261118 Childhood obesity-1/2

261118 Childhood obesity-1/2

Health care and fitness professionals throughout the United States and other affluent nations are increasingly alarmed at the growing epidemic of childhood obesity. This upward spiral of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease demands immediate attention if changes in these unhealthy trends are to be reversed. Perhaps a quick look at the problem will set the tone for action.

The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) states that more than nine million of our children are overweight. Obesity in our 2-6 year old preschool children, and adolescents, 12-19 years old has doubled since the 1970’s. This rate has tripled in the 6-11 year olds!

Unfortunately, similar increases have occurred within the adult population during this nearly four-decade period.

We are not active enough to ward off this onslaught of health problems as evidenced by the fact that over half of the 12-21 year olds do not regularly engage in vigorous activity or exercise. Some blame the television or computer. The statistics are clear that overweight and obese children watch more television or play on the computer more than their healthier and lower weight peers.

Not only are these kids fatter but 7% of them suffer from sleep apnea when their breathing temporarily stops or is suspended briefly periodically throughout the night. This causes a lack of restful sleep that continues to accumulate. Loss of sleep upsets the hormonal balances within the body. These hormones regulate body fat levels.

191118 The signs of metabolic health

191118 The signs of metabolic health

One of the best signs of a person’s metabolic health is the size of their waistline. When the first thing someone notices about you is your gut, then you have a health problem. A larger waistline is indicative of this deeper lying visceral fat.

For those of you considering liposuction, this procedure makes only cosmetic changes. It removes the subcutaneous fat but does nothing about the deep fat surrounding your organs.

Since one of the criteria for the metabolic syndrome is a big waist, it may be helpful to know what is considered to be a big waist. For men, a waistline over 40 inches is excessive and for women this number is 35 inches. Anything over these two numbers is too much and predisposes that person to the metabolic syndrome.

111118 Rembering the Veterans

Today is the day our Country pauses to honor the veterans who gave their lives protecting our freedoms.

Thank you to all of my fellow Vets…it is an honor to be associated with each one of you. I salute you for your service to the United States of America.

121118 Carbohydrates, triglyceride levels and the size of your waist

121118 Carbohydrates, triglyceride levels and the size of your waist

The modern American consumes approximately fifty percent of their daily calories from carbohydrate sources. These high carb diets signal the liver to create more of the previously mentioned Triglyceride rich particles. If the diet includes more than sixty to sixty five carbohydrates then this process increases.

Diets that are high in sugar, fructose being the main cause of the problem, raise the triglyceride levels and in turn stimulate production of triglyceride particles that are rich in very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).

As this substance goes through the bloodstream it loses some of the triglycerides, which eventually ends up as cholesterol loaded with a high concentration of LDL. We know that approximately sixty to eighty percent of the cholesterol coming into the artery wall is from LDL, the rest comes from Chylomicrons and VLDL.

Doctors and research scientists also know that people with high levels of LDL are at an increased risk for a heart attack and that lowering these levels can reduce the same risk. As of now, they do not have the research data to confirm whether lowering the level of triglycerides will do the same thing.

They do know that having both, high levels of LDL and triglycerides, is a heart attack in the making. Women with high triglyceride numbers seem to have a stronger link with heart disease than men do with the same numbers. Why this predictor is not valid for men is unknown at this time.

 

051118 Sport and lifestyle activity-range of motion exercising

051118 Sport and lifestyle activity-range of motion exercising

Your joints and muscles are meant to function within standardized degrees of movement, commonly referred to as the range of motion (ROM). The stronger you are within these ranges, the better protected you will be in preventing injuries from occurring. Therefore when doing your exercise routine keep in mind the following two guidelines:

  1. You gain the most strength within the range of motion (ROM) at which you exercise.
  2. The smaller the range of motion you in the joint, the less will be the carry over strength throughout the rest of the movement.

The basis of every quality strength training or fitness program relies, in part, on these two premises. As an example, let’s look at the squat while explaining these principles.

Many lifters do short range squats, known as high squats, in the gym. They get into a machine or in rare cases under a bar and drop down a few inches and call it good. In many instances this isn’t even to a parallel position, let alone below parallel where they should be before starting back up again. Depending on the load of the bar or on the machine, strength may be increased within this small range of motion but its unlikely this will happen.

This range of movement is too little and does not support normal living activities such as sitting down in a chair and then getting back up. If the strength is not developed within a range that is vital to living an active lifestyle then it is not useful. This group of fitness enthusiasts would be better served by going deeper in their squats, thereby getting a transfer of useable strength into their daily lives. This naturally leads in to the second principle.

An individual or strength athlete will become stronger when training the full range of motion. This expands the strength curve and transfers more useable muscle activity across greater degrees of the joint angle. Greater degree angles of strength protect the joint from injury, especially at the far ranges of motion.

The take home message is don’t cut yourself short with limited range of motion exercises.