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Are You Intaking Enough Fiber per Day?

The amount of fiber you get per day is very important to living a healthy lifestyle and appropriate for a healthy digestive system. As you can imagine, it also helps you 💩.

If you read these posts, you’ll know I always talk about having too much of something or too little of something is never a good thing. You always need to find a balance. You can probably see where I’m going with this, but fiber is the same way. Too little fiber can cause issues and too much fiber can also lead to its own issues. You need to find the proper amount to eat per day.

Let’s go over why fiber is important, the different types of fiber and how much you need in your diet.

Why is Fiber Important

Dietary is a very important part of our diet. Without fiber in our diets it can lead to symptoms like constipation or even diarrhea.

Fiber has also shown that it can be protective against colorectal cancer as well (1). Including fiber has also been shown to help with improving blood sugar levels and improving cholesterol levels as well. If you want to learn more about this check out this article and how fiber can improve cholesterol.

Which Fiber Should I Get More Of?

There are different types of fiber, but the 2 you’ll probably see the most is Soluble and Insoluble fiber. 

Soluble fiber gets dissolved in water. It also can bind to cholesterol and sugar which slows down carbohydrate digestion.

Insoluble fiber absorbs fluid. This type of fiber makes stool larger and easier to pass as well. 

Having both fibers in your diet is important. As having too much of one and not the other will cause issues. Most sources of fiber will usually have a little bit of both in there, so this isn’t something you would need to map out. However, here is a picture of foods that are Insoluble and Soluble: 

Soluble vs insoluble fiber

 

How Much Fiber Do I Need?

Getting enough fiber is important but also consuming too much can be an issue too. So how much fiber should you get?

The general rule is to intake 10 grams of fiber per 1000 calories. For example, if you’re intaking 2000 calories a day, you should be getting at minimum 20 grams of fiber a day.  

However, eating more than 70grams a day is too much and usually not advised. 

If you’re concerned and about how much fiber you should be getting a day though, you should speak to your doctor.

Final Thoughts

Fiber is an extremely important part of our diet. Lack of it can cause minor issues like constipation and diarrhea but can potentially lead to other serious complications if it’s consistent enough. Including it can also help with some issues you may be currently facing like high cholesterol levels or blood sugar levels. 

Too much fiber can also cause it’s own problems as well, so consuming the right amount of fiber per day is important. 

You do need to intake an adequate amount of each fiber to get the overall benefits of it. Having a balanced and sustainable diet is important in achieving this. 

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References:

  1. Masrul M, Nindrea RD. Dietary Fibre Protective against Colorectal Cancer Patients in Asia: A Meta-Analysis. Open Access Maced J Med Sci. 2019;7(10):1723-1727. Published 2019 May 30. doi:10.3889/oamjms.2019.265

Should You Be Incorporating Meditation in Your Training?

Meditation is a great ability to incorporate into your training. It’s something that I personally, don’t feel like gets talked about enough. Most of the time, we talk about the physical exercise we’re doing. We hardly cover how we exercise our mental strength and health. Our mental health can make you break us though. If our mental health isn’t in tack, how do we except to take care of our physical health?

One of the reasons I love meditation is that to me, it’s a way I can exercise my mental strength and health. Let’s go over meditation and it’s benefits for you.

What is Meditation

Meditation is a skill in where mindfulness is practiced  to train attention and awareness in oneself as well to help mental clarity and calm our emotions. Meditation is great way to keep yourself grounded and kind of have a ‘reset’ button on your ordinary day. 

How Can Meditation Benefit You

Meditation has many benefits to it. I won’t be able to list all of them, but let’s go over some of the main benefits that meditation can do to help you.

Mindfulness

Mindfulness is one of the main benefits to meditation. It’s the act of being in the present moment. Anything you’re acting upon, you’re fully in the present moment for it. This is a very important ability to have. It can help calm your thoughts and lets you focus on what’s important, which is the present moment. It’s easy to get stuck thinking about the past or future and that can cause us unnecessary stress. As well, the act of being mindful can help get a better control of your emotions and overall well being. Which leads to our next point…

Emotional Stability

Like I mentioned before, something about mindfulness is that it can also lead to emotional stability. When you’re focused on the present moment and only what is in front of you, it takes away a lot of the anxiety and other unknown factors we might usually have our mind go through. Whether you’re sad, upset, anxious about something in the past or future, being focused on the present will stabilize all those emotions and keep you at grounded level. 

Better Attention Span

Now more than ever, we’re seeing our generations attention span decline. This is highly suspected to be related to social media and spending too much time on our phones. Even personally, over the years I noticed my attention span slowly go on the decline.Meditation can help improve your attention space overall. This can help you in many ways in life and help to continuously achieve your goals.

Can Lower Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can be attributed to stress. It’s very easy to get stressed out and to sometimes even stress about things that aren’t worth it. Meditation can help manage your stress level and in consequence can also help bring down your blood pressure as well. However, if you’re looking to lower your blood pressure, you should look into including more fish in your diet.

Meditation in Your Training

Now that we’ve went over what meditation is and how it’s beneficial, how does it fit into our training? Well like I mentioned before, we usually talk about the physical side of fitness and not enough about the mental side of fitness. Without mental health and stability, it’ll be very difficult to live a healthy lifestyle and achieve your physical goals.

Within your training regimen, you should find a way to include meditation into it. This doesn’t mean that at the end of your squats you go sit and meditate, but to set time aside every day to meditate. Like physical training, you can perform sort of a progressive overload to keep getting better.

How to Incorporate Meditation in Your Training

If you can, you should set aside at least 5 minutes of meditation every day. Slowly from there, you can work up by adding more minutes to your meditation or trying to focus on different aspects of it. People work up to hours of meditating a day. I haven’t achieved such a status but for me even doing 20 – 30 minutes can be a bit challenging. 

Just like how you try to workout and train every day or get some activity in for your physical health, meditation and mindfulness has a place in your every day lifestyle as well.

How to Meditate

There are plenty of resources out there to learn how to meditate. You may have even heard of guided meditation before (apps like HeadSpace) this is a great way to start getting into meditation. Here are some videos on meditation and how to get started. 

 

 

Final Thoughts

Taking care of your mental well being is just as important as taking care of your physical well being. I feel that meditation is a good first step to doing so if you haven’t already. 

Like physical training, meditation requires training. It’s something that you progressively will get better at and the better you get at it, the more benefits you will see out of it in your daily life. 

I personally use HeadSpace for guided meditation. However, you can check out the videos above to learn the basics to meditating as well. 

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Signs You Should Spend More Time Recovering

Taking time to recover is often one of the more neglected portions when it comes to training. Training can be a bit obsessive at times and it can lead to having the tendency to want to train and pushing yourself further and further. That passion and fire are awesome, however, the actin and of itself can be detrimental to getting the results you want. Let’s go over why recovery is important and the signs you’re not recovering fully.

Why is Recovery Important?

Like I mentioned earlier, spending more time recovering is often easily neglected. However, recovery is the main time when you’re growing. Muscle grows during this time and your body goes through its natural healing process when it’s resting.

Training in tears you down and recovery builds you back up and more.

The only way you continue to get stronger and continue to make progress is to get adequate amounts of recovery. 

How Do I Know if I’m Not Recovering Enough?

Even though recovery is important, some people use it as an excuse of just normal DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness aka being sore) and don’t train due to them being sore. That’s not overtraining and not recovering enough though. Due to this argument and some of the misconceptions of what’s considered not recovering enough, I’m going to go over some signs that may indicate you’re not recovering enough / overtraining.

Always Fatigued

One of the signs you’re starting to overtrain and not recovery enough is if you’re always fatigued. Fatigue from training is normal, but on a constant basis that it’s affecting your day-to-day for prolonged periods of time can be a clear sign that you need to possibly take more time to recover. 

Not Making Progress

In addition to fatigue, let’s say your training program is properly designed in a way that you should be continuously making progress. Over 2 weeks if you’ve been plateauing or only gotten weaker, this can be a sign you need to start spending more time on recovering instead. For me, this is usually the first sign that kicks in me. I normally would take a deload week and that would start to fix my issues. 

Injuries

One of the more severe ways of finding out you’re not recovering enough is constant injuries. Now, injuries unfortunately are a pretty normal part of training. They’re bound to happen. Most people deal with minor injuries all the time within their training. However, coupled with the other points I mentioned above, if you’re piling on injury after injury in a short time frame, you may not be spending too much time recovering then.

Injuries piling up can also be from other things as well, like one injury leading to another and so on. If you’re getting constantly injured or have any nagging injury, you should go see a doctor/physical therapist.  

What Can I Do to Recover More?

There are plenty of ways you can go about recovering. Let’s go over some of the more important ways you go about setting time for recovery.

Sleep More

If there is one thing we probably don’t get enough of, it’s sleep. Sleep is the main time your body is trying to recover and heal. Depending on your life schedule, you may only be sleeping 6 hours a day. For some, they can still get through the day, but more sleep in the 8-10 hour range can make a huge difference in your recovery process. Personally, I don’t sleep enough if I also don’t output enough during the day, which is why I like to wake up early in the morning to get my workouts in

Lower Your Intensity/Volume

If you’re having trouble recovering you may need to lower your intensity and volume for at least a week in your workout program. This is usually known more as a deload week. You can get more information about a deload week here.

Add in Extra Rest Day

If you’re training 5-6 days a week and you’re having ‘active recovery days’ you may need to just add in a day of legit rest. A day you don’t do too much and if you’re doing active recovery, it would exercise like static stretching or yoga. Any type of resistance training should be avoided on these days. 

Final Thoughts

Not taking enough time to recover can be detrimental to your progress and can prolong your goals. In the worse cases, you may even get injured more often and that can derail you even further.

If you’re following a good training program deload weeks and rest days would already be incorporated. However, that may not be enough. If your sleep schedule isn’t great, you may still succumb to lack of recovery and some of the issues we mentioned above. Take time to recover and I promise you’ll see better results. 

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