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WELLNESS COLUMN

A Svelte Birthday Suit

What Else Can Help Mold Our Svelte Suit? Cellular metabolism, how our cells accomplish their operation and give us energy, is a gamechanger when it comes to the fight for our long-term health. Neglect or abuse the cell’s power producer (mitochondria) and your life will be shortened. Cellular metabolism gone array has been linked to many of the major diseases we fight in our population 10 Marine Log // November 2017

including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Studies show that short bouts of sprints can promote mitochondrial growth. With as little as 4 seconds each with 20 seconds break between them (3x over), the body signals to produce more mitochondria. The more mitochondria we have, the healthier we tend to be.

The key to unlocking the fat store is consuming more fat and less of everything else Sugar, Fat and Fat? When crafting our svelte suit, the kitchen is the place to start, and this is also where mitochondria can get their greatest boost. A little-known fact: Most cells and organs in the body can run on one of two fuel sources or a combination of the two: sugars and/or fats. Carbohydrates and excess proteins once in the body convert into sugar and sugar is what our cells and organs burn normally. Most fats are a slower burning. Some like coconut oil can go right to the liver and deliver a quicker boost of energy than others, and their power is sustaining over time. But, if our body can run on fat and/or sugar, why is our accumulated bulge not

Emily Reiblein

Crowley Maritime Corporation, Labor Relations-Union Wellness Programs/ Operations Integrity

Shutterstock/ Valeriy Lebedev

W

hen we think about cardio work, we trend towards running sneakers, treadmills, heart-pumping, sweat-dripping activities. While taking to the treadmill or track is one way to do it, research shows us it is not the only way, and perhaps not even the most efficient way. In December 2012, the Journal of Applied Physiolog y, Nutrition and Metabolism reported that 30-minute treadmill users (at 85% max heart rate) showed less benefits to health than those doing 4-minute tabatas with activities like mountain climbers, jumping jacks, pull-ups, etc. A tabata is activity broken into 20-second intervals of work followed by 10 seconds of rest. Both groups worked for 4 days a week and showed an increased level of aerobic capacity of 7% and 8%, respectively. However, only the tabata group showed muscle endurance gains in astonishing percentages (leg extensions, +40%; chest presses, +207%; sit-ups, +64%; push-ups, +135%; and back extensions, +75%). This is one of several similar studies that show these short bouts of training, with cardio and weight-bearing load, can yield impressive benefits to the strength and muscular endurance quickly.

being used as energy when hunger strikes? The key to unlocking the energy in the waistline is decreasing sugars and proteins. The only macronutrient on your plate that does not convert into a sugar in the body is dietary fat. Ironically, the key to unlocking the fat store is consuming more fat and less of everything else. Research on High Fat/Low Carbohydrate Diets (meaning you eat more fat, and reduce sugar/protein intake) have identified the benefits of this type of diet at burning the fat around the waistline. At its most extreme, the Ultra-Low Carb-High Fat Diet (around 20 grams of carbohydrates consumed a day) the body starts to generate Ketone Bodies. With Ketones pumping, our cells metabolize energy and utilize oxygen more efficiently. Research out of the National Institute of Health has also identified that the heart and brain can run at up to a 25% higher capacity with a combination of ketones and sugars, than just sugars alone. Ketones can also re-power the cells in the brain to help reset conditions such as epilepsy, treat traumatic brain injury, fight brain tumors and cancers, and help stave-off mental decline in Alzheimer’s Disease. The generation of ketones means the body is burning fat for fuel which equals a quick trimming down of the waistline. Of course, fear of eating fat can be the biggest showstopper for this method of enhancing cellular metabolism and etching out your abs. Honing your svelte Birthday Suit with focus on the cardiovascular system, muscles and cells can be a worthwhile project for long-term health. Research would indicate that we need to start thinking differently about how we exercise, about the fat around our waistline and the fat in our food. The battle we want to fight has us trimming the waistline, staying off medications, and get healthy, but we need to stop showing up with the wrong battlements. This article is for education purposes only. Nothing in this article constitutes medical advice— all medical advice should be sought from a medical professional.

Marine Log November 2017