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say-no-to-soda-bestBelow is a persuasive essay, written by my 11 year old daughter, as an assignment in Language Arts. I thought it worthy of sharing.

Written by Sofia Karrat, 11 years old.

Article writer Kanika Khara said, “Since soda does no benefit to our body other than satiating our taste buds, and in fact causes considerable harm, it is better that we should make healthy choices about our diet.” Only some people agree with that statement saying soda is bad. However, most people think differently. Most people just drink soda and don’t care what’s going into their bodies. In my opinion, I believe soda is not good to drink. I believe we should stop drinking it, too.

First of all, soda can cause deadly diseases such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease. Sugar is one of the main ingredients in soda. That is why we get these sicknesses, because sugar is one of the main reasons causing it. Once sugar is digested, it is turned into fat by the body. If you drink only one coke a day for a year, your body has stored 17 pounds of fat! Just in soda! There are recommended daily sugar amounts for men, women, and children. For men it’s 9 teaspoons (36 grams), for women it’s 5 teaspoons (20 grams), and for children it’s 3 teaspoons (12 grams). A can of soda has about 39 grams in sugar, so all people have already had more than their sugar amount for the day! Another ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. It also causes those diseases. High fructose corn syrup is sweeter than normal corn syrup. It is made with artificial sweeteners, and it makes the body store more fat. Soda also has other many bad ingredients, such as artificial sweeteners, caramel color, ester gum, Red 40, Yellow 5, and more. These ingredients hurt the body. This drink also dehydrates the body. Dehydration is when your body doesn’t have enough water and fluids as it should. When severe, dehydration can be a life-threatening emergency (but that’s very rare).

Secondly, nobody reads the nutrition labels and ingredients, and it’s one of the problems why America is getting sick. The nutrition label and ingredients are things most people don’t pay attention to. These are where health comes in. Things like sugar, and high fructose corn syrup are in the ingredients. The amounts of helpful and harmful contents are in the nutrition facts. It tells you the amount of everything in grams or milligrams. There are no vitamins, proteins, or fiber in soda. But, there is lots of caffeine. At first, caffeine supplies an instant boost of energy. But, that energy slowly wears off, and you may start experiencing headaches, sleepiness, and fatigue. Another thing that is noticed is the front of the can is “All Natural”. “All Natural” actually doesn’t mean anything. Companies put it on the can to look good. People think it means “All Good” and the ingredients are fresh.

My final reason for why to not drink soda is that one of the reasons people are drinking soda is because of celebrities advertising them. My mom is a health nut. There was a movie that came out, Fed Up, that my mom found out about right away. At first, I didn’t want to watch it. But, when I found out about why Americans are getting deadly sicknesses and diseases, I was glad I watched it. Sugar is why America is getting problems in health, such as diabetes, and it’s not ok for celebrities to make people want it more in soda. Celebrities such as Beyonce shouldn’t allow soda companies to put her on the can. Then kids get influenced by the ads, want to be like a celebrity, and drink soda. But people think,”Well, what’s the big deal? Everyone drinks it anyway.” It’s not a small problem, because some people don’t already drink soda so they start and get addicted to it. Also, people will just start increasing the amount they drink if celebrities advertise soda. I drink seltzer (which is just plain sparkling water), and it is a really good alternative if you drink soda.

My belief is that America should stop drinking so much soda. Soda can cause deadly diseases, nobody reads the labels, and celebrities are advertising it just to make people want it more. I don’t want to risk hurting my body for something that tastes good.

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What The ?

There are common terms used in the fitness industry all the time. It occurred to me that fitness professionals often speak their own language and that readers of these fitness concepts might not even comprehend what they are talking about…so how do you make a change if you don’t know what you’re changing?

Confused Geeky Woman

Well, let’s tackle it.

Aerobic vs. Anaerobic

Aerobic literally means “with oxygen”.  During aerobic exercise, adequate fuel (glucose, fats, etc.) + oxygen allow muscles to contract repeatedly without fatigue. You could perform aerobic exercise for a very long time. Great examples are walking, jogging, swimming or biking.

Anaerobic means “requiring no oxygen”.  During anaerobic exercise muscles rely on reactions that do not involve oxygen – typically involving lactic acid (glucose in the muscle) for energy.  You can only get energy in this way for a short amount of time. It typically occurs with short-spurt, high-energy activities where you can barely catch your breath and get fatigued. A great example is running sprints.

We basically use both conditions when we exercise. The proportion between the two changes depending on exercise intensity.

VO2 Max is the maximum amount of oxygen an individual can utilize during intense exercise. It is the best indicator of an athlete’s cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance.

Maximum Heart Rate is the theoretical maximum rate in which your heart can beat for your age. It is not recommended that you exercise at this rate! To calculate for a healthy individual, use the equation 220 – Your Age.

Once you have your maximum heart rate, you can calculate a target heart rate range (many gyms and trainers offer this as a reference for the level of your exertion). For example, if you are targeting to work at 60-70% of your maximum heart rate and your maximum heart rate is 180, 70% would be 126 beats per minute.

Metabolism refers to the chemical reaction of a cell or living tissue that transfers usable materials into energy (ie. fat into energy). “Raise your metabolism” refers to the rate you are able to use this energy.

Body Mass Index (BMI) is one of several methods to assess body composition (fat vs. muscle). It is calculated by dividing your weight by your height in inches. The controversy over using BMI as a “healthy” indicator is that muscle weighs more than fat and the ratio can fluctuate person to person. To get a true indication of your body composition, you should conduct a body fat analysis that is measured with calipers or other more sophisticated means.

Dynamic vs. Static stretching

Dynamic stretching is the recommended form of warming up your body before exercising. It includes slow, constant movement that mimics the workout you are about to do – not held stretches!

Static stretching is highly recommended at the completion of exercise. It is a method of stretching large muscle groups (quads, hamstrings, back) by holding each stretch for at least 6 seconds. This helps to relax and elongate your muscles.

Interval Training is a type of exercise program that combines high-intensity and low-intensity timed intervals in a single workout to maximize burning fat.

Plyometrics is a form of training that uses quick movements to increase muscular power (jumping up onto a box or high bench) and usually involves an explosive movement.

Soluble Fiber vs. Insoluble Fiber

Dietary fiber is found naturally in the plant foods that we eat. It’s a carbohydrate the body cannot digest so it passes directly through the digestive tract.

Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel to help slow down digestion. It delays the emptying of your stomach and makes you feel fuller, longer. It also slows down the absorption of fats and sugars. Some examples of soluble fiber include oatmeal, lentils, flaxseed, beans, etc.

Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, but rather absorbs water. It has a laxative effect and adds bulk to your diet, helping prevent constipation. Since insoluble fiber does not dissolve, it passes through your body in-tact. Sources include grains and vegetables such as whole wheat, bran, seeds, nuts, brown rice, cabbage, etc.

Type I Diabetes vs. Type II Diabetes

There is a lot of discussion in the fitness industry about how eating a healthy diet can prevent diseases such as diabetes. There are two types of diabetes, and only one can typically be improved by diet and fitness.

Type I diabetes is when you have a total lack of insulin to help process glucose (energy) in your body. In this case, the body’s immune system destroys the cells that release insulin, eventually eliminating insulin production from the body. It is typically genetic, cannot be prevented and requires insulin injections.

Type II diabetes is when you have too little insulin or cannot use insulin effectively. It can develop at any age and is often a result of an unhealthy lifestyle or diet. In many cases, it can be prevented and cured by maintaining a healthy weight, eating sensibly and exercising regularly.

If there are other fitness terms you would like us to cover, please email us at info@heelstolaces.com.

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