Category: Blog

In this blog ,  DAN BUDA , personal trainer in oxford , witney and bloxham , talks about different topics including weight loss advice and general fitness and wellbeing advice .

Personal trainer in Oxford and Bloxham, Dan Buda, talks about cholesterol

Posted by Dan Buda on March 2, 2018 in Blog

Cholesterol can be confusing. How can you tell bad  from good cholesterol, and how can you reduce bad levels? Can you burn IT off?

Cholesterol is a type of lipid, just as fats are. However, unlike fat, it  can’t be exercised off, sweated out, or burned for energy. It is found only in animal products, including meat, chicken, fish, eggs, organ meats, and high-fat dairy products.

Is it good or bad?

Just as homemade oil-and-vinegar dressing separates into a watery pool with a fat-slick topping, so would fats and cholesterol if they were dumped directly into the blood. To solve this dilemma, the body transports fat and Cholesterol by coating them with a water-soluble “bubble” of protein. This protein-fat bubble is called a lipoprotein.
* Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) carry it to the tissues. This is “bad” Cholesterol, since high LDL levels are linked to increased risk of heart disease.
* High-density lipoproteins (HDLs) carry excess Cholesterol back to the liver, which processes and excrete it. HDLs are “good” Cholesterol – the more HDL you have, the lower your risk of developing heart disease.
* HDLs and LDLs are found only in your blood, not in food.

Test your cholesterol

Your risk of heart disease can be assessed with a blood cholestero test. According to expert guidelines:
* Total cholestero should be 5.0 mmol/L or less.
* LDL should be 3.0mmol/L or less after an overnight fast.
* HDL should be 1.0mmol/L or more.
* Total cholestero/HDL ratio should be less than 4.0.
However, if you have heart disease or diabetes total cholestero and LDL target readings will be lower.

Fat facts

The fats that supply calories, float in your blood and accumulate in your thighs and hips are called triglycerides. They can be saturated or unsaturated, and the unsaturated ones can be either monounsaturated or polyunsaturated. For every ounce of triglycerides you eat, you add 250 calories (or 9 calories per gram – the weight of a raisin) to your diet. Only saturated fats increase blood levels of cholesterol and heart disease risk.

Which fats are saturated?

In general, the harder a fat, the more saturated it is. Beef and dairy fats are mostly saturated fats. Liquid oils are usually unsaturated fats, including monounsaturated fats in olive and canola oils and polyunsaturated fats in safflower, corn, soybean and fish oils. Coconut, palm and palm kernel oils are exceptions to the rule – these liquid vegetable oils are highly saturated fats.

Fear of frying

Eating foods with a lot of saturated fat causes the amount of bad LDLs in your blood to increase while good HDLs decrease, increasing the risk of heart disease. Cut the saturated fat, and your blood cholesterol levels and your risk of heart disease decrease. Your risk of cancer also decreases. A diet with more polyunsaturated fats, rather than saturated fats, lowers total blood-cholestero levels, but unfortunately also lowers HDL levels, so you lose both good and bad . Olive oil is another story. This oil lowers total-blood cholesterol and LDL without causing HDL levels to drop. By using olive oil, you can decrease your total – cholesterol levels while maintaining your HDL levels, thus decreasing your risk of heart disease.

Fish oil also lowers heart disease risk. Consequently, olive and fish are the oils of choice.

Foods to Eat Before and After a Workout

Posted by Dan Buda on February 22, 2018 in Blog

Personal trainer in Oxford, Dan Buda talks about what foods to eat before and after a workout.

Power Up

The right foods before and after exercise can boost your results. Like a car uses gas, your body burns carbohydrates for fuel. They give you the energy to power through that jog or fitness class. When you’re done, refueling with a combination of protein and carbs can help you rebuild muscle. Ready to make the most of your workout?

Have the foods at the Right time

Aim to have a snack or meal 1 to 3 hours before your workout. You can have tummy troubles if you chow down right before. That’s because more blood goes to your muscles during exercise, leaving less for digestion. After exercise, your body is ready to refuel and rebuild muscle tissue. Eat within an hour of finishing.


Before : PB&J

The bread and jelly in this lunchbox staple serve up the carbs. They give you the energy your muscles need during exercise. The peanut butter adds a dose of protein, which helps you feel full, and that can help fend off post-workout cravings and binges. In fact, research shows that eating small amounts of peanuts can help you maintain a healthy weight. Headed on an easy walk or to yoga class? Half a sandwich may be all you need.

Before: Oatmeal With Low-Fat Milk and Fruit

Do you work out in the morning? Start your day with a bowl of high-fiber oatmeal and fruit. Your body digests the carbs in this combo more slowly, so your blood sugar stays steadier. You’ll feel energized for longer. For an extra dose of protein and bone-building calcium, stir in some low-fat milk.

Before: Fruit-and-Yogurt Smoothie

Smoothies are easy to digest, so you won’t feel sluggish during your workout. But many store-bought versions are high in added sugar. Whip up your own version with protein-rich yogurt and fruit, which packs in energy-boosting carbs. Blend it with water or ice to help you stay hydrated. Research shows that not getting enough fluids can zap your strength and endurance.

Before: Trail Mix

It’s known as a hiking staple, but trail mix is a good snack for any workout. Raisins give you a quick hit of energy that’s easy on the stomach. Mix a small handful of them with a few almonds, which are high in protein and heart-healthy unsaturated fat. They also have an antioxidant that may help your body use oxygen better — and give you better exercise results.

Before: Low-Fat Latte and an Apple

If you’re a coffee drinker, sip a latte before that morning or lunchtime fitness class. You’ll get protein from the milk, and the caffeine may ease muscle soreness and rev up calorie burn during exercise. Pair it with an apple for high-quality carbs. One warning: Caffeine can mess with your sleep, so avoid it in the afternoon. You could swap the latte for a glass of low-fat milk or piece of string cheese.

Before: Banana

Only have 5 or 10 minutes before your workout? Snack on a banana. Their easy-to-digest carbs power you up without weighing you down. They’re also a good source of antioxidants and potassium, a mineral that may help prevent muscle cramps. Toss one into your gym bag for a last-minute snack.

After: Egg and Whole-Wheat Toast

The toast’s carbs put back the energy you burned during exercise, while its fiber keeps your blood sugar levels even. Serve it with an egg to boost your results. They’re a complete protein, which means they have all nine of the essential amino acids your body uses to build muscle. No time for a post-workout scramble? Pack a hard-boiled egg with a whole-grain roll or rice crackers.

After: Chocolate Milk

This childhood favorite has the ideal ratio of carbs to protein — about 4 to 1 — to refuel and rebuild your muscles. One study found that athletes who had a glass after a workout recovered faster than those who had a carb-only sports beverage. Plus, chocolate milk is 90% water, so it replaces some of the fluids you lose during exercise.

After: Whole-Grain Turkey Wrap

After you wrap up your workout, whip up this easy snack or lunch. The whole grains give you high-fiber carbs, while the turkey has 12 grams of protein per 3-ounce serving. Swap the mayo for creamy avocado — it’s high in potassium and magnesium, two minerals that can fend off muscle cramps. Bonus: Avocado is also packed with heart-healthy unsaturated fats and plenty of vitamins.

After: Greek Yogurt and Fruit

A cup of this creamy treat serves up more than 20 grams of protein. Topping your bowl with fruit adds energy-boosting carbs. If you use antioxidant-rich blueberries, you’ll get even more of a benefit. Research shows that eating them after a workout can help with the muscle inflammation brought on by exercise.

After: Salmon With Sweet Potato

This fish is high in protein and omega-3s — heart-healthy fats that can ease the post-workout muscle inflammation that causes soreness. Pair salmon with a sweet potato for 25 grams of protein , 26 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fiber to keep you full. You’ll also get all the immune-boosting vitamin A you need in a day. Serve your sweet potato roasted or mashed, but skip the high-calorie butter and cream. Use a drizzle of olive oil instead.

After: Chicken, Brown Rice, and Veggies

There’s a reason skinless chicken breast is thought of as a slim-down food: Half of one packs in 27 grams of protein in only 142 calories. It also has a lot of vitamin B-6, a nutrient important for your immune system. Serve it with brown rice and veggies for the right combination of carbs and nutrients.

Before, During, and After: Water

Make sure you have plenty of water. How much? Use the following guidelines:

  • Before exercise: About 2 to 3 cups
  • During exercise: About 1/2 to 1 cup every 15 to 20 minutes
  • After exercise: About 2 to 3 cups for every pound you lose during exercise (you can weigh yourself before and after your workout).

After: Sports Drink?

If you exercise for an hour or less, water is all you need to stay hydrated. But if you go for longer, you need to replace electrolytes. These are minerals, such as sodium, potassium, and magnesium, that help you stay hydrated. You lose them when you sweat. Look for a drink that has electrolytes, like a sports beverage or coconut water.

Foods to Avoid

Steer clear of rich, greasy foods. Fat takes your body longer to digest, which can lead to an upset stomach. For some people, lots of fiber or protein doesn’t work before exercise.

Every body is different, so pay attention to what works for you. 

Guys: Don’t Make These 10 Health Mistakes

Posted by Dan Buda on February 20, 2018 in Blog

Personal trainer in Oxford , Dan Buda talks about 10 Health Mistakes

Ditch the Doc
You already know you need to drop a few pounds and cut back on the beer and potato chips. Besides, you feel fine. Men are geniuses when it comes to finding reasons not to see the doctor. But one of the most important things you can do for your health is schedule — and show up for — a regular visit.
Think You Can’t Have a Heart Attack
The “Big One” is something most guys worry about for their dad or granddad. But the threat is often there for much younger men. If heart disease runs in your family, it could find you as early as your 30s. No matter what your age is, make it a point to take care of your ticker.
Ignore the Snore
Sawing logs at night? About half of guys who snore have something called obstructive sleep apnea. It does more than just annoy the person next to you. This disorder can make you stop breathing for a few seconds. It’s also linked to heart disease and high blood pressure.
Skip the Sunscreen
We’re not just talking about golf or beach days. You should slather on a product with an SPF 30 or higher every time you go outside to prevent skin cancer. Most guys never put it on their faces — or any other exposed skin. Protect yourself.
Refuse to Get Help for Impotence
Don’t be ashamed. Bedroom problems have nothing to do with your masculinity. Chances are they aren’t caused by your state of mind, either. The main cause of impotence is usually a lack of blood flow to the penis. This can also be a sign of heart trouble, so put your pride aside and see the doc.
Drink Away the Blues
More women than men get depressed. That’s part of the problem — the idea that it’s a “female problem” often keeps the more than 6 million men who have it from seeking help. As a result, more guys turn to drugs and alcohol to help them feel better. This just makes depression that much harder to spot — and treat.
Go With the Flow
How many times have you gone to the bathroom today? Really, who has time to keep track? Maybe you should. If you go more than eight times a day or more than twice at night, it could be more than a nuisance. It could be a sign of a medical problem like enlarged prostate, overactive bladder (OAB), or even some forms of cancer. Talk to your doctor about it.
Keep Your Mouth Shut
In the U.S., women are more likely than men to get routine dental checkups. But guys need to see the dentist regularly, too. Not only because they can spot and prevent oral problems, but sitting back and saying “ah” can also reveal symptoms of things like diabetes, Crohn’s disease, lupus, and even leukemia.
Stick With Meat and Vegetables
It’s a rare guy who gets enough fruits and vegetables during the day. Doctors suggest four to five servings of each for a heart-healthy diet. If that’s not enough, eating the good stuff also lowers the odds that you’ll have a stroke, cancer, or digestive problems. And it keeps your blood sugar in check.
Tempt Fate
Some guys just love to drink, smoke, gamble, drive fast, or jump out of planes. Sure these things are fun, but all of them can be bad for your health. Truth is, men are more likely than women to do all these things. Why? Some guys do drink more, which messes with their judgment. Others just spend less time worrying about the outcome of their actions. Sometimes, it pays to think twice.

Sources of Protein That Aren’t Meat

Posted by Dan Buda on February 14, 2018 in Blog

Personal trainer in Oxford , Dan Buda talks about importance of protein for our bodies .

As we age, protein is important for keeping up muscle mass to stay active, avoid injury, and support a healthy immune system.

Choosing non-meat proteins in later years can be a good idea for more than just health or ethical reasons. “Many non-meat protein sources are lower in cost, and if you’re on a fixed income, then watching the food budget can be helpful,” says Angela Catic, MD, an assistant professor of internal medicine, section of geriatrics, at Baylor College of Medicine.

Dental issues like missing teeth and dentures can come into play, too — making a piece of steak or hamburger hard to chew. But there are plenty of ways to get protein besides meat. You just have to know what you’re looking for.

Proteins That Pack a Punch

Meatless protein sources that will give you the biggest bang for your buck are called “complete” proteins.

“Complete proteins have the essential amino acids, or building blocks, that the body requires, in adequate amounts,” says Lauri Wright, PhD, a spokeswoman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and assistant professor of nutrition at the University of North Florida.

Meats are complete proteins, but many plant-based proteins aren’t. It’s good to know the difference and reach for complete proteins when you can. Some non-meat complete proteins are:

Eggs/Milk/Cheese / Soy / Quinoa

As for “incomplete” proteins, you can buddy them up with another protein source to make a total package. “Many traditional food complements work perfectly for this,” Wright says. “Beans and rice, which is a staple of many Hispanic cultures, is a great example of joining two incomplete plant proteins together.”

Foods That Fuel You

Wherever it comes from, it’s best to get protein in small, regular spurts, rather than one big meal. Loading up on your protein all at once won’t give your body the steady stream of nutrients it needs to last throughout the day. “Your protein intake needs to be spread out through the day — about 25 to 30 grams with each meal,” says Catic.

You don’t have to do a complete menu overhaul to raise your daily protein, says Catic. “It can be as easy as having a peanut butter sandwich for a snack or sprinkling flax or chia seeds into cereal or yogurt.”

Think about the foods you already eat, and build from there. Here are some of the best non-meat protein sources:

Eggs: These are nearly perfect proteins, says Wright. “They have almost precise amounts of all the essential building blocks you need.”

And at only 70 calories an egg, you’re not getting too many calories.

Eggs have the added bonus of being easy to make ahead (hard-boil them and keep them in the fridge for a quick snack) and easy to add to foods you already eat, like salad. They can be a simple dinner option, too — cook them up with some veggies to make an omelet, whip up a frittata, or bake them in a pie crust with some spinach and low-fat cheese for a tasty quiche.

Dairy: Look for low-fat options for your protein fix. Cottage cheese, yogurt, and low-fat cow’s milk are all pumped with it. Pour milk on your cereal for breakfast, or have cheese with your snack crackers. You can even slide in some dairy protein for a delicious dessert. “I sometimes encourage people to have frozen yogurt if they enjoy a treat,” says Catic.

Seeds: Quinoa is a complete protein that has all nine essential amino acids. If you’re not familiar with it, think of it like a grain or pasta. Use it in dishes in place of rice or couscous, for example, and you’ll give your dish an automatic protein boost. Also, chia and flax seeds are small enough to sneak into yogurt, cereal, smoothies, or oatmeal without changing the flavor much.

Soy: Tofu might be the first food you think of when you hear the word “vegetarian.” That’s because it’s a common substitute in dishes that typically use meat. Cubed tofu can be cooked and added to salads or burritos in place of chicken. Or for a quick soy snack, steam a bag of edamame — soybeans in pods you can pop into your mouth while they’re still warm.

Greens: Veggies like spinach and kale are an easy way to get a whole host of nutrients, including protein. Add a layer to sandwiches, or fill a bowl and top with your favorite veggies for a healthy salad.

Smoothies can give you your greens, too: Along with fruits, milk, yogurt, or even a dab of peanut butter, you can also throw some spinach into your blender. “Spinach has 5 grams of protein per cup, so it’s not huge, but it’s great because you’re getting other things like vitamin A and calcium and iron,” says Catic.

Beans: Pick a bean, any bean, and you’ve got protein. “Beans are a fabulous source,” says Wright.

And they come with lots of bonuses, like fiber, folate, antioxidants, and vitamins. Beans can beef up soups, or — in the case of chickpeas — be blended into tasty dips like hummus.

Nuts: Peanut butter is a no-brainer when it comes to easy protein for your daily diet. Add a spoonful to your oatmeal, or spread some on whole-grain crackers or fruit. Skip the liquid nuts, though. “I don’t recommend nut milks as a protein source because they don’t have the protein in them that the soy and the cow’s milk do,” says Wright.

Make 2018 your fittest year ever

Posted by Dan Buda on January 25, 2018 in Blog

Personal trainer in Oxford , Dan Buda , talks about Ways to make 2018 your fittest year ever!!

Have Breakfast

It’s important for a bunch of reasons. It jump-starts your metabolism and stops you from overeating later. Plus, studies show that adults who have a healthy breakfast do better at work, and kids who eat a morning meal score higher on tests. If a big plateful first thing isn’t for you, keep it light with a granola bar or a piece of fruit. Just don’t skip it.

Plan Your Meals
It’ll help you save time and money in the long run. Block out some time, then sit down and consider your goals and needs. Do you want to lose weight? Cut back on sugar, fat, or carbs? Add protein or vitamins? Meal prep keeps you in control. You know what you’re eating and when. A bonus: It’ll be that much easier to skip those doughnuts in the breakroom at work.

Drink Plenty of Water
It can do so many good things for you. Staying hydrated is at the top of the list, but it may also help you lose weight. Another reason to go for H2O? Sugary drinks are linked to obesity and type 2 diabetes. If you aren’t a fan of plain water, add flavor with slices of orange, lemon, lime, watermelon, or cucumber.

Take an Exercise Break
Don’t just grab another cup of coffee — get up and move. Do some deep lunges or stretches. It’s great for your body and mind. Just 30 minutes of walking five times a week may help keep the blues at bay. And if you can’t do those minutes all at once, short bursts help, too.

Go Offline
Checking your email and social media a lot? Sure, your friends’ and family’s latest updates are just a click away, but do you really need to see pictures of your cousin’s latest meal? Let it wait until morning. Set a time to log off and put the phone down. When you cut back on screen time, it frees you to do other things. Take a walk, read a book, or help your cousin chop veggies for her next great dinner.

Learn Something New
New skills help keep your brain healthy. Sign up for a dance class or a creative writing workshop. Better yet, master a new language. The mental work it takes can slow the signs of aging and may even delay the effects of Alzheimer’s disease.

Don’t Smoke
If you light up, quit. It’s a big move toward better health. Your body repairs itself quickly. As soon as 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate and blood pressure drop. Why wait? Kick the habit, today. Your doctor will be happy to help you get started.

Sleep Well
There are almost too many benefits to list. A good night’s sleep keeps you in a better mood, sharpens memory and focus, and helps you learn new things. In the long term, it lowers your risk of heart disease and helps you keep trim. Aim to get 7 to 9 hours a night. For the best rest, do it on schedule — turning in and waking up at about the same times every day.

Train Your Muscles
Strength training helps your body trade fat for muscle mass. That means you’ll burn more calories even when you’re being a couch potato. But these workouts can also help you slim down, strengthen your heart, and build up your bones. Do strength-training exercises — like push-ups, lunges, and weight lifting — at least twice a week.

Head Outdoors
A few minutes in the sunshine raises vitamin D levels, and that’s good for your bones, your heart, and your mood. Plus, being outside means you’re more likely to move your body instead of parking it in front of the TV or computer. Choose nature over city streets, if you can. One study found that people who strolled in urban green spaces were calmer than people who walked in built-up areas.

Keep Your Balance
If you’re young and active, good balance will help you avoid injuries. If you’re older, it will keep you active longer and lower the chances you’ll fall and break a bone. No matter your age, good balance means better muscle tone, a healthier heart, and greater confidence. Yoga and tai chi are great ways to work on it, but just about anything that keeps you moving, even walking, can help.

Be Mindful
It can mean meditating or simply stopping to smell the roses. However you do it, studies show mindfulness slashes stress, relieves pain, and improves your mood. And scientists are beginning to understand how. One study found that 8 weeks of regular meditation can change parts of your brain related to emotions, learning, and memory. Even washing dishes can be good for your brain, as long as you do it mindfully.

10 Ways to Boost Your Energy in 10 Minutes or Less

Posted by Dan Buda on November 15, 2017 in Blog

Personal trainer in Oxford, Bloxham and Witney, DAN BUDA talks about ways of boosting your energy in 10 minutes or less.

Are your eyelids sagging as the afternoon wears on? When low energy drags you down, don’t look to a candy bar, cup of coffee, or energy drink for a lift. The sugar and caffeine might give you an immediate pick-me-up, but after that quick high wears off, you’ll crash and feel even more drained.
What you need: a lasting solution to keep sluggishness at bay. Here are 10 fatigue fighters that can leave you feeling refreshed and revitalised.

1. Eat your breakfast. People who eat breakfast every morning report less fatigue and stress than people who skip it. High-fiber foods, like hot oatmeal, stick with you longer than a sweet roll or pastry. As the day wears on, they’ll prevent you from getting hungry (hunger can lead to low energy).

2. Do a downward dog. Some studies have found that yoga, which uses various postures and deep breathing for exercise and meditation, can be an excellent fatigue fighter.

3. Belt out your favourite tune. Singing gives you a kind of emotional high while it reduces levels of stress hormones in your body. So grab a hairbrush, put on your favourite song, and sing away. If you’re at work and don’t want to face your co-workers’ puzzled stares, you might want to save your vocal stylings for the car.

4. Have a drink of water. Dehydration can leave you feeling drained and fatigued. You don’t necessarily have to follow the “eight glasses a day” rule, but you do want to drink enough water to keep your body well hydrated. You can tell you’re well hydrated when you don’t feel thirsty and your urine is light-colored. Try to get to the fridge or water cooler for a refill every few hours. The walk there will also help you wake up.

5. Go nuts. Eat a handful of almonds or peanuts( if you are not allergic ) , which are high in magnesium and folate (folic acid). These nutrients are essential for energy and cell production. A lack of these nutrients in your system can leave you feeling weary.

6. Grab a cinnamon stick. Some people say that just a whiff of this scented spice can reduce fatigue and make them feel more alert. No cinnamon handy? Grab a mint from your bag. Peppermint’s sweet aroma is another fatigue fighter for some people.

7. Get moving. Exercise is a natural energy booster, because whenever you do it, oxygen-rich blood surges through your body to your heart, muscles, and brain. Regularly squeezing a workout into your day — even if you can spare only 10 minutes at a time — will help keep your energy levels at their peak. Move around every chance you get, even if it’s just to pace in circles while you’re on the phone.

8. Let the sunshine in. Research suggests that just a few minutes of walking outside on a warm, clear day may enhance mood, memory, and the ability to absorb new information. Going outside can even improve your self-esteem. If you absolutely can’t get out, at least open the shades.

9. Have a bite. Your brain needs fuel to function at its best. When your blood sugar level drops, your mind will start running on fumes and will feel fuzzy as a result. So if your head is starting to droop, eat a snack that will give you enough energy to take you through the rest of the afternoon. Snacks that combine protein with slow-burning carbs — like banana slices with peanut butter, or granola with fresh berries — are best for maintaining your blood sugar levels over the long term.

10. Hang out with upbeat friends. Emotions are surprisingly contagious. People who are constantly negative and down can sap your energy, while those who are always up and excited can give you a real lift.

Straighten Up! 9 Tips for Better Posture

Posted by Dan Buda on November 10, 2017 in Blog

Personal Trainer in Oxford , Bloxham and Witney, Dan Buda talks about posture and ways to improve it . Article talks about “slump at your desk”, ” text neck” and exercise to help your posture .

Don’t Be a Slouch

It adds to the stress on your spine. That puts a strain on the bones, muscles, and joints you need to hold your backbone in place. But lousy posture isn’t just bad for your back. A constant slump smashes your inside organs together, and makes it harder for your lungs and intestines to work. Over time, that’ll make it hard to digest food or get enough air when you breathe.

Straighten Up

A great way to prevent bad posture problems? Stand up tall. You’ll feel better and look better — slimmer, even. Pretend you’re standing against a wall to measure your height. Hold your head straight and tuck in your chin. Your ears should be over the middle of your shoulders. Stand with your shoulders back, knees straight, and belly tucked in. Don’t let your booty or hips stick out. Straighten up so you feel like your head stretches toward the sky.

Don’t Slump at Your Desk

It’s comfy to slouch — maybe even lean back and swivel a bit. But it’s a posture no-no. Try this instead: Sit all the way back in your chair. Place a small, rolled-up towel or lumbar cushion behind your mid-back to protect your spine’s natural curve. Bend your knees at a right angle and keep them the same height, or a bit higher, than your hips. Place your feet flat on the floor.

Beware of ‘Text Neck’

On your smartphone all day long? Take a minute to stretch your neck. When you tilt your head down to check messages it really strains your spine. Over the course of a day — or year — that can add up. For a better view, lift the phone up and move your eyes, not your head.

Don’t Be a Low-Rider

Sure, it’s cool and comfy to recline during a long drive. But it isn’t great for your posture. Instead, pull your seat close to the steering wheel. Try not to lock your legs. Bend your knees slightly. They should be at hip level or a tad above. Don’t forget to put a pillow or rolled-up towel behind you for support.

Save Heels for a Big Night Out

They might be a fashion yes, but they’re likely a posture no.  Pumps and stilettos thrust the base of your spine forward, which over-arches your back. That can change the way your backbone lines up and put pressure on nerves, which causes back pain. Sky-high shoes also put more weight on your knees. Choose a lower, chunky heel for daily wear.

Hit the bed  the Right Way

Naptime is no excuse to slack. Skip the soft, saggy mattress. Choose a firm one that helps hold your spine’s natural shape. Side sleeper? Bend your knees slightly but don’t hug them. Place a pillow under your head so it’s level with your spine. Back sleepers should ditch the thick pillow and opt for a small one under the neck.

Exercise and Tone Your Abs

Too many pounds around your belly puts added stress on your back. You need strong muscles to support your spine. A well-designed workout plan by Triumph Fitness will keep your body and spine in tip-top shape. And that’s important. Try non-impact exercises like pilates and stretching .

Check for Problems

You probably know if you slouch or not. If you aren’t sure, here’s a quick way to tell. Place the back of your head against a wall. Move your feet 6 inches out from the baseboard. Your tush should touch the wall. Your lower back and your neck should be about 2 inches from it. If not, talk to your personal trainer , therapist or  doctor about ways to improve your posture.

Is It Better to Exercise on an Empty Stomach?

Posted by Dan Buda on August 4, 2017 in Blog

Is It Better to Exercise on an Empty Stomach?

It turns out there may be something to the gym floor “bro science” of exercising on an empty stomach to fire up that coveted fat-burning metabolism. Research published in the March 2017 edition of the American Journal of Physiology–Endocrinology and Metabolism shows that eating versus fasting before a workout can affect gene expression in adipose tissue (your fat stores) in response to exercise.

In the study, British scientists had a small group of overweight men walk at 60% of their maximum oxygen intake for 60 minutes in the morning either in a fasted or a fed state (a carb-rich meal 2 hours before exercise). The research team collected adipose tissue samples before exercise and again 1 hour afterward.

It turned out that adipose gene expression differed between the two trials. In the fasted state, an uptick in genes (specifically two called PDK4 and HSL) indicated an increase in the use of stored fat to fuel metabolism. When subjects exercised after eating, these genes decreased, which could indicate less fat-burning.

After eating, the researchers suggested, our adipose tissue is affected by the food and will not respond in the same way. The upshot is that for people who are eager to shed a few fat pounds, working up a sweat in a fasted state may bring about more favorable metabolic changes in adipose tissue to help treat Buddha-belly.

Still, it remains to be determined whether this outcome would apply to more intense bouts of exercise. Many people find it challenging to keep up the pace in a vigorous workout when their stomach is growling—and if pace suffers, calorie burning will drop overall. It’s important to note that we’re talking fat-burning here, not performance.

Personal trainer in Oxford Dan Buda , talks about different foods which can affect your mood.

Posted by Dan Buda on July 10, 2017 in Blog

Personal trainer in Oxford Dan Buda , talks about different foods which can affect your mood.

Say No to Ice Cream, Say Yes to Berries

As much as you may want to, you can’t make yourself feel better with a bowl of your favourite ice cream. It won’t help — the problem is all that sugar. Spikes in your blood sugar can bring on changes in your hormone levels. They can start with “jitteriness” and eventually lead to crashes. But other foods may help boost your mood.


These have lots of antioxidants, which help protect your cells from stress and may help ease feelings of anxiety. You can get them from nuts, beans, walnuts, or green vegetables, too.


If this one leaves a bad taste in your mouth, almost any leafy green will do — kale, collard greens, or Swiss chard. The key is the magnesium, which may help you feel calmer. Make sure you get enough of that mineral to help keep things in check.


This is a complex carb — it gets into your system slowly and gives you a steady flow of energy that can help keep you on an even keel. It also can give you a boost of a brain chemical called serotonin that can lift your mood.

Dark Chocolate

The flavonoids in the cocoa help protect your cells. They’re a type of antioxidant that may also help lower your blood pressure, boost the blood flow to your brain and heart, and make you less anxious. The dark stuff — at least 70% cocoa — is best, but don’t overdo it. The caffeine in chocolate can make anxiety worse if you have too much, and no one needs a lot of extra fat and calories.


The zinc in these saltwater mollusks may help boost your mood. If oysters aren’t your thing, you can get it from cashews, liver, beef, or eggs, too.


You may think of vitamin C when you think of these citrus fruits, and that’s a big reason it might help your anxiety. Studies have shown that a diet rich in it may help calm you and put you in a better frame of mind.


These little fish aren’t for everyone, but they have lots of omega-3 fatty acids, which may help with depression and anxiety. The reason for that may be related to the way they can ease inflammation. If sardines are too fishy for you, try salmon or albacore tuna, which are lighter but also have plenty of omega-3s.


This one can be a blessing or a curse — the issue is the caffeine. A couple of cups of black coffee a day may boost your mood and energy, and up to four cups seems to be OK for most people. But more than that can make you jittery and anxious, and some people are more sensitive to it.


For some, the ritual of a cup of tea has a calming effect. Certain herbs — lavender and chamomile, for example — may help, too, along with the antioxidants in the tea leaves themselves. Just make sure you don’t get too much caffeine. Many teas have that, too.


Cabbage has folic acid, vitamin C, and some B vitamins that may help ease anxiety. If it’s left to ferment — stew in its own juices — bacteria break down sugar and other things and make it taste sour. These “good” bacteria help keep your gut healthy. They also play a part in making serotonin, a calming brain chemical.


Calf is best, but chicken liver works, too. Both are loaded with B vitamins and folic acid that help make brain chemicals that affect the way you feel. You can get B vitamins from avocados and almonds, but they don’t have B12, which affects your mood and energy level. If you’d rather pass on the liver, you can get B12 in eggs, fish, or chicken.

16 ways to lower your cholesterol

Posted by Dan Buda on June 8, 2017 in Blog

Personal trainer Dan Buda, talks about 16 Tips to Lower Your Cholesterol

Simple Steps Add Up to lower cholesterol

Has your doctor said you have high cholesterol? Then you know you need to change your diet and lifestyle to lower cholesterol and your chance of getting heart disease. Even if you get a prescription for a cholesterol drug to help, you’ll still need to change your diet and become more active for heart health. Start with these steps.

1. Know Good and Bad

Your body needs a small amount of cholesterol. But many people have too much, especially the “bad” kind, or LDL cholesterol. That can happen if you eat too much saturated fat, found mainly in foods from animals. If your LDL level is too high, plaque can build up in your heart’s arteries and lead to heart disease. The “good” cholesterol, HDL, helps clear LDL from your blood.

2. Use Your Hands

It’s easy to eat too much, especially when you eat out and the portions are huge. That can lead to weight gain and higher cholesterol. What’s a true portion? There’s a “handy” way to tell. One serving of meat or fish is about what fits in your palm. One serving of fresh fruit is about the size of your fist. And a snack of nuts or serving of cooked vegetables, rice, or pasta should fit in your cupped hand.

3. Think Delicious and Nutritious

Load your plate with fruits and vegetables — aim for five to nine servings each day — to bring down your LDL level. Antioxidants in these foods may provide the benefit, along with fiber. And you may eat less fatty food if you fill up on produce. Bonus: You’ll also help lower blood pressure and keep your weight in check.

4.Boost Your Omega-3s

You can eat fish twice a week. It’s a great source of protein and omega-3s, which are a type of fat your body needs. Omega-3s help lower levels of triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. They may also cut down on cholesterol, slowing the growth of plaque in arteries. Go for fatty fish, such as salmon, tuna, trout, and sardines. Grill, roast, bake, or broil, but don’t fry them.

5. Start Your Day With Whole Grains

A bowl of oatmeal is a smart choice. It fills you up, making it easier not to overeat at lunch. The fiber also curbs LDL cholesterol. Whole grains aren’t just for breakfast. You’ve got plenty of options to try later in the day, such as brown or wild rice, popcorn, and barley.

6. Go Nuts

Need a snack? A handful of almonds, pecans, pistachios, walnuts, or other nuts is a tasty treat. They are high in monounsaturated fat, which lowers LDL “bad” cholesterol but leaves HDL “good” cholesterol alone. Studies show that people who eat about an ounce of nuts a day are less likely to get heart disease. Keep the portion small, so you limit fat and calories. And avoid those covered in sugar, chocolate, or a lot of salt.

7. Make It Unsaturated

You need some fat in your diet, but probably less than you think. Plus, the type of fat matters. Unsaturated fats — like those found in canola, olive, and safflower oils — lower LDL “bad” cholesterol levels and may help raise HDL “good” cholesterol. Saturated fats — like those found in meat, full-fat dairy, butter, and palm oil — raise LDL cholesterol. Remember, good fats have just as many calories, so use just a bit.

8. Pick the Best Carbs

Beans and whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and whole wheat have more fiber and don’t spike your blood sugar. They will lower cholesterol and make you feel full longer. Other carbs, like those found in white bread, white potatoes, white rice, and pastries, boost blood sugar levels more quickly so you feel hungry sooner, which can lead you to overeat.

9. Go for 30

Just half an hour of physical activity 5 days a week can lower your bad and raise your good cholesterol levels. More exercise is even better. Being active also helps you reach and keep a healthy weight, which cuts your chance of developing clogged arteries. You don’t have to exercise for 30 minutes straight. You can break it up into 10-minute sessions. Or go for 20 minutes of harder exercise, like running, three times a week.

10. Walk It Off

It’s simple, convenient, and all you need is a good pair of shoes. Aerobic exercise (“cardio”) such as brisk walking lowers the chance of stroke and heart disease, helps you lose weight, keeps bones strong, and is great for your mood and stress management. If you’re not active now, start with a 10-minute walk and build up from there.

11. Go Beyond the Gym

You can be active anywhere. Garden, play with your kids, hike, dance, walk your dog — if you’re moving, it’s good! Even housework goes on the list if it gets your heart rate up. Do as much as possible, as often as you can, wherever your day takes you.

12. Be Smart When You Eat Out

Restaurant food can be loaded with saturated fat, calories, and sodium. Even “healthy” choices may come in supersize portions. To stay on track:

•Choose broiled, baked, steamed, and grilled foods — not fried.

•Get sauces on the side.

•Ask for half of your meal to be boxed up before you get it.

13. Check the Label

What’s the serving size? The nutrition info may look good, but does the package contain two servings instead of one?

If it says “whole grain,” read the ingredients. Whole wheat or whole grain should be the first one.

Note the saturated fat, sodium, calories, and cholesterol. Are they OK for your daily plan? If not, what will you choose to change?

14. Stay Chill

Over time, out-of-control stress becomes a problem. It raises your blood pressure, and for some people, it might mean higher cholesterol levels. Make it a priority to relax. It can be as simple as taking some slow, deep breaths. You can also meditate, pray, socialise with people you enjoy, and exercise. And if some of the things that stress you out are things you can change, go for it!

15. Check Your Weight

Extra pounds make you more likely to get high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes. These all affect the lining of your arteries, making them more likely to collect plaque from cholesterol. Losing weight, especially belly fat, raises your good and lowers your bad cholesterol.

16. Keep Tabs

Celebrate your progress! Remember that you’re in charge of your health and that you can turn your cholesterol around. See your doctor regularly so you know how it’s going. Working together, you’ll keep your heart going strong.

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