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Carbohydrates and You

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pastaHere is a great article on the role of carbohydrates in daily function.  It also has a quick and easy calculation to know if you are getting the right amount of carbohydrates in your daily life.  Additionally it has a nice breakdown of when to eat when preparing for your workout and post exercise.  For more nutrition information be sure to check out The Center's nutrition pages. 


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Human Adaptations

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In January 2014, the popular Youtube channel Vsauce (Michael Stevens) posted a video where he tackles the question, “Why is your BOTTOM called your bottom when it’s in the MIDDLE of your body?” Check out the video for yourself at the following link: https://youtu.be/xKg9Vl_Wg5U

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 Michael’s exposition of this topic grabbed my attention when he highlights the uniqueness of the bulbous human bottom and how it plays a dynamic role in why we humans walk upright on two feet instead of all fours. Our bodies are remarkably well suited for walking upright and our prominent bottoms helps us do this. Subsequently, the rear end is anything but the bottom of your body. 

Let’s explore this linguistic conundrum. Using the word "bottom" to refer to your posterior is relatively new. The word “bottom” comes from words meaning; ground, foundation, the lowest part. If we consider our bottom to be the end of our body when we exclude the limbs, then indeed this does make a little more sense. The word “bum” predates the word “bottom” by quite a bit and is an onomatopoeia as it is echoic of buttocks slapping against a flat surface.  Considering this, it is not too far of a stretch then to see where we get our American English slang “Bum” referencing to a person who sits around all day or, in other words, a lazy or useless person. r bodies are remarkably well suited for walking upright and our prominent bottoms helps us do this. Subsequently, the rear end is anything but the bottom of your body.

So back to why our human rear end is so magnificent! For one, its shape makes us different and unique within the vast animal kingdom. Its particular shape comes from the glut med and glut max muscles (and fat). Evolutionary psychology suggests that our attraction to full firm bottoms on potential mates was probably naturally selected. People in the past who probably liked big bottoms propagated their genes quite well and had reproductive success! A rear end full of shapely fat is a reflection of health and youth.  And a great energy reserve. And reserve comes in handy with scarce food or during pregnancy or breastfeeding.

Secondly, our amazingly designed bottom allowing us to be bipedal gives us the great advantage to keep our torso balanced while moving. The requirements supporting this demand lend us to significantly larger muscles in our bottom thus making us the superior animal in mastering our upright posture.

Another reason our prominent backsides can be credited for our survival would be its remarkable endurance capabilities.  Compared to horses and other quadrupeds, humans can reach impressive long distance aerobic endurance running speeds. In fact, the Man versus Horse Marathon held in the Welsh town of Llanwrtyd Wells every year has demonstrated that a human being can beat a horse in a race over a 22 mile distance (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Man_versus_Horse_Marathon).  Above and beyond other animals humans can sweat to release body heat, we have short toes for more efficient force over longer duration of running, we have short neck ligaments keeping our head perfectly stable while running, our uniquely designed Achilles tendon converts elastic energy into kinetic energy, and our tall narrow waists provide great counter rotation for our legs as they move through strides.  When we consider our Neolithic ancestors and how hunting and gathering was likely necessary for survival we can thank our impressive butts for its superior endurance when it comes to running. One of many things that makes the human body amazing!

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Pure Barre “Utilizing the ballet barre to perform small isometric movements set to fantastic music, Pure Barre is a total body workout that lifts your seat, tones your thighs, abs, and arms, and burns fat in record- breaking time.”

          Exercise has always been very important to me. I played basketball and soccer in high school and college. After college I started running long distance and participated in various races. Two years ago I was in the best shape of my life and “successfully” finished my first marathon. Needless to say, I always made time for exercise in my day. 

Then, I had a baby 10 months ago. And I lost my motivation to exercise. I had a long list of excuses…. I’m tired, too out of shape, not enough time in my day. 

I really wanted to tone my body but wasn’t sure where to start. Then Katy Lewis, a patient of mine, mentioned she went to Pure Barre during and after her pregnancies. She encouraged me to try it out. Katy is a busy mom of 2 girls as well as just opening up her own company doing legal recruitment. I thought, if she can make time in her day, so can I!

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Jazzing Up Your Water

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waterWe have all heard about the benefits of drinking water over and over and over again….better skin, weight loss, improved metabolism, better muscle health, the list goes on.  But let’s be serious, water can be rather boring.  Especially if you multiply that boring drink by the recommended 8-10 glasses each day!  If we made our water a bit more interesting, perhaps we would drink more and be able to reap its benefits.

The first step to drinking enough water is determining how much we should get each day.  There are many different methods to calculate this, but it’s important to know there isn’t necessarily a golden standard to follow.  Each person’s needs vary depending on their sex, activity levels, even the temperature outside.  To get yourself in the ballpark, there is a simple equation for adults that may be helpful.  Aim to get half of your body weight in fluids.  For example, if you weigh 140 pounds, simply divide by 2 to estimate your daily fluid needs in ounces.  Dividing that number by eight will give you an estimate to how many cups you should be drinking each day, rounding up to the nearest full cup. 

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