Wii Fitness for Dummies Bonus Tips and Content - Week 10 (Nutritional Supplements)

Bill Loguidice's picture

Wii Fitness for Dummies (aka, Fitness on the Wii), available from booksellers everywhere, as well as online discounters like Amazon.com, focuses on three of the top Wii fitness programs, Wii Fit Plus, EA Sports Active: Personal Trainer, and Jillian Michaels Fitness Ultimatum 2010, as well as provides additional coverage of the entire Wii fitness phenomena and general exercise theory. As is always the case when writing a book, there is inevitably content that doesn't fit either due to subject matter, cost, or space constraints, which is where this regularly published bonus tips and content comes in. Each week, for an indeterminate number of weeks, Christina and I will be posting items that will both add to your enjoyment of the book and provide good fitness information in general.

This week, we're running the tenth entry, which is on nutritional supplements:

Christina Loguidice, AFTA Certified Personal Trainer:

Certain supplements can be important, such as a multivitamin and some minerals, especially calcium. The body requires vitamins and minerals to function properly, and while the daily requirements can be satisfied through the foods we eat—which would be ideal—we may not always get enough. Taking a multivitamin can help ensure that the targets are met. Further, the risk of overdosing on a vitamin is low, unless a vitamin is taken separately at a very high dose. In fact, studies are showing that current doses for some vitamins may even be inadequate. This may be the case with vitamin D, which seems to have become the new “miracle pill,” and its current recommended daily requirements are under review because data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) found that more than 90% of non-whites and approximately 75% of whites in the United States suffer from vitamin D insufficiency (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20133466). This is disconcerting because more studies are indicating that vitamin D deficiencies are directly linked to maladies beyond osteoporosis or rickets, including life-threatening health issues such as heart disease (http://bit.ly/bkp18b; www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18827580) and even some cancers, most notably colorectal cancer (www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/prevention/vitamin-D). Studies are also showing that proper vitamin D levels are essential for ensuring cognitive function and protecting against dementia (www.nytimes.com/2009/02/24/health/research/24aging.html).

Like vitamins, minerals also play a crucial role in maintaining health. Calcium is an especially important mineral for women and critical in protecting against osteoporosis, yet data indicate that only 50% to 60% of adults and 10% to 25% of adolescents in the United States get the recommended amount (www.emedicinehealth.com/osteoporosis_and_calcium/article_em.htm). Iron deficiency is another relatively common problem, and it appears that approximately 11% of adolescent girls and women of childbearing age are iron-deficient (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9091669) and may need to take iron supplements. Therefore, even if a client does not need to get physician clearance to start an exercise program, I would highly recommend that they schedule an appointment with their physician for a physical and to find out which supplements they should be on, if any.

As for other herbal remedies, one must tread carefully, and I wouldn’t make any recommendations as the line between pharmacotherapy and supplement can get fuzzy. For instance, let’s consider red rice yeast (Monascus purpureus), which may serve as a potent over-the-counter replacement for statins, as it has shown efficacy in lowering cholesterol and is even being explored by the medical community as a treatment in those who are intolerant to statins. Its potential side effects, however, are not fully known, and because the FDA does not regulate supplements, the purity and safety of the product may vary (www.mayoclinic.com/health/red-yeast-rice/NS_patient-redyeast/DSECTION=sa...). Therefore, while I think it is great that we have access to herbal remedies, it is important to consult with a pharmacist or physician, and to do your own research. A personal trainer can’t make recommendations for herbal supplements.

Meal replacements are an important option, as some people might otherwise skip a meal, which can be detrimental to their health and fitness goals; however, they should not be used to replace most meals. While some studies have shown greater weight loss success in individuals using meal replacements versus eating a similarly calorie-restricted diet (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10968732), at some point one will go back to eating a regular diet, so it is important to learn how to make healthy choices and portion control to maximize long-term success. Using meal replacements because you cannot figure out portions is only a short-term solution, as you are not addressing your underlying problem—figuring out what constitutes a serving and keeping portions in check. Further, meal replacements can be expensive and there is no way to guarantee the quality of the meal replacement, after all it is a processed food or liquid. Many meal replacements on the market have hidden fat, calories, and sugars, and some may not have enough calories to keep you satisfied. Therefore, it is important to read labels so that if you use a meal replacement, you can ensure you get the best one and not just a candy bar in disguise.

Bill Loguidice, AFTA Certified Personal Trainer:

It is logical to assume that through various evolutionary mechanisms, we as humans have been designed to optimally utilize the nutrition we bring in through normal food consumption under typical conditions. Unfortunately, since modern humans dramatically and artificially alter their environments, typical conditions rarely exist. One aspect of this change is the act of engaging in intense, targeted exercise activities. Since hard training above and beyond our daily activities is not a typical condition, it is logical to assume that an individual engaged in such activities would need additional support in areas such as rest (recuperation) and nutrition above and beyond that of an individual not engaged in such activities.

Further, due to certain diet philosophies and training goals, it is also logical to assume that in the absence of consuming certain food types (fruits, vegetables, and whole grains among them) and in necessary quantities, that it will be difficult to cover all of the nutritional bases from eating alone. Therefore, choosing the right supplements for your unique nutritional needs and training goals is an important building block towards success.

Before one’s additional nutritional requirements can be assessed, however, an individual must ensure that they’re eating four to six small, nutritionally sound meals a day, since we know that eating three or fewer larger meals causes an undesirable insulin response, triggering the body to store more fat. Without the foundation of a good dietary plan, any type of nutritional supplementation will be more like a bandage than an enhancement. Unfortunately, modern life sometimes gets in the way of our best laid food plans, so one way to overcome this is by preparing a high quality meal replacement powder. When mixed per directions and your own caloric requirements, today’s meal replacement powders can provide an optimal mix of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and even key vitamins and minerals, providing a great bridge to your next meal, or even as a way to get in the necessary number of meals for those who struggle with consuming some of their four to six solid meals.

With the dietary foundation laid, in addition to trying to get as much rest as possible, it is then time to determine what supplements would best suit one’s goals. A good rule of thumb is to start with the minimum amount of supplements – typically a quality multi-vitamin/mineral – and expand from there, assessing individual tolerance and results each step of the way, and naturally making adjustments as necessary. Research is also key, as because nutritional supplements are an unregulated industry, it is especially important to do one’s homework in determining a particular product’s quality and suitability.

As each new addition is incorporated and assessed, be it fish oils, creatine, pre-workout energy, joint supplementation, etc., it is critical to keep informed on the latest research and possible interactions. It is one thing to determine a nutritional supplement may be of use towards your goals, it’s another to find out that taking one is either redundant or detrimental to the efficacy of another. Taking unnecessary supplements is both expensive and counterproductive. Above all, however, it is important to keep the term “supplement” in mind, as in a “supplement” to doing everything else properly.

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Reminder:
Before following any nutritional advice or starting any workout regime, it is always wise to consult with your physician. This is especially important if you are pregnant, have cardiovascular problems such as high blood pressure, or suffer from an orthopedic condition. Further, should you start to experience any fatigue, shortness of breath, chest tightness, dizziness, or any other discomfort, pain, or unusual symptoms while working out with Wii Fit Plus or any other fitness program, stop activity immediately and consult with your physician.

Comments

Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
You guys probably saw all the

You guys probably saw all the stuff about multivitamins in the news today. Apparently there's still contention about them.

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Bill Loguidice
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Studies
Matt Barton wrote:

You guys probably saw all the stuff about multivitamins in the news today. Apparently there's still contention about them.

No, I didn't see it yet, thanks. It's the usual thing, though, as even the article itself is contradictory in its analysis of the results, as are the study leaders. It seems to me that unless you have a perfect diet and don't place excessive stress on your body, there's no way a quality multi-vitamin/mineral couldn't help.

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Matt Barton
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Joined: 01/16/2006
Supernova: Vitamins. Does

Supernova: Vitamins.

Does that pretty much sum it up, Bill? I'm laughing so hard trying to picture you and Christina making a music video to go with that song.

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