Tips to a Healthier New Year in 2015: Interval Training

As we look towards a healthier new year in 2015, we should start by adjusting our fitness routines that may not have yielded the results we really wanted to accomplish in 2014.

A technique that will both increase your cardiovascular capacity while also build and tone your muscles is interval training. Interval training consists of low to high intensity, explosive workouts you complete with interspersed rest time between different component exercises and regulated time within each set. Your body operates anaerobically during the high-intensity periods while recovering aerobically during periods of lower intense workouts.

Traditionally, tales of losing weight and getting into shape all revolve around lower to medium intense workouts such as jogging, biking, or exercising on the elliptical or StairMaster machine for extended periods of time. The key difference between these types of exercise and interval training is that calorie burning ends abruptly after your jogging session as concluded. Interval training, on the other hand, will cause your body to continue burning calories for 2-4 hours after you’ve completed your training session. You can also start burning fat right away whereas in low intensity workouts it may take up to 20 minutes before a significant amount of fat is burned.

Adding intense circuit training into your workouts will stimulate muscle building hormones. One of the biggest knocks to traditional cardiovascular exercise is the loss of both muscle and fat. Interval training puts your body in a state where you can burn fat and gain muscle at the same time. interval training also develops the cardiovascular system. By pushing your heart rate high during periods of work, you’ll increase your cardiovascular output.

There it is: a way to workout for less time, and burn more calories. Incorporating interval training will better equip you to reach your goals in 2015.

Here’s an example of an Interval Training workout you can do at home with just your body weight.

If you have the time, I also recommend a low intensity quick 20-30 minute bike ride or jog to be fully warmed up.

1. Warm Up: Get on a stationary bike for 20-30 minutes. Stop, get off the bike, and stretch.

2. Bike Sprint: At a low resistance, and sprint hard on the stationary bike for 30 seconds. Aim for 90% of your maximum heart rate. To recover, bring your speed down to a comfortable pedal speed for a minute.

3. Jump Squats: Get off the bike and jump squat, with your bottom out to the and your legs slightly apart. Then jump from the squatting position into the air, landing in the same squat position as before. Do this for one set of 15-20.

4. Shoulder Wide Pushups: Do one set of 15 pushups, with your elbows at a degree angle from the body with your hands shoulder-width apart.

Modification: Do the pushups with your knees on the ground, but do 25 instead of 15.

5. Bike Sprint: Get back on the bike and sprint for 30 seconds (low resistance). The goal is to be at 80% of your maximum heart rate. To recover, decrease your speed and bike for one minute.

6. 16” Pushups: Do one set of 15 pushups, with your elbows at a 90-degree angle from the body, with your hands 4-16” apart

Same Modification: Do the pushups with your knees on the ground, but do 25 instead of 15.

7. Sprint: Back to the Bike. Sprint for 1 minute at a high resistance, aiming for 70% of your maximum heart rate. To recover, slowly bike at a low resistance for 90 seconds.

8. Jumping Jacks: Do one set of 15 or 20 jumping jacks. If you’re strong enough, add two 10- or 15-pound dumbbells. Lift up the weights when you jump out, in an overhead press position, pulling them back down to shoulder height as your legs go back together.

9. Finisher: Increase the bike resistance to double digits. Bike at a decent speed for 30 seconds, aiming for 60% of your maximum heart rate. To recover, bring the treadmill down to a 1.0 incline and drop your speed to 1.9 or 2.0 for a 1-minute walk. Finish with a light stretch.

For Diabetics: 

Your blood sugar will most likely take two turns. During the warm up, should you choose to warm up, you will likely experience a slight dip in your blood sugar, so plan accordingly to be above your comfortable exercise blood glucose level.

However, during the interval training your blood sugar will stabilize if not rise, so resist the urge to start too high or drink sports drinks with a high glycemic index that may also cause your blood sugar to spike while taking a break.

Diabetes Awareness Month

In the month of November we get to celebrate the peak of fall and the beginning of the holiday season. But as we get excited for pumpkin pie and football, we should not forget November is also Diabetes Awareness Month, and take the proper time to assess where we are in our fight against this disease.

According to the American Diabetes Association, nearly 30 million children and adults in the United States have diabetes, and another 86 million have prediabetes, putting them at risk of developing T2D. Prediabetes is a growing epidemic. The American Diabetes Association estimates that the total national cost of diagnosed diabetes in the United States is $245 billion. On a state level, in West Virginia, Alabama, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana and Mississippi, the prevalence of diabetes is over 8 percent.

So What? Even though chronic illnesses such as diabetes aren’t as big of a hot-button issue as certain pervasive infectious diseases, its deadliness cannot be denied. According to the CDC, we as a country are largely failing to provide one another with the proper information to combat diabetes: just 6.8 percent of people diagnosed with diabetes in 2011 or 2012 were given diabetes self-management training.

We need to take it upon ourselves to find innovative ways to manage diabetes through positive health interventions. On an individual level, blood glucose testing reminders, minding one’s diet, and a commitment to exercise are ways to take diabetes management into one’s own hand. As a society at large we should continue to invest in new technologies and outreach into communities where disease incidence is high and available information is low.

This Diabetes Awareness Month, we should each use not only the remainder of this month, but the remainder of the year and further to promote our cause to create change. A series of small yet effective interventions will go a long way towards managing diabetes in the most successful way possible. It is up to all of us to continue investigating the best methods and ideas to accomplish our goals.

Sources:

American Diabetes Association, NPR

Invest In Yourself with Lyfebulb

Lyfebulb only launched a few months ago, but it had been a dream of mine for many years prior. I have always wanted to make an impact, to go against the norm and embrace innovation and new ideas to find solutions to difficult problems. Growing up, I enjoyed learning and being active more than anything. I excelled both in sports and in school. But above all, I was notoriously gleeful, — very few things seemed to make me sad. I had the unconditional love and support from my family. I believe that all of this helped me later in life, but a few things have changed dramatically – one being my confidence in myself and the other, my belief in happy endings.

I am still an optimistic person, in fact, some people would even argue I am too enthusiastic at times. I tend to see the glass half-full and to perceive obstacles as opportunities rather than hurdles. I thrive on socializing and working with interesting characters. Very few things make me happier, or give me more energy, than being surrounded by smart and dedicated people. I love debates and I encourage questions. It stimulates my mind and gives me a reason to go on. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes in 1989 as a 16 year old with no previous “defects” or real defeats, I lost my belief in God and my belief to a certain extent in my parents’ ability to fix everything. I had already realized that my parents were not invincible (I beat them both in tennis, running, etc.), but I still thought they could keep me healthy and happy. Though Diabetes took that away from me; it gave me another reason to fight – not only to show to the world I was stronger and smarter, but also that I was a survivor.

This is what “invest in your own disease” is about. There is no one out there who can innovate, develop, fight, engage, analyze, or finance better than the ones who struggle with the actual condition every single day. I live this principle each day, and have throughout my career as a medical scientist, specializing in diabetes, and then working in the biopharmaceutical industry as both an investor as well as an executive, financing and developing product for people with diabetes and other diseases.

Lyfebulb aims to create a community for these people, to allow for them to engage in our four different divisions:

1: Lyfebulb Social Club for informal gatherings at great restaurants, where people can learn about a new technology or from each other, over small bites and cocktails.

2: Lyfebulb Impact for early-stage investments into companies or entrepreneurs that potentially could make a practical difference to people living with Diabetes, Celiac or Crohn’s/Colitis.

3: Lyfebulb Boutique for access to consumer products simplifying and improving daily life from a health and wellness perspective.

4: Lyfebulb Digital for online access through our social media, website and blog.

LifeTime Athletic Gyms

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LifeTime Athletic gyms are extremely popular around the country and in the tri-state area especially. As a diabetic, staying in shape is essential to my glucose-control and overall health. This summer, I attended a LifeTime Athletics gym in close proximity to where I worked.

A 24-hour gym is extremely convenient for diabetics, and LifeTime provides that service. As diabetics, there are unfortunately plenty of instances where my blood sugar is either too low or too high for me to feel comfortable working out. The 24-hour accessibility of gyms such as LifeTime allow me to take some time away from my originally intended workout time, and carefully allow my blood glucose level to arrive back in my comfortable workout range, without having to rush due to limited gym open hours.

LifeTime offers a wide range of equipment and space for varying workout types. I like to incorporate different types of workouts into my weekly regimen such as weight-training intensive or cardio intensive days. Some facilities are deficient in either free weights, weight machines, or cardio machines, while abundantly supplying the other categories. The LifeTime gym exceeded my basic needs when it came to workout apparatuses. The monthly membership is not without a substantial price, but the gyms are full of great amenities diabetics and athletes in general will appreciate such as fully stocked snack bars (for post workouts or lows), spas, and yoga studios.

Lastly, LifeTime does a pretty fair job of creating a community environment within its gyms. Whether it arise from the aforementioned spas, yoga studies, and snack bars, or events such as 5ks, triathlon events, and groups weight-loss challenges, LifeTime provides a platform for strangers with similar interests to meet, greet, and tackle goals with one another.  The idea of community is especially resounding amongst diabetics because we are all sympathetic to each other’s diabetes-complication and are constantly bouncing tips and ideas off one another. The environment at a LifeTime gym is especially conducive to such an open forum. My experiences with the staff and trainers on sight have been primarily positive in that they are friendly and relatively knowledgeable about any questions I may have. I would feel comfortable referring other diabetics to their trainers for advice on how certain exercises may affect their glucose levels.

Overall my experience with LifeTime Athletics was positive. While membership comes at a steep price, the facilities and amenities attached are of high enough quality to justify the price. I was extremely satisfied with the range of options available to me as someone who likes variety in my workouts and health maintenance.

Whether it be at a LifeTime gym or any other, it is most important we diabetics continue to push ourselves to make regular exercise and workouts a priority. I encourage you all to find an activity you can enjoy and make those trips a staple in your weekly schedules.

This is the first installment of many to come in my NYC-area gym review series. For further information and health & fitness tips follow me at @roycHealth.

A Call to Discipline

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Becoming disciplined is quite frankly the best way to control your health. But before we delve further into exactly what becoming disciplined means, we need to make an important distinction: the Super-humans versus the Disciplined.

Super-humans are incredible. Super-humans once ate bacon cheeseburgers at McDonald’s for breakfast, lunch and dinner before turning it around and going vegan. Maybe they bought a two-month frozen meal package or meal replacement shakes and actually stuck to the plan the entire time. They bought that new gym membership and went from never stepping into a gym to working out 7 days a week. They have every meal, workout, and medication calculated so perfectly that they always look and feel great no matter the scenario. Seriously, hats off to the Super-humans.

This message is not for those lucky few, and I do mean few, who can turn it all around in one swoop. This message is for the rest of the people who want to regain control of their lives in ways that are gradual, but lasting. Embracing the disciplined lifestyle is about making enough small changes so that they you can reach your goal of becoming an new self.

As it pertains to weight loss, new studies have shown a large number of successful dieters will eventually regain the weight they’ve lost and then some.  Whether your goal is to lose weight, gain muscle mass, control your diabetes, or any combination of the three, life changes are going to have to be made.

Somewhere buried amongst the old adages that Rome wasn’t built in a day, and that it takes 30 straight days of an activity for it to form into a habit exists the unforgiving truth: small, permanent life changes are necessary in order for you to reach your goals. Disciplined people are prepared to make these changes for good.

The key to these small changes is to be realistic with yourself about your current lifestyle, and to find viable components of that lifestyle that you can make tweaks to long-term.Here are a few examples of ways you can make that fantasy version of your healthy self into a reality.

When it comes to exercise, commit to taking the stairs, commit to making a day like Monday (rain or shine) a workout day.

After committing to one mandatory day of exercise, it will be easier to fit in 2 or three other days in the week when it’s convenient. When thinking about diets–njoy a cheat meal: if you worked hard to stay on course with healthy, clean food, then enjoy a cheat meal. You must keep the cheat meal to a MEAL. Not a whole day, or a whole week of binging

Use this commitment to not just cut out the foods you love, but as an opportunity to try new foods. Eating chicken, brown rice, and veggies can be monotonous, challenge yourself to cook up tasty, new, and exciting healthy meals.

For diabetics, set a schedule so that your basal rates are adjusted not only 1 or 2 hours prior to a workout but also a few hours following your workout.The best way for your blood sugars to be consistent is if your pre-game/pre-workout meals are consistent.For a full week once every two months, keep extremely diligent notes of your blood sugars and activities. Release your inner perfectionist. This will allow you to make easier generalizations in the future.


Outside of these quick tips, keep looking for ways to become more disciplined and reach your goals. Coming to Lyfebulb and becoming part of our online community is the first step. Together we can continue the fight!

“Going Low” An Athlete’s Perspective

It’s the reason you keep juice in the refrigerator, a Gatorade in your gym bag, and candy in your girlfriend’s purse. “Going low” can be described as that strange, empty feeling pitted in the center of your core that leaves you anxious, irritable, and even worse, sweaty.

‘Hypoglycemia’ is simply defined as the condition in which your concentration of blood glucose is lower than normal. For most diabetics, we start to experience symptoms somewhere in the 70’s or lower (mg/dl). While this condition can be experienced for a multitude of reasons, every diabetic is well aware that they are especially at risk during exercise.

For athletes, the fear is not so much worrying about the hazards of going too low. We all know the consequences: if left untreated, low blood sugars can lead to seizures or coma. But while it may sound illogical, incomprehensible, and fairly reckless to non-athletes, these serious dangers associated with our blood sugar dipping too low are not usually our main concerns.

The diabetic athlete just hates being told “No.” It is the desire to avoid sitting out of an activity that usually motivates us to stay above normal blood glucose ranges.

We don’t want to have to stop exercising.

We don’t want to sit out of practice.

And we certainly don’t want to distance ourselves any further from our friends and teammates.

The diabetic take on FOMO (“Fear of Missing Out”) creates an unintended consequence: diabetic athletes often overcompensate with high blood sugars.

In the ultimate case of shortsightedness, we sometimes take the immediate benefits while disregarding long term detriments we tax onto our bodies. I know for sure that if I trend a little higher than I should, I may not feel awesome, but I certainly won’t have to sit out. It was this careless thinking that led to me walking around with an A1C pushing double digits for a stretch in my high school football days. My brash justification for carrying sky-high blood sugar levels was that my team couldn’t possibly afford to have me sitting out for any extended period of time. I completely ignored any long-term effects I was causing myself, let alone the extremely clouded judgment and sensation of nausea I experienced when I was on the field.

Thankfully, I eventually saw the error in my ways. While maintaining a blood sugar level in the 200’s did indeed keep from me from going too low, I was sluggish, disoriented, and often a liability to my teammates. I came to realize that playing sports at a blood sugar level only slightly above my normal resting range actually provided me with more energy and allowed me to perform at my full potential. Meticulous preparation and consistent glucose level testing in order to remain in the proper range instantly became preferable to dumping high amounts of sugar into my body before game time and simply hoping for the best.

As diabetics, we have to resist the temptation of immediate security and trust ourselves to find solutions more beneficial to our bodies in the long run. I challenge each one of us to continue to explore the blood glucose levels in which we feel comfortable exercising. Obviously it is imperative that you exercise extreme caution, as there will undoubtedly be challenges along the way in the form of going too low. But in my experience, it was when I truly challenged the lower end of my higher “exercise BG range” that I overcame a lot of my fears about “going low” and ultimately flourished. I found a new range where I experienced a ton of energy, a clear mind, and a higher conditioning level. While you definitely want to exercise at a blood glucose level above your normal, resting level, the key is to find a level that’s not too high.

Through Lyfebulb, consulting with your doctors, and your own safe experimentation, you have the ability to work out and keep up with (or surpass) the insulin producing, non-diabetic athletes in the world. All it takes is patience, persistence, and dedication to the cause.