10 Healthy Dinner Recipes You Can Make In 30 Minutes Or Less

Adopting healthy eating habits is one of the most popular topics across the world. But sticking to a healthy diet is easier said than done.

One of the best ways to ease into the habit is to eat more homecooked meals so you can monitor and control what you’re putting in your body. And if you are worried that your busy schedule or long working hours might pose a problem, fret not. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be a fussy, time-consuming affair. From hearty salads to a creamy casserole, each of these easy and healthy dinner recipes can be put together in just half an hour or less:

  • Barley Salad with Strawberries and Buttermilk Dressing: Fiber-rich barley, fresh veggies, and juicy strawberries make this easy-to-make salad both filling and flavorful. While the low-fat buttermilk dressing adds just the right amount of creaminess and tang. And it takes as little as 20 minutes to put it together. You can further cut down on prep time by cooking barley in a pressure cooker. Here’s the delish recipe. You might also want to check out this recipe for Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto Salad with Kale and Artichokes.
  • Roasted Rainbow Vegetable Bowl: This is probably one of the easiest (and most delicious) ways to load up on seasonal veggies. Tossed in Tahini dressing, the hearty veggie bowl is chock full of fiber, protein, vitamins, and minerals. Meanwhile, roasting the vegetables not only enhances the flavor but also makes them easier to digest. You can also throw in your favorite nuts and seeds for added crunch and nutrition. Get the plant-based recipe here. These recipes for Sesame Chicken Rice Bowls and Jerk Prawn and Coconut Rice Bowls are also highly recommended.
  • Fig and Blue Cheese-Stuffed Pork Tenderloin: The sweetness of dried figs and an apple glaze perfectly complements the savory bite of blue cheese in this elegant baked dish. Serve it with wild rice or steamed green beans for a scrumptious weeknight meal. Get the complete recipe here. You might also like this Mediterranean Boneless Pork Chops recipe.
  • Black Bean Burritos: With brown rice, black beans, guac, and salsa wrapped in a gluten-free tortilla, this healthier version of burrito will satisfy all your fast food cravings while giving you a protein boost. Here’s the easy-to-make recipe.
  • White Fish with Sesame Noodles: This easy dinner recipe packs the goodness of spinach, fiber-rich sesame seeds, and seabass that’s loaded with protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Plus, it comes together in just 20 minutes! What’s not to like? Check out the recipe here. And if you love all things seafood like me, you might also want to try these recipes for Lemon Red Snapper with Herbed Butter and Pesto Corn Salad with Shrimp.
  • Sausage and Mushroom Penne: Multi-grain penne, kale, and antioxidant-rich mushroom make this hearty pasta dish more flavorful and nutritious. You can swap kale with arugula for an added kick of peppery flavor. Get the full recipe here. If you’re looking for vegetarian recipe ideas, this 5-Ingredient Avocado Tofu Pasta recipe tastes just as good.
  • Chicken Thighs with Shallots and Spinach: Tender chicken thighs pair beautifully with the creamy spinach and shallots base in this healthy side dish. You can substitute sour cream in the recipe with plain Greek yogurt or hummus to make it healthier. Here’s the full recipe. I also tried and loved this no-fuss Chicken and Asparagus Lemon Stir Fry recipe.
  • Gingery Asian Noodle Salad with Turkey and Cucumber: Freshly grated ginger, ground turkey, snow peas and spices create a symphony of flavors and textures in this healthy Asian salad recipe. These recipes for Turkey Lettuce Wraps and Turkey and Rice Pilaf are also great for a quick and filling weeknight meal.
  • Vegan Fajita Bowl with Cauliflower Rice: Tasty fajita veggies and spicy cauliflower rice infuse this Mexican recipe with layers of texture and flavors. Check out the low-carb recipe here. This recipe for Vegan Tofu Scramble Kale Fried Rice is also highly recommended.
  • Broccoli Quinoa Casserole: This lighter, healthier version of the classic comfort food is loaded with good-for-you ingredients like chicken, quinoa, Greek yogurt, and vitamin C-rich broccoli—so you can dig in sans guilt. Get the gobsmacking recipe here. I also tried and loved this Roasted Shrimp Quinoa Spring Rolls recipe.
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Science-Based Health Benefits of Drinking Enough Water

Our bodies are around 60% water, give or take.

It is commonly recommended to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day (the 8×8 rule).

Although there is little science behind this specific rule, staying hydrated is important.

Here are evidence-based health benefits of drinking plenty of water.

 

1. Water Helps to Maximize Physical Performance

If we do not stay hydrated, physical performance can suffer.

This is particularly important during intense exercise or high heat.

Dehydration can have a noticeable effect if you lose as little as 2% of your body’s water content. However, it is not uncommon for athletes to lose up to 6-10% of their water weight via sweat.

This can lead to altered body temperature control, reduced motivation, increased fatigue and make exercise feel much more difficult, both physically and mentally.

Optimal hydration has been shown to prevent this from happening, and may even reduce the oxidative stress that occurs during high-intensity exercise. This is not surprising when you consider that muscle is about 80% of water.

So, if you exercise intensely and tend to sweat, then staying hydrated can help you perform at your absolute best.

BOTTOM LINE:Losing as little as 2% of your body’s water content can significantly impair physical performance.

2. Hydration Has a Major Effect on Energy Levels and Brain Function

Your brain is strongly influenced by hydration status.

Studies show that even mild dehydration (1-3% of body weight) can impair many aspects of brain function.

In a study of young women, fluid loss of 1.36% after exercise impaired both mood and concentration and increased the frequency of headaches

Another similar study, this time in young men, showed that fluid loss of 1.59% was detrimental to working memory and increased feelings of anxiety and fatigue.

A 1-3% fluid loss equals about 1.5-4.5 lbs (0.5-2 kg) of body weight loss for a 150 lbs (68 kg) person. This can easily occur through normal daily activities, let alone during exercise or high heat.

Many other studies, ranging from children to the elderly, have shown that mild dehydration can impair mood, memory and brain performance.

BOTTOM LINE:Mild dehydration (fluid loss of 1-3%) can impair energy levels and mood, and lead to major reductions in memory and brain performance.

3. Drinking Water May Help to Prevent and Treat Headaches

Dehydration can trigger headaches and migraines in some individuals.

Several studies have shown that water can relieve headaches in those who are dehydrated.

However, this appears to depend on the type of headache.

One study of 18 people found that water had no effect on the frequency of headaches, but did reduce the intensity and duration somewhat.

BOTTOM LINE:Drinking water can sometimes help relieve headache symptoms, especially in people who are dehydrated.

4. Drinking More Water May Help Relieve Constipation

Constipation is a common problem, characterized by infrequent bowel movements and difficulty passing stool.

Increasing fluid intake is often recommended as a part of the treatment protocol, and there is some evidence to back this up.

Low water consumption appears to be a risk factor for constipation in both young and elderly individuals.

Carbonated water shows particularly promising results for constipation relief, although the reason is not entirely understood.

BOTTOM LINE:Drinking plenty of water can help prevent and relieve constipation, especially in people who generally do not drink enough water.

5. Drinking Water May Help Treat Kidney Stones

Urinary stones are painful clumps of mineral crystal that form in the urinary system.

The most common form is kidney stones, which form in the kidneys.

There is limited evidence that water intake can help prevent recurrence in people who have previously gotten kidney stones.

Higher fluid intake increases the volume of urine passing through the kidneys, which dilutes the concentration of minerals, so they are less likely to crystallize and form clumps.

Water may also help prevent the initial formation of stones, but studies are required to confirm this.

BOTTOM LINE:Increased water intake appears to decrease the risk of kidney stone formation. More research is needed in this area.

6. Drinking More Water Can Help With Weight Loss

Drinking plenty of water can help you lose weight.

This is due to the fact that water can increase satiety and boost your metabolic rate.

In two studies, drinking half a liter (17 ounces) of water was shown to increase metabolism by 24-30% for up to 1.5 hours.

This means that drinking 2 liters of water every day can increase your total energy expenditure by up to 96 calories per day.

The timing is important too and drinking water half an hour before meals are the most effective. It can make you feel more full so that you eat fewer calories.

In one study, dieters who drank half a liter of water before meals lost 44% more weight, over a period of 12 weeks.

It is actually best to drink water cold because then the body will use additional energy (calories) to heat the water to body temperature.

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The real benefits of strengthening your core

The real benefits of strengthening your core

Think of your core muscles as the sturdy central link in a chain connecting your upper and lower body. Properly building up your core cranks up the power. A strong core also enhances balance and stability. Thus, it can help prevent falls and injuries during sports or other activities. In fact, a strong, flexible core underpins almost everything you do:

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The core is actually made up of three sheaths of muscles: The upper abs, the side muscles, which are called the oblique, and then this very deep layer of muscle. Those deep muscles are the ones that do all the good stuff, like supporting your spine and act as a natural corset—so when you work them not only do you get a flatter stomach but a tighter stomach.

The benefits of core strength training

  • Greater efficiency of movement
  • Improved body control and balance
  • Increased power output from both the core musculature and peripheral muscles such as the shoulders, arms, and legs
  • Reduced risk of injury (the core muscles act as shock absorbers for jumps and rebounds etc.)
  • Improved balance and stability

 What’s the difference between core training and working your abs?

The difference between core and abdominal training is that you’re not just targeting the front side of the body but the backside as well. A core workout will also include the erector spinae, which are the muscles that make up your back, and also your glutes. A movement that works your core is going to work more than one muscle group, and you’re going to see results a lot faster.

Core exercises improve your balance and stability

Core exercises train the muscles in your pelvis; lower back, hips, and abdomen to work in harmony. This leads to better balance and stability, whether on the playing field or in daily activities. In fact, most sports and other physical activities depend on stable core muscles.

Strong core muscles make it easier to do most physical activities

Strong core muscles make it easier to do everything from swinging a golf club to getting a glass from the top shelf or bending down to tie your shoes. Weak core muscles leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain, and muscle injuries.

Core exercises can help you reach your fitness goals

Aerobic exercise and muscular fitness are the primary elements of most fitness programs. But to have a truly well-rounded fitness program, you should include core exercises in the mix as well. Whether you’re a novice taking the first steps toward fitness or a committed fitness fanatic hoping to optimize your results, a well-rounded fitness program is the best way to reach your fitness goals.

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Our Commitment Plan Persevering Through This “Storm”

Hello Dynamic Members,

First, I want to thank you for your overwhelming support during these challenging times. These last 10 years of Dynamic Fitness, we have had our fair share of failures, disappointments, setbacks, hurricanes, etc. however we have always found ways to persevere through these moments by staying positive, creative, and keeping a strong line of communication. Dealing with this new turn of events is something I have never experienced in my life. This has brought more and more complications each day as the variables keep changing, which causes us to regroup with each new scenario.

I personally want to take this time to tell you exactly what we are doing behind the scenes, for this staff, and for our members.  We are striving to, within our control and power, make this as good an experience as possible. Will we make mistakes? Yes! Will we have all the answers? No! Will this be controlled chaos? Absolutely! When I spoke to the team there is nothing that can prepare you for this kind of sudden change.  However, just like any setback or failure, all we can do is stay calm, positive, creative, and focused. We know we can make an impact on both our members and our teams.

Our perspective drives our performance and in situations like this, Our attitude is the key! We will do what we can with what we have to ensure we endure this storm!

 

Here are the topics of transparency I want to open up with during this temporary shutdown.

 

1. Protecting our staff! Unfortunately, with this downturn, and now the shutdown, we could not save everyone. This is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever had to make as a small business owner. I’m in the clubs throughout the week…I get the privilege of knowing who my teams personally. I very much appreciate every employee on this we have. Just like any team sport, it takes everyone to win the game. We are holding onto most of our full-time employees during this time. So “flattening the curve” doesn’t flatten them in the process.  Quite simply, without my team, it’s hard to win the game. We will have them working modified hours during these next two weeks. We are looking for ways to serve you within this time frame because we are all in this together!

 

2.  Les Mills On-Demand Home Virtual Workouts. The team has really done a great job of getting this created and turned around for our members. We are now offering over 95+ virtual workouts that you can do at home.  From Yoga, Kickboxing, Cycle, Body Pump, and even family workouts we have it all. Just download the Dynamic Fitness App and click the tile “Les Mills At-Home Workouts” and get going!

 

3. Myzone. Providing you with every bit of technology on our end to keep you motivated and active. Throughout these next two weeks, using your Myzone will allow you to gauge your daily activity and collect MEPs (Myzone Effort Points). There are the features of “Zone Match” that can challenge you on a scripted cardio regime, helping you accomplish an effective workout as it’s all about EFFORT! This is also an instrument for our members to stay competitive and for our fitness teams to monitor our client’s activity during these next two weeks.

 

3. 1 on 1 30 Minute Coaching Sessions. Our Fitness Managers are dedicating time throughout the week for you to book 30-minute virtual appointments on reviewing over any questions you may have regarding program designs, nutrition, etc. Please RSVP ahead of time so that we can be prepared for your session.

 

4. Workout Tips. Our Managers are more than stoked to provide our members with as much content and education during these next two weeks. Regardless of the scenario, we’ve been thrown it takes 21 days to create a good or bad habit.  Our goal is to ensure you stay as focused as possible on your health within this timeframe.  We want to help with your workout regimes, so you don’t miss a beat.

 

5. Blogs. Another form of education from boosting immune systems, positive impacts from creating a healthy lifestyle, to healthy recipes.  Our goal is to create healthy content to provide a positive impact! Knowledge is power!

 

6. POSITIVITY! We understand there is enough negative content out there.  All sources of media are raising anxiety levels for everyone. Our commitment is to continuously pump POSITIVE content throughout the week to help uplift you. Remember we are all in this together!!  I think what makes a strong team is a strong community…one that raises each other up!! We are all we got!

 

7. Keeping it CLEAN! Yes, these next two weeks we will all be at the facilities (including me) taking the opportunity to ensure that when the clubs reopen that they are prepped, clean, and ready to go!

 

Thank you for taking the time today to read this.  I’m taking this scenario head-on and as best as I possibly can. I created Dynamic Fitness from passion, tenacity, and being relentless.  No matter what obstacle presented itself and in a market that 95%+ are owned by industry juggernauts, it says something about our tenacity to succeed. I ask now more than ever, for you to continued support during this time.  We are going to do everything within our power to ensure we positively impact you during this time and that we come out together at the end of this. Stronger, Better, and MORE Dynamic than ever!

 

Jared Williams/CEO

Look, Feel, Be….. Dynamic!

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How to boost your immune system through diet and lifestyle changes

The immune system plays an essential role in helping us fend off attacks from viruses and bacteria. Here’s how diet and lifestyle can maximize your immune system’s ability to protect you from foreign invaders.

How diet can boost the immune system

Get enough vitamins: Nutrition is our primary protection in the battle against infection. Key soldiers in the fight include vitamins like ACEB6D, and minerals like zinciron, and selenium. Some foods that are rich in these vitamins include carrots, sweet potatoes, bell peppers, strawberries, almonds, avocados, salmon, oysters, tuna, lean chicken breast, and beef.

The reason many of these vitamins help maintain a strong immune system is that they are also antioxidants. Antioxidants help buffer the effects of free radicals, which are harmful chemicals that damage healthy cells and genetic material, giving viruses a better shot at invading, reproducing, and compromising our immune system farther. Antioxidants work to buffer this effect by counteracting the damage caused by free radicals and help our immune system prevent, treat, and suppress viral activity.

Eat protein: According to Harvard Health Publishing, you should be getting a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight in order to avoid getting sick. Not enough can have detrimental effects on your T-cells., which dispatch disease-fighting antibodies to viruses and bacteria and is an essential part of the immune system.

Protein also contains high amounts of zinc, which is a mineral that aids in the production of white blood cells, which fight infection. Good places to find lean protein include seafood, chicken, turkey, eggs, and beans.

Consume prebiotic foods: Prebiotics are found in foods such as onion, garlic, banana, and asparagus. They assist in maintaining a balanced gut microbiome, which is a vital player in how your immune system functions. Prebiotics work by increasing the population of “good bacteria” in the gut which in turn sparks the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines, which are tiny proteins that help the immune system function.

Eat the rainbow: An easy way — though not essential — to make sure you’re getting enough immune-boosting antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals are to “eat the rainbow,”

This includes a rainbow of fruits and vegetables like, “red apples, potatoes, cherries or grapes; orange sweet potatoes, pumpkin, mango, yams or tangerines; green kiwi, broccoli, olives, limes or grapes; yellow apples, pears, bananas, or pineapple; blueberries, cabbage, kale, grapes or raisins; and tan cauliflower, dates, coconut, nuts or sauerkraut.”

How lifestyle changes can boost the immune system

Exercise, sleep, and keeping smoke-free are also ways you can give your immune system a better fighting chance at fending off invaders.

Get sufficient sleep: If you lack restful sleep, you will be more susceptible to infections since sleep is when your body works its hardest to combat inflammation and infection.

This inflammation can overstress the immune system making it less effective at fighting viral or bacterial infections. Although the amount of sleep you will need is highly individual, it’s recommended that most adults get between seven to eight hours each night.

Quit smoking: .Antibodies are the proteins produced by the immune system to fight foreign infections.

Exercise: Starting and staying active has been shown to help immune health. According to a 2019 study, exercise has a multitude of benefits including decreasing inflammation and improving immune regulation, which can delay the negative effects of aging. The study also found that moderate exercise can reduce the risk of illness.

With all this in mind, it is also important to remember that handwashing is one of the best ways to prevent infections from viruses or bacteria. It won’t boost your immune system, but it can help keep you protected, nonetheless.

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How to boost your immune system

Helpful ways to strengthen your immune system and fight off disease

How can you improve your immune system? On the whole, your immune system does a remarkable job of defending you against disease-causing microorganisms. But sometimes it fails: A germ invades successfully and makes you sick. Is it possible to intervene in this process and boost your immune system? What if you improve your diet? Take certain vitamins or herbal preparations? Make other lifestyle changes in the hope of producing a near-perfect immune response?

What can you do to boost your immune system?

The idea of boosting your immunity is enticing, but the ability to do so has proved elusive for several reasons. The immune system is precisely that — a system, not a single entity. To function well, it requires balance and harmony. There is still much that researchers don’t know about the intricacies and interconnectedness of the immune response. For now, there are no scientifically proven direct links between lifestyle and enhanced immune function.

But that doesn’t mean the effects of lifestyle on the immune system aren’t intriguing and shouldn’t be studied. Researchers are exploring the effects of diet, exercise, age, psychological stress, and other factors on the immune response, both in animals and in humans. In the meantime, general healthy-living strategies are a good way to start giving your immune system the upper hand

Healthy ways to strengthen your immune system

Your first line of defense is to choose a healthy lifestyle. Following general good-health guidelines is the single best step you can take toward naturally keeping your immune system strong and healthy. Every part of your body, including your immune system, functions better when protected from environmental assaults and bolstered by healthy-living strategies such as these:

  • Don’t smoke.
  • Eat a diet high in fruits and vegetables.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you drink alcohol, drink only in moderation.
  • Get adequate sleep.
  • Take steps to avoid infection, such as washing your hands frequently and cooking meats thoroughly.
  • Try to minimize stress.

Increase immunity the healthy way

Many products on store shelves claim to boost or support immunity. But the concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body — immune cells or others — is not necessarily a good thing. For example, athletes who engage in “blood doping” — pumping blood into their systems to boost their number of blood cells and enhance their performance — run the risk of strokes.

Attempting to boost the cells of your immune system is especially complicated because there are so many different kinds of cells in the immune system that respond to so many different microbes in so many ways. Which cells should you boost, and to what number? So far, scientists do not know the answer. What is known is that the body is continually generating immune cells. Certainly, it produces many more lymphocytes than it can possibly use. The extra cells remove themselves through a natural process of cell death called apoptosis — some before they see any action, some after the battle is won. No one knows how many cells or what the best mix of cells the immune system needs to function at its optimum level.

Exercise: Good or bad for immunity?

Regular exercise is one of the pillars of healthy living. It improves cardiovascular health, lowers blood pressure, helps control body weight, and protects against a variety of diseases. But does it help to boost your immune system naturally and keep it healthy? Just like a healthy diet, exercise can contribute to general good health and therefore to a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.

Some scientists are trying to take the next step to determine whether exercise directly affects a person’s susceptibility to infection. For example, some researchers are looking at whether extreme amounts of intensive exercise can cause athletes to get sick more often or somehow impairs their immune function. To do this sort of research, exercise scientists typically ask athletes to exercise intensively; the scientists test their blood and urine before and after the exercise to detect any changes in immune system components. While some changes have been recorded, immunologists do not yet know what these changes mean in terms of the human immune response.

But these subjects are elite athletes undergoing intense physical exertion. What about moderate exercise for average people? Does it help keep the immune system healthy? For now, even though a direct beneficial link hasn’t been established, it’s reasonable to consider moderate regular exercise to be a beneficial arrow in the quiver of healthy living, a potentially important means for keeping your immune system healthy along with the rest of your body.

One approach that could help researchers get more complete answers about whether lifestyle factors such as exercise help improve immunity takes advantage of the sequencing of the human genome. This opportunity for research based on updated biomedical technology can be employed to give a more complete answer to this and similar questions about the immune system. For example, microarrays or “gene chips” based on the human genome allow scientists to look simultaneously at how thousands of gene sequences are turned on or off in response to specific physiological conditions — for example, blood cells from athletes before and after exercise. Researchers hope to use these tools to analyze patterns in order to better understand how the many pathways involved act at once.

Immune system and age

As we age, our immune response capability becomes reduced, which in turn contributes to more infections and more cancer. As life expectancy in developed countries has increased, so too has the incidence of age-related conditions.

While some people age healthily, the conclusion of many studies is that, compared with younger people, the elderly are more likely to contract infectious diseases and, even more importantly, more likely to die from them. Respiratory infections, influenza, and particularly pneumonia are the leading cause of death in people over 65 worldwide. No one knows for sure why this happens, but some scientists observe that this increased risk correlates with a decrease in T cells, possibly from the thymus atrophying with age and producing fewer T cells to fight off infection. Whether this decrease in thymus function explains the drop in T cells or whether other changes play a role is not fully understood. Others are interested in whether the bone marrow becomes less efficient at producing the stem cells that give rise to the cells of the immune system.

A reduction in the immune response to infections has been demonstrated by older people’s response to vaccines. For example, studies of influenza vaccines have shown that for people over age 65, the vaccine is much less effective compared to healthy children (over age 2). But despite the reduction in efficacy, vaccinations for influenza and S. pneumoniae have significantly lowered the rates of sickness and death in older people when compared with no vaccination.

There appears to be a connection between nutrition and immunity in the elderly. A form of malnutrition that is surprisingly common even in affluent countries is known as “micronutrient malnutrition.” Micronutrient malnutrition, in which a person is deficient in some essential vitamins and trace minerals that are obtained from or supplemented by diet, can be common in the elderly. Older people tend to eat less and often have less variety in their diets. One important question is whether dietary supplements may help older people maintain a healthier immune system. Older people should discuss this question with a physician who is well versed in geriatric nutrition because while some dietary supplementation may be beneficial for older people, even small changes can have serious repercussions in this age group.

Diet and your immune system

Like any fighting force, the immune system army marches on its stomach. Healthy immune system warriors need good, regular nourishment. Scientists have long recognized that people who live in poverty and are malnourished are more vulnerable to infectious diseases. Whether the increased rate of disease is caused by malnutrition’s effect on the immune system, however, is not certain. There are still relatively few studies of the effects of nutrition on the immune system of humans, and even fewer studies that tie the effects of nutrition directly to the development (versus the treatment) of diseases.

There is some evidence that various micronutrient deficiencies — for example, deficiencies of zinc, selenium, iron, copper, folic acid, and vitamins A, B6, C, and E — alter immune responses in animals, as measured in the test tube. However, the impact of these immune system changes on the health of animals is less clear, and the effect of similar deficiencies on the human immune response has yet to be assessed.

So what can you do? If you suspect your diet is not providing you with all your micronutrient needs — maybe, for instance, you don’t like vegetables — taking a daily multivitamin and mineral supplement may bring other health benefits, beyond any possibly beneficial effects on the immune system. Taking megadoses of a single vitamin does not. More is not necessarily better.

Improve immunity with herbs and supplements?

Walk into a store, and you will find bottles of pills and herbal preparations that claim to “support immunity” or otherwise boost the health of your immune system. Although some preparations have been found to alter some components of immune function, thus far there is no evidence that they actually bolster immunity to the point where you are better protected against infection and disease. Demonstrating whether an herb — or any substance, for that matter — can enhance immunity is, as yet, a highly complicated matter. Scientists don’t know, for example, whether an herb that seems to raise the levels of antibodies in the blood is actually doing anything beneficial for overall immunity.

Stress and immune function

Modern medicine has come to appreciate the closely linked relationship between mind and body. A wide variety of maladies, including stomach upset, hives, and even heart disease, are linked to the effects of emotional stress. Despite the challenges, scientists are actively studying the relationship between stress and immune function.

For one thing, stress is difficult to define. What may appear to be a stressful situation for one person is not for another. When people are exposed to situations they regard as stressful, it is difficult for them to measure how much stress they feel, and difficult for the scientist to know if a person’s subjective impression of the amount of stress is accurate. The scientist can only measure things that may reflect stress, such as the number of times the heart beats each minute, but such measures also may reflect other factors.

Most scientists studying the relationship of stress and immune function, however, do not study a sudden, short-lived stressor; rather, they try to study more constant and frequent stressors known as chronic stress, such as that caused by relationships with family, friends, and co-workers, or sustained challenges to perform well at one’s work. Some scientists are investigating whether ongoing stress takes a toll on the immune system.

But it is hard to perform what scientists call “controlled experiments” in human beings. In a controlled experiment, the scientist can change one and only one factor, such as the amount of a particular chemical, and then measure the effect of that change on some other measurable phenomenon, such as the amount of antibodies produced by a particular type of immune system cell when it is exposed to the chemical. In a living animal, and especially in a human being, that kind of control is just not possible, since there are so many other things happening to the animal or person at the time that measurements are being taken.

Despite these inevitable difficulties in measuring the relationship of stress to immunity, scientists are making progress.

Does being cold give you a weak immune system?

Almost every mother has said it: “Wear a jacket or you’ll catch a cold!” Is she right? So far, researchers who are studying this question think that normal exposure to moderate cold doesn’t increase your susceptibility to infection. Most health experts agree that the reason winter is “cold and flu season” is not that people are cold, but that they spend more time indoors, in closer contact with other people who can pass on their germs.

But researchers remain interested in this question in different populations. Some experiments with mice suggest that cold exposure might reduce the ability to cope with infection. But what about humans? Scientists have dunked people in cold water and made others sit nude in subfreezing temperatures. They’ve studied people who lived in Antarctica and those on expeditions in the Canadian Rockies. The results have been mixed. For example, researchers documented an increase in upper respiratory infections in competitive cross-country skiers who exercise vigorously in the cold, but whether these infections are due to the cold or other factors — such as the intense exercise or the dryness of the air — is not known.

A group of Canadian researchers that has reviewed hundreds of medical studies on the subject and conducted some of its own research concludes that there’s no need to worry about moderate cold exposure — it has no detrimental effect on the human immune system. Should you bundle up when it’s cold outside? The answer is “yes” if you’re uncomfortable, or if you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period where such problems as frostbite and hypothermia are a risk. But don’t worry about immunity.

 

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Dynamic Fitness evolving into “Total Wellness” experience with Hydromassage additions

Hydromassage coming to Dynamic locations December 2019! If you have the Premium level membership or above you will now have access to our “Recovery Zones” or “Relaxation Stations”!

Most everyone is aware of the benefits that consistent massages have for the mind, body and spirit; although, one incredible massage technique that is often lesser known is the hydrotherapy massage. As you can probably infer, the word hydro implies the use of water and the word therapy implies some kind of healing effect. A new, convenient, and affordable way to receive a hydrotherapy massage is with the state of the art HydroMassage chair, which you can find at many spa/salons, fitness centers, and chiropractic offices around the country.

Listed below are the most common questions one may have regarding the HydroMassage technique, the HydroMassage chair, and what the benefits are of using these chairs:

What is a HydroMassage chair?
The HydroMassage chair is a convenient, dry, full body massage with the use of pressurized water. Simply lie down in the open design bed, fully clothed, and feel the immediate benefits of the traveling jet system, which delivers a body massage. The chair can be easily customized to put pressure exactly where you need it most.

Where can I find one?
Spas, fitness centers, and chiropractic offices all over are incorporating “HydroMassage Zones”, a semi private area with multiple chairs for complete relaxation, into their facilities. Check with the local gyms near you to see if HydroMassage chairs are included in a gym membership, if you can pay per use, or if they offer a free trial. Visit the HydroMassage store locator to find a place near you to try!

How much does it cost?
These massage beds are highly affordable way to receive the benefits of massage therapy on a monthly, weekly, or even daily basis. Many fitness centers include the use of the HydroMassage bed in their gym memberships, and many establishments offer the use of the bed for as little as $20 per treatment.

What are the benefits of HydroMassage?
Massage is an ancient form of healing that has been reported to provide numerous benefits ranging from pain reduction and improved circulation, to relief from stress and anxiety. HydroMassage is an affordable and convenient way to incorporate the benefits of frequent massage into your everyday life. The benefits, both tangible and intrinsic, will add value and drastically decrease stress in your life.

Physical
Let’s start with the benefits you can see and feel after one use. HydroMassage is an incredible way to warm up the muscles before your fitness training and loosen your muscles after training to prevent soreness from repeated resistance-based motions used in weight training, or participating in high intensity group exercise classes, like Zumba classes. Deep tissue options for the water pressure will relieve tightness and knots in muscles from previous workouts, or simply everyday stresses. Lastly, hydrotherapy is known to deliver enough pressure to the body to release harmful toxins out through the pores.

Holistic and Spiritual
The recuperative and healing properties of hydrotherapy itself (the use of heat and water) have been known to treat injuries and illnesses. By combining the use of hydrotherapy with the use of massage therapy, the beds can deliver deep relaxation, rejuvenation, and sense of well being; as well as decreased stress and tension with each use. In addition, Hydrotherapy has been known to aid in the remedy of anxiety, migraines, digestion, circulation, high blood pressure, flexibility, and more!

In comparison to a hand massage
HydroMassage is a convenient way to get the therapeutic results of a traditional hand massage, without the time constraints. The bed allows you to lay down, fully clothed, and enjoy customized water pressure on areas of your body for as little as 10-12 minutes, if that’s all the time you have. If you belong to a fitness center that offers HydroMassage chairs, you can use them every time you work out without having to go out of your way. Also, the chairs are much more cost effective than traditional massages, but offer most of the same benefits for the mind, body, and soul!

Learn More
Visit the HydroMassage website to learn everything there is to know about hydrotherapy massages and ask your certified personal trainer about the benefits of incorporating HydroMassage chairs into your daily life.

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Dynamic Fitness Benefits of Inbody Analysis Scans

If you’ve ever wondered how much of your body is made up of fat, you’ve likely turned to the Body Mass Index. It’s a calculation of your body fat based on your weight-to-height ratio.

Unfortunately, it’s woefully dated and an inaccurate means of establishing if you’re over or underweight. But what to use instead?

A BODY COMPOSITION TEST

A body composition test determines how much of your body is made up of fat and fat-free mass. Your body fat is responsible for storing energy while fat-free mass (made up of muscles, water, bones and organs) is responsible for burning calories.

A body composition test can give you the insight you need to make targeted adjustments to your diet and exercise regime.

A body composition test provides a better estimate of fitness and health than the Body Mass Index because it takes more than just weight and height into account. Clients can learn so much more about your body by analyzing and running a painless, imperceptible electric current through your body. Understanding the composition of fat and fat-free mass in your body helps us to determine if you need to build more muscle or lose fat.

A body composition test can also reveal certain underlying health issues and give you the insight you need to make targeted adjustments to your diet and exercise regime.

Inbody Body composition analysis takes all of two minutes and allows to quickly learn about a client’s body in comparison to others their age, height and sex. The analysis calculates several factors not included as part of the body mass index, including:

 

  • Lean body mass (LBM) as a percentage of the ideal in each limb and in the trunk
  • The level of extracellular and intracellular water in the body
  • Basal metabolic rate (BMR) which indicates how many calories the body burns per day without movement or exercise

HOW THE TEST MEASURES ARE USED

Based on calculations from the test, your Personal Trainer will assess how much fat or muscle you need to gain or lose. Lean body mass, or LBM, is everything in your body that isn’t fat. It’s a decent estimator for your level of muscle mass compared to the ideal for your age group. If your lean body mass is below expected, chances are your PT will recommend that you incorporate strength training into your exercise regime. This device gives us accurate data monthly on how to base our recommendations for your programs.

Athletes routinely use body composition to monitor their level of muscle mass. For instance, if their arms look light for their size, an athlete will focus on strengthening them, especially if doing so could give them a competitive advantage.

But sarcopenia, the fancy word for losing muscle mass, can also be measured using this method. For older adults, monitoring muscle mass is especially important because sarcopenia is a common condition that can contribute to functional decline and loss of independence. In experience, when a client sees actual numbers on the machine, like those telling them to gain 5.6 pounds of muscle, it’s empowering.

Personal trainers also use basal metabolic rate to calculate calories for individualized nutrition plans, and the water measurements can tell us if you’re retaining water, which is a marker for something worrisome like liver failure or dehydration.

WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE TAKING THE TEST

If you’re interested in taking a body composition test, speak with your club’s Fitness Manager. Though know that body composition tests that use electrical impedance haven’t been validated as safe for patients with electrical devices like pacemakers. Also, you should only take a body composition test after fasting for at least two hours, with an empty bladder and once you’ve removed all metal near your body, like jewelry and underwire undergarments.

If you meet the Centers for Disease Control’s physical activity guidelines of 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week in addition to two 30-minute-long strength training sessions, a body composition test is a great way to compare yourself to the ideal for your age group. If you don’t meet the requirements, the results of your body composition test may be the motivation you need to get moving.

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Dynamic Fitness Spotlight: Les Mills Finess Programs

Les Mills™ fitness programs are some of the most effective work out programs available. With over 25 years of experience in the fitness industry, the Les Mills team has created cutting-edge group fitness classes that are scientifically proven to deliver results.

Les Mills has a global presence and you can find fitness enthusiasts taking part in these innovative programs around the world.  “Mixing the hottest music with cutting-edge exercise science, motivation and the energy of many, Les Mills group fitness classes make you fall in love with fitness.” These intense, energetic and highly effective group fitness classes are led by highly trained, enthusiastic and committed instructors and empowered with scientifically proven workouts, the freshest music and savvy choreography.

Dynamic Fitness is excited to feature a diverse selection of the most powerful and progressive Les Mills fitness programs at our four locations.  We currently offer the following dynamic programs at our clubs:

BODYPUMP™ 

The BODYPUMP program is a highly effective barbell workout for anyone looking to get lean, toned and fit – fast. Using light to moderate weights with lots of repetition, this intense class offers a total body workout that can burn up 540 calories!  Instructors coach the participants through scientifically proven moves and techniques. With encouragement, motivation and great music you will achieve so much more than working out on your own!  You will feel challenged, motivated and ready to come back for more.

BODYCOMBAT

BODYCOMBAT is a high-energy martial arts-inspired workout.  It is totally non-contact, but you will punch and kick your way to burning up to 740 calories in a class!  This high intensity program will help you to release stress, have a blast and feel like a winner.

BODYFLOW

The BODYFLOW program combines yoga, Tai Chi and Pilates to support effective breathing and strengthen the entire body.  This class can help to increase flexibility, increase muscle strength and create an inner calm for mind and body.

BODYATTACK™

BODYATTACK is a high-energy fitness class that combines athletic movements including running, lunging and jumping with strength exercises such as push-ups and squats. Great music, challenging workouts and an enthusiastic environment can help you to burn up to 730 calories in this class!

SH’BAM™

SH’BAM is a fun-loving and insanely addictive dance workout!  No dance experience is required for this high energy, high action dance party! Bring a playful attitude and just have fun while you are burning calories!

CXWORX™

CXWORX fitness programs focus on strengthening your core – the vital ingredient for a stronger body. This enhanced program offers several exercise options so it is challenging but achievable for every level of fitness. Trained instructors guide participants through the correct techniques while working with resistance tubes, weight plates and body weight exercises including crunches and hovers.

GRIT™

GRIT is a 30-minute high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout designed to improve strength and build lean muscle. Powerful music and inspirational coaches guide participants while they use barbells, weight plates and body weight exercises to blast all major muscle groups.

If you are interested in participating in an innovative and scientifically proven Les Mills fitness program, visit any of the Dynamic Fitness locations in the Houston area. Dynamic Fitness is a state-of-the-art fitness center that features cutting-edge facilities, advanced personal training services and a wide range of Les Mills fitness classes that can help you achieve your fitness goals.

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