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Health and Fitness Tips

Cut Out Salt to Look Cut

When it comes to salt, the majority of us are eating too much of the stuff. Here is how to strip the sodium to achieve a lean look.

If you've been less than perfect with your diet and exercise regimen recently, but still want to look great on a date or at the park, a few last-minute tricks may help. For a bigger chest, arm and shoulder pump, you could always do push-ups in your bedroom, but to look leaner and more defined, try getting rid of excess sodium. True, you also have to get your body fat down to look cut. But here is a wise tip; sodium can make the difference between a smooth pudgy-looking body and a cut, muscularly defined physique. Luckily it takes only a day or so to put sodium in its place, so get tighter by tomorrow with these tips to eliminate bloating. Plus, by regulating your salt intake you can improve your athletic endurance, performance, hydration and health.

You're probably already overdoing the sodium. Typically Americans get about 5,000 - 7,000mg of sodium every day, although adults may need only 500mg. No recommended Dietary Allowance for sodium has been set, but the Daily Value (used in food labeling) for sodium has been set at 1,400mg per day. This isn't a requirement so much as an attempt to keep dietary levels within reason.

While sodium is an essential nutrient, too much of it attracts a layer of water under your skin that looks like a layer of bodyfat. Obviously, that's not good for your six-pack or for that matter, the lines of your thighs, even if your bodyfat is already low.

To reduce your sodium intake, here are a few tips:

*Drink more water, this pulls sodium out of your body. So flush that excess salt out of your system by drinking 16 cups of water throughout the day. Think how hydrated you will look.

*Cut back on high-salt foods. This is obvious, but not necessarily the most straightforward when you consider that many foods that don’t taste salty may still be high in sodium. So watch all labels and be wary of excessive sodium content.

*Exercise. Another way to reduce sodium is simply to exercise more. You lose sodium from sweating.

*Sweat if Off. By doing six or more 10-minute bouts in a sauna, steam room, Jacuzzi, or hot tub, you can lose several grams of sodium. Don't forget to say hydrated.

We all need sodium for our bone health and overall health. One word of caution, beware of desperate measures. Too drastic a reduction in sodium due to diuretics or other harsh methods can cause cramping, low blood pressure, fainting and other health risks. So reduce wisely and look better!

Rick Gusler is a certified personal trainer and diet nutritionist who serves his clients through Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center in central Denver. To schedule a free consultation, or to learn more about the Gusler method of body sculpting, spin yoga, or Rick's Boot Camp, please contact him at 303.860.7131 or online at

Gusler Body Sculpting Fitness Center, LLC
459 Acoma Street · Denver, Colorado 80204 · 303-860-7131
Hours: Monday-Friday: 6am-8pm · Saturday: Closed · Sunday: Closed