ZUMBA CLASSES BEGIN

Our preview Zumba classes were enjoyed by all who attended.  We are now beginning 6-week classes on Tuesday and Friday at 12:30pm.  The large space next door, which we are renting, can accommodate several more participants per class.

Zumba, as taught by Lisa Wolf, is geared for Zumba beginners.  It is a fun way to exercise and Lisa makes learning the steps easy and unintimidating. My husband and I will be joining the new classes, (and we never did Zumba before the preview classes last week).

If you want to participate for the full 6-weeks, or try the class once to see if you like it, let us know.  The first trial class is only $8 and the cost for 6-weeks is $108 ($18/class).  Drop-in rate is $20/class.

IRON DEFICIENCY AND EXERCISE   (from Idea Fitness Journal)

If you’re an athlete or an active person, you probably already know that exercise can put stresses on your body that ultimately increase your daily nutrient needs. What you may not know is that your daily intake of key vitamins and minerals is also crucial in supporting the body’s ability to exercise intensely. One essential nutrient that often goes unnoticed until it becomes a problem is the mineral iron.

To learn if you have iron deficiency and what you can do to increase your iron intake, read these guidelines from Joanne Adamidou, MS, RD, and Jenna Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, LD, assistant professor of clinical allied medicine in medical dietetics at Ohio State University.

Iron’s Role In The Active Body

Iron plays a key role in oxygen transport and fuel utilization. But how exactly does this mineral affect peak physical performance? When an athlete operates without adequate iron, less oxygen is delivered to the muscles, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) drops, and physical performance suffers. Additionally, iron deficiency may impair immune and other physiological functions.

Iron Deficiency In The Athlete

Elite and recreational athletes who train hard will deplete their iron stores much faster than less physically active people. An athlete can lose iron through sweat, urine and the gastrointestinal tract, which makes iron deficiency among athletes very common. Female athletes are at greater risk of iron deficiency because of the added losses through menstruation. Adolescent athletes are also at high risk of iron deficiency and often have difficulty meeting iron requirements through diet.

While the stress of exercise is a significant factor, dietary choices cause most cases of iron deficiency . Vegetarian athletes are especially vulnerable in this regard, because they avoid animal sources of dietary iron, known as heme iron, which is more effectively absorbed than the nonheme iron from plant sources. In fact, heme iron provides up to one-third of all absorbed dietary iron.

Achieving Adequate Iron

Unfortunately, the body cannot manufacture its own iron and is thus dependent on food intake for an adequate supply. Most nutrition experts question the need and long-term safety of taking daily iron supplements to prevent iron depletion. That’s because there is a plethora of foods that are very good sources of bioavailable, or readily absorbed, iron.

Here are some practical food-pairing ways that will optimize the iron in your diet:

  • Combine plant nonheme iron sources, such as lentils and green, leafy veggies, with foods that are high in vitamin C, such as orange juice.
  • Use cast-iron cookware, which may increase the iron content of cooked foods.
  • Don’t drink tea and coffee while eating iron-rich foods, since both beverages can impair iron absorption.
  • Avoid pairing iron-rich foods with certain grains, such as wheat bran, or with veggies such as spinach, rhubarb, chard and beet greens. These foods contain chemical compounds called phytates and oxalates, which impair iron absorption.
  • Don’t mix calcium-rich beverages, like milk and fortified orange juice, with foods that are high in iron, since calcium can also inhibit iron absorption.

TAKE YOUR FITNESS TRAINING HOME

If you work with a personal trainer, you spend time and money learning how to exercise to maximize your health, increase endurance and strength, lose weight, improve your posture, alleviate muscular aches and pain, and/or decrease stress.  You came to your training session feeling tired and unmotivated.  But after your workout, you feel energized, your mood has improved, you look and feel so much better.  Then you return to your real life…

All the stresses and conditions that caused your faulty posture, breathing and dysfunctional movement are still there waiting to attack you again.  YOU CAN FIGHT BACK!

Remember all those cues to stand tall, lengthen your spine, relax your shoulders back and down and breathe when you are exercising?  Well, that same advice can apply to any physical activity you are doing.  For example, driving a car, walking the dog, sitting at your desk, climbing stairs, watching TV are all common activities that can challenge postural integrity and alignment unless you pay attention to how your body is functioning.

If you allow your shoulders and upper back to round forward, your breathing is hindered and you may feel achy in your low back.  If your feet toe-out when you are walking, your knees may begin to ache. If you twist your torso or lift without using core muscles, your back will protest with sharp pain or spasm.

Recreational activities, sports, gardening, hiking, biking, etc., all require some attention be paid to posture, alignment and core control.  Maintaining proper alignment will help your performance in anything you do; you will last longer, have fewer muscular aches and pains, and, yes, enjoy the activity even more.

One of  the wonderful things about your body is that it responds and adapts to correct movement patterns, but only if they are repeated often enough for the brain to make the mind/muscle connection.  The goal is to make correct posture, alignment and core control automatic so these will happen without having to focus on them.

 HAVE A GREAT THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY!