According to studies, the detox bath becomes more powerful with Epsom salt. 

Retrieved from freshly grown (16)

Retrieved from freshly grown (16)

Apart from the amazing benefits of ginger, Epsom salt promotes brain tissue formation and stimulates the pancreas.

So, Should You Take a Dip in a Ginger Bath? 

Retrieved from just simply health (17)

Retrieved from just simply health (17)

Given all of its positive aspects, a ginger detox bath is worth taking.  Accumulating toxins due to everyday conditions is inevitable.  Though you can’t prevent the entry of harmful substances into your body, you can always detoxify.

The final verdict: Take ginger baths and watch your body transform into the health machine it should be!

About the author

retrieved from rebounderzone.com

retrieved from rebounderzone.com

Leonard Parker is a health blogger and owner of the eCommerce store, Rebounder Zone.  Through Rebounder Zone, Leonard’s team specializes in rebounder trampolines, health equipment, and useful health information for mature adults.

Leonard is a graduate of Stanford University and has worked in various roles as a digital marketing specialist and technology consultant.  Rebounder Zone was started because  Leonard saw first hand how health living with regular exercise can change lives, and he wants to help others experience this incredible feeling, too.  For any questions about rebounding or information mentioned in this article, please contact Leonard at leonard@rebounderzone.com.

 

Sources

(1) Venkateshwaran, R. (2015, Mar 11). "Top 3 Benefits of Ginger Detox Bath + Recipe". Wild Turmeric.  Retrieved from http://www.wildturmeric.net/2015/03/top-3-benefits-of-ginger-detox-bath-recipe.html

(2) Khalil, R., Baker, L. (n.d.). "Ginger Bath: Sweat Those Toxins out". Pure Inside Out. Retrieved from http://www.pureinsideout.com/ginger-bath.html

(3) Hausner, T. (n.d.). "5 Easy DIY Detox Bath Recipes". Blender Babes. Retrieved from http://www..com/articles/beauty/5-easy-diy-homemade-detox-bath-recipes-for-arthritis-depression-fatigue-headaches-and-more

(4) n.a.  (n.d.). "10 Detox Bath Recipes". Bembu.  Retrieved from http://bembu.com/detox-bath-recipes

(5) n.a. (2013).  "Release Body Toxins with this [AWESOME] DIY Detox Bath". Alliele Fever.  Retrieved from http://allielefevere.com/release-body-toxins-with-an-at-home-detox-bath/

(6) Romero, V. (2012, Jan. 18). "Detox Bath Why and How". Healthy Living How To. Retrieved from http://healthylivinghowto.com/1/post/2012/01/detoxification-part-i-healing-waters.html

(7) Gerber, S. (2015, Oct. 8). "5 Healing Detox Bath Recipes".  HellowGlow.  Retrieved from http://helloglow.co/5-ways-to-take-a-detox-bath

(8) Breyer, M. (n.d.). "Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Baths". Care 2. Retrieved from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/health-benefits-of-epsom-salt-baths.html

(9) Natalie, H.  (March 21, 2014).  "3 detox baths that came from your kitchen".  Cool Healthy Recipes.  Retrieved from http://www.coolhealthyrecipes.com/3-detox-baths-that-came-from-your-kitchen/ 

(10)  Emorie.  (2014),  "Lemon ginger fancy bath".  Oh Whimsical Me.  Retrieved from http://ohwhimsicalme.blogspot.it/2014/03/lemon-ginger-fancy-bath.html

(11) n.a. n.d.  "Ginger essential oil".  AromaHQ.  Retrieved from http://www.aromahq.com/ginger-oil/

(12) n.a. (July 26, 2016).  "Low red blood cell count".  New Health Advisor.  Retrieved from http://www.newhealthadvisor.com/Low-Red-Blood-Cell-Count.html

(13) Ayushaktiyurveda.  (Februrary 12, 2016).  "Detoxification: the authentic ancient ayurveda treatment program to boost our metabolism and digestion."  Ayushakti.  Retrieved from http://www.ayushakti.com/blog/author/ayushaktiayurveda/

(14) n.a.  (n.d.).  "Itching."  Singh Vaid.  Retrieved from http://www.singhvaid.com/tag/itching/

(15) Rizk, J.  (December 5, 2014).  "Say bye bye to alligator legs with a DIY lemon ginger scrub".  Detox Diva.  Retrieved from https://www.thedetoxdiva.com/say-bye-bye-to-alligator-legs-with-a-diy-lemon-ginger-scrub/

(16) Rama.  (n.d.).  "DIY lavender bath & foot soak". Freshly Grown.  Retreived from http://freshly-grown.com/diy-lavender-bath-foot-soak/

(17) Serena.  (n.d.).  "Ginger detox bath".  Just Simply Health.  Retrieved from  http://www.justsimplyhealth.com/ginger-detox-bath/