Tag Archives: Muscle Cramp/Tension Formula by Pure Encapsulations

What Constitutes Physical Fitness?

PhysicalFitnessJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

How many times have you admonished yourself for being “out of shape?” Whether or not we chose to exercise, athletes and exercise enthusiasts alike know that physical activity is crucial for the maintenance of current and long term health. Healthcare professionals, personal trainers, instructors, governmental heath agencies, the media, and others repeatedly emphasize the importance of 30 minutes of daily exercise. The terms exercise and physical activity are often used interchangeably, but there’s a difference between physical activity, exercise, and physical fitness. Physical activity can be defined as any movement that is carried out by the skeletal muscles that requires caloric energy expenditure. In other words, any activity that gets you from here to there, whether walking from the couch to the fridge or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. Exercise is planned, structured and intentional movement with the goal of challenging your competence and improving your level of fitness through sports, dance, running, yoga or any number of physically active pursuits.

One common misconception of fitness is ignoring flexibility and balance skills, both of which are key to overall fitness. We are not truly fit unless we consistently challenge ourselves to gain and maintain flexibility, endurance and strength. A great way to test your strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination is to sit down on the floor and see if you can stand up without using your arms or knees or grabbing onto to someone or something for assistance. If you can’t get up without help, you can build strength and improve coordination by balancing on one foot at a time, or practice lifting an arm or a leg while in a plank position. Just as a runner might train to complete a marathon or a ballet dancer would strive to master the ultimate challenge of thirty-two fouette turns, we can work towards walking a mile without becoming winded, or practice forward bends each day until we can easily touch our toes.

Physical fitness, which begins with regular exercise to improve aerobic fitness, muscular strength and flexibility, is measured by:

Cardiorespiratory fitness: This means that your body can supply the fuel and oxygen you need during continuous physical exertion. Aerobic exercise raises heartbeat, maximizes the amount of oxygen in the blood, and increases blood flow to the muscles, delivering oxygen and nutrients and carrying away carbon dioxide and lactic acid. Over time, regular aerobic exercise increases stamina and reduces fatigue, while improving immune function, managing weight and reducing disease risk. Cardiorespiratory endurance means the body’s energy systems, muscle fibers, and capillaries can sustain long periods of exercise, such as running a marathon, swimming a mile or cycling for 100 miles.

Muscular strength fitness: Muscle strength is the muscle’s capacity to exert force against resistance. To gain muscular strength and build muscle, focus on weight training. Aerobic exercise strengthens the heart muscle as well, helping to pump blood efficiently and slowing resting heartrate.

Muscular endurance fitness: Along with muscle strength, muscular endurance means that a muscle or group of muscles can sustain repeated contractions against resistance for an extended time period, such as when running, swimming or cycling. Separate from cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance relates to the number of repetitions you can do without having to stop to rest, such as when doing squats, abdominal exercises or weight training.

Flexibility fitness: Commonly overlooked, a regular stretching routine should be incorporated into every fitness plan. Flexibility fitness is the ability to move the joints freely through a range of motions. Flexibility tends to decline with age, often due to a sedentary lifestyle. Regular stretching helps to prevent loss of mobility, makes it easier to perform everyday tasks, and may enhance aerobic training and muscular conditioning, as well as sports performance.

Body composition: Body composition is determined by the percentages of body fat, bone, water and muscle tissue. Lean mass includes the muscles and organs, while fat mass refers to the amount of fat tissue stored in the body. Because muscular tissue takes up less space than fat tissue, it is body composition together with weight that determine leanness.  To change your body composition, you must reduce fat mass and increase lean muscle tissue.

Physical fitness requires cardiorespiratory and muscular endurance and muscular strength, as well as flexibility, balance, agility and coordination. No matter where you are on the fitness spectrum, daily physical activity, along with intentional exercise, assists the improvement of physical fitness. While any physical activity may contribute to overall health, regular exercise is necessary to dramatically improve daily life. Sedentary people who incrementally increase daily activity can begin to enhance health and reduce disease risk. Newly active people should work towards increasing frequency, duration, intensity and variety of activity. Being physically fit puts you in state of wellbeing with lowered risk of disease, gives you the energy to fully participate in sports or other physical activities, and provides a better outlook for a longer, healthier lifespan.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality supplements to support your fitness goals, muscle mass and endurance:

Muscle Cramp/Tension...Muscle Cramp/Tension Formula by Pure Encapsulations®: This formula provides important electrolytes and soothing botanicals to help relieve occasional nighttime leg muscle cramps, minor muscle cramps associated with athletic activity and overall muscle tension. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Klean Endurance ...Klean Endurance by Klean Athlete®: These pure, all-natural D-ribose chewable tablets are clinically proven to help restore and replenish energy, and reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. Gluten, wheat, corn, soy, dairy, and yeast free, vegetarian formulation.

 

CLA 3000 mgCLA 3000 mg by Olympian Labs: Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) helps to maximize fitness efforts, reduce body fat, and increase lean muscle mass, supporting improved body composition.

 

L-CarnitineL-Carnitine by Pure Encapsulations: This formula provides l-carnitine-l-tartrate, a highly stabilized form of amino acid L-carnitine in support of cardiovascular health and exercise recovery. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

 

Pure Power Protein...Pure Power Protein Banana by Dr. Mercola®: This exclusive all natural whey protein powder with chia seeds provides probiotics and unique superfoods for the competitive athlete or anyone seeking to optimize nutrient absorption and lean muscle gain. No preservatives, added sugars or artificial sweeteners. Also available in Chocolate, Strawberry and Vanilla flavors.

 

Classic Protein -...Classic Protein Chocolate by Sunwarrior: This raw, plant-based, whole grain brown rice protein formula is designed for fitness and health enthusiasts in support of lean muscle mass, reduced fat, and increased athletic performance. Hypoallergenic, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegan formulation. Also available in Natural and Vanilla flavors.

References:
7 Common Exercise Errors. https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_165393.html
What is the Difference Between Physical Fitness, Exercise, and Physical Activity? http://articles.extension.org/pages/24799/what-is-the-difference-between-physical-fitness-exercise-and-physical-activity
What aerobic exercise does for your health. http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/fitness/in-depth/aerobic-exercise/art-20045541?pg=2
What is Muscular Endurance? https://www.verywell.com/what-is-muscular-endurance-3120360
The importance and purpose of flexibility. http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/the-importance-and-purpose-of-flexibility

 

Finding Time to Exercise

TimeToExerciseJacquie Eubanks RN BSN

For a variety of reasons, even those with the best of intentions can’t always fit in thirty minutes of daily exercise seven days each week. To receive the substantial health benefits of daily physical activity, the World Health Organization (WHO), along with the US Dept. of Health and Human Services (HHS), recommend 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity, or 1 hour and 15 minutes of vigorous intensity activity, typically spread throughout the week. Some who are time crunched manage to reach these goals by breaking down daily exercise into three 10-minute sessions. To accommodate those with time constraints, activity on the weekend, once viewed as “some exercise is better than none,” may now be viewed as health promoting.

“Weekend warriors” who find the time to actively participate in sports or physical activities one or two days a week are in the spotlight now. While exercising only on weekends is not considered ideal by WHO or by HHS, a study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) reported that people who do not meet the recommended guidelines for daily physical activity, but participate in a compressed version one or two days each week, have a significantly lowered risk of all-cause mortality, as compared with those reporting no physical activity at all. Purposeful exercise in the optimal combination of frequency, duration and intensity is one key to a longer lifespan.

In deciding which level of activity works best, an individual should consider more than just lowering their mortality risk. Researchers found that more frequent exercise provides the most cognitive and physiological health promoting benefits, helping to ward off obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome and a host of age related chronic illnesses. The importance of routine activity and its potential to maximize health should not be disregarded. Yet this is good news for those who meet the recommended activity goals by committing to consistent physical activity each weekend. While exercise spread throughout the week is considered ideal, and no exercise at all is considered problematic, exercising on weekends has many additional health benefits, including better blood sugar control, reduced blood pressure, improved sleep and mood, as well as increased bone, joint and muscle strength.

Because long periods of intense activity are physically demanding, weekend warriors do have a higher risk of sports-related injuries if they fail to warm up or push too hard before the body is conditioned to higher levels of exercise. Overuse injuries are common and necessitate lowering intensity and duration to assist recovery and prevent discomfort. Proper equipment and sufficient hydration can help prevent injuries and cramping. Exercising more frequently improves strength and agility, making one less prone to sprains and muscle or joint injury.

While some of us may think we are weekend warriors because we only exercise on weekends, unless you are meeting the recommended weekly guidelines in one or two days, you are simply an infrequent exerciser, not a warrior. Those who want to increase their fitness by exercising on weekends should start with moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, biking or swimming for up to 12 weeks before beginning any vigorous activity. Those who have been physically inactive who then take up some activity appear to make the greatest gains in improving their health and their life span.

Professional Supplement Center carries these and other high quality products to support exercise goals and recovery:

Athletic NutrientsAthletic Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations – This hypoallergenic, nutrient-rich, highly bioavailable multivitamin, mineral and trace element formula is designed to support exercise performance, training, and endurance. Athletic Nutrients supports muscle, tendon, ligament and joint functions. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

Klean Endurance ...Klean Endurance™ by Klean Athlete – These great tasting chewable tablets provide pure D-ribose, a natural pentose sugar clinically proven to support cardiac function, restore and replenish energy, and reduce muscle soreness and fatigue. NSF Certified for Sport. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.

Electrolyte/Energy...Electrolyte Energy Formula by Pure Encapsulations – This lemon-lime flavored powdered formula provides a balanced blend of electrolytes and energy supporting ingredients to optimize mental and physical stamina and replenish electrolytes lost during exertion. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO, vegetarian formulation.

PreTrain NRGPreTrain NRG™ by Designs for Health – This powdered pre-workout formula provides safe, beneficial support for focus, power and mental energy for athletes. Contains ingredients that support strength, power and recovery, as well as reduced fatigue. Natural strawberry flavor, stevia sweetened and gluten free.

Muscle Cramp/Tension...Muscle Cramp/Tension Formula by Pure Encapsulations – This formula provides electrolytes and healing botanicals to help relieve occasional nighttime muscle cramping, minor muscle cramps associated with athletic activity, and overall muscle tension. Soothing botanicals moderate occasional stress and promote overall relaxation. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation.

References:
Physical Activity on the Weekend. Can It Wait Until Then? http://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamainternalmedicine/article-abstract/2596003
Is weekend exercise just as good as being active every day? http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/315112.php
Weekend exercise alone ‘has significant health benefits’ http://www.bbc.com/news/health-38560616
Weekend workouts can benefit health as much as a week of exercise, say researchers. https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jan/09/weekend-workouts-nearly-as-good-as-whole-week-of-excercise-researchers-say
The “weekend warrior”: Fact or fiction for major trauma? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4035407/

 

About Those Muscle Cramps

crampsJacquieIconBy Jacquie Eubanks
BSN, RN

At some point in time, just about everyone experiences the short lived, but excruciating, pain of a muscle spasm — a sudden involuntary muscle contraction often referred to as a charley horse. Muscle spasms, which frequently come without warning while exercising, resting or sleeping, often occur in the arch of the foot or the calf, quadricep, or hamstring muscles. The spasm may last from just a few seconds to an agonizing fifteen minutes and, less commonly, even longer. When the pain is intense, it can seem like an eternity until the forcibly contracted muscle resolves itself, just as spontaneously as it occurred. It’s not uncommon for a spasm to recur several times before it finally abates and, frequently, the aftermath may be discomfort or sore muscles for a day or two. While muscle spasms can happen to anyone, pregnant women and seniors are the most susceptible to recurring muscle cramping.

Although science has yet to determine an exact cause, underlying or known medical conditions, dehydration, overexertion, muscle fatigue and electrolyte imbalances are believed to be contributing factors. An occasional charley horse is common, however, frequent recurring muscle spasms may require a medical diagnosis. As with other health concerns, prevention measures may be the best approach for reducing the chances of developing cramps and muscle spasms.

  • Physical exertion – Strenuous activity, failure to adequately warm up before exercising, and overworked, fatigued muscles can frequently result in cramping, sometimes many hours later. To help prevent regular occurrence of spasms, exercise while well hydrated at a proper level for you and, when temperatures are high, consider avoiding outdoor exercise.
  • Dehydration – Excessive fluid loss from perspiration during sports or vigorous exercise increases the likelihood of developing cramps. Sodium loss as a result of excessive sweating and insufficient, irregular fluid intake are likely causes of dehydration.
  • Medications – Many medications, including those designed to control blood pressure, lower cholesterol or treat Parkinson’s disease, can also contribute to cramping. Diuretics may induce cramping by depleting body fluids along with sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium.
  • Low blood levels of calcium and magnesium – Cramping often occurs when calcium and magnesium levels, critical to muscle function, are inadequate. Commonly found in pregnant women and older adults, calcium and magnesium deficiencies, whether caused by inadequate intake, medications, morning sickness, or poor absorption due to vitamin D deficiency, can directly impact the excitability of nerve endings in the muscles they help stimulate.
  • Low potassium – Low potassium levels are commonly associated with muscle weakness but may cause cramping as well. Potassium is an electrolyte that helps regulate nerve and muscle function, hydration, blood pH and blood pressure. Imbalanced electrolytes can lead to either muscle weakness or severe muscle contractions.
  • Nocturnal night cramps – Staying in one position, where a muscle is contracted for an extended period of time, is often cited as a cause of spasms that occur while resting. Daily stretching, adequate hydration and keeping bed linens unrestrictive may help to prevent night time cramps.

When muscle spasms do occur, massaging and stretching the muscle are often effective strategies to minimize discomfort and relieve the cramp more quickly or, at the very least, give you something helpful to do while you wait for the muscle to relax. An Epsom salt bath, replenishing fluids and icing the muscle may help to relieve any residual soreness.

MuscleCramps

To reduce the risk of developing muscle spasms and cramps, stay well hydrated before, during and after exercise. Increase your flexibility by warming up and stretching properly before and after physical activity and remember to work out in accordance with your own fitness level. Routine daily stretching of the calf, the quadriceps and the hamstring muscles may help minimize cramping. Eat a well balanced and nutritious diet, address electrolyte imbalances and make sure you are getting adequate amounts of all essential vitamins and minerals daily.

The following high quality formulas are specifically designed to relieve occasional muscle tension and cramping:

Muscle Cramp/Tension FormulaMuscle Cramp/Tension Formula by Pure Encapsulations – This carefully designed formula offers important electrolytes, soothing herbs and vitamin C to help relieve occasional nighttime leg muscle cramps, overall muscle tension and minor muscle cramps related to physical activity. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formulation

 

BaxaprinBaxaprin™ by Designs for Health – This calming formula contains vitamin D, calcium, magnesium, potassium and botanicals designed to help relieve occasional muscle tension and cramping related to muscular stress or overuse. Gluten free, vegetarian formulation.

 

Muscle-AidMuscle-Aid by BioGenesis Nutraceuticals – This combination formula of mineral amino acid chelates and vitamins is designed to help control muscle spasms and alleviate cramping, while optimizing energy and providing cardiovascular health support. Natural orange flavored powdered formula easily mixes with food or beverage of choice.

 

Spaz Out Spaz Out® by Metabolic Maintenance – An excellent choice for the physically active, this well-balanced formula is designed to replenish the mineral electrolytes typically found to be deficient in those with muscle cramping. Vegetarian formula.

 

References:
What causes leg cramps?
Nocturnal Leg Cramps
Charley Horse
What are electrolytes?