Why are minerals important in your diet?

Minerals are essential for many of our body functions but our human organism is unable to produce minerals itself. That’s why we need to EAT them! You find minerals in plants and meat. They help kids to grow, build strong bones, transmit nerve impulses and make sure you can chew your food with strong teeth. There are 16 minerals you need on a regular base to maintain your optimum health. They are divided in two groups:>Macrominerals which your body needs in larger quantities while Trace-minerals are required in smaller amounts.




Calcium plays an important role in muscle contraction, transmitting messages through the nerves and the release of hormones. If people aren’t getting enough calcium in their diet, the body takes calcium from the bones to ensure normal cell function, which can lead to weakened bones.
Food: Seeds, cheese, yoghurt, lentils, beans, almonds…


Phosphorus is commonly found in the body as phosphate and is primarily used for growth and repair of body cells and tissues. Also, phosphates play an important role in energy production as components of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). ATP is readily used to fuel your body’s many functions.
Food: Meats, poultry, fish, nuts, beans, pumpkin seeds…


Potassium is one of the most important electrolytes in the human body, with others including chloride, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sodium. Potassium is vital to the healthy functioning of all of your body’s cells, tissues and organs. It also helps to control the amount of water in your body and maintain a healthy blood pH level.
Potassium: Banana, potatoes, avocado, grapefruits, dates…


Sodium is both an electrolyte and mineral. It helps keep the water (the amount of fluid inside and outside the body’s cells) and electrolyte balance of the body. Sodium is also important in how nerves and muscles work. Most foods have sodium naturally in them. As a cooking ingredient you find sodium in table salt as sodium chloride or in baking soda as sodium bicarbonate.
Sodium: Beet, celery, carrots, meat, spinach, chard…


Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is required for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis.
Magnesium: Whole wheat, spinach, almonds, tofu, beans…

The Beginner’s Guide To Running

The Beginner’s Guide To Running

At some point early on, a beginner learns that 99.9 per cent of runners are pleasant, helpful people. This realisation usually dawns when a beginner meets a veteran at a race or on a training run, and the veteran starts sharing his or her enthusiasm for and knowledge of running. That’s how runners are. And that’s why, for this guide, we asked this question to a number of experienced runners of various ages: what do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?

Whether you’re just starting out, or have been running for decades, you’ll learn something from their answers.

Every beginner asks at least a few of these questions at some point. Here are the answers:

How do I get started?

Start walking for an amount of time that feels comfortable – anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes. Once you can walk for 30 minutes easily, sprinkle one- to two-minute running intervals into your walking. As time goes on, make the running intervals longer, until you are running for 30 minutes straight.

Is it normal to feel pain during running?

Some discomfort is normal as you add distance and intensity to your training. But real pain isn’t normal. If something feels so bad that you have to run with a limp or otherwise alter your stride, you’re probably injured. Stop running immediately, and take a few days off. If you’re not sure, try walking for a minute or two to see if the discomfort disappears. If it doesn’t disappear, consult your GP.

Do I have to wear running shoes, or are other trainers fine?

Running doesn’t require much investment in gear and accessories, but you have to have a good pair of running shoes. Unlike all-round trainers, running shoes are designed to allow your foot to strike the ground properly, reducing the amount of shock that travels up your leg. They’re also made to fit your foot snugly, which reduces the slipping and sliding that can lead to blisters.

What’s the difference between running on a treadmill and running outside?

A treadmill ‘pulls’ the ground underneath your feet, and you don’t meet any wind resistance, which makes running somewhat easier. Many treadmills are padded, making them a good option if you’re carrying a few extra pounds or are injury-prone and want to decrease impact. To better simulate the effort of outdoor running, you can always set your treadmill at a one per cent incline.

Where should I run?

You can run anywhere that’s safe and enjoyable. The best running routes are scenic, well lit, and free of traffic. There also soft: choose trails or smooth grass rather than roads. Think of running as a way to explore new territory. Use your watch to gauge your distance, and set out on a new adventure each time you run. Talk to other runners about the routes they run. The more varied your routes, the easier running will feel. More about running surfaces.

I always feel out of breath when I run. Is something wrong?

Running causes you to breathe harder than usual, so some amount of huffing and puffing is normal. Most of that out-of-breath feeling diminishes as you become fitter. Concentrate on breathing from deep down in your belly, and if you have to, slow down or take walking breaks. If the breathlessness persists, ask your doctor about the possibility that you may have asthma.

I often suffer from a stitch when I run. Will these ever go away?

Side stitches are common among beginners because the abdomen is not used to the jostling that running causes. Most runners find that stitches go away as fitness increases. Also, don’t eat any solid foods in the hour before you run. When you get a stitch, breathe deeply, concentrating on pushing all of the air out of your abdomen. This will stretch out your diaphragm muscle (just below your lungs), which is usually where a cramp occurs.

Should I breathe through my nose or my mouth?

Probably the latter, which will allow you to get as much oxygen as possible to your working muscles. However, some runners breathe through their noses during training runs, believing that this keeps them more relaxed. Do what works for you.

Physical Activity and Ageing

From 19th to 22nd November 2018, 26 researchers representing nine countries and a variety of academic disciplines met in Snekkersten, Denmark, to reach evidence-based consensus about physical activity and older adults. It was recognised that the term ‘older adults’ represents a highly heterogeneous population.

It encompasses those that remain highly active and healthy throughout the life-course with a high intrinsic capacity to the very old and frail with low intrinsic capacity. The consensus is drawn from a wide range of research methodologies within epidemiology, medicine, physiology, neuroscience, psychology and sociology, recognising the strength and limitations of each of the methods.

Much of the evidence presented in the statements is based on longitudinal associations from observational and randomised controlled intervention studies, as well as quantitative and qualitative social studies in relatively healthy community-dwelling older adults. Nevertheless, we also considered research with frail older adults and those with age-associated neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease, and in a few cases molecular and cellular outcome measures from animal studies. The consensus statements distinguish between physical activity and exercise. Physical activity is used as an umbrella term that includes both structured and unstructured forms of leisure, transport, domestic and work-related activities. Physical activity entails body movement that increases energy expenditure relative to rest, and is often characterised in terms of intensity from light, to moderate to vigorous. Exercise is defined as a subset of structured physical activities that are more specifically designed to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, cognitive function, flexibility balance, strength and/or power. This statement presents the consensus on the effects of physical activity on older adults’ fitness, health, cognitive functioning, functional capacity, engagement, motivation, psychological well-being and social inclusion. It also covers the consensus on physical activity implementation strategies.

While it is recognised that adverse events can occur during exercise, the risk can be minimised by carefully choosing the type of activity undertaken and by consultation with the individual’s physician when warranted, for example, when the individual is frail, has a number of co-morbidities, or has exercise-related symptoms, such as chest pain, heart arrhythmia or dizziness.
This article was provided by the British Journal of Sports Medicine

Benefits of Having a Personal Training Coach from Be Strong Scientific Fitness

Our Head Coach Aleks has given us 10 benefits of hiring a Be Strong Coach.

Education: Being educated while exercising is essential in effectiveness and reducing risk of injury. A personal training coach will teach you everything you need to know about exercising. They will put together the perfect routine to help you achieve your goals, demonstrate the correct posture for each exercise.

Motivation: Exercising can be a hassle and at times it may feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Whatever the reason, sometimes it’s difficult to find the motivation to work out. Regular sessions with a personal trainer may give you the boost you need and having someone in your corner to push and encourage you can be rewarding. Sometimes all we need is a little more support.

Accountability: Accountability goes hand-in-hand with motivation. Throw the “I’ll go tomorrow; I’m too tired” excuses out the door because a personal trainer will ensure that won’t happen. Sticking to a fitness schedule gives you incentive to follow through and is the best way to achieve your goals.

Personalised Plan: A common misconception is that personal trainers are high energy, in your face, and work you to exhaustion with heavy lifting, which is far from the truth. Be sure to tell your trainer what you’re looking for and together you can develop a plan tailored to you. Then your personal trainer can set realistic goals based on your abilities and make adjustments where necessary, like if an old injury makes a certain exercise difficult. This will help you remain effective while keeping your body healthy.

Challenging: It’s easy to get bored with your fitness routine. Maybe you’ve plateaued or aren’t seeing the results you want. A personal trainer will challenge you and take you to the next level. They will implement exercises to keep you off that plateau and introduce new exercises to keep your workouts fun and fresh. Plus, it’s always rewarding to succeed when challenged.

Variety: Your trainer will develop a routine for you with plenty of variety. This may include machines, free weights, bodyweight exercises, and cardio. No two workout days will be the same, making each day fun and new.

Goals: Your personal trainer will start you out with small goals that will eventually lead to your final goal and show you exactly how to get there. Creating a time table that maps out your goals will show you what to expect along the way and help you be realistic about your progress.

Better Improvements: According to Be Strong, studies have shown that there are better strength improvements with supervised training than without. Personal trainers will coach, push, and motivate you more than you may be able to yourself.

Flexibility; Working with a trainer allows you the freedom to create your own workout schedule. Whether you prefer working out really early in the morning before work, on your lunch hour or late at night, your personal trainer can appease you. It’s really no different than scheduling any other appointment.

More Than Fitness: Your personal trainer is much more than just a fitness coach. You will spend so much time with your trainer that he/she can become your unofficial therapist. Yes, they are there to help improve your fitness but they also care about your well-being. Trainers can help you improve nutrition and even your mental health by giving you exercises aimed at relieving stress.

Exercises Best for Bone Health

“Make exercise a priority”. Says Be Strong Head Coach Aleks.
Seriously. Regular exercise is key to keep a number of health issues at bay, and bone health is no exception. In fact, living a sedentary lifestyle is considered a risk factor for osteoporosis . One study comparing bone density in college women with various body weights and activity levels found that athletes with low body weight had the highest bone density of any group in the study, showing exercise (and low bodyweight) can have a positive effect on bone density .
What type of exercise is most effective? Weight-bearing exercises like running, walking, jumping rope, skiing, and stair climbing keep bones strongest. Resistance training has also been shown to improve bone health in several studies, so pick up the weights after going for a jog . Bonus for the older readers: Improved strength and balance helps prevent falls (and the associated fractures) in those who already have osteoporosis.

Top of Form
People who are active have stronger musculoskeletal and neuromuscular systems, lowering their risk for osteoporosis-related falls and fractures. This is especially true for those who do moderate to vigorous physical activities, like weight-bearing activities, at least three times a week for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Muscles pulling on the bones build stronger, denser bones. The more bone mass you build from birth to age 35, the better off you will be during the years of gradual bone loss. After age 35, the body breaks down bone mass faster than it builds it back up. Exercise can also help you maintain bone density later in life.
Besides strength training every other day, additional exercises for building bone promoting strength include walking, running, hiking, jumping rope, stair climbing, step aerobics, dancing, racquet sports, and other activities that require your muscles to work against gravity. Swimming and biking, although good for cardiovascular fitness, are not bone-building exercises.
If you already have osteoporosis, you might wonder whether you should exercise at all. The answer for most people is YES. You should speak to your doctor to learn what types of exercises you can safely do to preserve bone and strengthen your back and hips. Keep in mind, however, that exercise alone can’t prevent or cure osteoporosis.
Exercise Tips
• Even if you do not have osteoporosis, you should check with your health care provider before you start an exercise program.
• Remember to warm up before starting and cool down at the end of each exercise session.
• For the best benefit to your bone health combine several different weight-bearing exercises.
Moderate load/intensity/time
Advanced load/intensity/time*
Walking uphill
Walking with weighted vest
Square dancing
Race walking
Walking with backpack
Race walking
Weight lifting
Weight lifting
Low-impact aerobics
Step aerobics
Slow dancing
Fast dancing
Tai chi
Downhill skiing
Weight lifting
Cross-country skiing
High-impact aerobics
Stair climbing
Stair climbing with weighted vest
Elastic band exercises
House-cleaning activities
Carrying groceries
Jumping rope
Golf, pulling clubs
Elastic band exercises
Golf, carrying clubs

• Remember to drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercising.
• Vary the types of exercise you do each week.
• Combine weight bearing and resistance exercise with aerobic exercises to help improve your overall health.
• Bring your friend along to help you keep going, or better yet, bring your family and encourage them to be healthy.
• Add more physical activity to your day; take the stairs vs. the elevator, park farther away, and walk to your co-worker’s office rather than emailing.
Activities Affecting Different Ages
• Ages 6-17 years: 60+ minutes (1 hour) of moderate to vigorous physical activity daily; includes at least 3 days/week of aerobic, 3 days/week of strength training, and 3 days per week of bone-strengthening activities
• Ages 18-64 years: 150-300 minutes (2.5 to 5 hours) per week of moderate exercise or 75-150 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes to 2.5 hours) of vigorous physical activity per week; strength training at least 2 days per week
• Ages 65+ years: follow adult guidelines as physically able; include balance activities if falling is a risk
Bone-Building Activities for Preventing Osteoporosis
• Initial/beginner = Start one or more of these low-impact weight-bearing exercises on a regular basis. Get up and get moving!
• Moderate = Increase your load, intensity, and time of physical activity with muscle-strengthening exercises. Do more, more often.
• Advanced = Challenge yourself to keep increasing your load, intensity, and time of physical activities. Put effort into building bone!
*Load = mechanical stress that stimulates the development of muscle and bone strength.
Intensity = how hard the body is working during the exercise period. Moderate physical activity allows a person to carry on a conversation comfortably during the activity. Advanced/vigorous physical activity is intense enough to result in a significant increase in heart and breathing rate.
Time = duration; length of the training session.

Article Sources:
Moayyeri, A. “The association between physical activity and osteoporotic fractures: A review of the evidence and implications for future research.” AEP 18, no. 11 (November 2008): 827-35.
National Osteoporosis Foundation. “Osteoporosis Exercise for Strong Bones.”
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans.

Exercise: 7 benefits of regular physical activity

You know exercise is good for you, but do you know how good? From boosting your mood to improving your sex life, find out how exercise can improve your life.

Want to feel better, have more energy and even add years to your life? Just exercise.
The health benefits of regular exercise and physical activity are hard to ignore. Everyone benefits from exercise, regardless of age, sex or physical ability.
Need more convincing to get moving? Check out these seven ways exercise can lead to a happier, healthier you.

1. Exercise controls weight

Exercise can help prevent excess weight gain or help maintain weight loss. When you engage in physical activity, you burn calories. The more intense the activity, the more calories you burn.

Regular trips to the gym are great, but don’t worry if you can’t find a large chunk of time to exercise every day. Any amount of activity is better than none at all. To reap the benefits of exercise, just get more active throughout your day — take the stairs instead of the elevator or rev up your household chores. Consistency is key.

2. Exercise combats health conditions and diseases

Worried about heart disease? Hoping to prevent high blood pressure? No matter what your current weight, being active boosts high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or “good,” cholesterol and decreases unhealthy triglycerides. This one-two punch keeps your blood flowing smoothly, which decreases your risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Regular exercise helps prevent or manage a wide range of health problems and concerns, including stroke, metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, anxiety, many types of cancer, arthritis and falls. It can also help improve cognitive function and helps lower the risk of death from all causes.

3. Exercise improves mood

Need an emotional lift? Or need to blow off some steam after a stressful day? A gym session or brisk walk can help. Physical activity stimulates various brain chemicals that may leave you feeling happier, more relaxed and less anxious.

You may also feel better about your appearance and yourself when you exercise regularly, which can boost your confidence and improve your self-esteem.

4. Exercise boosts energy

Winded by grocery shopping or household chores? Regular physical activity can improve your muscle strength and boost your endurance.

Exercise delivers oxygen and nutrients to your tissues and helps your cardiovascular system work more efficiently. And when your heart and lung health improve, you have more energy to tackle daily chores.

5. Exercise promotes better sleep

Struggling to snooze? Regular physical activity can help you fall asleep faster, get better sleep and deepen your sleep. Just don’t exercise too close to bedtime, or you may be too energized to go to sleep.

6. Exercise puts the spark back into your sex life

Do you feel too tired or too out of shape to enjoy physical intimacy? Regular physical activity can improve energy levels and physical appearance, which may boost your sex life.

But there’s even more to it than that. Regular physical activity may enhance arousal for women. And men who exercise regularly are less likely to have problems with erectile dysfunction than are men who don’t exercise.

7. Exercise can be fun … and social!

Exercise and physical activity can be enjoyable. It gives you a chance to unwind, enjoy the outdoors or simply engage in activities that make you happy. Physical activity can also help you connect with family or friends in a fun social setting.

So, take a dance class, hit the hiking trails or join a soccer team. Find a physical activity you enjoy, and just do it. Bored? Try something new, or do something with friends.

The bottom line on exercise

Exercise and physical activity are a great way to feel better, boost your health and have fun. For most healthy adults, the Department of Health and Human Services recommends at least 150 minutes a week of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes a week of vigorous aerobic activity a week, or a combination of moderate and vigorous activity. Examples include running, walking or swimming. Fit in strength training for all the major muscle groups at least twice a week by lifting free weights, using weight machines or doing body-weight exercises.

Space out your activities throughout the week. If you want to lose weight, meet specific fitness goals or have even more benefits, you may need to increase your physical activity time.

Remember to check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program, especially if you haven’t exercised for a long time, have chronic health problems, such as heart disease, diabetes or arthritis, or you have any concerns.