Sep 4 2015

Bootcamp: The Secret to Faster Fat Loss and Better Run Times

EPOC: Can you really burn calories and torch fat all day long, even when you aren’t working out?

Have you heard of excess post-exercise oxygen consumption? Also known as EPOC. It’s the scientific term for the afterburn effect, which can help you burn more calories long after you’ve stopeed your workout (we touched on this in our 09/01/15 email). Keep reading to learn how EPOC can earn you more effective workouts, burn more calories and help your runs. 

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Improve Your Race Time

Over time high-intensity workouts can increase your VO2 max, or your body’s ability to use oxygen for energy. That means better endurance, which leads to more energy and the ability to sustain more work for a longer period of time (better run times, Folks).

You will find that when you do go back to slower, steady state cardio, you’ll be able to maintain that longer with more ease.

For endurance athletes, adding one or two EPOC-enhancing workouts (that would be 2 Folk Bootcamps, Folks) to your weekly routine can also provide a boost in your next race. The reason: Working different aerobic systems improves endurance while building stronger fast-twitch muscle fibers, which can help deliver that final kick needed to finish strong. (more…)

Aug 18 2015

Recover from your workout with… Watermelon Juice!

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Researchers have revealed many benefits of L-citrulline — an uncommon amino acid found in watermelons— such as preventing post-workout muscle pain.

Lactic acid builds up in muscles when intense exercise necessitates energy production faster than oxygen can be delivered. Normally, the body breaks down glucose into a substance called pyruvate, which is then metabolized aerobically, to be broken down for more energy. However, when there’s a limited supply of oxygen, the body converts pyruvate into lactate, which can also power up the muscles, but with side effects, including increased acidity and next day soreness. 

Researches found that the cells absorbed 19 percent of the amino acid in watermelon juice after eight minutes, compared to only 12 percent of that in the water.

The Benefits of Citrulline in Watermelon

Citrulline is considered an essential amino acid. It has also been shown to benefit blood flow throughout the body and rid the liver of ammonia and other toxins. The citrulline content in watermelons has been shown to lower blood pressure and help with sexual dysfunction for males.

Other Pre-Workout Foods

In order to get the most out of your workout, and the most out of your recovery, try consuming these foods pre-workout:

  •  Bananas – This fruit is full of easily digestible carbohydrates for your body’s fuel supply, as well as plenty of potassium, which helps with nerve and muscle function. Since potassium doesn’t linger in the body for too long, bananas are a good source of the nutrient right before exercise.
  •  Oats – Because they’re rich in fiber, oats allow the body to gradually release carbohydrates into the bloodstream, keeping your available energy consistent over time, instead of burning through it all at once.
  •  Wholegrain bread – Whole grains are a good source of carbohydrates. Topping it with jam or honey can also provide more sugar for fuel, or a sliced boiled egg can add protein.
  •  Fruit Smoothies – They’re high in carbohydrates and protein, and because they’re drinkable, they digested even faster than solids.

Sources: Medical Daily & Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Oct 6 2014

How Much Sugar Should You Eat Per Day?

Don’t forget there is a difference between added sugars and sugars that occur naturally in foods like fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are healthy foods that contain water, fiber and nutrients. However, added sugars are those that are added to foods and the most common added sugars are regular table sugar (sucrose) or high fructose corn syrup.

If you want to lose weight and optimize your health, then you should do your best to avoid foods that contain added sugars.

What is a Safe Amount of Sugar to Eat Per Day?

Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this question. Some people can eat some sugar without harm, while others should avoid it as much as possible. (more…)

Sep 28 2014

Food Challenge

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Tomorrow starts our next “Guilty Pleasure Give-Up” Folk Food Challenge and runs until Saturday, October 4th. Sunday is always our off-day! Our Schulenburg Bootcamp Folksters are giving up soda & white bread; our LaGrange Bootcamp Folksters are giving up soda & candy; and our Stephenville Bootcamp Folksters took an oath (please see below) and are giving up  juice, sweet tea, ice cream & cereal this week! Anytime you reach for either of these, please think about us and put it down. It’s just one week of your life. #folkfoodchallenge

The Oath!  

  • “I solemnly swear to practice portion control, eat more fruit, and steer clear of the foods we listed above until Friday” -Stephenville Folksters, September 29, 2014

Why Soda?

  • Dehydration. Because caffeine is a diuretic, it leads to an increase in urine volume. So, when you drink a caffeinated soda to quench your thirst, you will actually become thirstier. 
  • High calories. A can of regular cola contains over 150 calories. Not only are these calories devoid of any nutritional value, but they also deplete your body of vital nutrients
  • Acid. The amount of acid in soda is enough to wear away at the enamel of your teeth, making them more susceptible to decay. In tests done on the acidity levels of soda, certain ones were found to have PH levels as low as 2.. To put that into perspective, consider that battery acid has a pH of and pure water has a pH of 7.
  • Weight gain. Researchers at the University of Texas say artificial sweeteners can interfere with the body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake. This could mean that people who consume artificially sweetened items, “diet coke”, are more likely to overindulge.


Jul 1 2014

La Grange Bootcamp

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Do you want to be fit and healthy but struggle with sticking to your workout program? Staying motivated can be a challenge, especially when you have to battle hidden vices. See if you fit any of these five personality types, which can sabotage your summer workout progress.

The Denier

  • “I don’t need to fit into my skinny jeans. I’m fine in my sweatpants.”
  • Traits: You refuse to believe you’ve let yourself go, even though the number on the scale keeps rising and you can’t fit into your favorite pair of jeans.
  • Solution: The real benefit of having an active lifestyle is improving your overall health. Looking fabulous in your favorite pair of jeans is just a bonus. Downplaying fitness makes it easier to avoid making a lifestyle change. If you find yourself intimidated by change, start off with small steps, like walking 10 minutes a day.

The Procrastinator

  • “I’ll get back into fitness… one day.”
  • Traits: Your gym bag and workout equipment are collecting dust. You want to exercise, but you find yourself doing everything else—laundry, Facebook, watching television.
  • Solution: Choose a starting day and stick to it—no matter what. If your gym time is interfering with the latest episode of Scandal or Downton Abbey, incorporate exercises into your television time. Try jumping jacks or tricep dips during commercials or walk in place. Don’t delay working on your goals. Do your body a favor and start today.

The Overachiever

  • “Rest days are for quitters.”
  • Traits: You have your eyes on the prize, so you spend hours at the gym every day shaping your physique with high-intensity workouts. You don’t believe in rest days, because time off from exercising equals weight gain and it takes longer to reach your fitness goals.
  • Solution: Commitment is a necessity in maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it’s important to know when your passion has turned into an obsession. Overachievers can actually delay their progress. Overtraining can result in burnout, muscle loss and injury. Learn how to listen to your body — soreness, fatigue and sickness can all be signs that you are doing too much. Resting between workouts gives your muscles the chance to repair. So while it’s great to go hard at the gym, sometimes it’s best to just take a breather and go home instead.

The Blamer

  • “The dryer shrunk my clothes again!”
  • Traits: You blame the dryer for shrinking your clothes. Whether it’s bad weather, cramps, office parties or genetics, something always gets in your way, and it prevents you from working out.
  • Solution: Events beyond your control will happen. Maybe obesity or high blood pressure runs in your family, but don’t let that determine where your fitness journey starts and ends. You can’t control the weather or what your coworkers eat at work, but you can take control of your own health by deciding to make fitness a priority.

The Pessimist

  • “I just can’t lose weight. I’ll never get six-pack abs anyway.”
  • Traits: You’ve tried everything and nothing seems to work for you. You are discouraged and believe your body will never change.
  • Solution: Take control of a pessimistic outlook by immediately removing “can’t” and “never” from your vocabulary. Both automatically place limitations on your weight loss success. Visualize how you want to change your body. Cut out images from fitness magazines for inspiration and create a fitness vision board. Most importantly, know that you can do it! And when you consistently make fitness and healthy eating a priority, your body willdefinitely have no choice but to change.

Source: She Knows & La Grange Bootcamp

Jun 11 2014

10,000 Steps

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If you buy a smart pedometer or fitness tracker like a Fitbit, chances are the device will encourage you to take 10,000 steps a day. But do you really have to walk this much to be healthy?

Experts say that while 10,000 steps a day is a good number to reach, any amount of activity beyond what you’re currently doing will likely benefit your health. Studies conducted since then suggest that people who increased their walking to 10,000 steps daily experience health benefits. One study found that women who increased their step count to nearly 10,000 steps a day reduced their blood pressure after 24 weeks. Another study of overweight women found that walking 10,000 steps a day improved their glucose levels.

Walking 10,000 steps a day is not an official recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Instead, the agency recommends adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate activity a week, such as brisk walking. To meet the CDC’s recommendation, you need to walk about 7,000 to 8,000 steps a day. If you normally walk about 5,000 steps a day, getting in an extra 30-minute, brisk walk into your day would take you to about 8,000 steps. The average U.S. adult walks about 5,900 steps daily.

Still, there’s no reason to stop at 8,000 steps if you can do more. The Mayo Clinic recommends that people using pedometers first set short-term goals, such as taking an extra 1,000 steps daily for one week, and then build up to a long-term goal such as 10,000 steps. There’s not a single strategy to increase your step count, each person has to find what works for them. The most important thing is to increase your activity beyond what you were doing before.

We just want people to get up, and get started and any amount of activity that you can do today that you didn’t do yesterday, you’re probably going to start benefiting from it.

Source: Live Science & Flatonia Folk Wellness Co. Bootcamp #RockinNRollin #Summer2014 #healthylifestylechallenge (Maria & Cindy getting a few extra steps in before bootcamp!)

May 14 2014



We all have those days that we don’t want to work out even though we know we should.  When you need a little motivation, look no further. Here some awesome reasons you shouldn’t skip your workout todayPrint this so you’ll have easy access to it on the days you need it most.

  1. Because it makes you feel confident
  2. Because it helps you get stronger
  3. Because exercise helps combat depression
  4. Because you’ll feel proud of yourself
  5. Because you have goals you want to reach
  6. Because you’ll feel bad if you don’t
  7. Because you want to move forward, not backward
  8. Because it burns more calories than not working out
  9. Because it improves your heart health
  10. Because you want a great butt
  11. Because it prevents diabetes
  12. Because you want to be a good example to your kids
  13. Because you want to feel good in your clothes
  14. Because it reduces your risk of cancer
  15. Because your body was made to move
  16. Because you want to be an athlete
  17. Because you want to look better
  18. Because it lifts your mood
  19. Because you want to stand taller
  20. Because it reduces back pain
  21. Because it feels good
  22. Because it makes you feel accomplished
  23. Because you spend most of your day on your butt
  24. Because swimsuit season is always coming
  25. Because strong is the new skinny
  26. Because dieting only works so much
  27. Because it strengthens your bones, too
  28. Because it helps you lose weight
  29. Because it allows you to eat more food
  30. Because it’s the best way to spend “me” time
  31. Because it helps you de-stress
  32. Because it’s cheaper than therapy
  33. Because you want a strong core
  34. Because you want to take care for yourself
  35. Because you take pride in your body
  36. Because it strengthens your legs
  37. Because it helps your clothes fit better
  38. Because you want to push yourself
  39. Because you are capable of more than you ever imagined
  40. Because moving your body feels good
  41. Because it keeps your mind sharp
  42. Because it helps you beat belly bloat
  43. Because it helps you sleep better at night
  44. Because it gives you energy
  45. Because you want to stay healthy as you age
  46. Because you want to look younger
  47. Because you want toned arms
  48. Because it improves your balance
  49. Because it burns off last night’s dessert
  50. Because it boosts your immune system
  51. Because sweat is sexy
  52. Because you want to live longer
  53. Because you’re more likely to eat better when you exercise
  54. Because you want to shave time off your running pace
  55. Because you want to breathe easier
  56. Because you want to see the scale drop
  57. Because you are worth it
  58. Because being fit makes everything in life better
  59. Because you promised yourself that you would
  60. Because you deserve a better life
  61. Because it’ll help you drink more water
  62. Because you want to do real push-ups
  63. Because it reduces your health care costs
  64. Because you’ll miss fewer days of work
  65. Because you want to create a new future for yourself
  66. Because it’ll help you like what you see in the mirror
  67. Because it makes clothing shopping more fun
  68. Because you want to look and feel incredible
  69. Because exercising can be fun
  70. Because it’ll give your skin a glow
  71. Because it’s a good way to spend time with your friends
  72. Because it’ll help you prevent the middle-age spread
  73. Because it reduces your blood pressure
  74. Because you don’t want to let yourself go
  75. Because you don’t want to squeeze into an airplane or rollercoaster seat
  76. Because it strengthens your spirit
  77. Because it’s a cheap way to entertain yourself
  78. Because you’ll be able to reward yourself
  79. Because you need a reason to wear those new workout clothes
  80. Because you’re tired of being tired
  81. Because not working out is not going to get you very far
  82. Because it’s a great way to spend time outside
  83. Because you made a commitment to yourself
  84. Because you’re tired of starting over
  85. Because there will always be another wedding, vacation or reunion
  86. Because you’re not a quitter
  87. Because it improves your cholesterol
  88. Because it boosts your metabolism
  89. Because it prevents age-related muscle loss
  90. Because if you can do this, you can do anything
  91. Because a fit body is a healthy body
  92. Because it beats sitting on the couch
  93. Because  everyone has at least 10 minutes to spare
  94. Because you want to be stronger than your excuses
  95. Because not working out isn’t working out for you
  96. Because the only workout you ever regret is the one you skip

Source: SparkPeople


Apr 30 2014

Beach Health Benefits

Fitness & Wellness for the Common Folk” can be found anywhere… even at the beach! We decided to spend a week at the beach to spend D’s last week of paternity leave here in Port Aransas, TX at Port Royal (tip: they had a steal of deal for April and our 2 bedroom room was just a little over 100 bucks with a great view of the ocean) . We knew if we stayed around the house we would find 100 projects to do… 

There is certainly an attraction to the beach, the waves and smell of the salt air are great for relaxation as well as the beach itself provides some subtle health benefits. Unfortunately, we can’t all live at the beach year-round so here are some simple ways for you to also find these benefits at home!

Benefit # 1: Vitamin D

It’s pretty common knowledge that we can get Vitamin D through exposure to sunlight. “In humans, Vitamin D is much more than just a simple vitamin that we need to hit a target RDA of. Vitamin D is a hormonal precursor and science is constantly linking deficiency of Vitamin D to increased incidence of many diseases. Ironically, while Vitamin D is readily available (at least part of the year in most parts of the world) for free if produced from sun exposure, people are surprisingly deficient in it these days.” Studies have found links between low-vitamin D levels and Parkinson’s Disease, bone disease,  blood clots, diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure.  A recent study even found that regular sun exposure helped women to live longer. Yet another study found that regular sun exposure could cut breast cancer risk in half!” Unfortunately, you won’t get the benefits if you’re covered up or slathered in sunscreen! Try to optimize your sun tolerance and cover up when you get enough sun/Vitamin D for the day.  Try eating an anti-inflammatory, high antioxidant and beneficial fat diet to increase your sun tolerance and help your body benefit from sun exposure such as a grain free, sugar free, high vegetable and healthy fat diet and:

  • Vitamin C  & OPC 3 – Both are potent anti-inflammatories (but work in different ways), and it is good for the immune system too.
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil melted in a cup of herbal tea or coffee per day- the Medium Chain Fatty Acids and saturated fat are easily utilized by the body for new skin formation and are protective against burning
  • Fermented Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil Blend  (also great for remineralizing teeth)-Probably the most important supplement for sun protection. Kids take it too. It’s also great for digestive and oral health. (Amazon finally has the capsules back in stock)
  • Astaxanthin– A highly potent antioxidant which research shows acts as an internal sunscreen. It’s also supposedly an anti-aging supplement. 

Get It At Home:

Since we can’t all live at the beach year-round, it is possible to get Vitamin D at home. Obviously, sun exposure can accomplish this at home or at the beach. For times of year when sun exposure isn’t possible, try a Vitamin D3 supplement at home.

Benefit #2: Magnesium

Magnesium is the eighth most abundant mineral on earth, and the third most abundant in sea water. More importantly, it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and it is necessary in over 300 reactions within the body. Magnesium isn’t just abundant in the body, but vitally important too. As this article explains: Every single cell in the human body demands adequate magnesium to function, or it will perish. Strong bones and teeth, balanced hormones, a healthy nervous and cardiovascular system, well functioning detoxification pathways and much more depend upon cellular magnesium sufficiency. Soft tissue containing the highest concentrations of magnesium in the body include the brain and the heart—two organs that produce a large amount of electrical activity, and which can be especially vulnerable to magnesium insufficiency.” Sea water and sand are a great source of magnesium and it is often better to get magnesium transdermally (through the skin). Unfortunately, magnesium is often not well absorbed by the digestive track, and is even more difficult to absorb in this way for those who are low in vitamin D, have poor gut bacteria or suffer from a number of other health conditions.” The salt water itself is also detoxifying and helps pull impurities from the body and skin. Salt water inhibits bacterial growth and skin infections.

Get It At Home:

For those of us not able to get a daily soak in the ocean for our magnesium, there are some easy ways to supplement at home. Try a magnesium oil (here is the recipe) and apply to the skin for best absorption. Leafy green vegetables, sea vegetables, kelp and especially nettle (in herb form available here) are good dietary sources of magnesium, though if you have a deficiency, it will be difficult to raise your levels enough through diet alone. Some ways to supplement with magnesium are:

Here are some other magnesium-rich recipes (For the kids,rub magnesium oil on their feet/legs before bed.):

Benefit #3: Great Hair and Skin

So this one is purely vain, but how great does your skin and hair feel after time at the beach! It is probably the only time you can roll out of bed and have your hair actually look good! To attempt the great skin and hair that the beach provides, try:

Benefit #5: Relaxation

Stress is bad for health and the beach is wonderful for relaxation with the the soothing sound of waves and the massage of sand on the feet. Since you can’t bring the beach home, try these relaxation tips by following these steps and using a sound machine for relaxing sleep (also helpful for kids).

Source: Wellness Mama


Apr 25 2014

Want A Flat Belly?

Do you struggle like so many others? Getting a flat belly is directly linked to your diet. I wish there was another way around it, but you absolutely have to eat a clean diet & drink enough water or that ol’ belly isn’t going anywhere. Here are a few tips to help get you there: 

  • Drink at least 3 liters of water every single day! 
  • Cut down on alcohol or cut it out completely (i know… i know… UGH)!
  • Reduce sodium content!
  • Limit your sugar intake!
  • Eat complex carbs & avoid the “whites” (noodles, rice, bread, sugar & flour)!
  • Get enough fiber! Do you get anywhere close to 25g?
  • Remove foods with preservatives and ingredients you can’t pronounce! 
  • Include good fats like avocado, coconut oil, almonds & flax into your diet  & Folk Members – please check your email today on more tips and foods that target belly fat specifically!  
  • Get plenty of protein!
  • Workout at least 4 days per week! This includes 2 days of Folk Wellness Co. Bootcamp with heavier dumbbells & at least 30 minutes of cardio & heavy weights on the other two days. There is a reason we alternate muscle groups in our Bootcamps – these exercises along build your core without making you look bulky! 
  • Sit-ups will not reduce belly fat – spot reducing does NOT work! You need to reduce your overall body fat to ultimately reduce belly fat. Sit-ups will build muscle underneath the actual fat, making you appear larger.