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Creating a sustainable (and healthy) lifestyle to support your fitness and wellness goals can be, well, complicated—especially when you have a busy schedule. From learning more about lean proteins to figuring out what the best workout is for you, sometimes we need a little*extra* help. That’s where Precision Nutrition comes in.
We synced up with Adam Feit, Level 2 Master Class Coach and Performance Nutrition Coordinator at Precision Nutrition, to get his insights into your top fitness and wellness questions—and how a program with Precision Nutrition can help you maximize your potential and achieve your best self.
A: I like folks to remember the three “S's”—scheduling, structures, and systems. So starting with scheduling, if we know we book it—just like a dentist appointment or a doctor's check-up—we're going to go. So, I always try to make sure I schedule that. With our second S, I want to talk about structure. What does the program look like? Is there a specific focus for each day? And how does this day affect the next day? Making sure we have a good structure will help us stay in line with our third S: having a system. What type of environment are you going to be training in? What can you do? What can’t you do? Understanding where you’re going to be during that workout session is going to help you set up a system to match exercises to your goals, ultimately helping you get that great workout in.
A: It's going to be the one that you do consistently. We have to understand that building muscle is a process. It's not necessarily just about the workout. There are a lot of other things to consider—such as getting adequate calories and sufficient sleep and having a great handle on all the other stressors happening in your life. As well as exercise choice and selection. From a specific workout perspective, I want to make sure there is an element of progressive overload. So within each workout (and as we continue on), it’s constantly getting harder or more difficult. This could be displayed in a variety of different ways. It could be more intense, for example, or a little bit longer. Maybe it’s a combination of the two. The idea is to improve the density of your workout so you're squeezing in more work within a set amount of time. If you’re really limited on time, I would focus on multi-joint ground-based exercises and three-dimensional movements to maximize the amount of muscle used.
A: Personally, I think it's great for some people but not so great for others. If you’re an athlete, and you’re in a high-intensity, repetitive effort, go-go-go type of environment for your sport, it's probably not going to be the best source for the fuel you need to succeed on and off the court (or wherever you might be). If you're a regular person just trying to get a little bit leaner and more fit, it’s something to consider. This style of eating is restrictive, and it’s not the only way. There are many different ways of eating that can help you reach your goals.
A: The first thing I'd always want to make sure of is understanding what's happening before that sweet tooth really gets a hold of you—especially if it's at night. So, a lot of the questions that we’re going to ask are around the types of foods you’re eating. And what types of foods are you not eating? How often are you eating or not eating those foods? And the big one: Why are you eating or not eating those foods? What we have seen working with the clients is that most of these cravings can simply be addressed by taking a look into their behaviors—and the number one thing is the environment where the cravings took place. And so before we start talking about eat this and don't eat that and make some healthy food swaps, let's dig in behind those decisions, and find out why these cravings are hitting you.
A: I'd love to see most of our clients consume anywhere between two and four liters of water per day. If you're a hard-training athlete, it actually might be more like three to four liters per day. This may sound like a lot and at first, and it may feel like a lot, too. How do you make it happen? Step one: Try and fill up a liter water bottle or maybe something like a Nalgene (that's about 32oz), and drink that during your workout. Step two: Refill that bottle, and drink it after your workout or at practice. Step three: For every meal you have throughout the day, try and focus on having one to two cups of water with each meal. That'll help ensure you’re adequately hydrated, which will benefit both your health and performance.
A: You’re already off to a great start! At Precision Nutrition, we actually have a free 5-day course for MINDBODY readers with all of our best strategies on helping you lose fat, gain strength, and transform your body.
If you want to live your healthiest life, Precision Nutrition could be the solution. With hands-on coaches like Adam, they’ve helped thousands get in the best shape of their lives. Try their body transformation program for a complete nutrition and exercise plan that’ll help you get the lasting results you really want. Learn more here!
Acupuncture is extremely beneficial for various ailments ranging from digestion to carpal tunnel, but the level of effectiveness varies from person-to-person. I’ve had Sciatica patients spend months combating their back and leg pain, and others hop off the table in two hours, never needing a follow-up appointment. Some rotator cuffs take six weeks; others take two years.
Why is this?
While your body's response to acupuncture depends on the complaint or injury, it also depends on your overall health, and how well you take care of the injured site between sessions. If we eat junk food all the time, are inactive, don’t sleep well, or overwork ourselves, then injury is imminent, and recovery is going to be hard. Equally, if we ignore an injury or don't care for it, then we will likely stay injured for longer.
So, let’s break down what’s best for you when it comes to acupuncture:
“How often should you get acupuncture with specific ailments?”
This is different for everyone, but here are some general guidelines.
More is better.
Acupuncture has cumulative effects, so while most feel relief after one session, it likely will not have resolved the issue. Multiple follow up sessions are needed, and for your own comfort, it’s recommended that you use sessions before the effects have completely worn off each time.
Every time you receive a session, your relief should be more significant, and the effects should last longer—bringing the injury closer to resolution. With this in mind; the worse the injury, the more frequent you’ll want to receive acupuncture. Several times a week is standard, that way you will get out of discomfort faster, and you’ll need fewer sessions overall.
Understanding acute versus chronic ailments.
Some acute symptoms like nausea, dizziness, bleeding, swelling, or anxiety will clear up on the spot. However, for recent injuries pertaining to tissues, like a strained muscle, you can use three acupuncture sessions in one week with great effect. For example, with strained lower back muscles, you will feel less pain in one session, a significant reduction in inflammation and symptoms within three sessions. An ankle sprain is a little more serious and may take two or three weeks, but the general idea is the same.
With stubborn pain, or chronic issues like sciatica, skin rashes, nerve pain, hormone irregularities, it can take a bunch of sessions to see lingering results. Often there will be relief right after each session, but the symptoms return quickly (albeit with a little less vengeance). This just means the results are happening in smaller increments. For this reason, your practitioner will tell you to come in over three times a week for two or three weeks so you’ll get more relief faster, but you can space the sessions out as you begin to feel better.
“What can I do to make my acupuncture benefits bigger?”
As mentioned, how you care for yourself between sessions makes a big difference. Here’s a few pro tips.
Your practitioner will give you specific directions they want you to follow for your ailment, but generally, after an acupuncture visit, it is wise to drink a lot of water and rest.
Here’s the obvious thing we don’t often consider. If you get instant relief for your pulled hamstring, but then you go running the next day, it’s going to take forever to heal! That injured body part needs to be pampered and catered to. Your acupuncturist will give you food, supplement, lifestyle, and movement suggestions to use between sessions– use them all.
I’ve seen countless patients walk in with frozen shoulder, spend 90 minutes in the chair with various points and stimulation techniques, and then leave swinging their arm painlessly with 50% more range of motion. If they eat well, do their physical therapy, and are kind to their shoulders, the effects will last. Then, next time, we can add another 50% on to their range of motionBut, if they paint a house or swing a baseball, then I see them go right back to square one overnight. How we take care of ourselves between sessions really matters.
You will want to note any changes; no matter how small or irrelevant they seem. Your practitioner is armed with many protocols and techniques. They will always start with the combo that they’ve seen work best for your complaint, from there they will work backward or tweak it slightly based on the information you give them. Make sure to tell them every detail, even if it seems unrelated.
One lady, with unrelenting pain, finally revealed a game-changing nugget to me while nonchalantly laughing about her need to wear neck scarves everywhere. I found out she had been experiencing chills and had a significant aversion to wind during the summer. This “irrelevant” snippet made me radically change the protocol, and she was pain-free and healing rapidly within four sessions.
So, there you have it. How acupuncture benefits various body parts depends on the area concerned, but also on how we treat our bodies before, during, and after injury.