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Turmeric has been getting a lot of attention in the health and fitness industry lately. You may know turmeric as a spicy, golden powder in curry recipes that gives Indian dishes its incredible flavor. But, what you may not know about turmeric is that it can help you recover from your next workout.
What is turmeric?
Turmeric comes from the root of the Curcuma longa plant and has a tough brown skin and a deep orange flesh which resembles the ginger root. Curcumin, the main active compound in turmeric which gives it the bright color, is loaded with health benefits. For years, naturopaths have been prescribing turmeric and curcumin to treat a number of ailments such as:
high blood pressure arthritis joint pain pre-diabetes ulcers heartburn depression
Most recently, a new, double-blind, randomized-controlled study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in March 2015 found that curcumin can help reduce pain associated with delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) and aid muscle recovery in physically active people. Participants in the study were given curcumin twice daily and asked to perform a heavy eccentric exercise. They were monitored for 2 days and the researchers not only found that the curcumin helped reduce DOMS, but also improved the participants performance due to the anti-inflammatory properties.
Turmeric or curcumin can be taken in pill form or in the whole form as a spice. If you are choosing to supplement your diet in pill form, either with turmeric or curcumin alone, make sure to seek out a brand that contains the compound piperine, which will aid in absorption. If you would rather consume turmeric “as is”, select an organic, non-irradiated brand that is packed with naturally occurring curcumin.
Turmeric can be a great addition to your meals and drinks. Here are a few simple ways to add it to your diet:
Add it to eggs Sprinkle it on veggies like cauliflower, potatoes, and root vegetables Add it to rice Use it in soups Blend it into a smoothie Simmer turmeric with milk and honey and add it to your tea
Please note that turmeric and curcumin supplements are not suitable for pregnant women or individuals with bile duct dysfunction or gallstones. Turmeric also has the ability to slow the clotting of blood so it should not be mixed with blood thinners or taken within 2 weeks of any type of surgery. Consult your doctor before beginning any supplementation regime.
Today while running sprints, I had an epiphany. Are you ready for THIS one? Wow, I can’t believe I’m going to say this. Here goes – You DON’T need a trainer to lose weight and get fit. WHAT!?!?! That;s what I said. Now, before I get into this, I need to give you a little info on how I got to this. Stay with me for a minute as I give you a little bit of the back story.
It’s no secret that I am not a fan of The Biggest Loser. The show portrays getting in shape as grueling, painful, embarrassing and damn near impossible if you don’t have a trainer screaming in your face and breaking you down. The contestants (real trainers call them clients) are pushed way past what is healthy, safe or even attainable in the “real world”. The time that they spend at the ranch with the trainers is a huge set up for failure. Hours of exercise, restricted diets and tv land tricks to make the scale move only equal two things: ratings and rebounds. All the while the trainers are there acting as if they are the ones responsible for the changes that are happening on THEIR TEAM.
Another weight loss show started up this past week – Extreme Weight Loss. I am a huge fan of this show. Chris Powell and his wife Heidi do things a little differently. They work with their client (not contestants) for an entire year to help them lose the weight. The show is much more real life like and inspirational. The problem I have with this show is this: the clients do a 90 day “bootcamp” with Chris and Heidi where they are pushed and taught what they need to do in the next “phase” of their weight loss journey. In the 2nd phase, the clients are sent home to live life as usual but incorporate what they learned while they were at “bootcamp”. Well, as you can imagine, going from being under Powell watch to being on your own, most of the clients start to flounder. Da, Da, Da -in comes Chris to rescue them. Have no fear – Chris is here. And bring them back from the brink of destruction he does.
Fast forward to the now. As I watched the latest EWL, I had a weird thought. “Why do people think that having a trainer is the only way they can lose weight?” Think about it….you watch weight loss shows like these and think, “If I was there with training with Bob, I could totally lose weight.” or “They are lucky. If I had a trainer I could do it too”. Buy why do you NEED a trainer? What could a trainer do for you that you can’t do for yourself? It’s kind of like the infomercials for P90X and the 21 Day fix, MLM’s such as Isagenix and Herbalife and all the gadgets and gizmos that claim THEY ARE THE ONLY WAY TO LOSE WEIGHT. These shows make it look like you can’t get healthy without them. Shit, I’m going to completely bankrupt myself by telling you this, but YOU DON’T NEED A TRAINER OR A MIRACLE SHAKE OR WORKOUT PROGRAM TO GET HEALTHY!!!! Yes, you read that right. I am a trainer and I said you don’t need a trainer to get healthy. Do you want to know the secret that WILL get you those results that you want to see. It’s something that a trainer CAN’T give you, a shake won’t offer you and something a gadget can’t produce. Are you ready? It’s….
DETERMINATION. It’s the one thing that every person who lost weight on a show and kept it off has. It’s what kept those people who drank the shakes going. It’s the thing that got the people out of bed, in workout gear and working out to the dvd’s. And it’s what drags their tired ass to the gym to workout with their trainer. IT WASN’T THE MIRACLE PRODUCT, DIET OR THE TRAINER THAT GAVE THEM THE RESULTS – IT WAS THEIR DETERMINATION THAT DROVE THEM TO DO THE WORK AND MAKE THE CHANGES!
Now, hold up. Before I lose all of my clients and you go off and fire your trainer, let me say this. Yes, a trainer can’t give you the determination that it will take to reach your goals. This is true. That is something that you have to find within yourself. But once you have it, a trainer can work with that determination and show you ways you can excel and put your determination to good use. Having a spark in you is great, but with a little help, a trainer can ignite the fire.
Well, have you ever went to a gym excited to work out, but once you got there you felt lost? Maybe you spent a half hour walking on the treadmill, a few minutes doing the strength training exercises that you were sorta familiar with and left feeling like you could have done more?
Yes? This is when trainers like me can help. We can show you how to work out in the most effective and efficient way for your body and your goals. You could do a workout that you found in a magazine, but getting one that is designed for YOUR body will help you reach your goals faster.
Another way a trainer can keep you going is to give you new ideas! We have lots of time on our hands while we are sleeping to dream up new and exciting ways to challenge the human body. You think you have done every type of pushup possible? Trust me…we have 5 more versions up our selves that we save for special occasions. A trainer can not only show you new exercises, but we can show you different ways to train your muscles to keep you from getting bored.
And the best thing a trainer can do is keep you motivated when you are in a slump.
Even the most determined person can have off days, weeks or months. Having a standing appointment with a trainer (which you are paying for AND don’t want to upset the beast) can stop that little devil who is whispering in your ear “Stay home. Workout tomorrow. Watch a marathon of Game Of Thrones”. Many times, walking into the gym is the hard part. Once you are there, you get into the swing of things. Add in a motivating trainer who is encouraging you to push your limits, and woo-pow – your determination is back.
Investing in a few sessions with a trainer can change your workout for the better. When you can go into your workout with the confidence that you are doing what’s best for YOUR body, you will be much more successful. Long term or short term training, either one will complement your determination.
With determination in your heart – you are unstoppable.